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The Tacoma Dome celebrates 35 years of world-class entertainment and events this month. The iconic venue has hosted more than 25 million people at thousands of events including the music industry’s top touring artists, championship athletic events, annual consumer shows, and community gatherings since it opened in April 1983. 

During its 35th year, the Dome will be enhanced as a 21st-century venue with $30 million in capital improvements focused on improving the fan experience. Beginning in June, all seating throughout the venue will be replaced with modern telescopic seating providing greater comfort for guests and quicker turnaround between events. Additional restrooms will be added and some existing restrooms will be upgraded. Safety and security enhancements will be made throughout the venue. Upgrades to food and beverage hospitality will also be announced. 

“Everyone we meet has a ‘Dome story’ to tell. Whether they played football here, attended their first concert, met their significant other, graduated with classmates, or established traditions at annual events with their families, the arena has provided a gathering place for memorable moments for so many,” said Kim Bedier, director for Tacoma Venues & Events, City of Tacoma. “With the support of the community and in alignment with Tacoma’s Vision 2025, this infrastructure investment ensures that the Tacoma Dome will continue to be viable, attract world-class touring entertainment and contribute positively to the economic impact and Tacoma community pride for years to come.” 

The Tacoma Dome opened April 21, 1983 with a four-day exhibition and series of special events called “Celebration ’83.” Entertainment was provided by The Lettermen and Rick Nelson, with free performances in the adjoining Convention Center, now called the Exhibition Hall. The first major full concert was David Bowie in August 1983, and the legendary venue has hosted renowned artists from U2 to Frank Sinatra, George Strait to Prince, Garth Brooks to Lionel Richie, Tina Turner to Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran to Billy Joel, AC/DC to George Michael, Janet Jackson to Bruce Springsteen, and the list goes on. 

Owned by the City of Tacoma, the Dome is the largest indoor arena in Washington attracting more than 600,000 people each year with its diverse lineup of events. It has been consistently recognized as one of the top venues in North America and worldwide based on concert attendance by leading industry publications like Pollstar and Billboard. Upcoming events include Tacoma Guitar Festival (April 21-22), Shania Twain (May 3), Chris Young (May 19), Maroon 5 (May 30) and Justin Timberlake (Nov. 12-13). 


Plancich Dental’s Dr. Gregory Plancich recently returned from his annual mission trip to Peronia, Guatemala with the nonprofit organization Open Wide Foundation. Open Wide Foundation at Spear Education operates year-round and coordinates dental teams from all corners of the United States for 35 weeks out of the year. This is a journey that Plancich and his son Bryce have embarked on for the past seven years.

Open Wide Foundation’s mission is to bring oral health care to underserved communities worldwide. Through Open Wide Foundation, more than 125,000 patients have received dental treatment by more than 500 volunteers. In addition, more than 40 local dentists have been trained by the nonprofit. There are now more than nine open dental clinics in developing world countries. 

Through this most recent trip, Plancich and his team were able to help individuals like 5-year-old Jose, who had an infected tooth. If you would like to donate or learn more about Open Wide Foundation, visit openwidefoundation.org.


Each May, the National Trust for Historic Preservation encourages local communities to celebrate National Historic Preservation Month. The City of Tacoma is excited to announce this year’s Historic Preservation Month theme of “Adaptive Reuse in Tacoma.”

“This year’s theme of ‘Adaptive Reuse’ highlights historic preservation’s connections between environmental sustainability, neighborhood revitalization, and maintaining community character,” said Historic Preservation Officer Reuben McKnight. 

2018 Historic Preservation Month Calendar

Event details can be found on the new Historic Preservation Month website, hpmonthtacoma.com. Key programs include:

  • Historic Preservation Month Proclamation: Tuesday, May 1, at 4:30 p.m., at the Tacoma Municipal Building in Council Chambers (747 Market St., first floor)
  • Kick Off: Salvage Art Show and Iron Art Competition: Saturday, May 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Earthwise Architectural Salvage (628 E. 60th St.)
  • Historic Preservation Month Reception and Awards: Friday, May 18, from 6-8 p.m., at Stewart Middle School (5010 Pacific Ave.)
  • Bringing Tacoma’s History to Life: Youth Historical Fiction Reading: Monday, May 21, from 7-9 p.m., Black Kettle Bites and Brew (744 Market St.)
  • Old Places, New Spaces: Adaptively Reused Trails Bike Tour: Friday, May 25, from 5:15-7 p.m., starting and ending at 7 Seas Brewing (2101 Jefferson Ave.)

