Isolde Raftery | KUOW News and Information

Isolde Raftery

Online Managing Editor

Year started with KUOW: 2013

Isolde Raftery became the online editor at KUOW in October 2013. Previously, she worked for NBCNews.com and the Columbian and Skagit Valley Herald newspapers here in Washington state. She has also written extensively for The New York Times, where she was a fellow on the Metro desk in 2010, The Chicago Tribune, Seattlepi.com and Seattle Business magazine.

Isolde was promoted to Online Managing Editor in 2018.

Born in Ireland to an Irish dad and a French mom, Isolde grew up mostly in Seattle, where she attended James A. Garfield High School. She later graduated from Barnard College in New York City and received a master's degree in literary nonfiction from the University of Oregon. 

Ways to Connect

The stars-and-bars of the Confederate flag painted onto a Juanita senior's face in 1999. Two years earlier, Juanita students shouted racial slurs at the mostly black Garfield High School football team. They sent an apology banner and students had to atten
KUOW Photo/Casey Martin

The Rebel remains.

Students at Juanita High School, in Kirkland, have voted overwhelmingly to keep their controversial mascot.

Ericka Frodsham 2018
Mike Kane for KUOW

In 2015, photographer Mike Kane met Ericka, a sex worker on Aurora Avenue North in Seattle. Ericka was selling sex to support her heroin and meth addiction, and she was so weak she believed she could be dead within a year. She was estranged from her three young daughters and spent many nights on the street. 


Volunteers count the number of people experiencing homelessness during the annual King County Point-In-Time count on Friday, January 25, 2018, in Pioneer Square.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

On a single night in January, more than 12,000 people were counted as homeless throughout Seattle and King County.


The cougar who killed SJ Brooks while they were mountain biking over the weekend.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Isaac Sederbaum, badly bloodied, finally connected with 911 on the fourth call.

“I got attacked by a mountain lion,” he said. He was breathless. “My friend did too.”

From left, peanuts, hog maw and chitterlings. These three dishes, as chef Edouardo Jordan explains, come from West Africa, and evolved during slavery in the Deep South.
JuneBaby Instagram/@junebabysea

Chef Edouardo Jordan brought major gold home to Seattle this week by winning two James Beard Awards. One for Best Northwest Chef, a recognition of his talent at his flagship restaurant Salare, and another for Best New Restaurant nationwide for the Ravenna eatery two blocks away, JuneBaby.

Edouardo Jordan, right, works in the kitchen at JuneBaby on Wednesday December 6, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle Chef Edouardo Jordan kept one item off his menu when he opened Salare in 2015.

“I didn’t want to put fried chicken on the menu,” Jordan said in the Netflix documentary series, “Ugly Delicious.”

Tents are shown as people gathered to protest the sweeps of homeless camps in November, 2017, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Let May 2, 2018, be known as the day that Seattle Nice died.

Oscar Pulkkinen, the author's son, was asked to make Alexa fart for the good of journalism. Instead, he asked the device to make 'an elephant sneeze noise.'
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

I debated whether to share this fart story with you, because farts are – unfairly, in my opinion – maligned as juvenile and bad manners. But I decided in favor, because farts are one of life’s daily inevitabilities, and also because farts are hilarious.

Oscar Pulkkinen, 4, the writer's son, asks Alexa to make an elephant sneeze. She obliged. Alexa is an artificial intelligence device from Amazon. It is voice controlled; users can turn on lights, play songs and make purchases by saying, 'Hey, Alexa.'
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

I debated whether to share this fart story with you, because farts are – unfairly, in my opinion – maligned as juvenile and bad manners. But I decided in favor, because farts are one of life’s daily inevitabilities, and also because farts are hilarious.

KUOW/Isolde Raftery

Benton Strong, the spokesman who stood by embattled Mayor Ed Murray to the end, has been revealed to have a checkered past of his own.

This photo was posted to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office Facebook page earlier in the week.
Pierce County Sheriff's Office Facebook page

In the photo above — posted by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook and Twitter this week – a man sits on the ground after being Tased by police. He wears nothing but black underwear briefs and a rosary around his neck. His small dog looks up at the camera.

Brettler Family Place, part of the complex at Sand Point Housing.
Solid Ground

“Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.” Gunshots, no doubt, J.C. thought. 

These cyclists did not forget (or 'forget') their bikes on the ferry.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

This may be the most Seattle of problems: people abandoning their bike share rentals on the ferry. 


Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell signs an executive order on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, after taking the oath of office and becoming the mayor of Seattle at City Hall.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bruce Harrell, president of the Seattle City Council, has been mayor for two days. 

