Bulletin Board: News from Tacoma and Beyond



June is Walk Tacoma Month, and Downtown On the Go will be celebrating by holding walk events on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. The Architecture Walk is on June 5, and the Museum Walk and social at the Foss Waterway Seaport is on June 19.

Leading off the month, former Tacoma City Council member and architect David Boe will take everyone on an architecture tour of downtown. The 1-mile walk will highlight historic buildings along A Street, Pacific Avenue, Commerce Street, and Broadway, including the Elks Temple where the new McMenamins hotel is located. Participants will also learn about the design of our downtown, and some of the changes it has seen through the years.

Due to the popularity of the event, Downtown On the Go will be offering two Architecture Walks: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1-2 p.m. Both walks, sponsored by Commencement Bank, will start at 1201 Pacific Plaza.

The second walk of the month, led by WA State Historical Society Director, Jennifer Kilmer, is the Museum Walk on June 19 at 5:15-6:30 p.m. The 1.4-mile walk, sponsored by Spaceworks Tacoma, will start at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma and stop outside many of the downtown museums. Representatives from each museum will talk about the exciting things happening at the museums including current exhibits and events. The Foss Waterway Seaport, which will be the last stop on the walk, will open its doors just for the participants and host a social with snacks and music.

The events are free, all ages are welcome, and American Sign Language interpretation will be available. Register for the walks online or sign-in at the event.

The Walk Tacoma series, sponsored by the Puyallup Watershed Initiative Active Transportation Community of Interest, is a six-event walking series held on the first Wednesday of the month, from April through August. All walks in the series include activities for children provided by the Children’s Museum of Tacoma.

For more information on the Walk Tacoma series, visit www.downtownonthego.org or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



The next City Club of Tacoma dinner program will feature new members of the Legislature from Pierce County. Learn and discuss with these freshman legislators about what it is like to serve in Olympia, their experience and the bills that mattered the most to them and their constituents this year.

There will be two panelists. State Representative Chris Gildon is a Republican from the 25th District, which includes Puyallup, Fife and part of Parkland. State Representative Mari Leavitt is a Democrat from the 28th District, which includes University Place and Lakewood.

The event will take place on June 5 at 6 p.m. in Upper Marshall Hall on the campus of the University of Puget Sound.



Join the City of Tacoma to commemorate the second phase completion of the Pipeline Trail on Saturday, June 8, starting at 10 a.m. near East 43rd Street and Pipeline Road East in Tacoma. The celebration will start with a trail dedication and a ribbon-cutting event with elected officials and special guest speakers. Attendees can then enjoy a guided bike ride or walk on the newly constructed trail.

“Completing the Pipeline Trail has been a decades-long initiative that will be a game changer for the Eastside of Tacoma and the greater region,” said District 4 Council Member Catherine Ushka. “We are gaining an urban trail system that will entice families to experience the health benefits of exploring the outdoors, while providing the community with a safe and accessible walk and bike path when traveling to Eastside community centers. I welcome everyone to join me in utilizing this new path to travel across Tacoma.”

As part of the event, the City will also hold a free helmet fitting and give-a-way for all ages from 9:30-10 a.m., available while supplies last. It is suggested that attendees park at the trailhead at East 40th Street and make their way down the trail to the event location at East 43rd Street.

The project celebration is a culmination of many years of planning and capital funding by the City, Tacoma Water, Tacoma Metro Parks, and Pierce County for a multiphase 14.5-mile trail project connecting the Tacoma Dome Station with the Foothills Trail.

The second phase of the Pipeline Trail is a 2.4-mile contiguous shared use path starting at Pipeline Road East at East 48th Street and ending at East D Street at the Tacoma Dome Station. Phase II of the project included new sidewalks, ADA compliant curb ramps, new LED lighting, signage for safety and wayfinding, a permanent bicycle counter, and bike compatible crossing beacons.

Pipeline Trail Phase III is the final section of the trail in the City and it is fully funded for construction. The project will extend the completed trail starting at East 56th Street and Pipeline Road East to the intersection of 72nd Street East and Waller Road East in unincorporated Pierce County. Work on this last trail segment is coordinated with Tacoma Water and is planned to begin in late June.

For more information on phase two of the Pipeline Trail, contact Project Manager Darius Thompson at darius.thompson@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 573-2410.



The Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation has recognized the City of Tacoma’s Historic Preservation Office for Outstanding Achievements in Historic Preservation Education. Each year, the department recognizes persons, organizations and projects in several categories that achieved distinction in the field of historic preservation.

