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Students at Margaret Mead Elementary in Sammamish load their lunch trays beneath a canopy of bird netting. The school is so crowded that children line up for lunch outside.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

School funding measures tend to pass easily in Seattle.

Not so across the lake, where Lake Washington School District is trying to pass a bond measure – for the fourth time.

Andrew Layton is a barista at Java Hound, on Portland's stylish NW 23rd Ave. He knows how much taxes he pays.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

In Oregon, the state tax system puts the burden more on the rich than the poor.

Washington state is the opposite: Part-time workers pay up to 24 percent of their earnings in taxes, and people at the high end of the wage scale pay around 5 percent.

Precinct volunteers count caucus votes at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Seattle on Saturday, March 26. Democrats turned out across the state to support Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton by a wide margin Saturday in Washington state's Democratic caucuses, according to party results.

U.S. Army Pfc. Dustin Hein, with the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, smokes a cigarette between training missions at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., Nov. 11, 2009.
Flickr Photo/MilitaryHealth

Soldiers like their smokes and chew.

At Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Seattle, 35 percent of soldiers use tobacco, just slightly higher the average for the entire Army.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

It was a different kind of March Madness in Seattle's city hall Tuesday night. People lobbed arguments for and against a proposed basketball arena at a packed hearing on the topic

Investor Chris Hansen has said he wants to bring an NBA team back to Seattle — as long as the city helps pay for an arena.

Andre Taylor (left), Davitta Briscoe (center) and Brenda Taylor - all members of the late Che Taylor's family - appear at an NAACP news conference in February.
KUOW PHOTO/PAIGE BROWNING

Emotions running high, about 100 people gathered at the site of the shooting in Northeast Seattle last night.

Che Taylor, 47, was shot by police in the Wedgwood neighborhood, in the 2200 block of Northeast 85th Street.

Recording in the KUOW studio on University Way in Seattle.
KUOW File Photo

A campaign to save public radio station KPLU got under way on Monday.

Fans of KPLU now have until June 30 to raise at least $7 million.

Our post-elections panel Joni Balter, C.R. Douglas and David Hyde.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

So did Seattle socialists win or lose in the election? Kshama Sawant was re-elected in City Council District 3, and her ally Mike O’Brien also won in District 6. But other potential allies faltered.

Still, political analyst C.R. Douglas of Q13 FOX told KUOW’s David Hyde, Sawant’s re-election pushes the council her direction.  

KUOW and KPLU are likely to become one. Pacific Lutheran University has announced the intent to sell.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Being asked to pay extra for transit or schools is a regular event for Seattle voters. In Tuesday's election, they backed the $930 million Move Seattle levy.

So it’s a logical question: Are Seattle taxpayers carrying a heavier tax burden than people in other major U.S. cities?

Darrell Merriweather on a stretch of his route from the bus stop to the senior housing where he lives.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

It’s a sunny afternoon on Aurora Avenue North, at the far northern edge of the city. A RapidRide bus pulls up and drops off a couple of guys in wheelchairs.

One of them is Darrell Merriweather. As he scoots along the road shoulder, only a thin line separates him from cars traveling much faster. He tells me what it’s like getting from his bus stop on Aurora to the senior housing where he lives: “The sidewalk is torn up. Infrastructure, man – they need to improve this infrastructure.”

Andrew Curry and Melissa Nitsch say they will vote no on the Move Seattle transportation levy.
KUOW photo/Amy Radil

In recent years, voter-approved property tax levies have passed easily in Seattle and King County. But the size and structure of Seattle’s transportation levy on the November ballot has drawn some unusual pushback.

It raises the question of whether even normally generous Seattle voters are feeling levy fatigue.

1962: Remembering The Deadly Columbus Day Storm

Oct 12, 2015
Columbus Day Storm damage at 30th Avenue and East Spruce Street. The photo was taken Oct. 15, 1962, three days after the storm struck.
Seattle Municipal Archives

A lot of strange things happened in October 1962.

In Hollywood, Bobby "Boris" Pickett topped the charts with “Monster Mash.” In New York, James Brown recorded his incredible "Live at the Apollo" album. And in Cuba, offensive missile sites were being built, marking the start of the Cuban missile crisis.

Closer to home, the Pacific Northwest was about to face one of the most destructive natural disasters in American history.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "The Luncheon of the Boating Party," finished in 1881. Renoir was a founder of the impressionist painting movement but moved on to other styles.
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Pierre-Auguste_Renoir

Was Pierre-Auguste Renoir a “far more complex and thoughtful painter than generally assumed” who influenced a generation of avant-garde artists, or was he “the most overrated artist east, west, north and south of the river Seine”?

Blaise Agüera y Arcas at The Cloud Room.
Courtesy of The Goodship Academy of Higher Education/Eileen Namanny

Seattle is a great city for lectures, and now there’s a new series to cater to “high minded” individuals who want to combine an interesting talk with a little marijuana.

Jody Hall, founder of Cupcake Royale and producer of marijuana edibles with The Goodship Company, believes our society is starving for human connection. She promotes the responsible use of marijuana as a conduit to community building.

Hey Bridge Tender! Why Do You Keep Raising The Bridge?

Sep 22, 2015
Bridge tender David Leask has worked in the control tower at the Ballard Bridge for 18 years.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

“What is a day in the life of a Seattle bridge tender?”

Laura Osterbrock of Magnolia asked that question as part of KUOW’s Local Wonder project.

Part of the answer: Sometimes they watch drivers throw fits as the bridge starts to rise.

“Some drivers do interact, with their hand signals,” said Ballard Bridge tender David Leask with a bit of a shrug. “You hear them screaming sometimes.”

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