Pfeffer News


Tale of Two Cities: Portland Coffee Steals Seattles Crown

Portland, OR

Oregon Public Broadcasting – Ask a crowd of Seattleites at a Starbucks what city in the United States has the best coffee, and the answer is unanimous: “Seattle, of course.” But that’s not the view of coffee industry insiders. They say it’s been years since Seattle led the way in coffee culture.

The consensus among connoisseurs is Seattle has lost its crown to Portland. Chantal Anderson talked to coffee aficionados in both cities. She begins her story in Seattle.

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Interpreting Health: Cultural Barriers at City Hospitals

New York, NY

WNYC – In order to serve its increasingly multi-lingual population, New York State requires interpretation services in all hospitals. But when caring for immigrants, the language barrier is just one of a myriad of issues health providers grapple with.

But as Sarah Kate Kramer reports, even though there is no statewide mandate for cultural sensitivity, many doctors say it’s become a necessary instrument in providing medical care for the immigrant population.

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Seattle Debuts Teen Conductor

Seattle, WA

KPLU – Audiences might be surprised when Alexander Prior steps up to the podium at Benaroya Hall to conduct the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. The tall, lanky British maestro is 17 – and Charla Bear reports that he’s much younger than any other conductor who’s ever lead the symphony.

Click here to listen to the story on the linked web page.


Tread Lightly On the Earth’s Crust

Richland, WA

Northwest News Network – In the dry areas of the Northwest, much of the land is covered by a low lying crust. This living crust creates a skin over the land, holding down the soil and moisture, and adding nutrients. But these tiny species are in jeopardy. Anna King reports from one of the areas where you can still find crust — the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

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Unique Brogues are Disappearing

New Bern, NC

WTEB – North Carolina is one of the most linguistically diverse states in the nation. But as Jared Brumbaugh reports, a centuries old dialect is slowly disappearing.

Click here to listen to the story on the linked web page.


Activist Tries to Move Tea Party into the Mainstream

Kansas City, MO

KCUR – While many Tea Party activists went to protest the health care debate in Washington this week, activists in this area are shifting directions. They’re moving away from protests and rallies in favor of election campaigns.

The Kansas City Tea Party provides a picture of what some Tea Party activism may look like as the campaign season unfolds.

Laura Ziegler reports that
21 year old Andrea Plunket is at the center of the effort.

Click here to listen to the story.


Seafood: Bright Spot in Bleak Economy

Boston, MA

WBUR – The mood was buoyant at the 28th annual International Boston Seafood Show this week. That’s because this industry, unlike others in the floundering economy, is doing well.

Monica Brady-Myrov explains.

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Solar Power in a Suitcase

Berkeley, CA

The California Report – When huge earthquakes hit Haiti and Chile recently, teams of doctors from California flew there to help. But physicians in disaster zones are often hampered by the lack of a critical need often taken for granted: reliable power. Now, a California couple’s handmade solar power kits are filling that need.

Rachel Dornhelm

Click here to listen to the story on the linked web page.


Mixing Faith and Fitness

Birmingham, AL

WBHM – Many churches teach that the body is a temple for the spirit. As a result, faith-based fitness programs have exploded over the last two decades. No one tracks religious fitness centers, but the magazine Faith and Fitness estimates that Southern Baptist churches alone operate more than 20,000 fitness centers nationwide.

But this holy union of faith and fitness is raising some questions, as Tanya Ott reports.

Click here to listen to the story on the linked web page.


SXSW Brings Music, Gentrification

Austin, TX

KUT – The South by Southwest Music Conference kicks off on Wednesday. For some people, the hottest shows won’t be downtown; they’ll be east of the Interstate. As Nathan Bernier reports, it’s a symptom of the ongoing gentrification of the downtown east side.

Click here to listen to the story on the linked web page.


Reverend Diggs – aka the Deacon of Doom

Salt Lake City, UT

KUER – “Professional wrestling” conjures up images of enormous, muscle-bound men slamming each other into the mat. But for one local minister, wrestling is a chance to let loose his alter-ego . But the reverend also sees wrestling as a natural extension of his day job. Benjamin Bombard has the story.

Click here to listen to the story on the linked web page.


Etiquette Classes Fill a Need

Baltimore, MD

WYPR – In previous generations some young men and women attended charm schools to polish their social skills. In many ways, these classes reinforced what had previously been taught in the home. But these days, many of those lessons are never learned.

Sunni Khalid visits a 7th grade classroom to see how etiquette lessons apply to real world behavior.

Click here to listen to the story on the linked web page.


The Art of Competative Speaking

Normal, IL

WGLT – Illinois State University Football and Basketball have their ups and downs in recent years. But, for the last decade one ISU team has been ranked in the top ten in the nation. Charlie Schlenker has more on the Redbird Speech team.

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Going After Bad Developers with Mixed Results

Chicago, IL

WBEZ – Just a few years ago home buyers rushed to buy up brand-new condos all over Chicago. Then reality hit. Leaks developed, mold crept up the walls and elevators stopped working. Now the city of Chicago is trying to clean up the mess by chasing after developers responsible for shoddy work. But the city’s good intentions have in some cases made life even tougher for the homeowners.

Ashely Gross reports.

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Inventors Pitch to the Infomercial King

Los Angeles, CA

KPCC – The Windshield Wonder, the PedEgg, and the GoDuster are just a few of the products A. J. Khubani has marketed into household brands with relentless TV ads. Khubani is the chief executive of Telebrands and known as the “infomercial king.” The king recently held court as more than 30 inventors from across the country pitched their concepts and creations.

Brian Watt reports.

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Encouraging Girls to Get Outdoors

Pittsburgh, PA

The Allegheny Front – Parents, doctors and environmentalists are worried about this generation of sedentary children. Adults are looking for creative ways to make active outdoor play appealing to youngsters. One national environmental group has joined forces with a popular doll company to encourage girls to get outdoors and discover nature.

Ann Murray has the story.

Click here to listen to the story on the linked web page.


Funding the Arts, Right After the Soup

Around the country arts organizations are starting a new trend in community arts funding. Groups like Feast in Brooklyn and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis are hosting soup dinners where for about $10 patrons get soup, bread and a packet containing proposals submitted by artists. After a vote by everyone at the dinner the proceeds are awarded to the artist with the most votes.

David Weinberg stopped by one of these “Sloup” dinners.

Click here to listen to the story on a linked web page.