Kevin Kniestedt

Producer, Sound Effect

Kevin began his career at KNKX in 2003, where his first responsibility was to eradicate the KNKX Jazz Library from all Smooth Jazz CD’s. Since then there is not much at KNKX he hasn’t done. Kevin has worked as a full time jazz host, news host, and has hosted, at least once, almost every single program on KNKX. Kevin is currently one of the producers for KNKX’s weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has interviewed several world class musicians, produced local features, and helped make the KNKX Grocery Tote famous.

Kevin's most memorable KNKX radio moment was his interview with Edgar Martinez right before his last home game. Kevin lives the seemingly never-ending bachelor life in Seattle, where you may find him hitting a tennis ball, catching an independent film or eating a massive plate of nachos.

Ways to Connect

KPLU jazz host Dick Stein is someone who could get lost on a treadmill. His wife, the lovely and talented Cheryl DeGroot, on the other hand, can pretty much find her way out of anything.

Stein credits her with being a human GPS — always following her directions. Which is why after 30 years of being together, Stein is always amazed at the fear and terror DeGroot expresses when nearing one peaceful little city: Normandy Park, Washington.

<Credit AP Photo/Danny Moloshok>

It’s a lot of fun to be a sports fan in Seattle right now. The Mariners are playing their best baseball of the season and have the potential to sneak into the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. The Seahawks are predicted to be one of the best teams in the NFL again this year, and Husky football may have their best team in years. So exactly how optimistic should Seattle sports fans allow themselves to be?

Tons Of Upside

Credit Steven Depolo via Flickr

Editor's note: this audio contains a few censored choice words.

We all have our weaknesses. And we all have those moments where we just lose it. For former "Sound Effect" senior producer Arwen Nicks, one of her weaknesses was the need for an affordable and promptly delivered sandwich, and she lost it when the establishment she wanted it from told her no. 

Courtesy Puget Sound Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives

In the early 1900s, Seattle was a major stop for the vaudeville circuit, with the performances held in the city's finest downtown theaters. If you were an African-American during that time, your best chance of seeing one of these shows was from up in the balcony (an area then often referred to as the peanut gallery), if you were allowed to buy a ticket at all. And if you were a black musician who wanted to perform at a club in Seattle, you were entirely out of luck. The local music union at the time only allowed white performers to take the stage. 

CBS Television

In the decade leading up to World War II, “The Original Amateur Hour” was one of the most, if not the most popular radio programs in the country, showcasing unknown talent in a competition. The host and creator of the show was a man named Edward Bowes, known to his listening audience as Major Bowes. How did it all start? Well, he built it from the ground up - literally.

Nick Morrison

We all get a free pass for the things we did in the 1970s, right? Well, we certainly think so.

In the 1970s, KPLU's Nick Morrison had a stint as a manager of a downtown Seattle strip club. And as it turns out, it was actually a lot like any other workplace.

Despite having no previous experience in management or adult theater, Nick quickly learned things many of us learn when put in charge of a group of employees. He had to make schedules, make sure people showed up to work on time, and hear the excuses from his employees when they didn't show up.

Former Seattle writer Charles D’Ambrosio reads from his recently released essay collection, "Loitering." In the piece D’Ambrosio is assigned an to write about modular "Fleetwood" homes and he explores the textures, smells and emotions of being inside a freshly manufactured prefab home. 

But D'Ambriosio gets caught up in how generic all of the "newness" is, and how detached it is from memory and nostalgia. Here he reads an excerpt from his essay, "American Newness," for KPLU's Sound Effect. 

Courtesy Logan Hofkamp

Many teens, if not most, have fantasies of ditching their mom and dad and just parenting themselves.

In fact, there is a legal way to do that. At age 16, Logan Hofkamp became an "emancipated youth," which is, as he puts it, like "divorcing your parents and becoming your own legal guardian."

He tells us why he's glad he did it, but he also reflects what he may have missed out on. 

Courtesy Nick Morrison

KPLU's Nick Morrison has had many jobs, ranging from disc jockey to adult theater manager to music publication entrepreneur. So it might come as no surprise that he also worked in the family business.

Nick's father was in the potato business in Eastern Washington, and after some time in San Francisco, Nick returned home in need of some work.

