City News


The committee to review Tacoma’s city charter has been called to order. The Committee held its first meeting on Monday, Feb. 3.

The committee is made up of Bill Baarsma, Theresa Baker, Gary Brackett, Mabel Edmonds, Tim Farrell, Eric Hahn, Charles Horne, Justin Leighton, Mark Martinez, James Merritt, John Messina, Kenneth Miller, Patricia Talton, Catherine Ushka, and Justin Van Dyk. It is tasked with looking over the city’s charter and recommending changes. The effort happens once a decade and a dozen changes were made during the last go-round in 2004.

The committee plans to meet every Monday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Room 16 of the Tacoma Municipal Building North, located at 733 Market St. until it submits its recommendations to the City Council on May 6.

Information about the review and its committee meetings is available at


Princess Promenade is the official kickoff of the 81st annual Daffodil Festival season in Pierce County. One of Pierce County’s fondest traditions is the ceremonial recognition and appointment of each year’s Daffodil Princesses. The event is the start of 10 months of serving the county, cities, and citizens in many capacities. Education, mentoring children and community service are the platforms that will have seen the Royalty appearing at over 220 events throughout Pierce County. 

The event will feature each young woman being tapped and proclaimed an official Daffodil Princess. Here, they will each receive their tiara, sash and traditional Golden Daffodil. This is the first time the Royal Court will be presented to the public.

Pierce County Councilmember Joyce McDonald will address the Princesses and read Resolution R2014-7 that names the Daffodil Festival Royalty as Official Ambassadors of Pierce County.

Princess Promenade is held at Pioneer Park Pavilion, 330 S. Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program begins at 7. Seating is reserved.

High Schools represented: Bonney Lake, Bethel, Cascade Christian, Chief Leschi, Clover Park, Curtis, Eatonville, Emerald Ridge, Fife, Franklin Pierce, Graham Kapowsin, Henry Foss, Lakes, Lincoln, Mt. Tahoma, Orting, Puyallup, Rogers, Spanaway Lake, Stadium, Sumner, Washington, White River, Wilson.

For further information, contact the Daffodil Festival at (253) 840-4194 or Steve James at (253) 297-6093.


Former National Security Agency senior executive Thomas Drake is coming to Tacoma on Saturday evening, Feb. 8 to talk about the big questions raised by people like Edward Snowden who give information to the American people that the government would rather keep secret. Can our democracy survive massive domestic surveillance? Does privacy really matter in a post-9/11 world? What does the 4th amendment’s protection from unreasonable search and seizure mean, especially in the digital age?

Drake is a decorated veteran of both the U.S. Navy and Air Force whose first day on a new job as a senior executive at NSA was Sept. 11, 2001. He is proud that he’s taken “the oath four times in my government career to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” And he was charged with espionage when he released information to the public about warrantless wiretapping in 2006.

Jesselyn Radack, Drake’s advisor in getting his case before the American people, will be speaking as well. As an attorney, she is a former ethics advisor with the U.S. Justice Department and is currently director of national security and human rights at the Government Accountability Project. She has just returned from Russia where she was acting as legal advisor to Snowden.

Both Drake and Radack are featured in the film “War On Whistleblowers,” available now in its entirety for free on Youtube.

Drake begins his momentous saga with, “I joined NSA as a senior executive primarily responsible for electronic foreign intelligence. 9/11 was my first day on the job. After my in-processing…,we were in a meeting, and it was a rather dramatic moment, particularly when the second airplane hit, and I remember standing up and saying, ‘America is under attack.’

“The call went out to all the intelligence agencies and departments: ‘Whatever you have, we need to put into the fight.’ I was literally charged to be the leader at NSA to go out and find all of these programs for filtering the vast reams of data being generated by the digital age, the Internet age, and to provide the intelligence as it’s being generated, while protecting the rights of Americans. It was the prime directive of NSA: You do not spy on Americans without a warrant.

“And then, as I discovered to my horror, the government was conducting blanket electronic surveillance with no controls, no accountability, no oversight. I was so concerned, because I remember telling my immediate supervision, “What are we doing?” …[And the answer was], “It’s all been approved. Don’t worry. And don’t ask any more questions.’”

