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Thursday, January 29, 2015 -- 9:57 am Kitna bids farewell http://www.tacomaweekly.com/ - Breaking up is hard to do. It's a song and it's also the truth.
It might start with shock and move on to anger. Denial kicks in, then regret, and at some point the broken heart tries to move on.
Folks around Tacoma and Lincoln High School were swept through these emotions recently when they found out, on Jan. 21, that local-boy Jon Kitna was resigning as head coach of the Lincoln Abe football program and heading south to take over the football program at Waxahachie High School in Texas.
At the time, it just didn't seem possible. This surely had to be a mistake. Kitna was confirming it. Lincoln High School was confirming it. Even Waxahachie High School was confirming it. No, this just couldn't be.
It seems just like it was yesterday that Kitna, fresh from 16 seasons as an NFL quarterback, had returned to his hometown and his alma mater to begin work on a new project at Lincoln High. He had a 10-year plan that was going to turn a football program that resided in the doldrums and was not only going to forge it into a state power, but also a nationally recognized operation.
The up, and usually down, Lincoln Abes hadn't won a state football championship in 52 years. That same year, 1962, hit-maker Neil Sedaka hit the top of the Billboard Top 100 charts with "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do."
It's a strange connection, but the first thing I thought of when I heard the news was "breaking up is hard to do." This love affair that Tacoma had started with Kitna had barely begun and now he was leaving the City of Destiny?
He had a plan for 10 years, and Tacoma and Lincoln High would only get three years out of Kitna. It was a pretty awesome three years though. The Abes went 24-8 under Kitna and won two straight 3A Narrows league titles. The first and third years saw Lincoln's playoff run end against the eventual state champion and the second year it was against the state runner-up.
This season the Abes went 11-1 and led the state in scoring. The Abes lost to eventual 3A champion Eastside Catholic 28-21 in a game that Lincoln pretty much controlled throughout. The feeling among several around the state was that the Abes were the second-best 3A team in Washington at the end of the season, and not national powerhouse and runner-up Bellevue.
An important result of Lincoln's recent success was at the state level. It proved that a team of athletes from around Tacoma can match up and excel over other top-notch programs in Washington. Tacoma public schools haven't really struck fear in the hearts of the opposition for a long time on the football field. That looks to be changing.
Kitna didn't just write X's and O's on a chalk board to turn around and reshape the Lincoln football program; he poured some big money into the athletics facilities. The Abe weight room is a sight to behold and it will benefit every Lincoln athlete, not just football players, for years to come.
In three years, many gangly teenagers have reshaped themselves in the Lincoln weight room, tuRead more...
Thursday, January 29, 2015 -- 9:33 am Stupid criminal of the week http://www.tacomaweekly.com/ -
When trying to perform field sobriety tests, it really doesn't bode well if you slip around like a cartoon character, as one drunk driver found out on New Years Eve. After nearly side swiping an officer on Sprague Avenue, the driver was pulled over for the dangerous maneuver. The driver informed the officer he only had one beer that night and the officer, skeptical, asked him to perform some basic field sobriety tests. As the man got out of the car, the officer pointed out a patch of ice that could easily be slipped on. As the officer shined his flashlight on the area, the man bravely stepped in the patch anyway and nearly hit the ground. As if this weren't enough evidence, he then proceeded to fail every test before being transported to police headquarters and blowing a .118 and a .119 before being booked to Fife jail.
When trying to hide beer in public, most opt for the standard brown paper bag. Very few use a clear water bottle. But one beer lover broke the trend at a 15th Street bus stop on Dec. 10 when he was approached by an officer and claimed the clearly visible gold liquid with foam in the bottle was just pop. Not falling for it, the officer cited the man at the scene for unlawful bus conduct.
Compiled by: Derek ShuckRead more...
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 -- 4:07 pm SUPERBOWL WAGERS http://www.tacomaweekly.com/ - For the gambler at heart, here is a sampling of some of the sillier wagers one can make on this year's Big Game. Remember, there is no sports betting allowed in the state of Washington.
Will Idina Menzel forget or omit at least one word during the National Anthem?
How long will the National Anthem be? (over/under 122.5 seconds)
What company will have the first Super Bowl commercial?
What type of hoodie will Patriots coach Bill Belichick wear? (sleeves cut/sleeves intact)
Will the Seahawks inspect the footballs before kickoff?
What will Katy Perry wear during the Super Bowl halftime show?
What color will Katy Perry's hair be?
What song will Katy Perry sing first?
Will the "I Kissed a Girl" singer actually kiss a girl on stage?
