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March 1, 2013 at 8:57am

Weekend Hustle: Dance Oly Dance, Sustainability Expo, Dance party, "Arabian Nights," Dance Festival and more ...

DANCE OLY DANCE: Free televised dance party! Dance on live TV! Yippee! Photo courtesy of Facebook



Friday: Mostly cloudy with a couple of showers, hi 57, lo 44

Saturday: Periods of annoying rain, hi 55, lo 38

Sunday: Some rain here and there, hi 48, lo 35


It's been awhile since we've shined some light on Dance Oly Dance, where the dance revolution is televised. Well, at least on local television with local dancers and local DJs. The March 1 episode features an online vote for a favorite DJ, so dancers get to choose the poison. Will it be DJ SPF666? Will it be DJ Riot? Tune into Facebook for voting and results, and if you are not down there shaking your boo-tay, tune into TCTV to watch Dance Oly Dance live. — Nikki McCoy

  • TCTV, 8-9 p.m., 440 Yauger Way, Olympia


You know what rotating equipment engineers can do? They can: evaluate new equipment and enable employees training on proper repair and operational techniques; function as technical resource to maintenance groups to direct and recommend problems solutions; prepare equipment RFQ packages and technical bid evaluations and make vendor suggestions; review vendor design documents and coordinate with vendors during equipment design and fabrication process; publish two chapbooks; specify and review drawings and data for large pumps and rotating equipment for offshore applications and conduct routine and complex engineering, design, analysis and technical tasks. Well, at least that's what poet John Milkereit has done. Ask him about his chapbooks and RFQ packages tonight when he leads the Distinguished Writer Series event and open mic.


AKA and the Heart Hurt Goods is driven. The band is talented. And it plans to blow up The Royal Friday night in Oly. The group is always lively - with AKA laying his rhyme and reason to an authentic blend of talented musicians and lovely lady vocals. And I'm not ashamed to hype these guys by dropping names. They've opened for Sublime LBC and Macklemore. 'Nuff said. - NM

  • The Royal Lounge, w/Elbow Coulee, 9 p.m., $3/adv, $5/door, 311 Capitol Way N.,  Olympia, 360. 705.0760


The New Frontier Lounge will play host to one of THE premiere dance parties of the year Saturday. Tacoma's own Death By Stars has rounded up an all-star cast of its amazing friends to provide the 253 with a night of something new, something different, something ... weird! Bands includeEver So Android, Werebearcat! and DJ Melodica. "We wanted to bring in bands that don't get a chance to play in Tacoma enough," says DBS member Patrick Galactic.  It's also Galactic and Juan El Revelator's birthday.  "I've never thrown myself a bash before," Galactic continues, "so we're gonna do this RIGHT!  It's going to be a celebration of the friends, family and city we love. If you like to shake it, this is your night. If you don't like to shake it but like to watch sexy girls shake it ... this is your night!" - NM

  • The New Frontier Lounge, 8 p.m., $5, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, 253.572.4020


Fun fact: Before there were expos, people had no idea how to disseminate information about sustainability. It was a bleak time. Luckily, events like Saturday's South Sound Sustainability Expo at the Tacoma Convention and Trade Center have solved this problem, bringing "green" to the masses. According to hype, the South Sound Sustainability Expo is "intended to provide residents and business owners in the greater Tacoma metropolitan area a place to discover services, products, companies, and agencies in our region that address sustainability needs in our community." As part of that goal, instruction and information on everything from urban chicken cooping to waste minimization and recycling will be discussed. 


The Tacoma Youth Symphony Association brings its 2012-2013 season to the Rialto Theater Sunday for a performance by the much-loved Tacoma Youth Symphony Orchestra. Titled Arabian Nights, and thematically including Mahler's "Adagietto" from Symphony No. 5, Weber's Second Concerto for Clarinet and Romsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Sunday's afternoon concert should deliver in all facets of awesomeness. Coolest of all: 100 free main-floor tickets for students of high school age or younger will be available at the door on the day of the performance.

  • Rialto Theater, 3 p.m., $6-$17, 310 S. Ninth, Tacoma, 253.591.5890


Jazz hands, everyone! Sunday brings the fourth annual Olympia Dance Festival to the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Combing the dance talents of several regional dance troupes - listed on the press release as Ballet Northwest, Centralia Ballet Academy, Comerford School of Irish Dance, Debbi's Dance, Johansen Olympia Dance Center, Mas Uda Middle Eastern Dancers, Random Acts of Dance Collective, Slieveloughane Irish Dancers, Southwest Washington Dance Ensemble and Studio West Dance Academy - this yearly event typically inspires smiles and rounds of applause. Southwest Washington is full of dance talent, and the Olympia Dance Festival routinely puts that fact on full display.

  • Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 2 p.m., $10, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, 360.753.8585


Our schedule is unusually vacant this weekend, so the better half and I plan to give our condo a thorough pre-spring cleaning. Also, I'd very much like to catch Shakespeare Abridged at TLT, given its enthusiastic thumbs-up from Joann Varnell.

This weekend, I'll be hitting up Patrick Galactic's birthday show at the New Frontier. Death By Stars, Ever-So-Android, Elbow Coulee and Werebearcat! I'd be a fool not to go.

We're going to Seattle Saturday to see Photograph 51 at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Not exactly a title that makes people run out and buy tickets, but I hear it's a great play.

NIKKI MCCOY Feature Writer
How about a bubble bath while the servants, I mean children, clean the cat box and fold the laundry? How about a full body massage with lavender and jojoba oil while my husband serenades me on the guitar? How about a luxury shopping trip with girlfriends and martinis while a team of top-rate gardeners prepare my yard for spring? Oh, sorry, what was that? My weekend plans? Nursing a cold and scrubbing toilets while the tyrants, I mean children, fight over Legos and complain about dinner.

JOSH RIZEBERG Music Columnist
I'm not doing too much this weekend. Friday, I'll be at Jazzbones for Clemm Rishad's album-release party. Saturday, I'll be teaching my spoken word/poetry class at D.A.S.H Center for the Arts. Sunday, I'll try to get my slow-moving ass to the Graffiti Garages for the Sunday Cyphers.

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
Saturday, I'll hit up the Super Mall with one of my best friends (with my toddler in tow) to spend a gift certificate from Christmas. Sunday, I'll start the day with a birthday breakfast in bed and say hello to 38. I have no other plans than to relax, maybe take a nap (you know, like old people do) and enjoy a birthday dinner prepared by my rad husband. (Do people even say "rad" anymore?)

STEVE DUNKELBERGER Nightlife Correspondent
Well, I will be working on my next book about the history of Lakewood and going to the training session to learn about researching life in Washington during the Civil War years for an upcoming exhibit at WSHM, beating the ukulele strings like they owe me money for a birthday gig I got roped into playing and then maybe hit Louie G's for the Ben Union show or the Blanco Bronco show at the New Frontier. Decisions, decisions. Oh yeah, and walk the dog.

NIC LEONARD Music Writer
Saturday night I will be attending the Portland Trailblazers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves game down at the Rose Garden followed by a night if partying in Portland. Look for me on TV!  I'll be decked out in vintage Sonics gear sitting two rows behind one of the hoops.

ROCKFORD ROWLEY All-Ages Music Columnist
This weekend, I'm headed up to The Experience Music Project to see The Sound Off! finals. I'll be pulling for Tacoma's own electro-pop glimmer-twins THE FAME RIOT. A winning outcome will guarantee them a spot on the Bumbershoot bill.

LINK: Even more local events that we recommend

LINK: Comprehensive South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar

February 25, 2013 at 10:08am

South Sound Sustainability Expo demystifies the eco-revolution


The doctor is in. If you've been grappling with making your lifestyle choices greener, the presenters and exhibitors at the fifth annual South Sound Sustainability Expo have the answers you've been seeking. Around 70 vendors and resources are included in the cost of admission, which is FREE written in big, green letters.

According to hype, the South Sound Sustainability Expo is "intended to provide residents and business owners in the greater Tacoma metropolitan area a place to discover services, products, companies, and agencies in our region that address sustainability needs in our community." As part of that goal, instruction and information on everything from urban chicken cooping to waste minimization and recycling will be discussed.

New this year is a mini farmer's market with about eight vendors selling everything from dried beans to organic ice cream; an art exhibit by local elementary schoolers in the Arts EnviroChallenger program made from refuse; and an interpretive dance by SOTA students titled What the Frack? The piece is a social commentary on fracking and has original music composed by Tacoma jazz saxophonist Kareem Kandi.

The sections of the dance interpret the environment moving from healthy to a state of digging madly for oil and then back to nature.

"Movement is abstracted from societies' multiple perspectives regarding this topic, from the oil companies to the landowners to the environmentalists. The final section of What the Frack? takes us back to nature. It is intimate and personal, yet it is also now broken. This piece leaves the audience to wonder."

