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    The truth about Tacoma: 5 things you might not know

    A Tacoma native on the culture, politics and economics of the City of Destiny.

    'Nuff said. Credit: Tacoma Public Library.

    In Seattle, a city where most people come from somewhere else, origin stories make for reliable cocktail chatter. The California expats have it easy. Everyone’s been to the Golden State, and most people have at least one charming anecdote about excursions to Golden Gate or the Walk of Fame. Likewise, the émigrés from small town America. Everyone loves a good fish-out-of-water story.

    But if you’re from a place like Tacoma, which falls somewhere between destination and corn-fed Heartland crossroads, things can get downright sociological. No one has a Tacoma vacation story, and no one really believes Seattle is that big a culture shock for a City of Destiny native. So Tacoma natives get bigger, deeper questions: What is it like to grow up in Tacoma? How does Tacoma see itself? What does Tacoma aspire to be?

    Heady stuff for a cocktail party.

    I’d like to think I’m qualified to answer. I was weaned on MSM Deli sandwiches and Neko Case albums, and have fallen into Commencement Bay on no fewer than two occasions. Tacoma is a place of totemic comfort for me: I know the city blocks, and notice when they change. I feel a little wistful when a small business closes, even if it’s one I didn’t like. I have an extensive history with Tacoma’s politics and civic life. Tacoma is a place I love and I think about it often.

    Here are five things you should know about the singular culture and politics of my hometown, and why I believe that Tacoma, despite all the jokes and put downs, is a very compelling place:

    1. Tacoma is a divided city

    I was raised in the North End, which gives me a very specific “Tacoma experience” that is far from universal. Tacoma’s reputation as a scrappy port city has legitimacy. The Port of Tacoma and Joint Base Lewis McChord are critical economic forces, and major sources of blue-collar employment. North of Sixth Avenue – the recently rejuvenated nightlife and small business core – Tacoma is a very different place.

    North Enders are largely white-collar, a mix of industrial managers, attorneys, engineers and college professors from the neighboring University of Puget Sound. The North End isn’t necessarily rich, but it wouldn’t be one bit out of place in Seattle. The story is similar in the West End of town, out toward the Narrows Bridge, and also in Northeast Tacoma, a bluffside view neighborhood adjacent to Federal Way.

    When you move south of Sixth Avenue, where the easy majority of Tacomans reside, life suddenly becomes much different. This is where the working-class folks make their homes – the service industry workers, crane operators and longshoremen. That is, if they live in the city. Poverty rates in this part of town are 60 percent above the state average; unemployment rates are 40 percent above.

    On average, Tacomans south of South 19th Street live on less than half as much as North Enders. (See the map below. Source: American Community Survey, 2006-2010.)

    map of Tacoma income

    The average North Ender subsists on $40,022 a year, a per-capita income comparable to well-off cities like Seattle. Average income for residents of the suburban West End, Northeast Tacoma and the condo-dwellers of Downtown are comparable. Move south, though, and incomes fall by half. The Hilltop, once a predominantly black, working-class neighborhood, has recently undergone considerable gentrification. But despite the craft cocktail shops and hipster bars, per-capita income there is under $16,000, less than 50 percent above the federal poverty line for an individual.

    In Seattle terms, the difference between North Tacoma and the South End is roughly the difference between Ballard and the Rainier Valley. Incomes on the Hilltop are so low that there’s not really even a Seattle analogue. It’s a stark divide, and one that underscores a truth about life in the Gritty City: The level of “grit” varies a hell of a lot depending on your address.

    2. That divide? It’s not just socioeconomic; it’s cultural and political too.

    As far as politics go, Tacoma is a one-party town. In 2012, Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney by a lopsided margin of 67 percent to 30 percent. While that’s nowhere near the Seattle split (83 percent to 14 percent), it’s enough to ensure that there’s no foothold for Republicans. They can win County Council races outside of the city, and an occasional non-partisan battle, but the GOP is effectively shut out of most contests

    In my recent coverage of Seattle, I argued that partisanship is oftentimes a poor proxy for ideology. This is even truer in Tacoma than King County. Look at social issue votes, particularly ones like same-sex marriage where class and education are nearly as important as political partisanship.

