KFnet in T-Town

Aug. 16, 2013 at 8:37am

The Red Hot Turns 6, Will Move Next Door

I've loved The Red Hot since the day they were born and it's never faltered in quality all around. Happy 6th Birthday TRH and crew and I look forward to the new adventures once you occupy the slightly larger (but not too large) space next door.

comments [0]

Jun. 21, 2013 at 1:13pm

Realtor Video Re: Tacoma

The folks over at Coldwell Banker Bain put together this video highlighting life in Tacoma. Take a look! 

Aside from the borrowed photos from Flickr (see RR and family in that pic below, plus I noticed one taken by FeedTacoma contributor TacomaMama too!) and the repeated drive-by shots of the same house it's a nice, safe video as one might expect.

Would you change anything in this video to encourage people to move to Tacoma?

comments [3]

Jun. 14, 2013 at 7:37am

Tacoma's Beautiful First Presbyterian Church

Some of Tacoma's historic structures have been torn downfallen down, or stand empty and decaying. Some are well taken care of and cherished. Case in point: First Presbyterian Church in the Stadium neighborhood. I snapped the photo below in admiration while walking by on a recent Friday.

Here also is a look inside First Presbyterian from a 2008 photo safari.

comments [1]

Jun. 12, 2013 at 10:27am

Quick Bites - A Mighty Dog

New on the menu is the Market Street Pepper Jack Sweet Italian Sausage and it's a winner! The sausage has an amazing snap and it's an all around perfect balance of spicy, sweet, and fluffy delicious bun.

The Red Hot
2914 6th Ave. (map)

comments [0]

Jun. 11, 2013 at 7:12am

Thx for the View, Pacific Ave. Construction

As if the monstrosity of a massive parking garage taking up space in the heart of downtown Tacoma isn't bad enough now we get to see Pacific Plaza North in all it's mottled, barren, cement glory thanks to the removal of mature street trees due to nearby construction. 

<optimism>Maybe, now being in plain sight, this will prompt some enterprising developer to see an opportunity to demolish or re-imagine these two blocks for a better downtown.</optimism>

comments [5]

Jun. 8, 2013 at 10:11am

Tacoma Totem Pole Panorama

To better appreciate the detail and beauty of Tacoma's endangered, 110 year old totem pole, I thought I'd share this vertical panorama looking at it from top to bottom. Enjoy!

comments [2]

Jun. 5, 2013 at 7:45am

The Business Case for Corina: A Petition

I know I'm not alone in expressing my love for Corina Bakery. Their rich sausage quiche fills my stomach for breakfast. A cup full of banana and vanilla wafer pudding brings back a bit of childhood. I hear their Valhalla coffee is top notch (I don't drink coffee). Neighborly staff who always has a warm greeting whenever they see you. But there's just one, tiny/huge thing not to love...

Wifi. Dun, dun, dunnnnnnn! It's horrifically bad. After recently striking out on my own I find myself seeking out Corina for all of the above plus their ample room and tables to setup my laptop for a few hours to get some work done. Unfortunately, their connection is spotty and the speed is something akin to a dial-up connection from the late '90s.

Why do I care since it's a free service office by them (and most cafes)? Because they're losing money due to the shabby connectivity. Mine and that of others I've talked to who simply can't get any work done and are opting for other local cafes instead. Well, rather than quietly complain and leave/avoid them I've instead written this post and ask you to sign this petition to encourage improvement.

If you agree, leave your comment below to Corina and ask them to fix/upgrade their 'net connection or wifi routers. Tell them you love them but want to spend more time with them!

We love you Corina!
Fix your wifi and let us give you more money!

comments [18]

Jun. 4, 2013 at 6:41am

Ride Across the Murray Morgan (Video)

Tacoma's beloved Murray Morgan bridge used to look like this. Now, via my scooter ride across it the other day, you can see this gateway into downtown now looks like this.

Have you ventured across the shiny new Murray Morgan yet? Will it's renovation/re-opening usher in a new wave of cross Foss development?

comments [2]

Jun. 3, 2013 at 6:37am

Quick Bites - Savory & Sweet

The ham, roasted asparagus, and gruyere savory crepe (above) and the banana, toasted coconut, and Nutella sweet crepe (below). Both were fresh and fantastically tasty. Prices might surprise some as a little high (the line almost out the door says otherwise) but you could easily share at least a sweet crepe.

Have you been? What'd you have? What'd you think?

