JEB III Link Ribbon Cutting
Great news for those who utilize the Puyallup Riverwalk Trail! On Saturday, May 31st, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place to celebrate completion of a short but significant connection between Shaw Road and the Meeker Trailhead of the Foothills Trail. This section of the Riverwalk Trail is Phase IV of the trail development and is a ¼ mile stretch beginning at the corner of Pioneer Way East & Shaw Road and ending at the corner of 33rd Street SE where it connects with the existing Foothills Trail. The ceremony was well attended on this bright sunny day and this latest piece of the trail (Riverwalk Trail-Phase IV) was dedicated as the JEB III Link, named after Puyallup resident and trail enthusiast, John Ernest Berry III.
John Ernest Berry, or Jeb as he is known by his friends, is a Puyallup resident who has been a strong advocate for the connection from the year 2008 when it first appeared on the Piece County Regional Trail System map. Jeb suffered severe brain damage in July 1986 when his bike was struck by an automobile in a disastrous collision. When he awoke from a 6 ½ week coma he was unable to speak or walk. He was sent to Puyallup’s Good Samaritan Hospital for rehabilitation and stayed because he loved Puyallup. Now at age 49, Jeb lives independently, and remains a strong trail advocate. Jeb is a member of the Friends of the Riverwalk and has been an active member of the Foothills Coalition Courtesy patrol for over a decade. Jeb advocates at the local, state, and regional level for trail access and safe connected trails.
The JEB III link was funded by two grants (a Washington State Commerce grant and a Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office grant) and provides users with a safe and accessible connection to the Foothills Trail. The Riverwalk Trail now encompasses approximately 4.2 miles, beginning at the western city limits, running along the Puyallup River, and now connecting to the Foothills Trail at the eastern city limits. The City will continue to explore future trail improvements, including a pedestrian bridge connecting the Puyallup and Sumner Trail systems.
Senator Bruce Dammeier, Representative Dawn Morrell, Mayor John Knutsen, Councilmembers Julie Door, Heather Shadko, Steve Vermillion, John Palmer, Friends of the Riverwalk Chair Bill Hilton, Rails to Trails Coalition Chair Buzz Grant, Project Designer (Robert W. Droll Landscape Architects) Eric Williams, Contractor (RS Undergrond, Inc.) Ron Sprague, Pierce County Parks and Recreation Director Tony Tipton, Puyallup/Sumner Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Shelley Schlumpf, city staff, and numerous members of the “Friends of the Riverwalk” group, attended this great event.
NEW Puyallup Bus Service Begins!
Pierce Transit Officials, the Puyallup City Council, and the Chamber of Commerce all came together at the Farmer’s market on Saturday, June 7th to celebrate the beginning of the new “Puyallup Connector Route 425” bus service with a ribbon cutting event. PCTV was on site at the ribbon cutting conducting interviews and taking footage for a Rainier Country feature and a Pierce County News Story promoting the Puyallup Connector. Following the ribbon cutting event, a group of citizens hopped on one of the specially designed buses and were given a tour of the new route.
To keep the service on schedule (arriving every 30 minutes) and performing well, Pierce Transit is adding a third vehicle into the schedule from about 10 am – 4 pm. That means that citizens will see both of the colorful Puyallup Connector vehicles as well as the spare connector vehicle operating the route. That third vehicle is not wrapped with the Puyallup graphics because it is a spare vehicle that is shared with the Fife Milton Edgewood Demonstration project. The destination signs on that spare vehicle do read “Route 425 - Puyallup Connector” when it is in service. Pierce Transit is continuing to monitor the service closely to see if the extra vehicle continues to be needed.
The route has been promoted a number of ways, including an event at the Sunset Gardens with the Senior Housing Assistance Group (SHAG). This event signed up Sunset Gardens residents for reduced fare ORCA permits and cards. Each resident that purchased their ORCA card and pre-loaded it with $10 received an additional $5 bonus to add to their card. The event was so successful that the ORCA sales equipment couldn’t keep up with activity, and they had to come back a second day for additional sign-ups!
