Last week, City Club announced a forum with two business leaders discussing their ideas for “bridging the ‘vitality gap’ between the dynamic UWT/museum district on one end, and the lively Ruston Way on the opposite end.”

This week, club executive director Erik Hanberg disavowed the statement faster than a tourist hanging a U-turn after mistakenly driving to the north end of downtown.

For anyone who’s wondering, my speedy disavowal is pasted below. It was an unfortunate oversight that let that sentence into the press release and I really am wishing I’d been able to catch it ahead of time.

That said, our program on Wednesday about downtown business was quite quite good, I thought. Janine Terrano and Jim Merritt had some good comments, and–as usual–the questions from City Club were excellent. I liked Merritt’s discussion about bringing “play” back downtown and Terrano’s thoughts on education as a retention/recruitment strategy for her business.

Last week City Club emailed a press release about our Wednesday lunch panel about Downtown Tacoma business with Janine Terrano, Jim Merritt, and moderated by C.R. Roberts.

The press release contained this sentence:

Mr. Merritt and Ms. Terrano will also discuss ideas for bridging the “vitality gap” between the dynamic UWT/museum district on one end, and the lively Ruston Way on the opposite end.

As a resident of downtown Tacoma since 2002 (the part between UWT and Ruston Way, no less), not to mention business owner, theater goer, restaurant patron, and shopper, I can attest that this sentence is incorrect, and I apologize for its inclusion in the press release.

The explanation for its inclusion is best described as a bad “game of telephone.” An offhand remark about the emptiness of Schuster Parkway at the north end of downtown got relayed through enough people that it ended up as the sentence above.

There are certainly issues affecting downtown Tacoma that are worthy of engagement, and I expect that our Wednesday program will be a part of that dialog. But a “vitality gap” as described above is not one of them.