Gone the Dragon, enter the Year of the Snake.
It’s been a while since we’ve lived in a year with four non-repeating numbers. It’s been 365 days since we’ve had a chance at a new start.
So dust off the Ab-Blaster, grease the Nordic Trak, and pass the onion dip and the Alka-Seltzer. It’s a new year.
And what a year it will be – at least for all 315,091,138 people living in America as of 12:00:01 a.m. today.
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, it’s going to be cold, stormy and perhaps snowy around here from the middle of this month through the end, then stormy again in mid-February.
April and May will be cooler than normal, and a warm summer will see more rain. September will be remembered for being cool and wet.
BIRTHDAYS AND SUCH, PART 1
Janis Joplin would have turned 70 this year. So would have George Harrison and John Denver.
The Beatles first hit our shores 50 years ago with “Please Please Me.”
Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia 75 years ago. We haven’t been the same since.
The 16th Amendment (introducing a federal income tax) turns 100. Ditto.
THE HALLS OF OLYMPIA
A new governor, Jay Inslee, will begin to govern, as will a new attorney general, auditor and secretary of state. Inslee has pledged not to raise taxes, but, well, there’s the bugaboo of constitutionally mandated funding of public schools to deal with. And meanwhile, the Democrat Inslee will be working with a state senate controlled by Republicans. Given recent history, expect a special session to deal with the budget.
And how will the state regulate marijuana? Nobody knows. It might be appropriate that the first commercial store be located in Tokeland, Wash., and it shouldn’t take a joint session of the Legislature to hash out the new statutes, even if the legislators from both sides of the aisle become best buds.
I’m just sayin’...
DOWNTOWN AND BEYOND
Look for construction to begin on a 10,000-square-foot addition to the Tacoma Art Museum, built to house the amazing gift of a 280-work Western art collection gathered by philanthropists Erivan and Helga Haub. It’s the largest gift ever given to the museum and will constitute the greatest Western collection in the Northwest – featuring works by Frederic Remington, Georgia O’Keeffe, Thomas Moran and others.
Point Ruston gets streetlights. Also at the former smelter site, the Copperline Apartments open at the end of this month. Also, look for businesses – a spa, a candy shop, a coffee shop, an olive oil purveyor, a plastic surgery center and more – to open at the complex.
The Tacoma Yacht Club gets a new access road.
McMenamins will begin construction of its offering at the old Tacoma Elks Lodge, while at the site of the former, newer, now-demolished lodge, a Walmart will open in the fall.
Construction continues on the ongoing Highway 16 project. Talks continue between the state, the feds and the Puyallup Tribe concerning an extension of Highway 167 to Highway 509.
Stadium Way reopens, as will the Old Town Dock following a $1.7 million investment.
The lease on the former headquarters of Russell Investments expires.
The Tacoma City Council will convene a goal-setting session early in the year to set priorities for 2013. Meanwhile, work on the Pacific Avenue Streetscape project begins tomorrow – and could last until the new year grows old, in a year or so.
Come spring, the city launches a new website. One of the topics featured on the site will likely be the citywide conversion to twice-a-month garbage collection.
By midwinter, the City Council will pick a replacement for outgoing colleague Jake Fey, who heads for Olympia. Mayor Marilyn Strickland will likely run for re-election, having scuttled previous scuttlebutt that she might try for Congress. Council members Marty Campbell, Joe Lonergan and Victoria Woodards will near the ends of their first terms in office, and might decide to run again.
And with the city’s new austerity budget in place, City Manager T. C. (“Tough Cookie”) Broadnax will nonetheless continue to seek ways to trim costs, what with projections for the 2015-16 general fund having the city face a shortfall of some $20 million despite tens of millions in adjustments made during the past two city budget cycles.
Expect movement on the eight-story, 104-room Marriott Residence Inn on Dock Street south of the Esplanade condominiums, while the Holiday Inn Express, with 164 rooms in the Brewery District, opens in June.
Three new members join the Pierce County Council, and the political mix — with Republicans holding five of seven seats — remains unchanged.
Sheriff Paul Pastor opens a new precinct in the Parkland-Spanaway area, and South Sound 911, the voter-approved agency with a mission of improving emergency communications, puts a new radio system in place in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, a relatively new Elder Fraud Unit will become increasingly active in both prosecutions and prevention.
Along with the new council members, Mike Lonergan takes over as assessor-treasurer and three judges join the Superior Court bench. County Executive Pat McCarthy hosts her second Aerospace Summit. Ashford County Park, complete with a grassy amphitheater, will open a $1.8 million addition in the fall.
