Pierce Pioneer

A look at the Tacoma Method and Washington’s history of perpetrating Anti-Asian attacks

This year and the last has seen almost no end to its racial violence and injustice since the pandemic began. Specifically, Asian attacks have been a much more common occurrence. While some would say this is a new and unexpected thing to happen, others know that Washington has a long history of Anti-Asian attacks dating all the way back to the 18th century.

In 1848, the California Gold Rush began and the news of this fortune traveled quickly across the seas to different countries. In China, people spoke of the Gam Saan — Gold Mountain — as many sons left their parents, wives and children to seek fortune for themselves and their families in America.

By 1855 the Gold Rush had ended, but immigrants from China were still arriving in groups to find work placing railroad tracks for the Pacific Railway. Their acceptance of low wages and long hours made them preferable workers to those who had been protesting for better conditions. Thus they took over a majority of the workforce. This didn’t sit well with the European workers of the time and soon the anti-Chinese movement was on the rise.

Labor organizations united under the anti-Chinese dog whistle “The Chinese must go”, and committees were soon meeting to plot their courses of action on how to get the Chinese out of their state. Even Taccoma’s mayor of the time, Jacob Weisbach, was a supporter of this movement as he issued a congress that would seek to expel the Chinese community by November.

The riot began on November 3, 1885 when 500 white citizens of Tacoma marched through Tacoma’s Chinatown and gave its residents only a few short hours to pack what they could before forcefully evicting them from their homes and businesses. This included their white supporters, as both were forced out of the city via wagons or on a train leaving for Portland.

Several days later the town was razed to the ground; businesses and homes were burned with no aid from Tacoma’s Fire Department at the time.

When the smoke had cleared and the ruins of the once bustling Chinatown lay vacant, only 27 culprits of the 900 were convicted; these men are known as the Tacoma 27 and the primary indicators and actors of The Tacoma Method.

Tacoma Public Library eliminates overdue fines

The Tacoma Public Library is eliminating overdue fines as of June 1, according to South Sound Business News. Director Kate Larson during a press meeting said that overdue fees from missing or damaged items that incurred a charge as far as Jan. 1, 2016, will no longer be owed. 

“This gives patrons who have been avoiding visiting their library due to outstanding charges the opportunity to start fresh,” Larson said. “We hope that this change will let our community know that their library values them and they are welcome here.”

The library had already stopped charging overdue fines in March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. TPL will continue to follow their new policy, nonetheless. 

There is a difference between fines and fees however. Fees are when the book is damaged or lost, which the library will still oversee. On the other hand, fines are when the item is overdue which is what the library is getting rid of starting June 1. So go visit Tacoma Public Library again!

Tacoma Public Library and Seattle Public Library announce a reciprocal borrowing agreement

On March 29, 2021, Tacoma Public Library and Seattle Public Library announced they would have a reciprocal borrowing agreement. People who have a library card with TPL and a government issued ID can now get one with SPL. 

 

According to SPL’s library card FAQ, previous availability went only to people who lived, worked, went to school or owned property in Bothell or King County. Other libraries made reciprocal borrowing agreements with SPL in the past, and now TPL is added to that list. 

 

Applications for an SPL card are available at any SPL branch or online at their website. Once approved, readers can check out and put up to 25 e-books and e-audiobooks on hold, as well as 50 physical items on hold. Physical items on hold must be picked up at a SPL branch. This process is the same for SPL patrons getting a TPL card as well. According to both libraries, they are not charging overdue fees—only fees for lost or damaged material. 

 

Most TPL are still closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, there is hope for people who miss the calm environment of the library. “Fern Hill Library and Swasey Library are now open for visits by appointment or walk-in,” TPL stated. TPL Now updates regularly on the availability of services being offered at TPL. 

 

This is a wonderful partnership, and people should take advantage of this wider access to library catalog as more libraries continue to open up.

Teachers March Against Racial Injustice in Tacoma

Teachers march against racial injustice in Tacoma on June 14th.

Fashion with a Focus:

A fun night celebrating human determinations, and putting face to homelessness

On Nov. 4, Fashion with a Focus was held at the Tacoma Glass Museum. It was a night of celebrating human creativity and bravery, showcasing how determination and human will could bring success into a homeless person’s life. Proceeds from the fashion show went to support Pierce College Foundation.

