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Tuesday, April 8, 2014 -- 10:12 am Auditor Julie Anderson announces re-election bid http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Julie Anderson will run for a second term as Pierce County Auditor. She kicks off her campaign on Thursday April 10 at 1625 Historic Tacoma (1625 South Tacoma Way).
Barleywine Revue provides live music, starting at 5 p.m. The program begins at 5:45. Festivities will end at 7 p.m.
The Auditor's Office is responsible for overseeing elections for as well as business licensing, public document recording, vehicle licensing, animal control, marriage licensing, and passports. More than 250,000 people visit the Auditor's Office every year. Annual transactions exceed two million.
During her first term, Julie Anderson made it her top priority to de-politicize the office, focusing on professionalization and improved customer service.
"My goal has been to restore faith in the efficiency and integrity of local government," says Anderson. "I'm committed to putting people before politics."
Since her election in a 2009 special election, Anderson has managed the transition to Vote-By-Mail elections, instituted the state's most-expansive ballot drop program, implemented same-sex marriage, and made more transactions available to citizens online.
Announcing her 2014 kick-off, Anderson noted her policy of not accepting contributions from elected officials, candidates, employees, or the labor union that represents her employees. "It's harder to run for re-election without taking these contributions. However, I don't want my re-election colored by any perception of favoritism. The Auditor's Office, more than any other, should be free from back-scratching. The outstanding employees who work in the Auditor's Office operate on merit, not favoritism."
For more information, visit www.JulieAnderson.org or contact the campaign at (253) 761-3602 or Julie@JulieAnderson.org.Read more...
Thursday, April 3, 2014 -- 10:39 am Fife High School spring sports update http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - FASTPITCH: Coach Michelle Nixon's club is already looking in midseason form. The Trojans have taken over sole possession of first place in the 2A SPSL with a 5-1 overall record (2-0 in league). With victories over three 4A schools, Puyallup, Kentlake and Thomas Jefferson, Fife appears to be a serious contender for a State 2A title. Their lone loss of the season is against undefeated 3A Enumclaw.
SOCCER: Prior to the start of the season, coach Tony Crudo thought he might have some rebuilding to do this season with a relatively young squad. Instead, the Trojans have jumped out to a 5-0 record (3-0 in 2A SPSL) and have outscored their opponents by a combined 19-2. Junior Mack Smith is having a stellar season so far with eight goals and four assists. Senior Edgar "Pee Wee" Garcia has added three goals and six assists in this young season. Goalkeeper Ulises Zepeda has recorded three shutouts.
BASEBALL: After losing 11 players to graduation in 2013, the Trojans have had an up-and-down start to the season. Fife has losses to 3A schools Decatur and Enumclaw and 2A SPSL White River. Their victories over lesser squads in Vashon, Franklin Pierce and Clover Park leave the 4-3 club (3-1 in league) with question marks as to how much more they're going to need to improve if they want to repeat again as league champions. Read more...
Thursday, April 3, 2014 -- 10:10 am City Manager Special Report: 54th Ave. Railroad Crossing http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - There has been a lot of discussion throughout the community, including in this publication, about the 54th Ave. Railroad Crossing. The comments and questions that come to mind depend on one's perspective, with some of those being:
Open the road!
Keep it closed!
Why was the road closed? And why not reopen it now?
I thought we already did this and decided to close it; is the City going to go back on its word?
Is the School District putting up roadblocks?
How does leaving it closed hurt us?
How does opening it hurt us?
What are the advantages to connecting North and South Fife on 54th?
What are the impacts of an opening?
The issue is much more complex than a binary "yes or no" as to the question of whether the gates should reopen or remain closed. As is the case when discussing significant and complex matters of public importance, a solid foundation of fact-based knowledge helps to keep the debate objective and focused on evaluating and deliberating alternatives that could lead to a solution that best serves the whole.
