Check It Out!

Check It Out!
A podcast for lifelong learners with inquiring minds

61: Peek inside the childlike mind of Chris Ballew and meet Caspar Babypants
Jun 1 • 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…
60: Thanks to the internet and copious amounts of data, the future is now
May 18 • 34 min
Rodney Clark helps deliver the future. As the vice president of the 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…
59: If coronavirus has you worried, this good doctor reminds you you’re not alone
May 11 • 38 min
If you’re anxious about the global coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19, you’re not alone. In this episode of Sno-Isle Libraries , you’ll hear how a globe-trotting disaster-relief doctor loses sleep about the deadly virus that has…
58: Claudia Samano-Losada loves libraries as much as she loves her communities
May 4 • 46 min
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…
57: For food critic Nancy Leson, deadlines got in the way of a good time
Apr 27 • 73 min
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 . Libraries figured…
56: A Rich Frishman picture isn’t just a thousand words. It’s a story unto itself.
Apr 20 • 58 min
If a picture is worth a thousand words, some of 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…
55: Sometimes, a guest’s gift can be hard for hosts to swallow
Apr 13 • 49 min
admits he was a bookworm as a child. Is that why the prolific author loves insects, and loves to eat them? Sno-Isle Libraries hosts Ken Harvey, Jim Hills and Jessica Russell sat down with Gordon and chewed the fat about his reputation as “the bug…
54: From “J.P. Patches” to elusive gorillas, this Edmonds pair has seen plenty
Apr 6 • 51 min
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…
53: Scouting clean tech with Tom Ranken
Mar 30 • 56 min
As the outgoing president and CEO of , 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…
52: Discovering seasonal secrets and looking ahead
Dec 24, 2019 • 37 min
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….
51: The music of community service with Dave Earling
Dec 20, 2019 • 65 min
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…
50: How to become robot-proof with Amit Singh
Dec 13, 2019 • 56 min
Episode 50: How to become robot-proof with Amit Singh
49: Building the people’s palace with Eric Klinenberg
Dec 5, 2019 • 46 min
Episode 49: Building the people’s palace with Eric Klinenberg
48: Keeping government open and transparent with Toby Nixon
Nov 22, 2019 • 69 min
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…
47: From the Bookmobile to regency romance, discovering the library
Nov 15, 2019 • 34 min
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…
46: Books and book’n’em with Alan Hardwick
Nov 1, 2019 • 67 min
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 the Edmonds Police sergeant’s first novel, which was…
45: Serving community with Nate Nehring and Sue Norman
Oct 25, 2019 • 57 min
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…
44: Engineering a writing career with Bernadette Pajer
Oct 18, 2019 • 51 min
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…
43: Newspapers and journalism with The Herald’s Phillip O’Connor
Oct 11, 2019 • 62 min
Episode 43: Newspapers and journalism with The Herald’s Phillip O’Connor
42: Library card is the ultimate back-to-school supply
Oct 4, 2019 • 41 min
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…
41: Around the world with Mill Creek librarian Darlene Weber
Sep 27, 2019 • 39 min
They say that reading a book can take you around the world. For Darlene Weber, manager of the Mill Creek Library, that is literally true. Weber is a world-class hiker, including numerous hiking vacations and even a hut-to-hut excursion in the Spanish…
40: On the path to higher education with Paul Pitre
Sep 20, 2019 • 69 min
WSU Everett Chancellor Paul Pitre’s career path wasn’t always taking him toward higher-education administration. But once he got there, it all made sense. With a bachelor’s degree in communications studies from Western Washington University in…
39: The art of writing in the rain with Garth Stein
Sep 13, 2019 • 59 min
Even Garth Stein cries over his books. “The Art of Racing in the Rain” is well-known to readers and movie-goers as a tearjerker. Stein says he rented space at a Seattle pizza restaurant when he was writing the book. “I’d get to an emotional…
38: The world’s top librarian at the greatest library
Sep 6, 2019 • 43 min
Carla Hayden, Ph.D, says the Library of Congress is the biggest - the greatest - library in the world. Hayden should know, she’s the Librarian of Congress. And that would make her the world’s top librarian. Hayden on Aug. 1, 2019, along with…
37: How to collect a collection with Jessica Russell
Aug 30, 2019 • 29 min
Jessica Russel is a collector who is looking to the future. As Assistant Director of Technical Services - Collection Services for Sno-Isle Libraries, Russell oversees the process that makes 1.5 million books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, digital and other…
36: Happy podcast anniversary!
