The Tacoma Sun

LIGHT FOR ALL
 

How To Use Ridesharing Service Uber in Tacoma

By Erik Bjornson

Justin Camarata at the official Uber launch at the Murano Hotel in downtown Tacoma . April 8, 2014: the date Tacoma officially joins the list of US cities which have coverage from Uber, giving more transportation choices to Tacomans. Pretty remarkable considering many of the cities on the list are far larger than Tacoma. . [...]

published April 9th, 2014

Highly Rated Ridesharing Service Sidecar Arrives in Tacoma

By Erik Bjornson

However, in a Wall Street Journal report, Sidecar did extremely well when set against other ridesharing services and traditional taxis.

published March 20th, 2014

Councilmember Ryan Mello Speaks in Support of Ridesharing Services Uber and Lyft on KIRO Radio

By Erik Bjornson

After years of waiting, it appear that the ridesharing services Uber and Lyft are finally going to be coming to Tacoma. In fact, Lyft is already operating in Tacoma.

published March 17th, 2014

Bringing Ridesharing Services Such as Lyft in Tacoma, Could Solve Some Transportation Needs

By Erik Bjornson

Cities around the country and world are increasing taking advantage of new technologies and new ridesharing companies such as Lyft, Uber and Sidecar. So should Tacoma.

published March 3rd, 2014

Back From the Brink: Walker Apartments in Downtown Renovated and Ready for Leasing

By Erik Bjornson

The historic Walker Building came close to adding it’s name to the list of vacant and neglected buildings in Tacoma.  Real close. A long time apartment building, the Walker became dated and worn.     A few years ago, the condo boom hit Tacoma.   The plan was that the units at the Walker would be [...]

published November 13th, 2013

34 Years After Stephen Cysewski’s Infamous Tacoma Walking Tour: Is Tacoma Finally Ready to Repair Itself?

By Erik Bjornson

Are we Tacomans ready to take the next step in the reconstruction of the City and repair itself via Proposition 1 or we still stuck in the inherited mindset of it’s 1979 era blightful near abandoned past?

published November 1st, 2013

City Council Candidate Robert Thoms Gives His Position on Critical Issues in Tacoma

By Erik Bjornson

Questions and responses sent to Robert Thoms candidate for Tacoma City Council Position 2, formally held by Washington State Legislator Jake Fey

published September 16th, 2013

City Council Candidate Patricia Lecy-Davis Gives Her Position on Critical Issues in Tacoma

By Erik Bjornson

The questions being asked to city council candidates this year from the Tacoma Sun are very specific and address such issues as parking, feather sign regulation/ban, and the barriers to rebuilding Tacoma.

published September 5th, 2013

Justin Camarata Joins Tacoma Sun as a Political Analyst for 2013 Elections

By Erik Bjornson

There will be come some excitement in November as two Tacoma City Council races are in play as well as a Tacoma School Board race:

published July 30th, 2013

Mayor Strickland to Deliver Tacoma’s Third State of the City Speech Tonight at 6:15

By Erik Bjornson

For just the third time in Tacoma’s history, the mayor will deliver a State of the City speech.  Tonight’s speech by Strickland will likely be designed to rouse and inspire Tacoma’s citizenry to action to work to rebuild the City of Destiny. . . The speech will be delivered at the Shift Happens event tonight [...]

published January 28th, 2013

A Conversation with Candidate Jeannie Darneille on Critical Issues

By Erik Bjornson

Below are the questions and responses sent to Jeannie Darneille candidate for Washington State Sendate District #27. The questions being asked to Washington State Legislative candidates this year from the Tacoma Sun are very specific and address such issues as the best method rebuilding Tacoma Streetcars, digital billboards, pollution in Tacoma and addressing the Felon [...]

published August 29th, 2012

Laurie Jinkins Takes a Stand on the Issues in the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

Below are the questions and responses sent to Laurie Jinkins candidate for Washington State Legislature District #27. The questions being asked to Washington State Legislative candidates this year from the Tacoma Sun are very specific and address such issues as the best method rebuilding Tacoma Streetcars, digital billboards, pollution in Tacoma and addressing the Felon [...]

published July 27th, 2012

Jack Connelly Takes a Stand on the Issues in the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

Below are the questions and responses sent to Jack Connelly, candidate for Washington State Senate District #27. The questions being asked to Washington State Legislative candidates this year from the Tacoma Sun are very specific and address such issues as the best method rebuilding Tacoma Streetcars, digital billboards, pollution in Tacoma and addressing the Felon [...]

published July 24th, 2012

Tacoma City Council Candidate Michael Hardy Answers Tough Urban Questions From the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

