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The Overcast

The Overcast by The Seattle Times brings you in-depth interviews with Pacific Northwest newsmakers and takes you behind the scenes with top journalists. Smart conversations about local news and politics, hosted by Jim Brunner and Daniel Beekman.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Ep. 59: Launching Project Homeless, a deep dive into a crisis in the Seattle area

What's working and what's not as the Seattle region grapples with homelessness? Seattle Times reporter Vernal Coleman joins politics reporters Jim Brunner and Daniel Beekman to discuss Project Homeless, a new Seattle Times initiative that explores and explains a complex and troubling set of problems.

27mins

2 Nov 2017

Rank #1

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Episode 4: Gubernatorial rivals pan state income tax, Jayapal and Walkinshaw debate

This week, we host a progressive-off debate between Pramila Jayapal and Brady Walkinshaw, finalists for Seattle's uber-liberal 7th Congressional District seat. Also: the notion of a state-income tax gets panned by both Gov. Jay Inslee and GOP challenger Bill Bryant.

25mins

29 Sep 2016

Rank #2

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Ep 52: Amazon seeks second headquarters and Ed Murray resigns as Seattle mayor

Seattle Times business reporter Matt Day discusses Amazon's decision to seek a second headquarters somewhere other than Seattle. Then politics reporters Jim Brunner and Daniel Beekman break down Mayor Ed Murray's stunning resignation amid allegations of child sexual abuse.

29mins

15 Sep 2017

Rank #3

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Ep. 62: From Seattle to Miami, a push for more diversity in school programs for gifted kids

Only 0.7 percent of Seattle’s African-American students are enrolled in the district’s most exclusive gifted classes. The rate for whites is nearly 18 times higher. That outrageous disparity is tied to how the district goes about identifying highly-capable kids. Seattle Times education reporter Claudia Rowe explains the issue and a different approach in Miami that's yielding results.

26mins

15 Dec 2017

Rank #4

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E115: Boeing reporter Dominic Gates on the 737 MAX saga

Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates, who's penned scoop after scoop related to deadly crashes involving Boeing's 737 MAX, breaks down the still-evolving story.

37mins

18 Oct 2019

Rank #5

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Ep. 51: Debate over safe-injection sites in Seattle, King County heads to court

Seattle and King County officials plan to open safe-injection sites to help keep drug users alive. But Initiative 27 would block that from happening. Now public-health experts and proponents of the sites are suing to keep I-27 off the ballot. Seattle Times reporters Jim Brunner and Daniel Beekman hear from their lawyer, Knoll Lowney, and then talk to an I-27 booster, Joshua Freed.

34mins

25 Aug 2017

Rank #6

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Ep118: Reporter Paige Cornwell on changing Seattle suburbs, historic elections & runaway goats

Seattle Times Eastside reporter Paige Cornwell chats about elections which saw one of the first Muslim woman elected to a WA City Council, plus a tax vote in Medina, a doggy doo crisis in Kirkland, and more.

28mins

13 Dec 2019

Rank #7

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Ep. 70: Sightline Institute's Kristin Eberhard on the path to Washington taxing carbon

The Sightline Institute's climate-change expert, Kristin Eberhard, joins The Overcast to break down the carbon-tax proposal heating up the Washington Legislature and the initiative campaign waiting to pounce if lawmakers don't act.

31mins

22 Feb 2018

Rank #8

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Ep. 49: Homelessness and people living in vehicles – a revived debate

Seattle Times homelessness reporter Vernal Coleman explains how City Councilmember Mike O'Brien has reignited a debate about how Seattle should deal with homeless people living in vehicles on the streets.

26mins

10 Aug 2017

Rank #9

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Ep. 67: State Sen. Reuven Carlyle on property taxes and more

Property-tax bills are set to be mailed next month and many homeowners in the Seattle area are expecting big increases. That's partly because state lawmakers passed a new schools-funding plan. Sen. Reuven Carylye, a Democrat, voted against the plan. This week, he explains why and what to expect next.

23mins

2 Feb 2018

Rank #10

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Ep. 47: Sidewalk interviews with voters about the race for Seattle mayor

The Overcast hits the streets for Episode 47 as Seattle Times politics reporters Daniel Beekman and Jim Brunner chat with voters in Columbia City, Beacon Hill, downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill and Lake City about who they're supporting for mayor. Support independent journalism: www.seattletimes.com/subscribe

29mins

28 Jul 2017

Rank #11

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Ep. 77: Prison abolitionist Dean Spade explains King County's No New Youth Jail campaign

Seattle University law professor Dean Spade joins reporter Daniel Beekman of The Seattle Times and Simone Alicea of KNKX 88.5 to discuss the No New Youth Jail campaign, which has been trying to halt King County's construction of a new juvenile detention center in Seattle.

35mins

19 Apr 2018

Rank #12

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Ep. 78: Seattle Councilmember M. Lorena González on a proposal to tax large employers for housing

The Seattle City Council is considering a "head tax" on large employers that would raise $75 million per year for homeless housing and emergency services, and Councilmember M. Lorena González is a sponsor. She joins The Overcast to explain the plan and answer questions.

26mins

27 Apr 2018

Rank #13

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Ep. 105: Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes talks drugs, homelessness and 'Seattle is Dying'

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes addresses street crime and criticism the city isn't doing enough. He also defends city effort to create an income tax.

30mins

31 Mar 2019

Rank #14

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Ep. 79: Downtown Seattle Association's Jon Scholes on Amazon and the case against city 'head tax'

Amazon is threatening to scale back Seattle growth in response to City Hall's proposed "head tax" on larger employers to address homelessness. Downtown Seattle Association President Jon Scholes joins The Overcast this week to argue against the tax -- and say what businesses would prefer instead.

28mins

4 May 2018

Rank #15

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Ep. 87: Seattle Times whale tracker Lynda Mapes on grieving orca

Environmental reporter Lynda Mapes delves into the story of a mother orca carrying her dead calf through the water for more than a week and explains why Puget Sound's resident orcas are in danger.

28mins

2 Aug 2018

Rank #16

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Ep. 88: Could a blue wave leave GOP with just one House seat in Washington?

Seattle Times chief politics reporter Jim Brunner breaks down the results of Tuesday's primary elections for U.S. Senate, Congress and the state Legislature.

24mins

10 Aug 2018

Rank #17

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Ep. 76: Traffic Lab reporter David Gutman on Seattle's streetcar and congestion-pricing plans

Seattle Times reporter David Gutman brings The Overcast up to date on a traffic jam of transportation news at City Hall. Mayor Jenny Durkan has halted streetcar and bike-lane projects and announced a plan to pursue tolls on downtown streets, and the City Council has eased parking regulations for housing developers.

25mins

12 Apr 2018

Rank #18

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Ep. 91: Looking at Washington's carbon fee Initiative 1631

This week, an interview with Abigail Doerr, campaign manager for the Yes on I-1631 campaign, which would create a $1 billion a year carbon fee in Washington state.

26mins

27 Sep 2018

Rank #19

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Ep 53: Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell on becoming mayor... for less than a week

Seattle Times reporters Jim Brunner and Daniel Beekman interview Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell about a very unusual time in local politics. Harrell became mayor after Ed Murray resigned amid allegations of sexual abuse but only stayed in the role for a few days.

28mins

22 Sep 2017

Rank #20