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The City of Tacoma is seeking bids for work that would stabilize the 110-year-old historic Tacoma Totem Pole in Fireman’s Park in downtown Tacoma. The totem was flagged with safety issues after it was discovered last spring that the wood is riddled with rot and bugs.

Bids call for contractors to install a support beam behind the 82-foot totem to keep it from falling over until a more permanent solution can be found. Those plans could mean moving the totem indoors to protect it from further weather damage.

The totem pole was carved on Vashon Island and first stood at South 10th and A Streets before being moved to Fireman’s Park in 1953. The pole was designated an historic landmark in 1975.

The project budget is $40,000 to $50,000. Bids will be received until March 31.


The effort to raise the money for the Link rail expansion is well underway now that Sound Transit’s board has approved a route for the light rail expansion that would run tracks up Stadium Way and onto the Hilltop to South 19th Street. The route is now undergoing more detailed engineering and environmental review.

It is expected to cost $165 million, which is already $15 million over budget. Sound Transit will pay $50 million with another $50 million expected to come from federal grants, while the remaining amount is expected to come from “local partnerships” that could mean in-kind services from the city, local tax breaks, a likely Local Improvement District and other yet-to-be-determined sources. All of the money must be determined before construction could begin.

Whenever the track opens, the rides will not be free like the current Link route from the Tacoma Dome to the Theater District, since Link will start charging riders starting in the fall. Sound Transit Commissioners voted to begin collecting $1 fares from Tacoma Link rider and increase that fare to $1.50 per ride in the fall of 2016. Discounts will also be available for children and low-income riders. Fares will likely go up again when the expansion line starts running trains to help offset operational costs.


The City of Tacoma is empowering business districts to bring in more two-wheeled customers. To do it, they’re offering businesses grants of up to $500 to encourage and promote cycling by customers, employees and business owners within Tacoma business districts while increasing cycling visibility.

The grant opportunity falls on the heels of a “Bicycles Mean Business” workshop that shared with Tacoma business districts the strong connection between bicycling and shopping local. Some of the bicycle-friendly business ideas shared at the event included: bicycle date night specials, shared merchant delivery bicycles, personalized safety information coasters/collateral, hotel guest bicycles or banners welcoming cyclists.

Any business owner or member of a Tacoma business district is eligible to apply. Up to $500 will be approved per business district, there are 15 in Tacoma, and projects should have business district approval. The application and more information are available from the City’s website, http://wwww.cityoftacoma.org. The deadline to apply is April 4, 2014.

Tacoma residents and visitors can look forward to seeing the projects unfold during the April to December 2014 implementation timeframe.

Those with questions may contact Active Transportation Coordinator Diane Wiatr at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Tacoma Mall is welcoming families to experience the magic of reading. On Saturday, March 15, from 2-4 p.m., Simon Kidgits Club at Tacoma Mall is hosting its free annual Book Blast event and inviting parents and children to bring books to life through special read-aloud sessions, story-inspired activities, and refreshments. The Pierce County Daffodil Princesses will be guest reading along with the mouse character from “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”

“Tacoma Mall is a destination for families and friends to do more than just shop, and through our Simon Kidgits Club, we are giving children the chance to experience all that books have to offer in a social setting,” said Sarah Bonds, director of marketing and business development at Tacoma Mall. “The combination of education and fun allows kids in our community to have a blast with reading.”

Simon Kidgits Club’s Book Blast will provide families the chance to make reading a fun, social experience with various kid-focused offerings. Book Blast event activities, scheduled from 2-3 p.m., will kick off with a craft session and snacks with the mouse character from the popular children’s book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” Then, from 3-4 p.m., the Daffodil Princesses, on the last stop of their reading tour, will read, craft, and take pictures with guests.

Additionally, Simon is teaming up with Better World Books to provide each Kidgit member that attends the event a pre-loved book and bookmark to take home. Simon and Better World Books are also supporting literacy through a Drop Box book collection program. Families can participate in the program by donating books at the Drop Box.

The Simon Kidgits Club is a fun and informative program that focuses on health, wellness, education, safety and entertainment for children ages 3-8. Since 2003, the Simon Kidgits Club has kept children and parents alike amused with various events and activities while providing incentives for club members, such as special offers, rewards and games.

Simon Kidgits Club members receive a variety of goodies, including a Simon Kidgits Club T-shirt, membership card, birthday card and gift, discounts and scheduled activities. For more information about the Simon Kidgits Club, visit http://www.simon.com/kidgits/.


Families and novelty hunters are invited to enjoy a colorful day on Saturday, March 22, when the Women’s League of University of Puget Sound will hold its popular flea market.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Memorial Fieldhouse, near the corner of Union Avenue and North 11th Street in Tacoma. Admission is $5 and parking is free. Tickets can be purchased at the door or from Women’s League members. More than 60 booths will offer antiques and collectibles, sporting goods, clothing, artwork, artisan and vintage jewelry, home and garden items, books, locally-sourced foods, and more.