This article is the first of a series aimed at getting us all up to speed on the history behind the closure of 54th Ave at the crossing by providing some key facts, updating the reader as to the current status of the crossing, and providing a discussion of the alternatives going forward.
As background, the current agreements regarding the crossing are more than 15 years old and involve multiple parties; City of Fife, Puyallup Tribe, Union Pacific Rail Road (UPRR), Fife School District and the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Committee (UTC). Aside from what 15 years can do to our ability to recall an event and the rationale behind it, there has been considerable growth and changes in conditions in our community. These realities leave us a situation where what may have been clearly understood about the crossing by a large majority of the population then, have over the years been clouded to where only a few accurately remember the "whys" behind those earlier decisions.
Our first step then is to disseminate to all the key documents that may affect future decisions related to 54th Ave at the crossing. The documents listed below are online at cityoffife.org/54th, as well as other pertinent documents:
Indian Land Claims Settlement between the Puyallup Tribe and multiple jurisdictions
UTC Order regarding the 54th Ave Railroad Crossing
1999 Interlocal Agreement between the City and Fife School District
Letter from Fife Public Schools dated November 20, 2001, to Joe Rozenski and Mike Caldwell
Resolution No. 811-03, adopted by the City Council on August 26, 2003, approving the final settlement agreement with agreement with the Fife School District No. 417
2005 Addendum to the Interlocal Agreement between the City and Fife School District
Railroad Crossing Feasibility Study prepared in 2004 by David Evans and Associates for the City
Several more recent events with respect to the crossing have occurred within thRead more...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 -- 9:37 am It takes a village to conquer cancer http://www.fifefreepress.com/ -
Cancer pros want you to bring two things to every important appointment: A notebook and an advocate.
No problem, my husband and I thought. We are reporters. We ask lots of questions. We carry notebooks the way trees carry leaves.
The notebook buddy plan worked all through the scary introduction, through the lumpectomy, through the installation of the power port for chemotherapy drugs. We had no idea that all that was the easy part.
MultiCare did. The cancer treatment team knew we were about to hit a tornado of info. Cytoxan, adriamycin, neulasta, and taxol, ondansetron and dexamethasone were about to bust into our vocabulary, along with their trade names - because remembering one name per drug would just be too easy. The lingering regret about not mastering the metric system would become acute. There would be appointments beyond appointments. And don't even start on the clinical trial options.
Our treatment team knew we'd need help - that everybody needs help with this, and assigned us a nurse navigator. Calm, considerate, resourceful, non-judgmental, Robin manages to anticipate my mistakes, and steer me from rash to reasoned actions. What to do about a temperature? Robin knows. Where to find a good wig? Robin has the list. When to call Robin? Any time. Any time at all.
Before I met Robin, before I knew enough to fear the tornado, I'd done my prep reading. I'd studied the coverage through Medicare and my Medicare Advantage plan insurance, and submitted to utter gratitude that I got this diagnosis a week after I went on Medicare.
I got a binder to save every bill, prescription, report, info packet and schedule. Two months into this, the second binder is half full.
My PET scan technician, the one who pinpointed the nest of invader cells behind my breastbone, gave me two LIVESTRONG workbooks.
"Lance Armstrong? Really?" I thought after I thanked her kindly.
The last time I'd run into a reference to the lying, cheating cyclist was in a bike shop on Kauai, where they had his poster at floor level, for convenient kicking. I could not imagine his cancer foundation had anything to say that I needed to read.
Wrong, as usual. On a low day after surgery, I pulled the books out and read about the broader experience of cancer - about research, about cancers with improved odds because of it, and cancers with not much change for the better. The books told of young people facing infertility, and resources for families facing ruinous bills. They listed support services and gave contact info. They provided work sheets on everything from side effects to expenses. They explained how to make a will, and what to consider in a living will.
It was good reading, and a decent invitation to admit that there's a dark layer under all the confidence, technology and support that are carrying me through this. It's okay, the book said, to falter once in a while.
