Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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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 18, 2014 at 7:28am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Prisoners exchange, Army veteran medals, freakin' lasers, Fallon's first "Tonight Show"...

Cutters Point Coffee on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue serves tasty espresso with 12th Man spirit.


Five members of the Afghan Taliban held at Guantanamo Bay for years would be exchanged for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured in Afghanistan in 2009.

Syrian government troops have regained full control of a village in the central province of Hama after ousting rebels accused of killing dozens of people there.

Army veteran medals in two-man bobsled.

Navy ready to deploy laser for the first time.

Six world powers and Iran began talks in pursuit of a final settlement on Tehran's contested nuclear program.

Has intervention helped or hurt Bosnia?

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admits the U.S. government should have been transparent about its domestic surveillance program.

The fanfare of its arrival has passed, and the USS Donald Cook is preparing to make its first patrol in support of Europe's ballistic missile defense patrol.

The Pentagon is decreasing the number of F-35 fighter jets it intends to buy in 2015.

The Marine Corps' top general has ended his silence on accusations he abused his authority to ensure Marines were punished for an inappropriate war-zone video.

The NBA has a 10-year history of helping active duty service members, veterans and their families through the Hoops for Troops program.

U.S. troops saved art as the "Monuments Men" of Iraq.

What happened on Jimmy Fallon's first Tonight Show? Here's a review, and here's his "evolution of hip-hop dancing" clip with Will Smith.

Photographer Henry Hargreaves recreates and records the last meals of Death Row inmates.

The new Beck album is streaming at NPR.

Nine of the most beautiful buildings we ever tore down.

Back to the Future's "power laces" are coming next year.

Your eyes can paint colors onto blank objects. We swear.

Finally: Fries shaped like hashtags.

February 16, 2014 at 4:43pm

Words & Photos: JBLM Bettie Brigade vs. Grunge City Rollers

The crowd cheers Foxy Blocker and the JBLM Bettie Brigade before their bout against the Grunge City Rollers Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Lacey Derby Center.

It's a Saturday night in Lacey, Wash., and the JBLM Bettie Brigade are taking on the Grunge City Rollers' Sisters of Saint Anne on a rainy night. AC/DC and Nirvana are blasting on the loudspeaker. And the Betties have their hands full, trailing 101 to 108 at halftime. The night began with the junior varsity JBLM Bratz roller derby team pounding a much bigger Grunge City Juniors. Even though the Juniors towered over the Bratz, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord home-based team won 303 to 267.

New to roller derby? Here are the basics: Two skaters, called jammers, scramble through a pack of blockers who try to knock them down. If the jammers successfully break through the blockers, they sprint around the track and score a point for each person they legally pass. Think you have what it takes to be a Bettie?


February 16, 2014 at 8:15am

5 Things To Do Today: Patriotic Pummel derby bout, Second City, Miley Cyrus and more ...

President's Day Weekend is upon us. Did you know Martin van Buren was a huge roller derby fan? He would have cheered today's Patriotic Pummel derby bout from the beer garden.

SUNDAY, FEB. 16 2014 >>>

1. Rollerbladers thought they were so hot when they cruised onto the scene in the early '90s, with their flashy in-line wheels and sleek helmets. Quad-wheel roller skates were instantly obsolete - if you weren't sporting the in-lines, you weren't one of the cool kids. But, as we all know, fashion is cyclical, and the women's flat track roller derby leagues have brought back the quads, minishorts and striped tube socks. That said, Presidents' Day Weekend's underground derby bout between The Babe-raham Lincolns and George Bash-ingtons should be an interesting fashion (rollin') backward spectacle. Proceeds benefit CYS Foster Care Program. Expect a beer garden, raffle, halftime show and colorful Presidential metaphors beginning at 6 p.m. at Skateland.

2. GuitaristRafael Tranquilino brings his trio to The Spar in Old Town Tacoma for a night of fuse rock, blues and funk beginning at 7 p.m.         

3. Will Miley Cyrus keep her tongue in her crooked tooth cave tonight? The former Miss Hannah Montana is bringing her tongue-wagging Bangerz Tour to the Tacoma Dome at 7 p.m.

4. Looking forward to laughing so hard you cry, shoot milk out of your nose, or fall out of your chair? That'll probably be the case when Second City brings its "Happily Ever Laughter" show to Olympia's Washington Center at 7:30 p.m. The world famous Chicago comedy club's touring comedians will combine improv and scripted bits to perform sketches that have made the company famous over the last 53 years. Good luck sneaking the milk into the show.

