Bulletin Board



The public is invited to a brainstorming session on Wednesday, Nov. 7 to discuss the Titlow shoreline, its forested areas and the bridge to the former Tacoma Outboard Association site. Your input will help make parts of 75-acre Titlow Park more publicly accessible while restoring and conserving its natural landscape.

In 2014, Metro Parks voters approved a $198 million bond issue, including money earmarked for Titlow Park. Specifics included improved trail access to Hidden Beach and natural area restoration. The district also is considering how to manage a now-vacant waterfront site at Titlow Park’s north end to best benefit the public. Tacoma Outboard Association, which had leased a boat ramp, dock and clubhouse at the site, departed in 2016.

The meeting is part of an effort to refine the 2010 Titlow Park master plan to reflect recent changes. Substantial public involvement contributed to the development of the original plan. This revision is focused exclusively on the shoreline and the forested areas north of the park’s lagoon.

Andrea Smith, president of the five-member Metro Parks Board of Commissioners, said she treasures Titlow Park and hopes others who value it will contribute ideas. “As a child I spent time at what was called Hidden Beach day camp, learning about sea life at low tide and how trees contribute to our well-being and environmental sustainability,” Smith said. “I’m excited to hear how residents want to use this park in the future.”

The November meeting will be the second in a series of public gatherings to ensure park visitors and other residents have opportunities to share and comment on proposals. Discussion at the upcoming session will focus on the shoreline, the bridge to the former Tacoma Outboard Association site, and the park’s north and central forested zones.

In all, 46 acres of Titlow Park are undeveloped forest, dominated by alder, big leaf maple and Douglas fir trees. The park is designated as bald eagle and pileated woodpecker habitat and includes several streams and wetland areas.

The meeting will be held at Titlow Lodge, 8425 6th Ave., Tacoma starting at 6 p.m.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, but have questions or would like to comment, please reach out to Project Administrator Tom Dargan at (253) 305-1017 or tomd@tacomaparks.com.

Find out more about proposed Titlow Park improvements at TitlowParkVision.org.



Recognizing and encouraging excellence in community service activities, the City Events and Recognition Committee (CERC) is now accepting nominations for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award. This year, there are two categories for this award: Lifetime Service (individual or group) and Emerging Leader (individual).

“We are looking for people who embrace and share the legacy of Dr. King’s teachings and actions,” said CERC member Brendan Nelson. “I’m excited to see the Emerging Leader category added this year, because I know so many young people who are making a difference out there and should be recognized and encouraged to lead on.”
Nominations for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 16 to be considered by the committee. Nominations can be filled out online, and submitted by email at MLK@cityoftacoma.org, fax at (253) 591-5232, or mail at City of Tacoma, Attention: City Events and Recognitions Committee, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma WA 98421.
Questions or requests for hard copy nomination forms can be directed to MLK@cityoftacoma.org, 311 within Tacoma city limits or (253) 591-5000 from anywhere else, or the TacomaFIRST 311 Customer Support Center in the Tacoma Municipal Building (747 Market St., 2nd Floor) during regular business hours.
The award winner will be selected by the committee and recognized at the City of Tacoma’s 31st Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration on Jan. 21, 2019.

More information about the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration is available at cityoftacoma.org/MLK. ​



City of Destiny Award nominations, recognizing Tacoma’s most exceptional volunteers in one of 10 categories, are due Feb. 1, 2019.

“We are so honored and humbled to be able to get to know all of these wonderful volunteers and professionals in Tacoma each year,” said City Events and Recognitions Committee (CERC) Vice Chair Ashley Jones. “We carefully evaluate all nominations received, and ultimately select the individuals and groups who receive the awards. Awards are presented by members of the City Council and other City leaders during the City of Destiny Awards event, which we also spend months planning and producing.”

The annual City of Destiny Awards event is now 34 years in the making. More than 250 individuals and groups have walked across the stage as an award recipient, and with program enhancements made by the CERC, more are now eligible to be nominated.

