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July 28, 2014 at 1:29pm

Words and Photos: Washington National Guard Night at Cheney Stadium

The 133d Army National Guard Band was on the Cheney Stadium's big screen, performing the "National Anthem" July 24. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Tacoma Rainiers played host last week to hundreds of service men and women from throughout Washington during the team's Washington National Guard Night.

"The Tacoma Rainiers value and support what the Washington National Guard, along with all branches of the military, do for the residents of this great state," said Tacoma Rainiers Group Event Coordinator Chris Aubertin.  "The opportunity to provide the citizen-soldiers and airmen, along with their families, a fun, affordable experience at our ballpark is a small way of saying thanks." 

The 133rd Army National Guard Band had the special honor of performing the "National Anthem" and officially kicking off the event, which was held July 24 at Cheney Stadium.

"This isn't the first time the band has played on the field, but it was my first time," said Sgt. 1st Class Alton Huckaby, a member of the 133rd Army National Guard Band. "The experience is a little bit overwhelming at first.  Walking out onto home plate, you don't realize how the attention is literally all around you." 

"All the timing that goes into it for just two minutes is intense," said fellow band member Staff Sgt. Amy O'Shield. "This is one of our communities, so it's great to be out here representing, and it was very well received."

>>> A member of the Las Vegas 51s minor league baseball team gives a fist-bump to members of the 133rd Army National Guard Band after they perform the "National Anthem" for Washington National Guard Night with the Tacoma Rainiers July 24. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The 133rd Army National Guard Band often plays the face of the Washington National Guard, with many opportunities to shake hands with people who don't get exposed to the military as much as other communities.


Filed under: National Guard, Sports, Music, Tacoma,

July 28, 2014 at 7:08am

Monday Morning Joe: Congress VA deal, drone traffic jam, spy satellite upgrade, Spider-Man punches cop ...

Headquarters Company 34th Combat Aviation Brigade throw practice coffee pots from the standing position at Camp Ripley, Minn. Original photo by Spc. Jess Nemec


House and Senate lawmakers will announce an agreement on veterans' legislation during a press conference today.

North Korea defies U.N. censure to fire missile into sea.

As fighting abates in the Gaza Strip for now, the road forward to a more durable ceasefire will be rocky at best

The Obama administration has quietly moved an additional 62 advisers to Iraq over the past three weeks.

Possibility for another volley exists: U.S., Iranian drones crowd Iraqi air space.

The U.S. Air Force will soon have new spy satellite capability that will provide oversight over other objects in space.

What a war in Europe really looks like: Headless body in the street, bombed summer cottages, gunmen at the morgue ...

U.S.-supplied weapons vulnerable after Afghanistan withdrawal.

The New York Times: It's putting its weight behind a bill that will be introduced in the Senate this week to rein in the National Security Agency.

Republican lawmakers are challenging Obama over a plan to expand the use of bases to house illegal immigrant children.

Rough ride for the F-35: Congress is still pouring money into a program that is intended to produce more than 2,400 F-35s for the Air Force, the Navy and the Marines through 2037.

The Marine Corps needs 38 amphibious assault ships for crisis-response missions, but will likely have to settle for 33.

The U.S. Air Force missileers to work with Navy in morale-improvement effort.

Court: U.S. must explain why it rejects foreign deals.

Defense bill amendment: Effort advances to add names of 74 sailors to Vietnam Memorial.

War and games: Ex-Army helicopter pilot heads Washington Redskins special teams.

This ATM that plays DOOM would make trips to the bank so much better.

Mark Hamill talks about returning to Star Wars.

Princess Leia is getting her own comic-book miniseries.

Watch the trailer for Kevin Smith's new film, Tusk.

Stephen Colbert hosted the Hobbit panel at Comic-Con in Hobbit costume.

The New York Times: Spider-Man punched a police officer in the face in Times Square over the weekend ...

It's been a while since we had a good dominoes toppling ...

LINK: Original photo by Spc. Jess Nemec

July 23, 2014 at 7:42am

5 Things to Do Today: Kim Archer Band, Sunset Market, brewer's night, Tacoma Runners ...

The Kim Archer Band will perform at the Washington Center in downtown Olympia tonight.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23 2014 >>>

1. With a timeless vocal delivery only matched by her engaging stage presence, Kim Archer and her band have been pleasing live music fans in our area since 2004. Archer's powerful voice a la Janis Joplin and Chaka Khan gelled nicely with the sonic buzz of the guitar and groove from the backbeat. Archer commands the stage playing her own original songs rooted in old school soul, funk and classic rock, sultry blues and ballads while remaining a master at giving choice cover tunes the "Kim Archer treatment, such as the crowd pleasure "Shaft." The 7 p.m. show has moved from Sylvester Park to the Washington Center due to the rain.

