Ruby de Luna | KUOW News and Information

Ruby de Luna


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

The state hospital association has teamed up with a toxicology company to address one gateway to opioid addiction. 

People prescribed pain medication sometimes don’t use all of it. And those drugs can get into the wrong hands. Washington residents may  have another way of getting rid of their unused prescription drugs. 

Comcast is being accused of violating Washington state's Consumer Protection Act.
Flickr Photo/Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)/

On Monday Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson  filed a $100 million lawsuit against Comcast for deceiving customers with its repair fees and credit checks. The lawsuit is the first of its kind in the nation.

Ferguson said the cable and internet giant violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act.

Jesse Calliham, left, Bud McCurry, center, and Lauren Rainbow are part of Snohomish County's Office of Neighborhoods. The unit's sole focus is working with homeless people who use heroin. Click on this image for more photos.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Deputy Bud McCurry sets up his laptop in the patrol car. He's heading into a wooded area in South Everett where homeless heroin users have been camping out.

Two social workers are with him – Jesse Calliham and Lauren Rainbow. They discuss a woman named Shelly, who has six kittens and is on the verge of agreeing to detox. 

Medical residents Bryn Chowchuvech, Bari Laskow and Stephanie Ngo discuss strategy for making their spaghetti dish.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

You don’t expect to see doctors in a kitchen.

Normally you’d find newly minted doctors at Swedish Cherry Hill hospital seeing patients. Instead, a group of them is spending an afternoon chopping onions, red bell peppers and mushrooms under the instruction of Dr. Tanmeet Sethi.

Naloxone Syringe
Flickr Photo/VCU CNS (CC BY NC 2.0)/

Heroin addiction has no boundaries. Deaths from overdoses have gone up across Washington state, but in Snohomish County, the rates have gone up more than in King or Pierce Counties.

Totten has been homeless since May. He brings his laundry to the Hygiene Center in Pioneer Square.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The housing market is hot, and older Seattleites are feeling the squeeze. 

The new medical van for homeless people started seeing patients this week. The clinic is part of Seattle King county Public Health's Mobile Medical Program that started in 2008.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Seattle is bringing health care to homeless people by way of a medical van.

The van is actually a 39-foot RV that’s been customized into a compact medical office. It has an exam room, and a station for patients to check in and talk with the nurse.

But it’s more than a walk-in clinic. It’s a place to connect people with services they need, including mental health.

This winged water beetle at Nue on Capitol Hill tasted like a salt lick chased by an apple Jolly Rancher. Click through for images of reporter Ruby de Luna tasting the water beetle (which isn't on the menu, by the way.)
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

You can order water bugs the size of a Post-It note at Nue, a trendy restaurant on Capitol Hill. They’re full-bodied, winged, and you have to suck the meat from their abdomens.

Nearby at Poquitos, an upscale Mexican restaurant, are spicy chapulines, or grasshoppers, that taste vaguely of flour.

Audio Pending...

Activists and anarchists lived at 1643 King Street for at least 40 years. They called it the King Street Collective.
Courtesy of Ronni Tartlet

If this house could talk, what stories would it tell?

About the Irish-American couple that first owned it?

And the Japanese family sent to an internment camp?

Or the anarchists that played drums during the WTO protests?

Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Rob Ketcherside (CC-BY-NC-ND)

It’s been a rough week for Seattle-area hospitals. First, Virginia Mason’s accreditation is on the line. Meanwhile, a Skagit hospital lost a court fight related to abortion. And Northwest Hospital is facing a class action suit over charity care. 

Here's a breakdown of what's happening at each hospital.

The International Children's Park was built in 1981. It features a dragon sculpture by Gerard Tsutakawa.
Flickr Photo/Gexydaf (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Seattle City Council is expected to vote Monday to rename a park in honor of the late Donnie Chin, Chinatown-International District’s beloved community activist and go-to guy.

The playground on 700 South Lane Street will be renamed the Donnie Chin International Children’s Park.

University of Washington faculty and students are protesting administrators' decision to cut 25 teaching assistant positions in the College of Arts and Sciences.

FAFSA form for student aid.
Flickr Photo/The Bent Tree (CC BY NC 2.0)/

June is the month for college graduation, but for many homeless youth, college is beyond their grasp. The paperwork for college applications can be overwhelming and being homeless complicates that process.

When Clarissa Lunday applied for federal financial aid, she had to provide information about her homelessness. 

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Dawna Hankins had a partial hysterectomy in 2008.

Before surgery her doctor offered to put in a surgical mesh to help with minor incontinence. She agreed.