MDC (Making a Difference in Community, formerly Metropolitan Development Council) is rehabilitating a 35-unit historic building in Tacoma — the Randall Townsend project — providing 35 units with supportive services for individuals with disabilities experiencing long-term or repeated homelessness.
Lakewood will seek a new city manager to replace the likely departing Andrew Neiditz, who leaves to head South Sound 911. There will also be another spot to fill as Mayor Doug Richardson moves to the County Council.
Lakewood will also likely ask voters to pay a bit more in taxes for the upkeep of streets.
University Place will mull a tax incentive to help with construction of a second mixed-use facility at Town Center. Meanwhile, preparations for the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay continue.
Drivers on the eastbound Tacoma Narrows Bridge will probably face a toll increase come summer, and Mars Hill Church expects to start holding services by this fall at the historic First Congregational Church building near Wright Park. The Seattle-based megachurch will spend $1.5 million for renovations after paying $1.9 for the building.
FLOWERS AND FAIRS
The Daffodil Festival’s Grand Floral Parade rolls through Pierce County on April 13. This year’s theme: “The Magic of Music.”
The newly named Washington State Fair runs in Puyallup from Sept. 6-22, and the Pierce County Fair opens Aug. 8 and continues through the 11th.
EVENTS AND EXHIBITS
Local independent businesses showcase themselves at the annual “Shift Happens” at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center on Jan. 28, and the event will feature the mayor’s State of the City address.
The Best of the Northwest Cheerleading and Dance Championships hit the center in February, while the Universal Cheerleading Association Northwest Championship arrives in March. Also in March, look for the Remodeling Expo.
The “Let’s Ride: Motorcycling in the Northwest” exhibit opens at the Washington State History Museum on Jan. 26, while “Click! Classic Photographs from Washington” continues through May.
At the Tacoma Art Museum, Eric Carle, children’s-book collage artist, will visit, lecture and sign books April 7. An exhibition of his work opens April 6 and runs through July 7. “Flora and Fine Arts” featuring local floral designers who will take their inspiration from art works on display, will present their interpretations April 18-21.
“Links: Australian Glass and the Pacific Northwest” opens the weekend May 18 at the Museum of Glass, and runs throughout the year. The exhibition concerns the ongoing artistic conversation between glass artists of the Antipodes and the United States. A series of Australian artists will visit Tacoma as part of the exhibition.
Also, the partnership between MOG and the University of Washington Tacoma continues as a group of students working with the museum’s curatorial department presents “Northwest Artists Collect,” an exhibition featuring the personal collections of Northwest artists. Look for the exhibit later this month. Also in the spring, MOG will host the American Society of Mosaic Artists and its annual juried exhibition.
The LeMay – America’s Car Museum will feature four complete change-outs of galleries in 2013. The museum will also host its annual gala in June and the second year of the Kirkland Concours.
The Army at Joint Base Lewis-McChord expects to turn its attention from Afghanistan to Pacific nations in 2013, closing out a tough year in the war that took the lives of more than 30 local soldiers. About 9,000 to 12,000 JBLM soldiers were deployed in Afghanistan in 2012, and that number should drop to about 5,000 by February and then reduce to fewer than 2,000 by August.
JBLM’s 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division deployed in November and should return with about 3,000 troops this summer. The base has a new command structure this year with the headquarters for the 7th Infantry Division setting up shop to provide additional oversight to some 17,000 soldiers in the Army’s largest combat brigades.
Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, JBLM’s senior Army officer, has said the base should send troops to half a dozen exercises overseas to nations such as Australia, South Korea and Singapore. JBLM is now “aligned” with the Pentagon’s Pacific Command, meaning its units would be among the first tapped for deployments in Asia, if necessary.
On a darker side, two of the nation’s prominent courts-martial for alleged war crimes could unfold at Lewis-McChord in 2013.
Sgt. John Russell is awaiting a court-martial on suspicion of killing five U.S. service members at a mental health clinic in Iraq in 2009. He faces the death penalty.
The other looming court-martial has Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, a former Lake Tapps resident, facing charges for allegedly killing 16 Afghan civilians in a nighttime rampage outside of a Special Forces outpost in Kandahar province. Bales was serving with a Stryker brigade.
BIRTHDAYS AND SUCH, PART II
In November, America will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
It’s been 50 years since Martin Luther King made his “I Have a Dream” speech, and 150 years since Abraham Lincoln began his 272-word Gettysburg Address, “Four score and seven years ago .”
Soren Kirkegaard would have been 200. Albert Camus would have been 100.
Kirk Douglas turns 97. Zsa Zsa Gabor turns 96. Mickey Rooney and Stan Musial both turn 93.
