Ed Ronco

All Things Considered Host

Ed Ronco came to KPLU in October 2013 as producer and reporter for KPLU’s Morning Edition. Ed started in public radio in 2009 at KCAW in Sitka, Alaska, where he covered everything from city government, to education, crime, science, the arts and more. Prior to public radio, Ed worked in newspapers, including four years at the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, where he covered business, then politics and government.

Ed grew up in Wyandotte, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, and earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University.

Ways to Connect

Ted S. Warren / AP

Licenses for scientific research on marijuana could soon be available in Washington state, despite strict federal rules about research on the drug. Under the new state license, labs could grow pot for scientific study. Reporter Melissa Santos wrote about this issue for The News Tribune in Tacoma, where she covers state government. She spoke with KPLU's Ed Ronco.

Ed Ronco / KPLU

KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley can list expensive destinations, none of which might surprise you.

“New York, London, Paris, any large city in Scandinavia,” he said, “Sydney, Singapore, Shanghai, and Seattle hotels in the summertime.”

Ha.

But lately there have been some surprises – places Brumley has known for years that have seen spikes in how much it costs to visit. That includes Havana, Cuba.

“Hotels that were $250 a night … are now charging over $550 a night,” he said.

Some Ideas For Saving Money On Your Next Vacation

Aug 18, 2016
btwashburn / Flickr

Traveling on a budget can be a challenge. Airfare often starts in the hundreds of dollars, and hotel bills can quickly get there. So can gasoline costs, if you're driving. Still, KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says there are ways to save money while you travel, and in many cases, it can even enhance the experience. Here are some of his suggestions:

Apply Your Miles

Eric Shea / Flickr

Summertime in the Pacific Northwest means many of us are hosting relatives or friends from out of town. But how do you do that here? There are plenty of options, from outdoor adventures, to fine dining, to riding the ferry (seriously, if you don’t live here, it’s a pretty unusual thing to do).

This week in our “Going Places” travel segment – or maybe this week, “Staying Places” – KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley offers some advice on how to entertain visitors.

Matthew’s Advice

pfly / Flickr

A few weeks back, I mentioned on the air to KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley that I was hoping to escape to Washington's coast for a few days. Brumley offered up his suggestions on places I should try.

Not too long after, we had a listener appreciation party here at 88.5, and a listener named Jon Roanhaus asked if I'd taken the trip yet. When I said I hadn't, Jon asked for some scratch paper and quickly made a list of five good options.

Trang Nguyen

Hillary Clinton has accepted the Democratic nomination for president. And during her speech Thursday night at the party’s national convention, Clinton talked about the need to unify the country, saying all Americans are stronger together. She also laid out parts of her agenda if she wins in November, including her plans for creating jobs, reforming campaign finance rules and working with former rival Bernie Sanders to create tuition-free college for the middle class.

Susan Walsh / AP Photo

On Wednesday night of the Democratic National Convention, some political heavyweights took the stage to pledge their support for the presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. There were speeches from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine and President Barack Obama. Each of them explained how they think Clinton is uniquely qualified to be the next commander in chief.

Washington state delegate Trang Nguyen was in the audience again, listening. Nguyen says she thought Kaine's speech resonated well with Clinton supporters and delegates.

Peter Dejong / AP

Travel involves tipping, from the airport shuttle to the hotel to the restaurants, and sometimes even the bathroom. KPLU travel expert talks about some of the places you might be expected to leave a gratuity.

Restrooms

In some places, you’ll find a bathroom attendant to offer you soap or a towel. Other public restrooms require a fee for entry, or a small fee to get toilet paper on your way in (we’re looking at you, Cuba). It’s a mostly thankless job, and your tip is always appreciated.

Chefs

Mary Altaffer / AP Photo

Hillary Clinton made history Tuesday by officially being nominated as the first female Democratic presidential candidate at the party’s national convention in Philadelphia. The delegates from each of the states took part in a roll call vote to make it official.