2. Moss + Mineral is an easy-to-overlook design store tucked away in a small space on Ninth Street near a bail bondsman in downtown Tacoma. They show art and photography by some of the area's best. Featured through July are works by Carlos Taylor-Swanson (fine woodworking); Claudia Riedener (ceramics); the design team ofAdrienne WicksandJeff Libby (fine woodworking); Holly Senn (sculpture) and Harriet McNamara (photography). Read Alec Clayton's full review of "Natural Spectacle: Art + eco-Furnishings in the Music & Culture section, then check it out at Moss + Mineral from noon to 5 p.m.

3. Farmers markets come in all sizes, shapes and vibes, but the atmosphere of the new Sunset Market is definitively about fun. Right off the bat, it turns the tables on the usual early-morning affairs we're used to by hosting its vendors in the evenings, from 3 to 7:30 p.m. - a Puyallup version of Tacoma's 6th Ave Farmers Market if you will. The Sunset Market focuses on local farmers, growers, processors, artisans, downtown merchants and food vendors accompanied by live entertainment, demonstrations and more. The farmers' party continues every Wednesday through Sept. 17.

4. Cooper Point Public House in Olympia will be hosting Hood River darlings Double Mountain from 6-9 p.m. Expect Kolsch-In Cologne, Homestead-Orange, Lil Red Pils and the newly-released Clusterf#ck. Remember when Cluster was the dominant hop in the U.S. brewing industry? Read up on Clusterf#ck here.

5. Forget light and low-carb beers. The Tacoma Runners have a better method for fighting fat: They run then drink beer. They're the classic drinking group with a running problem. The problem is, REI has called them out to double their running this week. Apparently REI has a new bitchin' truck they want to show off, so they called the Thursday running group and convinced them to gather for a special Wednesday night run and drink. No problem, the Tacoma Runners are in, and will meet at the Parkway Tavern at 6:30 p.m. for a 3-mile jaunt with their new REI buddies followed by craft beers back the Tacoma tavern. Tomorrow night's 3-mile run and beer outing will be at the Chalet Bowl in the Proctor District - same beer time.

LINK: Wednesday, July 23 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 11, 2014 at 10:53am

A Ruck, Bricks and You: TRVLSQD offers Special Forces inspired challenges

Members of the Tacoma/Seattle Travel Squad train for a GORUCK Challenge at Thea's Park in Tacoma. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Two months ago a group calling itself the Travel Squad began a workout at Thea's Park on Tacoma's Foss Waterway.

A few more than a half dozen assault packs, an American flag on a short pole and a log lay on the ground.

The small group ran through a number of intensive calisthenics, threw on their packs, secured the flag and picked up the log and headed out of the park.

The squad - sometimes identified with the letters TRVLSQD and the motto "Team First, Beer Always" - headed out toward Ruston Way.

Begun by former soldier Fergus Hyke in 2011, TRVLSQD works with those individuals to develop training methods to complete the Special Forces inspired GORUCK Challenge.

"It's a good way to maintain the camaraderie of having served," Hyke's said at the time.  "It's also a good way to remain in great shape."

So what is the GORUCK (verb go + verb ruck) challenge?

The idea behind the challenge belongs to Jason McCarthy and Jack Barley, it is a variety of training scenarios designed to facilitate teamwork and communication.

The challenge offers a slice of Special Operations training.  The foundation of all GORUCK events is the wartime experience of the cadre, veterans of Special Operations who are now tasked with building a team based on unity of purpose.

GORUCK's signature events require bricks, a ruck and an attitude to work with others in order to prevail.

Part of that attitude gets you very long ruck marches with a group of about 30 people, a telephone pole in the midst of some very uncomfortable and miserable conditions.

You will be pushed past your limits.

If successful, you walk away with a GORUCK patch and more knowledge about yourself than you realized.

For example, if you weight less than 150 pounds, you carry 20 pounds of bricks in your ruck.  If you weigh over 150 pounds, you carry 40 pounds. 

"Life isn't fair," GORUCK's website proclaims.

Pretty black and weight - no questions, no excuses.  It's all about attitude.

