Kara McDermott | KUOW News and Information

Kara McDermott

Web Producer

Year started with KUOW: 2013

A former intern of the KUOW web department, Kara was hired as a web producer in 2013. She supports KUOW's web content with graphics, photography and video. 

She is a graduate of the University of Washington where she received a B.A. in English and certificates in editing and data visualization. Kara has worked as a freelance editor, soccer reporter and business office manager.

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Nyaope is a whitish powder - low-grade heroin mixed with ingredients such as rat poison and sometimes even crushed-up medicine for people with HIV. Sprinkled on top of marijuana, it is a highly addictive, life-wrecking cocktail.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Last Sunday Miss New York Nina Davuluri, 24, was crowned Miss America. She is the first winner of Indian descent and proudly displayed her heritage with a classical Bollywood fusion dance as her talent.

Controversy followed the coronation, as Twitter exploded with racist remarks condemning her victory. The online viewer poll favored Miss Kansas: the blonde soldier with the "Serenity Prayer" down her side.

The subculture of liquor enjoyment belies Pakistan's status as officially "dry". That is, the 96 percent of Pakistanis who, according to official figures are Muslim, are not supposed to drink.The penalty if they do so is 80 lashes but it is not strictly enforced. Although there are many harmless social gatherings, there is also a growing problem of addiction to the bottle.

The diplomatic wrangling over Syria's chemical weapons stockpile has grabbed all the international headlines. But fighting on the ground continues to upend the lives of Syria's civilians. Last week, armed rebels entered the ancient Christian town of Maaloula. The civilians who live there – half of them Christian, the other half Muslim - fled. The BBC’s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen has been with Syrian army units trying to recapture the town.

Every month, thousands of migrants undertake a perilous journey across the Indian Ocean to try to reach Australia's shores. Many are fleeing troubles in countries like Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka. The issue of asylum seekers has been prominent in the Australian general election campaign, with both main parties pledging tough policies to stop the influx.

You might consider office supplies provided by your employer a given -- but not if you’re a teacher. A survey this year by the National School Supply and Equipment Association found that virtually all teachers -- 99.5 percent -- use their own money to buy basic classroom supplies. Last school year, teachers shelled out an average of $485 over the course of a year.

Flickr Photo/Andrew Masson

When it comes to publishing authors’ works, Seattle may be the next New York City. Amazon and other tech companies have transformed publishing with e-readers, social media and new financial models, making the old New York book publishing house less relevant, according to tech reporter Emily Parkhurst.

Flickr Photo/Bejan

A burn ban issued by the Department of Natural Resources in late July has been partially lifted in Western Washington. Recreational fires in approved fire pits on DNR protected lands — such as state, county, municipal or other campgrounds — are now allowed west of the Cascades. Other outdoor burning is still banned in Western Washington.

Flickr Photo/Bejan

The Department of Natural Resources issued an updated burn ban to include all lands protected by the DNR in Washington state. The ban will be in effect until September 30 and includes prescribed burns and campfires, even in developed campgrounds under state, local or private control.

Reza Aslan's "Zealot" Draws Controversy And Comedy

Jul 29, 2013
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

The book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” has been out for less than two weeks, but it’s already created a firestorm for its author, religions scholar Reza Aslan.

Flickr Photo/Tom Talbott

In the Olympia area, a woman reported a weeks-old harbor seal pup is on a railroad trestle on the Woodard Bay beach. Its mother was gone and it was crying.

The woman told The Olympian newspaper she’s afraid the pup is dying. But Fisheries officials are adamant: leave it alone.

Flickr Photo/WSDOT

Very soon, a massive piece of machinery will start to burrow two miles out from Seattle. It’s building the tunnel that will replace the Alaskan way viaduct.

Tomorrow, WSDOT is hosting a big sendoff for the biggest tunneling machine in the world, affectionately named Bertha. The public is invited to check it out Saturday between 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., provided closed-toed shoes are worn.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

The Downtown District Council of Seattle and KCTS 9 hosted the Seattle mayoral candidates for a live debate ahead of the August 6 primary last night. The first hour of the debate was televised and simulcast on KUOW.

