Local communities have become much more accessible and senior-friendly. Even so, when it comes to personal safety, older adults and people with disabilities need to take special precautions at home as well as out and about.
Together with local polic...Read on...
Having voted on the prevailing side in the Pierce County Council’s rejection of a proposal to take stock of the county’s behavioral health system on Aug. 25, Councilmember Doug Richardson called for reconsideration at the Sept. 1 council meeting.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is looking for interested citizens to attend its fall Community Academy program. A Gig Harbor/Peninsula academy begins Sept. 24 and will meet each Thursday evening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. for 10 weeks.
The academy is an opportunity for participants to learn firsthand about law enforcement in Pierce County and to meet the Sheriff and other department members. The course seeks to familiarize the public with all aspects of the Sheriff's Department and provide insight into the practices of law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
The class covers topics such as patrol procedures, use of force, detectives, narcotics, K-9, domestic violence, hiring and training, and more. Field trips are scheduled to the 9-1-1 Communications Center, Pierce County Jail, and Sheriff’s headquarters.
Pre-registration is required and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until the class is filled. Applicants must be at least 16 years old and a photo I.D. is required after preliminary acceptance to the academy.
Interested citizens can register online or print and mail their application. Visit the Sheriff’s website at www.piercesheriff.org for more information. Click on “Get Involved” and then “Community Academy” to find the academy schedule. More information on the class will be sent once applications are received.
MEDIA CONTACT:Priscilla Crabtree, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department (253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
On Friday, Aug. 28, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy notified members of the County Council that she was vetoing the Council’s passage of a county comprehensive plan for the second time, citing concern over an amendment that would allow larger scale r...Read on...
Pierce County Councilmembers Derek Young and Connie Ladenburg had proposed a resolution directing the Performance Audit Committee to conduct a thorough, countywide evaluation of behavioral health services. However, Council Resolution R2015-91 was not adop...Read on...
The Swan Creek Park entrance at Pioneer Way and the park area on the southeast side of Swan Creek will be closed weekdays Sept. 9-18 while crews dredge a sediment pond.
The Pioneer Way entrance and all park property on the southeast side of Swan Creek wi...
Pierce County government will be taking steps to reduce water usage by at least 10 percent.
“I am asking staff to reduce the irrigation of lawns and landscaping at our facilities until further notice,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “We ar...
Pierce County Parks and Recreation is announcing that Soundview Trail, Central Meadow parking lot and the Central Meadow restrooms will reopen to the public on Saturday, Aug. 22. Those areas of Chambers Creek Regional Park had been closed for the U.S. Ope...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Aug. 21, 2015.
The Pierce County Ferry will operate on its holiday schedule on Labor Day, Sept. 7.
Pierce County ferry riders in large vehicles and vehicles with low ground clearance - such as an RV, commercial truck or a vehicle towing a trailer – traveling to or f...
From Mount Rainier National Park News:
A glacial outburst flood and debris flow occurred at Tahoma Creek in Mount Rainier National Park on Thursday, August 13, 2015 beginning at approximately 9:40 am. The glacial outburst flood originated from the Sout...
Pierce County News for the week of Aug. 13, 2015
A citizen’s petition for the “Sale of spirits for on-premises consumption in the City of Fircrest” has qualified for the November 3, 2015 ballot. The Pierce County Auditor’s Office is opening a special appointment period to recruit individuals to write a ...Read on...
The National Association of Counties (NACo) has named Pierce County Councilmember Derek Young as the newest member of its Health Steering Committee. The organization, which represents county governments nationwide, made the announcement following its 2015...Read on...
For people planning on receiving Social Security now or in the future, knowing how to make the benefits is critical. A few simple tips can save beneficiaries thousands of dollars. And for those currently receiving Social Security benefits, there may be ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Aug. 6, 2015.
Pierce County has won a top technology award for creating the most advanced permitting system in the nation. The Exemplary Systems in Government (ESIG) Award recognizes the county’s efforts to streamline a key service and save significant money.
"It says a lot about the hard work and dedication that the Planning and Land Services and Information Technology departments have put into this project, and I can't express how proud we are of their efforts," said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. "This award shows that their continued successes are setting a high standard across the country."
Pierce County’s permitting system has streamlined a traditional paper-based system. Online permitting tools reduced the number of customer phone calls and office visits by 20%, while also reducing the average consultation time by nearly 80%. Meanwhile, the mobile permitting app allows inspectors to access inspection requests, plans and permit data on their iPads. Customers can receive either electronic or printed copies of their inspections and request a re-inspection for the same or next day. Mobile permitting allows Department to conduct up to 70 more inspections a week – or 3,500 more per year! Additionally, Pierce County is one of the first counties in the nation to use free video chat tools such as Skype or Facetime for minor inspections.
“Our overarching goal at PALS is to integrate customer service in all aspects of the department,” said Dennis Hanberg, Director of Planning and Land Services (PALS). “We have been able to find efficiencies in the permitting process through the use of technology, for the benefit of our customers, citizens of Pierce County, and County staff.”
About the ESIG Award:
The 2015 ESIG award is presented by the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA). URISA is the premier non-profit organization for the use and integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other information technologies to improve government services. According to the award announcement, “Because of the corporate, community and economic impact of Pierce County’s efforts, its Next Generation Permitting System is deserving of the 2015 Single Process Exemplary Systems in Government Award.”
MEDIA CONTACT:John DeWeese, Pierce County Information Technology253 email@example.comRead on...
The Pierce County Auditor’s Office is opening a special appointment period to recruit individuals to write an “against” statement for the November 3, 2015, General Election Local Voters’ Pamphlet in the following district:
“Against” committee members neede...
Thursday, Aug. 13, is the last day to register for Northwest Magic Boot Camp, a program presented by the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Department.
The rigorous basketball skills camp concentrates on discipline, attitude, fundamentals, and developm...
Throughout the month of August, a team from Puget SoundCorps – part of the broader Washington Conservation Corps – will work with Pierce County Parks and Recreation and the Pierce Conservation District to help restore areas of Bresemann Forest and Spanawa...Read on...
On Aug. 4, 2015, Pierce County will join with the rest of Washington State in voting in the 2015 primary election. The Pierce County Auditor's office has published an election information and results schedule that details what's on the ballot, what special elections are taking place, how to vote, where to vote, when we'll know the results, and a number of other frequently asked questions.
Click here to access the 2015 Primary Election and Results Schedule.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor 253-798-3188 253-318-0493 (cell) Julie.Anderson@co.pierce.wa.us
Mike Rooney, Elections Manager253-798-2148 253-948-7547 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org
Whitney Rhodes, Assistant to the Auditor 253-798-3189 email@example.com@PierceCountyAudRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of July 30, 2015.
Work will resume Aug. 3 on a project to resurface 6.1 miles of Crystal Mountain Boulevard East from State Route 410 to the Crystal Mountain Resort after work was suspended July 6 due to fire precautions in the area.
The current schedule calls for work...
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is looking for interested citizens to attend its winter Community Academy program. The Parkland/Spanaway academy begins Sept. 3 and will meet each Thursday evening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. for 10 weeks.
The academy is an opportunity for participants to learn first-hand about law enforcement in Pierce County and to meet the Sheriff and other department members. The course seeks to familiarize the public with all aspects of the Sheriff's Department and provides insight into the practices of law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
The class covers topics such as the law, patrol procedures, use of force, detectives, narcotics, K-9, domestic violence, hiring and training, and more. Field trips are scheduled to the 9-1-1 Communications Center, Pierce County Jail, and Sheriff’s headquarters.
Pre-registration is required and applications are accepted on a first come first served basis until the class is filled. At this time there are openings. Applicants must be at least 16 years old. A photo I.D. is required after preliminary acceptance to the academy.
You can register online or print and mail in the application. Visit the Community Academy’s webpage for more information. Class details will be sent once your application is received.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Priscilla Crabtree, Sheriff’s Department (253) 798-6646 firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County Parks and Recreation will host two more Junk in Your Trunk community events this summer. The last event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19 instead of Saturday, Sept. 12.
Junk in Your Trunk is a variation of the traditional garage sale c...Read on...
By July 1, 2016, all unlicensed marijuana sales operations in unincorporated Pierce County – medical and recreational – must close. That message has been delivered to county landlords, business owners and operators whose establishments involve the burgeon...Read on...
In response to the growing behavioral health crisis facing Pierce County, Councilmembers Connie Ladenburg and Derek Young have introduced a resolution calling for an audit of the County’s mental health resources.
“We know that we have a mental health c...
The Pierce County Council will hold a special meeting in DuPont at 5 p.m. on Monday, July 27, to recognize the retirement of U.S. Army Col. H. Charles Hodges as well as conduct regular council business. Col. Hodges has served as commander of Joint Base Le...Read on...
Pierce County recently won Project of the Year—Structures $25 million to $75 million at both the Washington State Chapter and the National level of the American Public Works Association (APWA) for its new Sewer and Traffic Operations Facility.
The Foothills Trail between the Orting and Crocker trailheads will be closed up to two weeks in late July and early August. If the trail can re-open safely, it may re-open after 5 p.m. and on weekends. Check the project website for daily updates at www.pi...Read on...
After Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy vetoed the comprehensive plan passed by the County Council on June 30, 2015, Councilmember Rick Talbert (5th District) issued the following statement regarding two amendments cited as the primary reason for the v...Read on...
A special three-day candidate filing period will be held July 22, 23 and 24, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. State law requires a reopening of the filing period when no one files for a position during the regular filing period.
Declarations of Candida...
After learning that Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy vetoed the county’s comprehensive plan, passed unanimously by the County Council on June 30, Council Chair Dan Roach issued the following statement:
“I am surprised that the executive chose to re...
Pierce County News for the week of July 16, 2015.
Motorists can expect moderate delays on Brookdale Road East, 131st Street East, and A Street South in Parkland from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 23-24 while crews place the final pavement on the roadway.
A pilot car will guide motorists though the paving pro...
Work to seal pavement cracks and replace markings at Tacoma Narrows Airport will begin July 21. The airport will remain open during the nighttime work.
Crews will seal pavement cracks on the north half of Taxiway A, the connector taxiways, and the nort...Read on...
U.S. Army officials announced last week that Joint Base Lewis-McCord will reduce troop strength by 1,250, a number that is much lower than previously proposed.
“The reduced personnel drawdown is great news for Pierce County and District 6,” said Counci...Read on...
“The merits of this project are clear: we can save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and dramatically improve customer service by consolidating 19 divisions from 14 locations into one. We can do this while owning the building instead of continuing to ...Read on...
In response to the Pierce County Auditor’s announcement that an effort by county resident Jerry Gibbs calling for a vote on the county’s proposed General Services building has collected enough signatures to qualify for the November 2015 ballot, Pierce Cou...Read on...
The Pierce County Auditor’s Office has completed checking the signatures of Referendum 2015-1 regarding the proposed General Services Building. The referendum needed 24,427 valid signatures to qualify and achieved 24,493 valid signatures at approximately ...Read on...
Pierce County has made the list of “Top Ten” digital leaders, according to the 2015 Digital County Survey. The annual survey recognizes leading examples of counties using technology to improve services and boost efficiencies.
“It is an honor for Pierc...
Pierce County News for the week of July 9, 2015.
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy issued the following statement regarding the announcement that U.S. Army officials intend to only reduce the force at Joint Base Lewis-McChord by 1,250, a number far lower than originally proposed.
“Last summer, the...
Pierce County News for the week of July 2, 2015.
Last week state legislators awarded $35.5 million dollars to the Floodplains by Design grant program in the capital budget paving the way for seven multiple benefit projects across the state to move forward.
Floodplains by Design, administered by the ...
Pierce County Parks and Recreation will host free live music concerts at Meridian Habitat Park in Puyallup on Friday nights in July.
The concert series will feature a variety of musical styles that appeal to music lovers of all ages and tastes. Spectat...
Pierce County administrative offices will be closed Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day.
Offices will reopen Monday, July 6.
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy has named Ron Klein as the interim director of the Department of Communications while a search is made for a permanent hire.
Klein succeeds Hunter George, who has served as director since 2009 and resigned to take ...
The Pierce County Fire Marshal and Department of Emergency Management wants to wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July. The best way to safely enjoy the 4th is to watch a public fireworks display conducted by professionals. However, if you decide to ...Read on...
Pierce County’s Parks and Recreation department has announced the Playground by the Sound at Chambers Creek Regional Park will reopen to the public on Friday, July 3. The popular playground has been closed since May 26, 2015, in preparation for the U.S. O...Read on...
The Lacamas Creek Bridge, located along 288th Street South just east of 48th Avenue South, will close July 13 while it is replaced. The bridge is expected to open in mid-October.
A 7.5 mile detour will take motorists along 40th Avenue South, Tisch Road...
Gov. Jay Inslee today announced he is appointing Michael Schwartz to the Pierce County Superior Court. Schwartz serves as a sole practitioner, handling complex felony and civil litigation in both state and federal courts. He has operated his own private l...Read on...
Work will begin Monday, June 29 on a Pierce County project to resurface 6.1 miles of Crystal Mountain Boulevard East from State Route 410 to the Crystal Mountain Resort during the summer and fall of 2015 and 2016. Crews will also install new guardrails an...Read on...
The National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement for hot weather for parts of the Puget Sound area this weekend. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 80s to mid 90s on Friday through Sunday. The Pierce County Department of Eme...Read on...
A project to restore salmon habitat on Fennel Creek where it joins the Puyallup River will begin July 1 and continue through the end of August. Truck traffic along McCutcheon Road between 96th Street East and 128th Street East may increase during the work...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of June 22, 2015.
Just hours after Jordan Spieth won the 2015 U.S. Open, construction crews were already beginning to remove the infrastructure that supported the championship in order to restore public access to Chambers Creek Regional Park as quickly as possible.
The ...Read on...
The Pierce County Ferry will operate on its holiday schedule July 3 and 4.
The Pierce County Ferry will operate a one-boat service. Pierce County will extend the service day on July 3 and 4 by adding a triangle departing Steilacoom at 11 p.m. to accomm...
All remaining inventory in the U.S. Open Main Merchandise Pavilion at Chambers Bay will be on sale at 50 percent off on Monday, June 22, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Logoed apparel, headwear, shirts, towels and many other items will be included in the sale. ...Read on...
The following is a statement by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy about the conclusion of the 2015 U.S. Open:
"Congratulations to Jordan Spieth on winning the 2015 U.S. Open Championship. It was a thrilling week with lots of dramatic lead changes, and Chambers Bay proved worthy of the toughest test in golf.
"This was one of the most extraordinary weeks in our region's history. Our communities hosted thousands of visitors, and tens of millions of people saw spectacular views of our beautiful home. On behalf of Pierce County, I offer our thanks and appreciation to the local, state and federal partners who helped make this a huge success, as well as the championship volunteers and residents who provided such a warm welcome to all of our visitors.
"I especially want to thank the United States Golf Association for selecting Chambers Bay as the site of the first U.S. Open in the Pacific Northwest. Our county-owned golf course sets a great example for the USGA's goals of sustainable, accessible golf. I look forward to the post-championship reviews with county and USGA staff in the coming months. Our goal has always been to do this again and again, but first we have to take the time to analyze how it went.
"In the meantime, I am already looking forward to watching next year's championship at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania."
MEDIA CONTACT: Hunter George, Pierce County Communications email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of June 18, 2015.
The Pierce County Fire Marshal has declared a county-wide burn ban effective 8 a.m., Monday, June 22, until further notice. Dry weather and forecasts calling for continued dry heat prompted the limited ban, issued jointly with the Pierce County Fire Chief...Read on...
From Northwest Nicoise Salad that includes local line-caught albacore tuna to Seattle-style hot dogs with cream cheese, grilled onions, mustard and sauerkraut, or a fish taco station with Pacific cod, Susan Lacz thoughtfully creates her menu selections to fit the region.
Lacz is CEO of Ridgewells Catering, which has been preparing meals for the U.S. Open since 1993. She's created a menu of over 150 items, and will serve over 40,000 meals during the week of the championship. Her diners include corporate sponsors, players, rules officials, media and the USGA. And the menu varies from tent to tent.
Many of her ingredients are purchased from Northwest-based suppliers. And here's one local item you might not have heard of before: salmon candy. About 100 pounds of it is available.
Not only will the food inventory be stocked locally, so will the staff. Lacz recruited a staff of 500 that includes chefs, cooks, bartenders, servers and wait staff, from South Seattle College, Tacoma Community College, University of Washington Tacoma, JBLM, and Bates Technical College.
Car crashes, sports injuries, work mishaps, falls, home accidents, acute diseases and infections, disasters. Something happens and suddenly you are no longer able to speak. What do you want for your care? How will your resources be spent? Who will decide?...Read on...
Peter Harrington knows to look up when he hears the word “plane.”
But the 18-month-old from San Clemente, Calif. just had to look forward to see two jets parked on the tarmac right outside Tacoma Narrows Airport’s new observation area on Monday, June 1...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of June 11, 2015.
The community is invited to learn about a planned roundabout at the intersection of Point Fosdick Drive Northwest, Stone Drive Northwest, and 34th Avenue Northwest at an open house from 4-7 p.m. June 24 at the Goodman Middle School Commons, 3701 38th Ave....Read on...
Pierce County’s draft plan for Tacoma Narrows Airport’s water system will be presented at a June 23 public meeting at the airport.
The draft plan covers how the county manages and operates the water system, and describes system needs in the next 20 yea...
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department will be supported by 36 local, state and federal agencies as they provide for the safety and security of everyone attending the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.
The Sheriff’s Department, which is the lead agency for pub...Read on...
The United States Golf Association (USGA) announced today that the U.S. Open Main Merchandise Pavilion will be open to the public for pre-championship shopping from Thursday, June 11 through Sunday, June 14 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily). Tickets will not be r...Read on...
The biennial inspection of the M/V Steilacoom II, one of Pierce County’s two ferries, will begin June 12, and is expected to be complete July 9. The county’s other ferry, the M/V Christine Anderson, will handle the full schedule.
Vigor Industrial, the ...
Pierce County Parks and Recreation will host the annual Junk in Your Trunk community event on Saturday, June 20.
Junk in Your Trunk is a variation of the traditional garage sale concept. Vendors use their vehicles to transport and sell items in the Spr...
Pierce County News for the week of June 3, 2015.
Pierce County Ferry riders are invited to learn about draft recommendations developed during the ferry system’s Waterborne Transportation Study at a June 11 public meeting on Anderson Island.The draft recommendations include short-term and long-term str...Read on...
Participants in the 2015 Tour de Pierce have until June 12 to register for the event at the $14 individual price, or $42 price for a family of four from the same household. The 25th annual bike ride to promote safety, fitness and fun kicks off June 28 in ...Read on...
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Tom Larkin will retire on July 31, ending a 30-year career as a judge in Pierce County.
Judge Larkin served 20 years in Superior Court and 10 years in District Court.
The Superior Court Bench and the Tacoma Pierce ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of May 28, 2015.
Pierce County leaders kicked off Juror Appreciation Week (May 18-22) by highlighting several projects designed to make the jury experience more comfortable.
The Facilities Management Department recently completed a new outdoor patio next to the jury as...Read on...
The fifth annual Gig Harbor Wings & Wheels event will take place on July 5th from 11am to 5pm at the beautiful Tacoma Narrows Airport, located at 1202 26th Ave NW in Gig Harbor. The Title Sponsor for the event is USAA, and it promises to bring as much fun and memories as in previous years with a classic car show, jet car, vintage warbirds, live music and plenty of food.
New in 2015 will be a visit from the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadrons P-51 Mustang “Tuskegee Airman”, and thanks to USAAs title sponsorship, the Red Tail Squadron’s RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit, making its first ever west coast appearance. This exhibit allows you to put yourself in the cockpit and soar above the clouds in your own P-51C Mustang. Also included is the original film, RISE ABOVE, on a 160-degree panoramic screen in a 30-seat temperature-controlled movie theater. The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit highlights the courage and determination of the Tuskegee Airmen, who overcame obstacles to train and fight as U.S. Army Air Corps pilots, and what it means to us 60 years later. The exhibit will be open for group tours and limited hours on the 3rd and 4th of July. The tours are free, so please call or e-mail to set up a time for your group to go through the exhibit and see the P-51C. The Exhibit will be open during the event on the 5th.
Our newest Sponsor, the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation (GGHF) a 501 (c)(3) non-profit community foundation, is holding a raffle for a ride in the P-51C Tuskegee Airman. Tickets are $10 and the drawing will be at 3:00 on Sunday the 5th. You must be present to win. Tickets will be available online beginning Monday, May 18th at http://p-51mustang.eventbrite.com. Half of all proceeds will go to the GGHF Curious by Nature School to support early-childhood programs and tuition assistance grants. The school offers a one-of-a-kind, nature-based early-learning program where children go outside to learn, explore and play every day, rain or shine.
The Hub at Gig Harbor is open and a big part of the festivities with a menu befitting the day and a beer garden for those with a thirst for more than water or pop. Various other food and beverage vendors will be on site to fill in what the Hub does not provide.
The car show has boasted more than 150 classic and custom cars and promises to have just as many or more this year. Room has been made to allow up to 250. Dash plaques for every entry and lots of trophies. Contact Larry Hansen at 253-377-2525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Braack in the Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Car will return for his fifth year with us. Always a crowd pleaser, we’ll see if he can win a race against a warbird this year. Warbirds scheduled to appear this year are a pair of P-51 Mustangs, Renny Price in the SU-29, the two ship T-6 Texan team “Yellow Thunder”, the West Coast Ravens and a Stearman Biplane flown by Vicky Benzing.
This year, more on-site parking will be available, room for 300 cars on the VIP ramp are available first come first serve for $5. Parking is free at St. Anthony Medical Building on Pt. Fosdick, across from Uptown, and a free shuttle takes you right to the action. Tickets are: Adults 18 and older: $15, seniors and military ID card holders: $10, Kids 6 to 17: $5, and Kids 5 and under: FREE.
As always, we appreciate our sponsors that make it all happen: USAA, Fairway Independent Mortgage Company, The Greater Gig Harbor Foundation, Waste Management Inc, Tacoma Narrows Aviation, The Hub Restaurant, Drive Lambo, University Place Refuse, Pierce County, and Goldmine Coins & Relics. There are more opportunities to sponsor and plenty of room on the ramp so if you’re interested call Doug Fratoni at 253-405-9604 or e-mail email@example.comRead on...
Leaders of Pierce County and the cities of University Place and Lakewood have agreed to work together to develop a trail through the scenic Chambers Creek Canyon.
The two cities have already approved the agreement. With the Pierce County Council’s unan...
Aviation enthusiasts will have a new place to take in the sights and sounds of an active regional airport, thanks to Tacoma Narrows Airport’s new observation area.
A ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the new area, which will be known as the Rotary Aviation Zone, will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. June 3 at the airport, 1202 26th Ave. NW in Gig Harbor.
The zone features an ADA-accessible observation tower with a front-row view of the runway, a viewing shelter and tables. Future plans include adding educational displays about aviation and the airport, additional lighting, and potentially a small mounted airplane.
“People of all ages and abilities can visit this new area to watch planes fly in and out and learn more about aviation,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “Tacoma Narrows Airport has so much to offer pilots, businesses and visitors, and this new amenity should inspire even more interest in aviation in Pierce County.”
The zone is a joint effort between The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor, The Friends of Tacoma Narrows Airport, and Pierce County. Funding was provided by all three organizations, while the concept and volunteer work to build the zone was handled by The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor and The Friends of Tacoma Narrows Airport.
“We love to build projects like this,” said Dick Vanberg, The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor president. “The community will use it. It involves the different skills of several members. We like to work together as it builds our friendships. And our Rotary name will be seen by so many people.”
The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor contributed approximately $25,000 toward the structures, while The Friends of Tacoma Narrows Airport contributed nearly $5,000 to the site. Pierce County contributed approximately $18,000 to pay for materials.
"I've lived near the airport for almost 25 years and loved coming over to watch planes with my kids and now grandkids,” said Roger Gruener, The Friends of Tacoma Narrows Airport vice president. “After I became a community member (not a pilot) of the Tacoma Narrows Airport Advisory Commission, I felt we needed a better area to make that viewing easier. So I started The Friends group with our first goal of building this type of structure. I'm so thankful to The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor for funding most of it, because otherwise, it would still a dream. I value this airport as a very important asset in our community.”
The observation tower and viewing shelter were designed by Jim Castino, principal at Castino Architecture, while Oliver Magnuson and Randy Barcalow served as construction managers. Brett Marlo DeSantis of Brett Marlo Designs served as the site designer.
The roofs of the observation tower and shelter were provided by Spencer Aircraft, Wayne’s Roofing, and Scott & From Co. Inc. Tacoma Narrows Aviation provided the fencing around the site.
About the ceremonySpeakers at the event include Executive McCarthy, County Councilmember Derek Young (District 7), Vanberg, Gruener, and Deb Wallace, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities’ airport and ferry administrator. Attendees should park in the airport parking lot near the control tower. The zone is located next to tower.
About Tacoma Narrows Airport Tacoma Narrows Airport is a regional airport that is used for small business jet travel and general aviation. The airport serves businesses, recreational flying, flight instruction, medical services, the media, the military, and law enforcement. There are approximately 62,400 operations at the airport each year.
Pierce County also owns Pierce County Airport-Thun Field in Puyallup.
MEDIA CONTACT:Deb Wallace, Public Works and Utilities airport and ferry administrator (253) 798-7109 desk (360) 909-8198 cell firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Radford, Public Works and Utilities public information officer (253) 798-2464 email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County administrative offices will be closed Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day.
Offices will reopen Tuesday, May 26.
Pierce County News for the week of May 21, 2015.
Pierce County will offer an additional weekday run departing Steilacoom at 4:45 a.m. June 15-19 to support commuters during the U.S. Open Championship.
This run was added in anticipation of increased ferry demand and traffic in Steilacoom. The run may ...
Pierce County News for the week of May 14, 2015.
The public is invited to attend the final City of University Place U.S. Open informational open house on May 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Curtis High School cafeteria, 8425 40th St. W. in University Place.
This is the last in a series of numerous public...Read on...
Pierce County ferry riders in large vehicles and vehicles with low ground clearance - such as an RV, commercial truck or a vehicle towing a trailer – traveling to or from Anderson or Ketron islands for Memorial Day weekend should plan ahead to avoid extre...Read on...
Just as doctors recommend annual physicals for their patients, the U.S. Coast Guard also insists on ferry boat inspections every two years.
One of Pierce County’s two ferries, the M/V Steilacoom II, will motor into dry dock on June 1 for its biennial i...
County Executive Pat McCarthy has successfully nominated Don S. Monroe to represent Pierce County on the Citizen Oversight Panel that independently monitors Sound Transit’s commitment to voters.
Monroe served as Pierce Transit’s chief executive officer...Read on...
Citing his dedication to outstanding public service, members of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association (TPCBA) presented the Liberty Bell Award to Pierce County Councilmember Rick Talbert at the annual Law Day Luncheon on May 8.
“It’s an honor to be ...
The Pierce County Auditor’s Office is opening a special appointment period to recruit individuals to write “against” statements for the August 4, 2015, primary election local voters’ pamphlet in the following districts:
“Against” committee members needed
Homeowners and businesses located near coastal areas have are invited to view updated federal flood insurance rate maps at a May 19 open house in Gig Harbor.
These maps, created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), are used by property ow...
The American Heart Association has presented its Gold Achievement Award to Pierce County. The award, given to Councilmember Rick Talbert during the organization’s annual breakfast on May 5, recognizes employers who champion the health of their employees b...Read on...
At least every 10 years since it was first adopted in 1981, the Pierce County Council is required to call for a Charter Review Commission to examine the effectiveness of the county’s governing document.
In accordance with Resolution 2015-14, Pierce Co...
Pierce County is teaming up with hundreds of organizations across Puget Sound to challenge residents to commit to at least one Sound-healthy action during May’s Puget Sound Starts Here Month.
“In Pierce County, we have many scenic vistas of mountains ...
Pierce County Ferry riders are invited to learn about potential alternatives developed as part of the ferry system’s Waterborne Transportation Study at a May 14 public meeting on Anderson Island.
Alternatives regarding schedule changes, fare policies a...
Pierce County News for the week of April 30, 2015.
A Puget SoundCorps crew will remove Himalayan blackberry, English ivy and other invasive plants and remove trash from Pierce County’s Larchmont Wetland Reserve in Midland May 4 through 29. Getting rid of these invasive plants and trash will improve the he...Read on...
There is a brief time when the sky seems to fall in – from that period when people start wondering if they might have Alzheimer’s and the time they are formally diagnosed with the disease. That can be a horrifying time for individuals and families.
Pierce County News for the week of April 24, 2015.
Residents can learn how to compost at home by attending Pierce County’s free classes this spring.
The county will offer a food waste composting class and a yard waste composting class, along with a class that teaches both techniques in one session.
Pierce County residents looking to give back to their communities have ample opportunities to volunteer, especially in the 5th Council District that extends from South Tacoma to 160th Street E. in Spanaway and east-west from Interstate 5 to Woodland Avenu...Read on...
The Pierce County Council and the Tacoma City Council have issued proclamations designating April 26th as Domestic Violence Awareness Day in Pierce County and the City of Tacoma. April 26, 2015, marks the twelfth anniversary of the tragic murder of Crysta...Read on...
Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force will dedicate a DUI emphasis patrol this weekend in honor of Quinnton Dimmitt. The 17-year-old Franklin Pierce High School student was killed by an impaired driver April 25, 2014, as he drove to buy a...Read on...
Leisure travel is becoming increasingly accessible to people with disabilities and older adults. People can take safe, relaxing vacations anywhere in the world, but, as with any trip, planning is the key.
“Planning for Safe Travels” is a free, informat...Read on...
Leaders from South Sound 911 and members of the Pierce County Council will provide briefings about the agency’s plan to build a new public safety communications center at upcoming public meetings around the county. Voters in Pierce County authorized the p...Read on...
Pierce County officials are applauding the state legislature for passing a bill that aligns ferry system funding increases with inflation. Prior to Senate Bill 5307, revenue streams to county ferry systems were largely dependent on available state gas-tax funds and often subject to shifting political winds.
“Pierce County is one of three counties in the state that operates its own ferry system, the funding for which – until this bill was passed – was capped at a million dollars divided three ways. In fact, despite the population increases there hasn’t been an increase in ferry funding since 1991,” said Doug Richardson, Pierce County Council Vice Chair. “Thanks to Senator Steve O’Ban and Representatives Jake Fey and Dick Muri, our ferry system will get a much-needed revenue boost and will therefore rely less heavily on the county road fund.”
In late 2013, Richardson helped draft the first version of what eventually became SB 5307 while studying ways to make transportation funding more consistent from year to year and less reliant on legislative action. Pierce County Airport and Ferry Administrator Deb Wallace says the bill’s passage is welcome news.
“It’s been over 20 years since the legislature last increased our funding,” said Wallace, “and I am delighted not only that they adopted a measure that was first drafted by Pierce County, but that future funding will be indexed to a growth factor instead of being debated each year.”
SB 5307 will help reduce Pierce County’s reliance on funding ferry operations with county road funds, monies Wallace says are needed for other county roadwork and maintenance. Once the bill is signed by the governor and becomes law, the statewide funding cap will increase to $1.8 million for the next two-year period and Pierce County should see its share increase between $200,000 and $300,000.
For more information on the Pierce County Ferry System, please visit www.piercecountywa.org/ferry.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Doug Richardson, Pierce County Council253firstname.lastname@example.org
Deb Wallace, Pierce County Airport and Ferry Administrator253email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of April 15, 2015.
Homeowners and businesses located near coastal areas, rivers and streams can view updated flood insurance rate maps at three open houses in April.
These maps are used by property owners and federal, state and local agencies to determine standards for ...
Far Hills, N.J. (April 15, 2015) – In its preparation to conduct the first U.S. Open in the Pacific Northwest, the United States Golf Association has released detailed spectator information that will assist anyone who plans to attend the championship.
Developers working in two Pierce County watersheds have a new option to offset unavoidable construction impacts to wetlands and other aquatic habitat.
The county’s new in-lieu fee program provides developers in the Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed and a...
Chambers Bay Golf Course set new fiscal records in 2014, even as it reduced the number of rounds played to prepare for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship this June.
The golf course, owned by Pierce County, set all-time annual records for average greens fe...Read on...
Peak season fare rates start May 1 for Pierce County ferry passengers that drive a vehicle or motorcycle onto the ferry. Peak season runs through Sept. 30.
Passengers driving vehicles 21 feet in length or less will see their fares increase from the non...
Pierce County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) will gather at the Lemay America’s Car Museum from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 16 to “Get the Word Out” about the CASA Program and the need for more CASAs.
CASAs are trained volunteer advocat...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of April 9, 2015.
Now that the County has finished moving its online charter and code to Code Publishing, a Seattle-based Codification company, citizens and county staff will see and experience increased functionality provided through the new site. The overall responsibili...Read on...
Pierce County has issued a draft Comprehensive Plan update package and invites the community to learn more about such topics as land use, transportation and regional parks at a series of open houses.
“This is the community’s opportunity to learn how Pi...Read on...
The Milroy Bridge over the Puyallup River at 66th Avenue East and River Road will be closed from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 15 to allow crews to perform a detailed structural inspection and general maintenance. Motorists should use an alternative route ...Read on...
Watch for silver and blue pinwheels to appear around Tacoma and Pierce County. For the second year Pierce County’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program is planting pinwheels around town during April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Mon...Read on...
The Pierce County Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission has opened the application process for the 2016 Preservation Grant Program.
Grant requests can be made for historic preservation or history-related project proposals. For stabilization, ...Read on...
Members of the County Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday, March 31, proclaiming April 6-12 “National Public Health Week” in Pierce County. The measure is part of a broader effort to designate National Public Health Week across the country, ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of April 2, 2015.
Citing their respect and admiration for all Vietnam-era military veterans, members of the Pierce County Council unanimously adopted resolution R2015-39 at their March 31 meeting.
“So much was asked of our service members at a time when nobody could hav...
Amid a sea of yellow taffeta and silver tiaras, members of the Pierce County Council honored the 82nd Annual Daffodil Festival Tuesday and recognized the good work done by its ambassadors, members of the Royal Court.
Twenty-three Daffodil Princesses jo...
Pierce County Council Chair Dan Roach is proposing an ordinance that aims to accomplish what a private citizen has come under fire for trying to do: give the taxpayers a voice in the multi-million dollar decision to construct a new general services buildi...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of March 26, 2015.
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy is adjusting the new security policy at the two county-owned airports after further consultations with pilots, tenants and other airport customers.
The county installed 24-hour gate security at Pierce County Airpor...
Caregiving is the “new normal” in American families. People who need help – whether because of age, accident, debilitating disease, chronic health conditions or simple frailty – much prefer to remain in the familiar (and affordable) surroundings of home rather than move to formal care facilities. Fully one in four families will fall into this role.
We won't always know when the need will arise, but there are things people can do to feel more prepared for caregiving. “Conversations on Caregiving” is an informal discussion about family caregiving and the resources, tools and skills that can help caregivers over the long term. The discussion will explore ways families share responsibilities, how to handle caregiver duties, the challenges most caregivers face and the resources available in Pierce County. Participants will also learn how to recognize and avoid caregiver burnout.
“Conversations on Caregiving” will be offered four times:
The discussion will provide an opportunity for individuals to explore the options, needs, resources and supports available to them. According to former first lady Rosalyn Carter, “There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.”
“Conversations on Caregiving” is sponsored by Pierce County Community Connections Aging and Disability Resources (ADR) in collaboration with local community partners. ADR coordinates the Family Caregiver Support Program that provides a range of services and supports to family caregivers to help keep them strong and effective in their role. The program currently serves over 2,000 families in Pierce County.
The information-only event is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Scott Kinney, Community Connections253firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Riler, Community Connections253email@example.comRead on...
72nd Street East between Canyon Road East and 66th Avenue East will be closed from 7 a.m. Saturday, March 28 to 7 p.m. Sunday, March 29 while crews install pipes under the road for a new stormwater filter vault. The vault will remove contaminants from sto...Read on...
The Verizon Foundation has awarded $12,520 to the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center to fund mental health counseling and support groups for clients.
The Verizon Foundation invests in organizations that provide education, prevention, care and empowerment resources for victims of domestic violence.
“We are very thankful for the continued support of the Verizon Foundation. They are committed to giving back to the community by supporting programs such as ours," said Rick Talbert, a Pierce County Councilmember and chair of the center's Executive Board. "Support groups and counseling play a vital role in helping clients move past the abuse to lives of safety and stability. With the generous support of the Verizon Foundation we will continue to provide these much needed services to some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Established in 2005 through an agreement between Pierce County and the City of Tacoma, the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center serves the needs of domestic violence victims and their children by providing comprehensive victim services in a central, safe location. The center is named in honor of the late Crystal Judson Brame. More information is available at www.aplaceofhelp.org.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Scott Charlston, Verizon Wireless (425) 603-2894 Scott.firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Adams, Crystal Judson Family Justice Center (253) 798-4310 email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County roadsides will get their annual makeover this spring and summer.
An initial application of herbicides to combat weeds along road shoulders will start March 30, and continue through June. Targeted noxious weeds and brush control applicati...
Whether the need happens suddenly or over a period of years, when the necessity for extended health care happens, knowing about community resources is a necessity. The worst case scenario is to have to make decisions about long term care in a crisis.
Jury administrators from around the nation are coming to Pierce County this month for a three-day advanced training seminar.
The Virginia-based National Center for State Courts selected Pierce County’s Jury Administration Office as the host after worki...Read on...
Pierce County honored 69 individuals and seven groups for outstanding volunteer service last year to parks, public safety, courts and community programs on Saturday, March 14, 2015.
The honorees, selected through a nomination process, were celebrated a...Read on...
Pierce County Ferry riders are invited to take a survey during each of their sailings on March 17, 19, 21 and 22 to share information about their trip as part of the ferry system’s Waterborne Transportation Study.
The origin and destination survey will...
Pierce County News for the week of March 12, 2015.
Pierce County has two new award-winning community volunteers.
On Tuesday, March 10, the County Council recognized the special efforts and contributions of the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award, Alan Hughes, and the recipient of the Special A...
After years of tinkering, debate and listening to public input, members of the Pierce County Council passed a Shoreline Management Plan at the March 10, 2015, council meeting. Council Chair Dan Roach says he hopes it’s the end of what turned out to be a l...Read on...
This weekend, Christopher Michael Kerns will be remembered in Puyallup with a memorial sign dedication and DUI emphasis patrol. To some, the crash that killed Kerns on April 17, 2014 in Puyallup had all the telltale signs of a potential drunken-driving ca...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of March 5, 2015.
The weekly newscast is produced by PCTV. Find it on channel 22 Comcast and Click!, and channel 20 Rainier Connect every day at 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.. Watch online anytime at www.piercecountytv.org/pcn.
Download our new mobile app.
Visit PCTV's “Notify Me” page to sign up for alerts when specific shows or council meetings are posted to sign up for updates when PCTV posts new shows or council meetingsRead on...
Motorists traveling along 72nd Street East between Canyon Road East and 66th Ave. East should expect minor delays on weekdays from March 9 to April 6 while crews install a stormwater filter vault. The vault will remove contaminants from stormwater runoff ...Read on...
A draft policy document intended to guide growth in unincorporated Pierce County over the next 20 years is now available for the public to review. The updated Pierce County Comprehensive Plan fulfills a state legislative requirement that is due by June 30...Read on...
Councilmember Dan Roach, who chairs the Pierce County Council, has announced he’ll be proposing a resolution that would direct the county prosecutor’s office to drop a recently-filed lawsuit against a Pierce County resident.
The prosecutor filed a laws...
Pierce County Superior Court is pleased to announce several criminal case forms commonly used in court have been translated into Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The court expects a significant portion of the public with limited English language ...Read on...
Farmers, wholesalers, institutional buyers and technical experts gathered in Puyallup on Friday, Feb. 27, to share strategies and experiences for boosting markets for the local agricultural industry.
About 200 people attended Pierce County's second Farm Forum to learn more about agritourism and direct market sales, as well as to network with potential business partners.
"We have a rich agricultural heritage in this region, and the growing popularity of our Farm Forum shows there's great interest in supporting it," said County Executive Pat McCarthy, the event's host. "We brought farmers and buyers together to assist them in making business connections and discovering new opportunities in various market settings, such as retail, restaurants, hospitals, schools and farmers markets."
The Farm Forum, co-hosted by Cascade Harvest Coalition, featured presentations and lively discussions about marketing and agritourism. Speakers included representatives from the Northwest Agriculture Business Center, Blue Willow Lavender Farm, Wilcox Farms, and the Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau.
Participants learned more about the Pierce County Agriculture Program, which offers assistance with permitting, partnerships, promotion and land preservation. One highlight of the county program is the management of a mobile app for Puget Sound Fresh, Cascade Harvest Coalition's statewide directory of farms, farmers markets, products and activities.
Another session focused on opportunities and barriers that local food purchasers have experienced in buying food direct from farmers. Those speakers represented Harborview Medical Center, Whole Food Market, Sumner School District, Charlie's Produce, and Primo Grill.
The afternoon session featured a "speed-dating" format that gave local farmers the opportunity to meet with buyers from such entities as Joint Base Lewis McChord, farmers markets, Tacoma Boys, Marlene's Natural Foods Market & Deli, Harbor Greens Market, St. Martin's University, Pacific Lutheran University, Hotel Murano's Bite Restaurant and more.
Technical experts were available throughout the day to discuss financing, permits, conservation, health regulations and more.
The Farm Forum also received support from the Pierce Conservation District, The Russell Family Foundation, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and the WSU Extension.
More information is available at www.piercecountywa.org/farming. The forum included the release of a new Pierce County TV video about agritourism, which can be found here: http://youtu.be/PWalNEV1wXk.
MEDIA CONTACT:Hunter George, Pierce County Communications(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Learn what lives beneath Puget Sound and find out how to protect it at Puget Sounds Like Fun Day on March 14 in Vaughn.
This free family-friendly event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Key Peninsula Civic Center, 17010 S. Vaughn Road KPN.
Pierce County News for the week of Feb. 26, 2015.
Sunday, March 8, will mark the second annual Bridal Showcase at the Environmental Services Building (ESB) in Pierce County. The event is free to the public and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Participants can tour the facility and meet with a variety of vendors that will put just the right touch on a wedding day. There will be a variety of photographers, caterers, DJ's, event planners, florists, and more on site to help finalize wedding plans.
The ESB is a flexible and modern location ideal for weddings, receptions, parties, or retreats. The facility includes a large meeting space, an outdoor courtyard, a catering kitchen as well as a spacious lobby area. The outdoor courtyard features a covered patio popular for evening receptions, while the large lawn adjacent to the building offers a spectacular view of Puget Sound as the backdrop for an outdoor wedding. The staff at the ESB can assist in every way to make sure the event runs smoothly.
To set up a tour of this location, contact (253) 798-4141. Find more information including rental policies and availability calendar at the ESB website. For a slideshow of photos, please visit Pierce County’s Flickr gallery.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Andrea Clay, Recreation Supervisor253email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County Community Connections Aging & Disability Resources (ADR) is initiating a process to gather community input for the creation of the 2016-2019 Area Plan. The Area Plan establishes funding priorities and the array of services that will be provided to support older adults and adults with disabilities who are living in the community.
Input can be provided at six community forums, an Internet survey, by e-mail and by mail. Comments can be made on any topic of concern, e.g., in-home care, transportation, nutrition, health care, housing, socialization, legal services, aging-in-place and employment / volunteerism. Information gathered will be used to help shape the “Area Plan” that will be created by ADR.
“We want to hear what concerns people,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources. “In order for us to develop a strong plan for the next four years, we need to hear the experiences and suggestions of people with disabilities, older adults, caregivers, family members, friends and professionals in the community.”
Aging and Disability Resources has scheduled a series of forums for individuals to speak up and help shape priority areas and goals for services to older adults and individuals with disabilities in Pierce County. Six community forums are scheduled:
An Internet survey is also available to provide input. The survey is available at www.PierceCountyWA.org/ADR. Comments can also be provided by mail to Pierce County ADR, 1305 Tacoma Ave. S., Suite 104, Tacoma, WA 98402. Email submissions can be made to PCSeniors@co.pierce.wa.us.
Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources (ADR) is a designated Area Agency on Aging. Guided by the Area Plan and an Advisory Board, the role of ADR is to plan and oversee long-term services and supports in Pierce County. For additional information about the Community Input Forums or the Area Plan, call (253) 798-7376.
MEDIA CONTACT: Scott Kinney, Community Connections253-798-4509 firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginning March 1, the Pierce County Auditor’s Office will provide pet licensing and animal control services to all Fife citizens.
The City of Fife has entered into an interlocal agreement with Pierce County for services such as barking dogs, strays, ...
Pierce County News for the week of Feb. 15, 2015.
Vision loss doesn’t have to mean the loss of independence or quality of life. With the right support, people who are blind or partially sighted can do almost anything a fully-sighted person can do.
“Living with Vision Loss” will provide practical inf...Read on...
FAR HILLS, N.J. – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that all championship-round tickets (Thursday through Sunday, June 18-21) for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., have sold out. This marks...Read on...
Fourteen local businesses and homeowner associations have been recognized for taking steps to reduce the amount of pollution entering Pierce County’s waterways in 2014.
These businesses and associations received Pierce County’s “5-Star Excellence in St...
Pierce County and Forterra ensured this week that one of the largest farms in Pierce County will be farmed for generations to come by removing development rights through a conservation easement.
Through a deal crafted by Forterra, Pierce County made t...Read on...
After years of planning, members of the Pierce County Council voted 4-3 on Feb. 17 to proceed with a major consolidation of county services into a new General Services Building. Councilmembers Rick Talbert (District 5), Connie Ladenburg (District 4), Derek Young (District 7), and Joyce McDonald (District 2) voted for the plan. Council Chair Dan Roach (District 1) and Councilmembers Doug Richardson (District 6) and Jim McCune (District 3) voted against it.The consolidation will bring together 19 departments and divisions currently scattered in 14 locations, including eight commercial leases covering 150,000 square feet. "This business plan will save taxpayers millions of dollars in leases, staffing and maintenance costs," said Councilmember Talbert, who represents the area in Tacoma’s South End that will house the new campus. "We have carefully analyzed current and future costs, asset values, risk, and more. An independent consultant verified our staff savings through consolidation. This pencils out in the taxpayers' interest."The 330,000-square-foot building will be constructed on the county-owned, 13-acre Pacific Avenue campus just up the hill from downtown. That site currently houses the former Puget Sound Hospital, which closed years ago. The county negotiated a "guaranteed maximum price" of $126.9 million with the developer, Wright Runstad & Company."This makes good business sense. We will redirect eight current lease payments to this new building, and the consolidation will enable us to cut 38 staff positions, saving another $4 million a year," said Councilmember Ladenburg. "No taxes will be raised to pay for this. We can pay for it with existing resources and the savings gained from consolidating our services, and the savings will grow over time."The county made adjustments to the project based on feedback from the public, including four community meetings in January and February.County Executive Pat McCarthy publicly introduced the proposal in 2013 after several years of studying the service delivery in all county facilities -- owned and leased. Under the plan adopted Tuesday, most general government services will be consolidated into one General Services Building in a lease-to-own agreement with a nonprofit corporation. Services will include building permits, business licenses, Health Department records, and property tax payments, among others.The Executive thanked the County Council majority for analyzing the cost difference between the status quo and the savings over the next 30 years. "Taxpayers expect us to utilize public resources efficiently and effectively. This plan will save money while improving the delivery of services to the 820,000 residents we serve," she said. "My administration will now complete the planning for the staff changes and program improvements made possible by consolidating 19 departments and divisions into one location."Chair Roach, in explaining his position, said the reliance on staff savings was too risky."In order to make the mortgage payments, 38.1 jobs would have to stay eliminated for the duration of the mortgage, and we can't promise that future councils and executives would adhere to that," he said. "I sincerely hope I'm proven wrong and everything works out for the best, but I couldn't in good conscience ask our taxpayers to shoulder that risk. I wouldn't make that commitment with my own money, and I don't think we should make it with their money either."The building will house approximately 1,300 employees, including about 250 from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, an independent agency that is joining the county as a tenant in the new building. Other tenants will include the four departments in the Pierce County Annex, a 1950s-era building that originally housed a discount department store. The Annex site likely will be sold. The county's existing downtown campus, anchored by the County-City Building, will continue to house about 1,000 employees from the law and justice sectors in what will be redeveloped with existing resources over time as the Pierce County Justice Center.Construction of the General Services Building will begin next month, with occupancy expected in fall 2016. Project documents and updates are available at www.piercecountywa.org/gsb.MEDIA CONTACTS:Dan Roach, Pierce County Council Chair(253) email@example.com Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Councilmembers Rick Talbert (District 5), Connie Ladenburg (District 4), Derek Young (District 7), and Joyce McDonald (District 2) voted for the plan. Council Chair Dan Roach (District 1) and Councilmembers Doug Richardson (District 6) and Jim McCune (District 3) voted against it.
The consolidation will bring together 19 departments and divisions currently scattered in 14 locations, including eight commercial leases covering 150,000 square feet.
"This business plan will save taxpayers millions of dollars in leases, staffing and maintenance costs," said Councilmember Talbert, who represents the area in Tacoma’s South End that will house the new campus. "We have carefully analyzed current and future costs, asset values, risk, and more. An independent consultant verified our staff savings through consolidation. This pencils out in the taxpayers' interest."
The 330,000-square-foot building will be constructed on the county-owned, 13-acre Pacific Avenue campus just up the hill from downtown. That site currently houses the former Puget Sound Hospital, which closed years ago. The county negotiated a "guaranteed maximum price" of $126.9 million with the developer, Wright Runstad & Company.
"This makes good business sense. We will redirect eight current lease payments to this new building, and the consolidation will enable us to cut 38 staff positions, saving another $4 million a year," said Councilmember Ladenburg. "No taxes will be raised to pay for this. We can pay for it with existing resources and the savings gained from consolidating our services, and the savings will grow over time."
The county made adjustments to the project based on feedback from the public, including four community meetings in January and February.
County Executive Pat McCarthy publicly introduced the proposal in 2013 after several years of studying the service delivery in all county facilities -- owned and leased. Under the plan adopted Tuesday, most general government services will be consolidated into one General Services Building in a lease-to-own agreement with a nonprofit corporation. Services will include building permits, business licenses, Health Department records, and property tax payments, among others.
The Executive thanked the County Council majority for analyzing the cost difference between the status quo and the savings over the next 30 years.
"Taxpayers expect us to utilize public resources efficiently and effectively. This plan will save money while improving the delivery of services to the 820,000 residents we serve," she said. "My administration will now complete the planning for the staff changes and program improvements made possible by consolidating 19 departments and divisions into one location."
Chair Roach, in explaining his position, said the reliance on staff savings was too risky.
"In order to make the mortgage payments, 38.1 jobs would have to stay eliminated for the duration of the mortgage, and we can't promise that future councils and executives would adhere to that," he said. "I sincerely hope I'm proven wrong and everything works out for the best, but I couldn't in good conscience ask our taxpayers to shoulder that risk. I wouldn't make that commitment with my own money, and I don't think we should make it with their money either."
The building will house approximately 1,300 employees, including about 250 from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, an independent agency that is joining the county as a tenant in the new building. Other tenants will include the four departments in the Pierce County Annex, a 1950s-era building that originally housed a discount department store. The Annex site likely will be sold.
The county's existing downtown campus, anchored by the County-City Building, will continue to house about 1,000 employees from the law and justice sectors in what will be redeveloped with existing resources over time as the Pierce County Justice Center.
Construction of the General Services Building will begin next month, with occupancy expected in fall 2016. Project documents and updates are available at www.piercecountywa.org/gsb.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Dan Roach, Pierce County Council Chair(253) email@example.com
Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
The Crystal Judson Family Justice Center received the 2014 Distinguished Organization award for exemplary service and support provided to domestic violence victims in our community.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Bar association presented the award to Cente...Read on...
Pierce County administrative offices will close on Monday, Feb. 16, in observance of Presidents' Day.
The following is a statement by Executive Pat McCarthy on the Senate's bipartisan transportation package announced on Feb. 12:
"I congratulate the Washington State Senate's transportation negotiators for reaching a bipartisan agreement on a transportation plan that completes Highway 167 and addresses traffic congestion around JBLM. We will take the time to study the details, of course, but this is a very important and positive step. Our competitors around the world are investing in their infrastructure, and we cannot afford to wait any longer. I am very encouraged by the Senate's progress."
MEDIA CONTACTS: Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director (253) 798-6606 email@example.comRead on...
Efforts to reduce unhealthy wood smoke pollution in the Tacoma/Pierce County Smoke Reduction Zone area reached a milestone today when the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) approved a 10-year action plan and announced the area will be redesignated as i...Read on...
Building a “temporary city” for more than 200,000 people takes time, so Pierce County Parks and Recreation will begin closing portions of Chambers Creek Regional Park on March 16 as on-site preparations ramp up for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay.
