NIGHT CLOSURES BEGIN ON SR-16
Continuing through mid-August, crews working on the Washington State Department of Transportation’s State Route 16: Eastbound Nalley Valley project will close eastbound SR 16 and some city streets on multiple weeknights to set bridge girders.
In total, crews will set 83 girders this summer to build three separate bridges within the project: 1) the new permanent eastbound SR 16 viaduct; 2) the South Sprague Avenue on-ramp to southbound I-5; and 3) the South Sprague Avenue on-ramp to northbound I-5.
On June 21, crews will close eastbound SR 16 at South Union Avenue and the on-ramp to eastbound SR 16 at 11 p.m., detouring traffic via South Union Avenue. The lanes and ramp will reopen by 5:30 a.m. on June 22. South Tacoma Way will also be closed during those hours and traffic will be detoured via South Center Street.
Similar closures will be announced throughout the summer as this phase of construction is completed. For more information about Nalley Valley construction, motorists can visit WSDOT’s SR 16 Eastbound Nalley Valley project website. Information about highway closures around the South Sound can be found at http://www.tacomatraffic.com.
MILITARY SERVICE PARADE COMING TO DOWNTOWN
Preparations are underway as the Daffodil Festival partners with the City of Tacoma to pay tribute to Pierce County’s sizable active duty and retired military population. Together, they will host the first Celebration of Military Service Parade in downtown Tacoma on the evening of Aug. 24.
“Joint Base Lewis McChord is the largest military installation on the West Coast, and Tacoma should have an annual celebration to honor our active duty and retired military personnel and their families,” said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “This is a great way for us to express our appreciation and remind the community of all the great things our city has to offer.”
There are more than 44,000 active duty personnel at Joint Base Lewis McChord, which is Pierce County’s largest employer with a total base population of more than 100,000.
The parade will spotlight notable active duty and retired military personnel, and feature marching units, community floats, select high school bands, Reserve Officers' Training Corps and Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps units, veteran organizations and motorcycle units.
Details – including exact times, parade routes and road closures – are still under development, and will be announced soon.
The Daffodil Festival has secured financial commitments from three sponsors at this time – Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino, Puget Sound Energy and Washington State Fair.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for The Daffodil Festival to use its talents and resources to help recognize active duty and retired military personnel,” said Daffodil Festival Executive Director Steve James. “It is important for people in Pierce County to celebrate service. We are thankful that the Tacoma City Council has the confidence in our organization to be responsible for such an important event.”
Event updates and application instructions can be found at the http://www.daffodilfestival.org or contact Steve James at (253) 840-4194.
ALLENMORE GOLF COURSE HOLDS GRAND OPENING
The dedication of the Allenmore Golf Course and Events Center and Elks Lodge building will be held on June 22 at 5 p.m. The Elks national president will be the honored guest. The first Tacoma Lodge #174 Charity Golf Tournament, which is open to the public, will be held that same morning. All proceeds will benefit the lodge’s charity fund, and all donations are tax-deductible.
Tacoma Elks Lodge #174 has been an active part of the community for more than 120 years. During this time, it has always been the Elks’ goal to support many outstanding community activities. This year alone the Tacoma Elks worked with other community agencies to give Christmas gifts to more than 5,000 children, provided more than $60,000 in scholarships and the Elks have always been staunch supporters of active duty and American military veterans. Tacoma Lodge #174’s goal is to continue and expand such support of the community through charitable activities. To this end, the Tacoma Elks have made changes to reduce expenses and increase their contributions to the community. The new Allenmore Golf Course and Events Center will be open to the public and provide new stimulus to the community. It is located at 2013 S. Cedar St. For more information, call (253) 272-1117.
RAINBOW AWARDS NOW ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS
In its seventh year, the LGBTQ Community Awards are held as part of Tacoma’s Pride Week. They honor individuals and organizations whose efforts have had a positive effect on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and allied community of Pierce County. This year’s event will be on July 12 and hosted in the Grand Lobby of the Pantages Theater beginning at 4:30 p.m. This gathering is the night of Paula Poundstone featured at the Pantages and the night before Out in the Park and is free and open to the public.
The categories of the LGBTQ Community Awards are as follows:
Sapphire Award – Given to a youth organizer for service to the LGBTQ youth community of Pierce County. This award is open to youth ages 14-23.
Ruby Award – Given to an individual who is not part of the LGBTQ population, or an organization with a focus not primarily LGBTQ, but whose actions have directly benefited said community. This may be awarded for service in the past year, or for service rendered over an extended period of time.
Diamond Hall of Fame Award – Given to an individual for consistent and exemplary service to the LGBTQ community of Pierce County. This award is given for service rendered over a considerable length of time.
Anyone can put forth a nomination by submitting the name and phone number of the person making the nomination, the name of the group or individual being nominated and the award category in which they are being nominated. In addition, the nominator should explain why s/he believes this group or individual should receive the award in 500 words or less.
