Beyond the Column

Larry's LaRue-minations

Archives: 2013

June
12th

Another week on the Pacific Crest Trail

Those walking Wimbergers – Tacoma siblings Elena and Gus – passed the 400-mile mark on the Pacific Crest Trail, despite encounters with the poodle-dog bush.

No, it’s not like stumbling upon a grizzly, but apparently this particular bush has driven hikers mad for years, and Gus, Elena and her boyfriend, Carter, have had to do some road-walking to avoid it.

Milestones? Well, the 18-year-old Gus missed his official high school graduation this week, but if he’d waited for it he’d have gotten a late start on the trail.

That trail runs 2,663 miles, from the Mexican border in California to

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June
11th

Work parties helping out Old Settlers Cemetery

The column on Rick Felty and his volunteer efforts to keep Lakewood’s Old Settlers Cemetery in good repair – often a losing one-man battle – drew a lot of attention on Memorial Day.

And Felty, who’d retired from the postal service a few days earlier, hasn’t given up. In fact, he’s gotten help.

So many families and individuals have talked to Felty since the column ran that there are now work parties on the second and fourth Saturday of each month planned.  Small flags are popping up at gravesites, weeds pulled, headstones cleaned, flower bulbs planted.

None of it

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June
10th

The Meline family: Profiles in courage

It’s been 7 1/2 months since Rob Meline was killed by his 29-year-old son, Jonathon, an act that shocked the Northwest community and threatened to shatter a family.

Jonathon Meline remains in custody, a schizophrenic whose competency hearing has been postponed a half dozen times.

Kim and her four daughters – Kristina, Shannon, Sara and Katie – are still battling the horrors of that night, but they’re doing it together. Each has their own life, and all have relied upon one another.

Like Rob Meline, Kim is a school teacher, and the subject of today’s column.

“The biggest

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June
7th

Cemetery geese beware: Dog now on duty

Those buried near a city pond at the Mountain View Cemetery in Lakewood may now rest in slightly more peace – they’ve got a watch dog.

No, not to protect them from humanity. As a Wednesday column explained, Canadian geese were wandering the cemetery grounds after nesting in the reeds of a Tacoma run-off pond.

General manager Dave Salove on Thursday held several dog auditions, looking for the perfect pup for the job. What he wanted was an animal that would chase the geese but not catch or harm them – and be well-mannered should it come across cemetery

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June
7th

A world-record egg drop, in the name of science

Richard Miller wasn’t teaching science when I was young – in fact, there was no science taught back then, only the language of grunting.

Miller now teaches at Key Peninsula Middle School, and last week sent his students into summer break inspired by a project.

On May 31, Miller launched a weather balloon from Lakebay that traveled to a height of at least 40,000 – and perhaps as high as 100,000 feet. Aboard was one egg, as Miller thought he might as well go for a world record.

You see, the previous confirmed record for an egg drop was 700

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June
5th

Pacific Crest Trail siblings pass 300-mile mark

The Pacific Crest Trail challenges became a bit more real to Tacoma siblings Elena and Gus Wimberger, who have now hiked more than 300 miles in less than three weeks.

The third member their party, Elena’s boyfriend, Carter Chaffey, missed days on the trail because of a sprained knee – and both Elena, 22, and Gus, 18, have battled physical issues.

That said, Carter has rejoined the troupe and both the Wimbergers are committed to finishing the 2,663-mile journey.

The subject of a May 7 column, the Wimbergers added to their blog yesterday, and it’s another fascinating look at

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June
4th

Rebels to the end: Another journalistic fable

It’s hard to believe, but at some newspapers back in the ’70s – the 1970′s – editors were idiots and reporters felt it their duty to rebel.

An editor at the Orange County Register, for instance, once called me to complain that his trash pickup was two hours late. He wanted me to get to the bottom of it.

Fellow writer George Cunningham and I worked a small Register bureau in a Garden Grove strip mall, and if it seems as if his name comes up often, it should. Cunningham and I worked for two newspapers together.

Both are still

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June
3rd

Tip of the cap to one of our own who delivered

It’s not often you’re noticed, let alone praised, for doing your job well for 26 years – but some people do pay attention.

When News Tribune carrier Peggy Karlinsey retired a few weeks ago, one University Place couple noticed.

“We have not missed a single paper – not one! Not only were the papers delivered everyday, but they were delivered early,” wrote Roy and Pat Helland. “We would like to thank Peggy and honor her – not only for her spirit of excellence – but also, and especially, for the care and kindness she shared with all of us in our

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