Harold M. Tollefson might smile if he were alive.
The three-term mayor surely wouldn’t like that the downtown public quadrilateral-thingy named posthumously in his honor is the butt of jokes. No electricity, no bathrooms, no weather protection = no people.
He might cringe that the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber bailed out of managing Tollefson Plaza this year after losing more than 14 grand. Or that the city and chamber used the same doublespeak (“passive management”) to sum up plans for the future. (Does that make the plaza “crowd challenged?”)
But Harold M. Tollefson’s face might light up this week if he saw the hundreds of multicolor plywood alphabet letters, courtesy of the Tacoma Art Museum and artist James Sinding.
No grown-up ideas have worked, so why not tap into the city’s inner preschooler? We’re holding out for juice, crackers and naptime.
Snores Truly went to the plaza Thursday and Friday. The word art assembled on the concrete steps won’t make us soon forget Yeats or Longfellow.
Stuff like “PEACE IS A MYTH,” “SMOKE WEE,” “HILLTOP CRIP” and “MATT LESTER IS SANTA.” (We predict some guerilla artiste will change it after hours to “MATT LESTER IS SATAN.”)
But we did spend more time at the plaza than all our previous visits combined. And it got us thinking: If this can’t be a public gathering place, how ’bout the public Twitter page or text-message board?
Here’s what we’d spell out, given enough time, space and consonants:
• “LOTSA T-DOME OVERFLOW PARKING HERE”
• “CAN WE STRETCH AN EXTENSION CORD FROM CITY HALL?”
• “ANOTHER DOWNTOWN VACANCY”
• “HEY RUSSE YOU CAN GO TO SEATT E OR YOU CAN GO TO HE !”
• “KEEP OFF THE GRA ... OH, NEVER MIND.”
• “UNDER NEW NO MGMT.”
Not sure how your little nippers kill time instead of each other during the dog days of midsummer, but at our house, hours of fun are spent with the Pierce County Voters Pamphlet. The Nostrils were pressed against the window last week, waiting for the mailman to bring it.
Doesn’t quite pack the punch of a comic book, even with superhero names like Goodspaceguy, Mike the Mover and Norm “Mr. Incredible” Dicks.
What it does have are two pages of “Play and Learn!” puzzles. Civic-minded kneebiters can do crossword and word-search challenges on pages 6 and 7.
And that doesn’t include the gobs of family entertainment throughout the pamphlet, with improvisational games such as:
(1) Find the guy in the cowboy hat! (2) Most electable moustache! (Top two vote-getters advance to a ‘Moustache Off’ in November.) (3) Dave Reichert: human being or wax figure? (4) See if Pat McCarthy surreptitiously dropped her name in the pamphlet this year, even though she’s not on the ballot! (5) Toupee or not toupee? (Separate categories for men and women.) (6) Draw a goofy smile on Mark Lindquist!
None of the puzzles, however, is as brain-bending as the biggest puzzle Pierce County ever devised – ranked-choice voting.
We miss it already.
We’re grateful when eagle-eyed readers scout the highways and byways for Noseworthy material.
So kudos to Mike Muller of Tacoma for spotting this message on one of the screamin’ video billboards at the Pierce/King county line:
“Pat McCarthy, Pierce County Executive, welcomes golf fans to the U.S. Amateur Tournament.”
Well, that’s mighty hospitable of her. Just one problemo: The message is seen by drivers as they mosey north on I-5.
Maybe the golfers aren’t the only amateurs involved in this operation.
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