Sound Effect

Credit Gabriel Spitzer

Lois Langrebe has taught Lushootseed for over two decades, a dying language of the Tulalip tribes that she’s struggling to keep from going extinct.

It’s an important role that she never expected to fill while growing up.

A child of adoption, Lois was raised by a white family, knowing little about her origins or the culture of Native Americans. For years she struggled with her identity and finding a place that truly felt like home.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Patrick S. Ciccarone/Released

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "Blood Ties." Host Gabriel Spitzer heads to a class at the University of Washington where midwives learn how to deal with potential blood loss during pregnancy. Alex Ashley profiles a Jehovah Witness who had to find an alternative to a blood transfusion during a medical emergency.

Master Sgt. Kimberly A. Yearyean-Siers / U.S. Air Force

Jeffrey Heckman, from Snohomish, WA, will be the first to tell you life is unpredictable.

In the summer of 2015, while vacationing on San Juan Island with friends and family, Jeff was studying his Bible when, all of a sudden, an intense and unfamiliar pain struck him.  The culprit was an aortic dissection - a tear in the large vein branching off from the heart.  He was airlifted to Providence Medical Center, where renowned surgeon, Dr. James Brevig, prepared to conduct what would be a meticulous 10-hour surgery.  

Carrie Power

When Darren Maypower was 16 years old he was in his fourth fister care home. Even though he was less than two years shy of becomming an adult in the eyes of the state, he still held out hope that he would find a family to call his own. His criteria was quite simple: stability and love. 

Courtesy Simone Alicea

Meet a mother and a daughter working through how blood and language have shaped their relationship.

Simone Alicea is a reporter and editor here at KNKX. Her mom Veronica Alicea-Galvan is a King County Superior Court judge. They came together in a Storycorps booth in Chicago to talk about something specific: the bilingual court that Judge Alicea-Galvan used to run in Des Moines, Washington.

But the conversation strayed pretty quickly into this intimate space, where both women learned things about the other they hadn’t known before.

 

Tony Webster/Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "In Traffic." Host Gabriel Spitzer checks out the winning entry for the “Sorriest Bus Stop in America,” which happens to be in Seattle. We talk to a bus driver who finds inspiration for his art from his riders. Meet a quadriplegic with a seriously tricked-out wheelchair.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

If your primary mode of transportation is riding the bus, it's likely you've seen some nice bus stops, some OK ones, probably a couple of bad ones. The website Streetsblog USA holds an annual contest where readers from around the country nominate terrible bus stops, and then vote on them. The bus stop with the most votes gets crowned The Sorriest Bus Stop In America. 

And congratulations, Seattle: The 2017 title is yours. 

Nathan Vass

 

Many of us make our way through traffic while riding on a bus.

One of the busiest bus routes in Seattle is the #7 carries more than 11,000 people every day. The #7 goes through the Rainier Valley and at night It turns into the #49 when it heads north, to the University District.

 

This is Nathan Vass’s bus route.

 

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

Todd Stabelfeldt drives a pretty dope ride.

Those are his words -- describing his super-high-tech, “murdered-out … completely black-on-black” vehicle.

It’s no ordinary ride: Stabelfeldt has quadriplegia, and his “whip” is a tricked-out wheelchair, an F5 Permobil equipped with a tongue-operated interface for navigating and controlling devices.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

If you think your daliy commute is bad, please meet Daniel Bone. He maneuvers a large cement truck to the many different construction sites in the Seattle area.

A few years ago, Bone's commute from an idyllic five-acre farm in Yelm, Washington, was daunting, but doable. 

"I'm 62 miles out from our home in Yelm, to where I work in Seattle. In the mornings I could drive it, an hour and ten minutes, comfortably. Coffee in hand. Well rested," Bone said.

But, over the last six years, the commute swelled day after day, into an unbearable amount of time each day.

Ben Amstutz / Flickr

Elk meat, eagle feathers, bear gallbladder. These are just a few of the items sold by wildlife traffickers in the Pacific Northwest.

 

How bad is this black market? Washington state Fish & Wildlife detective Todd Vandivert wanted to find out.

He and partner Sergeant Jennifer Maurstad went undercover as small business owners, risking their lives to bring in some of the largest animal traffickers in the region.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

Chief Marshal Elisa Sansalone says she finds calm in the chaos of the Municipal Court of Seattle.

That’s important for someone who leads a team tasked with transporting defendants to and from court about 15,000 times a year.

Credit Parker Miles Blohm

This week on Sound Effect, it’s our annual tradition of sharing our favorite music stories from the past year.  We open the show by sitting down with the Lewis family, and look back on how each generation has influenced the next to get behind a drum set. We then hear how tragedy and music intersect as the result of a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University.

Parker Miles Blohm

This story originally aired on April 1, 2017.

Donovan Lewis is 4 years old and has been playing the drums since before he learned how to walk. His preschool teacher says that on rainy days, Donovan taps out the beat the raindrops make on the building's metal downspouts. This should come as no surprise. His parents say that music is in their son's DNA. 

