The 12 Kick Off gets ready to roar through Tacoma http://ift.tt/1mZPfHj Trailblazing Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman, Jr. and his NO EXCUSE Foundation is welcoming all Seahawks fans to the first Inaugural 12 Kick Off Event taking place Sunday, Aug. 31 at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.

This jam-packed day-long fan interactive event begins at 9 a.m. with a Tailgate party, featuring a 12 “Hawked Out” Car Show where fans show off their unique Seahawks-inspired vehicles. The event then moves into Cheney Stadium (2502 S. Tyler St.) at 11 a.m. for a Press Q&A and VIP Meet and Greet with: Mayor of Tacoma Marilyn Strickland, Derrick Coleman, Jr., Seahawks Center/Guard Wade Smith, Seattle Sounders’ Obafemi Martins, Seahawks Defensive Tackle Jimmy Staten, Seahawks Tight End Cooper Helfet, former Seahawks Wide Receiver, Ben Obomanu, former Seahawks kicker Norm Johnson, former Seahawks Marcus Trufant & The Barbershop, and the “Mama Hawks:” May Hamlin (mother of Derrick Coleman, Jr.), Beverly Sherman (mother of Richard Sherman), Delisa Lynch (mother of Marshawn Lynch), and Constance Trufant (mother of NFL players Marcus, Desmond, and Isaiah Trufant) with more to be announced. The 12 Kick Off Event will also include appearances by the Seagals, Blue Thunder, and Seahawks mascot Blitz; Live music featuring Brave New World Records/Universal Rock N Soul act Shyan Selah & The Republic of Sound, Country/Rock Act Latigo Lace, “Seahawks Time” artist K Cartier, and DJ Anthony Snowden. Youth activities will include the NFL Play 60 Punt, Pass, and Kick for kids ages six to 15, Bounce Houses, Face Painting, Games and more.

“The 12 Kickoff supporting the Derrick L Coleman NO EXCUSE Foundation is a day of family, friends, fun and music to build excitement for the upcoming football season, as well as raise awareness of the deaf and hard of hearing community,” says event producer, Ron O’Ferrall. “The intention of the 12 Kickoff is to be an annual event where a different Seahawk is featured and their foundation supported. Our goal is for The 12 Kickoff to become an annual event that brings the community together to celebrate our Seahawks.”

“On behalf of the Derrick L Coleman No Excuse Foundation we would like to say how excited we are about the 12s Car Show and​ ​t​he 12 Kick Off event on August 31, 2014,” states May Hamlin of the Derrick L Coleman No Excuse Foundation and mother to Derrick Coleman. “It really means a lot to our organization to have the support of the 12s as we support the hearing impaired community as they work toward living their dreams with No Excuse. The 12s and fans around the nation have supported and embraced Derrick, and they will never know how much that has meant to him. We are excited and would like to meet each and everyone of you to personally extend our thanks to you for being not only wonderful​ fans of the Seahawks but great people that welcome change and diversity.”

Tickets for the 12 Kick Off Event are $17-$40 (based on seating) with proceeds benefiting the Derrick L Coleman No Excuse Foundation. Kids ages 6-15 who participate in the NFL Play 60 Punt, Pass, and Kick gain free entry with one paid adult (General Admission Only). Children five years old and younger also receive Free Admission. Advanced tickets can be purchased at www.the12kickoff.com. For $5 off Box Seating use promo code ALLHEART on check out. 

For the deaf and hard of hearing community please email breanne@the12kickoff.com for special seating and pricing. 

Those interested in volunteering or sponsorship should contact Breanne Holle (Breanne@the12kickoff.com).  August 28, 2014 at 03:13PM

The 12 Kick Off gets ready to roar through Tacoma http://ift.tt/1mZPfHj

Trailblazing Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman, Jr. and his NO EXCUSE Foundation is welcoming all Seahawks fans to the first Inaugural 12 Kick Off Event taking place Sunday, Aug. 31 at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.

This jam-packed day-long fan interactive event begins at 9 a.m. with a Tailgate party, featuring a 12 “Hawked Out” Car Show where fans show off their unique Seahawks-inspired vehicles. The event then moves into Cheney Stadium (2502 S. Tyler St.) at 11 a.m. for a Press Q&A and VIP Meet and Greet with: Mayor of Tacoma Marilyn Strickland, Derrick Coleman, Jr., Seahawks Center/Guard Wade Smith, Seattle Sounders’ Obafemi Martins, Seahawks Defensive Tackle Jimmy Staten, Seahawks Tight End Cooper Helfet, former Seahawks Wide Receiver, Ben Obomanu, former Seahawks kicker Norm Johnson, former Seahawks Marcus Trufant & The Barbershop, and the “Mama Hawks:” May Hamlin (mother of Derrick Coleman, Jr.), Beverly Sherman (mother of Richard Sherman), Delisa Lynch (mother of Marshawn Lynch), and Constance Trufant (mother of NFL players Marcus, Desmond, and Isaiah Trufant) with more to be announced. The 12 Kick Off Event will also include appearances by the Seagals, Blue Thunder, and Seahawks mascot Blitz; Live music featuring Brave New World Records/Universal Rock N Soul act Shyan Selah & The Republic of Sound, Country/Rock Act Latigo Lace, “Seahawks Time” artist K Cartier, and DJ Anthony Snowden. Youth activities will include the NFL Play 60 Punt, Pass, and Kick for kids ages six to 15, Bounce Houses, Face Painting, Games and more.

“The 12 Kickoff supporting the Derrick L Coleman NO EXCUSE Foundation is a day of family, friends, fun and music to build excitement for the upcoming football season, as well as raise awareness of the deaf and hard of hearing community,” says event producer, Ron O’Ferrall. “The intention of the 12 Kickoff is to be an annual event where a different Seahawk is featured and their foundation supported. Our goal is for The 12 Kickoff to become an annual event that brings the community together to celebrate our Seahawks.”

“On behalf of the Derrick L Coleman No Excuse Foundation we would like to say how excited we are about the 12s Car Show and​ ​t​he 12 Kick Off event on August 31, 2014,” states May Hamlin of the Derrick L Coleman No Excuse Foundation and mother to Derrick Coleman. “It really means a lot to our organization to have the support of the 12s as we support the hearing impaired community as they work toward living their dreams with No Excuse. The 12s and fans around the nation have supported and embraced Derrick, and they will never know how much that has meant to him. We are excited and would like to meet each and everyone of you to personally extend our thanks to you for being not only wonderful​ fans of the Seahawks but great people that welcome change and diversity.”

Tickets for the 12 Kick Off Event are $17-$40 (based on seating) with proceeds benefiting the Derrick L Coleman No Excuse Foundation. Kids ages 6-15 who participate in the NFL Play 60 Punt, Pass, and Kick gain free entry with one paid adult (General Admission Only). Children five years old and younger also receive Free Admission. Advanced tickets can be purchased at www.the12kickoff.com. For $5 off Box Seating use promo code ALLHEART on check out.

For the deaf and hard of hearing community please email breanne@the12kickoff.com for special seating and pricing. 

Those interested in volunteering or sponsorship should contact Breanne Holle (Breanne@the12kickoff.com).

August 28, 2014 at 03:13PM

Washington State Fair Preview http://ift.tt/1lil5Dy It’s almost time to “do the Puyallup.” The Washington State Fair kicks off its 114th year on Sept. 5 and continues through Sept. 21 at the Washington State Fair Events Center, located at 110 Ninth Ave. S.W. in Puyallup. That’s two and a half weeks of live entertainment, pulse-pounding rides and, of course, mouth-watering scones and Krusty Pups. 

There are loads of new features and attractions this year including Chambers Bay’s U.S. Open Exhibit, which will preview the 115-year-old event’s first stop in the Northwest next year; the Classic Coaster Park, an ideal place for parents to relax while their kids are running around the midway; and the Vision Dome, which offers 360-degree views of some of man’s biggest achievements, from the pyramids at Giza to the Apollo 11 moon landing.

And, as usual, the Fair is also the last hurrah for summer concert season. Local acts will rotate through the Mountain Mist stage, the likes of Sweet Kiss Momma, the Olsen Brothers and Redhead Express this year; and the 11,000-seat grandstand will again draw some of the biggest names in pop music and comedy. Here’s who’s on tap. 

Washington State Fair Rodeo (1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sept. 5 and 6, 1 p.m. Sept. 7): The annual Washington State Fair Rodeo Parade and Cattle Drive precedes three days of barrel racing, bronc-bucking playoff action, with steer and revelers heading down Puyallup’s Meridian Street at 10 a.m. Admission is $5 to $35 for rodeo matinee rounds. The evening sessions include concerts by … 

Clay Walker (9 p.m. Sept. 5, $40): The “What’s It to You” singer will headline the first of two “Dancin’ in the Dirt” parties following the rodeo playoffs. Expect it to be standing room only on the turf, and maybe don’t wear your shiniest boots for this one. 

Colt Ford (9 p.m. Sept. 6, $30): The biggest “hick-hop” star since Cowboy Troy hit pay dirt in 2012, breaking through with his first country-charts-topping CD, “Declaration of Independence.” He’ll also showcase newer cuts from last month’s “Thanks for Listening” disc – including lead singles “The High Life” and “Workin’ On” – in the second “Dancin’ in the Dirt” show. His performance is preceded by the rodeo.

Jennifer Nettles (8 p.m. Sept. 8, $30 to $75): Local Sugarland fans flocked to Joint Base Lewis-McChord on the Fourth of July to see Kristian Bush, the duo’s less vocal half, preview material from his forthcoming solo album. Now it’s his perky band-mate’s turn to showcase her own solo project, “That Girl,” which topped Billboard’s country album chart in January. Brandy Clark will warm the crowd up, and maybe share the stage for their duet, “His Hands.” 

