Friday, July 31, 2015


Despite almost 300,000 people converting religions to the Mormon church in 2014, these numbers up against the number of missionaries are lagging. This 9 percent increase marked the largest number of converts in this history of the church, but the 44 percent increase in missionaries make the total number seem better than it was in actuality, according to the Associated Press.

Elders Andrew Jefferies and Zhuofeng Li are two of the local missionaries in Pullman, Washington, focusing on students at Washington State University. During the regular school year they get about three to four individuals interested enough to give them their phone number and about two who actually come in to the church per day, according to Jefferies.

During their walk around campus, Jefferies and Li make an effort to say hello and be friendly to everyone they pass. If an individual seems interested to talk, they try to engage them in conversation, asking if they have a religion and if they would be interesting in coming to a service at their church. They don't identify themselves as Mormon unless they get deeper into conversation, however, with the slacks in 95 degree heat and the white shirt and tie, they are easily recognizable as Mormon missionaries.

Many people will just put their head down and walk past, ignoring the missionaries and hoping they don't engage them. Logan Pillings, a student at WSU, says his first reaction when he sees the missionaries is thinking to himself, please don't talk to me. However, if the missionaries do engage him, he won't be rude and will talk to them for a minute or two. Eventually, if they go on too long he will give them his opinion on religion and go along his way.

This seems to be a common reaction around campus, especially with the Mormon religion seeming behind the times on matters like marriage equality and feminism, hot-button issues for the millennials. With news stories like the church considering cutting ties with the Boy Scouts of America over their recent vote to allow openly gay leaders as well as documentaries like "8: The Mormon Proposition" explicitly displaying the funding coming from the Mormon church to make gay marriage illegal in the state of California with proposition eight in 2013, the church is fighting an uphill battle with socially liberal college students.

The church has changed in the past to keep up with modern times, banning polygamy in 1890 and allowing blacks to become full members of the church in 1978. Institute of Religion support specialist Barbara Jo Vandehey said any changes within the church come from God, and the prophets praying about it. Elder Jefferies doesn't expect any major changes in the near future for the church.

In order to conduct an official interview with the Elders, permission had to be granted by the office of public affair for the Mormon church in Salt Lake City. There were certain things that were allowed to be discussed, and certain things that were off-limits. Anything considered controversial was not to be talked about.

NARRATOR: I talked to Elders Andrew Jefferies and Zhuofeng Li about the differences in missionary work in a college town like Pullman versus a town like Hayden Lake, Idaho

LI: No, because Hayden Lake I used to talk to the families but I guess it depends


LI: That the people, the person you are talking to

JEFFERIES: It's different, I wouldn't say it's more hard or easier.They're just more honest, maybe. They just tell you, more upfront.

NARRATOR: With the changing times, I asked Barbara Jo Vandehey where she thinks the church is moving in the future.

Vandehey; Those decisions are not made unilaterally by one person or even by a group of people, but they're prayed about, received answers to types of things

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cecil the Lion

I would run the name of the poacher because it is no different than running an investigative journalistic piece about a corporation using illegal labor practices or a preacher molesting children. Even though he is not officially charged with a crime yet, that doesn't mean what he did isn't reprehensible and something he needs to answer for to the public and hopefully the court of law at some point.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Commas. Ugh.

These little fellas often appear at random in stories.

* So here’s a basic rule to commit to memory: When a conjunction (and, but, or, or for) links two clauses that could stand alone, use a comma before the conjunction.

a.              We are visiting Washington, and we also plan a trip to Williamsburg.
b.              We are visiting Washington and plan a trip to Williamsburg.

Think of it this way: The subject of sentence b. is “We.” The verbs are “are visiting” and “plan.” We don’t want to separate the subject from the second verb – so no comma.

Exception: Very short phrases (three words or less) do not require a comma, even with two independent clauses and a conjunction.

Correct the following sentences. If the sentence is already correct, write “correct.”

1. He looked through the door, but he did not see anyone inside the church.

2. "We could wait to see if anyone else came, or we could go back home," she said.

