Bulletin Board

NEW NORTHBOUND I-5 PUYALLUP 
RIVER BRIDGE OPENS THIS FALL 

Contractor crews building a new northbound Interstate 5 Puyallup River Bridge in Tacoma are preparing to enter the next phase of construction that will move ramp traffic onto the bridge.

Weather permitting, as early as the weekend of Oct. 20, a new 28th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will open to traffic. Drivers who use this on-ramp will cross the new Puyallup River Bridge prior to merging with mainline I-5 traffic.

In addition, drivers on northbound I-5 heading to the Port of Tacoma Road (exit 136B) and East 20th Street (exit 136A) will exit the mainline before the river and cross the new Puyallup River Bridge to reach the interchange. The new off-ramp is approximately a half mile south of the current exit. Crews will implement this change during the same weekend.

“We know there will be an adjustment for drivers exiting to the Port of Tacoma Road or East 20th Street, and we appreciate their patience during this transition,” said WSDOT Project Manager Brenden Clarke. “Opening the new bridge to ramp traffic marks a milestone for this project.”

Once the ramp traffic is on the new bridge, crews will begin building lanes to match the new alignment of northbound I-5 leading up to the new bridge. If weather cooperates, all northbound I-5 traffic could be using the new bridge as soon as spring 2018.

Visit the Tacomatraffic.com web page for updated HOV construction information. Real-time traveler information is available from the WSDOT app www.wsdot.wa.gov/Inform/mobile.htm and by following the WSDOT regional Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/wsdot_tacoma.

CITY SEEKS CONSULTANT TO 
STUDY HILLTOP JOB OPPORTUNITIES

To connect Hilltop job seekers with anticipated opportunities in the region, including the Tacoma Link Extension project, the City of Tacoma seeks a consultant to do a detailed analysis of their specific needs.

“Investing in transit is an opportunity to equitably invest in the people who live in our city and specifically, the Hilltop, as we extend light rail to this historic neighborhood,” said Mayor Marilyn Strickland.

“According to a 2016 report commissioned by Tacoma Housing Authority, there are approximately 24,000 jobs in Hilltop, but only about 400 Hilltop residents work at these jobs,” said District 3 Council Member Keith Blocker. “The City of Tacoma is committed to ensuring that residents –and particularly those in Hilltop where there is clearly a compelling need – can enjoy the economic benefits that emerge from construction jobs in the area.”

Working with input from the Hilltop Engagement Committee, Links to Opportunity Advisory Committee, and City staff, the selected consultant would provide insight into any employment barriers that Hilltop job seekers experience. Additionally, the selected consultant would design programs and services to engage and support Hilltop job seekers throughout their efforts to gain employment.

Questions on this request for proposals can be directed to Monica Ghosh at monica.ghosh@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 348-9694.

APPLICANTS SOUGHT FOR TACOMA ARTS COMMISSION

The Tacoma City Council is looking for applicants to fill the following positions on the Tacoma Arts Commission:

At-Large positions 1, 4, 5, and 6: Persons representative of acknowledged accomplishment or persons working outside of professional practice in the arts but who demonstrate a deep interest in, and appreciation of, cultural and artistic activities

Cross District Association/Community Council: A person representing the Cross District Association or Tacoma Neighborhood Council

Tacoma Public Education: A person working in the Tacoma public education community

The Commission consists of 15 volunteer members who are appointed by the Economic Development Committee and confirmed by the City Council to serve three-year terms. Members are Tacoma residents who are arts advocates and artists.

The Tacoma Arts Commission provides leadership in supporting and enhancing the arts for the benefit of the City and its residents. The primary responsibility of the Commission is to create policies to support the ongoing development of arts programs and projects in Tacoma. Its primary programs include the funding of artists and arts organizations to provide services for Tacoma residents, Tacoma Arts Month, and oversight of public art as part of the Municipal Art Program. The Commission’s functions are outlined in Chapter 1.28A and 1.28B of the Tacoma Municipal Code.

The Tacoma Arts Commission strongly supports inclusion, equity and access. People who are members of historically disenfranchised racial, ethnic, cultural and other identity groups are encouraged to apply.

Additional information on the Tacoma Arts Commission is available on the City’s website or from Naomi Strom-Avila at (253) 591-5191 or nstrom-avila@cityoftacoma.org.

Applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office by Monday, Oct. 23. Please visit cityoftacoma.org/cbcapplication, contact Sola Wingenbach at (253) 591-5178 or servetacoma@cityoftacoma.org, or stop by the City Clerk’s Office, Tacoma Municipal Building North, 733 Market St., Room 11, Tacoma, WA 98402.

COUNTY TO UPDATE AIRPORT MASTER PLAN

Pierce County will update the master plan for Pierce County Airport-Thun Field over the next 18 months.The county and stakeholders will evaluate the current state of the airport and determine how best to meet the community’s 20-year development needs. Proposed alternatives – such as new facilities or improvements to existing structures – will be evaluated from an aviation and community standpoint.

“The master plan will identify long-term needs for facilities, equipment and services to position Pierce County Airport-Thun Field to accommodate community growth,” said Lauren Behm, Planning and Public Works interim airport and ferry administrator. “The process will allow us to develop a vision to meet the community’s needs for transportation, recreation and jobs.”

This will be the first master plan update since 1999. Mead & Hunt has been selected to lead the update on Pierce County’s behalf.

The Master Plan Advisory Committee (MPAC) – made up of representatives from the aviation community, businesses, local and state government and more – will participate in working sessions throughout the process to develop recommendations. At least two public open houses will be held as alternatives are developed and finalized.

The MPAC will meet for the first time from 2-4 p.m. on Oct. 16 at the Civil Air Patrol building, 16915 103rd Ave. E. in Puyallup. At this meeting, the MPAC will discuss a vision for the plan and a strategy for conducting the update. Members will also review base inventory data.

The community can visit www.piercecountywa.org/plumasterplan to view materials, provide input, sign up for updates, and learn about future open houses.

The update is expected to cost approximately $453,000. A Federal Aviation Administration grant will fund $408,000, while a Washington State Department of Transportation grant will fund $22,500. A Pierce County local match will fund the remaining $22,500.

GIVE BLOOD AND SUPPORT CANCER PATIENTS

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood to support cancer patients and others.

Mary Alice Donofrio gave blood for the first time in memory of her mother, who received several blood transfusions while being treated for breast cancer. “I had no idea what to expect, but the experience was very easy and quite rewarding. Ever since then, I try and give blood as often as I can, and every time it gives me a good feeling in my heart. It is so nice to know that taking just an hour or so out of my day can help save the lives of others.”

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 1.7 million new cases of cancer are expected in the U.S. this year. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, with nearly 253,000 women expected to be diagnosed in 2017. Cancer patients may need blood products during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications.

Give blood in Tacoma on Oct. 23, 1-6 p.m. at American Red Cross Tacoma, 1235 S. Tacoma Way. Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

THE GYRO SHACK OPENS IN LAKEWOOD

Idaho’s Hercules of Greek cuisine, The Gyro Shack, has announced that its first Lakewood location opened to the public on Thursday, Oct. 12. Located at 10519 Bridgeport Way S.W., The Gyro Shack will feature made-to-order gyros with its signature meat carved off the spit and fresh ingredients piled high.

Todd and Kelly Mulvahill, the locally based entrepreneurial couple that owns and operates The Gyro Shack, plan to open 13 additional locations in the area. Their first restaurant will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“We opened our very first restaurant, Papa Murphy’s, in Lakewood back in 1995, so it’s only fitting that we begin our journey with The Gyro Shack in the same incredible community,” said Todd, who together with Kelly has more than 22 years of experience in the restaurant industry. “We have called Pierce County home for the last 22 years, and we couldn’t be more excited to launch this gyro option for our friends and family.”

The Mulvahills enjoy giving back to Pierce County and the three-night VIP grand opening events were a testament to that commitment to the community. The first night was a night to thank their Papa Murphy’s employees, the second night acknowledged employees from the city of Lakewood and the local YMCA and the third night recognized the local military heroes at Joint Base Lewis/McChord.

Together, the Mulvahills are in the process of hiring and training a staff of 10 to 20 people to handle day-to-day operations including cashiers and kitchen staff.

“Todd and I have never tasted a gyro so fresh, one bite and we were hooked,” said Kelly. “We know The Gyro Shack will become a staple in the area and are looking forward to opening more locations down the line.”

Founded by the Zaharioudakis family in Boise, The Gyro Shack has long been known as a fast, affordable option for delicious Greek food. With recipes based on those lovingly crafted by its founder, the brand continues to corner the market on expedient and uncommonly inventive gyro options that redefine quick-service Mediterranean cuisine.