Fashion with a Focus began with friendly conversations between Gregory Marks and Veronica Reed. Both are Pierce alumni and came up with an idea of having a fashion show to bring understanding and hope in communities, to support friends and neighbors in need, and to bring people together from all walks of life. The event was organized by Greg, with help of Dr. Paul Gerhardt, and PC community, and sponsored by Plato’s Closet.

In this cold weather, some of students at Pierce are homeless and looking for shelter. Marks, the founder of Right Now Today, recalled the times when he was a homeless himself. He remembers asking “Where am I sleeping tonight? Where is the driest place that I could find and not freeze?”

Roxanne Cassidy, Opportunity Grant Coordinator for the Puyallup campus, was one of the guests that night. She said, “I work at the Puyallup Campus so I know that many of the students I have specifically worked with in the last few years been homeless.”

Michele Johnson, the Chancellor of Pierce College District, also came to support the event. She said, “It’s really great that Greg as an alum of our college and a business management advisory committee member would take this on. I think he clearly understands the challenges that our students have with financial resources they need to not be homeless, to have the dollars that they need to pay for the book, and the tuition they need to stay in school.”

Xola Malik, a local musician, kicked off the show. Before performing, he challenged guests by asking, “What does homelessness look like in OUR community?” As he looked around the room, he answered to the silent faces, “I am the face of homelessness.”

Kendi Fresh, Xola’s son and an aspiring musician, performed with his dad. Before they were done, just about everyone in the lobby were moving with the beat.

Cosmos, a band from Seattle, also shared words of encouragement through their music as well.

Then it was time for the show. Students from Pierce came walking out looking fabulous and confident, wearing clothes on loan from Plato’s Closet.

Nancy Jornlin, the owner of Plato’s Closet Tacoma, worked behind the scenes to help put the fashion show together. She said, “What we were conscious of was trying to make all different body and styles and shapes feel very comfortable of what they chose to wear.”

Jornlin, when asked if the show was successful, she said, “I think the success was seeing the Facebook post, talking to the people that were there, and how we need to get involved and make change.”

Jornlin indicated her 16-yr-old son, one of the guests that night. She watched him lean in as the guest speakers were sharing there stories. He told her later the impact that it had, that it was a great event where all generations from all different backgrounds could come together to be encouraged, and to be inspired.

This was a great opportunity for people with all kinds of talents, and many students were encouraged to be involved for greater cause. “It shows what can be done, what students can do,” Marks said.

After the Fashion show, people all gathered back in the lobby to hear Dr. Paul Gerhardt, Greg Marks, and Erin Jones, a politician and an advocate, speaking about hope. Greg showed a picture of boiling water. “The boiling point of water is 212°…211°  is 1 degree away from success.

During her speech Erin Jones shared her story, a nine-year old orphan girl who decided to make the world a better place. She recalled meeting the princess of Egypt during lunch when the Princess told her, “You are the world changer,” she added, “When a real princess pointed at you and says, you are a world changer, you believe her because she’s a princess!”

And she dared all the people at the lobby by saying, “Being average is absolutely simple.” She continued, “I dare you to be great. Greatness requires doing what other people won’t do.” She then added, “Do not allow the things that seek to defeat you to stop you from pursuing your dreams, not even homelessness.”

Save Metro Parks for Tacoma

Most of us visited to zoos when we were younger, and we remember the animals,

the fun, and the excitement. If you’re from the Tacoma area, the zoo you remember is

probably Point Defiance. We could all say it’s gone a little downhill over the years, along

with other Tacoma parks and facilities. We need to preserve what makes our community

as great as it is, which means buckling down and paying a little more in property taxes.

The Metro Park Bond is asking for $198 million for work and updates needed for

Tacoma’s parks and zoo. People from the Tacoma district who pay $40 per year for every

$100,000 in property value will have to pay an additional $58 on top of the $40. This is a

small price to pay for nice, up-to-date, clean parks.

The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium’s official website says that some of the

money from the bond will make critical improvement to animal life-support systems. The

money will also be used to replace the failing 51-year-old North Pacific Aquarium with a

modest new Pacific Rim aquarium. The changes planned will improve visitor experience

greatly.

