Martha Kang

Online Managing Editor

Martha is a web journalist, a lover of books, and a midnight cook.

Prior to joining KPLU in March 2013, Martha spent six years on the digital team of KOMO News, reporting and producing stories for the station's website. Starting in July 2011, she also led the station's social media efforts, increasing the news outlet's digital reach exponentially and establishing KOMO as a regional powerhouse. 

Martha has worked as a news writer at Northwest Cable News, and as a freelancer at WLS-TV in Chicago.  She attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism while working as a TV news producer and reporter at KOMU-TV in Columbia, Missouri. In the spring of 2013, she was awarded the Kiplinger Fellowship by Ohio State University's Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism. 

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Homelessness
1:08 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Listen: The Moment That Inspired A Seattle Man To Sideline His Business And Help The Homeless

Rex Hohlbein
Courtesy of Rex Hohlbein

Seattle architect Rex Hohlbein had been designing luxury homes for decades when his focus suddenly turned to the homeless.

Hohlbein says it all started during his morning bike ride to the office. He met a man named Chiaka. This encounter would change his life. 

Take 87 seconds to hear Hohlbein tell his story:

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How We Sound
12:37 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Listen: Can You Pick Out The Northwest Accent? (And Yes, We Have One!)

Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP Photo

Think we don’t have an accent here in the Pacific Northwest? Think again.

Scientists say we do, in fact, have an accent, though our native ears may not always pick up on it. The longer we’ve lived here, the harder it is for us to hear our own distinct subtleties, according to experts.

So let’s put our ears to the test. We asked three people to say the same sentence: “Please put the fish you caught at dawn in the bag, not in the bowl.” Click on the three audio clips below to hear them, then pick out the voice you think belongs to a native Northwesterner. 

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History
8:01 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Cross-Time Photos Show Snapshots Of Seattle's Past And Present, Side By Side

"A lot of cities across America had "Hoovervilles," shanty towns that sprang up after the Great Depression hit. Seattle was no exception."
Courtesy of Clayton Kauzlaric

If Seattle's streets could talk, they’re likely to tell you the stories depicted in Clayton Kauzlaric’s photos.

Kauzlaric uses Photoshop to juxtapose archival photos with modern-day images of the same location.

Take, for instance, the stretch of Alaskan Way that houses the ferry terminal on Seattle’s waterfront. These days, it’s an unremarkable place where a McDonald’s sign greets passersby. But it has quite a history — it’s also the same place Japanese residents were made to board trains headed to internment camps back in 1942.

Read the full story on our companion site, Quirksee.org >>>

Of An Era Past
12:40 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Photos: How Washington Lived During The Great Depression

July 1936: Children of migratory fruit workers. Yakima, Washington.
(Dorothea Lange/Farm Security Administration)

As America struggled in the throes of the Great Depression, a team of photographers was dispatched across the country to capture moments of their lives.

The project was an attempt to win political favor for government programs, including Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Resettlement Administration in 1935. The initiative aimed to aid the poorest one-third of displaced farmers through resettlement and low-interest loans.

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Departures
9:00 am
Fri September 5, 2014

One Seattle Designer's Idea: How About Turning Your Remains Into Compost?

Mourners are seen carrying the dead in this illustration.
Katrina Spade Urban Death Project

What if after you die, your remains were turned into compost?

That’s the idea behind the Urban Death Project, which aims to introduce a new burial option in urban areas.

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What Lies Beneath
5:00 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Why These Seattle-Area Cavers Squeeze Through Tiny Holes To Crawl Into Damp Spaces

Martha Kang KPLU

It’s the rare person who sees a hole in the ground and feels compelled to stick his head in it.

But cavers are “innately curious,” says veteran caver Tom Evans, who himself will not only peer in, but try to squeeze his whole body through a just-big-enough opening into Earth's damp, dark underbelly.

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Labor Dispute
1:26 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

NLRB Judge: Boeing Failed To Bargain In Good Faith With SPEEA

FILE - With a model 757 over his shoulder, Ernest Griffin drops his ballot at the headquarters of the union for Boeing Co.'s engineers and technical workers, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in Tukwila, Washington.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Boeing failed to negotiate in good faith when it refused to provide evidence to substantiate its claim that workers in the Puget Sound area cost more than workers elsewhere, a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled Friday.

The ruling was in response to an unfair labor practice charge filed by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, or SPEEA.

