Deborah Wang | KUOW News and Information

Deborah Wang


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

With less than a month to go before the August primary, candidates in the crowded Seattle mayor's race are now trying to reach voters with new ads on cable TV.

Ads from two of the nine mayoral candidates are now on the air, and a third will begin airing this week.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

The endorsements are flying in the crowded race for Seattle mayor, and over the past week State Senator Ed Murray has captured the lion’s share.

Last Wednesday, Murray received an unlikely pair of endorsements: from Washington Conservation Voters, the largest environmental political group in the state and from CASE, the political arm of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

On Thursday, former King County Executive Ron Sims appeared at Murray’s headquarters and announced his endorsement of Murray.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

We've gotten a bit of feedback about our story yesterday on the Read 'N Greet event at the Seattle Public Library.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

What can you tell about a person from the books he or she loves to read? A lot, according to Maggie Taylor, Board President of Friends of the Seattle Public Library.

Taylor invited the city's mayoral candidates to choose a passage from a favorite book and then read it aloud. Eight of the candidates accepted the challenge. They read their selections last night at the Central Library downtown.

The aim of the event was to give voters some insight into the candidates, said Taylor.

How well do you know the candidates for Seattle mayor? See if you can match up the candidates with their favorite books. 

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

The August primary election is only about two months away, but you might not even know it. The Seattle mayor’s race, which involves nine candidates, has yet to hit the front pages. Ask any random people on the street, and chances are they aren't even aware that a race is underway.

The candidates have been hard at work on the campaign trail,  but much of what they have been doing is not immediately obvious.

Flickr Photo/Red Maxwell

After numerous high-profile lawsuits against tech companies, a Bellevue-based patent company is now setting its sights on the financial industry.

On Tuesday, Intellectual Ventures announced it has filed lawsuits against two banks, JP Morgan Chase and Fifth Third Bank, for patent infringement. This is Intellectual Ventures’ second round of lawsuits targeting financial firms in the past week. On May 29, the company filed suit against First National Bank of Omaha and PNC.


A legislator in Washington state says she will revive a bill that would make it easier for police to collect DNA samples. That’s in the wake of a US Supreme Court ruling Monday. The five-to-four ruling upheld a Maryland law that allows police to collect DNA samples at the time of arrest from people who are charged with certain violent crimes or sex offenses.

Courtesy Ed Murray For Mayor

Here’s one for the “Seattle is such a small world” file:

State Sen. Ed Murray has been hitting the campaign trail of late in his effort to oust Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

But McGinn has just recognized Murray’s long-time partner, Michael Shiosaki, with an executive appointment to the city’s Arboretum and Botanical Garden Committee.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Democratic activists in the city of Seattle last night began picking favorites in the Seattle mayoral election. Incumbent mayor Mike McGinn didn’t make their list.

The 46th District Democrats was the first local party organization to endorse in the race. The 46th Legislative District includes parts of north Seattle, Shoreline, and Kenmore.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

The Sacramento Kings will stay in Sacramento. NBA owners met in Dallas Wednesday and overwhelmingly rejected an effort by investor Chris Hansen to move the team to Seattle.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

UPDATE: 5/21/13, 3:50 p.m. PT

The list of candidates running for Seattle mayor is now finalized, and despite the withdrawal of one high-profile contender, the field has gotten even more crowded.

In an eleventh hour surprise, City Councilmember Tim Burgess, the leading fundraiser in the race, announced he was dropping out.

At the same time, two relatively unknown candidates entered the field, bringing the total number of mayoral hopefuls to nine.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

The Seattle Police Department is preparing to hire more than 300 new officers in the next five years, and it wants to do things differently.

The 2013 Seattle mayor’s race is off and running and last night was the first big mayoral forum of the campaign season. All eight candidates appeared before a packed room at Seattle Central Community College and KUOW's Deborah Wang was in attendance. Ross Reynolds sat down with Deborah to talk about who is in the race and the dreams that pushed them to run.

Flickr Photo/luisar

Seattle’s July 4th fireworks are scheduled to go ahead after all. City leaders announced yesterday they’ve secured enough corporate sponsors to stage the event on Lake Union this summer.

Flickr Photo/bryce_edwards

Budget officials in the city of Seattle delivered some good news yesterday. For the first time since the financial crisis, the city is forecasting a budget surplus.

KUOW/Deborah Wang

Story last updated by Phyllis Fletcher on March 20, 2013 at 1:50 p.m.

Starbucks holds its annual shareholders’ meeting Wednesday in Seattle. On the agenda: a proposal from a group of investors that’s meant to limit the company’s involvement in elections.

Audio Pending...

A federal judge gave the green light yesterday to a wide-ranging reform plan for the Seattle Police Department. The plan is meant to address a 2011 finding by the US Justice Department that Seattle police had engaged in an unconstitutional pattern and practice of excessive use of force.

