MINIMUM WAGE WILL BE $12.35 NEXT YEAR
The minimum wage in Tacoma will increase from the current $12 an hour to $12.35 an hour in 2019. Sergio Flores, employment standards program manager for the city, discussed the topic during the Oct. 16 meeting of Tacoma City Council’s Government Performance and Finance Committee. The city uses the consumer price index to determine how the annual increase of the wage, as part of a ballot measure passed by Tacoma voters in 2015.
That law included a provision that the city study the impact of the rising wage on businesses and workers. However, in 2016 Washington voters approved an initiative raising the state minimum wage. Flores noted that the difference between the city and state wage was 88 cents an hour in 2016. It was 15 cents in 2017, 50 cents this year and will be 35 cents in 2019. By 2020 the state wage will be higher than Tacoma’s.
Staff recommended that the city not conduct the study and that language requiring it be removed. Flores said similar studies on minimum wage hikes in Seattle and San Francisco were expensive to conduct. The city currently does not have money allocated in the budget for such a study.
Councilmember Justin Camarata agreed with Flores, but he pondered if there is another option, such as studying how the rising wage impacts housing affordability. Councilmember Ryan Mello agreed,
Councilmember Anders Ibsen suggested a study look at issues relevant to the minimum wage, such as homelessness or the amount of affordable housing. The city may be able to partner with an educational institution on such a study, he noted.
CRUCIAL LAND USE VOTE COMING TO CITY COUNCIL
The City of Destiny is at a crossroads with fossil fuel projects. In 2017, the Tacoma City Council placed a one-year moratorium on new fossil fuel developments on the city’s industrial port area known as the Tideflats. That measure expires in November.
Hitting this pause button was supposed to give the city time to write more comprehensive land- use laws and lead Tacoma toward cleaner, less divisive development.
The city council has the chance to extend and expand protections of the Tideflats – and not a moment too soon. The Tideflats are still the target of several dirty energy projects grafted onto existing industrial facilities, which were exempted from the moratorium.
After several protests and lawsuits, many are aware of the highly controversial proposal for a fracked gas liquefaction center. But there are two newer and less well-understood schemes to bring more petroleum to Tacoma. Read more about these projects and the moratorium on development at http://www.sightline.org/2018/10/10/land-use-tideflats-tacoma-city-council-facing-critical-crossroad.
Targa Sound Terminal, a petroleum handling facility, applied for permits to receive trains loaded with “natural gasoline,” a volatile and unstable by-product of fracked gas. That site was recently purchased by ArcLight, a Boston-based company that says it’s looking to expand operations.
The U.S. Oil refinery also submitted a permit application to boost its capacity for handling ethanol by almost 10,000 barrels per day. The expansion plan would increase the odds of a deadly ethanol derailment in Tacoma.
There will be a public hearing on whether to renew the fossil fuel moratorium at 5 p.m., Oct. 23, at the Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., and amendments will be considered on Oct. 30. The City Council is scheduled to take a final vote to possibly extend and expand the moratorium on Nov. 6.
STUDENT GOVERNMENT DAY APPLICATIONS DUE NOV. 6
Students enrolled in Tacoma Public Schools, who are in the 9th through 12th grades, are encouraged to apply to participate in Student Government Day. The application deadline is Nov. 6 for Student Government Day on Dec. 4.
Participants will meet with the City of Tacoma’s Mayor, Council Members, executives and staff to gain firsthand knowledge of how the City serves the community. They will discuss important issues and learn about emerging issues. They will also play the role of the Mayor, City Council Members and City staff members in a mock City Council meeting.
LINDQUIST THROWS HALLOWEEN BASH WITH THE BEATNIKS
The Beatniks are a local legend. They have played their brand of 60s to 90s rock and roll for Microsoft, the Seahawks, actor Bruce Willis, and our Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
Lindquist is bringing The Beatniks to the Swiss Pub in Tacoma on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. This is a Halloween celebration and costumes are encouraged.
At past Lindquist fundraisers, Peter Buck of R.E.M., actress and singer Molly Ringwald, Scott McCaughey of Young Fresh Fellows, and Lindquist himself have joined The Beatniks on stage for crowd-pleasing classics such as “Wild Thing,” “Gloria,” and “Louie, Louie.”
Lindquist was appointed as our Pierce County Prosecutor in 2009, was elected in 2010, and re-elected in 2014. He is running again this year.
‘When I first ran in 2010, I promised to make our community safer,” Lindquist said. “I’ve kept that promise.”
Lindquist’s campaign has cited his innovative initiatives to make the community safer, including successful efforts to protect elders, reduce gang violence, and get career criminals off the streets with data-driven prosecution.