5. Seattle electronic indie band The Main Arcade plays a 9 p.m. at Le Voyeur.

LINK: Sunday, Feb. 16 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

February 15, 2014 at 9:04am

5 Things To Do Today: People Under the Sun, Dancing with the Tacoma Stars, Bettie Brigade and more ...

People Under the Sun: They might have floppy disks for sale tonight. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

SATURDAY, FEB. 15 2014 >>>

1. Beyond being reliably catchy providers of psychedelic synth-rock, People Under the Sun are perhaps the Tacoma music scene's most committed aesthetes. Not content to simply call it a day at paying homage to the New Wave pioneers that have clearly served as influences, People Under the Sun go so far as to cram their stage with a bounty of outmoded technology. Blocky computers and vintage Korgs surround the band, making it hard not to recall how David Byrne swooned over the sterile beauty of microchips in True Stories. While rumor has it that the band has recently begun pairing down the equipment (read: they're ditching floppy disks), they're still very much analog-powered. Catch them with the Silver Dollars and Bod at 8 p.m. at The New Frontier Lounge.

2. Asia Pacific Cultural Center will host the 16th Annual Asian New Year Celebration from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall. The Island Nation of Tahiti (French Polynesia) will serve as this year's host nation. The public is invited to come and bring friends and family to this free family friendly event.

3. The Rainier Hockey League - four divisions and 22 teams - has a full line-up of face-offs scheduled, including six games at 1:10 p.m. in the Puget Sound Hockey Center

4. Tacoma Musical Playhouse's "Dancing with the Tacoma Stars," is set for 5:30 p.m. at the Landmark Convention Center in the Temple Theatre Ballroom. There are two ways to enjoy this event: An $85 ticket includes dinner, show and competition. Tickets for $35 include dessert and a chance to view the show and competition from the balcony. This year, the "Stars" include Miriam Barnett (CEO of the Pierce County YWCA), Donald Hansen (owner/operator of Cascade Park Vista and Rotary 8 president), Connie Ladenburg (Pierce County Councilperson), Kathy Kluska (professional financier/fitness instructor), Jeff McVicker (owner of several Tacoma area Subways) and Cameron Smith (a Tacoma based Mortgage Advisor).

5. JBLM Bettie Brigade's second roller derby bout of the season hits the Lacey Derby Center's flat track at 5 p.m. against Grunge City Rollers. Bonus: The JBLM Bettie Bratz are back and ready to issue some JV hurt on the Grunge City Juniors.

LINK: Saturday, Feb. 15 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

February 15, 2014 at 8:23am

Saturday Morning Joe: N. Korea digs, rethinking Syria, Ken Burns app, crazy drone delivery race ...

You can now grab a cup of Starbucks and stay in your car in University Place.


There is an interest among top U.S. policymakers in coming up with new options on Syria.

The Defense Department has identified two soldiers killed earlier this week in an insider attack in Afghanistan as members of 3rd Special Forces Group.

International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi apologized to the Syrian people today for the lack of progress at peace talks in Geneva after their second round ended with little more than an agreement to meet again. 

Signs of a large amount of digging at North Korea's nuclear test site can be seen in new satellite images, though the purpose is not yet clear.

Time to talk plainly and clearly about nuclear weapons.

A picture showing an airman tongue-kissing a Prisoner of War-Missing in Action symbol has gone viral, infuriating bloggers and veterans.

NBA honors troops during All-Star Weekend.

The international market for upgrading the twin-engine jets won't be as large as that of the single-engine F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Why the U.S. should use British missiles on reaper drones.

Competition aims to inspire middle school cyber defenders.

U.S. defeats bitter rival Russia in men's hockey preliminary round in Sochi.

How to crash the Super Bowl without a ticket.

Jeff Bezos has some new competition in the crazy drone delivery race.

This gorgeous iPad-only app gathers scenes from Ken Burns' documentaries into a video textbook of American history.

Apple's next-generation Apple TV will likely be announced as soon as April.

Looks like the question of female likability in film and literature is up for debate

February 10, 2014 at 7:22am

Monday Morning Joe: American working with al Qaeda, Army Retirement Medal, zombie beavers ...

Diversions Café, located on the main floor of the Wheelock Student Center at the University of Puget Sound, was established in the fall of 1997 and is managed and staffed by university students.


Car bomb in the Afghan capital Kabul killed two United States contractors for the international security force ISAF today.

The Obama administration is considering lethal force against an American citizen overseas who has allegedly been working with al Qaeda.

The U.S. and South Korea announced plans Monday for two annual spring military exercises, which come amid questions of whether Seoul will assume wartime control of allied forces as planned next year.

