SPORTSWATCH http://ift.tt/1nWTM1Z SEATTLE AND PORTLAND 7’s TAKE TITLES AT TACOMA AROMA RUGBY

Hundreds of players, family and fans filled up the Portland Avenue Playfields on Saturday, July 26 for the 38th annual Tacoma Aroma 7’s Rugby Tournament. Fourteen men’s clubs and six women’s clubs competed for the championship and entry into the USA Rugby Championship Series. Tacoma was represented by the Tacoma Nomads, Tacoma Sirens and the Old Boys. The men’s championship was claimed by the Seattle OPSB and the women’s title went to the Portland Oregon Rugby Sports Union.

TACOMA’S VAN GARDEREN FINISHES FIFTH AT TOUR DE FRANCE – TOP AMERICAN

Following the 21st and final stage of the Tour de France, Tacoma native Tejay Van Garderen finished in fifth place out of 164 international riders. Van Garderen was the highest American finisher, coming in 11 minutes and 24 seconds behind winner Vincenzo Nibali of Italy. The next-closest American rider was Christopher Horner, who finished in 17th place and 44 minutes, 31 seconds behind.

The 25-year-old Van Garderen is a member of the international BMC Racing Team. This season is proving to be the best yet for Van Garderen, who finished second in the Tour of Oman, third in the Volta a Catalunya and sixth at the Tour of the Basque Country. There are 10 events remaining on the 2014 UCI World Tour.

TACOMA’S RINGO CLAIMS SILVER MEDAL AT JUNIOR OLYMPICS

Twelve-year old Kelee Ringo is making a name for himself on the national track and field stage. The sixth grader from Baker Middle School competed at the National Junior Olympic Meet on Sunday, July 27. Ringo, a member of the Cheetah Track Club of Tacoma, finished second in the 11/12 year old 100-meter dash with a finals time of 12.43 seconds and finished fifth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.37 seconds. Ringo has clocked personal-best times of 12.01 and 55.56 this season in the 100 and 400.

“Kelee is one of the humblest and hardest working young men I have coached, and it has been a pleasure coaching him over the past four years to prepare for this past weekend’s event,” said coach Brandon Ervin. “His hard work and dedication showed that he deserved to represent the City of Tacoma, Cheetah Track Club and the State of Washington. He is truly an angel sent from above.”

PACIFIC LUTHERAN NAMES GLASOE NEW SOFTBALL SKIPPER

Puyallup native and former Pacific Lutheran softball assistant Lance Glasoe will take the reins as PLU’s softball head coach, PLU athletic director Laurie Turner announced July 23.

Glasoe returns to PLU after a six-year stretch as pitching coach for the University of Washington softball team, where he coached a pair of All-American pitchers in Danielle Lawrie and Kaitlin Inglesby. He was an assistant coach on the 2009 NCAA Div. I National Championship Husky team, with University of Washington claiming National Coaching Staff of the Year honors that season. During his time at UW, the Huskies advanced to the Women’s College World Series three times.

"I am thrilled to welcome the caliber of coach that Lance is to the PLU community," Turner said. "The breadth of his coaching experience at the high school level and at one of the top Division I programs in the nation, not to mention his previous PLU experience, make him an outstanding selection."

Glasoe served as the Lutes’ pitching coach under former PLU head coach Rick Noren from 2006-08, following softball head coaching stints at Sumner and Bonney Lake High Schools. While at Sumner, Glasoe led the Spartans to three consecutive state finals appearances and won two league championships.

Glasoe will look to bring some stability to a program that won the NCAA Div. III national title in 2012 but will now have its third head coach in as many years. Since 1981, the PLU softball program boasts a 909-386-2 overall record (.702 winning percentage), a 466-149 Northwest Conference record, 16 NWC titles and three national championships (NAIA titles in 1988 and 1992 and the NCAA title in 2012). Last season, the Lutes finished with a 16-24 overall record and placed sixth in the conference standings with a 13-15 mark.

"I’ve worked with softball players at a lot of different levels, and I hope to use that experience to help our players get better at every level and make PLU a destination program in the Northwest," Glasoe said. "I’m excited to get to know the team. I know a few of the players already, but I look forward to getting to know everybody and preparing for the season."

PLU BASKETBALL NABS NATIONAL ACADEMIC HONORS

The Pacific Lutheran men’s basketball team claimed several academic honors this week as the National Association of Basketball Coaches awarded the Lutes with a 2013-14 Team Academic Excellence Award, while a trio of Lute players were named to the NABC Honors Court.

As a team, PLU was one of 125 colleges and universities among every NCAA and NAIA level to earn the Team Academic Excellence Award. The award recognizes outstanding academic achievement by a team with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better for the season.

PLU players Andrew Alness, Kevin McCrossin and Austen Wilson each qualified for the Honors Court, among a total of nearly 900 student-athletes from 335 colleges and universities. To qualify for the award, students must have achieved at least junior academic standing with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 at the conclusion of the 2013-14 academic year.

TACOMA VOLLEYBALL OFFICIALS STILL NEEDED

The Tacoma-Pierce County Volleyball Officials Board is in need of individuals who are interested in officiating middle school, junior high, senior high, college and recreation department volleyball matches throughout Pierce County. A comprehensive training program, starting Aug. 21, is offered for all new officials and the opportunities to advance in the organization are extensive.

For students, retirees or former athletes looking to re-connect with a sport, officiating high school and middle school sports is also an excellent way to earn some extra income and provide a great service to the teams.  Registration is due no later than Aug. 7, so time is running out.

For additional information on becoming a volleyball official, please visit http://www.tpcvob.com or contact Marc Blau at (253) 677-2872 or mhblau@comcast.net. July 30, 2014 at 12:18PM

SPORTSWATCH http://ift.tt/1nWTM1Z

SEATTLE AND PORTLAND 7’s TAKE TITLES AT TACOMA AROMA RUGBY

Hundreds of players, family and fans filled up the Portland Avenue Playfields on Saturday, July 26 for the 38th annual Tacoma Aroma 7’s Rugby Tournament. Fourteen men’s clubs and six women’s clubs competed for the championship and entry into the USA Rugby Championship Series. Tacoma was represented by the Tacoma Nomads, Tacoma Sirens and the Old Boys. The men’s championship was claimed by the Seattle OPSB and the women’s title went to the Portland Oregon Rugby Sports Union.

TACOMA’S VAN GARDEREN FINISHES FIFTH AT TOUR DE FRANCE – TOP AMERICAN

Following the 21st and final stage of the Tour de France, Tacoma native Tejay Van Garderen finished in fifth place out of 164 international riders. Van Garderen was the highest American finisher, coming in 11 minutes and 24 seconds behind winner Vincenzo Nibali of Italy. The next-closest American rider was Christopher Horner, who finished in 17th place and 44 minutes, 31 seconds behind.

The 25-year-old Van Garderen is a member of the international BMC Racing Team. This season is proving to be the best yet for Van Garderen, who finished second in the Tour of Oman, third in the Volta a Catalunya and sixth at the Tour of the Basque Country. There are 10 events remaining on the 2014 UCI World Tour.

TACOMA’S RINGO CLAIMS SILVER MEDAL AT JUNIOR OLYMPICS

Twelve-year old Kelee Ringo is making a name for himself on the national track and field stage. The sixth grader from Baker Middle School competed at the National Junior Olympic Meet on Sunday, July 27. Ringo, a member of the Cheetah Track Club of Tacoma, finished second in the 11/12 year old 100-meter dash with a finals time of 12.43 seconds and finished fifth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.37 seconds. Ringo has clocked personal-best times of 12.01 and 55.56 this season in the 100 and 400.

“Kelee is one of the humblest and hardest working young men I have coached, and it has been a pleasure coaching him over the past four years to prepare for this past weekend’s event,” said coach Brandon Ervin. “His hard work and dedication showed that he deserved to represent the City of Tacoma, Cheetah Track Club and the State of Washington. He is truly an angel sent from above.”

PACIFIC LUTHERAN NAMES GLASOE NEW SOFTBALL SKIPPER

Puyallup native and former Pacific Lutheran softball assistant Lance Glasoe will take the reins as PLU’s softball head coach, PLU athletic director Laurie Turner announced July 23.

Glasoe returns to PLU after a six-year stretch as pitching coach for the University of Washington softball team, where he coached a pair of All-American pitchers in Danielle Lawrie and Kaitlin Inglesby. He was an assistant coach on the 2009 NCAA Div. I National Championship Husky team, with University of Washington claiming National Coaching Staff of the Year honors that season. During his time at UW, the Huskies advanced to the Women’s College World Series three times.

"I am thrilled to welcome the caliber of coach that Lance is to the PLU community," Turner said. "The breadth of his coaching experience at the high school level and at one of the top Division I programs in the nation, not to mention his previous PLU experience, make him an outstanding selection."

Glasoe served as the Lutes’ pitching coach under former PLU head coach Rick Noren from 2006-08, following softball head coaching stints at Sumner and Bonney Lake High Schools. While at Sumner, Glasoe led the Spartans to three consecutive state finals appearances and won two league championships.

