Monica Spain


Capturing and playing back video of your kid’s first steps or a few minutes of concert footage is almost too easy with smart phones. The immediacy kind of makes you forget how much effort it was to break out the Super Eight camera and project it later in your living room. 

This week as the Association of Moving Image Archivists hold their annual convention in Seattle, we are reminded that sometimes there is value in hanging on to outmoded technology. Hear to KPLU’s Monica Spain story by clicking the listen button above.


If you stand at the edge of Elliott Bay on Pier 59 where the Seattle Aquarium sits, you can peer straight down to see a water-stained, barnacle-pocked concrete slab. It's part of the seawall which extends under Alaskan Way, the major surface street along the waterfront. Much of it is deteriorating, especially the old growth timbers that are hidden behind the concrete where the wall has been patched.

Paul Williams / Flickr

Do most of the clothes in your closet range from hiking fleece to dress fleece, or some variations of plaid and jeans?

That’s probably what has fueled Seattle’s reputation as an unfashionable city.

Overdressing – something that’s just not possible in many American cities – can become a sort of phobia.

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered cellphone company T-Mobile USA to pay a fired whistleblower more than $345,000.

Hannah Jacobson / For KPLU

Liquor in a hardware store? Mini’s at the checkout stand? Mega-stores around the corner?

Woman on the street: “My parents actually needed a gift for a friend of ours, and they were able to buy it at a convenience store – like a nice bottle of liquor. I think it’s convenient!”

Now that Washington State is out of the liquor sales business, bottles of booze are showing up in some unexpected places.

Monica Spain / KPLU

Advocates for the mentally ill say the federal government isn’t going far enough to help veterans who return from war with psychological wounds. They’re in Seattle this week, demanding a change in military culture and better mental health care for veterans.

The federal law that is famous for elevating women’s place in collegiate sports marks its 40th anniversary tomorrow. But Title Nine isn’t just about athletics. It was designed to focus on the overall success of girls and women in school.

For the story, please hit the listen button above.

Department of Ecology

If you’ve taken a ferry across Puget Sound recently, you may have wondered if someone dumped out cans of tomato soup in the water. Some have worried there's been an oil spill.

Large levels of algae called Noctiluca are visible in Puget Sound and people sailing on the water are noticing. The Washington State Department of Ecology says they are getting more worried calls this year.

Monica Spain / KPLU

Seattle basketball and hockey fans are inching closer to having a new stadium. The mayor and hedge fund manager Chris Hansen announced plans to study transportation and parking impacts south of downtown.

Private investor Chris Hansen announced that he will pay for the fast-tracked study, due to be out in six to eight weeks. 

The Associated Press

Washington state has become the first in the nation to require verification of age for online ads that promote sex-related services, such as the escort ads that appear in

The bill, Senate Bill 6251, was among a dozen anti-trafficking bills signed into law by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire today.

Monica Spain / KPLU

Seattle's historic Smith Tower was sold Friday for nearly $37 million in a foreclosure auction on the steps of the King County Administration Building.

The buyer is CBRE Capital of New York, which acquired the delinquent mortgage last fall after Chicago-based Walton Street Capital defaulted on $43 million in loans. When it bought the building in 2006 it intended to convert the tower into condos, but the condo market collapsed in the recession.

Monica Spain / KPLU

“I know the parking is going to disappear. It terrifies me.”

Groundbreaking is just a few weeks away for a new streetcar line in Seattle. The line will connect the coffee shops and colleges of Capitol Hill with the hospitals of First Hill and the Chinatown International District. As some feared, there will be some disruptions in the neighborhoods.

Monica Spain / KPLU

You won’t hear the gavel sound at this auction. But you may want to pay attention anyway since the fate of your neighborhood liquor store may figure in. The Washington State Liquor Control Board has  opened an online auction as part of the next step toward liquor privatization.

Monica Spain / KPLU

It’s common to see day laborers waiting for jobs outside the big home improvement store. But for many in Seattle, a new community gathering space will ensure a safe haven and access to education while

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn grabbed a shovel and dug in for Casa Latina’s groundbreaking event near the Central district. 

“Maybe in other places, they think immigrants aren’t a great idea. In Seattle, you make us stronger,” McGinn said.

