Jill Russell

hails from Lakewood, WA. She graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 2008, where she studied print journalism and had the opportunity to travel to Europe and Australia. She had a 10-month stint as a reporter and photographer in Washington's wine country, Prosser. She also covered education for The Daily News in Longview for several months. She now lives in Tacoma with her fiance and eight-year-old cat, Murrow.

Email: jrussell@tacomaweekly.com

23 June 2011

A century of memories, history celebrated at Titlow Lodge

Titlow Lodge is a lot of things to a lot of people.

It is a wedding venue, a picnic site, and a glimpse into Tacoma’s rich and colorful past.

But to Betty Martin, Titlow Lodge was home.

Martin, 79, spent her childhood living in Titlow Lodge with her parents, Carl and Geneva Larson. Her father was hired…

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9 June 2011

FISHing for food

Two Tacoma record labels and a community food bank are teaming up for the fourth year to help locals in need.

On June 19, Maurice the Fish Records will partner with Sweat Box Records and FISH Food Banks to host a free fundraising concert at the Swiss. The event will showcase local bands rocking out for a great cause.

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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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9 June 2011

‘Samba to Soul’

Long-time friends and jazz musicians Lance Buller and Bobby Medina wanted to do something different in Tacoma.

Both have performed music for years in various styles, from classical and jazz to funk and soul. But they really wanted to host an event that bridged genres, added an educational component and offered a special…

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2 June 2011

Pierce County adjusts district boundaries

Pierce County is undergoing a process that aims to more accurately represent its citizens’ concerns, interests and issues in the County Council.

The Pierce County Districting Committee, appointed by the County Council, is in the process of adjusting the boundaries of seven council districts based on their population.…

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26 May 2011

Flow Gallery opens with inaugural show “Commencement”

This month, a new gallery emerged as a formidable force to be reckoned with in the local art scene.

Flow art gallery and studio (formerly Mineral Gallery) opened May 19 with its inaugural show, “Commencement,” showcasing some of the most talented Sumi-e artists in the region.

Sumi-e is a technique developed…

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26 May 2011

Wet and Wild

Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the Earth and support nearly half of all species in the world, but each year billions are spent to clean up pollution that creates an unsafe habitat for animals and marine life.

To reiterate the importance of conservation and promote ocean education, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium…

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26 May 2011

To Mongolia or bust

When Bonnie Nelson, 24, walked off a plane at SeaTac Airport after a leadership volunteerism trip to Thailand last year, only one thought crossed her mind.

“I realized that I’m not done,” Nelson said. “I thought, ‘I have to join the Peace Corps.’”

She quickly applied for the prestigious social…

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19 May 2011

Wainwright, McKinley elementaries cut

After weeks of public forums and deliberation, Tacoma School Board has chosen to close McKinley Elementary School on the East Side and Wainwright Elementary School in Fircrest next year.

Fueling the closures are state and federal cuts to education funding and dwindling district enrollment numbers. Tacoma School District…

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19 May 2011

East Side food bank vandalized

A controversial East Tacoma food bank that serves nearly 1,500 people per week has been the target of vandalism.

Since Easter, volunteers at the Eloise Cooking Pot Food Bank located on McKinley Hill have been dealing with broken windows, stolen signs and graffiti painted on the bank’s delivery truck. Most recently,…

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19 May 2011

A ‘spark’ of hope

A crowd of more than 15,000 gathered at Tacoma Dome May 13 to hear world-renowned human rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s message of hope in his highly anticipated speaking engagement during the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s (GTCF) Be the Spark event. Tutu’s stop in Tacoma is said to be the 79-year-old’s…

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12 May 2011

A funky Oz odyssey

You remember the advice. Follow the yellow brick road. You probably remember how to “ease on down the road,” too.

On May 21 audiences will experience a new, blended interpretation of the beloved classics “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Wiz.” Beginning at 7:30 p.m., Tacoma’s Pantages Theater will transform…

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28 April 2011

Local launches Tacoma arts and entertainment website

Finding information about art and entertainment in Tacoma can be a daunting hodgepodge of information from various sources. But, one local resident has attempted to help others make sense of it all.

Photographer and art lover Peter Serko recently launched Tacoma Arts Scene, a website and listserv of area art, entertainment…

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28 April 2011

Treats for the bath

The gals at Feeling Smitten specialize in creating cupcakes, lollipops and cake slices. No, this isn’t a shop to fill stomachs; it’s a place offering indulgences for a blissful bath or shower.

Although these treats aren’t edible, they quench thirsty skin with natural, moisture rich ingredients, said…

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28 April 2011

Feeling the gas pinch?

Rob McNair-Huff is similar to most weekday workers. He wakes up early, grabs breakfast and prepares for the morning commute. But, instead of reaching for the car keys, he dons a bike suit and straps on a helmet.

With gas prices nearing or at $4 a gallon and climbing, many people are scrambling to find alternatives…

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21 April 2011

Tacoma schools GEAR UP for increased achievement

The Tacoma School District submitted a grant application this month, in partnership with the University of Washington-Tacoma, which could reap nearly $10 million for at-risk youth.

The Tacoma School Board approved the application April 14, for a seven-year federal GEAR UP grant. The proposal, which totals $17.5 million,…

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21 April 2011

Franklin spared from closure

With a round of sweeping majority votes, the Tacoma School Board of Directors opted to likely spare Franklin Elementary School from the budgetary chopping block. Wainwright and McKinley Elementary Schools will remain slated for possible closure, as part of a proposed $13 million budget cutting package for the 2011-12 school…

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21 April 2011

WinCo opens doors in South Tacoma

Dawn Ivy attended the grand opening of WinCo Foods April 17 looking for convenience and better prices.

The South Tacoma resident usually shops at Fred Meyer on 72nd Street in Tacoma, but travels all over looking for the best deals. Ivy’s friend, Rachel Mackey, accompanied her to the opening and helped…

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14 April 2011

1000 Cranes will fly east

Mikiko Ludden was reading headlines online from a Japanese newspaper when she first heard the news last month.

A 9.0-magnitude earthquake rocked Japan March 11, creating a massive tsunami that caused catastrophic damage to several of the country’s eastern coastal cities. One of the cities that sustained the most…

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14 April 2011

A career of soulful bliss

For some artists, 10 years in show business can take its toll. But for jazz vocalist Jane Monheit, a decade of performing professionally is only the beginning.

Monheit will celebrate the 10th anniversary of her recording career by performing her new album, “Home,” at Tacoma’s Rialto Theater…

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The Daily MashUp

26 October 2011

Mobile public assistance event this Saturday

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is hosting a mobile enrollment event…Read More

12 October 2011

Free crazy bread for shoe donations!

Tacoma Goodwill and Little Caesars have announced a partnership encouraging…Read More