Word on the Street

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

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Category: Eastside


Got youth? Check out this education summit together

Parents and guardians can join students at this year’s Youth and Family Summit, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 28 at Lincoln High School in Tacoma.

A similar event held in 2010 attracted more than 700 students from the city’s middle and high schools.

The free summit includes sessions aimed at helping students take charge of their education, as well as information for parents on college preparation, bullying prevention and more. There will also be a rally, music and dance performances.

Speakers include Michael Benitez, Jr., a social justice activist and scholar from Iowa State University and Ed

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Renovations to close Mottet Library for next three months

Beginning tomorrow, the first major renovations in two decades will close the city’s Mottet Library in southeast Tacoma for the next three months.

Mottet: Under renovation

“The building is essentially being gutted and rearranged,” city library spokesman David Domkoski explained today.

“Everything is being painted and parts of the floor are being torn up to add wiring for more computer stations.”

Already, a new roof with skylights has been added to the Mottet branch at 3523 East G Street.

Other renovations will include upgrading the building’s windows and exterior bricks, installing more interior lighting, updating restrooms to accommodate disabled patrons, transforming the meeting room into a public service space and lowering the shelving to improve sightlines, Domkoski said.

In all, the renovations will cost about $600,000 and add 20 to 25 more computers, he said.
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First Creek Neighbors among best in nation

First Creek Neighbors is a finalist in Neighborhoods, USA’s national Neighborhood of the Year Competition.

First Creek members mobilized first against the gangs, prostitutes and drug dealers on Tacoma’s East Side along Portland Avenue. They forged partnerships with Tacoma and Puyallup Tribe police, and helped bust and shut down the bad guys’ enterprises. They branched out into painting over gang tagging.

They hooked in with Tacoma’s Safe & Clean initiative and worked with the city to haul ton after ton of dumped junk out of the old T Street Gulch. They organized clean-ups, and hauled away more

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Sector Four cops rule, really

Tacoma’s East Side residents and their police officers have quite the mutual admiration society going. They know that neither group alone could have done so much to rid the neighborhoods of crime and blight.

Saturday, from noon through the evening, residents and police will celebrate that partnership by honoring the four community liaison officers who not only nab the knuckleheads but respond reliably and personally to the residents. It’s a warm and wry relationship that’s changed that part of the world.

That’s why citizen volunteers started referring to their sector as Bertopia in honor of CLO Bert Hayes.

When reinforcements

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Boys & Girls Club saves East Side program

There’s good news on Tacoma’s East Side: The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound has found a way to continue its programs there.
During the next school year it will operate in classrooms and a gym leased from Bethlehem Baptist Church at 4818 E. Portland Ave.
The news that the Boys & Girls Club is closing its East Side branch at East 64th Street and McKinley Avenue was a gut-punch to the neighborhood.
Sure, the building’s old. East Siders raised the money and donated their construction skills to build it 50 years ago. They did

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Roadside veggies at Portland & East 32nd?

First Creek Neighbors are meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight with a big juicy surprise on the agenda

They’re introducing two new community gardens right along Portland Avenue. One will be at Wright and Portland, the other a river rock’s toss away at 32nd Street East and Portland.

The Puyallup Tribe is contributing the land, and the water, to develop the two vacant lots into a source of  exercise, companionship and fresh veggies.

The support team, which includes Andy Mordhorst, Edwina Magrum and Dan Fear, is putting out a call for gardeners who’d like to have a plot, garden  planners, and

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They’re looking for a few good neighbors

Residents of the Far East Side are beautifying and stabilizing the area, and they’re looking for new neighbors with the energy and vision to jump in on the fun.

They’re urging prospective home buyers to come to the East Tacoma Home Buyer’s Fair and Tour of Homes Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It’s a two-part event, with a resource fair at the Portland Avenue Center, 3513 Portland Ave., and a tour of move-in-ready homes nearby.

At the fair, reputable experts will be on hand to discuss zero-down financing, down payment assistance programs, FHA and

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