7/31: Chris Staudinger of Pretty Gritty Tours

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Chris Staudinger of Pretty Gritty Tours chats with Becky about some of the South Sound’s most unique places.

Interview begins at 13:13.


  • The state’s Employment Security Department was expected to finish clearing the backlog of claims filed between March and June by the end of business today.
  • Yesterday the governor renewed and clarified protections for high-risk employees and workers’ rights.
    • Employers must accommodate workers who would be more highly vulnerable to the virus according to age or condition.
    • Workers who are 65 and older and workers who fall into one of the CDC’s “at-risk” categories do not need to present medical verification to employers in order qualify for workplace protections or emergency leave related to COVID-19.
    • Individuals in the “might be at increased risk” category may legally be required by their employer to present verification from a medical provider to receive accommodations
    • The order remains in effect through the duration of the state of emergency, or until otherwise rescinded or amended.
  • The governor also announced that any personally identifiable information collected by COVID-19 case investigators, such as names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, email addresses, photographs, and identifying physical characteristics will be protected from public disclosure through records requests.
    • The proclamation does not apply to businesses that may be part of infection contact-tracing investigations.
  • The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has extended the deadline to pay worker’s comp premiums until November 2nd for the second quarter of the year. First quarter premiums were extended and due on today, July 31st.
    • Employers seeking to delay payment must apply for the second quarter relief, even if they received a payment extension for the first quarter.


  • The Space Needle is now open at limited capacity for visitors, who must wear masks and abide by physical distancing guidelines.
  • The Washington State Patrol is warning that those seeking recreation opportunities near Eagle Falls off Highway 2 will have their vehicles towed if they are illegally parked along the highway.
    • Officials urge residents to recreate close to home, park in legal spots, and consider alternate plans if parking lots at recreation areas are full.


  • Pierce County has fully opened North Lake Tapps County Park, with new amenities such as increased beachfront water access, an extended boat ramp, restrooms, and barbecue grills.
  • Small businesses in Pierce County with up to 20 employees may be eligible for business relief loans.


  • The University of Puget Sound is offering only remote instruction for the fall term.
    • UPS Students who are experiencing housing or food insecurity or are unable to participate in remote learning from their homes may be eligible to live in limited on-campus housing.
  • The Evergreen State College in Tacoma is waiving the application fee for fall quarter 2020, which will be held via remote instruction.
    • Those interested can email TacomaProgram@evergreen.edu or call 253-680-3005 and leave a message.
  • Thurston County’s health officer has recommended that school begin the fall term with remote instruction, limiting in-person learning to specialized groups of no more than 5 children at a time, and only when complying with all state and county health precautions.
  • All public schools in Pierce County, and most in King County, are beginning the academic year with remote instruction.
  • Private secondary schools Charles Wright, Annie Wright and Bellarmine Preparatory are planning to offer in-person instruction.


  • The Walk Tacoma Scavenger Hunt will take place August 5th thru 12th
    • Participants must register online at DownTownOnTheGo.org by August 3rd, or in person at the Downtown On the Go Shop located at S. 11th and Commerce St. on Monday, August 3rd from 4pm-6pm.
    • Those registered will receive details and clues for completing activities and answering questions related to aspects of our city that you can find out on foot, on bike, or by using public transit, with the chance to win prizes as an individual or a team of up to 5 members.
    • Everyone should wear a face mask and respect 6-foot distancing.