Northwest Reports

Northwest Reports takes listeners deep into the stories that shape Seattle, Washington state, and the Pacific Northwest, drawing on the enterprising work being done by reporters in the Cascade PBS newsroom. Through conversations with journalists, community members and newsmakers, we showcase personal stories that help us better understand the real-life impacts behind the headlines. Hosted by Maleeha Syed and Sara Bernard.

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Episodes

Wednesday Jan 31, 2024

June Guzman and Audrey Baedke offer housing and emotional support through the nonprofit Real Escape from the Sex Trade (REST).
The Seattle area is a known hub for sex trafficking. Some estimates suggest that more than two thousand people could be trafficked in the region every night. 
June Guzman manages the 24/7 hotline and emergency shelter for Real Escape from the Sex Trade, or REST. Audrey Baedke is director of programs at REST. Both Guzman and Baedke work to support survivors through everything from finding transportation and housing assistance to simply answering the phone when a survivor needs someone to talk to.  
In this episode of Crosscut Reports, host Sara Bernard speaks with Guzman and Baedke about their work and what it’s shown them about the urgency of the issue in the region right now.  
But mostly they focus on REST’s 24/7 hotline: what people who call are often looking for; what stories still stick with both Guzman and Baedke; and what a hotline like this, at its core, really means. 
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Credits
Host/Producer: Sara Bernard
Story editor: Ryan Famuliner
Executive producer: Sarah Menzies
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If you would like to support Crosscut, go to crosscut.com/membership. In addition to supporting our events and our daily journalism, members receive complete access to the on-demand programming of Seattle’s PBS station, KCTS 9.

Wednesday Jan 24, 2024

Reporter Mai Hoang talks about the ongoing fight to redraw majority-Latino legislative districts between Yakima and Pasco.
A yearslong debate over redistricting in Central Washington could close just in time for the 2024 election.  
Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in January 2022 over the 15th Legislative District, arguing that its boundaries as drawn diluted Latino votes. In August, a U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of those plaintiffs. 
Now the court is reviewing proposed maps that shift those boundaries.  
In this episode of Crosscut Reports, host Maleeha Syed chats with Mai Hoang about her story on the five new proposed maps for the region, including changes that could go into effect ahead of this year’s election and the pushback to this redrawing effort.
Read more about the proposed maps and potential changes in Central Washington here. 
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Credits
Host/Producer: Maleeha Syed and Sara Bernard
Reporter: Mai Hoang
Story editor: Ryan Famuliner
Executive producer: Sarah Menzies
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If you would like to support Crosscut, go to crosscut.com/membership. In addition to supporting our events and our daily journalism, members receive complete access to the on-demand programming of Seattle’s PBS station, KCTS 9.

Wednesday Jan 17, 2024


Reporter Nimra Ahmad describes a day on the job with the city's experimental mental health crisis program staff.
Seattle is now dispatching mental health crisis responders on 911 calls – and reporter Nimra Ahmad got to watch them work in real time. 
In October, the city soft-launched the Community Assisted Response and Engagement (CARE) team, made up of crisis responders who are dispatched with police as needed. This dual dispatch pilot program is one of the many ways cities are reframing the role that police play when it comes to mental health crisis response.  
To get a better idea of what this alternative response system looks like in practice, Nimra went on a few ride-alongs with CARE team members at the end of last year. 
In this episode of Crosscut Reports, host Maleeha Syed chats with Nimra about her reporting on the program, including her firsthand experiences watching the CARE team respond to people in crisis. 
Read more about this new dual dispatch pilot program here. 
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Credits
Host/Producer: Maleeha Syed and Sara Bernard
Reporter: Nimra Ahmad
Story editor: Ryan Famuliner
Executive producer: Sarah Menzies
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If you would like to support Crosscut, go to crosscut.com/membership. In addition to supporting our events and our daily journalism, members receive complete access to the on-demand programming of Seattle’s PBS station, KCTS 9.

