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Posts made in: 'outdoors' (34) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 34

August 15, 2014 at 11:11am

NW Military in the Outdoors Expo at Point Ruston

Saturday marks a chance to honor those who serve during downtown Tacoma's Celebrating Military Service parade ... but before the 6 p.m. festivities kick off, everyone is welcome to attend the 2014 NW Military in the Outdoors Expo along the Waterwalk at Point Ruston.

The planners behind the expo believe that the Northwest offers a wide array of employment and recreational activities outdoors, which can often be a great fit for active-duty servicemembers, veterans and their families.

"We are a group of folks who see the outdoors as a key part of the Northwest's identity," said Eric Lint, a member of the Military in the Outdoors team. "Our goal is to build awareness around the many unique opportunities for area veterans to integrate, stay active and continue their passions - or develop new ones."

The event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, is free and open to anyone who wants to attend, whether they are civilians or military.

The expo will include opportunities to climb a rockwall or try out the skydiving simulator, learn more about college and certificate programs that focus on outdoor recreation and conservation and meet employers and nonprofits focused on working outside. Veterans and active-duty servicemembers can also learn more about the health benefits that the outdoors can offer after the military.

"The idea for this came to the organizers between different meetings aimed at bringing together some of the varied groups that support servicemembers, veterans and their families," he stated. "Our idea is to put into practice some of the objectives discussed in those settings - bringing together diverse partners working toward a shared goal."

Attendees can also learn about and build new skills with the Adventure Film School, which takes veterans on expeditions while teaching filmmaking as therapy, and several other vendors, to include Navy Fleet and Family Readiness, RallyPoint/6 and Team River Runner, which offers kayaking as therapy for wounded warriors.

"We're looking to do things a little differently. This isn't a job fair or transition seminar. It's a hands-on learning experience that we hope for many will open the door to the outdoors," Lint explained.

The NW Military in the Outdoors Expo is being put on by a coalition of veteran-supporting government entities and nonprofits, like the Sierra Club Military Outdoors, U.S. Forest Service, Washington National Guard, the City of Tacoma, and the Washington Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Conservation Corps/Vet Corps.

The event will specifically occur behind the new Copperline Apartments, 5005 Ruston Way. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/NWMilitaryOutdoors.

August 13, 2014 at 1:59pm

Roadside Classifieds: summer couches of Olympia

Here's a beauty from Olympia's South Capitol Neighborhood. Photo credit: Nikki McCoy

You know it's the peak of summer in Olympia when all the couches have sprung. They appear in front lawns, in alleys and on street corners - loveseats, davenports, hide-a-beds - all varieties of couch are in full bloom.

Some are stained.

Some are cushion-less.

Some couches are in near-perfect condition.

Some are littered with beer cans and garbage.

Some have signs stating they're free.

Some couches are occupied by folks - surprised they could sit in an empty lot - with feet crossed and basking in the sun.

And each of these couches is beautiful - bleached by weather, patterned with flowers, or cigarette burns, perhaps with the loving scratch of a passerby cat.

We adore Olympia and her blossoming of summertime couches.

Please enjoy the following gallery of Olympia couch beauties ... and the world's ugliest, but most comfortable, chair.

>>> Quince Street on Olympia's eastside

>>> Capitol Way, Near Wildwood and close to Vic's Pizzeria, Spud's etc.

>>> This one is on Phoenix Avenue by Skateland.

>>> Here's another couch on Phoenix Avenue by Skateland.

>>> Here's a couch from Olympia's South Capitol Neighborhood.

>>> I found this one on Legion Way.

>>> I can't remember where I snapped this photo. My guess is somewhere in Lacey.  I was so dumbfounded by its beauty.

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. ...


May 6, 2014 at 8:52am

5 Things To Do Today: 6th Ave Farmers Market opens, Kevin Spacey film, camping chat and more ...

Expect to see rhubarb at today's opening of the 6th Ave Farmers Market at Sixth Avenue and Pine.

TUESDAY, MAY 6 2014 >>>

1. For those green-thumb-challenged folk who haven't quite got growing seasons down, the 6th Ave Farmers Market opens today at 3 p.m. Learn to grow a secret garden of your own and see it blossom. Not a gardener? Well then just visit the world's most productive gardener, the farmer, and pick up a bunch of their "fruits of labor" until 7 p.m. at Sixth and Pine in Tacoma. The first 50 bicyclists will receive a $2 market token.

