Bulletin Board: New from Tacoma and Beyond

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CITY COUNCIL REAPPOINTS PAULI AS CITY MANAGER

Tacoma City Council has reappointed Elizabeth Pauli to the position of City Manager. Pauli started serving as Tacoma’s Interim City Manager in February 2017 until she was appointed to an initial two-year term as City Manager in May 2017.
“In her role as City Manager, Elizabeth Pauli has demonstrated a commitment to transparency, equity, and excellence while administering all day-to-day functions at the City,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “Her insightful guidance, long-range vision, and continued leadership are essential to making quality decisions that move Tacoma forward.”
Pauli a staff of more than 2,200, and a biennial General Government budget of $2.2 billion, of which $515.6 million is allocated to the General Fund. Tacoma has a population of approximately 213,500 and is the third largest city in Washington State.
Prior to her appointment as City Manager, Pauli served as Tacoma’s City Attorney. She first joined the City of Tacoma in May 1998, and served as Chief Assistant City Attorney. She was appointed Acting City Attorney in 2004, and was named City Attorney in 2005. Prior to joining the City of Tacoma, she was a partner at McGavick Graves, a well-established law firm in Tacoma.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, Pauli also has Bachelor of Science degrees in education and social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys.

CITY LAUNCHES ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION PILOT PROGRAM

The City of Tacoma’s Planning and Development Services Department is launching the Electric Vehicle Charging Station Pilot Program. This is a five-year pilot program that consists of temporarily lifting the Right-of-Way Occupancy Permit requirement for property owners who wish to install electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment at the curbside next to their property.
The program is intended to serve as a solution to one of the barriers to EV adoption in the city and that is homes lacking driveway or garage space where an EV can be charged. The pilot program will be available for EV charging equipment on residential streets only and is not available on arterial streets.
“Cars and trucks are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Tacoma. Making it easier for residents to own and use electric vehicles is a top strategy to addressing this major challenge,” said Council Member Ryan Mello. “Since most people who drive an electric vehicle charge it at night, making charging capability easier is very important. The pilot program is essential to providing this option for homeowners who may not otherwise be able to charge their car at home.”
As part of the pilot program, the City has created a tip sheet (http://tacomapermits.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/GB-200-EVCS-Permits-Tip-Sheet.pdf) to provide a guide for property owners to find out what is required. For full program details and information on getting started, visit Tacomapermits.org or contact Planning and Development Services at applicationservices@cityoftacoma.org or call (253) 591-5030.

CONCRETE REPAIRS ON PACIFIC AVENUE SCHEDULED

The City of Tacoma’s Street Operations Division will be performing concrete repairs on the southbound lanes of Pacific Avenue leading into Tollefson Plaza (1548 Commerce St.). The work is expected to take place on weekdays only from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. now through Tuesday, May 21.
Pacific Avenue will remain open in both north and southbound directions with traffic controls in place. Repairs are weather dependent and rescheduling may be required. Notice boards will be on location to notify drivers of the project and will also reflect any necessary changes.
Those with questions or concerns may contact Project Supervisor Dan Brewer at dbrewer@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 591-5870.

WSDOT ISSUES SR 167 COMPLETION PROJECT UPDATE

The SR 167 Completion Project team made significant progress in the first quarter of 2019 and has lots going on this spring. Some of the key highlights include:
Producing a project video. We made a video (https://youtu.be/5CVS7-thPfg) that describes the SR 167 Completion Project, and, more importantly, shows what it will look like when it’s completed.
Completing our NEPA Re-Evaluation. We prepared a Public Comment Summary Report (https://tinyurl.com/y4u6y4ee)of our National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Re-Evaluation. We asked for public comment on the NEPA Re-Evaluation during a month-long online open house from Jan. 14 to Feb. 13. The re-evaluation analyzed whether there are any new potentially significant adverse environmental effects of the SR 167 Completion Project – Phase 1 Improvements.
Getting closer to construction. We shortlisted three contractors in February for the SR 167/70th Avenue East Bridge Vicinity Replacement Project. We expect to select a contractor in June and begin construction in the fall. The project includes constructing a new four-lane 70thAvenue East I-5 overpass and a roundabout at SR 99, which will help ease congestion in this busy area.
Meet us in your neighborhood. We have a full schedule of fairs and festivals this summer. Look for us at the Eastside Tacoma Farmers Market (June 11), Meeker Days (June 14-16), the Edgewood Community Picnic (July 20), the Tacoma Broadway Farmers Market (Aug. 1), the Puyallup Farmers Market (Aug. 10), and Milton Days (Aug. 17).
Stockpiling surplus clean fill dirt. We continue to stockpile clean fill dirt for future use on the SR 167 Project. The fill dirt is being stockpiled on WSDOT right of way near the Puyallup Recreation Center. This and future deliveries of approved fill dirt will help reduce project costs.
Continuing real estate acquisitions. We have now acquired more than 80 percent of the needed right of way land for the planned improvements. If you have specific questions about property to be purchased for the SR 167 Completion Project, please contact Allen Partin, the project real estate manager, at partinc@wsdot.wa.gov or (360) 357-2718.

