Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Archives: Aug. 2010


Silver Lake regatta tribute to hydroplane racing hero

Silver Lake in Eatonville will roar this weekend with outboard racing in a tribute to a local hydroplane racing hero.

Race Director Tony Perman said the Smilin’ George Memorial Regatta  is named after  former unlimited hydroplane and outboard racer George Henley who owned the resort for decades and hosted the regatta since the 1960s.

“We are doing this as a memorial to George Henley who passed away (last December),” Perman said.

The  regatta which is sponsored by the Seattle Outboard Association runs both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the  Silver Lake Resort.

In 1974 at

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It’s official: It’s Charlotte’s Blueberry Park

There’s good news for the late Charlotte Valbert’s many fans.

Last week, Dave Berry, her long-time cohort in creating Blueberry Park, requested a slight name change for the 23 acres at 74th and East D Streets. He asked that it be renamed Charlotte’s Blueberry Park. He also got permission for a celebration of Valbert’s contributions there on Sunday.

The name change, and Sunday’s tribute, are official. Here’s the news from Nancy Johnson, Metro Parks communications manager:

The Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Park Commissioners voted this week to officially change the name of Blueberry Park to Charlotte’s Blueberry Park, in

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Tempt, torture taste buds at Jelly Belly tour bus stop in Tacoma

The Jelly Belly tour bus will serve up fun and adventure during a visit Thursday to Tacoma.

Jelly Belly fans, kids, candy connoisseurs and daring souls can taste favorite jelly beans as well as the candy manufacturer’s most unusual flavors when the tour bus stops from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at the Tacoma Top Food & Drug store, 3130 S. 23rd St., Tacoma.

Jelly Belly representatives will answer questions while offering fun and prizes during the visit. Fearless eaters can spin a special wheel and try to figure out the “good” flavor – or risk eating

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Going Gaga? Get to the Dome early tonight and plan on alternate parking

If you’re among the legions of Lady Gaga‘s Little Monsters going to see her at the Tacoma Dome tonight, you need to know about this parking alert.

Much of the Dome parking has been lost to construction of the LeMay car museum, so there will be only limited $20 cash parking in the Tacoma Dome lots.

The Dome website advises: “Arrive early!”

In addition to parking at the Dome, you can park downtown and take the Link light rail to the Dome. The rail runs until midnight.

Pierce Transit bus No. 42 also stops at Freighthouse Square next

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Bridge to Beach opening delayed to Sept. 16

Trouble getting railing sections for the so-called Bridge to the Beach has delayed its opening until Sept. 16.

The bridge originally was set to open Sept. 2. It will allow pedestrian access to a 2.5-mile stretch of previously inaccessible Puget Sound waterfront at the Chambers Creek properties in University Place.

Contractors are awaiting the final pieces of cable railing sections for the bridge before it can open, according to a news release issued by Pierce County this morning.

The bridge, officially called the North Dock Overpass, is being built at a cost of $3.8 million. About $3.15 million comes from state grants; $650,000 from the Pierce County sewer utility.

It crosses the railroad tracks, allowing public access to the beach from the Central Meadow area at the Chambers Creek recreation area.

The opening ceremony now is set for 3 p.m. Sept. 16, the news release said.

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Chambers Creek trails and meadow closed to general public through Aug. 29

If you’ve got a hankering to walk or bicycle along the Soundview or Grandview trails at Pierce County’s Chambers Creek Properties in University Place, or if you’re thinking of letting Rover romp in the Central Meadow, you’ll have to wait until Aug. 30 to do it at no charge.

The popular Chambers Creek properties are be closed to the nonpaying public beginning today for the U.S. Amateur championship at Chambers Bay golf course.

The closure runs from through Aug. 29.

If you still want to get in your scenic walk or bike trip, you can do so, but

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Puyallup Fair drops pursuit of land-use change

Puyallup Fair & Events Center leaders have withdrawn their proposal for a major land-use change for 219 acres of surrounding property – including 57 acres of privately owned houses and businesses – so that the fair can grow.

After continued outcry from homeowners, the fair pulled the proposal Tuesday before the Puyallup Planning Commission could make a recommendation tonight. Now, the Planning Commission won’t be considering the request tonight.

Kent Hojem, chief executive officer of the Puyallup Fair & Events Center, notified Planning Commission Chairman John Palmer Tuesday that the fair was removing its application for a Comprehensive Plan amendment.

The fair wants the area given a new designation as “events center,” which requires amending the city’s comprehensive plan.

After residents complained, fair leaders recommended shrinking the proposed area by 20 percent to about 176 acres. They planned to remove the properties of homeowners who complained the expansion of the fair could hurt their neighborhood and property values.

Then, the fair’s board of directors decided not to move forward with any proposal.

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