Ed Ronco | KNKX

Ed Ronco

All Things Considered Host

Ed Ronco came to KNKX in October 2013 as producer and reporter for KNKX’s Morning Edition. Ed started in public radio in 2009 at KCAW in Sitka, Alaska, where he covered everything from city government, to education, crime, science, the arts and more. Prior to public radio, Ed worked in newspapers, including four years at the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, where he covered business, then politics and government.

Ed grew up in Wyandotte, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, and earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University.

Ways to Connect

Rep. Matt Shea
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

A Washington state lawmaker took part in "domestic terrorism" against the United States during a 2016 standoff at a wildlife refuge in Oregon and traveled throughout the West meeting with far-right extremist groups, according to an investigative report released Thursday. Crosscut legislative reporter Melissa Santos has been following this story. She talks with KNKX All Things Considered host Ed Ronco. 

Laura Calkins stands in front of the dump truck she decorated with 50,000 lights, for Quigg Brothers Construction in Aberdeen. The truck was among the entries in the parade at the Montesano Festival of Lights.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

For four days this past week, Laura Calkins was up before the dawn, into the shop at Quigg Brothers Construction in Aberdeen, and hard at work putting more than 50,000 Christmas lights on a dump truck.

Or, “only” 50,000, as Calkins is quick to point out. She’s gone as high as 250,000 lights before.

The painstaking work was in preparation for the Montesano Festival of Lights. The annual three-day festival has been taking place in the Grays Harbor County seat for more than 30 years.

Tanesha Ross sings during a rehearsal of "Cabaret," along with cast members Azaria Johnson, Natalie Thompson and Alie Orme.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Just before “Cabaret” begins, actor Casey DeCaire, in character as the M.C., walks out on the stage and barks at the audience.

“Before we start, turn off your cell phones!” he shouts in a German accent. “Ja! And anything that buzzes. We have many beautiful actors on the stage. We will not touch you, so please do not touch us.”

Gov. Jay Inslee hands Washington head coach Chris Petersen the Apple Cup on Friday. Petersen unexpectedly announced Monday that he's stepping down.
Stephen Brashear / The Associated Press

 Editor's note: The story below was written by Associated Press reporter Tim Booth.  

SEATTLE (AP) — University of Washington football coach Chris Petersen has unexpectedly stepped down after six seasons at the school, with defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake promoted to over the program.

Ruth Fremson / Viking

In Timothy Egan’s new book, “A Pilgrimage to Eternity,” the Seattle author walks the Via Francigena, a nearly 1,100-mile pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome – the seat of the Church of England, to the epicenter of Roman Catholicism.

Lewis County Historical Museum

On Nov. 11, 1919, the United States was marking its first-ever Armistice Day. World War I had come to a close just a year earlier.

In Centralia, a parade for the occasion turned violent. The American Legion and the Industrial Workers of the World – union members known as “Wobblies” – engaged in violence that ultimately left six people dead, and many more wounded and injured.

This weekend, events throughout the city will commemorate what some people call “The Centralia Tragedy,” and others call “The Centralia Massacre.”

A sailor walks in front of a hanger bay door on the USS John C. Stennis Navy aircraft carrier, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, as it moves from Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Two Navy warships will be in Seattle soon, undergoing an overhaul in drydock at Vigor Industries.

The work is being done there instead of at the massive Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The Kitsap Sun’s Josh Farley says the Navy is growing its fleet, and that means it needs more capacity for maintenance of its vessels. Farley told KNKX All Things Considered host Ed Ronco that things are busy in Bremerton.

Adrian Florez / KNKX

Flood waters were receding across parts of our region Tuesdsay, after heavy overnight rains blocked roads caused problems along numerous rivers, including the Stillaguamish in Snohomish County. KNKX’s Ed Ronco checked in with Spencer and Karen Fuentes, owners of Hazel Blue Acres farm in Silvana. Listen to their full conversation.

Paula Wissel / KNKX

Educators in Washington state — and around the world — are spending time this week talking about media literacy. It’s part of a special week designed to boost students’ understanding of how different forms of media function.

