Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: May, 2012 (43) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 43

May 1, 2012 at 6:26am

Movie Biz Buzz: Finding ‘Love’ in Tacoma

The jagged white triangle of Rainier explodes against a blue sky during the warmest day Tacoma has probably basked in this year. At first glance, the large house overlooking downtown looks as cheery as the weather, yet it houses a cold secret. See that? Someone has even blacked out a few of the windows, so no sunlight gets in.

And no female victims get out.

Had you going for a sec, didn't I? Probably not. But in any case you shouldn't worry, for as they say, "It's only a movie (Biz Buzz)." More specifically, it's a music video by director-producer Gary Voelker, founder of Experience Studios in Renton. This weekend, he and his cast and crew have taken over the Help A Veteran home on Market Street - a strangely suitable location, since the video depicts the savage underground market of human trafficking.

Voelker first heard about the project through fellow filmmaker Tonya Yorke. Her friend, Renton musician Lisa Mitts, wanted to have a video made for her song "Where Has Love Gone?" And wanting to make movies since Star Wars flew into his universe at age 4, Voelker now had this opportunity to tackle an insidious social problem solely with visuals.

"It's interesting (to craft a music video), because you have to tell the story in a very specific block of time," he notes. His script acknowledges the widespread human misery of trafficking by "shining a light on one particular story of what happens."

When word spread about the production, local love arrived quickly. Melinda Raebyne (Committed) offered her acting services to the producers for free.

"I just told them I wanted to be in the project no matter what," she says, since bringing awareness to this issue "is really close to my heart." She and Gig Harbor's Sarah Best play victims, with Tom Ricciardelli from Federal Way as an intimidating heavy.

The video will premiere alongside performances from Mitts and other artists at the Where Has Love Gone benefit concert on June 16 at Bellevue Foursquare Church. Donations will go towards the newly-opened Seattle chapter of anti-trafficking group The Defender Foundation (http://thedefenderfoundation.org/washington_state.htm).

Viewers can also find the video on YouTube following the concert - find links and purchase tickets at http://www.lisamitts.com.

(Photo courtesy Sherie Suter Photography)

May 1, 2012 at 6:29am

Stick it to hunger

Sometimes rivalries can be a good thing. A little friendly competition can even lead to change. Such is the case with Stick it to Hunger, a peanut butter drive between the cities of Puyallup and Sumner, going on April 30 - May 11.

The goal is to collect 4,000 jars of peanut butter to benefit the Puyallup and Sumner Food Banks, which will give them enough stock for several months.

Why peanut butter? True, it is a well-loved pantry staple for kids and adults alike, but peanut butter also is a great source of protein and has a decent shelf life.

This year, Puyallup Mayor Rick Hansen challenged Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow to participate in this event that has been taking place since 2010.

So what were Mayor Hansen's words to Mayor Enslow? "I really appreciate the effort he's giving to attempt to win. Even if he loses, everybody benefits," he said before offering up a wager that if Puyallup wins, Sumner should give them some of their famous rhubarb pies.

Mayor Enslow was ready with his response. "We're delighted to have Puyallup include us this year," said Mayor Dave Enslow. "Apparently, peanut butter was introduced to America in 1904 at the St. Louis World's Fair by a man named C. H. Sumner, so it's kind of in our favor."

Sumner has one question: Why did Puyallup draw the visual with the two animated jars of peanut butter with Sumner as the "chunky" peanut butter? 

Don't worry, Sumner. Mayor Hansen told me he actually prefers chunky peanut butter over the smooth variety.

Find out what city collects more jars of peanut butter per capita to win the trophy, and of course, bragging rights, (and possibly pie) on May 14.

For more information and for the drop off locations, visit their website.

May 2, 2012 at 6:11am

No one is voted off

Native Quest Cafe won't invite you onto their open mic stage, hear your act, then tell you why you suck.  Everyone, and they mean everyone is invited to step up and read poetry, sing a song, play an instrument or two, do standup comedy, juggle, perform magic, just listen, or meet new people with different perspectives than yours and learn about new and different cultures - that's their words.  And they arent leaving until the town has done their thing.  Closing time is either 7 p.m. if no one has signed up by 6 p.m., or 11 p.m. if there are people signed up or in the cafe. They urge you to call first to make sure that they will be open!  Open mics are Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Native Quest
2354 Jefferson Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 627-8033

May 2, 2012 at 6:17am

Tonight: Beautiful Resistance, staying human in the face of injustice.

Dr. Abdel Fattah Abu Srour from Bethlehem, Palestine will speak tonight on Beautiful Resistance, staying human in the face of injustice. Dr.Abusrour founded the Al Rowwad Cultural and Theater Center in the Aida Refugee Camp in 1998 to teach children through theater arts, dance, music, painting, video-making and travel to respond to ugliness of occupation. "Abed" is on a nation-wide tour to explain his program and will show a video of the children's work.

7:30 p.m.

Fircrest United Methodist Church

1018 Columbia, Fircrest WA

Admission by donation

May 2, 2012 at 6:24am

Run for a healthy glow

Everybody loves a face aglow with health and vitality. It's common knowledge that people who engage in physical activity are viewed as being more attractive.

You know what else is attractive? Grabbing a bite to eat with people who share your passion for physical activity, specifically running. Combine running, camaraderie, good eats, a few beers and flushed faces and roll it into a social club for a healthy good time. Several groups offer this experience with weekly runs, team sign-ups for running events, and outings.

