Ruby de Luna

Reporter, KUOW

Ruby de Luna is a features reporter at KUOW. She had originally planned to go into TV, but ditched the idea after discovering public radio. Ruby reports on a wide range of issues, but her focus has been on Seattle's immigrant community. It's a natural draw because Ruby is a transplant from Taipei, Taiwan. Before KUOW, Ruby worked in the Washington State Legislature as a broadcast information assistant for the House Democrats.

Ruby holds a BA in communication from Seattle Pacific University. She was a Jefferson fellow at the East–West Center Media Program in Honolulu, Hawaii. She's a mentor for the student radio project at AAJA (Asian American Journalists Association). She is former Western Washington Pro Chapter president of the Society of Professional Journalists.

In the age of computer/digital audio editing, Ruby is proud to be one of the few old–schoolers who can still edit tape with a razor blade.

Ways to Connect

AP Images

Washington State’s whooping cough outbreak continues to grow. So far this year, there’ve been 397 confirmed cases, compared with 85 last year. Here’s why: for one, whooping cough is cyclical; every 3-4 years, it peaks and then drops down.

Another reason is the vaccine itself, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chas Debolt is senior epidemiologist with the state department of health, and co-authored the study. The study looked at the duration of the vaccine’s level of protection, starting from the time a child receives a vaccine.

Joseph Morris / Flickr

A state senate committee will hear a proposal this week that would make it illegal to sell e-cigarettes and vaporizers to minors.

Last fall Senator Judy Warnick got a tip from a police officer from her district in Moses Lake. He noted students were buying e-cigarettes easily from one store in particular.

“…and then they were modifying them so they could use marijuana in those cigarettes,” Warnick said.

She said there wasn’t much he could do about it. There are no rules that prohibit selling e-cigarettes to minors.

Govenor Jay Inslee unveiled his transportation plan Tuesday. His $12 billion proposal calls for a list of safety fixes. The fixes include old bridges that are at risk of becoming structurally deficient. The package also includes nearly $6 billion for new construction projects. To help pay for them, Inslee is proposing to charge the state’s major polluters.

A fourth student has died from the Marysville Pilchuck high school shooting.

Dr. Anita Tsen, critical care physician at Providence Medical Center at Everett made the announcement last night (FRI) at a press briefing streamed on KIRO TV.

Fourteen year-old Shaylee Chuckulnaskit died just before 5 that afternoon from her injuries.

Tsen read a statement from the Chucklenaskit family.

tahitianlime / Flickr

The state says it’s making progress in adding psychiatric beds to comply with a court mandate.

For years the state has had a shortage of psychiatric beds. As a result, patients with severe mental illness end up in emergency rooms until space at a psychiatric facility becomes available.

In august the state supreme court ruled that this practice of psychiatric boarding is unconstitutional. The court gave the state until December 26th to expand its inpatient capacity.

The holiday frenzy isn’t the only deadline looming. For people who expect to have health coverage when the new year starts, the deadline to enroll for a health plan is December 23rd. But signing up through the state’s health exchange has been rough for the last several days. As of Tuesday morning, the site is back up and running.

This week the state discovered an error that could mean some people would be paying more in premiums. 

Washington’s health exchange got off to a bumpy start on its first day Tuesday. The website was temporarily shut down all morning. People who tried to access the website experienced slowdowns and technical problems. But there were some people who managed avoid the glitches and sign up for health coverage.

The Washington State Supreme Court Thursday heard arguments in a case that could decide whether faith-based employers have some exemption from the state’s anti-discrimination law.

It’s official. Washington has reached a milestone in creating its own health exchange. Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Washington is among six states to make significant progress in developing an online market for health plans.