Two Seattle police unions have filed a lawsuit against a federal plan to reform the police department.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang


Correction: audio for this story differs from its original broadcast, which incorrectly identified Nate McMillan as a member of the Sonics championship team from 1979. We have also clarified the story to indicate that the two conference trophies in MOHAI's warehouse are not the only two won by the Sonics.

When the owners of the Seattle Sonics moved the team to Oklahoma City in 2008, basketball fans in Seattle were crushed. But they got one consolation prize: The team’s owners agreed to leave behind the Sonics’ cache of memorabilia.

Seattle’s mayor is launching a new program aimed at improving instruction in the city’s preschools. Mayor Mike McGinn announced the initiative in his State of the City address Tuesday.

Microsoft TechNet blog

In the old days, when Microsoft Corp. unveiled new software you might have gone to the store, paid for it once, and brought it home in a box.

But with Microsoft’s new service unveiled Tuesday, Office 365, the box is gone. It’s been replaced by a digital subscription that allows you to get almost everything you need from the web. In a promotional video, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the service offers a “complete office in the cloud,” which he touted as a major leap forward.

Courtesy Seattle Housing Authority

The Seattle Housing Authority is preparing to redevelop Yesler Terrace, a 30-acre site that houses 1,200 low-income residents near the city’s downtown. Vulcan Real Estate is one of two private companies competing to become the lead development partner. The Seattle Housing Authority Board is scheduled to choose the winning bidder today.

All Nippon Airways 787s
AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

The Federal Aviation Administration is grounding all Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the US. That’s after a 787 in Japan was forced to make an emergency landing Wednesday because of a battery problem.

Japan Broadcasting Corporation

Major global news services are reporting that two Japanese airlines have grounded all of their Boeing 787 jets. All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines made the announcements following an emergency landing Wednesday morning in Japan.

Deborah Wang?KUOW

Correction: An earlier version of the story stated that buildings cannot be nominated for landmark status if they are too small. The story has been corrected to say that while small buildings can be nominated, they do not automatically trigger a landmark review.

South Lake Union in Seattle was once home to timber mills, commercial laundries, warehouses, even a factory making Ford Model Ts. It’s now being targeted for major new development, with the city’s mayor proposing raising building heights dramatically in the low-rise district. But historic preservationists say the plan does not adequately address the area's unique history and they worry it will result in the obliteration of many of the old buildings that provide the city’s connection with the past.  

Image Courtesy/Vulcan

The Seattle City Council is debating a plan that would transform a huge swath of the city’s center, and that for the first time would allow developers to build residential high rises just a block from Lake Union.

King County Sheriff John Urquhart
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

There’s a new sheriff in town, at least in King County: John Urquhart will officially take over as King County Sheriff today.

Urquhart was the long-time spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, and he was well known for his colorful press releases, with titles like: “Two Men Arrested After Dragging Cow With Car.”


Seattle City Light has an unexpected pot of money on its hands. The utility says it needs to give away $5 million before the end of the year.

The money is earmarked for businesses that want to become more energy-efficient. It will pay for up to 70 percent of the cost of new lighting, heating and cooling systems, or other energy-efficient equipment.

But even with the subsidy, businesses have been slow to sign on this year.

Woman with unbrella helps kids get on a bus
KUOW/Deborah Wang

Western Washington is bracing for more precipitation after record heavy rains snarled traffic and caused localized flooding on Monday.

According to the National Weather Service, 2.03 inches of rain fell at Sea-Tac Airport between midnight and 5:00 p.m. Monday. That breaks the previous record for the day of 1.23 inches set in 1962.

The National Weather Service says a second storm is expected to hit the region Tuesday, and an even stronger weather system will move in on Wednesday, bringing high winds to the coast.

Seattle rain
Instagram photo/ John Tseng

This story is developing and will be updated as details emerge.

National Weather Service is reporting a record-breaking 2.16 inches of rainfall in the last 24 hours, and has issued winter storm advisories and flood warnings for parts of the Puget Sound region. Heavy rains in the area are posing a number of potential hazards, from mudslides to highway closures.

Commuters are being urged to check their routes as rain continues to fall.  Sound Transit's northbound Sounder service from Seattle to Everett has been canceled for Monday evening. North Cascades Highway is temporarily closed due to heavy snow and avalanche danger.

Deborah Wang spoke Sarah Miller with Seattle Public Utilities on Monday afternoon about the emerging problem of standing drainage water.

"With 80,000 drains in the city of Seattle, we can't be everywhere. We do clean the drains regularly," Miller explained. "However, when the trees drop their leaves, that happens in a relatively compressed period of time. Much as we get out there to clean the drains throughout the year this problem is exacerbated because the leaves drop at the beginning of November and then plug those drainage outlets."

Miller has been urging Seattle residents to adopt their local drains, to clear them of leaves and debris.

UPDATE at 5:00 p.m. on November 19:

Amtrak's Cascades passenger train service between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, has been temporarily canceled. A 48-hour moratorium due to mudslide danger was issued Monday afternoon and may be lifted by Wednesday. Amtrak Cascades announces cancelations and disruptions through their Twitter feed.