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

Sharon Jones built a housing project out of noodles
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle is working on a strategic response to homelessness. But the endless meetings and the conversations at the City Council – they can make solutions seem so far away.

But there are people closer to the street who have ideas of their own about what would work.


Aubrey and Irene Beausoleil aren't afraid of transit oriented development. They just wish it wouldn't bury their home and community.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Irene Beausoleil and her husband recently moved to Pinehurst, just north of Northgate. She went to her very first community meeting just this week.

Beausoleil: “It’s the first time I found a community where I wanted to participate. Because I knew that I would be here for awhile. And it was at this meeting that I learned that there’s a very good chance that my house will be knocked down.”

 


Sound Transit's light rail shot from the SeaTac Airport Station.
Flickr Photo/Michael @NW Lens (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9P9hnJ

It's official: Voters throughout the region will decide on a giant transportation plan on November's ballot.

The Sound Transit board unanimously approved the $54 billion ST-3 plan on Thursday.

Sound Transit bus.
Flickr Photo/wings777 (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/63X142

Kim Malcolm talks with growth and development reporter Joshua McNichols about Sound Transit's final proposal for ST3. The $50 billion transportation package will be decided on by voters this fall.

At the South Lake Union Discovery Center, a Vulcan guide apologized that the model was so out of date. It hadn't been updated in a couple years.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle took in over 50,000 new people in the last five years. Suzanne Offen is one of them.

Before moving here, she had family and a comfortable job in Brooklyn, New York.


Ian Allen runs security at Foundation night club.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

This weekend is Pride Weekend. And with the Orlando massacre on people’s minds, Seattle night clubs are getting special training in how to avoid a mass shooting.

Kristy Nguyen is a hairdresser in Belltown. She rents an apartment set aside for low-income earners. It's how she can stay in the city.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The city wants residential developers to help build affordable housing. It’s going to ask them to set aside some of their apartments for low income earners.

It’s part of the larger effort to build 20,000 affordable apartments. 

Sally Bagshaw's condo burdened the city councilmember when she wanted to work on legislation affecting waterfront property values. New rules would let her and others work on laws for their districts, despite owning property there.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Seattle City Council has paused its plans to loosen its ethics laws. Under current law, council members can’t vote on legislation that could benefit them financially. A proposed new law would loosen that restriction, as long as they were open about conflicts of interest. 


Ken Brooks says the Safe Zone, which operates on a shoestring compared to more the famously expensive Safe Lot in Ballard, has made his life a lot easier.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

A safe place for homeless people to park their Recreational Vehicles was supposed to shut down Friday. It’s a simple gravel lot, near the city pet shelter in the Interbay neighborhood. 

But it turns out, Friday wasn’t a hard deadline. The city wants to have another safe parking zone ready for them to move to in SODO.

The Seattle City Council has passed a resolution refining the mayor’s plan to sweep the Jungle in the wake of criticism. The council’s new resolution is designed to provide jungle residents with some protection from eviction. It follows a week where the council and mayor sometimes seemed at odds over the best approach.

Chris Fojtik and Mahealani Texeira outside Union Gospel Mission. They choose to sleep outside, rather than being separated. Most shelters don't let couples stay together at night.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The woman was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

She had returned to the Jungle to pick up her suitcase.

Then the shooters arrived. She and two others survived, but two people were killed.

Mt. Rainier peeks between two houses in Orting, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When geologist Carolyn Driedger talks about Mount Rainier, she feels like she’s trash-talking.


The Union Gospel Mission works with Operation Nightwatch to fill up its spare beds at the end of the night.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The doors at Operation Nightwatch open at 9 p.m. Homeless men and women – but mostly men – stream in and grab a hot meal.

Then they sit around. They look anxious. They’re waiting for beds.


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

Robert Patterson lives in the Jungle, a homeless encampment. This is a transcript from his audio diary: 

Sunday is … Carmen and I try to make this our day that we don’t have to go anywhere. It’s a lazy day.


Jon Meer of Light Under The Bridge is the outsider who comes to the Jungle most often.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Every day, social workers reach out to homeless people on the streets of Seattle. But there’s one place social workers seldom go: the Jungle.

That’s the notorious homeless encampment under Interstate 5 where there have been assaults, rapes and stabbings. Many outreach workers consider it too dangerous. But a few do enter the Jungle. 

