Northwest Military Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: July, 2014 (93) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 93

July 1, 2014 at 7:02am

Tuesday Morning Joe: More US troops to Iraq, ceasefire over, ISIS > al Qaeda, best albums of 2014 ...

C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 142nd Fires Brigade, Arkansas Army National Guard, throw coffee during the urban operations portion of the Army National Guard's National Best Warrior Competition at Fort Benning, Ga. Original photo by Sgt. Jerry Boffen

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President Obama told Congress that he is deploying about 200 more troops to Iraq to bolster security at the U.S. Embassy and airport in Baghdad.

Violence in Iraq could delay the delivery of American F-16 fighter jets to the Baghdad government after contractors had to be evacuated from a key air base.

Sunnis and Kurds abandoned the first meeting of Iraq's new parliament on Tuesday after Shi'ites failed to name a prime minister to replace Nuri al-Maliki.

Secretary of State John Kerry stressed late Monday that time is running out to strike a final nuclear deal with Iran.

How ISIS is overshadowing al Qaeda.

U.S. senators are readying a measure that would for the first time revise the legal underpinning for America's fight against violent Islamic groups.

Ukrainian forces struck at pro-Russian separatist bases in eastern regions with air and artillery strikes today after President Petro Poroshenko announced he would not renew a ceasefire but go on the offensive to rid Ukraine of "parasites".

The general in charge of U.S. and allied forces in Europe recommended more troops be sent to the region.

The four biggest challenges the next VA secretary faces.

For the first time in the Navy's 236-year history, a woman will be pinned with a fourth star.

The Pentagon wants to partner with allies to counter weapons of mass destruction.

Japan's government approves larger military role.

This dude is lucky.

Too Much Free Time: This guy has a hands-free technique for putting on his pants that is as ridiculous as it is effective.

NPR lists the best albums and songs of 2014.

Community has been renewed ... by Yahoo.

Denis Leary is returning to FX with a rock 'n' roll comedy.

See the trailer for The Skeleton Twins, a new movie starring Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig.

Kevin Smith visited J.J. Abrams' Star Wars set.

Wheeeeeee!

LINK: Original photo by Sgt. Jerry Boffen

July 1, 2014 at 7:31am

5 Things To Do Today: Zwei Leben, farmers market, 133rd Army Band, Web of Sunsets ...

Regisseur Georg Maas (“NeuFundLand”) gelang ein spannend erzählter Auszug deutsch-norwegischer Kriegsgeschichte, das sich nicht nur im Kopf verankert.

TUESDAY, JULY 1 2014 >>>

1. This year's foreign-language Oscar submission from Germany Zwei Leben casts Norwegian legend Liv Ullmann and German star Juliane Koehler as a mother and daughter in Norway whose relationship and extended family are shaken to the core by revelations brought about by the fall of the Berlin Wall. But when a lawyer asks the tow to witness in a trial against the Norwegian state on behalf of the war children, there's resistance. Gradually, a web of concealments and secrets is unveiled. Catch the film at 2:30 and 6:45 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

2. The USA has done what everyone thought impossible, advancing to the second round (the knockout stage) of the World Cup and giving us more excuses to hit bars on weekdays - as if we needed any. USA now takes on Belgium at 1 p.m. in a match that's win or go home. So throw on that stinky red, white, and blue shirt you superstitiously haven't washed in two weeks and consider this a month long 4th of July celebration. 

3. Westside Olympia is happening, but that's not news to those who live up on the hill. If you want proof, drop by the Tuesday West Olympia Farmers Market from 4-7 p.m. In addition to an awesome selection of local vendors, this season features live music, raffles and special events. Drop by for fresh produce, baked goods, pastured poultry and meats, flowers, veggie starts and crafts.

4. The Washington Army National Guard's 133rd Army Band, which is comprised of more than 40 citizen-soldiers, is in summer mode, which means free outdoor concerts loaded with patriotic tunes. The 133rd Army Band was organized and recognized in the Washington Army National Guard in 1924 as the Band Section Battery of the 146th Field Artillery. Over the years it has been re-designated many times, standing proud today as the 133rd Army Band. Load up the low rising chairs, blankets and kids in the family truckster and head toward Skansie Brothers Park and catch the band from 5-8 p.m. with beautiful Gig Harbor in the background.