But he couldn’t let it go. “I knew that, if I remained silent, I would be an accessory to a crime: the subversion of our own Constitution. And warrantless spying and surveillance.” So he went to the Office of the General Counsel. Then to House Sub-committee on Intelligence. Then the Senate Sub-committee on Intelligence. And finally to the Department of Defense Inspector General. “And I was being told [at each place], “It’s all legal!”

So he ultimately made what he calls “a fateful decision” – he contacted the Baltimore Sun anonymously and shared unclassified information about the government’s warrantless wiretapping. The story was released in May of 2006.

His story is quite a saga, ranging from being indicted for espionage and facing 35 years in prison to being featured on “60 Minutes” and the charges finally being dropped.

Drake and Radack will be speaking 7:30 p.m. at the Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave. The event is sponsored by People for Peace Justice & Healing, the ACLU of Washington, United for Peace of Pierce County, and local chapters of both Veterans for Peace and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. For more information, call (253) 535-7219.


APCC will host the 16th Annual Asian New Year Celebration on Feb. 15 at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall. The Island Nation of Tahiti (French Polynesia) will serve as this year's host nation. The public is invited to come and bring friends and family to this free family friendly event.

Over 15 different Asia-Pacific Island nations will be presenting traditional and contemporary dance and music performances throughout the day. The Exhibition Hall will be filled with retail booths selling exotic, quality, unique and some hard to find goods and materials. There will also be Food booths serving traditional Asia Pacific Island cuisine.

Opening Ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. with local dignitaries recognized and welcoming visiting guests from far and wide. The host nation of Tahiti will then have the honor of presenting their island culture and traditions for an hour long extravaganza. This will be followed by a line-up of entertainment that will go on throughout the day. Retail and food booths will be open to the public from 10:30-6 p.m. with ongoing arts and crafts workshops that will cater to kids and families.


The Diversity Resource Center, Black Student Union and University Bookstore at University of Washington-Tacoma invited the public for a presentation by Dr. Michael Honey spotlighting “Sharecropper's Troubadour,” the latest book from this award-winning labor historian. In honor of Chancellor Debra Friedman's commitment to diversity and social justice, Dr. James W. Harrington will be joining Honey in a dedicated musical performance. The event will take place on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 12:30 p.m. in William Philip Hall and admission is free.


The City of Tacoma’s Media and Communications Office has launched its first edition of “Tacoma Report,” a contemporary program featuring news and human interest stories about city services and programs and Tacoma’s nonprofits and special events. The show airs on the city’s municipal television station TV Tacoma.

“Tacoma needed its very own local news show,” said City of Tacoma Media and Communications Manager Gwen Schuler. “’Tacoma Report’ is a fast-paced look at the news that affects the lives of those in our community.”

The first show will air now through the end of the month when it will be replaced with the March edition.

The show is scheduled to air on channel 12 for Click! and Comcast customers in the city limits and on channel 21 for Click! and Comcast customers in Pierce County. University Place residents who are Comcast customers do not receive TV Tacoma broadcasting.

“The first two shows will each air for a month and our goal is to begin producing a new edition every-other-week this spring,” said Schuler. “Tacoma has an array of interesting stories and news that we want to highlight in a timely and relevant manner.”

“Tacoma Report” is anchored by Anita Gallagher, a Tacoma native and city employee.

“I grew up here and am very proud of that fact,” Gallagher said. “There are so many exciting things going on in Tacoma these days – arts, culture, food, and I want to be a part of that. There are a lot of Tacomans who don’t know about all of the services and programs the city and our partner organizations have to offer, and I’m hoping people will learn about these services from our show and take advantage of them. I think of ‘Tacoma Report’ as an information hub about services as well as current events.”

For complete listings check with your local cable provider.


Construction is underway on a new Wells Fargo banking store in downtown Tacoma at 1001 Pacific Ave. The 1,600-square-foot store is set to open Monday, March 24 and will be located about two blocks away from its current location in the Wells Fargo Plaza at 1201 Pacific Ave.

