Make a scene: Mirrorgloss’ raucous dance jams have unexpected roots http://ift.tt/1nJEEl9 The catalyst for Tacoma’s newest buzz band, Mirrorgloss, is the late singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley. That might come as some surprise to dozens of hipsters who shook their culos to the trio’s soulful but stripped down grooves last weekend at the Half Pint on Sixth Avenue. 

Guitarist, keyboard player and drum programmer Danny Kenny distills the sound that he and band mates Najamoniq Todd and Del Brown will next replicate on May 3 at the New Frontier Lounge down to “a combination of Earth Wind & Fire and Gary Numan.” But Buckley – known, in contrast, for affecting, melodic rock tunes like “Grace” and “Lover, You Should Have Come Over” - has always been a presence. 

“Jeff Buckley pretty much plays full circle in this band, starting with our friendship,” Brown said, recalling how she first spotted her “bestie,” Todd, on a mutual friend’s MySpace page. “I saw her face and I knew, from the moment I looked at her smile, she was gonna be my best friend,” she said. “And I saw she liked Jeff Buckley.” 

Their obsession with music fueled their next decade as two of Tacoma’s most notorious scenesters, from promoting metal shows and DJ-ing dance nights at the New Frontier and Magoo’s Annex to sneaking backstage to meet Queens of the Stone Age at KeyArena.

“When we met, we attacked the scene together,” Todd recalled. “She’s lively and fun and crazy, and she makes me do crazy stuff.”

“And she’s the funniest girl I’ve ever met,” Brown added. “We play really well off of each other.” 

Both had jammed with local bands, and it seemed inevitable they would form their own. Things started heading in that direction in 2012 thanks to Kenny. His Los Angeles-based outfit, Fat Branch, had flirted with stardom in the early ’90s, but he’d been largely inactive for years. So he was itching for a new project. 

Nate Kirby, the front man for defunct outlaw country band Ten Miles of Bad Road, introduced him to Todd, and the first incarnation of Mirrorgloss was born, originally as a quartet with Nightgowns drummer B.J. Roberts. 

Granted, their initial attempts at making music flopped. “I was being as diplomatic as possible, so I just said it wasn’t working for me,” Kenny said. And it was up to Jeff Buckley to kindle yet another partnership. 

Todd phoned Kenny to see if he’d take part in a tribute night she was putting together to commemorate Buckley at the New Frontier, in December 2012. “I really wanted to pay homage to a musician that meant so much in my life and in her life,” Todd said. “But I definitely had ulterior motives,” she added, laughing. 

She, Brown and Roberts already knew they had musical chemistry and saw Kenny as their missing ingredient. The second time was a charm; not only was the tribute night successful, but their practice sessions yielded “Late Night Sweat,” a dance jam that was a template for the Mirrorgloss sound. (Its title also briefly served as the new band’s name.) 

At this point, Mirrorgloss has put together a 10-song set that’s sure to appeal to fans of such indie-dance acts as the Gossip, Santogold and !!!. Brown and Todd sing with gusto and Kenny provides funky musical backing, with drum loops filling in for the departed Roberts.

“It doesn’t sound like anything else,” Todd said of her band’s place in the local scene. “Sometimes it’s hard because you just have to be confident in the fact that you believe in what you’re doing. We don’t have anybody co-signing with us. If you’re in a metal band, you can say you have 28 other bands co-signing what you’re doing.”

The May 3 show at the New Frontier is a release party for the band’s inaugural E.P., “Parking Lot,” which was produced by Tacoma electronic musician Eliot Lipp, a guy who has gained some notoriety on the national electronic dance music scene. 

“The fact that somebody with that much clout would actually back what we are doing right now, and so early on, is really telling,” Brown said. “I believe we’re on the right path. I think that this is clearly what we should be doing right now.” 

The new E.P. Will feature three songs, “Parking Lot (Meet Me There),” “Skin Talk” and “Sense and Insanity.” At press time, band members thought the disc might also include a remix by Tacoma producer Eddie Sumlin. 

Playing with Mirrorgloss are Wheelies, the Tacoma indie-rock band that is celebrating the release of its own new album, “Never Die” (available online at http://ift.tt/1nJEJVL) and Seattle’s NighTrain, a quartet that adorns the cover of City Arts Magazine’s “best new music issue.” Music will start after 9 p.m., and cover is $5; http://ift.tt/I3eYRA. April 23, 2014 at 10:19AM

Make a scene: Mirrorgloss’ raucous dance jams have unexpected roots http://ift.tt/1nJEEl9

The catalyst for Tacoma’s newest buzz band, Mirrorgloss, is the late singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley. That might come as some surprise to dozens of hipsters who shook their culos to the trio’s soulful but stripped down grooves last weekend at the Half Pint on Sixth Avenue.

Guitarist, keyboard player and drum programmer Danny Kenny distills the sound that he and band mates Najamoniq Todd and Del Brown will next replicate on May 3 at the New Frontier Lounge down to “a combination of Earth Wind & Fire and Gary Numan.” But Buckley – known, in contrast, for affecting, melodic rock tunes like “Grace” and “Lover, You Should Have Come Over” - has always been a presence.

“Jeff Buckley pretty much plays full circle in this band, starting with our friendship,” Brown said, recalling how she first spotted her “bestie,” Todd, on a mutual friend’s MySpace page. “I saw her face and I knew, from the moment I looked at her smile, she was gonna be my best friend,” she said. “And I saw she liked Jeff Buckley.”

Their obsession with music fueled their next decade as two of Tacoma’s most notorious scenesters, from promoting metal shows and DJ-ing dance nights at the New Frontier and Magoo’s Annex to sneaking backstage to meet Queens of the Stone Age at KeyArena.

“When we met, we attacked the scene together,” Todd recalled. “She’s lively and fun and crazy, and she makes me do crazy stuff.”

“And she’s the funniest girl I’ve ever met,” Brown added. “We play really well off of each other.”

Both had jammed with local bands, and it seemed inevitable they would form their own. Things started heading in that direction in 2012 thanks to Kenny. His Los Angeles-based outfit, Fat Branch, had flirted with stardom in the early ’90s, but he’d been largely inactive for years. So he was itching for a new project.

Nate Kirby, the front man for defunct outlaw country band Ten Miles of Bad Road, introduced him to Todd, and the first incarnation of Mirrorgloss was born, originally as a quartet with Nightgowns drummer B.J. Roberts.

Granted, their initial attempts at making music flopped. “I was being as diplomatic as possible, so I just said it wasn’t working for me,” Kenny said. And it was up to Jeff Buckley to kindle yet another partnership.

Todd phoned Kenny to see if he’d take part in a tribute night she was putting together to commemorate Buckley at the New Frontier, in December 2012. “I really wanted to pay homage to a musician that meant so much in my life and in her life,” Todd said. “But I definitely had ulterior motives,” she added, laughing.

She, Brown and Roberts already knew they had musical chemistry and saw Kenny as their missing ingredient. The second time was a charm; not only was the tribute night successful, but their practice sessions yielded “Late Night Sweat,” a dance jam that was a template for the Mirrorgloss sound. (Its title also briefly served as the new band’s name.)

At this point, Mirrorgloss has put together a 10-song set that’s sure to appeal to fans of such indie-dance acts as the Gossip, Santogold and !!!. Brown and Todd sing with gusto and Kenny provides funky musical backing, with drum loops filling in for the departed Roberts.

“It doesn’t sound like anything else,” Todd said of her band’s place in the local scene. “Sometimes it’s hard because you just have to be confident in the fact that you believe in what you’re doing. We don’t have anybody co-signing with us. If you’re in a metal band, you can say you have 28 other bands co-signing what you’re doing.”

The May 3 show at the New Frontier is a release party for the band’s inaugural E.P., “Parking Lot,” which was produced by Tacoma electronic musician Eliot Lipp, a guy who has gained some notoriety on the national electronic dance music scene.

“The fact that somebody with that much clout would actually back what we are doing right now, and so early on, is really telling,” Brown said. “I believe we’re on the right path. I think that this is clearly what we should be doing right now.”

The new E.P. Will feature three songs, “Parking Lot (Meet Me There),” “Skin Talk” and “Sense and Insanity.” At press time, band members thought the disc might also include a remix by Tacoma producer Eddie Sumlin.

Playing with Mirrorgloss are Wheelies, the Tacoma indie-rock band that is celebrating the release of its own new album, “Never Die” (available online at http://ift.tt/1nJEJVL) and Seattle’s NighTrain, a quartet that adorns the cover of City Arts Magazine’s “best new music issue.” Music will start after 9 p.m., and cover is $5; http://ift.tt/I3eYRA.

April 23, 2014 at 10:19AM

Nightlife http://ift.tt/1hqaJ0e Friday, April 25

MAXWELL’S: Lance Buller Trio (jazz) 7 p.m., NC 

B SHARP COFFEE: Malibu Manouche with Peter Pentras and Neil Andersson (Gypsy jazz) 8 p.m., NC, AA

GREAT AMERICAN CASINO: Nite Crew (dance) 9 p.m., NC 

GRIT CITY COMEDY: Alvin Williams (comedy) 8:30 p.m., $15

JAZZBONES: New Kingston, Through the Roots, The Steppas (reggae) 8 p.m., $10

PANTAGES: The Spencers’ Theatre of Illusion (magic) 7:30 p.m., $22-$52, AA

STONEGATE: Rob Rideout Trio (rock) 9 p.m., NC 

THE SWISS: Kry (rock covers) 9 p.m., $5-$10

TACOMA COMEDY: Joe Koy (comedy) 7:30, 10:30 p.m., sold out 

UNCLE SAM’S: Dirge Era, Sick Either Way, Kranial Saw (metal) 8 p.m.