What a relief, because that's about the time I lost it for a day.
I'm lucky enough to have a cancer wRead more...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 -- 9:36 am No deaths or injuries in Fife Heights fire http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - A fire erupted on the morning of March 31 in a side-attached garage of a two-story house in the 5900 block of 13th St. Court NE in Fife Heights. According to Pierce County Fire Marshal Warner Webb, there were no injuries reported.
Heavy flames and smoke were seen pouring from the side of the house when close to 30 Tacoma firefighters arrived on the scene at approximately 8:45 a.m. Webb said the cause has been identified as an accidental electrical fire with damages estimated to be at $65,000.Read more...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 -- 9:35 am Murder Mystery: Who killed Tacoma father of five in 1994? http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Tacoma Cold Case Detective Gene Miller is determined to find out who killed a father of five in south Tacoma 20 years ago. He's processing evidence in the murder of 53-year-old Bonny Brooks. Brooks was shot and stabbed in his home on Sept. 12, 1994. Detective Miller told Washington's Most Wanted's Cold Case Correspondent Parella Lewis that there was no sign of forced entry, but money and possibly a firearm were stolen.
"My hope is that the person or persons responsible for this, based upon the injuries sustained by the victim, would quite likely have had not only the person's property but potentially the person's blood on their person," Miller said. He also believes there are people who know who killed Brooks who haven't come forward. "The victim was last seen alive by his wife and two step children when they left around 5:30 in the morning." Brooks was scheduled to see a doctor at 8 a.m. for a back injury but never left his home. His oldest daughter Isabelle Hommel remembers her father as an avid outdoorsman.
"We used to go camping every single weekend - winter, spring, summer, fall," said Hommel. She said her father taught her how to fish and was involved with all of the kids. "He coached basketball, my brother's soccer, and my sister's - they were doing gymnastics," Hommel said. Brooks' family believes it will probably take someone coming forward with information to give answers they've been seeking for almost two decades. "If anyone could think back on that time, if they lived in that area and remember, maybe they heard someone talking about something and has any information. We would greatly appreciate it so that we can move on with the story that it's solved," Hommel said.
If you know anything about this crime, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County anonymously at 1-800-222-tips.Read more...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 -- 9:34 am 54th Avenue crossing to gain automatic opener for emergencies http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - City officials are moving forward with plans to install an electric gate opening system at the locked gate that blocks the crossing of railroad tracks on 54th Avenue as a way to provide faster response times to neighborhoods on the other side.
A city-funded study of the issue last fall had concluded that response times to emergency calls to Radiance and Saddle Creek timed in at five minutes if crews had to detour around the locked gate. Crews have keys to the lock and are now forced to get out of their response vehicles to open the gate. An electrical system being installed will automate the process in much the same way as an electrical garage door opener swings a gate open with a quick click of a button.
Emergency records show that 93 dispatched incidents occurred in the area south of the crossing in 2012, and 94 police and fire incidents occurred in 2013. The installation of an automatic gate is meant to lower response times to those residential areas, a key battle cry for people who want the gate to remain open to traffic.
The railroad crossing was blocked with a gate more than 10 years ago in an agreement between the city and Fife Schools, which was building Columbia Junior High School near the crossing.
Many residents and the Puyallup Tribe, which owns property in the area that it wants to develop into a residential and commercial hub, want the gate removed and the crossing cleared for vehicle traffic. School officials fear opening the crossing would endanger students who would use the crossing to walk to and from school.
Union Pacific officials worry that opening the crossing would hamper their plans of adding a second track nearby to stage freight cars since the stacking of rail cars would mean the crossing would be blocked throughout the day.
The City of Fife is now set to conduct a train study to determine how many trains run along the tracks at the location and how long the crossing is blocked by rail cars. City officials are also drafting an agreement to open the crossing in the short term, while still researching options for an underpass for walkers and vehicles at 54th Avenue. Estimates for that run around $18 million.
