Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Courtesy of Lizzie Nielson

Seated in a bucket, ears plugged, grinning through the cascade of green, oozy chaos, fourth-grade Lizzie Nielson lived a Nickelodeon fan’s dream.

“I have all the paperwork in order to suggest that I was slimed,” says Nielson.

 

She does, in both photographic and certificate form, lest anyone doubt this point of pride.

 

The children's television network Nickelodeon is famous for sliming everyone, from kids to celebrities, with a waterfall of thick, green, plastic-smelling goo.

Courtesy of Kevin Clark / Everett Herald

Sometimes a mess serves a very special purpose. For the Pyles family in Lake Stevens, Wash., words scrawled across their home help them communicate with their son, Jessie.

Courtesy EPA Gorst Creek Removal

Most abandoned landfills do not have a happy ending. Kitsap County alone has dozens of them, sitting around and festering in the ground.

But one place, called the Gorst Creek Landfill, is finally getting cleaned up, thanks to some very dedicated peninsula residents and $27 million from the Navy.

Courtesy Ruby Brown

Former 88.5 KNKX Jazz Sunday Side Up host Ruby Brown had known for a long time that her brother Andy had battled mental health issues. But it wasn’t until last summer when he took his own life that she and her family were able to understand the extent of it.

Courtesy Seattle Choruses

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.

On a brisk fall afternoon, Pat shows up at the Manhattan apartment dressed like your typical soccer dad. He's wearing a baseball cap, sweatshirt, jeans and sneakers. He's greeted at the door with a kiss on the cheek by the gracefully-attired Veronica Vera.

In a few hours, after Vera and her team have asked Pat a few questions about his female persona and provided him some practical lessons in social graces and female aesthetics, he'll walk back out as "Bianca"– a sassy, 30-something-looking strawberry blonde.

After the upset results of the presidential election, some people felt motivated to become politically active. Justine Lee? She got the urge to host a dinner.

But not your typical dinner party, where, if politics seeps into the conversation, things typically don't turn volatile because all the guests likely share the same views. No, Lee was interested in the opposite: a gathering over a meal where all sorts of perspectives get aired.

There's nothing like being out of office for more than eight years to make a former president look happy and, maybe for some, human again.

George W. Bush appeared on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday night --laughing, cracking jokes and charming his host as he plugged his new book of portraits of veterans.

Tacoma, Wa by Atomic Taco/Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we bring you some memorable stories we’ve shared about the people of Tacoma.

GI Newspapers

88.5’s Paula Wissel gives us a glimpse into the underground GI movement, a network of subversive publications and meeting places catering to the military which sprung out of the antiwar movement during the Vietnam era. We learn about one particular underground newspaper published near Ft. Lewis.

Patrick Rodriguez via Wikimedia Commons

Often times our sense of responsibility is to a place, a community. For writer Jack Cameron, that place is Tacoma; he just loves his hometown.
“There’s not a lot of pompousness around Tacoma. [It] almost doesn’t care about image and that’s what I like about it,” says Cameron. 

Ashley Gross / KNKX

To live in the Northwest is, to some extent, to roll the dice. If you lived through the 1965 Seattle earthquake, or the Nisqually quake in 2001, or if you just read the New Yorker article about the “really big one” destined to hit our region, you know this well: There are forces under our feet that could just shrug our cities off into the abyss.

The push and pull of continental plates is so huge compared with a puny little human. And yet, for a man named Kelcy Allen, the act of a child shielded him from the seismic forces. He’s spent decades feeling grateful to the boy who died saving his life.

Courtesy Stephen Cysewski

 

Four years, after becoming the “Upper Tacoma Business District,” Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood finally reclaimed its name.

Back in 2007, the area was struggling with drugs and gang violence, and business owners felt re-branding the neighborhood would do away with what they saw as a tarnished reputation.

 

But to many locals, the name Hilltop was a point of pride. The decision to rename the neighborhood was eventually reversed in 2011.

Kevin Kniestedt / knkx

There are some things you might only be able to notice if you happen to be an insider. If you have lived in Tacoma for any extended period of time, there is a pretty good chance that you feel a bit territorial about it. It is a city that gets told that it can't measure up to Seattle. It is often associated with a certain aroma, while residents know that the smell doesn't really exist anymore, or at least doesn't compare to how it did decades ago.

The notion of dog years stems from the common belief that one year for a dog equals seven years for a human. Although canine aging is more nuanced than a simple formula, any dog lover knows that dogs' lives pass far too quickly.

Even so, America's 70 million dogs, like their human companions, are living longer, on average, because of better medical care and nutrition. Caring for elderly dogs can be heart-wrenching. Many pet owners struggle to understand when to pursue aggressive care and when to stop and help a beloved pet pass on.

