Sound Effect | KNKX

Sound Effect

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We start with a deeper look at Frog and Toad, and why Frog wanted to be alone. Next, a bus driver thaws the “Seattle Freeze” for a passenger. Then, a woman battles a voice that encourages her to do destructive things.

A younger Mary Anne Moorman.
Courtesy of Moorman

This story originally aired on March 2, 2019.  

Mary Anne Moorman has been a management consultant, an activist, a storyteller – even a radio host. She’s also been keeping a secret since she was a little girl.

“Where are you?” a younger Moorman asked. “Everywhere,” the voice replied.

Shirley Lidel and husband, Michael, on their wedding day.
Courtesy of Lidel

This story originally aired on March 2, 2019.  

About 20 years ago, Shirley Lidel made a vow: no more men.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX


This story originally aired March 1, 2019.  

Susan Fee always knew she wanted to move back to Seattle someday. She and her husband both grew up around here, namely Federal Way, but work opportunities had them move to different parts of the Midwest, including Chicago, St. Louis, and Cleveland. Once Susan and her husband became empty-nesters, they were ready to return to Seattle. As they prepared to move, Susan heard rumors that the city had grown frosty in the 25 years since she'd moved away.


Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX


This story originally aired on March 2, 2019. 

Frog had left a note. It was for Toad, and it said he just wanted to be alone today.

So begins the story by Arnold Lobel in the collection, "Days with Frog and Toad." And like many of Lobel’s stories, the deceptively simple narrative hides important lessons about childhood and friendship. In this case, Jana Mohr Lone says, the story teaches us lessons about solitude.

via Yelp

This story originally aired on March 2, 2019.   

Some kids go straight to college after high school. But Marisa Comeau-Kerege went to Senegal.


This show originally aired on January 19, 2019.


This story originally aired on January 19, 2019.

Paulette de Coriolis grew up in the 1950s, a time of postwar growth, Dwight Eisenhower and booming suburbs. It’s what many people picture when they think of normalcy.


Jennifer Wiley


This story originally aired on January 19, 2019.   

In the basement of Franklin High School in South Seattle there is a sprawling room full of lathes, band saws and sanding equipment. In one of the room’s closets, tree stumps wait to be turned into polished bowls, guitar stands and bookcases.

Before he was gunned down last year on June 2 in Martha Washington Park, 17-year-old Ryan Dela Cruz made things in this wood shop.

Adrian Florez / KNKX

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is “The Past Is Still With Us.” First, we hear about how a man who died in Missouri in 1855 crossed the Oregon Trail in a whiskey barrel to be buried in Southwest Washington. Then, we hear how a Seattle rapper uses music to process his pain of the past. We travel to a Concrete to learn what happens when Hollywood takes over your small hometown. We meet a Bellevue teacher who uses typewriters to make art — and unlock students’ inner authors. Finally, we learn about an implicit bias test, and what it can teach us about how our environment shapes our attitudes.

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

It’s not all that uncommon for musicians to share their experience with struggle and heartbreak through their songwriting. But for Seattle rapper Porter Ray Sullivan, who goes by Porter Ray on stage, being able to have an outlet like music to express his feelings on the tragedies that he faced in his life seems like almost a necessity.

Porter Ray is 30 years old, but looks young enough to be his son's older brother, and certainly too young to have gone through what he’s gone through. But as a musician, he has made his splash.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

Willie Keil’s grave sits on a hilltop in the Willapa Valley. The marker is a bit hard to read — the weathered stone shows a date of death as May 19, 1855.

What’s unusual about Willie’s case isn’t when he died, but where: Willie succumbed to disease in Bethel, Missouri, 2,000 miles away, days before his family hit the road west, along the Oregon Trail. 

So how did this 19-year-old wind up buried not in Missouri, but in Southwestern Washington? 

Parker Miles Blohm



It’s Valentine's Day and the first-grade students in Kelye Kneeland’s classroom at Spirit Ridge Elementary in Bellevue are patiently waiting to hand out cards to each other. They are all wearing their special kindness capes.


“I know that you are all kings and queens of kindness. When you have passed out your Valentine's you can start a station,” Kneeland tells the students. 


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

Cheri Cook-Blodget sits on a piece preserved from the movie set of "This Boy's Life."
Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX


Concrete, Washington, was struggling. It was the early 1990s, and timber jobs were scarce in the upper Skagit Valley. The big cement plant had closed decades before. And then, in 1992, in stepped an unexpected player: Hollywood. 


“So all of a sudden Warner Brothers shows up,” says Cheri Cook-Blodget, who at the time was working for Skagit County out of a little storefront on Main Street. “And people up here are not familiar with Hollywood.”



This show originally aired on December 8, 2018.

Courtesy Mary McIntyre

This story originally aired on December 8, 2018.   

Mary McIntyre was rasied in Bellevue in a conservative Christian home, and attended a conservative Christian school. There was no shortage of rules and expectations. While Mary loved her family, something was always telling her when she was growing up that this wasn't exactly the life for her.

Matthias Roberts


This story originally aired on December 8, 2018.   

