Other News | KNKX

Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

A King County Metro RapidRide B Line bus approaches.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

If you ride King County Metro’s RapidRide bus lines, you might have seen fare enforcement officers in action. They sometimes board the long buses, checking to make sure people have paid their due.

One company. One script. Many, many voices.

A video published by sports news site Deadspin over the weekend revealed dozens of TV anchors from Sinclair Broadcast Group reciting the same speech warning against "biased and false news."

It was the latest show of the vast reach of a company that owns local TV stations across the country and has long been criticized for pushing conservative coverage and commentary onto local airwaves.

James Cridland/Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, stories of personal space. We start by sending out host Gabriel Spitzer to a room where he can take release some rage. Then we meet a man who recorded the first known gay country album, and learn how his father encouraged him. We meet a sexual assault victim who reclaimed her space in an unexpected way.

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

Sometimes, you just want to smash. 

Who hasn’t fantasized about taking out their frustrations with, say, a baseball bat or a sledge hammer? 

Of course, this sort of thing is frowned upon in polite society. But there are places around the country where you can pay money to release the beast within, with some degree of safety and without having to clean up the mess: “rage rooms.”  

Courtesy of Patrick Haggerty

In 1973, in the midst of the Stonewall era, a Seattle band called Lavender Country released an eponymous album. The album delivered radical politics with a country twang, and became known as the world's first openly gay country album.

In this interview, Patrick Haggerty tells Gabriel Spitzer  how the album lived, and died, and lived again. He also explains why the album might never have existed if it weren't for his father--a "hayseed" of a dairy farmer who gave his son permission to be exactly who he was.

Erica Dudrow

Note: This story deals with sexual assault and may not be appropriate for some listeners and readers. 

Erica Dudrow lives in Bellingham, and she says she was never much of a party person. But in 2014 she was dating a guy who liked to hit the bars, and she did her best to keep up. 

One Friday evening they were getting ready to go out, having drinks and indulging in a bit of the rave drug, “Molly.” She hadn’t realized just how intoxicated she was until, on her way to the bar, she began to black out. 

Courtesy of Threshold Singers.

 

Aside from being born, one of the most personal, private things we do alone is to die. Death can be quick. It can also creep along, getting closer as each day passes, as the hours tick by.

 

Most of us would never think of entering the room of a stranger who is actively dying, unless you’re there to care for that person, or they are a close friend or a family member.

 

But, this is what groups of singers do all over the country. They are called Threshold Singers.

 

Courtesy of Fat Girls Hiking

Bethany Denton used to hike a lot as a kid. Growing up in northwestern Montana, it's just what people did. But as she got older, and as her body got bigger, she stopped feeling welcome in the outdoors. As a self-described fat girl, she noticed that her friends and family gradually stopped inviting her on hikes, and she felt that even short, easy hikes were out of her league.

Damien Dovarganes / AP Photo

"The most vocal activist you've never heard of." That's how one news report describes Dolores Huerta in a new documentary about her life.

Our 2018 spring fund drive is underway, and Sound Effect wouldn't exist without the generous support of listeners like you. To make a pledge, click here. For our pledge drive show, we decided to take a look back at some stories that stuck with us throughout the years.

Courtesy of L'Oréal

This story originally aired on November 7, 2015. 

Dr. Sarah Ballard was one of the very first guests we ever had on Sound Effect. In Newness, Sound Effect's very first episode, Ballard told us about what it feels like to discover a new planet.

Ballard has not only discovered four new planets, she also discovered a new way to discover planets.

Kyle Norris / KNKX

 

This story originally aired on May 27, 2017.

 

Michael McAndrews has had a lifelong love affair with birds.

 

It all started with an article he read as a kid in National Geographic. It profiled homing pigeons used in wartime to communicate messages between troops. Michael was captivated by the story of a bird named Cher Ami that saved almost 200 American soldiers in France during World War I.

Unintended Consequences: Sound Effect, Episode 138

Mar 17, 2018
George Creal / Flickr

  

Wikimedia Commons

Bisphenol-A, a chemical in plastics, thermal-paper receipts and the lining of tin cans, has been fingered as the culprit for a bunch of health problems.

 

In our bodies, BPA acts like a hormone -- and in animals, at least, it seems to disrupt all sorts of important functions.

 

Courtesy of Chad Goller-Sojourner

Good intentions often have unexpected outcomes, something Chad Goller-Sojourner knows from personal experience.

 

He’s a Seattle based playwright , and also a counselor to white parents who’ve adopted children of color. Chad is black, and when he was 13 months old he himself was adopted by white parents, along with two other kids of color.  This was back in the 1970s, when there was a lot less awareness of mixed families.

 

HistoryLink.org

At the turn of the 20th century, when West Seattle was a city all its own, the community had a problem: They wanted to attract development, but they also wanted to keep out big-city vice, such as alcohol and gambling.

