The Daily Mash-Up

Sunday, August 30, 2015 This Week's Paper
Three Link routes rank high so far

The selection of a “preferred option” and an alternative route for the expanded Link light rail line in Tacoma has gotten bit easier with the roster of six all but being officially cut down to three routes set for a vote this spring.

Tacoma City Council was briefed on the options at a study session this afternoon.

A top choice and a fallback route are expected to face a Sound Transit Commission vote this spring after transit officials do further research of each of the six routes under initial consideration.

The options have been studied for the last two years and once included 24 routes or variations. The routes on the short list are:
* B1 that is a route along Stadium Way and Division Street to 6th Avenue and ending at Union Avenue. The 2.9-mile route along 6th Avenue is projected to cost $163 million.
* Another option would be C1 that would expand the current line from the Dome District to 48th and Portland Avenue at a cost of $119 million to run 2.3 miles.
* The last “top option” so far is E1 and runs along Stadium and Division before running to 19th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way at a cost of $133 million to go 2.3 miles.

Routes to Fife, the Tacoma Mall and a downtown loops are still under review, but the top options are ranking highest in the research so far in terms of economic development potential, ridership, grant funding options and impacts to disadvantaged communities.

Once a top choice is selected in April, the funding dance begins. Sound Transit has projected about $150 million in funding for the route expansion, with about $50 million coming from the regional transportation agency, $50 million through federal grants and the remainder coming from partnerships and other sources, including options for a Local Improvement District and private investments that could include talks with the Puyallup Tribe to contribute to the route heading into Fife if that route makes the cut this spring.

The current 1.6-mile light rail line serves six stations from the Theater District to the Tacoma Dome Station, with trains running every 12 minutes during the day. The 10-year-old service cost $77 million to construct. It served a million riders last year and marks its 10th anniversary this summer. Voters in 2008 approved an expansion of Tacoma Link as part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure. Routes have been talked about ever since, with formal study starting in 2010.

This year's Spring Fair in Puyallup will feature critters from Down Under, classic cars from the LeMay Museum and a new root beer garden at the KidZone.

Those were among the new features announced today for the 24th annual event, which will take place from April 18 to 21 at the recently renamed Washington State Fair Events Center - formerly the Puyallup Fair & Events Center – which is located at 110 Ninth Ave., SW, in Puyallup.

The Aussie Kingdom will showcase Australian marsupials (kangaroos, wallabies, walleroos), birds (kookaburras, rainbow lorikeets) and lizards in three daily installments. The new feature will add to the 4H livestock displays, monster trucks, demolition derbies, dancing horses at Fiesta Mexicana and 400-plus exhibition booths spread out over the fairgrounds.

Also sure to be among the biggest attractions are the free concerts hosted by Seattle radio stations KMPS-FM (94.1) and KKWF-FM (100.7, The Wolf), which will be held on April 19 and 20, respectively.

Every year, the stations bring an up-and-coming country talent to the Fair. This year's acts haven't been announced. But, in past years, the radio showcases have featured the likes of Dierks Bentley, Ashton Shepherd, Joey and Rory and Justin Moore, acts that have gone on to greater notoriety and bigger venues.

Most days, fair admission will be $10 for adults, $7 for students, aged 6 to 18 and free for children younger than 6. However, minors will be able to take advantage of free admission opening day, from 2 to 10 p.m. on April 18. And, on April 19, members of the armed services will get free admission with valid military ID as part of Military Appreciation Day.

Organizers are also fair visitors bring non-perishable food donations for Puyallup Food Bank. Other ticket information and the most up to date schedule of events can be found on the Fair web site.

The emotion loosely described as “scared” comes in two forms. There is the “scared” that is the sudden and surprising fright one gets from being startled by a quick movement or action, and then there is the slow-boil sort of scared that comes from a barrage of creepy sounds or movements or brief glimpses of something odd out of the corner of one’s eye.

Modern slasher movies take on the first definition with splashes of blood and screams, while Lakewood Playhouse’s production of “Woman in Black” takes on the latter definition. This classic takes audiences into the eerie world of vengeful ghosts, empty mansions and isolated estates with few scene changes or much of a wardrobe shuffle.

The play is told as a play-within-a-play as Arthur Kipps (played by Nathan Rice) hires an actor (Dylan Twiner) to coach him into the tricks of the thespian trade in an empty theater to better tell his tale of horror. And it is a tale to tell, indeed.

“Woman in Black,” the second-longest running show in London’s West End, is a tale of overwhelming sadness, a desperate adoption of an illegitimate child, a tragic death and an elderly recluse who slowly grew insane that is capped with a vengeful spirit who never stops taunting her target with sorrow and fright coming from the shadows and chills in the dark of night.

What topped this show as just another “ghost drama” is the stellar acting by Rice and Twiner, who take on the roles of the full cast of characters within the tale, each with a nuanced accent shift and a slight costume change. With an overcoat and a Hackney accent, Rice shifts from an upper-crust Scotsman barrister to a coach driver, while Twiner takes the role of Kipps himself.

This show features the Lakewood Playhouse debut of Seattle director Beau Prichard, who orchestrated the work to neither overplay nor under act each line. The play simply builds slowly and methodically to its final twist. There are no shocking scenes or blood-curdling shrieks in the night. It is not that sort of show. It is all about being creepy, slowly and ploddingly like a walk through the peat-covered moors of Northern England.

“Woman in Black” runs at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays through March 17 at the Lakewood Playhouse, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd. Tickets are e$18 to $24 and available at Lakewoodplayhouse.org or by calling (253) 588-0042.

Shake it up at TLT

Tacoma Little Theatre didn’t get all scholarly with its production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged, Revised),” but it got a whole mess of funny.

This three-actor play, directed by Suzy Wilhoft and written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield, parades through all the Bard’s works in 90-minutes thanks to splashes of skits that range from a cookie show to illustrate the dark tale of “Titus Andronicus” to a football game to tackle Shakespeare’s “Histories.”

This is a great show to either get a snapshot of the brilliance that is Shakespeare or see how talented actors poke fun at it while honoring the Bard. Luke Amundson, Coleman Hagerman and Alex Smith take the Bard to the heights of hilarity with splashes of vaudeville antics and pop culture references. While solid performances are to be expected from veterans like Amundson and Smith, the shocker was how much Hagerman held is acting own against these thespian juggernauts. The high school junior landed joke after joke and kept pace with their over the top hi jinx.

The show is pee-your-pants funny.

The short-run play takes to the stage March 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m. and March 3 at p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at www.tacomalittletheatre.com or (253) 272-2281. The theater is located at 210 N. "I" St.

Rock legend Elvis Costello and his band, the Imposters, have been added to the lineup of Sasquatch Music Festival, Live Nation announced. Costello will play the main stage at Grant County's Gorge Amphitheatre on Memorial Day Weekend, along with the likes of the Postal Service, Macklemore, Mumford & Sons, Vampire Weekend and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. Find the full festival lineup here.

But, if you don't already have tickets, the bad news is that the festival sold out in a record 90 minutes this year, meaning you may have to consult with your friendly neighborhood scalper to get in.

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