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Thursday, March 6, 2014 -- 11:35 am This week at Milton City Council http://www.fifefreepress.com/ -
Appoints temporary City Administrator
Takes emergency action on mudslide
With the resignation of former City Administrator Subir Mukerjee on Feb. 21, Milton City Council turned to interim Police Chief Mark Langford to fill the gap. Langford, who has been serving as the police chief since January, was eager to step up to the plate and become more involved in the governmental process.
"I saw it as an opportunity to help the city, and also be a part of my professional development," Langford said.
The city administrator serves in an advisory role to the council, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the city and serving as a liaison between community and the government.
Despite the dual role in serving the city, Langford is not worried about creating balance.
"I felt very confident that I could take on these additional duties, at least on a temporary basis, and still provide quality leadership to the police department," Langford said.
When brought before the city council, its members gave their full support to Langford, voicing their confidence in the police chief's ability.
"I certainly appreciate you stepping up to the plate; it's going to be a full plate," Councilmember Bart Taylor said. "I have full confidence that you'll succeed."
Since joining the city in January, Langford has attended every city council meeting as well as provided leadership in this transition period, something he has had experience with after serving in the Tacoma Police Department for over 30 years.
"I respect the leadership role you are providing the city," Councilmember Bryan Ott said.
Langford began his tenure at the last city council meeting on March 3, and will continue until the permanent position is filled.
"I'm very confident that you'll fulfill both roles adequately and we're very lucky to have you on board," Councilmember Lois Zaroudny said.
Mudslide impacts Interurban Trail
On Feb. 17, a large storm caused a significant chunk of hillside overlooking the Milton Interurban trail to slide down and overrun a large portion of the pathway. The area has been having issues since June, where it was determined a break in the storm water line had occurred.
Since then, two other minor slides occurred on Oct. 30 and Nov. 12, but the big one came just a few weeks ago during the rainstorm in February. The landslide completely covered the trail on Feb. 17, with additional material coming down on Feb. 18 and 19.
Staff were able to clear over half the wreckage from the path and cleanup is underway. However, the risk of another landslide is high, and could affect more than public property the next time it happens.
"The recent damage is pointing to the need to take some immediate action to keep further erosion from occurring on both private property and public property," Langford said.
The council has taken emergency action to remedy the situation and make the area safe. The council authorized Public Works Director Letticia Neal to expedite a project to retrofiRead more...
Thursday, March 6, 2014 -- 11:26 am TROJAN WRESTLERS SOLID AT MAT CLASSIC http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Led by two runner-up finishes, the Fife boys wrestling team put up 85 points to place fifth at the Mat Classic on Feb. 21-22 at the Tacoma Dome.
Defending 285-pound state champ Monike Sarte cruised to the finals once again, pinning Aberdeen's Jordon Logan midway through the second round in the semifinals on Feb. 22. But he was topped 4-2 by Othello's Bubba Ruiz in the finals later in the day to settle for second place. Similarly, the Trojans' Glenn Robertson advanced to the 132-pound finals with an 11-3 win over Colville's Tyler Ward in the semis, but was pinned with a second remaining in the second round of the final by Grandview's Diego Castaneda.
Senior 138-pounder Brad Reddaway settled for fourth place after rattling off three straight wins in the consolation bracket, and senior Spencer Pedroni earned third place at 220 pounds after winning 8-2 over Sultan's Taylor Comfort in the consolation finals. Junior Zach Volk advanced to the 145-pound quarterfinals with an 8-2 win over Granite Falls' Tysen Campbell on Feb. 21, and eventually settled for fifth place. Tanner Knapp fell in his first two matches at 182 pounds to be eliminated.Read more...
Thursday, March 6, 2014 -- 11:15 am Polar Plunge 2014 Special Olympics Washington http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - On Feb. 22, Fife Police Department's Polar Plunge Team took a dip in the icy waters of Puget Sound in order to take part in one of the "coolest" events of the year!
Special Olympics Polar Plunge Series is a fundraising effort organized by law enforcement agencies
across the state to benefit Special Olympics Washington. This unique opportunity gives individuals, organizations and businesses the chance to support Special Olympics Washington by collecting pledges for the "opportunity" to plunge into frigid water across Washington State. All
proceeds collected by Plungers benefit Special Olympics Washington and the 10,000 athletes across the state.
This year, Team Fife has collected approximately $2,200.00 with some funds yet to be applied. Thank you to all participants in this worthwhile endeavor!Read more...
Thursday, March 6, 2014 -- 11:07 am The Lucky Woman's Guide to Breast Cancer: Surgery Edition http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - My right boob is such a diva.
