5 Question Friday With The NEW Poison Apple’s Jooley Heaps

poisonappleThis week is a first. After three years of doing 5 Question Friday we have our first three-time participant. We’d stop asking her questions if she’d stop doing awesome stuff. Jooley Heaps once ran a wonderfully strange shop in downtown Tacoma called Poison Apple. Sadly, the location wasn’t very conducive to massive sales. Since then Jooley and Poison Apple has existed by vending at various local events. But now Jooley and Poison Apple have a new home. And their grand opening is TODAY. Here’s Jooley to tell you more about it.

1. Poison Apple is back. What can you tell us about the new location?

We are now located inside Freighthouse Square, across from Sasquatch Cinnamon Rolls. Our new neighbors at The Giving Place and Vapor Works have also been very kind to us. Past the food court is Justin Winter at American Ritual Tattoo and his girlfriend Michelle. And of course my old pal Pete Lira is moving in this summer. Everyone has been very welcoming and it is exciting to start our new retail adventure here.

 

2. What’s different about Poison Apple this time around?

What we did this time was fuse together what worked for us before- a mix of rock and roll, punk, horror, etc with pop culture and a throwback to the vintage culture I adore. We have a great selection of kitsch items, clothing, shoes and all sorts of colorful fun items that can only be found here

 

3. How can people help out Poison Apple?

Thanks to social networking sites like Facebook many people have shared our event. I believe this location will be a good fit for us because there is daily walk thru traffic which what was a major issue with Pacific Avenue.

 

4. What’s your favorite thing about running Poison Apple?

My favorite thing about Poison Apple is that it is a colorful vision that we made happen. I have a dedicated crew in Jason Emmett and Jennifer Walter, and we each bring something to the table and all complement each other. While wearing ‘handerpants’ of course. I’d definitely say that there is nothing out there in Tacoma like it, and it makes me smile because it’s hilarious and always evolving into more.

 

5. What do you hope for the future of Poison Apple?

As far as the future- aim high! We are about to also start our busy vending schedule so of course the more events the merrier:) and I’d love to have success with the shop and possibly open a second location. Like I said. Aim high:).

 

I’d like to thank Jooley Heaps for participating in 5 Question Friday and for bringing Poison Apple back to Tacoma. If you or someone you know is interested in joining me for 5 Question Friday, let me know at jackcameronis@gmail.com

-       Jack Cameron

5 Question Friday With Harmonious Wilbury from Advanced Stream Internet

AdvancedStreamI’m a big believer in letting fellow Tacomans know about great companies in our city. When I moved back to the Stadium District almost two years ago I needed an Internet provider and ended up choosing Advanced Stream.

You probably don’t know this but when it comes to phone and internet companies, we’ve never gotten along very well. Things tend to go badly as their rates increase along with decreased service and terrible customer service. So I was fully expecting an that my relationship with Advanced Stream would be one of unpleasant tolerance.

Instead what I got was an installer who came out on time, reliable internet connections for my computer, laptop, Roku, X-Box, and Kindle Fire, and customer service that makes me feel like one of my friends is running an ISP. 

I know this likely sounds like a commercial. It’s not. I’m simply talking about what I’ve experienced as a customer for Advanced Stream. Today’s 5 Question Friday is with an Advanced Stream Representative calling himself Harmonious Wilbury. He’s here to tell you a bit more about Advanced Stream.

1. What is Advanced Stream?

We are an ISP located in Tacoma WA. We offer Cable modem Internet Service, with speeds up to 100 Mbps, over the Click! Network. We also offer Telephone service and websites hosting, etc.

 

2. How is Advances Stream different from larger Internet Providers?

We are very “hands on”, customer service oriented company. If you call, you will be talking to a knowledgeable person that cares about you and your concerns. We always make it right and keep our customers happy.

 

3. What special offers are you currently running?

We are currently running our “Welcome Home” special, which is $19.95 per month for the first 6 months – with a free install and free modem.

