Word on the Street

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

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Archives: Aug. 2012


New University Place police chief selected

After a lengthy search, University Place has a new police chief.

The city announced Friday that Sgt. Mike Blair had been selected as the city’s top police officer. Blair has been filling in as interim chief since the departure of former chief Rusty Wilder in January.

Blair’s first day as chief is Monday. He was named law enforcement officer of the year at the sheriff’s office in 2010.

“I am looking forward to the continued partnership with the city and sheriff’s department over the next decade to continue to provide high-level professionalism and quality response to crime in the city

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Clouded leopard cubs to leave Point Defiance Zoo next week

Two clouded leopard cubs are set to leave Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium next week to meet their mates at separate zoos.

Visitors can see Chan sung and Suksn in Tacoma through Wednesday.

Then Chan sung will be sent to Tanganyika Wildlife Park near Wichita, Kan., where he will be paired with 4 ½-month-old Sassy. Suksn is headed for Houston Zoo to meet her future mate, Tarek, who was born at Nashville Zoo in March.

The local cubs were born March 6 to Chai Li and Nah Fun, one of Point Defiance Zoo’s three pairs of endangered clouded leopards.


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UPDATE 2: Lakewood bridge repair finished, weight restriction to end

UPDATE 2, Sept. 14:  City Manager Andrew Neiditz reported today the bridge repair is finished and the weight restriction on the span for heavy vehicles will be lifted by September 21.

UPDATE, Sept. 7: The swallows have flown the nest and the bridge repair project should resume and be completed next week, City Manager Andrew Neiditz reported today.

ORIGINAL POST: The discovery of a nest of swallow chicks has delayed a repair project on the bridge spanning Lake Steilacoom.

In December, the city of Lakewood imposed a weight restriction on the Interlaaken Bridge after one of the wooden beams that

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Tiger cub at Point Defiance Zoo being hand-reared to boost weight

The 6-day old Sumatran tiger cub at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is being hand-reared after health checks showed he lost weight and was not getting enough milk, the zoo said today.

Staff today moved the cub from the den box where he was born to the zoo’s Animal Health Care clinic.

He was not gaining weight, was dehydrated and had a low temperature, head zoo veterinarian Karen Wolf said.

Mother Jaya was not as attentive to him as she was to the litter she had two years ago, zoo staff said.

She was leaving the den box often, which didn’t

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School board group opposes charter school initiative

Washington’s state school boards association has joined the state PTA in opposing the charter school measure, Initiative 1240, that will come before voters in November.

The Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) board listed among its criticisms of I-1240:
• Lack of oversight by locally-elected officials.
• A state commission that could authorize charters would not be chosen by voters, but by the governor, lieutenant governor and the speaker of the state House of Representatives.
• It’s unclear how often the unelected boards of individual charter schools would meet and how they would accept public comment.

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Nellie the otter goes viral

A video of Nellie the sea otter demonstrating her cup stacking talents at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has gone viral, even getting play on a newscast during NBC’s “Today” show this morning.

Since the video was posted on Aug. 1 it’s been viewed 1.3 million times.

Another video of the zoo’s walrus, E.T., and his amazing range of vocalizations has also gone viral with 1.7 million views.

Nellie, who weighs 48 pounds, came to PDZA in 2004. The cup stacking keeps her engaged and

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Puyallup School District to seek bond

Pierce County’s second-largest school district will ask voters next February for $279.6 million to help fund a slate of capital projects, including building a new elementary school and adding space at the district’s three traditional high schools.

The Puyallup School Board Monday night unanimously approved a resolution sending the proposal to voters.

Board President Greg Heath said he and his colleagues carefully considered the projects included in the bond package. There’s a need for more high school and elementary school space in the district, and “we’re ready to do the right

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Rare Sumatran tiger cub born at Point Defiance Zoo

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium welcomed a new tiger into its fold Wednesday night.

The rare Sumatran tiger cub was born at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday to Jaya, who gave birth to two cubs in 2010, the zoo said in a news release. Jaya “and her cub appear to be doing well, and Jaya is a very attentive parent,” the zoo said.

The cub was sired by Malosi, who came to Point Defiance in April from the Honolulu Zoo to breed with Jaya.

The Sumatran tiger is a critically endangered species, and births in zoos are extremely rare, said the zoo’s

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