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

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.

Christie True, who runs the King County parks department,  stands with county executive Dow Constantine before the Wilburton Trestle in Bellevue. A new proposal would put a bike and pedestrian trail atop the historic trestle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

King County officials rolled out plans Monday for a bike trail that would run from Woodinville to Renton.

The 16-mile trail would replace parts of an abandoned rail line on the Eastside.

Barbara Dobkin, council of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, stands with her dog Mattie on a hill in front of the Seattle city-owned land she'd like to see turned into a park.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

It’s nearly impossible to find empty land in Seattle. But down at the far south end, there’s 40 acres with nothing on it. And it’s owned by the city of Seattle.

Locals would like to keep it wild. They think of it as “Discovery Park South.” But the city has other plans.

Sara Mae Brereton led the social media campaign to shame city officials into responding to 23rd Avenue business owner complaints.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW growth and development reporter Joshua McNichols about Mayor Ed Murray's plan to offer $650,000 to businesses along 23rd Avenue in the Central District affected by road construction. 

Tiny rooms where seminarians once lived at Saint Edward State Park in Kenmore, Washington. The state bought the land in 1977 but loses money every year on the old building. A developer wants to revamp it into a hotel and spa.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Saint Edward State Park is a swath of forest north of Seattle almost four times the size of Disneyland.

It was once a seminary, and now the state wants to give a building and some acreage to a developer to morph into a privately owned hotel and spa. 

Washington Governor Jay Inslee stands before a wall of traffic monitors at a state transportation management center with Patty Rubstello, WSDOT's Assistant Secretary for Tolling
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

Governor Jay Inslee has a plan to improve traffic on Interstate 405. He says the new toll lanes are helping, but traffic has grown worse between Kirkland and Lynnwood since tolling began. On Tuesday, he laid out his strategy for the corridor.

Lois Harris opened the Vogue Coiffure Beauty Salon on 23rd Avenue in 1966. Road construction there has put her in the worst financial situation she's seen yet.
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

Central District business owners will get a chance to tell city officials about the problems on 23rd Avenue on Tuesday. They say a big road project there has scared away their customers. They want a financial bailout, but the city says no.

Sound Transit's Roosevelt Station, under construction in January, 2016.
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

An independent consultant says Sound Transit is doing a good job estimating costs as it shapes the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure. But a cost estimate can’t predict everything — future property values, for example, or even more earthly things, such as the cost of a pound of rebar.

Sound Transit Senior Planner Val Batey on First Avenue in Seattle. Batey says her agency is exploring First Avenue as a possible surface route for trains serving Ballard and West Seattle.
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

This fall, voters will decide whether to extend Sound Transit’s light rail farther, like to Everett and Tacoma. The ballot measure is called Sound Transit 3.

Planners are deciding now where to put the trains that the measure would bring into Seattle because there isn’t enough room in the existing downtown transit tunnel.

Paramjit Kaur, owner of Fashion India Botique, is one of many entrepreneurs courted by Sam Virk to set up shop in his International Plaza development in Kent. Click on this image for more photos.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

At a new strip mall in downtown Kent, a truck backs up to a butcher shop. The driver opens the back and pulls out a goat carcass. This butcher shop doesn’t sell beef or pork, out of deference to its Hindu and Muslim customers.

Pronto Bikes in Seattle's University District
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

The City of Seattle may take over the Pronto Bike sharing program. Officials are trying to decide now whether the program is a good thing, or a lemon.

One Night Count Team Lead Daniel Hubbell spots a van that volunteers reported as occupied while driving down a deserted side streets in one of the last stops of the night. Click on this image to see the slideshow.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

A slumped body in the passenger seat.

Foggy car windows.

A foot, maybe a blanket, pressed against the window.

These are signs of people living in cars.

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray at Capitol Hill's light rail station.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium light rail stations will open to passengers at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 19.

Jackie Williams had just gotten off her night shift at Swedish when I interviewed her outside the Salvation Army shelter on Capitol Hill. She would have a few short hours to sleep before the shelter closes for the day.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Jackie Williams arrived in Seattle with nothing but a suitcase full of clothes. She had been hired as a certified nurse’s assistant.

Rapper Draze performs at Garfield High School's Martin Luther King Day rally
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle may have race and social justice as part of its mission, but the work isn't finished, say local leaders. They came together with citizens Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. to talk about what still needs to be done.

