City News


Martin Luther King, Jr. Redeeming the Prophetic Vision Interfaith Service and Celebration will be held on Sunday, Jan. 19 at Urban Grace Church, 902 Market St., 2:30-4 p.m. Once again C. Rosalind Bell, local playwright, will be featured with a presentation of a newly created dramatic piece for the occasion. As well, music of the civil rights era will be featured. 

The event aims to recognize the prophetic vision of Dr. King with a program that has an edge of social justice in its message. On this, the eighth year of its existence, the celebration will honor Dr. King's birthday with a keynote speech by Dr. Dexter Gordon, professor of African-American studies at University of Puget Sound. Awards will be presented for individual long-term service toward social justice. A reception will follow with a resource fair and refreshments.

The event is sponsored by The Conversation, Associated Ministries and Urban Grace Church. The Conversation is a group of people who meet weekly. Seven years ago the planning committee for the event composed this statement: "Our mission is to recapture, reinvigorate, and redeem the prophetic vision of Reverend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We want to present his vision with its sharp, searing insight with the context of everyday life, in contrast to what we see as an ongoing effort to render it as benign, anemic, antiseptic, allusive, and static. We want to bring it back to the streets, to the people, where it started, where it belongs." For more information visit or call the church at (253) 272-2184.


Lakewood's 11th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration will be held on Saturday, January 18 at the Sharon McGavick Conference Center from 10 a.m. to noon. The public is invited to attend the celebration. Admission and parking are free.

The theme for this year's celebration is "The Dream Begins, Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act".

The event features a wonderful variety of talented performers to include: The Total Experience Gospel Choir, The Prairie Bells, trumpeter Morris Northcutt, the Lakes High School Choir, the Chang Hee Suk drummers, the Grace Chapel Choir, the Freedom Dancers and many more outstanding performers!

There will also be a reading by the winner of the Clover Park School District Martin Luther King essay contest.

Welcome remarks will be given by the Mayor of Lakewood. Featured speaker is Dr. Nancy Bristow, Professor of History, University of Puget Sound. 

Additional guests include representatives and displays from the Buffalo Soldiers Museum, the Philippine Scouts and the Tuskegee Airmen.

Mark Jan. 18 on your calendar and be sure you don't miss this outstanding event of music, dancing, song, history and more.

For more information contact Jo Ethel Smith at (253) 584-4673 or Dennis Higashiyama at (253) 589-2489. The Sharon McGavick Conference Center is located at the Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd., Lakewood.


The City of Tacoma Planning Commission is seeking public comment on proposed land use regulations concerning a Temporary Homeless Camps Permitting Process. The proposal would amend the Tacoma Municipal Code, Chapter 13.05 Land Use Permit Procedures and Chapter 13.06 Zoning, to add regulations for a permit review process for temporary homeless camps run by religious organizations.

A public hearing by the Commission is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 5:30 p.m., in the Council Chambers, 1st Floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St. Public input is welcome at the hearing and/or in written comment by Friday, Jan. 24, 2014.

State law, RCW 36.01.290, grants broad authority to religious organizations to host temporary homeless camps for individuals experiencing homelessness on their private property. The City of Tacoma has not had a religious organization propose such a camp since the state law passed in 2010, but wants to have regulations in place should this occur in the future. The proposed amendment would regulate temporary homeless camps to protect general public health and safety as well as the safety of camp residents.

For more information, please visit and click on “Temporary Homeless Camps”, or contact John Harrington, Planning and Development Services, at (253) 279-8950 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Tacoma and Fuzhou have won Sister Cities International’s 2014 U.S.-China Sister Cities Award in the “Economic Development” category. The U.S.-China Sister Cities Awards recognize the accomplishments of outstanding U.S.-China sister city programs and their contribution in building strong people-to-people ties between the two countries.

Since signing the sister city agreement in 1994, Tacoma, Washington and Fuzhou have conducted frequent economic and trade exchanges. During the years, Tacoma has sent many trade delegations to attend the annual Cross-Straits Fair for Economy and Trade in Fuzhou. Fuzhou has also sent delegations to attend the various economic and trade events in Tacoma, like Tacoma World Trade Expo and Tacoma Business Exhibition. The Fuzhou Municipal People’s Government, the City of Tacoma, and the Port of Tacoma also came together for the Fuzhou-Tacoma Pilot Trade Project. A joint U.S. and Chinese judging panel selected Tacoma and Fuzhou as the winners from a competitive pool of U.S.-China sister city program applicants.

