Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gas Is Cheaper - In Ruston!

Get down here and check out all that Ruston has to offer these days - and watch the transformation as it unfolds:
  • Ever since the new Chevron station opened last spring at N. Pearl and 51st, they have consistently had lower prices for their higher quality gas. Today's price is $3.89 - as is the price at the two stations on N. 46th. It's over $4 up the hill at the Westgate stations today.
  • When you come down for gas, stop in for a bite at Don's Ruston Market, famous for their milk shakes or the Antique Sandwich Company with their wonderful quiche or the new restaurant at Point Defiance Cafe & Casino. 
  • Check out the newest tile mural across the street from the gas station (visible in the picture above) or enjoy the two new murals that were installed last year. 
  • Look over the just-completed Commencement building - luxury apartments with views without end (literally)
  • Check out the new location for Ruston Galleries, the South Sound's greatest antique store.
  • Take a look at the beautiful new sign and remodel for Wren & Willow, a construction company building their showcase shop.
  • Browse at the new Ruston Trading Post for more vintage deals or pick up your evening libations at the Ruston Liquor Store.  You can spruce up your hair or nails at the Oasis Salon or buy some goodies for the dog at Secondhand Hound.
  • Watch the daily transformation at Point Ruston. There is a great viewing area on the bluff in Stack Hill (Baltimore Street) that overlooks the site. The Waterwalk art is going in and Metro Park's Peninsula has been graded in preparation for the environmental cap.
  • And as always, the beautiful Point Defiance Park beckons with activities for the whole family.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Another Cliff Rescue

Yet another cliff rescue was needed at Point Defiance last night. This time someone got caught by the incoming tide and climbed the bank to escape the water - but could not get all the way to the top. You can read the full story with pictures in The News Tribune here...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Council Meeting Notes: Sept. 4, 2012

The meeting began at 7:03pm, with Councilmember Kristovich arriving late and Hunt excused. The agenda and minutes (7-17-12 and 8-7-12) were approved as presented.

Staff Reports
Jerry Morrissette gave an update on the sewer project. They are gathering all outstanding issues on the “punch list” for the contractor to complete. So far there are 150-200 items on the list. The water line work on 49th will not start for several weeks. The town had tried to coordinate between Point Ruston and Tacoma Water so that the work that Point Ruston has to do could on Baltimore be done at the same time as the 49th Street work. The coordination has not worked well and Ruston has notified Point Ruston they are almost a year past their deadline to complete the required work on Stack Hill along Baltimore Street.

General Public Comment

I gave the only comment, asking the council to not add any additional costs to events like the Ruston Family Fair when they consider the Special Events ordinance.

1. Ordinance 1379 – Playfield Park Reservations (2nd Reading): Passed 4-0 with no discussion.

2. Ordinance 1380 – Special Events Permits (2nd Reading): After deciding not to add the provision for cost recovery to the ordinance, it passed 4-0.

3.Resolution 522 – Contract Award to Tercom Agreement #2: This contract brings the underground utilities from Stack Hill to the homes along Baltimore Street in that area. The local homeowners petitioned for this and have agreed to hook their homes into the underground lines. It also adds a transformer and removes a block of above-ground wires and a pole. There is money in the reserve budget for the work.

On a side note, some of the existing poles are rotting. The sewer contractor has had trouble with a few when they are digging in the area. The resolution passed 4-0.

4. Resolution 524 – Contract Award to Tercom Agreement #1: Passed 4-0 with no discussion.

6. Materials Testing and Construction Budget Extension Request: Both these items will come back as resolutions. The sewer work needed additional oversight given the unexpected issues that arose, such as the extensive storm water infiltration found on Highland. So Morrissette’s group is requesting more funds. Mayor Hopkins noted the project is still under budget overall.

Claims & Payroll passed 4-0 with no discussion.

Mayor’s Time
The new garbage cans have been ordered. Hopkins hopes to have the new automated system operating by October 1st. The state is doing an audit, which will cost the town money that was not budgeted for. The UDSA will be doing a walkthrough on the sewer project. USDA provided the low-cost loan that is funding the project. The mayor was able to renegotiate the interest rate on the loan down from 4.25% to 3.5%.

Council Time
No one had any comments.

The meeting adjourned at 8:10pm.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Join The Discussion

KOMO News had a story yesterday about the higher-than-normal rate of cliff rescues this year at Point Defiance Park. The cliffs continue to erode and are unstable, as they have always been. Are warning signs enough to keep people safe? What do you think? You can view the KOMO story here...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New Mural In Town

Ruston is fast becoming the newest mural capital of the South Sound. We added a colorful new tile mosaic to our signature corner this weekend at N. 51st and Pearl Streets. This mural is the creation of the local SAMI high school students as part of their Application & Adventure class this year. Each part was created by different students with great lessons not only in the subject matter of Puget Sound aquatic life but in glazes, moisture content in the clay and more.