Union Pacific Railroad is also moving forward with plans for the second track, plans that were pondered some 30 years ago but were mothballed during the recession. The railroad now hopes to build the tracks in 2015.Read more...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 -- 9:32 am Daffodil Parade makes its way through four cities this weekend http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - As April begins and daffodils are seen growing in abundance, Pierce County is reminded that it is once again time to celebrate its unique agricultural heritage with the 81st Annual Daffodil Grand Floral Parade taking place this coming Saturday, April 5.
More than 150 participating organization and their floats, cars, motorcycles and more will wind their way through the four Pierce County cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting, just as they have been for over the past 80 years.
And, similar to years past, it seems like no one is quite as excited for Parade Day as the 25 young women serving their year as 2014 Daffodil Festival Princesses.
When asked what she is most excited for about Parade Day, Princess Lydia Mangan, from Henry Foss High School, responded, "Everything!"
What in particular has her so enthusiastic? "Seeing everyone who came to watch... Not everyone likes to sit out in the cold... but a crowd that does so, and is happy about it, will definitely make my day!"
Princess Delaney Fry, from Stadium High School, is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces along the parade routes, as well.
"On parade day, I'm most excited to see my family out in the crowds. They've been so supportive of me throughout this entire process, and having them out there, cheering me on as I'm on top of the world, is just going to be the icing on the cake."
Same goes for Princess Nina Thach, from Mt. Tahoma High School, who knows how invested her community is the parade, regardless of the inclement weather with which the spring event sometimes coincides.
"This parade is going to be big! A lot of my friends and family, and supporters from Mount Tahoma, will be coming whether it's rain or shine."
In fact, the often-unpredictable weather seems to be a recurring theme in what the princesses are least worried about. It's the crowds - those fans of the festival that can be found throughout Pierce County - that matter the most.
"I am so excited to see all the smiling children with their parents, sitting out there through rain and sunshine, to come and enjoy the festival with us princesses," says Princess Ji Larson of Lincoln High School.
The Daffodil Festival Grand Floral Parade is a tradition for Pierce County, born from the beauty of the daffodil fields that grew abundantly in the fields of Puyallup and Sumner, after a dearth of hops harvest left farmers looking for something new to grow.
While over the many decades, a celebration that was once dedicated to the flowers and fields has now turned to local schools, organizations, philanthropic service and a focus on arts and education in our communities. What truly remains is the spirit of fostering the continuation of the great things growing in Pierce County, and the people who have helped the festival itself blossom throughout these many years.
Despite the festival's historic cultural significance to the area, it almost seems like everyone has their own Daffodil Festival history to cRead more...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 -- 9:29 am A Day in the Life of a Fife City Employee: Kurt Hospenthal http://www.fifefreepress.com/ -
What is your title, and how long have you been with the City?
Public Works Superintendent. Started as temp in June of 1989, hired-on full time in January of 1990. Closing in on 25 years.
How did you get started in this career path?
During the summer between my Junior and Senior year of high school, I worked for (former Fife Councilman and Mayor) Joe Rozenski, as part of the Pierce County Drainage District #23 'ditch crew'. Typically, the crew returned each summer, and you were able to work through your college years. When I went to Joe to ask about returning after my senior year (graduation), he stated he had a full crew already, but that I should check with the City of Fife, as they were looking for some 'summer help'. I had planned to start college in the fall (and become a teacher), but the City extended our temp positions until the end of the year. I really enjoyed the physical nature of the job, so I applied for a full-time, permanent position as a laborer, and worked my way up from there.
What do you love most about your job?
Helping the citizens and patrons of Fife, and making a difference in the community. I enjoy hearing people make a positive comment about an experience they had in Fife, especially if our Department had a hand in making it happen.
What is your least favorite part?
