Joshua McNichols | KUOW News and Information

Joshua McNichols

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2007

Joshua has been the "growing pains" reporter since 2015, documenting the region's growth and change. 

Joshua “took the long way” to radio, working in architecture firms for over a decade before pursuing his passion for public radio in 2007.

By "long way," he means he's also been a writer, bicycle courier, commercial fisherman, bed-and-breakfast cook, carpenter, landscaper and stained glass salesman. He’s detailed animal enclosures to prevent jaguars from escaping the Miami Zoo. Once, while managing a construction site in Athens, Greece, he was given a noogie by an Albanian civil war refugee in his employ. “You do not tell those guys how to place stucco,” he said.

All of which has no doubt made him the story-teller he is today.  

Ways to Connect

Elizabeth Mehlbrech lives in Marysville, where she finds the rent for new apartments more affordable than other places closer to Seattle. Mehlbrech manages Fitness Evolution, near The Lodge Apartments, where she also lives.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The farther people flee from the major metro areas, the cheaper the housing. But there’s only so far they can run, because there’s an imaginary wall that stops development from sprawling all over the landscape, a wall that protects the less developed green places that make the region beautiful. 

It’s called the urban growth boundary. Beyond it, developers face more restrictions. 

Just inside the boundary, Marysville, Washington, is growing fast as existing rents trend higher and higher. For those who can't afford it, there's nowhere left to go.


Trains running through Marysville can be up six minutes long, which doesn't sound like a lot unless you are constantly getting stuck in their traffic backup.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Donald Wilson should be eating breakfast with his friends at the Tulalip Casino. But Wilson is not eating breakfast. He’s sitting in his car, at a railroad crossing.

It's a situation he faces just about every other day when he's just trying to get from one side of town to the other. "Every time we run into the train," he said, "it’s like, ‘God darn it!’”


Amanda Batterson of Skip's Everett Towing has her doubts about shoulder driving, which would provide congestion relief to commuters living north of Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Washington state plans to open up parts of Interstate 5 to shoulder driving. It begins early summer, when the state will let buses drive part of the shoulder south of Everett.


Ken Cage, president of the Marysville Historical Society, says important parts of Marysville history were bulldozed to make room for this mall.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Marysville is the fastest growing big city in western Washington because there’s space to build housing. But there aren’t many jobs in Marysville. So one in six people end up commuting more than an hour to work.

It's a bedroom community that failed to make itself over in the 1980s. Now it's trying again.


Deborah Daoust of Seattle Center says when Harrison Street busts through Aurora in 2019, it'll be much easier for people to get from South Lake Union to the Seattle Center. Thomas and John streets will also break through later.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The tunnel boring machine called Bertha is currently about a half mile from the end of its journey. Contractors expect to be pulling it out of the ground by June. But the tunnel through downtown Seattle is only part of the project. 

The neighborhood around the tunnel’s northern entrance is also getting a makeover.


Teacher Briana Nelson would like to have a place of her own in the Central District.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle’s Central District was historically important to African Americans, until many were priced out.


Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson stands in front of the property he wanted opened up to development.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

As you head east to Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90, lush green forests line the freeway. 

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The city of Seattle wants your feedback on a plan to channel more growth and affordable housing into the city’s most popular neighborhoods.

For Tableau, a software company in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood, the bohemian neighborhood is part of the recruiting spiel.
Flickr Photo/Scott Lum (CC BY-NC 2.0) http://bit.ly/2h3woD4

On hot summer Fridays, workers from the software company Tableau gather at a dock and jump in the water.


Excavation equipment has just begun digging for the next phase of Amazon's headquarters.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

As a general contractor who does small house remodels in Seattle, Chris Spott knows how to get rid of a pickup truck load of dirt. 

Chris Woodard of the Pacific Fishermen Shipyard, is a caulker, not a corker.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The fishing fleet in Washington state is getting older, and it’s due for a big upgrade. A new study says that work could bring in billions of dollars for the state. That could help save the region’s struggling shipyards.

But first you’ll have to convince the old fishermen to spend money on their boats.


Hannah Atlas hugs her mom, Judith Gille, as the crowd sings the late Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" during a vigil Sunday at Seattle's Cal Anderson Park.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

People letting out raw emotion and looking for community. A new generation of Americans getting a crash course in politics.

Hundreds gathered Sunday evening at Seattle's Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill to voice support for American democracy and opposition to President-elect Donald Trump.

Newly elected U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal and Seattle City Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez share a hug on the day after Trump was elected U.S. President.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The day after the election, local politicians in the Seattle area tried to rally their bases around northwest progressive values. 


King County Executive Dow Constantine and others tried to spin Sound Transit's win into a reason to stay optimistic as presidential politics and Pacific Northwest values seemed to go in opposite directions.
KUOW Photo/Ann Kane

In Washington state, the presidential election didn’t go the way most voters wanted. But one thing drew faint, complicated cheers in the greater Seattle Area: Sound Transit 3 passed.


