News articles from KPLU

You may notice when listening to KPLU today that the fund drive sounds a little different ... What’s going on?

Well, because we know you like shorter fund drives and we do like to show gratitude to our listeners, we have given you back an entire day of regular programming smack in the middle of our spring fund drive!

If you have already supported our Fall Fund Drive, thank you! And, if you haven’t had a chance, you can show us how much you love having a FUND DRIVE FREE FRIDAY by making a pledge now!

Remember we can only have shorter fund drives because we are able to reach our fundraising goals. These goals are only met because of listeners like you who make it happen every time!

Enjoy your Friday and thanks again for all you do for KPLU!

All day today, your $60 pledge (or greater) earns you a 2 for 1 Coupon at Jazz Alley in Seattle!You don’t even have to give $60 all at once. Become a Sustaining Member and break that down to only $5/month and a hassle-free membership to KPLU!

Make your gift to KPLU now!

In addition, we have a special treat to donors pledging $365 or more during Morning Jazz, Afternoon Jazz and Evening Jazz.  We are celebrating Earshot Jazz Thursday, and have 25 pair of tickets to an exclusive Earshot Jazz Festival performance!

Jeff Bizzell

Singer Jacqui Naylor releases her 8th album, Lucky Girl, tomorrow. She is also performing tonight at Jazz Alley in Seattle as she kicks off her international tour. KPLU's Kevin Kniestedt spoke to Jacqui today about letting her fans choose the songs for her new album, her continued success with “acoustic smashing” and being the subject of a new documentary.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

Brazilian-born, New York-based pianist/vocalist, Eliane Elias, has covered a lot of musical territory in her recording career.  Some of her CD’s have been straight-ahead be-bop. Others have focused on Brazilian music. She has also very successfully transformed familiar pop tunes into fresh-sounding jazz. 

In this interview, KPLU’s Nick Francis asks Eliane how she balances all these approaches to music.

Associated Press

KPLU's Tom Paulson caught up with physician-activist Paul Farmer at the Clinton Global Initiative, the other big meeting in New York full of heads of state, celebs and bigwigs.

Farmer, the inspiring and controversial cyclist-celeb Lance Armstrong and others have joined in the clarion call to expand the global health agenda to include all the big killers.

Read more on Humanosphere.

A week of big meetings surrounding the United Nations in New York, including a pivotal discussion of tackling non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes ... in poor countries.

Go to Humanosphere for Compelete coverage.

Dimitra Tzanos / Flickr

KPLU's Tom Paulson wondered over on our Humanosphere blog: "What has happened to our sense of ourselves as global citizens and how Sept. 11, 2001, may have altered matters of global health, foreign aid, development — basically, the global humanitarian agenda.

The short answer: It’s a mixed bag of good and bad, some clear signs of what many see as progress but also some disturbing lessons not learned."

Read more at Humanosphere.

Below are the stories KPLU produced in remembrance of 9/11 and its impact on people in the Northwest ten years later:

NEW: Memories of loss, ten years later at International Fountain at Seattle Center

On Sept. 11, 2001, and the following days, more than 30,000 people gathered at the International Fountain at Seattle Center for a flower vigil that became one of many spontaneous gatherings around the world. KPLU News Director Erin Hennessey says she was happy to be among them then and glad to be among a smaller but just as meaningful group 10 years later.

Roundup of regional 9/11 Anniversary ceremonies, memorials

How 9/11 changed one college student's path to adulthood
In early September of 2001, Kevin Finch moved from his childhood home in Puyallup, Wash., to the dorms at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) to start his freshman year in college. His plan was to finish in 4 years with a degree in something related to health care, an idea that began to unravel on just his second day of class.
Read/listen to the rest of the story.

Solidarity and fear, the legacy of 9/11 in local Muslim community
“Right after nine-eleven there was a peak of hostility toward Muslims. It kind of went down a bit, but over the years it’s gone up again.” That’s how local Muslim-American Jeff (Jaffar) Siddiqui summarizes the decade since the Sept. 11th attacks.
Read/listen to the rest of the story.

Slade Gorton says 9/11 Commission got to the facts
On Sept. 11, 2001, former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton was at a conference in Leavenworth, Wash.  He'd gone out for an early morning run when he got word a plane had flown into the World Trade Center in New York.  He drove home to Seattle over a  Steven's Pass, which had almost no traffic on it,  trying to absorb the news of the attacks.
Read/listen to the rest of the story.

Cliff Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington and KPLU’s new weather commentator, says it was Carl Sagan who first inspired him to get out into the public to popularize the science behind weather forecasting.

“I was an undergraduate at Cornell and in those days he was really into popularizing science. He was on the Tonight Show, and he was writing very popular books and a lot of that rubbed off,” Mass told KPLU.

Check out the video above for our complete interview with Cliff Mass.

The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music opened last week in the Musicians’ Village in New Orleans’s Upper 9th Ward.

The center is a performance hall and place where local students and musicians can make recordings, take classes and have access to computers and community rooms.

KPLU’s Kevin Kniestedt visited the site of the center in 2010.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Runs with Scissors / Flickr

CNN’s Global Public Square blog writes "... as the first unambiguous military enforcement of the Responsibility to Protect norm, Gadhafi’s utter defeat seemingly put new wind in the sails of humanitarian intervention."

Tom Paulson, blogger for KPLU's Humanosphere, has written on this topic before and continues the discussion on Humanosphere.

Bengt Nyman / Flickr

"Morning Edition" host Kirsten Kendrick and “All Blues” host John Kessler discuss the creation and inspiration behind Kessler’s new KPLU series: “The Blues Time Machine.”