Waiting for, and anticipation of, weather-related emergencies. Experience has taught me what needs to happen after, but all the preparation and planning can't change that feeling you get when there is an emergency situation developing; you just want to get to work, and get everyone and everything (safely) through it.
Walk me through your day. What do you do? Does it change seasonally?
We start each day with a brief morning crew meeting. We review the prior day's events, and go over planned crew assignments for that day, and then get to work. The rest of the day is a barrage of phone calls, emails, meetings, work slips, paperwork, field visits, follow-ups, interviews, training, budgetingwhatever needs to be done. We are the catch-all for the operations of the City; we take care of whatever needs to be done. We plan as much as we canit's critical to our workload, but the nature of Public Works is that things can and will come up. Not only do things change seasonally, they can change significantly in the course of a day.
What are your plans for the future?
Continue to fine-tune and update the operations of our department. Ever-changing regulations, along with a growing and changing City means we are constantly evolving that which we are responsible for, and learning how we can accomplish it effectively, efficiently, and in compliance.
What do you like most about Fife?
I love just how small and how big this city is, all at the same time. We have opportunities to do things most cities this size never dream of doing, yet it always has that 'small town' feeling, especially regarding people. It's a great community which I am fortunate to beRead more...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 -- 9:24 am Mayor's Corner http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Dear Fellow Fife Citizens,
It is indeed an honor to have been selected by my fellow councilmembers to be the new Mayor of Fife. This is something I never expected but with the departure of Glenn Hull to Georgia, I have accepted this job and the commitment that goes with it.
Glenn Hull was an outstanding Councilmember and most recently Mayor. The benefit of his involvement with other government agencies outside of Fife went far beyond the call of duty. The City has benefited immensely. I am not sure why he wasn't able to get I-167 built in his six weeks as Mayor but we wish him the best and we know he will succeed in whatever he does.
My basic goals remain the same as they were when I was elected to office of councilmember. I want to represent all of our citizens, consider their opinions, and make informed decisions. My desire is to see our citizens become more involved as we plan and develop goals for the future of our city.
Our city will only thrive if our citizens and businesses are successful. Thanks to our Police Department, we all reside in a safe city. Thanks to our staff, we have excellent support and are actively involved in long range planning. Thanks to our Management Team, the city is operated at a high level of efficiency and is benefiting from good fiscal stability.
One of my major concerns are the traffic problems we face every day. I believe that we need some immediate and/or intermediate fixes while at the same time, we make sure they fit into our long range plans. To be successful, we will need to work with our partners in the area. I am anxious to meet and greet all of them. Just to name a few, the Puyallup Indian Tribe, the Port of Tacoma, Pierce County and surrounding cities. It takes all of us working together to support and help each other to be successful.
I look forward to hearing from you and meeting you in the near future. Please feel free to contact me and I promise you that our city has your best interest in mind as we move forward.
In your service,
Tim Curtis, Mayor
City of FifeRead more...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 -- 9:20 am Mt. View students start their engines http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - While over 25 riders are preparing themselves for death-defying stunts on motorcycles during the "Nuclear Cowboyz" show at the Tacoma Dome this weekend, students at Mountain View Cooperative Preschool got to show off their own riding skills on a much smaller scale at the annual Trike-a-thon at Mission Woods Church.
The Trike-a-thon, held on March 22, is an annual fundraiser for Mt. View Co-op Preschool, where adults get to attend a silent auction and kids get to ride their trikes or bicycles on a preset course as well as decorate their rides and get temporary tattoos at pit stop stations, perhaps as an intimidation tactic for other riders on the course. Children could use stickers and ribbons to decorate their rides or helmets before blazing back onto the track. Riders could also stop by a pit stop manned by members of the local fire department to get new helmets and important safety tips for riders and families.
"The goal is for [the kids] to have fun but also for the adults to come in and raffle off auction items," organizer Ashley Blair said.