Will there be a wardrobe malfunction during the halftime show?
How many times will "deflategate" or "deflated" be said during the game?
Will the Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch grab his crotch after scoring a TD in the game?
Will Bill Belichick smile during the game on camera?
How many times will Tom Brady's wife Gisele Bundchen be shown on TV during the game?
Will the power go out in the stadium during the broadcast?
Will any pyrotechnics during the game or halftime show start a fire?
What color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach's head?
Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first after the game? (God 2/1, fans 15/1)
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 -- 3:43 pm 3A Narrows crown still up in the air http://www.tacomaweekly.com/ - The Foss Falcon boys went a full 12 rounds with the Lincoln Abes on Friday, Jan. 23 and pulled-off a 70-64 thriller in overtime at Lincoln High School in front of a standing-room only crowd. With the win, Foss broke the three-way tie that locked Foss, Lincoln and Wilson together at the top of the 3A Narrows league standings.
If the season were to end after the game, the Falcons (9-1 Narrows, 13-3 Overall) would take the Narrows title and the top seed into the West Central District tournament. However, the season is far from complete.
Foss will host Wilson (9-1, 14-1) on Wednesday, Jan. 28, shortly after the Tacoma Weekly goes to press. A Foss victory puts them in the driver's seat with just three regular season games remaining. A Falcon loss would put them back into a tie with Lincoln, as the two teams have split this season.
If Wilson wins, the Rams will find themselves one win ahead of the Falcons and two wins ahead of the Abes (8-2, 13-3), as Wilson defeated Lincoln at the buzzer 55-53 on Jan. 7 at Lincoln.
The Narrows league will send six teams to the 3A West Central District tournament and at the moment, Mt. Tahoma owns the sixth spot. The Thunderbirds (3-7, 3-14) finish out the season with three road games and then big Feb. 6 home game against Lincoln. In all likelihood, a sixth spot for the T-Birds would mean a district-opening road game against the South Puget Sound League's top seed; which will be either Auburn Mountainview or Peninsula.
The top three teams in the 3A Narrows league will host their first round game in districts.
The picture is a logjam in the boys' 4A Narrows standings. Stadium has made a surprising run toward the top of the standings, currently holding down second place. For a week the Tigers (6-3, 8-8) were actually in sole possession of first place. With two tough road games against first-place Timberline (7-2, 12-5) and third-place Gig Harbor (5-4, 11-6), Stadium will be battle-tested going into the West Central District Tournament.
Five seeds will be sent out of the 4A Narrows league and at the moment the Bellarmine Lions are sitting at fifth. The Lions (3-5, 9-7) played an incredibly tough early season schedule and have had a rough go of it in league play. With remaining games against Olympia (3-5, 4-12) and Yelm (3-6, 5-12), the Lions control their own post-season destiny, and could even move up in the standings.
A fifth seed finish could mean a trip to top-ranked Federal Way (16-2) for Bellarmine's opening round district appearance.
On the girls' 3A Narrows side, it's pretty clear that the Wilson Lady Rams (10-0, 12-4) are the class of the league. Lincoln (7-2, 8-4) and Central Kitsap (8-2, 14-2) are battling it out for the second spot in the standings at the moment with the Lady Abes having a friendlier remaining schedule.
Mt. Tahoma (3-6, 6-9) currently sits in fifth place in the standings and will need some help over the last four games as three of the four involve teams above them. The 3A Narrows wilRead more...
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 -- 12:04 pm Tacoma Stars capture WISL's top seed with 5-0 shutout http://www.tacomaweekly.com/ - The Tacoma Stars put the hammer down on the Wenatchee Fire on July 24 at the Tacoma Soccer Center and sealed the regular season crown of the inaugural Western Indoor Soccer League. Goalkeeper Aaron Anderson had a monster night for the Stars as he saved 17 shots and kept the Fire off of the scoreboard for a 5-0 Stars victory.
In a sport known for big scores, shutouts are a rare event in indoor soccer.
Playing in front of a crowd of over 500 fans, Tacoma moved their record to 7-0 in the WISL and clinched the top seed going into the four-team playoffs, with one game remaining in the regular season. Although Wenatchee failed to get on the board, it was an exceptionally physical match that saw Anderson and his group of defenders pull off some amazing goal saves. For their troubles, both Anderson and the Stars defenders were named WISL players of the week.
After finding themselves on the short end of a power play five minutes into the match, Wenatchee ramped up the pressure and got through the two minutes without giving up the short-handed goal. As soon as the penalty was over, however, Tacoma's Joey Gjertsen punched a shot low and just inside the right post for the first goal of the night. Tacoma led 1-0 with 7:40 remaining in the match.
