Bulletin Board: News from Tacoma and Beyond

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Rainiers, Carol Milgard Breast Center partner for ‘Pink at the Park’

The Tacoma Rainiers, in partnership with the Carol Milgard Breast Center (CMBC), are proud to announce the details of their ninth annual ‘Pink at the Park’ event on Sunday, July 14 at Cheney Stadium.

The event serves as a way to fund screening mammograms for women who cannot afford them, and 100 percent of proceeds raised by live and silent auctions at the Tacoma Rainiers game will go toward the cause.

“We are grateful to the Tacoma Rainiers for their partnership with the Pink at the Park event,” said Leanne Noren, executive director at CMBC. “Thanks to the funding from this annual community event, the breast center is able to do two important things: raise awareness about breast cancer detection and underwrite screening mammograms for patients with financial need.”

Rainiers game-worn pink jerseys will be autographed and auctioned off in-person on the Cheney Stadium concourse until the end of the seventh inning, and select jerseys will be auctioned off live immediately following the game. The game is scheduled to start at 1:35 p.m., with gates opening at 12 p.m. Proceeds from the auction will go directly to CMBC in support of the organization’s continued efforts to provide sustainable breast health services for all women in the region. The first 3,000 fans through the gate will also receive a commemorative rally towel, courtesy of CMBC.

There will be a pregame “Circle of Hope” to honor breast cancer survivors and warriors.

Planning Commission to hold public scoping hearing

The City of Tacoma’s Planning Commission will conduct a public scoping hearing on Wednesday, June 19, to receive comments on the scope of work for the proposed 2020 Amendments to the One Tacoma:Comprehensive Plan and Land Use regulations. The public hearing will be held in the Tacoma Municipal Building Council Chambers (747 Market St., 1st Floor) starting at 5:30 p.m.

Before the public hearing, the City’s Planning staff will hold an informational meeting for community members to learn about the proposed changes from 4-5 p.m., also in Council Chambers.

The subjects of the public hearing are the following four applications:

  • Heidelberg-Davis Land Use Designation
  • West Slope Neighborhood View Sensitive Overlay District
  • Transportation Master Plan Amendments
  • Minor Plan and Code Amendments

The Planning Commission is seeking public comments on whether these applications should be accepted and moved forward for review during the 2020 Amendment process, and if so, whether their scope of work should be modified. In addition to comments received at the public hearing, written comments are being accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 21, 2019. Comments may be submitted to: Planning Commission, 747 Market Street, Room 345, Tacoma, WA 98402, via fax at (253) 591-5433, or via email to planning@cityoftacoma.org.

For more information and to review the proposed amendments, visit cityoftacoma.org/2020Amendment or contact Principal Planner Stephen Atkinson at satkinson@cityoftacoma.org or call (253) 591-5531.

Cantwell announces $4.28M in new housing grants for county

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has announced that Pierce County will receive $3 million in grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. In addition, the county will also receive $1.282 million from HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME).

The CDBG program helps support home ownership, housing rehabilitation, public improvements, and economic development projects in communities throughout the country. Since 1974, the program has invested more than $153 billion in communities nationwide, and the program has helped leverage $4.09 in non-CDBG funding for every $1 of funding given out through the program.

The HOME program is the federal government’s only block grant program to help state and local governments create more affordable housing units for low-income families The program has created more than 1.3 million units since 1992 and provided direct rental assistance to more than 356,000 low-income families nationwide. It serves urban, suburban, and rural communities, providing resources for seniors, persons with disabilities, homeless families and individuals, and military veterans.

Senator Cantwell has long been a supporter of the CDBG program and the HOME program. She has also prioritized investment in affordable housing, helping to secure nearly $3 billion in additional affordable housing funding in March 2018 and introducing legislation earlier this year to increase investment in affordable housing and provide more resources and stronger protections for at-risk groups.

Council continues efforts to prioritize broadband infrastructure

The Pierce County Council reinforced its commitment to implementing broadband infrastructure and enhanced speed with the adoption of Resolution R2019-74. In this resolution, Council declares desired access speeds of one gigabyte per second in urban areas and 100 megabits per second in rural areas of Pierce County.

Additionally, the resolution states the Council’s desire to support the broadband effort by implementing the following actions within the next 90 days:

  • Develop a broadband strategic plan.
  • Initiate a broadband stakeholder engagement process to solicit the opinions, needs and expertise of community members, businesses, broadband providers, institutions, and other stakeholders.
  • Revise existing County policies, standards and code to remove barriers to broadband delivery.
  • Hire a contract, limited duration employee to support the initiative.
  • Seek out sources of funding.

