Episode 12: Will James, Reporter @ KNKX 88.5 FM -- On Covering the #CharleenaLyles Shooting & Refugee Resettlement

After being a stringer for the Wall Street Journal, freelancing for NPR affiliates, and working at Newsday, Will ended up as South Sound Bureau Chief at KNKX 88.5 FM. We talked about his recent reporting and the culture shock from moving from the New York to Cascadia..

Nate focused on two of Will's recent stories:

Charleena Lyles Shooting: Will recalls his first time reporting on a person of color being shot by an officer. His account of the family’s emotional response just two days after the incident expresses the reaction of watching the family internally process their feelings in a crowd of her friends and neighbors in the courtyard of her apartment building.

Nate notes, the vast majority of law enforcement are good people with good intentions. However, according to Killed By Police, 1100 people a year are killed by law enforcement. Eleven. Hundred.

Nate and Will discuss the questions with no answers: If she were white, would she be alive? How do police officers with mental illness? How do we de-escalate?

Refugees Resettlement in Western Washington: The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia  has joined a lawsuit by the ACLU against the Trump Administration’s travel ban citing their religious freedom being threatened. The group deems it an obligation of their faith, “we welcome the stranger.”

Washington is the 4th largest state for refugees in the country, specifically 74% are in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. The humans that come get some help, enough to begin a new life and head out on a path to sustain it. In a matter of weeks, the resettlement refugees must learn enough English to function, find housing, and establish employment that can pay the increasingly high rent.

The Future

Will discusses the dream projects he has, beginning with The Northwest Detention center, what makes Tacoma desirable, and how Tacomans view themselves.

The Socials

Will James' Twitter

KNKX Instagram

KNKX Facebook

KNKX Twitter


Going Further

Will James Charleena Lyles Article

The Muslim Ban and its Impact on Refugees

Northwest Detention Center Webpage

Church joins ACLU Fight


How to Help

Episcopal Diocese of Seattle Refugee Fund

Support KNKX

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is also available on iTunesStitcher, and Google Play.

Episode 11: Evelyn Lopez, Candidate for Mayor of Tacoma

On episode 4 of the podcast, with guests Zach Powers, Korbett Mosesly, we discussed the mayoral race here in Tacoma. In that episode all three of us expressed a preference for Victoria Woodards over Jim Merritt, but also expressed a desire for a third candidate in the race. Not long after the episode was released, Evelyn Lopez announced that she was entering the race. I met her at a recent City Club event and found her both passionate and insightful about civic matters and the local political scene. At the end of our conversation, she asked about coming on the show.

Evelyn was born in New Zealand and is a transplant to Tacoma. She previously worked in the State AG’s office and was executive director of the State Public Disclosure Commission, both of which she discussed in the interview.

I decided to follow up on some questions that I had based on Evelyn's @CitizenTacoma interview. If you haven't heard that interview, you should probably go listen to it first. Evelyn pulls no punches and if you listen to the end you'll hear which of her opponents she would support if she doesn't advance in the primary.

Episode 10: Victoria Woodards, Candidate for Mayor of Tacoma

On episode 4 of the podcast, with guests Zach Powers and Korbett Mosesly, we discussed the mayoral race here in Tacoma. In that episode all three of us expressed a preference for Victoria Woodards over Jim Merritt.

In early June, Victoria came to the Lincoln High School Senior Awards Night. There her and I talked about the campaign and she requested to come on the show. Victoria is a graduate of Lincoln, a veteran of the US Military, and a two-term city council member here in Tacoma. As you’ll hear in the interview, one of my favorite things about Victoria is the fact that she shows up in the community.

In this episode, I followed up on some remaining questions that I had from her @CitizenTacoma interview. If you haven't heard that interview you should probably go listen to it first.

Victoria lives on the South End of Tacoma (a rarity for someone running city-wide) and shared insights in this interview about the proposed liquefied natural gas plant, housing affordability (yes, density), and issues involving law enforcement. Toward the end of the interview we discussed how it feels as an African American woman to be painted as the establishment candidate by an architect from the North End.

Episode 9: Jenna Hanchard, KING 5 News -- Covering Tacoma, TV News, and Ferguson

This week Nate sits down with reporter, Jenna Hanchard, and listens as she speaks of her experiences as a woman of color in White Journalism.

In Jenna’s youth, she wanted to be a poet. As she grew and studied at both Rutgers and Syracuse, she found her way into broadcast media.

