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Service Plumbing & Systems 1613 112th St S Tacoma WA 98444
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Sound Glass Sales, Inc. 5501 75th Street West Tacoma WA
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About Tacoma

Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma (IPA: [tə ˈko mə]) is a mid-sized urban port city in Washington, USA. The city is situated on a peninsula on the southern end of Washington's Puget Sound, in an area 32 miles (51 km) southwest of Seattle, 31 miles (50 km) northeast of the State capital, Olympia, and 58 miles (93 km) northwest of Mount Rainier National Park. According to 2007 Washington State OFM estimates, Tacoma has an estimated population of 201,700.[1] Tacoma stands as the second-largest city in the Puget Sound area, the third-largest in the state, and the seat of government of Pierce County.

Skyline of Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma adopted its name after the nearby Mount Rainier, which was originally called Mount Tacoma or Mount Tahoma. It is known as the "City of Destiny" because the area was chosen to be the site of the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the late 1800s. The decision of the railroad was influenced in part because of Tacoma's neighboring Commencement Bay. By connecting the bay with the railroad Tacoma’s motto became “When rails meet sails.” Today Commencement Bay serves the Port of Tacoma, a major player in international trade on the Pacific Coast.

Like most central cities, Tacoma suffered a prolonged decline in the mid-20th century as a result of suburbanization, divestment, and federal urban renewal programs. Recently the city has been undergoing a Renaissance of sorts (see below); investing great sums of money in the downtown core to establish the University of Washington, Tacoma; Tacoma Link, the first modern electric light rail service in the state; various art and history museums; and a restored inlet, the Thea Foss Waterway.

The city has a long history of blue-collar labor politics owing to the relationship between the people and the railroad.

The SR-509 Bridge leading into downtown.

The SR-509 Bridge leading into downtown.

Tacoma-Pierce County has been named as one of the most livable areas in the country. [2] Tacoma was also recently listed as one of the most walkable cities in the country (19th).[3] In contrast, the city is also ranked as the most stressed-out city in the country in a 2004 survey.[4] However, in 2006, women's magazine Self named Tacoma the "Most Sexually Healthy City" in the United States.

Demographics

City of Tacoma
Population by year[13]
191083,743
192096,965
1930106,817
1940109,408
1950143,673
1960147,979
1970154,581
1980158,501
1990176,664
2000193,556
2006199,600

The censusGR2 of 2000 indicated that 193,556 persons, 76,152 households, and 45,919 families resided in Tacoma. Four years later, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Tacoma's population had increased by 1.7%, to 196,800 (Trends, No. D3 [September 2004]).

In 2000, Tacoma's population density was 1,492.3/km² (3,864.9/mi²). There were 81,102 housing units at an average density of 625.3/km² (1,619.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.25% White, 12.17% African American, 2.01% Native American, 8.23% Asian, 0.93% Pacific Islander, 3.02% from other races, and 6.28% from two or more races. 7.11% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 76,152 households in Tacoma in 2000; 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.7% were non-families. Almost one third of households (31.7%) were made up of individuals living alone; 10.4% of these were 65 years of age or older. The average household size in 2000 was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.10.

In 2000, the population's demographics were evenly distributed: 25.8% under 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34. For every 100 females there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,879, and the median income for a family was $45,567. Males had a median income of $35,820, versus $27,697 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,130. 15.9% of the population and 11.4% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 20.6% of those under the age of 18 and 10.9% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line. Average rents in Tacoma in 2005 were $577 for a one bedroom apartment, and $844 for a two bedroom apartment.

Commerce and industry

The Port of Tacoma, on Commencement Bay, is one of the largest seaports in the Pacific Northwest
The Port of Tacoma, on Commencement Bay, is one of the largest seaports in the Pacific Northwest

Tacoma is the home of several international companies, such as Labor Ready, Inc. and the Russell Investment Group.