3. Reed, a graduate of Washington State University, was elected Secretary of State in 2000.

4. The organization paid the speaker $1,000, but their officers were unable to attend the event.

5. According to Washington state law, bars will become smoke-free on February 15th.

6. He saw Karen, and they had coffee. correct

7. The bales are then sold to a processing center in Tacoma, Washington, which ships them to Moscow, Idaho.

8. It was raining all day on Monday, so we stayed home. correct

9. Later, he phoned again.

10. This will end up having an affect on consumers, she said.

11. He introduced the speaker to Johnson, Williams, and Smith. correct

Appositions, hyperbatons and non-restrictive relative clauses: We don't need to remember the names of these grammar tools. But let's look at how they can help us form shorter descriptive phrases. In other words, squish these two sentences into one.

1. Sam Reed, a graduate of Washington State University, spoke at the Honors College on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

2. The concert will be held on Friday night as part of WSU's Homecoming Weekend.

3.  Frustrated by cuts to higher education, president Elson S. Floyd promised he would lobby legislators in Olympia.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Interview audio

An Endangered Species Survives in the Palouse

Along the right hand wall of Howard Hughes Video in Moscow, Idaho sits a section dedicated to the Criterion Collection. In the Criterion Collection you will find "Seven Samurai," the 1954 live-action samurai film directed by Akira Kurosawa.

Marc Cramer, a regular customer of Howard Hughes Video since it opened 30 years ago, knows firsthand just what a luxury this is. Cramer briefly moved out of Moscow to Twin Falls, Idaho. In an attempt to find a comparable store in his new town he walked into the Twin Falls local video store. He asked the clerk where he could find "Seven Samurai." Um, I think you can find that in the anime section, the clerk told him.

In Howard Hughes Video, Marc Cramer can find "Seven Samurai" as well as over 30,000 different titles among the neatly organized shelves festooning the aisles and walls of the establishment.

Howard Hughes, not the subject of the Martin Scorsese film "The Aviator" as portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, but a Palouse local businessman, first started Howard Hughes Video simply as a rack of VHS's offered for rental inside his other business, Howard Hughes Appliance, in the mid-1980's.

The store continued to grow as home theater systems became more accessible and affordable, and eventually moved out of Howard Hughes Appliance and into its own building.

Hughes sold off his businesses about ten years ago, and when Howard Hughes Video stopped turning in the profits it had in the past, the store was sold again. The group did well initially, but with the wave of streaming options and RedBox over the past couple years, Howard Hughes Video, like all video stores, has struggled, according to majority owner Patricia Engle.

Hundreds of stores like Howard Hughes Video have been forced to shut their doors over the last decade. Massive franchises like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video have ceased to exist.  Scarecrow Video, in Seattle, who has one of the largest video collections in the country with over 117,000 titles, had to turn non-profit in order to continue operations.

So what has kept Howard Hughes Video operational when so many others have shut down? It's the community, said Jamie Hill, manager of Howard Hughes Video. The people of Moscow continue coming in to rent their new releases, the hard to find Criterion Collection movies and their British TV programs.

The community aspect is evident anywhere you look in Howard Hughes Video. One example is right next to the employee recommendation section is a customer recommendation section where two customers have their favorite films on display.

In order to have your films on display you have to first answer the trivia question posted on a whiteboard behind the counter. This week's question asks "What do Bill Bixby, Edward Norton, Eric Bana and Mark Ruffalo have in common?" When you correctly answer the question your name goes into the monthly drawing to have your taste on display.

Even so, employees like Ian Pannkuk and Ben Hardcastle worry about the fate of Howard Hughes Video. "People would rather sit on their asses and choose between a few hundred titles than come in and choose between a few thousand.," Hardcastle said.

Engle has reached out to the loyal customers of Howard Hughes Video as well as members of the Moscow community in an attempt to keep the store operational. Howard Hughes Video has not been profitable in about three years, according to Engle, and they are working desperately to try to find a solution to keep it open.

