The Weekly Volcano

Featured Contributor: March 2011 to  March 2013

The Weekly Volcano reported on film, theater, food, art and music in the South Sound as well as providing comprehensive arts and music calendars. The newspaper has 670 distribution points from Federal Way to Tumwater, reaching more than 92,000 readers every Thursday.

Below are selected articles:

"Tacoma: The Divide of Division Avenue"

March 1st, 2013

Tacoma likes to believe that in the last 20 years it has grown more socially tolerant. The economic downturn has blended many communities in financial equality. The city's numerous festivals have started to resemble a certain 1971 Coco-Cola commercial. And much of the intermediate neighborhoods of the New Tacoma and Central districts have seen astounding renaissance.

Regardless of all our forward thinking, we the citizens of Tacoma, still live with a striking symbol of our dis-unions. Along the Division Avenue line separates north from south, new from old, affluent from disenfranchised. The image and idea of the divide has grown so much a part of the city we live in that we just accept it.

"Tacoma's first home for music: The Community World Theater"

May 5th, 2012

Girl Trouble's drummer, Bon Von Wheelie, sets the music scene of 1980s Tacoma:

"The punks got chased a lot. People would be violent just because they dressed different. You had to be tough to be into that scene. It made people stick together almost because they had to, it was safer. It's hard to think that people would get violent over a fashion choice, but in those days, they did."

The multi-lingual church at 5441 S. M St., just off of 56th, used to be a theater. In 1930 it was the site of a projectionist union conflict and subsequent bombing. In the '60s and '70s it showcased X-rated films. But for 16 months between 1987 and 1988, the space became the center of Northwest music: an all-ages mecca for the grunge, punk and hardcore of the area that previously had been hiding in the shadows, waiting.

"Auf Wiedersehen Alt Heidelberg"

July 6th, 2011

The Columbia Heidelberg Brewery complex on the corner of 21st and South C Street in downtown Tacoma is currently being demolished. Some see the change as a progressive move, while others find it hard to believe that yet another piece of Tacoma's past is vanishing. What is certain is that with the fall of the Heidelberg, a chapter in Tacoma's history will be closed for good.

This is a story about the building's history. Its origins. And its connections with the people of Tacoma.

"The silverback of South Tacoma"
June 16th, 2011

John Clark, a long-time Tacoma resident, reminices ...

"My parents took all five of us kids, and usually a kid neighbor or two, over to the B&I on Saturdays pretty frequently. It was always a big event for us because it involved corn dogs, cotton candy, a merry-go-round, the penny arcade, shoes, live pets and the main attraction - Ivan the Gorilla. The store used to do shows with Ivan and his trainer, but I think the trainer was outside of the cage most the time. Older folks would say to us, ‘Did you go and watch Ivan play today?' or ‘Did Ivan do tricks for you?'

"Ivan was huge, especially to a little kid," Clark continues. "One of our worst fears was that Ivan would reach through the bars of his bright red circus wagon and pull us in. Someone told us, ‘He'll grab your corn dog right out of your hands if you're not careful.'"