The events - from the most introductory to one that is a very realistic 48 hours of the selection process faced by SEALs and Special Operators - bridge the gap between all walks of life: military/non-military, men/women and young/old.

Comprised of former special operations personnel, the cadre teaches teamwork and communication.

The events are held nationwide throughout the year.

For more information about the Travel Squad, visit www.trvlsqd.com.  For more information about GORUCK, visit www.goruck.com.

Filed under: Sports, Special Forces,

July 7, 2014 at 12:56pm

Tacoma boxer Mike Gavronski part of ESPN 2 Friday Night Fights July 11

Tacoma boxer Mike Gavronski, right, will be the main event of the ESPN 2 Friday Night Fights at Little Creek Casino, July 11. Courtesy photo

Tacoma boxer Mike Gavronski (14-0-1 10KO) continues his rise in the boxing ranks when he returns to the ring at Little Creek Casino, in Shelton, July 11 as the main event of a televised ESPN 2 Friday Night Fights event. Gavronski's climb from Hilltop to Mountaintop has been firm, steady, ever steeper and ever higher. His recent win over Nathan Bedwell, in Chicago shows he is on track and if he continues the progress, a shot at a world title will be waiting.

Boxing is a severe sport. The more brutal the fight, the greater the fan approval. Gavronski never disappoints and has become a northwest hero in the ring. He banged his way to the interim Global Boxing Organization super middleweight title by winning a brutal bout against Tristan Todd in what many boxing fans considered the best fight in Washington history. The fight had the fans on their feet, a bloodlust they felt but did not really believe. They wanted to see someone hurt, pummeled, beaten because they wanted to see how much punishment a person can endure and still prevail, just the kind of fight Gavronski enjoys.

In the first round, Todd broke Gavronski's jaw in two places. Because his jaw was hanging, Gavronski worried that the referee might stop the fight so he used his tongue to keep the jaw pushed into place. Gavronski never stopped fighting and won by TKO in the last round.

Gavronski is following in the footsteps of such famous Tacoma boxers as Rocky Lockridge, Sugar Ray Seals, Johnny Bumphus, Leo Randolf and Irish Pat McMurtry.

His climb up the mountain may not be as difficult as his climb to adulthood has been. He was raised in Hilltop Tacoma in a violent and dangerous family, a tumultuous environment of which no kid should be subjected. Gavronski made decisions that would have been difficult for most adults. He has always understood what was best for him.

By the age of 13, life had become so precarious at home that he asked his grandparents if he could live with them. They agreed and eventually adopted him. They had both been previously married and each had four children. "They consider me the child they had together," he said. They saved his life.

Like so many young people in tough situations, Gavronski turned to boxing as a way to vent his aggressions and as a possible way to rise in the sporting world. In the amateurs he quickly realized his talent in 50 bouts with only eight losses. He fought well against present world contenders like Daniel Jacobs and Sean Porter.

Boxing is a precarious business. Everyone claims to be an expert and they often offer the moon to a young man eager for fame. Gavronski fell into several of these traps before finding Sam Ditusa, a trainer/manager from Seattle with a reputation for knowledge and honesty. Thinking the move was premature they recently rejected a promotional contract with Banner Promotions, one of the largest and most successful promoters in the world. Banner has handled such fighters as Ricky Hatton, Cristobal Cruz, Verno Phillips, Dmitry Pirog, Ruslin Provodankov and heavyweight champion Chris Byrd.

Gavronski has managed to avoid the seamier side of boxing, especially concerning drugs. He saw too many lives destroyed in the Hilltop area. He avoids any associations with fighters, especially ex-fighters, involved with drugs, and has even changed gyms for protection.

Unlike many emerging fighters who refuse to hold a regular job, Gavronski has always worked. "There is no such thing as a bad, or meaningless job," he said. He has held a job for as long as he can remember.

Maintaining a job and finding the time to train can be difficult. He presently works for Cloudy Sky Tree Services, in Auburn. The owner is a boxing fan and has no trouble giving Gavronski time off to occasionally train in different parts of the country and to attend fights. Gavronski knows that sparring and training in different places and with as many boxers as possible is essential for success.  

Gavronski would like to fight every month, but with the decline in boxing interest, bouts are difficult to find. He is also coming up against the problem of many decent emerging boxers - no one wants to fight him.

Little Creek Casino is doing their part to promote local fighters and hopes to be a regular venue for television fights. Lakewood's undefeated Marquise Weston is also on a card that features Art Houhannisyan (17-1-2 9KO) VS Jonathan Maicelo (17-1-0 11KO) in the co-main event.

