Archive for Great Stories to Read and Hear

How did United 173 run out of fuel?


How could an experienced, veteran crew fly a plane until it runs out of fuel and crashes short of the runway, killing 10 people?Listen to Stitcher

United 173 left Denver bound for Portland with more than enough fuel onboard to fly for more than an hour longer than its planned flight time.

During its final approach, the crew couldn’t confirm that the plane’s main landing gear was down and locked.  They aborted their landing and spent the next 30 minutes trying to figure out what to do.

During this time, the First Officer and the Flight Engineer warned the Captain that they were running low on fuel.  The Captain radioed the airport tower and announced when they would be landing.

United 173 crashed, 6 miles short of the runway, all four engines flamed out and its fuel tanks empty.  The plane didn’t catch fire which probably saved lives.  But that was because it was out of fuel.

The plane’s Captain was held responsible for the accident, lost his pilot’s license and had to retire.  He passed away 26 years later.  Later evidence showed the aircraft’s fuel gauges were not always accurate.  And the survivors credit the Captain with saving their lives.

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The Bombing at Brookings


Listen to StitcherBrookings is a small town on the southern Oregon coast with a story that few people know.

The story is told on a plaque that you can find a few miles outside of town, on the slopes of Mt. Emily.  And you know my rule about plaques.  When you see one, always stop and read it.  There’s always a story worth knowing if it deserves a plaque.

The attacks of September 11, 2001, weren’t the first time that the American continent was bombed.  It happened 59 years earlier at Brookings.

The story you’re about to hear isn’t just about how a Japanese plane catapulted off a submarine and dive-bombed a lookout tower on the forested slopes of Mt. Emily.  That’s because you always want to listen for what Paul Harvey used to call, “The rest of the story.”

This story’s second chapter doesn’t start until 20 years after Brookings found itself on the front lines of World War II.  That’s when Brookings invited the pilot of the plane that had bombed their town to come back, this time in peace.

As you can imagine, there was plenty of fear and distrust when Nobuo Fujita returned to Brookings and the slopes of Mt. Emily where fragments from the bombs he dropped could still be found.

But something happened then that changed this story. And what happened changed the lives and attitudes of many people on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a story that you shouldn’t miss.  I guarantee it will change how you feel about a lot of things.  Enjoy.

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Why did Thomas Edison need Oregon’s Help?


Listen to StitcherThe name, Thomas Alva Edison, is instantly familiar to just about everyone on the planet.

One reason is his inventions are all around us.  We use, hear and see them every day.

But how much do you really know about Edison?  How much of his life story is invented, like so many other things that he did?

Do you think Edison was the first one to patent the electric lamp’s filament?

And what’s the connection between Villard Hall at the University of Oregon and the incandescent light’s commercial success?  Things might be very different today if George Villard had skipped Thomas Edison’s New Years Eve party.

Give this podcast a listen to learn more about history’s most prolific inventor.

And when it’s over, I’ll bet you’ll start drinking more milk.  Listen up and you’ll get it.

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Get a Break from the IRS? Are you Kidding me?


Maybe you’ve heard the advertisements promising to make the IRS go away and accept only pennies on the dollar for all those taxes you haven’t paid.Listen to Stitcher

They promise expert advice and skilled negotiators who know all the tricks and can beat the IRS at their game.

And after hearing them, you can’t wait to call.  That’s because you’ve tried to negotiate with the IRS without any luck whatsoever.  The best you’ve been able to do is get some more time to figure out what to do.

Before you reach for the phone, remember that the IRS rarely accepts the offers that taxpayers make trying to reduce the taxes, fees or interest they owe.

And the ones that are accepted come from taxpayers who either have one foot in the grave or are unable to pay their taxes due to circumstances beyond their control such as being totally disabled.

You also need to know that Tax Relief or Settlement Firms can’t do anything that you couldn’t do yourself if you’re willing to make the effort.  They’ll ask you to fill out all sorts of financial disclosures and budgets but guess what?  The IRS will want that same paperwork regardless of whether it comes from you or the Tax Relief Firm.

The big difference?  The Tax Relief Firm will charge a large, up-front, non-refundable fee and then require you to fill out the same forms you could have gotten from the IRS for free.  What a bargain!

Before you call any of these Tax Relief or Settlement Firms, remember their promise that they can drastically reduce your taxes is probably a come-on to take your money.  Watch out if they ask for a “small deposit” in order to get started.  That’s the oldest trick in the book.  Shortly after you’ve sent them some money, they’ll call back and tell you they’re making great progress on your behalf but, guess what, you need to send them some more cash to keep things moving.  Expect to get a call like this about every six weeks.  Unless you wake up to how their bait-and-switch scam works.

There are lots of reputable organizations that will help you get your finances under control.  They may be called “Credit Counselors” and are often non-profit organizations funded by grants and donations.  Call them before you let a Tax Relief Firm prey on your fears.  Don’t be fooled by the Tax Relief Firm’s misleading claims and don’t let them talk you into paying an up-front fee.

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Run Away to the Circus?


Listen to StitcherA lot of people talk about running away to the circus.  But has anyone ever actually done it?  If they did, what happened?  How did the story end?  Check out this podcast for a true story about someone who really did run away to the circus.  And hear how they ran away from what they were running to.

Don’t miss the story of what happened when the circus came to Salem, Oregon in July of 1963.  Circus performers flirt with danger but can’t take too many chances.  But how do they control things they can’t see or trust?

Our feature presentation takes you behind the scenes of the sideshow.  Meet some of the Public Radio Exchangepeople on the other side of the screen.  Hear their story.  And get another perspective on who is watching whom.

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