2. In recognition of National Bike Month "Inky Spokes: A Traveling Exhibition of Bicycle Art" opens at the Tacoma Art Museum at 10 a.m. The exhibition, an initiative of The Levee Breaking, in conjunction with the Gigantic Bicycle Festival, features work by emerging to late career artists based in the Pacific Northwest.

3. The Grand Cinema continues its Tuesday Film Series with screenings of NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage, follows Kevin Spacey and director Sam Mendes as they take their stage tour of Shakespeare's RICHARD III around the world. It screens at 2 and 6:45 p.m. A post-show Q&A session will be held with actor Gavin Stenhouse at the 2 p.m. screening, and a videotaped version after the 6:45 p.m. show.

4. Let's go camping! Where to camp? We don't know. That's why you should head to Olympia to catch David Kaynor's one-hour slide presentation, "10 Great State Parks To Camp In," at 7 p.m. in the Olympia Center. He'll tell you when, where and why camping in Washington state is awesome.

5. KUPS 90.1 FM hosts bands Posse, Wind Burial and Hana and the Goose at 8 p.m. in Club Rendezvous on the University of Puget Sound campus.

LINK: Tuesday, May 6 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

March 12, 2014 at 10:13am

Where urban homesteaders hang in Olympia

Personal poultry is yours at the Eastside Urban Farm and Garden Center in Olympia. Photo credit: Nikki McCoy

Need a nesting box or bulk feed for your backyard chickens? How about beekeeping supplies for your small farm? Maybe you need some soil or seed for your raised garden beds. Perhaps you want to learn about making cheese.

All this and more is now available at the recently opened Eastside Urban Farm and Garden Center in the old Curtis Lumber Building in Olympia. Olympians Brighida DeVaras and Michelle and Billy Jackson opened the 10,000-square-foot space March 3.

"We're catering to small farms and urban farms," says DeVaras. "There's just a real need for feed and garden. A lot of people are sick of going to Lowe's and buying fruit trees from California that die in a couple years."

A walk-through tour, which the staff is providing for newcomers, shows shelving made of re-purposed palettes, and thoughtfulness in every product: Dog food, horse supplies, heirloom non-GMO seeds, cheese-making kits, canning supplies, live chicks, garden beds and greenhouses, soil amendments, tools and so much more.

Soon, the back lot, which also doubles as extra parking, will have a nursery and edibles plants for sale, including 400 fruit trees and 1,000 berry vines, plus more. A bulk soil section allows shoppers to handle the dirt before purchase. Also in the works are more animals for purchase, including quail and meat rabbits.

Toward the back, an education room complete with tables and seating offers reference books to thumb through while shopping, as well as a space for classroom sessions. The topics will range from gardening, to food preservation to poultry care.

"We're offering a lot of different classes ... the full gamut," laughs DeVaras.

The first of three classes on Organic Gardening (spring session) is noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 15. The cost is $10 per session, $20 if you register for all three. Pre-registration is encouraged, but drop-ins are welcome.

For more information, visit eastsideurbanfarmandgarden.com.

EASTSIDE URBAN FARM AND GARDEN CENTER, 2326 Fourth Ave., Olympia, 360.972.2933.

February 4, 2014 at 7:51am

Go, McDonald's Cup, Go!: Olympia Folktale (updated)

Once upon a time there was a McDonald's cup at the intersection of Plum and I-5 in downtown Olympia. ...

This is a blog post about a stupid coffee cup that has been sitting on the curb at the intersection of Plum and I-5 in downtown Olympia. This McDonald's cup has been sitting through rain, wind and traffic for more than four weeks! I took my first picture of it Jan. 16 after a couple weeks of driving by it.

What's the cup's secret? How is it staying upright in such odds? I have taken pictures of it each time I pull up to the traffic light; amazed it's still there. I get its cylinder-shaped body helps resist wind and that it's wax-lined innards make it somewhat impervious to rain, allowing the paper to remain intact, but something else is moving me to find out how it's still there. ...


Filed under: Olympia, outdoors, Food & Drink,

September 22, 2013 at 11:32am

Words & Photos: Downtown to Defiance with Tacoma public officials

Tacoma public officials and state representatives pedaled into Point Defiance Park this morning. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

"You wait. I'm going to make it happen," Diane Wiatr, the City of Tacoma's active transportation coordinator told me at a Green Drinks meeting earlier this year at the Broken Spoke pub on Hilltop Tacoma. "I'm going to convince the city to close down Ruston Way to vehicles and we all are going to have a giant, roving party on bikes and on foot."