Each week the new series follows one song through history – from its earliest recordings to its latest and, sometimes, most surprising interpretations. “The Blues Time Machine” airs on KPLU 88.5 on Fridays at 12:10 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

If you listened to KPLU in the Skagit Valley area at 91.1 FM, please note that we had to move to a new frequency on Thursday afternoon. So for the foreseeable future, you can listen to us at 105.5 FM. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

The end of the Jazz Masters

Aug 2, 2011

For thirty years, the National Endowment for the Arts has honored jazz musicians with the highest award for the genre, the NEA Jazz Masters Award. However, in its latest appropriations request, the NEA removed specific reference to Jazz, Folk, and Opera.

The way KPLU’s Groove Notes blogger and Jazz on the Grooveyard host Kevin Kniestedt reads it, the new language means no more Jazz Masters.

Read more.

Associated Press

As the United Nations and the international community ramps up to airlift food and supplies into East Africa, mostly for starving Somali refugees, two perspectives on this crisis seemed especially interesting to Tom Paulson, who runs KPLU’s Humanosphere.

One: In Foreign Policy, Charles Kenny contends that, in this day and age, allowing a famine to occur is basically a crime against humanity.

Two: David Dickson, editor of the Science and Development Network, contends that the UN, Western powers and aid organizations could have been well-prepared for this crisis – if they had paid any attention to the scientific evidence.

Read more.

Shannan Muskopf / Flickr

Washington today became the latest state to align its education standards with a national movement. Forty-four states have now committed to what are dubbed  “common core standards” for Language Arts and Math in public schools.

Bert van Dijk / Flickr

Washington officials say residents have recycled more than 100 million pounds since the state's electronics recycling program began in January 2009.

In Seattle, residents have hit an all-time high in recycling of all products, according to the City of Seattle’s annual recycling report to be released Wednesday.

The White House

President Barack Obama hung the Medal of Honor around the neck of Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, from the Joint Base Lewis McChord, in a ceremony at the White House today.  Petry is assigned to an Army Rangers regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – The cherries are finally ready for harvest in the Northwestern U.S. A cold spring means that this is the latest cherry season anyone can remember. The Northwest News Network’s Anna King has this audio postcard from one of the largest fruit orchards in the world. (Watch the story inside)


These days home sellers are facing an uphill battle, and qualified buyers are becoming ever pickier. Find out how traffic congestion and pending construction project - even those that benefit the community at large- can impede the sale of a house.

The 27th Annual Victoria International JazzFest is underway now through July 3 in various venues in downtown Victoria.

JazzFest presents a culturally and musically diverse program of 85 stunning performances and four workshop/clinics on 12 stages in downtown Victoria. Over 350 musicians in 66 bands from over nine of the world's most diverse countries including Australia, Cuba, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.S. will be performing in Victoria during the Fesival.

"If this isn't the best jazz festival in the world, please send us tickets to a better one."

~Paul de Barros, The Seattle Times

Vancouver's signature festival and British Columbia's biggest music showcase will animate the city for ten days, June 24 - July 3.

From noon to the wee small hours, a rich tapestry of jazz, blues, funk, Latin, fusion, electronica and world music will fill the air at venues big and small, indoor and outdoor across the city.

Western District of Washington

June 23, 2011

Defendants Sought Firearms and Grenades to Attack Complex where Enlistees Report

Meena Kadri / Flickr

In 2009, Seattle-based PATH, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, launched a project aimed at combating cervical cancer in India by introducing the HPV vaccine.

The vaccine program didn’t work out as planned.

To the EM community - 

The safety of the DOE workforce and the communities around our facilities is of the utmost importance to Secretary Chu and is something that requires constant vigilance.  As he says regularly, "We must always be looking for ways to strengthen our approach to safety and foster a questioning attitude at each of our sites."   

Suzanne Heaston, Bechtel’s spokeswoman in Richland. (Bechtel is the prime waste treatment plant contractor.)

WTP management and employees are fully committed to a strong nuclear safety and quality culture, and we welcome every opportunity to improve it. We will work with the DOE to carefully study the DNFSB report and any supporting information provided to identify further opportunities for enhancement.

Jen Stutsman, a DOE spokeswoman:

At every level of the Department of Energy, we take our obligation to protect the safety of our workers and the public very seriously. We are committed to fostering a questioning, safety-driven attitude among all of our federal and contractor employees. That is why the Department has in place a number of distinct safety programs that include independent nuclear safety reviews and an integrated safety management program headed by the DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security.

Do you have a musical instrument that you no longer play? 

If so, donate it to KPLU's Instrument Drive, in support of Seattle JazzED.  They're building a musical library where students can check out an instrument and learn to play jazz. With your help, we can get instruments into the hands of aspiring young musicians who want to learn to play music.

Get more information, and find a drop off location near you!

Only available online – purchase here

Several of Western Washington’s finest high school jazz bands and jazz professionals are showcased on KPLU School of Jazz – Volume 7, the station’s latest CD release which is the culmination of this year’s mentoring project.

It may not be a time-honored tradition just yet, but the Bellevue Jazz Festival is starting to become a regular habit for jazz fans across the region.

The Festival enters its fourth year featuring more than 35 jazz shows in downtown Bellevue, including free shows in clubs and restaurants. Ticketed concerts in the Meydenbauer Theatre include the Charles Lloyd Quartet with Zakir Hussain, Regina Carter, Chris Potter Underground, Tierney Sutton, and the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra plus the Bellevue Jazz Festival Rising Stars.

You'll find a complete schedule and ticket information at

The Bellevue Jazz Festival is sponsored by KPLU.