Ashley Gross

Business and Labor Reporter

Ashley Gross is KPLU's business and labor reporter, covering everything from 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."

Ways to Connect


Battle lines are being drawn between people who want a new basketball and hockey arena in Seattle and people who don’t. A town hall meeting at North Seattle Community College at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, July 10th, will give people a chance to speak out on the proposal. 

One issue likely to come up is whether the city is even big enough to support six professional sports teams.  The plan would add an NBA team and possibly an NHL team to the city's pro sports landscape of Seahawks, Mariners, Storm and Sounders. 

sea turtle says it’s helping sponsor the fireworks display at Seattle’s Lake Union. It’s a first for the company, which drew criticism in a Seattle Times article for a lack of philanthropy around the city.


Boeing says the world will need 34,000 new airplanes over the next 20 years, mostly driven by increasing demand from Asia.

Boeing has to plan 20 years down the line in an industry where designing and building a plane can take almost a decade. The company says it expects airlines will want even more single-aisle airplanes, like its 737s, which are made in Renton.

Thomas Hawk

Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA says Chief Executive Phillipp Humm is leaving to join his family back in Europe. An analyst says Humm was probably tired of the parent company not investing enough in its U.S. subsidiary.

Humm was appointed CEO of T-Mobile USA less than two years ago by its parent, Deutsche Telekom. Then, a few months later, AT&T announced that it was buying T-Mobile. That deal ultimately unraveled after the federal government challenged it.

Kerry Lammert / Flickr

J.P. Morgan Chase’s recent multi-billion dollar trading loss has knocked the bank far down the list of world’s most respected companies, according to the financial magazine Barron’s.  

That just adds to the company’s already tarnished reputation in the Northwest because of the way it took over Washington Mutual in a fire sale during the darkest days of the financial crisis in 2008. And that animosity is warranted, one expert says.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

The number of apartments being built in downtown Seattle has jumped almost 10-fold compared with two years ago, suggesting the city’s downtown core is in the midst of a rebound.

The first condo building to start construction in five years also recently broke ground in the city's Denny Triangle neighborhood. That's another sign that the market may be beginning to revive, after the real estate crash brought condo construction to a halt.


If you’ve been following the gloomy economic news, you might be surprised that lots of Washington stocks have been doing quite well this year.

Top of the pack so far this year? Expedia, the travel web site company based in Bellevue. Expedia stock has soared 66 percent so far this year.

What’s going on? Dan Su is an analyst with Morningstar who covers Expedia. She says the company has been overhauling its web sites to make them more user-friendly and to better compete with rival Priceline.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

I just moved here from Chicago, and there’s one thing that has been bugging me – the way people park.

In some ways, Seattleites seem to really follow the rules. People don’t jaywalk, for instance. So why do so many people park on the wrong side of the street?

In my neighborhood in West Seattle, near Alki Beach, cars are parked higgledy-piggledy. Nose to nose, tail to tail. The streets are really narrow, and traffic runs in both directions, so I can understand the temptation to just zip into an empty spot, no matter which side of the street it’s on.

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Tax Credits

The interest rate on a 30-year mortgage recently dropped to a record low. That’s great news for people buying a home or refinancing. But not everyone is thrilled about low interest rates. For retirees, Bellevue financial advisor Michael Boone says low interest rates are "incredibly destructive."

Take David Lee. He's 59 years old, getting close to retirement. When he first set up his retirement plan decades ago, he says he was told he’d earn 10 percent interest and he’d have enough to buy another house when he retired. So much for that.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

The long goodbye to Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct has begun.

With some ceremonial scoops of dirt, officials today began digging a pit for the giant machine that will chew up the earth under Seattle like a massive termite creating the deep-bore tunnel.


Starbucks is thinking beyond cake pops and pumpkin scones. The coffee giant says it’s spending $100 million to buy a company called Bay Bread in San Francisco. It’s an acknowledgement that the company’s baked goods have lagged behind the quality of its coffee.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

"It's a buying frenzy. That's why I came - I wanted to see it on the first day. How could I miss it?" - Kyle Johnson outside a Costco in Seattle

The state of Washington has officially bid good riddance to its state-run liquor stores. About five times as many stores will now sell hard liquor, and the new law that went into effect today means shoppers can head to supermarkets to buy vodka or rum. It’s a welcome change for some people, like Alyssa Royse.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

A huge shift takes place tomorrow when we’ll be able to walk into a Fred Meyer or Safeway and walk out with a bottle of gin. But if you walk out without paying, beware. You may trigger an alarm. 

It's just like when you buy a pair of jeans and the clerk snaps off a security tag so you don’t beep when you exit the store. Now when you go buy a bottle of booze, you may see something similar. The device is like a thick plastic sheath that covers the top of the bottle, and it’s designed to make thieves think twice.

Could a new basketball and hockey arena hurt ticket sales for other teams in the city? That’s what some King County officials are worried about. The fear is that Seattle could end up with too many big-time sports teams and that there wouldn’t be enough entertainment dollars to go around.

Shamey Jo

Eric Ward. Jeffrey Starr. Jeremy Burris.

Those are just a few of the 141 soldiers from Washington state who have lost their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan. That’s according to the Washington Post, which compiles casualty statistics. Memorial Day offers a chance to reflect on their sacrifice. 

Ashley Gross / KPLU

"Today we saw a huge victory..."

Michelle Wilson, a Senior Vice President at Amazon, told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting today in Seattle that Amazon would drop its support for the controversial group ALEC because the public policy organization had made decisions unrelated to Amazon’s business.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, also told shareholders that the company would spend $52 million to add air-conditioning to its packaging facilities this year.