UNCLE THURM’S: Kareem Kandi Band (jazz) 7:30 p.m., NC

Saturday, April 26

EMERALD QUEEN: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo (rock) 8:30 p.m., $35-$80

B SHARP COFFEE: Champagne Sunday (rock, folk, pop) 8 p.m., NC, AA 

DOYLE’S: Polecat (Americana, Celtic, world) 9 p.m., NC 

GIG SPOT: Resisting Ordinary, Destination Unknown (rock) 8 p.m., $8, AA

GREAT AMERICAN CASINO: Nite Crew (dance) 9 p.m., NC 

GRIT CITY COMEDY: Alvin Williams (comedy) 8:30, 10:30 p.m., $15

JAZZBONES: Fortunate Youth, Los Rakas, The Approach, True Press (reggae) 8 p.m., $10

NEW FRONTIER: Mos Generator, Ancient Warlocks (stoner metal) 9 p.m., $%

PANTAGES: “Hair” (musical) 3, 7:30 p.m., $46-$69, AA

THE SPAR: High and Lonesome Bluegrass Band, 8 p.m., NC 

THE SWISS: The Hipsters (rock covers) 9 p.m., $5-$10

STONEGATE: Rob Rideout Trio (rock) 9 p.m., NC 

TACOMA COMEDY: Joe Koy (comedy) 7:30, 10:30 p.m., sold out 

UNCLE SAM’S: Hambone Blues Band, 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 27

THE SPAR: Little Bill & The Bluenotes (blues, jazz) 7 p.m., NC 

ANNIE WRIGHT: “Voices of Africa” featuring William Chapman Nyaho, Ruth Maria Balance and Svend Rolling and Jared Balance (African compositions) 4 p.m., $10-$27, NC 18 and under, AA

DAWSON’S: Tim Hall Band (open jam) 8 p.m., NC

NEW FRONTIER: 40 Grit (bluegrass jam) 4 p.m., NC

TACOMA COMEDY: Joe Koy (comedy) 5, 8 p.m., $30

UPS – SCHNEEBECK HALL: Tacoma Symphony Orchestra presents “The Wacky, Wild World of Percussion,” 2:30 p.m., $7-$10, AA

Monday, April 28

THE SWISS: Junkyard Jane 21st anniversary party (blues) 8 p.m., NC 

B SHARP COFFEE: Creative Colloquy (spoken word) 7 p.m., NC, AA

JAZZBONES: Rockaroke (live band karaoke) 11 p.m., NC

NEW FRONTIER: Jazz & Beyond (open jam) 7 p.m., NC

STONEGATE: Rafael Tranquilino, Brooke Lizotte (experimental jam) 9 p.m., NC

Tuesday, April 29

DAVE’S OF MILTON: Jerry Miller (blues, rock)

ANTIQUE SANDWICH CO.: Open mic, 6:30 p.m., $3, AA

JAZZBONES: Ralph Porter hosts Ha Ha Tuesday (comedy) 8:30 p.m., $5

STONEGATE: Leanne Trevalyan (acoustic open mic) 8 p.m., NC

Wednesday, April 30

TOWER BAR & GRILL: Michelle Beaudry (jazz guitar) 4:30 p.m.

DAVE’S OF MILTON: The Rubber Band (jam night) 8 p.m., NC

TACOMA COMEDY: Comedy open mic, 8 p.m., NC, 18+

STONEGATE: Dave Nichols’ Hump Day Jam, 8:30 p.m., NC

Thursday, May 1

DAWSON’S: Billy Shew Band (open jam) 8 p.m., NC

GRIT CITY COMEDY: Comedy open mic, 8:30 p.m., NC

TACOMA COMEDY: Vince Morris (comedy) 8 p.m., $10, 18+

UNCLE SAM’S: Jerry Miller (blues, rock) 7 p.m., NC

UNCLE THURM’S: Reggae Night with DJ Mark Cecil, 8 p.m., NC April 22, 2014 at 10:30AM

Nightlife http://ift.tt/1hqaJ0e

Friday, April 25

MAXWELL’S: Lance Buller Trio (jazz) 7 p.m., NC

B SHARP COFFEE: Malibu Manouche with Peter Pentras and Neil Andersson (Gypsy jazz) 8 p.m., NC, AA

GREAT AMERICAN CASINO: Nite Crew (dance) 9 p.m., NC

GRIT CITY COMEDY: Alvin Williams (comedy) 8:30 p.m., $15

JAZZBONES: New Kingston, Through the Roots, The Steppas (reggae) 8 p.m., $10

PANTAGES: The Spencers’ Theatre of Illusion (magic) 7:30 p.m., $22-$52, AA

STONEGATE: Rob Rideout Trio (rock) 9 p.m., NC

THE SWISS: Kry (rock covers) 9 p.m., $5-$10

TACOMA COMEDY: Joe Koy (comedy) 7:30, 10:30 p.m., sold out

UNCLE SAM’S: Dirge Era, Sick Either Way, Kranial Saw (metal) 8 p.m.

UNCLE THURM’S: Kareem Kandi Band (jazz) 7:30 p.m., NC

Saturday, April 26

EMERALD QUEEN: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo (rock) 8:30 p.m., $35-$80

B SHARP COFFEE: Champagne Sunday (rock, folk, pop) 8 p.m., NC, AA

DOYLE’S: Polecat (Americana, Celtic, world) 9 p.m., NC

GIG SPOT: Resisting Ordinary, Destination Unknown (rock) 8 p.m., $8, AA

GREAT AMERICAN CASINO: Nite Crew (dance) 9 p.m., NC

GRIT CITY COMEDY: Alvin Williams (comedy) 8:30, 10:30 p.m., $15

JAZZBONES: Fortunate Youth, Los Rakas, The Approach, True Press (reggae) 8 p.m., $10

NEW FRONTIER: Mos Generator, Ancient Warlocks (stoner metal) 9 p.m., $%

PANTAGES: “Hair” (musical) 3, 7:30 p.m., $46-$69, AA

THE SPAR: High and Lonesome Bluegrass Band, 8 p.m., NC

THE SWISS: The Hipsters (rock covers) 9 p.m., $5-$10

STONEGATE: Rob Rideout Trio (rock) 9 p.m., NC

TACOMA COMEDY: Joe Koy (comedy) 7:30, 10:30 p.m., sold out

UNCLE SAM’S: Hambone Blues Band, 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 27

THE SPAR: Little Bill & The Bluenotes (blues, jazz) 7 p.m., NC

ANNIE WRIGHT: “Voices of Africa” featuring William Chapman Nyaho, Ruth Maria Balance and Svend Rolling and Jared Balance (African compositions) 4 p.m., $10-$27, NC 18 and under, AA

DAWSON’S: Tim Hall Band (open jam) 8 p.m., NC

NEW FRONTIER: 40 Grit (bluegrass jam) 4 p.m., NC

TACOMA COMEDY: Joe Koy (comedy) 5, 8 p.m., $30

UPS – SCHNEEBECK HALL: Tacoma Symphony Orchestra presents “The Wacky, Wild World of Percussion,” 2:30 p.m., $7-$10, AA

Monday, April 28

THE SWISS: Junkyard Jane 21st anniversary party (blues) 8 p.m., NC

B SHARP COFFEE: Creative Colloquy (spoken word) 7 p.m., NC, AA

JAZZBONES: Rockaroke (live band karaoke) 11 p.m., NC

NEW FRONTIER: Jazz & Beyond (open jam) 7 p.m., NC

STONEGATE: Rafael Tranquilino, Brooke Lizotte (experimental jam) 9 p.m., NC

Tuesday, April 29

DAVE’S OF MILTON: Jerry Miller (blues, rock)

ANTIQUE SANDWICH CO.: Open mic, 6:30 p.m., $3, AA

JAZZBONES: Ralph Porter hosts Ha Ha Tuesday (comedy) 8:30 p.m., $5

STONEGATE: Leanne Trevalyan (acoustic open mic) 8 p.m., NC

Wednesday, April 30

TOWER BAR & GRILL: Michelle Beaudry (jazz guitar) 4:30 p.m.

DAVE’S OF MILTON: The Rubber Band (jam night) 8 p.m., NC

TACOMA COMEDY: Comedy open mic, 8 p.m., NC, 18+

STONEGATE: Dave Nichols’ Hump Day Jam, 8:30 p.m., NC

Thursday, May 1

DAWSON’S: Billy Shew Band (open jam) 8 p.m., NC

GRIT CITY COMEDY: Comedy open mic, 8:30 p.m., NC

TACOMA COMEDY: Vince Morris (comedy) 8 p.m., $10, 18+

UNCLE SAM’S: Jerry Miller (blues, rock) 7 p.m., NC

UNCLE THURM’S: Reggae Night with DJ Mark Cecil, 8 p.m., NC

April 22, 2014 at 10:30AM

PUYALLUP NATION KINGS GEARED-UP FOR STRONG SECOND SEASON http://ift.tt/QIEjnD When a second year franchise kicks off the preseason against the reigning semi-professional Pacific Football League champions, it is an understandable expectation that the growing pains of a young squad might continue for a while.

This Puyallup Nation Kings team has made other plans.

Upon arriving at Lummi Stadium for their preseason opener against the Bellingham Bulldogs, the Puyallup Nation Kings made it immediately clear that they were not going to be a flash-in-the-pan organization. With a bigger team, a new coaching staff, new-look uniforms and a desire to start pounding on someone other than their own teammates in practice, Puyallup asserted itself from the opening whistle and controlled the game throughout on their way to an eye-opening 47-36 victory.

Last summer, the Kings fell one game shy of reaching the Washington State Football Alliance championship game in a tight 8-0 loss to the Renton Ravens. Sometimes those types of losses can haunt a team the following season.

That’s not in the Kings’ plans.

The brand-new franchise was starting to get good then; this team is an entirely new story.

As the inaugural season dawned in the spring of 2013, over 40 players arrived at the Kings’ tryouts gunning for a spot on the roster. Fast-forward to 2014 and the number hit 98 this spring. Instead of trying to fill out a full squad, the team is having to make cuts to get the team to the maximum of 55 players.

The Kings needed an interim head coach to finish out the season last year. This year co-owner and defensive tackle Ty Satiacum went searching and hired a known and respected leader in head coach Aaron Rambo and the coach, in-turn, has put together a staff that rivals many small colleges in the state.

