Jennifer Wing

Special Projects Reporter

Jennifer Wing is an on-call reporter and news host for KPLU. She’s from Philadelphia, but has been living in the Northwest for well over a decade. Jennifer has had many memorable KPLU radio moments over the years, but one that sticks with her is being allowed to watch a young man struggle to learn how to read. Jennifer says, “He'd made it all the way through middle school and most of high school not knowing how. He finally fell into the hands of some adults who cared enough to give him the time and attention he needed.”

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The End Of An Era
5:00 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Seattle's Erotic Bakery, A Decades-Old Institution, To Close Its Doors

Warning: Some of the language in this story may not be appropriate for young ears.

After 28 years of making people’s bawdy wishes come true with marzipan and cake, a Seattle institution is coming to an end. The Erotic Bakery in the city’s Wallingford neighborhood is taking down its sign and closing its doors at the end of this month.

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Artscape
5:00 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Paint The Peninsula Festival Celebrates Joy Of Painting Outside

Artist Susan Ogilvie is seen at work near Dungeness Spit.
Jennifer Wing

The clouds hang low over the water along a quiet stretch of gravelly beach in the Strait of Juan de Fuca near Sequim, Washington. A sailboat silently glides past and a clear creek runs into the strait. A gang of seagulls stands at the watery crossroads, preening their feathers.

Perched on a grassy overlook capturing this on a small canvas of balsa wood is plein air artist Sandy Byers. Painting en plein air is the French term that simply means painting outside — something artists have been doing for hundreds of years.

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Life On Two Wheels
5:00 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Seattle's Dexter Avenue To Become A Little Safer For Bike Commuters

The morning comute along Dexter Avenue as it crosses Mercer.
Jennifer Wing KPLU

At 7 a.m. on a recent morning, biker after biker whizzed by on Dexter Avenue heading into downtown Seattle. Some wore fancy gear. Others rode in summer shorts and sandals. Most carried backpacks.

This is one of the most popular roads for the city’s bike commuters. Still, if you want to get around Seattle safely on two wheels, you have to always be aware of cars. According to the most recent available data, there were 406 car-bike accidents in 2012.

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Artscape
5:00 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Seattle Photo Exhibit Explores The Renaissance Of The Afro

Courtesy of Michael July.

One of the first things you notice about someone is the hair. How people wear the hair can say a lot about their politics, religion and even their health.

A photo exhibit currently on display in Seattle focuses entirely on individuals who choose to wear their hair in one type of hairstyle: the afro. This halo of high hair has gone from a symbol of black power to a fashion choice that challenges conventional ideas of beauty.

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Artscape
5:00 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Exhibit Features 100 Years Of Shoes Women Love But Don't Always Wear

Alison Marcotte KPLU

Have you ever bought a pair of shoes that truly made you happy? Unlike jeans or a bathing suit, the one part of an outfit most women don’t dread putting on are shoes. According to a poll by ShopSmart magazine, 19 percent of women have purchased shoes to put them in a happier state of mind.  

If you want to see shoes that have been uplifting women’s moods and their physical stature over the last 10 decades, a treasure trove of heels, pumps, boots and stilettos is currently on display at the White River Valley Museum in Auburn. The Sole Obsession exhibit features more than 100 pairs of women’s dress shoes from 1910 to 2010 that are lit like movie stars and ready for their close-ups.

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Youth & Education
5:00 am
Mon July 14, 2014

UW Study Examines New Ways To Involve Immigrant Parents In School Activities

Photo courtesy of the Kent School District

Students do better in school when their parents volunteer and have a relationship with teachers and staff, decades of research have shown.

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Legal Pot
5:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Little-Known Medical Marijuana Loophole Allows Teens To Get Lots of Pot

Courtesy of George Wing.

When voters approved Initiative 502, one part of the law that appealed to parents was that recreational marijuana would only be available to people 21 and older.

What many parents don’t realize is that it’s possible for a healthy teenager, with the help of an unethical medical provider, to obtain authorization for medical marijuana, which then gives them access to hundreds of dispensaries in the Seattle area. 