He and his father had never really taken the time to get to know each other, and Nick, arriving back home with a pony tail and bell bottoms, was probably not going to improve things.

Wikimedia Commons

So most of us probably take our general baseline physical comfort for granted. But imagine if something as innocent as a friendly pat on the back caused intense pain.

So for people who suffer from Fibromyalgia, that is your daily life. It’s pain, interrupted by brief bursts of relief.

Lauren Jhanson lives with this disorder, and talked about how it’s made her feel differently about her own comfort zone, and the strides she has taken to not let it hold her back anymore in life.   

Flikr

Who do we have to thank for countless wasted hours playing Solitaire on the computer over the last twenty-five or so years? Wes Cherry didn't invent solitaire, but he did invent solitaire for the modern age.

In 1988, he was an intern for Microsoft, and on his own time he wrote code that would become Solitaire for Windows.

These days, he runs a cidery on Vashon Island with his wife and his son. Out at his orchard, he talked about his motivation for creating the game, and some of the inside stories as to why it ended up looking the way that it does. 

Sarah Brandabur

Sarah Brandabur was no stranger to hiking. Before heading out, she would read up on the trails, check the weather conditions, and have a pretty solid idea of what she was getting herself into.

Last October, her plans for a hike to Ingalls Lake in Central Washington was similarly prepared for. It was supposed to be a day hike.  The weather was beautiful, and she brought a friend along to make the trek with her.

After her friend wasn't able to continue shortly after starting the hike, Sarah decided to go the rest of the way solo.

Gabriel Spitzer

The practices of fasting and cleanses have been diet and health methods for centuries.

In the early 1900s, Linda Burfield Hazzard, a.k.a. Dr. Hazzard, took these practices to an extreme in Washington state. She was basically convinced that every ailment, from baldness to cancer, could be cured through extreme fasting.

Her patients would fast for as many as 50 days, consuming nothing but a couple of cups of broth each day. In the most extreme cases, her patients weighed as little as 50 pounds, and it is assumed between 20 and 50 people died from her treatment. 

philosophygeek/Flickr

Public inebriation is not limited to Tacoma. It happens everywhere. But in 2001, Tacoma was the first city in the state to develop what they called an Alcohol Impact Area. Nowadays, there are many of these Alcohol Impact Areas in Washington state. They exist in Olympia, Spokane, and Pioneer Square, but the first in the state started in an area that makes up Tacoma’s Downtown and Hilltop neighborhoods.

(Wikipedia Commons/Vinodtiwari2608)

This week Sound Effect brings us stories of the pursuit.

You're It

(Credit Gabriel Spitzer)

Kristi Hamilton had hit rock bottom. After the passing of her mother, repossession of her house, and a long stretch of severe drug and alcohol abuse, she found herself homeless. She found herself sleeping anywhere she could — a friend's house, her car, shelters, or behind a grocery store. But between a renewed faith and winning what is the equivalent of a lottery ticket if you are homeless, Hamilton pulled herself out of the darkness, and returned to a life filled with sobriety and a roof over her head.

(Courtesy Heather Corinna)

Some conversations about your body can be more difficult to have than others, especially when it comes to involving parents in that conversation.

When you’re a teenager, and the topic is sex, the awkwardness level grows exponentially. Sex-ed classes can be helpful, but let’s be honest, teens aren’t asking the questions they really want to ask because they're surrounded by their peers.

(Courtesy Brittany Cox)

Brittany Cox has had a pretty interesting career. She's a watchmaker and expert on antique clockwork and automata (mechanically-coded, self-operating machines). But just after Christmas in 2008, she found her "other thing."

Cox was driving to Sea-Tac airport to pick up a friend. She got there a little early and the cell phone waiting lot was full, so she decided to drive around to kill some time.  

Soon she found herself at a cemetery near the airport.  It was so close, in fact, that she could see the control tower and watch planes take off and land.

Chelon Lone Photography

Being involved in a startup can be exhausting, expensive, stressful and risky. As a result, the people involved in such ventures can often be found taking their work, and themselves, pretty seriously.

Bridget Quigg is a Seattle writer who has worked in the tech world for a decade.  She recently completed the run of her one-woman show "Techlandia," which skewers startup culture — with love. 

