I'm the staff reporter at Seattle Transit Blog, an independent, nonprofit news organization that is a regional leader in transportation and land use coverage. Our coverage of the Puget Sound region's explosive growth—the largest population boom of any U.S. city in the 21st century thus far—and massive investment in infrastructure megaprojects has earned local awards and ample backlinks.
I post articles drawing on original beat reporting several times per week, drawing on my deep knowledge of the Seattle area and extensive contacts in the public sphere, including city and county government.
November 7, 2016
This politics and policy feature, released on the eve of the 2016 elections, explained the political and policy challenges faced by Washington Initiative 732. I-732 would have implemented a carbon tax in Washington state and cut the sales tax. The origins of the initiative were fraught, and angered many progressives and environmentalists, who considered the initiative flawed—even racist. This piece digs deeper into those political conflicts than other coverage of the campaign.
April 15, 2016
This business policy feature reports on the common scheduling practices for hourly workers and political efforts to regulate those practices. The piece incorporates data from a national study and interviews with business, political, and labor leaders in Seattle.
November 1, 2017
By far my most ambitious reporting. I worked with Hanna Brooks Olsen to unmask an alleged serial rapist, and document the several ways that King County law enforcement officials bungled the case against him.
June 13, 2016
After the terrorist attack on the Pulse gay bar in Orlando, I went to some of Seattle's LGBTQ spots to capture the community's emotional state and what get a sense of what has and hasn't changed for queer folks.
August 25, 2015
This business/real estate feature digs into the impact of Airbnb and other "sharing economy" short term rental sites' impact on the vacation rental and housing rental markets. The feature incorporates data collected in collaboration with a third party website, Insideairbnb.com, designed to accurately assess the amount of Airbnb units in a given rental market.
June 3, 2016
This hard news story follows up on political developments in the Airbnb issue, and compares Seattle's regulatory effort to Portland's.
April 5, 2016
This story is a labor policy hard news piece with a political bent. It focuses on opposition to a proposed hourly worker scheduling ordinance by restaurant industry leaders, and compares the issue to the local political fight over the minimum wage.
October 12, 2016
This human interest story profiles the curators of Sound Transit's arts program and speculates as to the affect of the light rail system's expansion on that program.
June 1, 2016
Recreatin' and recreatin' Seattle's Duwamish River.
by Carol Smith and Peter Johnson
February 10, 2012
This crime and public health policy feature reports on efforts by the Washington Legislature to curb break ins and stickups at pharmacies, which have become increasingly common as more people have become addicted to opiates and heroin—a national public health crisis.
December 16, 2016
This feature reports on longstanding rumors that Bush Garden, the beloved karaoke lounge and bar in Seattle's Chinatown/International District, is under threat of closure. That aspect of the story also allowed me to examine development pressures on the neighborhood. I also explain Bush's legacy as a quasi-community center for the Japanese American community, its role in the neighborhood, and its significant political profile.
Behind the decision against filing charges in the shooting of John T. Williams
February 15, 2011
A feature about police use of force; the shooting death of John T. Williams precipitated the Department of Justice takeover of the Seattle Police Department. The piece investigates issues of police accountability brought to national prominence several years later by the Black Lives Matter movement.
February 20, 2017
In this story, I report on a proposal that would allow Washington prisoners a chance at parole, and describe some of the social impact of mass incarceration.