“The Digital Divide has grown so large that many of our residents have been left behind,” said Councilmember Derek Young. “To secure our economic future, the County must ensure everyone has access to high-speed broadband.”

The Council recognizes the need for broadband access in rural areas and that Pierce County must play a key role in planning, developing and implementing broadband in these areas.

The Broadband Access and Speed study, recently presented to the Council, makes recommendations on actions the County can undertake to improve broadband access in the community.

The study’s recommendations include advancing the County’s franchise process, updating County regulations to assist in the build‐out of broadband infrastructure, and developing a plan to expand broadband technology into the lesser‐served parts of the county.

The Broadband Access and Speed study was commissioned by the Council and adopted as part of the Performance Audit Committee’s 2018 work program.

For more information on the Broadband Access and Speed study, visit piercecountywa.gov/broadband.

Expect traffic delays along section of Canyon Road East through fall

Motorists should expect traffic delays along Canyon Road East between 99thStreet Court East and 84th Street East through the fall due to utility work.

This work is in preparation for an upcoming Pierce County road project along this section of Canyon Road East. Tacoma Power will be moving utility poles, and Puget Sound Energy will be relocating the gas facilities. Summit Water is currently installing new water lines.

Night and weekend work may be needed during this utility work. Lane restrictions may be needed in work areas. Motorists should add extra travel time and consider using alternate routes.

Construction on the road project is expected to begin in October. Information about the construction schedule and traffic impacts will be announced closer to the start date.

The project is expected to enhance safety and relieve traffic congestion.

The road will be expanded to five lanes including a two-way left-turn lane. A new traffic signal will be added at 96th Street East. The Canyon Road East and 84thStreet East intersection will be widened and a new traffic signal system will be installed to accommodate the new road configuration.

Curbs, gutters, sidewalks and street lighting will be added on both sides of Canyon Road East from 96th Street East to 84th Street East. An enclosed storm drain system and stormwater storage and treatment facilities will be added as part of the project.

A project webpage is available at www.piercecountywa.gov/crp5726.

Calling Tacoma creatives for roster

The City of Tacoma’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality (OACV) is developing a Creative Communications Roster for commercial design and media services that the City, Tacoma Creates, neighborhood and community groups, partners, and the public can select from for direct-hire opportunities. This roster is an effort to support independent creatives and small firms. The Creative Communications Roster is meant to be inclusive of different styles and experience levels. If accepted, creatives will have their information included on the roster, which will be publically available. This roster is meant for commercial, client-based work, rather than original artistic creations. The needs for each opportunity will vary. Applicants may apply as an individual or team/firm of up to five people.

Creatives may apply under one or more of the followingcategories:

  • Print – brochures, flyers, banners, wraps, signage, packaging, etc.
  • Digital – websites, social media assets, etc.
  • Illustration – hand illustration, digital illustration, posters, painted signs, etc.
  • Branding – logos, brand creation, etc.
  • Video – filmmaking, event documentation, social media and website assets, etc.
  • Photography – products, event documentation, etc.

In addition, creatives may indicate that they are skilled in one of the following categories:project management – project ideation, scoping, planning, management of contributors, implementation; community engagement – ability to engage community to inform content creation.

Applicant(s) must reside within the official city limits of Tacoma. If applicants are applying as a firm, the firm’s address should be in Tacoma. To check if you reside within the official City of Tacoma limits, please use this map: http://bit.ly/2ftLUaM.

Applicant(s) can apply as an individual or as a team/firm of up to five people. Firms that employ more than five people are not eligible. Applicant(s) cannot be a member of the Tacoma Arts Commission or employee of the City of Tacoma. Applicant(s) must be 18 or older. Successful applicant(s) must have a City of Tacoma business license while they are on the roster. People who are members of underrepresented racial, ethnic, cultural, and other identity groups are especially encouraged to apply.

Deadline to apply is July 29, 11:59 p.m. Apply at https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit. Get more information at www.cityoftacoma.org/artsoppsor contact Rebecca Solverson at (253) 591-5564 or rebecca.solverson@cityoftacoma.org.

Call for arts activities for Tacoma Arts Month

Will you be hosting an arts event in October? Do you want to contribute to the arts programming offered in Tacoma, build community, and benefit from free publicity?
Submit your arts activity for inclusion in the 2019 Tacoma Arts Month online calendar.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is seeking submissions of arts activities happening during Tacoma Arts Month this October. We are looking for a variety of activities spanning all categories of art and culture including but not limited to music, visual art, literary art, dance, theater, and film.

