Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

When you think of Chinese food in the U.S., fried rice, lo mein or General Tso's chicken may first come to mind.

But a new museum exhibition in New York City is trying to expand visitors' palates. It features stories of celebrity chefs like Martin Yan and home cooks whose food represents 18 different regional cooking styles of China.

Why A Really Big Fish Isn't Always Good For Business

Oct 5, 2016

Water so thick with weeds that boats can't cross. Monster fish that eat everything in their paths. Cattle with blisters that bubble over their mouths.

These are the impacts of invasive species.

More than 16 percent of the world's land may be vulnerable to invasion by non-native plants and animals, new research shows.

PHOTOS: They're All Kings And Queens Of Katwe

Oct 5, 2016

In the far corner of a dead-end dirt lane in Katwe, one of Uganda's most poverty-stricken slums, a small boy sits on a step peering into a cramped room where Robert Katende addresses a group of teenagers.

At the front of the room a large chess board with magnetic pieces hangs on the wall. Beside it is a well-worn whiteboard with a line down the middle. It reads "Compare: Chess Vs. Life."

Under "Chess" Katende has written: "Opening"

Under "Life": "Birth"

What's Behind Oregon's Marionberry Mania?

Oct 5, 2016

Blackberries grow so voraciously in the Pacific Northwest that it's not rare to stumble across rural barns or abandoned homes that have been completely consumed by the thorny vine. Let them grow too close to a window, and they'll break the glass. They're common — easy to forage and hard to get too excited about. At least compared to the marionberry, a type of blackberry that has become an Oregon obsession.

One of the reasons the marionberry is so beloved is because it is entirely a product of Oregon. It's "born and raised" in state, so to speak.

The tea gardens of Darjeeling, in the foothills of the Himalayas, produced significantly less than 1 percent of India's 2.6 billion pound output last year. Yet Darjeelings are considered the "Champagne of teas," the finest in the country and some of the most exquisite and sought-after in the world.

The harvesting season in Darjeeling runs from mid-March through November, as the tea bushes gradually progress through a quartet of distinct seasons known as "flushes." The tea is often sold not only by single estate (like wine) but also by flush.

Starting this Saturday, October 8, KNKX will bring you Snap Judgment every week at 11 a.m. The hit storytelling show is hosted by Glynn Washington and co-produced by WNYC in New York. Snap delivers a raw, intimate, musical brand of narrative. It’s “Storytelling…With a BEAT.” The show is heard weekly on over 365 public radio stations and downloaded over 2 million times a month.

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Photos courtesy of Kimya Dawson, Tim Durkin, Melanie McFarland, Tom Robbins and Skerik

This week on Sound Effect, we bring you a special premiere broadcast of the live event we put on in May 2016. At the time, our station was raising money to buy our independence, so the Sound Effect team brought together interesting people from around Washington state to tell stories of friends in need.

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

Seattle photographer Tim Durkin is known for his stunning images of Seattle's skyline. However, he also documents the city's grittier side. He captures intimate images of homelessness and addiction including stark photos of Seattleites shooting up heroin.

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

On our show, we do strive to get the complexity of this region and capture what it means to live here in all of it's contrasting glory — both the pretty and the gritty. And on our show, when we're doing our job, we're telling stories that have a lot of that. We really believe that a story can be sad and hilarious and heartbreaking and surprising all at once. It's an eclectic thing we are trying to do.  

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

A while back, Seattle writer Melanie McFarland reached a point where when she logged on to Facebook and realized that most of the people she was "friends" with, she wasn't all that close to. So she poured a glass of wine, turned on some quiet music, and one by one, unfriended the people that she couldn't tell you what was going on in their life, and they couldn't tell you what was going on in hers. She wanted to narrow it down to friends she could talk to and rely on, and who could rely on her. 

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

Iconic American author Tom Robbins has long been a psychedelic figure in the literary world. Novels like "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" and "‎Still Life with Woodpecker" are poetic, irreverent cult classics for many American writers.

At our live event, "A Friend In Need," Robbins read from his memoir, "Tibetan Peach Pie." He also sat down with Sound Effect's Gabriel Spitzer and reminisced about his days hosting a weekly show, Notes From The Underground at local radio station KRAB-FM. We even share a few clips from a young Tom Robbins on the KRAB airwaves. 

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

Michael Twitty wants you to know where Southern food really comes from. And he wants the enslaved African-Americans who were part of its creation to get credit. That's why Twitty goes to places like Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's grand estate in Charlottesville, Va. — to cook meals that slaves would have eaten and put their stories back into American history.

