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.”

Ways To Connect

Talking about drugs and alcohol with kids is awkward. And now that there is an initiative on November’s ballot that would make marijuana legal for people 21 and older, families might want to figure out what their boundaries will be.  So far, 17 year old Mary Kupper, a junior at Lakeside School, hasn’t gotten that memo yet from her parents Bill and Jane Kupper.

“In recent memory, they’ve never told me ‘don’t do marijuana’. I consider myself a pretty good kid. We’ve had more alcohol talks than pot talks." 

The Associated Press

Ivory, it’s that beautiful creamy white, sometimes even pinkish tooth that can only be had by killing an elephant. Now, A researcher at the University of Washington is helping to put a dent in the illegal ivory trade in Africa. His name is Sam Wasser and he is the director of the center for conservation biology at the University of Washington.

There’s a tiny part of Washington state that is so remote you have to cross an international border twice to get there.

Isolated, surrounded by water and Canadians … why did Point Roberts become a part of Washington and not Canada?

Read more on 'I Wonder Why ... ?'

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

You already know what  recycling  is. Soon you will start hearing more about upcycling. No, it doesn’t involve going up a steep hill on a bike. Upcycling is one of the focuses of this week's Seattle Design Festival and a good example of what it is can be found in an old wooden warehouse in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood. 

Ugochi Alams / Community Fruit Harvest

Isn't it exciting when the plum or fig tree you've been nurturing finally bears fruit? But keeping up with the bounty  and eating it all can be a challenge. Rather than tossing the excess or letting it rot, there are volunteers who are happy to come to your home and harvest what you are willing to give away.

Brian Myrick / The Daily Record

As the Taylor Bridge Fire continues to be battled from the air, people are looking for a safe place to put their horses, cows, llamas and other livestock. The fairgrounds in Ellensburg are holding 150 large animals and counting.

Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery

There are so many ways we can listen to music. Usually the easiest these days is playing tunes on a digital gadget such as a phone or laptop. It wasn’t that long ago when we had to make a trip to the local record store to stock up on the latest hits.

The current exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery, The Record: Contemporary Art And Vinyl, shows how the flat black disk and the sleeve that holds can do so much more than just play music.

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

Here’s an odd fact: Seattle’s dog population is estimated to be around 140,000 and climbing. The number of kids? … 93,000 and dropping.

Seattle’s not such a bad place to raise kids, but based on the 2010 census, roughly 15 percent of our population is 18 or younger. And, when you compare Seattle to Boston, New York City or Chicago our share of little ones looks pretty paltry.

In fact, Seattle is neck and neck with San Francisco, which has the lowest population of children of all major U.S. cities.

So where did all of Seattle’s kids go?

Read more on I Wonder  Why ... ?

A political tale of the little guy going up against the establishment that happened in Seattle more than a decade ago is now on the big screen in movie theaters.

The film Grassroots tells the mostly true story about former monorail champion Grant Cogswell running against incumbent Richard McIver for a seat on the Seattle City Council in 2001.

Andrew_N / Flickr

Have you ever been to Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo and had a difficult time seeing the animals through all of the trees and plants? Well, it’s supposed to be that way. It’s all by design.

The naturalistic animal exhibit was born in Seattle at Woodland Park Zoo nearly 30 years ago.

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

A tiny space with big ideas. This is the motto of the Telephone Room in Tacoma. It claims to be one of the smallest places in the world where artists display their work.

The Associated Press

The Northwest is home to a variety of companies that have changed how we live our lives.

We spend more now on coffee thanks to Starbucks. Amazon is changing the way we read books. And another company with deep local roots has gotten many of us to buy more of everything: Costco.

Read more on I Wonder Why ...?

Right now the Tacoma Art Museum is the only place on the West Coast where you can see the controversial exhibit, Hide-Seek, Difference and Desire in American Portraiture.

The show covers nearly 150 years of art from the gay and lesbian perspective. It also explores the theory that the gay and straight worlds intermingled more freely before World War II.

Angela Sevin / Flickr

Did you know that in just about every sacred text there is a reference to the environment? From the Bible to the Koran, to ancient Buddhist writings, there are passages that talk about how people have either been destroying the Earth or how we need to do a better job taking care of it.

A new coral work performed by Seattle First Baptist and Plymouth Church focuses entirely on the environment. It's called A Song For Our Planet.

The Academy Awards are coming up this Sunday. There are many wonderful films that don’t get an Oscar. And there are lots of not-so-great movies that win the coveted award.  Seattle’s “20-20” awards look back at past Oscar winners and how they’ve stood the test of time.

Museum of History & Industry

In Seattle, we’re never satisfied: Viaduct out of fashion (… and a little dangerous) – remove it and dig a tunnel; Kingdome no longer fits our vision of a great sports venue – poof!

Remove all the hills because they’re in the way of progress – leveled!

One of the earliest engineers to envision grand changes for Seattle was R.H. Thompson. He’s the guy who leveled the hills in what’s known as the Denny Regrade. To understand our drive to give Seattle a constant make over, we decided to take a closer look at this unsung engineer who dramatically changed the city more than 100 years ago.