“Our new banking store will be larger to better suit the needs of our customers and will provide convenient street-level access to the downtown Tacoma community,” said Kasey Essex, Greater Puget Sound area president. “This new store location is an investment in our customers, team members and the entire Tacoma community. We are excited to offer our customers a comfortable banking environment for them to conduct their business.”

All 10 existing Wells Fargo team members will transfer from its current store location and will continue to provide a complete range of financial services, including consumer and business banking, loans and lines of credit, financial investing, mortgages, and insurance services. The new store will feature five teller windows, a street-level ATM, night drop, a historic mural highlighting the neighborhood’s unique history, and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver-certified design.

The new store will be open extended hours from its previous location: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

A variety of Wells Fargo business lines will continue to have offices at the Wells Fargo Plaza and there will continue to be ATM located in the lobby for customer use.

This is the one of seven new Wells Fargo Puget Sound locations that have opened, or will open, by first quarter 2014.


University of Washington Tacoma Chancellor Debra Friedman, a visionary leader dedicated to expanding access to higher education, died on Sunday, Jan. 26. She was 58.

A memorial service open to all UW campuses and the community will he held at 2 p.m., Feb. 15 at William W. Philip Hall on the UW Tacoma campus. In the days prior to the service, tributes, mementos and photos can be viewed and left in the Snoqualmie Building Powerhouse, located in the center of campus, or online at

Friedman’s overriding focus was on students. In honor of that legacy, the UW Foundation has established the Debra Friedman Memorial Scholarship Fund. Gifts to support student scholarships in her memory may be made online at or by calling (253) 692-4753.

In his message to the campus community, UW President Michael K. Young called Friedman “a true daughter of the University of Washington. She was a teacher, a scholar and a gifted administrator.” She received both her master’s degree and her PhD at UW, and was an administrator at the UW Seattle campus from 1994 to 2005.

On social media, the outpouring of messages of support in response to her death demonstrates the depth and breadth of the community relationships Friedman built for UW Tacoma.

Messages have been posted on Facebook and Twitter by people and organizations representing every facet of the South Sound and the UW community. Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s I Corps posted an appreciation of her work on behalf of Army veterans. Washington Sea Grant remembered her as an “adventurous beach walker.” Pacific Lutheran University President Thomas Krise praised her “unshakeable belief in the transformative power of education.” Peter Pentescu, president of the Associated Students of UW Tacoma, posted, “Debra Friedman was one of the most intelligent, dedicated people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. As long as we are dedicated to building an institution that is truly part of the urban community, she will be there, too.”

‘Shoot the T’ and win cool prizes

Spaceworks Tacoma has launched "Shoot the T," a photo competition highlighting Tacoma. Spaceworks participant Gallery of Ambition is organizing and presenting the competition that invites photographers of all ages and skill levels to submit their best photos of Tacoma. The winner takes all and the deadline is Feb. 17.

“Shoot The T” is a photo contest created to showcase the beauty of Tacoma as well as promote art and creativity in the City of Destiny. The winning contestant is destined for a grand prize, but also the honor of capturing a photo that brings pride to a hometown. This competition is a collaboration between streetwear brand eTc Tacoma, the art gallery and boutique Gallery of Ambition, and Tacoma Apparel Co.

 Contestants are asked to tag their best photos of Tacoma with the Instagram handle “@shootthet_tac” and the hashtag “#shootthet” in the “Comment” field. Photographers who are not on Instagram can email their best pics to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with “#shootthet” in the “Subject” field. This contest is open to all photographers of all ages and skill levels, whether they use a cell phone camera or a professional camera.

Photos of Tacoma will be posted to the “Shoot The T” Instagram account at The amount of entries received will determine the amount of finalists selected. Fifty finalists are expected, and only one photo per photographer will be eligible. The top 50 will be determined by “Likes,” and those photos will be developed and displayed at the Gallery of Ambition (313 S. 9th St. Tacoma, WA 98402).

