Friday, October 29, 2010

Beautiful Sunshine

What a wonderful, unexpected gift today was. I recognize that each day is a gift to be treasured and spent wisely. But we live in such a beautiful part of the world; whether it's on the drive home or the evening stroll at dusk, we can savor the seasons as they march past us. May the memory of today's unexpected beauty hold us through the winter days ahead...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hearing This Wednesday

The Planning Commission is holding a hearing on Wednesday, October 27th at 7 pm to receive input on both the Shoreline Plan and on the proposed requirements for landscaping. You can read all the background information on the town's web site here... So check out the details, gather your thoughts and let the commission know what you think!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Glass Pumpkins At The Park Saturday Only

There will be a very nice display of glass pumpkins created by the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio at Point Defiance Park on Saturday. So wander over for look before the rains hit. Pumpkins will be on sale (to benefit kids with HIV) at the Pagoda from 9 am to 4 pm. The News Tribune has a story on the event here...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New And Improved

The Town of Ruston recently upgraded its web site. It has lots more information and is more user friendly. You can view background information on the council issues, check out the police and fire reports, get updates on what's happening around town and more. Check it out at

Monday, October 18, 2010

Building Too High, Garbage Rate Increase on Agenda

The council meeting tonight should include some lively discussion. EPA will give an update on their projects in the area. The town planner has confirmed the new house at 5311 N. Shirley is too tall (read his report here) and the only solution appears to be requiring the builder to rebuild the roof with a steeper pitch. And finally, our garbage rates go up on December 1st from $19.85 per can to $27.31 ($23.00 to $25.85 if you recycle). You can read that full ordinance here.

The town now has their agendas and council packets available on line. The information for all of tonight's discussion is available here. Come by the community center at 5219 N. Shirley at 7 pm to provide your input.

Friday, October 15, 2010

No Place Like Ruston

I found this commentary on the 'other' Ruston interesting. Even though the things that attract him to life in Ruston, Louisiana might be different than what makes Ruston, Washington special for many of us, I have to agree that there is no place like Ruston. You can read Mr. Barber's comments here...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Smelter Upgrade 1915

A few more images from my history research:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ruston Opposes Countywide Flood District

UPDATE, October 14, 2010: The News Tribune has an article on this issue today, which even includes a quote from our town attorney...

Town officials joined several other jurisdictions today to testify against the county's proposal to make all of Pierce County a flood control district. There are several taxing options included in the proposal that Ruston argued against in front of the Boundary Review Board.

Town attorney Dave Britton gave this explanation:

Based on the unanimous resolution of the Town Council, I was directed by Mayor Hopkins to join city attorneys from several Pierce County jurisdictions, including Bonney Lake, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, University Place, Eatonville, Edgewood, Milton and Fircrest, in opposing the County's formation of a countywide flood control district that would include (and of course tax) all citizens of the county, including citizens of Ruston. The Town of Ruston is classified by FEMA as being in a "Flood Control Zone C", meaning there is virtually no risk of flooding here. Ruston residents already pay for their own surface water control, through updgrades to our storm sewers. Now, we are being told by the County that, in addition to paying for our own storm sewers (at no small expense to Town residents), we will also be force to pay for flood control for the three percent of County residents who have elected to live in the 100-year floodplain along the Puyallup, White, Carbon and Nisqually Rivers. In effect, the County if forming a special-purpose taxing district where 100% will pay, but only 3% will benefit.

While Pierce County has argued that it has not decided on which of several taxing alternatives it would use to finance its new flood control district, you can be sure the tax will not be voluntary. One of the tax alternatives available is a $0.50 tax on every $1000.00 of assessed value of property.

In a hearing before the Pierce County Boundary review Board today, the Town asked the Board to exercise its power to review the boundaries of the newly-formed special purpose districts to reject the County's proposed countywide flood control district, or to restrict its borders to a more logical service area (i.e., one in which the residents who benefit are also the residents who pay). Taxing the 97% of County residents who do not live on the 100-year floodplain, for the benefit of the 3% who do, is neither logical or fair.

Off-Leash Dog Park

UPDATED, 7:23 pm: More fun for the dog lovers among us:

Point Defiance now has an area designated for an off-leash dog park. Unlike the challenges Ruston faced after Rust Park evolved into a well-used off leash park, Metro Parks has planned for and welcomed dogs and their owners into specified areas.

For those concerned about this issue, park district officials will hold a meeting to discuss the Point Defiance area and the potential for new dog parks. Things kick off at the district offices on Thursday, October 21st at 5:30 pm. More details are below:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Update on Slander Lawsuit

As mentioned in the last update on the Walker vs Jones slander lawsuit, Mr. Walker's fellow Civil Service Commissioner Connie Maglione and myself were added as defendants to the lawsuit last July. The judge issued a summary judgement in favor of Ms. Maglione and myself on September 10th, dismissing us from the lawsuit.

Mr. Walker asked the judget to reconsider his decision on October 1st, but his motion was denied. The lawsuit continues against Ms. Jones, now scheduled for January 4, 2011.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

More Fun Next Door

Next weekend will feature fun for kids and animals alike as Zoo Boo takes over the Point Defiance Zoo from 10 am til 3 pm Saturday and Sunday. Zoo residents get to play with pumpkins while visitors can enjoy face painting, a scavenger hunt and more. Come in costume and get $2 off the regular gate admission. A full list of activities is available here...

