Category Archives: Government

The town of Moncton is Under Rattlesnake Lake


My friends and I had a meeting at the Cedar River Watershed Center in North Bend, King County recently and I was delighted to discover a teal colored Rattlesnake Lake. Random facts:

  • When the Masonry Dam was put into place 1915, it flooded Rainy Season Lake which became Rattlesnake Lake.
  • The small  town of Moncton was flooded by Rattlesnake Lake which was a surprise to the builders of the dam and to the residence of Moncton. There is a terrific slideshow of the town slowly flooding here.
  • There are no rattlesnakes near Rattlesnake Lake, in fact there are no rattlesnakes on this side of the Cascade Mountains.
  • Rattlesnake Lake and Rattlesnake Bluff got their names from the tall plants that had been plentiful in the area. When these plants dried, they had a rattle sound when in a breeze.
  • The color of the lake is because of the glaciers.
  • There is a top notch education center at the Cedar River Watershed and the meeting room was great too!
  • The green roof at the visitor’s center was so interesting.
  • It was raining, again. We have set all records for rain this year! (so, so tired of rain!)




I learned something at Election Center for Pierce County


election center

Dear daughter happily sent off her vote a couple of weeks ago, but soon afterwards she received a letter back politely saying her signatures didn’t match. So on Friday, we popped into the Pierce County Election Center to remedy the problem. The man behind the counter was very efficient and pleasant. He showed her the original signature and her current one. College has really made a difference in how she signs her name!

Anyway while we were there, we picked up a copy of the unofficial results to date. Below is a slightly more recent version from the auditor’s office website (which is full of interesting information!) There are also things to be learned on their Facebook Page.

results voters Results

Things I thought were interesting:

  • Only about 30% of the eligible voter’s have voted. Maybe because we keep hearing that this vote isn’t particularly important?
  • Hillary is way ahead of Bernie.
  • When comparing the two parties, about 10,000 more Democrats have voted
  • The ballot was created prior to Trump being the only real Republican candidate so there are other Republican candidates listed on the ballot, By the time we received the ballots in the mail, only Trump was a viable candidate. But still about 25% of the vote went elsewhere.
  • The Democrats had 193 write in votes and the Republicans had 904. I’d like to know what some of those were!
  • There is a new “Civic Pierce County” mobile app, which works on my phone. It let’s me know my elected officials, voting history, deadlines, a sample ballot and more. Pretty cool.



Significant Figures in the Development of Polymers, Wapato Police Substation

8920614919_a0f3e8b34d_bThe Tacoma Police Substation at Wapato, 1501 South 72nd Street,  has a delightful sculpture piece titled Significant Figures in the Development of Polymers. It features slightly abstract figures and was created by Justin Hahn. It was his first public art commission.


Legislative Building in Olympia and Year Two

It’s been two years since I’ve started this new place of the day project and as last year I wanted to pick an extra nice new place.  Last year I picked the Pagoda in the Chinese Reconciliation Park and this time we went to the Legislative Building in Olympia, the state capital.

A very cool link that explains the 1928 building can be found here and here Per the website the building is the tallest masonry dome in North America. The granite for the building came from Index, Washington and the sandstone came from Wilkeson, Washington.

Looking back at the second year of this project, I have some new observations:

  • I’ve traveled further this year. 154 of my new places are in Tacoma, compared to last year when 257 of my new places were. Lakewood, with 16 places came in a distant second and University Place with 11 and Puyallup with 9 were after that.
  • This year I’ve added some great faraway places: England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, as well as Texas and California.
  • My most popular type tags are Tacoma, WA, Lakewood, Art, Coffee and Restaurant.
  • I sometimes get spam contents. Almost all of it revolves around my one Eddie Bauer post. I don’t know why.
  • Some of the places I checked out alone, but I often brought my husband, daughter and occasionally dogs along for company. They are good sports about the whole thing. Especially the dogs.
  • I did miss a couple of days. There were a few days that I was sick and the weather was bad and a couple of days that things just got away from me. It’s OK.
  • 30 places were tagged “their future is in question” last year and now that number is up to 57. Most of those that were vacant are still vacant, though a couple of leased to new businesses. The Red Dragon, the Elks Building and the Heidelberg Brewery are demolished, as is the Ruston Tunnel. The Kalakala is still afloat after getting some help. Camp 8 Logging Camp is gone and the old Borders Books space is now Ashley Furniture.  Some, including most of the schools, maintained their use.
  • I went to some unusual places including a mushroom farm, a food truck festival, two lighthouses, on a hunt for the Lock Ness Monster, the Roman Baths, a blueberry park, the church where I was married, the Museum of Flight, a submarine,  rocket ship and yoda statue in San Francisco and a robotics competition in Seattle. We went to see indoor skydiving, Tacoma’s Buffalo Soldiers Museum,  Santa diving in the shark tank and a temporary skating rink. We went to markets: Small, medium, large, Co Ops  German, Russian, Japanese, produce and seafood.
  • I plan to continue until it isn’t fun anymore or I run out of places, whichever comes first 😀

The encouragement that I’ve received along the way has meant the world to me! Thank you.

