Local News

Marriage for All, Amazon Treasure Truck & More News
The top Seattle news stories you should be reading today

Posted June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage

In a landmark 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court just legalized gay marriage across all 50 states, NPR reports. It was previously only legal in 35, and given this decision, 14 states will be forced to remove their bans. Here’s some of the reactions from a few of Seattle’s leaders:

Amazon debuts new service

Amazon’s new order-and-pickup service Treasure Truck kicks off this Saturday. The new service allows Seattle customers to order and pickup limited-quantity products, such as paddle boards, gadgets and even food. The Treasure Truck will feature one item per day, and users can see what’s available using the Amazon Mobile Shopping app. Choose a timeslot and a predetermined location to meet the truck and pick up your purchase. Treasure Truck will be popping up around Queen Anne, South Lake Union, Ballard, Bellevue, and SoDo initially.

New 58-story downtown tower

A $600 million project for a new Rainier Square tower was just approved by a city review board Tuesday, The Seattle Times reports. The tower will be located on Fourth Avenue and Union Street and will span Union from Fourth to Fifth avenues. But the building won’t be your traditional block tower—it will have a wide base and narrow at the top and will resemble an accordion. The original building proposal was criticized for blocking views of the adjacent Rainier tower, and has been amended so the building will scoop upwards at the  fourth floor instead of the seventh Developers expect to break ground late next year and open the tower in 2018.

Greenlake paid parking

Bad news, Seattleites. Residents and businesses are working with the Seattle Department of Transportation to expand paid parking near Green Lake, MyNorthwest.com reports. Everyone knows parking near the lake on any sunny day can be a nightmare. The new paid parking would expand from 73rd and 70th streets onto East Green Lake Way N and increasing zones on NE Maple Leaf Place and NE 70th Street.

Seattle third “least klutzy” city in America

According to a blog post by Gazelle, a company that buys and repurposes old gadgets, Seattle is the third least klutzy city in America. The post says that the majority of the least klutzy cities were in the west, and the more clumsy cities were in the East Coast. Unsurprisingly, college kids are the worst at keeping their gadgets intact: Many of the top 10 klutziest cities are college towns, including the list-topper Gainesville, which is home to the University of Florida.


Kennewick Man, State Park Potential Shutdown & More News

The top Seattle news stories you should be reading today
First published by Seattle Magazine

Posted June 19, 2015

Kennewick Man found to be Native American, now what? 

The Seattle Times reports that the 9,000 year old skeleton from Eastern Washington named, “Kennewick Man,” is most likely genetically linked to Native Americans. Now the question is, what will happen to his remains? Members of several Northwest tribes spoke at a briefing on Thursday at the Burke Muesum, asking that scientists respect their culture and return Kennewick Man to his rightful place to be put to rest. However, many scientists are reluctant to release his remains to the tribes, claiming there is more research to be done. The DNA match was not determined to be linked to one tribe, and they feel there is more to learn. The battle over his remains will be decided over the next few months.

State shutdown may close parks and cause major layoffs

If the state can’t reach a budget agreement before July 1, this could prompt a shutdown of state parks and layoffs for more than 25,000 employees. King5 reports that if a resolution isn’t reached services the state isn’t obligated to support, such as parks, would not be funded. Nick Brown, general counsel for Governor Jay Inslee says that while state patrol and mental health facilities would remain open, former inmates out on probation wouldn’t have supervision. This also means that there’s the potential for half of the state employees to be laid off. Let’s hope the budget agreement comes quickly.

Anxiety now number 1 mental health issue affecting college students

Anxiety has now overtaken depression as the top mental health diagnosis among college students, MyNorthwest.com reports. The American College Health Association cites one in six college students were treated for anxiety in the last year. College students are under tremendous pressure, but reports of anxiety seems to be going up which could mean the stigma around getting help seems to be lessening. Ellen Taylor, director of UW’s counseling center, says her focus in on teaching students effective coping methods to combat their anxiety. Taylor also believes social media is cause for some of the blame– people are constantly publicizing and flaunting their successes for the world to see. This can make students feel as if everyone is happy except for them.

