Tacoma on a Gray Day

I took advantage of yesterday’s moody weather to shoot photos in downtown Tacoma.

Here’s a selection.

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East 21st Street Bridge, Tacoma. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.
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Tacoma rail yard. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.
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Last of the leaves on a tree. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.
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Tacoma Glass Museum and Downtown Marina. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.
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View from under the Glass Bridge, downtown Tacoma. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.

I’ll post more later. Stay warm.

Suzanne

Drunken Discourse Recap

This weekend I traveled to Portland to participate in a monthly panel discussion, Drunken Discourse, which is broadcast on Portland public access television and made available online after that. (It sounds like it may be December before the most recent one, Episode #6, makes it on air.) I was invited by the host, Kyle Curtis, who read some of my work and gave me the opportunity to present my newest research project entitled: “Controlling the Narrative: Gatekeepers, Secret Societies, and Good Ol’ Boys Networks.” My best friend since high school accompanied me on the train ride down, and one of my first and favorite friends, my cousin, met us at the venue just as the event was starting.

I was able to take a brief break and join them at their table in between participating in the on-stage “get to know your panelists” conversation and actually giving my presentation. This is how the off-stage conversation started:

 

Cousin: Is she drunk yet?

Me: No.

Friend: No.

Cousin: Should we fix this?

Me: No.

Friend: Yes.

 

As I stated in my presentation, I have done editing and design work for a Tacoma based Drunk History presentation in the past (uncredited) – obviously this is the type of work I didn’t do while inebriated or in public.

Leading up to the event, I announced on several occasions that I was bringing my friend as my designated drinker.

I was honestly not going to have even one drink.

I failed in this endeavor.

I reportedly still rocked my presentation — even with not getting the clicker thingy, aka “slide navigator,” to work initially, and then later accidentally killing the entire slide show. Thank goodness for producers like Megan Taylor of Manic Esoteric Productions for straightening that out without me having to interrupt my presentation to ask. Those present had the great fortune to listen to Juan Coronell’s, Narendran Muralidharan’s, and Bill Hernandez’s talks ranging from sweet (“Embrace Change”) to hysterical. Narendran’s “Conservative Immigrant” had us dying; his timing was dead on.

Saturday night (and Sunday morning) did reconfirm the following for me: there are consequences to giving into peer pressure. Something about trying to be a responsible adult, the chronic sleep deprivation that accompanies parenthood (I had two hours of sleep Friday night), and missing a gallbladder has weakened my tolerance for vodka. But this weekend also reminded me of the power of hanging out with strong, intelligent, positive, and supportive women. I am extremely lucky in this regard.

I will share the link when it is available. According to Megan, the show airs on TVCTV.org and Portland’s Open Signal. “This includes many public access channels including CAN which reaches the greater Portland Metro area. CAN is on Xfinity Channel 11 and 331 (in HD) and CenturyLink Channels 11 and 1011 (in HD as well as Frontier Channel 22.” According to Open Signal’s website, “Via our five cable channels, Open Signal reaches over 400,000 homes in the Portland metro area […]” In other words: no pressure. Keep an eye out on the Drunken Discourse Facebook page for more information.

I am looking to publish the longer written version as soon as possible, and I can also be available to repeat this presentation sober (the audience doesn’t have to be). Feel free to contact me at nominestudios@gmail.com.

Cheers!

 

Suzanne

 

When You Love Somebody…

… Sometimes you have to call them out.

It’s February, so I should be devoting time to my Valentine, Isobel. She just turned 4 this last week. Every day she does something else to remind me how quickly she’s growing, and how soon this magical time will be gone.

But the time I could be spending with my little one has been spent actively fighting a new danger to my Northwest community. It’s not bad enough that our local government has proven to be nothing more than a way for rich residents to play dynasty. Our Port has leased land to a Chinese LLC which aims to build the world’s largest methanol refinery to date using fracked gas in Tacoma. Methanol is a highly combustible compound, and the refinery will be placed next to a new natural gas facility, amplifying the potential for worst case scenarios (leaks, explosions, irreversible damage to water and soil, worsening of air quality, increasing health disparity, etc.).

I have been attending Environmental Impact Scoping meetings every chance I get. The most recent meeting I attended saw 1200+ residents against and three paid representatives for the project. The plant will use up to 20,000 gallons of water a minute despite the world wide shortage of clean water and a global rallying cry to convert to green energy. The purpose of the methanol refinery? Making plastics in China.

As an appointed member of the City of Tacoma Human Rights Commission, I was particularly troubled by the Tacoma Fire Department’s plan for detainees in the Northwest Immigration Detention Center that in case of catastrophe, there will not be an evacuation, instead they are to “shelter in place.”

So Tacoma, I love you, but I’m calling you out.

And for those who come to this page looking for cute drawings, not politics, I leave you the first in a series of illustrated responses to the proposed Tacoma Methanol Refinery. so as not to disappoint.

 

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Draft: Otter Destruction. 2016. S. Skaar

I’ll post the finished illustration when it’s complete. If you want to learn more about the methanol refinery and how you can help protect our environment, please check out Red Line Tacoma.