Word on the Street

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

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Archives: Aug. 2011

Aug.
19th

Something to bark about: Pups in the Park set for Saturday

Contests and activities are awaiting dogs and their owners during the 5th Annual Pups in the Park on Saturday, Aug. 20.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cirque Park in University Place. The park is located at 7250 Cirque Drive.

The event features peanut butter licking, hot dog eating and dog-owner look-a-like contests. Other events include a canine version of musical chairs, a pet parade and service dog demonstrations.

The event will also host the Skyhoundz Northwest Regional Championship where dogs from eight states will compete in events using Frisbees and attempt to qualify for

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Aug.
19th

Despite county executive’s misgivings, Lakewood sewer franchise fee is finalized

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy staged a symbolic protest when she didn’t sign legislation establishing a sewer franchise fee for Lakewood residents.

The legislation can take effect without her signature, but McCarthy wanted it known she opposed it.

The fee is equal to 6 percent of customer’s monthly charge, adding $2.05 to this year’s monthly charge for a single-family home of $34.19. The county will begin charging the fee Sept. 1.

The fee is expected to generate about $350,000 a year for the city’s operating fund.

“If they’re going to raise taxes on their citizens, they should take that vote

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Aug.
18th

UPlace to cut ribbon on sidewalk project Friday

The city of University Place will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday on the first of two projects to improve safety for school children and residents walking and riding their bicycles along busy streets.

The event celebrates the completion of a nearly $1 million project to add sidewalks, bike lanes and street lights on the west side of Grandview Drive West between 19th and 27th streets, the major route serving University Place Primary School.

It begins at 1:30 p.m. near the University Place Senior Center, located at 2537 Grandview Drive West. City council members, school district employees and students will attend.

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Aug.
17th

Puyallup council not sold on South Sound 911

Pierce County leaders want Puyallup to be part of the proposed South Sound 911, and on Tuesday offered the suburban city guaranteed representation on the governing board if it signs on. They also said the city’s dispatchers would be able to work for the new agency.

But City Council members remained skeptical.

“For us or you to create this bureaucracy, another leg of government … would move Puyallup even further down the ladder,” said Councilman John Knutsen.

Pierce County leaders laid out the South Sound 911 proposal during Tuesday’s regular council meeting. In November, voters countywide will be asked to

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Aug.
16th

University Place ends drive-thru ban in central business district

The University Place City Council voted Monday night to end its decade-long ban on new drive-thru businesses in its central business area.

The vote was 5-1. Mayor Debbie Klosowski voted no. Councilman Ken Grassi was absent.

The decision allows new drive-thru businesses in the portion of the area that runs along both sides of Bridgeport Way south of 37th Street West. The ban continues for properties to the north, including the Town Center mixed-use development.

The council originally banned new drive-thru businesses over concerns it would interfere with the city’s vision for a walkable downtown. The majority of council

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Aug.
16th

New academic officer at UWT

James W. Harrington, Jr., a University of Washington Seattle professor and recent chairman of the Faculty Senate, will become vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Washington Tacoma.

Harrington will start his new job Sept. 1. As vice chancellor, he will support the academic dean and directors, and ensure integrity of the promotion and tenure processes, according to UWT Chancellor Debra Friedman. Harrington also will join the faculties of both Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and of Urban Studies at UWT.

Harrington has been a professor of geography at UW since 1997, and served as department chairman from 2000

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Aug.
15th

Rail bypass project coming into focus

State officials have ruled out as too costly expanding the existing rail line or building a new one to improve passenger train service through Pierce County.

Their review now focuses on two remaining options: making $91 million in improvements to run the high-speed trains through DuPont, South Tacoma and Lakewood, a project known as the Point Defiance Bypass, or do nothing.

Officials with the Washington State Department of Transportation are updating leaders in these cities on the proposed bypass’ environmental review as it enters the home stretch. They appeared Monday night before the Lakewood City Council, which has formally opposed

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Aug.
15th

Puyallup Fair wine, beer competition is brewing

Amateur brewers and winemakers have until Thursday to enter their creations for competition in the Puyallup Fair. Winners will get cash prizes and have their work displayed during next month’s fair.

People must sign up online; the deadline is 10 p.m. Thursday. Entries then must be dropped off at the fairgrounds between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday.

Judging is scheduled for Aug. 28 and will be based on criteria including color, smell and flavor, according to a fair news release. Competitors must be 21 or older to enter and not be affiliated with a commercial brewery or winery,

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