Rachel Dolezal removed from police commission

The Spokane City Council voted 6-0 to remove Rachel Dolezal from her position on the volunteer police ombudsman commission. The Associated Press reports that Dolezal and two others will step down from the commission due to improper action and violation of government rules. Dolezal also resigned as the NAACP Spoakane chapter President after her parents informed the media that their daughter had been lying about her race.

Seattle’s heat stroke could last through 2016

This warm streak in Seattle doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. For Seattleites who have come to expect drizzly, cold, cloudy months on end, that may not be the case this year. KomoNews reports that this year’s seasonal outlooks predict this warm stretch to last through the winter, and even into next summer. NOAA’s predictions indicate a hot and dry summer as well as another warm and dry winter. So what’s the cause? We’re in an El Nino year, which usually means warmer weather and less-snowy winters. So it’s safe to say that Seattleites who’ve come to look forward to their cool falls and rainy winters may be in for a change.

The top Seattle news stories you should be reading today
First Published by: Seattle Magazine

Posted June 12, 2015

The 2014 Carlton Complex fire was the biggest in Washington State history

Leader of Spokane NAACP Chapter questioned about her race

News broke last night that Rachel Dolezal, the NAACP Spokane chapter president, is being called into question for allegedly pretending to be black for nearly nine years. Dolezal also serves as an Africana Studies professor at Eastern Washington University. Jezebel reports that her mother came forward to inform the public that her daughter Rachel is biologically white. Former president of the NAACP Spokane chapter, James Wilburn (who preceeded Dolezal) has been quoted saying that some members did have doubts about her background. People around the country have taken to Twitter to express their frustrations and concerns about the implications of the situation. Take a look:

Microsoft donates to UW for new building

Microsoft just donated a hefty sum of $10 million as a gift toward a new computer science and engineering building at UW, Komo News reports. The university currently has to turn away one out of three qualified students who apply to the program because there isn’t enough room for them. It hopes that this new building will help reduce that number. In total, the university needs $110 billion to complete the 130,000-square-foot building. The existing computer science and engineering building was named for Paul Allen, who donated money for its construction.

Northwest “super drought” nothing to worry about says weather expert

Cliff Mass, the well-respected UW professor of atmospheric sciences and weather personality, was surprised that Governor Jay Inslee declared a statewide drought, MyNorthwest.com reports. Although there is low snowpack in the mountains, Mass notes “that precipitation was normal last year,” and that ”there will be plenty of water for municipalities.” He expects that the drought will mostly impact Eastern Washington, but it’s certainly not cause to prepare for a “hyper-drought” and that the governor should be more careful with the terminology.

Hockey coming to Seattle?

KIROTV and the Associated Press report that the City of Glendale, Ariz., has voted to end its arena lease agreement with the NHL team the Arizona Coyotes. It was rumored that the NHL was in talks to move the Coyotes to Seattle in 2013. Since then, Seattle investor Chris Hansen has been hard at work on a plan to build a new NBA basketball and NHL hockey arena, and he took a step forward in May when a final environmental impact statement approved the project. In the initial plan, the stadium was only going to be built with the acquisition of an NBA team first, but we’ll keep an eye out for any new developments.

Obama administration warns of summer wildfires in the Northwest

CBS reports that the Southwest and the Northwest could both face extreme wildfires this summer. The Obama administration warned that southern Arizona and California are especially vulnerable as well as Washington, Oregon, northern Idaho and western Montana. Last year’s wildfire in Washington destroyed 300 homes in the Carlton Complex and was the worst wildfire in state history. And it seems that conditions this year are very similar to last, due to climate change and drought.

Seattle the next Silicon Valley?

Californians are flocking to Seattle to escape Silicon Valley’s housing market, the Seattle Times reports. Data from the real-estate brokerage firm Redfin indicates that Seattle is the number one city in the country to which Silicon Valley residents are relocating. And the favored Seattle neighborhood is West Seattle. The Times notes that although jobs in Silicon Valley pay better than ones in Seattle, it still doesn’t balance out the soaring housing prices. Seattle now leads the nation in the creation of tech jobs in recent years.

