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GIRDER SETTING BRINGS OVERNIGHT I-5 CLOSURES

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation on the I-5 M Street to Portland Avenue HOV project (www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/MStToPortland/default.htm) have five nights of full closures of northbound and southbound Interstate 5 planned beginning June 18.
The closures are necessary so crews can set 18 bridge girders for the new McKinley Way / D Street overpass. During the first three nights of closures, crews will set girders over southbound I-5. Two nights of closures will follow in the northbound direction for the same activity.

Monday, June 18, to Wednesday, June 20:
Lane closures on southbound I-5 will begin each night at 8 p.m.
Each night from 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m., southbound I-5 will be reduced to a single lane that will exit to I-705 to SR 509, to southbound I-705 and back to southbound I-5.

Thursday, June 21:
Lane closures on northbound I-5 will begin at 10 p.m. Thursday.
From 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday, northbound I-5 will be reduced to a single lane that will exit to I-705 to SR 509 to Portland Avenue (or Port of Tacoma Road) and back to northbound I-5.

Friday, June 22:
Lane closures on northbound I-5 will begin at 11 p.m. Friday.
Northbound I-5 will be reduced to a single lane from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday, June 23. That lane will exit to I-705 to SR 509 to Portland Avenue (or Port of Tacoma Road) and back to northbound I-5.

Drivers are advised to give themselves extra time to reach their destinations. Signed detours will be provided. In the event of high winds, the girder work and concurrent closures could be rescheduled.
Additional lane and ramp closures associated with the Tacoma/Pierce County HOV construction are available online at www.tacomatraffic.com.
Real-time traffic information is available on smartphones with the WSDOT traffic app (www.wsdot.wa.gov/Inform/mobile.htm) and by viewing Pierce County highway construction and maintenance available on the Olympic Region Weekly Construction and Traffic Updates web page at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Regions/Olympic/Construction.

PIERCE COUNTY DEMS ENDORSE LINDQUIST

The Pierce County Democratic Party voted by an overwhelming margin on Tuesday, June 11, to solely endorse Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist for reelection to his third full term.
Lindquist was appointed by a bipartisan vote of the Pierce County Council in 2009, served a partial term, and then was elected in 2010 and reelected in 2014.
“We urge voters to keep our prosecutor and keep our community safe,” said Tim Farrell, chair of the Pierce County Democrats. “Mark has been a leader in protecting elders, reducing crime, and reforming the criminal justice system.”
Lindquist, whose lengthy list of bipartisan endorsements includes Governor Jay Inslee, is known for his proven record on public safety. All seven Pierce County firefighter unions have endorsed Lindquist.
“As our prosecutor, Mark has proven his commitment to public safety and working families,” said Ryan Mudie, president of the Tacoma Firefighters. At the meeting, Mudie publicly thanked Lindquist for his public service and praised his campaign for staying on the high road.
This endorsement came not long after Lindquist received the sole endorsement from the 26th Legislative District Democrats, the 31st Legislative District Democrats, the Tacoma Education Association, and the entire Lakewood City Council, including Lakewood Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen who said, “Mark has bipartisan support because of his proven record of keeping us safe.”
In addition to his public safety initiatives, Lindquist recently took on Big Pharma by filing a federal lawsuit to hold the major pharmaceutical companies accountable for their deceptive marketing practices.
“Mark is tested, trusted, and tough,” said Detective Ed Troyer, another endorser. “We need to keep our prosecutor.”
Mark has also been endorsed by Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards, 14 other mayors, Puyallup Tribal Chair Bill Sterud, and more than 500 other public servants, community leaders, unions and business owners.
You can find a complete list of endorsements at his website: www.marklindquist.org.

HISTORIC TALL SHIP COMES TO FOSS WATERWAY

The Foss Waterway Seaport, Puget Sound’s maritime heritage, education and event center, will officially welcome and host the Bellingham-based-schooner Zodiac. It will be docked at the Foss Waterway Seaport through June 17 and entry to the Zodiac will be free for all visitors to the Seaport, with paid admission to the Foss Waterway Seaport.
“We are delighted to invite the public to come down, visit the Seaport and participate in dockside tours and sailings,” said Executive Director of Foss Waterway Seaport Wesley Wenhardt.
The dinner cruises will take place from 6-9 p.m. each evening. Passengers are welcome to assist in the raising and maneuvering of the ship’s sails or take a turn steering the ship. Representatives of the Zodiac will be aboard each sail to educate passengers about the maritime history and marine life around Tacoma. The Zodiac will also host a Fathers Day brunch sail on Sunday, June 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tickets for all of the sails are $85 per adult and $65 for kids and include a delicious buffet meal prepared in the ship’s galley. Each sail ticket is also good for admission to the Seaport’s museum during the Zodiac’s four-day port call.
To purchase sailing tickets, visit: www.schoonerzodiac.com, e-mail: bob@schoonerzodiac.com or call (206) 719-7622.