More information about the 34th Annual City of Destiny Awards is available at cityoftacoma.org/cityofdestiny, by emailing cityofdestiny@cityoftacoma.org, or by calling (253) 573-2523.



Tacoma Community House Executive Director Liz Dunbar is announcing her upcoming retirement effective Dec. 31 in order to spend time with family and enjoy a second retirement.

“I feel it is the right time for me to move on,” Dunbar says. “TCH is a wonderful organization that is in a very good place – a new building coming, valuable programs and services, a solid financial foundation, and most of all, talented and caring staff! It is time for a new leader to come in and take TCH to even greater heights, with their own vision, talents, and energy.”

Colette Smith, TCH board president, thanks and praises Dunbar for her service as executive director, a position she took on in April 2009. “Liz’s leadership, contribution, and service to social justice have helped make TCH a stronger and more vibrant organization – one that is better equipped to meet today’s unique and ever-changing demands. It has been a privilege to work with Liz. The Board and staff will miss her guidance.”

During Dunbar’s 9.5-year tenure, TCH has:

  • expanded its budget from $4.7 to $5.2 million;
  • partnered to serve as the fiscal agent for The REACH Center;
  • adopted Read2Me, a youth literacy program for more than 300 1st-3rd-grade readers in four Title I Tacoma Public elementary schools;
  • added a client advocacy department, which annually serves 250 victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and other crimes; and
  • developed several career pathway programs, including a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program and Childhood Early Education Resource (CHEER) program.

Each year, TCH serves approximately 3,500 clients through its four core programs of employment, education, immigration, and advocacy. During the last three and a half years – with an eye on expanding services to meet increasing demand – Dunbar has championed and led the Embracing the American Promise: Uniting Communities Campaign, a $13.6 million initiative to construct a new two-story, 27,000 square foot facility on TCH’s existing land. The building had its groundbreaking on Friday, Oct. 12 and is slated to open Fall 2019.

TCH’s Executive Committee, chaired by Smith, has formed a steering committee to oversee the process of finding a new executive director and interim director as needed. The committee will engage an executive search firm to assist, and expects the process of identifying qualified candidates to be well underway before the end of the year. The committee anticipates having a new permanent executive director in place within the next six months.

Prior to leading TCH, Dunbar retired in 2006 from the Department of Social and Health Services after 25 years of service. At DSHS, she served in a number of capacities, including state refugee coordinator, diversity director, assistant secretary for economic services, and lastly, as the deputy secretary of the department for six years.

Dunbar is active in community affairs as well, serving on the board of trustees for Tacoma Community College, and on the boards of the LASCO Foundation, Pioneer Human Services, and the Japanese American Citizens League. Dunbar is the daughter of a Japanese immigrant and a U.S. Air Force officer. She lives in Tacoma with her husband, Mike, a financial planner. They have two grown children and a new grandson.



Palestinian political cartoonist Mohammad Sabaaneh will hold a public speaking engagement in Tacoma on Saturday, Nov. 10, 4 p.m. at King’s Books, 218 St. Helens Ave. The event is sponsored by the Tacoma chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. Sabaaneh is a Palestinian cartoonist and graphic artist who lives in Ramallah, Palestine, where he is the lead political cartoonist for the daily paper Al-Hayat al-Jadida. In 2013, he was detained by the Israelis for five months, spending much of it in solitary confinement, a situation that inspired the creation of his first book of cartoons, “White And Black: Political Cartoons from Palestine,” published by Just World Books in 2017. The book won rave reviews from leading political cartoonists around the world including KAL of The Economist, Matt Wuerker of Politico, and Joe Sacco.

