Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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February 17, 2014 at 4:34pm

Senate honors Washington’s Civil Air Patrol members

Sen. Jim Honeyford, second from left, (R-Sunnyside) pauses for a photo with members of the Washington Wing of the Civil Air Patrol Feb. 17.

Just when we were going to kick back with a scotch and cigar and read William DeGregorio's Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, Sen. Jim Honeyford's office sent us a news release on something pretty cool.

In what has become an annual Senate tradition, Sunnyside Sen. Jim Honeyford joined his colleagues in honoring members of the Washington Wing of the Civil Air Patrol with a Senate Resolution Monday. Honeyford, a lieutenant colonel with both the Washington Wing Legislative Squadron and the Yakima Composite Squadron, lauded the Civil Air Patrol's storied history and importance in both wartime and peacetime efforts.


Filed under: Legislature, News To Us,

February 17, 2014 at 1:54pm

Update (photo): State Senate to recognize Medal of Honor winner U.S. Army Capt. William Swenson Feb. 18

Capt. William Swenson at a meeting with senior Zone (Brigade) leadership to discuss the security in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, March 2009. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army

UPDATE: The Washington state Senate honored U.S. Army Capt. William Swenson today.

"Captain Swenson was awarded the Medal of Honor for acts of gallantry - at the risk of his life - above and beyond the call of duty. The danger Captain Swenson faced that day was not some general risk of injury...it was the immediate threat of imminent death," O'Ban said, according to a news release. "No one ordered him to repeatedly place himself at the threshold of death to save his brethren. No one would have judged him disloyal for not going in a second, third or fourth time into mortal peril."

A photo from the ceremony is posted below, as well as information on the ceremony, which we posted yesterday.


February 14, 2014 at 1:51pm

Veterans Innovations Program legislation approved by Washington House

Rep. Drew MacEwen (R-Union) - one of 12 state lawmakers who sponsored House Bill 2130 - sent us a Valentine stating HB2130's measure to streamline programs that assist current military members and veterans transition into civilian life received unanimous support in the state House of Representatives today.

Below is MacEwen's news release, which seemed to pop 3-D hearts at us as we read it online.

Building upon 2006 legislation establishing the Veterans' Innovations Program (VIP), House Bill 2130 would combine the Defenders' Fund and Competitive Grant Program simplifying internal processes for the Washington Department of Veterans' Affairs. Funds appropriated to VIP would still be used to increase awareness of the program to veterans and active duty service members. Funds from this program would also be used to develop partnerships to assist members in completing the application process, along with education, training and employment assistance. Additionally, the bill expands these services to members of the National Guard.

"I was happy to sponsor the Veterans Innovations Program legislation," said MacEwen, a veteran of the United States Navy. "This program began to assist veterans facing hardship in employment, training and transitioning to civilian life. It has proven to be a crucial tool to assist our veterans who have returned home after facing long and arduous combat tours in a post 9/11 world. My bill would streamline the various programs and make them more efficient and accessible by our military community."

House Bill 2130 will be transmitted to the Senate for further consideration. The 2014 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn March 13.

February 12, 2014 at 7:29am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Drone kill iPhone app, 500 senior Army NCOs for separation, stolen CAC cards, humans killing the planet...

Wake up with Wake Up Espresso across the street from Clover Park High School in Lakewood.


The House voted overwhelmingly to repeal the $6 billion cut to military pensions, which was paid for by extending the sequester for mandatory Medicare spending for one year.

Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine H. Fox warned against assuming a permissive environment for U.S. naval air and sea assets.

House voted to raise the government's borrowing limit until March 2015, without any conditions.

Republicans on House panel conclude the White House and the State Department, but not the military, are to blame for Benghazi.

A senior U.S. intelligence official warned of a "very real" risk of extremist groups gaining control of Syrian chemical or biological weapons.

Diplomacy is failing in Syria, Obama acknowledges, underscoring the fact the United states has little influences on the conflict.

Army considers trading armor for speed.

