KNKX Connects to Skagit Valley | KNKX

KNKX Connects to Skagit Valley

Matt Malyon is a chaplain and a writer who spends nearly every Wednesday afternoon with kids wearing orange jumpsuits. They meet in the Skagit County Juvenile Detention Center, where they read poems and song lyrics together. And, they write together. The
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Author’s note: I believe in the power of writing. Words on a page travel forward through time, finding people who need them. And, of course, writing heals the writer too. That's been true for me, again and again. I learned about the program Underground Writing, and Matt Malyon, who started it, when I was researching story ideas for our Skagit Valley Connects program. I reached out right away. It happened that they were about to publish a book of poems, many of them written by young people who were incarcerated. The poems were direct and stark, insistent in their power. I sat with Malyon for a few hours, listening to his story, listening to him read the stories of the young people he teaches. I hope you'll hear a few minutes of those stories and that you'll be as moved as I was. (This story originally aired Jan. 31.)  

farmland in Skagit Valley
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

For many, Skagit Valley is known for its annual Tulip Festival. And while the million-plus visitors who flock here every year is a remarkable part of the story, this area’s identity runs much deeper.

All Things Considered host Ed Ronco and producer Geoffrey Redick take listeners inside the heart and soul of Skagit, from farmers helping each other thrive to vital programs for marginalized populations.

John Scurlock /

Mountains loom large in the Skagit River Valley. Visitors come from all over the world to spend time exploring the massive peaks of the North Cascades.

But few people get the perspective on them enjoyed by two men who are documenting the response of Washington’s glaciers to climate change.

Mount Vernon Mayor Jill Boudreau
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Jill Boudreau has been mayor of Mount Vernon since 2012. As KNKX Connects to the Skagit Valley, Boudreau takes KNKX All Things Considered host Ed Ronco on a walk through the city’s downtown.

 Test baker Julia Berstein (right) works with a graduate student at the Bread Lab in Skagit County.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

MOUNT VERNON, WASH. — When the Bread Lab was founded eight years ago, it was just that — a lab inside Washington State University’s Mount Vernon Research Center. 

Now, it lives in a gigantic building full of ovens and flour mills, where bundled wheat stalks adorn the walls. Food commentator Nancy Leson visited (and indulged her way through) the Bread Lab recently.

Advanced manufacturing is the top industry in Skagit Valley.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

MOUNT VERNON, WASH. — With more than a million visitors flocking to Skagit Valley every year for the Tulip Festival, it’s easy to think agriculture is the county’s biggest industry. But John Sternlicht, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County, says advanced manufacturing is king — at least in terms of money.

Skagit Valley is working to diversify its economy. All Things Considered host Ed Ronco talks about that and other stories ahead of our KNKX Connects broadcast.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

MOUNT VERNON, WASH. — Today, All Things Considered broadcasts from Mount Vernon City Library for KNKX Connects to Skagit Valley. Host Ed Ronco talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick — live from Edgewater Park on the banks of the Skagit River — about some of the stories you’ll hear this afternoon 3-6 p.m.

Craig Romano's wife, Heather, stands at a lookout in Mount Vernon's Little Mountain Park.
Courtesy of Craig Romano

MOUNT VERNON, WASH. — KNKX Connects to Skagit County this Thursday, when All Things Considered broadcasts live from the Mount Vernon City Library. In this sneak peek of our show we meet Craig Romano, who is an award-winning guidebook author. He hiked to the summit of Little Mountain with producer Geoffrey Redick.