Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Firewise is the name of a long-running campaign to get homeowners in wildfire country to take steps to reduce risk. Outside Omak, Wash., John Belles didn't just do the simple things. He built a futuristic, thin-shelled concrete dome house. It's now an unscathed beacon amid acres of hillside blackened by the Okanogan fire, the largest in state history.

Doctors' practices are increasingly trying to reach their patients online. But don't expect your doctor to "friend" you on Facebook – at least, not just yet.

Ticking Clock: Sound Effect, Episode 33

Aug 22, 2015
Brie Ripley / KPLU

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week we ponder the relentless passing of time; the ticking clock.  

After Dark: Sound Effect, Episode 32

Aug 15, 2015
Matthew Streib, KPLU

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week, we shed some light on things that happen after dark. 

Sound Effect Senior Producer, Arwen Nicks learns about the world of after hours public defenders and what it means for them to be on call. 

KPLU's Community Advisory Council will be meeting on Monday, August 31 at 2 p.m. PST.

If you are interested in attending as a member of the listening community, please contact the General Manager's office at (253) 535-8732 for more information.

Slaven's Recommended Reads

Aug 8, 2015

 

Seeing isn’t always believing. In this segment, on Sound Effect, we discuss three books whose stories are propelled by what goes unseen. King County Supervising Librarian Amber Slaven highlights the work of three regional authors who, in their own ways, explore invisibility.

First on her list is Ann Pancake’s most recent book of short stories, “Me and Daddy Listen to Bob Marley.” Pancake, a teacher at Pacific Lutheran University, pens layered stories, evoking narratives of people who are intensely connecting to their land. She addresses the environmental toll of fracking, and how it affects the mental well-being of those who do the work.  Her stories include mention of ghosts, bones, drug addiction, mental illness – all of which are invisible to the naked eye.

Next is Elissa Washuta’s coming of age memoir, “My Body is a Book of Rules.” The reader is strapped to a rollercoaster narrative that parallels her bipolar disorder as the author navigates college in Maryland, then heads off to graduate school in Seattle. As a member of the Cowlitz tribe, who plays up digestible Native stereotypes to appease white adults, Washuta tries to manage her expected identity and her own shaky sense of self. Her perceived white privilege, mental health, ethnic identity, gender, and sexual trauma coalesce and reflect intersecting nature of invisibility.

Invisible: Sound Effect, Episode 31

Aug 8, 2015

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week, our out-of-sight team of producers talk invisibility. 

To begin our show, we hear from Danny Dover, a Seattle author and tech entrepreneur. To combat a bout of depression, Dover created a bucket list. One of the experiences he tacked onto that list required him to become completely invisible. He wanted to become a pickpocket, and so he did. 

Then, KPLU's Jennifer Wing visits Camp Oasis on the Key Peninsula. The goal of the camp is to unite children who battle the same invisible illnesses: Crohn's and colitis. Because illnesses such as these often go undiscussed, young people can have a hard time connecting with others facing similar challenges. But for one week out of every year, Camp Oasis offers campers an opportunity to lift the veil and meet others like themselves. 

In this week's roundtable to discuss under-reported stories, host Gabriel Spitzer was joined by Peter Robison, Seattle bureau chief for Bloomberg News, Phyllis Fletcher, managing editor for Northwest News Network and Justin Carter, publisher of the Capitol Hill Seattle blog

For Robison, the story that deserved more attention last week was the uprooting of a small, longtime community of RV campers and auto-homeless who lived on Northlake Way near Lake Union. The city dismantled the community last week.

"It was families. It was people with children," Robison said. The larger issue speaks to income inequality and Seattle's growing  and persistent problem with affordable housing for low-income residents, he added.

The Wallingford near-lake area, over time, grew expensive around the encampment.

"Across the street (from the former encampment) is Westward, which is one of Bon Appetite's top new restaurants," he said.

Capitol Hill Muggles Seek The Snitch At Quidditch

Aug 7, 2015
Brieana Ripley, KPLU

In 2010, a friend of Eric Andres told him that some Northern Arizona University classmates regularly got together for real-life Quidditch games. The fact that Quidditch was a fictional game played by made-up characters in Harry Potter novels wasn't lost on the college junior. 

Andres said his first thought was, "That sounds stupid-awesome." So he went to check it out. 

Ed Ronco, KPLU

Mama's Mexican kitchen in Seattle is going to be closing soon after 40 years in business. For its patrons, this means farewell to cheap, late-night burritos in Belltown, cozy booths and the Elvis Room.

