County prepares to complete Foothills Trail to Buckley

“The Pierce County Council has authorized starting the process of condemning the last four properties needed to complete the Foothills Trail in East Pierce County, more than a quarter-century after the walking and biking trail’s inception….”

Great news for the Foothills Trail and Buckley! For the full story, follow the link below:

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/10/22/3446278_county-prepares-to-complete-foothills.html?sp=/99/289/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/10/22/3446278_county-prepares-to-complete-foothills.html?sp=/99/289/&rh=1

Sumner Link Trail Opening Celebration, October 23rd at 2 p.m.

http://ci.sumner.wa.us/trail-opening-celebration/

The Missing Link- Cityvision Magazine, July/August 2014

In the current issue of Cityvision Magazine, an article can be found about Sumner’s new trail that links to the Interurban Trail.

The article can be downloaded here.

Also, for more information about the new trail and other Sumner trails can be found at the cities website, http://ci.sumner.wa.us/living/parks-trails/trails/

Cityvision Magazine is published by the Association of Washington Cities, the full publication can be found at: http://awcnet.org/ResourcesResearch/Publications/Cityvisioncurrentissue.aspx

Marvin Brandt Trust vs United States of America

Brandt Vs United States
March 13, 2014

Let’s start this off with a disclaimer – I am not an attorney and thus I do not give legal opinions.
This is just one person, who has some knowledge of real estate and railroads opinion.
Is the Foothills Trail in any danger based on this March 10, 2014 opinion of the United State Supreme Court, Marvin Brandt Trust vs The United State of America? The answer in my opinion as a resounding…. NO!

Why:
1) The discussion in Brandt pertains to railroad rights of ways created by Acts of the United States Congress in 1875 and after. Generally in Western Washington that would be the original main line rights of ways of the Great Northern Railway and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railways.

2) The whole of the Foothills Trail is located on the former main line right of way of the Northern Pacific Railroad/Railway, which right of way was created by an Act of the U.S. Congress on July 2, 1864.The Brandt Court Case only pertains to Acts in 1875 and after, thus does not affect the Foothills Trail. In fact said Brandt discussion is not new case law but simply reaffirms a 1941 Decree of the U. S. Supreme Court.

3) IF, which it DOES NOT, said decision pertained to the Foothills Trail we have already done the steps necessary under the Brandt decision to make sure the Foothills Trail is safe. Pierce County acquired title from the adjacent owners and in some cases from the long ago parties who had rights within the N.P.s right of way whose rights were based on a Washington State Supreme Court decision in Roeder vs B.N.

4) The Trail right of way between Shaw Road and the McMillan Trailhead was acquired by Pierce County using an EXCEPTION in United States Code 43-912 which is commonly referred to as the railroad right of way abandonment law. That exception is called the “public highway exception”. Pierce County has declared the whole of that portion of the former Northern Pacific right of way as a public highway by Resolution of the Pierce County Council.

5) There is a small area of the Shaw Road to McMillan Trail that is “railbanked” but that was included in the Pierce County Resolution creating the “public Highway”.

I feel comfortable that the Foothills Trail, as it exists on March 13, 2014, is SAFE.
Buzz Grant
President of the Foothills Rails to Trails Coalition

FRED MEYER COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM

Fred Meyer Rewards Program Can Benefit Trail Communities
Submitted by Dixie Gatchel

Want to help Fred Meyer decide how it donates $2.5 million a year from its community rewards fund? Want to help us fulfill our vision for “Trails Uniting Communities?” It couldn’t be easier. Are you a Fred Meyer customer? Just go online and link your rewards card to Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition (NPO #94335) at www.fredmeyer.com/communityrewards. If you don’t have a rewards card, you can sign up for one at the Customer Service Desk of any Fred Meyer Store. Shoppers can double points earned if they shop with a Fred Meyer Visa card. You will continue to earn your personal Fred Meyer Rewards points, rebates, and fuel points.

The Foothills Coalition is very excited about this latest addition to the Fred Meyer Rewards Program. For the past four years, Fred Meyer has provided generous sponsorship for our Friends of the Riverwalk annual “Families in Motion Day” event.

