Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ruston Seniors

Sheri Forch wanted to let everyone know that the senior meeting for October will be a special desert open house. All Ruston seniors are welcome to join the conversation on Saturday, October 4th at 1 pm, at the Town Hall (5117 N. Winnifred).

Sheri had this to say about the next meeting and what the group does:
We will have a dessert meeting for October..recruiting seniors ..inviting guests..these ladies represent almost 200 years of life in Ruston and have wonderful stories to tell. Some months, we pile into cars and explore mom and pop restaurants in the North Tacoma area.

You can reach Sheri at Siforch@aol.com with any questions. Come join the fun! I think anyone over 55 years young qualifies.

What Others Think

Erik Bjornson has an interesting opinion piece in this week's Tacoma Weekly newspaper about Tacoma, Ruston, annexation, development and relationships. It's worth the read...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bunkhouse BBQ

Ruston's fire department held an "end-of-the-year" barbecue yesterday at the bunk house (next to town hall). It was a chance to socialize with the people they train with, for the families to get acquainted and build morale.

The bunk house is staffed during daytime hours to ensure Ruston has consistent emergency medical and fire coverage, but it worked well as a place to gather and celebrate another year of service. Thank you to a great department that gives selflessly to our community. We appreciate you! ~ Karen

Newest Issue for Civil Service Commission

This letter was presented to the civil service commission at the meeting on Sept. 11th. Former police chief Reinhold is protesting the continued appointment of interim chief Reese longer than the 4 months noted in the regulation quoted in the letter.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mayor Anyone?

Ruston needs a mayor. The town newsletter has the invitation front and center this month. There was no deadline mentioned in the announcement. The appointment would be for a little over a year (until the end of 2009) when the mayor's seat and the majority of the council (3 seats) are up for election. Anyone interested in the position should send their resume and letter of interest to the town hall at 5117 N. Winnifred Street.

This is an important role for our community. With thick skin, clear vision and open communication, a mayor could do a great deal to lead Ruston forward. Let's all hope and pray someone with those characteristics will step forward to serve soon.

Those are my thoughts. What are yours? What characteristics do you think would be most important for this role? What are the primary things that need to change in order to encourage the best and brightest among us to step forward?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Stack Hill Hearing

I was not able to attend the meeting tonight, but from what I have gathered the planning commission voted to approve the amendment to remove the requirement for a view lot over Lot 12 with a 3 to 1 vote. Commissioners Kevin Mosier, Dick Peterson and Charles Ranes voted in favor and Bryan Ficiala voted against the approval. Mr. Ficiala mentioned after the meeting he didn't feel had been given enough time to review the materials before making a vote (see the comments to this post).

Two planning commission members who live on Commercial Street (near Stack Hill) choose to excuse themselves (Colett Judd and Cherrie Anderson). They left the meeting before the hearing began. There were not many members of the public who attended, but the majority who spoke supported removing the view corridor.

The planning commission recommendation is now passed to the council for a final vote. No more public comment will be allowed. Watch for it on an upcoming agenda soon, I'd bet. ~ Karen

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stack Hill Hearing

7 pm, Wednesday, the new planning commission will hear public testimony about Point Ruston's request to remove the view corridor that Ruston's former planner had insisted on in Lot 12. This picture is from Lot 33 (see the full site plan here). When the town council considered the issue, the testimony was pretty evenly split with a few more who favored having a taxable house on the lot rather than the limited view.

In the end, the council voted this amendment down with a 3-2 vote (read recap of the meeting here). Council Member Hunt later indicated she had changed her mind, which has created a whole flurry of activity and upset (this upset was mentioned by Council Member Albertson as one of the reasons for Mayor Everding's resignation). More information on the views involved is available here.

So, the issue will be heard again using the normal process now that we have a planning commission in place. Please attend and give your opinion. Everyone's input is vital in a small town like Ruston, so send a letter or show up to testify. Input from those of you in Tacoma would be great, too!

Letters must be received by 4:30 tomorrow or can be presented at the meeting (send your thoughts with a neighbor if you can't attend). See you all there!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Any Ideas?