If you will be hosting an exhibition, performance, class, workshop, reception, lecture, tour, artists’ market, celebration, meeting, presentation, or any other programming, let us know. We will list your arts event in an interactive and searchable online calendar of events on tacomaartsmonth.com. There is no cost to you. We will be promoting the many events going on throughout the month through newspaper and magazine advertisements and articles, electronic newsletters, television ads, radio ads, and through a variety of social media outlets.

This month would not be possible without the participation of local businesses, organizations, and community members. We encourage you to participate by hosting your own arts activity or event.

The deadline for the first round of submissions is Aug. 5. We will accept activities on a rolling basis after that but submitting your information by Aug. 5 will ensure that your activity is included in the first round of information that will go out.

To qualify: Your arts activity must be located within the City of Tacoma limits and occur during the month of October.

To participate: Fill out the online submission form via Submittable: https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit. Please note: If you are submitting multiple events, please fill out an individual form for each event.

Tacoma organizer Rebecca Parson announces campaign for congress

Pierce County Court Appointed Special Advocate, small business owner, and Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities commissioner Rebecca Parson launched her campaign for Congress on July 1, becoming the first woman or queer person ever to run for this seat. When she is elected in 2020, it will be the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

In the first week of her campaign, Parson raised $4,700 and was endorsed by Sarah Martin, School Board Director at Chimacum School District – proving that the people are ready for a change and Parson is the one to deliver it.

“It’s time to elect a Democrat who will fight for us, not corporations and lobbyists,” reads Parson’s website. Her opponent is Representative Derek Kilmer, chair of the New Democrats, proponent of the Third Way policies that have devastated WA-06, and member of the Problem Solvers Caucus that pushed for more money for Trump and his cronies to continue torturing children in concentration camps at the border.

While our district struggles with addiction, homelessness, rising rent, and lack of healthcare, Parson’s opponent has taken millions from Big Pharma, health insurance companies, real estate, Wall Street, and fossil fuel companies. He refuses to cosponsor single-payer healthcare legislation, which would provide detox and treatment to the many people in our district who need it.

Parson comes from a line of public servants. Her father was a U.S. Foreign Service officer and her grandfather retired as a colonel in the U.S. Army. Both took the oath that she looks forward to taking: to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. To that end, Parson supports the immediate start of an impeachment inquiry.

Parson has served as a human rights observer in Mexico and as an AmeriCorps volunteer. She has also worked as a substitute teacher, which showed her just how much your zip code determines the quality of your education – and just how hard teachers work for so little pay.

Parson worked for several years with the International Association of Genocide Scholars, and she presented a paper at a genocide studies conference in Sarajevo. This experience taught her to recognize concentration camps when she sees them – and the importance of immediate action to shut them down.

Parson is the only candidate in this race who has taken the Sunrise Movement’s “No Fossil Fuel Money” pledge and who will fight for:

  • National rent control
  • A federal jobs guarantee
  • Free public preschool and public college for all
  • Cancellation of student debt
  • Universal free lunch in public pre-K and K-12 schools
  • Starting salary of $60,000 for all public school teachers
  • $15+ federal minimum wage now (more in high-rent areas)
  • The abolishment of private prisons and detention centers
  • Just cause for eviction
  • Bringing the pharmaceutical industry into public ownership
  • Ending sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities now

Parson’s rent has risen 16 percent in the last three years and her health insurance premiums have risen 20 percent in the last two years. For these reasons, she is active with the Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee and is on the board of Whole Washington, which is fighting for state-level single-payer healthcare. Parson refuses donations from corporations and lobbyists.

Parson’s policies and lived experience make her the change this district needs.

Learn more about Parson and her historic campaign here: https://rebeccaforwa.com.

