I-5/S. 38th St. INTERCHANGE WORK MOVED TO 2019
The contractor building high occupancy vehicle (HOV) connections between State Route 16 and Interstate 5 has postponed a 30-day closure of the eastbound South 38th Street loop ramp in Tacoma due to scheduling conflicts.
In addition, both the 30-day closure of the South Sprague on-ramp to southbound I-5 and the temporary traffic shift for eastbound SR 16 drivers to southbound I-5 have been postponed.
The closures had been slated to start this month. Contractor Skanska, working as both designer and builder of the project, now expects to do the traffic shift and modify the interchange starting in early 2019. The modification will allow motorists from SR 16 and southbound I-5 to make right- and left-turns at the top of the loop ramp to South 38th Street. The work will resume after the holiday shopping season, but an exact date has not yet been set.
The Washington State Department of Transportation will announce the new dates of the temporary traffic shift and ramp closures once they become available.
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 (https://twitter.com/wsdot_tacoma).
SOUTH SOUND 911 PARTNERS WITH JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD
Public safety collaboration and interoperability in Pierce County will get the “win” when Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) begins dispatching emergency services using South Sound 911’s regional computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system. The partnership will unite South Sound 911’s 41 local police and fire agencies with the military installation in an effort to provide a more regionalized emergency response system for the community and provide more efficiency for JBLM dispatchers and responders.
“It’s a win-win for the responders and community,” South Sound 911 Executive Director Andrew Neiditz said.
“Our community as a whole experienced several major multi-jurisdictional events in the last year alone – including those which involved JBLM – where we’ve seen the benefits of interoperability, improved communications, and shared information,” Neiditz said, referencing the Dec. 18 Amtrak train derailment. “When we agree to partner and work together, we can – and will – do better.”
The train derailment occurred near DuPont and the mutual aid response involved responders from JBLM, the Washington State Patrol, and local responders from both Pierce and Thurston Counties.
JBLM Fire & Emergency Services Fire Chief Ken Rhault agrees there will be benefits from the partnership.
“This Intergovernmental Service Agreement will finally bridge the gap for full interoperability with our community partners, thus providing for the best in emergency response to our communities,” Rhault said.
The service agreement calls for South Sound 911 to provide JBLM with access, licensing, maintenance, and support for its Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure CAD system and its accompanying Mobile for Public Safety (MPS) application. The agency officially launched the unified CAD system in October 2015 during a multi-year, phased implementation.
South Sound 911 estimates JBLM’s CAD system will be ready for use by late-2019.
LOCAL HISTORY CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS TO RECEIVE FUNDING
The Washington State Historical Society (WSHS) announced that it is recommending 36 history-building projects across the state for funding through the agency’s Heritage Capital Projects (HCP) program.
Locally, these include the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory rehabilitation, the Balfour Dock building at Foss Waterway Seaport (expansion, enclosure and enhancement of Heritage Wooden Boat Shop) and the Curran House History Museum (phase one) in University Place.
These local community projects were vetted through a competitive application process at a public meeting in Spokane on Aug. 15. WSHS’s capital budget request includes a total of $10 million to provide matching grant funds for the 36 projects through the HCP program. The funding request will go to Governor Inslee and the Legislature for consideration for inclusion in the state’s 2019-2021 biennium capital budget.
“The recommended projects on the list have passed a high threshold of eligibility and good history practices, as verified by a panel of experts,” said Lissa Kramer, Heritage Capital Projects program manager at WSHS. To qualify for a grant through the HCP program, projects must be for facilities or historic landscapes that support history preservation and education. Projects may include improvements of existing structures, preservation, restoration, or new construction.
Most often, people think of old buildings that need restoration, but not all HCP projects fall into that category.
Would you like to know if the new HCP list includes a project in your community? You can see the full list and project ranking at WashingtonHistory.org/hcp. If there is a project in your community you may have already heard about it through your local organization’s fundraising efforts.
Positive Community Impact
“This year’s list of recommended projects totals about $10 million,” said Kramer, “so with the matching, if the list gets funded, it means that $30 million will be spent in towns all over Washington.”
