Posey Gruener | KNKX

Posey Gruener

Sound Effect Producer

Posey produces, reports, and edits stories for Sound Effect. Before joining the Sound Effect team, Posey worked as a producer at KUOW and WNYC. She has also worked for The Moth and StoryCorps. She holds a certificate in documentary audio production from Duke's Center for Documentary Studies and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. She lives in Seattle with her wife, her daughter, and a fluffy dog.

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A person is given the first of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, at a one-day vaccination clinic set up in an Amazon facility in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Winter weather has delayed the shipment of some vaccines intended for Washington state.

Michelle Roberts leads the COVID-19 planning and distribution team for the Department of Health. She says that up to 90 percent of this week's allocation has been delayed.

That's about 200,000 doses.

U.S. Rep. Marilyn Strickland (center, in hanbok) is sworn into the 117th Congress.
Marilyn Strickland's Office

Last Sunday, members of the 117th Congress were sworn in. Among them was Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, representing Washington's 10th District. She is Korean American, and she dressed for the occasion in a traditional garment called a hanbok. 

Tacoma Housing Now protesters take over the intersection of South 15th Street and Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma on Tuesday.
Rebecca Parson

A housing advocacy group pitched a tent in the middle of a busy downtown Tacoma intersection on Tuesday, demanding the city take action on homelessness.

This story originally aired on June 22, 2019.

I was born into the Love Family, a culty commune that existed in Seattle in the 1970s and '80s. The family had a leader, a patriarch named Love, and 300 to 400 brothers and sisters. Their first names represented the virtues that Love saw in them — Purity, Solidity, Imagination, Devotion — and their last names were all Israel.

I call it a culty commune because "commune" explains why people joined it, and everything positive they left with. "Cult" explains all the things that went wrong, and why it eventually ended.

Gina Corpuz on the land in Bainbridge Island that's been in her family for two generations.
Posey Gruener / KNKX

This story originally aired on February 14, 2020.

Gina Corpuz stands off New Brooklyn road on Bainbridge Island, on land that has been in her family for two generations. She looks in every direction, and sees the history of the Indipino community.

“The Romeros, who lived down the road, there were 12 children,” Gina says. “And then up the hill is where the Rapada children grew up, and there were 13 children in their family.”

Posey Gruener / KNKX

This story originally aried on February 8, 2020. 

In December 1931, the only bank in Tenino, Washington, failed. It ran out of money and closed its doors. Suddenly, the residents of the small logging town had a big problem on their hands. They had no currency, no means to do business.

Seattle Storm players, from left, Jewell Loyd, Breanna Stewart, and Mercedes Russell pose for photos with their trophy after they raised a flag on the roof of the Space Needle, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Jeff Natter says that being in Key Arena for the Seattle Storm's first championship win was electric.

"As a sports fan," he said, "I've never felt anything like being there in 2004, seeing the confetti come down from the rafters and having 17,000 people all jumping for joy, crying each other's arms." 

Matthew "Griff" Griffin on a recent trip to Afghanistan. Some proceeds from the sale of flip-flops and other goods made by the company support schools in the country.
Courtesy of Matthew "Griff" Griffin

This story originally aired on January 25, 2020.

Matthew "Griff" Griffin did four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as an elite fighter with the Army Rangers. While there, he observed a kind of vicious cycle. Extreme poverty creates a breeding ground for extremism. War happens. War provides a kind of economic stimulus. War ends; the economic stimulus does, too. Things fall apart.

Traffic passes in view of a massive Boeing airplane production plant Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Everett, Wash. Boeing said Thursday that it will consolidate production of its two-aisle 787 jetliner in South Carolina.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

Boeing has confirmed reports that the production of the flagship 787 airplane will be consolidated in South Carolina. The company says the move will help conserve cash during the pandemic, when demand for planes is low.

But Jon Ostrower, editor-in-chief of The Air Current, says the seeds of the move were planted long ago, back in 2008-09, when the 787 production was just getting off the ground.

Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards, left, and Harold Moss in 2018. Moss died Monday night at the age of 90. Woodards describes him as a father figure to her.
Courtesy of the City of Tacoma

Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards says the feelings she gets talking about her mentor, friend and adoptive father Harold Moss, who died late Monday at the age of 90, are still raw. Even so, she feels compelled to talk about him — now more than ever.

It's summer 2020, and so many things are different. But some things, like running for the ice cream truck, are refreshingly familiar.

In this audio postcard from a Seattle neighborhood, listen as two boys grab some ice cream. Henry (Sonic the Hedgehog popsicle) and his best friend Broder (Chocolate Fudge Bar) talk about what feels new this summer, and what remains the same.

courtesy of Suzan Mazor

This story originally aired on October 26, 2019.

Suzan Mazor was fully in mid-life when her mother made a surprising revelation. "You were conceived by sperm donation," she remembers her mother saying, "and I believe that the OB who delivered you was also the sperm donor."

While some people who learn this news are devastated, Suzan's response was, she says, characteristic for her. "I'm just a very open minded person, and I thought it was cool."

With many businesses and public spaces closed, access to water can be hard to come by.
Emma Lee / Union Gospel Mission

The hottest stretch of summer is coming up, with multiple days over 80 degrees in the forecast. That kind of summer heat wave can be dangerous for people living outside.

For many, the only shelter is a hot tent or a hot car, and most have no access to running water. With COVID-19, relief is even harder to find. Many locations where people experiencing homelessness might have gone to use a water fountain or take advantage of air conditioning have shut down.

Dr. Micheal Kane
Courtesy of Dr. Micheal Kane

 

 

Dr. Micheal Kane is a clinical traumatologist, a practicing therapist with specialties in PTSD, racial identity, and depression. He's also Black, as are many of his clients.