Wild Waves Opens with New Slides, Luxe Launches in Ballard

The top Seattle news stories you should be reading today
First Published by Seattle Magazine

Posted June 04, 2015

Wild Waves in Federal Way

Wild Waves open for the season

Your favorite water slide and theme park is now open for the summer season. And this year, in addition to 70 acres of slides and rides, there’s a new kid-friendly Mountain Dew Slide Complex. This triple slide offers a range of heights as you splash your way through the twists and turns of Slide Alley. Visit wildwaves.com for all the deets.

Two King County trails get national honor

The Mount Si and Snoqualmie Valley Trails were added to the National Recreation Trail roster on Thursday, The Seattle Times reports. They were two of 10 trails that were added to the roster, which lists more than 1,000 trails across the country. “The designation recognizes ‘exemplary trails of local and regional significance’ in response to an application from the trail’s managing agency or organization. Among benefits are national promotion, technical assistance, access to state and federal funding, and special signage,” The Times reports. This honor also coincides with National Trail Day, which takes place on Saturday.

Wireless charging furniture

Remodelista reports that IKEA came out with a line of lamps, tables and desks that allow you to wirelessly charge your phone. The products are now available online in the U.S. and the UK, and are expected in stores soon. If you don’t want new furniture, IKEA found an inexpensive way to install a charging device into any piece of furniture you currently own. And although some people’s phones don’t support wireless charging, they’re also selling iPhone and Galaxy cases that add this feature. It should be noted that wireless charging isn’t the best thing for the long-term life of your phone, as it can overheat your battery and slightly shorten the lifespan. But it’s definitely a fun new technological advancement to play around with.

Luxe launches in Ballard

Luxe, the on-demand valet service, officially launched in Seattle in mid-May and has now added Ballard to the long list of areas in which it operates. You can find the service in South Lake Union, Belltown, Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square, Downtown, Seattle Center, Lower Queen Anne. To celebrate its expansion, Luxe is offering reduced rates from Friday, June 5 through Sunday, June 7. Parking will be just $1 per hour with a cap at $5, and is offering additional late-night hours from 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 12 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.

American Idol Auditions come to Seattle

Calling all singers: The American Idol tour bus is rolling this way. On Thursday, June 18, there’s an open call for auditions for the final season of the long-running reality singing competition. The auditions are taking place at Seattle’s very own Olympic Sculpture Park beginning at 7 a.m. www.americanidol.com

New app for bike riders

According to the Seattle Bike Blog, Cascade Bicycle Club just released a new iOS app that features 10 bike rides so you can explore the area on two wheels. The “Let’s Ride” app offers turn-by-turn directions to help both Seattleites and people new to the area explore the region on a bike. The app features a map, directions, a photo, details on distance, difficulty, time approximation, terrain and road condition for each ride.

Seven Seas Building to Become Boutique Hotel, Pronto Installs New Stations

The top Seattle news stories you should be reading today
First published on Seattle Magazine

Posted May 29, 2015

Real estate company plans to revitalize iconic Seattle building

Seattle-based real estate development firm Revolve announced plans to renovate the Seven Seas building along 1st Avenue, site of the former Lusty Lady strip club, which shuttered in 2010. The building has has sat vacant since then. The 24,000-square-foot, six-story structure is slated to become a 43-room boutique hotel with 4,100 square feet of retail space and a rooftop bar. Revolve has noted that it will focus on retaining the building’s character, and pay homage to the turn of the century building through touches like exposing existing building elements. The hotel is expected to open in 2017.

