TPU LAUNCHES WOMEN'S RESOURCE GROUPS
Nearly half of the women who work for Tacoma Public Utili-ties gathered recently to participate in a new resource group designed to sup-port women in the
workplace. Just overa quarter of Tacoma Public Utilities’ employees are female.
The group, called Women’s LINC (lead, inspire, connect), aims to help women who work for the utility build their skills, find opportunities for career growth and network with other professionals. Ideally, the group will also help attract more women to the organization and the industry.
“A small group of women started meeting informally, and we felt this type of experience might be good for all women who work for TPU,” said Jennifer Laughlin, a Tacoma Water employee and co-architect of the group.
Tacoma Public Utilities’ workforce is about 27 percent female, reflecting the traditionally male-dominated roles needed in the organization, such as line electrician, construction worker, engineer and other STEM-related fields.
“Our industry has struggled with finding ways to increase the number of females who choose utility-related careers,” said Tacoma Public Utilities Director Bill Gaines. “When I was approached by these employees with their idea, it was immediately clear that we needed to nurture and support their efforts.”
At the meeting, Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, Emergency Food Network Executive Director Helen McGovern-Pilant and Tacoma Power Section Manager Dolores Stegeman discussed how their careers have developed and what it’s like to serve as a female leader in this community.
“These local leaders had great stories to share. They serve as an inspiration to women,” Laughlin said. “We’re looking forward to more events like this and trying to provide resources for women in the utility industry.”
PCTV HIGHLIGHTS COUNTY PROJECTS
Pierce County News on PCTV for the week include broadcasts about:
• Rural zoning in central Pierce County to be big topic in community plan updates
• Demolition of old Puget Sound Hospital to begin in late June
• County Council could put money toward existing mobile crisis teams
• Lots of online feedback gives clear vision for south area of Chambers Creek Park
• Festival of Sail brings tall ships to Thea Foss Waterway June 15-18
• Rainiers fans cheer on King Felix during rehab at Cheney Stadium
• Pierce County Parks & Recreation: summer camps & movies in the park
The weekly newscast is produced by PCTV. Find it on channel 22 Comcast and Click!, and channel 20 Rainier Connect every day at 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Watch online anytime at www.piercecountytv.org/pcn.
EVERGREEN POST OFFICE TO HOST PASSPORT FAIR
The Tacoma-Evergreen Post Office, 4001 S. Pine St., is hosting a Passport Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, to provide passport information to U.S. citizens and to accept passport applications.
Passport fees are separate payments of $110 for persons 16 and older or $80 for minors under age 16. The fee must be paid by cash, check or debit card. Passport card applications will also be accepted. The Cards cost $30 for those over 16 and $15 for those under 16. There is a $25 processing fee for each Passport book or card. Photos are available for $15.
Applicants must provide proof of citizenship, which can be a certified birth certificate, certificate of naturalization or a previously issued Passport. Proof of identity is also required which can be a current driver’s license, military identification or state identification card. Additional information on applying for a passport book and/or passport card can be found at www.usps.com/passport or travel.state.gov. You can also download DS-11 Form First-Time Passport Application and DS-82 Form Passport Renewal Application at the site.
U.S. citizens may also obtain passport information by phone, in English and Spanish, by calling the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1 (877) 487-2778. Customers planning to attend the fair are asked to RSVP by calling (253) 471-6022.
STROLL ALONG TACOMA’S WATERFRONT JUNE 21
Extend your celebration of the Festival of Sail through Walk Tacoma Day with a summer stroll along the scenic downtown waterfront. Downtown On the Go’s Waterfront Walk is on Wednesday, June 21 from 5:15-6:30 p.m. The event, sponsored by Veteran & Business Service, will start at the Tacoma Dome Station at 505 E. 25th and end with live music, light refreshments, and free exploration of the museum exhibits at Foss Waterway Seaport at 6:30 p.m. Following the social, participants have the option to take a boat ride along the waterway back to the Museum of Glass, where they can ride the Link or walk the half mile back to the starting point of the walk.
The event is free, and all ages are welcome. The free 1.5 mile walk is led by Wesley Wenhardt of the Foss Waterway Seaport, and walkers will hear historical tidbits and modern developments of the downtown waterfront as well as learn facts about Foss Waterway Seaport.
