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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Business
4:02 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Sayonara, pumpkin scones? Starbucks buys San Francisco bakery chain

Pastries at a La Boulange bakery
AmyHH

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.

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Business
3:51 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

'It's a buying frenzy' - first day of private liquor sales

Alyssa Royse stocked up on tequila, vodka, gin, scotch and vermouth on the first day of private liquor sales.
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.

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Business
1:03 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Liquor in stores tomorrow; caps may thwart booze thieves

As the liquor privatization law goes into effect, many Washington state supermarkets will add security caps to bottles
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.

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Business
7:42 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Can Seattle sustain another major sports venue?

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.

Memorial Day remembrance
2:51 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Seattle honors the fallen on Memorial Day

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. 

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Amazon shareholder meeting
2:30 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

'Huge victory' - Amazon drops ALEC, will spend millions on AC

Protesters gathered in front of the Seattle Art Museum where Amazon held its annual shareholder meeting.
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.

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