City of Seattle | KUOW News and Information

City of Seattle

Some residents of the Jungle keep tidy encampments, like William Kowang above, while others live in garbage with needles strewn about.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

On January 26, 2016, five people were shot in Seattle’s largest homeless camp, a stretch of greenbelt under Interstate 5 known as the Jungle.

The shooting thrust the camp into the spotlight and city officials immediately vowed to shut it down.

In the intervening year, they've made good on that promise and the camp has been cleared. 

File photo of homeless ecampment under bridge.
KUOW Photo

Homeless advocates and two homeless individuals are suing the City of Seattle and the Washington State Department of Transportation over how they treat people's possessions when they clear out homeless encampments.

Seattle officials may take their support for immigrants and refugees a step further. During a meeting Monday, City Councilmember Lorena González said local government needs to do more to help people facing uncertainty.

housingweb.jpg
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Dave Tomson and his dog Dennis slept between cardboard walls under Interstate 5 in Seattle one night recently. Tomson is a block away from city hall – in fact you can see it from the corner.

He picked this spot so he could stay dry.

“It was raining and I’m not made out of sugar, but I don’t like to be cold and wet,” Tomson said. “Call me crazy.”

Tomson is homeless, like more than 4,000 other people in the city. He’s lived on the streets for five years after he went to jail and lost his job, he said.

After years of requests from drivers, Uber has added a tipping function on its app
Flickr photo/Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures (CC BY-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/kAYh8Z

Uber and Lyft drivers will decide this spring on whether to form a union. This week, the city of Seattle finalized which drivers will get to voice their opinion.

Uber officials aren't happy.

There are eight tiny houses in Othello Village. The non-profit group Low Income Housing Institute is raising to build more for the Southeast Seattle encampment.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The city of Seattle says it will open three new temporary camps for homeless people. Two of those sites will have tiny houses. The other will have tents, according to a statement Thursday from the Human Services Department.

Seattle's Mayor and City Council approve their own agenda for the state Legislature every year. For the 2017 legislative session, the city is calling for more protections for tenants and for people of color.


Flickr photo/Sound Transit Special Selection (CC BY 2.0) / https://flic.kr/p/v5Pwp5

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray spent part of his Thanksgiving signing an executive order reaffirming policies to protect immigrants. Murray says Seattle will maintain its status as a welcoming city and announced the policy in a video message.

A Seattle lawmaker it looking to break the city's ties with Wells Fargo. The bank has been embroiled in a scandal over opening accounts without customer knowledge.


The City of Seattle is breaking ties with Wells Fargo after revelations that the bank opened accounts nationwide without the knowledge of the account holders.

Seattle city leaders were considering taking out a $100 million loan from Wells Fargo to cover a Seattle City Light bond. In a letter Friday, city leaders say they're calling off the contract before it's finalized this month.

As expected Monday, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray unveiled his budget plans for 2017-2018. The mayor's proposal focuses on two areas that have shaped his term in office: policing and services for homeless people.

Carmen and Robert Patterson have lived in the Jungle, a homeless encampment in Seattle, on and off since 2011. They and several others who live in the Jungle shared photos, stories and text messages with us.
Courtesy of Robert Patterson

Thousands of people in Seattle won’t have shelter tonight.

The problem isn’t that Seattle isn’t spending enough, according to two national experts.


The city of Seattle has hired a private investigator to find out who leaked a proposed police labor agreement to the press.


Sally Bagshaw's condo burdened the city councilmember when she wanted to work on legislation affecting waterfront property values. New rules would let her and others work on laws for their districts, despite owning property there.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Seattle City Council has paused its plans to loosen its ethics laws. Under current law, council members can’t vote on legislation that could benefit them financially. A proposed new law would loosen that restriction, as long as they were open about conflicts of interest. 


Kji Kelly of Historic Seattle, at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford. The city of Seattle says the building is unreinforced masonry and is expected to be dangerous in a quake. These brick walls could collapse, hurting people inside and outside.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

After a big earthquake it could take 10 days for help to arrive, so neighborhoods will be on their own.

The City of Seattle says communication hubs would allow neighbors to meet up. Many neighborhoods already have a natural meeting place, but a major earthquake brings complications.

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray at Capitol Hill's light rail station.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle-based Sound Transit has made its plan to expand regional transit slightly faster and slightly more expensive.


Chris Fojtik and Mahealani Texeira outside Union Gospel Mission. They choose to sleep outside, rather than being separated. Most shelters don't let couples stay together at night.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The woman was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

She had returned to the Jungle to pick up her suitcase.

