CITY OPENS LINKS TO
OPPORTUNITY PROJECT STOREFRONT
The City of Tacoma has opened the Links to Opportunity Project Storefront Office (LOPSO) at 1120 S. 11th St., with regular office hours on Tuesdays, noon-4 p.m.; Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. Centrally located in the Hilltop Business District, the office will engage community members in the design of improvements to sidewalks and other pedestrian areas along Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Division Avenue and North 1st Street.
“As Sound Transit expands the Tacoma Link, we have the opportunity to further invest in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “We look forward to working with our community to develop a vision for more vibrant pedestrian areas.”
The City of Tacoma is partnering with the Tacoma Housing Authority, Downtown on the Go, Sound Outreach and Hilltop Action Coalition to facilitate community outreach and engagement along Sound Transit’s Tacoma Link extension route. The information collected throughout this community outreach and engagement process will inform the design of the planned streetscape improvements, which may include benches, lighting, landscaping and art.
While connecting community members with more information about the way Sound Transit’s Tacoma Link Extension Project will transform the local area, the LOPSO will also have Pierce Transit route information available. In addition, the office will have information about various City of Tacoma programs that may be of interest to community members.
The LOPSO community grand opening took place during the Hilltop Street Fair on Aug. 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
More information on the LOPSO is available at cityoftacoma.org/links.
The Grand Cinema Announces September
“Back to School” Admission Special
The Grand celebrates the month of September as a time to reward educators and students with its annual Back to School admission special. Throughout the entire month of September, admission to any film screening will cost only $5.50 for K-12 and higher-education students, teachers, and administrators. Tickets must be purchased at the box office and a valid school identification must be presented to receive this discount.
To receive the discount, eligible patrons must bring a current school identification card to The Grand Cinema box office at the time of their ticket purchase (this discount does not apply to online ticket sales).
Regular priced tickets to films at The Grand are $10 for evenings and $8 for matinees with $2 off for students, seniors, and armed services members and $2.50 off for Grand Cinema members.
Led by a volunteer board of directors, small staff team, and a multitude of volunteers, The Grand Cinema has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to introducing Pierce County students to independent film through community partnerships and education programming.
To learn more about The Grand Cinema and the list of new films that are expected to screen throughout the month of September, please visit GrandCinema.com. September offers many special film screenings including a documentary about the contributions of Native Americans to modern rock culture, a throwback screening of “Welcome To the Dollhouse,” a filmed concert of David Gilmour, and a documentary about women’s reproductive rights.
Tickets for Tacoma Film Festival will be available in limited supply starting in September at The Grand’s Box Office (606 S Fawcett Ave, Tacoma), or online at GrandCinema.com.
DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER
The Washington State Patrol in conjunction with 145 other law enforcement agencies around the state will have extra drunken driving patrols out from now through Sept. 4.
The extra patrols will be targeting impaired drivers in an effort to reduce the number of serious injury and fatality collisions in our state. Impaired driving includes alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs and other substances that cause impairment. It is illegal to drive after consuming any drugs or alcohol that causes impairment.
During 2016, impaired drivers were involved in crashes that resulted in 277 deaths and another 286 serious injuries. The WSP arrested 12,949 impaired drivers last year. Each summer in Washington, an average of 149 people die in traffic collisions. This is the deadliest season of the year on our roads.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is designed to encourage all drivers to make the right choice. The WSP would like to remind drivers to plan ahead and make travel arrangements prior to their activities. WSP’s Target Zero hopes to have zero traffic deaths or serious injuries in the state by 2030.
CONTAINER VOLUMES UP FIVE PERCENT AT PORT
The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s total year-to-date container volumes increased five percent while total volumes for the gateway declined one percent in July. Year-to-date 2017’s total international TEU volumes were the highest since 2007. Year-to-date, full import volumes were up six percent to 803,357 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units). Meanwhile, full exports were flat to 540,344 TEUs. Total international container volume, including empties, increased nine percent year-to-date to 1,702,776 TEUs.
Full imports for the month of July declined two percent to 109,182 TEUs compared to last year.
Full exports were down 13 percent to 63,599 TEUs for the month. Empty exports grew 39 percent as ocean carriers continue to reposition containers to Asia to keep pace with peak-season demand.
Recent changes in vessel deployments by the new ocean carrier alliances have contributed to July’s month-over-month softening of volume. The Northwest Seaport Alliance continues to invest in infrastructure to increase options for handling multiple super-post Panamax ships at the same time and to streamline the movement of cargo through our gateway.
Total domestic volumes for the month declined eight percent compared to the same month last year. Alaska’s year-to-date volumes are down nine percent and are expected to end the year at eight percent lower than 2016 due to soft market conditions. Hawaii volumes through the Pacific Northwest are down five percent year-to-date due to diversion to Southern California.
Driven by consistent demand from China, log volumes continue to grow. They were up 101 percent to 186,582 metric tons year-to-date compared with the same period last year.
Breakbulk cargo volume was flat to 108,321 metric tons year-to-date due to soft market conditions.
Autos, at 82,480 units year-to-date, were down 23 percent compared to the same period last year, reflecting weakening U.S. demand and shifting manufacturing locations.