Savor Creperie
1916 Pacific Ave. (map)

comments [0]

May. 31, 2013 at 8:36am

Opera Alley: Tacoma's Most Colorful Block

Some neighborhoods have culture, some have plants and flowers, downtown Tacoma's Opera Alley just has, well, color!

Does any other block have as much charm oozing from the walls?

(Plus, of note, B Sharp Coffee House is coming soon to this spot!)

comments [1]

May. 29, 2013 at 6:43am

McKinley Park Needs Your Love (And Help)

Everyone loves the scenic grandure of Point Defiance Park, the city-centric Wright Park, and the chalk of puny-but-loved Frost Park. Another park, Tacoma, needs your love as well: McKinley Park.

Photo courtesy Friends of McKinley Park

Your tax dollars (remember that Metro Parks bond that passed in 2005?) and over 18,000 hours of volunteer time, sweat, blood, and love (just a portion of which can be seen at right) have gone into this historic gem of a public space. McKinley is tucked away in the neighborhood just uphill from the Tacoma Dome on the side of the hill between I-5 and the curve where "D" Street turns into McKinley. This oft-overlooked, tranquil green space sports great walking/jogging trails, brand new play equipment for the kiddos, a skate park, a beautiful and historic spring-fed pond, and even an off-leash area for your pooch.

Some vandals would like McKinley Park to again revert to the forbidden, dark, wooded realm it once was. Seen below in the screenshots from a surveillance camera setup for just this purpose (view video), they've been undoing all that hard work by trashing the landscape restoration and spraying surfaces with tags. "These youths were just the lucky ones and were spotted on camera on the 11th of May," said Lynnette Scheidt, a keystone of Friends of McKinley Park and co-founder of the Dometop Neighborhood Alliance. "On the 8th there were 2 grown men that did the same destruction."

(click for detailed view)

Don't let these few who could care less keep you away from an amazing park! If you recognize the perps pictured here let TPD know at 253-591-5001 -- they have a file open and can add whatever info you have to it. If you don't, share this post in case someone does. Given the chance, Lynette's punishment would be a strong, thorough, "education on saving the earth. A court order to work and learn about why people like us are trying to save this place not destroy it for our future generations." Gotta love that!

Otherwise, love McKinley! Take your next walk there. Have your next birthday picnic there. Positive use and activity will drive out people allergic to such things. Get involved and join the Friends of McKinley Park group on Facebook and keep an eye out for work parties where you can help do your part to make an already beautifully improved park even better.

comments [0]

May. 28, 2013 at 9:06am

RR Too Hot for PLD

Playing politics knows no bounds, even in every-social-circle-overlaps Tacoma. Candidate for City Council Position #2 Patricia Lecy-Davis no longer officially welcomes the endorsement of local political cartoonist, Frost Park chalk off creator*, and father RR Anderson. Via Facebook:

And here's a before and after of PLD's campaign website showing the change:

(click for larger versions)

Can long-time Tacoma champion Patricia Lecy-Davis embrace the City of Neighborhoods-like ideal for this town if she can't let an artist like RR continue to reside on her "official" endorsements list? What do you think -- wise move or political cop-out?

comments [29]

May. 24, 2013 at 9:10am

Re: Skagit River Bridge Collapse

I know the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River wasn't in as bad a shape as many Washington bridges can get. I know an oversize load hit a support which saw a section of bridge (and a few vehicles on it) fall into the thankfully shallow river below. I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank Tacoma officials, Federal folks, and anyone else involved in seeing our beloved and historic Murray Morgan bridge fixed up and re-opened. Thank you for helping prevent another bridge disaster in Tacoma that we'd never live down.

With that, I share this before and after of the condition of the Murray Morgan in a photo I snapped in April 2012.

Be thankful Tacoma.

comments [3]

May. 20, 2013 at 7:57am

Frost Park Chalk-Off: A Brief History

City of Neighborhoods' Style

Though the ever-qualified RR Anderson kindly took my place (and apparently my identity) as presenter at this weekend's City of Neighborhoods due to a stomach bug boiling within me, I wanted to share the slides of the origins and history of Frost Park.

At the Live Local or Die event. Here, one theme that emerged was if you think of an idea you're in charge of it. Upon learning from Patricia Lecy-Davis that little-known Frost Park was to be fenced off to keep out inappropriate activity, Joe Izenman said we should activate this public place. (photo by RR Anderson)

So we did. At first, our get together's at Frost Park were just lunch mixers, networking. That is, until...

...This email went out to the TacomaArt email listserv from RR Anderson challenging Tacomans to a chalk off. Eventually voting here on FeedTacoma started as did awarding of prizes usually donated from local businesses or organizations.

