Check It Out!

Check It Out!

A podcast from Sno-Isle Libraries for lifelong learners with inquiring minds. Check It Out! introduces the amazing people who work at, use and collaborate with the library district – and all of the services it offers to residents of Washington State’s Snohomish and Island counties.... Show More

Episodes

June 1, 2020 44 min

Part 1: You Don’t Wanna Be a Rock-and-Roll Star 

Chris Ballew lived the rock-and-roll life. 

As frontman for the late, great Presidents of the United States of America, he wrote infectious, goofy, catchy hits about “Peaches” and a “Dune Buggy” when heavy grunge dominated Seattle’s FM radio waves. He toured all over the world. He played to packed arenas and stadiums. He even won a Grammy award. 

But that’s the old Chris Ballew. 

Tod...

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Rodney Clark helps deliver the future. 

As the vice president of the Microsoft Azure Worldwide Internet of Things and Mixed Reality Team, Clark and his crew work with more than 8,000 partners and clients to connect billions of everyday devices to the cloud. 

Sensors on stop lights, cash registers, automobiles, home appliances, exercise monitors, video doorbells. They all generate information and data that allows organizations to ta...

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If you’re anxious about the global coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19, you’re not alone.  

In this episode of Sno-Isle Libraries Check It Out! podcast, you’ll hear how a globe-trotting disaster-relief doctor loses sleep about the deadly virus that has upended our sense of “normal.” 

Dr. Dan Diamond is a clinical assistant professor at Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine after spending 33 years at the Uni...

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Claudia Samano Losado has many talents. 

Early-childhood educator. World traveler. Life coach. Recreation-center owner. Dance-movement instructor. 

But maybe most importantly, Losado is a fervent Oak Harbor Library supporter. 

“I think I’m very passionate about a lot of things, and one of my passions is to share with others and to take and give in the same way,” said Losado, a member of the library’s board. “Since I have had so muc...

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Chapter 1: Meet the writer who’s not fond of writing 

Nancy Leson loves books, she loves libraries, she loves to talk and she loves food. 

That makes the Edmonds resident an ideal guest for Sno-Isle Libraries Check It Out! podcast

Libraries figured large in Leson’s childhood in Philadelphia. Her family had little disposable income, so off to the library they went to borrow books and glean information from encyclopedias. These day...

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, some of Rich Frishman’s photographs could be novels. 

Frishman was a news photographer for The Daily Herald in Everett and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize before he left to pursue freelance work. 

He knows how to tell a story with a photograph, and he still sees and tells the stories of America through his camera lens. 

Fr

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David George Gordon admits he was a bookworm as a child. Is that why the prolific author loves insects, and loves to eat them?
Sno-Isle Libraries Check It Out! podcast hosts Ken Harvey, Jim Hills and Jessica Russell sat down with Gordon and chewed the fat about his reputation as “the bug chef.” And they graciously accepted the guest’s gifts, as polite hosts do.

Yes. Harvey, Hills and Russell ate bugs.
The Seattle-based author of “T...

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If you’re old enough to remember when Seattle television was limited to a handful of broadcast channels and you remember J.P. Patches, you’ve seen the work of Sharon Howard and Mike Rosen.

Howard got her start in broadcast TV in 1977 with KIRO-TV as a floor director for newscasts and “The J.P. Patches Show.” It was performed and broadcast live, six mornings a week.

Without any rehearsal to speak of.

“Well, everybody thinks that we ...

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As the outgoing president and CEO of Washington CleanTech Alliance, Tom Ranken has been close to many of the biggest and some of the smallest businesses in the region.

What they all have in common, Ranken says, is a goal to change the world.

Ranken had plenty of business expertise -  Immunex, VizX Labs, Axio Research - on his resume before joining the Alliance in 2010 as its first full-time president & CEO. At that time, the c...

