Word on the Street

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

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Archives: July 2012

July
31st

County Council approves bond sales for sewage plant expansion and upgraded radio system

The Pierce County Council today authorized separate bond sales to expand the county’s sewage treatment facility and for an upgraded radio system for sheriff’s deputies and other emergency responders.

The council voted 6-0 to sell $210 million in revenue bonds for the $353 million expansion of the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in University Place. It is the second of three bond sales required to finance the project. So far, about $31 million in bonds has been issued.

Major construction is expected to begin in November. The expansion will increase capacity and meet anticipated stricter treatment regulations.

Utility

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July
31st

Electronic message signs approved for Frederickson, South Hill

Electronic message signs will be permitted in the Frederickson and South Hill areas starting in mid-August.

The Pierce County Council voted 6-0 today to adopt regulations allowing schools, churches, public safety agencies and parks to operate the signs in Frederickson and South Hill starting Aug. 15. Council member Stan Flemming, R-University Place, was absent.

The council’s action came after a long dispute over the sign changes. The Puyallup and Bethel school districts sought the changes and the council amended its comprehensive plan last year to permit the signs. Several area residents appealed the changes to the Growth Management Hearings

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July
26th

Students hold lemonade stand to support classmate battling cancer

When 9-year-old Maari Dickerson was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer last week, her school decided to rally to help raise funds for her family.

Her third-grade class at Washington-Hoyt Elementary School will host a lemonade stand from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Proctor Farmers Market, at North 27th Street and North Proctor Street.

“We’ve kind of gone with the theme, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,’” said Megan Gibson, Dickerson’s teacher.

Dickerson’s family has been keeping the community informed of her condition via Facebook posts, Gibson said.

She has started a 40-week cycle of

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July
26th

If we can’t put a bird on new Tacoma Sounder bridge, maybe we could just park a train on it

I’ve been trying to figure out why the new Sounder bridge over Pacific Avenue is so disappointing (see the next item down or click here). I really thought it was going to look nicer but wasn’t sure why.

Maybe I was expecting something nicer so I looked up the architectural renditions to see if Sound Transit actually built what was promised. While it appears that the bridge looks like the pictures, I have now realized why they look better than the final product. The artists placed a Sounder train on the bridge, an addition that gives the bridge

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July
25th

New Sounder rail bridge over Pacific Avenue looks a little better with railing, lights (but not much better)

I guess the new Sounder bridge in downtown Tacoma won’t look as bad as I thought when it first went up. Some decorative grill work on the sides have been installed and the panels are uplit at night.

Work seems to have shifted to the track between Pacific Avenue and M street behind the Rescue Mission complex. There was a need for some pretty complex bulkheads to keep the hillside in place.

Here are a few cell phone snaps of the new bridge. (click on the pix to view larger)

Here is the link to the

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July
25th

Closure on recreational shellfish harvesting in Pierce County

Two Pierce County beaches have been closed after unsafe levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poison were found in shellfish samples.

Shellfish harvesting is temporarily restricted at Day Island, Point Defiance, Wollochet Bay and Hale Passage, according to Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

A stretch of shoreline from Gig Harbor to the Kitsap County Line also remains closed.

Advisory signs will be posted at Dash Point County Park, Brown’s Point Park, Owens Beach, Point Defiance boathouse, Narrows Park, Day Island marina, Wollochet Bay boat launch and Fox Island Bridge.

The closure includes oysters, clams, mussels, scallops and other species of mollusks. Shrimp and

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July
19th

Puyallup city manager to depart

FRIDAY UPDATE: Here’s a link to our full story in today’s paper.

UPDATE AT 1:15 p.m.: Puyallup City Manager Ralph Dannenberg has confirmed he’s leaving and doesn’t expect to return to work. He said he didn’t tell the City Council he planned to retire, but that the council “feels a change is appropriate.” The News Tribune is seeking response from officials and will update this story later.

 

ORIGINAL POST: Pierce County’s third-largest city soon will be in the market for a new chief executive.

Puyallup City Manager Ralph Dannenberg apparently is leaving his post after nearly two years.

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July
19th

Northwest Trek’s deputy director dies on park’s anniversary

The man who led Northwest Trek for nearly three decades died Tuesday on the wildlife park’s 37th anniversary.

Dave Ellis was 65. His cause of death has not been released.

He is remembered as a dedicated wildlife advocate who worked tirelessly to improve the 723-acre park and the experience for all those who visited.

“Every day, he managed the protection of Northwest Trek and the concept of what it was established to be,” said Gary Geddes, director of the Zoological and Environmental Division of Metro Parks Tacoma. “He was unwavering in that commitment.”

Ellis was hired as general curator and

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