Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Earlier this winter, photographer Michael Furtman was driving along the North Shore of Lake Superior in search of great gray owls. Several of the giant, elusive birds had flown down from Canada looking for food.

He pulled off on a dirt road where he had seen an owl the night before. An owl was there, perched in a spruce tree, but a pair of videographers were filming it.

"I backed off; I was going to just let them have their time with the bird," Furtman says. "And then I saw them run out and put a mouse on the snow."

Viewing 3D IMAX clips by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center IS LICENSED BY CC BY-NC 2.0 bit.ly/2mQpqo4 / Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories from people under the influence of mentors, substances, music, and society. 

Parker Miles Blohm

Donovan Lewis is 4 years old and has been playing the drums since before he learned how to walk. His preschool teacher says that on rainy days, Donovan taps out the beat the raindrops make on the building's metal downspouts. This should come as no surprise. His parents say that music is in their son's DNA. 

D'Vonne Lewis is Donovan's father. D'Vonne is an accomplished Seattle-based drummer. He's performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, pianist Marian McPartland and guitarist Bucky Pizzarellie, to name just a few. 

Kevin Kniestedt

When Brian McDonald, a screenwriter, teacher and author was living in Seattle in the mid-90s, he says that, while talented, he had seen about 15 years of closed doors as far as his career was concerned.

Knowing that the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson also lived in Seattle, Wilson had dreams of one day meeting him and learning from him.

Credit Marianne Spellman/Popthomology

Seattle musician and artist Shannon Perry is known for her exquisite tattoo work and incredible musical presence. But six years ago, while in rehab for Adderall abuse, she felt very alone.

Perry picked up smoking again so she could socialize with the other people, but it didn't help.  Rather than go numb from the isolation and boredom, she started to make things.

Playing the drums on the floor with her hands and singing songs in a whisper, Perry used music to fill her time and she figured out a way to record these rehab writings and songs.

Courtesy of Tim Olsen

Adults are constantly influencing the kids around them, whether it's as parents, teachers or mentors. For better and for worse, key adults can shape the trajectory of children and inspire their path as those children grow up.

Tacoma native Tim Olsen found a mentor in local guitar maker and musician Harvey Thomas. Fifty years later, Olsen still reflects on his old role model with a wry smile.

"He was a true eccentric, through and through," says Olsen.

Courtesy of Bethany Morrow and Will Taylor

The world of children’s books is lily white. The vast majority of people writing kids’ books are white and their characters are usually white, too.

 

There are more animals and trucks that appear as characters in kids books than there are African-American characters.

 

Amgad Naguib is a collector of ephemera — the fleeting, fragile and often overlooked objects of everyday life.

The old matchbooks, toothbrushes and ticket stubs — a few of the objects among hundreds of thousands in his collections — normally spill from bags and boxes in his overstuffed Cairo warehouses. But for two months, a small part of his unusual collection was exhibited at a downtown Cairo art gallery, under a title borrowed from the Turkish author Orhan Pamuk: "The Past Is Always an Invented Land."

Bubba is a tortoise when he wakes up, and he remains one when he goes to sleep. But in between, it seems, he likes nothing better than chasing a ball around, looking for all the world like an excited puppy.

I have always found it difficult to explain my family's syncretic faith traditions to both white Americans and to other South Asians. We are Hindu Sindhis, originating from an area around the Indus River, in what is now modern southeast Pakistan. On our home altar, familiar Hindu idols — Lakshmi, Ganesh, Krishna — share space with images of the 10 Sikh gurus and Jhulelal. Jhulelal, a river deity, is not only the patron saint of Hindu Sindhis, but is also revered by Sufi Muslims.

Hello KNKX and NPR One listener!

 

One unique thing about NPR One: You get to skip the pledge drives!

 

Of course, quality journalism still costs money. So, instead of listening to multiple days of sparkling on-air banter about the value of public radio, I'm asking you to take, oh, 60 seconds or so to read my note, consider what KNKX and NPR programs mean to you, and -- I hope -- translate that into a gift during our Spring Drive.

Duncan Hines, traveling salesman and future purveyor of boxed cake mix, considered himself an authority on a great many things: hot coffee, Kentucky country-cured ham and how to locate a tasty restaurant meal, in 1935, for under a dollar and a quarter.

By the 1950s, Hines' name would be plastered on boxes of cake mix; housewives would turn to his products for consistent quality and superior taste. Newspaper photographs featured Hines clad in a white chef's apron, hoisting a neatly frosted cake or thoughtfully dipping a spoon into a mixing bowl.

COURTESY OF MICHAL LEBL

 

This week on Sound Effect, we tell stories of risks and rewards and why people make the decision to take the leap. 

AP Photo/NASA TV

Getting people into space involves a lot of risks. From the explosive fuel needed to launch a rocket to the flecks of space dust that could poke a hole in an orbiting shuttle, astronauts are always prepared for the worst.

Wendy Lawrence, a retired astronaut and naval aviator living in Washington state, understood the risks of her job even when seven of her colleagues were killed reentering the Earth's atmosphere in 2003.

