BMW cuts ribbon on newly remodeled dealership

What's a grand re-opening without food?

More than 130 people celebrated Wednesday’s Ribbon Cutting of the newly renovated BMW Northwest in Fife. Owned by longtime Lakewood resident, Manfred Scharmach, the Ribbon Cutting also kicks off a Celebration Sales Event April 25-27. El Gaucho catered Wednesday’s grand opening and will be back for the weekend event. Below are some pictures from Wednesday’s event. [Read more...]

Parks Appreciation Day volunteers not deterred by spring weather

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Saturday, April 26, is Parks Appreciation Day in Pierce County and it should be a typical spring day in wet Western Washington. Nevertheless, the county’s Parks and Recreation Department knows that lots of volunteers will brave the elements and turn out to help beautify their communities from 9 a.m. to noon.

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Social Security benefits help people with a ticket to work

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Individuals with disabilities encounter numerous barriers to employment. Those frustrating walls hinder gainful employment and reduce self-sufficiency. But Social Security provides many effective work incentives that can be combined with other state resources.

Plan to Work, a community-based nonprofit, will host a special two hour presentation about benefits and benefit planning for individuals and families with disabilities. The presentation is scheduled for Thursday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Tacoma Public Schools Professional Development Center, 6501 N. 23rd Street in Tacoma.

“Our personal sense of self-worth is often tied in with meaningful employment,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources. “But the challenges to employment for individuals with disabilities can be enormous. Social Security has effective tools that make meaningful employment possible.”

Staff from Plan to Work will explain work incentives in both general terms and individual-specific terms and discuss how earned income affects SSI/SSDI, as well as other federal, state, and local programs (HUD, Basic Food, etc). The presentation will also describe how Plan to Work helps beneficiaries plan ahead by creating an individualized Benefit Summary and Analysis and Work Incentive Plan.

In Washington State approximately 12.8% of adults reported a disability. The employment rate for people with disabilities averaged 49% compared to 75% for those without disabilities. The result is that the poverty rate for people with disabilities is almost double that of persons without disabilities (19% vs. 9%).

“Without good employment,” continued Van Valkenburg, “feelings of social and emotional support disappear and a feeling of participation in the community and a sense of well-being vanish.”

“Plan to Work While on Social Security Disability Benefits” is sponsored by Plan to Work, Pierce County Coalition for Developmental Disabilities (PC2), Pierce County Community Connections and Aging & Disability Resource Center, and Tacoma School District – Student Services. For information about the workshop call Plan to Work at 1-866-497-9443, ADRC at 253-798-4600, or PC2 at 253-564-0707.