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Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

April Soetarman

Living in a city, there are signs everywhere to help organize, control and regulate our behavior.

But, if you’re in Seattle and you keep your eyes peeled, you might happen upon an official-looking directive on sheet metal that tells you something completely unexpected, such as "Caution: If I Could Love Anyone Again, It Would Be You."

 

Samvado Gunnar Kossatz

Les Zaitz was a reporter for the Oregonian in the early 1980s, when he began covering a  group of people, known as the Sinyasins who were followers of the enigmatic Indian guru, Baghwan Shree Rajneesh.

They arrived in the Northwest with visions of creating a whole new city in the middle of the Oregon desert. They called themselves a religion. Many others have called them a cult.

The story Zaitz was covering soon transformed from a curiosity to an epic drama, complete with massive fraud, betrayal and plots to commit murder. Even Zaitz himself was told he was a marked man.

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

John Roderick was born in the Seattle area, but spent much of his youth living in Anchorage, Alaska.

“Growing up in Alaska, you’re an American, you know you're an American. But you’re also thousands of  miles away from America. So we fetishized America," said Roderick, who these days fronts the indie band, The Long Winters.

After high school, Roderick decided that the way to see America, and absorb the wisdom and freedom of the open road, was to stick out his thumb and hitchhike across the country.

This show originally aired on April 29, 2017.

This week on Sound Effect, stories of the people we once were. 

Getting In Touch With Your Old Self

Ken Workman is 64 years old, and only ten years ago he found out that he was a descendent of Chief Sealth. He is making up for lost time by immersing himself in the culture and learning the language of his ancestors.

An Exhibit Of Unintended Consequences

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.

Ken Workman always knew that part of his family tree was rooted in the Duwamish Indian Tribe. But, being Native American when he was growing up in the 1960s in Seattle was a topic he was told not to share with anyone.

 

“It was very bad to be a Native American; very bad. It was so bad that Great Grandma

Courtesy of the Renton History Museum

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.

Sometimes our good intentions in the past can have unintended consequences generations later. That’s the idea behind a new exhibit at the Renton History Museum. It’s all about the Renton High School mascot: the Indians.

Courtesy of Dick Rossetti

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.

It’s not always easy to come face to face with your past. Sometimes nostalgia is painful.

 

Dick Rossetti knows this well. He was a DJ for Seattle’s big alternative rock radio station, 107.7 The End, in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He lucked into the job, which is normally a super competitive gig that people who are funny on the air take very seriously off mic. This was not Rossetti. This wasn’t something he dreamed about doing. He was a rock 'n' roll guy.

 

Courtesy Lane Czaplinski

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.  

Lane Czaplinski has been the artistic director at On The Boards, a Seattle-based contemporary performing arts organization since 2002. He has basically been working in the arts since he graduated college. But in his senior year of college, a series of unusual circumstances led to him climbing the ranks of one of the most historic and decorated college basketball programs in the country.

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.

We are changing all of the time. We are shaped by new experiences, people we meet, the work that we do. You might start a career thinking you love what you do - and years later have a completely different opinion.

 

This is what happened to Father Antonio Illas. He is the pastor for Saint Matthew-San Mateo Episcopal Church in Auburn, Wash. But for more than two decades, Illas was an immigration agent for the U.S. Federal Government.

 

Courtesy of Mike Long.

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.

Seattle writer Michael Long was a terrible student in grade school. It wasn't that he couldn't do well; it was just that he had no interest in it. Instead of studying or paying attention in class, he would often be caught doodling or staring off into space.

A King County Metro RapidRide B Line bus approaches.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

If you ride King County Metro’s RapidRide bus lines, you might have seen fare enforcement officers in action. They sometimes board the long buses, checking to make sure people have paid their due.

One company. One script. Many, many voices.

A video published by sports news site Deadspin over the weekend revealed dozens of TV anchors from Sinclair Broadcast Group reciting the same speech warning against "biased and false news."

It was the latest show of the vast reach of a company that owns local TV stations across the country and has long been criticized for pushing conservative coverage and commentary onto local airwaves.

James Cridland/Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, stories of personal space. We start by sending out host Gabriel Spitzer to a room where he can take release some rage. Then we meet a man who recorded the first known gay country album, and learn how his father encouraged him. We meet a sexual assault victim who reclaimed her space in an unexpected way.

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

Sometimes, you just want to smash. 

Who hasn’t fantasized about taking out their frustrations with, say, a baseball bat or a sledge hammer? 

Of course, this sort of thing is frowned upon in polite society. But there are places around the country where you can pay money to release the beast within, with some degree of safety and without having to clean up the mess: “rage rooms.”  

Courtesy of Patrick Haggerty

In 1973, in the midst of the Stonewall era, a Seattle band called Lavender Country released an eponymous album. The album delivered radical politics with a country twang, and became known as the world's first openly gay country album.