It sits vacant, empty for years and years. A fire from a druggie in the upper apartment caused a lot of damage in July 2004. I spoke to a former owner a couple of years after the fire.

He told me the building inspector told him he would be allowed to make improvements while he repaired the damage under a grandfather system (that would not impose new building codes on the old structure). But once he had the interior stripped out, a new building inspector changed the rules and required that the remodel bring the space up to modern building codes. He felt the change was unfair, as well as more cost than he could absorb.

The building has since sold. Assessor records show Ruston Building, LLC bought it in March 2007.

Is there any role for us as a community to help get this building back on track? Is encouragement enough? Is there more the town's elected leaders could be doing? It's a tough time in the market right now, but throwing out some ideas can't hurt. It would be great to see something positive happening in this empty space.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

For Sale In The Commercial Core

Although its been for sale for awhile, there are bright new signs up letting folks know that the former Purple Cow building is for sale (N. 51st and Highland). I guess it hasn't been the Purple Cow for years ~ funny how us old folks hold onto names.

Any thoughts on what type of business would do well here? What would enhance our business core? Any guess on how long it will to sell in this market? ~ Karen

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cranes, Cranes and More Cranes

Point Ruston has a crane set up working on their Copperline building, and even had an extra one on site this week to pour the second floor of the parking garage. The Commencement brought in a second crane on Friday too, as work continues on that building. It's a busy place around here these days ~ quite a change from the years and years of waiting...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Public Hearing on Stack Hill

Ruston's Planning Commission will re-hear the amendments requested on Stack Hill, now that we have functioning commission. The public hearing is set for this coming Wednesday, September 24th at 7 pm at the Ruston school.

Of the two amendments requested by Point Ruston, the side yard set backs have already been granted, so this hearing will deal with the view corridor on Lot 12 (read about the previous hearing here and more on the views here).

I know many of us have already spoken our minds on this issue, but its important to let the new planning commission know what you think. The meeting on Wednesday will be the only opportunity to voice your opinion. You can submit written comments until 4:30 pm on Wednesday the 24th. The council will not take any more public testimony when they make their decision.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Others Think

Outside perspective is important to a small community like ours. Exit 133 is a popular blog covering South Sound issues. Catlin was at the meeting last night and offered her observations here...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Council Meeting: Sept. 15, 2008

Here is what I observed tonight ~ please attend yourself to see your leaders in action! ~ Karen

Mayor Pro-tem Bradley Huson started the meeting at 7 pm. The agenda was amended to delay the tree committee report until next meeting and to hold a 30-minute executive session to discuss real estate issues and potential litigation.

The first item was a public hearing on the codification of Ruston codes, which brings the codes up to date with any recent changes. They are now available on Ruston's web page. Several thank yous were extended to Sally Everding for her work, along with the rest of the web committee for putting this together. Huson will draft a thank you letter for the council to sign. Rather than pay Mrs. Everding (since her husband was mayor at the time), the town will contribute to the community Easter egg celebration.

Fire Chief Torbet noted that all the calls last month were medical aid, although several were for patient assists rather than medical emergencies. He will be updating his report to reflect these types of calls. Police Chief Reese went over several items; calls were routine this month, she is pursing a refund of the department radios that have not worked well, her proposed new salary grid (provides incentives to keep people on and get better applicants) costing $7,563 for the rest of 2008 and $37,717 for 2009. They have several good applicants for police reserve positions. She also discussed her resignation at the end of the year. The police chief and town attorney will look at the noise ordinance to make sure it is enforceable.

Town electrician Tim Burtron presented information on the deteriorating streetlights. After discussion, Burtron will work with the electrical engineer to get a bid on putting a scope of work for replacing the lights on Pearl, Winnifred and 51st Street - taking into consideration the style of new lights on Stack Hill and Point Ruston.

Huson clarified the letter from Betty Fellerman on the dog park. The cost is about $250 a year. Ms. Fellerman has donated $25 towards purchasing doggie bags.

Ordinance 1265 (accepting the codified municipal code) passed 5-0.

