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Sound Effect

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KNKX's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme. 655571

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Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KNKX's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme. 655571

Farewell: Sound Effect, Episode 215

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Saying goodbye is hard. But sometimes, it’s an opportunity to celebrate. Today, we celebrate nearly six years and 214 episodes of Sound Effect with one final episode. For our finale, we’ll spend two hours looking back at some of the most memorable stories from the show, which has showcased hundreds of stories that the people from our region have shared with us — and with you. We’ll meet a gay man defiantly carving out space for himself in the country music world, when — to his shock — a record label called . We’ll hear how an unlikely friendship drew a Seattle man to leap out of his comfort zone . And we’ll hear the tale of a family cat who wanted nothing to do with her family , and many other stories today . There will be some laughs and some tears. But most importantly, this episode will be a celebration of this place we live — and all the hard work that went into sharing what makes the Pacific Northwest unique.

Oct 31 2020

1hr 50mins

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Family Matters: Sound Effect, Episode 204

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This show originally aired on February 14, 2020. This week on Sound Effect, our theme is “Family Matters.” First, we meet one Indipino woman and learn how she connected to her roots on Bainbridge Island. Then, we meet a mother and author who is sharing her son’s story of addiction as a cautionary tale for other parents. We meet a woman who might have been forbidden from having children a century ago — and we meet her daughter. Grieving parents turn a tragedy into something constructive . And we meet the father — so to speak — of “I Didn’t Reproduce Day.” INDIPINO COMMUNITY Gina Corpuz stands off New Brooklyn road on Bainbridge Island, on land that has been in her family for two generations. She looks in every direction, and sees the history of the Indipino community. Indipino stands for Indigenous and Filipino. It's a community that began one summer, nearly 80 years ago, when Filipino farmhands and Indigenous berry pickers met in the strawberry fields of Bainbridge Island, and fell in

Oct 17 2020

48mins

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It's Only Money: Sound Effect, Episode 203

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This show originally aired on February 8, 2020. Our latest episode of Sound Effect revolves around the theme, "It's Only Money." We'll meet a couple who tried to get rich flipping houses , decades before it was cool. We'll find out how a teenage blunder left Mike Lewis with a debt he could never repay, and how he reapid it anyway . A small town prints its own money , on pieces of wood. A Seattle writer considers a complicated inheritance: what she learned about money from her parents. And a group of friends order a round of drinks ... and fiasco ensues. HOUSE-FLIPPING TO MAKE MILLIONS Silvana Clark got the idea from a radio interview with an author. It was 1977, and the guy promised quick riches if you were willing to simply buy a house, fix it up and sell it. So she and her husband took the plunge. The first red flag came when they noticed police helicopters making frequent passes over their new fixer-upper. Then there were the bulletholes. Before long it was clear: This project was

Oct 10 2020

48mins

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Friend or Foe: Sound Effect, Episode 202

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This show originally aired on January 25, 2020. Our latest Sound Effect theme is “Friend or Foe.” First, we hear how artists took over a business group and changed Camano Island. Then, we meet an ex-Army Ranger whose flip-flop business is an olive branch for peace . We dive into the epic life of Sidney Rittenberg , a "towering historical figure" who settled near Tacoma. We learn about the ups and downs of having someone else’s DNA . And one woman shares how a bad fortune telling session led to a new outlook on life — and some payback. CHAMBER COUP The Rev. Chumleigh wasn’t exactly a regular at meetings of the Camano Island Chamber of Commerce. He was an odd fit for the business group. So Chumleigh dropped in on a friend, artist Jack Gunter, with an idea. “He said, ‘I bet if we got a bunch of artists, we could take over the chamber and have it run by the artist community,’” Gunter said. This was the 1990s, and there were only a handful of artists on Camano. But a small group of them

Oct 03 2020

48mins

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Hidden Talents: Sound Effect, Episode 196

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This show originally aired on November 25, 2019. The theme for this week’s Sound Effect is “Hidden Talents.” First, we hear how a summer job at a theme park launched one woman’s career at NASA and Microsoft. Then, a young man leaves his Mormon faith for a new religion: stand-up comedy . A country star shares how being bullied motivated him to excel on stage and in sports. We meet a man who fled El Salvador’s civil war — and may have changed the course of the country . Finally, how one performance of “I’m a Little Teapot” changed the summer, and maybe even the lives, of a bunch of Boy Scouts. BEFORE NASA The summer after she graduated high school, Cindy Healy did what a lot of Orange County teens did: she got a summer job at a theme park. In this case, Knott’s Berry Farm. Cindy was deployed to the Buffalo Nickel arcade, which at that time featured such cutting-edge gaming experiences as Pac-Man and Space Invaders. And within the arcade, Cindy began to draw a plum assignment: manning the

