Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: April, 2007 (49) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 49

April 5, 2007 at 11:53am

Catherine Ushka-Hall interview

Catherineushka The Weekly Volcano caught up with Marty Campbell’s campaign manager, Catherine Ushka-Hall, right after her trip through urbanXchange and Embellish Multispace Salon. Campbell is running for Tacoma City Council position eight, the city-wide seat that will be vacated by fellow small business owner Bill Evans, whose term will expire in 2008.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: How did you land the job as Marty Campbell's campaign manager?

CATHERINE USHKA-HALL: As it turns out, Marty and I have been living almost parallel lives in Tacoma, both Neighborhood Council Chairs, both recipients of the Business Examiners 40 Under 40 Awards, both committed to a better Tacoma. But Campbell has significant experience solving issues in our community and in the arts, he’s been in the trenches here for a long time, while I have significant experience involving campaigns. To make a long story short, he was looking for a campaign manager, and I was helping him go through the process. At some point, Pactrica Laci-Davis, owner of Embellish Multispace Salon said, “Why don’t you do it?”  It took a day or two to consider, but it struck me that I love doing campaign work for the right people and the right issues. Marty is the right person. He's one of us. So I emailed him my resume, and the rest is history.  

VOLCANO: What are Campbell's major platform points?

USHKA-HALL: Commerce, Community and Conversation.

Commerce: There are many good things going for Tacoma, but it can be so much better. We must invest in our existing small businesses so that they can grow. We must encourage entrepreneurs and provide opportunity for real success right here in Tacoma. By investing in local business, we will grow our job base, our wages, and our quality of life.  Our tax dollars should be spent here first. As a result, we will retain our best and brightest, as well as our young families â€" Our city needs both of these to thrive.

Community: Our neighborhoods need to be safe, walk-able and attractive â€" not just for some Tacoman’s, but for all of us. There must be laws and ordinances that have real enforceability to keep criminals off our streets. And then we must actually enforce them.  Tacoma is maturing as a city, and that must include our existing businesses and community. Investment in the arts is paramount.

Someone once wrote that the true measure of the quality of a city is its arts Community.  Tacoma is a great place to be an artist, but it can be so much better. Marty will work to create an arts incubator to support budding artists and teach them to be successful as artists in our community.

Conversation: All of our 204,136 citizens deserve a voice. City services should be equitable, transparent and accessible. Campbell will insure transparency in the processes, and that the community is involved in the conversations that affect our daily lives. The citizens are the customer â€" city services should serve the citizens and respond, not react.  It's time to look to the future, and the future is now.

VOLCANO: Did you receive free videos and CDs from Campbell's businesses?

USHKA-HALL: Well, Marty let's me have free rentals at Stadium Video, just like employees do. However, there are still late fees. That means it's still challenging for me because bringing video’s back is a special challenge. The good news is that I can simply hand him the DVD at the office. I would never even ask for a free CD, I mean, he's got to make a living doesn't he? Marty is constantly giving CDs and gift certificates to auctions for different charities all over town.

VOLCANO: What excites you about Tacoma?

USHKA-HALL: The diversity. The energy. The opportunity. Tacoma has come a long way in a short time and we have this wonderful mix of people, those that grew up here and people from all over the world. I can't start a conversation in the grocery store without learning something new.  My mother's Day present last year was a "Gritty Tacoman" tee shirt. We are still small enough to do whatever we want, and large enough to truly support new ideas and affect changes.  Yes, Tacoma has its host of issues, but when I compare them to communities like ours around the country â€" we are not just ahead of the curve, we frequently define it. That's pretty darned exciting. â€" Brad Allen

Filed under: Politics, Tacoma,

April 6, 2007 at 9:19am

Horatio Theater Company moved?

Horatioforsale For Lease: 3,000 square foot space in Tacoma's Opera Alley with some improvements toward the creation of a black box theater.


So is the Horatio Theater Company moving up to that vacant yellow building? Or staying at the Commencement Bay Coffee, where "Sweeney Todd" was staged, and where
"Topdog/Underdog"  will run from April 19 to May 6? â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Business, Culture, Tacoma, Theater,

April 7, 2007 at 11:21am

Karaoke claims another victim

I didn’t understand the Karaoke thing, previously.

As a rule, I don’t sing in public.

Sure, I might belt out the old song in the car, windows tightly closed, no witnesses, but generally, I don’t let most people her me in my dead toad mode.

So co-scribe Ms. Jossy had a recent birthday, and a girl’s night was on-order.

One of Ms. Jossy’s choices: Puget Sound Pizza karaoke.

Umm. Gulp. OK.

So there we were, as things began somewhat awkwardly.

The place was packed, and both Angie and I were surrounded by people we didn’t know, except for Teddy Haggarty. Did you know his old-time relations were Hatfields?

But bartender Anna rocked my world with vodka cranberry â€" twist of lime â€" glasses coming all night long, and a taste of pineapple coconut decadence into the evening, and perhaps I can excuse my behavior as liquid lube side-effect?


