Jennifer Wing | KNKX

Jennifer Wing

Special Projects Reporter

Jennifer Wing is a Special Projects Reporter and on-call News Host for KNKX. She covers everything from education and the arts to politics. Jennifer is also a frequent contributor to Sound Effect.

Before joining KNKX in 1999, Jennifer worked for KGMI in Bellingham, WILM News Radio in Wilmington, Delaware and Northwest Cable News in Seattle. She got her start in public radio at WRTI and WHYY in Philadelphia.

Jennifer grew up in Philadelphia and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Temple University. She lives in Seattle with her partner and their two children.

One of her most unforgettable moments at KNKX was on February 28, 2001. She was on the top floor of the then un-retrofitted Seattle City Hall preparing to cover a press conference when the Nisqually Earthquake hit. The building felt like it was slammed by a giant truck. It swayed like a deck of cards. Luckily, the building stayed put. It was eventually replaced in 2003.

Ways to Connect

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

In 1996, when Ginny Ruffner moved into an old brick building in the heart of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, her new backyard looked like typical big city blight: overgrown crabgrass and weeds, trash, a brick wall.

“My view here was pretty urban, so I made my view. I augmented it, added to it,” said Ruffner.

Dennis Wise / University of Washington Photography

This story originally aired on April 15, 2017.

Retired University of Washington astrobiology professor Woody Sullivan is obsessed with the concept of time. It's apparent the instant you walk into what he call’s his “man lodge," the little study behind his North Seattle home.

It’s full of shelves of books with titles like “Empires of Time,” and “Time, The Familiar Stranger.” Plus, there are shelves of small, ornate sundials, some that can fit into the palm of your hand.

Courtesy of Marilyn Roberts

This story originally aired on April 15, 2017.   

In the spring of 2014, Marilyn Roberts' son, Kevin, was 27 years old and struggling with bipolar disorder. One day, he called his mom to tell her that he was taking a bus to go to downtown Olympia, Wash., not too far from where he lived. 

"He was to a point where wasn't cognizant of what was going on, on a day to day basis," Roberts remembers.

Scott Areman / Northwest Kidney Center

This story originally aired on April 15, 2017.  

All of our lives are ruled by time, but some of us are more aware of it than others. 

At the Northwest Kidney Centers in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood, dialysis patients are very aware of the passing hours. They're hooked up to machines that display the elapsing time prominently on a screen. These machines filter and clean their blood, a job normally handled by healthy kidneys. 

The Last Straw: Sound Effect, Episode 143

Apr 28, 2018
National Photo Agency of Israel

This week, stories of breaking points, realizations, and bitter ends. We meet one man who is taking out his disappointment with the departure of Seattle's basketball team in an unusual way.

Courtesy of Tim Haywood

When Seattle writer, Tim Haywood was growing up in Auburn, he was the fat kid in elementary school. Most of the time, this wasn’t a problem, except for when it came to gym class.

"I got teased a lot, you know all of the names, fatty two-by-four. I managed to compensate a little bit. I developed a sense of humor," Tim recalls.

 

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

Living in illegal homeless encampments can be dangerous and chaotic. This is what hundreds of people experience every day in Seattle. This minimal type of shelter can also involve a lot of moving.

 

Sound Effect’s Jennifer Wing recently visited the removal of an encampment under the Viaduct, across the street from the Washington State Ferry Terminal in downtown Seattle. The cleanup was being carried out by the city’s Navigation Team, the entity in charge of removals.

 

Courtesy Mike Lewis

 

When the print edition of the Seattle Post Intelligencer came to an end in 2009, the reporters who worked for the paper scattered off to other careers. Some picked up other gigs covering news, others went into public relations. Veteran reporter Mike Lewis bought a bar.

 

Specifically, he bought his bar, a dive called The Streamline Tavern, where he and other reporters used to adjourn to after quitting time at the paper.

