Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ninth Tacoma Homicide of 2014 Doug Medlock

dougmedlockOn the evening of Friday, August 29th, 20-year-old Doug Medlock was hanging out with a group who decided to rob a local pot dealer. The robbery took place near South 24th and Yakima. Another 20-year-old beat the pot dealer in the head with the butt of his pistol. The last time he hit the dealer the pistol discharged. The bullet hit Doug Medlock in the leg.

About 20 minutes later police arrived at the Jack In The Box on South 23rd and Pacific. It was 9:30pm. They found a 16-year-old and the 20-year-old who shot Doug. Both were very upset. They directed the officers to a car where they found Doug bleeding profusely from his leg injury. Paramedics were called, but the bullet had hit an artery and Doug Medlock bled out becoming the ninth homicide in Tacoma this year. 

Initially the shooter told officers that someone else shot Doug and ran off, but eventually the 16-year-old gave a full account of what happened,

The shooting occurred only a few blocks from St. Joseph’s Hospital. Unfortunately the shooter was unfamiliar with the Tacoma area and had driven downtown to get help. The shooter has been charged with first-degree manslaughter and attempted robbery.The 16-year-old is not being charged.

Police are still looking to talk to anyone who was there when the shooting occurred.

As always, the comments section is moderated by me and is reserved for friends and family who want to share stories and memories of Doug.

- Jack Cameron

Eighth Tacoma Homicide of 2014 Kevin Young

kevinyoungLast Thursday morning, a woman called 911 from a room at the King Oscar Hotel off of South 72nd and Hosmer. Her boyfriend had been shot with a shotgun. The wound was in his gut. He was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Later that afternoon he died from his wounds. His name was Kevin Young. He was 41 years old.

In the days that followed, two men and a woman have been arrested for his murder. Court documents show that an acquaintance of Kevin’s girlfriend was hanging out with them. They went to a nearby ATM where Kevin got out $30. Shortly after that the woman met with two men outside. One of the men wore a mask and had a shotgun. They entered the room. Kevin handed over the money and the man in the mask shot him. The entire robbery took less than twenty seconds.

While the arrests will hopefully get his friends and family justice, the pain of the loss of Kevin remains.

Kevin Young is the eighth Tacoma homicide victim this year. He had at one point worked for a fishing company in Alaska and more recently for Commercial Metals Company. He was the father of two.

As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew Kevin who want to share stories and tell us about him and his life.

- Jack Cameron

5 Question Friday With Pacific Grill’s Gordon Naccarato

Seven years ago if you wanted to go to a really nice restaurant in downtown Tacoma, your choices were few. That when Gordon Naccarato opened Pacific Grill. Gordon agreed to join me for 5 Question Friday and tell us a bit about his restaurant and some other things. Here’s Gordon:

1) For those who don’t know, what is Pacific Grill?
PG is my restaurant in the gorgeous Waddell building in downtown Tacoma. We serve contemporary American cuisine, and a great all-day Happy Hr.

2) Why is Tacoma a good place for a restaurant?
When we opened PG 7 years ago I think Tacoma was under-served in terms of quality restaurants, and certainly in chef-owned, non-corporate chain restaurants.

3) What are some of your favorite places to get a bite to eat in Tacoma?
I love the Lobster House on 38th in the International District for good Asian food and next door El Zócalo that serves amazing and delicious tortas (that are enough for 2 meals)– and has an attached bakery. Charlie McManus does a great job at Primo Grill and Crown Bar. And I do love the great breakfasts they are serving at DOA. But I love driving to Seattle or Portland to learn something new and see what is going on. And I just got back from Los Angeles where I went out to eat day & night (and one day had 3 lunches with my daughter cause I had to try so many new places!)

4) What food is highly underrated?
Ramen. I love ramen, pho and Saimin (in Hawaii). But if I could have only one it would be ramen. Although I appreciate how unstructured Saimin can be– in Hawaii it as if Pho & Ramen had a wild child named Saimin that can be quite untraditional and really delicious. Even the cheap-ass ramen is delicious (especially if you add some Vietnamese Curry powder to the base, some fresh grated ginger, cilantro, mint and basil– and even a tablespoon of chunky peanut butter too!)

5) What are your plans for the future of Pacific Grill?
I am working on several new projects. It is hard to say which may come to fruition first. But I am considering shaking things up a bit on the PG menu in the near future.

I want to thank Gordon for taking the time to be part of 5 Question Friday. You can check out Pacific Grill for yourself at 1502 Pacific Avenue.

If you think you or someone you know would be interested in participating inf 5 Question Friday, drop me a line at jackcameronis@gmail.com

- Jack Cameron

What’s With The Lack of Updates?

For the most part, I try to make TacomaStories.com about Tacoma and the people in it rather than about me. However, I felt I should explain why there have been a distinct lack of updates lately. Basically, I’ve had a very, very bad month. Without getting into too much detail, I was briefly hospitalized due to chest pains, my son was in an accident that almost killed him, a friend of mine killed himself, and my wife and I split up, and I moved. This all happened over the course of about five weeks. Needless to say, updating my websites became less of a priority.

The bad news is that I’m not quite ready to get things up and running again. The good news is that when I do, it’s going to be more than just 5 Question Fridays and write ups of local homicide victims. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, anyone interested in doing 5 Question Friday can still email me at jackcameronis@gmail.com

Thanks for reading.

-          Jack Cameron

Help Catch A Hit & Run Driver

On July 5th just after 8pm Theresa Crowley was crossing the street at the intersection of North 26th and North Shirley Street. The sun was going down but there was still plenty of daylight. As she was crossing the street someone in a silver Volkswagen hatchback ran into her. She has serious injuries to her pelvis and skull. She is currently recovering at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Witnesses say the car sped up as it left the scene.

