Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: September, 2014 (79) Currently Viewing: 71 - 79 of 79

September 29, 2014 at 10:03am

Words & Photos: Salute the Troops packs the Lakewood Towne Center

Playing a game or two of bingo proved popular at the Salute The Troops event at the Lakewood Towne Center Sept. 27. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Star Clayton felt appreciated.

"It just good to be here today," said the active-duty member's spouse as her daughter, Emily, had her bangs trimmed.

"This is the first time I've ever experienced something like this, and it's nice to be appreciated by the community."

In what has become an area tradition, The Ranger and Northwest Airlifter newspapers hosted its free annual Salute the Troops celebration Saturday at the Lakewood Towne Center.

Judging from the smiles in the former GI Joes space in the Center, the celebration had much to offer.

"I just love this," said a very happy Joshua Orvis as he rejoined his mother.

"This is fun!"

>>> Joshua Orvis is all smiles as he posed with a Home Depot cutout. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

>>> "Princess" Nichole Cavener receives some face paint during the Salute The Troops celebration. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

More than 60 vendors were on hand to offer active duty, Reserve and Guard members and their families services, information and opportunities.

Along with bargains and coupons from businesses such as The Home Depot and the House of Donuts, more than $20,000 in gifts and prizes were given away to the nearly 700 families.

"This is a great day for the family," said Shydelle Cavener, whose husband serves at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"I like this day, and I appreciate all of the effort that went into it."

>>> Little Girl Smile:  Emily Clayton cracks a smile while getting her hair trimmed. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Filed under: Community, Events, Lakewood, Military,

September 29, 2014 at 1:25pm

Military veterans receive Brandman University scholarships named after former sailor

Darcy Bockman-Wright

A Madigan Army Medical Center employee has received a military veteran scholarship from Brandman University. In honor of graduate Bryan Fazio, Brandman University has awarded four $1,000 scholarships, and 11 $250 scholarships to military veterans who have a medical condition or disability and currently attend the school.

The Bryan Fazio Scholarship was recently established to honor the perseverance and triumph of one of Brandman's most inspirational graduates. Fazio was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Hodgkin's lymphoma while serving in the Navy. Doctors told him that he had just nine months to live, yet, upon hearing the news, Fazio doubled up on his graduate level courses and received his MBA in August 2013. He is currently attending Law School at Whittier College.  

Darcy Bockman-Wright, a veteran who attends class at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord campus, was one of those chosen to receive the inaugural $1,000 scholarship. She joined the Army in 1993, serving until 2002 in a variety of MOS fields, including an eye specialist, a combat medic and a truck driver.

"I am still in shock that I was the only Washington Brandman University student chosen," she said. "The belief that they have in me has helped me re-focus and stay dedicated. I am honored to be the first to receive such an award, especially as a fifth-generation veteran." 

The winners were chosen after each applicant submitted a 500-1000 word essay detailing where they see themselves in five years and how their Brandman education will help them achieve their goals.

Bockman-Wright, who currently works as a civilian in the Ophthalmology department at Madigan Army Medical Center, is working towards her bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership and is slated to graduate in spring of 2015.

"Once I reach my goal, I will do as Mr. Fazio has and pass it on. Veterans have enough to deal with from doctor appointments, families, bills, work or everyday life," explained Bockman-Wright, who has personally lost 170 pounds with the help of gastric bypass surgery, a desire to be healthy and the support of her husband and children.

"The money helps of course, so I will take this gift but in the future I want to help ease the financial burden of a fellow veteran to make sure he/she achieves their goal of graduating," she shared.

That dramatic weight loss gave the older student more confidence and the drive to finish her college degree ... not that her dreams end there.

"I don't think I'll stop at my Bachelor's degree. Long-term, I know I can finish my Master's in Organizational Leadership too. I want to be a leader on base, whether it's at Madigan, the VA or a unit attached to JBLM," Bockman-Wright said. "I hope to use this degree to help institute a better organizational process for veterans to receive the aid they deserve."

Brandman University, which serves 12,000 students annually, offers more then 50 undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs across its schools of arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and health. For more information, go to www.Brandman.edu.

September 30, 2014 at 6:53am

5 Things To Do Today: "DamNation," Cake Decorating 101, Yalumba Winemaker Dinner, Doors tribute ...

The change in our national attitude regarding big dams is explored in the documentary, "DamNation."