Around 20 children strapped on their helmets and took to the track with their peers for a day of fun in the sun.
"It's just a great way to get the kids together and have fun with their friends and raise money for their school," local parent Steve Derheim said as his two children zoomed off on the pre-constructed course in the parking lot.
Parents, meanwhile, could purchase raffle tickets that they could use to get hot dogs or other food, as well as put their names in the hat for a chance to win prizes from across the community. Some of the prizes this year included two free general admission tickets to Wild Waves, a six-month membership to North Hill Fitness, a $10 certificate to Build-a-Bear Workshop, a Spiderman scooter and other items fit for kids and adults alike.
"[The Trike-a-thon] is huge; it's very important. We are a non-profit, so everything that is made at either the auction or the Trike-a-thon is important to add to our school's budget," said Cindy Eakin, a teacher at Mt. View. "I think it's very important for the exposure in the community for all the families to be able to drive by and see what a wonderful preschool we have here."
Mt. View Co-Operative preschool was established in 1976, and has held the Trike-a-thon every year for the past 20 years. As a non-profit, the school relies on events like these, and donations, to get funding for their school. In fact, the school uses the trike-a-thon and a more in-depth silent auction later in the year as their sole fundraisers, while also hosting smaller events to help bring the community together.
"This is bringing all the families together for the whole school. It's a fun activity," teacher Linda Howard said.
Mt. View is located at the Mission Woods Church on 2003 Taylor St. and can be reached at (253) 896-3661.Read more...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 -- 9:19 am Superintendent takes on new challenge http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Just over eight months into his position as Superintendent of Fife Schools, John McCrossin has revealed that he has more than district challenges to take on this year in that he has recently been diagnosed with cancer. McCrossin said he found out about his diagnosis this past February.
"I just didn't feel good. I thought I had some kind of bronchial thing going on so I went it to get it checked out, and the diagnosis progressed quickly from there.
"Right now I'm feeling good," McCrossin said. "I believe that is the objective throughout this process. I have tremendous faith and support from my family. Another real positive is that I have kept myself in very good shape throughout my life which will help in the treatment process."
He has started treatment with chemotherapy at Virginia Mason, one of the preeminent cancer care providers in the country, and says he is being provided excellent care. McCrossin has the utmost confidence in the physicians and cancer specialists at Virginia Mason, another plus on his road to recovery. "I feel great about the direction of care my doctors have recommended," he said, which started with chemotherapy, then the next steps will be decided.
Fife School Board President Bob Scheidt said the board unanimously supports the superintendent to continue in his duties and to take time off as need be.
"We support John fully, not only in his recovery process, but in our support of him as a leader in the district. We are 100 percent behind him."
Scheidt said he and the board look forward to continuing the level of excellence McCrossin has set as superintendent. "We all felt he was the right choice, but in the last eight or nine months he's exceeded every thought that we even had about how good he would be. It's been an excellent fit."
As he deals with this important matter, McCrossin said he has tremendous faith in all of the levels of leadership throughout the district.
"The purpose of a superintendent is to set a clear vision and mission and we've done that for this year and next. We have great, competent, energetic people at the district and the building levels who are moving that forward. You do that one day at a time, with purpose and conviction."
This is the same kind of "nothing is going to stop us" attitude reflected by the school board as well. As Scheidt put it, "We just want him to get healthy. That's our main concern."Read more...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 -- 9:18 am Nuclear Cowboys bring motocross, kung fu and fireworks to the Dome http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Pyrotechnics and motorcycles cross frequently. It's tough to go to any motor show without seeing some kind of fireworks. Touring high energy entertainers the Nuclear Cowboyz have decided to take it a step further by not only incorporating fireworks, but also a full fledged storyline and elements of kung fu, elevating their performance from a motocross show to a full fledged high-energy circus spectacle.
You can witness this motocross/kung fu/pyrotechnic fusion when the Nuclear Cowboyz come to town on Saturday, April 5 and Sunday April 6 at the Tacoma Dome.