Theresa is 52-years-old. She’s survived breast cancer twice. She has battled tough odds before and I hope she has a quick recovery from her injuries.

The vehicle is described as a 2009-2011 silver Volkswagen hatchback with chrome wheels and a roof rack. If you were a witness to this accident or have any information about this vehicle, contact Detective Jeff Turner at 253-591-5986 or email him at jturner@cityoftacoma.org.

- Jack Cameron

Stephanie Anne Johnson’s Guitar Has Been Stolen

Last night talented singer and guitarist Stephanie Anne Johnson had her guitar stolen from her car on Capital Hill. The guitar is a Ibanez Exotic Wood Acoustic Electric Guitar in Zebrawood. She affectionately calls is Tigerlilly. There is abalonie inlay around the second hole. Frets two and three are slightly run down due to capo use. Also stolen with the guitar was a third generation iPad, iPad case, and a hard guitar case.

Stephanie is an old friend. You can check out her music here.  She created the image below to get the word out. Feel free to share the image with everyone and anyone. Let’s reunite Stephanie with Tigerlilly.

Vicci

Funny story. About two weeks ago, I was contacted by someone representing Vicci Martinez. They gave me a link to download her new album a couple of weeks its release date in the hopes that I’d write about it. I downloaded the album, listened to it, and wrote a review. I was going to post that review this past weekend but somehow my computer ate it. So I had to start over.

This turned out to be a good thing. After listening to the album a bit more, my opinion of it has changed. Last year, when Vicci Martinez was on the Voice she was nice enough to participate in a 5 Question Friday interview. And they’d been nice enough give me an early preview of her new album. I didn’t want to make Vicci and her people mad at me but I wanted to be honest.

So my first review talked about how Vicci used to be a barefoot girl with a guitar belting out songs on a small stage in various local venues and how her new album, ‘Vicci’, has such a high production value that you kind of lose that girl behind a bunch of processed music. It was a somewhat easy thing to write. I mean it’s a story we’ve already heard a hundred times where the little indie artist gets signed to a big record label and loses all her indie cred.

I can’t really say how happy I am that I lost that review because I wasn’t really paying attention. This isn’t an artist selling out. This is an artist buying in. Sure, there aren’t a lot of things I like better than a girl with a guitar and a song, but even though there’s production value dripping from every track on ‘Vicci’, each of the songs would easily work acoustically. And the songs themselves are solid.

I know that these days people tend to just pay attention to singles and not the entire album, but I’m going to briefly talk about each of the songs on the album in the order they are on the album. I’m not really a music reviewer and I don’t read music reviews so I have no idea if this is the sort of thing I’m supposed to do or not. Luckily, I don’t care.

‘Vicci’ starts off with ‘Come Along’ which features her costar from The Voice, Cee-Lo Green. It’s catchy as all hell. It’s one of those songs that just sinks into your head and you find yourself singing along without even meaning to.

Next up, is a song called ‘Run, Run, Run’. Vicci has said that this song had a lot to do with her moving from her hometown of Tacoma to LA in pursuit of her music career. I can hear that in the song. And it definitely has a California vibe to it.

‘Out of Control’ is a song about a spiraling relationship. It’s a bit clichéd and not really the sort of song I enjoy.

Luckily, the next song, ‘I Can Love’ is probably my favorite song on the album. Vicci says, “Sometimes we don’t feel our best, and we can let things and people bring us down.  This song is about empowerment and to remind us that we do have hearts and we should use them.” That sounds about right. If you’re looking for a song to lift you out of a bad mood and remind yourself what you’re capable of, this is just what you’re looking for of. On top of that, Vicci’s voice knocks this track out of the park. Great stuff.

After a power track like that, Vicci follows that with ‘Hold Me Darlin’, a sad song about just wanting to be held. I’m a lyrics guy so what I noticed most was that the chorus not only says “I’m sorry.”, it also says “I’m weak.”  That right there is a vulnerable line. I think anyone who has been in a dying relationship can relate to this song.

It’s nice to have some girl-power songs and love songs, but sometimes you just want a song about sex. “Not Washing You Off of Me” is just that. It’s raw, sexy, and just a bit fun. Though there’s a couple points in the song where it sounds like R2-D2 is doing backing vocals. But the nerd in me has no problem with that.

“I Want Your Kiss” is exactly what it sounds like. It’s not so much about sex as it is about wanting and fantasizing. It’s fun and gets points for using the word ‘superfly’ if nothing else.

“Let Go” is a sad ballad that is just heartbreaking. I’m not entirely sure if it’s about a dead lover or just dead love. Either way, it’s sweet, powerful, and sad. I’m betting this is the most personal song on the album. The line “If you could see me all grown up, would you be proud, who I am now?” is haunting to me.

“Touch That Fire” is one of those songs that I’m sure a lot of people like but it’s just not my style. I can’t point out anything wrong with it. It’s a solid pop song. I just don’t like it.

The album ends with “Little Faith” which almost sounds like something from the poppy mall music of the 1990s. I was a teenager in the 90s so it gives me this nostalgic vibe that makes me smile.

So is ‘Vicci’ the barefoot girl with the guitar that you remember from way back when? Kind of. Early Vicci Martinez music is to the new ‘Vicci’ album what Avengers comic books are to the new Avengers movie. It’s clear that a lot of money has been well spent taking something many people love and turning it into something even more people will love. It’s not my favorite album I’ve listened to this year, but every time I listen to it, I like it more. And I’ve still got ‘Come Along’ stuck in my head.

‘Vicci’ will be released on June 19th.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

- Jack Cameron