Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

To some residents in the Seattle neighborhood of Magnolia, things seem to be going downhill. They point to a rise in the number of homeless people living in RVs parked on their streets, and along with it, increases in property crime, blight and disorder. So earlier this year, a group of neighbors pitched in to hire a private security service to patrol the neighborhood.

I'm getting a little tired of all this pivoting.

Pundits and analysts — which, by the way, might be a good name for a new bar in Georgetown — say that Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Paul Ryan and Bernie Sanders are, must, or are soon expected to "pivot" into some new strategy for the fall campaign.

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet has defined tragic young love for centuries: Boy and girl from feuding families fall in love. Boy slays the girl's cousin for killing his friend in a duel. Girl swallows a sleeping potion. Boy thinks she's dead. Boy swallows poison. Girl wakes, sees boy dead, and stabs herself. They're both really dead. Families mourn and reconcile.

Neon cord necklaces draped over a crisp white shirt. Hip-length braids hiding a floral shirt. A psychedelic wax-print jumpsuit.

In her new book Fashion Cities Africa, Hannah Azieb Pool sets out to dispel all the tired stereotypes about fashion in Africa (safari jackets and zebra print, anyone?) and showcase the true diversity and ingenuity of fashion in Africa.

KPLU Summer Programming Updates

Jun 10, 2016

Thank you for your support over the past few months. All of us at KPLU are committed to continuing to providing you with the best jazz, blues and NPR News programming. We'd like to update you on some special programs to look forward to this summer: 2016 Election Coverage and NPR's Invisibilia.

2016 Election Coverage

You can count on KPLU to bring you everything you need to know about the 2016 election.

Where do you draw the line between inspiration and straight-up imitation when it comes to food?

A few years ago, we brought you the story of Caitlin Freeman, a pastry chef baking innovative, art-inspired cakes at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Using modern art as her muse, Freeman translated what she saw in the museum into edible form at the SFMOMA's upstairs café.

(Wikipedia Commons/Vinodtiwari2608)

This week Sound Effect brings us stories of the pursuit.

You're It

Courtesy of David Liston

David Liston finds people who don't want to be found. That's part of the job -- Liston is principal at David Liston Investigations, a private investigation firm based in University Heights. But this case was different. Liston was looking for a man believed to be homeless in the Seattle area in order to give him a message: You stand to inherit millions of dollars. 

Warren Langford

The recent public conversations about gender identity and transgender people have tended to focus on bodies: biological sex versus gender identity, the clothes people wear, what bathrooms they use. But one issue that has gotten less attention is the intersection of gender and voice. Even as trans people work to look like the person they are inside, some find that they still sound like someone else.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

A warning that this interview deals with some very difficult subject matter: the exploitation of children. It is not suitable for children and some adults may find it difficult to hear. 

It's heroic to dedicate your life to chasing bad guys and putting them behind bars. However, that pursuit of criminal activity can come with a lot of traumatic experiences and deep psychological wounds.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

People living in their recreational vehicles and cars at a temporary parking zone set up by the city of Seattle in the Interbay neighborhood will soon have to move. The city plans to close that site because construction is set to start next door.

The city will set up another so-called "safe zone" in SoDo that will accommodate fewer vehicles, and that means some people will soon have to go back to parking on the street and moving every 72 hours. 

Alexander Synaptic / Flickr

This week Sound Effect brings us stories of coming out of the darkness.

‘Bathed In Light’

Imagine being in a cramped, sunless space for three whole months and then emerging into the light. That’s exactly what Petty Officer Steve Watkins experiences at the end of a submarine patrol at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. To kick off our show, he tells us about climbing the 20-foot ladder toward the pinprick of light at the top, and bursting out into fresh air. “It’s just the most amazing experiences,” he said, “just to be bathed in light.”

Courtesy of The Blind Cafe

This week on Sound Effect our theme is “Out of the Darkness,” but KPLU’s Ed Ronco and Ariel Van Cleave found that going into the darkness can shed a lot of light on the world around you, and even your own personality.

The Blind Café is a pop-up event that travels the country, offering guests the chance to have dinner in the dark. Not candlelight. Not a dimly lit room. We’re talking total, 100 percent, pitch black.

Courtesy of Jenny Heddin

Mental illness has long carried a stigma in society. In 2015, Olympia resident Jenny Heddin found herself face to face with the consequences of that.

The year started off great for Jenny. She had just gotten married to the love of her life. Matt Heddin was a wetlands biologist, a nature lover, and a caring partner. In early 2015, Matt and Jenny had a baby on the way.

Courtesy of Jason Schmidt

Jason Schmidt was three years old when police barged into his house and arrested his father for selling cocaine. “That was a very confusing evening for me,” said Schmidt, a Seattle author. It turned out to be just one episode in a chaotic childhood, where love and warmth mingled with drugs, violence and crime.

(Credit Gabriel Spitzer)

Kristi Hamilton had hit rock bottom. After the passing of her mother, repossession of her house, and a long stretch of severe drug and alcohol abuse, she found herself homeless. She found herself sleeping anywhere she could — a friend's house, her car, shelters, or behind a grocery store. But between a renewed faith and winning what is the equivalent of a lottery ticket if you are homeless, Hamilton pulled herself out of the darkness, and returned to a life filled with sobriety and a roof over her head.