He has also championed therapeutic courts for people with substance abuse or mental health issues, along with other reforms to the criminal justice system.
Additionally, last year Lindquist filed a lawsuit against Big Pharma to hold them accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic and recover money for Pierce County.
Crime is down in Tacoma and Pierce County, while it is up in Seattle and in Washington State.
“Mark stands tall as our Prosecutor,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “He’s inclusive and brings everyone to the table to solve community safety issues.”
Lindquist is endorsed by Democrats and Republicans, including Governor Jay Inslee (D), former Governor Dan Evans (R), former Congressman Norm Dicks (D), Secretary of State Kim Wyman (R), and local Congressman Derek Kilmer (D).
He is also endorsed by unions and businesses, firefighters, law enforcement, teachers, several members of the Tacoma City Council, including Deputy Mayor Anders Ibsen, and more than 500 other organizations and community leaders.
You can see his full list of endorsements at www.marklindquist.org.
When Lindquist throws a party with The Beatniks, it always draws a diverse, interesting, and large crowd. The event is kid-friendly.
[People for Prosecutor Mark Lindquist press release.]
SEARCH ALL COUNTY JOB LISTINGS IN ONE PLACE
Are you looking for work? More to the point: Are you looking for work in Pierce County? Look no further than Live. Work. Pierce., an innovative new tool that allows WorkForce Central’s website to be the premier destination for job postings in our area.
“Almost half of Pierce County residents commute elsewhere for work each day, but there are so many career opportunities right here,” said Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier, who is a member of the WorkForce Central Executive Board. “Live. Work. Pierce. is a one-of-a-kind tool that allows people to search for their future job in one place, and we are excited for our residents to start taking advantage of this resource.”
By its very name, Live. Work. Pierce. is an acknowledgement of everything Pierce County has to offer.
Tired of that expensive, soul sucking commute to Seattle every weekday? Wish you worked closer to home? Found on the WorkForce Central home page, Live. Work. Pierce. showcases every job opening in every industry that’s available in Pierce County, updated daily.
“We say it all the time: There are thousands of available jobs in our county at any given time,” said Linda Nguyen, CEO of WorkForce Central. “We feel strongly that Live. Work. Pierce. is the kind of comprehensive, efficient resource jobseekers and workers in Pierce County need to find those jobs, and work closer to home instead of commuting elsewhere.”
By scraping daily results from every major online jobs board, then narrowing by geographical area, Live. Work. Pierce. becomes the first board of its kind to display jobs specific to Pierce County — and all of Pierce County.
The tool is refreshed every day. With roughly 10,000 job openings here in Pierce County, part of WorkForce Central’s goal with its new one-stop shop for job postings is to help local employers find local talent to fill their needs and to stop the brain drain from our county to points north and south.
In turn, those Pierce County workers can find a job that’s close enough to home to make it back in time for Little League in the evenings.
In the big picture, that means a richer hiring pool for Pierce County businesses, fewer hours spent commuting for our residents, and a better quality of life for the South Sound as a whole.
To view the jobs board, visit workforce-central.org/job-seekers/find-a-job/.
WorkForce Central strengthens the Pierce County economy by identifying skill gaps between jobseekers and employment opportunities, fostering data-driven decision making, and connecting workforce development partners into a cohesive, collaborative and effective network.
GET HOUSEHOLD ITEMS FIXED FOR FREE
The next Tacoma Fix-It Fair is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27. Part of an international repair movement, these three-hour events occur monthly at community centers, library and other public places around the city. Community members can bring in broken toys, tools, furniture, small appliances, jewelry and torn clothing for free repairs by volunteer fixers.
Zero Waste Washington and the Tacoma Tool Library are partnering to conduct these new Fix-It Fairs. Additional community agencies and organizations will help host each event. The September fair will be located at the Tacoma Housing Authority’s Salishan Family Investment Center.
Fix-It Fairs are held at different locations around Tacoma, with the intention of making them accessible to all. During the repair session, community members stay with the fixer and watch or assist with the repair of their item. The events are designed to help residents reduce waste and save money in a fun, community-oriented and family friendly environment.
Tacoma Fix-It Fair runs from 1-4 p.m. at Centro Latino, 1208 S. 10th St., Tacoma, WA 98405 then again on Saturday, Nov. 17 at
Tacoma Housing Authority’s Bay Terrace community room then Dec. 8 at Tacoma Public Library Main Branch.
For more information: www.tacomatoollibrary.com/fixit-fairs-english.
