Deborah Wang | KUOW News and Information

Deborah Wang

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2005

Deborah Wang is a news and feature reporter for KUOW. She covers a range of subjects, but mostly focuses on politics and government. She is also host of IN Close on public television station KCTS9.

Deborah is an award–winning radio and television journalist whose career spans three decades. A long–time network foreign correspondent, Deborah has reported from more than two dozen countries, including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Rwanda, Kuwait, and Iraq.

Deborah's first reporting job was at public radio station WFCR in Amherst, Massachusetts. In 1990, she went to work for National Public Radio, and served as NPR's Asia correspondent, based in Hong Kong. During that time, she covered the the Persian Gulf War from coalition headquarters in Saudi Arabia, and then spent many months in Kuwait, Turkey and Northern Iraq filing stories on the war's aftermath. In 1993, she joined ABC News as a television correspondent in Beijing and Hong Kong, and covered, among other things, Hong Kong's handover from British to Chinese rule. In 1999, she set up the network's first news bureau in Seattle.

Deborah has also worked as an on–air anchor for CNN International, and for the nationally syndicated public radio show Here and Now.

Deborah has won numerous awards for her reporting, including the Alfred I. DuPont Silver Baton for coverage of the first Gulf War, and the Overseas Press Club's Lowell Thomas Award for best radio documentary on Cambodia.

Ways to Connect

KUOW Illustration/Kara McDermott

For the first time in a century, Seattle voters will choose their City Council members by district. In District 4, which includes Northeast Seattle up to Northeast 85th Street, there are five candidates running.

We asked the candidates to meet us somewhere in their district that signified why they’re running.

Mayor Ed Murray speaks at an announcement of the city's proposals to build more affordable housing.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray unveiled a package of proposals Monday aimed at dramatically increasing the supply of affordable housing in a city that would be taller and denser.

The goal is to build 20,000 more affordable housing units over the next decade. 

For the first time in a century, Seattle voters will choose their City Council members by district.

There are seven districts and two at-large positions – those council members will be elected by every voting Seattle resident.

KUOW Illustration/Kara McDermott

For the first time in a century, Seattle voters will choose their City Council members by district. In District 7, which includes Magnolia, Queen Anne and downtown, three candidates are running.

We asked the candidates to meet us somewhere in their district that signified why they’re running.

KUOW Illustration/Kara McDermott

For the first time in a century, Seattle voters will choose their City Council members by district.

In District 6, which includes the Green Lake, Ballard and Phinney Ridge neighborhoods, four candidates are running.

We asked the candidates to meet us somewhere in their district that signified why they’re running.

KUOW Illustration/Kara McDermott

For the first time in a century, Seattle voters will choose their City Council members by district.

District 5, which extends north beyond 85th Street, includes Bitter Lake and Northgate. There, eight candidates are vying to represent the area.

We asked the candidates to meet us somewhere in their district that signified why they’re running.

KUOW Illustration/Kara McDermott

For the first time in a century, Seattle voters will choose their City Council members by district.

In District 3, which includes Montlake, Madison Park and parts of Capitol Hill, five candidates are running. We asked them to meet us somewhere meaningful in their district.

KUOW Illustration/Kara McDermott

For the first time in a century, Seattle voters will choose their City Council members by district.

In District 2, which includes the International District south to Rainier Beach, there are three candidates.

We asked them to meet us somewhere in their district that signified why they’re running.

KUOW Illustration/Kara McDermott

For the first time in a century, Seattle voters will choose their City Council members by district. In District 1, which encompasses West Seattle and South Park, nine candidates are running.

We asked them to meet us somewhere in the district that signifies why they’re running.

Linda Vane from the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks examines a stand of Scotch broom, a invasive plant that is highly flammable.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Linda Vane stoops down to pull out a handful of weeds at the edge of a gravel road. The weeds are dry and crumble in her hands. The soil beneath them is dry as well.

"I'm nervous this year," said Vane, who assesses wildfire risk in her duties with the forestry program at the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks.

Screenshot of Washington State Auditor's Office report on criminal database records.
KUOW PHOTO

The Washington state database that employers and firearms dealers rely on to do criminal background checks is missing information on tens of thousands of people.

That’s according to a new report issued by the Washington State Auditor’s Office, which reviewed close to a quarter million cases from the year 2012 included in the Washington State Identification System, the state's criminal history records database.

Socialist Kshama Sawant and campaign staff at King County Elections office Monday. She submitted more than 3,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot in her re-election bid for Seattle City Council
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

In Seattle, Democratic Party activists have held enormous sway over the outcome of local elections.

But now, as campaign season begins, a non-Democrat is causing a rift in one corner of the party.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

So here’s a math problem for you. What do you do if you run a low-margin, labor-intensive business and your labor costs are about to go up 60 percent?

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announces revisions on a $930 million transportation package the wants to go to voters in November
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Wednesday he’s making changes to the nearly billion-dollar transportation package that will go to voters in November.