Friday, October 8, 2010

For Your Reading Pleasure

Council Member Hedrick suggested this as an interesting read: Memories of toxic rain in Ruston, and the smelter that shaped a city. An attorney and author of numerous environmental articles from Vashon Island shares his personal memories of smelter operations and the on-going clean up.

I always like to balance this kind of message by pointing out that Ruston probably has the cleanest dirt in Washington now after almost every inch of exposed soil has been replaced. We've been home to some of the nations biggest environmental battles and are still standing...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Looking Good Too

The road is open at 49th and Baltimore with nice new pavement. New beauty bark is laid by the Point Ruston sales center and with the settlement of the Carpenters Union lawsuit, the corner should remain clear of protesters and the resulting litter. A much better view on the other end of town. Hurray for progress!

Looking Good

Point Ruston made a dramatic improvement to the views last week when they mowed the grass and scotch broom off the top of the OCF. I think it makes a big difference to how the overall area looks and feels. Despite the on-going construction below, having this transition space to the residential area get spruced up gives hope that things will eventually reach completion.

I know its the wrong time to raise this idea, given the budget crisis, but I wonder if we have to pay more to automate garbage collection (and free up some time for the maintenance crew), maybe the town could take over mowing the area? There are lots of technical/legal problems with that, but those issues have been overcome before. In the meantime, let's hope Point Ruston will keep up the neighborly housekeeping on this very visible area.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fun In The Park

From our friends at Metro Parks:

Celebrate Halloween with an after-dark fun run through Point Defiance Park
Inaugural event features a glowing race course and family-friendly fun

At dusk on Saturday, October 23rd, ghouls, goblins and creepy, crawly, scary things from all over the city will emerge to run or walk in the Black Cat 5-mile fun run along Point Defiance Park's Five Mile Drive. Humans are invited to participate as well.

This spooktacular fun run begins at 5:30 pm and is guaranteed to turn an evening of ghoulish exercises into a howling good time. Participant are encouraged to dress in costume and bring glow sticks, headlamps or flashlights. The first and second male and female finishers win shoes from South Sound Running.

Five Mile Drive will be brimming with activity, if not daylight, to help ease the potential eeriness of the forested road at dusk. Portions of the course will be illuminated with light towers and Christmas lights. Costumed volunteers wielding flashlights, glow sticks and lanterns will cheer on participants throughout the course and will help brighten the route. Low-level lighting such as glow sticks and votives will cast a glow at 15-foot intervals along the road, always visible by runners and walkers. As additional security, the Tacoma Wheelman's Bicycle Club will ride the course with the runners and walkers.

Family activities at the start/finish area, located near the Point Defiance Bowl, will include a spooky storytelling tent, haunted Halloween crafts and a crazy costume contest.

Entry fee is $25 for pre-registration and $35 on the day of the race. Online registration is available at Cost included black fleece running gloves and two glow stick (not guaranteed for day-of-race registrants).

Check in begins at 4:30 pm and the run begins at 5:30 pm. Race packets will be available for pick-up a the Metro Parks Main Office, 4702 S. 19th Street the week before the race. Participants can also register and pick up packets at South Sound Running, 1736 Pacific Ave., 98402. Pre-registration closes at midnight October 21st.

Sponsored by Metro Parks and South Sound Running.

Fuse In Review

The News Tribune had a nice review of the new cafe in town, located within the Point Defiance Casino. They'll focus on fresh food from local farmers along with music. Check out the Fuse Cafe Imbibery and Events menu and more details here...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Music Weekend In & Around Ruston

The new club featuring blues and rock opened this weekend in the Point Defiance Cafe. There are lots of signs outside. If anyone make the opening act on Saturday night, let us know how it went.

And an old high school friend sent an invitation to hear her all girl sax quartet at the Antique Sandwich Company this afternoon. It was such a treat to introduce my grand daughter to live classical music, well played and in a comfortable, intimate setting. Today was the first of "Classical Sundays", set to run through March. Wander on up the street for music and good company next weekend...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Monday's Agenda

There is not much on the agenda for the regular council meeting Monday night, but lots of discussion is scheduled with two study sessions beginning at 5 pm. The first hour will explore investment ideas for the town and the second hour looks at potential garbage rate increases again. The regular meeting starts at 7 with the only agenda item being a request to waive the side sewer connection fee for a house.

Hope you can stop in and join in the discussion yourself...

In The News

The News Tribune followed up with a story today about the settlement of the lawsuit between Point Ruston and the carpenters union. You can read it here...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Open House: Point Defiance Park

Our neighbor to the north is holding an open house next week (click here for details). The folks at Point Defiance Park will outline the plans for Phase 2 of the conversion to native planting along the hillside of the bowl. Stop in at the Pagoda on Wednesday, October 6th at 6 pm to get all the details!

Latest Point Ruston Lawsuit Settled

The lawsuit Point Ruston filed against the Carpenters Union and Jobs For Justice was settled out of court this week. The union is now pledging to help find financing for the project. You can read the Business Examiner article here... You can read the joint press release here...