The Daily Mash-Up

Saturday, September 05, 2015 This Week's Paper
Tacoma Police Department Invites the Community to Dialogue

The Tacoma Police Department and City Manager’s Office are launching an effort to strengthen community engagement and build trust, relationships and understanding between Tacoma residents and police officers.

Project PEACE (Partnering for Equity and Community Engagement) will kick off with the first of five community meetings on Sept. 3 at the Peace Community Center (2106 Cushman Ave.). The community meetings will be co-hosted by the City and community leaders from September through October and will conclude with a culminating event on Nov. 9 at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center.

“We are excited to partner with community leaders to invite residents to conversations about how we can improve and strengthen our relationships with our community,” Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell said. “We are committed to building strong and resilient community relationships.”

Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. and the facilitated conversations will be from 5 to 8:45 p.m. for community members and police officers to dialogue about police relations and brainstorm ways to improve relationships. The locations where the community conversations will take place are:

• Sept. 3 Peace Community Center (2106 Cushman Ave.)
• Sept. 14 Asia Pacific Cultural Center (4851 S. Tacoma Way)
• Oct. 05 Lincoln High School Cafeteria (701 S. 37th St.)
• Oct. 21 University of Puget Sound Wheelock Student Center (1500 N. Warner St.)
• Oct. 29 Centre at Norpoint Cascade Hall (4818 Nassau Ave. NE)
• Nov. 09 Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center (1500 Broadway) – Culminating Event

All events are open to the public and free to attend. Light refreshments and activities for children will be provided.

For more information, or to register to attend one or more of the events, visit cityoftacoma.org/ProjectPEACE

Young disappointed after Council’s behavioral health study vote

Pierce County Councilmembers Derek Young and Connie Ladenburg had proposed a resolution directing the Performance Audit Committee to conduct a thorough, countywide evaluation of behavioral health services. However, Council Resolution R2015-91 was not adopted at the Tuesday, Aug. 25, council meeting, prompting Young to voice his disappointment.

“The behavioral health inventory would have identified where service gaps exist, what their impact on county services are, where investments should be made and what success should look like – all at no additional cost to taxpayers. I’m disappointed that we continue to fail the citizens we represent, who want us to do something to prevent people from further suffering.

“We’ve heard testimony from the public, the Sheriff’s Department, the Pierce County Jail, judges and from the health care providers who are doing their best to handle the crisis. This is an unfortunate turn of events, but I refuse to accept ‘no’ as the final answer. We’ll just have to try to find other ways to address this issue.

“Though the Council continues refusing to accept responsibility for dealing with behavioral health in our county, I don’t believe that this is the end of our effort to provide relief to our most vulnerable citizens.”

Pioneer Way entrance to Swan Creek Park closed Sept. 9-18

The Swan Creek Park entrance at Pioneer Way and the park area on the southeast side of Swan Creek will be closed weekdays Sept. 9-18 while crews dredge a sediment pond.

The Pioneer Way entrance and all park property on the southeast side of Swan Creek will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. The rest of the park will remain open. Park users can enter the park off of East Roosevelt Avenue.

Pierce County will post signs at trailheads and on either side of the worksite warning park users of the maintenance work and closures. People in the park should use caution around the worksite and follow instructions from the crew.

The sediment pond, which is located near the parking lot off of Pioneer Way, was built to protect Pioneer Way from flooding. Pierce County dredges the pond every two to three years to ensure sediment build-up does not cause problems during high water flows.

“This maintenance work is needed to protect Pioneer Way and surrounding residences and businesses during the flood season,” said Harold Smelt, Pierce County Public Works surface water manager. “We recognize these closures are inconvenient, so we appreciate the community’s patience.”

Before the pond was built, the area where Pioneer Way crosses over Swan Creek would become clogged with sediment when high water flows came down Swan Creek during rain events. The sediment pond provides additional water storage during storms and collects sediment to protect Pioneer Way where it crosses over Swan Creek.

Park users can visit www.piercecountywa.org/SwanCrParkClosure to learn more about the project and get regular updates about the closure.

Pierce County to reduce water usage in response to droug

Pierce County government will be taking steps to reduce water usage by at least 10 percent.

“I am asking staff to reduce the irrigation of lawns and landscaping at our facilities until further notice,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “We are experiencing a record drought and will continue to water our landscaping enough to keep it alive but our lawns will likely start to go brown if drought conditions linger.”

Tacoma Water has announced it has initiated Stage 2 of its Water Shortage Response Plan. McCarthy added that staff will continue to water ball fields and golf courses to ensure the safety of players and a quality experience, but that Pierce County will also look for additional ways to reduce water use within its office buildings.

“Our lawns will come back when the winter rains eventually come,” said Pierce County Sustainability Manager Ryan Dicks. “The problem is that weather forecasters are calling for a dryer than normal fall and early winter.”

The County is also urging residents to consider cutting back on water use at work and at home during the drought, stating that allowing lawns to go dormant, checking for water leaks and sharing information about the drought with friends and family can help reduce water use as well. For more information on the County’s water supply, visit savingwater.org.

Prior to this effort, Pierce County has reduced water use at its facilities by 19.6% since 2009, saving 15.4 million gallons each year in county-owned buildings.

County to open more areas of Chambers Creek

Pierce County Parks and Recreation is announcing that Soundview Trail, Central Meadow parking lot and the Central Meadow restrooms will reopen to the public on Saturday, Aug. 22. Those areas of Chambers Creek Regional Park had been closed for the U.S. Open golf championship, which took place July 15-21, 2015, at Chambers Bay.

“This is what we had hoped for; to make these popular county resources available to the public again before the end of summer,” said Parks and Recreation Director Tony Tipton. “We’re on schedule to meet our goal and look forward to having the entire park open to the public again as soon as possible.”

Access to the beach, the off-leash dog area and the Central Meadow grass area will remain closed for now, however Tipton says he expects to reopen beach access and the off-leash area before the end of the month. In addition, access to the North Meadow parking lot and grass area will remain closed for parking lot construction and restoration activities.

The Soundview Trail, Central Meadow parking lot and restrooms at Chambers Creek Regional Park now join the previously-opened areas of Playground by the Sound, North Meadow restrooms, Grandview Trail, East Slope Trail, and Environmental Service Building ball fields.

For safety reasons, the public is advised to please obey all signage and stay out of closed areas still undergoing restoration. Find more information on the park's reopening schedule on the Parks and Recreation Department's website.

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