 

4. How can people sign up for Advanced Stream if they want to?

You can get the deal here: http://www.advancedstream.com/online-signup-special

 

5. What do you see for the future of Advanced Stream?

Thanks! Well, “the future” will soon be a thing of the past; but, our customer service culture will forever last! We will continue to focus on being happy, spreading cheer, having a sense of humor and helping people with their issues. Basically, we will keep doing what we do best and let the future take care of itself. “I never think of the future, it comes soon enough.” –Albert Einstein

 

I’d like to thank Harmonious Wilbury for participating in 5 Question Friday. If you or someone you know would like to join me for a 5 Question Friday, let me know at jackcameronis@gmail.com

One last note, should you choose to use Advanced Stream, please mention my customer number 14024 . Advanced Stream is big on referrals.
- Jack Cameron

A Robbery In Tacoma

pistolYesterday morning at around 6:30am, a stepfather went to the Chevron station on South 11th and Sprague. His stepson was working the counter there and soon to get off shift. Unfortunately, his shift ended with a black male in his 20s wearing a black bandanna over his face pointing a pistol at him and robbing the gas station. The robber took off on foot.

You didn’t read about this in The News Tribune. It wasn’t covered by any of the local news stations. I wouldn’t even know about it except that the stepfather contacted me about it. I asked Tacoma Police Spokesperson Loretta Cool about it. She said that there had not been any similar robberies in the area.

No one ever forgets having a gun pointed at them. During those moments you are acutely aware that your life is in immediate danger. It can be a life altering or life ending experience. And so I’m entirely sympathetic with the stepfather’s pleas that someone takes notice of this case. If someone had pointed a gun at my son, I’d want the person found immediately and non-stop police and media coverage until the person was found. I understand.

Years ago I worked for the Law Enforcement Support Agency (L.E.S.A.). I was one of a handful of people whose job was to take the hand written reports from police officers and transcribe them into the computer. In a lot of ways it was a dream job for an aspiring writer with an interest in his hometown of Tacoma. I got to read 50 new real crime stories a day.

The first thing I noticed was that the vast majority of the crime reports I transcribed were never mentioned in the media at all. Some of them were major events that I would have thought would garner all sorts of media attention. And yet, if you weren’t a part of the crime or a part of the police department you might never know they even happened.

At one point I asked how the media decides what goes in their reports. I was told that every morning the police beat person would call in and the desk sergeant would give them a group of incidents that had happened the previous night. Of course there were things that managed to get the attention of the media without the phone call, but in the two years I worked there, I encountered hundreds of reports that I felt were things the public should know about that were never mentioned anywhere in the media.

Initially, it may seem that the media and/or authorities don’t care about certain crimes. However, when you take a look at the numbers, it starts to make more sense. In 2012 there were 486 robberies in Tacoma. That works out to about nine robberies a week or more than one a day. (There were over 1,400 in Seattle. Per capita, our rate of robbery is only slightly higher than Seattle’s.) Even if the police or the media wanted to publicly post about every single robbery that occurred in Tacoma, the truth is almost no one would read it.

This brings me to this weekend’s robbery at the Chevron. A black male robbed a gas station on Hilltop over the weekend with a gun. The facts of the case are sadly so typical that it’s entirely understandable why it never made the news. Despite vast improvements from the crime filled days of the 1990s, Hilltop is still a neighborhood where crime is not uncommon. More to the point, Hilltop’s reputation from the 1990s has yet to fade. No one got physically hurt. (There’s a lot of truth to ‘if it bleeds it leads’.) There wasn’t a beautiful young woman involved. From a public interest standpoint, there’s nothing remarkable about a Hilltop gas station getting robbed over the weekend.

Having said all that, it’s important to point out that none of this justifies a criminal pointing a gun at an innocent person just doing his job and robbing him. Being the victim of a robbery is an extremely traumatic event. And it’s one that cries out for justice. I entirely understand the victim’s stepfather wanting to put a spotlight on this and find the perpetrator. And while it may not seem like it, the police department really does want to find this guy. But today they’re going to be responding to another robbery. And tomorrow another. Most of these you will never hear about. Some will be solved. Some will not. All of them will leave their mark on their victim.

The crime rate in Tacoma has gone down dramatically over the years. Unfortunately, it is not so low that the media or sites like this can cover all of the violent crime in Tacoma. Perhaps that’s not a possibility in a city of almost 300,000 people. I feel for the victims of any crime in Tacoma. I wish there were something more that I could do, but I don’t have the time or access to the information to write about it all.

