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Carmen Bradford graciously stepped in as a last minute replacement for an ailing Wycliffe Gordon as featured soloist with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra for its April concerts.  With less than a week to prepare a new concert with different music than planned, it was tense but everything just seemed right after the first rehearsal with Carmen Bradford.  

Playing for capacity audiences in Benaroya Hall and Kirkland Performance Center, Miss Bradford and the SRJO drew standing ovations and encores.  The concert at Kirkland Performance Center was recorded for broadcast on KPLU's Jazz Northwest and will air on Sunday, May 3 at 2 PM Pacific and stream at kplu.org.

When A Rape Ends, Its Echoes Never Do

May 2, 2015
Yarra Zaslow

 

Here is the full account of her rape written by Yaara Zaslow and featured in Saturday's Sound Effect show "Coming Out" on KPLU. This article originally appeared in Jezebel. It is reposted with permission.

Three months after I was raped, I fractured two of my molars from grinding my teeth while I was sleeping. I woke up every night to the sound of a door breaking open, wood splintering: a sound that existed entirely in my memory.

Before that, I’d served in Burkina Faso in West Africa with the United States Peace Corps. I was raped, and because I did everything “right” afterwards—I talked to the Peace Corps, talked to the Embassy, completed a rape kit—I didn’t understand the nausea that came over me whenever I did anything aside from hide in my bed. Soon after, I was evacuated from the country with a canvas backpack and a change of clothes. I stayed home, in Seattle, for three months, while the Peace Corps did a full investigation.

Kyle Stokes

An investigation into who altered students' answers on state standardized tests at Beacon Hill International School has found three district employees breached protocols designed to protect exam materials from tampering, Seattle Public Schools officials have announced.

But a months-long investigation still hasn't concluded who altered the test materials themselves, a district spokeswoman said.

Seattle Public Schools officials placed two of those employees — Beacon Hill principal Po Tang and ELL teacher Judy Eng — on paid administrative leave Friday. The third who broke the rules, former assistant principal Michele Nishioka, left the district for another job last July.

Belgium Is About Blending In, Relaxing Like A Local

Apr 30, 2015
Antwerpen Toerisme & Congres / Flickr

  France, Germany and the Netherlands draw millions of tourists every year. Nestled in between those countries (and Luxembourg) is Belgium. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says travelers who overlook this country miss out on an important part of European history and culture.

Emigration Point

Antwerp’s harbor was where millions of Europeans said goodbye to their home continent. One of them was a German scientist who arrived in town, renounced his citizenship, and boarded a boat for the United States.

Michael Goude / KPLU

The members of Tyrant Lizard are all involved in the University Of Washington’s Improvised Music Project.  When they came to KPLU for a live studio session, they immediately stated their improvisational intentions by beginning the show with a gorgeous version of Don’t Fence Me In.  (So the first thing we knew about the band was that they have a sense of humor.)  

Stein

It's RamenMania in Seattle these days and Nancy Leson's favorite slurp is Samurai Noodle. "It's long been my favorite place to get a big, rich bowl of Ramen noodles."  Recently Nance got to hang out with owner Ryo Izawa and got a look at how they make their tonkotsu broth.  Short version: Pork bones, water and 20 hours of slow simmering.

Nance explained that flavorful Tonkotsu broth is not de-fatted or strained for clarity.  "That's where the mouth feel and flavor comes from."  Now me...

Fer Juaristi Photo

For supporters of same sex marriage, it’s been a long haul to get to this point.  And on the other hand, it’s been a whirlwind. It wasn’t many years ago, gay couples here weren’t able to visit a sick partner in the hospital. Advocates say incremental steps led to full marriage equality in 2012.  Shaun Knittel with Social Outreach Seattle says that moved the national conversation forward.

Though the Washington Legislature closed its regular session without reaching a budget, it remains on track to fulfill the state Supreme Court's schools funding mandate, the state's top lawyer said in a legal filing Monday.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson, charged with defending state lawmakers in the ongoing McCleary case, wrote a progress report to the court saying spending proposals from both the state House and Senate include "historic" increases in K-12 education funding.

Now all that's left, Ferguson argued, is to reach a deal in the special session which starts Wednesday.