Glasoe will look to bring some stability to a program that won the NCAA Div. III national title in 2012 but will now have its third head coach in as many years. Since 1981, the PLU softball program boasts a 909-386-2 overall record (.702 winning percentage), a 466-149 Northwest Conference record, 16 NWC titles and three national championships (NAIA titles in 1988 and 1992 and the NCAA title in 2012). Last season, the Lutes finished with a 16-24 overall record and placed sixth in the conference standings with a 13-15 mark.

"I’ve worked with softball players at a lot of different levels, and I hope to use that experience to help our players get better at every level and make PLU a destination program in the Northwest," Glasoe said. "I’m excited to get to know the team. I know a few of the players already, but I look forward to getting to know everybody and preparing for the season."

PLU BASKETBALL NABS NATIONAL ACADEMIC HONORS

The Pacific Lutheran men’s basketball team claimed several academic honors this week as the National Association of Basketball Coaches awarded the Lutes with a 2013-14 Team Academic Excellence Award, while a trio of Lute players were named to the NABC Honors Court.

As a team, PLU was one of 125 colleges and universities among every NCAA and NAIA level to earn the Team Academic Excellence Award. The award recognizes outstanding academic achievement by a team with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better for the season.

PLU players Andrew Alness, Kevin McCrossin and Austen Wilson each qualified for the Honors Court, among a total of nearly 900 student-athletes from 335 colleges and universities. To qualify for the award, students must have achieved at least junior academic standing with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 at the conclusion of the 2013-14 academic year.

TACOMA VOLLEYBALL OFFICIALS STILL NEEDED

The Tacoma-Pierce County Volleyball Officials Board is in need of individuals who are interested in officiating middle school, junior high, senior high, college and recreation department volleyball matches throughout Pierce County. A comprehensive training program, starting Aug. 21, is offered for all new officials and the opportunities to advance in the organization are extensive.

For students, retirees or former athletes looking to re-connect with a sport, officiating high school and middle school sports is also an excellent way to earn some extra income and provide a great service to the teams.  Registration is due no later than Aug. 7, so time is running out.

For additional information on becoming a volleyball official, please visit http://www.tpcvob.com or contact Marc Blau at (253) 677-2872 or mhblau@comcast.net.

July 30, 2014 at 12:18PM

Restaurant Spotlight: Tea-ing off with the Olive Branch Café http://ift.tt/1nWTJDe Walking into the Olive Branch Café at 731 Commerce St. may be a confusing experience. Is it a restaurant or a rich aunt’s mansion? Luckily, the question is quickly solved when a host of waitresses invite you in for an old fashioned southern experience in the middle of the Pacific Northwest.

“We want people to feel like they’ve walked into somebody’s home and they know them already,” waitress Loretta Meminger said. “Warm, welcoming, great food, a different ambiance – to me, it’s like no other restaurant I’ve ever seen. We believe in making everybody feel special, everybody, no matter what.”

You certainly feel special surrounded by cabinets of china and expensive looking art as you scarf down your meal, but the Olive Branch Café has a secret – nearly everything in the restaurant has been purchased from thrift stores. Meminger and owner Terry Waller spend their afternoons looking for new decorations at locations like Goodwill to add to the restaurant’s ambiance.

“I did this all on my own – no loans. I painted, I bought this carpet, everything,” Waller said.

The Olive Branch Café offers a breakfast and lunch menu filled with sandwiches and salads, but the real strength lies in its tea options. Rather then just ordering a flavor of tea, Olive branch takes its customers to a tea cabinet filled with over 50 green, herbal, black and white teas from Pike Place Market. The customer can then pick up and smell each one, trying to get a feel for what they like best. When selected, the customer is then given a tea infuser, a device that mixes the tea as you pour it into a cup, ensuring a fresh taste. If this sounds like a venture you’re not ready to take a financial risk on, you’ll be happy to learn that tea for first time customers is on the house.

“You’ll never want to use a teabag again,” Meminger said. “We love serving High Tea, Afternoon Tea and Light Tea and we want to encourage all of Tacoma and surrounding areas to come in and experience a real tea party.”

The Olive Branch is looking to host a grand opening in January after the restaurant has gained some traction with the community. Currently, the location is also open to group events, small or large, even opening after hours for special occasions. The restaurant is in the process of obtaining its liquor license to begin serving wine, a welcome addition to the classy atmosphere.

The Olive Branch is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (253) 330-6511. July 30, 2014 at 10:06AM

Restaurant Spotlight: Tea-ing off with the Olive Branch Café http://ift.tt/1nWTJDe

Walking into the Olive Branch Café at 731 Commerce St. may be a confusing experience. Is it a restaurant or a rich aunt’s mansion? Luckily, the question is quickly solved when a host of waitresses invite you in for an old fashioned southern experience in the middle of the Pacific Northwest.

“We want people to feel like they’ve walked into somebody’s home and they know them already,” waitress Loretta Meminger said. “Warm, welcoming, great food, a different ambiance – to me, it’s like no other restaurant I’ve ever seen. We believe in making everybody feel special, everybody, no matter what.”

You certainly feel special surrounded by cabinets of china and expensive looking art as you scarf down your meal, but the Olive Branch Café has a secret – nearly everything in the restaurant has been purchased from thrift stores. Meminger and owner Terry Waller spend their afternoons looking for new decorations at locations like Goodwill to add to the restaurant’s ambiance.

“I did this all on my own – no loans. I painted, I bought this carpet, everything,” Waller said.

The Olive Branch Café offers a breakfast and lunch menu filled with sandwiches and salads, but the real strength lies in its tea options. Rather then just ordering a flavor of tea, Olive branch takes its customers to a tea cabinet filled with over 50 green, herbal, black and white teas from Pike Place Market. The customer can then pick up and smell each one, trying to get a feel for what they like best. When selected, the customer is then given a tea infuser, a device that mixes the tea as you pour it into a cup, ensuring a fresh taste. If this sounds like a venture you’re not ready to take a financial risk on, you’ll be happy to learn that tea for first time customers is on the house.

“You’ll never want to use a teabag again,” Meminger said. “We love serving High Tea, Afternoon Tea and Light Tea and we want to encourage all of Tacoma and surrounding areas to come in and experience a real tea party.”

The Olive Branch is looking to host a grand opening in January after the restaurant has gained some traction with the community. Currently, the location is also open to group events, small or large, even opening after hours for special occasions. The restaurant is in the process of obtaining its liquor license to begin serving wine, a welcome addition to the classy atmosphere.

The Olive Branch is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (253) 330-6511.

July 30, 2014 at 10:06AM

Make a Scene: Enjoy an evening with neighbors at National Night Out http://ift.tt/1nWTHLJ Locals will build community and fight crime with dozens of block parties, barbecues and other festive events scheduled for Aug. 5 in honor of National Night Out. 

Started in 1984 by the non-profit National Association of Town Watch, National Night Out is recognized on the first Tuesday in August in many parts of the country, though communities in Texas wait until it cools down a bit, in October. 

NATW estimates that 37.8 million people in 16,000 communities participate in a wide variety of Night Out activities, ranging from parades to porch light vigils. The idea is that getting to know their neighbors and banding together to organize makes citizens less vulnerable. 

“It’s one night a year where the community gets together to block off their street, have a barbecue – at the very minimum, turn their lights on in the evening,” said Wanda Rochelle, operations program manager for Safe Streets in Tacoma, the main community liaison for the event. “So it’s to be used as a community gathering and crime deterrent.”

Normally, locals have to apply for special permits when they want to organize their own parades or block parties; but Safe Streets has secured a blanket permit for groups that register their events with them. They also provide “goody bags” filled with informational brochures, lights, crayons for kids and other knicknacks collected from Metro Parks, Tacoma Power and other local groups. 

Rochelle said more than 100 events had been registered through her group this year. Among the larger ones is a South Tacoma concert and block party spearheaded by The Bridge United Methodist Church, on South Puget Sound Avenue between 56th and 57th streets. 

“When we first started doing them in another part of town, nobody would show. It was impossible to build community,” Pastor Gordy Hitchins recalled. Two years ago “we put a rock band out there and the dunk tank and everything, and it was just an amazing community event. So we did it again last year with three bands and a greater level of participation from other organizations and community groups.”

This party will kick off at 4 p.m. with music provided by local favorites Strangely Alright, Sleepy Pilot, Jason Kerstson and Antihero. There will also be a dunk tank and other family friendly activities with the fun continuing through 10 p.m.

“It’s a chance for the people in the neighborhood to get to know each other, to come to trust each other and come to a point where they don’t look at each other with suspicion and fear,” Hitchins said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for us to become a community again.”

Locals can call Safe Streets at (253) 272-6824 to learn if there is a party in or near their neighborhood. July 30, 2014 at 08:52AM

Make a Scene: Enjoy an evening with neighbors at National Night Out http://ift.tt/1nWTHLJ

Locals will build community and fight crime with dozens of block parties, barbecues and other festive events scheduled for Aug. 5 in honor of National Night Out.

Started in 1984 by the non-profit National Association of Town Watch, National Night Out is recognized on the first Tuesday in August in many parts of the country, though communities in Texas wait until it cools down a bit, in October.

NATW estimates that 37.8 million people in 16,000 communities participate in a wide variety of Night Out activities, ranging from parades to porch light vigils. The idea is that getting to know their neighbors and banding together to organize makes citizens less vulnerable.

