City News


In keeping with a vision contemplated by both the City of Tacoma and the Washington State Department of Commerce for the continued revitalization of Tacoma's historic Hilltop neighborhood, the city's Community and Economic Development Department has issued a Request for Development Proposals for mixed use commercial-residential development on roughly 1.5 shovel-ready acres at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and South 11th Street. The site is owned by the Washington State Department of Commerce.

"The City is excited about a partnership with the State of Washington to help this valuable property achieve its best and highest use that will benefit the community and generate tax revenue," said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “This parcel sits at a pivotal location along the planned expansion of Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail and represents a great opportunity to support mixed use development."

"The recent healthcare related developments and expansion, as well as the pending redevelopment of the Browne’s Star Grill, which is a historic landmark site, demonstrates the opportunities which are available for redevelopment on this site at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and South 11th Street," said Community and Economic Development Director Ricardo Noguera. "Workforce housing and retail services are highly sought after along this corridor."

A pre-bidders conference will be held on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. in the Visibility Center on the ninth floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building (747 Market St.) and first proposals will be accepted starting Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 at 11 a.m., and every Tuesday thereafter at 11 a.m., until the solicitation is closed by the City.

Proposals and questions from developers should be directed to Chuck Blankenship in the Finance Department's Purchasing Division at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


The Washington State Historical Society has announced the creation of the WSHS Community Gallery. The WSHS Community Gallery is intended for Washington State artists and community groups, giving them a display venue that is free and open to the public. Participants selected through the application process will curate their own exhibits under the guidance of museum professionals.

The WSHS Community Gallery Guidelines, application, and gallery space layout are available online at What are the requirements you might ask? Any submissions must represent a group or organization in Washington State, the theme of the proposed exhibition must relate in some way to Washington State history, and works must be available for display during the 2014 calendar year.

Applications will be accepted from Dec. 15 through Jan. 17,

2014 electronically at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by mail/delivery at the Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave.


As holiday preparations start or maybe start to wrap up, consider what can be recycled and reused to reduce waste. The City of Tacoma’s solid waste management staff wants to remind residents to consider recycling, reusing and composting options.

“Much of the packaging and the wrapping paper we use around the holidays is easily recyclable,” said Jetta Antonakos, City of Tacoma environmental specialist for solid waste management. “You can put much of the paper, plastic, cardboard and metals in your blue curbside container, and food waste can be placed in your yard waste container.”

Still, not everything can be recycled, so it's important to know what can be added to your curbside recycling, taken to the Tacoma Recycling Center or may just have to be thrown in the garbage. A full list of what can be recycled can be found at

For residents who already are thinking blue and brown bins first and want to reduce their amount of holiday waste further, some simple ideas include:

  • Using recyclable wrapping materials

  • Using reusable wrapping materials, such as pillow cases, cloth napkins or dish towels

  • Wrapping presents inside other presents

  • Avoiding items in excessive and unrecyclable packaging

“An even better alternative for a holiday present is to give the gift of an experience,” Antonakos said. “Giving a gift certificate or a donation to a charity is one of the most basic ways we can reduce holiday waste.”


At this year’s downtown First Night festivities to ring in the New Year, Tacoma artist-about-town Lynn Di Nino and a local cast of talented artists bring you “Nose Ringers vs. Old Farts,” a gravity-powered art car race pitting youngsters against oldsters, 9 p.m. at 9th Street and St. Helens. This spectacle features Karl Reyes and his operatic crew singing “Ride of the Valkyries,” Doug Mackey as race emcee, action, music, elevated stages, lights, loud noises, costumed “extras” and breaking glass from the giant bottle smashing machine as starter bell created by “Woods” and Steve LaBerge.

Four prizes of intrinsic value will be awarded to four of the eight car designers who are: The Belina Interiors crew, FabLab crew, Randy Jones formerly of Seattle, Ann and Paul Meersman, Indian Owen of Olympia, Carlos Taylor Swanson, Galen Turner and Otto Youngers. Besides being fast, these cars will have lights, fire, sound and theatrical enhancements.

Car sponsors are Dirty Oscar's Annex Moonshine Bar & Eatery, Belina Interiors, Madera Furniture Company, Glenna's Clothing, Puget Sound Revels, Beautiful Angle, Dick Weiss Industries and LeRoy Jewelers/Art Stop.

You're going to want to say you were there! Photo opportunities!


Want insurance coverage beginning Jan. 1? Then come to “Super Saturday” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 13 organizations throughout the county. The event is just in time for the Dec. 15 deadline.