Their solution? An amusement park on a boardwalk, with roller coasters, side shows, and other kinds of wholesome family fun. As HistoryLink.org's Alan Stein tells Gabriel Spitzer, the decision had some unintended consequences.

loulrc / Flickr

Back in the 1970s in Oregon, a man named Richard Chambers was so dismayed by the litter he saw dotting the trails in the wilderness he dearly loved, that he decided to write legislation that would clean things up: Oregon’s Bottle Bill. 

The bill became a law before curbside recycling was the norm. It mandated that cans and bottles that hold juice and soda be sold with a deposit. You pay 10¢ extra when you buy them, and then if you want that money back, you have to return the empties. Today, with curbside pick up on trash day, a lot of people don’t bother.

St. Patrick's Day is a day where people all over the world come together to celebrate Irish heritage and culture. Seattle and Galway, Ireland have been "sister cities" for more than 30 years. The two cities organize cultural events and student exchanges.

The FBI is recognizing Coeur D’Alene tribal member Bernie LaSarte for her efforts to combat domestic violence in the Idaho Panhandle.



After several tries, blood bank couriers and wheelchair taxis with just one person on board have won coveted access to carpool lanes in order to provide better service.

What’s the best way to learn a language? Salish teachers are using music and song to introduce their Native American language to new speakers. It’s a language spoken by many tribes across the Northwest.

Every year, a conference that celebrates Salish culminates in an annual karaoke contest in Spokane. Contestants have to translate a song and perform it in front of judges.

By Chris Vlachos (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories some of areas that can be unclear from time to time. We start by talking to a former Seattle resident who moved to a sister city in Ireland where the weather is also gray. Next, we talk to a reporter and a retired judge about an article that was written about the judge’s ruling that let a sex offender go.

Jennifer Wing

 

Sometimes, our legal system can be a confusing mash up of laws and paperwork. The people whose job it is to sort through all of this to find some clarity are judges. Sometimes, they make decisions that aren’t very popular. One of these cases happened in Seattle, back in March, 2013.

 

King County Superior Court Judge Ronald Kessler made the decision to not detain a man in jail for failing to register as a sex offender. Not too long after the sex offender left the courthouse, he was accused of raping a woman.

Courtesy of Elliot Cossum

 

Elliot Cossum struggles, like many of us, with work-life balance. The difference is he works in an unusual profession.

 

It started for Cossum in Iraq, in one of Saddam Hussein’s captured palaces, where Cossum was serving in the U.S. Army. His job was to man the phone lines there (including the line that reached directly to the Oval Office). He would frequently hear explosions and artillery blasts outside, and once in a while the palace itself would come under attack.

 

UW Center for Philosophy for Children

There are times in life when the answers aren't black and white. 

Your friend is getting married, and asks you to be best man--but you don't approve of his fiancee. Should you speak up about your reservations? Should you be quiet and agree to be best man? 

You suspect that wearing makeup might help your advancement at work, but you also suspect that sexism is at play. Should you put on that lipstick?

Some employers reject job applicants because they smoke. Is that right?

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

Gray hair is one of the inevitable timestamps of life, and Ashley Gross has noticed a few springing up on her head lately. Or rather, her kids have noticed, and enjoy pointing them out. This didn't seem like such a big deal, until she noticed that there tend to be relatively few prominent women who let their gray show.

Hair colorants are a multi-billion dollar industry that seems to target women's insecurities about aging. They also reinforce a strain in our culture that diminishes older women.

Xiao Zhou

Queen Mae Butters has worked side by side with death for about 30 years. She’s a hospice nurse, meaning she cares for people at the end of their lives and helps them transition from life to death. That may sound like sad work -- and it is, says Butters. But it’s so much more than that.

 

“At the beginning of my career I really felt like death was the thing we were against, and we were all trying to keep death from happening. And now … I don’t see death as the enemy at all. I see it as one of our longest friends,” she says.

 

The Big One, Serialized

Mar 6, 2018

Do you have two weeks of food, water and other essentials to survive after a catastrophic earthquake or other disaster? Most Pacific Northwesterners mean well but aren't prepared. In Portland, on the Washington Coast, in British Columbia and now in Bellingham, writers tackled The Big One in serial form to motivate people into action.

People who are diagnosed with prediabetes can delay or prevent the disease if they change their lifestyle and lose a significant amount of weight. But here's the challenge: How can people be motivated to eat healthier and move more? Increasingly, the answer might include digital medicine.

"Just telling people to do things doesn't work," says Sean Duffy, CEO of Omada Health. If it were easy, there wouldn't be more than 80 million adults in the U.S. with prediabetes.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

This story originally aired May 6, 2017. 

Solomon Dubie is the 29-year-old founder of Cafe Avole, a cozy little coffee shop in Rainier Valley. It’s one of the only places in Seattle you can get Ethiopian coffee brewed the traditional way — in a jebena. It's basically a clay pot with a long neck and short spout.

Solomon was born and raised in Seattle, but his family is from Ethiopia — where the coffee plant was first discovered.

They take coffee seriously. But it’s not just about the taste; it’s a whole event with three unique rounds of brewing.

Pages