5. Minneapolis trio Web of Sunsets brings their off-center country hymns to Le Voyeur at 9 p.m.

LINK: Tuesday, July 1 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 2, 2014 at 7:00am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Helicopters to Iraq, China's missiles, troop food study, brain hacking, greatest water gun ...

Nemesis Troop 4-2 Cavalry Scouts throw coffee during a small-cup range training exercise on Forward Operating Base, Farah. Original photo by Lt. Chad A. Dulac

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The United States has sent Apache attack helicopters to Iraq as part of the buildup in U.S. military personnel.

A team of 100 contingency response airmen have been ordered into Iraq to protect U.S. assets at Baghdad International Airport.

Democrats are defending the Obama administration for submitting a war-funding request nearly four months after sending Congress its base military spending plan.

When Iraq's security forces crumbled in the face of militants, they were labeled cowards. But in the case of one brigade, at least, what emerges instead is an account of mismanagement and treachery.

China's missile forces are growing.

Benghazi suspect organized attack out of ideological fervor.

People who knew Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in Idaho paint a fairly consistent portrait: hard-working and socially awkward, full of restless energy and romantic plans.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill that would provide military service members who were discharged under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy with separation pay.

A former Marine facing a murder trial was portrayed as a hero, escaped POW and Navy Cross recipient. None of it was true.

DoD: Curbs on pay and benefits finally taking hold.

Concerns about the comparative scarcity of healthy food choices on military installations have led defense officials to launch a comprehensive study of dining facilities, fast food and vending machine options.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers faces aging technology, shortage of funding and a lack of citizen awareness.

Autonomous vehicles to exploit capabilities of machines, soldiers.

DoD's brain hacking breakthrough.

Five ways to sleep outside without a tent.

The world's greatest water gun.

See Bill Murray in the new trailer for St. Vincent.

IFC shares little-known facts about the '60s Batman series.

David Duchovny is working on an album.

Too Much Free Time: A graphic timeline of the '90s.

Listen: Captain America song

Finally: An ambitious list of the 100 greatest Simpsons guest stars.

And here's today's theme song ...

LINK: Original photo by Lt. Chad A. Dulac

July 2, 2014 at 7:13am

5 Things To Do Today: Summer Dance Party, zine workshop, bubbly tasting, Strangely Alright ...

DJ Fir$t Lady spins at The Brotherhood Lounge's Summer Dance Party tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

WEDNESDAY, JULY 2 2014 >>>

1. You can't profess to love hip-hop without having, at the least, a passing appreciation for the foundation. You don't get Outkast or Dr. Dre without EPMD. There's no Jay Z without Rakim. The Geto Boys helped open up the South. Afrika Bambaataa, The Rock Steady Crew, Grandmaster flash, Kurtis Blow, Fab 5 Freddy, Public Enemy ... it's not just nostalgia; it's a history lesson you can't miss when DJ Fir$t Lady spins your favorite old school hip-hop, plus other eclectic and funky dance tunes Wednesday beginning at The Brotherhood Lounge's Summer Dance Party. Fir$t Lady will do all the heavy lifting for you so all that's left to be done is to fetch that headband out of the dryer and go freak out. Bonus: Twenty-five percent of the night's sales go to Planned Parenthood. It kicks off at 9 p.m.

2. Remember before the Internet when the only way to discover the local underground punk rock scene, slow food, yurt-builders, Kierkegaard or Shannon Doherty was to read bits of typed paper from someone pulling an all-nighter at Kinko's? Today, it's called Tumblr. Yet oddly enough, old school zines are experiencing a renaissance. How do people who've never existed in a world without the web create these handmade textures to express their unfettered opinions? In celebration of International Zine Month in July, the Lakewood Library will host several zine workshops throughout the month, the first one coming together from 6-8 p.m. Express your opinion between two staples! 