Wiatr has been dreaming of a critical mass-like event ever since she witnessed similar community celebrations in Columbia and Mexico. Bogota and Mexico City close down long stretches of popular roadways for Sunday strolls and rides.

Today, in Tacoma, Wiatr's dream happened.

Launching from the Tacoma Dome at 8 a.m. (Tacoma Wheelmen's Bicycle Club started earlier incorporating the route into a larger ride), a registered 800 people made the trek from the Tacoma Dome, along Dock Street to Schuster Parkway, Ruston Way then to the new $60,000 Interim Trail to Point Defiance Park, finishing in the Park's bowl. While it's certain many might have skipped the "Downtown to Defiance: Sunday Parkways" event due to the rain, those who did participate had a blast, enjoying games in the parks along the route, with a festival in the bowl, which included a giant checkers game, music by the Kareem Kandi Band, bounce houses and vendor booths.

Wiatr didn't pull this off on her own. Metro Parks, the city of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department partnered, with U.S. Bank kicking in more than $30,000. Many Metro Parks board members wandered the bowl in rain gear, including Erik Hanberg wearing a city of Tacoma replica helmet.

At 10 a.m. the "Leadership Working In Tadem" rig - pedaled by Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, Tacoma City Councilmembers and state officials - rolled into Point Defiance Park to fanfare. One-liners from the officials poured harder than the rain, including someone shouting "Let's do the Five Mile Drive!" - which received moans from his fellow pedalers.

See Also

Weekly Volcano's feature story on Downtown to Defiance

September 20, 2013 at 7:24am

5 Things To Do Today: Altercation Punk Comedy, PARK(ing) Day, studio tour, Lord Franzannian and more ...

JT Habersaat and his Altercation Punk Comedy Tour have been getting in the van and zig-zagging across the nation since 2008. Courtesy photo

FRIDAY, SEPT. 20 2013 >>>

1. JT Habersaat is punk rock. And he's funny as hell. No stranger to Comedy Central, Brian Posehn and Black Flag's Henry Rollins, Habersaat is deep in the comedy scene. Currently on tour, Habersaat and his motley crew of comedians are bringing their comedy to Le Voyeur in Olympia at 10 p.m. Appearing with Habersaat is Kristine Levine from Portlandia as well as Andy Andrist and Eric Hurst."I would say we all approach comedy with a certain dark sense of humor and a ‘no holds barred' attitude that lends itself perfectly to a ‘punk' comedy tour," Habersaat said. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on the Altercation Punk Comedy Tour in the Music and Culture section.

2. Holy Leslie Knope! Can you imagine Tacoma without Optimist Park? Without Ursich Park? Without anywhere to take your dog off the leash and let her run? Even in dense, urban areas, open space is a calming force, giving us a place to sit, lie, tag zombies or walk amidst the birds and the trees. National PARK(ing) Day - the annual global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into "PARK(ing)" spaces: temporary public places - invades Tacoma from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. As part of the title's double meaning, the parks will temporarily be set up on metered parking spots in downtown Tacoma, challenging local businesses to be creative within a limited space - to revisit how public space can be utilized beyond its conventional uses. 

3. The Greater Gig Harbor Open Studio Tour, now in its 21st season, becomes a three-day event this year, with studios open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday. Artists on this tour are selected by a jury to ensure that they each have a high level of quality, design, and uniqueness in their works, as well as a studio set up that is worthy of being open to the public. There will be 21 studios on the tour, featuring 24 artists. Artwork media include oil, watercolor, and pastel paint, sculpture, wood, mixed media, and more. The tour includes artists in the Gig Harbor, South Kitsap, Fox Island and Key Peninsula areas.

4. The Lord Franzannian Royal Olympian Spectacular Vaudeville Show promises a "fast paced variety show" with "a little something for everyone." Will this mean jugglers? Probably. Contortionists? Perhaps. Rampant fun? Almost certainly. Proceeds benefit BigShowCity, a non-profit Performing Arts Organization that supports and helps finance burgeoning artists. They say laughter is good medicine. Here's a heaping spoonful of proof at 8 p.m. in The Midnight Sun Performance Space.

