Author Interviews
3:32 pm
Sun August 19, 2012

Long After Katrina, New Orleans Fights For 'Home'

Alex Brandon

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 5:20 pm

In just a few weeks, we will mark the seventh anniversary of one of the country's deadliest hurricanes. New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are still recovering from the devastating damage and loss of life caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita — the storm that would follow.

Read more
Music News
2:19 pm
Sun August 19, 2012

Arizona Dranes, Forgotten Mother Of The Gospel Beat

Detail from a print advertisement for Arizona Dranes' Okeh recordings.
Tompkins Square

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 5:20 pm

In the 1920s, the sound of music in the black church underwent a revolution. Standing at 40th and State Street in Chicago, Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ was a witness to what occurred.

The high-energy gospel beat of the music that can still be heard in this Pentecostal church is the creation, music critics say, of Arizona Dranes, a blind piano player, a woman who introduced secular styles like barrelhouse and ragtime to the church's music.

Read more
Health
1:01 pm
Sun August 19, 2012

Dallas Deploys Old Weapon In New Mosquito Fight

Mike Stuart of Dynamic Aviation speaks to the media this week about the type of plane used for aerial spraying in Dallas. The city and county are conducting aerial spraying to combat the nation's worst outbreak of West Nile virus, which has killed at least 10 people and sickened about 200.
LM Otero AP

The recent outbreak of West Nile virus in the Dallas area has led to a new round of large-scale spraying for mosquitoes — a method of treating outbreaks that has generations of success, and even nostalgia, behind it.

Although the overall mosquito-killing strategy has changed little since the days when it was pioneered during construction of the Panama Canal a century ago, the chemicals used have become much safer for everything and everyone involved, save the mosquitoes, experts say.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:05 pm
Sun August 19, 2012

Ryan's Taxes Show Gap Between Romney And The Not-So-Rich

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., on July 10. Romney said he has "nothing hidden" in his taxes.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 3:35 pm

With running mate Paul Ryan's tax returns released on a Friday night — a good week and a half ahead of the Republican convention — the presidential campaign can finally move off the subject of tax returns.

Or so Mitt Romney can hope.

In reality, the numbers in the Wisconsin congressman's filings provide new data points, for those inclined to see things this way, about how far Romney's financial situation is from that of ordinary voters.

Depends On The Income

Read more
The Two-Way
8:59 am
Sun August 19, 2012

WikiLeaks' Assange Demands U.S. Cease "Witch Hunt"

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, makes a statement from a balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Sunday.
Sang Tan AP

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 12:44 pm

Julian Assange stepped onto a balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London Sunday to demand that the U.S. end its persecution of WikiLeaks. It was his first public appearance since taking refuge inside the embassy in June.

"I ask President Obama to do the right thing," he said. "The United States must renounce its witch hunt against WikiLeaks."

Update @ 9:47 a.m. ET: 'War On Whistleblowers'

Read more
Music Interviews
7:54 am
Sun August 19, 2012

Bill Fay: A Cult Figure Returns, Skeptical But Optimistic

Bill Fay's new album Life Is People is out August 21.
Courtesy of Steve Gullick

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 3:19 pm

In the early 1970s, British musician Bill Fay recorded a couple of luscious folk albums — which didn't sell very well. Fay was dropped from label after label, and though he continued to write his storybook songs over the years, he eventually fell off the map.

Read more
Participation Nation
6:12 am
Sun August 19, 2012

Caring For Canines In Seguin, Texas

Carol Hirschi and her dogs.
Courtesy of Robin Bisha

Mama Bella is sudsy, and we're soaked. I'm holding the leash while Carol Hirschi scrubs the black dog's tummy.

"When people bring me a dog, I'm sure they don't picture me washing her crotch," she laughs.

Hirschi rescues dogs. Her Moshiem Mansion Bed & Breakfast houses a changing cast of 10 to 15 dogs that have escaped death in the shelter.

"I leave the happy-go-lucky ones and pull the ones who are terrified," Hirschi says, "The ones who understand what's happening."

Read more

Ashley Gross is KPLU's business and labor reporter, covering everything from Amazon.com and Boeing to garbage strikes. She joined the station in May 2012 after working for five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.

She studied history at Brown University and earned a master's in international affairs at Columbia University. She grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She lives in West Seattle with her husband and two sons.

The Salt
5:21 am
Sun August 19, 2012

Shop Owners Hope Yogurt Smooths A Path Out Of Greek Recession

Dimitris Plassas and Georgia Ladopoulou work the yogurt bar at Fresko, which specializes in several varieties of Greek-style yogurt.
Joanna Kakissis NPR

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 10:23 am

Greeks used to take their yogurt for granted. This year, at anti-austerity protests, they even threw it at their politicians. But Greeks are finally realizing yogurt might actually help the country during its worst recession in half a century.

In Athens, dozens of entrepreneurs have opened yogurt bars. The first one, called Fresko, opened last year on a pedestrian street near the Acropolis. It features four types of rich, strained yogurt kept cool in traditional ceramic pots.

Read more
Your Money
5:21 am
Sun August 19, 2012

Stores Banking On Personalized Loyalty Programs

A customer using Safeway's personalized deals gets this loaf of bread for 99 cents instead of the original $4.29.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 5:56 pm

Loyalty cards have long given discounts to shoppers who sign up, but stores are increasingly offering personalized discounts tailored to each customer's shopping patterns.

Those tailored discounts mean someone standing in front of you at the supermarket checkout line might get a lower price on the exact same gallon of milk that you're buying.

A 'Secret Deal'

Heather Kulper is one of those people who really wants to get a good deal. She's a mom in a suburb north of Seattle who writes a blog about coupon clipping and saving money.

Read more

Pages