Additional site closures are scheduled to take effect on April 20 and May 26, with the final site-wide closure taking place on June 10. The U.S. Open will be held June 15-21.
“Chambers Creek Regional Park is an outstanding community asset, and we understand the impact the park closures will have to its many users,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “I appreciate the community’s support as construction begins on grandstands, temporary buildings and other components of the U.S. Open Championship, whose construction often compares it to a temporary city. The USGA and the county are working together to implement a phased-in approach so we can preserve public access to the park as long as possible.”
An interactive map showing the closure schedule is available at www.piercecountywa.org/ccrp. The web page will be updated if there are changes to the closure schedule during construction.
Here’s a breakdown of the schedule:
March 16: Closures will be focused on the Central Meadow area, which includes the off-leash dog areas, the Bridge to the Beach, the grass meadow and portions of the Soundview Trail. The closure will allow construction to begin on a variety of temporary facilities for the U.S. Open. During the closure, public access to the affected areas will be restricted to authorized staff only.
April 20: Full closure of the Central Meadow parking lot and restrooms, North Meadow grass area, and the Soundview Trail. Additionally, the entry road leading to the Central Meadow will be closed to the public. Grandview Trail will remain open; however, parking will be limited to on-street parking and the lots at the nearby Environmental Services Building.
May 26: Playground by the Sound, the Chambers Bay Golf Course and Grandview Trail will be closed to the public.
Final closures prior to the championship will occur in June when the Chambers Bay Grill and Pro Shop, Environmental Services Building and East Slope Trail will close to the public. Beginning June 10, no public access or parking will be available at the park or adjoining Environmental Services Building.
“We will progressively reopen the site after the Championship as structures are disassembled and the site is restored,” said Parks and Recreation Director Tony Tipton. “The USGA is committed to helping us resume public access as quickly as possible. Some areas – particularly the Central Meadow – will remain closed for a longer period of time while the grass recovers. In the meantime, we hope park users will enjoy other regional trail systems, including the Foothills Trail and Nathan Chapman Memorial Trail.”
The United States Golf Association is expecting more than 200,000 spectators, volunteers, media, vendors and staff to attend the seven-day event. This is the first time the U.S. Open will be held in the Pacific Northwest in its 115-year history, and just the fourth time the championship has been conducted at a publicly-owned course.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Tony Tipton, Pierce County Parks and Recreation Director 253-798-4250 firstname.lastname@example.org Hunter George, Pierce County Communications Director 253-798-6606 email@example.com Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Feb. 12, 2015.
The Pierce County Boundary Review Board seeks applicants for a vacancy on the quasi-judicial body that makes decisions on such issues as incorporations, annexations, mergers and disincorporations by cities, towns and special purpose districts.
The posi...Read on...
The City of Edgewood will hold a primary election for mayor in April and a general election in August. Candidate filings for the mayoral position will be accepted Feb. 23, 24 and 25, 2015.
Last November, Edgewood citizens voted to change their form of...
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is looking for interested citizens to attend its winter Community Academy program. The University Place academy begins Feb. 19 and will meet each Thursday evening from 7 to 9:30 p.m. for 10 weeks. The South Hill academy begins March 18 and will meet each Wednesday evening from 7 to 9:30 p.m. for 10 weeks.
Pre-registration is required and applications are accepted on a first come first served basis until the class is filled. At this time there are openings. Applicants must be at least 16 years old.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Priscilla Crabtree, Sheriff’s Department (253) 798-6646 firstname.lastname@example.org
Teresa Berg, Sheriff’s Department (253) 798-4214 email@example.comRead on...
The following is a statement by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy regarding the announced weekend closure of West Coast ports due to a labor dispute:
"The impact of a shutdown will be devastating to thousands of people in Pierce County who rely on ...Read on...
Work requiring closure of a portion of 66th Avenue East south of its intersection with River Road (SR 167) previously scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 7 has been postponed. Pierce County road crews were scheduled to trim roadside vegetation that is encroachin...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Feb. 5, 2015.
Professional performers will join members of the Lakewood Winter Club to present the 2015 ice show "Reflections on Ice – Entertaining America!" from Feb. 6-8 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 year’s event features guest performers Jeremy Barrett and Natalia Zaitseva. Barrett is a U.S. Olympian and National Pairs Champion, while Zaitseva is a Russian Master of Sport in Pairs Skating. Both also performed with Moscow on Ice and Disney on Ice. Also featured is ice aerialist SueEllen Quick. These professional performers are joined by a cast of more than 75 local skaters and Northwest Champions.
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. Shows are approximately 90 minutes in length with a 15-minute intermission.
Friday, Feb. 6: 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.Saturday, Feb. 7: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.Sunday, Feb. 9: 2 p.m.
Balcony seats are $12 and On-Ice seats are $18. Tickets are available online at Brown Paper Tickets, by phone at 253-798-4000 or in person at Sprinker Recreation Center, 14824 South C Street in Tacoma, Washington.
More information is available at www.reflectionsonice.com.
Zoe Cardwell was born with five severe heart defects, but the 16-year-old Puyallup resident considers herself one of the lucky ones.
“Congenital heart defects are all around us. You hear it in the stories of student athletes who have died with an undis...Read on...
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy has negotiated a development and lease agreement for a proposed general services building that would dramatically improve customer service while saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
If approved by the Pierce County Council, the $126.9 million project would consolidate 19 departments and divisions currently housed in 14 locations.
The project would be funded with existing resources, including the money currently spent on eight commercial office leases as well as significant staff savings through efficiencies created by the consolidation. It would be built on the county-owned 13-acre site of the former Puget Sound Hospital campus, located just up the hill from downtown Tacoma.
"We started this project with a 'service first' goal - that is, we analyzed how to align our programs and divisions in a way that provides the most efficient customer service in a one-stop shopping experience," Executive McCarthy said. "Thousands of people from across Pierce County who use our services would be able to take care of business in one convenient location instead of driving all over the area."
The Executive’s office presented the proposed development agreement to the Pierce County Council on Monday, Feb. 2. The Council, which has received regular briefings for months, is scheduled to vote Feb. 17 on whether to approve it. (A PowerPoint presentation of the business plan is available here.)
The $126.9 million “guaranteed maximum price” from the developer includes:
Under the 63-20 financing model (named after the IRS code), the costs are guaranteed by the developer, Wright Runstad & Co., which would be responsible for any cost overruns. Incentives are built into the agreement to encourage the developer to come in under budget.
The project is also estimated to incur approximately $15.5 million in financing costs, including interest paid on the bonds during construction. It's expected that up to $3 million of that amount will not be needed, but it's required to be available.
All told, the annual lease payment would be approximately $8.6 million a year, depending on which of two financing options is selected.
No tax increases are necessary to cover the cost because the project will, in fact, save taxpayer money. Most of the lease payment would come from two sources:
The remaining $1.16 million of the annual lease payment would be covered by the following sources: rent from the Tacoma Pierce County Department of Health, an independent agency that decided last summer to join the building as a tenant; savings from reducing the county fleet at least 10 percent thanks to the consolidations; and rent from retail space currently intended for a coffee shop and deli. Additional savings to be determined would come from lower utility bills and the eventual sale of the Pierce County Annex.
"There's no question this consolidation makes good business sense," Executive McCarthy said. "Without the new building, we will spend well over $300 million on leases, salaries for redundant positions, and maintenance and upgrades in outdated buildings over the same period of time. Consolidation in a lease-to-own scenario is the prudent choice."
If approved, the project would align county services into two main campuses. General government services would be located on the new campus, and about 1,000 employees in the law and justice sectors would remain at the downtown campus just two miles away.
The project began in summer 2012 as county officials analyzed whether to continue to invest in the Pierce County Annex, a former discount department store that was built in the late 1950s and houses four departments. In summer 2013, the County Executive announced her proposal to realize economies of scale by consolidating services on the former hospital site. That fall, the County Council voted to spend $1 million to select a development team and design enough of the project to determine the amount of the fixed lease, which then must be approved by the Council before the project can continue.
If approved, construction would begin in March, with the building fully occupied by November 2016.
More information is available at www.piercecountywa.org/gsb.
Feb. 5 update: Here's a story about the project financing by Pierce County TV.
MEDIA CONTACT: Hunter George, Pierce County Communications (253) 798-6606 firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
University Place Mayor Pro Tem Javier Figueroa and Pierce County Councilmember Derek Young have been elected to lead the Rainier Communications Commission, which advises local jurisdictions on telecommunications issues and televises local government programming.
Figueroa, who serves as the RCC president, holds several leadership positions with the city, including deputy mayor and member of the City Council’s U.S. Open Task Force. He has 30 years of experience in real estate asset management. He is an Army veteran, a certified arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau and a gubernatorial appointee to the State Council on Aging.
“The Rainier Communications Commission provides an influential voice for local jurisdictions as the cable industry and the federal government discuss access to the rights of way in our communities,” Figueroa said. “We are committed to promoting community interests in telecommunications, especially in matters involving the siting of towers and other infrastructure.”
Young was elected vice president of the RCC. He previously served 16 years on the Gig Harbor City Council, which included stints as a member of the Pierce County Regional Council, the Puget Sound Regional Council and the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners.
“Besides the important telecommunications policy work, the RCC also adds transparency to local government by televising local meetings and events, and by telling award-winning stories about local people and places,” Young said.
The Rainier Communications Commission consists of elected or appointed officials representing Pierce County and the cities of Sumner, Orting, Puyallup, Fife, DuPont, University Place, Ruston, Steilacoom and Carbonado. The City of Tacoma is a nonvoting partner.
The RCC oversees Pierce County TV and other channels that air meetings and other programming for jurisdictions, agencies and schools. PCTV is available on channel 22 on Comcast Cable, 22/522 HD on Click! Cable TV, and channel 20 on Rainier Connect. Programming is available on demand at www.piercecountytv.org and on the PCTV mobile app.
MEDIA CONTACT: David Hinman, PCTV general manager (253) 798-8710 email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of Jan. 29, 2015.
Pierce County Planning and Land Services has scheduled four meetings around the county to gather public input on proposed adjustments to some of the land use designations in rural areas.
The adjustment is part of the update to Pierce County’s Comprehe...Read on...
The Selective Service System is seeking applicants to fill vacancies on their local board. A Selective Service Local Board is a group of five citizen volunteers whose mission, upon a draft, will be to decide who among the registrants in their community wi...Read on...
Members of the Pierce County Council's Community Development Committee have scheduled four meetings around the county to gather public input on changes to proposed shoreline development guidelines required by the state.
These meetings will address 18 amendments that resulted from a series of community hearings last spring. The Community Development Committee, chaired by District 5 Councilmember Rick Talbert, made changes to such areas as aquaculture practices, shoreline buffer provisions, and development around Lake Tapps Reservoir. Now the committee wants to gather feedback on those changes before sending a final version to the full County Council.
Here is the schedule of community meetings:
Washington State law requires that Pierce County update its shoreline development regulations, which were adopted in the early 1970s. This affects approximately 12,000 properties near marine waters, rivers and certain streams, lakes, wetlands, and floodplains. Participants can testify, provide written materials or both.
Typical examples of development that will be reviewed for compliance with the updated shoreline regulations include: residential development and associated accessory uses, docks, piers and floats, bulkheads and retaining walls, boat launching ramps, recreational development, marinas and aquaculture uses.
More information, including a complete list of the 18 amendments to last year’s proposal, can be found at www.piercecountywa.org/shoreline.
The full County Council is scheduled to vote on the changes March 10. Then it goes to the state Department of Ecology for review.
MEDIA CONTACT: Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director 253-798-6606 firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County District Court has unveiled an innovative new way for customers to access court services online.
Citizens who wish to file a small claims case can now use District Court’s web-based Small Claims Kiosk application. Developed by District C...
Pierce County News for the week of Jan. 22, 2015.
Pierce County Juvenile Court has won a highly competitive grant aimed at reducing criminal behavior by elevating the voice of families in the Juvenile Justice system, improving the services and support to youth on probation and connecting youth with their...Read on...
Pierce County will start construction Feb. 2 to more than double the number of parking spaces at the popular North Meadow area of Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place to help meet high demand.
A new parking area with approximately 50 spaces will be added to the North Meadow area, which currently has 39 spaces. The area is home to Playground by the Sound, one of the largest playgrounds in the community, and serves as the main access point for the Grandview and Soundview walking trails. Chambers Creek Regional Park, located adjacent to Grandview Drive West, is part of the 930-acre Chambers Creek Properties.
In addition to adding the new parking area, crews will widen the park’s entrance and exit driveways on Grandview Drive West, build an access road from the existing parking lot to the new parking area, and widen the existing paved pedestrian path adjacent to the new parking lot.
The existing North Meadow parking lot will be closed Feb. 2 through mid-September. Visitors can continue to use adjacent street parking along Grandview Drive West when accessing the playground, trail or restroom.
"The North Meadow of Chambers Creek Regional Park has quickly become one of the most beloved recreation areas in the South Sound," said County Executive Pat McCarthy. "We can't avoid the inconvenience of the parking lot closure, but the end result is better access to one of the best parks around."
The adjacent Grandview Trail, North Meadow restroom and Playground by the Sound will remain open during the work, although intermittent closures of the playground will be needed during construction.
During the work to widen the existing driveways, the bike lane will be closed and motorists on Grandview Drive West may experience occasional short term traffic delays.
Funding for the approximately $1.2 million project comes from Pierce County Public Works and Utilities. Jennings Northwest, LLC is the project contractor. For more information about the project, visit www.piercecountywa.org/NMparking.
Construction work on the parking lot will be suspended from early April through July for the United States Golf Association’s set-up and execution of the 2015 U.S. Open Championship, before resuming in early August. The work is expected to be complete in mid-September.
Elsewhere on the site, park and trail closures are expected to begin in mid-March as construction of grandstands and temporary buildings for the U.S. Open gets under way. Closure dates will be announced in the near future as schedules are set.
Click here to see the conceptual drawing.
February 13 update: Here is an update from Pierce County TV:
MEDIA CONTACTS: Brian Ziegler, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities director (253) 798-3159 email@example.com
Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director 253-798-6606 firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County residents can learn how to grow their own food during the 2015 Edible Gardens workshop series, which runs from February through November. The free series of monthly workshops, which are sponsored by Pierce County and the Pierce Conservation District, teach beginning gardeners how to plan a garden, prepare the soil, plant seeds, and harvest the food they've grown.
Each workshop is designed to help students throughout the growing season by addressing what needs to be done in the garden that month. The classes combine presentations with hands-on activities.
“Each student’s knowledge will grow along with their garden, as they see their plantings go from seed to table,” said Stephanie Leisle, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities environmental educator. “Attendees are sure to leave the classes excited about planting a garden and harvesting their own food. The collaborative environment and ability to share experiences benefits everyone from first-timers to experienced gardeners.”
Classes are taught by educators from Pierce County Public Works and Utilities, Pierce Conservation District’s Harvest Pierce County program and Tacoma Public Utilities.
Two classes – Fruit Trees and Perennial Edible Gardens – have been added to this year’s series. The popularity of the series, now in its fourth year, has also led to an additional class location in Parkland at the Parkland/Spanaway Library.
Class informationThe free monthly classes are held at five locations in Pierce County:
Additional schedule and registration information along with class descriptions are available at www.piercecountywa.org/ediblegardens.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Stephanie Leisle, Public Works and Utilities environmental educator(253) email@example.com
Sheryl Rhinehart, Public Works and Utilities outreach coordinator (253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Families looking for something to do with the kids during January and February can grab their blankets and kick back for an evening of fun at the movies, courtesy of Pierce County Parks and Recreation.
The first Friday Family Indoor Movie Night will ta...
Pierce County administrative offices will close on Monday, Jan. 19, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.
Pierce County News for the week of Jan. 15, 2015.
Work to install an interim traffic signal system and street lighting at the 94th Avenue East and 144th Street East intersection in South Hill will begin Jan. 20. Currently, the intersection is configured as a four-way stop.
Work is expected to be comp...
Canine heroes-in-waiting from around the nation will converge this weekend on a Puyallup gravel pit for their final trial. For those that pass the test, they'll receive coveted certification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Urban Search and Rescue program.
Dogs like these spent weeks sniffing through the rubble of the World Trade Center looking first for survivors, then for human remains. More recently, FEMA-certified dogs and their handlers who have been through the rigorous US&R Canine Search Specialist Certification program were deployed to the devastating SR530 Landslide in Snohomish County.
Washington Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (WATF-1), which is sponsored by the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, is hosting the certification trials Jan. 24 and 25 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Randles Sand & Gravel in Puyallup.
A national group of canine experts will evaluate teams consisting of a dog and its handler. Each team will have to find volunteer "victims" hidden in two different piles of rubble. As the handlers and their canine colleagues conduct their search, both will have to contend with various distractions intentionally introduced to make the test more realistic.
More information about the FEMA certification is available at www.fema.gov/emergency/usr/canine.shtm.
MEDIA CONTACT:Sheri Badger, Pierce County Emergency Management(253) 798-2204 (desk)(253) 377-4149Read on...
Pierce County Councilmember Dan Roach has been re-elected as Council chair for 2015. The seven-member body voted for leadership positions and assignments on Council committees and other boards and commissions at the Council’s Jan. 13 weekly meeting.
Members of the Pierce County Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution declaring January 2015 to be Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
The measured, passed at the Jan. 13 Council meeting, calls human trafficking a form of modern-day slavery an...
The Pierce County Department of Community Connections and Tacoma-Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness seek volunteers to gather census data of the homeless population and those on the verge of becoming homeless in Pierce County.
The annual survey – which is in its 18th year – is scheduled for Jan. 22-23. More than 100 volunteers are needed countywide to survey individuals and families at meal sites, day shelters, health clinics, and on the streets. The Homeless Network is also accepting donations of personal items that will be distributed over the two day period.
“Experiencing homelessness is especially hard during the cold winter, and the month of January is often the most unforgiving. This survey will inform and strengthen our coordinated community efforts to find new and better ways to end homelessness," said Keith Galbraith, chair of the coalition. "It's also a great time to meet the practical cold-weather needs of those who require physical as well as emotional warmth expressed through the personal contact with members of our community who care."
Volunteers are required to attend one of three scheduled trainings prior to participation. At the training, representatives from the Homeless Network will explain the reasons for the survey, discuss the process by which data is collected, and provide safety information. Workshops will be held at the following locations:
TacomaWednesday, Jan. 14, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sound View Building 3602 Pacific Ave, Conf Room 1 Tacoma, WA 98418
Friday, Jan. 16, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. MDC Learning Center 721 S Fawcett Ave, Suite 204 Tacoma, WA 98405
Gig HarborWednesday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.Gig Harbor Boys & Girls Club8502 Shansie AveGig Harbor, WA 98332
"Please support this great community wide effort by volunteering and donating some of the needed items listed. Your help will really make a difference,” Galbraith said.
The data collected provides a picture of the homeless issues in Pierce County, drives planning efforts, and leverages public and private funding for homeless housing and services. Last year, volunteers helped collect data from over 1,034 homeless individuals in our county. They identified 838 single, unattached individuals. The survey counted 196 families with 386 children age 18 and under as homeless during the 24 hour census period.
To volunteer or for more information about the 2015 survey, contact Valerie Pettit at Pierce County Community Connections (253-798-7658).
Donations of personal items such as clothes, blankets, sleeping bags, jackets, socks, gloves, hats, scarves, duffle bags, non-perishable food, bottled water, can openers, flashlights/batteries, towels, and toiletries can be delivered to Pierce County Community Connections Soundview Building at 3602 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98418 or MDC Learning Center at 721 S. Fawcett St, Suite 204 in Tacoma, WA 98405 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Valerie Pettit, Community Connections (253)Read on...
Pierce County will receive $2.16 million in federal highway safety improvement funds to fund five road safety projects.
Pierce County is among 46 agencies across Washington that will receive more than $48 million in federal highway safety improvement f...
A study of the Pierce County Ferry System is currently underway to evaluate potential alternatives for the system, such as changes to the schedule and improvements to existing facilities.
During the Waterborne Transportation Study, Pierce County will a...
Three members of the Pierce County Council are hosting a public forum to provide local residents with another opportunity to learn about the proposed general services building currently under consideration. The meeting – arranged by Councilmembers Connie ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Jan. 8, 2015.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is looking for interested citizens to attend its winter Community Academy program. A University Place academy begins Feb. 19 and will meet each Thursday evening from 7 to 9:30 p.m. for 10 weeks.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Teresa Berg, Sheriff’s Department (253) email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County is seeking applicants to fill a vacancy on the Civil Service Commission for Sheriff's Department employees. Commissioners are appointed by the County Executive and serve a six-year term. The commission is a quasi-judicial body responsible for rules and regulations governing examinations, appointments, appeals and other general personnel issues.
Commissioners are required to attend one monthly meeting, or special meetings as required, and serve on a voluntary basis. Commission members must be a resident of Pierce County for a minimum of two years prior to appointment, registered to vote in Pierce County and a United States citizen. No more than two Commissioners may be from the same political party and no member after appointment may hold any salaried public office or engage in County employment other than his/her Commission duties.
For more information or application materials click here or contact Sherry Hieb, Pierce County Civil Service Commission chief examiner, at 253-798-6250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Sherry Hieb, Pierce County Civil Service Commission chief examiner 253-798-6250 email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County Council Chair Dan Roach says he’s pleased with the governor’s appointment of Carol Gregory to fill the vacant 30th District seat in the state House of Representatives. That position has been open since the death of former Rep. Roger Freeman,...Read on...
Gov. Jay Inslee announced that he is appointing G. Helen Whitener to Pierce County Superior Court. Whitener is replacing Judge John McCarthy who is retiring after serving 18 years on the bench.
Whitener, who is originally from Trinidad and moved to the...
The Pierce County Auditor’s Office is seeking new members for the Pierce County Animal Services Advisory Panel (ASAP). ASAP is a diverse panel that provides recommendations and coordination with community partners for Pierce County Animal Control. The pan...Read on...
One day after raising his right hand and taking the oath of office, new Pierce County Councilmember Derek Young says he’s humbled and excited to serve his constituents in the 7th Council District.
At the first council meeting of the New Year on Tuesday...
Many options are available to individuals when taking Social Security. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. Planning ahead is important to make the most out of the benefits available to people as they retire or as they need to claim disabilit...Read on...
If you look at advertising, it’s all about expanding your portfolio and enjoying the good life. While that may be true for some, most Americans will experience something quite different.
“Retirement for ‘Average’ Folks” explores what most people wil...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Dec. 24, 2014 to Jan. 8, 2015.
As you recycle your wrapping paper, don’t forget to treecycle your Christmas tree.
Pierce County residents who subscribe to yard waste collection service can place their unflocked tree in their container. Flocked trees cannot be recycled and must be d...Read on...
Fares to ride the Pierce County Ferry will increase by 3 percent in 2015 across all rider categories except for youth.
“This is the second part of a two-step increase needed to help cover increased operational and maintenance expenses,” said Deb Wallac...
Due to an excess of cremated remains, the Pierce County Medical Examiner will scatter the unclaimed ashes of deceased individuals at sea on Dec. 18.
“Many of these cases go back decades and by law we have to do everything we can to try and find the nex...
Pierce County’s FirstToSee project has received an award for being among the best new tech sites and mobile apps in the Northwest. FirstToSee leverages the latest technology so the public and first responders can quickly share information in a disaster.
At the final 2014 meeting of the Pierce County Council on Tuesday, Dec. 16, members will recognize outgoing Councilmember Stan Flemming for his years of dedicated public service.
Flemming's colleagues will present him with a plaque honoring his work since being elected to the Pierce County Council in 2010 to represent the citizens of the 7th Council District. Flemming, a medical doctor and retired U.S. Army brigadier general, serves as the County Council’s vice chair. He previously served the community as a member of the Washington House of Representatives and a founding councilmember and mayor of the City of University Place.
County employees and members of the public are invited to Tuesday's council meeting, which begins at 3 p.m. in the chamber on the 10th floor of the County-City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave. S. in Tacoma.
MEDIA CONTACT: Hunter George, Communications director (253) 798-6606 firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of Dec. 11, 2014.
Due to the high winds and stormy conditions predicted for Thursday evening, Dec. 11, the Pierce County Parks and Recreation department has opted to close its winter Fantasy Lights experience for the night in the interest of safety.
Fantasy Lights at Sp...
Members of the Pierce County Council want to meet with the King County Council so they can jointly decide who to appoint to the vacant 30th District seat in the state House of Representatives.
Pierce County Council members have expressed a strong desi...
Pierce County is seeking applicants to fill vacancies on the nine-member Surface Water Management Advisory Board.
Advisory board members will be involved in such issues as storm drainage and surface water management, water quality storm drainage plans...
The Pierce County Council holds at least one of its regular Tuesday meetings in each of the seven council districts each year. The final stop on the 2014 tour will be at the new Parkland/Spanaway Sheriff’s precinct on Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m. The address is 14...Read on...
Every night through New Year’s Day, visitors can treat themselves to a festive holiday display of lights unlike any other in the South Sound area. This year is the 20th anniversary of Pierce County Parks and Recreation’s Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park an...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Dec. 5, 2014.
Motorists traveling through the intersection of Orting-Kapowsin Highway and 224th Street East will notice a new traffic signal configuration starting Friday, Dec. 5.
The signal in the eastbound direction on 224th Street East now includes a flashing ye...
The results of the County Council District 7 mandatory manual recount were certified Thursday, Dec. 4. The results confirmed Derek Young received the most votes and is the winner.
The Pierce County Canvassing Board met Thursday afternoon to review the...Read on...
The Pierce County Council will hold its regular Tuesday meeting in Puyallup on Dec. 2. The meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. at Puyallup City Hall in the Williams Stoner Council Chambers (5th floor), 333 South Meridian in Puyallup (click here for a map...Read on...
Government officials are inviting Pierce County residents to celebrate the completion of a series of projects along the 176th Street East corridor between B Street East and State Route 161 with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Dec. 10.
The ceremony kicks o...
Avoid a DUI in Tacoma this Black Friday with the simple tap of an app.
To kick-off its holiday Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force is partnering with Uber, the app that connects riders an...Read on...
The 2014 General Election was certified by the Pierce County Canvassing Board today, bringing the election to a close. Results are available on the Pierce County Elections website (www.piercecountyelections.org).
The Canvassing Board has ordered a rec...
Pierce County will celebrate the completion of a new facility that processes roadside storm drain waste with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Pierce County Central Maintenance Facility, 4812 196th St. E in Spanaway.
The waste proces...
Pierce County News for the week of Nov. 20, 2014.
In celebration of International GIS Day, Pierce County is launching a free new site that makes it easy to research census data, zoning, local parks, property parcels, and more! The new Open Geospatial Data Portal makes the County’s GIS data widely availab...Read on...
After months of negotiation and discussion, members of the Pierce County Council voted unanimously Monday, Nov. 17 to adopt the county’s 2015 budget. The new budget takes effect Jan. 1 and, among other things, will devote more resources to public safety a...Read on...
The development team working on Pierce County’s proposed new general services building will begin removing and testing bricks from the vacant building on the site to determine how they can be used as part of the project.
The brick salvaging is set to b...Read on...
Attorneys and litigants now have the ability to appear remotely before Pierce County Superior Court through CourtCall Video, a private service that saves time and travel-related costs.
Superior Court began using the video service this month for approved civil, criminal and family law matters.
“We are happy to provide an additional service to attorneys and litigants that we believe will help speed processing of cases, make court appearances more convenient and reduce costs to participants," said Presiding Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper.
CourtCall Video is browser-based and requires only a computer with Internet and a webcam. The company began a telephonic court appearance program in 1995 and expanded to video appearances to provide judicial officers, litigators, witnesses and jurors a convenient way to participate. There is no cost to participating courts and no equipment for courts to purchase. CourtCall's program is voluntary and those lawyers or other remote participants who wish to use the service pay a reasonable fee to do so in order to skip an expensive trip to Court.
The CourtCall Video service adds the visual element while retaining the flexibility and portability of its telephonic appearance system.
"We always knew that video would be the next frontier," said Mark Wapnick, CourtCall's President, "and we are thrilled to have created a proprietary system designed specifically for Judges and lawyers."
CourtCall has completed millions of telephonic court appearances for more than 2,500 judicial officers across North America.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ronald Culpepper, Presiding Judge (253)Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Nov. 13, 2014.
The Sunset Festival of Bands is being televised for the first time in its six-year history, thanks to Pierce County TV.
The high school marching band demonstration was held Oct. 25 at Sumner High School’s Sunset Stadium. Hosted by Sumner High, the nine participating bands each performed twice before a panel of judges. Blue Thunder, the high-energy drum line that performs at Seattle Seahawks games, entertained as a special guest. Participating schools were:
The 90-minute television program – produced by PCTV – airs on the county channel Mondays at 4 p.m., Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m. through December. The Sunset Festival of Bands can also be viewed on the PCTV website at www.piercecountytv.org or on PCTV’s YouTube channel, and on the PCTV mobile app.
DVD and Blu-ray copies of the program can be purchased from PCTV for $35 each. PCTV utilized five cameras, five microphones and a crew of 10 individuals - which included three students from Bates Technical College - to record the 2014 Sunset Festival of Bands. PCTV is sharing the program with other community television channels around the state.
“Besides providing transparency for local governments, Pierce County TV does a great job of showcasing the people, places and events that make our community special,” said Pierce County Councilmember Stan Flemming, who serves as president of the Rainier Communications Commission, which governs the channel on behalf of seven member jurisdictions. “I am proud of the PCTV staff’s initiative to give us all the opportunity to watch these young musicians at their best.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Dave Hinman, Pierce County TV General Manager 253-798-8710 email@example.comRead on...
After meeting late into the evening Wednesday, Nov. 13, members of the Pierce County Council are close to agreement on provisions in the 2015 county operating budget.
“We laid the groundwork over the past several weeks and much of that culminated with this past council meeting,” said Council Chair Dan Roach, who represents the 1st Council District. “Throughout this process, we've been listening to the public and I’m confident the final budget will adequately reflect their needs and concerns.”
County department managers have spent the past several weeks providing input to the Council regarding anticipated 2015 priorities. Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy first proposed a 2015 budget in accordance with the county charter on Sept. 22.
The public will get its final chance to provide input into budget negotiations at the next council meeting on Monday, Nov. 17. It will take place at 3 p.m. in the council chambers on the 10th floor of the County-City Building in downtown Tacoma. The meeting will be aired live on Pierce County TV's channel and website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Dan Roach, County Council Chair (253) 798-3635Read on...
Pierce County residents should prepare now for flood season to keep their family and property safe.
“Flood season in Pierce County is between November and March,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “Everyone should get ready and have a plan for...
Over the years, the “911 Building” as it is more commonly called has housed various Pierce County departments and leased tenants, including the former 911 Deli. The building, which was built in the early 1900s, had been lightly used in recent years and wa...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Nov. 6, 2014.
Pierce County administrative offices will be closed Tuesday, Nov. 11, in observance of the Veterans Day holiday. The Pierce County Council will also not be meeting that afternoon.
Regular county operations will resume Wednesday, Nov. 12, and the next m...
OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee today announced that he is appointing Gretchen Leanderson to Pierce County Superior Court. Leanderson has served in the Washington State Office of the Attorney General since 1988 where she is currently the Division Chief of the A...Read on...
Whether the need happens suddenly or over a period of years, when the necessity for extended health care happens, knowing about community resources is a necessity. The worst case scenario is to have to make decisions about long term care in a crisis witho...Read on...
As the election gets down to the wire, local committees have ramped up Get Out The Vote campaigns. As a result, voters want answers from the Pierce County Auditor’s Office about how their personal information is made public.
Campaign volunteers make ph...
Pierce County News for the week of Oct. 30, 2014.
Dementia can be a frightening diagnosis, both for the individual and for their family. People often experience a range of emotions from anger and relief to denial and depression. And that is only the beginning. As short-term memory begins to fade, people ...Read on...
On November 4, 2014, Pierce County will join with the rest of Washington State in voting in the 2014 general election. The Pierce County Auditor's office has published an election information and results schedule that details what's on the ballot, what special elections are taking place, how to vote, where to vote, when we'll know the results, and a number of other frequently asked questions.
Click to access the 2014 General Election Information and Results ScheduleRead on...
Mark your calendars for Family Bingo Night at the Meridian Habitat Community Center on Friday, Nov. 7. The annual event, hosted by Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services, begins at 6:30 p.m. and lasts until 9 (doors open at 6). Registration is recomm...Read on...
This week, the Pierce County Council will hold its regular Tuesday meeting on Fox Island in the 7th Council District. The county charter directs the council to hold a number of its weekly meetings at various locations throughout the district to give count...Read on...
Medicare is no longer a one-size-fits-all health insurance program. Medicare now offers beneficiaries two basic options – Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage – and dozens of additional choices within each path. Knowing the differences and how to choo...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Oct. 23, 2014.
The community is invited to help Pierce County prioritize projects that will bring pedestrian facilities – such as sidewalks and ramps – located in public right-of-way in unincorporated Pierce County into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Ac...Read on...
Pierce County is gearing up to respond to winter weather, and community members are encouraged to do the same.
Residents can learn about Pierce County’s response efforts and how they can prepare for winter weather at the WinterWise Kickoff Event from 1...
Pierce County Council Member Stan Flemming says a one-tenth of one percent hike in sales tax in unincorporated areas of the county will help meet the needs of the mentally ill, a population he says is woefully underserved. Flemming announced his proposal ...Read on...
On Oct. 21, Pierce County Drug court will celebrate its 20th anniversary, marking the occasion with an awards ceremony and presentation followed by several guest speakers. Judge Edmund Murphy of Superior Court Department 9 will present a historic perspect...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Oct. 16, 2014.
Pierce County is preparing now for winter weather on county roads.
Road operations crews from Pierce County Public Works and Utilities will spend Oct. 20 and 21 traveling their snow plow routes, setting up and recalibrating equipment, and reviewing the...Read on...
With wet fall weather returning and leaves falling, the potential for flooding along county roads increases. Pierce County residents can help reduce flooding by keeping storm drains clear of leaves.
“While residents are raking leaves in their yards, th...
Most older adults and people with disabilities want to remain in their own home. Knowing about available resources in the community and how to access them is one of the best things that people can do for their loved ones.
Making the Link 2014 offers t...Read on...
The Pierce County Council has scheduled 10 public meetings as it considers spending priorities for the 2015 budget.
Council members will soon conclude a series of retreats at which they learned about the specifics of the 2015 budget proposal submitted Sept. 23 by County Executive Pat McCarthy. They will spend the next several weeks interviewing department leaders and considering budget modifications.
Those public meetings will be televised live on the county channel, Pierce County TV, found on channels 22/522HD on the Click! cable system, channel 22 on Comcast and channel 20 on Rainier Connect. Budget meetings will also be available on demand at www.piercecountytv.org and on the PCTV mobile app.
The first meeting of the Committee of the Whole is scheduled for Oct. 22 and will begin with an overview by the county Budget and Finance Director and the Medical Examiner. The council will hear additional presentations from Parks and Recreations Services, Planning and Land Services, Public Works and Utilities, Community Connections, Facilities Management, and representatives of the court system. Also speaking to the council will be Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor, Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist, Corrections Bureau Chief Karen Daniels, Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson and Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan.
Public comment and possible council action could begin as early as Nov. 7, with Nov. 12 being reserved for possible final council action. The meeting agendas are subject to change, however the most up-to-date information can be found on the council’s website at www.piercecountywa.org/council.
"We’re tasked each year with reviewing how and where county government is spending taxpayer dollars, and we take that obligation very seriously,” said Council Chair Dan Roach, who represents the 1st Council District. “It’s our job to take the thoughtful proposal that the executive submitted and ensure it carries out the citizens’ priorities in the most efficient and effective manner possible. It’s not an easy task, which is why we appreciate the fact that members of the public have the ability to watch the proceedings from start to finish."
Roach added that the meetings are scheduled to be held in the Council Chamber, located on the 10th floor of the County-City Building. The address is 930 Tacoma Ave. S., Room 1045, in Tacoma.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Dan Roach, Pierce County Council Chair253firstname.lastname@example.org
Erich Ebel, Pierce County Communications email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of Oct. 9, 2014.
The Pierce County Council will hold its regular Tuesday meeting in Ashford on Oct. 14 as part of an effort to reach out to county residents who may not otherwise be able to attend the weekly meetings in Tacoma. The Ashford meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the ...Read on...
Celebrate the return of salmon to the Puyallup River Watershed at the Salmon Homecoming on Oct. 11. This family-friendly event features guided tours to watch migrating salmon in Clarks Creek, tours of the Puyallup Hatchery, science and art activities for ...Read on...
Pierce County TV's weekly newscast was named tops in the nation last week by a national industry group's Government Programming Awards.
The award for the program "Pierce County News" was one of four first-place finishes for PCTV, which airs council meetings and produces videos about people, programs and events for the county and six member cities.
Judges with the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors awarded a total of 17 “Government Programming Awards” to PCTV on Oct. 2. The awards program honors excellence in broadcast, cable, multimedia, and electronic programming produced by local government agencies.
PCTV competed among 670 entries by local governments throughout the United States and Canada. Besides the weekly news program, PCTV also won first place awards for:
“Pierce County TV continues to serve as a national model for providing transparency and accessibility to our local governments and communities,” said Stan Flemming, a Pierce County Councilmember and president of the Rainier Communications Commission, which represents jurisdictions served by the channel. “We compete with excellent channels in Seattle, Austin, Tampa and other metropolitan areas, and these awards speak volumes about the quality of our community programming."
PCTV also won second-place awards for:
PCTV also tied for third place – with TV Tacoma - for the prestigious overall “Excellence in Programming” award. Rounding out the awards were 5 third-place nods and three honorable mentions.
Pierce County TV airs meetings and original community programming for the county and the cities of DuPont, Fife, Orting, Puyallup, Sumner, and University Place, as well as other partner agencies and schools.
PCTV is available on channels 22/522HD on the Click! cable system, channel 22 on Comcast, and channel 20 on Rainier Connect. Programming is available on demand at www.piercecountytv.org and on the PCTV mobile app.
MEDIA CONTACT: David Hinman, PCTV general manager (253) 798-8710 firstname.lastname@example.org Read on...
In an effort to involve more citizens in government, the Pierce County Council will relocate its regular Tuesday meeting to Lakewood tomorrow evening. The meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Lakewood City Hall.
“The Pierce County Charter requires u...
The Lake Louise boat ramp located off of Melody Lane Southwest in Lakewood will be closed 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays Oct. 6 through Dec. 7 while crews work on the sanitary sewer pump station located next to the ramp. Property owners who store t...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Oct. 2, 2014.
Decisions made in haste or under pressure are most often not the best decisions. This is particularly true at the passing of a loved one. Given these circumstances it’s not unusual for families to purchase services or overlook things that would not have b...Read on...
An engineering firm will drill for soil samples the week of Sept. 29 around the site of Pierce County’s proposed new building for general government services in Tacoma.
The county is considering a proposal to consolidate 15 or so departments – mostly i...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Sept. 25, 2014.
Non-peak season fare rates apply starting Oct. 1 for Pierce County ferry passengers that drive a vehicle or motorcycle onto the ferry.
Passengers driving vehicles 21 feet in length or less will see their rates decrease from the peak season rate of $21...Read on...
Executive Pat McCarthy has proposed adding four positions to assist people with mental illness and chemical dependency problems in her 2015 Pierce County budget proposal.
Her budget, submitted this week to the County Council, also curbs overtime in the Pierce County Jail by adding new corrections deputy positions, and it makes investments in key business sectors to support job growth.
"Our local economy is growing, and the county government's overall fiscal condition is sound, balanced and sustainable," Executive McCarthy told the County Council on Tuesday, Sept. 23 in her annual budget address. "Pierce County is in great shape thanks to the hard work by our employees to keep finding new ways to improve our efficiency and effectiveness."
Highlights from her budget proposal include:
The Pierce County Jail's fiscal health remains the county's biggest challenge. The Executive proposes to follow the recommendations from a recent independent performance audit by adding eight corrections deputy positions to help the Sheriff reduce his Corrections Bureau's reliance on overtime. However, she cautioned that adding positions is only a small part of the recommended solution.
"The performance audit shows that hiring more corrections deputies is not enough," Executive McCarthy said. "The audit recommends that the Sheriff pursue specific management and policy changes. These are not easy changes. But we will resolve these issues by working together to cut costs and restore the Pierce County Jail's status as a regional facility serving the whole community."
Under the Executive's proposal, general fund spending would increase by 2.9 percent, to $281.4 million, thanks to increases in sales tax revenues and higher property values. The General Fund covers most general government services and has the most discretion in its usage.
Total county spending - including specific funds for roads, the airport and ferry system, stormwater and sewer systems, and more - drops by 5.8 percent, to $928 million, mostly due to lower spending on the multi-year expansion of the Chambers Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The Executive's budget proposal is available online here.
The County Council will schedule public hearings this fall to review spending by department and consider any changes to the Executive's proposal. The Council's current schedule assumes a final vote on the 2015 budget Nov. 17.
MEDIA CONTACT:Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director (253) email@example.comRead on...
Students from 11 area high schools are facing charges after Pierce County’s multi-agency Party Intervention Patrol arrested the underage youth at an illegal drinking party last weekend in Puyallup.
Police arrested 27 youth ages 15 to 20 for possessin...Read on...
FAR HILLS, N.J. – All tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the 2015 U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., have sold out, according to the United States Golf Association (USGA). Tickets are available for Thursday’s openin...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Sept. 18, 2014.
Work is scheduled to begin Sept. 18 on a project to remove derelict pilings and two dilapidated docks located along the shoreline in Pierce County in an effort to restore intertidal and near-shore habitats and improve overall water quality.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will remove approximately 32 derelict creosote-treated pilings located in the tidelands at Sunnyside Beach Park in Steilacoom, as well as two dilapidated docks along the Chambers Creek Regional Park’s shoreline in University Place.
Creosote is a heavy, oily liquid made from coal tar or wood tar and used as a wood preservative. Creosote-treated materials leach chemicals into beach and marine sediments, creating toxic conditions for organisms living in and using these areas.
“The shallows along these beaches offer significant forage fish spawning habitat,” said Kristin Swenddal, DNR Aquatic Resources Division Manager. “Creosote has been found to negatively affect the survival rate of herring eggs, so we and our partners are working to remove as much creosote from Puget Sound ecosystems as possible. In addition, the old docks at this site are crumbling and pose a public safety risk.”
The work at Sunnyside Beach Park will begin Sept. 18, and is expected to be complete by the end of September. The beach will remain open during the project, although beach access will be restricted in the immediate area surrounding the work.
After the Sunnyside Beach Park work is complete, DNR will remove two creosote-treated docks, including pilings and associated concrete structures from the north and south dock areas located along the Chambers Creek Regional Park’s 2.5 mile-long beach. The two docks have 12,150-square-feet of decaying decking and close to 800 creosote and concrete pilings. Beach access will be restricted in the immediate area surrounding the work.
“We are excited to have these areas safe for the public and aquatic life,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “Thanks to the hard work by Pierce County's legislative delegation in Olympia, the state set aside funding to nurture and protect our amazing shoreline.”
The south dock will be removed once the purple martin nesting season is over, which is typically in September. If purple martins are still present when the Steilacoom portion of the project is complete, the contractor will begin demolition of overwater structures at the north dock. On Oct. 1, the contractor will move to the south dock then up the shoreline to the north dock to complete the removal process there. The work is expected to be finished by Jan. 1, 2015. This timeline minimizes the impact on existing marine and avian habitats. The docks and pilings are located primarily on state-owned aquatic lands.
The two docks and associated pilings have degraded to the point that they have become a significant hazard to the environment as well as recreational and marine traffic around South Puget Sound. The unused structures block the natural movement of sediment and provide unwanted shading along the critical nearshore habitat. Removal of creosote helps restore intertidal and near shore habitats and improves overall water quality.
The estimated cost of Pierce County’s portion of the project is $2.5 million, which is funded by an appropriation in the Washington Legislature’s 2013-15 capital budget, to be administered through the Washington State Department of Ecology. DNR will use $1,711,200 for the removal of in-water pilings and docks. Pierce County will provide the remaining $788,800 for onshore cleanup work. The contractor for the project is Orion Marine Contractors, Inc.
DNR is leading efforts throughout Puget Sound to remove creosote-treated structures, pilings, and debris from Washington’s marine and estuarine waters. More information on this program is available here on the DNR website. Pierce County has posted project information at www.co.pierce.wa.us/sewerprojects.
In 2013, Pierce County removed approximately 200 derelict creosote pilings from Chambers Creek Regional Park after receiving $160,000 in grant funding provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program and administered by the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Water Quality Program.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Wynnae Wright, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, natural resource specialist (206) 909-1304 firstname.lastname@example.org Callene Abernathy, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities public information specialist (253) 798-4661 email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County Parks and Recreation is accepting applications for seasonal work as traffic monitors at Fantasy Lights from Nov. 27, 2014, through Jan. 1, 2015.
Applicants will perform outdoor work directing traffic as cars drive through Spanaway Park vi...
Everyone in Pierce County is invited to watch approximately 75 immigrants become American citizens during a ceremony on Sept. 20 in Tacoma.
The naturalization ceremony – the final step to attain citizenship – begins promptly at 11 a.m. at the Mount Ta...Read on...
Pierce County Superior Court Judge John McCarthy has decided to retire this fall, ending a successful 30-year career in public service as an elected official in this community.
In a letter to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who will appoint his successor, Judge McCarthy said his retirement will be effective Dec. 1, 2014.
"It has been an honor to serve the people of Pierce County and Washington State for the past 30 years. I truly appreciate the opportunities I have had to support the administration of justice, which is a bedrock of our society," Judge McCarthy said. "My family and I appreciated all of the well-wishers during my recent treatment for cancer. I am happy to say that my doctors have given me a clean bill of health and I can call myself a cancer survivor. Now I'm anxious to spend more time with my grandchildren and pursue some other interests."
Judge McCarthy’s term runs through the end of 2016.
Judge McCarthy, 65, has served as a judge for over 22 years -- five years in Pierce County District Court, and the last 18 years with Superior Court. Before joining the bench, he served as an elected member of the Port of Tacoma Commission from 1983 to 1992.
He is a graduate of Tacoma’s Bellarmine Preparatory School and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012. He continues to officiate youth and high school football and basketball and has done so for over 17 years. He also volunteers in Mount Rainier National Park.
He is married to Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. They have four adult children and nine grandchildren.
Pierce County News for the week of Sept. 11, 2014.
Pierce County Parks and Recreation will hold the 12th annual Hi-Tech Collision Classic Car and Truck Show at Sprinker Recreation Center on Saturday, Sept. 27. The free spectator event will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and more than 500 classic cars and ...Read on...
The Pierce County Economic Development Department and Purchasing Division and their partners are hosting a free purchasing forum for local businesses. Attendees can learn about new and existing business opportunities with government agencies.
Golden Given Road East between 112th Street East and 121st Street East in Parkland will be closed Sept. 15-19 while crews install a new, larger culvert to help reduce neighborhood flooding and improve fish passage. Access for residents and traffic detour ...Read on...
Pierce County Public Works and Utilities staff leading the development of Tacoma Narrows Airport’s master plan update will not recommend an expansion of the runway protection zone at the airport.
The expansion of the zone, which would be required if th...
Vickery Avenue East between 128th Street East and 112th Street East will be closed Sept. 15-19 while crews rebuild the roadway.
A detour route will be in place, and will direct motorists west along 112th Street East, south along Waller Road East, and ...
Several Pierce County ferry runs will be canceled while construction crews make improvements to the Steilacoom ferry landing.
On Sunday, Sept. 14, Thursday, Sept. 18, Sunday, Sept. 21, and Thursday, Sept. 25, the runs departing Steilacoom at 8:40 p.m.,...
Pierce County Council Member Connie Ladenburg has joined over 60 municipal leaders, including Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, in calling on Washington’s governor to soon implement a clean fuels standard. In an open letter sent to Governor Inslee, the ele...Read on...
The public boat ramp in Spanaway Park will be closed Sept. 15 to Oct. 24 so crews can replace the pavement in the ramp’s parking area with pervious pavement that will help filter out contaminants from stormwater before it enters the stormwater system. Bre...Read on...
Citizens who live in northwestern Pierce County will have two upcoming opportunities to learn more about the expected benefits and get an update on planning for next year’s U.S. Open golf tournament. The county will hold two meetings – one in Tacoma and a...Read on...
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy joins Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland as Executive Sponsors of the Pierce County Leadership in Action Program (LAP), which launches today, Sept. 8.
The Leadership in Action Program, developed by the Annie E. Casey F...Read on...
Pierce County’s sewer system received strong credit ratings this week from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Rating Services and Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) in preparation for its upcoming revenue bond issuance. S&P assigned its "AA" long-term rating with a stable outlook to the 2014 sewer revenue bonds, and Moody’s assigned an "Aa3" long-term rating with a stable outlook.
The rating agencies assigned these ratings based on their view of the Pierce County sewer utility’s credit fundamentals, including:
County officials expect the strong ratings to contribute favorable interest rates when the county offers the estimated $31.9 million 2014 revenue bonds in a competitive sale next week.
The bond proceeds will fund a portion of the projects identified in the sewer utility’s 2013-2018 capital facilities plan. The projects include the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant to expand capacity for projected growth in demand through 2022, as well as other improvements in the service area.
Stacey Scott, Pierce County Budget and Finance253firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
More than 100 catch basin inlet grates have been stolen in unincorporated Pierce County this year, creating a public safety risk and costing the county thousands in replacement costs and staff time. The thefts are centered in Central Pierce County.
Visitors can step off the midway and into golf history in a new exhibit at the Washington State Fair that celebrates the preparation for the U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay.
The exhibit, titled “Designed to be a Champion,” shares stories and pho...Read on...
Pierce County District Court will be closed at noon on Friday, Sept. 12 for employee training. The court will reopen on Monday, Sept. 15.
This closure applies to courtrooms and public service windows of all divisions of the Court, including the Probati...Read on...
Honk if you love trucks! Pierce County’s Parks and Recreation Services department will roll out the big-rigs on Saturday so kids of all ages can get a fun, hands-on experience at no cost. The sixth annual Touch-A-Truck event takes place Saturday, Sept. 6,...Read on...
Having a child diagnosed with cancer is arguably one of the most devastating things that can happen to a family. That’s why members of the Pierce County Council wanted to help draw attention to the battle against childhood cancer by officially designating...Read on...
Alzheimer's is officially the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death for those aged 65 and older. About one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. The vast majority of care for individuals with Alzheimer’s happens in the home – provided by family members.
The annual Pierce County Alzheimer’s Caregiver Conference provides information, support and encouragement for caregivers, family members and friends who are giving care in the home. The conference will be held Thursday, Sept. 25, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 1315 N. Stevens in Tacoma. The event is free but RSVP is required by calling (253) 798-8787.
Alzheimer’s kills more than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined. It is one of the most known diseases worldwide but it is also one of the least understood. Medications are available which delay symptoms but as yet there is no cure or prevention. Increasingly, women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s epidemic.
The Alzheimer’s Caregiver Conference will feature keynote speaker Ann Hedreen – writer, teacher, caregiver and filmmaker. Hedreen produced “Quick Brown Fox,” a feature-length documentary of her mother’s journey through Alzheimer’s and impact it had on the family. Additional sessions will focus on legal issues, caregiving tips and in-home helps including the influence of pet therapy. Local service providers and community-based resources will also be on hand for participants to gain a better understanding of local supports and resources.
“The challenges facing caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's are incredible,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Manager of Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources. “Caregiving places incredible physical and emotional demands on spouses and families. While researchers continue to seek a cure, the best we can do right now is to provide the best support possible to those individuals who continue to provide loving care to people with dementia.”
The Pierce County Alzheimer’s Caregiver Conference is an informational event sponsored by the Health Care Providers Council of Pierce County and the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center. For more information contact the Aging & Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600 or (800) 562-0332.
MEDIA CONTACT:Bob Riler, Community Connections253email@example.com
Scott Kinney, Community Connections253firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
RallyPoint/6 invites you to attend a grand opening ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 3, at noon to tour the new facility, meet the team and hear guest speakers.
The nonprofit organization – which supports all generations of all military branches, veterans a...Read on...
We walk all over them but most of the time there’s no complaint – until it’s too late. The average woman will own 450 pairs of shoes in a lifetime. Men will own about half that many. Yet few people have their feet measured professionally, trusting only th...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Aug. 28, 2014.
Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, Elections Supervisor Shannon Cortez, and Elections Specialist Dave Heinemann accepted a national award in San Francisco on Thursday, Aug. 21, for their office’s work on the highly-successful ballot drop-box program. T...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Aug. 21, 2014.
Members of the Pierce County Council voted on Aug. 19 to increase the fees for connecting to the sanitary sewer system to help pay for the ongoing expansion of the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in University Place.
“This increase i...
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is looking for interested citizens to attend its fall Community Academy program. The Parkland-Spanaway academy begins Sept. 18 and will meet each Thursday evening from 7 to 9:30 p.m. for 13 weeks.
