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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Editor's note: KPLU has asked all nine candidates in the Seattle mayoral race to tell us about a time when his or her leadership skills were put to the test. One candidate's answer follows.

Out of all the candidates running in the 2013 mayoral primary, no one has known incumbent Mike McGinn longer than Kate Martin. The two of them were on the Greenwood Community Council together for almost 10 years. Even though she calls him "Mike," you wouldn't really call them friends.

Jo Hoffman

The plight of honeybees is well-known. Their numbers are dropping, and entomologists are trying to figure out the cause. But did you know that bumblebees—the larger, slower, and furrier relatives of the honeybee—are also in trouble?

Office of the Secretary of State

It's that time of year when life slows down a bit, people go on vacation and they study the voters' guide for the summer primary. What? An election in August?  Yes, Aug. 6 to be exact. Because it's an off-year election with no presidential or gubernatorial candidates in the running, voter participation is predicted to be low.

Matt Barreto, an associate political science professor at the University of Washington, says the lack of interest could be caused by "voter fatigue."

Jennifer Wing

With the Fourth of July fast approaching, many people are making their annual trips to their favorite firework stands to load up for the holiday. This is also the time of year when emergency rooms see hundreds of fireworks-related injuries. 

Boom City, on the Tulalip Indian Reservation north of Everett, has one of the largest selection of fireworks in Washington state. Boom City has more than 130 booths selling everything from sparklers to 500-gram cakes, which is sort of like a fireworks show in a box.

Alex Ragone

This week is the start of summer vacation for a lot of students in the Puget Sound area. It's a time to relax, go to camps and have fun. 

But for children who come from families that don't have a lot of money these next few months are when they often fall behind in their reading skills.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

May 30, 2012 was a beautiful, sunny day. It was also the day when residents and students in North Seattle were told to stay indoors as police searched for the gunman who had opened fire inside a busy café.

When it was all over, five people had been shot dead and the gunman had taken his own life. 

The violence began at Cafe Racer, on the northern edge of Seattle's University District. 

For most kids, the weekends are prime time to play and catch up on cartoons. But for thousands of children across the country and here in the Northwest, Saturdays mean waking up early to head to another school where they sharpen their academic teeth and learn a language that ties them to their cultural heritage. 

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

Will providing  greater access to the arts boost academic achievement? 

Seattle Public Schools is betting it will, and is working to bring arts education into more of its elementary and middle schools.

St. Patrick’s Day holds a special place in Erika Lee Bigelow’s heart. After all, the holiday once brought the Seattle woman a life-changing dose of Irish luck.

Bigelow was 27 and living in Portland when, on a whim, she entered a contest hosted by the beer company Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day. The prize: the winner’s very own pub in Ireland.

“You had to write a 50-word essay finishing the sentence ‘The perfect pint of Guinness...’” she said. “I had been an English major in college and I thought, ‘I can do that.”’

Vivian Maier / Jeffrey Goldstein Collection

Vivian Maier is an artist who is considered one of the greatest street photographers of our time. She was a nanny who lived in Chicago. She never talked about her work when she was alive and became famous for it after she died. That’s when thousands of her negatives were discovered and developed. Some of her work is on display right now at The Photo Center Northwest in Seattle.

Jeffrey Goldstein is a collector and owns the negatives of the photos that are on the walls. We are looking at a black and white picture taken by Vivian Maier. It shows girls, young women, laughing and playing in the shallow waves of Lake Michigan near Chicago in the late 1960's. You can almost feel their joy as they splash each other in the hot sun.

“And this is the north shore, with wealthy households and girls who have most things that they want and they are having fun, with bikinis and they are splashing water and here is Ingar, looking out towards the water and she’s the only one with a white bathing cap on."

Ingar Raymond is a chubby girl. She’s about six or seven years old and Vivian Maier was her nanny. In this picture, Ingar is the only person with her back turned to the camera.

"The lightest areas in the photograph are the clouds and Ingar’s cap. And she’s almost like one of these clouds. Just floating out there in the water by herself."

Joshua Trujillo / AP

Seven hundred and sixteen guns were collected at Saturday’s gun buyback program in Seattle. But officials say they are disturbed by the large number of private gun buyers the event attracted.

Mayor Mike McGinn says he was shocked by what he describes as the “gaggles” of private gun buyers who showed up to tempt people away from the long lines and gift cards and offer them cash for their weapons.

“We had a gun bazaar break out of the streets of Seattle outside of a gun buyback. That was just insane."

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

Seattle’s first effort in 20 years to give people money for turning in guns was so popular on Saturday it ran out of gift cards and had to end early. But even if you were one of the people who didn’t get there early enough, there were lots of opportunities outside the event to get money for your weapons.

Flickr

Washington State law enforcement officials are slowly becoming familiar with the details of the new marijuana law. It makes it legal for people 21 and older to possess small amounts of the drug.  However one aspect of the initiative could create huge backlogs at the state’s crime labs.

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

After waiting for hours in line last week to obtain marriage licenses, hundreds of same sex couples finally got to tie the knot this weekend.  The ceremonies were made possible by the new voter approved same sex marriage law. 

Inside the sanctuary at Seattle First Baptist Church  twenty five couples, dressed in everything from matching, dapper suits and white dresses to coordinated western cowboy shirts, became a part of Washington State history when Pastor Tim Phillips said these familiar words.

Jeremy Lange / Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank

The streets of downtown Seattle are filled once a year with hundreds of people singing Christmas carols, or a wacky version of them, for the annual Great Figgy Pudding Street Corner Caroling Competition. Thirty-nine teams are competing for various titles tonight, Friday. Nearly 10,000 spectators came to the event last year.

Some of the teams change the lyrics of traditional tunes to sing about everything from the joys of coffee to solar power. At least one team, the Emerald City Cloggers, dances to Christmas songs.

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