Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: June, 2014 (102) Currently Viewing: 31 - 40 of 102

June 10, 2014 at 9:46pm

Straight Talk: Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza discusses Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the community and the future

Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza understands perfectly well the function of a town hall meeting.

"This brings us together," the commander of I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord said this morning.

"Members from the business community, academia and local government are here," he said to the nearly 100 listeners.

Eagles Pride Golf Course at DuPont hosted the two-hour event. 

In a candid, clear and relaxed manner, Lanza talked about the trust the Army and JBLM have built with the local area and the sustainment of the force as the country faces uncertain economic times.

"We will sustain the trust we have built with this community," Lanza said.  "Forums like this build on that trust."


June 11, 2014 at 7:00am

Wednesday Morning Joe: JBLM's future, Iraq's terrorists grow, Hagel hot seat, Dumb and Dumber To, Sloth Week ...

49th Military Police Brigade, California Army National Guard, tosses coffees down range during warrior task training at Camp Roberts, Calif. Original photo by Spc. Edward Siguenza


Straight Talk: Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza discusses Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the community and the future.

Senate Dems breaking with White House over plan to leave U.S. troops through 2016.

Sunni insurgents from an al Qaeda splinter group closed in on Iraq's biggest oil refinery after seizing the northern city of Mosul in a devastating show of strength against the Shi'ite-led government. 

Iraq's terrorists are becoming a full-blown army.

US urges Iraqi unity to defeat violent insurgency.

Bowe Bergdahl Release: Expect pointed questions as Hagel takes the hot seat.

The president has come under criticism over the swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Special Forces deaths fuel A-10 debate.

US House appropriators killed an amendment that would have kept alive the Air Force's A-10 fleet, becoming the first defense panel to endorse the service's cost-cutting plan.

Bonus pay is part of Air Force nuke reforms.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed another chapter in Afghanistan as the Transatlantic Afghanistan District's South Area Office was inactivated.

This Republican House majority leader Eric Cantor's loss ranks as the biggest Congressional upset in modern memory.

A House of Representatives panel voted for a 1.8 percent troop pay raise in fiscal 2015, though the boost is far from guaranteed.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said a bipartisan deal to overhaul the Veterans Affairs Department will soon hit the Senate floor.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk slams US Air Force certification process.

What the Army's new COIN manual is missing.

The Canadian government has vowed to significantly boost military capability in the Arctic, but after years of such promises, a major roadblock still stands in the way - money.

White supremacists are recruiting at Fort Carson, Colo.

Extremely rare photo of two armed F-16s escorting a Boeing Dreamliner.

NASA releases spectacular X-ray image of an entire spiral galaxy.

Motorcycle jumps over plane that's flying sideways close to ground.

Watch the trailer for Dumb and Dumber To.

Of Course: Morrissey canceled the rest of his tour.

So now Will Ferrell and Chad Smith have challenged Lars Ulrich to a drum-off ...

Lovely: This is a marriage proposal fit for a journalist.

Finally: Get ready for Sloth Week.

This just hurts to watch. ...

LINK: Original photo by Spc. Edward Siguenza

June 11, 2014 at 7:13am

5 Things To Do Today: Pop Crimes, Indian Shirt Story, patriotic choirs, Radio8Ball Show ...

Winnipeg’s post-punk powerhouse Pop Crimes rocks Olympia's all-ages club Northern tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11 2014 >>>

1. Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Pop Crimes come dusted with more scuzz your average Canadian indie rock. Underneath layers of fuzz and discord, however, the band is perfectly adept at crafting compelling songs that transcend noise. Also featured on the bill is fellow Canadians Heaven For Real, which is a band name that delights me to know end. If you're at the show, give Heaven For Real all the high fives. Happy Noose rounds out the 8 p.m. show at Northern.

2. The Indian Shirt Story is a tale of integrity, celebrity, salmon, and beer set in Port Heron, a fictional, but familiar, town in South Puget Sound. Olympia author Heather Lockman will read from and chat about her novel, published as an e-book, at 7:30 p.m. in the Olympia Timberland Library.

3. The South Puget Sound Community College Concert Choir and the Puget Sound Community Choir join the Department of Washington American Legion Band for a evening filled with patriotic selections - new and old - under the title, "Celebrating American Music: A Selection of Traditional and New." The concert will include songs by American composers, including folk and hymn arrangements, pieces by modern American composers and Broadway show tunes, as well as movie medleys, big band selections, marches and more beginning at 7 p.m. in the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center.

4. Northern Pacific Coffee Company's Wednesday Open Mic is extra special tonight. The Parkland coffee shop bids Bekah and Mike Olson a fond farewell as everyone's couple is moving to Louisville. Come sing goodbye songs beginning at 8 p.m. Rumor has it Bekah is baking cookies for everyone.

