Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

"I want you to study hard so that you can rescue our family from poverty. Your father and I are poor and the only gift we can give you is an education. You are intelligent. Rise up and make your lives meaningful. I gave birth to you and I know you have what it takes to make it in life. Work hard my children."

When I was a little girl in Kenya, hardly a day would pass without my mother repeating those words to my four siblings and me.

You don't need me to tell you how much more television there is than there used to be, or how many more places you can find it. You don't need me to tell you that its population of creatively ambitious and idiosyncratic shows has grown enormously, as has its population of cheaply made UCSs – Undiscovered Channel Shows, where you learn that a show is entering its third season and only then do you realize that (1) it exists and (2) your byzantine cable menu actually does get that channel (although perhaps not in HD).

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.

Official Washington is consumed with the firestorm that President Trump started when he fired FBI director James Comey earlier this week.

But Washington, D.C. is also an actual place where actual people live and work. Sometimes those people react to the news in very personal ways.

A grain of rice, like a grain of sand, sifts through your hands with a mysterious and lovely sameness. Mostly white or tan, hundreds or thousands of grains pour smoothly out of buckets, out of burlap, into bowls, with a sound like small waterfalls. Rice seems so simple, really. And yet, because it plays a central role in world cuisines, these modest grains can carry the weight of history. Sometimes that history is deeply surprising.

First, it was Pokémon. Then came a special trick yo-yo, Magic: The Gathering cards, and some kind of "thinking putty." Over time, my 9-year-old's obsessions have changed. But one thing has remained consistent: When he wants something, he really, really wants it — often because, in his words, "everyone else has one."

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.

In 2015, after a 10-year legal battle, the Library of Congress released a trove of Rosa Parks' personal documents. Last year the papers were put online for the first time. They include postcards from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., lists of volunteers for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and pages and pages of journals.

Buried in the Parks collection is another document that doesn't have as much historical significance – but it got my attention. It's a pancake recipe, written on the back of an envelope.

On a sunny Friday morning in San Pablo Huitzo, a town in the Valles Centrales region of Oaxaca, Mexico, a half-dozen women are gathered for a workshop on making alegrías, a healthy, granola bar-like snack made with popped amaranth seeds. Their ingredient list is short: water, honey, raisins, a form of raw cane sugar known as piloncillo, and lime juice.

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.

 

Straight-leg. Five-pocket. Medium-blue. And for the finishing touch, a "caked-on muddy coating."

For just $425, these PRPS jeans can be yours.

But you can make fun of them free. And that's a bargain the Internet couldn't pass up.

Now-deleted reviews on Nordstrom's site celebrated the way the jeans mimicked the fruits of hard labor, "without ever having to leave my BMW." "Perfectly match my stick on calluses," one user wrote.

Cellphones and other electronic devices are not permitted inside the courtroom where Supreme Court justices hear cases.

Even lawyers arguing cases before the justices are forbidden from bringing in their cellphones.

Before entering the courtroom, visitors must leave their phones in lockers and pass through metal detectors.

During Tuesday morning's arguments in the case of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, the ring of a cellphone could be heard.

Ernest Hemingway liked to get up early.

He did his best writing in the morning, standing in front of his typewriter, plucking the keys as fast as the words might come to him. This was fortunate, because by 11 a.m., the Havana heat began to creep into his rented room at the Hotel Ambos Mundos. He couldn't think in the swelter, much less write.

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