Answer: No, I support bus routes over streetcars. Streetcars create more noise and traffic confusion. Streetcars are so much more expensive initially and have to be dedicated to a particular route. Overhead conductors are ugly, and require more poles to be placed. The system as a whole makes me think of a jumbled birds nest. The infrastructure is already in place for buses, and when needs change, or streets are blocked by accidents or emergency vehicles, buses are easily rerouted.

published July 11th, 2011

Tacoma City Council Candidate David Boe Answers Tough Urban Questions From the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

“As for digital itself, I am not a fan of internally illuminated signs at all because they produce glare (i.e. you are seeing the light coming at you instead of reflected light off the surface of the sign). If only indirect lighting is incorporated as a standard, I do not see how internally lit digital signs could be in compliance.”

published July 7th, 2011

Tacoma City Council Candidate Joe Atkinson Answers Tough Urban Questions From the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

Introduction: . Below are the questions and responses sent to Realtor Joe Atkinson, candidate for Tacoma City Council District #1. This district is current represented by  councilmember Spiro Manthou who is retiring from the council.  Thus, this is an open position. . Atkinson is running against Karen Smitherman and Anders Ibsen. . The questions being [...]

published June 1st, 2011

Tacoma City Council Candidate Karen Smitherman Answers Tough Urban Questions From the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

. Introduction: . Below are the questions and responses sent to Karen Smitherman, candidate for Tacoma City Council District #1. This district is current represented by  councilmember Spiro Manthou who is retiring from the council.  Thus, this is an open position. . The questions being asked to Tacoma City Council candidates this year from the [...]

published May 5th, 2011

City Council Candidate Anders Ibsen Answers Tough Urban Questions From the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

Introduction: Below are the questions and responses sent to Anders Ibsen, candidate for Tacoma City Council District #1. This district is current represented by  councilmember Spiro Manthou who is retiring from the council.  Thus, this is an open position.The questions being asked to Tacoma City Council candidates this year from the Tacoma Sun are very [...]

published April 26th, 2011

Tacoma Weekly Op-Ed: Mayoral leadership critical for Tacoma’s success

By Erik Bjornson

Yesterday, the Tacoma Weekly published an article I wrote on Mayoral leadership emphasizing the importance of leadership is for the success of a city.  Enjoy.  The article discusses the challenges Mayor Strickland has in relation to former mayor Giuliani of New York and Cory Booker of Newark. Special thanks to journalist Heather Robinson for her [...]

published February 26th, 2010

Mayoral Candidate Jim Merritt Answers Tough Urban Questions From the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

Jim Merritt, Candidate for Mayor of Tacoma Introduction: Below are the questions and responses sent  Jim Merritt, candidate for Mayor of Tacoma. The questions being asked to Tacoma City Council candidates this year from the Tacoma Sun are very specific and address such issues as the Winthrop Hotel, Parking Requirements, Tacoma Streetcars, and Felon Dumping [...]

published October 12th, 2009

Election 2009 Tacoma Mayoral/City Council Transportation and Land-Use Forum

By The Tacoma Sun

The Puget Sound Regional Council predicts that the City of Tacoma is expected to grow by 127,000 people in the next 30 years. Earlier this year the City proactively planned for this growth by passing the Mixed-Use Centers update, fulfilling this vision of creating vibrant mixed use centers is an exciting opportunity with many challenges. [...]

published September 29th, 2009

Candidate Joe Lonergan Answers Tough Urban Questions From the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

Introduction: Below are the questions and responses sent to Joe Lonergan, candidate for Tacoma City Council position. The questions being asked to Tacoma City Council candidates this year from the Tacoma Sun are very specific and address such issues as the Winthrop Hotel, Parking Requirements, Tacoma Streetcars, and Felon Dumping Ground Issue 1) Jail releases [...]

published August 13th, 2009

Candidate Marty Campbell Answers Tough Urban Questions From the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

Introduction Below are the questions and responses sent to Marty Campbell, candidate for Tacoma City Council position. The questions being asked to Tacoma City Council candidates this year from the Tacoma Sun are very specific and address such issues as the Winthrop Hotel, Parking Requirements, Tacoma Streetcars, and Felon Dumping Ground Issues. 1) Jail releases [...]

published August 4th, 2009

Candidate Keven Rojecki Answers Tough Urban Questions From the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

Introduction Below are the questions and responses sent to Keven Rojecki, candidate for Tacoma City Council position. The questions being asked to Tacoma City Council candidates this year from the Tacoma Sun are very specific and address such issues as the Winthrop Hotel, Parking Requirements, Tacoma Streetcars, and Felon Dumping Ground Issues. 1) Jail releases [...]

