Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Love Tacoma goes to Stadium District

Love Tacoma is hosting our December event at Enoteca (21 N. Tacoma Ave.), the wine bar adjacent to the Tacoma Wine Merchant in the Stadium District. Join us TODAY Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 at 5:30 PM.

The atmosphere is fitting for a wine bar: the ambiance is cozy, the wine selection is incredible, and there is a array of delicious cheeses. Enoteca has a vast selection of wines which are mostly from Europe. Enjoy a glass, share a bottle, or create your own flight! The wines are a tremendous value--excellent quality for glasses of wine ranging from $4 to $9 per glass.

Love Tacoma membership is free and our socials are open to everyone. Come Love Tacoma with us!

Explore. Play. Repeat.

Love Tacoma is an informal monthly gathering of individuals who love Tacoma and enjoy exploring the city’s urban hotspots. It’s a great way to meet new friends and celebrate the places, people and activities that make Tacoma great. From casual happy hours to sophisticated wine tastings to next week's most anticipated show, you'll be able to meet and mingle with amazing people in Tacoma's urban community.

For more information, check out our website at http://lovetacoma.com

Monday, December 07, 2009

Memorial Service Honors Lakewood Officers

The BIA has received many requests for information about Tuesday’s memorial service. This blog will be updated as more information becomes available.

A memorial to honor Lakewood Police Officers Mark Renninger, Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold and Greg Richards will be held Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. in the Tacoma Dome. More than 20,000 members of the law enforcement community, emergency response agencies and the public are anticipated to attend and celebrate the lives of these officers.

The Memorial Service is open to the public, however seating will be limited seated due to the anticipated number of law enforcement and other public safety personnel attending. Officials recommend the public select a spot along the processional route to show their respect or attend a memorial service remote site, such as the Pacific Lutheran University’s Olson Auditorium.

The procession will begin at approximately 10 a.m. at the McChord Air Force Base North Gate. It will proceed through Lakewood to the Lakewood Police Department, where the families of the slain officers and the Lakewood Police will join the procession. They will proceed from there to the Tacoma Dome.

Procession Route
· Leave McChord Air Force Base, North Gate, north on South Tacoma Way (Lakewood)
· South on South Tacoma Way Extension (Lakewood)
· West on 108th St. (Lakewood)
· North on Lakeview Drive SW (Lakewood)
· West on 100th St. SW (Lakewood)
· North on Lakewood Dr. SW (Lakewood) stopping at the Lakewood Police Department
· East on Steilacoom Blvd. (Lakewood)
· North on South Tacoma Way (Lakewood, Tacoma)
· East on East 26th St. (Tacoma)
· South on East C St. (Tacoma)
· Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D Street, Tacoma

Parking
Please note that the parking lots at the Tacoma Dome will be reserved for the memorial procession vehicles and other emergency service vehicles.

Parking is available in the garages and surface lots in downtown Tacoma. The Tacoma LINK Light Rail, which runs every 15 minutes, connects downtown parking lots and garage to the Tacoma Dome.

Public Transportation
The Public is encouraged to take public transportation to the Tacoma Dome. Pierce Transit will operate limited bus service from two alternative parking locations, to the Tacoma Dome. This service will be free to the public. Bus service will begin at 10:30 a.m. and the last bus will leave each location at 12 noon. Pierce Transit will provide return trips immediately after the memorial service. The public is strongly encouraged to utilize these off-site parking lots.

The two off-site parking areas are:
· Cheney Stadium, 2502 South Tyler Street, Tacoma
· Tacoma Mall – North Parking Lot (across the parking lot from Macy’s, near the Firestone Tire store)

Memorial Service Remote Site - Pacific Lutheran University
Pacific Lutheran University will be opening Olson Auditorium to the public as a remote site for Tuesday's Memorial Service. Officials are encouraging the public to view the memorial from this location.

Parking is available at the Church of All Nations, 111 112th St. E. Shuttles will transport to the auditorium beginning at 9:30 a.m. to the beginning of the memorial ceremony at 1 p.m. The shuttle service will resume after the ceremony to transport people back to the parking area. The auditorium is at the intersection of 124th St. South and 10th Ave. South in Parkland. The doors will open at 9 a.m.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Crafts, Trees and Santa Come to Tollefson Plaza

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber has teamed up with the Downtown Merchants Group this holiday season to put on the second annual Tollefest.

This winter festival will take place December 4, 5, and 6, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., in Tollefson Plaza, located on South 17th and Pacific Avenue. Admission is free!

Starting on Friday, December 4, Tollefson Plaza will be filled with festive activities and craft vendors. Don't forget to get your winter savings coupon book, available at Tollefest, to take advantage of holiday deals from a variety of businesses throughout downtown.

On Saturday, December 5, Santa Claus will be “coming to town” from noon- 2:00 p.m. and the lighting of the holiday tree gracing the center of Tollefson Plaza is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. The festival will continue on Sunday, December 6 until 6:00 p.m., wrapping up Tollefest—a winter weekend full of fun for the entire family!

Check out the new Tollefson Plaza website www.tollefsonplaza.com for more information about Tollefest and other events in Tollefson Plaza.

Get Your Christmas Tree in Tollefson

Tollefson Plaza, normally a treeless expanse in the heart of downtown comes to life this winter thanks to the Two Five Trees tree lot. The tree lot is made possible through collaboration between Go Local, Downtown Merchants Group, the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and various city departments.

Two Five Trees opened for business last Friday and will sell trees through the end of the season.

According to the Two Five Trees website, http://www.twofivetrees.com/ you’re invited to “come on down for the best deals on Christmas trees in town (feel free to call it a Holiday tree for any wanting a tree without the “Christmas”). We’re excited to participate in the return of celebrating the holidays in our beloved Downtown!”

Location: Tollefson Plaze, Downtown Tacoma, S. 17th and Pacific Ave

Dates and Times: Starting Friday, November 27th, through Tollefest, on to the end of the season.

What: Lowest prices on Christmas trees in Tacoma; free candy canes, hot chocolate, and boughs; complimentary loading and twine; lots of fun events.
Trees: Blue Spruce, Grand Firs, Douglas Firs, Nobles, Table Top Nobles, White Pine–all grown locally.

Events: Two Five Trees will be a featured part of Tollefest 2009, the first weekend of December. Keep checking back here for details on other fun events lined up like pictures with Santa and live choral performances.

Community: Two Five Trees is firstly about the community of Downtown Tacoma and Tacoma at large. Bring a can of food down and get $1 off your tree. Know a family that can’t afford a tree? Write us and tell us why you think they should be a recipient of one of the trees we’re giving to families in need. But, let’s be honest, doing something, anything, in Tollefson is a community effort in itself. It’s time that Downtown and Tacoma have more feet on the street and engaged in civic centers… even if just to buy a Christmas tree.

Listserve for Washington Flag Displays

Do you wish to be notified for alerts for commemorative displays of the flag in Washington State?

If so, SUBSCRIBE FLAGALERT requires registration. To register the execution of your command, simply point your browser to the URL.

This procedure will work with any mail program that fully conforms to the Internet standards for electronic mail.

You will receive a confirmation email that must be replied to for verification. Finally, your command will be cancelled automatically if LISTSERV does not receive your confirmation within 48h. After that time, you must start over and resend the command to get a new confirmation code.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Transportation Forum a Huge Success!!

Last Friday's transportation forum, titled "Transportation in Tacoma for the 21st Century", included the insights of Tacoma's and the Puget Sound Region's top decision makers in transportation - Eric Anderson, City Manager of Tacoma; Lynne Griffith, CEO of Pierce Transit; Ric Ilgenfritz, Executive Director of Planning for Sound Transit; and David Hiller, Advocacy Director for the Cascade Bicycle Club - gleaned through a rigorous 1.5 hour question-and-answer session.

