City News


Residents in Tacoma can print, fill out and turn in their applications to participate in the City of Tacoma’s 2014 Community Cleanup Program starting now.

The program offers each neighborhood area one cleanup day per calendar year up to 16 cleanup days throughout the city. The City provides dumpsters for residential customers who live in single-family homes or duplexes on their neighborhood’s day to spruce up their properties and save a trip to the Tacoma Landfill.

Residents interested in applying for their neighborhood can print the form at Completed forms need to be returned by Feb. 10 to Community Based Services Community Cleanup (747 Market St., Room 208, Tacoma, WA 98402). Applications also can be faxed to (253) 573-2585 or scanned and emailed to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

“The community cleanup program is an amazing partnership between neighborhood groups and the city to work together to clean up our neighborhoods,” said Tansy Hayward, director of Neighborhood and Community Services. “The goal is to provide clean and safe neighborhoods where people want to live, play and work.”

For more information contact Neighborhood and Community Services at (253) 591-5026 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Metro Parks will hold its next public open house on Nov. 14 for area residents to give their input on building a new state-of-the-art community center on the eastside of Tacoma. The open house will be held in the Stewart Heights Pool Splash Room, 402 E. 56th St. For more information, contact Shon Sylvia at (253) 305-1072 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Metro Parks is facilitating a process to rename McKinley Playfield on Tacoma's east side. Those interested in providing names for consideration are encouraged to attend the Nov. 18 Eastside Neighborhood Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Stewart Heights Pool meeting room. 402 E. 56th St. 

Nominations must reflect one or more of the following criteria:

  • The site's unique geography or geology;

  • Historical events, persons or actions related to establishing the site;

  • Influential persons who have made a substantial and lasting contribution related to the park or community;

  • The site's unique and sentimental appeal to its users;

  • The site's commonly used name based on its unique attributes.

Nominations from this meeting will be added to five suggestions provided earlier in the year through a process involving east side school children. If you have questions or would like to make an absentee nomination prior to the meeting, contact Community Engagement Manager Roxanne Miles at (253) 305-1068 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


The Port of Tacoma celebrated its 95th anniversary Nov. 5.

Pierce County citizens voted in 1918 to create the port district on about 240 acres of land. The first ship, the Edmore, called in March 1921. Since then, Tacoma has grown into one of the top container ports in North America and a major gateway to Asia and Alaska. An estimated 43,000 family-wage jobs in Pierce County and 113,000 jobs across Washington state are connected to Port activities.

The Port now encompasses about 2,700 acres in the Port industrial area, with nine terminals serving international and domestic shipping lines, as well as four rail yards. The Port is also a major center for bulk, breakbulk, project/heavy-lift cargoes and automobiles.

This two-way international trade totaled more than $46 billion in 2012.


Now that Halloween has passed, the holidays are just around the corner and thoughts turn to what to get the kids in your life. To help you generate some ideas and for something fun to do with your little ones, there’s Neighborhood Toy Store Day, a free event happening on Nov. 9.

Participating are Teaching Toys and Books in Tacoma at 2624 N. Proctor St.; Teaching Toys, Too in Gig Harbor at 4635 Point Fosdick Dr. NW; and Creative Mom Toy in Renton at 840 N. 10th Pl. At the Tacoma store, local toy manufacturer Eye Can Art will be working with kids on free art activities, and all children in attendance will get a free toy and free gift certificate for any purchases made, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. At Gig Harbor, a local ice cream shop will be making ice cream with science presentations and a local artist will be making silhouettes of children. All will receive a free toy and free gift certificate for any purchases made, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. And in Renton, Creative Mom Toy will have toy raffles, arts and crafts and games.


For its second season, the BareFoot Collective is taking dance out of the theater and sharing it with the public through free performances of Autumn Dances all around Tacoma this November.

The BareFoot Collective dancers are working with several local choreographers, including dancers from PLU, Spectrum Dance Theater and MetroArts, to program 30-40 minute line-ups of innovative modern dance including improvisation, contemporary, dance-theatre, and hip-hop works to share with audiences in these non-traditional performance spaces.

“The BareFoot Collective has been creating opportunities for dance in Tacoma since 2008. We are thrilled to partner with local businesses this fall and bring dance to the people where they are. Tacomans will not have to go to the theater and buy a ticket to see dance this November – the BareFoot Collective is steppin' out!” says co-director Katie Stricker.

You can catch Autumn Dances at any of the following performances:

Nov. 6 & 7, 7:30 p.m – Indochine, 1924 Pacific Ave.

Nov. 9 & 10, 3 p.m. – King's Books, 218 St Helens Ave.