“It’s one night a year where the community gets together to block off their street, have a barbecue – at the very minimum, turn their lights on in the evening,” said Wanda Rochelle, operations program manager for Safe Streets in Tacoma, the main community liaison for the event. “So it’s to be used as a community gathering and crime deterrent.”

Normally, locals have to apply for special permits when they want to organize their own parades or block parties; but Safe Streets has secured a blanket permit for groups that register their events with them. They also provide “goody bags” filled with informational brochures, lights, crayons for kids and other knicknacks collected from Metro Parks, Tacoma Power and other local groups.

Rochelle said more than 100 events had been registered through her group this year. Among the larger ones is a South Tacoma concert and block party spearheaded by The Bridge United Methodist Church, on South Puget Sound Avenue between 56th and 57th streets.

“When we first started doing them in another part of town, nobody would show. It was impossible to build community,” Pastor Gordy Hitchins recalled. Two years ago “we put a rock band out there and the dunk tank and everything, and it was just an amazing community event. So we did it again last year with three bands and a greater level of participation from other organizations and community groups.”

This party will kick off at 4 p.m. with music provided by local favorites Strangely Alright, Sleepy Pilot, Jason Kerstson and Antihero. There will also be a dunk tank and other family friendly activities with the fun continuing through 10 p.m.

“It’s a chance for the people in the neighborhood to get to know each other, to come to trust each other and come to a point where they don’t look at each other with suspicion and fear,” Hitchins said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for us to become a community again.”

Locals can call Safe Streets at (253) 272-6824 to learn if there is a party in or near their neighborhood.

July 30, 2014 at 08:52AM

Arts & Entertainment: Rock and Rally for the Troops http://ift.tt/1rMsIkg Who’s ready for a good time on Saturday Aug. 2 in Fife and to support a fantastic cause while doing so? 

About 800 local music fans are, according to Brittney Hamilton, the event organizer for Rock & Rally For The Troops, which benefits Operation Ward 57. Hamilton is also the executive director of the charity. 

The event is in its fourth year of existence and has gotten bigger each time, allowing organizers to raise more money and help more veterans. This year the annual music festival has expanded to include a second stage, giving organizers the opportunity to bring in more bands. They also moved the event from the Tacoma waterfront to Louie G’s in Fife.

Hamilton explains, “We have always had a wonderful time on the waterfront and Gwen and her staff at Rock the Dock have been amazing but this year we wanted to go bigger to include multiple stages and we knew if we expanded we would lose all the parking on the waterfront. We also wanted to make it a more all ages/family-friendly event and we didn’t feel we could accommodate that on the waterfront. Louie Galarza (Louie G’s owner) was generous enough to offer his facility, allowing us to expand and maintain the free parking.”

Operation Ward 57 is a small non-profit doing big things. Founded in 2007 it’s supported by  volunteer active and retired military, celebrity musicians and through contributions from individuals across the country. The annual Rock & Rally For The Troops event also includes a motorcycle ride that starts at Rock the Dock (535 Dock St.) at 10 a.m. Hamilton expects at least 125 bikers will be on the road and involved with the ride this year. The music portion of the event will start at 2:15 p.m. featuring Righteous Vendetta, True Holland, Lakeview Drive, Amadon, The Adarna, The Mothership, Anti Hero, A Lien Nation and Mom’s Rocket. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the venue. VIP tickets are also available for $50. 

Hamilton says her passion comes from meeting these heroes and hearing their stories. She adds, “Realizing that for each of them there are different struggles, different needs, and different obstacles, all of which combine to create their ‘new normal’. I just want to be able to continue to help them so they never have to need for anything and that they know they are not alone. It’s about educating, motivating and inspiring.” 

Music has always been a huge part of Hamilton’s life and she says many of our veterans use music to get through long deployments as well as help in their recovery. She continues, “Having this event each year is a way for the community to rally together and show their support of our wounded and their families. To let them know they are not forgotten, that they have a support system, as well as provide opportunities for those recovering from injuries to get out and have fun spending time connecting with their community members. Many in the crowd at the event are veterans, and so it’s very much a brotherhood.” July 29, 2014 at 01:14PM

Arts & Entertainment: Rock and Rally for the Troops http://ift.tt/1rMsIkg

Who’s ready for a good time on Saturday Aug. 2 in Fife and to support a fantastic cause while doing so?

About 800 local music fans are, according to Brittney Hamilton, the event organizer for Rock & Rally For The Troops, which benefits Operation Ward 57. Hamilton is also the executive director of the charity.

The event is in its fourth year of existence and has gotten bigger each time, allowing organizers to raise more money and help more veterans. This year the annual music festival has expanded to include a second stage, giving organizers the opportunity to bring in more bands. They also moved the event from the Tacoma waterfront to Louie G’s in Fife.

Hamilton explains, “We have always had a wonderful time on the waterfront and Gwen and her staff at Rock the Dock have been amazing but this year we wanted to go bigger to include multiple stages and we knew if we expanded we would lose all the parking on the waterfront. We also wanted to make it a more all ages/family-friendly event and we didn’t feel we could accommodate that on the waterfront. Louie Galarza (Louie G’s owner) was generous enough to offer his facility, allowing us to expand and maintain the free parking.”

Operation Ward 57 is a small non-profit doing big things. Founded in 2007 it’s supported by  volunteer active and retired military, celebrity musicians and through contributions from individuals across the country. The annual Rock & Rally For The Troops event also includes a motorcycle ride that starts at Rock the Dock (535 Dock St.) at 10 a.m. Hamilton expects at least 125 bikers will be on the road and involved with the ride this year. The music portion of the event will start at 2:15 p.m. featuring Righteous Vendetta, True Holland, Lakeview Drive, Amadon, The Adarna, The Mothership, Anti Hero, A Lien Nation and Mom’s Rocket. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the venue. VIP tickets are also available for $50. 

Hamilton says her passion comes from meeting these heroes and hearing their stories. She adds, “Realizing that for each of them there are different struggles, different needs, and different obstacles, all of which combine to create their ‘new normal’. I just want to be able to continue to help them so they never have to need for anything and that they know they are not alone. It’s about educating, motivating and inspiring.” 

Music has always been a huge part of Hamilton’s life and she says many of our veterans use music to get through long deployments as well as help in their recovery. She continues, “Having this event each year is a way for the community to rally together and show their support of our wounded and their families. To let them know they are not forgotten, that they have a support system, as well as provide opportunities for those recovering from injuries to get out and have fun spending time connecting with their community members. Many in the crowd at the event are veterans, and so it’s very much a brotherhood.”

July 29, 2014 at 01:14PM

Nightlife http://ift.tt/1rMspFX Friday, Aug. 1

LOUIE G’S: The Fame Riot, Static, The Crying Spell (rock, pop) 8 p.m., $10, AA

B SHARP COFFEE: Kareem Kandi, Lucas Smiraldo (jazz, spoken word) 7:15 p.m., NC, AA

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

KEYS ON MAIN: Dueling pianos, 9 p.m., NC

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

NEW FRONTIER: Smart People dance party (DJs) 9 p.m., $5

STONEGATE: Led Zeppmen (Led Zeppelin tribute) 9 p.m., NC

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

TACOMA COMEDY: Ryan Singer (comedy) 8, 10:30 p.m., $15

UNCLE SAM’S: Hambone Blues Band (blues) 8 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 2

BOB’S JAVA JIVE: Kramer’s final show with Red Hex, Mercenaries, Manx (punk, surf) 8 p.m., $5

B SHARP COFFEE: Sundae + Mr. Goessl (Great American Songbook) 8 p.m., NC, AA

DOYLE’S: Rippin’ Chicken (funk, afrobeat, jazz) 9:30 p.m., NC

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

HALF PINT: The Rallies, Loser Dog (rock) 8 p.m., NC, AA

JAZZBONES: Pink Bead with MC S.A.V., Deadly D and Vanni Meursing (hip-hop) 9 p.m., $7

KEYS ON MAIN: Dueling pianos, 9 p.m., NC

LOUIE G’S: Rock N Rally for the Troops with Amadon, The Adarna and The Mothership (rock) noon, AA

NEW FRONTIER: Deathbed Confessions, Earth Control (metal) 9 p.m., $5

THE SPAR: Tatoosh (classic rock) 8 p.m., NC 

STONEGATE: Billy Roy Danger & The Rectifiers (rock, blues, rockabilly) 9 p.m., NC

TACOMA COMEDY: Ryan Singer (comedy) 8, 10:30 p.m., $15

THEATRE ON THE SQUARE: Musical Theatre Camp presents “The Prince and the Pauper” (rock musical) 2 p.m., $5-$14, AA

UNCLE SAM’S: Pierce Centro Birthday Party with Whiskey Creek (southern rock) 8 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 3

TACOMA COMEDY: Jonas Barnes, Mike Coletta, Andrew Rivers, Brian Moote, Luke Severid (comedy) 8 p.m., NC, 18+

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

LOUIE G’S: Ted Brown Outreach featuring Resisting Ordinary (rock) noon, NC, AA

NEW FRONTIER: 40 Grit (bluegrass jam) 3 p.m., NC

STONEGATE: Bobby Hoffman and his all-star band (open jam) 8 p.m., NC

Monday, Aug. 4

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

GIG SPOT: Monday Mash-Up open mic and trivia, 8 p.m., NC, AA

NEW FRONTIER: Open mic comedy, 9 p.m., NC

THE SWISS: Blues night, 9 p.m., NC

Tuesday, Aug. 5

THE BRIDGE (5601 S. Puget Sound): National Night Out with Strangely Alright, Jason Kertson, Sleepy Pilot, Antihero (rock) 5 p.m., NC, AA