Thursday, June 14
Dockside tours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (free with paid admission to the Foss Waterway Seaport)
Ales and sails evening dinner sail: 6-9 p.m. ($85 for adults and $65 children)

Friday June 15
Dockside tours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (free with paid admission to Foss Waterway Seaport)
Salmon evening dinner sail: 6-9 p.m. ($85 for adults and $65 children)

Saturday, June 16
Tours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (free with paid admission to the Foss Waterway Seaport)
Surf and turf evening dinner sail: 6-9 p.m. ($85 for adults and $65 children)

Sunday, June 17
Fathers Day brunch sail 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($85 for adults and $65 children)
Dockside tours 1:30–4 p.m. (free with paid admission to the Foss Waterway Seaport)

The Zodiac is a classic, 160-foot, two-masted gaff rigged schooner, U.S. Coast Guard certified vessel.Launched in 1924, it was built for the heirs to the Johnson & Johnson family. It was designed by William Hand, Jr. to epitomize the best features of the American fishing schooner. During the Depression the Zodiac was sold to the San Francisco Bar Pilots and renamed California. She worked the rugged waters outside the Golden Gate for 40 years, retiring in 1972 as the last working pilot schooner in the United States. In the mid-70s, the Vessel Zodiac Corporation was formed to operate and maintain the schooner, whose maiden name was promptly restored to Zodiac. Drawing on an experienced crew of sailors and shipwrights, the ship was restored to her former beauty and sailing strength. In 1982, she earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. She continues to work the waters of Puget Sound, San Juan and Gulf Islands to this day.

Family-oriented evening dinner sails feature opportunities to help raise a sail, learn a sea shanty, and hear maritime stories. Sailing tickets include free admission to the museum. 

The theme for the summer season, Tacoma: This is Your Waterfront, highlights the many historic maritime treasures in the Seaport’s collection. Throughout the summer, themed programs and weekend activities will use those artifacts as touchstones to connect visitors to their shared past – the sailors, ships, rail yards, workers and the Port that shaped Puget Sound into the region it is today. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission: Free for Seaport members, $10 for adults, $8 for children (5+), students, military and seniors (62+), $25 for a family pass (up to two adults and four children) Parking is available adjacent to the Seaport. Side tie public moorage is available with power and water, and a four-hour stay at the Seaport dock is free. Moorage is within walking distance of restaurants, museums and downtown. For more information, visit fosswaterwayseaport.org.

NEW HOLIDAY INN TACOMA OPENS

Paul Sandhu, president and CEO of Tacoma South Hospitality, just announced the completion of the new Holiday Inn Tacoma Mall located at 8402 S. Hosmer St. in Tacoma. Grand opening will be on June 21.

The new Holiday Inn Tacoma will cater to all business, leisure, tourism markets and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. As developer, Sandhu deems that the Holiday Inn brand is a perfect fit for this hotel, and combined with Holiday Inn backbone and sales engine, is confident that the hotel will be highly successful and play a large role in the continued emergence of Tacoma Washington as a leisure, business and government destination. The hotel features the brand’s signature refreshing business lobby, indoor pool, fitness center, with more than 3,600 square-feet of flexible meeting space and the addition of IHGS First Signature Toast to Toast Café, a full service, fast casual dining experience. Additionally, it will include the brand’s new modern guestroom design, which is intuitive and thoughtful, offering flexible yet comfortable space. According to IHG, guests want a hotel for every occasion. Holiday Inn Tacoma is designed to offer just that. A great hotel that guests will love with true hospitality. The Holiday Inn Tacoma has hired approximately 30 new associates in the Tacoma region and worked directly with the Tacoma Community College Culinary Arts Program to employ students. 

“I am excited to have this opportunity to develop in Tacoma. It is a beautiful city full of opportunities. IHG brand is the perfect fit for this region and I am thrilled that we will be working with the IHG family,” Sandhu said.