You can also use this event to up the ante on your green know-how. The Expo runs (cleanly) from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. During this time, there will be five free workshops spread throughout the day, including how to design a sustainable landscape, solar power, and spring gardening wisdom.

To cap it all off, there is also a raffle - the raffle to end all environmentally centered raffles! Prizes are from a long list of local companies and businesses, from Northwest Natural Lighting to University of Puget Sound to Rain Dog Designs.


February 21, 2013 at 8:42am

5 Things To Do Today: "Scarlet" book party, Cuban film, Art+Science Salon, Art Bus and more ...

ART+SCIENCE SALON: "Is there something to be gained in our understanding of humankind by encouraging scientists and artists to share their ideas?"

THURSDAY, FEB. 21 2013 >>>

1. Marissa Meyer is a YA author from Tacoma and a Pacific Lutheran University graduate. She's a fan of Firefly. She wrote Sailor Moon fan fiction for 10 years. Cinder, the first book in her Lunar Chronicles, is about an android Cinderella in futuristic China was on the New York Times Best Seller list. In short, she is one of the lucky few whose love of sci-fi and all things nerdy has paid off. At 6 p.m., Scarlet, the second book in her Lunar Chronicles, will be celebrated at King's Books in Tacoma. Meyer will read or speak before the signing frenzy. Also expect robots from SOTABots, swag and a costume contest for the best Cinder and the best Scarlet.

2. The Pierce Conservation District and Stream Team host the annual Meeting & Awards Banquet at 5 p.m. at The Evergreen State College Tacoma campus. The accomplishments of last year's efforts will be celebrated as well as honor volunteers and community partners working to conserve natural resources and support sustainable farming throughout Pierce County. Presentation of District and Stream Team awards begins at 6:15 p.m., followed by guest speaker David Montgomery.

3. It's the third Thursday of the month. In Tacoma, that's means an extra emphasis on the arts. Tonight's quest for art will lead you directly to the steps of science. That's right, the University of Puget Sound and Tacoma Art Museum have teamed up to present an Art+Science Salon - an evening of 10 artists and scientists delivering 10-minute presentations - Pecha Kucha style - at 6 p.m. inside the Tacoma Art Museum.

4. Speaking of third Thursday, tonight is the Tacoma Art Mingle, which was formerly called the Third Thursday Artwalk. Whatever the name of the special night, it's still very hard to walk the damn thing. For the last two-plus years Tacoma has had the Art Bus to rely on - the creation of T-Town's own Angela Jossy, and pretty much the bestest idea there ever was. Each third Thursday the Art Bus shuttles riders from gallery to gallery, venue to venue accomplishing more than any one person could ever dream of on foot, and at the same time building a communal vibe that's worth its weight in gold. Tonight's Art Bus celebrity host Darrell Fortune of will help guide you through such stops as FabLab, 253 Collective, Embellish Multispace Salon, Urban Alchemy, Brick House Gallery, B2 Gallery and Catwalk. Tickets are $10 regular admission and $20 for VIPs. VIPs get gift bags with items from lots of local businesses. The Bus pushes off from the Tacoma Art Museum at 6 p.m.

5. Anyone who believes that Tacoma is still a blue-collar backwater town with few ties to the outside world had better stay away from the 11th annual Sister Cities International Film Festival, which launched two weeks ago. The experience might just shatter everything that poor soul holds to so misguidedly. Tacoma is an international city in every sense of the world. At 6:15 p.m., the Cuba Sister City Committee will present a cultural program celebrating Tacoma sister city Cienfuegos, Cuba. After the hoopla, the film The Beauty From Alhambra will screen. The story is set in 1920s Cuba. Rachel is an ambitious chorus girl set on becoming a cabaret star at the famous Alhambra Theater. Her artistic talent and help from the theater owner are enough to make Rachel's dream a reality. But along the way, she loses the love of her life and instead finds a passion that puts her career at stake.

LINK: Thursday, Feb. 21 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

February 15, 2013 at 8:52am

Tacoma's Andersons to turn trash into treasure at Tinkertopia

RR ANDERSON: He'll come to you. Courtesy photo


When you think of fighting pollution and harmful waste, the images that come to mind are often of oil spills; nuclear meltdowns and bottlenose dolphins caught in tuna nets. Typically, you don't think of bowling pins, magnets, beanbags and tops.

The Andersons do.