TUESDAY, SEPT. 30 2014 >>>

1. Patagonia, a manufacturer of high-end outdoor apparel and the official outfitter of Portland, Oregon, produced DamNation, a quick, smart documentary about the havoc one country can create in its native fish populations by building 75,000 dams over an 80- or 90-year span. Inaccurately billed as "green energy," hydropower deprives shorelines and riparian zones of the vital silt washed downriver, while preventing salmon from reaching spawning zones and flooding low-lying wilderness areas. Throw on a Patagonia Nano Air Jacket and catch DamNation at 2 and 7 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

2. One of the greatest challenges facing the bicycle and pedestrian field is the lack of documentation on usage and demand. Without accurate and consistent demand and usage figures, it is difficult to measure the positive benefits of investments in these modes, especially when compared to the other transportation modes such as the private automobile. An answer to this need for data is the National Bicycle & Pedestrian Documentation Project. This nationwide effort provides consistent model of data collection and ongoing data for use by planners, governments, and bicycle and pedestrian professionals. The Washington State Department of Transportation and the Cascade Bicycle Club will be enlisting the support of volunteers to benchmark the numbers of people bicycling and walking on trails, bike lanes, sidewalks and other facilities across the state today through Oct. 2. Be sure to wave.

3. Everyone knows at least one annoyingly perfect woman who not only bakes her own cakes and blends her own icing from scratch, but also decorates desserts like a trained professional. Well, the Martha Stewart reign of terror is officially over: Bayview School of Cooking's Hands-On Cake Decorating 101 class is at 6 p.m. Caroline Willard will teach you the key fundamentals of cake decorating - flowers, borders, figure piping and sugar molding. Because if you can pipe, mold and frost like Betty Crocker herself, no one will care that the sweet stuff came from a Duncan Hines box.

4. Join Wildside Wine for their Yalumba Winemaker Dinner with Jane Ferrari at 6 p.m. Ferrari, winemaker at Australia's oldest winery, will be presenting some of her fine product paired with small bites - think Aussie meat pie and pavlova for dessert - and wow with her abundant vino knowledge and "down to earth wit and charm." Tickets are $45 and reservations are required at 253.565.0811.

5. The Doors tribute band The American Night hits the Red Wind Casino's stage at 8 p.m. Strange days have found us.

LINK: Tuesday, Sept. 30 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 30, 2014 at 1:57pm

Olympia singer-songwriter Elizabeth Hummel is back touring living rooms

Singer-songwriter Elizabeth Hummel performed with Gregory Page in someone’s living rooms in 1997. Photo credit: Amy Neufeld

House concerts - those intimate shows where people open their homes to musicians, friends and strangers for an intimate show like no other - are a regular occurrence these days.

The trend got its start in 1997, when singer-songwriters Elizabeth Hummel and Cindy Lee Berryhill embarked on the Living Room Tour. (Rolling Stone magazine even interviewed Berryhill about the groundbreaking tour.)

"It was originally my mom's idea," says Hummel of Olympia, embarks Saturday on a mini tour of house concerts.

>>> Singer-songwriters Elizabeth Hummel and Cindy Lee Berryhill brought their 1997 Living Room Tour to Alan Bershaw's house in Cape Cod. "I have no idea what I am doing in the pic, probably was singing harmonies on one of her songs," says Hummel.  "We learned a lot of each others material so we could back each other up."

Her mom, Betty Hummel, says she was just thinking about Elizabeth's own musical roots.

"My husband was a psychiatrist, but all his life from childhood they had played music in their home, piano and guitar and banjo and fiddle," Betty Hummel says. "She grew up with him playing music all the time in our living room. I just commented that maybe you should do living-room shows and she picked up on it."

"It's the way music was originally shared," Elizabeth Hummel adds.

The idea was practical, not just sentimental. Hummel lacked a booking agent, and the tour was easily booked through a network of folk fans who kept in touch on the Internet.

"We would stay with people most of the time," she says. "They treated us like queens. We'd walk into these living rooms, and we'd feel like rock stars because people were so enthusiastic and supportive.

"We made money," she adds. "That's another thing that was different. If you worked a show at a club, you might make next to nothing. At the living-room concerts, there'd be a suggested donation. If you'd get 20 people, there'd be 200 bucks, as well as CD sales."

The tour sparked a trend, but Hummel - who released her latest album, It's About Time, in July - didn't continue to tour living rooms. The tour beginning Saturday at the home of a neighbor is her first living-room tour since 1997.

