City Briefs


The lively South Tacoma Farmers Market open Sunday, April 7 in the heart of South Tacoma at STAR Center, 3873 S. 66th St. The market will get an early start this year inside the center, and will migrate outdoors as the season warms.

Every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through September, you’ll find a diverse selection of local fruits, vegetables, flowers, meats, bakery products, specialty food items and handcrafted arts.

Watch the kids play a game of ball, have lunch and pick up groceries for the week ahead. Spend the afternoon listening to live entertainment, attending cooking, health and gardening seminars and more.

For additional information, visit


Pierce County roadsides will get their annual makeover this spring and summer.

An initial application of herbicides to combat weeds along road shoulders will start April 8, and continue through June. Targeted noxious weeds and brush control applications will occur through the end of November as needed. Only federal- and state-approved herbicides are used.

Workers will also mow, cut brush and trim trees along roads during the spring and summer. The work, which will be carried out weather permitting, is part of Pierce County’s integrated roadside vegetation management program.

“Our county roads need to be neat and free of obstacles for the safety of motorists and pedestrians,” said Bruce Wagner, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities road maintenance manager.

The annual maintenance also reduces fire danger, optimizes storm water drainage, helps control noxious weeds and non-native plants, and promotes native plant growth.

Property owners who do not want roadsides adjacent to their properties sprayed can sign an “Owner Will Maintain” agreement with Pierce County. Under this agreement, the property owner agrees to maintain the vegetation. If the property owner fails to perform as required, the maintenance of the right-of-way reverts to the county.

The agreement must be renewed each March. The owner must display a sign indicating their participation in the program prior to the application of herbicides.

Agreement applications and signs are available at the Central Maintenance Facility, 4812 196th St. E. in Spanaway, and by appointment at the West County Maintenance Facility, 13209 Goodnough Drive in Gig Harbor. Please call (253) 798-6000 for an appointment.

More information can be found at or by calling (253) 798-6000.


Ethnic Fest 2013 will be held on July 27 and 28 in Tacoma’s Wright Park. In preparation for this annual celebration of culture and community, all Pierce County high school students are invited to participate in the Ethnic Fest Poster Contest.

Submissions must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 2. The first-place winner’s artwork may be used on select Ethnic Fest marketing and promotional materials. It will be displayed in a prominent location at Ethnic Fest. Second- and third-place winners’ artwork will also be displayed at Ethnic Fest.

Since 1986, Ethnic Fest has grown to become the largest celebration of culture and community in Tacoma, with an estimated attendance of over 60,000 participants. Voted the best festival of the South Sound, this year Ethnic Fest takes place Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28 from noon to 7 p.m. at historic Wright Park in Tacoma. This family-friendly, free festival has grown in size over the years and hosts Kid’s Zones, multiple stages, as well as numerous specialty arts and crafts, food and information vendor booths.

Visit for complete contest rules and entry materials. For more info call (253) 305-1022.


Warrior Photo Project is a non-funded program hosted by the American

Lake VA in Lakewood. Organizers are in need of operational digital cameras for the program’s homeless and PTSD Veterans to take on outings, which are of huge therapeutic value to the vets. Gordon Swetland has operated the program for three years and has helped close to 1,000 veterans. The cameras are maintained and used by the vets in the Warrior Photo Project shop at the VA. Many folks have made much-appreciated donations in the past but some of the cameras have worn out and are no longer useable. Currently the program is need of operational digital cameras and SD type memory cards. If you have a camera to donate, call Swetland at (253) 326-2909.


Tacoma Schools Superintendent Carla Santorno has announced new principal assignments for the 2013-2014 school year, basing the assignment decisions on the best match between each principal’s strengths and an assessment of each school’s needs.

New assignments, pending School Board approval, include:

Blix Elementary School: Principal Jennifer Cooper, who transfers from Grant Center for the Expressive Arts; Grant School for the Expressive Arts: Principal Steve Holmes, who transfers from Baker Middle School; 

Baker Middle School: Principal Scott Rich, who transfers from McCarver Elementary School; Lowell Elementary School: Principal Renee Rossman, who transfers from Edison Elementary School; Edison Elementary School: Principal Allison Shepard, currently serves as principal of Meadows Elementary School in the North Thurston School District. At Meadows since 2009, Shepard oversaw the implementation of a cultural change in the school’s discipline approach from the traditional punishment model to one that emphasizes reinforcing positive behavior. The change contributed to a significant reduction in disciplinary referrals and greater acknowledgement of students for behaviors aligned with school expectations. Tacoma Public Schools intends to phase in a similar model beginning with the 2013-14 school year. Prior to serving at Meadows, Shepard worked as assistant principal at Tacoma’s Boze Elementary and taught in Gig Harbor, Kent and Reno, Nev.

The district has posted a job announcement for elementary school principal and will select from the applications and interviews the best applicants to fill open positions at McCarver and Reed elementary schools. Reed Principal Kathy Boyd will retire after this school year.

Other administrative changes include:

Stadium High School: Assistant Principal Shannon Wear, who transfers from Mason Middle School; Mason Middle School: Assistant Principal Mark Phillips, who transfers from Stadium High School.