Since then, there have been 150+ chalk off episodes over 5 years with easily over 1,000 chalk art pieces being created and shared with Tacoma. All done in under an hour.

Though we'd previously received the unofficial blessing from the City that chalking at Frost Park wasn't considered graffiti, later receiving a proclamation from Mayor Strickland was a pretty nice feather in our cap.

C'mon down to watch or chalk! There's always free chalk!

comments [5]

May. 16, 2013 at 8:40am

Q&A with Tacoma Author Erik Hanberg

With the release of a box set of the Beautyman Mysteries I ask local author, business owner at Side x Side, and Metro Parks board member Erik Hanberg about writing, publishing, and advice he has for Tacoma artists and authors.


How long have you considered yourself a writer?
I started writing novels in 7th grade. When I finished my first "novel" it was probably 80 pages long. I thought at the time, that it was what I wanted to do. Since then, I've written 12 books. So I would definitely say that I consider myself to be a writer, even as I've had my regular career going.

What prompted you to make the leap into publishing?
My first foray into publishing was in 2009 with a print-on-demand book, my fundraising guide for small nonprofits. I thought I had a lot to offer and that I could be helpful to small nonprofits. But also I thought that maybe I could just make a little money on the side. I got a lot more experience than I did money.

I started again in 2010, this time with fiction. I published my mystery novel The Saints Go Dying, and I would say that's really where I got the bug to keep publishing. For the first time, more than a handful of friends and family read my stuff. That was the most incredible part--seeing reader reviews on Amazon, getting  emails from them, and hearing them ask for more.

How many novels and eBooks have you written to date?
I have 10 novels and 2 nonfiction books (the two nonprofit books). But a lot of those were written in high school and college and they will probably never see the light of day.

In terms of actually published books, I have three mysteries:

The Saints Go Dying
The Marinara Murders
and The Con Before Christmas (a novella actually).

Those are the three books I just assembled into a single ebook download for readers who want to get them all at once.

I also have two books for small (and very small) nonprofits on fundraising and social media.

What drafts of books/stories are you working on now?
I am very excited to say that I have a science fiction adventure novel I am really excited about. I expect to publish it in September. I know I'm biased, but I think it's pretty great.

Is there a story you've always wanted to write but haven't yet?
Always. It's never an issue of finding ideas, just getting them onto paper. I have an idea for a Christmas-themed play that I'd like to get to sometime. I have more mysteries in my series I'd like to get to, plus the next two science fiction novels.

What advice do you have for aspiring Tacoma artists and/or authors?
Finish it. No matter what, you have to finish your book before you can do anything with it. Don't overly worry about quality as you write. Don't go back and edit the first chapter. Do whatever you can to finish the book.

Self-publish. Pay an editor to copy edit your work, hire a cover designer, and get your book onto the Kindle. It can be as easy as uploading a file to a website (or much more complex if you want a  all the features of an ebook). Publish it, email your friends, try some marketing ideas, and see what it's like to publish. Don't just wait for a publisher. If it's a great novel, you can always submit it later to Penguin or whoever. But in the meantime, getting real readers is going to make you want to write that much more.

Write the next book. I've sold more than 10,000 books between ebooks, print books, and audiobooks, but those have been split between a variety of books. When one of my books has a spike in sales from a marketing push, interested readers can find all my other books. Sales really took off once I had multiple books.

What's your favorite comment or review you've received on a site like Amazon or elsewhere?
This might be my favorite, from [local UWT professor and actor/singer] Andrew Fry's daughter Savannah on her book blog, when she reviewed The Marinara Murders

"In my world, filled with mystery novels, I felt like I hadn't read this one before."


Thanks to Erik for his time -- now go buy his books!

comments [0]

May. 15, 2013 at 7:27am

Tim Meadows ♥'s Tacoma

Seriously. At least that what it seems like given the following Tim Meadows in Tacoma sightings timeline: 

  • Nov. 2012 - Played Tacoma Comedy Club 
  • Apr. 2013 - Spotted at Corina Bakery, Grand Cinema
  • May 2013 - Spotted at High Voltage Records, Pacific Grill

The first one makes sense but the others, as reported mostly on Facebook or Twitter, don't. I reached out to Mr. Meadows' talent agency but haven't received a response.

Why do you think Tim Meadows seemingly can't get enough Tacoma?

comments [8]

May. 10, 2013 at 11:20am

New Pierce Transit Website & Mobile Launch

Though riders may be feeling recent cuts made to service, Pierce Transit is offering better service than ever via it's new website. Launched yesterday, the site includes clean and easy trip planning, route alerts, quick access to route schedules, and a streamlined mobile version of the site perfect for use via smartphones when on the go. The mobile version offers real-time bus arrival times and shows stops near you via GPS!