The peak of the mountain is within view and if Gavronski stays on track he might possibly be fighting for a world championship within two years. The climb to the top is difficult, but the view is spectacular. Gavronski wants a good look.

Filed under: Sports, Tacoma, Lakewood,

July 2, 2014 at 11:09am

Seattle Seahawks bring Lombardi Trophy to Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Seattle Seahawks and Sea Gals pose for photos with Col. David Kumashiro and other leaders at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Gail Wood

It was one hero thanking another.

The Seattle Seahawks, winners of Super Bowl XLVIII and the heroes of the fans, came to say thanks to what they called the real heroes - the military and their families at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"They're the real heroes," said Armando Mejia, assistant manager with the Seahawks community relations. "We want to thank them. That's what this is all about."

Hangar 9 on McChord Field, with a C-17 Globemaster III as the backdrop, was turned into a Seahawks shrine, complete with the Lombardi Trophy, which the Seahawks won for winning the Super Bowl. The Seahawks have paraded the trophy to five military bases in the Northwest, thanking the military for their service.

"We appreciate you guys a lot," said Seahawks wide receiver Bill Bates, one of three Seahawk players at the event. "Without your support we wouldn't be here today."

Other special guests besides the Lombardi Trophy, which fans stood by and got their pictures snapped, included Seahawks linebacker Korey Toomer and cornerback DeShawn Shead. Six members of the Blue Thunder and six members of the Sea Gals also came, entertaining the crowd of about 1,000 military families.

"My kids are very excited," said Erin Philippart, who brought her three children to the Seahawks event. "It's awesome."

With her husband in the Air Force, she appreciated the thank you from the Seahawks.

"It's so awesome," Philippart said. "They've come to say thanks to the troops. It's greatly appreciated."

Col. Pete Stavros, who was at the event with his wife and children, was impressed with the Seahawks coming to JBLM, allowing the base to be part of the celebration.

"The kids get to see the trophy, which is pretty cool," said Stavros, the commander of the Western Air Defense Sector. "We're celebrating an outstanding season."

While the fans' focus was on the Seahawks, the Seahawks' focus was on thanking the military.

"For them to come down on this day it's a great statement about the relationship between the Seahawks organization and the military," said Stavros, who did a flyby over the stadium prior to the Seahawks-Dallas game in the 2012 season. "It means a lot."

Capt. Tim Slater, holding two footballs to get autographed, was among the eager fans standing in long lines waiting to get an autograph.

"It's almost hard to put into words about them coming," said Slater, who didn't miss a Seahawks game on TV last season. "That's the Lombardi Trophy. How cool is that? The Seahawks came here. It's fun."

 Seahawk fans were hoping Russell Wilson, the Seahawks quarterback and team leader, would show up, but he wasn't among the Seahawks that came.

"Russell usually goes to the Children's Hospital on Tuesdays and Wednesdays," Slater said.

The Lombardi Trophy was a big attraction. There were also life-size standup posters of Seahawks Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. There were also huge cutout mug shots of coach Pete Carrol, Wilson, Sherman and Marshawn Lynch. Kids would hold up the mugs and get their pictures taken.

"We want to thank the military and their families," Mejia said. "We understand that the Super Bowl trophy is cool, but here is where it counts."

After a 30-minute presentation that included the Blue Thunder playing and the Sea Gals dancing and Tony Ventrella, the Seahawks PR director and former local TV sports announcer, interviewing the three Seahawks, asking them questions, the players began signing autographs. Long lines more than 200 deep formed and the players began signing.

It was their way of saying thanks.    

June 30, 2014 at 2:39pm

Washington National Guard adds Fourth of July celebrations to its #GuardWeek

The Washington National Guard will be on both sides of the Cascades during the Fourth of July weekend. Courtesy photo

The Washington National Guard celebrates our nation's independence with several statewide "#GuardWeek" events as part of "It's your home, It's your guard, It's your week" 2014 campaign. The Guard hopes all ages enjoy the following community events, encouraging tagging Fourth of July photos on twitter with the social media hashtag, #GuardWeek.

The Washington National Guard kicks off its #GuardWeek campaign with the Go Fourth Festival in Longview July 2-3. Drop by the Washington National Guard information booth and enjoy the 133rd Army Band.

Friday, July 4, the Washington National Guard heads to Seattle for the Seafair Summer Fourth at Gas Works Park and South Lake Union Park. Expect to see vehicle static displays, 133rd band, interactive booths and an awe-inspiring presentation with a salute cannon and aerial display to start the fireworks show. 

