Word on the Street

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

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Archives: Sep. 2010

Sep.
24th

Get out your gloves for Green Tacoma Day

It’s looking like the weather will be fine for the third annual Green Tacoma Day.

That’s a good thing, because organizers are predicting 500 people will show up at 15 sites for tours, activities, and chances to work at restoring parks, campuses and natural areas.

The first Green Tacoma Day drew about 100 people to Julia’s Gulch, where they rescued trees from ivy and went to war with blackberries. The event’s grown in size and scope. This year, participants can work, walk or play, learning all the way in a packed schedule from 9 a.m. to

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Sep.
24th

Informal survey: Should the Elks monkey puzzle tree stay or go

Let me be clear: no one is proposing that the 80-year-old (or thereabouts) monkey puzzle tree that stands at the top of the Spanish Stairs should be removed.

But as the old Elks Lodge begins its transformation into a McMenamins beer and entertainment mecca and the stairs are refurbished, there is an emerging discussion about that tree. The native of Chile, Araucaria araucana was a popular ornamental in Tacoma and Seattle in the 20s and 30s.

At a meeting with the Landmarks Commission Wednesday, historic preservation consultant Michael Sullivan said, “I don’t think we have a

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Sep.
22nd

Wizards of the trees

It will be a good week for the trees in Tacoma’s parks.

The Pacific Northwest Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture will hold its 31st annual training conference in Tacoma Sunday through Thursday. The event will bring 500 tree experts to Tacoma to demonstrate their skills, including pruning, in the parks.

Metro Parks’ urban forester, Kathy sutalo, will chair the conference, which has remarkable opportunities for the public to watch, learn and be astounded by daring aerial feats.

Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wright Park will host a spectacular tree-climbing competition. Agile arborists, who

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Sep.
22nd

Free Puyallup Fair admission for kids 12 and under this weekend; half-price parking Friday

This just in from The Puyallup Fair.

Kids 12 and under will get in free this weekend – that’s Saturday and Sunday – with a coupon you can get on the Internet. Normally, kids 5 and under get in at no charge, while students 6-18 must pay a $9 admission fee.

The Fair also is offering half-price parking on Friday. Sunday is the last day of the Fair’s annual 17-day run.

Here’s the notice, e-mailed this morning to people on the Fair’s internet news list.

Wed, September 22, 2010 9:39:35 AM
Just Announced – Kids Get FREE Admission

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Sep.
22nd

Repairs made to elephant sand sculpture in Federal Way

An elephant sand sculpture in Federal Way that was damaged over the weekend by heavy rain has now been fixed.

Repairs on the elephant were completed Tuesday, according to a news release from the World Championship of Sand Sculpture.

Suzanne Altamare of Florida stepped in to fix the sculpture by Paul Hoggard of England.

The sand-sculpting event began Sept. 8 in a parking lot at 31510 20th Ave. S. It will continue until Oct. 3.

Most of the sculptures suffered little damage during last weekend’s rain. The elephant was an exception. Another was a sculpture of

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Sep.
21st

Divided Federal Way council grants extension for skyscraper project

Federal Way city leaders pressed developers with questions during heated discussion Tuesday night before narrowly granting them six more months to buy city land for building a three-tower skyscraper project reaching 45 stories in downtown.

The City Council voted 4 to 3 to extend the closing date to sell the property to Twin Development for $6.1 million from Sept. 30 to March 31.

Some council members voiced concerns about what steps Twin Development has planned to raise money for the project. They asked the developers to disclose any business and marketing plan they have to generate money for the project.

Steve Smith, one of Twin Development’s three partners, first said he would give the plan to the council. But after another partner, Luke Hwang, declined to do so because some of the details would become public, Smith said he misspoke.

“We’re going to be doing lots of things, and we don’t want to share that,” Smith said.

At one point, Hwang said Twin Development might move the project to another location in Federal Way if the council insisted on seeing a business plan without guaranteeing it – and any proprietary information in it – would be kept confidential.

Council members voting for the extension were: Jeanne Burbidge, Jack Dovey, Roger Freeman and Linda Kochmar. Voting against the extension were: Dini Duclos, Jim Ferrell and Mike Park.

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Sep.
21st

Federal Way council approves restrictions aimed at bikini baristas

Federal Way city leaders approved restrictions Tuesday night on how much skin bikini baristas can show.

The City Council voted 6-1 for the limits, which include no uncovered pasties or otherwise heavily exposed breasts.

The city developed the restrictions as part of a new lewd conduct ordinance after the first and only bikini barista business in Federal Way opened in May. City officials say they haven’t had problems with that business, the Pink Spot cafe, but want to prevent any problems in the future.

The council approved a first reading of the lewd conduct ordinance.

Council member Jack Dovey cast

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Sep.
21st

Auburn sponsors Disaster Fair Saturday

The City of Auburn is hosting its 4th annual Disaster Fair Saturday, according to  the following press release:

The City of Auburn Emergency Management Office is promoting National Disaster Preparedness month by hosting Auburn’s 4th Annual Disaster Fair on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Les Gove Community Campus in Auburn. The fair is sponsored by the City of Auburn and the White River Valley Citizen Corps Council.

This event is a fun-filled afternoon of adventure and education for the whole family, featuring disaster preparedness information, ideas, demonstrations, and supplies. There will be activities for

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