Other News | KNKX

Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

Chief Marshal Elisa Sansalone says she finds calm in the chaos of the Municipal Court of Seattle.

That’s important for someone who leads a team tasked with transporting defendants to and from court about 15,000 times a year.

A team from the University of Washington has won a major award for artificial intelligence: the inaugural Alexa Prize from Amazon.

The $500,000 award was announced today at Amazon’s AWS re:Invent 2017 conference in Las Vegas.

KNKX's Community Advisory Committee will be meeting on Monday, December 4 from 2 - 3:30 p.m. in our Seattle office.

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

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

This week on Sound Effect, it’s our annual tradition of sharing our favorite music stories from the past year.  We open the show by sitting down with the Lewis family, and look back on how each generation has influenced the next to get behind a drum set. We then hear how tragedy and music intersect as the result of a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University.

Parker Miles Blohm

This story originally aired on April 1, 2017.

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. 

Credit Alex Gao

This story originally aired on February 11, 2017.

Marcus Haney has caught several big named musicians on camera, including the likes of Coldplay and Elton John.

In 2014, he was asked to produce a music video for the British band Bear's Den. He came up with the idea of coming to Seattle to film his younger brother, Turner Haney, and Turner's friends, who all attended Seattle Pacific University, capturing youth on the brink of adulthood. 

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

This story originally aired on January 21, 2017.

The 2016 presidential election transformed the political narrative across America, including Washington state. Many artists have been emboldened to create in response to this reshuffling of power and ideas. One Seattle musician was uniquely inspired by the perspective of Trump voters.

Courtesy Seattle Choruses

This segment originally aired March 4, 2017.  

Last April, composer, arranger and conductor Paul Caldwell was weeks away from leaving Chicago for a new life and new job as the artistic director for the Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus. But after leaving his best friend’s place, he became the victim of a terrible hit and run accident.

Caldwell was struck by a car, severely fracturing several bones in his body, including his legs and right arm. His head landed on a bag filled with sheet music, rather than the hard street, saving his life.

Meet Seattle's 'Queen Of Gospel'

Nov 25, 2017
Courtesy of Eula Scott Bynoe

This story originally aired on February 4, 2017.

Pastor Pat Wright can't read music, but she made a hit single as a solo R&B singer, performed for three U.S. presidents including Barack Obama, and sang at Jimi Hendrix's funeral.  

Wright began and continues to direct Seattle's renowned Total Experience Choir. Founded in 1973, the choir has performed for presidents, and toured in 28 countries and 33 states.

She attributes its success to the type of music they perform.

The Thanksgiving holiday is a time for friends and family to gather together, share a meal and express gratitude. But sometimes things can go wrong.

We asked some of the staff in the KNKX newsroom to share their own Thanksgiving mishaps.

Youth and education reporter Ashley Gross, All Things Considered host Ed Ronco, News Director Erin Hennessey and our South Sound reporter, Will James, had stories to tell.

We hope things go better for you on this holiday. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at KNKX!

Wikipedia Commons

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "Can’t Let Go." KNKX newsies Ariel Van Cleave and Ed Ronco reminisce about their obscure instruments. Then we talk to Jillian Venters, who gives advice to people of the gothic subculture, including those who are aging within it.

Credit Gabriel Spitzer

All Things Considered host Ed Ronco and Morning Edition producer Ariel Van Cleave came to learn their respective instruments after things didn't work out with their first choice.

Ed started with the trumpet, but the combination of the smaller mouthpiece and a mouth full of braced turned out to be a painful experience. So he moved to the baritone horn, which had a larger mouthpiece, and never looked back.

Ariel, on the other hand, just had a distaste for her assigned instrument, the trombone, and at the encouragement of her father, she switched to euphonium. 

Credit Kevin Kniestedt

There are still certain parts of our youth that we identify with and often don’t want to let go of. And the number of subcultures out there that people have come to identify with is expansive. For Jillian Venters, there is little question in her mind as to the subculture she identifies with.

“I’m kind of a romantic goth with Victorian goth tinges. I get more Victorian goth as the weather gets cooler. It is really hard to wear velvet frock coats and top hats during high summer.”

Kat Taylor

"You Can do anything in the Barbie Dream Hearse, except smoke” laughs Kat Taylor as we enter the world of white leather with pink accents.

Perhaps you’ve seen it, The Barbie Dream Hearse, driving around Seattle, shuttling people around who might be watching a movie in the back, or pouring another glass of champagne from the ice bucket. The white hearse turned party limo is hard to miss.  

It all started with a play on words.

Meet A Leader Of The Flat Earth Movement

Nov 18, 2017
Credit Gabriel Spitzer

 

When it comes to scientific arguments nowadays, there’s a good chance sooner or later someone will be compared to people who believe the earth is flat.

Most would consider that an insult, but not Mark Sargent. The Whidbey Island resident spends much of his time promoting the belief that the earth is not round or spherical but actually, definitely flat.

Joel Shupack

 

Anyone who has ever loved a dog, and who has been on the receiving end of a dog’s unconditional affection, would agree that the grief you experience when that animal dies is deep and painful.