“We needed to land a good, solid coach that knew the game and would bring a strong structure and a coaching staff,” said Satiacum. “It takes a lot of people to run a successful organization and we’re making that move. We’ve built on what we did right the first season and now we’ve brought in coach Aaron Rambo and he brought in his coaching staff. The new structure and organization has already made a big difference this year.”

Last year one of the biggest problems facing the Kings was not having enough players show up to practice to run full 11-on-11 drills and scrimmages. This season the coaching staff has added a new incentive by reopening the competition for roster spots to players who almost made the cut. Since the final roster of 55 is still nearly two months away, it has kicked several players into gear seeing that other players just might take away their roster spot by showing up for practices while they missed some.

With the new roster approach in place, the team has been running full practices consistently now and are betting the move is going to pay off with a better team, a closer team and a work ethic that meets or rivals other franchises in their league.

Accountability is bringing this team closer together and the preseason has just begun.

There are currently 10 Native American players on the Kings including six from the Puyallup Nation. One of the remarkable aspects of the franchise is its dedication to its People. Unlike other teams, the Kings offer a roster spot to any Native American football player who wants to compete, so long as he is dedicated and shows up consistently to practices and games.

After the Kings played their inter-squad Green and Black game in March, the team held a dinner for the players and their families to bring them closer and to inform them of the team’s Native roots.

“We brought in a Tribal Elder to talk to the team about why we wear a salmon on our helmet, because a lot of these guys on our team aren’t Native, so they don’t know the story behind the King Salmon and why we’re the Salmon People and what we represent when we’re playing for the Kings,” Satiacum said. “We’re not just some other minor league or semi-pro team that’s trying to fight everybody after the game.

“We’re trying to start something different here and be a good positive role model for our youth. We’re trying to be a pro organization that helps get our players to the next level and helps them accomplish whatever their goals are. It was important for all of the guys to understand who they were playing for.”

The Puyallup Nation Kings play all home games at the beautiful, new Chief Leschi Stadium and will host the visiting Roseburg Rampage on Saturday May 3 at 6 p.m. April 23, 2014 at 02:30PM

PUYALLUP NATION KINGS GEARED-UP FOR STRONG SECOND SEASON http://ift.tt/QIEjnD

When a second year franchise kicks off the preseason against the reigning semi-professional Pacific Football League champions, it is an understandable expectation that the growing pains of a young squad might continue for a while.

This Puyallup Nation Kings team has made other plans.

Upon arriving at Lummi Stadium for their preseason opener against the Bellingham Bulldogs, the Puyallup Nation Kings made it immediately clear that they were not going to be a flash-in-the-pan organization. With a bigger team, a new coaching staff, new-look uniforms and a desire to start pounding on someone other than their own teammates in practice, Puyallup asserted itself from the opening whistle and controlled the game throughout on their way to an eye-opening 47-36 victory.

Last summer, the Kings fell one game shy of reaching the Washington State Football Alliance championship game in a tight 8-0 loss to the Renton Ravens. Sometimes those types of losses can haunt a team the following season.

That’s not in the Kings’ plans.

The brand-new franchise was starting to get good then; this team is an entirely new story.

As the inaugural season dawned in the spring of 2013, over 40 players arrived at the Kings’ tryouts gunning for a spot on the roster. Fast-forward to 2014 and the number hit 98 this spring. Instead of trying to fill out a full squad, the team is having to make cuts to get the team to the maximum of 55 players.

The Kings needed an interim head coach to finish out the season last year. This year co-owner and defensive tackle Ty Satiacum went searching and hired a known and respected leader in head coach Aaron Rambo and the coach, in-turn, has put together a staff that rivals many small colleges in the state.

“We needed to land a good, solid coach that knew the game and would bring a strong structure and a coaching staff,” said Satiacum. “It takes a lot of people to run a successful organization and we’re making that move. We’ve built on what we did right the first season and now we’ve brought in coach Aaron Rambo and he brought in his coaching staff. The new structure and organization has already made a big difference this year.”

Last year one of the biggest problems facing the Kings was not having enough players show up to practice to run full 11-on-11 drills and scrimmages. This season the coaching staff has added a new incentive by reopening the competition for roster spots to players who almost made the cut. Since the final roster of 55 is still nearly two months away, it has kicked several players into gear seeing that other players just might take away their roster spot by showing up for practices while they missed some.

With the new roster approach in place, the team has been running full practices consistently now and are betting the move is going to pay off with a better team, a closer team and a work ethic that meets or rivals other franchises in their league.

Accountability is bringing this team closer together and the preseason has just begun.

There are currently 10 Native American players on the Kings including six from the Puyallup Nation. One of the remarkable aspects of the franchise is its dedication to its People. Unlike other teams, the Kings offer a roster spot to any Native American football player who wants to compete, so long as he is dedicated and shows up consistently to practices and games.

After the Kings played their inter-squad Green and Black game in March, the team held a dinner for the players and their families to bring them closer and to inform them of the team’s Native roots.

“We brought in a Tribal Elder to talk to the team about why we wear a salmon on our helmet, because a lot of these guys on our team aren’t Native, so they don’t know the story behind the King Salmon and why we’re the Salmon People and what we represent when we’re playing for the Kings,” Satiacum said. “We’re not just some other minor league or semi-pro team that’s trying to fight everybody after the game.

“We’re trying to start something different here and be a good positive role model for our youth. We’re trying to be a pro organization that helps get our players to the next level and helps them accomplish whatever their goals are. It was important for all of the guys to understand who they were playing for.”

The Puyallup Nation Kings play all home games at the beautiful, new Chief Leschi Stadium and will host the visiting Roseburg Rampage on Saturday May 3 at 6 p.m.

April 23, 2014 at 02:30PM

Tacoma Wayzgoose Festival http://ift.tt/QIEkrC The democratization of media is one of the wonders of this modern age in which we live. Anyone with a computer can produce arrangements of the written word. All manner of fanciful fonts are readily available. With the click of a mouse these digital productions can be jetted onto crisp, clean sheets of paper. Wonderful though this digital process is, it lacks the soulfulness of something made by human hands.

It is perhaps because of this soulful quality that small, letterpress operators and block print artists have managed to find their own econiche in a media landscape dominated by the digital.

Letterpress print works and block printers are the über analogue alternative to computerized printing. Tacoma and its surrounds foster a community of such hands-on craft people. For the past 10 years now, King’s Books has hosted “Wayzgoose,” a public celebration of these crafty, small-scale printers and artists. This year’s Wayzgoose takes place at King’s Books on April 27 from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m.

The Wayzgoose festival goes back to early printing presses. The term originally referred to a banquet and festival that a master printer would hold for his staff each year. Contemporary Wayzgoose events celebrating independent, small-scale printers have been popping up all over the country. Tacoma’s Wayzgoose has been held every April since 2004. The idea was originally hatched during a conversation between King’s Books proprietor Sweet Pea Flaherty and Jessica Spring of Springtide Press. Spring was in the bookstore showing some of the work of her students when she and Flaherty discussed the Wayzgoose gatherings among printers. They conceived of an event that would celebrate printmaking in all its forms. Flaherty and Spring also wanted an event that would engage the public in hands on activities. And so the Tacoma Wayzgoose was born.

“That first year there were only six tables,” noted Flaherty, as he recalled the history of Tacoma’s Wayzgoose. “It was a small event.” It has grown every year since then. For the past six years the Wayzgoose has also included the spectacle of making large, linoleum block prints with the use of a steamroller. Funding for the steamroller comes courtesy of the Tacoma Arts Commission in recognition of the cultural value and ever-growing popularity of the Tacoma Wayzgoose. 

“We’ve refined our steamroller technique since that first year,” said Flaherty.

This year’s edition of Wayzgoose includes some 16 letterpress printers and book artists. Each will have a table at which to display their wares. Wayzgoose visitors can participate in activities such as papermaking, printmaking, composing magnetic poetry and making things out of paper. New participants this year include J Huckee of Pope Press, Katie Dean of Little Green Cards and the Arts and Craft Press. The latter recently moved from Port Orchard to Tacoma. The Cartoonist’s League of Absurd Washingtonians (CLAW) has become a Wayzgoose regular. Wayzgoose stalwarts include the likes of Springtide Press, Chandler O’Leary’s Anagram Press and poster makers Beautiful Angle.

Ten artists or groups will contribute linoleum blocks for the steamroller printing. These include Tacoma artists like Chris Sharp and Ric Matthies. Other prints are done as collaborations. The Beautiful Angle team of Tom Llewellyn and Lance Kagey do a block. Beautiful steamroller prints are done every year by Spring and O’Leary. There will be a print done by Pacific Lutheran University students, Charles Wright Academy students and Stadium High School students. Only four or five steamroller prints are made from each block. Some of these will be raffled off during the Wayzgoose.

Wayzgoose is one of those rare events that appeal to all age groups. Kids are as delighted as adults in the activities at the festival. The price is also right: Wayzgoose if free. This is a cool, earthy, DIY event that captures something like the vibe of early versions of Seattle’s Bumbershoot festival (before that event got too big for its britches). Wayzgoose takes place April 27. For further information visit http://ift.tt/QIEj78.