Update: A Message From Friends Of 88.5 FM

May 27, 2016

An article in the May 25, 2016 edition of The Tacoma News Tribune cited Pacific Lutheran University President Thomas Krise saying that he and other university staff have been subjected to harassment over the sale of KPLU.

Friends of 88.5 has learned that chalk drawings that spelled "Save KPLU" were scrawled in the roadway in front of both President Krise's home, and in front of the home of PLU's Vice President for Communications and Marketing, Donna Gibbs.

Friends of 88.5 does not condone these acts or, for that matter, any acts or statements that could be perceived as intimidation or harassment. Such behavior runs counter to the spirit in which we have conducted this campaign.

Courtesy City of Seattle

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says the plan to clear out the crime-ridden homeless encampment known as The Jungle is not an inhumane “sweep.” But he says it still needs to happen as quickly as possible.

“For folks who are in particularly dangerous situations, we should move them. When people are being raped, when people are setting themselves on fire, we’ve got to go in and do something,” Murray said, “and unless someone is engaged in breaking the law, such as a sexual assault, we’re not going to criminalize homelessness.”

My dad, who came to the U.S. in 1969 from Hong Kong, who speaks English-lilted-with-Taishanese, who has lived in Connecticut for two-thirds of his life — three times the length of his time in Asia — still uses the word "Oriental."

It's always a casual reference. "This place used to be a Oriental restaurant," he'll say, as we drive by a boarded-up storefront that once was a Chinese take-out joint.

He doesn't use it in a derogatory way. It's just his go-to term for anything Asian, whether that's food, a business, a person, an idea. But I keep trying to get him to stop.

"The way kids speak today, I'm here to tell you." Over the course of history, every aging generation has made that complaint, and it has always turned out to be overblown. That's just as well. If the language really had been deteriorating all this time, we'd all be grunting like bears by now.

At the end of 2013, snowy owls started showing up far south of their usual winter range. The big white birds were reported in South Carolina, Georgia, even Florida.

Dave Brinker, an ecologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, had never seen anything like it.

A 5,000-year-old brewery has been unearthed in China.

Archaeologists uncovered ancient "beer-making tool kits" in underground rooms built between 3400 and 2900 B.C. Discovered at a dig site in the Central Plain of China, the kits included funnels, pots and specialized jugs. The shapes of the objects suggest they could be used for brewing, filtration and storage.

It's the oldest beer-making facility ever discovered in China — and the evidence indicates that these early brewers were already using specialized tools and advanced beer-making techniques.

The blog "Goats and Soda" obviously has big love for goats.

And so we were very excited to learn about the new book GoatMan: How I Took a Holiday from Being Human.

Michal Lebl

This week on Sound Effect we share stories of body language and the different ways we express ourselves with, and about, our bodies.

The Nude Model

As Katrina Spade, the founder and executive director of Urban Death Project, watched her children grow rapidly, it sank in that she was aging just as quickly — and death was on the same fast track.

A Mother And Daughter Discuss Their Abortions

May 21, 2016
Samie Detzer

There is an old rule of etiquette that cautions to never discuss politics, religion or sex in polite company; and when one brings up abortion they hit all three marks.

Seattle-based activists Amelia Bonow and Lindy West have been pushing for more conversations about abortion with the social media campaign #shoutyourabortion. The campaign was created as a direct response to the GOP push to defund Planned Parenthood.

Polite or not, many people are discussing abortion more loudly and more publicly than before.

(Courtesy Heather Corinna)

Some conversations about your body can be more difficult to have than others, especially when it comes to involving parents in that conversation.

When you’re a teenager, and the topic is sex, the awkwardness level grows exponentially. Sex-ed classes can be helpful, but let’s be honest, teens aren’t asking the questions they really want to ask because they're surrounded by their peers.

Aaron D'Errico

Aaron D'Errico had one dream as a child — to be a soccer star in the same manner as his father, David D'Errico, an original Seattle Sounder and former U.S. Men's National Team captain. 

But where Aaron's dreams went, his body couldn't follow. Born with cerebral palsy, Aaron was never going to be a much of a soccer player, much less a professional. That wasn't about to stop him, however.

The Friday Harbor man put pen to paper and created Ammon Walker, a comic book superhero and super-spy who uses his status as a professional soccer star as his cover. Like Aaron, Ammon has cerebral palsy. But unlike his creator, Ammon has developed technology that allows his body to overcome it.

Mention the concept of food waste, and for many people, it's likely to conjure images of rotting fruit and vegetables or stale meals unfit for consumption.

But a lot of the food that gets tossed out in America — some $162 billion worth each year, enough to fill 44 skyscrapers — is fresh, nutritious and downright delicious: think plump eggplants, bright yellow squashes, giant, vibrant-orange carrots with a crisp bite. The kind of beautiful produce that would be perfectly at home in, say, this giant vegetable paella made by celebrity chef José Andrés and his team.

Everyone in the office was thrilled when Pamela showed up for her first day at DigitalMania Studio, a video game company in Tunisia. She couldn't code. She was worthless as a beta tester. She had a habit of farting and urinating on people who annoyed her. But wow, could she moo.

"And we got used to the smell," says Sami Zalila, DigitalMania's communications manager.

Pamela's job? Prove to skeptics that the company really would give a cow to the top scorer of Bagra the Game.

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