Pronto Cycle Share gets some new wheels

Expect more snazzy green bikes whizzing through the city. Pronto Cycle, Seattle’s bike-sharing system, has installed its 51st station in Seattle at 12th Ave and E Yesler Way, with another scheduled for installation at Terry Ave and Stewart Street in the coming weeks. The bike-sharing company reports a daily increase in ridership and membership with 12,720 short-term pass holders recorded as of May 24, and notes that Pier 69 is its busiest station. Pronto will also reinstate its Unicorn Bike Campaign for the month of June, in which a single, boldly decked out bike (in this case a glittery blue-green version to celebrate Pride) is stashed around the city for you to find, go for a ride and post a picture on social media using the hashtag #ProntoGlam for a chance to win prizes.

Seattle in 2035

King 5 News reports that the City of Seattle released a draft of an Environmental Impact Statement titled “Seattle 2035,” a comprehensive plan for how the city is going to accommodate the massive business and population growth in the coming years. Among the key issues addressed: the impact that development will have on the city, and how mass transit updates such as light rail will play a key role in the city’s future success. Read more of the report here: http://2035.seattle.gov/

Trail re-opening

After more than a decade, the 120-mile Suiattle River Road trail network that runs through the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has reopened. The Seattle Times reports that the trail was closed for flood damage in 2003 and later in 2006, and the reopening is expected to ease congestion on surrounding trails. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to restore the trail to its former accessibility, like clearing out fallen trees and overgrowth of ferns and salmonberries on popular trails.

Sounders Number 1 in the West

The Seattle Sounders are ranked first place in the Western Conference, MyNorthwest.com reports. Their 1-0 win over Colorado on Wednesday put them in the number one spot, and they’re now one of the top-scoring teams in the league. The win also put them at the top of the MLS, with their 7 wins, 3 losses and 2 ties they’re at a total of 23 points—placing them ahead of the Eastern Conference Leader D.C. United, which has 22 points.

The Stranger brings back its “Men Who Rock” issue

Ready to read about dude musicians dishing on their diet and workout tips? Yes! Good. The Stranger has reprised its “Men Who Rock” Issue, which Salon.com notes first appeared back in 2012 and satirically highlighted the rampant sexism that female musicians receive from the media. Expect interviews with male musicians making fun of media sexism with jabs like, “you’re a pretty good drummer, for a dude.” You can find The Stranger’s 2015 version of “Men Who Rock” on stands now through June 2.

That’s a lot of apples

A West Coast port slowdown has caused farmers to dump $100 million worth of apple crops, Seattle P.I. reports. It has been estimated that the apple farmers lost three weeks of their season because of labor problems at West Coast ports. Since apples are a perishable crop, having them sit at ports in unrefrigerated containers for weeks on end was what led to their ultimate demise. The culled apples were thrown out in fields in central Washington, left to rot and compost in the sun.

Lack of Snow on Mt. Baker, Dinosaur Bone Found

The top Seattle news stories you should be reading today
Posted May 22, 2015

The annual Ski to Sea Race on Mount Baker will consist of two mountain bike legs instead of skiing due to lack of snow

Ski to Sea

There’s not enough snow on Mount Baker for this year’s annual Ski to Sea Race. The race in Bellingham traditionally starts with contestants skiing or snowboarding down the mountain, and ending at Bellingham Bay. This year, they’re doing two mountain bike legs instead to compensate for the lack of snow. According to King 5 News, “The Mount Baker Ski Area said such modifications have been necessary only one other time in the race’s 100-plus years.”

Dinosaur bones in Washington

The Seattle Times reports that the first dinosaur bone has been found in Washington—80 million years later. The bone is believed to be a leg bone from an animal from the T. rex family and is 16.7 inches long, weighing approximately 15 pounds. The article notes that the fossil is such a rare find because 80 million years ago, most of this region was under water. The fossil was found by accident at Sucia Island Park in the San Juans in April 2012. Scientists believe it is a piece of the creature’s femur, and it is still a mystery how it ended up here. The bone is now on display at the Burke Museum at the University of Washington.

Bear makes appearance at Bellevue School

MyNorthwest reports that a bear wandered onto the playground at Eastgate Elementary School Thursday morning. Children were kept indoors during the sighting and the bear continued on East into the greenbelt adjacent to the school.

