Word on the Street

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

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Archives: May 2011


Three chances to ditch your household junk

June is National Get That Ratty Mattress Out of the Alley Month.

Also, it’s Ditch the Rusted-Out Grill, and Not in a Ditch, Either, Month.

Or not.

June in Tacoma, however, is rich with opportunities to get rid of most of the junk that’s been uglifying the neighborhood. The City of Tacoma and an assortment of residents’ groups are organizing three spring cleanups in June.

Th city’s Community Based Services team brings the dumpsters and the disposal and safety workers. Groups like the East Abes and McKinley Railroad Neighbors spread the word, rustle up volunteers and cruise

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We will honor Stadium High School’s Class of 1941 on Memorial Day

Stadium High School’s Class of 1941 graduated into a world about to catch fire. Six months after they received their diplomas, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States entered World War II.

Donald McClain, 88, of Lakewood, shared albums his classmates kept of news clippings about classmates serving their country.

Monday, I’ll tell his story of training and cruising the Pacific on an LSM supply ship. Wrapped in with it, we will have dispatches about other classmates.

Below, you can read a fuller account of what they did for their country.

Nov., 1942: Howard S. Simpson, 19…

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Sound Transit to study transit options from Federal Way to Tacoma

Sound Transit’s board decided today to study whether there are less costly options that could extend light rail to Federal Way sooner than projected.

Board members were sympathetic to concerns voiced by Federal Way leaders over Sound Transit’s projections that light rail to Federal Way will be delayed from 2023 until 2034 at the earliest.

“The good news for Federal Way is I think we’re going to get there,” said board member and Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow. “I’m not exactly sure when.”

Sound Transit officials aren’t even sure for now how long the new alternatives analysis study will take. The board decided to study transit alternatives – including light rail and bus service – all the way to the Tacoma Dome.

Studying alternatives to Federal Way – including elevated light rail along Interstate 5 instead of state Route 99 – could take a year, said Sound Transit planner David Beal.

Federal Way Mayor Skip Priest said he appreciated that the board heard the concerns of those who live in Federal Way and Northeast Tacoma. But Priest said he’ll be looking down the road for Sound Transit to take action, not just study.

“The devil is in the details,” Priest said.

Priest and Federal Way City Council members Jeanne Burbidge and Linda Kochmar politely but firmly voiced their concerns to the board today about Sound Transit’s projected delay in extending light rail to South 272nd Street, Federal Way’s northern boundary.

Priest described the delay as a “broken promise” to Federal Way’ workers while more well-to-do areas get light rail sooner.

“The rich get richer while the working class gets the shaft,” Priest said.

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UPS names building for Weyerhaeusers

The University of Puget Sound will name its new health sciences building Weyerhaeuser Hall, in honor of Bill and Gail Weyerhaeuser.

The university’s board of trustees agreed to name the building for the couple in recognition of their lifetime contributions to the university.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Weyerhaeuser Hall is scheduled for Oct. 28.

University President Ronald Thomas said the Weyerhaeusers have been supporting the university’s strategic efforts since 1978 “in every conceivable manner: personally, strategically and financially.”

Bill Weyerhaeuser is chairman of the board of Columbia Bank and has served on the university’s board of trustees.

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Federal Way leaders take stand against light-rail delay

Federal Way city leaders have said they strongly oppose Sound Transit’s projected delay in bringing light rail to Federal Way, setting up a showdown with the transit agency’s board Thursday.

The Federal Way City Council voiced its opposition Tuesday night by unanimously passing a resolution that included the possibility of legal action against Sound Transit.

The council urged Sound Transit to rethink its options to a delay, such as a less-expensive light rail route along Interstate 5 instead of State Route 99.

The seven council members also urged the transit agency to factor in ridership, population and socioeconomic profile to balance cuts among the five subareas of the regional system.

The resolution also left open the option of the city suing Sound Transit.

“The city is reviewing legal options to enforce” the 2008 ballot measure, the resolution said. That’s when voters approved a $17.9 billion mass transit measure that included bringing light rail to South 272nd Street.

City Attorney Pat Richardson said today she doesn’t know yet what the city’s legal alternatives are, but added filing a lawsuit is always a legal option.

The delay to Federal Way would put off and potentially jeopardize construction of light rail to Tacoma.

Tacoma City Council member Jake Fey said last week that Sound Transit should reconsider the goal of connecting light rail from Sea-Tac Airport to Tacoma. Fey is also a Sound Transit board member.

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Arlington re-creation in Lakewood

Community members can visit Clover Park High School’s replica of Arlington National Cemetery beginning Thursday, when students set up the memorial on the high school’s front lawn, 11023 Gravelly Lake Drive SW in Lakewood.

This is the fourth year of the project, which is designed to honor soldiers who have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, using white plastic stakes with the hand-written names of each deceased soldier. As a tribute to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the sticks will be spaced two-and-a-half feet apart—the stride length of the guards who watch over the tomb. Students

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Puyallup City Council to look at parking plan tonight

The City of Puyallup may expand its parking permit system to free up more spaces in city-owned lots for employees of downtown businesses.

It may also change time limits for on-street parking.

City staff members are scheduled tonight to present several options to the City Council aimed at helping ease the parking congestion in downtown. The study session is 6 p.m. at City Hall, 333 S. Meridian.

No final action is expected to be taken.

Staffers have been working on a comprehensive parking plan for months, conducting surveys, holding meetings and reaching out to businesses. Merchants have said their customers

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Food Connection announces free summer lunch sites in Tacoma, Lakewood, Fife

St. Leo Food Connection will provide free lunches and snacks for children at 12 sites in Pierce County.

The Simplified Summer Food Program for Children is subsidized by the United States Department of Agriculture and aims to feed kids who might go hungry without the free or reduced lunches they get weekdays during the school year.
The program for children younger than 18 will run from June 20 through August 26.

“We know from the growth of our Backpack Program, which provides two days worth of food on Fridays to 430 children at 14 Tacoma public schools

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