KFnet in T-Town

Aug. 1, 2008 at 6:53pm

Volcano Labels Frost Park'ers "Bigots"

The Weekly Volcano is often good for a laugh but the tongue in cheek note regarding Frost Park in the 2008 Best of Tacoma goes too far. Titled "Best Pointless Protest" the piece pokes fun at the folks that weekly enjoy the park during their lunch hour and has now become an inspirational place for active chalk art each week. It goes on to describe the "regular" inhabitants of the park as "dirty poor people who, like a broken window, attract more dirty poor people, some of whom commit crimes."

My favorite line is the next one that completely crosses the line of a group doing very positive things in an otherwise ignored part of downtown. After another bit trying to further describe the park regulars it says the folks that stop by on Friday's are a "bunch of bigots decided to displace first, and ask questions later. Hey, it's better than building a fence around it."

The implication of the word "bigots" here is atrocious and should be completely below even the Volcano's usual standards for print. I could laugh it off and say "Oh, they're so silly those button-pushers," but I'm not. The activity in Frost Park every week is a positive way to lend attention to a great corner of downtown that all kinds of people should enjoy. Poke fun, stop by and participate, but don't stoop to the level of pitting one group of people against another like that. We always offer up an incredibly welcoming environment for art each week and have had plenty of "regulars" join in. All are, and will always be, welcome.

Author JH and the Volcano should be ashamed. To everyone who enjoys and participates what goes on at Frost Park each Friday: cheers to you. The Volcano doesn't know it's ass from a caldera in this case so thankfully I don't even have a link to provide since these gems aren't yet posted on their website. Besides, it's better to simply ignore this kind of tripe than to even give them and their sponsors a click through.


See? No content.

comments [61]  |  posted under best of tacoma, bigots, frost park, tacoma, weekly volcano

Comments

by Erik on 8/1/2008 @ 7:12pm
Strange article since a good portion of downtown merchants, artists and people downtown have taken part in a chalk off so far in one way or another.

Since they blew the first story on Frost Park and caught a lot of flack for it, they still look pretty resentful having to redact it:

I didn't realize you were in the process of taking back the park, but well done. My fault for not making the connection. I retract my claim on Frost Park for the Weekly Volcano and gladly award it to you and your dad.

weeklyvolcano.typepad.com/spew/2008/02/t...

Then again, trying to breath life into a downtown park that has been off-limits for normal use for 30 years is not going to be easy. As dysfunctional as the status quo was, it was familiar.



tacomathenandnow.typepad.com/

by jenyum on 8/1/2008 @ 7:44pm
I just sent Ron a whole bunch of pictures of today....Argh.

The article's not actually up on the website either, so I can't read it.

by NineInchNachos on 8/1/2008 @ 7:49pm
JH is John Herbert!

the dude is golden

www.weeklyvolcano.com/2008-07-17/mudroom...

by NineInchNachos on 8/1/2008 @ 8:11pm
I'm just happy The Traveller won best gadfly this round.

by ensie on 8/1/2008 @ 8:59pm
As I've pointed out on many an occasion, the Volcano's writing is terrible and they consistently make bad editorial choices. This continues their tradition of poor taste. Not surprising in the least, unfortunately.

by Mofo from the Hood on 8/1/2008 @ 9:18pm
It's not the bigots that keep me away from the weekly chalk art event. It's the possibility of having to share Frost Park with one of that newspapers homophobes?

by rithean on 8/1/2008 @ 9:27pm
When I read that article I thought, so what is the staff of the Volcano doing to make Frost Park a better place since they think that weekly art is not good enough?

by NineInchNachos on 8/1/2008 @ 9:34pm
mofo: enjoyed your 'letter to the editor' in this weeks volcano with respect to the 'what would jesus do article'

by NineInchNachos on 8/1/2008 @ 9:43pm
maybe bigot is one of those words that has been used so many times in inappropriate circumstances it loses all meaning (viz. fascist., democracy, terrorist, homophobe, hillary clinton et al.)

by KevinFreitas on 8/1/2008 @ 9:45pm
It's practically a term of endearment.

by NineInchNachos on 8/1/2008 @ 9:46pm
also it is disquieting to see kevin's passions all aflame. What happened to the easy going nice guy at the Tacoma Club Luncheon?


by jenyum on 8/1/2008 @ 9:50pm
I stopped by and grabbed a copy in the Shuck's parking lot after Club Tweenie tonight.