KOREAN INSPIRED GASTROPUB, BREWERY COMING TO POINT RUSTON

A new Korean gastropub and brewery from the mind behind Seattle’s Magnuson Café & Brewery, will be opening its doors in Point Ruston.
Named Kobrew, the new concept will feature a tapas-style menu designed for sharing. “We are creating a restaurant experience that showcases Korean food and its flavors through a diverse menu of both classic Korean dishes like bibimbap, bo ssam pork belly, and galbi, and Korean-inspired brewpub fare such as sliders, tacos and famed Korean fried chicken,” said founder Cody Cluff. “Our goal is to create a Korean gastropub experience that is for everyone.”
Cluff is partnering with London chef Andrew Hales to develop the menu. “Korean ingredients and flavors can be intimidating to those unfamiliar with the cuisine, so our challenge is to make our menu accessible to all, yet authentic,” explained Cluff.
The gastropub menu will be complemented by Kobrew’s onsite brewery and 14 rotating taps of Kobrew beers. Head brewer Carey Dixon will focus on classics from Northwest IPAs to easy drinking lagers, as well as some creative beers that bring unique Korean flavors to life. In addition to the brewery and beers, Kobrew will offer a full cocktail menu with several drinks featuring Korea’s favorite, Soju. Diners should also save room for the Korean desserts.
Cluff plans to open Kobrew, a love letter to the food and culture of his wife’s hometown of Seoul, by late May. Located on the water with plenty of outdoor seating, the family-friendly restaurant’s interior is designed to make the Korean culture of eating together come to life, including a group dining area for parties up to 40. Renderings of the interior posted to the Kobrew Instagram account offer a glimpse of what diners can expect when Kobrew officially opens.
Kobrew will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. In Point Ruston, Kobrew will join WildFin, Farrelli’s Pizza, and Stack 571, among others.
For updates on Kobrew’s progress and opening, please follow @kobrew on Instagram or visit their website at www.kobrew.com.

PARKS FOUNDATION V.P. RUNS FOR PARKS COMMISSION

Zach Powers has announced that he is running for position two on the Metro Parks Tacoma Commission. With an extensive history of volunteerism with Metro Parks, Powers has served as a youth basketball coach, chair of Metro Parks Tacoma Arts and Heritage Advisory Council, and is currently serving as vice president of the Greater Metro Parks Foundation.
“As a commissioner, I’ll help ensure that Metro Parks is creating healthy opportunities to play, learn and grow for every generation of Tacomans and throughout every corner of Tacoma,” said Powers.
Powers’ campaign has garnered early support from a wide variety of community leaders, including State Senator Jeannie Darneille, State Representative Laurie Jinkins, Metro Parks Commissioners Jessie Baines Jr. and Erik Hanberg, and 2016 Washington state “Teacher of the Year” Nate Bowling.
“Zach is a dynamic community leader, full of both big ideas about how to make our community better and the knowledge and ability needed to make them happen,” said Darneille. “He’ll be a commissioner who listens first, brings people together, and moves Metro Parks forward in really exciting ways.”
Powers is the associate director of communications at University of Puget Sound. In addition to his volunteer leadership with Metro Parks, he has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission and the Tacoma Arts Live Programming Committee. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master of Public Administration from The Evergreen State College.
Zach and his wife, Holly, have two children: three-year-old Frances, and one-year-old Ellison. They live in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue neighborhood and love walking as a family to their favorite restaurants, shops, and farmers market. Not a week goes by without the Powers family visiting multiple Metro Parks playgrounds, beaches, and facilities. Family favorite activities include swim lessons at People’s Pool, running around Franklin Park, and exploring the new aquarium.
For more information, please visit powersforparks.com.