Flickr Photo/NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Planetary Resources, a company based in Bellevue, decided to bridge the gap between the planet and the cosmos with the world’s first crowd-funded, publicly-accessible telescope. Their Kickstarter campaign recently raised over $1.5 million from 17,614 people in just 33 days.

Julia Sweeney's Comedic Journey From Spokane To China

Jul 12, 2013
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Julia Sweeney is a comedian, actress and author. She performed four seasons on Saturday Night Live and now has a new book of memoirs titled, "If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother."

Carlos Ferreira and Jennifer Watts

Recently, the Economic Policy Institute released a study that said that a family of four – two parents and two children – need a household income of $70,000 a year to maintain a “modest lifestyle.”

John Burbank, the executive director of the Economic Opportunity Institute which is a regional partner of the EPI, explained that how the calculations were made.

More Vacation, More Problems?

Jul 10, 2013
Flickr Photo/davitydave

The Society for Human Resource Management’s 2012 Survey says that one percent of US employers offer unlimited vacation if you get your work done, including big companies like IBM and Netflix, and smaller start-ups like Seattle’s Social Strata, a tech company focused on social media applications.

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The government of South Korea says its officials will inspect engines and landing equipment on all Boeing 777s owned by Asiana and Korean Air, which was the type of plane that crash-landed in San Francisco Saturday, killing two people and wounding dozens more.

There's a lot of water in Washington state, and therefore a lot of bridges. Transportation for America put together the numbers of structurally deficient bridges by state county and compared Washington to the rest of the country. There's good news: Washington is ranked 46 out of 51 states (including Washington, D.C.) in structurally deficient bridges. Pennsylvania performed the worst with 24.5 percent of bridges considered deficient.

Flickr Photo/g4ll4is

You are under surveillance when you go online. The information gatherers include the government, advertising companies and brokers who sell your data. Christopher Soghoian, chief technologist for the national ACLU, explains that the constantly updating world of technology has  also changed the government's ability to spy Internet communications and mobile telephones.  

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The Seattle International Film Festival starts Thursday and will run through June 9 featuring over 400 films from more than 80 countries.

Seattle film critic David Chen can’t wait. Chen is the editor-at-large of Slash Film and co-hosts “The Tobolowsky Files,” a radio program featuring true stories of life, love, and Hollywood as told by actor Stephen Tobolowsky.

Seattle Vs. Portland Smackdown!

May 3, 2013
Flickr Photo/Lorena Cupcake and Darkain Multimedia

When the Emerald City and the Rose City go at it, from the outside it must look like a silly sibling feud between two hippies wearing REI chic. The two laid-back cultures maintain the most heated soccer rivalry in the country; on the men’s side with the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers, and now on the women’s side as well with the Seattle Reign versus the Portland Thorns.

Admittedly, some concessions can be made. Seattle continues to top the list of most literate cities, but can’t boast anything to rival Portland’s Powell’s Books. Portland has Light Rail, but Seattle has free parking on Sundays. Seattleites may allow the superiority of Voodoo Doughnuts, but will never compromise on Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau.

Can Portland really match the view of the Cascades to the east, the Olympics to the west and the Puget Sound in between? Seattle has crabbers from the Deadliest Catch wandering Ballard and Brandi Carlile playing Jimi Hendrix with Mike McCready backed by the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall. Is it any real competition?

Today on The Conversation, we explore the I-5 rivalry between the two cities and why these two ideologically-similar urban centers love to take each other down.

Flickr Photo/Colleen Danger

Initiative 502, which took effect in December 2012, decriminalizes the production of hemp in Washington state, though it remains illegal under federal law.

Hemp production has deep roots in the early colonial United States. In fact, the Virginia colony required that hemp be grown by farmers to produce rope. Benjamin Franklin started a hemp paper mill to avoid importing paper from Great Britain. One particularly important document did not utilize paper at all, but hemp instead: the Declaration of Independence.

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