National SkillsUSA competition nets big win for Bates Technical College student

For the second consecutive year, Bates Technical College Power Sports and Equipment Technology program student Kevin Neill won the gold medal during last month’s SkillsUSA National Skills and Leadership Conference, held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.
Competing in the Motorcycle Service Technology category, Neill performed tasks representative of those encountered in a dealership’s service department.
Said Neill, “As a recent graduate, the competition was an opportunity to take what I had learned at Bates Technical College and again put it to the test, challenging my technical skills as well as my capacity to react, respond and adapt to the unknown.”
Judges evaluated the competitors on various technical skills using Harley-Davidson motorcycles, including performing electrical diagnostic and parts manuals, electrical diagnostics, precision measurement, chassis/suspension service, transmission and drive systems, power train systems and more. Judges looked for clean and organized work habits, correct use of reference materials, the ability to follow directions, and good technical skills.
“While I may not know what the future holds for me,” said Neill. “I know that my time at Bates has helped make me into someone who has the determination and discipline to become whatever the future may require.”
The 55thannual National Leadership and Skills Conference attracted more than 6,500 career and technical education students who competed against each other and the clock in categories that range from precision machining and information technology to customer service and job interview. Each contestant is a state-level gold medalist.
To learn more about the Power Sports and Equipment Technology program go to www.BatesTech.edu, or call (253) 680-7000. To learn more about SkillsUSA, go to www.skillsUSA.org.

Changes to state’s election laws now in effect

As of July 1, new conveniences and increased accessibility to voting in Washington are now law. The State Legislature passed a number of bills during the 2018 and 2019 sessions that changed significant dates and deadlines for registration and voting. Those changes include:

  • Pre-paid postage:Every ballot will now come with a pre-paid ballot-return envelope so voters will no longer have to search for a stamp. Every mailbox is now a drop box, though auditors recommend mailing ballots by the Friday preceding an election day to ensure it gets postmarked in time.
  • Online voter registration:The 2019 Primary Election is Tuesday, Aug. 6. If residents are eligible to vote but are not yet registered, they have until Monday, July 29, to register online or by mail. They’ll also have until Monday, Oct. 28, to register online in time for the Nov. 5 General Election. After those dates, eligible residents will have to register in person at their county elections office. Online registration can be completed at VoteWA.gov.
  • Same-day registration:If potential voters can’t get registered online or by mail before the 8-day deadline, they can visit their county elections office in person before 8 p.m. on Aug. 6 to vote in the Primary, and Nov. 5 to vote in the General Election.
  • Future Voters:16- and 17-year-old residents can now enroll in the Future Voter program to automatically be registered to vote on their 18th birthday. Future Voters who turn 18 on or before Tuesday, Aug. 6, can vote in the 2019 Primary, while those who turn 18 on or before Tuesday, Nov. 5, can vote in this year’s General Election.

“Pierce County citizens will appreciate these enhancements to our voter-friendly Vote By Mail system,” said Pierce County Auditor, Julie Anderson. “And who knows? Maybe some of the folks sitting on the sideline will get in the game.”

County auditors have long fought for the Legislature to fully-fund elections in Washington, noting that counties are required to pay for the state’s share in even-year elections – when most state offices are on the ballot. Though some of the new election laws will place additional burdens on already resource-strapped counties, auditors and election directors say their top priority is to ensure secure and accurate elections to reinforce confidence in the process with the voting public.

Nominate a hero in your community

Aftermath Services’ annual Why We Serve Grant has officially begun and is accepting applications at this time. Aftermath will be awarding seven service grants totaling $15,000 toward the charity, cause, or organization of the winners’ choice. Tacomans are invited to nominate a local officer or first responder who has made a positive impact.

Police officers and first responders may nominate themselves or a fellow officer who has made a difference in the community. Applications are accepted until July 22, and should showcase, via essay or three-minute video, the charity or organization and how the grant will be used to help the community. Aftermath will then select 15 finalists and communities nationwide will choose, by popular vote, the grant winners.

Key dates to remember: application deadline July 22; community voting period July 25-Aug. 4; winners announced Aug. 6.

Apply or nominate now at www.aftermath.com/why-we-serve.

Share your America with an exchange student

ASSE International Student Exchange Programs, in cooperation with your community high school, is now looking for local families to host students between the ages of 15 to 18 from a variety of countries: Japan, Germany, Italy, Thailand, and Spain, to name a few.

ASSE students are enthusiastic and are excited to experience American culture while they practice their English. They also share their own culture and language with their host families. Host families welcome these students into their family, not as a guest, but as a family member, giving everyone involved a rich cultural experience.

The exchange students have pocket money for personal expenses and full health, accident and liability insurance. ASSE students are selected based on academics and personality and host families can choose their student from a wide variety of backgrounds, countries and personal interests.

If you are interested in opening your home and sharing your family life with a young person from abroad, please contact us today for more information, call (800) 733-2773, go online at www.ASSEhosts.com or email asseusawest@asse.com.

Another drop in unemployment and rise in RN jobs

The monthly employment report is out! Pierce County unemployment saw another drop of three-tenths of a percentage point (5.1 percent), putting us just one-tenth of a point higher than last year.