Mohammad is the Middle East representative of the Cartoonists Rights Network International. He has had solo and group exhibitions of his work in numerous countries around the world and has conducted cartooning workshops in many parts of Palestine. Last fall, he won the Medaille d’Or at the Marseille Cartooning Festival. Shortly after that, he was hailed by the UN’s Committee on Palestinian Rights as one of Palestine’s two best-ever cartoonists, along with the late Naji al-Ali, and was featured in the exhibition and gala they staged at UN headquarters in New York. This year, he has already made great appearances in Edinburgh and London. In late September, his “History of Palestine” frieze was lauded as breakthrough art in the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights’ first-ever artists’ competition.

To keep up with the amazing flow of Sabaaneh’s creativity, “@Sabaaneh” on Twitter or Instagram. For more information on his Tacoma appearance, visit

www.facebook.com/events/173994876842123 or

write to Tacoma@JewishVoiceForPeace.org.



The WorkForce Central Monthly Employment Report for Pierce County (August 2018 to September 2018) shows the lowest unemployment rate – 4.4 percent – since December 1999 (the rate back then was 4.3 percent). That means the unemployment rate dropped 0.4 percentage points from August to September, from 4.8 percent to 4.4 percent.

September’s rate also represents a nearly 20-year low in unemployment. Think back to December 1999: Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist, Prince was on the radio, and anxieties about Y2K hung in the air.

·      In September, three industries experienced month-over employment gains, with Government experiencing the largest month-over job growth (1,700 jobs added). This is typical for September, when government agencies start staffing up in anticipation of budget allocations arriving on Oct. 1.

·      Five industries experienced month-over job losses, led by Education & Health Services (down 500 jobs). Two industries (Professional & Business Services and Other Services) lost 200 jobs, while Construction and Information each lost 100.

·      Manufacturing, Financial Activities and Mining & Logging experienced no month-over changes.

·      From September 2017 to September 2018, 10 industries experienced job growth. Professional & Business Services experienced the greatest year-over gains, adding 4,200 jobs to the region, followed by Leisure & Hospitality (up 1,500 jobs).

·      Overall, nonfarm employers in Pierce County have added 9,200 net jobs to the economy in the past year, from September 2017 to September 2018.

View the full report at http://workforce-central.org/research-data/laborreport.



On Thursday, Nov. 29, Pierce County Superior Court, 930 Tacoma Ave. S., will hold a reveal party for the latest installment of the Court History Project.

Phase 2 involves the installation of a five-panel mural that showcases each of the four courthouses Superior Court has called home. Each of the four courthouse panels highlight interesting cases and events which have happened during the life of the building. There is a fifth panel that discusses the separation of powers in county government.

Ultimately the panels will be installed on the second floor entrance to the County-City Building (Superior Court Courthouse), but for one night only, they will be displayed in courtroom 100 so you can get up close and take in all of the detail. Also, in courtroom 100 is the Phase 1 installation of the Court History Project, photos of judges dating back to territorial times. Watch a video about the project at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riAjp3TDunA&feature=youtu.be

No RSVP is necessary, but you must be in the building by 5 p.m., as security will close the doors at that time.



Most long-term care is provided in-home by loved ones such as spouses, adult children, relatives and friends. These informal caregivers are crucial for the safety and well-being of their beloved. Despite the demanding and difficult tasks, very few caregivers have more than on-the-job training.

November is National Family Caregiver Month and to celebrate Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources is collaborating with the Pierce County Library System to offer a space for open and honest dialogue among caregivers. “Conversations on Family Caregiving” is an opportunity for caregivers to share experiences, ask questions, learn from others and connect with community resources.

