John Larson

grew up in Richland, Wash. He began hanging out in Tacoma at age 13, when his brother Tom was stationed at Fort Lewis. After graduating from Richland High School, he moved to Tacoma. After completing his studies at Tacoma Community College in 1994, he moved to Pullman. In May 1997 he graduated from Washington State University, earning a bachelor’s degree with majors in broadcasting and history. His first job out of school was at Prosser Record-Bulletin. He has worked at Tacoma Weekly since January 2000.


Email: jlarson@tacomaweekly.com

27 February 2013

Public gives input on marijuana legalization

Washington State Liquor Control Board heard public feedback on the legalization of marijuana at Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center on Feb. 21. A number of current growers and sellers wish to remain in the picture when retail sales, as authorized by passage of Initiative 502 last November, begin for recreational use…

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27 February 2013

Tacoma teens connect with the world

Teenagers interacted with adults for discussions on Tacoma’s role as an international city and how youth can better prepare for lives in a global economy on Feb. 26.

Students from six public high schools – School of the Arts, Foss, Lincoln, Mount Tahoma, Stadium and Wilson – attended the first Tacoma Sister…

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20 February 2013

Eyesore to Icon

For more than 90 years, Murray Morgan Bridge connected downtown Tacoma with the Tideflats. Then the state closed the structure several years ago for safety. A concerted effort to raise money to pay for a $57 million renovation was celebrated during a ceremony on Feb. 15.

The drumline from Lincoln High School provided…

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13 February 2013

Proposition 1 gets strong support from voters

It appears the bond measure for Tacoma Public Schools will be approved by voters. Proposition 1 would generate $500 million to pay for 14 new or remodeled schools and smaller projects at numerous schools throughout the district.

It registered 69.6 percent approval in the first count of ballots by election officials.…

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13 February 2013

Make a Scene

Tacoma heavy metal band Sanction VIII has a winner on their hands with their new album. The band consists of Justin Knight on lead vocals and guitar, A.J. Ortiz on guitar, Aaron Nelson on bass and Kenny Sprague on drums. Knight and Ortiz are original members, forming the band in 2005 while stationed at Fort Lewis. Both have…

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6 February 2013

The Magic of Music

The Princess Promenade on Feb. 2 marked the start of activities for the 80th annual Daffodil Festival. Girls from 24 high schools around Pierce County gathered at the Sharon McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College for the event. The girls, all high school seniors, were selected through a process at each…

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30 January 2013

State Route 167 backers confident funding can be secured

Supporters of the effort to complete State Route 167 are making a full-court press to secure funding for the project. There are various concepts for the design and length, but the full-scale concept favored by local leaders would have a price tag in the range of $1.5 billion. After years of discussion, they are confident…

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23 January 2013

Ceremonies ‘reclaim’ sites of homicides

They take place in alleys, back yards and vacant lots. They are places where the darkest side of humanity has emerged. Places where greed, jealousy or hatred led one person to kill another. They are Moments of Blessing, held around Pierce County wherever a murder has occurred.

Associated Ministries began holding Moments…

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23 January 2013

Golden night for Weston

Marquis Weston may be nearing the end of the amateur phase of his boxing experience. He showed potential to do well at the next level at the Golden Gloves on Jan. 19. When he left Memorial Fieldhouse at the University of Puget Sound, it was as a champion and the Golden Boy, the most valuable performer of the annual event.…

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26 December 2012

Tacoma to send some suspects to Fife jail

In a cost-cutting move, the city of Tacoma has decided to send some of the people who get arrested in the City of Destiny to a new destination – Fife.

Beginning in 2013, Tacoma police will use Fife’s jail for booking people arrested on misdemeanor charges.

Currently Tacoma uses…

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19 December 2012

Leonard Peltier supporters rally for clemency

Supporters of Leonard Peltier gathered at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Tacoma on Dec. 8 for a rally to generate support for clemency for the imprisoned Native American activist. With the recent re-election of President Barack Obama, Peltier supporters feel that between now and the inauguration in January provides an ideal…

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5 December 2012

New sign marks entrance to Proctor District

Proctor District has a new sign to welcome visitors. Located at the corner of North 25th and Proctor streets, it was unveiled during a ceremony on Nov. 30. Judi Quilici discussed her efforts writing a grant in 2010 to fund the project. Since the sign would be on city right of way, she knew there would be some complexity and…

