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 road that winds around Sea-Tac Airport.
Flickr Photo/Ping Li (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) http://bit.ly/2aPcgPp

The taxi business ain’t what it used to be.

That's partly why cabbies picketed at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Tuesday, fighting back against a new ultimatum from one cab company. 

People pack city hall for a hearing on a proposed income tax
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the unfairest of them all?

Famed is thy progressiveness, Seattle, but when it comes to taxes, it’s you.


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. 


Traffic on Second Avenue in downtown Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Oran Viriyincy (CC-BY-NC-ND)/http://bit.ly/1irsJLd

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has unveiled a dozen initiatives aimed at tackling the city's persistent carbon problem. Congestion pricing, also known as tolls, tops the list.

Protesters dressed as construction workers and a mini-longhouse they erected to block Puget Sound Energy's doors
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Protesters erected a miniature longhouse — just five feet tall and 12 feet long — in front of Puget Sound Energy's front doors and blocked the entrance to the company's headquarters in Bellevue for about three hours Monday morning.

The Russian Consulate in Seattle was shuttered on Monday.
KUOW photo/John Ryan

Except for the rock-star parking space reserved for consul-licensed vehicles, you’d never know the Russian consulate in Seattle is inside the One Union Square building, on the 25th floor.

Cranes at the Port of Seattle
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

The ships, trains and trucks that haul cargo around Puget Sound are pumping out less of the soot, sulfur dioxide and other things you don’t want to breathe.

Air pollution from the ports of Seattle and Tacoma has dropped over the past decade, according to long-term monitoring released by the ports Thursday.

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

Atlantic salmon farming has been banned from Washington state waters. 

Gov. Jay Inslee signed the ban on non-native fish farms into law Thursday morning in Olympia. 

An Uber driver near the San Francisco International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Fasil Teka of Renton said he drives for Uber and Lyft seven days a week, 12 hours a day, to get by.

He said driving passengers around used to be a good way to make a living in Seattle, but no longer.

A view from unit 204, Spyglass Hill apartments
Sound West Group

There’s a new way to get rental housing – by bidding against other people on an app. The person who offers to pay the most gets the spot.

Seattle City Council wants none of this. In a setback for tech entrepreneurs trying to disrupt the rental housing market, the Council issued a one-year moratorium on these kinds of rent auction apps.

Online auction apps like Rentberry and Biddwell serve as a sort eBay for rental housing — how much the rent will ultimately cost isn’t known until the deal closes.

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington addresses a gathering of park supporters and the news media at the South Interior Building in downtown Washington, D.C., on November 10, 2015.
Flickr Photo/National Park Service (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/AVXYRv

The Trump administration said Tuesday it would not push for oil and gas drilling off the Northwest coast.

Local protesters and politicians have been speaking out against the proposed drilling.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When it comes to climate change, a small number of us have disproportionate impact. That’s especially true when it comes to air travel, since most humans have never set foot on a plane. 


Amazon employee Andrea Neri stacks boxes in the back of a delivery truck on the ship dock at an Amazon fulfillment center on Friday, November 3, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle's impact on the climate in recent years could be a lot worse than the city acknowledges.

A new report from C40, a global coalition of large cities including Seattle, says the cities' greenhouse gas emissions are 60 percent higher than previously reported.

Jeff Bezos looks up at a living wall during the grand opening of Amazon's spheres in Seattle in January
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has become the world’s first centibillionaire. By amassing net wealth estimated by Forbes at $127 billion, he has passed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to become the richest human in history.

That number is so large that it’s hard to make sense of. Just how rich is the world’s richest man?

Wikimedia

While the orcas of Puget Sound are sliding toward extinction, orcas farther north have been expanding their numbers. Their burgeoning hunger for big fish may be causing the killer whales’ main prey, chinook salmon, to shrink up and down the West Coast.

Garfield High School in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf (CC BY ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1GgN2Xe

Seattle's Garfield High School plans to discuss how to handle threats of violence with students and staff when they return from break Monday. Seattle Police arrested a Garfield student before the break for threatening a mass shooting, a threat that his teacher had ignored weeks earlier, according to police reports.

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.


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