Council Member Stebner wants a new study on the condition of the town sewer system. After discussion, the mayor will have the town planner review the current information and come back with a proposal at the next meeting. Storm sewer was also discussed. Once Ruston reaches a population of 1,000 new regulations for storm water discharge is required. Coupled with changes needed for the storm line that runs through the Point Ruston site, this issue will need attention very soon as well. Stebner suggested using Harbor Improvement and sewer reserve funds if needed.

The town attorney presented an ordinance that would control renting or allowing meetings in town facilities. After some discussion, Huson will bring the ordinance back for a second reading at the next meeting with some issues clarified.

There was extended discussion on hiring a town administrator. Hunt has drafted a job description suggesting pay of $75,000 to $90,000 a year. Albertson asked if funding for the position would require 4 votes. The attorney felt it would only require super majority approval if additional funding would be required.

Albertson felt the town could not afford a paid administrator and would not last until Point Ruston was developed. He wants to look at the short-term issues like fixing the immediate needs and thought the council should be talking to Tacoma about what to do when we run out of money, including annexation. Stebner felt the council needed to look at all the options and put annexation up for a vote.

Huson noted that he and Hunt have already met with Tacoma's city manager about taking them over police, fire and other services. They are waiting to hear back on what Tacoma would proposal. He felt the handwriting was on the wall and Ruston could not afford to continue to provide the same level of service to new residents.

Huson felt the town had done well this year, considering all the resignations. They had gotten the legal and planning costs under control and moved important development projects forward. These saving might be enough to pay for an administrator through the end of 2008. He will talk with the town clerk to see if they could find a way to fund the town administrator position within the budget since they would not have the super-majority vote.

Albertson wanted to know if anyone had applied for the mayor's position. The clerk noted there had not been any notice given yet asking for applications. Albertson felt it had been a disastrous year for the town, especially with former mayor Everding’s resignation. Hunt felt an administrator would save the town money in the long run by securing grants.

The clerk supported hiring an administrator and felt there needed to be a central person who could prioritize and recommend how to move projects/issues forward. Stebner chastised the clerk for not getting the meeting minutes done yet. Huson noted that at least the town would not run out of money before Albertson would run out of office - he could be voted out of office before then. Stebner thought that comment was inexcusable.

Claims and payroll were approved 5-0.

Public Comment:
Jim Wingard gave his address as required, but was interrupted by Albertson who demanded to know what Wingard's address was at his residence (not the address of the property he owns in Ruston). Huson gaveled him down, noting that Wingard was still allowed to address the council. Wingard express frustration that Stebner and Albertson seem to be opposing hiring an administrator but supported changing the form of government that would have forced hiring a manager.

Connie Maglione expressed frustration that a part-time administrator was not being pursued. She chastised Albertson for attempting to interrupt her and then noted what she felt was money wasted on frivolous lawsuits and the grant the council walked away from last spring.

I voiced support for new pedestrian-friendly street lighting, asked when the exclusive lease on the Commencement sales center expired and felt it was inappropriate to be talking about annexation.

Terry Knapp wanted to know why Albertson and Stebner supported hiring an administrator before but not now. They responded that they had never supported the concept.

Sherrie Forch likened the town to a boat being skippered by well-intended amateurs. She felt we need a professional at the helm or we would run aground.

Jon Anderson wanted to know if the mayor's position had been advertised yet. Huson noted there had not been a town newsletter since the decision was made to ask for applications at the last meeting. The invitation would be included in the next newsletter.

Nan Leiter felt that a proven record in securing grants should be the top priority for an administrator. She was also concerned about the divisive nature of the meeting.

Mayor's Time:
Huson has met with Paul Wageman of the Commencement to talk about noise, maintenance, cost of utilities and the lease and the relocation of Bennett Street. He has also met with Point Ruston to discuss infrastructure, the LID and the shoreline permit. He and Hunt will be meeting with Point Ruston bi-weekly (Hunt is the council committee person for infrastructure).