Over sixty people packed the Simpson Room of the Tacoma Chamber, a co-host of the event, to hear the thoughts of these transportation leaders. Topics such as the future of the Tacoma streetcar system, the Pierce Transit redesign process, collaboration and integration with Olympia and Intercity Transit, and more were covered as the audience peppered the speakers with thoughtful and passionate questions.

Perhaps the key question of the event, and the one that wrapped it up, came from Ben Ferguson of BLRB architects. Ben questioned the speakers on the establishment and communication of a broader vision beyond that of each individual organization represented. When the speakers answered his question with more emphasis of their own organizations' visions as well as a mention of the Puget Sound Regional Council's Transportation 2040 (which is meant to be a vision for the region), Ben pushed back again, challenging the leaders to "inspire us" with a vision into which we all can buy.

As is often the case, the "heart" of an event's topic is gotten at not through the leaders/experts invited to speak, but by an audience member willing to speak up.

Because of the success of this and the October forums, Transportation Choices Coalition along with its regular co-hosts the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce and the City of Tacoma will continue to host Friday forums in 2010, hoping to facilitate a discussion about transportation topics that are inspiring. Further dates and topics will be announced on this blog and on Transportation Choices Coalition's website.

We hope that you'll continue to join us in bringing transportation to the forefront of public discussion!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Transportation in Tacoma for the 21st Century

You're Invited to a Brown Bag Lunch & Interactive Discussion
on Friday, November 13th at 12:00pm


As we plan for the future of our transportation system, Tacoma and the South Sound face many tough decisions. How do parking policies affect the city’s goal to activate the streets with people and commerce? How do we extend the Tacoma Streetcar system? How do we reshape Pierce Transit’s bus system? How does the City best connect regionally? How can we plan for a multimodal future?

To get at these answers and more, The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, the City of Tacoma, Transportation Choices Coalition, Cross District Association, Tacoma Wheelmen, and others will host a brown bag lunch and interactive discussion with Tacoma’s transportation policy-makers, including:
Eric Anderson, City Manager, City of Tacoma
Lynne Griffith, CEO, Pierce Transit
Ric Ilgenfritz, Planning Director, Sound Transit
David Hiller, Advocacy Director, Cascade Bicycle Club

Open to all—bring your lunch and your questions!

Event Details:

Friday, Nov. 13th, 2009 12:00pm Simpson Room Tacoma Chamber 950 Pacific Ave.

RSVP… andrew@transportationchoices.org

Friday, November 06, 2009

Downtown Officers to Rotate in January

Downtown Tacoma has been fortunate to have Jim Pincham and Marty Price as our downtown officers for the past eight years. Two years ago the BIA successful advocated to delay Marty and Jim’s six-year career rotation and the officers remained in downtown for an additional two years. Unfortunately, we’ve been notified by the Tacoma Police Department (TPD) that their time is up and downtown will get two new officers starting January. Jim and Marty have been true assets to the downtown community. During their tenure downtown has experienced a dramatic decrease in crime, a trend we hope to continue with their replacements.

Thank you, Marty and Jim for your service to downtown. We hope that your new assignments will keep you in the neighborhood!

The people are not the only thing that will change in this reassignment process. The new officers (yet to be named) will patrol downtown on bikes and work the swing shift from the afternoon into the night. Jim and Marty worked the day shift. This change was sparked by a recent analysis that indicated calls for police service in downtown are highest between 5pm and 11pm.

Additionally, two Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) will be assigned to downtown. Officer Wayne Beales and Officer Scott Newbold will cover downtown from 5am to 5pm. Between the new schedule for the downtown officers and the newly assigned CLOs, there will be more dedicated police coverage for downtown than we’ve had in years!

White Lights Make Downtown Bright for the Holidays

Shorter and rainier days are a sure sign that the winter holidays are upon us. In an effort to create a festive atmosphere downtown this year, the BIA is encouraging businesses, property owners and managers to decorate their buildings and store fronts with white lights this holiday season. Lights are available from many outlets, here are two used in downtown in the past:

Silent Lights, Contact: Ben Norbe, (253) 732-9919

DiJulio Displays, Contact: Rita, 1(800) 321-9627, www.dijuliodisplays.com

The holiday stars that adore downtown light posts throughout the season will go up November 18-20. The star decorations are provided through collaboration between the BIA and the Downtown Merchants Group. We will need volunteers on the morning of November 18th to help replace burnt out bulbs. Please contact Jim Burgess, BIA Maintenance Supervisor if you are interested in volunteering, (253) 682-1731.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Friday Forum: Transportation in Tacoma for the 21st Century

You're Invited to a Brown Bag Lunch & Interactive Discussion on Friday, November 13th at 12:00pm

As we plan for the future of our transportation system, Tacoma and the South Sound face many tough decisions.

How do parking policies affect the city’s goal to activate the streets with people and commerce? How do we extend the Tacoma Streetcar system? How do we reshape Pierce Transit’s bus system? How does the City best connect regionally? How can we plan for a multimodal future?

To get at these answers and more, The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, the City of Tacoma, Transportation Choices Coalition, Cross District Association, Tacoma Wheelmen, and others will host a brown bag lunch and interactive discussion with Tacoma’s transportation policy-makers, including:

Eric Anderson, City Manager, City of Tacoma
Lynn Griffith, CEO, Pierce Transit
Ric Ilgenfritz, Planning Director, Sound Transit
David Hiller, Advocacy Director, Cascade Bicycle Club

Open to all—bring your lunch and your questions!

Event Details:
Friday, Nov. 13th, 2009
12:00pm
Simpson Room
Tacoma Chamber
950 Pacific Ave.

RSVP… mailto:mandrew@transportationchoices.org

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

City Council Endorses Parking Meters for Downtown

Last night the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance endorsing parking pay stations in downtown Tacoma. Pay stations are one piece of a parking strategy that strives to encourage long-term parkers (i.e. downtown workers and students) to park in garages and lots and leave the on-street stalls to shoppers, restaurant goers and business clients.

The ordinance dictates that
1. Parking rates will be market driven with the goal of achieving 15% on-street parking stall vacancy and start at $0.75 an hour.
2. All revenue from the pay stations will go into a Parking Enterprise Fund to be used for parking-related expenses.
3. A citizens taskforce will be established to oversee the functionality of the on-street parking system.

The pay stations will be similar to those in Seattle or Portland, in which the parker purchases a window sticker with a time stamp and can take their paid time with them throughout the metered area of downtown. The boundaries of the initial metered area are roughly the boundaries of the BIA, all streets between S. 7th and S. 21st, “A” Street and Market St.

The parking pay stations will be rolled out this spring in conjunction with an extensive public outreach process to educate the public about use of the pay stations as well as alternative transportation choices for drivers unable or unwilling to pay and for downtown users looking for an alternative to driving their cars.

The specific details of the system (length of stay, when and how rates are adjusted, etc) will be decided by the citizens committee, which reports regularly to the City Manager and annually to the Environment and Public Works Committee of the City Council. This ordinance was the outcome of more than 18 months worth of public input from a diverse group of downtown and neighborhood stakeholders.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Conversation Re: Tacoma Lecture Inspires Tacomans

At the New Frontier Lounge yesterday evening, Tacomans gathered for Part II of the three part lecture series Conversations Re: Tacoma. A crowd of 60+ listened intently to guest speakers Eric O. Jacobsen and Jim Diers, each offering his insight on the much needed change in town and neighborhood planning.

For his part, Mr. Jacobsen focused much on the history of why cities and towns are planned in a way that promotes disengagement and demotes town fabric. Mr. Diers offered his thoughts on bottom-up neighborhood planning, sharing examples of neighborhoods both near and far that have achieved the extraordinary through community activitism.

The only question that remained - "Will Tacoma do what it takes to enhance and improve "town fabric", and will its citizens lead the way in doing so?"

Interested in attending Part III of the lecture series? The event, which will focus on the new Urban Waters Building, will take place on November 12th at 6:30pm in the Carwein Auditorium of UWT's Keystone Building. Tickets can be purchased and more information found by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pierce Transit System Redesign ~ Downtown Community Workshop this Monday!

