“Angel of Hope” Dedication
The road that winds through Puyallup’s Woodbine Cemetery was bumper to bumper the evening of December 6th, as people turned out in the cold to attend a candlelight vigil and dedicate the newly installed “Angel of Hope” statue. The bronze angel statue is a dedicated place for parents to grieve and heal and symbolizes protection of the children buried there. The memorial project started following the deaths of Charlie and Braden Powell earlier this year, but their grandfather Chuck Cox reiterated at the dedication that the angel is for all families who have lost children. Community donations through Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers made the memorial possible; bricks around the statue will be available for inscription with the names of children who have passed. The statue is based on writer Richard Paul Evans’ novella “The Christmas Box,” about how strangers learned the value of love following a child’s death. Paul Evans attended and spoke at the dedication on Thursday. There are more than 100 Angel of Hope statues around the world. A candlelight vigil will now be held every year on December 6th, 7:00 pm at Woodbine Cemetery.
The Puyallup Police Department will host the annual Shop-with-a-Cop program on December 18th, in conjunction with Wal-Mart, Trackside Pizza, and Fred Meyer. School Resource Officer Mark Ketter will be picking up nine children (one child from each elementary school in the city) at their respective schools and meeting other PPD personnel at Wal-Mart at 10 AM; each child will have $50 to spend. The children will then be whisked away to Trackside Pizza for lunch with Santa. After lunch, the children will head to Fred Meyer to spend another $50. Thank you Wal-Mart, Trackside Pizza, and Fred Meyer for the generous support of this great program!
Employee Benefits Fair & Holiday Lunch
The City of Puyallup held their annual Benefits Fair at the Pavilion for employees on November 28th, as well as the annual Holiday Employee lunch on December 6th. A traditional Holiday meal was served to city employees in appreciation of their work throughout the year. As part of the festivities, various city departments donated themed baskets for raffle. Employees received one raffle ticket for each dollar donated to the Puyallup Food Bank or each toy or food item donation. Over $500 in cash donations and 414 pounds of food were donated to the Puyallup Food Bank; over 50 toy items were donated to the Santa Cops program.
Pioneer Park Pavilion
On December 1st, The Puyallup Mainstreet Association held a Holiday Market in the Pavilion in conjunction with the annual Santa Parade and Christmas Tree Lighting in Pioneer Park. Other events held at the Pavilion included three weddings and receptions, the Potelco Holiday party, and the Sound Family Medicine Holiday party. In addition, the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer’s Office held their annual foreclosure auction at the Pavilion.
16th Ave SE Soldier Pile Wall
The city recently completed emergency construction of a soldier pile retaining wall on 16th Ave SE, just off Shaw Road. The original gabion basket (cages, cylinders, or boxes filled with rocks, concrete or sometimes sand and soil) retaining wall was failing, precipitating the need for this emergency replacement. The project was completed under an expedited design and construction process, just in time. The remaining original retaining wall has now completely failed, which could have been catastrophic for 16th Ave SE. Soldier piles are constructed of wide flange steel H sections spaced about 2 to 3 m apart and are driven prior to excavation; horizontal timber sheeting is then inserted behind the flanges.
Star Party at the Puyallup Public Library
What do you get when you mix stars in the night sky with stomp rockets and the library? The 6th annual Star Party at the Puyallup Public Library, of course! Join the Tacoma Astronomical Society and the Puyallup Public Library (324 S. Meridian, in downtown Puyallup) on Tuesday, January 22nd, for a FREE evening of viewing stars through telescopes (weather permitting) and a chance to make your very own stomp rocket. The fun will begin at 5:30 pm and will end at 7:30 pm. Hot chocolate will be served to keep everybody warm. All ages are welcome. No registration required.
Building on our Strengths: City Website Team gets a Skills Update
The IT Division and the City Manager’s Office worked together to coordinate a training class last week for 18 of the city staff members who assist with maintaining pages of the city website. Website Developer SiteCrafting led the two-hour training, which covered the basics of creating a webpage, adding events and public notices, creating online forms, and other aspects of website development/maintenance. Keeping the City website up-to-date with accurate and relevant content is a team effort that requires vigilance and attention to detail. In addition to the City Web Team’s work, volunteers are also used to periodically scan each page of the website for broken links.
PPD/BNSF Railroad Emphasis
The Puyallup Police Department traffic unit and five BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) federal police officers conducted a joint railroad crossing emphasis on November 28th; focusing on pedestrian trespassers and motorists that stop on the tracks.
The emphasis resulted in 13 trespass violations issued, 39 infractions for obstructing the tracks and/or failing to obey the traffic control device, 1 person cited for Driving While License Suspended, and 2 warnings for trespassing. The emphasis lasted three hours with 39 tickets issued; BNSF would like to conduct another joint emphasis in the near future.