But for Bella Biagio it's more than a loss of a business, a job or a building; She's worked there 18 years. So for her, it's the loss of family -- albeit an odd one she refers to as, "The island of misfit toys."

"We are the train with the square wheels. And the gun that shoots jelly and the Charlie in the Box," she said. "It's so dysfunctional but it works."

A lot of older Seattle is disappearing under the ceaseless march of urban development, she said. And the town is lesser for it.  There are not as many none corporate, "genuine" places in Seattle anymore, she said. Certainly not many like Mama's, a popular, divey Mexican eatery on the corner of 2nd Avenue. and Bell Street.

Déjà Vu: Sound Effect, Episode 30

Aug 1, 2015

 Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week, our ragtag radio team has curated another "best of" episode. 

Before things become a bit uncanny, we discuss the elusiveness of déjà vu with 50 First Dates Screenwriter, George Wing. 

From Episode 12: Lost and Found, KPLU’s Jennifer Wing unspools the story of Snowball, a frequently lost cat who was eventually found

From Episode 17: Coming Out, KPLU's Arwen Nicks interviews teacher and activist, Yaara Zaslow, about why she decided to come out as a rape survivor.

From Episode 3: Rain, we retreat to the forest to reflect on cooler weather with Ranger John Preston in the Hoh Rain Forest

From Episode 11: Flight, Korean astronaut and engineer Yi So-yeon tells KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer about her long journey from the International Space Station to Puyallup.

Teamwork: Sound Effect, Episode 29

Jul 25, 2015
mamas.com

 Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week our mötley crüe has produced stories for you about teamwork. 

Gabriel Spitzer talks with racer, Rachel Scdoris, about how she worked with a teammate to navigate and finish the Iditarod race even though she is legally blind.

Austin Jenkins

Washington state regulators are tightening their grip on medical marijuana this week by targeting dubious patient authorizations. But some clinics say the changes, which begin Friday, will put them out of business.

The new Cannabis Patient Protection Act requires any health care provider who authorizes more than 30 medical cannabis patients in a month to report to the Department of Health.

Someone Saved My Life: Sound Effect, Episode 28

Jul 18, 2015
Tacoma Public Library

"Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week is dedicated to stories about lives saved. 

Sound Effect, Episode 27: Origin Stories

Jul 11, 2015
Ammon Walker

  "Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. This week's show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week we crack open origin stories.

To start off the show, KPLU's Arwen Nicks speaks with Roger Fernandez — a native storyteller, artist and educator. He shares with us part of a traditional Wampanoag creation myth.

Then, Gabriel Spitzer talks about the origin of the UFO phenomenon, spoiler alert — it started here in Washington state. 

You’ve probably enjoyed one yourself. The infamous “Seattle-dog” is an iconic entrée best enjoyed after traipsing around the city after dark. But where did this cream cheese laden hotdog come from? KPLU’s Matthew Streib tracks down the food cart vendor who spearheaded the local trend.

AP Images

From discrimination to density to wood, Gabriel Spitzer gets the underreported stories of the week from Jessica PartnowBryan Cohen and Joanne Lisosky

There's always interesting stuff in the news that gets overshadowed by the big stories. On Sound Effect we invite a panel a journalists to talk over their nominees for under-covered story of the week. 

This week Alex Hudson of the news and politics blog Seattlish noted that even though the heat wave is all anyone can talk about, there are dimensions of it that haven't gotten the attention they deserve, such as the outsize hazard heat poses for homeless people. 

"The city of Seattle has extreme weather plans that relate to cold weather, and there are no real plans that relate to hot weather," she says. 

Sound Effect, Episode 26: Growing Pains

Jul 4, 2015
File Photo

"Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week we discuss growing pains. 

Tracey Croisier

When Tracey Croisier was five years old,  she began having seizures. 

Her family was living in Taiwan.  By the time she was nine, they had moved back to the United States. Her parents took her to a doctor. He explained to the family that her condition, epilepsy, was so severe it would prevent Tracey from ever driving, holding a job or living independently. 

And then the expert added that she should never have kids.

About 10,000 people visit southeast Washington state’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation every year. And after a few hours on the bus, some are dazed like tourists who’ve seen one Italian cathedral too many.

On those tours, they have guides. But even folks who don’t come to Hanford’s physical site have a "tour guide" -- someone who can translate the language of Hanford and its nuclear legacy: Liz Mattson.

Point Of No Return Cocktail Recipe

Jun 27, 2015
Kevin Kniestedt, KPLU

The Point Of No Return cocktail was created by bartender Keith Waldbauer at Liberty Bar on Capitol Hill. A fiery spectacle guaranteed as fun to drink as it is to prepare, the Point of No Return is a crowd-pleasing classic. 