"It's almost like its own Broadway show," said Jayme Dalsing, tour director for the Nuclear Cowboyz.
The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, where the Nuclear Cowboyz battle the evil Shakra and his minions (the Shaolin Warriors) in the arena of destruction. Luckily, the riders in the Nuclear Cowboyz are up to the task.
"We are taking Nuclear Cowboyz to a whole new level in 2014 for the tour's fifth anniversary," said Juliette Feld, producer and executive vice president of Feld Entertainment, which sponsors the event. "For the first time ever, the show will feature incredible acts of athleticism and bravery from the Shaolin Kung Fu Warriors alongside an award-winning cast of world's most decorated freestyle athletes defying the laws of physics. Together, they are taking what's humanly possible to the limit."
Some of the riders involved with the Nuclear Cowboyz include 16-time X-Games gold medalist Jeremy Twitch, as well as gold medalists Mike Mason and Matt Buyten. Though there is a storyline, the riders and the stunts they perform are still the major draw of the show.
The Nuclear Cowboyz are known for their death-defying feats, including doing tricks while on fire as well as performing three and four-man wide jumps, and the new storyline spares no expense in letting the riders flaunt their stuff.
"The guys are so close they high-five," Dalsing said, explaining the tight four-man jumps.
If the stunts aren't enough to keep you entertained, maybe kung fu is your cup of tea. The Nuclear Cowboyz team has brought in Shaolin Kung Fu Warriors all the way from China to add to the show.
"We found [the Warriors] through our circus connections," Dalsing said. They've been a great addition, they bring a lot of things to the table."
The warriors will oppose the Cowboyz with their kung fu skills, bending metal bars and balancing themselves on the tips of sharp spears.
These spectacles from riders and warriors both are overlaid with pyrotechnics that could literally be a show of its own. The explosive display is the largest arena-based pyrotechnic show in the world, with more than 1,000 unique explosive bursts occurring during the show.
"I would buy a ticket just to see our pyro show but it's all added into the mix, which just makes it better," Dalsing said.
The entire spectacle is set to the backdrop of an eclectic soundtrack, a laser show and dancers, giving the audience a variety oRead more...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 -- 9:14 am LightHouse StoreHouse Food Center seeks donations of Easter hams http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - In preparation for the coming celebration of Easter, LightHouse StoreHouse Food Center in Fife is working to make sure families in need have a nice dinner on their tables. In partnership with First Presbyterian Church in Tacoma, between now and April 11, LightHouse is hoping that caring people, businesses and organizations in the area will donate up to 300 hams to LightHouse to be packed in meal boxes for local families the week before Easter. Additional food items needed include potatoes, eggs, butter, rolls, canned goods, stuffing, pasta, rice and desserts. Grocery store gift cards are also warmly accepted.
"We are so thankful to First Presbyterian for igniting this fire of giving," said Pastor Ken Banks, who runs LightHouse StoreHouse Food Center, which is located at 6202 20th St. E. in Fife. His food bank efforts started about six years ago from his own church, Bread From Heaven in Kent, then moved the operation to Fife three years ago. The pastor still provides food at Bread From Heaven on Saturday mornings.
"On Saturday mornings we load up the food here (at LightHouse), we put it on the truck and take it to our church, then we set up the tables and do a market. We don't hand them the food, we tell them how much they can get and they get it themselves." This respectful procedure allows those choosing their own food to have a real shopping experience rather than a "hand out" type of process.
LightHouse StoreHouse carries not just food, but other items too such as paper cups and plates and other sundries, even wall paint and things not commonly found in a food bank. "People's needs are more than just food," said the congenial pastor. "The whole premise of our mission is we're out to impact the community one family at a time." Banks said the LightHouse shines for all people. "It's not just about poor folks. I'm trying to reach folks in need, which covers the whole spectrum. The middle class has been taken away. It's either rich or poor, and we're all in need of so many different things so we get different things that we want to give to the community."