published July 28th, 2009

Victoria Woodards Answers Tough Urban Questions From the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

Below are the questions and responses sent to Victoria Woodards, candidate for Tacoma City Council position.

published July 22nd, 2009

School Board Candidate Chris Van Vechten Answers Questions from the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

Introduction: Today, the Tacoma Sun publishes the first of a series of questions and answers to candidates. Below is Tacoma School Board Candidate Chris Van Vechten’s response to critical questions affecting Tacoma School District from an urban perspective. Chris Van Vechten Question No.1 Location of Schools Since the 1950s, many school boards have closed local [...]

published July 20th, 2009

Following the Money at Pierce County

By Morgan Alexander

In 2005, Washington State lawmakers responded to a long-time request from county auditors throughout the state – namely, a need for more money to archive documents for historic posterity. Whether that has happened in Pierce County is uncertain.

published February 5th, 2009

Tacoma Archive: Teddy Haggarty’s Day in the City of Destiny

By The Tacoma Sun


The following is a day in the life of Teddy Haggarty, who—besides being a pillar of his community, Tacoma—manages Baby Knockors Strypes, and the Heroes in conjunction with his brother Leonard. The brothers Haggarty also work with comedian Earl Burks and dispense advice to No Cheese Please and the Names. Haggarty has published several books of his own poetry and prose and is currently working on a novella entitled Hawaii: Me And Harry, Our Life With the Stars. Of this article he says, “Everything is true.”

published October 31st, 2008

Over Tacoma Then & Now: Wapato Lake

By Morgan Alexander

In this series, the Sun explores the city from a thousand feet up.
This week: Wapato Lake

published October 29th, 2008

Tacoma’s Upper Floor Malaise

By Morgan Alexander

Tacoma has a large amount of vacant under-utilized commercial space. The intent of this article is meant to illustrate that sizable opportunities exist today all around us. And by increasing the intensity of use in our existing assets we can place greater pressure on developing less desirable uses – such as surface parking lots – in order to create a more walkable and sustainable city.

published October 29th, 2008

Lonergan on Term Limits

By Morgan Alexander

Earlier this year, the Tacoma City Council voted to put the question of throwing out term limits to voters. With elections around the corner, we thought it would be interesting to learn more about how the council and mayor came to their decision. Here is what Councilman Mike Lonergan had to say.

published October 21st, 2008

Mayor Bill Baarsma Shares Thoughts on Term Limits

By Morgan Alexander

Earlier this year, the Tacoma City Council voted to put the question of throwing out term limits to voters. Now, with elections right around the corner, we thought it would be interesting to learn more about how the council (and mayor) came to their decision. Here is Mayor Bill Baarsma’s response…

published October 20th, 2008

Lonergan Answers The Tacoma Sun On Crime, Streetcars, Pollution

By Erik Bjornson

Editors Note: Below is Mike Lonergan’s responses sent to him from the Tacoma Sun.  All of the candidates were sent questionnaires.  Candidates Goings and Lonergan responded. 1) Jail releases The media has reported that the Pierce County Jail currently releases nearly all of the people who have been arrested in Pierce county into downtown Tacoma even [...]

published October 20th, 2008

Candidate Tim Farrell Q&A From the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

Pierce County Council Member Tim Farrell Answers Questions on Tacoma and Pierce County.   Editors Note: November elections are almost upon us.  Today, the Tacoma Sun posts questions submitted to Tim Farrell as well as his answers.   Questions to Tim Farrell, Candidate for Pierce County Council District No 4.   1) Jail releases Question: [...]

published October 1st, 2008

Candidate Calvin Goings Answers Question From the Tacoma Sun

By Erik Bjornson

Pierce County Executive Candidate Calvin Goings Answers Questions on Tacoma and Pierce County. Editors Note: November elections are almost upon us.  Today, the Tacoma Sun posts questions submitted to Calvin Goings as well as his answers.    There are three other candidates in the Pierce County Executive race. 1) Jail releases The media has reported that [...]

published September 25th, 2008

Pierce County Candidate Ken Paulson Answers Questions

By Erik Bjornson

Editors Note: November elections are almost upon us.  Today, the Tacoma Sun posts questions submitted to Ken Paulson who is running for Pierce County District No. 4.  His opponent is Tim Farrell, the incumbent. Pierce County District No. 4 is especially important for Tacoma as it includes downtown Tacoma. 1) Jail releases The media has [...]

published September 15th, 2008

King for a Day: The $5,000,000 Deal

By The Tacoma Sun

You’re the king of the city. The city is strapped for cash and has an airport it doesn’t know what to do with. Should you sell it? And if so, for how much?

published September 4th, 2008

Tacoma Moment of Zen: The Luzon

By Morgan Alexander


The building currently known as the Luzon Building located downtown at 15th & Pacific has been known by many names over the years: the Scandinavian-American Bank, Pacific National Bank, Metropolitan Savings Bank, Golden Chopsicks. Perhaps the name most associated with the building was the Fun Circus.

published August 26th, 2008

Which Pierce County Candidates Can Help Tacoma?