Bus service on the Puyallup Connector Route began in earnest on Sunday, June 8th. The route is currently a one year demonstration project. After one year, the service will be re-evaluated to see if there is a demand for it within the community. The route offers expanded summer service to the Farmer’s Market and Concerts in the Park. Route and fare information is available on Pierce Transit’s website.
Parade of State Champions
After three Puyallup High School teams won state championships, there was strong interest by the community and local business owners to host a parade to honor the achievements of the student athletes involved. After Sparks Deli Owner Chris Johnston submitted a Special Event / Street Closure Permit Application, Police, Traffic Engineering, and Streets worked together to plan a parade route that would be safe, minimally disruptive to traffic, and accommodate previously scheduled downtown events. Because of expedited efforts by city staff and a very responsive event coordinator, the Special Event Action Team was able to issue the permit after just three business days.
City sponsorship covered approximately $2,500 in costs for police traffic direction and street closure labor and equipment. The City’s involvement in the event not only created a memorable experience for student athletes and the community, it resulted in many high school students interacting with the City on Twitter and becoming “followers” of the City of Puyallup Twitter account. PCTV was also on site that morning filming coverage for a Pierce County News Feature.
After all was said and done, organizer Chris Johnston shared these thoughts with the city: “It went fantastic! Great turn out, nice weather, kids loved it and the participation was fabulous. A huge success. Thanks again for all of your assistance with creating lifelong memories for these kids!” News coverage preceding the event was positive, and you can view photos of the parade on the News Tribune website now.
Puyallup Public Library Presents – An Evening with Marissa Meyer
At the Puyallup Public Library, July 9th at 6:00 pm, come spend an evening with New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer! Her debut novel, Cinder, was published in 2012 and has been described as: "Wicked! A fresh, fierce take on Cinderella that's a little bit fairy tale, a little bit Terminator, and totally genius." Cinder is followed by Scarlet, and Cress. All three books are part of the "Lunar Chronicles," a popular series among teens and adults!
This event is open to all ages. A selection of Marissa Meyer’s books will be available for sale, and there will be a book signing afterwards. This event is offered as part of the Library's Summer Reading Program and is sponsored by the Friends of the Puyallup Public Library.
The Puyallup Day Camp program starts on Monday June 23rd and runs through Friday August 22nd. Some of the field trips scheduled for this year include: Wild Waves, a Mariners Game, Bullwinkle’s Family Fun Center, Northwest Trek, bowling, mini golf, laser tag, and more! Check out the Recreation Center website for additional information or call 253-841-5457.
Development Services Update
As home construction continues at an active pace in Puyallup, two new noteworthy single family residential projects are beginning site work this month:
· Villages at South Hill Phase II: The Villages at South Hill Phase I residential Planned Development project has been constructed gradually over the past five years on the south side of 39th Avenue SE just west of Shaw Road (across from Sunrise Elementary School). Approximately 16-acres of that site (fronting 39th Avenue SE), received City Hearing Examiner approval in 2013 as Phase II of the development. Given continuing strong home sales in The Villages, Phase I is nearing full build-out and construction of Phase II is now underway. Phase II will eventually consist of approximately 80 single-family homes, many of which are expected to be single story, rambler-style homes.
· Arslan Estates: this proposed 18-lot single family subdivision, located in the 2700 block of 13th Street SW, was actually approved by the City Hearing Examiner several years ago and, although dormant, remained “active” during the economic downturn. A new developer recently purchased the site and, given the rising local housing market, now plans to move ahead with construction of that approved subdivision.
In the past two weeks, City development review staff held pre-application meetings with parties interested in the following potential projects:
· Riverdance residential: this medium-density residential project, proposed for a vacant site on 18th Street NW just south of River Road, was originally proposed as a condominium project over ten years ago but was never finalized for permitting at that time. Given the passage of time, it is no longer an “active” application. A new party is exploring the potential of re-permitting a variation on that original development proposal.