The way it is written, it sounds as though John Herbert hasn't heard anything about the event since the first two weeks in February, or maybe he wrote it then and they neglected to notice that it's become a free community art phenomenon. Either way, bad. No pass, sorry. Even had it stopped after those two weeks, not appreciating the "bigot" thing.

by ensie on 8/1/2008 @ 10:25pm
Seeing as Spew (aka The Volcano) is part of the Feed Tacoma community, and from time to time I've seen at least one person who writes for the Volcano present at Frost Park, I think it's safe to say that they are familiar with Frost Park and the Chalk Challenge. So there really is no excuse.

by tacomachickadee on 8/1/2008 @ 11:37pm
This is disappointing.

Every week I see evidence about why this event is more inclusionary than many think.

People who do not follow FeedTacoma.com have tripped across the event and been more than pleased and even become regulars.

Folks who frequent Frost Park not for just Friday lunches have 1) jumped in on the chalking, 2) been offered cookies by the Pink Cookie Ladies' kids, 3) many have chatted about how they enjoy the park art, and 4) Frost Park folk -- both the lunchers and the chalkers -- are not trying to kick anyone out of the park. Simply trying to use the park ... and spread the word.

I can't count on my fingers, or even my fingers and toes, how many people I've mentioned Frost Park Fridays to -- and the chalk-offs -- and had folks wonder where the heck Frost Park is. I've made plans to meet at Frost Park with a friend on an off-day only to have her be waiting up at Pierce Transit park by the Pantages instead.

What happens at Frost Park on Fridays, whether you're a chalker or a luncher or a passerbyer or a friend of a friend of a friend who tripped across the weekly gathering goes beyond any "taking back the park" jibber-jabber that may have been tossed out at the beginning. This is true evidence of community grass roots gathering. There are regulars, but it is not a clique. The cast of characters changes by the week, and it has grown into something bigger than its beginnings. It has taken on a life of its own.

And more people now know about Frost Park ... and the fallen Tacoma Police Officer whose name is on the plaque. In fact, I believe this park is even dedicated in honor of many people who have died in service to the City of Tacoma.

And in their honor, we gather at Frost Park. We lunch at Frost Park. We chalk at Frost Park. And we talk about Frost Park. And more people learn about where Frost Park is and why it is and begin to gather there.

This week's Volcano article not only did a dis-service to the lunchers and chalkers and gatherers who choose to venture to Frost Park on Fridays, but also dishonors those who have given their lives for Tacoma.

It is sad.

But the spirit of Frost Park lives on. And the Frost Park Friday lunches, and the Frost Park Chalk-offs continue to take on lives of their own. Lives that their founders cannot control, and lives that naysayers cannot squash.

There were new folks at Frost Park this week. Folks who did not hear of the event through the Internet. Folks who said they can't wait to come back. Can't wait to bring their kids back to show them a true slice of community spirit. Folks who are the future of what Tacoma can and should and could and will be.

I can't wait to see who shows up next week.

by justagirl on 8/2/2008 @ 12:14am
It's interesting to think that if "a bunch of bigots" hadn't displaced gang activity and shootouts in the Hilltop, a bunch of Volcano happy spots wouldn't exist.

What's next: East Side community activists being called bigots for trying to make their neighborhood safer?

by Mofo from the Hood on 8/2/2008 @ 12:19am
I would enjoy reading a Tacoma newspaper that I could take seriously. Haven't found that yet. The Volcano is kind of challenging, like the 1970's comedy style of Andy Kaufmann. Kaufmann could develop a routine where he started calling someone a bigot, and that someone who has never seen or heard of Kaufmann, proceeds to build into an emotional rage as Kaufmann would proceed to escalate the confrontation with this stranger. Kaufmann's routines would blend fact and fantasy with real life disturbing outcomes. Was it art? Was it useful?

Likewise, a person could read the Volcano's patchwork writing styles and if it was an exclusive diet, I think one's conscience could be desensitized; for example, by the paper's stylized use of words like bigot or homophobe. What I mean is that the paper uses much slang and profanity and inflammatory words, and sometimes with the annoying use of punctuation, like the question mark, as a device for denying accountability. If all one read was the Volcano, if everything one knew about the world was filtered through the Volcano, one could in effect develop a skewed and unhelpful view of social life.