It wouldn't take long for the Stars to return to the scoreboard. Following a handball call on the Fire, Tacoma's Kyle Danielson took the free kick and nudged it over to Josh Phillips. Phillips wasted no time and drilled the ball into the upper left of the goal and the Stars now led 2-0 with 5:50 remaining in the match.
Tacoma controlled the flow of the first quarter, while Anderson was making his presence known back in the keeper's box.
Just two minutes into the second quarter, the Stars struck again. Former PLU Lute Adam West put a foot on a long shot from the left side that snuck inside the right post. Tacoma now looked fully in command with a 3-0 lead with 13:05 left in the match.
After some solid back-and-forth action, Danielson got into the scoring act as he gathered in a bounce off the wall. As his defender spun the wrong way, Danielson spun counter-clockwise and found himself with a clear shot between himself and goalkeeper Jorge Villegas. Danielson slammed a shot inside the left post and the Stars now led 4-0 with five minutes remaining in the match.
Tacoma entered halftime with a 4-0 lead and the players gave way to the Tacoma FC U9 for some crazy kid entertainment. It's always one large mass of child humanity beating a soccer ball back and forth in the middle of the field and it's always quite entertaining.
Once the grown-ups came back on the field, things got serious again.
Cam Vickers put a low shot just inside the left post at the 12:30 mark of the third quarter and that would be all the scoring for the remainder of the match. However, the play on the field got very physical and both sides saw players banged up by the end, including stitches for Wenatchee (3-4-1) and a nasty looking welt on the Read more...
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 -- 12:03 pm Arts & Entertainment: Manitou Trestle mural to be dedicated Jan. 31 http://www.tacomaweekly.com/ - All are invited to STAR Center Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. for the dedication of Manitou Trestle, the freshly revamped railroad underpass near S. 66th St. and South Tacoma Way. The trestle project - mural painting with ceramic elements - is the work of three Tacoma artists: Claudia Riedener, Kenji Stoll and Chris Jordan. The trio completed the project under the aegis of Sound Transit's Art Program, whose various projects for the expansion of the commuter rail and light rail systems have proven to be an important source of public art in the communities that it touches.
As a patron of the arts, Sound Transit is to be commended for supporting local artists in the production of its many stations and fixtures. The agency is always keen to work with specific communities to insure that the art at each location is relevant to its place. The artists of the Manitou Trestle thus incorporated references to South Tacoma's history, industry and topography. Botanical representations of native flora are also a major feature of the art.
Stoll and Jordan started off as street artists (they've been collaborating since their teen years) and have branched out into public art. The pair worked on many murals such as the side of the St. Vincent De Paul store and the Urban Grace Church. The duo was nominated for the Foundation of Art Award in 2013. They are masters of spray paint, of brilliant color and of bold gesture. The two have done some masterful work on the Manitou Trestle. Their lively imagery features iconic buildings like Bob' Java Jive.
Riedener is primarily a ceramicist. She makes custom, ceramic tiles and is a master of integrating her work into architectural projects. She has done work in schools and other public spaces as well as in private homes. For the Manitou Trestle, Riedener made large ovals and other shapes emblazoned with phrases and quotes that are a hodgepodge of names, quotes and snippets, all from the community. Some seem to pay homage to the graffiti found scrawled over the underpass during decades of neglect. "R.I.P. Phillip," reads one. "It is what it is," says another. One bears the words "Elk Trap," which was what local natives called the area in ancient times. There are also giant leaves and blossoms done Riedener-style.
All three artists came to the enterprise by way of PA:ID (Public Art In Depth), a program created by City of Tacoma for studio artists to learn how to translate their work into public art. Tacoma has a wealth of talented artists. It is good to see the city dedicated to programs that reach out and help develop its own people for its own needs.
Once again, the mural dedication takes place Jan. 31 at STAR Center, which is located at 3873 S. 66th St. Stop by at 1 p.m. to show your support. For further information visit http://www.facebook.com/ManitouTrestleTacoma.Read more...
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 -- 9:55 am SPORTSWATCH http://www.tacomaweekly.com/ - LINCOLN'S TAMIA BRAGGS INDUCTED INTO ABE'S 1,000 POINT CLUB
Junior basketball sensation Tamia Braggs has hit big milestone with more than a year left on the court for the Lincoln Lady Abes. The two-time Tacoma Weekly All-City selection has topped 1,000 points for her career and was inducted into the "1,000 Point Club" Wednesday night, Jan. 28, as the Lady Abes hosted Capital.
