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The Record

Monday - Thursday, noon - 1:00 p.m.

Daily conversations about ideas that matter to Seattle and the Puget Sound region. Hosted by Bill Radke.

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Welcome to summer! What's on your playlist?

17 minutes ago

Today is the longest day of the year: the summer solstice. And although it won't be truly summer in Seattle for a few weeks, it's never too early to get started on your list of lazy day jams.

We spoke to music writer Charles R. Cross, checked in with our producers, and heard from many of you with your favorites. (Host Ross Reynolds had an extended dance break to Katy Perry.) One point of consensus? Some of the best summer songs are all about the open road.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
Facebook Photo/Governor Jay Inslee

Governor Jay Inslee announced that Washington state is suing the Trump Administration over the family separation policy. Ross Reynolds asked him what that means, when the policy seems to be changing daily.

"We have demonstrated time and time again that this rogue and chaotic administration needs to have the semblance of order and fairness and equity that is given to us by the protection of the judicial system," said Governor Inslee, referring to the state's other lawsuits.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Trump administration officials recently retreated on a policy to separate families at the border. Some have blamed past administrations for the stories of chaotic separations and traumatized children; others have pointed to Congress. And then one official claimed divine authority on the matter.

Rep. Derek Kilmer
United States Congress

Bill Radke talks to Congressman Derek Kilmer about the bills up for vote in the House this week, and the new bill introduced by Democrats to address the problem of separating migrant children from their families at the border. We also talk with Domenico Montanaro, NPR lead political editor, about the likelihood that any of these bills pass.


The Trump administration's policy of separating families at the country's southern border has caused consternation, outrage, and attempts to remedy the harm. Congressman Derek Kilmer, a United States Representative for Tacoma, Kitsap, and the Olympic peninsula, spoke with Bill Radke about what he calls "a question of what kind of country we are." They were joined by NPR lead political editor Domenico Montanaro.

Boxed items are shown on conveyer belts leading to docks where they will be loaded onto trucks at an Amazon fulfillment center on Friday, November 3, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Geekwire's Todd Bishop about three tech giants that have faced controversy over their contracts with law enforcement and government: Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.


How will King County work on homelessness and home prices without money from Seattle's head tax?

King County Executive Dow Constantine discusses his plans for that — and why he wants to spend more public money on the Mariners. 


Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan negotiated a comparmised head tax on big businesses in Seattle, but now the tax has been repealed. So how will the city pay for affordable housing and homeless services now? 

Cartoonist Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the late 1990s. She says back then there wasn't much information available, just a lot of stigma. It's an experince she documents in her memoir Marbles. Now she's out with a new book called "Rock Stead: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life."

L122, one of the newest members of the Southern Resident Community of orcas, spotted Sept. 7 near Sooke, British Columbia.
Dave Ellifrit/Center for Whale Research

Bill Radke talks with our panel about the declining number of orcas in Puget Sound and if we should stop whale watching. We also look at the New York Times investigation into pregnancy discrimination, and why the World Health Organization has added "gaming disorder" to its disease classifications.

kid tantrum
Flickr Photo/WickedVT (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

Bill Radke talks with author Katherine Reynolds Lewis about her new book, "The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever — And What to Do About It."

The Seattle City Council brought the short-lived "head tax" into the world last month — and last Tuesday, the council proved that it could take it out too.

Is there good news about your parental anxiety?

Jun 14, 2018

The fall of the house of head tax in Seattle might cast a shadow all the way to California. Mountain View is considering a head tax on its own tech behemoth, Google/the Alphabet Company. MarketWatch’s Jeremy Owens explains the fight.

A soccer ball rests, waiting to be set in motion.
Flickr Photo/Marco Verch (CC BY 2.0)/

Bill Radke talks to Roger Bennett, co-host of the NBC Sports show "Men In Blazers" about the rise of soccer's popularity in the U.S. and the 2018 World Cup without the U.S. Men's National team. 


Yesterday, the city council voted 7-2 to repeal its freshly passed head tax. Glenn Kellman of Redfin and Saul Spady of Cre8ive Empowerment opposed the tax. We ask: What’s their plan now that the levy’s dried up?

Flickr Phoro NH53/(CC BY 2.0)/

Did you know that Seattle has the second most places of worship per capita in the nation?

We are also the second most religiously unaffiliated city in America. Basically, Seattle has a lot of empty churches. And after June 24th, there will be one more empty church.

That will be the last day of service for the Capitol Hill Presbyterian church.

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Pacific University Professor Jeff Kuess, Reverend Eliana Maxim with the Seattle Presbytery, and Pastor Tyler Gorsline from A Seattle Church about Christian churches in Seattle and what their future looks like in the city. 

Head tax opponents and supporters crowd Seattle City Hall on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to two businesses that opposed the head tax about what solutions they're hoping to see, now that the head tax has been repealed. What do Seattle businesses need to do now? What's their responsibility?

Clara Berg, Dana Landon, and Andrew Hoge.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Here we are in balmy June-uary, still clad in waterproof — and arguably unstylish — garb. With our tendency to dress like a "hiking emergency" could break out at any moment (as one listener put it): Is Seattle a fashionable city?

Wellll... it depends on how you define fashionable, said our panel. But Seattle does have something special that's all its own. 

Alas, poor head tax: we hardly knew thee

Jun 12, 2018

It might be time to raise the parting glass to Seattle's head tax, which passed last month in a contentious (yet unanimous) city council vote. Amid a mounting, well-funded repeal campaign, the council is meeting to consider repealing the tax itself. Why the about face? And how will the city fund homeless services now? 

Caitlin Lee raises a Tax Amazon sign in front of Seattle City Council members on Monday, May 14, 2018, during a head tax vote at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The city of Seattle appears to be doing an about-face on the new employee head tax on businesses. The City Council approved the tax unanimously a month ago to generate money for affordable housing and homeless services.

Three generations of Garbes women: Angela, Josie, and baby Ligaya.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Seattle writer Angela Garbes first became a mom, she wrote a piece on breastfeeding that went viral. It remains the most-read article The Stranger has ever published. The hunger for knowledge behind that response was part of what fueled Garbes to write the new book "Like a Mother." She joined Bill Radke in the studio to discuss it, along with her mom Josie Garbes and three-month-old daughter Ligaya.

Anthony Bourdain during the Peabody interview for "Parts Unknown."
Flickr Photo/Peabody Awards (CC BY 2.0)/

Bill Radke remembers chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain with our panel, Andrea Otanez, journalist and lecturer in journalism and and communications at the University of Washington, and, Hsiao-Ching Chou, former food editor at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and author of the cookbook, "Chinese Soul Food: A Friendly Guide For Homemade Dumplings, Stir Fries, Soups and More."

Motherhood, through thick and thin

Jun 11, 2018

Over the weekend, protesters gathered at Sea-Tac Airport, where almost two hundred female asylum seekers are being detained. Many of the women are mothers; they were separated from their children upon being placed in detention. Most of the children are not being held in Washington state. US Representative Pramila Jayapal visited the jail to meet with some of the detainees; she joined Bill Radke in studio to talk about what they shared with her.

Colleen Echohawk-Hayashi and Gyasi Ross.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

You know the drainage pipes you sometimes see sticking out from underneath a road? They're called culverts. And they're creating a division between Washington tribes and state attorney general Bob Ferguson. The sovereign nations claim that Ferguson is failing to uphold their treaty rights; in response, he's escalated the lawsuit to the Supreme Court of the United States.


Springtime in Seattle means your social media feeds are probably filling up with shots of pristine alpine lakes, breathtaking summits, and gorgeous old-growth forests. There your friends are, posing with a vast expanse of emptiness behind them. Just outside the frame, though, teeming hordes of others are also trying to pretend they're the only ones in the wild.

Spoiler alert: 'There Are No Grownups'

Jun 6, 2018

Yesterday, San Francisco had a special election for a new mayor. That city is facing a homelessness problem on a par with Seattle's, but approaching it very differently. KQED's Marisa Lagos explained the two mayoral frontrunners' plans. Bill Radke was also joined in studio by Sara Rankin, Director of Seattle University's Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, and Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times. The two discussed whether or not what works for San Francisco makes sense for Seattle.

Flickr Photo/Franco Bouly (CC BY ND 2.0)/

In November Eli Sanders, associate editor of the Seattle Stranger, walked into the local offices of Facebook and Google and hand delivered a letter requesting information on political ads targeting Washington residents. Washington State law requires that information to be made public. But Facebook and Google never disclosed how much campaigns were spending on political ads here locally.


Here she comes - Miss America! Fully clothed. After 97 years, the pageant has scrapped the swimsuit portion of the competition. They say it's to show that they're no longer judging women on their physical appearances. Is it a pageant at all anymore, or just a competition, as Gretchen Carlson said when announcing the change? We spoke to two former Miss Washingtons, Kristin Tetteh (2006) and Brittney Henry (2011).

Seatte police
KUOW / Ashley Ahearn

Bill Radke asked our panel what they want to see in Seattle's next police chief.

Miss North Dakota Cara Mund is congratulated by contestants after being named Miss America during Miss America 2018 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Atlantic City, N.J.
AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

The Miss America contest announced it will ditch the swimsuit competition — and that future contestants won't be judged on their looks. Is that humanly possible?

LMN Architects worked on the Seattle Central Library project.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

Bill Radke talks to our panel about the trademark fight over using the word 'cocky' in a romance novel title and the kickoff of pride month. We also ask, should the Seattle Public Library drop its overdue book fines for everyone? The library collected more than $1 million in overdue fees and fines in 2017. It currently offers a one-time amnesty, "Fresh Start" program for teens.