Nominations may be e-mailed or mailed to Ryan Mello – Tacoma City Council member, 747 Market St., Suite 1200, Tacoma, WA 98403;
TACOMA TO RECEIVE $200,000 IN EPA GRANTS
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that the City of Tacoma Community and Economic Development Department’s Local Employment and Apprenticeship Program, and its partners, have been selected to receive $200,000 in grant funding through the agency's Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program. This funding will support efforts to recruit, train and place individuals in jobs that address local environmental challenges.
“In partnership with the Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department, WorkForce Central, the Metropolitan Development Council, the Tacoma REACH Center and Clover Park Technical College, we hope to reach veterans, unemployed and underemployed individuals, and residents of Tacoma who have been disproportionately impacted by environmental threats,” said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. "We want to provide these individuals with a wide range of skills and certifications that improve their ability to secure not only short-term work, but full-time careers in the environmental field."
The City of Tacoma plans to train 54 students, place 39 graduates in environmental jobs and track these graduates for one year. The core training program includes 206 hours of instruction in 40-hour hazardous waste operations and emergency response; Occupational Safety and Health Administration construction safety; confined space entry; mold assessment and remediation; forklift construction reach and warehouse; chemical awareness; underground storage tank leak prevention; stormwater management and alternate treatment technologies.
Four supplemental training courses will be offered to graduates – Occupational Safety and Health Administration disaster site worker; certified erosion and sediment control lead; asbestos worker; and lead renovation, repair and painting.
A total of seven state and federal certifications will be offered through the core training program, with four additional certifications available through supplemental training.
GRAND CINEMA, HEALTH DEPARTMENT PRESENT ‘SCIENCE ON SCREEN’
The Grand Cinema and the Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department have joined forces to for an evening of Science on Screen on June 27. Emerging diseases expert Dr. James Bales and Nigel Turner, director of communicable disease control for the department, will give a presentation about researching and planning for dangerous viral outbreaks, which will be followed by a screening of the 1995 cult classic film “12 Monkeys.”
Science on Screen, originally started by Coolidge Corner Theater in Boston, is a program that creatively pairs films with lively introduction lessons by notable figures from the world of science, technology and medicine. The Grand Cinema received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation to bring Science on Screen to Tacoma and Pierce County for the first time ever!
“As soon as we received the green light to bring this event to town we thought of the health department,” said Grand Cinema Executive Director Philip Cowan. “We had a great time bouncing ideas around with them and choosing a topic and film we are both very excited about.”
“At the health department, we work to detect, investigate, control and respond to disease outbreaks, so we are constantly thinking about new and emerging diseases,” said Turner. “It is fascinating to explore how some diseases become large public health issues, and others do not. It is exciting to have the opportunity to talk about this work as it relates to the film ‘12 Monkeys.’”
VOTE FOR STUDENT-DESIGNED LIBRARY CARDS
A public vote will decide the design for the next Pierce County Library System’s library cards, designed by local students. Pierce County residents may choose the winners by voting online at the library’s website, http://www.piercecountylibrary.org search site: card contest, through July 6.
During a free contest, nearly 1,000 students throughout Pierce County submitted designs. Their art included submissions using pencil, pen, paint, camera and computer.
“Every entry shined with creativity and a unique view of the student’s personal library story or perspective,” said Neel Parikh, executive director for Pierce County Library. “Now it is up to you to decide the design for our next library cards. The winning artists’ cards will be reproduced into 10,000 cards and available for free this fall during our card drive – pretty amazing exposure for a young artist!”
Professional artists reviewed entries and selected 20 finalists. Grades K-6: Trinity Brown, Puyallup, Naches Trail Elementary School; Megan Cannon, Puyallup, Fruitland Elementary School; Hunter Erwin, Gig Harbor, Harbor Heights Elementary School; Claire Hughes, Gig Harbor, Harbor Heights Elementary School; Amanda LaVoie, Spanaway, Pioneer Valley Elementary School; Grayson Loupas, University Place, University Place Primary School; Josiah McGinnis, University Place, University Place Primary School; Ainsley Peterson, Gig Harbor, Harbor Heights Elementary School; Nolan Robison, Puyallup, Brouillet Elementary School; and Madison Schumacher, Tacoma, Brookdale Elementary School.
Grades 7-12: Kourtney Baxter, Bonney Lake, White River High School; Karly Dammel, Puyallup, home school; Katie Howard, Lakewood, Steilacoom High School; Kelly Lavelle, Puyallup, Rogers High School; Janae Phelps, Tacoma, Cascade Christian Junior High School; Nashesha Rowberg, Puyallup, Stahl Junior High School; Isabel Shin, Puyallup, Mount Rainier Lutheran High School; Kazia Smith, Buckley, White River High School; Spencer and Gabriella Smith, Graham, home school; and Paige Wilson, Buckley, White River High School.
The library will announce the winning designs later this summer. A graphic designer will fashion the two winning designs, one from each grade category, into library cards that will be replicated into 10,000 cards. The student-designed cards will be available for free, in addition to other designs that the system offers, during the library’s seventh annual card drive this fall.
TACOMA NARROWS AIRPORT RUNWAY REOPENS
The runway at Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor reopened June 16 following a 45-day rehabilitation. Crews reduced the width of the runway, added new signage and repaved the runway, among other improvements.