Council Time:
Stebner wants to see the fence installed at the dog park as budgeted. He noted the auditor will be auditing the town and he wants to attend the pre-meeting. He and Hedrick will attend.

Hedrick congratulated the business district on a successful music fest. He is sorry to see Chief Reese leave and thanked her for her time a police chief. He will draft a letter of recommendation for the council to sign. He will also take on the process of getting a secretary for the civil service commission after he talks to the commission chair.

Albertson also thanked Chief Reese. He clarified he had not supported hiring an administrator when Transue was mayor. Regarding what he felt were frivolous lawsuits, he asked Jim Wingard how much he was suing Ruston for. Mr. Wingard responded only enough to start a recall. Albertson felt we had not gotten any applications for mayor because we had poisoned the well with too many personal attacks on local blogs. He felt the town government is dysfunctional and policy differences were being turned into personal attacks.

He felt it was wrong for council members to meet with developers in private and that the new hearing on Stack Hill was a back door way to accomplish what had been turned down through the front door. He said people would be shocked at what's gone on behind the scenes to change the outcome of that last vote.

Hunt responded to Albertson’s accusation of ex-parte communication on the last vote on Stack Hill, noting that the town attorney had advised the council that contact with the developer was allowed. She also encouraged the council to review a brochure from AWC on user fees and tax sources.

The meeting moved into executive session for about 25 minutes and adjourned at about 9:30 with no further action.

Stack Hill Photos

The Point Ruston team sent along these photos from the model home on Stack Hill (a follow up to the information last week). As expected, the views are spectacular. The model is open Saturdays from 12 to 4 pm, and more homes are under construction. More details are available on http://www.pointruston.com/.

Model home on lot 33
View from the deck
View from the front roomInside amenities

Council Meeting: Sept. 15, 2008

Here is the agenda for the meeting tonight. All the back up material is available on Ruston Reports. We'll be talking town administrator, street lights, dogs in the park, sewer system and more. Please join us at 7 pm in the Ruston School!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ruston Monarch's Take Championship

The adult baseball team named after our town won the championship game today for their league. This isn't the first time the team has taken top honors, but its great to have the tradition continue.

Way to go, Ruston Monarchs! You can read more here...

Services for Betty

Here is the formal obituary for Betty McBride. A short summary like this can't capture the impact of a life. Her son, former mayor Kim Wheeler, said simply, "She was my mom and my best friend."

You will be missed, Betty. Rest in peace....
Betty Jean McBride Ruston WA .

Betty Jean McBride died September 12, 2008, after a long and hard fought battle with terminal illnesses.

Born June 15, 1940 in Salt Lake City , UT she grew up and lived most of her working life in Salt Lake City , and Grand Junction CO . She moved to Ruston WA , 1990. She worked as an executive secretary in the Utah State surplus property division where she retired in 1989.

Surviving are her husband, Jackie McBride, of Ruston WA: son, Kim B. Wheeler, of Ruston WA ; daughter, Cynthia A. Shelton and husband, of Salt Lake City UT, three grandchildren, Josh Wheeler, of Tacoma WA, Jake Wheeler, of San Diego CA, and Garrett Wheeler, of Las Vegas, NV, and two sisters Sharon Hendrickson and Husband Roy, Sandy Hendrickson and Husband Ray and twenty nieces and nephews.

The services will be held at 3:00 pm, Wednesday, September 17 at Haven of Rest Gig Harbor, WA, Hwy 16.

Memorials may be made to Franciscan Hospice of , Tacoma WA

Arrangements are by Haven of Rest.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Final Election Results

I know its way late, but it slipped my mind until just now.... but here are the final, official results from our ballot measure last month (attempting to change the form of government):

Ruston - Proposition No. 1
For organization council-manager: 106 (44.17%)
Against organization council-manager: 134 (55.83%)
Over Votes: 0
Under Votes: 6

An under vote is when a voter chooses not to vote on a specific race or issue. An over vote is when a voter votes for two candidates in a race or connects the arrow for both "yes" and "no" on an issue.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Betty Boop

There are those who stand up front and try to lead, or those who yell loudly wanting to be heard. And then there are those who work tirelessly behind the scenes, leading with their devotion and energy, letting their actions speak louder than words.