Wayzgoose Participants:

Beautiful Angle – Tom Llewellyn & Lance Kagey

Carl Montford of The Montford Press

Carol Clifford of Orange House Press

Cartoonist’s League of Absurd Washingtonians (CLAW)  

Chandler O’Leary of Anagram Press

Community Print of Olympia 

J Hukee of Pope Press

Jenny Craig of Notta Pixie Press

Jessica Spring of Springtide Press  

Katie Dean of Little Green Cards

Keegan Wenkman of KeeganMeegan & Co  

L’Arche Farm & Gardens 

Lisa Hasegawa of ilfant press

Puget Sound Book Artists

Tacoma Book Artists

Yoshiko Yamamoto & Bruce Smith of The Arts and Crafts Press

Steamroller Printing artists:

Audra Laymon

Beautiful Angle – Tom Llewellyn & Lance Kagey

Charles Wright Academy’s Martlet Press

Chris Sharp

Cartoonist’s League of Absurd Washingtonians (CLAW) 

Jessica Spring of Springtide Press

& Chandler O’Leary of Anagram Press

Pacific Lutheran University

Ric Matthies

Stadium High School

Tina McGregor of Ponderosa Press

Purveyors of Treats:

Jeff’s Ice Cream April 23, 2014 at 10:21AM

Tacoma Wayzgoose Festival http://ift.tt/QIEkrC

The democratization of media is one of the wonders of this modern age in which we live. Anyone with a computer can produce arrangements of the written word. All manner of fanciful fonts are readily available. With the click of a mouse these digital productions can be jetted onto crisp, clean sheets of paper. Wonderful though this digital process is, it lacks the soulfulness of something made by human hands.

It is perhaps because of this soulful quality that small, letterpress operators and block print artists have managed to find their own econiche in a media landscape dominated by the digital.

Letterpress print works and block printers are the über analogue alternative to computerized printing. Tacoma and its surrounds foster a community of such hands-on craft people. For the past 10 years now, King’s Books has hosted “Wayzgoose,” a public celebration of these crafty, small-scale printers and artists. This year’s Wayzgoose takes place at King’s Books on April 27 from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m.

The Wayzgoose festival goes back to early printing presses. The term originally referred to a banquet and festival that a master printer would hold for his staff each year. Contemporary Wayzgoose events celebrating independent, small-scale printers have been popping up all over the country. Tacoma’s Wayzgoose has been held every April since 2004. The idea was originally hatched during a conversation between King’s Books proprietor Sweet Pea Flaherty and Jessica Spring of Springtide Press. Spring was in the bookstore showing some of the work of her students when she and Flaherty discussed the Wayzgoose gatherings among printers. They conceived of an event that would celebrate printmaking in all its forms. Flaherty and Spring also wanted an event that would engage the public in hands on activities. And so the Tacoma Wayzgoose was born.

“That first year there were only six tables,” noted Flaherty, as he recalled the history of Tacoma’s Wayzgoose. “It was a small event.” It has grown every year since then. For the past six years the Wayzgoose has also included the spectacle of making large, linoleum block prints with the use of a steamroller. Funding for the steamroller comes courtesy of the Tacoma Arts Commission in recognition of the cultural value and ever-growing popularity of the Tacoma Wayzgoose.

“We’ve refined our steamroller technique since that first year,” said Flaherty.

This year’s edition of Wayzgoose includes some 16 letterpress printers and book artists. Each will have a table at which to display their wares. Wayzgoose visitors can participate in activities such as papermaking, printmaking, composing magnetic poetry and making things out of paper. New participants this year include J Huckee of Pope Press, Katie Dean of Little Green Cards and the Arts and Craft Press. The latter recently moved from Port Orchard to Tacoma. The Cartoonist’s League of Absurd Washingtonians (CLAW) has become a Wayzgoose regular. Wayzgoose stalwarts include the likes of Springtide Press, Chandler O’Leary’s Anagram Press and poster makers Beautiful Angle.

Ten artists or groups will contribute linoleum blocks for the steamroller printing. These include Tacoma artists like Chris Sharp and Ric Matthies. Other prints are done as collaborations. The Beautiful Angle team of Tom Llewellyn and Lance Kagey do a block. Beautiful steamroller prints are done every year by Spring and O’Leary. There will be a print done by Pacific Lutheran University students, Charles Wright Academy students and Stadium High School students. Only four or five steamroller prints are made from each block. Some of these will be raffled off during the Wayzgoose.

Wayzgoose is one of those rare events that appeal to all age groups. Kids are as delighted as adults in the activities at the festival. The price is also right: Wayzgoose if free. This is a cool, earthy, DIY event that captures something like the vibe of early versions of Seattle’s Bumbershoot festival (before that event got too big for its britches). Wayzgoose takes place April 27. For further information visit http://ift.tt/QIEj78.

Wayzgoose Participants:

Beautiful Angle – Tom Llewellyn & Lance Kagey

Carl Montford of The Montford Press

Carol Clifford of Orange House Press

Cartoonist’s League of Absurd Washingtonians (CLAW)  

Chandler O’Leary of Anagram Press

Community Print of Olympia 

J Hukee of Pope Press

Jenny Craig of Notta Pixie Press

Jessica Spring of Springtide Press  

Katie Dean of Little Green Cards

Keegan Wenkman of KeeganMeegan & Co  

L’Arche Farm & Gardens 

Lisa Hasegawa of ilfant press

Puget Sound Book Artists

Tacoma Book Artists

Yoshiko Yamamoto & Bruce Smith of The Arts and Crafts Press

Steamroller Printing artists:

Audra Laymon

Beautiful Angle – Tom Llewellyn & Lance Kagey

Charles Wright Academy’s Martlet Press

Chris Sharp

Cartoonist’s League of Absurd Washingtonians (CLAW) 

Jessica Spring of Springtide Press

& Chandler O’Leary of Anagram Press

Pacific Lutheran University

Ric Matthies

Stadium High School

Tina McGregor of Ponderosa Press

Purveyors of Treats:

Jeff’s Ice Cream

April 23, 2014 at 10:21AM

OUT OF MY ELEMENT VOL. III: RUGBY http://ift.tt/1ptSOeH There’s a really old game going on in our neighborhood, and it is fast becoming an infatuation with me. No, it is not Women’s Roller Derby. The ladies put on a fine display of hits, sweat and speed, but infatuation is a bit too strong of a word there, seeing as I’m a married man and all.

I have found a new love, and I’m ashamed to say that in my ignorance, I mocked it for year upon year.

I’m talking about the grand old sport of Rugby, and I’m here to admit that I was unaware of the sheer, wondrous brutality of the game after having witnessed it recently in Tacoma and I am forever in debt to all of the friends whom I scoffed at when they tried to explain to me why it was so awesome.

I thought it was a glorified recess sport. Something kids play when real football is out of season. There was just no way it was as tough and rugged as American Football.

How can a grown man change so much in such a short amount of time, you may ask? Believe me, I didn’t do the changing. Rugby changed me.

I’ll try to explain as best as I can, even though I’m still just an infant to the grand scheme of all things Rugby.

For my Out of My Element column here at the Tacoma Weekly, I have been charged with searching out sports and sporting events that I have never personally witnessed and whether the fallout be good or bad, come back and report to you, the reader, what effect it has had upon me.

First I needed to find a Rugby match to view. I scoured the Internet only to find that the local men’s club – the Tacoma Nomads – had just wrapped up their season. Next up, I checked to see if the women’s club – the Tacoma Sirens – was playing anywhere soon. They were, but it was way out of town, so I moved on. I stumbled upon the Under-19 league and the Tacoma Tsunami. With all due respect to the older clubs, they had a much cooler name, and their season was still in full-swing. I had found my winner.

Off to Parkland I went for a Rugby Washington league match between my hometown Tacoma Tsunami and my almost-hometown Parkland Warriors. I arrived a full hour and a half early to make sure I was prepared to cover the event properly.

Okay, I’ll be honest, I thought the match started an hour earlier than in reality, but my image of punctuality could always use some polishing, so I’ll take what I can get. I made the most of my extra time however and began taking mental note of the big bruisers warming up on the field. My anticipation of some serious warfare was kindled. My attention was also drawn to the barbeques being setup. I have a short attention span when barbeque comes into play, I’m a weak man. I admit it. More on the barbeque deal later.

Other than showing up ridiculously early, I also found fault with the weather. It was sunny and mild. This was no way to introduce myself to Rugby! You’re never supposed to complain about great weather in the Puget Sound, but I couldn’t help but knock a few percentage points off of the day from the start because of it. I wanted some mud and I was going to pout about it at least until the first whistle.

There are 15 players to a side. A few are wearing what looks to be 1920 football helmets. Basically a glorified stocking cap strapped under their chins. I’m unsure whether this is to protect their ears or their hair. I’ll act smart and go with the ears. The players are wearing the equivalent of soccer uniforms; regular jerseys and shorts. Not much in the way of padding to be seen at all. I’m thinking this might be intense.

The match began with a whistle and a kick. The ball goes out of bounds and as I like to do at movies when it goes black at the beginning, I say to myself “The End.” I always find it funny and my wife tends to snicker a little. So there are at least two of us. I win.

I had no idea how much winning was about to happen for me. Less than a minute into the match a sturdy Parkland lad was struggling to shake off a couple of tacklers when he was blindsided by what seemed to be a blur from my right. This blur’s forehead slammed into the runner’s forehead and nose and the noise of the impact made my fingers go a little week. I usually have the same feeling when I see a spider. That was the effect it had upon me. He was okay though. It might have been a bad tackle, but the intent certainly wasn’t there and after ten minutes of regaining his faculties on the sidelines, he returned to the game with what seemed to be the smallest band-aid that could possibly be found stuck to the bridge of his bloodied nose.

Knowing that my day, let alone my week, would have been done and over with after such a severe blow, I was amazed at just how tough these young men were, and they just kept at it. I would have nominated several tackles for “Hit of the Week” on any sportscast, and that would have been hits in an American Football game with pads and helmets. What was more remarkable than the impacts during the match was the fact they all just kept getting back up.

Tacoma held off a late Parkland charge in the last three minutes of the match. The rules of the game were still a complete gibberish to me, but I knew what a score meant. Five points into the end-zone and two points for an extra-point. I stood at the goal-line and saw the Parkland player push to within just two feet of the goal, only to be washed away by the Tacoma Tsunami (pun very much intended) and deposited nearly ten yards back. Parkland’s ride was over and Tacoma wins 14-7.

I left the field dazed. Too many second-hand blows to the head and midsection and I swear my knees and hips were aching. I walked right past the barbeques and slumped behind the wheel of my car. Somehow, I found the strength to drive home and deposited myself in my recliner for a nap, only to awake a new man.