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

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

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

ROCK N ROLL STEAKHOUSE: Comedy open mic, 9 p.m., NC, AA

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

TACOMA COMEDY: Just Because Benefit with Brian Moote, Mike Coletta and more (comedy) 8 p.m., $10, 18+

Wednesday, Aug. 6

OLD TOWN PARK: Champagne Sunday (rock, folk, pop) 6:30 p.m., NC, AA

JAZZBONES: The Ori Naftaly Band (blues) 8 p.m., $15

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

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

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

Thursday, Aug. 7

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

CHARLEY’S: Blues jam with Richard Molina, 8 p.m., NC

KEYS ON MAIN: Dueling pianos, 9 p.m., NC

TACOMA COMEDY: Mike James (comedy) 8 p.m., $10

UNCLE SAM’S: Jerry Miller (blues, rock) 7 p.m., NC July 29, 2014 at 11:22AM

Nightlife http://ift.tt/1rMspFX

Friday, Aug. 1

LOUIE G’S: The Fame Riot, Static, The Crying Spell (rock, pop) 8 p.m., $10, AA

B SHARP COFFEE: Kareem Kandi, Lucas Smiraldo (jazz, spoken word) 7:15 p.m., NC, AA

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

KEYS ON MAIN: Dueling pianos, 9 p.m., NC

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

NEW FRONTIER: Smart People dance party (DJs) 9 p.m., $5

STONEGATE: Led Zeppmen (Led Zeppelin tribute) 9 p.m., NC

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

TACOMA COMEDY: Ryan Singer (comedy) 8, 10:30 p.m., $15

UNCLE SAM’S: Hambone Blues Band (blues) 8 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 2

BOB’S JAVA JIVE: Kramer’s final show with Red Hex, Mercenaries, Manx (punk, surf) 8 p.m., $5

B SHARP COFFEE: Sundae + Mr. Goessl (Great American Songbook) 8 p.m., NC, AA

DOYLE’S: Rippin’ Chicken (funk, afrobeat, jazz) 9:30 p.m., NC

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

HALF PINT: The Rallies, Loser Dog (rock) 8 p.m., NC, AA

JAZZBONES: Pink Bead with MC S.A.V., Deadly D and Vanni Meursing (hip-hop) 9 p.m., $7

KEYS ON MAIN: Dueling pianos, 9 p.m., NC

LOUIE G’S: Rock N Rally for the Troops with Amadon, The Adarna and The Mothership (rock) noon, AA

NEW FRONTIER: Deathbed Confessions, Earth Control (metal) 9 p.m., $5

THE SPAR: Tatoosh (classic rock) 8 p.m., NC

STONEGATE: Billy Roy Danger & The Rectifiers (rock, blues, rockabilly) 9 p.m., NC

TACOMA COMEDY: Ryan Singer (comedy) 8, 10:30 p.m., $15

THEATRE ON THE SQUARE: Musical Theatre Camp presents “The Prince and the Pauper” (rock musical) 2 p.m., $5-$14, AA

UNCLE SAM’S: Pierce Centro Birthday Party with Whiskey Creek (southern rock) 8 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 3

TACOMA COMEDY: Jonas Barnes, Mike Coletta, Andrew Rivers, Brian Moote, Luke Severid (comedy) 8 p.m., NC, 18+

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

LOUIE G’S: Ted Brown Outreach featuring Resisting Ordinary (rock) noon, NC, AA

NEW FRONTIER: 40 Grit (bluegrass jam) 3 p.m., NC

STONEGATE: Bobby Hoffman and his all-star band (open jam) 8 p.m., NC

Monday, Aug. 4

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

GIG SPOT: Monday Mash-Up open mic and trivia, 8 p.m., NC, AA

NEW FRONTIER: Open mic comedy, 9 p.m., NC

THE SWISS: Blues night, 9 p.m., NC

Tuesday, Aug. 5

THE BRIDGE (5601 S. Puget Sound): National Night Out with Strangely Alright, Jason Kertson, Sleepy Pilot, Antihero (rock) 5 p.m., NC, AA

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

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

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

ROCK N ROLL STEAKHOUSE: Comedy open mic, 9 p.m., NC, AA

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

TACOMA COMEDY: Just Because Benefit with Brian Moote, Mike Coletta and more (comedy) 8 p.m., $10, 18+

Wednesday, Aug. 6

OLD TOWN PARK: Champagne Sunday (rock, folk, pop) 6:30 p.m., NC, AA

JAZZBONES: The Ori Naftaly Band (blues) 8 p.m., $15

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

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

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

Thursday, Aug. 7

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

CHARLEY’S: Blues jam with Richard Molina, 8 p.m., NC

KEYS ON MAIN: Dueling pianos, 9 p.m., NC

TACOMA COMEDY: Mike James (comedy) 8 p.m., $10

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

July 29, 2014 at 11:22AM

Candidates field questions about SR 167 http://ift.tt/1rTrKpN It would have made for a great – albeit short – drinking game, when players would toss down shots of booze every time someone said “top priority,” “accountability,” “across the aisle,” “paradigm shift” and “reforms.” Were this to have happened, the players would be under the table 15 minutes into the two-hour politico passive-aggressive love fest at the SR-167 Completion Coalition’s legislative candidate forum the evening of July 29.

When candidates were asked to stand if they supported a tax package to fund the SR-167 project, Democrats stood up while Republicans remained seated. The one-time solid “Pierce County mafia” that voted together on key local issues is a footnote in history, seemingly never to return.

The SR-167 Completion Coalition invited 50 candidates running for local legislative districts to the forum on Tuesday. Only half of them bothered to show up. Senator Steve O’Ban, for example, was the lone 28th District candidate on an issue that is considered by many as a key statewide job-creating project. The six-mile extension of State Route 167 would make port operations more efficient and competitive in the rough-and-tumble world of international shipping, after all. Pierce County is the most trade dependent county in the most trade dependent state in the nation.

Pierce County transportation and business boosters held the candidate forum for position-seeking candidates about their thoughts on how to fund the final leg of the SR-167 project that would connect the warehouse farms mushrooming in the Puyallup Valley with Port of Tacoma shipping terminals. The forum was less about showing political leadership and more about platitudes, buzz words and campaign stumping. The primary is on Tuesday, Aug. 5 after all.

But to the credit of the candidates who opted to stay home, the thrust of the forum was to rally support – and target opponents – of a project that has stalled for more than 20 years and is not likely going to get funded in the upcoming session anyway. The money just isn’t there.

Here’s the problem: The last leg of SR-167 has been a “vital project for economic development” for decades. The price tag is about $2.5 billion and would likely need to be tied to tax increases on gas and retail sales.

Despite wide-reaching support from Republicans and Democrats in Olympia for all of that time, funding for the final leg never comes. But lawmakers, as they have every year for two decades, continue to pledge to look for “reforms” and “efficiencies” to keep the effort alive as a way to improve freight mobility between the industrial and warehouse centers found in the Puyallup Valley and Port of Tacoma waters, and increase economic development in the region. One recent package to fund SR 167’s completion included nearly $1 billion through a gas tax increase of 10.5 cents per gallon, and was called by legislators around the state as “the single largest economic development project in the state.” 

It failed.

State lawmakers now face budget troubles surrounding the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision in 2012 that demanded the state spend more on public education. Washington might even face contempt of court sanctions for not obeying the order during the last budget by not making progress toward funding what the state Constitution calls “the paramount duty of the state.” Plans now call for adding about $1 billion to public education funding during the next two years, with more increases in future budgets, further cutting into the state’s pool of dollars for transportation projects.

With lawmakers unable or unwilling to obey court orders to uphold the state’s paramount duty of providing educational funding, it seems a funding package for a project that has lingered for decades would be dead on arrival.

Keep the booze bottle handy.

Candidate attendees were:

Legislative District 2

Greg Hartman

J.T. Wilcox

Steven Nielson

Legislative District 25

Dawn Morrell

Melanie Stambaugh

Hanz Zeiger

Eric Renz

Legislative District 26

Judy Arbogast

Larry Seaquist

Legislative District 27

Laurie Jinkins

Jake Fey

Steve Cook

Legislative District 28

Steve O’Ban

Legislative District 29

Steve Conway

Legislative District 30

Shari Song

Linda Kochmar

Greg Baruso

Jack Dovey

Legislative District 31

Cathy Dahlquist

Drew Stokesbary

Mike Sando

Phil Fortunato July 30, 2014 at 10:14AM

Candidates field questions about SR 167 http://ift.tt/1rTrKpN

It would have made for a great – albeit short – drinking game, when players would toss down shots of booze every time someone said “top priority,” “accountability,” “across the aisle,” “paradigm shift” and “reforms.” Were this to have happened, the players would be under the table 15 minutes into the two-hour politico passive-aggressive love fest at the SR-167 Completion Coalition’s legislative candidate forum the evening of July 29.

When candidates were asked to stand if they supported a tax package to fund the SR-167 project, Democrats stood up while Republicans remained seated. The one-time solid “Pierce County mafia” that voted together on key local issues is a footnote in history, seemingly never to return.