Scott Hingst / Flickr

Silicon Valley tech giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Apple have all been opening offices in Seattle in recent years.

Now, the City of Destiny wants in on the action. Tacoma recently paid $2,600 to run a quarter-page ad in the San Jose Mercury News, one of the biggest newspapers serving California's Silicon Valley, aimed at persuading tech companies that want to expand in the Pacific Northwest to look 35 miles south of Seattle.

AP Images

One member of a Seattle-based climbing group's Everest team died Saturday as a result of an avalanche that hit the mountain following the Nepal earthquake. But several other local climbing organizations reported that their teams were safe. 

Among those is Alpine Ascents, the climbing and expedition company that has called Seattle its home for 27 years. The company had six clients and three guides on Mount Everest  at the time of the 7.8 magnitude quake.  

In December of 1872, an earthquake shook the Pacific Northwest so hard that a Seattle resident described watching near-tidal waves roil Lake Union.

And it wasn’t just Seattle; the quake shook from Eugene, Oregon to Canada. It triggered a landslide near Wenatchee that briefly dammed the Columbia River.

For years, geologists couldn't pin down the quake's source. But now they think they've found it: A previously unknown fault near Entiat on the east side of the Cascades.

"So we had this big earthquake but no one could put their finger on where's the fault that's responsible," said Brian Sherrod, a paleoseismologist with the US Geological Survey.

A paleoseismologist studies ancient earthquakes. Sherrod said the source of the massive quake has baffled scientists for decades. Guesses placed the epicenter everywhere from Sedro-Woolley to Lake Chelan to British Columbia.

This week on Jazz Northwest we'll sample some new and recent recordings including a new old one from 1962 being issued for the first time!  Ernestine Anderson was just 34 years old and in the first bloom of her career when she sang at The Penthouse, a Pioneer Square jazz club where Jim Wilke was producing a weekly live and direct broadcast on KING-FM.  The aircheck of the broadcast is the source for this new first time issue on a HighNote CD.

Sound Effect, Episode 16: Repetition

Apr 25, 2015
File Photo

 

   "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 are playing all hits in this first ever “Sound Effect” best of episode.

Before we dive into some of our favorite segments thus far, we explore what it is about repetition that is so satisfying.

courtesy WSDOT

Interstate 405's notoriously crawling traffic might accelerate if the state's new system of express toll lanes and increased carpool minimums works as expected.

Tim Durkan

Windy weather this weekend will make umbrella use a bit problematic, but you probably will need a parka or other rain gear, at least for the next day or so.

“We have an upper level trough over us and that brings cold air and unstable conditions where we get the cumulous (puffy clouds) and thunderstorms developing,” said Mass.

And so on  Friday, Mass says expect some showers, especially in the mountains and South Sound.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

When Kathy Holzer was a kid living on the outskirts of Chicago, she would climb her parents’ apple trees in their orchard. She was always up in the tree -- with her dog sleeping below.

“And they'd always know where I was because there was the dog so I must be in that tree,” Holzer said. “And I always broke out the dead branches that were in my way, because it always seemed -- intuitively -- that the tree didn’t need them.” 

My poor dad, Holtzer continued,  would see the piles of dead branches underneath the trees and wonder, 'Who's been doing this?'

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The NFL released its 2015 schedule this week, causing a major media circus. At the center of it all: the Seattle Seahawks.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the team has a lot of people talking.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

Local and federal law enforcement officers in Seattle announced Thursday the arrests of more than 90 suspects in a targeted effort to end street-corner drug deals and related violence in the downtown corridor around Third Avenue & Pine Street.

Seattle Police also announced stepped-up enforcement and outreach efforts in the nine-and-a-half blocks flanking Third & Pine. The swath is marked by the highest concentration of criminal activity in the city, including what Mayor Ed Murray called an "open-air drug market" not far from the city's world-class farmer's market.

UW Student Teachers, Researchers Authorize Strike

Apr 22, 2015
AP Images

By an overwhelming majority, the Academic Student Employees union at the University of Washington approved a strike if it cannot reach a contract with school administrators. 

The vote came after an impasse during tense negotiations with the university over issues such as pay and student fees and the rising cost of living in Seattle. The ASE, whose members include graduate student researchers and teaching aides, has 4000 members. Of the 2,258 votes cast, 90 percent favored a strike authorization, ASE representatives said.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

It’s Earth Day. Some volunteers will celebrate by digging in the soil at community gardens.