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

Amnesty International has asked Northern Ireland's police force to investigate whether former Mayor Ed Murray abused children when he lived there in the mid-1970s, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell is sworn into office by city clerk Monica Simmons, right, becoming the mayor of Seattle, on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at City Hall.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle has a new mayor.


See that car in the middle lane zipping to the front of the line? You hate that driver, but they're actually doing the right thing, known as the zipper merge.
WSDOT

Three years ago, we ran a story about a little-known traffic tip known as the "zipper merge." 

In short: Drivers should use all lanes leading up to a merge point, rather than clog up one lane. Arrived at the front of the line, drivers in all lanes take turns merging. This is not cheating! (See image above for why the seemingly polite way gunks up traffic.) 

Ayush Jakhotia, 7, left, watches the solar eclipse with his grandmother, Radha Jakhotia, right, on Monday, August 21, 2017, from Gas Works Park, in Seattle. KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Even the cynical couldn't resist the eclipse on Monday morning. 

The temperature dropped precipitously here in Seattle, and the light turned the colors rich and dark — like an Instagram filter IRL. 

Eli Sanders, Rob McKenna and Mayor Ed Murray participate in KUOW's 'Week in Review' in front of a live audience at the Vera Project on Fri. July 31, 2015.
KUOW File Photo/Gil Aegerter

The Seattle Human Rights Commission issued a terse statement on Tuesday afternoon, urging Mayor Ed Murray to resign.

Jeff Simpson at his home outside Portland, Oregon.
Thomas Teal for The Stranger, licensed for KUOW

The first time Ed Murray noticed him — really noticed him — he was 8.

Kanwalpreet steps out of a white limo. He and Madhuri were married at the Gurudwara Singh Sabha of Washington in Renton.
Victor Zerga Photography

Victor Zerga is a Seattle wedding photographer who specializes in "cultural weddings." He started taking photos with a point-and-shoot camera as a guest at his family's big Ukranian weddings, and eight years ago, his hobby became a career. 

Jessyn Farrell, former attorney and recently a state legislature representing northeast Seattle, is a candidate for Seattle mayor.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

After their formal interviews, we asked Seattle mayoral candidates to answer less traditional questions. The goal was to humanize them beyond the wonk. Candidate Jessyn Farrell didn't answer the published offbeat questions.  

Farrell is an attorney, former state representative and mother of three. She resigned from the state legislature to run for mayor after Mayor Ed Murray said he wouldn’t run again.

Jenny Durkan is among 21 candidates running for Seattle mayor.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

After their formal interviews, we asked candidates to answer less traditional questions. Scroll down to read their handwritten responses. 

For a decade, a political consultant harangued Jenny Durkan to run for office.  

Mike McGinn, the former Seattle mayor, is running again. 'This city belongs to all of us,' he said.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

After their formal interviews, we asked candidates to answer less traditional questions. Scroll down to read their handwritten responses. 

Mike McGinn, former mayor of Seattle, was known around town for biking everywhere. (His security detail also rode with him.) 

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

After their formal interviews, we asked candidates to answer less traditional questions. Scroll down to read their handwritten responses.

The first thing we want to say about Nikkita Oliver, of the People's Party of Seattle, is that she announced she would run for mayor before a sex abuse lawsuit was filed against Ed Murray in April.  

Yes, Bob Hasegawa, sitting Washington state senator and candidate for Seattle mayor, vaped for this photo.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

After their formal interviews, we asked candidates to answer less traditional questions. Scroll down to read their handwritten responses. 

Bob Hasegawa, state senator and proud Teamster (former commercial truck driver), is a third generation Seattleite. He grew up on Beacon Hill, still lives there now and bemoans the days when kids played in the street and he walked two blocks to the corner store to buy his dad a pack of cigarettes.

Cary Moon, an urban planner, says we're in a civil rights moment here in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

After their formal interviews, we asked candidates to answer less traditional questions. Scroll down to read their handwritten responses. 

Cary Moon is an urban planner, remembered by city wonks for imagining Highway 99 as a waterfront street (rather than the tunnel it will be).

Twin sisters Makalah, 12, left, and Akalah, right, sit on the steps at the Solid Ground Brettler Family Place, on Monday.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

In the minutes after Charleena Lyles was shot by police, a 12-year-old girl slipped by police officers and ran up four flights of stairs.

Delvonn Heckard's legal team: Julie Kays, left, and Lincoln Beauregard.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Delvonn Heckard, the man who accused Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of abusing him, withdrew his lawsuit this week. But he said he did it at his attorneys' behest; if it were up to him, he would have forged ahead. 

“I put my college on hold and everything just to deal with this, and then for this to happen, it’s just a lot to take in,” he said. “But I guess my attorneys know what they’re doing.”

Laurelhurst Elementary in northeast Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

On a gray day last October, teachers across Seattle wore a shirt that read BLACK LIVES MATTER.

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