From Feb. 20-22, in-person voting will take place of the top 50 at the Gallery of Ambition. Anyone can vote, and voters will be asked to choose their five favorite photos. Votes will be tallied and the field will be narrowed down to five. After that, a panel of judges from Take And Create Photography, the Instagram account @tacoma_wa, eTc Tacoma, Gallery of Ambition, and Tacoma Apparel Co. will choose the winner. The winner will be announced on Feb. 22.

The winner takes all, and the grand prize winner will receive $253 in cash, a hand-made, customized camera strap from Black Anchor Workshop, and a one year subscription to Photoshop CC on Adobe's Creative Cloud.

For complete contest rules and guidelines, visit the “Shoot The T” website at


Doug and Rhonda Jacobsen, authors of an acclaimed book about the return of religious faith as a force on college campuses, will give a free, public lecture at University of Puget Sound.

The Swope Lecture, titled “The Future of Religion in Higher Education,” will take place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 20, in Kilworth Memorial Chapel. The event is free, but tickets are required. The public talk will be followed by a reception and book signing. See below for ticket information.

Doug “Jake” Jacobsen and Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen, both faculty members at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, are the authors of “No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education” (Oxford University Press, 2012). The book, based on conversations with hundreds of professors, educators, administrators, and students, explores young people’s reengagement with religion and offers ideas on how campuses might create educational value from the interest in a diverse range of faiths.

In an article in “The Daily Beast,” the Jacobsens explained why paying attention to this recent religious trend should be front of mind for every U.S. college and university. “One in three Americans under the age of 30 reports being religiously unaffiliated, so it may be a surprise to learn that religion is making a comeback on American campuses,” the authors wrote. “Today’s interest in religion comes from the bottom up [and is seen by students as] a personal exploration of meaning, purpose, values, and global diversity – something that many of them would call ‘spirituality’ rather than ‘religion.’”

The Jacobsens’ research explores the ways that religion has functioned in teaching, administration, and student life. It also focuses on recent approaches to religion that stress religious and cultural pluralism. 

For tickets, order online at or call Wheelock Information Center at (253) 879-6013. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Advance ordering and pickup of tickets is recommended. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.


Business owners in Washington State are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them better-understand that process, the Tacoma office of the Washington State Department of Revenue is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners on Wednesday, Feb. 12 from 1-4 p.m. at the Department’s Tacoma office, 3315 S. 23rd St., 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.


Former U.S. figure skating champion Ryan Bradley will join members of the Lakewood Winter Club to present the 2014 ice show "Reflections on Ice – The Dream Continues" from Feb. 7-9 at Pierce County's Sprinker Recreation Center.

Five performances are scheduled, and each can accommodate up to 800 spectators. Tickets are available for balcony or on-ice seating.

This annual event showcases a featured guest performer as well as local talent. This year's featured performer is Bradley, who landed an incredible quadruple jump that placed him at the top of the podium in 2011. He also won the silver at the 2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships as well as three consecutive U.S. Collegiate titles and the U.S. junior championship. He represented the United States at three World Figure Skating Championships.

The creative force behind the show is U.S. Figure Skating Double Gold Medalists Heidi Sullivan and Stephanie Rowland. Both are members of the skating staff at Sprinker Recreation Center, operated by Pierce County Parks and Recreation.

The 70-member cast was chosen after tryouts and auditions in late August. They have been practicing since then to get ready for the February performances under the direction of Kathy Wainhouse, the Technical Show Director and director of skating for Sprinker. She oversees the competitive skating program and hosts seminars for the Professional Skaters Association.

For the show, Sprinker's Ice Arena is transformed into a professional set with state-of-the-art light and sound, costuming and props. These annual ice shows increase in popularity every year. Be sure to get your tickets as soon as possible.

The ice show gives local skaters an experience outside the rigors of competitive life. It is enriching and rewarding for both viewers and participants. Five former cast members are currently touring in professional shows.

Show times are Friday, Feb. 7, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 8, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m.

Balcony seats are $12 and on-ice seats are $18. Cash, check, debit, VISA and M/C are accepted. Order tickets by phone at (253) 798-4000 or in person at Sprinker Recreation Center, 14824 S. ‘C’ St. in Tacoma.


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