Then the shooters arrived. She and two others survived, but two people were killed.

Pronto bikes on the Seattle waterfront. The City of Seattle voted to buy the nonprofit, even though it wasn't doing well financially.
Flickr Photo/Tony Webster (CC by 2.0)

Seattle is buying the Pronto bike-sharing program for $1.4 million – even though the program essentially failed in nonprofit hands.

Pronto Bikes in Seattle's University District
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

UPDATE 3/3/2016 7:05 PM: When the idea was before a City Council committee meeting this week, council members voted verbally, and the committee chairman, Mike O'Brien, misheard one vote and said the final count showed a tie.

Councilmember Debora Juarez was recorded as being against the $1.4 million plan. She actually voted in favor of it but was misheard by O'Brien.

This story was updated at 6 p.m. PST

The City of Seattle is suing Monsanto for manufacturing a cancer-causing chemical that's contaminating the city's Duwamish Waterway.

Monsanto was the sole producer of the chemicals PCBs from the 1930s through the ‘70s. They were used globally to make coolants, paints, lubricants and for other industrial purposes. PCBs also served a fire protection and safety protection for the electrical and other industries, according to the company.

Solstice's Joe Santucci says new technologies reduce the need for power-hungry lights. But they aren't totally embracing LEDs.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Marijuana growers in the Northwest are going to use a lot of electricity in the next 20 years, enough to power up to 200,000 homes, according to a recent forecast.

That’s because a lighting module to grow four marijuana plants takes as much energy as 29 refrigerators.

The Woodland Park United Methodist Church will house the Hammond House women's shelter, increasing the number of beds for homeless women by 20.
Google Maps

One of Seattle's homeless shelters has a new location, with more beds than before.

The Hammond House women's shelter is now in the Greenwood neighborhood, after its downtown property was sold last year. The shelter will be housed at Woodland Park United Methodist Church, at the corner of Greenwood Avenue North and North 78th Street.

Bernie Sadowski at the Ballard Senior Center. He credits the senior center for giving him direction after the death of his wife of 50 years.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

When Bernie Sadowski first came to the Ballard Senior Center in 2009, he didn’t care about life. His wife of 50 years had died.

Michael Mattmiller in one of Seattle's secret data centers. He says data helps government work better, but he's trying to cut back a bit and disseminate a uniform data privacy policy across all city departments.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Somewhere in an office tower in downtown Seattle is a floor filled with data servers. Some of that data is about you. You might show up in a traffic camera video. Your personal information might show up in a utility bill.

Seattle collects a lot of such data. But data can be hacked and information can be misused. That’s why the city’s rethinking how and when it collects your personal data.

Crews have yet to finish stabilizing the soil behind the seawall. That work is going on in front of Colman Dock, nearby. But work has stopped in front of the shops and restaurants for tourist season.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

It's been two weeks since the shops and restaurants of the Elliott Bay Seawall reopened after a long winter of being closed for construction.

Since reopening July 1, tourists have enjoyed unseasonably gorgeous weather for riding the Seattle Great Wheel, gorging on oysters and trying on Seahawks T-shirts.

An unimproved shoreline street end along Seattle’s Ship Canal at Sixth Avenue West and West Ewing Street.
KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

The patch of ground doesn’t look like much – it’s full of weeds and marked by graffiti-marred signs – but it’s precious: a public spot for people to connect to Seattle’s waterfront.

John Ryan / KUOW

Seattle planning officials say the Arctic drill rig at the Port of Seattle has to leave or get a new permit by June 4. 

The city issued a notice of violation to the Port of Seattle, Shell Oil and Foss Maritime on Monday afternoon.

The notice says the port's permit is only good for cargo ships, not oil rigs like the Polar Pioneer.

Are consumers really the ones to blame for Arctic oil drilling?
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

City inspectors with the Department of Planning and Development paid a visit to Shell’s Polar Pioneer oil rig within 24 hours of its arrival in Seattle.

They had a look around the rig, parked at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5, for possible permit violations on Friday.

The Access Map by team Hackcessible, a team of University of Washington students, won Seattle's Hack the Commute competition on Wednesday night.
Access Map

A few months ago the City of Seattle launched a search for the next big commuter tool.

The idea was to Hack the Commute – and make a real difference in the lives of people who need to move around our region. Wednesday night they picked a winning project.

Amy Radil

Curious neighbors gathered near Roosevelt High School on Friday to hear about the strong measures city officials say they will take against the owner of many blighted properties in the neighborhood.

“It’s unfortunate that you’ve had to suffer through this for a long time,” Mayor Ed Murray told the crowd.

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