When... Monday, October 26th, 7:00-8:30pm

Where... Evergreen State College, 1210 6th Ave, Tacoma 98405

Why... Despite the increasing numbers of transit riders, Pierce Transit is facing its biggest budget challenges yet. With sales tax dollars bringing in 73% of PT’s revenue (fares bring in 14% and grants 10%), and these dollars plummeting since 2007, PT predicts a 2009 budget deficit of more than $10 million!

Because of this alarming number, PT has taken steps to cut expenditures - instituting hiring freezes, decreasing capital projects, and reducing service in July 2009 by 5%. But clearly, with a predicted budget shortfall of $10 million, they will need to do more and cut more.

Many of these changes and cuts may come to downtown Tacoma.

Whether are a transit user or not, voice your opinion! Although you can attend any one of the 8 community workshops (3 in Tacoma) offered throughout Pierce County in October and November, the Downtown workshop is your best option for expressing your thoughts on transit in the downtown core. Check out the workshops, RSVP (not required but preferred), and read more about PTtomorrow at PTtomorrow.org.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Love Tacoma is hosting a double feature for our October event! Join us on October 20th for dinner at Minoela followed by a movie at The Grand Cinema, for movies and times go to http://www.grandcinema.com/.

What: Love Tacoma @ Minoela & the Grand Cinema
When: Tuesday, October 20th at 5:30PM-7:30PM
Where: 604 Fawcett Ave Tacoma, WA 98402

Pronounced “min-oh-la”, the restaurant is a wine bistro with a comfortable café feel. They feature fresh local produce and organic options as well. Raffle prizes will include discounts and free meals from the restaurant. There will also be a special $5 glass of wine. Love Tacoma does not charge a membership fee and our socials are open to everyone. Come Love Tacoma with us!

Explore. Play. Repeat.

Love Tacoma is an informal monthly gathering of individuals who love Tacoma and enjoy exploring the city’s urban hotspots. It’s a great way to meet new friends and celebrate the places, people and activities that make Tacoma great. From casual happy hours to sophisticated wine tastings to next week's most anticipated show, you'll be able to meet and mingle with amazing people in Tacoma's urban community.

For more information, check out our website at
http://lovetacoma.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tacoma Bike-In this Saturday!

This Saturday, October 17th, the Cascade Bike Club and the Tacoma Wheelmen will host a Tacoma Bike-In. The event will include a workshop on cycling advocacy, a bike tour of Tacoma, and of course, a post-event social.

The hosts will discuss how bicyclists can use their clout to demand better facilities and just laws for bicyclists. Also, they will announce the outcome of the bicycle and pedestrian count, and how the data collected is crucial to bicyclist safety.

Together, the group will strategize on making a difference in Tacoma and working together for better state laws and federal funding of bike trails and other facilities.

To RSVP with the Cascade Bicycle Club, click here.

Event Information
10am - 1pm:
Workshop at the Tacoma Main Library, 1102 Tacoma Ave S

1pm - 3pm:
Bike tour of Tacoma with bicycle planners and special guests (stay tuned for details!)

3pm - evening:
Meet at the Harmon HUB for drinks

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Changes to licensing requirements for entertainment venues on the way

The PROACTIVE Business Licensing Team (City of Tacoma Safe & Clean Team) is hosting a public meeting on Thursday October 8th, 2009 at Tacoma Municipal Building North, Room 16 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.

This meeting is a follow up to the community engagement meeting held in February in which the City, restaurant and bar owners and other community stakeholders brainstormed ideas on night club licensing and the myriad of issues that arise in and near these businesses. The PROACTIVE team wants to go over recommended changes to the Tacoma Municipal Code (Chapter 6B.70; Entertainment & Dancing-Alcohol Served).

Monday, October 05, 2009

Friday's City Center Luncheon to feature Dome and Brewery Districts Plans

Reserve your seat now for this Friday's City Center Luncheon
hosted by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber

When: Friday, October 9th 11:30 (registration) 12:00 to 1:30 (program)
Where: Pacific Grill Event Center (1530 Pacific Ave., Tacoma), validated parking at the Convention Center is available

The theme of this fall’s luncheon is “Celebrating Downtown Life”. There are many plans being made and programs offered that make downtown’s future bright. Join us to celebrate all that downtown Tacoma has to offer now and in the coming year.

Presentations include:

The Visions for downtown’s Dome & Brewery Districts
The City of Tacoma is making plans for the future. The City of Tacoma and community stakeholders in two of downtown’s up and coming neighborhoods, are envisioning the future of retail, housing, transportation and urban open space development. Planning Director, Peter Huffman will discuss the exciting visions for these unique neighborhoods.

Downtown Parking Pay Stations – They’re Coming
For the past year and a half a diverse group of downtown stakeholders have worked with the City of Tacoma to develop recommendations for implementing paid on-street parking. The primary goal of the stakeholders is set on-street parking prices that insure 155 parking spot vacancy so that shoppers and visitor to downtown can always find a parking spot near by their destination. City Manager Eric Anderson will discuss other guiding principles of the stakeholder group, roll out timeline and cost.

The Grand Cinema’s New 4th Theater
The Grand is growing! The non-profit Grand Cinema is excited to announce that they are adding a fourth screen to their existing three screen cinema. Construction began in September and is scheduled to be complete sometime prior to Christmas of this year. Once complete, the Grand will be able to bring more quality, first-run, art-house films to Tacoma that in most cases would never have played anywhere else in Pierce County.

First Night 2010
First Night is Tacoma and Pierce County's New Year's Eve festival; a family-friendly, alcohol-free, and most of all fabulously FUN celebration. The celebration grows and changes every year. Join us to learn what’s in store for 2010.

And…Introducing Shunpike
Shunpike a Seattle-based arts service organization now works from their Tacoma satellite office at Suite133 to strengthen Tacoma arts groups with its back-office support and financial services. Shunpike partners with small and mid-size arts groups to develop, train and implement best practices. Since 2001, the organization has been successfully supporting artists with their live performance, film, literary arts, visual arts and arts education programs.

To reserve your seat register on line today at www.tacomachamber.org or contact Cathy at the Chamber, cathyt@tacomachamber.org, 253.627.2175

Price:
$20 Chamber Ambassadors prepaid
$25 Chamber Members prepaid
$30 Members at the door
$35 Non-members prepaid or at the door

Thursday, October 01, 2009

October is Crime Prevention Month

Take part in Crime Prevention Month The City is joining with the National Crime Prevention Council to observe Crime Prevention Month during October.Crime prevention and safety takes a community to be successful; it is being aware that a crime can occur, anticipating how, when, where and who might be the victim, and taking action to reduce the chances of it happening. Crime prevention is using instinct, common sense and action to eliminate or greatly reduce the criminal’s opportunity.

The Tacoma City Council and staff are working hard to make Tacoma safe, clean and attractive, and your contributions to the effort will make the difference.
You can get started now by:

Removing opportunities for criminals to steal your car by locking it up and/or parking in your garage.

Check the locks on your home’s doors and windows to make sure they’re in good working order, and fasten them securely when you leave home, every time.


Together we can have safer and cleaner neighborhoods. Read more about the City’s Safe and Clean effort and find out how to get involved at www.cityoftacoma.org/safeandclean or by calling (253) 591-5130. For more information about National Crime Prevention Month, visit http://www.ncpc.org.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Transportation Forum This Thursday!

On Thursday, October 1st please join The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, Transportation Choices Coalition, and other co-sponsoring organizations for a citywide Candidates’ Transportation Forum.

Because our transportation and land use policies have dramatic impacts on economic development, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, community health, and quality of life, these topics pose some of the greatest challenges facing Tacoma’s City Council. At this forum, candidates will respond to questions about the future of Tacoma’s transportation system (transit, bikeways, roads, parking, etc.) and related land-use implications.

The forum is open to the public. Transportation related questions for the candidates can be submitted prior to the event to juliap@tacomachamber.org.

