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WSDOT SEEKS OWNER FOR PUYALLUP RIVER BRIDGE

The Washington State Department of Transportation has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify a new owner to relocate and reuse the 1925 State Route 167 Puyallup River/Meridian Street Bridge.

After more than eight decades of service, WSDOT decommissioned and replaced the bridge in 2015 because it had reached the end of its useful life. The 371-foot-long steel truss has been relocated onto state right of way in Puyallup while WSDOT identifies a new home and owner for the longest riveted steel Warren through-truss span built prior to 1940 in the Washington state highway system.

Those submitting proposals should be prepared to:

  • Submit a proposal following the RFP instructions available on WEBS at fortress.wa.gov/ga/webs. Proposals are due by 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9.
  • Maintain the bridge and the features that give it historical significance.
  • Assume all future legal and financial responsibility for the structure.
  • Remove the structure from state right of way by June 30, 2019.

The person or entity selected to take ownership of the bridge will receive up to $1 million from WSDOT to relocate and reuse the bridge as defined in a transfer agreement.

“We are eager to review proposals and hopefully find a new owner who appreciates the historical significance of the bridge and preserves it for the public to enjoy for years to come,” said WSDOT Historical and Cultural Resource Specialist Stephen Austin.

Additional information about the bridge, including its current condition, history and inspection reports, is available online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Bridge/ForSale/SR-167-Puyallup-River-Meridian-St-Bridge.htm. Proposers with additional questions may contact Steve Fuchs at FuchsS@wsdot.wa.gov.

If no one meets the specified conditions, the bridge will be demolished as part of the SR 167 Completion Project construction.

SHARE YOUR IDEAS TO IMPROVE SWAN CREEK PARK

Anyone interested in Swan Creek Park – a place that has been called the next Point Defiance Park – is invited to join Metro Parks for a summer evening tour and public meeting to consider improvements for a relatively unused portion of the park called the Lister Uplands.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on July 12 at the Salishan Family Investment Center, 1724 E. 44th St. After the meeting, Metro Parks staff will lead a walking tour of the area before the sun goes down.

“Now, with the Eastside Community Center close to completion, Metro Parks Tacoma is eager to develop more recreational opportunities nearby,” said Andrea Smith, president of the five-member Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners. “I’m excited about Swan Creek Park’s potential and the creative ways people can enjoy it.”

The meeting begins a process to update the park’s 2011 master plan, which included a dog park, ropes course, a picnic shelter and additional parking. The focus will be on a portion of the park south of Lister Elementary School that’s crisscrossed by pavement: a vestige of the original Salishan neighborhood, which housed World War II workers and was subsequently demolished. 

This part of Swan Creek Park also is north of the park’s 50-acre mountain bike trail system, east of the new Salishan neighborhood and west of the Swan Creek canyon. It’s where recent Metro Parks Mud Runs have taken place.

“This is the first of two public meetings where we will enlist the public in developing a workable plan,” said Kristi Evans, Metro Parks project administrator. “One of the ideas that’s been floated is a traffic garden, where kids on bicycles can learn the rules of the road before they venture out on busy streets.”

Metro Parks already has earmarked nearly $5 million for the planning and development of the site. The money comes from borrowing authorized by Metropolitan Park District voters in 2005 and 2014, state and federal grants and a donation from the Greater Metro Parks Foundation. 

If you are unable to attend but would like to provide input, or would like information, please contact Kristi Evans at (253) 305-1054 or kristie@tacomaparks.com. A survey also will be posted to the Swan Creek Park web page at metroparkstacoma.org/swan-creek-park close to the meeting date.

NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR AMOCAT ARTS AWARDS

The Tacoma Arts Commission is accepting nominations for the 2018 AMOCAT Arts Awards, which recognize the people and organizations that positively impact Tacoma with their passion, innovation and commitment to the arts. Nominations will be accepted through Aug. 3.

The Tacoma Arts Commission will review all nominations and select one finalist in each award category based on the breadth and depth of the nominee’s community impact as well as the quality of the work being done by the nominee. Mayor Victoria Woodards will present the 2018 AMOCAT Arts Awards at Kaleidoscope, the Tacoma Arts Month opening party, on Oct. 3.