State Capital

Hood County Courthouse

20120807-205045.jpg20120808-201141.jpgThis lovely Hood County Courthouse was built in 1890 and is the third (or 5th depending on the source) courthouse on the site with the first two being destroyed by fire. The limestone building is one of three Hood County properties on the National Registry of Historical Places. The middle picture is a mural at the Granbury Post Office that shows the courthouse and several other historic Granbury properties.

One new photo 8/8/15



Charlotte’s Blueberry Park

Charlotte’s Blueberry Park at 7402 ‘D’ Street is a 20 acre public park with well over 3,000 blueberry bushes. I’ve never seen so many. There are five variety of bushes and all of them were full of unripened berries. I am sure to be back come July when hopefully they are ripe. The public is welcome to pick the berries, which have no pesticides on them.

The property has been farmed since 1952 and was purchased in 1968 by the Tacoma School District in 1968 for a new high school. The neighborhood opposed the proposed high school and in 1994 traded 23 acres of the property to Metro Parks in exchange for the acreage that became Manitou Elementary School. Over the past few years Metro Parks with the help of volunteers has planted thousands of bushes, installed a paved trail, picnic tables and signage.

The park was named for long-time Blueberry Park advocate and founder of Friends of Blueberry Park, Charlotte Valbert.

The website for the park is here


Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

We continued exploring the Long Beach Peninsula with a visit to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. To be fair, the ranger guy did say that it was a 1.2 mile hike each way and the terrain was steep in places and slippery with rain. Both of those facts proved to be true and it didn’t help that just as we reached the lighthouse, it began to rain in earnest.

This lighthouse was the first to be built in the Pacific Northwest. The ship that carried the original pieces of the lighthouse sank in view of where the lighthouse was eventually built in 1856!  The first time they built it the tower was too small to hold the lantern, so they disassembled it and rebuilt it. That process took two years.

There is a Coast Guard observation station in use next to the lighthouse and it was staffed with two men that got there in their truck by using the special Coast Guard road.

Despite the dampness, it really was a lovely hike with amazing views along the way. I believe that on the weekends in the summer it is possible to go into the lighthouse. The photo below is taken of the lighthouse from Waikiki Beach, which is another lovely spot in Cape Disappointment State Park. The last photo shows a view from the top of the trail by the lighthouse.


The Concrete Ferries at the end of the Thea Foss

A spring day during spring break, what a gift! So I made my dear daughter on a walk along Dock Street an East D Street (the East D Street Grade Separation Project) to look at the concrete images honoring Washington State Ferry Boats. We walked from Freighthouse Square along East D Street which is elevated over the rail tracks. Along the way are depictions of various ferries and Fire Boat #1. Each one has the general outline of its named boat. It is a nice touch.  On Dock Street I stopped to snap the panorama above.


Tacoma Dome Station

The Tacoma Dome Station at 610 Puyallup Avenue, Tacoma is a major hub with the buses, Link and Sounder all right there. The station includes two seven story buildings and contains 2,500 parking spaces. It cost $10,500,000 to build in 1999.

A Glorious Day at Thun Field

We are going through a miraculous run of lovely weather for the beginning of February. The temperature went up to 57 degrees and it was sunny. I found myself in the South Hill area of Puyallup with a couple of hours to myself. I drove myself to Thun Field and for the price of a cup of tea and a piece of pie I sat outside in the sun and watched small planes take off and land. I especially enjoyed seeing three generations (grandfather, father, son) enjoying a late breakfast and watching the planes.

Thun Field is owned by Pierce County. Their website says “Thun Field was built in 1944 and purchased by Pierce County in 1979. Situated just south of the City of Puyallup in the South Hill neighborhood, Thun Field offers spectacular views of Mount Rainier. There are approximately 225 aircraft based at the airport, and approximately 89,000 operations (take-offs and landings) each year.”