Clare Jensen

is home-grown Tacoman who started her journalism career as an intern for the Tacoma Weekly in 2007. Since then, she has consistently covered Tacoma schools, and news for the Puyallup Tribe, but her true love of writing centers around local music, businesses and the people and events that make Tacoma unique.


22 December 2011

A `Sign` of the Season

Every year, kids across America make the trek to visit Santa as a pre-Christmas tradition. Like clockwork, they line up to greet the big man and sit on his lap to let him know whether they have been naughty or nice during the year and – of course – what they would like to see under their Christmas tree.

For many…

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15 December 2011

Tribe donates $750,000 to help local families

Puyallup Tribe of Indians recently pumped $750,000 into the local community with donations to three charitable organizations that will help local families experience a happier holiday season.

As part of its annual charitable contributions outlined by the state’s gaming compact with the tribe, the Puyallups donated…

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15 December 2011

Tacoma Rescue Mission seeking support through cold weather months

As the temperatures drop, the number of local individuals and families looking for a warm place to sleep skyrockets.

Tacoma Rescue Mission staff always expects an influx of people needing shelter as winter comes on, but this year is even higher than ever.

“As it gets colder the numbers go up. But we don’t…

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15 December 2011

Local calendar project supports breast health by showing off the goods

A group of local women are forging ahead in their mission to fight breast cancer by promoting the heart of the tragic disease: the lives of vibrant, healthy and beautiful women.

Sisters Joslin and Darci Bernard, from Tacoma, were inspired to start a breast cancer fundraising effort when their own mother battled –…

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15 December 2011

Christmas Revels goes Bavarian

The Christmas Revels are back again, this time with an explosion of Bavarian holiday cheer to ring you into the holiday season.

On a mission to lighten up the darkest time of year, the Revels will deliver a high-energy mix of Bavarian folk as it showcases the classic legend of Sankt Nikolaus, with his trusty, curmudgeonly…

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8 December 2011

Oakland Alternative Gives a Big Thank You to TPD

A group of Oakland Alternative High School students made their way to the Tacoma Police Headquarters Nov. 30.

But their trip was not a disciplinary action for bad behavior – it was a way for local students to say thank you to local police.

As part of Community In School’s effort to honor local first responders…

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1 December 2011

Tacoma Scholars Come Full Circle

Act Six Scholarship founder Tim Herron saw a need in the local scholarship system 10 years ago.

High school staff and college recruiters were working hard to get underrepresented populations – mainly low-income minorities – out of high school and onto a college campus.

And for the most part it was working.…

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1 December 2011

Shift Your Shopping This Christmas Season

Tacoma’s Go Local taskforce is amping up their mission this holiday season, a time of year when shopping skyrockets.

“Spending about $700 in the season is average,” said Go Local President Patricia Lecy-Davis. “If you just shifted 10 percent of that to local businesses, that’s millions of dollars. That’s…

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23 November 2011

No turkey on T-day!

As more and more people turn to a plant-based, or vegan, diet, more and more non-vegans are scratching their heads on just how to feed their veg-guests – especially during the holiday season when turkey takes over many a meal.

While the reasons vegans and vegetarians have for abstaining from animal products are…

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17 November 2011

CD Review: For the Record

Miranda Lambert has made her mark on contemporary country music, with the breakout success of “Kerosene” in 2004 and the follow-up success of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Revolution” which cemented her as a player in the big leagues of country. Her fourth album, “Four the Record” ( Read More

17 November 2011

Buy An Empty Bowl, Fill One For Your Neighbor

With the need for food on the rise (as described in this week’s cover story “Flow of food is keeping up with flood of demand – for now”), it has become more important than ever to donate whenever possible.

This weekend, EFN is making it easy to get involved by hosting their second largest fundraiser of the…

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3 November 2011

Schools could take a $6 million budget hit

On the heels of Tacoma School District’s deepest budget slashing in recent memory, it is only going to get worse next year. Tacoma school board members faced a grim budget forecast at their board meeting Oct. 27, following Gov. Chris Gregoire’s announcement of her preliminary budget proposal, which aims to skim $2 billion…

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3 November 2011

Blues Festival Clashes with Metro Parks

Tacoma’s Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) has a bone to pick with Metro Parks.