Attending the flea market, now in its 46th year, has become a tradition for many in the South Sound. Its attractions include the “Grandma’s Attic” booth, a silent auction, and coffee, pies, and cakes at the cafe.

Proceeds from the event support University of Puget Sound scholarships for students. Last year the flea market raised $22,000, all of which went toward scholarships. In total last year Women’s League endowed scholarships provided $30,100 in financial aid to 13 talented Puget Sound students.

To make donations of goods to be sold at the market, please contact Lynn Raisl at (253) 759-0725 or send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The flea market is the largest event organized by members of the Women’s League at University of Puget Sound each year. It has been held since 1968, after a member of the league traveled to Paris, France, and was inspired by a visit to a flea market there. The league was founded in 1900 and has been supporting the university and its students since that time by selling tickets to concerts, publishing cookbooks, collecting donations, and hosting events.

For more information or advance tickets contact Lynn Raisl at (253) 759-0725 or send an email message to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). For daily updates, visit the Women’s League Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PugetSoundWomensLeague.


Communities In Schools of Lakewood (CISL) will host its annual benefit breakfast at 7 a.m., Thursday, March 27 at the Old Country Buffet in the Lakewood Towne Center, 7-8:30 a.m. Communities In Schools has become known nationwide as very successful in preventing students from dropping out of school. Funds from the breakfast will support five After-School Programs, Champions Mentor Program and Readiness to Learn services.

Dreamer, troubled youth, improbable student and now a doctoral candidate – that is Brandon Stogsdill, keynote speaker on March 27. His life as a child was troubled, his adolescence led to crime which finally sent him to prison. Today, at 32, Stogsdill carries a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in clinical psychology and is currently working on his doctoral degree. He has published three books and provides a practice counseling troubled teens. His story of what and who influenced him on his journey to find his passion and success is a fascinating one.

Walter Neary, Comcast’s communications director, will emcee the event, which will be an inspirational experience for more than 200 guests. Make reservations by contacting CISL at (253) 589-7489 or http://www.lakewood.ciswa.org.


The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced earlier this week that the Children’s Museum of Tacoma is a National Medal for Museum and Library Service finalist. The National Medal, the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community, is celebrating its 20th year of saluting institutions that make a difference for individuals, families and communities.

Medal finalists are selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. This year’s finalists exemplify the nation’s great diversity of libraries and museums and include an aquarium, conservatory and botanical gardens, a university library, individual libraries, children’s museums, art museums, science centers, and more, hailing from across the country.

Finalists are chosen because of their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. The Children’s Museum of Tacoma’s contributions to the community through programs like Pay As You Will admission, the Play to Learn outreach program, and Growing Together initiatives are recognized as programs that lead the nation in innovation, response to community need, and accessibility.

Tacoma Arts Commission supports the Children's Museum of Tacoma through its Arts Projects funding program. The Commission also recognized KeyBank with the 2012 AMOCAT Arts Patron Award for their financial support in making the Museum's Pay as You Will admission possible.


Life Christian Academy welcomes all parents of students currently in eighth and ninth grades to attend a free College Planning Workshop on Monday, March 24, from 7-8 p.m. in The Commons at 1717 S. Union Ave., Tacoma. The workshop will address college preparatory high school course selection and portfolio planning, test results, and graduation requirements.

"It's never too early for students and families to start preparing for college," says Jami Buselmeier, Life Christian Academy's Dean of Academic Guidance. "As college competition and costs continue to rise, developing a strategic plan early is more critical than ever. At Life Christian Academy, we help students focus their college goals and shape a balanced portfolio of achievement throughout middle and high school, while helping parents utilize key resources and navigate the financial and administrative processes of college admission."

For more information, contact Jami Buselmeier, Dean of Academic Guidance, at (253) 761-9795 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Port of Tacoma Annual Breakfast will be held April 9, and the public is invited to attend and hear how unprecedented change in the international container industry is forcing ports and shippers to think and act differently.

Keynote speaker Bill Mongelluzzo, senior editor with the Journal of Commerce, will examine the new paradigm emerging in the big-ship era and provide an outlook for U.S. West Coast ports. CEO John Wolfe will discuss how the Port is addressing the increasingly competitive environment, and we will recognize Summit Award winners.

The event is from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. Reserve your seat by April 2. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Ticket price includes breakfast and parking at the convention center’s garage and lots.


Women in Tacoma have the opportunity to discover how to take control of their financial future, become self-directed investors, and achieve true financial independence. The Independent Woman is accepting registrations for a powerful 2-hour free financial workshop for women coming to the Seattle/Tacoma area in March.