All through the COVID-19 crisis, and now during the protests following the police killing of George Floyd, Kane has spent around 50 hours a week listening to his clients work through how they're dealing with the moment. And what's coming up is a lot of trauma. The trauma of simply being Black in America.

Courtesy of Ty Reed

This story originally aired on June 29, 2019.

By his own account, Ty Reed is gainfully employed, has the love of his friends and family, and is a productive member of society. But less than five years ago, he was a homeless drug addict and petty criminal. 

It wasn't supposed to be that way. Growing up, he says, his family was "like the Huxtables," and in 2006, he was a successful mortgage professional. But an addiction to crack and — later — methamphetamines turned him into "a down and out homeless person" by 2014.

A remote toilet on a hiking trail near Mount Baker.
Geoffrey Redick / KNKX

This story originally aired on June 8, 2019.

In 1989, a young woman named Kathleen Meyer published a book called "How to Shit in the Woods."

For a book whose name can't be said on the radio, it has done very well. The book is now in its third edition, with 2.5 million copies sold. Meyer says it has been found on a coffee table in a nunnery, at a bed and breakfast in Scotland, and in the library at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. 

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, pregnant Somali women had a special need for care. Whether in Somalia or in the diaspora, Somali women are a high-risk subpopulation for maternal health.

This story originally aired on June 1, 2019.  

In 2018, Seattleite Chris Jeckel decided it was time to visit Tokyo. He had just ended a four-year relationship, and he was struggling to find his footing again. Tokyo seemed like the perfect place, he said, to "shake things up."

Adrian Florez / KNKX

 

Dr. Lora Shahine remembers the moment when everything changed. It was 7 a.m. on March 17. The COVID-19 crisis was unfolding across the country and, in response, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) had just issued a two page guideline recommending that clinics stop all fertility treatment and testing.

Courtesy of John Millard

Tenino, a small town in Thurston County, Washington, has approved a plan to print its own money on strips of wood. Again. 

It’s a response to the COVID-19 crisis that’s modeled after how the town responded to a prior crisis — the Great Depression.

Information signs display at Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago in Northbrook, Ill., Friday, April 24, 2020. Muslims start Ramadan fasting on April 24 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nam Y. Huh / The Associated Press

Ramadan, the holiest month on the Islamic calendar, kicked off Thursday, and local Muslim parents are preparing their kids for a socially distanced celebration. 

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the economics of all kinds of markets. Including the market for sex on Aurora Avenue in Seattle.

Houses overlook Commencement Bay in Tacoma. Real estate agents disagree on whether it's safe to buy and sell homes during a pandemic.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Last week, Windermere Realtor Darci Gillespie says she had a home sale take an unexpected turn.

"My client was told by his doctor that he had COVID-19," Gillespie said. The client was quarantined. The problem was the client was already in the process of closing on a house, which is a time-bound process that requires in-person interaction.

"He had to sign his closing papers, right?” Gillespie said. “But who's going to sign them?"

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

March and April are typically real estate's busiest months, when most of the inventory comes on line and most of the houses are bought and sold. But this year is dramatically different.

Obie Pressman
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

In the early aughts, Obie Pressman read Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink," and learned about an online test called the Implicit Association Test

Matt Kaeberlein, Ph.D., with his silver Keeshond Chloe, 14, and his German Shepherd Dobby, 8. Betty, a black mixed-breed around 13-15 years of age, is unpictured.
Courtesy of Kaeberlein

Researcher Matt Kaeberlein runs the Kaeberlein Lab at the University of Washington, where he and his team studies the biology of aging. Their goal is ambitious: to learn the biological mechanisms behind what makes people get "old," and then to find interventions that would actually slow the rate of aging.

They'd like to increase the human healthspan, or the period of life spent free from disease. And, for that matter, they'd like to extend the canine healthspan, too.

Eloy Perez at the Washington coast.
Tony Overman / The Olympian

Eloy Perez was a professional boxer, and in the early 2000s, he was a rising star. He had a contract with Oscar De La Hoya's promotion company. He boxed at the Playboy Mansion and at the MGM Grand. He fought live on HBO. At one point, it looked like he would be a world champion.

But that didn't happen. In October 2019, Eloy was found dead in Tijuana. He'd been deported there a few years prior.

Tony Overman, a photojournalist for The Olympian who followed Eloy's career, can't make sense of it. "How does someone who seems to have everything going for him end up dead by the side of the road in Tijuana?"

This is that story. 

Posey Gruener / KNKX

 

For decades, soldiers in the U.S. Army learned military navigation using a very specific map. Today, that map is burned in the memories of generations of service members. And it happens to be a map of a tiny town in Washington called Tenino. 

“It’s a topographical map, its scale is 1:50,000 … and up until about 2012, everybody in the army knew the Tenino Map Sheet,” said John Millard, a military veteran who used the map in training in the 1980s. 

Illustration by Tom Niemeyer, for Chris Looney

There really was a punk rock riot on the Kitsap Ferry. There are contemporary media reports and court records to corroborate it. So it's a true story. But the story has also become legend -- part of local lore.

Over the past 30 years, people in Seattle’s punk scene have told it over and over. So have people who work for Washington State Ferries. Over time, the details have gotten a little murky.

Courtesy of Jessica Spring / Pacific Lutheran University

 

In the first half of the 20th century, before Washington state took over most of the region’s ferry lines, there was a signature sound you would hear as ferry boats came in to dock. 

 

And it had a name. 

 

“A warp and two woofs, it’s a long and two shorts,” says Alan Stein, a historian at the online encyclopedia of Washington state history, Historylink. 

 

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