Howard Hughes Video is such a big part of the Moscow community, it would be a shame to have to close down, said Engle. A group headed by Engle and including members of the community meets every few weeks for brainstorming sessions on how to save the business.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Outline and Sources


Lead: What happened

Reaction from people

Response from community

Instances in the past


Riley Todd, I don't want to publish his phone number but can give it to you in class

Stefanie Ellis, Director of PR for GSWW, 206-633-5600,

My third source was going to be a parent of Girl Scouts in the Seattle area and said he would be happy to answer my questions but did not get back to me in time and I was unable to find another source.

Girl Scouts Triple Initial Goal After Returning $100,000 Donation

Last spring, an anonymous donor gave the Girl Scouts of Western Washington (GSWW) a $100,000 donation. After the very public transition of Caitlyn Jenner, the donor requested the $100,000 to not be used towards trans girls. This prompted the GSWW to return the donation.

This donation covers almost a quarter of the budget for sending 500 girls to camp, CEO Megan Ferland told Seattle Metropolitan, a local magazine.

"In our vision statement, we say, 'Girl Scouts of Western Washington empowers every girl—regardless of her race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or geographic location—to make the world a better place.' And we mean every word." said Stefanie Ellis, Public Relations Director at GSWW.

The Boy Scouts have been less inclusive throughout their history, not becoming desegregated until 1974 and not allowing homosexual boys until 2013.

Riley Todd, a transgender man, feels something like this would have made his childhood a bit smoother. Growing up, he said, he always wanted to join the Boy Scouts. He always wanted to be one of the boys. Violence towards the trans community is significantly higher than it is towards the gay and lesbian community, he said, and having an organization like the Girl Scouts so open really helps move things in the right direction.

"The response, from the entire community, as well as our Girl Scout community, has been overwhelmingly positive," said Ellis, and this is evident by the more than $300,000 in donations through IndieGoGo the GSWW received after the story was made public.

Todd said he knew from the age of five that he was a boy, despite being born a girl. He has met kids as young as three and four-years-old who knew they weren't born in the right body. An organization like the Girl Scouts, and their hashtag #forEVERYgirl, really help these kids feel a sense of belonging. Important with statistics showing transgender youth are more open toward suicide than any other group.

This isn't the first time the Girl Scouts have been in the news in regards to transgender children, back in 2011 a young boy who self-identified as a girl was turned down by his local troop. When the Girl Scouts of Colorado got wind of this they released this statement to 9News of Colorado, similar to the one released by the GSWW:

"Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout. Our requests for support of transgender kids have grown, and Girl Scouts of Colorado is working to best support these children, their families and the volunteers who serve them. In this case, an associate delivering our program was not aware of our approach. She contacted her supervisor, who immediately began working with the family to get the child involved and supported in Girl Scouts. We are accelerating our support systems and training so that we're better able to serve all girls, families and volunteers."

Monday, June 29, 2015


Morning comes hard to the Hotel Ashmun; this is not a place where the guests spring eagerly out of bed to greet the fresh new day. Strange Rumblings in Aztlan, Hunter S. Thompson, Newsweek, Feb. 15, 1971

Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler's pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die. Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk



Introduction to the setting

Introduction to the cars

Introduction to the people

Background and history

Upcoming event

Amidst of Slew of American Classics, a Quartet of Soviets Stand Alone

Over 500 cars sat gleaming in the high heat along Greenwood Avenue on Saturday as thousands of spectators walked the mile long stretch between North 88th Street and North 67th Street in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle.

Ford, General Motors and Mopar vehicles filled the street, but nearing the end of the section blocked off for the show, four cars seemed out of place geographically and generationally.

A Moskovich 427, Lada Riva, Volkswagen Thing and a UAZ 469 B sat abreast one another on the west side of Greenwood Avenue. A Thing isn't terribly out of place, about a half dozen others were at the show, but the Moskovich, Lada and UAZ are cars one doesn't generally see on this side of the world.

"It just makes people happy when they see a car like this," said Rudolf Ross, who along with his father, Simon Ross, brought these examples from their collection to the show.
This UAZ 469 B was given to a cosmonaut in place of a bonus
during the Soviet regime.