Chicago and REO Speedwagon (5 p.m. Sept. 9, $40 to $80): From Chicago’s prog roots through its power-ballad-fueled run in the ‘80s, the “rock and roll band with horns” has been among the most prolific acts of the rock era. The band has teamed up with fellow Reagan Era hit makers, REO Speedwagon, for a show that’s sure to stir up prom memories in all the Baby Boomers in the house. A little “Take It on the Run,” anyone? 

Tickets for the 5 p.m. pre-show dinner party are $55. 

Cody Simpson, MKTO and Coco Jones (5:30 p.m. Sept. 10, $20 to $45): Some of the previous night’s revelers will be taking their kids (or grandkids) to this teen-oriented pop showcase. Expect Simpson to wax up his “Surfboard,” MKTO to dust off a “Classic” and Jones to “Holla at the DJ.” It’s the monster hits of Radio Disney and Nickelodeon, y’all! 

Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone (7:30 p.m. Sept. 11, $20 to $50): Part of the British Invasion, Herman’s Hermits scored with “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” “I’m Henry the Eighth, I am” and other hits in the ‘60s, en route to selling more than 60 million records worldwide. Original band member, Noone, leads this incarnation of the band, not to be confused with former bandmate Barry Whitwam’s version. The Grass Roots and The Buckinghams round out this nostalgic bill. 

Fall Out Boy (7:30 p.m. Sept. 12, $45 to $55): This emo-pop quartet – led by bassist Pete Wentz and singer-guitarist Patrick Stump – was among the hottest commodities in music in the early aughties when they were packing arenas with quirkily titled hits like “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me” and “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race.” The band has mounted a pretty solid comeback with its new, chart-topping album, “Save Rock and Roll.” Up-and-coming trio New Politics will add support. 

Keith Urban (7:30 p.m. Sept. 13, $40 to $100): The Australian country and reality TV star is on the road in support of last year’s “Fuse” album now that he’s between seasons on Fox-TV’s “American Idol.” Tickets to the 5 p.m. pre-show dinner are $55.

Teen Hoot (1 p.m. Sept. 14, $20 to $25): The live version of this popular online talent search, created by producer and songwriter David Malloy, will feature performances by Dylan Holland, Alabama Capital, Reed Deming, Alexi Blue, Grant Landis, IM5, with co-hosts Jake Boys and McKenzie Gaston. 

Fiestas Patrias (7:30 p.m. Sept. 14, $20 to $27 adults, free for kids 12 and younger): This celebration of Latino culture is usually the most heavily attended concert at the Fair. This year’s show features three titans of Mexican music Vicente Fernandez, Jr., Antonio Aguilar, Jr. and Mariachi Azteca.

Florida Georgia Line (7:30 p.m. Sept. 15, $40 to $90): Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard are among the hottest duos in country, thanks to a string of recent hits that includes “Cruise,” “Stay” and this year’s “Dirt” and “This is How We Roll.” Dallas Smith will open. The pre-show party will start at 5 p.m., with tickets for that set at $30.

Lindsey Stirling (7:30 p.m. Sept. 16, $20 to $35): This “America’s Got Talent” alumna has become an international sensation by blending classical violin with electronic dance music and slick choreography.

Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant (7:30 p.m. Sept. 17, $30 to $50): Two of the biggest names in contemporary Christian pop team up to deliver their hits. Smith is out in support of his latest effort, “Hymns,” while Grant just dropped the new remixes album, “In Motion.” 

Jeff Dunham (7:30 p.m. Sept. 18, $40 to $75): The popular ventriloquist is back with his Disorderly Conduct tour. Expect talking jalapenos, skeletons and whatever Peanut is supposed to be. The pre-show dinner party will start at 5 p.m., with tickets for that set at $55. 

The Music of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd (7:30 p.m. Sept. 19, $20 to $45): The classic rock bands’ most iconic songs will be brought to life by a 30-piece orchestra featuring conductor Brent Haven and vocalist Randy Jackson. 

Toby Keith (7:30 p.m. Sept. 20, $40 to $95): The country bad boy will draw from his deep well of hits – party anthems like “Beer for My Horses,” “A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action” and “How Do You Like Me Now?” Pit tickets are sold out, but you can still pick up grandstand seats and $30 tickets for the Red Cup pre-funk, which kicks off at 5 p.m. 

Pentatonix (7:30 p.m. Sept. 21, $30 to $50): The a cappella quintet, best known for winning NBC-TV’s “The Sing-Off” in 2011, will be previewing its forthcoming EP, “PTX, vol. 3.” August 27, 2014 at 08:40AM

Washington State Fair Preview http://ift.tt/1lil5Dy

It’s almost time to “do the Puyallup.” The Washington State Fair kicks off its 114th year on Sept. 5 and continues through Sept. 21 at the Washington State Fair Events Center, located at 110 Ninth Ave. S.W. in Puyallup. That’s two and a half weeks of live entertainment, pulse-pounding rides and, of course, mouth-watering scones and Krusty Pups.

There are loads of new features and attractions this year including Chambers Bay’s U.S. Open Exhibit, which will preview the 115-year-old event’s first stop in the Northwest next year; the Classic Coaster Park, an ideal place for parents to relax while their kids are running around the midway; and the Vision Dome, which offers 360-degree views of some of man’s biggest achievements, from the pyramids at Giza to the Apollo 11 moon landing.

And, as usual, the Fair is also the last hurrah for summer concert season. Local acts will rotate through the Mountain Mist stage, the likes of Sweet Kiss Momma, the Olsen Brothers and Redhead Express this year; and the 11,000-seat grandstand will again draw some of the biggest names in pop music and comedy. Here’s who’s on tap.

Washington State Fair Rodeo (1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sept. 5 and 6, 1 p.m. Sept. 7): The annual Washington State Fair Rodeo Parade and Cattle Drive precedes three days of barrel racing, bronc-bucking playoff action, with steer and revelers heading down Puyallup’s Meridian Street at 10 a.m. Admission is $5 to $35 for rodeo matinee rounds. The evening sessions include concerts by … 

Clay Walker (9 p.m. Sept. 5, $40): The “What’s It to You” singer will headline the first of two “Dancin’ in the Dirt” parties following the rodeo playoffs. Expect it to be standing room only on the turf, and maybe don’t wear your shiniest boots for this one. 

Colt Ford (9 p.m. Sept. 6, $30): The biggest “hick-hop” star since Cowboy Troy hit pay dirt in 2012, breaking through with his first country-charts-topping CD, “Declaration of Independence.” He’ll also showcase newer cuts from last month’s “Thanks for Listening” disc – including lead singles “The High Life” and “Workin’ On” – in the second “Dancin’ in the Dirt” show. His performance is preceded by the rodeo.

Jennifer Nettles (8 p.m. Sept. 8, $30 to $75): Local Sugarland fans flocked to Joint Base Lewis-McChord on the Fourth of July to see Kristian Bush, the duo’s less vocal half, preview material from his forthcoming solo album. Now it’s his perky band-mate’s turn to showcase her own solo project, “That Girl,” which topped Billboard’s country album chart in January. Brandy Clark will warm the crowd up, and maybe share the stage for their duet, “His Hands.” 

Chicago and REO Speedwagon (5 p.m. Sept. 9, $40 to $80): From Chicago’s prog roots through its power-ballad-fueled run in the ‘80s, the “rock and roll band with horns” has been among the most prolific acts of the rock era. The band has teamed up with fellow Reagan Era hit makers, REO Speedwagon, for a show that’s sure to stir up prom memories in all the Baby Boomers in the house. A little “Take It on the Run,” anyone? 

Tickets for the 5 p.m. pre-show dinner party are $55.

Cody Simpson, MKTO and Coco Jones (5:30 p.m. Sept. 10, $20 to $45): Some of the previous night’s revelers will be taking their kids (or grandkids) to this teen-oriented pop showcase. Expect Simpson to wax up his “Surfboard,” MKTO to dust off a “Classic” and Jones to “Holla at the DJ.” It’s the monster hits of Radio Disney and Nickelodeon, y’all! 

Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone (7:30 p.m. Sept. 11, $20 to $50): Part of the British Invasion, Herman’s Hermits scored with “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” “I’m Henry the Eighth, I am” and other hits in the ‘60s, en route to selling more than 60 million records worldwide. Original band member, Noone, leads this incarnation of the band, not to be confused with former bandmate Barry Whitwam’s version. The Grass Roots and The Buckinghams round out this nostalgic bill.

Fall Out Boy (7:30 p.m. Sept. 12, $45 to $55): This emo-pop quartet – led by bassist Pete Wentz and singer-guitarist Patrick Stump – was among the hottest commodities in music in the early aughties when they were packing arenas with quirkily titled hits like “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me” and “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race.” The band has mounted a pretty solid comeback with its new, chart-topping album, “Save Rock and Roll.” Up-and-coming trio New Politics will add support. 

Keith Urban (7:30 p.m. Sept. 13, $40 to $100): The Australian country and reality TV star is on the road in support of last year’s “Fuse” album now that he’s between seasons on Fox-TV’s “American Idol.” Tickets to the 5 p.m. pre-show dinner are $55.

Teen Hoot (1 p.m. Sept. 14, $20 to $25): The live version of this popular online talent search, created by producer and songwriter David Malloy, will feature performances by Dylan Holland, Alabama Capital, Reed Deming, Alexi Blue, Grant Landis, IM5, with co-hosts Jake Boys and McKenzie Gaston. 