PREMERA, MULTICARE FORM ALLIANCE

MultiCare and Premera Blue Cross have announced an unprecedented alliance between Washington’s leading health plan and the South Sound’s most comprehensive integrated health system that promises a better customer experience while ensuring patients receive the care they need at a lower cost.

The first-of-its kind alliance of the two locally based companies in the Pacific Northwest leverages Premera’s more than 80 years of experience providing health insurance coverage in Washington with MultiCare’s integrated health system of hospitals, clinics and urgent care centers to help patients take control of their basic health needs, while better managing their costs.

“We are excited to explore a customer-focused alliance with an independent health system that shares our mission of making healthcare work better. Our goal is to utilize our combined expertise and experience serving local consumers to build an innovative care model that makes accessing the best quality care at the best price simple and easy for the patient,” said Dr. John Espinola, executive vice president of healthcare services for Premera.

Premera will roll the benefits of this collaboration into a new product called Peak Care, which it will make available in 2019 to customers who purchase their insurance through their employer. With Peak Care, consumers will pay less, with easier access to local primary and specialty care providers and the latest digital tools for navigating their health care needs online.

“MultiCare is always looking for new and innovative ways to help patients get the care they need and we are pleased to find a like-minded ally in Premera,” said Bill Robertson, president and CEO of MultiCare. “Together, we will develop new ways to provide care while delivering better outcomes at a lower cost. We’re excited about the new opportunities this collaboration will create.”

Unlike more traditional care arrangements, Peak Care allows patients to see a specialist without first getting a referral, which saves time and lowers out-of-pocket costs. Patients will have access to the entire network of more than 3,500 providers and practices across the state that are members of MultiCare Connected Care’s Clinically Integrated Network.

Among the integrated services MultiCare and Premera are planning to offer patients:

Easy-to-navigate digital services for finding the best care and making the right decisions based on patient needs, including appointment scheduling, customer reviews of doctors and clinics and seamless integration with Lyft and Uber’s transportation applications.

Concierge services to help patients navigate complex or chronic care.

Virtual care that integrates with MultiCare doctors and the health system’s medical records, including remote monitoring with video visits and house calls by board-certified physicians for severe, ongoing patient needs.

Full-spectrum maternity care that provides virtual care for low-risk pregnancies during the first two trimesters, personal health navigators for high-risk pregnancies and three neo-natal intensive care units if necessary. Once your baby arrives, lactation support is a click away via virtual support.

Sixteen Indigo Urgent Care facilities that offer money-back guarantees if you are unsatisfied with your service.

The two not-for-profit organizations over the next two years expect to announce additional tools and services designed to improve the overall patient experience, while lowering costs. Premera will offer Peak Care to Pierce County-based employers beginning this fall, with plans for wider distribution in 2020. Peak Care is currently only available to customers who purchase their insurance through their employer. The health plan estimates that Peak Care could save employers as much as 15 percent off the cost of a traditional preferred provider organization or PPO plan.

STATE FOOD TRUCK ASSOCIATION HOSTS ANNUAL EVENT

The Washington State Food Truck Association will host its annual event, called Truckaroo, on Saturday, June 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2201 S. 78th St. in Tacoma. The mission is to celebrate the uniqueness of street food, promoting the interests of small business owners and to raise funds for the association’s legislative efforts. The Washington State Food Truck Association advocates for all mobile food vendors and hopes to continue its local and state-level policy work and highlight how street food can bring communities together.

The event will take place at the Bates Technical College- South Campus. Bates offers a culinary food truck education program that is run by a previous student, Chef Richard Houle. The program, which consists of 40 credits, covers everything from sanitation and food safety basics to cost control, food truck menu development and creating a business plan. 

The Washington State Food Truck Association has also partnered with USO Northwest as it continues to support our military service members and their families by providing programs and services designed to meet the unique needs of today’s military. The USO operates two of its own food trucks mainly for special events that are aimed to provide support to those who need it the most.

Food trucks, trailers, carts and pop-ups, locally made beverages and traditional street entertainment will be on campus for the whole family to enjoy. Advance tickets can be purchased for $5 through Eventbrite at www.eventbrite.com/e/truckaroo-tickets-44078769787. Kids enter for free and the food vendors will offer a military discount.

Sponsors of the event include the Bates Technical College Foundation, Farmers Insurance of Renton, Showcase Media and Jack FM of iHeart Radio.

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