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Seattle officials took a big step to change Seattle's tax structure this month by passing an income tax on high earners. It’s the first income tax in Washington state.

A former state Supreme Court justice says the plan could face a tough road in the courts.

KUOW PHOTO / KATE WALTERS

The first lawsuit over Seattle's new income tax on high earners has been filed. The city is being sued by Michael Kunath in King County Superior Court. He and his attorney didn't immediately respond to interview requests. But according to court filings, Kunath argues that Seattle's new income tax on high earners violates the state constitution. That's because the constitution says cities cannot impose a net income tax.

Seattle's mayoral candidates explain themselves

Jul 21, 2017
Top candidates for Seattle mayor debate in a forum hosted by KING 5 and KUOW.
KING 5

What separates top candidates for Seattle mayor? How would they tackle housing costs, police reform and other problems facing a booming city? KUOW interviewed them on the top issues and here are the results.

Dozens of murals hang on the walls at the Northwest Detention Center. They're painted by detainees, and the designs must be approved by staff. Painting is also considered a voluntary job, and the artists are paid $1 per day for their work.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The policy changes came fast as President Donald Trump took office.

In Seattle, a city where roughly one in five people are immigrants, protests erupted. First, when Trump ordered a crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants.

The King County Council decided to put a proposed property tax increase before voters this November. The levy renews funding for veterans and now also, seniors.

Thursday the King County Board of Health approved a new regulation for pregnancy resource centers, otherwise known as limited service pregnancy centers.

Under the rule, they need to post signage saying "This facility is not a health care facility."

Tommy Le's family sit front and center at Asian Counseling and Referral Services (ACRS) in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Angela Nhi Nguyen

A community forum was held Wednesday night in Seattle, to give people a chance to talk about the fatal officer-involved shooting of 20-year-old Tommy Le. Parents of the young man spoke about his death.

Seattle police officer James Norton is running for mayor
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Monday, July 24, is the deadline for people to register in person to vote in the August primary.

Twenty one candidates for Seattle mayor are vying for votes. There are multiple long-shots in the race, including Seattle police officer James Norton.

Mathematical physicist and educator Robbert Dijkgraaf on the importance of the 'pursuit of useless knowledge' in both the sciences and the humanities.
Courtesy of Andrea Kane/Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ USA

In 1939 the influential American education reformer Abraham Flexner published an essay in Harper’s Magazine titled “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge.” In it he promoted the well-funded, free pursuit of scientific inquiry, arguing that great scientists were “driven not by the desire to be useful but merely the desire to satisfy their curiosity.”

A look inside More Hall Annex at the old nuclear reactor
Courtesy of Washington Trust for Historic Preservation/Jennifer Mortensen

The Washington State Supreme Court has put an end to a decades-old debate between the University of Washington and the city of Seattle.

The court ruled Thursday that the UW has to abide by the city's landmark preservation laws.

Seattle Police Officer Louis Chan, center, talks with a man in Ballard about his erratic and threatening behavior. Chan is partnered with a social worker to help deescalate volatile situations.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

When it comes to policing, there’s a lot of history in the race for Seattle mayor.

Two of the candidates, Jenny Durkan and Mike McGinn, have faced off before. They negotiated the city’s consent decree between the Justice Department and the city of Seattle.

The crowd at a 2016 public meeting in Tacoma rises when asked to stand if they oppose the proposed methanol plant.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Environmental issues haven't been a big focus in the race to become Seattle's next mayor, but they're playing a key role in Tacoma.

Police and city staff arrived in the morning of Friday, March 11, 2016 to force out the remaining 16 residents atat the former Nickelsville camp on South Dearborn Street.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Whoever is elected as the next mayor of Seattle will inherit a growing homelessness crisis.

Perhaps the most visible markers of this crisis are the tents that line the freeways and nestle in the city’s green spaces.

Jacinta Morales learned she was pregnant after she was processed into ICE detention. She said she was happy to be pregnant.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

She wears a yellow uniform, loose, with a sweatshirt underneath. Her long hair, braided in tight cornrows near her temples. Her handshake, timid.

We talk in a small meeting room at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, with her attorney and an interpreter.


Welcome KUOW's Summer 2017 RadioActive youth producers

Jul 18, 2017
Row 1: Carlin Bills, Aliyah Musaliar, Abay Estifanos and Zeytun Ahmed. Row 2: Jessie Nguyen, Isabella Ortiz, Diego Villarroel and Patrick Liu.
KUOW

KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media is proud to offer our summer journalism workshop. Eight teens, aged 16-18, will spend six weeks learning what it means to be a journalist.

