Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Ricky Gervais always seems to be working on something new. Whether it's producing a TV show, writing a movie, voicing a cartoon character, or hosting the Golden Globes, the comedian keeps busy.

Jayel Aheram / Flickr

This week on Sound Effect we present stories of war and peace.

Ground Zero

Courteosy of Tom Rogers

Naval base Kitsap-Bangor, located on the Kitsap Peninsula is one of only two military bases in the United States that houses strategic nuclear weapon facilities. It's home to several Trident submarines, which are armed with nuclear weapons. The nuclear capabilities of these submarines have long made the naval base a focus of controversy and protest.

Courtesy of Vanessa Davids

Vanessa Davids did most of her military service “inside the wire,” as an Arabic translator on a base in Iraq. Her job called on her to translate audio and video recordings, in hopes of gathering intelligence, foiling attacks and probing enemy action. She translated bomb plots, beheadings, even in some cases child pornography. As a result, she got an intimate, and dark, perspective on human nature.

“Doing the work that I did, it really seemed to me at the time that evil was in every single person, and it was just a matter of how well they hid it from you,” Davids said.

(Credit Anders Beer Wilse/Public Domain)

During World War II, in a frozen wilderness in southern Norway, on the edge of an icy cliff sat a hydroelectric plant called Vemork. This winter fortress was the center of some of the most important sabotage efforts of the war.

That’s because besides electricity, the plant manufactured a rare substance Hitler needed for an atomic bomb: heavy water. The allies thought that if Hitler got his hands on this stuff, the Germans could win the war. So they wanted to destroy the plant. And their first plan was an outright air attack.

Woody Guthrie, often considered America's greatest folk icon, authored hundreds of ballads during his lifetime. His most famous song "This Land is Your Land," like many of his songs, sketched both the political and geographic American landscape.

"When the sun come shining, then I was strolling
In wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling
The voice was chanting as the fog was lifting
This land was made for you and me"

Courtesy Faried Alani

As an orthopedic surgeon in Iraq, Dr. Faried Alani had a highly successful career working at a hospital and a prosperous, happy life with his wife and two daughters. Many of the people he operated on were victims of bombs and bullets, but he forced himself to keep the violence at a distance emotionally, in order to do his job more effectively. 

But that changed one evening, as Alani was leaving work. 

Save KPLU Campaign Update: April 28

Apr 28, 2016
Tim Durkan

Dear Friends,

On Tuesday April 26, the Friends of 88-5 FM community group submitted a letter of intent (LOI) to purchase KPLU from Pacific Lutheran University. Read a full report on the sale, and see the LOI.

We don’t know if PLU will accept the Friends’ offer, so we continue our fundraising efforts to reach $7 million by June 30th, which is only 9 weeks away.

Investing for retirement doesn't have to be hard. You read up on how to put together a diverse mix of low-cost index funds, bonds, etc. Then keep setting aside all you can into that retirement account. Easy.

But when you actually retire and start spending that money, that's like going from playing checkers to playing chess. It can get a lot harder.

Tim Durkan Photography

(Seattle-Tacoma) Friends of 88-5 FM, a local non-profit formed to ensure the future of public radio station KPLU (88.5 FM), announced today that it has submitted a Letter of Intent to Pacific Lutheran University setting forth principal terms for its purchase of KPLU.

Credit Ken Wilcox via Flickr

This week Sound Effect brings us stories of rivalries.

Rivalries In Sports

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

What makes sports rivalries so contentious, so impassioned and so much fun? KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that it has a lot to do with proximity and stakes. While Seattle sports teams have often been accused of playing out of "Sound Alaska," Pacific Northwest teams still have managed to develop some consistent contention with other teams, especially if there is a lot on the line. 

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Caros and Ben Fodor didn’t always hate each other’s guts.

“Like, at birth, when he was first adopted, we were close, because he didn’t talk,” Caros said.

The irritation is mutual.

“Caros and I really didn’t get along growing up,” Ben said. “I don’t even know how to describe that guy. He’s kind of an a------, but he’s not like your stereotypical jerk. He’s got his own little way of ruining things.”

Patrick Rodriguez via Wikimedia Commons

Tacoma has been known as the “City of Destiny” for more than 140 years. While the city’s slogan has had a unique longevity (when was the last time you heard Seattle referred to as "Jet City?"), the slogan's originator is even more extraordinary.

George Francis Train is often credited with naming Tacoma the “City of Destiny.” At the very least, he popularized the slogan, using it over and over in his bombastic syndicated newspaper column called, inexplicably, “Train’s Vander-Billion Psychos.”