Such was the life of Betty McBride. She touched many with her love, and gave tirelessly to Ruston and its citizens. Betty died early this morning - having started hospice care just the day before. In the end, she died as she had lived; quiet, unassuming and content to be close to her family and home.

Although her health had declined in recent years, Betty was always the first to volunteer to stuff envelopes and lend a hand where she could. She helped with the Ruston seniors and was always ready with encouragement and words of wisdom.

There is much I don’t know about Betty and her contributions. I do know that she gave a great deal to me ~ her warm smile, her support and prayers, her kind words that always seemed to come at just the right time.

I’ll have more details on Betty’s extraordinary life as the family has time to share them. In the meantime, we all mourn the loss of one of Ruston’s best. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family ~ she is at peace now even though our hearts ache. ~ Karen

Police Chief Resigning

Although not unexpected, Ruston's interim police chief announced her resignation this week. She will stay on until the end of the year, allowing time to find a permanent chief for the town. Her efforts at building bridges in this fractured community have been well received by all sides. Here is her resignation letter:
September 9, 2008

Mayor Huson and Council Members,

It is with mixed feelings that I notify you of my intent to resign from my position as Chief of Police in the Town of Ruston effective January 1, 2009.

Since my initial employment in March 2008, I have committed to bringing positive changes to the police department and improving relationships in the community. Thanks to Mayor Transue’s initial confidence in me and all of your continued support, I have been provided an opportunity that continues to be a very gratifying experience.

Mayor Everding was instrumental in guiding a number of important projects to successful completion during his tenure and I appreciated his vision and guidance. My own goals and tasks have been primarily accomplished through enhanced communications, working with great community volunteers and identifying operational improvements within the department infrastructure.

Ruston PD is a team and nothing could have been accomplished during the last several months without the disciplined hard work of Sgt. Kunkel, and all the professional, dedicated officers who keep the Town safe 24/7.

While the town is undergoing an understandable number of growing pains and differences of opinion with regard to land development issues and identifying government priorities, I have been fortunate to have enjoyed the individual support and assistance of each of you as we sought to strengthen public safety in this community.

If you agree, during the next several weeks I will prioritize establishing processes to find a new Chief and for police officer recruitment and selection. I hope to live in the Ruston area during November and December before departing to the east coast to join my husband in Alexandria, Virginia. I continue to be grateful to serve as your Chief of Police and will look back on this time as a career highlight and with much fondness.

Warmest Regards,

Sharon M. Reese

C: Sgt. Jeremy Kunkel
Karen Carlisle, Town Clerk

Civil Service: Sept. 11, 2008

Ruston's civil service commission held their regular meeting last night. There has been some trouble coordinating a meeting for the last few months, so this is the first time the commission has met in some time.

Police chief Sharon Reese reports that the town's regular attorney, David Britton attended the meeting on behalf of Mr. Winterbauer. Mr. Winterbauer is the attorney who is hired to advise the commission. Mr. Britton had some draft by-laws for the commission to consider. Commission chair Connie Maglione had suggested looking at Bainbridge Island's by-laws as well. No decision on this issue was made.

Chief Reese outlined a plan to advertise for police chief, officers and reserves, all of which have vacancies currently or pending. The chief will present suggestions for how the commission could conduct the hiring process when they are completed.

The commission was informed of a seminar for new civil service commissioners that is recommended by AWC. It will be held in Yakima in October. The commission also went to executive session for a time to discuss former chief Reinhold's complaint.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ruston Monarchs Play in Championship

The Ruston Monarch baseball team is on its way to another championship. The big game is Saturday at Heritage Rec in Puyallup at 11am and 2 pm with a Sunday game if necessary. We first noted the team early in the season (read more here). Go get 'em, guys! Do your town proud!

On a side note, one of the players (Daryl Jay Frank) is an artist. You can see more at bigpalouka.blogspot.com.