Ms. Darcy and RR Anderson, wife and husband, want to help the planet, but they also wanted to encourage art. The couple found a way to do both. With their new venture Tinkertopia, they want to repurpose junk for potential art projects.

Tinkertopia will be a destination unlike any other in the South Sound. Once it finds and sets up a storefront, it will be a hub for cheap and locally sourced repurposed items, ideal for use in artwork, home renovations or whatever floats your boat.

"Our mission is to divert as much reusable artsy/crafty materials from the waste stream as possible and the response so far has been very positive," says R.R. Anderson. "They have these stores in Vancouver B.C., Portlandia and Lynnwood, but not in Tacoma."

Tinkertopia is searching for a storefront, both in partnership with Spaceworks and on its own. Anderson is banking on the word of a live psychic phone network that the store will be open in the next month or so.

On the flip side, if you have old stuff that you really feel could have a future in someone else's project, the Tinkermobile is there for you. Call 253.778.6539, email or tweet @RerunTinkerCrab to schedule a pick up. The Tinkermobile will arrive, decked out in what Anderson likes to call "unbridled cartooning skills."

A full list of types of materials accepted is on Tinkertopia's website.

Filed under: Arts, Community, Green Crush, Tacoma,

February 7, 2013 at 7:41am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Sister Cities Film Festival, "City Goats," Green Drinks, comedian Todd Glass and more ...

CITY GOATS: Find out what's the deal tonight at King's Books.

THURSDAY, FEB. 7 2013 >>>

1. The 11th annual Sister Cities Film Festival is more than a film festival. It's a cultural exploration of Tacoma's sister cities, of which there are 11 located all around the world. Each Thursday, a film from a sister city lights up the screen of Blue Mouse Theatre - complemented by bonus activities and entertainment. Each week also has its own committee responsible for said entertainment and film selection. The festival kicks off with Tacoma's oldest sister - Kitakyushu, Japan - at 6:15 p.m. featuring the Stadium High School Taiko Drumming group, a Japanese Garden at Point Defiance update and the Japanese film, What the Snow Brings.

2. Why drink alone when you can get your drink on with cool cats who care about environmental issues? On the first Thursday of each month, Green Drinks invites Tacoma and Pierce County residents to do just that - hang out and chat with other green-minded individuals over drinks and snacks. The next session of Green Drinks - which will be held at 6 p.m. inside The Office Bar at Grill - will focus on downtown Tacoma's pacific Avenue Streetscape Project ... and drinks, of course. Read Kristin Kendle's interview with the project's consulting firm here.

3. Urban homesteading, backyard farming — call it what you will, the movement for self sufficiency and sustainable living is booming. In South Sound neighborhoods it seems more and more houses sport a chicken coop or custom greenhouse. Soon, the most dedicated local homesteaders may be able to join ranks of urban farming trailblazers elsewhere who are exploring a new way of bringing the farm to the city: raising goats. Seattle author Jennie Grant will discuss urban farming trends, as well as her book, City Goats: The Goat Justice League’s Guide to Backyard Goat Keeping, at 7 p.m. inside King's Books.

4. Every 15 years or so, the American musical veers in a new and unpredictable direction. When it works, it inspires a wave of imitators. Phantom and Les Miz spawned a decade of bombast. Rent added urban flava and moved gay life and issues to the forefront. Weekly Volcano theater critic Christian Carvajal believes Next to Normal, which debuted on Broadway less than four years ago, is the model for the next wave. Catch the show at 7:30 p.m. inside the Capital Playhouse. Read Carvajal's full review of Next to Normal in the Weekly Volcano's Arts section.

5. There's a certain familiar moment when you're hanging out with very close friends, being giddy and silly, and there's a way that you make each other laugh that's so specific and so unique that it's hard to recreate anywhere else. For sure, it's hard to recreate in the setting of a comedy club. A professional comedian is designed to make you laugh, but that certain type of laugh is so particular that it's almost banned from comedy clubs. Todd Glass can make you laugh like an audience member might but he can also touch you in the way that a close childhood friend can hit your buttons. In a way, um, he's magical. Glass begins a three-night run at the Tacoma Comedy Club at 8 p.m. tonight. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's interview with Todd Glass in the Weekly Volcano's Bars & Clubs section.