Seattle 5th most energy-efficient city

The rankings released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) put Seattle as the 5th most energy-efficient city in the U.S.. According to GeekWire, that puts us, “behind Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco respectively.” The ACEEE says the five factors that determine this score are: Local government operations, community-wide initiatives, buildings’ policies, energy and water utilities, and transportation policies. Seattle got rewarded for “tackling efficiency problems” in our water system. And Portland wasn’t far behind us: It ranked 8th overall.


According to the West Seattle Blog, West Seattle native Jeff Jensen co-wrote and was the executive producer for the movie Tommorrowland, starring George Clooney, which opened Thursday. Jensen grew up in West Seattle and went to Hope Lutheran School and Seattle Lutheran High School. He is also known for writing Before Tomorrowland, which he calls a “distant prequel to the movie.”

Seattle Investor Makes Strong Statement

According to GeekWire, PicMonkey CEO and Seattle entrepreneur, Jonathan Sposato, says he’ll only back startups with at least one female founder. Speaking at a keynote at the Seattle Angel Conference, Sposato remarked that he has found it’s more difficult for women-led companies to raise money, which he calls a, “disturbing trend” and one he hopes to change. Sposato has invested in companies such as GeekWire, GlamHive, EveryMove and PokitDok.

The Polar Pioneer has a Twitter Account

The highly controversial Shell oil rig rolled into town, and it has a few things to say
First published on Seattle Magazine
By: Cassady Coulter
Posted May 15, 2015

Only in Seattle would you see two dozen kayakers paddling out to protest the arrival of a giant oil rig.

Yesterday, the highly controversial Shell oil rig, Polar Pioneer, made its entrance into Elliott Bay from Port Angeles. The Associated Press reports it was met with protesting kayakers in Elliott Bay along with many activists on dry land as it lumbered into the Port of Seattle. A second rig, dubbed the Noble Discoverer, is also expected to make its way to Elliott Bay.

Shell reached an agreement with Foss Maritime that will allow the drilling fleet to reside in the Port of Seattle’s terminal 5 for the summer. The City of Seattle and the Port of Seattle have both voiced objections to the rig. And many Seattle citizens have shown their disapproval through protests and vehement opposition to Arctic drilling practices.

Now, the Polar Pioneer is speaking for itself–through its own parody Twitter account. And unsurprisingly, the giant rig is outspoken as ever and intent to #destroyallhumans. Take a look:

Destroy all humans




Ferry Troubles, Toxic Algae & More News

The top Seattle news stories you should be reading today
First published on Seattle Magazine
By: Cassady Coulter
Posted May 14, 2015

National Bike to Work Day

While today is National Bike to Work Day, The Seattle Times reports that our city is “no longer among the ten most bikeable big cities in the nation.” We have fallen to number 13 from number seven. The Times notes that bike score is measured by how safe a location is to bike, but this new ranking doesn’t mean biking in Seattle has gotten more dangerous. It actually points to the fact that the previous ranking we were given was inflated. In our 2013 ranking, we were given points for “sharrows,” the shared lane pavement markings. However sharrows, “are less safe than more heavier-weighted infrastructure like designated bike lanes and resdiential bike paths.” The cities that have made the biggest strides in bike safety infrastructure are Minneapolis, San Francisco and Portland.

Green Lake

It turns out the “green” in Green Lake may be a problem. According to King 5, a toxic algae bloom in the popular urban lake has proven to be harmful to children and dogs. The “Friends of Green Lake” group lobbied the city council for treatment to clean up the water. But King County Public Health notes that the treatment most likely won’t happen until next year. People have been advised to avoid scum or light green color on top of the surface of the water as, “dogs have died from the algae of the kind of toxin that grows in Green Lake.” Similar algal blooms have recently been found in lake Washington.

Seattle Port at risk for cyber attacks

MyNorthwest.com reports that the Port of Seattle has left itself extremely vulnerable to cyber-attacks. “A recent study by CyberKeel found that 37 percent of companies running Windows web servers haven’t kept up with installing the latest Microsoft security patches. The Copenhagen-based cyber security firm’s CEO and co-founder Lars Jensen said that leaves them vulnerable to hacks.” There are three types of potential threats: espionage, hijacking, and cyber terrorism. Hackers could easily delete information about the containers at a port. Losing information about containers would be a major setback and could cause significant losses to the economy. “…that could compare to the 2002 labor dispute that shut down West Coast Ports for 10 days, the cost an was estimated $1-2 billion dollars a day.”