Sep 10 2020

48mins

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Island Time: Sound Effect, Episode 109

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This episode originally aired on June 17, 2017. This week on Sound Effect , we head out to the islands. The Good Ship Issaquah Marsha Morse was one of the first women captains in Washington’s ferry system. She’s been navigating the waterways since 1975. And while she captains the ferry Issaquah , she considers her office the entire Puget Sound. The One Lonely Island All of the available islands in the San Juan’s were snatched up by homesteaders by 1919. All but one. A lonely, rocky, 15-acre dot close to San Juan Island. This rocky mound became the object of one young couple’s obsession. It drew them across the country. Canadian Homes Get A Second Life Affordable housing —and not enough of it — is a headline we read and hear on a regular basis in the Seattle area. This challenge also exists in the San Juan Islands, where people tend to either be incredibly wealthy or they’re in line at the food bank. A non-profit in Friday Harbor is bringing affordable housing to the island. This

Aug 29 2020

47mins

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The Awards Show: Sound Effect, Episode 213

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In this episode of Sound Effect, we’re featuring stories from this show and the KNKX newsroom that earned regional and national recognition. Youth and education reporter Ashley Gross talks about a quirk in state policy that is giving an artificial boost to graduation rates across the state. KNKX’s Will James dives into the turmoil that, up until recently, plagued the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office . Producer Posey Gruener shares the story of a beloved professional boxer whose life was tragically cut short . Gabriel Spitzer introduces us to a man who is helping his homeless neighbors, one makeshift toilet at a time . And producer Kevin Kniestedt shares what he learned after rediscovering a box of old love letters from past girlfriends. (KNKX's Ed Ronco and Geoffrey Redick also earned recognition for long-form storytelling about the five-year anniversary of the Oso landslide, part of the station's regional reporting project KNKX Connects.)

Aug 22 2020

49mins

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The Concert: Sound Effect, Episode 212

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There is nothing like standing in the crowd, watching your favorite musician take the stage, playing your favorite song live right in front of you. Well thanks to a little global pandemic, going to a concert has been more or less impossible. Well, those of us at Sound Effect miss hearing live music, and we are willing to bet that you do to. Today on the show, we are going to bring the concert to you. We're going to be playing live music recordings that were performed and recorded just for Sound Effect over the years. Singer songwriter Lydia Ramsey channels her ancestors in a haunting folk tune. Also some political satire in song form from Long Winters front man John Roderick . And get out the Kleenex... Kimya Dawson performs a real tear jerker. Plus live recordings from Chastity Belt , Ben Union , Naomi Wachira and Skerik’s Bandalabra . Click the play button above to listen to the show.

Aug 15 2020

48mins

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Farewell, Gabriel: Sound Effect, Episode 211

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Today on the show, we say goodbye to our host Gabriel Spitzer. This is the last show Gabriel will host, as he transitions to a new job in public health. He celebrates some of his favorite stories from past shows in this episode. We’ll meet a punter who thought he was a linebacker for a minute, a cowboy who “met” Bigfoot and a Balkan rock star who staged an antiwar musical in a war zone. Sound Effect contributors share emotional best wishes to wrap up his last show. Johnny Hekker is a punter for the Los Angeles Rams, though he grew up in Bothell. A few years ago he was back home playing against the Seahawks, when, in a moment of exuberance, he took the burly Cliff Avril to the ground . Cliff’s teammates weren’t pleased. When you picture Sasquatch, chances are you imagine a specific image of a bipedal humanoid, mid-stride, arms swinging and head turned back to look behind it. Bob Gimlin, one of the men behind the iconic Patterson-Gimlin film footage, says Sasquatch was looking back at

Aug 08 2020

49mins

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Work in Progress: Sound Effect, Episode 194

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This show originally aired on November 9, 2019. First, we learn about a map that shows the vast web of connections among Seattle bands. Then, we meet the chief of equity for Seattle Public Schools, whose work is informed by her own past experience as a black student in the district. We meet a performance artist who explores how expectations of beauty killed her mother . We travel to a ridgetop observatory where young adults are working out who they’re going to be. And we learn how a Tacoma woman went from “cult” to college . BAND MAP Rachel Ratner is in a band called Wimps. She’s also a software engineer and a brand new mother — and the creator of the Seattle Band Map . Learn how the effort materialized , and which bands are connected to Green Day. IMPROVING EQUITY Back in 1988, the Seattle school district had a problem on its hands. Black third graders were underperforming their white classmates in reading by 29 percentage points. It was a glaring inequality, and it was getting