The site was designed and developed by SiteCrafting and everyone put in tons of hard work to get it to this launch. It was one of the last projects I contributed front end CSS and HTML to before ending my time there and I'm proud it's finally live to serve Pierce County. Though I'm biased, it's the best damn looking and working transit website out there!

Link to Pierce Transit

comments [0]

May. 9, 2013 at 7:58am

Guerrilla Safety, Triangle District Style

Photo by @ksymer

Safety first! And, heck, if the City won't do it just get 'er done yourself. That's the attitude of many who love their Tacoma neighborhood as much as the residents and businesses of the Triangle District do. It's appears someone (let's just say it was that devious Goddess of Commerce dame) has taken to a little guerrilla painting of bike safety sharrows (above) and an impressively lengthy set of crosswalk hashes (below) at the funky intersection of Baker and St. Helens.

Photo by @lizkaster

Though these markings on the street may not be sanctioned, it's a powerful statement in a passionate neighborhood towards making it safer for anyone on foot or biking -- both ingredients that help make for a vibrant, more livable downtown Tacoma. Or anywhere for that matter.

Bravo and thanks Ms. Goddess! I, for one, look forward to other improvements you have up that bronze dress of yours!

comments [41]

May. 8, 2013 at 8:10am

Sarah Jones Brings Free Art Friday to Tacoma

Tacoma's artist community has a history of generosity from Beautiful Angle and (more recently) Slide Sideways hanging posters for the taking to Monkeyshines sprinkling hand-blown glass balls about town. If Sarah Jones has her way, Free Art Friday will add to that tradition, well, every Friday!

As Sarah found out searching the 'net a bit Free Art Friday isn't new but she was inspired. It's in other U.S. cities and even other countries so why not Tacoma? A contact from the next nearest Free Art Friday she could find in Salem, OR told her all it takes to start is someone willing -- so start Sarah did. On March 29 Sarah started spreading her free art around Tacoma.

The style of work Sarah leaves around town varies. Her focus is on found materials to keep costs down but also challenge her own creativity. A stroll through some of her photos on Facebook shows pieces like stenciled records, hand-drawn and painted medallions and wine corks, re-purposed and embellished paintings and frames, and (my personal favorite) river rock zombie critters.


Sarah was born in Tacoma and spent some of her youth in Shelton and even Texas before moving back to the City of Destiny in 1992. She's worked jobs in escrow (just in time for the crash in 2007/08), as a beautician, and most recently for the Breast Cancer Resource Center which closed up in 2012 due to lack of funding. Sarah's been out of work since then and certainly has her hands full raising four kids ranging in age from their teens to kindergarten.

Meeting people via the salon she worked opened Sarah's eyes to her own creativity. "I was so inspired by some of the local artists that I met," she said. "I remember telling one of them that I had always wished I could paint, and she said 'Anyone can paint, it just takes doing it!' So, I decided I would give it a try."

Sarah hasn't made much of an income from her art [yet] but she loves creating with her hands. Most of all she likes the feeling she gets from making someone happy. But she can't do it alone. Her plan is to spread art in Tacoma every Friday but sometimes life can get in the way. Other artists have already been in touch to join in but the more the merrier!

Email Sarah to find out how you could participate or, if you're a business owner, how you could help sponsor to keep the free art flowing! Also check out other Free Art Friday's to be inspired.

Photos and art by Sarah Jones

comments [1]

Apr. 30, 2013 at 6:32am

1022 'Genius' Ousted

News 'round Tacoma has been a little hard to digest of late: Some mighty heated discussion about what is authentic Hilltop, the shuttering of Tacoma's Weekly Volcano entertainment rag, and now a tectonic shift at many people's favorite place for a craft cocktails: 1022 South.

An email being forwarded around tells the tale of outrage from someone close to the "talented genius of a person who has invested his creative life blood for the past four years into a thriving Tacoma jewel of a business" Chris Keil.

The gist of the letter mentions Chris' pouring of his heart and ideas into 1022 in return for a small percentage from owners Neil Harris and Richard Stubbs. The author writes, "Chris was fired this morning and, after seeing how these two men have treated other business partners in the past, I recognize that these two do not have Tacoma's best interest in mind."