    The top map below shows results from the 2012 Presidential election; on the bottom map are the results for Referendum 74, which affirmed marriage rights for same-sex couples. Dark blue areas in the top map show Obama support; on the bottom map, dark blue represents support for same-sex marriage.

    The map on the left shows Obama vs. Romney (blue vs. red) results. The righthand map shows Referendum 74 Approved vs. Rejected (blue vs. red). Source: Precinct results, 2012 General Election, Pierce County Auditor

    As you can see, there’s a lot more red on the bottom (same-sex marriage) map. That’s because there’s a lot more same-sex opponents in Tacoma than there are Republicans: Mitt Romney received 30 percent of Tacoma’s vote, but 42 percent of voters rejected gay marriage.

    Now take a look at this map below, which compares Obama’s performance to Referendum 74’s. The darker the red, the more Obama outperformed R-74. There are also some blue precincts, where same-sex marriage actually outperformed the Democratic ticket.

    map of Tacoma
    Referendum 74 vs. Barack Obama: Red precincts delivered stronger
    margins to Obama; blue precincts delivered stronger margins to same-sex marriage.

    Notice the pattern? In the relatively affluent North End, support for same-sex marriage was nearly at parity with support for Obama. However, in the more working class South and East there was considerable dissent among Democratic voters on the issue. In one East Tacoma precinct, Obama won by 44 percentage points, while same-sex marriage lost by 12. At least 39 percent of Obama voters in that precinct did not vote for same-sex marriage!

    Tacoma may be staunchly Democratic, but it is not politically homogenous. Just as the city is divided economically, so it is also divided along cultural lines. North of Sixth Avenue, affluent liberals emphasize social justice and a secular vision of liberalism. South of Sixth Avenue, the Dem base – more racially diverse, churched and economically disadvantaged  – tilts left on social welfare issues, and displays some big ambivalence on cultural issues.

    3. Tacoma is politically polite … usually.

    Like many cities, Tacoma has a bit of a checkered political past. In 1951, a state legislative committee found “widespread vice and official corruption.” The resulting reforms cleaned up Tacoma politics significantly, but isolated events continued to foster citizen distrust. In 1986, the long-term County Auditor Dick Greco was successfully prosecuted for accepting kickbacks. In 2003, Tacoma Police Chief David Brame killed his wife in a murder-suicide. The ensuing revelations spurred the resignation of the City Manager and an FBI probe that ensnared officials in the Tacoma Police Department, local government and the business community. Ten years later, the Brame incident still echoes politically, and institutional trust remains tenuous. 

    Considering that tenuous trust, it’s truly impressive how pleasant Tacoma civic life is. Nowadays, political races are remarkably cordial. Negative campaigns are uncommon. Municipal races are often non-competitive or attract only token opposition. Last year, incumbent Mayor Marilyn Strickland ran unopposed despite the fact that voters, in the same election and by a resounding margin, defeated Proposition 1, an emergency road repair levy, which had been advanced by Strickland and other elected officials. Dissatisfaction in Tacoma is common, but anger is relatively unusual, and politically organized anger downright rare. In small-city politics, familiarity can breed contempt, but it also keeps things relatively genial.

    Tacoma’s erstwhile political machine, which used to thrive in union-heavy South Tacoma, has also largely been dismantled. The city has had districted elections for a long time, but it doesn’t exhibit any symptoms of parochial ward politics. In fact, most voters probably couldn’t identify their City Council district if they tried. Other than occasional kerfuffles over underserved areas, such as with the recent link light rail expansion vote, Tacoma’s political conflicts rarely seem like zero-sum resource fights.