It's the same Andy Kaufmann style problem with the Volcano article about Jesus in Tacoma. When I first read that article I thought either it was written by someone completely out of their depth with regards to the subject matter; or it was maybe some kind of satirical challenge to the historical evidence and philosophy of Christianity. Was the article art? Was it useful? Whichever the case its writing style called for a serious response, maybe unintentionally, as a corrective measure. The subject of Jesus and Christianity has been under serious attack for centuries and in the last few decades with the global increase of secularism, a new militant aetheism has sought and is seeking to outlaw religious freedom. Should Christianity become marginalized then I don't see much hope for humanity.

Some of the freak shows that happen right here in Tacoma are a testament that a whole lot of people can't make a distinction between what is politically correct and what is plain correct. Without a social restraint like Christianity, society will degenerate to a state of agnosticism about the ability to know absolute truth, goodness, or justice. Society will degenerate from relativism to pragmatism to scepticism to barbarianism.

We're in a revolution. A cultural and moral revolution. It's a war. And all wars begin with words. Bigot. Homophobe. Christian.

by Girl Who <3 JUNK on 8/2/2008 @ 12:24am
I can't believe the Volcano would write something negative about the Frost Park Chalk-Offs.

I think they should think of the locals feelings and what POSITIVE this has done for the community.

I've met a lot of new friends by watching this great event.

I talk about it all the time with the customers in my shop.

The Volcano should of been in my store yesterday afternoon when I was talking with this lady about this great event.

All of a sudden she starting tearing up.

I ask her "is it something I said". She replied 'I have goosebumps right now, because I use to watch the FROST'S kids and the Frosts were very kind people and I was very close to them.

To know that local artist and the locals are stepping up to stop them from fencing/gating it up and to keep the park alive means so much to me.

She (Laura Lee) was going to try to come down today and thank ALL who are involved and who got it started.


I didn't read the article. But, from the above comments I know it's bad and I don't feel like getting irritated about it.

Oh! Toooo late. I'm irritated!



by tacomachickadee on 8/2/2008 @ 12:30am
Crap. Didn't think I'd ever say these words: Well said Mofo.

Have I just been sockpuppeted on this whole thing? Seriously. Dammit. Because super-seriously, several Volcano-ites have appeared at Frost Park, from Natasha to Steph to a few others at least peripherally involved. Or perhaps the right hand simply does not know what the left hand does?

Ugh. Oh well. I give up.

True or false ... the chalk-offs will continue to grow and prosper. It will continue to breed positive vibes. And chalk will continue to be applied, and later scrubbed off. So woo hoo!

by Erik on 8/2/2008 @ 12:33am
I am not sure what to really make of it.

In Episode II, the Volcano sent some of their reporters to actually submit entries at Frost Park:



www.flickr.com/photos/tacoma-urbanist/24...

Yes, it's true that RR Anderson won Episode II with "Tagro."


by tacomachickadee on 8/2/2008 @ 12:33am
one store: thank you for sharing!

Erik: Whoah. Talk about blasts from the past. The chalk-off has come a long way ... baby. And I'm laughing way too hard ... get it ... baby ... RR ... come a long way ... he now has a baby ... oh, it's so after midnight it's not even funny. Must. Wrench. Self. Away. From. Keyboard. Bad. Horrible. Cheesy. Jokes. Could. Continue ...

by Twisty on 8/2/2008 @ 5:32am
The implication is clear, isn't it? The Volcano obviously prefers that Tacoma remain in a state of dysfunction and decay, although for what reason I can only wonder.


by Dmitri on 8/2/2008 @ 8:03am
How about an award for Most Egregious (hey ... they could use that for their word of the day ... go look it up, spewers) Waste of Ink and Paper.

The Volcano Trophy: Spewing shit proudly. Hmmm ... maybe if they started using newsprint in the bathroom and toilet paper to print on ... or is that what they already do?

by Twisty on 8/2/2008 @ 8:12am
"Spewing shit proudly. "

Spew is a consistently insipid blog, I will a agree.

by NineInchNachos on 8/2/2008 @ 9:35am
oi

man thats cold...




its easy to kick a free weekly when its down

at least they're acknowledging our existence which is better than nothing right?

