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Aaron D'Errico

This story originally aired on July 11, 2015.

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.

“Ernestine Anderson 2013” by HappyHappyMe is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The renowned jazz vocalist Ernestine Anderson, whose career spanned six decades, has died at the age of 87.

According to the Seattle Times, Anderson attended Garfield High School and came up in Seattle’s jazz scene in the mid-1940s. She found success in Los Angeles and on the road — then at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and so many other places. She was nominated for a Grammy four times.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Last month, Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Washington announced they will open the door for an outside group to bid on KPLU. That means the station and its listeners must raise at least $7 million, quickly, to become independent.

KPLU's Kirsten Kendrick spoke with station General Manager Joey Cohn about the fundraising effort that's underway now and what a community-licensed KPLU would look like.

Arwen Nicks

This week we sit down with local reporters to talk about stories that they say deserve more attention.

KPLU's Sound Effect hears from Rachel Lerman and Nina Shapiro, reporters with The Seattle Times, and Josh Feit, co-founder of Publicola and news and politics editor at Seattle Met magazine.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency in response to severe storms which have caused widespread flooding and mudslides across the state.

“There are people in need across Southwest Washington and the rest of the state and we’re here to provide whatever assistance the local communities require,” Inslee said in a press release. “We’re in this together.”

Arwen Nicks

KPLU's Sound Effect hears from Anzel Herz, a reporter for The Stranger, Rosette Royale, an independent journalist, and Alex Hudson, a writer for the blog Seattlish.

This week our gaggle of local journalists includes Kari Plog of the Tacoma News Tribune, Steve Wilhem of the Puget Sound Business Journal and Hanna Brooks Olsen of Seattlish

Erin Hennessey

Each week on Sound Effect we sit down with reporters from the region to talk about stories they think deserve more play.

KPLU's Sound Effect hears from Alex Stonehill, co-founder and editor of The Seattle Globalist; Phyllis Fletcher, managing editor of NW News Network, and freelance journalist Mike Lewis.

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

Reporters from the Pacific Northwest weigh in on stories they think didn't get enough coverage this week.

KPLU's Sound Effect hears from Ashley Stewart who covers technology and finance for the Puget Sound Business Journal; Rachel Lerman, technology reporter for The Seattle Times; and Peter Robison who heads up the Seattle bureau for Bloomberg News.

Erin Hennessey

Reporters from the Puget Sound region shine a light on stories they think deserved more coverage this week. 

KPLU's Sound Effect hears from Emily Parkhurst, Digital Managing Editor at the Puget Sound Business Journal, Bryan Cohen, a reporter with Capitol Hill Seattle blog, and Eli Sanders, Associate Editor at The Stranger.

Elaine Thompson / AP

The Washington State Department of Transportation has reopened the Aurora Bridge following yesterday’s collision between a charter bus and an amphibious tour vehicle that left four people dead and dozens injured.

The stretch of State Road 99 reopened for traffic about 11 p.m., after being closed for hours as traffic investigators looked into what happened.

Ted S. Warren / AP

A Seattle college says the four people killed in a crash involving a charter bus and an amphibious tour vehicle were international students on their way to new student orientation events.

The crash involving a "duck boat" and the charter bus carrying the students happened Thursday on the Aurora Bridge, which carries one of the city's main north-south highways over a lake.

At least two other people were critically hurt.

AP Images

The week's roundtable panel at KPLU featured Bryan Cohen, of the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, Alex Hudson, of Seattlish and Mike Lewis, interim online managing editor of

AP Images

SEATTLE (AP) — Hisashi Iwakuma became the second Japanese-born pitcher in major league history to throw a no-hitter, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 3-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday.

The right-hander struck out seven and walked three in the fourth no-hitter this season and first by an American League pitcher in nearly three years. Hideo Nomo threw big league two no-nos after starting his career in his home country of Japan.

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.

AP Images


Five out of six incumbents running in a crowded Seattle City Council field will advance to the fall election, according to the Tuesday night returns in the 2015 Primary Election.

One likely exception is councilwoman Jean Godden, who sits third place in Northeast Seattle’s District 4. Godden had 21 percent of the vote as of last night, Rob Johnson had 34 percent and Michael Maddux had 23 percent.

Johnson, who’s leading in that race, heads the Transportation Choices Coalition, a non-profit that advocates for transit, biking and walking. Maddux is a paralegal.

In all nine races, the top two vote-getters will move on to the Nov. 3 general election.

Each week on Sound Effect we invite a panel a journalists to talk about local stories they feel didn't get sufficient attention.

On this week’s show we invited Hannah Brooks Olsen of the news and politics blog Seattlish, Rachel Lerman, the Seattle Times’ technology reporter and Derek Young, founder of the Exit 133 blog about Tacoma.

For Lerman, it was the past week’s King County  Office of Law Enforcement Oversight meeting. The LEO is a civilian committee that investigates complaints about the county Sheriff’s department.

AP Images

A recent story in the New Yorker, which draws from the latest geological science,  says that within 50 years there's a good chance a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami will destroy a sizable portion of the Pacific Northwest and potentially kill 13,000 people in the process.

And according to, "The Really Big One," the odds of this Cascadia quake within five decades are one in three for a large quake and one in ten for a more massive one. 

So KPLU asked people on the streets of Seattle if they’re concerned about an earthquake and what, if anything, they’ve done to prepare for it. Click on the audio link (above) to hear their comments.

