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

12 September 2012

Broadnax proposes solution to fill budget gap

Shifting nearly $5 million from several funds to the city’s general fund, along with other tactics, could solve Tacoma’s budget deficit for 2012. City Manager T.C. Broadnax presented the plan to Tacoma City Council during its Sept. 11 study session.

The city has an $11.8 million budget gap for 2012 it must fill…

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12 September 2012

City orders three dispensaries to close

The city of Tacoma began cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries last week, sending letters to three of them that have had their business licenses revoked.

Emerald Pharms, T-Town Alternative Medicine and The Vape Bar, all located in South Tacoma, received cease and desist orders. They have until Sept. 17 to…

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12 September 2012

Arts & Entertainment: Work by young artists on display at fairgrounds

The creativity of students at several Tacoma schools is on display during the Puyallup Fair’s annual Junior/Senior High School Art Show.

Catherine Tran of Bellarmine Preparatory School offers the chalk pastel drawing “Hot House.” It depicts the interior of a home, with a window in the middle. Flames are coming…

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5 September 2012

Couple seeks to inspire people to think big

Kieran and Sherri Murray want their fellow Pierce County residents to be inspired to make improvements, be it to their business, family or community. So they created something to provide space for that inspiration to occur. They are the founders of Ignite-U, a series of events that combine motivational speakers and networking…

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5 September 2012

Bus riders face hard road if proposition fails

Bus boosters and transit lovers are showing the math of bus services if the sales tax increase package facing voters in November fails.

When a similar ballot measure failed to sway voters last year, Pierce Transit was projecting 418,000 service hours without an increase in the sales tax rate. That level of service…

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5 September 2012

First Creek heralds start of school with parade

On a warm, sunny afternoon on Aug. 31, First Creek Middle School held its first back-to-school in the nearby Salishan neighborhood. Staff members were joined by two Eagle mascots and the Lincoln High School drum line in walking through the public housing development.

Police officers on motorcycles were on hand to handle…

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5 September 2012

Arts & Entertainment: Exhibit shows a glass master still going strong

At age 11, Lino Tagliapietra began perfecting his glassblowing skills through observation, repetition and production. The Italian artist was trained by masters in Murano, a major center for glass blowing in his native land. He became internationally recognized as a glass art master. Now 77, the master is still going strong,…

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29 August 2012

Council awards Old Town Dock contract

Old Town Dock will be available for public use next summer. Tacoma City Council has awarded a contract to Quigg Bros. Inc for $1.7 million to renovate the dock along Ruston Way.

Old Town Dock was built in 1873. It originally served the shipbuilding industry. For many years it was a public fishing pier until July 2008,…

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29 August 2012

Teen’s spirit lives on

During his short life, Billy Ray Shirley III did what he could to help his community and encourage other youth to do the same. At age 17, Shirley was murdered a year ago, but his spirit lives on among his many relatives and friends.

Shirley was involved in a volunteer program called Peace Out. It rallied teenagers…

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29 August 2012

Port supports extension of heavy haul corridor

Recent action taken by Port of Tacoma Commission will assist a major Tideflats business in its efforts to move cargo, while providing monitoring of the condition of State Route 509.

A state law that went into effect in 2005 authorized Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to enter into…

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29 August 2012

Make a Scene: Scott Cossu to make first appearance at local jazz series

Jazz Live at Marine View begins its fall season on Sept. 9 with a performance by Scott Cossu. The Olympia resident is an internationally-known pianist, composer and recording artist. One of the initial artists signed to the Windham Hill label, Cossu earned critical acclaim with a style that blends jazz, classical and ethnic…

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22 August 2012

City may change domestic foul regulations

Tacoma City Council is considering revisions to city laws that could make it easier for more residents to raise chickens, ducks, geese and other domesticated birds in their backyards. Kristi Lynett, manager of the city’s Office of Sustainability, presented the proposed changes to the domestic fowl ordinance during the council’s…

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22 August 2012

Festival celebrates the art of craft brewing

Bennett Thurmon has been brewing beer at home for 25 years. Not long ago, a friend pointed out to him that Tacoma lacked a beer festival, so Thurmon decided it was time to do something about it. The result is Tacoma Craft Beer Festival. The fourth annual event will take place on Sept. 1.

“It has turned out to be…

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22 August 2012

Night club struggles to keep the music going

A sluggish economy and a recent change in state liquor laws are among the challenges facing Backstage Bar and Grill. Some of its customers are stepping up to make sure it does not become the next music venue in town to shut its doors.

Joy Hutt opened the establishment, located at 6409 6th Ave., last year. She recently…

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16 August 2012

Options presented for light rail expansion routes

Tacoma Link light rail has been quite popular since it began in 2003. Nearly a million riders used it in 2011. The system has one line, going 1.6 miles through downtown. Expanding it has been a topic of much interest since voters in the region approved some funding with passage of a Sound Transit ballot measure a few years…

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16 August 2012

Billboard offer made

The city of Tacoma and Clear Channel Outdoor may be putting their legal contest on hold. The city has offered a deal to the billboard company in which 17 billboards would be torn down, perhaps in three months. Clear Channel would also give up permits to erect more billboards.

City Manager T.C. Broadnax announced the…

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16 August 2012

Successful year for store

In 2006, some Tacoma residents began bouncing around the idea of a cooperative food store. They formed a board of volunteers crafting the vision of what the store would be.

Last Aug. 26 Tacoma Food Co-op opened at 3002 6th Ave., after completing negotiations to purchase an already-existing small grocery store.

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15 August 2012

Metro Parks takes new direction on selling center

After hearing numerous residents testifying during a meeting that at times became quite tense, Metro Parks Commission on Aug. 13 voted 5-0 to hire a real estate broker to sell Manitou Community Center.

The fate of the center has been a contentious issue. The building used to house the old Manitou Park Elementary School.…

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8 August 2012

Port making good progress on clean air goals.

Several years ago, the ports of Tacoma, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. embarked on a joint effort to improve air quality in the region. Much progress has been achieved since then. Port of Tacoma Commission heard a progress report on the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy during its Aug. 2 meeting. Ron Stuart, environmental project…

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8 August 2012

City of Tacoma to host open house for State Route 509 slip ramps

For some time, there has been much interest in installing slip ramps at the interchange of State Route 509 and East ‘D’ Street. The city of Tacoma will lead the design effort. Once constructed, the interchange will improve freight movement into and from the Port of Tacoma as well as access to businesses on either side…

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Favorite Articles

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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