Stack Hill ~ Point Ruston Update

This house is now completed and open for viewing. JJ McCament of Point Ruston sends this update on progress for both Point Ruston (the lower site) and Stack Hill (the upper hillside) now that master plan has been approved.

1. On August 12, 2008 the Ruston Town Council approved Resolution No. 430 authorizing the Mayor to sign the LID Interlocal Agreement with Tacoma. On August 26, Tacoma's Council approved Resolution No. 37578 authorizing the execution of the LID Interlocal Agreement with Ruston and Resolution No. 37580 amending the agreement with Seattle Northwest Securities for financial advisory services associated with the Point Ruston LID. Next steps include LID formation in each jurisdiction.

2. On September 5 Congressman Dicks and representatives from Ruston & Tacoma toured Point Ruston for a briefing on remediation efforts and redevelopment plans underway.

3. Construction on Copperline Condos, the first mixed-use building at Point Ruston, is moving along nicely and we hope to make significant progress before the winter weather sets in. The 50,000 sq. ft. slab-on-grade for the first level of the parking structure has been poured and construction of the second level of parking is well underway. This second level also includes over 20,000 sq. ft. of ground floor commercial/retail space.

4. Point Ruston has selected Colliers International to market and lease retail and commercial spaces at Point Ruston. Colliers will be introducing Point Ruston to the retail community at the West Coast ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) meeting in San Diego the week of September 8. You may view the Point Ruston leasing brochure on our website at http://www.pointruston.com/.

5. The first Stack Hill Model Home is now open Saturdays from 12 - 4 p.m. It is located on Lot 33 just east of the intersection of 49th and Baltimore Street . We invite the community to stop by and tour this beautiful home!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More Festival Thoughts

The Weekly Volcano, well-known for their arts and entertainment coverage of the South Sound was on hand for the music fest on Saturday. They sponsored the main stage - dedicated to rock and roll. Steph DeRosa and Matt Driscoll shared the MC duties. Steph shares her impression of the festival here....

Monday, September 8, 2008

Favorite Moments

I wanted to share a couple of my favorite memories from our music fest this weekend. I know lots of you came to visit, too. Share your favorite moments with us, and any suggestions for how to build from here. Thanks to all who came and to all who gave so selflessly to make the celebration a success! ~ Karen

He stood hesitantly clutching a one-dollar bill at the front table. One band was grabbing the last of their material and heading out while the current band was warming up on stage. I asked the young boy, no more that 7 or 8, if he wanted to buy a pop or water since he wasn't holding enough money to buy any music. He said he wanted a Joshua Cain Band CD.

I grabbed the arm of the closest young musician, clothed all in black and looking more like the kid’s older brother than a rock idol. I asked how much the CD’s cost. The musician glanced at the boy and said they sold for any donation. When it became clear the kid only had a dollar, Joshua Cain knelt down in front of him and told him to keep the dollar. He looked him the eye and asked his young fan if he played any instrument of his own. The nervous boy told him he played drums. Joshua said drums where his favorite instrument, since it’s always feels good to hit things. He told him to keep practicing, handed him a CD and headed off.

The young fan raced to his mom with his treasure, only to be back in a few minutes with that dollar burning a hole in his pocket to buy a can of pop.

He looked more like a yellow Darth Vader than a rescuer. There was nothing human about him other than a vague familiarity to his form. As he bent down in front of the youngster, the 4 year old recoiled back into his mother’s legs in fear. That was exactly why the firefighter, in full gear with breathing mask, face shield, and strange-sounding breaths, had approached the boy. In a house fire, too often young children hide from the strange monsters that are trying to save them. In the fear, confusion and noise of a fire, a firefighter is the last thing a young child will trust.

Ruston, like many other departments, is trying to break that fear by showing kids first hand what the good guys look and sound like in a fire. They are big, bulky, faceless creatures that make mechanical-sounds and speak with muffled voices. If the child will trust the savior, maybe more can be saved.

But this little tyke on the street in Ruston hid behind his mom’s legs even when the scary thing reached out its hand trying to coax a handshake. It wasn’t until the facemask came off and a real person smiled that he came out from behind his mom to say hello. But hopefully the fear is lessened and if the unthinkable happens, he’ll run towards, not away from, the scary monster that comes to rescue him.

