Sound Effect

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.”

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.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

Dr. Kim Holland emerged from the locker room at a pool in West Seattle on a recent Friday morning, suited up and ready to go. But she scanned the pool with a bit of dismay – no empty lanes.  

“It’s kind of hard because I don’t like it when there’s more than one person in a lap lane because then you’ve got to pay attention,” she said. “The lanes are too narrow.”

Nevertheless, she pulled on her bathing cap and goggles, staked out a lane and climbed in.

NIAID

This week on Sound Effect, stories of bugs in the system. We first head to the Burke Museum where baby beetles eat away at the flesh of dead animals, down to the bone, so scientists can have a clean specimen. Next, we talk to one of the best known food safety attorneys in the world about how his career took shape.

Gabriel Spitzer

 

Museums rely on many volunteers to carry out their mission. This is quite true for the Burke Museum on the campus of the University Of Washington, in Seattle.

 

In fact, the Burke has dozens of volunteers that live in a small windowless room, not much larger than a walk in closet. These dedicated workers have been here for years. They are dermestid beetles in their larval state: hungry baby beetles.

 

Credit NIAID/Flickr

Seattle Attorney Bill Marler is often thought of as a bug…an agitator…an annoyance to the beef and poultry industries, and even the companies that grow leafy greens. He’s the guy you call if you are unfortunate enough to fall victim to E. coli, salmonella, listeria, or any other bacteria that somehow works its way into mass food production and into your stomach.

E. Coli entered everyday lexicon when three people died and hundreds of others were sickened after eating Jack In The Box hamburgers back in 1993. One of the epicenters of the outbreak was here, in Washington State.

Worldoflucky / Wikimedia Commons

    On June 10, 1999, Bellingham residents began reporting the strong smell of gasoline. Then, within minutes, 911 operators were flooded with reports of a massive explosion.  A fuel pipeline had burst, dumping nearly 300,000 gallons of gasoline into nearby creeks.  

And then it ignited.  

Black smoke rose 30,000 feet in the air and flames shot out for over a mile. It’s considered a miracle there were only three deaths.  

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

There’s Ms Nimbus, Queen of the Air, and Drake, King of the High Dive. There’s the high-wire artistry of the fabulous Dmitry and Annette.

And then, of course, there’s Marcel, the world’s only “mime flea.”

These are just a few of the cast members of a unique Seattle attraction: Professor Payne’s Phantasmagorical Flea Circus.

Steve Sheppard

 

Brandon Hopkins was on track to become a high school biology teacher when he was invited by one of his professors at Washington State University to work in a lab with honey bees.

“Yeah, I bought every kind of itch cream they sold in the store  because my hands were swollen and itching from all the bee stings and I soaked my hands in ice every night and questioned my decision making,” recalls Hopkins.

Courtesy of Graham Owen / Film Flies

When Hollywood needs a housefly, they call Graham Owen. The head of the company Film Flies is a specialist when it comes to creating fake insects (and spiders and centipedes) used in movies, print ads and commercials. 

 

Owen has watched his creations appear in a Spider-Man movie, alight on the lip of Adam Sandler and even the star in a Breaking Bad episode. Each bug is meticulously recreated, leading to specimens so realistic that they have fooled real bugs into trying to mate with them.  

El-Toro/Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we hear stories of people who learned to hustle.

The Cookie Hustle

They may seem sweet (and they are), but sisters Hayden and Rena Korbol mean business. They are two of the top cookie sellers for the girl scouts in Western Washington, selling over 1,600 boxes each last year.

The Bootleg King

1998.31.1.126, Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma (Wash.)

 

Back in the 1920’s a Seattle police officer spotted a lucrative opportunity, and hustled fast to make it happen. His name was Roy Olmstead and for a time, he became a very rich man by running a highly illegal activity.

 

During prohibition, Olmstead supplied a dry Northwest with alcohol. Lots of alcohol. The good stuff too. Not moonshine.

 

No one is really certain how Olmstead went from being an enforcer of the law to a lawbreaker, but it’s believed he had a lot of help.

 

Will James / KNKX

Growing up Roma meant growing up fast -- and learning how to hustle. 

That's how Miller Steve describes it. He was raised in Tacoma's Roma community in the 70's and 80's, when it was a close-knit collection of families, all descended from a nomadic minority group in Europe

Courtesy Gracelynn Shibayama

College is really expensive. People take out loans, they work a million odd jobs, and if you’re lucky, you have parents who set up a college fund. When Gracelynn Shibayama was 17 years old, she had a college fund. But then, she got an email from her parents.    

“We had to use your college fund to pay for Calvin’s rehab. So, at that point it was like, Oh, this is getting really serious and if I want to go to college, and I thought that was going to be there, I’m going to have to start thinking about it now,” says Gracelynn.

el-toro / Flickr

Pinball was considered gambling in the 1950s and 1960s. But Seattle's city leaders, police and King County Prosecutor Charles O. Carroll all turned a blind eye to the game as part of what was known as the "Tolerance Policy." 

Courtesy of Wil Miller

In the late 1990s, WIl MIller was working as a King County prosecutor in Seattle. And for the first time, he was exploring the gay nightlife. Spending his evenings in the city’s gay bars introduced him to his future lover and, through him, to crystal meth.

“If you're a gay man in the 90s and you're a little overweight and you’re a little self-conscious, it really seemed to solve all of my problems,” Miller said. “It played into every one of my weaknesses.”

Winning The Pot Lottery Doesn't Always Mean Greener Pastures

Sep 16, 2017
Courtesy Tahoma Growers Farm

This story originally aired on May 13, 2017.

When Washington state legalized recreational marijuana in 2013, the state held a lottery to award around 200 grower permits. Thousands applied, and on a whim, so did a group of friends that just happened to own a patch of land near Goldendale, in Eastern Washington. They never really thought they’d win, so when they did, it came as a shock. 

WINDY ON WASHINGTON 123 BY DAVEYNIN LICENSED UNDER CC BY 2.0 BIT.LY/2Q6JJFY / FLICKR

 

This show originally aired on May 13, 2017.

This week on Sound Effect, stories of that moment when everything changes for better or worse.

It's Showtime

Steve Wilson

Television producer and director, Steve Wilson, says making television is just like making cheese.

 

“People consume cheese. Some people make really good cheese. Other people make really terrible cheese. But, everybody eats cheese —and I make the cheese,” he told us.

 

 

How One Very Tall Christmas Tree Saved Northgate Mall

Sep 16, 2017
Courtesy of C.R. Douglas

This story originally aired on May 13, 2017.

Back in 1950, Northgate Mall was just opening its doors. It was struggling to get off its feet and fill empty shops. Big local retailers like Nordstrom and Friedlander didn’t believe that a regional shopping center all the way up north could survive. At that time, downtown was where people went to shop.  

Jim Douglas set out to change this. Douglas helped launch major city legacies like SeaFair and the World’s Fair, but his crowning achievement was saving Northgate.

Courtesy Marvin Charles

This story originally aired on May 13, 2017.

Marvin Charles is the co-founder of a Seattle organization called DADS —Divine Alternative for Dads Services. Marvin and his wife, Jeanett, help men from all walks of life get back on their feet, find work and ultimately, reconnect with their kids.

Now, you might think that Marvin must be one of these parents who know all — a go-to person whose advice is golden and who comes from a loving home himself.

This is how Marvin’s life started. But then things got really complicated.

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