Some people might ask why we should pay more taxes, especially when in 2005 a

bond was approved for $84.3 million. A bond that the people of Tacoma are still paying

off. It’s true they will still be paying the last bond off until 2030, and the new bond (if

accepted), will extend payments until 2042, however, this money is needed to improve

our community parks and zoo. It’s not cheap to renovate and make changes; the funds

from the first bond were only a start. There’s no point of having our pockets full of cash

if we can’t go out into our communities and enjoy our parks and zoo.

Tacoma parks will be greatly enhanced with the approval of this bond. When

Election Day comes up on Earth Day, April 22, think about the future of our community.

Be proud of where you live.

Western Washington holiday events

The month of December brings out family oriented holiday activities and events all over Washington. Included below are lists of events that are happening

snowflakes

Holly Buchanan Staff Writer

Chelatchie Prairie Railroad in Yacolt, Washington
A volunteer non-profit organization that offers steam and diesel engine train rides also gives Christmas and Santa train rides for the holidays on Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14, and 15 at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Trees can be added for an additional cost. For those purchasing less than four tickets single passengers tickets are $18 for one adult, $17 for seniors 60 and older, $13 for ages 5-12, $11 for ages 2-4 and children under two get in free of charge. Be prepared with warm clothes as the passenger cars are open.

Zoo Lights at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma
Point Defiance lights up their zoo with over a half-million lights now until Jan. 5 (excluding Christmas Eve/Day and New Year’s). Tickets are $8.75 at the gate, $16.25 for adults, $15.75 for seniors, $15.25 for ages 5-12, $13 for ages 3-4 and free for ages 2 and under. Parking is free. A scuba-diving Santa swims with sharks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 6p.m. on Dec 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18. Be sure to dress warm as this event takes place outside for the most part.

Fantasy Lights in Spanaway Park
Fantasy Lights is the largest holiday drive-through display in the Pacific Northwest. There are about 300 displays of lights making thousands of lights to fill a park. It’s a two-mile drive parallel to Spanaway Lake. During the drive families can tune their car radio to 93.7 FM to hear holiday music performed by local high schools. This event is taking place now through Jan. 1 from 5:30 to 9 p.m, including Christmas and New Year’s Day. Tickets are $13 per vehicle including mini-buses for up to 14 passengers and $45 per bus holding 25 or more passengers. Ten dollar tickets will be sold until they run out at Lakewood Community Center, Sprinker Recreation Center, and Garfield book Company at PLU. Discounted tickets are not available for buses. Customers also can print a $3 off ticket on the Pierce County website (http://www.co.pierce.wa.us).

Seattle Center Winterfest
Seattle Center is holding a Winterfest that includes everything from an ice skating rink to an ice sculpting show. The ice rink is now through Jan. 5, Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. located in the Fisher Pavillion. Ticket prices, which include skate rentals, are $7 for adults, $5 for ages 6-12 and $2 for ages 5 and under. Winterfest ice sculpting will take place on Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 28 from noon to 2 p.m. This event is located outside the Fisher Pavillion and is free. To check out more events going on at Seattle Center’s Winterfest, go online at www.seattlecenter.com/winterfest.

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker
In Seattle the Pacific Northwest Ballet features the Nutcracker ballet performance with an orchestra, original set and costume designs. There are over 200 dancers and snow falling in every performance. The orchestra will be performing Tchaikovsky’s music. This event takes place now until the end of December excluding Christmas Day. Tickets range from $43 to $133 and vary by seat chosen.

Local actor Greg Marks preaches “just do it.”

 

Everyone has heard a story about a character that has suffered from a troubled past and somehow perseveres through it, but not every day do we get the opportunity to be inspired by that character in our own environment.
Gregory D. Marks is a new addition to the Pierce college student body. He has starred in various commercials for companies like Dell, Snoqualmie Casino, and Benjamin Moore. These accomplishments are made even more impressive because of the fact that he used to be a homeless man in Tacoma.
Suffering from a drug addiction and living in a poor environment, Marks sorted out a plan to get help. When meetings weren’t enough for his plan to grow he said he found God’s power of healing. He started going to church and was able to feel his past getting left behind him in order for his new start to begin. “It’s never to late to start over,” said Marks.
Within finding his new identity he found a passion for acting. He didn’t have the money for acting classes so instead he emulated actors via Internet browsing. He started his acting career at age 43 and is now 46. “Ghetto Actor” is what some people call him in Seattle, referring to how he came to be.
Utilizing his skills in facial expressions, he started landing more and more roles in entertainment. These projects include the TV series Grimm, and music videos for Sleepy pilot and Lisa Mitts. He has made a name for himself among actors such as Kim Basinger and Director Nicholas Gyeney. He is also on a list to be a stand-in for Denzel Washington in an up coming film.
Through his success among celebrities, he remains humble and stated; “I am successful because I want more than fame.” Upon receiving his ministerial license, Marks plans to go back to preaching. He stated that he doesn’t want to become a celebrity. “I want a bigger forum for when I preach,” he said.
Marks rebooted his mind and way of thinking. He wants to encourage other people who are struggling. “You make your own destiny and you take control of your whole life,” Marks said regarding his transformation.
He will spend 18 months at Pierce on LNI earning a fashion merchandising degree. “I’m not trying to be better than anyone, I’m just trying to be the best I can be,” said Marks. If you want to become a better person and move past your mistakes, just do it.

