The Daily Mash-Up

Friday, August 28, 2015 This Week's Paper

Once a month, the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health allows concerned citizens to voice their opinions. Tomorrow – Wednesday, Aug. 5 – those who wish to give, or hear, public commentary on e-cigarettes are invited to join up there with the Pink Lung Brigade for “Awareness Wednesday,” 3-5 p.m. The Health Department is located at 3629 S. D St.

Full weekend of SR 167 closure across Puyallup River begins Aug. 7

Drivers who rely on the State Route 167 Puyallup River Bridges (Meridian) are encouraged to plan for delays and alternate routes during the weekend of Aug.7.

Both the northbound and southbound SR 167 bridges that span the Puyallup River will be closed to traffic while crews relocate an obsolete steel truss bridge.

County outlines strategy for enforcing marijuana violations

By July 1, 2016, all unlicensed marijuana sales operations in unincorporated Pierce County – medical and recreational – must close. That message has been delivered to county landlords, business owners and operators whose establishments involve the burgeoning marijuana market.

Pierce County’s Marijuana Enforcement Policy Task Force, a collaborative effort made up of representatives from the County Executive’s office, the County Council, the County Prosecutor’s office, Planning and Land Services, Pierce County Responds, and the Sheriff’s department, began issuing letters of intent on Friday, July 24.

“It’s important that these individuals know that after a certain date, they will no longer be allowed to operate,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “However, it is our sincerest desire to work closely with these businesses in order to assist their compliance with the law. They’ve got plenty of time, and county resources are available to help them transition through this fledgling period.”

Under county code (chapter 18A.12), unlicensed marijuana sales establishments – sometimes referred to as “pot shops” – are illegal in the unincorporated portion of the county. While the county ordinance has been in place since Dec. 20, 2013, due to developing interpretations of state and federal laws it has largely gone unenforced.

“We owe it to our citizens to provide clear guidance and direction on this matter just as we would any other county issue,” said Councilmember Joyce McDonald, who represents Pierce County’s 2nd Council District. “Come July 1, 2016, there will be a significant increase in enforcement now that the state has provided a greater number of enforcement tools we can employ. By that date, we’ll be well on our way to shutting down illegal operations.”

In April, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 5052 which amends current recreational and medical marijuana laws, requiring unlicensed facilities to close by the July 1, 2016, deadline. Penalties for violating the law after that date could include arrest and criminal prosecution.

Under current law, individuals wishing to open retail marijuana establishments in Pierce County must obtain a license from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Control Board, as well as applicable county permits, in order to operate legally. However enforcing the law prior to the Legislature’s action in April would have been costly and fraught with legal questions, which is why the task force recommended waiting until the state clarified its stance.

For more information on state licensing requirements, visit www.liq.wa.gov. For more on the county’s zoning and development regulations, visit www.piercecountywa.org/pals.

Tacoma Link to run on extended hours Friday

Sound Transit will operate extended hours for Tacoma Link Friday, July 23 to accommodate crowds leaving the Motley Crue with Alice Cooper concert at the Tacoma Dome.

The last northbound train will depart the Tacoma Dome Station at 11:48 p.m.

The concert begins at 7 p.m.

Sound Transit buses and Link light rail trains will operate on a weekday schedule.

Complete train and bus schedules are available at http://www.soundtransit.org/Schedules.

East Pierce Fire raises $12k for MDA

More than 20 members of the East Pierce Fire Fighters IAFF Local #3520 raised $12,930 during the annual Fill the Boot drive on June 12th, June 18th, June 19th and June 26th to benefit children and adults affected by muscle disease throughout the Western Washington area.

“For six decades, firefighters have fueled MDA's mission to find treatments and cures for life-threatening muscle diseases, and this year’s Fill the Boot results are a perfect example of the true dedication the East Pierce Fire Fighters IAFF Local #3520 has toward supporting the families we serve,” said MDA Fundraising Coordinator, Danahé. “We’re grateful for the support of these inspiring, selfless individuals who provide life-saving help that will fund research, advocate for children and adults affected by muscle disease, and rally our community to fight back.”

Funds raised through 2015 the East Pierce Fill the Boot event will help support MDA's programs of worldwide research, specialized health care services, and day-to-day support – which includes sending children affected by muscular dystrophy and related muscle diseases to a weeklong, barrier-free MDA summer camp at Camp Seymour in Gig Harbor.

As the Muscular Dystrophy Association's largest national sponsor, the IAFF fuels MDA's mission to find treatments and cures for life-threatening muscle diseases. To date, the IAFF has raised $530 million for MDA.

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