Word on the Street

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

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Category: Cultures


Vigil in Kent tonight

There’s a vigil tonight in support of Sukhvir Singh, a Sikh cabdriver from Kent who was attacked Saturday in what police say was a hate crime (an older version of the story is found here).

According to a release from The Sikh Coalition, the vigil will begin tonight at 6 p.m. at the Gurdwara Singh Sabha of Washington at 5200 Talbot Road S. in Renton.

There’s more info here.

UPDATE: The address has changed.


UWT memo about protests

Here’s the memo sent from University of Washington-Tacoma about the protests:

This message is being sent to all UW Tacoma faculty, staff, and students.

Based on additional information received from the Tacoma Police Department about the planned protest near campus Nov. 9 and 10, we do not expect campus operations to be disrupted. Transit, including Tacoma Link Light Rail, is expected to operate on a normal schedule without delays.

Protests near campus are expected to be peaceful. This is one site where demonstrators will gather in the city and the region. Although there were initial indications that

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‘It’s like it’s just another piece of paper’

Matt Estrada, a voting judge at Hope Lutheran Church in South Tacoma, began working the polls at the 2004 general election. He’s always stressed the importance of voting:

I’ve been voting fairly religiously since I turned 18. I always request an absentee ballot, and if I can come in, I’ll drop it off at the polls. I just think it’s important to actually go to the polling places. I take my kids and show them how it works and tell them that it’s important.

He isn’t completely sold on mail-in voting:

There’s a disconnect with voting at

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More homeless camps

I’ve received several calls and e-mails about homeless camps throughout Tacoma and Pierce County.

Among them:

  • Forest Hill: A caller (who didn’t leave a name or number) says he sees homeless people entering the area near the old airport at South 41st Street and Tyler. He also says he’s seen prostitution and drug use.
  • Swan Creek: An e-mailer said she’s been e-mailing officials for two years about this and has received no response. She said trash, cooking supplies and porn are strewn across most of the park on the Eastside. She also adds, "I am sure hookers go to the main park to smoke crack and have sex."
  • Parkland: Another e-mailer sends this in: "Hey, you didn’t hear this from me, but there’s an encampment on A St, between 133rd & 135th. There’s a creek (of sorts) that runs along there with heavily wooded areas. Sit out on Pac Ave near there and watch ‘em come and go."
  • Summit: Columnist Kathleen Merryman checked out a camp at 112th Street and Canyon across the street from a branch of the Pierce County Public Library. She saw
    two habit trails: one went to camps that looked deserted with big piles of junk everywhere. The other went to what she called "the camp’s living room." That was littered with beer and malt-liquor cans, and there were active camps bordering that.
  • Blueberry Park: An e-mailer reports “homeless or evidence of their living there all the time.”

Got any more? Send ‘em my way.

There’s a Google map of them after the jump:

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More praise for Boston’s Lester

Jon Lester is a great story. The Bellarmine Prep grad starts an amazing baseball career, gets cancer, beats that and comes back in time to throw Game 4 of the World Series.

And Pierce County officials don’t want you to forget that both his parents still live and work here. Here’s a release they put out Monday:

Boston starting pitcher Jon Lester, who earned the plaudits from teammates Sunday after pitching the Red Sox to their second World Series victory in four years, is the son of Pierce County Sheriff’s Sgt. John Lester and Road Operations Maintenance Technician

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A reason to sport a Nixon mask

Want to look like you just got back from Studio 54 and make little kids happy at the same time? Tapesty Covenant Church on the Hilltop is looking for some folks to dress up in ’70s attire and distribute candy to trick-or-treaters from the trunk of their cars.

They’re still looking for 10-20 cars to make it possible. If interested, contact Don Ruzicka at Ruzickaregion@aol.com.

Here’s more information about the event:

Tapestry Covenant Church (on the northwest corner of Ninth and MLK) is holding the second-annual Trick or Trunk event on Halloween night. Last year, it

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A day for the kids

I’ve been chatting with Tala Mikaele-Malo, the wife of Isaako Malo, the pastor at the New Life Samoan Assembly of God church. They’re preparing for White Sunday next week, when the congregation’s children plan and run the entire service. It’s one of the biggest events each year in Samoan culture, she told me.

That got me thinking: Is there something unique to your culture that’s more important than most people realize? What do you look forward to all year?