Bulletin Board: News from Tacoma and Beyond

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Residential curbside recycling changes start Jan. 1

Changes to the City of Tacoma’s residential curbside recycling program, known as Recycle Reset, will take effect on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. These changes include maintaining residential curbside commingled recycling service, with minor adjustments to the accepted curbside recycling list. Changes also include a new recycling surcharge of $2.82 per month for all residential solid waste customers. 

“In 2018, China greatly reduced its recycling imports,” said Lewis Griffith, Solid Waste Management division manager. “The Recycle Reset will help to improve the quality of the materials we collect for recycling as well as cover the increased costs of recycling due to this shift in the global recycling industry.” 

These changes will be identified on customers’ bills as “Recycle Reset Surcharge.” Customers who participate in the Tacoma Public Utilities and Environmental Services bill payment assistance programs will be waived from this surcharge.

In addition, Solid Waste Management is planning to replace curbside glass collection with five glass drop-off stations throughout the city. Curbside glass collection will continue until these locations are finalized in early 2020. 

For more information on these changes, visit TacomaRecycles.org/Changes or contact Solid Waste Management at (253) 502-2100.

City council passes closed captioning ordinance 

The City of Tacoma will require all public establishments with televisions to turn on closed captioning beginning March 1, 2020.

The new City Ordinance aligns municipal code with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act and enhances local protections by creating an enforcement mechanism.

The new ordinance, once in effect, could result in fines of up to $500 per day in accordance with the enforcement provisions (TMC 1.82.050.F).

The Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation estimates that more than 900,000 of the state’s 7 million residents have some form of disability, which represents a significant part of our state’s economy.

“We don’t often consider how individuals who are deaf or have a hearing impairment experience the world,” Tacoma City Council Member Keith Blocker said. “This ordinance will help make Tacoma more accessible and welcoming to all residents in our community.”

The City estimates that, based on national averages of people who are hard of hearing, 6 percent or more than 200,000 overnight visitors to our region experience some form of hearing disability each year.

“We want to Tacoma to be an inclusive city where all people can participate and contribute to our community,” Mayor Victoria Woodards said. “This ordinance makes the social connections and information provided in community gathering spaces more accessible to our friends and family who are hard of hearing or deaf and there is also the potential for businesses to increase their revenues as more people feel welcomed.”

The City will be communicating with businesses and the community about the new ordinance before it goes into effect.

More information about the City’s Office of Equity and Human Rights is available at cityoftacoma.org/OEHR

Korean Women’s Association moves headquarters to Lakewood 

Korean Women’s Association (KWA) has announced that it has purchased a new property in Lakewood and will serve as the new headquarters for the organization. 

The 16,000 sq. foot property is located at 3625 Perkins Ln. SW, Lakewood, WA 98499 and will serve as the company’s new administrative headquarters. The move will take place in early 2020. 

“This is a milestone move for KWA,” says KWA CEO Pete Ansara. “As we grow our services across Washington State, we must reflect on the long-term commitment to the most vulnerable people. Providing a growing portfolio of human service programming requires space to house our staff. Our new space reflects our progress and success.” 

Currently, the headquarters are on the Pierce County campus also home to one of their senior centers and community centers. This move will allow for further expansion as the organization now serves all of Western Washington and has plans for continued expansion. 

“Speaking on behalf of the KWA Board, we are very fortunate to have strong leadership who realizes the potential of the agency and advocates for the needs of the organization. We’re pleased to be moving into such a nice space and the location with easy access. I have no doubt the move will enable us to serve greater community with more broad ranges of services and programs,” said KWA Board of Trustees Chair Grace Kim. 

Planning Commission adds meetings on community plan updates

The Pierce County Planning Commission has scheduled eight additional meetings on the Frederickson, Mid-County, Parkland-Spanaway-Midland and South Hill community plan updates in early 2020. The commission is scheduled to makes its final recommendations on the updates in March.

Community plans provide direction on how growth and development will occur. The plans address topics such as zoning, transportation, the look and feel of the community, and access to services and amenities. An overview of the proposed changes is available at www.piercecountywa.gov/cpupdate.

Upcoming meetings

The meetings will be held at the Pierce County Annex, 2401 S. 35thSt. in Tacoma.

Several meetings will focus on the Centers and Corridors proposal, which would focus growth along Pacific Avenue/State Route 7, Meridian/State Route 161, 176th Street East, 112th Street East and Canyon Road East. 

Two January study sessions are open to the public, but there will be no public testimony.

  • Jan. 7, 1-3 p.m.: Information about a concept that would allow the proposed Centers and Corridors rezones to be phased in over time.
  • Jan. 9, 1-3 p.m.: Information about a new approach to regulate design in the proposed Centers and Corridors zones.

Four public hearings will be held in February and March. Each meeting will feature a staff presentation, discussion by the commission, and public testimony about proposed changes presented at that meeting.

  • Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m.: Review additional draft proposed changes to the Centers and Corridors proposal.
  • Feb. 25, 9:30 a.m.: Results of the housing market study that provides a realistic estimate of additional housing growth related to the Centers and Corridors proposal for the Environmental Impact Statement. Environmental Impact Statements evaluate the environmental impacts of changes to plans and zoning and provide ways to reduce any identified impacts.
  • March 3, 6:30 p.m.: Review additional draft proposed changes to the Centers and Corridors proposal.
  • March 4, 6:30 p.m.: Review additional draft changes and potential amendments for the community plan updates.

The commission will make a final recommendation on each plan, associated development regulations, and amendments to the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan in March. There will be no public testimony.

  • March 10, 6:30 p.m.: Final amendments and recommendations.
  • March 12, 6:30 p.m.: Final amendments and recommendations.

The commission’s final recommendations will be submitted to the Pierce County Council. The council will then consider the proposed changes for each plan and determine whether to adopt them.

Visit www.piercecountywa.gov/cpupdate to view a meeting calendar and sign up for meeting updates.

Written comment accepted
Written public comment will be accepted until March 4 for consideration at the final recommendation meetings. It can be submitted via email to CommunityPlans@piercecountywa.gov or by mail or in person at Pierce County Planning and Public Works, Attn: Long Range Planning, 2401 S. 35th St., Suite 2, Tacoma, WA 98409.

Background
Using community feedback gathered over the last few years, Pierce County and the Land Use Advisory Commissions for the four areas drafted updates to the plans and development regulations. The Planning Commission has held public meetings and study sessions this summer and fall to review the draft updates.
To learn more about the proposed updates, community members can call the Community Plans Hotline at (253) 798-2799, email CommunityPlans@piercecountywa.gov, or send a letter to Pierce County Planning and Public Works, Attn: Long Range Planning, 2401 S. 35th St., Suite 2, Tacoma, WA 98409.

Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital earns national award for quality

Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital is one of only 10 children’s hospitals in the nation awarded ‘Top Children’s Hospital’ status today by The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital rating organization. This is the second consecutive year that Mary Bridge received this honor.

The Top Children’s Hospital award for 2019 is tied to achievements in patient safety and quality and is widely acknowledged as one of the great honors American hospitals can receive.

“We are honored that Mary Bridge is once again recognized for delivering great care to the communities we serve,” says Jeff Poltawsky, President and Market Leader of Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Network. “The Top Hospital award is a direct reflection of our dedication to providing the highest quality and safest care to our patients and their families. We are humbled to be in this year’s select group of children’s hospitals across the nation recognized for this distinction.”

The Top Hospital award considers many areas of hospital care including infection rates, patient experience, the prevention of medication errors and adherence to best practices in patient safety.

About 2,100 hospitals were considered for the award. Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including infection rates, practices for safer surgery, and the hospital’s capacity to prevent medication errors.

“We are pleased to recognize Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital as a 2019 Leapfrog Top Children’s Hospital,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “This demonstrates extraordinary dedication to patients and to the Tacoma and Puget Sound region. We congratulate the board, staff and clinicians whose efforts made this honor possible and know they share pride in this achievement.”

To qualify for the Top Hospitals distinction, hospitals must rank top among peers in the 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which assesses hospital performance on the highest known standards for quality and patient safety and achieve top performance in its category. To see the full list of institutions honored as 2019 Top Hospitals, visit www.leapfroggroup.org/tophospitals.

A few examples of the dedication to patients and family members that Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital provides are shown through 4-year old Sutton’s Story (https://multicare.wistia.com/medias/wpq4egodsm) and Liam’s Story (https://multicare.wistia.com/medias/cgeb8z35hg) who utilizes Child Life Services.

Secretary Wyman says to give smart

‘Tis the season for charitable giving, as well as charity scams. To help ensure all donations are going toward their intended causes, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman is reminding state residents of the dangers of charity fraud with a GiveSmart promotion of charitable awareness. 

“Unfortunately, the holidays are an opportune time for scammers and bad actors to take advantage of donors,” said Wyman. “The Office of the Secretary of State wants to be a trusted source of information for Washingtonians, which is why we are promoting GiveSmart, a collaborative effort between my office and the Attorney General’s to empower individuals to make informed decisions before giving.” 

Wyman recommends taking these GiveSmart steps before making a donation to a charity or fundraiser: 

  • Don’t give in to high-pressure solicitations demanding an instant commitment.
  • Do research before giving by checking the Secretary of State’s charity registration databaseand the 2019 Commercial Fundraisers Activity Report.
  • If an organization is registered, take time to review its annual registration, including federal tax-exempt status and financial information.
  • Check the charity’s Better Business Bureau rating.
  • If a third party is raising money for a charity, call the charity directly to make sure it has authorized the paid solicitor to collect donations on its behalf.

More resources are available at sos.wa.gov/charities/ResourcesforDonors.aspx. Donors may also contact the SOS Charities Program at 1 (800) 332-4483 for more information. 

Washingtonians who encounter a suspicious charity or commercial fundraiser can file a complaint on the Attorney General’s website at www.atg.wa.gov

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