12 January 2013

Tacoma Union Station Train Schedule

I have been attending proceedings in a trial at the United States Courthouse in Tacoma. It is a civil case, brought by a group of six protestors, against the City of Tacoma, in relation to events that occurred in March 2007, when there were protests around the transportation of a shipment of a "Stryker Brigade" from JBLM (then known as Fort Lewis.)

During the trial, the judge, Judge Ronald B. Leighton, told a story about the courthouse. After a morning of questioning the jury, (there were 33 potential jurors in the pool, of which 8 remained to stand duty for the trial,) judge Leighton asked the counsels to make their final decisions about which jurors they chose to eliminate. While he waited for their responses, he told of how the courthouse came to be.

Some of the details from the story he told were:
25,000 citizens gathered for the original Union Station train depot building dedication over 100 years ago.
18 years ago, the building was renovated for use as a federal court. At the time, the building was a home for pigeons, and Pacific Way was home to adult bookstores and drug addicts.
Some "ladies in the community" convinced the government to invest $65 million, and the result was very this "Temple of Justice," this present-day courthouse, with its state of the art courtrooms. It's special, not all courthouses have such features and function.
When the building was dedicated, the ceremony was performed by Bob Kakasuki. Bob was the first Asian-american in federal judiciary.
It was a special event, because when Bob was 11 years old, during World War II, he was transported away from Tacoma Union Station to internment camp.
Justice Bob Kakasuki died 13 years ago.

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