· Apparel store: an applicant is interested in potentially siting a new retail store in the 500 block of East Main.
District I Neighborhood Meeting
Approximately 49 District 1 residents gathered at the Puyallup United Methodist Church at 6:00 pm on May 28th to discuss items of interest to the northern portion of the city. Major themes of discussion centered around storm water, development of 368 residential units just off of Stewart, crosswalks, Freezing Nights pick up location impacts, Sound Transit Station parking, speeding, and emergency management (particularly as it relates to oil train derailments).
Additional information about the meeting is available at: http://www.cityofpuyallup.org/government/puyallup-city-council/council-district-neighborhood-meetings/
Lunch and Learn – Nutrition 101
City of Puyallup employees are invited to attend a Lunch and Learn event hosted by the Healthcare and Wellness Committee on Thursday, June 26th, Noon-1:00 pm in the City Hall Council Chambers. The presentation will be taught by a registered dietician from the MultiCare Center for Healthy Living and is a great opportunity for employees to get the simple facts on everyday nutrition. City employees provide their own lunch during this noon hour meeting. This is the first of three Lunch and Learn events that will be hosted by the Healthcare and Wellness Committee – stay tuned for more information!
The 2014 youth baseball/softball season is winding down. The T-Ball and Coach Pitch season ended on Friday, June 13th. Minors, Majors, and 10U Modified Fastpitch will end on Thursday, June 26th with the completion of the postseason tournament. The postseason tournament will begin on June 16th.
The competitive junior high baseball league is also winding down their season. The 13U & 14U season started the second week in April and is scheduled to finish the last week in June. The 16U began games on Monday, June 2nd. Approximately 1,150 local kids signed up to participate in Puyallup Recreation’s very successful Youth baseball/softball programs.
Event Sponsorship Applications
As mentioned in the May 16th City Manager’s Update, the City held an open application process for those seeking City sponsorship for a 2015 event. The application process was open for a month and was advertised in the News Tribune as well as on the City website homepage. Those that had automatically been given City support for their events in past years were contacted to inform them of the new application requirements. The following events applied for City sponsorship in the coming year:
· Meeker Days
· Santa Parade
· Memorial Day
· Veterans Day
· Daffodil Parade
· Rainier to Ruston Relay & Ultra Run
· Community Easter Dinner
· Washington State Fair Rodeo Breakfast
Staff will be reviewing these applications to determine the total cost of requested sponsorships and they will be forwarded to the City Council for consideration as part of the budget process for 2015. Questions concerning 2015 event sponsorship can be directed to Management Analyst Melanie Harding.
“Click It or Ticket” Emphasis Results
During the past week and a half, the Puyallup Police Department spent just under 36 hours on the “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign. This emphasis patrol was reimbursed by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission. Officers assigned to this emphasis conducted 127 stops that resulted in 37 infractions issued for not wearing a seat belt and another 36 for cell phone usage. A total of 126 infractions/citations were issued during the emphasis. It is clear that more emphasis needs to be placed on seatbelt compliance as well as cell phone usage.
Planning Commission – Public Hearing
On Wednesday, June 25, 2014, the City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on a number of miscellaneous land use code amendments as well as short-term “shared site shelters” (such as Freezing Nights). These various code revisions would apply to a range of residential and commercial zones. All Planning Commission recommendations on code amendments are subsequently forwarded to the City Council for final consideration and action. Planning Commission meetings are held at 7:00 pm in the City Hall Council Chambers and any interested party is welcome to attend these meetings. For more specific information on these draft code amendments, please contact Michelle Ochs at (253) 841-5485.
The Puyallup Police Department is sponsoring a Bike Rodeo on Saturday, June 28th from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the City Hall parking lot, located at the corner of 4th Ave SE and 2nd St SE. Kids ages 4-12 years old are invited to test their biking abilities on a skills course, have a safety inspection completed on their bikes, and meet some of the PPD bike officers to learn some of their “tricks of the trade.”
