Isolde Raftery

Online Editor

Year started with KUOW: 2013

Isolde Raftery became the online editor at KUOW in October 2013. Previously, she worked for and the Columbian and Skagit Valley Herald newspapers here in Washington state. She has also written extensively for The New York Times, where she was a fellow on the Metro desk in 2010, The Chicago Tribune, and Seattle Business magazine.

Born in Ireland to an Irish dad and a French mom, Isolde grew up mostly in Seattle, where she attended Garfield High School. She later graduated from Barnard College in New York City and received a master's degree in literary nonfiction from the University of Oregon. 

Ways to Connect

Shannon Braddock, left, and Lisa Herbold ran to represent District 1, which encompasses West Seattle, on the City Council.
KUOW Photos/Jason Pagano

West Seattle’s ballots from the November election will be recounted, the King County Elections department said on Tuesday.

That's because the race between candidates Lisa Herbold and Shannon Braddock is too close to call. Herbold led Braddock by 36 votes for the District 1 position. 

Lead zookeeper Hugh Bailey and zoo veterinarian Dr. Darin Collins take a close look at the newborn girl behind the scenes at Woodland Park Zoo.
Woodland Park Zoo

It’s a girl!

Nadiri, a 19-year-old gorilla at the Woodland Park Zoo, gave birth to her daughter at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Starchild Abraham Cherrix, 16, pictured with his parents, fought to be able to obtain alternative treatment to cancer.
AP Photo/Steve Helber, File

Teens as young as 12 can make their own medical decisions in certain states.

That’s because of the mature minor doctrine. The doctrine allows teens to get abortions, mental health care and drug treatment without their parents’ permission.

Dennis Lindberg was 14 when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He refused to received blood transfusions, which ultimately led to his death three weeks after he was diagnosed.Dennis Lindberg was 14 when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He refused to received
Skagit Valley Herald/Scott Terrell

The first time I interviewed Dennis Lindberg, he was alone on a weekday evening. He had just turned 12, and he had set out Saltine crackers on a paper towel and poured me a glass of tap water.

He sat up straight on the couch and folded his hands in his lap. “What questions may I answer?” he asked. He was polite, tall for his age, with light blue eyes and acne scattered across his nose.

Seattle City Council District 5 candidate Debora Juarez and Sandy Brown.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

We’ve been asking Seattle City Council candidates to answer whimsical questions.

What animal would they be? What magical power would they have? Who is their political hero?

Seattle City Council District 3 candidates Kshama Sawant and Pamela Banks.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Pamela Banks, a candidate for Seattle’s District 3 council seat, calls her opponent "Budget Rally."

Seattle City Council position 8 candidates Jon Grant and Tim Burgess.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Standing outside the KUOW station, we asked Seattle City Council candidate Jon Grant what he would do if he lost.

He would pay off his debt, he said. Then he paused.

Did we know that 54 percent of the city voted against his opponent in the primary? (Grant got 31 percent in the primary.)

Deborah Zech Artis, left, and Sally Bagshaw drove off in a car2go together. Bagshaw was driving Zech Artis to her car up the street.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The candidates in District 7 are both dog people.

Sally Bagshaw, the incumbent, used to have golden retrievers. Deborah Zech Artis has a blind bichon frise named Thomas Jefferson.

Seattle City Council position 9 candidates Lorena Gonzalez and Bill Bradburd.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery


That was the feeling inside the tiny booth off the studio during a recent Seattle City Council candidate debate.

Seattle City Council District 6 candidates Mike O'Brien and Catherine Weatbrook.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

The candidates for Seattle’s District 6 could not be more Seattle.

Catherine Weatbrook – she used to be a Tubs girl.

Tubs was a shady, windowless establishment in the University District that rented out hot tubs by the hour. It was rumored to be the best place in town to get a urinary tract infection.

Seattle City Council District 1 candidates Shannon Braddock and Lisa Herbold.
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Ten minutes before West Seattle candidates Lisa Herbold and Shannon Braddock arrived at the KUOW studios, host David Hyde paced around his desk.

A Seattle hospital employee works too far from the official lactation rooms, so she must find private spaces to pump. Often, that means she ends up sitting on the floor of a bathroom.
Courtesy of Anonymous

The lactation room wasn’t a room at all.

It was a corner of the lunch room in an old King County building in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood.

A shoji screen was set up for privacy, although cracks allowed people to see through. A vent blew in cold air.

The White House sent out this pool report by Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner.
White House local pool report

Our radio friends at KEXP and KNDD got some love from the Obama press corps when the president was in town last week.

Jim Brunner, a government reporter at the Seattle Times, was taking notes for local reporters. At 6:39 p.m., Brunner filed a brief report that was later shared by the White House press office. The motorcade had just left the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle, where Obama was fundraising for Sen. Patty Murray.

Bertha K. Landes served as mayor of Seattle from 1926 to 1928. She was Seattle's first and only female mayor -- also Seattle's first female police chief, according to journalist Emmett Watson.
University of Washington Digital Archives

Before Bertha was a boring machine stuck under Seattle, she was Seattle’s first female mayor.

In 1926, her campaign motto was “municipal housekeeping.”

Bertha K. Landes was her full name and “she was wonderful,” according to columnist Emmett Watson.

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

The Duck vehicle had a fatal flaw.

As investigators picked through the wreckage that killed five students and left dozens badly injured, they saw the front left axle had been sheared off.