Lincoln is currently battling Central Kitsap for second place in the 3A Narrows league standings, with an outside shot at capturing first-place Wilson. The Lady Abes are almost assured of hosting a first-round district tournament game at Lincoln High School on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.
NATIONALLY RANKED LOGGERS DROP RIVAL LUTES 76-63 IN WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Amanda Forshay recorded her fourth double-double of the season, as the 22nd ranked Puget Sound women's basketball defeated Pacific Lutheran, 76-63.
Forshay went 5-for-9 from the field to score 13 points on the night and added another 13 rebounds. Katy Ainslie also scored 13 in the Loggers win.
The game began with Pacific Lutheran taking an early two-point lead until Puget Sound went on a 13-0 run with 10:03 remaining. Following the run, which included six points from Hannah Lekson, the Loggers led 21-8.
The Lutes then went on an 8-0 run with 5:10 remaining, in which they scored two 3-pointers that cut the Loggers lead to 29-20.
Puget Sound finished out the half on five straight points from Forshay. Defensively, the Loggers held the Lutes to 33.3 percent shooting from the field in the period. At halftime, the Loggers led PLU by 12, 34-22.
The Loggers started the second half on a 15-4 run in which six different players contributed points. With 14:04 to play, Puget Sound had its largest lead of the night, 49-26.
Pacific Lutheran made comeback attempts in the second half including an 11-3 run at the 7:27 mark, but the Loggers still held a sizeable 62-47 lead.
Down the stretch, the Loggers held onto this lead and fought off the Lutes to win.
The Loggers recorded 20 more rebounds than the Lutes (45-25) and held them to 40 percent (20-for-50) shooting from the field for the game. As a team, the Loggers went 27-for-62 to shoot 43.5 percent from the field. They also shot over 80 percent from the free throw line.
Puget Sound returns to action on Friday, Jan. 30 to host George Fox at 6 p.m.
HOLDEN'S DOUBLE-DOUBLE LIFTS LOGGERS PAST LUTES 65-54
Nick Holden recorded his seventh double-double of the season and four Loggers scored in double-digits as the Puget Sound men's basketball team defeated its crosstown rival, Pacific Lutheran, 65-54, on Tuesday night.
Holden finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and his final board came in the last minute of the game. Erin Barber netted 15 points, and both Keith Shattuck and Kohl Meyer scored 11 points. Shattuck added a season-best eight rebounds.
The Lutes (5-12, 3-5 NWC) opened the game with a 9-2 lead, but Puget Sound quickly battled back. With the Loggers trailing 14-13 midwayRead more...
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 -- 9:51 am Our View: New county hub will serve as catalyst for Eastside http://www.tacomaweekly.com/ -
Pierce County government is currently scattered around a host of out-dated rental spaces that would need costly repairs to meet current and future needs to provide services to residents.
County administration started looking at options five years ago, and all ideas were considered. During that process, it was determined that the former Puget Sound Hospital was too far deteriorated after decades of use and then "cold shuttered" it in 2010. Plans to sell the building or even the site itself got few serious offers. So the county was in a bit of a bind. It needed options to cut its current lease costs and provide more with less through efficiencies and partnerships.
Eyes turned to the former hospital site as a solution to those troubles. And the plan makes a lot of sense, not only for county residents seeking government services but for one of Tacoma's "neighborhoods on the rise."
The planned county hub on the site will not only return a high profile site on the city's skyline back to productive use, but it will bring workers, restaurant customers and shoppers to one of the city's most underappreciated communities as well as save taxpayers the expected costs of higher lease and renovation costs if offices stayed peppered around the city.
The county's Rules Committee is scheduled to take a vote on the plan on Feb. 2, while the full council will address the issue starting later next week on a plan that will cost upward of $100 million.
While that price might create sticker shock for many people skeptical about the cost of running government services, those critics would be wise to consider the projected costs of keeping the status quo. Doing nothing would cost more and continue the practice of shoveling money into a problem rather than coming up with a viable solution. Doing noting and just having county offices in leased spaces would cost an estimated $132 million during the 25-year financial life span of the hub proposal. That doesn't include renovations and other associated costs. So even if the hub on the Pacific Avenue hill where the former hospital once sat runs well over budget, the plan would still cost less than keeping things as they are.
To believe the creation of a hub isn't a good thing, one would have to find fault in Pierce County analysts, elected officials, hired consultants and a whole different set of budget watchers at the Pierce County Health Department, which has opted to take on about 50,000 square feet of the expanding site rather than renovate and expand its own facilities.