Amber Hageman

After graduating with a degree in computer science, most people with that valuable diploma in hand, would head out into the world hoping to land a well-paying job in the tech world.

 

Robb D. Cohen / Invision/AP

So when we get emotional about something, we often have to weigh the risks and rewards of acting on those emotions. If someone upsets us, we need to decide if there is enough of a reward in confronting that person, while potentially facing the risks of upsetting that person as well.

I found myself in one of those situations at small-town bar in the middle of Washington, upset at a very, very famous young man, and wrote this essay.

AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

There has been a lot of attention paid in recent years to the risks of playing professional football. While head injuries are nothing new to football, the National Football League implemented nine years ago, and has since constantly tweaked a concussion protocol, and has adjusted other rules to assist in player safety.

Allie Ferguson

A lot of bands have a very particular sound that is very identifiably them, and that often makes it easier to be marketed and defined. But Sebastian and the Deep Blue, from one song to the next, can sound like a completely different band. In fact, in their “about” section on their website, this is how they define themselves:

Washington, D.C.'s Capital City Public Charter School feels like a mini United Nations. Many of the school's 981 students are first-generation Americans with backgrounds spanning the globe, from El Salvador to Nigeria to Vietnam. So when the staff of the literacy non-profit 826DC began a book-publishing project with the junior class, they picked a topic everyone could relate to that also left room for cultural expression: food.

A Food Festival Celebrates The Rebirth Of Jewish Life In Berlin

Mar 24, 2017

Inside a Berlin bookstore on a recent Friday night, an unusual scene unfolded. Thirty people sat around a long table, sharing Israeli-Moroccan dishes like matbucha (a side of roasted red peppers and tomatoes), ptitim (a toasted pasta shaped in little balls) and a modern twist on the traditional challah or egg bread — a vegan one filled with dry fruits, quinoa, herbs and pomegranate juice.

In 1921, an ad in The Seattle Times touted a brand new candy called "Aplets," a new confection made "from the finest Washington apples and honey and walnuts." A few years later, Aplets were joined by "Cotlets," a similar candy made from an apricot base. In most of the world, "Aplets & Cotlets" were based on a treat called lokum, a word derived from Arabic, but the British and Americans know it as "Turkish delight."

100 by Ana is licensed by CC BY-NC 2.0 http://bit.ly/2ntoX81 / Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we celebrate our 100th episode by exploring the stories behind Northwest businesses with the address Suite 100. 

Josh Estey/Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade / HIV in Indonesia by DFAT IS LICENSED BY CC BY-NC 2.0 http://bit.ly/2neL1Wx

The most difficult part of recovery from addiction can be taking the first step to get help. For hundreds of heroin and prescription pain medication addicts, that first step is a walk through the door of a methadone clinic in the South Sound called Tacoma Treatment Solutions. Every day people arrive at the clinic as early as 5 a.m. to get their daily dose of methadone. 

Credit Kevin Kniestedt

More than 23,000 people lost their lives following the 1985 eruption of Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia. In response, the United States Geological Survey and the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance created the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, to help prevent other volcanic eruptions from becoming disasters.

Veteran luthier Rick Wickland works on part of a violin bow at his work bench inside Hammond Ashley Violins, in Issaquah. The horse hair used on the bow is hanging behind him.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

At one end of the long building that houses Hammond Ashley Violins in Issaquah, five students are getting ready for a violin class.

In the middle of the building, luthiers are repairing violins and cleaning string basses.

And up front, behind a door marked “Suite 100,” customers are coming in to buy or rent violins, and get them repaired.

Courtesy of Lydia Boss

For hundreds of years, really, for millennia, the world epicenter for working with glass as an art form has been Morano, Italy. It's an island just north of Venice.  The legend is that Venetians moved the studios and hot shops to Morano out of fear the process of blowing glass was so hot and volatile that it would set fire to Venice. 

Joel Mabel / Wikipedia Commons

Tilth, a non-profit that oversees community gardens all over Seattle, operates out of a Suite 100 in a historical landmark: The Good Shepherd Center. This enormous building spans the length of a city block and is surrounded by several acres of gardens, a playground and large expanses of green lawns.

President Trump's budget blueprint calls for eliminating dozens of government programs and zeroing out funding for 19 independent agencies. And that may only be a preview of things to come as the Trump administration seeks to reorganize the executive branch.

One hundred seeds: That's the number Minara Begum needs to plant in her Detroit backyard in order to grow enough vegetables such as squash, taro root and amaranth greens to feed her family for the year.

She learned to cook and garden at a young age in Bangladesh. In the two years since she moved to the U.S., she's grown traditional South Asian crops to feed her family — and whoever visits — on any given day. There's always a pot, or several, on the stove.

Austin Jenkins / knkx

This week on Sound Effect, we bring you an investigative look into a spike in prison suicides here in Washington state. During 2014 and 2015, 11 inmate deaths were ruled suicide, giving Washington one of the highest prison suicide rates in the country. There didn’t seem to be a pattern, but the prison system knew it had a problem. 

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