I see this whole unfortunate event as an opportunity. We can pull them down, which will really make them not want to help us any... or we can help them which will make them want to help us in return!

so lets turn the other cheek and follow some golden rules.

who would Jesus flame?


keep this in mind.

Anything we do to help improve the volcano's product would directly benefit OUR SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN.

think about that.

instead of reading about pointless protests, they could read about bringing folks together... winning hearts an minds.

maybe they'll be less inclined to do things they'll regret later in their years.

we're all human beings god damn it.

by NineInchNachos on 8/2/2008 @ 9:41am
LOVE is verily a WEAPON of MASS CONSTRUCTION

by jenyum on 8/2/2008 @ 9:52am
yeah, RR, and yet...

...I do want to make it better. But then they do stuff like print libelous things about the event I've been feeding them content from.

In the end, it's a very small blurb in a large article. But they reach an audience that we cannot, by virtue of the print medium. And that audience only gets one side of the story.

I would like to see none of Tacoma's various print media go away, I just wish for better.

by Erik on 8/2/2008 @ 10:08am
Because super-seriously, several Volcano-ites have appeared at Frost Park, from Natasha to Steph to a few others at least peripherally involved.

Very true. Some of the reporters have even become Frost Park contestants.

Its pretty clear some of the Volcano staff individually (at least somewhat) like Tacoma and events like Urban Arts Festival, Frost Park and Farmers Market and voluntarily choose to spend some of their time in Tacoma rather than Seattle.

However, things have never been so straightforward in Tacoma and relation to Seattle and other areas.

As documented a couple of years ago in Tacoma, small media can be easily influenced by outside interests that have a large interest for Tacoma to remain polluted, dilapidated, and vacant:

See

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G6xBwswjgs

and the updated report:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf8UPTMVIIw

Also, bashing Tacoma and any events in Tacoma here is common practice for people who align themselves with Seattle or other cities.

Here's a sampling from the Stranger forums:

Tacoma may have done their downtown up nice... However, you can slap a coat of paint on a piece of shit, but it's still a piece of shit. If you're wondering why Tacoma has a reputation of being a crime ridden ghetto... it's probably because Tacoma IS a crime-ridden ghetto.

forums.thestranger.com/showthread.php?t=...

by Ron on 8/2/2008 @ 10:19am
Kevin and the Frost Park artists,

First, I apologize for not responding sooner. I took a day off after long hours working on the Best of Tacoma, which I’m very proud of.

I am not proud of the Frost Park paragraph. I apologize for not doing my job well. That paragraph should have never been published in the Best of Tacoma. It got by me. That is not the opinion of the Weekly Volcano or Spew. Every week, except yesterday while I was off, we run the official poster on Spew reminding people to go to Frost Park and enjoy the art, and the amazing community-building event Kevin created. We will continue to remind our readers to check out/participate in this creative and fun event — hopefully with the blessing from those who created it, and participate in it.

I have lived and worked in Tacoma for 44 years. I love Tacoma. It’s my home. I love its history and its grittiness. I also love its current renaissance. I think it’s important to celebrate both.

As stated on our Web site the Best of Tacoma will not be posted until next Thursday. It wouldn’t be fair to all the advertisers that supported the print product. I will not post the Frost Park paragraph, but instead post a retraction. I agree — it’s inappropriate, and NOT the opinion of the Weekly Volcano.

Please accept my apology. I’m truly sorry. The Frost Park Chalk Challenge is the Best of Tacoma in action, every Friday.

Ron Swarner
Editor
Weekly Volcano

by jenyum on 8/2/2008 @ 10:50am
I very much hoped it was an oversight and I appreciate your direct apology.

Erik, funny that you pull that Stranger forum post because Gomezticator is the original Seattle *sshole who sparked a day long Livejournal flamewar and created the Good Days in Tacoma Project (which gave birth to Tacomamama) the next day. I really ought to send that guy some roses.

edited to add: having said that, PLEASE don't start up that thread again.

So all that negative energy can be turned. We all just have to keep on keeping on, stick our fingers in our ears and chant "nya nya nya I can't hear you."

by Twisty on 8/2/2008 @ 11:07am
"...That paragraph should have never been published in the Best of Tacoma."

Huh? So, it would have been OK elsewhere in the Volcano?

by Mandiferous on 8/2/2008 @ 11:22am
Oh, don't be like that. He apologized.

And maybe it WOULD have been ok elsewhere in the Volcano. Newspapers have editorial sections for a reason.