EVENT INFORMATION ~
When: Thursday, Oct 1st, 6:30-8:30pm
Where: Carwein Auditorium, Keystone Building - UWT

Please note: This forum is intended for the education of the public on candidates’ views on transportation and land use issues. It is not meant to endorse or support particular candidates. Invitations were extended to all candidates for Tacoma City Council and Mayor of Tacoma.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

City Center Luncheon Celebrates Life Downtown- Oct. 9th

It’s time again for the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s quarterly City Center Luncheon.

When: Friday, October 9th 11:30 (registration) 12:00 to 1:30 (program)

Where: Pacific Grill Event Center (1530 Pacific Ave., Tacoma), validated parking at the Convention Center is available

The theme of this fall’s luncheon is “Celebrating Downtown Life”. There are many plans being made and programs offered that make downtown’s future bright. Join us to celebrate all that downtown Tacoma has to offer now and in the coming year.

Presentations include:

- Development plans for downtown’s Dome & Brewery Districts

- An update on downtown parking pay stations by City Manager Eric Anderson

- News on the Grand Cinema’s new 4th Theater

- And…Introducing Shunpike, an arts service organization helping Tacoma’s artists become entrepreneurs

To reserve your seat register on line today at www.tacomachamber.org or contact Cathy at the Chamber, cathyt@tacomachamber.org, 253.627.2175

Price:
$20 Chamber Ambassadors prepaid
$25 Chamber Members prepaid
$30 Members at the door
$35 Non-members prepaid or at the door

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Luzon to be Demolished Saturday

City Manager Eric Anderson announced at this afternoon’s City Council Study Session that the historic Luzon Building will be torn down this Saturday. According to the building official, the structure is in eminent danger of collapse and must be taken down immediately to protect the public. According to the City Manager, “there is no hope [for the Luzon]”.

This conclusion is the final determination in a series of last ditch efforts to save the Luzon from demolition. Years of neglect on the part of multiple owners, including Pierce County left the building in a state of disrepair. Yesterday the structure was enclosed with a 6-foot fence after the Tacoma Police and Fire Departments insured the building was empty.

The Luzon is one of the first buildings on the West Coast built by Chicago architects, Burnham and Root to employ an internal steel structure, later used in the engineering of skyscrapers. An effort will be made to preserve the steel structure and the unique patina brick on the exterior of the building.
Other stories on the Luzon...

Mobility Master Plan Community Workshops this Week!

Join the City of Tacoma in identfying existing conditions and opportunities to improve Tacoma's bicycling and walking environments, as well as connections to transit. Three community workshops will be held this week and early next week, and Tacoma citizens are invited! Attend and voice your insights and opinions on vital transportation corridors, connectivity gaps, and Tacoma's general mobility direction. Check out the info on the city's website: http://www.cityoftacoma.org/Page.aspx?hid=12894

Mobility Plan Community Workshop Dates:
Wednesday, Sept. 23 - South Park Community Center
Address: 4851 S Tacoma Way Tacoma, WA 98409
Website: http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/page.php?id=47

Thursday, Sept. 24 - Norpoint Centre
Address: 4818 Nassau Ave NE Tacoma, WA 98422
Website: http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/page.php?id=45

Monday, Sept. 28 - University of Puget Sound, Rasmussen Rotunda in Wheelock Student Center
Address: 1500 N. Warner, Tacoma, WA 98416
Website: www.pugetsound.edu

PARK(ing) Day a Success!

On Friday, September 18th, Transportation Choices Coalition, Cascade Land Conservancy, and others hosted a "park" spot for PARK(ing) Day - a day when parking spots are recognized as public spaces. This global day is all about demonstrating the value of the space given up for autos by dramatically transfering parking spots into temporary parks.

For Tacoma's first year of participation, we were amazed at the success of both creating our "park" and beginning a conversation on what it is we were doing and why we were doing it. In our passing conversations with pedestrians, bicyclists, and even motorists waiting at the stoplight in front of the UWT Bookstore, we many times saw quizzical looks turn into "aha" moments when the message clicked. While the host organizations involved in no way think that those two spots in front of UWT or the one in front of Buzzards are an ideal location for a "park", we did enjoy imagining if only for a day the use of streets and parking spots for uses other than cars.

For more information on PARK(ing) Day, check out http://www.parkingday.org/.
For images of Tacoma's PARK(ing) Day, view the pictures below.

































Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Creating Something Out of an Abandoned Brewery District- IDA Conference Part 2

I had the opportunity to tour the long-vacant former Pabst Brewery today. As a loyal PBR drinker the opportunity made me nostalgic for my college days, but it also peaked my professional interest as a planner ruminating over what to do about our own long-vacant Heidelberg Brewery.
There are many similarities between the two development opportunities and I only hope that the City of Tacoma learns from Milwaukee’s near missteps and builds on the Brewery City’s successes.

The Pabst Brewery, which closed in 1996, sits on a 21-acre site adjacent to Interstate 43 and is minutes from downtown Milwaukee. The site includes 16 historic tax credit eligible buildings, 6 construction-ready parcels and two parking garages to be built by the Master Developer, Joseph Zilber, Chairman of Brewery Project LLC. Mr. Zilber, stepped forward to purchase the site after a previous entertainment-oriented redevelopment proposal fizzled. Through this project, Mr. Zilber envisions creating a new mixed use neighborhood rather than, as one of the project investors described the previous proposal, a passing retail fade.

The Brewery Project LLC is using historic tax credits and tax increment financing to rehabilitate the historic buildings, including the old boiler building, brewing laboratories and grain silo. The buildings will be renovated and sold to new owners looking to creating new retail, residential and offices uses on the site. Already the property houses the Blue Ribbon Loft Apartments and a development firm. Seventy-percent of the residential units are affordable to low income tenants and intended as live/work artists lofts. The University of Wisconsin has expressed interest in relocating and expanding their Public Health program in the old beer bottling building that was made famous in the opening scenes of the TV series Lavern and Shirley.

Highlighting environmental sustainability is an essential component of the project, which boasts an on-sight storm water management system and 90% construction waste recycling. The project is also reconnects long-vacated streets to the grid and incorporates porous street pavement to minimize water run off. For their efforts, the developers are being rewarded as contenders for LEED Platinum Certification upon project completion.

As an outsider to this massive project it looks to me like the developers and the City of Milwaukee are doing everything right. This is an exciting and inspirational project. The proximity of Tacoma’s own Brewery District to our downtown and the district’s historic buildings pose an equally exciting prospect, but we must learn from the Brewery City and NOT COMPROMISE. Tacoma is deserving of the best designed buildings that pay homage to our culture and history. We must not settle for the newest best offer that comes our way, but instead demand quality design and uses that compliment our community.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Retail Recruiting- IDA Conference Part 1

I am in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this week at the International Downtown Association Conference. The conference, hosted each year by a different city U.S. or Canadian city provides lectures and conversations on downtown retail development, safety and security, creating great public spaces, parking management and urban design. I’ll be reporting over the next couple days on what I learn.

It’s comforting to know that when it comes to downtown retail, Tacoma is not alone. Milwaukee, a city of nearly 600,000 people has blocks of vacant store fronts and towers of vacant office space just like us. However, Milwaukee is taking bold steps to combat their downtown vacancy rate and rejuvenate their street life. In addition to a city branding campaign and functional wayfinding system, Milwaukee has hired retail consultants, CivicVisions not to just revitalize downtown retail, but to transform downtown through strategic retail recruitment.

We all know that amenities attract people, but it’s attracting the right mix of amenities to downtown that’s tricky. To do this, Milwaukee’s consultant CivicVisions suggests:

· There is not quick fix to retail recruitment. A downtown retail strategy is a long-term plan that is implemented over three to five years or more.

· Define a distinct geographic area of downtown to attract retail to. Do not try to attract new retail everywhere at once.

· Hire a trained retail recruiter who is familiar with our community and committed to it, has plenty of retail and merchandising experience, and is good at both building relationships and selling the community’s vision.