The Fred Meyer Rewards Program is donating $2.5 million each year – up to $625,000 each quarter – to the local schools, community organizations and nonprofits, of our choice, to nonprofits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Whenever you use your Rewards Card shopping at Freddy’s, you’ll be helping the nonprofit linked to your Rewards Card to possible earn a donation from Fred Meyer. Organizations will receive Community Rewards donation checks within 90 days of the close of each quarter (March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31). All proceeds from Community Rewards must be spent for programs within Alaska, Idaho, Oregon or Washington. The email address for further questions is: FMCommunityRewards@fredmeyer.com.

The new rewards program began February 3rd but signup is ongoing. Don’t miss this stellar opportunity to help earn points for advancing our Foothills Pierce County Trail Network.
Please consider designating Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition (NPO #94355) as your favorite.

County pays $1 million for land to close gap in Foothills Trail

Friday, November 22, 2013 at 5:44 PM The News Tribune, Tacoma, WA

Pierce County has purchased a crucial, missing link for connecting the popular Foothills Trail from South Prairie to Buckley The price tag: $1.05 million. That’s what the county is paying for a strip of land through Dwight Partin’s RV park in South Prairie. The purchase represents a major step toward completing the walking and biking trail whose main 20-mile corridor stretches from a trail head just east of Puyallup to Buckley. It runs atop an abandoned railroad bed. Partin and the county agreed on a price in April for the 1.36 acres, but negotiations continued over details of the agreement, said Matt Hansen, Partin’s attorney. The sale of the 59,000-square-foot area was made final Thursday. The county’s negotiations with Partin date back to at least 2006. “People want to know it’s finished and we can move on,” Partin said.

Buzz Grant, president of the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition, was ecstatic over the acquisition. “After all this time, it’s finally done,” Grant said. “I’m absolutely flabbergasted and very, very happy. “The paved Foothills Trail covers 15 miles from Puyallup to South Prairie. The 12-foot-wide trail also includes a two-mile stretch in Buckley, and short segments east of South Prairie and in Wilkeson. When complete, the trail will cover more than 28 miles. Some visionaries have dreamed even bigger, their hopes set on a recreation trail network connecting Mount Rainier National Park to Tacoma and on to Gig Harbor over the Narrows Bridge. The county said Friday it will continue efforts to buy property to fill in the remaining gaps in the Puyallup-to-Buckley segment. Those gaps make up less than 3 miles of trail in two sections .The county also will seek grants to begin work extending the trail through the newly acquired property. No estimate was given on when the section will be ready for use.

County Executive Pat McCarthy called the purchase “an exciting development.” “This is an important milestone as we strive to complete the vision for an uninterrupted trail connecting Puyallup, Orting, South Prairie and Buckley with points beyond,” McCarthy said in a statement. In June, the County Council approved a supplemental budget from McCarthy that included funds to purchase the property. Of that, $130,000 is from the paths and trails fund. Another $300,000 is a loan from the county’s equipment rental and revolving fund.

That $430,000, combined with money already in the parks and recreation budget, will pay for the Partin property. Relationships between the county and Partin have been contentious at times. In 2010, the County Council authorized condemnation proceedings. Negotiations carried on under that cloud. In April, Partin said he was ready to sell. The county bought a 40-foot-wide strip of land through Partin’s 40 acres that include his RV park. Partin said in April that 59 of the 105 RV sites in his South Prairie Creek RV Park will have to be relocated elsewhere on his property. Partin will not be able to locate RVs south of the trail. The purchase price takes into account this and other impacts on Partin’s property.
Partin and the county have disagreed in the past over where on his property the trail will go. Hansen said it will run through former railroad right-of-way in the southern section of Partin’s property. In an email Wednesday, Partin credited County Council member Dan Roach, R-Bonney Lake, and council staff member Mike Kruger “for stepping in and helping break the ice for this agreement and getting the parties working together. “Partin also said the prosecutor’s office and the county’s parks and recreation department “have all been very respectful towards the needs of my business and my tenants needs.

Buckley to Orting Half Marathon

Buckley to Orting Half Marathon

The first of what is expected to be many Buckley to Orting (B&O) Half Marathons has come and gone. On Saturday, July 27th, 2013, a total of 110 people made their way through the 13.1 mile, scenic course. Here is a list of the top finishers by category for the event.