Nov. 16, 1 p.m. – Tacoma Public Library, 1102 Tacoma Ave. S.

Nov. 19, 7 p.m. – The Mix, 635 St. Helens Ave.

Nov. 21, 7 p.m. – N. Dybevik Co., 1312 Martin Luther King Jr. Way

Nov. 22, 7 p.m. – Abby's Wine Shop, 743 Broadway

All performances are free. For further information check out the BareFoot Collective on Facebook and at


The Safeco Foundation has awarded the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound a $50,000 Education Initiative grant to support the intensive academic support of four high poverty elementary schools in Pierce County as part of a five year 21st Century Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) grant that began one year ago.

The project provides 400 elementary-aged students and about 100 parents and caregivers with academic and enrichment services designed to level the playing field of underperforming students. Students functioning at least one year behind their peer group in math, based on teacher perception and scores are recruited to participate. Highly trained site coordinators work at each identified school site. Each student receives a free membership to the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound and daily snacks/meals are offered. Parental involvement is a critical component of this project’s design. Quarterly “family nights” are held on a variety of subjects including literacy, cultural and healthy lifestyle events.

The two over-arching goals are to 1) increase achievement in meeting state standards in mathematics for 400 elementary-school aged students, and 2) provide 100 parents/caregivers with the resources they need to support the academic achievement of their students.

Initiatives of this magnitude require considerable resources,” said Mark Starnes, President/CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound. “The 21st Century grant is incredible, but it does not cover all of our costs, so Safeco Foundation’s investment in our kids is critical,” he added.


For the entire month of November, LeMay – America’s Car Museum is partnering with Northwest Harvest to put the brakes on hunger in Tacoma.

The museum will accept non-perishable food donations in the lobby daily between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. All visitors who donate two or more items will receive $2 off ACM admission. 

ACM and Northwest Harvest first partnered together in November 2012 to help make Thanksgiving a bit more comfortable for local communities. The 2012 Drive Down Hunger food drive generated over 1,000 item donations.

Northwest Harvest has been feeding rural communities for over 45 years, and is the only non-profit food bank operating statewide in Washington. Learn more at


Tacoma Public Schools has joined a handful of school districts across the country as the first to enroll in Bing for Schools, which earns new technology for schools as staff members, parents and other community members use Bing for their online searches.

The new online program launched Nov. 1. Here’s how it works: Computer users simply sign up for Bing Rewards. Bing Rewards allows users to earn credits towards Microsoft Surfaces just by searching on Bing. Users donate credits to a school of their choice, and Bing sends a Surface to that school for each 30,000 combined credits. About 60 Bing Rewards users can earn a Surface a month for a school by searching regularly on Bing.

The introduction of the Bing for Schools program in Tacoma includes a special promotion. For every 200 people who register for Bing Rewards by Dec. 31, Microsoft will donate one Surface to the school district, up to 250 Surfaces. For the registration to count toward the school of your choice, sign up through the unique link associated with your school. You can find your school’s registration link at Once you register, share your school’s link with friends and family – for every 200 who use it to sign up, one Surface will be sent to the school.

“We have a long-range technology plan that calls for a host of ways to upgrade and add new technology to our classrooms so we can help our students learn better,” said Shaun Taylor, executive director of Technology Services for Tacoma Public Schools. “The School Board has placed a renewal of our technology levy on the ballot in February to fund a large portion of that technology, but we’re always looking for new, innovative ways to supplement that at no cost to the taxpayers.”

Learn more at


This Veterans Day, Nov. 11, the Washington State History Museum welcomes nearby residents of Joint Base Lewis-McChord and all military veterans to enjoy free admission to current exhibits, including “COOPER” and “David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work,” as well as special event programming throughout the day. The scheduled events include:

10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: The day will open with “Historical and Scientific Toy Making” with master toy maker Rick Hartman. Participants of all ages will construct – and keep – captivating wooden toys that hearken back to an earlier era and demonstrate timeless principles of science.

2–3 p.m.: Witness Bryan Willis’ riveting stage adaptation of the best-selling novel, “If All the Sky Were Paper.” Local actors from the NW Playwrights Alliance will read from a collection of war-time letters that reveal the full range of emotions – from the humorous to the dramatic and devastating – experienced by veterans, those currently in the military and their loved ones.

All Day: Visitors are invited to participate in a special edition scavenger hunt in honor of Veterans Day, which sends them searching for answers to military and war-related questions found throughout the museum’s exhibits.

