Ed Ronco

All Things Considered Host

Ed Ronco came to KNKX in October 2013 as producer and reporter for KNKX’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

brando.n / Flickr

For as many happy stories as people bring back from vacation, sometimes there are a few bad ones, too. Tourists can be prime targets for pickpockets and thieves, anywhere on the planet.

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley some experience dealing with this, both through his personal travels and his work as a travel guide.

Veteran luthier Rick Wickland works on part of a violin bow at his work bench inside Hammond Ashley Violins, in Issaquah. The horse hair used on the bow is hanging behind him.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

At one end of the long building that houses Hammond Ashley Violins in Issaquah, five students are getting ready for a violin class.

In the middle of the building, luthiers are repairing violins and cleaning string basses.

And up front, behind a door marked “Suite 100,” customers are coming in to buy or rent violins, and get them repaired.

Hit the road this summer toward the Canadian Rockies, says KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley
Ed Ronco / KNKX

So you want to get away for a summer vacation, but you'd rather not spend a fortune, and you'd rather not travel overseas. 

Head north, says KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley.

Artist Carolyn Sherer stands in front of the portrait she made of Lucy, a 15-year-old girl who identifies as trans. The portrait is part of a National Portrait Gallery exhibition touring the country, on display at the Tacoma Art Museum through May 14.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

Carolyn Sherer wants you to meet Lucy.

Lucy is a 15-year-old girl who self-identifies as trans. She’s wearing a dress of white and tan stripes with a darker print on top. And she’s not actually here in person. Lucy is the subject of a photograph Sherer made. And at the moment, Lucy is at the Tacoma Art Museum.

Dan Noon / Flickr

Ah, the summer road trip. Remember? Miles and miles of highway, stuffed into the backseat with the cooler, that extra suitcase that wouldn’t fit into the trunk, and the coffee mugs Dad forgot to bring inside before you left?

Growing up, year after year, you could count on staring at blurry trees and big green highway signs, uncertain if you’d ever be allowed out of the car again, or if you were just going to be rolling down the turnpike until you were 30.

And then you get to age 30, or 40, or 50, and you think: That was fun. Let’s do that again.

Ed Ronco / KNKX

This week on Going Places, we’re answering listener mail. Have a question of your own? You'll find a link to ask it at the bottom of this story.

Matthew Brumley / knkx

If you've been listening to Going Places long enough, you know how Matthew Brumley prefers to travel. He takes his dining advice from the bellhop, not the guidebook. He flies to a major city and then tries to get out of town and explore the countryside as soon as possible. And he talks to as many locals as he can.

Ryan Kang / AP Photo

The legal fight over President Trump’s travel ban is working its way through the courts, in part because of a lawsuit brought by Washington state.

The ban is suspended while that happens, but seeing the ban take effect a few weeks ago got knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley thinking about his own passport.

Ed Ronco / knkx

Jeff Siddiqui says he's never been one for silence. When he sees an argument or a political debate, he likes to chime in. And he's had plenty to talk about lately.

On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Siddiqui told us about the climate of fear for many Muslims in America.

 

Elaine Thompson / AP

The snowfall earlier this week that blanketed much of Western Washington created some problems for travelers. Flights were canceled or delayed at Sea-Tac Airport as crews worked feverishly to clear runways. 

Ramon Espinosa / AP Photo

A delegation from Washington state recently visited Havana, on the first Alaska Airlines commercial flight to Cuba. Among the group of elected leaders and other dignitaries was University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce.

Washington state's Legislative Building, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia, was built between 1923 and 1926.
Washington State Archives

The two little boys in the photo on state Rep. Matt Manweller’s window sill are wearing capes as they play on the sidewalk outside the John L. O’Brien Building on Olympia’s Capitol campus.

“My two little superheroes,” the Ellensburg Republican says of his young sons. “They used to be a fixture here in Olympia. They would be clamoring out on the House floor, wanting to push my voting button. But now they have school.”

Dan Noon / Flickr

Travelers from the United States spend a lot of time abroad, mostly in Europe. Far fewer head to South America. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley has five things everyone should see and do in two South American countries — Chile and Argentina:

Paula Wissel / knkx

The inauguration of President Donald Trump brought protests and pride from across Washington today. In western Washington, we found a mix:

Protesting The New President

In Seattle, marchers left from Capitol Hill and the city's Central District, headed toward downtown's Westlake Park, where a large crowd rallied.

Books Can Take You To Far Away Places, For Real

Jan 19, 2017
Ed Ronco / knkx

They say reading a book can take you far away. That’s usually a metaphor.

But for many, books inspire literal travel, to follow in the footsteps of great authors or stories.

“Literature is a really big pull for travel,” Brumley said. “Just think of the impact [Ernest] Hemingway has had on Havana. People are visiting his bars, and his house is stunning.”

Ed Ronco / knkx

Last week on Going Places, we talked about the ethics of traveling to countries with oppressive regimes, or whose governments might have tense relationships with the United States.

