LAW ENFORCEMENT FOCUSES ON DISTRACTED DRIVING
More than 150 law enforcement agencies around the state are adding extra patrols looking for distracted drivers now through April 14. It is illegal for drivers to hold cell phones, access information or watch videos while they are driving, stopped in traffic or at a stop light. Violators are charged $136 for the first offense and $234 for the second.
Participating law enforcement agencies in Pierce County include Bonney Lake, Fife, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Milton, Orting, Pierce County Sheriff, Puyallup, Ruston, Sumner,
Tacoma, University Place and Washington State Patrol.
“Washington drivers need to know that if they’re on the road, they should be off the phone,” said Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) Target Zero Manager Gloria Mansfield Averill. “If you’re distracted, law enforcement is focused on finding and ticketing you. Fortunately, there are signs that Washington drivers are increasingly taking safety into their own hands, by keeping their hands off their phones.”
Averill pointed to a November 2018 WTSC observational study that found hand held cell phone use was down 40 percent in 2018 from 2017. Pierce County also achieved multiple year decreases in distracted driving rates starting at 18.4 percent in 2016, declining to 14.4 percent in 2017, and dropping to 5.8 percent in 2018.
Averill says it’s important to realize that other types of distraction, not just cell phone use, are dangerous. WTSC’s observational study found that distractions like eating, tuning a radio, or attending to pets or children had increased significantly.
“Drivers can dangerously lose their focus on other activities that shift their focus and full engagement from driving, which the E-DUI law calls ‘dangerously distracted,’” Averill said. “Any type of distraction increases crash risk. Studies show that it can take nearly 30 seconds to regain your attention on the road after focusing on something else, even for just a few seconds.”
Patrols may also find people who are breaking the E-DUI law but don’t know it. Averill said, “The law is easy to follow. If you’re on the road, you need to be off the phone, whether driving, stopped at an intersection or in traffic. Your only job behind the wheel is to be a safe driver, and that means keeping your eyes and mind on the road and your hands on the wheel.”
MILITARY AIRCRAFT RETURN TO TACOMA FOR 4THOF JULY
Military jets will return to the skies over Commencement Bay this 4thof July as part of the Tacoma Freedom Fair & Air Show. All three military aviation community outreach single ship demonstration teams have identified Tacoma as the place to be this July.
The United States Air Force returns with an F-16 Fighting Falcon demonstration along with a Heritage Flight, a vintage World War II fighter. This year’s Air Force demonstration team reached a milestone, having the Air Force’s first female single ship demo pilot flying the F-16 Viper.
In addition to the Air Force, the United States Marine Corps is sending the AV-8B Harrier Jump Jet to perform a level three tactical demonstration. The Harrier is unique in that it can hover for periods of time and can land and take off vertically.
Not to be forgotten, the United States Navy will be sending an F/A-18G from Whidbey Island to perform a Legacy Flight demonstration. This entails several formation passes with vintage planes showcasing the history and legacy of naval aviation.
The armed forces have not appeared in Tacoma since sequestration took effect in 2013. The first year they are back, all three services that operate demonstration teams are sending representatives. Air demonstrations provide an opportunity for people to see U.S. military air capabilities in action and meet the service members who fly and maintain the equipment.
CITY OF DESTINY AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Mayor Victoria Woodards and the City Council will recognize Tacoma’s top volunteers and service providers this year during the 33rdannual City of Destiny Awards on Friday, June 14 from 5-7:30 p.m. This year’s event is being hosted at STAR Center, 3873 S. 66thSt. in Tacoma.
“Every year brings us stories about real people who are doing amazing things to help those in need in Tacoma. Our committee members are humbled and honored to be the ones to select the recipients of these cherished awards,” said City Events and Recognitions Committee Chairwoman Ashley Jones.
The 2019 City of Destiny Award recipients are: Adult Leadership: Michelle McLean; Youth Leadership: Adam Maxon; Lifetime Service: Frank and Annette Bannon; Youth Service: Victoria Le; Economic Development: Amber Shirk-Imao; Group: Pierce County Medical Reserves Corps; Equity and Empowerment: Brendan Nelson; Disability Advocate: Mary Hart-Furman; Environmental Sustainability: Scott Murdock; Education and Youth Development, Youth: Jacob Fuqua; Education and Youth Development, Adult: Sue Little; Homeless Advocacy: Tacoma/Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness and Tacoma New Life Presbyterian Church.
The June 14 event will include a 5 p.m. meet and greet at STAR Center with an awards ceremony following at 6 p.m. in Journey Hall. Recognition will be made to all nominated individuals and the award winners during the ceremony.2019 award winners, and committee, board and commission members, will receive special instructions for event attendance.