No Council Meeting Tonight

I confirmed with the Town Clerk that there is no study session tonight. All you Ruston political junkies can stay home with your families for once!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Music Fest 2008

A good time was had by all at today's Point Defiance Music Fest. The sun broke out just as the first band took the stage... 4 stages with great music all day, make your own raku pottery pieces, lots of great food, kids games, face painting by the beautiful princess, painters in action, bead artists, chalk artists ~ it was a fun day. And we topped it off with a wonderful performance by Jon Auer, world famous guitarist who was lead singer for the Posies and played with Van Halen for a time.

Thanks to all who came to celebrate with us ~ and to the Ruston-Point Defiance Business District for putting this on. A special thank you to Angela Jossy who headed up the effort. Planning is already underway for next year, so share your ideas or even better, volunteer you time to help!

New Blog Forms

Jim Wingard has started his own blog. You can check out his on-going commentary at Ruston Insider. Jim is an active member of our community and formerly a frequent contributor to the Ruston Truth page. He will focus his efforts on his new blog now.

Ruston Public Safety Web Page

Ruston has a new web page for public safety, put together by Lyle Hardin, Sally Everding and Police Chief Sharon Reese. Check it out here... I thought the newsletter message was worth repeating here:

Greetings and Welcome!

All of us at the Police Department would like to thank the community members who participated in the Night Out Against Crime on August 5. It was a wonderful turnout and promoted lots of discussions among neighbors, friends and new acquaintances about partnering and preventing crime. Wonderful food and refreshments with music and great conversation made it fun for all ages. Everyone is looking forward to next year and perhaps agreeing on a common location for the event.

Our officers are to be commended for the recent investigation, apprehension and arrest of two armed robbery/kidnapping suspects. The original event occurred in Ruston and thanks to the assistance and cooperation of the Unicorn Tavern and the Pt. Defiance Casino staff we were able to identify the subjects in a timely fashion. Our appreciation is extended to all those who assisted us.

Unfortunately, we are saying goodbye to one of our best and brightest. Officer Josh Rasmussen has served Ruston for the last two years, primarily on the graveyard shift. He recently accepted a lateral position as an officer with Tacoma Police Department. We wish Josh well in this new phase of his career and thank him for his service and protection of our community.

We will soon be recruiting for regular full-time and part-time reserve police officers. If you are interested, a general application can be picked up at town hall. Job announcements and qualifications will be posted soon on this site.

A reminder that residents can still let us know when they are gone on vacation by filling out a “Residence Security Check” form and dropping it by Town Hall or the Police Department. Forms can be picked up at these locations and will be soon be available on the web.

Even in the hot weather, be sure to secure your doors and windows at night or while you are at work during the day. Open ones are a temptation to the criminal element and we have responded to several attempted burglaries this month in the area.

Our officers are including some foot patrols in their shift duties and may leave a card or note to make you aware of a particular situation. We rely a great deal on the reporting of unusual activity. If you have any questions or concerns please stop by or call our office, we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Thank you for your support of public safety in Ruston. Our volunteer firefighters, police officers and town employees work hard for the Ruston community every day.

Chief Sharon Reese and Officers
Ruston Police Department

911 Emergency (24 hour)
798-4721 Non-Emergency Dispatcher (24 hour) Use dispatcher number to request a Ruston police officer contact you for urgent non-emergency reasons

761-0272 Police Business Office Use this number to speak with an officer during Monday-Friday business hours or to leave a message. Messages may be checked at irregular intervals during weekend and night hours.

5219 N Shirley St - Ground Floor
Ruston, WA 98407

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ruston Music Fest Gets Bigger and Better

The Ruston-Point Defiance Business District Music Fest is going to be one heck of a party this Saturday (tomorrow) ~ 4 music stages, expanded Kids Zone, artists in action, food, crafts, beer garden, fire department demonstrations and more. The fun starts at 11 am and ends by 8 pm (one day only) on 51st Street in Ruston. Sponsored by Pierce County, The Weekly Volcano, The Commencement and Point Ruston this year.