Read more at I Wonder Why ... ?

Is Seattle a great but lonely place to live?

The city often ranks pretty high on those lists of the best places to move to – There’s the food, the water, the mountains, the music. But once people get here, they find it’s pretty tough to make friends. There’s even a name for it: The Seattle Freeze.

We wondered: When did the freeze set in? And, how can a newcomer ever break through it? 

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Fear of a ticket from paternalistic police? Group angst? Peer pressure?

Whatever the reason, even if a car is not in sight, Seattleites will often wait patiently for the light to change rather than … jaywalk.

Pedestrians in this city are unlike their fellow walkers in San Francisco, Boston and even Portland, Ore., and the culture of waiting at the light goes back decades.

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Seattle Art Museum

Seattle is home to one of the most extensive collections of Asian art in North America. It lives at the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. But over the next several weeks the collection’s best pieces are on display at the Seattle Art Museum in downtown.

The exhibit is called Luminous: The Art of Asia. It features ancient Buddhas, delicate pottery, and a new modern work which ties everything together and transports you to a different place.

Carolee Schneemann

There are some works of art that can make people really uncomfortable.

Artist Carolee Schneemann is a master at pushing the edges of decorum. She’s also one of the first people in the early 1960’s to ever be called a performance artist.

Can something be so terrible it’s actually good? Professor Fred Hopkins thinks so.

By day, Hopkins is a lawyer who helps people get out of paying big fines for traffic infractions. But in his spare time he is the enthusiastic host of Movie Marvels, a show that runs once a week on Seattle’s Community College TV channel.

Jon Klapel / KPLU

Four craftsman houses in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Neighborhood will soon be replaced by new apartments, but for now they are being taken over by a small army of artists to create something completely unexpected for the public to enjoy.

(Updated with photos and videos inside)

Shizuka Yokomizo / Collection of Leslie Cohan, Minneapolis

The desire to be on the public stage is on display right now at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. It’s called “The Talent Show.” The exhibit raises a lot of questions ranging from how much should we put on display to what happens to our images once they are out there.

It’s easy to forget how much effort went in to trying to be seen by the public eye.

The art of disaster

May 29, 2011
Charles Krafft

When you think of porcelain, your grandmother’s fancy dishes might come to mind. The ones that are taken out of the cabinet only for Thanksgiving and other special holidays. Or maybe you own a beautiful china vase.

There are a lot of delicate dishes and trinkets in the home of Seattle artist Charles Krafft. But his pieces go beyond pastels and pretty flowers.

Krafft has made a career out of messing with our expectations of ceramic art. Pouring tea from one of his teapots or eating from one of Krafft’s plates might make you lose your appetite.

Associated Press

The former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa and Nobel Peace Laureate, Desmond Tutu is scheduled to speak to more than seven-thousand people at the Tacoma Dome Friday night.

His appearance is expected to be his last public event on the West Coast as he settles into retirement. Tutu met with students a day before his talk at the Dome. He told them that even thought they may want to be famous someday and make huge changes in the world, it’s the little acts of compassion in life that make a difference

Ursa Waz

Modern life can be difficult to live without help from our smart-phones and other gadgets. Apple is at the forefront of this technology and its users are often incredibly loyal. But a new show by monologist Mike Daisey at the Seattle Repertory Theater raises the point that all of this beautiful design and convenience comes at a cost to factory workers in China.

The production is called “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.”

Courtesy of Shelli Hyrkas

This week marks the 20th anniversary of when an audience heard Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the first time. The band played it at Seattle’s OK Hotel near Pioneer Square and the rest as they say, is history. A new exhibit at the Experience Music Project called “Taking Punk To The Masses: from Nowhere to Nevermind” looks at all of the factors that led to Nirvana explosion onto the global music scene.

Jennifer Wing/KPLU

The little ukulele is having a moment in the spotlight. It has come a long way since Tiny Tim tiptoed through the tulips. 

We all know where to go to see “great” art. But what about really “bad” art? Where do you see that collection?Well, you are in luck because Seattle has its very own Official Bad Art Museum of Art. It’s The “OBAMA.” The collection’s curators are the Seattle couple Marlow Harris and Jo David.

Club House for the Creative

The museum is housed inside Cafe Racer, a blue, nondescript coffee house and bar right at the edge of the University District in Seattle.

The people who hang out here are burlesque artists, cartoonists, musicians and the occasional sword swallower. It’s a club house for the creative. To get into the “OBAMA” isn’t easy. Joe David says the artwork has to meet a certain standard."

“It’s a piece that started out with the right intentions and then something horribly went wrong along the way.”

Yes, the pieces are bad, but they are still interesting to view. The collection goes well beyond "Dogs Playing Poker." 

ErikaJSchultz / Twitpic

Seattle's school board fired Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson and Don Kennedy, the district's chief financial officer, Wednesday evening, as was widely anticipated. The votes were unanimous.

The action was swift retribution following revelations of a financial scandal that drew the anger of board members and the public. The board then voted 6-1 to appoint Susan Enfield as interim superintendent.

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