Fiestas Patrias (7:30 p.m. Sept. 14, $20 to $27 adults, free for kids 12 and younger): This celebration of Latino culture is usually the most heavily attended concert at the Fair. This year’s show features three titans of Mexican music Vicente Fernandez, Jr., Antonio Aguilar, Jr. and Mariachi Azteca.

Florida Georgia Line (7:30 p.m. Sept. 15, $40 to $90): Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard are among the hottest duos in country, thanks to a string of recent hits that includes “Cruise,” “Stay” and this year’s “Dirt” and “This is How We Roll.” Dallas Smith will open. The pre-show party will start at 5 p.m., with tickets for that set at $30.

Lindsey Stirling (7:30 p.m. Sept. 16, $20 to $35): This “America’s Got Talent” alumna has become an international sensation by blending classical violin with electronic dance music and slick choreography.

Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant (7:30 p.m. Sept. 17, $30 to $50): Two of the biggest names in contemporary Christian pop team up to deliver their hits. Smith is out in support of his latest effort, “Hymns,” while Grant just dropped the new remixes album, “In Motion.”

Jeff Dunham (7:30 p.m. Sept. 18, $40 to $75): The popular ventriloquist is back with his Disorderly Conduct tour. Expect talking jalapenos, skeletons and whatever Peanut is supposed to be. The pre-show dinner party will start at 5 p.m., with tickets for that set at $55.

The Music of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd (7:30 p.m. Sept. 19, $20 to $45): The classic rock bands’ most iconic songs will be brought to life by a 30-piece orchestra featuring conductor Brent Haven and vocalist Randy Jackson.

Toby Keith (7:30 p.m. Sept. 20, $40 to $95): The country bad boy will draw from his deep well of hits – party anthems like “Beer for My Horses,” “A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action” and “How Do You Like Me Now?” Pit tickets are sold out, but you can still pick up grandstand seats and $30 tickets for the Red Cup pre-funk, which kicks off at 5 p.m.

Pentatonix (7:30 p.m. Sept. 21, $30 to $50): The a cappella quintet, best known for winning NBC-TV’s “The Sing-Off” in 2011, will be previewing its forthcoming EP, “PTX, vol. 3.”

August 27, 2014 at 08:40AM

What’s Right with Tacoma: Housing Authority offers comfy homes at New Bay Terrace apartments http://ift.tt/1pMyPHb Amylah Perry was a model citizen throughout Tacoma Housing Authority’s ribbon cutting ceremony at Bay Terrace, its newest development, on Monday, Aug. 18.

Amylah, 4, listened to the dignitaries, did not spill a single crumb on her pink and white dress and matching hat. She did not fret in the heat and, just after noon, she marched to the podium with her Head Start classmates and raised a banner.

“Welcome Home!” it read, and those kids meant it.

Their families have moved into apartments in the mix of 70 units in town homes, cottages or the four-story “mid-rise” on Yakima Avenue between South 27th and 25th streets. Their new school – their Head Start classroom – is nestled in the 6,925-square-foot community center. They dare challenge the ropes on the cool new play structure in one of several playgrounds and community gardens that give the high-density redevelopment an open feeling. 

Midway through the program, Amylah’s mom, Aashia Gardner, told the crowd of 200 what that means to her Amylah and Decarlos Perry, 2. Instead of doubling up in relatives’ or friends’ places, they have a home of their own, with rooms of their own.

“I can pay the rent with a smile and have money left over for other bills,” Gardner said. 

She is using the resources at the community center to plan how to go back to school for the skills she needs to earn enough to support her family, to become independent.

“This has given me the best opportunity to change my life around,” she said.

And that is the point of those two refreshed blocks of attractive buildings and the network of resources and partnerships woven through them.

Because it was a ribbon-cutting, Tacoma Housing Authority Executive Director Michael Mirra, THA commissioners Greg Mowat and Judge Stanley Rumbaugh, Chuck Weinstock of JP Morgan Chase, Chris Walvoord of Enterprise Community Investments, Pamela Trevithick of GGLO architects and the rep from Absher Construction Co., led the program with the tale of the mighty challenge of building it all.

It began in 1970, when a private developer slathered poorly-designed apartments that were not built to last on four blocks between South 15th and 27th streets between Yakima Avenue and South ‘G’ street. Conifer Village flopped on the open market and, in 1976, THA did what it would not do now: It bought the commercial failure. THA renamed it Hillside Terrace. Twenty years later, in 1996, the buildings, like big chunks of the Hilltop, were worn out. THA asked the feds for the money to tear it down and rebuild it. 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development responded with a potential disaster: It gave the demolition money for all of it, but nothing for rebuilding. One hundred and eighty families would lose their homes if THA used the money.

New to the board of commissioners, Rumbaugh fought the feds and won time for THA to find the reconstruction money. 

“In 2002 we got the financing for the 2300 and 1500 blocks,” Mirra said. “That was our last big project before Salishan.”

The buildings were solid, the design attractive and the landscaping welcoming.

During the decade that THA focused most of its energy on financing and rebuilding Salishan on the East Side, a curious thing happened on the Hilltop. Private developers picked up properties near the new THA properties and built equally attractive homes and condos, from the affordable to high end. Other non-profits, including Mercy Housing, followed suit. 

“Both lovely and ugly are contagious,” Mirra said. “Set a high design bar. Invest in neighborhoods that need investment. Do a good job, and you will embolden other people.”

You also will challenge them to meet that design standard, whether they are building for the wealthy or those of limited means. You should, Mirra added, be building for both and everyone in between to maintain economic diversity on the Hilltop. “There are 10,000 jobs on the Hilltop, and only about 500 are filled by people who live on the Hilltop.”

Bay Terrace offers homes for people with a range of incomes, from very low to work force. The right mix will help rebuild the once varied and vibrant economy on the Hilltop as people live, work, walk and shop there. But the development was a long time coming.

After Salishan came the Great Recession of 2008. It took THA until 2013 to assemble the funds to tear down the rest of Hillside Terrace and get the design and construction started on Phase one, 70 units, of the rebuilding. THA is working on assembling even more money for construction of Phases two and three. The total project will include from 140 to 190 apartments, with community buildings and enough green space, community gathering areas and trees new and old to belie the high density that puts it in compliance with the City of Tacoma’s Comprehensive Plan.

Perhaps the Amazing Amylah could help. She could bring potential investors to her Head Start classroom, the only one in Tacoma not at a Tacoma School District site. That should underline the strength of the collaboration and trust between THA and Tacoma Schools. As she breezes through, she could point out the computer room and the community room.

She could point across the street at Goodwill, and perhaps drop the name of a neighbor who is learning job skills there. 

She could explain why she can’t just waltz into the mid-rise apartment buildings, with their excellent security system from the doors to the garage to the cameras that monitor all public spaces, including the library alcoves on each floor, the raised gardens and the exterior play space. The books in those library shelves, like the ones in the community building, are free for the taking and reading, she might add.

She could introduce some of the elected officials she charmed at the ribbon-cutting.

State Senator Jeannie Darneille might speak of THA’s reputation for building housing that is beautiful, humane – and efficient.

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland could repeat her praise of THA’s reputation for building effective partnerships that empower residents to become so educated and wise and innovative that companies looking to relocate here can’t resist Tacoma’s awesome talent pool.

Tacoma City Councilmember Lauren Walker, who has lived on the Hilltop for 26 years, would mention the awful days of gangs and drugs and talk about all the good THA has brought with its developments and its example of accountability.

“Tacoma Housing Authority’s work helps make Tacoma a wonderful place to grow up and raise a family,” she would say again. August 27, 2014 at 03:26PM

What’s Right with Tacoma: Housing Authority offers comfy homes at New Bay Terrace apartments http://ift.tt/1pMyPHb

Amylah Perry was a model citizen throughout Tacoma Housing Authority’s ribbon cutting ceremony at Bay Terrace, its newest development, on Monday, Aug. 18.

Amylah, 4, listened to the dignitaries, did not spill a single crumb on her pink and white dress and matching hat. She did not fret in the heat and, just after noon, she marched to the podium with her Head Start classmates and raised a banner.

“Welcome Home!” it read, and those kids meant it.

Their families have moved into apartments in the mix of 70 units in town homes, cottages or the four-story “mid-rise” on Yakima Avenue between South 27th and 25th streets. Their new school – their Head Start classroom – is nestled in the 6,925-square-foot community center. They dare challenge the ropes on the cool new play structure in one of several playgrounds and community gardens that give the high-density redevelopment an open feeling.

Midway through the program, Amylah’s mom, Aashia Gardner, told the crowd of 200 what that means to her Amylah and Decarlos Perry, 2. Instead of doubling up in relatives’ or friends’ places, they have a home of their own, with rooms of their own.

“I can pay the rent with a smile and have money left over for other bills,” Gardner said.

She is using the resources at the community center to plan how to go back to school for the skills she needs to earn enough to support her family, to become independent.

“This has given me the best opportunity to change my life around,” she said.

And that is the point of those two refreshed blocks of attractive buildings and the network of resources and partnerships woven through them.

Because it was a ribbon-cutting, Tacoma Housing Authority Executive Director Michael Mirra, THA commissioners Greg Mowat and Judge Stanley Rumbaugh, Chuck Weinstock of JP Morgan Chase, Chris Walvoord of Enterprise Community Investments, Pamela Trevithick of GGLO architects and the rep from Absher Construction Co., led the program with the tale of the mighty challenge of building it all.

