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Tacoma

The fast ferry between Bremerton and Seattle, the Rich Passage 1, docks at Pier 50 in Seattle, which is just south of Colman Dock.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Bremerton is two months into operating its new fast ferry to Seattle, and now Tacoma is looking into the idea. Tacoma's City Council started discussions this week on the potential benefits of running a foot ferry to-and-from Seattle. City council member Ryan Mello is proposing the idea.

Dozens of murals hang on the walls at the Northwest Detention Center. They're painted by detainees, and the designs must be approved by staff. Painting is also considered a voluntary job, and the artists are paid $1 per day for their work.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing the company that runs the immigration detention center in Tacoma.

The lawsuit claims that GEO Group, Inc., the second-largest private prison operator in the nation, has been violating the state's minimum wage law for over a decade.

Plastic trash that honors the sea life it kills

Sep 8, 2017
A trash sculpture honoring sea life, designed by Oregon-based artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi.
©WashedAshore.org

At Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium you can see penguins, wildcats, and now sculptures of marine life made from plastic trash.

Image Courtesy/Vulcan

Amazon wants to double its footprint by building a second headquarters — for 50,000 more workers.

Consider that its current Seattle headquarters has more than 40,000 people at its Seattle headquarters.

The crowd at a 2016 public meeting in Tacoma rises when asked to stand if they oppose the proposed methanol plant.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Environmental issues haven't been a big focus in the race to become Seattle's next mayor, but they're playing a key role in Tacoma.

Tacoma, Washington at night
Flickr Photo/mSeattle (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/57wbSD

Bill Radke speaks with Tacoma Deputy Mayor Robert Thoms about why he sponsored legislation to ban tents and camping from all public land in the city of Tacoma. 

Officer John Hill and Ryan Miles, a designated mental health professional with the Tacoma Police Department.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Could Charleena Lyles still be alive today if police had not gone to her apartment alone? 

In Tacoma, an officer can call for help dealing with someone who might be mentally ill. They can call a mental health co-responder. And now, this co-responder program might go statewide.

KUOW’s Bill Radke speaks with Tacoma Patrol Officer John Hill and a mental health co-responder who works with officers – Ryan Miles.

Tacoma's new outdoor shelter is similar to this fabric tent. It will hold private tents, showers and other services for more than 65 residents.
City of Tacoma

Showers, bathrooms, personal storage, outreach and community services will all be available to some 65 residents of a new outdoor shelter in Tacoma that opens in a couple of weeks.


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

This relationship started off with reservations.

Bill Radke talks with Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland about the City of Tacoma's plans to address homelessness.

Detainees are shown inside a holding cell at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., Friday, Oct. 17, 2008.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Tacoma officials have taken a step that effectively stops Washington's immigrant detention center from growing.

The Tacoma City Council passed an emergency ordinance Tuesday that targets private and public prisons. The measure temporarily bans expansion of private prisons and limits where public correctional facilities can be located within Tacoma.

Why Tacoma will not be a sanctuary city

Feb 7, 2017

Bill Radke talks with Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland about why she does not want Tacoma to be termed a sanctuary city. 

This heat map produced by real estate company Trulia shows the commute times for Seattle residents. The warmer the color, the longer the commute away from Seattle's core.
Screenshot with permission from Trulia

About 236 people move to the Seattle area every day, according to the Puget Sound Regional Council.

This means more people driving to their jobs, some more than an hour. About 100,000 people commute to the region from Whidbey Island, Aberdeen, Mount Vernon and beyond, according to the regional council.

Chris Kerns and his son, Nolan, laid flowers in honor of the fallen Tacoma police officer on Thursday.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

A steady stream of people came to Tacoma Police headquarters Thursday. They came to pay tribute to the officer who was shot to death Wednesday while responding to a domestic dispute.

Three women embrace as they stand at a growing memorial, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, at Tacoma Police Department headquarters in Tacoma, Wash. A Tacoma Police officer died Wednesday night at a hospital after being shot multiple times earlier in the day.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Bill Radke talks to King County Sheriff John Urquhart about the details surrounding the shooting death of a Tacoma police officer. The officer was responding to a domestic violence call, the most common calls that lead to an officer's death. Urquhart discusses the particular challenges of domestic violence calls and why they carry such a risk for everyone involved.  

Police across the Northwest and the country are mourning the shooting death of Tacoma police officer Reginald “Jake” Gutierrez. He was a 17-year veteran of the department. His death is also having an effect on police recruits.