It gets to sleep next to my husband. The left boob gets the bedside lamp. The left boob toughed out needle biopsies of benign fibroids, and all it did was whimper a few times and bruise some. The right boob got one biopsy alerting us to a cancerous tumor the size of a Brazil nut and it turned into Susan Hayward in a 1958 prison flick.
"I Want to Live!" it wailed.
Then, to match the movie, it bruised noir. If it hadn't been so tender, I would have given it a 1950s slap. Instead I admonished it to calm down, already. Maybe we could find a way where we both get to live.
And that's how it is turning out.
Welcome to "The Lucky Woman's Guide to Breast Cancer, Surgery Edition."
The diva boob tumor was pretty much self-contained, Dr. Virginia Stowell explained to my husband and me. It was moderately differentiated invasive ductile carcinoma, she said, a common cancer, and she intended to cut it all out. How much of the boob went with it would be my choice.
I was surprised to learn that the decision on whether to go with a mastectomy or a lumpectomy was mine. With my tumor, survival over time is the same with either of the two. There is, of course, the chance that cancer will come back in the same breast, or the other one. That chance is 10 percent with a lumpectomy and radiation only.
We went for the lumpectomy for sound scientific reasons: I don't like the idea of cutting off a boob. I like even less the idea of reconstructing it with an implant. And, back in December, I ran into a woman in a waiting room at the Carol Milgard Breast Health Center. She had a few years on me, and she was delighted that her lumpectomy had left her with a perky boob. It sounded good to me.
So much of what we expect from cancer, we learn from friends, or folks we bump into. That, Gentle Readers, is why we need to broaden this conversation - to get more accounts into our ears. We need to know when people run out of resilience, and what, other than time, can trigger that. We need to understand that some of us bounce back to work a day after surgery, and some of us deflate into bed. Most of all, we need to know that it is all okay, or should be. When it isn't, we need to know how we can muster the resources for the people who need them.
Based on chats with younger, fitter friends, I was expecting the bounce-back path.
The surgery was oddly sweet. All prepped up, I waited my turn in pre-op, where jolly conversations drifted through my cubby's curtain.
"I like these people," I thought. "They'll take good care of me."
And so they did. They are good at shots. They made sure not to lose my glasses, or my library book. Because they preferred that I not die from a rogue blood clot, they rigged me up with compression stockings and a blissful machine that massaged my legs. Because they did not want me to have cold feet or slip on their nice clean floors, they gave me non-skid socks. The hospital, it turns out, is a great place to score socRead more...
Thursday, March 6, 2014 -- 11:00 am Eat hearty at 'The Raising of the Green' http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Mill Ridge Village will sponsor its annual traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner at the Milton Activity Center, 1000 Laurel St., on Wednesday, March 12 at 6 p.m. All proceeds from this event will go to the Milton Activity Center's community program benefiting local children in need during the holidays. Come enjoy the music of Toby Hanson and join in supporting this wonderful cause.
Tickets are $10 per person or $7 for seniors and children less than 10 years old. Get your green on and don't forget to bring your green for the raffles!
Tickets can be purchased at Mill Ride Village, (253) 925-9200, the Milton Activity Center at (253) 922-6586 and Alder Ridge Senior Apartments at (253) 878-5665. Call for more information.Read more...
Thursday, March 6, 2014 -- 10:39 am Find wearable art at RAGS and help the YWCA http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - RAGS is a juried wearable art competition and sale that benefits the YWCA's domestic violence prevention and intervention programs. RAGS offers guests an opportunity to view and acquire fabulous handmade clothing, jewelry and accessories created by artisans from across the country.
A portion of all sales helps the YWCA keep abused women and children safe, healthy and self-sufficient. This year RAGS kicks off on March 6, 6-9 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Showroom, 1701 Alexander Ave. E. in Fife, an evening of fashion and fun where you can preview the wearable art, enjoy hors d'oeuvres and wine and shop the night away. Tickets $70. March 7 and 8 is the sale and gallery open to the public, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit http://www.ywcapiercecounty.org/rags or call (253) 272-4181, ext. 352. Read more...
Thursday, March 6, 2014 -- 10:37 am Effective March 3 - Community Connector makes route adjustment http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Effective March 3, Pierce Transit's Fife to Puyallup Sounder Station Community Connector (Route 503) will have a permanent detour to better meet the morning Sounder train schedules. Five morning trips will be adjusted to arrive at the station before the Sounder trains.
