Word on the Street

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

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Archives: Aug. 2012


Brown Bear Car Wash marks anniversary with free car washes

Brown Bear is giving away free Bear Essential car washes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today (Aug. 23) at all of their automated “tunnel wash” locations in the Puget Sound area.

Brown Bear, which is a family-owned company based in Seattle, offers the free car washes every year as a way to thank customers and to celebrate its anniversary. The company is marking its 55th anniversary today.

“The lines you see are probably long, but they move fast,” Brown Bear says on its Facebook page.

Visit www.brownbear.com for a list of participating locations.


Geriatric tapir Jambi dies at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Point Defiance Zoo staff euthanized a geriatric tapir today that was suffering from congestive heart failure and attendant respiratory problems, according to the zoo’s head veterinarian Karen Wolf.

Jambi, 27, was among the first residents of the zoo’s Asian Forest Sanctuary that opened in 2004. Before coming to Tacoma, he was a member of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

Malayan tapirs are an endangered species native to Southern Burma, the Malay Peninsula, Thailand and Sumatra, according to the Zoo. About 3,000 are estimated to live in the wild.

Jambi was near the end of the lifespan range for the animals, according to

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Hearings board stays its ruling blocking Orton Junction

A state hearings board today stayed its ruling that Pierce County acted out of step with state law when it approved comprehensive plan amendments for the proposed Orton Junction development south of Sumner.

The Growth Management Hearings Board ruled last month the county was out of compliance because of the land-use changes. The county requested the stay because its ability to compete for up to $31 million in potential state grant and loan awards could be imperiled by the ruling.

Orton Farms and the City of Sumner also requested the stay. They also have appealed the ruling in Thurston

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Meet new Tacoma schools deputy superintendent

Parents and Friends for Tacoma Public Schools will host a public meeting Sept. 20 with Joshua Garcia, Tacoma’s deputy superintendent. A former Federal Way School District administrator, Garcia began his new assignment in Tacoma July 1.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at King’s Books, 218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma.

Also on the agenda is a discussion of Initiative 1240, the charter school measure that will appear on the November ballot. Parents and Friends for Tacoma Public Schools opposes the initiative.


Free preschools for needy Tacoma neighborhoods

Five new free half-day preschools for kids from low-income neighborhoods will open in Tacoma schools this September.

The preschools, funded with federal Title I money, will open at five elementary schools: Arlington, Boze, Mann, Stafford and Stanley. In addition, Whitman Elementary will continue its current Title I preschool program.

One goal of preschool classes for low-income kids is to boost their kindergarten readiness and put them on a par with children from more affluent families who can afford private preschool.

A total of 180 students will be able to attend the five new preschools. While federal grants cover the cost

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Lincoln High gets ready to mark 100th anniversary

Supporters of Tacoma’s Lincoln High School are working to raise $100,000 in scholarship money to celebrate the school’s upcoming centennial.

The cornerstone for the school was laid in 1913, and the school opened for scholarly business in 1914.

Supporters hope to celebrate the school’s 100 years with $100,000 in scholarship funds. A similar effort raised $75,000 when Lincoln marked its 75th anniversary, and that fund awarded 12 scholarships to Lincoln grads this year.

The organizing committee is hosting fundraising events throughout the coming year.

The first is scheduled for this Sunday, Aug. 19. It’s a “takeover” of Joeseppi’s Restaurant,

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Burmese python euthanized at Point Defiance Zoo

Point Defiance Zoo veterinarians euthanized a 12-foot Burmese python Tuesday due to a spinal fracture, officials said today.

Odie, a 27-year-old snake who has been at the zoo since 1990, suffered from severe spinal disease.

He appeared healthy two weeks ago when he was brought out to soak in the sun but head vet Karen Wolf said the python wasn’t eating and was clearly in pain. It’s unknown how the spinal break occurred.

Odie’s size – 102 pounds and 12 feet 2 inches –  awed young children who visited him in the Discovery Hut exhibit. It took four people to

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