The SR-167 Completion Coalition invited 50 candidates running for local legislative districts to the forum on Tuesday. Only half of them bothered to show up. Senator Steve O’Ban, for example, was the lone 28th District candidate on an issue that is considered by many as a key statewide job-creating project. The six-mile extension of State Route 167 would make port operations more efficient and competitive in the rough-and-tumble world of international shipping, after all. Pierce County is the most trade dependent county in the most trade dependent state in the nation.

Pierce County transportation and business boosters held the candidate forum for position-seeking candidates about their thoughts on how to fund the final leg of the SR-167 project that would connect the warehouse farms mushrooming in the Puyallup Valley with Port of Tacoma shipping terminals. The forum was less about showing political leadership and more about platitudes, buzz words and campaign stumping. The primary is on Tuesday, Aug. 5 after all.

But to the credit of the candidates who opted to stay home, the thrust of the forum was to rally support – and target opponents – of a project that has stalled for more than 20 years and is not likely going to get funded in the upcoming session anyway. The money just isn’t there.

Here’s the problem: The last leg of SR-167 has been a “vital project for economic development” for decades. The price tag is about $2.5 billion and would likely need to be tied to tax increases on gas and retail sales.

Despite wide-reaching support from Republicans and Democrats in Olympia for all of that time, funding for the final leg never comes. But lawmakers, as they have every year for two decades, continue to pledge to look for “reforms” and “efficiencies” to keep the effort alive as a way to improve freight mobility between the industrial and warehouse centers found in the Puyallup Valley and Port of Tacoma waters, and increase economic development in the region. One recent package to fund SR 167’s completion included nearly $1 billion through a gas tax increase of 10.5 cents per gallon, and was called by legislators around the state as “the single largest economic development project in the state.”

It failed.

State lawmakers now face budget troubles surrounding the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision in 2012 that demanded the state spend more on public education. Washington might even face contempt of court sanctions for not obeying the order during the last budget by not making progress toward funding what the state Constitution calls “the paramount duty of the state.” Plans now call for adding about $1 billion to public education funding during the next two years, with more increases in future budgets, further cutting into the state’s pool of dollars for transportation projects.

With lawmakers unable or unwilling to obey court orders to uphold the state’s paramount duty of providing educational funding, it seems a funding package for a project that has lingered for decades would be dead on arrival.

Keep the booze bottle handy.

Candidate attendees were:

Legislative District 2

Greg Hartman

J.T. Wilcox

Steven Nielson

Legislative District 25

Dawn Morrell

Melanie Stambaugh

Hanz Zeiger

Eric Renz

Legislative District 26

Judy Arbogast

Larry Seaquist

Legislative District 27

Laurie Jinkins

Jake Fey

Steve Cook

Legislative District 28

Steve O’Ban

Legislative District 29

Steve Conway

Legislative District 30

Shari Song

Linda Kochmar

Greg Baruso

Jack Dovey

Legislative District 31

Cathy Dahlquist

Drew Stokesbary

Mike Sando

Phil Fortunato

July 30, 2014 at 10:14AM

Tacoma serves up aces for 123rd PNW Open http://ift.tt/1oehOjg The City of Destiny played host to one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world from July 21 to 27 and Mother Nature nearly crashed the party. The Pacific Northwest Open celebrated 123 years of dazzling tennis at the beautiful Tacoma Lawn Tennis Club and the tournament organizers had to deal with something that hasn’t been seen during the tournament in nearly two decades: rain.

With well over 100 of the best tennis players in the Northwest and from around the nation coming to Tacoma for the PNW Open for just seven days, there’s not a whole lot of wiggle room if the rains wash out the schedule. Luckily, there was just a few sprinkles on Tuesday, while Wednesday was a stormy and unyielding.

Tournament staff moved massive amounts of water and leaves from the courts before Thursday’s play resumed and the PNW Open resumed without a hitch. They were able to adjust for the time lost, stacking matches and pushing players to their physical limits as some were competing in multiple events.

When the dust cleared on Championship Sunday, it was many of the tournament favorites that were working center court and walking away with the trophies and the prize money from the record $22,000 in payouts this year.

Under blue, cloudless skies a packed gallery witnessed Men’s Singles number-one seed Kyle McMorrow battle back from a first set loss to take two straight from second-seed Ben McLachlan. The former Cal Bear all-American looked sharp in the first set taking a 6-3 victory over McMorrow, but dropped the first two games of the second set to the former University of Washington all-American.

McLachlan would bounce back with two straight games of his own, tying the set at 2-2 only to see McMorrow buckle-down and win the next two. Trailing 2-4, McLachlan put together a two-game run that probably saw the last of his best. With the set tied at 4-4, McMorrow ran-off the next two games, including two deuces in the final game for a 6-4 set win.

With the sets tied at 1-1, McMorrow looked to be strengthening as McLachlan seemed to be running out of gas.

The first four games went to deuce in the final set and McMorrow took advantage of his strong serve to take three of them. Leading 3-1, McMorrow turned-up the pressure and won each point in the fifth game. Overheating, trailing 4-1 and really pushing it, McLachlan was at 30-love in the sixth game when the elements overcame him and he requested a medical time-out. He appeared to be a little out-of-sorts and possibly nauseous. After the allowed recovery time, the men returned to the court.

“I was struggling with the heat for a while, but I’m feeling better now,” McLachlan would say later.

McMorrow took the final two points to finish the game and then closed-out the last game like a champion taking all four points and a 6-1 final set victory.

“We had some great battles in college and I hope this is just the beginning for us as professionals,” said McMorrow who won $4,000 for the 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 performance.

In the earlier Women’s Singles championship, Kirkland’s Maggy Lehmicke stumbled early dropping the first set to Riko Shimizu 4-6, but came back strong with consecutive 6-1 sets. Lehmicke, a junior at the University of Nebraska had to opt for the champion’s trophy and a gift certificate instead of the $2,000 winner’s share due to NCAA regulations. Shimizu, a former Washington Husky, took home $1,000 as the runner-up.

Later in the afternoon, McMorrow returned to action with teammate Joel Kielbowicz to win the Men’s Doubles title (6-2, 6-2) over Marton Bots and Guillermo Gomez. Shimitzu also returned to claim another runner-up finish with teammate Julija Lukac in Women’s Doubles. The pair lost to Haley Dy and Irina Tereschenko 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. Mitch Stewart and Denise Dy won the Mixed Doubles after Haley Gay and Garrett Patton withdrew from the competition.

Campbell Johnson, a quarter-finalist in the Men’s Singles, was the recipient of the newly-renamed Georgia Howell Sportsmanship Award. Mrs. Howell passed away in February and was a cornerstone of the Tacoma Lawn Tennis Club for the past 35 years. July 30, 2014 at 09:58AM

Tacoma serves up aces for 123rd PNW Open http://ift.tt/1oehOjg

The City of Destiny played host to one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world from July 21 to 27 and Mother Nature nearly crashed the party. The Pacific Northwest Open celebrated 123 years of dazzling tennis at the beautiful Tacoma Lawn Tennis Club and the tournament organizers had to deal with something that hasn’t been seen during the tournament in nearly two decades: rain.

With well over 100 of the best tennis players in the Northwest and from around the nation coming to Tacoma for the PNW Open for just seven days, there’s not a whole lot of wiggle room if the rains wash out the schedule. Luckily, there was just a few sprinkles on Tuesday, while Wednesday was a stormy and unyielding.

Tournament staff moved massive amounts of water and leaves from the courts before Thursday’s play resumed and the PNW Open resumed without a hitch. They were able to adjust for the time lost, stacking matches and pushing players to their physical limits as some were competing in multiple events.

When the dust cleared on Championship Sunday, it was many of the tournament favorites that were working center court and walking away with the trophies and the prize money from the record $22,000 in payouts this year.

Under blue, cloudless skies a packed gallery witnessed Men’s Singles number-one seed Kyle McMorrow battle back from a first set loss to take two straight from second-seed Ben McLachlan. The former Cal Bear all-American looked sharp in the first set taking a 6-3 victory over McMorrow, but dropped the first two games of the second set to the former University of Washington all-American.

McLachlan would bounce back with two straight games of his own, tying the set at 2-2 only to see McMorrow buckle-down and win the next two. Trailing 2-4, McLachlan put together a two-game run that probably saw the last of his best. With the set tied at 4-4, McMorrow ran-off the next two games, including two deuces in the final game for a 6-4 set win.

With the sets tied at 1-1, McMorrow looked to be strengthening as McLachlan seemed to be running out of gas.

The first four games went to deuce in the final set and McMorrow took advantage of his strong serve to take three of them. Leading 3-1, McMorrow turned-up the pressure and won each point in the fifth game. Overheating, trailing 4-1 and really pushing it, McLachlan was at 30-love in the sixth game when the elements overcame him and he requested a medical time-out. He appeared to be a little out-of-sorts and possibly nauseous. After the allowed recovery time, the men returned to the court.

“I was struggling with the heat for a while, but I’m feeling better now,” McLachlan would say later.

McMorrow took the final two points to finish the game and then closed-out the last game like a champion taking all four points and a 6-1 final set victory.

“We had some great battles in college and I hope this is just the beginning for us as professionals,” said McMorrow who won $4,000 for the 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 performance.

