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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Marion Yoshino, left, and Fred Felleman are vying for a spot on the Port Commission. Both opposed the port's support of Shell Oil's drilling ventures in the Arctic.
KUOW Photos/Carolyn Adolph

There was public outrage this year when the Port of Seattle agreed to service Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet.

Voters made their voices heard in the August primary by choosing two people who campaigned against the oil giant.

These boots make a point:  sales tax was $15.36, meaning a person paid Seattle's minimum wage works an hour just to pay state and local taxes. A higher-paid worker pays proportionally less.
KUOW Feet & Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Seattle’s surging economy continues to cause concerns about affordability.

Monday afternoon, the Seattle Transit riders union held a rally to bring attention to the need for a more equitable standard of living in the city.

But some of the reasons why people struggle in Seattle are deeply ingrained.

In 1933, Washington state had an income tax. So what happened?
Illustration by Drew Christie

What is the history of Washington state's political allergy to an income tax? Steven Thomson of Olympia posed this question to KUOW's Local Wonder.

We had an income tax once in Washington state.

It was during the Great Depression, and a lot of people were down and out.

People were so excited about the income tax that they voted twice. First, they changed the state constitution to allow the tax. Then voters approved the tax – 70 percent in favor.

A woman is taken to an ambulance on the Aurora Bridge after the crash Thursday.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

They came to Seattle from around the world: Austria, China, Indonesia and Japan. 

They died on the Aurora Bridge on Thursday.

They were mourned at North Seattle College on Friday, where some students said they were frightened by the collision between a large tourist vehicle known as “the Duck” and a bus.

An injured person is taken from the scene of the Aurora Bridge bus crash on Sept. 24, 2015
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

UPDATE, 3;10 p.m.: A duck amphibious tour vehicle swerved into a charter bus carrying international students on the Aurora Bridge Thursday. At least four people died and dozens were injured, emergency officials said.

At least 44 people were taken to hospitals.

People form a greeting line as Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife step out of a Boeing 747 at Everett's Paine Field.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

The tech and business leaders meeting with President Xi Jinping in Seattle this week know a lot about doing business in China — the risks as well as the opportunities.

KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Seattle has become the latest landing place for a wave of Chinese investments – much of it coming through a controversial investor visa program called EB-5.

EB-5 is bringing construction money and jobs to the Seattle economy. But it may also have brought spies, fraudsters and absconders to our region. Now the fate of the program is just as murky, as it could expire at the end of the month.

Seattle teachers and supporters walked the picket line in front of Orca K-8 school in Columbia City.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Seattle teachers' strike is entering day three, and so far the tone has been pretty laid back, with teachers even singing. But when are things going to heat up?

They already are in Pasco, where the teachers' strike is leading to a contempt-of-court hearing Friday.

Tuition at the University of Washington is the highest in the state. The GET system uses a year of tuition at UW as a benchmark in pricing GET units.
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Calls have doubled and emails have quadrupled to the people who run GET: the name for the state's pre-paid college savings plan.

That's because last week the plan announced that families can pull their money out without a paying a penalty. Now the question is how many families will actually take their money and leave.

Empty space at Terminal 5. It's been closed to containers since last summer. Nine years ago it was operating at its designed capacity.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

The container terminals at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma are running at less than half their capacity, according to a study conducted for the ports.

The study by Mercator International of Kirkland – one of several last year – said no other major port complex in North America is so underused.

Flickr Photo/Amancay Maahs (CC BY-NC-ND)

Drivers-for hire are being given a Lyft. You might even say they could soon be Uber-powerful.

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien says he’ll introduce legislation to give them the right to bargain for better pay.

Kayakers protesting the arrival of Shell's Polar Pioneer rig in Port Angeles in April
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Environment groups have another opportunity to stop a Shell Oil rig from returning to Seattle.

They are appealing a Superior Court decision from earlier this summer that the Port of Seattle could host Shell's Arctic drilling fleet without conducting an environmental review.

Crews have yet to finish stabilizing the soil behind the seawall. That work is going on in front of Colman Dock, nearby. But work has stopped in front of the shops and restaurants for tourist season.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Bad news for one of the city of Seattle’s biggest construction projects: The Seawall replacement is going to cost a lot more than planned, and it’ll take an extra year.

Microsoft sign on the company's Redmond, Washington campus.
Flickr Photo/Wonderlane (CC-BY-NC-ND)/http://bit.ly/1NM853Z

Former and current employees are getting a letter from Microsoft this week.

It says no more Microsoft stock will be bought for the company’s 401k plan. The question is why.

Foss Maritime tugs pull the Polar Pioneer past downtown Seattle on the way to Terminal 5 on Thursday, May 14, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Shell’s Polar Pioneer, briefly a resident at the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5,  is drilling for oil in the Chukchi Sea. The question is whether the rig can return to Seattle this fall -- and whether it can stay the winter. 

The Port of Seattle and Foss Maritime Co. are appealing a city decision to try to stop the rig. A city examiner is hearing arguments about what should happen next.