The Senate will vote this week on whether to repeal the $6 billion cut to military pensions that was included in the December budget deal.

The White House and Pentagon, after weeks of back-and-forth debate, appear ready to expand the Defense Department's budget starting in 2016.

North Korea paid a fine Saturday for trying to ship undeclared Cuban arms through the Panama Canal, possibly in violation of UN sanctions.

An ammunition plant, three installations, and three environmental teams recognized for their outstanding environmental and sustainability program achievements with Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards for fiscal year 2013.

A San Francisco-based developer of solar and wind power is the latest company to join to the U.S. Army's multi-billion-dollar alternative energy program.

Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno and Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh met with deployed service members and received Regional Command (South) mission updates at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

Service members from around the world converged on the Kaiserslautern Military Community to train international partners from Africa for Central Accord 14 Phase I.

After more than a year of modification maintenance, the newly created AC-130J Ghostrider took to the sky for the first time as a gunship.

Ten Soldiers from the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program watch Russian history at Sochi opening ceremony.

Sgt. 1st Class Steven Janotta pitches idea for Army Retirement Medal.

A fired executive from one of New Jersey's red-light camera vendors contends in a lawsuit filed in Arizona that the company provided lavish gifts and bribes to government officials in 13 states - including Washington - to secure new contracts.

Watch a 15-minute preview of the new season of Game of Thrones.

Preview the new HBO comedy from Mike Judge, which stars T.J. Miller.

What happens when you plug in the locations from Kerouac's On the Road into Google Maps? You get this free manual of driving directions.

22 Things the New York Times Has Called a 'Guilty Pleasure.'

Will Ferrell has challenged the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith to a drum battle!

Have you visited the "Dumb Starbucks"?

Eight of the most fascinating items from Carl Sagan's personal archives.

Finally: A movie about beavers that are zombies and eat women in bikinis.

February 7, 2014 at 7:41am

Friday Morning Joe: Politics and the military, website scam, bitchin' about Sochi and more...

Considered to be the coolest coffee house in Tacoma, Bluebeard Coffee on Sixth Avenue serves freakin' delicious coffee.


The Pentagon comptroller compared getting the department audit-ready to "pushing a heavy block across sandpaper," but said the department was making major progress on getting there by 2017. 

The military sexual assault debate is back in the Senate after a brief two-month hiatus.

A bipartisan group of senators demanding an end to US military involvement in Afghanistan urged President Barack Obama on Thursday to seek congressional approval if he wants to keep troops there beyond 2014.

Rep. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said: "We need a strategic response in Congress other than just ‘no, don't cut that.'"

North Korea appears to be almost done building a launch tower tall enough to handle firing rockets even larger than one successfully launched in 2012.

India and Israel will jointly build an integrated anti-missile system to be deployed against Chinese nuclear and conventional missiles.

Hong Kong police have successfully defused a 2,000 pound (900kg) bomb from World War Two, described as the biggest wartime bomb to be found in the city.

Wishing to avert a fight during an election year, the White House told defense officials they would provide extra money to allow the Navy to extend the life of the USS George Washington

The federal court that oversees the country's spy programs has approved President Obama's plans to limit searches of people's phone records.

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command warns The My Army Benefits website that is currently using the www.usmilitarybenifit.org web address, is not an official website.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jason Starr, a UH-60M Black Hawk instructor pilot with C Company, 1st Battalion, 212th Aviation Regiment, was awarded the Broken Wing Award.

The GOP is making faux candidate sites for Dems that look pretty darn real - to get donations to beat them.

The Air Force will convene an Enhanced Selective Early Retirement Board on June 16 to consider early retirement for eligible officers.

Why exactly was Jack White selling candy on the street?

Have you watched all of those new Amazon pilots yet?

Tara Lipinski paid tribute to The Big Lebowski with this skating routine.

We're thankful we're not in Sochi right now. ...

In The Nation, 2006 Winter Games luge competitor Samantha Retrosi compares the Olympics to "The Hunger Games" while discussing her own experience of being made into a voicebox for Vorizon.

8 viral Sochi Olympics photos that are total lies.

The Simpsons predicted a Seahawks-Broncos Super Bowl. But that wasn't the first time the show told the future.

Keeping cool while pulling off sweet jiujitsu moves wearing three-piece suits.

February 6, 2014 at 11:08pm

Washington National Guard played big role in Seahawks' Super Bowl Championship parade

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and his wife, Glena, ride along the Super Bowl champions parade on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Seattle. The Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 in NFL football's Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday.