2013 will be a good year for burger fans. Mooyah, a Texas chain, comes to the area, and Shake Shake Shake, an offering from Naccarato brothers Gordon and Steve, will serve the Stadium District. Franchisees at Five Guys, now in Lakewood, have been looking for additional locations. The Gourmet Burger Shop comes to downtown Gig Harbor.
As always, the winter hiatus at Pick Quick ends in February.
And it will be a good year for gyro-worship and Greek cuisine. My Greek closed its Puyallup restaurant in 2012 but intends to reopen early this year in two new locations — one on Pearl Street in Tacoma and in a new South Hill Puyallup location. It’s Greek To Me will move from its Sixth Avenue Tacoma building to a new location across the street. Ammar’s Mediterranean Grill in Tacoma had a bit of a soft opening in December, but it should be fully functioning this month.
In downtown Puyallup, Crockett’s will be featured on the Food Network show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” which should affix the eatery to the region’s culinary map. Also in Puyallup, the Puyallup River Alehouse, from Puyallup River Brewery, will open downtown.
There is also talk of a New Orleans restaurant coming to the City of Daffodils. Stay tuned.
Australia’s National Circus arrives at the Pantages on Feb. 1 and stays through the 2nd. The next week, Tacoma Opera presents “La tragedie de Carmen,” and in March, it’s “La Traviata.”
The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra provides “Peter and the Wolf” at the Rialto Theater later this month, and Ed Asner takes on the persona of FDR at the Pantages in February.
Roberta Flack follows a week later, and the Star Chefs on Broadway will give a boost to arts education with an Oz-themed meal and a live auction in April.
“Sousa!” follows, as does an “Evening with David Sedaris” and a tour stop by Weird Al Yankovic.
Fans of Michael Jackson might want to visit the Pantages for a tribute show in June, and lovers of beer and blues should keep June 22 otherwise clear.
“Monster Jam” returns to the Tacoma Dome this week, and Lady Gaga arrives soon. Fleetwood Mac comes in May, Taylor Swift in August. The professional bull riders make an appearance in March.
Bill Cosby will share his philosophy of life next month at the University of Puget Sound, and Canadian folk artist Gordon Lightfoot hobnobs with gamblers at the Emerald Queen in March.
AT THE MOVIES, ON THE TUBE
On your local silver screen, expect a Superman remake with “Man of Steel,” a Middle Earth sequel with “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” plus “The Lone Ranger” (with Johnny Depp), “Escape from Planet Earth,” “Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and a look into the Wayback Machine with “Mr. Peabody and Sherman.”
On TV, “Downton Abbey” comes back for a third season. Jimmy Kimmel moves to 11:35 p.m. The “Storage Wars” franchise, bedeviled by charges that storage units are salted with valuable items, expands to include “Storage Wars: New York.”
Emeril goes to Florida. “Fringe” goes away, as do “The Office” and “30 Rock.” There may be a nice online surprise for fans of “Arrested Development,” “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.”
In February at the Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks will beat the Denver Broncos 34-12.
The Mariners hope for an improved offense after trading for Kendrys Morales, and Tacoma-favorite Raul Ibañez returns to Safeco Field after a stint in the East.
For the third consecutive season, four South Sound golfers will play on the PGA tour.
AIR AND SEA-SHARKS
Flying in and out of town will be more accessible for domestic and international travelers in 2013 as the Port of Seattle has announced three new nonstop connections from Sea-Tac Airport to Salt Lake City, Tokyo-Haneda and Shanghai.
At Point Defiance, look for a flock of stingrays at the South Pacific Aquarium in May — the fish, not the Chevrolet. Also in May, certified scuba divers will “Swim With the Sharks.” The largest of 17 swim-friendly sharks will be the 700-pound lemon. For the nonscuba crowd, immersion into the tank while protected within a cage will include air supplied from the surface.
Summit Central Ski Lodge at Snoqualmie goes up, scheduled to open in about a year.
The rustic Camp Muir, popular with Mount Rainier summit-seekers, welcomes a new toilet complex.
The Kalakala might be gone from the Port of Tacoma, and the Emerald Queen riverboat remains moored for now.
In banking, expect more consolidation as larger, regional banks either merge with or subsume smaller, local banks.
Then there’s real estate. It’s coming back. Really. This is the year. Just you wait.C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535 email@example.com Staff writers Adam Ashton, Kathleen Cooper, John Gillie, Christian Hill, Craig Hill, Lewis Kamb, Steve Maynard, Todd Milles, Jonathan Nesvig, Jordan Schrader and Jonathan Smith contributed to this report.