Government

KUOW Illustration

How well do you know the Seattle City Council district you live in? In 2013, Seattle voted to split the city into seven districts to elect council members with two more members elected at-large. This year will be the first election under that system.

To help navigate the new voting framework, we gathered demographic and other information on the new districts from Seattle's Department of Planning and Development and surveyed our listeners about their thoughts as they prepare to choose the new City Council.

Steven Durant, left, and Ed Malick were both married to women before coming out as gay.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The Supreme Court ruling effectively legalizing same sex marriage nationwide has been seen as a huge victory for the lesbian, gay and transgender community.

But that doesn't mean LGBT people automatically have equal rights and protections - even in Washington state, where some equal protection laws have been on the books since 2006.

A crowd gathers at Seattle Gas Works Park at sunset. Under new rules,  no smoking will be allowed at any city parks from Monday on.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

David Hyde speaks with Christopher Williams, deputy director of Seattle's Parks and Recreation department, about a smoking ban in all city parks. The ban goes into effect Monday as Seattle joins hundreds of other U.S. cities with similar restrictions.

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.

Duwamish tribal chairwoman Cecile Hansen hold her great-grandson, Maximus Pearson in this photo from May 2013.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A long journey for Seattle’s Duwamish Tribe appeared to have hit a dead end Thursday. The federal government rejected the tribe’s decades-long fight for official recognition -- and many benefits that come with it. KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

A federal jury in Washington has ruled that railroad company BNSF retaliated against a whistleblower who brought safety concerns to light. This week the court awarded the former employee $1.25 million in damages.

In 2011, BNSF employee Mike Elliott raised safety concerns about the freight and passenger rail line connecting Vancouver, Washington, and Seattle. He said the signal system, which controls traffic on the line, did not function properly and was obscured by overgrown vegetation.

A government whistleblower protection office has authorized an investigation into alleged misuse of federal funds by a Klamath Basin irrigators’ group.

Earlier this spring, two federal biologists filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. They said the Klamath Water and Power Agency used money earmarked for drought-stressed fish to pay for things like office space, travel and employee salaries.

Since 2008, nearly $50 million in federal dollars has been paid to the Klamath organization.

The family of Antonio Zambrano-Montes -- and the Tri-Cities -- are grappling with fresh details of his death.

Idaho law enforcement say they’ve been finding more marijuana in vehicles coming from states with looser pot laws.

Oregonians could buy recreational marijuana from stores starting in October under a measure approved Thursday by the Oregon House.

Oregon Senate Approves Tuition Waiver Program

Jul 2, 2015

Oregon students could soon have an easier time paying for community college. The state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would waive tuition for some high school graduates.

Billionaire Paul Allen wants wildlife traffickers to feel a bit more pain. Professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman wants state lawmakers to feel a bit of pain too.

Oregon House Passes Bill To Boost Speed Limits

Jul 2, 2015

Speed limits throughout eastern Oregon could increase under a bill moving through the state Legislature.

The U.S. government's system for regulating the products of biotechnology, including GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, was born in 1986, and it has been controversial from the start. Now, it will be getting a makeover — in part to assure the public that GMOs really are adequately regulated.

Former Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson, Jr. speaks during the U.S. Naval War College 2015 Current Strategy Forum in Newport, Rhode Island on June 17.
Flickr Photo/U.S. Naval War College (CC BY 2.0)

People tend to have strong opinions about Henry “Hank” Paulson. Depending on your point of view, he either saved the U.S. economy as we know it or allowed it to be brought to its knees in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

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