To see a range of projects funded in part through Heritage Capital Projects grants, see the interactive map on WSHS’s website at WashingtonHistory.org/hcp.
If you know of a public history, preservation or heritage project and want to apply for a grant or learn more about program requirements, please contact program staff at email@example.com.
INPUT NEEDED FOR RUSTON WAY
Few places in Tacoma are more popular than the Ruston Way waterfront. The recreation magnet attracts runners, walkers, bicyclists, scuba divers, fishing enthusiasts, picnickers, restaurant diners and people who just want to enjoy the view.
The waterfront is so captivating that it’s easy to overlook signs indicating possible threats to its future as a welcome place for everyone.
Envision Our Waterfront, a joint effort of Metro Parks Tacoma and the City of Tacoma, seeks to bring attention to those indicators at two gatherings at Court House Square, 1102 A St., Tacoma. The first, from 5-8 p.m. on Oct. 29, is a visioning workshop to solicit ideas. The second, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Oct. 30, is a drop-in open house that will showcase the results of the initial gathering.
Everyone is invited to participate in both or either of the two sessions. The workshop session also will feature hands-on art projects for children.
“The Ruston Way waterfront is a gem, but we have a lot of work to do to preserve it, and to make it even more accessible to everyone,” said Andrea Smith, president of the Board of Park Commissioners. “It’s vitally important that we hear from people throughout the city, even if they don’t visit Ruston Way very often.”
The goal is to develop a shared vision for the Ruston Way waterfront that will guide future activities, improvements, development and land use in a way that protects the shoreline and ensures public access. The two sessions will bring potential problems to the forefront and encourage residents to share what they think about possible solutions.
Many Ruston Way visitors are happy with the waterfront as it is. However, the roadway, sea walls, bulkheads, trails and sidewalks are deteriorating. This is partly due to age, but also because of erosion brought on by winter storms. Scientists studying the future effects of climate change already have predicted sea level increases of between one to three feet within the next hundred years. That, combined with more frequent and intense storms, poses a risk of damage along Ruston Way.
In addition, the waterfront area is hard to reach without a car, making it difficult for some residents to enjoy, and also resulting in frequent traffic jams.
“Besides climate change, Envision Our Waterfront is putting a spotlight on equity and transportation issues related to Ruston Way’s future,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “These community conversations will help us prioritize how to improve this area for future generations.”
If you would like to contribute to the process and are unable to attend the workshop or open house, please contact Envision Our Waterfront project manager Andrew Austin at (253) 305-1021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE OPPOSES I-940
The Washington Fraternal Order of Police (WAFOP) respectfully disagrees with I-940 as it is currently written and urges voters to reject the initiative at the ballot.
I-940 is a complex proposal that could compromise public safety. WAFOP believes that I-940 as it is currently written is bad policy, costly and fails to provide the funding mechanism or resources for it’s mandated training improvements.
WAFOP believes there is better policy to be implemented that meets the goals of community leaders and law enforcement. During the 2018 Washington State Legislative Session representatives from the state’s major law enforcement groups worked with leaders of De-Escalate Washington (I-940 sponsor) to create a more comprehensive and collaborative policy that is good for public safety. The result of which was HB 3003, which represented reform that both peace officers and community members agreed upon. That policy has received support and input from both sides of the issue, including the sponsor of I-940.
Unfortunately the legislative process that created HB 3003 was deemed unconstitutional, but the policy was not. While not the outcome that either side hoped for the state Supreme Court’s ruling has not changed law enforcement’s commitment to coming together with the initiative’s sponsor to achieve the goals of HB 3003. Regardless of what happens at the ballot WAFOP and De-Escalate Washington have publicly committed to returning to the table to see the policies created in HB 3003 enacted in the 2019 legislature.
We are committed to respectfully oppose I-940, and want the relationship and trust built with De-Escalate and other community leaders to stay on track. A vote against I-940 allows the legislative process to work and re-enact the improved total package of reforms including funding community input and legislative review. This achieves the goals of reforming the law and building bridges between law enforcement and the community. The collaborative success that I-940 sponsors and law enforcement had should be celebrated. If I-940 is defeated Washington state would have the opportunity to take center stage on this ground breaking law that develops trust between citizens and law enforcement.