  • Employment is also up another 1,000 to 413,753.
  • In the first quarter of 2019 we saw an increase in the average wage (up $447), but a drop in overall employment (down 3.8K).
  • This drop is largely driven by the seasonal dip in Retail Trade (down 1.8K), however, current demand for retail sales jobs (836) indicates a strong bounce-back.
Retail sales jobs continue to grow in demand (836 active job ads) with postings for registered nurses growing another 19 percent for the second month in a row (up to 654).

Health Care employers still represent the lion’s share of all active job postings in Pierce County, but we’re seeing strong demand from the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties (242), McDonald’s (110), and Target (101).

View the interactive report at https://workforce-central.org/research-data/laborreport.

 

CHI Franciscan’s Residency Programs cultivate next generation of health care providers

CHI Franciscan is cultivating the next generation of health care providers by integrating them into the communities where they work and by collaborating with local organizations to address other factors that impact health such as hunger and homelessness. With residency programs in family medicine, general surgery, and registered nursing, CHI Franciscan is actively addressing the urgent need for more health care access in the South Sound.

“Our mission is to create healthy communities and ensure access to quality care is available to everyone in need,” said Ketul J. Patel, CEO of CHI Franciscan. “Our residency programs are another way we are creating solutions to address the need for health care providers and services throughout the region.”

On the Kitsap Peninsula, the Northwest Washington Family Medicine Residency Program (NWFMR) kicked off its inaugural year in 2018. Designed to attract new health care providers to the region, resident physicians work alongside top physicians to receive hands-on training in family medicine, obstetrics, geriatrics and more, while caring for patients in the program’s family medicine clinic in Bremerton. Additionally, to practice effective community-based medicine, resident physicians volunteer with local nonprofit organizations including Cascadia-Bountiful Life Addiction Treatment Center, Kitsap Food Line, and Alcoholics Anonymous. In these volunteer roles, resident physicians do everything from serving nutritious meals to organizing community events.

The program, spearheaded by NWFMR founding director Michael Watson, MD, FAAFP prepares students for the social and cultural issues they encounter during their training.

“Dr. Watson’s vision was that new physicians would build deep knowledge of community resources available for our patients,” said second year resident physician Jacob Van Fleet. “I can think of a number of times I’ve recommended a community organization to a patient, whether they’re in need of support for addiction, food insecurity, housing, or financial assistance, for example. For someone like me who didn’t grow up here, this has been a great opportunity to connect with the community.”

In the program’s first year, new physicians performed almost 2,000 office visits for patients who would not have otherwise seen a physician and the program is expected to nearly triple that number within the next year. By 2020, the program’s first, second and third-year cohorts will comprise the largest group of primary care physicians on the Peninsula.

Nurses in Harrison Medical Center’s 10-year-old Versant Registered Nurse Residency Program take a similar approach to their work on the Peninsula, combining service work with medical training and hands-on patient care. Along with classes and clinical rotations, resident RNs work to identify a local health care challenge and develop a sustainable, integrated solution.

“Training nurses to approach challenges with innovative, multi-disciplinary solutions helps bring down health care silos,” said residency program coordinator Julie Gardner, MSN, RN, PCCN, of Harrison Medical Center.

The work benefits the community long after each resident RN cohort graduates, because most of them choose to remain at Harrison – the program boasts retention rates of 90-95 percent over the past three years. High retention rates were just one of the metrics the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) considered when awarding the program its first Practice Transition Accreditation Program (PTAP) certification this spring.

Elsewhere, the General Surgery Residency Program at Tacoma’s St. Joseph Medical Center, the first in Pierce County, welcomes its inaugural class this month. After a four-decade decline in the number of general surgeons nationwide, fewer general surgeons are available to care for the region’s aging population. The General Surgery Residency Program will seek to address this need by training resident surgeons to perform a wide range of surgeries related to chronic conditions, critical care, oncology and trauma.

“Our region has an acute need for skilled, compassionate general surgeons with broad multidisciplinary training,” said Tommy Brown, MD, FACS, a CHI Franciscan surgeon and the program’s founding director.

Local patients aren’t the only ones who benefit from residency programs – the response from health care providers has also been overwhelmingly positive. For resident physicians, building these local ties with faculty and community members is vital, Watson noted. “Our goal is to train physicians who want to stay locally, and the more community connections we can build, the more likely that is to happen.”

CHI Franciscan is also developing future health professionals in two additional areas of practice with residency programs in pharmacy and podiatry. Learn more about the residency programs at www.chifranciscan.org/about-us/residencies.

 

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