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

Stephen Bannon, center left, back, campaign CEO for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, looks on as Trump speaks during a campaign rally on Election Day.
AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

In journalism, we avoid wonk.

Which is why we at KUOW discussed whether to use the term “alt-right.” Mainstream news sites have plugged it into headlines, but our readers and listeners were confused. What does that label even mean?

Iesha Gray, 20, resigned from her job at the U.S. Postal Service because she felt she wasn't given time or space she found acceptable to pump.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Iesha Gray called it the drought.

One month back from maternity leave, her breasts were empty. No more milk. Her baby girl at home was drinking her way through the freezer stash.

Brian Wahlberg gives daughter Luciena a good view of the proceedings as the crowd sings at Cal Anderson Park in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

In the liberal bastion that is Seattle, the response to the election was acute. People cried openly on buses and in cafes. Some took time off work to mourn in bed. It wasn't that their candidate had lost, we heard again and again, it was that they feared for the future.

No, you don't need a stamp for your ballot

Oct 26, 2016
This ballot's stamp game is on point.
KUOW

Let’s repeat that, in case you skimmed over the headline: 

Your ballot will be counted even if you DO NOT affix a stamp to the envelope. 

Jennifer Henderson, a Seattle mental health counselor whose grandfather was killed by police outside of Ferguson in 1925. Trauma can be passed down through generations, she says.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

In downtown Seattle, therapist Robert Gant heard from a father who felt hopeless.

The man had told his sons, ages 12 and 9, that they should obey police. “Whatever, Dad,” the boys said. “They’ll still shoot you.”


The National Weather Service tweeted this, calling it the 1 p.m. low, just as rain started to pour.
National Weather Service

The great storm of 2016 may not be so impressive after all.

Scene at the Jungle on Tuesday after an officer-involved shooting was reported on Tuesday early afternoon.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle police officers shot a man on Tuesday afternoon in the Jungle, just as workers started a sweep of the notorious homeless camp under Interstate 5. The man was transported to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition and has died, according to AP. 

Theodore Bundy mugs for the media after Leon County Sheriff Ken Katsaris informed him of his indictment on July 28, 1978.
AP Photo

Ted Bundy is one of the most notorious serial killers of all time.

He raped and murdered at least 30 women and girls, often luring them into his Volkswagen Beetle.

Wikimedia Commons/Project Gutenberg/U.S. public domain

Last summer, the temperature reached 97 degrees in my toddler son’s bedroom.

We live in Seattle, where few homes have air conditioning, and we’re locals, so we were totally freaking out.

AR-15 rifle with a Stag lower receiver California legal (only with fixed 10-round magazine)
Wikimedia Commons

The day after the Orlando nightclub shooting, Tami Michaels, a Seattle talk show host, took to Facebook.

These pickles spent weeks on the counter in the KUOW break room, which doubles as the place where our guests wait to be interviewed. The descriptions muttered about them were decidedly NSFW. CLICK ON THIS IMAGE TO SEE MORE WEIRD STUFF.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The subject line read: "There is fresh, raw Nigerian pygmy goat's milk in the fridge."* 

And beneath it: "I'm not going to drink it all, so feel free." 

In most newsrooms, free food is usually day-old pizza or stale Skittles. But at KUOW, the free counter in our break room is practically a dare. 

Matthew Streib, who lives in the University District, makes his way around Green Lake on his old roller derby skates. He says it's frustrating when people walk into the "wheels" lane.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

“What’s the right way to go around Green Lake?” Isaac Chirino of Shoreline asked KUOW’s Local Wonder.

Boy, people REALLY care about this one.

People like Carolyn Frost.                                                             


Natasha Marin is the creator of the Reparations project.
KUOW Photo/Jenna Montgomery

Natasha Marin is a Seattle artist who noticed a divide on her Facebook feed: Her black friends were angry and frustrated about police shootings of black men, and her white friends were saying they wanted to help but didn’t know what to do.

“There is a discrepancy in the lives of people of color and white-identified people in the United States,” Marin said.

Marin put together the Reparations site and accompanying Facebook event. It was a place where people of color could post needs, and white people could help meet those needs.


Online editor Isolde Raftery reads an old residential ledger at the Puget Sound Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives in Bellevue.
KUOW Photo/Amina Al-Sadi

First, an admission.

We were clueless when we started researching the house at 1643 South King Street in Seattle's International District.

Activists and anarchists lived at 1643 King Street for at least 40 years. They called it the King Street Collective.
Courtesy of Ronni Tartlet

If this house could talk, what stories would it tell?

About the Irish-American couple that first owned it?

And the Japanese family sent to an internment camp?

Or the anarchists that played drums during the WTO protests?


