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Local Wonder bill radke
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Chris P. works full-time for Uber in Seattle, including long shifts on the weekends. The rest of the week, he’s a stay-at-home dad. He likes the job, but he hopes a union could get him more stability. 

A graphic created by Shoparttheft.com shows side by side comparisons of artists' work with Zara productions.
Courtesy of Shoparttheft.com

Seattle artist Michael Heck was shocked to find out one of his designs was handpicked for a pair of designer shorts; especially because his design – a drawing of Saturn, melting like a scoop of ice cream  – was used without his permission.

Heck is one of several independent artists who found their original designs popping up on clothing at Zara, a Spain-based retailer with stores around the world, including here in Seattle. 

Marijuana plant
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

The moratorium on marijuana businesses in unincorporated parts of King County is just about over. The King County Council voted last night to lift the four month ban.

Council members also considered a move to allow retail pot stores in neighborhood business zones. People like Linda Mango asked policy makers to approve of that legislation.

Stockholders in Virgin America have approved the acquisition of their airline by Alaska Airlines. The chairman of Virgin America announced the voting results at a brief shareholders meeting Tuesday.

The baristas have spoken, and Starbucks is listening: The company says it's loosening its dress code for in-store employees. Yes, the green aprons remain, but you may begin noticing more personal flair underneath.

A company announcement invites baristas "to shine as individuals while continuing to present a clean, neat and professional appearance."

Birkenstocks
Flickr Photo/Simon D (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/f6vQ64

Bill Radke speaks with Todd Bishop about why Birkenstock has decided to stop selling their iconic shoes through Amazon's online marketplace.

Moe Toure runs Toure Apparel in a strip mall on one of Vulcan Real Estate's 23rd Avenue properties.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

For years, the Central District didn’t get much investment. But recently, the city poured money into infrastructure improvements on 23rd Avenue. Then Vulcan bought a city block of real estate along the route. 

The real estate giant is planning 40,000 square feet of retail space and 570 apartments. They’re also planning a second development across the street.


Three days after its launch, BIKETOWN, Portland's new bike share program sponsored by Nike, had 1,381 people sign up for annual memberships and 2,237 people buy a day pass or single ride users.

Both of these numbers have exceeded expectations for the first few days of the program, said Dani Simons, director of communications and external affairs for Motivate, BIKETOWN's operating company.

Seattle officials are planning to raise the taxes and fees on business owners. This week, a City Council committee approved the changes to the Business and Occupation tax and the business license fee. The mayor proposed the changes in  June.

The money would be used to hire 80 more police officers, out of the 200 Mayor Ed Murray has called for.

Alaska Airlines' proposed takeover of rival Virgin America remains on course pending federal approval expected late this year. That's according to Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden. Tilden told Wall Street analysts Thursday that he's still undecided about whether to keep the Virgin America brand alive after the acquisition goes through.

The thing about the tech industry and employee diversity reports is they can feel like Groundhog Day:

  • Google, 2014: "Put simply, Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity."
  • Google, 2016: "We saw encouraging signs of progress in 2015, but we're still far from where we need to be."

Kim Malcolm talks with Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton about why Silicon Valley is wading into presidential politics with an open letter to Donald Trump.

Craig Dupler, retired Boeing engineer
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

100 years ago Friday, Bill Boeing incorporated his airplane company. It would later be known as the Boeing Airplane Company and Washington's largest private employer. KUOW made a visit to the place where it all started.


Jennifer Weitman, left, and Carrie Anderson, right, outside one of their teenage haunts at Totem Lake Mall: Denny's Pet World, now closed. The mall is being readied for redevelopment.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Malls are facing trouble everywhere. But Totem Lake Mall in Kirkland is in a category of its own.  It’s a zombie: an undead mall with just a few remaining businesses. People have been trying to revitalize it for years.

And finally, there’s action. The mall has been bought by a California developer who is reenvisioning it as a place where people can shop, work, play and live. It's a big change from the mall's former identity as a hangout for young people.


Some Oregon corporations will likely change their structure and behavior to lessen the impact of a tax hike headed for the November ballot. That's according to a report from revenue analysts at the Oregon Legislature.

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