Holly Buchanan Staff Writer

Local Actor Greg Marks Preaches: Just Do It

Holly Buchanan
Staff Writer

Gregory D MarksEveryone has heard the stories about a character who has suffered from a troubled past and somehow perseveres through it, but not every day do we get the opportunity to be inspired by that character.

Gregory D. Marks is a new addition to the Pierce college student body.  He’s starred in various commercials, one of which is a Snoqualmie ad that will air on television June 1. These accomplishments are made even more impressive because of the fact that he used to be a homeless man in Tacoma.

Suffering from a drug addiction and living in a poor environment, Marks sorted out a plan to get help. When meetings weren’t enough for his plan to grow he says he found God’s power of healing.

He started going to church and was able to feel his past getting left behind in order for his new start to begin. “It’s never to late to start over,” said Marks.

He didn’t have the money for acting classes so instead he began emulating actors via internet browsing. He started his acting career at age 43 and is now 46. “Ghetto Actor” is what some people call him in Seattle, referring to how he came to be.

Utilizing his skills in facial expressions, he became an extra seen behind the famous people in movies. In the film “21 and Over,” Marks is spotted in the background of a scene making a shocked facial expression.  He has made a name for himself among actors such as Kim Basinger and Director Nicholas Gyeney He is also on a list to be a stand-in for Denzel Washington in an up coming film.

Through his success among celebrities, he remains humble and states, “I am successful because I want more than fame.” Upon receiving his ministerial license, Marks plans to go back to preaching. He states that he doesn’t want to become a celebrity. “I want a bigger forum for when I preach,” he said.

Marks rebooted his mind and way of thinking. He wants to encourage other people who are struggling. “You make your own destiny and you take control of your whole life,” Marks said regarding his transformation. He will spend 18 months at Pierce on LNI earning a fashion merchandising degree. “I’m not trying to be better than anyone, I’m just trying to be the best I can be,” said Marks.

tacoma’s art-house theater makes switch to digital

Valerie Ettenhofer
Staff Writer

An indie film in Tacoma
An indie film in Tacoma

The Grand Cinema is about to go out of style. At least, that’s what the president of the National Association of Theater Owners made apparent with his quote featured on The Grand’s website: “if you don’t get on the digital train soon, you will be making the decision to get out of the business.”

The push to convert all theaters that still use classic projectors to digital projection has led the Tacoma cinema to begin asking viewers for donations, using the slogan “don’t let our screens go dark.”

The small, non-profit theater is often the closest or the only place for Pierce County residents to see art-house Oscar contenders such as “The Artist” or “The King’s Speech” and buzzed-about indie films such as “Safety Not Guaranteed” in theaters.

The cinema is also a host for many local events, including the Tacoma International Film Festival and the 72-hour film competition that began on May 10. This year’s film submissions all feature flashlights, superstition and the line “that wasn’t what I was expecting,” and were each made in 72 hours by local teams of filmmakers.

An Experience235 company, The Grand Cinema is a part of a short list of organizations “dedicated to providing arts and culture experiences of the highest quality” with a unique northwest flavoring specific to the Puget Sound area.

“We’re actually the only first-run theater in Tacoma right now,” said Marketing Director Zach Powers. “We keep our pulse on independent films. We can tell what kind of films our audience is drawn to by what does the best and what doesn’t do the best.”

Powers added that The Grand offers art-house and foreign films to elevate the availability of cinematic art to the public, saying, “it’s important that those films have a home.”

