Monthly Archives: October 2012

Ninth Tacoma Homicide of 2012, Robert Meline

In the early morning hours of Thursday, October 25th, Robert Meline’s 29-year-old son drank a cup of coffee. Two years earlier he’d been released from Western State Mental hospital for treatment of paranoid schizophrenia. He was deemed ‘no longer an imminent threat to himself or those around him.’ Earlier in the week he’d bought a hatchet and told Robert Meline that he was going to kill him.

At just after two in the morning Robert Meline was attacked and killed by his son wielding a hatchet. He was 56 years old. Robert’s screams woke his daughter who found her brother on the stairs carrying a bloody hatchet. She then took her brother down the Pierce County Jail to turn himself in.

Robert was a sixth grade teacher in Bethel School District. By all accounts he was well liked and an all around positive person.  He had been with the school district for over twenty years.

It would be easy to cast blame on Western State and the status of our mental health facilities but unfortunately it’s not a simple problem that can be fixed easily and not every dangerous individual appears to be such before something violent happens.

As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew and remember Robert Meline and want to share with us what he was like.

–          Jack Cameron

How Tacoma Was Forever Cured Of Bieber Fever

Tuesday Justin Bieber played the Tacoma Dome. I didn’t attend. Wednesday Justin Bieber got on Twitter and told his 28 million fans that someone at the concert has stolen his and his manager’s stuff. He called the event ‘lame’ and ‘disrespectful’. However, it turns out that Bieber never filed a police report with Tacoma Police. And security footage from the Tacoma Dome shows that no theft actually took place. And now it turns out that the entire thing was a publicity stunt for his new music video.

In the past, Tacoma was known for its crime and rightly so. The early 90s had an influx of gang members from California that turned certain parts of this city into a small war zone. However, in the 20 years since then, Tacoma has improved and changed. Like any other city, we still have our share of crime, but to make an accusation that thieves stole his stuff during a concert, Justin Bieber inflames a stereotype and he did it for his own publicity.

There’s more to it than that though. By saying there was a theft in the Tacoma Dome, Bieber effectively calls into question the security of the Tacoma Dome. This can make it so other, more talented acts don’t come to Tacoma. Sure, it’s out now that it’s a lie, but I think it’s safe to say that not everyone who heard of the theft is going to hear that it wasn’t real.  The Tacoma Dome should sue Justin Bieber and they should never invite him back. In fact, the City of Tacoma should declare this city a Bieber-free zone.

Justin Bieber, take your cheap lies and your bad music and don’t ever come back. You’re not welcome  in the City of Destiny.

–          Jack Cameron

Eighth Tacoma Homicide Of 2012, Jimmy Arevalo

30-year-old Jimmy Arevalo was at house party in the 2000 block of South 29th Street on Saturday night. In the early hours of Sunday morning a stranger arrived in a light colored SUV. Witnesses say that he wasn’t known to them but may have arrived with someone else. Jimmy and the stranger got into some sort of argument that ended when the stranger pulled out a gun and shot once into the ground and multiple times into Jimmy Arevalo.

As of this writing, no one has been arrested and no suspect has been identified. It is thought that Jimmy did not know his killer. This marks the eighth homicide in Tacoma this year. Typically we are closer to twelve or thirteen by this point in the year. Not that a lower crime rate does anything for the grieving families of those who are taken from us.

As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew Jimmy to share whatever they want to share about Jimmy and his life.

Here’s hoping Jimmy’s killer is caught and caught quickly.

UPDATE: Police have made an arrest in the killing of Jimmy Arevalo.

– Jack Cameron

5 Question Friday With Jennifer Giles From Tacoma’s MASH!

If you’re a beer lover, the Northwest is like Heaven. Some of the best beers in the world are brewed here. And some of the best beer stores are here. So it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that if you want to make your own beer, Tacoma has a place to help get you set up. I contacted Jennifer Giles at MASH to join us for 5 Question Friday and tell us all about homebrewing Tacoma-style.


1. What is MASH?

MASH is the manifestation of a dream for a small, local boutique-style homebrew shop in our town that creates a close-knit community where brewers can come to learn about beer making at the beginner and all-grain level and where they can exchange ideas and love of homebrew.

2. How did MASH get started?

After many years in the corporate world, I encouraged Jason to step away and figure out what he loves to do most and to find something that works best for our family.  We decided to live on a shoestring budget and reprioritize our lives.  In doing so, we got 3 chickens, planted gardens, cooked more, and Jason began to brew more often.  One thing led to another and we decided that a homebrew shop in our neighborhood, where we could teach the brewing process and share our passion with our community, was a perfect fit.  We also wanted to create a space that was warm, friendly, and unintimidating for both men and women. We waited for the right time and place, and last January our location on N. 21st opened up and we started the process!  We had incredible support from our friends who helped make it all happen!

3. What are the biggest misconceptions when it comes to home brewing?

The biggest misconception around  homebrewing is that it must be hard to make beer.  Jason’s phrase that he uses to describe homebrewing to people is this: “It’s not rocket science.  It’s just beer”.  Beer-making is very similar to making a large batch of tea; only you add yeast at the end.  Part of the vision of MASH was to create an environment that reflected that simplicity so when new brewers come to see us, they think, “That’s it?  That’s all I need to make my own beer?”  Yes, it is that simple.

4. What is your advice for someone who wants to get started in home brewing?

The advice we give people who want to start homebrewing is to start small.  Like any hobby, you can invest as much or as little as you want.  We don’t want people to feel that they have to refinance their house to be able to pursue homebrewing.  It can be done with a simple pot on a stove and a carboy.  That’s how we started after all.

5. What are your plans for the future of MASH?

In the future, we see ourselves hosting brewing clubs and potentially doing a brew co-op.  When we host brew clubs, we will then be able to have our homebrewers share their beers at our store with other brewers and exchange ideas and methods.  It looks as if in a few months, the group H.O.P.S. (Homebrewers of Puget Sound) will be gathering on Friday nights at MASH to do just that! We are super excited to have them!  We are so greatful to be where we are in all of this and we couldn’t do it without the amazing support from the town we love!

Thanks to Jennifer Giles for joining me. You can visit MASH at 2714 North 21st Street or stop by their Facebook page at

As always if you or someone you know wants to participate in a future 5 Question Friday, contact me at

–          Jack Cameron