TAHOMA NATIONAL CEMETERY TO HOST MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY

A Memorial Day program to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation will be held on Monday, May 27, 1 p.m. at Tahoma National Cemetery main flag pole assembly area. Keynote speaker and participants will join Gold Star families to share their story. Weather permitting, the ceremony will kick off with a flyover by the Steerman Group using WWII Bi-Planes at 1 p.m.
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.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION AWARD RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has announced this year’s Historic Preservation Award recipients. The following recipients will be recognized at the annual Historic Preservation Month Reception and Awards event on Friday, May 24, 6-8 p.m. at Court House Square (1102 A St., Tacoma).
“Tacoma may be changing rapidly, but what is here today has been built on the bones of history. By recognizing leaders in local preservation, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is supporting the retention of our past,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “This work is important because, even as we plan for the future, it is vital that we also maintain a sense of Tacoma’s story and the people and places that comprise our shared history.”
The 2019 Historic Preservation Award recipients are:

  • Excellence in Historic Preservation: McMenamins Elks Temple
  • Career Achievement: Brian Kamens, Tacoma Public Library Northwest Room
  • Residential Renovation: Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity for 417 S. M St. and 407 S. M St., Wedge Neighborhood Conservation District
  • Commercial Renovation: Tacoma Arts Live and the Pantages Theater Design Team, including BCRA Design, Korsmo Construction, and EverGreene Architectural Arts for the Pantages Theater
  • Community Engagement/Events: Grit City Magazine
  • Community Engagement/Events: Pretty Gritty Tours
  • Landmark Nomination to be Recognized: White Shield Home, 5210 S. State St.
  • Nomination to be Recognized: College Park National Register Historic District
  • Broadening Perspectives: Puyallup Tribe of Indians for the renaming of the Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge
  • Heritage/Legacy Business: Lincoln Hardware

The ceremony will include a tour of the courtroom where the landmark Boldt Decision, reaffirming Native American fishing rights in Washington State, occurred. Keynote speaker, Professor Danica Miller Ph.D., will provide background on that historic event. The event is free and open to the public with complimentary refreshments provided.

TRAFFIC SAFETY OFFICIALS FOCUS ON SEAT BELT HOLDOUTS

Washington’s annual Click It or Ticket seat belt campaign has begun, as law enforcement across the state begins extra patrols searching for motorists not wearing their seat belts. More than 145 law enforcement agencies are participating statewide between now and June 2.
While most Washingtonians routinely buckle up, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) is concerned that over 100 people who are unbuckled die in crashes each year. Most of these were young men between the ages of 21-25. WTSC has launched a public safety campaign aimed at these young adults.
“Buckling up every time is the right and safe thing to do,” said Scott Waller, WTSC occupant protection program manager. “In Washington, 93 percent ‘click it’ when they’re on the road, because they know that wearing a seat belt greatly reduces the chances of dying or being seriously injured in a crash. Unfortunately, some of our young adult drivers – those most likely to be in a crash – are the least likely to be wearing a seat belt. And that’s scary.”
Nationally, among young adults 18-34 killed in crashes in 2017, more than half (57 percent) were completely unrestrained, one of the highest percentages for all age groups.
An observational study conducted by the WTSC found that statewide, seat belt use was 93.2 percent among vehicle occupants in 2018, compared to a national seat belt use rate of 89.7 percent in 2017.
“Most of us buckle up,” said Waller. “Let’s all work together and get everyone to click it, no exceptions. It’s not just a matter of avoiding a ticket, it’s about keeping everyone safe on the road.”
Parents, said Waller, should make sure their teen drivers start a lifelong habit of buckling up.

  • Always model safe behavior.
  • Persistently stress why seat belt use is important to their personal safety.
  • Be armed with the facts to debunk myths – riding in a big vehicle, traveling on country roads or sitting in the back seat do not make you safer or alleviate the need for a seat belt.

