Old hotel full of memories finds room for a new start

In the past 10 years, the Publix has had few occupants — a handful of businesses, artists and pigeons. Today paint blisters off the ceiling in the lobby, crumbling into grit that coats the oyster-cracker-shaped floor tiles and wooden front desk.

Now this Chinatown International District hotel is at the corner of history and change.

Read it in the Seattle Times. Originally published July 31, 2013.

All Things Considered airs “Why Music Matters”

This segment was perhaps my favorite segment EVER On NPR, and that from a very long time listener. Big words, but I’m saying them. Bravo NPR. Truly spectacular segment.

— NPR.org commenter “William K” on the story, “Finding Hope, With The Cranberries’ Help”

I was honored that Weekend’s on All Things Considered picked up the series I produced for KEXP, and even surprised one interviewee with a phone call from his favorite artists. Find the stories at NPR.org.

Recent stories from Seattle

I am a regular contributor to KUOW 94.9FM, an NPR affiliate located in Seattle, and also contribute local stories to Marketplace from American Public Media.

Recently I’ve reported on the proposed expansion of the Washington State Convention Center in three stories (story one, story two, story three), marijuana revenue, an idea to fund affordable housing, and Democracy Vouchers.

I also reported a long-form feature on clean up at the Gorst Creek Landfill for the show Sound Effect on KNKX radio.

“The NRA’s Straight-A Students”

“There are currently 36 states where more than half of all state legislators have a grade of A- or better, according to an analysis of data provided by Vote Smart, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization. In 14 states, including most of those in the gun belt, that majority exceeds two thirds, reaching or approaching veto-proof. In Kentucky and Oklahoma, the number extends beyond 80 percent.

“Out of the more than 7,300 individual state lawmakers nationwide, there are 4,095 whom the NRA rates as A- or higher.”

Full story here.

Reporting and writing by Mike Spies. Data analysis by Anna Boiko-Weyrauch. Graphics by Francesca Mirabile.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities Loom Large in State Justice

BY ANNA BOIKO-WEYRAUCH
Rocky Mountain PBS News

At a time when inequities in criminal justice are the focus of intense national debate, blacks and Latinos are overrepresented at every step in Colorado’s criminal process compared to their numbers in the general population.

Black and Latino Coloradans are disproportionately incarcerated, shot by police, arrested and detained as youth, arrested for marijuana, sent back to prison from parole, and disadvantaged by a criminal record, a Rocky Mountain PBS News examination of state data, records and reports shows.

Read the full story here. View the full documentary film here.

Ozone, Asthma And The Oil And Gas Connection

For Inside Energy. Aired on KUNC October 6th, 2016 and on The Texas Standard October 13th, 2016.

Researchers nationwide are starting to take a closer look at how air emissions from oil and gas development affect public health. One worrying kind of pollution is ozone, which can harm people and the environment. Children with asthma are especially vulnerable.

Read more here.

Pay Snubs: Wage Theft in Colorado

Following an inquiry by Rocky Mountain PBS I-News, the president of Bradley Petroleum Buzz Calkins discovered the final paycheck for Ward Boydstun for $447. In 2012, Boydstun was arrested at a Bradley Petroleum gas station that he managed and was accused of taking $4,534, but police found no evidence of the theft and dropped the case.(Joe Mahoney/Rocky Mountain PBS I-News)
Following an inquiry by Rocky Mountain PBS News, the president of Bradley Petroleum, Buzz Calkins discovered the final paycheck for Ward Boydstun for $447. In 2012, Boydstun was arrested at a Bradley Petroleum gas station that he managed and was accused of taking $4,534, but police found no evidence of the theft and dropped the case. (Joe Mahoney/Rocky Mountain PBS News)

If you work, what happens if you don’t get paid? That’s the situation for countless workers across Colorado and the United States.

During my time at Rocky Mountain PBS I-News, I researched and wrote about enforcement of state and federal wage and hour laws in Colorado. It’s an important issue and happens probably more often, and in more industries, than you think.

This series led to proposed legislation in 2016 to improve transparency of Colorado wage law violations and a state investigation into three construction contractors. It also helped recover lost wages for two gas station workers. The stories became required reading in a University of Denver class.

Here are the stories in print, with accompanying audio versions:

 

First-place winner of KCRW’s 24-hour Radio Race

“Karan Ireland thought she was well-informed, until she discovered a strange smell that changed her life.”

After a mad dash to find Karan and an all-nighter in an iHop, I was extremely honored to win the second annual Radio Race from KCRW’s Independent Producer Project with my story, “You should know what’s right next door.”

What’s this Radio Race you speak of? From the producers:

140 teams from all around the world took up our challenge to produce an artful and compelling 4-minute audio piece in one mad-dash, energy-drink-swigging 24 hour period. The result was an explosion of creative radio storytelling. Our KCRW judges narrowed down the pieces to a final 10. Then the final 3 were chosen by our esteemed panel of celebrity judges: Alix Spiegel of NPR, radio educator Rob Rosenthal, producer of the How Sound podcast, and Eleanor McDowall producer of the Short Cuts  podcast from BBC Radio 4.

Listen to the full UnFictional show here.

Radio | Data | Investigations