"This is the first house-concert tour that I've done since that first one," Hummel said. "I like doing them, but it only works if the hosts are people who almost have a sacred calling to use their space in a way that fosters community and brings music to people."

"My husband and I both love music," said Mary Meyer, who's hosting the Olympia concert. "We have like 1,200 old vinyl albums from the '60s and on up.

"We wanted Elizabeth to have the opportunity in our neighborhood to sing and share her voice and get the music out and bring the neighbors together."

It sounds like a homey gathering indeed. "There will be chocolate-chip cookies," Hummel says.

And though she hasn't done that many, house concerts have continued to be part of Elizabeth Hummel's life.

Betty Hummel recently moved from her longtime Olympia home to a nearby retirement community.

"Before I left the house, Elizabeth decided we needed to have a living-room show there for some special friends," Betty Hummel says. "The house was partially empty but we brought in chairs and had a little living-room show to say goodbye to the house.

"I had lived there for 43 years, so a lot of music had been played in that living room."

ELIZABETH HUMMEL, 8 p.m. Saturday, Carlyon Beach, Olympia, $10-$20 donation suggested, elizabethhummel.com or elizabeth@elizabethhummel.com

Other shows at 8 p.m. Oct. 11 in Oakland, California, and 8 p.m. Oct. 12 in Occidental, California, $10-$20 donation suggested, elizabethhummel.com or elizabeth@elizabethhummel.com

Filed under: Music, Olympia,

September 30, 2014 at 2:36pm

Court-martial charges referred against the JBLM soldier accused of killing two unarmed Iraqi teenagers

This just in from I Corps Public Affairs. ...

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The general court-martial convening authority for I Corps and JBLM referred court-martial charges on Friday against Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera.  

Charges against Barbera include:

  • Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), Article 134 - Obstruction of justice.
  • UCMJ, Article 134 - Communicating a threat.

The two charges of murder were dismissed by the general court-martial convening authority.  This decision was made after reviewing the Article 32 report of investigation.

The charges result from an investigation into Barbera's alleged shooting of two civilians near the village of As Sadah, Diyala Province on March 6, 2007.

At the time of the incident, Barbera was assigned to 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.  

Barbera is currently assigned to 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.  He is attached to I Corps for UCMJ purposes.

He is not in pre-trial confinement.

September 30, 2014 at 6:06pm

Nerd Alert! - "Tetris" movie, James Adomian and Stillsuit Cocktails

James Adomian will make an impression at the Tacoma Comedy Club Sunday night. Photo credit: Luke Fontana

There are certain moments that come around every once in a while to remind you that there are no laughably stupid depths that Hollywood is not prepared to plumb. This is such a moment. It has been announced that there is indeed a Tetris movie in the works.

Yes, the landscape of video game adaptations is littered almost exclusively with garbage, so why not take a stab at a game that is just about the goal of turning and stacking blocks? After all, no one expected Clue to be as OK as it was, and there's an Ouija board movie on the way, so who cares? Plus, producer Larry Kasanoff promises it will be a "very big, epic sci-fi movie," so that's great.

But, who's Larry Kasanoff? Only the director of one of the biggest failures in the history of film: Foodfight!, an animated film so inept and so suspiciously expensive that it might actually be considered a Ponzi scheme. Still, Kasanoff's Foodfight! was based entirely on the idea of product placement as art, so he should know what he's doing when it comes to adapting a mindless strategy game like Tetris.


Fans of Comedy Bang! Bang! rejoice! James Adomian is coming to Tacoma. You've no doubt heard his voice on the podcast, doing spot-on impressions of Jesse Ventura, Tom Leykis, Dov Charney, Alan Rickman and Paul Giamatti, among others. While Adomian is nominally an impressionist, what makes his characters so special is that he takes them and spins them into surreal and inspired territory. It's a crime that he hasn't been cast on Saturday Night Live, where he is destined to become a post-modern Darrell Hammond.

