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HILLTOP STREET FAIR TO TAKE PLACE ON MLK WAY

District 3 Council Member Keith Blocker has announced that the 2019 Hilltop Street Fair will take place on Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

“We have heard extensively from the community during the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension construction that it is important to maintain the street fair on Martin Luther King Jr. Way,” Blocker said. “While this will not be possible once the Tacoma Link Extension is complete, at the City’s request, Walsh Construction and Sound Transit worked tirelessly to accommodate most, if not all, of the street fair on Martin Luther King Jr. Way this year with minimal impacts. I want to thank them both for their efforts to be responsive to the community.”

The City will continue working with its construction partners and the organizers of the Hilltop Street Fair to coordinate efforts well in advance of the 2019 event, which is projected to take place in August.

FRIDAY FORUM: GOOD DESIGN AND PUBLIC SPACE

Join Downtown On the Go on March 22, from noon-1 p.m. at the Pantages Theater and take part in investigating how beautiful public space betters a city, how art makes you feel safer on the sidewalk, and what murals mean for livability. Tanisha Jumper, director of Media & Communications at the City of Tacoma, will moderate a discussion with experts about the best and worst uses of public space in Tacoma and how we can refocus our community around these shared resources.

Hear from: Erik Hanberg, Metro Parks Tacoma Commissioner;Ari Lewkowitz, BLRB Architects; Michael Liang, Spaceworks Tacoma Program Director; and   Susan Wagshul-Golden, University of Washington Tacoma Director of Campus Safety & Security.

In the ninth year of the Friday Forum Series, Downtown On the Go is taking you back to class. Review the fundamental elements of transportation and explore the connections between how our cities are built and your favorite subjects in school. Forums are free and open to the public and this forum is part of a three-part series of topics that include “History: Institutionalized Racism and Urban Planning” (Jan. 25) and “Math: Traffic Equations and the Value of Moving People” (Feb. 22).

This forum will be accompanied by a Tacoma Roots event. Tacoma Roots is an anti-racist environmental justice community forum for learning and discussion. Their leadership influences policy and community movements.

For those who cannot attend, join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #DOTGForum and following @downtownonthego.

TACOMA RANKS THIRD IN DISTRACTED DRIVING

The Evergreen State is famous for mountain ranges, rain forests, and islands. But the epic scenery isn’t what’s distracting drivers in this state. Phones, food, music, and passengers offer their fair share of distraction on the road.

According to WSDOT, in 2017 there were 11,504 distracted driving crashes in the state, 87 of which were fatal. It’s clear that distracted driving is a problem in Washington State. Even though it’s illegal, people are still driving distracted.

QuoteWizard.com’s 2018 study on America’s best and worst drivers found that Washington is the 10th-worst driving state in the country. And distracted driving plays a role in that ranking.

But where in Washington is distracted driving at its worst? How distracted is your city? We ranked cities in Washington with the highest rate of distracted driving accidents. See how your city stacks up to the rest of the state.

These are the 15 cities in Washington with the highest rate of distracted driving crashes. Tacoma’s location, just south of Seattle along I-5, means many residents commute often. And long commutes in stop and go traffic are the perfect time to get distracted. That’s part of why Tacoma has the third highest frequency of distracted driving crashes in the state. In 2017, Tacoma’s 200,000 plus residents got into 661 distracted driving incidents in Tacoma, resulting in two fatalities.

Read more about the full list at https://quotewizard.com/news/posts/washington-most-distracted-driving-cities.

WASHINGTON CONNECTIONS ACADEMY OPENS ENROLLMENT

Washington Connections Academy, a tuition-free, statewide, online public school, announces open enrollment for the 2019-20 school year. The school, which served more than 1,600 students in grades K-11 across the state during the 2018-19 school year, offers a flexible learning option to accommodate the needs of the modern student and grants families the ability to personalize and monitor their student’s education. Washington Connections Academy will begin serving students in grade 12 in the upcoming school year.

“This is the first year our school will serve the full spectrum of students in grades K-12,” said Mike Lunde, principal at Washington Connections Academy. “We look forward to helping each student reach their full academic potential and graduate our first senior class in 2020.”

Washington Connections Academy provides a flexible education option for a diverse group of students, including competitive athletes with strict training schedules, previously homeschooled students looking for a higher caliber of teacher support, and other students seeking expanded course offerings and a more challenging workload, among others.

With advanced technology and a rigorous curriculum, state-certified teachers work closely with students to develop individualized learning plans that nurture strengths and provide additional support in areas of need. Recent research of the Connections Academy online schools provides evidence that Connections Academy students can attain the same level of achievement as traditional brick-and-mortar schools serving similar students, and that students may be better positioned in Connections Academy schools than other virtual schools. See efficacy report for details at www.pearson.com/corporate/efficacy-and-research/reports/connections-academy.html.