-          Jack Cameron

5 Question Friday With Ashley Looker, Holistic Health Counselor & Coach

ashleyAs anyone who knows me will attest, I’m an atheist who tends not to believe in or endorse things that don’t have some sort of grounding in hard science. I’m not religious. I don’t rely on horoscopes. And during this past year of significant medical problems, all of the solutions exclusively involved western medicine. And so it might seem a little strange that this week’s 5 Question Friday is with Ashley Looker, a Holistic Health Counselor & Coach. But I’m someone who thinks it’s important to talk with people you don’t agree with. I find it’s often a great way to learn new things and see areas where I might agree after all.

Here’s Ashley:

1. What is holistic health?

Holistic health is an alternative way to looking and approaching wellness. Unlike going to a western medicine physician and being prescribed a pill for an ailment or symptom, holistic health practitioners look into all areas of a person’s life that could potentially be affecting their health. Holistic health is essentially “whole-body” health. With my clients we discuss not only nutrition and exercise, but also relationships, career, home environment, spirituality, joy, and purpose.

 

2. What’s the biggest misconception of holistic health?

The biggest misconception of holistic health is that people think it’s weird, quirky, and “out there.” The word holistic has somehow been associated with psychics, intuitive healers, monks, and energy workers. Many people think I am going to read their mind, wear Birkenstocks, have dreads and make them eat tree bark, which is never the case! As a Holistic Health Counselor I help people understand how all areas of their life can impact them physically and how, for example, a stressful job or relationship can manifest itself as irregular digestion, food allergies, or cravings. I teach people that food and health do not have to be complicated, and that food truly is medicine.

 

3. At what point do holistic health and traditional healthcare techniques meet?

Sadly, there are not many traditional western physicians that practice with a holistic approach. Most MD’s were not taught to ask their patients about nutrition, relationships, or work, but instead how to diagnose and the medications that will treat their symptoms. As a matter of fact, most MD’s only receive about 6 hours of nutrition training while in medical school. However, there are some amazing physicians out there who were classically trained in western medicine but through personal experience and years of helping others, have truly seen the impact that food and a positive lifestyle can have. These doctors include Deepak Chopra, Mark Hyman, Andrew Weil, and the great Dr. Oz. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that western medicine can save people’s lives and that we have some of the best treatments in the world for some people; however, I also believe that if we were taught about the importance of food and holistic health, many people could be treated without having to put synthetic medicine in their bodies, which only hide symptoms, don’t treat them.

 

4. What can someone who is interested in holistic health in Tacoma do if they want to learn more or get involved?

Tacoma is awesome in the fact that there are so many open-minded and eclectic individuals that live here, and there are many places where you can learn more about holistic health. Many of the yoga studios in the area teach from a very health-conscious approach, so that may be a great place to start introducing yourself to holistic health (and it’s cost effective as well). Another great place to learn more is to visit Good Karma Center For Joy located at 711 St. Helen’s Ave. They offer yoga and meditation classes, art classes, massage, counseling, aromatherapy, and acupuncture. This is also the space that I work out of and have found it to be so amazing because we all work together to provide many levels of self-care: creative, mental, spiritual, and physical. I love what I do!

 

5. What is the one thing you’d like everyone to know about holistic health?

The one thing I so wish everyone knew about holistic health is that it truly works, and that anyone facing weight, food, and other health concerns should look into it as one of their options.I have helped many of my clients overcome Diabetes, depression, anxiety, cravings, and improve their overall happiness. When I was 23 years old I started experiencing severe joint pain, so much so that I couldn’t even steer the steering wheel in my car. My doctor told me I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and prescribed me a medication that’s side effects included leukemia, cancer of the female organs, hair loss, chronic fatigue, and nausea. I was scared as hell but knew there was no way I could take the medication. I knew I had to look into different options, so I started with my diet. I had always thought I was healthy because I was thin and I exercised, but in reality my diet was complete crap, the people I surrounded myself with were toxic, and I was stressed to the max. Within two years of diet and lifestyle changes, my joint pain had nearly disappeared. I am living proof this “weird, quirky” stuff does work.