LINK: Thursday, Feb. 7 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 30, 2013 at 6:40am

5 Things To Do Today: Circus Oz, Scrabble Rabble, genetically engineered food chat, Trivia for Dorks and more ...

CIRCUS OZ: An outrageously circus that combines a sly sense of humor for the adults with wacky and daring antics to entertain the kids.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 30 2013 >>>

1. Australian Circus Oz is kicking off its new North American tour with three performances this weekend at the Pantages Theater. Formed in 1978, Oz is a rock and roll, animal free circus of musicians, acrobats, contortionists and artsy clowns. Grab a free, sneak peak of the show at 4:30 p.m. today inside the STAR Center.

2. Want to know what's in our food? At 6 p.m. inside the Moore Public Library a Let Me Decide - Genetically Engineered Food Initiative Forum will discuss a legislative initiative that would require food companies to label products containing genetically modified organisms.

3. Word Nerds! Scrabble is back at King's Books! Chill. You're good with words. Seriously. Get it together! This is Scrabble Rabble at 6:30 p.m. inside King's, remember? It's all in good fun. Now piggyback off that free U to form QUAT - that's 14 points without the double-word score. Word!

4. Dorky's Bar Arcade in downtown Tacoma hosts Trivis for Dorks every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. Weekly Volcano scribe Nikki McCoy has the scoop here.

5. Play bingo with those not just killing time before the Grim Reaper calls their number. Every Wednesday at 9 p.m. inside The New Frontier, bingo players are treated to a rather boisterous evening of number-calling. The music rocks, the prizes are craptastic and there's something very satisfying about yelling "It's not a tumor!" when B-9 is pulled from the hopper (Schwarzenegger anyone?). Sessions are free with $2 margaritas during bingo. Every Wednesday night is also Taco Night with $1 beef, $1 black bean and $2 chicken in soft or crunchy shells.

LINK: Wednesday, Jan. 30 arts and entertainment events in the greater TAcoma and Olympia area

January 28, 2013 at 9:30am

Learn about the Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project over drinks

GREEN DRINKS TACOMA: Discover the Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project plans over beers.


Why drink alone when you can get your drink on with cool cats who care about environmental issues? On the first Thursday of each month, Green Drinks invites Tacoma and Pierce County residents to do just that - hang out and chat with other green-minded individuals over drinks and snacks. The next session of Green Drinks - which will be held Thursday, Feb. 7 at The Office Bar and Grill - will focus on downtown Tacoma's Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project ... and drinks, of course.

Doreen Gavin, project manager for AHBL - the consulting firm hired by the city of Tacoma in 2011 to design the Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project - will be main entertainment at the Feb. 7 Green Drinks session. And by entertainment I mean giving an overview of Pacific Avenue's makeover and answering questions. 

In a nutshell, the Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project will deck out downtown's main drag with new sidewalks, lighting and bike lanes, as well as innovative green touches from stormwater infrastructure and rain gardens to more than 3,000 new plants. When all is said and done, downtown Tacoma intends to be a leader in urban greenness - as well as a lot prettier.

I tossed a few questions at Gavin before she got her Green Drinks on at The Office.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: Why is the Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project important to Tacoma?

DOREEN GAVIN: The Pacific Avenue Streetscape project has three main goals. First, economics. The project is designed to create an active, attractive and economically viable "main street" that encourages people and businesses to be downtown. Second, multimodal accessibility. The new sidewalks, intersection bulb-outs, crosswalks, bike sharrows, landscaping, street furnishings, artwork, catenary lighting and transit stops will improve walkability, accessibility, bicyclist and pedestrian safety. And third, but not least, stormwater improvements. The project incorporates stormwater treatment for this busy downtown corridor, which drains into the Thea Foss waterway. The waterway was designated a superfund site in 1983 and the cleanup was completed in 2006 at a cost of over $100 million to the city and its partners. The stormwater treatment facilities to be constructed as part of this project will improve the quality of stormwater generated within this corridor before it's discharged to the Thea Foss Waterway. This work adds to our efforts to protect the newly remediated waterway through source control, sweeping, maintenance and treatment projects. In addition, the Pac Ave corridor is a wonderful opportunity to showcase this treatment to the public in an innovative and interesting way. The goal is that these stormwater improvements will not only be functional but beautiful as well.

VOLCANO: It's a huge project. How are you going to structure your talk at Green Drinks?

GAVIN: My talk will focus primarily on green stormwater infrastructure and how the Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project incorporates the goals of stormwater quality treatment in Tacoma's "Main Street" through the use of rain gardens and silva cells. I will show some sketches and images illustrating what the proposed project will look like when completed. I will also talk about the goals of the project and the construction schedule.