5. The Radio8Ball Show is a musical talk/game show based on the concept of synchronicity. The format is simple and unique: Guests and audience members ask questions to The Pop Oracle, and the answers are divined by spinning a wheel or picking a card that determines which song the musical guest will perform as the answer to the question. Rhythm & Rye hosts Radio8Ball with musicians Scott Taylor, Jon Merithew, Olivia Love, Pail Pearson, Luke Ogden and Jon Williams and host Andy Shmushkin at 8 p.m. Ask away, just make sure you're ready for the answer.

LINK: Wednesday, June 11 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Filed under: 5 Things To Do, Music, Olympia, Books,

June 12, 2014 at 7:13am

Thursday Morning Joe: Fixing the VA, al-Qaeda returns, drones hit Taliban, Army laser, exercises at JBLM, world's biggest TV ...

Company G, 427th Brigade Support Battalion tosses a coffee during pre-mobilization. Original photo courtesy of the New York National Guard


U.S. drones fired missiles at Taliban hideouts in Pakistan killing at least 10 militants in response to a deadly attack on Karachi airport in the first such raids by unmanned CIA aircraft in six months.

On brink of disintegration: Another city falls in Iraq.

The al-Qaida-inspired group that led the charge in capturing two key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq this week vowed to march on to Baghdad.

The return of al-Qaeda.

The Senate passed a bill Wednesday night that would allow appropriators to begin work on the 2015 Intelligence Appropriations bill.

The Veterans Affairs Department is, by many accounts, broken, and Congress has a lot of ideas to fix it.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed emergency legislation on Veterans Affairs Department health visits and administrator accountability, paving the way for the reforms to become law in a matter of days.

The House adopted an amendment to allow veterans to apply for food stamps while their disability claims are pending with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

After two overwhelming votes in two days, members of Congress say they are confident they can agree on a bill to improve veterans' health care and send it to the president's desk by the end of the month.

US House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor's stunning primary defeat is a huge blow to the US defense sector, and could allow an up-and-coming GOP deficit hawk to replace Cantor, or even become House speaker.

Hagel testified before lawmakers, answering anger-laced questions about the negotiated release of Bowe Bergdahl.

The House Appropriations Committee approved funding for 38 of the fifth-generation fighters - four more than the Defense Department requested.

How the Army should pivot to Asia.

The Air Force just copped to its secret stealth drone.

Program offers partially paid break from Army.

Army develops first-of-its-kind phase-coherent fiber laser array system.

Networking brings international training to JBLM.

A 3,000 gallons per minute reverse osmosis water purification unit and two 3,000 gallon water bags were used in support of the Quartermaster Liquid Logistic Exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

NASA's real life Enterprise may take us to other star systems one day.

How a 3,000-car race would look if the Earth was the Moon.

The world's biggest TV can be yours for $1.7 million.

A new documentary tells the story of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Finally: Puff Daddy/Diddy/Sean Combs released a music video inspired by Game of Thrones.

Be careful when you fry a drone over a beach in Connecticut. ...

LINK: Original photo courtesy of the New York National Guard

June 12, 2014 at 7:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Bull-riding contest, World Cup, Spit-Take, Forces ...

Hop on tonight at Steel Creek in downtown Tacoma.

THURSDAY, JUNE 12 2014 >>>

1. Steel Creek American Whiskey Company kicks off its three-day, one-year anniversary celebration with a bull-riding contest and line dancing. Enjoy drink specials, but practice moderation so you can partake in all of the fun that requires hand-eye coordination. If not, the whiskey fueled shenanigans can be just another hazy memory. Get the chance to work on your "boot scootin' boogie" with free line dance lessons or hop on the mechanical bull and hang on for dear life - cash and swag prizes go to whomever walks away the bull-riding champion. Read Jackie Fender's feature story on Steel Creek's anniversary and new menu.

2. Doyle's Public House in Tacoma's Stadium District has erected a 4,400 sq. ft. tent in its neighboring parking lot, placing two, 20-foot screens on opposite ends to the 2014 World Cup games, which launches today. There will be raised seating on both sides of the tent to provide better sight lines as well as increased standing room. A centrally located bar will make it easy to quench your thirst. Doyle's co-owner Russ Heaton has some thoughts on the World Cup.

Northwest author Brian Doyle will discuss his new novel, The PLOVER, at 7 p.m. in the Puyallup Public Library. Doyle's appearance marks the kick-off for the Puyallup Public Library's Adult Summer Reading program, which officially begins June 16 and runs through Aug. 16. Doyle's book is about searching for something on a boat in the Pacific Ocean. Like we're going to tell you.