In a world in which the public is turning away from the television and turning to their computers, Jenna and her team are learning to engage people in both mediums to most effectively share the happenings and inform the public of the daily news.

Jenna reveals, to Nate’s surprise, her experience reporting from Ferguson, MO for 2 weeks.

As the Tacoma Bureau Chief, Jenna reports from as far north as the Canadian border and as far south as Centralia. She discusses finding a balance in protecting Tacoma stories and finding central themes to cover a more broad audience.

Journalism is a constant competitive struggle. Jenna navigates though by knowing that ‘competition is great for journalism.’ She wanted to work in a land in which she could see herself in others. Jenna’s rich history and unique perspective offer a myriad of emotions in this podcast.

Who are you listening to:

The Socials:

Going Further:


Episode 8: #NerdFarmReads Book Club: Citizen by Claudia Rankine

With Guests

Bernadette Ray, Assistant Principal Wilson HS, Connector of People & Reader of Books

Hope Teague-Bowling, Pod Spouse, Teacher, Human Observer

Kenny Coble, Bookseller, Eyewitness of the Human Condition

This podcast focuses on the book "Citizen" -- a book of lyrical essay-style prose poetry of Claudia Rankine. Nominated for the National Book Circle Criticism Award, this book is a collection of observations, poems, and micro-aggressions (heretofore just aggressions) -- people of color face everyday in America.

The litany of examples are exhausiting,  eye opening, and evoke a visceral reaction. The discussion centers around specific passages in the book including excerpts from the Serena Williams text, The Jena 6, and Invisible Invisibility.

The images in the book are meant to begin a dialogue and cause an internal emotional response. The images do not disappoint.

The discussion explores John Henry-ism, agressions, when to sigh vs groan at racism, a hilarious tweet thread from Drew in GA,  and a solid Master P reference.

Mentioned in the Show:

The Greatest Thread in the History of Twitter and an explanatory article

 Dane Caroline Wozniacki imitates Serena Williams

Dane Caroline Wozniacki imitates Serena Williams

 Page 134: "In memory"

Page 134: "In memory"

An example of the "Situation Videoes" described in the latter half of the text.

Final Thoughts:

Solange’s "A Seat at the Table" is an incredible record

Read this book. Just do it; it’s a great way to engage, or re-engage

Next Audio Book Club: Letters from a Birmingham Jail, October 2017

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Episode 7: Justin Camarata and Linda Isenson -- #JimJensen, the Trouble With Bubbles & Prescriptions for Popping Them

 Graphic created by Vanessa Otero,  @vlotero

Graphic created by Vanessa Otero, @vlotero

#JimJensen, the Trouble With Bubbles & Prescriptions for Popping Them with Linda Isenson and Justin Camarata

Justin (local citizen activist), Linda (former chair of Pierce County Democrats), and Nate (Nerdfarmer) had a conversation about their respective ideological bubbles. Whether these bubbles be conservative, liberal, Antifa, or Libertarian -- we live in hubs created of our own predilections. How do we leave our bubbles and move forward in conversations and create a space for peace? This episode explores two examples of bubbles in the news: 

The Situation at Evergreen State College, the trio dug into Day of Absence and the firestorm created by a professor who decided to go on cable news, rather than talk within his learning community. Protesting should cause discomfort, but not death threats and disaster. An event meant to cause awareness went badly awry. In doing so the story jumped from lefty campus bubble into a violent right-wing one.

Jim The Man Jensen is a keyboard warrior, turned aspiring politician with strong negative feelings and hot takes about women, people of color, and low-income families. Before his campaign for Port Commissioner, he used his platform for distasteful, inappropriate tweets that subsequently led to Jim ending his campaign. Life lesson folks, tweets can be deleted, but screenshots are forever, Man.


Bursting Bubbles, we all want the same things. How do we get there? How do we come together? We can all stand at our opposing ends and meet halfway. We, as humans, all strive for love, security, and belonging. There are no humans to demonize, only humans with whom to compromise.

 Prescriptions for Bubble Popping:

  • Be aware of and acknowledge your bubbles
  • Promote tolerance within your bubbles.
  • Pop the bubbles by diversifying your media consumption.
  • Have real life relationships OUTSIDE of your bubbles.
  • Go talk to your conservative uncle
  • Remember, we have more in common than we don’t. 