 

Jennifer Wing

If you live in Seattle, you don't have to travel too far to feel like you are in the country. Yes, there are large P-Patches dotted throughout the city and there are many parks that still feel a little wild, but there is also a 20-plus acre horse farm. It's called the Seattle Farm and it's tucked up against a green belt in South Seattle near Rainier Beach.

April Soetarman

Living in a city, there are signs everywhere to help organize, control and regulate our behavior.

But, if you’re in Seattle and you keep your eyes peeled, you might happen upon an official-looking directive on sheet metal that tells you something completely unexpected, such as "Caution: If I Could Love Anyone Again, It Would Be You."

 

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.

Ken Workman always knew that part of his family tree was rooted in the Duwamish Indian Tribe. But, being Native American when he was growing up in the 1960s in Seattle was a topic he was told not to share with anyone.

 

“It was very bad to be a Native American; very bad. It was so bad that Great Grandma

Courtesy of Dick Rossetti

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.

It’s not always easy to come face to face with your past. Sometimes nostalgia is painful.

 

Dick Rossetti knows this well. He was a DJ for Seattle’s big alternative rock radio station, 107.7 The End, in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He lucked into the job, which is normally a super competitive gig that people who are funny on the air take very seriously off mic. This was not Rossetti. This wasn’t something he dreamed about doing. He was a rock 'n' roll guy.

 

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.

We are changing all of the time. We are shaped by new experiences, people we meet, the work that we do. You might start a career thinking you love what you do - and years later have a completely different opinion.

 

This is what happened to Father Antonio Illas. He is the pastor for Saint Matthew-San Mateo Episcopal Church in Auburn, Wash. But for more than two decades, Illas was an immigration agent for the U.S. Federal Government.

 

Courtesy of Mike Long.

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.

Seattle writer Michael Long was a terrible student in grade school. It wasn't that he couldn't do well; it was just that he had no interest in it. Instead of studying or paying attention in class, he would often be caught doodling or staring off into space.

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

Sometimes, you just want to smash. 

Who hasn’t fantasized about taking out their frustrations with, say, a baseball bat or a sledge hammer? 

Of course, this sort of thing is frowned upon in polite society. But there are places around the country where you can pay money to release the beast within, with some degree of safety and without having to clean up the mess: “rage rooms.”  

Courtesy of Patrick Haggerty

In 1973, in the midst of the Stonewall era, a Seattle band called Lavender Country released an eponymous album. The album delivered radical politics with a country twang, and became known as the world's first openly gay country album.

In this interview, Patrick Haggerty tells Gabriel Spitzer  how the album lived, and died, and lived again. He also explains why the album might never have existed if it weren't for his father--a "hayseed" of a dairy farmer who gave his son permission to be exactly who he was.

Courtesy of Threshold Singers.

 

Aside from being born, one of the most personal, private things we do alone is to die. Death can be quick. It can also creep along, getting closer as each day passes, as the hours tick by.

 

Most of us would never think of entering the room of a stranger who is actively dying, unless you’re there to care for that person, or they are a close friend or a family member.

 

But, this is what groups of singers do all over the country. They are called Threshold Singers.

 

loulrc / Flickr

Back in the 1970s in Oregon, a man named Richard Chambers was so dismayed by the litter he saw dotting the trails in the wilderness he dearly loved, that he decided to write legislation that would clean things up: Oregon’s Bottle Bill. 

The bill became a law before curbside recycling was the norm. It mandated that cans and bottles that hold juice and soda be sold with a deposit. You pay 10¢ extra when you buy them, and then if you want that money back, you have to return the empties. Today, with curbside pick up on trash day, a lot of people don’t bother.

Jennifer Wing

 

Sometimes, our legal system can be a confusing mash up of laws and paperwork. The people whose job it is to sort through all of this to find some clarity are judges. Sometimes, they make decisions that aren’t very popular. One of these cases happened in Seattle, back in March, 2013.

