Word on the Street

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

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Archives: 2011


UPDATE 2: Camp Murray gate controversy voted top West Pierce news story for 2011

The ongoing controversy over the efforts by the Washington Military Department to move Camp Murray’s main gate deeper into the Tillicum neighborhood was voted the top news story of the year in West Pierce County.

Although I was hoping to see a lot more votes, the Camp Murray gate story was voted tops by an overwhelming margin.

David Anderson, president of the Tillicum-Woodbrook Neighborhood Association, had put out a request for residents in the neighborhood and others to cast their votes for the story.

The extension of sanitary sewer into Tillicum and Woodbrook took the No. 2 spot.

Efforts to

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New year, new numbers at Tacoma Library

Tacoma Public Library’s telephone numbers will change on Tuesday, Jan. 3 as a result of a move to VOIP.
VOIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol – phone service over the Internet instead of from a local phone company. Formerly, the library was part of the City of Tacoma’s telephone network.
Library officials said they are making the move for several reasons: greater flexibility in managing the system and lower costs.
The library’s existing telephone numbers will be forwarded to new numbers during a transition period.
New library phone numbers as of Tuesday will

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University Place’s woes make Wall Street Journal

A story on the Wall Street Journal’s website this morning highlights University Place as a poster child for municipal financial meltdowns nationwide.

Long a model American community with high-performing schools, beautiful parks and rising real estate values, this city of 31,000 on the Puget Sound has lately turned into a reluctant showcase for the downgrading of America.

It was in the midst of building a new downtown virtually from scratch when the financial crisis set in three years ago, leaving the city with a big debt and little of the new tax revenue it expected by now.

So, University

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UW Tacoma Forum: wrongful convictions

UW Tacoma will present a forum on wrongful criminal convictions from 6-7:30 p.m. January 11 in Philip Hall, on the university campus. This event is free, but registration (www.tacoma.uw.edu/calendar/wrongful-convictions-washington-state-panel) is required.
One of the speakers, Alan Northrop, was convicted of rape in 1993. After serving 17 years, DNA evidence proved he was innocent. Paula Wissel, law and justice reporter for KPLU-FM, will moderate the forum.
Other panelists include:
• Jacqueline McMurtie, associate professor at UW School of Law and director of the Innocence Project Northwest (www.law.washington.edu/Clinics/IPNW).
• Stephen Ross, assistant professor in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

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Steilacoom ferry terminal to close for renovations

The Steilacoom ferry terminal will close for four months starting the evening of Jan. 3 for renovations, Pierce County announced today.

Passengers can purchase tickets starting Jan. 4 at the temporary ticketing facility across from the terminal or online at www.piercecountywa.org/ferry.

A portable restroom and a covered waiting area will be available outside for passengers during construction. The remodeled terminal is expected to be completed in mid-May in time for Memorial Day traffic. The renovation will not affect ferry service between Steilacoom and Anderson and Ketron Islands.

Here’s a news release on the renovation:

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Workshop offer resources for family caregivers

Pierce County will present a free workshop to help family caregivers, starting Jan. 9.

The session will be repeated at several locations through Jan. 14 by staff members of Pierce County Community Connections along with the community partners of the Aging and Disability Resource Center.

“Family Caregiving 2012″ will aim to provide resources, tools and skills for those who care for family members with chronic illnesses, disabilities and long-term conditions. For more information, call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at 253-798-4600 or 1-800-562-0332.

Here’s a news release on the workshop:

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New website looks at health of watersheds, water quality

A new website offers updated information about the health of watersheds and the water quality in Pierce County.

The website is maintained by Pierce County Public Works and Utilities, which monitors local streams for contamination and pollution.

The website provides:

– An interactive map of all monitored streams in Pierce County.

– Links to data for all streams that are monitored.

– Definitions of monitoring terminology.

– The annual water quality report card and information about how streams get their grades.

Visit www.co.pierce.wa.us/watershedhealthdata to check out the site.

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Lakewood city manager content to stay put for now

Falling just shy of becoming Tacoma’s next city manager, Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz isn’t looking back.

Neiditz, 58, finished second as the Tacoma City Council voted Tuesday night to hire T.C. Broadnax, an assistant city manager in San Antonio.

While a bit disappointed in the outcome, Neiditz said he was in a “good frame of mind” and wished Broadnax well in his new job.

“I have a full plate in Lakewood with a lot of major challenges. I’m fully engaged here. My candidacy there was never intended to diminish that.”

Three Tacoma city council members supported Neiditz compared to

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