Word on the Street

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

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Archives: June 2012


B-17 at Tacoma Narrows Airport

A B-17 “Flying Fortress” is on display and available for rides and tours today through Thursday at the Tacoma Narrows Airport near Gig Harbor.

The World War II-era military plane is visiting from Phoenix, where it’s part of the Commemorative Air Force.

Sponsors are suggesting a $5 donation for a tour of the plane. Rides are $425 per person.


Bonsai! $20,000 dwarf tree stolen

The Associated Press says a bonsai tree valued at $20,000 has been stolen from a nursery on Highway 16 near Gorst.

The bonsai tree, called a Hinoki Cypress Dwarf, is 57 years old and was donated to the Elandan Gardens in 1991. It was part of a large outdoor bonsai museum.
No other bonsai trees were taken from the nursery.

Police are investigating.


Pierce County offers tips on fireworks laws, shows and safety

Pierce County Emergency Management has put out information about fireworks shows, fireworks laws and safety tips for using fireworks where they are legal for the Fourth of July.

“We want the public to know how dangerous fireworks can be and that fireworks safety should not be taken lightly,” said Pierce County Fire Marshal Warner Webb.

The news release includes a link to where fireworks are permitted, restricted and banned.

June 26, 2012

Tips, laws and info for a safe July 4th celebration

In 2011, the Pierce County Fire Marshal’s Office reported that 24 fires

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BBQ master and philanthropist Alton Porter dies

Alton Porter, owner of Porter’s Place Southern Cuisine & BBQ, has died.

Porter was legendary in Tacoma for his Southern style barbecue, and for his great heart.

Thursday morning, it was his heart that failed him. At about 8 a.m., he died of an apparent heart attack in the office of his restaurant at 5026 South Tacoma Way.

Over the family’s 14 years in the restaurant and catering business, Alton Porter made them community leaders in charity. They cooked Emergency Food Network’s free community Thanksgiving turkey feast. They supported Phoenix Housing Network, Tacoma Rescue Mission and the

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Former Sumner superintendent fined for violating campaign laws

Former Sumner School Superintendent Gil Mendoza agreed Thursday to pay $2,000 in fines for failure to comply with Washington political campaign laws.

The state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) fined Mendoza a total of $4,500, but suspended $2,500 of the fine as long as he pays the remainder within two weeks of the commission’s final order, and commits no further violations for the next four years.

The fine grew out of the fall 2011 Sumner School Board race. The race took place just months after Mendoza had been ousted from his job by the school board, in June 2011.


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Public invited to vote on names for red wolf pups at Point Defiance Zoo

The public is invited to vote on names for five endangered red wolf pups recently born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

Zoo staff members have selected two separate groups of names related to the wolves’ native North Carolina habitat.

The first set of possible names is of counties in North Carolina: Bladen, Haywood, Hyde, Nash and Onslow. The second set is from trees native to the state: Fraser, Hickory, Hawthorn, Juniper and Sumac.

To vote, go to www.pdza.org and click on the red wolf slide when it scrolls across the top of the page.

The pups were born

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Milfoil infestation ‘radically reduced’ in Lake Tapps

The owner of Lake Tapps says a milfoil infestation in the popular East Pierce County reservoir is “radically reduced” and it won’t have to conduct a widespread chemical treatment this summer.

Cascade Water Alliance has been treating the lake for milfoil, an invasive aquatic plant, since 2010, and roughly 95 percent of the milfoil recorded that first year now is gone, a news release said.

“We are extremely pleased with the success of the program and how quickly and dramatically milfoil has been reduced on the lake,” said Jon Shimada, capital projects director, in the release.

Cascade says divers

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New agreement settles dispute from last fall’s Tacoma teacher strike

A committee working on the hot-button issue that pushed Tacoma teachers to strike last fall inked a new agreement Wednesday that settles it.

The committee, made up of teachers union and school district representatives, came up with a plan to govern how teachers will go through the displacement process. The process occurs each spring, when school and district officials decide school staffing levels for the following fall.

The new plan will require teachers to complete a detailed self-assessment each year, which will be scored on a scale established by the union-district committee. Seniority, once a determining factor in teacher displacements,

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