The class covers topics such as the law, patrol procedures, use of force, detectives, narcotics, K-9, domestic violence, hiring and training, and more. Field trips are scheduled to the 9-1-1 Communications Center, Pierce County Jail, Sheriff’s headquarters.
Pre-registration is required and applications are accepted on a first come first served basis until the class is filled. You can register online or print out and mail in the application. Class details will be sent once your application is received.
Applicants must be at least 16 years old. Fingerprinting and a photo I.D. are required after preliminary acceptance to the academy. Visit the Community Academy's page to learn more.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Priscilla Crabtree, Sheriff’s Department(253) email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of Aug. 14, 2014.
Pierce County will apply seven pavement products along 192nd Street East in Frederickson in August and September to test the products’ performance and cost effectiveness over multiple years.
Pavement products are used to extend the life of county roads...
Pierce County has won an international award for using GIS mapping tools to better manage storm drains and other road assets. The Environmental Science and Research Institute (ESRI) recognized Pierce County’s leadership in managing key infrastructure. Imp...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Aug. 7, 2014.
The Auditor’s Office announces the opening of a special appointment period. Individuals are needed to write “For” and “Against” statements for the November 4, 2014 General Election local voters’ pamphlet in the following districts:
Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services will partner with the Pierce County Kitefliers Association for a fun-filled day of kites at Chambers Creek Regional Park on Aug. 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Organizers say the entire family will be entertained and...Read on...
9th Street East between 190th Avenue East and 198th Avenue East near Lake Tapps Park reopened Aug. 5 after crews reconstructed the roadway. The road was expected to reopen in mid-August.
Crews will continue to work along the roadway until the project i...
In recognition of First 5 Fundamentals Family Fun Fair kick-off event, members of the Pierce County Council unanimously approved Proposed Resolution R2014-93, designating Aug. 9 as “Pierce County Early Learning Day.”
The First 5 Fundamentals program, w...
Pierce County has won a national award for using the latest Web technology to help locate abducted children. The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) recognized the County’s Lead Management System for a Technology & Innovation Award. Investigators can use the system to quickly search and organize thousands of tips about a child’s possible location. The system is one of the first of its kind to be designed for local government.
The new system allows reports to be directly entered into the tip log, thereby providing officials with real-time updates on a child's possible location. Reports can be sorted based on categories such as victim or suspect, and also displayed on a map if a witness provides an address. The Web-based interface is easy to use and can be accessed on a variety of mobile devices.
Pierce County's Department of Emergency Management and Information Technology Department partnered with the Tacoma Police Department to create the system. The project team also worked closely the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.
About the IAEM:
The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), which has more than 6,700 members in 58 countries, is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting the goals of saving lives and protecting property during emergencies. Visit www.iaem.com/awards for more details and a list of all national winners.
MEDIA CONTACTS:John DeWeese, Pierce County Information Technology(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Proposed Ordinance 2014-59, which will be considered by the County Council’s Rules and Operations Committee on Aug. 11, would allow non-represented employees to challenge, grieve or appeal a supervisor's performance evaluation – a right that represented employees already enjoy in statute.
Pierce County law requires certain provisions with regard to county employee performance evaluations; however others are only practiced as a policy. Ordinance 2014-59 – proposed by Councilmember Stan Flemming – would codify those policies to help instill a level of assured fairness among all employees.
“This issue was actually brought to my attention by a county employee who noticed the discrepancy,” said Flemming, who represents the 7th Council District. “I was surprised that county code treated the two types of employees differently, but glad that we have workers among our ranks that pay attention to details.”
Under county code, employee performance evaluations for career service employees can be used for a wide range of personnel actions including salary increases, disciplinary actions and layoffs. Proposed Ordinance 2014-59 would grant jurisdiction to the county’s Personnel Board to review appeals of performance evaluations and to make recommendations on personnel policies and procedures in the Administrative Guidelines.
The upcoming rules committee meeting begins at 10 a.m. on Aug. 11, and Pierce County residents are encouraged to testify both in-person and via e-mail. Final consideration of the measure is scheduled for Aug. 19 at the Council’s regular 3 p.m. meeting.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Stan Flemming, Pierce County Council District email@example.comRead on...
A Puget SoundCorps crew will remove English ivy and Himalayan blackberry from trees in Pierce County’s Bresemann Forest starting Aug. 4. Getting rid of these invasive plants will improve the health of the trees and the adjacent Spanaway Creek.
Pierce County News for the week of July 31, 2014.
Seniors are the target of choice for scammers and other crooks. Financial scams often go unreported or can be difficult to prosecute, so they’re considered a “low-risk” crime. However, they're devastating to many older adults and can leave them in a very vulnerable position with little time to recoup their losses. And it’s not just wealthy seniors who are targeted.
“Scams, Schemes & Swindles: Surviving the Onslaught of Crooks” is an interactive presentation to help consumers be alert and aware of the most successful techniques that the scammers use and the risks of falling victim. The event will be held four times in August:
The presentation will review the top ten scams targeting seniors using actual case studies. Participants will also learn how to protect themselves and loved ones from scammers and identity thieves. Resources for victims of scams and fraud will be provided as well as practical things people can do to report crimes.
“Scams are the crime of our day,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources manager. “It is easy to victimize a trusting person and often not reported because of embarrassment. A little awareness and knowledge of some community resources is probably the best prevention tool we can have.”
Although it's widely believed to be underreported, a 2009 study by MetLife's Mature Market Institute estimates that seniors lose approximately $2.6 billion per year due to financial abuse – fraud, as well as theft by family members and acquaintances.
The workshop is a presentation of the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center in collaboration with the National Council on Aging. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP not required. For more information about the presentation call (253) 798-4600.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Bob Riler, Community Connections253firstname.lastname@example.org
Pierce County News for the week of June 24, 2014.
With Boeing forecasting huge demand for new airplanes over the next two decades, Pierce County aerospace industry stakeholders spent Wednesday, July 23, discussing how to make sure this region maintains and grows its role in the global market.
"We have a built-in advantage. Our aerospace heritage goes back generations. But we know that's not enough - not in today's hyper competitive business climate," County Executive Pat McCarthy told 160 people attending the third annual Pierce County Aerospace Summit, which she co-hosted with the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.
Aerospace suppliers and representatives of government, education, workforce training and financial programs participated in an interactive discussion about strengths and weaknesses in the local sector. Most agreed that Pierce County and the state are going in the right direction, as evidenced by Boeing's decision to build the 777X in Washington state, including the tail assembly at its plant in the Pierce County community of Frederickson. Other highlights include expansions by local suppliers as well as Boeing's successful run last week at the Farnborough International Airshow, where it announced orders for 201 airplanes.
"These are important wins for us in Pierce County because we are all part of the Puget Sound shop floor," said Bruce Kendall, president of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.
In the Aerospace Summit's keynote address, a Boeing executive presented the company's Current Market Outlook through 2033. Boeing now projects a global need for 36,770 new airplanes with a market value of $5.2 trillion. About one-third of that growth will occur in the Asia Pacific region.
"We are forecasting a strong, growing market that's driven by customers flying where they want, when they want, especially in emerging markets," said Jim Billing, director of market analysis for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "With the most comprehensive wide-body lineup in the industry, Boeing will be able to meet customers needs now and in the future."
However, Aerospace Summit participants agreed that competition for that manufacturing growth is intensifying.
"We're not competing just with Airbus, but with the states and countries that want to take some of what we have here and get those investments in their markets as well," Kendall said.
McCarthy, Kendall, state schools Superintendent Randy Dorn and industry leaders emphasized three concerns to address:
"Thanks to the 777X decision, we will enjoy the vast majority of commercial market share for the next two decades at least," Pietsch said.
Pierce County Aerospace Summit participants included representatives from General Plastics, ThyssenKrupp Aerospace, AIM Aerospace, Toray Composites (America), the U.S. Export Assistance Center, and WorkForce Central, among many others.
Here is our PCTV video about the summit:
MEDIA CONTACTS:Chris Green, Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County (253) 284-5889 email@example.com
Hunter George, Pierce County Communications (253) 961-8422 firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County homeowners and homeowner association members are invited to attend a free workshop in August to learn how to prepare their neighborhood stormwater systems for the rainy season.
Homeowners will learn simple steps to maintain storm drains,...Read on...
The Pierce County Council voted Tuesday, July 22, to clarify that a new ordinance is intended to ban overnight parking by tractor-trailers, not other large vehicles.
Astute constituents realized that legislation approved on July 15 had unintentionally ...Read on...
On August 5, 2014, Pierce County will join with the rest of Washington State in voting in the 2014 primary election. The Pierce County Auditor's office has published an election information and results schedule that details what's on the ballot, what special elections are taking place, how to vote, where to vote, when we'll know the results, and a number of other frequently asked questions.
Click to access the 2014 Primary Election Information and Results ScheduleRead on...
Since running around comes naturally to kids, the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services Department wants to take that energy and give kids a chance to race on a full-size track with a crowd of fans cheering them on.
Designed for ages 3-8, the M...
Pierce County News for the week of July 17, 2014.
FAR HILLS, N.J. – All daily tickets for the final round (Sunday, June 21) and all weekly ticket packages for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., are sold out.
Limited daily tickets for the competition days on Th...Read on...
Get ready to start seeing soccer balls on the Fort Steilacoom Golf Course. Pierce County officials will debut the new sport of FootGolf at a noon ceremony on July 18, followed by a grand opening celebration the following day from 1 to 5 p.m.
Editor’s note: The issue was later amended.
After removing a provision dealing with increased parking fines in general, members of the Pierce County Council voted 6-1 to restrict the parking of semi trailers along the roadside in certain areas of the c...Read on...
The Pierce County Fire Marshal has declared an immediate county-wide burn ban. Weather forecasts calling for continued dry heat prompted the limited ban, which was issued jointly with the Pierce County Fire Chiefs’ Association and the Department of Natura...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of July 10, 2014.
More than 200 people attended the July 8, 2014 meeting of the Pierce County Council to hear an update on preparations for the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.
The meeting, held at the county's Environmental Services Building in University Place, featured presentations by USGA Championship Director Danny Sink, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy and Jaime Vogt of the Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau. Councilmember Connie Ladenburg (District 4) served as chair of the meeting, as is the Council's custom for "in-district" meetings.
The Pierce County TV video of the meeting is available here. The update starts about 5 minutes in with a welcome by University Place Mayor Denise McCluskey.
In addition, the United States Golf Association has posted a detailed FAQ on the Chambers Bay websiteRead on...
Vehicle leaks can cause havoc for drivers and the environment. Motorists in Pierce County can find an affordable repair and keep pollutants out of Puget Sound, thanks to Puget Sound Starts Here’s “Don’t Drip and Drive” program.
As part of the program,...
Firefighters from West Pierce Fire and Rescue scaled a massive tower crane, then lowered a gurney with a mock victim 175 feet to the ground during a training exercise at the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in University Place on June 28...Read on...
With a unanimous vote Tuesday, members of the Pierce County Council approved Resolution R2014-83 which declares the County to be a “Not in My County” anti-human trafficking area.
The resolution originated with the Coalition Against Trafficking (CAT), a...
Pierce County administrative offices will be closed Friday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.
Offices will reopen Monday, July 7.
Now that the 2014 U.S. Open in Pinehurst, N.C., has concluded, all eyes in the golf world are now turned to University Place’s Chamber Bay Golf Course. As part of its ongoing community outreach efforts, the Pierce County Council will hold an in-district m...Read on...
The boat launch and parking area at the end of Randall Drive Northwest on Gig Harbor Bay will be closed July 7-13 so Pierce County can rehabilitate the launching ramp.
Crews will replace the existing launching ramp structure with concrete panels purc...
One of the most difficult challenges families face is the time when an older adult should no longer get behind the wheel of a car. The automobile is often seen as the last symbol of a person’s independence and removing that can be devastating.
“Giving ...Read on...
Foothills Trail users can expect to see construction trucks crossing the trail just north of the McMillin Trailhead when work resumes June 30 on a side channel that will reconnect the Puyallup River to its historic floodplain near Orting.
The side cha...
Pierce County News for the week of June 26, 2014.
Last year, 150 runners came out to tackle the Chambers Bay 5K Challenge. On July 19, this energizing fun run is back and better than ever.
The race takes place along the Soundview Trail in Chambers Creek Regional Park, which offers breathtaking views o...
The Pierce County Auditor’s Office will open Saturday June 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to meet summertime demand for:
Last year more than 24,000 boats ...Read on...
The forty-fifth annual Tacoma Highland Games is back this weekend at Frontier Park. Beginning this year, the Tacoma Highland Games will be a two-day event.
Festivities kick off Friday, June 27, with the first annual Celtic concert from 6 to 9 p.m. The...
Members of the Pierce County Council have announced the postponement of a series of meetings around the county to hear from residents about the proposed Shoreline Management Program. The delay is necessary in order to give the county more time to draft am...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of June 19, 2014.
Pierce County’s Party Intervention Patrol citied 14 underage drinkers, ages 17-20, after a tip led the multi-agency team to a bonfire deep in the woods near the La Paloma Firs neighborhood of Graham.
Beginning at 11 PM on June 14, officers hiked into t...
Pierce County’s annual “Junk in Your Trunk” community sale takes place Saturday, June 21, and all patrons are invited to attend. Admission is free. Those interested in participating as vendors must register by Friday, June 20.
Junk in Your Trunk is a t...
Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is changing, and so are the communities in the south Puget Sound region.
Now, the organization that’s working to ensure effective communication and collaboration between the base and its neighbors is looking to engage t...
Pierce County leads the nation when it comes to using technology to better serve the Courts and protect the public in a disaster. That’s why the County has received three national awards for District Court’s Live Chat and the FirstToSee emergency system.
Ninth Street East between 190th Avenue East and 198th Avenue East near Lake Tapps Park will close June 23 while crews reconstruct the roadway. The road is expected to reopen by mid-August.
Traffic traveling east on Ninth Street East will be detoured no...
The following is a statement by County Executive Pat McCarthy regarding the U.S. Open Championship:
"I congratulate the USGA, Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, and the Village of Pinehurst for conducting a successful U.S. Open Championship. Their combined efforts set a high bar for excellence in providing a safe and enjoyable experience. Pierce County and its partners will be ready to continue that tradition at Chambers Bay next year."
MEDIA CONTACT:Hunter George, Pierce County Communications email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of June 12, 2014.
The following is a statement by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy on the passing of Mike Murphy, an 18-year public servant with the state auditor’s office, past president of the Washington Association of Counties and former Grays Harbor county commissi...Read on...
There are just four days left to pre-register for the annual Tour de Pierce summer bicycle ride through central Pierce County.
The ride begins in Puyallup at the Gold parking lot of the Washington State Fairgrounds and winds through Puyallup, Sumner an...
Pierce Transit personnel will participate in a terrorist response exercise in two locations on Thursday, June 12. Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway and Washington State Fair & Event Center in Puyallup will each be the scene of simulated terrorist attacks on Pierce Transit buses.
More than 60 volunteers will assist by playing passengers on the buses, enabling first responders to more realistically respond to the wounded on the bus “explosions.”
This terrorist response exercise is the culmination of 16 months worth of training, drills, and tabletop exercises with Pierce Transit and its partners and stakeholders. These exercises are designed to allow participating agencies the opportunity to practice emergency response, enabling responders to better know each other’s skills, resources and assets, as well as to practice communications between each agency.
Over 300 response participants include representatives from Pierce Transit, Central Pierce Fire & Rescue, Graham Fire & Rescue, King County Metro Transit Police, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, Pierce County Parks and Recreation, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Pierce County Type 3 Incident Management Team, Regional Intelligence Group, South Sound 9-1-1, and the Tacoma Police Department. Funding for this exercise was provided by Department of Homeland Security grants.
Special media notice: Media is invited to observe either scenario.
For the Sprinker Recreation Center site (14824 C St., Spanaway), media is asked to check in at the Incident Command Post by 9:45 a.m. for a briefing on the exercise. The exercise will begin at approximately 10:30 a.m. The scenario is a transit bus which has just had a bomb explode, and then another bomb will be found inside of Sprinker. There will be multiple casualties as first responders show up on scene, including a bomb robot and bomb-sniffing dogs.
For the Washington State Fair & Event Center site (1404 5th St. SW in Puyallup), media is asked to check in by 9:30 a.m. for a briefing on the exercise. The exercise will begin at approximately 10 a.m. At this scenario, a “hijacked” bus will be utilized for hostage negotiations and SWAT response. First responders from law and fire will respond to the buses, and work on neutralizing the bad guys and assisting the multiple victims.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Sheri Badger, Pierce County Emergency Management253-798-2204 or 253-377-4149 (cell)firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
FAR HILLS, N.J. – Tickets for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship, conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and scheduled for June 15-21 at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., will go on sale on June 9.
This is the first time the U.S. Op...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of June 5, 2014.
The 1,806 square miles that comprise Pierce County can make it daunting for residents to travel all the way to Tacoma to attend a regular meeting of the County Council, so council members are holding a series of regular meetings around the county.
Pierce County recently won a Project of the Year Award from the Washington State chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) for a project that protects Orville Road from severe erosion created by the Puyallup River.
Pierce County Public Wo...
Construction of a new facility that processes roadside storm drain waste will begin June 9 at Pierce County’s Central Maintenance Facility in Frederickson. The new waste processing facility is expected to be complete in November 2014.
The facility will...Read on...
Pierce County residents are invited to learn about the preferred development alternative for Tacoma Narrows Airport at an open house June 11 in Gig Harbor.
This is the fifth public meeting that has been held as part of an extensive airport master plan...
Pierce County will close 300 feet of 176th Street East just east of the 176th Street East and B Street East intersection for reconstruction from 7 a.m. June 7 to 5 a.m. June 9. Crews will excavate the existing roadway, place crushed rock, and pave the new...Read on...
The Pierce County Sheriff's Cadet Program was represented by 10 cadets at this year's annual Apple Cup in Yakima, Wash. In attendance were over 60 cadets from various law-enforcement agencies in Washington.
The Apple Cup is an opportunity for cadets to meet and compete against other youth with similar interests while displaying their knowledge of various aspects of law enforcement. Cadets competed in staged events that simulated daily duties and dispatched calls to which a deputy would respond, including a traffic stop, burglary in progress, high-risk stop, suspicious person and physical agility. The cadets were evaluated on their ability to complete their tasks, properly apply laws, use of proper tactics, decision-making skills and knowledge of procedures.
Seven of Pierce County's 10 cadets placed in at least one event.
The Cadet Program is for young adults between 15 and 21 years of age who are interested in a career in law enforcement. Cadets volunteer thousands of hours each year at various community events throughout Pierce County. In addition to performing community service, cadets attend weekly meetings and hands-on training, mentored by sheriff deputies on the streets and corrections deputies in the Pierce County Jail.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the Cadet Program, the Sheriff’s Department is hosting an open house June 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the South Hill Precinct, 271 John Bananola Way E in Puyallup. Guests will have the opportunity to participate in drill down and street and jail mock scenarios.
MEDIA CONTACT:Yolanda Guiler, Sheriff's Department (253) 798-4027 email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County’s Agriculture Program is among six projects and programs around the region receiving prestigious VISION 2040 Awards from the Puget Sound Regional Council.
The awards, presented on May 29, showcase work being done to implement VISION 2040, the region's long-range growth, economic development and transportation strategy.
Over the past year, Pierce County’s Agriculture Program has organized a Farm Forum, created a resources website for farmers, implemented regulatory and permitting reform and assisted with marketing by creating a series of videos introducing farmers to the community.
A signature accomplishment was establishing a partnership with the Cascade Harvest Coalition to develop an app for the Puget Sound Fresh program, which provides easy access to hundreds of farms, farmers markets and other information supporting the local food supply throughout Western Washington. The app is available at www.pugetsoundfresh.org.
“County staff in at least six departments are collaborating on our Agriculture Program to support local farmers,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “The agriculture industry is a vital part of our community and contributes to our quality of life. We are making sure that farming remains a healthy component of life in Pierce County.”
Other VISION 2040 Award winners are:
12th Avenue Arts, sponsored by Capitol Hill Housing.
Fourth Street Improvements, sponsored by City of Bremerton and LMN Architects with partnering agencies Lorax Partners and Exeltech Consulting.
Arbor Village, sponsored by Mountlake Terrace.
Redmond's Central Connector, sponsored by the City of Redmond in partnership with King County, Sound Transit, and The Berger Partnership.
Residential Infill Measures Report, sponsored by City of Everett, with partnership from Washington State Department of Commerce, Inova, Property Counselors, and Fehr and Peers.
VISION 2040 is the region's growth management, economic, and transportation strategy, designed to meet the needs of the 5 million people expected to be living in the region in 2040. It is an integrated, long-range vision for the future that lays out a strategy for maintaining a healthy region-promoting the well-being of people and communities, economic vitality, and a healthy environment.
PSRC develops policies and coordinates decisions about regional growth, economic development and transportation planning in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties. The Council is composed of over 80 county, city, port, transit, tribal, and state agencies serving the region. It coordinates the distribution of at least $180 million in Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration funds each year. PSRC sets priorities and evaluates the most efficient ways to target those funds to support state and local transportation and growth management plans.
Title VI Notice: PSRC fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. For more information, or to obtain a Title VI Complaint Form, see www.psrc.org/about/public/titlevi or call 206-587-4819.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Hunter George, Pierce County Communications(253) 798-6606 firstname.lastname@example.org
Michele Leslie, PSRC (206) 587-4819 mleslie@psrcRead on...
The following is a statement by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy on the May 23 passing of Herman Dillon Sr., chairman of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians’ tribal council:
"Herman Dillon Sr. led with kindness, humor, strength of character and a balance...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of May 29, 2014.
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy has been reelected President of the Puget Sound Regional Council, which coordinates growth, economic development and transportation planning for the region.
McCarthy, serving her second term as County Executive, was elected on Thursday, May 29, during the PSRC's annual General Assembly. Redmond Mayor John Marchione was reelected Vice President.
"As President of the Puget Sound Regional Council over the past year, I've had the opportunity to collaborate with dedicated elected officials, community members, and many other civic minded people on improving transportation, growing jobs, and enhancing the region's communities," McCarthy said.
"Through the PSRC, the region works together to lay the foundation so everyone living here, now and in the future, will enjoy the quality of life that has historically drawn people here and convinced them to stay. I look forward to continuing this important work."
The region's General Assembly includes elected representation from all the members of the PSRC, including King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties, as well as more than 80 cities, towns, state agencies, transit agencies, ports, and tribal governments.
At the meeting, the General Assembly also adopted the agency's budget and work program and approved an update to the region's Transportation 2040 plan.
Title VI Notice: PSRC fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. For more information, or to obtain a Title VI Complaint Form, see www.psrc.org/about/public/titlevi/ or call 206-587-4819.
MEDIA CONTACT: Rick Olson, Puget Sound Regional Council 206-971-3050 rolson@psrcRead on...
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced today that the central Puget Sound region was one of 12 communities nationwide winning a Manufacturing Communities designation as part of a federal initiative.
PSRC developed the proposal to designate...Read on...
Residents and Foothills Trail users can learn about the next phase of construction on a Puyallup River side channel near Orting at an informal community meeting on May 31.
Pierce County will resume work on a side channel that will reconnect the histori...
For people planning on receiving Social Security now or in the future, knowing how to make the benefits is critical. A few simple tips can save beneficiaries thousands of dollars. And for those currently receiving Social Security benefits, there may be wa...Read on...
Pierce County administrative offices will be closed Monday, May 26, in observance of Memorial Day.
Offices will reopen Tuesday, May 27.
Pierce County News for the week of May 22, 2014.
The Pierce County Council adopted a resolution recognizing the week of May 18-24, 2014 as “National Public Works Week” in Pierce County. Speaking on behalf of the Council, which unanimously supported Resolution 2014-62, Councilmember Doug Richardson appla...Read on...
Pierce County’s unincorporated population is expected to grow by 75,000 residents by the year 2030.The community is invited to learn how that growth will be accommodated through a series of open houses planned for May and June. The open houses, which ar...Read on...
Frank Garber, a high school senior headed for Matt Thurmond’s nationally ranked University of Washington golf team this fall, came from two shots back to catch first round leader Matt Hartley and claim his first Puget Sound Amateur title.
Garber, who attends Juanita High School in Kirkland, posted a two round total of 6-under-par 136 over the weekend of May 17-18 at Chambers Bay. A field of 120 players battled the Robert Trent Jones II-designed links style layout that next June will welcome the world’s best players for the 115th annual U.S. Open Championship.
Round one on Saturday was played under sunny skies and mild temperatures, and the great scoring conditions made the championship layout seem vulnerable to low scores. But the course lived up to its reputation as an U.S. Open-quality layout as wayward shots found thick rough and the severe sloping greens proved a formidable test for even the best putters. By the end of the day, Garber and Hartley distanced themselves from the rest of the field with outstanding play.
Sunday's second round brought a bit of wind and rain and added another element to challenge the area’s best golfers. No one could make a run at the leaders, and by the end of the first nine holes Garber had caught Harley. Garber's steady play down the stretch led to a 4-shot victory.
Garber has been named player of the year by both the Pacific Northwest Golf Association and the Washington State Golf Association. He has won the Pacific Northwest Junior Boys' Amateur and the AAA State High School championship, among others.
The Puget Sound Amateur, conducted by Pierce County Parks and Recreation, will return to Lake Spanaway next year - its 50th year - while Chambers Bay prepares to host the U.S. Open. Lake Spanaway, which is renowned architect Vernon Macan’s last design, represents a different challenge with traditional tree-lined fairways combined with natural northwest greens. Lake Spanaway was the home of the Puget Sound Amateur for 47 years prior to the addition of Chambers Bay three years ago.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Tony Bubenas, Pierce County Golf supervisor(253) email@example.com
Hunter George, Pierce County Communications(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of May 14, 2014.
The Pierce County Council has designated the week of May 19-23 as “Juror Appreciation Week.”
Resolution 2014-55, unanimously approved on Tuesday, May 13, points to the right to trial by a jury of one’s peers as an important and unique part of the American ...
Pierce County News for the week of May 8, 2014.
Motorists traveling along Ninth Street East between 190th Avenue East and 198th Avenue East near Lake Tapps Park should expect minor delays on weekdays from May 14 to June 13 as crews prepare the roadway for a summer road closure.
The two-lane road wil...
The Auditor’s Office announces the opening of a special appointment period. Individuals are needed to write “Against” statements for the Aug. 5, 2014 Primary Election local voters’ pamphlet in the following districts:
The fourth annual Gig Harbor Wings & Wheels event will take place on July 6 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the beautiful Tacoma Narrows Airport, the county-owned facility located at 1202 26th Ave NW in Gig Harbor. The event is presented by USAA, and it promises to bring as much fun and memories as in previous years with a classic car show, jet car, vintage warbirds, live music and plenty of food.
The Hub at Gig Harbor is open and a big part of the festivities with a menu befitting the day and a beer garden for those with a thirst for more than water or pop. Various other food and beverage vendors will be on site to fill in what the Hub does not provide.
The car show has boasted more than 150 classic and custom cars and promises to have just as many or more this year. Room has been made to allow up to 250. Griot’s Garage has provided goodie bags for the first 150 entries. University Place Refuse has donated the use of a music stage, so there will be live music throughout the day.
Bill Braack in the Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Car will return for his fourth year with us. Always a crowd pleaser, we’ll see if he can win a race against a warbird this year. Warbirds scheduled to appear this year are a pair of P-51 Mustangs, a Hawker Sea Fury, Stearman Biplane, T-33 Shooting Star, Extra 300 and a F4U Corsair or two.
This year, more on-site parking will be available. Room for 300 cars on the VIP ramp are available first come first serve for $5. Parking at the south lot is free and a shuttle will be available from St. Anthony Medical Building on Pt. Fosdick, across from Uptown, at no cost.
Here are ticket prices: 18 and older, $15; seniors and military ID card holders, $10; kids 6 to 17, $5; and kids 5 and under are free.
As always, we appreciate our sponsors that make it all happen: USAA, Waste Management Inc, Tacoma Narrows Aviation, Sterling Bank, The Hub Restaurant, University Place Refuse, Pierce County, Goldmine Coins & Relics and Rapture Massage & Body Works. There are more opportunities to sponsor and plenty of room on the ramp so if you’re interested call Doug Fratoni at 253-405-9604 or e-mail email@example.comRead on...
Amateur duffers around Puget Sound are filling up the tee sheet now that green repairs on Lake Spanaway Golf Course are complete and the course is fully open for business.
“The golfers who play this championship course are very happy,” said Pierce Cou...
Candidate filing begins Monday, May 12 with the Pierce County Auditor’s Office and the Office of the Secretary of State. Offices open for election this year include:
By a unanimous vote Tuesday, members of the Pierce County Council implemented new restrictions on vehicle traffic over the Milroy Bridge connecting the community of Waller to the City of Fife via 66th Ave. Ordinance 2014-22 prevents vehicles towing traile...Read on...
Whether the need happens suddenly or over a period of years, when the necessity for extended health care happens, knowing about community resources is a necessity. The worst case scenario is to have to make decisions about long term care in a crisis.
The following is a statement by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy on today's passing of Billy Frank Jr.:
“We have lost a national treasure in Billy Frank Jr. His advocacy regarding fishing and natural resources was second to none. His legacy includes influencing public policy to protect our precious natural resources that make this such an amazing place to live. John and I send our thoughts and prayers to Billy’s familyRead on...
Pierce County TV has launched a mobile app and a new public affairs talk show to enhance its coverage of local people, programs and events.
The PCTV app, available for Apple and Android devices, makes it easy to watch the channel’s original programming...
Pierce County News for the week of May 1, 2014.
Families dealing with the prospect of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another dementia face an uncertain future. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s. Most families work diligently to provide for the needs of their loved one in their own home as lo...Read on...
Twenty delegates from South Korea will tour Pierce County’s Felony Drug Court from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, to learn more about the local system for dealing with drug offenders.
Pierce County’s Felony Drug Court program started in 1994 and is the se...
Pierce County is teaming up with hundreds of organizations across Puget Sound to challenge residents to take at least one Sound-healthy action during May’s Puget Sound Starts Here Month.
The goal of Puget Sound Starts Here Month is to raise awareness ...Read on...
Pierce County will permanently conserve 154 acres of farmland in the Puyallup River Valley, thanks in part to a Washington State Department of Ecology grant.
The $525,000 grant from the state agency’s “Floodplains by Design” program serves as the final...Read on...
Consumers can find hundreds of local farms, markets, products, recipes and more using a new mobile app built by Pierce County and Cascade Harvest Coalition.
The Puget Sound Fresh app provides quick access to a growing network of farms and farmers markets who are members of the Coalition, a Seattle-based nonprofit that has been providing programs and resources to help build a sustainable food system in Washington State since 1999.
“The 2014 print edition of our annual Farm Guide is being distributed now, and thanks to this innovative partnership with Pierce County we have made information about what's fresh, local and in season easily accessible on your smartphone," said Mary Embleton, Cascade Harvest Coalition’s Executive Director. "Now it's easier than ever to support local farms and have access to local food.”
The Puget Sound Fresh app is available in the Google Play (Android) and Apple App stores (Windows Phone is not yet supported). The app features:
The Puget Sound Fresh program, which includes the 56-page Farm Guide and companion website, is expanding beyond its original 12-county coverage area. The mobile app will be updated with new entries as more farms enroll. More information about the program is available at www.pugetsoundfresh.org.
"We are thrilled to be included in the new Puget Sound Fresh mobile app. It’s a wonderful addition to the web and print directory,” said Brenda Vanderloop of 21 Acres, a Sammamish Valley farm near Woodinville. “We're spreading the word to our farm partners, market shoppers, students and visitors to take advantage of this great resource."
Snohomish County farmer Darren Carleton said the app addresses the mobile needs of farmers and consumers.
“About half of our customers access our website via a phone or tablet,” said Darren Carleton of Carleton Farms. “This will give customers that ‘anytime’ ability to search for local food sources, and it provides farmers like us with another marketing outlet. This is a great tool!”
The Puget Sound Fresh app was developed as a component of the Pierce County Agriculture Program, which is assisting the industry in a variety of ways, including marketing. Pierce County builds and maintains a suite of mobile apps through an internship program with the University of Washington Tacoma's Institute of Technology and other colleges.
Note: A media kit with screenshots, a Facebook banner and other graphics is available here.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Sheryl Wiser, Cascade Harvest CoalitionPuget Sound Fresh Manager(206) firstname.lastname@example.orgHunter George, Pierce County Communications director(253) email@example.comRead on...
Work to replace generators at five sanitary sewer pump stations located throughout Lakewood began Monday, April 28. Construction is expected to last through early November, although the work at each site will take approximately one month.
The existing...Read on...
Pierce County Councilman Rick Talbert will take a brief leave of absence for surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his kidney. He will undergo surgery May 5, and is expected to make a full recovery and return to work at the beginning of June.
“I’m h...Read on...
Peak season on the Pierce County ferry will bring changes to fare rates. Peak season runs May 1 to Sept. 30.
Riders should also be aware of several schedule changes that go into effect May 1 that will be in place year-round.
Peak season rates and s...Read on...
More than 260 enthusiastic people attended a dinner event to raise awareness about the constant need for Court Appointed Special Advocates - volunteers who assist children in the court system.
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson spoke about the importa...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of April 24, 2014.
Calling it a crime with consequences that devastate communities, members of the Pierce County Council adopted a joint resolution designating April 26, 2014, as Domestic Violence Awareness Day.
Joint Council-Executive Resolution R2014-49, approved durin...
A Pierce County-based Urban Search and Rescue team has completed a record deployment to the massive SR 530 landslide in Snohomish County.
The first 80-member rotation of Washington Task Force 1 (WATF-1) deployed on March 24 and returned April 4. The second 80-member rotation deployed on April 4 and returned on April 19.
This is the first time a Federal Emergency Management Agency Urban Search and Rescue team has used a state activation to serve as a local, county-to-county resource. Prior to this incident, the team had responded to such events as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York. This was also a record-setting deployment of 27 total days for the team. Most US&R teams deploy for 14 days or less.
“It was hard, heartbreaking work, but whenever we were able to reunite a victim with their family, it gave us more energy to continue on with our mission,” said Fran Sharp, a logistician from the first rotation.
Both rotations were stationed on the east side of the slide in Darrington, with their base camp at the Darrington Rodeo/Bluegrass Grounds. Team members include professionals from various first responder agencies, primarily from Pierce and King counties. The members have skills in operations, planning, emergency medical, logistics, search and rescue, technical information, structural engineering, canine search, and communications.
“We are blessed to serve as the home base for an expert team of emergency professionals, and I’m proud of the work they did to support the response to the SR 530 Slide,” said County Executive Pat McCarthy. “They provided critical assistance in searching for victims and bringing closure to families and loved ones. Our first responders and emergency management professionals will learn from this experience, which will help us prepare for future emergencies.”
Participating agencies on the WATF-1 Urban Search & Rescue team include the Bellevue Fire Department, Bothell Fire Department, Coeur D’Alene Fire Department, Central Pierce Fire and Rescue, Gig Harbor Fire and Medic One, Kent Fire Department, Mercer Island Fire Department, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Redmond Fire Department, Renton Fire and Emergency Services Department, Seattle Fire Department, Shoreline Fire Department, South King Fire and Rescue, Tacoma Fire Department, Tukwila Fire Department, Valley Regional Fire Authority, West Pierce Fire and Rescue, and Woodinville Fire and Rescue. Nearly two dozen employees of Pierce County Emergency Management assisted in the deployment and demobilization process.
The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office also assisted in the response through its own mutual aid agreement with Snohomish County. Dr. Thomas Clark and eight members of his staff – including pathologists, investigators, autopsy technicians and administrative staff - assisted with the difficult and delicate task of identifying victims.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Sheri Badger, Pierce County Emergency Management(253) 798-2204 (desk)(253) 377-4149 (cell)
In honor of Earth Day, Executive Pat McCarthy announced that Pierce County is moving to 100 percent recycled paper in support of its ongoing sustainability efforts.
Pierce County is also making double-sided printing the new default for all printers cap...Read on...
Saturday, April 26, is Parks Appreciation Day in Pierce County and it should be a typical spring day in wet Western Washington. Nevertheless, the county’s Parks and Recreation Department knows that lots of volunteers will brave the elements and turn out t...Read on...
Unwanted and unused prescription drugs can be harmful to people and the environment. You can safely dispose of these medicines - including controlled substances - during the 8th nationwide drug "take back" day on Saturday, April 26.
This one-day event ...Read on...
Tuesday, April 22 Election Day8:15 p.m. (includes ballots processed through Election Day) 9:30 p.m. (includes voting center results)Wednesday, April 23, 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, 4 p.m. Friday, April 25, 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, 4 p.m. ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of April 17, 2014.
The Washington Recreation and Parks Association recognized two outstanding employees of Pierce County Parks last week at its 2014 state conference in Seattle. Recreation Supervisor Jen Spane received the Young Professional Award for her contributions as a...Read on...
Pierce County is seeking applicants for several open positions within its Parks and Recreation Services Department and Facilities Management Department.
Individuals with disabilities encounter numerous barriers to employment. Those frustrating walls hinder gainful employment and reduce self-sufficiency. But Social Security provides many effective work incentives that can be combined with other state resou...Read on...
Pierce County’s Flood Control Zone District – a special-purpose district represented by all seven members of the Pierce County Council – has announced that an unincorporated portion of the county will be the next to receive funding to help mitigate flood ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of April 10, 2014.
Visit PCTV's “Notify Me” page to sign up for alerts when specific shows or council meetings are posted to sign up for updates when PCTV posts new shows or council meetingsRead on...
Some of those "love locks" are in temporary storage while Pierce County makes repairs to the cable railing on the popular Bridge to the Beach at Chambers Creek Regional Park.
Hundreds of couples have been placing locks on the cables as a "permanent" symbol of their love since last year. Earlier this week, the top cable at the end of the bridge on the edge of Puget Sound began sagging under the weight of all that love. On Friday, the locks were on the ground, and the cable was gone.
Parks officials suspect vandals pulled, pried or jumped on the sagging cable, causing it to break. Parks staff gathered about 100 locks and put them in storage. A handful of locks fell into the Sound.
The county's top priority is public safety. Parks staff immediately restrung cable so the public can enjoy what's expected to be a gorgeous spring weekend. In the meantime, Executive Pat McCarthy has directed county engineers to analyze options for a longterm solutionRead on...
Pierce County quickly mobilized in the early hours of Thursday morning to support local 911 dispatch centers during a multi-state outage.
After learning about the outage at 1:20 a.m., the county activated its Emergency Operations Center in Tacoma to co...Read on...
Members of the Pierce County Council adopted a joint resolution yesterday that draws attention to the largest community reading event around. Council Resolution R2014-30 proclaims March 2 through April 25 as the annual Pierce County READS program celebra...Read on...
Join Downtown On the Go and Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy on Walk Tacoma’s Museum Walk, Wednesday, April 16, from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. The 2.5 mile walk, sponsored by TWOKOI Japanese Cuisine, will start at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma at 15th and P...Read on...
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and former State Auditor Brian Sonntag will be keynote speakers at Pierce County CASA’s “Get the Word Out” dinner on April 16.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers have been providing advocacy for child...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of April 3, 2014.
Pinwheels will spring up in surprising places this month. Pierce County volunteers known as CASAs (Court Appointed Special Advocates) will participate in the “Pinwheels for Prevention” program to raise awareness about child abuse during April, which is Na...Read on...
The public is invited as Phil Sorensen is sworn in as a Pierce County Superior Court judge on Thursday, April 3.
The ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. in Courtroom 100 of the County-City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave S. A reception will follow.
Sorensen was appointed to the bench in early March by Gov. Jay Inslee. He fills a seat vacated when Superior Court Judge Linda Lee was appointed to the Washington State Court of Appeals.
Sorensen spent the past 24 years with the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's office, most recently as chief criminal deputy. He began his tenure in the family support division and has served with multiple units, including the drug and robbery/assault sections. He has prosecuted numerous high profile cases, including the Tacoma Mall shooter and the getaway driver for Maurice Clemmons, the man who killed four Lakewood police officers.
Sorensen earned undergraduate and law degrees from Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Puget Sound, respectively. He and his family live in Lakewood.
MEDIA CONTACT:Ron Culpepper, Superior Court Presiding Judge(253)Read on...
Only about 10% of adults have long term care insurance. Given that Medicare does not cover long term care, how smart is that?
Long term care can be expensive. Long term care insurance is expensive. Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources will offer an impartial look at the pros and cons to long term care insurance, reasons to buy and reasons not to buy. This is an information-only event. Participants will get straight-forward information about the benefits and disadvantages to a plan.
“Long Term Care Insurance: Smart or Foolish?” will be presented twice:
• Monday, April 14; 7 to 8 p.m.Soundview Building3602 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma
• Wednesday, April 16; 7 to 8 p.m.Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community1301 N Highlands Parkway, Tacoma
“Our culture often denies aging,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “It’s easy to not even think about long term care insurance. It can be very expensive and most of us never think we will need care for an extended period of time. But before turning our back on such a policy, it’s important to know what it is we are rejecting.”
The workshop will cover a number of important topics: long term care services and the need for care, the upside and downside to long term care insurance, what insurance really does, who should buy it and who should not buy it, the consequences of doing nothing and alternatives to long term care insurance.
“Long Term Care Insurance: Smart or Foolish?” is an information-only workshop. There will be no selling of products. The workshop is sponsored by the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center. It is free and open to the public. RSVPs are requested in advance by calling (253) 798-8787.
For more information about the workshop itself, call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Scott Kinney, Community Connections253firstname.lastname@example.org
The following is a statement by County Executive Pat McCarthy regarding landslide risks in Pierce County:
In the wake of the Oso slide, I convened a meeting of county experts in such areas as land-use planning, emergency management, roads, rivers and information technology to discuss Pierce County's level of risk for a catastrophic landslide.
Existing records in Pierce County don’t reveal landslides that come anywhere close to the magnitude of the Oso slide, which comprised an estimated 6 to 7 million cubic yards of earth. We regularly handle small slides - 10 to 100 cubic yards - that involve material slipping off of wet slopes, but not wholesale collapses of hillsides, especially in populated areas. This year alone, our public works crews have responded to 42 small slides that affected county roadways. The largest slide in our road division's records was a 1998 event in which 10,000 cubic yards of earth wiped out a portion of Cromwell Drive near Gig Harbor.
The county has gone above and beyond what some of our peers do with LIDAR technology. We have been working for months on an updated landslide risk map based on slopes, and that new data will be added to our permitting system in the next week. Property owners in unincorporated Pierce County can look up their parcels in the “About My Property” section of our website and see any known hazards, such as landslides, flooding and erosion. Our system flags such properties when building permit applications are filed, and the property owners are required to submit geotechnical analyses in many cases.
We have been focused in recent years on mitigating and planning for catastrophic events involving flooding and volcanic lahars. There's plenty of geological evidence to show those are the biggest risks, and our practice shows that if we know about it, we’ll do something about it. The scope of the Oso slide has certainly been eye-opening, and we will be consulting with the USGS and other partners, as well as further analyzing our own data to see if this should be added to our ongoing risk analysis and mitigation.
Our role as a local government is to balance the need to protect the public from harm and to protect private property rights. We have done a lot of work regarding lahars and floods. Right now, we don’t have any data that says catastrophic landslides are a bigger risk than is currently knownRead on...
The Pierce County Department of Community Connections is seeking citizen members to serve on an advisory board that makes funding recommendations for community development grants.
Members of the Pierce County Citizens’ Advisory Board help reduce the im...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of March 27, 2014.
An initial application of herbicides to combat weeds along road shoulders will start April 1, and continue through June. Targeted noxious weeds and brush control applicatio...Read on...
Pierce County is accepting applications for individuals or projects that need assistance connecting to the sewer system.
This help is to available residents and projects located in Public Works and Utilities’ Sewer Service Area, a 117-square-mile basi...Read on...
Calling all candidates! The Pierce County Auditor’s Office annual candidate’s workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, April 2 from 6 to 8 p.m.
The workshop will be held at: Pierce County Election Center 2501 S. 35th Street, Suite C Tacoma, WA 98409...Read on...
Ron Montgomery and Leonard (Steve) Vanderlinda were honored as the Volunteers of the Year at the 36th annual Pierce County Volunteer Recognition Brunch on Saturday, March 15.
For the past 30 years, Montgomery has faithfully worked with Pierce County Jail inmates two times per week for a total of 10,000 hours. He teaches basic life principles to men who have never had that kind of male instruction or role model in their lives. He leads bible studies, listens carefully to inmates’ struggles, and encourages them.
Vanderlinda has volunteered 11,000 hours of his time at the county jail for 25 years. He visits three times a week to conduct 55-minute classes/services and provide individual counseling with the inmates. He has lead bible studies with some of the more serious offenders.
More than 100 volunteers were honored, including:
Joyce Messer, who was awarded a Special Achievement Award for her 20 years of service to the Sheriff's Department Foothills Detachment. Messer assists with various administrative tasks and has been instrumental in compiling and copying reports that are submitted to the Pierce County Prosecutor for determination of charges and case clearing.
Carl Ritting, who also received a Special Achievement Award for his service to the Aging and Disability Resources (ADR) Advisory Board. Ritting joined the ADR Advisory Board at the age of 80 and in his three terms of service has served as the Chair of the Public Relations/Education and Advocacy Committee, the Planning and Allocations Committee, the Quality Improvement/Customer Service Committee, and as Second Officer for the Advisory Board.
The German Shepherd Search Dogs of Washington received the Volunteer Group of the Year award, which is valued by the Department of Emergency Management. This 8-member group searches for lost people such as hikers and dementia patients and assists in the recovery of human remains.
Other volunteers were recognized for their work with Community Connections, Juvenile Court, Superior Court, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works and Utilities.
“The 82 individuals and seven groups honored gave a total of 27,557 hours of volunteer service to Pierce County government in 2013," said Scott Hall, Parks and Recreation superintendent who manages the volunteer recognition event for Pierce County.
To show their appreciation, the County Council and County Executive Pat McCarthy co-sponsored Resolution 2014-16 proclaiming the week of March 10-16 as "Volunteer Recognition Week" in Pierce County.
The brunch was co-hosted by Deputy Executive Kevin Phelps and County Councilmember Stan Flemming at the McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College, where over 400 guests attended.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Scott Hall, Parks and Recreation superintendent 253-798-4006 email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of March 20, 2014.
Chambers Bay Golf Course broke records in several financial categories in 2013 as excitement increased in advance of next year’s U.S. Open.
The 4th quarter financial report, released this week by County Executive Pat McCarthy, showed operating revenues...Read on...
A message from your Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer:
Thank you for your patience! The "Pay Property Taxes Online" tab on the Assessor-Treasurer’s home page www.piercecountywa.org/atr is now working.
Please feel free to click on it in order to pa...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of March 13, 2014.
Don’t count on the luck of the Irish to get you home safely if you've had too much to drink over the St. Patrick’s holiday.
St. Patty’s celebrations will bring out more than green beer from March 14-17 when 70 law enforcement officers from 30 agencies in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties team up to look for impaired drivers.
The DUI emphasis patrols are organized by the King County Target Zero Task Force, the Snohomish County DUI & Target Zero Traffic Safety Task Force, and the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force.
They will include visits to bars early in the evening to promote a safe ride home. DUI and bar enforcement teams will work in north King County on Friday; in Pierce and South King County on Saturday; and, in Snohomish County, beginning at 4 p.m. on Monday when many will head from work to bars. The Washington State Patrol will have extra troopers on the road throughout the weekend.
Bar patrons in all three counties will be able to obtain scan cards from their bartenders or visiting officer-volunteer teams which can be easily used to call local taxi companies. Follow-up visits from command staff of local law enforcement agencies and the Liquor Control Board will be made within an hour of a DUI arrest or on the following day. At that time, the bar’s track record on turning out drivers who say they were drinking at the bar before their arrest will be reviewed with on-site owners and personnel.
“Unfortunately, some have turned St. Patty’s Day celebrations into another deadly drinking and driving long weekend on the social calendar,” said Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary.
From 2005 to 2013, impaired driving was the cause of 63 percent of all road deaths over the St. Patrick’s holiday in Pierce, Snohomish and King counties. During this period, 12 people lost their lives after someone got behind the wheel and drove drunk or otherwise impaired.
Motorists who anticipate drinking this weekend have one sure way to avoid the plenty of “green” they will need to cover the costs of a DUI, said John Cheesman, chief of the Fircrest Police Department and chair of the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force. “The way to avoid getting arrested is to arrange for a sober ride home before the festivities begin.”
“An impaired driving death is a 100 percent preventable crime,” said Puyallup Police Chief Bryan Jeter, who will accompany a Home Safe Bar team and welcome over 25 DUI officers to his city Saturday night to make sure his city remains fatality-free.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Media who want to accompany a bar team in Pierce, Snohomish or King county or ride-along with a DUI officer Friday, Saturday or Monday should contact Gloria Mansfield Averill, Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force, Pierce County Community Connections, (253) 222-9088Read on...
Pierce County residents can learn how to grow their own food through Pierce County and Pierce Conservation District’s Edible Gardens Workshop Series. The free series of monthly workshops, which is offered at several locations, teaches beginning gardeners ...Read on...
Individual bags of SoundGRO® fertilizer will no longer be sold directly from the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in University Place, effective March 15. Bags will continue to be available at a number of distributors across Pierce Count...Read on...
For more information or application materials, please contact Sherry Hieb, Pierce County Civil Service Commission chief examiner, at 253-798-6250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Sherry Hieb, Pierce County Civil Service Commission 253-798-3433 email@example.comRead on...
Construction on a project to replace a sewer main along Brookdale Road in Parkland will resume on March 11. Work is expected to be complete in 2016.
During the first phase of construction, sections of 131st Street East and Brookdale Road East will be c...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of March 6, 2014
The Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center has scheduled an additional “Writing Your Will” workshop for Tuesday, March 18 at 7 p.m.
The free event will be held at the Jim and Carolyn Milgard Family HOPE Center, 8502 Skansie Avenue in Gig Harbor. The presenter will be elder law attorney Timothy Acker. Space is limited and RSVPs are required in advance by calling (253) 798-8787. Previous sessions have filled quickly.
Wills are one of those topics that people are reluctant to think about. While 60% of adults said they believe everyone should have a will, only 44% said they have one. The reality is that a Will is an essential document for any adult, regardless of age, to create and maintain.
In this information-only workshop, participants will have the chance to learn about Wills from the ground up and ask questions in the process.
Among the issues that will be discussed:
• Who needs a Will and why• What’s in a Will• Using online Wills• When an attorney is needed• Updating a Will• Do-it-yourself Wills
“Most people know they ought to have a Will,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “But it’s hard to find an opportunity to learn about the basics of writing a will in a neutral setting. We are able to offer a forum where people can get good, honest information about Wills, dispel some of the misconceptions and understand the huge benefits to making a Will. We hope people will take advantage of this presentation.”
“Writing Your Will” is sponsored by the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center. The workshop is free and open to the public. RSVPs are required in advance by calling (253) 798-8787. For more information about the workshop itself, call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Scott Kinney, Community Connections 253-798-4509 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Riler, Community Connections 253-798-7384 email@example.com Read on...
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated April 2 to reflect the Council's decision to delay final action and hold more public hearings in the summer.
The Pierce County Council seeks public input as it prepares to update its shoreline development regulations for the first time since the 1970s.
Based on changes to state law enacted by the Washington State Legislature in 2003, the county must regulate development along marine waters, rivers, wetlands, floodplains, and certain lakes and streams. State law also establishes a schedule for all cities and counties to update their shoreline management programs.
Various Pierce County stakeholders have been working on a draft proposal since 2008, and it's nearing completion. The Pierce County Council's Community Development Committee has scheduled a series of meetings around the county to gather public comment on the draft.
"This update to shoreline regulations affects approximately 12,000 properties in Pierce County," said County Councilmember Rick Talbert (District 5), chair of the Community Development Committee. "We know this is a sensitive issue. We are trying to craft an update that complies with state law while protecting individual property rights. We encourage interested parties to review these updates and provide the Council with their comments."
State law includes a requirement that development result in "no net loss of shoreline ecological function." The law also includes criteria for shoreline vegetation conservation. Pierce County proposes to comply with the law by establishing a shoreline buffer.
These new buffer standards would not apply retroactively. For example, legally existing residential development is defined as a "conforming use" and would not be subject to new shoreline buffer requirements. Legally existing lawns, gardens and established landscaping also could be maintained within shoreline buffer areas.
All future development and redevelopment within shoreline jurisdiction would need to comply with the county's updated Shoreline Master Program. Typical examples of development that would be reviewed for compliance with the updated shoreline regulations include: residential development and associated accessory uses, docks, piers and floats, bulkheads and retaining walls, boat launching ramps, recreational development, marinas and aquaculture uses.