KEITH HALL JOINS GOODWILL TEAM
Keith Hall, previously Chief Human Resource Officer and Chief Organizational Development Officer with the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association, joins Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region as its new vice president of Human Resources, Safety, Security and Loss Prevention.
He assumes responsibility for human resource systems and processes, and the professional development of 1,500 employees serving in Goodwill’s $83 million social enterprise, which operates across 15 counties in Washington State with a mission to help people gain new skills, find jobs, and embark on life-changing careers. Hall reports to Lori Forte Harnick, President and CEO for Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region.
“Keith joins our Goodwill with many years of experience in human resources at nonprofit organizations, including World Vision, Casey Family Programs and the Muckleshoot Tribal Organization,” said Lori Forte Harnick, president and CEO of Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region. “In those roles, Keith demonstrated a proven ability to strengthen human resources systems and processes, create leadership and professional development programs for employees, and drive greater organization-wide diversity, equity and inclusion and we are thrilled that Keith will now contribute his expertise to our Goodwill.”
Prior to his service with the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association, Hall served as senior vice president and chief human resources officer of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, leading a senior team strategic planning resulting in $2 million in cost savings. Other experience includes serving as a corporate attorney, directing operations for a $3 billion global organization, leading a $30 million major donor fundraising team, and designing organizational strategy amidst significant change and growth. Keith Hall was awarded a Juris Doctorate from Seattle University School of Law, an MA in leadership from Grand Canyon University, and a BA in sociology from the University of Washington.
DEAF POP ARTIST ANN SILVER TO PRESENT AT BATES
Bates Technical College will feature internationally known deaf artist Ann Silver at the annual Disability Awareness Day on Thursday, Oct. 24, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The free and open-to-the-public event will be held at the college’s Downtown Campus Auditorium, 1101 S. Yakima Ave., in Tacoma.
Born genetically deaf into a hearing family in Seattle, Silver grew up during a time when professional support services did not exist in public schools. She has said that her childhood education was 90 percent guesswork and 10 percent art. Silver has pushed for recognition and inclusion of deaf art as both a valid path for academic study and an art genre. The self-taught artist has also worked on policy analysis and identifying barriers for various agencies, including the Washington State Human Rights Commission. Silver will speak about how she fought against discrimination to reclaim identity, language, culture and traditions.
“We are pleased to welcome artist Ann Silver to our annual Disability Awareness Day,” said Juliette Kern, manager of student activities. “This popular event is designed to help participants expand their understanding of the issues surrounding disabilities and raise awareness of the celebrations and challenges individuals with disabilities experience.”
Silver holds a bachelor’s degree in commercial art and a master’s degree in deafness rehabilitation. Along with Betty G. Miller and Harry R. Williams, she was one of the founding members of the Washington DC-based Deaf Art Movement (DAM) of the 1960s and 1970s.
About 56.7 million people – 19 percent of the U.S. population – had some level of disability in 2010, with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe, according to a 2012 U.S. Census Bureau report. Locally, Bates’ Disability Support Services office serves nearly 200 students annually.
The college’s Associated Student Government will offer a free lunch for students with a valid Bates student I.D.
Visit www.BatesTech.edu for more information, or call (253) 680-7178 to learn more about this free community event.
PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED JBLM AIRPORT OVERLAY
On Wednesday, Nov. 7, the City of Tacoma’s Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Airport Compatibility Overlay Zoning District. The public hearing will be held at the STAR Center (3873 S. 66th St.) beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Community members can learn more by attending an informational meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 5:30-7 p.m., also at the STAR Center.
An approximately 200-acre area in South Tacoma is located within JBLM’s Accident Potential Zone II. Within this area, the U.S. Air Force and the JBLM Joint Land Use Study recommend changes to zoning and development standards that would limit significant increases in the number of people living, working or gathering in the area.
The Planning Commission is inviting public comments on the proposed permanent regulations that, subject to further changes, would be forwarded to the City Council for adoption before the end of the year.
In addition to comments received at the public hearing, written comments are being accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9. Comments may be submitted to: Planning Commission, 747 Market St., Room 345, Tacoma, WA 98402, via fax at (253) 591-5433, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
APPLICANTS SOUGHT FOR LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSIONTacoma City Council is looking for applicants to fill the following positions on the Landmarks Preservation Commission:
- Architect(Two Positions): Open to individuals who are currently or have been in the past professionally certified architects.
- At-Large(Two Positions): Open to individuals with a demonstrated interest in historic preservation who is a resident of Tacoma.