After the vote was taken, many of the supporters for former candidate Bernie Sanders walked out of the convention hall. Washington state delegate Trang Nguyen was among them. Nguyen explains that she is still struggling with the idea of backing Clinton. 

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is officially underway. And Monday night was filled with speakers calling on voters to support Hillary Clinton, who is the party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

Former candidate Bernie Sanders was among them. And while he took to the stage telling the crowd he was “proud” to stand with Clinton, some Sanders supporters, including Washington state delegate Trang Nguyen aren’t ready to back her just yet. The majority of the 101 delegates from this state support Sanders, following his caucus wins in March. 

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

As Washington state delegates gather at the Democratic National Convention this week in Philadelphia, nearly two-thirds of them will be supporting Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He won the state’s caucuses in March. But Hillary Clinton is expected to be named the Democratic nominee.

That is emblematic of one of the central questions that will play out this week: Can Clinton attract Sanders supporters into her camp? One of the people she’ll hope to convince is Nahtrang Nguyen, a 25-year-old convention delegate from Seattle.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took to the stage Thursday night at the final night of the GOP National Convention. He was rallying the crowd behind him as the party looks toward the general election. We’ve been checking in with Washington state delegate Jack Bell throughout this week as part of our election series “From the Floor.”

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was one of many speakers Wednesday at the party’s national convention. And he was likely the most controversial one after refusing to endorse GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. The delegates from Washington state were firmly behind Cruz when they initially arrived in Cleveland, Ohio at the start of this week.

But many, like Jack Bell, are now backing Trump in the interest of party unity. Bell says he was discouraged by the fact that Cruz even went on stage in the first place.

Don Wilson / Port of Seattle

The world can feel dangerous these days.

The recent terror attack in Nice, France, and the attempted military coup in Turkey are just two recent examples. But KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says it’s important to temper our fear with knowledge.

Matt Rourke / AP Images

Donald Trump is now the official Republican presidential nominee. Delegates from every state cast their votes during a floor session Tuesday night at the party’s national convention in Cleveland, Ohio. And as Republican leaders, and Trump, look toward the general election in November, the party’s youngest members were gathered to talk about the future of the GOP, and what they can do in order to reach out to other millennials. Washington state delegate Jack Bell says he went to a youth caucus meeting with about 20 other young Republicans.

John Allen / Flickr

Usually, when we check in with our travel expert Matthew Brumley, he’s talking to us about some far-off destination that we need to reach by plane or boat or train. But this week on “Going Places,” he’s traveling by the book.

 

Below, find our favorite books that are either about travel, or make us want to travel. And add yours to the list, in the comments section at the end.

Matthew’s List

Michelle Lee / Flickr

Let’s be real: It is difficult to leave the Pacific Northwest in the summer. So we asked travel expert Matthew Brumley to find a place that’s nearby, but still feels like a good getaway from the hustle of daily life.

He talked to us from the town of Ganges, on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

 

Getting There

Tom Colins / Flickr

A judge in Pierce County has thrown out two initiatives aimed at giving people in Tacoma a bigger say in development projects. The group “Save Tacoma Water” circulated petitions for two ballot measures. They would have required a public vote on development projects planning to use more than a million gallons of water a day.

Michael LaFreniere is the spokesman for the grassroots group Save Tacoma Water. He says today’s ruling undermines the ability of citizens to put forward local initiatives.

Grotta Giusti

Traveling can take a lot out of you. The flights, moving from city to city, trying to see everything — it can be exhausting. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says when he's on the road, he looks for opportunities to rejuvenate at spas and saunas. He estimates he’s been in about 70 of them, in 10 different countries.

His first time visiting a sauna was when he was living in Denmark, and some friends invited him to go with them to Sweden in the winter.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

It's a big weekend for the Seattle Men’s and Women’s choruses, performing Friday for President Barack Obama, and tonight and tomorrow for the public, at McCaw Hall in Seattle, in a musical farewell to their retiring director. Over 35 years, Dennis Coleman has been in front of not only the two choruses, but also some of the biggest changes in LGBT history.