An Interview with Governor Inslee

Wednesday Jan 10, 2024

Wednesday Jan 10, 2024

The governor spoke with Crosscut's Paris Jackson about mental health, climate change and the Huskies ... prior to their national championship game.
In November, voters will cast their ballots for someone to succeed Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington for more than a decade. 
Until then, Inslee has some key issues he wants to address. 
The governor sat down with Crosscut’s Paris Jackson in early January to discuss some of his priorities for 2024. 
In this episode, you’ll hear the full conversation between Jackson and Inslee, who went in depth on a range of issues including climate change, housing and the University of Washington’s football team.
Read the full Q&A with Inslee here and watch a video version of the conversation on Crosscut.com or KCTS9.org on January 11th. 
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Credits
Host/Producer: Maleeha Syed and Sara Bernard 
Reporter: Paris Jackson
Story editor: Ryan Famuliner
Executive producer: Sarah Menzies
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If you would like to support Crosscut, go to crosscut.com/membership. In addition to supporting our events and our daily journalism, members receive complete access to the on-demand programming of Seattle’s PBS station, KCTS 9.

Wednesday Jan 03, 2024

The third episode of the investigative series co-produced with Crosscut focuses on one woman's experience with foster care and homelessness in WA. 
A few months ago, Crosscut collaborated with the nonprofit organization Youth Today to produce a three-part multimedia series on youth homelessness.  
Reporter Elizabeth Whitman and producer Sam Leeds investigated several pilot programs designed to support young people who’ve been involved in state systems such as foster care or juvenile justice.  
This week we’re dropping one of those episodes into the Crosscut Reports feed. It features Janell Braxton, a woman who is still reckoning with her experience in Washington’s foster care system.  
Listen here, then follow Youth Today News wherever you get your podcasts. 
Read more about Janell Braxton's experience in the WA foster care system here. 
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Credits
Host/Producer: Sam Leeds and Sara Bernard 
Reporter: Elizabeth Whitman
Story editor: Jacob Jones and Ryan Famuliner
Executive producer: Sarah Menzies
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If you would like to support Crosscut, go to crosscut.com/membership. In addition to supporting our events and our daily journalism, members receive complete access to the on-demand programming of Seattle’s PBS station, KCTS 9.

Wednesday Dec 27, 2023

Earlier this year, Crosscut reported on an Aberdeen park facing rising rents and cut services. Farah Eltohamy shares how the story has evolved.
Mobile home parks are often considered one of the most reliable forms of affordable housing. Some tenants in Washington beg to differ.  
This summer, Farah Eltohamy and Mai Hoang investigated allegations that one management company, Hurst & Son LLC, raised rents and fees while reducing services at the mobile home properties it had recently purchased across the state. 
Tenants from those parks filed complaints with the state attorney general’s office, and in October, those complaints were heard.  
In this episode of Crosscut Reports, we replay our interview with Eltohamy from August about the first round of allegations into Hurst & Son LLC. Then we check back in to hear the latest on the state’s investigation – and what tenants in other mobile home parks are experiencing right now. 
Read more on Crosscut.com about what's at stake for Hurst & Son LLC tenants as well as other mobile home park residents.
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Credits
Host/Producer:  Sara Bernard and Maleeha Syed 
Reporter: Farah Eltohamy
Story editor: Ryan Famuliner
Executive producer: Sarah Menzies
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If you would like to support Crosscut, go to crosscut.com/membership. In addition to supporting our events and our daily journalism, members receive complete access to the on-demand programming of Seattle’s PBS station, KCTS 9.

Wednesday Dec 20, 2023


Taylor Swift shows and MLB All-Star Week brought business this summer, but the city center is still hurting. Reporter Josh Cohen offers some updates.
Downtown Seattle got plenty of visitors this year thanks to the MLB All-Star Game and concerts from big-name musicians like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé.  
Events like these make Downtown feel like a far cry from the early days of COVID-19.  
Still, there are some post-pandemic challenges that the city center is working through, which Crosscut’s Josh Cohen first reported on in February. 
In this episode, we replay an interview with Josh from March about the hurdles facing Downtown – and the ideas people have for its future – before getting into an updated conversation with him about the state of Downtown today.  
Read more about how Seattle's Downtown recovery is going here.
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Credits
Host/Producer: Maleeha Syed and Sara Bernard
Reporter: Josh Cohen
Story editor: Ryan Famuliner
Executive producer: Sarah Menzies
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If you would like to support Crosscut, go to crosscut.com/membership. In addition to supporting our events and our daily journalism, members receive complete access to the on-demand programming of Seattle’s PBS station, KCTS 9.

