The Record | KUOW News and Information

The Record

Monday - Thursday, noon - 1:00 p.m.

Daily conversations about the ideas that matter most to Seattle and the Puget Sound region. Hosted by Bill Radke.

Have a story that we should be talking about? Tell us! Our email address is record@kuow.org.

Ways to Connect

Jonathan Raban's book "Driving Home."

Writer Jonathan Raban came to Seattle from his native England in 1991. Microsoft and Starbucks were in their toddler years and Seattle’s music scene had just become an international sensation. What was once a workingman’s town was evolving, and Raban was here to chronicle that change. "Driving Home," a collection of Raban’s essays written over 20 years, is out now in paperback. He talks with Marcie Sillman about the Seattle he first met.

Flickr Photo/Jesus V

Did you know that the phrase "the whole 9 yards" used to be "the whole 6 yards?" It’s true. And cloud nine, that fantastic place to be, used to be cloud seven, then cloud eight. So how did we get to nine yards and cloud nine? Ben Zimmer is back today to talk about phrase inflation as we consider our series on strange language.

Flickr Photo/Adam Russell

This January, changes in federal law made it illegal to unlock cell phones. This was great news for phone companies that like people to be locked into one carrier but bad news for the environment. Ross Reynolds talked with Kiera Butler, senior editor at Mother Jones, about locked phones and e-waste. 

Flickr Photo/Andy Withers

Wednesday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-7 to approve a resolution authorizing US military action against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Congress returns to the Capitol next week where they will debate at length the possibility of military intervention.

One question we haven't heard much about yet is how much money an intervention might cost. Marcie Sillman talks with economist Dean Baker, founder of The Center For Economic and Policy Research, about the costs of war.

Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn

The University of Washington Huskies inaugurated their newly renovated football stadium in style on Saturday night. The Huskies beat number 19 ranked Boise State 38 to 6. It was great news for coach Steve Sarkisian. He's led the team for the past five years and he desperately wants to restore the Huskies to their former glory days.

Twenty-two years ago, in 1991, the University of Washington was on top of the football heap. The team shared a national title with Miami and the man at the helm was Don James. He remembers that night that the national title was finally announced.

Long hours. Little pay. And lots of public scrutiny.

Sounds like a dream job right?

Well it's often the very real experience of school board members, especially here in Seattle. But part of that job description could change. State Representative Reuven Carlyle is considering a proposal that would pay school board members $42,000 per year – the same as state lawmakers. As of now, school board members are only eligible for reimbursements of up to $4,800 per year.

What are the benefits of paying school board members? Does it lead to student improvement? Thomas Alsbury is professor of educational administration and supervision at Seattle Pacific University. He talked with Ross Reynolds about what the research says.

Ben Zimmer: The Roots Of "Pipe Dreams"

Sep 4, 2013
Flickr Photo/Andre Lucero

Yesterday we heard some history on the term "doping" in sports and today, language columnist Ben Zimmer explains where the term "pipe dream" comes from. 

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says his country won’t be part of a potential US mission in Syria and calls himself a “reluctant convert” to the case for a limited military strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Where is Canadian public opinion on Syria? Vancouver Sun political columnist Vaughn Palmer joins us with a check-in from north of the border.

Flickr Photo/Santiago Almada

Things are changing fast regarding the situation in Syria. UN technicians are working around the clock to analyze samples from the chemical attacks in Syria. President Obama says he won’t wait for those results.

But definitive proof that Assad used chemical weapons – either from the UN or from another intelligence agency – could have far reaching consequences.

The BBC’s Middle East editor Sebastian Usher has been keeping tabs on UK politicians since they rejected military intervention last week. Usher says proof that Assad used chemical weapons could be enough to tip the balance of public opinion in the UK. He says that could lead to a second parliamentary vote, a vote that could reverse the country’s position and authorize the UK to join the US led coalition against Syria.

Meanwhile, the UN is urging a more cautious approach. Secretary General Ban ki-Moon suggested yesterday that any offensive strike in Syria without UN Security Council approval would be illegal.

Sebastian Usher spoke today with KUOW’s David Hyde.