    This is not to say that Tacomans are politically content. In addition to the heavy rejection of the recent road repair measure, the Tacoma metro area recently saw the failure of two transit measures, although the city itself approved both by modest margins. Tacomans are certainly dissatisfied with the state of local infrastructure (especially roads), but they aren’t champing at the bit to levy additional taxes as a way to fix the problem. This feeling has occasionally extended to public servants. Long-brewing dissatisfaction with the School Board relegated one then-incumbent school board member to fourth-place in the 2009 Primary election. That’s the sort of disappointing finish that usually follows an indictment.

    But Tacoma politics are generally polite; incumbents rarely break a sweat. There are several possible interpretations for this surprising friendliness. One is that Tacoma is attitudinally gentrifying toward the sort of hyper-dialectical “Seattle process,” deferring change until we achieve either universal satisfaction or universal exhaustion. Another interpretation is that Tacomans don’t mind a little grit. In fact, when it comes to infrastructure, a little dissatisfaction is perfectly fine. 

    This is probably a little fanciful, but it’s also true: Tacomans don’t like potholes, but they also resent the implication that their city requires a massive overhaul. Locals don’t want Tacoma to be a world-class urban utopia if “world-class urban utopia” looks anything like South Lake Union. This attitude means the city’s political class gets treated with a bit of deference. Politicians aren’t expected to exude focus group-tested gloss. They’re expected to be approachable and grounded. In a town that struggles with institutional trust, personal trust is a valuable and necessary commodity. That lends Tacoma politics a distinctly small-city feel.

    4. Tacoma has a branding problem.

    When you move to a bigger city, cocktail chatter about your hometown can be awkward. This is especially true for a Tacoman in Seattle. It’s not that Seattleites have an effete, popped-monocle attitude toward the City of Destiny. By and large, they really don’t.  Most Seattleites have moved beyond the early-90’s stereotype of Tacoma as crime-choked and chip-shouldered. They know about the museums, the redevelopment of downtown and Sixth Avenue and the waterfront. In fact, the “enlightened” view of Tacoma in Seattle is more affectionate than derisive.

    But there remains a lingering sense that Tacoma is a place no one would choose. Tacoma doesn’t rank toward the top of any objective measures. Sure, we’ve been called America’s most sexually healthy city, its gayest, and, for those who appreciate a little adversity, its most stressed. But a city of 200,000 will inevitably rack up a few of these superlatives over the years.

    The other empirics are more mixed: Tacoma is relatively affordable, but not exceptionally so. Our business climate is decent, but operating costs, especially licensing fees, aren’t that low. Tacoma is reasonably walkable and pretty diverse. At Tacoma’s best, it is regionally competitive on the objective metrics. Regionally competitive is nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s not much to sell a city on. Tacoma knows this, and has struggled to differentiate itself.

    The city has assets, some tangible and others less so: An enviable waterfront with, arguably, more potential than any other in the region; a Downtown that boasts a unique blend of vintage buildings and shiny new museums; civic and cultural communities that are inclusive and enthusiastic, without the nasty tendency to eat their own; a cooperative small business climate.

    Articulating these assets is easy. Turning them into a cohesive municipal identity is where the city has stumbled over the years. If Tacoma wants to shake its second-city branding doldrums, it needs a cohesive identity. It needs a civic vision.

    5. Tacoma has a strong sense of self.

    So far, I’ve painted a pretty dissonant picture of my hometown. It’s a city of stark contrasts in income and political ideology. A city proud of its ongoing renaissance, but wary of becoming polished beyond recognition. A city whose regional branding is a mess, but one that embraces that very messiness.

    I’m an analyst by trade, but when spreadsheets and numbers fail, sometimes the best path to insight is a few drinks and a long walk. So, in that spirit, I started my Friday night at the venerable Parkway Tavern, a great place to meet both Tacoma’s movers and shakers, and everyone you went to high school with. From there, I took a boozy walk along Sixth Avenue, and wound up at Bertolino Bros., Tacoma’s 24-hour sit-down coffee shop.

