Monday, September 27, 2010

100 Years Ago

Jim Wingard saw this notice in the paper last week; 100 years ago (bottom of picture below) Ruston had a YMCA that gave out prizes for the best gardens in town. I can't image anyone beating out the old Garrison home and the former extensive gardens that Etta cultivated. But they only took second place that year.

The former Garrison home is one of the oldest in town, and is now home to the Davis family and Baby Alice, the neighborhood cat. 100 years later, another generation growing up on Ruston streets, ready to take reins soon...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Old News

It's old news to everyone in town, but for those who follow local happenings from far away places like South Tacoma or Tennessee, you'll be happy to know that the Ruston tunnel opened as planned on Friday. The roadway was closed over a month ago on August 23rd with a promise to reopen on September 3rd, but construction and weather delays kept things shut for longer than expected.

It's been a tough month for local businesses without vehicle traffic on our roads to bring customers. And the major closure for road construction will be even longer when that happens, probably in the range of 3 months. Hopefully folks will return to their former driving patterns and come back to our shops soon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Beautiful Bookends

It was a beautiful moonrise in Ruston tonight ~ preceded by an equally stunning sunrise over the same horizon a few hours before. My granddaughter awoke to a warm pink glow in her room and a picture perfect view of multi-colored puffy clouds embracing the new day ~ and we end with the calm quiet of a bright moon to cover our dreams tonight.

It's scenes like this that remind me how grateful I am to live here... with all of you. We are lucky to be surrounded by such beauty ~ and each other.

New Club Opening In Ruston

The Volcano has announced a new club will be opening in the Point Defiance Cafe, featuring rock and blues music. The grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, October 2nd at 8 pm with a show by the R&B band Loose Change. Read the full article here...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Catching Up

As summer fades and our wet fall season begins, I wanted to catch up on some of the issues the council and mayor have been dealing with over the last few months. So I read through the meeting minutes to get a little flavor of the discussion the last couple of months. As mentioned previously, I am not able to attend the meetings in person nor devote the time to compile my notes for the blog here. So this is an abbreviated list of the issues I found of interest among the many our leaders are facing. I encourage everyone to attend the meetings yourself and provide your input... Karen
  • Garbage rates need to raised significantly. The town's equipment is outdated and labor intensive. Current rates that residents are charged for recycling are less than the actual cost (in effect giving a credit). The town's accounting system has room for 47 different rates, but currently only uses 12 of them. The mayor discussed a 20% increase in June with the potential to eliminate one garbage collector position, but no decision has been reached yet. The issue was on the agenda again at last night's meeting.
  • The fire department is looking to sell the 1968 fire engine (not sure if that has been accomplished yet).
  • The town hall wants to collect emails so they can notify folks of town announcements or other news. Send your email to the clerk at
  • Revenue is even less than expected when this year's bleak budget was put together. Property taxes are down 20% and sales tax is 85% less than projected. With Chevron closing B&O taxes will be reduced as well.
  • $2,500 was raised from Adirondack Chair project for future art events in town. Chair event organizers Ginger Kryger and Lucy Davis announced they plan a pumpkin carving contest for October.
  • The 49th street sewer bids came in higher than expected, with Olson Brothers giving the lowest with $39,378.61.
  • The Commencement received funding of $2 million to finish condos. The sale of the first 2 spaces was scheduled to close at the end of July.
  • There was concern over the old Coles building raised at one of the meetings. The mayor said the town wants to work with the owners, but all options could be considered such as condemning building if it becomes unsafe.
  • The decision to ban card games at the Point Defiance Cafe or anywhere else in Ruston has been given to all of us. The public vote is scheduled for Nov. 2nd. Because this is a regular election for the town, there is no cost to put this issue on ballot.
  • Ryan Rhodes and his Pioneer Baseball group decided not to pursue plans to improve Ruston Park.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Point Defiance Green

If you're free on Saturday morning, you can give back a little to that great park just north of our town boundary. Point Defiance Park is one of the locations for a 'green' focus on Saturday, September 25th from 9 am till noon.

Sun and Rain

The view on the way to work this morning in Ruston ~ the rainbow is not as bright on the picture as it was in person...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Council Meeting Monday

Things kick off with a study session at 6 pm to discuss investment options for the town's money, then the regular meeting at 7 pm holds the introduction of a new town electrician, finalizing three ordinances and discussing the garbage rates again, among other things. Be sure to stop by the community center to listen in.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Free CPR Class

Ruston residents can obtain their CPR certification for free, thanks to our local volunteer fire department. A CPR class is tentatively scheduled for Friday, September 24th from 6:30 until 9:30, with a limited number of open seats for Ruston citizens.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Ruston Fire Chief Don Torbet at Just another reason why its so great to live in a small town....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tunnel Closure Extended Again

Point Ruston just announced that the rains last week delayed the utility work along Ruston Way and the tunnel will remain closed another week. The new date to finally open the road is now set for September 24th.

Please drive around and visit our local businesses that are so impacted by this closure. They need our support right now!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

More Ruston History Gone

Yet another piece of Ruston's history is being chewed up today. The old Asarco ore docks are in the process of being demolished via barge. The Department of Natural Resources received an Asarco settlement to cover the costs. All three docks will be removed.

These docks once housed the huge ships that brought in the copper ore, and took out the wire bars at the end of the smelting and refining process. As one of the few left in Ruston who has stood on those boards, it is sad to see another piece of our history removed. But it's a necessary step. We are growing; moving forward and ever-changing. Adapt or die as the saying goes. The Ruston shoreline is finally adapting to a new future.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Council Meeting Tuesday

The meeting will be held on Tuesday night this week, September 7th due to the Labor Day holiday. On tap are several recommendations from the planning commission:
  • Reduce the number of planning commission members from 6 to 5.
  • The Wombacher's discovered their home was not built parallel to their property line and the a corner of the house sits 10" into their side yard. Now that they want to build a second home on their vacant lot, they had to request a variance. The commission recommends approval provided the smaller side yard is always kept clear of lumber, cars or other debris.
  • The Commencement has requested some amendments listed in three groups 1) Minor, 2) Real Estate and 3) Bennett Street Reconnection, OCF Park and Public Parking Amendments. The commission recommends approval of the first two proposals, but wants a more detailed plan outlining the public benefit before they approve the third.

The background information was over 100 pages this time, so I've only uploaded the vital pages on Ruston Reports (read here). If you'd like the full packet, just email me at I'd be happy to forward it to you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Red Wolf Exhibit Opens

More good things happening at the zoo, right next door to Ruston. Besides the cute new baby tigers and new spotted leopards now on display, the brand new red wolf exhibit opens this weekend. Walk on over sometime to visit this great attraction at our doorstep!