Ashley Gross

Business and Labor Reporter

Ashley Gross is KPLU's business and labor reporter, covering everything from Amazon.com and Boeing to garbage strikes. She joined the station in May 2012 after working for five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.

She studied history at Brown University and earned a master's in international affairs at Columbia University. She grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She lives in West Seattle with her husband and two sons.

One of Ashley's most memorable moments in radio happened several years ago in Northwest Alaska: "I was visiting an alcohol and drug rehab program in the tiny village of Selawik. It helps Alaska Natives recover by helping them get back in touch with their subsistence lifestyle. It was spring, which meant the river was still frozen - barely. We went out on snowmachines to go ice-fishing, but late in the day, as we headed back, the river had melted to the consistency of a Slurpee. It was a harrowing ride and a good lesson in trust - I rode with my eyes closed, clinging for dear life to the woman driving. A week later, three people drowned trying to ride a snowmachine over that river, and that's when I realized just how dangerous life in rural Alaska can be."

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Amazon earnings
3:47 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Amazon profit falls, but analyst says not to worry

An Amazon Kindle Fire HD is seen on introduction in Santa Monica, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012.
Reed Saxon Associated Press

Amazon’s first-quarter profit dropped 37 percent, but at least one analyst says that’s nothing to worry about; it's all part of Amazon's master plan to keep edging out competitors by investing deeply.

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Boeing Dreamliner
9:15 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Boeing aims for mid-May restart of 787 deliveries

Boeing says it will begin delivering 787s again in early May.

The 787 has been grounded since mid-January because of smoldering batteries. Federal authorities have approved Boeing's redesigned battery system.

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Business
5:04 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

After son's death, father criticizes lack of fishing industry oversight

This bell was rung 66 times during the memorial ceremony on Tuesday.
Washington Department of Labor and Industries

The 66 Washingtonians who died on the job in 2012 were honored at a memorial on Tuesday. A memorial bell was rung 66 times, once for each victim who died of a job-related illness or injury.

But the father of a 22-year-old commercial fisherman who died says not enough has been done; he voiced frustration over what he called a lack of government oversight of the fishing industry.

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career tips
5:00 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Want to be a gorilla caretaker? Go for it! Job lessons from Workstew

SantiMB

Kate Gace Walton was tired of public relations. Helping create goofy marketing campaigns like unspooling the world's longest hot dog at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics just wasn't fulfilling anymore.

But what would be fulfilling? She stewed about it. Then she wrote an essay, Random Acts of Business, about her search for a job with meaning.

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NBA in Seattle
1:20 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Stern to McGinn: Don't expect Kings decision this week

NBA Commissioner David Stern speaks after meetings Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in New York regarding the the possible relocation of the Sacramento Kings basketball team to Seattle.
Richard Drew Associated Press

Don’t expect a decision this week on the fate of the Sacramento Kings.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said NBA Commissioner David Stern cautioned as much during a phone call on Monday. The mayor said he had called to tell the commissioner that “we were pushing ahead here in Seattle."

"He informed me then that he does not expect a decision out of the NBA on Friday, that it will be sometime after the meeting that we’ll get a decision made," McGinn said.

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Business
4:51 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Foreclosures surge in the Seattle area and Washington state

A Seattle-area foreclosed home sitting vacant
Timothy Ellis

This audio is pending

Even as home prices have been rising in the Seattle metro area, more people are losing their homes to foreclosure.

The number of people in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area who lost their homes to foreclosure in March jumped 67 percent from a year ago. Statewide, the number was even higher – 88 percent. That's according to new numbers from RealtyTrac, the foreclosure-data company.

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Business
8:12 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Venture capital activity drops in Washington state in 1st quarter

Washington state’s venture capital activity dropped a lot in the first quarter. But it may be too early to worry about the health of the startup community.

Washington usually ranks among the top five markets for venture capital funding – this time the state fell to number 10.

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Business
11:33 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Boeing to add 2,000 jobs in South Carolina, invest $1 billion

The first North Charleston-made 787 Dreamliner
North Charleston

Boeing says it will invest more than $1 billion in South Carolina over the next eight years and create 2,000 new jobs there as part of an agreement to qualify for economic development incentives the state is offering.

South Carolina lawmakers are proposing $120 million in incentives to help fund Boeing's expansion.

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Business
7:48 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Seattle area ranks the worst for gender-based wage gap

401(K)2013

The Seattle area has a dubious distinction – the biggest wage gap between men and women of any major metropolitan area in the country.

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Business
8:49 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Economist says Sacramento Kings fight may yield antitrust lawsuit

Kings fans show support for Sacramento
HeelSports

As the NBA weighs whether to allow the Kings basketball team to move to Seattle from Sacramento, the league has to consider the possibility of an antitrust lawsuit.

Why should the Sacramento Kings be worth more than $500 million when they’re nowhere near the top of the league? Sports economist Roger Noll of Stanford University says it’s simple: a scarce supply of teams. That's by design, he says, because NBA owners want to keep their franchises valuable. And that exposes the league to a possible lawsuit. 

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tenants' rights
3:42 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

ACLU suit: Tenant screening company illegally flagged woman

SalFalko Flickr

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a woman who says her decades-old drug convictions cost her a chance to rent an apartment—a violation of Washington state law. 

And hundreds others may have been illegally rejected for apartments in the state because of unfair background checks. 

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Law
2:59 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Seattle's veterans treatment court sees its first 2 grads

Two Vietnam veterans are celebrating a milestone in Seattle today: They’re the first graduates of a special treatment court set up for veterans.

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NBA in Seattle
5:10 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

McGinn, Constantine to meet with NBA officials in N.Y.

Seattle-area politicians will make their case to NBA leaders this week that the league should allow the Sacramento Kings to be transferred here.

The NBA will have to decide between rival offers from Seattle and Sacramento. At this Wednesday’s NBA meeting in New York, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine will explain how the city and county have committed to supporting the team’s transfer and building a new arena.

Constantine says he understands why Sacramento is trying so hard to keep the team, but that Seattle has more to offer.

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Business
5:00 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Best Seattle-area stock since 2008? (Surprise, it’s not Amazon)

InSapphoWeTrust

Sure, Amazon shares have done well over the past five years—up about 245 percent. And people fortunate enough to have bought Starbucks stock in March 2008 have seen their shares climb about 200 percent.

But the real standout stock in the Seattle area is Alaska Air Group. The shares have climbed more than 500 percent in the past five years.

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urban development
4:59 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Will South Lake Union rezone actually protect more views?

This artist's rendering reflects new height restrictions, anticipated development, and the resulting view of the Space Needle.
City of Seattle Planning and Development

Will allowing tall buildings in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood block views of the Space Needle? One Seattle City Council member says the rezone will actually preserve more views.

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