    Bertolino’s is one of the best places to experience a microcosm of Tacoma. At 11pm, it’s a mix of students, shift workers, laborers, white collar workers with sleeping problems and twenty-somethings. I’d hoped that hanging out there would provide an epiphany, some sort of pure, distilled “essence of Tacoma” that’s eluded the city’s marketers and boosters.

    Two hours in, and with a lower blood-alcohol level, I realized that trying to reduce Tacoma to one “essence” is absurd. What defines a city is its lived feeling; or, in the case of Tacoma, perhaps its lived-in feeling. After a year in Seattle, I have certainly found comfortable local joints with eclectic casts of characters. I haven’t, however, found any place that so effectively brings together all cross-sections of the population the way that many Tacoma institutions do.

    Tacoma may have a branding problem, but it doesn’t have a character problem. The city has a strong sense of itself: a proud Second City, divided but not balkanized, gritty but hospitable, off-kilter without pretense. It’s a lived-in, comfortable place brimming with nuance and quirks unlike any other in Puget Sound.

    That profile may be a little too wordy for pithy cocktail chatter or advertising brochures, but it makes for an interesting, distinct community, one that continues to fascinate, even for those of us who have called Tacoma our hometown for a lifetime.       

    Photo of Ruston Way by Dan Hershman/Flickr.

    Ben Anderstone is a Seattle-based political consultant. His firm, Progressive Strategies Northwest (www.progressivestrategiesnw.com), offers a full slate of services to campaigns. In his spare time, Ben is a published data nerd whose work has been featured in The Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, Fox News's Fox and Friends and at academic summits on political geography.

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    Posted Thu, Jun 19, 9:47 a.m. Inappropriate

    Great article! No surprise that Ben Anderstone has hit this one out of the park!


    Posted Thu, Jun 19, 10:22 a.m. Inappropriate

    I appreciate this article. I settled in Puyallup 6 and a half years ago. We actually prefer going to Tacoma over Seattle to escape the burbs and chain restaurants. We've even considered moving there. But there is so much diversity in Tacoma it can be VERY puzzling to an outsider. It does feel like many cities rolled into one. This really helps explain why. Thanks.


    Posted Thu, Jun 19, 12:27 p.m. Inappropriate

    Seattle's derision towards Tacoma is borne out of fear. The fear that Tacoma will rise again and challenge Seattle's comfortable position of Supreme Overlord of the Puget Sound region, if not the entire state. It's not rational, but it's true. Throughout history, victors mock the vanquished as a form of whistling past the graveyard. In Britain today, everyone makes Nazi jokes about Germans. Even teenagers. Britain won the war but lost their empire, and they're still nervous that an imperial Germany will rise again. It's the same thing at work with Seattle and Tacoma. Hell, the only reason that the celebrated Smith Tower has that spindly spire on it is to make it taller than Tacoma's National Real Estate Building (then the tallest west of the Mississippi).


    Posted Thu, Jun 19, 2:04 p.m. Inappropriate

    Oh yea. That's the ticket! Fear and loathing of Tacoma. Up next North Bend!


    Posted Thu, Jun 19, 5:12 p.m. Inappropriate

    I worked in Tacoma for a while. Awful commute (this was decades after intercity rail service was trashed and before it was reconstituted). I like the feel of the place, more than my similarly sized home town Spokane.

    Unlike Seattle Tacomans appear to have largely given up on their frenetic late-Nineteenth Century boosterism and are not trying to GROW into a world class city. Good for them. Thanks for another good piece of demographic analysis.


    Posted Thu, Jun 19, 5:51 p.m. Inappropriate

    With one exception, Mr. Anderstone's essay is an accurate, welcome and long-overdue portrait of Tacoma.

