E1 MLK/Hilltop Link Rail "NEW TACOMA" Conspiracy Alert!

COOP™ Devil with Hipster Glasses/Beard
posted May 14, 2013
tacoma, tacomic, streetcar, lightrail, coop devil, hilltop, gentrification
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How is it that the same people howling about gentrification in the thought stream of last week's Hilltop Tacomic are/were simultaneously pushing for Link extension on the HilltopConspiracy Alert! Conspiracy Alert!!!  Doesn't the city own a bunch of MLK street blocks they bought during the 'urban renewal' nakba? It's nice to know that developer profits are steering the Link lightrail expansion instead of people-moving... or something.

previously on the tacomic...

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by Erik on 5/14/2013 @ 8:23am
Tacoma has a lot of problems.  Being over run by rich people driving everyone out by setting up Rolex, Armani, and Tiffany stores is not one of them. As for MLK, the retail area has one of the highest vacancy rate in Tacoma or any neighborhood on the west coast including a couple of vacant gas stations.  Now even the large Save a Lot store is empty. A few years ago, this building and the gas stations were at least functioning.

A lot of hospital expansion has happened.  However, few employees shop or live in the area. 

It is going to take 10 to 20 years just to have the area occupied again before there is going to have any potential for displacement.

by captiveyak on 5/14/2013 @ 9:13am
hey at least the Mark of the Beast probably uses a cool sans serif font and is well-edited.

by NineInchNachos on 5/14/2013 @ 9:28am
but is it authentic?  

by NineInchNachos on 5/14/2013 @ 2:10pm
via facebook:

Danny Marsh We can call it Hillcrest....or the Summit... Yes... the Summit... Hilltop 2.0

by NineInchNachos on 5/14/2013 @ 2:13pm

by JesseHillFan on 5/14/2013 @ 2:55pm
How about Helltop

by thriceallamerican on 5/14/2013 @ 4:21pm
More like Chilltop, amirite?

by NineInchNachos on 5/14/2013 @ 7:53pm

by NineInchNachos on 5/14/2013 @ 8:01pm
so real

by Jesse on 5/15/2013 @ 9:31am

by NineInchNachos on 5/20/2013 @ 12:38pm
L. Lisa Lawrence via RR AndersonAs Marty Campbell said, the Tacoma Weekly has really stepped up the bluntness of their editorials and they do make "some" good points.

With that said, the tribe has great wealth and can afford to fund the tracks if they want their casino served.

The citizens of the City of Tacoma who live and work on the Hilltop as well as those accessing the hospitals NEED this service.

In a perfect world (and ideally in the not too distant future) the
light rail will serve Salishan as well as other Tacoma neighborhoods.

I support our city council is recommending the Hilltop route.

I am more than a bit offended by the Tacoma Weekly's
implication that the support for that plan is based on
racism/supporting "white guys" (did they let the hip hop artist whining
about the "gentrification" of Hilltop in the Weekly Volcano write this

Oh, and as far as racism, Hilltop is one of (if not the) most racially diverse neighborhoods in the city.

The Tacoma Weekly cheapens the very real issues of racism, by pulling that card in this particular debate.


Published in the Tacoma Weekly
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 Imagine a local company that has an
annual impact of payroll and project spending of $430 million, including
$3 million in charitable donations to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital,
Emergency Food Network and Toys For Tots.

Imagine this company is the largest non-healthcare employer, with
3,500 local workers on its payroll. It issues more paychecks than Pierce
County government and the City of Tacoma. It writes more than double
the paychecks of Walmart and is set for another expansion to build on
its payroll.

Its payroll is more than three times what Russell Investments had
locally when the investment giant opted to move its headquarters to
Seattle in 2009. That is an important fact since the Tacoma officials
and their business-boosting partners had cobbled together a deal to keep
the firm in Tacoma that would have saved Russell some $140 million in
taxes, fees and infrastructure costs over 20 years. The offer was not
enough. But it showed a willingness of city and business officials to
front money and resources to promote business activity by a local

The lack of discussions to promote the economic activities of a
business three times Russell’s size, however, is curious. That business
that dwarfs Russell’s payroll is the Puyallup Tribe and its business

Tacoma City Council has endorsed a plan that would expand the Link
light rail from the Theater District Station up the Stadium Way hill to
Martin Luther King Jr. Way and end at South 19th Street at a cost of $
133 million. An alternate route, which was backed by the business
stakeholders group that included tribal officials, would have run the
rails north from Tacoma Dome Station to Portland Avenue on one end and
from the Theater District Station to MLK and 6th Avenue on the other for
the same price.

The city-backed route is championed as an economic booster of
Hilltop, which is apparently overflowing with would-be riders willing to
pay $2 to $4 to take a light rail train downtown. The trip would still
likely cost Hilltop residents even if they do not take the Link, since
the project still needs $50 million in “local partnership” funding –
likely through property tax hikes, but no one is talking about it.

The alternate route to Portland Avenue, however, would link Salishan
with the rest of the city, something the city has long wanted at no cost
to property owners. The tribe has access to federal funding earmarked
for transportation projects that benefit Native American tribes that
could be used to fully fund the “local partnership.” Tribal officials
have also said it would open its parking lots at its Emerald Queen
Casino for Link riders to events at Tacoma Dome and the Greater Tacoma
Trade Convention Center, which lack parking spaces.

The response to the offer, however, has largely been that the tribe
should simply pay for the tracks if it wants rail service to run along
its property, regardless of the “side benefits” the city would get.

Wow, city officials have proven that they are willing to aid
businesses when they are owned by white guys, but they have fallen
silent, and even hostile, when the businesses are operated by Native
Americans, regardless of their size and impact to Tacoma.

Regardless of the final link route, the tribe’s casino operations
will grow and become more of a regional attraction. The real question is
if Tacoma wants to tap into that economic engine by endorsing a route
that would not cost taxpayers any “local partnership” fees, or will it
run a track to nowhere.


Our Views: What is Tacoma’s destiny? >>

by NineInchNachos on 5/20/2013 @ 2:17pm

by NineInchNachos on 5/21/2013 @ 12:49pm
meanwhile in SEA

by NineInchNachos on 5/28/2013 @ 11:40am
update: "Erik B,
  Clearly not everyone sees the world through your self egotizing, 
self promoting bull crap you are slinging.  The decision comes down to
pure and simple racism masked as economic development to undeserved
neighborhoods.  How about you add up the 100s of Millions do dollars
poured into the Hilltop and weigh that agains the $millions tribal
members have poured into Tacoma to make it better and you will see a
deep divide in which neighborhoods are served and which are undeserved.
The Puyallup Tribe is now 5000 members strong and we have long memories
on how the councilmembers of the 2nd and 4th districts voted, and the
the at large members voted.

Stop to consider the needs of other before you beat your chest in
triumph for what will be a failed solution, for it was pushed with
disreputable motivations."

by NineInchNachos on 8/15/2013 @ 8:41am
link, not only a tool of gentrification... but soon ridership to be gentrified !

by NineInchNachos on 8/27/2013 @ 9:41am