In-person assisters will answer questions and help you enroll at these locations:

South Sound Outreach, 1106 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, (253) 593-2111; Community Health Care, East Tanbara Health Center, 1708 E. 44th St., (253) 722-2154; Hilltop Regional Health Center, 1202 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, (253) 722-2154; Lakewood Library, 6300 Wildaire Rd. SW, (253) 847-2304; Planned Parenthood, 1515 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, (206) 320-7610; Planned Parenthood (Puyallup), 702 30th Ave. SW, (206) 320-7610; Sea Mar Community Health Care, 2121 S. 19th St., (855) 289-4503; Sea Mar Community Health Care (Puyallup), 10217 125th St. Court E., (855) 289-4503; Asia Pacific Cultural Center, 4851 South Tacoma Way, (253) 383-3900; Eatonville Family Agency, 305 W. Center St., (360) 832-6805; Brown Tones Productions/HELP, Bethlehem Baptist Church, 4818 Portland Ave., (253) 238-3642; Korean Women’s Association, 123 E. 96th St., (253) 535-4202; AARTH Ministry, Roosevelt Heights Church, 4819 S. 12th St.

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department organized the “Super Saturday” event with the support of the participating organizations. The Health Department is one of 10 lead organizations that the Washington Health Benefits Exchange selected to train and coordinate local in-person assisters. Through various community agencies, Pierce County residents can get one-on-one support that will allow those who are not likely to use a website or call center to learn about their options and enroll in health coverage.

In October, 6,306 Pierce County residents signed up for health insurance. Of these, 5,786 were Medicaid eligible. Open enrollment continues through March, 2014. Those who are eligible for Medicaid can enroll any time.

For more information on getting health insurance, visit


At Umpqua Bank, supporting the community is a big part of what makes the bank unique. That’s why it’s committed to promoting local businesses, artists and individuals. Umpqua’s Local Spotlight is a way to introduce people to some of the community’s innovative and trend-setting new businesses.

Each quarter, a different business will have an opportunity to display their product(s) for sale in Umpqua’s University Place store. At the end of the quarter, the proceeds go directly to the merchant. It’s Umpqua’s way of giving back to the community and supporting local businesses.

Do you have a product to sell and might you benefit from participating in the Local Spotlight? Examples: arts & crafts, handmade soap, jewelry and food products (homemade BBQ sauce, honey). 

Interested? call: 253-926-5965 


The Tacoma Sunrise Rotary Club provided 800 children and adults with “face time” with Santa during the club’s 22nd annual Santa’s Breakfast on Dec. 7. Tacoma Goodwill hosted the free community event at their Milgard Work Opportunity Center in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma.

The event featured a pancake breakfast (with all the fixings), crafts, face painting, a balloon room and some valuable one-on-one time with Santa. Families received books, toys and a stuffed animal to take home.

“Saturday was all about the kids – giving families and children an outlet to celebrate the season,” said Sunrise Rotary President Karen Veitenhans. “Today Santa, Sunrise Rotary and our partners and volunteers made a difference, had fun, and took a small step towards improving our community and inspiring our leaders of tomorrow.”

AmeriCorps, Goodwill, Tacoma Young Professionals Network and the Youth Leadership Group from Life Center volunteered assistance and helped with outreach. Flyers were distributed to area schools, daycares and families visiting the Salvation Army, Washington Women’s Employment and Education, Tacoma Community House, Associated Ministries and others.

“We’re happy to host the breakfast every year,” said Tacoma Goodwill CEO and President Terry Hayes. “Helping and reaching out to the community at this time of year is joyous – all the families enjoying the moment and each other is what it’s all about.”


Gather up the kids and head to Swan Creek Park on Saturday, Dec. 14, and help “welcome home” Swan Creek salmon at the 10th annual “Salmon Saturday in Swan Creek Park,” 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2820 Pioneer Way E. (Canyon Entrance/Parking Lot).

Friends of Swan Creek Watershed, Tacoma EnviroChallenger Program, Tacoma Nature Center environmental educators and community partners invite you to join them in welcoming Swan Creek salmon as they return home to spawn. Experience the special wonder of watching salmon make their way upstream in an urban setting.

The event includes tours of the park to see the spawning salmon, children’s activities, salmon-friendly home and gardening information and more. Learn what a watershed is, and what we can do to protect our valuable water resources, through hands-on activities for all ages. New this year, you will be able to personally test the water, and see how its current conditions impact the survival of salmon in Swan Creek in an activity provided by Citizen's For A Healthy Bay.

Take a tour, stroll or hike on your own, or simply stop by to pick up free resource materials, but don’t miss this great event.

Friends of Swan Creek Watershed’s mission is to cultivate environmental stewardship through educational and volunteer opportunities. They welcome the participation of individuals, families, groups and schools to learn and work together to preserve this valuable natural resource in our urban landscape.

For more information about their activities, or to sign up for email notices, contact Sue Bernstein at (253) 472-7264 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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