It began in 1970, when a private developer slathered poorly-designed apartments that were not built to last on four blocks between South 15th and 27th streets between Yakima Avenue and South ‘G’ street. Conifer Village flopped on the open market and, in 1976, THA did what it would not do now: It bought the commercial failure. THA renamed it Hillside Terrace. Twenty years later, in 1996, the buildings, like big chunks of the Hilltop, were worn out. THA asked the feds for the money to tear it down and rebuild it.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development responded with a potential disaster: It gave the demolition money for all of it, but nothing for rebuilding. One hundred and eighty families would lose their homes if THA used the money.

New to the board of commissioners, Rumbaugh fought the feds and won time for THA to find the reconstruction money.

“In 2002 we got the financing for the 2300 and 1500 blocks,” Mirra said. “That was our last big project before Salishan.”

The buildings were solid, the design attractive and the landscaping welcoming.

During the decade that THA focused most of its energy on financing and rebuilding Salishan on the East Side, a curious thing happened on the Hilltop. Private developers picked up properties near the new THA properties and built equally attractive homes and condos, from the affordable to high end. Other non-profits, including Mercy Housing, followed suit.

“Both lovely and ugly are contagious,” Mirra said. “Set a high design bar. Invest in neighborhoods that need investment. Do a good job, and you will embolden other people.”

You also will challenge them to meet that design standard, whether they are building for the wealthy or those of limited means. You should, Mirra added, be building for both and everyone in between to maintain economic diversity on the Hilltop. “There are 10,000 jobs on the Hilltop, and only about 500 are filled by people who live on the Hilltop.”

Bay Terrace offers homes for people with a range of incomes, from very low to work force. The right mix will help rebuild the once varied and vibrant economy on the Hilltop as people live, work, walk and shop there. But the development was a long time coming.

After Salishan came the Great Recession of 2008. It took THA until 2013 to assemble the funds to tear down the rest of Hillside Terrace and get the design and construction started on Phase one, 70 units, of the rebuilding. THA is working on assembling even more money for construction of Phases two and three. The total project will include from 140 to 190 apartments, with community buildings and enough green space, community gathering areas and trees new and old to belie the high density that puts it in compliance with the City of Tacoma’s Comprehensive Plan.

Perhaps the Amazing Amylah could help. She could bring potential investors to her Head Start classroom, the only one in Tacoma not at a Tacoma School District site. That should underline the strength of the collaboration and trust between THA and Tacoma Schools. As she breezes through, she could point out the computer room and the community room.

She could point across the street at Goodwill, and perhaps drop the name of a neighbor who is learning job skills there.

She could explain why she can’t just waltz into the mid-rise apartment buildings, with their excellent security system from the doors to the garage to the cameras that monitor all public spaces, including the library alcoves on each floor, the raised gardens and the exterior play space. The books in those library shelves, like the ones in the community building, are free for the taking and reading, she might add.

She could introduce some of the elected officials she charmed at the ribbon-cutting.

State Senator Jeannie Darneille might speak of THA’s reputation for building housing that is beautiful, humane – and efficient.

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland could repeat her praise of THA’s reputation for building effective partnerships that empower residents to become so educated and wise and innovative that companies looking to relocate here can’t resist Tacoma’s awesome talent pool.

Tacoma City Councilmember Lauren Walker, who has lived on the Hilltop for 26 years, would mention the awful days of gangs and drugs and talk about all the good THA has brought with its developments and its example of accountability.

“Tacoma Housing Authority’s work helps make Tacoma a wonderful place to grow up and raise a family,” she would say again.

August 27, 2014 at 03:26PM

Buffalo Soldiers Museum, Tuskegee Airmen hold Labor Day fair http://ift.tt/1u0E0CF For many people, Labor Day is a day off of work. For the Buffalo Soldiers Museum and The Tuskegee Airmen of Seattle it’s an opportunity to honor those in the armed forces. That’s why the two organizations are combining forces to produce a Labor Day Fair at Stanley Playfield on Sept. 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“It’s about honoring the past and embracing the future,” Buffalo Soldiers Museum Executive Director Jackie Jones said.

A full program is planned that includes Joint Base Lewis-McChord playing a “home run derby” softball game. The “Red Tails Special” Air Force will take on the “Cannon Balls” Army in a classic grudge match that will be fun for the entire family to watch. All entertainment at that festival will be free; all Jones asks is to keep soldiers in your thoughts.

“This festival is about preserving history and honoring those who have served in the past. Our country has always been a country of labor and certainly these men and all service men serve our country and protect our country.” Jones said. 

After the softball game, visitors will be able to wander around with vendors offering food, crafts and entertainment, all while remembering and honoring those who don’t get to take a day off.

“This is a way to pay tribute to those who serve this country who give so selflessly of themselves for their country. Many years ago many thousands died. This is a way to say thanks to those who have served and a way to appreciate current service men. That’s why we selected Joint Base Lewis McChord,” Jones said.

Stanley Playfield is located at 1712 S. 19th St. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs to enjoy the entertainment that includes live music and a speech from General Mitch Mitchell on embracing the future. All ages welcome. August 27, 2014 at 11:46AM

Buffalo Soldiers Museum, Tuskegee Airmen hold Labor Day fair http://ift.tt/1u0E0CF

For many people, Labor Day is a day off of work. For the Buffalo Soldiers Museum and The Tuskegee Airmen of Seattle it’s an opportunity to honor those in the armed forces. That’s why the two organizations are combining forces to produce a Labor Day Fair at Stanley Playfield on Sept. 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“It’s about honoring the past and embracing the future,” Buffalo Soldiers Museum Executive Director Jackie Jones said.

A full program is planned that includes Joint Base Lewis-McChord playing a “home run derby” softball game. The “Red Tails Special” Air Force will take on the “Cannon Balls” Army in a classic grudge match that will be fun for the entire family to watch. All entertainment at that festival will be free; all Jones asks is to keep soldiers in your thoughts.

“This festival is about preserving history and honoring those who have served in the past. Our country has always been a country of labor and certainly these men and all service men serve our country and protect our country.” Jones said.

After the softball game, visitors will be able to wander around with vendors offering food, crafts and entertainment, all while remembering and honoring those who don’t get to take a day off.

“This is a way to pay tribute to those who serve this country who give so selflessly of themselves for their country. Many years ago many thousands died. This is a way to say thanks to those who have served and a way to appreciate current service men. That’s why we selected Joint Base Lewis McChord,” Jones said.

Stanley Playfield is located at 1712 S. 19th St. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs to enjoy the entertainment that includes live music and a speech from General Mitch Mitchell on embracing the future. All ages welcome.

August 27, 2014 at 11:46AM

NARROWS LEAGUE PREVIEW: PART I http://ift.tt/1u0E0lT The secret is starting to get out around Washington state and they can’t be none too pleased to hear about it. Tacoma’s high school football programs may very well have moved past the “we’re improving” phase and now are looking at least cleat-deep in the “we’ll see you in the playoffs” phase.

This week, we begin our look at the upcoming high school football season starting with two Tacoma high schools playing in separate leagues – The Bellarmine Prep Lions of the 4A Narrows league and the Lincoln Abes of the 3A Narrows. Both teams are considered among the favorites for their league title and it’s been a different journey for the two.

BELLARMINE PREP LIONS

The nationwide Maxpreps.com recently put out its top-20 list of Washington’s “Most Dominant Football Programs of the Decade.” While it is no surprise to see perennial powerhouse Bellevue at the top of the list, it may be a bit of a surprise to see Bellarmine come in at number 20.

Between the 2004 and 2009 seasons, head coach Tom Larsen’s Bellarmine squads were a gritty bunch that went 30-30 over the six seasons. In the four seasons since, Bellarmine has went 44-9, reaching the state 4A semifinals twice, the quarterfinals once and falling to Skyline in the state championship game in 2012.

Larsen saw a change a couple of years before this dynamic run began for his program. “A couple of classes before these teams began setting a different foundation,” Larsen said. “The players following have been reaping the benefits of the dedication to hard work and the understanding of real commitment.”

Last season, the Lions won two-straight state playoff games on last-minute field goals. It’s not often that teams boast their place kicker as one of the most important players, but the Lions’ Matthew Philichi has proven he has ice water running through his veins. Philichi is listed among the best kickers in the country on numerous Internet scouting sites and some consider him to possibly be the best in the West.

“The opportunity to put the ball in the end zone on a kickoff is not a regular thing in high school,” said Larsen. “His leadership as a kicker has given him the privilege of being named a captain of the team.”

The honors student is getting looks from several D-1 football programs and he’s not the only one on his team. Junior middle linebacker Erik Glueck has been getting looks from D-1 programs. The 6’ 2”, 225-pounder will be line-up alongside outside linebackers Noah Failauga and Jamal Ervin to combine for one of the better linebacking corps in the Puget Sound.

Larsen has not named a new starting quarterback yet. Senior Jared Richardson and Christian Moore have been battling it out at practice, and the job of signal caller is still up in the air.

Bellarmine will open the season at home against a potent Bonney Lake squad Sept. 5.

LINCOLN ABES

While Bellarmine’s rise to prominence has been quite visible, the athletic, hard-nosed “Rail Splitters” on the other side of town have recently burst upon the scene.

Head coach Jon Kitna enters his third year directing the Lincoln Abes’ program and following a 5-5 first season, Lincoln hit another gear in 2013. The Abes finished 8-2 and made it to the state 3A playoffs, falling to eventual runner-up Eastside Catholic on the road. That type of experience doesn’t just happen; you’ve got to earn it and the Abes plan on making the most of it this season.

“We continue to preach to our kids that our greatest opponent is ourselves,” said coach Kitna. “We want to compete against our best every week. We’ve upped our level of competition with our league and non-league schedule.