· Identify the type and quality of businesses you want and be discerning about the ones you go after. Businesses attract other like-businesses, but the wrong business can inhibit recruitment of the ones you want.

· Property owners must be part of the solution and help to develop a strategy that incentivizes the right mix of retail services and amenities.

· Façade updates that modernize buildings and improve merchandise displays will likely need to be part of the strategy.

This makes sense to me. Maybe it’s time for Tacoma to try out a retail recruiter again…

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Russell Leaves…What’s the Next Step for Tacoma?

While news of losing the Frank Russell Company may initially feel like a punch in the gut that knocks the wind out of us all, once we regain our collective breath we realize that now is the opportunity to define our City and our direction for the future. There is much to be excited about.

Last night amid the clack of pool balls at a well know local watering hole a group of Tacoma’s notorious urban schemers met to discuss the future of Tacoma in a post-Russell world. The clear tone among the group was that what we all love about Tacoma does not exist thanks to one employer. We choose to live and work in Tacoma because of the people, the activities and the opportunities to collectively create a place that reflects the interests, ideas and passions of the people who live here.

So I ask, what do you want, citizens Tacoma? What is your vision for our community?

Do you want to create a vibrant urban center filled with arts, music, parks, and bikes and streetcars? If so, how do we get there? What should we prioritize in our urban centers parking or people? Culturally, what do we need as community members to fulfill our hearts and minds? What can we do to better promote the arts and support our homegrown artist? How do we bring business to Tacoma and fill our downtown with bustling shops and great places to work? How do we tell people about what we’ve got? What must we do to highlight our great neighborhoods and vibrant downtown to small businesses, new employers, and potential residents? All of these questions need answers, the best of which come from you, citizens of Tacoma.

This is an exciting time for Tacoma, a time to define where we go next. There are innumerable opportunities to influence the shape, look and feel of our community. Here are a handful of opportunities, events and ways to get involved. I know there are others and I encourage you to get involved and help shape Tacoma’s future.

Brewery District Plan

Mobility Master Plan

Downtown Parking Meters

Clean and Safe Teams and initiatives

Pierce Transit System Redesign

PSRC’s Transportation 2040 plan

Go Local Tacoma

City of Tacoma Neighborhood Councils

The Arts

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Candidates’ Transportation Forum This Thursday!

On Thursday, October 1st please join The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, Transportation Choices Coalition, and other co-sponsoring organizations for a citywide Candidates’ Transportation Forum.

Because our transportation and land use policies have dramatic impacts on economic development, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, community health, and quality of life, these topics pose some of the greatest challenges facing Tacoma’s City Council. At this forum, candidates will respond to questions about the future of Tacoma’s transportation system (transit, bikeways, roads, parking, etc.) and related land-use implications.
The forum is open to the public, and transportation related questions for the candidates can be submitted prior to the event to juliap@tacomachamber.org.

EVENT INFORMATION ~
When: Thursday, Oct 1st, 6:30-8:30pm
Where: Carwein Auditorium, UWT

Please note ~
This forum is intended for the education of the public on candidates’ views on transportation and land use issues. It is not meant to endorse or support particular candidates. Invitations were extended to all candidates for Tacoma City Council and Mayor of Tacoma.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Paid On-Street Parking...It's Coming...Really

Parking pay stations are coming to the streets of downtown Tacoma. According to City Manager Eric Anderson, expect to see the meters on street this spring.

This announcement is the culmination of nearly a decade of conversations and debates about paid on-street parking. Throughout the years conversations have centered around the tedious balance between charging for parking without deterring customers and having available on-street parking spots for customers and clients.

Most recently the Parking Implementation Committee, comprised of stakeholders from throughout the City’s business districts and downtown worked with consultants to devise a strategy to implement paid-on street parking.

With current demand for downtown on-street parking out pacing supply, the turning point in the conversation was acceptance of a widely held transportation theory that parking pricing should be market based and set at a price point that supports 15% parking spot vacancy. The theory in practice is intended to insure that, while you might not be able to find a spot in front of your favorite business, with 15% vacancy you’ll likely be able to find and pay for one down the street.

How it will work
If approved by the City Council the first phase of parking meters we be rolled out in roughly the BIA boundaries, between S. 7th and S. 21st and between I-705 and Market St.

The pay stations will be similar to Seattle’s where a user purchases a window sticker for and can take extra parking time with them for errands in other parts of the paid parking zone.

The City Manager is asking the Council to set the initial rate at 75 cents per hour with an understanding that this rate will adjust to facilitate 15% vacancy. All revenues generated from the pay stations will stay within the parking system, which supports parking-related investments.

A citizen’s advisory committee will be formed to advise the City on rate and policy changes as the public adjusts to the new system.

Timeline
September 15th: Pay station proposal reviewed y Committee of the Whole
September 22nd: Council Study Session will review proposed Ordinance
September 29th: First reading of Ordinance
October 6th: Second reading of Ordinance

If passed by Council an RFP for the pay stations will be issued in mid-October and the contract placed at the end of November.

The City Manager is planning a 3 to 4 month public outreach and education campaign in preparation for the pay stations to be installed by April.

What if I don’t want to pay for parking?
There are numerous resources to help downtown employers, employees, residents, customers, visitors, and students get out of their cars an into a bus, van/carpool on to a bike, walking or teleworking. The friendly people at Pierce Transit www.piercetrips.com and Downtown: On the Go! can help you with all your commuting needs. Even changing your commute just once a week will save you money.

Conversations RE: Tacoma brings urban planning to the masses

The Southwest Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture and The Harris Architectural Trust are teaming up with other local organizations for the 1st annual lecture series, Conversation RE: Tacoma.

Through this three-part lecture series the AIA and others hope to provoke thought, inform the public and stimulate conversation about Tacoma’s urban form and the communities we are building through the City’s Comprehensive Plan. These are opportunities for community-wide discussions about our City’s design future.

IT"S OUR CITY, let’s redefine it and reinvent it.


For more information go to http://www.retacoma.com/.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Call for Federal Transportation Reform

At a Seattle forum today the National Transportation Policy Project (NTPP) made the case for an overhaul of federal transportation policy. Their case comes in the form of a report, Performance Driven: A New Vision for U.S. Transportation Policy, the product of a bipartisan group of 26 politically and professionally diverse members. The report proposes five key goals for future national transportation policy: economic growth, national connectivity, metropolitan accessibility, energy security and environmental protection, and safety.

Based on these goals, the NTPP report contends that performance measures should be used to determine future federal funding allocation to state transportation agencies. While the report proposes that 67% of federal funding remain formula based, the other 33% would be competitively based on the performance of states’ transportation systems. As part of this performance determination, the group also calls for increased investment in Intelligent Transportation Systems, or systems embedded in transportation infrastructure that monitor the system and provide critical data to decision-makers and citizens.

The NTPP pitched their report to an audience of approximately 150 in the transportation field, including numerous state transportation heavy weights such as Paula Hammond, Secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation and Charlie Howard, Transportation Planning Director for the Puget Sound Regional Council. Joni Earl, Sound Transit CEO, offered her eloquent and insightful thoughts on NTPP's recommendations during her keynote address, suggesting increased consideration of multimodal transportation in the NTPP's proposed goals and performance measures.

The NTPP’s report has been and will continue to be circulated on Capital Hill in the next 12 to 18 months of debate leading up to the next Federal Transportation Authorization Bill. While the current report is a finished product, NTPP representatives stressed throughout the forum that the conversation regarding federal transportation reform is ongoing and far from over.

Take a look at the NTPP's report here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

UWT Toasts to Joy

Chancellor Pat Spakes, UW Regent Herb Simon and others raised a glass of sparkling cider this morning in celebration of the Joy Building renovation at S. 17th and Pacific Avenue. The Joy Building, named after architect Russell T. Joy is the final historic UWT structure along Pacific Avenue to receive a makeover. Upon completion, the Joy Building will provide much-needed faculty offices and classrooms for the growing UWT population.

