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Sound Effect

Harold Moss, center, attends an event in downtown Tacoma in 2015, marking the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” march in Selma, Alabama. Moss died Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, at the age of 90.
Photo by John Froschauer

Editor's note: This story originally aired on Feb. 11, 2017. Harold Moss died Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, at the age of 90. KNKX is republishing this story in remembrance of the Tacoma icon. 

In 1950s Tacoma, Harold Moss and his wife Willibelle faced racism in the search for a home.

ADRIAN FLOREZ / KNKX

This show originally aired on November 25, 2019. 

SAN JUAN ISLAND 17 BY JEFF CLARK IS LICENSED UNDER CC BY 2.0 BIT.LY/2RLVP97

This episode originally aired on June 17, 2017.

This week on Sound Effect, we head out to the islands.

The Good Ship Issaquah

Marsha Morse was one of the first women captains in Washington’s ferry system. She’s been navigating the waterways since 1975. And while she captains the ferry Issaquah, she considers her office the entire Puget Sound.

The One Lonely Island

“McNeil Island and neighbors” by worldislandinfo.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/2tseyeM

Note: Some of the content in this story might be upsetting to some listeners. 

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.  

McNeil Island in South Puget Sound is where the Special Commitment Center for sexually violent predators is located. There are about 250 permanent residents at the Special Commitment Center -that’s what they’re called — and there are only a few ways you can leave the facility: you die, you’re deemed to have successfully completed treatment, or you can challenge your commitment with a trial.

Kevin Kniestedt / KNKX

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.  

Affordable housing is certainly a big issue these days, especially if you are living in the greater Seattle area. But it is also a major issue on some of our islands.

On San Juan Island, an overwhelming shortage of affordable housing is threatening the community and economy. But a non-profit in Friday Harbor is come up with a way to help that problem: by picking up old houses that are no long wanted in Victoria, British Columbia, putting them on a boat, and giving them a second life in Friday.

WSDOT/Broch Bender

 

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.

Washington boasts the largest ferry system in the country. “Twenty-two ferries cross Puget Sound and its inland waterways, carrying more than 22 million passengers to 20 different ports of call,” according to the Washington State Department of Transportation’s website.

 

Marsha Morse was one of the first women captains in Washington’s ferry system. She’s been navigating the waterways since 1975.

 

Hannah Burn

 

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.

The San Juans' last homesteaders first discovered the islands on a map. June and Farrar Burn were newlyweds. They met in 1919 at a party June threw in her log cabin in Virginia. June quickly fell for Farrar’s ruddy-cheeked smile, curly red hair, and his ability to make himself useful immediately:  gathering firewood, serving drinks, hosting as if it were his own home. Farrar was drawn to June’s lively eyes and her unmistakable, fierce spirit. In a month, the two were married.

Courtesy of Steve Edmiston.

 

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.   

In the summer of 1947, off the coast of Maury Island in South Puget Sound, a man named Harold Dahl was out on his boat with his son, Christopher, their dog and two workers. Harold collected logs floating in the Sound and resold them to lumber mills.

 

Think Dating Is Hard? Try It On An Island.

Aug 29, 2020
“Dating In The 50's” by zaza23 is licensed under CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/2rwn2Fr

 

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.   

You may have thought about living on the San Juan in an abstract, big-picture sense: basking in the rain shadow, long bike rides along rolling hills, the best garden of your life. But what about the practical parts of day-to-day life, like dating? What if you couldn’t take someone out to dinner without everyone you see every single day knowing your business?

 

Adrian Florez / KNKX

In this episode of Sound Effect, we’re featuring stories from this show and the KNKX newsroom that earned regional and national recognition.

Youth and education reporter Ashley Gross talks about a quirk in state policy that is giving an artificial boost to graduation rates across the state. KNKX’s Will James dives into the turmoil that, up until recently, plagued the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office. Producer Posey Gruener shares the story of a beloved professional boxer whose life was tragically cut short. Gabriel Spitzer introduces us to a man who is helping his homeless neighbors, one makeshift toilet at a time. And producer Kevin Kniestedt shares what he learned after rediscovering a box of old love letters from past girlfriends. (KNKX's Ed Ronco and Geoffrey Redick also earned recognition for long-form storytelling about the five-year anniversary of the Oso landslide, part of the station's regional reporting project KNKX Connects.) 

PARKER MILES BLOHM / KNKX

There is nothing like standing in the crowd, watching your favorite musician take the stage, playing your favorite song live right in front of you. Well thanks to a little global pandemic, going to a concert has been more or less impossible. Well, those of us at Sound Effect miss hearing live music, and we are willing to bet that you do to. Today on the show, we are going to bring the concert to you. We're going to be playing live music recordings that were performed and recorded just for Sound Effect over the years.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

This story originally aired on November 26, 2016. 

Getting a tattoo can certainly be an occasion for regret. Getting a tattoo that has an intentional misspelling in it could potentially lead to more opportunity for regret. Naming your debut album after your intentionally misspelled tattoo pretty much sums up the "no regrets" attitude of the Seattle-based band Chastity Belt.

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

This story originally aired on November 26, 2016.

Singer-songwriter Kimya Dawson writes intimate music that connects with her fans in a very personal way. Olympia's independent K Records wrote that "her recordings make it feel as though you have a friend there whispering in your ear. And you do because Kimya is your friend."

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

This story originally aired on October 1, 2016.

