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Ed Ronco / KPLU

Meet Ruby Bishop: She's 95 And Still Playing The Standards

Ruby Bishop has played piano around the world. She's befriended some of the jazz world's greatest names -- including Louis Armstrong. At 95, she's still playing Sunday nights at Vito's, on Seattle's First Hill. In this story from the "Comfort Zone" episode of KPLU's Sound Effect, she talks about the piano, her life, her career, and feeling comfortable behind 88 keys. And here's a video of her playing at Vito's, from The Seattle Times:
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Sound Effect, Episode 19: Dirt

May 16, 2015
AP Images

"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, we dig into ‘Dirt.’

KPLU’s Matthew Streib takes us inside the Monroe Correctional Complex to learn about a program that matches inmates with invertebrates and turns waste into fertile soil.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

As Royal Dutch Shell’s Polar Pioneer oil rig arrived in Puget Sound, the noise coming from a  Coast Guard helicopter rang out across the water. It was deafening and added to the drama of watching an enormous new oil rig enter Elliott Bay.

Royal Dutch Shell is planning to send the Polar Pioneer along with a fleet of ships to the Arctic to drill this summer, now that President Obama has approved the oil giant's plans.

The bright yellow drilling machine took its place at Terminal 5 in West Seattle Thursday afternoon, accompanied by local tugs.

Rick Scuteri / AP Photo

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady confirmed that he will appeal his punishment by the NFL in the so called “deflategate” controversy regarding the team’s doctored footballs in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts in January.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains how the Patriots have written a bizarre new chapter in the saga and how it could affect how the Seahawks are viewed.

"Just when think this story can't get more absurd, it takes a fresh turn," Thiel said.

He's referring to the Patriots' creation of a website to post a lengthy rebuttal to the allegations of cheating leveled by an independent investigator hired by the NFL.

Auntneecey / Flickr

A new law signed by Governor Jay Inslee eliminates most legal fees for juvenile offenders, removing a burden that’s been particularly hard for low-income families.

Democratic Representative Ruth Kagi, who sponsored the bill in the state House, says there's a long list of court fees that are getting eliminated for people under age 18.  

"Criminal conviction fee, juvenile criminal conviction penalty, criminal filing fee, juvenile crime victim penalty fee," Kagi said. "And there are many, many more."

These add up.

AP Images

SEATTLE (AP) — An oil rig outfitted for exploration in the remote Arctic Ocean parked in Seattle's harbor Thursday, marking a pivotal moment for an environmental movement increasingly mobilized around climate change.

Activists paddling out in kayaks to meet the rig off Seattle's picturesque waterfront said it's their moment to stand against opening a new frontier of fossil fuel exploration.

"Unless people get out there and put themselves on the front lines and say enough is enough, then nothing will ever change," said Jordan Van Voast, 55, an acupuncturist who was going out on the water to confront the Polar Pioneer. "I'm hopeful that people are waking up."

About two dozen kayakers paddled around Elliott Bay as the towering rig passed the city's Space Needle. The tiny boats, which kept their distance from the rig, were dwarfed by the 400-foot-long structure rising nearly 300 feet above the water. 

The image suggests how outmatched Shell's opponents have been as they try to keep the petroleum giant from continuing its $6 billion effort to open new oil and gas reserves in one of the world's most dangerous maritime environments.

Environmental groups in the Pacific Northwest are sensing a shift in the politics that surround energy production and have mobilized against a series of projects that would transform the region into a gateway for crude oil and coal exports to Asia.

KPLU's Community Advisory Board will be meeting on Wednesday, May 27 at 2pm Pacific.

If you are interested in attending as a member of the listening community, please contact the general manager's office at 253-535-8732 for more information.

Gabriel Spitzer

 

What do you see in people's eyes? Anger? Joy? Love? Confusion?

Maybe Acrylic? Take a look at Cranmore Family and their story which begins with the loss of an eye. That loss prompted an entire family to chart a new future -- one iris at a time. 

 

Read and listen to the story on Quirksee.org.

James Melzer / Flickr

Summertime means the height of tourist season for many destinations in the northern hemisphere. That can mean big crowds at museums and other popular sites.

But KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says there are ways to avoid the crowds.

Off-Season Travel

The dead of winter is a great time to see Europe, but anytime between October through March should work, Brumley said. The weather isn’t as nice, of course, but if you’re planning mostly indoor activities, what’s the difference?

Workers at a South King County psychiatric hospital are walking off the job Thursday, one day after another unit of the same SEIU Healthcare local staged a one-day strike at a Bellingham hospital.

Nurses and other workers at Cascade Behavioral Health in Tukwila say they’re protesting stalled contract talks and inadequate staffing. Carol Myers, a detox unit nurse, says when the private company Acadia took over the former non-profit hospital, it cut staffing levels in the geriatric psych unit.

“These people are fall risks and incontinent and you need additional staff in order to keep these people clean. And that’s really overwhelming for the amount of staff that they’re given,” she says.

Cascade CEO Michael Uradnik says the staffing ratio is safe and up to industry standards. He says he’s still hopeful the sides can reach an agreement.

“I’d have preferred if they hadn’t done it, absolutely. Does it make me further entrenched and more bitter? No. This is part of what you want to do, that’s fine. It’s a one-day action. After [Thursday] we’re going to get down to negotiating again,” he says.

The hospital plans to remain open during the one-day strike, with replacement workers trained to step in.

King County Sheriff's Department

Who speaks for the murder victim when there’s no family left to tell their story?  That's a question the Washington state legislature is considering.

A bill in the legislature, Senate Bill 6099, would make it possible for law enforcement officers to be appointed to speak on behalf of deceased victims.

The impetus is a 38 year old murder case and a  Washington Supreme Court ruling that came down in 2010.

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