Many who support The Grand for its cultural contributions to the Tacoma area volunteer there or become members who receive perks in exchange for subscribing with anywhere between $45 and $500, depending on the membership package.

At press time, $218,449 of the approximate $344,000 dollars necessary for converting all four theater projectors had been made. With a fall deadline, there are a few months left until many studios will no longer provide film reels. Luckily for those in charge of independent theaters, once the new projectors are installed, digital reels could be cheaper to procure than the less easily made old-style film reels.

To check out currently playing films, ticket prices or event schedules, go to www.grandcinema.com.

The ‘Beibster’ disrespects Tacoma

Commentary
Georgina Tyler 

Teen heartthrob, Justin Bieber, stole the hearts of many young ladies Tuesday night, Oct. 9. It was a successful and sold out show, and he didn’t even manage to throw up on stage. The next day, news broke out, from Bieber himself, that he and his tour manager were victims of a theft that happened backstage while at the concert.

Backstage, surveillance footage was reviewed and security was interrogated. No one saw anything out of the ordinary nor did anyone without proper and necessary credentials ever go backstage where the theft occurred.

An unknown person then began a twitting frenzy with Bieber, threatening that he will release the boy’s personal pictures and videos if he did not comply with his demands. Bieber denied the “ransom”, leaving the world to wait in anticipation for what was to happen next. When the infamous video was released, it was nothing more than a new music video.

He posted on Twitter saying: “Since I was fourteen, I have had a lot of things said about me; from dying, to taking hormones, to dying again, to stuff about my family, to saying I had a baby with a woman I never even met. Nude pics, drugs, my family, my character, but today…today I get to be in on it.”

Despite Mr. Bieber’s choice of action showing that he is still fourteen as far as maturity goes, isn’t that what being under the public eye is all about; handling the pressure with poise and grace? From haters to paparazzi and stalkers to obsessed “tweens,” every celebrity has something to deal with. It’s the price to pay for being famous, that’s just the reality of it.

So Justin Bieber plays a juvenile prank on the world and the city of Tacoma is to blame. Hey, the city has a bad reputation and he needed publicity for the release of his new video so he might as well exploit it right? He traded in basic morals and good ol’ human decency for a great PR stunt. Was it that great? Some people might think so, while others, like the citizens of Tacoma, beg to differ. Reading the comments and posts online, these people are outraged. Furious. I don’t know about you guys but I was personally offended and I’m not even a native of the city.

Oct. supports breast cancer

Katelyn Hummel
Staff Writer 

People show their support for Breast Cancer in Tacoma, Saturday Oct. 13.

Oct. is breast cancer awareness month and men and women gathered in Tacoma on Oct. 13 for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer South Sound event.

The walk raised over $100,000 that went directly to the American Cancer Society. The ACS supports research for treatments and a cure for cancer as well as offering more capability for women to get mammograms.

Sarah Woodall, a 1-year breast cancer survivor participating in the walk, described her elation at her good fortune with her cancer.

“I’m feeling well, no problems,” Woodall said. “And what was so fortunate is that I never had an abnormal mammogram, though I would get those once a year, but this one was abnormal, so it was detected very, very early.”

Woodall also claimed that it was do to good doctors, a great surgeon, and a wonderful and supportive family that she was able to handle her cancer with more ease.

But not all who attend have cancer. Some come in support of loved ones with cancer. Jackie Banks tries to participate in this walk every year to support the women of her church struggling with breast cancer. She also has a sister with cancer and she hopes that her strides will help raise awareness.

Some walkers made their strides, however, as a memorial to loved ones lost.

Nicole Remington is the coach for the bonny lake relay for life event and she has been doing this for three years now. She and her daughter Anna came to the event to fight breast cancer in honor of her family.

“I have lost 11 family members to cancer of all types,” said Remington. “The American Cancer society is very near and dear to my heart.”

The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk along with the American Cancer Society have had tremendous impacts on the lives of those who have cancer as well as those who have loved ones with cancer. In honor of breast cancer awareness month many people, teams, and organizations have given so much to ACS. Some top companies involved in the South Sound event were Carol Milgard Breast Center, Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc., and PartyLite, each donating around $3,000.

“Cancer doesn’t know zip codes, it doesn’t know annual salaries, it doesn’t know race, it doesn’t understand who it’s affecting, and it’s affecting everybody,” Remington said.

 

Leave a Comment