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FREE s Friday, December 6, 2013 LIONS FALL TO CAMAS A6 FESTIVAL OF TREES A2 MxPx COMES OF AGE B1 Y YOUR COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER - 26 YEARS OF SERVICE DASH CENTER FINDS TEMPORARY HOME Executive director continues hunt for permanent place By Matt Nagle PHOTO BY CEDRIC LEGGIN PERSEVERING. The Ever since DASH Center for the Arts Executive Director Candi Hall received word three months ago that the center’s lease would not be renewed at its longtime home at 1504 Martin Luther King Way, she has been searching high and low for a new location to house this important and unique arts organization, the only one of its kind in Tacoma. It hasn’t been easy. For the time being, the center is working from a temporary location inside the downtown X See DASH / page A10 lease was not renewed for DASH Center for the Arts, so executive director Candi Hall (far right, holding baby) has been scouring Tacoma for a new permanent location. For the time being, DASH is in the post office building on ‘A’ Street downtown. WHAT’S RIGHT WITH TACOMA City’s budget improves, still comes up short ų By Steve Dunkelberger LEFT PHOTO COURTESY OF ETTA PROJECTS / RIGHT PHOTO BY MIKE ARCHBOLD THRIVE AND LAUGH. (Left) Etta Turner beams above volunteers at the first comedor built to honor her. (Right) Pennye ETTA PROJECTS: CHRISTMAS TREES BRING WATER, Nixon warmed up by the fire at the tree sale at Cedar Springs Pavilion by the Lakes. POWER TO BOLIVIAN TOWNS By Kathleen Merryman I f Etta Turner were assigned a spot on a Christmas tree, it’s unlikely she’d be the angel. She’d be the elf climbing around the branches, wreaking sly havoc with sophisticated designs. She was that kind of kid, the teen who harnessed all her friends into volunteering for some great project, then cracked them up until they forgot how hard they were working. That’s part of the legacy her friends and family have built into Etta Projects: You can’t go to one of its fund-raisers without getting a good laugh along with the auction, the poker games or the martinis. This month, it’s a tree lot – and a deluxe and elf-friendly one at that, with a brilliant selection of firs and nobles, a covered gazebo, a fireplace, cookies, cider and a shop of Bolivian crafts. Every penny it raises will head straight back to Bolivia to bring water and sanitation projects to the country’s poorest and most isolated villages. Etta would get a grin out of that. Her mom, Pennye Nixon, sure does. Crocuses bloomed in the North End on the morning of Jan. 25, 1986. Nixon saw them while she was walking through labor with her first-born. On all of MaryEtta Art from local students A5 HELPING HANDS: EFN tries to keep up with holiday demands. PAGE A4 ETTA PROJECTS CHRISTMAS TREE LOT OPEN 9 A.M. TO 5 P.M. ‡ SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS OPEN TILL DEC. 21. CEDAR SPRINGS PAVILION BY THE LAKES 7354 BETHEL BURLEY RD. S.E., PORT ORCHARD, 98367. *ON HIGHWAY 16 FROM TACOMA, TAKE THE MULLENIX EXIT AND TURN LEFT. DRIVE 0.4 MILES TO THE STOP SIGN AND TURN RIGHT ONTO BETHEL BURLEY ROAD S.E. DRIVE A MILE AND LOOK FOR THE SIGN ON THE LEFT. Clancy Turner’s birthdays, Nixon reminded her that flowers turned out to welcome her. Like the crocuses, Etta turned out to be a force of nature. “She was the silliest kid, with a dry sense of humor,” Nixon said. “Somebody said she loved to laugh more than anybody they knew. She was thoughtful, too. She would think about what people were experiencing.” She was 6 when the family moved to a mini-farm in Port Orchard. “She had lots of friends in Tacoma, and she maintained her friendships,” her mom said. Most adults can’t manage what Etta determined to do at 6. But what kid wouldn’t want to visit a buddy who could persuade you to take off Sportswatch A8 Pothole Pig ...............A2 Crime Stoppers.........A3 your clothes and run around in the rain until you had collected as much mud as is humanly possible? Or decide that the best way to eat ice cream is out of the bowl, without a spoon. Etta built a childhood so wild and joyous it often required getting hosed down outside on the way to a bubble bath inside. She loved her horse, Star, who in turn loved no one but her. She loved camping with her two younger brothers, Atticus and Will, and her sister Yamini. Together they proved that it is possible to transform the minimalism of a tent into chaos. “I never knew where they slept, because the tent was such a wreck,” Nixon said. She loved soccer, and played on a select team that won the state championship. X See ETTA PROJECTS / page A2 A Jazzy Holiday B3 Looking at the city’s most recent financial report, one could think the “crisis budget” from last year is over… you remember that one? … the one that led to layoffs of city staffers and funding cuts in all departments to avoid a $63 million deficit. Those troubled times are coming again. But first, the good news. Tacoma’s general fund is set to be $12 million higher than projected thanks to about $4.5 million in additional revenue and $7.5 million in savings from lower jail costs, lower medical expenses and unfilled city staff vacancies. The city is projected to have about $23 million in reserves, which is about 5 percent of the general fund. The goal is to get that reserve to about 12 percent. All that is good news, however, all is not well in City Hall. That surplus projection doesn’t mean the city has money to spend on additional firefighters, police officers or city staffers. Tacoma still has significant budget troubles to face. The city is projected to have a general fund shortfall of about $26.3 million in 2015 through 2016 and another $38 million during the following biennial budget for 2017 and 2018. Funding that gap with the traditional budgetary method in Tacoma of deferring repair would make the matter worse in the long term. The deficit could jump to $72.8 million by the 2017 budget talks. Then there is that $800 million in street and infrastructure repairs that took decades to create and now needs addressing with no bonding capacity left and few taxing options left to fund them. “We really have a very big problem to solve,” Mayor Marilyn Strickland said at a budget study session. “We still have a lot of work to do before we start thinking about hiring staff.” While the city might have spent less than what it took in during 2014, there is a backlog of projects and repairs that have yet to be addressed. Part of tackling the long-standing “structural deficit” in the city budget rests with the Financial Sustainability Task Force of volunteer accountants and specialists tasked with developing recommendations. That task force’s roster of 28 suggestions largely focuses on X See BUDGET / page A10 Facebook: Twitter: @Tacomaweekly Tumblr: Pinterest: Flickr:ÁLFNUFRPWDFRPDZHHNO\ Sports ........................A6 Make A Scene ........B5 A&E ....................... ....B1 Calendar ................. B6 Look for daily updates online! Two Sections | 20 Pages

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