L122, one of the newest members of the Southern Resident Community of orcas, spotted Sept. 7 near Sooke, British Columbia.
Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research

Why is KUOW acquiring KPLU 88.5? Also: What war on Christmas? And should we keep orcas off display? Bill Radke distills the news with Luke Burbank, Erica C. Barnett, Bill Finkbeiner, KUOW General Manager Caryn Mathes, Rob Vernon of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Donald Trump helps out a bit too.

Caryn Mathes, president and general manager of KUOW Public Radio, spoke to the University of Washington Board of Regents Thursday.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

At KPLU studios in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, some employees said they’re disappointed that Pacific Lutheran University would sell the station.

KPLU reporter Gabriel Spitzer said that right up to this announcement he had been making plans for the new local program he hosts, called "Sound Effect." This announcement came as a shock.

A Proposed Seattle NPR Station Sale Would Align Two Overlapping Stations
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Editor's note: The online and on-air versions of this story were edited by the team at Oregon Public Broadcasting.

KUOW, Seattle's NPR member station, announced plans Thursday to purchase and absorb Seattle’s other major NPR station, KPLU, for $8 million. The acquisition would create one large public radio entity in Seattle with KUOW as the central provider of NPR news.

Pacific Lutheran University has announced its intent to sell its public radio license to the University of Washington's KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Pacific Lutheran University on Thursday announced its intent to sell KPLU 88.5 to the University of Washington.

A formal agreement has not yet been finalized.

It is expected that KUOW will manage 88.5 FM, which currently is operated by KPLU.

The White House sent out this pool report by Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner.
White House local pool report

Our radio friends at KEXP and KNDD got some love from the Obama press corps when the president was in town last week.

Jim Brunner, a government reporter at the Seattle Times, was taking notes for local reporters. At 6:39 p.m., Brunner filed a brief report that was later shared by the White House press office. The motorcade had just left the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle, where Obama was fundraising for Sen. Patty Murray.

Bertha K. Landes served as mayor of Seattle from 1926 to 1928. She was Seattle's first and only female mayor -- also Seattle's first female police chief, according to journalist Emmett Watson.
University of Washington Digital Archives

Before Bertha was a boring machine stuck under Seattle, she was Seattle’s first female mayor.

In 1926, her campaign motto was “municipal housekeeping.”

Bertha K. Landes was her full name and “she was wonderful,” according to columnist Emmett Watson.

Smoke 'Lumbers In Like A Wayward Drunk'

Aug 26, 2015
Don Nelson, the editor-owner of the Methow Valley News, with the Methow Valley in the background. The fires this season are the biggest on record in Washington state.
Courtesy of Don Nelson

Driving back to the cabin last night, I encountered almost no traffic on Highway 20 between Twisp and Winthrop. 

It is a Sunday night in August, the heart of what has been a record year for tourism here, Labor Day and the rodeo coming up, and the RVs, motorcycles and station wagons with fully laden bike racks are somewhere else that has not been evacuated or cut off from its main flow of visitors. Even Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe, which would usually be hopping with people loading up two – no, make that three – scoops of home-made ice cream onto a delicate waffle cone is closed and quiet.

'Seattle Is A Creepy, Salty Town With Dirt Under Her Nails'

Jul 14, 2015
The cover of the Seattle DIY zine from the Zine Archive and Publishing Project collection. The collection of 30,000 or so zines is currently in cold storage at a Seattle Public Library warehouse.
Courtesy of ZAPP

Seattle has one of the largest collections of zines -- tiny underground art manifestos that have usually been photocopied. ZAPP, the Zine Archive and Publishing Project, has been collecting them since 1996 and has amassed more than 30,000.

This essay comes from the 2002 edition of "The Puget Front." (Warning: Explicit language.)

Seattle is a creepy, salty town with dirt under her nails.

KUOW Wins Murrow, Gracie Awards

Apr 24, 2015
KUOW reporter Liz Jones conducting an interview in a farmers market in Hyderabad, India.
KUOW Photo/Harsha Vadlamani

“What a way to cap a Friday!” managing editor Cathy Duchamp wrote to KUOW’s staff.

She was referring to regional and national awards our newsroom won this week.

On Thursday, reporter John Ryan and editor Carol Smith won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for an investigation into landslide safety in Washington state.

Frank Blethen, publisher of The Seattle Times, shows off his tattoo of the Times' eagle. He has pestered his son to get one too, to no avail.
KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

Ross Reynolds interviews Frank Blethen, Jr., who has been the publisher of The Seattle Times for 30 years. He is the fourth generation of Blethens at the paper but calls himself an "accidental publisher."

Richard Sher, host of Says You, left, and KUOW Programming Director Jeff Hansen, in the spring of 2014. They are standing on Sher's favorite spot in a gated cemetery in Boston.
Courtesy of Jeff Hansen

Phyllis Fletcher, Managing Editor, Northwest News Network:

"It’s not important to know the answers. You just have to like the answers.”

I hoped to see Richard Sher again – and I assumed it would be soon. He brought his show “Says You” to the Puget Sound area at least once a year. I wanted to come back to at least sit in the audience or maybe even be picked as a panelist again.

They made it look so easy — and for me it wasn't! But Richard's enthusiasm for the whole enterprise of “Says You” was infectious. I particularly liked seeing how much he enjoyed the kids who helped out on this night by keeping score and that he wanted them to feel special. 

The subject of the popular public radio "Serial" podcast, who was convicted as a teenager 15 years ago in the murder of his ex-girlfriend, has been granted an appeal.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has granted the request for review from Adnan Syed, whose case has been examined in-depth in the podcasts, which raised questions about his guilt.

Ivy Huang and Terry Weng host a show on a recent
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

When Yunfei Zhao first arrived at the University of Washington, he felt like he was mostly prepared.

“I learned how to check out a book in the library in my English class back in China,” he said. “I learned how to greet people; I learned how to find my way someplace.”

Then he got hungry.

Two teenagers in Kivalina, Alaska, play near a skinned polar bear. Scientists predict Kivalina, an Alaskan village, will be the first casualty of climate change and sea rising in the U.S.
Suzanne Tennant

I first heard of Kivalina, a sliver of an island in far northwest Alaska, when I was looking for a photo project.

It appealed in part because of this one startling fact: Scientists believe that Kivalina, population 457, will be the first casualty of climate change in the U.S., and that it will be inundated by sea water by 2025. That’s in just a decade.

A frequent sight in our newsroom: Business reporter Carolyn Adolph arguing with Siri, the iPhone personal assistant.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Dear KUOW listeners,

We apologize for the inconvenience several of you experienced recently when listening to a story about distracted driving and Siri, the personal assistant who lives inside the iPhone.