In the earlier Women’s Singles championship, Kirkland’s Maggy Lehmicke stumbled early dropping the first set to Riko Shimizu 4-6, but came back strong with consecutive 6-1 sets. Lehmicke, a junior at the University of Nebraska had to opt for the champion’s trophy and a gift certificate instead of the $2,000 winner’s share due to NCAA regulations. Shimizu, a former Washington Husky, took home $1,000 as the runner-up.

Later in the afternoon, McMorrow returned to action with teammate Joel Kielbowicz to win the Men’s Doubles title (6-2, 6-2) over Marton Bots and Guillermo Gomez. Shimitzu also returned to claim another runner-up finish with teammate Julija Lukac in Women’s Doubles. The pair lost to Haley Dy and Irina Tereschenko 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. Mitch Stewart and Denise Dy won the Mixed Doubles after Haley Gay and Garrett Patton withdrew from the competition.

Campbell Johnson, a quarter-finalist in the Men’s Singles, was the recipient of the newly-renamed Georgia Howell Sportsmanship Award. Mrs. Howell passed away in February and was a cornerstone of the Tacoma Lawn Tennis Club for the past 35 years.

July 30, 2014 at 09:58AM

Kings fend off hungry Bengals in game of the year http://ift.tt/1rTrHKw At the beginning of the season it had been marked as the probable game of the year in the Western Washington Football Alliance. The regular season-ending match-up between the perennial powerhouse Pierce County Bengals and the promising second-year franchise Puyallup Nation Kings looked like a can’t miss for football fans.

Indeed, it was all that and more.

The number five nationally-ranked Kings fought off an unrelenting Bengals squad for a 24-21 victory and claimed the 2014 WWFA regular season crown and capping a perfect 9-0 season. The sizeable crowd at Sumner’s Sunset Stadium witnessed a fun, if not bizarre, contest that stretched out over three hours and twenty minutes, with the game still in doubt with 1:45 to play.

The Kings had been outscoring their opponents by an average score of 48-6 over the course of the season and meanwhile, the Bengals (7-2) lone loss of the season was a 14-13 loss to the second-place Renton Ravens. Something was going to have to give.

Pierce County was the first to start the giving when Bengals quarterback Octavis Walton saw his first-and-ten snap from the fifty-yard line sail over his head. Kings linebacker Mack Ioramo scooped up the ball at the Bengals 30-yard line and rambled untouched into the end-zone for a touchdown just two minutes into the game. Kicker Ryan Burks added the point-after and the Kings led 7-0.

Puyallup held the Bengals to a three-and-out on the ensuing possession and began to go to work with their vaunted ground attack. After moving the ball 42 yards down the field, quarterback Justin Southern’s first pass of the game sailed high and was intercepted by the Bengals’ Junior Meade at the four yard line, who brought it back out to the 15-yard line.

Another bad snap by the Bengals and monster linebacker Nick Noga fell on the ball at the 14 yard line. An offside penalty and two plays later running back Isaac Syph would put his head down and punched through the center of the line for a three-yard touchdown. Burks nailed the point-after kick and the Kings now led 14-0 with 4:58 left in the first quarter.

The two teams would trade off punts over the next three possessions with the Bengals’ Meade drilling solid 51 and 41 yard kicks that kept the Kings deep in their own territory. Following a strong defensive stand by the Bengals and facing fourth-and-14 from their own 32-yard line, Burks mishandled the punt snap, tucked the ball under his arm and began sprinting for the first-down marker. The Bengals stopped him five yards short and took over on downs.

Déjà vu struck again as the Bengals snap was fumbled and Puyallup defensive tackle TuTu Tamaalevea recovered the ball.

With just over six minutes left in the half, it looked as though the Kings might enter break with a shutout and possibly a few more points on the board. The Bengals had other plans.

Facing third-and-10 from the Bengals 40-yard line, Southern dropped back and fired a bullet toward the Kings sideline. At the same moment, Bengals defensive end Su’e Teu Teu jumped into the air and miraculously pulled the ball in with both hands. Teu Teu made a mad-dash down the field and was caught by a host of Kings at the eight yard line. However, before the big man hit the turf, he flipped the ball back to Jimmy “Butter” Burkley who then pulled-off a front-flip into the end-zone. Kicker Pierre Culliver had his point-after kick blocked and the 14-6 Kings lead held to halftime.

After the half, the Kings had first possession and moved the ball quickly down the field powered by Syph runs of 32 and 29 yards. The drive stalled near the Bengals goal and the Kings settled for a 31-yard Burks field goal and a 17-6 advantage with 10:32 remaining in the third quarter.

Puyallup forced another Bengals punt on the following possession. After a 12-yard run by Syph, the Kings series also sputtered and Burks came on for a punt. The punter hung a high kick that bounced at the 18-yard line and went backwards all the way to the 32-yard line before being touched by a Kings defender. However, there was a Kings penalty on the play and instead of taking the ball with decent field possession, the Bengals rolled the dice and opted for another kick from Burks.

This time Burks sailed a booming punt to the Bengals nine-yard line where 2011 Tacoma Weekly Athlete of the Year Rondie Pate caught the ball near the sideline and was almost immediately greeted by three Kings defenders. The former Mt. Tahoma Thunderbird spun completely around while being hit and somehow remained on his feet. Pate sprinted toward midfield and up the Kings sideline untouched for an electrifying 91-yard touchdown. The Bengals faked the point-after kick and Stokely Leggett hit Randhan Agu in the end-zone for a two-point conversion.

The Kings lead was now just 17-14 with 4:54 left in the third quarter and the momentum shift could be felt in the stadium.

Turnovers bit both teams throughout the game and the Kings felt the teeth again on the next possession. After successfully moving the ball into Bengals territory, receiver Raymond Ross hauled-in a 12 yard pass from Southern only to have the ball knocked out by Bengal defenders and recovered by Junior Meade at the 13-yard line.

The next Bengals possession would take over seven minutes while the two teams racked-up seven penalties combined. With the ball at the Kings 48 yard line, Leggett launched a long pass down the sidelines and was intercepted by Ross at the eight-yard line after Agu, the intended receiver, broke off his route.

Two minutes later, Southern was intercepted by Ronald Pate at the Kings 23-yard line and the home team Bengals were within a stone’s throw of the end-zone.

The Kings defense would rise to the occasion again. Pernelle Turnipseed sacked Leggett on the first play for a seven-yard loss. Following a delay of game penalty, the Bengals Ronald Purdue was stuffed for a one-yard loss. Facing third-and-23 now, Leggett dropped back to pass and fumbled the ball as he was swarmed by Kings defenders. Darius Dennis fell on the ball and the Kings would take over at the 50-yard line.

Isaac Syph and Donald McKee combined for three straight runs for first downs and McKee capped it with a seven yard scamper over the left side for a touchdown. Burks was successful on the point-after kick and the Kings led 24-14 with just 2:37 left in the game.

Pierce County would not go away quietly. Rondie Pate again sent the crowd to their feet on the ensuing kickoff returning the ball 61 yards to the Kings 37 yard line. Things didn’t start pretty on the drive however as Walton threw an incompletion and then saw another snap sail off the mark and was luckily recovered by the Bengals after a 22-yard loss.

Now with under two minutes to play and facing third-and-32 from their own 40 yard line, it was desperation time for the Bengals.. With a heated rush in his face, Walton lofted a long pass down the sideline that dropped from the sky into the extended arms of Ronald Purdue. Purdue nearly fell, but regained his balance and sprinted to the end-zone, just making it to the pile-on before being tackled from behind. Culliver added the point-after kick and the Kings lead was down to 24-21 with 1:45 remaining.

Time ran out on the Bengals as the Kings ran for a first down to open the final drive and a few plays later Southern took a knee to end the game.

For the game, running back Isaac Syph would have to pull double-duty against the Bengals as his spectacular backfield partner Chris McCutchin would sit out the game with a sprained knee. Syph delivered with the ground-performance of the season for the Kings as he racked up 239 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. McKee added 77 yards on 12 carries.

The referees may have been icing their shoulders and elbows following the contest as they threw flags for a combined 36 penalties. The teams also combined for five fumbles and five interceptions. Puyallup held the Bengals to 103 yards of total offense while rolling-up 419 yards of their own.

Pierce County will host the Snohomish County Vikings on Saturday, August 2 at Sumner’s Sunset Stadium at 2 p.m. in the first round of the WWFA playoffs. The winner will travel to play the Renton Ravens the following Saturday.

As league champions, the Kings have a first-round bye and will host the winner of the Puget Sound Outlaws/Thurston County Mayhem game which kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday, August 2 at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood. The Kings will play the winner on August 9 at Chief Leschi Stadium at 6 p.m. July 30, 2014 at 09:56AM

Kings fend off hungry Bengals in game of the year http://ift.tt/1rTrHKw

At the beginning of the season it had been marked as the probable game of the year in the Western Washington Football Alliance. The regular season-ending match-up between the perennial powerhouse Pierce County Bengals and the promising second-year franchise Puyallup Nation Kings looked like a can’t miss for football fans.

Indeed, it was all that and more.

