No longer on air.

The Conversation covers current events in politics, public affairs, culture and science. Host Ross Reynolds opens the phone for listeners to participate in spirited discussions on the issues of the day. 

Twitter: KUOWRoss | Facebook: KUOWRoss

To find stories by The Conversation older than October 15, 2012, go to and select "The Conversation" from the show dropdown menu in the search function.

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Federal Sequester Budget Slash
12:02 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

How Will Federal Budget Cuts Affect Forest Firefighting In Washington State This Season?

Flickr Photo/US Department of Agriculture (CC-BY-NC-ND)

 State officials are predicting another challenging wildfire season this year. Fighting those fires may be more difficult due to the federal sequester, which slashed nearly 8 percent from the Forest Service’s budget. Ross Reynolds interviews Washington State’s Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.

SPD's Unsolved Crimes
11:55 am
Wed May 29, 2013

One Man Tackles Seattle's Cold Cases

Flickr Photo/Stefan Mortellaro

  When a homicide detective retires or is promoted, the unsolved cases are marked “cold.” Currently the Seattle Police Department works on about ten cold cases at a time. The majority of that work is done by a single cold case detective, Mike Ciesynski, who has been been working on cold cases for almost 10 years. Ross Reynolds interviews Ciesynski about the job.

Economic Inequality
11:59 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Are The Rich Undeserving?

Leslie McCall's book "Undeserving Rich."

 Do Americans feel that the proper measures are in place to deal with economic inequality in the United States? Ross Reynolds sits down with author Leslie McCall for a conversation about economics in America and her new book, "The Undeserving Rich: American Beliefs About Inequality, Opportunity, And Redistribution."

Gun Control
11:57 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Is Congress Missing The Mark On Regulating The AR-15?

Flickr Photo/-Piskami


The AR-15 semi-automatic gun was used in the Aurora and Sandy Hook mass shootings. But Dan Baum writes in the latest Harper’s Magazine that the AR-15 is the gun Congress can’t ban. Ross Reynolds talks with author  Dan Baum about the aim and recoil of gun regulation. 

Local Music History
8:00 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Best Of The Conversation: Early Seattle Music, Hendrix, And Heart

How did Ann and Nancy Wilson go from middle-class Bellevue teenagers to international stars?

This hour on The Conversation we’re taking a long, strange trip through Seattle’s musical history. We’ll start before rock 'n roll was invented; when Seattle had a vibrant, professional music scene, thanks in part to powerful unions. We’ll learn about Jimi Hendrix’s early days when he got by as a backup guitarist for the likes of Little Richard. Also, author Charles R. Cross tells us how Ann and Nancy Wilson from the Seattle band, Heart, went from middle-class Bellevue teenagers to international stars.

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Bridge Collapse Coverage
12:28 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Updates: I-5 Skagit River Bridge

In this photo provided by Francisco Rodriguez, rescue boats approach victims at their vehicles in the Skagit River after the collapse of the I-5 bridge minutes earlier Thursday, May 23, in Mount Vernon, Wash.
AP Photo/Francisco Rodriguez

We’ll get updates from the Washington Department of Transportation, Governor Jay Inslee and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

How Does This Affect Bellingham And Regional Tourism?
This is the start of the summer tourism season and Bellingham has one of its major events, the Ski to Sea, scheduled for this weekend. Will the bridge collapse affect tourism in the north Puget Sound area?

Controversial Ads
2:16 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

The Conversation About Ads On The Bus Goes Round And Round

Most bus ads are pretty innocuous: advertising metro, plumbers or movies. But what about when groups want to pay for controversial ads?
Flickr Photo/Oran Viriyincy

Snohomish Community Transit has just rejected a bus advertisement from a gun control group, Washington Ceasefire.  That decision is based on a new policy that bans all advertising that creates  substantial controversy, including political speech. Ross Reynolds took up the conversation of advertising and free speech with an ACLU lawyer along with a representative for Snohomish Community Transit. 

Cuts to Unemployment Benefits
2:03 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Sequestration: The First Cut Isn't The Deepest

Even though you might not have heard much about it these past few weeks, the sequester is still chopping away at federal funds. This week Washington state emergency unemployment benefits are being cut by almost 25 percent. Ross Reynolds spoke with Johnny Dwyer, one of the 40,ooo people being affected by these drastic reductions to unemployment benefits, about how he is coping and what he hopes for. 

Listener Call-In
12:40 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Questions Concerning Adoption Law

 Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law on Tuesday that gives people who were adopted access to non-certified copies of their birth certificates. Before now they had to get a special court order. More than 50 percent of families in Washington state have been impacted by adoption — meaning someone in their extended family is either an adoptive parent, an adoptee or the birth parent of an adoptive child.

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Charging Station Delays
12:29 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Where Are The Electric Car Charging Stations?

Flickr Photo/Fifth World Art

 You can’t drive your electric car if you can’t plug in and recharge, and the build-out on electric car chargers is behind schedule. Ross Reynolds talks with WSDOT's Jeff Doyle about the gaps in the grid for electric car charging. 

Promises of Closing Gitmo
11:59 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Four Years And 123 Days Into Obama's Presidency, Guantanamo Still Open

On May 17, human rights activists seeking to close down Guantanamo Bay protested in front of the White House.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

President Obama will discuss his administration’s foreign policy practices tomorrow at the National Defense University. One purpose of the speech is to announce his plans for the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which he has promised to close several times. New York Times Washington Correspondent Charlie Savage talks with Ross Reynolds about what we can expect from the president tomorrow.

Increase In Mid-Level Work
11:48 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Pop Your Blue Collar: The Evolution Of Blue Collar Work In The US

Mid-level employment, such as rebar work, is expected to see an upswing in the coming years.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT

 In the past decade, blue collar jobs have diminished. But in the coming decade, that tide is expected to change. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an additional 2.7 million new blue collar jobs such as home health care aides and rebar and iron maintenance workers by 2020. Ross Reynolds talks with Tim Sweeney and Dan Jacoby about the future of blue collar work and education. 

10:54 am
Tue May 21, 2013

What Does The New Xbox Mean For Microsoft’s Future?

The Xbox 360 conroller, pictured, will get some upgrades though the shape will stay largely the same for the new Xbox One.
Flickr Photo/mybroetchen

 Microsoft's new Xbox is being unveiled today at a live event in Redmond. With features like video streaming, this Xbox’s got more than games. But what does it mean for the future of the company? Ross Reynolds talks to Ian Sherr, reporter for The Wall Street Journal.

SIFF Documentary
10:50 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Barzan: One Father’s Path From Iraqi Refugee To Family Man To Suspected Terrorist

Andrew Stonehill, director of "Barzan."
Director's Facebook Profile

  Alex Stonehill is the director of "Barzan," a documentary that follows one man’s journey from Iraqi refugee to building a home in Bothell to fighting allegations of terrorism. Ross Reynolds talks with Alex Stonehill about making the movie which is playing at the Seattle International Film Festival.

Affordable Care Act
10:48 am
Tue May 21, 2013

What You Still Don’t Know About Obamacare

Flickr Photo/401(K) 2013

 Over 40 percent of Americans don’t know Obamacare is the law according to a non-partisan study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Even more Americans don’t know what’s in the law or how the Affordable Care Act will affect them. To clear up the confusion, Ross Reynolds speaks with Mike Kreidler, the Washington state insurance commissioner about what the Affordable Care Act means for you.