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Weekly Volcano’s quality of life meter for Pierce County

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Last week — as I’m sure you’ll recall from media reports — we all died of swine flu. It was pure, raging, apocalyptic madness. Babies ate babies and no one was safe. Every time another person coughed, and angel turned to bacon. It was the scariest thing ever. Sure am glad that’s over. MINUS 2

Pierce County average home prices fell to $225,000 in April, a 14.5 percent decrease from when prices posted during the same time last year, according  to our friends at the Northwest Multiple Listings Service. That’s one of the most substantial declines we’ve seen since the housing market went south. No surprise. But still, MINUS 2

The Tacoma City Marathon went down last Sunday, winding runners through some of the best parts of our fair city — like Wright Park, Stadium High School and the waterfront near Ruston. In all, people probably see the marathon as a good thing — except for one agro dude that lives in an apartment close to Matt Driscoll. As the marathon cruised by outside Driscoll’s building — older lady types yelling encouragement to the throngs of runners — Driscoll’s neighbor had enough of it. It was shortly after 7 a.m., after all — and neighbor dude’s wife was trying to sleep. He stomped downstairs and unleashed one of the most memorable four lettered assaults ever directed at marathon runners — who at this point were more like old lady walkers, as the speedy joggers had already passed. Dude was mad as hell and not going to take it anymore — which, right or wrong, you’ve got to respect. PLUS 1

Fifteen Pierce County law enforcement agencies filled out their wish lists this week. President Obama has earmarked $2.8 million in federal grant money for country police. The Tacoma Police Department expects to receive around $1 million, of which they told The News Tribune $344,188 will go toward overtime duties such as rounding up truant kids and crashing teen house parties. Ironic, when money steered toward making kids better people is being taken away. PLUS 2

Point Defiance Zoo’s last remaining Beluga whale, Beethoven, is showing signs of stress following the death of fellow white whale Qannik, whose untimely pasing in March was attributed to a blood infection. Beethoven has been popping his jaw and swimming in circles. Tests for methamphetamine abuse were not necessary. Beethoven is on his way to a new home in San Antonio, where he will be fitted with a laser and released into local waterways to hunt water-borne immigrants. Not really. Still, MINUS 1

Total Pluses:  3           

Total Minuses: 5

This Week’s Total:  MINUS 2       

Last Week’s Total: MINUS 3

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