All I know is, I got the mic, where Leonard Haggarty MC-ed (every Friday and Saturday), and sang "Mother’s Little Helper," a Stones ditty about drugs helping moms along the road, until the mom ODs.

Ms. Jossy sang "Cult of Personality," waking up the crowd. I sang "Breathe (2 am)" and then a Lisa Loeb song, and something else.  Because I was an addict, and I needed to feel that warm hard mic in my hand.

I don’t sing well, in public, the same way Ms. Angie rock star Jossy does.  She rocks the high notes, relishes the low notes, hugs the mic stand.

Nor do I sing the way Tim did, or Seth-Green look-alike Ben did.

But damn, I had fun.

And I think I caught the karaoke buzz.

Who’d’a thunk it could happen to me? â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Music, Tacoma,

April 9, 2007 at 10:25am

Van Warped Tour goes on sale Friday

The massive Vans Warped Tour concert will be held Saturday, Aug. 18 at the Gorge Amphitheater. The Warped Tour is like the hyperactive little brother of Lollapalooza. The bands are louder, there are more of them, and the whole event is constructed around skateboard culture. Schedule to perform are: Bad Religion, Tiger Army, Cute is What We Aim For, Paramore, Coheed and Cambria, Killswitch Engage, Chiodas, New Found Glory, Hawthorne Heights, Pennywise, Flogging Molly, and many more.

Tickets are $26.75 and $15.25 at Ticketmaster outlets.  They go on sale Friday, April 13, at 4 p.m. â€" Brad Allen

Filed under: Concert Alert,

April 9, 2007 at 1:30pm

Club Sapphire an evening no-go

I suspected my Saturday evening was in for challenges when the last-minute sitter I was finally able to find took four hours to confirm that she could, in fact, sit.

She was a younger (read, non-driving) sitter, which meant single-mom me would have to bring her home after my evening at Club Sapphire was over, which also meant that I’d have to pack up the kid to take said sitter home.

Which meant, really, it’d have to be an early night.

As soon as I’d finished a lovely meal with friends, I headed to South Tacoma Way and 56th, to check out Club Sapphire.

Friends I talked to earlier in the day said they had been to the club the week before, and the set-up was cool (“but there were, like, six people there.”)

I tried to call one of those friends, after Culture Babe couldn’t make it (she was at the "Bodies" exhibition in Seattle, cuz she’s cultural like that.)

At that point I realized I had no cell phone, which threw me in a panicked tizzy. No. 1) how would I reach a friend to enlist her into coming out with me?  No. 2) How would I reach my sitter to tell her I was running late?  No. 3) How would my sitter reach me if anything went wrong?

No matter, I told myself, breathe.  Go in, check out the vibe, have a drink, head home.

I couldn’t find it, at first.

Dawson’s Bar & Grill appeared to be hopping, with a rash of revelers out front enjoying their smokes; but I didn’t see “Club Sapphire” til my third pass-through, when I noted the neon open sign and illuminated rainbow sign above the black-tinted windows that showed the name.  In the center of th store front, the bouncer sat in a booth that was part porn shop, part vintage theater box-office; doors were closed leaving no clue as to what was happening inside.

I found the closest place to park â€" a dark alley â€" and shored myself up to go into a totally unfamiliar place, alone.

As a rule, I don’t mind going out alone.  I like the freedom that affords me â€" the freedom to blot, or the freedom to hang around longer, and the freedom to talk to all and whomever.

But tonight, I was feeling nervous.  Something didn’t feel right.

As I got out of the car and bleeped my locks, I heard a sound; behind me I say three dudes with hoods down low on their foreheads.

I got back into my car and high-tailed it home to my tired, but not yet asleep daughter.

I trust Tacoma, I believe that people on the street are not out to get me.

And yet, I am also a realist.

I did not want to be tomorrow’s headline, “Single mother in a coma after mugging, leaving child in the care of a non-driving 17-year-old.”

That would have sucked.

Coming soon: dance night at Club Sapphire, girls gone wild hit South Tacoma Way.

I’m anxious to go to the club, just not alone. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Club Hopping, Tacoma,

April 10, 2007 at 2:19pm

Tragedy at the Tempest

What is an Unhappy Hour?

It’s not dedicated hours of no televised sports, no half-price buffalo wings, and no mock turtleneck-wearing himbos bathed in Old Spice. Rather, it’s when a bar has one of its prized possessions stolen during happy hour.

A couple weeks ago some wad stole the framed Marilyn Monroe from the Tempest Lounge’s bathroom leaving a terrible scar on the wall.

“In my 'can't believe someone would do such a thing' moment of anger I typed up a scathing note and hung it in its place,” explains Tempest co-owner Denise Tempest.  “Tempest regulars have been hurt and saddened that someone would actually deface the place they love so and one has taken it a step further. A Tempest loyalist has added to my note, offering a reward of $50 for the return of Marilyn.  Their offer is to do an anonymous trade in exchange for $50.  I am so moved and so grateful to the Tempest patrons.  Michelle and I feel so very fortunate to have patrons who care so much about Tempest.”

