America’s Car Museum Features The James Hetfield Collection

When the doors of LeMay – America’s Car Museum opened on Thursday, Jan. 20, visitors got a brush with greatness: 10 otherworldly, custom-built hot rods of rock-star proportions from an exhibition titled Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection. On public display for just the second time ever, Reclaimed Rust is the product of decades of design and building collaboration between rock music icon James Hetfield and some of the best-known custom car builders in the world, including Rick Dore (Rick Dore Kustoms), Scott Mugford (Blue Collar Customs) and Marcel De Lay (Marcel’s Custom Metal).

Consisting of vehicles designed and custom-built by and for Hetfield, Reclaimed Rust pushes the limits of automotive design with billowing fenders, removed pillars, chopped tops, shaved handles and sinewy silhouettes that the original manufacturers could never have envisioned.

“The sleek lines and one-of-a-kind designs in Reclaimed Rust could stand on their own celebrity,” said David Madeira, Vice Chairman and CEO of America’s Automotive Trust. “However, anyone who sees this exhibition will feel the creative horsepower of James Hetfield and his team in these cars. In any art, whether it’s music, visual or automotive design, you can tell when an artist sees the potential of their tools and materials, rather than limitations.”

The collection includes vehicles that live up to their heavy-hitting names such as Skyscraper (a 1953 Buick Skylark), VooDoo Priest (a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr), Slow Burn (a 1936 Auburn 852 Boattail Speedster), Crimson Ghost (a 1937 Ford Coupe), the Dead Kennedy (a 1963 Lincoln Continental built by Hetfield himself) and the Black Pearl and Aquarius (both special constructions hand built from a drawing).

The collection is owned by and was first displayed at the Petersen Automotive Museum in 2020. It is on display at LeMay – America’s Car Museum now through Jan. 31, 2023.
For more information about this exhibition and LeMay – America’s Car Museum, visit


China to be Featured Country at APCC’s 24th Annual New Year Celebration

It’s one of Asia Pacific Cultural Center’s (APCC) favorite events of the year—the Annual New Year’s Celebration. Showcasing China as the featured host nation, the 24th annual event will be held on Saturday, February 19 from 11am to 6pm at the Sharon McGavick Center at Clover Park Technical School in Lakewood.

This exciting festival honors and celebrates the vibrant cultures of the 47 nations of Asia and the Pacific Islands represented by the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma. Visitors from far and wide gather for this free-to-the-public event, with attendance historically exceeding 10,000 people throughout the day.

According to the Chair of the New Year Celebration as well as the Chair of the Hosting Committee, Dr. Belinda Louie, “This event gives the API (Asian Pacific Islander) community a chance to showcase our wonderful cultures and traditions through joyous presentations of dance, music, arts and crafts, and, of course, delicious food.”

“Acting as the host nation in 2022, the Year of the Tiger, is really special to the Chinese community here in Tacoma given its history. Now, more than 4,100 Chinese people call Tacoma and Pierce County home,” she added.

Many Chinese have returned to Tacoma making great contributions to the city, county, and state. For the last 25 years, APCC has been teaching in schools and various organizations about the history, as well as the arts, of the Chinese people. Now, their culture, history, and traditions will be on full display at the New Year Celebration.

Audiences at the New Year Celebration will see demonstrations from host nation China, but also Guam, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, Samoa, Japan, Cambodia, Philippines, Tonga, Tahiti, the Marshall Islands and many other AAPI countries. Everyone watching on Facebook Live or attending in person will experience exotic music and dances, exciting martial arts, and many other wonderful cultural demonstrations.

APCC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to “bridge communities and generations through art, culture, education, and business.” This past November, APCC celebrated its 25 year anniversary and is continuing to grow and expand its programs and offerings like this New Year Celebration.

