Ed Ronco

Morning Edition Producer

Ed Ronco came to KPLU in October 2013 as producer and reporter for KPLU’s Morning Edition. He’s been reporting news since he was 18, but Ed started in public radio in 2009 at KCAW in Sitka, Alaska, where he covered everything from city government, to education, crime, science, the arts and more. Prior to public radio, Ed worked in newspapers, including four years at the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, where he covered business, then politics and government.

Ed grew up in Wyandotte, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, and earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University. Since moving to Seattle, Ed says he’s learned patience from area freeways, moderation from area Thai restaurants, and discipline from his alarm clock, which wakes him up each day at 3 a.m.

Ways To Connect

Sochi Has Us Dreaming Of A Trip To Russia

Feb 20, 2014
Jim Heintz / AP Photo

The Winter Olympics come to a close this weekend in Sochi, Russia. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley spent the games reflecting on his time in Russia. 

Brumley, who was once an exchange student in Moscow and worked on the the Trans-Siberian Railroad in the 1980s, says you should consider making the trip.

“It’s a time capsule,” Brumley said. “When you travel through Siberia, it’s as if someone set the clock back a hundred years.”

AP Photo/Burke Museum

Paleontologists with the Burke Museum will excavate the giant mammoth tusk unearthed at a Seattle construction site earlier this week, and move it to the museum. 

The owners of the lot in South Lake Union said they've given the paleontologists permission to remove the tusk. 

10 Tips On Understanding French Culture

Feb 13, 2014
Courtesy of Matthew Brumley

French President Francois Hollande's visit to the U.S. this week included mentions of the two countries' long-standing friendship, one that dates back to the American Revolution. But citizens of the two countries sometimes find themselves at odds.

KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley lived and worked in France early in his career. He says the French aren’t being rude. In fact, as a culture, they’re extremely polite. Knowing that before you get on the flight to Paris can make all the difference, and there are 10 easy tips to make sure things go well. But first, a story.

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

Cities could ease traffic congestion by following the example of colleges and universities, according to a study released Thursday.

The national study by the WashPIRG Foundation says elected officials should look to places like the University of Washington when shaping transportation policy.

Matthew Brumley / Photo provided

Colder temperatures this week might have you thinking about warmer places than here. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley just got back from Cuba, and says going to Havana is easy and completely worthwhile.

Cuba Is Opening Up

It's true, Cuba is opening up, but it’s not completely open yet, says Brumley. You’ll need either a missionary license or people-to-people license, usually available through organized tour groups. Once you’re legal, though, the rest is easy.

Ed Ronco

These two are no fair-weathered fans.

Diehard Seahawks fans Greg Kockritz and Sean Cochran spent the night in a tent on Fourth Avenue, determined to stake out front-row seats for the teams’ victory parade on Wednesday.

Never mind the cold. These two arrived at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night, a two-person tent, a propane heater and an air mattress in tow.

“It don’t get no better than this,” said Kockritz. “Come on, this has been 39 years coming!”

Joe Kafka / AP Photo

So you go on vacation and your guide says he knows the best place to get leather jackets in Madrid. Or the best restaurant in all of London. Or maybe he’s getting a kickback from the business in exchange for shepherding tourists through the front door, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

What’s Wrong With That?

Two things, says Brumley say.  The stores they’re taking you to could have inflated prices. Also they’re wasting your time.

Carlo Allegri / Invision/AP Photo

Seattle’s Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have seven shots at a Grammy Award on Sunday. The hip-hop duo is nominated for Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album and Best Music Video.

Local pop music critic and writer Gene Stout says that’s an impressive list of nominations.

“A lot of people think of Macklemore and Lewis as an overnight success, but they’re not,” Stout said. “Macklemore’s been at it for 10 years. Certainly what they’ve done with two chart hits is extraordinary. And for a duo, it hasn’t really happened since the ‘90s.”

Ed Ronco / KPLU

Sen. Maria Cantwell is sending a letter to the White House, asking the president to stop a mining project in Alaska.

About 1,000 Washington residents hold permits to fish for salmon in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Not far from there, an organization called the Pebble Partnership wants to open a gold and copper mine.

That’s a bad idea, said people gathered outside Seattle’s Fisherman’s Terminal on Thursday.

Noah Berger / AP File Photo

The tourism industry is one of the largest in the world. According to the United Nations, one out of every 11 jobs worldwide is related to tourism.

“When you travel, it has real implications for the people you’re visiting,” said KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley. “There are two sides to this: there’s the environmental side, and there’s the socioeconomic side that has to do with the people themselves.”

So how do you travel responsibly? Here are some tips from KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

How would you describe the rivalry between football foes Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers? Share your answer below.

Courtesy of Matthew Brumley

So, you're planning the next big family vacation. There are lots of questions to consider: Where to go, what to do, who to invite. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley has these five tips for families looking to travel together.

Scott Eklund / AP Photo

The Seahawks will play the New Orleans Saints at the Clink this weekend, but it's clear both teams' fan fever runneth over the football field and deep in their hometowns. 

So we wanted to know what off-field bragging rights each team might have. Who has it better at home? And whose mascot reigns supreme? We teamed up with WWNO Public Radio in New Orleans to consider the facts.

