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March 30, 2014 at 7:51am

5 Things To do Today: Romantics vs. Cynics, beer tasting, Mitch Reems Benefit, Survival Knife and more ...

Mark Pickerel will keep things civil today in Tenino. Press photo

SUNDAY, MARCH 30 2014 >>>

1. Most people recognize Mark Pickerel's name from his drumming with Van Conner, Gary Lee Conner and Mark Lanegan in this little band from Ellensburg you may have heard of called the Screaming Trees, but in reality he's done much more than man the skins for the band that crafted "Sweet Oblivion" and "Nearly Lost You."  Pickerel has played and recorded with Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, the Dusty 45's, His Praying Hands and Truly. Pickerel will emcee a poetry slam in Tenino. No, it's true. Scatter Creek Winery in the little town of Tenino plays host to the biggest throw-down of romantic and cynical poetry and songs in the known world from 4-6 p.m. Pickerel will keep the peace among the poets from both sides of the love aisle as they duel to the finish to convince the crowd that their position on love represents the truth. Rumor has it Pickerel may even play a few of his own love or heartbreak songs during the event.

2. Pint Defiance continues its popular Sunday Sampler series, this week offering tastings of San Diego beers: Lost Abbey Red Barn Saison, Ale Smith Nut Brown, Ballast Point Big Eye IPA and Stone Imperial Russian Stout. From 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., flights of four 4-ounce pours will be served for the cost of a normal pint.

3. Mitch Reems, singer for several Northwest bands, including portraying Elwood Blues in the New Blues Brothers Band, has been undergoing treatment for stage four non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He's damn near kicked it. The music community is celebrating, as well as helping pay his bills, with a benefit show at 3 p.m. in Tacoma's Temple Theatre. Bump Kitchen, Champagne Sunday, and Gabriel with Merrilee Rush will join the New Blues Brothers onstage.

4. Huntsville, Alabama, band Nightmare Boyzzz win points for not sounding anything like what their name might suggest. This is a band that is built of brittle sugar, constantly threatened at every turn with crumbling. While the riffs are firmly in the garage rock vein of bands such as the Black Lips, the vocals are consistently on point and prettier than necessary. Here, again, is a band that values melody, even as it streaks its songs with distortion. This is the kind of garage pop that goes down easy, but might give you heartburn. Catch them at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge.

5. Survival Knife is Kris Cunningham on drums, Meg Cunningham on bass, Brandt Sandeno on guitar and Justin Trosper on guitar and vocals. Yes, Meg and Kris are married, and yes, Sandeno and Trosper are two of the original three members of Olympia's infamous '90s indie rock predecessors, Unwound. The band rocks, and with Broken Water and Hungry Ghost on the 9 p.m. bill at The Brotherhood Lounge, this show really rocks.

LINK: Sunday, March 30 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

March 25, 2014 at 7:46am

5 Things To Do Today: Fashion show, Documentary Week, Chris Anderson, lighthouse chat and more ...

2014 Ms. Wheelchair America Jennifer Adams

TUESDAY, MARCH 25 2014 >>>

1. The Salon Professional Academy is playing host to a special benefit, hair, makeup and fashion show and silent auction to support 2014 Ms. Wheelchair America Jennifer Adams' platform, "Inclusion Revolution," at 6:30 p.m. The event, "Shine Bright Like a Diamond Hair Show and Auction" will be held at the academy, which is located at 3702 S. Fife Street in Tacoma. This special evening will feature a runway haute couture hair and makeup show that showcases the extraordinary student talent at the academy. Featured clothing from up-and-coming designer Victor Aguirre will also be featured. Adams will be on hand to serve as master of ceremonies and will wear one of Aguirre's custom creations.

2. When it comes to documentaries, it's nothing short of the Wild West out there. There are just so many, from theatrical to television to stuff that just shows up on Netflix or Hulu one day in your recommended list. And while we're a bit perturbed Pink Hearts! Yellow Moons! Orange Stars! Green Clovers! White Toe Tags! didn't make this year's list, The Grand Cinema does have quite the Documentary Week going. Check out today's screenings here.