Property Rezone Public Hearing
The City’s Hearing Examiner will hold a public hearing on December 18th at 11:00 am in the City Hall Council Chambers. The subject of this hearing is a proposed rezone of a City-owned property at the NE corner of 31st Avenue SW and 9th Street SW. If approved, this rezone would change the zoning on the approximately 3.0 acre site from Office-Professional (OP) to Limited Commercial (CL). Both zones permit office-type uses; the latter also allows a slightly greater range of light commercial uses. The site’s Comprehensive Plan map designation would remain the same.
The Recreation Division’s very popular youth basketball program started team practices during the week of November 26th. Practices will be ongoing during the month of December, with games beginning in January; boys and girls from kindergarten through 12th grade play through mid-March. The Select youth basketball program, a more competitive level of play, began their league schedule on December 1st. The Select program is offered to 5th through 9th grade boys and girls, with each team playing 9 games.
8th Ave NW LID Retrofit
Puyallup’s Green Stormwater Retrofit project on 8th Ave NW is nearing completion – with paving of the porous asphalt roadway completed on December 12th, the project has “gone black” but is looking “green”. The porous asphalt roadway finishes off the major construction elements of this project, following the permeable paver and pervious concrete sidewalks already constructed. Final preparation of the eleven right-of-way rain gardens will be done in the next week, and covered with burlap as the gardens await the March 16th community planting event. Contact Joy Rodriguez at (253) 841-5549 if you’d like to volunteer.
“Wining & Shopping ‘Til You’re Dropping!”
The Puyallup Activity Center and University Place Senior Center planned a fabulous excursion and traveled together for two days “Wining & Shopping” with 10 fabulous ladies. Six of the ten participants are new to the Activity Center’s overnight travel program; the “new” ladies even took vacation time from full-time jobs to treat themselves to a mid-week vacation. The whirlwind started in lovely Woodinville where they experienced tastings at Distefano Winery, Woodinville Whiskey Company, and Tefft Cellars; then lunch at Village Wines. The final stop was at Columbia Winery, for one last sample tasting before retiring for the evening at the Heathman Hotel in downtown Kirkland. On day two, the ladies had the opportunity to shop in downtown Kirkland, then on to Molbak’s and Redmond’s Town Center, followed by University Village and Southcenter Mall. These ladies definitely shopped ‘til they dropped and expressed their gratitude and interest in traveling with us again in the near future!
Future Development in Puyallup
Development Services recently held a pre-application meeting with representatives of a proposed metals-oriented industrial facility on Todd Road, near the intersection with Spencer Road. The proposal calls for a new industrial building to house the American Steel company, with a total ultimate buildout of approximately 92,000 square feet (61,000 square feet initially, with the balance through later expansion). This property is currently vacant, although it has had some recent earthwork in anticipation of development. The site was the focus of a former industrial development proposal a few years ago.
POP Unit Crime Prevention Talks
On December 6th, POP (Problem-Oriented Policing) Officer Wally Anderson conducted a crime prevention and safety talk at Celebration Lutheran Church to approximately 20 people. The talk focused on personal safety as well as other general information.
Deputy Mayor Knutsen, Councilmember Vermillion, and Councilmember Hopkins, were in attendance at a crime prevention meeting at the Meridian Point Apartment complex on December 11th. POP Unit officers, Captain Scott Engle, Officer Doug Kitts and Officer Wally Anderson, presented crime statistics and information to the citizens and answered questions. There were approximately 30 people in attendance.
Holiday Pancake Breakfast
On December 8th, the Puyallup Activity Center hosted a Free Holiday Pancake Breakfast for seniors. The Puyallup Lions Club prepared the breakfast and Emeritus at the Courtyard co-sponsored the activity. The breakfast included sausage, eggs, juice, coffee, and all the pancakes they could eat! The breakfast is their way of saying “thank you” to the seniors for making our community a better place to live.
On the evening of December 19th, the Puyallup Police Department will turn their police vehicles into sleighs and deliver toys and food to needy families in the city. Police department staff and their families have been busy collecting donations and wrapping gifts for the big night. This annual event has been in place for approximately 20 years and provides as much joy to the officers as it does to the recipients of our community’s generosity. A special thanks to the PPD’s coordinator of this event, Officer Gary Shilley and his wife Shelby.
Mark Your Calendars
· December 18 – Public Hearing-Property Rezone, Council Chambers, 11:00 am
· December 25 – Christmas Day - City Offices are Closed
· January 1 – New Year’s Day - City Offices are Closed
· January 8 – City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· January 15 – Council Study Session, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· January 21 – MLK Jr. Day - City Offices are Closed· January 22 – City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm