Executive Dammeier builds where none has gone before, or should

Over the course of time the Pierce County has been under the control of Executive Bruce Dammeier, the building and devastation of ecological resources has been incredible. In his early years, with a Republican majority on the County Council, he proposed the City of Pierce, an area bounded by 112th Street on the north, 176th Street on the south, Pacific Avenue on the west and Meridian on the east. The proposal included high rise apartments with stores on their main floors on each of these major roads. The intent was to pack in living areas in the unincorporated part of the county. once again, the proposal did not include a budget to build the necessary infrastructure from schools and fire department support to sidewalks and wider roadways.

Then, there was a development on 208th Street in the Frederickson area that was originally supposed to be a lumber mill. The mill failed to materialize, but permits were redirected to construct a neighborhood of warehouses in a former cow pasture where migratory birds used to land by the thousands. The small stream that drained forested wetlands south of the parcel to Clover Creek and its underground water supply was subjected to a bulldozer. Scraped flat, it was replaced by an underground pipe to a retention pond in an opposite corner of the development. A gigantic warehouse now sits on top of 10 feet of fill dirt where the stream used to flow.

The middle of Pierce County sits on a sole source aquifer. There are Federal regulations regarding construction, infiltration and damage to these areas. Somewhere along the way, players such as Dammeier and former State Senator Steve O’Ban who is currently acting as Executive Counsel and the former Executive Council who was also the former Mayor of the City of Lakewood have not only denuded or sidestepped regulations regarding sole source aquifers, they also seems to have had a neutralizing effect on the Washington State Department of Ecology, who should be watching over and putting a halt to much of this devastation.

Apparently, there are many unfilled positions in the Washington DOE, causing them to have little to no time to deal with watching over the rot in Pierce County’s ecological conservation. A glimpse at Clover Creek either side of the Brookdale development of the former golf course shows a major creek with branches that used to feed it from both north and south, and it was totally dry from July into December. Dry, parched, nothing wet in the creek bed at all from the Brookdale development to where Spanaway Creek flows in from the Tule Lake area. Of course, back in Lakewood, there was water, so what’s the problem, right?

Letters between members of the Clover Chambers Watershed Council show a group of experienced creek watchers are livid. But, the Council itself is denuded by its structure. The Council is run by employees of the Pierce County Surface Water Management Department, and the employees will not let the Council member speak out on “political” or controversial issues. Issues like, there is no creek anymore. Or why, planning is allowing variances that wave laws about setbacks for water bodies so certain types of developments can be allowed where they really should not be built. Ask any neighbor if the entire Brookdale development should have been approved. A good flood in the next few years will be a clue.

According to online sources, Bruce Dammeier attended Curtis High School in University Place, graduated from the US Naval Academy with a bachelors in Ocean Engineering, and has a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Washington. He was a Civil Engineer Corps office with the Navy. He lives in Puyallup where he was on the school board for several years and ran a printing business the family owned. He was also a developer, but that does not show in his resume. At the time he was elected to Executive, he had four different development businesses listed with the state, there is now only one.

The purpose for this story? I am issuing a warning and I am critically serious. In 2024, this County Executive, handsome and sweet as he may appear, and he does seem like a really nice guy when you meet him, please, look deeper. During his time in office, much damage had occurred to the ecology of Pierce County’s outer reaches. Please, please, don’t let him ever be governor. There is a solid chance he could and would ruin the entire state. Bye by orca, goodbye.

Our Sole Source Aquifer and the Hirst Decision

As a master watershed steward focused on protecting our groundwater resources and sole source aquifer, I also favor the Hirst ruling.  The first rule in development is whether or not there is enough aquifer water to support that new development for all of the years each house (and factory, and apartment building) stands.  Far more concern for apartment buildings and the huge amount of water withdrawal per acre they create.

This issue began due to the out of control development approved by people who have no training, degrees or knowledge of the laws that protect our water supply, nor in how to evaluate the impact of high density expansion in the unincorporated UGA where federal law forbids importation of outside sources of water.  We face that in this county all the time.  Recently, I had to yet again request that EPA confirm to Pierce County that the TPCHD has no authority over our SSA, and has no authority to approve continued high-density development where foreign sources of water (Green River) would be used.  Whether they like it or not, the TPCHD does in fact not have authority over the SSA.  They applied for the designation, but once it was granted and listed on the Federal Register, it became the child of EPA.  They also proved their inefficiency of protecting the SSA when they began approving importation of Tacoma water into our UGA.  They of all departments must know this is not allowed, yet they pretend they have that authority, and the planning dept. approves based on this erroneous pretense.

This must stop, as they simply do not have that authority.  I have established this firmly with this county already, and EPA has confirmed this to the county as well.

This is a very important issue in addressing city level development in our unincorporated UGA.  Already we have lost over 50% of our recharge capability.  Pushing development farther out into our unincorporated UGA will be very negative to our only source and supply of clean drinking water.  High-density development causes less recharge, more impervious surfaces (remember that even clearing land creates 100% impervious surfaces), much greater contamination danger and far more people taking water from the aquifer.  We have no way to assure the recharge from the remaining land will be enough to support our populace.  A situation of great concern, to be sure.  No science has been used in approving all of this new population withdrawing from the SSA without science based protected recharge being part of the equation.

It’s like a snake eating its tail.  Around and around, but never a solution.  We MUST protect our water!  We also MUST protect the water supply to our creeks, ponds and streams, therefore our rivers that they flow into.

It goes back to my oft repeated statement…..How can so many otherwise intelligent people be so STUPID???

Greed knows no bounds!

Cindy Beckett, Master Watershed Steward
no water – no life
The health of the people depends directly on the health of their watershed

The Spanaway Post Office shortchanges it’s community

Pierce Prairie Post


Monday evening, I left my day job in Tacoma at the usual time, 5:30 p.m. I managed to have luck with traffic stops and signals and reached the Spanaway Post office in time to check my Post Office Box. Since I had been on vacation last week, it was important to see what had been waiting for me.10653360_10203697509532766_5249197979315828932_n

I reached the door of the Post Office at 6:10 p.m. and pushed. The door was locked! Now I know full well, the Post Office advertises it is open until 6:15 p.m. Historically, I have also had conversations with at least three of the past Spanaway Post Masters about the practice of closing early. I really don’t care for the excuses that they can lock up that early. Shift work is something many of us do, you can too.

The South Hill and Graham Post Offices allow 24 hour a day access to…

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It should be Elk Plain when the zip codes changes

Pierce Prairie Post

By Marianne Lincoln

ELK PLAIN, WA — Spanaway currently has two post office buildings. A request has been made from Joint Base Lewis McChord to the Postmaster General in Washington D.C. to give “Bethel Station” it’s own zip code. The reason has to do with the number of gates to the military base being based on the number of zip codes along its boundaries.DSC_8381

I am certain with all the problems with traffic getting into and out of JBLM, there would be a sigh of relief to know there could be another route into the base. But locally, we have a problem as well. The second branch office in Spanaway was misnamed when it was opened. It should be named for the community, not the nearby shopping center.

So I am asking EVERYONE to pick up their pen or email now! Write to the Postmaster General in Washington D.C. and…

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The virtuous path – WE have a dream

Pierce Prairie Post

Editorial, by Marianne (Scott) Lincoln

In August 1963, I was only 6 years old and about to enter first grade at Central Avenue Elementary. I do not remember Dr. King giving his famous I Have a Dream speech, but I do remember a conversation my mother had at Mrs. Brown’s house next door. That conversation was likely inspired by events taking place that year.

Pearl Brown was 93 years old. She was born in 1870 in the south, but only lived there until she was 10. She ended up in Tacoma around 1910 and she ran a boarding house that catered to the Pullman Porters from the Northern Pacific Railroad. She was a woman of African-American descent with her own business. She retired in the 1940’s and bought her house in Summit on Canyon Road. She lived to be 101.

Mrs. Brown was in the hospitality business and well-trained to…

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Needs and apology for hindering in an emergency

Whoever you were, you are the premium example of a jackass. When some one is driving up in the fast lane, honking their horn and flashing their lights, you think this is a reason to change lanes, pull in front of them and slow down? Did  you EVER consider the accident you almost caused? That is may have been YOUR life lost by doing something that stupid?!

There was a woman in a car driving fast because of an emergency. Why the HELL did you think that was the right time to pull that crap? You’re an idiot and the exact reason I started an editorial blog.

Hum, a real emergency. I suppose I needed to be in a fire truck, eh? Or do you do that to them too?

Just between you, me and The Fence Post

DSC_0466The Fence Post, okay, the Pierce Prairie Fence Post is an alter ego to the Pierce Prairie Post. The Fence post will be editorial opinion and additional analysis of the local news. In order to keep The Pierce Prairie Post as the good news, news that it is, this was the best solution to providing the deeper content of the subjects in  the community for the spotlight.

The Fence Post hopes that you appreciate the greater community and your right to think through the happenings of the day.