(Credit Anders Beer Wilse/Public Domain)

During World War II, in a frozen wilderness in southern Norway, on the edge of an icy cliff sat a hydroelectric plant called Vemork. This winter fortress was the center of some of the most important sabotage efforts of the war.

That’s because besides electricity, the plant manufactured a rare substance Hitler needed for an atomic bomb: heavy water. The allies thought that if Hitler got his hands on this stuff, the Germans could win the war. So they wanted to destroy the plant. And their first plan was an outright air attack.

(Public Domain/NASA)

Soyeon Yi makes her home in Puyallup, Washington. But to get there, she had to leave home — twice. Soyeon is the first, and so far the only astronaut in the Korean space program. On April 8, 2008, she boarded a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and for about nine days, left her home planet behind. 

Spaceflight was a dream come true for her, but it came with some unexpected consequences. And those pushed her eventually to make another break with home - this time, with her country - and nearly everything she knew.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

It might seem like a long way away from football season, but the University of Washington football team has taken the field for spring practice and will have their public spring scrimmage on April 23. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that there is plenty to expect from the Huskies this season.   

Stephen Brashear / AP

Last December, St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams punter Johnny Hekker, an Edmonds resident who grew up in Bothell,  did not make many new friends in the Pacific Northwest. He punted the ball to the Seahawks, and after the play was over, he came up behind Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril and drilled him to the ground.

Lesley Reed

In 2000, Seattle lawyer Bob Dickerson was diagnosed with cancer. He was given a terminal diagnosis of 1 to 20 years. With that uncertain and gloomy future, Bob quit his job and began a life of advocacy.

Bob worked tirelessly with the charitable organization RESULTS on behalf of impoverished children across the world. He developed strong relationships with Washington state politicians and activists in order to push for global change.

A Child Seeks A Confidante In 'Hillery'

Mar 26, 2016
Arwen Nicks

Back in the early '90s, Sound Effect contributor Arwen Nicks was just 10 years old. But as it turns out, she might have been far too grown up for her own good. While a lot of 10-year-olds might be writing letters to movie stars or musicians or athletes that they admire, 10-year-old Arwen was writing letters to Hillary Clinton.

Katie Sewall

Did a parent often push, grab, slap or throw something at you? Did a person five years older than you touch you in a sexual way? 

Those are just two questions from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) quiz given to students at Seattle's alternative high school, the Interagency Academy. Students at "Last-Chance High" are traumatized, reporting an average of 7 adverse experiences in their background. 

Principal Kaaren Andrews says early childhood trauma is a public health crisis leading to bad health choices and early death. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Courtesy Hoai Tran

Hoai Tran lives in Seattle, and she lost a chunk of her history and her identity when her family fled Vietnam in the '70s.

But she was just a little kid back then, and she very quickly adapted to life as an American.

She finally returned to Vietnam in her late 30s.  But by then, the thing that she had lost was so remote, she wasn’t even sure where to start looking.

Credit: Flickr/Cloudzilla

If you’ve ever woken up to a mystery — maybe some kind of strange object in your yard, or an act of overnight vandalism and you don’t know how it got there — well then this story is for you.

Meet a woman in Seattle who put up some cameras to keep an eye on her cats. And the cameras run day and night. In person, her neighborhood seems quiet, but as seen on TV, we discover it is not.

Wikipedia Commons/TheAlphaWolf

"Sound Effect" took a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia to visit Pacific Spirit Park and caught up with Professor Susan Samard. She’s a professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia.

And what we could see when we went out there, were trees.  A tree here, a tree there. But what we wanted to ask her about was what we couldn’t see — below the surface.

 

Wikipedia Commons/European Southern Observatory

What’s, like, the most stupendous thing you could discover? A new world.

Dr. Sarah Ballard is an astrophysicist, and she has discovered four new planets. We call these exoplanets. These are planets that orbit distant stars. And the way scientists find these planets — they’re too far away and too small to see through like a regular telescope — they use this satellite-based instrument to kind of look at different stars. And when they see the star dim just a tiny bit, there’s a good chance that it’s dimming because a planet is passing in front of it. It’s like a tiny eclipse.

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