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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.”

Teachers strike outside Orca K-12 in Columbia City on Wednesday. Seattle Public Schools remains closed Monday as negotiations continue.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The Seattle teachers' strike enters its fourth day Monday as teachers continue to negotiate their contract.

Seattle Public Schools issued a counter-proposal that spokeswoman Stacy Howard says would include pay for a longer school day. She did not specify how much pay.

In this Nov. 20, 2008, file photo, the execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary is shown with the witness gallery behind glass at right, in Walla Walla, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Since 1976, 1,413 people have been executed in the United States. That number rose steadily through 1999, when 98 people were executed. Last year, 35 people were put to death.

Can there be justice in the imposition of capital punishment? Humanities Washington hosted a deeper discussion of issues surrounding the death penalty at The Royal Room in Columbia City on May 27, 2015.

Art in the halls at Marysville-Pilchuck High School following the mass shooting in October 2014.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

As students at Marysville-Pilchuck High School head back to class, the devastating shooting last fall will return to headlines.

A report scheduled to be released Monday is said to contain horrific details from hundreds of students who were in the cafeteria that day.

Marchers walk through Seattle's Central Area on the 2015 anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

People marching in a Black Lives Matter protest in Seattle on Sunday said they were upset by how a largely white crowd reacted to the disruption of Bernie Sanders’ rally the day before.

When You're Homeless 'You Learn Who Your Friends Are'

Aug 6, 2015
Many people in the homeless community hang out in Seattle's University District
KUOW

Rogelia Sanchez and Mimansa Dogra share stories from Seattle's homeless community. Join them as they learn about the impact homelessness has on people's lives.

RadioActive is KUOW's program for youth age 16-20ish. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter.

Halibut catch in Alaska.
Flickr Photo/Jay Cross (CC BY 2.0)

Jeannie Yandel talks with Lee van der Voo, a Portland-based investigative reporter for Investigate West, about her reporting on how some sustainably-certified pollock and sole fisheries are actually harming small, Native halibut fishing communities in western Alaska. 

Don Elliget, a patient at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, with transplant surgeons, Drs. Andrew Precht and Marquis Hart.
Courtesy of Swedish Hospital

Nearly 10,000 Americans got organ transplants this year. They’re the lucky ones; there are more than 10 times that number waiting for an organ. That gap between supply and demand is only expected to grow.

Chris Burns, natural resources technician with Washington’s Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, stands in the Dungeness River. Flows are roughly one-third of normal, prompting fears that salmon won’t be able to make it upstream to spawn.
EarthFix-KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

PORT ANGELES, Wash. – The fishing aisle at Swain’s General Store is stocked with tackle for catching salmon and trout on nearby rivers.

But something is missing among the rows of lures, floats and ornately tied flies: customers.

Does this orange peel belong in the trash, recycling or compost?
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

It probably comes as little surprise that Seattle gets an A for recycling.

Seventy percent of all our trash ends up in compost or recycling; just 30 percent goes to the landfill.

Neighbors, police and pastors gather at a vigil for Torrence Spillers.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Members of Seattle's black clergy mourned the recent shooting death of a black man in his 30s in Seattle's Central Area. The man, identified by those at the vigil as Torrence Spillers, was killed on Thursday afternoon. 

Andrea Sigler Castro, one of Spillers' teachers, spoke at the vigil. She said Spillers struggled.

Tyler Reedus (right) and Joshua Thomas at the Madison Pub in District 3
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

On a map of Seattle's new City Council District 3, one street stands out. That thoroughfare slashes diagonally through the street grid like a samurai sword: East Madison Street.

Decades ago, you could take a streetcar down Madison from downtown to Lake Washington. Today though, we’ll walk.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bellevue College wants to partner with Washington State University to expand its slate of four year degrees. It’s a small step in a much bigger transformation.

KUOW’s Joshua McNichols has more.

Don't Believe In God? Move To Seattle

May 26, 2015
Seattle atheists march in a parade. Ten percent of the city identifies as atheist, actively not believing in God. That's the highest percentage among large cities in the U.S.
Flickr Photo 2008/Evil Angela (CC BY-NC 2.0)

If you don’t believe in God, Seattle may be the city for you.

Ten percent of Seattle residents call themselves atheists – the highest rate among the largest metro areas in the U.S., according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.

Michelle Cooper's "A Brief History of Montmaray."

