Sound Effect

Saturdays at 10 AM

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by knkx's Jennifer Wing. Each week's show explores a different theme.

Sound Effect is on iTunes. Subscribe to our podcast.

Got a story idea? Email us!

Courtesy of Colin McDaniel

Colin McDaniel grew up on the water. He was raised on Bainbridge Island. In the summer, Colin and his best friend Adam loved exploring the island’s coast. Adam’s father had a fleet of unloved dinghies.

“They all had those drain holes under the water line and no drain hole plugs to be found anywhere," says McDaniel. "But that didn't stop us from shoving green fir cones into the drain holes and pushing our boats into the gray water and going out for adventures anyway.”

Windy on Washington 123 by daveynin LICENSED UNDER CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/2q6JjFY / Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, stories of that moment when everything changes for better or worse.

It's Showtime

Seattle television director and producer Steve Wilson saw a live broadcast of one of his favorite local kid's shows at the 1962 World's Fair when he was just 6 years old. From that point on, he knew he wanted to work in show business. Wilson talks about that day and how it changed everything for him.

O Tannenbaum

Steve Wilson

Television producer and director, Steve Wilson, says making television is just like making cheese.

 

“People consume cheese. Some people make really good cheese. Other people make really terrible cheese. But, everybody eats cheese —and I make the cheese,” he told us.

 

 

How One Very Tall Christmas Tree Saved Northgate Mall

May 13, 2017
Courtesy of C.R. Douglas

Back in 1950, Northgate Mall was just opening its doors. It was struggling to get off its feet and fill empty shops. Big local retailers like Nordstrom and Friedlander didn’t believe that a regional shopping center all the way up north could survive. At that time, downtown was where people went to shop.  

Jim Douglas set out to change this. Douglas helped launch major city legacies like SeaFair and the World’s Fair, but his crowning achievement was saving Northgate.

Courtesy Marvin Charles

Marvin Charles is the co-founder of a Seattle organization called DADS —Divine Alternative for Dads Services. Marvin and his wife, Jeanett, help men from all walks of life get back on their feet, find work and ultimately, reconnect with their kids.

Now, you might think that Marvin must be one of these parents who know all — a go-to person whose advice is golden and who comes from a loving home himself.

This is how Marvin’s life started. But then things got really complicated.

Winning The Pot Lottery Doesn't Always Mean Greener Pastures

May 13, 2017
Courtesy Tahoma Growers Farm

When Washington state legalized recreational marijuana in 2013, the state held a lottery to award around 200 grower permits. Thousands applied, and on a whim, so did a group of friends that just happened to own a patch of land near Goldendale, in Eastern Washington. They never really thought they’d win, so when they did, it came as a shock. 

The group was met with the stark reality that starting a cannabis farm with no farming experience was a much taller order than they were prepared for. Everything from fencing, to taxes, to weather, was an uphill battle.

Courtesy of Wendy Hinman

Off the coast of Fiji in the Pacific Ocean, brightly colored coral reefs sit a few inches below translucent waves. It’s these unsuspecting reefs that changed everything for one family back in 1974.

Their story starts in the early 1970s in San Francisco Bay where Chuck Wilcox and his wife Dawn loved to sail with their two kids, Garth and Linda. They would glide through the waters of the protected bay, Chuck dreaming of life at sea and Dawn imagining all the new places they could visit.

Brandon Patoc / Seattle Symphony

Finding peace of mind can be a challenge for many of us. But it can be especially difficult for inmates in prison. You’re locked away. Surrounded by hundreds of others; some of whom landed behind bars for doing some pretty bad things. There are few moments of relief.

Courtesy Lane Czaplinski

Lane Czaplinski has been the artistic director at On The Boards, a Seattle-based contemporary performing arts organization since 2002. He has basically been working in the arts since he graduated college. But in his senior year of college, a series of unusual circumstances led to him climbing the ranks of one of the most historic and decorated college basketball programs in the country.

Meditation By Tarcio Saralva IS LICENSED UNDER CC 2.0 bit.ly/2qFS34Q

This week on Sound Effect, stories of finding peace of mind — and what happens when you do.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Solomon Dubie is the 29-year-old founder of Cafe Avole, a cozy little coffee shop in Rainier Valley. It’s one of the only places in Seattle you can get Ethiopian coffee brewed the traditional way — in a jebena. It's basically a clay pot with a long neck and short spout.

Solomon was born and raised in Seattle, but his family is from Ethiopia — where the coffee plant was first discovered.