TACOMA VENUES DIRECTOR NAMED VENUE EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
The International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) has announced the recipients for its 2018 Industry Awards at the annual Honors & Awards Ceremony including selecting Kim Bedier as Venue Executive of the Year. IEBA is a not-for-profit trade organization for live entertainment industry professionals, founded in 1970. Bedier is director for Tacoma Venues & Events at the City of Tacoma.
“This industry and the people I work with every day inspire me. It is a privilege to be part of an amazing team committed to delivering superlative service and making memorable experiences for all of our guests at the Tacoma Dome,” stated Kim Bedier, director for Tacoma Venues & Events, City of Tacoma. “It is particularly exciting to receive recognition – for all of us – as we embark on the most exciting time as we debut the newly refreshed Dome.”
The Tacoma Dome is completing a four-month revitalization that includes all new seating, concessions, additional restrooms, backstage artist quarters, loading docks and more. The Dome will re-open in October with annual consumer shows like the RV Show and Holiday Food & Gift and host eight concerts in November.
Bedier is responsible for the Tacoma Dome, Greater Tacoma Convention Center, Pantages and Rialto Theater, Theater on the Square, and Cheney Stadium. She serves as a board member for Travel Tacoma and Tacoma South Sound Sports.
An industry-leader, Bedier has successfully opened three new arena construction projects, including the XFINITY Arena in Everett, which received the venue industry’s top award in 2010 for Arena Excellence.
Bedier served over a decade on the Board of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), including as Chair of the Board of Directors and Board of Regents and currently serves as an Instructor at the IAVM Venue Management School and Graduate Institute, in both the United States and Australia.
Bedier serves on the Board for Enduris Washington, is a member of Rotary 8 of Tacoma; and is a past board member of Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County, Rotary Club of Everett, and the YMCA of Snohomish County.
GIVE HOPE, GIVE BLOOD WITH THE RED CROSS
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – the perfect time to give blood to support cancer patients and others.
Anna Gwinnup, a loving wife, mother and grandmother, was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in September 2017. Within weeks, it advanced to stage 2, forcing her to undergo a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and multiple surgeries, which required blood products.
Though she was a blood donor prior to her diagnosis, Gwinnup now has a new passion for the cause. “I want to raise awareness about the need for blood to treat cancer,” she said.
Cancer patients may need red blood cell or platelet transfusions during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications.
Donors of all blood types are needed to help ensure a sufficient supply for patients this fall, especially after Hurricane Florence and subsequent flooding forced the cancellation of more than 6,000 blood and platelet donations last month.
As a thank-you, those who come to donate blood or platelets in October will automatically be entered to win one of five $500 gift cards redeemable at hundreds of merchants. Learn more at RedCrossBlood.org/GoForGoal.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Oct. 16-31 in Pierce County:
- 18, 1-6 p.m., Steilacoom Community Center, 2301 Worthington St.
- 22, 1-6 p.m., American Red Cross Tacoma, 1235 S. Tacoma Way
- 31, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., ServiceMaster of Tacoma, 5111 S. Burlington 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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
LOCAL RESTAURANTS PARTNER TO CELEBRATE NW FURNITURE BANK
Stanley and Seafort’s and Pizzeria Fondi have joined forces to help the NW Furniture Bank celebrate with an luncheon the caseworkers and organizational partners that help to provide services to families throughout the community. The Oct. 1 event honored caseworkers across multiple NW Furniture Bank partnerships that service homeless and low-income communities, as well as domestic violence survivors.
“On behalf of both Pizzeria Fondi and Stanley and Seafort’s we are incredibly excited and thankful for the opportunity to be apart of such an amazing event,” sais Christopher Olsen, general manager of Pizzeria Fondi. “The Restaurants Unlimited family is proud of our involvement in the South Sound community and with NW Furniture Bank. The work they are doing in the community is so important and we are glad to have the opportunity to contribute in the way we know best.”
Together, Stanley and Seafort’s and Pizzeria Fondi have proudly served the South Sound community for almost 50 years as the go-to places for any dining occasion. In addition to serving up local favorites, these restaurants are proud of their involvement in the community across many local organizations.