Before Tempest bartender Lovely Larry gets all Dirty Harry on Tacoma, let’s find Marilyn and return the Tempest to an even temper.

If you have any information on the location of said Marilyn, give them a shout out at 253.272.4904, or drop them a note at info@tempestlounge.com or â€" Suzy Stump

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

April 12, 2007 at 8:35am

Who Cares tonight in Tacoma

Who Cares and those they’ve tricked slyly enough or drugged heavily enough to join them â€" The Voodoo Organist, Cerro Victoria and Mr. Plow â€" play Hell’s Kitchen tonight. Who Cares perform songs about homosexual holy holidays, diligent feminine hygiene, and everything else vile and disgusting.

It’s a beautiful thing. I’m sure your parents have warned you. â€" Matt Driscoll

[Hell’s Kitchen, 9 p.m., $5, 3829 Sixth Ave., 253.759.6003]

Filed under: Concert Alert, Tacoma,

April 13, 2007 at 10:02am

Two Tacoma galleries open their doors

A door is a weighty thing in literature. It represents both a divider and a portal, a way to keep people out or a means of allowing people in. The metaphorical possibilities are endless. And, practically speaking, it’s not a bad idea, either, just to keep intruders out and such.
Two new art gallerie opens their doors allowing in South Sounders.

Crowe Art Studio & Gallery, located at the final stop of the Tacoma Link at 744 Commerce St., opens its doors Thursday, April 19, which happens to be Third Thursday Art Walk.  Owner Cheryl Williams Dolan chose the bottom floor of Sanford & Son for this venture, which she calls “cozy.”  Expect peaceful scenery paintings as well as a few abstracts.  For more details, call 206.355.3934.

Gallery 96 opens its doors inside the Freighthouse Square Saturday, April 28.  Mark Hoppmann, Penni Russell, Linda Jacobus, Janyce Sukow, Patrice Bruzas, Mary Gibbs and Dan Suckow join forces in the name of oils, acrylics, watercolors, fused glass, sumi-e and mixed media.  Gallery 96 is at 2501 East D St.  For more information, call 253.495.1830. â€" Michael Swan

Filed under: Arts, Culture, Tacoma,

April 13, 2007 at 12:27pm

First Night Tacoma back on

Sure, it seems like Dec. 31 is a long time from now.  Is there any reason to be thinking now about New Year’s and what’ll be happening in Tacoma?

Yes, according to Kala Dralle of Community and Economic Development for the City of Tacoma, the official “First Night” New Year’s Eve downtown Tacoma arts celebration is back on.  The debt has dwindled down.  There's a solid board in place.  They even have a MySpace page.

Keep an eye on this blog for updates. â€" Suzy Stump

Filed under: Culture, Tacoma,

April 13, 2007 at 12:58pm

Cowboy Junkies album review and show

At the End of Paths Taken (Zoe Latent Records)

Cowboyjunkies The Cowboy Junkies have never been big on media hype.   Perhaps this is the reason mainstream radio is still only playing “Sweet Jane” from their 1988 disc, The Trinity Sessions.  It has been word of mouth that has built the Junkies loyal fan base and they wouldn’t have it any other way. 

This year marks their 20th anniversary of recording and once again they are sneaking out an album, At the End of Paths Taken, which is a departure from their proven formula.  Margo’s languid vocals and heroin chic tempos are still the cornerstone of their distinct sound but the band flexes their creative muscle and incorporates a yearning string sextet to the mix giving the uncomplicated songs such as “Brand New Day,” “Follower 2,” and “Spiral Down,” a grand orchestral makeover.

The infamous lethargic Cowboy Junkies sound rears it’s beautifully relaxed head as they reprieve the darkness of their 2001 Open recording on a couple tracks:  With distorted guitars and menacing bass-lines “Cutting Board Blues” and “My Little Basquiat” is a slow-burning bluesy tunes which each hold the same brooding vibe as “Dragging Hook.”  Throughout the epic sounding “Mountain” Margo and Michael’s father John A. Timmins reads from his book “I Don’t Know Where I Am But I’m Making Good Time” which sounds strangely reminiscent of Poe’s 2001 disc, Haunted.

Bringing guest musicians is nothing new for the band and besides the strings they use electric mandolin, piano, and digital kalimba which gives the new songs a full and robust aroma.  With self-penned originals about human connections, family and sustaining relationships, At the End of Paths Taken is lyrically a classic Cowboy Junkies album.

Check out the band Tuesday at Seattle's Benaroya Hall. â€" Tony Engelhart

[Benaroya Hall, Tuesday, April 17, 7:30 p.m., $20-$65 at Ticketmaster, Seattle]

Filed under: CD Review, Concert Alert,

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