City News


This Black Friday (Nov. 29) five of Tacoma’s favorite local musicians will be performing at five different local retail shops throughout downtown Tacoma. 

Performances will be 15 minutes each and will be every hour on the hour beginning at 1 p.m. and ending after 5 p.m. The musicians participating: Olivia Joy Hustoft and Jenny Snipstead (singers/songwriters) at Learning Sprout Toys (809 Pacific Ave.), 1 p.m.; Rockwell Powers (emcee) at UrbanXchange (1932 Pacific Ave.), 2 p.m.; Goldfinch (band) at King’s Books (218 St. Helens Ave.), 3 p.m.; Apartment Lights at Millesime Designs (743 Broadway), 4 p.m.; and Q Dot (emcee) at Feather & Oar (759 Market St.), 5 p.m.

The first-time event is being coordinated by organizer and emcee Zach “Rockwell” Powers who says both the local musicians and retail shops were eager and excited to participate in the concert series.

“All parties are involved are really fired up about the event,” says Powers. “The musicians are excited about the opportunity to point supporters of local music towards local business and the local businesses were grateful for the musicians wanting to step up and support them on the biggest retail day of the year.”

Powers says that if the concerts are positively received by the community, he hopes that the series will become an annual event. “We think this could become something that fans of local music and shopping come to look forward to every year,” he said.

The event is sponsored by Embellish Multispace Salon. More information can be found at and the facebook event page.


Parents and Friends for Tacoma Public Schools (PFTPS), a community group dedicated to strengthening our public education system, will be meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will take place in the Olympic Room at the Main Library, Tacoma Public Library, 1102 Tacoma Ave. S.

Many people believe our schools spend far too much time testing students. How much is too much? What impact does excessive testing have on children? Tacoma parent Breeayn Douthit said, “When a seven year old child is feeling frustrated and disappointed due to the constant testing, I don't expect the test results to be accurate. And evaluating a teacher based on inaccurate results is not only unfair to the teacher, but puts even more stress on the child.” How has Race to the Top and the Common Core State Standards changed the classroom environment? Is Kindergarten too soon to begin testing students? Please join us as we try to answer these questions and begin this important conversation.

PFTPS is a grassroots group. The membership is comprised of parents, community members, past and present education employees, grandparents, community activists and more. PFTPS also welcomes high school and college students, civic leaders, retired school district employees and neighborhood leaders who are interested in joining. Members are expected to support the mission and attend at least two meetings per year.

For more information about Parents and Friends for Tacoma Public Schools, visit or on Facebook at Contact: Kim Golding, (253) 906-8827, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Three city-owned properties in the Brewery District have been placed on the market with Request for Proposal (RFP) responses due Nov. 26. They include the historic 1910 City Shops & Stables at 2300-24 S. ‘C’ St. (Details on Historic Tacoma's Brewery Watch List page at The .RFP includes no requirement that the buildings be retained in a redevelopment project. Marketing info for the three City-owned properties is at

The 2010 Brewery District Development Concept Study and this year's South Downtown Sub-Area Steering Committee both identified the City Shops & Stables as the centerpiece for a potential catalyst project for the neighborhood. Historic Tacoma agrees with that assessment; we also believe that the 1910 building is historically and architecturally significant and should be preserved and rehabilitated as part of any redevelopment project.

Built in 1910, the Tacoma City Stable building is unique for its place within municipal development. The building was designed to replace a derelict building located at 23rd and Dock Streets; at the time of its construction it was lauded as one of the most cutting edge and largest municipal stables on the west coast.

The building reflects the end of an era; it was designed to house 53 horses and associated wagons used for street cleaning and other tasks that were shortly to become automated once the automobile became dominant. The building was unusual because it held not only horses and wagons, a feed grinder, and a blacksmith shop, but also a machine shop, broom making shop, carpenter shop, painting shop to paint the wagons, hospital department, and pipefitting shop. The building was built of a fireproof concrete construction for a cost between $25,000 and $30,000. The barn was lauded as a "shining example of municipal ownership" that saved money for the taxpayers.

The barn was described as "ornamental" in period newspapers, and is notable for its unusual use of (typically) residential Craftsman style roof pitches with the broad A-gables on the ends of the building, deep eaves, and knee brackets that support the eaves. This may be one of the only concrete Craftsman style buildings in existence. The majority of the original multi-light windows are intact and in good condition. Those that are double hung have ogee lugs, a highly detailed finish, particularly for a maintenance structure. Some of the original wood sliding barn doors remain. (Courtesy of Historic Tacoma, research by Caroline Swope, Kingstree Studios)


Wells Fargo has awarded $75,000 to Tacoma Goodwill’s Operation: GoodJobs for its veteran’s career transition program.

“With the large number of military members transitioning to civilian life over the next few years, we know it’s more important now than ever to make sure that transition is a successful one,” said Mark Dederer, Wells Fargo’s Washington Community Affairs manager. “Operation: GoodJobs has a terrific track record for providing support to military veterans and we are honored make a contribution towards those efforts.”