Asia Pacific Cultural Center


O Bee CU Launches Campaign Aimed at Spreading Kindness

Kindness is contagious. With that in mind, O Bee Credit Union has launched an effort to spread kindness and encourage community members to do the same. As Covid lingers, and pandemic fatigue gives way to frustration for many, O Bee Credit Union is motivating its members to be kind through a Kindness Contest. There are many simple ways to be kind, such as saying thank you, giving a smile or just having a calm presence. To enter, members only need to visit a branch, show kindness, and complete an entry form. O Bee will draw a $100 winner at each of their seven locations weekly through March 4, 2022. Prize winners will be chosen randomly every Friday. Members must be at least 21 years old to participate and can enter each week. Entries are limited to one per family per week at one branch only. 

In addition to spreading a little fun, the Kindness Contest is aimed at helping individuals improve their own health as well as making someone else’s day. Lee Wojnar, VP of Marketing, explained that O Bee simply wants to be a conduit of cheer amidst an overwhelmed society. “As stewards of the community we serve, we continually look for ways to bring about positive interactions,” he said. “These are stressful times. We want to remind everyone that simple acts of kindness like expressing sincere appreciation, holding a door, and smiling, are good for your health.” 

There is much evidence to support the health benefits of practicing kindness. The Mayo Clinic describes kindness as a quality of being that reduces stress by increasing neurotransmitters in the brain that boost moods. “This positive focus is like planting positive seeds in your mind garden” (Steve SiegleThe Art of Kindness, May 2020). Kindness is contagious, so to spread the positivity beyond members, O Bee is distributing smiley face stickers at every branch for people to take and share with others.  

“Members are responding well to our Kindness Contest,” Wojnar said. “Just a week into the campaign, we are hearing first-hand accounts about how forming kindness habits has enhanced moods, improved relationships, and reduced stress.” The contest launched January 10 and will run through March 4, 2022. Visit O Bee’s website for more information and contest terms and conditions.  

Service, Convenience at the Heart of Light Dental Studios

We can all agree on the qualities for the ideal dental provider: round-the-clock service, free consultations, same-day appointments, entire-family bookings, empathetic service and affordable care. It’s nearly impossible to find a full combination of such attributes. But then there’s Light Dental Studios.

Based in Puyallup, The dentist-owned company—with 19 locations in the South Puget Sound—has customer service at the core of its mission.

“We try to treat people the way we would want to be treated,” says owner and CEO Dr. Steven Broughton, who bought his first office from a former dentist in Puyallup in 1997. “People say our practice feels like we’re all neighbors, like they’re just going down the street for friendly dental care.”

With hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. including Saturdays, doctors available 24/7, free consultations, same-day appointments, and entire-family same-day care, Light Dental Studios has solutions patients need.

“We’re trying to make dentistry effortless by making it about our patients, not the dentists,” says Broughton. “Our schedule accommodates their schedule, not the other way around. Our doctors are always available, and almost all procedures are done in-house.”

Besides standard dental checkups, treatments and other services, Light Dental Studios offers on-site orthodontics, implants, surgeries and dentures. Children’s dental care is also offered. In fact, the offices frequently schedule care for entire families side-by-side on the same day to save time.

Light Dental Studios also gives back to the community at the annual South Sound Free Dental Day. That’s when the staff donates its time and skills to give away more than $90,000 worth of dental work—including fillings and extractions—on a first come, first-served basis. “We want patients to feel comfortable,” Broughton says. “Our first goal is to provide same-day treatment.”

Broughton notes that Light Dental Studios will continue to add offices over the upcoming years in growing family locations.

Light Dental Studios


Pierce College Chancellor set to retire

After 45 years of teaching and leadership at Pierce College, including 15 years as a faculty member, 6 years as president of Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, and 17 years as chancellor/CEO of the Pierce College District, Dr. Michele Johnson announces her retirement effective December 31, 2022.  