Recent mechanical problems with Washington State Ferries have left travelers feeling wary for the summer travel season. The Seattle Times reports that the ferry “Tacoma” broke down last weekend due to a small electrical failure, which is not uncommon. Last Sunday, the “Elwha” ferry broke down in the San Juans. These were small issues not necessarily indicative of a larger ferry pandemic. However, The Times reports, “Last year, ferries missed 83 trips because of mechanical problems…In all, there were 247 misses — the majority caused by low tides or weather — out of 40,436 total trips.” The major issue here is that if more ferries break down, the Washington State Department of Transportation doesn’t have spares to fill the gap. The 144-car “Samish” ferry will come to assist with the Anacortes-San Juan routes in June. However, of the 24 vessels in the fleet, five are currently unavailable for use.

Seattle Elementary participates in 5K to empower girls

The non-profit program Girls on the Run has been helping elementary school girls from Sacajawea Elementary in Seattle train for their upcoming 5K. According to King 5’s Evening Magazine, volunteers have each paired up with girls to be their running buddies for the past 10 weeks of training. The goal of the program is, “…about empowerment, teamwork and [helping the girls] feel good about themselves.” Over 700 girls from all over King County will be running in the Girls on The Run spring 5k on Saturday, May 16.

Blaine Wetzel Named Best Chef, Teacher to Throw out First Pitch

Posted May 08, 2015


Award-winning chef Blaine Wetzel

Brady Olson, the North Thurston High School teacher who tackled a student gunman last week, will throw out the first pitch at the Mariner’s game tonight. MyNorthwest.com reports, “the 16-year old shooter is believed to have been trying to commit suicide by cop when Olson saved his life by tackling him, as well as the lives of other students.” Olson will be honored at the game tonight for his bravery.

Football fans have long been suspicious of Deflategate and according to The New York Times, a 243-page report released by the NFL this week strongly suggests that Patriots employees Jim McNally and John Jastremski deflated the team’s footballs. The Times reports that it’s “more probable than not that [quarterback Tom] Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski.” The NFL requires balls to be between 13.5-12.5 pounds per square inch threshold. The report shows that during the Colts game, “… when 11 balls were tested with two gauges at halftime… they were all below 12.5 p.s.i. Most were substantially lower. One was at 10.5.”

The creation of a sports arena in SoDo has passed the next stage of development with the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement on Thursday, according to MyNorthwest.com. “We’re one step closer to bringing NHL hockey and NBA basketball to Seattle,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. The project could be underway early in 2016.

The Capitol Hill Seattle Blog reports that Mayor Ed Murray submitted a revised proposal for a new transportation levy. According to the mayor’s announcement, the plan reflects the need for “more reliable transit system access, improved connections to light rail, and making it safer for people of all ages to walk in Seattle.” The revised proposal requires an additional $30 million, making the grand total around $930 million. It will need to be approved by the City Council before it goes on November’s ballot.

Blaine Wetzel, the innovative chef of the Willows Inn on Lummi Island, was presented with the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northwest on Tuesday. According to The Seattle Times, the 29-year-old Olympia native has long been making a name for himself. His craft has gotten him recognized twice by the James Beard Foundation—last year he tied for Rising Star Chef, and in 2011, he was nominated in the Rising Star category. It’s a big year for Wetzel—his cookbook Sea and Smoke is due out in October.

A small earthquake shook northern Washington on Thursday morning. The 3.7 magnitude quake occurred in Snohomish County around 1:42 a.m., approximately eight miles northeast of Bryant. According to MyNorthwest.com, “…it’s unlikely that the quake was related to a series of small temblors that have been shaking California in recent days.” There have been no reports of damage or injuries.