Aug 01 2020

47mins

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You Can't Choose Your Family...Can You? Sound Effect, Episode 193

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This show originally aired on October 26, 2019. This week on Sound Effect, our theme is “You Can’t Choose Your Family...Can You?” We’re bringing you stories of family ties that go beyond blood, but still help define who we are and where we come from. First, a middle-aged woman learns she was conceived using an unexpected sperm donor . A bookseller searches for someone to take over his business and learns something surprising about himself. A resilient young woman balances college and guardianship of her younger siblings. Finally, a local doctor shares his journey of adopting a daughter from Kazakhstan. DOCTOR DONOR Suzan Mazor was in her 40s when she found out that she had been conceived using donor sperm. It was the first she had ever heard of it. She’d never felt a strong connection to the man she thought was her father, so it didn’t feel like she was losing something. If anything, it had opened up a world of possibility. She decided to do a little digging. And she started to learn

Jul 25 2020

48mins

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Gatekeepers: Sound Effect, Episode 192

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This show originally aired on October 19, 2019. The theme of this week’s Sound Effect is “Gatekeepers” — stories about people with power over who comes and goes. First, we hear what it’s like for a prison guard to be locked in with the inmates. Next, a story of escape and betrayal in one of the world’s most repressive countries. Then, the chilling words of a man ready to confront his fate — and his complicated journey to execution. Finally, we hear from a woman who once was tasked with helping determine who was approved to resettle from Vietnam to the U.S. PRISON GUARDS Chris Hubert, a longtime guard at the now-defunct McNeil Island Corrections Center , talks about what it was like to hold the keys — and sometimes, be locked in along with the inmates. NORTH KOREA RESCUE It's miraculous that Grace Jo is alive. She owes her life to Seattle-area Pastor John Yoon. And so do hundreds of other North Korean refugees. Yoon was a conductor on the North Korean underground railroad. He helped

Jul 11 2020

48mins

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The Collector: Sound Effect, Episode 189

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This show originally aired on September 21, 2019. Collections come in all shapes and sizes. Whatever it is, a collection can take on a life of its own. And it says something about the person behind it. That’s our latest theme — The Collector: why we’re drawn to collect stuff, and what we’re willing to do in pursuit of it. First, the co-owner of a Tacoma bar shares how he came to acquire a small collection of glass art from Dale Chihuly. Then, we meet a woman who makes jewelry out of animal bones . A man shares how his obsession with a certain tree led him on an intense trip to Chile in pursuit of seeds . We meet a Seattle librarian who is helping catalogue more than 30,000 zines from across the country. Next, we learn about the man who collected — among many things — recordings of ferry horns. Finally, one of our own shares what he’s learned from a collection of letters from past girlfriends. CHIHULY GLASS On top of the old bar inside The Swiss in Tacoma — towering above 31 tap handles

Jul 04 2020

48mins

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Transmission No. 4: Sound Effect, Episode 210

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We have all been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in our own ways. And the Sound Effect team has been doing our best to cover it in a podcast called Transmission. Today on Sound Effect, we share some more stories that have stood out to us from the series. First, we make the rounds with Gino Jevdjevic — a Bosnian pop star-turned-punk-frontman-turned-social-services-provider — as he checks in on his clients with developmental disabilities. Then, we hear the story of Thomas Lopez , the beloved proprietor of a taco truck business and restaurant in Algona who died from COVID-19. We meet a young woman named Aminata Kamara, who is living through her second run-in with a deadly virus after experiencing a terrifying outbreak of Ebola while living in Sierra Leone. We learn about a model that can help predict behavioral health responses to the pandemic. And KNKX’s Kevin Kniestedt takes advice from a psychiatrist to reconnect with people he’s lost touch with. Be sure to subscribe to both our

Jun 27 2020

49mins

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Watch Your Language: Sound Effect, Episode 173

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This show originally aired on March 30, 2019. We start with a man translating traditional blues into Yiddish . Next, we join "the Jane Goodall of the whales," as she eavesdrops on orcas . Then, an effort is made to rethink how an endangered native language should look on the page. A lso, a story of a musician with autism who uses music as a language . Finally, a rabbi uses modern music to help save a language from extinction. Sound Effect showcases stories inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KNKX's Gabriel Spitzer .

