Bulletin Board: News from Tacoma and Beyond

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Chamber’s New Tacoma Award recipients announced

Businesses, organizations and individuals who make outstanding contributions to downtown Tacoma were nominated as part of the annual New Tacoma Awards.

This year, the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, in coordination with Venue Sponsor Pacific Grill Events & Catering, and Awards Sponsor NW Etch, honored nominees and recipients at the Chamber Luncheon on Friday, July 12 at the Pacific Grill Events Center.

The 2019 New Tacoma Awards recipients are:

  • Ghilarducci Award: McMenamins Elks Temple,
    recognizing new development, renovation, or beautification
  • Popham Award: David Fischer, Tacoma Arts Live, honoring the individual that has done the most to build community spirit
  • Public Places Award: Prairie Line Trail, BRCA, recognizing the best activation of a public park, open space, or area in the public right-of-way
  • Schoenfeld Award: Johnny’s Dock, highlighting exemplary performance of pizzazz as a retailer or restaurateur
  • Union Station Award: Kōz Development, celebrating a leading organization, company, or individual that has built or sustained momentum for revitalization

 

Cantwell announces $1.5M in new housing, homelessness grants

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has announced that the City of Tacoma will receive $1.35 million in grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). Tacoma will also receive $208,750 from HUD’s Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program.

The funding will help increase the supply of affordable housing units and address homelessness in the community. In addition to the grants for Tacoma, Pierce County also received $4.28 million, announced earlier this month.

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.

The ESG program provides funding to communities to help address homelessness. These grants can be used to engage homeless individuals and families living on the street; improve the number, quality, and operations of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families; provide essential services to shelter residents; rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families; and prevent families/individuals from becoming homeless.

Senator Cantwell has long supported 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.

 

Dalco Passage Crossing Swim: Tahlequah to Owen Beach

Swim Defiance will sponsor the sixth annual 3K and 5K swims from Tahlequah to Owen Beach at Point Defiance Park on July 21. In water temperatures from 55-57 degrees, most of the swimmers will wear specially designed swimming wetsuits. The 3K swimmers will catch the 7:35 a.m. ferry to Tahlequah and begin their swim to Owen Beach at 8 a.m. The 5K swimmers start at 7:30 a.m. and will swim a triangular course from Owen Beach around two buoys near Tahlequah and back to Owen Beach.

These swims recreate the historic first 1926 Tahlequah to Point Defiance swim.

Thirteen swimmers entered that first swim in 1926 and finishing fourth was Alexina Slater, a 15-year old student from Stadium High School. She finished the course in one hour and 20 minutes and was the only female swimmer in the group. A crowd estimated at 10,000 gathered to watch the swim and to cheer the finishers as they emerged from the Sound and crossed the finish line.

As you might have noticed, Metro Parks Tacoma has a huge renovation going on at Point Defiance Park. Owen Beach is next on the docket and the beach will be closed for the next two summers. So do not miss this last time for Swim Defiance to occur and witness the feat for those brave enough to swim without a wetsuit!

This Sunday join the crowds and watch what Swim Defiance advertises as “chilly, choppy, with a dash of history.”

 

Centerforce receives $2,000 grant from Lakewood Community Foundation

Centerforce has received a $2,000 grant from the Lakewood Community Foundation Endowed Fund (a Donor Advise Fund) through the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. These funds will support Centerforce’s mission of advocacy, employment and education.

“We support individuals with a developmental, intellectual and/or physical disability to fully integrate into their own communities through services and employment. We are grateful to the Lakewood Community Foundation Endowed Fund for its generosity,” said Debby L. Graham, executive director at Centerforce. “Their support is essential and enables us to continue Employment and Community Inclusion services for the citizens of Lakewood that we serve.”

Graham said Centerforce’s Community Employment and Community Inclusion programs currently serve 200 individuals (students and adults) with disabilities throughout Pierce and King counties. The individuals served have a wide range of disabilities and a number of barriers to traditional employment.

This grant will reduce the cost of the uncompensated services provided to Centerforce clients, such as securing housing, transportation, job supplies/training, financial/legal paperwork and more. Unfortunately, these services are not reimbursed by government and grants like the Lakewood Community Foundation Endowed Fund continue the enrichment of the lives of the clients served in the community.

This grant money makes an immediate impact on Centerforce’s mission and the lives of their clients, like Gary. Gary was struggling to find employment for years before coming to Centerforce. Job developers there spent time connecting with Gary to uncover his passions, helping him get his food handlers card and prepping him for upcoming job interviews. Soon after, Gary was hired at Lakewood’s Hops N’ Drops. In his first year of employment, Gary’s fine motor skills have improved, he has become a valued team member and best friends with his general manager, Sean.

“We couldn’t have these client outcomes without the support from agencies such as the Lakewood Community Foundation and the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation,” Graham said.

