Carolyn Adolph | KUOW News and Information

Carolyn Adolph

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2008

Carolyn covers Seattle’s growth and the challenges people have in meeting the regional economy’s shifting demands. She came to KUOW after careers at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Montreal Gazette and the Toronto Star. She is a graduate of Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She studied Economics at the University of California, Davis, and the Cultural Impact of Technological Change at the University of Washington.

Latest Award:  Runner Up, SPJ Investigative Audio Reporting with John Ryan, 2016. 

Email cadolph@kuow.org

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Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe is a University District coffee shop and a source of vegan dishes.
Facebook Photo/Chaco Canyon

Signs of public drug-taking are all over Seattle’s University District.

But an overflowing container of used needles proved too much for one restaurant customer.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Congestion on regional roads is not expected to get better anytime soon, so more and more communities are considering a Puget Sound commuter ferry.

Agencies in Pierce, Thurston and Island counties are all looking into the possibility. But these agencies have a common problem: where to land on Seattle's crowded waterfront.

KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Last summer Kitsap Transit launched a fast ferry service with a single vessel. The Rich Passage I was the only low-wake boat it had to satisfy shore-erosion concerns along the passage from Bremerton to Seattle.

Since then, the Rich Passage I has missed 128 sailings, mostly because of mechanical failures. And though the vessel has been reliable since last October, Kitsap Transit’s problems aren’t over yet: In just over a month the vessel is due in drydock for the complete replacement of its engines.

FILE - In this July 15, 2015 file photo, an Uber driver sits in his car near the San Francisco International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Traffic congestion in Seattle is getting worse.

As traffic slows, more people are hailing rides from Uber and Lyft — and that’s adding to the trouble. Now, transit agencies that once fought to regulate car sharing services are thinking it may be time to make a new deal with them.

Amazon employee Filomeno Saya packages items at an Amazon fulfillment center on Friday, November 3, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Amazon is now contacting its shortlist of places for its next headquarters. The company told applicants who didn’t make the cut that they’ll be considered for future investments by the company.

But a new study from the Economic Policy Institute says places that have already received Amazon investments in warehouses don’t get the growth they bargained for.

Customers shop at Amazon Go on Monday, January 22, 2018, on 7th Ave., in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Amazon is the place where you buy stuff and then it magically appears at your front door. Or, more recently, it's the place where you go to buy a sandwich in a store and walk out without having to interact with a cashier.

There's an invisible side of all this: the cloud.


Flickr Photo/Tom Davidson (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dQVW4x

Our region’s population hit 4 million people just over a year ago. Now, there’s a prediction that it will reach nearly 6 million by 2050. It’s the latest growth projection from The Puget Sound Regional Council.

A dartboard we fixed up at Earl's On The Ave in Seattle's University District
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Amazon has released its list of 20 finalists for the company's next headquarters.

Many of the chosen don't come as big surprises: Chicago, Boston, New York, etc. But then there were cities like Miami and Indianapolis that made us ask, what are you doing on this map?

Amazon employees walk in front of a map highlighting 238 cities that submitted bids for Amazon's second headquarters in the lobby of the Day 1 building on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Amazon announced the 20 cities it's now considering to be the company's next headquarters. Carolyn Adolf, co-host of KUOW's podcast, Prime(d) talks us through the choices. 


From left, Amazon software development interns Min Vu, Cindy Wang, Jason Mar, Katie Shin and Louis Yang, walk after getting bananas from the Amazon Community Banana Stand outside of the Amazon Meeting Center on Thursday, October 5, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

We’ve all noticed that Seattle feels like a younger city these days. Census data indicates that change is happening fast.

The number of adults under age 35 has been growing and much faster than in other tech capitals.

Robotic drive units transfer items at an Amazon fulfillment center on Friday, November 3, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

This is a crazy time of year for online retail behemoth Amazon – especially for their robots.

Robots have already taken over a lot of the work in Kent's Amazon warehouse, like finding and retrieving items. And they’re continually learning how to do things that humans do.

At least there's a beautiful sunset to look at when you're stuck in Seattle traffic.
Flickr Photo/HeatherHeatherHeather (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Highway congestion in the Seattle area overall was up 22 percent in 2016.

That's according to the latest WSDOT report on the state of our  roads network. That network is challenged — as are we all — with the consequences of Seattle’s jobs and population explosion. 

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A survey by researchers at Oxford and Yale universities indicates that by 2060, robots will be able to perform jobs better than people can. That means millions of people could eventually be out of work.

Automation has been part of our world for a long time. And in general, automation has led to new jobs – especially service jobs. Artificial intelligence is changing that. Because machines are learning how to think, they can eliminate jobs without creating new ones.