By Erik Bjornson

In November, Pierce County Candidates will be asking you to vote for them. But what do we know about them? Will they do anything to help the many needs Tacoma has?

published August 26th, 2008

Tacoma’s Changing Hilltop

By Morgan Alexander

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“Be careful what you wish for,” as the old adage goes, “because you may just get it.” For years now, people have been talking about how Hilltop is going to be the next “Big Thing.”

published August 4th, 2008

Plant a Tree for Every Tacoman

By Erik Hanberg

Tacoma is losing its trees. After a quick glance at the skyline you might not believe it, but it’s true. Recent winds and storms have taken many trees; others have fallen to development; and plenty have been removed from our parks and sidewalks because of their age. There is no systematic effort in Tacoma to [...]

published June 27th, 2008

Over Tacoma: The Tacoma Mall

By Morgan Alexander

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In this series, the Sun explores the city from a thousand feet up. Drawing inspiration from a combination of the cheesy public television “Over..” series, Paul Dorpat’s long running Now & Then column in the Seattle Times, and the Aerial Photography layer of the City of Tacoma’s govME mapping website, we look at different landmarks and neighborhoods to see how land use decisions have impacted our built environment and our community.

This week: The Tacoma Mall

published May 30th, 2008

Mars in Tacoma

By Morgan Alexander

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What does the Martin Luther King Housing Development Authority (MLKHDA), an affordable housing non-profit organization, have to do with one of the richest companies in the country?

published May 28th, 2008

Tacoma Moment of Zen: UWT

By Morgan Alexander


Certainly it can be argued that without the vision that created the UWT campus and the ability of the state to re-use many long neglected downtown buildings, Tacoma’s current revitalization might not have happened, or at least to the degree that it has happened.

published May 28th, 2008

MADE IN TACOMA: Mark Monlux, Illustrator Extraordinaire

By Morgan Alexander

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Celebrating people, products, and businesses that make Tacoma unique. Mark Monlux is an award winning freelance illustrator and cartoonist. A northwest native, he has called Tacoma home for the last 16 years.

published May 21st, 2008

A Post-Kunstler Tacoma

By Morgan Alexander


I’ve been thinking about Kunstler’s recent visit. For all his bombast and bleakness, he does offer some kernels of insight.

published May 5th, 2008

Over Tacoma Then & Now: Old Town Dock

By Morgan Alexander

dock1950r.jpg
A familiar landmark to generations of Tacoman’s, the Johnny’s Ocean Fish Co. at the Old Town Dock closed earlier this year after Johnny’s was purchased by the nations’ largest seafood company, Pacific Seafood.

published April 29th, 2008

A (Mild) Defense of the ‘Burbs

By Erik Hanberg

It’s a somewhat fashionable thing right now to look down your nose at the suburbs. Environmentalists and students of urban studies (rightly) point to the energy wasted by single-family houses and the gas guzzled on the trips to the grocery store. The critique has been in Hollywood for years, but it’s recently become much more [...]

published April 21st, 2008

Over Tacoma Then & Now: South Tacoma Railyards

By Morgan Alexander

In this series, the Sun explores the city from a thousand feet up. Drawing inspiration from a combination of the cheesy public television “Over..” series, Paul Dorpat’s long running Now & Then column in the Seattle Times, and the newly added Aerial Photography layer of the City of Tacoma’s govME mapping website, we look at [...]

published April 21st, 2008

Alleys As Assets

By Morgan Alexander

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Part 3 in a series on commercial development in Tacoma.
I’ve been thinking about alleys lately. This topic came up about a year ago over on exit133.com I’ve always been a fan of alleys but became very interested in them several years ago while taking an urban planning course at the University of Washington. Since then, alleys have become one of my many minor obsessions – especially after learning that the public right-of-ways (streets, alleys, sidewalks and parking strips) make up about a quarter of the land mass of most cities – including Tacoma. Of these right-of-ways, alleys receive the least amount of thought and attention. As a result, not much thought has been given to include alleys in the broader context of issues such as urban revitalization and the environment.

published April 18th, 2008