Exhibit hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Non-profit SustainableWorks wants to help you save energy this winter – no mittens or extra sweaters required. At the SustainableWorks Home Energy Efficiency Fair, you can learn how to take advantage of State funding and local programs to make your home more energy efficient or add solar. Energy experts will be available to discuss the latest energy saving technology and share “Do-it-yourself” tips. The Home Energy Efficiency Fair is being sponsored by SustainableWorks, the City of Tacoma, and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, and will take place on Nov. 20 from 5:30-8 pm in the Wheelock Student Center’s Rasmussen Rotunda at the University of Puget Sound (1500 N. Warner St.). Attendees will have a chance to win a free home energy efficiency assessment ($1,200 value), energy efficiency kits, and other prizes. The event is free and open to the public.

Thanks to funding from the Washington State legislature, SustainableWorks is able to offer $150 “Save Energy Today” assessments and up to $2,000 in additional incentives for home energy efficiency upgrades. The purpose of the SustainableWorks program is to help homeowners make home improvements that reduce their energy use and lower their carbon footprint. Program participants can save on upgrades to furnaces, heat pumps, air sealing, insulation, hot water heaters, and solar. The SustainableWorks program is supported by the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Power, and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. To learn more about the program, or to sign-up, please visit or call 253-330-8110.

The “Save Energy Today” home assessment includes analysis of your home’s energy usage as well as a same day direct install of energy saving measures like compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, programmable thermostats, duct sealing, pipe insulation, and air sealing. Program participants will see immediate energy savings and learn how to make their home even more efficient for only $150 ($1,200 value). The “Save Energy Today” program is made possible through funds from the State of Washington and incentives offered by Tacoma Power. The program is available to Tacoma residents and surrounding areas. After the “Save Energy Today” assessment, homeowners can work with SustainableWorks to make deeper energy efficiency improvements or add solar to their home.


The Tacoma office of the Washington State Department of Revenue is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners on Wednesday, November 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. The workshop will take place at the Department’s Tacoma office, located at 3315 S. 23rd St. in the second floor conference room.

Participants will learn about Washington excise taxes, reporting classifications, deductions, tax incentives, sales tax collection, and record-keeping requirements. All receive a workbook and helpful reference guide to Department of Revenue rules and regulations.

To register, visit the Department of Revenue Web site at or call (253) 382-2000. Space is limited. A complete schedule of workshops statewide, and a short streaming video version of the workshop, is available on the Web site.


United Way of Pierce County has been honored with a 2013 Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations.

The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that United Way of Pierce County received – reviews written by volunteers, donors and partner agencies. People posted their personal experience with the nonprofit. For example, one person wrote, “United Way has been a vital partner with our non-profit agency for decades as a funder, community advocate and champion for children's oral health. We greatly appreciate their efforts to effect sustainable change, as well as the spirited community-wide volunteers they attract to support projects throughout the year.”

Being on the Top-Rated list builds confidence in the community that on “Giving Tuesday,” following “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” making a donation to United Way of Pierce County will be a smart choice. Donors understand that contributions made to United Way will positively impact their neighbors. The reviews by volunteers, clients and other donors show the on-the-ground results of this nonprofit.

“Savvy donors want to see the impact of their donations more than ever,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits, “People with direct experience with United Way of Pierce County have voted that the organization is making a real difference.”


The rain, fog and falling leaves mean that fall is here and winter is not far behind. Pierce County residents should prepare now for flood season to keep their families and property safe.

“By now, people have pulled out their coats, sweaters, and hats because of the change in weather,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “However, getting ready for winter weather is about more than staying warm – it’s about preparing yourself, your property and your family. To get ready for flood season, property owners are encouraged to purchase flood insurance, keep storm drains near their homes and businesses clear of debris, and store valuables and household chemicals above flood levels.”

Pierce County residents are also encouraged to create a family plan that includes identifying a safe route from their home, school and work to high ground, setting a meeting place for family members in case of separation, and designating an out-of-state contact to call if local lines are busy or down.

An emergency kit should include at least a seven-day supply of food and water, first aid supplies, extra clothing and blankets, prescription medicine, and hygiene and sanitation supplies. Additional information can be found at

More than 17,000 residents who live or own property near flood hazard areas within unincorporated Pierce County will soon receive the county’s annual Flood Bulletin in the mail. The bulletin provides information on flood protection and preparedness, such as:

  • The county’s Flood Warning System and emergency contact information.

  • Actions property owners can take to avoid flood disaster – before, during, and after a flood.

  • Flood insurance facts and how to purchase flood insurance.

The bulletin is also available online at, by calling (253) 798-2725, or emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

 Several other websites offer important information about flooding:


Evergreen Vapor Sound Transit - Tacoma Trestle Project

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