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5 December 2012

Arts & Entertainment: TLT delivers a delightful holiday story

Tacoma Little Theatre delivers a Christmas present to its patrons with its uplifting production of “Miracle on 34th Street.” Based on the novel by Valentine Davies, which was made into a movie in 1947, the play is about a man who claims he is Santa Claus, a little girl who does not believe in him and a court case that…

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28 November 2012

Volunteers voice concerns about Fort Nisqually

Fort Nisqually was the main topic of interest of local residents who attended the Nov. 26 Metro Parks Commission meeting. The commission heard testimony from a number of people during the meeting, the main topic of which was the agency’s $105.3 million budget proposal for 2013/14. Fort Nisqually is a museum where volunteers…

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28 November 2012

Ferguson displays versatility of style and subject in new exhibit

Seattle-area artist Michael Ferguson displays his versatility in his new exhibit “Impressions” at American Art Company. Many of the paintings are the Northwest nature scenes he is known for, while others show him venturing into urban areas for his inspiration. Ferguson is adept at using acrylic and oil paint. His brush…

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20 November 2012

Concerns raised on cuts to gardens in parks

Reducing spending on gardens and floral displays may help Metro Parks balance its 2013-14 budget, but such proposals do not seem popular with the elected officials who oversee the agency’s operations. Metro Parks Commission went over the recommended budget during its Nov. 19 Committee of the Whole meeting. Several staff…

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20 November 2012

Providing meals for Thanksgiving

People around the Tacoma area will have wonderful Thanksgiving meals thanks to the generosity of local organizations. Eloise Cooking Pot Food Bank on McKinley Avenue gave out boxes on Nov. 16 at its McKinley Avenue facility. Dani Campbell, food coordinator for the organization, said many who showed up are ongoing clients…

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20 November 2012

Arts & Entertainment: Friends of the Holidays

Friends of the Holidays exists to make Christmas a happy time for people in need. This is the 14th year the organization has been assisting families with food at Christmas. There are two fundraising events each year, both held at the Swiss Pub. One occurs during the summer and the other in early December. That second fundraiser…

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15 November 2012

Property owners likely to pay lower taxes to port

A boost in cargo container shipping has the Port of Tacoma meeting or exceeding the majority of its budget goals. International container business in the third quarter is up 20.2 percent compared to original projections. This summer the shipping consortium Grand Alliance moved from Seattle to Tacoma. Auto imports are up 16.3…

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15 November 2012

Pierce County Council approves 2013 budget

On Nov. 13 Pierce County Council approved a budget for 2013 that will reduce general government spending. The general fund, which pays for a majority of government services, will drop from $275.6 million to $274.8 million. Total spending will be $894 million, an increase of more than $50 million. Much of this is due to the…

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8 September 2011

Taylor Swift rocks the Tacoma Dome

Concerts are best when they are big – big productions in big venues in front of a big audience. Taylor Swift brought her “Speak Now” world tour to town in a big way last night.

Unlike many concerts in Tacoma Dome, there were no black tarps covering the upper decks at this show. They were nearly full of fans,…

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7 July 2011

New stadium hits it out of the park

The new Cheney Stadium is a big hit with fans, Tacoma Rainiers players and staff with the minor-league baseball team.

Mike Combs was instrumental in the project through his position as public assembly facilities director for the city. He retired from the job a few months ago, shortly after the new ballpark opened.

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8 June 2010

Cougar fans rally in Tacoma

Local car dealer Bruce Titus celebrated pride in his alma mater last week while raising money for a good cause. Bruce Titus Automotive Group hosted the Pierce County Cougar Tailgate at Bruce Titus Subaru/Nissan on South Tacoma Way on June 3. The event served as a fundraiser for Washington State University's Student-Athlete…

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9 June 2011

Two days in the life

While planning for this issue of the paper, I offered to hit the streets for an up-close look at homelessness. I was not assigned this task, or required to do so. I came up with the idea and volunteered to do it. I give credit to Richard Sypher, who was a reporter for The News Tribune and covered city government in the late…

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3 March 2010

Birney community mourns Miss Paulson

Jennifer Ann Paulson was a cheerful young woman who cared deeply for her students and brightened the lives of her relatives and colleagues. Her brutal murder has created a sense of deep mourning in people across Pierce County.

A man who had been stalking  Paulson, a special education teacher at Birney Elementary…

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