Jason Pagano | KUOW News and Information

Jason Pagano

Senior Producer, The Record

Year started with KUOW: 2012

Jason Pagano is a producer at KUOW, where he works behind the scenes to bring you interviews, news coverage and KUOW’s Week in Review. He’s also worked on KUOW’s Weekday and The Conversation. Before radio, he covered A&E at Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger, polished copy at a Philadelphia ad agency and hung about in a TV studio as much as he could at Seattle’s PBS station. Happy to be from New Jersey but living in Seattle, Jason is a graduate of Rutgers University.

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KUOW PHOTO/BOND HUBERMAN

This week, Seattle passed a new head tax on businesses and learned that closing your Wells Fargo account is harder than it seems. The Supreme Court said states can decide for themselves whether to allow betting on sports. The Mariners lost all-star second-baseman Robinson Cano for half a season after he failed a drug test. And which is it: "laurel," or "yanni"? 

Seattle Mariners play at the Baltimore Orioles in 2013.
Flickr Photo/Keith Allison (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/foiSpC

Bill Radke talks to Tim Elfrink, managing editor of the Miami New Times, about performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in baseball, after Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended for half a season for violating the MLB's drug policy. Elfrink broke the story of baseball's last big steroid scandal -- a South Florida wellness clinic that was supplying human growth hormone to major leaguers.

KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

Seattle's head tax debate gets down to the nitty gritty. Can the mayor bring business and the City Council on board? And with all the yelling about a head tax and homelessness, has Seattle become an angry city? And if we have, is it about time? Plus, Starbucks says no purchase required to use their bathroom and Google unveils an artificial intelligence robot that can schedule its own haircut appointment.

File photo of a homeless encampment under a bridge.
KUOW Photo

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is not ready to support the proposed employee head tax. This is the proposal for a per-employee tax on the city's highest grossing businesses.

The money would pay for low-income housing and services for homeless people. Amazon would be the number one payer of this tax and they are so opposed to it that they've halted construction on a new tower in Downtown Seattle. Also opposed to this head tax are local companies like Starbucks, Alaska Airlines and Dick's Drive-In.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

What happened this week? High home prices, taxes, homelessness and Amazon all collided in a debate over a proposed tax on Seattle employers, for one thing. And if you blinked you missed it, but Ichiro's playing career with the Mariners appears to be over.

KUOW PHOTO/BRIE RIPLEY

The Seattle City Council proposes a new tax on business to pay for homelessness, and Mayor Durkan says she wants a levy to pay for education. Are voters getting what was promised the last time they said yes?

Also this week: A judge says voters will decide the future of Washington's law on prosecuting police who use deadly force, Governor Inslee proclaims on HBO that Washington state has "the best weed in the United States," and Alaska Airlines says no more goats or frogs – but maybe pigs – allowed on its flights.

Bill Radke talks with brothers Aaron and Elmer Dixon, co-founders of the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party.

If you buy from Amazon and worry about package theft, where do you send your stuff? One of those Amazon lockers? The mailroom at work? How about the trunk of your car? Starting today, Amazon Prime members in Seattle and 36 other cities can use Amazon Key In-Car to do just that. Geekwire's Todd Bishop explains.

Construction continues on a new apartment complex on Monday, March 12, 2018, at the intersection of Aurora Avenue North and 109th St., in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle has an affordability and housing problem, and the City Council is considering asking businesses to chip in. A proposal in the works would tax Seattle businesses with at least $20 million in taxable gross receipts 26 cents per employee for every hour they work.

The city estimates that an employee tax would raise about $75 million a year.

Should businesses pay more? We debate the pros and cons with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien and Seattle Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Marilyn Strickland.

State lawmakers worked with police and community groups during the last legislative session to change the rules for prosecuting police who use deadly force. But it will be voters who decide whether those changes become law. On Friday, a Superior Court judge in Thurston County said lawmakers violated the state constitution, and put Initiative 940 on the November ballot. KUOW's Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins explains the situation with Ross Reynolds.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

Starbucks apologizes for allegations of racial bias at a Philadelphia store. Former FBI director James Comey claims President Trump is "morally unfit" for the office. A Seattle City Councilmember tweets a controversial take on Barbara Bush. How do you want the Seahawks to treat their cheerleaders? And a sign on Interstate 5 told us what we all maybe needed to hear.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

This week, KOMO anchors had to read a script written by their conservative bosses, Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Seattle considered several traffic solutions, including prescribing downtown drivers a traffic decongestant

And a UW researcher says bowhead whales are singing jazz.

The George Washington statue on the University of Washington Seattle campus.
Flickr Photo/Chris Blakeley (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1jEzCcs

Bill Radke talks to historian, author and former This American Life contributor Sarah Vowell about America's troubled history and how it can better help us understand today. 