DEWHIRST PICKED FOR NEW WATER CHIEF
Tacoma Public Utilities has selected a new leader for Tacoma Water. Scott (William) Dewhirst, who has worked for Newport News Waterworks in Virginia for the past 17 years, will start his role as superintendent in early October, subject to confirmation by the Public Utility Board.
“I am impressed with both the technical expertise Scott has developed in his career as well as his personable, outgoing management style,” said Tacoma Public Utilities Director Bill Gaines. “His inclusive, people-focused leadership approach will be a great asset for Tacoma Water and for Tacoma Public Utilities as a whole.”
During his tenure at Newport News Waterworks, Dewhirst served in a variety of roles, starting as an engineer in 2000 to most recently serving as the assistant and interim director. Prior to that, he worked as an engineer for Black & Veatch, an international engineering, consulting and construction company.
“I am excited to come to Tacoma Water and build upon the experience I have had at Newport News Waterworks. The two utilities are similarly sized and both focused solely on water, where I have dedicated my professional career,” Dewhirst said. “I hope to build upon the outstanding reputation Tacoma Water has in the water industry and work together with the great team in place to deliver quality drinking water and services to the community.”
Tacoma Water serves customers in two counties, provides water service for more than 329,000 people and has an annual operating budget of $92.8 million. Newport News Waterworks serves five jurisdictions, provides water service for more than 400,000 people and has an annual operating budget of $90 million.
Dewhirst received two degrees from Virginia Tech: a master of science in environmental engineering and a bachelor of science in civil engineering. He is the past chair of the Virginia Section of the American Water Works Association, having served as chair last year.
HIGH-RISK SEX OFFENDER CHARGED
WITH POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office has charged William Everett Duncan with three counts of possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Duncan, 76, has a criminal history of abusing children dating back to 1960 and is listed as a level three sex offender, which is for offenders deemed likely to reoffend. Bail was set at $1 million.
“Nothing is more important than protecting our children,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “We charged the defendant with aggravators and he is facing a possible life sentence.”
On July 13, one of the residents where Duncan lived reported he had caught the defendant viewing child pornography one week prior. The resident reported he was worried for the community because Duncan had several alcohol bottles located in his room, and he thought the defendant may be back “in cycle.” The resident also told police that the first time he met the defendant, Duncan introduced himself as a “non-practicing pedophile.” The images the resident saw depicted children that appeared to be between the ages of 10 to 13 who were completely naked.
Another resident of the house reported that he saw what he believed to be child pornography on Duncan’s computer on multiple occasions. This resident described images of adults with children who were naked and appeared to be between 7-10 years old.
On Aug.15, police obtained a warrant to search Duncan’s belongings, including his electronic devices. The warrant was served on Aug. 17. One item found by law enforcement was a digital camera inside the drawer of the nightstand in the defendant’s room.
On the camera, police observed several photos depicting children engaged in sexual situations with other children and with adults. Some of the children appeared to be 3 to 5 years old. The photos on the camera appear to have been taken of other images, possibly screen shots.
Police confiscated several devices from Duncan’s room, including the camera, a computer, several compact discs, five thumb drives, an XBox 360, a hard drive, and a cell phone. All of these items will be forensically processed.
The state gave notice that Duncan may be charged with additional crimes following forensic analysis of these items.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
LOCALS SET TO RALLY, WALK
FOR LUNG CANCER RESEARCH
Hundreds of local residents are joining forces to fight lung cancer, united in the belief that surviving lung cancer should be the expectation, not the exception. The Puget Sound Free to Breathe 5K run/walk and one-mile walk presented by Korum for Kids Foundation will take place Saturday, Sept. 9 at Wright Park, 501 S. I St. This year is the 10th anniversary of the event. All proceeds from the event support Free to Breathe, a lung cancer research and advocacy organization dedicated to increasing lung cancer survival.
“By fundraising and joining us on event day, you are bringing hope to those affected by the disease and their families,” said volunteer event chair Julie Drobny of Tacoma. “Lung cancer claims more lives each year than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined, yet these three cancers receive more research funding. More treatment options are needed and the innovative research we’re funding through the fundraising efforts of our community can help ensure everyone diagnosed with the disease has a fighting chance.”
The Free to Breathe events community has raised more than $16 million to support groundbreaking research and educational programs since 2005. Funds raised support life-saving lung cancer research, promote access to clinical trials while building and empower the lung cancer community.
Last year, community members, teams, and companies across the region supported the Puget Sound Free to Breathe 5K run/walk and one-mile walk by raising more than $82,000. Event chairs hope to surpass that total in 2017, which will go a long way in supporting programs specifically designed to ensure that more patients become survivors. Every dollar counts to the more than 224,000 people diagnosed in the U.S with lung cancer each year. In Washington alone, an estimated 4,390 residents will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017.
The day will include an opening rally, closing rally, prize drawing, music from a local DJ, kids’ activities and fun for the whole family. Special recognition will be given to top finishers and fundraisers. Gather your squad, and join us for an inspiring day focused on doubling lung cancer survival. To register and begin fundraising, visit freetobreathe.org/pugetsound.