Word on the Street

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

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Category: Tacoma


David Herlihy, author of “The Lost Cyclist,” will speak Wednesday at Tacoma Public Library

David V. Herlihy will show some of the rare photos taken during a 1890 bicycle trip around the globe at a free lecture Wednesday (July 10).

The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Main Branch of the Tacoma Public Library.

The photos were taken during a trip around the world by William Sachtleben and Thomas Allen on what was a new version of the bicycle called the “safety” bicycle. The pair also took along another innovation, the Kodak compact film camera. Their photos, recently rediscovered, will be shown as Herlihy talks about their adventure.

Herlihy is the author

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What’s open, what’s closed this Fourth of July

Here’s a breakdown of what’s open and what’s closed for the Fourth of July holiday:

• Tacoma garbage pickup will be delayed one day. Pickups scheduled Thursday will occur Friday. Pickups that are regularly Friday will be pushed to Saturday. The Tacoma landfill, recycling center and household hazardous waste facility will be closed.

• Tacoma Public Library branches will be closed.

• Pierce County Library System locations will be closed.

• City of Tacoma and Pierce County government buildings will be closed.

• Pierce Transit buses will run on a Sunday schedule, without bus shop or phone service.

• Tacoma Link

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Seal pups go on exhibit at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Thursday

Visitors to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium will get to meet two newborn harbor seals for the first time Thursday.

The pups, whose names will be announced at their public debut, are swimming well and will be released into the main harbor seal exhibit pool at 11 a.m., the zoo said.

Shila, 8, gave birth to a male pup June 2. Qilak, 9, had a female pup June 10.

Since their births, the pups have been nursing behind the scenes.

The zoo is also home to harbors seals Blackie, 37, and Louise, 36.


Murray Morgan stairs open to public, elevator should follow next week

The staircase between Dock Street and downtown Tacoma that’s part of the Murray Morgan Bridge renovation at South 11th Street opened to the public Friday.

The elevator should open by the end of next week, pending inspection by the state, project manager Tom Rutherford said.

Crews hoped to have both finished in March, but had to change the access to the machinery room on top of the elevator, including the size of the door, to meet state requirements, he said.

“We were trying to provide access by a ladder and (the state Department of Labor & Industries) didn’t allow that,”

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Tacoma seeks bike/pedestrian advisory group

The City of Tacoma Transportation Commission is looking for informed residents to advise it on bicycle and pedestrian matters.

A Bicycle and Pedestrian Technical Advisory Group (BPTAG) will advise the newly created Transportation Commission on active transportation issues, such as bicycle and pedestrian planning. Meetings will be held 5 to 7 p.m. the third Monday of each month.

The City Manager will appoint 11 City residents living throughout each of the City’s five Council Districts to BPTAG to ensure a range of perspectives and expertise. Residents with knowledge or first-hand experience about pedestrian, bicycle, health, parks and Americans with

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Tacoma: Clogged sewer pipe caused fecal bacteria advisory that closed Ruston Way waterfront

City of Tacoma utility workers have pinpointed a blocked sewage pipe on the hillside above Marine Park as the cause for  a “fecal bacteria” scare that shutdown part of the Ruston Way waterfront this week.

“Something just got in the pipe and jammed it,” Environmental Services Director Mike Slevin said Friday. “It’s plumbing. Sometimes, things get clogged.”

On Tuesday, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department issued a “no contact” advisory for the Les Davis Pier, shutting down the waterfront along Ruston Way due to “high fecal bacteria counts in the water.”

“The public is warned not to make contact with the

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Second harbor seal pup of the month born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Harbor seal Qilak gave birth to a 22.6-pound female pup Monday, the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s second in eight days.

A male pup was born June 2 to 8-year-old Shila.

Both newborns are bonding with their mothers behind the scenes, and have yet to be named.

The male pup is “already becoming quite a swimmer,” said Neil Allen, curator of aquatic animals.

The newborns need time to nurse and gain a layer of blubber to regulate their own temperatures, according to the zoo. It could be a couple weeks before they make their public debuts.


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36 scrap cars removed from Commencement Bay after being dumped from listing barge in February

More than three months after a listing barge dumped 36 scrap vehicles into Commencement Bay, crews have brought the cars to the surface.

It took time to get the necessary permits to start the recovery on the state land near Browns Point, but the operation itself took only days.

The state Department of Ecology said June 4 that the company contracted to remove the cars had gotten the necessary state permits, and by Wednesday evening all the vehicles had been removed, according to Global Diving & Salvage.

Canadian-based Amix Marine Services, owner of the barge that dumped the cars Feb.

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