Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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December 12, 2011 at 6:54pm

Sen. Regala wants your online purchases taxed


After reading the Weekly Volcano's Holiday Guide Three: Geek Greetings Edition, you were inspired to shop the Internets hard. Uncle Jim will receive chocolate vitamins from a dude in Chicago. Cousin Willy will score a talking reindeer sold from a neighborhood in Orlando. Sister Sue will sure to be thrilled with a Hanson Singing Toothbrush sold from an attic in Wichita.

Not what we really had in mind.

Sure, sister Sue might be a bit bummed. You don't care. You completed your holiday shopping in one afternoon on your fat ass in front of the computer. And you saved money by avoiding retail sales taxes.

That's right. In a 1992 decision, Quill v. North Dakota, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that retailers are exempt from collecting sales taxes in states where they have no physical presence, such as a store, office, or warehouse. Businesses with a physical presence in a state are therefore put at a disadvantage by having to collect an additional 5 to 9 percent in taxes on purchases, depending on the state.

Sen. Debbie Regala (D-Tacoma) will have none of it. She's calling on Washington to create a level playing field by enforcing the collection of sales and use tax on remote or online sales.  

"By not collecting this tax, Washington retailers are put at a competitive disadvantage," says the state senator in a released statement. "This hurts our local businesses and it erodes the revenues that fund our public services."

Sen. Regala is sponsoring Senate Joint Memorial 8009, a resolution asking Congress to authorize enforcement of the collection of the retail sales tax by out-of-state sellers that have no physical presence in Washington.  In the released statement, Sen. Regala states, "As of now, the collection of that tax is only voluntary; without action by Congress, in state businesses are losing sales to online purchases through out-of-state merchants who do not collect state sales taxes."

Read the rest of Sen. Regala's press release after the jump:


Filed under: Web/Tech, Holidays, Politics, Economy,

December 6, 2011 at 7:41am

MORNING SPEW: Layoffs, slot machines, music videos of the year ...

Hello? Hello!?


City of Tacoma Budget Woes: Department heads notified 166 city workers yesterday that their jobs are officially at risk. (News Tribune)

Republicans Answer To The $2 Billion State Budget Shortfall: cherry-cherry-cherry (News Tribune)

Afghanistan Blast: A suicide bomber killed 54 people at a Shiite shrine in Kabul. (CNN)

Cain Train: Accuser says candidate's exit "bittersweet." (CNN)

Another Year-End List: Best music videos of 2011 (Paste Magazine)

The Best Architecture Of 2011: Jonathan Glancey's choice. (The Guardian)

Today's Helpful Tip: when getting a lap dance, don't sit in a plastic chair. (Dumb As A Blog)

Discovery: Beer can actually save lives. (The Daily What)

Wood Ear: Wooden smartphone with app blocks (Super Punch)

Cat Ruffian

December 3, 2011 at 9:45am

MORNING SPEW: Don't swear at PLU, Mailin not mailing it in, exploding cocktails set to Beastie Boys music ...

Tacoma's Feeling Smitten Bath Bakery is the bomb. Photo credit: Facebook


Up For Debate: Pacific Lutheran University's student newspaper website shutdown due to potty language. (News Tribune)

Malin Not Mailing It In: Davenport, Iowa City Manager still intereste din City of Tacoma Manager job. (News Tribune)

Fun To Say, Dangerous To Eat: Ocean Spray expands Craisins recall. (Boston.com)

Tacoma Bath Bombs: Oprah loves them. (News Tribune)

Evil Craigslist: More than 100 people in Ohio responded to a Craigslist ad asking them to "watch over a 688 acre patch of hilly farmland and feed a few cows." Some of them are buried in shallow graves. (New York Times)

GOP Focus Groups: GOP voters in a Virginia focus group say they have not warmed to Mitt Romney, are worried about Newt Gingrich's volatility and have all but dismissed Herman Cain. (CNN)

Best Toys Of All Time: Stick, dirt ... (Wired)

Maybe This Shall Destroy Them Both: Anne Hathaway vs. Jessica Biel. (Celebitchy)

Beautiful slo-mo footage of exploding cocktails

Phantom Cocktails from Ty Migota on Vimeo.