I needed more.

A week later I found myself at the Portland Avenue Playfields for another Tsunami match. This time around it was the Shelton Savages on the menu and the hometown boys delivered the goods yet again with a 32-19 victory running their record to 4-2.

Even better, there was rain and mud in the mix this time around. My earlier good-weather pouting was exonerated and I enjoyed myself even more this day. Any sort of activity seems more dramatic when a little slipping and mud is mixed in with the hits and the blood.

If you were hoping for a rundown of the rules of Rugby, I’m afraid reading about them won’t help you much. Watch some matches on Youtube and get out there and see it first-hand. It’s possibly the most confusing sport I have ever witnessed and at the moment I may have a good handle on half the rules so far. They started setting down the rules in England in 1845 so you can be sure they’re meant to confuse us Colonists. You just may acquire the taste.

Tacoma hosts the undefeated Prairie Mustangs Saturday April 26 at the Portland Avenue Playfields. It’s an 11:30 a.m. match and I highly suggest you get out there. April 23, 2014 at 10:12AM

OUT OF MY ELEMENT VOL. III: RUGBY http://ift.tt/1ptSOeH

There’s a really old game going on in our neighborhood, and it is fast becoming an infatuation with me. No, it is not Women’s Roller Derby. The ladies put on a fine display of hits, sweat and speed, but infatuation is a bit too strong of a word there, seeing as I’m a married man and all.

I have found a new love, and I’m ashamed to say that in my ignorance, I mocked it for year upon year.

I’m talking about the grand old sport of Rugby, and I’m here to admit that I was unaware of the sheer, wondrous brutality of the game after having witnessed it recently in Tacoma and I am forever in debt to all of the friends whom I scoffed at when they tried to explain to me why it was so awesome.

I thought it was a glorified recess sport. Something kids play when real football is out of season. There was just no way it was as tough and rugged as American Football.

How can a grown man change so much in such a short amount of time, you may ask? Believe me, I didn’t do the changing. Rugby changed me.

I’ll try to explain as best as I can, even though I’m still just an infant to the grand scheme of all things Rugby.

For my Out of My Element column here at the Tacoma Weekly, I have been charged with searching out sports and sporting events that I have never personally witnessed and whether the fallout be good or bad, come back and report to you, the reader, what effect it has had upon me.

First I needed to find a Rugby match to view. I scoured the Internet only to find that the local men’s club – the Tacoma Nomads – had just wrapped up their season. Next up, I checked to see if the women’s club – the Tacoma Sirens – was playing anywhere soon. They were, but it was way out of town, so I moved on. I stumbled upon the Under-19 league and the Tacoma Tsunami. With all due respect to the older clubs, they had a much cooler name, and their season was still in full-swing. I had found my winner.

Off to Parkland I went for a Rugby Washington league match between my hometown Tacoma Tsunami and my almost-hometown Parkland Warriors. I arrived a full hour and a half early to make sure I was prepared to cover the event properly.

Okay, I’ll be honest, I thought the match started an hour earlier than in reality, but my image of punctuality could always use some polishing, so I’ll take what I can get. I made the most of my extra time however and began taking mental note of the big bruisers warming up on the field. My anticipation of some serious warfare was kindled. My attention was also drawn to the barbeques being setup. I have a short attention span when barbeque comes into play, I’m a weak man. I admit it. More on the barbeque deal later.

Other than showing up ridiculously early, I also found fault with the weather. It was sunny and mild. This was no way to introduce myself to Rugby! You’re never supposed to complain about great weather in the Puget Sound, but I couldn’t help but knock a few percentage points off of the day from the start because of it. I wanted some mud and I was going to pout about it at least until the first whistle.

There are 15 players to a side. A few are wearing what looks to be 1920 football helmets. Basically a glorified stocking cap strapped under their chins. I’m unsure whether this is to protect their ears or their hair. I’ll act smart and go with the ears. The players are wearing the equivalent of soccer uniforms; regular jerseys and shorts. Not much in the way of padding to be seen at all. I’m thinking this might be intense.

The match began with a whistle and a kick. The ball goes out of bounds and as I like to do at movies when it goes black at the beginning, I say to myself “The End.” I always find it funny and my wife tends to snicker a little. So there are at least two of us. I win.

I had no idea how much winning was about to happen for me. Less than a minute into the match a sturdy Parkland lad was struggling to shake off a couple of tacklers when he was blindsided by what seemed to be a blur from my right. This blur’s forehead slammed into the runner’s forehead and nose and the noise of the impact made my fingers go a little week. I usually have the same feeling when I see a spider. That was the effect it had upon me. He was okay though. It might have been a bad tackle, but the intent certainly wasn’t there and after ten minutes of regaining his faculties on the sidelines, he returned to the game with what seemed to be the smallest band-aid that could possibly be found stuck to the bridge of his bloodied nose.

Knowing that my day, let alone my week, would have been done and over with after such a severe blow, I was amazed at just how tough these young men were, and they just kept at it. I would have nominated several tackles for “Hit of the Week” on any sportscast, and that would have been hits in an American Football game with pads and helmets. What was more remarkable than the impacts during the match was the fact they all just kept getting back up.

Tacoma held off a late Parkland charge in the last three minutes of the match. The rules of the game were still a complete gibberish to me, but I knew what a score meant. Five points into the end-zone and two points for an extra-point. I stood at the goal-line and saw the Parkland player push to within just two feet of the goal, only to be washed away by the Tacoma Tsunami (pun very much intended) and deposited nearly ten yards back. Parkland’s ride was over and Tacoma wins 14-7.

I left the field dazed. Too many second-hand blows to the head and midsection and I swear my knees and hips were aching. I walked right past the barbeques and slumped behind the wheel of my car. Somehow, I found the strength to drive home and deposited myself in my recliner for a nap, only to awake a new man.

I needed more.

A week later I found myself at the Portland Avenue Playfields for another Tsunami match. This time around it was the Shelton Savages on the menu and the hometown boys delivered the goods yet again with a 32-19 victory running their record to 4-2.

Even better, there was rain and mud in the mix this time around. My earlier good-weather pouting was exonerated and I enjoyed myself even more this day. Any sort of activity seems more dramatic when a little slipping and mud is mixed in with the hits and the blood.

If you were hoping for a rundown of the rules of Rugby, I’m afraid reading about them won’t help you much. Watch some matches on Youtube and get out there and see it first-hand. It’s possibly the most confusing sport I have ever witnessed and at the moment I may have a good handle on half the rules so far. They started setting down the rules in England in 1845 so you can be sure they’re meant to confuse us Colonists. You just may acquire the taste.

Tacoma hosts the undefeated Prairie Mustangs Saturday April 26 at the Portland Avenue Playfields. It’s an 11:30 a.m. match and I highly suggest you get out there.

April 23, 2014 at 10:12AM

FOSS CONTINUES PUSH FOR NARROWS CROWN; ABES SHOW SOME FIGHT http://ift.tt/1ptSNHP If you’re going to compete for the 3A Narrows league crown you’ve got to win the games that you’re supposed to. Despite a wet and miserable night of weather at historic Lincoln Bowl, the Foss Falcons did exactly that, taking care of business 9-4 against a scrappy Lincoln Abes squad looking for their first boys soccer victory of the season.

Three minutes into the game, freshman forward Francisco Estrada took a deep pass from senior Jose Ramos and pounded a left-footed shoot to the back right corner of the net from 10 yards out and the Falcons were off and running.

Hold on a second, not so fast.

Lincoln struck less than 30 seconds later as senior forward Philip Gyamfi got free in front of the Foss goal with some impressive dribbling and punched his own left-footer into the net to even the score at 1-1.

Two minutes later, the Abes would strike again as Gyamfi sent a pass into the box from the left side and found junior forward Hamadi Bakaria waiting to put a foot on it, squeezing it past junior goalkeeper Sergio Barajas. Lincoln led 2-1 less than six minutes into the match and had already matched their season goal tally.

It was quickly obvious that regardless of their record or how many goals they had scored so far this season, the Lincoln Abes were determined to give Foss everything they had. Perhaps it was one of those dark and stormy nights they talk about, when a huge underdog pulled-off the improbable and stuck a dagger in the title-contender’s hopes.

It was not to be.

Three minutes following the Lincoln lead, sophomore Falcon Jordan Ramirez gathered up a loose ball on the right side of the box and punched a right-footer into the back left net and the game was tied 2-2. This would begin a relentless Foss attack upon the Lincoln goal for the remainder of the first half.

“A few little defensive slips kept them alive,” said head coach Mark Kramer. “I think what stunned them [Foss] was we came out and scored quick and then all of a sudden Lincoln put two on them immediately and they wondered how this was happening. I think they just finally woke up.”

At the 23-minute mark, Jose Ramos fired a cannon shot from 22 yards out. Lincoln sophomore goalkeeper Simon Capilla got two hands on the ball, but the velocity of the strike coupled with the wet ball proved too much and the ball slipped past for a 3-2 Foss advantage.

It was also the beginning of a hat-trick night for Jose Ramos.

Ramos was the beneficiary of a misplaced Lincoln kick directly in front of the goal just four minutes later and several Abes defenders were visibly dismayed by the easy one they let past them. The Falcons now lead 4-2 and it appeared that they might be set to begin running away with the soccer match.

With eight minutes remaining in the first half, the other Ramos, senior Rene, dribbled his way through three Lincoln defenders, found a sliver of space and just slipped a shot past the outstretched fingers of Capilla. Foss now held a 5-2 lead in the waning moments of the first half, but they weren’t done quite yet. Junior Jesus Perez found the back of the goal with just 25 seconds remaining and the teams went into the break with Foss up 6-2.

Lincoln proved to have some fire left in their gut in the second half. Junior forward Abraham Zuniga chased down a loose ball in the Falcon end, shook off the defender and smacked a left-footer into the back-right of the Foss net. The score was now Foss 6, Lincoln 3.

