Ed Ronco | KNKX

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.

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From time to time, our weekly travel segment "Going Places" likes to highlight getaways that are nearby -- opportunities to escape your routine and "travel" somewhere without having to go a great distance. This week, we're staying in Seattle.

Don't Be A 'Trophy Hunter' While You're On Vacation

Mar 8, 2018
Seeing the sights is nice. But sometimes a vacation's best memories come from taking time to stop and just look around.
btwashburn / Flickr/Creative Commons

Editor’s note: This is episode of “Going Places” was originally broadcast on June 12, 2014.

Here’s how not to do it: 8 a.m.: breakfast, 9 a.m.: Eiffel Tower, 10 a.m.: Arc de Triomphe, 12 p.m.: lunch in nearby café, 12:30 p.m.: Louvre, 3 p.m.: Notre Dame, and so on.

That's too much, too fast, says KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley.

Sea-Tac Airport has pre-conditioned air at all of its gates. A pipe on the jet bridge connects to a hose, which connects to parked aircraft.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

With millions of passengers coming and going each year, Sea-Tac International Airport operates like a small city. That means it also has a significant impact on the environment.

The last time an editorial appeared on the front page of The Seattle Times, Teddy Roosevelt was president, World War I hadn’t happened yet, and Pike Place Market was a year old.

It was 1908, and The Times was trying to shame Seattle’s well-heeled into putting money into the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, planned for the next year.

It worked.

Elaine Thompson / AP File Photo

Three new airlines begin flying to Sea-Tac International Airport later this year.

Air France returns in March with service to Paris after a nearly six-year hiatus. Aer Lingus starts flying from Seattle to Dublin in May, which is also when the Thomas Cook Airline will begin offering a flight to Manchester, England.

But getting those airlines to set up service can be complicated. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley turned to Mike Ehl, director of operations at Sea-Tac, for some insight. 

Ed Ronco / KNKX

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part report.

Mid-morning at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: All throughout the entrance hall, passengers are figuring out how to check in and drop off their bags. Pilots and flight crew are moving with purpose toward security checkpoints, and the public address system repeats its message not to leave any of your belongings unattended, thank you very much.

In Cape Town, locals fill containers at a source for natural spring water, on Feb. 2. The drought-hit city introduced new water restrictions.
Bram Janssen / AP

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley calls Cape Town, South Africa, his favorite place on the planet. He’s led many trips there over his years of guiding group tours.

But right now the city faces a serious water crisis. Some news reports say Cape Town could run out of fresh water as early as mid-April, though that date – Day Zero, as it’s being called – seems to be moving later in the year as locals heed warnings to conserve.

Brumley called his friend and fellow guide Brian Nel, in Cape Town, for the view from the ground.

Travel Changes Us, And That's Usually A Good Thing

Feb 1, 2018
Ed Ronco / KNKX

Travelers often bring back souvenirs – maybe a T-shirt or a piece of art from an open-air marketplace.

But KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley says the best souvenirs are things you can’t necessarily stick on a shelf. Travel exposes us to new music, new food, new people and new ideas. And it often changes us.

People ride bikes in Amsterdam.
Matthew Peoples / Flickr

Editor's note: This segment originally aired on Jan. 30, 2014. It's one of the very earliest "Going Places" segments we did. But the advice is timeless.

So you go on vacation and your guide says he knows the best place to get leather jackets in Madrid. Or the best restaurant in all of London. Or maybe he’s getting a kickback from the business in exchange for shepherding tourists through the front door, says KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley.

What’s Wrong With That?

Corbin Keech / Flickr/Creative Commons

The National Art Schools in Havana have been at the center of Cuba’s changing history. Established as part of the utopia Fidel Castro and Che Guevara wanted to create, it was later nationalized in the mid-1960s, when art was seen as an extravagance Cuba could not afford.

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech 55 years ago this August, in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo

An educator who travels the country leading tough conversations about race is speaking Tuesday evening in Tacoma. Eddie Moore Jr. travels the country leading tough conversations about race. His talk tonight is titled “Dr. Martin Luther King: Why Keep Dreaming?”

Elaine Thompson / AP File Photo

Port of Seattle officials say they’re taking greater steps to address human trafficking. That includes a public awareness campaign at Sea-Tac Airport.

Deanna Keahey / Flickr

Editor’s note: This is an encore presentation of a Going Places episode that originally aired on Dec. 10, 2015.

Winter in the Northwest is famously gray and drizzly. And that causes many of us to look for a temporary reprieve. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley says how far you travel to find it depends entirely on what you’re looking for.


Cold Sunshine

Sometimes, all we need is a little sunshine. If that’s the case, you’re in luck, Brumley says. Here are some nearby recommendations.

Bathing With A Couple Hundred People In Budapest

Jan 4, 2018
A peek inside one of the pools at the Rudas Baths in Budapest.
Romuald Le Peru / Flickr/Creative Commons

This time of year, the Danube River is about 40 degrees Fahrenheit as it flows through Hungary. But right next to the Danube, in Budapest, are some much warmer waters that get well above 100 degrees.

Missed Your Flight Connection? Here's A Silver Lining

Dec 28, 2017
Chris Ford / Flickr

Editor's note: This is an encore presentation of a "Going Places" episode. It originally aired on March 31, 2016, but we thought it might be particularly timely given the holiday travel season. 

“I hope I miss my flight sometimes.”

Not words you expect to hear from a flyer as frequent as KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley. But he's a huge fan of layovers, including those that begin when the pilot comes on and announces a flight delay before takeoff.

Alaska Airlines planes, near the gates at Sea-Tac Airport, on Dec. 14. Airport officials have advice for smooth travel during the holiday rush.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

Believe it or not, the holidays are not the busiest time of year at Sea-Tac Airport. That distinction belongs to the summer. (Who wouldn’t want to be here in the summer?)

