Other News | KNKX

Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

This week, an entire block in downtown Boise smells like leeks. That’s because descendants of immigrants from the Basque country are cooking mortzilla, a traditional blood sausage, for a weekend festival.

Credit Matt Callow/Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "ghosts." We open with host Gabriel Spitzer having his son taste-test a ghost pepper. Gabriel then heads out to learn about a forest of dead trees, and how that came to be. We then meet a woman who lost her husband to cancer, but contemplates his lingering presence.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

Near the coast of Washington state, on the banks of the Copalis River, lies a ghost forest -- a stand of gray, dead trees in the middle of a healthy forest.

How did it get there?

Could the key lie in another mystery, a mysterious tsunami recorded by samurai in 18th-century Japan? 

Linking these seemingly unconnected phenomena became a goal for ambitious scientists using everything at their disposal, from computer models to chainsaws.

Greg Beckelhymer

 

In the Fall of 2016, Greg Beckelhymer died after a year-long struggle with metastatic kidney cancer. He was 47 years old.

 

In this story, his widow, Seattle-based writer Michelle Goodman and her sister, Naomi Goodman, talk about how acute grief is often accompanied by strong denial.

 

Courtesy of Rachel Kessler

Seattle Writer Rachel Kessler started this discussion by reading a passage from an essay she wrote  that was recently anthologized in a book Ghosts of Seattle Past.

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

What if something was thought to be gone forever? Would you still go looking for it? There is a man named David Benscoter, who does just this.

Benscoter spends a lot if his time exploring an area of Eastern Washington known as the Palouse. He searches abandoned homesteads, looking for varieties of apples that are believed to be extinct.  

“These trees, they’re just going to go away someday. And if I don’t do it there’s no one who’s going to search for them,” says Benscoter.

KNKX All Things Considered host Ed Ronco, chief engineer Lowell Kiesow, and director of content Matt Martinez, broadcasting live from the Ballard Locks in Seattle, on July 3, 2017.
Sprince Arbogast

On July 3, 2017, KNKX took its live broadcast of All Things Considered to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Seattle, on the eve of their centennial. We told stories about the locks' creation, its present impact on the region, and its future.

This audio is a sampler of the three-hour broadcast.

You can also listen individually to each of the stories we did that day.

Northwest Group Sends Relief To Puerto Rico Using Amazon Wish Lists

Oct 25, 2017
Two men push a generator down the street in Puerto Rico, a month after Hurricane Maria.
Carlos Giusti / AP

Shortly after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Laura Cancel found herself at a volunteer meeting at Amazon, where she works in the regulatory and litigation department.

Everyone at the meeting was trying to figure out how to send supplies to people on the island. When someone mentioned she had used Amazon’s wish list feature to keep track of items her family needed, Cancel had an idea.

Courtesy Draze

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "the beat goes on." We open with Karen Sakata, who has been running karaoke at Bush Garden for decades. Hip-hop artist Draze talks about about how his Seattle and Zimbabwean roots influence his music. Jennifer Wing heads to Bellingham to hear a band made up of musicians with developmental disabilities.

Courtesy Draze

In some parts of the world, music isn’t a hobby or even just a form of art -- it’s the stuff that connects the culture. And that’s the environment musician Dumisani Maraire Jr. was raised in.

“I like to say in our family, it’s not like ‘are you going to perform?’ You just are going to perform. Literally, it’s just a part of who we are and what we do,” said Maraire.

Credit Melissa Bird

 

Andre Sanabria discovered at 21 he had a deadly disease, and the only cure was a double-lung transplant.

But that did not stop him from making music. In fact, he says music is what was keeping him alive.

Fearing the risks of an operation, and facing his declining health, he instead focused his time and energy on composing, performing and touring even when he could barely hold a guitar. And this was not quiet music, but metal-tinged hardcore punk. And Sanabria would sometimes sing (or scream) vocals.

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

There is a Northwest band that’s been around for 17 years, called Out Of The Ashes. There are about 30 members. They play covers of The Beatles, Elvis, Tom Petty, and other popular artists.

One of the things that sets this band apart is that to be a member, you have to have a developmental disability such as Autism or Down Syndrome.

The Helix

In 1968, in the town of Duvall, Washington, a piano was dropped from a helicopter in front of about 3,000 people.

One of the few people who can explain how and, more importantly, why something like this happened is Paul Dorpat.

The founder and editor of the Seattle counter-culture magazine Helix, Dorpat was one of the people that helped pull off an event that even he calls absurd.

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

 

It’s hard to imagine a time when karaoke did not exist in the Northwest. Today, any night of the week, you can go out with friends and find some place where you can belt out your favorite tunes in front of a crowd.

 

But, everything has a beginning. Things have to start somewhere, right? For American style karaoke in the Northwest, it was at Bush Garden in Seattle’s International District.