For the past 19 years, the annual Old Town Blues Festival has been raising funds for worthy causes. For the past several years, the annual event has benefitted BCRC, a local non-profit that helps guide cancer patients through their…

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3 November 2011

New option for healthcare coming to downtown Tacoma

An innovative approach to local healthcare is coming soon to Tacoma.

Opening in conjunction with DaVita’s downtown office building in early 2012, this will be the first of the national organization’s primary care clinics to start popping up throughout the region.

The clinic will be accessible to individuals,…

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27 October 2011

Getting to know Carla Santorno

When Tacoma School Board announced they were considering hiring Deputy Superintendent Carla Santorno for an interim superintendent role this August, there was some concern among community members.

In an attempt to be as collaborative and transparent as possible, the board had planned some community input sessions on…

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20 October 2011

Bringing the food to those who need it

A new mobile food bank, the first of its kind for Pierce County, is opening its doors at two Tacoma locations that do not have easy access to traditional food banks.

A 45-foot moving truck has been transformed into a miniature grocery store, where customers can peruse the shelves and take home a bag full of free food…

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20 October 2011

Board Selects Santorno to Lead Tacoma Schools

Carla Santorno will take the reigns as chief of Tacoma Public Schools, after the school board voted four to one to appoint her for the interim superintendent position.

Santorno has served as deputy superintendent for Tacoma for the past two years, and will be the first black female leader of the district, and the first…

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20 October 2011

Naval Tug Takes Local Name Around the World

Soon, the name of the Puyallup Tribe will be known world wide as one of the U.S. Navy’s newest tugboats embarks into the Pacific Ocean.

According to Jonathan Platt, vice president for J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding of Tacoma, the Navy has a long history of naming tugboats after Native American tribes.


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20 October 2011

Manitou Park Elementary School Turns 100

Tacoma’s largest elementary school is also one of its oldest.

Manitou Park Elementary School is joining the “Century Club” with a handful of other local schools that have withstood the test of time for more than 100 years.

Established initially as a one-room schoolhouse in 1911 to meet the needs of Tacoma’s…

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13 October 2011

Bringing all things Indian to downtown Tacoma

This week the doors will open to a community and cultural center centered on the thousands of urban Native Americans who live around South Puget Sound.

Native Quest, a new nonprofit organization taking over the expanse of the former Commencement Bay Coffee Company Downtown Tacoma, will become the go-to place for anything…

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17 May 2011

Marrow to land a spot in the heart of Tacoma

It’s the essence. The core. The nitty gritty.

In short, it’s Marrow: a new fine-dining experience that will make exotic foods accessible to the general public.

And it’s the first of its kind for Tacoma.

Top of Tacoma founders Jaime Kay and Jason Jones have teamed up with local chef Kyle Wnuk to…

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7 July 2011

Much more than coffee

One year ago, the founders of Caffe Dei opened the doors to what they hoped would become a destination for specialty coffee in Tacoma.

The café’s passionate coffee professionals Shuanna Holt and Shane Siegfried would pull high-quality espresso into artisan cups of pure, decant brews worthy of being named after the…

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3 March 2011

The Middle Years

More than half of Tacoma’s middle schools are failing.

It is no secret. It’s also nothing new.

Last spring, four Tacoma middle schools were identified among schools in the state performing in the lowest 5 percent. This status qualified each these four schools for a federal School Improvement Grant…

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9 June 2011

The hidden face of homelessness

Juan Amezcua is homeless.

But you wouldn’t know it by looking at him.

He doesn’t push a shopping cart, nor does he hold up a sign asking for change on the street corner.

In fact, Juan, his wife Melissa, and their three children used to be proud homeowners until the economy went south and left them…

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