“All of us have a role to play in traffic safety,” said Waller. “First in being safe ourselves, and then helping others.”

EVERYONE IS A WINNER AT STEILACOOM DAY OF CHAMPIONS

Steilacoom Historical School District is gearing up for the fifth annual Day of Champions, a non-competitive track and field event for student athletes with disabilities. The event will be held Friday, May 24 at the Steilacoom High School Stadium.
Preschool to grade-12 students will participate in a variety of events including tossing Frisbees, obstacle course challenges, running, jumping, throwing large and small balls and outdoor bowling. The youngest participate in ring toss, duck pond fishing and bubble blowing. Everyone is a winner!
The Steilacoom High School student volunteers, cheerleaders and band members will be assisting with organization and on-site management. Opening ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. with track and field activities scheduled from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Medal presentation and lunch for all will follow.
The district would like to extend a special thanks to this year’s sponsors including Kiwanis Club of Steilacoom, DuPont Lions Club and The GraceWorks Church. Interested sponsors or volunteers please call (253) 983-2338.
Steilacoom High School Stadium is located behind the high school at 54 Sentinel Dr., Steilacoom, WA.

COUNTY WINS NATIONAL AWARD FOR PUBLIC NUISANCE PORTAL

Pierce County’s Public Nuisance Portal allows staff to quickly respond to code complaints. That’s why the online portal has received an innovation award from the National Association of Counties (NACo).
The portal, available at www.piercecountywa.gov/codeenforcement, makes it easy for residents to report abandoned cars, illegal dumping, and other code concerns. Customers can also upload photos and documents, as well as get regular email updates about their case.
Meanwhile, the portal has streamlined how County staff respond to complaints. Previously, employees spent considerable time logging reports and answering questions by phone or email. Now, reports are automatically entered and mapped in the system. This lets employees respond to new complaints in just a couple of days, instead of several weeks.
“In this age of digital information, we want to increase transparency, make it easier for residents to access the records they want, and get real-time updates on their requests,” said Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier.
The Public Nuisance Portal is an important tool for ensuring that Pierce County is a great place to work, live, and raise a family.

STATE CONSTRUCTION BUDGET IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE

The new state construction budget – known as the capital budget (House Bill 1102) – passed by the legislature includes funding for Pierce County projects that will benefit some of the area’s most underserved communities.
Rep. Melanie Morgan (D-Parkland), who sits on the House Capital Budget Committee, says that while the budget’s record investments in public schools, colleges, affordable housing and mental health facilities are a win for the entire state, she is especially pleased that projects moving forward in the 29th Legislative District will increase opportunity and improve quality of life for people with low incomes and communities of color.
“The capital budget isn’t just about construction. It’s about communities. It’s about opportunities. It’s about equity,” Morgan said. “These projects foster all of the above.”
Rep. Morgan sponsored the following projects that are funded in the 2019-21 capital budget:

  • $1 million for the first phase of renovations for a community center in Parkland. The renovations will create 15,000 square feet of usable space for businesses and organizations, providing much needed access to services such as health and human services, housing assistance, job skills training for youth and adults, and senior services.
  • $150,000 for Next Chapter, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting pregnant women and single mothers from throughout Pierce County who are homeless or on the verge of being homeless.

Other projects funded in the 29th Legislative District include:

  • $773,000 for Springbrook Park expansion and Clover Creek restoration. In addition to improving water quality within this important salmon bearing riparian area, this project will improve access to open space areas for some of Lakewood’s most underserved and diverse residents.
  • $500,000 for the first phase of development of Stan and Joan Cross Park, the first public park in Frederickson. This phase includes a playground, a grassy playfield, picnic areas, a parking lot, and a plaza.
  • $2.26 million in funding to replace the aging water treatment plant at the Ponders Well Site in Lakewood. This project is critical to ensuring a safe and reliable water supply to the 61,000 customers of the Lakewood Water District.
  • $2.8 million for predesign and design of a new Fire Service Training Center at Bates Technical College.

For more details and maps of local projects by county or legislative district, http://fiscal.wa.gov/BudgetC.aspx.

 

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