Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Courtesy Erika Lee Bigelow

Erika Lee Bigelow was out for St. Patrick’s Day in Portland when she saw a card advertising a contest hosted by the beer company Guinness.  You had to write a 50-word essay finishing the sentence ‘The perfect pint of Guinness ...” The grand prize was a pub in Ireland. That’s right, you could win your own pub. So she wrote her essay:

A Jewish farming couple from Canada says it has shepherded the sheep of the bible back to the Holy Land after centuries in exile.

With donations from Jewish and Christian supporters, and some help from the Israeli government, Jenna and Gil Lewinsky have airlifted 119 furry members of the Jacob Sheep breed from their farm in Abbotsford, British Columbia, to Israel.

Erica Abad glides down the ancient canals of Xochimilco, a borough of Mexico City, on her gondola-like boat. Her cousin, Efren Lopez, steers their boat — called a chalupa — by pushing against the canal floor with a long wooden pole, while Abad flips a sizzling quesadilla on a steel griddle fitted into the boat. When a group of people on a nearby barge signal to them to order some quesadillas, Lopez navigates the boat toward them. And Abad places a few more quesadillas on the griddle for their customers.

Allie Ferguson / knkx

This week on Sound Effect, we look back at our favorite stories from 2016. 

The Tree Hunter

Tacoma arborist Mik Miazio is a part of a national group of arborists and citizen scientists obsessed with finding the tallest trees of each species. He explains why he loves searching for these old growth forests.

Allie Ferguson / knkx

Tacoma arborist Mik Miazio loves trees. He has loved them since he was a kid growing up in New Jersey.

"I remember climbing my first tree when I was a kid. As soon as I was able to, I would jump right in there and disappear. I’m in my own world right there," Miazio said.

It was this love that led Miazio to discover the tallest tree in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park. He noticed the giant Douglas Fir poking out of the canopy when he moved to Tacoma three years ago.

It seems everything today has a flavor wheel, that color-coded, adjective-rich circle used to convey the sensory qualities of a product. There's the popular wine wheel, of course, but spices, oysters, beef, chocolate, coffee, bread and cigars also spin to their own wheels.

Now Edgar Chambers is out to rock the sensory world. What Chambers has in mind is a flavor tree.

It started with a cup of coffee, or more precisely, a hot beverage. Seven years later came fries, the now infamous eggplant and friends. Sandwich lovers waited for their time to come, while begrudgingly sending another drumstick, wishing it were barbecue.

It's 7 p.m. and the kitchen is preparing the first orders of the evening. Chef Mario Castrellón puts the finishing touches on a dumpling stuffed with a sea bass escabeche.

"Sometimes, customers get confused. They think, 'This guy [Castrellón] is nuts! I am eating a Chinese dumpling and he says it's Panamanian,' " laughs the chef and restaurateur. "But Panama's cuisine is fusion by obligation."

On my first New Year's Eve in Madrid a few years ago, we went out around 10 p.m., and found the streets deserted. The bars were closed.

It threw me for a loop: Weren't Madrileños supposed to be notorious party animals? Where were they all?

It turns out, I just went out way too early.

Spaniards often spend Nochevieja — literally, the "old night" — at home. They watch the countdown to the new year on live TV, surrounded by family. And only then do they kiss grandma goodnight and go out partying.

Credit Matthew Streib

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories of traditions.

Tacoma Cotillion

The Tradition of 'Laser Floyd' At The Pacific Science Center Laser Dome

Dec 24, 2016
Warren Langford / KPLU

For most people, when they hear the words “Laser” and “Floyd” together the first thing that comes to mind is usually not “time honored tradition.” But that’s exactly what’s been happening at the Pacific Science Center Laser Dome for the last 30 years.

From Vancouver To China: The Tradition Of Reburial

Dec 24, 2016
Matthew Streib

When British Columbia joined Canada in 1871, the nation promised to build a railroad to connect Vancouver to the east. But labor was short, and white workers were costly, so railroad companies shipped in migrant labor from China.

Courtesy of Diane Whalen

As a young girl in Catholic school, Diane Whalen always wanted to be close to God. She set her sights on becoming a nun, until puberty hit and her interest in boys forced her to make a course correction.

It wasn't until Whalen was in her 20s that she started hearing people advocate for women’s ordination into priesthood. The Church never did come around to this idea, but an organization called Roman Catholic Womenpriests began ordaining women outside of the Church institutions. In 2010, Whalen became the first female ordained priest in Washington.