On our show, we do strive to get the complexity of this region and capture what it means to live here in all of it's contrasting glory — both the pretty and the gritty. And on our show, when we're doing our job, we're telling stories that have a lot of that. We really believe that a story can be sad and hilarious and heartbreaking and surprising all at once. It's an eclectic thing we are trying to do.  

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

This story originally aired on January 21, 2017.

The 2016 presidential election transformed the political narrative across America, including Washington state. Many artists have been emboldened to create in response to this reshuffling of power and ideas. One Seattle musician was uniquely inspired by the perspective of Trump voters.

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

 This story originally aired on May 6, 2017.

Ben Union basically grew up in a church, and for him there was little question as to what he wanted to be when he grew up. He was going to be a preacher.

But in religion, just like in politics, or relationships, challenging or even traumatic experiences can make you change your feelings about a path you were once entirely certain about.

This was the case for Ben Union. He didn’t become a preacher, but instead, a professional musician in Tacoma.

Lydia Ramsey in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

This story originally aired on October 28, 2017.

To say that Seattle musician Lydia Ramsey was raised in a musical family would be kind of an understatement.

“Me and my brothers joke that, like, in order to sit down in our living room, you had to pick up an instrument because it was taking up the chair. And then you’d be like oh, well I’m holding this so I might as well play something on it,” said Ramsey.

This story orginally aired on February 24, 2018.

This past September, Steve Fournier expected to go out with his friends to see one of his favorite Rock bands, Loverboy, in concert. What he didn’t expect is for lead singer, Mike Reno, to get the flu and only be able to perform a couple songs. Reno’s wife started talking to the crowd to find someone in the audience to take his place.

Fournier’s friends started pointing at him telling her to pull him up on stage.

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

This story originally aired on May 26, 2018.

Naomi Wachira was born and raised in Kenya, studied broadcasting in Chicago, then theology in Seattle. While she always had an impressive singing voice -- she sang in choirs since she was five -- becoming a professional musician wasn’t truly on the radar until 2013, after her father, a pastor in Kenya, passed away.

Sound Effect host Gabriel Spitzer tours Fort Casey on Whidbey Island in December 2019, for a story about the old fort built.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Every week for more than five years, Gabriel Spitzer’s voice brought stories into your homes that you otherwise wouldn’t hear. In more than 200 episodes of Sound Effect, our host helped you get to know the Puget Sound region and its people through stories of wonder, joy, and profound humanity.   

Now, sadly, it’s time to say goodbye.

Courtesy of Cheri Spitzer

Today on the show, we say goodbye to our host Gabriel Spitzer. This is the last show Gabriel will host, as he transitions to a new job in public health. He celebrates some of his favorite stories from past shows in this episode.

Stephen Brashear / AP

This story originally aired April 2, 2016.  

Last December, St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams punter Johnny Hekker, an Edmonds resident who grew up in Bothell,  did not make many new friends in the Pacific Northwest. He punted the ball to the Seahawks, and after the play was over, he came up behind Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril and drilled him to the ground.

Credit Gabriel Spitzer

This story originally aired on December 9, 2017.   

Lois Langrebe has taught Lushootseed for over two decades, a dying language of the Tulalip tribes that she’s struggling to keep from going extinct.

It’s an important role that she never expected to fill while growing up.

A child of adoption, Lois was raised by a white family, knowing little about her origins or the culture of Native Americans. For years she struggled with her identity and finding a place that truly felt like home.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

This story originally aired on April 28, 2018.  

If you close your eyes and picture Sasquatch, there’s a good chance you’ll conjure up a very specific image: a big, hairy humanoid, mid-stride, arms swinging, head turned to glance back over its right shoulder.

In that iconic picture, the thing Bigfoot was turning back to look at was Bob Gimlin.

Almin Zrno

 

This story originally aired Oct. 13, 2018.  

In the early 1990s, Gino Jevdjevic was living the typical life of a Yugoslavian popstar.

He signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans. He wore his hair in a ponytail and crooned schmaltzy melodies.

These days, Gino has a shaved head, a multitude of tattoos and a long, grey-streaked beard. He lives in Seattle, and his music is closer to metal or “Gypsy Punk” than it is to pop.

ADRIAN FLOREZ / KNKX

This show originally aired on November 9, 2019. 

Courtesy of Grace Sullivan

 

This story originally aired on November 9, 2019.  

If you went back in time and told 14-year-old Grace Sullivan that she’d grow up to study biology, she probably wouldn’t know what you were talking about. 

 

That’s because 14-year-old Grace didn’t know about cells, or atoms, or what a negative number was. Instead, her schooling covered what her parents considered relevant: quilting, knitting, grinding wheat, canning — and most of all, bible study. 

 

Courtesy Seattle Band Map

This story originally aired on November 9, 2019.  

Rachel Ratner is in a band called Wimps. She’s also a software engineer and a brand new mother — and the creator of the Seattle Band Map

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

This story originally aired on November 9, 2019.  

  The Manastash Ridge Observatory, or the MRO, sits on top of a huge stretch of earth that pops out of the surrounding landscape of flat timothy hay fields.The ridge is actually an earthquake fault line, one of several in this part of the state.

Susan Lieu performing "140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother."  Her mother, Jennifer Ha, is on the screen behind her.
Joe Iano

 

This story originally aired on Nov. 9, 2019.  

Growing up in Santa Rosa, California, Susan Lieu’s mother, Jennifer Ha, was the glue that held her Vietnamese family together. 

 

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