Marcie Sillman talks to book hugger Nancy Pearl about "a perfect meld" of history and fiction just in time for summer: "A Brief History of Montmaray," by Michelle Cooper. Pearl likens the book to Dodie Smith's "I Capture the Castle."

Are consumers really the ones to blame for Arctic oil drilling?
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

City inspectors with the Department of Planning and Development paid a visit to Shell’s Polar Pioneer oil rig within 24 hours of its arrival in Seattle.

They had a look around the rig, parked at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5, for possible permit violations on Friday.

Pinto abalone were near extinction by the end of the 1990s in Puget Sound. But with a little help from science, their wild populations are slowly rising.
EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

MUKILTEO, Wash. – In a dark fish tank at a government-run lab, a striking sea snail slowly inches from its hiding spot.

It’s a pinto abalone, and its numbers are dangerously low in Washington state after decades of overharvesting and poaching. This little-known animal is a delicacy, still served in U.S. restaurants, and its shell is a source of mother-of-pearl.

Thom Pasiecki, 24, says that after he lost his job in Connecticut and broke up with his girlfriend, he realized he needed help with an online gaming addiction.
KUOW photo/Jamala Henderson

Thom Piasecki is on day 19 of digital rehab at a rural retreat in eastern King County.

His daily routine is mostly outside, walking on dirt paths through forested areas, feeding chickens and doves, and checking on goldfish in a tub outside. 

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.

This county road between Maple Valley and Issaquah may not look like a major traffic corridor. But come rush hour, it's bumper to bumper on county roads like this as commuters seek out alternate routes to shave precious minutes off grueling commutes.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

 

In East King County, a critical piece of infrastructure is falling apart: the county road system. That's 1,500 miles of mostly two-lane roads. Stretched out, they would reach from Canada to Mexico. There’s no money to repair them properly. So the county’s going to have to lower the speed limits and eventually shut some of them down.

Bernie Lau when he first became a Seattle Police officer in the early 1970s. Lau soon became a detective working undercover in Chinatown, as the International District was known then.
Courtesy of Bernie Lau

In late January of 1983, Seattle homicide detectives contacted me and asked if I knew the whereabouts of a young Chinese individual named Benjamin Ng.

A week earlier, two women  had been murdered in their home on Beacon Hill. Someone had tied them up and wrapped duct tape around their heads, covering their mouths and noses. 

Chris Stolte at a Tableau Customer Conference in 2013.
From Tableau's Facebook page

Ross Reynolds speaks with Chris Stolte, chief development officer and co-founder of Tableau Software, a Seattle data visualization company whose goal is to make tools accessible to people who are not data nerds.

In this Nov. 20, 2008, file photo, the execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary is shown with the witness gallery behind glass at right, in Walla Walla, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Ross Reynolds talks to Washington state Rep. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, co-sponsor of a bipartisan bill seeking to abolish the death penalty in Washington and replace it with a life sentence. The bill comes almost a year after Governor Jay Inslee imposed a statewide moratorium on capital punishment. 

Michael Young speaks at a cherry tree gift reception at the University of Washington on May 20, 2014.
Flickr Photo/University Marketing (CC-BY-NC-ND)

    

Ross Reynolds speaks with Washington state Sen. Barbara Bailey, chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education, about University of Washington President Michael Young's surprise decision to leave and take the top job at Texas A&M University.

Seattle's Department of Transportation is providing $2.3 million to go toward a change in start times for Seattle Public Schools.
Flickr Photo/tncountryfan

Two state representatives want to divide Seattle Public Schools into two smaller districts.

“Seattle public schools is a broken system for many students for many families and something has to change,” said Sharon Tomiko-Santos, a Democrat from South Seattle.

Seagull Project company members in Uzbekistan.
Courtesy of the Seagull Project

When a Seattle theater troupe decided to make the long journey to Tashkent, Uzbekistan last spring, the artists had no idea what was in store for them.

"We had meetings with the American embassy that helped us get over there," says director John Langs.

"They basically said don't do anything or say anything in your hotel room that you wouldn't want your grandmother to hear or see, because you will be bugged."

The Kalakala on the day she was to be scrapped. The unlucky vessel had shone on Puget Sound waters as a ferry from 1935 to 1967.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

It was before dawn on Thursday, and the cold air off the Blair Waterway in Tacoma was damp and penetrating.

Karl Anderson, a mustachioed man in his 70s, stood on his company’s graving dock, waiting for the Kalakala.

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