A screen shot from the 1925 film "Body and Soul," which is showing October 14th at the Paramount Theatre.
Courtesy of Seattle Theatre Group

African-American artists are on screen this week and next at the Paramount Theatre’s Silent Movie Mondays series.

The upcoming films are by Oscar Micheaux, and early African-American director. Tonight it’s “Body and Soul,” the 1925 film that was the first role for Paul Robeson, who would go on to widespread fame.

news that informs graphic
Adrian Florez / KNKX

Last April, two people were sent to the hospital when the car they were driving was struck by a power pole. 

The pole was one of 26 that came down unexpectedly along on East Marginal Way South, in Tukwila, in a dramatic collapse during a storm.

An investigator's report says the more than two dozen 60-foot tall power poles came down because of six that had internal decay. Reporter David Gutman wrote about it in The Seattle Times, and talked to KNKX All Things Considered host Ed Ronco about what went wrong.

Robert Siegel
Stephen Voss / NPR

For three of his four decades at NPR, Robert Siegel was one of the hosts of All Things Considered, the network’s flagship afternoon news magazine. He retired in early 2018.

“I’ve been living now for over a year-and-a-half without deadlines,” he told KNKX during a recent visit to Seattle. “Generally, I have been reveling in the idea that on any given day, given the approval of my wife, I can do pretty much what I want to do.”

Samantha Mbolekwa and Kelsee Sweigard portray Joanne and Maureen, standing on a tabletop singing during the 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT.
Amy Boyle / Rent 20th Anniversary Tour

When the musical “Rent” debuted in New York in 1996, it put things on stage that had never been on stage before.

So says Kelsee Sweigard, who plays the character Maureen in the touring company arriving in Tacoma for two shows at the Pantages Theater on Tuesday and Wednesday.

news that informs graphic
Adrian Florez / KNKX

A building in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood that sat empty for years now has a buyer. Forterra, a nonprofit known for environmental and land conservation work across the Puget Sound region, is purchasing the old Rite Aid there.

Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press


In July, Washington House Democrats chose Rep. Laurie Jinkins to be the next Speaker of the House. She represents the 27th Legislative District, which includes downtown Tacoma, Hilltop and Point Defiance.

She succeeds Rep. Frank Chopp, who stepped down from the speaker’s chair — but not the House — earlier this year. He served as speaker for 20 years.

A Tacoma light rail car makes its way through downtown Tacoma in September 2019.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Before Sound Transit’s light rail took people from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to downtown Seattle, there was the Tacoma Link.

The 1.6-mile line has stayed roughly the same since it opened in 2003, starting at the Tacoma Dome and bringing passengers down Pacific Avenue, past the University of Washington Tacoma, the federal courthouse, and several of the city’s museums.

Cranes have become more familiar fixtures of the Tacoma skyline as growth has increased in the City of Destiny in recent years.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX


Cities, by and large, want to grow. But with growth can come new challenges.

Seattle and San Francisco, for example, saw a housing crisis emerge as the tech boom sent the cost of living sky high – leading many middle- and lower-income residents to feel priced out.

Tacoma is experiencing some of those pressures, too. But Ali Modarres says the city has an opportunity right now to avoid big problems other communities have seen as they’ve grown.

news that informs graphic
Adrian Florez / KNKX

Plans to build a new pier for Coast Guard vessels at the Navy base in Bangor will be put on hold. The Kitsap Sun reports that nearly $89 million to build the pier and maintenance facility has been diverted to pay for President Trump’s wall along the southern border.

A Pierce Transit bus runs along Route 1 in downtown Tacoma. Officials are hoping to replace this line with bus rapid transit by 2023.
SounderBruce / Flickr Creative Commons

Plans are rolling forward for Pierce County to add a bus rapid transit line along Pacific Avenue.

The line would replace Pierce Transit’s Route 1, the busiest in the system, and would ferry passengers between downtown Tacoma and Spanaway.

The Women's Compline Choir performs at St. Mark's Cathedral.
Ken Johnson / Courtesy of St. Mark's Cathedral

For 63 years, the Sunday evening Compline Service at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, has been sung by men. But this month, that changed.