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On Determination
12:39 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

How Blind Seattle-Area Climber Bruce Stobie Fared On North America's Tallest Peak

Bruce Stobie is seen on Denali.
Courtesy of Mark McCcracken.

Editor’s note: This piece is an update to our previous story on Bruce Stobie, which ran in May. 

When Bruce Stobie arrived at Denali last month, he could feel the presence of the mountain, even if he couldn’t see it.

“I felt like a guest — not a welcome guest,” said the blind climber from Des Moines, Washington. “All there was: rock, ice and snow. And cold and warm temperatures. And that’s it. There’s nothing else.”

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Youth & Education
4:42 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Seattle School Board Names Former Marysville Leader As Interim Superintendent

Provided by Seattle Public Schools.

The Seattle School Board has named former Marysville School District Superintendent Larry Nyland as its interim superintendent.

The board made the announcement following a special meeting Friday.

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Seattle Police
3:56 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

O'Toole Confirmed As 1st Female Chief Of Seattle Police Department

FILE - Former Boston police commissioner Kathleen O'Toole left, speaks after being introduced by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, right, as his nominee to be Seattle's new Chief of Police, Monday, May 19, 2014, in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The Seattle City Council has confirmed Kathleen O’Toole as the first female chief of the Seattle Police Department.

With an 8-to-1 vote Monday, the council approved Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s nomination. Council member Kshama Sawant cast the lone dissent vote.

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City Government
11:39 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Murray Appoints Joncas Of Downtown Seattle Association As Deputy Mayor

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has named Downtown Seattle Association President and CEO Kate Joncas as his new deputy mayor of operations.

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Gun Violence
3:17 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

After 2 Deadly Shootings In A Week, Seattle Mayor Says 'We Must Find A Solution'

Two women embrace near a prayer circle on the campus of Seattle Pacific University, Friday, June 6, 2014 in Seattle
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says he plans to call an emergency meeting of the Seattle City Council to discuss the “epidemic of gun violence” in the wake of two shootings that claimed three lives in the city in the past week.

“This city and this nation must address this sense of violence,” said the mayor at a Friday news conference with dozens of community leaders standing by his side. “We have to find a way to move forward.”

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Campus Shooting
3:43 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Police: SPU Student Disarmed Gunman In Shooting That Left 1 Dead, 3 Injured

Students and faculty pray together following a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

A Seattle Pacific University student managed to subdue a suspected gunman after four people were injured, one fatally, during a shooting on campus Thursday afternoon. 

Police said a young man entered Otto Miller Hall with a shotgun and opened fire shortly before 3:30 p.m. The gunman was reloading when a student, who was working as the building monitor, confronted and subdued the gunman using pepper spray. 

"Once on the ground, other students jumped on top of them, and they were able to pin the shooter to the ground until police arrived," said Seattle Police Capt. Chris Fowler.  

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Life Behind Bars
10:34 am
Tue April 15, 2014

How Meditation Is Changing Monroe's Maximum-Security Inmates

Justin Steyer KPLU

Seven maximum-security inmates sit in a room with their eyes closed, not making a sound.

Shackles bind their hands and feet, confining them to a metal chair bolted to the ground. A guard stands nearby. Yells and clanks from the hallway stray in through the open door.

This is what meditation class at the Monroe Correctional Complex looks like. The students, murderer and rapists among them, listen as volunteer teacher Cathy Iacobazzi walks them through a practice session. 

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Oso Slide
2:01 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Slide Survivor Haunted By Memories Of 'Horrible, Rumbling, Wet' Sound, Guilt

Washington mudslide survivor Amanda Skorjanc, left, talks to the media with her partner Ty Suddarth at Harborview Medical Center, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Seattl
AP Photo/The Herald, Dan Bates, Pool

Amanda Skorjanc was sitting in her kitchen with her baby son, Duke, when she heard “what sounded like a truck off a rumble strip.”

“And then it continued, and I thought, ‘Oh, maybe it’s an earthquake.’ And then the light started to shake. The light started to blink,” said the 25-year-old mother.

Skorjanc looked out the side door of her Oso home, and saw nothing. Then she looked out the front door.

“It was like a movie. Houses were exploding,” she said, fighting back tears. “The next thing I see is the neighbor’s chimney coming in through our front door. And I turned and I held Duke, and I did not let him go.”

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