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FREE s Friday, July 19, 2013 PNW PREVIEW A6 WRITERS BLOCK B1 THE FAT TONES B4 Y @6<9 *644<50;@ 5,>:7(7,9  @,(9:6-:,9=0*, WHATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S RIGHT WITH TACOMA Ĺł 5>-\YUP[\YL)HURKVLZ YPNO[I`VSKTH[[YLZZLZ ;HJVTHHZRZ KL]LSVWLYZMVY WSHUZH[RL` KV^U[V^UZP[L MAP COURTESY OF CITY OF TACOMA 65;/,)36*2 City officials are asking develPHOTOS BY CEDRIC LEGGIN :7905.)(*2 Jeremy Simler, foreground, manages NW Furniture Bankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new mattress recycling venture, where Devin Christianson is a lead member of the crew that breaks down old mattresses. By Kathleen Merryman The fate of a forsaken mattress can rank with the nastiest of breakups. Dumped, it festers forever, wasting space, leaking toxic memories. It deserves better. We deserve better. And now NW Furniture Bank is giving us better. Bill and Joelene Lemke have added the Spring Back Mattress Recycling business plan to the non-profit they founded in 2007. The first version of the furniture bank was, and is, a model of sustainability. It accepts usable furniture from businesses and individuals, then passes it to people who need it. Clients referred by social services can, for a $50 fee, furnish their household from spoons to sofas â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and beds. Beds are key, the Lemkes believe. No one should have to sleep on the floor for lack of one. Mattresses are the mainstay of the good they do, and they accept those in good condition to sanitize and send to a new home. They also have rejected thousands too worn and stained to be used again. The fate of those mattresses troubled them. NW Furniture bank succeeds, in NW Furniture Bankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Spring Back Mattress Recycling s $ROP OFF FEE IS  PER PIECE KING SETS ARE THREE PIECES s -ONDAY &RIDAY  AM TO  PM s 3ATURDAY  AM TO  PM s  $OCK 3T 4ACOMA  s 4ELEPHONE    s WWW.7FURNITUREBANKORG AND WWWSPRINGBACKRECYCLINGCOM part, because the Lemkes focus on the highest and best use for the goods it receives. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why they founded Hope Furnishings at 117 Puyallup Ave. to sell high-end furniture donations that do the best good when they are converted into money. Proceeds help pay the rent and expenses for the furniture bank downstairs. There had to be a way, the Lemkes figured, to turn old mattresses into a cash stream. Last year, they found it. John Gonas, a professor at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., developed it when he challenged his students to come up with a business plan to deal with an unmet need. The students started with the need: Americans lug some 30 million mattresses to landfills each year, and those mattresses donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t decompose. They just bulk up landfill space. Then they hit on the plan: About 90 percent of a mattress can be recycled and sold. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solid, dirty work with good supervision, a reasonable job for a person trying to rebuild a life after time in prison. Gonas and the students put the elements together into the detailed business plan NW Furniture Bank purchased after the Lemkes visited the original Spring Back site. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about the time they met Jeremy Simler, who worked for non-profits including Young Life, before a stint as a mortgage broker. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bill Lemke asked me, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;How do you feel about recycling mattresses?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; I said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;That sounds disgusting,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Simler said. He was on. When the factory space across the parking lot from the store went vacant, NW Furniture Bank acquired it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We got the keys June 1 and started to clean it up,â&#x20AC;? Simler said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We put in a loading dock and got our heavy equipment.â&#x20AC;? That would be the three vertical X See FURNITURE / page A4 opers for proposals on a two-paracel site of land in Tacomaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Brewery District. By Steve Dunkelberger The last large grassy patch of land in downtown is set for big changes, with Tacoma officials asking developersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; thoughts on the spot in the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Brewery District. City officials released a Request For Proposals for a 6.4-acre vacant spot at the corner of South 21st and Tacoma Avenue that the city had bought in 2000 as a potential site for a new Police Department headquarters. The city, however, opted instead for the former Costco site off 38th and Pine streets, leaving the downtown site unused and unneeded. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Great Recessionâ&#x20AC;? then hit and officials mothballed plans to sell the site. The economy is now improving, especially with State Farm set to move into the former Russell Investment building, developments in the works for the waterfront and the Link expansion set to run near the site. The final green light to sell the site came in January, when an environmental study of the site found no need for further cleanup. The fear of costly cleanup is a plague on local developments after a century of arsenic-laced smoke poured from the Asarco smelter and settled into the soils around Puget Sound. The request for concepts from developers seeks proposals for office, light industrial, mixed-use or highdensity residential sites as high as 10 stories. Concepts would vary greatly since the land is located by University of Washington-Tacoma, St. Joseph Hospital and the 21st Street bridge to the waterfront and Interstate 5. A third parcel nearby could be added to the mix if developers need a bit more land as well. X See DOWNTOWN / page A4 5PHNYHKLHSHWWYV]LK ^OPSLÂşTPZZPUNSPURÂťHSVUN ^H[LY^H`NL[ZM\UKLK By Steve Dunkelberger Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s official. Tacoma City Council has approved, at least in a first reading, a deal to provide Niagra Bottling LLC with surplus water at a discount that would add $800,000 to Tacoma Waterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s balance sheet and put local drinking water in plastic bottles for retail around the region as soon as early next year. Niagra now becomes the third largest Tacoma Water consumer, behind Simpson Kraft and the City of Fife. The five-year deal sets a discounted wholesale rate but also outlines a minimum amount for the planned facility in the works in Fredrickson. Initial plans call for Niagra to use up to a million gallons of water per day with little risk of water shortages. Tacoma Water pipes handle demand for about 50 million gallons of water a day, but the system has capacity to handle about twice that. While current customers shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expect a rate drop because of the new revenue stream, the deal helps control future rate RENDERING BY VIA ARCHITECTURE increases, officials said. >(;,996<;, Work is now underway on the last half mile of walkway for the Esplanade X See NIAGRA / page A10 to link downtown Tacoma to Point Defiance Park thanks to state grants. -PYZ[-HTPS` VM/LHS[O A4 FUNDRAISER FOR SCHOOLS: Unique fundraiser aims to raise money for defibrillators in schools PAGE A10 :V\UKLYZ :VJJLY *HTW A7 City Briefs ................A2 Pothole Pig ...............A3 9HUK`;YH]PZ <WKH[L B6 Facebook: Twitter: @Tacomaweekly Tumblr: Pinterest: Flickr:Ă LFNUFRPWDFRPDZHHNO\ Sports ......................A6 Make A Scene ........B5 A&E ....................... ..B1 Calendar ................. B6 Look for daily updates online! Two Sections | 20 Pages

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