City Briefs


The City of Tacoma and various neighborhoods have partnered to schedule a number of spring clean-ups for May. Homeowners and renters in single-family and duplex residences in these areas are encouraged to unload unwanted items for free.

  • May 14: Northeast Tacoma at Meeker Middle School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • May 21: Larchmont, Fern Hill, Blueberry Park, Spooner Tract and Pac West at Taylor’s Auctions, 215 S. 84th St. from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • May 21: Pac/Yak, Park Avenue, Alling Park, East Wapato and Hillsdale at 6511 S. ‘C’ St. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

During these clean-ups, volunteers and staff from the city will accept items for disposal. All that is required to dump is a proof of residence such as a driver’s license or current utility bill.

Items that cannot be dumped include: material from a business; cars, motorcycles, campers or boat parts; truck canopies, trailers, boats or recreational vehicles; daily household garbage; hazardous waste; riding mowers and animal carcasses.

For more information or clarification on neighborhood boundaries, contact Allyson Griffith with Community Based Services at (253) 591-5119. 


For the first time in five years, Stadium High School is now open for enrollment.

Stadium will be accepting students outside of its regular attendance area for the first time since completion of the school’s remodel in January 2006, when enrollment peaked at more than 1,900 students.

Next year, Stadium’s enrollment is projected to drop to an estimated 1,450 students.

Enrollment at all of Tacoma’s high schools has declined from 9,692 in 2003 to 8,557 this school year. Projections indicate enrollment at Tacoma’s high schools will decline by another 800 students by 2016.

Applications to attend any of Tacoma's five comprehensive high schools will be accepted until May 31. A letter approving or denying the request will be sent to parents at the end of June.

Here is how to apply: Pick up a Parent-Initiated Student-Transfer form at a Tacoma high school office or print out the form from the website at under the For Parents, Enrollment Services section. Fill out the form and take to the student’s current school principal for signature of release.

Bring completed form with current principal’s signature to the Tacoma high school of choice for principal’s signature. The Tacoma principal will submit the completed form to the Office of Secondary Education at the Central Administration Building.

Contact Toni Pace, director of secondary education, at (253) 571-1191 for more information.


Afraid of ladders and black cats this Friday the 13th? Change your luck by hanging out with massive cranes and brightly colored cargo-handling equipment during a free narrated bus tour of the Port of Tacoma.

The May 13 guided tour will highlight how containers of consumer goods are unloaded from ships and put onto rail cars or trucks to head to market, creating some of the 43,000 local jobs related to port activity.

The tour leaves at 1:30 p.m. and returns about 3 p.m. It begins and ends at the Fabulich Center, 3600 Port of Tacoma Road. Space is limited for this free tour, and reservations are required. Children age 6 and older are welcome. Photo identification is required for passengers 17 years of age and older. Lucky charms optional. Reserve your free seat by calling (253) 383-9463 or e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

May 21: Pac/Yak, Park Avenue, Alling Park, East Wapato and Hillsdale at 6511 S. ‘C’ St. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Make a Splash environmental grants of up to $4,000 are available from City of Tacoma Environmental Services to any school, business, organization or individual considering a project to help protect surface water resources within the Tacoma city limits by preventing stormwater pollution.

Make a Splash grants are meant to prevent pollution and protect clean water through community collaborations focusing on education, protection and restoration efforts. Projects funded by a Make a Splash grant need to meet at least one of these goals. Projects focusing on water conservation or clean drinking water will not be considered.

Examples of projects include:

  • Citizen-led pollution prevention outreach efforts
  • Field trips or science day camps
  • Installation of cigarette butt litter cans throughout business districts
  • Demonstrating low-impact development practices to soak in stormwater on site, such as rain gardens or porous pavers
  • Video, audio, print or other media education efforts
  • Business-related stormwater education
  • Creation of multi-lingual educational materials

Tie-ins with the Puget Sound regional stormwater pollution prevention campaign, Puget Sound Starts Here (, are encouraged. Key messages in that campaign include proper pet waste disposal, natural yard care, preferred car washing methods and fixing leaky vehicles.

Application materials must be postmarked by May 16. To find out more about the grant, past projects, tips or to download an application, go to or call (253) 502-2126.


Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy has selected Gary Robinson, a veteran leader of Washington state agencies, as the new director of the Pierce County Budget and Finance Department.

Robinson has served in a variety of executive roles with the state since 1977, most recently as chief financial officer for the Department of Social and Health Services. McCarthy noted that Robinson has a strong background in financial management, budgeting, data analysis, revenue tracking, information technology, contract monitoring and policy development.

“Gary has extensive experience in leading budget and finance operations,” McCarthy said. “He is highly regarded as a leader who communicates well to ensure that timelines are met, work is accurate and goals are achieved. After reviewing 86 applicants for this crucial position, it was clear that Gary stood out with the right combination of skills and experience.”

Robinson began his new role with the county on May 9. He succeeds Patrick Kenney, who retired this month after 29 years as Budget and Finance director. Robinson’s appointment will be subject to confirmation by Pierce County Council.

As director, Robinson will oversee a department of 37 employees who are responsible for financial planning and management of revenues and expenditures. The county’s total budget for 2011 is $762 million.

Robinson’s previous experience includes serving as director and chief information officer for the state Department of Information Services and in three director positions with the Office of Financial Management, dating to 1984. He started his career in positions with the Legislature and the state Parks and Recreation Commission.

“I am excited about moving to a county government position where I can support public services that are directly connected to local communities,” Robinson said. “I look forward to working with Pierce County’s staff and leadership team to implement their shared vision, mission and goals.”

A Spokane native, Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in political studies from Pitzer College in California and a master’s degree in public administration from The Evergreen State College. He also completed the program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


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