Outside of the virtual classroom, students can enjoy socialization opportunities through a number of in-person school-organized events, and through participation in online clubs and activities and online classroom sessions. Washington Connections Academy extracurricular clubs range from art and gaming and technology to career prep and science. The school also hosts numerous field trips and in-person events, including volunteer service opportunities, to help build community among students.

“Since enrolling in Washington Connections Academy, I’ve regained my love of learning,” said Connor McCoy, a freshman student enrolled with the school since sixth grade. “Connections gives me the flexibility to learn at a pace that’s right for me and explore courses that peak my interest, like foreign languages.”

Interested families can learn more about the online school and explore the Washington Connections Academy program by attending one of many free online and in-person information sessions (www.connectionsacademy.com/washington-online-school/learn-more/events) beginning in spring. These events provide parents the opportunity to meet with teachers and ask questions to determine if virtual school is a good fit for their student.

To learn more about Washington Connections Academy and begin the enrollment process, visit the www.WashingtonConnectionsAcademy.com.

COHEN MILITARY FAMILY CLINIC OPENS IN LAKEWOOD

The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic and its Online Therapy program is set to fill a void for Washington State’s veteran population. The Cohen Veterans Network, a not-for-profit philanthropic organization, has opened the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Valley Cities at6103 Mt. Tacoma Dr. S.W. in Lakewood, supporting post-9/11 veterans and military families with mental health services regardless of veteran discharge status and ability to pay. It is the first clinic of its kind in the state.

The new clinic in Lakewood has the capacity to serve 400 clients in the first year and will offer critical mental health services to Washington State’s many veterans and their family members. The Online Therapy services offered at this clinic will reduce barriers to treatment, allowing patients throughout the state to receive support via phone or computer from the comfort of their home or workplace.

Studies show that 40 percent of veterans who return home with mental health issues are not receiving care, and there are currently 20 veteran suicides per day. To address this critical need for mental health services in the veteran community, philanthropist Steven A. Cohen made a $275 million commitment to open 25 clinics over five years, the largest philanthropic pledge of support ever made to veterans in this country by a single donor. With the opening of the newest clinic in Lakewood, the network now has 11 clinics in operation and is on track to open 14 more throughout the country by 2020.

The Cohen Clinics have treated more than 9,800 clients nationwide since opening to the public in 2016. Approximately 44 percent of clients are non-veteran family members and their children, while 56 percent of clients are veterans.

PGA JUNIOR LEAGUE REGISTRATION OPEN IN TACOMA AREA

Registration for PGA Jr. League is now open at facilities throughout the Tacoma market, including some that offer leagues where practices and matches are held at the same facility. This is a great option for players and their families, as it eliminates travel time to other courses for matches, while creating a community among the families.Visit PGAJrLeague.com to find all local teams by ZIP code or facility and register online.

PGA Jr. League is a game-changing program that brings family and friends together around fun, team golf experiences with expert coaching from PGA and LPGA Professionals. Boys and girls of all backgrounds and skill levels wear numbered jerseys and play on co-ed teams with their friends, competing in a two-person scramble format that builds confidence and encourages sportsmanship.

Many Tacoma-area courses are offering PGA Jr. League in 2019, and several of the below facilities will provide golfers and parents the convenience of hosting practices and all league matches at one facility throughout the season: The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, Snoqualmie Valley, Chambers Bay, Meadow Park Golf Course, High Cedars Golf Club, North Shore Golf Course, Gold Mountain Golf Club, Meridian Valley Country Club, Wing Point Golf & Country Club, Lake Spanaway Golf Club, Auburn Golf Course, McCormick Woods Golf Course, Kitsap Golf & Country Club, Allenmore Public Golf Course and The Golf Club at Hawks Prairie.

“PGA Jr. League is a fun, welcoming and engaging way for boys and girls to learn and play golf,” saidPGA President Suzy Whaley, PGA/LPGA. “The number of facilities offering leagues continues to grow nationwide and here in the greater Tacoma area. We’re finding the convenience and sense of community fostered by facilities hosting both practices and matches really adds to the overall excitement around the game.”

Last year, PGA Jr. League reported record-setting numbers, with more than 50,000 boys and girls playing on 4,200 teams nationwide – a 20-percent year-over-year increase. Of those players, 80 percent were beginner or recreational golfers, demonstrating the developmental nature of the program and its inclusivity to youth of all skill levels.

This year, PGA Jr. League’s 16u (16 and under) age division is expanding to a 17u division, to accommodate the growing number of golfers ages 14-17 who have aged out of the traditional 13u program but are still interested in league play. Search both 13u and 17u age divisions on PGAJrLeague.com.

PGA Jr. League also has the support of some of the biggest names in sports – Official Ambassadors include Rory McIlroy, Michelle Wie, Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson, who were recently joined by three-time NBA Champion and two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry and Olympic Gold Medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion Alex Morgan.

 

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