The U.S.-China Sister Cities Awards are awarded in several categories including Best Overall, Longest Relationship, Community Involvement, Youth, Arts & Culture, Economic Development & Trade, Most Innovative, and Outstanding Individuals. Award winners will be honored at a special Awards Ceremony on March 27 during the 2014 U.S.-China Sister Cities Conference, in Washington, D.C.

The Conference, jointly hosted by Sister Cities International and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, will bring together hundreds of business leaders, government officials, and citizen diplomats from the U.S. and China. The Honorary Host Committee for this Conference includes General Colin L. Powell, as well as several Governors, Members of Congress, and Mayors from around the country. Conference sessions will provide exciting opportunities for U.S. and Chinese cities to learn about strengthening exchanges and business engagement through informative sessions from industry leaders. For more information on the 2014 U.S.-China Sister Cities Conference, visit


The results are in from the recent Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DUI enforcement campaign conducted from Nov. 27, 2013 through Jan. 1, 2014.

In Pierce County, 389 motorists were stopped and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), and statewide, law enforcement officers arrested 2,723 drivers for DUI. Last year in Pierce County, during the same time period, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 543 people for DUI.

In Pierce County, the Bonney Lake, Fife, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Puyallup, Sumner, Tacoma and University Place Police Departments, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington State Patrol participated in the extra DUI patrols, with the support of the Tacoma-Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force. The extra patrols were funded by a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

The holiday season is an important time for these patrols, given the number of holiday festivities that often involve alcohol.

These and all extra patrols are part of Target Zero – striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030. For more information, visit Addit.ional information on the Washington Traffic Safety Commission can be found on the website,


The Attorney General’s Office made opening statements Jan. 8 in a trial to determine whether a Pierce County sex predator should remain confined at Washington’s Special Commitment Center.

Manual Lopez, 59, previously served time for rape and burglary. Upon his release, the Attorney General’s Office won a civil commitment trial on June 2, 2010, placing Lopez at the Special Commitment Center for sexually violent predators. As allowed under the law, Lopez is now asking the court for unconditional release into the community.

Under Washington’s civil commitment law, the Attorney General’s Office must demonstrate Lopez suffers from specific mental abnormalities and/or personality disorders that cause him to have serious difficulty in controlling his dangerous behavior and make him likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence unless confined to a secure facility.

“The Attorney General’s Office works hard to protect our communities from sexually violent predators,” said Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

The trial is expected to continue into next week.

In 1990, Washington became the first state in the nation to pass a law permitting the involuntary civil commitment of sex offenders after they serve their criminal sentences. The AGO’s SVP Unit was established shortly thereafter.

The AGO SVP Unit is responsible for prosecuting sex predator cases for 38 of Washington’s 39 counties (King County being the exception). In Fiscal Year 2013, the unit tried 19 cases, won 16 civil commitments and secured one recommitment. One trial ended in a hung jury and one offender was found by a jury not to meet criteria to be committed as a sexually violent predator.

As of October 2013, approximately 301 sexually violent predators are in the state’s Special Commitment Program.


Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist has charged Jared Gloster, 31, with two counts of Robbery in the Second Degree for stealing Oxycodone from two South Hill pharmacies. Crime Stoppers of Tacoma/Pierce County featured the defendant on its website and flyers.

“Oxycodone addiction is a growing problem,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “We’ve been seeing people go berserk in pursuit of the drug.”

On Nov. 15, 2013, the defendant entered the Rite Aid at 128th Street and Meridian. He walked to the pharmacy counter and handed the employee a note stating, “I have a gun! Give me all the oxy 30 & 15 mg pills fast OR I’m gonna start shooting people.” The pharmacist gave the defendant several bottles of oxycodone pills. The defendant left the store.

On Jan. 6, 2014, the defendant entered another South Hill Rite Aid on 176th Street. He handed the pharmacy tech a note that stated, “I have a gun! You have 50 seconds to give me all the 30 mg/15 mg oxycodone pills before I start shooting people!” The pharmacist handed the defendant multiple bottles of the drug. Employees shouted to the store manager and he was able to grab the defendant as he tried to flee. The defendant was held by the manager until Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and placed him under arrest.

The defendant admitted to both South Hill robberies, as well as a similar robbery in Federal Way. He told deputies he started taking oxycodone to stay awake during long hours working at a warehouse, but is now addicted.