Credit Alex Gao

This story originally aired on February 11, 2017.

Marcus Haney has caught several big named musicians on camera, including the likes of Coldplay and Elton John.

In 2014, he was asked to produce a music video for the British band Bear's Den. He came up with the idea of coming to Seattle to film his younger brother, Turner Haney, and Turner's friends, who all attended Seattle Pacific University, capturing youth on the brink of adulthood. 

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

This story originally aired on January 21, 2017.

The 2016 presidential election transformed the political narrative across America, including Washington state. Many artists have been emboldened to create in response to this reshuffling of power and ideas. One Seattle musician was uniquely inspired by the perspective of Trump voters.

Courtesy Seattle Choruses

This segment originally aired March 4, 2017.  

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.

Meet Seattle's 'Queen Of Gospel'

Nov 25, 2017
Courtesy of Eula Scott Bynoe

This story originally aired on February 4, 2017.

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.

Wikipedia Commons

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "Can’t Let Go." KNKX newsies Ariel Van Cleave and Ed Ronco reminisce about their obscure instruments. Then we talk to Jillian Venters, who gives advice to people of the gothic subculture, including those who are aging within it.

Credit Gabriel Spitzer

All Things Considered host Ed Ronco and Morning Edition producer Ariel Van Cleave came to learn their respective instruments after things didn't work out with their first choice.

Ed started with the trumpet, but the combination of the smaller mouthpiece and a mouth full of braced turned out to be a painful experience. So he moved to the baritone horn, which had a larger mouthpiece, and never looked back.

Ariel, on the other hand, just had a distaste for her assigned instrument, the trombone, and at the encouragement of her father, she switched to euphonium. 

Credit Kevin Kniestedt

There are still certain parts of our youth that we identify with and often don’t want to let go of. And the number of subcultures out there that people have come to identify with is expansive. For Jillian Venters, there is little question in her mind as to the subculture she identifies with.

“I’m kind of a romantic goth with Victorian goth tinges. I get more Victorian goth as the weather gets cooler. It is really hard to wear velvet frock coats and top hats during high summer.”

Kat Taylor

"You Can do anything in the Barbie Dream Hearse, except smoke” laughs Kat Taylor as we enter the world of white leather with pink accents.

Perhaps you’ve seen it, The Barbie Dream Hearse, driving around Seattle, shuttling people around who might be watching a movie in the back, or pouring another glass of champagne from the ice bucket. The white hearse turned party limo is hard to miss.  

It all started with a play on words.

Meet A Leader Of The Flat Earth Movement

Nov 18, 2017
Credit Gabriel Spitzer

 

When it comes to scientific arguments nowadays, there’s a good chance sooner or later someone will be compared to people who believe the earth is flat.

Most would consider that an insult, but not Mark Sargent. The Whidbey Island resident spends much of his time promoting the belief that the earth is not round or spherical but actually, definitely flat.

Joel Shupack

 

Anyone who has ever loved a dog, and who has been on the receiving end of a dog’s unconditional affection, would agree that the grief you experience when that animal dies is deep and painful.

 

In this story, which originally aired on the podcast SquareMile, producer Joel Shupack introduces us to his friend Lela who recently said goodby to her beloved Catahoula, Coltrane.

 

Will James / KNKX

If you go to the base of Point Defiance in Tacoma and look east, you'll see a finger of earth jutting into Puget Sound. 

It formed as toxic slag spilled from a copper smelter during the city's industrial heyday. 

For years, it was a foreboding sliver of black, glassy material. Today, workers and machines roam the peninsula as they transform it into a grassy park with Puget Sound views.

Credit Allie Ferguson

This show originally aired on May 27, 2017.

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is "Up in the Air."

Allie Ferguson / KNKX

This story originally aired on May 27, 2017.

B.J. Listman is one of the elevator operators at the Space Needle. The Space Needle and the Smith Tower, according to B.J, are the only places left in Seattle where there are actually elevator operators. This iconic Seattle landmark has enchanted B.J. since he was a child.

Red-Tailed Hawks Flying Club's Facebook Page

 

This story originally aired on May 27, 2017.

Jesse Hayes’ love of flying began as a kid growing up in Texas. His family had a car but they also had an airplane, which Jesse’s father adored. Jesse says that as an African-American family, that meant that they could literally fly over racism when they went on trips to visit family.

 

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

 

This story originally aired on May 27, 2017.

A group of students from the University of Washington is working on a way to create satellites that could stay up indefinitely and fly in a circle over a particular patch of the earth. The results could mean cell phone and internet coverage in disaster areas, along with super-high-resolution images of remote places on the planet.

 

 

Credit Isabel Vázquez / NextGenRadio

This story originally aired on May 27, 2017.

There’s a letter on Yulina Bilombele’s dining room table that she cannot read.

“Defendant failed to pay the rent and has further failed to vacate and surrender the premises.”

Bilombele is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. She’s 80 years old. She does not speak English. She is too frail to work and she does not have the money to pay rent.

So, she turns to the man many Congolese refugees in Seattle call: Floribert Mubalama.

Pages