Additionally, for customer ease, the Route 503 Community Connector will stop at the same side of the tracks as the train is boarding. The revised trips are as follows:
Route 503 began service on Monday, Feb. 17 as part of a one-year Demonstration Project to improve service to the cities of Fife, Milton and Edgewood, and to the Puyallup Sounder Station. Route 503 operates on weekdays only, providing peak commuter service with trips timed to meet Sounder trains and
mid-day access to local services in Fife and Puyallup. A second community connector, Route 504, began service on Feb. 16 and serves key locations in Fife, Milton and Edgewood. The service design, including routes, is the result of collaboration between Pierce Transit staff and a committed Community Investment Team (CIT).
For more information about the Fife-Milton-Edgewood Community Connectors and other Pierce Transit innovative projects, visit Pierce Transit's website at http://www.piercetransit.org/pierce-transit-projects/.Read more...
Thursday, March 6, 2014 -- 10:33 am New Senate bill could threaten e-cig retailers http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - The electronic cigarette movement has exploded in recent years. Stores have popped up all over the country, including the Vaporium in Lakewood and Fife, run by the husband and wife team of Steve and Kim Thompson.
However, recent legislation could vastly alter the future of not just the Vaporium, but all "vape" shops in Washington.
Senate Bill 6569, introduced on Feb. 19, would place a tax on the sale of all e-cigarette products, as well as redefining e-cigarettes as a "tobacco product" or "tobacco substitute."
The bill was passed through the Senate's Ways and Means Committee on March 4, and lowered the proposed tax rate of 95 percent to 75 percent.
Electronic cigarettes, or "e-cigarettes," are a smoking alternative that use a heated tube to turn "e-juice" into vapor. E-juices can have varied amounts of nicotine; some have as much as a regular cigarette, some have none at all, but the current wording of the bill makes no distinctions on what to tax.
The bill would place a 75 percent sales tax on not just the juice containing nicotine but all vaping accessories, dramatically raising the price of products and driving them past the price of traditional cigarettes.
"By [passing the bill], it's going to potentially drive people who have switched to electronic cigarettes back to cigarettes as a less expensive alternative and in other cases will just keep people who are continuing to smoke, continuing to smoke as opposed to trying something that has been less expensive. It's creating a disincentive for people to do something that's less harmful," Steve Thompson said.
The tax would turn an $8 bottle of e-juice into a $14 bottle that, while lasting longer than a pack of cigarettes, suddenly becomes a much bigger investment. A bigger issue comes in the form of the accessories, and specifically the various devices used to smoke. These devices can range from $30 to $100 and will be affected by the tax, despite not being a product with nicotine. These high prices could seriously endanger many brick-and-mortar vape stores.
"Ninety-five percent times zero is zero. Getting 95 percent tax revenue sounds good - obviously the state needs the money, but if it's going to force all of us out of business, you're not going to see that money," Steve Thompson said before the proposed amount was lowered.
The money from the tax would go toward state education improvements, as mandated by a 2012 Supreme Court ruling.
"I'm not anti-tax; certainly we need tax in the economy. A more fair way to do this would be to simply tax the nicotine fluid, not all the accessories that are offered to operate electronic cigarettes," he said.
The tax also presents the issue of driving electronic cigarette sales out of Washington. Since the tax would be only enforced in-state, e-cigarette users could simply buy from an out-of-state website to drastically reduce what they would spend at a Washington store for products.
"All this is doing is making it harder for brick and mortar storeRead more...
Thursday, March 6, 2014 -- 10:32 am Police Blotter http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Edgewood Police Department
Officer Scott Wheeler received a commendation for his assistance in arresting a homicide suspect in the county. He, as well as county deputies responded to a call where two people were stabbed. The suspect had fled in a vehicle and deputies were able to locate the suspect. Wheeler as well as the deputies were able to get the suspect stopped, but he appeared to want the officers to shoot him. They used great restraint and they were able to get him into custody after deploying a taser.
Sheriff's detectives were able to develop evidence to arrest a suspect that was allegedly involved in the robbery of a local store. They served a search warrant on his residence and booked him into jail.
Two suspects in an Edgewood case involving a stolen truck have both been arrested in Oregon on new charges. The Edgewood case has been sent to the Prosecutor's Office for possible charging.
Fife Police Department
At approximately 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 18, Fife police were dispatched to a report of a fight in progress between two females outside an apartment in the 6700 block of 20th Street East. Officers arrived to find one female still present who reported that she was assaulted and robbed and that the other female had run away. The victim said that she returned to her apartment and found a screen removed from her front window and lying on the ground. When she opened the door to her apartment, the other female, who she said she did not know, was sitting on her couch going through her belongings. The suspect female said she just needed money and didn't want any trouble. The two began to struggle as the suspect female tried to run out the front door. While trying to get away, the suspect bit the victim on the top of her head. The commotion alerted two neighbors who came out of their apartments and tried to intervene. One of them took a cell phone photo of the suspect before she was able to get free and run away. A police dog tracked the suspect for a short distance but she was not located.