Kudos to Ron.

by intacoma on 8/2/2008 @ 11:50am
takes balls to apologize kudos indeed

by Dave_L on 8/2/2008 @ 11:55am
Thanks very much for the touching anecdote, one-store. While doing some research on Frost, I read about his family and have wondered if they or their friends were still around here.
I like the info the Volcano for the reviews, information, and such. But for a while it has felt (but I wasn't quite sure) like there has been a a shift towards negativity and confrontation by certain writers, and subtle ridicule of other events and articles. And some total fluff that must be for market segments other than my narrow one. There may be a mis-informed point in there somewhere, but I couldn't figure out at all what this writer's aim and focus was, and how it got through. Hey, Ron's cool, and has been an integral part of Tacoma art

by Dave_L on 8/2/2008 @ 12:11pm
Thanks very much for the touching anecdote, one-store. While doing some research on Frost, I read about his family and have wondered if they or their friends were still around here.
I like the info the Volcano for the reviews, information, and such. But for a while it has felt (but I wasn't quite sure) like there has been a a shift towards negativity and confrontation by certain writers, and subtle ridicule of other events and articles. And some total fluff that must be for market segments other than my narrow one. There may be a mis-informed point in there somewhere, but I couldn't figure out at all what this writer's aim and focus was, and how it got through. Hey, Ron's cool, and has been an integral part of Tacoma art and culture for a long time, and if he apologizes, he means it. Like RxR said, let's make this a positive thing, and keep spewing that chalk.

(Sorry for my double-post.. the editing feature bit me)

by ensie on 8/2/2008 @ 12:42pm
Ron,

Appreciate the apology, although Kevin didn't create this event. The credit goes to several people, including Joe Izenman (who suggested meeting in the park), RR Anderson (who came up with the chalk-off idea), and Erik B. (whose last name I'm not going to try to spell, who works to locate the prizes). Kevin has done a great job of supporting the event online.

But everyone who comes to the park deserves credit - from those amazing artists to those who are just there to have lunch. That's the point of the whole event. Just come down and sit in Frost Park and USE it.