Flickr Photo/Sigfrid Lundberg

Is being bored really an endangered state of being? Are you too afraid of missing out to turn off? Seattle Times tech columnist Monica Guzman says that her reliance and dependence on technology is why she decides to go without every few years. Ross Reynolds talks with  Guzman about why she decided that she had to tune out technology to tune into her surroundings.

Flickr Photo/Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Japanese officials are still battling radioactive groundwater that is leaking as a result of the Fukushima Nuclear plant meltdown triggered by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The latest effort to block contaminated water from leaking into the Pacific Ocean is a $470 million ice wall. How do you build an ice wall and how does it work? Larry Applegate, the president of Seattle-based firm SoilFreeze, a company that  creates frozen walls and tunnels, explains the technology to Marcie Sillman.

Flickr Photo/Jinx!

Each year the world’s top Pokémon trading card players travel from around the globe to compete for the title of Pokémon World Champion. This year competitors from 25 countries traveled to Vancouver, B.C., to battle it out.

Playing in the master’s division, James Good of Sultan, Wash., beat 172 world class players to be named the third best player in the world. Although he grew up loving Pokémon, he only began competing seriously in 2012. He explains how luck and skill got him to the top.

Flickr Photo/Robert Gaskin

It has been two months since the last special session in Olympia came to a close. Now Governor Jay Inslee is saying he wants to call another one.

Lawmakers failed to pass a transportation package during the last special session. The special session will only be called if there are enough votes to pass a transportation package that was stalled during the last legislative session.

Senator Rodney Tom said he is holding seven public meetings around the state to assess what the public wants in a transportation plan. Jerry Cornfield of the Everett Herald joins us for more analysis on the compromises and possibilities for a new plan.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

There are many changes afoot at Microsoft these days. CEO Steve Ballmer announced his retirement last month, giving the company an opportunity to move in a new direction.

Just this week the company also announced it was acquiring Nokia's mobile phone business in a $7.2 billion  deal. So what does the new CEO need to do to keep the company relevant and innovative?

Sandeep Krishnamurthy is the dean of the business school at UW Bothell. He talked with us about the future of Microsoft after Ballmer’s exit.

KUOW Photo/Jenna Montgomery

Ava Anissipour is on a mission to convince Federal Way to re-classify pygmy goats as pets, not livestock. Anissipour has had a pygmy goat since she was nine years old; she's 12 now.

Anissipour says pygmy goats make perfect household pets: affectionate, smart and well behaved. The Federal Way City Council plans to vote on pygmy goat classification in the coming weeks.

Marcie Sillman sat down with Anissipour to talk about her efforts.

Seattle's Department of Transportation is providing $2.3 million to go toward a change in start times for Seattle Public Schools.
Flickr Photo/tncountryfan

The Seattle teachers union and the school district have reached a tentative agreement on a new two-year contract. The union will vote on the agreement today, on the eve of the first scheduled day of school. Marcie Sillman talks with Ballard high school teacher, Noam Gundle and Chris Eide, executive director of independent teachers group Teachers United, to get their perspectives on the agreement.

 

Sillman also spoke with KUOW reporter Ann Dornfeld who explained the main issues surfacing in the contract negotiations.

Paul Constant

Tuesday afternoon, activists led by The Stranger's Dan Savage will protest in front of the Russian Consul General's house in Madison Park. The protest is in response to a Russian law passed in June that outlaws "propagandizing non-traditional sexual relations among minors."

Russian authorities have interpreted that language broadly and as a result, people seen as "promoting gay values" have been arrested and subject to violence from police or other Russians.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

"When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they are going to be stunned, and they are going to be angry," said Oregon Senator Ron Wyden on the Senate floor in May, 2011. He was referencing the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance program.

Michael Hallat

Unauthorized, unaffiliated and unafraid reads the sign outside of Michael Hallatt's store in Canada. He is the owner of Pirate Joe’s, a small reselling store in Vancouver, Canada, that sells, among other things, Trader Joe’s products. He began by buying items from a Trader Joe’s in Bellingham and trucking them across the border to stock his shelves.