“We didn’t play our best game last year against Eastside Catholic. A lot of those kids that played in those big games are still here.”

Junior quarterback Jordan Kitna returns bigger, stronger and ready to shoulder command of a team he took over at a younger age than most are asked to at the big school level. The coach’s son probably sees more game film and goes through more training than your average high schooler. Adding nearly 30 pounds of muscle has raised his stock collegiately and has helped advance his abilities.

“His number one focus is to maximize his talent to help this football team,” said coach Kitna. “It’s a ton of fun coaching him. We went really slow with him last year and now he’s taken on so much more.”

Throw in the return of outside linebacker and running back Justiss Warren and things are starting to cook for the Abes. The 6’ 4”, 225-pounder returns from a leg injury and looks stronger than ever. Free safety Dehonta Hayes is a pivotal piece in the defensive backfield, as well as at wide receiver. The two were named to the ESPN Top 100 in May for the upcoming season.

Senior wide receiver Jayson Williams II is looked to be a cornerstone of the receiver corps. Williams has been getting looks and offers from D-1 programs and it may only increase with a successful and potent Abes offense.

Lincoln’s offensive line averages nearly 290 pounds and is anchored by seniors Corey Brown, Ben King and Ben Puapuaga. Look for this crew to wear down defenses and open up second-half scoring opportunities for the Abes this season.

Coach Kitna says that the players have bought into getting in prime shape and they’ve become leaner and stronger and collectively faster. Last year the raw speed of Lincoln was potent, but this season he sees it as a more “conditioned and trained speed.”

Lincoln will host Puyallup on Sept. 12. Puyallup was a 4A state playoff team in 2013 and this game should be a measuring stick for the revamped Abes. August 27, 2014 at 11:43AM

NARROWS LEAGUE PREVIEW: PART I http://ift.tt/1u0E0lT

The secret is starting to get out around Washington state and they can’t be none too pleased to hear about it. Tacoma’s high school football programs may very well have moved past the “we’re improving” phase and now are looking at least cleat-deep in the “we’ll see you in the playoffs” phase.

This week, we begin our look at the upcoming high school football season starting with two Tacoma high schools playing in separate leagues – The Bellarmine Prep Lions of the 4A Narrows league and the Lincoln Abes of the 3A Narrows. Both teams are considered among the favorites for their league title and it’s been a different journey for the two.

BELLARMINE PREP LIONS

The nationwide Maxpreps.com recently put out its top-20 list of Washington’s “Most Dominant Football Programs of the Decade.” While it is no surprise to see perennial powerhouse Bellevue at the top of the list, it may be a bit of a surprise to see Bellarmine come in at number 20.

Between the 2004 and 2009 seasons, head coach Tom Larsen’s Bellarmine squads were a gritty bunch that went 30-30 over the six seasons. In the four seasons since, Bellarmine has went 44-9, reaching the state 4A semifinals twice, the quarterfinals once and falling to Skyline in the state championship game in 2012.

Larsen saw a change a couple of years before this dynamic run began for his program. “A couple of classes before these teams began setting a different foundation,” Larsen said. “The players following have been reaping the benefits of the dedication to hard work and the understanding of real commitment.”

Last season, the Lions won two-straight state playoff games on last-minute field goals. It’s not often that teams boast their place kicker as one of the most important players, but the Lions’ Matthew Philichi has proven he has ice water running through his veins. Philichi is listed among the best kickers in the country on numerous Internet scouting sites and some consider him to possibly be the best in the West.

“The opportunity to put the ball in the end zone on a kickoff is not a regular thing in high school,” said Larsen. “His leadership as a kicker has given him the privilege of being named a captain of the team.”

The honors student is getting looks from several D-1 football programs and he’s not the only one on his team. Junior middle linebacker Erik Glueck has been getting looks from D-1 programs. The 6’ 2”, 225-pounder will be line-up alongside outside linebackers Noah Failauga and Jamal Ervin to combine for one of the better linebacking corps in the Puget Sound.

Larsen has not named a new starting quarterback yet. Senior Jared Richardson and Christian Moore have been battling it out at practice, and the job of signal caller is still up in the air.

Bellarmine will open the season at home against a potent Bonney Lake squad Sept. 5.

LINCOLN ABES

While Bellarmine’s rise to prominence has been quite visible, the athletic, hard-nosed “Rail Splitters” on the other side of town have recently burst upon the scene.

Head coach Jon Kitna enters his third year directing the Lincoln Abes’ program and following a 5-5 first season, Lincoln hit another gear in 2013. The Abes finished 8-2 and made it to the state 3A playoffs, falling to eventual runner-up Eastside Catholic on the road. That type of experience doesn’t just happen; you’ve got to earn it and the Abes plan on making the most of it this season.

“We continue to preach to our kids that our greatest opponent is ourselves,” said coach Kitna. “We want to compete against our best every week. We’ve upped our level of competition with our league and non-league schedule.

“We didn’t play our best game last year against Eastside Catholic. A lot of those kids that played in those big games are still here.”

Junior quarterback Jordan Kitna returns bigger, stronger and ready to shoulder command of a team he took over at a younger age than most are asked to at the big school level. The coach’s son probably sees more game film and goes through more training than your average high schooler. Adding nearly 30 pounds of muscle has raised his stock collegiately and has helped advance his abilities.

“His number one focus is to maximize his talent to help this football team,” said coach Kitna. “It’s a ton of fun coaching him. We went really slow with him last year and now he’s taken on so much more.”

Throw in the return of outside linebacker and running back Justiss Warren and things are starting to cook for the Abes. The 6’ 4”, 225-pounder returns from a leg injury and looks stronger than ever. Free safety Dehonta Hayes is a pivotal piece in the defensive backfield, as well as at wide receiver. The two were named to the ESPN Top 100 in May for the upcoming season.

Senior wide receiver Jayson Williams II is looked to be a cornerstone of the receiver corps. Williams has been getting looks and offers from D-1 programs and it may only increase with a successful and potent Abes offense.

Lincoln’s offensive line averages nearly 290 pounds and is anchored by seniors Corey Brown, Ben King and Ben Puapuaga. Look for this crew to wear down defenses and open up second-half scoring opportunities for the Abes this season.

Coach Kitna says that the players have bought into getting in prime shape and they’ve become leaner and stronger and collectively faster. Last year the raw speed of Lincoln was potent, but this season he sees it as a more “conditioned and trained speed.”

Lincoln will host Puyallup on Sept. 12. Puyallup was a 4A state playoff team in 2013 and this game should be a measuring stick for the revamped Abes.

August 27, 2014 at 11:43AM

Native American entrepreneurs invited to business seminar http://ift.tt/1u0DXGR In his ongoing efforts to build up the prevalence of Native owned small businesses in the South Sound and to build a Native American community of business owners, Puyallup tribal member and entrepreneur William Manzanares is organizing a Native American business seminar scheduled for Sept. 9 at the Spanish Church next to the tribal administrative building, 4-6 p.m. The seminar is free and open to any Native American business owner and those curious about how to open their own business. Puyallup tribal members in particular are invited and encouraged to attend.

After having opened numerous successful small businesses on and around the Puyallup reservation over the years, Manzanares is looking to not only share his own knowledge of start-ups at the seminar, but also bring in other entrepreneurs who can provide information and answer questions about what it takes for tribal members to launch their own business. This will not be a presentation-based event but rather focused more on people meeting, asking questions and talking to each other.

Manzanares said that one of the reasons he is holding this seminar is to give others access to the research he did back when he was starting out in business. “When I first tried to figure out about how to run a business on the reservation, there was nowhere to find one answer,” he said. “I was a teenager going around to each department in the Tribe asking questions and when they’d say go talk to this person, I did that. I asked tons of questions and just figured it out so the knowledge I have is combined knowledge of years of talking to many people in many departments and figuring out what we can and can’t do on our reservation.” That’s the goal of this expo, he said, to share those secrets. 

The seminar is for existing business owners as well. “I know there are more (Native American) people out there who own businesses so with this I can entice tribal members who have businesses already to come and look at the benefit of seeing if they should do business on the reservation.”

For more information, contact Manzanares at (253) 405-5625 or e-mail William@smokinwillys.com. August 27, 2014 at 10:16AM

Native American entrepreneurs invited to business seminar http://ift.tt/1u0DXGR

In his ongoing efforts to build up the prevalence of Native owned small businesses in the South Sound and to build a Native American community of business owners, Puyallup tribal member and entrepreneur William Manzanares is organizing a Native American business seminar scheduled for Sept. 9 at the Spanish Church next to the tribal administrative building, 4-6 p.m. The seminar is free and open to any Native American business owner and those curious about how to open their own business. Puyallup tribal members in particular are invited and encouraged to attend.

After having opened numerous successful small businesses on and around the Puyallup reservation over the years, Manzanares is looking to not only share his own knowledge of start-ups at the seminar, but also bring in other entrepreneurs who can provide information and answer questions about what it takes for tribal members to launch their own business. This will not be a presentation-based event but rather focused more on people meeting, asking questions and talking to each other.

Manzanares said that one of the reasons he is holding this seminar is to give others access to the research he did back when he was starting out in business. “When I first tried to figure out about how to run a business on the reservation, there was nowhere to find one answer,” he said. “I was a teenager going around to each department in the Tribe asking questions and when they’d say go talk to this person, I did that. I asked tons of questions and just figured it out so the knowledge I have is combined knowledge of years of talking to many people in many departments and figuring out what we can and can’t do on our reservation.” That’s the goal of this expo, he said, to share those secrets.