“Dr. Johnson has committed her life and career to Pierce College,” said Board of Trustees Chair Brett Willis.  “She is a transparent and collaborative leader building internal and external partnerships with other institutions of higher education, K-12 districts, business and industry, and community-based organizations. Her strong leadership is a key reason Pierce has been selected twice by the prestigious Aspen Institute as a Top 10 finalist for their $1 million Excellence in Community College prize.”

In addition to Aspen’s recognition, highlights of Johnson’s tenure include Achieving the Dream’s prestigious national Leah Meyer Austin and Leader College of Distinction awards for supporting student success, the Military Times Best for Vets awards, doubling of graduation rates, expansion of state-of-the-art facilities on campuses at Fort Steilacoom and Puyallup, innovative programs across our diverse communities including Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and relentless pursuit of mission to eliminate areas of inequities and to build an anti-racist institution. 

“We owe her a huge debt of gratitude for her vision, her leadership and mentorship,” Willis said. “We will miss her but her legacy of excellence will live on.”

Johnson is a graduate of Tacoma’s Lincoln High School. She was recognized as a Woman of Influence by the Business Examiner in their first selection in 1999. She was named one of 20 people to watch in the new century by the Tacoma News Tribune on January 1, 2000, and CEO of the Pacific Region by the Association of Community College Trustees in 2016.

“Pierce College is an amazing place,” Dr. Johnson said. “It has been an honor to be part of the college, to work with a dedicated team of faculty, staff, and administrators, to serve our students, our community, and the larger community and technical college system. This has been my life’s work and a labor of love.”

Pierce College will conduct a national search for the next chancellor and CEO. The Board of Trustees will form a Chancellor Search Advisory Committee including faculty, staff, students and community members to support efforts to select a new chancellor who will join us in January 2023.  

Jason Whalen Appointed as Mayor of Lakewood

In early January, Jason Whalen was appointed by the Lakewood City Council to the position of Mayor. Mary Moss was appointed to the position of Deputy Mayor. Whalen is Lakewood’s fifth Mayor since the City’s incorporation in 1996.

Mayor Whalen was elected as a member of the Lakewood City Council in 2009. He is an Army veteran and a longtime participant in local government and service clubs. He is the President-elect of the Lakewood Rotary Club and is a former President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board. He has also served on the Pierce County Charter Review Commission and Lakewood Planning Advisory Board. Professionally, he is a partner and co-founder of a local law firm. His wife and three daughters were present to observe his appointment.

Deputy Mayor Moss was elected to the Lakewood City Council in 2009. She is a prolific community organizer, President of the Lakewood Multicultural Coalition and Secretary of the State Air Force Association. She also serves on the Lakewood’s Promise Advisory Board, Lakewood Rotary Club, Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, Sound Transit Board, and numerous other commissions. She is also an Honorary Commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing Operations Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Professionally, she retired after 36 years as a community development consultant for a local credit union. She is a mother to three and a grandmother to eleven.

The Lakewood City Council consists of seven part-time, nonpartisan members elected every two years to staggered, four-year terms. The council elects one of its members as Mayor and another as Deputy Mayor every two years. Mayor Whalen and Deputy Mayor Moss will serve two-year terms in their new roles.

Jason Whalen, Mary Moss, Mike Brandstetter, and Patti Belle were each reelected to the Lakewood City Council during general election in November. To commence their new terms, Mary Moss and Mike Brandstetter were sworn in by Municipal Court Judge Lisa Mansfield and Jason Whalen was sworn in by Court Commissioner Clint Johnson. Patti Belle was sworn in earlier on Dec. 13, 2021.

After the swearing-in ceremony, former Mayor Don Anderson nominated Jason Whalen to the position of mayor. The council unanimously voted in support of the nomination, and the gavel was passed to the new mayor. Former Mayor Anderson nominated Mary Moss to the position of deputy mayor, and the council unanimously voted in support of the nomination.

Former Mayor Don Anderson had announced in December that he would not seek another appointment as mayor, but would continue to serve as a council member through the remainder of his term.