Since 1987, the City of Tacoma has honored more than 200 outstanding local volunteers through its City of Destiny Awards program. It is spearheaded by a City Council-appointed City Events and Recognitions Committee comprised of local community leaders from a broad array of backgrounds and areas of expertise. This committee develops the City of Destiny Awards nomination tools and selection criteria, selects the winners and plans the annual event.
The annual event is also covered by TV Tacoma. Details are available at tvtacoma.com.
GRANTS HELP PRESERVE COUNTY LANDMARKS
The Pierce County Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission is now accepting applications for the 2020 Preservation Matching Grant Program. These grants assist in funding preservation efforts in Pierce County. The program’s goal is to distribute small, yet meaningful, matching grants to help promote historic preservation throughout the county. Grant requests can be made for two types of proposals: historic preservation (maximum request of $20,000) for stabilization, restoration or rehabilitation of properties listed on national, state and local historic registers. History-related projects (maximum request of $5,000) include photograph or document preservation, historic markers, history research and public events and programs.
Nonprofit organizations, public agencies and owners of properties listed on local historic registers are eligible to apply. Recipients must provide matching funds. Applications will be accepted until 3 p.m. May 10. Project activities must be completed by Nov. 10, 2020. The grant guidelines and application form are available at piercecountywa.gov/historicpreservation. Applications are evaluated by the Pierce County Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission, which administers the grant program. The commission forwards project and funding recommendations to the Pierce County Council for approval.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION AWARDS NOMINATIONS BEING ACCEPTED
The Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission is seeking nominations for the 2019 Historic Preservation Awards. The awards celebrate the best in preservation projects and programming. The categories include Residential Renovation, Commercial Renovation, Leadership in Preservation, Organization(s) in Preservation, Community Engagement/Events, Landmark Nomination, Broadening Perspectives (awareness of under-documented or represented historical narratives), and Heritage/Legacy Businesses.
Nominations are being accepted through April 22. The awards ceremony and reception will be on Friday, May 24, from 6-8 p.m. at Courthouse Square (1102 A St.). The keynote will feature speaker Danica Miller, Ph.D., from the University of Washington-Tacoma’s Social and Historical Studies Program. Following the keynote speaker, there will be a tour of Courthouse Square. The event is free and open to the public with refreshments provided. For more information, contact Historic Preservation Coordinator Lauren Hoogkamer at email@example.com or (253) 591-5254.
FIRE DEPARTMENT QUELLS INCIDENT AT PORT OF TACOMA
On the evening of March 20, several drums containing a fumigant material caught fire at the Port of Tacoma-owned Earley Business Center on a property leased and operated by ECO Lab (formerly Food Protection Services). Tacoma Fire personnel responded to the incidents. They extinguished the fires before declaring the air clear of plumes at 3:54 a.m.
Tacoma Fire officials returned to inspect the air quality at the site and declared it non-hazardous for nearby tenants to work. They handed the scene over to the EPA and Department of Ecology for ongoing monitoring. An emergency response contractor hired by ECO Lab (NRC) is managing the incident. Per manufacturer recommendations, the fumigant material has been dispersed into several more drums and canisters and mixed with a soapy detergent. EPA and NRC are monitoring these efforts and measuring air quality.
The area is taped off and yard gates are closed. Tenants are advised to use caution in the area while monitoring is underway. Small plumes of smoke may be visible intermittently as the material settles. Currently, the ongoing incident does not pose any danger to neighboring tenants or the community. Once the material has settled, NRC will dispose of it and clean the yard. NRC is responsible for preparing an incident report, which will be submitted to the EPA, Department of Ecology and the Port.
CHAMBERS BAY RE-OPENS WITH NEW POA ANNUA PUTTING GREENS
Chambers Bay– site of the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, 2015 U.S. Open and the 2010 U.S. Amateur championship – will re-open for play on April 3, 2019 after replacing its putting surfaces with poa annua sod during a seven-month renovation of the championship course.
“Chambers Bay is firmly established as an architectural gem,” said KemperSports Vice President Matt Allen. “We are excited to unveil the superior playability and consistency of all new putting surfaces.”
Chambers Bay is owned by Pierce County and operated by KemperSports.
In a long-term commitment to ensure the best possible championship playing conditions, Chambers Bay, Pierce County, KemperSports and the USGA decided that greens at Chambers Bay should be converted to poa annua – a grass type that thrives throughout the west coast. After a full analysis from all parties, an agreement was reached that such a project would not only ensure better putting surfaces for future championships but would improve the every-day experience for guests.
In advance of the April 3 opening, Chambers Bay will serve as host to the Seattle University Redhawk Invitational, featuring nineteen Division-I schools in a 54-hole competition.
“We acknowledge the foresight and initiative of everyone at Chambers Bay for undertaking this work,” said John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s Senior Managing Director of Championships.
“There is no question that Chambers Bay, Pierce County and KemperSports made the right choice to convert the greens to a grass that does well in our climate,” said USGA Agronomist Larry Gilhuly.
