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Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan speaks during a press conference on December 4, 2017, at Seattle City Hall.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan gave the State of the City Address on Tuesday, marking the first time a female mayor delivered the address in Seattle. The annual speech didn't exist in the 1920s, the last time a woman — Bertha Knight Landes — was mayor.

KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Last summer Kitsap Transit launched a fast ferry service with a single vessel. The Rich Passage I was the only low-wake boat it had to satisfy shore-erosion concerns along the passage from Bremerton to Seattle.

Since then, the Rich Passage I has missed 128 sailings, mostly because of mechanical failures. And though the vessel has been reliable since last October, Kitsap Transit’s problems aren’t over yet: In just over a month the vessel is due in drydock for the complete replacement of its engines.

The Benson Trolleys, in storage
The Friends of the Benson Trolleys

Construction crews are busy relocating utilities for the new trolley line through downtown Seattle. The new line will integrate the shorter lines at either end of downtown into a larger system.

The trolley cars running on that line will have all the latest technology. But some civic leaders want to sprinkle some old, historic trolleys among the new trolleys.

Limebike employees relocate bikes so that they're legally parked.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

There are five bike share companies operating in Dallas, Texas. And they all just got marching orders from the city: Find a way to clean up your products, or we'll impound them. 

Bike share bikes in Seattle
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle’s in the middle of a big bike share experiment, with bikes everywhere that you can rent for only a dollar.

It’s so cheap. So how do these companies make money?


Kyle Rowe wants bike sharing companies and cities to be true partners.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

This is a story about dockless bike sharing, but it begins with a story about Uber. Uber's complicated history with cities has made city officials more willing to push back.


The Airbus subsidiary behind a self-flying, battery-powered passenger drone says the prototype has made its first flight at Eastern Oregon Regional Airport in Pendleton.

kids drawings
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Compost-pooping robot dog! Smog-cleaning penguins! Treehouses! Wikes (wind + bikes)!!! 

Those are just a few of the fantastic and whimsical ideas submitted to our drawing contest that asked kids to imagine one way Seattle can save energy.

FILE - In this July 15, 2015 file photo, an Uber driver sits in his car near the San Francisco International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Traffic congestion in Seattle is getting worse.

As traffic slows, more people are hailing rides from Uber and Lyft — and that’s adding to the trouble. Now, transit agencies that once fought to regulate car sharing services are thinking it may be time to make a new deal with them.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Mt. Rainier
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Business at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has been booming, and so has its carbon pollution. Airport officials say they can eliminate the climate-wrecking emissions without limiting the airport’s rapidly growing business.

But whether the wonder of air travel can be divorced from the global harm it does — let alone any time soon — is far from clear.


Amtrak 188 derailed in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015, killing 8 and injuring more than 200.
Flickr Photo/Jack Snell (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/e72hn7

Josh Gotbaum is used to helping people. He worked on disaster relief efforts in the Clinton administration, helped bring Hawaiian Airlines back from bankruptcy, and served as founding CEO of The September 11th Fund. But on May 12th, 2015, the helper became the helped when the train he was on came off the tracks.  

There are around 12,000 paid on-street spaces in Seattle (that does not include private parking) .
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Make no mistake: The rising cost and declining amount of on-street parking downtown are part of a much bigger plan to reduce Seattle's carbon footprint.

Parade-goers carry a blow-up planet Earth while marching in the Fremont Solstice Parade.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

OK, you’re a climate warrior: You take the bus, downtown or to California. You eat vegan.

But do you have to be so insufferable about it?

Some people don’t have all of the options that you do.

Nesib CB Shamah drives his Model S Tesla on Monday, December 11, 2017, near his home in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Nesib CB Shamah hits the “gas,” and I’m slammed back into my seat by the brute acceleration. It’s a Tesla Model S, and it’s a glimpse of Seattle’s future — if the Emerald City is really serious about climate change.

Shamah’s an independent filmmaker who lives in North Ballard. He likes sports cars, but that’s not why he got one.


“This is a drawing of a bus that runs on electricity. More people will take the bus.”
Tala, Age 6

Hey parents, families or teachers! Do your kids like to draw? 

Invite them to enter KUOW’s climate-friendly drawing contest. Winners will take home prizes and may have a chance to discuss their ideas on air!

The contest is part of our series on climate change, The Burning Question.

