Adonis Puentes – Bridging Music Cultures

Born into a musical family in Cuba, Adonis Puentes began playing guitar at the age of 6. By the time he was 14, the virtuoso was singing and writing his own music. Nominated for a Juno Award and a Latin Grammy, the singer/songwriter became a great Cuban Sonero very early in life. Sonero is the top honor for a Latin performer and one that Puentes holds dear to his heart.

“I’m a messenger of my Cuban heritage and tradition,” says Puentes, who has traveled to Cuba many times to cultivate those roots. He describes his music as “fusion with Cuban roots.” This is a deep and abiding heritage, he says, especially the síncopa—that fusion between the African and Spanish cultures.

His 2014 album Sabor A Café certainly exudes a Latin flavor with a hint of Afro jazz. Each song reaches the soul with lyrics about heartbreak, forgiveness and even love that endures. During a performance, you will find it difficult to sit still as these original compositions and rhythms lure you to your feet.

“Watching Adonis perform live is a remarkable experience,” says David Fischer, executive director of the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts in Tacoma. “He is a performer of vibrant energy, combining the many layers and musical style of Buena Vista Social Club, with the charisma of Desi Arnaz. On stage with the all-acoustic voice of Cuba Orchestra, his voice mingles with the piano, bass, horns, and guitar, creating this vibrant, rich, unforgettable sound. It’s fantastic!”

With his goal to bridge generations and culture, Adonis Puentes and the Voice of Cuba Orchestra is one performance you won’t want to miss. They will perform at the Rialto Theater on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, visit

by: Laurie Miller

Sand in the City

sand-in-city2Music swayed as 500 community-minded attendees gathered for Hands on Children’s Museum’s Sand in the City Gala. Guests enjoyed signature cocktails, dancing barefoot under the stars to The Beatniks, striking a pose for photos in the photo booth and noshing on gourmet handcrafted cuisine from local businesses.

The evening’s proceeds will fund the Hands on Children’s Museum’s free & reduced admissions programs and support expanding new exhibits in the Museum’s Outdoor Discovery Center.

2014 Women of Achievement Honored

Each year the YWCA of Olympia pays tribute to women who most closely model their lives according to the YWCA’s mission. Professional achievements, personal growth, peer recognition and involvement in the community are all considered. This year’s celebration, the organization’s 20th annual, included a special category dedicated to women who are committed to eliminating racism and promoting racial justice. Nominees were revealed at the Annual Women of Achievement Gala on Nov. 6 at the Red Lion Hotel’s Forest Ballroom.



christine-petersChristine (Christy) Peters
Peters serves as administration chief for the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. In her 20 years of criminal prosecution, she has helped more than 400 adults and children who were victims of physical and sexual abuse.
marti-ensignMarti Ensign
The first woman in her faith to be fully ordained as a Free Methodist minister, Ensign learned firsthand the tension and loneliness a woman experiences in a male-dominated field. But that didn’t stop her from going wherever she was needed, including to war-torn African countries to help relief workers with PTSD.
rhonda-coatsDr. Rhonda Coats
Coats has worked in higher education for more than 30 years and currently serves as vice president of student services at South Puget Sound Community College. She is a constant champion for underrepresented students.
lynn-grotskyLynn Grotsky
Since 2007, Grotsky has been an essential part of Pizza Klatch, an organization that gives hope to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth in Thurston County. Many of them are often discriminated against, marginalized and disenfranchised.
leticia-nietoDr. Leticia Nieto
This nominee wears many hats—as a psychotherapist in private practice, poet, dramatist, anti-oppression trainer, professor at St. Martin’s University and faculty member of the European School of Classical Psychodrama in Mexico. Nieto lives and breathes the YWCA’s mission to empower women and eliminate racism, through education, advocacy, service and leadership opportunities through her work and her personal and community life.

united way of thurston county – solving problems together

united-way2United Way of Thurston County provides an invaluable service to low-income families dealing with the struggles of everyday life. Discovering the key issues that impact families in the area and creating resolutions for those affected is a large part of the work being done by volunteers and board members alike. The mission is clear and community focused: By helping children and their families be successful, the community prospers. Understanding the needs is what drives the organization to deliver the best services.

