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

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.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

You probably know there’s going to be a big Sound Transit package on the ballot next fall. On Friday, Sound Transit released cost studies examining all the different routes being considered.

Eliza Hinkes of Seattle says her cat had a bad experience in I-5 traffic. 'We've never tried to drive him anywhere again.'
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

If you think Seattle has some of the worst traffic in the nation, you’re right. A new traffic study  by the American Highway Users Alliance shows that the spot where Interstate 5 passes through downtown is the 17th-worst traffic bottleneck in the country.

Shabana Khan stands in front of a painting at Pro Sports, Bellevue, that depicts members of her family playing squash. (Shabana is the one in blue, while her brother Azam is in the center of the painting at her left).
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The world championships for squash are in Bellevue this week -- and it's all thanks to one family. 

Azam Khan, one of the organizers, learned the sport from his dad. His dad grew up working at British squash courts in Pakistan and India. He was one of many boys who fetched stray balls for British officers. But the boys had a secret.

Timothy McCall works in WSDOT's new $17.3 million Northwest Region Transportation Management Center in Shoreline.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Washington has a new Transportation Management Center in Shoreline. That’s the nerve center where engineers help resolve traffic problems.

Before officials showed me the new center, they showed me the building they used to work out of. It looks like an underground missile control bunker from the Cold War era.

Mayor Ed Murray at the Move Seattle levy party Tuesday night.
KUOW Photo/Kate O'Connell

Seattle Department of Transportation director Scott Kubly had already bought a couple pitchers of beer for his staff and friends at the Belltown Pub when the news came in Tuesday night.

The $930 million Move Seattle levy for transportation projects was solidly ahead in the first election returns.

Doris O'Neal of the YWCA
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Leaders of Seattle and King County declared a state of civil emergency this week – not due to an earthquake or a mudslide, but because of homelessness.

Yu Deng and her coworker lead moms in exercise at Bellevue's Downtown Park
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Four Bellevue City Council members are up for election this fall.

The election comes at a time when Bellevue is going through many changes. Downtown is growing, and with light rail on the way, that growth will expand northeast toward Microsoft.

Afghan school girls are treated at a hospital after an earthquake in Takhar province, northeast of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015. At least 12 students at a girls' school were killed in a stampede as they fled the shaking building.
AP Photo/Zalmai Ashna

Seattle’s small community of Afghan refugees is still feeling emotional aftershocks following Monday’s earthquake.

The epicenter of the magnitude 7.5 quake was in northern Afghanistan.

Monica Sweet says cheaper asphalt sidewalks would be a good thing for neighborhoods that have been waiting decades for sidewalks.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray wants to loosen up the city’s standards for sidewalks by building them cheaper and faster. That would let money earmarked for sidewalks in the Move Seattle levy stretch much further.

Darrell Merriweather on a stretch of his route from the bus stop to the senior housing where he lives.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

It’s a sunny afternoon on Aurora Avenue North, at the far northern edge of the city. A RapidRide bus pulls up and drops off a couple of guys in wheelchairs.

One of them is Darrell Merriweather. As he scoots along the road shoulder, only a thin line separates him from cars traveling much faster. He tells me what it’s like getting from his bus stop on Aurora to the senior housing where he lives: “The sidewalk is torn up. Infrastructure, man – they need to improve this infrastructure.”

Drivers wait to cross Mercer Street
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

It’s rush hour on Mercer Street, in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. Tech workers are getting off work. Lauren Wheeler and Sande Ditt just finished an after-work jog – when I flag them down and ask them to share their traffic horror stories.

“On Mercer?” asks Ditt. At times, she says, “I’ve probably been here at least 45 minutes just trying to get on the freeway.”

Captain Dave Stauffer of Island Tug and Barge steers a cleaner tugboat these days. No longer is the Duwamish river tracked with exhaust from tugboats leaving behind diesel. Still, problems remain with the health of the people who live nearby.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Tugboat captain Dave Stauffer used to reek of diesel.

“It’s just the smell of a boat,” Stauffer says. “Just like standing by a fire, you’re going to get some of that smoke on your clothes.”

Stauffer’s wife also grew used to the smell. “She’d say, ‘That’s the smell of money,’” he says.

Michael Mattmiller in one of Seattle's secret data centers. He says data helps government work better, but he's trying to cut back a bit and disseminate a uniform data privacy policy across all city departments.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Somewhere in an office tower in downtown Seattle is a floor filled with data servers. Some of that data is about you. You might show up in a traffic camera video. Your personal information might show up in a utility bill.

Seattle collects a lot of such data. But data can be hacked and information can be misused. That’s why the city’s rethinking how and when it collects your personal data.

The Ballard Urban Rest Stop is having an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Mark Trimmer is happy: He’s finally got someplace to wash himself besides the Ballard Library.

That place is the new Urban Rest Stop, opening this month in Ballard. It’s a place for people living on the streets to wash their clothes and take a shower.

Mai Nguyen from Vietnam leads the Shoreline Community College Ukulele Club in a song.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle-area community college students are planning a vigil this week to remember the five international students who lost their lives on the Aurora Bridge. That’s just one example of how students here help each other. Foreign students are thousands of miles away from their families, but they’re not alone.

A woman is taken to an ambulance on the Aurora Bridge after the crash Thursday.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

They came to Seattle from around the world: Austria, China, Indonesia and Japan. 

They died on the Aurora Bridge on Thursday.

They were mourned at North Seattle College on Friday, where some students said they were frightened by the collision between a large tourist vehicle known as “the Duck” and a bus.

North Seattle College international students Max Putera and Jeffrey Tung.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Monday will be the first day of school for North Seattle College. The students in the international program will have a lot more than school on their minds. They’ll be thinking about the four students who died in a bus crash on the Aurora bridge Thursday.

An injured person is taken from the scene of the Aurora Bridge bus crash on Sept. 24, 2015
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

UPDATE, 3;10 p.m.: A duck amphibious tour vehicle swerved into a charter bus carrying international students on the Aurora Bridge Thursday. At least four people died and dozens were injured, emergency officials said.

At least 44 people were taken to hospitals.

Demonstrator Alice Tsai takes a photo of the police blocking her group from accessing the Westin Hotel, where Chinese President Xi Jinping is staying.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Protesters have been trying to get so close to Chinese President Xi Jinping in Seattle that he can hear their chants. But they’re having a hard time.

Architect Rico Quirindongo.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Seattle Waterfront is going to change dramatically when the Alaskan Way Viaduct comes down. So what’s going to happen to all the low-income people who hang out on the waterfront now? That’s one of the questions being asked at a public symposium Thursday afternoon about designing an equitable waterfront. It’s part of the Seattle Design Festival.

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