Seven conversations will be held in November:

·      Nov. 3: 1 p.m., Key Center Branch Library, 8905 Key Peninsula Hwy. N.W. in Lakebay

·      Nov. 5: 11 a.m., Eatonville Branch Library, 205 Center St. W. in Eatonville

·      Nov. 5: 6:30 p.m., Lakewood Branch Library, 6300 Wildaire Rd. S.W. in Lakewood

·      Nov. 6: 3 p.m., University Place Branch Library, 3609 Market Place W. in University Place

·      Nov. 7: 6:30 p.m., South Hill Branch Library, 15420 Meridian E. in South Hill

·      Nov. 13: 4 p.m., Summit Branch Library, 5107 112th St. E. in Tacoma

·      Nov. 15: 3 p.m., Sumner Branch Library, 1116 Fryar Ave. in Sumner

The content of each conversation will largely be guided by the needs and wants of participants. Usual topics discussed include caregiver self-care, setting boundaries, caregiving role reversals, support networks, financial planning, legal documentation, elder abuse and community resources.

“Each caregiver is in a unique situation,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “The health, needs, resources and abilities of loved ones are all distinctive. Caregivers rarely have the opportunity to discuss what’s going on for them. This series provides an opportunity for caregivers to share successes and frustrations and learn from the experiences of our Aging and Disability Resources staff and one another.”

Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources offers this series as part of our Family Caregiver Support Program. The program helps unpaid family caregivers of all incomes with a variety of supports including education, counseling, adaptive equipment, housework and errands services and respite care to continue providing quality care in the home.

“Conversations on Family Caregiving” is an information only event. Each session is free and open to the public. Anyone of any age can attend. No RSVP is required. For more information about the presentations or the Family Caregiver Support Program, call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600 or 1 (800) 562-0332.



Following an agreement signed in May, the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) has received notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that Fircrest School will retain its certification and associated federal funding.

Fircrest School in Shoreline is one of four state-operated residential habilitation centers for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. At the end of 2017, CMS decertified the facility’s Program Area Team (PAT) A for not being in compliance with one condition of participation for Intermediate Care Facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Last month, officials re-surveyed the PAT and evaluated the facility against hundreds of federal requirements. Being back in compliance with the Medicaid conditions secures approximately $19 million per year in continued federal funding for the 110 residents living at the PAT.

“Fircrest’s achievement is the culmination of efforts that included a close look at virtually every component of residential habilitation,” said Evelyn Perez, assistant secretary for the department’s Developmental Disabilities Administration.

“Staff all across the administration and from a variety of professional disciplines came together to develop and implement strategies that I believe will improve care for those we serve,” she said. “I have no doubt that insights from Fircrest will drive further improvements across all the state’s residential habilitation centers.”

Opened in 1959, Fircrest School is operated by DSHS’s Developmental Disabilities Administration. The facility spans 88 acres and houses approximately 200 residents in two PATs. The annual operating budget is $61 million.



Oct. 29 was World Stroke Day, and the Washington State Department of Health is taking the opportunity to urge people to know the symptoms and act fast if they suspect a stroke. Stroke is the sixth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in Washington State.

“Getting the right treatment in time can mean the difference between life and death,” said Kim Kelley, manager for the Department of Health’s Washington Coverdell Stroke Program. “One of the biggest challenges in stroke treatment is the first step: making sure people recognize symptoms and know to call 911 immediately. Two million brain cells can die every minute during a stroke and the sooner you act, the better your chances of recovery.”

To recognize stroke, remember to act F.A.S.T.:

  • Face:Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face droop?
  • Arms:Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech:Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or difficult to understand?
  • Time to call 911:If you observe one or more these signs, call 911 immediately.

Once a person calls 911, Washington state’s Emergency Cardiac and Stroke System kicks in to help get patients to the right hospital faster.

Through the system, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel know what cardiac and stroke capabilities are available at nearby hospitals. They can take patients directly to the hospital best suited to care for them. EMS also calls ahead so the appropriate medical team is ready to assess and treat patients as soon as they arrive.

Stroke is treatable, and acting fast can save lives. Learn more about stroke on the Department of Health website at http://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Stroke.

The Department of Health website is your source for a healthy dose of informationFind us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for the DOH blog, Public Health Connection at https://medium.com/wadepthealth.