This story begins in 1981.

mout1234 / Flickr

This week on Going Places, we head to the south of France. It's popular among visitors from outside and within Europe, thanks in large part to its sunny and warm Mediterranean climate.

Danna Brumley is the wife of KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley, and the Brumley family Francophile.

“I studied the language. I worked at EuroDisney. I did everything I could to stay in the country,” she said.

Last year, she spoke to us from a cafe in the town of Arles, in France's famed Provence region.

Itinerary

Handout

You might know Mandy Patinkin as CIA operative Saul Berenson on the Showtime television drama “Homeland.” Or maybe you know him as Inigo Montoya from the film “The Princess Bride.” But Patinkin’s career began on stage. He won a Tony for the role of Che in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Evita.” And he’s been a frequent presence on stage in the years since. 

Green River College

The president of Green River College is stepping down after six years on the job, effective immediately. No reason has been given for Eileen Ely's resignation, although union faculty have been calling for her to step down for years. They went on strike in May over proposed program cuts.

Nickay3111 / Flickr

Washington has more than 150 miles of coastline from the top of the Olympic Peninsula down to the mouth of the Columbia River. And KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley it’s worth exploring, and can offer you a variety of experiences, whether you want big fancy hotels, or just some tent camping in a quiet place.

There are lots of ways to make this trip. South Sound residents will probably want to head through Olympia and then up the Olympic Peninsula. Brumley takes a northerly route, starting from Seattle.

A Culture Of Relaxation In Italy's Lake District

Jun 8, 2016
Matthew Brumley / KPLU

Picture it: You walk out onto a patio in the early morning hours. Some church bells chime in the distance. You sip coffee. In front of you: the Alps, soaring out of a huge lake, with the towns of Bellagio and Varenna at your feet.

This is life along Lake Como, in northern Italy's Lake District. This place has a distinctive feel, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

Rino Peroni / Flickr

Wine, in Italy, is more than something to accompany dinner; It's a cultural experience and a source of national pride.

So says Natalia Mandelli, a guide and sommelier in Italy, our special guest on this week's Going Places.

"I feel proud to be Italian when we talk about wine," she said. "When we think about red wine, we always talk about French wine. But Italy has a very big heritage of local grapes."

Where To Find Wine

Courtesy of The Blind Cafe

This week on Sound Effect our theme is “Out of the Darkness,” but KPLU’s Ed Ronco and Ariel Van Cleave found that going into the darkness can shed a lot of light on the world around you, and even your own personality.

The Blind Café is a pop-up event that travels the country, offering guests the chance to have dinner in the dark. Not candlelight. Not a dimly lit room. We’re talking total, 100 percent, pitch black.

Tatyana A. / Flickr

All month, we've been following KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley as he journeys through Europe. Below, you can hear him in the Hungarian capital, Budapest; the Tuscany region of Italy, and the Italian city of Bolgona. 

This week, we went back into the archives for one of our favorite episodes of "Going Places." Brumley was in Vienna, standing near a church, getting ready to tape his segment with KPLU's Ed Ronco, back in Seattle.

And then, the bells started:

Vienna, Brumley says, was the Seattle of the 19th century -- an epicenter of music, coffee, and culture. 

Anita Hofschneider / AP

Here’s something you might not know: President Barack Obama’s mother graduated from Mercer Island High School. Obama’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, is in town this weekend to present a scholarship established in their mother’s memory. 

Soetoro-Ng told KPLU that she's not apolitical, necessarily, but she says when it comes to her relationship with her brother, President Obama, she prefers to focus on the family side of the equation.

Surprises, Music, Lots Of Food In Italy's Bologna

May 19, 2016
Roberto Taddeo / Flickr

Bologna, Italy, was an early home to higher education and music in Europe -- and it remains an epicenter of both. That's where we find KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley for this week's edition of Going Places.

We reach him sitting in the Piazza Maggiore, which looks at the Basilica di San Petronio and the Palazzo d'Accursio. It's in the palazzo that you'll find one of Bologna's great surprises.

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