The defendant was arraigned this afternoon at the County-City Building in Tacoma. He pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $300,000. Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


Need help enrolling in affordable health insurance? Washington State certified in-person assisters will be available to help walk you through the enrollment process at these times and locations: 

Lakewood Pierce County Library (6300 Wildaire Rd. S.W.), Jan. 30, 1-5:30 p.m., call (253) 548-3302 to register

Parkland/Spanaway Pierce County Library (13718 Pacific Ave. S.), Feb. 4, 2-6 p.m., call (253) 548-3304 to register

South Hill Pierce County Library (15420 Meridian E.), Feb. 11, 2-5:30 p.m., call 253-548-3303 to register

University Place Pierce County Library (3609 Market Pl. W., Suite 100), Mondays on Jan. 13 and 27; Feb. 3, 10 and 24; March 3, 10, 17 and 24; 4-6 p.m. and Thursdays on Jan. 16, 23 and 30; Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27; March 6, 13, 20 and 27; 4 – 6 p.m., call 253-548-3307 to register.

These free events are made possible through a partnership with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and Pierce County Library System. 

Find more information at, search site: ACA


The Department of Community Connections seeks volunteers to serve on the Allocation Advisory Committee for Prevention Programs, an advisory body to Pierce County government on the use of tax dollars set aside for youth violence prevention programs.

The Committee is recruiting volunteers who live in the unincorporated areas of Pierce County with an interest in helping to prevent, reduce and/or eliminate violence among youth and families.

In its monthly meetings (typically January through June), members work to increase understanding of the impact of violence prevention programs, evaluate funding applications, and recommend allocations of the criminal justice sales and use tax that is imposed on unincorporated areas within Pierce County. The committee usually meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. During the month of April, the committee meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. to hear presentations from applicants applying for violence prevention funding.

If you would like an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children and youth in Pierce County, you may obtain more program information, as well as a board application on the Pierce County website at, or by contacting Stephanie Bray, Community Development supervisor, at (253) 798-6917 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Chef Matt Stickle of Bite at Hotel Murano and Rick Small, owner of Woodward Canyon Winery, are teaming up to offer guests an inspiring evening of delectable cuisine and exquisite Washington wines. The two are hosting a wine dinner on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. that will feature a five-course prix fixe menu designed by Chef Stickle to expertly pair with wine selections from Woodward Canyon. Small will be on hand to introduce each course, discuss how his team crafts these unique vintages and provide guests with expert insight into the winemaking process.

Bite’s Woodward Canyon wine dinner will feature:

  • Dungeness crab cake, pickled melon and Sriracha slaw paired with 2012 Estate Sauvignon Blanc

  • Chardonnay poached steelhead with caramelized pears, toasted hazelnuts, endive and pomegranate vinaigrette paired with 2012 Washington State Chardonnay

  • Hand-made pappardelle, roasted lamb and foraged mushrooms paired with 2010 “Artist Series” Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Osso buco, goat cheese polenta and smoked heirloom carrots paired with 2012 Nelms Road Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Olive oil cake, black currant “caviar” and fresh thyme crème anglaise paired with 2010 Columbia Valley Merlot

The wine dinner is priced at $75 per person or $140 per couple, excluding tax and gratuity. For reservations, guests can call (253) 591-4163. In the event of cancellation, 72 hours’ notice is required.


Lindquist Dental Clinic for Children (LDCC) in Parkland is doing their part to make a positive impact in Pierce County for low-income children with unmet dental needs. Thanks to a grant from Pierce County Community Connections, as many as 4,000 additional children will have access to regular dental care at the Parkland clinic’s updated facility.

LDCC received $350,000 of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funds from Pierce County for the capital improvements. With offices in Parkland, South Tacoma, Gig Harbor, and Bremerton, LDCC clinics provide affordable dentistry services and educational programs for children of low-income families.

“We are thankful for the funding award from Pierce County,” said Mary S. Jennings, DDS, Dental Director at the Parkland clinic. “The expanded office will help us serve even more children.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides CDBG funding to Pierce County. Community Connections administers funding through a competitive process, accepting applications, making awards to qualified projects, and monitoring projects throughout the process.

“The Federal funding is key to making improvements to housing and expanding opportunities for low-income residents,” said Corey Lew, Housing and Community Development manager. “Our investment in Lindquist Dental is an example of how we can use CDBG dollars to make an impact in Pierce County,” he stated.

LDCC has served the Puget Sound region for 77 years. In 2012, LDCC provided approximately 34,000 patient visits throughout the organization. The expanded Parkland clinic will be able to offer 9,000 additional dental appointments annually for children ages 0 thru 18.

“We never turn a child away because they can’t pay for our services,” said President and CEO Carolyn McDougal. “With help from Pierce County and our other dedicated partners, we can continue providing healthy smiles to Puget Sound children in need.”

For more information about LDCC visit To learn more about CDBG funding and other programs offered by Pierce County Community Connections, visit


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