Matthew Brumley

When Nelson Mandela died in December, the eyes of the world once again focused on South Africa. Earthbound Expeditions founder and KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says it’s his favorite place on the planet, and worth a deeper look than the headlines can offer.

"It's a truly remarkable place. There's no other country I've been to on this planet that has more diversity," Brumley said. "The history is phenomenal. It dates back hundreds of thousands of years, and the culture is multiracial. It's the Rainbow Nation."

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Local health officials are urging people of all ages to get vaccinated against the flu, which has already claimed four lives in King County alone this season.

In addition to the deaths, the number of positive tests has doubled since mid-December, according to Dr. Jeff Duchin with Public Health – Seattle & King County. And this year's most prevalent strain, the H1N1 virus, is one that hits younger people especially hard.

5th Avenue Theatre

"Oliver!" tells the story of a young orphan's misadventures in London, from the workhouse to a den of thieves and, finally, to a family that loves him. The musical, on stage now at the 5th Avenue Theatre, is based on the novel "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens.

Albert Evans, artistic and music associate at the 5th Avenue Theatre, who says the character of Oliver was one of many Dickens created and used over the years to call attention to societal ills, and to portray London as he saw it.


Tim Durkan

The spectacular sunsets we've been enjoying recently have a downside: they’re indicators of increasing air pollution.

Pollution has risen to unhealthy levels around Puget Sound this week. State health officials say pollution often goes up in the winter.

Like a lot of big projects, Obamacare needs time to be successful. That was the message from Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who testified before a House subcommittee in Washington, D.C. Wednesday.

Kreidler had been invited to speak by Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, but quickly found himself in the crosshairs of another, Rep. Dave Reichert. 

Ed Ronco / KPLU

If you drive through Grays Harbor County, it’s easy to notice the darkened storefronts and empty homes that signal the area’s economic struggles. But in the county with a poverty rate that's twice the state average, a long-standing rivalry between two high schools feeds the hungry.

For more than a century, the Hoquiam Grizzlies and the Aberdeen Bobcats have maintained one of Washington state’s biggest high school football rivalries. But it’s their rivalry in Food Ball that funds the majority of the county food banks' annual budget.

Ed Ronco / KPLU

Around 100 protesters took to the streets Wednesday morning to urge local leaders to take action to end homelessness. The protesters spent the night in Westlake Park before marching to Seattle City Hall to attend a meeting of the Committee to End Homelessness.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

It’s official: Boeing will get nearly $9 billion in tax incentives from the state of Washington in a deal aimed to guarantee Boeing will build its 777X and carbon-fiber wings in the state.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed his name to the tax breaks Monday morning after legislators approved the deal over the weekend. Inslee told reporters that the state has a lot to gain.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Happy Election Day! Here's a quick reference guide if you're still holding on to a ballot.

Your ballot must be postmarked today (Tuesday, Nov. 5). Before you drop your ballot into the nearest blue mailbox, look at the sticker on that mailbox to see what time mail is collected. If you've missed that deadline you'll need to head to the post office to make sure your ballot is accepted in time.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The Washington state health care exchange website was temporarily down on Wednesday morning as a result of a digital snag in Washington, D.C.

Michael Marchand, spokesman for the state exchange, says Washington state's website depends on a component of the federal system to work. At the moment, it doesn't work, but once it's fixed, the state site can start accepting applications again.

He spoke to KPLU's Ed Ronco about the details during Morning Edition. 

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

With one week until Election Day, voters in Washington’s three largest counties have been slow to return their ballots. But officials also say it’s too early to tell what that means for Election Day.

Some advice from Sherril Huff, the director of King County's Department of Elections:

Protip No. 1: "Make sure you look at both sides because often, people think it’s all on the front side of the ballot.” In busy election years, some races and questions get printed on the back of the ballot. Use only black ink.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

About half of the state’s nearly 4 million registered voters are predicted to cast ballots in this year’s election. In King County, officials say the number of registered voters keeps climbing. If you're a newcomer to Washington state, you have until Monday to get your name on the voter rolls.

Tom Paulson / Humanosphere

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Friday the Grocery Manufacturers Association will disclose who its donors are, as it campaigns against a ballot Initiative 522.

Ferguson's office had planned to take the industry group to court, saying it violated Washington’s campaign finance law that requires donors to be public. The Washington, D.C.-based GMA represents more than 300 companies.

Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

With the government reopened and a budget deal reached, members of Congress are heading into a new round of budget negotiations. Front and center is Sen. Patty Murray, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee. On Thursday morning, Murray stood next to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and told reporters that the two sides will work together to avoid another impasse.

Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

State officials are hoping people across Washington will drop to the floor and take cover on Thursday morning. It’s part of a massive earthquake drill that organizers say has attracted more than 800,000 people so far.

Go to the website for the Great Washington ShakeOut, and you’re met with video showing a major earthquake violently shaking the ground. The video, and the website it's on, are a project of the Washington state Department of Emergency Management.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

President Barack Obama says a former Army captain and Seattle native who survived one of the Afghan war's deadliest firefights is a reminder that Americans look out for one another, even when it's difficult.

Obama commented at a White House ceremony Tuesday before placing America's highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, around former Army Capt. William D. Swenson's neck. Before the ceremony, the president spoke with Swenson’s parents, Carl and Julie.

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