In the waning years of the Civil War, advertisements like this began appearing in newspapers around the country:

"INFORMATION WANTED By a mother concerning her children.

Every day on his way to class, Terrence Johnson walks by a bronze statue and thinks about history. The statue depicts James Meredith, who in 1962 became the first African-American to enroll at the University of Mississippi.

"He transcended so much," says Johnson, a junior. "The fact that he had the will to integrate a university like this in Mississippi that has such a rich and chaotic history ... that will always be with me."

Shipwrecks along the Pacific Northwest coast number in the thousands. A handful have become the long-running obsessions of a cadre of shipwreck buffs.

About 13 years ago, The Alchemist brewery in Waterbury, Vt., released a new IPA called Heady Topper. The brewer, John Kimmich, had decided to neither filter nor pasteurize the beer — both common methods of extending a commercial beer's shelf life. The result was an IPA thicker with the microscopic compounds and particulates that add flavor and aroma. Customers noticed and praised the beer as being especially tasty.

At 98, Riichi Fuwa doesn't remember his Social Security number, but he remembers this: "19949. That was my number the government gave me," he said. "19949. You were more number than name."

That was the number that Fuwa was assigned when he was 24 years old, soon after he was forced off his family's farm in Bellingham, Wash., and incarcerated at the Tule Lake camp, just south of the Oregon border in California's Modoc County.

SUE OGROCKI / AP PHOTO

This segment originally aired February 18, 2017

Editor's Note: This post, which contains accounts of sexual assault, may not be suitable for younger listeners.

Perhaps nobody cares about their clothes anymore.

Back in 2013, Monkey See brought you an exclusive interview — "exclusive" in the sense that it happened only in our minds and we therefore were the only ones who knew about it — with the iron, just after Monopoly announced it was being retired from the game. During that interview, the iron darkly alluded to a difficult history with another game piece: the thimble.

Pain Of A Broken Heart by Dennis Skley via Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we’re sharing stories of heartbreak, and the different ways people respond to it.

Michelle Penaloza

Hearts are usually broken in a moment, at a specific place. Michelle Penaloza, a poet who lives in Seattle, understands that memories, good, bad and everything in between, are tied to things. Maybe it was a song that was playing in the background. Or perhaps it’s a certain park bench where someone delivered bad news.

 

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

A trinket, unintentionally loosed from a handful of change KNKX producer Nick Morrison used to pay for his morning coffee created a connection between him and his morning barista.

“I just said, ‘My sister,’ and she said, ‘My son,” he remembers.

Shauna, the team leader of the coffee cart had the same glass heart.  The two locked eyes, clasped hands, and created a connection recalled every time Morrison picks up his split-shot latte.

Wikipedia Commons

In 1950s Tacoma, Harold Moss and his wife Willibelle faced racism in the search for a home.

“You learned that when you called a white realtor, you had to use your white voice, and if you sounded black, you weren’t going to get anywhere,” said Moss.

The couple owned a plot of land on which they intended to build a house, but banks refused to give him a mortgage and contractors refused to build. They decided to keep the land and buy a house instead.

Credit Sarah Cass

Broken hearts are what inspires a lot of the music we listen to, whether it’s pop, soul, country or the blues. But what if that song of love gone wrong is about you, and you’re relationship with that musician? And what happens when you and that artist get back together, but those songs, they’re still out there. This is the experience of Seattle musician Jenn Champion and her partner, Sound Effect contributor Arwen Nicks. 

Charles Lindbergh became an instant American hero when he piloted the Spirit of St. Louis from New York to Paris in 1927, the first person to fly solo and nonstop across the Atlantic.

Lindbergh was an icon in Europe as well, and he moved to England in the late 1930s. By 1941, though, he was back home, touring the U.S. as the leading voice of the America First Committee — an isolationist group of some 800,000 members that claimed England was trying to drag America into a war he thought it should avoid.

Courtesy of "Hella Black Hella Seattle"

This week on Sound Effect, we've teamed up with the women behind the "Hella Black Hella Seattle" podcast to tell stories of black history in the Northwest. 

Black History Month

We meet the women behind the "Hella Black Hella Seattle" podcast and talk about what black history means to them. 

Seattle's 'Queen of Gospel'

Meet Seattle's 'Queen Of Gospel'

Feb 4, 2017
Courtesy of Eula Scott Bynoe

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.

"You can't make old folks out of young people ... your music director has to find music they can identify with," says Wright.

Soul Food: Seattle Chef Kristi Brown Talks Culinary Power

Feb 4, 2017
Courtesy of Kristi Brown

At age 13, Kristi Brown knew she would be a chef, but she remembers planning multi-course meals by the time she was 5.

"I'm a big believer in working on your purpose," she says, "That really is the only answer that you have if you want to be happy."

Pages