4. Connecticut poppy and punk/emo band Spit-Take, featuring members of Heats of Formation and Secret Parts brings its Wipers, Lemonheads and Jawbreaker inspired music to Le Voyeur for a 7 p.m. all-ages show with Snow Roller.

5. Erick Olson, Matt Johnston and Jason Riley are Forces, a band too weird to live and too rare to die. The electronic rock band will play The Swiss with PYP, Vaughan and DJ Mernsivich at 8 p.m.

LINK: Thursday, June 12 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 12, 2014 at 9:35am

4-6 Squadron returns to JBLM; will soon inactivate

As his wife Ashley watches, Sgt. Nathaniel Prentice holds his daughter, Peyton, during the Welcome Home Ceremony for the 4-6 Attack Reconnaissance Squadron. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Col. Daniel Walrath captured the moment nicely when he said, "A deployment is still a deployment."

About one hundred soldiers assigned to the 4th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th US Cavalry returned home to Joint Base Lewis-McChord yesterday afternoon from a nine-month deployment to South Korea.

The unit, generally referred to as the 4-6 Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, deployed to Camp Humphreys, South Korea with 30 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters.

The aviation unit operated in support of US 8th Army, 2nd Infantry Division and the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade as the Army assumes more missions in the Asia-Pacific region in support of the service's strategic rebalance to that area of the world. 

The squadron will leave its aircraft behind after the deployment for use by the follow-on rotational unit.

It is the first of two groups to return; the rest will return early next week.

>>> Wyatt Van Hook straightens out a couple of chairs while awaiting the return of his father, Spc. Peter Van Hook. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

>>> Dylan Davis signals what his father, Capt. Kyle Davis, 4th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th US Cavalry, will be doing when he gets home from his rotation to Korea. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

But for the family members sitting in the stands at Soldiers Field House, the deployment was over.

"I am very excited he is coming home," said Alissa Van Hook as she waited for her husband, Spc. Peter Van Hook. 

"This was my first deployment, and fortunately the time he was gone went by faster than I thought it would, and that was good."

>>> CWO2 Joel Garzelloni is happy to be reunited with his wife Karrie, and his children Enzo and Eva. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

During the squadron's deployment, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced in February a proposal to phase out the Army's entire Kiowa fleet as a part of the 2015 defense budget and its emphasis on drawing down the force.

JBLM's Kiowa squadron is among the first in line to close down. 

The Kiowa, the smallest combat helicopter in the Army, is used for scouting, observation duty and light-attack missions.

Closing the 4-6 affects the 400 local aviators and support soldiers.  After the soldiers take post-deployment leave, they will either move on to new units or separate from the military.

But for a while on a beautiful, sunny day yesterday afternoon, the emphasis was on family and reunions.

"They've been gone for about nine months, and I think it's great these soldiers have family members waiting for them," pointed out Gary Steffensen, as he waited for his son, Staff Sgt. Samuel Steffensen.

"And we are proud of every one of these soldiers."

June 12, 2014 at 10:30am

Drake and Lil Wayne headed to White River Amphitheatre Sept. 14


Did you dig Drake's Tacoma Dome show back in December 2013? He's returning to the area, bringing Lil Wayne with him for a Sept. 14 show at the White River Amphitheatre. Let's read a press release. ...

Grammy® Award-winning, multi-platinum selling recording artists Drake and Lil Wayne today announced a co-headlining U.S. tour. Promoted by Live Nation, the tour kicks off on Aug. 8 at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Darien Center, N.Y. and will make stops in 31 cities across the United States with shows planned in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas and Los Angeles. Tickets go on sale beginning Friday, June 20 through the Live Nation mobile app and at www.livenation.com.

Citi is the official credit card of the Drake Vs Lil Wayne Tour. Citi card members will have access to presale tickets beginning Tuesday, June 17 at 10:00 a.m. through Thursday, June 19 at 10:00 p.m. through Citi's Private Pass Program. For complete presale details, visit www.citiprivatepass.com

Filed under: Concerts, Music,

June 12, 2014 at 12:03pm

Veterans Resource Fair coming to the Tacoma Dome

Pointing the way to the Tacoma Dome ... Photo courtesy of Facebook

The first annual Veterans Resource Fair at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall will take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, June 21. The day will offer services, resources and varying employment and education opportunities to area veterans and their families.

"I knew there was plenty of resources but it was a matter of publicizing them and gathering them at one time, in one place," said event organizer Alfredo "Tito" Medina, a Navy veteran who has spent decades working with fellow veterans.

