Monday, November 16, 2015

Downtown Tacoma: Monster Truck Takeover

In late September of this year, downtown Tacoma had experienced some unusual street closures and some may have noticed an extremely large black and green monster truck barreling down 17th or getting some air off the steps of Tollefson Plaza. It wasn't difficult to take a guess what this mysterious closure was up to because it certainly wasn't construction. It was clear that downtown Tacoma had been taken over by driver BJ Baldwin and his camera crew, along with a notorious Pacific Northwest resident, Sasquatch. 

After a little over a month of waiting, the video was released and this isn't just any ordinary commercial, this is "Recoil 3", the third installment of "Recoil" the mini-series. Recoils 1 and 2 have Baldwin in the same monster truck with a similar car chase theme through all three of them. 

Take a look at the video for yourself and let us know what you think! 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Help Brighten the Holidays

Question, how many Tacomans does it take to change hundreds of light bulbs? Just one, but it would take years! Every holiday season Tacoma is lit up with lights and shooting stars but over the years and the rain, the lights are shining  less and less. Which is why Spaceworks and the BIA are asking for your help to brighten the holidays with a Bulb Party!

BIA and Spaceworks will have all of the supplies necessary for a fantastic bulb party including refreshments and goodies, all we are missing is you! Many hands will turn this dark and dull task into a light and merry one, so come join us, and bring your friends!

The Bulb Party will be hosted November 10th and there are three times to choose from! We will be hosting shifts from 7:00-9:00 am, 11:00-1:00 pm, and 5:00-8:00 pm.  The Bulb Party will be at the downtown Post Office Building on the main floor. 

This event is a collaboration between the Downtown Merchants Group, Spaceworks, the Business Improvement Association, Post Hall, and you! 

To find out more information go to our Facebook page and join our event page! 

Location address: 
Post Hall 
Board Room
1102 A Street Tacoma, WA 98401 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Dia De Los Muertos: TAM's 11th Annual Day of the Dead Festival

The Tacoma Art Museum will be hosting their 11th Dia De Los Muertos festival this November 1st 10:00am-4:00pm. This year they will be hosting a Calavera Costume Contest where you can enter to win a $100 prize. There will be free face painting, sugar skull making, and you can create chalk memorials under the TAM's grand awning.

Artist Rene Julio will be featured along with community and partner made altars throughout the museum. Traditional foods will be served in the TAM cafe along with mariachi music to dance to.  

While the event does run from 10:00am-4:00pm, special times and events have been scheduled throughout the day. From 11:00-12:00pm there will be a mariachi performance by Mariachi Lucero, at 2:00pm Danza Quetzacoatl de Olympia will be performing. 3:00pm the winner of the Calavera costume contest will be announced and throughout the entire day PBS will be screening their series: Latino Americans. 

This event is free and open to the public. There are more activities yet to be announced so be sure to check out their Facebook and website links below.

 I hope to see you all there! 

Find out more on the TAM's Facebook Page or the the TAM website

Get inspired here for Calavera cosutme ideas! 

Film School Shorts is a production of KQED.

Written and directed by Ashley Graham, Kate Reynolds and Lindsey St. Pierre. The film won Gold Medal at the 2013 Student Academy Award for Best Animated Short.

Music by Corey Wallace 
Sound Department Mauricio d'Orey 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Last Farmer's Market Day 2015

Our northwest fall sun is making a rare appearance for the final day of the downtown Tacoma farmer's market.  As I walked through the set-up this morning I was reminded that this was my last chance for the earthy smell of carrots, homemade breads, & of course $5 flowers.  Don't miss this last chance to engage in your Thursday ritual.  

Don't forget to say goodbye to your favorite vendors and find out where you can find them November through April before they return to the market in May.

See you on Broadway!

Monday, October 26, 2015

$15 Mil. for Tacoma LINK Expansion

Today, Sen. Patty Murray announced the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the City of Tacoma $15 million for the Tacoma LINK Expansion through the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant program Sen. Murray created in 2009.

The project will expand downtown Tacoma's existing streetcar line to more than double its current length, and add several stations with improved bicycle and pedestrian access.