Award categories:

  • Community Outreach by an Individual– Community outreach, engagement and involvement in the arts in Tacoma by an individual
  • Community Outreach by an Organization– Community outreach, engagement and involvement in the arts in Tacoma by an organization
  • Arts Patron– A community partner who significantly supports or contributes to the arts in Tacoma

To make a nomination, fill out the online nomination form via Submittable: tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit. You must create a Submittable account in order to complete the form.

Past Award Winners

In the category of Community Outreach by an Individual, past winners include: Michael Haeflinger, Lynn Di Nino, Jared Pappas-Kelley and Michael S. Lent, Laura and Matt Eklund, Lance Kagey and Tom Llewellyn, Linda Danforth, William Kupinse, Oliver Doriss, Stella Haioulani, Katy Evans, David Domkoski, Jessica Spring, Connie K. Walle, and Christopher Paul Jordan.

In the category of Community Outreach by an Organization, past winners include: Monkeyshines, Tacoma Art Museum and Museum of Glass Education Programs, Arts Impact, Tacoma School of the Arts, Barefoot Studios, Victory Music, King’s Books, Hilltop Artists, Fab-5, D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts, The Grand Cinema, Puget Sound Book Artists, Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Tacoma Public Library, and Tacoma Youth Symphony Association.

In the category of Arts Patron, past winners include: Tacoma Housing Authority, Sound Transit Art Program, Pierce Transit, Sixth Avenue Business District, The Weekly Volcano, Hotel Murano, City Arts, Urban Grace Church, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Key Bank, Erivan and Helga Haub and family, ArtsFund, University of Washington-Tacoma, and Metro Parks Tacoma.

More information about the AMOCAT Arts Awards is available at cityoftacoma.org/amocat. 

CAPESTANY NAMED COUNTY ECONOMIC DELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Pierce County is one of the fastest growing regions in the United States.  Spurring economic development and creating family-wage jobs for the vibrant South Sound will be the top priority of the County’s newest economic development director.

Following a national search, Betty Nokes Capestany was selected to serve as the director of economic development and was confirmed by the County Council. She begins her new role on July 2.

Capestany comes to Pierce County from a 17-year career as the president and CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce. Despite two challenging economic cycles – the collapse of Internet start-ups and the great recession – Capestany guided the Eastside to add 3 million square feet of new class A office space, billions of dollars of investment and thousands of new jobs, with an emphasis on the technology sector.

“I’m delighted to welcome Betty to Pierce County,” said County Executive Bruce Dammeier.  “When nearly half of our residents travel out of the County for their jobs, it is imperative we create family-wage jobs right here in the South Sound. I’m confident the combination of Betty’s impressive track record of fostering economic development and her ability to create strong partnerships will work to the benefit of Pierce County residents and businesses.”

Prior to her role at the Bellevue Chamber, Capestany served as the director of economic development for the City of Renton and the president and CEO of the Greater Renton Chamber of Commerce. She has been recognized on a national and regional level with awards from a variety of chamber organizations.

Capestany serves as a board member of the Puget Sound Regional Council Economic Development Board and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. She earned a B.A. in business administration from Washington State University and an IOM designation from Stanford University’s Institute for Organizational Management.

KBTC’S ‘NORTHWEST NOW’ WINS JOURNALISM AWARD

Managing Editor Tom Layson of KBTC Public Television, a service of Bates Technical College, took home another prestigious award for his work on the Emmy Award-winning public affairs program “Northwest Now.” Layson won first place in the General News Reporting category in the recent Society of Professional Journalist’s annual competition for region 10, which spans five states.

The winning episode, “The Casket Maker,” showcased a Vashon Island craftsman who turned personal tragedy into a small business, all while contemplating some of life’s biggest questions. Layson shot, wrote, narrated and edited the program.

“I am so gratified to win this award as a multi-media journalist, where the entire production rests on my shoulders,” Layson said. “It’s an honor to be recognized by people who appreciate longer story arcs, and the effort that went into shooting something that required detailed videography and story-driven editing to execute.”