But there are more benefits to the creation of a government service center outside of downtown, albeit a few yards from the downtown core. The offices would serve as a landmark both visually and economically for the neighborhood rather than being just another building on Tacoma Avenue. The current County-City Building and its offices won't disappear either. The opening of an Eastside hub would spark a chessboard of office changes that would fill up Read more...
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 -- 9:47 am Letter to the Editor: Willie Dickerson http://www.tacomaweekly.com/ -
It is a day to celebrate the power of the press and to say thank you to the Tacoma Weekly. Today, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, realized its goal of $7.5 billion in new funding, including a $1 billion pledge from America. With this money, Gavi will assist developing countries to create and carry out sustainable plans to vaccinate 300 million children over the next four years.
Five to six MILLION lives will be saved in the process. RESULTS (http://www.results.org) volunteers wrote or had published over 185 letters to the editor, op-eds and editorials to help make this possible. These included letters to the editor that were published in the Tacoma Weekly.
So thanks to the Tacoma Weekly for publishing these pieces that are helping to save the lives of millions of children in our world and strengthen the health care systems of developing countries. There are still issues of poverty to deal with in the future, but this is a time to celebrate victory!
Snohomish, WARead more...
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 -- 9:44 am Detectives break up sex trafficking ring http://www.tacomaweekly.com/ - He looks like a kid himself but detectives from the Washington State Patrol Missing and Exploited Children's Task Force say Mikael Williams engaged in trafficking underage girls for commercial sex using Tacoma area hotel rooms. Tacoma police arrested the 18-year-old Tuesday. Investigators say he was part of a ring that advertised the girls on Backpage.com throughout early December. Detectives believe he assisted his older brother and another man in trafficking underage girls for sex primarily in Pierce, King, Thurston and Snohomish counties.
The investigation began after a mother seeking the whereabouts of her runaway 15-year-old daughter located an ad on Backpage.com advertising her daughter for sex. The mother in turn contacted law enforcement. Curtis Escalonte and Mikeal's older brother Michael are both in jail on $2 million bail. Detectives say they learned that Mikael was aware of the sex trafficking, including renting some of the hotel rooms used, and expected to be paid for his part in the "business." He's facing charges of Promoting Commercial Sex Abuse of a Minor.Read more...
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 -- 9:43 am Free screening of 'The Homestretch' http://www.tacomaweekly.com/ - The Junior League of Tacoma will be holding a free screening of Anna De Mare's and Kirsten Kelly's film "The Homestretch" at Stadium High School on Jan. 31. "The Homestretch" is a documentary that chronicles the lives of three of the 1.6 million youth experiencing homelessness in America as they fight to stay in school, graduate and build a future. The film highlights the larger issues of poverty, race, juvenile justice, immigration, foster care and LGBTQ rights.
"When most people think about homeless youth, they think about the ones they see - kids sleeping under the bridge or asking for help on the streets - but most homeless youth are hidden in plain sight. For the past four years, we've been working to capture and convey this unseen experience in a powerful cinematic language," De Mare and Kelly said in a joint release on the film's Kickstarter page.
Following the showing of the film at 10 a.m., there will be a panel with filmmaker de Mare and local community leaders including Senator Jeannie Darneille about the issues discussed in the film. Light refreshments will be available.
"We're really trying to bring awareness to this topic that doesn't seem to be a common topic when talking about issues. There doesn't seem to be much focus on how to encourage this population of individuals who are experiencing youth homelessness," Junior League member Vanessa Herzog said.
The Junior League of Tacoma is focusing its efforts to help develop a center to help youth experiencing homelessness, and the film screening is intended to serve the important purpose of highlighting just how important this issue has become.
"We need to start really engaging and getting a shelter built. We put forth a lot of effort to what we thought our skills were perfect for in bringing light and awareness to this situation. We're making strides by just bringing this here and screening it," Herzog said.
Junior League of Tacoma is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. When searching for a project for the 2015 year, the issue of youth experiencing homelessness inspired them due to a lack of resources for the age group in Pierce County.
"I think that one of the big issues for every youth experiencing homelessness in Pierce County is that there is currently no existing shelter specifically for them. Youth experiencing homelessness is classified as ages 12-24; that's the age of what is considered youth and the young adults age is when people step out on their own after college if they're lucky enough. Right now in Pierce County, everything seems to cut off at 18. There is a big contingent of people in that 18-24 range. How do we keep people covered so they are not just put out on the street the day they turn 18 without any support whatsoever?" Junior League of Tacoma President Christy Caoili said.
The Junior League of Tacoma Read more...