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: Tacoma


Tacoma trying to discourage rogue crosswalks, calls them safety hazards and warns of prosecution

In response to a recent spate of midnight crosswalk painting in the St. Helens and Wright Park areas of Tacoma, city officials are trying to spread the word that rather than enhance safety, such rogue crosswalks can create hazards.

In a press release issued Friday, the city said deciding where crosswalks go is part of a process that includes traffic studies and applying national standards. Unofficial painting of crosswalks could lead to prosecution, the city warned.

“We understand and empathize with our citizens’ desire for more pedestrian facilities, but this form of vandalism is not acceptable and can quickly become

Read more »


Tacoma Housing Authority opens waiting list for rent assistance

The waiting list for the Tacoma Housing Authority’s Section 8 rent-assistance program is open for the first time since 2008.

Low-income residents looking for help to pay rent can apply for the Housing Opportunity Program online until 5 p.m. Monday. The program has replaced the Housing Choice Voucher program.

Residents who qualify get help paying rent for housing they find in the private market.

Except for the elderly or those who can’t work because of disability, the assistance ends after five years. The Tacoma Housing Authority offers employment services to those in the program to help them

Read more »


Auction fundraiser for Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium starts

Bid on unforgettable behind-the-scenes experiences with animals, portraits, cheap eats and entertainment to help raise money for the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

The Zoo Society has launched its annual online Zoobilee auction, which boasts more than 90 items. Items will continue to be added until the auction closes July 5.

Proceeds fund the zoo’s conservation and education efforts.

Popular auction items include a chance to meet 3,4000-pound walrus E.T., a portrait of a zoo animal by PDZA’s photographer, lift tickets for Stevens Pass, gift certificates to Tacoma area restaurants, sports tickets and beauty treatments.

The auction is tied to

Read more »


Harbor seal pup born at Point Defiance Zoo

Meet the newest addition to the harbor seal family at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

The 23-pound pup, who has yet to be named, was born Sunday to eight-year-old Shila, whose maternal instincts are in full swing as she cares for the newborn.

“She’s a great mom,” general curator Karen Goodrowe Beck said.

Mother and pup will bond behind the scenes for a couple weeks before they join the other harbor seals on exhibit, though the zoo said it’s too soon to say exactly when the public will be able to see the little

Read more »


Tacoma: Arts Commission to convene review panel on June 4 to contemplate totem pole

With the fate of Tacoma’s totem pole still undetermined, the city’s Arts Commission is now set to convene a “de-accession” review panel on June 4 to consider whether the aging artifact should be removed from the municipal art collection.

During the special meeting, panel members will be tasked with reviewing the city’s de-accession policy, or the formal process to remove an artwork from the city’s collection. The panel will then consider its recommendation based on health, safety and cultural considerations.

As we’ve written about here, here, here and here, two city commissions and an ad hoc

Read more »


Two Tacoma restoration projects – Point Defiance Pagoda and Murray Morgan Bridge – win awards from State Historic Preservation office

The annual awards presented by state Historic Preservation Officer Allyson Brooks coincide with National Preservation Month.

Two of the awards for 2013 recognized significant restoration projects in Tacoma, one by the city and the other by the Metropolitan Park District.

One of two Valerie Sivinski Awards for Outstanding Rehabilitation went to the city’s renovation and reopening of the Murray Morgan Bridge across the Foss Waterway. The century old steel draw bridge reopened in February. Here’s what the state office said about that project:

… after years of delayed maintenance and repairs, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced plans

Read more »


Harbor seals expecting pups at Point Defiance Zoo

Two harbor seals at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium are pregnant and expecting pups next month.

Q, a 14-year-old who came to Tacoma from Seattle Aquarium last year as part of a breeding program, fathered pups with Qilak and Shila.

Gestation periods for harbor seals range from nine to 11 months, with only one pup born each year.

This is the first time Q has fathered pups.

On Tuesday, Q and 28-year-old Barney were sent home to Seattle Aquarium, which just finished renovations on its seal exhibit. It’s scheduled to open in June.

Accompanying them was a female seal from

Read more »


Environment, economy and health focus of Tacoma forum

Improving the health and quality of life in Pierce County will be the focus of a community forum Saturday in Tacoma.

The environment, a strong economy and how they are linked will be discussed by speakers at the event sponsored by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

The forum will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Wheelock Student Center at the University of Puget Sound

Here’s the health department’s news release:

Join your neighbors to talk about ‘Living Well in Pierce County’

TACOMA, Wash. – Want to learn how health, the environment and the economy are linked? Join

Read more »