When Trader Joe’s realized what Hallat was doing, they were not very pleased. Now Hallat is fighting a lawsuit filed by Trader Joe's while continuing to smuggle peanut butter-stuffed pretzels across the border. So how does a store like his operate? The pirate himself explains.

Flickr Photo/NCinDC

We’ve seen lots of sports scandals in the news over the years that have to do with performance-enhancing drugs, commonly referred to as doping. Dope, from the Dutch word doop, is actually a gravy or a sauce, so how did we go from gravy to drugs? Lexicographer Ben Zimmer gives KUOW's Ross Reynolds the straight dope on dope.

AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin

Former pro basketball player Dennis Rodman has returned to North Korea for another so-called “basketball diplomacy” tour. Yet just last week, North Korea canceled the visit of US envoy Robert King, who was attempting to secure the release of Lynnwood resident Kenneth Bae.

In the past, North Korea has attempted to use detentions of Americans to win diplomatic concessions. Why did they cancel King’s trip? And what does North Korea gain by inviting Dennis Rodman back? David Hyde spoke with Charles Armstrong, professor of history at Columbia University, to find out.

Dennis Rodman: Kim Jong Un is "awesome."

Does Rodman's attitude toward the North Korean leader help legitimize his regime? North Korean media has been playing up the unlikely duo's relationship, but Armstrong had this to say about Rodman's testimony:


Eddie Weber runs 11 clean and sober houses in Kent, Wash.  Five of those are full of sex offenders, which is a  problem according to the city of Kent. The city attorney has promised to start fining Weber $2,500 dollars a day – $500 for each house – because those houses violate the city’s zoning code.

Weber said Kent’s action is part of a larger trend where Draconian laws are enacted to drive sex offenders out of communities. Weber spoke to KUOW’s David Hyde.

Produced by Joshua McNichols.

President Obama is asking Congress to approve air strikes against Syria in the wake of evidence that chemical weapons were used on civilians in the country. How is Washington's congressional delegation responding?

Rep. Adam Smith has just returned from the Syria-Jordan border. He said in a statement that the United States “should expand and accelerate our support for moderate elements of opposition forces” in Syria. Rep. Smith joins us to explain how the United States might support Syrian opposition.

Flickr Photo/Spiros Vathis

For months now, tensions have been brewing between Seattle taxi drivers and ridesharing services like Uber-X, Sidecar and Lyft. Seattle cab drivers (who are heavily regulated by the city) claim ridesharing services have an advantage since they’re not subject to the same rules and regulations.

So this summer, the city commissioned a $100,000 study to determine the demand for taxis, rideshares, for-hires and limousines. What did the study find? And how will the results inform how the city proceeds? Seattle City Council President Sally Clark joins us with the results.

KUOW Photo/Nick Danielson

When you hear the term "skid row" perhaps you think of Sebastian Bach or maybe the notorious Los Angeles neighborhood nicknamed Skid Row, but did you know that Seattle had the original Skid Row and it was actually Skid Road?

Ross Reynolds talks with Sunny Speidel of Seattle’s Underground Tour as The Record kicks off this week’s look at Seattle’s self-proclaimed first neighborhood, Pioneer Square.

Preview: The Record On KUOW

Aug 20, 2013

KUOW is creating a new, fast-paced, two-hour news show called The Record on KUOW, airing 12 p.m. - 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, starting September 3, 2013. Find out more: www.kuow.org/faq

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Ross Reynolds talks with Seattle Army Capt. Will Swenson about receiving the Medal Of Honor and his actions during the Battle of Ganjgal in Afghanistan.

This interview originally aired on November 8, 2013.

Jeremy Sternberg / Flickr

It took author George Saunders seven years to write his collection of stories, “Tenth of December.” But for many fans, (including the New York Times Magazine which called his new story collection “the best book you’ll read this year”), the wait was been worth it.

Saunders visited the KUOW studios and gave us five amazing books that he thinks everybody should read.

This segment originally aired February 4, 2013

Portrait of poet Elissa Ball
Olivia McCausland

Performance poet Elissa Ball comes from the  ethos of Riot Grrrl and punk.  She distributed her poems via do-it-yourself zines beginning in her early teen years. Her poem "Analog Love" offers exuberant praise for the pre-digital sensual world.

Pages