The Guard will participate in the city of Auburn's Fourth of July festivities at Les Grove Park, including a concert by its 133rd Band. Those in Les Grove Park will enjoy various arts and crafts, car show, parade, and various entertainers on two stages.

Will you be close to the Tacoma Waterfront? The Washington National Guard will be. The Guard will have static vehicle displays, interactive booths and entertainment at the "America Be Strong" Stage by the Lobster Shop restaurant on Ruston Way as part of the huge Freedom Fair.

Have a need for speed?  Then make sure you visit the Evergreen Motor Speedway in Monroe July 4. The Guard will have static vehicle displays, interactive booths and entertainment. 

The Guard will also be participating in several parades in Arlington and Edmonds.

Across the Cascades, the Guard will be a part of Spokane's July 4 Pennant 5k Run in the morning and closing out the day with the triple-a baseball team Spokane Indians as they take on the Vancouver Canadians, followed by fireworks. The Washington National Guard will have a Paladin Howitzer Static Display and information booth

The 133rd Band will also play in White Salmon outside of Yakima as part of a Fourth of July celebration.

Closing out the 4th of July Weekend, the Washington National Guard and the Seattle Reign Women's Soccer team will have a military appreciation match against the Boston Breakers at Memorial Stadium in Seattle Sunday, July 6. The Guard will present the Colors, bring static displays, host an information booth and toss the coin. 

June 28, 2014 at 7:21am

5 Things To Do Today: MAWP benefit show, Undy Run, Daniel Blue, Fruit Juice ...

Grab a piece of Tacoma's music history at The New Frontier Lounge tonight.

SATURDAY, JUNE 28 2014 >>>

1. Before we can enjoy Music and Art in Wright Park, with bands, local vendors, good eats and live art, we gotta pile into The New Frontier, we gotta bang heads and slosh beer and put cash in the bucket. At 9 p.m., the Tacoma Dome music venue hosts a fundraiser to help raise money so we can rock come Saturday, Aug. 16 in Wright Park. Not only will Ex-Gods (former Mahnhammer), Cody Foster Army (C.F.A.) and Infinite Flux rock the house this Saturday, but there will also be a new element to MAWP's fundraising ... and archiving. For the first time, a MAWP compilation CD, Vol 1: Organic Arsenic, a collection of the festival's past performers - including Tacoma bands from the 1990s such as Queer the Pitch, Portrait of Poverty, My Name, Spuj, Swelter, Poppa Wheelie, to name a few - together in a pretty little package for your listening pleasure, will be for sale. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on the Music and Art in Wright Park fundraiser on our Walkie Talkie blog.

2. You know that recurring nightmare where you show up at school in your underpants? It's time for therapy. Turn your underwear into outerwear at the Undy Run/Walk along Tacoma's Ruston Way at 9 p.m. Instead of receiving a race day T-shirt, participants will receive a stylish pair of boxer shorts and will have the opportunity to take a stroll through a larger-than-life inflatable colon, benefitting the Colon Cancer Alliance.

3. Chance Fashion is the Northwest's longest running monthly fashion show, providing accessible, hands-on networking resources to the Seattle fashion community - including designers, models, photographers, hair stylists and makeup artists. Chance Fashion participants will jump in their cars and head to the Lemay - America's Car Museum to bring Tacoma "100 Feet of Fashion" from 6-10 p.m. As part of the fashion nonprofit's five-year anniversary tour, designers Julie Danforth Design, Poppy & Bloom by Olga Szwed, Vivid Haiku Meroe by Yahwea Meroe, Juleano Men by Julius Leano, Karen Ashley by Karen Langley and Chelsea Mack will show off their talent, surrounded by classic automobiles.

4. Tacoma has a knack for the pop-up venue. From the backyards and porches, living rooms and reconfigured storefronts come shows of punk bands, folk singers, garage rock outfits and hip-hop emcees. We have this opportunity again tonight, a chance to hear some of Tacoma's native sons and daughters share their work.enjoy Motopony, Sporty Lee and Valerie Warren in a Tacoma backyard at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8. For the address to this backyard, visit facebook.com/events/271645249687420 and confirm you're attending.