Beginning in the 1930s, Tacoma became known for the "Tacoma Aroma", a distinctive, acrid odor produced by paper manufacturing on the industrial tide flats. In the late 1990s, Simpson Tacoma Kraft reduced total sulfur emissions by 90%. This largely eliminated the problem; where once the aroma was ever-present, it is now only noticeable occasionally, primarily when the wind is coming from the west.

U.S. Oil and Refining operates an oil refinery on the tideflats in the Port of Tacoma. Built in Tacoma in 1952, it currently refines 39,000 barrels of petroleum per day.

The Tacoma Mall is the largest shopping center in Tacoma. It is owned by Simon Property Group. Anchor tenants include JC Penney, Sears, Macy's, and Nordstrom.

Schools & Universities

Tacoma's main public school district is Tacoma Public Schools. The district contains 36 elementary schools, eleven middle schools, five high schools, one alternative high school, and one school of the arts (SOTA).

Henry Foss High School operates an International Baccalaureate program. Sheridan Elementary School operates three foreign language immersion programs (Spanish, French, and Japanese). Mount Tahoma High School opened a brand new building in South Tacoma in the fall of 2004. Stadium High School and Wilson High School were remodeled/refurbished and reopened in September 2006. Lincoln High School will reopen in the fall of 2007 after a $75 million renovation and expansion.[17]

Private schools in the area include the Annie Wright School and Bellarmine Preparatory School (Tacoma).

Tacoma's institutions of higher learning include the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma Community College, Bates Technical College, and the University of Washington, Tacoma. Pacific Lutheran University, The Evergreen State College, Tacoma, and Pierce College also lie within the greater Tacoma area.

Cultural Attractions

Tacoma hosts part of the annual four-part Daffodil Parade, which takes place every April in Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting.

The Tacoma farmers' market runs every May through September, every Thursday, in the Theatre District.

Mass media and local blogs

The city's major daily newspaper is The News Tribune, a subsidiary of McClatchy Newspapers since 1986. Its circulation is about 128,000 (144,000 on Sundays), making it the third-largest newspaper in the state of Washington. A daily newspaper has been in circulation in Tacoma since 1883. Between 1907 and 1918, three dailies were published: The Tacoma Ledger, The News, and The Tacoma Tribune.

Local papers include the Tacoma Weekly, the Tacoma Daily Index and the South Sound weekly entertainment newspaper Weekly Volcano.

A sample of local blogs that typically report on events and happenings in Tacoma include Exit 133, In-Tacoma.net, KevinFreitas.net, The South Tacoma Way, BIA Blog, Tacomaness.com, Grit City, The Flying Turtle Post Intelligencer, ThriceAllAmerican.com, Cassioposa.net, ErikEmery.com, and Spew, several of which are contributors to Feed Tacoma.

Professional sports teams

ClubSportFoundedLeagueVenue
Tacoma RainiersBaseball1960Pacific Coast LeagueCheney Stadium
Tacoma JazzBasketball2005International Basketball LeagueTacoma Dome
Tacoma TideSoccer2006USL Premier Development LeagueCurtis Senior High School

The city has struggled to keep a minor league hockey franchise. The Tacoma Rockets of the WHL were lost to relocation, and the Tacoma Sabercats of the former West Coast Hockey League closed due to financial woes. The Tacoma Dome still hosts traveling sports and other events, such as pro wrestling, figure skating tours, and the Harlem Globetrotters. At one point, the Tacoma Dome was home to a professional indoor soccer team, the Tacoma Stars. For the 1994-1995 season, the Seattle SuperSonics played in the Tacoma Dome while the Seattle Center Coliseum was renovated (and renamed Key Arena). The Tacoma Dome also hosted the 1988 and 1989 Women's NCAA Final Four. In 2007, the Tacoma Dome will host four home games of the Tacoma Jazz, who recently replaced the Tacoma Jets on the IBL schedule.

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Tacoma, Washington

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