The mural at Hummus Cafe, at North 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue North. Across the street, a similar restaurant, Mr. Gyro, was demolished by the blast.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

It’s been two months since a gas explosion shook up Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. Most businesses have reopened.

At Rosewood Guitar on 85th, owner Bill Clements coaxed his golden retriever, Jack the shop greeter, to sit still. He remembered the days after the explosion in March.  

One of the 24 units for homeless youth at Phoenix Rising, a place for young adults ages 18-25 needing shelter and treatment for addiction.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Homeless youth with substance abuse problems will have a place in King County to get help beginning this month.

A bus moves into traffic on Delridge Way in West Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

King County Metro plans to increase transit service in the next five years, and it plans to do so without adding more greenhouse gas emissions.

The lobby at Exeter House, which was built as a luxury, live-in hotel in the 1920s.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Exeter House in downtown Seattle was built as an apartment hotel for elegant living in the 1920s. It was part of a construction boom downtown at the time.

At a recent gathering, supporters of a safe site for drug users tied a ribbon to remember people who've been personally affected by substance abuse.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

It’s been more than a month since a task force was formed to address King County’s heroin epidemic.

One solution that’s under discussion is creating a safe site for people to use drugs under medical supervision. The idea is unconventional and controversial, but supporters like Patricia Sully say previous approaches haven’t worked.  

At one time, Thea Oliphant-Wells was a client at the needle exchange program. Today, she's a social worker connecting people to services they need to find their way out of addiction.  `
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Heroin deaths have reached a record number in King County. More than 150 people died of overdoses in 2014.

One woman could’ve been part of that statistic. Ten years ago, Thea Oliphant-Wells was homeless and addicted to heroin. 

School kids in Washington state are tested for distance vision, to make sure they can see the chalk board at 20 feet. Now a new law requires students to also be tested for near vision.

But it’s not as simple as it sounds.

We all know that cancer screenings are important, but it doesn’t mean they always get done. For some Latina women, a conversation with a peer can nudge them to action.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Latina women. Dr. Gloria Coronado, epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Oregon, said that’s because Latinas are likely to be diagnosed when the disease is already advanced.

Vice President Joe Biden toured the lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center before holding a roundtable meeting with scientists there. Biden says he's encouraged to see more cooperation between researchers and doctors.
Fred Hutch News Service Photo/Robert Hood

Vice President Joe Biden urged scientists to collaborate to help speed up the process to cure cancer. Biden was in Seattle Monday. He toured a lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, then held a roundtable discussion with scientists.

Five-year-old Tiui gets a snack from the makeshift pantry in Othello Village, the newest honeless encampment in southeast Seattle
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

It was moving day Tuesday at Othello Village tent city in southeast Seattle. But there were no moving boxes or vans in sight. The new residents arrived with their few belongings in bins.

Seleima Silikula, 34, and her son Tiui, 5, were among them. They moved into one of eight tiny houses on the lot. 

Emily Holt (left) and Kathleen Cromp staff the Welcome Desk at Meridian Center for Health. The clinic provides medical, dental, mental health and maternal support services under one roof.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

When it comes to providing care for people with mental illness, Washington ranks in the bottom five in the country.

The state has one of the highest percentages of adults with mental illness and one of the worst records for not getting them the treatment they need. One Seattle clinic wants to change that.

Wanda Williams, a former nurse who has been homeless for three years, and her roommate Tim Pugsley hold up a permit that allows them to stay in Seattle's RV Safe Lot in Ballard.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Wanda Williams was the first to arrive at the safe lot on Friday. Her recreational vehicle, or RV, was right behind her, being towed into a lot in Ballard.

“I’m so excited,” she yelled out.

Carin Mack (center right), a geriatric social worker, leads a discussion on avoiding loneliness, like volunteer work.`
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

At the Greenwood Senior Center in Seattle, about two dozen older adults are gathered around a large table.

There’s homemade bread being passed around, and some handouts related to today’s discussion. The people in this group are mostly over age 65. Some are widowed, some are divorced, and some have never married. All live alone.

Toddlers born in Washington state between 2012 and 2014 (like this North Seattle kid above) are expected to live, on average, to 80. But where you live could predict if you live longer or shorter than that average.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Washingtonians born between 2012 and 2014 are expected to live, on average, to 80 years old.

But where you live in Washington state could indicate if you reach this ripe age.

A photo from a 2011 project by the Daily Kent Stater. "A chaplain came to say a prayer for Rene when she was moved to hospice Monday morning, September 19. John and a few of his children were present at this time."
Flickr Photo/Kristin Bauer Photography

Dying patients in hospice and nursing homes aren’t always getting the care they need during the last days of their lives.