Word on the Street

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

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Archives: Jan. 2012


Showdown over Camp Murray gate permit set for Friday

A group of Tillicum residents will ask a hearing examiner Friday to overturn the permit the city of Lakewood issued to allow the state to open the main gate serving Camp Murray in their neighborhood.

The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in the council chambers of City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW.  Residents can watch the proceedings but no public testimony will be allowed.

The Tillicum Action Committee appealed the right-of-way permit the city issued on Oct. 10 so the Washington Military Department can connect the new gate at the intersection of Portland Avenue and Boundary Street to public streets.

Read more »


Forum on homelessness in Puyallup set for Wednesday

The Puyallup Homeless Coalition is holding a forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday to work on an action plan for 2012.

The group has the goal of eliminating homelessness in the city of 37,000 people. Members presented a strategic plan to the Puyallup City Council last year and have put together several community forums.

Wednesday’s forum is at Puyallup United Methodist Church, 1919 W. Pioneer Ave.



Applicants sought for open seat on DuPont City Council

Interested residents have until Feb. 10 to file their applications for appointment to the vacant seat on the DuPont City Council.

Mayor Michael Grayum vacated the seat when voters elected him mayor in November.

Eligible citizens must be registered voters in DuPont and have been a resident for at least one year.  Council members receive $375 a month in compensation.

Residents must submit an application and a letter of interest discussing your applicable experience, philosophy on a council member’s role, and their thoughts on the most significant short- and long-term issues facing the city.

Application packets are available at DuPont

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Bonney Lake library to close for two weeks for improvements

Bonney Lake’s library will be closed Feb. 13-26 while a central customer service desk is installed. The new desk will allow library staffers to answer questions and assist customers from a central location instead of spread out around the 6,480-square-foot library.

During the closure, story time sessions will be held at Bonney Lake City Hall, 19306 Bonney Lake Blvd.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Preschool Play and Learn: 11:30 a.m. Feb. 14 and 21.
  • Toddler Time: 10:30 a.m. Feb. 14 and 21, and 11:30 a.m. Feb. 17 and 24.
  • Baby Play and Learn: 10:30 a.m. Feb. 15,

Read more »


Burn ban in Pierce County canceled

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has canceled the burn ban issued for Pierce County.

The agency reported forecasters expect evening winds tonight and Sunday night that should disperse air pollution and restore good air quality around the county.

It issued the burn ban Friday.

During the burn ban, residents were barred from using fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves. Outdoor burning also was prohibited.

Residents can sign up to receive notifications from the agency by clicking here.


Elton Gatewood of Neighborhood Councils retires

Elton Gatewood, founding director of Tacoma’s Neighborhood Council program is retiring Tuesday after 37 years with the city.

He did not want to go. The loss is one of the casualties of the city’s economic crisis.

Thanks to his deep knowledge of the city and wise and gentle diplomatic skills, the neighborhood councils have driven citizen involvement that has brought peace and beauty to many areas of Tacoma.

We invited people to comment on Gatewood’s accomplishments, and this is part of what we heard:

“I’m glad you are apparently planning a note or article about Elton Gatewood – I hope it’s about his contributions, his generous spirit, and his dedication to helping give Tacoma’s neighborhoods an effective voice in the city (as well as his contributions to numerous other cities’ neighborhood councils).

“I met Elton only 4 or 5 years ago, and was quickly impressed with his knowledge of the city government and the way it actually works, his advice on best approaches to city officials, both elected and administrative, and his mentoring of folks like me new to neighborhood councils. He guided with a firm and yet flexible hand, letting us know what was required and how best to provide it, and doing it with a quiet and unassuming leadership style that made one listen carefully.

“Elton founded the neighborhood council system 20 years ago, working with activists all over the city, including Marion Weed out here in NE Tacoma. In my experience, he kept up the dedication to neighborhood empowerment, consistently working in the neighborhoods’ and the city’s overall interests, sometimes in ways unfavorable to leading figures in the city administration. We will miss his example and leadership.”

John Thurlow, Chair, NE Tacoma Neighborhood Council

“As an officer of the South Tacoma Neighborhood Council knowing and respecting Read more »


Pierce County residents can report storm damage online

Pierce County residents can report their damage from the snow and ice storm online to the county’s damage assessment center at www.piercecountywa.gov/reportdamage.

Here’s the news release:

Pierce County Emergency Management
Report storm damage online
Posted By Sheri Badger on Jan 27th, 2012 at 2:28 PM

The Pierce County Damage Assessment Center (DAC) is now collecting damage information from homeowners and business owners affected by the recent ice and snow storms online at www.piercecountywa.gov/reportdamage.

If you have additional questions, call the DAC at 1-866-798-6363 (toll-free) or email PCEOC@co.pierce.wa.us. The DAC is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.

Read more »