3/24: Erin Guinup of the Tacoma Refugee Choir

By sam No comments

Sam and Becky say hello and discuss what the show is about. We then go through our first set of notices about quarantine happenings around Tacoma. Finally, Becky interviews Tacoma Refugee Choir director Erin Guinup about the Choir and their most recent music video, “Be Counted.”

Interview starts at 15:14.

Show Notes


COVID-19 Response Page

  • State-level updates can be found at coronavirus.wa.gov
  • Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a Stay at Home, Stay Healthy order in Washington state which will be effective for a minimum of two weeks.
  • This proclamation requires every Washingtonian to stay home unless they need to pursue an essential activity, ban all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes, and close all businesses except essential businesses.
  • All grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, food supply chains and other things necessary for continued operations will remain open.
  • The ban on gatherings applies to both private and public gatherings which include everything from sleepovers for children to weddings and funerals. All of these types of events must be postponed for public health and safety.
  • All Washington State Parks campsites, roofed accommodations (such as cabins, yurts and vacation houses), group camps and day-use facilities are closed through April 30, 2020.
  • Effective 48 hours from Inslee’s Monday night order: All businesses prohibited, except for essential businesses, and businesses that can operate using telework.
  • The Governor’s Office has provided guidance on what businesses are essential, building on the federal government’s and California’s definition of “essential critical infrastructure workers.”
  • Businesses are able to request designation as an essential business if they believe themselves to be. Businesses and entities that provide other essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least 6 feet.
  • Information can be found at Coronavirus.wa.gov/business-workers
  • The Washington State Joint Information Center states some Do’s and Don’ts:
    • DO stay home as much as possible
    • DO go out for essential needs
    • DO get outside, but avoid groups and stay 6 feet from others
    • DO call, e-mail, and connect online with friends and family
    • DON’T gather in groups for any purpose, at home or outside
    • DON’T buy more than you need when shopping; save some for your neighbors.


  • The Washington State Department of Health has a call center to address questions from the public.
  • If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, or how the virus is spread, please call 1-800-525-0127.
  • Phone lines are currently staffed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m, seven days a week.
  • Please note that this call center can not access COVID-19 testing results.


City Facilities

Link: Cityoftacoma.org

  • City facilities including the administrative offices at the Tacoma Municipal Building complex on Market St. is closed to the public until further notice.
  • The Municipal Court’s front counters will be closed to public
  • Through April 24, 2020, all jury trials at the Tacoma Municipal Court will be suspended and rescheduled to a later date.
  • The Municipal Court will hear in-custody arraignments via video conferencing.
  • All in-person criminal proceedings at the Municipal Court are continued to a later date.
  • All in-person traffic and other civil infraction hearings at the Municipal Court are continued to a later date.
  • The Municipal Court reserves the right to schedule any criminal matters in cases involving threats to public safety. It is anticipated that staff in the Municipal Court Clerk’s office will be available by telephone and email, and mail will be received.
  • Tacoma Public Utilities lobby is closed to the public
  • Tacoma Public Libraries are currently closed
  • Essential City services, including emergency services and Solid Waste collection services, remain operational.
  • The City’s Parking Services is temporarily suspending pay station operations in downtown Tacoma. On-street parking does not require the purchase of a pay receipt. This temporary suspension will take place until further notice. During this time, parking enforcement actions will be limited to life safety violations throughout the city.

Mayor Woodards’ statement

  • Mayor Victoria Woodards “thanked Governor Jay Inslee for his leadership and for keeping the channels of communication open with all levels of government.”
  • She stated that “these new changes will challenge all of us” and remains “committed to seeking solutions to the impacts of these changes and protecting the health and well-being of all Tacoma community members.”
  • The mayor called on every member of our community, to join her in exercising resilience, innovation and compassion, and finding ways to encourage and support one another as we all abide by these new measures to protect public health.“
  • Full Statement Here



  • Tacoma’s Solid Waste utility is asking that only essential loads be brought to the Tacoma Recovery and Transfer Center, also known as the dump.
  • They ask that if you or someone in your household feels sick to please stay home.
  • Customers can call (253) 502-2100 to schedule additional solid waste collection or residential Call-2-Haul services

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

  • Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has filled all available testing slots for COVID-19 at the Tacoma Dome drive-thru testing site. Those who will be tested through Wednesday are first responders, medical providers, critical infrastructure employees, and those at high risk. The department advises that if you are experiencing symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. link


link: MP

  • all public restrooms operated by Metro Parks Tacoma are closed due to staffing constraints.
  • The following facilities will remain closed through Tuesday, March 31:
    • Metroparks headquarters
    • Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
    • Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
    • All four community centers (Eastside, STAR, People’s, Norpoint)
    • Tacoma Nature Center
    • W.W. Seymour Conservatory
    • Fort Nisqually Living History Museum
    • Meadow Park Golf Course
    • Foley’s on the Green Restaurant
    • Point Defiance Marina, Boathouse and public fishing pier except for the public boat launch. Locker tenants will continue to have access to their personal storage lockers, but will not have access to MPT services such as the boat lift or retail shop.
  • All programs are canceled, including indoor, outdoor, and volunteer work parties.
  • All facility rental are canceled at least through March 31.



  • #PierceCo Veterans Assistance Programs have temporarily expanded service to help those affected by COVID-19.
  • Please call 253-798-7449 to see what emergency assistance may be available to you and your family.
  • More information on Veterans services can be found at piercecountywa.gov/veterans



  • Pierce County Sewer customers are asking what can be flushed if toilet paper is in short supply
  • The agency states that the only thing you should flush down your toilet is what comes from your body or toilet paper.
  • Anything else can cause blockage or severe damage to the sewer system. This can be costly to you. Many people are unaware they are responsible for the part of the sewer line that runs from their home to the public lines. Others are on a septic tank and have full responsibility for maintenance and repair.
  • Public Works recommends having a small garbage can in the bathroom and disposing of anything other than toilet paper into that.


  • Pierce Transit has suspended fare collection on buses, as well as on SHUTTLE paratransit vehicles.
  • Riders will board buses using the rear doors only unless mobility assistance is needed.
  • Pierce Transit’s public lobby at its Administrative headquarters in Lakewood is now closed to public visitors
  • Starting Wednesday, March 25, The Bus Shop lobby at Tacoma Dome Station will close its lobby to visitors.
  • Pierce Transit has also marked off seats immediately behind the operator and seats throughout the bus to encourage social distancing, and has increased disinfecting of buses and public restrooms to multiple times daily with a focus on “high touch” areas such as handrails and grab bars.