Bellamy Pailthorp

Royal Dutch Shell's huge oil-drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, was towed out of Seattle early Monday despite a blockade by a kayak flotilla that attempted to keep it from leaving for the Arctic.

According to the the U.S Coast Guard,  24 protesters were detained after they violated the established "safety zone" around the giant, Alaska-bound oil drilling rig.

The two-dozen detainees, who were only a portion of the large contingent of protesters, were released after receiving civil "notices of violation" that can include a $500 fine but don't carry criminal penalties.

Tim Durkan Photography

The mid-week warm weather has been replaced by a cool swath of marine air that will linger for the early weekend and then dissipate into warmer temperatures come Sunday and Monday, said KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Expect temperatures in the upper 60s to the low 70s with morning clouds for Saturday and early Sunday, Mass said.  The warmer temperatures -- potentially into low 80s -- will return briefly later Sunday and Monday. Cooler weather then will reassert itself late Monday.

AP Images

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass said he is is staring at a virtual 10.

"The weather will be as close to perfect as you can imagine," Mass said Friday. "No precipitation for anybody. Full sun for virtually everyone."

The temperature on Friday will hit the middle to upper 70s, Mass said.  Saturday will get warmer still with the heat pushing into the low 80s for Western Washington.  Sunday will be more of the same.

While warm, the weather isn't in full-hot mode, Mass said. The high pressure system off-shore will remain stable through the early part of the week with light winds picking up around 3 p.m. 

Northwest weather will return from it's vacation late in the week with some rain and clouds.

Mass said what we are seeing is a strong El Nino effect that will continue through winter.

For KPLU's Ken Wiley, a decades-long broadcast career didn’t begin from a passion for radio, exactly.

“A friend of mine – we were out drinking somewhere – he said, ‘You know a lot about the music, why don’t you get a job on the radio?’ ” Wiley recalled.

“I went, you know, 'Where?' ”

The friend said Pacific Lutheran University has a radio station.  A couple of weeks later, after the idea germinated a bit, Wiley pulled out the phone book and found the university’s number.  

He ended up on the phone with KPLU’s program director.  “He said, ‘Hey, you called at the right time. The one guy that we have doing the (jazz) program has to leave.  Why don’t you come out and we’ll talk?”

AP Images

Expect continued warm weather through the weekend in Western Washington with morning clouds and temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s, according to Cliff Mass, KLPU's weather expert.

But the summer weekend weather won't hold through the early part of next week as clouds and rain move in and the temperature drops into the 60s, he added. Hikers in the Cascades will see the wet weather earlier with thunderstorms in the mountains predicted for this weekend.

"It will be quite a show," Mass said.

June Gloom

Mass said what people in the western United States talk about when they mention 'June Gloom' actually begins in late May. The eastern Pacific Ocean area as far south as San Diego gets shrouded in low cloud layers. This is because the ocean is still cool but the atmosphere has begun warming up. 

The warm upper air caps the cool lower layer of air and turns it into a consistent cloudy blanket. Coupled with high pressure in the eastern Pacific, it forms and then it lingers like an unwelcome house guest.

AP Images

UPDATE: At a press conference about WiFi for the poor, Mayor Ed Murray was asked about the drilling permit and if the city planned further legal action.

Murray said he wasn't interested in a confrontation, but rather changing the port commissioners' minds. He said he believes he accomplished that with the city's stated opposition. He also says the city and the Port of Seattle were in conversations about the Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig.

"My goal is not to score points. My goal is to actually change the commission's mind, the Port Commission's mind and we accomplished that goal." Mayor Ed Murray.

Tim Durkan

Editor's Note: This story will be updated through the afternoon and evening as May Day events and protests continue.

10 p.m. Update:  Events took an ugly turn late. What had been a day of mostly peaceful protest and demonstration evolved into a three-block rock-throwing riot in Capitol Hill at 9 p.m. Three Seattle Police officers were slightly injured and protesters set fire to trash cans.

"Sound Effect" is a weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place where we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer.

Each week's show will explore a different theme. In this week's show, we illuminate the mighty power of small things.

Boeing will lay off 319 of its workers in Washington state, the company said.

In a written statement, Boeing said those workers have received a 60-day notice that their layoffs will take effect on April 24.

Boeing did not specify the positions of the affected workers, but said the majority of the workers — “just over 200” — work in its Engineering Operations & Technology division.

Five workers installing rebar on a concrete wall at north portal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project fell about 25 feet when a wall of rebar gave way.

Seattle Fire spokesman Kyle Moore says two Seattle firefighters walked about a half mile into the tunnel and carried out one of the injured men while the four others walked out after the Thursday afternoon incident.

One of the men who walked out was not injured, while four others were taken to Harborview Medical Center, he said. One of the men suffered a fractured arm and was in stable condition, while the three others were evaluated.

Seattle police arrested 19 people after marchers blocked a portion of Highway 99, triggering heavy delays on Monday afternoon. 

Gexydaf / Flickr

Note: PLU holds the license for KPLU, where on-air staff are represented by the union SAG-AFTRA.

The National Labor Relations Board has released the result of a vote by adjunct and part-time faculty at Pacific Lutheran University on whether to unionize.

There were 30 votes for union representation, 54 votes against representation and 38 challenged ballots, the NLRB said.