by John Herbert on 8/2/2008 @ 1:07pm
I am not doing this on anyone’s orders, and I wish this medium would allow me to convince you of my sincerity. I wrote something carelessly, and chose my words poorly. I apologize to the people involved in the Frost Park Chalk-offs and every engaged member of the community who had the courage to try and do something they believed to be good. I mean that more than you are likely to believe. I want to be clear that I do not consider the chalk-offs to be anything less than awesome, and believe wholeheartedly that the people who have chosen to spend their lunch hours there have every right to do so. What I wrote was ill-mannered. Sometimes I am ill-mannered. Like you, I thought what I was doing was the right thing. I see now, based on your comments, that I was wrong. I mean that. Though it is clearly indicated by my words, I do not believe the people involved are all bigots. I have done wrong by many good people – active, bright, engaged people. And I have done wrong by the Weekly Volcano, which remains a strong force for diverse public expression and community connections. The Volcano has taken on the daunting challenge of providing the kind of critique that is essential for any healthy community. Social critique is an age old tradition, and one employed by many of the greatest figures in history. I believe this is the tradition the Weekly Volcano is trying to create, despite my poorly chosen 150 words or so, which I now realize crossed a boundary, and perhaps belong in a different category. If I could take back my words, I would. I do not expect that all of you will take this at face value, or accept my honest remorse. For those that do, thank you.
I offer, as explanation and not as excuse, that I have lived in other cities where similar efforts to change the community through environmental design and citizen policing has been driven by bigotry, prejudice, and ill-informed intentions. I do not support criminal activity, and I do not believe that our community should simply sit idly by and allow criminals and so-called ne’er do wells to command public spaces. Far too often, however, I have seen people who are just waiting for the bus, or are broken by tragedy or addiction or mental illness or poverty, get driven away by citizen-action groups who did not take the time to engage the large groups of people they were trying to shuffle about.
I was at Tollefson Plaza the night the Tall Ships came rolling in. I wandered over to the event there after eating nearby. It was the tail end of the thing, and people were packing up. There was a whole lot of chalk art going on, and a whole lot of people who appeared to be having a wonderful time. As I was leaving with some friends, I passed a woman at the top of the stairs. I had seen her when I first passed by, and gathered that she had sat there for at least an hour in roughly the same position - arms crossed and resting on her knees, head down. There was a lot going on, and she was easy to miss, I suppose. We stopped to ask if she was O.K. She lifted her head and mumbled something, and then let her head drop back down. The woman was in her 50s or 60s, black, with long, curly grey hair, held in a dying ponytail. She had been beaten up or fallen a few times in her life, and had scars on her face. She was beautiful, and likely stunningly beautiful 20 years ago. I roused her again, and she said something about having HIV, that her meds were “a doozy”, and wanting to go back somewhere. She said her name was Pamela, and smiled at me for a long time, and looked intently right into my eyes. Her breath smelled like she had been drinking cheap whiskey. She kept moving in and out of consciousness, and we had a strange, broken conversation about who she was, why she was unable to remain conscious, and whether or not she wanted an ambulance. At one point she started wailing and crying, saying that every time she went to the emergency room, the doctors were terrible to her, yelled at her, and told her that she went to the hospital too often. She kept crying, and started taking big, whooping breaths, saying she didn’t want to go to the hospital. She tried to stand up, and immediate sat back down and fell silent again. I asked one more time if I could call her an ambulance. She said, almost inaudibly, “O.K.” She sounded like a reluctant child. While the ambulance was on its way, we talked with her, and she kept patting my arm, saying she wished more people cared enough to talk to her. “Nobody ever talks to me,” she said.
There were dozens of people there – good people - and no one noticed this woman.
Like she was invisible.
There is a kind of desperate rush that occurs in communities trying to resurrect themselves, and there are community organizations, authors, politicians and everyday folk who have documented the process, in protest, as it has occurred in cities like San Francisco, Houston, New York City, and our neighbor to the north. I have seen it first hand while living in each of those cities. I see it happening here as well. The idiom, I believe, is “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” The Take Back Frost Park movement, when it first began, reminded me very much of things I have seen in other cities – tragic things - things that have engendered within me a kind of bigotry. Like many of you, I operate from a mix of best intentions, frustration, fear, and limited awareness. In this case, I believe I was as bigoted as the people I was accusing. Again, I offer no excuses, but hope the above will help you see me as something more than the asshole I appeared to be when writing the critique of the Take Back Frost Park movement. For that, I have no excuse, and beg your forgiveness.
I will say that I have never seen a city where the citizens hold so much power. It gives me hope, and makes me nervous as hell. But RR, who I have grown terribly fond of despite having never met, is right. This needs to be about love. I don’t think I will write anything like that again for a very long time.

John

by Erik on 8/2/2008 @ 1:14pm
Please accept my apology. I’m truly sorry. The Frost Park Chalk Challenge is the Best of Tacoma in action, every Friday.

Ron,

As apologies go, yours was a very good one as you didn't try to justify, contextualize, explain away, or otherwise prop up the smear printed.

Frost Park chalk offs would not be the same without the hundreds of people who have attended, the 15 merchant sponsors, artists and the blogoshere and other media who combined make the event happen every week. The surrounding businesses have been enthusiastic about the event and very supportive as well.

I don't know you apologize to all of them after the Volcano piece which has been printed and sent around Tacoma. But RR might have some ideas given his media skills.


by NineInchNachos on 8/2/2008 @ 2:04pm
I have no particular skills. I'm just a guy.

Mr. Ron & Mr. Herbert are worthy of our affection

Now I want everybody to watch this video and think about what we've learned here.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A2Jt4WOxN8

by Dave_L on 8/2/2008 @ 3:23pm
Adam, I think your record for most word-count in a comment has been obliterated.
Though I loathe the criminal element, I have to admit, in his explanation above, Mr. Herbert does bring up issues that have crossed my mind when contemplating everyone's place in the park. As I sometimes catch myself thinking some people in the park as being invisible. As I run into a business-owner/friend on the way the the park and listen to his frustrations at the throngs of people,mostly non-locals, that gather there committing crime and creating an unpleasant scene. Having mixed emotions as the Police began checking I.D.'s of many of the people in the park (first time I had seen that) and knowing they probably weren't going to ask for mine. Sure, we offer free chalk. But the most unlikely connection occured a few weeks ago when two toddler sisters, whose parents were some of those hanging out at the park, came up to us when we were cleaning the previous week's chalk and insisted on helping us. The Volcano piece was reckless and really stung, but I hope Mr. Herbert doesn't end his social criticism altogether. Let's let Ron and John have their choice of concrete next Friday.