“NW Furniture Bank is incredibly proud of our partnerships with each of the agencies we are fortunate enough to work with in the community,” said Jeremy Simler, director of development of NW Furniture Bank. “Thanks to our restaurant partners, we are able to show our gratitude for all of their hard work on the front line everyday, helping people who are in need of support and kindness.”
Founded in 2006, NW Furniture Bank provides furniture and household goods to more than 140 families in the Pierce and South King Country each month. With the help of over 500 volunteers and 200 partner organizations, NW Furniture Bank is able to service the community through three different programs: the furniture bank, Spring Back Mattress Recycling, and Hope Furnishings. In 2018, NW Furniture Bank was able to provide services to over 1,400 families. The Spring Back Mattress Recycling program provides employment opportunities, as well as recycling over 5,000 mattresses and providing 300 reusable mattresses for NW Furniture Bank monthly. Hope Furnishings is a retail store that is open to the public, which sells gently used and vintage furniture with all proceeds benefiting NW Furniture Bank. The mission of NW Furniture Banks is to “help restore hope, dignity and stability in our community by recycling donated furniture to people in need.”
TACOMA COMMUNITY HOUSE TO REINSTATE ENGLISH CLASSES
Because of the generosity of the KeyBank and Norcliffe Foundations, Tacoma Community House (TCH) will reinstate English Language classes on the East Side of Tacoma starting in 2019. According to Cassandra Mitchell, vice president and Corporate Responsibility Officer for Washington who presented the KeyBank check to TCH on Sept. 25th, “You guys – TCH – are doing such important work.”
A recent needs assessment commissioned by the City of Tacoma for the Portland Community Center listed English classes as a top 10 need identified by community members who use the Center. While this study was specific to the Portland Community Center, it spoke directly to the needs of East Side residents. Because of TCH’s long history of successfully serving English learners, the Salishan Community Association approached TCH to ask the agency to reinstate English classes on the East Side of Tacoma (classes were offered by TCH between 1990 and 2010, but economic factors led to their elimination).
The East Side (zip codes 98404, 98418 and 98443) is home to more than 49,000 residents. The demographics are predominately low-income and the area is home to many non-English speakers. According to census data, 23 percent of the population speaks a language other than English and half of these individuals do not speak the English language well. This is a significant barrier to employment and realizing overall economic health for families.
Classes will start in January of 2019 with two sessions – simultaneous morning classes for high- and low-level learners. Tacoma Community House is now looking for a location on the East Side that will best serve students.
Offering classes on the East Side will provide accessibility to classes to a much larger population of new students while greatly reducing the commuting time and stress on our current students by providing access closer to home. English classes on the East Side will also bring technology to students by way of Chromebooks, which are fast becoming the standard in English language instruction at TCH.
“We are very pleased to be able to bring English classes back to the East Side. This is a vibrant community that deserves easily accessible services,” says Liz Dunbar, Tacoma Community House’s executive director.
The impact of individuals learning the English language cannot be overstated. It is critical to their success in all facets of building self-sufficiency and economic stability in their lives.
Tacoma Community House thanks KeyBank and the Norcliffe Foundation for making these classes possible and for standing with immigrants and refugees in our communities.
COMMUNITY INVITED TO SWING DANCE
The community is invited to Tin Can Alley Oop, the fifth annual Holiday Heritage Swing Dance presented by the Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission and the City of Tacoma’s Historic Preservation Office. The dance will be held at Tin Can Alley Tacoma (2620 E. G St.) on Sunday, Nov. 4, from 6-9 p.m.
The event will feature the Pierce County Community Big Band, a swing dance demonstration by Studio 6 Ballroom, free refreshments and a no-host bar will also be available. This historic preservation fundraiser celebrates the adaptive reuse of historic buildings, which has been the focus of this year’s Historic Preservation Programs. “As always, we are excited to show off a different historic resource every year. Tin Can Alley is an adaptively reused building that housed the Tin Can Factory, which opened in 1919,” said Assistant Historic Preservation Officer Lauren Hoogkamer.
This event is free and open to the public. RSVP on the event page, or contact Hoogkamer at email@example.com or (253) 591-5254. Suggested donations will support heritage programming and events in 2019.