Sep. 13, 2011 at 2:30pm

Is Tacoma ready for a major league team?

Not to get carried away, but it appears that the city council will be discussing the possibility of renovating/remodeling the Tacoma Dome to potentially attract an NBA or NHL team. This got me to thinking, is Tacoma ready to be the home of a major league team?

I see a couple of "planets" that would have to align just right for that to happen:


First and foremost, someone would have to be willing to purchase or assemble a team. With the likes of Russell no longer vested in Tacoma, I don't see a lot of local high-profile investors (individuals or corporate) that could afford something of that magnitude. Regionally perhaps, but then the sale has to compete with the likes of Seattle.

Regional Support

The market would have to support this endeavor, and more or less guarantee success on paper. This means it would need more than just support from Tacoma. It would need to rally the support of the entire region to establish a large enough fan base to make it viable. This would have to be perceived as more of a "get the puget sound area (or Washington) a hockey/basketball team" rather than "get *Tacoma* a [...] team."


It would take more than a Tacoma Dome renovation. A public investment should catalyze a process that would happen on its own anyway. The purpose of catalyzing it would be to ensure that it would happen in Tacoma rather than somewhere else nearby.

That's my take. Maybe a bit pessimistic, but I think Tacoma has succeeded at bigger challenges, so I don't think it's off the table. Just maybe a bit more challenging than the TNT headline might lead us to believe.

comments [15]

Sep. 7, 2011 at 12:45pm

Downtown Grocer Opens

So I decided to check out this new downtown grocery store and have to say I was more excited about the idea after actually going inside. Before I could go in I couldn't help but notice the cluster of protesters outside. Word on the street is our new grocer isn't a union-friendly shop. Personally I haven't yet decided what my opinion is on the matter, but I found it difficult to be anything but enthusiastic about a grocer that was willing to operate downtown.

So what does FeedTacoma think? Is this union thing a deal breaker for you, something you're willing to tolerate, or is it not even on your radar? What about the store itself - do you like it? Do they have a good selection? Do you think they will succeed? Share your thoughts!

comments [55]

Aug. 30, 2011 at 12:31pm

Is Walmart about to grace us with its presence?

Speculation on a Walmart locating at

So I just received this email via the CNC email list and thought I'd share. Personally I find it disappointing to see a potential big box retailer go in (particularly Walmart). Especially if the original plan was for medical buildings and the higher-level higher-wage jobs they would have accommodated.

Thoughts? Reactions? Opinions? Please share...

The Central Neighborhood Council has learned of news regarding the Elks Development on S. 23rd and Union.

Background on the Issue:

For many months the CNC has been following the potential development at S. 23rd Street and Union Avenue also known as the Elks Lodge Development. Last week at a City Council Committee meeting the developers asked the city to change an ordinance to deal with potential traffic flow issues once the development is done. Council Members Fey, Mello, Boe and Campbell tried many times and many ways to ask what was being developed there. The developers refused to respond in the public. The Central Neighborhood Council submitted a request for Public Records with the city dealing with that site. Records show a site map that includes a new hospital, medical and dental space, pharmacy warehouse and a parking structure.

Why the secrecy? What is it about this that was so secretive? Well, we have learned that the plans the CNC have acquired are changing. The developers still refuse to tell the city council or staff what is going there. They have said that the site plans have changed and that it is a controversial business which we are lead to believe could be Walmart.

Action to take:

You as a resident, you as a business owner should be very worried. The city council is scheduled to hear the first reading today, August 30 at 5:00 and the final reading and vote next Tuesday, September 30, at 5:00. Both meetings will be in Council chambers at 747 Market Street. We are asking that you go to City Council today, Tuesday, August 30 at 5:00pm to testify and ask the City Council to slow down, demand that the developers divulge what is happening at the site. The city council SHOULD NOT pass any changes to ordinance, should not accommodate any request by the developers until they are transparent, open and upfront about what is happening in our neighborhood.

If you cannot attend today, Tuesday, August 30 or next Tuesday September 6, please e-mail our City Council members.

Tricia DeOme
Central Neighborhood Council


Justin D. Leighton
Central Neighborhood Council

comments [314]

Aug. 17, 2011 at 12:33pm

Click! Are you throttling my bandwidth?