The men's Compline Choir is on tour in England, so a women's choir is performing in their place for the next three services. The services are open to the public -- and not just the faithful. Rebekah Gilmore directs the Women's Compline Choir and said the service is meant to offer quiet reflection time to anyone who wants it, even if they're not religious.

A voter deposits a ballot at a drop box.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

Last week, the Senate intelligence committee released a report on how Russia targeted U.S. election systems in 2016.

The report’s release happened to follow Robert Mueller’s appearance before lawmakers, during which he warned that Russia made multiple attempts in the past to interfere in U.S. elections, was doing so currently, and would certainly do so during upcoming campaigns.

Security always has been on the minds of people who administer elections at the state and local levels. Decades ago, it might have meant making sure people only got one ballot in line. Now it’s a lot different.

Actress Ivy Zhou applies makeup in preparation for her role as Chloe in the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society production of "Princess Ida."
Courtesy of Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society


The Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society is staging the operetta "Princess Ida" this month. The show debuted in 1884, but this production has a fresh take, in part because of controversy the theater company faced over a different production five years ago.


Former Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez smiles as he addresses a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Seattle. Martinez will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, on Sunday.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

Edgar Martinez, the beloved designated hitter who spent his entire career with the Seattle Mariners, will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend. 


“It took 10 years for the baseball world to understand Edgar’s contribution and status,” KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel told Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick in their weekly chat. 

Mary Beth Tinker speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in 2013. At age 13, she defied school administrators and wore a black armband to school to protest the Vietnam War.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Mary Beth Tinker was a shy kid.

“I got good grades, I was kind of a teacher’s pet, my dad was a preacher – I mean, come on,” she told KNKX Public Radio. “So I wasn’t one to be a rabble rouser at all. But I felt very strongly.”

Mount Rainier is surrounded in a haze of wildfire smoke.
Rachel La Corte / The Associated Press

While the east side of the Cascades is no stranger to wildfires, communities in Western Washington are preparing for the possibility of bigger and more frequent fires.

In two interviews with KNKX Public Radio, officials with the state Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service share their insights into the unique challenges of preventing and fighting wildfires in Western Washington.

Ruby Bishop spoke to KNKX (then KPLU) in 2015, for a profile on our show "Sound Effect." Her weekly gigs at Vito's drew regulars and wowed first-timers.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

Ruby Bishop has died. 

The Seattle Times reports that she was 99 years old.

Well into her 90s, Bishop played weekly sets at Vito's, an Italian restaurant on Seattle's First Hill. She'd sit at the piano in a corner beneath a disco ball, backed by floor-to-ceiling mirrors.

Shoppers walk outside the Nordstrom in Anchorage, Alaska, in 2009. The store is closing in September, after 44 years in business.
Al Grillo / AP

Seattle-based Nordstrom is closing stores as it – and other brick-and-mortar retailers – face big challenges in a world that’s turning more to online shopping.

The store at Northgate Mall is shutting down on Aug. 9. And in Anchorage, Alaska, the company will close a 97,000-square-foot store at the city’s Fifth Avenue Mall by September.

But in Alaska’s largest city, where Nordstrom arrived 44 years ago, the news hit particularly hard.

In this Dec. 5, 2018, photo a box is scanned and weighed before at the Amazon fulfillment center on Staten Island borough of New York. Amazon reports financial results Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.
Mary Altaffer / The Associated Press

On June 12, 2018, the city council in Bessemer, Alabama, voted to approve its share of $51 million in incentives for Amazon. The company is locating a fulfillment center in the city of about 28,000 people.

On that same day, the Seattle City Council was voting to repeal what came to be known as the "head tax," a per-employee levy on large companies that Amazon fiercely opposed.

Community members gather at the site of the Oso landslide to remember victims and dedicate a mailbox sculpture in their honor.
Geoffrey Redick / KNKX

Dayn Brunner's sister, 36-year-old Summer Raffo, was driving down Highway 530 on the morning of March 22, 2014, at the precise moment a nearby hillside gave way.

“Within seconds, being on one side or the other of it, she’d have lived,” Brunner said. “She’d have got hurt, but she would have lived.”