The suspect was described as a white female, approximately 5-foot, 4-inches tall, 130 to 140 pounds, with dirty blond/reddish hair pulled into a ponytail. She was said to be wearing a black jacket covering an army-pink camo sweater and blue jeans. She was also wearing a white hat and had scabs on her face.
Anyone with information on the female pictured in the security camera photo is asked to contact Detective Lieutenant Thompson at (253) 896-8287 or (253) 922-6633. Reference Fife Case #14-0770.
Milton Police Department
The Milton Police Department is changing over its reporting system and is working on providing incident reports soon.Read more...
Thursday, March 6, 2014 -- 10:29 am Car wash thief smiled for the camera http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Surveillance images of crooks don't get any clearer than this. I don't know if he didn't see the camera or what, but a suspected burglar who was one of two men who hit the Classis Chassis Car Wash looks right into the lens and not just once.
"We've got an unidentified suspect who used a crowbar to try and pry his way into a car wash business and also accessed all the vending machines where all the coins were located," said Lauren Wallin of Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County. Somebody out there is definitely going to know this guy.
The suspect is in his late 20s, about 5-foot-8, with brown hair. He had a thin mustache and goatee. He was wearing a gray, zippered hoodie, light blue jeans and a dark-colored baseball hat. He was with an accomplice and the two were driving a white, early '90s, two-door Honda Civic or CRX. It has a missing fender on the front passenger side. If you know what this suspect's name is, call an anonymous tip into: Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips.Read more...
Thursday, March 6, 2014 -- 10:14 am 54th Avenue debate involves a classic clash of oversight http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Everyone following the controversy about the proposal to open the 54th Avenue East railroad crossing to pedestrian and vehicle traffic shouldn't be surprised at the twists and turns the effort has taken in recent months - because there sure are a lot of them.
At the heart of the issue is an effort by residents from Fife's south side, the City of Fife and officials with the Puyallup Tribe, which has developable land in the area, to allow pedestrian and car traffic from crossing the Union Pacific Railroad tracks by Columbia Junior High School.
The tracks were closed to traffic in 1999, when the school was built, in an agreement between the city and the Fife School District. The agreement states that the city cannot open the crossing without consent of the school district, which continues to have concerns over student safety were the crossing to be open. Negotiations with the city on that front are underway to change that stance.
With the rise of hundreds of homes on the other side of the tracks since the school was built, however, nearby residents at Saddle Creek and Radiance want the fence removed to make their commute to the rest of the city easier and to cut emergency response times by avoiding a long detour. The Puyallup Tribe wants the crossing opened to allow easier and more direct access to its recently completed Youth Center.
A city-funded study of the issue last fall concluded that reopening the road would cut emergency response times by a more than half, from the current 5:29 minutes to 2:28 minutes. The study further concluded that removing the fence would not only improve emergency response times and boost the economic potential of the developable land nearby but would actually lower the risk of an accident at the crossing since students and other pedestrians climb or go under the fence and cross at the roadway illegally, which creates more danger than a legal crossing. That said, statistics suggest that an accident at the 54th Avenue crossing could be expected about every 19 years. The number of deaths or injuries caused by slower response times if the road remains closed was not researched.
The study also didn't address the fact that a large number of the pedestrians expected to use the crossing would be 10 to 12 year olds, which is a concern to Fife Schools Superintendent John McCrossin, who noted the school district might commission its own study on the crossing to address that concern.
"We think that is a serious option," he said. "It is our job to make sure the children are safe."
Now here is where the debate gets interesting. The city and school officials reached an agreement in 1997 with state railroad officials to have the crossing officially closed to pedestrians and vehicular traffic. The settlement required landscaping and other features to be added to the current roadway. That landscaping was never completed, so the state and the railroad consider the crossing technically open. The guard arms and lights still flash wRead more...
Thursday, March 6, 2014 -- 10:07 am Students go to work for a day http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Students in Fife High School's Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) program got a "real world" experience in business during a day of job shadowing on Feb. 24. Partnering with the Fife Milton Edgewood Chamber of Commerce, Fife High's FBLA sent 17 students out to more than a dozen area businesses where they were shown the ropes of what a typical day at work is like.