Free entertainment for everyone ~ don't miss the fun!

  • Ruston's own Ginger Kryger has organized a raku pottery demonstration. Raku is a unique firing process that produces spectacular metallic finishes. Small fish and starfish pieces will be available to purchase and fire yourself ~ a fund raiser for the Emergency Food Network. Bleachers will be set up so you can watch first hand. Painters, bead and chalk artists will be showing their skills as well.
  • Kids Zone will have lots of inflatable toys for the little ones to run, jump and slide to their hearts content. This is the same operation that set up during Freedom Fest along Ruston Way. There is a small charge for these rides.
  • Ruston Fire Department will have the new engine on display. Fire fighters will be doing free blood pressure checks and CPR/defibrillator demonstrations.
  • About three times as many vendors will have everything from cashmere, fine scarfs, paintings, food and more.
  • Point Defiance Cafe has an outdoor beer garden during the event in their parking lot.
  • The auditor's office will be registering folks to vote.
Weekly Volcano Stage (Main Stage):
11 am: Starstruck
Noon: GE5
1 pm: Jonny Smokes
2 pm: 2112 Rush Tribute
3 pm: The Hard Way
4 pm: Sons of Ivan
5 pm: Drug Purse
6 pm: The Elephants
7 pm: Jon Auer (former lead singer for the Posies)

Coles Oasis Reunion Stage, sponsored by The Commencement(Totem Yacht Club):
1:15 pm: Voxxy Vallejo
2:15 pm: Kincaid Avenue
3:15 pm: Malcolm Clark
4:15 pm: Loose Gravel
5:15 pm: Blues Jam

Southern Rock/Country Stage, sponsored by Pierce County (Garden of Eat'n on Pearl Street)
11:45 am: Becca Rae
12:45 pm: Kari Ehli Band
1:45 pm: Voodoo Ranch
2:45 pm: Renegade
3:45 pm: Michael O'Neill Band
4:45: Joshua Cain Band
5:45 pm: Ruby Dee & The Snakehandlers

Antique Sandwich Company Acoustic Stage
Noon: Neil Woodall
1 pm: Angel Band
2 pm: Martin Nyberg
3 pm: Josh Adams
4 pm: Stephanie Johnson
5 pm: Gavin Guss
6 pm: The Blonds

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

In The News

The Tacoma Weekly ran a full article about the meeting last night, with lots more details about who said what.... read it here.

UPDATE: Thursday, 8:45 pm: The Weekly Volcano has an indepth article about Point Defiance Casino closing down its gambling. Read it here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Council Meeting: Sept. 2, 2008

The Ruston council approved the Point Ruston Master Plan tonight with a 3-2 vote (Albertson and Stebner voting no). It's been 23 years and 5 months since the last business shut its doors on this waterfront property. It's finally looking like new businesses will fill that vacant space at the bottom of the hill.

The other item of interest in tonight's meeting: Council Member Huson has agreed to carry on as Mayor Pro-tem until October 31, 2008. The council will be sending out a notice about the vacancy (presumably to take applications for the position).

Council Meeting Tonight

Just a reminder the Ruston council is meeting tonight at 7 pm at the school building. The big items on the agenda are final approval of the Point Ruston Master Plan and discussion of the empty mayor seat. It should be a meeting worth attending if you can. The full packet of material for the meeting are available at Ruston Reports.

Point Defiance Casino Complaint

The casino has filed the following complaint with the Town of Ruston. It's one of several similar issues pending for the town right now. Comments are moderated on this site, unmoderated comments can be made on the Ruston Truth blog.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 7th: I just discovered the second page was missing. It's been added below. ~ Karen

Monday, September 1, 2008

Point Defiance Casino Owner Makes His Case

Steve Fabre, owner of Point Defiance Cafe (and former casino) is taking his case to the people of Ruston. Steve has released the following letter, in addition to the letter he provided to council members prior to their vote to increase gambling tax in Ruston to 12% on July 7, 2008.