Who Should We Be Following:

Ana Navarro (Conservative pundit)

Packsoldier (#StillNeverTrump Tweeter)

Evan McMullin (Ex-CIA Operative; Independent Candidate for POTUS)

Chris Vance (2016 Washington State Republican Senate Candidate)


Follow Our Guests on the Socials:

Justin Camarata

Linda Isenson


The Nerd Farmer Podcast is also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Episode 6: Cinthia Vazquez, Washington Dream Coalition - Families in Chaos: Undocumented Students, Uncertainty, and Liberal Indifference

Cinthia Vazquez, Washington Dream Coalition - Families in Chaos: Undocumented Students, Uncertainty, and Liberal Indifference

The show starts with a note from Nate about Podcast Book Club: Go get Citizen by Claudia Rankine from King’s Books (or wherever you buy books… but you should buy your books from King’s). Read it and let’s have a conversation using @nerdfarmpod and #nerdfarmreads.

Cinthia begins the interview by discussing the complications of being undocumented and claiming her space in this country.

Her Story: Cinthia’s story modestly begins on a Saturday morning when she arrived in this country fresh from Mexico. Two short days later on a Monday morning, Cinthia began her education in America. She couldn’t even begin to understand her own story until she began applying to colleges and realized that, simply because she wasn’t born here, she was ‘different.’ Through trials, tribulations, Act Six, and will of spirit, Cinthia graduated from Whitworth University in Spokane and has done more at 23 than most could imaginee possible at that age.

State Level Policies: Washington State is progressive but not perfect. There are certain benefits in place such as in-state tuition and state financial aid for students but there are also massive gaps and people,like Cinthia are working diligently toward new and better policies.

National Level Policies: During this administration, so many marginalized persons are being targeted and enduring psychological fear. Every day more and more people are being separated from families, being detained, and hiding in fear of their respective next steps, causing community panic. The state of the union has targeted undocumented humans by creating scapegoats and economic fear. The fact of the matter is that no person without documentation can receive federal housing assistance, financial aid, Medicaid, or any other federal government program benefits. In fact, they pay taxes like everyone else. They are paying for programs they aren’t even allowed to use.

This emotional interview discusses what we can do to band together, be a community, and stop criminalizing undocumented humans for existing. Undocumented persons are our neighbors, our friends, and our coworkers.

Sign the Petition!

Sanctuary City Petition


Going Further:

Vox Media

United We Dream




Facebook: Washington Dream Coalition



The Nerd Farmer Podcast is also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Episode 5: Prof Amy Young, Pacific Lutheran University - On Ignoring Calls for Civility, Reading Henry David Thoreau, and Cocktail Parties

 Photo: Mast Media, PLU

Photo: Mast Media, PLU

Professor Amy Young: On Ignoring Calls for Civility, Reading Henry David Thoreau, and Cocktail Parties

PLU Professor, Associate Professor of Communication, Chair of Communication and Theater

Nate began the show by discussing his recent visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. In short, if you can go, go.

Nate and Amy discussed how Henry David Thoreau can help us understand today’s fraught political climate. Amy discussed how often the implicit result of calls for “more civility” is a silencing of marginalized groups. 

They then switched to talking about Trump’s rise and his demagoguery. The question was posed whether we would accept this from other politicians, celebrating ‘non-conformity’ and “Working Class Whiteness” (short answer, nah). The interview then moved into an interesting look at talking over tough issues with people you love, cocktail party politics, fear of rejection, and the recent writings of conservative authors  David Frum and Julian Sanchez.

Amy explained her feelings on the political deployment of the term “white working class,” the Trump administration, toxic masculinity, and how to get through authoritarian leadership with Harry Potter.

The episode ended by wrapping back to the beginning, more conversation about the lessons of Thoreau.

And there’s always time for a quick fact about Prince.


Further Reading:

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

David Frum: About Those Georgetown Cocktail Parties

Julian Sanchez: Frum, Cocktail Parties, and the Threat of Doubt, Epistemic Closure

Joe Scarborough Twitter


To What Should We Be Reading, Watching, & Listening?

Washington Post

Time Magazine

Face the Nation

Pod Save America


Find Amy on the Socials





 The Nerd Farmer Podcast is also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Episode 4: Mayoral Race, Food Deserts, and Spanky Burger with Korbett Mosesly & Zach Powers

Korbett Mosesly: Non-Profit Extraordinaire

Zach Powers: Political Strategist, Creative Type, PR for the Evergreen State College

Nate sits down with Korbett Mosesly and Zach Powers to discuss the current mayoral race, economic issues and commercial real estate in Tacoma.