Crews working for Seattle Tunnel Partners watch as the SR 99 tunneling machine’s cutterhead rotates during testing on Dec. 16, 2015.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1SQLVB5

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has issued an emergency order to stop the tunneling work along Seattle's waterfront.

Contractors found a sinkhole 35 feet long and 15 feet deep near the tunneling machine known as Bertha Tuesday night, the latest of several problems facing the project.

A Powerball sign can't accommodate a figure larger than $999 million.
Flickr photo/Arturo Pardavila III on Flickr

Everybody’s dreaming about how they could spend all that money when they win that $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot – the biggest lottery prize ever in the U.S.

You might be thinking car, house, travel. But what if the city of Seattle won?

U District Station, 90 percent designed, shows conservative art referencing the neighborhood's architectural heritage.
Sound Transit

The public will have its last chance to weigh in on the design for the University District light rail station this Thursday. The project is 90 percent designed and shows a conservative approach to its public art.

At least, it's conservative compared to Capitol Hill Station. That station features two fighter jets, which appear to explode like brittle origami cranes in a jet kiss over the station platform. 

In this Dec. 15, 2015 photo, a crew member working for Seattle Tunnel Partners watches a crane lift other crew members out of the pit that STP used to access and repair Bertha.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1O7O5sO

Bertha is on the move again. 

The tunnel boring machine got stuck a little over two years ago, shortly after it hit a metal pipe. It’s taken until now to get the machine going again.

Cynthia Ulrich of Stop 405 Tolls looks unhappy as she prepares to enter the toll lane for the first time.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

A beat-up red convertible bumps south along Interstate 405. Driver Cynthia Ulrich is about to break her boycott on the freeway’s new toll lanes -- all to help KUOW illustrate how tolls are collected and spent.

But she’s not happy about it.

Rep. Jim McDermott represented the Seattle area for 14 terms.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Jim McDermott has represented Seattle in the U.S. Congress since 1989. He was elected to that office 14 times. But now, he wants to retire, to travel, to teach and to paint.

Rep. Jim McDermott in Feb. 2.014.
Flickr Photo/Transportation for America (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1Pc1hdI

Bill Radke talks to Peter Jackson, a writer and the son of former Washington Senator "Scoop" Jackson, about the legacy of longtime Congressman Jim McDermott, who announced his retirement Monday. KUOW reporter Joshua McNichols also shares an update from the congressman's press conference. 

Chewie is one of two posessions Genie took with her when fleeing an abusive husband 9 years ago and becoming homeless for the first time.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Genie is a homeless woman who lives in downtown Seattle with her dog, Chewie. He’s half terrier, half Chihuahua, and he’s named for Chewbacca, the Star Wars character.

Chris Dixon of Seattle Tunnel Partners speaks about Bertha's status on Dec. 23, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bertha the drill is ready to start work again. But first it’ll take a little rest over the holidays.

Woody Auge and Irv Friese, the original Chubby and Tubby.
Rainier Valley Historical Society

Chubby and Tubby started selling goods out of a metal hut in 1946 in Seattle’s Rainier Valley.

Low overhead costs helped the business owners get started. Later, they built a store on an old landfill on Rainier Avenue South.

This Christmas, Gabriel Quesada is 'Black Santa.'
Keenan Hart/From Bottom 2 Top Photography

When Gabriel Quesada was growing up in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood, his uncles told him they knew Santa.

But every Santa he saw was white, and his uncles were black.

"It just didn't make sense to me," Quesada said.

Taylor Atchison (L) and Antonio Knoy (R) work in their shop, Knoy Metalworks, in the old Fenpro building in Ballard. They're one of many workshop owners who will be displaced when the building is torn down.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

An old metal lathe thunders in the massive warehouse on Ballard’s main street. It sounds like freedom to Denny Jensen, one of those toiling in the maze of workshops there.

“We’re so independent; we really like to be our own boss,” said Jensen, a metal fabricator. “That’s what this place gave me for 11 years.”

A view of one of Cast Architecture's backyard cottages. The firm has been a leader promoting backyard cottages in Seattle
Courtesy of Cast Architecture

Bill Radke talks to KUOW's Joshua McNichols about the case the city of Seattle is making for more backyard cottages.  

Tiffany Von Arnim via Flickr Creative Commons

The city of Bellevue collects lots of data. The data comes from things like construction permits, 911 calls and business licenses. Today, it announced plans to publish more of that data online. But it’s not without risk for the city.

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