Meanwhile, Seattle Public Schools officials say marijuana use by students is on the rise, and students say it is easier to get than alcohol. Where is the supply coming from? Parents and school officials suspect medical marijuana dispensaries. 

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Music
5:00 am
Fri May 23, 2014

'A Year In Your Ear': NW Record Label Signs 52 Little-Known Artists For 1 Song Each

Kim Virant performs on stage.
Courtesy of London Tone.

A Northwest record label has made it a little easier for musicians to launch their careers.

London Tone has signed contracts with 52 mostly unknown artists for just one song, and allowed them record the single at the famed London Bridge Studios in Shoreline.

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Noxious Weed
5:00 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Beware Of The Giant Hogweed, The Invasive Plant That Can Cause Burns And Blisters

King County noxious weed expert Karen Peterson stands in front of a giant hogweed plant, holding a dead stalk.
Courtesy Sasha Shaw

If you find giant hogweed growing in your garden, don't try to remove it without wearing protective clothing and safety glasses. Otherwise, you could end up suffering for a long time, says Sasha Shaw, an educator with the King County Noxious Weed Control Program.

Shaw has seen pictures of people hurt by giant hogweed. She says it's the plant's sap that "makes your skin hypersensitive to sunlight and then the sunlight causes burns and blisters. It can cause reddish to purplish scarring for up to several years.” 

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Metro Funding
11:50 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Metro Transit Asking Voters To Pass Prop. 1, Prevent Bus Service Cuts

King County Metro Transit's Facebook Page

King County voters have less than two weeks to decide whether they want to pay a higher sales tax and car tab fee to prevent major cuts to King County Metro Transit bus service.

Proposition 1 would raise the sales tax by .1 percent and boost car tabs by $60. These increases would stay in place for the next 10 years.

If the measure fails, Metro says it will have to get rid of 16 percent of its bus routes and cut thousands of hours of service. 

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Continuing Education
10:23 am
Wed April 2, 2014

UW To Offer New Online Degree In Social Sciences

kyle~ Flickr

The University of Washington is launching a new online degree in integrated social sciences aimed at people who want to complete their education.

The move is the university’s latest push into the competitive world of online education.

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Immigration
5:00 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Activists Fasting In Solidarity With Immigrants At Tacoma Detention Center

Activists are standing in solidarity with immigrants who’ve been staging a hunger strike at the detention center in Tacoma by holding their own hunger strike this week.

The protesters, who are mostly women, are calling the demonstration the Women’s Fast For Families. They want to remind the public that lawmakers have yet to act on any comprehensive immigration legislation.

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Education
12:05 am
Mon March 3, 2014

UW's MOOC On Public Speaking Proving To Be Massively Popular

Hamish Gunn

University of Washington professor Matt McGarrity teaches a wildly-popular MOOC, or a free massive open online course open to virtual students everywhere.

McGarrity’s course on public speaking is one of more than a dozen MOOCs offered by UW. The communications professor likens the MOOC approach to a yoga class that might air at 6 in the morning on TV.

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On Survival
5:01 am
Mon February 10, 2014

'How Can You Live With Hate In Your Heart?': Local Holocaust Survivor Sharing Story

Noemi Ban
Western Washington University

There are a handful of Holocaust survivors in the Northwest who were old enough during World War II to remember the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp.

Noemi Ban, 91, of Bellingham is one of them. Ban was a young woman when she lost most of her family at Auschwitz. She survived, and has been sharing her story of hope and forgiveness since.

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Education
5:00 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Nonprofit That Helps Children With Disabilities Needs More Time To Find A New Home

A classroom at Northwest Center Kids Queen Anne. Children with special needs learn side by side with typically developing kids.
Wenmei Hill Courttesey of Northwest Center

Northwest Center Kids in Queen Anne has rented the same building from Seattle Public Schools for decades. But the district says it’s short on space and needs the facility back in the next six months.

The program's location is hard to spot from the street. It’s tucked in near a city park on the downhill slope of north Queen Anne. Inside, toddlers with Down syndrome and preschoolers with feeding tubes play side by side with typically developing children.

Inclusion was the goal of the program’s founders back in 1965. They had kids with special needs, and instead of institutionalizing them, they started their own school.

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