He's only appearing for one night, so consider this a can't-miss. 7 p.m., Tacoma Comedy Club, 933 Market St, Tacoma, $10, 253.282.7203


The second annual Frank Herbert tribute, Stillsuit Cocktails, is undoubtedly the coolest and nerdiest thing happening in the coming week - uniting the fierce passions of booze and science fiction. The Dune author and Tacoma native is honored by Hilltop Kitchen and Post Defiance (on his birthday, no less) with cocktails inspired by his works. Drinks with names such as Duncan Idaho and Harkonnen should dredge up images for Herbert fans. Quizzes, books and prizes will also be in attendance, if the idea of drinking Dune-inspired spirits isn't quite enough to convince you to come out and talk with fellow nerds about what it would have been like if Alejandro Jodorowsky really did get to make that movie. 7 p.m., Hilltop Kitchen, 913 MLK Way, Tacoma, no cover, 253.327.1397

October 1, 2014 at 7:44am

5 Things To Do Today: Cat Power, Metal-Urge, Tacoma Arts Month, Double Mountain's Fresh Hop Fest ...

Cat Power performs tonight in Olympia. Photo credit: Stefano Giovannini

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 1 2014 >>>

1. Her friends and family may call her Chan Marshall, but the music-loving world knows her better as singer-songwriter (and actor and model) Cat Power. She opened for Liz Phair in the mid-'90s, then crushed on her 2003 album You Are Free. She made an excursion into Memphis soul, starting with a wonderful album of original material, The Greatest. Perhaps her fascination with Delta blues gave way to more personal, vital, even humorous material on Sun, her latest collection. It'd be hard to imagine a more bracing anthem, for example, than "Human Being," which insists, "You got a right to scream when they don't want you to speak." Well, get ready to scream, Oly Sun-worshipers! Cat Power has returned from the blues for an 8 p.m. show at the Capitol Theater.

2. "Metal-Urge" is a massive celebration of all things metal-art forged by 80 artists holding firm in 20 venues all around Tacoma through the month of October and November. Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride created the event, her first large-scale project for the cultural tourism program, nearly 15 years ago. "Metal-Urge" is a citywide celebration of the metal arts that includes both traditional and non-traditional gallery venues exhibiting the metal work of talented artists and includes jewelry, sculptures, vessels, home décor, enamel and artifacts. "Metal-Urge" kicks off today in the LeMay Car Museum's Family Zone offering hood ornament design fun. Museum staff will pick the most creative idea for the month of October and November, offering a special prize for the winners.

3. Tacoma Arts Commission's Tacoma Arts Month kicks off today. Tacoma Arts Month is a rebranded incarnation of Art at Work and is now in its 13th year. The new name is intended to capture the all-encompassing artsy nature of arts in the community - which is exactly what Tacoma Arts Month is all about. Arts Month is an umbrella that arches over more than 300 individual events, workshops, classes et al - music, theater and dance performances; films; literary and cultural events; workshops and classes; and more, all happening in the city in October. Read Kristin Kendle's feature story on Tacoma Arts Month, then learn about the exciting work of artist Marita Dingus as she discusses finding artistic inspiration in her African American heritage and using found materials in her art at 11 a.m. in the Tacoma Art Museum.

4. Fresh hopped brews, also called wet brews, are Pacific Northwest-centric because we live in one of the largest hop growing regions in the world.  Hops are harvested in late summer/early fall and are usually dried to use in beer recipes throughout the year. But because our location has great quantities of hops, many are brewed within hours of coming off the hopbine (the climbing stem of the hop). And no brewery tackles this concept with quite the zeal than Hood River Brewery Double Mountain. Their two fresh hop beers, the big apple/pine punch Killer Red and herbal-esque Killer Green, are often used as currency along the Columbia River. Pint Defiance has scored some of the first kegs of Killer Red Fresh Hop IRA and Killer Green Fresh Hop IPA in the area and will tap those suckers from 5-7 p.m. in what it calls the Double Mountain Fresh Hop Fest.As an added bonus, the beer store/taproom will be Randalling a fresh keg of Vaporizer Pale through locally harvested fresh hops. You're not going to work tomorrow.

5. Grammy-winning saxophonist Paul Sawtelle, who just finished recording a new album, Virtual Insanity, will bring his all-star band to Jazzbones for an all-ages, 8 p.m. show. Power trio pianist Brooke Lizotte, drummer Greg Gilmore and bassist Jon Bayless will open.