The Ramos family dashed any Lincoln hopes six minutes later when Jose took a free kick from 20 yards out and delivered a frozen-rope into the upper right of the goal giving Foss a 7-3 lead and the senior his first hat-trick of the season.

“Jose’s our leading scorer. He and Jesus are going back and forth and then Rene is right there with them,” said Kramer. “So we’ve got three good goal scorers and one person getting three is great.

“But what I like even more than anything else is having six different players score goals. That makes a coach happy.”

Five minutes later, cousin Rene would get his second goal of the night from a well-placed header that slipped through the goalkeeper’s hands. Foss now had an 8-3 advantage.

Lincoln would get one more goal for the night when sophomore midfielder David Pinol Vasquez pounded a 30 yard free kick into the upper left of the goal. The score was now 8-4 Foss, but on the positive side for Lincoln they twice as many goals in just this game, as they had the entire season.

With several substitutions on the field, Foss scored one more goal and it was a special one. Showing that hard work and tenacity can pay off, senior forward Darrin Por, a regular junior varsity player, scored his first career varsity goal on a one-on-one breakaway run with a defender on his hip.

“It was a good game to set up the second half of the season,” said Kramer. “In high school games we want to go out as a team and play with team field tactics.”

The victory moved Foss into second place and 4-1-1 in 3A Narrows league action. Foss will play Wilson May 2 at Mount Tahoma Stadium in what may be a showdown for first place in the Narrows. Lincoln fell to 0-6 but played probably its finest game of the season. April 23, 2014 at 10:09AM

FOSS CONTINUES PUSH FOR NARROWS CROWN; ABES SHOW SOME FIGHT http://ift.tt/1ptSNHP

If you’re going to compete for the 3A Narrows league crown you’ve got to win the games that you’re supposed to. Despite a wet and miserable night of weather at historic Lincoln Bowl, the Foss Falcons did exactly that, taking care of business 9-4 against a scrappy Lincoln Abes squad looking for their first boys soccer victory of the season.

Three minutes into the game, freshman forward Francisco Estrada took a deep pass from senior Jose Ramos and pounded a left-footed shoot to the back right corner of the net from 10 yards out and the Falcons were off and running.

Hold on a second, not so fast.

Lincoln struck less than 30 seconds later as senior forward Philip Gyamfi got free in front of the Foss goal with some impressive dribbling and punched his own left-footer into the net to even the score at 1-1.

Two minutes later, the Abes would strike again as Gyamfi sent a pass into the box from the left side and found junior forward Hamadi Bakaria waiting to put a foot on it, squeezing it past junior goalkeeper Sergio Barajas. Lincoln led 2-1 less than six minutes into the match and had already matched their season goal tally.

It was quickly obvious that regardless of their record or how many goals they had scored so far this season, the Lincoln Abes were determined to give Foss everything they had. Perhaps it was one of those dark and stormy nights they talk about, when a huge underdog pulled-off the improbable and stuck a dagger in the title-contender’s hopes.

It was not to be.

Three minutes following the Lincoln lead, sophomore Falcon Jordan Ramirez gathered up a loose ball on the right side of the box and punched a right-footer into the back left net and the game was tied 2-2. This would begin a relentless Foss attack upon the Lincoln goal for the remainder of the first half.

“A few little defensive slips kept them alive,” said head coach Mark Kramer. “I think what stunned them [Foss] was we came out and scored quick and then all of a sudden Lincoln put two on them immediately and they wondered how this was happening. I think they just finally woke up.”

At the 23-minute mark, Jose Ramos fired a cannon shot from 22 yards out. Lincoln sophomore goalkeeper Simon Capilla got two hands on the ball, but the velocity of the strike coupled with the wet ball proved too much and the ball slipped past for a 3-2 Foss advantage.

It was also the beginning of a hat-trick night for Jose Ramos.

Ramos was the beneficiary of a misplaced Lincoln kick directly in front of the goal just four minutes later and several Abes defenders were visibly dismayed by the easy one they let past them. The Falcons now lead 4-2 and it appeared that they might be set to begin running away with the soccer match.

With eight minutes remaining in the first half, the other Ramos, senior Rene, dribbled his way through three Lincoln defenders, found a sliver of space and just slipped a shot past the outstretched fingers of Capilla. Foss now held a 5-2 lead in the waning moments of the first half, but they weren’t done quite yet. Junior Jesus Perez found the back of the goal with just 25 seconds remaining and the teams went into the break with Foss up 6-2.

Lincoln proved to have some fire left in their gut in the second half. Junior forward Abraham Zuniga chased down a loose ball in the Falcon end, shook off the defender and smacked a left-footer into the back-right of the Foss net. The score was now Foss 6, Lincoln 3.

The Ramos family dashed any Lincoln hopes six minutes later when Jose took a free kick from 20 yards out and delivered a frozen-rope into the upper right of the goal giving Foss a 7-3 lead and the senior his first hat-trick of the season.

“Jose’s our leading scorer. He and Jesus are going back and forth and then Rene is right there with them,” said Kramer. “So we’ve got three good goal scorers and one person getting three is great.

“But what I like even more than anything else is having six different players score goals. That makes a coach happy.”

Five minutes later, cousin Rene would get his second goal of the night from a well-placed header that slipped through the goalkeeper’s hands. Foss now had an 8-3 advantage.

Lincoln would get one more goal for the night when sophomore midfielder David Pinol Vasquez pounded a 30 yard free kick into the upper left of the goal. The score was now 8-4 Foss, but on the positive side for Lincoln they twice as many goals in just this game, as they had the entire season.

With several substitutions on the field, Foss scored one more goal and it was a special one. Showing that hard work and tenacity can pay off, senior forward Darrin Por, a regular junior varsity player, scored his first career varsity goal on a one-on-one breakaway run with a defender on his hip.

“It was a good game to set up the second half of the season,” said Kramer. “In high school games we want to go out as a team and play with team field tactics.”

The victory moved Foss into second place and 4-1-1 in 3A Narrows league action. Foss will play Wilson May 2 at Mount Tahoma Stadium in what may be a showdown for first place in the Narrows. Lincoln fell to 0-6 but played probably its finest game of the season.

April 23, 2014 at 10:09AM

Tacoma prepares for Farmers Market season http://ift.tt/1ptSMUd Broadway Market opens May 1

Sixth Ave. Market opens May 6

STAR Center Market opens June 1

As Farmers Market season approaches, Tacoma is once again hopping into the fresh food fray with markets on Broadway, Sixth Avenue and at the Metro Parks STAR Center in South Tacoma.

“[The farmers market] focuses on connecting up local food producers, farmers, with consumers so that they make that direct connection with the farmers and really connect and know where their food comes from and what an important role that plays in our community and in our lifestyle,” Tacoma Farmers Market Executive Director Stacy Carkonen said.

The three markets Tacoma offers rest on the four pillars of fresh farm food, food processors, hot food and artisans.

Some of the hot food artists this year include Gateway to India, Josephina’s Mexican restaurant, Lumpia World, Ima’s Gourmet Foods and Patty’s Tamales. Farms at the market this year include Tacoma classics like Terry’s Berrys.

The Broadway Market has its opening day on May 1 and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In the heart of downtown Tacoma, the Broadway market is the biggest and oldest of the three markets, housing between 80-100 vendors every week. Being open during lunchtime in the business area of town, hot foods are popular for Tacoma’s biggest market.

The Sixth Avenue Market opens on May 6 and runs from 3-7 p.m. every Tuesday. With dinnertime hours in a more residential neighborhood, the farmers and food processors are popular on the street. Though not as big as the market on Broadway, the Sixth Avenue market still houses 40-50 vendors.

The South Tacoma Market at the Metro Parks STAR Center begins Sunday June 1 and runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The same day, STAR Center opens up its own playground/sprayground for children, making this market a perfect destination for families to spend a Sunday afternoon, enjoying artists and trying out new foods.

“We’re really trying to build that one up because I think it’s going to be fun for families,” Carkonen said.

Carkonen is new to the position this year, along with new Market Manager Josh Proehl, but she doesn’t plan to drastically overhaul the market.

“One thing is to just maintain the quality. People love the markets and so first and foremost is to make sure that I’m doing the best that I can to make sure the markets continue to thrive,” Carkonen said.

Proehl, a veteran of the Tacoma Art Museum, brings some fresh advantages to the classic market. 

“[Proehl] is great for community relations, a real eye to bringing fun to the market and bringing his experience with the art community to the market,” Carkonen said.

The farmers market is an opportunity for citizens to understand where their food comes from, rather than the anonymous faces behind store bought food.

“What I want to do is make sure we bring in more farms. Farms are really our priority so making sure we have a really great balance, but that we’re really helping our small farms survive because preserving farmland is important to the mission of the market,” Carkonen said.

Another one of Carkonen’s goals is to make sure low-income families know that the farmers market is an affordable place. WIC, EBT and senior nutrition vouchers are accepted at all three of the markets, with over $31,000 being accepted through these means last year.

“We’re getting that out to the community, that we want folks [at the market]. We want them to come and be a part of that market,” Carkonen said, “to make sure that they know that they are a thriving piece of that market, and a thriving piece of our economy.”

The Tacoma Farmers Market is in its 24th year, and has taken on a life of its own, becoming a major economic contributor for the City of Destiny.

“Last year we sold over $800,000 worth of goods, $300,000 of which was in farm products, so we’re a real economic driver,” Carkonen said. “We’re a real place for small business, whether it’s a farm, or a restaurant or a food processor to get their start.”

The three farmers markets in Tacoma serve as a great place for citizens to check out up-and-coming food businesses in Tacoma, as well as build relationships with farmers in the community.

“We are this piece of the community that’s really helping to shape Tacoma, and really helping to shape small business,” Carkonen said.

The three markets all close within the last week of September. For questions regarding the market, representatives can be contacted at (253) 272-7077 April 23, 2014 at 10:06AM

Tacoma prepares for Farmers Market season http://ift.tt/1ptSMUd

Broadway Market opens May 1

Sixth Ave. Market opens May 6

STAR Center Market opens June 1

As Farmers Market season approaches, Tacoma is once again hopping into the fresh food fray with markets on Broadway, Sixth Avenue and at the Metro Parks STAR Center in South Tacoma.