The trio started off by kicking around their thoughts about the candidates for Tacoma’s mayor. Should we have a third candidate? A two democrat mayoral race in the works poses questions of economic issues, jobs, and putting our residents first (a new candidate has entered the race since the recording of the episode).

In Tacoma, as everywhere, the people need to find something they’re interested in, get connected, do research, and do something about it. Cultivating leadership where you stand is an important step in changing the world around oneself.

Korbett, Zach, and Nate have strong feelings concerning the grocery store situation in Tacoma, especially the "Hilltop Safeway". The gentlemen talked about the ‘food deserts’ around town and what it would look like to upgrade or cultivate markets with fresh produce and meat in neighborhoods like Salishan and Hilltop.

The three finish the conversation with a diatribe about empty storefronts on 6th Avenue and soon-to-be ‘Spanky Burger.’ Nate lost it and laughed for a solid three minutes.


Who should we listen to?

Brian Humphreys at Sound Outreach

Shalisa Hays

Who is doing good work?

Jacque Colon Health Equity Coordinator

Justin Camarata  


Podcasts we’d like to hear:

Real Estate

Economic Development

Running for office and Life After Running for Office


What are you reading?

Washington Post

News Tribune

Matt Driscoll



Zach Powers on Twitter, & Facebook

Korbett Mosesly on Twitter & Facebook Website, & Email

Episode 3: Claudia Rowe, Seattle Times - A Frank Talk About K-12 Ed and Serial Killers, No Really

Claudia Rowe, Investigative Reporter, Seattle Times

Author, The Spider and the Fly: A Reporter, A Serial Killer and the Meaning of Murder

This week Nate sits down with Claudia and discusses how she went from being a stringer at the New York Times to an investigative education reporter for the Seattle Times. Claudia is an Ed Lab reporter who has written award winning stories about race, discipline, school segregation, and most recently disparities in access to gifted education.

Claudia tackles education as an investigative reporter.

Nate and Claudia discussed (and Claudia went hard) on the cultural gaps in school, the danger of mediocrity in Washington State, the dysfunction of the ed bureaucracy, and who is benefiting from the status quo in K-12 education. She also discussed the biggest yet to be reported stories: addressing education in juvenile lockup, youth homelessness, and how profoundly we fail children in foster care.

Claudia’s Book: she discussed how she came to write her novel, The Spider and the Fly: A Reporter, A Serial Killer, and the Meaning of Murder, Claudia shared the inside information about how she became interested in the story, the relationship that grew over 4 years with the murderer, and her attempt to demystifying the cause of his violence.

Who does Claudia read:

Jennifer Gonnerman, Criminal Justice, The New Yorker

Rachel Aviv Youth Issues, New Yorker 

Evicted by Matthew Desmond


Further Reading and Guest Info:

Book: The Spider and the Fly: A Reporter, A Serial Killer and the Meaning of Murder

Email: crowe@seattletimes.com

Website: http://claudiarowejournalist.com

Follow Claudia on Twitter.


The Nerd Farmer Podcast is also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Episode 2: Derek Young, Pierce County Council - Stop Worrying About Trump and Get Active Locally

On this episode Derek and Nate discussed Derek’s 18 year career in politics that began when he ran for city council at 20 years old and won by 2 votes.

Derek discussed the struggles and assets of Tacoma and Gig Harbor, the growing pains around infrastructure, dealing with politics on a regional level, and the importance of getting involved to promote change.

Derek also explained how local government impacts our day-to-day lives more than than folks realize. County government is responsible for criminal justice, public health, human services, and many other public departments. Major issues plaguing Tacoma are mental and public health.

Derek has some advice for “young” people on how to get involved. “One of the biggest issues we have is housing. Our housing prices are getting out of control… [Get involved in the housing situation] if you have any hope of saving a few bucks or paying off your student loans when you’re done.”

In 2018, Derek Young is up for re-election. He doesn’t plan on pausing his job to run his campaign.

Things to Note: We have 7 members on the County Council: 4 Republicans and 3 Democrats. This will likely be the only episode of the show where Nate doesn't say something salty about Derek's colleague Pam Roach.

