Saturday, January 29, 2011

Old Views

Working on the book again. Thanks for sharing, Beth! Below is the old view in Ruston in about 1985...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Remembering A Promise

I'm not connected to Ruston's political pulse anymore. Maybe that's a good thing. I have other important things that need my attention right now. One of those things is a history book for our little town. Without the latest political action to share with you, I will instead share some of my historical discoveries.

I came across this note that former mayor Phil Parker left the night before he committed suicide. Phil was a good friend and his decision tore a huge hole in many of our hearts. I share one of his dying wishes here in the hope that our current leaders, many of whom never had the privilege of knowing our bearded friend in Birkenstocks, will find a way to plant a tree or two in his memory soon...


Thursday, January 20, 2011


Another picture of our past... This was the brand new Ed Olson General Merchandise store along what once was the commercial area on North Shirley Street. Several businesses and the first Ruston School were destroyed by fire and replace with the current school building that now covers the entire block.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sign Codes

The planning commission is continuing to propose changes to the Town's zoning codes that they feel improve the appearance of Ruston. You'll recall that they developed changes in landscaping requirements that would apply to residential homes as well as businesses (here). Now they are considering changing the zoning code requirements for signs on both commercial and residential properties. They held the first hearing last Wednesday and only the president of the business district Beth Torbet attended.

Ms. Torbet encouraged the commission to consider incentives rather than heavy-handed regulation that would negatively impact the town's current commercial businesses. Everyone wants a pleasant appearance, but with so many struggling just to keep their doors open this is not the time to impose expensive upgrades.

The commission will discuss the issue again at their meeting on January 26th at 7 pm. Details on the proposal can be found on the town's web page here.

This is your only chance to provide your input. Once the proposal reaches the town council for final approval, public comment is no longer allowed.You can submit your comments in writing if you can't attend the meeting in person.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Meeting Tuesday

There are not too many items on the agenda for the meeting Tuesday evening, but what is there is interesting. The ordinance to repeal the referendum on social card games will have its second reading, which means the council could vote on it at the meeting. The second item is a resolution authorizing new legal representation. It appears Dave Britton will no longer be the town attorney.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nighttime Snow

It was a beautiful winter wonderland for a few hours Tuesday night. It was wonderful to see so many of you out enjoying the scenery! And all the snowmen around the neighborhood the next morning shows just how many young families we have in town. The last of our snowman had melted by noon today ~ it was nice while it lasted...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Potential New Owners For Coles Building

The former Coles building at 51st and Pearl is for sale. The building is generating quite a bit of interest according to to Kyle Prosser, the agent with First Western Properties who has the listing for the site. In fact, a prospective buyer has the property under contract, which means they are doing their due diligence research. The diligence period ends next week on January 13th, so this buyer will either formalize their offer or new buyers can make offers.

You may recall that the planning commission approved a variance for remodeling the building into new office and retail space (details here). The variance had a two year window attached, which expires in February. If the current sale goes through, it should be final by the end of January. The new owners will likely ask for a short extension.

More activity on our signature street corner along with new apartments next door, Salvage Style's upscale refurbished furniture and the delicious Fuse restaurant. It's been a good couple of months - but there are more vacancies to fill.

On that note, we have another opportunty to support our local business and help them survive in today's tough economy. The Ruston Point Defiance Business District First Friday's will continue tonight. Most businesses will stay open late and be serving cider and goodies to those who stop by. Look for the white baloons out front and show your support with a visit.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Texas Officer's Murderer Lived In Ruston

The killing of Arlington, Texas police officer Jillian Michelle Smith on December 28, 2010 has sad ties to Ruston, Washington. The young police rookie's murderer lived in town in 2008. He was a registered sex offender and had contact with our police department when he threw his former girlfriend's dog off the deck in a fit of anger.

It's yet another a tragic reminder of the dangerous people our police protect us from and a call to stay mindful of public safety even in Ruston. You can read more details about Officer Smith and her murder here...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Vote To Repeal Referendum On Casino

The town council added Ordinance 1328 to the agenda at their council meeting last night (below) and spent considerable time in executive session (where the public is barred from hearing the discussion). Jim Wingard was one of only two citizens who stuck around after the executive session ended. He is reporting on his blog (here) there was no council vote on this ordinance at the meeting last night, which was confirmed by town officials.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Casino Vote In The News

The News Tribune has an in-depth follow up story on the casino vote in today's paper. It's a very interesting read... (click here)

Meeting Tonight

Despite the story in this weekend's paper (here), the only issue listed on the agenda for the council meeting tonight is adding a tax to the water and cable tv service of 8%. Attend the meeting for yourself and watch all the discussion in person, 7 pm at 5219 N. Shirley Street. The full packet of information is available on the Town web site here...

Saturday, January 1, 2011


More lawsuits on the Casino issue. The town council is set to vote on Monday to repeal the restrictions on social card games. The News Tribune has a full article on the issue here...