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In this final episode of the second season of Check It Out!, hosts Ken Harvey, Jessica Russell, Paul Pitkin and Jim Hills relate their personal holiday dreams and nightmares and dive into library resources that may just help set a tasty dinner table.

Hills, not beset by the piled-plate, food-touching phobia, shares that a holiday meal is best perceived as a single entity, the sum of its parts as measured both horizontally and verti...

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Dave Earling has worn the mantles of many different roles.

Student. Musician. Husband. Father. Grandfather. Teacher. Business owner. City council member. Volunteer.

And perhaps most recently and visibly, Mayor of Edmonds.

Earling speaks in this episode of the Check It Out! podcast as he brings that role as city executive to close.

“I jokingly say that I have a checkered past,” Earling says. “But, if you are truly interested in what...

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The key to long term success is becoming “robot-proof,” says Amit Singh.

Singh, the president at Edmond Community College, says students need two things to compete in today’s economy and into the future.

“They need technical skills and they need higher-level mental skills,” Singh says in this episode. “We normally call those mental skills ‘soft skills’ such as problem-solving.

“Those skills are making you robot-proof. A robot canno...

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It may not come as a surprise that Eric Klinenberg gets a warm welcome when he speaks to librarians and supporters of public libraries.

Klinenberg is the author of Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life that was published in 2018. The book makes the case that shared “social infrastructure,” such as libraries, is critical for the future of democracies ...

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Some children dream of being a firefighter or star athlete.

After an early civics lesson in school, Toby Nixon knew he was interested in government.

That early interest has turned into a life focused on public service and protecting the processes of government.

Nixon was re-elected to the city council in Kirkland, Wash., in the fall of 2019, a position he’s held since 2012. Among the many current and former public-service roles Nix...

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Even for the folks whose jobs are to know things about the library, Sno-Isle Libraries continues to amaze and surprise.

In this episode, co-hosts Ken Harvey, Jim Hills, Jessica Russell and Paul Pitkin, “Go over the highlights of what we don’t know.”

Service Center

Hills points out the oddity that while the library district’s Service Center in Marysville serves all 23 community libraries, Library on Wheels and online services, it is...

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What do police officer, adopted son, milkman, cheese cutter, fur trapper and international terrorism have in common?

They have all been part of Alan Hardwick’s life.

Hardwick is author of “Never Been This Close to Crazy,” the Edmonds Police sergeant’s first novel, which was published in June this year.

Hardwick’s 28-year law-enforcement career has touched a number of important areas. Hardwick started in Idaho and founded the Boise ...

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Chapter 1 – Snohomish County Council member Nate Nehring

Nate Nehring may look young for a Snohomish County Council member, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a lot of experience.

Born and raised in Marysville, Nehring was appointed to an open seat on the county council in 2017 at age 21. He is also the son of Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring.

“I remember going out and doorbelling for him,” Nehring says of his father, who was first ...

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Bernadette Pajer had returned to the University of Washington, intent on completing a degree in engineering.

And then the life story of the soon-to-be mystery/crime writer took its own plot twist.

Pajer turned her focus toward culture, literature and the arts and completed a Creative Writing Certificate at the UW. From there, Pajer began building on what she knew, which spawned the Profesor Bradshaw Mysteries series.

"I don'...

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There is no doubt that newspapers and journalism are undergoing changes.

Phillip O'Connor should know, he has worked through many of those changes and continues to chart a course into the future for the Fourth Estate in his new role as executive editor of The Herald newspaper in Everett, Wash.

Until arriving at The Herald in the summer of 2019, O'Connor was a committed midwesterner by birth and then choice.

O'Connor sta...

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In this episode, Sno-Isle Libraries free-lance reporter Abe Martinez takes a look at four areas related to how the library district interacts with and supports the notion of student success.

First, Martinez speaks with Jen Sullivan, a librarian who works out the central Service Center in Marysville and helps coordinate programs and services for students.

Sullivan says those start at preschool-age with storytimes, move on to element...

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