Sound Effect | KNKX

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 Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme.

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Faith Fountain

Rasheena Fountain and Tiffany Adams met at Antioch University in Seattle, where they were both working on their masters degrees.

Rasheena, who grew up on the west side of Chicago, and Tiffany, originally from downtown New York, quickly found they had a shared interest in nature.

Before long, they were helping each other: Tiffany encouraged Rasheena’s newfound love of birding, and Rasheena cheered Tiffany on in her studies.

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."

 

Samvado Gunnar Kossatz

Les Zaitz was a reporter for the Oregonian in the early 1980s, when he began covering a  group of people, known as the Sinyasins who were followers of the enigmatic Indian guru, Baghwan Shree Rajneesh.

They arrived in the Northwest with visions of creating a whole new city in the middle of the Oregon desert. They called themselves a religion. Many others have called them a cult.

The story Zaitz was covering soon transformed from a curiosity to an epic drama, complete with massive fraud, betrayal and plots to commit murder. Even Zaitz himself was told he was a marked man.

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

John Roderick was born in the Seattle area, but spent much of his youth living in Anchorage, Alaska.

“Growing up in Alaska, you’re an American, you know you're an American. But you’re also thousands of  miles away from America. So we fetishized America," said Roderick, who these days fronts the indie band, The Long Winters.

After high school, Roderick decided that the way to see America, and absorb the wisdom and freedom of the open road, was to stick out his thumb and hitchhike across the country.

This show originally aired on April 29, 2017.

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.

An Exhibit Of Unintended Consequences

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 the Renton History Museum

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.

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

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.

 

Courtesy Lane Czaplinski

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.  

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.

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.

James Cridland/Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, stories of personal space. We start by sending out host Gabriel Spitzer to a room where he can take release some rage. Then we meet a man who recorded the first known gay country album, and learn how his father encouraged him. We meet a sexual assault victim who reclaimed her space in an unexpected way.

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.

Erica Dudrow

Note: This story deals with sexual assault and may not be appropriate for some listeners and readers. 

Erica Dudrow lives in Bellingham, and she says she was never much of a party person. But in 2014 she was dating a guy who liked to hit the bars, and she did her best to keep up. 

One Friday evening they were getting ready to go out, having drinks and indulging in a bit of the rave drug, “Molly.” She hadn’t realized just how intoxicated she was until, on her way to the bar, she began to black out. 

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.

 

Courtesy of Fat Girls Hiking

Bethany Denton used to hike a lot as a kid. Growing up in northwestern Montana, it's just what people did. But as she got older, and as her body got bigger, she stopped feeling welcome in the outdoors. As a self-described fat girl, she noticed that her friends and family gradually stopped inviting her on hikes, and she felt that even short, easy hikes were out of her league.

Our 2018 spring fund drive is underway, and Sound Effect wouldn't exist without the generous support of listeners like you. To make a pledge, click here. For our pledge drive show, we decided to take a look back at some stories that stuck with us throughout the years.

Lydia Ramsey in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

This story originally aired on October 28, 2017.

To say that Seattle musician Lydia Ramsey was raised in a musical family would be kind of an understatement.

“Me and my brothers joke that, like, in order to sit down in our living room, you had to pick up an instrument because it was taking up the chair. And then you’d be like oh, well I’m holding this so I might as well play something on it,” said Ramsey.

Courtesy of L'Oréal

This story originally aired on November 7, 2015. 

Dr. Sarah Ballard was one of the very first guests we ever had on Sound Effect. In Newness, Sound Effect's very first episode, Ballard told us about what it feels like to discover a new planet.

Ballard has not only discovered four new planets, she also discovered a new way to discover planets.

Kyle Norris / KNKX

 

This story originally aired on May 27, 2017.

 

Michael McAndrews has had a lifelong love affair with birds.

 

It all started with an article he read as a kid in National Geographic. It profiled homing pigeons used in wartime to communicate messages between troops. Michael was captivated by the story of a bird named Cher Ami that saved almost 200 American soldiers in France during World War I.

Unintended Consequences: Sound Effect, Episode 138

Mar 17, 2018
George Creal / Flickr

  

Wikimedia Commons

Bisphenol-A, a chemical in plastics, thermal-paper receipts and the lining of tin cans, has been fingered as the culprit for a bunch of health problems.

 

In our bodies, BPA acts like a hormone -- and in animals, at least, it seems to disrupt all sorts of important functions.

 

Courtesy of Chad Goller-Sojourner

Good intentions often have unexpected outcomes, something Chad Goller-Sojourner knows from personal experience.

 

He’s a Seattle based playwright , and also a counselor to white parents who’ve adopted children of color. Chad is black, and when he was 13 months old he himself was adopted by white parents, along with two other kids of color.  This was back in the 1970s, when there was a lot less awareness of mixed families.

 

HistoryLink.org

At the turn of the 20th century, when West Seattle was a city all its own, the community had a problem: They wanted to attract development, but they also wanted to keep out big-city vice, such as alcohol and gambling.

Their solution? An amusement park on a boardwalk, with roller coasters, side shows, and other kinds of wholesome family fun. As HistoryLink.org's Alan Stein tells Gabriel Spitzer, the decision had some unintended consequences.

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.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

Often, laws are created in the wake of a tragedy. In Washington state, the legislature passed what’s called the Becca laws in 1995 in the wake of the murder of a 13-year-old girl named Rebecca Hedman.

The laws are aimed at creating systems to track and get help for kids who are engaged in risky behavior, including chronic absence from school.

By Chris Vlachos (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories some of areas that can be unclear from time to time. We start by talking to a former Seattle resident who moved to a sister city in Ireland where the weather is also gray. Next, we talk to a reporter and a retired judge about an article that was written about the judge’s ruling that let a sex offender go.

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.

UW Center for Philosophy for Children

There are times in life when the answers aren't black and white. 

Your friend is getting married, and asks you to be best man--but you don't approve of his fiancee. Should you speak up about your reservations? Should you be quiet and agree to be best man? 

You suspect that wearing makeup might help your advancement at work, but you also suspect that sexism is at play. Should you put on that lipstick?

Some employers reject job applicants because they smoke. Is that right?

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