John Ryan | KUOW News and Information

John Ryan

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2009

John welcomes story ideas and feedback from listeners. Email him at jryan@kuow.org or call him at 206-543-0637. For secure, confidential communication, he's at 1-401-405-1206 on the Signal messaging app, or you can send snail mail (but don't put your return address on the outside) to John Ryan, KUOW, 4518 Univ. Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105.

Good thing John was a clumsy traveler.

Otherwise his cheap microcassette recorder wouldn't have fallen out of his pocket in an Indonesian taxi, a generous BBC stringer wouldn't have lent him some professional recording gear, and he wouldn't have gotten the radio bug. But after pointing a mic at rare jungle songbirds and gong–playing grandmothers for his first radio story, there was no turning back.

In the past decade, he's freelanced for shows such as All Things Considered, Living on Earth, Marketplace and The World. He also continued his print career by reporting for newspapers including the Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times and Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce.

In 2009, John moved back to Seattle after two exciting years covering avalanches, political intrigue and just about everything in between for KTOO FM, the NPR station in Alaska's capital city.

John has won national awards for KUOW as a freelancer (check out "As the Sound Churns") and now as a staff reporter, including the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi awards for Public Service in Radio Journalism and for Investigative Reporting. He believes democracy only works when journalism holds the powerful accountable for their words and actions. 

In addition to the recent stories below, John's KUOW stories from September 2012 and before are archived here.

Ways to Connect

The Trident nuclear submarine USS Nebraska at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in 2004.
US Navy Photo by Brian Nokell NBK - Bangor

Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor went on lockdown for several hours Thursday and deployed a bomb-disposal robot after a man trying to drive onto the nuclear submarine base claimed to have improvised explosive devices with him.

Courtesy of 350 Seattle/Alexandra Blakely

Thirteen kids are suing the state of Washington and its governor to protect their generation from climate change.

The plaintiffs range in age from 7 to 17.


Washington DNR

The Canadian owner of an Atlantic salmon farm that collapsed last summer near Anacortes vows to use the North American Free Trade Agreement to save its fish farms in Puget Sound. New Brunswick, Canada-based Cooke Aquaculture says it will pursue mandatory arbitration under NAFTA if the Washington legislature tries to phase out Atlantic salmon farming.

KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

The Washington House of Representatives has voted to phase out farming of non-native fish in state waters, drawing the end of Atlantic salmon farming in Puget Sound one step closer.

Homes in Queen Anne are shown from the Space Needle in November in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Happy Valentine’s Day? Your property tax — or your rent, probably — is going up to help pay for better schools.

Pedestrians cross the street at Amazon headquarters in Seattle in September.
KUOW Photo / Megan Farmer

Carbon emissions by the tech giants that dominate cloud computing are surging, even as companies like Amazon and Microsoft take steps to tame their climate impact.

The Seattle-area competitors — two of the nation’s largest electricity consumers — take different approaches to their clouds' carbon problems. One favors sunshine; the other, secrecy. Internal documents obtained by KUOW break through that secrecy.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Mt. Rainier
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Business at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has been booming, and so has its carbon pollution. Airport officials say they can eliminate the climate-wrecking emissions without limiting the airport’s rapidly growing business.

But whether the wonder of air travel can be divorced from the global harm it does — let alone any time soon — is far from clear.


Mussels cling to netting of a collapsed Atlantic salmon farm off Cypress Island on Aug. 24, 2017.
April Bencze

Washington state officials are looking at some new suspects in the collapse of an Atlantic salmon farm: sea creatures clogging the floating structure’s nets.


To get to zero carbon emissions by 2050, Seattle would have to make dramatic cuts, starting now.
KUOW Illustration by nope.ltd

For more than 15 years, leaders of the Emerald City have been promising that Seattle will lead the nation in fighting climate change.

But the lofty words have been matched by continuing clouds of carbon emissions: Seattle dumps as much heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the sky today as it did 25 years ago.


KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Which airline you choose can help cut back on the damage your air travel does to the climate, according to a new study.

The scene of an Amtrak derailment over Interstate 5 taken in the evening on Monday, December 18, 2017 from Mounts Road.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Passengers on Amtrak Cascades train 501 Monday morning were supposed to be the beneficiaries of a $181 million project aimed at making the nearly four-hour trip from Seattle to Portland 10 minutes faster.

Google Maps

More trouble for the Canadian company that let 160,000 of its Atlantic salmon escape into Puget Sound this summer: Washington state officials announced Sunday that they had terminated Cooke Aquaculture's lease for its fish farm in Port Angeles after finding “serious safety problems” there.

