Paula Wissel

Murders Prompt Seattle To Shut Down Hookah Lounges; Owners Say Violence Not Their Fault

Seattle wants to shut down all of the hookah lounges in the city because of ongoing violence near the clubs. The most recent example was the murder of Donnie Chin, a well-liked community figure in Seattle’s International District. But, club owners say it’s unfair to punish them for what happens outside their establishments.
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Ed Ronco, KPLU

Mama's Mexican kitchen in Seattle is going to be closing soon after 40 years in business. For its patrons, this means farewell to cheap, late-night burritos in Belltown, cozy booths and the Elvis Room.

But for Bella Biagio it's more than a loss of a business, a job or a building; She's worked there 18 years. So for her, it's the loss of family -- albeit an odd one she refers to as, "The island of misfit toys."

"We are the train with the square wheels. And the gun that shoots jelly and the Charlie in the Box," she said. "It's so dysfunctional but it works."

A lot of older Seattle is disappearing under the ceaseless march of urban development, she said. And the town is lesser for it.  There are not as many none corporate, "genuine" places in Seattle anymore, she said. Certainly not many like Mama's, a popular, divey Mexican eatery on the corner of 2nd Avenue. and Bell Street.

For its season finale, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra co-directed by Clarence Acox and Michael Brockman, played music by Charles Mingus (1922-1979).  Charles Mingus was one of the most significant American Composers of the Twentieth Century.  

Born in Nogales, New Mexico and raised in Watts,  he rose to prominence in New York during the 1940s Bop Era playing with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and others.  As a leader himself from the 50s on, his groups toured around the world playing his original compositions exclusively.

Déjà Vu: Sound Effect, Episode 30

Aug 1, 2015

 Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week, our ragtag radio team has curated another "best of" episode. 

Before things become a bit uncanny, we discuss the elusiveness of déjà vu with 50 First Dates Screenwriter, George Wing. 

From Episode 12: Lost and Found, KPLU’s Jennifer Wing unspools the story of Snowball, a frequently lost cat who was eventually found

From Episode 17: Coming Out, KPLU's Arwen Nicks interviews teacher and activist, Yaara Zaslow, about why she decided to come out as a rape survivor.

From Episode 3: Rain, we retreat to the forest to reflect on cooler weather with Ranger John Preston in the Hoh Rain Forest

From Episode 11: Flight, Korean astronaut and engineer Yi So-yeon tells KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer about her long journey from the International Space Station to Puyallup.

Creative Commons

The Puget Sound is going to continue its California weather imitation for another weekend in what already is a record-breaking summer, said KPLU's weather expert Cliff Mass.

"This is going to be the warmest summer in the memory of virtually everybody," Mass said. "You have to go back to the 1930s to get temperatures that are even similar to this."

Need proof? The region on Thursday beat the all-time record for 90-degree days in a summer with 10 days. The old record was nine.

Ralph Radford / AP Photo

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week upheld a four-game suspension for Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady over the controversy surrounding the team’s deflated balls in the AFC title game.

Brady and the Patriots are fighting back. And sports commentator Art Thiel says, as a result, a man with strong ties to Seattle could become the new leader of the NFL.

Bellamy Pailthorp

A who’s who of scientists from about a dozen local agencies gathered on Thursday to share what they’re learning about the warm patch of water off the west coast that’s been keeping temperatures higher than normal.

Standing near the Viking statue at Seattle’s Shilshole Bay, State Climatologist Nick Bond said he could go on and on about all the local temperature records being broken lately. But what’s concerning many scientists now, he said, is how warm the water is becoming. And some of those concerns focus specifically on "the blob."

Erin Jones Campaign / Washington House Democrats

State Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater, announced Thursday he will give up his House seat to run for state schools superintendent in 2016, joining Tacoma school district administrator Erin Jones in the race for Washington's top elected education post.

Current superintendent Randy Dorn has not yet said whether he will run for a third term. A spokesman said Dorn is waiting to see what the state Supreme Court does next in the ongoing McCleary school funding case before making his decision.

Andrew Harnik / AP/pool

The more than 50-year freeze in relations between the U.S. and Cuba is finally thawing. Earlier this month, both countries opened embassies in each others’ capitals. 

Earlier this year, three groups of KPLU travelers visited Cuba, including KPLU’s Ed Ronco and travel expert Matthew Brumley. Their tour guides on those trips were Frank Alpizar and Alejandro Infantes, who happen to be in Seattle this week on vacation.

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

 

Affordable housing is one of the top campaign issues in Seattle’s City Council race.Eight candidates have come together to endorse what they call a “progressive housing plan.”

 

Aaron D'Errico

Aaron D'Errico had one dream as a child: To be a soccer star in the same manner as his father, David D'Errico, an original Seattle Sounder and former U.S. Men's National Team captain. 

But where Arron's dreams went, his body couldn't follow. Born with cerebral palsy Aaron was never going to be a much of a soccer player, much less a professional. That wasn't about to stop him, however.

The Friday Harbor man put pen to paper and created Ammon Walker, a comic book superhero and super-spy who uses his status as a professional soccer as his cover. Like Aaron, Ammon has cerebral palsy. But unlike his creator, Ammon has developed technology that allows his body to overcome it.

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