- Non-voting Wedge Neighborhood Ex Officio(One Position): Open to a property or business owner within Tacoma’s Wedge Neighborhood Historic District.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission consists of 10 volunteer members who are appointed by the Infrastructure, Planning, and Sustainability Committee and confirmed by the City Council to serve three-year terms. Membership is composed of three architects, four individuals with professional expertise in preservation-related fields, and three interested residents.
Non-voting ex officio members may be appointed to four-year terms to represent property and business owners within Tacoma’s historic districts. The Commission oversees the establishment and regulation of landmarks, local historic districts, proposed name changes for public facilities and certain property tax incentives.
For more information on the Landmarks Preservation Commission, visit www.cityoftacoma.org/government/committees_boards_commissions/landmarks_preservation_commission or contact Reuben McKnight at (253) 591-5220.
Applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office by Monday, Oct. 29. To apply, please visit cityoftacoma.org/cbcapplication or contact the City Clerk’s Office at (253) 591-5178, email@example.com; or stop by the City Clerk’s Office, located at 733 Market St., Room 11, Tacoma, WA 98402, in Tacoma Municipal Building North.
SOUND TRANSIT SEEKS VOLUNTEERS TO SERVE ON OVERSIGHT PANEL
Sound Transit is seeking volunteers from Pierce County and south King County to help the agency succeed in meeting its commitments to the public. The Citizen Oversight Panel (COP) currently has two openings, one for Pierce County and one for south King County. Sound Transit relies on the oversight and expertise of this dedicated and independent group of volunteers and encourages citizens to apply.
The COP was created in 1997 to independently monitor Sound Transit and make sure it meets its commitments to build and operate a regional bus, light rail and commuter rail transit system. Its 15 members represent a variety of interests, professional expertise and experience. The panel meets twice monthly during normal business hours and acts as an independent oversight entity by digging into agency details, asking hard questions, and reporting its findings to the Sound Transit Board of Directors.
To apply, submit a completed application and a resume to Dave Somers, Sound Transit Board Chair, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104-2826. To qualify an applicant must:
- Be a registered voter within the Sound Transit District and reside and/or work in Pierce County or south King County.
- Have experience/skills in one or more areas related to the panel’s responsibilities: business management; engineering; financial management; public facilities and services; large projects construction management; government processes; and public policy development or review.
- Be able to attend meetings twice each month during normal business hours.
Copies of all applications and resumes will be provided to the Sound Transit Board for its review. The Board’s Executive Committee will review and recommend candidates. The Sound Transit Board of Directors will confirm the appointments.
LAKEWOOD SOUND FOOD UPRISING PROMOTES FOOD-BASED HEALTH
The Beecher’s Foundation has officially launched the Lakewood Sound Food Uprising, a unique education initiative with the goal of promoting positive changes in food-based health to students and community members in the city of Lakewood. Between October and February, The Beecher’s Foundation will provide programming at no cost to all 4th and 5th graders at Lakeview Hope Academy and Tyee Park Elementary; to all 9th graders and DECA students at Clover Park High School; and to their parents, teachers and school staff.
“We are thrilled to play a part in making a difference for local students and families,” said Sara Morris, president of The Beecher’s Foundation. “Today, students at Lakewood-area schools will chop cilantro for a vegetable chili, read food labels, and decode marketing messages as a first step in reclaiming their food future.”
The program curriculum aims to reveal the truths of the food system; to demonstrate how food is a central ingredient of social justice; and to provide practical hands-on cooking. The three Beecher’s Foundation workshops are commercial free, age-appropriate, and will include the following:
Lakewood Elementary School Program: Tyee Elementary and Lakeview Hope Academy 4th and 5th graders will learn how to be “food detectives” by learning how to read labels and decipher ingredient lists. They’ll garner knowledge about how to see through marketing messages, and will also learn how to cook from scratch in this two-and-a-half hour workshop.
Lakewood High School Program: Clover Park High School 9th graders and DECA students will explore the state of today’s food system from an equity and social justice perspective, and will examine the influence teens have to make positive change. The workshop, comprised of two 90-minute sessions, will also include cooking and hands-on group work.
Lakewood Adult Program: Parents, teachers, and interested community members will explore power and influence in the food system; learn the history of the industrialized food state; and uncover practical ways to improve eating habits and communities’ collective well-being. The four-hour workshops are held at Boys & Girls Club of Lakewood on Tuesday evenings and Saturdays between October 2018 and February 2019. A full meal is included and all diets can be accommodated. Adult participants receive a $10 Grocery Outlet gift card and access to a deeply discounted quality kitchen kit. Participants can refer friends to earn additional $25 Grocery Outlet gift cards. Childcare is provided at no cost (ages six and up). Interested community members are invited to participate as space allows and can sign up online at beechersfoundation.org/Lakewood; in person at the Boys & Girls Club; or at the front desk of Tyee Park Elementary, Lakeview Hope Academy and Clover Park High School.