A Village Christmas Story: No Gifts But Lots Of Joy

Dec 23, 2016

Last Christmas, my daughter, Iza, and I woke up to many presents under the Christmas tree. As we enjoyed our breakfast of omelets, sausages, cheese, fresh bread and fruit salad, I thought back to my childhood Christmases. I grew up as the sixth of 10 children in a village in rural Zimbabwe. We didn't have much, but I didn't feel that I was poor. My childhood story is still typical of many rural kids living in developing countries.

There was no shortage of sad news in 2016.

And because we're a blog that covers global health and development, we covered a lot of those sobering stories: the toll of diseases like Zika, the bombing of hospitals in conflict zones, the suffering caused by poverty and by discrimination against women.

But we published a lot of hopeful stories as well. We asked our team at Goats and Soda to pick some of the stories from this year that inspired them the most. We hope you're inspired too.

Even in a season spiked with boozy specialties such as eggnog, glögg and hot buttered rum, a cookie dough cocktail might strike the casual drinker as ... well ... slightly gross.

"Well, it's delicious," says Paul Taylor stoutly.

Animal Odd Couples by Ars Electronica LICENSED UNDER CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/2hGcG07 / Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we bring you stories of odd couples and the unique ways people are drawn together. 

Man's Best Frenemy

Knkx general manager Joey Cohn has worked hard to befriend one particular co-worker: Winston. He wonders why they just can't get along.

The Up House

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

Knkx general manager Joey Cohn has a special place in his heart for one knkx employee: Winston. Despite Winston's surly attitude and manipulative behavior, Cohn is desperate for a relationship with him.

Winston is, of course, a dog. He is specifically a French bull dog owned by Justin Steyer, knkx's director of digital media and technology. Listen to Cohn explain why he loves this dog even though Winston does not return his affection. 

Courtesy of Barry Martin

When Barry Martin first met Edith Macefield in 2006, neither would have predicted the close bond they would develop or the hours they’d end up spending together. They were a very unusual pair.

Barry was the foreman of the construction that was rising around Edith’s modest cottage in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.  Edith was the woman who became renowned for turning down a million-dollar offer from the developer that was building the project. 

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Caros and Ben Fodor didn’t always hate each other’s guts.

“Like, at birth, when he was first adopted, we were close, because he didn’t talk,” Caros said.

The irritation is mutual.

“Caros and I really didn’t get along growing up,” Ben said. “I don’t even know how to describe that guy. He’s kind of an a------, but he’s not like your stereotypical jerk. He’s got his own little way of ruining things.”

Courtesy of Vic Vogler

Editor’s Note: The following essay contains adult language that may not be suitable for all audiences.

 

Many odd couples start off innocently enough — the regular boy meets girl scenario. But what happens when the girl reveals a much darker side? And the boy in question is left wondering just why fate brought them together?

 

Vic Vogler, a writer in Seattle, brings us this essay:
 

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

Imagine you walk into a room filled with complete strangers, but everyone’s there for the same purpose: they are there to snuggle up and to cuddle. These so-called “cuddle parties” truly do exist. Maybe this is not your thing, and maybe the thought of a snuggling with someone you don’t know makes you want to run screaming in the other direction. Well, you are not alone. It’s definitely not for 88.5’s Ariel Van Cleave. But Ariel is always up to challenging her fears, so she recently set out to take part in one of these cuddling events and shares her experience.

It has been 100 days since two baby pandas, known for three months as Cub A and Cub B, were born at Atlanta's zoo.

Today, they were officially named.

Courtesy of Jessica Sklar

JENNIFER WING: This is Sound Effect on 88.5 KNKX, I’m Jennifer Wing. Our theme today is call of duty.

By National Park Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons bit.ly/2hxWrya

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories that take place underwater.

A Meal Fit For An Otter

At the Seattle Aquarium, sea otters get a diet that would make any seafood junkie jealous. Not only do they dine on restaurant grade salmon, crab, shrimp and other seafood, but they get fed up to nine times per day.  

Michael J. Chen

For Tracy Rector, the water was always a scary place. She never learned to swim as a kid. At summer camp she would sit on the dock and enviously watch the other kids pass their swim tests. 

However, as Rector grew up and became a filmmaker, her relationship to water changed. Rector is a mixed race Indigenous woman, a descendant of the Seminole and Choctaw Nations, and she decided to use her films to explore the connection between native peoples in the Northwest and the environment. Here in the Northwest an essential part of that is water.

This season knkx is making music, memories and merry for our community and we want you to be a part of it!

As Donald Trump continues to court controversy via Twitter, Fox News host Megyn Kelly tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the president-elect "really does need to be aware of the power that he has when he releases these tweets."

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