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

This week, Seattle lost its Russian consulate, lost its “first in time” rental law, lost the Battery Street Park, lost everything... except the season opener. The Seattle Mariners won that, 2-1.

In this Jan. 29, 1962 file photo, the Spalding family, left, and the Richmond family demonstrate how people of the town would sit out a nuclear attack and its radioactive aftermath in Los Alamos, N.M., birthplace of the atomic and hydrogen bombs.
AP Photo, File

If you follow the news, you might get the impression that things are pretty bad.

Not just "why bother" bad. It's "throw your hands up" bad.

Or even "eat a large bag of Sour Patch Kids in one sitting because we're all doomed anyway" bad.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

Students walked out of school over guns and Pennsylvania swung a Congressional district from red to blue. Will Washington state do the same in the upcoming midterms? Will you recognize the Seahawks next season? And does a dog deserve a seat on a Metro bus?

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

Ichiro Suzuki is back in a Seattle Mariners uniform, Amazon says it's figured out why its Echo smart speakers are spontaneously laughing out loud and state lawmakers finish up their work and go home.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

It's not often a legislature passes a bill with bipartisan, supermajority support and the governor vetoes it anyway, but that's what happened this week. Maybe a statewide editorial page conniption had something to do with it. We'll recap the fight in Olympia over government transparency, tell you about some new gun laws and share an idea for how to bring back the Sonics with no new stadium, and no basketball.

Why do lawmakers want to exempt themselves from the state's Public Records Act? Why did they pass a bill to do that in just two days? Will Governor Inslee veto it? Why are newspapers across the state running front-page editorials saying he should? And how did we even get here?

Bill Radke gets answers from KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins.

Olympia Washington State Legislature
Flickr Photo/Harvey Barrison (CC BY-NC-ND)

How much right does the public have to pull back the curtain and see the communications of their state lawmakers?

Washington state has had a Public Records Act since 1972. News organizations love it. It’s how we find out the stuff that sometimes people would rather we didn't see. 


KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

America's gun debate stretches from a Florida high school to the halls of the Washington state legislature. Speaking of Olympia, should WA legislators have to show us all their emails and texts? Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan warns of a budget deficit. The FBI comes to Seattle to discuss its number one unsolved case. And Jeff Bezos is part of a team building a clock deep inside a mountain that will keep time for ten thousand years.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

We'll look back at this week's school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Also, the College Republicans rally at the University of Washington raised questions over free speech on campus. Another question: Can a health club ban a white supremacist from training at their gym?

Is Washington state on the brink of abolishing the death penalty?

And could Hamilton possibly be as good as the hype?

The Winter Olympics are underway. Which event is the best? And why is sweeping better than vacuuming?

KUOW PHOTO/BOND HUBERMAN

Does a $17,000 security fee infringe on free speech on the University of Washington campus? Is it "hostile architecture" when the city of Seattle uses fences and bike racks to keep people from camping in public areas? Did West Seattle homeowners pay enough of a cost for cutting down city-owned trees to enhance their views? And does Paul Allen play and sing as good as Jimi Hendrix? Quincy Jones thinks so.

KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

The Amazon spheres: corporate hype or a Seattle icon to rival the Space Needle? We'll tell you what we learned from a behind-the-scenes look at the end of former Seattle mayor Ed Murray's career. And a controversial FBI memo is finally released -- we'll see what all the dossier is about. Also, would you pay $40 for custom Sasquatch license plates?

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

This week, an Amtrak engineer said he didn't see the signs telling him to slow down before last month's fatal derailment near Tacoma. Amazon opened a convenience store with no checkout lines. Sound Transit might lose a bunch of car-tab tax money. And Edgar Martinez might want to hit Hall of Fame voters with a light bat.

Seattle Emeralds, Seattle Eagles and yes, Seattle Kraken are only a few of the newly registered domain names that could hold clues about what a possible Seattle NHL team might be called. Bill Radke bounces some possibilities off VanLive reporter (and Canucks fan) Harrison Mooney.

Mary Haddish, 14, left, shops with her father, Daniel Ghebre at Amazon Go on Monday, January 22, 2018, on 7th Ave., in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Nobody likes to wait in line. So today, Amazon removed that unpleasantness from the neighborhood grocery store. At Amazon Go, you walk in, pick up your groceries and walk out.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

This week, a woman revealed graphic details about her date with comedian Aziz Ansari, and it has women discussing reasons why they don't always say "hell no" and walk out the door.

Also, should a Seattle Congressmember attend the State of the Union address despite her opinion of President Trump? 

FLICKR PHOTO/sunrisesoup (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/CvLGNE

So Amazon won't be building HQ2 in Seattle. Honestly, it was a long shot. But where the company's second headquarters and its 100,000 jobs will go is still anybody's guess. Bill Radke talks with KUOW's Carolyn Adolph and Geekwire's Todd Bishop about the 20 cities that still have a shot.

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