“[The farmers market] focuses on connecting up local food producers, farmers, with consumers so that they make that direct connection with the farmers and really connect and know where their food comes from and what an important role that plays in our community and in our lifestyle,” Tacoma Farmers Market Executive Director Stacy Carkonen said.

The three markets Tacoma offers rest on the four pillars of fresh farm food, food processors, hot food and artisans.

Some of the hot food artists this year include Gateway to India, Josephina’s Mexican restaurant, Lumpia World, Ima’s Gourmet Foods and Patty’s Tamales. Farms at the market this year include Tacoma classics like Terry’s Berrys.

The Broadway Market has its opening day on May 1 and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In the heart of downtown Tacoma, the Broadway market is the biggest and oldest of the three markets, housing between 80-100 vendors every week. Being open during lunchtime in the business area of town, hot foods are popular for Tacoma’s biggest market.

The Sixth Avenue Market opens on May 6 and runs from 3-7 p.m. every Tuesday. With dinnertime hours in a more residential neighborhood, the farmers and food processors are popular on the street. Though not as big as the market on Broadway, the Sixth Avenue market still houses 40-50 vendors.

The South Tacoma Market at the Metro Parks STAR Center begins Sunday June 1 and runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The same day, STAR Center opens up its own playground/sprayground for children, making this market a perfect destination for families to spend a Sunday afternoon, enjoying artists and trying out new foods.

“We’re really trying to build that one up because I think it’s going to be fun for families,” Carkonen said.

Carkonen is new to the position this year, along with new Market Manager Josh Proehl, but she doesn’t plan to drastically overhaul the market.

“One thing is to just maintain the quality. People love the markets and so first and foremost is to make sure that I’m doing the best that I can to make sure the markets continue to thrive,” Carkonen said.

Proehl, a veteran of the Tacoma Art Museum, brings some fresh advantages to the classic market.

“[Proehl] is great for community relations, a real eye to bringing fun to the market and bringing his experience with the art community to the market,” Carkonen said.

The farmers market is an opportunity for citizens to understand where their food comes from, rather than the anonymous faces behind store bought food.

“What I want to do is make sure we bring in more farms. Farms are really our priority so making sure we have a really great balance, but that we’re really helping our small farms survive because preserving farmland is important to the mission of the market,” Carkonen said.

Another one of Carkonen’s goals is to make sure low-income families know that the farmers market is an affordable place. WIC, EBT and senior nutrition vouchers are accepted at all three of the markets, with over $31,000 being accepted through these means last year.

“We’re getting that out to the community, that we want folks [at the market]. We want them to come and be a part of that market,” Carkonen said, “to make sure that they know that they are a thriving piece of that market, and a thriving piece of our economy.”

The Tacoma Farmers Market is in its 24th year, and has taken on a life of its own, becoming a major economic contributor for the City of Destiny.

“Last year we sold over $800,000 worth of goods, $300,000 of which was in farm products, so we’re a real economic driver,” Carkonen said. “We’re a real place for small business, whether it’s a farm, or a restaurant or a food processor to get their start.”

The three farmers markets in Tacoma serve as a great place for citizens to check out up-and-coming food businesses in Tacoma, as well as build relationships with farmers in the community.

“We are this piece of the community that’s really helping to shape Tacoma, and really helping to shape small business,” Carkonen said.

The three markets all close within the last week of September. For questions regarding the market, representatives can be contacted at (253) 272-7077

April 23, 2014 at 10:06AM

Local Restaurants: The Forum http://ift.tt/QIEhw3 The Forum, located on 815 Pacific Ave., may be a new restaurant in the downtown scene but the location is familiar to many Tacomans. Replacing the classic Olympus Café last January, The Forum owner Greg Troger looks to revitalize the old space for a new generation.

“We want it to be a forum where people can come meet, eat and drink whether you’re on a date or business meeting, or a night out with friends,” Troger said.

The Forum looks to cover all of its bases in the social sphere, offering food, drinks, a friendly staff and social events, like monthly speed dating and Tuesday trivia nights.

If you want to attract an audience and become a social scene, food is a good motivator. Luckily, The Forum has it in spades.

One of Troger’s personal favorite items at The Forum is the Juicy Lucy, a burger stuffed with cheese on a brioche bun with The Forum’s secret sauce, lettuce tomato, onion, pickle and optional toppings of cheese, avocado, egg, bacon, caramelized onions or roasted jalapeno. The burger with two of the optional toppings will run you $9.95, and with four toppings costs $11.95

The restaurant also serves lighter fare with sandwiches. The Forum’s Cuban contains slow roasted pork and sliced ham in a grilled baguette with Swiss cheese, pickles and the Forum’s mustard ailoi for $10.95.

But it wouldn’t really be a hangout place without a little booze, and The Forum offers 18 different classic cocktails, as well as a plethora of beer and wine to really get the party started. Whether it be a simple Mai Tai or a pitcher of Blue Moon to share with friends, The Forum has you covered.

All of the items are augmented by a staff that truly helps give The Forum its name.

“I think we have a great team here. They give great, friendly service. The team gives you a feeling like you are coming in to their home,” Troger said.

The Forum even gives a time to meet, offering two separate Happy Hours from 2-6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close.

For those that just want a good time in the comfort of their home or office, the restaurant offers bagged lunches for delivery to share with co-workers or friends.

The Forum is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to midnight and weekends from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. For deliveries, call (253) 830 2151. April 23, 2014 at 09:31AM

Local Restaurants: The Forum http://ift.tt/QIEhw3

The Forum, located on 815 Pacific Ave., may be a new restaurant in the downtown scene but the location is familiar to many Tacomans. Replacing the classic Olympus Café last January, The Forum owner Greg Troger looks to revitalize the old space for a new generation.

“We want it to be a forum where people can come meet, eat and drink whether you’re on a date or business meeting, or a night out with friends,” Troger said.

The Forum looks to cover all of its bases in the social sphere, offering food, drinks, a friendly staff and social events, like monthly speed dating and Tuesday trivia nights.

If you want to attract an audience and become a social scene, food is a good motivator. Luckily, The Forum has it in spades.

One of Troger’s personal favorite items at The Forum is the Juicy Lucy, a burger stuffed with cheese on a brioche bun with The Forum’s secret sauce, lettuce tomato, onion, pickle and optional toppings of cheese, avocado, egg, bacon, caramelized onions or roasted jalapeno. The burger with two of the optional toppings will run you $9.95, and with four toppings costs $11.95

The restaurant also serves lighter fare with sandwiches. The Forum’s Cuban contains slow roasted pork and sliced ham in a grilled baguette with Swiss cheese, pickles and the Forum’s mustard ailoi for $10.95.

But it wouldn’t really be a hangout place without a little booze, and The Forum offers 18 different classic cocktails, as well as a plethora of beer and wine to really get the party started. Whether it be a simple Mai Tai or a pitcher of Blue Moon to share with friends, The Forum has you covered.

All of the items are augmented by a staff that truly helps give The Forum its name.

“I think we have a great team here. They give great, friendly service. The team gives you a feeling like you are coming in to their home,” Troger said.

The Forum even gives a time to meet, offering two separate Happy Hours from 2-6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close.

For those that just want a good time in the comfort of their home or office, the restaurant offers bagged lunches for delivery to share with co-workers or friends.

The Forum is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to midnight and weekends from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. For deliveries, call (253) 830 2151.

April 23, 2014 at 09:31AM

Sherman Elementary invites one and all to ART Night http://ift.tt/1ptSJI6 While many Tacomans may see spring as a time of allergies, students at Sherman elementary school have been learning what a change in season really means with the help of a local artist, and now the school is inviting the community to come out and join the fun on Thursday, May 15 from 6 to 8 p.m., when Sherman hosts ART Night for both students and citizens.

ART Night will feature local artists hosting workshops for children and adults, familiarizing participants with several different types of art forms. Students have been working with artist in residence Natalie Oswald to express their feelings on what spring truly means. Oswald will pull inspiration from these drawings to help plan out a massive tile mural dedicated to the spring season in the gymnasium that will be worked on throughout the night.

“[The students’] creativity and fearlessness in making art has inspired and energized my own work,” Oswald said.

Oswald will be one of the artists presenting workshops at ART Night, along with six other crafters.

Maija McKnight, who helped set up the event, is taking on the challenge of performing metalwork with the children.

“Of course, traditionally kids don’t get to work with metal because it’s a particularly sharp medium,” said McKnight, an experienced metalworker and jewelry maker.

Students won’t be making any pristine necklaces with metal, but will still get to learn the completely safe basics by stamping their name into metallic scraps.

Alternative art supply store Tinkertopia is helping to sponsor the event by broadening students’ and citizens’ views of what art can be created with. The store is offering their own workshop on art made from recyclable materials.

“[Tinkertopia] is having a whole variety of materials that you wouldn’t necessarily assume you could make art with,” McKnight said, referencing items like tops of yogurt containers. “It gives you the vision to utilize objects in a whole new way.”

Other workshops at the ART Night include woodworking with Michael Taskey, ceramics and clay with Claudia Riedener, encaustic with Karen Doten and geometric collage with Diana Leigh Surma, in which participants use math and geometry to create a quilt-like collage.

“We put together a wide variety [of artists],” McKnight said. “We didn’t want all painters; we wanted a wide variety.”

ARTS Night stems from the Artists in Residence Teach at Sherman Program that has been in place for the last four years, in which Sherman brings in artists to work with students from February to May.

“This is a unique night and a way for everyone to celebrate the commitment to arts in our community,” Oswald said.

