Ariel Van Cleave

Morning Edition Producer

Ariel first entered a public radio newsroom in 2004 while in school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. It was love at first sight. After graduating from Bradley, she went on to earn a Master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Ariel has lived in Indiana, Ohio and Alaska reporting on everything from salmon spawning to policy issues concerning education. She's been a host, a manager and now rides shotgun with Kirsten Kendrick as the Morning Edition producer at KNKX. 

Ways to Connect

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The shooting death of Charleena Lyles by Seattle police has once again brought the use of deadly force into the spotlight. Friends and family of Lyles have asked why other less-lethal force wasn’t used when two officers responded to an attempted burglary report at Lyles’ apartment Sunday morning.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The majority of teachers across the country are white. But the student population is much more diverse. A panel of local education experts will be on stage at Town Hall Seattle June 15 for an event called #EducationSoWhite to talk about how that gap can impact everyone inside schools.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

There’s still no decision on how the state will fund basic education. Lawmakers are in the midst of a second special session, trying to come up with a plan to satisfy the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision and the deadline is looming.

88.5’s Ariel Van Cleave spoke with Seattle Times education reporter Neal Morton to get an update on negotiations.

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

Imagine you walk into a room filled with complete strangers, but everyone’s there for the same purpose: they are there to snuggle up and to cuddle. These so-called “cuddle parties” truly do exist. Maybe this is not your thing, and maybe the thought of a snuggling with someone you don’t know makes you want to run screaming in the other direction. Well, you are not alone. It’s definitely not for 88.5’s Ariel Van Cleave. But Ariel is always up to challenging her fears, so she recently set out to take part in one of these cuddling events and shares her experience.

Courtesy of the Tacoma Public Library http://bit.ly/2pRsmhM

Tacoma was once home to vibrant Japanese-American neighborhood full of photo studios, barbershops, and families. That was before almost 900 people of Japanese ancestry were forcibly removed from the city 75 years ago this week. 

Robert Radford

The Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival in New York City wrapped up over the weekend. There were 15 bands from across the country competing, and festival director Wynton Marsalis explained that meant the pressure was on.

 

"Because there's so much love, there's so much energy and pain that goes into playing in these ensembles, and so much rehearsing early in the morning and late at night," Marsalis said. "And now you're on stage and you're nervous and you're trying to do the best you can do."

 

Robert Radford

The Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival is officially underway. Students from three area high school jazz bands are taking part: Mount Si, Edmonds-Woodway and Mountlake Terrace. All three groups traveled from Seattle to New York City for the competition. Now we find out how things went on day one, which included a performance by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

 

Voices: Mount Si senior Greta Chappell, Mount Si senior Creed Carlson, Mount Si co-director Bill Leather, Edmonds-Woodway senior Connor Shrum, Edmonds-Woodway freshman Unathi Machyo

Mount Si High School

Three area high schools are competing in the Essentially Ellington festival and competition in New York City this weekend: Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds-Woodway and Mount Si.

 

Greta Chappell is a senior and plays piano for Mount Si’s jazz band. She says for her jazz is more than just music.

 

Brandon Patoc / Seattle Symphony

Finding peace of mind can be a challenge for many of us. But it can be especially difficult for inmates in prison. You’re locked away. Surrounded by hundreds of others; some of whom landed behind bars for doing some pretty bad things. There are few moments of relief.

David Paul Morris

Science-reporter-turned-author Mary Roach has made a name for herself thanks to an endless curiosity about the world around her.

She’s written books about dead bodies, sex, our digestive systems and, most recently, military science.

Roach will be in Tacoma April 28 at to discuss her latest book “Grunt” as part of the Pierce County Reads series put on by the county’s library system.

Peter Haley / The News Tribune

Update: The state Department of Ecology has extended the time frame for the public to weigh in on the cleanup process. The new deadline is June 26.

One million pounds of toxic chemicals; that’s what estimated to be left behind over several decades because of work done at the Hooker Chemical plant on the Tacoma Tideflats. The plant was purchased by a company called Occidental in the late 1960s and finally shut down for good in 2002.

"Vinyl Record Player" by Nan Palmero is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Record Store Day is April 22. And it happens to be the 10th anniversary of the day that celebrates independent stores across the country, as well as all the music fans and artists that keep them thriving.

Our very own Abe Beeson is a bit of a vinyl junkie and sat down with 88.5's Kirsten Kendrick talk about his ever-growing collection, and what he’s looking forward to on Record Store Day.

Interview highlights

Michael Roberts

Hiding in plain sight can be a matter of course for people dealing with addictions; they tend to be really good at masking the need.

 

That was the case for Michael Roberts. He had beer for the first time when he was 15, and worked for years to keep attention away from his alcoholism. He was eventually able to get sober. His last drink was eight years ago.

 

And all those years Michael spent hiding made him an expert when it came to spotting his daughter Amber’s addiction.

 

Paul Morigi / AP Images for National Museum of the American Indian

 

Protests over the last year that originated in North Dakota against the Dakota Access oil pipeline have once again highlighted the complex relationship among tribal governments and the United States. How exactly do these sovereign nations exist within the U.S.? And what does “sovereignty” even mean?

Sara Taksler

Free speech and the powers of the government in this country have been talked about a lot recently. A new documentary being screened March 21 in Seattle takes a look at those issues through the lens of the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and the man known as the “Egyptian Jon Stewart.”

 

The film “Tickling Giants” focuses on Dr. Bassem Youssef. He used a nightly television show watched by tens of millions of people as his way to protect free speech and fight political leaders.