In this interview, Patrick Haggerty tells Gabriel Spitzer  how the album lived, and died, and lived again. He also explains why the album might never have existed if it weren't for his father--a "hayseed" of a dairy farmer who gave his son permission to be exactly who he was.

Erica Dudrow

Note: This story deals with sexual assault and may not be appropriate for some listeners and readers. 

Erica Dudrow lives in Bellingham, and she says she was never much of a party person. But in 2014 she was dating a guy who liked to hit the bars, and she did her best to keep up. 

One Friday evening they were getting ready to go out, having drinks and indulging in a bit of the rave drug, “Molly.” She hadn’t realized just how intoxicated she was until, on her way to the bar, she began to black out. 

Courtesy of Threshold Singers.

 

Aside from being born, one of the most personal, private things we do alone is to die. Death can be quick. It can also creep along, getting closer as each day passes, as the hours tick by.

 

Most of us would never think of entering the room of a stranger who is actively dying, unless you’re there to care for that person, or they are a close friend or a family member.

 

But, this is what groups of singers do all over the country. They are called Threshold Singers.

 

Courtesy of Fat Girls Hiking

Bethany Denton used to hike a lot as a kid. Growing up in northwestern Montana, it's just what people did. But as she got older, and as her body got bigger, she stopped feeling welcome in the outdoors. As a self-described fat girl, she noticed that her friends and family gradually stopped inviting her on hikes, and she felt that even short, easy hikes were out of her league.

Damien Dovarganes / AP Photo

"The most vocal activist you've never heard of." That's how one news report describes Dolores Huerta in a new documentary about her life.

Our 2018 spring fund drive is underway, and Sound Effect wouldn't exist without the generous support of listeners like you. To make a pledge, click here. For our pledge drive show, we decided to take a look back at some stories that stuck with us throughout the years.

Courtesy of L'Oréal

This story originally aired on November 7, 2015. 

Dr. Sarah Ballard was one of the very first guests we ever had on Sound Effect. In Newness, Sound Effect's very first episode, Ballard told us about what it feels like to discover a new planet.

Ballard has not only discovered four new planets, she also discovered a new way to discover planets.

Kyle Norris / KNKX

 

This story originally aired on May 27, 2017.

 

Michael McAndrews has had a lifelong love affair with birds.

 

It all started with an article he read as a kid in National Geographic. It profiled homing pigeons used in wartime to communicate messages between troops. Michael was captivated by the story of a bird named Cher Ami that saved almost 200 American soldiers in France during World War I.

Unintended Consequences: Sound Effect, Episode 138

Mar 17, 2018
George Creal / Flickr

  

Wikimedia Commons

Bisphenol-A, a chemical in plastics, thermal-paper receipts and the lining of tin cans, has been fingered as the culprit for a bunch of health problems.

 

In our bodies, BPA acts like a hormone -- and in animals, at least, it seems to disrupt all sorts of important functions.

 

Courtesy of Chad Goller-Sojourner

Good intentions often have unexpected outcomes, something Chad Goller-Sojourner knows from personal experience.

 

He’s a Seattle based playwright , and also a counselor to white parents who’ve adopted children of color. Chad is black, and when he was 13 months old he himself was adopted by white parents, along with two other kids of color.  This was back in the 1970s, when there was a lot less awareness of mixed families.

 

HistoryLink.org

At the turn of the 20th century, when West Seattle was a city all its own, the community had a problem: They wanted to attract development, but they also wanted to keep out big-city vice, such as alcohol and gambling.

Their solution? An amusement park on a boardwalk, with roller coasters, side shows, and other kinds of wholesome family fun. As HistoryLink.org's Alan Stein tells Gabriel Spitzer, the decision had some unintended consequences.

loulrc / Flickr

Back in the 1970s in Oregon, a man named Richard Chambers was so dismayed by the litter he saw dotting the trails in the wilderness he dearly loved, that he decided to write legislation that would clean things up: Oregon’s Bottle Bill. 

The bill became a law before curbside recycling was the norm. It mandated that cans and bottles that hold juice and soda be sold with a deposit. You pay 10¢ extra when you buy them, and then if you want that money back, you have to return the empties. Today, with curbside pick up on trash day, a lot of people don’t bother.

St. Patrick's Day is a day where people all over the world come together to celebrate Irish heritage and culture. Seattle and Galway, Ireland have been "sister cities" for more than 30 years. The two cities organize cultural events and student exchanges.

The FBI is recognizing Coeur D’Alene tribal member Bernie LaSarte for her efforts to combat domestic violence in the Idaho Panhandle.



After several tries, blood bank couriers and wheelchair taxis with just one person on board have won coveted access to carpool lanes in order to provide better service.

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