But holiday travel volumes are nothing to sneeze at if you’re an airport manager. Between Dec. 15 and Jan. 2, Sea-Tac Airport officials expect 2.5 million passengers to move through the facility.

So what’s a busy traveler to do?

The Estates Theatre in Prague is one of Europe's oldest.
Matthew Brumley / KNKX

The Estates Theatre in Prague is one of Europe's oldest. Sitting in the heart of Prague’s old town, it’s a long building, with a towering façade held up by Corinthian columns.

Today it hosts theater, opera and ballet. But it’s been operating since 1783.  

“There are only two theaters in Europe that have been operating like this,” said Marketa Halirova, a singer and music teacher. “One is in Austria and the other is here in Prague.”

Zack Willhoite, left, and Jim Hamre died in Monday's derailment of an Amtrak train near DuPont. Both were active in organizations that promoted passenger rail travel.
Photos provided by Pierce Transit; Rail Passengers Association / via Associated Press

Authorities have confirmed three deaths in Monday’s Amtrak derailment near DuPont. On Tuesday, the public learned the identities of two of those people.

Zack Willhoite was 35. He worked in customer service at Pierce Transit. James Hamre was 61, and a retired civil engineer. They were on the inaugural run of Amtrak’s new route between Seattle and Portland because they were rail enthusiasts.

Mauritius offers a diversity of cultures, languages, cuisines and activities.
Ludovic Lubelgt / Flickr

If you go to Africa, and venture out to Madagascar, then keep going east, you’ll find a small island nation called Mauritius. About 1.3 million people live here, and it’s often held up as an example of a peaceful, diverse paradise.

This week on “Going Places,” KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley speaks with Avi Erish. They met recently while they both were working aboard a river cruise in Europe. Erish grew up in Mauritius and is part of the country’s Hindu majority.

Piazza Armerina, on Sicily, is famous for its ancient mosaics.
John McLinden / Flickr/Creative Commons

If there’s one rule KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley adheres to, wherever he goes, it’s this: Always talk to the locals.

Now's The Time To Book Post-Holiday Travel

Nov 30, 2017
Leavenworth's holiday lights are a big draw for visitors. But the town retains its winter charm well past the holidays.
Craig Jager / Flickr/Creative Commons

There can be a lot of things to remember this time of year: Gift buying, holiday travel plans, school schedules, and more.

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley says it's also important to remember to book any post-holiday travel you plan on taking.  

Some Thanks For The People Who Help Us Travel

Nov 23, 2017
Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The most important parts of travel are often the parts you don't see.

Without ticket agents, baggage handlers, ramp workers, hotel housekeeping, museum staff, dock workers, ship crews and more, we'd all be flailing.

This week, in honor of Thanksgiving, we observe what is becoming a Going Places tradition. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley and host Ed Ronco say thanks to the people who make it all work.

Then-Washington Secretary of State Ralph Munro, second from left, aboard the Russian ship Marshal Krylov, in 1992, during its visit to Seattle.
Washington State Archives

Twenty-five years ago this week, a Russian missile tracking ship journeyed into Elliott Bay, inviting Americans aboard for tours and turkey.

It was an unheard of gesture between two countries that had, only a year earlier, been bitter rivals. And it’s part of a new exhibit at the Washington State History Museum.

Paul Schliebs / Flickr

If you’re going to Austria, forget about Vienna.

Just kidding. Vienna’s pretty amazing, as we’ve discussed in a previous episode of “Going Places.”

But this week, we hear from three tour guides who hail from different parts of Austria (none of them the capital city), and each with its own charm.

Matthew Brumley / KNKX

In the center of Prague is a soaring building with arched windows, a towering dome, and lavish artwork. It was all put in place in the early 20th Century, making it relatively young for Europe.

But the building itself speaks to a much longer history, involving national identity in what is now the Czech Republic. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley takes us inside the Prague Municipal House.

Matthew Brumley / KNKX

Editor’s Note: This segment originally aired on April 7, 2016.

South Africa’s history includes apartheid, civil unrest, and political scandals. Last year, President Jacob Zuma survived an impeachment vote on charges he used public money to upgrade his private home.

But the country is also a favorite among travelers, including KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley, who visited Cape Town in 2016.

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley spends a lot of time on the road, leading group travel in Europe, Africa, South America, and other places.

As a result, he spends a lot of money in foreign countries. And he’s noticed something lately, when he goes to the cash machine to make a withdrawal.

"On Being" host Krista Tippett receives the National Humanities Medal at the White House in 2014.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

We're adding some new programming at KNKX. As of Oct. 16, Fresh Air now starts at 6 p.m., with a different program each weeknight at 7, before jazz begins at 8. One of those new programs is On Being which explores some of the larger questions at the center of human life, including faith and spirituality.

Students at Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way talk about politics, the media and more, on Oct. 12, 2017.
Federal Way Public Schools

Ballots for the November election go out to registered voters Wednesday. People in communities across western Washington are deciding on mayors, city councils, school boards and other issues.

But if you look at voter turnout numbers, people tend to be less engaged during local election years.  KNKX visited a place where they’re trying to explain how local issues can be just as important as national ones: A high school civics class. 

Berlin is not a "classically beautiful" city, says tour guide Shlomit Lasky. She says you need the city's story to really appreciate a visit there.
Matthias Leibing / Flickr

We’re heading to Berlin this week on “Going Places.” KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley visits with Shlomit Lasky. She’s a journalist and tour guide who was born in Israel. They met at a bar to talk about her experience in Germany, which is steeped in a very particular history and culture.  

Interview Highlights