Devoted fans can join a loyalty program that allows customers to earn points per dollar spent, receiving $5 toward their next purchase just for signing up and another $5 reward for every 50 points earned.

Gyro offerings at the Lakewood location range from the traditional to the extraordinary, such as the BLT and the spicy bacon avocado. Vegetarian lovers of Mediterranean fare will also find plenty to tempt their palates, including a veggie gyro, Greek salad, and hummus and pita. The tzatziki and spicy green sauces are a delicious way to top off any order to perfection.

For more information on The Gyro Shack in Lakewood and its menu, visit www.thegyroshack.com or contact the Mulvahills directly at (253) 212-2057.

AGING NETWORK SERVICES ON 

DISPLAY AT MAKING THE LINK EXPO

Most adults hope to always remain safe and independent at home. But when the need for care arises, Pierce County has a wealth of resources, services, programs, benefits and support to help older adults and individuals of all ages remain safe, independent and active whether at home or in a care facility.

Making the Link 2017, a resource and information expo, will be held at the Metro Parks STAR Center, 3873 S. 66th St. in Tacoma on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is a free, drop-in event. More than 70 service providers from throughout Pierce County will share their information and be available to answer questions about ways people can maintain their safety and independence as well as access long term care services when the need arises.

Making the Link 2017 is a premier opportunity for professionals, volunteers and family members to get to know what resources are available and how to make use of the wide range of local services, providers, and programs available throughout Pierce County. Services include in-home care, assisted and skilled nursing facilities, elder law, equipment providers, health care insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, caregiving, emergency assistance, social service agencies, transportation providers, funeral services and much more.

“A vibrant community needs to have a variety of health care options throughout the continuum of life,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “We have a strong variety of providers of services for older adults and individuals with disabilities. In the consumer-driven world of health care today, Making the Link provides an opportunity to get to know those resources long before a crisis develops.”

Making the Link 2017 is designed for health care providers and office staff, social service professionals, faith community staff and volunteers serving the needs of older adults and people of all ages with disabilities. Professionals may earn one free CEU by attending. In addition, the public is welcome to attend and benefit from this opportunity to visit a variety of providers in a casual, information-only environment.

Participants will receive an annual compendium of independent, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities in the area, copies of the 2017-2018 edition of Senior Media Service’s popular “Where To Turn” resource guide, and other valuable resource information. No registration is required to attend. Participants can enter to win gift baskets offered by many of the exhibitors at Making the Link 2017.

The event is sponsored by the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center in collaboration with the Health Care Providers Council of Pierce County. For more information about Making the Link 2017, call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600.

CLASS ON MEDITATION BRINGS 

PEACEFUL MIND IN DIFFICULT TIMES

Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Center in Tacoma will present a day course titled “Peaceful Mind in Difficult Times: A Class on Meditation,” Sunday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In these modern, fast-paced times we are constantly carrying within our minds the burden of many worries and extensive to-do lists. It seems that every corner we turn we are confronted with yet another difficult situation. If our mind lacks spaciousness and control we find ourselves easily overwhelmed and unable to enjoy a peaceful mind let alone help others to do so. With a fragile and untamed mind such as this we find ourselves at the mercy of external situation we often have little or no control over.

Even with so many external situations tempting us to get worried and stressed we do not need to follow these unnecessary and often destructive mental habits. Instead, we can learn to cultivate and maintain a calm, spacious and confident mind with which we can easily and joyfully take on the challenges our daily lives present. Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist master explains: “When we learn to accept difficult circumstances patiently, the real problem disappears.”
Gen Kelsang Wangpo a disciple of Geshe Kelsang is offering to share essential, modern Buddhist practices for improving our happiness, relationships, and ability to transform problems into precious opportunities. He will show us how we can practically solve our inner problems of unhappiness and discontent through logical reasoning and skillful analysis. When we can solve these inner problems, our outer problems will no longer have the power to disturb our peace of mind and thus we enjoy a happy mind all the time.

“We all want fewer problems. What we need to realize is that we have the abilities and can develop the capacity to make this a reality,” Gen Wangpo explained. Everyone is welcome to join us for this special class.

For more information or to register call (360)754-7787 or visit www.MeditateInOlympia.org.

The course will take place at Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Center located at 1501 Pacific Ave. S., Suite #301 in the Sprague/United Way Building in Tacoma.

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