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In addition to helmets. proper signaling and the use of front and rear lights are required for bikers in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/iurikothe

It's illegal to ride a bike without wearing a helmet in Seattle and greater King County.

Since three bike sharing companies launched in the city, however, there's been a lot of talk about how that law is enforced.

The non-binary option on Oregon's driver license application.
Oregon Department of Transportation

Washington state residents could eventually get a third option to designate gender on their birth certificates.

That new option would be "non-binary."

Turns out Siri might be racist

Sep 19, 2017
Siri on an iPhone.
Flickr Photo/Karlis Dambrans (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/njdYn7

We use speech recognition every day, like providing captions on video for the hard of hearing and voice-to-text apps on our smart phones. But when it comes to how well the software understands various accents or dialects, Caucasian speakers are understood much better than people of color. 

Justin Robinson, left, and the man who bought his apartment building, Dan Robins.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When an old apartment building goes on the market, all of a sudden, everybody starts doing the math.  


One of the halls at juvenile detention in Seattle. There are 212 beds but less than a quarter of those beds are used.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The excavation work for King County’s new youth jail is done. But with the building’s foundation soon to be laid on East Alder Street, a new report calls into question how the design aligns with the county and city’s stated goals of not jailing young people at all.

Good guys, bad guys

Sep 19, 2017
Marines marching in Danang. March 15, 1965.
Courtesy of Associated Press

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick join Thanh Tan, host of our new podcast Second Wave, to discuss the new documentary, "The Vietnam War."


Councilmember Tim Burgess, right, takes the oath of office, administered by Seattle City Clerk Monica Simmons, on Monday, September 18, 2017, becoming the mayor of Seattle, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle has another new mayor, the third in less than a week.

Noelani Pantastico and Lucien Postlewaite in 'Romeo et Juliette' in 2008 at Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet/Angela Sterling

Lucien Postlewaite remembers exactly how he felt the first time he danced with Noelani Pantastico.

“I was this young boy,” he recalls. “I’d always admired Noe’s dancing. The first time she talked to me I was like, ‘Oh my god!’”

Kevin, Kelvin and Georgia Hinton at their old apartment
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The movers have arrived at the Hinton household. They load up boxes onto dollies and wheel them out the door.

Ask a cop, get beyond 'protect and serve'

Sep 16, 2017
KUOW's Ask A Cop event at the Tukwila Community Center
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

“To protect and serve.” That’s the motto of many police agencies. But recent police shootings in Seattle and around the nation have undermined respect for the job cops do.

King County sheriff's deputies
Flickr Photo/N i c o l a (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/8JhWF9

King County officials are calling on the sheriff's office to improve its de-escalation protocols. This week, the King County Council passed a measure requesting that the sheriff's office make updates to both policies and training when it comes to use of force.

Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell signs an executive order on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, after taking the oath of office and becoming the mayor of Seattle at City Hall.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bruce Harrell, president of the Seattle City Council, has been mayor for two days. 

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

Let’s be clear. The mess that culminated in the resignation of Seattle’s ex-Mayor Ed Murray should not be celebrated as vindication that “the process works.”

A toddler watches the garbage trucks at Wallingford's rebuilt transfer station
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

The south end of Wallingford used to stink because of a smelly old transfer station. 

White supremacy is behind America's original sin

Sep 14, 2017
Dr. Jim Wallis, author and social justice advocate
JP Keenan

Katherine Banwell of KUOW's Race and Equity team talks with author and social justice advocate Jim Wallis about white supremacy which features in his latest book, "America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America."

Wallis will speak about racial reconciliation at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at Seattle's McCaw Hall. 

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke speaks with John Fox, of the Seattle Displacement Coalition, and Roger Valdez, of Smart Growth Seattle, about their (very different) ideas for how to make sure Seattle has enough affordable housing for those who need it.


Seattle police officers observe marchers moving down 4th Avenue during the Black Lives Matter rally in Seattle on Saturday.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

The Seattle Police Department says bias and hate crime reporting continues to rise in Seattle.


Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell is sworn into office by city clerk Monica Simmons, right, becoming the mayor of Seattle, on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at City Hall.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle has a new mayor.


Courtesy of Andrew Bannecker

Does anyone not know Nancy Pearl?

For years she’s told NPR and KUOW listeners what to read with a kind of care and insight that’s made her a household name. There’s also a decent chance her action figure is on your desk or bookshelf right now. 

Courtesy of Zuheera Ali

My mom, my Hooyo, has a special way of teaching you so much about the world and so little about herself.

She tells you the parts of her life that are going to push you to succeed the way she did, without letting you see the struggles she went through.


Drawings made using dirt swept from the street are featured in Tatiana Garmendia's installation, 'No Hiding Place Down Here.'
Courtesy Tatiana Garmendia

Something we see throughout Seattle are unsanctioned homeless encampments: tents, tarps, and makeshift shelters. And now there's one more as you enter Seattle's Municipal Tower downtown.

Jeff Simpson at his home outside Portland, Oregon.
Thomas Teal for The Stranger, licensed for KUOW

Survivors and accusers of sexual abuse welcomed Mayor Ed Murray’s resignation — but not the news that a fifth person claimed that Murray had sexually abused him.

Jeff Simpson of Portland said Tuesday evening that he’s elated.

Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon
KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

Ed Murray's resignation is sending ripples through the Seattle mayor's race.

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

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced his resignation, effective at 5 p.m. Wednesday, after his cousin became the fifth man to publicly accuse him of sexual abuse. 

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A new lawsuit aims to safeguard Burien’s sanctuary policies for immigrants and keep the issue off the November ballot.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Emily Fox speaks with KUOW's Region of Boom reporter Joshua McNichols about the team's upcoming coverage of Seattle's housing crisis.


The inside of the elevators at Amazon headquarters in Seattle. People who work at Amazon refer to themselves as Amazonians.
Flickr File Photo/cheukiecfu CC BY-NC-ND: http://bit.ly/1MUXs0y

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Washington State GOP chair Susan Hutchison, and Geekwire editor and co-founder Todd Bishop about whether or not Seattle's progressive climate has pushed Amazon to open a second headquarters outside of Seattle.

Carl Slater at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood is known for its restored bungalows and for Gasworks Park. But some people worry it could lose its soul if the city’s affordable housing plan goes through. 


Aaliyah Konick, a senior at Nova, poses for a portrait on Thursday, September 7, 2017, outside of Nova high school in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

“Punk isn’t dead,” said Mariam Elbortoukaly, a sophomore at The Nova Project, an alternative Seattle high school in the Central District.

See that car in the middle lane zipping to the front of the line? You hate that driver, but they're actually doing the right thing, known as the zipper merge.
WSDOT

Three years ago, we ran a story about a little-known traffic tip known as the "zipper merge." 

In short: Drivers should use all lanes leading up to a merge point, rather than clog up one lane. Arrived at the front of the line, drivers in all lanes take turns merging. This is not cheating! (See image above for why the seemingly polite way gunks up traffic.) 

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