by NineInchNachos on 8/2/2008 @ 4:08pm
Whoa what's up with the ID checking? When did this happen???

by izenmania on 8/2/2008 @ 4:32pm
I don't know what was with the cops... I got the impression they were there because of some incident, because they were there before any of the chalkers talking to some people, and were gone long before the chalking was over.

by NineInchNachos on 8/2/2008 @ 4:57pm
Did they ask to see your I.D. izenmania?

by tacomachickadee on 8/2/2008 @ 6:36pm
It's amazing how a simple piece of chalk art can start a conversation. Because, honestly, I don't think any of us think we're changing the world by going to Frost Park. It's a baby step ... but at least it's a baby step. And quite often passersby of many demographics find reason to strike up a conversation to ask about a piece, ask about the gathering, ask about what's going on ... and when you are trying to take a step forward and bridge a gap, you need a common topic. The Friday gatherings and the chalk-offs are becoming a common topic in which people can start conversations, dig deeper, and come out with a deeper understanding of their fellow Tacomans ... whomever they are.

by Steph DeRosa on 8/2/2008 @ 9:05pm
At first it saddens me to see the entire staff of Volcano writers chastized and stereotyped as one when it comes to a single incident. But then I realize that, yes, we are sometimes one - we are a team. As much as I agree that those 150 words were ill-written, and that an editorial overlook took place - I support Mr. Herbert, Ron Swarmer, and the entire Weekly Volcano.

I recently had a conversation with Mr. Herbert discussing a local project I am involved in, and he gave me nothing but supportive and positive words. His motivation for the personal discussion? Passion for what is local (Tacoma).

Mr. Herbert also has a passion for the Weekly Volcano and the purpose it serves in this community he feels so strongly about. The Weekly Volcano supports and promotes what makes this city amazing - the arts, the music, the people, the food, the politics, and the Frost Park Chalk Off. Please don't forget that.

Tacoma has so many spectacular things to offer, in what other media would they be brought to light as well without the actions of the Weekly Volcano?

Now I feel the need to address some other issues that have been brought up here in the comments section:

Our writing is sometimes smart ass, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, and sometimes "to the left" because we simply want to show personality. Take the Weekly Volcano for what it is, not for what you think it should be.

I never get "sent" anywhere. I don't get "sent" into restrooms, bars, or chalk-offs. I'm also not "sent" to ask people silly questions and then write about it. Ron never tells me to go somewhere, he simply finds me a press pass and lets me do what I want. I do the things I do because I love Tacoma aaaaand because I'm a little crazy.

Why do I think I'm a little crazy? I'm not sure. Too many drugs in college? Perhaps. Do I love who I am? Absolutely.

Remember that we are all human. Behind every word written, whether on blog or in print, there is a person behind it. It's easy to bash people online, when you have the computer to sheild you, and you don't really know them - but just think how you might feel about that person when you actually talk to them and shake their hand. I was personally reminded of that lesson today, actually. (Not having anything to do with this incident.)

Yes, I probably should just shut my mouth and stay the hell outta this, but I sincerely adore the people I work with at the Weekly Volcano. They are like my family - and I will always stand by family.

To the Frost Park people, I respect you. KAke and I showed up like we did in order to show you guys genuine support. RR, Kevin, Joe, etc - keep up the amazing work you have done for Frost Park, and for the now famous Friday Chalk-Offs.


by Erik on 8/2/2008 @ 9:34pm
I don't know what was with the cops... I got the impression they were there because of some incident, because they were there before any of the chalkers talking to some people, and were gone long before the chalking was over.

Yes, before the chalking started, I understand someone had reported drug dealing in Frost Park and the police were called. We just saw the last bit of it.

Because, honestly, I don't think any of us think we're changing the world by going to Frost Park. It's a baby step ... but at least it's a baby step.

The Park is in better shape than last year as far as arrests and fighting from what I can see. Last year it was mayhem.