I've been a happy customer Click! (TPU) for years and until recently haven't had any problems. For about a week I've noticed a significant decline in the quality of my connection, particularly when streaming Netflix videos.

I can confirm that at least one other person (Kevin) has been having a similar experience. Has anyone else experienced similar issues?

I really hope Click! is not throttling bandwidth based on content or to whom I am connecting (read: violating the principles of net neutrality). If anyone from Click is reading this, would it be possible to get some kind of official response on this?

comments [121]

Aug. 8, 2011 at 4:22pm

City Budget Woes

Salt, meet wound...

I don't know how many of you caught this blip from the BE, but the US wasn't the only one to feel the sting of a credit downgrade from S&P. Our own beloved Tacoma was downgraded to AA-/Stable from AA/Watch Negative.

If you're not a finance geek, in practical terms that means borrowing money just got more expensive at city hall. It also means that just about any project that the city is funding (at least in part) by issuing bonds could be negatively impacted. Ouch!

comments [12]

Jul. 28, 2011 at 9:57am

Foremost Dairy Building: Post Nip & Tuck

Update: Images are now linked to full size versions.

With the Sounder construction I haven't been driving past this corner for a while. While filling up the tank I noticed something shiny across the street:

comments [17]

Jun. 7, 2011 at 11:22am

Igniting Conversation: What would it take for Tacoma to adopt a strong mayor system?

Are we rea ready for a change?

The Background

Today, the city of Tacoma operates under a council-manager system of government. Under this arrangement, the city employs a non-elected city manager to effectively run the city's day-to-day operations under the direction of an elected part-time city council. It is my understanding that Tacoma has operated under this system for quite some time, and thus far it seems to work (though how well is a topic of debate).

The Alternative

In the wake of some unpopular (and in at least one case, arguably unethical) decisions made by the city manager, Eric Anderson, many have suggested that perhaps it is time to reexamine what our city government looks like. The most viable alternative to the council-manager system would be a strong mayor system. In this scenario, the city manager position would be eliminated, with the responsibilities shifted over to the elected mayor.

This would most likely require that the office of mayor be converted to a full-time commitment, with the option of also bringing the city council to full-time status as well.

The Question

That title isn't completely true, there are actually two questions:

  1. Which form of government makes the most sense for Tacoma now and going forward?
  2. If a change to a strong-mayor system is due, what would it take to make that happen?


comments [18]

Apr. 8, 2011 at 11:14am

Can IKEA teach us how to create a thriving downtown?

(awesome video inside)

I know a lot of us want to see downtown succeed as a thriving hub for retail, commerce, and most importantly, people. Check out this video and share your thoughts on it. I see a lot of ideas that I think would translate well into how we plan/think about our downtown.

The professor giving the talk also has some interesting insight into the suburban mall model - maybe understanding that would help to find ways to combat the draining effect our nearby mall seems to have on our downtown?

Thoughts? Ideas?

comments [0]

Aug. 9, 2010 at 12:20pm

Tell B-cycle you want them in Tacoma

I was inspired by Chris's post on Tacoma Tomorrow to point out that B-cycle (think Zipcar for bikes) is taking votes by zip to help decide where to locate next. So unless you think it's some sort of UN conspiracy to turn us all into toothpaste, go put our beloved town on the map!

comments [7]

May. 5, 2010 at 1:34pm

Downtown Paid Parking

What's the value of a parking space and who deserves it?

With all the buzz about the new parking pay stations coming to parts of downtown, I want to try and frame the discussion in a different way. I want to talk about the value of a free parking space. Just like anything for which there is demand, a free parking space is worth something. Exactly how much it is worth would depend on its location, size, etc.

If we can accept this as a reasonable assertion, the question then becomes: who is it that deserves this value, and who should decide this? Is it the drivers that park there? Is it the city? The storefront businesses? The neighborhood? Some combination?

If we can find an answer to that question, I think we can more easily sort out whether or not paid parking makes sense, and if so how much makes sense.

comments [7]


I'm just a computer geek that has fallen in love with Tacoma.

So, what's almost as fun as sitting in front of a computer all day? Talking about the growth and development of a new Tacoma, duh!

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My Geek Blog: www.nickawilliams.com

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