Dave Meyer

All Things Considered Host

Dave Meyer has been anchoring KPLU news shows since 1987. He grew up along the shores of Hood Canal near Belfair and graduated from Washington State University with degrees in communications and psychology. Dave’s first job out of college was at WMRE in Boston, where he was mentored by legendary jazz and news radio host Norm Nathan.

Dave's most memorable KPLU moment: “Interviewing Phil Austin and David Ossman of The Firesign Theatre. Listening to their surreal comedy albums at an early age inspired me to seek out a career in radio, and it was an honor to share the airwaves with them.”

Ways To Connect

Name that snake!

May 11, 2011
Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo

An 8 year old male reticulated python (Python reticulatus) is settling into its new home at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo. The new 100 pound snake needs a name, and you can submit your suggestion via the Zoo's facebook page through May 13 at noon. Zookeepers will select their five favorite names and fans will then vote May 17 on facebook for their top pick.

Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration has released its list of the most popular baby names in Washington for 2010. Sophia is number one for girls and Jacob tops the list for boys.

pdclipart.org

Gas prices are topping $4/gallon. Oil is over $100 a barrel. Gold and silver are at record highs. Food is more expensive. Does all this mean inflation is about to pounce on us? On this week's Money Matters, KPLU financial commentator Greg Heberlein says things may look discouraging, but there's no need to worry about runaway inflation.

Justin Shearer / flickr.com

Remember the bidding wars over Seattle area homes before the housing bubble burst? Well, we're not returning to those crazy days just yet, but the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) says there are signs that the market may be warming up a bit. Home sellers in some neighborhoods are seeing multiple offers again. But it's not a boom; overall, the latest numbers show fewer sales and lower prices than a year ago.

Washington State Patrol

An alert Washington State Patrol officer noticed something a little odd about the passenger in a car using the HOV lane in Federal Way Wednesday morning. "She" was an inflatable doll wearing a wig.

www.allaboutsouthpark.com

The south Seattle community of South Park is celebrating the beginning of construction on its new bridge over the Duwamish with a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Instead of a groundbreaking, they'll break what's believed to be the largest piñata ever made in the Northwest...a 20 foot long miniature replica of the new bridge. You can see photos of the piñata under construction at the South Park facebook page.

Steve Jurvetson / flickr.com

Got a rodent problem? Traps and poisons can endanger people and pets. Live on a farm, ranch or other rural location? Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) offers a natural pest control solution:  colonies of barn cats. Provide them with food, water and shelter...such as a barn...and they'll do the job.

Steve Jurvetson / flickr.com

What is Google's business plan? The company, fueled by its successful search engine, seems to be going off in a zillion different directions: Android, Youtube, Gmail, Voice, Maps, Blogger, Picasa, and Docs, just to name a few. Many Google products are given away for free. 

Analysts have recently noted Google's expenditures are rising faster than its revenues. This comes as no surprise to our technology commentator, Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson. It reinforces what he said about Google in his list of predictions for 2011.

SuperFantastic (Bruce) / flickr.com

Why were "bath salts" for sale in head shops? Because they contained stimulants known as substituted cathinones that can affect user behavior and judgment. They've been growing in popularity as a legal alternative to cocaine or methamphetamine.

As of April 15th, they're no longer legal in Washington; the state Board of Pharmacy has approved emergency rules classifying the salts as Class I controlled substances, banning their manufacture, sale, delivery and possession.

Should you pull out of the stock market?

Standard & Poor's downgraded its credit outlook for the United States this week; gas prices are rising; Europe is facing serious debt problems and Japan continues to struggle with its nuclear crisis. There's an awful lot to worry about these days.

But financial commentator Greg Heberlein reminds us that Wall Street climbs a wall of worry, and says you should stay in the market and look for buying opportunities.

WSDOT

You may see a new Washington State Ferry on Puget Sound waters this week. The Salish is being put through its sea trials. The vessel, built by Todd Pacific Shipyards in Seattle, is expected to begin service this summer on the Port Townsend-Coupeville route. The run has gone without full two-boat service since 2007.

sea turtle / flickr.com

Seattle City Light has found another electrified streetlight pole. It was a new pole, which had been installed in January. A dog detected the voltage when it sniffed the pole and its owner called it in. City Light says the streetlight had been improperly installed and had frayed wires.

As a precaution, the utility is inspecting about 60 streetlight poles that were damaged and replaced in the past year. Many of those poles weren’t in place when City Light did comprehensive voltage testing last December and January.

When to call 9-1-1

Apr 12, 2011
Al Pavangkanan / flickr.com

The Washington State Patrol is reminding people they should call 9-1-1 only when they need police, fire, or emergency medical services. It may seem like simple common sense advice that everyone knows, but dispatchers frequently get calls asking for road conditions or driving directions. Frivolous calls like that can delay someone from getting the emergency help they need.

PLU

How to pay for your children’s college tuition can be complicated. Washington state's Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program has been very popular, with about 130,000 families taking advantage of it. But there have been concerns about the long term financial viability of the program, and the legislature is considering changes. For those not already in the program, what the state agrees to cover may be less than what it pays for current enrollees. In light of this uncertainty, financial commentator Greg Heberlein thinks it’s a good time to point out the alternatives.

