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

Matthew Brumley / KNKX

Bring up the former Yugoslavia in conversation, and most people won’t picture sunshine, beautiful seaside towns and great food. But KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley says that’s exactly what you’ll find.

“The Adriatic [Sea] and the rocky coastline that goes from the top, by Trieste, all the way south to Dubrovnik, is so breathtaking it’s painfully gorgeous,” Brumley said.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Former Washington state Gov. Mike Lowry, who also served in Congress for a decade, has died. A news release from his family says Lowry, a Democrat elected governor in 1992, died Monday following complications from a stroke. He was 78.

In a statement, Gov. Jay Inslee said Lowry "served with compassion and humility."

David McSpadden / Flickr

France is getting ready to elect a new leader. Emmanuel Macron and Marine LePen are vying for the job in a run-off election set for May 7. The election happens at a pivotal moment for the European Union, with Britain’s exit looming, and nationalist sentiment growing in various member states.

From left: Hanna Brooks Olsen, Sarah Anne Lloyd, Alex Hudson
Seattlish

The blog "Seattlish" is closing up shop. For four years, the website covered politics in Washington state, with a special emphasis on Seattle city government.

Matthew Brumley in Jackson Hole, Wyo. He says now -- the shoulder season between winter and summer rushes -- is a good time to visit the mountain west.
Liam Brumley

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley is just back from the American Mountain West.

“We went 1,600 miles,” he said. “Drove from Colorado, through Wyoming where the speed limit is 80, so that means everyone is doing 90.”

Brumley and his son spent the night in Sheridan, Wyo., and then went to Little Big Horn.

“We drove up to the gate at about 9 in the morning and nobody was there,” he said. “There wasn’t another car, the park was open, the visitor center was open, so they put the movie on just for us.”

Peder Sterll / Flickr

The Pacific Northwest is full of great jazz festivals. But jazz festivals also happen around the world. And this week on Going Places, KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley lists off some of his favorites.

Ed Ronco / KNKX

 

Every time there’s an election, Washington voters are faced with a list of candidates for various offices. But they also usually have to decide on initiatives.

 

Since 1912, Washington state has allowed citizens to propose laws for enactment by voters, or by the Legislature. The same process gives us the referendum, which essentially lets voters have veto power over the Legislature.

 

JR P / Flickr

For Americans traveling abroad, the United Kingdom is a fairly easy option. It’s an English-speaking country with a lot of cultural similarities. And now, says our travel expert, your dollar could go farther.

The British pound has been weakened by uncertainty after the Brexit vote, which will cause Britain to leave the European Union. The pound is still stronger than the dollar – one British pound will cost you about $1.25 as of this writing – but the exchange rate is vastly improved for American travelers.

Pfly / Flickr

It’s not that KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley can’t camp. He can, and sometimes he does. It’s just that he doesn’t get terribly excited about it.

“Glamping” on the other hand – that’s an entirely different story. Glamping (glamour + camping) is all of the outdoors with none of the “roughing it.”

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.

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.”

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