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TAHOMA NATIONAL CEMETERY TO HOST MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY

Each Memorial Day, Tahoma National Cemetery and other national cemeteries hold a ceremony to honor the men and women that have served and are serving our great country. This year’s Memorial Day program to remember and honor all military members will be held on Monday, May 28, 1 p.m. at Tahoma National Cemetery, 18600 SE 240th St., Kent.

Keynote speaker will be Gold Star Mother Monica McNeal, and guest speaker will be Senator Maria Cantwell. Tahoma National Cemetery Assistant Director Jennifer Dehorty will give a welcome speech followed by Director Tom Yokes providing an update of cemetery activities and use.

The ceremony will start with a flyover by the Cascade Warbirds. The plane will be piloted by Roger Collins flying an AT 28-010. He is a former USAF fighter pilot, formerly flying an F-4. 

Parking space is limited in the cemetery. Visitors should plan on walking to and from your parking spot to the ceremony. Parking is available for disabled passengers and drivers with a shuttle to and from the ceremony assembly area.

BOND RATING AGENCIES GIVE METRO PARKS HIGH MARKS

The two major bond rating agencies, Moody’s Investor Service and S & P Global, recently assigned similar, high ratings to Metro Parks Tacoma’s latest bond issue.

Board of Park Commissioners President Andrea Smith, a banker in her day job, said a solid credit rating is one of the important indicators of a healthy organization.

“Just like a personal credit score, a good credit rating reflects how much an organization is financially strong and secure,” she said. “Metro Parks’ strong ratings are a boost in confidence.”

The Park Board, which governs the park district, on April 23 approved the sale of up to $50 million in general obligation bonds, the third issue resulting from voters’ April 2014 authorization of $198 million in borrowing for capital projects.

In preparation for the bond sale, the rating agencies reviewed Metro Parks’ creditworthiness and found it to be consistent with each of their past ratings of Metro Parks bonds. S & P rated the 2018 bond issue AA, the agency’s second highest, meaning that the likelihood of Metro Parks’ ability to pay its debt is very strong. Similarly, Moody’s rated the 2018 issue Aa2, also essentially a second-tier rating.

These consistently positive ratings bode well for the agency’s financial sustainability, making it easier to sell the bonds at relatively low interest rates. Among the many projects being financed throughout the park district are Eastside Community Center and improvements at Point Defiance Park.

CITY WINS PROJECT OF THE YEAR AWARD

The City of Tacoma’s Public Works Department was recently selected to receive the American Public Works Association (APWA) 2018 Project of the Year. Tacoma was selected for the Tacoma Avenue South Bridge Rehabilitation project and will receive this award at a presentation scheduled in August 2018.

The Tacoma Avenue South Bridge Rehabilitation project was awarded the APWA Washington State Project of the Year in 2017 making it eligible for the national award. Both awards were from the Historical Restoration/Preservation category for projects between $5 million and $25 million.

The project was completed in June 2016 with a total cost of $13 million. Funding was provided from the City, the Federal Local Bridge Program and the Transportation Improvement Board. 

This bridge, located on Tacoma Avenue South, between Center and South Delin streets, was originally constructed in 1930. The project provided a complete rehabilitation of the more than 80-year-old bridge including new girders, deck, wider sidewalks, guardrails and streetlights. Traffic lanes were reconfigured to three vehicular lanes and two bicycle lanes were also added.

TranTech Engineering, LLC provided design for the project, construction was done by Quigg Bros., Inc. and the project was managed by the City of Tacoma Public Works Engineering Division.

ARCHER NAMED COUNTY HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR

Following a nationwide search, Pierce County has selected Judith C. Archer to be director of human resources.

Archer joins the County from Kinder Morgan, Inc., where she served nearly eight years as the director of human resources for the Texas-based energy infrastructure company and its 11,000 employees.

“Judy has a remarkably broad background in human resources,” said Bruce Dammeier, county executive. “Whether at a small privately held company, a large multi-national public corporation, or a startup, Judy has brought strong leadership, skilled change management and respected labor relations negotiations to every organization she has served. Her strong track record of developing and implementing effective human resources strategies will serve the employees and, ultimately the residents, of Pierce County.”

The new county role marks a return to the Pacific Northwest for Archer. Earlier in her career she held positions at Tacoma Goodwill, Pioneer Industries and Toray Composites.

Archer earned a B.A. in business administration from Maryville College, a masters’ of science in adult education from the University of Tennessee, and a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law. 

Her first day at Pierce County was May 21.

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