The department said, “This award reflects the City’s commitment to historic preservation for economic development and fostering quality of life. To achieve this recognition, preservation staff including Historic Preservation Officer Reuben McKnight and Assistant Historic Preservation Officer Lauren Hoogkamer, pursued an aggressive agenda of linking up historic preservation with new audiences to get them excited about the City’s historic places and heritage. To do this, they forged new partnerships to organize a wide range of innovative and fun events that included scavenger hunts, bicycle rides, themed dance parties, and pub crawls.”

“Over the past several years, the City has been focusing on the importance of education, outreach and engagement for historic preservation, especially with new audiences,” said McKnight. “The City’s Historic Preservation Office is honored to have these efforts recognized.”

City staff will receive this award during a presentation scheduled for the end of May 2019.

For more information on Historic Preservation programming, visit cityoftacoma.org/HPEvents or contact Hoogkamer at LHoogkamer@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 591-5254.



On Saturday, June 8, Baskin-Robbins at 6214 6th Ave. will hold a guest appreciation day from noon to 4 p.m. The day will include $1.50 ice cream scoops, entertainment for the whole family, a DJ and live entertainment, prize wheel and more. A perfect family event.



Organizers of the Rainier to Ruston Relay are in need of volunteers to help at the start and finish lines. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the running community and have some fun. Got a friend or family member running? Come cheer them on and help out at the same time.

The following help is needed:

  • Start line: 5-10 a.m., helping with runner race day packet pick-up
  • Finish line: 1-7 p.m. Duties include set-up, handing out medals, assisting with timing, handing out water, cheering on runners.

All volunteers will earn a 50 percent off credit good for the B&O Half Marathon 2019 or to apply to an individual entry for Rainier to Ruston 2020 – and 100 percent of the race proceeds go toward the purchase and maintenance of the very trail system runners enjoy on race day. It’s the mission of the Foothills Rails to Trails Coalition to make this possible.

If you are interested in helping out at this great event, please e-mail booch82@gmail.com.



The Pierce County Library System continues a Year of Reading with the next installment of Pierce County READS featuring Imbolo Mbue, author of the New York Times’ best-seller and Oprah Book Club selection “Behold the Dreamers.”

“Pierce County READS is a community one-book program intended to bring together people from throughout the community,” said Library Executive Director Georgia Lomax. “The real-life story of Imbolo Mbue speaks to all of us as she tells her journey of challenges and triumphs to pursuit a life and definition of the American Dream. This is truly a story to bring our entire community together.”

Pierce County READS is highlighted by a free author talk and book signing with Mbue on Sunday, June 9, 2 p.m., at Pioneer Park Pavilion, 330 S. Meridian in Puyallup. This Pierce County READS event is presented in partnership with the Puyallup Public Library. Pierce County READS events will also include several book discussions.

Pierce County READS brings together Pierce County residents to engage, read and talk about great books. This summer’s selection, “Behold the Dreamers,” explores the real-life and first-hand accounts of marriage, immigration, class, race and the American Dream through the experiences of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession hits.

Mbue, a native of the seaside town of Limbe, Cameroon, has earned a number of accolades for her debut novel, which propelled her to stardom after being selected for Oprah’s Book Club in 2016. The novel has been translated into 12 languages, adapted into an opera, is about to become a stage play, and was recently optioned for a movie.

Doors for the author event June 9 open at 1 p.m. Seating is first come, first served. People may purchase books at the event from King’s Books.

The Library System has declared 2019 A Year of Reading, to help people offset the pressures of daily life and help them relax. A Year of Reading will include author visits, personal reading shoppers in libraries and online through the Library’s My Next Read service, e-newsletters with reading recommendations, Read with a Dog to build children’s reading skills, and other ways to engage and connect people with reading.

Pierce County READS events are free thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Pierce County Library Foundation.

For more information on this summer’s featured author, Imbolo Mbue, her book and upcoming Pierce County READS events visit www.piercecountyreads.org.



Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Elise Stefanik (NY-21) have reintroduced the Broadband for All Act, bipartisan legislation to create refundable tax credits for businesses and groups of people who team up to build the infrastructure that connects them to the country’s existing rural broadband service.