3. Sinatra-esque crooner Chris Anderson takes his show to the Red Wind Casino at 6:30 p.m., hitting all the notes and making the ladies swoon in the process. Anderson has repeatedly proven to offer a throwback good time.

4. It's nice existing so close to Mama Nature, but living in the city - surrounded by concrete, neon, strip malls and bikini espresso shacks - it's still easy to be oblivious to the natural world. If you're looking for a little salt, breeze and fresh air action, David Kaynor's tour of lighthouses will make you see the, er, light. Washington state has a long saltwater coastline and many of its lighthouses are inaccessible and difficult to view. At 7 p.m. in the Olympia Center, Kaynor will present a one-hour slide tour that will take you to 10 of the more accessible lights starting from the south sound. Handouts include directions and maps so you can bust out of the city.

5. On any night of the week, one can meander past the main bar in Olympia's China Clipper Club Cafe, to the back room where a disco ball, stage, stellar PA system, extensive song list, savvy DJ and lively, often tipsy, crowd scribbles on tiny, colorful paper then waits ... for Clipper Karaoke. "We're different - at least that's the ambition," says Steve Yonkers, who has been hosting Clipper Karaoke since 2007. "We want to run more of a variety show. We don't just call up your name and sing. I interact with the audience. I think its more interesting. "It's not a diva contest here," he continues. "I want it to be fun and relaxing and encourage people to have a good time." Get in on the party at 9 p.m. 

LINK: Tuesday, March 25 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

March 16, 2014 at 10:36am

Words & Photos: Lewis Community Spouses Club's Roaring '20s benefit

Lewis Community Spouses' Club members and guests dressed the part during the organization's wine and cigar Roaring '20s benefit March 15 at The Manson on Broadway. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

What did it sound and feel like in Tacoma during the Roaring '20s? The Lewis Community Spouses Club and guests discovered last night at The Mansion on Broadway. From flapper costumes to songs from Irving Berlin and Malvin Schonberger, the united organization of enlisted and officer's spouses at Joint Base Lewis-McChord went retro in a big way for its Wine & Cigar tasting event at the historic downtown Tacoma mansion.

It was a time the crowd wanted to return to, it seemed. Smiles and laughter filled the many rooms of the 130-year-old mansion, complete with breathtaking views of Puget Sound, Mt Rainier and the Tacoma skyline - at least from the cigar lounge on the Mansion's back deck.

Maybe the smiles were aim at the cause. The night was a benefit for the Lewis Community Spouses' Club's Welfare and the Fort Lewis Scholarship Fund. Weekend cabin stay at White Pass, golf outing at Chambers Bay, top shelf bourbon and cigar baskets, private dinner party hosted by the 2-75th Ranger Battalion and more were auctioned off as guests sipped wine from locals Stottle Winery, Madsen Family cellars and others.

Keep an eye out for future Lewis Community Spouses' Club soirees. The organization knows how to throw a party.

March 15, 2014 at 11:00am

Military Appreciation Weekend at The Summit at Snoqualmie

The Summit at Snoqualmie offers a weekend of celebration and appreciation for the military, past and present, as well as their families. Photo courtesy of The Summit at Snoqualmie

The Summit at Snoqualmie is one of the Seattle-Tacoma area's top ski areas - and one that's perfect for everyone. Advanced skiers and beginners alike will find terrain to suit their skill levels, as will those who want to do other snow sports such as tubing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. From about early December until late April, The Summit's four mountains, 1,981 acres of skiable terrain welcome in snow fiends - but if you're a servicemember, the best dates to hit the slopes are March 21-23. On these dates, The Summit at Snoqualmie will host Military Appreciation Weekend. 

To honor and celebrate active and retired military, the ski area will offer special deals, live music, prizes, as well as other fun and fanfare. Special deals dominate the celebration and range from 10 percent off food and non-alcoholic beverages with your military ID, to a $5 cheeseburger/fries/soda combo special, to snow sports discounts - a big deal for a sport that is often a pricey way to spend a day.

