Ruby de Luna | KUOW News and Information

Ruby de Luna

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 1994

Ruby de Luna is a features reporter at KUOW. She had originally planned to go into TV, but ditched the idea after discovering public radio.  Ruby has reported on immigrant communities. She currently covers health care issues.  

Ruby is a transplant from Taipei, Taiwan. She holds a BA in communication from Seattle Pacific University. 

In the age of computer/digital audio editing, Ruby is proud to be one of the few old–schoolers who can still edit tape with a razor blade. In her free time she practices her knife skills on new recipes. 

Ways to Connect

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The next time you walk by Third Avenue and James Street in downtown Seattle, you might notice a cluster of bronze leaves on the street.

They bear the names of some of the homeless people who have died over the last 15 years.


Left to right, Rachel Park, Sonali Coehlo, Brooke Lell and  Judith Prado are part of the school's Green Team. They sort and organize the collected food before storing them in the fridge.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

A Bellevue school has saved 4,000 pounds of food – enough that a nearby food bank no longer has to ration milk for its families.

Edouardo Jordan, right, works in the kitchen at JuneBaby on Wednesday December 6, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle Chef Edouardo Jordan kept one item off his menu when he opened Salare in 2015.

“I didn’t want to put fried chicken on the menu,” Jordan said in the Netflix documentary series, “Ugly Delicious.”

File photo: Calorie counts are now national law.
Flickr Photo/Wes Dickinson (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/TWcThi

A national law requiring calorie information on menus takes effect this week. Restaurants, supermarkets and convenience stores with 20 locations are now required to post calorie information on their menus. 

If you live in King County, you won’t see much difference because it was an early adopter and passed a menu labeling requirement in 2009.


Liz West/Flickr Creative Commons (https://flic.kr/p/4oxLb1)

Before you buy that head of lettuce, you might want to first check where it’s grown.

“Be certain that what they’re buying is from California and not from Arizona,” said Marguerite Pappaioanou, epidemiologist at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health.

Photo courtesy of Mac Witt

Most Seattle bakeries have employed graduates from South Seattle College’s Pastry and Baking Arts program. The school is a pipeline for notable restaurants and bakeries like Macrina, Bakery Nouveau, and Grand Central.

But now the college is looking to cut $1 million, and the baking program is a target.


The city of Monroe is enforcing a new ordinance that prohibits people from sitting or lying on sidewalks, joining a growing number of cities in Washington creating similar laws in the name of public safety.

Sameth Mell poses for a portrait on Monday, April 2, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

For Cambodian Americans, April marks the Khmer new year. It's also when survivors of the Cambodian genocide remember the fall of Phnom Penh.

Sameth Mell and his family were among thousands who fled Cambodia. In Spring of 1986, through church sponsorship, they arrived in Seattle. This is his story, as told to Ruby de Luna. 

Leilani Kaaiwela-Pedreira, center, and Jessica Whalen, left, assemble their traditional Kahiko dresses on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the halau in Federal Way.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

There’s a rule to watching hula:  Pay attention to the dancer’s hands to understand the story.

But Kumu Hula `Iwalani Christian said the hands alone won't tell you everything you need to know: Clothing is part of the story, too. 

Bruce Lee spent formative years in Seattle. He attended the University of Washington from 1961 to 1964, majoring in philosophy. Behind him is Lake Washington, the subject of many of his poems.
Courtesy of Wing Luke Museum/® & © Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Before he was a martial arts icon, Bruce Lee was a poet, philosopher and fledgling instructor in Seattle.

Now there’s an exhibit at the Wing Luke Museum that focuses on that time in his life.


Edouardo Jordan poses for a portrait on Wednesday December 6, 2017, at JuneBaby in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When you think of cities known for southern cooking, you might think of Savannah, Georgia or Nashville, Tennessee. You wouldn’t think of Seattle.

But Seattle chef Edouardo Jordan is putting Seattle on the map with his southern cooking.

An oyster tray at Seattle restaurant Westward.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Pacific oysters are a mainstay in the Northwest.

A little known fact: They’re native to Japan and have been cultured there for hundreds of years.

Family photos, including one of 2-year-old Jerry Yamashita with his father, Masahide Yamashita, are shown on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Oysters are a cornerstone of Pacific Northwest cuisine. But there was a time when our region’s oysters were in trouble, all but obliterated by over-harvesting and pollution.

Then a Japanese immigrant helped turn things around.

law court crime
Flickr Photo/Joe Gratz (CC BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/bkUna

People arrested last year in unincorporated King County for offenses like shoplifting, illegal dumping or criminal trespass will not be prosecuted.

As of this week, the King County Prosecutor’s Office will dismiss misdemeanor cases that occurred between May and December of last year.

Raft Hollingsworth III laughs with his sister Joy Hollingsworth on Thursday, January 18, 2018, at The Hollingsworth Cannabis Company in Mason County.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Last year sales of legal marijuana reached $1.2 billion. Despite the growth, people of color are left out. Less than 10 percent of current licensed retailers and producers are minorities.  One reason: stigma.