The seminar is for existing business owners as well. “I know there are more (Native American) people out there who own businesses so with this I can entice tribal members who have businesses already to come and look at the benefit of seeing if they should do business on the reservation.”

For more information, contact Manzanares at (253) 405-5625 or e-mail William@smokinwillys.com.

August 27, 2014 at 10:16AM

Out of my Element IV.I: Battle at the Boat 97 http://ift.tt/1pMyIv1 The boxing spotlight again cast its light upon Tacoma on Saturday, Aug. 23, as the Battle of the Boat series continued its long run at the Emerald Queen Casino. With hometown boys on the bill, a loud and raucous crowd was on hand for the seven-bout lineup of quality boxing, big hits and a few surprises.

As I sat ringside with Tacoma Weekly photographer Rocky Ross and everything-writer Derek Shuck, I knew I had once again surrounded myself with some gents that were ready to watch the fur fly. It was the first trip to see the fights for Derek, and Rocky has been doing it for years. We made our picks prior to the start, and I knew I was going to take home the win this time. Rocky edged me last time and I owed him some payback.

It was fight time and as usual, the guest emcee came out with the ring girls draped over his arms, smiling like a Cheshire cat. It was “The Partridge Family” and KZOK’s Danny Bonaduce, and while he really is a kick in the pants, the fight fans weren’t there to see him gab, and They were quite pleased when he made short work of his hello and welcome, and slipped back out of the ring.

In the first bout, Tenino’s Zach Marti, making his professional debut, would square off against Cole Milani of Klamath Falls, Oregon at the 161-pound division. Marti entered the ring to Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson’s “Good Hearted Woman.” I hadn’t picked Marti to win, but his awesome song selection was just too much for me and I had to root for him. 

In hindsight, this probably was the best fight of the night, and it was a bit of a shame that it set such a high bar for the rest of the bouts to follow.

From the opening bell, Marti was swinging from the cheap seats while Milani pounded his opponent with body shots throughout the four-rounder. First blood was drawn by Marti in the third round and it looked as though Milani was wearing down. However, when the start bell rang for the fourth, Milani came out looking fresh. With both fighters bleeding and the 10-second hammer just having clacked, Milani peppered Marti with several shots to the head, dropping his opponent violently to the mat. Referee Joel Scobie immediately saw that Marti was out-cold and ended the fight with just four seconds remaining.

Marti would remain in the ring for nearly 15 minutes as medical staff did their best to remind the confused fighter where he was and what had just caused him to take a little nap.

Due to an undisclosed family emergency, the late-addition main event was bumped down to the second slot, and the crowd witnessed a much more technical battle from 168-pounders Dashon Johnson and Louis “Unknown” Rose. For 10 rounds, the two put on a fine display of boxing prowess, but the fight lacked any fireworks and the two fighters looked relatively unscathed when Rose’s hand was raised for a unanimous decision victory.

Possibly the greatest part of the second bout was the referee. In my 41 years, I have never seen a man who more resembled Mark Twain. Derek and I had a good laugh about this unknown profession of Mr. Samuel Clemens.

For the third bout, it was Puyallup mixed-martial artist Taki Uluilakepa making his boxing debut against Jon Jackson from Fairbanks, Alaska. When Jackson entered the ring, Rocky mentioned that he “looks like he eats nails for breakfast.” While the south-paw Uluilakepa put up a spirited effort, it was clear that Jackson was the better boxer and walked away with a four-round unanimous decision.

We were at the midway point of the night and with three locals still remaining on the bill, I was hoping the action would pick up, and it did with the entrance of Jeremy McCleary from Buckley. From the sound of the EQC Ballroom, you would have thought the entire town of Buckley had showed up for the 4-0 undefeated 130-pounder.

Making his pro debut against McCleary would be Benny “Dirty” Vinson from Portland, Oregon. While the newcomer showed some skill and heart, he wasn’t even close to matching the surprising skills of the kid from Buckley. At one point Derek leaned over to me and commented, “Dirty’s showing some pluck.” It just wasn’t going to be enough though, as McCleary moved to 5-0 with a four-round unanimous decision.

It was now time for the fifth fight of the night. Derek seemed satisfied and comfortable having just finished his $5 EQC burger and it was back to business.

Tacoma’s Harrison Bevens has been a monster in the CageSport octagon, but more recently has also delivered knockouts in his first two boxing contests. His opponent at 161 pounds would be Darryl Gardner, who was recently stopped by Cameron Sevilla-Rivera at the Boat 96. Everyone was picking Bevens to win this fight.

Everyone that is, except for a driven and hard-charging Gardner.

Gardner was determined to set the pace of the fight from the get-go and Bevens was unable to turn the tide or compensate. Near the end of the first round, Gardner caught Bevens with an uppercut and hook combination that sent the crowd favorite briefly to the canvas. Bevens tried to assert himself more in the second round, but it was mostly Gardner having his way, as he would put Bevens on the ground again following a flurry of shots. Bevens got back up, but not as quickly as in the first round.

In the third round, Gardner was all over Bevens. No matter where he moved, Gardner was pressing the attack and delivering blows. At 1:37 left in the third, referee Scobie stopped the fight feeling Bevens was about to go down again. The crowd did not appreciate it, and while I thought there was a good chance of it ending badly for him, you can’t discount the grit of a fighter like Bevens. He may have caught Gardner with a hook and changed the landscape of the fight, but we’ll never know. He’ll be back though. I’m sure of it.

The sixth fight of the night offered another boxing debut by an MMA fighter. Olympia’s Dennis “Superman” Hallman, having accumulated an impressive 53-15-2 record in the octagon, was ready to test his skills with the big gloves. The 180-pounder was matched-up against North Bend’s Frankie “the Battle Goat” Orr and the two fighters looked very mismatched to the naked eye. Hallman was muscle-bound and broad as a barn, while Orr was slighter of frame, but long. If there wasn’t a weigh-in, there’s no way I would have believed the two were even close to the same weight.

Hallman came out looking determined, but stiff, while Orr was much more fluid and easy on his feet. The Battle Goat was active and dominant throughout the four rounds and took home a unanimous decision that wasn’t much of a surprise to the spectators. It wasn’t a bad fight, but there weren’t many fireworks.

To close out the night it was time for Tacoma’s newest knockout artist. With four professional bouts and four knockouts, Cameron “The Freak” Sevilla-Rivera has been a machine in the ring. Standing in his way would be Spokane’s Dave “Insane” Courchaine at the 161-pound division.

While looking a bit overmatched, Courchaine put together an admirable effort against Sevilla-Rivera. There were several times throughout the four-rounder that it looked like Courchaine was starting to falter from strong blows from Sevilla-Rivera. However, he kept moving forward and stayed in the fight to the end. The crowd didn’t get the knockout they were gunning for but the kid from Tacoma got the unanimous decision to move to 5-0.

In the end, I edged Rocky and Derek by one pick, but four out of seven correct isn’t really too much to brag about. What a fun time it was and I’m still amazed that it took me 41 years to make these live boxing outings a regular event.

The next night of boxing at the Emerald Queen Casino will be Battle at the Boat 98 on Nov. 15. If you’re a fan of “the Sweet Science,” I highly recommend it. August 27, 2014 at 09:30AM

Out of my Element IV.I: Battle at the Boat 97 http://ift.tt/1pMyIv1

The boxing spotlight again cast its light upon Tacoma on Saturday, Aug. 23, as the Battle of the Boat series continued its long run at the Emerald Queen Casino. With hometown boys on the bill, a loud and raucous crowd was on hand for the seven-bout lineup of quality boxing, big hits and a few surprises.

As I sat ringside with Tacoma Weekly photographer Rocky Ross and everything-writer Derek Shuck, I knew I had once again surrounded myself with some gents that were ready to watch the fur fly. It was the first trip to see the fights for Derek, and Rocky has been doing it for years. We made our picks prior to the start, and I knew I was going to take home the win this time. Rocky edged me last time and I owed him some payback.

It was fight time and as usual, the guest emcee came out with the ring girls draped over his arms, smiling like a Cheshire cat. It was “The Partridge Family” and KZOK’s Danny Bonaduce, and while he really is a kick in the pants, the fight fans weren’t there to see him gab, and They were quite pleased when he made short work of his hello and welcome, and slipped back out of the ring.

In the first bout, Tenino’s Zach Marti, making his professional debut, would square off against Cole Milani of Klamath Falls, Oregon at the 161-pound division. Marti entered the ring to Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson’s “Good Hearted Woman.” I hadn’t picked Marti to win, but his awesome song selection was just too much for me and I had to root for him. 

In hindsight, this probably was the best fight of the night, and it was a bit of a shame that it set such a high bar for the rest of the bouts to follow.

From the opening bell, Marti was swinging from the cheap seats while Milani pounded his opponent with body shots throughout the four-rounder. First blood was drawn by Marti in the third round and it looked as though Milani was wearing down. However, when the start bell rang for the fourth, Milani came out looking fresh. With both fighters bleeding and the 10-second hammer just having clacked, Milani peppered Marti with several shots to the head, dropping his opponent violently to the mat. Referee Joel Scobie immediately saw that Marti was out-cold and ended the fight with just four seconds remaining.

Marti would remain in the ring for nearly 15 minutes as medical staff did their best to remind the confused fighter where he was and what had just caused him to take a little nap.

Due to an undisclosed family emergency, the late-addition main event was bumped down to the second slot, and the crowd witnessed a much more technical battle from 168-pounders Dashon Johnson and Louis “Unknown” Rose. For 10 rounds, the two put on a fine display of boxing prowess, but the fight lacked any fireworks and the two fighters looked relatively unscathed when Rose’s hand was raised for a unanimous decision victory.