The district has posted a job announcement for secondary assistant principal and will fill open positions at Stadium, Lincoln and Wilson high schools.

“We started this process by asking our school administrators if they wanted a change. I’m a firm believer in the fact that we all tend to perform better in jobs we want and like,” said Santorno. “After that, we took a look at openings due to retirements and transfers, individual leadership skill sets and school needs to make some judgments about how to match principals with specific school needs. The bottom line is we want to put our leaders in positions to succeed and improve student achievement.”

The district will announce additional administrative reassignments, restructuring and new hires as they are made.


Following an inaugural event that attracted overflow crowds, the second Art+Science Salon – bringing scientists and artists together to discuss ideas, in line with a worldwide movement from New York to Hong Kong – will be held at Tacoma Art Museum, Thursday, April 18, 6–8 p.m. Everyone is welcome to the free event presented by the University of Puget Sound and Tacoma Art Museum.

The Art+Science Salon will feature Jackie Brookner, an eco-artist based in New York and a professor at Parsons, The New School of Design. Brookner has created many artworks in collaboration with scientists and is currently working on a National Endowment for the Arts sponsored project creating community-engaged art in Fargo, N.D.

The salon will feature a panel discussion followed by a conversation about the collaborative process with scientists. This conversation will look into the concept of the individual, the many levels of organisms and worlds that reside within us, the separation between the inside and outside, and the interfaces between these worlds. The audience will be invited to brainstorm ideas about altered perception, consciousness, and exploring these cosmologies.

The Art+Science Salon has been initiated in Tacoma by a committee of professors led by Siddharth Ramakrishnan, a neuroscientist who joined the University of Puget Sound from Columbia University, Parsons New School of Design, and the Art/Sci Center at UCLA.

For more about Art+Science at Puget Sound visit: Information is also available by sending an email message to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). – Tacoma Arts


The Hilltop Women’s Writing Collective is a group of talented, creative women of all ages, backgrounds and writing levels. Their mission is to “explore and celebrate our selves, histories and community through creative writing projects; we empower each other through refining the writing we use in everyday life, and are driven to speak and challenge the women we once knew ourselves to be, asking them to be greater than before and to speak out for those who cannot or will not speak.”

On April 20, noon to 2:30 p.m., Jennifer Berney leads the Hilltop Women's Writing Collective with a workshop titled “Body as Landscape.” What stories do we tell ourselves about our bodies? More importantly, what stories do our bodies tell about us, our lineage, the choices we’ve made, and where and how we’ve lived our lives? Think of scars, tan lines, stretch marks, a pinched shoulder. Think of a mannerism passed from mother to daughter. In this two-hour workshop participants will try to quiet their minds and connect with their bodies; allow body, not brain, to dictate the stories they tell; and attempt to differentiate between the stories women been told about their bodies and the truths they actually hold.

Berney lives in Olympia where she raises two sons, teaches writing and tries to find time for everything else she loves, namely baking and long distance running. Her essays have appeared in “Hunger Thirst” and “Raven Chronicles.” She recently won the Hugo House New Works award for her short memoir “Terminus.” Berney’s short stories have appeared in various literary journals including “The Salt River Review” and “Barn Owl Review.” Her favorite thing about teaching is the chance it affords her to glimpse the inner worlds of people she might otherwise only meet in passing.

Whether you think of yourself as a writer or not, come and be with the group as they explore the art of story telling with each other. Refreshments will be provided. The collective meets at 1310 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. RSVP by e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow on Facebook, and on Twitter at @Write 253. For more information visit


Charter College has launched a new campus in Fife. The campus began enrolling students March 25, with a Blended Learning model that combines a hands-on classroom experience with online education. Charter College Fife offers programs in healthcare, business, criminal justice, and the legal field with an innovative blended learning curriculum.

With Charter College Blended Learning, students come to campus just two days a week, saving daily travel time and expenses and providing the flexibility to work and manage family life while attending school. The rest of their studies are completed online anywhere, anytime.

The blended learning model has been proven to be the most effective way for students to learn. A U.S. Department of Education study found that students who had a blended curriculum performed better than students in traditional settings.1

The Fife campus is offering five programs including associate degree programs in criminal justice and paralegal studies, and certificate programs in medical assistant, dental assisting and computerized office specialist. These programs were selected because they are growing fields in Washington State that are generating demand for well-trained, new employees.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in Washington State over the next five years the need for dental assistants is expected to grow by more than 25 percent and for medical assistants by over 27 percent. The need for paralegals will grow by over 18 percent and demand for detectives and investigators will exceed 21 percent. By providing practical, hands-on career training in these fields, Charter College is preparing students for the high-demand jobs of today and tomorrow.

Charter College is a private, independent institution of higher education, providing students with a career-focused education in growing job fields that include health care, business, information technology, criminal justice, the legal field, and select trades. Not all programs are available at all campuses. Charter College operates college campuses in Fife, Lynnwood, Vancouver, Pasco, and Bellingham, Washington, as well as in Alaska and California, and online.


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