VOLCANO: What pairs with a Pacific Avenue Streetscape Projects lecture?

GAVIN: Green beer, if available.


January 9, 2013 at 7:55pm

CONTEST: Artwork needed for Tacoma agritourism event

CHERYL THE PIG LADY: She's in. Photo credit:


Dirty Oscar's Annex, Primo Grill and Hotel Murano have teamed up with Pierce County farms Zestful Gardens, Terry's Berries and Cheryl the Pig Lady in an agritourism partnership that will produce events beginning in 2013. The partnership intends to take the "far" out of farms, producing farm to table events celebrating regional cuisine - from the land and in the kitchen - with an educational focus on issues of sustainability in food production and distribution.

The partnership is looking for help with branding. The partnership asks artists to submit a logo design for its vision, including naming the union. The chosen design will be featured on promotional materials such as event posters and T-shirts. The chosen artwork will be featured in many various forms of media for the event. Please note that, although the partnership will strive to preserve the integrity of the submitted design, the artwork may be slightly altered to suit different media. The winning designer should be able to provide an Adobe Illustrator EPS file (with fonts converted to objects or outlines). An Adobe Photoshop PSD (don't flatten layers) is also acceptable, but EPS is preferred.

The partnership, which you will name, will judge the artwork. The winning artist will be showered with gifts from the restaurants and farms.

Deadline for submission is 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. Submit information to Agritourism Partnership, c/o, Weekly Volcano, PO Box 98801, Lakewood, WA 98496 or via email at Chosen artist will be notified via email.

January 2, 2013 at 9:28am

Spotlight on Gray Lumber Company

GRAY LUMBER COMPANY: It's where Tacoma Food Co-op would buy its wood. Photo courtesy of


Tacoma Food Co-op is a nifty member-owned food destination - a haven for those seeking all things local, organic, allergen-free, non-GMO and beyond.

On Fridays, this community-centric shop shines its Local Friday Business Spotlight onto other local companies, hoping to give them a boost and to raise consumer awareness of the businesses in our area. Businesses that the Co-op especially likes are featured in their newsletter, but they also enjoy mentioning other local businesses on its Facebook page.

"It is great if the business is doing something forward thinking, whether it be environmentally or otherwise," says Luke Byram, outreach member of the Co-op.

Friday, Jan. 4, Tacoma Food Co-op will feature Gray Lumber Company - a Tacoma-based lumber and building products company founded in 1903. Gray Lumber Company receives the spotlight because it participates in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which signals that the company buys its wood products from a certified source, backed by a rigorous, third-party certification audit, according to Gray Lumber's website.

Beyond this, Gray Lumber is a big proponent of buying local to strengthen local economies and community development. Forward-thinking for the win!

The Tacoma Food Co-op welcomes business suggestions. For especially forward-thinking businesses, email the newsletter editor at For the Facebook feature, email Byram at

December 20, 2012 at 7:43am

Tacoma wins another Greenroads award

ALASKA STREET: It is now a Greenroads Silver Certified road. Photo credit:


Remember this past spring when the Cheney Stadium Sustainable Stormwater Project was awarded a Greenroads Silver Certification, making Tacoma's Clay Huntington Way the first Greenroad in Tacoma and the fourth in the world? It was a glorious green day in Tacoma. Actually, it was a glorious silver day.

Good news. Tacoma throughways Wapato Lake Drive, Asotin Court and Alaska Street are now certified Greenroads, too. In fact, Alaska Street is Silver Certified.

Wapato and Asotin are currently in the review process.  

With four streets, Tacoma is the first U.S. city to have multiple Greenroads.

An international standard, the Greenroads Rating System is a collection of sustainable roadway design and construction best practices that address water, environment, access, community impact, construction practices and materials. There are 11 project requirements that must be completed for a roadway to be considered a Greenroad. After a rigorous review process, the Greenroads Foundation assigns a project score based on the number of points earned by meeting the requirements and achieving credits. This score translates to one of four certification levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Evergreen.

Want to know the best part? These Greenroad projects actually cost substantially less than a more conventional roadway project would.

"Cheney, Wapato and Asotin where about half the cost of traditional improvements. Alaska Street was less too, but a much smaller fraction," says Jessica Knickerbocker of the city of Tacoma's Environmental Services, Science & Engineering Division. "But the stormwater requirements were less for Alaska Street and we had only a small portion of the project with green infrastructure."  

LINK: Cheney Stadium Sustainable Stormwater Project is actually cool

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