“We are always evaluating and renewing the focus of our work,” says Executive Director Paul Knox. “United Way plays an important role in many lives and is dedicated to the community we serve and we are excited to continue this work.”

As with all nonprofit organizations, fundraising is critical, and Knox recognizes the importance of establishing local partnerships. “We are more effective if we are not working in isolation,” he says.

Partnerships with local government and business organizations, called Community Investment Partnerships, have helped United Way of Thurston County grow even more in recent years through grants and additional fundraising. These funds address specific needs like health and nutrition or financial stability.

Volunteers play an integral role in ensuring the success of United Way and the families they help. Programs include after-school reading buddies and the early learning coalition. Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks such as event coordination, administrative help and general labor for special projects. Larger events such as Day of Caring encourage all members of the community to come together and donate a few hours of their time to help those in need.


For additional information:

Donate or pledge today:
text “UNITED” to 55155

a new home for school of the arts

school-of-the-artsTacoma’s School of the Arts, a small, innovative, public high school in downtown Tacoma, offers a focus on the arts—and an opportunity for students to recognize their connection to each other and the community.

The curriculum includes dance, music, drawing and painting, graphic arts and sculpting, along with integrated math and science courses. Beyond the arts focus, SOTA works in partnership with the Science and Math Institute, or SAMi. The program is designed to prepare students for college, and many of SOTA’s courses look and feel like college courses. Classes are multi-age and interdisciplinary. Students take intensive mini-terms that dive deep into one subject, such as Caribbean music or modern architecture.

Currently, SOTA students attend classes in three buildings downtown and on the University of Washington Tacoma campus. The school will soon be relocated to a spacious new home in the heart of the city’s theater district. The Tacoma School Board voted to buy a three-story building and nearby parking garage at Ninth Street and Broadway in downtown Tacoma. The purchase price of $7.6 million included $6.2 million for the building and $1.4 million for the garage.

The new location sits across from the historic Pantages Theater and next door to the Rialto, at the previous home of the Music Box Theater, which burned down in 1963. Students will begin occupying the 302 Ninth St. building in the 2015-16 school year. According to Jon Ketler, SOTA founder and co-director, expanding arts programs in the new building will allow more opportunities for students in the community to participate.


For additional information:
1102 A St, Tacoma

the goodtimes project – recapturing the joys of childhood

goodtimes-projectFor most children, summer camp is a place to make new friends and create lasting memories. It is a place where having fun is the biggest priority. But camp might have been out of reach for children affected by cancer—that is, until Camp Goodtimes opened in 1984.

Camp Goodtimes offers a no-cost camp experience to children affected by cancer, allowing them to escape from the hospital and enjoy a few weeks of just being a kid. Activities include kayaking and other summertime favorites such as campfire songs and team-building exercises. “Camp Goodtimes gives children back their childhood, providing a week to make friends, play, learn new skills and reconnect to who they are as people, not patients,” says Carol Mastenbrook, executive director. “I see the evidence of the healing power of laughter every day at camp.”

Over the past 30 years, the camp was funded and operated under the umbrella of the American Cancer Society. Last year, the ACS announced a shift that would have eliminated Camp Goodtimes if not for the generous funding of local donors. The camp is supported 100 percent by the community. Two major events during the year fund the camp: the Goodtimes Wine Auction in the spring and the Drive-A-Thon in October. The campaign for next year’s camp has just begun with a goal of $450,000, so support from individuals and community businesses is critical.

Support also comes from volunteers for the summer camp and donations throughout the year. Volunteers play a vital role in the success of Camp Goodtimes. With positions ranging from summertime camp counselors to year-round administrative support, the organization offers an abundance of opportunities for those looking to donate their time to a precious cause.


For additional information:

healthy eating during the holiday season: 4 foods you should eat every day

healthy-eating2During the holidays, yummy food and tasty treats are everywhere. It is easy to let healthy eating habits slide, but holidays can still be healthy. It’s a simple truth: If you eat a nutritious, balanced diet, you will be a healthier person. To get the most out of your meals, make sure you eat foods from each of these four groups every day:

1. Low-fat dairy
The calcium and vitamin D that you get from dairy products are critical nutrients. Many women are deficient in calcium, which is important for healthy teeth and bones. And a lack of vitamin D, also needed for bone health, is common in low-sun climates like Western Washington’s.