Television reports and social media have been consumed with the Seattle Seahawks' smiling faces, fist pumps and trophy kisses captured during the team's Super Bowl Championship parade. In a majority of the images, at least on the parade route down Fourth Avenue, another presence ingrained in the public's mind - the Washington National Guard. Guardsman and their vehicles - 5-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle (MTV) Troop Carriers, Standard Humvees and Light Armored Humvees - escorted the players, Coach Pete Carroll and his staff, General Manager Paul Schneider and team owner Paul Allen past more than 700,000 screaming fans - who lined the same road the Seattle Supersonics celebrated decades ago. Braving sub-freezing temperatures, the fans cheered the parade as it made its way through the city's downtown toward a celebration at CenturyLink Field. State politicians, including Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Maria Cantwell, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and other VIPs rode ahead of the Guard in iconic Ride The Ducks of Seattle amphibious tour vehicles

Seattle's first Super Bowl victory parade didn't involve the Washington National Guard because the vehicles looked cool. It happened because of an ongoing statewide relationship and community outreach effort between the Guard and the Seahawks.

"The Seahawks and the Sounders FC, are proud partners and supporters of the Guard with activities like this taking place throughout the year," said Mike flood, Seahawks vice president of community relations.  "We salute Washington National Guard service members and families for the dedication to our country and the great state of Washington!"

Community Outreach is one of the major priorities of Maj. Gen. Bret D. Daugherty, adjutant general and director of Washington's military department. The Guard stood proud next to the Seahawks during many statewide community outreach efforts.

"We are so honored that the Seahawks and the Seafair organization asked us to help out with this celebration," said Daugherty. "Our men and women wear many hats. They're protectors of our state, defenders of our nation and some of the most committed 12th Man fans you'll ever meet. We are pleased to play such an important role in (the) parade.

Besides transporting the team, the Guard supported local law authorities in an effort to keep the huge crowd safe. Even though the crowd quickly grew past the estimated 400,000 mark to a size greater than the historic Woodstock concert, not a single major injury or arrest was reported in this organized chaos.

The Recruiting and Retention Battalion of the Washington National Guard has been a part of the Seahawks organization for years. The Guard has placed static military vehicles before games at CenturyLink, conducted re-enlistment ceremonies on the field and coordinated with NFL players to join High Speed Player Development (HSPD) events with high schools throughout the state. The NFL HSPD program works to incorporate the leadership and responsibility framework of the Guard/military among high school athletes, as well as champion the military through recruitment presentations.

"As the battalion commander for this city and a season ticket holder since day one, this was a one-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget," said Lt. Col. Adam Iwaszuk, 181 Brigade Support commander). "Getting to experience the unimaginable dream of walking down Seattle, holding the Vince Lombardi Championship trophy is something I will forever cherish."

February 5, 2014 at 3:31pm

Photos: Washington National Guard front and center at the Seahawks Super Bowl Parade

Sgt. Maj. Kelly Pugh of the Washington National Guard holds the Lombardi Trophy at today's Seahawks Super Bowl Victory Parade. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Seattle Seahawks celebrate their Super Bowl XLVIII victory over the Denver Broncos in force today as the entire team has made its way through downtown Seattle on Humvees and Light Medium Tactical Vehicles with spectators lining the streets. Soldiers and airmen in the Washington National Guard transported the players, coaches and elected officials along the route.

"We are so honored that the Seahawks and the Seafair organization asked us to help out with this celebration," said Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, the state's adjutant general and commander of the Washington National Guard, in a release. "Our men and women wear many hats - they're protectors of our state, defenders of our nation, and some of the most committed 12th Man fans you'll ever meet. We are pleased to play such an important role in tomorrow's parade. We'll be transporting people along the route, as well as supporting local law authorities who will ensure everyone who attends the event remains safe."

Of course the Washington National Guard was asked to transport the Seahawk players during the parade. Half the 12th Man spirit photos on Facebook during December and January involved the Washington National Guard. Camp Murray could have been mistaken for a Marshawn Lynch Skittles Factory during the month of January.

The Seahawks Super Bowl parade started at 11 a.m. on Fourth Avenue, south of Denny Way and to the current championship celebration at CenturyLink Field. Approximately 859,345 lined the Seattle streets today - but according to most school districts, most of the crowd was drinking age. Yeah, right. We expect more paper will be used for sick excuse notes from doctors tomorrow than parade confetti used today. The adjacent Safeco Field is also open and carrying a live feed of CenturyLink Field's on-field presentation on the ballpark's large video boards.

Below are photos snapped by Walkie Talkie Parade Correspondent Gary Lott, live on the scene. NOT PICTURED: The Denver Broncos.

Congratulations Seahawks!

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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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