Amy Radil | KUOW News and Information

Amy Radil

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2005

Amy Radil joined KUOW as a reporter covering politics and government in 2005. She got her start in radio as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio from 1997 to 2000. She then freelanced for four years from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, contributing primarily to two public radio programs, The World and Marketplace. Amy graduated from Williams College in 1994 and received an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1997.

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Last year on Dec. 6, pot smokers gathered spontaneously at Seattle Center to celebrate the passage of Initiative 502.

The year since Washington became one of the first states to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana, entrepreneurs, regulators, police, drug counselors and everyone in between has tried to understand the implications of the new law. 

The Washington State Patrol is arresting more drivers who test positive for marijuana than in previous years. That’s according to the latest statistics from the state toxicology lab.

The Washington State Patrol said that in the first half of 2013, 745 drivers tested positive for “active THC” from using marijuana. In recent years, about 1,000 drivers have tested positive for marijuana over the course of the year. So if the 2013 trend holds steady, this year would see a sizable increase in the number of marijuana-impaired drivers arrested. 

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

The University of Washington Board of Regents unanimously voted to move ahead with a new, underground animal testing lab on Thursday, saying that it will mean better conditions for animals used in medical and scientific research. 

Amy Radil

A group called “U District Square” is asking the University of Washington to help create a European-style public plaza around the neighborhood’s future light rail station.

Courtesy of Seattle District Now

Seattle voters may have just voted for several city council races, but they’ll do it again in 2015.

That’s because Charter Amendment 19 calls for the city to be divided into seven districts, with one city council representative from each. But some advocacy groups worry the new system of districts may harm minorities and the poor.

Amy Radil

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn conceded the race to his challenger Ed Murray on Thursday. Meanwhile Murray said he wants to resign his state senate seat as soon as possible so he can focus on his transition to City Hall.

Andrew Tat, The Daily

Seattle City Council candidate Kshama Sawant is trailing the incumbent, Richard Conlin.  But she’s not conceding; she’s holding out hope as more votes are counted. And she plans to keep her Socialist Alternative party involved in Seattle politics.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

One of Mayor Mike McGinn’s campaign promises when he ran in 2009 was to extend high-speed Internet in Seattle. Now the city is partnering with  Gigabit Squared to extend high-speed service that, while initially limited to a few neighborhoods, could compete favorably with Comcast.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

In Washington state, food stamp recipients are being notified that their benefits will be reduced in November. Federal stimulus funding has provided a boost to benefits since 2009, but that funding just expired.

Credit Flickr Photo/Neeta Lind

Washington state expects to license about 17 marijuana retail stores in unincorporated Pierce County, but a majority of the Pierce County Council supports measures to effectively ban the stores.

Now that Washington state’s regulations for recreational marijuana have been finalized, policymakers are turning their attention to medical marijuana.

The current system for patients to obtain marijuana with medical authorizations is largely unregulated.  Federal authorities say that needs to change. 

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil, Lynne Robinson's Facebook page.

During the fight over light rail, Bellevue was described as having a conservative majority on the city council. Those members challenged Sound Transit’s light rail route and Bellevue’s share of the cost.

But then long-time incumbent Don Davidson lost in the August primary, leaving two more liberal candidates in the runoff for his seat: Lynne Robinson and Vandana Slatter.

Although city council races are nonpartisan, both candidates sought the endorsement of the King County Democrats.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Light rail has been a contentious issue for the Bellevue City Council in recent years, with members divided on the project. Now the Eastside’s light rail line is in final design and no longer in doubt. But those light rail disputes are still campaign fodder for incumbent Kevin Wallace and his challenger Steve Kasner, one of three races for the council that will be taking place in November.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Correction 10/10/2013: This story has been changed to clarify candidate Vandana Slatter’s position on light rail and differs from the audio.

Bellevue has three City Council races on the ballot this fall. The candidates for those races say they have ideas to help Bellevue manage future growth and to make the downtown feel less like “an airport terminal.” They spoke at a candidate forum yesterday hosted by the Bellevue Downtown Association.