 

King County Superior Court Judge Ronald Kessler made the decision to not detain a man in jail for failing to register as a sex offender. Not too long after the sex offender left the courthouse, he was accused of raping a woman.

Courtesy of Laurie Cullen

 This story originally aired May 6, 2017

One of the hardest things a person might have to find peace with is the diagnosis of a life changing disease like Alzheimer’s. For sisters Tamara Cullen Evans and Laurie Cullen, their diagnoses for Alzheimer’s came much earlier than it does for most people.

Peter Haley, Pacific Lutheran University / Courtesy of Peter Altman

 This story originally aired on May 6, 2017

Have you ever lost something that’s really important to you? Have you ever had something taken from you? Maybe it was a house that was always one payment behind and you just could not keep up and back to the bank it went.

 

For many people, there is at least one movie that hit them like a bolt of lightning. Some might even have paid to see that movie in the theater--again and again and again.

 

That's what happened to Seattle actor and writer Barbi Beckett when she was 16 years old, growing up in El Paso, Texas. The movie that rocked her suburban world was Amadeus.

 

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

  If you own a dog, it is terrifying to find your beloved pet unresponsive to the point where they won’t even open their eyes when their name is spoken. About four of these cases come into the Blue Pearl Veterinary Clinic in South Tacoma each week.

 

Jennifer Wing

Over a three month period last year, one emergency room in Everett, Washington treated 253 people who had overdosed. And in 2016, which is the most recent data available from the state, Snohomish County had one of the highest opioid death rates in Washington.

Everett is trying new ways to manage this problem and to prevent it from getting worse. One institution that could see this storm brewing years ago, was the library.

Scott Robertson

 

This story originally aired on September 2, 2017.

Weddings are one of the few events in our lives that are planned with precision and detail. They can be logistical challenges involving food, entertaining guests, making time to take photographs and figuring out which music to play that will coax people onto the dance floor.

 

On the day Shandance Robertson got married in February, something completely unexpected happened that was not part of the plan.

 

Courtesy Julius Brown

 

This story originally aired on September 2, 2017.

There is an unassuming, boxy building on the corner of Martin Luther King Junior Way and South 17th Street in Tacoma. This is the home Prince Hall Masonic Temple of the Freemasons. The organization is a worldwide fraternity that’s been around for hundreds of years. It’s known for its secret symbols and rituals.

 

Credit Jennifer Wing

This story originally aired on June 3, 2017.

Kitsap Forest Theater is a natural outdoor amphitheater just outside of Bremerton, Wash. It's been run by the Mountaineers for 93 years, and sits on a 640-acre forest preserve.

100 years ago it was all rhododendrons. That was the initial attraction to the area. Some of the people who are Mountaineers began to come and stay every year and they began to do shows, performances and concerts, and eventually that developed into an annual theatrical production.

George Wing

 

This story originally aired on June 3, 2017.

In 2003, a group of four friends from various points of the country hit the trail for a bachelor party backpacking trip in the North Cascades. George Wing was the man who was getting married.

They brought all of the usual necessities for such an outing: tents, food, a first-aid kit. But George’s longtime childhood friend and master prankster, Kermit, decided to shake things up.

 

Derek Erdman

Age 14 is often a time of pushing boundaries, experimenting with the the distinctions between right and wrong. 

Derek Erdman tells his personal story from when he was this awkward age. It involves youthful mischief, an answering machine and the Survivor song, Eye Of The Tiger. 

Derek played a prank that went a little bit too far.  But in the end, this one event helped reshape his moral compass and put him on a better path.

Courtesy of Kathlyn Horan

When Seattle Police Officer Kim Bogucki stepped into the Washington Correctional Facility For Women in Purdy about 10 years ago, she had no intention of starting a non-profit.

Bogucki was doing gang prevention work and went to the prison to ask some of the women for permission to work with their children. The women were distrustful of police and gave Bogucki a chilly reception.

“Probably the last time that those mothers saw police, we were taking them away from their children,” said Bogucki.

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