Here is the schedule of Community Development Committee meetings:
• March 6, 5:30 p.m., North Lake Tapps Middle School, 20029 12th St. E, Lake Tapps.• March 20, 5:30 p.m., Pacific Lutheran University, Scandinavian Cultural Center, 12180 Park Ave. S.• April 3, 5:30 p.m., Peninsula High School auditorium, 14105 Purdy Dr. NW, Gig Harbor.• April 7, 1:30 p.m., County-City Building, Room 1045, 930 Tacoma Ave. S, Tacoma.
The full County Council was originally scheduled to vote on the updated regulations on April 22, but it decided to postpone the final vote and hold more hearings over the summer. Dates will be announced when they are confirmed.
The County Council will accept testimony orally and in writing. For more information about Ordinance 2013-45 or to submit a comment, go to www.piercecountywa.org/council.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Debby Hyde, Planning and Land Services(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Kruger, County Council legislative analyst(253) email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of Feb. 27, 2014.
Residents can learn how to reduce the amount of waste they produce by attending Pierce County’s composting classes this spring. One class focuses on yard waste, and the other on food waste.
“These classes are a great way to learn about the two kinds o...Read on...
The Pierce County Council has voted to toughen the rules for abandoned or blighted properties in unincorporated areas in an effort to protect neighborhoods.
The Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday, Feb. 25, to close gaps in the county’s regulatory authority t...Read on...
The Pierce County Long-Term Care Ombudsman program is taking on the improper marketing and misuse of certain prescribed drugs for the treatment of behavioral symptoms of dementia. The drugs most often used include Risperdal, Seoquel, Abilify and Invega. ...Read on...
FAR HILLS, N.J. – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that tickets for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship, to be contested June 15-21 at Chambers Bay, in University Place, Wash., will be available to USGA Members beginning Saturday, Mar...Read on...
Pierce County and the South Sound enjoy a special relationship with military services members and their families. So it only makes sense that RallyPoint/6 chose Lakewood to open the state’s largest private, one-stop resource center.
The nonprofit organ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Feb. 20, 2014.
Work to replace a deteriorated 382-foot sewer force main located under the Day Island Bridge began this week.
Sewer service will not be interrupted during the project, which is expected to be complete in mid-May. Traffic across the bridge will be redu...Read on...
Two new memorial signs intended to remind motorists of the deadly consequences of impaired driving will be unveiled near Graham on Friday, Feb. 21 to remember a Bethel Junior High School student whose life was tragically cut short by a drunk driver.
The sign unveiling ceremony, set for 1 p.m., will remember 14-year-old Daniel Morse, who was killed Dec. 27, 2009 after he crossed the 9800 block of 204th Street East at dusk and began riding his new skateboard on the side of the road given to him for Christmas. Morse was thrown into the air after Darrell Andrew Ross, who was driving over the legal blood alcohol limit of .08 and without his headlights on, swerved and slammed into him. Ross, who admitted to the crime, was convicted and served 23 months in prison.
“We usually install one memorial sign in memory of victims, but we are installing two in this case,” said Sharon Reynon of the Tacoma Pierce County DUI Victim’s Panel. “This is to doubly remind motorists of the toll impaired driving can take on families.” Daniel’s older brother Christopher also was killed by a driver suspected of alcohol and marijuana impairment while driving home from his job at a pizza parlor in 2003 in the San Diego area.
To assist the family in getting out their message that all impaired driving crashes are preventable, the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force will conduct a special DUI emphasis patrol on Saturday night, Feb. 22. At least 25 task force troopers, deputies and officers will hunt for impaired drivers throughout East Pierce County, including near the site where Daniel was killed, handing out memorial flyers about Daniel to the motorists they stop.
Pierce County Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Harms, who will coordinate the multi-agency patrol, said he expects more than the usual number of arrests Saturday night in part because the task force will utilize the Washington State Patrol’s Mobile Impaired Driving Unit (MIDU).
The MIDU is a 36-foot mobile home equipped with three breath-test instruments and two holding cells. It enables patrol officers to drop off arrested motorists for processing and get back on patrol in minutes. Troopers manning the MIDU Saturday night will request blood warrants whenever arrestees show signs of impairment but have not been drinking. Once warrants are obtained, on-board phlebotomists will draw blood samples to determine which impairing drugs drivers have consumed.
“We will be working hard to remove every alcohol- or drugged-impaired driver from the road that night in hopes we will never have to erect another sign like Daniel’s,” said Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor, who will kick off the special DUI emphasis patrol on Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. and accompany the task force’s Home Safe Bar team on bar visits.
MEDIA ADVISORYMedia are invited to cover the brief roadside sign ceremony on the 9800 block of 204th Street East near Graham at 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21.
On Saturday night, media can interview family members, follow as Daniel’s two surviving brothers ride along with Sheriff’s deputies, accompany the Home Safe Bar Team to area bars where drivers said they had been drinking before being arrested.
MEDIA CONTACT:Gloria Mansfield Averill, Pierce County Community Connections(253)Read on...
The following is a statement by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy regarding Boeing’s decision to build the 777X wing plant in Everett:
"During this process, I met with senior Boeing leadership and received personal assurances that Frederickson will be a big part of the company's future plans. The company has 1,800 employees in Frederickson, and the local network of suppliers and aerospace training programs ensures our important place in the global supply chain. I assured Boeing that Pierce County is ready to assist when the company is ready to utilize the undeveloped land it owns here.
“I am very happy for my peers in Everett and Snohomish County. Our top goal all along was to keep Washington at the epicenter of the aerospace industry, and we have succeeded.”
MEDIA CONTACT:Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Swan Creek residents and business owners can learn about an effort by Pierce County to improve the creek’s water quality at a community meeting on Feb. 19.
Pierce County staff will share information about the development of a watershed characterizatio...Read on...
Pierce County has won a Silver Circle Award in the Digital Interactive – Overall Website category at the 2013 3CMA annual Savvy Awards. The national award was given to Pierce County to recognize its outstanding and innovative work in redesigning and reorg...Read on...
Pierce County administrative offices are closed Monday, Feb. 17, in observance of Presidents' Day. Offices will reopen Feb. 18.
Advisory board members will be involved in such issues as storm drainage and surface water management; water quality; storm drainage plan...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Feb. 13, 2014.
As many as 300 people will receive sight-restoring transplants each year thanks to an innovative partnership between the Pierce County Medical Examiner and SightLife, a global nonprofit focused on eliminating corneal blindness.
Under the partnership, ...Read on...
At its regular meeting on February 10, 2014, Pierce Transit’s Board of Commissioners elected Rick Talbert as its Chair, effective March 1, 2014.
Talbert replaces Marilyn Strickland, whose second one-year term as Chair ends on February 28, 2014.
The Pierce County Auditor’s Office records 250,000 public documents each year, including deeds, liens, foreclosures, maps and more. Approximately 38,000 people visit the Auditor’s Office website to access these records.
“Providing easy access to impor...Read on...
The United States Golf Association (USGA) and Chambers Bay announced on Feb. 10 that volunteer applications for the 115th U.S. Open Championship are now available. The 2015 U.S. Open, the first to be played in the Pacific Northwest, is scheduled for June ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Feb. 6, 2014.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is looking for interested citizens to attend its winter Community Academy program. The University Place academy begins Feb. 20 and will meet each Thursday evening from 7 to 9:30 p.m. for 13 weeks. The South Hill academy begins March 19 and will meet each Wednesday evening from 7 to 9:30 p.m. for 13 weeks.
The class covers topics such as the law, patrol procedures, use of force, detectives, narcotics, K-9, domestic violence, hiring and training, and more. Field trips are scheduled to the 9-1-1 Communications Center, Pierce County Jail, Sheriff’s headquarters, and the Range.Pre-registration is required and applications are accepted on a first come first served basis until the class is filled. Applicants must be at least 16 years old. Fingerprinting and a photo I.D. are required after preliminary acceptance to the academy.
You can register online or print and mail in the application. To get more information, visit the Sheriff’s Department website. More information on the class will be sent once your application is received.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Teresa Berg, Sheriff’s Department(253) email@example.comRead on...
More than 70 farmers are registered to attend the Pierce County Farm Forum, where they will glean ideas from each other and experts in agricultural marketing and trends.
The Farm Forum, to be held Thursday, Feb. 6, on the WSU Extension campus in Puyall...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Jan. 30, 2014.
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.
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.
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 TimesFriday, Feb. 7: 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.Saturday, Feb. 8: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.Sunday, Feb. 9: 2 p.m.
Ticket InformationBalcony 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 South C Street in Tacoma, Washington.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Kathy Wainhouse, Technical Show Director(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
The water quality levels at Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place tested normal and an advisory cautioning people to stay out of the water was lifted Jan. 27 by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department following an incident last week at the C...Read on...
The vast majority of health care provided in the United States – 89% of it – happens at home. Nearly one in three households is involved in family caregiving – either directly or indirectly. But for most caregivers, there is little training to meet the ch...Read on...
People are advised to stay out of the saltwater at Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place as a precaution after approximately 200,000 gallons of partially disinfected sewage was discharged into the water.
The incident, caused by a brief mecha...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Jan. 23, 2014.
What happens to the trash? To find out, take a tour of Pierce County’s Landfill and Composting Facilities on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 9:45 a.m. to noon. You’ll gain insight that not many get to experience and you'll change the way you view your curbside containers. Seating is limited so register now. Cost is $10 for members and students and $20 for non-members.
The recycling, yard waste, and garbage from Pierce County’s 800,000 citizens take an elaborate and calculated journey once they leave our curb. This tour will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the complicated systems and state-of-the-art facilities that handle and process the county’s yard waste and about 1 million tons of garbage generated annually.
The 3-acre indoor composting facility located near the closed Hidden Valley landfill on Puyallup’s South Hill is one of two high-tech facilities that compost yard waste in-County. Electronically controlled and monitored, this facility turns our residential yard waste into a usable, nutrient rich compost in about 32 days, all while creating its own indoor weather system. This location works in tandem with other regional composting facilities to make sure that an equal balance of materials going in generate the best product coming out. The property at Hidden Valley also houses Pierce County’s largest transfer station and the old, closed, 76-acre landfill.
The second stop on the tour will be the final destination for all garbage generated in Pierce County. The 304th street landfill, opened in Graham at the end of 1999, is both an impressive display of engineering and environmental protection, as well as a dismal look at the culmination of our waste behaviors. With a planned final footprint of 168 acres, this landfill will be home to garbage generated in Pierce County, including the City of Tacoma and JBLM, through 2040. We will also take a from-a-distance look at the waste-to-energy facility which produces electricity from methane produced by the decomposing garbage and the collection system that is in place to capture, transport and treat the constant flow of leachate (garbage juice).
We'll meet at the SR 512 Park & Ride behind the McDonald's and load a bus to the landfill and composting facilities.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Jessica Ludwig, Resource Conservation Program email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County will hold its fourth set of public meetings on Tacoma Narrows Airport’s master plan update on Jan. 29 in Gig Harbor. Several future development alternatives for the airport will be discussed and evaluated.
The Planning Advisory Committee...Read on...
With the erection of two roadside memorial signs and a special DUI enforcement this weekend in Bonney Lake, family members urge the public to remember the life of Gary Slick, who was killed in one of Pierce County’s most devastating impaired-driving crash...Read on...
Meeting in two joint sessions in one day, the Pierce County Council teamed up with officials from neighboring counties to appoint Jesse Young and Graham Hunt to vacant positions in the Washington State House of Representatives on Friday, Jan. 17.
Pierce County News for the week of Jan. 16, 2014.
Pierce County administrative offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 20, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. Offices will reopen Jan. 21.
Due to overwhelming response, additional sessions of the “Writing Your Will: Tips Everyone Needs to Know” workshop have been added. Registration for the original workshop on Saturday, Jan. 25 is now closed.
The Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center and MultiCare Celebrate Seniority will host two more workshop sessions in March.
• Puyallup – Saturday, March 1510 to 11:30 a.m.Good Sam Hospital Children’s Therapy Unit402 15th Ave SE, # 100
• Tacoma – Tuesday, March 1810 to 11:30 a.m.Allenmore Hospital Basement Classroom1901 S Union Avenue
The presenter will be elder law attorney Jonete Rehmke. Space is limited. RSVPs are required in advance by calling (253) 798-8787.
Participants will have the chance to learn about Wills from the ground up and ask questions in the process. Among the issues that will be discussed: who needs a Will and why; what’s in a Will; using online Wills; when an attorney is needed; updating a Wills and do-it-yourself Wills.
“Writing Your Will” is sponsored by Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources and MultiCare Celebrate Seniority. The workshop is free and open to the public. RSVPs are required in advance by calling (253) 798-8787. For more information about the workshop itself, call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600.
The Pierce County Council voted Tuesday, Jan. 14, to elect Councilmember Dan Roach as chairman for 2014.
"This is a great honor and responsibility, and I appreciate the opportunity to serve," said Roach, who is beginning his fourth year representing District 1 in East Pierce County. "I look forward to applying my experience in public policy and as a business owner to the challenges the county faces as we set and fund the priorities of government."
The Council also selected Councilmember Stan Flemming (District 7) as vice chairman, and Joyce McDonald (District 2) as executive pro tem.
Prior to his election to the Pierce County Council in 2010, Roach served five terms in the Washington State House of Representatives. The owner of Roach Gymnastics in Sumner, the Councilman lives in the Bonney Lake area with his wife Melanie and their five children.
Flemming also previously served in the state House and was the founding mayor of the City of University Place. He's a family physician and retired brigadier general in the U.S. Army who joined the Council in 2010.
McDonald, who is starting her sixth year on the Council, spent the past two years as chair of the County Council, a position that rotates among the members. She previously served five terms in the state House.
The chairman presides at all regular Council meetings, while the vice chair presides in the absence of the chairman. The executive pro tem is a councilmember selected to perform some of the County Executive's duties in the event of the executive's absence or temporary disability.
Councilmembers also conducted their annual reorganization of four standing committees. Here is a list of the meeting schedules and members:
Rules and Operations CommitteeMeets Mondays at 10 a.m.Roach (chair), Flemming (vice chair), McDonald, Douglas Richardson (District 6)
Community Development CommitteeMeets first and third Mondays at 1:30 p.m.Rick Talbert (chair, District 5), Richardson (vice chair), Flemming, Connie Ladenburg (District 4), Jim McCune (District 3)
Economic and Infrastructure Development CommitteeMeets second and fourth Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m.Flemming (chair), Ladenburg (vice chair), McCune, Richardson, Talbert
Public Safety and Human Services CommitteeMeets second Mondays at 1:30 p.m. McCune (chair), McDonald (vice chair), Flemming, Ladenburg, Richardson
More information about the County Council is available online at www.piercecountywa.org/council or by calling (253) 798-7777.
The full council meets Tuesdays at 3 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the 10th floor of the County-City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave. S., Room 1045, Tacoma.
Council meetings are televised live and replayed each week on Pierce County TV (channel 22 in most areas, and 522 on the Click! Network’s HD tier) and streamed live and archived at www.piercecountytv.org.
MEDIA CONTACT:Dan Roach, Council chair(253) 798-3635
Hunter George, Communications director(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County residents who live near Purdy Lane and 144th Street Northwest can provide input on a proposed project to improve Purdy Creek’s water quality and fish habitat at a meeting on Jan. 16.
The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Peninsula ...Read on...
Lindquist Dental Clinic for Children (LDCC) in Parkland is doing their part to make a positive impact in Pierce County for low-income children with unmet dental needs. Thanks to a grant from Pierce County Community Connections, as many as 4,000 additional...Read on...
As the economy changes and the needs of consumers change, knowing how to make the most of Social Security benefits is becoming more and more important. For people preparing to start their Social Security benefits, a few simple tips might save them thousan...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Jan. 9, 2014.
Pierce County News for the week of Feb. 7, 2014.
For those of us living in the northwest, the cold, damp winter seems endless by this time of the year. Imagine being one of the 670 homeless individuals who slept outside or in an emergency shelter in your neighborhood last night. To understand the challe...Read on...
The Department of Community Connections seeks volunteers to serve on the Allocation Advisory Committee for Prevention Programs, an advisory body to Pierce County government on the use of tax dollars set aside for youth violence prevention programs.
UPDATE: Jan. 16, 2014: Due to overwhelming response, these workshop dates are now full. Two more classes will be offered in March.
There are some topics that people are reluctant to think about. While 60% of adults said they believe everyone should ha...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Jan. 2, 2014.
The Pierce County Auditor’s Office will open at 7 a.m. on Jan. 2, 2014 to kick off the team license plate sales featuring Seahawks and Sounder FC themes. The license plates will carry an iconic symbol for each team – the 12th Man flag for the Seahawks, a ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Dec. 26, 2013.
The Auditor’s Office announces the opening of a special appointment period. Individuals are needed to write “Against” statements for the February 11, 2014 Special Election local voters’ pamphlet in the following districts:
A project to replace a sewer main along Brookdale Road in Parkland has been postponed until mid-2014. Crews had planned to shift work to the eastern end of the project in December, but unfavorable conditions and associated costs have made postponement the...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Dec. 19, 2013.
Pierce County is seeking volunteers to serve on the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board, which helps with planning to improve services and better meet the community’s needs.
The board assists the Department of Community Connections with reviewing...Read on...
Pierce County will begin installing a sewer force main in the South Hill area of Puyallup on Dec. 23. The work is expected to last through Jan. 20.
Work will begin on 126th Street East and move west to 90th Avenue East. It will continue south along 90t...Read on...
Construction begins Thursday on a $16 million project that will reduce the risk of floods throughout the Puyallup River valley, create new habitat for salmon and produce more than 230 local jobs.
Federal, state and local leaders will gather for a grou...Read on...
Fares to ride the Pierce County Ferry will increase by 3 percent in 2014 and again in 2015 across all rider categories except for youth.
“This two-step increase is needed to help cover increased operational and maintenance expenses,” said Deb Wallace, ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Dec. 12, 2013.
Law enforcement officers who began removing impaired drivers from Pierce County roads Thanksgiving Day are urging potential drinking drivers to call taxis and line-up sober designated drivers again this weekend.
The Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic...Read on...
Pierce County is seeking applicants to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Civil Service Commission for Sheriff's Department employees. Commissioners are appointed by the County Executive and serve a six-year term. The commission is a quasi-judicial body responsible for rules and regulations governing examinations, appointments, appeals and other general personnel issues.
Commissioners are required to attend one monthly meeting, or special meetings as required, and serve on a voluntary basis. Commission members must be a resident of Pierce County for a minimum of two years prior to appointment, registered to vote in Pierce County and a United States citizen.
For more information or application materials, please contact Sherry Hieb, Pierce County Civil Service Commission chief examiner, at 253-798-6250 or email@example.com.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Sherry Hieb, Pierce County Civil Service Commission253firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Construction crews replacing a sewer main along Brookdale Road in Parkland are shifting work to the eastern end of the project this month.
The crews are replacing 5,000 feet of sewer pipe with a 72-inch diameter interceptor pipe. The project, managed ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Dec. 5, 2013.
TJ Bohl, who has worked in juvenile rehabilitation for 18 years, has been selected as the administrator for Pierce County Juvenile Court, which provides court, detention, probation and adoption services.
The selection was made by the judges of Pierce C...Read on...
Pierce County administrative offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 28 and Friday, Nov. 29, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Next week's regular meeting of the Pierce County Council will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at a fire station in Parkland.
The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at Central Pierce Fire & Rescue Station 61, located at 100 S. 114th St., Parkland.
The Council, which normally meets on Tuesdays in its chambers in the County-City Building in downtown Tacoma, holds at least one meeting a year in each of the seven Council districts, as required by the Pierce County Charter.
Wednesday's meeting marks the final "in-district" meeting of 2013. It will be led by Councilmember Rick Talbert (District 5).
More information, including Council agendas, is available at www.piercecountywa.org/council.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Rick Talbert, County Councilmember(253) email@example.com
Pierce County took another step toward completing the popular Foothills Trail with the purchase this week of commercial land near South Prairie.
The county bought approximately 59,000 square feet of the South Prairie RV Park from Dwight Partin for $1,0...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Nov. 21.
A pancake breakfast with Blade, Sprinker Recreation Center's mascot, kicks off Tis The Season Saturdays at Pierce County's popular ice rink.
The Dec. 7 breakfast for kids ages 3 to 12 is the start of a journey to a winter wonderland at Sprinker Recreation Center, located at 14824 C Street S, Tacoma (Spanaway). Breakfast will be held upstairs in the Rainier Room at 10 a.m. Photos will be taken from 10:30 to 11 a.m. A one-hour skating session begins at 11:45 a.m. The cost is $20 per person. The registration deadline is Dec. 2.
To register or learn more about programs and events, visit www.piercecountywa.org/parks or call (253) 798-4141.
Here is the rest of the schedule for Tis The Season Saturdays:
December 14: Up On the Housetop Crafters CreationsBring your holiday crafts and creations for our first annual holiday bazaar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The $35 booth rental includes a 6' table and 2 chairs. Space will be limited so don’t wait to register. For more information call (253) 798-4000
December 21: Jingle Bell Jam – Ice SkatingJoin us for the second annual all ages “Holiday Jam” public ice skating session from 7:45 to 9:45 p.m. Ice Skate to your favorite holiday beats (remixed) with DJ Cory on rink side. Forecast predicts snow on the ice!
December 28: Ice Princess Party Bring your little princess (ages 5+) to an enchanting day on the ice. The morning will start with crafts in the Alder Room from 10 to 11 a.m. Then we will commence with a princess procession to the ice arena for ice skating with the Fairy Godmother from 11 to 11:45 a.m. with fun games to play on ice. The princesses will be welcome to stay and skate from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Cost is $20 per person. For more information contact Jen at (253) 798-4753.
Safety Note: Princess gowns must not be longer than calf length to ice skate. All Princesses who plan to skate need to bring an all-purpose helmet to wear on the ice.
Morning events are sponsored by Starbucks Coffee Company; Breakfast with Blade is sponsored by Lake Spanaway Golf CourseRead on...
December always sees a spike in the number of scams, frauds and identity thefts by crooks taking advantage of the fast paced holiday season. Many of these crimes happen because shoppers are a little less attentive to their surroundings.
As technology...Read on...
Spanaway Lake residents, business owners and recreational users can learn about an upcoming study of the lake’s health at a community meeting on Dec. 4.
The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Spanaway Elementary, 412 165th St. S. in Spanaway.
The Pierce County Council is poised to approve a 2014 budget that improves the responsiveness of local government, invests in community programs and maintains a stable financial position.
The Council approved the budget on second reading by a 7-0 vote ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of November 14.
Pierce County administrative offices will be closed Monday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day. Offices will reopen Nov. 12.
Pierce County News for the week of November 7.
The rain, fog and falling leaves mean that fall is here and winter is not far behind. Pierce County residents should prepare now for flood season to keep their families and property safe.
“By now, people have pulled out their coats, sweaters, and hats...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of October 31.
KEY DATESElection Day Nov. 5, Results at 8:15 p.m.Canvassing Board Meeting – Voter intent Nov. 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.Canvassing Board Meeting – Certification Nov. 26 at 11 a.m.
IMPORTANT NUMBERSTotal registered voters 438,344 Expected Tu...Read on...
Pierce County residents can reduce flooding on Pierce County roads by picking up yard waste on their properties and making sure nearby storm drains are free of leaves.
"Practicing preventative maintenance can go a long way," said Brian Ziegler, Pierce ...Read on...
The award-winning Pierce County Television (PCTV) is now available in high definition to Click! Cable TV subscribers on channel 522.
“Click! Cable TV is proud to support Pierce County TV in its transition to high definition broadcasts,” said Click! Gen...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of October 24.
The weather has changed and it’s time to move outdoor activities indoors. But don’t worry, Pierce County Parks has you covered. Join us Nov. 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for Family Bingo Night at Meridian Habitat Community Center in South Hill Puyallup.
Residents can learn how to reduce the amount of waste they produce by attending Pierce County’s free composting classes this fall. Classes will be offered on yard waste and food waste.
In the yard waste class, participants will learn how to choose a bi...Read on...
In 2014 the Affordable Care Act (aka “ObamaCare) takes effect. The health care landscape will change substantially. New provisions are included that will impact individuals and families, people with jobs and people who are unemployed.
Pierce County...Read on...
This election season you can digitally encourage friends to vote with the Pierce County Auditor’s new “I Voted” avatar. The transition from the traditional “I Voted” stickers to a digital image is both cost effective and a reflection of modern communicati...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of October 17.
Homeowners are invited to a free workshop to learn how to maintain their septic systems and troubleshoot problems. The workshop will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Spanaway Elementary School cafeteria, 412 165th St. S in Spanaway.
“The w...Read on...
Every day is a good day for Raanah Aanstead. But three days each week, she is in the best place. “People make me smile,” she said. “They make me feel special.”
For a little over a year, Raanah has been coming to Cascade Park Active Day, an adult day he...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of October 10.
The Grandview walking trail along Grandview Drive in University Place is closed to the public through Friday, Oct. 18. The trail runs between the North Meadow parking area north of Cirque Drive and the entrance to the park at 62nd Street Court West. The planned closure allows for installation of a sewer bypass line necessary for Pierce County's rehabilitation of the sewer pipe along Grandview Drive between Heitman Way and 64th Street W.
Wooden barricades are in place at each end of the closed portion of the trail. The barricades have a “Trail Closed Ahead” sign and arrows directing walkers to detour to the sidewalk area paralleling Grandview Drive.
Public Works and Utilities is rehabilitating 9,600 feet of existing 30-inch sewer pipe and about 30 manholes along Grandview Drive to prolong the pipe's life and make it structurally sound. A new pipe liner will be installed and cured in place, which will reduce the need for large road excavations and extended road lane closures. The pipe liner protects the pipe from hydrogen sulfide corrosion. This method was chosen because it was the alternative with the lowest cost and least impact to the public during construction.
More information about this project can be found at www.co.pierce.wa.us/Grandview.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Steven Chanfrau, P.E., Pierce County Sewer Utility engineering supervisor 253-798-4129 Steven.Chanfrau@co.pierce.wa.us
Callene Abernathy, Public Works and Utilities public information specialist(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of October 3.
More than 600 Pierce County youth will join millions of students across the country during the week of Oct. 7 to participate in the 4-H Maps & Apps experiment.
Youth become community planners, working in teams and using geographic information systems (GIS) and mapping techniques to plan and design a park. Each member designs certain features and draws it on a sheet protector. This simulates GIS technology as they stack the clear layers of their maps to create their park.
Students brainstorm what they’d like in their “dream” park. The most common answer is, of course, a playground. Some other ideas are a picnic area, field, wading pool, walking paths, basketball court, amphitheater, flower garden, and a horseshoe pit. Students work in teams to decide on their favorite park features and problem solve how to map out their 8-acre park. One classroom will use these skills to plan and design new garden beds at their school.
"In this year’s experiment, young people experience first-hand how GIS and mapping are used to solve real-world problems," said Christina Murray, Washington State University Pierce County Extension 4-H Coordinator. “It gives them a taste of how geography impacts our lives and communities.”
Participating in the experiment helps students discover new interests and career options. GIS/GPS mapping has applications in numerous fields – from healthcare, national defense and environmental science to agriculture, aeronautics and city planning. In fact, GIS/GPS is ranked among the fastest growing occupational fields in the nation. Because the uses for geospatial technology are so widespread and diverse, the market is growing at an annual rate of almost 35 percent.
"Now entering its sixth year, 4-H National Youth Science Day will again bring young people face-to-face with the challenges of today’s global economy," said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., National 4-H Council president and CEO. "America faces a future of intense global competition with a startling shortage of scientists. However, with high-quality positive youth development programs like 4-H National Youth Science Day, youth are introduced to highly relevant concepts and solutions that will ensure their contributions to their communities today, and their success as global leaders tomorrow."
WSU Pierce County 4-H partners with the following organizations to advance science exploration with local youth through participation in the science experiment: YMCA of Pierce County, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, Tacoma Nature Center, Summit and Fife Libraries, Daffodil Elementary, Cascade Christian Schools, Northeast Tacoma Elementary, Midland Elementary, Naches Trails, Wildwood Park Elementary, St. Nick’s Catholic School, Lochburn Middle School, and Stadium High School.
About National Youth Science Day
For more than 100 years, 4-H has been at the forefront of teaching youth about science, engineering and technology. Created to combat a shortage of American young people pursuing science college majors and careers, 4-H National Youth Science Day seeks to spark an early youth interest and leadership in science.
Currently, more than 5 million young people across the nation participate in 4-H science, engineering and technology programming in topics as varied as robotics, rocketry, wind power, GPS mapping, agricultural science, film making, water quality and biofuels. And, through the 5-year campaign - One Million New Scientists, One Million New Ideas, 4-H has undertaken a bold goal of engaging one million additional young people in science, engineering and technology programming by the end of 2013.
This year’s 4-H National Youth Science Day is jointly sponsored by Lockheed Martin, Toyota, Donaldson Filtration Systems, John Deere, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Philips, and USGS.
For photo opportunities, contact Christina Murray for a list of participating sites.
MEDIA CONTACT:Christina Murray, WSU Pierce County 4-H(253) 798-3223murraychristin@wsuRead on...
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Kitty-Ann van Doorninck was honored by the state’s judiciary for outstanding contributions to youth and public education concerning the legal system.
Judge van Doorninck was awarded the Washington Judges’ Foundation 2...Read on...
Many individuals and families suffer silently under the shadow of addiction. When alcohol or prescription drugs take over a person’s life, those nearby are impacted too. It can happen in any family – rich or poor, large or small, employed or not. No one i...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of September 26.
Pierce County TV, which produces videos about people, programs and events in the region, won five first-place awards for programming by a leading national industry group.
Judges with the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors ...Read on...
See spins, jumps and beautiful choreography during the 2014 Northwest Pacific Regional U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Sprinker Recreation Center from Oct. 5-8.
The championships will feature hundreds of regional skaters, some of whom will compet...Read on...
Fun-seekers heading for 6th Avenue’s nightclubs this Saturday night in Tacoma will have help scoring a taxi ride home if they’ve had too much to drink.
The rides - the first 25 of which will be free for groups sharing a ride within Tacoma - are sponsor...Read on...
Pierce County saved $137,770 in diesel fuel costs for its ferries thanks to a new system that enables the engines to run cleaner and burn fuel more efficiently.
This translated to a savings of approximately 23,657 gallons of diesel fuel during the firs...Read on...
Non-peak season on the Pierce County ferry will bring changes to the fare rates and the schedule. Non-peak season runs from Oct. 1 to April 30.
Fare ratesNon-peak season rates apply starting Oct. 1 for Pierce County ferry passengers who drive a vehi...Read on...
Pierce County will begin replacing the sewer main along Brookdale Road in Parkland Oct. 1. The project is expected to last through February 2015.
Work will begin at the intersection of A Street and 133rd Street East and move north along A Street to 131...Read on...
Pierce County will begin rehabilitating 9,600 feet of sewer pipe and about 30 manholes located along Grandview Drive West in University Place on Sept. 25.
Repairs will be made to the corroded, 30-inch diameter interceptor sewer pipe in order to increa...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of September 19.
Forgot to license your pets? Worried about late fees?
Take advantage of a unique chance to avoid all late fees during our Pet License Amnesty month.
Next month, residents in unincorporated Pierce County, Tacoma, University Place, Lakewood, Roy, Algona, Bonney Lake, Milton, Edgewood, Pacific, Puyallup, Sumner, South Prairie and Carbonado can license their pets and avoid the late fees.
“October Amnesty was created to encourage residents to renew their pet's license. The automatic waiving of late fees is a joint campaign by the Pierce County Auditor's Office and partner pet licensing agencies," said Auditor Julie Anderson. "Renewal options include online, by mail, or in person at any of our offices. We hope pet owners take advantage of this great opportunity."
"The City of Tacoma is excited to join in this amnesty campaign with our partner pet licensing agencies," said Jenni Barrett, Animal Licensing Operations Manager. "The amnesty period provides an opportunity for pet owners to provide their pet a ticket home and comply with the law. They can simply apply for a current year's pet license online, by mail or in person with no late fees involved."
A license lets people know that your pet is a cherished member of your family, and a license is often your pet's ticket home. When animal control officers find a pet wearing a license, every attempt is made to return the pet home, saving the owner a trip to the shelter and impound fees. A pet license improves public safety and, it’s the law.
Licensing fees vary, depending on where you live, the type of pet, and whether the cat or dog has been spayed or neutered.
The amnesty program expires Oct. 31. Failure to license a pet on time, or during this special amnesty month, can result in late fees up to $20 per animal.
More information is available by visiting your local pet licensing website or calling during business hours.
Pierce County Auditor's Office www.piercecountywa.org/pets(253) 798-7445
City of Tacoma Animal Licensingwww.cityoftacoma.org/pets(253) 627-PETS (7387)
City of University Placewww.cityofup.com(253) 798-4251
City of Lakewoodwww.petdata.com(866) 594-1283
City of Roy www.cityofroy.us(253) 843-1113
Metro Animal ServicesCities of Puyallup, Sumner, Algona, Bonney Lake, Edgewood, Milton & Pacificwww.metroanimalservices.org(253) 299-PETS (7387)
MEDIA CONTACTS:Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor253-798-3188 or 253-318-0493 (cell)email@example.com
Danielle Larson, City of Tacoma Tax and License Manager253firstname.lastname@example.org
Leslie Wheeler, University Place Police Office Manager253-798-4251 email@example.com
Carmen Palmer, Metro Animal Services253firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Help welcome salmon home to South Prairie Creek at the Salmon Homecoming Celebration on Sept. 21. The family-friendly day will feature guided walking tours to see salmon in the creek, activities for kids, a Native American storyteller, live music, a displ...Read on...
Fall is fast approaching. If you are already missing the connections with kids at the playground, Pierce County Parks and Recreation has you covered.
Bring your child to the Tiny Tots Indoor Playground for fun, socialization and crafts. Kids will deli...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of September 12.
Pierce County Parks and Recreation will hold the 11th annual Hi-Tech Collision Classic Car & Truck Show at Sprinker Recreation Center on Saturday, Sept. 28.
Hours for the free spectator event are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 500 classic cars and trucks are anticipated to be on display.
“This year we’re excited to welcome back our title sponsor, Hi-Tech Collision," said Becca Boyle, event coordinator at Sprinker Recreation Center. "We will also feature a pirate theme, and we’re inviting staff, spectators and participants to join in the festivities with their pirate-inspired attire! Lady Luck Steakhouse Saloon will provide the Caribbean Island barbeque luncheon. It's sure to be a great afternoon in the park with family, friends, and classic car enthusiasts. Everyone is invited, so join us, rain or shine."
Sound EFX's Cory Kolilis returns to MC the show, which also features car-related vendors, an espresso cart, prize give-aways, and more.
Pre-register your classic car or truck (pre-1985 models) by Sept. 22 for only $15 or day-of-show registration will be available for $20. Souvenir T-shirts may be pre-ordered by Sept. 22 with your entry for just $10.
To register call Sprinker Recreation Center at 253-798-4000. Day-of-event registration for participants begins at 7 a.m. followed by judging at 11:30 a.m. and the award presentation at 2 p.m. Dash plaques and goodie bags are included for the first 300 entries – the first 100 will also receive an (on-site) Caribbean luncheon ticket. Gates open for spectators at 10 a.m. with free admission for all ages.
For more information, call Becca Boyle, (253) 798-4056, or Mark Richards, (253) 798-4030.
MEDIA CONTACT:Becca Boyle, Parks and Recreation(253) email@example.com
Mark Richards, Parks and Recreation(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
If you’re a local college student looking to jump start a high tech career, Pierce County has an app for that.
Thanks to a partnership between Pierce County and the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT), local students get real-world experience making...Read on...
Pierce County TV, the award-winning channel that provides transparency for nine local governments, has moved its operations to Bates Technical College under a new partnership that expands training opportunities for students.
PCTV is now operating out o...Read on...
County Executive Pat McCarthy has selected Tony Tipton, the county's go-to leader of important projects, as the director of Parks and Recreation Services.
Since 2011, the Executive has assigned Tipton to senior management roles to assist with the merger of the county’s two social service departments and to manage special projects for Parks and Recreation. Earlier, he served as project manager for the development of Chambers Bay, which is preparing to host the first U.S. Open in the Pacific Northwest in 2015.
“Tony Tipton brings unique management experience to Parks and Recreation,” Executive McCarthy said. “After a distinguished career with our Public Works and Utilities Department, he has served the past few years as a loaned executive to help manage some of our most complex projects in other departments. His expertise in project management, budgeting, strategic planning and customer service will benefit a department that’s dedicated to making Pierce County a fun place to live."
As Parks Director, Tipton will oversee 65 full-time employees and budgets totaling about $30 million. That includes the highly successful Conservation Futures program that dedicates a small portion of the property tax to purchasing land for preservation of open space.
“I’m honored to by chosen by Executive McCarthy to lead our Parks and Recreation Services Department," Tipton said. "Our park sites and recreation programs directly improve the quality of life here in Pierce County. I couldn’t be more excited to work with the outstanding team at Parks and our elected leadership in Pierce County to deliver high quality parks and recreation programs for our community to enjoy.”
Tipton is a Pacific Lutheran University graduate who began his career as a Certified Public Accountant. The bulk of his 29-year career includes 23 years with Pierce County Public Works and Utilities. He held a variety of management roles that led to his appointment as project manager for the development of Chambers Bay, which has become one of the top international tourism draws in the Northwest.
In 2011, Executive McCarthy appointed Tipton as an interim deputy director of the new Department of Community Connections, which was created by the consolidation of two agencies. Since October 2011, Tipton has served as special assistant to the director of Parks and Recreation, where he has led the creation of an asset management system and new performance measures, among other things.
“We conducted a nationwide search and reviewed an outstanding group of finalists," Executive McCarthy said. "Tony will be an excellent leader for a department that manages a diverse portfolio, including regional parks, neighborhood 'pocket' parks, an ice rink, the Foothills Trail and more.”
Tipton succeeds Kathy Kravit-Smith, who retired in June. He starts Sept. 16. The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Pierce County Council.
MEDIA CONTACT:Hunter George, Communications director(253) email@example.comRead on...
A portion of the East Slope Walking Trail near the north entrance to the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in University Place will be closed through December. This portion of the trail parallels Chambers Creek Road West.
The closure i...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Sept. 5.
Pierce County crews will repair pavement along Canyon Road East between 106th Street East and 116th Street East for five nights starting Monday, Sept. 9. Crews will remove areas of deteriorated pavement, place new hot mix asphalt and seal cracks.
The w...Read on...
The public is invited to join the celebration and watch as approximately 100 immigrants become new citizens, sworn in by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Field Office Director Linda Dougherty. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on Sept. 21, at ...Read on...
Pierce County homeowners and homeowner associations are invited to attend a free workshop this fall to learn how to prepare their stormwater systems for the rainy season. Homeowners will also learn how to manage their neighborhood associations or start on...Read on...
Businesses looking to win government contracts will have the opportunity at the Greater Pierce County Purchasing Forum on Friday, Oct. 4, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Environmental Services Building, 9850 64th Street W. in University Place. Click here for map and directions.
Panelists and exhibitors include Pierce County, City of Tacoma, Tacoma School District, Port of Tacoma, Pierce Transit, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, Go Local Tacoma, Washington Department of Enterprise Services, Washington Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Joint Base Lewis McChord, NAVSUP Fleet Logics Center, Puget Sound, U.S. General Services Administration, U.S Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Pacific NW Defense Coalition, Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC); Native PTAC and the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency.
The Washington State Office of Women and Minority Owned Enterprises will conduct two workshops to assist qualified businesses procure State Certification as a bona fide minority owned business as well as a new category-Small Business Enterprise, a gender and race neutral program.
Register online or contact Hans Kueck at (253) 798-2335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Hans Kueck, Economic Development253email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of Aug. 29.
It's a special show from Northwest Trek! Zip through the tree tops and experience a bison traffic jam. Prepare yourself for cute baby animals, behind the scenes access, and what to know before you go.
The weekly newscast is produced by PCTV. Find it on channel 22 Comcast and Click!, and channel 20 Rainier Connect every day at 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., or online anytime at www.piercecountytv.org/pcn.
Visit PCTV's “Notify Me” page to sign up for alerts updates when specific shows or council meetings are postedRead on...
Pierce County will hold its third set of public meetings on Tacoma Narrows Airport’s master plan update on Sept. 4 in Gig Harbor. Topics will include facility requirements and an introduction to potential development alternatives for the airport.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is looking for interested citizens to attend its fall Community Academy program. The academy begins Sept. 26 and will meet each Thursday evening for 13 weeks.
This is the first time a session will be held in a north central Pierce County location. Anyone may apply. However, this location will be most convenient for those living in central or north Pierce County, Edgewood, and Brown’s Point.
The class covers topics such as the law, patrol procedures, use of force, detectives, narcotics, K-9, domestic violence, hiring and training, and more. Field trips are scheduled to the 9-1-1 Communications Center, Pierce County Jail, Sheriff’s headquarters, and the Range.
Pre-registration is required and applications are accepted on a first come first served basis until the class is filled. At this time there are 30 openings. Applicants must be at least 16 years old. Fingerprinting and a photo I.D. are required after preliminary acceptance to the program so sign up soon.
You can register online or print and mail in the application. More information will be sent once your application is received.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Susan McDougal, Pierce County Sheriff's Department(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Grandparenting these days presents many new opportunities. But it also requires some approaches that were unheard of twenty years ago. The advent of technology and the experiences that youngsters have today create a whole new environment.
There are as ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Aug. 22.
Does your child have a love for trucks and large vehicles? Then check out Pierce County's annual Touch-A-Truck event. The fun takes place on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sprinker Recreation Center, 14824 South C Street in Tacoma. A special no horns time is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. for sensory-sensitive children.
Kids of all ages will love to climb, run around, sit in and even honk horns of many types of trucks and vehicles. They can explore a fire engine, dump trucks, command center, bucket truck, striper, tractor, military vehicles, school buses and so many more. New solid waste and LeMay vehicles, including a mobile shredder unit, have been added to the lineup.
Children must be accompanied by an adult. Also, bring your personal documents to be shredded for free. Food donation bins will also be set up to accept canned food items for the food bank.
Big Truck T-shirts will be on sale for $8 the day of the event. Don't miss your chance to buy one.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Andrea Clay, Parks and Recreation253email@example.comRead on...
Emergency Management Deputy Director Jody Woodcock is headed to Washington, D.C. for a year as a Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) Distinguished Alumni Fellow.
Woodcock will join retired New York City detective Edwin Welch in a yearlong a...Read on...
Motorists traveling along 52nd Street East between 66th Avenue East and Pioneer Way East near Fife should expect long delays from 6 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 22 to 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23 as crews resurface the roadway.
The two-lane road will be reduced to o...Read on...
The intersection at Wollochet Drive NW and Fillmore Drive NW near Gig Harbor will be partially closed Aug. 23-25 so crews can replace the pavement. The work will begin at 6 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23 and be completed by 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25.
The following ...Read on...
Pierce County's Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in University Place has received the 2012 "Wastewater Treatment Plant Outstanding Performance" award from the Washington State Department of Ecology for the fifth consecutive year.
“Good business practices and environmental stewardship are top priorities for our employees,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “This award shows our rate payers how seriously we pursue these values.”
Of approximately 300 wastewater treatment plants in Washington, Pierce County’s plant is one of 107 that achieved full compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit in 2012. Treatment plants were evaluated for compliance with the effluent limits, monitoring and reporting requirements, spill prevention planning, pretreatment, and overall operational demands of the NPDES permit.
"It takes diligent operators and a strong management team, working effectively together, to achieve this high level of compliance,” according to a letter from the Department of Ecology to Executive McCarthy. “It's not easy to operate a wastewater treatment plant 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without violations. Ecology appreciates the extraordinary level of effort your plant operators demonstrated throughout 2012. Talented and proficient operators are critical to successful plant operations and protecting the health of Washington's waters."
This is the 14th time in the 17-year history of the program that the plant has earned this award.
"Our employees have the expertise and skills required to meet the exacting standards and rigid guidelines for NPDES compliance,” said Brian Ziegler, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities director. "They take pride in their work and deserve this recognition, particularly since we are under construction for a large treatment plant expansion that will meet Pierce County's treatment needs for decades."
The $353 million expansion will increase sewer capacity, introduce new technologies that help protect the environment, support economic development in Pierce County, and build the foundation for meeting future environmental regulations. The project will also allow the county to repair and replace aging infrastructure at the plant.
The expansion project will increase the plant’s footprint from 49 acres to 89 acres and treatment capacity from 28.7 million gallons per day to 43 million gallons per day. Infrastructure improvements consist of a new laboratory, rehabilitation of existing buildings, and expansion of many of the treatment facilities such as digesters, aeration basins and secondary clarifiers.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Larry Ekstrom, Public Works and Utilities wastewater treatment plant superintendent(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Callene Abernathy, Public Works and Utilities public information specialist(253) email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of Aug. 15.
The boat launch on 37th Street Northwest on Wollochet Bay will be closed Aug. 19-23 while Pierce County rehabilitates the ramp.
Pierce County crews will replace the existing ramp structure with concrete panels purchased from the Washington Department...Read on...
A turn lane will be added on Chambers Creek Road at 64th Street West in University Place to relieve traffic congestion at the intersection. Construction will begin Aug. 15 and is expected to be complete in the beginning of September. Motorists should expe...Read on...
The roadway along 70th Avenue East between the Interstate 5 overpass and Pacific Highway East near Milton will be reduced to one lane from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 17 so the roadway can be repaired and re-surfaced.
Flaggers will be onsite to direct traff...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Aug. 8.
Invasive plants will be removed from Swan Creek Park and adjacent Pierce County property over the next few weeks as part of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Urban Forestry Restoration Project. Non-native invasive plants such as ...Read on...
The North Warren Street Bridge that crosses Muck Creek in Roy will be closed for four months starting Aug. 12 so the bridge can be replaced. North Warren Street will be closed between Water Street West and Cedar Street West during the work. Motorists will...Read on...
A portion of the East Slope Walking Trail located near the north entrance of the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in University Place will close Aug. 7-15 so crews can install water and electrical utilities as part of the ongoing expansi...Read on...
The Auditor’s Office announces the opening of a special appointment period. Individuals are needed to write “Against” statements for the Nov. 5, 2013 General Election local voters’ pamphlet in the following districts:
• Wilkeson, Proposition No. 1 – ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Aug. 1.
KEY DATESElection Day Aug. 6, Results at 8:15 p.m.Canvassing Board Meeting – Voter intent Aug. 16, from 10 a.m. to noonCanvassing Board Meeting – Certification Aug. 20 at 11 a.m.
IMPORTANT NUMBERSTotal registered voters 445,760* Expected...Read on...
The Foothills Trail near the Crocker Trailhead will close periodically Aug. 5 to Aug. 14 due to maintenance work on the Carbon River levee next to the trail. Pierce County crews will install large rocks weighing several tons as part of planned maintenance...Read on...
The Pierce County Council is scheduled to consider an ordinance that protects shooting ranges from noise and nuisance actions during an Aug. 13 meeting in Orting.
The Council, which normally meets Tuesdays in its chambers in the County-City Building in...Read on...
The runway at Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor reopened July 28 after being closed for 10 nights for the final phase of its rehabilitation. Crews grooved the runway for improved traction and applied final markings to the runway and connector taxiways....Read on...
Due to the continuing hot and dry weather, Pierce County Fire Marshal Warner Webb announced that a Phase One burn ban will be implemented at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 29.
Beginning Monday morning, all burning permits are suspended and outdoor burning is prohibited, except for small recreational fires less than three feet in diameter, fires in barbecues and cooking appliances, outdoor fireplaces and campfires in approved fire pits and locations at established campgrounds.
Persons with approved Department of Natural Resources burn permits are advised to call 800-323-BURN (2876).
For additional information or instructions, please contact your local fire department or the Pierce County Fire Marshal's office at (253) 798-7179Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of July 25.
The boat launch on A Street KPS in Home reopened at 3 p.m. July 24 following Pierce County’s rehabilitation of the ramp – two days ahead of schedule.
Crews replaced the existing ramp structure with concrete panels purchased from the Washington Departm...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of July 18.
The runway at Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor will be closed for 10 nights starting July 18 for the final phase of its rehabilitation. Crews will groove the runway for improved traction and apply the final markings to the runway and connector taxiway...Read on...
Pierce County can strengthen its place in the competitive aerospace supply chain if government, industry and education institutions collaborate to train workers to meet the growing demand around the world.
That was the key message at the second annual Pierce County Aerospace Summit, held Wednesday at Clover Park Technical College. More than 125 people attended, representing aerospace suppliers, manufacturers, industry service providers, policy makers and educators.
"This is not a pep talk. This is a call to action," said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, a co-host of the summit. "I went to the Paris Air Show last month to help recruit new business to Pierce County, and I witnessed first-hand the intense global competition for this business. We must be ready to show companies all over the world that we have what it takes to build the next generation of aircraft."
Bruce Kendall, president and CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board, reported that Pierce County's delegation to the Paris Air Show met with 31 companies and notched three solid leads.
"In the past 24 hours, 76,001 airplanes landed in the United States. Clearly, there is potential for enormous business growth in this industry," said Kendall, another co-host of the summit along with the World Trade Center Tacoma.
Michelle Burreson, workforce development manager for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, described the aerospace giant's programs and partnerships to train workers. It's an ongoing challenge, particularly as Boeing works to ramp up production of the 737 and 787.
"Fifty percent of our U.S.-based workforce will be eligible to retire between 2011 and 2016," she told the audience. "We are building strong relationships with educational institutions to create a highly skilled and readily available workforce for years to come."
Alex Pietsch, director of the Washington State Office of Aerospace, outlined the state's 5-year plan to "protect and grow" aerospace jobs. That includes a concerted effort to win assembly of Boeing's 777X as well as recruit global suppliers who work with Airbus, Embraer, Bombardier and other manufacturers.
"It's clear the world perceives Washington State as a global aerospace leader," Pietsch said. "But there is strong competition. If we work together, we can attract companies from around the world to bring jobs here."
The Aerospace Summit featured presentations on worker training by WorkForce Central, the Pierce County Skills Center, the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee, Clover Park Technical College, Washington State University, Toray Composites, CIMtech, Pacific Coast Composites and PNJ Machining.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Chris Green, Economic Development Board vice president(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Hunter George, Pierce County Communications email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County’s second Aerospace Summit will offer valuable updates from experts in manufacturing technology and workforce training as the region continues its push for a larger stake in the global market.
The summit, which features a presentation by ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of July 11.
Last year, Pierce County completed a redistricting project affecting nearly every local voter in just five weeks. The county also started using the latest mobile technology to track damage to roads, bridges, and buildings during floods, fires and other di...Read on...
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is moving closer to full implementation. Washington State has chosen to establish a Health Benefit Exchange, a marketplace where individuals and businesses (with less than 50 employees) can shop for insurance plans.
Take t...Read on...
Pierce County expects to reduce flood risk along two sections of the Puyallup River with projects set for this summer.
Construction has begun on a 2,000-foot-long side channel near Orting, and work on another project that will use engineered log jams t...Read on...
The Verizon Foundation has awarded $6,433 to the Family Justice Center Foundation Fund with the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation to fund mental health counseling and support groups for clients of the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center. The Verizon Fo...Read on...
Midland residents will see work start in mid-July on the nearly 17-acre Larchmont Wetland Reserve to reduce flooding in the surrounding neighborhood and provide habitat for wildlife and improve the quality of stormwater runoff.
The Pierce County Publi...Read on...
The United States Golf Association (USGA) has opened corporate hospitality sales for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.
The U.S. Open will be conducted June 15-21, 2015, which includes three practice-round days a...Read on...
The boat launch on A Street KPS in Home will be closed July 15-26 while Pierce County rehabilitates the ramp.
Crews will replace the existing ramp structure with concrete panels purchased from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Last year, 200 runners came out to tackle the Chambers Bay 5K Challenge. On July 20, this energizing fun run is back and better than ever.
The race takes place along the Soundview Trail in Chambers Creek Regional Park, which offers some of the most b...Read on...
A portion of the E Slope Walking Trail, near the north entrance to the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, will temporarily close to the public.
The closure will last from 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9 through 12:30 a.m. on Friday, July 12...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of July 4.
Pierce County administrative offices will be closed Thursday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.
Offices will reopen July 5.
If you missed last week’s U.S. Open presentation to the Pierce County Council, it can be viewed at various times on PCTV and online any time.
The one-hour presentation on June 27 featured Danny Sink, the United States Golf Association’s on-site champ...Read on...
The Pierce County Council filled two key vacancies in the community on Tuesday, July 2.
First, the Council voted 7-0 to appoint Kevin McCann as a judge on the Pierce County District Court bench. McCann, who has served the county as a deputy prosecutor ...Read on...
The Pierce County Council unanimously voted Tuesday, July 2, to delay the start of the marijuana market until state licensing rules are set and the county adopts permanent zoning regulations.
Last fall, Washington state voters approved Initiative 502, which creates a framework for the licensing the production and sale of recreational marijuana. The state Liquor Control Board is expected to release rules governing the process later this year. The seven-member Council wants to make sure there is adequate time to consider whether additional local regulations will be needed in unincorporated areas.