The number five nationally-ranked Kings fought off an unrelenting Bengals squad for a 24-21 victory and claimed the 2014 WWFA regular season crown and capping a perfect 9-0 season. The sizeable crowd at Sumner’s Sunset Stadium witnessed a fun, if not bizarre, contest that stretched out over three hours and twenty minutes, with the game still in doubt with 1:45 to play.

The Kings had been outscoring their opponents by an average score of 48-6 over the course of the season and meanwhile, the Bengals (7-2) lone loss of the season was a 14-13 loss to the second-place Renton Ravens. Something was going to have to give.

Pierce County was the first to start the giving when Bengals quarterback Octavis Walton saw his first-and-ten snap from the fifty-yard line sail over his head. Kings linebacker Mack Ioramo scooped up the ball at the Bengals 30-yard line and rambled untouched into the end-zone for a touchdown just two minutes into the game. Kicker Ryan Burks added the point-after and the Kings led 7-0.

Puyallup held the Bengals to a three-and-out on the ensuing possession and began to go to work with their vaunted ground attack. After moving the ball 42 yards down the field, quarterback Justin Southern’s first pass of the game sailed high and was intercepted by the Bengals’ Junior Meade at the four yard line, who brought it back out to the 15-yard line.

Another bad snap by the Bengals and monster linebacker Nick Noga fell on the ball at the 14 yard line. An offside penalty and two plays later running back Isaac Syph would put his head down and punched through the center of the line for a three-yard touchdown. Burks nailed the point-after kick and the Kings now led 14-0 with 4:58 left in the first quarter.

The two teams would trade off punts over the next three possessions with the Bengals’ Meade drilling solid 51 and 41 yard kicks that kept the Kings deep in their own territory. Following a strong defensive stand by the Bengals and facing fourth-and-14 from their own 32-yard line, Burks mishandled the punt snap, tucked the ball under his arm and began sprinting for the first-down marker. The Bengals stopped him five yards short and took over on downs.

Déjà vu struck again as the Bengals snap was fumbled and Puyallup defensive tackle TuTu Tamaalevea recovered the ball.

With just over six minutes left in the half, it looked as though the Kings might enter break with a shutout and possibly a few more points on the board. The Bengals had other plans.

Facing third-and-10 from the Bengals 40-yard line, Southern dropped back and fired a bullet toward the Kings sideline. At the same moment, Bengals defensive end Su’e Teu Teu jumped into the air and miraculously pulled the ball in with both hands. Teu Teu made a mad-dash down the field and was caught by a host of Kings at the eight yard line. However, before the big man hit the turf, he flipped the ball back to Jimmy “Butter” Burkley who then pulled-off a front-flip into the end-zone. Kicker Pierre Culliver had his point-after kick blocked and the 14-6 Kings lead held to halftime.

After the half, the Kings had first possession and moved the ball quickly down the field powered by Syph runs of 32 and 29 yards. The drive stalled near the Bengals goal and the Kings settled for a 31-yard Burks field goal and a 17-6 advantage with 10:32 remaining in the third quarter.

Puyallup forced another Bengals punt on the following possession. After a 12-yard run by Syph, the Kings series also sputtered and Burks came on for a punt. The punter hung a high kick that bounced at the 18-yard line and went backwards all the way to the 32-yard line before being touched by a Kings defender. However, there was a Kings penalty on the play and instead of taking the ball with decent field possession, the Bengals rolled the dice and opted for another kick from Burks.

This time Burks sailed a booming punt to the Bengals nine-yard line where 2011 Tacoma Weekly Athlete of the Year Rondie Pate caught the ball near the sideline and was almost immediately greeted by three Kings defenders. The former Mt. Tahoma Thunderbird spun completely around while being hit and somehow remained on his feet. Pate sprinted toward midfield and up the Kings sideline untouched for an electrifying 91-yard touchdown. The Bengals faked the point-after kick and Stokely Leggett hit Randhan Agu in the end-zone for a two-point conversion.

The Kings lead was now just 17-14 with 4:54 left in the third quarter and the momentum shift could be felt in the stadium.

Turnovers bit both teams throughout the game and the Kings felt the teeth again on the next possession. After successfully moving the ball into Bengals territory, receiver Raymond Ross hauled-in a 12 yard pass from Southern only to have the ball knocked out by Bengal defenders and recovered by Junior Meade at the 13-yard line.

The next Bengals possession would take over seven minutes while the two teams racked-up seven penalties combined. With the ball at the Kings 48 yard line, Leggett launched a long pass down the sidelines and was intercepted by Ross at the eight-yard line after Agu, the intended receiver, broke off his route.

Two minutes later, Southern was intercepted by Ronald Pate at the Kings 23-yard line and the home team Bengals were within a stone’s throw of the end-zone.

The Kings defense would rise to the occasion again. Pernelle Turnipseed sacked Leggett on the first play for a seven-yard loss. Following a delay of game penalty, the Bengals Ronald Purdue was stuffed for a one-yard loss. Facing third-and-23 now, Leggett dropped back to pass and fumbled the ball as he was swarmed by Kings defenders. Darius Dennis fell on the ball and the Kings would take over at the 50-yard line.

Isaac Syph and Donald McKee combined for three straight runs for first downs and McKee capped it with a seven yard scamper over the left side for a touchdown. Burks was successful on the point-after kick and the Kings led 24-14 with just 2:37 left in the game.

Pierce County would not go away quietly. Rondie Pate again sent the crowd to their feet on the ensuing kickoff returning the ball 61 yards to the Kings 37 yard line. Things didn’t start pretty on the drive however as Walton threw an incompletion and then saw another snap sail off the mark and was luckily recovered by the Bengals after a 22-yard loss.

Now with under two minutes to play and facing third-and-32 from their own 40 yard line, it was desperation time for the Bengals.. With a heated rush in his face, Walton lofted a long pass down the sideline that dropped from the sky into the extended arms of Ronald Purdue. Purdue nearly fell, but regained his balance and sprinted to the end-zone, just making it to the pile-on before being tackled from behind. Culliver added the point-after kick and the Kings lead was down to 24-21 with 1:45 remaining.

Time ran out on the Bengals as the Kings ran for a first down to open the final drive and a few plays later Southern took a knee to end the game.

For the game, running back Isaac Syph would have to pull double-duty against the Bengals as his spectacular backfield partner Chris McCutchin would sit out the game with a sprained knee. Syph delivered with the ground-performance of the season for the Kings as he racked up 239 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. McKee added 77 yards on 12 carries.

The referees may have been icing their shoulders and elbows following the contest as they threw flags for a combined 36 penalties. The teams also combined for five fumbles and five interceptions. Puyallup held the Bengals to 103 yards of total offense while rolling-up 419 yards of their own.

Pierce County will host the Snohomish County Vikings on Saturday, August 2 at Sumner’s Sunset Stadium at 2 p.m. in the first round of the WWFA playoffs. The winner will travel to play the Renton Ravens the following Saturday.

As league champions, the Kings have a first-round bye and will host the winner of the Puget Sound Outlaws/Thurston County Mayhem game which kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday, August 2 at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood. The Kings will play the winner on August 9 at Chief Leschi Stadium at 6 p.m.

July 30, 2014 at 09:56AM

Business Spotlight: Downtown Vapors http://ift.tt/1oehNfh Vape, stores have been at the center of lawmakers’ attention lately. With the hobby’s rise as a popular alternative to smoking, classification for the new system has been difficult.

New store Downtown Vapors is ignoring all the technicalities and just offering the lowest prices and the coolest new spot to “vape” in Tacoma.

“We all looked at the prices that some of these places are charging, more than triple the wholesale costs, and we agreed on a major part of our approach in the downtown area. Let the lawyers gouge the lawyers and bankers. We’re here to serve the downtown crowd.  For some this isn’t just a fad, its one in a long line of attempts to quit,” Owner Michael Harold said.

Downtown Vapors was opened by Harold when he made the switch from cigarettes to electronic alternatives after talking to a knowledgeable clerk at a vape shop.

“I picked [an e-cig] out, used it for about a month, really just because of the cool flavors.  I soon found that my lungs weren’t heavy with smoke like they’d been for the past 20 years.  So, I decided to be a part of a business that is helping people, like myself, to breathe,” Harold said.

Downtown Vapors focuses on the customer through and through, not only in terms of prices but also the atmosphere the store presents. An XBox hangs out in the front of the store, with movies and games for anyone’s tastes and on the weekends DJ Jake Nudl3 stops by to provide some live entertainment. Meanwhile, the backroom offers some hangout space with Kava drinks and private vaping options.

“We have old, wooden, well-lit display cases with a nice antique glow. There’s a hutch for the table top herbal vaporizers, like a Volcano, or Da Buddha. Right next to it, there’s a hutch for hand-held herbal vapes like the Pax and the Firefly and up the stairs there’s a glass hutch for hot nail vaping of wax, glass pipes, grinders,flavored rolling papers and domes and glass sticks and then the standard vape cabinets for batteries, RBAs and RDAs and mods like the Vamos, Innokin products like the VTR, MVP. There’s the hybrid, Dreadnaut and in the final cabinet—juice flavor choices from Suicide Bunny, Wolfpack, Velvet Cloud, Two Peas in the Pod and Aer,” Harold said.

Downtown vapors also offers a variety of glassware to fit any smoking needs for an affordable price.

“We have a goal of matching or beating online prices,” Harold said. “We’re cheaper than anyone in town, I’m confident in saying that.”