"Ultimately it makes sense because if these kids want to go into business, it would be great for them to come back and be in the Fife business community," said FBLA co-advisor Christiann Thomas, Business and Marketing Department chair at Fife High.
Julie Watts, membership coordinator for the Fife Milton Edgewood Chamber, helped locate and sign up businesses to participate in the job shadow day. She expressed gratitude for those businesses that took part, and hopes more will next year.
"We need to spread word for next year about how much fun it is and rewarding to help inspire the future business leaders of America," she said.
Watts noted that sometimes, new businesses she approaches about job shadow day hesitate at hosting a high school student but she said it can be a real eye-opening experience for not just the students, but also for those who own and operate the businesses.
"Lots of businesses don't have a clear picture in their mind of what they'd have to offer in terms of sharing knowledge with students," she said. "But they find out when they have this bright-eyed, articulate and intelligent kid in their office. We found that it takes care of itself."
Scott Dumas, owner of AlphaGraphics in Fife, said he just can't say enough good things about the Fife High FBLA program, its students and job shadow day. This was AlphaGraphics' second year to participate, and this year hosted students Savannah Way and Colin Mozzone.
"We jumped at the opportunity to get involved in the FBLA program again," he said. "I'm a huge believer in education."
Dumas said job shadowing takes classroom instruction one step further by providing students with first-hand experience. He encourages all Fife businesses to get involved. "Anything you can do to help a student is a benefit for all of us."
While Way and Mozzone were there, they had the fortune to meet Congressman Denny Heck, who happened to stop by. Heck also visited ESI Security in Edgewood where Connor Anderson was job shadowing.
"We got a chance to meet him and talk a little bit about FBLA," Anderson said, along with a nice chat about football with Anderson being on the Fife Trojans team. At ESI Security, Anderson was pleasantly surprised to learn of the security system and locksmith business' scope and breadth of outreach.
"It was interesting to watch how they coordinate the different sites they had to be at during the day," he said, as some workers were stationed in Bellevue, some in Milton and so on. "It was interesting seeing...which person gets which job according to their skills."
Kaylin Faranda job shadowed at Hopkins and SRead more...
Saturday, March 1, 2014 -- 12:00 am Deputies seek murder suspect, tips from public Statesman Journal - ... vicinity of the Ankeny Hill Wildlife Refuge near Jefferson. Police are searching for Dirck Morgan White, 41, of Edgewood, Wash., who was last seen driving a silver 4-door 2004 Mercedes 320 with the Washington license plate ANB7070. Detectives think ...Read more...
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 -- 4:37 pm Best of Fife Milton Edgewood 2014 http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - It is time once again to vote for your favorite restaurants, businesses, people, and places from around Fife, Milton, and Edgewood. Click here to get started TAKE THE SURVEYRead more...
Thursday, February 20, 2014 -- 11:29 am TROJAN WRESTLERS ADVANCE TO MAT CLASSIC http://www.fifefreepress.com/ - Fife will once again have a strong presence at the Mat Classic state wrestling meet at the Tacoma Dome.
Former state champ Glenn Robertson cruised through the 132-pound bracket, winning 16-3 over River Ridge's Daniel Montesa in the finals, while defending state champ Monike Sarte pinned Franklin Pierce's Mason Ready in the first round of the 285-pound final.
Senior 138-pounder Brad Reddaway, senior 220-pounder Spencer Pedroni and junior 145-pounder Zach Volk all advanced to the finals and qualified for the Mat Classic after taking second place. Sophomore Tanner Knapp topped Orting's Jarred Hipple in the 182-pound consolation finals to also earn a bid.
The Mat Classic takes place at the Tacoma Dome, beginning on Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.-9:30 p.m., and continuing on Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.Read more...
Thursday, February 20, 2014 -- 11:29 am FIFE BOYS LOOK TO MAKE NOISE http://www.fifefreepress.com/ -
The Fife boys basketball team advanced to the sub-district title game on Feb. 14, falling to White River but earning a bye into the district tournament.
The Trojans opened with a 65-43 win over Foster on Feb. 11 as four Trojans scored in double figures, led by Alex Lemoncelli's 16 points. They followed that by topping Renton 51-48 on Feb. 13, as Jephthah Donkor scored 12 points to lead the way. But they were edged 44-43 by White River on Feb. 14, as Austin Woods put up a team-high 16 points for the Trojans.
Fife was set for a district playoff opener against Olympic on Feb. 19. With a win they would play in the semifinals at Foss High School on Feb. 21 at 6 p.m., and with a loss they would face a loser-out game at Bellarmine Prep High School on Feb. 21 at 7:45 p.m.Read more...