ART Night at Sherman is in celebration of Arts Education Month, and all members of the community are invited to come hang out and pick up a paintbrush, or a ball of clay or whatever might be handy, and just create. Though there is no mandatory admission price, a suggested donation of $10 would go toward covering all the supplies used for the night. For more information on the event, contact arts.at.sherman@gmail.com. April 23, 2014 at 09:29AM

Sherman Elementary invites one and all to ART Night http://ift.tt/1ptSJI6

While many Tacomans may see spring as a time of allergies, students at Sherman elementary school have been learning what a change in season really means with the help of a local artist, and now the school is inviting the community to come out and join the fun on Thursday, May 15 from 6 to 8 p.m., when Sherman hosts ART Night for both students and citizens.

ART Night will feature local artists hosting workshops for children and adults, familiarizing participants with several different types of art forms. Students have been working with artist in residence Natalie Oswald to express their feelings on what spring truly means. Oswald will pull inspiration from these drawings to help plan out a massive tile mural dedicated to the spring season in the gymnasium that will be worked on throughout the night.

“[The students’] creativity and fearlessness in making art has inspired and energized my own work,” Oswald said.

Oswald will be one of the artists presenting workshops at ART Night, along with six other crafters.

Maija McKnight, who helped set up the event, is taking on the challenge of performing metalwork with the children.

“Of course, traditionally kids don’t get to work with metal because it’s a particularly sharp medium,” said McKnight, an experienced metalworker and jewelry maker.

Students won’t be making any pristine necklaces with metal, but will still get to learn the completely safe basics by stamping their name into metallic scraps.

Alternative art supply store Tinkertopia is helping to sponsor the event by broadening students’ and citizens’ views of what art can be created with. The store is offering their own workshop on art made from recyclable materials.

“[Tinkertopia] is having a whole variety of materials that you wouldn’t necessarily assume you could make art with,” McKnight said, referencing items like tops of yogurt containers. “It gives you the vision to utilize objects in a whole new way.”

Other workshops at the ART Night include woodworking with Michael Taskey, ceramics and clay with Claudia Riedener, encaustic with Karen Doten and geometric collage with Diana Leigh Surma, in which participants use math and geometry to create a quilt-like collage.

“We put together a wide variety [of artists],” McKnight said. “We didn’t want all painters; we wanted a wide variety.”

ARTS Night stems from the Artists in Residence Teach at Sherman Program that has been in place for the last four years, in which Sherman brings in artists to work with students from February to May.

“This is a unique night and a way for everyone to celebrate the commitment to arts in our community,” Oswald said.

ART Night at Sherman is in celebration of Arts Education Month, and all members of the community are invited to come hang out and pick up a paintbrush, or a ball of clay or whatever might be handy, and just create. Though there is no mandatory admission price, a suggested donation of $10 would go toward covering all the supplies used for the night. For more information on the event, contact arts.at.sherman@gmail.com.

April 23, 2014 at 09:29AM

Go-Karts set to run out of gas with parks expansion plans http://ift.tt/QIEdMO The legacy of three decades of go-karting is set to putter to a stop in the fall as Point Defiance Park moves forward with plans to redevelop land it leases to the go kart track in favor of establishing a vistor’s center complex.

TNT Family Go-Karts, located near the entrance to Point Defiance Park, is mounting a petition to sway Tacoma Metropolitan Park District officials into renewing its lease, but the end seems near for the last vestige of what was an amusement hub in the early days of the park.

Funland opened in 1933 as a private entertainment center that offered a Tilt-a-Whirl, water scooters, a miniature train and carnival games. The facility operated through World War II only to close and reopen in 1951, after an extensive renovation. It operated for another two decades and closed in phases through the 1960s and 1970s. Langley’s go karts and batting cages are the only private operations on the former amusement park site. But now those are set to disappear. Replacing the two-acre complex will be a visitor’s center, restaurants and commercial developments under Metro Parks plans.

“I’m just a little confused about where to go,” business owner Troy Langley said, noting that his current lease expires at the end of 2014 and he has had no success in getting an extension.

“We’re throwing a hail mary here,” he said, noting the businesses’ Facebook page has a petition to save the go karts with about 1,000 names on it that have been gathered in the last two weeks that he hopes to present to parks officials to sway their decision.

The go kart facility sits next to the SAMI (Science and Math Institute) campus of Tacoma Schools, which is working on options to either stay on the site or move to a yet-to-be-determined spot elsewhere in the park after the next school year. 

Metro Parks outlined a Point Defiance master plan that included redevelopment of the Langley’s leased space more than a decade ago formalized it in 2008. The down economy stalled matters that are now moving forward with plans as the economy recovers. The development of the land was not part of the $198 million bond package voters passed on Tuesday, something Langley didn’t want to thwart by going public with his leasing troubles before the election. 

Although Point Defiance spans 700 acres, much of the space is set to either be left as open space or possible other uses. But no location within the park, even if space were available, would not provide the visibility of the current location, which draws about 30,000 visitors each summer. That volume is down by about half from its high of 60,000 in 1994. The rerouting of zoo visitors away from the Pearl Street entrance that year, Langley said, caused the drop which has yet to rebound. But business is growing right when it may have to relocate or shut down.

Even if park officials don’t renew Langley’s lease and the go-kart engines are silence, visitors shouldn’t expect the new development to come quickly. The land will be used for parking while utility work and other projects are done before buildings starts springing up.

“There is a lot of work that we need to do to that area,” Parks Project Manager Curtis Hancock said. “This whole project will take 15 to 20 years. A lot of thought has gone into this.”

Point Defiance’s master plan includes improvements to better promote the combined zoo and aquarium complex as well as the scenic and other recreational opportunities located around the park, which attracts more than 700,000 visitors a year, making it the county’s second most popular attraction behind Mount Rainier.

More than 100 public hearings gathered more than 100,000 comments during the master planning process, Hancock said, and the majority of the people wanted the park to be a collection of attractions that includes large areas of undeveloped land but also more visitor services such as restaurants and interpretive centers. That puts the two-acre site Langley leases into the crosshairs because the land is strategically located at a major entrance to the park as well as between the park and the waterfront walkway under development.

“I’m not saying I don’t like the plan,” Langley said. “It’s a good plan. It should just have an entertainment component to it.”

Langley adds that his family fun center is an attraction at the park that many families will miss if he isn’t allowed to have a long-term lease that would allow him to expand his operations. His go karts are the only summer activity for many of his low and middle-income customers, who can’t afford summer trips or day camps. 

“That is what is keeping me going,” he said. “It’s these kids. This is their only summer vacation.” April 22, 2014 at 03:11PM

Go-Karts set to run out of gas with parks expansion plans http://ift.tt/QIEdMO

The legacy of three decades of go-karting is set to putter to a stop in the fall as Point Defiance Park moves forward with plans to redevelop land it leases to the go kart track in favor of establishing a vistor’s center complex.

TNT Family Go-Karts, located near the entrance to Point Defiance Park, is mounting a petition to sway Tacoma Metropolitan Park District officials into renewing its lease, but the end seems near for the last vestige of what was an amusement hub in the early days of the park.

Funland opened in 1933 as a private entertainment center that offered a Tilt-a-Whirl, water scooters, a miniature train and carnival games. The facility operated through World War II only to close and reopen in 1951, after an extensive renovation. It operated for another two decades and closed in phases through the 1960s and 1970s. Langley’s go karts and batting cages are the only private operations on the former amusement park site. But now those are set to disappear. Replacing the two-acre complex will be a visitor’s center, restaurants and commercial developments under Metro Parks plans.

“I’m just a little confused about where to go,” business owner Troy Langley said, noting that his current lease expires at the end of 2014 and he has had no success in getting an extension.

“We’re throwing a hail mary here,” he said, noting the businesses’ Facebook page has a petition to save the go karts with about 1,000 names on it that have been gathered in the last two weeks that he hopes to present to parks officials to sway their decision.

The go kart facility sits next to the SAMI (Science and Math Institute) campus of Tacoma Schools, which is working on options to either stay on the site or move to a yet-to-be-determined spot elsewhere in the park after the next school year.

Metro Parks outlined a Point Defiance master plan that included redevelopment of the Langley’s leased space more than a decade ago formalized it in 2008. The down economy stalled matters that are now moving forward with plans as the economy recovers. The development of the land was not part of the $198 million bond package voters passed on Tuesday, something Langley didn’t want to thwart by going public with his leasing troubles before the election.

Although Point Defiance spans 700 acres, much of the space is set to either be left as open space or possible other uses. But no location within the park, even if space were available, would not provide the visibility of the current location, which draws about 30,000 visitors each summer. That volume is down by about half from its high of 60,000 in 1994. The rerouting of zoo visitors away from the Pearl Street entrance that year, Langley said, caused the drop which has yet to rebound. But business is growing right when it may have to relocate or shut down.

Even if park officials don’t renew Langley’s lease and the go-kart engines are silence, visitors shouldn’t expect the new development to come quickly. The land will be used for parking while utility work and other projects are done before buildings starts springing up.

“There is a lot of work that we need to do to that area,” Parks Project Manager Curtis Hancock said. “This whole project will take 15 to 20 years. A lot of thought has gone into this.”

Point Defiance’s master plan includes improvements to better promote the combined zoo and aquarium complex as well as the scenic and other recreational opportunities located around the park, which attracts more than 700,000 visitors a year, making it the county’s second most popular attraction behind Mount Rainier.

More than 100 public hearings gathered more than 100,000 comments during the master planning process, Hancock said, and the majority of the people wanted the park to be a collection of attractions that includes large areas of undeveloped land but also more visitor services such as restaurants and interpretive centers. That puts the two-acre site Langley leases into the crosshairs because the land is strategically located at a major entrance to the park as well as between the park and the waterfront walkway under development.

“I’m not saying I don’t like the plan,” Langley said. “It’s a good plan. It should just have an entertainment component to it.”

Langley adds that his family fun center is an attraction at the park that many families will miss if he isn’t allowed to have a long-term lease that would allow him to expand his operations. His go karts are the only summer activity for many of his low and middle-income customers, who can’t afford summer trips or day camps.

“That is what is keeping me going,” he said. “It’s these kids. This is their only summer vacation.”

April 22, 2014 at 03:11PM