The Joy Building renovation is part of a $34 million capital construction package from the Washington State Legislature. The package also includes funding for the addition and renovation of three labs in the Science Building—already under way—and infrastructure build out to support future campus expansion up the hill towards Market St.

Monday, August 17, 2009

RIDEshare Online Promotion until September 18th!

Did you know that Pierce Transit maintains a fleet of 300 vanpools serving a variety of employers and employees in Pierce County? Sixty of those vanpools serve Tacoma, with a large portion of those coming right Downtown.

Have you considered joining up with one of these vanpools for your commute? Well, now is the time to do it! The Washington State Ridesharing Organization and your local transit agency are pleased to bring you the annual Summer RideshareOnline.com promotion.

Register here, start or join a carpool or vanpool between August 10 and September 18, 2009, share the ride at least 2 days per week and you could be eligible to win a weekend getaway to Washington or Idaho for two - three days, two nights AND a $50 gas card for travel expenses.

If you are already registered in www.RideshareOnline.com, you are halfway to winning a prize! Just go to www.RideshareOnline.com, update your information if necessary and click on ‘Find Matches’. You'll be automatically included in the weekly drawings for a $50 gift card.

For more information about the promotion, go to http://www.rideshareonline.com/rsopromo8-09.htm.
For more information on Pierce County vanpools, go to http://www.piercetransit.org/rideshare/vanpool.htm.

Thanks for your support of ridesharing!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Luzon Rescue?

The Luzon Building might have got a metaphorical and physical “boost of support” to its walls thanks to Tacoma contractor Igor Kunista, owner of Serpanok Construction Inc. Kunista told the City Council this past Tuesday that he would like to begin shoring up the leaning brick walls of the six-story building this week if he can buy it from its present owner, local developer the Gintz Group.

The north wall of the building is leaning 5 inches toward South 13th Street, an ominous sign of eventual collapse. This threat of collapse prompted the city’s Public Works Department to close South 13th Street and one southbound lane of Pacific Avenue adjacent to the building in order to protect the public.

According to The News Tribune, Kunitsa’s plan calls for him to invest $2.33 million in cash in the historic building. The remainder of the $6 million in construction cost would be paid with a $2 million loan from Wells Fargo Bank and a $1.65 million low-interest loan from the City of Tacoma. The city had offered that same loan to the building’s owner, The Gintz Group, but the Tacoma developer has been unable to find tenants to rent the offices in the rehabilitated structure.

A consultant to Kunitsa, however, claims that several tenants have shown strong interest in signing up for office space if Kunitsa is the one to rehabilitate the building. In addition, Kunitsa thinks he may be able to rehabilitate the Luzon more economically than Gintz because he could be the building’s developer as well as its general contractor as opposed to an outside contractor that Gintz would need to hire.

Also in the Tribune, there is mention that the city may be able to step in to install reinforcements to keep the building intact if Kunitsa’s plan falls through or if Gintz can’t find new financing to rehabilitate the building.

For a more detailed article on this exciting new downtown news, read The News Tribune article. [link: http://www.thenewstribune.com/business/story/842233.html?storylink=pd ]

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Streets to Close Around Luzon Building

At this afternoon’s City Council Study Session City staff announced that starting tomorrow S. 13th Street and the southbound outside lane of Pacific Ave., adjacent to the Luzon Building will close for an undetermined amount of time.

The street closures are the City’s response to the “life safety” risks that the deterioration of the Luzon Building poses to pedestrians and passing traffic. As S. 13th St. is a major freeway access route to downtown, traffic will be detoured to ramps at S. 21st St. and S. 9th St.

These street closures coincide with road construction along Commerce St. and S. 9th St., making parts of downtown impassable to vehicles. My recommendation for getting around downtown, at least in the interim, is jumping on your bike or putting on some walking shoes.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Security Camera Positioning: one of the keys to catching crooks

Last month the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber hosted a business discussion with security experts Sagem Morpho. Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor facilitated the conversation, which emphasized accurate positioning of security cameras to effectively identify crooks.

Learn more about how to position security cameras to capture good quality face images for assisting criminal investigations at the Chamber's Tech Connect Blog.

LINK Light Rail Closed Next Week

Beginning Saturday, August 8th Tacoma Link light rail will be closed for several days for construction. During the closure, free special Tacoma Link buses will serve the light rail route on Pacific Avenue on a similar schedule as the train.

Pavement between rails on Commerce Street between South 9th and South 13th streets needs repair due to heavy use by bus and vehicular traffic. Other maintenance activity along the Tacoma Link route will be completed during the closure. To resume Tacoma Link service as quickly as possible, the City has approved 24/7 construction activity. This work may take up to nine days.

Access to businesses and parking lots on Commerce Street will be maintained at all times during construction. The construction activity on Commerce Street requires Pierce Transit bus service to be relocated to both sides of Pacific Avenue between South 9th and South 11th streets. On-street parking in this area will be suspended during construction.

For more information about Tacoma Link construction, contact Roger Iwata at roger.iwata@soundtransit.org or 206-689-4904.


A Printable rider alert poster is available here.

The Pierce Transit Department of Public Safety in conjunction with the Tacoma Police Department will be addressing the security concerns of the Light Rail Closure and moving from Commerce to Pacific.

Police:
There will be Tacoma Police officers conducting foot patrol in the temporary bus hub on Pacific from 12:00 PM to 12:30 AM

Uniformed Security:
Pierce Transit Security Officers will be riding the bus service along the Light Rail line. They will be working these buses for the majority of the service hours. This may change depending on the level of activity we observe. These officers were chosen to perform this function as they have been trained specifically for bus service and are plugged into our communication system and have the ability to talk to the Pierce Transit staff and TPD officers working for Pierce Transit directly. Additionally they are familiar with and are able to issue exclusions if necessary. They will also be performing their regular patrols at 10th and Commerce and Tacoma Dome Station.

Phone Information:
Pierce Transit Police (Non-Emergency) 253.983.3371
Security Office 253.983.2703 &2703
Security Supervisor’s Office: 253.983.3313

Friday, July 31, 2009

Shoup Talks Tacoma Parking

The City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber teamed up to sponsor a public lecture and conversation with renowned parking expert and UCLA professor Donald Shoup. City staff, residents, business owners, and students gathered at UWT on Wednesday morning to talk parking in Tacoma.

But parking is not just about parking, according to Professor Shoup. He has done extensive research on connections between parking and transportation, land use, economic development, and the environment. His engaging presentation was rich with Tacoma examples and images. He also highlighted United States' car-centric culture and the consequences on our cities, health, and land. (Did you know that there are 18% more automobiles than there are licensed drivers in the U.S.?)

Professor Shoup is well-known for his analysis of the "high costs of free parking," arguing that while a driver may not pay a direct fee for pulling into a "free" parking space, there are hidden costs for the community, businesses, and he advocates for charging the right price for parking, which is the lowet price that will still maintain some vacant slots. He also advocates for parking meter revenue to go directly to the neighborhoods that genereate it so people see the connection between their fare and safety, cleanliness, and aesthetics.

After the public lecture, City Staff stayed for a private conversation with Professor Shoup.

If you weren't able to get your dose of parking this week (or if you want more), here is a link to a 2007 New York Times editoral by Professor Shoup.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Parking Puzzle: How the pieces fit in downtown Tacoma

The City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber invite you to a free public conversation with renowned parking expert and UCLA professor Dr. Donald Shoup.

Dr. Shoup has done extensive research on parking as a key link between transportation and land use, with important consequences for cities, the economy, and the environment. With this expertise, Shoup will address parking and mobility in downtown Tacoma.

Dr. Shoup will also be giving the keynote address at the PIPTA (Pacific Intermountain Parking & Transportation Association) annual conference and trade show being held in Tacoma July 26-28.

When: Wednesday, July 29, 8-9 am

Where: UWT Carwein Auditorium

Who: Open to the public

Cost: FREE!