With the opening of the golf course, the clubhouse, golf shop and restaurant will return to normal hours of operation.
For more information or to book a tee time at Chambers Bay, visit www.chambersbaygolf.com.
GROCERY OUTLET OPENS IN EAST TACOMA
Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, extreme-value grocery retailer, has opened a new store in East Tacoma at 1410 E. 72ndSt., creating 35 new jobs in the community.
Following the grand opening ceremony on March 28, a donation was presented on behalf of Grocery Outlet to Nourish Food Bank. In true Grocery Outlet fashion, the amount that shoppers saved on their grocery purchases during the store’s first hour of operation determines the donation amount. The first 200 customers of the day also received Grocery Outlet BlissBucks gift cards ranging from $5 to $200 and all shoppers received a free reusable bag. Now, through April 25, customers may enter for a chance to win a grand prize of free groceries for one year ($100 per month for one year, a $1,200 value). The grand prize drawing will take place at the end of the day on Thursday, April 25 at the East Tacoma Grocery Outlet. (Must be 18 years of age or older. One entry per person, per day. No purchase necessary. Winner need not be present to win but must claim the prize within three days of notification or another winner will be chosen. No cash value and no substitutions.)
Grocery Outlet, based in Emeryville, Calif., offers big savings on brand name products every day at more than 300 locations in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington. Grocery Outlet carries a full range of products from fresh produce, meat, deli and dairy to a wide assortment of natural and organic choices. They also offer a large selection of beer and wine, health and beauty care, as well as seasonal items. A third-generation, family-led company founded in 1946, Grocery Outlet’s mission has always been to provide customers an exciting place to find WOW savings on name brands they trust. Grocery Outlet stores are run by independent owner-operators in the local community.
US FOOD CELEBRATES OFFICAL RENOVATIONS IN FIFE
US Foods Holding Corp. (NYSE: USFD), one of the nation’s leading foodservice companies, has announced the official opening of the company’s newly renovated Fife distribution facility. The project began in early 2016 and has nearly doubled the size of the facility from 127,000 square feet to 240,000 square feet. The expanded footprint supports the company’s ongoing efforts to offer additional products and services to restaurants and foodservice operators across the region.
To celebrate the official opening of the new space, US Foods hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony with company leaders, government officials, local US Foods customers and other members of the community.
“As part of our ‘Great Food. Made Easy.’ strategy, US Foods is committed to helping our independent restaurant operators across the region be successful,” said Matt Reynolds, area president, Mountain West, US Foods. “We’ve served the thriving culinary scene in Seattle for more than 20 years and we are thrilled that this investment is making it even easier for us to bring innovative, on-trend products and business solutions to more customers throughout Seattle and beyond.”
Additions to the distribution center include a state-of-the art kitchen and training center that will be used for product demonstrations and customer ideation, and a technology center where US Foods customers can learn about the company’s industry-leading mobile apps and web-based business solutions. The expansion also incorporates several energy and environmental improvements, such as a highly efficient cascade refrigeration system, and energy saving high-output fluorescent and LED lighting. The company also used locally sourced and recycled content furnishings and building materials.
The Fife distribution center is home to more than 270 employees and serves thousands of customers throughout the Seattle market and surrounding area, including independent restaurants, healthcare and hospitality entities, government and educational institutions.
US Foods has operated out of the Fife facility since 1998.
NEW YOUTH ART COMPETITION BRINGS TACOMA’S HISTORY TO LIFE
Each year, the City of Tacoma’s Historic Preservation Office brings Tacoma’s rich history to life through its dynamic Historic Preservation Month. New in 2019 is a youth art contest that encourages students in Tacoma to interact with historic landmarks around town.
The contest is geared towards high school students and asks participants to imagine that they have been selected to create a visual art installation concept for one of three pre-selected historic Tacoma landmarks: Old City Hall, Cushman Substation, and Union Station.
“By asking participants to reimagine historical Tacoma landmarks, we are providing a unique opportunity for youth to engage in and celebrate Tacoma’s rich history in a creative way.” said Assistant Historic Preservation Officer Lauren Hoogkamer.
Once students have selected the landmark of their choice, they have freedom to use any art medium(s) of their choice to create an installation concept based on their vision. Submissions are due by Tuesday, April 30, 2019. To download the resource guide with contest details and submission guidelines, visit hpmonthtacoma.com.
The Historic Preservation Office has selected a panel of local artists who will choose five to ten submissions that will be displayed at Honey Coffee + Kitchen (1322 S. Fawcett Ave.) on Wednesday, May 15, from 6-8 p.m. The event will have a gallery style presentation where attendees will be able to vote on their favorite piece of art anonymously. Three winners will be announced at the event and prizes will be distributed.
For more information, visit hpmonthtacoma.com or contact Historic Preservation Intern Dierdre Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (253) 591-5219.