The Veteran Resource Fair is a community partnership between various veteran-owned agencies, individuals, nonprofits, federal, state and local county agencies whose aim is to provide a reliable event where Pierce, King, Kitsap and Thurston County veterans and their families can obtain information on various programs and resources.


June 13, 2014 at 7:09am

Friday Morning Joe: New Iraq War, NORAD scrambles jets, Bergdahl in US, Amazon streams music ...

Ensign David Gayle fires a coffee from a M203 launcher while Chief Master-at-Arms Lawrence Klein supervises on the fantail aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) during a small coffee qualification. Original photo by Mass Communication Spe


NORAD scrambled two F-22 Raptor and two F-15 Eagle fighters against a fleet of Russian bombers.

Al-Qaida-inspired militants who seized large swaths of Iraq's Sunni heartland this week have pushed into an ethnically mixed province northeast of Baghdad, capturing two towns there.

The Iraq government reportedly requested U.S. air strikes to target some regions housing extremists last month, but the Obama administration has so far declined.

Welcome to the New Iraq War: A few good options for the US.

The Big Burn: The Sunni-Shiite conflict explodes in Iraq.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl touched down in the United States this morning in San Antonio, Texas, five years after being captured by Taliban forces. 

From Afghan sell-off to Pacific build-up: The strategy of logistics.

A new bill has been introduced in Congress that aims to offer relief to veterans that have had to pay for emergency health services.

Should the GOP win control of the US Senate, a window will open for lawmakers and the Obama White House to take one more shot at a sequester-killing fiscal deal.

The real five best fighter aircraft of all time.

The 600,000 asteroids we've discovered so far in one scary view.

Scientists have discovered evidence that all Earth may be hiding huge amounts of water - three times the volume of all our oceans combined.

In very bad news, a superbug resistant to last-resort antibiotics was found in imported squid.

Amazon has launched a streaming music service.

Harrison Ford was injured on the set of Star Wars.

Watch the trailer for the new Seth Rogen/James Franco movie, The Interview.

Really? A Cameron Crowe TV series?


LINK: Original photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Billy Ho

June 13, 2014 at 7:23am

5 Things To Do Today: Moonlight and Magnolias, Do The Extraordinary, Top Turnbuckle, Full Moon Radio ...

Slapsticking "Gone With the Wind" at Tacoma Little Theatre: From left, Jacob Tice as Victor Fleming, Katelyn Hoffman as Miss Poppenghul, Tedd Saint-James as Ben Hecht and Blake R. York as David Selznick. Photo courtesy of DK Photography

FRIDAY, JUNE 13 2014 >>>

1. A lot of folks still consider the 1939 film Gone With the Wind to be the best loved and most iconic American movie of all time - a classic national story of struggle and perseverance. Others might call it an American icon for less flattering reasons, i.e., how blithely it romanticizes some pretty problematic racial history. And yet another way to look at the movie and its making is as the quintessence of Hollywood: The last-minute firings, hirings, and general histrionics behind Gone With the Wind are legendary among film buffs. It's this last angle that's the primary concern of Tacoma Little Theatre's Moonlight and Magnolias, a comedic romp about the monumental difficulties of making Margaret Mitchell's humongous best-seller into a decent film, hitting the stage at 7:30 p.m.

2. Do The Extraordinary, a Spaceworks Tacoma-backed store offering handmade, locally crafted wood rings, urban sportswear and one-of-a-kind accessories, officially opens its doors today with a runway show and live music at 7 p.m. Tickets to the Grand Opening event are $10 and can be purchased online at EventBrite.com.

3. Olympia actor Morgan Picton has an easy, authoritative knack for comic timing, which made sense given his night job as a standup comedian. We saw him riffed on economics and ancient Rome for a dozen people, killing with insights that were probably too smart for most rooms, including that one. Theater Artists Olympia presents Picton in Top Turnbuckle, a live standup comedy special with Phoebe Moore at 8 p.m. in the Midnight Sun.

4. An incandescent blend of guitar, autoharp, fiddle, banjo and upright bass. A rhythmic network of folks and songs from everywhere and nowhere. The Moonshine at Rhythm and Rye. 8 p.m.

5. Tonight in Olympia is going to be crazy. It's a full moon, Friday the 13th and Evergreen State College graduation all rolled into one. It's a good thing this 9 p.m. rock show is going to be at the 4th Ave Tav. The powerhouse bill will need the room to accommodate a ton of fans, plus all the randoms off the street overflowing into venues up and down the Ave. Full Moon Radio, The Prophets of Addiction, Captain Algebra and Ravages of Time will freakin' bring it.

LINK: Friday, June 13 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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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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