When Joy Hollingsworth and her brother Raft decided to grow pot as a family business, they told only a few about it. Joy says growing up, pot was taboo.


Joy Hollingsworth, left, and Raft Hollingsworth III stand in their cloning greenhouse on Thursday, January 18, 2018, at The Hollingsworth Cannabis Company in Mason County.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Washington voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana in 2012, entrepreneurs jumped at the new business opportunity.

Marijuana sales continue to grow, with the industry doing  more than a billion dollars in sales last year. But this new industry is overwhelmingly white —  and there are many obstacles for people of color.

One African American family is staking their future on pot despite the barriers.

In this July 29, 2015 file photo, Chris Cornell poses for a portrait to promote his latest album, ‘Higher Truth,’ during a music video shoot in Agoura Hills, Calif.
Photo by Casey Curry/Invision/AP, File

Before moving forward to 2018, let's remember those we lost this year. Here are nine people who left a mark on the Puget Sound region. 

Photo courtesy of Leslie Coaston

Holidays often evoke family traditions and food memories. So we asked Leslie Coaston and Laurie Minzel, the former owners of the Kingfish Café, about theirs.

The sisters' Kingfish Café was a favorite fixture in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood before it closed in 2015. And it all started out as a dream.

You may not have heard of Edouardo Jordan, but he's been getting a lot of local and national praise.  He’s chef owner of Salare and JuneBaby in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood.

This year he was a finalist for the James Beard Award, the Oscar’s of the food world. Last year, he was listed in Food and Wine’s Best New Chefs. Lately, he’s breaking new ground in the Northwest with his southern cooking.

Fred Appelbaum first read about Don Thomas' use of marrow transplantation to treat leukemia. After reading that article, 'I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,' said Appelbaum.
Courtesy of Fred Hutch News Service

Dr. Fred Appelbaum started his career in the 1970s when leukemia patients were given months to live. He worked with Dr. Don Thomas, a researcher at Fred Hutch who pioneered bone marrow transplantation. The procedure was considered radical at the time, but it would save tens of thousands of lives and change the course of cancer treatment.

Joe DiMaggio, Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, and patient Darrell Johnson in LAF (laminar airflow) room, 1978
Courtesy of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

There was a time when the cure for leukemia was almost as lethal as the disease. Before bone marrow transplants, patients were treated with arsenic or radiation — and the outlook was often considered hopeless.

MOHAI, Cary W. Tolman Photographs, [2002.68.9.10]

In the 1960s, an era when activism across racial lines was uncommon, four Seattle activists became allies. They were called the Gang of Four.

Larry Gossett, Roberto Maestas, Bernie Whitebear and Bob Santos collaborated and supported each other’s efforts throughout their activism careers.

November 2, 1972, two days after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kingdome, Bob Santos led a protest. The rallying cry: HUMBOWS NOT HOT DOGS!
Courtesy Eugene M. Tagawa

The 1960s brought marches, boycotts, and moments of unrest to Seattle as the battle for civil rights played out across the country.

That was also when four local activists — Roberto Maestas, Bob Santos, Bernie Whitebear and Larry Gossett — joined together to give voice to Seattle’s minority communities. Their nickname was the Gang of Four.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state, surrounded by DACA recipients, denounce the Trump Administration's plan to end the federal protection program for young immigrants.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

One day after announcing his plans to scrap a federal program protecting young immigrants from deportation, President Trump faces a lawsuit.

A detainee sits in the intake area at the Tacoma Detention Center in 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Unlike criminal cases, immigrants don’t have access to free legal representation.

Seattle wants to change that by giving money to six community groups that help vulnerable immigrants. 


Graduates of the International Rescue Committee summer school program, including Ikran Osman, 5, center, sit in the cafeteria before a graduation ceremony on Thursday, August 3, 2017, at Showalter Middle School in Tukwila.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Last year more than 1,700 refugees entering Washington state were school aged children. But many of them were not ready for the classroom.

For nearly a decade, a resettlement program has been running summer school in Tukwila for refugee kids to help them get ready to learn.

Dozens of murals hang on the walls at the Northwest Detention Center. They're painted by detainees, and the designs must be approved by staff. Painting is also considered a voluntary job, and the artists are paid $1 per day for their work.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A federal program that gives legal status to some undocumented youth is under legal threat.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, was established five years ago under President Barack Obama. But a deadline is looming that could dismantle the program.  

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The Trump Administration’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants is causing some people to avoid seeking medical care.  Public Health Seattle-King County is taking steps to reassure patients.


Manuel stands next to a window in his English class.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Every year tens of thousands of children unlawfully cross the border without parents or guardians. They’re fleeing violence and poverty.


An immigrant detainee knits at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

President Trump’s vow to crack down on illegal immigration has focused renewed attention on the detention centers built to hold immigrants awaiting deportation.


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