3. There will be an Elvis sighting tonight in Steilacoom when Danny Vernon's Illusions Of Elvis enters Pioneer Park at 6:30 p.m. The show is free. 

4. Here's a reason to toast: Scientists say drinking three glasses of Champagne per week helps stave off brain disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. So head to Abby's on Broadway Bistro and Wine Bar from 5-7:30 p.m. for a bubbles tasting. Fill your brain with Veuve Ambal Blanc de Blanc Brut, Veuve Ambal Brut Rose, Veuve Ambal Cremant de Bourgogne Brut and Veuve Ambal Rose Cremant de Bourgogne Brut.

5. It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means Maurice the Fish Records will take over Jazzbones tonight. The monthly all-ages event showcases some of the best the Pacific Northwest talent, including established musicians as well as young up-and-comers. At 8 p.m., Brooke Lizotte, Strangely Alright and Torre take the stage.

LINK: Wednesday, July 2 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 2, 2014 at 10:23am

Action! - an upcoming movie, directed by you

Here is the Something Wicked cast-cast starring in "Double-Double Feature" July 9 at Harlequin Production in Olympia. Photo courtesy of Facebook

A decade ago, when the dawn of the digital era produced better, more affordable video cameras, and when over-the-counter VFX software introduced tornadoes and T. rexes to laptop computers, it seemed possible for any old schmo to make a movie. And, to some extent, that was true. Ask Christian Doyle, local actor and star of a popular web series, JourneyQuest. He and his friends are currently in production on The Gamers: Hands of Fate, their fourth feature project. But as Doyle would certainly agree, there's a reason why a new Spielberg isn't popping up in every suburban garage: making movies is hard. Wouldn't it be great if you could just ... order your own movie, as if you were calling out for a pizza?

Now you can! Christian Doyle has you covered yet again. That's because he's also one of the founders of Something Wicked, an in-house improvisational comedy troupe at Harlequin Productions. The gang's new evening of ad-libbed shenanigans is all about performing a movie to your specifications. It's called Double-Double Feature; and if you can imagine it, they can bring it to life before your very eyes. They'll even throw in a couple of jokes at no additional charge.

But wait. Now you have to think of something original? On the spot?

Making movies is haaard!

DOUBLE-DOUBLE FEATURE, 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 9, Harlequin Productions, 202 4th Ave. E., Olympia, $10-$15, 360.786.0151

Filed under: Comedy, Olympia, Screens, Theater,

July 2, 2014 at 11:09am

Seattle Seahawks bring Lombardi Trophy to Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Seattle Seahawks and Sea Gals pose for photos with Col. David Kumashiro and other leaders at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Gail Wood

It was one hero thanking another.

The Seattle Seahawks, winners of Super Bowl XLVIII and the heroes of the fans, came to say thanks to what they called the real heroes - the military and their families at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"They're the real heroes," said Armando Mejia, assistant manager with the Seahawks community relations. "We want to thank them. That's what this is all about."

Hangar 9 on McChord Field, with a C-17 Globemaster III as the backdrop, was turned into a Seahawks shrine, complete with the Lombardi Trophy, which the Seahawks won for winning the Super Bowl. The Seahawks have paraded the trophy to five military bases in the Northwest, thanking the military for their service.

"We appreciate you guys a lot," said Seahawks wide receiver Bill Bates, one of three Seahawk players at the event. "Without your support we wouldn't be here today."

Other special guests besides the Lombardi Trophy, which fans stood by and got their pictures snapped, included Seahawks linebacker Korey Toomer and cornerback DeShawn Shead. Six members of the Blue Thunder and six members of the Sea Gals also came, entertaining the crowd of about 1,000 military families.

"My kids are very excited," said Erin Philippart, who brought her three children to the Seahawks event. "It's awesome."

With her husband in the Air Force, she appreciated the thank you from the Seahawks.

"It's so awesome," Philippart said. "They've come to say thanks to the troops. It's greatly appreciated."