Tacoma is a regional and national example of successful adaptive reuse projects, featuring rehabilitated schools, warehouses, and commercial buildings throughout the downtown area and in neighborhoods. The theme also aligns with the City’s sustainability vision to conserve resources and achieve lasting and equitable prosperity.

The month’s programming will showcase exciting new twists on Tacoma’s history. The kickoff event, a Salvage Art Show at Earthwise Architectural Salvage, will feature artists who are working with recycled materials – and visitors will have a chance to make their own art during the Iron Art Competition, a family-friendly timed sculpture competition. To register for the Iron Art Competition, visit hpmonthtacoma.com.

The annual bike ride is a partnership with Tacoma/Pierce County Bike Month, and tours adaptively reused trail corridors, including the Water Flume Line and Prairie Line trails. The lineup of events also features the winners of Tacoma’s first youth historical fiction competition, “Bringing Tacoma’s History to Life,” which gives young writers a chance to creatively interpret important moments in the city’s history.

“This year, we’re celebrating the opportunities for the future that Tacoma’s historic resources can offer,” said Assistant Historic Preservation Officer Lauren Hoogkamer. “Together with our city’s cultural and heritage organizations, our slate of programs encourages the public to acknowledge the past as we reimagine Tacoma’s future.”

For more information, including a full roster of Historic Preservation Month activities, visit hpmonthtacoma.com or contact Hoogkamer at LHoogkamer@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 591-5254.


For more than a decade Bike Month has been raising awareness of local bicycling resources. This month long celebration is back in May 2018 and residents in Tacoma and Pierce County will once again enjoy a wide variety of bicycle-related activities and events.

Bike Month kicks off with the 10th annual Tacoma Bike Swap at University of Puget Sound (North Union Avenue and North 14th Street) on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event is the place to buy, sell and trade new and used bicycles, along with accessories like helmets, trailers and riding gear. Local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and bicycling experts will be on hand to answer questions about bike maintenance, where to ride, and how to connect with other riders. 

Bike Month events include:

  • Bike Month Proclamation: Tuesday, May 1, at 5 p.m., at the Tacoma Municipal Building in Council Chambers (747 Market St., first floor)
  • Bike to Market Day: Thursday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Broadway Farmers Market (Broadway Street between South 9th and South 11th streets)
  • National Bike to School Day: On Thursday, May 10, thousands of students, families, community partners, and elected officials around the country will celebrate the benefits of biking and walking to school during this all-day event.
  • Bike to a Better Tacoma: Wednesday, May 16, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., at 7 Seas Brewing (2101 Jefferson Ave.)
  • Bike to Work Day: Friday, May 18, from 7-10 a.m. at People’s Park (900 S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way)
  • Old Places, New Spaces: Adaptively Reused Trails Bike Tour: Friday, May 25, from 5:15-7 p.m., starting and ending at 7 Seas Brewing (2101 Jefferson Ave.)

Back again is the Bike Everywhere Challenge. Participants are entered to win a number of exciting prizes. This May, ride a bike for a trip to the park, library, grocery store or other destination and log these trips for a chance to win. Visit PierceTrips.com to learn more.

To learn about Bike Month programming and how to get involved, visit cityoftacoma.org/BikeMonth, or contact Active Transportation Coordinator Meredith Soniat at MSoniat@cityoftacoma.org or call (253) 591-5380.


A man from Tacoma is celebrating a $50,000 Powerball win from the drawing on Saturday, April 7. He purchased the ticket from QFC in Parkland (11104 Pacific Ave. S). 

The winner said that he had to check the numbers three or four times to believe he had actually won. Once the initial shock wore off, he shared the news with his granddaughter. 

The winner told lottery officials that has a very special set of numbers that he uses when he plays Powerball. “I use the numbers that my late wife picked. I’d like to think she was looking down on me and helped out a little on this win,” he said. 

The longtime Tacoma resident, who is now retired, spent time in the military as well as working for the post office and railroads.