Amy Radil

The Seattle City Council is trying to determine how it should handle new rideshare companies that compete with taxis. Council members told a packed meeting Thursday they are leaning towards embracing — and regulating — them.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

For decades, government agencies and business groups have equated science degrees with job security. Employment projections from Washington state show growth in life science jobs, and policy groups lament a shortage of American scientists. But people who counted on a secure career in the lab are having the rug yanked out from under them. In the wake of the recession and the federal budget sequester, they’re having to develop a Plan B.

If someone sells drugs within 1,000 feet of a school, they can receive a stiffer sentence under federal law. In developing rules for legal marijuana, Washington state regulators tried to depart slightly from that federal rule. They allowed stores to count the 1,000 feet along sidewalks or roads, rather than “as the crow flies.”

The change would have created more legal locations for pot stores.  But now the state is backtracking.

TVW

A unanimous opinion from the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that a death penalty case in the so-called Christmas Eve murders can proceed. The ruling finds that King County prosecutors handled the case correctly. 

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

The latest campaign filings show state Senator Ed Murray outpacing incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn in contributions for the Seattle mayor’s race. But at a campaign forum Wednesday night, Murray seemed anxious to escape any criticism of being the big money candidate.

Amy Radil

Seattle’s 22nd annual Hempfest takes place in Myrtle Edwards park near Belltown this Friday afternoon through Sunday. And times have certainly changed. Initiative 502 has legalized recreational marijuana in Washington. But Hempfest founders say as long as marijuana is illegal under federal law, their festival will still focus on changing drug laws.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Washington state expects to adopt final rules for the structure governing legalized marijuana under I-502 by next week. So officials with the state’s Liquor Control Board are touring the state to get feedback before the rules take effect.

Courtesy King County Sheriff

The King County Sheriff’s Office directly serves over half a million people in King County. Like the Seattle Police Department, the Sheriff’s Office is reforming the way it handles the use of force. The changes come in the wake of a shooting last year.

Dustin Theoharis was shot 16 times by a King County deputy and a Department of Corrections officer in Auburn in February 2012. He survived the shooting and reached a settlement for $3 million with King County.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

King County wants to renew its parks levy on the August 6 primary ballot. The package would continue current maintenance, and include new money for open space and trail construction.

If it’s approved, the levy would generate $396 million dollars in property taxes over six years. It would cost property tax payers almost 19 cents per $1,000 of assessed value – for the owner of a $300,000 home that comes to $56 dollars per year.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

When Mike McGinn ran for mayor in 2009, he campaigned on the promise of high-speed internet for all of Seattle. But once elected, he struggled to implement anything close to that. Four years later McGinn still presides over a city of internet haves and have-nots.

In draft rules filed Wednesday,  the Washington State Liquor Control Board laid out new regulations for advertising, packaging and labeling marijuana. The rules forbid ads by Joe Camel-type cartoon characters. But they don’t restrict marijuana-infused gummy bears.

After the state issued its initial round of marijuana regulations in May, drug abuse experts had a lot to say. They asked the state to beef up its rules around marketing, labeling and packaging of marijuana.

Flickr Photo/Rusty Blazenhoff

The Seattle City Council is embracing a wide-ranging action plan to address climate change. But it’s also considering zoning for a new power-hungry business: indoor marijuana growing.

Courtesy of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration

As Washington state moves toward licensing marijuana retail stores, a major concern for public health experts is preventing kids from eating marijuana. They are asking the state to ban marijuana-infused candy and other sweets, and require packaging and flavors that are less appealing to kids.

Amy Radil

Big marijuana has come to town. That was the message at one of the stranger product launches yet seen in Seattle Thursday. The press conference at Seattle’s Columbia Tower began with a quote from Carl Sagan extolling the serenity bestowed by marijuana. With former Mexican president Vicente Fox at his side, marijuana entrepreneur Jamen Shively told a packed room that marijuana prohibition is like the Berlin Wall and he hopes his new company will help it crumble. 

Legal Voices Photo/Matt Hubbard

Washington’s judicial system abolished court fees for poor people in 2010, but county courts sought ways around the rule. Now in a unanimous decision, the Washington State Supreme Court has reaffirmed that if someone qualifies as indigent, courts need to give them access for free.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Seattle City Council Member Tim Burgess is stepping down as a mayoral candidate.  His disclosure came as the filing deadline loomed for the November election. Burgess said he won’t yet endorse anyone. But he said he’s leaving the race to make it easier for another candidate to unseat incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn. 

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