The Independent Woman will be holding this unique series of financial trainings from Tuesday, March 25 through Thursday, March 27 in Tacoma, Bellevue and Seattle. It will be held in Tacoma on March 25 at Hotel Murano, 12:30-6 p.m.

These workshops were designed by women, for women and with input from Kim Kiyosaki, a successful investor, entrepreneur, and bestselling author (“Rich Woman” and “It’s Rising Time”) who is passionate about women’s financial education.

"We created The Independent Woman to help all women young, mature, married with children, single moms, and career women get the courage, confidence, and training to realize their financial dreams. Financial independence is about having more choices. It allows you to do what you want and spend more time with family and friends," stated Mary Jane Chappy, Senior Director of Marketing for The Independent Woman.

The free Independent Woman Workshops in the Seattle/Tacoma area will be led by Malaika Aaron-Pereira, Malaika is an accomplished real estate investor with a passion for helping other women experience personal and financial success. She believes gaining a financial education is one of the greatest investments we can make in ourselves. For her, financial freedom is not an end in itself, but a means to an end—allowing us to live our dreams, serve others and create a legacy for the future.

The goal of the Independent Woman Workshops is to demonstrate why financial education is important for women, how they can develop additional streams of income in today’s economy, and how they can join other women to continue to increase their financial knowledge.

Any woman in the Seattle/Tacoma area who wishes to participate in this financial training can register now by visiting the registration website at http://www.theindependentwoman.com or by calling 888-596-7272. Attendees will receive an interactive CD-ROM loaded with a wealth of valuable information.

Km Kiyosaki will not attend this event. Additional products will be offered for sale at this event.


From March 7 to March 31, customers at Macy's Tacoma Mall can donate $1 or more at the register to benefit Point Defiance Park.

To further spread the love, Macy's will match the total customer donation across all stores, dollar for dollar, up to $250,000 in total.

In partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the national non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of community parks, recreation and conservation, Macy's stores across the country have each selected a local park or green space in their community to support through the program.

Donations will be administered through the Greater Metro Parks Foundation (GMPF) to support the operations and care of the 702-acre park, which serves more than 3 million visitors annually.

"The love for Point Defiance Park extends well-beyond the boundaries of Tacoma. Metro Parks appreciates the partnership between Macy's at Tacoma Mall, NRPA and GMPF to create this opportunity for those the community to see its donations matched dollar for dollar through 'Heart Your Park' this spring," said Jack Wilson, Executive Director of Metro Parks Tacoma. "Through this wonderful program and donations by Macy's customers, we are excited about the increased awareness and additional funding to support this regional treasure. This park is a great asset to the community, and we greatly appreciate Macy's support."

"Heart Your Park" is part of Macy's "Secret Garden" spring campaign that will come to life at Macy's stores and on macys.com with an infusion of garden-inspired merchandise, special promotions and events.

For more information on "Secret Garden," visit http://www.macys.com/secretgarden.


Permanent residents can learn about becoming a citizen and prepare for the citizenship exam during free classes at Pierce County Library. Partcipants will study U.S. history, government, and the rights and responsibilities of citizens, while improving their English at the same time.

Classes will take place on evenings and Saturdays. To sign up, attend a required information session at Tacoma Community House, 1314 S. L St., in Tacoma: 5:30 p.m. on March 18, 2 p.m. on March 24 and 10 a.m. on March 28. 

Information session includes a general program overview, complete intake and eligibility screening as well as registration for an English language level testing appointment. Bring photo ID or driver’s license and Green Card.

For more information, call (253) 383-3951 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Tacoma Community College is offering a new series of non-credit courses called “Harbor Homestead,” designed to teach practical skills from basic home repairs to creating an effective compost pile. Class topics include jam making, vegetable gardening, canning your own foods, cooking, yard waste disposal, making natural soap, proper use of tools, basic knitting, and more.

Designed to help people rediscover practical and basic skills for the 21st century, Harbor Homestead classes help people learn usable skills related to backyard farming, home repair, and self-sufficient living. These skills can help people preserve their resources and improve their immediate environments regardless of the economy.

Program Specialist Tracy Clark, who took a Harbor Homestead farming related class, said that, “After the success of that class, it got me to thinking about how so many people are trying to make healthier choices – not only in what they eat, but being conscious of where their food comes from.”

Harbor Homestead courses are offered at TCC’s Gig Harbor Campus at 3993 Hunt St. Gig Harbor and Henderson Bay High School 8402 Skansie Ave. Gig Harbor.

Browse course offerings and register online at http://www.tacomacc.edu and click on “Continuing Education.” Harbor Homestead classes fill up fast, so register early.


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