"Like other local communities around the state, we need to act now to ensure that the marijuana industry doesn't get started before we have the opportunity to consider its impacts on our citizens," said Councilmember Doug Richardson (District 6).
Ordinance 2013-26 puts marijuana-related activities on hold for six months. During that time, a working group of representatives from five areas of county government - the Council, Executive's Office, Sheriff's Department, Prosecutor's Office, and Planning and Land Services - will work on draft regulations for the Council's consideration this fall.
"There are a lot of unanswered questions. This temporary delay gives us time to study our options for local regulations," said Councilmember Jim McCune (District 3).
MEDIA CONTACTS: Councilmember Doug Richardson(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Jim McCune(253) email@example.comRead on...
The Pierce County Fire Marshal’s Office reminds citizens to celebrate the Fourth of July safely.
Last year, Pierce County hospitals treated 34 firework-related injuries, according to the Office of the Washington State Fire Marshal. Avoid serious injury...Read on...
Portions of a public beach will close for about three weeks in July while Pierce County removes approximately 200 derelict creosote pilings from the shoreline along Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place.
Work will begin July 8 at the south p...Read on...
The National Weather Service has declared an excessive heat warning for the Puget Sound region until 11 p.m. Monday, July 1. The Pierce County Department of Emergency Management reminds everyone to stay out of the heat as much as possible, and to check on...Read on...
Construction work along 176th Street East from B Street East to 14th Avenue East in Frederickson will begin July 8.
This project is one of several Pierce County projects to improve safety and relieve traffic congestion through the 176th Street East co...Read on...
The Alzheimer’s journey is just another story – until it hits home. When Ann Hedreen’s mother began the battle with Alzheimer’s, it was only natural for the daughter – a professional filmmaker – to pick up her camera and tell the story with a mix of scien...Read on...
Pierce County ferry riders in large vehicles - such as an RV, commercial truck or a vehicle towing a trailer - should plan ahead to avoid low tides from July 2-11. Load restrictions will be in place on some sailings, and riders may be asked to wait until ...Read on...
Niagara Bottling, LLC, the largest family-owned bottled water manufacturer in the United States, has announced plans to open a state-of-the-art bottling facility in Pierce County, Washington. This will be Niagara’s first site in the Pacific Northwest, joining 13 others around the country.
The new 311,000-square-foot facility in Randles Business Park in the Frederickson Industrial Area will initially create 36 jobs and make a capital investment of approximately $50 million. The facility will serve the company's customers throughout the region.
Groundbreaking is expected this fall and the company is scheduled to be fully operational in early 2014."We are very excited about our expansion in Washington State," said Brian Hess, Niagara’s Executive Vice President of Legal Affairs. "We're looking forward to servicing the needs of our customers in the region, and to being a good corporate neighbor. We can't wait to get started."
Niagara attributes its decision to locate in Pierce County not only to an operational and cost analysis that makes sense for the company, but also to a great "community fit." Hess shared that each of the entities involved came to the table in a true partnership effort.
"We had several organizations working together for our project. The Washington State Department of Commerce, Pierce County, and the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County and other local partners came together with one voice to communicate that our project was welcomed and that this community was the right place for our business,” Hess said.
“Other Northwest states were in the running for this innovative operation and these good jobs,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. “Our Commerce Department worked in close partnership with Pierce County, the EDB for Tacoma-Pierce County and our business community over seven months to demonstrate the reasons why this community is a perfect fit with Niagara, a dynamic, environmentally-conscious, advanced manufacturing company. We’re delighted to welcome them to Washington State!”
“Niagara Bottling is a great addition to the local business community,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, who visited the company’s California headquarters to discuss the merits of locating in Frederickson. “Niagara is a national leader in the industry, and building a plant in Pierce County provides great access to the Northwest market. Niagara joins companies like Amazon, State Farm and others who have recently announced decisions to expand in Pierce County because it’s a great place to work, live and play.”
“The team that came together to make this deal happen was top notch,” said Susan Suess, Senior Vice President at the EDB. “The State, Pierce County, and EDB were laser focused on ensuring that the client’s needs were met throughout the recruitment process.”
Recognized as an industry leader in both innovation and design, Niagara is known for having the lightest weight one-half-liter bottle on the market. The company's Eco-Air Bottle® recently received a Drinktec Beverage Innovation Award for the Best PET Design. Niagara has also been recognized for its sustainability efforts to reduce its carbon footprint through both consumption reduction in materials and the implementation of various energy efficiency methods.
Niagara BottlingAndrew Peykoff, Sr. founded Niagara Bottling Company in 1963 by traveling door-to-door selling glass bottled purified drinking water. Since then Niagara's primary business has been in private-label bottled water sold in grocery stores and big-box retailers. Headquartered in Ontario, California, Andy Peykoff II is now the President and Chief Executive Officer of the company. He continues to implement the ideals and commitment to the environment put in place by his father. Contact: Pamela Anderson Cridlebaugh, 909-758-5812.
Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County (EDB)The EDB provides confidential direct assistance to primary businesses considering the area as a potential site for location or expansion. Information is provided on demographics, workforce training and hiring, financing, site selection, permitting, incentives and connecting with local authorities. Contact Susan Suess, 253-383-4726.
Pierce CountyUnder the leadership of Executive Pat McCarthy and through its Economic Development Department, Pierce County is focused on predictable and timely permitting, business retention and attraction, and business climate improvement. Contact Hunter George, 253-961-8422.
About CommerceCommerce is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and economic vitality in Washington. For more information, visit www.commerce.wa.gov. For information on locating or expanding a business in Washington, visit www.choosewashington.comRead on...
Pierce County battled it out with Kitsap County to see which could reduce energy use the most in May. Both counties pitted their courthouses against each other in a friendly challenge to raise awareness about energy conservation, save taxpayer dollars, an...Read on...
The state-owned McMillin Bridge, a historically significant structure spanning the Puyallup River near Orting, may not be long for this world if the state proceeds to tear it down. But Pierce County wants to make sure the bridge's future remains the subject of continued discussion.
The County Council voted 6-0 on June 18 to have the McMillin Bridge put on the Pierce County Register of Historic Places. This registry identifies buildings, structures, places and districts of historic or architectural significance that deserve preservation and protection.
The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Properties in 1982. By adding the bridge to the Pierce County Register of Historic Places, advocates hope to save what is viewed as an engineering feat of its time.
“It’s just another step in trying to preserve one of Pierce County’s historical landmarks,” said Councilmember Stan Flemming (District 7), sponsor of Ordinance 2013-18. "It's the only known bridge of its type in the world."
The bridge was designed by Homer M. Hadley of the Portland Cement Association in the early 1930s. Hadley is arguably one of the most innovative bridge designers of the 20th century, with numerous other landmark bridges in the region featuring his work, including the concrete pontoons on the SR 520 bridge over Lake Washington. When completed in September 1935, the McMillin Bridge stood as the longest concrete truss or beam span in the United States, measuring 170 feet, and was considered an engineering marvel.
However, the bridge's placement on another historic register does not ensure the structure's future. The Washing State Department of Transportation, which owns the bridge, is considering demolishing it. The state says the McMillin is too narrow for traffic on State Route 162, rating it "functionally obsolete." The state wants to tear down the old span a replace it with a new one nearby.
Advocates agree a new bridge is needed, but they want to see the McMillin preserved in some capacity.
“The merit of being placed on the historic register may not ultimately save the bridge, but it is acknowledging that it’s worth the distinction,” said Councilmember Dan Roach, who represents District 1 where the McMillin Bridge is located.
The bridge is named for the nearby unincorporated area of McMillin.
Pierce County News for the week of June 20.
Acting on a tip last weekend, police went to an East Pierce County home early Sunday and arrested a couple for allowing their residence to be used for an after-graduation underage drinking party for their daughter.
Upon obtaining a search warrant to s...Read on...
Tacoma Freedom Fair Wings & Wheels returns to Tacoma Narrows Airport for its third year with activities for aviation, car and motorcycle enthusiasts alike.
Wings & Wheels runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 6 at the airport, located at 1202 26th Ave. N.W. in Gig Harbor.
The event is part of the Tacoma Freedom Fair, which is produced by the Tacoma Events Commission. The Tacoma Freedom Fair & Airshow will take place on July 4 on the Ruston Way Waterfront.
“Bring your family to Wings & Wheels for a fun day of seeing historic planes, cool cars and motorcycles up close,” said Lori Linenko, the commission’s board chair and president. “You’ll be able to see airplane fly-bys, meet pilots, and take a ride in an airplane or helicopter. Then take a walk through our car and hot rod show. And don’t miss the Smoke-N-Thunder jet car as it races down the runway at nearly 300 miles per hour.”
The event also features food vendors, military displays, a beer garden, two jump castles and entertainment. Tickets are available in advance at www.FreedomFair.com or at the door. Tickets are $15 for adults 18 and older; $10 for seniors and military ID card holders; $5 for children ages 6 to 17; and free for children ages 5 and under.
Vintage aircraft and warbirds“At Wings & Wheels, visitors will see a Stearman, T-6 Texan, Ace Maker T-33 Shooting Star, P-51 ‘Speedball Alice,’ MC-170 Fouga Magister, and an AH-1 Cobra, as well as many others," said Doug Fratoni, Aviation Events Director.
ParkingDue to the limited access to the Narrows Airport, airport parking will be available only for those who purchase their tickets online before the event. Day-of-event ticket purchasers should use satellite parking at the Uptown Gig Harbor parking lot at 4701 Point Fosdick Dr. NW in Gig Harbor and take one of the shuttle buses that run to the event every 15 minutes.
Information for residents, pilotsResidents around the airport can expect some air noise during the event due to fly-bys and fly-ins. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department will provide traffic control at Stone Drive Northwest and 26th Avenue Northwest.
The airport will remain open for normal operations, with the exception of a three-hour airspace closure from noon to 3 p.m. A Federal Aviation Administration NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) alert for aircraft operators will be published in advance with the exact time of the airspace closure.
MEDIA CONTACTSLori Linenko, Tacoma Events Commission president(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Deb Wallace, Public Works and Utilities airport and ferry administrator (253) email@example.comRead on...
The runway at Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor reopened June 16 following a 45-day rehabilitation. Crews reduced the width of the runway, added new signage, and repaved the runway, among other improvements.
The runway will be closed from 8 p.m. to ...Read on...
Why did the USGA pick Chambers Bay as the site of the 2015 U.S. Open? When can people register to volunteer? When do tickets go on sale? How will spectators get to the site?
The public is invited to come hear answers to these and other questions about the 2015 U.S. Open Championship during an in-district meeting of the Pierce County Council on June 27, 2013. The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Environmental Services Building, located next to Chambers Bay at 9850 64th St. W, University Place.
The meeting will feature a presentation by Danny Sink, the United States Golf Association's on-site championship director, just days after his return from a month-long assignment supporting the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia. Former County Executive John Ladenburg will make brief remarks about the conversion of the site from a sand and gravel pit to U.S. Open site and park. And county officials will give an update on planning for the championship.
"The U.S. Open is one of the premiere sporting events in the world, and it is coming to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in its history," said County Councilmember Connie Ladenburg, who will preside over the meeting being held in the District 4 area she represents. "This is a great opportunity for residents and business owners to come learn about the championship, including the timeline for preparations."
The U.S. Open will be conducted June 15-21, 2015, which includes three practice days before the four-day championship rounds. The USGA is planning on total attendance of 235,000 spectators, volunteers, media, vendors and staff.
By law, the County Council holds one meeting each year in each of the seven Council districts.
MEDIA CONTACT:Connie Ladenburg, County Councilmember(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
The public is invited to an upcoming open house to learn about Pierce County’s replacement of the sewer main along Brookdale Road in Parkland.
The open house will be held June 20 run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Elmhurst Elementary School community room, located at 420 133rd St. E. A short presentation will be made at 6 p.m. about the project and construction schedule. An interceptor is a sewer line that receives wastewater from multiple collector pipes and transports it to a wastewater treatment plant.
The county will replace about 5,000 feet of pipe with a 72-inch diameter interceptor pipe along Brookdale Road from Golden Given Road East to A Street South. The work will begin in mid to late July, and is expected to last until October 2014. The existing pipes are 30-inches and 8-inches in diameter.
“The nearby interceptor pipe along 133rd Street East and Brookdale Road is nearing its capacity of 7 million gallons per day. It's also heavily corroded, and it's located in an area affected by high groundwater levels,” said Jane Vandenberg, Public Works and Utilities Sewer Utility engineering supervisor. “Groundwater seeps into the sewer pipe, reducing its capacity to carry wastewater. By installing a new interceptor pipe along Brookdale Road, the county will be able to increase wastewater capacity. Also, the new interceptor will be in an area less affected by high groundwater.”
About 750 feet of new 36-inch diameter pipe will be installed along A Street South to connect the Brookdale Road interceptor pipe to the existing pipe at 133rd Street East.
Detour routes may be in place periodically throughout the project. There will be local access when detours are in place. The county will work with property owners to minimize impacts.
Visit www.piercecountywa.org/brookdaleinterceptor for more information.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Jane Vandenberg, P.E., Public Works and Utilities Sewer Utility engineering supervisor(253) email@example.com
Callene Abernathy, Public Works and Utilities public information specialist(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of June 13.
The Avon Foundation for Women has awarded a $65,000 one-year grant to the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center in support of its Avon Domestic Violence Survivor Empowerment Program, which provides annual funding for 20 full-time coordinator positions in d...Read on...
The Urban Forestry Restoration Project, administered by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, enhances the capacity of urban forests to manage stormwater and improve air and water quality by improving the health and functionality of trees ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of June 6.
The 20-minute newscast is produced by PCTV and can be seen on channel 22 Comcast and Click! Watch Pierce County News every day at 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., or online anytime at www.piercecountytv.org/pcn.
Visit our “Notify Me” page to sign up for updates when PCTV posts new shows or council meetingsRead on...
Even the Stone Age people knew the sun brought life on Earth and that is one reason they used to worship it. But the sun can both heal and destroy. Sunlight can be the kiss of life or death. It depends on the way we use it.
Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources is sponsoring “The Sun and Your Skin: What the Sun Can Do,” a special workshop to help lay out the truth about the consequences of exposure to the sun, potential short and long term harm, and things people can do to prevent skin damage.
The workshop will be repeated four times at four different locations:
• June 17 - 12:10 to 12:50 p.m.Pierce County Annex Main Meeting Room, 2401 S 35th Street in Tacoma
• June 17 - 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.Summit Branch Library, 5107 112th St E. in Tacoma
• June 19 - 12:10 to 12:50 p.m.County-City Building Rainier Conference Room, 930 Tacoma Ave S, 7th Floor in Tacoma
• June 19 - 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.Sound View Building, 3611 S. D Street in Tacoma
“After months of clouds and rain, people in the Northwest can’t wait to enjoy the sunshine,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources. “But it’s easy to go overboard and, in a very short time, cause serious damage. Knowing how to avoid harmful overexposure is important for everyone.”
“The Sun and Your Skin: What the Sun Can Do” will be presented by Cascade Eye and Skin Centers and the Pierce county Aging & Disability Resource Center. The workshop will offer the best information science can provide and show ways that people can prevent potential damage as well as what to look for as potential problem signs. Additional community resources will also be provided.
The workshop is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required. For more information call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Scott Kinney, Community Connections253email@example.com
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy announced on Monday, June 3, she has selected Ginny Dale as director of the Human Resources Department.
Dale has worked as a human resources professional and manager for the State of Washington since 1991. She served as the acting State Human Resources director and is currently assistant director for State Human Resources within the Office of Financial Management.
“Pierce County has a dedicated and diverse workforce of 3,000 employees, so it was important that we search nationwide for the right human resources leader,” Executive McCarthy said. “Ginny Dale has a proven record of success utilizing technology solutions, identifying new ways to do business and measuring results. Her experience at the state makes her a great fit as a member of Pierce County’s management team.”
Prior to her appointment as acting director by then-Gov. Chris Gregoire, Dale served as deputy State Human Resources director, which manages an $8 million budget and a staff of 45. She also worked as assistant director of the Washington State Department of Personnel.
She started her career as a human resources professional advising state personnel, revenue and transportation agencies. In 2007, Dale was a recipient of the Governor’s Distinguished Manager Award. In 2010, she was elected to the board of the Washington State Employees Credit Union.
Dale succeeds Betsy Sawyers, who retired in December. She starts June 24. Her appointment is subject to confirmation by the County Council.
MEDIA CONTACT:Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Are you or someone you love living with Parkinson’s Disease? Learn the latest information on research, medication, and lifestyle changes that can improve the quality of life for you and your loved ones.
Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources in collaboration with the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation will host “Taking on Parkinson’s”, a special workshop to help those impacted by Parkinson’s better understand the disease and its management. A neurodegenerative disorder, Parkinson’s progresses over time causing symptoms, as well as its burden, to change as the disease evolves. Education to gain a better understanding of the disease is an important tool to help Parkinson’s patients manage their illness and thrive.
Parkinson’s Disease cannot yet be cured and sufferers get worse over time as the normal bodily functions, including breathing, balance, movement, and heart function worsen. Parkinson’s most often occurs after the age of 50 and is one of the most common nervous system disorders of the elderly. Other related disorders include Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and ALS.
“Patients and families beginning to deal with Parkinson’s are on a very long and difficult journey,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources. “Knowing about more the disease and the available treatments is a huge part of successfully living with the disease and providing the best care.”
“Taking on Parkinson’s” is an informal presentation by Sharon Jung of the NW Parkinson’s Foundation. She will be speaking on the basics of PD and the many treatment approaches that are currently available and the hope that patients and families can have.
The presentation will be held Tuesday, June 11 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Villas at Union Park, 2010 Union Avenue S. in Tacoma. There is no cost.
For more information call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600.
Pierce County will hold its second set of public meetings on Tacoma Narrows Airport’s master plan update on June 5.
The county and stakeholders will discuss the airport’s inventory and aviation forecasts. Topics will include existing facilities and la...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of May 30.
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The process for appointing someone to the vacant 28th District Senate seat is governed by Article II, Section 15 of the Washington State Constitution.
· Since Sen. Mike Carrell was a Republican, the County Central Committee of the Republican Party shall submit a list of three names to the Pierce County Council.
· The Council has 60 days from the date the vacancy occurred (in this case, May 29) to appoint someone from that list, by a majority vote. If the Council cannot agree on a selection within 60 days, the selection goes to the Governor, who then has 30 days to make the appointment.
· Under the County Council’s rules of procedure, a resolution will be introduced on a consent agenda and can be heard on any date at least one week later. Here’s the fastest scenario in this case: If the county Republicans submit names within the next few days, the Council could introduce a resolution on the June 4 consent agenda and hold the hearing on June 11 (or anytime thereafter). Again, that’s just a scenario. It's up to county Republicans to submit a list, and then it's subject to the will of the County Council as to when it takes up the matter.
· Sen. Carrell’s term runs from 2012 to 2016. Because the vacancy occurred after this year’s filing period (RCW 29A.24.171), the Senate position will be on the ballot in 2014 as a two-year unexpired term. The special filing period that was just announced for unfilled seats doesn’t count.
· Candidates will file during the normal filing period for other offices in 2014.
Washington State ConstitutionARTICLE IILEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT
SECTION 15 VACANCIES IN LEGISLATURE AND IN PARTISAN COUNTY ELECTIVE OFFICE. Such vacancies as may occur in either house of the legislature or in any partisan county elective office shall be filled by appointment by the county legislative authority of the county in which the vacancy occurs: Provided, That the person appointed to fill the vacancy must be from the same legislative district, county, or county commissioner or council district and the same political party as the legislator or partisan county elective officer whose office has been vacated, and shall be one of three persons who shall be nominated by the county central committee of that party, and in case a majority of the members of the county legislative authority do not agree upon the appointment within sixty days after the vacancy occurs, the governor shall within thirty days thereafter, and from the list of nominees provided for herein, appoint a person who shall be from the same legislative district, county, or county commissioner or council district and of the same political party as the legislator or partisan county elective officer whose office has been vacated, and the person so appointed shall hold office until his or her successor is elected at the next general election, and has qualified: Provided, That in case of a vacancy occurring after the general election in a year that the office appears on the ballot and before the start of the next term, the term of the successor who is of the same party as the incumbent may commence once he or she has qualified and shall continue through the term for which he or she was elected: Provided, That in case of a vacancy occurring in the office of joint senator, or joint representative, the vacancy shall be filled from a list of three nominees selected by the state central committee, by appointment by the joint action of the boards of county legislative authorities of the counties composing the joint senatorial or joint representative district, the person appointed to fill the vacancy must be from the same legislative district and of the same political party as the legislator whose office has been vacated, and in case a majority of the members of the county legislative authority do not agree upon the appointment within sixty days after the vacancy occurs, the governor shall within thirty days thereafter, and from the list of nominees provided for herein, appoint a person who shall be from the same legislative district and of the same political party as the legislator whose office has been vacated. [AMENDMENT 96, 2003 House Joint Resolution No. 4206, p 2819. Approved November 4, 2003.]
MEDIA CONTACT: Hunter George, Pierce County Communications DirectorOffice: (253) 798-6606 Cell: (253)Read on...
A special 3-day candidate filing period will be held June 5-7, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. State law requires a reopening of the filing period when no one files for a position during the regular filing period.
Declarations of Candidacy will be acc...Read on...
The following is a statement by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy about the passing of state Sen. Mike Carrell:
“Mike was passionate about public service. He worked hard to hold state government accountable for its spending and decisions, and he wa...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of May 23.
Pierce County administrative offices will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.
Offices will reopen Tuesday, May 28.
Tyler Salsbury, preparing for his sophomore year at the University of Washington, posted a sterling 5-under 139 to win the 48th Annual Puget Sound Amateur by two shots over David Talcott, whose final round 69 wasn’t enough to catch the front-runner.
Ninety-nine players battled Pierce County's two championship courses over two days, May 18-19.
Lake Spanaway Golf Course, hosted day one under cloudy, drizzling skies and proved a worthy adversary with only three players in the field under par. Lake Spanaway’s tree-lined fairways and traditional Northwest greens were no match for Salsbury as he toured the golf course in 68 strokes to hold the first-day lead by two over Thomas Jun. Heavy afternoon showers made scoring difficult and all players were looking for a drier day at Chambers Bay.
Chambers Bay, the site of the 2015 United States Open, welcomed the players for the final round under dry and warm conditions. Scoring proved difficult as the links-style layout designed by Robert Trent Jones II lived up to its championship reputation. The undulating greens made every putt a challenge and although Talcott made a run with a final round 69, Salsbury finished with a 1-under par 71 for the victory.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Tony Bubenas, Pierce County(253) email@example.com
Jamie Fay, Chambers Bay(253) 552-4864jfay@kempersportsRead on...
Pierce County ferry riders in large vehicles - such as an RV, commercial truck or a vehicle towing a trailer - should plan ahead to avoid low tides from May 22-29. Load restrictions will be in place on some sailings, and the rider may be asked to postpone...Read on...
Pierce County residents are invited to celebrate the completion of a series of projects along the 112th Street East corridor from 18th Avenue East to 86th Avenue East with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 29.
The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at the...Read on...
Pierce County Councilmember Stan Flemming and University Place City Councilmember Javier Figueroa have been elected to leadership positions with the Rainier Communications Commission, which advises local jurisdictions on telecommunications issues and tele...Read on...
Jails in Pierce County face a backlog of inmates waiting for mental competency evaluations, creating additional pressure on already thin resources and in some cases threatening public safety. A bill signed by Gov. Jay Inslee is designed to cut into that ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of May 16.
When the 1.8-mile SR 99 tunnel opens to traffic in 2015, it will rely on the strength of 1,450 precast concrete rings fabricated with pinpoint precision at a newly expanded plant in Pierce County.
Dozens of community and business leaders gathered May 1...Read on...
On Thursday, May 16, 21 fire and police agencies will be conducting training exercises involving water rescues in the Puget Sound at Sunnyside Beach Park in Steilacoom.
The goal of the exercise is to evaluate both individual agency capabilities and t...Read on...
With temperatures rising and beaches filling up, the Lake Tapps community and Cascade Water Alliance are taking steps to help swimmers and boaters who enjoy recreation on Lake Tapps and other area waterways stay safe this summer.
“We remember all of ...Read on...
Several hundred Pierce County residents who were summoned to jury duty got special attention this week.
The Pierce County Council joined Gov. Jay Inslee in proclaiming May 6-10 as “Juror Appreciation Week” to commend citizens for performing an importan...Read on...
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced May 10 the contract control towers at Tacoma Narrows Airport and 148 other airports will remain open until Sept. 30, the end of the federal government's fiscal year 2013.
The towers had been slated to close June 15 as the Federal Aviation Administration implements budget cuts under the congressional directive known as sequestration.
“This is great news for the customers of our popular airport,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “We continue to work with the FAA, our congressional delegation and potential partners to keep the tower operating. The DOT’s decision gives us more time to explore options.”
Pierce County has not received information regarding the status of the towers beyond Sept. 30.
The following statement was issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation:
"Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today that DOT has determined that the recently enacted Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 will allow the FAA to transfer sufficient funds to end employee furloughs and keep the 149 low activity contract towers originally slated for closure in June open for the remainder of fiscal year 2013. The FAA will also put $10 million towards reducing cuts and delays in core NextGen programs and will allocate approximately $11 million to partially restore the support of infrastructure in the national airspace system."
MEDIA CONTACTS:Deb Wallace, Public Works and Utilities airport and ferry administrator(360) firstname.lastname@example.org
Warren Hendrickson, Public Works and Utilities aviation and ferry planer(253) email@example.comRead on...
The Pierce County Executive’s Office is accepting applications to fill an expired Ethics Commission position. The citizen commission is responsible for promoting and upholding ethical conduct in Pierce County government.
Applications must be registered...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of May 9.
Police made over 198 DUI arrests in King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties last weekend over the Cinco de Mayo holiday. Nearly eighty percent of the arrests were made in King and Pierce Counties.
Over 50 officers, deputies and troopers participated in th...Read on...
The Elections Division is seek individuals interested in writing an “Against” statement for the August 6, 2013 Primary Election local voters’ pamphlet in the following District:
Candidate filing begins Monday, May 13
Candidate filing begins Monday, May 13 with the Pierce County Auditor’s Office.
Offices open for election this year include:• 26th Legislative District Senator – Files with the Office of the Secretary of State• Port of Tacoma Commissioners• City and Town Council Members• School District Directors• Fire District Commissioners• Park and Recreation District Commissioners• Water District Commissioners• Sewer District Commissioners
Online candidate filing opens Monday, May 13 at 9 a.m. To file your declaration of candidacy go to piercecountyelections.org and choose the “Become a Candidate” link. Besides the candidate filing link, this site includes a list of open offices, filing fees, additional candidate information and will include a list of candidate filings.
After a candidate files for office, they will receive an email instructing them how to submit their picture and voter pamphlet statement online. Email updates will also be sent to a candidate as other candidates file against them.
“This truly is the year for citizens interested in participating in local government to get involved. Many local races in city government, school districts and fire districts are up for election this year. Filing your candidacy is the first step. We're here to help you get off on the right foot,” said Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor.
Filing week runs through Friday, May 17. Online filing closes at 4 p.m. In-person filing ends at 4:30 p.m. at the Pierce County Election Center, located at 2501 South 35th St. Suite C in Tacoma.
The Pierce County Auditor’s Office is responsible for elections, licensing services, a variety of public records and animal control services.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Julie Anderson, Pierce County firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Rooney, Pierce County elections email@example.comRead on...
In a White House ceremony this afternoon, May 8, First Lady Michelle Obama will join Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Director Susan Hildreth to present the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to Pierce County Library System....Read on...
Local golfers are preparing to test their skills against the top amateurs in the region at the 48th annual Puget Sound Amateur, to be held May 18-19 at Lake Spanaway Golf Course and Chambers Bay.
Players will compete in a 36-hole stroke play format for...Read on...
Pierce County Emergency Management’s school emergency preparedness program was just awarded the Exemplary National School Safety Program Award for innovative training in local schools. The ‘Pierce County All Hazards Emergency Preparedness Training Program...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of May 2.
Homeowners are invited to a free workshop to learn how to maintain their septic systems and troubleshoot problems. The workshop will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. May 8 in the Spanaway Elementary School cafeteria, 412 165th St. S in Spanaway.
“The workshop ...Read on...
As communities throughout King, Snohomish and Pierce counties bring out their sombreros and Mariachi guitars in anticipation of the coming Cinco de Mayo weekend, law enforcement is making its own plans.
Beginning on Saturday, May 4, local, county and ...Read on...
May 1 marks the kickoff of Pierce County’s courthouse energy reduction challenge against Kitsap County.
We are going head-to-head with Kitsap County’s courthouse campus to see which building can save the most energy over the next 31 days. In support o...Read on...
Pierce County residents are invited to celebrate Puget Sound during Puget Sound Starts Here Month in May.
Organizations in Pierce County and across Western Washington are hosting a variety of events to teach residents simple ways they can protect Puget...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of April 25.
Pierce County will use findings from its recent research on food waste management to develop tools and programs to cut 10 percent from the waste disposal stream over the next five years.
Pierce County will focus on overall waste reduction, create a vol...Read on...
The intersection at 176th Avenue East and 22nd Avenue East in Frederickson will close for construction at 9 p.m. Friday, May 3 and reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, May 6.
Crews will excavate the existing roadway, place crushed rock, and pave the intersection. ...Read on...
Come visit the Friends and Servants Greenhouse project, a partnership between the YMCA and Pierce County Juvenile Court. Youth are given an opportunity to work off community service hours. In the process they develop a good work ethic, learn gardening ski...Read on...
SEATTLE - Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy has been elected President of the Puget Sound Regional Council, which coordinates growth planning in a thriving four-county region.
McCarthy, serving her second term as County Executive, was elected on Thursday, April 25, during the PSRC’s annual General Assembly. Redmond Mayor John Marchione was elected Vice President.
“The PSRC plays a vital role in knitting all of the communities of central Puget Sound together and planning for our future,” McCarthy said. “Over the next year we’ll be focused on improvements to our transportation system, boosting job growth, and ensuring the region continues to grow in ways that reflect our shared Northwest values.”
As President, McCarthy chairs the PSRC’s Executive Board and serves as the leader in guiding the PSRC’s budget and work program. The agency is preparing to update the region’s long range transportation plan, produce new data to monitor the region’s performance toward the goals in the VISION 2040 growth strategy, and select projects for federal transportation funding. PSRC’s Executive Board also will select a new Executive Director because of the retirement of Bob Drewel, who has led the agency for nine years.
McCarthy succeeds Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown as President of the PSRC.
The region’s General Assembly includes elected representation from all the members of the PSRC, including King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties, as well as more than 80 cities, towns, state agencies, transit agencies, ports, and Tribal Governments. The Assembly meets at least annually to adopt the agency’s budget and elect leadership. Typically, the President of the PSRC serves for two years.
Title VI Notice: PSRC fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. For more information, or to obtain a Title VI Complaint Form, see www.psrc.org/about/public/titlevi/ or call (206) 587-4819.Read on...
The Pierce County Council will hold upcoming meetings in Graham, North Tacoma and Parkland as part of its practice of taking government on the road.
The Council, which normally meets Tuesdays in its chambers in the County-City Building in downtown Tac...Read on...
Pierce County Juvenile Court hosted its annual themed volunteer appreciation luncheon on Saturday, April 20, to recognize CASAs for the work they do for our county’s most vulnerable children. In addition, seven CASAs were honored for outstanding contribut...Read on...
Car wash fundraisers can be a great way to raise money, but the soap and pollutants that run off the vehicles can be toxic to fish and other aquatic life.Organizations can help keep Puget Sound clean during their next car wash fundraiser by checking out...Read on...
The following is a statement by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy regarding State Farm’s announcement on April 19:
“Pierce County welcomes State Farm’s decision to open an Initial Loss Reporting center in downtown Tacoma. This follows Amazon’s recen...Read on...
Pierce County TV, which manages government access programming for the county and six of its cities and towns, has earned two EMMY nominations from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Winners will be announced on June 15, 2013.
"Pierce County News" is nominated for Public, Current and Community Affairs. The entry, a compilation of the weekly news program's best stories of 2012, features the new zip line at Northwest Trek, roller derby, and local work by the Italian Glass Master.
Another PCTV original, a news magazine called "Rainier Country," is nominated in the same category. This episode features stories about a glass art program that helps troubled teen girls, the Puyallup Police Department's K-9 team, and Sumner's successful coffee roaster.
PCTV can be found on channel 22 on the Comcast and Click! networks, and channel 20 on Rainier Connect. A live stream and archived programs and meetings are available on-demand at www.piercecountytv.org.
The channel serves Pierce County and the cities of DuPont, Fife, Orting, Puyallup, Sumner and University Place, as well as such partners as the Port of Tacoma and Sound Transit.
Pierce County News, Best of 2012
Pierce County News for the week of April 18.
Unwanted and unused prescription drugs can be harmful to people and the environment. You can safely dispose of these medicines - including controlled substances - during the nationwide drug "take back" day on Saturday, April 27.
This one-day event will...Read on...
Pierce County will rehabilitate the runway and four adjacent connector taxiways at Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor this spring and summer to improve surfaces, add new features and meet federal aviation standards for the airport’s size.
Work will...Read on...
A Party Intervention Patrol on April 6 coordinated by the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force resulted in the arrest of 24 youth, ages 18-21, for minor in possession.
Included among the arrested youth was a female who was taken to j...Read on...
Pierce County residents can go green as they tackle their spring cleaning to-do list.
“Indoors and outdoors, sometimes the products and methods we use to clean and spruce up our homes can be harmful to our family and the environment,” said Pierce Coun...Read on...
Pierce County motorists can take advantage of free inspections and discounted service in April to identify and fix leaks as part of Puget Sound Starts Here’s “Don’t Drip and Drive” program.
Every year, hundreds of tons of oil and other petroleum-relat...Read on...
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy announced Monday, April 15, she has selected Lowell Porter to lead the Department of Emergency Management, saying his 30-plus years of experience in public safety will help ensure the region remains prepared for anything.
Porter spent 25 years with the Washington State Patrol, rising from trooper cadet all the way to chief. He also has held leadership roles with state and national organizations dedicated to traffic safety and improving radio communications.
"Lowell Porter has dedicated his career to improving public safety," Executive McCarthy said. "He has an outstanding record of executive leadership, strategic planning and building partnerships. He is a great choice to lead our Emergency Management staff, who work hard to make sure we are prepared for the worst."
Porter succeeds Steve Bailey, who retired in December after a successful career in fire fighting and emergency management.
Porter started as a cadet with the Washington State Patrol in 1980, and finished his career in uniform as chief of the state's largest public safety agency in 2005. He served as the governor's appointed director of the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission from 2005 to 2012. He has spent the past 13 months as coordinator of the National Law Enforcement Liaison Program, which supports innovative traffic safety initiatives around the country.
“I look forward to joining an emergency management team with an excellent reputation as a leader in this important field of public safety, and one that has prepared Pierce County well to respond to emergencies and disasters” said Porter.
Porter earned a Bachelor's degree in business administration from City University and a Master of Arts in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University. He also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Porter lives in Gig Harbor with his wife Julie and enjoys spending time with his family and grandchildren, most of whom live in Pierce County.
He starts May 13. His appointment is subject to confirmation by the County Council.
The Milroy Bridge over the Puyallup River at 66th Avenue East and River Road will be closed from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 17 to allow crews to perform a detailed structural inspection and general maintenance. Motorists should use an alternative route during the closure.
Crews from Pierce County Public Works and Utilities and the Washington State Department of Transportation will inspect the condition of the bridge’s structural components, perform routine maintenance, and assess the structure for future maintenance needs. Some of the structural components can be accessed only with special equipment, such as an under-bridge inspection truck, which necessitates closing the roadway.
This work is performed every other year as part of Pierce County's bridge inspection program that ensures the safety of the traveling public and the longevity of the county's transportation infrastructure.
The Milroy Bridge is a steel truss bridge that connects state Route 167 (River Road East) and North Levee Road East at 66th Avenue East. The bridge was built in 1931 and carries approximately 10,500 vehicles a day.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Kraig Shaner, Public Works and Utilities bridge engineering supervisor(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Radford, Public Works and Utilities public information officer(253) email@example.com Read on...
Construction work along Wollochet Drive NW near Gig Harbor will resume on April 15 following a winter work suspension.
Pierce County is constructing two projects along Wollochet Drive NW: the first between East Bay Drive NW and Fillmore Drive NW, and t...Read on...
People who care for an individual with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are faced with heavy responsibilities unlike other caregivers. Sometimes the work can become overwhelming, especially when new and difficult behaviors and patterns come to the surface.
Sprinker Recreation Center, which serves thousands of visitors every year, has won Pierce County’s “Biggest Energy Loser” award for 2012 by cutting its energy use in half.
The 35-year-old ice rink was remodeled in 2011. The remodel consisted of upgradi...Read on...
The Federal Aviation Administration announced April 5 it will delay the closure of the contract control tower at the Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor until June 15.
The tower is one of 149 contract control towers slated to close this spring as the FAA implements $637 million in budget cuts under sequestration. All 149 towers, which are located around the country, will remain open until June 15.
“We appreciate the closure delay, as it will allow Pierce County to ensure our pilot community is informed about the closure and prepared for the transition,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “We will also explore options to operate the tower as a Non-Federal Control Tower on a part-time basis, such as on busy summer weekends. We plan to look into sponsorship opportunities that would allow us to create a public-private partnership to cover the costs.”
The FAA had planned to start a four-week phased closure of the towers on April 7. The Tacoma Narrows Airport tower was scheduled to close at 8 p.m. on April 7.
Tacoma Narrows Airport will remain open after the FAA contract tower closes. Instead of having tower controllers directing air traffic, pilots would use well-defined procedures applicable at all airports without an operating control tower. These standard procedures are already in use between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. at the Tacoma Narrows Airport, and 24 hours a day at Pierce County Airport-Thun Field, which is also operated by Pierce County and has never had a control tower.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Deb Wallace, Public Works and Utilities airport and ferry administrator(360) firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Radford, Public Works and Utilities public information officer(253) email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of April 4.
A team of Pierce County employees who redesigned part of the county's website to make it much easier for citizens to access public records were honored Wednesday, April 3, by the Washington Coalition for Open Government.
It was the second time in three years that Pierce County has been recognized by the coalition for contributions to open government
WCOG President Toby Nixon presented the organization's Key Award to county communications director Hunter George, the project sponsor, Diane Ladenburg, public records ombudsman, and Al Rose, justice services director. A fourth team member, county webmaster Angela Gow, has since left the county for the private sector.
Nixon presented the awards, given to individuals or organizations that have made a notable contribution to the cause of open government, during County Executive Pat McCarthy's monthly cabinet meeting.
The website's new records page includes a list of records or information and where to find it online. The list also includes frequently requested documents from other local agencies such as the local health department. The page provides a link to instructions and forms for making records request for other records that are not available online.
The county website previously provided a public disclosure link, but it provided only a list of public records officers for each department. The new page offers links either to the records themselves or for the agencies or employees who can provide them.
"The Coalition is constantly on the lookout for best practices by state and local agencies that we can recognize and call attention to," said Nixon. "Once again Pierce County is leading the way, demonstrating how to make more public records easily available online or direct citizens to the source. We hope other agencies will follow their lead!"
The latest Key Award follows one given in 2010 to County Executive McCarthy for a new county policy requiring that all county email be stored in digital format for at least six years.
The Washington Coalition for Open Government is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that defends the public's right to know what state and local governments are doing. It backs legislation promoting government transparency and participates in significant court cases involving open government issues.
For more information, contact Washington Coalition for Open Government, 6351 Seaview Avenue NW, Seattle, WA 98107-2664 or on the web at www.washingtoncog.org or call (206) 782-0393.
For information about Pierce County's public records site, contact Communications Director Hunter George at (253) 798-6606 or firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources (ADR) will host a series of three Community Cafés to help draft the 2014-2015 Area Plan Update. The Area Plan is used as a guide for planning and funding programs and services that can best serve older adults and adults with disabilities in Pierce County.
The Community Cafés are opportunities to listen to seniors, people with disabilities, families, caregivers, community leaders and service providers what essential services and supports are needed to create livable communities for people of all ages throughout Pierce County.
Community Cafés will be held three times.• April 18 from 10 a.m. to noon at Key Peninsula Community Services, 17015 – 9th Street KPN, Lakebay. The forum is co-hosted by The Mustard seed Project & Key Peninsula Community Services.• May 2 from 8 to 9:45 a.m. at the Lighthouse Senior Activity Center, 5016 E. “A” Street, Tacoma. The forum is co-hosted by the Aging & Long Term Care Providers Network.• May 17 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Puyallup Library South Meeting Room, 324 S. Meridian, Puyallup. The forum is co-hosted by the Puyallup Area Aging in Place Coalition.
Participants are asked to RSVP by calling (253) 798-7376 or email@example.com to confirm which event will be attended.
With 95 percent of potential customers living outside the United States, exporting goods and services makes great sense and can add significantly to a firm’s bottom line.
The Pierce County Economic Development Department and the World Trade Center Taco...Read on...
Applications are being accepted to fill a vacancy for an Alternate Member on the Pierce County Board of Equalization. The seven-member board hears appeals from taxpayers who disagree with the assessed value of their properties as determined by the Assessor-Treasurer's Office, such as property valuations and exemption changes and denials.
The board session begins on July 15 each year. The board is on a three member rotation cycle; each member works three weeks in a row with two weeks off. Upon completing work before it, the board adjourns until fall when petition hearings begin. Members receive a per diem for attending board meetings. New members are required to attend a two-day Department of Revenue training session. Elected officials or employees of elected officials are ineligible for board service. People who have worked in the Assessor-Treasurer's Office within the past two years also are ineligible.
Board members are appointed by the County Executive subject to County Council confirmation. Applications are due by April13, 2013 and can be requested in person from the Clerk of the Board of Equalization's Office, 2401 S. 35th St. (room 176), by e-mail at :firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Web at http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/DocumentCenter/View/7413.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Sherry Markholt, Board of Equalization email@example.comRead on...
An initial application of herbicides to combat weeds along road shoulders will start April 8, and continue through June. Targeted noxious weeds and brush control applicatio...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of March 28.
People who need to schedule infraction hearings with Pierce County District Court can now do so online without having to wait on the phone or at the public counter.
Developed by District Court with support from Pierce County’s Information Technology Department, this application allows people to schedule an infraction hearing or submit a Hearing by Mail statement at their convenience. Previously, customers could schedule a hearing only by mail, telephone or by appearing in person at the court’s public counter. During a soft launch over the past month, 80 people have used the new service.
Besides the convenience for the public, the online system also is expected to reduce the substantial traffic at the court's public counter, over the phone and through the mail. In 2012, there were 58,000 infraction citations filed in District Court. Of those, 16,000 resulted in in-court hearings and 6,000 in Hearings by Mail. In addition, the court fielded 81,000 telephone inquiries from citizens, attorneys and other court customers.
“Pierce County District Court is very pleased to offer this new way of doing business that makes it easier to access the court’s services. This will benefit everyone involved - the public, the county and the court,” said Presiding Judge Maggie Ross.
District Court is the first court of limited jurisdiction in Washington State - and one of the only courts of limited jurisdiction in the country - to introduce this convenient self-scheduling service.
"Our IT staff is constantly striving to help improve the delivery of services in ways that are customer friendly and efficient," said Pierce County Information Technology Director Linda Gerull. "Giving people the ability to self-schedule their interaction with the court is a great step forward and helps set the bar for other jurisdictions."
The self-scheduler is one of two new online features on the District Court's website. The other is an option to reach the court's customer service staff via an online "Live Chat." Since early January, more than 1,200 people have been served via Live Chat as an alternative to waiting to contact a court representative over the phone or at the public counter.
Public reaction to these innovations has been very positive. As one customer expressed it via email: “Please let the 'higher-ups' know how great this option is! ... This is a GREAT alternative. ...Not to mention much more efficient!”
District Court can be found at www.piercecountywa.org/distcrt.
MEDIA CONTACT:Chuck Ramey, District Court administrator(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Calling all election candidates! The Pierce County Auditor’s annual candidates’ workshop is scheduled for April 3 at 6 p.m.
The workshop will be held at the Pierce County Election Center, 2501 S. 35th Street, Suite C, Tacoma, WA 98409.
“Our goal in...Read on...
Pierce County is inviting feedback from Foothills Trail users and neighbors on how a summer construction project along the Puyallup River near McMillin may impact them.
Construction on a new side channel on the west side of the river will begin in Jun...Read on...
People buy homes to suit their practical needs – kids, hobbies, interests, neighborhoods and more. But those needs invariably change over time. In order to stay in a home and enjoy the benefits, careful thought has to be put into making the home livable f...Read on...
The Federal Aviation Administration’s contract control tower at the Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor will close this spring as the FAA implements the budget sequestration.
On March 22, the FAA notified Pierce County, which operates the airport, th...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of March 21.
Gov. Jay Inslee has ordered that flags at all state agency facilities be lowered to half-staff in memory of former Gov. Booth Gardner, who passed away last Friday. State flags will remain at half-staff until close of business on Saturday, March 30 or first thing Monday morning, April 1.
Gardner also served as Pierce County's first Executive and will be remembered fondly here. Executive Pat McCarthy has ordered flags in Pierce County facilities to be lowered as well.
Gov. Inslee and Executive McCarthy encourage other government entities, citizens and businesses to join this recognitionRead on...
A number of local, state and federal agencies will participate in a simulated improvised explosive device (IED) exercise at the Port of Tacoma on Friday. There will be two scenarios along the Blair Waterway where IEDs will be discovered and disposed of....Read on...
The following is a statement by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy on the passing of Booth Gardner, a former County Executive and Governor:
"It is with a heavy heart that we say good-bye to one of Pierce County's favorite sons. We have only had five elected executives in Pierce County, and Booth will always occupy an important place in our history. He faced an extraordinary task in setting up the new governance during tumultuous times in our community. Those skills served him and the citizens of Washington very well as he moved to the Governor's Office.
"My husband John and I knew Booth for about 30 years. He was a great mentor and advisor to many of our local leaders. Booth encouraged me to run for County Executive, and I will be forever grateful for his guidance. He will be missed. The entire Pierce County family offers its condolences to the Gardner family."
Pierce County News for the week of March 14.
The 20-minute newscast is produced by PCTV and can be seen on channel 22 Comcast and Click! Watch Pierce County News every day at 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., or online anytime at www.piercecountytv.org/pcn.
Top stories on Pierce County News for the week of March 7.
Community Connections is expanding special needs transportation in rural Pierce County. The “Beyond the Borders Connector,” a four-month pilot project, provides eligible riders with a link to services in rural communities. The transportation program is ad...Read on...
The Federal Aviation Administration’s contract control tower at the Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor may close as the FAA implements the budget sequestration. This proposed tower closure is one of many that could occur at airports around the country. ...Read on...
Leaders in combating cyber crime and business identity theft will talk about trends and solutions for local companies at a forum on March 20 in Lakewood.
The forum, jointly sponsored by the Economic Development Departments of Pierce County and the City...Read on...
A stay in the hospital used to be a pretty simple thing. Patients went in when they were sick and left when they were better. Today, a hospital stay is much more complicated. Patients leave the hospital with ever more complicated conditions.
Hospital ...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Feb. 28.
Pierce County News for the week of Feb. 21.
The Pierce County Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission is now accepting applications for the 2013-14 Preservation Grant Program, which assists in funding preservation efforts.
Grant requests can be made for historic preservation or history-re...Read on...
The Pierce County Auditor's Elections Division is seeking individuals interested in writing “Against” statements for the April 23, 2013 Special Election local voters’ pamphlet in the following Districts:
• Pierce County Fire Protection District No. 18 (Orting Valley Fire and Rescue) – Property Tax Levy• Pierce County Fire Protection District No. 22 (East Pierce Fire and Rescue) – Annexation of the City of Milton into Fire District No. 22• City of Milton - Annexation of the City of Milton into Fire District No. 22
These districts did not appoint committee members to prepare “Against” statements for the local voters’ pamphlet. As a result, RCW 29A.32.280 directs the Elections Division to seek out and whenever possible appoint up to three members to form an “Against” committee” for each district.
If you are appointed to the “Against” committee you agree to, read, understand and fulfill the obligations described in the Elections Guide for Jurisdictions – 2013, which contains critical information about:
• Committee appointments and participation.• Word limits and format requirements for statements and rebuttals.
You also must pledge to work cooperatively with other members of the committee, and have ready access to email.
Committee members’ names and contact information will be printed in the local voters’ pamphlets. You can’t participate anonymously. If you agree to the above responsibilities, email your name and phone number to email@example.com. Appointments will be made in the order that the requests are received.
The deadline to request a committee appointment is March 8, 2013 at 4:30 p.m.
The deadline to submit an “Against” statement is March 11, 2013 at 4:30 p.m.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor (253) 798-3188Julie.Anderson@co.pierce.wa.us
Mike Rooney, Elections Manager(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County property tax statements that were mailed last week are missing one small element - the county's return address on the payment stubs.
Not to worry, though. The envelopes provided with the property tax statements are imprinted with a bar code that directs envelopes to the correct address. However, Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan recommends taking the extra step of writing in the following address above the small window on the envelope:
PO Box 11621Tacoma, WA 98411-6621
The correct mailing address can also be found on the back of the payment stub under "Payment Options By Mail."
"We apologize for any confusion this may have caused," Lonergan said. "This was a printing error by a vendor, and we are checking our processes to make sure this does not happen again."
Taxpayers who have questions can call the Assessor-Treasurer's customer service line at (253) 798-6111.
The annual tax statements were mailed on Feb. 15 to 184,000 residents and business owners. The remainder of tax bills go to mortgage holders, so those property owners can look online to see the taxes due for 2013. The information is available at www.piercecountywa.org/atr; click on “Parcel and Sales Search” in the menu.
There are a total of 330,000 taxable parcels in Pierce County.
Most residents will see their property taxes level with last year or slightly reduced, based on tax rates and special levies imposed by about 100 taxing districts in Pierce County. Increases will be more common in the Franklin Pierce School District due to a new Capital Projects Levy passed by the voters, and in DuPont, Edgewood and Key Peninsula, which experienced changes in school and fire district levies. New this year is a countywide flood control tax of 10 cents per thousand dollars of property value.
“Even though Pierce County collects the taxes, it is the public school districts that receive most of the revenue, through the state school tax, plus local levies and bond issues approved by a vote of the people," Lonergan said. "Cities, towns, roads, parks, libraries and the Port also receive smaller portions."
The first-half payment of property taxes is due by April 30, with the second half to be paid by October 31, 2013.
MEDIA CONTACT:Mike Lonergan, Assessor-Treasurer(253)Read on...
Pierce County administrative offices will be closed Monday, Feb. 18, in observance of President’s Day.
Offices will reopen Tuesday, Feb. 19.
Pierce County residents are invited to celebrate the completion of a new crosswalk in Key Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Feb. 27 at the Key Center Fire Station No. 46, 8911 Key Peninsula Highway KPN.
Pierce County installed a new mid-...Read on...
Pierce County News for the week of Feb. 14.
In an ongoing effort to support sustainability and resource conservation, Facilities Management has installed solar powered trash compactors and recycling units at two Pierce County facilities.
The units are powered by a solar panel, which utilizes a ...Read on...
Residents can learn how to reduce the amount of waste they produce by attending Pierce County’s free composting classes this spring. Classes will be offered on yard waste and food waste.
"These classes are a great way to learn about the two kinds of c...Read on...
The Lakewood Winter Club, in cooperation with Pierce County Parks and Recreation, is delighted to present the 2013 ice show, "Reflections on Ice – ONCE Upon A Dream."
This professionally choreographed figure skating show will be held Feb. 8-10 at Sprinker Recreation Center's Ice Arena. Five public performances are scheduled, including a special Friday afternoon matinee catered to senior citizens and the Pierce County Boys and Girls Clubs. Balcony and on-ice seating will accommodate up to 1,000 spectators per performance. Each show lasts approximately two hours.
This annual event showcases featured guest performers as well as local talent. This year's featured performer is 2010 United States Ladies Champion and 2010 Olympian Rachael Flatt along with 5-time United States ice dance champion and Olympic silver medalist Ben Agosto.
The creative force behind the ice is U.S. figure skating double gold medalists Heidi Sullivan and Stephanie Rowland. Both are members of the skating staff at Sprinker Recreation Center and they have extensive experience as choreographers for professional productions throughout the country.
The 100-member cast was chosen after tryouts and auditions in late August. They have practiced a minimum of two times per week 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.
The ice show was instituted as a way of giving 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 TimesFriday, Feb. 8: 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.Saturday, Feb. 9: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.Sunday, Feb. 10: 2 p.m.
Ticket InformationBalcony 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 South C Street in Tacoma.
Shani Stewart, Parks & Recreation office email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County News for the week of Feb. 7.
The 20-...Read on...
A flood-prone house owned by Pierce County will be used for a Tacoma Police Department SWAT team training exercise Feb. 8 before it is ultimately demolished by county crews and returned to a natural floodplain.
