Word on the Street

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

NOTICE: Word on the Street has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Word on the Street.
Visit the new section.

Category: Midland


Midland revives neighborliness with a picnic

The people who live in Midland fought through the spring to keep their park usable, then realized that the struggle was a good thing. Saturday, they’ll celebrate their work, and their future, with a barbecue and potluck from 3 p.m. to sunset at Dawson Playfield.

They got to know each other while trying to persuade Pierce County Parks & Recreation not to drop maintenance at Dawson Park. When that didn’t work, they organized a Saturday of civil disobedience, showing up on their riding mowers and cutting the grass. When that got parks and rec’s attention, they set up a

Read more »


Garbage angels strike in Midland

You know you’re dealing with a hard-core activist when her idea of “heartwarming” involves disappearing garbage.

Cindy Beckett, who crusades to save and repair wetlands, spent Saturday, July 7, on Portland Avenue picking up beer cans, food wrappers and all manner of other roadside trash with Midland Resident’s Assn. volunteers.

“As usual, the area nearest 72nd Street was the worst,” she said. “When we were done, we drove our truck and trailer along Portland Ave. to pick up all the bags and piled them in one location at 85th and Portland to make it easier for the county

Read more »


Midland man sees many benefits to bike commute

It began with a two-mile ride at lunch. Scott McElhiney then worked up to bicycling seven miles when he could steal a few minutes. Soon he was up to a 20-mile round-trip commute to work almost every day.

And cycling became a new lifestyle for the 44-year-old Midland mechanic.

McElhiney hadn’t ridden a bicycle in about 10 years when inspiration hit. He spent much of his day after returning from work in front of his computer or staring at the television.

"I felt like I might be dead in a few years if I kept at

Read more »


Beware of car scam in Midland, reader writes

Got an e-mail about a scam in the Midland area. Read about it below:

My husband was out working in the yard yesterday, when a nice looking, nicely dressed man stopped and said that he noticed our car had some minor bumper damage. So my husband, knowing that I really wanted to get it fixed someday, but just couldn’t afford it, came into the house and asked me to come out and talk to the man.

Well, he said that he worked for Lakes Auto Body and moonlighted on his time off and just drives around looking for dented cars. He said that our car would probably cost $1,500 to get it fixed, but that he would fix it for $500. He said that we would not have to pay him until he was finished and that he would fix it right now and right where the car was sitting. Well, I thought I was getting a deal when I talked him down to $450. He accepted this if I would pay him cash. So my husband went to the bank and got the money.

Read more »


Midland-area public forum on crime tonight

From crime reporter Stacey Mulick:

Midland-area residents are invited to a town hall meeting tonight at Franklin Pierce High School to talk about crime and public safety issues in their area.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at the high school, 11002 18th Ave. E. Pierce County Council members Barbara Gelman and Calvin Goings, Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor, Prosecutor Gerald Horne and representatives from Safe Streets will be featured.

“Public feedback is needed to help strengthen our crime fighting efforts,” a flier for the event states. “Please join us and fight out more

Read more »


Expect more from Midland’s Emerson

I talked earlier with Stacy Emerson, the community activist whose video about homeless camps near East 72nd Street and Portland Avenue in Midland drew much attention.

You’ll likely be hearing more from her. She and her son have purchased higher-quality cameras so they can produce multi-angle videos. She registered a Web site to post the videos herself. And she hopes to release another video by the end of the month.

“We live in a society these days where you can’t believe it until you see it – whatever

Read more »