    Alas that one exception is a falsehood so grave it not only misrepresents Tacoma but in its magnitude and significance is both breathtaking and perplexing: Mr. Anderstone's dead-wrong assertion that “Tacoma voters have...torpedoed two transit measures.”

    Yes, the proposals were rejected – but not by Tacomans.

    Indeed, if Mr. Anderstone is the expert voter-analyst he claims to be, surely he knows the two Pierce Transit propositions in question – one on a special election ballot in 2011, the other on the general election ballot in 2012 – were approved by substantial majorities inside the Tacoma city limits.

    The 2012 results show Tacomans voted by 55 percent to save Pierce Transit and protect its mostly low-income riders from further service reductions. In that same election, pro-transit voters also won, albeit by smaller percentages, in the adjacent towns of Lakewood and Steilacoom.

    While I no longer have the 2011 figures – and I do not have time today to recalculate them from the precinct-by-precinct data available from the Pierce County Auditor – Tacoma and Lakewood also supported Pierce Transit, though (typical of special elections), the 2011 voter turnout was depressingly small.

    But in each election – despite the substantial support for transit inside the Tacoma city limits and in the two smaller towns – the measures were beaten by the rabidly reactionary voters who rule the remainder of the Pierce Transit service area.

    Significant too is the fact neither the 2011 proposal nor its 2012 counterpart would have expanded bus service. Each would merely have restored it to the barely adequate level that, by 2012, had already been slashed 43 percent. The necessary sales-tax increase would have been tiny – .03 percent or three pennies on a $10 purchase.

    But even that paltry sum was too much for the dominantly white, comparatively wealthy suburban voters outside the Tacoma city limits – where a "transit is welfare" meme inflamed the transit controversy into racial and class hatred that was expressed as venomous resentment of transit users. In those realms – a red-zone of Rush Limbaugh bigotry and Glenn Beck paranoia – the measures were overwhelmingly rejected.

    The suburban anti-transit vote in 2012 was 56 percent. In many precincts it exceeded 60 percent. Even so, the 2012 measure's final official anti-transit margin was only 704 votes.

    Significantly – proof positive the vote was both a classic suburbs-versus-city fight and a class-war groundswell indicative of white suburban Washington's shift to the Hard Right – the anti-transit, anti-marriage-equality and Romney-Ryan votes in the suburban precincts were mutually predictive. The voters who were anti-transit voted overwhelmingly for Romney-Ryan and were equally anti-gay.

    The results from Tacoma's precincts are significantly different. As Mr. Anderstone correctly noted, even anti-gay-marriage precincts in Tacoma supported President Obama. The same sorts of tabulations, available on a post-2012-election website I can no longer find, showed Tacoma's anti-gay voters were also pro-transit.

    Why then Mr. Anderstone's false statement? Since Seattle's so-called progressives seem desperate to deny the ugly reality the white suburbs are becoming hotbeds of reactionary ideology, perhaps that's the reason he chooses not to tell the truth about the Pierce Transit debacle. Perhaps he deems it better to tar Tacoma with an anti-transit brush than to acknowledge the suburbs are now Tea Bag country.

    Perhaps too he wants to avoid the related but mostly suppressed story of how PT has done a 180-degree policy shift and is now punishing the pro-transit cities while rewarding the anti-transit suburbs.

    The punishment takes the form of keeping intra-city service severely downsized while dramatically increasing suburban service. Though there's been no restoration of intra-city service – nor is any contemplated in the foreseeable future – the anti-transit suburbs have already gotten three new bus routes since the first of this year.

    Most of this new service benefits commuters – people who, unlike nearly half of PT's intra-city ridership – have enough money to own and operate motor vehicles. In other words, PT is short-changing the urban poor, who have no means of transport save buses, while pandering to the auto-centric suburbanites, who have cars and trucks galore.

    Thus – Mr. Anderstone please take note – are the suburban, Ayn-Rand-minded barbarians mercilessly laying siege to urbanites who despite ideological differences remain nominally united under a Democratic Party banner. One can only wonder if the recent anti-Metro-Transit vote is the beginning of a similar assault on Seattle.

