I've created around a hundred pieces for public radio, from short "spots" about breaking news to longer features. I like to think they're all good. But here are a few stories that make me especially proud.
When you run a coffee shop, and someone else opens a coffee shop across the street, that’s usually a bad thing. But sometimes, when you get enough similar businesses in one location, that’s good. And the benefits of cooperation outweigh the cost of the extra competition.
The Family Business That Almost Died
Friday, March 1, is opening day at theGreen Lake Pitch ‘n Putt Golf Course. The course has nine holes. The clubhouse isn’t much bigger than a roadside fruit stand. Admission is less than $10. For the thirtieth year in a row, the Taitch family will be running the place. But last year, the family almost called it quits.
The Eleven Demandments of Scottish Buddhism
Seattle writer Jay Craig created his own religion. Its rules helped him deal with his bipolar disorder, and he thought it was good enough to overthrow Christianity. But when a close friend ended up in a mental institution claiming to be the daughter of God, Jay was forced to take a good, hard look at himself.
Singing Badly Saved My Life
Elena Louise Richmond directs the Seattle–based OK Chorale, a choir where it's okay to be just okay, where imperfection is forgiven and even celebrated. But Elena had a hard time forgiving herself. She'd failed as a professional singer, lacking the stamina to sing for long performances. And she was dangerously depressed.
Then, an unusual vocal coach named Tommie Eckert challenged her to sing badly, on purpose. Elena discovered the unpleasant sounds she created were part of a mature singing voice. The exercise changed her forever, and taught her to actually enjoy performing as a soloist — for the first time in her life.
The Unseen History Of Paul Allen's Warbirds
Paul Allen's Flying Heritage Collection includes antique warplanes rescued from swamps, jungles and beaches, and completely restored. They're beautiful to see, and they even fly. But the wreck of a plane also tells a story.
Collection curator Cory Graff tells three stories from the planes' post–war years: stories of women heroes sent back to the kitchen, desperate stunt pilots, and paranoid dictators.
Culinary Speed Dating
Busy farmers often can't find the time to market their product. Busy chefs don't have time to go looking for farmers. A nonprofit organization called the Seattle Chefs Collaborative has a mission to get these two groups together. And they've taken a cue from Seattle's singles scene — speed dating for farmers and chefs. Joshua McNichols recently went to a speed dating event and brings us this story.
Buildings consume about 40% of the country's energy. Much of that energy goes straight to the air conditioner. To cut down on that consumption, some architects are experimenting with old building techniques, from long before the age of air conditioners. But rethinking air conditioning means rethinking comfort.
Seattle's historic schooner, Wawona, will make its last voyage in the next few days. The ship is well over a century old. It has hauled lumber to San Francisco and salt cod from Alaska. During World War II, it hauled lumber to Boeing. In 1964, the Wawona was turned into a museum ship. Now, the vessel has decayed beyond repair. This week, archaeologists plan to haul it out of the water and start chopping it to pieces.
Weekend America, 2009
The holidays are over. Maybe you've joined a gym, started a new, healthy diet. It's been a week since you touched that plate of stale holiday cookies. But for the salmon in Puget Sound, the feast is just beginning. And their diet has been getting much worse.
Weekend America, 2008
Dee Williams finds a more expansive life by downsizing.
The Splendid Table, 2008
Self-sufficiency in the city. Jennie Grant uses eggs, honey, cream, and blackberries to make ice cream using only ingredients found in her back yard.
Oregon Public Broadcasting, 2009
To a salmon, big cities make for poor habitat. Not much fish food grows on a bare concrete bulkhead. Now some scientists hope to change that. They're looking at new ways for salmon to live in the city, or at least find some food.
Sustainable development comes in all shades of green. Some developers achieve maximum sustainability, but sell their homes at a high price. Other developers crank out inexpensive green homes that take only baby steps towards sustainability. So which kind of developer creates the biggest impact?
Many of the region's young businesses were built on cheap and easy credit. As banks tighten their purse strings, some companies are struggling to adapt. We tour one business that teetered on the brink of bankruptcy - and survived.