TAHOMA AUDUBON SOCIETY ENDORSES I-1631
“We need to act now in this election to protect birds and people from the growing threat of climate change,” said Matt Megga, director of Tahoma Audubon Society (TAS). “TAS has endorsed Initiative 1631 and is participating in an Audubon Day of Climate Action on Saturday, Oct. 20 in support of I-1631.” More information about the Day of Action is at https://act.audubon.org/onlineactions/JGKjknsVTUKMSr4BoP2Nvw2.
“By putting a fee on the state’s largest polluters, like the oil industry and utilities that have not switched over to clean energy, I-1631 will accelerate the change in our energy sources from fossil fuels to renewals,” said Kirk Kirkland, Conservation Chair of TAS. “By passing this initiative and investing in protecting our air and water and building new clean-energy infrastructure across the state we can protect our health, build new good paying jobs, and ensure a cleaner future for the next generation.”
National Audubon Society’s research shows that climate change is the number one threat to birds, including 189 species at risk here in Washington. The science is clear – we need to get to a 100 percent clean energy economy by mid-century.
As designed, I-1631 will reduce Washington’s carbon pollution by investing in projects to increase the resilience of our waters and forests to the impacts of climate change. This includes restoring and protecting estuaries, fisheries and marine shoreline habitats vital for birds to survive.
The funds raised by the initiative will also be invested in programs to reduce forest fires, and reduce insect infestation, flooding and drought. This is critical support that will protect important bird habitats now and protect rural communities from fires and urban areas from flooding.
People now understand that climate change has arrived. The question is, are we willing to take urgent action to slow the annual increase in temperature?
KILMER, HECK AIM TO STOP WATER POLLUTANTS
Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Denny Heck (D-WA), co-chairs of the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus, have announced the introduction of H.R. 7041 the Preventing Pollution through Partnership (P3) Act, legislation that would help communities and businesses do their part to slow, filter and catch stormwater, the leading cause of pollution in Puget Sound.
“Washington’s economy and identity are directly tied to the fate of the orca and the health of our salmon and shellfish,” Kilmer said. “Congress should make it easier for state and local governments to invest in private sector ideas that will catch and clean stormwater. This bill creates new financing options for businesses that will lead to more partnerships that protect Puget Sound.”
“As the rains return to Western Washington, we see every day how much polluted stormwater runoff flows through our streets and into Puget Sound,” Heck said. “Stormwater is the biggest source of pollution in the Sound, and combating it requires all of us to step up and do our part. That’s why we need to make it easier for communities to invest in green infrastructure, for the benefit of all Washingtonians who call Puget Sound home.”
According to the Puget Sound Partnership, stormwater runoff is the largest source of pollution in the Sound. Last week, a new study from WSU identified tiny bits of car tires that have washed into streams throughout the region as a prime suspect in the deaths of coho salmon as they swim upstream to spawn.
Stormwater runoff is even more hazardous during periods of heavy rain. In a downpour, stormwater flows so quickly and at such a high volume that it overwhelms sewage systems. That means, in addition to carrying pollutants from roadways, stormwater can also carry human waste into the Sound.
For example, The Seattle Times reported in February that heavy rains and high tides overwhelmed King County’s wastewater treatment plant in Seattle and led to 150 million to 200 million gallons of wastewater to flow into the Sound.
One way to reduce these hazardous events is by investing in more green infrastructure projects like permeable pavement, green roofs and rain gardens that mimic nature and slow down the flow of stormwater before it reaches the Sound.
Kilmer’s and Heck’s legislation would create a new category of tax-exempt Private Activity Bonds (PABs), which state and local governments can use to finance projects completed by private entities that serve a public benefit.
Currently developers can use PABs to finance new hospitals, airports or affordable housing units at rates lower than typically offered by banks or through other forms of financing. The P3 Act would allow governments to use PABs to finance private-sector development projects that build green infrastructure.
Green infrastructure often mimics nature and slows the flow of stormwater. For example, under this bill, municipal governments could finance a project built with private sector money to retrofit an old strip mall parking lot with permeable pavement that absorbs water rather than letting it flow into the sewer system and ultimately Puget Sound.
The bill’s introduction comes after a series of fatalities within the Puget Sound’s population of Southern Resident orcas. According to The Seattle Times, scientists widely attribute the population’s struggles to a shortage of chinook salmon. The New York Times also cites pollution from wastewater as a reason orcas carry some of the highest levels of pollution of any marine animal.