They take coffee seriously. But it’s not just about the taste; it’s a whole event with three unique rounds of brewing.

Courtesy of Laurie Cullen

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.

Courtesy of History Link

The United States entered the First World War 100 years ago in 1917. At the time, many leftist activists and labor supporters were skeptical of the country's intentions and reasons for going to war. One Seattle woman felt it was time to give the world a piece of her mind about the war effort. 

Her name was Louise Olivereau. She was outspoken, highly educated, and raised by a minister with a strong moral compass. Historian Michael Schein researched Louise’s forgotten place in Seattle’s history of radical activism.

Peter Haley, Pacific Lutheran University / Courtesy of Peter Altman

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.

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

Ben Union basically grew up in a church, and for him there was little question as to what he wanted to be when he grew up. He was going to be a preacher.

But in religion, just like in politics, or relationships, challenging or even traumatic experiences can make you change your feelings about a path you were once entirely certain about.

This was the case for Ben Union. He didn’t become a preacher, but instead, a professional musician in Tacoma.

Metamorphosis (Spring Azure Butterfly with a caterpillar!) by David DeHetre is licensed under CC 2.0 bit.ly/2piZf7u

This week on Sound Effect, stories of the people we once were. 

Getting In Touch With Your Old Self

Ken Workman is 64 years old, and only ten years ago he found out that he was a descendent of Chief Sealth. He is making up for lost time by immersing himself in the culture and learning the language of his ancestors.

Courtesy of the Renton History Museum

Sometimes our good intentions in the past can have unintended consequences generations later. That’s the idea behind a new exhibit at the Renton History Museum. It’s all about the Renton High School mascot: the Indians.

Courtesy of Dick Rossetti

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

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

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

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.

 

This week on Sound Effect, we tell stories of the lies we hear and the lies we tell. 

Old Time Con Woman

One woman became one of the most infamous liars in the Northwest in the early 1900s. Maude Wagnon, who went under the alias Maude Johnson, swindled railroad companies out of an estimated thousands of dollars.

Student Scam

Courtesy of the Washington State Archives

 

At the turn of the 20th century, trolleys were just beginning to transform cities across the country. At the same, one Oregon woman figured out a way to defraud the companies that operated these interurban railroads.

 

Maud  Wagnon, who went under many aliases but was known by most as Maud Myrtle Johnson, was dubbed the "Queen of Fakers" by newspapers across the Western United States for her history of swindling the trolleys. How did Maud become one of the most infamous liars of the Northwest?

 

David Nogueras / knkx

 

When something seems too good to be true, it probably is. More than 90 Chinese international students at the University of Washington had to find this out the hard way.

 

This past spring, Chinese students were the target of a scam. The alleged ringleader, a fellow Chinese student who goes by FY, possibly walked away with nearly a million dollars.

 

Courtesy of Benjamin Kantner

There are lots occasions when bending the truth is something we want to happen. This is what more than 60,000 people do every summer in the Nevada desert for Burning Man, the iconic week-long festival with art, music and lots of partying. It’s an event that attracts the likes of hippies, Hollywood celebrities and tech billionaires. However, Burning Man is also sometimes described as one, giant, utopian lie.

Before going to Burning Man, where he is known as Konifer, 31-year-old Benjamin Kantner’s life in Seattle looked good on paper. But it felt like he was lying to himself.   

Simone Alicea / knkx

For our show this week, we wanted to talk to someone who hears lies all the time: Tow truck drivers. That’s what Sound Effect Executive Producer Erin Hennessey suggested. She sent 88.5’s Simone Alicea to a towing company in Bellevue to talk to someone who’s heard it all.

But it turns out Erin wasn’t being totally forthcoming, herself, about the role she had cast for these drivers. She and Simone sat down to compare notes about their impound experiences.

Michal Lebl

This week on Sound Effect, stories of time and how it rules our daily lives. 

Every Hour Injures, The Last One Kills

For centuries, sundials have inspired artists and scientists alike as a way to display the passing of time. Retired UW astrobiology professor Woody Sullivan shares how his 25-year love affair with sundials began and how he invented the first working sundial tattoo.

A Brewing War

Dennis Wise / University of Washington Photography

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

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.

A Kidney Dialysis Patient's Guide To Passing The Time

Apr 15, 2017
Scott Areman / Northwest Kidney Center

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. 

Credit Liz West/Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories of people, places and things that are right in front of us, that we may never notice. 

Pages