  • Lift tickets are normally $66 for ages 13-61 and $46 for youth and seniors, but for Military Appreciation Weekend they will be $35 and $25, respectively.
  • If you need to rent gear, an all-day ski and snowboard package is available for just $26 for adults and $20 for kids ages 7-12.
  • You also can't beat deals on ski lessons. For those 9 and older, the More 2 Learn Package is discounted from $99 to $45, while the Kids Club half-day lesson is also knocked down from $99 to $45.
  • And if you're not a skier, but want to play in the snow anyway, two-hour tubing sessions are just $15.

You'll also receive 20 percent off in all the gear and gift shops at The Summit.

The ski area recommends reserving sessions in advance at their website. All deals require you to show your military ID, whether you reserve in advance or not.

Directions? Click here.

Filed under: Military, Benefits, Sports, Deals,

March 6, 2014 at 1:36pm

Who's skipping work to get in on the Commissary Club party?

Has there ever been more excitement about a grocery store remodel than the new McChord Field Commissary Club's opening tomorrow?

At 8:30 a.m. Friday, March 7, the ribbon will be cut and people will rush toward the 10,000-square-foot area to buy oversized packaged products commonly found in commercial warehouse club stores, such as Costco or Sam's Club.

What's better than giant jars of peanut butter?

Throughout the day vendors will offer food sampling demos and drawing for $25 commissary gift cards.


March 3, 2014 at 10:44am

Air Force Assistance Fund launches at McChord Field

Col. David Kumashiro (left), 62nd AW commander and Col. Tony Davit (right), 627th Air Base Group commander, sign their Air Force Assistance Fund forms as part of the Team McChord AFAF kick-off event at the McChord Field Chapel Support Center, Feb. 28.

For the next five weeks, the Air Force Assistance Fund will give the men and women serving on McChord Field a chance to contribute to the greater good of their branch.

"The most important thing to know is that the AFAF contributes to four foundations and organizations and they all do things for the entire Air Force family as a whole," stated Senior Master Sgt. Erik Johnson, a program leader for 2014.

The AFAF exists to provide assistance to members of the Air Force, regardless of rank and whether they are still serving or retired. Active duty airmen, Air Guard partners, reservists are eligible to make contributions, though anyone can contribute by making direct contact with an Air Force representative or one of the four foundations/organizations.

Each individual who donates must select which organization they donate to; AFAF representatives do not endorse one over another.

The first option is the Air Force Village (AFV), a retirement community dedicated to caring for retired Air Force officers' widowed spouses who need financial assistance. The AFV, founded 50 years ago, provides a secure, comfortable environment where widow(er)s are surrounded by friends in a home they cannot provide for themselves.

Similarly, the Air Force Enlisted Village (AFEV) was established in 1975 to ensure that surviving spouses of retired enlisted airmen are not living in less than desirable conditions or homeless. AFEV also serves the mothers of active duty and retired airmen and provides temporary housing to surviving spouses of enlisted members who die while on active duty.

Next, there is the LeMay Foundation, founded by General and Mrs. Curtis LeMay, which awards grants to the surviving spouses of both enlisted and officer retirees. In 2012, LeMay Foundation gave over $464,838 in assistance that benefitted widows with monthly grants to augment incomes that fall below the poverty line and it also provided one-time grants to assist with needs like hearing aids, dental care, and minor home repairs.

Finally, the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) has provided worldwide emergency assistance to airmen and their families since 1942 and sponsored educational and proactive community programs to help improve their quality of life. Whether the emergency is a death in the family, a car repair, or basic living expenses, AFAS can step in. There are also $6 million in needs-based education grants available to eligible spouses and dependent children.

In 2013, AFAS direct assistance totaled over $17.4 million across the Air Force, which equaled approximately 75,000 assists to airmen and families in need.

According to Johnson, 2013 donations earmarked for the AFAS from McChord Field were tallied at a little over $5,000; in turn, McChord Field airmen and families received close to $160,000 in assistance that ranged from community programs to dental care.

"Our goal this year is to reach and contact 100 percent of the eligible contributors," said Johnson, who is part of a team of more than 30 airmen working on the fund. "We are all working together to make this a successful year."