Wednesday Dec 13, 2023


But there still isn't a contract. Crosscut reporter Lizz Giordano updates us on employees’ unionizing efforts.
Unions have been flexing their muscles to advocate for workers’ rights across sectors from the auto industry to Hollywood.   
Coffee shops are no exception: Employees at more than 300 Starbucks locations have voted to unionize under Starbucks Workers United since December 2021, when a shop in Buffalo became the first to do so.  
Earlier this year, Crosscut reporter Lizz Giordano wrote about these unionizing efforts, including the alleged retaliation workers said they faced from the coffee giant and their ongoing struggle to secure a contract.   
In this episode of Crosscut Reports, we checked back in with Lizz to ask if there were any updates since we last spoke to her. She talked about Starbucks employees’ growing union power – especially in Eastern Washington – as well as what’s on the horizon when it comes to bargaining with the coffee chain.    
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Credits
Host/Producer: Maleeha Syed and Sara Bernard
Reporter: Lizz Giordano
Story editor: Ryan Famuliner
Executive producer: Sarah Menzies
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If you would like to support Crosscut, go to crosscut.com/membership. In addition to supporting our events and our daily journalism, members receive complete access to the on-demand programming of Seattle’s PBS station, KCTS 9.

Wednesday Dec 06, 2023

Reporter Megan Burbank discusses new and old complications for reproductive healthcare in WA, from appointment delays to politics.
When the U.S. Supreme Court ended the federal right to abortion in June 2022, Washington leaders doubled down on ensuring access.  
Over the past year and a half, state policy has followed accordingly, from a suite of shield laws to the allocation of government funds for abortion providers and seekers. 
Reporter Megan Burbank has covered reproductive health care in the region for years. Back in January, she offered Crosscut Reports an overview of the impact that the fall of Roe v. Wade had on Washington in the first six months. 
In this episode, Burbank returns with an update on what has happened in the year since. Host Sara Bernard speaks with Burbank about how ongoing restrictions in Idaho continue to affect Washington; the unfolding politics of abortion access across the country; the pivots in the anti-abortion movement since its SCOTUS victory; and what we might expect in the new year.  
Read more about the ongoing regional impact of the fall of Roe v. Wade here.  
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Credits
Host/Producer:  Sara Bernard and Maleeha Syed 
Reporter:  Megan Burbank
Story editor: Ryan Famuliner
Executive producer: Sarah Menzies
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If you would like to support Crosscut, go to crosscut.com/membership. In addition to supporting our events and our daily journalism, members receive complete access to the on-demand programming of Seattle’s PBS station, KCTS 9.

Wednesday Nov 29, 2023

Reporter Lizz Giordano talks about the legal handling of Harold Felton’s death – and why his family thinks more could have been done.
In 2016, Harold Felton was working in a trench in West Seattle when it suddenly collapsed, killing him.    
Seattle police declared his death an accident and handed the case to Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), which enforces safety standards and investigates workplace fatalities.  
King County prosecutors eventually charged Felton’s employer, Phillip Numrich, with felony manslaughter, setting a precedent for holding workplaces accountable.   
Crosscut investigative reporter Lizz Giordano spoke with host Maleeha Syed about this precedent and why – in spite of how Felton’s death was handled – his family ultimately believes L&I failed him.  
Read more about the aftermath of Harold Felton's death here. 
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Credits
Host/Producer: Maleeha Syed and Sara Bernard
Reporter: Lizz Giordano
Story editor: Ryan Famuliner
Executive producer: Sarah Menzies
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If you would like to support Crosscut, go to crosscut.com/membership. In addition to supporting our events and our daily journalism, members receive complete access to the on-demand programming of Seattle’s PBS station, KCTS 9.

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