Matthias Roberts came out to his parents at age 15, and at the time both he and they hoped this would be a temporary challenge. Matthias and his family were conservative, Evangelical Christians, and they believed that homosexuality was a sin to be overcome.

How a daycare worker became one woman's other mother

Feb 29, 2020
courtesy of Marisa Comeau-Kerege

This story originally aired on December 8, 2018.    

Her name is Gulshan Yunis. But I call her Ammi — Urdu for "mother."

When I was growing up, both my parents worked full-time, so they needed someone to take care of me during the day. Like a lot of parents, they looked hard for the right person. In the end — and this is a family joke now — I chose Gulshan.

Jennifer Wing


This story originally aired on December 8, 2018.    

In 1956, Rita Zawaideh's parents made the decision to move the family to the United States so that their children would have a better education. They left their large extended, Roman Catholic family behind in Jordan. They eventually settled in Seattle, where Zawaideh lives today.


In this story, Zawaideh talks about the difficult consequences of making choices when she was a young woman that her family did not agree with and about the love that came from an unexpected community.


Jennifer Wing / KNKX

This story originally aired on December 8, 2018.  

Lauren Davis and Ricky Garcia met when they were teenagers working together at a preschool in Issaquah. They formed a strong and close bond, as young people often do. That bond was destined to change the course of their lives. It also changed the possibilities for other Washington state residents who are struggling with addiction.

Tents sit under a bridge in an unsanctioned homeless camp in Olympia.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Homelessness on the West Coast is rising to crisis levels at a time of historic economic growth and prosperity. In fact, Washington, Oregon and California are home to two-thirds of the nation’s unsheltered population.

KNKX Public Radio and The Seattle Times’ Project Homeless spent one year in a city that’s grappling with homelessness — Washington’s capital city, Olympia.  

Allen, who lives outside in Olympia, stands in the city's so-called "mitigation site," a sanctioned homeless camp.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Allen doesn’t present like the typical resident of a homeless encampment.

“He’s not struggling with the type of addictions that you often see. He’s not struggling with severe mental illness,” says Vianna Davila, editor of the Project Homeless team at The Seattle Times. “He’s known as kind of a cook, chef, around the mitigation site.”

The mitigation site is a sanctioned camp in Olympia — the center of a podcast series by Project Homeless and KNKX Public Radio called “Outsiders,” hosted by KNKX’s Will James.

Adrian Florez / KNKX

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is “Family Matters.” First, we meet one Indipino woman and learn how she connected to her roots on Bainbridge Island. Then, we meet a mother and author who is sharing her son’s story of addiction as a cautionary tale for other parents. We meet a woman who might have been forbidden from having children a century ago — and we meet her daughter. Grieving parents turn a tragedy into something constructive. And we meet the father — so to speak — of “I Didn’t Reproduce Day.”

Ron Peltier and Betsey Wittick at Bainbridge Vinyards.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

It started over a few glasses of wine, with friends passing around a smartphone and sharing views of a sketch by late-night comedian Bill Maher.

The idea presented there, for a holiday on par with those honoring moms and dads, often provokes laughter. “I Didn’t Reproduce Day” would celebrate single people, aunts and uncles who help out — and not just by being allies to parents or mentors to young people. Maher makes the case that people who remain childless are saving resources and preventing thousands of tons of carbon pollution from warming the Earth’s climate.  

Bonnie and Gerry Gibson named their nonprofit after their son, Greg "Gibby" Gibson.
Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

Bonnie Gibson says her son Greg’s musical talent emerged very early on. 

“I could just see from a young age that he had unusual rhythm. Which, now, I go, did I really want those drums in my basement?” she said. “But it was cute and fun to see a little kid kind of find himself.”

Greg did find himself in music. By high school, he was already involved in the business side, booking bands.  

David Ryder

Seattle author Paula Becker has a specific audience in mind for her latest book, "A House on Stilts, Mothering in the Age of Opioid Addiction."

“I really want people who have kids of about 11 and 12 to read this book, because I think that the trick is and the challenge is to try not to let the kid tumble over into addiction," Becker said. "So, when they're experimenting is the time to try every possible way to get them back.”

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

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.”

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

Ivanonva Smith spent the first chunk of her life in an institutional orphanage in Soviet-controlled Latvia. She doesn’t remember having any friends or toys, or anything to do. 

“I would just stare at a light and watch the little floaters, those little floaters you get in your eyes, and that was my entertainment,” she said. 

Ivanova was born with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By the time she was adopted at age 5, she still didn’t speak. She says she had no understanding of concepts like “family,” and had to be taught how to play with toys. 

Adrian Florez / KNKX

Our latest episode of Sound Effect revolves around the theme, "It's Only Money." We'll meet a couple who tried to get rich flipping houses, decades before it was cool. We'll find out how a teenage blunder left Mike Lewis with a debt he could never repay, and how he reapid it anyway. A small town prints its own money, on pieces of wood. A Seattle writer considers a complicated inheritance: what she learned about money from her parents. And a group of friends order a round of drinks ... and fiasco ensues.