Jacobo Miguel Pinon Jr. plays the harmonica at his space in the Jungle, a homeless encampment that houses more than 400 people by some estimates.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW reporter Joshua McNichols about Seattle's homeless encampment known as the Jungle. They discuss what it's like in the Jungle and why we react to it the way we do. 

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

Most people think of the Jungle as a scary homeless camp, a no man’s land under the freeway near downtown Seattle.

Two workers walk through the first rings of the tunnel toward Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bertha the tunneling machine will slowly grind its way below the foundations of the viaduct over the next two weeks.

Gilbert Ruiz of the Depot Cafe and Smokehouse. He could throw a brisket and hit the future light rail station in downtown Everett.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Sound Transit is halfway through the public comment period on its big expansion plan, called Sound Transit 3. The current plan puts downtown Everett last in line for light rail. KUOW went to Everett to see how people feel about that.

The 1600 block of 21st Avenue in Seattle's Central District, where human remains were found.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle Police believe the body parts found in a Seattle recycling bin belong to Ingrid Lyne, a Renton woman who’s been missing since Friday night. Police have arrested a man they consider the suspect.

Jennafuh Singer of The New York Xchange says business is up since light rail moved to Capitol Hill. Her store is moving a few doors down into a space shared with Panache, in part to be even closer to light rail.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Some businesses on Capitol Hill are reporting 15 to 20 percent more customers since the light rail station opened there.

William Kowang lives in the area under I-5 known as "the Jungle."
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Washington State Department of Transportation has $1 million to spend on the Jungle, a homeless encampment in South Seattle where roughly 400 people live. The state Legislature approved the earmark late last week.

About 100 mattresses in the foreground as friends of SHARE prepare to camp outside the King County Administration Building.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Homeless people camped outside the King County Administration Building Thursday night, trying to draw attention to the closure of 15 shelters. 

The group that runs the shelters has money problems. They say the problem grew when King County shut off their funding last year.

Social workers Bradly Smith and Jackie St. Louis check in on Tonja Warner, who is homeless. Smith and St. Louis walk with cops on their beat and connect people they encounter with services.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

It’s early in the morning, and Capitol Hill’s homeless men and women are just waking up. 

Tanja Warner is curled up in her sleeping bag, sheltered under the roof overhang behind a business. It’s illegal to sleep here, a form of trespassing.

Bella Barger and Erik Nelson take light rail to get to their methadone treatment.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Barger and Nelson live in a tent city in the University District. They used to use a lot of drugs. But that changed when they found out Barger was pregnant.

“We made steps to change really fast,” Nelson said. “We’ve come a long way in the last three months.”

Every day, the couple makes their way to a methadone clinic on Capitol Hill. They used to take the bus. Now that the light rail station is open, they take the train. Their trips are paid for with a special monthly transit pass called Hopelink.

A view to the back end of Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine. The steel hooks on both sides of the wall of the tunnel will become part of the foundation that will support the decks and walls of the future roadway, according to the state.
Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation

Bertha has stopped again, but this time, it’s on purpose.

The tunnel boring machine rests in an underground concrete vault. Workers are putting the tunnel boring machine through complex tests before it pushes under the Alaskan Way Viaduct. 

Metro's Chris O'Claire says the transit agency will hand out free Orca cards loaded up with free trips to those who haven't tried them yet. Flag down someone dressed like this, especially Monday and Tuesday.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

King County Metro bus routes change this weekend. Some of the biggest changes happen in northeast Seattle.

'Jet Kiss,' by Mike Ross at the Capitol Hill light rail station.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Two new light rail stations open Saturday:  Husky Stadium and Capitol Hill.

One of the things riders may notice is the artwork.

Barbara Luecke, Sound Transit’s art director, showed KUOW's Joshua McNichols a sculpture at Capitol Hill Station called "Jet Kiss," by Mike Ross.

On Saturday, March 19 light rail stations opened serving Capitol Hill and the University of Washington (pictured).
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

This weekend, Sound Transit stations at Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium open to the public. It’s a big deal, because it extends light rail through two of Seattle’s most heavily populated neighborhoods.

KUOW’s Joshua McNichols got a sneak peak at the stations – and a ride on the train.

Jan Young on the Cross Kirkland Corridor trail. Young argues that it's cheaper and more effective to put transit on I-405, leaving this trail for non-motorized use in Kirkland.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

All over the region, undeveloped open spaces face enormous pressure. In Kirkland, the pressure for more mass transit is butting up against green space that filled a spiritual need some Kirkland residents didn’t even know they had.

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