Thank you to the students, their instructor Mary Mann (who also created the mural across the street at the Antique Sandwich Company), Affinity for allowing the mural on their building - and to Ruston Arts & Parks who sponsored the project. You can read more about the project in the previous post here... A beautiful addition to the neighborhood.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pt. Defiance Rescue Underway

UPDATE: 9:20pm: Here is the link to the final story in The News Tribune (here). The fallen woman was successfully rescued and transported to a local hospital in stable condition.

The News Tribune is reporting a cliff rescue is underway at neighboring Point Defiance Park. You can read the latest here...

Commencement Update

It's been a busy couple of months for The Commencement building. The building now has 20 of the 62 units occupied or rented. The common area was finished last month and the rest of the building is slated to be complete by the end of this month.

Below are some recent construction photos. If you have friends ready to move to Ruston, they can get more details at

Monday, September 17, 2012

Counci Agenda For Tomorrow

It looks like a relatively lightweight agenda tomorrow in one sense with only two business items listed. But one of the action items is heavyweight - it finalizes the change from town to city for Ruston. Ordinance 1381 makes the change official, with promises that most everything remains the same except that the town is less likely to get sued.

Also on the agenda is a presentation by Metro Parks about the planned improvements for Point Defiance Park. Add your thoughts tomorrow night at 7pm at the Joyce Community Center (5219 N. Shirley Street).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

The youngest member of the Point Defiance Zoo family made his public debut today. The as-yet-unnamed Sumatran tiger met the outside world this afternoon at the age of three weeks. The public is invited to help choose the little guy's name from six proposed names (link here). The News Tribune has more details and photo here....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hear The Latest

Come hear the latest about the new plans for the national treasure next door:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Point Defiance Bald Eagles Up Close

Despite the spectacular water views from many homes in Ruston, most residents do not own a boat and rarely get out on the water. The views from a boat are just as spectacular, especially around the pristine bluff of Point Defiance. Local residents and out of town visitors alike now have a way to enjoy that water view with a new tour boat operating out of the boathouse (near the ferry dock and Anthony's restaurant).

Boat owner Stephen Spring moved his Harbor Tours business to the area after the 4th of July from Westport. Although tours are winding down for the season, he will still be operating on weekends through the end of the month (except this coming Saturday).

Spring bought the 28 foot vessel named KYC-1 at auction when Knickerbocker Yacht Club went out of business. He wanted something that needed only one person to operate, but that could hold several passengers. When business slowed in Westport, he decided to move to Commencement Bay. There were additional costs for setting up operations along Ruston Way, so Spring was glad when Metro Parks welcomed the tours as part of their expanded promotion of Point Defiance Park.

The regular tour route heads from the boathouse to Salmon Beach and back. The bluff is home to several bald eagles and the waters there are playground to many seals. It’s a slow trek that takes over an hour. Stephen gives a nice talk about the history of the area and is available for group tours if you have out of town guests. A longer tour is also available heading the other direction around Commencement Bay.

The Salmon Beach tour is only $15 for adults, $9 children - plus tax. Call Harbor Tours for more details at (360) 463-0522.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Your Input Needed

The Ruston-Point Defiance Business District put on the Ruston Family Fair last month. The committee that did the work is asking for feedback on how to improve the event for next year. If you attended, let us know what you liked and didn't like. If you didn't come down, let us know why and if you were even aware of the event.

You can post a comment here, or email me at Thanks for the input!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

No More Heavy Lifting

Mayor Bruce Hopkins announced at the council meeting last night that the final pieces are now in place for Ruston's new garbage collection system. The town maintenance department will no longer need to manually lift hundreds of heavy cans each week. The town is purchasing this used garbage truck with a lift arm from Camus, Washington and has ordered new garbage cans. The new operation should be in place by early October. Projections indicate no rate increase will be needed.

Mayor Hopkins shared more details:

The colors shown are pretty close to what we ordered. They will be hot stamped with Ruston Washington,the can numbers, and the cans designated purpose (Garbage/Recycle/Yard Waste). Green will be garbage, blue is recycle, and tan is for yard waste.

The City of Camas has graciously offered to deliver the garbage truck with an operator and mechanic to provide town personnel with training on the new equipment.

We will be working on a roll-out plan that will include mailings to all residents and other communications prior to the conversion. While we are excited with the efficiencies this will bring we are well aware that this may inconvenience some.

Here's to save the backs for our guys and moving forward on another front!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tonight's Council Agenda

The Ruston council is set to finalize several new rules for special events and rentals of public facilities, and approve budget amendments and additional work related to the sewer project at their meeting tonight. Come by at 7pm to give your input or watch the discussion. Each resident is allowed 2 minutes to address the council at the beginning of the meeting. More details on the agenda items can be found here...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace

Fellow Ruston Residents,

An email address has been setup to allow direct communication with the
town engineering staff for your use.  That email address is

As the sewer project draws to a close, we all want to make sure that
issues that have arisen as a result of the sewer project work are
identified and addressed.  Please use this email address to help
document those issues in your neighborhood which you wish to make sure
have been brought to the town and town engineers' attention.

As you can see, my email address list is not inclusive of the entire
town, would you please forward this email information to all residents
for whom you have an email address.

Thank you for you help.
Lyle Hardin
Ruston Council