Work continues on Taxiway A2, which is expected to reopen this week. A section of Taxiway A will also be closed until Taxiway A2 reopens.
“We know pilots will enjoy the renovated runway,” said Deb Wallace, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities airport and ferry administrator. “The runway surface was showing its age with visible cracks, so the overhaul is a marked improvement. It is important that we keep our airport in good shape so it can be used effectively for years to come. And by investing in a narrower runway, our long-term maintenance costs will be reduced.”
The runway will be open for about 30 days to allow the asphalt to cure. The airport will then be closed from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. for 10 working days so crews can groove the runway and apply the final markings to the runway and connector taxiways. This work is expected to begin in mid-to-late July.
The runway’s width was reduced from 150 feet to the Federal Aviation Administration’s standard of 100 feet for airports of this type. The runway length remains at 5,002 feet.
Similarly, the taxiways were reduced to 50 feet, down from a varied width of 75 to 120 feet. Cracks were sealed and repaired, and four inches of asphalt overlay created a new surface. The runway is now crowned at the center for improved drainage. Additional project highlights include a new drainage system along the runway and connector taxiways, new runway markings and signage and improved lighting.
While the runway was closed for the work, Taxiway A was converted to a temporary runway. The airport was open from 5:30 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. during the work.
The runway has not been repaved since it was built more than 50 years ago.
The rehabilitation will cost approximately $5.7 million, including $5.2 million in FAA grants, a $326,000 Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) grant, $135,236 in Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation grants, and $95,160 in county airport funds. The project was eligible for the DOE grant due to the drainage improvements that were made to enhance water quality.
WHPacific designed the project, and is managing it with oversight from Pierce County Public Works and Utilities. Tucci and Sons, Inc. is the general contractor.
VISITORS BUREAU MEMBER RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION
Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) has named Tacoma Regional Convention + Visitor Bureau (TRCVB) Director of Visitor Experience Marcus Carney as one of 30 emerging leaders of the destination marketing industry.
Thirty industry rising stars from across the nation were selected to participate in the 30 Under 30 program, developed to identify and foster the talent of destination marketing organization professionals through increased access to top-level networking and professional development.
On July 15-17 in Orlando, DMAI will host its 99th annual convention, the foremost professional development opportunity for individuals working at official destination marketing organizations.
As one of DMAI’s 30 Under 30 group, Carney has been awarded complimentary registration and hotel accommodations to the convention.
“DMAI is the industry leader and to be recognized by them is an honor,” Carney said. “I hope to do Tacoma and Pierce County proud by continuing to work hard and give back to our community.”
Carney has worked at the TRCVB for three years planning successful events, working to develop community programs and building a positive visitor experience to ensure repeat business. Recently named director of visitor experience, Carney has continued to kick-start meaningful programs like the Safe Lodging, a collaborative effort with the Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking Alliance and local hotels. The program will put best practices in place aimed to eliminate sex trafficking in Pierce County.
“It is no surprise that Marcus Carney was presented with this distinction by DMAI, as he is an ideal ambassador for Tacoma and Pierce County tourism,” said TRCVB President and CEO Bennish Brown. “For his age, I find him to be one of the most focused individuals I have ever met as it relates to immersing himself in the total picture of travel and tourism. He is not only a practitioner who shows up daily to do his best to recruit and engage visitors, but he is a visionary who is always looking at our organization and industry from the 30,000-foot level.”
Identifying and developing future leaders is an important priority for DMAI, and they have stepped up to the plate in a big way with this initiative, now in its third year. Having access to industry education and industry leaders will create significant learning opportunities for all those involved.
To learn more about DMAI visit: http://www.destinationmarketing.org.
PIERCE COLLEGE OFFERS LOW-COST DENTAL CARE
People looking for high-quality, low-cost dental care can find it at the Pierce College Dental Hygiene Clinic in Lakewood. The clinic is welcoming new patients.
The Pierce College Dental Hygiene Program operates the clinic at the college’s Fort Steilacoom campus. Patients are treated by students under close supervision of professors, who are licensed dental hygienists and dentists.
“Students render the care, and the licensed dental hygienists and dentists check all patient treatment,” said Monica Hospenthal, the program director.
The clinic incorporates $700,000 worth of state-of-the-art dental equipment that was installed last fall. Patients can receive a range of preventive care and treatment including cleanings, sealants, andamalgam (silver) and composite (white) fillings. Since it is not a full dental clinic, it does not provide extractions, dentures, crowns or root canals, but can refer patients to low-cost clinics.
Clinic fees are low compared with private dentists, and Pierce College students and Provider One patients receive a further reduction for preventive care. Anyone can get a free screening to determine suitability as a patient. Since the program’s mission is to educate dental hygiene students, patients must meet specific criteria to be accepted at the clinic. Patients should remember that students take longer than professional dental hygienists to perform treatments. Once a patient has been accepted, students individually schedule appointments.
Pierce College Dental Hygiene Clinic is located at 9401 Farwest Dr. S.W. in Lakewood. Hours are based on Pierce College’s academic calendar, but are generally Monday and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This summer, the clinic will be closed Aug. 19 through Sept. 20.