“The Casket Maker” also earned an Emmy nomination in the Northwest region of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), which features work from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

DeAnne Hamilton, KBTC’s executive director and general manager, said, “KBTC is committed to telling unique and important stories about the people who live in western Washington. ‘The Casket Maker’ is one such story. We are thrilled that Tom’s work has been recognized for its excellence. He is deserving of this recognition.”

In addition to the Excellence in Journalism award, SPJ also awarded “The Casket Maker” with a silver Telly Award during the organization’s 39th annual competition, which fielded more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

See “The Casket Maker” online at pbs.org/video/the-casket-maker-sgkyov.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN PRIME SIGNATURE-GATHERING SEASON

Accusations of deceptive practices have been surfacing in phone calls, e-mails, and on social media as Washingtonians more frequently encounter initiative signature gatherers. With the deadline approaching, signature gatherers are waving petitions to passersby on the sidewalks, in parking lots, and around other public spaces of the state’s towns and cities.

“Our office has received reports from people who believe signatures are being gathered illegally or deceptively – and that could be true,” Wyman said. “Every voter being asked to sign a petition needs to exercise their right and responsibility to read the information on each signature page before they sign it.”

While many volunteers work to circulate petitions, initiative sponsors often legally use paid signature gatherers as well. Signature gatherers have a Constitutionally-protected right of free speech to discuss their initiatives with voters and to carry more than one petition at a time. However, all collection efforts must follow Washington state requirements: every signature must be voluntary, and the full ballot title and initiative petition text must appear on every page that voters sign. Specifications about text placement and other requirements can be found in the state’s Initiative and Referendum Manual.

If a voter wants to have his or her name removed from a signed petition, the voter must contact the sponsors of that initiative. Sponsor contact information can be found on the Secretary of State’s website. Additionally, information on the support behind each initiative can be found at the Washington Public Disclosure Commission’s database of initiative committee financial records. If someone feels that paid signature gatherers are in violation of state law, a complaint can be filed with the state Office of the Attorney General.

Sponsors who hope to put initiatives before voters in the statewide November general election face a 5 p.m. July 6 deadline, by law, to submit enough signatures to the Office of Secretary of State to make the ballot. With the deadline imminent, an increase in signature-gathering activity is expected this week and next. Each petition must receive a minimum of 259,622 valid registered voters’ signatures to qualify for this year’s election; however, the office’s Elections Division recommends submitting at least 325,000 to allow for invalid and duplicate signatures.

Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.

LAKEWOOD PLAYHOUSE RECEIVES FIRST COMMUNITY FOUNDATION AWARD

The Lakewood Playhouse board of directors and its staff are proud to announce that the theatre has received their first grant from the Lakewood Community Foundation Fund. The grant, in the amount of $2,400, will be used to help 120 students attend a performance during the playhouse’s landmark 80th anniversary season (opening Sept. 7 with Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs.”) 

“We are so honored for this opportunity to provide theatre to the students in the Lakewood area,” said Managing Artistic Director John Munn, “Although we provided three ‘pay what you can’ performances for every production, those are held on a Thursday night, which is typically a school night for our local students and they are unable to attend.”

This program is one of the many new initiatives that have been instituted by the Lakewood Playhouse’s new Lakewood Institute of Theatre Education Director Debbie Armstrong. She was inspired to have Associate Artistic Director James Venturini pursue the grant when she heard that there were many students in the area that had wanted to be able to attend local shows, but were unable to afford it.

“Thank you, Lakewood Community Foundation Fund,” Munn continued, “for giving the students of Lakewood an opportunity to be a part of the transformative nature of a live theatrical performance. You have given them the chance to be inspired to try something new and, someday, hopefully become involved with a local theatre program that could change their lives forever.”

The Lakewood Community Foundation Fund was created in 1993 as a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization by the Lakewood Rotary Club and the Clover Park Rotary Club to address critical needs in Lakewood and to serve Lakewood residents more directly, especially its neediest. The Rotary clubs wanted to be more Lakewood oriented in their charitable efforts, and all the money raised benefits Lakewood organizations and citizens.

The Foundation’s goal is to establish a $1 million endowment in order to fund projects and scholarships to benefit children, families and charities in Lakewood. The $1 million endowment should generate $50,000 or more each year for grants to deserving students and charities that work to meet the needs of Lakewood’s low-income population.

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