In an emailed response, Cooke vice president Joel Richardson said the multinational company will use “all means at our disposal to protect our ability to continue to operate at this farm site.”

The Lower Duwamish River Superfund site in South Seattle
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Toxic waste cleanups in Renton and Portland are going to get renewed attention from the Environmental Protection Agency, according to an announcement from the EPA.

WDFW

Call it Puget Sound piracy.

Thieves boarded a floating salmon farm a few saltwater miles from Anacortes on a Saturday night in September. In their wake, they left a trail of blood.


Flickr Photo/401 (K) 2012 (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/aFAHsp

How much is your vote worth? It all depends where you live. If you had the right address on Seattle’s Eastside, it was worth $180 this year.

Washington Dept. of Natural Resources

Officials with the company that spilled nearly 160,000 Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound in August say there has been no evidence the spill has done damage to the sound.

State officials agreed with that assessment at a legislative hearing in Olympia.

Manka Dhingra greets supporters at her Election Night party on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Tuesday night’s results put Democrat Manka Dhingra ahead of Republican Jinyoung Englund by double digits in a race for a state Senate seat in Seattle’s northeastern suburbs.

Englund has not conceded the race in the 45th district. But Dhingra’s supporters say they have flipped the Senate to Democratic control.

Jill Davenport

Nearly half the anchor lines on an Atlantic salmon farm snapped one evening in July, a month before an even worse accident caused the aging pens to collapse completely.


KUOW / John Ryan

Protesters at Gov. Jay Inslee’s town hall on climate change at the University of Washington in Seattle said the governor’s actions don’t live up to his stirring words.

Fugitive Atlantic salmon have been caught as far as 250 miles from the Cypress Island fish farm they escaped from in August.
Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

Atlantic salmon have spread far and wide in Pacific Northwest waters since 160,000 of them escaped from a collapsed fish farm near Anacortes in August. The fishy fugitives have swum 130 miles south past Tacoma, 250 miles northwest past Tofino (most of the way up Vancouver Island) and up a half-dozen rivers around the region, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

An unreinforced masonry wall fails a shake test at the University of British Columbia
Courtesy of UBC

Seattle has 1,100 old brick buildings that are especially vulnerable to collapsing in a big earthquake. Few have been retrofitted to withstand a major seismic event.

Now researchers at the University of British Columbia say they’ve come up with a cheap, fast way to reinforce such buildings: spray them with bendable concrete.

Washington state Department of Natural Resources

A state-ordered inspection has found "severe corrosion" at another Atlantic salmon farm in Puget Sound, this one along the ferry route between Bremerton and Seattle.


KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Dozens of the worst hazardous-waste sites in the Northwest are not being cleaned up, for lack of personnel to do the job, according to a report from the inspector general of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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

Survivors and accusers of sexual abuse welcomed Mayor Ed Murray’s resignation — but not the news that a fifth person claimed that Murray had sexually abused him.

Jeff Simpson of Portland said Tuesday evening that he’s elated.

A wild Pacific salmon, left, next to an escaped farm-raised Atlantic salmon, right, on Aug. 22 at Home Port Seafoods in Bellingham.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Cooke Aquaculture and state officials knew at least six months ago that the floating salmon farm that collapsed in August was "nearing the end of serviceable life," with accelerating corrosion eating away at its hinges and steel structure.

Aboard fishing vessel Marathon, Nathan Cultee, right, and Nicholas Cooke, left, unload 16 farm-raised Atlantic salmon into a container after a day of fishing on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at Home Port Seafood in Bellingham.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It was a convenient explanation.


Washington Department of Natural Resources

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has made a name for himself this year by battling the Trump administration in court. Now he wants to take on tribal governments at the U.S. Supreme Court over salmon.

President Donald Trump talks with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg upon his arrival on Air Force One at Charleston International Airport in North Charleston, S.C., Friday, Feb. 17, 2017.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Update 11 a.m., 8/16/2017: Two more CEOs — from 3M and Campbell's Soup — quit President Donald Trump's manufacturing council Wednesday. Trump then announced he was disbanding the council entirely.

Beach-goers in Seattle enjoy a Puget Sound shore in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

While the Trump administration aims to slash funding for environmental protection nationwide and eliminate funding for cleaning up Puget Sound, the Republican-controlled Congress hasn’t seen things the same way.

KUOW/John Ryan

Eleven states including Washington have sued the Trump administration to improve safety at the nation’s refineries and chemical plants.

The lawsuit, led by New York's Attorney General, aims to force the Environmental Protection Agency to revive safety rules enacted in the final days of the Obama administration.

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