Jun 20 2020

48mins

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Transmission No. 3: Sound Effect, Episode 209

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We have all been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in our own ways. And the Sound Effect team has been doing our best to cover it in a podcast called Transmission. Today on Sound Effect, we share some more stories that have stood out to us from the series. First, we meet Dr. Julian Perez, a doctor in Seattle’s White Center neighborhood who has firsthand experience dealing with Latino patients disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Then, storyteller Mary Anne Moorman shares a story about her grandmother who died during the 1918 flu pandemic — in the arms of her best friend, a daughter of former slaves. We meet Dr. Micheal Kane , a Black therapist who is spending about 50 hours a week helping clients work through the trauma of being Black in America. And we hear how KNKX’s Kari Plog and her husband are planning for the future in the face of overwhelming uncertainty . Be sure to subscribe to both our podcasts, Sound Effect and Transmission . They are available wherever you get your

Jun 13 2020

47mins

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Small Miracles: Sound Effect, Episode 182

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This show originally aired on June 29, 2019. For this special edition of Sound Effect, the theme is “Small Miracles,” tales from our live storytelling event. Host Gabriel Spitzer recounts his brush with death after years of humiliation in swim class. Ty Reed recalls how a random encounter saved his life after he fell into homelessness and addiction. Cindy Healy is moved to tears seeing a special spacecraft in a Matt Damon movie. Queen Mae Butters remembers a powerful friendship formed at the end of her hospice patient’s life. And Paul Currington learns to breathe through the smoke of his past .

Jun 06 2020

48mins

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Toilets No. 2: Sound Effect, Episode 180

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This show originally aired on June 8, 2019. For this episode of Sound Effect, we're talking toilets — how these things we'd just as soon ignore actually have profound effects on our lives. We meet an author who is, among other things, teaching women how to pee in the woods without peeing on themselves. A Seattle man explains how he uses portable toilets to connect with his homeless neighbors . We hear what Seattle can learn from San Francisco’s approach to cleaner and safer public toilets . We talk with the Snopes.com founder about abundant toilet myths and their possible origins. And we try to settle a debate between writers at The Stranger: seat up or seat down ? GOING IN THE WOODS In 1989, Kathleen Meyer published a book called "How to Shit in the Woods." For a book whose name can't be said on the radio, it has done very well. It’s now in its third edition, with 2.5 million copies sold. Meyer says it has been found on a coffee table in a nunnery, at a bed and breakfast in Scotland,

May 30 2020

49mins

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Bouncing Back: Sound Effect, Episode 179

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This show originally aired on June 1, 2019. This episode of Sound Effect, “Bouncing Back,” features stories about people who take the hits and come right back for more. We meet a Walla Walla man who became a rodeo clown to scratch his cowboy itch. Then, we meet a legally blind Seattleite who experienced Tokyo with his other senses. An East Side Tacoma woman shares how her experience hitting rock bottom informs how she gives back today. Hear how two rival, “real-life superheroes” fell in love . And, in the full broadcast of the show, meet a woman who helps fellow women of color heal through writing . RODEO CLOWN When J.J. Harrison fell down in front of a charging, 2,000-pound bull in Hobbs, New Mexico, everything seemed to slow down. "I just remember thinking this could be the end," he said. It wasn't. Hear how this Walla Walla resident shifted from aspiring teacher to rodeo clown , and why — in spite of the punishment he takes — he keeps bouncing back. ‘SEEING’ TOKYO In 2018, Chris

May 23 2020

48mins

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Transmission No. 2: Sound Effect, Episode 208

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We have all been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in our own ways. And the Sound Effect team has been doing our best to cover it in a podcast called Transmission. Today on Sound Effect, we share some more stories that have stood out to us from the series. First, we’ll meet a couple of engineers who repurposed an invention to stop people from touching their faces. Then, we learn how doctors have had to learn on the fly about the insidious nature of the novel coronavirus. We hear how one mother and son are finding moments of happiness in the face of the darker days. One of the champions of Washington’s Death with Dignity law helps us confront our own mortality. A Seattle writer urges people to get their you-know-what together , by preparing for unexpected tragedy. We learn about laughter as therapy from Tita Begashaw. We hear a story from a virtual storytelling event, Quarantine Connection. And finally, host Gabriel Spitzer has a moment of meditation. Be sure to subscribe to both our

May 16 2020

48mins

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iTunes Ratings

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This is what public radio is all about!

By hstryfan - Dec 19 2018
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Interesting information about the Puget Sound region.

Love this show!

By Misslavada - Nov 16 2015
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This has been one of my favorite podcasts to listen to. What a treasure!