The winner plans to use his winnings to help pay for his granddaughter’s college tuition.

Proceeds from Washington’s Lottery benefit the Washington Opportunity Pathways Account, providing grants to college students statewide. To learn more about Washington’s Lottery, its beneficiaries and to review all up-to-date winning numbers, please visit walottery.com. 


The City of Tacoma’s Historic Preservation Office is partnering with the University of Washington on a Livable City Year project to identify historic resources in South and East Tacoma.

For this project, graduate and undergraduate students are researching the histories of two neighborhoods: McKinley Hill in East Tacoma, and the Edison neighborhood along South Tacoma Way. Students will identify and research historic buildings, sites, and context in these two neighborhoods. As a culmination of their research, they will make recommendations about the potential for National Register Historic District or individual landmark nominations.

“This is an exciting opportunity to highlight the rich histories of South and East Tacoma,” said Assistant Historic Preservation Officer Lauren Hoogkamer.

Currently, Tacoma has seven National Register Historic Districts, all in downtown, North, or West Tacoma. National Register District status acknowledges the historic significance of a neighborhood, but does not impact design review at the local level. 

In addition to archival research, the community is invited to share neighborhood photos and history at two upcoming events:

East Tacoma Walking Tour and Community Meet and Eat Saturday, April 14, from 1-3:30 p.m.

From 1-2:30 p.m., attend a walking tour of McKinley Hill in East Tacoma, led by Pretty Gritty Tours. Meet outside of Top of Tacoma (3529 McKinley Ave. E.)

From 2:30-3:30 p.m., share information about the neighborhood with student researchers at a Meet and Eat event. Bring neighborhood photos or stories to share. Destiny Middle School (1301 E. 34th St.)

To learn more, visit the Historic East Tacoma Walking Tour event page.

South Tacoma Way Walking Tour and Community Meet and Eat Saturday, April 28, from 3-5:30 p.m.

Attend a walking tour of the Edison neighborhood along South Tacoma Way, led by Pretty Gritty Tours. Meet outside of Edison City Alehouse (5602 S. Lawrence St.).

Share information about the neighborhood with student researchers at a Meet and Eat event. Bring neighborhood photos or stories to share. Venue and other event details will be announced on the event page.

To learn more, visit the Historic South Tacoma Walking Tour event page at www.facebook.com/events/1833820953584809. Contact the Historic Preservation Office at landmarks@cityoftacoma.org, or call Hoogkamer at (253) 591-5254.


The mounting crisis in funding of public defense in Pierce County and Washington will be the subject of a panel discussion at the University of Washington- Tacoma. It takes place on Thursday, April 26, 7 p.m. at the University Y Student Center Room 303, 1710 Market St. The event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested at http://events.uw.edu/defenders.

The headlines are alarming: “The human toll of America’s public defender crisis,” “A ‘Constitutional Crisis’ in Missouri’s Public-Defender System,” “Public Defender Meltdown in Louisiana.”

The challenges of an under-funded public defense system are present here in Washington, according to Pierce County Councilmember Derek Young from Gig Harbor.

“Washington is near the bottom in funding trial court public defense,” said Young. Washington’s counties, according to Young, are struggling with mounting costs of providing public defenders. “Twenty three states fully fund trial court public defense carried out at the local level. Most states provide more than 50 percent of the cost. In Washington, however, the Legislature has appropriated just 4 percent of the cost, leaving counties with the rest of the tab, regardless of the ability to pay,” said Young.

The panel discussion, entitled “Funding Public Defenders: An Unfunded Mandate?” is organized by the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences’ Division of Politics, Philosophy & Public Affairs. Panelists will include Washington State Senator Steve O’Ban, Young, Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Staff Dawn Farina, Pierce County Legal Assistant (and UW-Tacoma graduate) Kanani Palafox, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Martin, and Mary Kay High, the chief deputy of Pierce County’s Department of Assigned Counsel.

The discussion will be introduced by Salvador A. Mungia, a partner at Tacoma law firm Gordon Thomas Honeywell, and moderated by Dr. Sarah Hampson, UW- Tacoma assistant professor of political science. In addition to spotlighting problems with Washington’s funding of the public defender system, the organizers hope the night’s conversation will generate concrete proposals for change.

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