The SWAT team will practice various tacti...Read on...
All businesses are encouraged to attend this business forum on Wednesday, March 20, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Lakewood City Hall Council Chambers, 6000 Main St. SW in Lakewood.
Sponsored by the Pierce County Economic Development Department & and the City of Lakewood Economic Development, this forum will help you learn about current and ongoing potential threats to your business and what you can do to prevent or minimize intrusions.
Topics will include:
To register click here. For more information contact Hans Kueck at 253-798-2335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Becky Newton at 253-983-7738 or email email@example.comRead on...
Be sure to plan a safe ride home this weekend. The Target Zero Teams in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties will be out this Super Bowl weekend looking for impaired drivers.
“Football fans look forward to spending the day with family and friends watc...Read on...
One of every eight people over 65 years has Alzheimer’s. Over half of all families are touched by Alzheimer’s. There is no cure for the disease. But there is hope.
“HOPEless” is a special showing of two documentary films produced by HBO. “The Memory Tapes” explores the joys and sadness in the lives of seven individuals with Alzheimer’s and their families and caregivers. “Caregivers” highlights the sacrifices and successes made by people experiencing their loved one's gradual descent into dementia.
In addition to the showing of the two HBO films, “HOPEless” will include several community-based services will be present to provide information and assistance in understanding the progression of Alzheimer’s and services available in Pierce County. Participating organizations include the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Cascade Park Active Day, and MultiCare Adult Day Health.
“HOPEless” will be held free at Tacoma’s Blue Mouse Theater on Saturday, Feb. 16 starting at 10 a.m. The Blue Mouse is located at 2611 North Proctor. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Seating is free, but limited. Please RSVP by calling (253) 798-8787.
“The number of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia is growing rapidly in our community,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Manager of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources. “The more we all know, the better we as a community will be able to support the individuals and families impacted by the disease. “HOPEless” is a great opportunity to learn.”
After the showing of the films, participants will have the opportunity to participate in a discussion of the progression of the disease and hear from caregivers about their successful and trying efforts on behalf of their loved one. People caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and those wanting to know more about the disease should attend.
“HOPEless” is sponsored by the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center. The ADRC is a starting place providing unbiased, free and easily accessible information, referral and assistance regarding disability services and long term care in Pierce County. The ADRC is available by calling (253) 798-4600 or (800) 562-0332.
Six more pontoons are complete for the new State Route 520 floating bridge. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor joined state and local leaders in Tacoma today, as Washington State Department of Transportation crews began float-out of the second cycle of ...Read on...
The public is invited to an upcoming open house to learn about Pierce County’s expansion of the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. The open house will run from 5 to7 p.m. on Jan. 31, at the Environmental Services Building, 9850 64th St. W...Read on...
Health care costs continue to climb. Many people presume that in one way or another Medicare and/or Medicaid will pay for care, especially long term care.
Medicaid, a program financed jointly by the federal and state governments, provides medical care ...Read on...
Pierce County administrative offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 21, in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Offices will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 22.
Tacoma’s first Fruit Tree Steward Program begins this February. The Pierce County Gleaning Project and the Tacoma/Pierce County Community Gardens are excited to announce this six part series focused on organic fruit tree care, designed for beginners. From...Read on...
The Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center will host an additional presentation of “Social Security After Retirement” on Thursday, Jan. 24 at the Pierce County Soundview Building, 3611 S. D Street in Tacoma, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
The workshop will present strategies that can maximize benefits including when to begin receiving benefits and the advantages of making claims based on spousal work history. Participants will also learn how to negotiate the rules about working, either full or part time, while receiving benefits.
“Social Security After Retirement” is a fast-paced, one-hour presentation for anyone anticipating their benefits and those currently receiving benefits. The presenter will be Kirk Larson, Western Washington Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration and other Federal Government organizations have recognized him for his outstanding public service. Kirk has a degree in Business Administration from California Polytechnic University at Pomona.
“Social Security After Retirement” is jointly sponsored by the Social Security Administration and Pierce County Community Connections Aging & Disability Resource Center. The presentation is free and there is no RSVP. For more information, contact the Aging & Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600 or (800) 562-0332Read on...
The Pierce County Council opened its 2013 work on Tuesday, Jan. 15, by welcoming the return of one member and adding three new faces.
Joyce McDonald (District 2) took the oath of office after winning a second four-year term last November. The Council t...Read on...
Pierce County will update the master plan for the Tacoma Narrows Airport (TIW) in Gig Harbor in 2013.
The county and stakeholders will evaluate potential alternatives and determine how best to meet the community’s long-term development needs so that f...Read on...
Landscape professionals looking to incorporate sustainable landscape design, construction and maintenance into their business are invited to attend a Pierce County workshop on sustainable landscaping in February.
The "Sustainable Landscaping - Principl...Read on...
The 18th annual Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park dazzled thousands of visitors traveling through the park in more than 25,800 vehicles. The event brought in a record $325,801 in ticket sales.
The Northwest's largest drive-through holiday lights show, Fantasy Lights ran Nov. 22 through Jan. 1. The light show features 300 displays along a two-mile loop through Spanaway Park.
The Department of Community Connections and Tacoma-Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness seek volunteers to gather census data of the homeless population and those on the verge of becoming homeless in Pierce County. The annual survey – which is in i...Read on...
The Judges of the Pierce County District Court have elected Maggie Ross as Presiding Judge for the next two years.
Judge Ross has served on the District Court bench for 15 years. She began her judicial career as a Commissioner in the Court and served i...Read on...
Pierce County recently won a national environmental award for its “Raise the Grade” stream health and stormwater technical assistance programs.
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies presented Public Works and Utilities’ Surface Water Manag...Read on...
Three newly elected Pierce County Superior Court judges will have their joint swearing-in ceremony on Friday, Jan. 4.
The ceremony, which is open to the public, will be held at 4 p.m. in Courtroom 100 of the County-City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave. S. A r...Read on...
Parents of children with a life-long developmental disability, chronic illness or mental health condition often face a lifetime of challenges, successes, sorrows, and joys.
But what happens when aging parents develop their own medical and cognitive d...Read on...
The Puyallup School District No. 3 has placed a $279.6 million General Obligation Bond on the Feb. 12, 2013 Special Election ballot for capital improvements and construction. Read the Resolution and ballot title.
The Puyallup School District No. 3 has not appointed committee members to prepare an “Against” statements for the local voters’ pamphlet. RCW 29A.32.280 requires the County Auditor to make an effort to appoint up to three members to form an Against Committee.
Committee member’s names will be printed in the local voters’ pamphlet, as well as a contact phone number. You can’t participate anonymously.
Deadlines• Email information deadline – Dec. 29, 2012• Statement deadline – Dec. 31, 2012
If you are appointed to the “Against” committee you agree to:
• Read and understand the obligations laid out in the Elections Guide for Jurisdictions.• Pledge to work cooperatively with other members of the group.• Have ready access to email.
The Elections Guide must be reviewed. It contains critical information about:
• Committee appointments and participation• Length and specific instructions for statements and rebuttals• Important deadlines
If you agree to the above:
• Email your name, email address, and phone number to: firstname.lastname@example.org• You must send your email no later than Dec. 29, 2012• Appointments are made on a “first come, first served” basisRead on...
The Tacoma School District No. 10 Neighborhood School Improvements and Safety Upgrades $500,000,000 General Obligation Bond will be on the Feb. 12, 2013 Special Election ballot. Read the Resolution and ballot title.
The Tacoma School District No. 10 has not appointed committee members to prepare an “Against” statements for the local voters’ pamphlet. RCW 29A.32.280 requires the Auditor to make an effort to appoint up to three members to form an Against Committee.
The Jurisdiction Manual must be reviewed. It contains critical information about:
Employees from throughout Pierce County gave back to the community this holiday season with a variety of fun holiday activities.
Planning and Land Services collected $550 (22 - $25 gift cards) for this year’s Adopt-A-Family program.
Pierce Count...Read on...
County Executive Pat McCarthy officially took the oath of office on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 for her second term that begins next month.
McCarthy was re-elected in the Nov. 6 General Election. The oath was administered by her husband, Superior Court Jud...Read on...
Pierce County will receive nearly $1.1 million to improve and protect salmon habitat.
The grants were awarded to the county and other local organizations by the state’s Salmon Recovery Funding Board, which approved more than $19 million for salmon reco...Read on...
A variety of changes to the Pierce County Ferry sailing schedule will go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.
A total of seven service changes were made using input from the community. The changes include new runs, shifted run times, canceled runs, and changes to...Read on...
Pierce County Parks and Recreation is accepting applications for the position of a part time fitness instructor to lead fitness classes at Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place. The Fitness Instructor is a highly motivated person with outstandi...Read on...
Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged John Diller, 69, with ten counts of Animal Cruelty in the Second Degree for failing to properly care for his horses.
“We are holding the owner accountable for cruelty to the animals,” said Prosecut...Read on...
The Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force, in partnership with the Pierce County Tower’s Association and Aloha Cab Company, is kicking off its holiday Home Safe Bar Program to keep would-be impaired drivers off the road.
Beginning this Saturday night, Dec. 15, through New Year’s Eve, 13 tow companies throughout the county will offer free five-mile tows home for drinking drivers and their vehicles.
Additionally, Tacoma’s popular karaoke taxi, Aloha Cab Company (253-428-9999), will provide 35 free taxi rides home on Dec. 15 and Dec. 22. This offer is for groups of three or more people in a 5-mile radius in Tacoma. Holiday revelers can continue the party by singing karaoke all the way home in the musically equipped cabs.
Drivers who think they shouldn’t drive and have not pre-arranged a safe ride home should ask their bartender to call one of the participating towers through New Year’s Eve.
This year’s seasonal tow and taxi programs will operate alongside the task force’s Night of a 1,000 Stars DUI patrol, which will be hosted by the Fife Police Department. Twenty-five local officers, deputies and troopers funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission will unite with law enforcement across the state to arrest drunk and drugged drivers.
“It’s pretty simple,” said John Cheesman, chief of the Fircrest Police Department and chairman of the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force. “Don’t drink and drive. Instead, take the free ride.”
Media who want to ride with an officer, tow driver or karaoke cab driver on Dec. 15 should call Gloria Mansfield Averill.
MEDIA CONTACT: Gloria Mansfield Averill, Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force, Pierce County Community Connections(253)Read on...
Spencer Aircraft’s Annual Santa Fly-in is back from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 at Pierce County Airport-Thun Field, 16709 103rd Ave. Ct. E., Puyallup.
Santa will be on hand for photos and candy canes will be served.
Please support the Emergency Food Network by contributing canned food to the event’s holiday food drive.
For more information call (253) 848-9349Read on...
Tracy Guerin, a top manager of Washington State government, has been selected as the deputy director of the Pierce County Budget and Finance Department.
"Tracy brings extensive experience in the major services provided by the county and will hold a leadership role in ensuring the integrity of county finances,” said Executive Pat McCarthy. “Tracy will assume multiple roles as Budget and Finance, like other county departments, consolidates positions. She will also be an active member of our performance management team.”
Guerin currently serves as the chief of staff of the Department of Social and Health Services. She has also served in senior leadership positions at the Departments of Corrections, the Department of Information Services and the Office of the Secretary of State.
"I am excited about the opportunity to join the county and use my experience to ensure that county resources are used to provide high quality and efficient services,” Guerin said.
Guerin has completed the Executive Education program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the Strategic Leadership program at Duke University. She holds a bachelor's degree from the Evergreen State College. Guerin is currently the Chair of the Washington State Employees Credit Union Board and will pursue a leadership position on the Board’s Investment Committee in 2013.
Guerin will formally assume her new position on Feb. 1, 2013. She will report to Budget and Finance Director Gary Robinson.
Gary Robinson, Budget and Finance Department director(253) email@example.com
The Pierce County Council will hold its Dec. 4 regular meeting in the Northeast Tacoma area as part of its practice of taking government on the road.
Pierce County’s Movie Series event featuring the movie “Arthur Christmas” has been moved to Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.
Pre-registration for the original date (Dec. 7) will be honored on the new date. The Parks and Recreation event will run from 6:30 to 8...Read on...
The Pierce County Auditor’s Office will extend licensing and passport service hours for four days in December.
Here are the dates:• Thursday, Dec. 6 from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.• Friday, Dec. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.• Saturday, Dec. 8 from 9 a.m....Read on...
Pierce County has adopted an energy conservation policy to lower operating costs and conserve energy at all county-owned buildings.
The new policy contains a background of Pierce County’s sustainability goals for energy conservation, as well as guidin...Read on...
The Pierce County Council will hold its Nov. 27 regular meeting in the Summit/Midland area as part of its practice of taking government on the road.
The Council, which normally meets Tuesdays in its chambers in the County-City Building in downtown Taco...Read on...
Pierce County administrative offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Offices will reopen Monday, Nov. 26.
Before you apply for a permit to build the ultimate man cave, you can now check online to see how many people are waiting in line at the Pierce County Development Center.
That’s one of several online improvements launched by Planning and Land Services ...Read on...
Kick off the holiday season this Sunday, Nov. 18 with a sneak, non-motorized preview of the 18th annual Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park.
This is the only opportunity to walk through the Northwest's largest drive-through holiday lights display. The walk provides a close-up preview of more than 300 animated displays and thousands of lights along the winding route through the forested park on the shore of Lake Spanaway.
The walking event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. starting at the Sprinker Recreation Center, 14824 S. C St. Lines will form in the parking lot for the walk to the park entrance. Coffee, cocoa, and snack items will be available for purchase. An average of 3,500 walkers participate each year in the 2.5 mile walk.
Admission, paid inside the park, is $12 for a family of four or $4 per person. Children age 3 and under are free. The walk, which will occur 'rain or shine,' is stroller and wheelchair friendly. For safety reason, dogs, in-line skates, bikes, skateboards, and scooters are not allowed.
More information is available at 253-798-4177 or www.piercecountywa.org/parks
Fantasy Lights is viewed by more than 150,000 visitors in more than 23,000 vehicles each year between Thanksgiving Day and New Year's weekend.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Cara Cross, recreation firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County has launched a major redesign of three websites that significantly upgrades the public's ability to stay informed about programs and services.
The sites, launched on Nov. 18, offer new tools and features that improve the user experience, including the ability to sign up for email or text message updates. The sites also were reorganized to make it easier for users to quickly find relevant information.
The biggest redesign involved the county's main site, www.piercecountywa.org. A team of county employees representing a cross-section of departments evaluated the needs of the county's content management system and website, which logs 3 million unique visitors, 9 million visits and more than 100 million pageviews a year.
Here are some highlights from the upgrade to the main site:
• A “How Do I” button provides quick access on every page to common requests from customers.• The revamped global navigation at the top of the page offers a mix of departments, programs and services in user-friendly categories.• Contact information is clear and consistent throughout the site.• The new website offers tools that organize and present information in reader-friendly ways, such as FAQs, Quick Links to other resources, news, etc. • The new home page showcases Pierce County’s beauty while promoting important services and programs.
New sites for Family Justice Center and Pierce CountyTV
Pierce County also hosts the websites for two affiliated organizations: the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center (www.aplaceofhelp.org) and Pierce County TV (www.piercecountytv.org). Both agencies also switched to the new system and got modern redesigns.
Pierce County is contracting with CivicPlus to host the sites. CivicPlus manages the websites for more than 1,000 government clients and has demonstrated expertise in the area of online content management for public agencies.
The CivicPlus system replaces a 10-year-old system that was built by programmers in Pierce County's Information Technology Department.
Pierce County plans to conduct a survey of users around the end of the year. Users who have immediate questions or comments can contact email@example.com.
Pierce County Parks and Recreation is accepting applications for the position of team leader in the Peninsula School District within the Companionship Program.
The Companionship Program provides recreation and leisure opportunities for individuals of all abilities and their families. Program goals include enrichment of the lives of all who participate and an increased understanding and acceptance of disabilities as a natural part of life.
The team leader will supervise two teen team members within the Peninsula School District, create and implement one to three inclusive activities per month in and around the district/county, actively advertise the Companionship Program within the Peninsula School District, write detailed monthly reports and attend monthly staff meetings.
Applicants must be high school graduates or have earned a GED, be able to check and respond to email daily, and be willing to work evenings and weekends as needed. This position pays $15 per hour, up to 30 hours per month.
Applications are available at the Lakewood Community Center, 9112 Lakewood Drive SW in Lakewood or by contacting Pierce County Park's Companionship Program at (253) 798-2997. Submit applications to the Companionship Program, c/o the Lakewood Community Center.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Jen Sergent, companionship coordinator(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
The Pierce County Council voted Tuesday, Nov. 13, to adopt a "responsible and fiscally sound" budget for 2013 that reduces general-government spending.
The budget, approved on a 7-0 vote, did not include a cost-of-living adjustment for employees. Rather, it spends a portion of that savings to alleviate some cuts in the Sheriff's Department.
"Above all, this budget demonstrates our commitment to public safety," said Council Chair Joyce McDonald (District 2). "This is a responsible and fiscally sound budget. We must remain mindful of the ongoing uncertainty about the economy, which is why we cannot in good faith include a cost-of-living adjustment for employees or elected officials."
The General Fund, which pays for most general government services, would drop from $275.6 million this year to $274.8 million in 2013. Total spending amounts to $894 million, which represents a boost of more than $50 million, mostly due to the major expansion of the Chambers Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Among other things, the budget package would:
"This budget keeps Pierce County on the path of steady fiscal management that maintains stability and security for our communities," said Council Vice Chair Rick Talbert (District 5).
The budget now goes to County Executive Pat McCarthy, who has 10 days from its arrival in her office to sign or veto the measure.
The main budget ordinance is 2012-76.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Joyce McDonald, Council Chair(253) email@example.com
Retirement is everyone's goal. But a successful retirement takes proper planning. How people plan during the last 2-5 years of work before retirement can make a world of difference. "Retiring Soon? Prepare!" provides the tools and resources that everyone will need to use as they approach that retirement date.
"We have all heard stories of people who retire and then fall apart," said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Manager of Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources. "A good, healthy retirement means that people give thought to a wide variety of issues – everything from how you will spend each day to how you are going to stay mentally and physically sharp."
"Retiring Soon? Prepare!" is a 2-hour workshop. It emphasizes that an effective, healthy and enjoyable retirement demands a "big picture" approach that includes a broad range of issues. Among the issues that will be covered are retirement resources (Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits), health issues, housing, finances, legal concerns, re-careering and volunteering.
The free workshop will be held at numerous locations throughout Pierce County.
• Nov. 19 – Narrows Glen – 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.8201 Sixth Ave, Tacoma
• Nov. 20 – Patriots Landing – 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.1600 Marshall Cir # 100, DuPont
• Nov. 28 – Harbor Place at Cottesmore – 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.1016 29th St., NW, Gig Harbor
• Nov. 29 – Resurrection Lutheran Church – 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.4301 Browns Point Blvd. NE, Tacoma
"Retiring Soon? Prepare!" is sponsored by Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources. No RSVP is required. For details call (253) 798-4600 or (800) 562-0332.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Scott Kinney, Community Connections(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Riler, Community Connections(253) email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County residents are invited to celebrate the start of construction on the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion with a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. Nov. 15 at the plant, located at 10311 Chambers Creek Road W in Univer...Read on...
Pierce County is soliciting applications for $800,000 in federal grants aimed at improving living conditions in lower income areas.
The grants will be offered to nonprofit, public and government agencies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant. These grants, administered by Pierce County's Department of Community Connections, will fund eligible activities that provide housing, capital improvements, community facilities and economic development activities.
The goal must be to improve living conditions by means of acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or installation of public facilities and improvements.
Community Connections will hold one application workshop on Nov. 15 to answer questions. The workshop will held at 2 p.m. at the Community Connections office located at 1305 Tacoma Avenue South, Suite 104, Tacoma in conference room C.
The deadline to apply is 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, 2012. Inquiries and completed applications can be directed to:
Caroline Belleci, Pierce County Community Connections1305 Tacoma Avenue S, Suite 104Tacoma, WA 98402(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
To read the complete Notice of Funding Available (NOFA) and learn more about eligibility and program requirements, visit Community Connections online at www.piercecountywa.org/cc.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Caroline Belleci, Community Connections(253) email@example.com
Scott Kinney, Community Connections(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
The Pierce County Council is set to approve a 2013 budget that trims spending while protecting core public safety services.
In public meetings on Nov. 5-6, the Council voted to make a number of adjustments to the budget proposal submitted in September by County Executive Pat McCarthy. Highlights included votes to:
• Restore four of the vacant positions the Executive had proposed cutting in the Sheriff's Department, at a cost of $400,000.• Increase spending on parks maintenance by $180,000.• Set aside $480,000 in fund balance to provide a cushion against any downturn in revenues that may occur.
The budget contains no cost-of-living adjustment for county employees, including elected officials.
The Council voted Tuesday, Nov. 6 to approve some of the supporting ordinances that implement the budget, but it did not take a final vote on the main budget ordinance. The County Council delayed its final vote until its Nov. 13 meeting to ensure the public has time to review and offer comment. The budget documents are posted here; the main ordinance is 2012-76s.
The Nov. 13 meeting will be held at 3 p.m. in the Council Chambers, located on the 10th floor of the County-City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave. S. The public also can call the Council at (253) 798-7777 or find a list of councilmember email addresses here.
The County Council's Nov. 13 meeting can be seen live on Pierce County TV (channel 22 on the Comcast and Click! networks) and on www.piercecountytv.org. The hearings held Nov. 5-6 will be archived for on-demand viewing on the website.
Pierce County residents are invited to celebrate the completion of a stormwater pond in the Fir Ridge neighborhood south of Bonney Lake.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Nov. 14 at the property located on the northeast corner of 112th Street E and 206th Avenue Court E.
The pond was built during the summer and fall. A drainage pipe was also installed along 205th Avenue to route runoff to the new pond from the adjacent Cedar Ridge neighborhood.
The two developments and existing stormwater pond were built in the 1980s. The existing pond would receive almost all the runoff from the 170 residential lots and roads within the development. During heavy storms, the pond would flood adjacent properties.
"The new pond and pipe were installed to reduce flooding in two neighborhoods," said Harold Smelt, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities surface water manager. "This facility will provide additional stormwater storage, and clean up stormwater for a safer environment."
At the new pond, existing native trees and shrubs were retained wherever possible, and new trees and plants were added to improve wildlife habitat. Over the years, the vegetation will give the pond a much more natural look than older stormwater ponds.
The project cost $650,000, including property acquisition. Funding came from Surface Water Management utility service charge funds. Lloyd Enterprises, Inc. was the project's contractor. More information about the projects is available at www.piercecountywa.org/firridge.
Ceremony detailsSpeakers at the Nov. 14 ribbon cutting ceremony include County Executive Pat McCarthy, Councilmember Dan Roach (District 1), Public Works and Utilities Director Brian Ziegler, and Harold Smelt. Following the remarks, the ribbon cutting will take place across the street at the new pond.
Street parking is available at the ceremony site.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Hans Hunger, P.E, Public Works and Utilities capital improvement manager(253) email@example.com
Teresa Lewis, Public Works and Utilities education and outreach coordinator(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Thursday Nov 01 2012 12:18 PM
The Job Sector Survey is a cooperative project led by economic development organizations in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
It is an annual, one-of-a-kind tool that provides an on-the-ground assessment of ...Read on...
Tuesday Oct 30 2012 12:28 PM
An underage drinking party last Saturday night (Oct. 27) in the Bonney Lake area resulted in the arrests of 18 youths for minor in possession of alcohol.
The youths, primarily 17- and 18-year-olds from Fife, were reported by a neighbor who called 911 after hearing a lot of noise and seeing many young drivers pull up to the Inlet Island home. Fourteen other high school students were released after it was determined they had not been drinking. Others escaped before police could obtain a warrant to enter the premises.
Law enforcement officers said the owner of the residence had moved and left her 19-year-old son behind to reside in the house. In addition to being a minor in possession of alcohol, he was arrested and charged with providing his residence for illegal drinking.
Three of the arrested teenagers were ill and vomiting while police conducted field sobriety tests, processed the scene and arrested the youth. Fortunately, none of the party-goers required hospitalization for alcohol poisoning as was the case when a similar party was shut down in the area last year.
"The home, void of furniture and possessions except for beer, hard liquor and a beer pong table, was typical of homes used frequently for teen booze bashes," said Sumner Police Sgt. Matt Kurle, one of the supervisors of the multi-agency effort to curb underage drinking in Pierce County.
Along with a youth who was a passenger in a car and arrested for minor in possession by officers working a DUI patrol in the area, all 18 students were brought to a community center. Chemical dependency professionals and community volunteers provided the teens and their parents with resources to ensure the youth make choices that better serve them in the future.
"When we started the Party Intervention Patrol project in Pierce County nearly five years ago, the county was headquarters for a lot of underage booze fests," said Puyallup Police Sgt. Bob Thompson. "We couldn't begin to get to them all. But now we find far fewer parties."
The countywide enforcement, along with the volunteer and professional support provided to the kids and their parents on the night of the parties, has resulted in a reduction of more than 60 percent in teen impaired-driving fatalities in the county.
Drinking drivers aged 15 to 20 are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash as drinking drivers 21 and over. Before the lifesaving project was begun in Pierce County, an average of 12 to 15 young drivers died each year on the roadways. Over the past two years, one teen has died.
The Party Intervention Patrol is administered by the Puyallup Police Department and the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force, which is coordinated by the Pierce County Department of Community Connections. The project is funded by the Washington Impaired Driving Council.
MEDIA CONTACT: Gloria Mansfield Averill, Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force, Pierce County Community Connections253-222-9088 (cell)Read on...
Monday Oct 29 2012 11:42 AM
The holidays bring families together. It's a chance to catch up and share news. But it's also a chance to check up on older relatives and other loved ones who may be at risk.
"Breaking the Ice" is an informational workshop about caring for family members. It will help families avoid a dreaded, unexpected call caused by an emergency. Participants will be better prepared to have a family conversation about family independence, home safety and housing options.
"There are some important indicators that a family member might be at risk," said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources. "Knowing what to look for and what questions to ask is essential. A little preparation can help families avoid unexpected emergencies and do what's in the best interest of everyone."
This informational workshop will be presented at three different locations and times:
Thursday, Nov. 8 – County-City Building; 12:10-12:50 p.m. 7th Floor Rainier Conference Room930 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma
Thursday, Nov. 8 – Jim & Carolyn Milgard Family HOPE Center, 6:30-7:30 p.m.8502 Skansie Ave., Gig Harbor
Saturday, Nov. 10 – TACID; 10:00-11:00 a.m.6315 South 19th St., Tacoma
"Breaking the Ice" is jointly sponsored by the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center, Sound Options and Elder Assessment and Referral Services. The presentation is free and there is no RSVP. For more information, contact the Aging & Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600 or (800) 562-0332.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Scott Kinney, Community Connectionsskinney@co.pierce.wa.us(253) 798-4509
Bob Riler, Community Connectionsbriler@co.pierce.wa.us(253) 798-7384Read on...
Anxious voters are calling the Pierce County Auditor's Office because Pierce Transit Proposition 1 does not appear on their ballots.
"Some voters think they have been issued the wrong ballot, but they have forgotten that Pierce Transit's boundary changed substantially earlier this year," said Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson. "Some people who voted on a Pierce Transit measure in 2011 are no longer eligible to vote on the matter in 2012."
In May, the communities of Bonney Lake, Buckley, DuPont, Orting, Sumner and large portions of unincorporated Pierce County were removed from the Pierce Transit taxing district/service area. As a result, there are 105,450 fewer voters in the Pierce Transit district this election. And that's generating a lot of phone calls to the Auditor's Office.
The boundary change occurred after a Public Transportation Improvement Conference (PTIC) as outlined by RCW 36.57A.020 approved the removal of the jurisdictions mention above. The PTIC membership was comprised of one elected official from each jurisdiction within Pierce County and the Pierce County Council. There were three public meetings and one public hearing by the PTIC from December 2011 to March 2012. The boundary changes became official on May 8, 2012.
A map of the new Pierce Transit boundary is available here.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor(253) 798-3188Julie.Anderson@co.pierce.wa.us
Monday Oct 22 2012 2:23 PM
Jennifer Joly, an experienced policy advisor for the Washington Legislature and the Governor's Office, has been selected as head of government relations for Pierce County.
Joly was selected by a panel of county officials that included Executive Pat McCarthy, Council Chair Joyce McDonald and Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. Joly succeeds George Walk, who retired in June after 22 years of representing Pierce County's interests with state, federal and local governments.
"This is a very important position that works on Pierce County's priorities with decision makers at every level of government," McCarthy said. "Jennifer brings a depth of experience that ensures Pierce County will continue to have a strong voice in Olympia and Washington, D.C. on transportation, public safety and other issues that are crucial to our community."
Joly, a Tacoma resident for the last 10 years, has spent her career in a variety of key positions in Olympia. She served then-Gov. Gary Locke as transportation policy advisor, legislative director and eventually as general counsel. Before that, she served as counsel to the state House of Representatives during the time when every leadership position was shared by Democrats and Republicans due to a 49-49 tie. She started her career as legal counsel and research analyst for the state Legislative Transportation Committee.
"I love this community," Joly said, "and I am looking forward to using my experience in the executive and legislative branches to help Pierce County meet its policy goals."
She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington and a law degree from Seattle University. She recently resigned her position as chair of the state Public Disclosure Commission so she could take the Pierce County job. She still serves as one of 11 trustees on Group Health Cooperative's board of directors.
Joly's appointment is on the County Council's consent agenda for its 3 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
Making the Link 2012 offers the opportunity for the individuals and families to learn about a wide range of local service, providers and programs in Pierce County. Services include in-home care, assisted and skilled nursing facilities, elder law, equipment providers, health care insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, caregiving, emergency assistance, social service agencies, funeral services and much more.
Making the Link 2012 will be held at the Landmark Convention Center, 47 St. Helens Avenue in Tacoma on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is a free, drop-in event and no RSVP is required.
The target audiences for Making the Link 2012 include health care providers and office staff, social service professionals, faith community staff and volunteers as well as the public at large.
Participants will receive an annual compendium of assisted living and skilled nursing facilities in the area, copies of the 2012-2013 edition of Senior Media Service's popular "Where To Turn" resource guide and other resource information.
The event is sponsored by Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources in collaboration with the Health Care Providers Council of Pierce County.
For more information about Making the Link 2012, call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Scott Kinney, Community Connections(253) email@example.com
Bob Riler, Community Connections(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County Executive, Pat McCarthy addresses the crowd. 1/3A 120-acre property will forever remain as a farm and habitat thanks to another successful public-private partnership in the Puyallup River Valley.
Pierce County, the PCC Farmland Trust and other farm advocates gathered Thursday, Oct. 18, to celebrate the purchase and preservation of the Reise Farm, located off Highway 162 near Orting. The farm was purchased in late September with a combination of funding from the Pierce County Conservation Futures program and private fundraising by the Trust. The Trust holds the deed and will manage the land.
"Farming is part of our heritage, and it remains an important component of our local economy and community," said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. "That's why my 2013 budget proposal includes the hiring of a Farm Specialist in our planning department. With partners like PCC Farmland Trust, there will be many more opportunities to help farmers survive and thrive without feeling the pressure to sell their land for the development value."
The Reise Farm contains approximately 80 tillable acres - about half of which are in production under a lease with a neighboring farmer. The Trust is looking for someone to enter a lease-to-own arrangement for an additional 38 acres of farmland. The remaining 40 acres contain a wooded hillside that serves as a buffer to the South Hill community above, as well as the headwaters of Ball Creek, which flows into the Puyallup River. The Trust plans to restore the creek.
The transaction represents an important "first:" It's the first time Pierce County has obtained development rights that can be transferred and used in Tacoma or other urban areas. The goal of the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program is to exchange farmland preservation for urban density.
"We operate statewide, but the Puyallup Valley holds a special place in our vision for the next few years as we hone in on what we can do to conserve farming," said Rebecca Sadinsky, executive director of PCC Farmland Trust. "Farming can contribute so much to the valley: preserving open space; conserving water; enriching soils; controlling erosion; holding water when the river runs high; producing local food for our tables, stores and our farmers markets; and preserving rural character."
Founded in the early 1900s, the property represents a pioneer farm in the Puyallup Valley. The Reise (pronounced rye cee) family had owned the property since the early 1930s. It currently produces corn, blueberries and pumpkins. The blueberry bushes date to World War II.
The purchase price was $1.4 million. Of that amount, $848,000 came from the Conservation Futures program, which dedicates a small portion of the property tax to the purchase and preservation of land for agriculture, open space and parks. The rest of the funding came from private fundraising by the Trust's supporters.
McCarthy, Sadinsky and other farm advocates noted that the county and the Trust also successfully preserved a 100-acre farm a few miles away in 2010. That property, known as Orting Valley Farms, is currently being farmed by three families.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Rebecca Sadinsky, PCC Farmland Trust executive director(206) email@example.com
Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Tuesday Oct 16 2012 12:47 PM
Animal owner John Diller filed a petition for the return of the 39 horses in Pierce County District Court. The Pierce County Auditor's office was served with a copy on Oct. 15. A hearing date has been scheduled for Nov. 1, at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 127 of the County-City Building. The Pierce County District Court case no is 2Z729364C.
Per RCW 16.52.085, the burden will be upon the animal owner to prove, by a preponderance of evidence, that the animals will not suffer future neglect or abuse and are not in need of being restored to health. The Judge will decide whether to return the horses to the animal owner with court imposed conditions or deny the petition which will allow Pierce County Animal Control to proceed with the adoption process. If criminal charges are filed before the hearing date, the petition will be joined with the criminal case.
All 39 horses are still in the care of Pierce County Animal Control and are doing well.
"This hearing simply provides the owner with an opportunity to prove that he can provide adequate care for these horses. The judge could grant full, partial, or no release of the horses. The judge can also order conditions to be met prior to release, or an inspection plan to monitor the horses if any are returned," said Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor. "Our case file is on its way to the Prosecutor's Office."
MEDIA CONTACTJulie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor253email@example.comRead on...
Monday Oct 15 2012 1:17 PM
In light of the recent rains and the forecast for continued precipitation, the Pierce County Fire Prevention Bureau lifted the countywide burn ban as of noon on Monday, Oct. 15.
The lifting of the fire safety burn ban doe...Read on...
Monday Oct 15 2012 12:51 PM
The Pierce County Council will hold at least eight public hearings over the next two weeks to ask questions and discuss key spending areas before it adopts a 2013 budget.
The Council will start its Committee of the Whole hearings on Wednesday, Oct. 17 with an overview from Budget and Finance Director Gary Robinson. He will be followed by presentations and question-and-answer sessions on Oct. 18 and Oct. 24-25 with department directors and elected leaders representing parks, public works, courts, law enforcement and more.
The Council will spend that time examining County Executive Pat McCarthy's proposed $884 million budget that was submitted on Sept. 21.
"These are very challenging times for citizens and businesses in Pierce County. Our job is to ensure we are spending taxpayer dollars effectively and efficiently on the priorities that support Pierce County," said Council Chair Joyce McDonald (District 2). "These hearings are open to the public, and they are televised and streamed live over the Internet. Members of the public are encouraged to contact their representative on the Council with thoughts and questions about the budget."
The Council has put placeholders on its calendar for possible meetings between Oct. 26 and Nov. 5. The Council's calendar shows it could take final action on the 2013 budget on either Nov. 6 or Nov. 13.
The meetings are scheduled to be held in the Council Chambers, located on the 10th floor of the County-City Building. The address is 930 Tacoma Ave. S., Room 1045, Tacoma.
Committee of the Whole hearings will be aired live and replayed on Pierce County TV, which is found in most areas on channel 22. The hearings also will be streamed live and archived at www.piercecountytv.org.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Joyce McDonald, Council Chair253firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Oct 12 2012 12:13 PM
Pierce County News top stories for the week of Oct. 11:
• Lakewood Sounder service starts• Council Members tour water quality sites• Lifesaving signs go up on West Pierce lakes• Domestic Violence awareness month – interview with Susan Adams, Family Justice Center• New baby tiger at Point Defiance gets tiger 'stepbrother'• Italian Glassmaster Lino Tagliapietra back at Museum of Glass – extraordinary work• Parks – 'Monster Mash' coming.
The 20-minute newscast is produced by PCTV and can be seen on channel 22 Comcast and Click! Watch Pierce County News every day at 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., or find us on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/piercecountytv.Read on...
More than 2,500 people flocked to Sprinker Recreation Center last month for the 5th annual Touch A Truck event, which gave kids of all ages the chance to get up close with trucks of all shapes and sizes.
Participants were asked to vote on their favorite rig of the day, and the Fan Favorite Award ended up in a three-way tie. Executive Pat McCarthy presented awards to the following people and organizations:
• Pierce Transit's Lind Simonsen for the transit bus.• Undersheriff Eileen Bisson for the "armored bearcat"• Greg Shelton of Pierce County Parks and Recreation for the backhoe.
The Parks and Recreation Department wishes to thank all departments and local businesses who participated in the event. And, they offer an even bigger thanks to the little and big kids (aka "daddies") who came out to enjoy the rigs.
Mark your calendar for next year's Touch A Truck, which will be on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013.
-Andrea Clay, Parks and RecreationRead on...
Wednesday Oct 10 2012 1:12 PM
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) Sunday is an annual community event offered free-of-charge to anyone interested in learning the basic lifesaving skills of CPR. On Sunday, Oct. 14, citizens are invited to learn the fundamentals of CPR and are then given the opportunity to practice with CPR manikins and automated external defibrillators (AED).
Attendees can expect:• More than 50 certified Basic Life Support instructors• One-and-a-half hours of classroom training and 1 hour hands on training• Four class options: 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m. or 2 p.m.• Practical training with CPR manikins and AED's
Attendees will learn:• What happens when you call 9-1-1 • Patient assessment • One rescuer adult/child/infant CPR and obstructed airway • Automated external defibrillator use • Foreign body airway obstruction management • Essentials of a home first aid kit
Upon successful completion of the course, students receive a Tacoma Fire citizen level CPR card (good for two years).CPR Sunday will be held at Foss High School , 2112 S. Tyler St., Tacoma.
To secure your preferred class time, pre-register at www.cprsunday.net/. For additional information please contact Firefighter Craig Hanna at (253) 579-7500.Read on...
Wednesday Oct 10 2012 9:08 AM
A section of Artondale Drive NW near Gig Harbor will be closed from 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11 to 6 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12 as part of an area road construction project.
Artondale Drive NW will be closed from Wollochet Drive...Read on...
Wednesday Oct 10 2012 8:58 AM
More than 1,000 Pierce County youth will join millions of students across the country Oct. 10 to participate in the 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge experiment. Youth will discover how real life engineers use robots to help solve environmental problems.
Students will build an Eco-Bot from a toothbrush head, small motor, and watch battery to clean up a hypothetical environmental spill on the beach. In this experiment, rice simulates a toxic spill and students test their engineering skills to see how well their Eco-Bot contains and cleans up the spill.
Stephon, age 7, built a containment area for his Eco-Bot using tape, straws, cups, and paper. "The Eco-Bot moves really fast. I had fun building a wall so it would stay in one area. It swept up the rice and cleaned the beach," he said. "Robots are important to keep fish and animals safe. They help keep people safe from bad stuff, too."
"This year's experiment helps young people understand the important link between engineering, the environment, and working together to find solutions," said Christina Murray, Washington State University Pierce County Extension 4-H Coordinator. "It gives them a taste of how this technology impacts and benefits human life today and in the future. We hope this experiment will inspire young people to discover new interests and career options in science and engineering."
Now entering its fifth year, 4-H National Youth Science Day will again bring young people face-to-face with the challenges of today's global economy, said Donald T. Floyd Jr., National 4-H Council president and CEO. "America faces a future of intense global competition with a startling shortage of scientists. However, with high-quality positive youth development programs like 4-H National Youth Science Day, youth are introduced to highly relevant concepts and solutions that will ensure their contributions to their communities today, and their success as global leaders tomorrow," he said.
WSU Pierce County 4-H works with the following organizations to advance science exploration with local youth through participation in the science experiment: YMCA of Pierce County, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, Fife Library, JBLM, Communities In Schools of Lakewood, Tacoma Nature Center, Puget Sound Educational Service District, Tacoma Daycare, Cascade Christian Schools, NE Tacoma Elementary, Daffodil Valley Elementary, McCarver Elementary, Fern Hill Elementary, Lyon Elementary, Midland Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Naches Trail, and Harbor Ridge Middle School.
Currently, more than 5 million young people across the nation participate in 4 H science, engineering and technology programming in topics as varied as robotics, rocketry, wind power, GPS mapping, agricultural science, film making, water quality and biofuels. And, through the One Million New Scientists, One Million New Ideas campaign, 4 H has undertaken a bold goal of engaging one million additional young people in science, engineering and technology programming by 2013. For more information on 4-H NYSD, visit www.4-H.org/NYSD
This year's 4-H National Youth Science Day is jointly sponsored Lockheed Martin, Toyota, Donaldson Filtration Systems, and John Deere.
Photos of youth participating in the experiment are available for media use.
Pierce County 4-Hcounty.wsu.edu/pierce/youth/Pages/default.aspx
4-H National Youth Science Dayhttp://www.4-h.org/4-h-national-youth-science-day/
MEDIA CONTACTS:Christina Murray, WSU Pierce County 4-H253-798-3223murraychristin@wsuRead on...
Monday Oct 08 2012 2:05 PM
Pierce County Television, which provides information and transparency for local governments, was recently recognized in 12 award categories by a national industry association.
PCTV's awards included recognition for two of its signature programs: the seasonal news magazine "Rainier Country" and the weekly news program "Pierce County News." PCTV also won an honorable mention for overall excellence in programming - a category that is judged on the variety of programming quality throughout the year.
Local governments throughout the United States and Canada submitted more than 650 entries for the 27th Annual Government Programming Awards, hosted by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA). The awards, announced Sept. 29, honor excellence in broadcast, cable, multimedia and electronic programming.
Overall, PCTV won four second-place awards and eight honorable mentions.
"Rainier Country," which features stories about people, places, programs and events around Pierce County, won second place in the news magazine category. Other second-place awards honored a public service announcement regarding 9-1-1 calls, a video about street improvements in University Place and a promotional spot for the weekly news program.
"Pierce County News" received an honorable mention for a special presentation on economic development. Other honorable mentions were singled out for a 9/11 anniversary special and a profile of the Medical Examiner's Office, among other things.
"These national awards show the valuable role that high-quality video productions play in building stronger, more connected communities," said PCTV General Manager Bill Oltman.
Pierce County Television is the government access channel for Pierce County and some of its cities and towns, under the direction of the Rainier Communications Commission. The channel is seen on channel 22 on Click and Comcast cable; and on channel 76 on Rainier cable. A live stream of programming is available at www.piercecountytv.org as well as archived programs and council meetings for Pierce County, University Place, Puyallup, Sumner, DuPont, Fife and Orting, among others.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director(253) email@example.com
Bill Oltman, PCTV general manager(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Friday Oct 05 2012 3:22 PM
Candidates for the State House and Senate representing Pierce County's Legislative Districts 2, 25 and 27 will participate in a citizen forum on Monday, Oct. 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Puyallup United Methodist Church, 1919 W. Pioneer in Puyallup.
The Pierce County Candidate Forum will be dedicated to issues that are important to older adults and adults with disabilities. The forum is sponsored by the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources Advisory Board, AARP Washington, the ElderCare Alliance, the Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the Washington State Senior Citizens' Lobby.
The forum will include a brief presentation from AARP and family caregivers, followed by a moderated discussion with invited legislative candidates and audience question and answer. Twelve candidates have committed to attend the forum, including: • District 2: Greg Hartman and Gary Alexander• District 25: Dawn Morrell, Shelly Schlumpf, Hans Zeiger, Bill Hilton (Reps); Bruce Dammeier and Eric Herde (Sen)• District 27: Laurie Jinkins, Lauren Walker (Reps); Jeannie Darneille, and Jack Connelly (Sen).
The Pierce County Candidate Forum is free to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m. Come and hear from your State legislative candidates and ask questions about issues that are important to you!
For more information contact the at (253) 798-4600 or (800) 562-0332.
Friday Oct 05 2012 10:34 AM
Residents can learn how to reduce the amount of waste they produce by attending Pierce County's free composting classes this October and November. One class will focus on yard waste, and the second will focus on food waste.
"These classes are a great way to learn about the two kinds of composting," said Mary Coleman, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities environmental educator. "Each class teaches tips and techniques to help you get started. You'll learn from our experience, too. We'll explain why you might want to keep pumpkin seeds out of your compost—I accidentally grew pumpkins in all of my raised beds this year!"
Yard waste compostingIn the yard waste class, students will learn how to choose a bin, where to put it and how to maintain a healthy compost pile.
"By adding compost to your garden and landscaping, you can improve soil quality and eliminate the need for costly chemical fertilizers," Coleman said.
Food waste compostingThis class shows how composting with red worms reduces the amount of kitchen waste a family produces. Food waste composting is a great solution for people who live in apartments or have small yards. The compost produced by the worms works well in potted plants and small landscaped areas.
"Food makes up a third of the waste going to the landfill," said Coleman. "One of the easiest and most economical ways to reduce our overall waste is for residents to compost their food waste at home."
Food waste class attendees also have the option of purchasing a starter bin and worms for $30.
Yard Waste classes• Oct. 11: 6 to 8 p.m., Washington State University (WSU) Puyallup, Victoria Room, 2607 W Pioneer in Puyallup • Oct. 20: 10 a.m. to noon, Bonney Lake Fire Station, 18421 Old Buckley Highway in Bonney Lake• Nov. 3: 10 a.m. to noon, Environmental Services Building, 9850 64th St. W in University Place
Food Waste classes• Oct. 23: 10 a.m. to noon, WSU Puyallup, Victoria Room• Nov. 7: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Sehmel Homestead Park Pavilion, 10123 78th Ave. NW, Gig Harbor• Nov. 15: 6 to 8 p.m., Bonney Lake Fire Station
Pre-registration is required. To register for a workshop, visit www.piercecountywa.org/composting or call (253) 798-2179. The classes are taught by environmental educators from Pierce County Public Works and Utilities.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Mary Coleman, Public Works and Utilities environmental educator(253) email@example.com
Friday Oct 05 2012 9:11 AM
Managing the behavior of a family member with dementia can be a harrowing task. Communicating with a person with dementia can be distressing for everyone. Wandering behaviors, especially as the winter months come along, becom...Read on...
Wednesday Oct 03 2012 3:33 PM
To vote in the upcoming presidential election you first must be registered.
Saturday, Oct. 6 is the last day to register to vote or change your address by mail. Mail-in registration forms must be postmarked on or befor...Read on...
Pierce County Department of Emergency Management is hosting its 2012 Open House/Winter Weather Preparedness Fair on Saturday, Oct. 13. The event will run from noon to 4 p.m. and will feature indoor presentations and activities (including a children's activity room) and outdoor demonstration and displays. This is a great opportunity to see the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and to hear how it operates during emergencies and disasters. The Pierce County EOC is located at 2501 S. 35th St. in Tacoma.
Presentations and demonstrations include a National Weather Service winter outlook, tours of the EOC and the Urban Search and Rescue cache, winter home safety considerations, overview of earthquakes in the NW, building a winter emergency kit, chaining up a vehicle and other car safety checks, search and rescue K-9 demos, mobile vehicles from the Soup Ladies, Red Cross and Salvation Army, and much more.
For more information call 253-798-6595.
MEDIA CONTACT:Sheri Badger, Emergency Management public information officer253-798-2204 or 253-377-4149 (cell)firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County residents are invited to help Curtis High School's Environmental Club install a rain garden on the school's campus in University Place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct 13. The rain garden will be installed off of 40th Street W between buildings 200 and 300.
"A rain garden is a native plant garden with a special purpose: to capture, soak up and filter rain water runoff before it enters local waterways," said Ryan Misley, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities environmental educator. "The Environmental Club decided to take action after studying how runoff affects local streams, rivers, lakes and Puget Sound."
When it rains, water flows over hard surfaces such as roofs, parking lots, and roads, collecting pollutants such as motor oil, bacteria from pet waste, fertilizers and pesticides. The polluted runoff enters storm drains and ditches that flow to local waterways without treatment. Rain gardens filter runoff as it soaks into the ground and recharges groundwater, instead of polluting waterways.
"The students have worked hard to organize the event and are looking forward to planting a garden at their school that will also help reduce the amount of polluted runoff coming from their school," Misley said.
The club is working with staff from Pierce County, the City of University Place, and the Pierce Conservation District to complete the rain garden. They also received donations from University Place Refuse.
Project overviewThe site was selected by the club with the help of Curtis High School Principal Terry Jenks and Misley, because of its visibility and source of considerable roof runoff. Students and volunteers will carry out tasks such as digging the garden, filling it with rain garden soil mix, planting native plants, and applying mulch and water.
"As District Athletic and Activity Director, it is my job to support the ideas and work of students that extend the learning beyond the classroom," said Jenks. "In regards to the Curtis High School rain garden project, the students have done a lot of great work that I have been able to support and assist in moving forward."
Sophomore Christine Phan designed the rain garden with oversight by Misley.
"I really hope we move forward this year and install more rain gardens in our schools," Phan said.
Get involvedVolunteers should come prepared for the weather. Work will proceed rain or shine. Gloves, tools and light refreshments will be available at the site.
To volunteer, contact Melissa Buckingham, Pierce Conservation District urban conservation program coordinator, at (253) 845-2973 or email email@example.com.
Learn simple steps you can take on your property to reduce polluted runoff entering local waterways, as well as techniques and guidelines for designing a rain garden, at www.piercecountywa.org/lid.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Ryan Misley, Public Works and Utilities environmental educator(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheryl Rhinehart, Public Works and Utilities outreach coordinator (253) email@example.comRead on...
Tuesday Oct 02 2012 10:45 AM
Adults and children have something in common. They are both very susceptible to brain injury. The impact of any kind of brain injury – concussion, TBI, acquired brain injury – may have long lasting consequences.
"Brain Injury Reality Check" will provide an overview of the signs and symptoms of brain injuries with a special look at what parents need to know regarding their children's sports activities. The presentation will be held Saturday, Oct. 20 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Pierce County Soundview Building, 3611 S. D Street in Tacoma.
An estimated 1.7 million children and adults in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Currently more than 3.1 million children and adults in the US live with a lifelong disability as a result of TBI.
"We used to think that children were immune to severe brain injuries," said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources. "But we now know that the effects of brain injuries may last years and perhaps even a lifetime. Brain injury is nothing to be taken lightly. Everyone, especially parents, needs to know prevention as well as the consequences."
"Brain Injury Reality Check" is free and no RSVP is required. The presentation is co-sponsored by the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center, the Brain Injury Association of Washington and Cascade Park Active Day. For more information call the Pierce County Aging & Disability resource Center at (253) 798-4600.
Thursday Sep 27 2012 4:00 PM
Offers of help are pouring into the Pierce County Auditor's Office as Animal Control officers wrap up seizing 39 horses amid an investigation of neglect.
"Responding to people's compassion and generosity is almost as challenging as rescuing the 39 horses," said Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson. "We've been inundated with offers of help and people wanting to know how to help. We've had donation offers from farriers to feed stores and even an equine massage therapist. We were especially touched when a 4-H Club approached us, to have kids take this on as a community service project."
Unfortunately, individual volunteers can not volunteer to handle or help with the care of the horses, as they are evidence in an investigation. Many of the horses are stallions. These horses have been traumatized and are very difficult - and sometimes dangerous - to handle.
A volunteer group of experienced horsemen is being assembled to assist with the horses. These men and women come from groups such as Peninsula Mounted Search and Rescue, Backcountry Horsemen, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, the Washington State Animal Response Team and Pierce County Animal Response Team.
In response to the public's desire to help, the Auditor encouraged people to donate money to help Pierce County pay for care and rehabilitation, which is expected to cost up to $40,000. Donations can be made to: Pierce County Auditor's Office, 2401 South 35th Street, Room 200, Tacoma, WA 98409. Donors will receive an acknowledgement letter with the county's tax deductible information.
The county also could use muck rakes for cleaning stalls. If members of the public are willing to donate (not loan) these items, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Auditor's Office has already received two unsolicited donations of nearly two tons of hay, including a donation from an anonymous donor as well as former county employee Dick Zierman and King Feed (304th and Mountain Highway).
These horses are not available for adoption because Pierce County does not own them. They are being held as evidence in a criminal investigation. The owner has the option to surrender the horses to Pierce County, however he has declined to do so. If the horses become available for adoption, the Pierce County Auditor's Office will make applications available to the public.
MEDIA CONTACT:Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor253-798-3188 or 253-318-0493 (cell)Read on...
Thursday Sep 27 2012 9:57 AM
The boat launch on 72nd Street KPS near Long Branch reopened at 3 p.m. Sept. 26 following Pierce County's rehabilitation of the ramp – two days ahead of schedule.
Crews replaced the existing ramp structure with concrete panels purchased from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The county will repave the ramp approach Oct. 1, but the launch will remain open during the work.