 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The rate of tooth decay among Native Americans is higher than any other population. And now, tribes across Washington state will be able to use federal money to hire dental health aide therapists.

Courtesy Scott Losse

For comedians like Seattle’s Scott Losse, sharing lots of information about their flaws and their family members is just a given. He goes on stage in front of a live audiences telling jokes about things like his lifelong issues with anxiety and his deep love for his 16-year-old cat named Kitty.

But comedy often comes from pain, and that's true for Scott. When he was younger, Scott lost his two older brothers — one from suicide, the other, in a car accident.

Scott Losse talks with 88.5’s Ariel Van Cleave how seeing a therapist led to him performing on stage.  

Michael Probst / AP Photo

It's a cloudy, rainy Friday with lots of wind expected. But the weather system should clear by the start of the week and bring warmer temperatures and sunshine.

"Some places will get winds gusting to 30 to 40 miles per hour, maybe even a few higher gusts," knkx weather expert Cliff Mass said. "It's the breeziest it's been for a while. So keep that in mind if you're around trees or you're worried about your power going out."

Mass says Saturday will be a transition day with temperatures getting into the mid 40s and it'll be partly cloudy.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The mental health system in Washington state has had its fair share of troubles. And Gov. Jay Inslee wants $300 million in hopes of “fixing” many of the problems.

 

Discussions about mental health are happening in Olympia during this year’s legislative session. And while much of the focus is on ways to improve state-run facilities, the staff at Seattle P-I found a deeper look is needed at the local level as well, especially when it comes to county jails.

 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Lawmakers in Olympia are spending this year’s legislative session coming up with a plan to fund basic education throughout the state. One big sticking point during the discussions has been teacher salaries and who should be responsible for paying them.

There are also questions surrounding something known as “TRI pay.” It stands for “time, responsibility and incentive,” and is similar to overtime pay.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

Hundreds showed up Tuesday night for a rally in Seattle’s Westlake Park. They were there to show frustration over President Donald Trump’s executive action giving a green light to the controversial Dakota Access pipeline. Many of the protesters were chanting "We can't drink oil; leave it in the soil."

 

Reana Anderson was among the hundreds who gathered. She's native Hawaiian and says it's important to her to protect tribal rights and the environment.

 

Mark Arehart / knkx

Staff from the dental clinic on the Swinomish Reservation will be in front of state lawmakers this week. This will be the sixth time the tribe is asking for the state’s approval to fund certain dental services. And tribal leaders say they may have a shot.

Legislative Support Services Photography

Chris Reykdal is the state superintendent of public instruction-elect. He officially takes office Jan. 11, and is replacing Randy Dorn, who has served the state for the last eight years. There are definitely some challenges Reykdal will be facing in the first several months in office, especially when it comes to working with the legislature in finding ways to adequately fund basic education. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Understanding who we are and what our role in society is essential for all of us. But when exactly do we start figuring that out?

New research shows it could be well before high school, and even as early as the second grade. The study from the University of Washington focused on 136 girls and 86 boys in three Tacoma-area schools. The students were black, white, Asian and mixed-race.

Ariel Van Cleave / knkx

When the radio drama “The War of the Worlds” first aired in 1938, it caused mass hysteria. And now the actors with Youth Theatre Northwest are trying their hand at the infamous radio play with performances Dec. 2-4. 

At the time of the original broadcast, you couldn’t check Facebook to make sure aliens weren’t actually landing on Earth. People just believed it.

 

London Brunelle says capturing that same mood for the Youth Theatre’s interpretation of the drama has been one of her favorite parts about rehearsing.

 

Ariel Van Cleave / KPLU

The town of Lynden, Washington sits just to the south of the U.S.-Canadian border.  It's a small town of about 13,000 people.  

Lynden is also home to the Lynden Dutch Bakery (which makes a tasty short cake), Darigold (maker of cream, both ice and whipped), and of course, acres of berry farms.

Lynden just turned 125 years old recently, and to celebrate, folks there decided they needed a birthday cake — but not just any cake cake would do for such a celebration.  They wanted a really big birthday cake — one that would highlight all that Lynden had to offer.

James MacPherson / AP Photo

In North Dakota, tension over the 1,200-mile Dakota Access oil pipeline is escalating. Police and National Guard troops arrested more than 140 protesters near a construction site Thursday.

Law officers ousted the protesters in an operation that involved the use of shotgun beanbag rounds and pepper spray. The protesters had set up camp last weekend on the land owned by the pipeline developer to try to block the project.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Virginia Rehberg is a science teacher at Tacoma’s Wilson High School, and she has been for the last two decades. But her focus during this election is actually outside the classroom.

Several words come to mind when describing Virginia Rehberg: passionate, curious, mother, educator, and opinionated. Fiercely so.

Ariel Van Cleave / knkx

One of the best parts about playing video games is losing yourself inside whatever world they take place in. Maybe you’re a plumber tasked with saving a princess from a great sorcerer. Or you could be an agent with the British secret service trying to save the world from Spectre. But if you’re Dima Veryovka and Sean Vesce, the objective is a little different. The games they make are all about how you connect to the world around you.

 

Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Bryan Cranston can now add a new title to his resume: author. He’s out with a new memoir called “A Life in Parts,” which is a series of short stories focused on his personal and professional life. The actor is best known for his role as meth kingpin Walter White in the television show “Breaking Bad.” He’ll be at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall Sunday Oct. 16 to read from his new book and to talk with writer Sherman Alexie. Cranston spoke with 88.5's Ariel Van Cleave ahead of his appearance. 

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