But one Seattle neighborhood is taking that idea to a whole new level, at the Beacon Food Forest.  

Jackie Cramer, one of the founders, stands at the top of a hillside that was once an all-green manicured lawn, raking up at the end of the day.

Beneath her, raised beds and special compost bins are transforming the landscape. Two acres are on their way to becoming a woodland forest.

You Want Frites Wit Dat?

Apr 22, 2015
Leson

It's Sandwich City.  Nancy says "I'm lookin' at this week's Seattle Weekly's 'The City's Best Sandwiches,' the New York Times had a killer special issue – even Bethany Jean Clement of the Seattle Times was writing about Five Great Chicken sandwiches that aren't Chic-fil-A.  So what do you think about this?" she asked me.

I told her I thought there was no reason why "...any normal human being cannot make a sandwich at home as good as anything you would go to a store and buy."  Ms. Leson disagreed.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

Seattle teachers will decide whether they want to walk off the job for one day, likely in early May, to express frustration over the progress of state budget talks in Olympia.

Building leaders for the Seattle Education Association, voted Monday night to recommend the union's 5,000 members join at least eight other local teachers unions in western Washington that have already approved similar "one-day strikes."

Ashley Gross / KPLU

Editor’s Note: This story works best as an audio experience, so we urge you to take a listen.

What if you poured your energy into becoming an opera singer, but then became famous for doing the voice of a computer in a blockbuster video game?

That’s the unexpected twist in Ellen McLain’s career. She’s performed countless roles in operas in Seattle and Tacoma and acted in many Seattle theaters.

But now the thing she’s most famous for is doing the voice of GLaDOS, the sweet-sounding but passive-aggressive computer in Valve’s hit video games Portal and Portal 2.

Diueine Monteiro / Flickr

About 240 more homeless veterans in Washington state will soon have an option for permanent housing.

The federal government has teamed up with local officials across the country, including Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine, to tackle veteran homelessness. Julian Castro, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, spelled out their ambitious goal at a press conference in Seattle.

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

Pianist and composer Omar Sosa left his home in Cuba in 1993 but carried his Yoruban spiritual beliefs with him.  These beliefs are the underpinning of his approach to jazz, as you’ll hear in this live studio session, hosted by Abe Beeson.

Quarteto Afrocubano consists of Sosa, Ernesto Simpson (drums), Childo Tomas (electric bass) and Leandro Saint-Hill (sax and flute).  Together they present music that is compelling, uplifting and somehow charmed…music that fills the soul while also always making room for the ‘spirits.’

Lucas Randall-Owens / KPLU

On the shore of Seaview Park in West Seattle, a group of young activists stands behind a row of bright yellow kayaks.  Most of them are new to boating. An instructor from Alki Kayak Tours gives a safety briefing before they head out for a sunset paddle. 

Tim Samoff

One of the challenges faced by new parents is figuring out how much time they can afford to take off from work. Today the King County Council will vote on a measure that would give new parents who are county employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave.

Continuing a series of unique live-on-location recordings for Jazz April, the Jacob Zimmerman Quintet plays music of the 40s in an Art of Jazz concert on Jazz Northwest, Sunday, April 18 at 2 PM Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and streaming at kplu.org.  

The quintet takes on some challenging music from the transitional period which saw jazz morph from swing to bebop. Composers range from Benny Goodman's guitarist Charlie Christian to Tad Dameron and Charlie Parker.

Sound Effect, Episode 15: For The Love Of The Game

Apr 18, 2015

  "Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. This week's show is hosted by KPLU's Kevin Kniestedt.

Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week, we play ball with ‘For the Love of the Game.’

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

A U.S. Senate committee advanced a bill to re-write the federal No Child Left Behind Act this week, raising hopes that Congress may finally take action to officially scrap the law's tough, but outdated systems for holding schools across the nation accountable for students' success.

The proposed "Every Child Achieves Act" shifts a lot of federal powers to education officials at the state level. Though national mandates to give students standardized tests every year would remain in place, states could decide for themselves how to use test results to rate schools and determine whether students are on-track for success in college or a career.

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