Toddler Campus Preschool
In addition to sports and other recreation programs, the Puyallup Parks and Recreation Department also provides important early childhood education. The 2014 Toddler Campus Preschool Pre-Kindergarten class held their graduation ceremony at the Puyallup Recreation Center on May 30th. Twenty-five students donned mortar boards and walked, in front of their proud families, to the sounds of Pomp and Circumstance. After an introduction from their teacher, Ms. Mary, they showed off their singing skills, then each child was awarded a diploma with some kind words about their personality and classroom presence. They are now ready to enter kindergarten with the skills needed to be successful students in the coming years. Registration for the next school year is ongoing and filling fast!
Crime Prevention Presentations
Crime Prevention Specialist Lisa Isaacs made a Block Watch presentation to the residents of The Pointe Home Owner’s Association, with approximately 40 people in attendance. This neighborhood was motivated by a problem house in the neighborhood that is a suspected drug house. Ms. Isaacs discussed typical Block Watch topics to include: getting to know your neighbors, reporting suspicious/illegal activity, protecting your residence against crime, and connecting with the Puyallup Police Department.
Ms. Isaacs and Officer Greg Massey met with the landlord and tenants of the RV Park located at 1033 East Main. There were approximately 30 people in attendance. Officer Massey was instrumental in setting up this meeting to address problems at this location. Many of the residents were becoming frustrated with perceived illegal activity occurring in and around the property. With the help of the Puyallup Police Department, they have been given the information to assist with addressing the issues and have already taken some of the steps outlined in the Block Watch literature.
Community Members Work Toward Daytime Drop-In Shelter
Citizens and community advocates are meeting on June 24th to discuss options for establishing a Daytime Drop-In Shelter for homeless individuals. The meeting will be held at 7:30 pm at the First Presbyterian Church in Puyallup. A daytime drop-in shelter was one of the items recommended by the City of Puyallup Task Force on Homelessness after a thorough review of homelessness and its impacts on the community. The City of Puyallup will have a representative at the meeting from the Planning Division so that staff can be informed about potential land use/zoning questions or amendments that may be necessary for this project.
Puyallup Police Department Intern
The Puyallup Police Department welcomes their newest college intern, Matt Washburn. Matt started his internship on June 2nd and will work with PPD through August. Matt is a senior at the University of Nebraska studying criminal justice. He lives on South Hill with his family. His father is also a member of law enforcement and works for the Seattle Police Department. Matt is an avid lacrosse player and plays at the University of Nebraska.
Puyallup Knitting Guild
The Puyallup Knitting Guild is a new program that occurs at the Activity Center on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 9:30 am to 12:00 noon. The group has a variety of knitting interests (including lace, socks, and children/adult clothing) and they enjoy sharing their current projects (finished or not) as well as discussing yarn purchases and upcoming yarn related events. The Guild welcomes beginners to life-long knitters and they encourage all who share the love of knitting to attend.
Chair Yoga for Seniors
Chair Yoga for Seniors is an exercise program held at the Activity Center on consecutive Wednesdays from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon. The instructor is Barbara Ogolsky, PTA, LVCYT and her class combines basic yoga postures, gentle stretching, breathing exercises, and meditation. Participants of all abilities are welcome to attend and the cost is $5.00 per session.
Mark Your Calendars
· June 17 – City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· June 20-22 – Meeker Days Festival, Downtown Puyallup
· June 24 – Drop-In Shelter Meeting, First Presbyterian Church, 7:30 pm
· June 25 – Planning Commission Public Hearing, Council Chambers, 7:00 pm
· June 28 – PPD Bike Rodeo, City Hall Parking Lot, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
· July 4 – City Offices Closed, Independence Day Holiday
· July 8 – City Council Budget Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
· July 9 – New York Times Bestselling Author Marissa Meyer, Puyallup Public Library, 6:00 pm
· July 15 – City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm
Puyallup Farmer’s Market & Sunset Market Hours:
Saturdays 9:00am - 2:00pm April 12 – October 11
Wednesdays 3:00pm -7:30pm June 18 – September 17