Suham Albayati, right, originally from Baghdad, arranges items on her table at the Kent East Hill Farmer's Market on Friday, June 30, 2017, at Morrill Meadows Park in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It's not easy to find quality produce in the East Hill neighborhood in Kent. For the low-income immigrants who live in the community, it's a trek to ride a bus or walk to and from a grocery store.

So Living Well Kent came up with the idea to start a farmer's market. Once a month the community-led organization partners with groups like Washington's Tilth Alliance to offer organic produce and locally made crafts.

Katherine Banwell of our Race and Equity team visited the market recently and has this audio postcard.


$360,000 is the asking price for this 740 square foot house in the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle
KUOW Photos / Megan Farmer

Sonny Kwan, a real estate agent in Seattle, was shocked recently by a listing he saw just off Rainier Avenue South.

Top candidates for Seattle mayor debate in a forum hosted by KING 5 and KUOW.
KING 5

Are Seattle taxes too high? And where should the city look for future funding? Those were the big questions for six of the city’s candidates for mayor Monday, at a debate aired live on KUOW and KING 5.


Adhering to Seattle's climate action plan would require reducing tailpipe exhaust 15 times faster than the 0.5 percent a year Seattle has actually achieved.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle leaders love to talk about fighting climate change.

In this March 12, 2015, file photo, Seattle police officer Debra Pelich, right, wears a video camera on her eyeglasses as she talks with Alex Legesse before a small community gathering in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has signed an executive order to require officers and sergeants to wear body cameras while on duty. The software has already been piloted in several Seattle neighborhoods.

But Seattle's police officer's union says the full rollout is too soon, because labor negotiations are still underway.


Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, left, walks past his husband, Michael Shiosaki, center, and his attorney, Bob Sulkin, to make a statement to media members Friday, April 7, 2017, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

City Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez said Monday that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray should consider stepping down after new revelations about the sex abuse allegations against him.

Detainee at theImmigration and Customs Enforcement's Tacoma Detention Center in July, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Kim Malcolm talks with Franco Ordonez, White House correspondent for McClatchy, about the uncertain future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA shields some immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation.

Diontae Moore-Lyons, 17, right, is escorted back to his unit by manager Shawn Northcutt at Green Hill School in Chehalis, Wash., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Green Hill School is a medium/maximum security, fenced facility for teenage male offenders.
KUOW Photo/Dan DeLong

When black youth enter the criminal justice system, most of the people in authority they come into contact with — social workers, lawyers, the jury — are white.

Diontae Moore-Lyons, 17, is currently incarcerated at Green Hill School in Chehalis, Washington, the state's maximum security facility for juveniles.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A child protection investigator in Oregon concluded in 1984 that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray had abused a boy in his care. 

In documents made public by The Seattle Times, the investigator said the future mayor of Seattle should never be a foster parent again.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

Seattle's City Council votes to tax the rich, but a court battle looms.

We check in on the race to be Seattle's next mayor with just over two weeks to go before the August 1 primary.

President Trump defends his son Donald Jr. over a recently disclosed 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

And Seattle Repertory Theater says it's working on a new musical that would bring grunge to the theater audience.

Earl Lancaster of Earl’s Cuts & Styles, used to be surrounded by other black-owned businesses, and a working-class community. Today, most of those businesses are gone.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Earl Lancaster has been cutting hair at the corner of 23rd and Union for a quarter of a century.

"Some of the highlights have been cutting some of the Sonics, Mariners. Cutting young kids and turn into fathers and cutting their kids’ hair. It’s been amazing," Lancaster said as he glided his clippers along a man's scalp.


Author and filmmaker Sherman Alexie waits with dancers backstage for his turn on stage as the keynote speaker at a celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, at Seattle's City Hall.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Sherman Alexie, author and friend of KUOW, posted this letter to his Facebook page on Thursday.

Microsoft aims to connect two million rural Americans to broadband Internet by 2022.
Flickr Photo/Steve Rhode (CC BY-NC-ND)

Washington is one of the states that could benefit from Microsoft's new plan to boost broadband Internet access to rural communities.

Arundhati Roy in 2017.
Flickr Photo/Chris Boland (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/www.chrisboland.com

When an acclaimed novelist publishes their first new work in 20 years, people take notice.

When the first book was Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things,” the interest is especially intense. She was awarded the esteemed Booker Prize for the best novel in the English language in 1997.

Roy’s new work is “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.” The novel concerns, as she suggests in the text itself, “the vast, violent, circling, driving, ridiculous, insane, unfeasible, public turmoil of a nation.”

Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington
Flickr Photo/Michael Matti (CC-BY-NC-2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/gx9bsh

International students would face tougher scrutiny under a proposal being considered by the Trump Administration.

According to the Washington Post, foreign college students would have to reapply for their visas each year in order to stay in the U.S. Currently, international students can live in the U.S. as long as they're enrolled in college on full-time basis.

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