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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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.

More taxpayers are falling victim to identity theft. A federal report says 2.5 million tax-filers had their identities stolen and their tax refunds delayed in 2013.

That’s double the number of people affected the previous year.

A zombie robot army visualized: sorting through signals from infected computers
The Office for Creative Research

Last week Europol’s European Cybercrime Center led the takedown of a network of computers controlled by cybercriminals. Microsoft played an important role, taking legal action that led to the seizure of servers in four countries — servers that were the command and control centers for millions of infected computers worldwide.

The ferry Tacoma, undergoing tests before going back into service. "Needs a paint job" observed Lynne Griffith, the ferries chief.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

The ferry Tacoma returned to service last weekend, ending an eight-month hiatus in the repair shop.

Last July, the ferry suffered a power failure and went adrift on the Seattle-to-Bainbridge Island route. Its loss created a cascade of service failures, showing the stress in the state’s ferry system.

Chief Willy Harper inside the Oso fire house. It has reverted to a quiet volunteer fire department in the months since the slide.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

Sunday marks one year since the Oso landslide. Highway 530 will shut down in the morning as people gather to commemorate the day.

Fishing boats on Puget Sound
Flickr Photo/Canopic (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Sixty years ago, in the middle of the night, a Navy ship struck a small fishing boat in Puget Sound. The Santa Maria was from Tacoma, and three fishermen on board died. The deaths of three working men made front-page news, and their widows sued the Navy, but it looked like they would get nowhere, until a sound saved the day for them.

Flickr Photo/Bari Bookout

Now that there’s an agreement in the West Coast ports dispute, ship containers are being processed at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

But the congestion on port lands won’t clear until truckers get in to move the containers. And that is the question now: How soon can the region’s truckers move them, and what will stand in their way.

Workers prepare to snap in a new section of roadway on the east side of the SR 520 bridge.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Construction of the new state Route 520 bridge is about halfway along now. But just as our tunnel mega-project has a major complication, SR 520 has its own mega-snag: we lack the minimum $1.6 billion to complete it.

The state’s highway department is also not clear on the final design of the "Rest of the West," as this embattled section of the 520 bridge is called.

The 520 bridge under construction.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

TRANSCRIPT

Highway 520 no longer opens and closes for boat traffic. Today crews begin construction on a section of the new bridge that will block the opening in the old one. Two concrete pontoons will be moved into position today.

KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Seattle’s strong growth means full buses and congested roads. The City of Seattle says maybe it should also mean more help for commuters. It’s holding a hackathon, bringing people together to build new tools that can help everyone get around.

Flickr Photo/Pipers Creek

Aging vessels are frequently blamed for problems in Washington’s ferry system. But the latest performance report says new ferries are giving the state plenty of grief.

Washington State Ferries missed its goal of keeping vessel out-of-service time to an average of eight weeks a year in 2014, and young ferries were key players.

Union members marched yesterday in support of taking a vote on the latest Boeing contract offer. Weakened unions have chipped away at the middle class in King County.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

  Earlier this month at an economic conference, King County Executive Dow Constantine made a startling point: Less than 5 percent of the households added to King County since the year 2000 were middle income.

The Kalakala on the day she was to be scrapped. The unlucky vessel had shone on Puget Sound waters as a ferry from 1935 to 1967.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

It was before dawn on Thursday, and the cold air off the Blair Waterway in Tacoma was damp and penetrating.

Karl Anderson, a mustachioed man in his 70s, stood on his company’s graving dock, waiting for the Kalakala.

SpaceX via Twitter

Billionaire Elon Musk says he’s setting up an engineering center in Seattle that could have 1,000 workers within three or four years.

Musk is CEO of Space Exploration Technologies. He made his name as co-founder of PayPal and designer of the Tesla electric car. He made the announcement in a conference call with journalists at Bloomberg.

traffic commute transportation car
Flickr Photo/JBLM (CC-BY-NC-ND)

It should only take half an hour to drive between Everett and Seattle on Interstate 5, which was possible during the holidays.

But it’s back to reality now, and the regular commute can take longer than an hour.

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