A great place to explore, “the Thea Foss Waterway was once considered one of the top five polluted waterways in the nation and has transformed itself over time into a vibrant downtown destination gateway filled with marinas, residential developments, restaurants, and more,” according to Norman Gollub, the Executive Director of the Foss Waterway Development Authority.
This year, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma is partnering with Downtown On the Go to provide an activity for children at all of the Walk Tacoma events to encourage families to participate. Along the route, children will have the opportunity to hunt for “Tacoma Rocks” and complete a Waterfront Walk photo Bingo card.
The Walk Tacoma Series, sponsored by MultiCare and the Puyallup Watershed Initiative Active Transportation COI, is a seven-event walking series held on the first Wednesday of the month, from April through September. The fun, themed walks, now in their eighth year, encourage people to enjoy downtown on foot by introducing new walking routes and sharing information about the community and its history through guided tours. The walks are scheduled at lunch hour or just after work to encourage downtown employees, students, and residents to walk during the day, whether to and from work or school, at a lunch break, or to run a quick errand.
For more information on the Walk Tacoma Series, visit www.downtownonthego.org. Register for the walk online at www.downtownonthego.org/go/walking or sign-in at the event.
APPLICANTS NEEDED FOR REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY BOARD
Tacoma City Council is looking to fill five positions on the Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority Board – one position with experience as an attorney; two positions with at least three years of experience as a licensed real estate broker; and two positions with experience in the construction or development of affordable housing or mixed use projects.
The board, among other things, administers loans to a variety of populations including low-income Tacoma families who need help buying or repairing their homes, developers that provide multi-family housing to low-income families, businesses that create jobs or rehabilitate blighted commercial spaces, and non-profit organizations that provide housing assistance and economic development services to the Tacoma community.
Board members serve two-year terms. To the extent possible, the board shall be comprised of two members with experience as attorneys; two members with experience in banking or financing; two members with experience in the construction or development industry; two members with experience as certified public accountants; and two members with three or more years of experience as licensed commercial or residential real estate brokers or agents.
TACOMA NURSE NAMED FINALIST IN SEXIEST VEGAN CONTEST
PETA is preparing to crown this year's Sexiest Vegan Next Door – and nurse Daniel Dyviniak beat out hundreds of other entrants from across the nation to advance to the final round of 10 male and 10 female contestants. Visitors to PETA.org can now help PETA select the two lucky winners, one man and one woman, who will each receive a free vacation for two to Maui, Hawaii, courtesy of Humane Travel.
Dyviniak went vegan three years ago after an HIV-positive diagnosis prompted him to care deeply about the welfare of others, including animals. Now, he says, his cholesterol levels are low, his liver and kidneys are healthy, his nails are stronger, and his skin is clearer—and he uses his own experience to advocate a healthy, plant-based diet to people newly diagnosed with HIV as a way to combat the damaging side effects of the medication.
"As a nurse, Daniel protects the well-being of his patients, and as a compassionate vegan, he not only protects himself but also prevents more than 100 animals a year from being killed for food," said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Each one of the finalists in PETA's contest is a testament to how sexy vegans are – inside and out."
Voting for the finalists to help PETA determine whom it should select as the winners ends at noon on June 21. PETA will select the winners based on several factors, including vote count. See the full contest details here. Winners will be notified and announced on June 28.
ACU HELPS ERASE TACOMA’S SCHOOL LUNCH DEBT
America's Credit Union President and CEO Ken Leonard President heard about Jeff Lew's Go Fund Me campaign to erase Tacoma’s school lunch debt and knew the credit union had to help.
Many local Tacoma residents had already heard about Lew's campaign to erase the Tacoma school lunch debt that started on May 17, and quickly reached enough donations to cover the outstanding school lunch debt. However, Lew didn’t want to stop there – knowing that many families would likely be in the same position this upcoming school year he wanted to ensure there was extra to cover any future debt. That’s when Leonard heard about the efforts on a local radio broadcast.
On June 8, Lew visited ACU’s DuPont office to share his efforts to erase the lunch debt of the school districts in Tacoma and the surrounding areas. Inspired by his efforts and willingness to support our local community, ACU donated $7,735 to the campaign to Erase Tacoma’s School Lunch Debt, which helped reach the $30,000 goal.