Western militaries may lose access to critical materials needed for weapons and other systems, because of the growing demand for new technologies, questionable supply lines and production in unfriendly or dangerous countries.

New iPhone app will buzz your pocket each time the U.S. kills someone with a drone.

The U.S. Army has identified hundreds of senior noncommissioned officers for involuntary separation as the service advances toward reducing 80,000 soldiers from its ranks by 2018.

Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno said statistics do not yet demonstrate a significant enough change in Army culture with regard to sexual assault.

Defense Department will begin fully enforcing a previously optional policy regarding the reissuance of lost or stolen common access cards.

Israeli defense executives are eyeing potentially lucrative, US-subsidized sales of advanced border security systems.

A heavy fuel version of Israel Aerospace Industry's big-selling Heron UAV literally had the wraps taken off on the opening day of the Singapore Airshow Feb.

US Special Operations Command is looking to boost its procurement investments as operational costs come down after more than a decade of war.

Humans are killing the planet.

A rocket, a meteor and the Milky way, all in one awesome photo.

Here are the comedians getting half-hour specials on Comedy Central this year.

TV Guide rounds up all the TV shows that are going off the air this year.

"15 of Cinema's Best Dance Party Endings."

Spin has a good roundup of this year's music festivals.

Finally: Billy Ray Cyrus Releases Hip-Hop Sequel to Achy Breaky Heart.

Can't get enough of figure skating!

February 10, 2014 at 2:57pm

Walla Walla Veterans' Home one step closer

Sen. Mike Hewitt (R-Walla Walla) is a happy man. A veterans' home is one step closer to being built in his backyard, and by backyard we mean Walla Walla.Today the Senate unanimously approved a measure supporting the proposed Walla Walla Veterans' Home, which would serve more than 50,000 veterans and their families in southeast Washington. Hewiit has been pushing Senate Bill 5691 since early last year and, according to a new release, he says "it's been an honor to work on a measure that supports the state's military men and women, and creates about 93 permanent jobs."

Senate Bill 5691 authorizes the state Department of Veterans Affairs to operate the veterans' home, which would serve as a skilled-nursing facility providing long-term care for honorably discharged veterans, families, and Gold Star Parents - those whose children died while serving in the armed forces.

The measure now moves to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

Filed under: Veterans, Legislature,

April 11, 2012 at 9:06am

MORNING SPEW: Budget out of the Senate, French kiss, when unicorns attack ...

STOLEN CITY HALL LAPTOPS: Could the missing clue be all the laptops were running Lycos?


Washington State Legislature Wins In Double Overtime: The Legislature adjourned late last night after the Senate passed the budget measure on a 44-2 bipartisan vote and sent the bill to the governor for her signature. (News Tribune)

Stolen Tacoma City Hall Laptop Computers: The computers were taken from Tacoma City Council-member cubicles on the 12th floor of City Hall. (News Tribune)

It's Official: City of Biot, France, is Tacoma's new sister city. (Exit133)

Indonesian Island Of Sumatra: It was hit by a magnitude-8.6 earthquake. (CNN)

Jerks: The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit charging that Apple and others colluded to raise the price of e-books. (The New York Times)

When Unicorns Attack: The horror. (Huffington Post)

Color Analysis: 50 shades of grey. (The Hairpin)

Documentary: Kid's self-built cardboard arcade hits the big time. (Time)

Freaky: Elsa Schiaparelli's Skeleton Dress. (Who Killed Bambi)

True Geek: Battlestar Galactica wedding cake. (walyou)

Bob Ross Would Be Proud

April 10, 2012 at 8:03am

MORNING SPEW: No budget deal yet, fish from hell, hot dog stuffed pizza crust ...

PAULA ABDUL: Sure "Cold Hearted" is about breaking up, but try not to dance to it.