Col. Pete Stavros, who was at the event with his wife and children, was impressed with the Seahawks coming to JBLM, allowing the base to be part of the celebration.

"The kids get to see the trophy, which is pretty cool," said Stavros, the commander of the Western Air Defense Sector. "We're celebrating an outstanding season."

While the fans' focus was on the Seahawks, the Seahawks' focus was on thanking the military.

"For them to come down on this day it's a great statement about the relationship between the Seahawks organization and the military," said Stavros, who did a flyby over the stadium prior to the Seahawks-Dallas game in the 2012 season. "It means a lot."

Capt. Tim Slater, holding two footballs to get autographed, was among the eager fans standing in long lines waiting to get an autograph.

"It's almost hard to put into words about them coming," said Slater, who didn't miss a Seahawks game on TV last season. "That's the Lombardi Trophy. How cool is that? The Seahawks came here. It's fun."

 Seahawk fans were hoping Russell Wilson, the Seahawks quarterback and team leader, would show up, but he wasn't among the Seahawks that came.

"Russell usually goes to the Children's Hospital on Tuesdays and Wednesdays," Slater said.

The Lombardi Trophy was a big attraction. There were also life-size standup posters of Seahawks Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. There were also huge cutout mug shots of coach Pete Carrol, Wilson, Sherman and Marshawn Lynch. Kids would hold up the mugs and get their pictures taken.

"We want to thank the military and their families," Mejia said. "We understand that the Super Bowl trophy is cool, but here is where it counts."

After a 30-minute presentation that included the Blue Thunder playing and the Sea Gals dancing and Tony Ventrella, the Seahawks PR director and former local TV sports announcer, interviewing the three Seahawks, asking them questions, the players began signing autographs. Long lines more than 200 deep formed and the players began signing.

It was their way of saying thanks.    

July 2, 2014 at 4:46pm

Col. Otto Liller replaces Col. Robert McDowell as commander of 1st Special Forces Group at JBLM

Col. Otto Liller receives the colors from Col. Robert McDowell during 1st Special Force Group change of command ceremony at JBLM July 2. Photo credit: Gail Wood

In his parting speech as commander of the 1st Special Forces Group, Col. Robert McDowell praised his unit, thanked those who have assisted in his career and reflected on his two years at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

He said it's been a fulfilling and rewarding moment in his military career that began after graduating from Ball State University in 1987.

"This has truly been the highlight of my 27 years in service," McDowell said. "It's an honor I'll never be able to top. Thank you for everything. I wish you the best. You are the best."

McDowell, who has been reassigned to Fort Bragg, is replaced by Col. Otto Liller, who began his military career in 1993.

"I wish you the very best," McDowell said to Liller during a 45-minute change of command ceremony today. "I know you're going to love this job. You'll love every bit of it."

Liller, who has been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Philippines, is no stranger to the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). Prior to his promotion as commander to replace McDowell, Liller commanded the 1st Battalion, the 1st Special Forces Group on Torii Station in Okinawa, helping support Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines and throughout Asia Pacific.

Liller is looking forward to the challenge of his new assignment.

"This is more than a unit," Liller said. "This is a family and I'm glad to be home. I expect the utmost effort and professionalism from all of you. You should demand the utmost courage, compassion and leadership from me."

Liller first served with the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) from 1999-2002.

"Together we'll continue to uphold the finest traditions of the 1st Special Forces Group and the Special Forces Regiment," Liller said. "And we'll serve our nation proudly."

Brigadier General Darsie Rogers, the commanding general for USASFC, praised the performance of 1st Special Forces Group under McDowell.

"They're capable of adapting at a moments notice to a changing scenario or environment," Rogers said. "One that the 1st Special Forces Group has excelled here in the past two years under McDowell. They truly performed in any environment at any level."      

Rogers was confident that the 1st Special Forces Group will continue it's high level of performance under Liller.

"Now is the time to turn the page," Rogers said. "Otto and Wendy, you're no strangers to 1st Special Forces Group. You bring an in-depth knowledge of Asia and 1st Group. Under your command they'll continue to excel."