Who does Derek listen to?:

  • Ryan Mello, Tacoma City Councilperson
  • Lyle Quasim, Community Leader
  • Laurie Jinkins, State Representative, 27th District, Tacoma

What’s it like working with Bruce Dammeier (R), Pierce County Executive: He hasn’t put a bad foot forward. He’s listening to the right people, he hired a well known democrat as the COO, discovered Pierce county has positive cash, he’s making investments in public safety.

Further reading & Guest Contact Info

Find Derek Young on Twitter and Facebook

Shoreline Management Act

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is also available on iTunes and Stitcher.


Episode 1: Anika Anand - On Founding the Evergrey and Being a Journalist of Color

In the first episode of the Nerd Farmer Podcast, the guest is interview journalist Anika Anand. Anika gives her “soul answer” to how she got into journalism. The obvious answer is journalism in grad school, business economics in reporting, et al,. But Anika states the real answer is “I wanted to be a poet as a kid but my parents didn’t think I would make any money.” Anika’s father has always had anchor worship. She feels journalism isn’t as community centered as she would have hoped early on and therefore created The Everygrey.

Nate expresses the idea of The 3 Faces that represented one narrative and the idea that a universal or dominant truth is dying. Nate poses the question “You went into this knowing the ambiguity [of journalism], how has that been?”

In response, Anika poses a more difficult question, why people trust what they read: “If we can have no common truth…how can we move forward?” Anika dives into detail regarding Walter Cronkite being a universal truth and is ultimately worried that without that, she is afraid for our future.

Anika speaks to her rise in journalism, including beginning her rise in a national scene and moving into local journalism.

Anika began as an Engagement Editor for the Seattle Times when she moved to Seattle. Those duties included connecting communities through events, people, readers, and meet-ups. This led her to a partnership. The idea was to connect people who are both new to Seattle and natives to understand “where do I fit in?” Seattle is ever-changing and always becoming new and different.

The newsletter arrives each morning with news of the city of the day, week, month. Not only is it a place that you can find events, one can find original content and see what is happening in the city. The newsletter covers anything that concerns the people of the city. The Evergrey details things from Democracy Vouchers to Bar Church and anything else valid to Seattleites and citizens of the Sound.

Anika iterates about the responsibility of speaking to a community with all different viewpoints and being authentic. In discussing the election results via the newsletter, Anika nonchalantly mentioned ‘we should go on a road trip to meet the county that has our opposite election results.” Subscribers were taken with with idea. The Evergrey got in touch with Sherman County, OR (20 % Hilary, 80% Trump) and proposed a discussion with King County (20% Trump, 80% Hilary). 17 subscribers drove 5 hours down and spent 3 1/2 hours discussing and having conversations about the ideals and reasons for each thought process.

[Sandy] asked Anika ‘How could you vote for someone who had _xx_ people killed in her inner circle?’ This prompted a conversation: “Where do we get our information? Who do we trust? What do we believe?” This led to a great discussion: should we have one person with whom were all agree? How we know what to believe?

Anika references growing up in North Carolina and having quite the different perspective that Seattle’s left and how her father actually stated that Mr. Trump would win weeks prior to the election.

The name “Evergrey” comes from palette of Seattle. Yes, the colors of Seattle are blue and green but our grey skies are an intricate piece of our color scheme and should be noted, as well. Hence, Evergrey.

Anika foresees Evergrey becoming a place in which one can of to find information in an accessible way, to spark events, to get people talking about lives, politics, and local experiences- to Build a Bridge.

Who Should We Listen To?

“The people we should be listening to is each other. We should be trying to find people who disagree with us and have conversations.”

Who Should We Be Reading?

“I read the Evergrey… gotta start there. There is a newsletter by Saul Villareal… he writes a newsletter that basically rounds up news about Trump and then presents what the left is saying about it and what the right is saying about it. It’s a really, really great resource challenging what your beliefs are… I’ve also liked Fox News’ Page some other conservative pages, as well. I’m making sure that’s a part of my Facebook feed.”

How Can People Connect With You?

“With The Evergrey, you can find us on Twitter and Facebook. You can go to theevergrey.com. Important T-H-E-E-V-E-R-G-R-E-Y… Follow us @theevergrey. If you ever just want to chat and talk more about anything going on in Seattle, going on in the world, you can email me at anika@theevergrey.com.

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is also available on iTunes and Stitcher.