5. Even though Fruit Juice has only existed for a little over a year, they've garnered a significant amount of praise, including being voted Best New Band in Olympia by the readers of this very rag. Even though it seems like it wouldn't be the case, Fruit Juice's brand of silly, stoned psych-pop is a breath of fresh air in the South Sound. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full story on Fruit Juice in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with The Bugs, Retrospecter and the Echo Echo Echoes at 8 p.m. in Bob's Java Jive.

LINK: Saturday, June 28 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 24, 2014 at 12:30pm

Outdoor Expo returns to Joint Base Lewis-McChord Saturday


A military ID gets you in. Without it, you're stuck outside the gate, watching Northwest outdoors expert after expert drive through the gate with their sports utility vehicles loaded with the latest outdoor toys. Clutching cups of scalding coffee in camouflage travel mugs and shouldering backpacks better suited for navigating trails than city traffic, they'll set up booths at Joint Base Lewis McChord's Main Exchange. Indeed, Saturday, June 28, hunting and fishing guides, vendors and outdoor experts - including representatives from Twisted Horn Outfitters, Heroes on the Water and JBLM Northwest Adventure Center - will be on hand in the Exchange parking lot as part of the JBLM Outdoor Expo. Included will be 10 Northwest hunting and fishing experts on hand to answer your questions and offers tips. Let's read a press release from Joint Base Lewis-McChord Public Affairs. ...


June 22, 2014 at 8:22am

5 Things To Do Today: FISH Food Benefit Concert, Pride Parade, Tacoma History Hike, Dayclub ...

Champagne Sunday will rock for FISH today.

SUNDAY, JUNE 22 2014 >>>

1. It's like money in dog years. For FISH Food Banks of Pierce County, every dollar raised has seven times the buying power. Based on this math, last year's Maurice The Fish Records benefit concert brought in nearly $50,000 to help feed the hungry. This year's FISH Food Benefit Concert has eight bands taking the stage at the all-ages, family friendly 3-7 p.m. show at Louie G's in Fife. Musical artists span many genres and include: James Coates, Champagne Sunday, Vividal, Moss Brothers, The Approach, Tin Man, Nolan Garrett and Strangely Alright. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on the FISH Food Benefit Concert in the Music & Culture section.

2. Capital City Pride began under the aegis of Rainbow Center Olympia. Back then, the festival drew a few hundred people. Now as many as 10,000 celebrants converge on a two-day extravaganza that marks the climax of a very busy year for the organization. Today marks day two of the fabulous celebration with The Pride Parade at noon followed by another full day of music. There will be information and food booths in the park, a marvelous kids' area with activities provided by the Hands On Children's Museum, lots of speechifying and, of course, drag performances.

3. If you are looking for a quiz that calls for more than sitting on a stool with a pint of beer, or if you have killer knowledge of Tacoma history that you feel compelled to show off, then this trivia game is for you. Today you can test your local authority against other history buffs. The Tacoma History Hike is a high-suspense, high-speed scavenger hunt that begins at the Washington State History Museum and leads you to a variety of checkpoints within a 1.5-mile radius, allowing you to walk, run, skip or bike the course. Each checkpoint provides the answer to a question of Tacoma-related historical trivia. Collect as many as you can in the time allotted, and return to the museum for music, awards, goody bags and admission. There is still walk-up registration at 12:30 p.m. with the race at 2 p.m.

4. The Social Bar and Grill's patio is a lovely spot to while away a weekend afternoon, sipping cocktails and old world red wine and watch condo residents walk their dogs. Come Sunday afternoon, resident DJ Mr. Melanin and rotating guests spin an eclectic and extremely tasteful selection of lounge, bossa nova and electro soul music 2-6 p.m. This triple threat of delicious happy hour specials, sun and hip tunes is known as Tacoma's only daytime summer party, "Dayclub."

5. Seattle film director Megan Griffiths' latest film, Lucky Them, stars Toni Collette as a Seattle rock journalist who is ordered by her magazine's editor, played by Oliver Platt, to search for a long lost rock god who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend. In the story she teams up with an eccentric amateur documentary filmmaker played by Thomas Haden Church.  Read Jared Lovrak's review of Lucky Them in our Music & Culture section, and then chat with Griffiths after the 2 and 4:20 p.m. screenings at The Grand Cinema.

BONUS: Don't get stuck watching the World Cup games cornered in some dingy bar with a 10-year-old TV and '80s classic hits on the radio. Doyle's Public House's giant tent with two huge TVs (and a bar) will make it feel like you're along the Amazon watching the games (minus the Piranhas). USA takes on Portugal today at 3 p.m.      

LINK: Sunday, June 22 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

About this blog

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

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