The Air Force Assistance Fund campaign will run from now until April 11. To donate or get further information, contact Johnson at erik.johnson.2@us.af.mil or Master Sgt. Leda Weslow at leda.weslow@us.af.mil. Each unit also has unit project officers who can help.

February 18, 2014 at 2:31pm

Free PAC 12 Women's Basketball Tournament tickets for military

Bill Striegel, the Washington State Air Force Association vice president, just sent word the Puget Sound Military Support Coalition - AFA, AUSA and Navy League - has a bunch of PAC 12 Women's Basketball Tournament tickets for military personnel and their families, veterans and community partners. The tournament will be held March 6-9 in Seattle's KeyArena

"Last year about 1300 people were able to utilize this program and would like to increase that number this year," says Striegel. "If you have any friends and/or neighbors that are presently serving or have served please share this information with them."

The Seattle Storm played a huge part in making this free offer happen.

To get in on the action, click here.

Filed under: Military, Benefits, News To Us, Sports,

February 8, 2014 at 9:17am

Night Moves: The Balms, Walking Papers, Nudity, CFA, Naive Melodies, Black Top Demon, Oly Mountain Boys, Kareem Kandi Band ...

Wizard Hits


B Sharp Coffee House Tacoma - Opera Alley Downtown. Barleywine Revue. 8 pm. NC.

Bob's Java Jive Tacoma - Central. La Luz, Pony Time, The Fucking Eagles, The Tom Price Desert Club. 8 pm. $5. 

Doyle's Public House Tacoma - Stadium District. Naive Melodies (Talking Heads tribute). 9:30 pm. NC.


February 5, 2014 at 10:10am

Big week for benefit shows in Olympia

This is a big week for benefit shows in Olympia. Thursday, Feb. 6, there will be a second benefit show for the 5-year-old girl who was recently attacked by dogs, resulting in a stay at Harborview ICU and the reattachment of her leg. The Hard Way, Fruit Juice, Dirty Malkovich and Elbow Coulee will bring their rock to The Brotherhood Lounge, with D.J. Slimrock spinning between sets.

"It's all about helping this little monkey get back on her feet ... literally," says Christopher Gray, neighbor to Shilo and event organizer. "She's healing fine, but her Mom has had to take a lot of time off work at her minimum wage job to take care of her baby so she needs massive financial support. The fund is sitting at $1,700 but she needs more."

There is another benefit for the 5-year-old girl Friday, Feb. 7, at Al Forno Pizza Cafe featuring music by Dave Randel, Johnny Baltimore, Even Ogden and Mike Burdoff.

And Saturday, Feb. 8, the Fish Tale Brew Pub is hosting a benefit party for its longtime bartendress, Jill Hammond, who is battling ovarian cancer. The Oly Mountain Boys, plus special guests will provide music, and there will be performances by members of Rock Candy Burlesque and Olympia's Own TUSH! Burlesque. There will be a fishbowl raffle, silent auction and more.

"All of us feel that it is important as a part of this community to participate in events like this one and show our support in any way we can," says Bettie Beezlebubb, of TUSH!. "We love performing and if there is a way we can help to raise funds by doing so, all the better. We hope that lots of folks come and show their support for a lovely lady."

OLYMPIA ROCKS FOR YOUNG GIRL, 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 6, 8 p.m., 21 and older, The Brotherhood Lounge, 119 Capitol Way, Olympia, $5, 360.352.4153

YOUNG GIRL BENEFIT, 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7, Al Forno Pizza Café, 408 Fourth Ave., Olympia, 360.292.1095.

FIGHT ON BENEFIT FOR JILL HAMMOND, 5:30-10 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, 21 and older, Fish Tale Brew Pub, 515 Jefferson St., Olympia, sliding scale donation, $15-$25, 360.943.3650

Filed under: Benefits, Music, Olympia,

February 3, 2014 at 10:03am

New Army Tuition Assistance program rules

New year, new rules. The Army's Tuition Assistance (TA) program will be streamlining eligibility and making some cutbacks in 2014 and nearly 160,000 officers and enlisted soldiers across active duty, reserves and National Guard who have been pursuing college degrees with TA support could be affected.


Filed under: Army, Schools, Benefits,

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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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