This is an exciting opportunity for us transit and parking geeks, and anyone interested in the economic vitality of our downtown - mobility is key.

See you there!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Is your business or organization an easy target for crime?

















While overall crime in downtown has declined, acts of theft and vandalism continue to persist. Without adequate security camera images criminals are difficult to catch and prosecute.

Attend the Chamber's upcoming Good Morning Breakfast, Tues., July 28th, and learn easy steps on how to position your security cameras to adequately capture facial images and assist law enforcement to apprehend criminals.

Hear an informative presentation by Sagem Morpho Inc. on how its high tech biometric facial recognition application enables law enforcement and intelligence analysts to quickly compare photographs of suspects against large databases of images and make identifications within seconds. Sagem Morpho Inc., based in Tacoma, is an integral part of Sagem Securite’s global success in the development, manufacture and integration of biometric technologies including fingerprint, iris, palm and facial recognition. They provide services for systems throughout North America, including law enforcement, Federal Government, Homeland Security, civil identification and applicant background check systems, and is the biometric algorithm provider for the FBI AFIS.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department became the first law enforcement agency in
the United States to deploy the MorphoFace Investigate (MFI) system as part of a pilot program initiated in 2008. That same year Pierce County scored its first arrest utilizing the MFI – making national news. By comparing an automatic teller machine (ATM) photograph against the sheriff’s department’s digital database of 350,000 mug shots, a criminal was identified and apprehended. For more information visit www.morpho.com/newsroom.

Breakfast will be held at La Quinta Inn & Suites Conference Center, 1425 East 27th Street Tacoma 98421. Cost is $14 Ambassadors pre-paid; $15 Members pre-paid by July 23; $20 members after July 24; $35non-members / walk-ins.

Register online: http://www.tacomachamber.org/; or Janice Hutchins janiceh@tacomachamber.org or 253.627.2175.

Special thanks to event sponsor, Sonitrol Pacific.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

DaVita's Jim Hilger to Speak at City Center Luncheon- July 17th

Register NOW for this Friday's City Center Luncheon!

**new presentations added**

When: Friday, July 17th, 11:30 (registration) 12:00 to 1:30 (program)

Where: Pacific Grill Event Center (1530 Pacific Ave., Tacoma), validated parking is available at the Convention Center

What: The City Center Luncheon is a quarterly event hosted by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber

The theme of this quarter's City Center Luncheon is "Experience Life Locally". Join us to learn about:

Local Commitment
Jim Hilger, Vice President of DaVita will discuss the company's decision to stay in Tacoma and their plans for the future.

Local Living: Go Local
Tacoma is going local to support independent businesses and build a prosperous community. Learn how Go Local Tacoma is participating in this national movement and how you can join in your neighborhood business district.

Local Events:
Tollefson Plaza is coming to life this summer; tables and chairs are already there. Come learn what's in store for this summer's Friday Lunch Series and 3rd Thursday Art-Marts in the Plaza.

Local Transportation
Downtown On the Go! Transportation Innovators Awards. Downtown: On the Go! is downtown Tacoma's commute options campaign. How about relaxing to and from work by letting someone else do the driving? Wouldn't it be relaxing to walk, bike or ride the bus to work, or share a ride? Employees across Tacoma are saving money and time by switching to an alternative commute. Join Tacoma's alternative commute movement at the City Center Luncheon.

Local Business
The City of Tacoma's Economic Gardening program cultivates local entrepreneurs by providing them with the information and training they need to be successful in today’s marketplace. Learn about what's being done to keep local businesses up and running in Tacoma in tough economic times.

To reserve your seat register on line today at http://www.tacomachamber.org/ or contact Janice at the Chamber janiceh@tacomachamber.org, 253.627.2175

Price: $20 Ambassadors prepaid
$25 Chamber Members prepaid
$30 Members at the door
$35 Non-members prepaid or at the door

How Do You Envision Tacoma?

Is your vision of Tacoma the tough blue collar industrial town of years past, the cultural and artistic center of the Puget Sound, a bustling walkable community, a bit of all three or something completely different?

The Puget Sound Regional Council projects Tacoma to grow by 127,000 people by 2040, this growth will be like adding the population of Bellevue within Tacoma’s city limits.

The City of Tacoma has a vision for where to put all these extra people. Their vision is articulated in the mixed use centers strategy, which attempts to strategically direct this anticipated growth into existing neighborhoods and business districts by increasing the allowable heights is these districts and offering additional bonuses to developers that provide public amenities.

The City Planning Commission has closely reviewed the mixed use centers process and proposals and has provide a series of recommendations to the City Council to be included in the Mixed Use Centers Zoning and Land Use Code amendments.

Transportation and smart growth advocacy organizations, Transportation Choices Coalition and Futurewise commented on the proposed amendments in an op-ed in today’s News Tribune.

The first reading of the mixed use centers ordinance (No. 278180) will be heard by the Council at today’s City Council meeting, 5pm in the Council Chambers, 747 Market Street.

Love Tacoma (and a sunny Wednesday) at Woody's on the Water

What better way to soak in the sun TOMORROW and Love Tacoma than hang out on the deck at Woody's on the Water.

Woody’s is a local, family-owned and operated restaurant with a fun beach casual atmosphere. They offer delicious seafood, steak, salads, and cocktails. The outdoor waterfront patio has a great view of the Foss Marina Waterway and Woody’s is a favorite for local boaters. Come enjoy the sunshine and a signature cocktail with us at Woody’s on the Water!

When: Wednesday, July15, 2009, 5:30pm
Where: 1715 Dock Street (Thea’s landing building on water side).

Explore. Play. Repeat.

Love Tacoma is an informal monthly gathering of individuals who love Tacoma and enjoy exploring the city’s urban hotspots. It’s a great way to meet new friends and celebrate the places, people and activities that make Tacoma great. From casual happy hours to sophisticated wine tastings to next week's most anticipated show, you'll be able to meet and mingle with amazing people in Tacoma's urban community.

For more information, check out our website at http://lovetacoma.com/

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Parking Expert Donald Shoup Comes to Tacoma

Tacoma parking geeks unite! This summer’s PIPTA (Pacific Intermountain Parking & Transportation Association) Conference & Trade Show will host Dr. Donald Shoup in Tacoma from July 26 – July 28.

PIPTA is comprised of parking and transportation professionals and their partners in related fields from Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

This year’s conference at the Hotel Murano promises to be their most diverse educational program ever, including a wide range of planning, design, operations, programmatic and management topics including:

· Parking & Transportation Contributions to Downtowns & Economic Development
· Aesthetic and Environmental Considerations in Parking Facility Design
· Bicycle Facilities and Creating a Bicycling Culture
· Engaging Communities in Comprehensive Parking Management
· And many more…

Tacoma has long struggled with how to manage our on and off street parking system. Here’s a chance to learn from experts in our own backyard.

For more information review the conference flyer or go to the PIPTA website: www.pipta.org/events

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wintergrass Goes to Bellevue

Despite the best efforts of community stakeholders, organizers of the 16 year-old Wintergrass music festival will move the event to the Bellevue Hyatt in 2010. Stakeholders including the City, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Broadway Center, Chamber of Commerce, and the Marriott and Murano hotels offered a fantastic package of funding, discounts, deals and services to entice Wintergrass to stay. A number of factors including hotel rates, facilities, competing events and a need to reinvent the festival lead to this decision.

It’s a sad day for Tacoma to lose yet another festival. Already this year, organizers of the Hot Rod O’Rama car show and Showcase Tacoma have announced that those events are cancelled. The loss of these events is just one more reason (as if you needed another) to support and enjoy the 5th annual Urban Art Festival on August 1st along Jefferson Ave. in front of the Swiss.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dump the Pump on June 18th

Pierce Transit is joining transit agencies across the country to ask those who’ve never tried public transportation to get on board with saving and take a new ride on Thursday, June 18th. Regular transit users are encouraged to make it a “zero drive” day, and only use transit.