For Kurt McGill, voting was easy. When registering to vote, he used the Bread of Life mission's address, which holds his mail. Not everyone finds it so simple, though.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Most people receive their election ballots in the mail at their homes. But how does voting work for people who don't have homes? 


Detta Hayes, 9 year driver for Microsoft's connector bus and vanpool service. Hayes is prone to frequent bursts of laughter, such as when I asked her if her bus ever gets stuck in traffic.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Chuck Collins is the guy who ran Metro in the 1970s.

He should be the kind of guy who salivates over light rail. But instead, he’s dreaming of more vanpools.

Michelle Dozier, Toya Thomas and Elimika James face eviction from the Renton Woods apartments. Residents of cities in South King County do not enjoy the same tenant protections that exist in many other parts of King County.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

In Seattle, it’s against the law for a landlord to reject a tenant based on the source of their income. But those kind of protections don’t extend to many cities in South King County, cities like Kent, SeaTac and Renton.

Here are three women trying to change that.


Light rail runs on the surface in Seattle's Rainier Valley.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

A lot of claims are floating around in the public relations struggle over the $54 billion Sound Transit 3 proposal that voters will decide Nov. 8. Who's right?

This week, ST3 supporter Shefali Ranganathan of Transportation Choices Coalition and detractor Maggie Fimia of Smarter Transit debated on KUOW's "The Record."


Kara Bernstine, who is homeless, said she knows the Jungle homeless encampment isn't perfectly safe, but it felt safer than other places in the city. Click on this photo to see more images of the Jungle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Jungle has been Seattle’s largest and most persistent homeless camp. Its origins can be traced back to the 1930s.

Earlier this year, about 400 people were living in tents under the three mile stretch of Interstate 5.


Wilson Vincent Koech says the man killed by police Monday was humble and never carried weapons. Koech is one of several campers who rushed to the man's defense after the shooting.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The man a police officer shot Tuesday during the big sweep of Seattle's Jungle homeless camp has died. Campers who knew him say the police account doesn't ring true.


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. 

Darrel Sutton, after camping in Seattle's Jungle homeless camp for more than a year, moves with help from Union Gospel Mission workers in October 2016.
KUOW photo/Joshua McNichols

Homeless outreach workers and crews from the city of Seattle and the state of Washington are sweeping people out of the homeless camp along Interstate 5 known as the Jungle.

Protesters were there to oppose the sweeps. Some said they planned to gather Tuesday night at Mayor Ed Murray’s house on Capitol Hill and offer him food as a peace offering and try to get him to talk about homelessness.

Judith Herrera and her son Carlos Reyes of Muy Macho restaurant in South Park
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Sometimes businesses that have been around forever disappear. That favorite dive bar or cheap restaurant closed to make way for a glitzy condo complex.

For a while, Seattle City Councilwomen Kshama Sawant and Lisa Herbold were trying to get rent control for businesses like that. But that idea didn’t fly. Now Herbold is exploring a backup plan.


Celestino Rocha, a.k.a. The Fish Killer, has tattoos that say Fear No Fish. He takes fishing in lakes like Angle Lake very seriously and will teach you if you ask.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

A new light rail station opens at Seatac’s Angle Lake this weekend. 

A lot of train riders are asking: What’s Angle Lake?

It’s a lake in Seatac that’s shaped like an angle. There’s a park there, and if you want, you can walk there in your swim suit from the train. The park has a checkered past and likely a brilliant future.


Gayle Nowicki of Gargoyles Statuary says growth is coming, so why fight it? She just hopes there will be a place in the future U-District for small, funky businesses like hers
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW's Joshua McNichols about Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's plan to allow taller buildings in areas of the University District. 

City of Seattle

The University District is gonna be HUGE. We’re talking towers – up to 32 stories tall in some places – where right now there are just one and two story buildings.

Officials say the neighborhood has more room to grow than Capitol Hill, because of all the parking lots in the U-District.


Carmen and Robert Patterson have lived in the Jungle, a homeless encampment in Seattle, on and off since 2011. They and several others who live in the Jungle shared photos, stories and text messages with us.
Courtesy of Robert Patterson

Thousands of people in Seattle won’t have shelter tonight.

The problem isn’t that Seattle isn’t spending enough, according to two national experts.


Homeless families outside a shelter in downtown Seattle
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW's Joshua McNichols about the city's plan to change the way it fights homelessness. A new report from national experts suggests it's time for Seattle to overhaul the service system.

Dave Price wants to know why Seattle doesn't do a better job planning for traffic congestion.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Traffic is so bad in Seattle. Sometimes, when you’re sitting in your car, or on the bus, and you’re not moving, you wonder, is anyone, anyone with power, paying attention?

Riley Neiders and her horse Homer attract the attention of Rainier Beach resident Lamaya Barron.
KUOW Photo/Matt Mills McKnight

For the past few weeks, we’ve been following the path of gentrification from the Central District into South Seattle. As land values go up, people start to feel the pressure to leave.

That’s just starting to happen in Rainier Beach. It’s a community that’s home to a large minority population – and what you could argue is Seattle’s last big family farm.


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