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Tacoma Live: Sound Effect, Episode 187

Adrian Florez

Tacoma is a pretty special place. We don’t want to romanticize it — it’s complicated, like anywhere. But it does have this quality of openness, a willingness to let people in.

That’s exactly what the Sound Effect team did on Saturday. Gabriel Spitzer hosted a special, live show from KNKX Public Radio’s new downtown Tacoma station, while strangers wandered around on self-guided tours of the space.

And the doors will stay open long past Saturday's grand opening. The new station offers a place to convene community conversations, share culture and just meet up. 

In honor of our debut at 930 Broadway, the latest episode of Sound Effect is all about Tacoma. 

First, a KNKX colleague takes us inside Tacoma's most romantic hidden gem. Then, we meet the Northwest's friendliest raccoons and the park ranger tasked with teaching Tacomans to love them from a distance. We hear from a Tacoma earthquake survivor who remains grateful to a boy who died saving his life decades ago. We discover the family affair that is Tacoma’s alcohol service industry. Tacoma’s first African-American mayor discusses the heartbreak of racism. Finally, we’ll learn about a Tacoma-based newspaper that was part of the GI underground movement.

If you missed Saturday's broadcast,  catch up on the stories we aired about arborists searching for Washington’s tallest treesa refugee who finds family in Tacoma, a man whose life was saved by a typo, and a singer whose "crisis of faith" transported him to a new — but familiar — platform. 

Kari Plog is a former KNKX reporter who covered the people and systems in Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap counties, with an emphasis on police accountability.