skip to main content
Today So Far Newsletter
caption: President Joe Biden speaks during an event to celebrate labor unions, in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, in Washington.
Enlarge Icon
President Joe Biden speaks during an event to celebrate labor unions, in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, in Washington.
Credit: Evan Vucci / AP

What is President Biden up to in Seattle?: Today So Far

  • By now, you've likely heard that President Biden is visiting Seattle on Friday. If not, well ... President Biden is visiting Seattle on Friday.
  • Also, Northwest maps are slated for an update that will rename offensively titled landmarks.

This post originally appeared in KUOW's Today So Far newsletter for April 20, 2022.

Biden will be in Portland on Thursday and coming to Seattle the following day, on Earth Day. Which is very apt since the president is expected to talk about clean energy and the economy. But as NPR's White House correspondent Tamara Keith tells KUOW's Seattle Now, there's another big issue at play here — midterm elections.

"This is the spring recess for Congress," Keith said. "Members of Congress are back in their districts and President Biden and the White House see this as an opportunity for him to go to people's districts with them and talk about the message that Democrats want to get out in this midterm election year."

RELATED: Biden increases oil royalty rate and scales back lease sales on federal lands

The Biden administration was able to get a bipartisan infrastructure package passed. Keith says that the president will likely point to parts of that package which address climate change or to aim to build more EV charging stations. But in Seattle, like many other cities, the big questions are going to surround the current spikes in costs, from gas to food.

"'Lowering costs for American families' I think is a phrase you are going to hear a lot of as long as inflation is this red-hot concern facing the American public," Keith said. "It is a massive political liability for the president and his party ... my mind goes to the Build Back Better initiative, this legislation that is stalled in Congress that President Biden has been pushing for that would address things like prescription drug prices, childcare costs, and college costs, and things like that ... they have been not talking about the fact they have this problem, but what they are saying is that there are other things they have done to lower costs for families. And so they are going to put an emphasis on that wherever the president goes."

Listen to Keith's full conversation about Biden's scheduled visit here.

It's not yet known where the president will be visiting while in town. But I have a few Dyer predictions. Local officials are going to be in tow. Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell recently commented that he has spoken with the president and told Biden that the answers to a lot of America's problems can be found in Seattle. I'm expecting Biden to show up at a few big tech companies or startups (especially ones that deal with energy and new tech) which would address some of the economic talking points. And finally, I expect that Biden will fly around Seattle to get from place-to-place. If he does take local roads, expect a lot of closures and traffic jams (more than usual).

I also have a few suggestions for President Biden to visit that will hit some Seattle sweet spots:

  • Clean energy and forward-thinking businesses, like Sphere Solar Energy or Rad Bikes. Sure, Seattle is known for big tech companies, but small businesses can help normalize green tech and push it into wider use. Plus, it wouldn't hurt to incorporate bikes while visiting a city like Seattle.
  • The Roanoke: It's where all the Democrats are anyway. I recommend the nachos.
  • Since affordability is a big deal, Biden should visit any apartment building in the region — any one, take your pick. First, see if there are any vacancies. And second, see if he can even qualify to rent there, that is, if he can be the first candidate in line to rent at 4 a.m. on the day of an open house, and make three times the rent, and also provide a year's worth of bank statements...

OK. So only the first suggestion was genuine. Where would you like to see President Biden visit while in Seattle?

In non-presidential news, Northwest maps are slated for an update. The U.S. Department of Interior is looking around the nation and switching out names of lakes, mountains, trails, and other geographic features that have derogatory titles. In Washington, for example, there are 18 mountains, lakes, canyons, valleys, and more that include the word "squaw." There are more than 50 such names in Oregon. And Idaho has more than 60 with offensive titles.

RELATED: U.S. looks to replace a derogatory name used hundreds of times on federal lands

The effort to rename our local landmarks has already begun. Most are taking names from nearby historical farms, creeks, etc. There is a proposal to rename a remote stream near Forks as "Cullen Creek," which is drawn from the famous Twilight books. And that got me thinking. Our region has a lot of unsung heroes and ignored characteristics. I think we should be strategically renaming with people and things that are culturally significant. I'd love to drive over Cobain Bridge. Or take the Almost Live! trail (preferably near Kent). Go fishing in Hendrix Lake. And I wouldn't mind seeing "Tall, Half-Caff, Soy Latte Canyon" on a map.

Though, it might be a better idea to ask local tribes about what these places were called in the first place and just go with that. Northwest News Network's Tom Banse has the full story here.

AS SEEN ON KUOW

caption: Radio Cadena founders and volunteers in front of the transmitter shack overlooking the Yakima Valley. From bottom, left to right: Roberto Alvizo, Martha Valadez, Bernice Zuniga, Dan Roble, Ezequiel Ramirez, Bee Gee Ochoa, Rosa Ramón, Mario Z. Alvarez, and Estella Del Villar.
Enlarge Icon
Radio Cadena founders and volunteers in front of the transmitter shack overlooking the Yakima Valley. From bottom, left to right: Roberto Alvizo, Martha Valadez, Bernice Zuniga, Dan Roble, Ezequiel Ramirez, Bee Gee Ochoa, Rosa Ramón, Mario Z. Alvarez, and Estella Del Villar.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Rosa Ramón

In 1976, in an abandoned fire station on First Hill in Seattle, a group of Chicano and Chicana organizers came together to create a Spanish-language community radio station called Radio Cadena. Back then, if you were looking for a Spanish-language broadcast to give you the latest information about Chicano activism — or the farmworker labor movement — you'd tune into Radio Cadena. Its founders and volunteers are shown here in front of a transmitter shack overlooking the Yakima Valley. (Courtesy of Rosa Ramón)

DID YOU KNOW

The MLS soccer season began earlier this year and the Seattle Sounders are slated for games through October. OL Reign is set to begin playing games in May. Did you know that Seattle is among the best soccer cities in the U.S.?

The folks over at WalletHub have ranked Seattle as the second-best city for soccer fans. Seattle ranks high for a few sporty factors, such as the performance of our local teams (the Reign and the Sounders), and the engagement of our fans.

And because you're curious, WalletHub considered more than 295 cities for this list. LA takes the first-place spot. And sorry to anyone in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, which is the worst city for soccer fans in the United States.

ALSO ON OUR MINDS

netflix generic
Enlarge Icon

Netflix lost viewers for the first time in 10 years, says password sharing is to blame

Netflix has lost 200,000 U.S. subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, marking its first drop in customers in more than a decade. It attributed the losses to factors such as stronger competition, the Ukraine-Russia conflict and password sharing.

SUBSCRIBE TO TODAY SO FAR