Nearby county-operated launch sites include A Street KPS in Home, Hall Road in Vaughn, and Randall Drive NW near Gig Harbor.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Kendal Willits, Public Works and Utilities maintenance program manager(253) 798-4982< ahref="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Radford, Public Works and Utilities public information officer(253) 798-2464< ahref="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Thursday Sep 27 2012 9:56 AM
Pierce County's Target Zero law enforcement team dedicated to reducing the number of people killed by impaired drivers is headed for Tacoma the weekend of Sept. 29.
The team has arrested more than 2,500 impaired drivers since July 2010. The officers' efforts saved at least 21 lives and reduced drug- and alcohol- related fatalities by an unprecedented 30 percent.
However, downtown streets and several in north Tacoma, including 6th Avenue, continue to pose risks to pedestrians and drivers. Bar hopping has grown on the avenue along with the number of licensed premises.
"Impaired drivers and pedestrians on the same street at the same time are nothing more than a terrible tragedy waiting to happen," said Fircrest Police Chief John Cheesman. He is chair of the Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force, which coordinates the efforts of local law enforcement agencies with those of the Washington State Patrol and the community.
More than 30 troopers, officers and deputies are expected to join forces on Sept. 29 beginning at 9 p.m. To maximize their time on targeted streets, the Washington State Patrol park its Mobile Impaired Driving Unit (MIDU) nearby. Officers will bring their arrestees to the 36-foot motor home to be tested for alcohol and placed in a holding cell before turning around and getting back on the road within minutes.
An additional team of three Home Safe Bar officers, including the Liquor Control Board, as well as family members who have lost a loved one in a drunk driving crash, will visit bars to raise awareness about over-service among servers and bartenders. They also will provide customers with phone numbers for taxis. Law enforcement will follow up Monday or Tuesday by contacting the owners of bars where drivers, arrested Saturday night, said they had been drinking last.
The Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force is comprised of 24 member agencies and is funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and local law enforcement agencies. The task force, which just celebrated its 30th birthday, is administered by Pierce County Community Connections.
Media who want to tour the Mobile Impaired Driving Unit, accompany the Home Safe Bar team or ride along with a DUI officer should contact Gloria Mansfield Averill.
MEDIA CONTACT: Gloria Mansfield Averill, Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force253-222-9088 (cell)Read on...
Wednesday Sep 26 2012 1:57 PM
Pierce County Animal Control officers are in the process of seizing 39 horses this morning from a property in the area of the 30800 block of Meridian East.
Animal Control officers served a search warrant this morning in response to another law enforcement agency's concerns over the health of horses on the property.
Officers found 39 horses on the property living in deplorable conditions. Many of the horses had medical issues, some were very thin, and some have various types of injuries. Most of the horses were in barns that had large amounts of urine and feces in the stalls as well as the aisle ways. Some of the barns had no lighting or ventilation and the smell of ammonia was very strong.
All of the horses are being removed and taken to an undisclosed location for veterinary care and to be held as evidence.
Agencies from around the area are assisting with transporting and feeding the horses while they are in custody. 1 ton of feed is being delivered today to feed the horses.
"This is the largest seizure of horses that Pierce County Animal Control has ever undertaken," said Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor. "Horses are expensive animals to seize and provide care for."
The number of animals seized and their prior living conditions make this operation particularly challenging. "Many of the horses appeared to have been kept in conditions with no sunlight or ventilation and are very scared," Anderson said.
"We were able to get everything put together very quickly to have the animals removed and receive the proper care they need," said Brian Boman, Pierce County Animal Control supervisor.
While this is an ongoing investigation; the animal owners could face charges of animal cruelty in the second degree, a gross misdemeanor in the state of Washington.
Pierce County Animal Control is a division of the Auditor's Office.
Media Contacts:Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor253-318-0493253-798-3188
Brian Boman, Animal ControlRead on...
Wednesday Sep 26 2012 1:54 PM
Eight members of the Pierce County Sheriff's Cadet Program performed well at the week-long Washington Law Enforcement Exploring Advisors Academy.
Pierce County sent seven cadets to the Basic Academy and one to the Advanced Academy. More than 325 youths participated. Here are some notable results by Pierce County Cadets from the Academy competitions featuring 325 participants at Columbia Basin College in Pasco:
Basic Academy• Cadet Howard Goakey brought home the Gold by taking 1st in Academics (considered one of the more important achievements).• Cadet Kendra Fish brought home Silver in Firearms (Score of 278 out of 280).• Cadet Austin Flynn shot for a score 276 out of 280, which placed him 4th for Firearms, earning an Honorable Mention.
Advanced Academy• Cadet Sgt. Brittney Davidson brought home the Bronze in Academics (this is her third academy and second award)
The Sheriff's Cadet Program is a volunteer program geared toward youth ages 15 to 21 who may be interested in a career in law enforcement or other aspects of the criminal justice field. They attend weekly meetings and gain exposure as well as hands on experience from our Sheriff's Deputies on the streets and our Corrections Deputies in the Jail. They are able to put their training to the test through local competitions and the state-run Academy.
They also give back to the citizens of Pierce County by performing hours of community service while representing the Sheriff's Department. More information is available at www.piercesheriff.org.
CONTACT:Yolanda Guiler, Sheriff's Department(253) email@example.comRead on...
Wednesday Sep 26 2012 1:53 PM
Pierce County Emergency Management and Information Technology won both a national and international awards competition for its new Damage Assessment Mobile Application. The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) announced on Tuesday that Pierce County's new application won the IAEM-USA Technology & Innovation Award, and then went on to win the IAEM-Global Award in the same category.
The Damage Assessment mobile application allows emergency responders and volunteers to take pictures of property damaged by disasters, take notes on the property and immediately upload the information into the emergency operations center (EOC) web-based system, WebEOC. A map is displayed with the damaged properties, utilizing GPS, and is analyzed by the damage assessment center.
"This tool allows us to do the entire damage assessment process with real time information back to the EOC almost immediately after the disaster, and with fewer people committed to the field," said Emergency Management Director Steve Bailey, "It is a faster and more cost effective way to assess damages to buildings, vehicles and critical infrastructure, and moves us more quickly into recovery."
The two departments developed the application shortly after the County started implementing the use of iPad technology.
The IAEM-USA and the IAEM-Global Technology & Innovation Awards recognize the development of technology and innovation to improve emergency management operations, public education, or the emergency management/homeland security field. The awards will be presented at the annual IAEM conference in Orlando, FL at the end of October.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Sheri Badger, Emergency Management public information officer253-798-2204 or 253-377-4149 (cell)firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy proposes spending less on general government services in 2013 than is budgeted for this year.
The Executive's 2013 budget proposal makes strategic cuts in most departments to achieve a $1.6 million reduction in the General Fund, which receives undesignated revenues that finance the majority of traditional services associated with county government.
"We are not relying on grants or bailouts or wishes for better times. This is a stable and sustainable budget," McCarthy said. "It relies on realistic revenue assumptions, builds on our goal of enhancing customer service, and continues investments in key areas that help our economy and communities grow and prosper."
McCarthy outlined themes and highlights during her annual budget address to the County Council at its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 25.
Under the Executive's proposal:
• General Fund spending would drop from $275.6 million this year to $274 million in 2013.• Approximately 79 percent of the General Fund would be dedicated to public safety – the same percentage as this year.• Total spending - this includes construction, utilities, etc. - would increase by nearly $45 million to $884 million. The increase is primarily due to work on the expansion of the Chambers Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is needed to accommodate growth, replace aging infrastructure and protect Puget Sound.• A total of 49 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions would be cut, including 33 in the General Fund. At least half would come from vacancies through retirements or departures. If these reductions are approved, the County will have cut 514 positions – nearly 15 percent of its workforce – since 2008.
The Executive noted that negotiations continue with all 23 of the county's labor units, so decisions have not been made regarding 2013 salaries and benefits.
McCarthy has spent four years making strategic spending cuts that preserve core services amid less revenue from sales and property taxes. Her administration has focused on resetting processes and using technology to improve the delivery of services. One highlight is the Planning and Land Services Department, which has seen a 10 percent increase in permits issued despite a 25 percent decrease in walk-ins to the Development Center and losing more than half its staff in the past three years.
"I am proud of the efforts by our leaders and staff to find ways to provide services more efficiently," McCarthy said. "We will continue to make the kind of sound financial decisions that recently prompted Standard & Poor's to upgrade the county's bond rating."
Next month, the County Council will hold a series of budget hearings that will be televised on Pierce County TV (channel 22 on Comcast and Click!) as well as streamed live and archived at www.piercecountytv.org. The Council will announce the hearings schedule as soon as dates are confirmed. Final approval of a 2013 budget is expected in November.
MEDIA CONTACT:Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director(253) email@example.comRead on...
Tuesday Sep 25 2012 11:37 AM
In 2009, the Lake Tapps Community Council and Cascade Water Alliance established long term agreements ensuring consistent, seasonal lake levels every year. The following is the annual 2012/13 winter and spring lake level an...Read on...
Tuesday Sep 25 2012 11:32 AM
Pierce County residents are invited to celebrate the newly rebuilt fish ladder on the Chambers Creek dam when it opens Sept. 27, just in time for the fall salmon run.
The repairs allow the reopening of the second fish ladder on the dam, significantly enhancing access for returning salmon to 10 miles of upstream creek habitat.
A crew of volunteers called the Chambers Creek Restoration Team rebuilt the fish ladder for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife using materials purchased with grants, along with technical assistance from the Puyallup Tribe of Indians.
"This is an important step in improving fish passage in the creek," said Pierce County Councilmember Dick Muri (District 6). "The county and state have invested $13.2 million in upstream improvements. Now it's time to let these fish go home."
The upstream improvements include a new culvert in Leach Creek crossing Bridgeport Way, water quality improvement to stormwater along Highway 99 in Lakewood, enlarged wetlands, and several fish passages above Steilacoom Lake.
Celebration on Sept. 27 - Use Bridgeport & Grandview & Chambers Creek Road
The public is invited to celebrate the opening of the fish ladder at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 27 at the Chambers Creek dam, which is located on Chambers Creek Road W, in University Place south of Chambers Bay Golf Course. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will use a crane and other equipment to remove the dam's steel door and let water flow through the restored fish ladder.
Councilmember Muri and Public Works and Utilities Director Brian Ziegler are scheduled to speak at the celebration.
"Pierce County applauds this all-volunteer effort," Ziegler said. "Opening the second ladder will preserve fish runs in the upper creek as it allows more adult and juvenile salmon to survive."
Supporters are hopeful this is just the beginning.
"The ladders force the fish into a narrow area where they are easier to catch by seals, sea lions and bird predators," said Al Schmauder of the Clover Creek Council. "Long-range plans call for restoration of the Chambers Bay Estuary. Within five years, we hope to finalize the agreement with the state and the county to remove the dam entirely."
MEDIA CONTACTS:Al Schmauder, Clover Creek Council253-581-2364
Hunter George, Pierce County Communications firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Tuesday Sep 25 2012 10:00 AM
Pierce County's Public Works and Utilities department applied for and received a low-interest state loan for the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion project.
The $13 million loan will supplement the county's bond sales and will be paid back to the state Public Works Trust Fund with 1 percent interest over 20 years. Pierce County will receive the loan money in 2014 after state legislative approval.
"This loan will save the county and our sewer rate payers nearly $7 million just in interest payments," said Brian Ziegler, Pierce County's public works director.
Sewer Revenue Bonds were sold in August to fund the majority of the treatment plant expansion. These bonds will be paid back at a rate of 3.589 percent, a 40-year low in interest rates.
The Public Works Trust Fund Board is one of the state's primary infrastructure financing authorities. The Board uses a four-part risk assessment to evaluate the eligibility of applicants, the importance of the project, the managerial capacity of the local government, and the financial strength of the jurisdiction or its underlying infrastructure system. Pierce County's Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion was one of 277 projects funded in the 2014 funding cycle and received the maximum amount allowed through the program. A total 335 applications were received by the Public Works Trust Fund Board.
Pierce County's Public Works and Utilities department will continue to apply for Public Works Trust Fund loans for the 2015 and 2016 funding cycles to augment future bond sales and help finance the $350 million project. The county is expanding and upgrading the plant to make room for future growth in the region, replace aging infrastructure and stay ahead of changing environmental regulations.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Steve Kamieniecki, Public Works and Utilities sewer utility senior planner(253) email@example.com
Lauren Behm, Public Works and Utilities sewer utility public information specialist(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Tuesday Sep 25 2012 9:58 AM
During Pierce County Library System's sixth annual library card drive—Oct. 1-31, get a free library card and enter to win a Kindle Fire HD.
"This library is very necessary," said Amanda Love, mother of six and a Tillicum resident. "It gives me a connection to my community and I get knowledge, entertainment and see my neighbors all in one happy place."
Currently 261,000 people have Pierce County Library cards. With the card people get an array of free services, including access to:
• More than one million books, movies, and CDs.• Online help in real-time from professional homework tutors and job coaches.• E-books, audiobooks and songs to download.• Computers.• Credible, reliable information from online e-sources—Consumer Reports, Morningstar Investment Research Center and Chilton car repair. • Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum and Washington State History Museum Passes.
People who already have a library card may enter the drawing to win a Kindle Fire HD, by bringing a friend to a library and getting them a card. Military personnel and families may enter the drawing by showing their military ID.
Adults and kids can get a card online24/7 or at one of 18 libraries during open hours. Also, yes, there's an app for that. People with smartphones can use a card app from either < ahref='http://www.keyringapp.com/'>keyringapp.com orcardstar.comand take their library card everywhere on their phone.
People who live in or own property in unincorporated Pierce County, Bonney Lake, Buckley, DuPont, Eatonville, Edgewood, Fife, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Milton, Orting, South Prairie, Steilacoom, Sumner, University Place, or Wilkeson; as well as people who live on a military base, tribal land or national park in the county, can get a free library card. Through a borrowing agreement with Puyallup, Roy and Tacoma Public Libraries, residents in those cities may also get free cards.
During the Library's card drive in October 2011, 7,050 people got cards.Read on...
Monday Sep 24 2012 11:48 AM
Sound Transit would like to invite you to a three-station celebration Saturday, Oct. 6 as they launch Sounder train service to Lakewood and South Tacoma! They'll have free train rides and fun activities for the whole family at Lakewood Station, South Tacoma Station and Freighthouse Square at Tacoma Dome Station. Commuter service starts Monday, Oct. 8.
Free parking, live music, refreshments, transit information, and a chance to win an ORCA card pre-loaded with $50 will be at all stations.
Each station will also have special activities only found at that particular stop, so be sure to visit each stop along the way!
Free Sounder rides, Saturday, Oct. 6.
To offer more flexibility for our guests, event buses marked "Special" will also be available to take passengers between stations.
Event times and locationsLakewood Station 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.11424 Pacific Highway S.W., Lakewood
South Tacoma Station 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.5650 S Washington St., Tacoma
Tacoma Dome Station (Freighthouse Square)12 to 3 p.m.2501 East D St., Tacoma
What's happening at eachRead on...
Monday Sep 24 2012 10:04 AM
Looking to do business with governments?
Meet purchasing agents from local, state, federal and other public agencies at the Great Pierce County Purchasing Forum.
Exhibitors include Pierce County, City of Tacoma, Port of Tacoma, Pierce Transit, Washington Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Joint Base Lewis McChord, U.S. Navy Fleet and Industrial Supply, U.S. General Services Administration, U.S naval Underwater Warfare Center, Pacific NW Defense Coalition, NW Minority Supplier Development Council, Washington C.A.S.H., and more. It's also a great opportunity to meet other business people in the region.
Friday, Oct. 128 a.m. - NoonEnvironmental Services Building9850 64th St. WestUniversity Place, WA 98467To register call Hans Kueck at (253) 798-2335
MEDIA CONTACT:Hans Kueck, Economic Development(253) email@example.comRead on...
Monday Sep 24 2012 9:35 AM
Editor's note: An earlier version of this announcement erroneously said the flight already occurred. This version contains updates throughout to show the flights are scheduled for Sept. 27-28.
Army Soldier Jeremy Sawyer was serving his country in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated three feet from him, taking both of his legs at the knee, rupturing both ear drums and causing numerous other injuries.
Since then, he has been recovering at the Center for the Intrepid at Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio. His wish was to be able to spend his next birthday with his two sons, who live in Spanaway, Wash.
With airlines unable to assist in the special needs of Wounded Warriors, Veterans Airlift Command contacted Chinook Flight of Everett and Morgan Design Group of Seattle and asked for help. Morgan Design Group's John Parsaie said: "Get the plane ready."
The assembled team will leave Washington on Sept. 27 and pick up Specialist Sawyer on Sept. 28. He will be flown to Pierce County Airport-Thun Field near Puyallup, where he will spend his birthday with his children prior to returning to Brooke Army Medical Center for a critical surgery the next day.
"This mission is funded by several organizations and individuals, and I'm happy I can be a part of making this soldier's wish come true," said Chinook Flight's Richard Newman, who is donating his time as pilot. Newman is an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve with 24 years service.
Morgan Design is loaning its Cessna 414 Chancellor, a twin-engine light executive aircraft. This will enable Sawyer to travel with his mother, who has been his non-medical care giver since he was sent directly to Brookes Army Medical Center from Afghanistan. They will travel with a collapsible wheel chair and pertinent medical support items for his care and comfort. Seats will be removed from the plane to allow more room for these care items.
Tim Braly, systems engineer at Brocade, is donating his time as the co-pilot through his company's Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program and is personally paying for the fuel costs for the mission.
CONTACT: Richard T. Newman, Chinook Flight Simulations co-ownerPaine Field (KPAE) (425)Read on...
Friday Sep 21 2012 10:29 AM
The Pierce County Department of Community Connections is seeking new members to serve on the Allocation Advisory Committee for Prevention Programs, an advisory body to Pierce County government on the use of tax dollars set a...Read on...
Friday Sep 21 2012 10:25 AM
The boat launch on 72nd Street KPS near Long Branch will be closed Sept. 24-28 so Pierce County can rehabilitate the ramp.
Crews will replace the existing ramp structure with concrete panels purchased from the Washington...Read on...
Friday Sep 21 2012 10:16 AM
Teens and young adults interested in aviation are invited to attend a kick-off meeting for a new Aviation Exploring Post being established in Pierce County.
The meeting will be held Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Pavco Flight...Read on...
Thursday Sep 20 2012 1:15 PM
Retirement is everyone's goal. But good retirement takes good planning. And it isn't all about money either. How people plan during the last two to five years of work before retirement can make a world of difference. "Retiring Soon? Prepare!" provides the tools and resources that everyone will need to use as they approach that retirement date.
"Retiring Soon? Prepare!" is a two-hour workshop by Elder Law Attorney Rajiv Nagaich. It emphasizes that an effective, healthy and enjoyable retirement demands a "big picture" approach that includes a broad range of issues. Among the issues that will be covered are retirement resources (Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits), health issues, housing, finances, legal concerns, re-careering and volunteering.
The free workshop will be held at numerous locations throughout Pierce County.• Oct 1 – Pierce County Annex – noon to 2 p.m. (2401 S. 35th St, Main Conf. Room, Tacoma) • Oct 2 – Puyallup Activity Center – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (210 W. Pioneer, Puyallup) • Oct 4 – Lakewood Senior Activity Center – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (9112 Lakewood Dr. S.W., Lakewood) • Oct 8 – Bonney Lake Senior Center – 6:30-8:30 p.m. (19304 Bonney Lake Blvd E., Bonney Lake) • Nov 19 – Narrows Glen – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (8201 Sixth Ave, Tacoma)• Nov 20 – Patriots Landing – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (1600 Marshall Cir # 100, DuPont)• Nov 28 – Harbor Place at Cottesmore – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (1016 29th St., NW, Gig Harbor)• Nov 29 – Resurrection Lutheran Church – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (4301 Browns Point Blvd. NE, Tacoma)
MEDIA CONTACTSScott Kinney, Community Connections253firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday Sep 18 2012 9:57 AM
Pierce County residents who live in communities with homeowners associations are invited to attend a workshop on how to maintain and protect their stormwater systems.
The free workshops, offered by Pierce County Public W...Read on...
Monday Sep 17 2012 1:07 PM
The public is invited to attend the 11 a.m. citizenship ceremony at the Mount Tahoma High School Auditorium, 4634 S. 74th Street, Tacoma on Sept. 22.
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day are observed in September to commemorate the signing of the Constitution and "recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens." This commemoration had its origin in 1940, when Congress passed a joint resolution designating this day as "I Am An American Day."
Until recently, the people of Pierce County have travelled to Seattle for their citizenship ceremony. For a second consecutive year, Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson spearheaded the effort to bring the citizenship celebration back to the South Sound.
"Pierce County is proud of each and every immigrant and refugee who makes the tremendous effort to complete the naturalization process. We embrace these new citizens and voters and want to honor them right here in Pierce County," she said.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Field Office Director Linda Dougherty added: "United by our devotion to the Constitution and to the civic engagement it inspires, Americans remain committed to the fundamental principles established over 200 years ago."
More than 100 immigrants are expected to participate and become American citizens. Together with their family members and supporters, nearly 500 people are expected to attend. Pocket-sized books of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights will be given away with American flags.
The Pierce County Auditor's Office has worked with the following organizations to bring this federal ceremony to Pierce County: Centro Latino; Daughters of the American Revolution; Korean Women's Association; MSM - Multicultural Self-Sufficiency Movement; OneAmerica; Washington Secretary of State's Office; Tacoma Community House; U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS).
MEDIA CONTACTS: Questions about Immigration and Naturalization:Sharon Rummery, Regional Media Manager, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (415) 248-8873 (office) or (415) 987-0191 (mobile) email@example.com
Questions about Citizenship Celebration and civic engagement:Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor (253) 798-3188 (office) or (253) 318-0493 (mobile) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Friday Sep 14 2012 9:12 AM
Caregivers are great at taking care of their loved ones – spouse, parents, children, neighbors. But some caregivers rarely get a break from their daily routines of meal preparation, personal care, medication management, doctor visits, housework, and financial accounting.
In fact, it's common for caregivers to not even think of themselves as "caregivers." They don't think they deserve a break – or need a break. But they do. After all, they do care about their loved ones, and they provide care in many different forms.
Getting a break for themselves – even for a few hours – is one of the most important things caregivers can do for themselves. Without a break, caregivers can burn out. This results in less quality of care and possible placement of their loved ones into more formal community settings such as nursing homes, foster care, or hospitals.
"Getting and Using Respite" will offer caregivers hints and helps about access to respite and how to make the most of their time. They will learn about a variety of support systems available that make respite possible and why taking advantage of those systems is important.
"Caregivers are generous people," said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Aging and Disability Resources. "Often times there is nothing they won't do for their loved one. However, far too often we see caregivers who simply have not taken care of themselves and are falling apart. Taking care of themselves just falls off their agenda and then, sadly, problems arise."
The workshop will be held Saturday, September 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Soundview Building, 3611 S. D Street in Tacoma. The presentation is free and no RSVP is required. It is intended for anyone who is caring for a family member who is over the age of 60, an adult over 18 who has a disability, or a vulnerable child under 18 who has a disability or special need.
"Getting and Using Respite" is jointly sponsored by the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC), the Pierce County Coalition for Developmental Disabilities, The Arc of King County and the Washington State Lifespan Respite Coalition. For additional details call the ADRC at (253) 798-4600.
Bob Riler, Community Connections253email@example.comRead on...
Friday Sep 14 2012 8:52 AM
The public is encouraged to safely dispose of unused or expired medicines - including controlled substances - during the nationwide drug "take back" day on Saturday, Sept. 29.
This event will provide free, anonymous collection of unwanted or expired drugs between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the following locations:
* Pierce County Sheriff's Department South Hill Precinct, 271 John Bananola Way E., Puyallup.
* University Place Police Department, 3609 Market Place West Suite 201, University Place.
* Sprinker Rec Center Parking Lot, 14824 South C Street, Tacoma.
The national drug take back day draws attention to the effort, which is available year-round. Twenty-three "take back" sites in Pierce County that operate year-round. Most are law enforcement agencies, but some pharmacies also participate. Only law enforcement agencies can accept controlled substances. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department's directory featuring all 23 sites can be found at www.tpchd.org/environment/waste-management/medicine-return-program/drop-off-locations.
Citizens have turned in tons of pills since the first National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in September 2010. This removes potentially dangerous prescription drugs and controlled substances from medicine cabinets.
Many people unknowingly create safety and health hazards by flushing unused medicines down the toilet or throwing them away. Drugs flushed down the toilet will eventually flow into water bodies like Puget Sound because most medicines are not removed by wastewater treatment processes or septic systems. Even medicines placed in the garbage could remain chemically active and escape into the environment when landfill liquids are sent to a wastewater treatment plant. Medicines in the garbage can present a risk to sanitation workers.
For more information:DEA National Take Back Initiative: www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.
Programs in Washington state: www.takebackyourmeds.org/.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Lt. Jim Kelly, Pierce County Sheriff's Department253firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Ramsaur, Wastewater Utility email@example.comRead on...
Friday Sep 14 2012 9:04 AM
The public can now access Pierce County's quarterly shellfish bed sampling results for Filucy Bay, Rocky Bay and Burley Lagoon via the county's online system that provides information about the health of waterways in Pierce County.
The shellfish sampling results show the levels of pollution present in local shellfish beds.
"We need to know the status of the county's water quality, groundwater levels, stream flows, and biology so we can make decisions to improve the health of watersheds," said Dan Wrye, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities water quality manager. "The goal of this online tool is to make watershed health information more available and accessible to the public."
The results and detailed instructions on how to access them are available at www.piercecountywa.org/watershedhealthdata.
Monitoring water qualityPublic Works and Utilities monitors local streams and beaches for contaminants that could affect the health of humans and wildlife. The department also measures pollutants such as fecal coliform bacteria, which come from pet waste, leaky septic systems and livestock.
Most of the pollution found in local shellfish beds gets there via rainwater runoff. When it rains, the rain washes pollution like human and animal waste and fertilizers, as well as auto oil and metal particles into the stormwater drainage systems. Those systems, such as ditches, pipes, and culverts, transport that water to local waterways - usually without treatment.
Shellfish bed sampling results, as well as links to 16 local weather stations, are enhancements to the system. Pierce County launched the online system in 2011 to provide access to watershed monitoring data. The site offers:
* An interactive map of all monitored streams and shellfish beds in Pierce County.* Links to monitoring data for all monitored streams and shellfish beds in Excel or PDF formats.* Links to real-time weather station data.* An annual water quality report card and information about how streams get their grades.
Other resourcesSince 2008, Pierce County has published an annual Surface Water Health Report Card for 30 streams in the county. The report card summarizes the water quality of each stream and provides a grade based on the data collected from that stream. Past report cards can be found at www.piercecountywa.org/monitoring.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Tiffany O'Dell, Public Works and Utilities education and outreach coordinator(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday Sep 13 2012 9:04 AM
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy will officially accept national recognition for the Foothills Trail at the Pierce County Trail Conference on Tuesday, Sept. 18.
Randy King, superintendent of Mount Rainier National P...Read on...
Wednesday Sep 12 2012 5:18 PM
All customers of the Pierce County Sewer Utility are invited to provide feedback on proposed updates to county regulations that deal with Sewer Utility operations. Suggested changes include bill payment clarifications and ...Read on...
Wednesday Sep 12 2012 2:15 PM
Sound Transit announced today that Sounder commuter rail service to South Tacoma and Lakewood will begin Monday, Oct. 8.
To celebrate the start of service, Sound Transit will hold a public ribbon-cutting event on Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Lakewood, South Tacoma and Tacoma Dome stations. Free rides on the Sounder train will be offered to the public, along with other festivities.
"The start of Sounder service to South Tacoma and Lakewood marks an exciting milestone in the work of Sound Transit to bring commuter rail to more communities in Pierce County," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. "In just a few short weeks, more South Sound residents will be able to experience the convenient, first-class service that more than 10,000 Sounder riders from Tacoma to Everett enjoy each weekday."
When service to Lakewood begins, Sound Transit will operate five peak-service trains that will start at the Lakewood Station, stop at South Tacoma, and proceed to the Tacoma Dome station and other stations further north. The first northbound train will leave Lakewood at 4:42 a.m. The first afternoon train to Lakewood will leave King Street Station at 4:20 p.m. Morning and evening trains will leave every 25 minutes.
Departure schedules for other south line Sounder stations remain unchanged.
Service to Lakewood and South Tacoma will also include Sound Transit's popular game day trains, which served more than 132,000 Seahawks, Mariners and Sounders FC fans last year. This fall, Sounder event trains will also serve Husky weekend afternoon games taking place at CenturyLink Field.
"The Sounder extension to Lakewood is a significant achievement that represents years of meticulous planning and hard work," said Sound Transit Boardmember and Lakewood City Councilmember Mary Moss. "The support Sound Transit has received from its federal partners, local jurisdictions, and surrounding communities has made possible the realization of a longstanding vision: to extend commuter rail service further south so more people can enjoy the benefits of riding Sounder."
Until service begins, testing on the 8.5-mile track from Tacoma to Lakewood will continue. Travelers are urged to take extra caution around the tracks and obey all warning signs.
More information on the Sounder extension to Lakewood is available at www.soundtransit.org/soundertolakewoodRead on...
Monday Sep 10 2012 10:24 AM
1/2Pierce County Parks and Recreation will hold the 10th annual Classic Car & Truck Show at Sprinker Recreation Center on Saturday, Sept. 29.
"This year we're excited to welcome our new title sponsor, Hi-Tech Collision. We will also feature a 'Country Western' theme, and we're inviting everyone from staff to spectators to participants to join in the festivities with their cowboy/cowgirl inspired attire," said Becca Boyle, Sprinker's event coordinator. "'The Vintage Vehicle Show' will be filming, and Lady Luck Steakhouse Saloon will provide the VIP barbeque luncheon. It's sure to be a great afternoon in the park with family, friends and classic car enthusiasts. Everyone is invited - so join us, rain or shine."
Sprinker General Manager Kyle Wintermute and Sound EFX's Cory Kolilis will be co-MC's of the day. There will be additional car-related vendors, an espresso cart, prize give-aways and much more.
Pre-register your classic car or truck (pre-1980 models) by Sept. 23 for only $15, or day-of-show registration will be available for $20. Souvenir T-shirts may be pre-ordered by Sept. 23 with your entry for just $10, and Vintage Vehicles may be pre-ordered for $20.
To register call Sprinker Recreation Center at (253) 798-4000. Day-of-event registration for participants begins at 7 a.m., followed by judging at 11:30 a.m. and the award presentation at 2 p.m. A luncheon is included for the first 100 entries. Dash plaques and goodie bags are included for the first 300 entries.
Gates open for spectators at 10 a.m. with FREE admission for all ages.
MEDIA CONTACT:Becca Boyle, recreation & event email@example.com
Mark Richards, recreation firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Friday Sep 07 2012 8:10 PM
The Pierce County ferry crew rescued a man from his kayak on Thursday, September 6, after the kayak capsized near the Steilacoom ferry dock.
The kayaker was spotted in the water by ferry workers around 9:50 a.m. as the ferry was coming into the Steilacoom dock. The man was unable to get back into his kayak after it capsized and had drifted in front of the dock.
The ferry was able to dock and the crew quickly launched a rescue boat, picked up the man and took him to the Steilacoom dock. Ferry crew provided blankets to help him dry off and warm up. The man, who was in the water approximately 15 minutes, appeared very cold, but declined medical attention from the emergency medical crew that had arrived.
The ferry crew then towed the man's kayak to the dock.
"The ferry crew did an excellent job rescuing a kayaker in the water," said Captain Paul Crow, marine superintendent. "We do training drills for this type of emergency on a regular basis and our crew pulled off this rescue as they are trained to do. They responded quickly to rescue someone who would have been in a very serious situation if he was in the water much longer."
The ferry crew rescuers, Adam Barr, senior deckhand and Josh Ellestad, deckhand, took less than 7 minutes to launch the rescue boat and get the man into the boat. Other ferry crew who assisted in the rescue were Captain Frank Longmate, Watch Engineer Pat Lee, and deckhand in training Sam Shelton.
The Pierce County Ferry System provides service between the town of Steilacoom, Anderson Island and Ketron Island. More information about the system is available at www.piercecountywa.org/ferry.
?MEDIA CONTACTS: ?Deb Wallace, Public Works and Utilities airport and ferry administrator ?(253) email@example.com
Captain Paul Crow, Marine Superintendent ?firstname.lastname@example.org
Teresa Lewis, Public Works and Utilities education and outreach email@example.comRead on...
Thursday Sep 06 2012 8:44 AM
Pierce County Traffic Engineer Rory D. Grindley, P.E., has been confirmed as the Western District Administrator of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), a professional association of more than 17,000 transportation professionals located around the world. Grindley was confirmed by the Western Board of Directors during the recent annual meeting of the ITE.
"I am pleased to get the chance to contribute to my field through this position, and represent transportation professionals from the western states," Grindley said.
As District Administrator, Grindley's role will be to preserve and ensure the continuity in the operation of the Western District. Specific duties include maintaining all of the district's historical and official records and serving as the parliamentarian and historian at Board meetings. The term consists of an initial five years, with unlimited two-year renewals.
"Rory has long been recognized as a leader in the Transportation field and his willingness to reconnect with ITE as the Western District Administrator is a great fit for the organization and will keep Rory firmly placed among the industry's brightest. This exposure will keep Pierce County and our Region at the leading edge of Transportation issues as they emerge around the country." said Brian Stacy, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities County Engineer.
About GrindleyGrindley was selected as the County Traffic Engineer in 2010 and is a 21-year veteran of Pierce County. He is a Fellow member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and holds the designation of Professional Traffic Operations Engineer (PTOE).
He has previously held several elected positions at all levels within ITE, including International Director (2005-2007), President of the Western District (2001-2002), President of the Washington State Section (1995-1996), and received the Washington State Section's Outstanding Service Award in 2007. Grindley will also be involved in the leadership of the Local Arrangements Committee in planning and hosting the international 2014 Annual Meeting of ITE in Seattle.
About the Institute of Transportation EngineersAccording to its website, "ITE facilitates the application of technology and scientific principles to research, planning, functional design, implementation, operation, policy development and management for all modes of transportation. Through its products and services, ITE promotes professional development of its members, supports and encourages education, stimulates research, develops public awareness programs and serves as a conduit for the exchange of professional information." The Western District of ITE represents approximately 4,000 transportation professionals from the 13 western states.
Contact:Janice Brevik, Public Works and Utilities (253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Tuesday Sep 04 2012 8:42 AM
With 95 percent of potential customers living outside of the United States, exporting goods and services makes business sense and can add significantly to a firm's bottom line.
The Pierce County Economic Development Department and the World Trade Center Tacoma are hosting an Export Forum featuring a keynote address by U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, a member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade.
Learn about the ins and outs from federal, state and local experts, as well as private companies with exporting experience. There is no charge to attend, and there is ample time for networking and meeting with professionals at hosted display tables.
Date: Friday, Sept. 28Time: Registration begins at 8 a.m. Program is from 8:30 a.m. to NoonPlace: Environmental Services Building, 9850 64th Street W., University Place 98467
MEDIA CONTACTS:Hans Kueck, Pierce County Economic Development253email@example.comRead on...
Thursday Aug 30 2012 4:00 PM
Well-known newscaster Connie Thompson will headline the 2012 Alzheimer's Caregiver Conference for Pierce County. Thompson has been a long-time news anchor and currently produces and presents daily consumer segments for KOMO 4 NEWS at 6 p.m.
No stranger to the challenges faced by caregivers, for the past several years, Connie and her sisters have been providing the emotional, social and physical support for their mother in her daily struggle with dementia.
The free conference will include a presentation by Dr. Doug Wornell on "Challenging Behaviors," a panel of geriatric care managers, and reflections by other family caregivers. Service providers from throughout Pierce County will be on hand to offer information about a wide variety of community resources.
The 2012 Alzheimer's Caregiver Conference will be held at the University Place Presbyterian Church, 8101 27th Street West, University Place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants must register in advance by calling (253) 798-8787. Complimentary breakfast and lunch will be served. There is no charge to attend.
This event is sponsored by the Health Care Providers Council and the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center.
For more information about the Alzheimer's Caregiver Conference, call the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600 or (800) 562-0332.
Wednesday Aug 29 2012 10:15 AM
Pierce County residents are invited to celebrate the completion of a series of Canyon Road East corridor road projects from State Route 512 to 176th Street East.
The ribbon cutting ceremony is set for Sept. 6 at 3 p.m....Read on...
Thursday Aug 23 2012 3:31 PM
Medicare coverage changes every year. Everyone's needs are different so beneficiaries have to stay on top of annual changes to make Medicare work best for them.
"All Things Medicare" will provide a comprehensive overview of the features offered by Medicare in 2013. The presentation will look at changes to Part A (hospitalization), Part B (outpatient), Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage plans and Part D (prescription drug) coverage. This workshop is intended for individuals who will be new to Medicare in 2013 as well as current beneficiaries who will experience changes to coverage.
Medicare covers 48 million Americans – 40 million people 65 years and older as well as eight million people under 65 with various special conditions.
"Medicare is one of the most important health care tools available to older adults," said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Manager of Aging and Disability Resources. "But it is constantly changing and beneficiaries are now expected to be wise consumers and make annual choices. Not doing so can result in needless personal expenses."
"All Things Medicare" will be offered four times: • Sept. 10, 12:10-12:50 p.m. Pierce County Annex, Main Conference Room, 2401 35th St., Tacoma
• Sept. 10, 7-8 p.m. Jim and Carolyn Milgard Family Hope Center, 8502 Skansie Ave., Gig Harbor
• Sept. 12, 12:10-12:50 p.m. County City Building, 7th Floor Rainier Conference Room, 930 Tacoma Ave., Tacoma
• Sept. 12, 7-8 p.m. Soundview Building Conference Room, 3611 S. D St., Tacoma
This workshop is a collaborative presentation of the SHIBA program in Pierce County, South Sound Outreach Services and Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources. All four presentations are free and open to the public. No RSVPs are necessary. For more information contact the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600 or (800) 562-0332.
MEDIA CONTACTSScott Kinney, Community Connections (253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Riler, Community Connections (253) email@example.comRead on...
The Final Environmental Impact Statement for Pierce County's proposed Rivers Flood Hazard Management Plan was released August 22. The statement evaluates the potential environmental impacts of the plan, as well as two alternative approaches.
The flood plan will guide the management of flooding and channel migration hazards on major rivers, large tributaries and associated floodplains over the next 20 years. It is a comprehensive approach to reducing damages from major river flooding and channel migration, protecting public safety and improving fish habitat.
"The Final Environmental Impact Statement outlines the impacts and benefits of the plan and its alternatives on the earth, water, plants and animals, natural resources, land and shoreline use, transportation, and public service and utilities, among others," said Harold Smelt, manager of the Pierce County Public Works and Utilities Surface Water Management division.
The final version incorporates comments and new information the county received from the public and stakeholders during the review process.
The proposed Flood Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement will be brought before the Pierce County Council's Economic Infrastructure and Development Committee at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 25. Committee meetings are televised on Pierce County TV, which can be found at www.piercecountytv.org.
A hearing before the full County Council will be scheduled based on a recommendation from the committee.
In 1992, Pierce County adopted the Puyallup River Comprehensive Flood Control Management Plan for the Puyallup, Carbon and White rivers. The proposed Flood Plan will replace the 1992 plan and expand its scope to include the Nisqually, Greenwater, and Mashel rivers and South Prairie Creek.
In December 2009, a committee was formed to advise Pierce County on technical and policy issues related to the proposed Flood Plan. The committee included 26 representatives from federal, state, local and tribal government, business, agricultural, and environmental organizations, flood prone communities, and other interested parties. In addition, 14 public meetings were held between March 2010 and February 2012.
Scientific studies were completed to provide a better understanding of Pierce County river systems. In addition, an in-depth analysis of the potential economic impacts of major flooding in Pierce County was completed.
The Final Environmental Impact Statement and proposed Flood Plan are available in a variety of formats. Please visit www.piercecountywa.org/floodplan for a list of available formats and to view related information.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Harold Smelt, Manager, Public Works and Utilities Surface Water Management Division253firstname.lastname@example.org
Marsha Huebner, Public Works and Utilities Surface Water Management Division, Permitting and Planning Manager253email@example.comRead on...
Wednesday Aug 22 2012 9:56 AM
Pierce County will conduct mandatory recounts in the race for Pierce County Council District No. 4 and to determine the new Precinct Committee Officer in a Fife precinct.
The recount will begin Thursday, Aug. 23 at 9 a.m. in the Pierce County Election Center, located at 2501 S. 35th St., Suite C, Tacoma. The recount is expected to last four days. The Pierce County Canvassing Board will meet on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 3 p.m. to certify the results of the recounts.
The recount in County Council District No. 4 is between second-place finisher Ken Grassi and third-place finisher Sharon Benson. Final results, certified on Aug. 21, show the two candidates separated by 41 votes, or .454 percent. The recount will determine which candidate advances to the General Election to face Connie Ladenburg, the top vote getter. Ladenburg finished with 7,787 votes, followed by Grassi with 4,536 and Benson with 4,495. Chris Nye finished fourth with 3,025 votes. A total of 20,959 ballots will be recounted. County Council District No. 4 comprises parts of downtown Tacoma, South Tacoma, Fircrest and University Place.
In Precinct 25-228, final results show the two Republican candidates Nathaniel Hackett and John C. Perry tied with 94 votes each. Precinct Committee Officer races appear only on the Primary Election ballot. A total of 370 ballots will be recounted. The recount will determine the winner of this race. Precinct 25-228 is located in Fife.
"We have one very close race and another that is a tie," said Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor. "These recounts need to be finalized quickly so we can move on with the General Election. We need voters' pamphlets and ballots printed and ready to mail in the second week of September. It's quite a push for us."
State law requires a mandatory machine recount when final results show the difference between the number of votes cast for a candidate apparently nominated and the number of votes for the apparently defeated opponent is less than 2,000 votes and also less than 1/2 of one percent. For local races, should the difference be less than 150 votes and also less than 1/4 of one percent the recount shall be conducted by hand.
In the County Council District No. 4 race, a mandatory machine recount will be conducted. Ballots will be re-tabulated on the County's vote tabulating equipment.
In the tied Precinct Committee Officer race, the ballots will be recounted by hand by election workers. Should the results remain tied after the recount; the winner will be determined by lot. "If the race remains tied the canvassing board will determine the winner by drawing a ball containing the winning name from a rotating raffle drum," Anderson stated.
The recounts are expected to cost approximately $30,000. Pierce County, the main jurisdiction involved in the recount, will be responsible for the majority of the cost.
The Pierce County Auditor's Office is responsible for elections, licensing services, a variety of public records and animal control services.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Julie Anderson, Pierce County auditor253-798-3188 (office)253-318-0493 (cell)firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Rooney, Pierce County elections manager253-798-2148 (office)253-948-7547 (cell)email@example.comRead on...
Tuesday Aug 21 2012 2:15 PM
The Pierce County Citizens Committee on Salaries for Elected Officials, which held its first meeting last month, will meet monthly through the end of the year.
The commission's regularly scheduled meetings will be held the fourth Wednesday of each month. Meetings will begin at 5 p.m. in Conference Room D of the Hess Building, located at 901 Tacoma Ave. S, Ste 105, Tacoma, WA 98405.
Meetings are open to the public. Meeting dates are as follows: Aug. 22, Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Nov. 28 and Dec. 26.
The citizen commission's role is to recommend to the County Council whether salary increases are warranted for the Assessor-Treasurer, Auditor, Executive and Sheriff. Under the Pierce County Charter, County Council salaries are 60 percent of the Executive's salary. Salaries for judges and the Prosecuting Attorney are set by state law.
Six of the commission's 10 members were selected by lot from voter registration rolls. The remaining four – representing labor, legal, business and human resources organizations - were nominated by the Executive and confirmed by the Council. The full list is available in Resolution 2012-4, which confirmed the appointments. More information about the commission's directive is available in Ordinance 2012-21.
For information contact Sue Wahlberg at (253) 798-6174Read on...
Wednesday Aug 15 2012 3:22 PM
Due to the high temperatures expected this week, the National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for Thursday and Friday, Aug. 16-17. Residents in Pierce County can seek relief from the heat by visiting loc...Read on...
In moves that reflect confidence in Pierce County's fiscal management, two leading Wall Street ratings agencies gave the county high marks on bonds that will be invested in projects to make the region safer and better prepared to handle population and job growth.
Standard and Poor's (S&P) and Moody's both updated their ratings this month for bonds that will fund equipment for South Sound 911 and the expansion and upgrade of the Chambers Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. S&P upgraded its rating for the 911 bonds and affirmed its very strong rating for the treatment plant and sewer system, while Moody's affirmed its high quality ratings for both.
"Maintaining and improving strong bond ratings is a significant achievement in this difficult economy," County Executive Pat McCarthy said. "These ratings reflect the deep and diverse economic base, good financial management and low debt burden of Pierce County."
S&P upgraded the county's rating from "AA-" to "AA" on Limited Tax General Obligation bonds that will fund $18 million in the first phase of equipment purchases for South Sound 911. The communications agency is providing new radios to law enforcement and fire departments so that first responders can improve communications with each other in a seamless public safety network. Future bond sales will pay for the consolidation of 911 dispatch facilities and other equipment needs. Pierce County voters approved a one-tenth of 1 percent increase in the sales tax to pay the debt service.
S&P also affirmed its "AA" rating on Pierce County's Sewer Revenue Bonds, which will fund $210 million in proceeds, mostly for the Chambers Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant, which serves a large and growing portion of the county, is approaching its capacity and must be expanded and upgraded to accommodate growth and stronger environmental protection laws. The debt will be repaid by sewer rates.
Meanwhile, Moody's Investor Service affirmed its strong bond ratings and declared that the outlook on each is stable. Those ratings are Aa1 (county's issuer rating), Aa2 (South Sound 911) and Aa3 (sewer).
"These excellent ratings, combined with 40-year lows in interest rates, save public money by providing extremely low long-term financing for these important projects," said County Council Chair Joyce McDonald (District 2). "We will continue to closely monitor the county's performance so we can maintain our strong capacity to meet financial commitments and deliver vital services."
The county expects to sell the sewer bonds on Aug. 21. The South Sound 911 bonds are expected to be sold Aug. 22.
The Pierce County Auditor will release updated election results at 7 p.m. today instead of 4 p.m. You can find results online at www.piercecountywa.org/results or in person at the Election Center located at 2501 South 35th Street, in Tacoma.
The Auditor will continue to release results every day, except on weekends through the certification of the election on Aug. 21.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Julie Anderson, Auditor253-798-3189 (office)253-318-0493 (cell)
Mike Rooney, Elections Manager253-798-2148 (office)253-948-7547Read on...
Wednesday Aug 08 2012 2:22 PM
The Pierce County Auditor will release updated election results at 4 p.m. and again at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8. You can find results online at www.piercecountywa.org/results or in person at the Election Center located at 2501 South 35th Street, in Tacoma.
The Elections Division received over 25,000 ballots at their drop boxes just before 8 p.m. last night and over 60,000 ballots are on hand from the post office.
The Auditor's Office has approximately 86,000 ballots on hand left to count. Expect results for approximately 18,000 additional voters at 4 p.m. and another 5,000 at 8:30 p.m.
Pierce County saw a slow ballot return rate in the days prior to the election, despite a 48% turnout projection. Pierce County has now revised its expected turnout to 40% for this Primary.
Today's releases will represent results from across Pierce County.
"It's extremely difficult for elections officials to predict turnout when the vast majority of voters wait until the last moment to cast their ballot. Clearly, this is what we saw across the state," said Auditor Julie Anderson. "The earlier Primary date undoubtedly influenced ballot returns more than we expected."
The Auditor will continue to release results every day, except on weekends at 4 p.m. through the certification of the election on Aug. 21.
Julie Anderson, Auditor253-798-3189 (office)253-318-0493 (cell)
Sound Transit announced on Wednesday, Aug. 8, the start of rail and signal testing on more than eight miles of new track for its Sounder commuter rail extension to Lakewood.
Crews began running Sounder test trains up to 40 miles per hour from Freightho...Read on...
Monday Aug 06 2012 4:15 PM
The Pentagon has approved a $5.7 million grant for the City of Lakewood to improve the Freedom Bridge overpass, which will alleviate congestion and improve public safety for people accessing Madigan Army Medical Center.
The grant was announced Monday, Aug. 6, by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and his department's Office of Economic Adjustment.
Improvements will include an additional eastbound ramp to the bridge, a second left-turn lane to the I-5 southbound off-ramp, upgrades to traffic signs and additional pedestrian facilities for increased public safety.
"Knowing that the Department of Defense recognizes how critical investments are to addressing these issues affirms its commitment to this community and to the people affected by the immense growth on and around the base," said Congressman Adam Smith (9th District). "I'm proud to be a part of the effort to secure this funding and look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure proper coordination so the improvements can be completed within a timely manner. Making sure we have the infrastructure in place to improve access and ease congestion around Madigan Gate and I-5 continues to be at the top of our agenda."
The Freedom Bridge improvements are among the priorities addressed by the South Sound Military and Communities Partnership (SSMCP), a consortium designed to coordinate the response to dramatic growth at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
"The residents of the South Sound are very pleased the DoD and OEA have provided $5.7 million in critical access and improved traffic flow project funding along the I-5 corridor," said Lakewood Mayor Doug Richardson, a co-chair of the Partnership. "WSDOT and the City of Lakewood worked together as members of the South Sound Military and Communities Partnership to apply for these vital infrastructure dollars. They will provide substantial steps forward in addressing congestion and safety in the South Sound."
Funding for the project is provided under the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 and will be completed as a joint effort between the Washington State Department of Transportation, the City of Lakewood and the Command at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
"These necessary improvements will benefit everyone by increasing safety and helping to alleviate congestion," said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, the Partnership's other co-chair. "This is another success for the Partnership's collaborative effort to serve our service members, veterans and neighbors. I look forward to working with the City of Lakewood and the Washington State Department of Transportation to get these critical projects moving."
Earlier this year, the Partnership secured $6.95 million in the Washington state budget to start the planning for improvements to five interchanges along Interstate 5 in Pierce and Thurston counties. More information about these and other projects can be found at http://jblm-growth.com.
MEDIA CONTACT:Robert Thoms, South Sound Military and Communities Partnership(253) 307-8422robthoms@gmailRead on...
Nearly one-third of Pierce County's waste is food, making it the largest category of material entering our landfill.
In 2010, the county began exploring how to manage and reduce food waste, and is now asking for the community's input via a series of public workshops from August to October.
"Whether it's someone cleaning out their refrigerator or a restaurant disposing of unfinished meals, we throw out tons of food every day," said Rick Johnston, Public Works and Utilities solid waste project coordinator. "We need to find an efficient and effective way to manage our food waste. We want your feedback on this issue, so we can develop a plan that fits the needs of our community."
The public is invited to attend one of 15 workshops held across Pierce County to learn more about food waste and several options for managing it. Attendees will be asked to weigh in via a survey at the end of the workshop.
The workshops will be held between Aug. 16 and Oct. 2. Find a workshop near you at www.piercecountywa.org/foodwaste. A virtual workshop will also be available on Pierce County's website for those who can't attend in person.
"We encourage you to come learn why food waste is a problem in the United States, what Pierce County is already doing about food waste, and which options are being considered to manage it," Johnston said. "Solid waste management is a local issue - it's not one-size-fits-all. We want to use the data we have and feedback from our residents to create a reasonable program at a reasonable cost."
Options to be considered
Several options to manage and reduce food waste were developed for Pierce County by SAIC, a national consulting firm. They completed a comprehensive study of available practices, while considering the potential economic, environmental and carbon footprint impacts of the options.
The following options will be discussed at the workshops:
• Emphasize Waste ReductionIncrease public education programs to prevent food waste from being generated in the first place.
• Emphasize Energy RecoveryDispose some, or all, food waste in order to generate landfill gas and recover energy from that gas.
• Emphasize Collection and CompostingCollect food waste from homes and/or businesses to produce compost or fertilizer.
The feedback from workshop participants will be reviewed and used to develop a plan that meets the needs of the county. This plan will then be presented to the Pierce County Council.
Pierce County and RW Beck, which is now part of SAIC, conducted a waste audit in 2010 to find out what is in the county's waste stream. The audit found that food waste makes up 28 percent.
In 2011, SAIC was hired to develop the potential options to manage and reduce food waste in Pierce County. The firm looked at every available option for food waste management, reviewed potential impacts, and eliminated options that didn't have a proven track record.
The options were then presented to stakeholders from local governments, the solid waste industry and citizen representatives from the Solid Waste Advisory Committee.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Rick Johnston, Public Works and Utilities solid waste project coordinator (253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Aug 03 2012 4:30 PM
Pierce County will reopen the boat launch on Hall Road in Vaughn at 3 p.m. Aug. 4 after crews complete a rehabilitation of the boat ramp. The boat launch was closed on July 30 for the work.
