The Daily Mash-Up

Monday, August 31, 2015 This Week's Paper
State Transportation Package Sends $15 million to Pierce Transit

Pierce Transit will receive $15 million from the State Transportation Revenue Package for transit improvements along the SR 7/Pacific Avenue corridor from Downtown Tacoma to Spanaway. This corridor is currently being served by Pierce Transit Route 1, provides nearly 2 million annual boardings, and has been in Pierce Transit’s long-range vision for faster more reliable service.

“This project funding will allow Pierce Transit to plan and implement a long range vision for this high use corridor. The $15 million in the package is a huge win for Pierce Transit customers making connections to jobs, school and regional service,” said Pierce Transit CEO, Sue Dreier.

The State Legislature finalized the $16 billion dollar Transportation Revenue Package Friday, July 10, just before Sine Die. The package; which includes investments in safety, maintenance, and finishing projects in Pierce County, included $111 million in transit projects across the state; $15 million of which is allocated to Pierce Transit. It also included a significant increase in funding for grant programs that have traditionally benefited Pierce Transit, which will assist Pierce Transit in capital investments over the next six years.

“I applaud the State Legislature for finishing the session with a finalized transportation package that includes major investments in transit funding which is critical to our customers.” said Pierce County Councilmember Rick Talbert, Chair of Pierce Transit’s Board of Commissioners.

The $15 million dollar investment is coupled with other grant awards totaling nearly $23 million dollars for Pierce Transit; including $4.6 million for the new Route 4, $1.2 million for peak hour service on Route 1 and almost $2 million in special needs transportation service.

“As a former Pierce Transit Board member it was a priority for me to ensure that any Transportation Package passed included significant funding for the Agency. The transit users of our region need significant investments in public transportation and this funding will assist in that,” said Jake Fey, a Representative from the 27th Legislative District and a former Pierce Transit Board member.

AMOCAT Arts Awards Nominations Due Aug. 2

Nominations for the 2015 AMOCAT Arts Awards are due by Aug. 2 to the Tacoma Arts Commission. An online nomination form is available.

“The arts are an essential part of Tacoma’s identity thanks to a dedicated community of arts supporters,” said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “The AMOCAT Arts Awards highlight the people, organizations and patrons who invest their energy and passion into making Tacoma an engaging and vibrant community.”

The three award categories are:

  1. Community Outreach by an Individual - Community outreach, engagement and involvement in the arts in Tacoma by an individual
  2. Community Outreach by an Organization - Community outreach, engagement and involvement in the arts in Tacoma by an organization
  3. Arts Patron - A community partner who significantly supports or contributes to the arts in Tacoma

The Tacoma Arts Commission will review all nominations and select one finalist in each award category based on the breadth and depth of the nominee's community impact as well as the quality of the work being done by the nominee, not by the number of times the nominee has been nominated.

Strickland will present the 2015 AMOCAT Arts Awards at the Tacoma Arts Month Opening Party on Oct. 1.

In the category of Community Outreach by an Individual, past winners include: Lynn Di Nino, Jared Pappas-Kelley and Michael S. Lent, Laura and Matt Eklund, Lance Kagey and Tom Llewellyn, Linda Danforth, William Kupinse, Oliver Doriss, Stella Haioulani, Katy Evans, David Domkoski, and Jessica Spring.

In the category of Community Outreach by an Organization, past winners include: Tacoma Art Museum and Museum of Glass Education Programs, Arts Impact, Tacoma School of the Arts, Barefoot Studios, Victory Music, King's Books, Hilltop Artists, Fab-5, D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts, The Grand Cinema, Puget Sound Book Artists, and Asia Pacific Cultural Center.

In the category of Arts Patron, past winners include: Sound Transit Art Program, Pierce Transit, 6th Avenue Business District, The Weekly Volcano, Hotel Murano, City Arts, Urban Grace Church, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Key Bank, Erivan and Helga Haub and family, and ArtsFund.

Additional information about the AMOCAT Arts Awards can be found online.

Tacoma Public Works, Environmental Services Departments Awarded Accreditation

The City of Tacoma’s Public Works and Environmental Services departments were recently awarded the American Public Works Association Accreditation. In recognition of this achievement, Pierce County Public Works Director and APWA Accreditation Board Chairman Brian Ziegler will present these departments with a plaque at the July 14 City Council meeting.

The APWA Accreditation program recognizes public works agencies that go beyond the requirements established in the industry, as contained in the APWA Public Works Management Practices Manual. The two departments were awarded the Accreditation in April, representing the 99th public agency in North America, and the sixth to have received it in Washington State.

“Being awarded the APWA Accreditation shows we have dedicated ourselves to concepts of improvement around department policies, procedures and practices,” said Public Works Director Kurtis Kingsolver. “It’s important to the City’s Public Works and Environmental Services departments to provide services and programs that contribute to making Tacoma a great city.”

League of Women Voters to Offer On-Line Voters Pamphlet on July 17, an internet-based Voter’s Guide produced by the League of Women Voters of Washington (LWVWA) in collaboration with local Leagues around the state, will be available online beginning July 17.

Voters will be able to view their ballot, and compare each candidate’s answers to League-written questions against the other candidates in the same race.

Voters will also be able to print their own personalized sample ballot, find instructions on how to register to vote, or transfer their voter registration address for the next election, as well as see the schedules for debates and forums in their local area.

Washington State League of Women Voters’ President Ann Murphy of Spokane said, “Ballots will be arriving soon for the Primary. For their vote to be counted, voters need to return their ballots to be postmarked by August 4th.”

The website picks up where the local voter’s pamphlet leaves off, with questions about the issues facing the office they are running for, answered in the candidates’ own voices. The League presents this as public service to the community. The League of Women Voters’ non-partisan 501(c)(3) Education Fund supports

General Services Building Referendum qualifies for ballot

The Pierce County Auditor’s Office has completed checking the signatures of Referendum 2015-1 regarding the proposed General Services Building. The referendum needed 24,427 valid signatures to qualify and achieved 24,493 valid signatures.

“I am proud of our elections team. They diligently checked thousands of signatures with accuracy and integrity during an intensely busy time,” said Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson. “Our primary election is rapidly approaching and simultaneously there have been multiple citizen petitions with tight timelines.”

The petition signatures were checked using Pierce County’s voter registration system. To be considered valid, each petition signer must be a registered voter in Pierce County and the signature on the petition must match the voter registration signature on file.

Pierce County Elections checked 33,519 signatures for this referendum before reaching the validation threshold. Once the validation requirement was reached, election workers stopped work. There are 372 additional pages which have not been checked.

“We are thorough and conservative. There was no reason to continue the signature check process once the validation number was reached. Now, we can turn our attention to another pressing issue: Signature checking for the City of Tacoma’s Charter Change Amendment petition.”

Referendum 2015-1 will appear on the Nov. 3, General Election ballot.

University Dental Tacoma Arts Month