Possibly the greatest part of the second bout was the referee. In my 41 years, I have never seen a man who more resembled Mark Twain. Derek and I had a good laugh about this unknown profession of Mr. Samuel Clemens.

For the third bout, it was Puyallup mixed-martial artist Taki Uluilakepa making his boxing debut against Jon Jackson from Fairbanks, Alaska. When Jackson entered the ring, Rocky mentioned that he “looks like he eats nails for breakfast.” While the south-paw Uluilakepa put up a spirited effort, it was clear that Jackson was the better boxer and walked away with a four-round unanimous decision.

We were at the midway point of the night and with three locals still remaining on the bill, I was hoping the action would pick up, and it did with the entrance of Jeremy McCleary from Buckley. From the sound of the EQC Ballroom, you would have thought the entire town of Buckley had showed up for the 4-0 undefeated 130-pounder.

Making his pro debut against McCleary would be Benny “Dirty” Vinson from Portland, Oregon. While the newcomer showed some skill and heart, he wasn’t even close to matching the surprising skills of the kid from Buckley. At one point Derek leaned over to me and commented, “Dirty’s showing some pluck.” It just wasn’t going to be enough though, as McCleary moved to 5-0 with a four-round unanimous decision.

It was now time for the fifth fight of the night. Derek seemed satisfied and comfortable having just finished his $5 EQC burger and it was back to business.

Tacoma’s Harrison Bevens has been a monster in the CageSport octagon, but more recently has also delivered knockouts in his first two boxing contests. His opponent at 161 pounds would be Darryl Gardner, who was recently stopped by Cameron Sevilla-Rivera at the Boat 96. Everyone was picking Bevens to win this fight.

Everyone that is, except for a driven and hard-charging Gardner.

Gardner was determined to set the pace of the fight from the get-go and Bevens was unable to turn the tide or compensate. Near the end of the first round, Gardner caught Bevens with an uppercut and hook combination that sent the crowd favorite briefly to the canvas. Bevens tried to assert himself more in the second round, but it was mostly Gardner having his way, as he would put Bevens on the ground again following a flurry of shots. Bevens got back up, but not as quickly as in the first round.

In the third round, Gardner was all over Bevens. No matter where he moved, Gardner was pressing the attack and delivering blows. At 1:37 left in the third, referee Scobie stopped the fight feeling Bevens was about to go down again. The crowd did not appreciate it, and while I thought there was a good chance of it ending badly for him, you can’t discount the grit of a fighter like Bevens. He may have caught Gardner with a hook and changed the landscape of the fight, but we’ll never know. He’ll be back though. I’m sure of it.

The sixth fight of the night offered another boxing debut by an MMA fighter. Olympia’s Dennis “Superman” Hallman, having accumulated an impressive 53-15-2 record in the octagon, was ready to test his skills with the big gloves. The 180-pounder was matched-up against North Bend’s Frankie “the Battle Goat” Orr and the two fighters looked very mismatched to the naked eye. Hallman was muscle-bound and broad as a barn, while Orr was slighter of frame, but long. If there wasn’t a weigh-in, there’s no way I would have believed the two were even close to the same weight.

Hallman came out looking determined, but stiff, while Orr was much more fluid and easy on his feet. The Battle Goat was active and dominant throughout the four rounds and took home a unanimous decision that wasn’t much of a surprise to the spectators. It wasn’t a bad fight, but there weren’t many fireworks.

To close out the night it was time for Tacoma’s newest knockout artist. With four professional bouts and four knockouts, Cameron “The Freak” Sevilla-Rivera has been a machine in the ring. Standing in his way would be Spokane’s Dave “Insane” Courchaine at the 161-pound division.

While looking a bit overmatched, Courchaine put together an admirable effort against Sevilla-Rivera. There were several times throughout the four-rounder that it looked like Courchaine was starting to falter from strong blows from Sevilla-Rivera. However, he kept moving forward and stayed in the fight to the end. The crowd didn’t get the knockout they were gunning for but the kid from Tacoma got the unanimous decision to move to 5-0.

In the end, I edged Rocky and Derek by one pick, but four out of seven correct isn’t really too much to brag about. What a fun time it was and I’m still amazed that it took me 41 years to make these live boxing outings a regular event.

The next night of boxing at the Emerald Queen Casino will be Battle at the Boat 98 on Nov. 15. If you’re a fan of “the Sweet Science,” I highly recommend it.

August 27, 2014 at 09:30AM

Local Restaurant: Chill out at Gibson’s Frozen Yogurt http://ift.tt/1pMyHY9 In 2011, when Jim Gibson was on a trip to California, he noticed the growing trend of frozen yogurt stores, a healthier alternative to ice cream that challenges customers to get creative in picking their flavors and topping for their dessert. 

With this in mind, Gibson and his wife, Judy Jones, opened two Gibson’s Frozen Yogurt locations in Tacoma, one at 8 N. Tacoma Ave. in the Stadium District and the other at 5916 N. 26th St. at Westgate.

“He loved going [to frozen yogurt locations] because they were positive and creative, just a fun thing to take the family to. It was very fun and he came home and said ‘we need one of these in Tacoma,’” Jones said.

Gibson and Jones quickly set up shop, but realized that they weren’t limited to just having frozen yogurt. So an espresso machine was brought in.

As summer transitions into the colder months, Gibson and Jones are banking on the coffee being a major draw, starting with Free Coffee Week on Sept. 7, offering 12 oz. cups of coffee with an invitation that can be picked up at the shops. The Westgate location even offers a drive through for caffeine or fro-yo fans on the go.

Gibson’s Yogurt specializes in unique toppings you may not be able to find at the big chains, like various brands of cereal and even bacon bits.

“It’s pretty much customer driven, well try it for awhile and if it goes we’ll keep it,” Jones said.

The customers are important not just in terms of bringing new flavors to the table but giving Gibson’s Frozen Yogurt its unique atmosphere.

“It’s our community support [that makes Gibson’s Yogurt unique]. It’s a community gathering place, something that’s at the heart of everything we do,” Jones said.

The family acknowledges this by giving back to the community. Whether it’s $5 fill ‘em Fridays or Thursday movie nights for families, there is always something going on at Gibson’s that breathes life into Tacoma.

Gibson’s Stadium location is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays, 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays. 

The Westgate location is open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6:30 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Both locations will close an hour earlier starting in September.

“It’s one of the only places you can go later in the evening that’s not alcohol related,” Jones said. “If someone’s not really interested in drinking they have other places to go.” August 27, 2014 at 09:29AM

Local Restaurant: Chill out at Gibson’s Frozen Yogurt http://ift.tt/1pMyHY9

In 2011, when Jim Gibson was on a trip to California, he noticed the growing trend of frozen yogurt stores, a healthier alternative to ice cream that challenges customers to get creative in picking their flavors and topping for their dessert.

With this in mind, Gibson and his wife, Judy Jones, opened two Gibson’s Frozen Yogurt locations in Tacoma, one at 8 N. Tacoma Ave. in the Stadium District and the other at 5916 N. 26th St. at Westgate.

“He loved going [to frozen yogurt locations] because they were positive and creative, just a fun thing to take the family to. It was very fun and he came home and said ‘we need one of these in Tacoma,’” Jones said.

Gibson and Jones quickly set up shop, but realized that they weren’t limited to just having frozen yogurt. So an espresso machine was brought in.

As summer transitions into the colder months, Gibson and Jones are banking on the coffee being a major draw, starting with Free Coffee Week on Sept. 7, offering 12 oz. cups of coffee with an invitation that can be picked up at the shops. The Westgate location even offers a drive through for caffeine or fro-yo fans on the go.

Gibson’s Yogurt specializes in unique toppings you may not be able to find at the big chains, like various brands of cereal and even bacon bits.

“It’s pretty much customer driven, well try it for awhile and if it goes we’ll keep it,” Jones said.

The customers are important not just in terms of bringing new flavors to the table but giving Gibson’s Frozen Yogurt its unique atmosphere.

“It’s our community support [that makes Gibson’s Yogurt unique]. It’s a community gathering place, something that’s at the heart of everything we do,” Jones said.

The family acknowledges this by giving back to the community. Whether it’s $5 fill ‘em Fridays or Thursday movie nights for families, there is always something going on at Gibson’s that breathes life into Tacoma.

Gibson’s Stadium location is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays, 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays.

The Westgate location is open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6:30 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Both locations will close an hour earlier starting in September.

“It’s one of the only places you can go later in the evening that’s not alcohol related,” Jones said. “If someone’s not really interested in drinking they have other places to go.”

August 27, 2014 at 09:29AM

Police hunt for dangerous car thief http://ift.tt/1pMyHaq Anybody who has ever had a vehicle stolen knows the sinking feeling you get when you walk outside and your car is gone. First comes shock, then anger. 

Nicholas Broughton has left victims feeling that way from Tacoma to University Place and Auburn to West Seattle, according to the Major Crimes Task Force. He’s listed as a violent offender and has a $50,000 felony warrant for stolen vehicles and identity theft. 

What’s even more concerning is that detectives say he was seen recently with a handgun and was extremely paranoid and high on meth. That’s a dangerous combination, and police want to get him into custody before someone gets hurt. 

Broughton is 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighs 165 pounds. If you can tell the task force where to find him, call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-TIPS. All calls are anonymous and there is a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to his arrest. Broughton is one of the fugitives being featured this Friday night on Washington’s Most Wanted at 9:30 p.m. on JOE TV and a new time slot of 11 p.m. on Q13 FOX. August 27, 2014 at 09:25AM

Police hunt for dangerous car thief http://ift.tt/1pMyHaq

Anybody who has ever had a vehicle stolen knows the sinking feeling you get when you walk outside and your car is gone. First comes shock, then anger.