 

In this story, which originally aired on the podcast SquareMile, producer Joel Shupack introduces us to his friend Lela who recently said goodby to her beloved Catahoula, Coltrane.

 

This summer’s total solar eclipse in Oregon came with a price tag. The Oregon Military Department is requesting an extra $260,000 to pay for the costs of managing crowds during the August 21 event.

Will James / KNKX

If you go to the base of Point Defiance in Tacoma and look east, you'll see a finger of earth jutting into Puget Sound. 

It formed as toxic slag spilled from a copper smelter during the city's industrial heyday. 

For years, it was a foreboding sliver of black, glassy material. Today, workers and machines roam the peninsula as they transform it into a grassy park with Puget Sound views.

Credit Allie Ferguson

This show originally aired on May 27, 2017.

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "Up in the Air."

Allie Ferguson / KNKX

This story originally aired on May 27, 2017.

B.J. Listman is one of the elevator operators at the Space Needle. The Space Needle and the Smith Tower, according to B.J, are the only places left in Seattle where there are actually elevator operators. This iconic Seattle landmark has enchanted B.J. since he was a child.

Red-Tailed Hawks Flying Club's Facebook Page

 

This story originally aired on May 27, 2017.

Jesse Hayes’ love of flying began as a kid growing up in Texas. His family had a car but they also had an airplane, which Jesse’s father adored. Jesse says that as an African-American family, that meant that they could literally fly over racism when they went on trips to visit family.

 

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

 

This story originally aired on May 27, 2017.

A group of students from the University of Washington is working on a way to create satellites that could stay up indefinitely and fly in a circle over a particular patch of the earth. The results could mean cell phone and internet coverage in disaster areas, along with super-high-resolution images of remote places on the planet.

 

 

Credit Isabel Vázquez / NextGenRadio

This story originally aired on May 27, 2017.

There’s a letter on Yulina Bilombele’s dining room table that she cannot read.

“Defendant failed to pay the rent and has further failed to vacate and surrender the premises.”

Bilombele is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. She’s 80 years old. She does not speak English. She is too frail to work and she does not have the money to pay rent.

So, she turns to the man many Congolese refugees in Seattle call: Floribert Mubalama.

Courtesy of Lisa Sferra

 

This story originally aired on May 27, 2017.

Traveling on a commercial flight these days can be rough. Perks such as free meals and pillows are long gone. Today, airlines charge for everything from where you sit on the plane to how much legroom you’re allotted. It’s easy to forget there was a time, not too long ago, when passengers dressed up to get on an airplane.

Courtesy of Vanessa Davids

This story originally aired on April 30, 2016.

Vanessa Davids did most of her military service “inside the wire,” as an Arabic translator on a base in Iraq. Her job called on her to translate audio and video recordings, in hopes of gathering intelligence, foiling attacks and probing enemy action. She translated bomb plots, beheadings, even in some cases child pornography. As a result, she got an intimate, and dark, perspective on human nature.

photolibrarian / Flickr

This story originally aired on February 7, 2015.

In 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a state-of-the-art engineering achievement, a dramatic suspension design spanning a strait of Puget Sound. Sure, it had a bit of a "bounce," but the engineers all assured the public that was normal. Only a handful of bridge workers seemed truly alarmed. 

Rosemary Thielman

In April of 1977, five nuns took a week-long vacation to Grayland Beach State Park. Just south of Westport on the Washington coast, this park is known for its rolling sand dunes and expansive beaches where drift logs often wash onto the shores. 

 After spending the week cooped up in a camping trailer, the sisters took one last walk when the sun finally came out. That’s where this story begins. In a matter of seconds, water flooded the coastline and with little time to react, two sisters were overtaken by the ocean’s strong currents and flung into the air.

TK

Jason Detwiler is an assistant professor of physics at the University of Washington, and he’s on the hunt for a natural phenomenon that is insanely rare.

It's a specific reaction called neutrinoless double-beta decay -- a term so egg-headed that when he sat down to explain it to Sound Effect host Gabriel Spitzer, Gabriel made him give it a nickname: the “jelly doughnut.” (Perhaps Gabriel was hungry.)

There’s a good payoff for this hunt -- if Detwiler does find a "jelly doughnut," it may explain why the universe exists.

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "What Are the Odds?" We'll meet the grandson of Holocaust survivors who calculated the very low probability that he would even be born. Then a typo may have saved Bob Hofferber's life, by keeping him off of a military plane bound for Tacoma in 1952. In another story of the twists of fate, group of nuns walking along a Washington beach are overtaken by a rogue wave, changing their lives and their relationship with God forever.

Courtesy of Arik Cohen

Arik Cohen’s grandparents survived the Holocaust, all four of them.

The likelihood of that happening is astronomical -- and he has the calculations to prove it.

A self-professed geek, Cohen began looking at the history of his family to figure out the statistical odds of each person surviving and contributing to a grandson: himself.

Cohen’s crunching of the numbers also allowed him to look closer at four individual tales of survival against the odds.

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