Everyone is concerned about saving money and cutting down on expenses these days. And
as local gas prices again begin to creep up to $3 a gallon, one of the easiest ways to keep more money in your wallet is to park your car at home and hop on public transportation.

Once again this year, Pierce transit and the region’s other transportation agencies are urging residents to ride a bus, train, boat, bike, take a walk, or share the ride on Thursday, June 18, the fourth annual National Dump the Pump Day.

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the 2009 National Dump the Pump Day encourages people to ride public transportation to save money, protect the environment, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and improve our quality of life. APTA’s monthly Transit Savings Report consistently ranks the Seattle metropolitan area as one of the top ten regions for potential transit savings.

Here’s some more great info about Pierce Transit and the benefits on commuting by bus. Pierce Transit had nearly five million boardings this year by the end of April 2009, continuing to maintain historic ridership levels that began with record high gas prices during the summer of 2008. Pierce County residents, who continue to utilize Pierce Transit’s fixed route, express, or vanpool services at least three days a week, can save more than $1,000 annually by leaving their cars at home.

There are also the environmental benefits. Nationwide, public transportation saves 900,000 automobile fill-ups each day – 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline per year. And switching to a 100 percent clean, Compressed Natural Gas powered public transportation system like Pierce Transit can reduce individual carbon emissions by 20 pounds per day or 4,800 pounds per year.

Visit http://www.piercetransit.org/ for more information.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lunchtime Vendors and Entertainment Coming to Tollefson

Take your lunch break in Tollefson Plaza- every Friday starting July 10 to September 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring your own lunch or buy food from local restaurateurs and enjoy free entertainment from local musicians.

By July 10th, the first of the Summer Lunch Series, you’ll be able to sit comfortably under the shade of one of the plaza’s new umbrellas, and enjoy live music from the Caribbean band Island Jamz. Other performers this summer will include Shakespeare performances by “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot” and live acoustic music from local performers.

Vendors, entertainers and musicians are being scheduled for this summer. For a schedule of events and vending information, please e-mail Vy Dotson at vyd@tacomachamber.org.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Love Tacoma Strikes Again - Join us at Cork!

Don't miss Love Tacoma at CORK! Wine Bar (3012 Sixth Ave) tomorrow, June 9th at 5:30.

CORK! is an intimate, unpretentious wine bar located in the heart of 6th Ave. They offer a variety of deliciously inexpensive wines by the glass or the bottle which compliment a small plate menu of artesian breads, cheeses, meats, and flatbreads.

Just for Tacoma Lovers Cork! will provide drink and food specials and prizes for our every-popular raffel. See you tomorrow at Cork!

Explore. Play. Repeat.

Love Tacoma is an informal monthly gathering of individuals who love Tacoma and enjoy exploring the city’s urban hotspots. It’s a great way to meet new friends and celebrate the places, people and activities that make Tacoma great. From casual happy hours to sophisticated wine tastings to next week's most anticipated show, you'll be able to meet and mingle with amazing people in Tacoma's urban community.

For more information, check out our website at http://lovetacoma.com/

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Expect Construction Delays at S. 9th and Broadway

Starting on Tuesday, May 26, contractors will begin to install new power and communication vaults at the intersection of South Ninth Street and Broadway near the Pantages Theater. While this work is underway, the eastbound lanes (downhill) of Ninth Street will be restricted to one-lane.

Due to ongoing work at this intersection, restrictions and delays can be expected over the next several weeks. Signs and flaggers will be in place to notify drivers in the area of the traffic revisions. There will also be temporary sidewalk closures. Pedestrians will be able to cross at South Ninth Street and St. Helens Avenue, but not at Broadway.

This work is outside the scope of the Broadway Local Improvement District, but is associated with the project.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Celebrate “Go Local Tacoma Day” at the Broadway Farmer's Market- May 21st

“Go Local Tacoma Day” will be the centerpiece during the opening day of the Broadway Farmers Market on Thursday May 21 in downtown Tacoma on Broadway Street between 9th and 11th.

In addition to members of “Go Local Tacoma” being on hand, visitors can enjoy the Iron Chef Cook-Off, to be judged by local celebrities and city officials. Along with local music, there will also be a gardening demonstration at the Foodie Fun Clinic and multiple family friendly activities.

The Organization:
“Go Local Tacoma” started off 2009 incorporating, electing a board of directors and forming a vision and strategy with a goal of providing tangible benefits to the general community, as well as local business members. “We’re dedicated as an organization to building community that supports, and is supported by local independent businesses,” said Patricia Lecy-Davis, current President of Go Local Tacoma. “Our members showcase what makes Tacoma unique, while fostering economic development and investing in Tacoma’s future.”

The Need Exists:
In challenging as well as prosperous economic times, homegrown enterprises provide a source of pride and improve the overall quality of life for a community. In addition, communities that preserve one-of-a-kind businesses are more likely to attract entrepreneurs and new investment. “Our members, who are also our neighbors, stock their shelves based on local customers needs and desires,” said Lecy-Davis. “This guarantees a more customized range of products, services, and choices for the consumer.”

Membership:
Members enjoy a variety of benefits:
· Social activities designed specifically for business owners and managers.
· Programs for members including panel discussions for advice, mentoring, and professional exchanges and sharing of ideas.
· Workshops and training for business and professional development, marketing, sales strategies, and creating strategic community partners.
· Marketing opportunities to a wide reach of consumers.
Membership is open to local, independent businesses in which 50% or more of decisions at the business are made at the local level.

Tacoma Live:
Available at “Go Local Day” as well at numerous businesses, hotels, and within other partner publications, “Tacoma Live “is a publication that provides helpful information on a variety of arts, services, entertainment and shopping options provided by local independent operators for those moving to the area or those already committed to Tacoma.

About Go Local Tacoma
Go Local Tacoma is a Section 501(c)(6) corporation with The Greater Tacoma Foundation as its fiscal agent. It is dedicated to building community that supports and is supported by local independent business. To become a member or for more information, visit: http://www.golocaltacoma.com/.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Do YOU Bike Tacoma?


May is national bike month, and whether you're an avid bike commuter or a fair weather rider, Tacoma has plenty events and activities to promote and celebrate cycling in our great city. Check out PierceTrips.com for full details.

Bike Month activities are organized by the City of Tacoma in partnership with Pierce Transit and Pierce County, and sponsored this year by MultiCare.

Bike Swap – Saturday, May 9: Need a bike? Have one or two you'd like to sell? Stop by the University of Puget Sound between noon and 5 this Saturday for Tacoma's first bike swap. With vendors from throughout the Northwest there will be plenty of bicycles to choose from, whether you’re looking for road, mountain, or vintage. There will also be giveaways (blinky lights, anyone?), commuter routes and resources, and more.
Bike to a Better Tacoma – Wednesday, May 13: Stop by the Hub (203 Tacoma Ave S) from 5-7 pm to talk about the City’s bicycle plan and enjoy a free slice!
Bike to work week Commuter Challenge - May 11-15: Gather a team of co-workers, register on PierceTrips.com, ride to work, and win great prizes! On Friday morning, May 15, pedal to Blackwater Coffee or the UWT Starbucks for a free cup of coffee poured by a City council member.
Zeit Bike Spoke Tales at the Tacoma Art Museum, - May 21, 6 pm: Enter your spoke card, and come check out all the submissions on Third Thursday.
Special prizes from the Chamber: We’ll send Downtown: On the Go! Chamber members who log at least 4 bicycle trips in May a gift card to one of our great downtown coffee shops!

Think biking isn't for you? Now is the perfect time to give it a try, and there are plenty of resources to help you get started. Visit
PierceTrips.com for a bicycle commuter guide and suggested commuter routes identified by the Tacoma Wheelmen Bicycle Club. Stop by the bike swap to pick out a new ride. Attend a Bike Commuting or Bike Maintenance workshop. Meet and chat with other cycling enthusiasts, novices, advocates, and planners. We look forward to seeing you out there!