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This is the official poem of 2016

Dec 31, 2016

This has been a tough year.

All sorts of news publications have even asked if it was the “Worst Year Ever.”

It’s been the year of a contentious US election season. The year of Brexit. The year of terrorist attacks all over the world.

Blues singer Courtney Weaver performs in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Kenneth Fiaui had always been jealous of his girlfriend. He was even jealous of her 4-month-old cat.

On the night he shot her, Courtney Weaver was preparing to go out with some friends for the evening. Fiaui didn’t want her to go.

Some people possess a quality — a highly specific fuel mixture of intelligence and humor — that makes them seem like they've always got a secret they want to share with you, and only you.

It's not obvious. That's the whole point of it: It lives on the sly, this quality, around the edges of what they say and do. It sidles up to you and draws you in, it whispers to you that you are important and special, and that's why this person chose you. You share something, the two of you.

Carrie Fisher, the actress who became a pop culture icon for her performance as Princess Leia in Star Wars, has died at age 60.

Fisher had suffered a massive heart attack last week on a flight from London to Los Angeles. On Sunday, her family said she was in stable condition.

A representative of Fisher's daughter, Bille Lourd, confirmed that Fisher died on Tuesday morning.

Fisher shot to fame at the age of 19, when she took on her instantly iconic role in Star Wars.

The bag Rose, a slave and mother, gave to her 9-year-old daughter the day she was sold away. They never saw each other again.
Courtesy of Middleton Place Foundation

For about $300, a 9-year-old girl named Ashley was sold as a slave.

Her mother, Rose, remained a house slave at a mansion in South Carolina.


Flickr Photo: Marilylle Soveran

The writer Henry Fielding defined a rogue as a rich man without charity. Merriam-Webster describes a dishonest, worthless or mischievous person. This year, Seattle stage rogues Jean Sherrard, Paul Dorpat, Khanh Doan and Kurt Beattie shared their talents for the annual “Short Stories Live: A Rogue’s Christmas.”

Think you're stressed out during the holidays? Try being one of Santa's helpers.

Turns out being surrounded by children, tinsel and merriment isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Humorist David Sedaris wrote about the downside of holiday joy in a collection of fanciful stories based on his experiences called the Santaland Diaries. Once again, here's Sedaris reading from his essay as a somewhat-flawed Macy's department store elf named Crumpet.

Click the play button to hear this holiday tradition.

Jeannie Yandel talks to KUOW's Amanda Wilde about three local musicians from the 20th century who changed their industry through technology and innovation. 

It was a bizarre Hollywood kerfuffle.

This holiday season, the color red is the focus of a small exhibition at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian show finds links between a 15th-century Ming dynasty dish and a 20th-century painting by Mark Rothko.

Photos by Joan Marcus

David Byrne, rock star with the Talking Heads and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, knew the stories of Imelda Marcos's thousands of pairs of shoes. But when he wrote a musical play about her life he left out the fact most people know about Marcos. Why did he chose her as the subject of his play?

The 32nd class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, announced by the organization Tuesday, include its first solo rapper, giants of alternative and album rock, and a stalwart protest singer. Also being inducted are a pair of extremely influential producers, one with his signature band and one by himself.

Musician Adra Boo is sticking it out in Seattle, but Jennifer Peterson has decided to leave the city for Mexico.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Bill Radke speaks with Jennifer Peterson and Adra Boo, two women of color, about Peterson's decision to leave Seattle (and the United States) and Boo's decision to stay. 

Before my family bought a television set, it was radio that I stayed glued to. I must have been 10 years old, or maybe 9. My grandfather, uncle and I would sit close to a massive analogue radio. One of them delicately held the dial between the thumb and the index finger, fine-tuning, ear close to the speaker, listening carefully for a clear sentence of English amid the sizzle and the crackle of radio signals. A clear signal that lasted for barely a minute put a huge smile on our faces.

Bill Radke sits down with local author Maria Semple, author of "Where's You Go, Bernadette?" and the new "Today Will Be Different." Semple discusses the idea of "the helpless traveler," a theory that when on vacation, you choose to either take charge or do absolutely nothing. 

When Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, many of the region's most precious artifacts were on loan to a museum in Amsterdam.

This kicked off a two year legal battle over where The Netherlands should return the priceless collection of gold and jewels: to Ukraine or to the four Crimean museums that lent the objects.

Artist Mary Sheldon Scott of Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

We live in a culture that values being young and hip, but there’s something to be said for age and experience.

Just ask Seattle artist Mary Sheldon Scott.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

If you've been in a quandary over what to give your favorite child this holiday season, fret no more! Nancy Pearl tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman about "The Christmas Crocodile," a picture book by Bonny Becker, illustrated by David Small.

Seven KUOW women participated in creating Lucia Neare's wail in Seattle on election night.
KUOW Photo/Robert Jacobs-Springer

Last week on KUOW, you heard the beautiful and heartbreaking story of Lucia Neare.

Neare was an orphan who became an artist who specializes in large-scale public performances. After learning the election results last month, she became despondent. 

Senator Bernie Sanders at University Temple United Methodist Church
KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

It may come as no surprise to you to hear that Bernie Sanders is not done. He was on the post-campaign trail last week, with a stop in Seattle to promote his new book, “Our Revolution: A Future To Believe In.”

Even after a bruising election season and outcome, Sanders says the majority of Americans agree with his vision of progress. He challenges us to “think big” about progressive change.

The BOTS Act of 2016 is now on its way to President Obama's desk, after both houses of Congress approved the legislation that seeks to widen access to online ticket sales and foil scalpers who try to corner the market.

The ban applies to ticket sales for any public event that can be attended by 200 or more people; it targets software that routinely defeats attempts by venues to try to limit the number of tickets one buyer can purchase.

Courtesy of James Rudy

Bill Radke talks with former Washington state poet laureate Elizabeth about the life and work of writer Lucia Perillo, who died October 16 at her home in Olympia at the age of 58.  

Marcie Sillman and Virginia Wright at SAM on Dec. 1, 2016.
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

Seattle’s reputation as a vibrant, progressive, culturally relevant city is the product of decades of vision and growth. Many Seattleites participated in building that progress, but no one has done more to develop the arts culture of this city than Virginia Wright. Over the last 60 years of her adult life, Wright has helped transform what was once a cultural outlier into a world-class art destination.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Longtime KUOW listeners know that Nancy Pearl calls herself an armchair historian. She tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman about Candice Millard's new book "Hero of the Empire," a chronicle of Winston Churchill and South African's Boer War.

Fishermen's Terminal, Seattle, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with managing director of Investigate West Lee van der Voo about her new book, "The Fish Market: Inside the Big-Money Battle for the Ocean and Your Dinner Plate." She explains the effects that privatizing access to fishing rights have had on the fishing industry and how you buy seafood. 

Seattle police approach man on the street, part of the group show, We are still here, at Gallery4Culture.
Delino Olebar, courtesy Creative Justice Project

Gentrification and housing affordability are hot topics in Seattle right now.

They affect everyone, but typically politicians or media-savvy types dominate the public debate.

As an Asian-American woman, I've had any number of opportunities to see someone who looked like me on the big and small screen.

Since I was a little girl, I've seen Disney's Mulan, Trini Kwan from Fox Kids' Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy, to name a few. And while the portrayal of Asian-American women by Hollywood and television could use some work — too often they're oversexualized or rendered exotic — at least we're present and have some depth.

Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer, United States Army, 1865
Public Domain

Bill Radke speaks with T.J. Stiles about his book, "Custer's Trial: A Life on the Frontier of a New America." Stiles draws parallels between a changing America during the time of Custer and changes happening in our country today. Stiles book won the 2016 Pulizter Prize for history.   

A ribbon of resistance by Ellen Sollod.
www.sollodstudio.com

After the November election, many people started wearing safety pins on their lapels.

It’s a visible sign of their support for people who might feel threatened by the Trump administration.

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