Born in the USSR in what is now Kazakhstan, Simon Ross always felt a passion for Soviet era cars. Simon owns 35 cars which all started their life in the Soviet Union, most of them in full working order and driven frequently. None of the cars at the show were brought on a trailer, although the iconic East German Trabant 601 was a last minute scratch, as it was spitting oil and sending up red flags.

"A car not driven is not a car," said Simon.

In order to keep his collection of notoriously unreliable cars running, Simon brought his father-in-law, a mechanic in Russia, stateside to work on them and keep them operational. He uses only original equipment manufactured (OEM) parts on his vehicles, which can sometimes take months to find and import, if the part is not something that can be found on many of the donor parts cars also imported.

A Moskovich 427 was a very high end car in the USSR,
this one belonged to someone high up in the party.
Finding the cars themselves is not an easy task. Under the Putin regime, exporting and importing cars out of the Russian Federation is heavily taxed, sometimes equaling or exceeding the original price of the vehicle. Because of this, Simon gets most of his cars from Bulgaria, Georgia or Ukraine.

The cars Simon is importing are not collectibles in their countries of origin, and this means they are not easy to find in good condition. It can take months, or even years to find the right car, so instead of spending most of the year traveling on this, Simon has people like Dmitri Vilchynskyi, of Ukraine, seeking out the cars for him.

Vilchynskyi, an old friend of Simon's, helped to bring more than 20 cars stateside. Vilchynskyi said he did it to help save the old cars, and he enjoyed the hunt. They aren't cars you can find at a dealer, Vilchynskyi said, you have to search them out and find a good one from a private seller.
The Lada Riva, based off the Fiat 131, was produced for over 30
years. Production finally ceased in 2010. This example is from 1976.

Simon and Rudolf Ross will be displaying their collection as well as auctioning off some of their vehicles August 14-16 at Saghalie City Park in Federal Way. For more information visit their website at

Friday, June 26, 2015

Charlie Hebdo

The decision on whether to or whether to not publish the cartoon of the prophet Mohammad is a difficult one, and one that can not be taken lightly. This is not a matter of free speech, or freedom of the press, this is a matter of the safety of the employees of publications. As an individual, I would not hesitate to post the image on my Facebook or Twitter, however, if I was the editor of a newspaper or magazine I would likely not run it. I think that before running the image, I would have a secret ballot vote at my publication asking every employee if they were comfortable with my publishing it. If one person said they were not, I would not run it. I do not care in the least about offending members of any faith, be it Islam, Christianity or Judaism. Religion is a choice made in life and open to all criticisms. However, due to terrorist acts from extremist groups against publications like Charlie Hebdo, I would want the full support of my staff before I ran something that could endanger their lives. I agree 100% on Steven Pollard's tweets about the decision, and it is likely the same decision I would make in his shoes. I would love to have seen every magazine and newspaper in America publish the cartoon, but I wouldn't put someone's life at risk without their full consent. The story can be told without showing the cartoon, and in this day and age with everything accessible on the internet, it just isn't worth it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Possible Preview Stories

1. Perkins House Ice Cream Social
2. Moscow Farmer's Market
3. 6th Street Senior Center Dances

George Raveling

Lead: Former Cougar basketball coach has MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech, handed to him by King himself.

First quote: "The (I have a dream) speech belongs to America. It belongs to black folks"

Monday, June 22, 2015

Joan Didion Interpretation

I think what Didion is saying in the excerpt from The White Album is that as journalists, and, in fact, as a society, we look for the reasoning behind actions. Nothing is as it seems at face value. For example, with the Charleston shooting, some news outlets (Fox News) tried saying the motivation behind the shooting was an attack on Christianity, despite the quote from Dylann Roof that he was "there to shoot black people." Different people and different outlets can find different motivations for actions which lead to tragedy. Even if they are outlandish and all evidence proves them false. I think that what she is saying is that we all have our own interpretations on motive which can be skewed by our own loyalties which can blind us from the truth.

What is news?

News is timely information that the public needs to know.