Organized by local running enthusiasts Mike and Lisa Hahn, The Tacoma Runners has been going strong for several years now. The group has weekly runs each Thursday at 6:30 p.m., putting a twist on the usual evening jog; runners meet-up at restaurants, taverns and bars. Some runners throw back liquid energy while others chat and stretch to warm-up before heading out en mass. On average 30 - 70 runners converge at the meeting point, running about three miles as a group at a "social pace" on a predetermined route that loops back to the starting point for sustenance and drinks. A group this large, running together, is truly a sight to behold, especially when group members dress up in costume as some are want to do. Runs typically take place throughout downtown Tacoma, North Tacoma and Point Defiance Park. Visit The Tacoma Runners on Facebook to get connected.

Club Oly Running, a non-profit organization offering a variety of runs in the Olympia area, is for those who might be a bit more serious about their running experience. A member of the Pacific Northwest Association of USA Track and Field, all Club Oly members benefit from utilizing accredited coaches.

Also in Oly, all levels of runners are welcome to join the Guerilla Running Club for twice weekly runs. Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. the group takes off from the Olympia Farmer's Market, and Saturdays at 8 a.m. runners meet at Marathon Park. Find the Guerilla Running Club online here.

Now that you're hip to at least three awesome local running clubs, bite the bullet and join a running group now, make friends (maybe meet a fellow hot runner) and get to training for upcoming summer run events.

May 2, 2012 at 6:52am

Cinco de Mayo Burrito Eating Contest at Masa

There's no better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than by shoving six pounds of burrito down your gullet for the fame, fortune and glory of becoming the burrito eating champion of Tacoma. Masa is holding their fourth annual "Jefe de Jefe" six pound burrito eating contest on May 5 at 7 p.m., and you're invited.

Did I mention you can win cash? Oh, yes. The prize is a whopping $300 and priceless bragging rights. 

Contestants can enter the competition at Masa up to 45 minutes before the event, and must sign and application/waiver. The fee to enter is $25, and latecomers will be disqualified.

How does it work? The competition lasts for ten minutes, with the winner being the first to finish the entire giant burrito, as determined by the judges.

Also at Masa that night will be live music starting at 5:30 p.m., with DJs both upstairs and downstairs.

Why not add a stomachache to that hangover you're already going to have?

For more rules and to enter, visit Masa at 2811 Sixth Avenue, Tacoma or contact them at 253.254.0560.

Filed under: Food & Drink,

May 2, 2012 at 7:12am

Vicci appears on The Voice

Did you catch Vicci Martinez on The Voice last night with Cee Lo Green?  She performed her new single "Come Along" which was released as a single yesterday.  Her new EP with the same title hits stores June 19, but on June 17 she'll be home playing at Jazzbones.


May 2, 2012 at 9:12pm

Catch the Return of Tacoma Comedy It Don’t Rain on Sunny Days...In Utah!

Can you believe already three years have passed since producer/co-writer Randy Sparks finished his short comedy It Don't Rain on Sunny Days? Even more unbelievable is that I and the Volcano still can't shut up about it. Actually, I get into such a forward-thinking mindset, always seeking out the newest local film or up-and-comer, that I find it a rare treat returning to a classic, like checking in on an old friend.

Since its premiere at the 2009 Tacoma Film Festival and a showing at Gig Harbor's festival the following year, Sunny appeared to have disappeared, perhaps away to that big DVD bin in the sky. But it has plummeted back to earth and landed in, of all places, glorious Utah!

Provo, you ask? You wish - the short will screen not once but twice at the Park City Film Music Festival (May 25 - June 3) for its first-ever out-of-state cameo. And no, I didn't forget to put the word "and" between Film Music. Not only has the comedy scored recognition for its tale of a lovable loser who bumbles into a lottery windfall (or has he???), but some folks think its eclectic soundtrack (with music by Sparks and Tacoma artists Dave McKibbin, Leanne Trevalyan and others) rocks too.

"(Sunny)'s still got legs...It really surprised me," says Sparks.

Now living in Park City, the film's star, Joe Rosati, has history with this particular festival. He also starred in and composed part of the score for 100%-Tacoma feature A Perfect Life, which in 2011 took away PCFMF's Gold Medal for Excellence in Original Music for a Feature Film.

Sparks's drive to Utah in a few weeks probably won't take as long as reciting that title, and in any case he sees winning awards for his work as icing on the cake. "Even if we don't win a medal, just the fact that it's playing at a festival of this caliber...It's just a great way to honor those musicians that have contributed to the film."

(Photo courtesy Gerry Collen)

Filed under: Screens,

May 3, 2012 at 8:34am

Morning Spew: Mark Ruffalo pissed off/Avengers Review/Burrito Contest/Michael is back

May 4, 2012 at 6:39am

Snoop in other people's homes this weekend

Like history? Like homes? Like Tacoma? Like to snoop in other people's homes? 
The Tacoma Historical Society runs the event, and according to their site the event details are:
Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

The 2012 Tour features seven older homes, Annie Wright School and Christ Episcopal Church. Christ Episcopal is also the reception center.

Tickets are on sale at the Pacific Northwest Shop, Stadium Thriftway, Columbia Bank branches at Fircrest, Westgate and Union Avenue, and the Tacoma Historical Society Resource Center.

Filed under: Tacoma,

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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