Washington State Lawmakers: Gov. Chris Gregoire and top lawmakers do not have a deal to close a roughly half-billion-dollar shortfall for the two-year budget cycle ending June 2013. Senate Republicans will not take up the budget until lawmakers approve a series of policy changes in state government. (News Tribune)

Gig Harbor Principal vs. Pesky Car: Ted Strong pleads not guilty to DUI, stating his car was acting aggressively, which caused him to rear-end another car. (News Tribune)

Behind The Fred Meyer Door: A woman is suing Fred Meyer claiming she was the victim of a videotaped sexual assault, racial discrimination, and "extremely vulgar and sexual comments" while employed at a warehouse in Fife. (Daily Weekly)

Tulsa Shooting Suspects Are No Longer Suspects: They confessed. (CNN)

Buffet Rule: President Obama will push his proposal to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay at least 30 percent of their income in federal taxes. (The New York Times)

Fish From Hell: It's terrorizing Maryland. (Time)

IKEA To Build Entire Neighborhood: Wouldn't want to put that together. (Neatorama)

Hell Yes We Found This: Greatest breakup songs of the 1980s. (Nerve)

The Hipster Games: Hunger Games video spoof goes viral. (Yahoo)

Hot Dog Stuffed Pizza Crust: f you're anything like us, you're equal parts appalled and intrigued. (grist)


April 6, 2012 at 7:25am

MORNING SPEW: Wacko from WACO, Ghost Ship, ‘Walking Dead Mad Men' ...


Big House On Campus: State House Democrats approved a $31.1 billion supplemental budget that avoids new cuts to K-12 schools or universities. The 54-43 vote went along party lines. (News Tribune)

Wacko From WACO: Robin Ann Chase, 44, was busted for stealing more than $73,000 from her former employer, the Olympia-based Washington Association of County Officials. (News Tribune)

State Supreme Court: It ruled warrantless searches violated Slippery Snapp's right to drive other people's identities around town under the state constitution. (News Tribune)

Washington State Lieutenant Governor Candidate Bill Finkbeiner: He wants Olympia lawmakers to ditch current seating practices and intermingle "We Are The World" style, if not alphabetical. (Daily Weekly)

Ghost Ship: No word if it was those pesky kids in the Mystery Machine van that tipped the U.S. Coast Guard, but a ghost ship set a sail during the Japanese tsunami was sunk due to the possible dangers that comes with unmanned ships floating around. (CNN)

U.S. Economy: The United States economy added a relatively weak 120,000 jobs in March, compared with 240,000 in February. (The New York Times)

Dating Advice From Charles Dickens: A "Manly Young Lady" and a "Poetical Young Gentleman" walk into a bar. (Brain Pickings)

Too Much?: Bacon taco shell. (Obvious Winner)

Walking Dead Mad Men: One awesome zombie ad agency mashup. (Huffington Post)

Some dogs Tryin' To Get Their Thuggish Ruggish Bones

November 10, 2011 at 8:12am

MORNING SPEW: What's Up Krupp?, Sandusky situation, are L'eggs back? ...

That sounds stupid.


What's Up Krupp?: Thurston County Manager Don Krupp, who has worked for the county for 17 years, has applied for Tacoma's city manager job. (The Olympian)

If It Falls Into Their Laps: Tacoma passes lowest priority marijuana initiative. (Stop The Drug War)

Weird: A state Senate seat may change hands in the middle a special legislative session that starts after Thanksgiving. (News Tribune)

The Sandusky Situation: Students protest after Penn State coach Joe Paterno was fired amid sex-abuse scandal.(CNN) Read Weekly Volcano editor Matt Driscoll's take on the situation. (Weekly Volcano)

New Prime Minister Of Greece: Lucas Papademos, a former European Central Bank vice president, assumes the position. (CNN)

What Would The Muppets Do?: It would be the most sensantional, inspirational, celebrational, Muppet-ational Academy Awards show. (Perez Hilton)

R.I.P. Bil Keane: Family Circus packs up and moves on. (USA Today)

Are L'eggs Back?: The brand that pioneered plastic ostrich-sized eggs as packaging, is looking for a comeback. (Ad Week)

WTF?: Peanut butter vodka. (Laughing Squid)

Today's Moment Of Zen

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