It got us thinking more generally about being a responsible traveler. Most of it comes down to just being a kind and thoughtful person. But knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley has some specific tips to help you travel responsibly:

Lara Lavi stands in the atrium of the Columbia City Theater, celebrating its centennial in 2017. She's co-owned and managed this space for about a year.
Ed Ronco / knkx

The Columbia City Theater, in Seattle, turns 100 years old this year. At various times throughout its history it's been part of Seattle's booming 1940s jazz scene, a neighborhood movie theater, a home for the punk movement, and an art commune. 

It closed.

It reopened in 2010.

Today, it's a music venue and bar. Its owners plan to celebrate its centennial throughout the year.

Ed Ronco / knkx

Previously on our Going Places segment, we've discussed visiting places like Russia, North Korea and Cuba. In fact, we talk about Cuba a lot, in part because it's changing so quickly.

All three countries have varying levels of tension with the United States. And travelers often wonder: Am I doing the right thing by visiting? 

Scott A. Miller / AP Images for National Council on Aging and Sanofi Pasteur

The flu is making rounds, and health officials across Washington say that 2017 is shaping up to be a severe season. 

“It’s never too late to get the flu shot," said Edie Jeffers, spokeswoman for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

Each year, the flu vaccine is reformulated to match the latest strain of influenza.

Composite image / Various sources

Knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley will not give you a list of places to go in 2017. It’s not you; it’s him. He hates lists.

“I don’t know who’s writing them. I don’t know who these experts are,” he said. “To be honest with you, I think it’s a bunch of baloney.”

There are a few reasons for this. Let’s, uh, put them in a list:

Hacienda La Colora / Flickr

Once upon a time, traveling overseas meant it was difficult to call back to the United States, unless you carried a calling card or wanted to pay exorbitant fees. That’s not the case anymore.

This week on Going Places, special guest Tyson Verse tells us some of his recommendations for keeping in touch while traveling. Verse is a tour leader who spends a lot of time in Asia.

Provided by the Senior Nomads

About four years ago, Debbie and Michael Campbell were sitting around the house with their daughter, Mary, who lives in Paris and was visiting Seattle for the holidays.

They were talking about what Debbie and Michael might do in their retirement. Travel was at the top of the list.

“She asked us if we had ever heard of Airbnb, which we had not,” Michael Campbell said. “So she promptly opened up her laptop and gave us a little tour.”

U.S. Coast Guard photo

It was going to be an adventure.

Even before they came aboard the Holland America cruise ship Prinsendam, John Graham and his 13-year-old daughter, Malory, knew that much.

Tyson Verse / Earthbound Expeditions

Thailand has become a hub of tourism in Southeast Asia. Tyson Verse has traveled there extensively as a tour arranger and guide. 

"There's nothing like a nice evening stroll with a little mix of curry-scented air with exhaust from the tuktuk three-wheeled taxis floating by," he said. "It's magic."

He's our special guest on this week's Going Places.

Gail Pettis and Dr. David Deacon-Joyner perform at the Christmas Jam back in 2010.
Justin Steyer / knkx

The KNKX Holiday Jam happens this weekend, at the Rialto Theater in Tacoma. The event itself is sold out but you can hear it live on the air or through the streaming link on this site, starting at 7:30 Sunday night.

The annual concert features jazz vocalist Gail Pettis. Longtime listeners know Gail’s music, but her first career was as an orthodontist. She sat down with 88.5’s Ed Ronco to talk about how she ended up singing jazz.

Interview Highlights

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Hundreds of people attended the first of two vigils honoring a Tacoma police officer who was slain on duty.

People gathered Thursday at Officer Reginald "Jake" Gutierrez's home police station, lighting candles, singing songs and sharing memories. Knkx reporter Will James spoke to All Things Considered host Ed Ronco from the site of the vigil:

Another vigil was planned Thursday night at an elementary school.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

The death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro topped international headlines this week. What happens now to Cuba? We called our friend Alejandro Infantes, a tour guide in Havana, for a look at what’s going on there right now, and what the future might hold for his country.

Faungg / Flickr

So many people help us get where we need to go when we're traveling. Highway workers. Rest stop workers. Ticket agents. Flight attendants. Bus drivers. Pilots. Ramp workers. Baggage handlers. The list goes on and on.

This Thanksgiving week, we're listening back to a 2014 conversation about gratitude, between knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley and 88.5's Ed Ronco.

"Give Thanks to Family" by OakleyOriginals is licensed under CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/2grQHKE

If you’ve been on social media since the election, you’ve probably seen a lot of people expressing their feelings. Regardless of how you feel about the results, a lot of us might find ourselves in difficult conversations over the next few weeks — especially as families gather together for the holidays.

We turned to David Domke for some help. He’s a professor at the University of Washington who studies the way we talk to each other about politics.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP File Photo

The result of the presidential election caught many by surprise – especially pollsters, political scientists and journalists. Republican Donald Trump’s victory in key states earned him enough electoral votes to become the nation’s next president. But Democrat Hillary Clinton secured the popular vote.

And that led many of you to write to us at knkx, with questions about the Electoral College and how it works.

We put some of those questions to Robin Jacobson, associate professor of politics and government at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.

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