This is a big weekend for matzo ball soup.

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, starts Sunday night, and chef Pati Jinich wants all the matzo-ball makers out there to understand: The soup doesn't care whether you prefer floaters or sinkers.

"It turns out that matzo balls are insanely capricious," Jinich says. "One Friday, they're like, you can have me fluffy. And the other week is like, this is what you'll get."

"I am thirsty," the river complains, "from quenching your thirst. I am tired from the turns along the way."

That's what the 475-mile Cauvery River in India says in a song called "Pyaasi' (the Hindi feminine adjective for 'thirsty'). A young musician wrote the song during a drought in 2009, when the two states through which the river flows were arguing over rights to its water.

The Sweet Success Of Bananas Foster Has An Unsavory Past

Sep 30, 2016

There's more to the story of Bananas Foster than flambeed fruit. While the enticing dessert is a sweet legacy of New Orleans' once-booming banana trade, there's also a less savory one: banana republics.

Today, the banana is America's favorite fruit, but it was once considered exotic. The fruit only became commonplace in the United States starting in the 1870s, thanks to improvements in shipping and botany. By the turn of the century, the banana trade was a million-dollar industry.

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A southbound Sounder train waits at King Street Station in Seattle.
Simone Alicea / knkx

If voters in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties approve the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure, they would approve an expansion of not only the light rail system but also the Sounder commuter rail.

Sounder trains share the track with freight and Amtrak trains, which is partly why they can't run in both directions all day. The two Sounder lines together see an average of more than 16,000 riders a day.

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A King County Metro RapidRide B Line bus approaches.
Simone Alicea / knkx

When voters think of the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure, the first thing that comes to mind is usually light rail.  But the people in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties who are voting on the plan will have to consider other modes of transit, too.

ST3 would add something called bus rapid transit to Sound Transit's transportation options. 

What is bus rapid transit?

Cup Noodles, the dorm-room staple that cooks in three minutes, turns 45 this month. There's no better place to celebrate than its very own museum in Yokohama, Japan.

"This is the museum that really honors the creator of instant ramen and Cup Noodles," says museum manager Yuya Ichikawa, who leads me on a tour.

A northbound train pulls into Westlake Station in downtown Seattle.
Simone Alicea / knkx

Light rail is the core of Sound Transit 3, the regional transportation plan on the ballot in three Puget Sound counties.

The 62 miles of new rail make up the largest part of the $54 billion price tag, but the region wouldn't see most of it until after 2025.

One way of looking at why Sound Transit is so focused on light rail is to look at Everett and Snohomish County.

A Sound Transit train passes over a Sound Transit bus in Seattle.
AP Images

If you live in Pierce, King or Snohomish Counties, you will see an initiative on November's ballot called Sound Transit Regional Proposition 1. The measure will determine whether the region adopts a $54 billion transit plan called Sound Transit 3, or ST3 for short.

When voters open their ballots, they might see a few paragraphs about the plan. But ST3 can't be explained with just one page. 

Passengers get off a Sound Transit light rail train.
Paula Wissel / KNKX

November's election is fast approaching, and voters can expect a long ballot. As part of our election coverage, knkx will be looking into many candidates and issues around the state and the region.

But starting this week, knkx will focus on Sound Transit Regional Proposition 1, better known as Sound Transit 3. Voters in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties will decide whether to adopt the 25-year, $54 billion transit expansion plan. 

A food industry startup from Oregon is ready to sell you something completely different for your mid-morning snack. How about some roasted crickets in cayenne spice or original flavor?

Bob Turner / Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we explore the ties that bind. We hear stories of the unique and surprising things that connect people and communities from alien languages to cigarettes.

CBS

Eric Andeen first encountered the Klingon language like most people, while watching the film "Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock" as the crew of the Enterprise contended with the Klingons, a fictional alien race. However, when he spotted a Klingon dictionary in a bookstore a few months later, Andeen took it a step further. He decided to learn Klingon. 

For many people, community ties come from keeping up to date with the goings-on of your neighbors — someone’s graduation, a new restaurant opening up, or a long-time resident passing away. These days we mostly turn to Facebook for that sort of information.   

 

Credit Randen Pederson/Flickr

Communities can exist in almost any place – even in the alleys behind businesses where people smoke cigarettes. Smoking is, of course, very bad for you. And no smoker is deceiving themselves that they are engaging in a sort of healthy social behavior. 

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