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

14 November 2012

Arts & Entertainment: Lakewood Playhouse presents a ribald holiday classic

Just in time for the holidays, Lakewood Playhouse presents “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare. Like other romantic comedies penned by the bard, this one centers on mistaken identity. Viola (Maggie Lofquist) is shipwrecked and loses contact with her brother Sebastian (Alex Smith), who she believes to be deceased. Much…

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7 November 2012

Port doing its part to improve air quality

The Port of Tacoma and its industrial partners have been working together to improve air quality for a number of years. New requirements for ships went into effect nationwide in August, which require them to burn cleaner fuels. Andrew Green, director of Air Quality Programs with Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, said “ships…

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7 November 2012

Voters approve legalizing marijuana

Washington voters have approved legalizing marijuana, a bold move that goes against federal drug law. On a statewide level, Initiative 502 has 55 percent approval. It received 96,749 votes in support, or 53.6 percent, in Pierce County. As of Dec. 6, adults 21 and older will be able to legally possess an ounce of marijuana.…

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7 November 2012

DEMOCRATS CELEBRATE VICTORIES IN TACOMA

The crowd of Democrats in a Hotel Murano ballroom Tuesday night cheered loudly as a network reporter on a big screen television announced that President Barack Obama had wrapped up enough electoral votes for re-election. “The polls are closing and America is winning,” Tacoma City Councilmember Ryan Mello said from the…

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7 November 2012

Pacific Avenue improvement project underway

After years of planning and lining up funds, the Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project has hit the streets. A ceremony to mark the start of construction was held on Nov. 5 at Fireman’s Park. The project includes beautification and stormwater improvements along downtown’s core street. It will add new streetlights, paving,…

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7 November 2012

‘Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis,’ by Ti

Edward Curtis lived a most fascinating life. An early photographer, he mastered this new medium and established a studio in Seattle. He became fascinated with the lives of Native Americans – their food, housing, spirituality, clothing and art. Timothy Egan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times and author…

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7 November 2012

Make a Scene: Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift continues her ascendance on the pop music ladder with “Red,” her fourth album. She displays much of the singing and songwriting that has made her America’s music sweetheart over the past few years, while taking some chances and making forays into some new musical territory. “State of Grace” starts things…

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31 October 2012

Election 2012: Voters to decide change to Pierce County Charter

County voters are being asked whether to increase the number of votes needed for Pierce County Council to raise taxes. Amendment 40 to Pierce County Charter would raise the number of votes needed from four to five. In May, the council voted 5-2 to put the measure on the ballot. The two Democrats, Rick Talbert and Tim Farrell…

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24 October 2012

Metro Parks receives advice on sponsorship strategy

Metro Parks could boost revenue from sponsorships with a more comprehensive strategy and by reaching out to Seattle-area businesses to add to its mix of Pierce County sponsors. That is among the advice of IEG, a Chicago-based consulting firm hired to assist Metro Parks with its sponsorship efforts. The firm was asked to do…

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24 October 2012

Election 2012: 27th Dist. candidates spar over campaign spending

Tacoma trial lawyer turned 27th Legislative District Senatorial candidate Jack Connelly has become the million-dollar man in his effort to unseat six-term state Rep. Jeannie Darneille, who is seeking to shift from the House of Representatives to the Senate. Both candidates are Democrats and moved on to the general election…

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17 October 2012

Make a Scene: Dr. Love prepares for its first house call

A radio show host and three veterans of the local music scene have joined forces as Dr. Love, a Tacoma-based KISS tribute band. It consists of Jason Flom, as guitarist Ace Frehley, Chance Pittenger as guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley, Peter Tietjen as drummer Peter Criss and Vinny Beatty as bass player/vocalist Gene Simmons,…

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10 October 2012

Homeowners voice opposition to port lease proposal

Residents of a narrow sliver of land along Marine View Drive are less than enthusiastic about a lease proposal from their landlord, the Port of Tacoma. Their small homes have existed for decades. Many were originally used as crab shacks but were later turned into homes. The 17-acre parcel is located north of East 11th Street.…

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3 October 2012

STAFF CUTS, NEW TAXES PROPOSED FOR TACOMA

City Manager T.C. Broadnax has proposed eliminating 217 jobs as part of his plan for a balanced budget for the 2013/14 biennium. Broadnax proposes a $398.4 million General Fund budget, which he discussed with Tacoma City Council on Oct. 2. His plan would close the $63 million shortfall for the next two-year cycle facing the…

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3 October 2012

Great singing, music and dancing highlight TMP’s ‘Chicago’

Tacoma Musical Playhouse takes audiences back to an era when jazz was king and alcohol was illegal in “Chicago.” This musical is based on the play “Chicago” by Maurine Dallas Watkins. Some may have seen the successful movie version released in 2002, which won six Academy Awards.

The setting is the Windy City…

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3 October 2012

Arts & Entertainment: Local author, educator writes of teaching at alternative school

Many teachers would be afraid to be in the same classroom with some of the students Darrell Hamlin has taught. Few would likely want to take a dozen of them on a field trip to Mount Rainier. Hamlin tells many of his memorable stories from his teaching career in his new book, “North Star Platoon.”

Hamlin graduated…

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26 September 2012

Clear Channel begins removing billboards

Clear Channel Outdoor began removing some of its billboards in Tacoma last week. The media giant and the city of Tacoma had been in a legal dispute for years over the status of this type of outdoor advertising. As part of a legal time-out the two sides reached in August, Clear Channel is required to remove some signs that…

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26 September 2012

Make a Scene

Skip the Foreplay

“Nightlife”

With a band name like Skip the Foreplay, it is a pretty safe bet that audiences will not be holding hands singing “Kumbaya” while swaying to and fro. And on their new album “Nightlife,” the bandmates hold true to this by going hardcore…

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19 September 2012

Waterway Seaport lease extended

Tacoma City Council has approved a resolution for a 50-year lease agreement between the city, Foss Waterway Development Authority and Foss Waterway Seaport. This will allow the seaport to continue its efforts to redevelop the historic Balfour Dock Building.

Built in 1900, Balfour is part of a structure that once was…

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19 September 2012

Tacoma welcomes the world to environmental conference

Tacoma will display its cultural attractions and breakthroughs in environmental science to the world when American Center for Life Cycle Assessment brings its LCA XII conference to Hotel Murano Sept. 24-27. The organization, founded in 2000, is the professional society for life cycle assessment, which is the science of measuring…

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12 September 2012

TCC holds groundbreaking for Harned Center

H.C. “Joe” Harned had a special birthday on Sept. 6 when he participated in a groundbreaking ceremony that afternoon for the Harned Center for Health Careers at Tacoma Community College.

Current buildings on campus used for training healthcare workers have outlived their design life. Many are cramped and out of…

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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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9 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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