Lower real estate prices may have a silver lining for those trying to save disappearing farms. A new study on farmland protection shows between the lull in development and the high interest in “locavore” food, the time is ripe to keep Puget Sound farms from turning into urban sprawl.

Since 1950, the Puget Sound region has lost 60 percent of its farmland, mostly to development. 

The Associated Press

Facebook is apparently pretty concerned about privacy – especially its own.

After announcing that Facebook and the State Attorney General’s office would announce a “joint legal strategy" this morning, the AG’s office followed up with an email requiring journos sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The email was sent to all journalists invited to the press conference at Facebook's Seattle office involving company officials and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna.

The Associated Press

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is joining with Facebook to launch a public attack on the internet scam known as “click jacking.” 

Adscend is the Delaware company behind the so-called click-jacking scam. “Clickjacking” involves computer codes embedded in links that you click on that triggers Facebook’s “Like” feature.

ehpien / Flickr

On Monday, Martin Luther King Junior will be honored in a variety of ways around the region as we observe this federal holiday.

It’s a day of reflection and possibly a time to renew intentions that keep Dr. King’s dream alive.

Charlie Beldon / Flickr

If you didn’t score that 40-inch LCD flat screen for Christmas this year, you might be scanning sales to get one in time for the Superbowl. Whether you’re upgrading or replacing TVs, getting rid of the old clunker can seem like a big project because you can’t just throw it out.

So how do you get rid of electronic waste?

Olivier Roux / Flickr

Some say ignorance is bliss.  Others say ignorance is a drain on society.  But as contrary as it might sound, researchers have found there may actually be a place for the uninformed in group decision-making.

Florangela Davila / KPLU

It’s been a long running problem – how to keep and create affordable spaces for artists to live, work and perform in.

That’s the focus of Cultural Space Seattle, a two-day event beginning Tuesday at Town Hall. The City of Seattle is asking a wide range of people to roll up their sleeves to look for ways to preserve Seattle’s vibrant arts scene.

Catherine Anstett

Salmon spawning is at its peak this time of year and it’s possible to go to local creeks and culverts to watch the salmon, up close and personal. 

Now through early December is prime time to get a good look at chum salmon as they return for spawning around the Puget Sound. And, Piper’s Creek in Carkeek Park is one of the best places in town to see these big fish swimming in a natural environment. They can be so close you might catch a little splash. 

In five years, more than a million members of the armed forces are expected to leave the military and return to civilian life.  Many will be looking for jobs in what’s likely to remain a difficult job market.

Owen McCurty knows firsthand what it’s like to look for a job after a military career.


Seattle’s Westlake Center continues to be a very busy place this week as the site of several protests scheduled for tomorrow.  Although the rallies are being held by separate groups, their messages are related. 

Dennis Hamilton / Flickr

President Barack Obama is coming to Seattle, but unless you’ve already forked over $38,000 or so, you’ll miss him.

However, you might be able to catch a free glimpse of Air Force One on Sunday morning as it makes its way to Boeing Field. Obama is expected to spend mere hours in and around Seattle, and while you may not see the President himself, you might feel the impact.  

The Washington State Attorney General wants a top provider of online adult sex ads to prove it’s operating legally, calls a hub for human trafficking.

Imagine you’ve spent the day hiking trails in the woods and roasting s’mores. Now imagine you’ve left your tent at home, only to take shelter in a cargo shipping container. That’s the challenge King County Parks hoped would inspire designers to blend the outdoor experience with eco-friendly containers. 

Michael Gil / Flikr

In some counties in Washington, access to emergency care is among the best in the nation. But in other parts of the state there are fewer paramedics and specialists to respond to heart attacks and strokes.

A new emergency response system will reduce the time it takes for patients to get the treatment they need. 

Monica Spain / KPLU

Ballots go out in the mail this week for the King County Primary Election. Among the measures is Proposition One which asks voters to renew the Veterans and Human Services Levy. 

Sheila Sebron is an U.S. Air Force veteran who does peer-to-peer outreach, helping others cope with life after military service.  She joined King county council members and other veterans who want to get the word out about saving programs they say are critical as more soldiers return home.

Washington's a top destination for traffickers dealing in forced labor and sex crimes.  New legislation goes into effect today that will strengthen the state’s current human trafficking law.