“I want to thank Don Anderson, our Mayor emeritus, the longest-serving Mayor of the City of Lakewood. To coin a Navy phrase, Don has steered the ship magnificently for many years. He’s kept us on course and together, we’ve accomplished great things over his term.” said Mayor Whalen.

Imagine Van Gogh: Coming to the Tacoma Armory

In 2008, Annabelle Mauger crafted her very first immersive Van Gogh exhibition and, in the last few years, the finalized project has become an incredible hit. Imagine Van Gogh, the Original Exhibition in Image Totale© sold over 500,000 tickets across Canada in 2020 alone. The exhibit will be presenting stunning renditions of Van Gogh’s classic artwork in over 200 of his paintings brought to life in a breathtaking immersive experience. Mauger and Julien Baron, renowned for their work at Cathédrale d’Images in Les Baux-de-Provence, France, are no strangers to the immersive art world — in fact, they are pioneers of the medium. Since 2016, the duo have developed and expanded Image Totale© to create a truly emotionally cathartic experience for visitors.

In order to create such a unique exhibition, Mauger and Baron used warping techniques to adapt the surface to the projected image, releasing the art being trapped inside of the canvas. “The choice of images, the way they are positioned, their rhythm and their association with the music all compose this original creation conceived by Annabelle Mauger and developed with Julien Baron.”

Online reservations for Imagine Van Gogh are encouraged, as admission is based on timed-entry and tickets are sure to sell out quickly! Each ticket is valid for one person, with no re-entry permitted and they are nonrefundable. The exhibition is open at the Tacoma Armory until January 30, 2022, with shortened hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

For Additional Information and Tickets


The TwinStar Credit Union Difference

When you put the community first, people notice. TwinStar Credit Union is certainly making people notice. Their two-fold community outreach approach includes the TwinStar Foundation and strong corporate giving coupled with employee volunteerism.

TwinStar was founded in 1938 by and for teachers in Thurston County and, while education is still a primary focus for TwinStar, they expanded their field of membership and welcome anyone who lives or works in Washington to join the credit union.

As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, TwinStar is owned by its members and governed by a volunteer board. They serve their members in person at any of their 20 branches throughout Western Washington as well as offer a full suite of digital services. TwinStar members are able to conduct their financial transactions anywhere they go.

Along with serving their members, TwinStar believes in serving their communities. Believing that well-fed kids create well-fed minds and that hunger among school-aged children creates a significant barrier to their education, the credit union formed the TwinStar Community Foundation in 2015. With the mission of ending hunger in school-aged children, the foundation pays off school lunch debt, offers Classroom Cash grants for teachers, and scholarships for higher education.

The Foundation, together with strong corporate giving, employee volunteerism programs, and Team TwinStar service projects, sets TwinStar Credit Union apart from other financial institutions. Whether it’s helping repack food for the Emergency Food Network, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army or holding fundraisers supporting the American Cancer Society, TwinStar team members have amassed more than 1200 hours of service in 2021.

In 2021, TwinStar initiated partnerships with local school districts and community colleges to provide much-needed funding to help bridge the education gap for students of color as well as provide opportunities for students to celebrate their heritage through cultural events and graduation attire. TwinStar is committed to continuing to invest in programs that promote equity and inclusion.

Pierce County TwinStar locations can be found in Spanaway at 13505 Pacific Ave S. and in Lakewood at 9601 S. Tacoma Way.

Twinstar Credit Union


Youth Marine brings Training Vessel to Tacoma

The Tacoma Youth Marine Foundation will soon be home to a state-of-the-art training vessel designed to provide maritime skill training and marine science education for youth.

The Youth Marine Foundation (YMF) today launched its capital campaign to purchase MV Baysmart Express and bring it to their campus on the Foss Waterway. The Ben B. Cheney Foundation made a substantial donation to lead the effort as the Platinum Funding Sponsor. The capital campaign is the largest in YMF history.

