Kathleen Merryman

Email: kathleen@tacomaweekly.com

2 October 2013

Arts & Entertainment: Celebration of western & wildlife art delivers kindness, generosity and humor

Fred Oldfield spoke to Mark and Erin Wheeler before they knew they were listening.

They had never owned an original oil painting, and had never thought of themselves as art collectors. Then, on a visit to The Western Washington Fair four years ago, they strolled through the Fred Oldfield Western Heritage & Art…

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24 September 2013

A user’s guide to Tacoma Film Festival October 3-10

There will, of course, be zombies, or at least the expectation of zombies amid the gracious retirement living in a place called Laurel Grove.

There will be young people making sense of real life by punching old prejudices in the nose.

There will be pasts that return to haunt, and futures that turn out the light…

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11 September 2013

Clean-ups transform tribal grounds

The dentures arrived first, then the stove.

It was the Puyallup Tribe’s third free neighborhood cleanup of the summer, and teeth are turning out to be a regular occurrence.

“It seems like we get them every time,” said regular volunteer Theresa Sportsman.

“Uppers and lowers, a full set,” quipped…

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10 September 2013

Arsonist destroys Midland church

An arsonist raced through Midland just past midnight Thursday morning, Sept. 5, torching an abandoned house, a car and destroying Golgotha Baptist Church.

Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies believe he was about to set fire to an occupied home when they captured him.

Firefighters saw a man walk away from the…

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4 September 2013


Shennetta Smith wore her “Never Surrender” T-shirt to the Eastside Families Back to School Parade & Festival Aug. 30.

It was truth in advertising for Smith, for her four children, the staff at First Creek Middle School and the 20-plus social services and performers at the festival. All of them are fighting…

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4 September 2013

Tacoma’s rite of fall – backpack stuffing

Buying school supplies for kids they don’t know ranks high on the list of Tacomans’ finest habits. No sooner do crayons go on sale for a quarter and markers hit 50 cents than Tacomans load up the shopping cart, swipe the debit card and broadcast the tools for a happy school year.

They hold drives at work and church…

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28 August 2013

School is starting so LET’S HAVE A PARADE

First Creek Middle School will greet the new school year with prizes, presents, performers, physicals and, of course, a parade.

The East Side Families Back To School Parade and Festival will mark the last Friday of summer vacation with the promise of an exciting school year of hard study, good play, exploration and…

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27 August 2013

Tacoma Quirk: Anchored in Tacoma, bound for Anchorage

Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE to its pals) runs its roll-on-roll-off (RO/RO to its pals) shipping trade between the ports of Tacoma and Anchorage.

The containers on its two Orca Class ships sail stuffed with everything from sofas to steaks to shoes. Built to brave the ice and storms off Alaska, the M.V. Midnight…

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21 August 2013

Mustelidae in the news

It’s been an active few days on Tacoma Weekly’s mink and ferret beat.

Like weasels and ermine, mink and ferrets are among the 69 members of the mustelidae family. “Mustelidae,” as you likely know, is Latin for “You have to change their cages often if you want to live in the same house with them.”

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21 August 2013

Workplace Garden Challenge: Swan Creek Community Garden is a marvel of global veggies and techniques

The garden was the first given at the start of Swan Creek Park’s master planning.

However the community decided to use the long, lovely swath of green and stream, the Salishan community garden would be part of it.

In 1992, it rose from the stony soil just inside the park at South 42nd Street and Roosevelt…

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20 August 2013

Tacoma Quirk: The Gathering Place rose from Tacoma’s rubble, and survived vandals

Salishan was all about punching despair in the nose in 1997.

The houses, built in a hurry for World War II shipyard workers, were worn out public housing. Tacoma Housing Authority had tried, and failed, to rehab them. The very name was stained by a legacy of drugs, gangs and violence.

But the people who lived…

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20 August 2013

Connecting Vets To Benefits: PAYING IT FORWARD

Credit veterans with some of the best mountain bike thrills in Tacoma, and much of Metro Parks Tacoma’s first mountain bike trail.

Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is building a system of bike trails and challenges in the 50-acre Douglas Fir Forest at the heart of Swan Creek Park. They have been working on it for…

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14 August 2013

Workplace Garden Challenge: Plants, soil capture dissolved zinc and copper in TOTE’s rain gardens

Seen those lovely gardens around the shops at TOTE?

They’re working harder than stevedores.

They are rain gardens, rigged with plumbing systems and filled with filtration layers and native plants. Each year, they grab dissolved zinc and copper out of a quarter million gallons of storm water.

Rand Lymangrover,…

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14 August 2013

PCMARVETS goes to bat for injured vet

Nicholas Boquist was in his 20s when the U.S. Navy sent him to Korea.

“I was in on the tail end of the Korean War,” the 78-year-old Key Center resident said. “I was on an LST, and we were bringing troops back from Seoul. I was carrying a 100-pound sack of flour up a gangway, and the ship took a bounce and so…

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13 August 2013

What’s Right With Tacoma: CELEBRATING MILITARY SERVICE Tacoma holds first all-military parade in 50+

Tacoma, with all its ties to the Armed Forces, has not had a big-time, downtown military parade for more than 50 years.

The Daffodil Festival is about to remedy that.

On Aug. 24 (a Saturday guaranteed to be sunny) the Daffodil Festival will present what executive director Steve James bills as “our 1st Annual…

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