News

KUOW Wins Murrow, Gracie Awards

15 hours ago
KUOW reporter Liz Jones conducting an interview in a farmers market in Hyderabad, India.
KUOW Photo/Harsha Vadlamani

“What a way to cap a Friday!” managing editor Cathy Duchamp wrote to KUOW’s staff.

She was referring to regional and national awards our newsroom won this week.

On Thursday, reporter John Ryan and editor Carol Smith won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for an investigation into landslide safety in Washington state.

KUOW / John Ryan photo

Hundreds of people crowded into Seattle City Hall Thursday night to air their concerns about the city's rising cost of housing.

A police van at Third Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

There’s an open air drug market between Westlake Center and the Pike Place Market. People who live and work downtown are getting tired of dealing with that. So are business owners.

"You’re facing shoplifting multiple times a day, you’re seeing people overdose in your bathroom, you’re cleaning up heroin needles," the Downtown Seattle Association’s Jon Scholes said.

Now the city of Seattle is trying to do something about it.

There have been 95 arrests over the last few days – without a single incident of use of force, Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole says.

Labor organizer Ai-Jen Poo says the U.S. doesn't have a plan for its elderly.
Flickr Photo/Elliot Margolies (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The annual Citizen University conference brings together community leaders, artists and activists to discuss the art and practice of citizenship. Their motto is “Let’s Do Democracy!”

The gathering evolved out of the work of the Guiding Lights Network, founded by author and educator Eric Liu in 2005. The theme this year was Citizen Power Now. To that end, participants focused on best practices for problem solving in a climate of political polarization.

Labor organizer Ai-jen Poo gave the keynote address, “The Future of Elder Care.”

Spectrum Dance Theater unveils a new "Carmina Burana" dance performance this month by its artistic director Donald Byrd.
Courtesy Spectrum Dance Theater

You may not know it by name, but you've likely heard Carl Orff's 1937 cantata, "Carmina Burana."

Chorale groups present it, commercials and films use it in soundtracks, and choreographers make dances to it. 

This spring, two Seattle dance companies will present works set to "Carmina Burana."

Many have wondered what Kshama Sawant's next fight will be, now that Seattle has a $15 minimum wage (to be phased in over several years). At City Hall on Thursday night, she'll make the case for legalizing rent control.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle’s rents are rising fast – San Francisco, San Jose and Denver are the only cities outpacing us, according to real estate research firm Reis.

Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant says there's a way to stop that trend.

“Everywhere I go, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, I hear people talking about the skyrocketing rent," Sawant said. "And when I ask them, 'What do you think we should do about it,' invariably they tell me: ‘We need some sort of rent control.’” 

The Summit Inn on Seattle's Capitol Hill still hums with artists, even after losing many tenants in the wake of the building's sale last December. The remaining tenants expect to be kicked out this fall for renovations.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

On the top floor of the Summit Inn, a run-down building on Capitol Hill where artists live, Philomel Swango, 64, shows off bolts of colorful cloth and talks about the costumes she sews for a living.

"I just did a pirate wedding," she says. "I made the bride’s dress. I made it look like she mugged Marie Antoinette."

Seattle Suspends $1 Fine For Failure To Compost

Apr 22, 2015
From left, Janet Gwilym, a resident of Beacon Hill, with her children, Morgan Gwilym-Tso, Alana Gwilym-Tso. Behind them, Mayor Ed Murray and Cortona Café co-owner Jason Davison.
KUOW Photo/Sara Bernard

Breathe easy, Seattle. The proposed fines for not following Seattle’s new food composting rule have been delayed.

The fines were originally scheduled to start July 1. But on Wednesday, Mayor Ed Murray said he would suspend those fines for the rest of the year. The earliest they could go into effect -- and that's a big if -- is January 2016.

A symbolic funeral for Earth Day.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The idea for Earth Day was first announced at a conference in Seattle 45 years ago.

It’s still going strong, with Earth Day events sometimes spanning all of April. KUOW Reporter Liz Jones stopped by two different events in Seattle on Tuesday and has this audio postcard. She started at a symbolic funeral downtown, then head over to a spiritual summit at Seattle University.

Washington Capitol in Olympia.
Flickr Photo/amishrobot (CC-BY-NC-ND)

State lawmakers are supposed to finish up their work for the year by Sunday. But with budget negotiations stalled, Gov. Jay Inslee says it looks like this year's legislative session will again take extra time. Kim Malcolm talks with KUOW's Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins.

Humpback whales feed in Southeast Alaska.
Flickr photo / jerseygal2009 (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Humpback whales have rebounded so successfully that federal wildlife managers say most should be removed from endangered species protection – with a caveat for whales off Washington state.

That's a bit of good news for this Earth Day. Below we've  summarized the debate over the status of a few other threatened or endangered species in Washington state.

This adorable bushtit in Seattle probably has no idea how much residents here would pay to support it.
Flickr Photo/Tom Talbott Jr. (CC-BY-NC-ND)

There is proof that we Seattleites love our native songbirds.

We put an economic value on them of at least $120 million a year, according to a recent study co-authored by a University of Washington professor. That’s roughly $12 per Seattleite and includes spending on birdseed, feeders and bird-supporting activities. 

Bamboo, one of two elephants at Woodland Park Zoo, will be leaving with Chai.
Flickr Photo/Cara_VSAngel (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Do we need zoos to promote conservation?

Kathryn Gillespie, a lecturer and member of the University of Washington’s critical animal studies working group, believes zoos should be phased out.

Replacement parts for King County's emergency radio system won't be available after 2018, County Council member Joe McDermott says.
Flickr Photo/Bryan Jones (CC-BY-NC-ND)

King County's aging emergency radio system is facing crunch time: After 2018, replacement components won't be available.

So the county is proposing a replacement and asking voters to pay for it in a special election April 28. Boosting the existing property-tax levy would generate an estimated $273 million to pay for the upgrade, the county says.

Firefighters, police or paramedics responding to a crisis depend on reliable radios. Seattle’s new fire chief, Harold Scoggins, pointed to the communication problems that hampered first responders’ efforts during the 9-11 attacks.

The space shuttle twin solid rocket boosters separate from the orbiter and land in the ocean, where they are collected for reuse by NASA.
Flickr Photo/NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Geekwire's Todd Bishop about the latest frontier in the race between space entrepreneurs Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos: landing a rocket on a floating barge in the open ocean.

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