 

Shred and Share Day coming to Lakewood July 27

Old tax forms, account statements, medical records. Sure, we all have these items boxed up somewhere, but what do you do with sensitive personal information you no longer need?

WSECU has the answer.

WSECU will hold its annual Community Shred and Share Day on Saturday, July 27 at its Lakewood branch between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. WSECU members, as well as WSECU friends who live in the community, are invited to bring up to three file-size boxes – weighing up to 150 pounds – of old documents containing personal or sensitive information for secure shredding.

“One way to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft is the proper disposal of sensitive documents, and this is exactly what our annual event offers,” said Ann Flannigan, vice president of public relations. “But this day is simply not all about shredding. It’s also about sharing, and our event is a great way for people to give back to the community.”

In addition to offering this free shredding opportunity, WSECU’s Lakewood branch has teamed up with the Living Access Support Alliance (LASA) to provide support to those who are in need. Participants taking advantage of Community Shred and Share Day are encouraged to donate household cleaning items and personal hygiene products.

WSECU’s Lakewood branch is located at 9540 Bridgeport Way S.W., Lakewood, WA 98499.

 

Pierce County Trails Day is July 27

ForeverGreen Trails has announced that the third Annual Pierce County Trails Day will be held on Saturday, July 27, a countywide celebration of outdoor active recreation, mobility, and stewardship focused on trails.

“In cooperation and coordination with various cities and organizations, we have organized more than 25 free events across Pierce County, including bicycle rides, interpretive and wildlife viewing, family-friendly guided walks, trail maintenance, and even skateboarding,” says Larry Leveen, project and communications coordinator of ForeverGreen. “We are providing opportunities in several locations to make participation more accessible to residents across Pierce County.”

Events include: Bonney Lake, Fennel Creek Trail Walk;
Buckley, Foothills Trail Bike Ride to South Prairie;
DuPont, Sequalitchew Creek Trail Native Plant Walk;
Fife, Hylebos Trail Walk and Beautification;
Fircrest, Bird Walk in Thelma Gilmur Park;
Gig Harbor, McCormick Forest Park Native Plant Walk; Lakewood, Chambers Creek Canyon bird watching, Chambers Creek Canyon work party, Fort Steilacoom Habitat restoration work party, Fort Steilacoom Park interpretive walk, and Wards Lake Park walk;
Mount Rainier National Park, work party at Longmire; Orting, events at Foothills Trail;
East Puyallup, events at Foothills Trail;
Puyallup, Loop Trail walk, skateboard push to Tacoma, and Volkswalk at Clark’s Creek Park;

Tacoma Nature Center, trail walk;
East Tacoma, Gravel Grinder bike ride;
South Tacoma, Kidical Mass family friendly ride from South Park; South Tacoma, Oak Tree Park family walk and Oak Tree Park restoration;
Tacoma Point Defiance Park, cleanup and habitat restoration;
Tacoma, Puget Creek trail cleanup;
Tacoma, bicycle ride on the Scott Pierson Trail;
Tacoma-Ruston Way, Old Town history walk;
Transit to Trails (Tacoma Community College to Point Defiance Park).

Event details are listed on ForeverGreen’s website at www.forevergreentrails.org/pierce-county-trails-day-1.

ForeverGreen Trails is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Tacoma and is the leading voice for trails in Pierce County. Created in 2000 by a group of community stakeholders, ForeverGreen serves residents across the county through advocacy, education, policy-making, and facilitating the overall implementation of a regional-wide trails network.

 

Regal of Fife hiring for all positions

Regal Logistics, a third-party retail distribution provider doing business in Pierce County for 50 years, says its industry is experiencing unprecedented expansion and is working overtime to keep up with the growing demands of e-commerce and a robust U.S. economy.
“This translates into great opportunity for local workers who want jobs in warehousing, trucking, administration, IT and customer service, as there appears no end in sight to the demand for these kinds of positions,” says Lynette Scott, Regal’s HR Director. Most urgently, Regal needs experienced applicants for class A trucker driver, warehouse workers, dispatcher, accountant, customer service specialists, diesel mechanic and IT developer.

Record low unemployment means that employers are appealing to prospects who are likely already working and must offer something of value for them to switch jobs. Regal is no exception. “We’re where you are, close to home and family in affordable Pierce County is what I tell folks. That and Regal is a local, financially secure, family-owned business,” said Scott. “Our employees like where they work and average four years of service, mostly because of the good working environment, standardized processes and excellent safety record. Consistent employment, advancement opportunities, great work schedule and choice of two shifts also helps.”

Qualified individuals should email their resumes to hr@regallogistics.com or call (253) 719-3054 for more information. Regal offers competitive, weekly pay and a comprehensive benefits package. Additional details are available online about all Regal employment opportunities: www.RegalLogistics.com. Regal’s Fife headquarters Distribution Center (DC) complex is located at 6500 26th St. E.