On Aug. 1-3, the store is hosting a grand opening, complete with DJ Nudl3 and Kava drinks that help provide a mellow atmosphere to anyone looking to come hang out with not just a store, but also a community.

“If there’s anything that is trying to be unique about this shop, it’s that we’re not approaching this like vaping is a fad,” Harold said. “These are not our discounted prices; This is us.” July 30, 2014 at 09:55AM

Business Spotlight: Downtown Vapors http://ift.tt/1oehNfh

Vape, stores have been at the center of lawmakers’ attention lately. With the hobby’s rise as a popular alternative to smoking, classification for the new system has been difficult.

New store Downtown Vapors is ignoring all the technicalities and just offering the lowest prices and the coolest new spot to “vape” in Tacoma.

“We all looked at the prices that some of these places are charging, more than triple the wholesale costs, and we agreed on a major part of our approach in the downtown area. Let the lawyers gouge the lawyers and bankers. We’re here to serve the downtown crowd.  For some this isn’t just a fad, its one in a long line of attempts to quit,” Owner Michael Harold said.

Downtown Vapors was opened by Harold when he made the switch from cigarettes to electronic alternatives after talking to a knowledgeable clerk at a vape shop.

“I picked [an e-cig] out, used it for about a month, really just because of the cool flavors.  I soon found that my lungs weren’t heavy with smoke like they’d been for the past 20 years.  So, I decided to be a part of a business that is helping people, like myself, to breathe,” Harold said.

Downtown Vapors focuses on the customer through and through, not only in terms of prices but also the atmosphere the store presents. An XBox hangs out in the front of the store, with movies and games for anyone’s tastes and on the weekends DJ Jake Nudl3 stops by to provide some live entertainment. Meanwhile, the backroom offers some hangout space with Kava drinks and private vaping options.

“We have old, wooden, well-lit display cases with a nice antique glow. There’s a hutch for the table top herbal vaporizers, like a Volcano, or Da Buddha. Right next to it, there’s a hutch for hand-held herbal vapes like the Pax and the Firefly and up the stairs there’s a glass hutch for hot nail vaping of wax, glass pipes, grinders,flavored rolling papers and domes and glass sticks and then the standard vape cabinets for batteries, RBAs and RDAs and mods like the Vamos, Innokin products like the VTR, MVP. There’s the hybrid, Dreadnaut and in the final cabinet—juice flavor choices from Suicide Bunny, Wolfpack, Velvet Cloud, Two Peas in the Pod and Aer,” Harold said.

Downtown vapors also offers a variety of glassware to fit any smoking needs for an affordable price.

“We have a goal of matching or beating online prices,” Harold said. “We’re cheaper than anyone in town, I’m confident in saying that.”

On Aug. 1-3, the store is hosting a grand opening, complete with DJ Nudl3 and Kava drinks that help provide a mellow atmosphere to anyone looking to come hang out with not just a store, but also a community.

“If there’s anything that is trying to be unique about this shop, it’s that we’re not approaching this like vaping is a fad,” Harold said. “These are not our discounted prices; This is us.”

July 30, 2014 at 09:55AM

Local young artist gets national recognition http://ift.tt/1rTrJlS While most artists have that moment of clarity when they realize that art is their calling in life, recent Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA) graduate Rebekah Fleming had that moment every time she drove to school.

“That border was crossed when I came to Tacoma from Port Orchard to go to school. That’s when I began to realize that art was worth making sacrifices for. It’s important to me,” Fleming said.



For the past few years, Fleming has made the 40-minute drive from Port Orchard to SOTA to sharpen her drawing skills. Under the tutelage of instructor Terri Placentia, Fleming has exploded on the scene, receiving national recognition for her work.



“You prosper so much under [Placentia’s] instruction,” Fleming said. “There is so much technical skill through practice.”



One of Fleming’s paintings is currently hanging on the underground wall going from the House office buildings to the Capitol in Washington, D.C. The painting was completed in her senior advanced painting class that was focused on abstract art. While abstract painting is not Fleming’s normal gig, preferring more realistic drawings, she was able to augment her love of nature into the work to give it soul.



“It started out with trees over water, and became sporadic bush shapes that looked kind of like synapses, and I liked that,” Fleming said.
She also called on aspects of cubism, using geometric shapes to break up the natural light.
“I’m really curious about the interaction from organic shapes and angles,” Fleming said.



After Fleming completed her project, Placentia helped her fill out some paperwork that would enter the young artist into a regional competition that could potentially lead to our nation’s capitol should she win. Her painting was selected as one of the top three in the district and she attended a presentation at the Tacoma Art Museum to see if she would take home the gold.
“I didn’t really expect anything. I thought ‘well, maybe something interesting will happen,’ and something interesting happened,” Fleming said.
She traveled to Washington, D.C. in the last week of June to see her work presented in the Congressional Hall.



“There were a few speakers, and it was really cool,” Fleming said.


Though her abstract art is what got her to D.C., her unique style lies in realistic paintings of the mix of nature and urban environments.
“Every artist has to have a distinct style, and I think that’s my edge. Recently I was able to identify my message, and that was a huge strength,” Fleming said. “I’m on a cusp right now and in a good place with my art. I’m figuring out my edge, and I’m still in the process of learning and I’m not sure if I’ll ever not be in the process.”



Fleming’s vision and message were recently brought to life by “Chasm,” a 13-piece series of paintings presented at the Tacoma Art Museum telling a linear story that explores the interaction of a constricting urban environment with the freedom of nature. Fleming hopes to use these storytelling abilities to one day work on graphic novels.
“When we’re surrounded by things we make, it’s harder to conjure up something new,” Fleming said “We need to branch out a little bit, and for me personally, there’s so much more to be found in nature.”



Fleming will be getting a new view on life when she travels to Chicago with two other local artists, photographer Seth Wheeler and painter Ruby Smith, to begin her college career at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago, where she will attempt to get her master’s degree focusing on fine arts and graphic design.



“She’s young, but her focus is really clear, where most young artists are searching, she really knows what she wants to say with her work,” Placentia said. “Her attention matches her skills and abilities, she communicates with her artwork in ways young artists are still struggling to do. “ July 30, 2014 at 09:53AM

Local young artist gets national recognition http://ift.tt/1rTrJlS

While most artists have that moment of clarity when they realize that art is their calling in life, recent Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA) graduate Rebekah Fleming had that moment every time she drove to school.

“That border was crossed when I came to Tacoma from Port Orchard to go to school. That’s when I began to realize that art was worth making sacrifices for. It’s important to me,” Fleming said.



For the past few years, Fleming has made the 40-minute drive from Port Orchard to SOTA to sharpen her drawing skills. Under the tutelage of instructor Terri Placentia, Fleming has exploded on the scene, receiving national recognition for her work.



“You prosper so much under [Placentia’s] instruction,” Fleming said. “There is so much technical skill through practice.”



One of Fleming’s paintings is currently hanging on the underground wall going from the House office buildings to the Capitol in Washington, D.C. The painting was completed in her senior advanced painting class that was focused on abstract art. While abstract painting is not Fleming’s normal gig, preferring more realistic drawings, she was able to augment her love of nature into the work to give it soul.



“It started out with trees over water, and became sporadic bush shapes that looked kind of like synapses, and I liked that,” Fleming said.
She also called on aspects of cubism, using geometric shapes to break up the natural light.
“I’m really curious about the interaction from organic shapes and angles,” Fleming said.



After Fleming completed her project, Placentia helped her fill out some paperwork that would enter the young artist into a regional competition that could potentially lead to our nation’s capitol should she win. Her painting was selected as one of the top three in the district and she attended a presentation at the Tacoma Art Museum to see if she would take home the gold.
“I didn’t really expect anything. I thought ‘well, maybe something interesting will happen,’ and something interesting happened,” Fleming said.
She traveled to Washington, D.C. in the last week of June to see her work presented in the Congressional Hall.



“There were a few speakers, and it was really cool,” Fleming said.


Though her abstract art is what got her to D.C., her unique style lies in realistic paintings of the mix of nature and urban environments.
“Every artist has to have a distinct style, and I think that’s my edge. Recently I was able to identify my message, and that was a huge strength,” Fleming said. “I’m on a cusp right now and in a good place with my art. I’m figuring out my edge, and I’m still in the process of learning and I’m not sure if I’ll ever not be in the process.”



Fleming’s vision and message were recently brought to life by “Chasm,” a 13-piece series of paintings presented at the Tacoma Art Museum telling a linear story that explores the interaction of a constricting urban environment with the freedom of nature. Fleming hopes to use these storytelling abilities to one day work on graphic novels.
“When we’re surrounded by things we make, it’s harder to conjure up something new,” Fleming said “We need to branch out a little bit, and for me personally, there’s so much more to be found in nature.”



Fleming will be getting a new view on life when she travels to Chicago with two other local artists, photographer Seth Wheeler and painter Ruby Smith, to begin her college career at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago, where she will attempt to get her master’s degree focusing on fine arts and graphic design.



“She’s young, but her focus is really clear, where most young artists are searching, she really knows what she wants to say with her work,” Placentia said. “Her attention matches her skills and abilities, she communicates with her artwork in ways young artists are still struggling to do. “

July 30, 2014 at 09:53AM