Dana and Dave Verellen fled Seattle for Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Jeannie Yandel

Bill Radke talks to Dave and Dana Verellen, owners of Zodiac Supper Club in Tacoma, about why they decided to move from Seattle. 

Tacoma School District officials will test every school's water quality. That's after results from last May showed unacceptable levels of lead in six Tacoma schools.

District officials say they're investigating why no one took action to fix the problems.

Screenshot of the water service map.
Seattle Public Utilities

Seattle Public Utilities staff explained their advice for residents to the Seattle City Council on Monday.

Here are the takeaways:

What's the problem? Is Seattle's drinking water safe?

File Photo of an old water fountain.
Flickr Photo/Paul Domenick (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dqusC4

Utility officials in Seattle say residents should turn on the faucet for a few minutes if the water hasn't run for six hours. The precaution comes after high levels of lead were found in water lines connected to four Tacoma homes.

When Tacoma residents sized up a proposal to build a methanol plant and shipping facility, they saw it mostly as a source of toxic air pollution with a mighty thirst for water and a voracious appetite for electricity.

So the Chinese-backed company behind the project said it wanted to pause the environmental review.

Tacoma Voters Favor $12 Minimum Wage

Nov 4, 2015
File photo of Tacoma Dome and Union Station in Tacoma, Washington.
Flickr Photo/Sounder Bruce (CC BY SA 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1kbDHGf

David Hyde talks to Tacoma News Tribune reporter Kate Martin about election results in Tacoma, including an increase to the minimum wage and a measure to give the mayor more executive power. 

A vivid portrait by Bll Schenck at the Tacoma Art Museum, a gift from the Haub family of Germany. The Haubs fell in love the Tacoma area in the 1950s and have collected an impressive collection of western art for decades.
Courtesy of Tacoma Art Museum

The story behind a massive new art collection in Tacoma is one of coincidences.

A wealthy German couple honeymooned in the area in the 1950s and then, years later, started collecting art of the American West.

Those paintings hung on walls near Tacoma and Wyoming and in Germany until recently, when the family bequeathed the stunning collection to the Tacoma Art Museum.

Safe Haven

In the mid-1950s, Erivan Haub, a German businessman, visited friends on Fox Island in Puget Sound. He immediately fell in love with the area. When he returned home to Germany, he enthused about the area to his girlfriend, Helga.

When they honeymooned here later, Helga said the area reminded her of growing up in the Black Forest in Germany.

Tacoma Link Light Rail train approaches
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Politicians in Olympia are negotiating the final size of a transportation package. But we found out this week it may not be as much as some people hoped. Transit advocates hope the final package will pay to extend light rail from Seattle to Everett and Tacoma. 

KUOW’s Joshua McNichols went to Tacoma to find out more.

The Kalakala on the day she was to be scrapped. The unlucky vessel had shone on Puget Sound waters as a ferry from 1935 to 1967.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

It was before dawn on Thursday, and the cold air off the Blair Waterway in Tacoma was damp and penetrating.

Karl Anderson, a mustachioed man in his 70s, stood on his company’s graving dock, waiting for the Kalakala.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is making a high-stakes bet that it will prevail in a pending lawsuit over Snake River dredging.

Flickr Photo/M Glasgow (CC BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks with Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland about a plan to close the so-called "gun show loophole" by requiring a background check for any gun sold on city property.

Turning The Tacoma Dome Into Public Art

Apr 25, 2014
Rendering of what one of the Andy Warhol flowers would look like on the Tacoma Dome.
City of Tacoma/Amy McBride

Marcie Sillman checks in with Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride about the city's endeavor to turn the Tacoma Dome into a large flower designed by Andy Warhol.

Courtesy of Milken Family Foundation

A high school social studies teacher in Tacoma was caught off guard when he received a national award for his exceptional work in the classroom.

Jake Warga / KUOW

One of the world’s largest ships arrived at the Port of Tacoma Sunday morning.

The Zim Djibouti slipped in at dawn, carrying loads of goods for big box stores. The vessel is 10,000 TEUs in size, meaning it holds 5,000 shipping containers. When the Zim Djibouti appeared on Sunday, fresh from a port in Vancouver, B.C., containers were 18 across on its upper deck.

The ship is part of a new wave of cargo ships emerging from Asian shipyards. They’re super-sized to save fuel costs.

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