  • Female – 17 years of age and under
    Samantha Patterson from Puyallup in 1 hour 38 minutes
  • Female – 18 to 39 years of age
    Brittany Hodgson from Tacoma in 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Female Masters
    Lanette Blume from Tacoma in 1 hour 44 minutes
  • Female Super Masters
    Phyllis Welker from Tacoma in 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Male – 18 to 39 years of age
    Mike Stone from Graham in 1 hour 19 minutes
  • Male Masters
    Doug Stucki from Auburn in 1 hour 37 minutes
  • Male Super Masters
    John Selby from Tacoma in 2 hours 5 minutes
© Bob Rowan/Progressive Image 2013

© Bob Rowan/Progressive Image 2013

We received lots of kudos from the runners, who thought the course was wonderful, the race was well run, and were going to tell friends and fellow running club members about the race.

We also had a mother with a stroller do the entire 13.1 miles, with her small son running a good portion of the run as well!

Next year’s race will be better than ever, the bugs should be worked out with the volunteers, and the Pierce County 4X4 Search and Rescue is ready, willing, and able to assist again!
The Coalition has renewed my contract to direct next year’s races, and I am excited to begin the process once again toward making the Rainer to Ruston Rail-Trail Relay and Ultra (R2R) and the B&O Half Marathon better than they have ever been.

I want to thank all of the great volunteers we had for the B&O, because without them, the race would not have been as great as it was. We had over 100 participants, and if we do it right, we will have over 300 next year. In the next few months, the race committee will be getting together and will need Coalition members to step forward and take control of certain committees to make the races as great as they can be.

R2R Holds Special Meaning

R2R Holds Special Meaning

Gina Chupka started the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, but never got the chance to complete her goal of running a marathon in all 50 states. Terrorism got in the way. But Chupka, a chemist from Golden, Colorado, pounded 50 miles of trail, pavement and mud in the 2013 Rainier-to-Ruston Ultra and Relay (R2R) on June 1st to accomplish another feat: Her first ultra. Boston will have to wait another year, but Chupka’s run was a top highlight of the 11th Annual R2R on June 1st, National Trails Day. This year’s event attracted 994 entrants and a record 93 ultra runners. There were no cheering crowds when Chupka crossed the finish line on Tacoma’s Ruston Way. In fact, her day’s journey from the foothills of Mount Rainier to Commencement Bay took nearly 12 hours. She struggled across the finish line only eight minutes before the race was to officially shut down at 7 p.m. When race director Richard Pasquier put the finisher’s medal around her neck and handed her the ceremonial railroad spike, she broke into tears and embraced Pasquier with a crushing hug. As she regained her breath, she told Pasquier her husband and parents had been waiting for her in a Boston restaurant when one of the explosions showered them with glass. “It was quite an accomplishment for her, and quite the emotional experience,” Pasquier recalled later. Chupka, whose age is “over 35,” now has done 53 marathons in 49 states. Last year she ran 24 marathons in 24 states. Pasquier, directing his first R2R, told another story that captures the essence of the R2R. Driving home long after the end of the race, volunteer John Downs spotted two women runners slowly making their way toward Ruston Way. He alerted Pasquier, who had already stopped in his car to give two other late finishers their medals and spikes. The two women were the Bondar sisters, Linda and Janice, 59 and 62 years old. They were stunned and immensely grateful to find Pasquier waiting with medals and spikes when they reached the finish at 8:52 p.m. By all accounts, the 2013 R2R was a great success. The weather was excellent, there were no reports of serious injury, and the addition of a beer garden at the finish line was hugely popular. Every ultra runner was treated to a free beer. A team from Sumner won the first ‘Mayor’s Cup’ in a relay competition among cities on the route. Allen Hughes won the ‘Founder’s Award’ for organizing effective radio communications along the race route. The worst glitch was a computer problem that prevented accurate time results. Pasquier vowed he would make sure that this won’t happen next year. The results were posted two days later on the R2R website. Pasquier praised the work of more than 125 volunteers. “They really pulled through to make it all happen,” he said. Pasquier is already at work planning the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition’s second half-marathon from Buckley to Orting to be held on July 27, 2013.

Those wishing to participate in the half-marathon may do so by visiting the following Website to sign up: http://www.rainiertoruston.com/FoothillsBOHalf.html