Aug 23, 2019 • 44 min
On July 31, 2018, the first Check It Out! podcast aired was posted. In this episode, co-hosts Ken Harvey and Jim Hills, along with podcast producer Debie Murchie, take a look in the rear-view mirror. Together, they share how the podcast came about,…
35: Singing the praises of opera and libraries with Lorraine Burdick
Aug 16, 2019 • 41 min
Lorraine Burdick says she came late to her love for both her vocation and avocation. By day, Burdick is a librarian at Sno-Isle Libraries working in collection development. Away from the library, Burdick can often be found on the Seattle Opera stage…
34: Following passions for news and education with Lynne Varner
Aug 8, 2019 • 61 min
Episode 34: Following passions for news and education with Lynne Varner
33: Oso to opioids with Shari Ireton and the Sheriff’s Office
Jul 26, 2019 • 53 min
Usually, the phrase is, “Baptism by fire.” For Shari Ireton, Director of Communications for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, her introduction to emergency management was baptism by mud. It was March 22, 2014, a Saturday, and Ireton was out…
32: Summer fun and Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation
Jul 19, 2019 • 50 min
Chapter 1 Did you know that July 17 is Yellow Pig’s Day? Podcast co-host Paul Pitkin didn’t know either when he brought it up, but you will now. According to a not-quite exhaustive online search, two Princeton math students - David C. Kelly and…
31: Behind the business and communications of Sno-Isle Libraries
Jul 12, 2019 • 56 min
First thoughts of a library likely evoke mental images of librarians and shelves full of books. This episode of “Check It Out!” looks at two positions that might not spring to mind when imagining libraries, but play critical roles in managing the…
30: Third-graders Part 2, a community hero and book notes
Jul 5, 2019 • 15 min
Chapter 1 – Third-Grade Reading Challenge, Part 2 There is so much going on with the “Sno-Isle Libraries Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third-Grade Reading Challenge” that it takes two segments to get it all in. This literary trivia program…
29: Actually live with Bill Stainton of ‘Almost Live!’
Jun 28, 2019 • 76 min
Episode 29: Actually live with Bill Stainton of ‘Almost Live!’
28: Short stories on bestsellers, book notes and third-graders
Jun 21, 2019 • 14 min
Chapter 1 – Library Surprise: Beyond Bestsellers Rilee Louangphakdy says that “bookworm” might not be a great description for him and that his favorite library resource is graphic novels. Even though he’s a fan of the form, Rilee admits he…
27: What’s new at the libraries, reading with children, summer events and Kurt Batdorf
Jun 13, 2019 • 61 min
Chapter 1 – Hmmm, I didn’t know that about … June and July Once they decide who gets to speak first, podcast co-hosts Ken Harvey, Jim Hills, Cindy Tingley and Paul Pitkin have a bunch of fun chatting about what happens during June and July in…
26: How poetry chose an immigrant, Claudia Castro Luna
Jun 7, 2019 • 48 min
Claudia Castro Luna was a teenager when she came to the U.S. with her family fleeing war in El Salvador. In just two years, her growing English language skills earned Castro Luna the top English student award as she graduated from high school. Now…
25: Youth serving their future and ours
May 31, 2019 • 51 min
This is a special episode of the Check It Out! podcast. It brings four special young people together for a conversation between themselves and moderator by one of their own: Rilee Louangphakdy. Each of these young adults presented themselves and…
24: Spotlight on Brian Rush and facilities stewardship
May 24, 2019 • 23 min
Chapters 1 & 2 Managing the variety and number of facilities in Sno-Isle Libraries is a big and multi-faceted job. To Facilities Manager Brian Rush, facilities management is also an opportunity to show good stewardship of the environment and…
23: Business and education align to build communities
May 17, 2019 • 56 min
Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC) is a catalyst for economic vitality resulting in stronger communities, increased job creation, expanded educational opportunities, and improved infrastructure. Snohomish STEM Network works to foster a learning…
22: Stevens makes the Wheels go ‘round
May 10, 2019 • 38 min
For many people, their first experience with a library came as they stepped on to a bookmobile. For Sherry Stevens, the longtime manager of the Sno-Isle Libraries service, that means she is connected to thousands of these memorable moments. In this…
21: ‘Albatross’ carries Chris Jordan to Whidbey lectures
May 1, 2019 • 23 min
In this episode, Check It Out! reporter Abe Martinez leads listeners through an interview with Chris Jordan, a Seattle-based photographer and documentarian who created a movie called Jordan’s comments come as part of a conversation he had with Over…
20: Strings, Selma and seeing the future
Apr 26, 2019 • 29 min
Chapter 1 Introduction Check It Out! reporter Abe Martinez chats with podcast co-hosts Ken Harvey and Jim Hills about the experience of interviewing Andre Feriante. Length: 06:41 Chapter 1 – Andre Feriante Italian-born and trained in classic…
19: Uniting the way with Allison Warren-Barbour
Apr 19, 2019 • 65 min
She comes from a small town in Ohio known for the lack of a discernible accent by its residents. Allison Warren-Barbour is finding other ways to stand out as she leads United Way of Snohomish County on a new path to help families escape the traps of…
18: Comics and audits and books, oh my!
Apr 12, 2019 • 14 min
Episode 18 of the “Check It Out!” podcast includes three short stories from three contributors, Rilee Louangphakdy, Abe Martinez and Kaley Costello.
