Steve Dunkelberger

has been a journalist in Washington for more than 15 years. He is a historian and book author. He is also a media contest judge for Sigma Delta Chi, the national fraternity for journalists.

Email: stevedunkel@tacomaweekly.com

25 August 2015

Billboard battle preps to end by winter

News from the frontline in the city’s battle over billboards around Tacoma’s skyline suggests that the decades-old war could be coming to an end. City staffers have folded the city’s Working Group on Billboard Regulations into a roster of recommendations to the City Council that are slated for a vote by year’s end. Read More

18 August 2015

ELECTION WRAP-UP

If voters have anything to say on the matter, plans for Pierce County’s $230 million facility on Tacoma’s Pacific Avenue hillside has at least an uncertain future.
An advisory vote on the Aug. 4 ballot tallied 55 percent “no” votes on whether county officials should move forward with the project.

Plans…

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28 July 2015

Primary ballots due by Aug. 4


Ballots are due Tuesday, Aug. 4 for the Primary Election of who will move on to the General Election in November. The primary could also decide the fate of the controversial idea of consolidating many of Pierce County’s governmental services into a yet-to-be constructed building on the site of the former Puget…

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28 July 2015

Filing police reports online just got easier


Tacoma now has a revamped system for people to report petty crimes, and the system could include even more features with help from the people who use it.

The City of Tacoma’s online crime-reporting system has been available for a decade. The new system, called Tacoma Safe that launched over the weekend,…

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22 July 2015

Council slates $12 wage proposal for fall ballot

Tacoma City Council last week slated a plan for the November ballot that would boost the city’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2018. The council’s proposal will ride the same ballot as a citizen initiative that would set the minimum wage at $15 on Jan. 1, 2016.

The $12 package comes after the city organized a Minimum…

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22 July 2015

Completion of State Route 167 finally gets funded

Gov. Jay Inslee formally signed a transportation package last week that will flow $16.2 billion toward roads and transportation packages around the state for the next 16 years.

Funding for the transportation package comes from an increase to the state’s gas tax. The per-gallon tax will jump 11.9 cents in phases starting…

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22 July 2015

It’s official: Pothole plans to be on Nov. 3 ballot


Tacomans will vote in November on two street repair and maintenance packages that would increase a host of taxes to raise as much as $325 million during the next decade to fix a backlog of about $800 million in road repairs in the city that was created by underfunding street repairs since the 1980s.

The…

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14 July 2015

Arts & Entertainment: ‘West Side Story’ provides a solid, albeit uneven, gem

Tacoma Musical Playhouse is ending its main stage season with “West Side Story,” the most popular contemporary retelling of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” by Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Berstein.

This tale of star-crossed lovers has the Puerto Rican immigrant “Sharks” feuding…

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14 July 2015

City ponders ‘Water Forest’ options after vandal damages columns again

Howard Ben Tré’s public sculpture “Water Forest” quickly became one of the most popular public art pieces in the City of Tacoma’s collection when it was installed outside the Museum of Glass Main Plaza in 2002.

The 12 pillars and cascading waters that comprise “Water Forest” almost demand visitors to…

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7 July 2015

Wage task force finalizes recommendations as vote nears

Tacoma’s City Council-appointed Minimum Wage Task Force only agreed on a few recommendations to the City Council, but one point was certain – the initiative to boost the city’s minimum hourly wage from $9.47 to $15 overnight would be bad for the city’s economic backbone.

“The members of the Tacoma Minimum…

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7 July 2015

Revised Road Plans

Everyone who remembers the $500 million roads repair plans Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland roughed out in her state of the city address in February should largely forget that plan. Those ideas didn’t fly with stakeholders, so she has spent the last few months retooling options to fix the city’s crumbling roadways. The…

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1 July 2015

Farmland rezone plan held for more study

The Pierce County Council unanimously passed a slate of Comprehensive Plan changes on Tuesday as part of its biannual zoning review process. Dropped from that list of changes was a reclassification of what constitutes agricultural land. That was left unchanged by an amendment that sets aside the issue until 2017. The two-year…

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30 June 2015

Fireworks could get expensive with fines, fires

Independence Day fireworks have been banned in Tacoma since 1997, but that doesn’t stop the whizzes and bangs from echoing in every neighborhood at the risk of fines and possibly jail time.

“We do actually still catch some people with the fireworks,” Tacoma Police Public Information Officer Loretta Cool said.…

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30 June 2015

City streamlines process for outdoor cafes

The City of Tacoma has streamlined the permitting process for local restaurants to add sidewalk seating in time for sun-seeking patrons this summer.

Tacoma’s Planning and Development Services department has launched a new process that offers an expedited permit as well as provides a sidewalk expert to shepherd restaurant…

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24 June 2015

Burning is for learning at Tacoma Fire practice

Tacoma Fire Department firefighters took advantage of the increasingly rare opportunity to conduct live fire training at a property in Fife.

Live fire training opportunities are getting harder to come by these days because of increasing environmental demands concerning smoke emissions that require the property owner…

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The Daily MashUp

31 August 2015

Candlelight Tour: History with Texture

Campfires and candlelight provide illumination for a magical evening walking…Read More

28 August 2015

Homeless camps slated for Sept. 9 forum

The New Tacoma Neighborhood Council is sponsoring a forum on homeless encampments…Read More