Public invited to nominate Washington businesses that go the extra mile

Each year, the Office of the Secretary of State calls for nominations for the Corporations for Communities Award. Now in its 10th year, the Corporations for Communities award program recognizes for-profit businesses that give back to Washington State communities despite having no requirement to be generous.

“One of the highlights of my job is bringing attention to companies throughout Washington that go the extra mile for not only their customers but their communities,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman, whose office oversees the registration of Corporations and Charities in Washington. “I want to encourage anyone who knows of a business active in charitable causes to nominate them for the award.”

Secretary Wyman will present the Medallion Award on behalf of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) to up to five businesses nominated by the public via the annual Corporations for Communities program. Nominations for this year’s award begin today and must be submitted by Aug. 31. Nominations can be submitted online or by mail using forms on the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.wa.gov/corps/corpsforcommunities.

Any Washingtonian can nominate a business for the Corporations for Communities awards. For-profit corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships of any size are eligible. Nominees need to be registered with the Office of the Secretary of State and must be in compliance with state and federal laws.

In 2018, NASS Medallion Awards were presented to Avista Corporation of Spokane, Columbia Bank of Tacoma, and Cordell, Neher & Company of Wenatchee. These recipients demonstrated charitable activities such as paid time for employee volunteer work, sponsoring and organizing fundraisers, matching of employee giving efforts, making cash and in-kind donations, and building a community of giving within their organizations.

 

High-speed rail project could transform transportation in the region

Ultra-high-speed ground transportation could transform the Pacific Northwest by decreasing travel time, improving overall mobility and boosting economic growth, according to new study of the concept. The ultra-high-speed ground transportation business case analysis examined travel times of less than two-hour trips between Vancouver, British Columbia and Portland, and one-hour trips between Seattle and each city. The study, which expands on a 2017-18 preliminary examination, was delivered to the Washington State Legislature on July 12.

The ultra-high-speed system is projected to travel at speeds exceeding 200 mph, via high-speed rail, magnetic levitation, or hyperloop technology. The all-electric system would be stand-alone, rather than sharing or relying on existing infrastructure. It would include some elevated tracks and tunnels, with no at-grade crossings with roads.

The study outlines benefits, potential areas for stations, costs and funding and governance issues. It found that ultra-high-speed ground transportation could:

  • Create a new transportation spine in the region, transforming mobility for all residents.
  • Draw new companies to the region and create an estimated $355 billion in economic growth.
  • Be built within the 2017 estimate of $24 billion to $42 billion in up-front construction costs.
  • Provide between 1.7 million to 3.1 million one-way annual trips at start-up, in what analysts called a conservative estimate.
  • Generate between $160 million and $250 million in initial annual revenue.
  • Improve the environment with a projected reduction of 6 million metric tons (tonnes) of carbon emissions in the first 40 years as travelers opt for the ultra-high-speed option rather than private vehicles or planes.

Support for this international project is strong.

“The prospect of uniting Washington, Oregon and British Columbia with an ultra-high-speed transportation system that propels us into the future is incredibly exciting,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said. “Imagine fast, frequent and reliable travel with the potential for zero emissions and the opportunity to better compete in a global economy. It could transform the Pacific Northwest.”

“Improving connectivity in the Pacific Northwest region through ultra high-speed rail presents enormous potential for job and economic growth on both sides of the border,” said British Columbia Premier John Horgan. “This study confirms the numerous benefits for British Columbians and gives us a clearer vision of what can be achieved when we all work together.”

The exact route and type of ultra-high-speed transportation has not been determined and would require more analysis. All trips are expected to include a stop in greater Vancouver, British Columbia, the Seattle metro area and Portland, Oregon. Some trips also may include additional stops in other cities, including Tacoma.

“Bringing high-speed rail to the Pacific Northwest will deepen and accelerate the growth of our economies, all while contributing to our efforts to combat climate change,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “I appreciate our partners’ leadership, commitment, and coordination in taking on a project of this scale.”

The business case study was overseen by the Washington State Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Province of British Columbia and Microsoft, which all shared in the costs. Both studies grew out of ongoing Cascadia Innovation Corridor planning efforts, a cross-border coalition bringing together business, academic and government leaders to build a global hub of innovation and commerce in the Pacific Northwest.

“High-speed rail will shrink travel times throughout the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, providing a strong transportation core for our region,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “These findings highlight the transformative impact of this service, and we are encouraged to see cross-community support for the next phase of this international project.”

An advisory committee, representing public, private and nonprofit sectors from Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, provided input during the year-long technical analysis. The study was completed by consultant WSP along with Steer Davies Gleave, EnviroIssues, Paladin Partners and Transportation Solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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