“We have had 98 years of successful youth development in Tacoma, but our current wooden vessels are at capacity and aging out,” says YMF Executive Director/CEO Monique Valenzuela. “As we look to bridge the gap and provide on-water experiences to local youth, especially those traditionally underrepresented, bringing this world-class training vessel to Tacoma will take us into the next 90 years and expand our reach exponentially.”

Undergoing an extensive multi-million-dollar remodel in 2015, MV Baysmart Express was designed for maritime training that meets current industry standards and to provide marine science education using up-to-date technology and maritime systems. The intentional remodel took many years and was a dream realized by Captain Charles Doolin, a Dallas based philanthropist. Captain Doolin not only found the vessel and oversaw all aspects of its remodel, but he also personally skippered the vessel from Delaware to its current home in Galveston, Texas.

Being able to fulfill Mr. Doolin’s dream of seeing hundreds of youth on the vessel is an honor that Youth Marine Foundation board president Tom Rogers can understand. As a 60-year volunteer on the wooden vessel Charles N Curtis and co-founder of the non-profit, he has witnessed the life-changing programs firsthand. “I look forward to continuing the work and legacy of Captain Doolin in the Puget Sound Region,” said Tom Rogers. “This vessel offers the
continued opportunity to bring more of our youth to nearby waters to learn about our environment and maritime jobs, while learning to be future leaders in our community.”

The Youth Marine Foundation programs are conducted on the organization’s Thea Foss Waterway campus and docks. With its fleet of vessels and access to large commercially licensed training vessels, hundreds of young people have successfully entered the maritime industry and become leaders in the community.

The MV Baysmart Express is a 100-ton aluminum vessel that was completely remodeled in 2015 and is commercially licensed. The vessel can accommodate 100 passengers with a licensed captain and two deckhands. Visit to learn more and view the vessel.

TLT Presents the Wizard of Oz


There’s no place like home for the holidays as Tacoma Little Theatre continues its 103rd Season, “The Start of Something New”, with The Wizard of OZ. Based on the classic MGM movie musical and the book by L. Frank Baum , The Wizard of OZ is directed and choreographed by Andrew Coopman, with musical direction by Jeff Bell. 

Click your heels together as you experience one of the most famous stories of all time come to life on our stage. The Wizard of OZ has been enchanting families for generations. Follow the yellow brick road and join Dorothy, her little dog Toto, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion as they journey over the rainbow to the merry old land of Oz in search of the great and powerful Wizard. Will he grant them their hearts’ desires? With all your favorite songs, including “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” “If I Only had a Brain,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” this timeless musical will sweep you into a magical holiday adventure.

Tacoma Little Theatre’s production of The Wizard of OZ features:  Jolee Zamira as Dorothy, Jillian Harrison as Aunt Em/Glinda, David Breyman as Hunk/Scarecrow, Noah Bruckshen as Hickory the Tin Man, Chris Serface as Zeke, the Cowardly Lion, Stephanie Leeper as Almira Gulch, the Wicked Witch of the West, Joseph Woodland as Professor Marvel, The Wizard of OZ, and John Limitone as Uncle Henry, The Emerald City Guard, with Taylor Colvill, Chap Wolff, Evie Merrill, Thea Frances Yumang, Jess Mackey, Luke Miller, Allen Melo, Derek Mesford, Isabela Quesada, Sage Stevens, Stefanie Van Rafelghem, Jennifer Weddermann, Tony Hay, Erik Davis, Chloe Longacre, Kaitlyn Whitten, and Asha Grace as Ensemble

The Wizard of OZ will run now through Friday, December 31, 2021.  December 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 at 7:30pm and December 12, 19, 24, 31 at 2:00pm.  The Wizard of OZ is recommended for all ages.  

Tickets may be purchased online at, or by calling our Box Office at (253) 272-2281.  Group rates are available for 10 or more, and special FLEX passes for 6 are only $145.00.  TLT requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination at the door for all audience members and masks will also be required while inside the building.  For our full COVID-19 protocols please visit