    (Disclosure: I am an expatriate New Yorker who has lived in Tacoma twice – 1978-1982 during my years as a working journalist here and again in semi-retirement since 2004. Obviously, I am fond of the so-called “gritty city,” mostly because I find native-born Tacomans to be infinitely more welcoming than native-born Seattlites. The latter in my experience yet retain the closeted bigotry and malicious xenophobia for which they are deservedly notorious – a mindset immortalized in the 1980s by a Seattle t-shirt that read, “If God Is On Our Side, Why Is There A Tacoma?”)

    Posted Thu, Jun 19, 10:37 p.m. Inappropriate

    Hey Loren,

    This was an editing error on my part. I lived in Tacoma during both campaigns and know both measures passed the City of Tacoma. My brain didn't quite make it to my fingers when writing that one sentence. I asked the editors to change it to "Tacoma-area," but that's still too vague, and I'll ask them to update it to be explicit.

    For the record, the 2011 vote passed Tacoma 19,993 to 16,095 (55.40%) and the 2012 vote passed Tacoma 42,365 to 34,732 (54.95%).

    You can always drop me an email (contact information at the bottom) if something doesn't look right.

    Posted Fri, Jun 20, 12:45 a.m. Inappropriate

    Well, Benjamin, obviously I drew the wrong conclusions from the mistake, which means I owe you a public apology for my erroneous speculation – and yes, I am intimately familiar with how an editing error can monkeywrench an otherwise sparkling piece. (Though at the various newspapers I served during my half-century before the masthead, we never said "monkeywrench"; we used a two-word term of art that began with an "f" and ended with a "p.")

    Meanwhile I surely wish you or some other member of the present-day local working press would report on Pierce Transit's new pro-suburbanite, anti-urbanite expansion policy. (I've written about it a couple of times in my blog, Outside Agitator's Notebook, internationalizing the story by hanging it on the peg of class warfare, but then my readers are mostly on the East Coast and in Europe.)

    That said, let me say again I'm sorry I behaved like a simpleton by reading way too much into a simple mistake. The story is otherwise the best, most accurate piece on Tacoma I've ever seen anywhere – and obviously I've lived here long enough to have a real appreciation of this place and its people. In fact, though it surely sounds like the old cliché, three of my closest friends are Tacomans. And during the last couple of years or so, I've finally begun to think of Tacoma as home -- precisely why I was almost as outraged by the mistake as I am by how the Ayn Rand suburbanites are maliciously denying us bus service we desperately need.

    Hence I'll apologize once more for over-reacting. Please pass the crow.

    Posted Thu, Jun 19, 7:21 p.m. Inappropriate

    Your highlight of the divide between north and south Tacoma is a good point, one that is often over-looked when discussing Tacoma. I lived in T-town for 5 years and was very active in local politics. One thing you didn't point out is the anti-democratic system of government in Tacoma with the unelected City Manager (and his minions) running things while the Mayor and Council are mostly powerless. It alienates a lot of folks when they talk to the Mayor or city council and all they get is hand-wringing and empty promises, since all the power lies in an unelected person.

    The reason Tacoma politics are so NICE is because most people running are not that partisan. They might have a (D) next to their name, but very, very few of them are actual partisans or have any interest in being partisan. By and large they are content to be policy wonks, technocrats or just be part of the system.

    Posted Fri, Jun 20, 6:07 a.m. Inappropriate

    well-played, Ben. great balance of data and experience.


    Posted Fri, Jun 20, 11:19 a.m. Inappropriate

    Of course, that the Smell by the Bay no longer stinks helps, but the stigma still lingers, as well as the lead, arsenic, and other toxic effluents in the soils. The clean-up will likely also linger for decades.

    That district elections might lead to voters knowing and caring less about civic affairs could be a disquieting harbinger for Seattle.