Many children depend on a nutritious lunch to help them through their school day. According to the 2015-16 report by Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for Washington State, 60.6 percent of Tacoma School District students are on free or reduced-price meals. If a child is unable to pay for their meal, a debt is started and families receive an invoice from the school district to pay the debt. Children with an outstanding balance are often shamed for not paying, including having their hot food taken away and replaced with a cold cheese sandwich. According to the School Nutrition Association, 76 percent of America's school districts have kids with school lunch debt and Tacoma is no different.
The total school lunch debt for Tacoma School District was a staggering $20,841.
SOUTH SOUND 911 ISSUES CALL NEW CENTER DESIGNS
South Sound 911 has issued a request for qualifications to select an architectural design team for a new public safety communications center. The center will be constructed at 3580 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma utilizing a traditional design/bid/build process.
In the months ahead, South Sound 911 will finalize planning and design before going to bid for a construction contractor. It is anticipated that construction could begin by late 2018 or early 2019. The project was originally intended to follow a public-private partnership (63-20) or lease-back process. However, South Sound 911’s executive director recommended a traditional design/bid/build process so the agency will have clearer ownership and control.
South Sound 911’s communication center project already overcame several setbacks with site selection, but Executive Director Andrew Neiditz is quick to note that the RFQ does not signify another setback.
“The time will be well-utilized and will be worth the wait,” Neiditz said. “Our primary responsibility is to the community and to support the first responders who serve them, so it is in everyone’s best interest to move forward conscientiously.”
Design submissions are due July 18.
PLOUGH TO PLATE SET FOR JUNE 24
Discover farm to table, 19th century style, at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum’s Plough to Plate on Saturday, June 24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Throughout the day guests can tour the heritage kitchen garden and poultry house, orchard, and grain patch and learn how these relate to the agricultural history of the Fort. To get in on the act visitors can try churning butter and hauling water with a yoke.
The Fort will be filled with living historians bartering in the Sale Shop, making music on the porch, spinning and weaving in the Laborer’s Dwelling and working over the forge in the blacksmith’s shop.
New this year, kids can participate in an egg and spoon race, a traditional game in the 19th century. A pancake race will be held for adults. This British tradition dates back several centuries and involves participants running a course while flipping a pancake in a frying pan.
The highlight of the day is the cooking competition with our period chefs trying their best to impress the judges with flavor and presentation to win the coveted “Golden Skillet” award. Fort cooks will attempt to sway the judges with their use of common Victorian ingredients, cooking techniques and an entertaining story about how they created their tasty dish at Fort Nisqually in the 1850s.They also score points for historical authenticity and the use of produce and herbs from the Fort’s gardens. Judging takes place at 3:30 p.m.
Given other events occurring in Point Defiance Park that day, it is recommended that guests enter the park from Mildred Street.
Event admission is $8-$10, and children 3 and younger are free. For more information visit fortnisqually.org or call (253) 591-5339.
PORT ALLIANCE TO INVEST MILLIONS ON CRANES, TERMINAL IMPROVEMENTS
The Northwest Seaport Alliance has approved a $52 million purchase of four more container cranes to join four others already on order for Husky Terminal in the South Harbor. They also approved an additional $2.9 million in improvements at Terminal 18 in the North Harbor and the West Hylebos Log Yard and Pierce County Terminal in the South Harbor.
“As the alliance, we can invest holistically in our facilities to ensure they remain competitive in this fast-changing industry,” said Dick Marzano, co-chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance and president of the Port of Tacoma Commission. “These improvements will help us serve our customers better and continue to create the trade-related jobs so vital to our state.”
The new cranes, to be built by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. in China, will be capable of serving ultra-large container vessels with an outreach of 24 containers and a lift height of 165 feet above the pier deck.
Construction is underway at Husky Terminal to reconstruct Pier 4 to align it with Pier 3, creating a contiguous 2,960-foot berth. These improvements will allow two 18,000-TEU ships to dock at the same time.
The reconstructed berth will also include conduit for future shore power to allow ships to plug into electricity while at dock. Construction and the first four cranes are estimated to be done in 2018. The four additional cranes will arrive in 2019.
The additional improvements approved Tuesday will enhance log yard and Terminal 18 docks and a building at Pierce County Terminal. Future Terminal 5 improvements in the North Harbor also are under design.