What you'll need:

Sound Effect, Episode 25: Point Of No Return

Jun 27, 2015
Brian Yeager and Amelia Bonow

"Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. This week's show is hosted by KPLU's Kevin Kniestedt. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week we muse over the point of no return. 

To start things off, Kevin Kniestedt talks to Buta Sing about leaving his home and family behind in India after facing religious persecution. Sing is Sikh, and members of his religion face many challenges from the largely Hindu opposition.

Then, we hear from Tracey Croisier from A Guide to Visitors. At nine years old, she was told by medical professionals that she had epilepsy. This was the point of no return for many experiences in Croisier's life — driving, a job, pregnancy. Nearly two decades later, new medical insight restored paths she thought were forever obscured.  

Paradise Fire Incident Management Team

A smoldering fire in Olympic National Park flared up over the weekend, scorching at least 600 acres before heavy smoke and inaccessible terrain made the blaze too hard to measure.

In what is usually the wettest area of the lower 48 states, parts of the rainforest landscape have turned to tinder this year and set the stage for the rapid spread of the Paradise Fire.

“What’s actually carrying the fire are the lichens in the very tops of the trees. They're so dry that they’ll actually carry fire, and so the fire is jumping through the tree canopies,” said Donna Nemeth, an information officer with the Fire Incident Team made up of National Park Service and National Forest Service personnel.

Sound Effect, Episode 24: Toilets

Jun 20, 2015
Brie Ripley

"Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week we've flushed out stories about toilets. 

First off, Gabriel Spitzer goes on a mission to track down Seattle's ill-fated million-dollar toilets. His quest takes him to a Thurston County racetrack, where he meets toilet man Butch Behn. 

Sound Effect, Episode 23: Final Act

Jun 13, 2015
Gecko Press

"Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week we discuss final acts.

To begin the show, we check in with those still at the beginning of life. We wanted to know how you talk to children about death – life’s final act. Philosopher Jana Mohr Lone engages children in conversations about death all the time. She breaks the ice by reading them a book called, “Duck, Death, and the Tulip.”

Slaven's Recommended Reads

Jun 12, 2015
Photo courtesy of Elliot Bay Book Company

Everything ends. In this segment, on Sound Effect, we discuss three books whose stories are propelled by finality. King County Supervising Librarian Amber Slaven highlights the work of three regional authors who, in their own ways, explore the final curtain calls of life. 

  First on her list is Rebecca Brown's memoir, "Excerpts from a Family Medical Dictionary." This lyrical work of narrative non-fiction follows Brown, a former home care worker, who moves from New Mexico to Seattle to take care of her mother, who is dying of cancer. Brown's poetic and austere portrayal of grief and bereavement is really sparse, but touches on a mother's final act and a daughter coping with loss. 

Sound Effect, Episode 22: What's In A Name?

Jun 6, 2015
Creative Commons

  "Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week we dissect how we feel about what we are called, taking a look at names.

Have you ever wondered how Yakima got the nickname, "The Palm Springs of Washington?" We did. So we found out and that is how we begin this week's show on names. The names we have, the names we choose and the names we wish we could escape.

Courtesy of Lloyd Pernela

"Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week we hear stories about the promise and the perils of self-government. 

We begin with the tale of a short-lived utopian society, right in the heart of Seattle. In 1962, a mysterious island rose, inexplicably, out of the waters of Lake Union. That gave a group of UW students an idea. Gabriel Spitzer tracks down one of the ringleaders of their plot, half-a-century later, to learn about the epic rise and tragic fall of Chelan Island. 

Monica Spain

Ty Kocher walks me up the hilly backyard behind his home in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. The lush, sloping lot is the reason he bought the fixer-upper -–  it had a terrace for a vegetable garden and nooks and crannies for the kids to discover. But first he had to deal with decades of debris.

“Years ago, about six years ago, I was digging out a bunch of broken bottles and bricks and some old metal toys from the ‘50s and so we just planted into the hill and recently I put rain barrels in the spot, thinking I was doing all the right things.”

Sound Effect, Episode 20: Comfort Zones

May 23, 2015
Mark Reed

"Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week, we get into and out of our ‘Comfort Zones.’

Being naked at work would be a nightmare for many, but not for Robert Treat. Gabriel Spitzer talks to the veteran nude model about his work and the power dynamics in play when someone is nude in the room.

Sound Effect producer Kevin Kniestedt talks to a young woman with fibromyalgia about what it feels like to live most of your life in pain.

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