 

"On Being" host Krista Tippett receives the National Humanities Medal at the White House in 2014.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

We're adding some new programming at KNKX. As of Oct. 16, Fresh Air now starts at 6 p.m., with a different program each weeknight at 7, before jazz begins at 8. One of those new programs is On Being which explores some of the larger questions at the center of human life, including faith and spirituality.

The Washington State Book Awards have been announced and for the third year in a row, a writer from Spokane has claimed the top prize for fiction. Shawn Vestal won the 2017 award for his debut novel, "Daredevils."

COURTESY TED GRIFFIN AND JASON COLBY

This week on Sound Effect, stories from sea level. We open the show by talking to Petty Officer Steve Watkins about what he experiences at the end of a submarine patrol at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Next, Bellamy Pailthorp speaks with Ted Griffin, who was the first person to ever swim publicly with an orca.

courtesy Ted Griffin and Jason Colby

This story originally aired on October 8, 2016.

These days, the prospect of seeing the Pacific Northwest’s iconic orca whales in the wild attracts thousands of tourists annually to whale-watching boats or shore-side excursions.  But it wasn’t that long ago that these majestic endangered creatures were seen as a menace.

This story originally aired on October 10, 2015. 

Author Nicole Hardy told a lot of people she was a 35-year-old virgin. When her essay “Single, Female, Mormon, Alone” was published in 2011 in a New York Times Modern Love column, it sparked a lot of attention.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

This story originally aired on April 2, 2016. 

It’s a reality of life on the Pacific Coast — occasionally, dead whales wash up on the beach. So when a deceased gray whale appeared in the surf in Long Beach, Wash., the city fathers took steps to bury it in the sand.

Hannah Burn

 

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.

The San Juans' last homesteaders first discovered the islands on a map. June and Farrar Burn were newlyweds. They met in 1919 at a party June threw in her log cabin in Virginia. June quickly fell for Farrar’s ruddy-cheeked smile, curly red hair, and his ability to make himself useful immediately:  gathering firewood, serving drinks, hosting as if it were his own home. Farrar was drawn to June’s lively eyes and her unmistakable, fierce spirit. In a month, the two were married.

Courtesy of Colin McDaniel

This story originally aired on December 10, 2016. 

Colin McDaniel grew up on the water. He was raised on Bainbridge Island. In the summer, Colin and his best friend Adam loved exploring the island’s coast. Adam’s father had a fleet of unloved dinghies.

“They all had those drain holes under the water line and no drain hole plugs to be found anywhere," says McDaniel. "But that didn't stop us from shoving green fir cones into the drain holes and pushing our boats into the gray water and going out for adventures anyway.”

History buffs, politicians and park rangers gathered Friday to celebrate the restoration of an often overlooked historic site in the Washington State Park system. Jackson House State Park Heritage Site features a small log cabin where settlers plotted in 1852 to make the lands north of the Columbia River into a separate territory from Oregon.

Main Street in Ketchum, Idaho, was home to some unusual visitors this past weekend. Hundreds of sheep trailed through town on their way to winter pastures. The “Trailing of the Sheep Festival” is an annual event that celebrates a tradition that goes back generations.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Back when Michael Tulee was in school in 1966, his teacher sent a note home asking parents to send treats to class for an upcoming Columbus Day celebration.

“And I seem to really recollect, even to this day, that my mother was upset, even back then,” said Tulee, who is executive director of the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation.

Ashley Gross

This week on Sound Effect, stories of better late than never. We open the show by meeting a man who started teaching Pilates in his late seventies. Next, we talk to a woman who has decided to freeze her eggs in an effort to be able to have kids down the road. Then 88-5’s Ashley Gross introduces us to a woman who overcame her fear of the water later in life.

Courtesy Marin Landis

 

They say that age is nothing but a number. But for women looking to conceive, age is one of the primary factors to determines that chance at success.

That is why women hoping to have children later in life are looking at an increasingly popular method -- freezing their eggs.

Jackson Main

 

There is that saying that pops up in fortune cookies and is spoken often by parents of antsy kids: Good things come to those who wait.

 

Michael Jacobson of Seattle waited for something. In fact, he waited for nearly three decades to get ahold of two unusual boats that were being used as light fixtures at Ivar’s Salmon House on North Lake Union. When this eventually happened, a new door opened up in his world that he did not expect.

 

Courtesy Caprice Hollins

So, there’s this online test. The faces of people of different races flash up on your screen along with words, like good, bad, sweet and bitter. And you have to immediately click on one of the words when you see the face. It tests our implicit racial biases in a way that’s really hard to fool.

The results can be enlightening. Or horrifying, because it turns out almost all of us have implicit bias.

Joe Mabel / Wikimedia

Washington State is, of course, named after founding father George Washington. But there’s another George Washington, also a founding father, who settled in a little corner of the territory with his wife Mary Jane nearly 150 years ago. There he founded a town called Centerville, later changed to Centralia.

What makes Washington an unusual pioneer-type is that he was African-American, born in Virginia to a white woman and a black slave.

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