The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, in partnership with Tacoma Rotary Club #8, recognizes an outstanding military citizen for civic contributions to resident military personnel with the John H. Anderson award. Anderson, a military veteran and former Tacoma mayor, was an accomplished civic leader, successful local business owner, and past chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber board of directors.

This year’s Military Affairs Committee announces Specialist Zion Comesario as the 40th John H. Anderson Military Citizen of the Year Award recipient.

Specialist Comesario volunteers as the Battalion BOSS Representative for 51st Expeditionary Signal Battalion. Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers – otherwise known as BOSS – is a program that enhances participants’ quality of life, contributes to their community through a variety of community service activities, and assists in the planning and execution of their own recreation and leisure events.

A part of his Hawaiian roots, SPC Comesario emphasizes the importance of ohana (family) and his work, giving the opportunity to learn, grow, and adapt so that he can pass those traits on to the next generation.

Join the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and members of Tacoma Rotary #8, at the award reception Thursday, Nov. 1, noon to 1 p.m. at the Tacoma Yacht Club. Rotary members that served in the Armed Forces will also be honored during this monthly luncheon. For more information and registration, visit http://business.tacomachamber.org/events/details/john-h-anderson-military-citizen-of-the-year-award-11-1-18-12988

or visit the Chamber’s calendar at http://business.tacomachamber.org/events/calendar/2018-11-01



Pierce County residents can help reduce roadway flooding by keeping storm drains free of leaves.

“Leaves can clog storm drains, resulting in roadway flooding when it rains,” said Dennis Hanberg, Pierce County Planning and Public Works director. “Residents are encouraged to pick up yard waste and regularly check storm drains near their properties to make sure they aren’t blocked by leaves.”

Pierce County residents can take the following actions to keep storm drains clear:

  • Put leaves and other yard debris in yard waste bins for pick up. Find transfer stations where you can drop off yard waste atpiercecountywa.gov/yardwaste.
  • If it can be done safely, remove leaves from storm drains with a rake.
  • For Pierce County roadways: If a blockage can’t be cleared, the roadway is flooding or a storm drain is on a busy road, call Pierce County Planning and Public Works at (253) 798-6000 or submit a Request for Action atpiercecountywa.gov/rfa.
  • Call (253) 798-6000 if flooding is occurring along a stream, river or pond in unincorporated Pierce County.

Residents in cities and towns should contact their local public works department to report flooding or storm drain problems.

Roadway flooding response

Significant rainstorms may cause roadside storm drains and ditches to overflow and flood the roadway. River flooding may also affect roads. As the rain saturates the ground, there is also an increased risk of downed trees and landslides.

Pierce County clear drainage systems, downed trees and landslides when possible, close roads or lanes if they are not passable, and clean drainage systems proactively to reduce flooding.

Motorists should not drive through standing water, near downed trees or utility lines, or around road closure barricades.

River flooding

Flooding is the most common disaster in the United States and Pierce County is not an exception. With four major rivers in the county, flooding is inevitable. While Pierce County spends between $3 million to $4 million annually on maintenance to levees along those rivers, flooding is not limited to communities and areas next to rivers.

Coastal flooding

Coastal flooding also occurs in Pierce County. This type of flooding is either wind-driven waves or a storm surge pushing water onto shore. Residents along the county’s coast should secure items that are outside to prevent them from being moved during flooding and damaging property or hurting people.

Residents can prepare for flooding by learning the flood risk to their property. Pierce County can help with a free map of a property that explains flood risk. Also, flood insurance is available to all homeowners and renters in unincorporated Pierce County. Residents in unincorporated Pierce County receive a 40 percent discount on their flood insurance policies. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover losses from flooding.

To learn about flood risk to your property and preparing for flooding, go to www.piercecountywa.gov/flooding.

For information about Pierce County’s response to winter weather, visit www.piercecountywa.gov/winterwise.

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