Word on the Street

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

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Archives: 2012


Puyallup tribal lore gives special meaning to that rare Mount Rainier shadow that appeared this morning

In honor of the rare atmospherics that displayed the shadow of Mount Rainier on the clouds over Western Washington, I am reprinting a 2004 column I wrote about its role in Puyallup tribal legend. (And by rare, I mean a clear enough day to see the Mountain and a high cloud cover to provide a canvas for the shadow).

The city council did preserve the view of the bridge and mountain from the Fireman’s Park viewpoint.

Historians plead case for Tacoma’s ‘little Stonehenge’

You can’t see
forever on a clear day when standing in Fireman’s Park in downtown

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Tips to dump your tree for free in Tacoma

If your once-festive Christmas tree is starting to turn brown and lose its needles, you have options to send it on its merry way.

Tacoma Fire asks that you choose from the list below, instead of burning trees in woodstoves or fire places.

• Drop-off: Tacoma residents and businesses can take undecorated trees to the recycling center at the City of Tacoma Landfill at 3510 S. Mullen St. between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. until Jan. 21. The center will be closed New Year’s Day.

Tree lots and nonprofits must pay for drop-0ffs.

• Curbside service: Trees that are cut and put in brown

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Website names Kalakala one of country’s most endangered historic ships

The Kalakala ferryboat has been named one of the most endangered historic ships in the country for 2012 by Fyddeye, which bills itself as “the Internet’s most comprehensive website for visitor information about America’s historic ships.”

The website’s readers nominated 27 ships and boats and then voted.

This is the second year Kalakala has made the list.

The 1930s-era boat is famous for its art deco design and sleek futuristic shape. The Coast Guard has declared the Kalakala a hazard to navigation last December and it continues to deteriorate in its moorage.

After a decade of unsuccessfully trying to find

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Point Defiance Zoo raises $9,000 to save tigers; still time to donate

Nearly $9,000 has been raised to save endangered tigers through a campaign promoted by Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

The money came from donations and a matching gift from The Zoo Society.

The zoo’s goal is to raise at least $10,000, half of which comes from donations, for the Race to Save Tigers campaign.

All funds will go to Southeast Asia to help anti-poaching efforts.

Donations, which are tax deductible, can be made at www.pdza.org; by calling 253-404-3657; by mail to The Zoo Society, c/o Tiger $5K, 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma, WA, 98407; or in person at the

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For last time, UP council to start year with pay disparity

Veteran University Place City Council members will earn more than double the wages of their junior colleagues for a second consecutive year when the council reconvenes next month.

It will be the final year of the pay disparity for the City Council that emerged following its vote in 2010 to scuttle benefits that the elected leaders had enjoyed for a decade.

Starting in 2014, the council member will receive equal compensation, although the mayor and deputy mayor will continue to earn more money for their additional responsibilities.

Next year, however, a council member elected prior to 2011 is set

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Volunteers sought to write “against” statement on Puyallup schools measure

The Pierce County Auditor’s Office is seeking up to three volunteers to prepare an “against” voters’ pamphlet statement on the Puyallup School’s District bond measure.

The district will ask voters in February for $279.6 million to help fund projects that include a new elementary school and more space at three traditional high schools.

The Puyallup School Board did not appoint a committee to prepare an “against” statement for the local voters’ pamphlet. State law requires the county auditor to make an effort to appoint up to three members to form an Against Committee. That panel would produce the “against” statement

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State awards more than $1 million in local grants to protect salmon habitat

Pierce County and several local groups have been awarded nearly $1.1 million in state grants to improve and protect salmon habitat.

The money is part of more than $19 million in grants approved by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board for projects throughout the state to restore salmon population.

Here’s the news release from Pierce County:

December 20, 2012

County receives grants to fund salmon recovery projects

Pierce County will receive nearly $1.1 million to improve and protect salmon habitat.

The grants were awarded to the county and other local organizations by the state’s Salmon Recovery

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Sheriff’s Department to close 84-bed unit at the Pierce County Jail in January

Tacoma’s decision to shift its misdemeanor bookings to Fife’s jail isn’t the only change coming to the Pierce County Jail in January.

Due to a drop in bookings this year and budget cuts for next year, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department is closing an 84-bed unit in the jail on Jan. 1, reducing the jail’s budgeted capacity to 1,381 inmates, said Undersheriff Eileen Bisson.

Nine unfilled corrections deputies positions were eliminated in the 2013 county budget, which assumes the closure of the 84-bed unit.

For the first 11 months of 2012, the jail had an average

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