LINK: Wednesday, Oct. 1 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 1, 2014 at 10:56am

Olympia Arab Festival - peace be upon Shuruq II

Shuruq II will celebrate Arab culture from all 22 Arab countries. Photo courtesy of rachelcorriefoundation.org

It's a story most South Sounders know well: on the afternoon of March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old Olympian peace activist, planted herself in front of an armored Israeli bulldozer in the Gaza strip city of Rafah. She was in Rafah to aid the International Solidarity Movement, a nonviolent pro-Palestinian organization, and that confrontation resulted in her untimely passing. Yet a death sometimes brings new things to life, and so it was with Corrie: her activism and determination inspired the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, a grassroots effort that seeks peace in the Middle East and around the world. The group's mission includes "foster(ing) connections between people, that build understanding, respect, and appreciation for differences." In that spirit, then, the Corrie Foundation (along with numerous cosponsors and individual donors) presents Shuruq II, otherwise known as Olympia's second Arab Festival.

Shuruq is the Arabic word for sunrise. As used here, it evokes a new day in international relations and intercultural understanding. According to Masjid al-Nur, the Islamic Center of Olympia, the capital community boasts Islamic people of more than 25 different ethnicities, yet even in this liberal bastion Muslim culture seems poorly understood. The Corrie Foundation's Arab Festival proceeds from the belief that deeper understanding and appreciation puts many concerns to rest and engenders a sense of intercultural responsibility which, in turn, inspires greater activism.

Having said that, the festival is really about fun over anything else. The festival staff welcomes visitors at 11 a.m., followed quickly by a presentation of Gulf and Saidi (upper Egyptian) dancing by the Shahrazad Dance Ensemble of Seattle. House of Tarab, the band performing at noon, is a well-regarded septet of Egyptian-style magicians; the tarab in their name refers to the joy of being transported by the evocative power of music. The one-o'clock hour is devoted to Arab fashion. Belly dancer Sabura takes the stage at 3:15, followed by the Levantine folk dancers of Jafra Dabke at 4:45. The festival finishes huge when Al Andalus, an internationally recognized ensemble fronted by oudist Tarik Banzi, plays from 5:30 to 6:30. The Olympia Center will also host a half-dozen side presentations, including lessons in Arabic for people from kindergarteners to adults at 11 a.m.

Just don't get so wrapped up in the day's entertainment that you miss out on the food! The intersection of State and Capital Way is the site of the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural. This weekend it'll also host the "Mural Café and Hookah Lounge," a center of (as the Golden Arches once had it) food, folks and fun including more music and dancing. Here's hoping the café's menu includes harissa-spiced merguez sausage, a standout of north African Islamic cuisine, as it is just ridiculously tasty. And yes, there will be hookahs, so smoke 'em if you got 'em.

This Saturday marks the eve of Eid al-Adha ("Festival of the Sacrifice"), an Islamic holiday which honors Ibrahim's (Abraham's) obedience to the will of Allah. Eid al-Adha is a day of sacrifice, devout prayer, and charitable acts - but hey, there's nothing that says we can't get our party on the evening before.

OLYMPIA ARAB FESTIVAL-SHURUQ II, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW, Olympia, free admission, 360.754.3998

Filed under: Community, Events, Olympia,

October 1, 2014 at 12:13pm

Trail To Western American Art: Sellen Construction dangles the keys

Tacoma Art Museum Director Stephanie A. Stebich watching removal of construction fencing, revealing the new Haub Family Galleries wing, designed by Olson Kundig Architects and built by Sellen Construction. Courtesy photo

Friday, the Sellen Construction crew removed the banners concealing the Haub Family Galleries wing at the Tacoma Art Museum. The expansion is fully visible, gracing Pacific Avenue. The tall canopy that arches over the museum’s new entry doors connecting the Antoine Predock building and the new Olson Kundig Architects designed wing will be completed by Oct. 3. The new canopy provides a covered outdoor gathering space for community festivals and events.

Sellen will soon hand over the keys to the new wing. There are a few small items to complete, and the museum’s director, Stephanie A. Stebich, is working in collaboration with the architects Olson Kundig and Sellen to compile the final punch-list.

The new TAM store will soon re-stock in preparation for the Nov. 15 grand opening celebrations. Look forward to wonderful new merchandise including the new TAM logo items, Western influenced jewelry, products featuring images of the artwork in the Haub Family Collection, and new Northwestern items as well. TAM’s Leroy has a new friend — an adorable stuffed bison named Cody after the first bison brought to the Haub’s ranch.

TACOMA ART MUSEUM, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. third Thursday, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, $8-$10, 5 and younger free, 253.627.6031


Checking in with the Tacoma Art Museum

Colors, video, improved store at Tacoma Art Museum

Filed under: Arts, 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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