But its hard to say if chalking had much or anything to do with it. The phone booth that were fueling the drug dealing were removed and D Street Market operates a lot better than last year.

by Rue on 8/2/2008 @ 9:43pm
Well I'm glad this has been resolved and I won't have to cancel my subscription to the Volcano. Chalkers: Keep up the great work!

by herban on 8/2/2008 @ 10:07pm
WOW
WOW
WOW
takes a bigot to know one.
Gretchen

by intacoma on 8/2/2008 @ 11:46pm
for the record your not required to show your license unless your driving a vehicle, they can ask for your name and address. Don't let the tacoma police boss you around

by scout on 8/3/2008 @ 1:20am
Just for the record it wasn't me that reported drug dealing at Frost Park ;-)



by Dmitri on 8/3/2008 @ 8:01am
And I too, belatedly, apologize for my own ill-chosen tantrum way up above.

Never comment before the first cup of coffee.

by Dave_L on 8/3/2008 @ 3:23pm
Mark Monlux wins...
a Spew entry about his victory Friday. Also mentioned is next week's Chalk Challenge Aug 8th, along with Showcase Tacoma. weeklyvolcano.typepad.com/spew/2008/08/m...
Group hug.

by Erik on 8/3/2008 @ 9:41pm
a Spew entry about his victory Friday. Also mentioned is next week's Chalk Challenge Aug 8th, along with Showcase Tacoma. weeklyvolcano.typepad.com/spew/2008/08/m...
Group hug.


Thanks for pointing that out Dave.

I also see he put up Jen's pictures of Frost Park in Volcano's photostream.

www.flickr.com/photos/weeklyvolcano/2728...

Nice gestures by Ron.

Although it took some effort, I was able to find an edition of this week's Weekly Volcano downtown that was not prematurely recycled from the fallout.

Pat Brown of Satellite Coffee, a favorite of both local Tacomans and the Volcano, offered to act as a bridge builder and healer to help bury the hatchet.

Here Pat successfully fills in RR Anderson's puzzle printed in the Volcano for the upcoming Episode 18.

The least I can do is send it through the blogosphere.





www.flickr.com/photos/tacoma-urbanist/27...

Thanks Pat!

by Matt Driscoll on 8/3/2008 @ 10:04pm
I'd just like to point out that something stupid finally made the Volcano that I had nothing to do with.



by ensie on 8/3/2008 @ 10:07pm
@ Matt Driscoll - I know! I was shocked! ;)

by intacoma on 8/3/2008 @ 10:24pm
no joke I figured it was written by Driscoll

by NineInchNachos on 8/3/2008 @ 11:28pm
great use of volcano ad erik!
how many more hipsters can you get to solve the puzzle?

keep it up!

by FunkomaVintage on 8/5/2008 @ 12:15pm
I am enjoying this waaaay too much. The Volcano is bi-polar. They want to be smart and good....but.....sometimes they are just smarmy and smartalecky.....and kinda drunken frat boy.....I blame it on the fact that they are from Lakehood.....er, Lakewood. They wish they had office space in Tacoma.
chalk on chalkers! The folks I know that live in the Merkle, Olympus and ...the Winthrop enjoy you! wink.

by droid116 on 8/5/2008 @ 12:25pm
Man, I take one family vacation and miss all the Chalk Off drama. I think Erik arranged for the plant of the Best Of review just to mix things up a bit. Complete promotional genius Erik.

by Erik on 8/5/2008 @ 1:03pm
Man, I take one family vacation and miss all the Chalk Off drama. I think Erik arranged for the plant of the Best Of review just to mix things up a bit. Complete promotional genius Erik.

Far too complex for anyone to engineer, droid116. However, I think we might might see more of the Volcano in future Frost Park Chalk Off Episodes though.

by Dave_L on 8/5/2008 @ 1:43pm
The folks I know that live in the Merkle, Olympus and ...the Winthrop enjoy you! wink.
Well, send them down then; we’ve got extra chalk. Actually, we often help explain the event to curious locals, and some have become part of Stowe's work. And when we clean the chalk in the evening, we sometimes catch flak from local passers-by who don’t want us to wash them off, until we explain it’s only to make it clean for next Friday.

by Erik on 8/7/2008 @ 12:35pm
After an hour long no holds barred blistering negotiation with Ron Swarner, owner and editor of the Weekly Volcano, it looks like the hatchet is officially buried and Frost Park will continue to pick up it's game.

Hang on.





Welcome on board Ron and the Weekly Volcano!

www.flickr.com/photos/tacoma-urbanist/27...

More later. Much more.

About

Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.

So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.

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