In 2005, Liller returned to 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) when he served as GWOT Operations Planner, Special Forces Company commander and Group Operations officer. After graduating from the University of Miami in 1993, Lillers' first assignment was with the 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

July 3, 2014 at 7:26am

Thursday Morning Joe: First female combat force commander, new Army handgun, military tracks Facebook, John Oliver excels ...

The 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, throw coffee during skills training at Kunduz province, Afghanistan. Original photo by Sgt. Avila

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Iraq chases Baghdad sleeper cells as "Zero Hour" looms over capital.

Israel said today it was beefing up its forces along its frontier with the Gaza Strip.

Iran has reduced demands for the size of its future nuclear enrichment program in talks with world powers.

The latest delivery of Russian-made Su-25 Frogfoot aircraft to the Iraqi Air Force originated from Iran.

The White House is expected to nominate Lt. Gen. Lori Robinson to head up Pacific Air Forces and receive a fourth star, making her the first U.S. female four-star commander of combat forces.

Top U.S. officials return to Farnborough as F-35 debuts.

How the Pentagon could save $108 billion over the next decade.

Will U.S. switch sides and back Assad?

There hasn't been a real adjustment in the U.S. definition of national security since the end of the Cold War and the extension of business as usual has simply diminished the U.S. in its role as a world leader.

Forget terrorism. The Pentagon's best chance to field the best military with the smaller budget imposed by sequestration may just lie in preparing for nuclear war with Russia and China.

China: Leap-frogging U.S. deterrence in the Pacific.

VA medical inspector retires after scathing report.

The U.S. Army wants to replace its Cold War-era M9 9mm pistol with a more powerful handgun.

Army: Bergdahl venturing out in public.

The Army-led Future Vertical Lift program is being developed to replace the service's aging helicopter fleet, and the aircraft of other services, at some point in the future.

94th Infantry Division vets reunite to remember World War II.

25th Transportation Battalion carries out certification exercise below DMZ.

The www.defenseone.com/technology/2014/07/military-already-using-facebook-track-moods/87793/?oref=d-topstory" target="_blank">military is using Facebook to track your mood.

Top five misconceptions about evolution according to scientists.

Cool demonstration of self-driving cars.

Too Much Free Time: Watch how American cities grow through thousands of historic maps.

Variety has a piece about John Oliver's show and how it has "shattered TV's comedy-news format."

Tour buses for Styx and Foreignercaught on fire yesterday.

LIST: 50 greatest summer blockbusters

What?

LINK: Original photo by Sgt. Avila

July 3, 2014 at 7:44am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Runners, Green Drinks, free bull rides, The Keys ...

Run with the Tacoma Runners tonight. Your country depends on it.

THURSDAY, JULY 3 2014 >>>

1. Every Thursday at 6:30 p.m., for the last four years, waves of runners head out from a Tacoma pub, following a 5K route announced at the start, before returning to the starting line for multiple hugs and carbohydrate-rich beers. Mike and Lisa Hahn, Derek Young, Rob McNair-Huff and several others launched the social group in 2010, with Young, Sarah Cutting and McNair-Huff running it today, hosting a website and setting the routes for 3,347 Facebook members. Tonight, the Tacoma Runners will celebrate our nation's independence with a fun 5K run, beers and karaoke (8 p.m.) at The New Frontier Lounge. Expect at least 25 Founding Fathers costumes.

2. Downtown on the Go group will be hanging at the downtown Tacoma Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. handing out information on transportation options in and out of downtown Tacoma, as well as selling $10 helmets and Walk Tacoma T-shirts.

3. It's un-American to cancel meetings the day before the Fourth of July. Tacoma Green Drinks knows this. The group of environmental-friendly folks meets every first Thursday to discuss sustainable business and lifestyle while tossing back beer, wine and cocktails. Now that's American! The group will gather at 6 p.m. in The Hub Tacoma and listen to folks from Artisan Electric discuss community solar development. Grassroots community-wide bulk purchase solar programs began in Portland and have spread all over the country. Why hasn't it caught on in Tacoma? Find and get buzzed tonight.