Photo courtesy of Mitchell Frimodt

Bill Radke talks to Mitchell Frimodt, University of Washington junior and director of the UWashington Hyperloop team about the Hyperloop pod the team has built to compete in SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in California. Since 2015 SpaceX has held a global competition with the hopes of speeding up the development of the hyperspeed train-like transportation system. 

But before you get excited at the idea of traveling at hyperspeed, Mark Hallenbeck, the director of the Washington State Transportation Center at the University of Washington explains why Hyperloop probably isn't coming to the Northwest anytime soon. 

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Which airline you choose can help cut back on the damage your air travel does to the climate, according to a new study.

Six survivors of Monday's train derailment south of Tacoma have put Amtrak on notice that they plan to file a lawsuit. It's the first, probably inevitable, sign that various parties affected by the deadly train wreck are lawyering up.

At least there's a beautiful sunset to look at when you're stuck in Seattle traffic.
Flickr Photo/HeatherHeatherHeather (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Highway congestion in the Seattle area overall was up 22 percent in 2016.

That's according to the latest WSDOT report on the state of our  roads network. That network is challenged — as are we all — with the consequences of Seattle’s jobs and population explosion. 

A private pilot takes off at Franklin County State Airport in Vermont.
Flickr Photo/Franklin County State Airport (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/KUpsL9

If you thought it could help save the planet, would you give up flying?

A damaged train car is shown on the bed of a truck along I-5 South on Tuesday, December 19, 2017, in Dupont.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Updated 12/20/2017 10:20 p.m.: WSDOT has opened all southbound lanes at Mounts Road near DuPont, including the on-ramp.

Nostalgia is flowing freely in the skies this week as Delta Air Lines takes its remaining Boeing 747 jumbo jets on a farewell tour. They're the last of the iconic jumbos in U.S. passenger service.

The swan song stopped at Delta's main hubs, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. It also landed at the jet’s birthplace, Boeing's wide body assembly plant in Everett.

Jim Hamre (left) and Zack Willhoite are shown in a photo taken at Yellowstone National Park in 2005.
Courtesy All Aboard Washington

Two friends who shared a lifelong love of trains, Zack Willhoite and Jim Hamre, had looked forward to the inaugural run of Amtrak 501 from Seattle to Portland.

Friends who knew them said it was a given they would’ve been on this initial trip, likely in a front car as the train followed a brand-new route south of Tacoma.


A view of Puget Sound from the Amtrak Cascades ride. The new view will be of Interstate 5.
KUOW Photo/Casey Martin

Amtrak riders in Pierce County are getting a change in scenery. The roughly 30 mile train ride between Tacoma and Olympia is being rerouted.

Right now the  trip hugs the coastline along Point Defiance with views of Puget Sound. 


KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

A Washington state representative denies sexually harassing anyone, but has resigned from his leadership position.

Do the results of the Alabama special election mean voters are turning away from Republicans? 

Beginning early next year, a group of Washington drivers will be keeping close tabs on the number of miles they drive and how much they spend on gas. They will be part of a pilot program to test out a proposed pay-by-the-mile road tax, similar to what Oregon rolled out in 2015.

UPDATED (Wednesday, Nov. 29, 8:55 a.m.): Washington state’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council voted unanimously Tuesday to turn down a controversial oil terminal planned for Vancouver, Washington.

The council’s decision to not recommend the project is another major blow against the massive oil-by-rail facility proposed by Vancouver Energy.

It’s also one of the last steps in a years-long permitting process to develop the oil terminal. The ultimate decision on whether the project goes forward will be up to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

If you're reading this on your phone while driving, stop it. Especially if you're a young neurotic extroverted guy who drives a lot.

Two seconds of attention to the insistent beeping and blinking of our mobile phones or simply changing the radio station accounts for at least 12 percent of car accidents worldwide and 14 percent of them in the U.S., according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Alaska Airlines is saying "Adios" to Cuba. The Seattle-based airline Tuesday announced it will discontinue flights to Havana after the holidays. Alaska joins a parade of other U.S. carriers who are trimming back flights to Cuba or dropping service entirely.

A prototype of a single-seat passenger drone has arrived at Pendleton, Oregon's airport for flight testing. That according to the Silicon Valley-based Airbus subsidiary A^3—or “A-cubed”—behind the Vahana Project.

The battery-powered, self-flying aircraft has been reassembled after shipping and is now undergoing ground tests.

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