“This is the kind of investment that can transform neighborhoods and help local economies grow and create jobs,” Senator Murray said. “As Tacoma continues to grow, it’s critical that all citizens-- including students, workers, and families-- have access to safe, reliable transit. I’m proud to keep fighting for the federal TIGER grant program because it continually reinvests in our communities, brings our transit systems into the 21st century, and helps our economy grow from the middle out, not the top down.”

Earlier this year in an official letter of support, Sen. Murray urged Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to consider the grant, citing the project’s ability to connect communities and spur economic activity. In addition to the Tacoma LINK Expansion grant, Sen. Murray also announced today that the Washington State Department of Transportation has been awarded $10 million to construct a new ferry terminal in Mukilteo.

Since Sen. Murray created the TIGER program, it has awarded $4.1 billion to 342 innovative, multimodal projects around the country, including $204 million going to 13 projects in Washington state. Past projects include the North Spokane Corridor, the Mercer Corridor Redevelopment, the South Park Bridge Replacement in King County, the West Vancouver Freight Access project at the Port of Vancouver, improvements to I-5 to relieve congestion around JBLM, and moderation of Terminal 46 at the Port of Seattle.

Background on Tacoma LINK Expansion Project:
•         Project approved by voters in 2008 as part of Sound Transit 2 Plan
•         Supported by Tacoma City Council, Pierce County, Sound Transit, Tacoma Public Schools, Group Health, University of Washington-Tacoma, Evergreen State College, Tacoma Housing Authority, and more
•         With expansion, the existing 1.6 mile streetcar line will gain an additional 2.4 miles, for a total system length of 4 miles
•         The expansion includes six additional stations with service planned for 17 hours/day
•         The expansion would connect downtown Tacoma to the Stadium and Hilltop Districts, where 25 percent of residents are low-income and 30 percent of households have no vehicle
•         The expansion would provide access to Tacoma’s “Medical Mile,” which includes major hospitals and medical centers, and five educational facilities serving nearly 17,000 students
•         Transit trips are expected to increase from 1 million to 3.5 million annually, for a daily ridership increase of nearly 85 percent

Taking a Piece of History Home

In June, Tacoma welcomed the world into our backyard and for the first time in State history hosted the US Open. While many of us continued on with our regular routines, for that brief moment Golf was the highlight of our week. 

We watched and hoped for our champions to rise and watched as some of the greatest golfers were taken down by one of the hardest golf courses in the country. We witnessed a young man swing into the history books as the youngest person to ever win the US Open and we were right there beside him.

Take a piece of the history home with you by purchasing a US Open Banner. These banners were proudly displayed throughout Tacoma and are now available for purchase. There are a limited amount of banners and cost $20 each. These lightly used banners are roughly 30inX60in and are made of all weather vinyl.

They are available for pick up at the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber at 950 Pacific Ave #300, Tacoma, WA 98402.

Call the Chamber at (253)627-2175 if you have any questions.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Closing One Chapter and Beginning Another

 Last Friday, October 3rd, the University of Washington Tacoma said goodbye to their 25th anniversary, said hello to their 26th the new academic year.  The next 25 years are sure to bring bright minds and innovation to Tacoma and the South Sound area.

The newly appointed Chancellor Pagano welcomed the first year students with words of encouragement and advice. Many students in the crowd are Tacoma natives and are the first in their families to get the opportunity to go to college, making convocation an extremely special event to celebrate the students’ grand accomplishment. Last year the University was at 68% first generation with their student body population just around 4,500 students. This year is sure to increase in both size and in first generation college goers. 

The University prides itself on its Urban Serving mission, which is why Convocation runs through the Downtown area, to show incoming students not only the partnerships that the University has fostered but to show them how much their community supports them. The University is a member of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. The University and the coalition define themselves as “a network of public, urban, research universities committed to creating an educated workforce, building strong communities and improving the health of diverse populations.

Tacoma is so unique in the way that it was the community who brought UW Tacoma to life and the community who has supported them in so many ways.  Not many Universities get to say that. Universities and their communities usually are going in two different directions but this is not the case for Tacoma and UW Tacoma. They have grown some much together and continue to grow side by side, serving the South Sound. With the University’s next building project in their sights, they are set to grow once again with the Urban Solutions Center, promising to bring with it more partnerships and students poised to become the future of Tacoma.