4. Steel Creek American Whiskey Co. is throw a free country music party the next two nights. And by free they mean free bull rides and free cover. Rio dance lessons begin at 8 p.m. tonight with drink specials every 30 minutes.

5. Boris a.k.a. The Keys, a French-born and raised but now Toronto-based singer-songwriter playing somewhat edgy pop and folk & roll music will showcase his eighth album, You Can't Beat Me If I'm Not Playing, at 9 p.m. in Northern. Paul Mauer and Vinni Straube will perform, too.

LINK: Thursday, July 3 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 4, 2014 at 8:17am

5 Things to Do Today: A Hard Day's Night, Freedom Fair, Freedom Fest, B-Lines ...

Those boots, those suits!

FIREWORKS DAY, JULY 4 2014 >>>

1. Meet the Beatles! Just one month after they exploded onto the U.S. scene with their Ed Sullivan Show appearance, John, Paul, George, and Ringo began working on a project that would bring their revolutionary talent to the big screen. The Fab Four romp and smirk and sing their way through Richard Lester's exuberant 1964 film, A Hard Day's Night. The Beatles play wily, exuberant versions of themselves, captured the astonishing moment when they officially became the singular, irreverent idols of their generation and changed music forever. The film has been restored for its 50th anniversary, and screens at 2 and 6:30 p.m. at The Grand Cinema and at 6:30 p.m. at The Capitol Theater.

2. Today is national Front Yard Barbecue day. Invite the neighbors over for a front yard barbecue. And those who don't have a front yard can still use any park, plaza or public space. Last year more than 30 front yard barbecues took place in the Tacoma area. For more details, go to http://frontyardbbq.org/.

3. What would a Fourth of July celebration be without fireworks? If you said lame, you’re absolutely correct. The Freedom Fair knows this, which is why, blessed with the perfect backdrop of a Commencement Bay sky, technicians will detonate what’s being toted as the biggest fireworks show in the Northwest. The fireworks are set to start at 10:10 p.m., and every color of the rainbow will be represented. The Tacoma Freedom Fair is promising the display will shake the waterfront, the city, and beyond. It will last about 21 minutes, and the display will be synchronized to a musical score that will be pumped through every speaker along the waterfront. The music will also be simulcast on Click 98.9 FM and KLAY AM 1180 for your enjoyment. Before the fireworks, Ruston way will be full of live entertainment will run all day on five stages, including the Back to Beale Street Blues Competition, air show, food and silliness.

4. The 2014 Joint Base Lewis-McChord Freedom Fest continues its annual tradition of delighting and entertaining families from all around the region. The general public is cordially invited to join the JBLM community from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for an all-day, all-evening holiday celebration like no other. Held on base at Cowan and Memorial Stadiums, the festival will feature live entertainment, aerial demonstrations, military displays, carnival rides, a car show, food, games and a spectacular Fourth of July fireworks show starting about 10 p.m. to cap off the evening.

5. B-Lines are very much not in the mood for fancy-pants subgenre naval-gazing. No hifalutin descriptors; just "stupid punk" emblazoned on their page. One thing does pop up, though: they refer to one of their albums as "post-proto-hardcore," a designation so colossal in its meaninglessness that it approaches the sublime. There needn't be much attention paid to pitches and press kits with B-Lines, however, because the music speaks for itself in furious volumes. Their most recent 12", Opening Band, is a quick burst of nine songs, just barely passing the 15-minute mark. Along the way, B-Lines are steadfast in their desire to get in and out with as much tuneful efficiency as possible. Even their name - B-Lines - is evocative of the breakneck rush they're in to get from A to B, completely waving off the possibility of a C. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on the B-Lines in the Music & Culture section., then catch the band with No Body and Arc Ov Light at 8 p.m. in Olympia's all-ages club Northern.

LINK: Friday, July 4 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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Arresting Power is at 6:30 (even though it's a good idea to get there early).

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