17: The ‘community’ in Community Transit with Emmett Heath
Apr 5, 2019 • 73 min
When Emmett Heath thinks about public transportation, buses might not be the first things that pop into his mind. “Our mission is to help people get from where they are to where they want to be,” Heath says in this episode of Check It Out!. “That’s our…
16: Snow to strategic relations with Susan Hempstead
Mar 29, 2019 • 66 min
Check It Out! podcast hosts Ken Harvey, Cindy Tingley and Jim Hills chat about a grab-bag of subjects, including: Snowmageddon 2019 and how planning gets iffy when it’s raining in Seattle, snowing in Marysville and a whiteout in Oak Harbor. What 32…
15: ‘Finding Fixes’ comes to Sno-Isle Libraries
Mar 22, 2019 • 71 min
This very special episode of Check It Out! is a podcast, looking at a podcast which looks at one of the most pressing issues facing our communities today: the opioid crisis.
14: Finding boundaries, balance with Sarri Gilman
Feb 26, 2019 • 87 min
Sarri Gilman helps others search for healthy boundaries and find balance in their lives. A licensed psychotherapist, the Whidbey Island resident works with individuals, couples and families challenged with issues around relationships, emotions, mental…
13: How to talk about depression with Bill Bernat
Jan 18, 2019 • 57 min
Bill Bernat has been dealing with depression – his own and others’ – for a long time. Through his experience, Bernat has developed an approach – a perspective – on depression that manages to be both profound and funny at the same time. He offers tips on…
12: The art of breaking glass with Jack Archibald
Dec 27, 2018 • 69 min
The Pacific Northwest has a growing number of famous glass makers, but Jack Archibald doesn’t count himself as among that group.“I call myself a glass breaker. It has taken me years to accept the mantle of ‘artist,’” Archibald says.
11: Awakening the strength of community with Kathy Coffey
Dec 14, 2018 • 51 min
Chapter 1: Kathy Coffey and community leadership Kathy Coffey, Executive Director of Leadership Snohomish County (LSC), has more than a little experience in supporting communities and fostering leadership growth. Besides leading LSC, Kathy serves as a…
10: Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory and 33 years of Sno-Isle Libraries
Nov 21, 2018 • 68 min
Chapter 1: Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory retires at the end of November 2018 after 33 years of service and the past 16 years leading the organization. Jonalyn discusses her early years in Deming, Wash.,…
9: Kenn Dickinson and teaching the transition game to executives
Nov 15, 2018 • 46 min
Chapter 1: Kenn Dickinson and the transition game Kenn Dickinson is a former NCAA and European professional basketball player. Kenn is the president of Fast Break Executive Business Coaching, a Mukilteo-based firm that coaches managers and executives…
8: Evolving through adversity with Seconde Nimenya
Nov 8, 2018 • 55 min
Chapter 1 Award-winning author, diversity trainer and naturalized U.S. citizen Seconde Nimenya joins hosts Cindy Tingley and Ken Harvey for a wide-ranging discussion about her 2016 TEDx talk, journey from her birthplace in Burundi, Africa to the…
7: How strong roots grow into local leaders
Oct 22, 2018 • 61 min
It seems like Marti Anamosa and Terry Lippincott grew up together, it just happened to be in separate parts of the country. Marti is a native of Albuquerque, N.M. and now a Whidbey Island resident, while Terry is from Everett and now resides in Snohomish.…
6: Finding fulfillment (and coffee) through social enterprise
Sep 28, 2018 • 60 min
Jeff Ericson started working at age 12 and found retirement-level success by the time he was 30. What the avowed entrepreneur says that he hadn’t discovered, despite his theological education, was fulfillment.
5: From roots to rockets with Rob Branigin
Sep 11, 2018 • 56 min
Librarian Rob Branigin’s interests range from family roots to outer space. Branigin, along with co-hosts Ken Harvey and Cindy Tingley, delves into genealogy, Star Trek and more. The Indiana native discusses his own discovery of the library’s rich…
4: Strategically planning the library district
Aug 31, 2018 • 59 min
As Deputy Director of Sno-Isle Libraries, does she get to wear a badge shaped like a star? Kendra Trachta shares the answer to that question and what it’s like to oversee the people and operations at 23 community libraries spread across two…
3: Achieving breakthrough growth with Andrew Ballard
Aug 20, 2018 • 59 min
Andrew Ballard knows a thing or two about business success. He does it. He teaches it. He wrote a book about it. He gives talks on it, including one at . But it took near-death health issue for Ballard to realize – and then incorporate – the most…
2: Can Amazon really replace public libraries?
Aug 8, 2018 • 34 min
Top: The Twitter post from July 21 by Panos Mourdoukoutas announcing his Forbes article. Below: An Amazon kiosk store at Westfield Southcenter Mall, south of Seattle. Early Saturday morning, July 21, Panos Mourdoukoutas posted on Twitter a link to his…
1: Welcome to Check It Out!
Jul 31, 2018 • 55 min
Welcome to Check It Out!, a podcast for lifelong learners with inquiring minds. In this inaugural episode, host Ken Harvey, who doubles as Sno-Isle Libraries communications director, introduces himself and his co-hosts. In upcoming episodes, listeners…