The Daily Mash-Up

Wednesday, September 02, 2015 This Week's Paper

TV pundit Rachel Maddow, comedian Tracy Morgan or Soundgarden's Chris Cornell are among the biggest names being considered for Broadway Center's 2013-2014 season, and your vote counts.

Each year around this time, the center polls patrons regarding who they want to see next season and how much they're willing to pay. They year's survey can be taken here.

It's divided into eight sections: concerts, Broadway shows, classical concerts, family entertainment, theater, guest speakers, comedy and suggestions. Under each potential act is an average ticket price (though not necessarily what it will cost in Tacoma) and a buttons allowing you to vote yea or nay.

Also among the big acts being considered are bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, singer-songwriters Brandi Carlile, Rufus Wainwright and the Indigo Girls, TV icon Dick Van Dyke and a live political satire from “The Onion and “The Daily Show.”

Complete the survey and you'll be entered into a drawing for tickets to see Sweet & Spicy: A Valentine's Day Burlesque on Feb. 14 at the Pantages Theater.

Workshop set to help businesses learn how to thrive during Pacific Ave. construction

Tacoma’s Community and Economic Development Department in partnership with the Downtown Merchants Group will host a free workshop entitled "Bringing in the Green" on Thursday, Feb. 7.

This workshop is designed to help businesses learn how to thrive during the Pacific Avenue Streetscape project. The session will begin at 8 a.m. in the Pantages Theater Lobby, 901 Broadway.

For more information, please contact Debbie Bingham at (253) 591-5117.

Saturday mail delivery set to end in August

The United States Postal Service announced plans today to transition to a new delivery schedule during the week of Aug. 5, that includes package delivery Monday through Saturday, and regular mail delivery cut to just Monday through Friday. The move ends Saturday delivery of non-package mail. The Postal Service expects to saves of about $2 billion annually, once the plan is fully implemented.

“The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO. “We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings.”

The Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages for years. However, recent strong growth in package delivery (14 percent increase since 2010) and projections of continued strong package growth throughout the coming decade led to the revised approach to maintain package delivery six days per week.

“Our customers see strong value in the national delivery platform we provide and maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages is an important part of that platform,” said Donahoe. “As consumers increasingly use and rely on delivery services — especially due to the rise of e-commerce — we can play an increasingly vital role as a delivery provider of choice, and as a driver of growth opportunities for America’s businesses.”

Once implemented during August, mail delivery to street addresses will occur Monday through Friday. Packages will continue to be delivered six days per week. Mail addressed to PO Boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays. Post Offices currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.

Market research conducted by the Postal Service and independent research by major news organizations indicate that nearly 70 percent of Americans supported the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs in its effort to return the organization to financial stability.

Support for this approach will likely be even higher since the Postal Service plans to maintain six-day package delivery.

The Postal Service is making the announcement today, more than six months in advance of implementing five-day mail delivery schedule, to give residential and business customers time to plan and adjust. The Postal Service plans to publish specific guidance in the near future for residential and business customers about its new delivery schedule.

Given the ongoing financial challenges, the Postal Service Board of Governors last month directed postal management to accelerate the restructuring of Postal Service operations in order to strengthen Postal Service finances.

“The American public understands the financial challenges of the Postal Service and supports these steps as a responsible and reasonable approach to improving our financial situation,” said Donahoe. “The Postal Service has a responsibility to take the steps necessary to return to long-term financial stability and ensure the continued affordability of the U.S. Mail.”

The operational plan for the new delivery schedule anticipates a combination of employee reassignment and attrition and is expected to achieve cost savings of approximately $2 billion annually when fully implemented.

The Postal Service is currently implementing major restructuring throughout its retail, delivery and mail processing operations. Since 2006, the Postal Service has reduced its annual cost base by approximately $15 billion, reduced the size of its career workforce by 193,000 or 28 percent, and has consolidated more than 200 mail processing locations. During these unprecedented initiatives, the Postal Service continued to deliver record high levels of service to its customers.

While the change in the delivery schedule announced today is one of the actions needed to restore the financial health of the Postal Service, legislative change is urgently needed to address matters outside the Postal Service’s control. The Postal Service continues to seek legislation to provide it with greater flexibility to control costs and generate new revenue since it receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Don’t freak, Tacoma’s going every other week garbage collection

Every-other-week garbage collection begins March 11 for about 5,700 single-family households in a portion of North Tacoma. Customers will automatically receive double their current garbage capacity with either a new double-sized container or a second same-sized container.

The remaining 47,500 households will switch to every-other-week collection in phases through November 2013. Customers will receive advance notice by mail and phone.

Here’s a general timeline — subject to change — for when and where Solid Waste Management plans to implement the switch to every-other-week garbage collection.
• Monday garbage customers: March/April
• Tuesday garbage customers: June/July
• Wednesday garbage customers: August/September
• Thursday garbage customers: October/November
• Friday garbage customers: April/May

“Our customers can expect the same level of service as before,” said Mike Slevin, Environmental Services interim director. “They’ll be able to dispose of the same amount of garbage as usual.”

During the every-other-week garbage collection pilot program conducted in 2011, Solid Waste Management demonstrated that this approach will result in less garbage being disposed, increased recycling, reduced vehicle emissions and a smaller carbon footprint, and greater efficiency in collection.

For more information, visit, or call Solid Waste Management, at(253) 591-5543.

Puyallup Exceeds Savings Goals

The City of Puyallup achieved greater-than-expected savings by refinancing portions of three prior bond issues.

As part of the refinancing process, the city sold a total of $13.5 million of bonds on Jan. 29, to replace existing debt. The sale resulted in a net savings of $754,833 during the next 13 years. While the city set a 3 percent minimum savings goal, the actual savings achieved by the refinancing was roughly 5.5 percent due to the favorable bond market.

Mayor Rick Hansen stated, “It is our aim to prudently manage the resources our community has entrusted us with, and refinancing debt at lower interest rates has helped achieve that goal.”

City Finance Director Cliff Craig added, “Our timing in the market was very good. Because interest rates are still among the lowest in 45 years, the city was able to achieve a net savings that exceeded our goal.”

D.A. Davidson & Co. in Seattle served as bond underwriter.

The city’s “AA” rating on the utility revenue bonds and “AA-” rating on the general obligation bonds, both from Standard & Poor’s, also contributed to the success of the sale.

S&P cited the city utility’s strong financial metrics, minimal future financing needs, good management practices, and the city’s financial performance as credit factors supporting the strong ratings.

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