    Seattle-like development likely won't reach Tacoma and environs until light rail links the two burgs (and the same for Everett). Yeah, the rents might be lower in Tacoma, but the jobs are fewer and pay less.

    On the other hand, with artists, writers, and other creative types being increasingly priced out of Seattle, the prospects for a Tacoma cultural renaissance seems that much less unlikely.

    Posted Fri, Jun 20, 2:14 p.m. Inappropriate

    Kind of reminds me of Seattle that I chose to move to in the 1970s. Sigh.

    Posted Fri, Jun 20, 4:36 p.m. Inappropriate

    The North/South End divide is a bit murkier than it seems. My dad would ONLY live in the North End, but not one of our addresses fell into the "white collar", UPS professor demographic. I grew up in Ruston for one thing, and otherwise between Gove and Stevens, N 30th to 45th. With the exception of the dive of a triplex in Ruston, it wasn't shabby, very Leave It To Beaver, but there are South End neighborhoods that are more affluent than that. Just saying. However, it is true that, even among us blue collar families, that "prestige" of living in 98407 meant something. Yes, I've moved away you may say (but I'll be back!), and yet, other than many fewer empty lots filled with blackberry bushes and wild rhubarb and a few more cute boutiques in the Proctor District, it's pretty much the same old North End it's been for the past 45 years. Except for Old Town and the neighborhoods between I Street and Commencement Bay, it's pretty average when it comes to income distribution.

    Posted Fri, Jun 20, 4:45 p.m. Inappropriate

    OH MY --great article -probably is accurate in some politcal nonsense sort of way!!! OBVIOUSLY you are well suited to NOT live in T-Town. I am really glad all that pretentiousness stays in Seattle!!! YES the cultural distance is FAR between our two cities-- thank GOD-- we have smog-- you have smug-- i will take ours over yours ANY DAY. I chose to move back to Tacoma -- not even to the NorthEnd -actually EastSide (SHocking!!!) over 30 different languages here on the EastSide --a little dangerous- a little out of the lines - but culture rich and real life people LIVING real life-- not all that booJee Seattle nonsense --
    There is a GREAT movie about a Tacoma Band - Girl Trouble- i pasted the trailer -- it's starts like this "Where are we going?" NO WHERE- "where is no where?" TACOMA -- two last words-- FUCK YOU & thanks- oh that's three-- but i am from Tacoma - what do you expect

    Posted Fri, Jun 20, 4:48 p.m. Inappropriate

    oops wrong link lol https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLu61lv8g7Y#t=12

    Posted Sat, Jun 21, 9:47 a.m. Inappropriate

    Enjoyed reading this but was left dissatisfied by the choices of the Parkway and Bertolino's as the two places to capture Tacoma, so to say. They draw similar crowds, and while full of PLU and UPS graduates, don't do the city justice as far as diversity goes. There's a reason you could walk from one to the other.

    Posted Sat, Jun 21, 1:33 p.m. Inappropriate

    So how come a Sound Transit "Join the Conversation" flyer just came in the mail that shows 2040 Seattle with a 28% population increase, 2040 Tacoma with a 60% population increase, and 2040 Everett with a 74% population increase? Seattle —only for swells and workforce winners of the subsidized housing lottery, Everett for what is left of Boeing workers, Tacoma for everyone else?


    Posted Mon, Jun 30, 9:05 a.m. Inappropriate

    Seattle has run out of geography. Only place to go is up.
    Everett and Tacoma have plenty of square mileage to spread out.


    Posted Sat, Jun 21, 5:18 p.m. Inappropriate

    I grew up in Kitsap, attended PLU, departed to L.A. County on graduation day and then back a decade later (almost a decade ago now) to settle less than a mile from the line (so odd to see so clearly represented on the satellite views in Google map) between Federal Way and N.E. Tacoma (and TPU provides our water), . I've never really "understood" Tacoma. This article helped a lot. Thanks.


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