5.New Queens On the Block celebrates their first anniversary with a huge drag variety show at 9 p.m. in The Urban Onion. Hosted by Selena Veyron and Veronica Audrey Du'Pompadour, expect to see drag from queens and kings, skits, and live acts.

LINK: Friday, Sept. 20 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 10, 2013 at 7:06am

5 Things To Do Today: "Life is OOD," Downtown On the Go, garage bands and more ...

"Life is OOD" poster with picture of Sean Alexander, left, and Henry Lee Walls. Photo courtesy Fulcrum Gallery

WEDNESDAY, JULY 10 2013 >>>

1. Sean Alexander's installation, "Life is OOD" at Fulcreum Gallery, is a giant departure from the ink drawings he is known for. It is a love song to the Hilltop Tacoma neighborhood in manipulated found objects. Alexander has collected, and in some cases stolen, items unique to Hilltop - even iconic to the area - and layered upon them additional meaning through his artistic vision. We're talking old signs; shopping carts; a broken, discarded and headless concrete sculpture of a dog and other such detritus that he has changed by various means such as scraping off old paint, burning with a blowtorch, and welding. Check it out from noon to 6 p.m.

2. Downtown On the Go wants those who work in downtown Tacoma to actually live there and help create an awesome, thriving downtown scene. The organization wants it so much that it offers financial incentives to encourage employees to live close to work. Therefore, the organization invites downtown employers and employees to bond over Mai Tais and learn about the free program from 4-6 p.m. at Tacoma Cabana tiki bar. Mayor Strickland, a downtown resident and employer program participant, will speak. Expect informational booths and strong drinks.

3. The Bulgarians are coming! Well, not so much folks representing the South Slavic ethnic group, but rather wines from the country. Pour at Four wine bar will pour complimentary tastes of Bulgarian wines from 5:30-8 p.m.

4. Scuba diver David Jennings - a member of the Pacific Northwest Advanced Assessment Team for Reef Environmental Education Foundation, which is an organization of recreational divers who conduct biodiversity and abundance surveys of fish and invertebrates during their dives, will lecture on Puget Sound underwater wildlife at 7 p.m. in the Refuge Visitor Center Auditorium at the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge.

5. The urbanXchange in downtown Tacoma hosts am all-ages show featuring garage inspired surf punk from Upchuck & The Chunks, psychedelic garage punk from The Nadines, soulful blues inspired garage from Rowhouse and futuristic garage punk from Photon Pharoah. Doors at 7 p.m.

LINK: Wednesday, July 10 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 9, 2013 at 7:15am

5 Things To Do Today: Levon Helm film, Summer Sounds, science and beer, and more ...

The film focuses on the four-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member after his 2007 comeback album, "Dirt Farmer."

TUESDAY, JULY 9 2013 >>>

1. If you're at all familiar with The Band, A prolific Canadian-American folk rock group of the '60s and '70s, then drummer Levon Helm requires no introduction, and the captivating documentary Ain't in It for My Health chronicling Helm's final years is sure to draw you in. Check it out at 1:40 abd 7 p.m. at The Grand Cinema. Read Jared Lovrak's full feature on the film in Northwest Military's Music & Culture section.

2. Washington State Park Ranger Tom Pew will highlight some of the great adventures to be had around the state including hikes, camping, water sports, wildlife viewing and more at 5:30 p.m. in the Tumwater Timberline Library. Attendees will have a chance to win one of two Washington State Discover Passes, paid for by the Friends of the Tumwater Timberland Library.

3. In Gig Harbor it's time once again for Summer Sounds at Skansie Brothers Park, this evening at 6:30 p.m. with The New Blues Brothers Revue.

4. The Swiss and science are synonymous. OK, so maybe they're not quite synonymous, but they do go together quite well - the "Tacoma Science Café" at the Swiss proves it. At 6:30 p.m., the Pacific Science Center presents Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Greg Brennan, D.V.M., Ph.D., who will discuss how the virus vs. animals conflict has led to some of the most serious epidemics in modern times, and how we're learning to try to control them. You might want to pull back from your normal beer consumption Tuesday, as Brennan will also host a Q-and-A session.

5. AWOL One brings the California word to Le Voyeur at 9 p.m., yo.

LINK: Tuesday, July 9 arts and entertainment 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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