I’d like to thank Ashley for taking the time to participate in 5 Question Friday. You can learn more about Ashley at her website www.uniqueholistichappiness.com. She’s also offering a free 30 minute consultation for those who are interested. Ashley can also be found on  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkdIn.

If you think you or someone you know might want to participate in 5 Question Friday, drop me a line at jackcameronis@gmail.com.

-          Jack Cameron

First Tacoma Homicide of 2014 Charles (Chucky) Williams

chuckywillsIt was supposed to be a celebration of the life of a recent homicide victim. Unfortunately, it would also be the location of Tacoma’s first homicide of 2014. This Friday would have been Jalon Bea’s 18th birthday. Saturday night, friends of his had gathered at a nightclub in the 2600 block of 6th Ave. The party broke up around 1:30am on Sunday morning. What happened next was captured on video. Someone fired seven quick shots and ran as people scattered. Nineteen year old Charles Williams was killed in the gunfire. His friends called him Chucky.

Charles was Jalon Bea’s cousin. Police are still looking for Chucky’s murderer. They’re asking everyone who was there to contact the Tacoma Police Department immediately. I’ve posted a link to the video below. Anyone who was there or who recognizes anyone should contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. There is currently a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer.

The killing of Charles Williams marks the first homicide in 126 days. Directly after Charles’ murder there was talk online of Tacoma’s old reputation of being a cesspool of gang violence. This reputation was well earned from the crime-filled days of the early 1990s, but it’s hardly an accurate account of present day Tacoma.

Unfortunately, violent deaths like that of Charles Williams is part of living in a city. It shouldn’t happen, but it does. We can only take comfort in the fact that it doesn’t happen often.

As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew Chucky. Every comment is moderated.

-          Jack Cameron

5 Question Friday With Christina Wheeler of the Nearsighted Narwhal

logoI just released a new edition of my self-destruct book, Ruin Your Life. I wrote it, formatted it, created the cover, and published it. I’m a publisher as well as a writer. Later this year, I’m releasing an ebook about running Kickstarter campaigns and a Tacoma-based crime novel. When it comes to Tacoma and publishing, I’m very interested in the things going on in this town. So when I heard about the Nearsighted Narwhal I reached out to Christina Wheeler, the mastermind behind the Nearsighted Narwhal.

Here’s Christina:

1. What is The Nearsighted Narwhal?

The Nearsighted Narwhal is a storefront that is planning on opening in the summer of 2014. Spaceworks has accepted our application and will be helping to place us in a vacant storefront sometime this summer.

Our main focus is on self-publishing. We are a consignment store for anyone who has ever printed their own books, zines, music, comics, or made their own CDs . We will also have a zine/comic creation area in the store along with workshops on self-publishing and the myriad facets of putting your words or art out in the mainstream. We’ll also have a listening station set up to listen to-and buy-local music. We plan on having special events such as open mic nights, musical performances, 24 hour zine/comic making events in which the store will stay open for a full day to accommodate the creators, along with a lot of other fun stuff.

Though our main focus is publishing, we also want to lend a helping hand to people that create other tangible items. We will have a consignment area for these individuals and groups that make buttons, patches, stickers, jewelry, t-shirts, posters, or whatever else the lovely creative community of Tacoma has to offer us. We are open to it all as long as it is handmade.

Our store will also feature visual art from local artists that will be on consignment.

2. What makes this different than other publication companies? 

We are interested in the “little guy”, those individuals that get looked over even though their wares maybe be brilliant and amazing, in favor of more mainstream media. We believe that these underground publishers, these people that choose to take the path less traveled in order to pursue their passions…these are the people that need to be celebrated. They are an untapped creative resource and we’re here to shed some light on them. We want to show people that you don’t need a big publishing contract-though those are nice-to be successful and get your name out there.

Another thing that makes us different is that, as individuals, we are also self-publishers. My partner, Ossain, and I have been in the self-publishing business for years. We understand on an intrinsic level the difficulties that many of these people face on a day-to-day basis and we’re here to help. By opening this store and getting the word out to people who might skip right over the independent publishing shelf at the local bookstore full of mainstream authors, we’re bringing the focus on the people who aren’t censored by editors and publishing company politics. It’s pure unfiltered talent and we’re excited as hell to be able to help.