A jet takes off from Sea-Tac airport.
Flickr Photo/Alan Turkus (CC BY 2.0)

It’s another sign of booming times at Sea-Tac Airport: The Port of Seattle commissioners have approved paying almost $14 million to Delta Airlines to build a new lounge.

The new lounge would be about double the size of Delta's current one. And it'll be centrally located, between the two main airport concourses.

Crews have yet to finish stabilizing the soil behind the seawall. That work is going on in front of Colman Dock, nearby. But work has stopped in front of the shops and restaurants for tourist season.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

It's been two weeks since the shops and restaurants of the Elliott Bay Seawall reopened after a long winter of being closed for construction.

Since reopening July 1, tourists have enjoyed unseasonably gorgeous weather for riding the Seattle Great Wheel, gorging on oysters and trying on Seahawks T-shirts.

This July 2015 photo shows the SR 99 tunneling machine’s main bearing encircled by the gear ring that facilitates rotation of the cutterhead.
Washington State Department of Transportation

Bertha, the giant tunnel boring machine stalled in downtown Seattle, remains in pieces at the foot of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Robert Street with John L. Scott Foreclosures shows an auctioneer his money at the foreclosure auction that takes place outside the King County courthouse in downtown Seattle every Friday.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

The Seattle-area housing market could use an injection of inventory. It’s on a tear right now, fueled by high demand and low supply, and hooked on low-interest rates.

And there is a potential supply of lower-priced homes in the region. Those are the 4,300 foreclosed homes from Everett to Tacoma that are now owned by banks, according to RealtyTrac.

Allison Dunmire, a stay-at-home mom in Kirkland, is having a tough time finding a house to buy -- even one they don't like all that much.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

It’s tough to buy a house in Seattle at the moment.

The shortage of houses on the market has widened the gap between those who can plunk down far more than the asking price – often in cash – and those without such means.

Burned cedars and salal at a property in Woodway, Washington, which has had a ban on fireworks for years.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

The governor’s office says there will be no state ban on fireworks. And local governments won’t be given authority to issue their own bans.

That’s because state law doesn’t permit it. But state law never imagined a heat wave like this to start the summer.

John and Linda Beatty of Seattle watch Foss Maritime tugs pull the Polar Pioneer oil rig south past Discovery Park toward the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5 on May 14, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

The Shell oil rig that occupied a terminal at the Port of Seattle is gone now.

But its legacy lives on, as candidates for the Port of Seattle Commission square off about the port’s future. An all-candidates meeting was held Monday night. 

When it seemed that physical changes to the stabilizers in a stretched 787 would be too expensive, Vedad Mahmulyin started looking at a software solution.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has come a long way since it was first heralded as a game-changing plane. Around 300 are flying now, but the planes are still sold at a loss. The Boeing Co. has been pushing its employees to find ways to save money on the program, and one engineer is being celebrated for doing it, big-time. 

A jet takes off from Sea-Tac airport.
Flickr Photo/Alan Turkus (CC BY 2.0)

International travel from Sea-Tac Airport is expected to grow by a quarter over the next five years. So the Port of Seattle is getting serious about expanding facilities for international passengers.

You’d think airlines would be happy about that, but many of them went to the Port Commission meeting Tuesday to protest. 

The Polar Pioneer at Seattle's Terminal 5, which was closed last year to cargo and needs at least $150 million in investments to ready it for mega-cargo ships - and to compete with Canadian ports.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The West Coast ports dispute is expected to end Friday.

Shipping companies have already accepted the new contract.

Port workers have also voted on the contract and are expected to release their results today.

An all-female United Airlines crew celebrates picking up a new Boeing 737-900.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

It’s a first for United Airlines.

On Wednesday morning, an all-woman crew and a plane full of female United employees took possession of a new airplane.

It happened at Boeing Field early this morning.

Robert Darden, left, and Anthony Fox moved to Seattle from Nashville. They say they are adamant about living within Seattle city limits, although escalating rents have made that increasingly tough.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

About half the renters in the Seattle region pay too much for their place.

Too much means they’re spending more than a third of their household income before taxes. SeaTac and Rainer Valley neighborhoods are particularly rough on renters, although this trend affects the entire city, regardless of median income. (Check your neighborhood in the interactive graphic below.)

Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Seattle Public Library is about to make the Internet as lendable as everything else in its collection.

It's the next step in the library's reinvention. A grant from Google means the Seattle Public Library will begin lending Wi-Fi hotspots to library patrons. By the summer it will also lend laptop computers packaged with wifi. 

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

Traffic is getting worse in Seattle. Our rising population is driving it. And even with a multibillion-dollar transportation package, it's not expected to improve.

Which is why we plug our ears when we hear someone like Gil Penalosa, a former parks commissioner from Colombia, say, “I think congestion is good.”

The Access Map by team Hackcessible, a team of University of Washington students, won Seattle's Hack the Commute competition on Wednesday night.
Access Map

A few months ago the City of Seattle launched a search for the next big commuter tool.

The idea was to Hack the Commute – and make a real difference in the lives of people who need to move around our region. Wednesday night they picked a winning project.

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