There are certainly two sides to every coin especially when it comes to business but the outcome remains the same. You can, however, keep your eyes on Chris' next adventure via Hilltop Kitchen if you're a devout follower of his good works. Nevertheless, like the letter's author, will you avoid (and encourage others to) 1022 from here on out or see how it fares its post-Keil phase?

comments [8]

Apr. 28, 2013 at 3:37pm

R.I.P. Weekly Volcano

Wow. And, contrary to the letter they posted below, I didn't see this coming. Did you?

Here's the full text of their farewell letter:

Greetings South Sound campers,

This may come as a shock, but the news isn't a surprise. The Weekly Volcano will no longer stand alone as an alternative newsweekly, but rather be converted into the entertainment supplement to the Ranger and Northwest Airlifter, the weekly newspapers serving the South Sound military community. By every measure not related to advertising sales, the Weekly Volcano has been a success. Unlike many newspapers and magazines, we didn't suffer from declining readership, online or in print — only declining revenue. But in the end the money is what matters, it pays for the news department, fancy special sections, expansive arts coverage, marketing, daily happy hour in our fifth floor lounge and, sadly, this website and its blogs.

The Weekly Volcano will continue to report on and review South Sound music, culture and craziness without a change in circulation or attitude. This website will merge with our sister site, northwestmilitary.com, over the next week. Restaurant reviews? You will find them on northwestmilitary.com. Theater reviews? They’ll be there too. Music calendars? Yup.

To all of you who supported us over the years by picking up our feisty alt rag or read us online, who shared our work or shouted at it: we can never thank you enough.

Ron Swarner
Weekly Volcano

comments [11]

Apr. 18, 2013 at 7:00am

New Haub Wing at TAM

The News Tribune shows us a rendering of the new Western American art wing that will be packed full of goodies from that massive Haub donation last year. It will certainly help fill in a dead space along Pacific but does some grass and a big, blank, brown wall help activate that area? Or is there no hope for a space with no parking on the other side of a massive Pacific Ave/light rail track divide?

comments [14]

Apr. 8, 2013 at 10:47am

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Toppled Water Forest

Museum of Glass Water Forest, Tacoma, WA (as of Sat. night)

Thanks to Claudia Riedener for the photo!

comments [9]

Mar. 22, 2013 at 9:07am

My Note to SoundTransit re: Link Expansion

I highly encourage anyone who cares to fill out Sound Transit's Link light rail expansion survey. That being said, I'm completely behind the Stadium/6th Ave. route. Here's my comments to ST in support of that:

A route down 6th Ave is the best choice at this time for a successful Link. Connecting the active areas of 6th Ave, Stadium and downtown will guarantee ridership success. Even if a fee for riding is charged it will be utilized far more than buses along the same route. Plus, extensions from there to other Tacoma neighborhoods (e.g. Hilltop/Hospitals, Proctor, Westgate) will be more easily possible.

While I appreciate the idea of a cheaper connection to the eastside may be good for a lower income community it's not good for retaining and promoting neighborhoods like Stadium and 6th Ave that already have the highest density populations of the City plus a likelihood of becoming more so with mixed-use rules in place.

Please don't just go with the cheapest option but instead the 6th Ave option. The original Link is a huge success and Tacoma's eager for more. Don't cheap out on us just because we're not Seattle. We appreciate and demand the best.

I also noted that, once a route is chosen, SoundTransit should immediately get with potentially construction-effected businesses to help them prep for any hardships. They should help guide businesses towards loans or rainy day/construction funds to help ease any short-term pain caused by construction for a better future for their Tacoma neighborhood.

So where do you think the new Link expansion should go?

comments [4]

Mar. 19, 2013 at 11:39am

Historic Tour: City of Tacoma Website

We all know the City of Tacoma's website generally stinks for information access and for it's general 1990s-ness. But did you know the City still hasn't delivered on a new website that was farmed out to a Canadian firm in late 2011 for a Summer 2012 launch? That's right. Here's the timeline of web failure:

It's always good to get user feedback before embarking on such an endeavor but this time around experienced, local firms* may have an edge via a new ordinance reported on Exit133 just this morning. Does this all coincide with a new bid that'll be going out for Tacoma to finally get a website and access to services it deserves? Signs are pointing to yes.

I wonder, however, how much of that $70,000 was spend with that Canadian firm for nothing to come of it?

* Full disclosure: I work for one of the firms passed up by the City of Destiny who would rock the socks off a new City of Tacoma website. In general, however, I believe in good digital access to information and services but also to going local where possible.

comments [5]


Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.

So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.


Hey Clear Channel, Clean Up Your Crap!

Advantage: Tacoma

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