LightHouse StoreHouse Food Center is like a clearinghouse for food in that more than 60 ministries, or partners, come through to pick up the food Tuesday through Friday and take it to distribute through their own means. Volunteers sort and divide up the food, and perishables are kept in cold storage until picked up. "The whole purpose it to try and give it as fresh as we can," Banks said. "And if we have an overabundance, everyone gets everything. We give everything away."
It hasn't been an easy road for the LightHouse - financial concerns are always there, and paying the rent and electric bills isn't always so simple. But Banks said the landlords have been a huge blessing, being patient and supportive.
"It's had its ups and down, its laughter and tears, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. We affect more people here than I ever could out of my church. That's my heart now. I have a congregRead more...
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 -- 9:13 am Lindquist announces campaign kickoff event http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist will formally announce his bid for re-election on April 4, Friday, 6 p.m., at the Landmark Temple Theatre in Tacoma.
Governor Jay Inslee, Sheriff Paul Pastor, Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Detective Ed Troyer, Executive Director of Crime Stoppers, will be the featured speakers for the campaign kickoff.
Everyone is invited to the festivities at 47 St. Helens Avenue. Musical guests include Peter Buck of R.E.M., actress and singer Molly Ringwald, and The Beatniks. Governor Inslee is expected to speak at 6:45 p.m. People are encouraged to arrive early. The suggested donation for the fundraiser is $50.
"Under Mark's leadership, the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office has earned a state-wide reputation for vigorous prosecution, public service and professionalism," said Troyer. "This will be a great event to support our Prosecutor."
The former Chief Criminal Deputy, Lindquist was appointed as Pierce County Prosecutor in a bipartisan and unanimous vote of the County Council in 2009. He was elected in a landslide in 2010, winning with over 61 percent of the vote.
Announcing for his second term, Lindquist said, "I'm honored to lead an office of dedicated public servants who are committed to pursuing justice. I love this job, and I greatly appreciate the privilege of serving our diverse community."
As Prosecutor, Lindquist formed a Gang Unit, which has successfully prosecuted hundreds of violent gang members and associates, reducing gang violence in Pierce County by over 50 percent. He also began the Elder Fraud Unit that focuses on aggressively prosecuting offenders who victimize our most vulnerable citizens.
Shortly after Lindquist was appointed, the Prosecutor's Office filed charges against those who assisted Maurice Clemmons in one of the worst crimes in our state's history. Clemmons ambushed and murdered four Lakewood Police Officers. After a massive manhunt, a Seattle Police Officer killed Clemmons. Lindquist vowed to hold all those who assisted Clemmons accountable. Six went to prison, including getaway driver Dorcus Allen, who was convicted of four counts of murder as an accomplice and was sentenced to 420 years.
More recently, Lindquist and Deputy Prosecutor Phil Sorensen tried Tyler Savage for the murder and rape of Special Olympian Kimmie Daily. Savage was convicted as charged and sentenced to life in prison.
In addition to vigorous criminal prosecution, the Prosecutor's Office has a reputation for strong stands against baseless lawsuits, protecting taxpayer money, accessibility and professionalism.
Lindquist serves on the Foundation Board for Tacoma Community College, is a member of Rotary 8, and is a nationally-acclaimed author. His books have been bestsellers and published in several languages. He also writes book reviews for the Seattle Times and a column for the local Bar News.
As our Prosecutor, he speaks to community groups throughout the county and welcomes invitations.
Sunday, March 30, 2014 -- 4:04 am Longtime Des Moines resident Clark Snure has passed away The Waterland Blog - ... a full life and left the world a better place than he found it. Clark was born in Puyallup in 1930 and grew up in Edgewood with his father Clark and his mother Clara. By all accounts it was a good life growing up in rural Edgewood, with places to ...Read more...