3. What can people do if they’re interested in participating? 

You can contact us through Facebook, through e-mail (thenearsightednarwhal@gmail.com), through Twitter #Narwhal253, or through our website www.thenearsightednarwhal.com. Once you contact us we will send you the consignment agreement to be completed and signed and given back along with whatever it is you’d like us to sell. That’s it. Super easy.

4. What other local independent artist causes interest you? 

We’re always interested in community building and drumming up interest in the vast well of artistic talent that resides in Tacoma. We’re especially fans of the Art Bus, Creative Colloquy, or any other business or venture that promotes community and focuses on the artist and not turning them into a machine that cranks out works like they’re in front of a conveyor belt.

5. What would you like to see for the future of The Nearsighted Narwhal?

We’d love to be one of the many agents of change in Tacoma for the self-publishers, artists, and other crafty folk. We’d love to spur Tacoma on its way to recognizing the many different talents that this city harbors.

We’d like to be fully established as the self-publisher’s landmark in Tacoma that can help with promoting the DIY community and be involved in the zine festival circuit at some point in the near future. Ideally we envision our store as a place a customer can come to and pick up a zine, a book, a comic, have a cup of coffee, listen to some local music talent, read from their works in front of a crowd of like-minded individuals, eat some locally made goodies, make a button, take a workshop on an area of self-publishing they need help on, and be filled with wonder at the thought of Tacoma being so amazing. Because, you know…it totally is.

I want to thank Christian for joining me for 5 Question Friday. For more information on the Nearsighted Narwhal, check out their website www.thenearsightednarwhal.com.

If you or someone you know wants to participate in 5 Question Friday, drop me a line at jackcameronis@gmail.com.

-       Jack Cameron

An Open Letter To Washington State Governor Jay Inslee

iceGovernor Inslee,

As you are no doubt aware we have an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center here in Tacoma. It currently houses 1,300 people. Most of these people are illegal immigrants. The vast majority of these individuals are not violent criminals. It is a facility to hold individuals until they can be processed and released or deported.

The Detention Center in Tacoma is run by a for-profit company called the GEO Group. The GEO Group is a global for-profit prison company. They are the second largest for-profit prison company in the United States and have more than 95 facilities.

A quick look into the GEO Group finds that when it comes to immigration, the GEO Group is at the forefront of funding anti-immigration legislation. The Associated Press found that the GEO Group is one of several for-profit prison companies that contributed tens of millions of dollars towards anti-immigration lobbyists and candidates.

It’s in their best interests that we lock up as many people as possible for as long as possible. That’s how they make their money. And so they are literally influencing new anti-immigration law in order to lock more people up in their facilities. That alone should be disturbing to anyone as it goes contrary to the basic concept of our rule of law.

However, that’s not all that’s wrong with the GEO Group. A woman in a Texas facility reported being raped by male inmates and shortly after that committed suicide. In March of 2007, her family won a settlement against the GEO Group.

The GEO Group-run Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility in Mississippi is a place where in 2010 the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center issued a legal complaint alleging that the juveniles there (67% of them there for non-violent offenses) were “kicked and punched while handcuffed, and others have been stripped naked and placed in solitary confinement for weeks;”

One need only put the words ‘GEO Group’ and ‘Abuse’ into a Google Search to quickly find a litany of abuse complaints including horrific conditions, inedible food, sexual assault, rape, physical abuse, and death.

Recently, as many as 750 of the inmates in the ICE facility in Tacoma began a hunger strike citing poor conditions. I fear Tacoma may soon be added to the growing list of cities where for-profit prison abuses have resulted in unwanted headlines. It’s clear that this company is not a company that should be making money in Washington State.

Governor Inslee, I recognize the need for a facility such as the detention center here in Tacoma. However, it should not be run by a for-profit company with a lengthy history of corruption and abuse.

Recently you put a stay on executions in this state because you found that the law might not have been applied fairly. I urge you to seek a solution to this situation that gets for-profit prisons out of our state. These companies thrive on taxpayer dollars by locking up our people for as long as possible.

-          Jack Cameron

UPDATE: Sign my petition to Governor Inslee to shut down for-profit prisons in this state.
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/shut-down-for-profit-1.fb58?source=c.fb&r_by=2851726