March 22, 2018
Skateboarding continues to grow in popularity in the Pacific Northwest. But it’s still difficult for skateboarders to find a good, safe place to get together and do their thing. Rain is a big problem, and covered skate parks are few and far between. Recently, a group of skaters in Renton took matters into their own hands and, using 50,000 pounds of cement, built a park under a freeway overpass. This was, of course, illegal. The Washington Department of Transportation threatened to tear it down last fall, but a crowd of skaters from across the region showed up to defend it. Renton Reporter staff writer Leah Abraham set off to figure out just why one park could mean so much to so many people—and discovered a whole world in the process.
Featuring interviews with Leah Abraham, Jack Skeel, Kristin Ebeling, Marshall Reid, and David Waite.
Music by Leeni Ramadan and Jahzzar
This week's cover photo is a shot of Longacres Skate Park, taken by Leah Abraham for the Renton Reporter in late November 2017.
March 15, 2018
The Black Lives Matter movement has been active in the Seattle area for more than four years. But it wasn't until this past December that a trio of activists created the first official BLM chapter in the region, Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County (BLMSKC). The catalyst for this, organizers say, was the harassment and abuse that some male BLM leaders had allegedly been exacting on women and gender non-conforming members of the movement. In this week's episode, South Seattle Emerald editor and Seattle Weekly columnist Marcus Harrison Green talks about Black Lives Matter's #MeToo moment—and how the fight for one kind of justice can sometimes overshadow other injustices. As the nation grapples with revelation after revelation of sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination in the workplace, Green discusses a history of the same thing happening within social movements.
Music by Leeni Ramadan, Kai Engel, and Grapes
This week's cover photo was taken by Naomi Ishisaka during a 2015 Black Womxn's Lives Matter memorial gathering.
March 8, 2018
Everyone knows that Washington was one of the first states to legalize marijuana—medicinal in 1998 and recreational in 2012. But few know the story of the small, tight-knit community that fought the battles for patients' rights that eventually opened the door to recreational cannabis. Those who do know will tell you that none of it would have happened without JoAnna McKee, who passed away in late 2017. In this episode, we meet some of the people who knew and loved JoAnna; hear about her role in the first-ever federal raid on a medical cannabis dispensary in the country; and pause to reflect on the legacy of a person whose life's work won't be forgotten, especially with new leaders at the federal level who are attempting to turn back the clock on cannabis policy.
Featuring interviews with Meagan Angus, Dale Rogers, Douglas Hiatt, and Stich Miller.
Music by Leeni Ramadan, Jahzzar, Josh Woodward, and Doctor Turtle
March 1, 2018
In this mini episode, we introduce you to the editorial director for the show, Mark Baumgarten, who is really into basketball. He plays in a pick-up league on Monday nights and on Tuesday nights in winter he and some buddies go to high school basketball games. It's cheap, he says, and really good! So good, in fact, that after one dramatic game this season, he was inspired to write a poem about it. Since this weekend is the Washington state high school basketball tournament, aka the Hardwood Classic, we decided we would share it.
Music by Leeni Ramadan
February 22, 2018
It became abundantly clear on Nov. 8, 2016 that Seattle is not a big fan of President Trump. Only 8 percent of the city's votes went to him on election day. In King County, the number jumped to about 20 percent, but still: That’s a landslide of opposition. Activists and politicians from across Western Washington bellowed their outrage for the next … um, well, it’s still happening. And Governor Jay Inslee is among them. This week, Seattleland catches up with Inslee to process a tumultuous, anger-filled year, during which the Trump administration issued order after order that the governor vehemently disagrees with.
Music by Leeni Ramadan, Jahzzar, and Lee Rosevere
February 15, 2018
Seattle has a little-known claim to fame: It is one of the pinball capitals of the world. Competitive pinball tournaments are a nightly occurrence here—and a lot of the players are internationally ranked. But for a very long time, most of those players were men. Host Sara Bernard heads down to Add-A-Ball arcade in Fremont, lets the plunger fly, and introduces us to a growing cadre of badass women who are taking over a game that was, once upon a time, against the law.
Featuring interviews with Maureen Hendrix, Kelsie Sherman-Hall, Zac Petersen, Lauren Aquino, and Kayla Greet.
Music by The Shrugs and Leeni Ramadan
February 8, 2018
After white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, protested the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in August 2017, some residents of Kent, Washington noticed that their police department was located inside the Robert E. Lee Memorial Building. Wait... what? In part two of our What's in a Name series, we explore the origins of the building's name and discover a man who, to the people of Kent anyway, managed to overshadow the legacy of his namesake.
Featuring interviews with Vicki Lee Schmitz, former Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke (she retired at the end of 2017), Kent City Councilmember Brenda Fincher, and Kent City Council President Bill Boyce.
This week's cover photo features Vicki Lee Schmitz standing next to the building that is named after her father, Robert E. Lee. It was taken by Steve Hunter of the Kent Reporter, who first reported this story last August.
February 5, 2018
In this special bonus episode we introduce you to Sara Bernard, the host and producer of the Seattleland podcast. Three months ago, Sara moved from a staff writer role at Seattle Weekly into a multimedia producer role at Sound Publishing and began working on this podcast, hitting the ground as a reporter while also coaxing stories out of her colleagues at the company's many Seattle-area weeklies. In this making-of episode, editorial director Mark Baumgarten turns the tables on Sara and interviews her about the power of audio, what it's like to launch a podcast, and what you can expect from Seattleland going forward. Oh, and they talk about stress. Lots of stress.
Music by Leeni Ramadan
This week's cover is of Sara, by Sara, taken in the Seattleland studio.
February 1, 2018
Seattle, Washington is the county seat of King County—Martin Luther King, Jr. County. Some locals already know that their county is named for the civil rights leader; others don't. But even those who are aware of the name probably don't know much about the long, difficult journey to make this the only jurisdiction in the entire country named for Dr. King. How did that happen and what does it mean? In part one of a two-part series we're calling What's in a Name, we talked to the local political leaders and activists who made it happen to find out.
Featuring interviews with Eddie Rye, Jr.; Charlie James; King County Councilmember Larry Gossett; and former King County Executive Ron Sims.
This week's cover photo was taken during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963.