Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

This week on Sound Effect, we share some of our favorite music-related stories from the past year.

Charlie And The Rays

We meet the musicians of a local band that just released their first record. While some members of the band are too young to patronize the establishments they perform in, that hasn't stopped them from having big hopes for the future.

Bonnie Guitar

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

Singer-songwriter Kimya Dawson writes intimate music that connects with her fans in a very personal way. Olympia's independent K Records wrote that "her recordings make it feel as though you have a friend there whispering in your ear. And you do because Kimya is your friend."

However, Dawson's intimacy can sometimes get her into trouble. She finds herself opening her heart too much and taking in too many friends. At our live event in May, Dawson shared one of her songs and explored how she sometimes loses herself in her need to be a friend to everyone.

When it comes to music, the idea of band rivalries goes back decades. The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones has been a classic matchup that goes back five decades.

In the Pacific Northwest, the most visible example of a band rivalry started 25 years ago, when Nirvana and Pearl Jam were two of the biggest bands in the country.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Getting a tattoo can certainly be an occasion for regret. Getting a tattoo that has an intentional misspelling in it could potentially lead to more opportunity for regret. Naming your debut album after your intentionally misspelled tattoo pretty much sums up the "no regrets" attitude of the Seattle-based band Chastity Belt.

There is popular wisdom out there that conversations about race are most productive when the people engaged in them are deeply, emotionally vested in the well-being of one another. Family might be a rejoinder to that wisdom. Perhaps there's such a thing as being too vested.

Looking for a diversion from divisive political conversation this Thanksgiving? StoryCorps suggests using its smartphone app as part of its Great Thanksgiving Listen project.

I celebrated my first Thanksgiving in 2002. I'd arrived in the United States in August of that year to start graduate school at the University of Missouri, Columbia. A few months later, I was invited to my first Thanksgiving dinner at a house shared by two Indians, one American, two New Zealanders and their sweet black Labrador, named Willow.

It's Thanksgiving, which means you'll be seeing Aunt Martha's sweet potato casserole encased in a marshmallow cloud that has drifted too close to the sun. Cousin Joe, who's just here for the game, will bring his famous can-shaped cranberry sauce that looks like it's been attacked by a Slinky. Then your sister will arrive with her sad concoction of green beans drowning in cream-of-mushroom soup, flecked with floating onion strings that have been flung like debris from the Titanic.

MOHAI, PEMCO Webster and Stevens Collection / courtesy MOHAI

You are what you eat, or so the saying goes. Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry explores that idea in depth with a new exhibition that opened over the weekend. Called "Edible City," it charts more than 100 years of Seattle’s evolving food culture.

MF821-03188616A / Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, you are what you eat. We bring stories of food, and how it intersects with identity.

We Eat War

ElmerGuevara / Wikimedia Commons

For Claudia Castro Luna, nothing transports her back to her native El Salvador more quickly, and more vividly, than then pupusa. It’s the unofficial national dish of El Salvador, consisting of a think corn tortilla wrapped around a rich filling.

But for Castro Luna, Seattle’s first civic poet, the pupusa contains more than pork, cheese and beans. It contains the history of the country of her birth, and of her journey away from it.

Courtesy of Hsaio-Ching Chou

For many immigrant families, food is a way to both stay connected to their culture, and a way to survive. For the Chou family, opening a restaurant seemed like the only way to make ends meet in small town Columbia, Missouri.

When they opened Chinese Delicacies in 1980, Hsiao-Ching Chou was only 8 years old. The restaurant defined her childhood, even inspiring her career later as a food writer in Seattle.

For the family, it defined their American experience. They developed a menu that appealed to American tastes and later bowed to customer demand and installed a buffet. 

(courtesy Nancy Leson)

Nancy Leson, half of knkx's  Food for Thought duo, has been in the food industry for a long time. But some of her earliest memories of food come from bars -- not as an employee, but as a patron — a six-year-old patron. 

Leson grew up in Philadelphia, in a time and place where children were allowed to belly up to bars and eat Slim Jims and pickled eggs, or order a Coke with loads of  Maraschino cherries. 

The reason Leson wound up in those bars was that that was where she would find her mother. 

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Everyone’s got a favorite food. But how about a favorite crop? 

Dr. Stephen Jones, director of Washington State University's Bread Lab in Mt. Vernon, loves wheat. A lot.

"The sheer beauty of the crop in a field like this ... you can almost hear the voices in it — the voices of the tradition, the voices of the people that came before us into this crop," said Jones. "I don't get that when I walk into a lettuce field, but I do in wheat."

Ariel Van Cleave / KPLU

The town of Lynden, Washington sits just to the south of the U.S.-Canadian border.  It's a small town of about 13,000 people.  

Lynden is also home to the Lynden Dutch Bakery (which makes a tasty short cake), Darigold (maker of cream, both ice and whipped), and of course, acres of berry farms.

Lynden just turned 125 years old recently, and to celebrate, folks there decided they needed a birthday cake — but not just any cake cake would do for such a celebration.  They wanted a really big birthday cake — one that would highlight all that Lynden had to offer.

The knkx community advisory council will hold their quarterly meeting on Monday, December 5, from 2 - 3:30 p.m. at the Seattle office.

If you are interested in attending as a member of the listening community, please contact the general manager's office @ (253) 535-8732 for more information.

Food works better than Valium, I'm famous for telling my eating-disordered clients. Cookies and milk are comforting. A bowl of ice cream eases stress like nothing else. But as comforting as food can be, if it's the only thing that helps you manage your mood, you're at greater risk for more serious mental health problems, from anxiety and depression to body dissatisfaction and eating disorders.

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.

It's been an extraordinary election season, so we will offer extraordinary coverage. 

The 88.5 Newsroom will bring you live, local updates along with live, national coverage from NPR, both on-air and online at knkx.org.

Around-the-clock on-air election coverage starts at 3 p.m. on Election Day and continues until 9 a.m. the next morning. Host Kirsten Kendrick will be with you when you wake up for all the results and analysis. 

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.

 

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.

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/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.

Credit 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:

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. 

Up, Up And Away

Astronaut Wendy Lawrence knows the risks and rewards of space travel very well. She remembers what it was like to travel into space on the first mission after the space shuttle Columbia exploded while returning to Earth, killing all seven crew members back in 2003.

Stardew Valley

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