November 23, 2011 at 7:08am

MORNING SPEW: City budget woes, Tacoma's future, high winds and turkeys ...

Photo credit: trutv.com


City Of Tacoma Budget Woes: Tacoma City Council has five ideas. You better be certain you're being robbed or it will cost you. (News Tribune)

Tacoma's Future: An alternative view of Tacoma in the 21st century. (News Tribune)

Um, Not Guilty To DUI: Fife's mayor pro tem spins the wheel. (News Tribune)

Your Turkey PiñataOutside Is Going To See Hell: High winds forecasted for Thanksgiving. (Kitsap Sun)

GOP Debate: The latest GOP presidential debate exposed deep fault lines among the candidates on how to grapple with the nation's security challenges. (CNN)

U Can't Haz Sadz: The hushed dangers of startup depression. (Beta Beat)

Trippy: The magic of Hollywood's green screen. (Flavorwire)

Thanksgiving Hand Turkeys: 12 dumb ones. (TruTV)

Time To Face The Day

November 5, 2011 at 7:51am

MORNING SPEW: Tacoma Studio Tours, Juggalos, tacos as ID ...


It's On!: Art at Work Studio Tours begin this morning. (Spaceworks Tacoma)

You Can Call It ... Another Lovely Day: Pacific Avenue streetscape wayfinding open house is scheduled for Nov. 9. (Forward Tacoma)

Oh Oh Big Ol' Jet Airliner: Rick Perry rides free on a bunch of private jets. (New York Times)

Andy Rooney: Dead at 92. (CNN)

The Terminal: California woman, unable to pay bag fees, stuck in airport for eight days. (Time)

Sounds Like Something Sid And Marty Krofft Would Lead: The FBI has declared the Juggalos a gang, officially. (Wired)

Ground Beef Is Not A Valid Form Of Identification: Drunk Florida dude tries to give police tacos as ID. (LA Weekly)

Party Harder Tonight: This awful webpage somewhere says we have an extra hour of sleep tonight. (Greenwich Mean Time)

All In The Family: Parents called to school about Junior's fighting get in a fight in the car on the way home. (Des Moines Register)

Shaken Not Stirred: New Bond film called Skyfall. (BBC)

Dance GIFs In The Heezy!: Put on some Violent Femmes and take it all in, y'all. (Pajiba)

October 30, 2011 at 10:19am

Occupy Tacoma update

Yesterday Occupy Tacoma - a protest against corporate greed modeled after the version of the Occupy Wall Street ongoing protest that originated, er, on Wall Street in New York - left its occupation camp at 21st and Pacific to marched through the Lincoln District. Photos of the march have hit Flickr here.

Tonight at 6:30 p.m. Occupy Tacoma gathers for its Sunday general assembly inside the First United Methodist Church of Tacoma. The Movement invites the public to attend these meetings, help shape its future and rail against inequality and the corporate takeover of politics.

Amen, sister.

Next March: Occupy Tacoma will meet at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5 in front of McKinley Elementary School at McKinley Avenue and East 38th Street. From there, it's off to the U.S. Bank on Pacific Avenue in support of Bank Transfer Day - a nationwide movement encouraging people to transfer their money from big banks to credit unions and smaller community banks.

Weekly Volcano Twitter follower @gohifreannlea posted this video on his Twitter page in the name of Occupy Tacoma.

Filed under: Community, Business, Politics, Tacoma,

October 21, 2011 at 8:11am

MORNING SPEW: Pay raises for chief protectors, new Spaceworks artists, LSD fail ...


More Doughnuts (Never Gets Old): Pay raises are in the works for Tacoma's police and fire chiefs. (News Tribune)

Filling Space: Diane Hansen, Lance Kagey, Janette Ryan, Mary Rothlisberger, Lauren McCleary and others occupy Tacoma. (Spaceworks Tacoma)

Viadoom: Driving to Seattle will suck more. (News Tribune)

Can'twell: Campaign contributions to Sen. Maria Cantwell are off by 30 percent compared with the same point in her re-election campaign six years ago. (News Tribune)

218 Heart: Freed from Moammar Gadhafi's oppressive rule, Libyans face new challenges - building a new government and repairing the war-ravaged country. (CNN)