Good low-fat dairy options include fat-free or 1 percent milk, low-fat yogurt, part-skim cheese and low-fat cottage cheese.

2. Whole grains
Whole grains are champions when it comes to adding fiber to your diet. They provide other nutrients you need, like calcium and iron, and are naturally low in fat.

Some whole-grain options include popcorn, 100 percent whole-wheat bread, quinoa, steel cut or rolled oats, brown rice, and buckwheat flour.

3. Lean proteins
Protein is important to help you build and repair muscle, feel full and satisfied longer, and keep your blood sugar even. About 6 ounces total each day is sufficient for most people who are also consuming enough low-fat dairy.

Good choices include boneless, skinless chicken breast, beans, nuts and seeds, and tofu or other vegetarian meat substitutes.

4. Lots of colorful produce
Loaded with nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants, fruits and vegetables are powerhouses of nutrition.

They also contain healthy fiber, are almost universally low in calories and are often portable, making them great on-the-go snack foods. To get the most benefit, though, you want to vary the kinds—and the colors—you eat.

Looking for a little help to get a jump-start on healthier eating? Get recipes for mandarin orange salad, wild rice and quinoa stuffing, light pumpkin pie and more at

inspired kitchen design

kitchen-after2kitchen-beforeThinking about reimagining your rooms? Take inspiration from the remodel on this page.

David and Krithika Butler of Silverdale had a dream to create a kitchen with more open space than their existing chopped-up interior. They met with American Dream Design Build and were impressed by the design process and project planning that were offered in detail even before a bid.

The Butlers went ahead and worked with the design team. After a few months, the beautiful results were apparent, seen here in the before and after images of the project.


For additional information:
American Dream Design Build
133 15th St SE, Puyallup

sound glass – newly expanded design showroom

sound-glassFor over 30 years Sound Glass has served the Puget Sound area from its Lakewood location. Now with a newly remodeled headquarters of over 23,000 square feet, it provides residential and commercial customers with all of their glass needs.

During the latest remodel, Sound Glass relocated the commercial fabrication portion of the business and expanded its showroom. As owner Warren Willoughby explains, “By combining locations we are better able to serve the needs of our customers. Our design center is a one-stop shop.”

The redesigned showroom entrance is open and spacious, displaying an array of glass offerings, including glass railings, shower doors, mirrors and the latest glass options. The company’s sales team can assist customers with almost any glass requirement from one showroom.

“Frequently, residents of the South Sound visit us to enhance their homes with repairs and replacement to glass fixtures,” says Willoughby. “Upgrading to the newest energy-efficient windows and doors is common, as is choosing the latest in designer shower doors and glass products for the home.”

Working with Sound Glass, homeowners can choose to purchase directly or to hire the company’s expert installers for a turnkey installation. Providing both quality service and products from trusted manufacturers has always been a core value for Sound Glass. The new, beautiful showroom makes the process of choosing the right products that much easier.


For additional information:
Sound Glass
5501 75th St W, Tacoma
Images// lauren triplett

happy hour around the sound

happy-hourThe South Sound is rich with an abundance of restaurants that have us coming back for more. When happy hour arrives, it’s difficult to resist the options these places offer. But where to go? We’ve found the best locations for happy hour.

Happy hour goes Italian at Mama Stortini’s all day on Sunday and every day from 3 to 6 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. to close. Drink and food options range from $3.50 to just under $7 including $2 off cocktails.

Crockett’s offers its spin on classic appetizers from $2 to $5. Need a drink to go with that? That’ll be $1 off all adult drinks all day Sunday and 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Get a taste for downtown Gig Harbor at Brix 25 with happy hour all night long on Saturday, plus Sunday through Friday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Here you’ll find specialty cocktails and classic wines offered with appetizers ranging from $4 to $12.

At the family-owned Ricardo’s Restaurant in Lacey you can enjoy happy hour every day from 5 to 6:30 p.m., except for Sundays. Succulent dishes are on the menu for just $5 to accompany $2 off all beers, wines and cocktails.

Reserve your spot at the Swing Wine Bar Café for “the lush rush” Monday through Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m., where you’ll find $5 beverages and bites.

Take a dip at The Melting Pot with five items for $5 including chocolate and cheese fondue as well as select beers and wines every day from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and again 9 to 11 p.m.


Check out our Dining Guide