Ricquel Sears of Capitol Hill with her 3-month-old daughter. For Sears, the Orlando shooting hit home. Her brother is gay, and her fiance is Muslim.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

At a vigil Sunday night, Seattleites shared their thoughts about the Orlando shooting that occurred earlier that morning. Ricquel Sears of Capitol Hill, who was at the park with her two children, said her heart dropped:

"My brother is homosexual. It sucks that you would kill someone just because of that. Not only one or two people, but you tried to kill over 100 people.


Dr. Bob Hughes of Seattle University and Yoshiko Harden of Seattle Central. Hughes and Harden were meeting at a Starbucks on Broadway in Seattle when someone came in and unfurled a string of racial slurs and explicitives at Harden.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Last week we published an essay by Dr. Bob Hughes about a shocking experience at a Starbucks on Capitol Hill in Seattle.

Hughes was meeting with a colleague, Yoshiko Harden. A man came in and screamed racial slurs at the two college administrators, who are black. The man spit on them and then left.

Jessie Grimes McQuarter in 1949. She won the Royal Esquire Club pageant two years in a row. Now 84, McQuarter lives in Covington.
Courtesy of J.C. Cook

A year ago, we published photos from the 1940s and 50s of black people in Seattle just living their lives.


Joe Burnison works as a deckhand aboard Loki, a salmon gillnetting boat in Puget Sound. Loki is owned by one of his oldest friends, Jonah Knutson. Both men grew up in West Seattle. Joe Burnison works as a deckhand aboard Loki, a salmon gillnetting boat in
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

With his dark-rimmed glasses, Jonah Knutson doesn’t look like the salty fisherman.

But he smells like it.

A 25-year-old woman was attacked in the Health Sciences Building at the University of Washington campus. A man who had wandered off the street found her in J-wing, a part of the Health Sciences Building.
UW Medicine

There's been a spate of rapes and sexual assaults on the University of Washington campus, although police do not believe these incidents are related.

Since May 1, there have been three separate events, including one that resulted in six women being assaulted at the Health Sciences Building.

Don Trump, left, and his wife Phyllis Trump at an event in Des Moines, Washington, to end hunger. They have attended the event for 27 years.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Donald L. Trump of Des Moines, Washington, doesn’t have a red cap.

“I don’t have the hair, the money or the big mouth,” he says.

Former Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, right, and his wife Connie pose on the steps of the Elysee Palace after he was awarded Knight of the Legion of Honor by France's President Nicolas Sarkozy on Feb. 16, 2011.
AP Photo/Francois Mori, Pool

The task seemed simple: Find top political donors in Washington state.

Turns out following the money in Washington state is nearly impossible. Try sussing out how much philanthropist Tom Campion has given, for example.

The white garbage bags contained human remains. It was found by a resident on the 1600 block of 21st Avenue in Seattle's Central District.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle police are investigating the discovery of suspected human remains – including a foot with toenail polish – found in a recycling bin outside a house in the city's Central Area.

The mural painted on the plywood covering up the blown out windows at Seattle ReCreative in Greenwood. An explosion flattened some businesses and blew out windows at others on March 9.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

In the early hours of March 9, an explosion rocked Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood. 

Families at Rainier Prep, a charter school, at a work party last summer.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Charter schools can continue to operate in Washington state, after all.

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Friday that he would not veto a bill saving the charter school movement. The bill passed March 10.

Part of the graffiti written on a white board at the Africatown Innovation Center in the Rainier Vista/Columbia City area.
Africatown Innovation Center Facebook

In Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood last week, Denise Madden walked out of her house and saw that someone had spray painted a racial slur on her family’s new truck.

The sign for Rainier Brewing Company, brewed in Seattle from 1878 to 1999. The company is now owned by Pabst Brewing Company. Since Rainier left the city, however, micro and nano brewers have popped up in the city.
Flickr Photo/Wonderlane (CC By 2.0)

If Larry Adams, a bartender at Blue Moon Tavern, were serving Bernie Sanders, he’d give him cider. A can of Schilling, because that’s what they have there.

Bernie Or Hillary? This Quiz Will Help You Decide

Mar 21, 2016
Andrea Hidalgo, left, and Monal Shah, 29, were both undecided on Wednesday evening. Like many undecideds, they said they like Bernie Sanders' ideals but believed Hillary Clinton would more likely be able to get progressive measures passed.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

How could Democrats be undecided at this point in the presidential race?

Claudine Weatherford of Peaks Island, Maine, shows her support for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as she tries to block her brother-in-law, Jeremy Wyant, a Hillary Clinton backer, while waiting in line at a Democratic caucus on Sunday.
Associated Press Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Dear friends in other states,

Caucuses tend to be an awkward affair in oh-so-polite Washington state, where ours is scheduled for March 26.

So we need your help. Did another Caucus-goer sway you? If so, what did they say? Or did YOU throw down a sizzling argument that made someone else see the light? Did you bake treats? What did you bake? 

Please fill out the form below. We'll be writing a story based on your responses (and recipes). Thank you! 

Fondly,

Washington state

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