He wants to spend more money than he had originally had proposed: The $900 million proposal he announced in March has now grown to $930 million.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

There's a new face on the Seattle City Council, despite objections from one of his new colleagues.

At least for a short time, John Okamoto will fill the seat of exiting council member Sally Clark, who stepped down to take a job at the University of Washington.

Angie Garcia, 20, with her mom and 4-month-old daughter. Garcia works at McDonald's in Ballard, making $9.60 an hour. The new minimum wage "is going to change everything," she says.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Angie Garcia, a single mom who works at the McDonald's in Ballard, has planned how she’s going to spend the extra money she makes after the minimum wage increases to $11 an hour on Wednesday.

“It’s going to change everything. Because I can go back to school, I can start my college, so that is really big for me, like a really, really big help,” Garcia, 20, said. She currently earns $9.60 an hour.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Seattle is known for its endless public process, so how did it become a city where $15 went from a campaign slogan to law in a matter of months?

The law kicks in on Wednesday, when the minimum wage in Seattle rises to $11 an hour. It’s the first phase of several years of planned increases eventually leading to a $15-an-hour minimum wage.  

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

A lawsuit against Seattle’s new $15 an hour minimum wage has failed its first test in court.

Lawyers for the International Franchise Association (IFA) and five local franchisees have sued the city, arguing the law discriminates against franchise businesses.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Researchers from the University of Washington and the state are hoping cold, hard data can help settle the heated debate over the costs and benefits of raising the minimum wage in Seattle.

Workers and labor activists demonstrate outside the U.S. District Courthouse in support of the city's $15 an hour minimum wage
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Lawyers for the International Franchise Association and five local franchisees were in court Tuesday asking that portions of Seattle’s new $15-an-hour minimum wage law be barred from taking effect.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Lawyers for the city of Seattle will be in federal court Tuesday to defend the city’s new $15-an-hour minimum wage law.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

As the Woodland Park Zoo searches for a new home for its two Asian elephants, newly obtained public documents reveal an extensive behind-the-scenes campaign by city officials to pressure the zoo to send the elephants to a sanctuary.

Stunned Seahawks fans at Altstadt in Pioneer Square watch as Seahawks go down to defeat in Sunday’s Superbowl.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

In Seattle after the game, fans poured out onto the streets near the CenturyLink Field, trying to understand how the game took a turn for the worse.

File photo. apartment housing apt door
Flickr Photo/Matthew Piatt (CC-BY-NC-ND)

If you are looking for more evidence of a housing crisis in King County, here it is.

Officials at the King County Housing Authority report a flood of people applying for federal housing assistance.

On Wednesday, after a four year hiatus, the authority once again began accepting applications for the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program, more commonly called Section 8.

Demonstrators in Seattle form a human chain around City Hall in support of a $15 minimum wage in April 2014.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Seattle starts phasing in a higher minimum wage on April 1 this year. The key term here is "phasing in." Everyone receiving the minimum wage won’t immediately get $15 an hour.

KUOW’s Deborah Wang sat down with Ross Reynolds to explain.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Woodland Park Zoo officials are looking for a new home for their two remaining elephants.

Last month, they announced they would close their exhibit and send their two female Asian elephants, 35-year-old Chai and 47-year-old Bamboo, to another zoo to be part of a larger social herd.

“It’s going to be a bit of a match.com, just in terms of personalities,” said Nancy Hawkes, Woodland Park Zoo’s general curator. 

KUOW reporter Deborah Wang asked native Washingtonians if they believe they have an accent. They said no. But they also pronounced "caught" and "cot" the same way -- one of the subtle distinctions of this region's accent.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Do Pacific Northwesterners have an accent and what does it sound like? Listener Molly in Tacoma asked that question as part of KUOW's Local Wonder series. 

Molly never thought she had an accent until she moved to Virginia and was told she had one.

Some regional accents are obvious. But many in the Pacific Northwest describe themselves as speaking “standard,” “normal,” or “plain” English. But is that really the case? What do the experts say?

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Several hundred demonstrators gathered outside Seattle’s CenturyLink Field Sunday just as the Seahawks game against the San Francisco 49ers was getting underway. The crowd chanted "Twelfth man can't breathe! Twelfth man can't breathe!" They were protesting recent police shootings of unarmed black civilians in Ferguson and elsewhere.

Bamboo, one of two elephants at Woodland Park Zoo, will be leaving with Chai.
Flickr Photo/Cara_VSAngel (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Seattle’s elephants are leaving town to join another herd.

The Woodland Park Zoo announced on Wednesday that it will close its elephant exhibit and send its only two elephants, Chai and Bamboo, to another zoo.

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

In 2005, housing advocates in King County announced a plan to end homelessness within a decade.

Since then, the community has produced 5,600 units of permanent housing for the homeless, more than anywhere in the U.S. except New York and Los Angeles. This year alone, more than 2,000 formerly homeless people have moved into permanent housing.

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