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Refugees who make it to the United States face new challenges: a new language, a new White House administration and, in Seattle, a tough rental market.

A man in Seatac is trying to soften the landing for others like him who’ve been resettled from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Seattle City Council has decided developers can build taller in pockets around the city. One that’s yet to be decided is a Vietnamese business district between “the Chinatown ID” and the Central District.

Ecologists and volunteers are busy in Bainbridge making “shell posts:” Oyster shells with holes drilled in them, stacked on each other on a wooden dowel. The Puget Sound Restoration Fund makes the posts and gives them away to be placed in the Sound at the beginning of summer and picked up at the end.

A year and a half ago, nearly 11,000 people in King County were living in homelessness. Zackary Tutwiler could have been one of them. But when that tally was taken, he had just gotten his own apartment.

The fastest growing Mariachi music program outside of Mexico is in Washington state. A high school Mariachi band from Wenatchee has an award winning director and they’ve won a few themselves.

Since the 18th century, Mariachi has been an integral part of Mexico’s music scene and most students here have Mexican roots. There aren’t many programs like this in the U.S.

Megafires are the kind of wildland fires that grow beyond 100,000 acres. And they are a growing threat across the American West. That’s why one federal scientist in the Northwest is hitting the road with his research.

Oregon lawmakers are trying to clear out a huge backlog of bills awaiting votes. Ahead of Wednesday's floor sessions, the House and Senate had a combined 84 measures awaiting action.

Joseph Roth in the Puget Sound region's new IKEA. The store now contains model homes to showcase compact living. The smallest is 860 square feet.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

IKEA has been in the Seattle area since the 1990s, but until recently its store here has been an anomaly.

The Big Horn Wind Farm in Klickitat County, Washington.
Flickr Photo/Alex Williams (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/8c39me

Puget Sound Energy is launching a program that will bring a new wind farm to the state. PSE’s new Green Direct program is set up as an alternative way for major utility customers to buy their energy.

Park and rides like this one at Mountlake and I-5 are filling too early
Flickr photo/SounderBruce (CC BY-SA 2.0) http://bit.ly/2hjshle

If the park-and-ride lot near you is getting overcrowded, you may be in luck.

King County Metro is partnering with Diamond Parking services to bring 250 new parking spaces online in June.

Flickr Photo/Jude Matsalla (CC BY-NC-2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/drMj8G

Kim Malcolm talks with reporter Amber Jamieson about the green card lottery, which gives out 50,000 green cards each year through a lottery system. Jamieson, who's Australian, has entered the green card lottery for the past six years.

A proposed oil terminal in Vancouver, Washington, gained approval of a key permit Tuesday.

The Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, or EFSEC, met in executive session before voting to release the draft notice of construction air permit for the controversial project.

Justin Cox and Matt Andersen work at Creative Ice in Kent, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

When you think about the Puget Sound Region’s boom, where do you think it’s coming from? Many people would answer Amazon, in South Lake Union. Or the Eastside, with its band of glittering tech companies. 

Few people would think of the Kent Valley, but there too a boom is underway.

Mayor Ed Murray at a press conference in the University District in September 2016.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When Jeff Simpson tried to sue Ed Murray a decade ago alleging sexual abuse, Murray's lawyer wrote back, “Your client is totally untrustworthy and will lie, cheat or steal as necessary to get what he wants.”

Brian Williams was Simpson’s attorney back then. He says the man who is now suing Murray better be prepared for more of that.


It's chaotic in the side yard of Butte Falls Charter School, but don't let that fool you. The middle schoolers are locked in.

"Let’s get this log done!" calls design and build class teacher Chris Mathas over the cacophony of drills and giggles.

The class is planting shiitake mushroom mycelium into three-foot oak logs. It’s a lesson that’s part ecology, part agriculture and part traditional shop class - a perfect fit for the natural resource focus of their school.

Oregon Supreme Court Justice David Brewer will step down at the end of June. He will become the second judge on Oregon's highest court to resign this year.

It’s a bold move by Washington Realtors and other business groups. They’re taking on the number two Democrat in the Washington House with a TV ad that accuses him of “squeezing” taxpayers.

Seattle's Chinatown-International District
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9hVGFD

Seattle officials are moving forward with plans to increase density in Chinatown-International District. It's the next in a series of neighborhoods undergoing a rezone. At a City Council meeting Tuesday, neighbors shared their concerns.

Oregon lawmakers have unveiled a proposed business tax that’s meant to help bridge a $1.6 billion budget shortfall.

The new tax would be a “gross receipts tax,” and would replace the existing corporate income tax. Unlike an income tax, the gross receipts tax would be levied on a company’s overall sales, not its profits.

Immigrant rights march heads into downtown Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Supporters of immigrants and workers rights rallied through Seattle on Monday as part of the annual May Day demonstration.

Most of the rallies were peaceful, but as of Monday night Seattle Police said they arrested 5 people.

Listen to a wrap-up from the days rallies and protests:


Faith communities gather on May Day 2017 at St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood to declare their support for immigrants and refugees.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The sanctuary movement that was part of the Seattle faith community in the 1980s is back.

Josh Potter of Vancouver, Wash. attends a pro-Trump rally at Westlake Plaza in downtown Seattle on Monday, May 1, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

Many of the protesters drove in from hours outside Seattle to show the antifa “people who have a different point of view.”

Christine Mathews says she couldn't afford health insurance without the ACA subsidies. She was at a rally last month outside  Congresswoman Suzan DelBene’s district office in Bothell.
KUOW photo/Amy Radil

Efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act are ramping up again. Some GOP leaders are hoping for a vote this week on their amended plan to replace Obamacare.

And that has Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler worried.


Kshama Sawant
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Seattle officials have committed themselves to trying to adopt the city's first income tax. Monday, the City Council passed a resolution to start the process.

But the city faces legal uncertainty in this area. That's because the state Supreme Court once ruled an income tax unconstitutional, and no city or county has approved one ever since.

Oregon lawmakers are one step closer to banning the use of all handheld electronic devices while driving.

The Oregon House approved a measure Monday that would clarify that the state's ban on cell phone use while driving applies to all functions of a smart phone, not just texting and talking.

The Oregon School Boards Association is threatening to sue the State Land Board over plans for the Elliott State Forest. That message came through clearly in a three-page letter sent to the State Land Board's three members: Democrats Gov. Kate Brown and State Treasurer Tobias Read and Republican Secretary of State Dennis Richardson.

The Chelan County Public Utility District Board of Commissioners is playing ball with Alcoa Corporation in hopes of bringing back hundreds of well-paid manufacturing jobs. Commissioners voted 4-0 to postpone a big charge the aluminum maker faced for idling its smelter near Wenatchee at the beginning of last year.

Oregonians could petition a court to revoke the gun rights of a household member in crisis under a bill approved Monday in the Oregon Senate.

The following is an excerpt from KUOW’s new podcast, terrestrial, which explores the choices we make in a world we have changed. Subscribe to the show. And let’s talk about climate change — what to do about it and how to live with it — together via our Facebook group.

Two short poems from Seattle's juvenile jail

May 1, 2017
A poem read by a teen reader at King County Juvenile Detention in Seattle. The reader, a teen girl, had memorized it and therefore didn't read from the page.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

CHICAGO ON THE SOUTH SIDE

By a young man in juvenile detention, age 15

Everybody should know
that when I was younger
I was at school one day,
I went straight from lunch to recess.
My brother was driving down the street.
Somebody was shooting at his car.
The police said that one of the bullets
went through the window and
hit him in the back of his head.

He lost control of his car
and crashed into the monkey bars.

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