“Too many rural communities are being left behind in our economy because America’s internet infrastructure doesn’t reach them,” Rep. Kilmer said. “Connecting communities to high-speed internet will create more economic opportunities for more people in more places. It will lead to new jobs and businesses, empower students by placing new information at their fingertips, and help rural communities get in on the economic growth we’re seeing that’s been largely concentrated in America’s cities.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) classifies broadband internet as an internet connection with a download speed of at least 25 megabits per second. For perspective, that is also the minimum speed recommendation for Ultra HD quality streaming on Netflix.

According to the FCC, fewer than two thirds of Americans living in rural areas have access to broadband, while 97 percent of Americans in cities have access to at least the slowest version of broadband internet. According to the Speedtest Global Index, the average fixed broadband download speed is almost five times faster than 25 megabits per second.

The Broadband for All Act would create a new tax credit of up to 75 percent for groups of two or more homeowners or businesses to help cover the cost of building the infrastructure needed to get them online. The tax refund applies to any available technology, so each group can choose the best option that bridges the “last-mile” gap between their homes and businesses and the existing broadband service network.

Leveling the Playing Field

The data shows that Americans in rural areas do not have the same level of access to broadband as those living in more urban areas and cities. According to the FCC, approximately 39 percent of people living in rural areas lack access to high-speed broadband. According to data gathered by Microsoft, only 38 percent of the population in Clallam County, Washington uses a broadband connection. In neighboring Jefferson County, that figure stands at 36 percent. By comparison, almost 79 percent of King County residents use a broadband connection. These disparities reflect the difficulties – often directly related to high costs and lack of access – faced by rural communities in obtaining access to broadband.



During planned system maintenance beginning today through June 4, online voter registration and updates will be unavailable at myvote.wa.gov. However, Washington residents can still make and update voter registrations via downloadable, printable forms available at the Office of Secretary of State’s elections websiteat http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections.

The Secretary of State’s voter registration page at www.sos.wa.gov/elections/register.aspxcontains forms for new Washington voter registrations and updates to existing voters’ information, such as name or address changes, that can be printed in any of 21 languages and submitted by mail or in person at county elections offices.

During the system maintenance, visitors to the MyVote site at https://weiapplets.sos.wa.gov/MyVote/#/login will still be able to check their registration status. The system is scheduled to resume full service Tuesday, June 4.

Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.




Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-West Pierce County, supported by DuPont Mayor Michael Courts, has announced his plan to introduce legislation to create a bipartisan state entity, which would provide oversight over future rail projects – oversight that might have prevented the 2017 Amtrak derailment in the City of DuPont and that claimed three lives, injured many others and endangered surrounding communities.

The entity would also review major safety issues regarding non-rail transportation projects and corridors.

O’Ban, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, represents the legislative district in which the derailment occurred.

The State Transportation Oversight Panel (STOP) would be comprised of the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House transportation committees. It would be supported by non-partisan committee staff and by caucus policy counsels from both transportation committees. And, unlike the current Joint Transportation Committee, it would be managed by a chairperson who is non-voting and does not hold office.

“It’s important that any group charged with making sure that these projects are given fair critical review be a group that is equally divided along partisan lines – a balance that promotes cooperation. Three out of four votes are needed which ensures that all reviews have bipartisan consensus. Transportation safety shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” said O’Ban.

“This was the genius of the structure the people created when they enacted Washington State’s Redistricting Commission, which has proven to be the very best in the country at forging fair results because of the intrinsic cooperation on which it relies.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), in this week’s hearing on the DuPont derailment, outlined several recommendations for Sound Transit, Washington State Department of Transportation and Amtrak, all of which it said should have made safety, not a rush to commence train operation, their top priority. O’Ban’s plan would require those involved to provide reports to the newly created STOP detailing how they have implemented the NTSB recommendations. And it would require them to submit future risk assessments, plans and reports to STOP so that someone is in a position to make sure all the pieces fit together before projects like the Pt. Defiance Bypass proceed.

“Amtrak and Sound Transit want to resume service on the Pt. Defiance Bypass. That should not be allowed to happen until the state takes a much closer look at how they have addressed safety concerns. Since we can’t pass legislation until the 2020 legislative session, I call on the proposed legislative members of the new panel to convene it immediately, hold hearings, and co-sponsor the legislation when I introduce it this fall,” said O’Ban.

“Although ultimately, human error caused the derailment, the NTSB made clear the engineer was set up for failure by the combined incompetence of Sound Transit, WSDOT and Amtrak.,” said O’Ban. “Passengers and the communities in my district through which this service will travel are entitled to certitude that the NTSB’s recommended steps have been taken. And the people should be able to feel confident that someone is looking out for their interests.”



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