Word on the Street

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

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Category: Eastside


McKinley Park celebrates its facelift Sunday

Metro Parks Tacoma is inviting neighbors and fans of McKinley Park to a grand-reopening party this Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.

The park has been a mainstay of the neighborhood for more than a century and recently got a shot in the arm with $1.7 million in bond improvement funds.

Projects included a sidewalk promenade, a new plaza and restrooms and skateboard features. The district had to remove some of the park’s older trees, but planted nearly 100 new ones.

Here’s more on the park features, from

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Talking trash

The ivy trembled before them.

The ratty recliners bade goodbye to their alley homes.

The creatures living under scores of spare tires found themselves homeless.

If it was blight on First Creek or McKinley Hill, 100 volunteers put it in peril Saturday, thanks to two work parties, the Puyallup Tribe and the city of Tacoma.

Joyce Glass reported that the Dome Top Clean Up crew saturated the neighborhood around Gault Middle School and sent four truckloads of junk to the dump. Allyson Griffith of the Tacoma’s Community Based Services program provided safety vests, gloves, garbage bags

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Cleaner & Safer

East Siders have jumped all over Tacoma City Manger Eric Anderson’s challenge to make the city cleaner and safer.

They held one community cleanup in July, and they’ll be having another one on Aug. 23. They brought the city and the Puyallup Tribe to reclaim T Street Gulch and rename it First Creek. They have a partnership with Lowe’s to get inexpensive plants into public spaces that need prettifying.

All that’s very civic minded, which is fine. But they go one step better. They make it fun. Every work party has a celebration attached to it. And

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Stop by for some gulch munching

City of Tacoma Public Works crews started in with the big machines today on the East Side’s massive First Creek cleanup.

I’ve been looking forward to seeing a plus-size excavator munch away at the layers of junk people have tossed over every accessible bit of the ancient creek bank. The reality was even cooler than the anticipation.

The tossing is something of a neighborhood tradition, said Edwina Magrum, the community organizer behind the cleanup. She met a woman who, when she moved to the neighborhood, was told that if she had anything big to discard, all she

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Plenty of smiles at coat giveaway

Areli Villegas Alvarez pulled her pink coat tightly around herself. She was showing her first-grade classmates at Sheridan Elementary School its golden buttons and zippers, its fur-lined hood and its pink, giraffe-print interior. As she slid the zipper pull back and forth, she began to squirm with excitement.

"It’s so pretty," she said Thursday. "Just so pretty."

Saxson Steltz, right, was equally enamored with the zipper pockets on his new jacket. Saxson, also a first-grader, chose a camouflage coat because he said it reminded him of Army jackets he sometimes sees

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The coolest building in Tacoma. By far.

I was out and about with a job shadow today chasing down leads that led nowhere on Tacoma’s Eastside, in Tillicum and in Puyallup.

One thing I notice every time I’m on McKinley Avenue: The best-looking building in the city is located there. (I dropped by to talk to the editor, but he wasn’t there.) It’s this one:

Two more after the jump:

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