Joseph Jones, an Amazon employee on the marketing team for Amazon channels, takes pictures with his mother, Cathy Jones, right, and his grandmother, Hattie Perry, left, during Amazon's bring your parents to work day on Friday, September 15, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

We know, you want the jobs. 

That's why you're offering billions of dollars and other sweet kickbacks to get Amazon to move to your town. 


KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Amazon has 3,500 jobs available in Seattle right now. That’s down from what we’ve seen over the last few years. But it’s still a lot of growth.

Even though Amazon competes with other software companies for talent, it remains very picky.

Is Amazon your guilty pleasure?

Nov 24, 2017
Boxed items are shown on conveyer belts leading to docks where they will be loaded onto trucks at an Amazon fulfillment center on Friday, November 3, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

We're a conflicted bunch.

On one hand, we love to hate Amazon in Seattle because the city grew too fast and it's made problems for a lot of people. But a lot of us are also huge Amazon shoppers. 

Think about that: Amazon is so good at what it does that even people who say they shouldn't, use it.


Traffic is seen on I-5 from 45th St., on Friday, October 27, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A couple of years ago, a semitruck carrying a load of fish overturned on the Alaskan Way Viaduct during rush hour on a Tuesday.

We get it: This is possibly the most stereotypical Seattle problem ever.


Amazon employees walk in front of a map highlighting 238 cities that submitted bids for Amazon's second headquarters in the lobby of the Day 1 building on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

So.

It’s been a little tense in Seattle since Amazon started shopping around for a new city to love.


A group of people jog across Lenora Street, on Thursday, October 5, 2017, in front of Amazon's biodomes, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Do us a favor. Look up relentless.com. 

No really — try it.

We’ll wait.


Prime(d)

Oct 17, 2017

What happens when Amazon comes to your town? So many cities want Amazon’s second headquarters. We get it. We here in Seattle have the first one.

And it’s changed us – physically, emotionally. Psyche and soul. Some people got rich. Some people got forced out.

We’re in a long-term relationship with Amazon. You just started dating.

We need to talk. 

Listen on the web or subscribe in Apple Podcasts.

Amazon Spheres, downtown Seattle
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

In September, 2017, Amazon kicked off the country’s biggest lottery — a search for a second headquarters, a.k.a. HQ2. The city that wins that contest might want some insight from the city Amazon chose first. So we're launching a new podcast.   

Amazon confirmed a second and 'full equal' headquarters somewhere other than in the Puget Sound region.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Regional politicians have been assembling a multi-county strategy to keep Amazon’s growth here.

The company’s announcement last month that it will pick a second headquarters has sent cities scurrying to meet an October 19 deadline.

Hikers at Rattlesnake Ledge. The number of visitors to this trail have been increasing over the last years.
Flickr Photo/Matt Kowalczyk (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/6unaK9

Our region is growing, and so is the use of hiking trails. If you’ve been to Rattlesnake Ledge near North Bend, then you already know that.

Growth makes driving Seattle streets crazy - in front of schools, on narrow streets in old neighborhoods, and 59th St. and 22nd Ave NW  where this crazy thing went down. Our audience's question, by a landslide: where are the stop signs to restore order?
KUOW/Megan Farmer

As traffic has worsened in the Seattle area, drivers have taken to side streets to beat the brake lights.

This prompted one of our most popular Local Wonder questions: Why doesn’t Seattle have more stop signs?


KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Until last week, Seattle’s growth looked endless and predictable. Amazon was hiring at a fierce pace, and planners were struggling with housing and transit needs that are a consequence of all the new jobs.

But with Amazon’s announcement that it will build a second headquarters elsewhere, bets about the future of Seattle’s growth are off.

Image Courtesy/Vulcan

Amazon wants to double its footprint by building a second headquarters — for 50,000 more workers.

Consider that its current Seattle headquarters has more than 40,000 people at its Seattle headquarters.

Road congestion has more than doubled in the Puget Sound region in the last five years. Sound Transit has been trying to build a light rail system to give commuters an option to get off the roads. Now, federal funding for the Lynnwood line is in danger.
Sound Transit

Voters approved a light rail line to Lynnwood from Northgate in 2008. Now there’s word the cost of that line is half a billion dollars over estimate.

KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Seattle’s boom has made Sea-Tac a busier place, particularly at the south terminal where international passengers arrive after long flights. But that terminal was built in the 1970s.

The Port of Seattle is starting a nearly $800 million project to replace it.

Kate and John Walter see themselves as victims of a housing crisis spawned by Seattle's technology boom — but they disagree whether high tech workers like them also should be the solution.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray speaks Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A child protection investigator in Oregon concluded in 1984 that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray had abused a boy in his care. 

In documents made public by The Seattle Times, the investigator said the future mayor of Seattle should never be a foster parent again.

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