Got Five Minutes?: The Three Musketeers trailer. (trailers.apple.com)

Today In WTF?: MC Hammer is launching his own Internet search engine. (NME)

It Could Be Yours: Tony Stark's Iron Man 2 racing suit, Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow catsuit and more. (Blastr)

La-la-la-la: Pee-wee Herman wants to be on Dancing with the Stars? (E)

LSD fail

October 18, 2011 at 10:43am

Walk in the park with Mr. Parks

Metro Parks Board Commissioner Erik Hanberg / courtesy photo


If you dropped in on Wright Park Friday afternoon, you would have seen swarms of teens battling in a high school regional cross-country meet, kids climbing on the new playground while grandmas chatted, gussied-up seniors having their portraits snapped under trees, middle-aged joggers circling, and two guys standing in the middle of all this, dressed for a business meeting – Metro Parks Commissioner Erik Hanberg and Pappi Swarner.

Pappi tossed questions at Hanberg, who's running for re-election to Metro Parks Board Commissioner Position 5. Read Pappi's full story here.

As a side note, Hanberg will be the host emcee at Doyle's Public House's Knowledge Night tomorrow at 8 and 9 p.m. Expect environmental and park-related trivia questions with your Guinness.

Filed under: Green Crush, Tacoma, Politics,

October 13, 2011 at 7:16am

5 Things To Do Today: Rooftop Warrior, "The Zoo Story," candidates roundtable, "The Fantasticks" ...

The Rooftop Warriors rock an early, free show tonight at Hell's Kitchen in downtown Tacoma.

THURSDAY, OCT. 13, 2011 >>>

1. There's something to be said for how far a modicum of confident swagger will take you. Rooftop Warrior understands this principle and uses it to good effect when it employs classic-rock-indebted gutter-blues tonight at Hell's Kitchen. Vigilante Sol and Devil On A Leash join the 6 p.m. bill, which is free.

2. Tacoma's Toy Boat Theatre Company opens The Zoo Story at 7 p.m. in its Spaceworks Tacoma spot on Hilltop Tacoma. The play, which explores newly relevant themes of isolation, loneliness, and dehumanization in a volatile and unstable world, serves as the theatrical centerpiece for an evening that begins with a "zoo-themed" dinner (think hot dog cart, popcorn stand, standard day-at-the-park fare) and ends with live music by a series of dynamic local artists.

3. Want to see and hear Karen Smitherman and Anders Ibsen face off? Want to see Ryan Mello tell it how it is? Want to see David Boe and Mike Hardy spar on the tough issues, like whether those stoned on weed are easier to deal with than drunks? You'll have just such a chance today as the University of Washington Tacoma sponsors and hosts a Tacoma City Council candidates roundtable forum, moderated by the League of Women Voters and presented by UWT's Politics Philosophy and Economics faculty and Student Club beginning at 7 p.m. inside the UW-Tacoma's Carwein Auditorium. Get out. Get informed. And then vote in November.

4. The Pacific Lutheran University Theater Department opens its brand new studio theater at 7:30 p.m. with The Fantasticks, the story of a young boy and girl who fall madly in love at the hands of their meddling parents, but soon grow restless and stray from one another.

5. The Surreal Ultra Lounge in downtown Tacoma hosts a 9:30 p.m. hip-hop/R&B after party for the early Nate Jackson Comedy Show, which is hosted at the Varsity Grill. Everyone enters with a smile; many leave with two smiles.

PLUS: Check out the free archery lesson today in our Freeloaders

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

October 4, 2011 at 9:31am

MORNING SPEW: Point Defiance named "Great," Tacoma comedy club tour, "Simpsons" over? ...

Stupid money.


Awesome View: Point Defiance Park named one of the 10 "great public spaces." (American Planning Association)

Tacoma Tells Adults: Give the kids an hour to catch up. (KPLU)

GOP Source: Gov. Christie won't run for president. (CNN)

Distracted Drinking: A tour of the comedy club of Tacoma. (Post Defiance)

No!: Money dispute may end The Simpsons. (The Daily Beast)

Watch: The entire 100-minute Arrested Development reunion. (Slash Film)

William Shatner: He answers 20 questions. (Pop Matters)

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