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FREE s Friday, October 12, 2012 CITY JOBS BY THE NUMBERS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL A4 A6 GANSTAGRASS B1 TACOMAWEEKLY 24 YE A R S O F SE R V I C E BE C A U S E CO M M U N I T Y MAT T E R S FEW ARE WHISTLING WHILE THEY WORK THESE DAYS Tacoma’s proposed budget cuts 217 workers next year to the roster of 109 layoffs already approved X See BUDGET / page A2 X See HOMELESS / page A3 Shellia Bartyzel at the Main Branch in downtown Tacoma. Proposed cuts to the library’s budget of about $3 million during the next two years will mean more than a dozen fewer workers as well as cutting six-day operations down to five days at the downtown branch. times 248.7143 days in a year times eight hours in a work day, equals 7,054,930 hours, 20 minutes and 52 seconds, give or take a few moments here and there. Now, of course we have to figure in vacation and sick leave, which generally starts at 21 days of combined “paid time off.” Calculating the actual loss of “work done by city employees” under the budget comes to: 326.3 proposed cuts times (248.7143 days in a year minus 21 paid leave days) times eight hours in a day equals 594,425.40872 or 594,425 hours, 25 minutes and 52 seconds. Let the debate on my methodology begin. The 217 proposed budget cuts would mean $48 million over all city departments during the two- year budget cycle. The 109 positions remaining have already been calculated into the budget and therefore create no new “savings.” The service impacts will vary by department and will be addressed in detail during the work sessions between now and the budget adoption slated for Dec. 4. By Kathleen Merryman rtists, activists and musicians enjoyed a decidedly progressive and liberal landscape in Berlin during the waning days of the Weimar Republic. Then the music stopped. Flash forward to Tacoma last week, when city leaders announcement that the looming $63 million projected deficit would require more cuts to programs and layoffs of hundreds of city workers. The projected deficit is double what it was a year ago since it covers the full biennial budget. The music stopped for city workers during the “black Tuesday” presentation to Tacoma City Council. The music was more of a funeral dirge than a waltz, after all. The budget troubles had been building for years. More than 200 city workers are set to be cut just to cover the current shortfall, while many budget watchers forecast further cuts for years to come as the city struggles to right PHOTO BY STEVE DUNKELBERGER So what does the impacts mean for Tacomans? Each department is drafting presentations of those impacts between now and when the budget is passed in early December. But with 326.3 positions set to be eliminated under the budget as proposed, that means 649,243 hours and 48 minutes less staff hours working on city business than under the current budget or for paid time off for vacations and sick leave based on the standard municipal three-week vacation package. More of that later. That is, of course, assuming the standard 248-day work year in America, based on a year of 365 days, with 12 legal, nonworking holidays and two-day weekends. So, 326.3 times 248.7143 (calculation that includes leap years) equals 81,155.47609 fewer city work days. Multiply that by eight to get 649,243.80872 fewer hours. Eight-tenths of an hour is 48 minutes. The total hours worked for the city under the budget (based on a 40-hour work week) comes to 3,545.7 positions Project Homeless Connect grows to meet the needs Shirley McLaughlin was unemployed and living in her Chevy Trailblazer when she got glasses, a haircut and a year’s worth of heart medication at last year’s Project Homeless Connect at Tacoma Dome. This year, she is settling into a studio apartment, and she has a job – helping to coordinate a reorganized Project Homeless Connect. The big news is that it will switch from a one-day event at Tacoma Dome to four events throughout Pierce County – at Stewart Middle School in Tacoma Oct. 20, and sites in Lakewood in January, Puyallup in May and Spanaway in July. The program will still serve people who have a long history of living on the streets, but it will reach out to people who are new to being homeless and have no idea what help is out there and how to get it. It will go to people in outlying districts because, thanks to public transportation cuts and the wild price of gas, they cannot get to it. “A lot of the working poor are getting laid off,” said program coordinator Valerie Pettit. “We are focusing more on individuals who are immediately homeless. We’re having all the services under one roof.” This pleases McLaughlin, 54, who had no idea how to get help when she was laid off and losing her home. She was scared, humiliated and sick. The kindness – and blood pressure medication – she found at Project Homeless Connect last year, she said, may well have saved her life. It certainly prompted her to work on the event this year. “It’s a different perspective when you come at it from that side of the fence,” she said. “It makes that side of the fence even more important, making a difference.” In 2011 McLaughlin was one of 1,583 people who came for services provided by 50 Pierce County agencies and volunteer groups. They came for glasses, socks, prescriptions, checkups and referrals. They needed vaccinations, replacement identifications, mental health and veterans’ services, and help with their taxes. “They had all the things that make you feel like a million bucks, like a haircut or a coat,” she said. But you need to have a strategy, she warned. “Last year I got glasses. You have to get there and set your priorities and go where you need to go first.” And, if you have paperwork and documents you think would be useful, you should bring them. McLaughlin had lost everything after she LIBRARY LOSSES. Tacoma resident Ginger Meta checks out another round of books and movies from librarian FUN MATH WITH TACOMA’S BUDGET WHAT’S RIGHT WITH TACOMA By Steve Dunkelberger A Homeowners voice opposition to port lease proposal By John Larson Residents of a narrow sliver of land along Marine View Drive are less than enthusiastic about a lease proposal from their landlord, the Port of Tacoma. Their small homes have existed for decades. Many were originally used as crab shacks but were later turned into homes. The 17-acre parcel is located north of East 11th Street. The port purchased it from Foss Maritime for $2.75 million in 2005. Prior to this purchase, residents were on month-to-month leases with Foss Maritime. The port was awarded a $1.45 million grant from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2006 to offset the cost of land acquisition. There are nine tenants at this location. An additional tenant lives in a port-owned X See PORT / page A10 The 47ers A5 BLAST FROM THE PLAST: The Plastards finally release an album. PAGE B5 RENDERINGS COURTESY OF PORT OF TACOMA NATURE AREA. Small houses are on this stretch of shoreline along Marine View Drive. This is an artist’s concept of what the area would look like if the homes were removed and it is transformed into a natural habitat area with public access. Rams show grit A6 City Briefs ................A2 Local News...............A3 City swimmers A7 Sports ......................A6 A&E ....................... ..B1 Broken Spoke B3 Make A Scene ........ B5 Calendar ................. B6 Look for daily updates online! VISIT US ON FACEBOOK Two Sections | 20 Pages


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