Word on the Street

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

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Archives: Sep. 2011


Puyallup council approves downtown parking changes

People who live, work, shop and catch the Sounder train in and around downtown Puyallup soon will see significant parking changes.

The City Council on Tuesday night approved a downtown parking management plan that includes new or adjusted on-street parking time limits, changes to city-owned parking lots and a residential parking permit program.

Some council members said they felt a sense of urgency because the city is ending its lease with Sound Transit for a 118-stall lot downtown next month, which means commuters who park there will have to find spaces elsewhere and could spill over onto residential streets.


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UP council candidate forum is Thursday night

Straight from my e-mail:

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chapter of the League of Women Voters will host and moderate a University Place Council Candidate Forum on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011 at Curtis High School Auditorium, 8425 40th Street W., from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

University Place residents will have an opportunity to vote for three City Council positions this year:  Kent D. Keel and Steve Smith are vying for Position 2; Ken Campbell and Chris Nye are pursuing Position 6; and incumbent Caroline Belleci and Howard Lee are seeking Position 7. The forum is scheduled to last for approximately one

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Lakewood city spokesman mobilized, headed to Middle East

Lakewood’s spokesman is taking a temporary leave of absence to deploy overseas.

Jeff Brewster, the city’s government and communications director since 2007, received a mobilization order last week. His last day was Friday.

Brewster said he will serve as a logistics adviser for 3rd Army and will deploy to the Middle East, likely Kuwait. He will serve for 11 months.

His last mobilization was during Operation Desert Storm.

He is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve and has served in all three components of the Army, active-duty, Reserve and National Guard, during a military career that spans about

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About $2 million in federal money to go for Hilltop neighborhood community center

Almost $2 million in federal housing money is headed for Tacoma to help build a community center in the Hilltop neighborhood.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the grant Friday. The Tacoma Housing Authority was one of just five agencies nationwide to receive part of an overall $14.5 million from a HUD program for education facilities.

Tacoma’s share of that money, $1,881,652, will be added to another $900,000 HUD grant and $114,000 from THA funds to build a facility near the Hillside Terrace public housing community. The building will be two stories and about 8,500 square feet,

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Lake Tapps water level to rise

Water in Lake Tapps will rise about four inches to roughly 543 feet by Sept. 26.

That will bring the popular East Pierce County reservoir – which is owned by Cascade Water Alliance – to full recreational level, showing “both the homeowners and Cascade what the water level will be when Cascade is providing municipal water supply,” the group wrote in a news release.

Immediately after the water goes up, it will be brought down to about 542.5 feet, and will remain there through October, Cascade said.

Then the drawn down for winter will begin, Cascade said, adding it will

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Tacoma School Board waiting for word on strike vote

UPDATE: The board emerged from executive session at 5:45 p.m. as is waiting for the outcome of the teachers union vote.


5:30 p.m.: The Tacoma School Board has retreated into executive session, as the district’s teachers union is deciding in a separate meeting whether to strike.

The board will hear an update on contract negotiations in the closed door session, as well as discuss potential litigation. The executive session is expected to last 15 minutes, said board President Kurt Miller.

There’s still no word on whether the Tacoma Education Association’s strike vote, which is happening at Mount Tahoma High

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All Pierce County libraries have new phone numbers

Your local library has a new phone number.

The Pierce County Library System has updated its 25-year-old phone system to give its patrons faster and better service, according to a news release

The new system reduces the number of dropped or missed calls and allows staff members to transfer calls between libraries instead of having to give a caller a phone number.

The library system selected Tri-Tec Service as the vendor for the new system after conducting market research.

The new phone system cost $230,000, said Mary Getchell, the library system’s spokeswoman.

Its new main number is 253-548-3300.

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Puyallup Fair: First day attendance up over last year

The first day of the 2011 Puyallup Fair drew 75,234 people, up 3,101 over opening day last year.

The 17-day fair kicked off Friday with a parade and cattle drive through downtown. People were asked to bring non-perishable items for the Puyallup Food Bank, and more than 160,000 pounds of food were collected, said fair spokeswoman Karen LaFlamme.

The food drive record, set last year, was 90,000 pounds.

The fair typically draws more than 1.1 million people, although attendance was down last year at 1,065,208 people.

The fair runs through Sept. 25.