Operation: GoodJobs provides a variety of services to empower military veterans with the tools they need to find employment, succeed in the workplace and permanently support their families. To date the Tacoma-based program is helping more than 350 transitioning veterans with job placement, retention and advancement support services. Each participant in the Operation: GoodJobs program receives a complete career assessment and an individualized development plan. Services and education cover a range of family essentials, from basic needs like nutrition, shelter and child care, to specific job training identified in the process. Veterans are encouraged to include their spouses and other family members in the program so Goodwill can support their personal and financial goals. In addition, Goodwill works with business holistically spartners to match potential employees with employers, and provides veterans and their families with job search assistance and free employment placement, screening, and support services. Veterans or transitioning service members interested in Operation: GoodJobs should visit


Martha Nussbaum, the renowned American philosopher who has enticed the public to think deeply about questions of goodness, humanity, intolerance and the politics of fear, will speak at University of Puget Sound on Monday, Dec. 2.

The University of Chicago scholar and national commentator will give a talk titled “The New Religious Intolerance” at 7:30 p.m. in Schneebeck Concert Hall. The lecture is free, but tickets are required (ticket information is below).

Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at University of Chicago, has authored numerous books and been awarded more than three-dozen honorary degrees. Her talks and writing often challenge the direction of American thinking and cover ground that stretches from Aristotle, Plato, and poetic justice, to animal rights, the repression of women, and the failings of modern democracy.

Her two most recent books are “The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age” (2012) and “Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice” (2013).

The first, which forms the basis for her talk, is not entirely impersonal. Nussbaum grew up in the South as an Episcopalian and bonded to the church through her love of singing in choirs, she told The New York Times in 2009. As a youngster she knew racism and anti-Semitism firsthand. Yet in the 1960s, when she got married, she converted to Judaism and embraced the religious traditions.

“The New Religious Intolerance” looks at post-9/11 America, with a focus on the anti-Muslim zealotry that followed the terrorist attacks. In this fearful public reaction the philosopher sadly recognizes the apparition of anti-Semitic movements across Europe and the United States during earlier centuries. The intolerance, she notes, is not so new after all.

Nussbaum sees such anti-Muslim sentiment – demonstrated in American protests against a mosque near Manhattan’s Ground Zero, and in French and Belgium laws banning Muslim women’s burqa headwear – as an assault on religious freedom. Her book describes double standards applied to religious minorities: for example, allowing a nun to teach in full habit, while a teacher cannot wear a headscarf.

“Nussbaum summons us not to abdicate responsibility in the face of programmed hysteria,” wrote Walter Brueggemann for The Christian Century. 

“She pleads for the use of our ‘inner eyes,’ for that ‘curious and sympathetic imagination’ that is adept at ‘recognizing humanity in strange costumes,’” commented Timothy Garton Ash in The New York Review of Books.

For free tickets, order online at, or call Wheelock Information Center at 253.879.6013.


Almost everyone at University of Puget Sound has had the experience. You arrive early on a fall morning and the campus is dazzling with color. The first two people you meet are hard at work. A groundskeeper waves as she passes in an electric car stacked with rakes. A young man with a leaf blower smiles and steps back to let you by. Ahhh …. This is the “inspiring” campus that students rave about.

This school year the creation of these striking seasonal landscapes has been recognized by the national Professional Grounds Management Society. In late October Puget Sound received an Honor Award in the society’s 2013 Green Star Awards competition.

UPS received the award for exceptional grounds maintenance in the Urban University category. Manager of Grounds Joe Kovolyan, representing UPS, and other winning teams were presented with their awards at the society’s 2013 awards dinner, held Oct. 25 in conjunction with the School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO in Louisville, KY.

At UPS a 10-person crew, assisted by student workers, cares for the 97-acre campus. The crew makes plans one year in advance in order to have just the right array of color at events scheduled in the school year ahead. Spring color on campus features bulbs, annuals, and spring-blooming plants. Raised beds and planting containers allow the crew members the flexibility to create color accents in areas where it is difficult to establish flower beds.

The tree canopy, including dozens of towering Douglas Firs, is undoubtedly one of the features that make the campus special. To keep it that way, plans for tree replacements look ahead 50 years, taking into account the species that will be needed and planting locations. The ivy that drapes many of the university’s Tudor Gothic buildings is pruned twice a year, requiring a 60-foot lift to perform the task.

The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence, complimenting other national award programs that recognize outstanding landscape design and construction. Overall in 2013 PGMS presented four Grand Awards, its highest honor, as well as 22 Honor Awards and seven Merit Awards in 11 categories of competition.

The Professional Grounds Management Society, founded in 1911, is an individual membership society of grounds professionals dedicated to advancing the profession through education and professional development. Further information is available at


Clover Park High School (CPHS) principal John Seaton was named the South Puget Sound League’s (SPSL) High School Principal of the Year during the Washington Educators’ Conference in October. Principals from SPSL schools vote and select the award winner. This is first time Seaton has been nominated for the honor. Seaton has been principal at CPHS since 2005.

“I’m very honored to receive this award,” said Seaton. “The Clover Park High School staff works very hard to motivate and encourage our students to do their best.”

All nominated principals from leagues across the state were candidates for the state high school Principal of the Year. Mariner High School’s Brent Kline received the state high school Principal of the Year honors.


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