The county is replacing the existing ramp structure with concrete panels purchased from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Boaters can use the ramp from 4:30 p.m. Aug. 3 to 9 a.m. Aug. 4, but should be aware that the width of the ramp is currently 12 feet, as opposed to the original structure's width of 16 feet.
The ramp is temporarily lined with concrete ecology blocks and a geo-textile fabric to protect the ramp's rock base. These materials will be removed once crews install additional concrete blocks Aug. 4. The addition of these blocks will bring the width back to 16 feet.
The ramp will be closed for several hours one day next week while the county paves the road approach. The closure will be announced when the timeframe has been confirmed.
Nearby county-operated launch sites include A Street KPS in Home, 72nd Street KPS near Longbranch, and Randall Drive NW near Gig Harbor.
MEDIA CONTACTSKendal Willits, Public Works and Utilities maintenance program manager(253) email@example.com
Bruce Wagner, Public Works and Utilities road maintenance manager(253) firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Friday Aug 03 2012 3:22 PM
Identity theft can cost you thousands of dollars, damage your credit and credibility, and leave you with a feeling of vulnerability.
On Saturday, Aug. 4, the Pierce County Fair and its partners at Cintas Document Management will offer free document shredding at the Pierce County Fair's North Gate from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fair is located at Frontier Park in Graham.
After reducing your risk from identity theft, you can also reduce your cost of admission to the Pierce County Fair, which runs Aug. 9-12. You will receive a voucher to purchase special "pre-season" admission tickets for just $3. Tickets must be purchased before Aug. 9, and are available at the Pierce County Fair office.
More information is available hereRead on...
Wednesday Aug 01 2012 3:31 PM
With one ceremonial dig in an empty lot, County Executive Pat McCarthy kicked off construction of a new community in Pierce County - The Woods at Golden Given. Volunteers, contractors and community partners will now begin developing this $6.2 million, 30-unit sustainable community.
This unique community will feature cottage-style residences gathered around a central open space with natural areas and trails. The seven-acre property is located in a wooded area outside of Midland.
"This is Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity's most ambitious project to date. We would not be able to take on a development of this magnitude if it weren't for the partnership with the Pierce County Department of Community Connections," said Maureen Fife, Chief Executive Officer of Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat. "The Woods at Golden Given will help bring affordable housing in Pierce County to a new standard, proving that it is possible to build housing that is simple, decent, affordable, and an asset to the greater community."
All houses at The Woods will be Energy Star certified and receive a four-star rating through the Master Builders Association's Built Green program. In addition to affordable housing, the project will include:
• Street improvements along 104th Street• Sidewalks, crosswalks and connecting foot bridges• 40,000 square feet of open space• Sports fields and basketball courts• 30 raised garden beds• Rain gardens to control storm water drainage• Meeting rooms, barbeque facilities and a common house which can be used by homeowners to host meetings and events
Nearly one-third of this property is protected wetlands. In addition to meeting high sustainability standards for construction, plans call for landscaping with indigenous plant species to reduce the need for fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation.
"We've worked to accomplish a site design that minimally impacts the environment. The Woods preserves the natural habitat by saving 50 percent of all existing trees on the property and improving the existing wetlands in the area," said Corey Lew, Capital Projects/Community Development Supervisor at Community Connections. "Pine and birch trees removed from the site will be milled, returned and used as materials for the houses on the property."
Community Connections provided technical assistance for contractor bidding, facilitated the land acquisition and the environmental review, and invested significant public dollars to the project. Other financial partners contributing to Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity to support The Woods development include: The Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), United Way of Pierce County, and the Ben B. Cheney Foundation.
For more information about the project, or to volunteer, contact Tracey Sorenson, Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity, (253) 627-5626.
MEDIA CONTACTSScott Kinney, Pierce County Community Connections(206) 445-2210
Tracey Sorenson, Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity(253) 627-5626
Boeing predicts the global market will need 34,000 new airplanes over the next 20 years, and Pierce County aerospace suppliers can help the company compete for that business by finding ways to work faster while providing a safe, efficient and reliable product.
That was a key message from the first Pierce County Aerospace Summit, held Friday, July 27 on the campus of the University of Washington Tacoma.
"It's really important that we increase production rates and deliver these planes at a higher rate and a higher quality," Drew Magill, director of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told suppliers during the summit's keynote address. "We're very confident we can build the most fuel-efficient, most reliable airplanes, and we can be successful in this market for the next 20 years."
Magill said the company is working with suppliers to increase production to address a backlog of 3,900 airplane orders valued at $302 billion. Boeing feels the pressure because it expects to see more competition from manufacturers in China, Brazil, Canada and Japan, in addition to the fierce rivalry with European manufacturer Airbus.
Magill made his presentation to 150 people representing more than 20 aerospace suppliers as well as government agencies, banks, schools and others connected to the industry. The Aerospace Summit was organized by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy and the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.
"As Boeing showed us today, the supply chain must work together to quickly deliver the planes that are already ordered as well as keep up with increasing global demand," McCarthy said. "Our goal is to help local companies connect with each other and with available resources so they can tap into the growth of this industry. When they grow, our local economy grows."
Bruce Kendall and Chris Green of the Economic Development Board highlighted the work of the Tacoma Pierce Aerospace Partners, a new coalition of about two dozen organizations. The partnership's goals are to retain and grow current companies and attract new business. The partnership is developing an online resource for local suppliers at www.aerospacetacomapierce.com. They plan to upload Magill's market outlook presentation to the site soon.
Aerospace Summit participants also heard panel discussions about workforce training, taxes and financing, organizational development and other resources that are available to the local industry. Panelists represented WorkForce Central, Invista Performance Solutions, Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition, Washington State Department of Commerce, U.S. Bank, Moss Adams and General Plastics.
Pierce County is home to more than 80 companies that work in composites and plastics, tooling, fabrication and machining, software, metals and engineering, as well as the Boeing plant in Frederickson that employs 1,700 people.
"I applaud Pat McCarthy, Bruce Kendall and others in Pierce County for spurring collaboration among industry, government and education," said Bob Drewel, the Puget Sound Regional Council executive director who attended the summit. "We have the talent, resources and ambition to be global industry leaders for years to come, but we must work together to be successful."
MEDIA CONTACTS:Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director(253) email@example.com
Chris Green, Economic Development Board(253) 284-5889chris@edbtacomapierceRead on...
The section of 112th Street East between Fruitland Avenue East and Woodland Avenue East that was closed June 25 for a road construction project reopened July 30---five days ahead of schedule.
Crews lowered the road by as much as five feet and installed curbs, gutters, sidewalks, drainage systems and pavement. This section of 112th is now finished, with the exception of an asphalt wearing course that will be applied in early fall, weather permitting. This work will not require additional road closures, although traffic delays are expected.
Work along 112th Street East between Fruitland Avenue E and 86th Street East will continue through the fall, although this section of road will remain open to traffic. An asphalt wearing course will also be applied to this section in early fall.
Part of a larger project
Pierce County is improving nearly a mile of 112th Street East from Woodland Avenue East to 86th Avenue East. The project is on schedule and is expected to be completed in the fall, weather permitting.
Improvements include:• Expanding to five lanes with a two-way, left-turn lane.• Adding concrete curbs, gutters, and sidewalks.• Adding an enclosed storm drain system, as well as stormwater treatment and storage facilities.• Adding a new traffic signal at 78th Avenue East.• Improving the traffic signal at Fruitland Avenue East.• Installing street lighting.
Northwest Construction, Inc., is the project's contractor. The contract amount for the project is $4.7 million.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Henry Gertje, P.E., Public Works and Utilities construction engineering supervisor (253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Radford, Public Works and Utilities public information officer(253) 798-2464Read on...
Wednesday Jul 25 2012 1:22 PM
Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) has been detected at unsafe levels in shellfish samples collected from the Day Island, Point Defiance, Wollochet Bay, and Hale Passage areas of Pierce County. As a result, the Washington State Department of Health has closed Pierce County beaches from the King County line south to Day Island, including Hale Passage and Wollochet Bay. The Washington State Department of Health had previously closed the shoreline from Gig Harbor to the Kitsap County line and this closure remains in effect. These areas are closed to the recreational harvest of all shellfish.
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is posting advisory signs at Dash Point County Park, Brown's Point Park, Owens Beach, Point Defiance boathouse, Narrows Park, Day Island marina, Wollochet Bay boat launch, and Fox Island Bridge, warning people to not collect shellfish from these areas. An advisory sign has already been posted at Sunrise Beach County Park. The closure includes clams, oysters, mussels, scallops and other species of mollusks. Crabs and shrimp are not included in the closure. Commercial beaches are sampled separately and commercial products should be safe to eat.
PSP poisoning, which can be life-threatening, is caused by eating shellfish containing a potent neurotoxin. A naturally occurring marine organism produces the toxin. The toxin is not destroyed by cooking or freezing.
A person cannot determine if PSP toxin is present by visual inspection of the water or shellfish. For this reason, the term "red tide" is misleading and inaccurate. PSP can only be detected by laboratory testing. Conditions are changing rapidly and there will likely be more areas closed in the very near future. Therefore, recreational shellfish harvesters are advised to call the Department of Health Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 or access the Biotoxin website at www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/biotoxin.htm before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Puget Sound.
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department's mission is to safeguard and enhance the health of the communities of Pierce County. As part of its mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment in order to protect public health. Learn more at tpchd.org.
MEDIA CONTACT:Ray Hanowell, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department environmental health specialist(253) email@example.com
Frank DiBiase, Tacoma-Pirce County Health Department Deputy Director(253) 798-7674fdibiase@tpchdRead on...
Starting in July, Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula residents can drop off their household hazardous waste at the Purdy Transfer Station in Gig Harbor free of charge on the second Friday and Saturday of each month. The transfer station is located at 14515 54th...Read on...
The new Frontier Park Playground, made possible by local students and Graham community members, will open on Tuesday, July 10 with a celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony beginning at 6 p.m.
The remodeled playground is 5,800 square feet and features slides, talk tubes, a tunnel, overhead ladders, bridges, crow's nest, swings, climbing wall, and more. The colorful recycled rubber surfacing allows easy access and improved safety for all users. The playground is designed with access ramps to make it accessible to all children.
"Frontier Park is one of our most beloved parks. Children and families in the Graham area have been waiting for the opening of the new playground with great anticipation. Pierce County Parks & Recreation Services is excited about replacing the aged playground equipment with a new ADA accessible playground with a rubberized surface." said Recreation Superintendent, Scott Hall.
Frontier Park's original play equipment was installed in 1985. In September 2009, the aging play equipment was removed because it was out of compliance with national safety standards.
In January 2010 students from Mr. Bob Hansler's 5th grade class at Kapowsin Elementary School spearheaded the community's efforts to help raise funds to replace the equipment with a new playground that could be used by children and families of all abilities. The "Big Toy Team" was created by Sara Lamrouex, the mother of a student in Mr. Hansler's class.
The team held fundraising events including a spaghetti feed and worked with state representatives and other community groups to raise money for a new playground. Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services received a matching grant from the Washington State Recreation Conservation Office.
"Private donations and a grant from the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office provided half of the funding for this project. This is a true testament of partnerships between local community groups and government." said Hall.
As a result of the matching grant, additional funding from Pierce County, and the efforts of the students and local Graham community, the playground will be a treasured asset for years to come.
6 p.m. Dinner - hot dogs, chips and beverage provided by Apple Physical Therapy. Prepared and served by the Chuck Wagon operated by Pierce County's 4-H Horse Department.
6:30-7:15 p.m. - Cooperative play activities presented by Jen Spane, recreation supervisor , Jen Sergent, companionship coordinator and companionship staff
7:15 p.m. - Ribbon cutting ceremony
Welcome and introductionsKaren Ansteth, Pierce County Parks & Recreation Citizen's Advisory Board ChairKathy Kravit-Smith, Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services Director
SpeakersPat McCarthy, Pierce County ExecutiveRoger Bush, Pierce County Councilmember District #3Joyce McDonald, Pierce County Council Chair District #2Kaleen Cottingham, Washington Recreation and Conservation OfficeBob Hansler, Kapowsin Elementary School 5th grade teacher - Bethel School DistrictSara Lamrouex, Parent and Big Toy Team, fundraising coordinator
7:30 p.m. Tour of playground
Frontier Park is located at 21800 Meridian South Graham, WA 98338.
MEDIA CONTACT:Scott Hall, recreation firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
If you have questions about the upcoming primary election, you're not alone.
Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012 is Election Day. On July 12, 2012, every household will be mailed a Pierce County Official Local Voters' Pamphlet. On July 20, 2012 the Auditor will mail a primary ballot to all registered voters (military and overseas voters were mailed on June 22). The pamphlet and the ballot always prompt questions.
"We've worked so hard to educate voters about the Top 2 Primary, they are sometimes confused when an election doesn't seem to follow that pattern, "says the Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson. "Some primary election races have only two candidates, so you wouldn't expect them to be in the primary, just in the general run-off. But there they are on the ballot." she said.
This year, the Election Center has already fielded many calls about local and state positions, nonpartisan and partisan races. And, of course, the special - and sometimes confusing - rules for judges.
"Here are some of the most common questions we hear," Anderson said.
Q: Why do races with only one or two candidates appear on my primary ballot?
A: The law requires us to place partisan races on the primary ballot. No one wins in the primary election, the same candidates will appear again on the general election ballot.
Q: Where is the Sheriff? Why isn't that race on my primary ballot?
A: The Sheriff is a nonpartisan position. Partisan and nonpartisan offices are treated differently. Only one candidate filed, so this office will appear on the general election ballot.
Q: Why are some judges on the primary ballot, but not others?
A: The rules can be confusing, because there different rules for different levels of the judiciary.
Superior CourtSuperior Court races with two or more candidates are on your primary ballot. If one of those candidates gets a majority of the votes, that candidate is elected and will not appear on the general election ballot. If only one candidate filed in a Superior Court race, that candidate was considered elected. Those candidates will not appear on any ballot this year.
Supreme Court and Court of AppealsNo matter the number of candidates, these races will be on the primary ballot. If one candidate gets a majority of the vote in the primary election, only that candidate will be on the general election ballot. If there is only one candidate in the race, that candidate will be on the primary and the general election ballot.
Q: Where is the president?
A: The presidential candidates will appear on the general election ballot. Typically, Washington state holds a presidential preference primary every four years in the spring. In a presidential preference primary you declare your party and vote for your top choice among the field of partisan presidential candidates. Sometimes the parties use those results to select their nominee. Sometimes they do not. This year, to save money, the Washington State Legislature eliminated the presidential preference primary. Voters who wanted to help select the nominee, participated at a caucus in March.
Q: Petition signature gatherers have been all over town, but the initiatives are not on the primary ballot. Why?
A: All initiatives and referenda that receive enough valid signatures will be on the general election ballot. Signature gatherers had until June 6 to submit signatures for a referendum and until July 6 for initiatives. The Secretary of State will certify the measures by Aug. 24.
Q: What is a Top 2 Primary?
A: Washington's Top 2 Primary allows you to vote for whoever you want in the primary election, regardless of their party affiliation. There may be two candidates from the same party on the general election ballot. The two candidates with the most votes move on to the general election, regardless of their party affiliation.
Q: What does the candidate's "party preference" mean in a Top 2 Primary?
A: Each candidate for partisan office can state a political party that he or she prefers. But, that candidate's preference does not mean that the candidate was nominated or endorsed by the party.
Q: Is it too late to register to vote
A: No, it is not too late. To vote in the primary election on Aug. 7, you can register online through July 9, 2012. You can also change your address online. Visit www.piercecountywa.org/elections.
New voters have until July 30, 2012 to register. If you are a new voter in Washington (just turned 18, recently moved to the area, or have never registered before), you can register IN PERSON through July 30, 2012. You have to register in person at the Pierce County Elections Center:2501 South 35th StreetTacoma WA 98409
The deadline to register or change your address for the general election is Oct. 8, 2012. New voters can register in person for the general election through Oct. 29, 2012. But, don't wait until the last minute. Avoid the long lines and register online now.
Save the Date
Members of the media are invited to a media briefing on Tuesday, July 17 at 10:00 a.m. at the Pierce County Election Center, located at 2501 S 35th Street, Suite C. Please RSVP to Mike Rooney. You will learn more about election deadlines, obtaining election results, and have an opportunity to ask questions.
MEDIA CONTACTSJulie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor253-798-3188 (office)253-318-0493 (cell)email@example.com
Mike Rooney, Pierce County Elections Manager253-798-2148 (office)253-948-7547 (cell)firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County crews replaced the wiring that powers six street lights along a half-mile of county road at 38th Street and 192nd Street in Frederickson after discovering two separate incidents of wire theft and vandalism.
The repair work cost the county $8,865 in materials, equipment and labor.
A county signal technician discovered the first theft on June 19 during a routine maintenance inspection of county street lighting. The lids of the junction boxes that hold each light's wiring had been unbolted, and 3,000 feet of wire that provides power to the street lights had been removed.
On June 20 and 21, workers replaced most of the wiring and welded the lids closed on most of the junction boxes to secure them. This incident cost the county $6,701.
When crews returned June 22 to finish the wiring and welding, they discovered that 1,200 feet of wire put in June 21 had been stolen. Crews replaced the wire and welded closed the lids of the remaining junction boxes that day. The second incident cost the county $2,164.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is investigating both thefts. Anyone with information can contact the Tacoma/Pierce County Crime Stoppers at (253) 591-5959. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
They may also call the Pierce County Sheriff's Department's non-emergency number at (253) 798-4721.
Over the past few years, the county has begun welding the lids of junction boxes along stretches of street lights due to periodic wire thefts. Although it makes it more difficult to access the boxes to perform maintenance activities, the welding has proven to be effective for the county, as these are the first thefts in the past five years.
Report lighting problems
The public can call Pierce County Traffic Operations' 24-hour number at (253) 531-6990 to report multiple street light outages. The county is in the process of mounting identification stickers on county-owned light poles that include the light's identification number and the phone number for Traffic Operations. The 24-hour number can also be used to report traffic signal problems and downed roadway signs.
"Street lighting helps keep our county roads safe," said Rick Butner, Public Works and Utilities traffic operations supervisor. "We ask that the community contact our 24-hour number if they notice multiple street lights are out, as this could indicate wire theft. And if you see suspicious activity around light poles or other county facilities, we encourage you to call 911."
MEDIA CONTACTSAnne Radford, Public Works and Utilities public information officer(253) 798-2464
Detective Sergeant Jerry Bates, Pierce County Sheriff's Department(253)Read on...
Wednesday Jun 27 2012 10:36 AM
Editor's note: updates to delete reference to a City Blast show in Puyallup and Orting fireworks show
In 2011, the Pierce County Fire Marshal's Office reported that 24 fires and 27 injuries in Pierce County were caused by fireworks. With the 4th of July just around the corner, community members, parents, emergency officials and responders are calling attention to fireworks safety.
"We want the public to know how dangerous fireworks can be and that fireworks safety should not be taken lightly," said Pierce County Fire Marshal Warner Webb.
The following information contains safety tips, a list of public firework shows, and a list of firework regulations by community.
Be Prepared...before you light fireworks- Only use fireworks purchased from state licensed fireworks stands--illegal fireworks are subject to immediate confiscation and possible criminal charges.- Store fireworks out of children's reach.- Keep pets safe indoors.- Always keep water handy.
Be Safe...when lighting fireworks- Only adults should light fireworks.- Only use fireworks outdoors.- Do not throw fireworks or hold fireworks in your hands.- Protect your eyes.- Light one firework at a time and move away quickly--never relight a "dud".
Be Responsible...after you finish- Soak used fireworks in water.- Be considerate and clean up used fireworks.- Remember firework debris belong in the trash NOT the recycle bin.- Keep matches and lighters away from children.
The best and safest way to celebrate the 4th of July holiday is to attend a public fireworks show where you know the people organizing the event are trained on fire safety. People are welcome to attend any of the following public fireworks shows:
- July 3: Fireworks Display203 Lynch St. West, Eatonville
- July 3: Post Game Fireworks ShowCheney Stadium, Tacoma
- July 4: Henderson Bay FireworksPurdy Spit, Gig Harbor
- July 4: Fireworks DisplayWest side of Tapps Is., Tacoma Pt., Evergreen Pt., and Inlet Is.
- July 4: Steilacoom Old Fashioned 4th of JulyLafayette St., Steilacoom
- July 4: Freedom Fair and Fireworks ExtravaganzaRuston Way Waterfront Park, Tacoma
Depending on where you live, the use of fireworks may be restricted or banned.
To learn more about fireworks safety, visit www.piercecountywa.org/FPB or contact the Pierce County Fire Marshal's Office at PCFirePrevention@co.pierce.wa.us.
MEDIA CONTACT:Kristin Tinsley, Emergency Management public information officer253-798-3686 (desk)253-377-5204 (cell)email@example.comRead on...
Monday Jun 25 2012 4:53 PM
Shyleen Richardson and Alyssa Currier, students at Liberty Ridge Elementary in Sumner, claimed a $500 prize for their school's disaster preparedness efforts. Hundreds of students throughout the Puget Sound competed in a drawing contest to raise awareness on the importance of preparing for disasters and catastrophes.
Students from elementary schools in King, Kitsap, Island, Mason, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, and Thurston counties submitted drawings that represented their idea of preparing and planning ahead for catastrophes. The $500 prize was sponsored by Puget Sound Energy, an important partner in emergency preparedness.
The contest theme, "What to do to make it through," was based on a new public education campaign developed by local emergency management agencies across the Puget Sound. The campaign urges people to take three important steps to become more prepared for catastrophes: make a plan; build a kit; and help each other.
For useful checklists, educational videos, and preparedness resources, visit www.makeitthrough.org. To find out more about how you can become involved in local emergency preparedness efforts, visit www.piercecountywa.org/prepare.
MEDIA CONTACT:Kristin Tinsley, Emergency Management public information firstname.lastname@example.orgRead on...
Pierce County has won two national awards for creating online tools that streamline the building permit process and improve the management of electronic records in the criminal justice system.
The National Association of Counties Achievement Awards will be presented at NACo's annual conference in July.
The following programs were honored:
Permits: The Pierce County Planning and Land Services (PALS) and Information Technology departments worked together to create robust online self-help tools to meet customer demand while reducing costs. Customers can now get answers to routine questions, research public permit documents and start the permitting process with just a few clicks. Self-help services have reduced the number of citizen visits and phone calls to county offices by 25 percent.
Legal information network: Faced with an increasing number of court cases and legal filings, Pierce County enhanced its Legal Information Network Exchange (LINX) system, which provides integrated case and document management. Electronic filing of court documents has lowered county costs, expanded public understanding of the judicial process and provided near instant access to public court documents. The system has received approximately 9 million pageviews so far this year. Pierce County also is among the first jurisdictions to streamline the arraignment process by allowing court orders to be filed electronically. Additionally, a kiosk system allows people to apply for temporary protection orders without having to visit the courthouse.
"These national Achievement Awards recognize initiatives that improve the efficient delivery of services," said County Executive Pat McCarthy. "I'm proud of our staff for making significant improvements to our permitting and legal information systems. These are just two of the latest examples of the hard work by Pierce County employees to find ways to maintain or improve services to the public even as we operate with fewer resources."
This year's NACo Achievement Award winners represent 30 states and 99 counties. More information is available at www.naco.org.
The Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer's office will begin mailing notices of value for most residential and commercial properties in Pierce County on June 22.
The notices provide taxpayers with their assessed values as of Jan. 1, 2012. Those values are the base upon which the 2013 property tax statements are calculated later in the year.
The vast majority of the notices - 95 percent of the total - will show a reduction in value from 2011. The 2012 values reflect the continued weakness of the real estate market, and an accelerating decline across the board for all residential property types.
The average residential property value in Pierce County has fallen by 11.96 percent from the year before, while commercial properties saw their average values decline by 3.97 percent. Over the past four years, the average value of a residential property in Pierce County has plunged from $277,674 in 2008 to $191,402 as of January of this year, a decline of more than 31 percent.
There are differences among neighborhoods however. For example, the appraisal area around the communities of DuPont, Steilacoom and Chambers Bay has experienced the lowest drop in values at less than 25 percent, while the east end of the City of Tacoma, alongside Pacific Avenue, has seen its values decline by more than 38 percent during the same time period.
Commercial properties, whose values actually peaked a year later than their residential counterparts, have only fared slightly better. Since 2009, the average commercial value in the county has declined by some $233,500, an almost 20 percent loss of value.
A comprehensive annual revaluation report, containing more detail such as year to year value average comparisons, average values by school and fire district, or cities and towns, and lists of individual sales, will be available later this month at the Assessor-Treasurer's website under the Reports link.
Pierce County appraises all properties on a six-year revaluation schedule, as mandated by state law. One-sixth of the county is physically inspected every year, while the values for the remaining five-sixths are statistically trended, based on market indicators. At the May 31, 2012 conclusion of year five of the six-year revaluation schedule, the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer's office has physically inspected 259,665 properties, or slightly more than 80 percent of the total number of properties in the county.
Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam and his staff remain committed to preserving the integrity of the citizens' property tax levy rates, by maintaining a strict adherence to all statutory requirements, as promised.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: The final day for filing a property tax appeal is 60 days from the mailing date on the notice. Information regarding property tax appeals is located on the back of the value notice or by contacting the Pierce County Board of Equalization at (253) 798-7415. For convenience, appeal forms and helpful information are also available at the front counter of the Assessor-Treasurer's Office or electronically at the Assessor-Treasurer's website. Additional notices will be mailed in September, if applicable, to reflect changes in value due to new construction.
CONTACT:Marion Roe, Assistant to theRead on...
Wednesday Jun 13 2012 10:32 AM
Tacoma Freedom Fair Wings & Wheels is back for its second year with airplane fly-bys, a meet and greet with pilots, airplane and helicopter rides, displays, a car show, a motorcycle show and more.
Wings & Wheels runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 1 at the Tacoma Narrows Airport, located at 1202 26th Ave. N.W. in Gig Harbor. The event is part of the Tacoma Freedom Fair, which is produced by the Tacoma Events Commission. Freedom Fair activities take place on June 29 (Military Appreciation Night at Cheney Stadium), July 1 (Wings & Wheels), and July 4 (The Tacoma Freedom Fair & Air Show).
"Wings & Wheels has something for everyone: historic planes, cool cars and motorcycles, great music, Tuskegee Airmen, and more," said Doug Miller, executive director of the Tacoma Events Commission. "We're excited to give the public the opportunity to see beautiful aircraft, cars, and motorcycles up close, and meet the pilots that will be showing off their flying skills during the airshow on July 4."
Vintage aircraft and warbirds"Visitors will see a B-17 Flying Fortress, AD-1 SkyRaider, P-51 Mustang, T-33 Shooting Star, Stearman, T-6 Texan, Huey and Cobra helicopters, as well as many others," said Doug Fratoni, aviation events director. "Also, the United States Army is bringing three helicopters to the event, including the CH-47 Chinook, UH-60 Blackhawk and OH-58."
Those 18 and older can buy tickets to fly aboard the B-17 Flying Fortress Sentimental Journey online. The ride ticket includes event admission and parking.
Cool wheelsA highlight of this event is a display of 250 amazing cars, trucks and motorcycles. Don't miss the Smoke & Thunder Jet Car race an airplane down the runway to open and close the event.
Food and musicSeveral food booths will be available to choose from for lunch, dinner, and dessert, so come hungry. Those over 21 can visit the Reflections at the Airport beer garden. Live music will be provided by the Air Force Band of the Golden West and Shambala (A Three Dog Night Tribute Band) presented by the La Stella Foundation.
Tickets and parkingAdmission for Wings & Wheels is $12 for adults and $5 for children ages 7 to 17. Children 6 and under get in free. Tickets are available at the door, or in advance at www.FreedomFair.com. Those that wish to exhibit their motorcycle or car can also register on the website.
Parking at the airport is limited. Those who purchase event tickets online in advance will have priority access to the onsite parking on a first-come, first-served basis. Day-of-event ticket purchasers will have the convenience of parking for free at the Uptown Gig Harbor Shopping Center and MultiCare parking lots and get a free ride to Wings & Wheels on an express shuttle bus to the main entrance at the airport. Please use the satellite parking.
Information for residents and pilotsResidents around the airport can expect some air noise during the event due to fly-bys and fly-ins.
The airport will remain open for normal operations, with the exception of several 30-minute airspace closures throughout the day.
A Federal Aviation Administration NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) alert for aircraft operators will be published in advance with the exact time of the airspace closures.
Volunteers neededThe Tacoma Events Commission is seeking volunteers for this event. If interested, please fill out the online volunteer form at www.FreedomFair.com.
MEDIA CONTACTSDoug Miller, Tacoma Events Commission executive director (253) 686-7999Doug@FreedomFair.com
Deb Wallace, Public Works and Utilities airport and ferry administrator (253) email@example.comRead on...
Tuesday Jun 12 2012 3:07 PM
Pierce County Engineer Brian D. Stacy, P.E., has been elected to serve a two-year term as the Western Regional Vice President for the National Association of County Engineers (NACE) Board of Directors.
"This is a great opportunity to exchange information and network with my colleagues on a national stage," Stacy said. "I am honored to be able to represent county engineers from the 11 Western States and look forward to keeping Pierce County and the state of Washington on the leading edge of transportation issues."
Prior to this election, Stacy has served as the president and the director-at-large for the Washington State Association of County Engineers (WASCE). He also is vice chair of the County Road Administration Board, serving as the County Engineer representative for counties with populations in excess of 125,000. He has been with Pierce County for more than 20 years.
"I am pleased that Brian will continue his work to promote the field of county engineering and develop solid relationships with county engineers across the nation," said Brian Ziegler, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities director. "He is an exceptional public servant, and I congratulate him on his newest role."
The NACE Board of Directors overall mission is: providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information for the advancement of county engineering and management aimed at improving service to the public; stimulating the development and growth of individual state organizations of county engineers and county road officials; improving relations and cooperation among county engineers, county road officials and other agencies; and monitoring national legislation affecting county transportation/public works departments and, through the National Association of Counties (NACo), to provide NACE's legislative opinions.
NACE has regional vice presidents from each of its five regions: Western, North Central, South Central, Northeast and Southeast. Each is a voting member for their region.
CONTACT: Janice Brevik, Public Works and Utilities253-798-2117Read on...
Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown has been re-elected President of the Puget Sound Regional Council. Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy has been re-elected Vice President. The vote took place today at the agency's annual meeting of its General Assembly at the Westin in Seattle.
This evening, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire will be honored by PSRC, which will present her with a special VISION 2040 award for her leadership in strengthening the foundations for the region's future in the areas of transportation, higher education, the health of Puget Sound and aerospace. The award ceremony will start shortly after 7 p.m. and will be followed by remarks from the Governor.
"Reflecting on the past year, what stands out are the continued strong partnerships that are helping to grow the economy and improve quality of life in the central Puget Sound region," said Commissioner Brown. "These partnerships are the foundation for our confidence in the future of this place."
In addition to selecting officers, the General Assembly adopted PSRC's supplemental budget for the next fiscal year and approved a major amendment to Transportation 2040, which included new strategies for improving traffic on I-5 in the vicinity of Joint Base Lewis McCord.
The General Assembly of the Puget Sound Regional Council includes elected representation from all the members of the PSRC, including counties, cities, towns, state agencies, transit agencies, ports, and Tribal Governments. The Assembly meets at least annually to vote on key issues regarding the PSRC work program and its leadership.
PSRC develops policies and coordinates decisions about regional growth, transportation and economic development planning within King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties. The Council is composed of over 80 county, city, port, transit, tribal and state agencies serving the region. This year PSRC will select projects for the roughly $400 million in federal funds the region can expect to receive over the next few years. PSRC is also the lead regional economic development planning resource and home to the Prosperity Partnership.
Contact: Rick Olson, PSRCRead on...
Thursday Jun 07 2012 9:18 AM
There are more than 80 firms in the aerospace supply chain in Pierce County, and their industry is changing rapidly due to increased global demand for commercial air travel and a highly competitive marketplace.
That's why Executive Pat McCarthy and the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County are hosting the first-ever Pierce County Aerospace Summit on July 27. Business owners and managers who are involved in the aerospace industry - or want to expand into the supply chain - will hear from experts in areas such as workforce training, taxes, business financing and defense contracting. The keynote speaker is Drew Magill, Boeing's marketing director for commercial airplanes, who will present the company's market outlook.
"Pierce County has a strong aerospace cluster that employs thousands of workers, whether that's directly with Boeing at its Frederickson plant or with suppliers who work in metal fabrication, plastics, composites, tool manufacturing or software development," McCarthy said. "State data show that every direct job created in the aerospace industry generates 2.8 jobs across all sectors of the local economy. Growing our aerospace employment is good for everyone in Pierce County."
"This event will provide an opportunity for aerospace suppliers to learn more about available services and resources in the region," added Bruce Kendall, president of the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County.
The Pierce County Aerospace Summit will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27, in William Philip Hall on the campus of the University of Washington Tacoma. Space is limited. Attendees can register at www.edbtacomapierce.org.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Chris Green, Economic Development Board(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday Jun 04 2012 12:41 PM
Since 1990, bicyclists from all over the Northwest have participated in the annual Tour de Pierce bike ride. This year's June 24th event will include 12-, 30- and 50-mile marked routes. The 12-mile route is designed for families or for those new to biking.
All routes include maps and cue sheets, a rest stop with refreshments, and restrooms. The ride starts and finishes at the Western Washington Fair Grounds Gold Parking lot, S Meridian & 9th Ave SE, Puyallup.
The pre-registration fee is $12 per person or $36 for a family of 4 from the same household when registering by June 8. Pre-ordered Sport Tek Competitor Tees are $15. For a registration form call (253) 841-8515.
MEDIA CONTACT:Cara Cross, Pierce County Parks and Recreation(253)Read on...
Wednesday Jun 06 2012 11:08 AM
A new report from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) estimates that a volcanic mudflow (known as a lahar) from Mount Rainier could produce property losses of up to $6 billion to communities in the Puyallup Valley.
"We now have a much better estimate of the economic impact of a major lahar flowing from Mount Rainier," said Dave Norman, Washington State Geologist and manager of the DNR Geology and Earth Resources Division." It's not a question of if, but when the next volcanic event will occur."
The DNR report, "Loss Estimation Pilot Project for Lahar Hazards from Mount Rainier, Washington," is based on data about several previous lahars from the volcano. Using loss-estimating software developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the report projects potential property damage costs if similar mudflows occurred again on Mount Rainier's west side, as many geologists anticipate.
Due to the weakened rocks that make up the upper west flank of Mount Rainier, the Puyallup Valley is considered highly susceptible to lahars. Lahar-related flooding has the potential to reach as far as the Commencement Bay and Elliott Bay, including the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.
In concert with the report released today, DNR has produced an online interactive map that allows users to track the potential pathways of lahars from Mount Rainier. The online map and today's report are designed to assist emergency response, mitigation planning, and community preparation for lahar-prone areas.
Mount Rainier has produced major lahars every 500 to 1,000 years and smaller flows more frequently. The most recent major lahar to reach the Puget Lowland was the Electron Mudflow about 600 years ago. It was more than 100 feet thick at the community of Electron and as much as 20 feet thick at Orting.
Lahars, which have the consistency of wet concrete, can be caused by volcanic activity when an eruption of lava or hot gasses melts a glacier. They also can be produced by avalanches and earthquakes.
The DNR study was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Web links and citationThe DNR report, "Loss Estimation Pilot Project for Lahar Hazards from Mount Rainier, Washington," includes color maps and can be downloaded viewed online here.
The direct link to the DNR Geology Portal, including the Mount Rainier Lahar (Volcanic Mudflow) Hazards – Property at Risk map, is here.
The report was produced by the DNR Division of Geology and Earth Resources. The official citation is:Information Circular 113. Loss estimation pilot project for lahar hazards from Mount Rainier, Washington, by Recep Cakir and T. J. Walsh. 2012. 17 p.
DNR manages more than 5.7 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural, conservation, and aquatic lands. DNR is administered by Peter Goldmark, the 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889. DNR offers technical assistance and education on a range of subjects, including forest stewardship, mining, geologic hazards, and rare plant species and ecosystems.
Contact: Bob Redling, DNR Senior Communications Manager360email@example.comRead on...
Friday Jun 01 2012 3:52 PM
Author Jake Dekker will speak and sign copies of his important book that chronicles the path of a boy who was abandoned at infancy, beaten and tortured at 5, placed in foster care at 7 and - against all odds - adopted at 10 in Pierce County.
Dekker, author of "One Kid At A Time," is making his appearance at the invitation of Pierce County Juvenile Court Guardians ad Litem (GAL) and local judicial officials. The event is scheduled for June 13, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at King's Books, 218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma.
The story of how Dekker came to adopt his son has been called "positive, inspiring, exemplary and deeply spiritual" by Mel White, author of "Stranger at the Gate." But the book is also about a system struggling to improve outcomes for kids and families.
More information is available on Dekker's Facebook page, located at www.facebook.com/jakedekkerbooks. And here is the book's description from Amazon:
Danny had no chance. His mother abandoned him. His father in prison didn't know him. His grandmother beat him so badly that the doctors couldn't count the bruises. He lived nonstop days of unending anxiety, loneliness and terror. Ordered into foster care, the system isolated, drugged and betrayed him.
Jake lived the good life. Warm friendships, plenty of money and freedom to do what he enjoyed. From the outside he had the perfect existence. But inside he longed for a child.
This true, heartwarming story reveals that miracles occur in everyday life. Enjoyable and uplifting, "One Kid at a Time" will empower - and encourage - everyone who reads itRead on...
The popular Foothills Trail, which winds through East Pierce County from Puyallup to Buckley, is among 54 trails around the country that are joining the National Recreational Trail system.
Two federal officials - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis - announced the designations on Thursday, May 31. Spanning 23 states, the land and water trails add nearly 1,400 miles of trails to the 13,650-mile system.
"The Foothills Trail is one of Pierce County's recreational gems, and it's only going to get better as we extend the paved portions to the planned 28-mile route, said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. "I'm proud of the work done by Pierce County Parks and Recreation and the local communities to enhance our quality of life with such an outstanding recreational opportunity."
Added Pierce County Council Chair Joyce McDonald (District 2): "The success of the Foothills Trail would not be possible without strong support from the Foothills Rails to Trails Coalition, and their partners. Their dedication and enthusiasm provides opportunities for walkers, cyclists, skaters and equestrians to enjoy the natural beauty of Pierce County."
Thursday's announcement came in advance of National Trails Day on Saturday, June 2, when hundreds of organized activities - including hikes, educational programs, bike rides, trail rehabilitation projects, festivals, paddle trips, and trail dedications - will take place around the country.
Saturday's event will be marked on the Foothills Trail with the annual R2R event: "Rainier to Ruston Rail-Trail Relay & Ultra." The event challenges teams of walkers and runners and follows the shoulders of Mount Rainier to the shores of Puget Sound. More information is available at www.rainiertoruston.com.
National recreation trail designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation. Each of the new national recreation trails will receive a certificate of designation, a letter of congratulations from Secretary Salazar, and a set of trail markers.
"From Alabama to Alaska, these national recreation trails provide a gateway to outdoor recreation in both urban and rural areas," said Secretary Salazar. "I am proud to partner with communities across the nation to expand this extraordinary network of trails, allowing more Americans to enjoy the great outdoors."
The national trail system has become so extensive that if all the trails were laid end to end they would cross the country more than four times, offering millions of Americans opportunities to bike, hike, paddle and spend time with their family and friends outdoors, Jarvis noted.
The national recreation trail program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service in conjunction with a number of other federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the national recreation trails website at www.americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Adam Fetcher, Department of the Interior(202) 208-6416
Kathy Kupper, National Park Services(202) 208-04990
Hunter George, Pierce County Communications(253)Read on...
Thursday May 31 2012 8:00 AM
A first-rate Junior Golf Program that provides basic instruction on the game's fundamentals is moving to Pierce County's Fort Steilacoom Golf Course.
The program starts June 25 and will be held every Monday morning in a group setting over a six-week period. The cost is $99.
Juniors ages 7 to 14 can bring their own clubs to Fort Steilacoom Golf Course, 8200 87th Ave SW in Lakewood. Merit pins will be earned in the areas of putting, playing around the greens, full swing, knowledge and scoring.
The objectives of the program are to teach golf traditions, expose the positive values that golfing situations can provide, offer the opportunity to learn from capable and responsible adults and to provide the opportunity to have fun playing the game. The program was previously offered at Lake Spanaway Golf Course.
For a registration form, visit www.lakespanawaygc.com or www.facebook.com/fortsteilacoomgc. Or contact the Fort Steilacoom Golf Pro Shop at 253-588-0613.
The Fort Steilacoom course is a fun 9-hole course on 105 acres that has dual tees for an 18-hole round. Premier Golf Center operates the Fort Steilacoom and Lake Spanaway courses for Pierce County Parks and Recreation.
Mike Fosnick, PGA General Manager253-531-3660mfosnick@premiergcRead on...
Wednesday May 30 2012 4:23 PM
Pierce County has won an award for a pilot project that used pervious concrete for the first time on a county road as a means of helping to control flooding.
The first place "Excellence in Concrete Construction" award was presented during the Washington Aggregates and Concrete Association's 44th annual banquet on May 9. The trade association represents sand-, gravel-, rock- and cement-related businesses and suppliers.
For the pilot project, a cul-de-sac and a portion of 139th Street E in the Parkland area were replaced using 1,716 square yards of pervious concrete when the roadway was rebuilt to address flooding in the area. The pilot project also allowed the county to explore new road construction methods that reduce runoff during storms and recharge groundwater.
Pervious concrete allows rain water to infiltrate through the pavement and into the soil below. During high groundwater events, pervious concrete works in reverse, allowing the groundwater to rise through the pavement while still providing a drivable surface for residents and emergency vehicles.
"The project was recognized for its innovative use of pervious concrete," said Harold Smelt, Public Works and Utilities surface water manager. "Since we hope to use pervious concrete in future projects, we will be very interested to watch how this innovative application stands the test of time."
The project was constructed last fall at a cost of $318,387. Northwest Cascades, Inc. was the general contractor; Tyee Concrete Construction, Inc. was the concrete contractor; and Corliss Resources, Inc. was the ready mix supplier.
In addition to the pilot road project, the county also purchased three properties with homes in the area that were repeatedly flooded. The houses were removed and the properties will remain as a natural area.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Harold Smelt, Public Works and Utilities surface water manager(253) 798-2952 firstname.lastname@example.org
Teresa Lewis, Public Works and Utilities outreach and education coordinator (253) email@example.comRead on...
Pierce County Emergency Management and its partners will participate in a multi-county earthquake exercise from June 5-6.
More than 22 Pierce County cities, towns, departments and organizations will exercise their emergency response plans to a "preten...Read on...
Friday May 25 2012 12:10 PM
Organizations can help keep Puget Sound clean during their next car wash fundraiser by checking out a fish-friendly car wash kit. The kits are available at several Pierce County locations.
The kits keep soap, oil and othe...Read on...
Wednesday May 23 2012 11:58 AM
Craig Larson from Tacoma Firs Golf Center came from one shot back to capture the 47th Puget Sound Amateur by four shots over first-round leaders Alex Williams of West Seattle and Bryan Jan of Chambers Bay.
Larson's two-day total of 141 was the only score under par. He beat a field of 85 players who, for the first time, battled two Pierce County-owned tournament courses over the weekend.
Lake Spanaway hosted day one and proved to be a worthy tournament test with tight-tree lined fairways and firm greens approaching 13 on the Stimpmeter. Williams and Jan shared 1-over par 73s. Blue skies and warm temperatures welcomed the field Saturday on a perfect day for scoring. After the first round, 17 players were within 5 shots of the lead going into the final day.
Chambers Bay, the site of the 2015 U.S. Open, welcomed the players for the final round in what proved to be a battle of the elements as well as the course. Rain fell most of Sunday as the players negotiated their way around the links-style layout design by renowned course designer Robert Trent Jones II. Williams was solid on the second day but could not get enough birdies to fall and finished with an even par 72. After opening with two bogies, Larson made birdies on holes three, seven and eight to make the turn at 1-under for the day and 1-over for the tournament. James Fuetz of Tacoma Country & Golf shot a final round 69 to make things interesting, but Larson brought home the victory with a four-birdie, no-bogey 32 on the back nine for a final round 67.
"I congratulate the players and offer special thanks to Premier Golf and KemperSports, the companies that manage operations at Lake Spanaway and Chambers Bay, for providing championship course conditions," said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. "I'm sure many of these players will spend the summer honing their skills at our golf courses so they can compete in next year's Puget Sound Amateur."
MEDIA CONTACTS:Mike Fosnick, Lake Spanaway general manager(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to funding from the Pierce County Conservation Futures Program, Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy) and the City of Puyallup conserved 8.66 acres of forested wetlands in southwest Puyallup.
Forterra negotiated the sale of the property by a private landowner to the city in late April. The urban pond, known locally as Dead Man's Pond, is home to the federally endangered western pond turtle, provides important habitat for other wildlife and increases public access to natural areas within city limits.
"Dead Man's Pond is a real asset for Puyallup's ecology as well as its residents," said Forterra South Sound Conservation Director Jordan Rash. "We are especially excited about the conservation as it marks our first project with the City of Puyallup and continued progress on The Cascade Agenda."
The Cascade Agenda, Forterra's long-range action plan for the central Cascade region's lands and communities, aims to conserve almost 1.3 million acres of land. The Agenda takes a holistic approach to economies, communities and land conservation. Efforts like Dead Man's Pond are critical for its success.
"This acquisition protects an urban pond that provides important habitat for wildlife and migrating birds," said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. "That's exactly what the Pierce County Conservation Futures program is designed to do - protect natural areas at risk of development. That's a key component to creating healthy, livable communities. I'm thankful for this successful partnership with Forterra and the City of Puyallup."
Dead Man's Pond provides important habitat for the western pond turtle, an endangered species native to the Pacific Northwest. It was listed as endangered in Washington in 1993 and conservation efforts have been helping their populations grow from an estimated low of just 150 wild western pond turtles in 1990. The turtles inhabit slow-moving streams, marshes, ponds, lakes and canals with muddy bottoms and, according to the Woodland Park Zoo, habitat alteration and destruction have contributed to the demise of the turtle in western Washington. The Zoo has been engaged in ongoing research and recovery efforts.
"Protection of coastal wetlands - a habitat that has suffered 90 percent loss in greater Puget Sound since 1900 - at sites like Dead Man's Pond is a very high priority for many aquatic species, including the endangered western pond turtle. We are delighted to see that Dead Man's Pond, a place where western pond turtles were once found, is now protected as it provides a critical aquatic link to Clarks Creek, Puyallup River and Commencement Bay," said Woodland Park Zoo Vice President of Field Conservation Fred Koontz.
In addition to the western pond turtle habitat, Dead Man's Pond is home to deer, heron, eagles and other wildlife. The pond flows to Clarks Creek, a small, spring-fed tributary to the Puyallup River, which is an important salmon-bearing river.
"City ownership of Dead Man's Pond means that we're able to protect and expand very important forested green space," said Puyallup Mayor Rick Hansen.
The property is adjacent to over 150 acres of publicly owned open space, including 55 acres of land owned by the City, further increasing public access.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Natalie Cheel, Forterra (206) 905-6927 email@example.com
If you see a string of mittens or a cart-wheeling Santa Claus headed down the street during the next snowfall, you don't need new glasses.
These scenes were painted on two of Pierce County's snow plows on May 17 by fourth graders at the Elk Plain School of Choice in Spanaway. The activity was part of the county's National Public Works Week celebrations.
"This fun activity gave us the chance to educate students about our work during the winter months," said Kendal Willits, Public Works and Utilities maintenance program manager. "The students did an impressive job bringing their designs to life, and we can't wait to show off the plows. Thank you to Mr. Warnke and Mrs. Park's 61 talented fourth-graders."
The plows will be displayed at the Central Maintenance Facility, located at 4812 196th St. E. in Spanaway, during National Public Works Week, which runs from May 20-26. They will also be used in the Elk Plain area during future snow events.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Kendal Willits, Public Works and Utilities maintenance program manager(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
The Steilacoom ferry terminal will reopen May 22 following a remodel inside and out. The terminal, located at 56 Union Ave. in Steilacoom, closed Jan. 4 for the work.
"I think our ferry patrons will be pleased with the results and enjoy spending time t...Read on...
Thursday May 17 2012 9:50 AM
A message from Sheriff Paul Pastor:
"Last night, along with about 50,000 other people, I attended the Candlelight Vigil and Posting of Names at National Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony in Washington D.C. I was there with other members of the Department and with the family of our Deputy Shandon Wright. Deputy Wright's name was placed on the National Memorial wall after his line of duty death last year.
"The recent increase in line of duty deaths, and especially deaths due to attacks on officers, is a growing concern and was evident in the posting of names last night.
"Perhaps we are more attuned to such occurrences in Pierce County because of our own many law enforcement losses and because of the presence of Joint Base Lewis McChord. We are regularly reminded of the losses suffered by those serving in the military. And we mourn those losses.
"The difference is that the loss of law enforcement officers from hostile action does not occur in a war zone. These attacks and these losses occur in our nearby National Park, on our local highways, in our neighborhoods, in our backyards.
"Why have our losses increased? Hard to say exactly but it is certainly related to cuts in mental health spending, cuts to post-release corrections supervision, cuts in law enforcement staffing and a mood of anger and hopelessness among many people.
"These losses are hard on everyone: on communities, on co-workers and especially on families. The ceremony last night included thousands of family members remembering their personal loss.
"Tens of thousands of people gathered last night in Washington, D.C. and stood silently with lighted candles in order to render honor and to remember those they have lost. They gathered to remember and seek to make themselves whole. And, in doing so, they affirmed that our law enforcement officers will continue to do the difficult and complex and increasingly dangerous job they have chosen to do."
President Obama also spoke at the memorial. This CNN video of the President's speech shows Pierce County Corrections Deputy John Lyon standing directly behind the Commander in ChiefRead on...
Tuesday May 15 2012 3:17 PM
The Pierce County Economic Development Department, along with local, state and federal participants, will staff a resource table at the South Sound Business Fair in Orting next month.
The fair will be held June 9, 2012 at...Read on...
Monday May 14 2012 9:29 AM
The public is invited to learn about potential improvements to the ferry loading lanes at the Steilacoom Terminal during a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 22 at Steilacoom Town Hall, 1717 Lafayette St. in Steilacoom. Publi...Read on...
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department held a ceremony on Thursday, May 3, to add Deputy Shandon Wright's picture to a memorial for fallen deputies.
A ribbon bearing Wright's name was also added to the Sheriff's Department flag. The ceremony was attended by the fallen deputy's family and friends, and it featured remarks by Sheriff Paul Pastor, County Council Chair Joyce McDonald and County Executive Pat McCarthy.
Wright, 29, died in March 2011 after complications from injuries sustained while making an arrest. He is survived by his wife and young daughterRead on...
Wednesday May 02 2012 4:13 PM
Extra DUI patrols will be out across King, Pierce and Snohomish counties this Cinco de Mayo weekend. Thirty-three local law enforcement agencies, the Washington State Liquor Control Board, and the Washington State Patrol h...Read on...
Tuesday May 01 2012 2:33 PM
With spring in full bloom, flowers and plants grown by juvenile offenders will be on sale every Friday and Saturday at Remann Hall.
The annual plant sale - featuring annuals, perennials, hanging baskets and veggie starts ...Read on...
Tuesday May 01 2012 12:07 PM
Celebrate the arrival of spring and this season's first bounty with the opening of several Pierce County farmers markets. After six long months in hibernation two markets will open the first week of May.
The 6th Avenue Market will open on Tuesday, May 1 and the Downtown Broadway Market will open on Thursday, May 3. Come support your favorite farmers and fill your basket with colorful potatoes, bunches of kale, and the freshest salad greens Pierce County has to offer.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. the 6th Ave Market will host a special May Day celebration. Gather around the May Pole with your fellow neighbor and help support the 6th Ave community to grow into a healthier, stronger, and more vibrant neighborhood.
Thursday, May 3, 2012 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. the Broadway Market welcomes in its 22nd season with over 70 vendors offering scrumptious meals and the freshest whole foods around.
For more information visit www.tacomafarmersmarket.com
Tacoma Farmers Markets:
6th Ave MarketLocated at the intersection of 6th Ave and Pine St.Tuesdays, 3 - 7 p.m. beginning May 1
Broadway MarketLocated between 9th and 11th St. on BroadwayThursdays, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. beginning May 3
South Tacoma Market New location - MetroParks STAR Center (3873 S. 66th St.) Sundays, beginning June 3
Other Pierce County markets:
Gig Harbor Farmers MarketDowntown, Skansie Brothers Park - June to SeptemberWednesdays, 12 - 5 p.m.Sundays, 12 - 5 p.m.Uptown, next to Galaxy Theatres - April to SeptemberSaturdays, 8:30 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Puyallup Main Street Association Farmers MarketPioneer Park PavillionSaturdays, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. April 14 to Oct. 13Sundays, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. May 27 to Sept. 2
Steilacoom Farmers Market