When it comes to music, the idea of band rivalries goes back decades. The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones has been a classic matchup that goes back five decades.

In the Pacific Northwest, the most visible example of a band rivalry started 25 years ago, when Nirvana and Pearl Jam were two of the biggest bands in the country.

Why is this Passover different from any other? Because the story that the Jewish holiday commemorates — the exodus of the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt to freedom — resonates more strongly than ever in a world embroiled in a refugee crisis that encompasses approximately 60 million people, the highest number ever recorded, according to United Nations statistics.

Tim Durkan

Dear Friends,

We hit a major milestone this week: the $4 million mark! Thanks to everyone who has given to the campaign. We’ve received nearly 12,000 donations -- a testament to the community’s commitment to preserving KPLU’s programming and launching it into the future, stronger than ever.

GiveBIG

A big show of support for the Save KPLU campaign comes from the city of Tacoma and Mayor Marilyn Strickland with a proclamation designating April 29, 2016 as Save KPLU Day in Tacoma. 

After Fires In West, Mushroom Hunters 'Chase The Burn'

Apr 20, 2016

Right now, and in the coming weeks, from Northern California to Alaska, commercial and amateur mushroom hunters will be scouring hills that were ravaged by fires last summer and fall. Their prey? Morel mushrooms.

"Sometimes we call it 'chasing the burns,' " mushroom enthusiast Kevin Sadlier says, in search of the black morel mushrooms that grow in the springtime after a forest fire.

May 3 Is GiveBIG Day!

Apr 18, 2016
Seattle Foundation

May 3 is GiveBIG day! Between now and then, the Seattle Foundation will stretch the dollars you give to the Save KPLU campaign through their website. In addition, a group of donors has created a challenge pool to stretch your dollars even further!

The June 30 deadline to reach $7 million is less than two months away, and your generous gift can help us get closer to the goal. We’re in the final countdown, and now is the perfect time to make your gift.

Alex Adkins / Flickr

This week Sound Effect is revisiting stories about leaving home.

Leaving The Church

Author Nicole Hardy told a lot of people she was a 35-year-old virgin. When her essay “Single, Female, Mormon, Alone” was published in 2011 in a New York Times Modern Love column, it sparked a lot of attention.

(Public Domain/NASA)

Soyeon Yi makes her home in Puyallup, Washington. But to get there, she had to leave home — twice. Soyeon is the first, and so far the only astronaut in the Korean space program. On April 8, 2008, she boarded a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and for about nine days, left her home planet behind. 

Spaceflight was a dream come true for her, but it came with some unexpected consequences. And those pushed her eventually to make another break with home - this time, with her country - and nearly everything she knew.

Dell Yearling Books

For some people, home is not a place of safety and comfort. When writer Anastasia Selby was growing up around the Seattle suburbs and Olympia, home was a dangerous place of neglect and abuse. As a young girl facing some tragic circumstances, Selby often ran away from home.

Selby drew the strength to do that from what might seem like an unlikely place: the novels of acclaimed author, Judy Blume.

Courtesy of Britt Marie Hermes

The first pivotal moment for Britt Marie Hermes came during a bout of psoriasis. She was a teenager at the time, and she went to the doctor to get it taken care of.

“I remember asking him about other options to treat psoriasis. And he was very cold about it. His response was, ‘This is it, kid. You’re going to have psoriasis for the rest of your life, your best treatment is steroids, and that’s that,’” Hermes said. 

Special Collections and University Archives / University of Oregon Libraries

For nearly a century, the U.S. government had a policy of pushing many Native American families to send their children to boarding schools. Away from their homes and traditions, the students were often forced to abandon their cultures and languages, and adopt English and mainstream white customs.

The hit HBO series Game of Thrones, and the book series that it's based on, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, features a sprawling cast of characters jostling for power. There are so many, in fact, that just who is the protagonist is a source of debate among GoT fans.

Tim Durkan

Dear Friends,

We are very close to reaching the $4 million mark. So far, nearly 11,000 people have donated to the campaign. Thank you for the incredible support!

Last night’s community meeting in Olympia was fantastic. Thanks to all who came out, we appreciated hearing your comments and suggestions. If you missed any of the community meetings, there will be many more opportunities over the next few months to meet with the Save KPLU team.

FUNDRAISERS

It sounds like a joke. A goat walked into a Starbucks ...

But it's true.

It happened a couple of days ago in Rohnert Park, Calif., when a goat whose name is Millie somehow got away from her home and ambled over to the nearby strip mall. Employees dangled a banana in front of the goat in the hope of apprehending her, but she preferred to chew on a cardboard box. Police officers took the ruminant to an animal shelter, where her owner reportedly reclaimed her.

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