Nicholas Broughton has left victims feeling that way from Tacoma to University Place and Auburn to West Seattle, according to the Major Crimes Task Force. He’s listed as a violent offender and has a $50,000 felony warrant for stolen vehicles and identity theft.

What’s even more concerning is that detectives say he was seen recently with a handgun and was extremely paranoid and high on meth. That’s a dangerous combination, and police want to get him into custody before someone gets hurt.

Broughton is 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighs 165 pounds. If you can tell the task force where to find him, call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-TIPS. All calls are anonymous and there is a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to his arrest. Broughton is one of the fugitives being featured this Friday night on Washington’s Most Wanted at 9:30 p.m. on JOE TV and a new time slot of 11 p.m. on Q13 FOX.

August 27, 2014 at 09:25AM

Make a Scene: Storm Large in concert http://ift.tt/1pMyFzm Portland cabaret singer Storm Large (real name) has the reputation of being a potty mouth. Maybe it’s that set staple she sings about having an impossibly large vagina. Or maybe it’s her penchant for pushing buttons with her racy onstage banter. 

Large recalled a few R-rated performances at Tacoma’s Jazzbones, a club she once headlined regularly. “I used to be as offensive as I could at those shows ‘cause it’s a military town,” she said, alluding to a particularly graphic bit she did about Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld expressing forbidden love at the Watergate Hotel. 

“My piano player, James, says, ‘You keep going until someone leaves,’” she said. “It was just sort of a game for us in some places that had a slightly more conservative edge to them. I got two people to leave, and James was very pleased.” 

Laughing she added, “We don’t do that anymore.”

Fans will see a kinder, gentler Storm Large when the amazonian bombshell headlines Broadway Center’s Theatre on the Square on Sept. 4. Well, maybe not too much gentler. But a lot has changed since she and her old band, the Balls, last appeared locally. 

For starters, she now performs with popular Portland chamber pop group Pink Martini, circumstances set in motion after her friend China Forbes, the band’s lead singer, had to have surgery on her vocal chords in 2011. 

“They had four sold-out shows at the Kennedy Center in less than a week, and so they’re panicking,” she said. Bandleader Thomas Lauderdale gave her the hard sell, insisting that she fill in. “When I finally said yes, I learned 10 songs in five different languages in four days. I was sleeping every night with ear buds, with the songs. It was so scary.”

She continued to fill in as Forbes recuperated. “It was a rough year. I was on the road probably 250 days and just broken – exhausted. It was a unique and interesting situation, but it turned out really great.”

Forbes has been back with Pink Martini for a while, and appeared with the group at Tacoma’s Pantages Theater in April. But Large continues to perform with the group, a gig that has opened a few doors. With the Balls, she was known as a punk-rock torch singer; but these days it’s not unusual to see her performing selections from the Great American Songbook with the Oregon Symphony. 

“All of a sudden symphonies are like, ‘Oh, you don’t have Tourette’s,’” she joked. “People will come, and they’ve been hearing about me for years, but they have kids so they can’t always go out when they want to. Suddenly, the front row is full of moms with 5- to 10-year-olds.”

In the face of such shifting demographics she’s learned to be more subversive with her humor. “I’m still the same mouthy and opinionated woman I’ve ever been,” she said. “But I have found that if I can swing it properly, I can avoid swearing and be just as provocative and incendiary.”

Her old-school fans shouldn’t be too worried about her toning down the f-bombs. She still does the song about her lady parts. 

“We do ‘Eight Miles Wide,’” she said. “Any mother in the house wants to hear that song so bad, and a lot of grandmas. I sometimes adjust lyrics in songs if it’s just too harsh. But ‘Eight Miles Wide’ is kind of a staple. I don’t consider that a dirty song.”

On Sept. 4, Large will be showcasing her new band and performing songs from her new covers album, both called “Le Bonheur.” That’s French for “the happiness.” Get your mind out of the gutter. Expect campy interpretations of material by Black Sabbath, Bad Brains, Lou Reed and more. 

“I believe it’s a better sounding album than I’ve ever made,” she said. “It’s awesome. I’m really excited about it. You’re gonna hear what you would normally hear at the symphony with me, plus a couple of Balls favorites re-imagined.”

On a more serious note, Large spoke to Tacoma Weekly the day after she and her Pink Martini bandmates learned that recently departed drummer Derek Rieth had committed suicide. Though she spoke candidly about the tragedy, she requested her comments remain off the record. The story has since been widely reported, and Pink Martini issued the following statement:  

"Derek was a beloved son, brother, friend and colleague whose beautiful heart and passion for music touched thousands of lives. He will be deeply missed. A private memorial service for friends and family is planned for early September. Public tributes will be ongoing, and the family has also announced the creation of the Derek Rieth Foundation, to provide musical instruments and music education to underprivileged young people. Donations to the Derek Rieth Foundation can be sent care of Pink Martini." 


  
    Storm Large in concert
  



  7:30 p.m. Sept. 4



  Theatre on the Square, 901 Broadway



  Tickets are $18 to $48



  Call (253) 591-5894 or visit http://ift.tt/176wDzM for further details
 August 27, 2014 at 09:18AM

Make a Scene: Storm Large in concert http://ift.tt/1pMyFzm

Portland cabaret singer Storm Large (real name) has the reputation of being a potty mouth. Maybe it’s that set staple she sings about having an impossibly large vagina. Or maybe it’s her penchant for pushing buttons with her racy onstage banter.

Large recalled a few R-rated performances at Tacoma’s Jazzbones, a club she once headlined regularly. “I used to be as offensive as I could at those shows ‘cause it’s a military town,” she said, alluding to a particularly graphic bit she did about Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld expressing forbidden love at the Watergate Hotel.

“My piano player, James, says, ‘You keep going until someone leaves,’” she said. “It was just sort of a game for us in some places that had a slightly more conservative edge to them. I got two people to leave, and James was very pleased.”

Laughing she added, “We don’t do that anymore.”

Fans will see a kinder, gentler Storm Large when the amazonian bombshell headlines Broadway Center’s Theatre on the Square on Sept. 4. Well, maybe not too much gentler. But a lot has changed since she and her old band, the Balls, last appeared locally.

For starters, she now performs with popular Portland chamber pop group Pink Martini, circumstances set in motion after her friend China Forbes, the band’s lead singer, had to have surgery on her vocal chords in 2011.

“They had four sold-out shows at the Kennedy Center in less than a week, and so they’re panicking,” she said. Bandleader Thomas Lauderdale gave her the hard sell, insisting that she fill in. “When I finally said yes, I learned 10 songs in five different languages in four days. I was sleeping every night with ear buds, with the songs. It was so scary.”

She continued to fill in as Forbes recuperated. “It was a rough year. I was on the road probably 250 days and just broken – exhausted. It was a unique and interesting situation, but it turned out really great.”

Forbes has been back with Pink Martini for a while, and appeared with the group at Tacoma’s Pantages Theater in April. But Large continues to perform with the group, a gig that has opened a few doors. With the Balls, she was known as a punk-rock torch singer; but these days it’s not unusual to see her performing selections from the Great American Songbook with the Oregon Symphony.

“All of a sudden symphonies are like, ‘Oh, you don’t have Tourette’s,’” she joked. “People will come, and they’ve been hearing about me for years, but they have kids so they can’t always go out when they want to. Suddenly, the front row is full of moms with 5- to 10-year-olds.”

In the face of such shifting demographics she’s learned to be more subversive with her humor. “I’m still the same mouthy and opinionated woman I’ve ever been,” she said. “But I have found that if I can swing it properly, I can avoid swearing and be just as provocative and incendiary.”

Her old-school fans shouldn’t be too worried about her toning down the f-bombs. She still does the song about her lady parts.

“We do ‘Eight Miles Wide,’” she said. “Any mother in the house wants to hear that song so bad, and a lot of grandmas. I sometimes adjust lyrics in songs if it’s just too harsh. But ‘Eight Miles Wide’ is kind of a staple. I don’t consider that a dirty song.”

On Sept. 4, Large will be showcasing her new band and performing songs from her new covers album, both called “Le Bonheur.” That’s French for “the happiness.” Get your mind out of the gutter. Expect campy interpretations of material by Black Sabbath, Bad Brains, Lou Reed and more.

“I believe it’s a better sounding album than I’ve ever made,” she said. “It’s awesome. I’m really excited about it. You’re gonna hear what you would normally hear at the symphony with me, plus a couple of Balls favorites re-imagined.”

On a more serious note, Large spoke to Tacoma Weekly the day after she and her Pink Martini bandmates learned that recently departed drummer Derek Rieth had committed suicide. Though she spoke candidly about the tragedy, she requested her comments remain off the record. The story has since been widely reported, and Pink Martini issued the following statement: 

"Derek was a beloved son, brother, friend and colleague whose beautiful heart and passion for music touched thousands of lives. He will be deeply missed. A private memorial service for friends and family is planned for early September. Public tributes will be ongoing, and the family has also announced the creation of the Derek Rieth Foundation, to provide musical instruments and music education to underprivileged young people. Donations to the Derek Rieth Foundation can be sent care of Pink Martini."

Storm Large in concert

7:30 p.m. Sept. 4

Theatre on the Square, 901 Broadway

Tickets are $18 to $48

Call (253) 591-5894 or visit http://ift.tt/176wDzM for further details

August 27, 2014 at 09:18AM