Woodland Park Zoo

The howls of a new yearling wolf pack can be heard at the Woodland Park Zoo this spring. The 4 female gray wolves were born at the New York State Zoo and arrived in Seattle last fall. Until now, they've been secluded from public view, getting used to their new surroundings in the Northern Trail exhibit.

Flickr user Hunda / flickr.com

The Pacific Northwest has emerged from winter with an above average snowpack, and that's good news for the region's hydroelectric dams. Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco says, “The snowfall we have received in the mountains this winter was fantastic.”

Washington milk is safe

Apr 6, 2011
Flickr user purplemattfish/Matthew / flickr.com

Worried about radiation from Japan contaminating milk here at home? The Washington state departments of Agriculture and Health say the latest tests show no sign of any radioactivity in milk sampled in Tacoma and Spokane.

Last week, the EPA announced that trace amounts of radioactive Iodine-131 were detected in a sample from Spokane, but at levels 5,000 times below anything that would be remotely dangerous. Officials say drinking a pint of milk with radiation levels that low would amount to less than half of the exposure you would get in a five hour plane flight.

Flickr user Gexydaf / flickr.com

A little more than a year after 36 members and associates of the Hilltop Crips were arrested and prosecuted, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist is declaring "a victory for the community". Lindquist says the sweep has dramatically reduced incidents of gang violence. 

Jackie Johnston / AP

There's no end in sight to Japan's nuclear crisis. More radioactive water is leaking from Japan's crippled nuclear complex, and traces of plutonium have been detected in soil outside the plant. Tokyo Electric Power says the amount is small and isn't a danger to public health.

Our technology commentator, Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson, is keeping a close eye on the situation in Japan. He tells KPLU's Dave Meyer it's like watching a train wreck in slow motion, and this crisis is a major setback for the future of nuclear power.

pdclipart.org

A couple of weeks ago, financial commentator Greg Heberlein said it was time for a stock market correction. Sure enough, we've seen the market drop, spurred on by events in the Middle East and the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan.

Is it time to buy back in? One never knows for sure, but on this week's Money Matters, Greg tells me what to watch for.

Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity reports thieves broke into a work site Tuesday night in Tacoma, stealing more than $10,000 worth of equipment and building materials. The thieves had to cut through chains securing the project, a development called Founders Circle. Six homes are being built for low income families on the site at 1102 South Shirley Street.

Flickr user as737700 / flickr.com

The priceless experience of climbing Mt. Rainier will cost you an extra $13 this year. Rainier National Park officials are now charging $43 for a climbing pass for adults over the age of 25. Climbers 24 and younger get a $30 youth rate. The new rates are effective immediately. Passes are good for one year.

Are you losing sleep over your pension fund?

Public and private pension funds are under a lot of stress due to the Great Recession. The Washington Post's Peter Whoriskey recently reported state and local pensions may be underfunded by $1.5 trillion more than previously thought. NPR has reported the states are facing a $3 trillion pension shortfall.

But financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer the situation may not be as bad as it looks.Greg says there's cause for concern, but he's optimistic. 

seattleyachtclub.org

A virus outbreak has closed the Seattle Yacht Club's mainstation clubhouse on Portage Bay. Dozens of people who attended the JO Ball and a private party at the end of February became ill with gastrointestinal symptoms. Yacht Club General Manager Steve Hall says the club contacted the King County Health Department, sanitized the kitchen area, and closed the facility until March 12.

wsilver / flickr.com

The market has had a phenomenal run up in the past two years, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining nearly 6,000 points. Recent volatility indicates the market may be ready to fall.

But financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer there's no reason to panic. It's all part of the natural market cycle.

NASA

April 12 is the day we'll learn if the Puget Sound region will become home to one of NASA's retiring space shuttles. There are 27 institutions vying for the three orbiters, and Seattle's Museum of Flight is one of the contenders.

xxxdebate.com

Eastlake Community Church in Bothell is tackling the spiritual implications of pornography this weekend, starting with Porn and Pastries Friday night, Porn in the Morn Saturday morning, and the big event, the XXX Debate between pastor Craig Gross and porn star Ron Jeremy Saturday night. Gross and Jeremy will also be attending the regular Sunday services.

United States Coast Guard

The Seattle-based Coast Guard Cutter Midgett has returned home from a patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. A highlight of the voyage was the interdiction of a 35-foot-long self-propelled semi-submersible vessel (SPSS) that was carrying about 6,000 kilograms of cocaine. These vessels are also known as narco submarines.

MïK Watson (MïK) / flickr.com

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for the north and central Washington coast through Wednesday night. Be prepared for sustained winds of 25 to 40 mph with gusts of up to 60 mph. High winds can knock down trees and power lines.

Metro Parks Tacoma

Vandals have damaged the Jane Clark Park sports field in Tacoma. Officials won't know exactly how bad the damage is until they can test the irrigation and drainage systems in the spring. It appears a 4x4 vehicle left deep ruts running from one end of the field to the other.

The park had recently been upgraded as part of the 2005 Park Improvement bond measure. Joy riders also ripped up half a dozen other Tacoma parks this week.

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