Rebekah Way | KNKX

Rebekah Way

Photo courtesy of David McGraw

Author’s note: With live performances canceled or postponed, many local musicians quickly pivoted to find new ways to keep sharing their music. This site -- created by a Seattle-based musician -- became a staple in the world of live streamed concerts throughout the pandemic, hosting many local and national acts. (This story originally aired April 3, 2020.)

A sign directs vehicles toward a drive-up testing site at the Tacoma Dome in March. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department hosted the coronavirus testing site for several days for high-risk groups at the start of the pandemic.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press (file)

A controversial proposal to dissolve the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department will not move forward.

In this April 2, 2020 photo, a nurse at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle holds a medical face shield prior to the start of her shift in a triage tent outside the hospital's emergency department.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

As coronavirus cases surge throughout the state, people in the health care and social assistance sectors are losing jobs.

A pedestrian makes his way along a waterfront as downtown Seattle is partially hidden in a steady rain beyond Monday, Nov. 18, 2019.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has filed a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the city’s recently passed payroll tax, known as “JumpStart Seattle.” The lawsuit argues it's a tax on “the right to earn a living.”

Photo courtesy of Michelle Smith-Lewis

Performing arts groups are finding new ways to offer holiday season programs this year due to the coronavirus. In Renton, Evergreen City Ballet is reimagining “The Nutcracker” with a series of films starting Friday.

People in masks walk through the light displays at Zoolights inside the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma.
Katie Cotterill / Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

During the darkest time of the year, hundreds of thousands of LED lights create bright animals, landmarks and dazzling displays for Zoolights at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. The 30-plus-year-old holiday tradition kicks off Friday, with some coronavirus-related changes. 

The Grand Cinema is a nonprofit movie theater in Tacoma.
Amelia Vaugh / Courtesy of The Grand

Many of the region’s annual film festivals are going virtual this year, as the pandemic continues. That includes next year’s Seattle International Film Festival and the Tacoma Film Festival, which is going on now and continues through Sunday.

Jennifer Wing / knkx

Seattle voters are considering a sales tax to fund bus services and additional transit-related programs. Proposition 1 authorizes a 0.15 percent sales tax. That's equivalent to 15 cents per every $100 spent.

The measure would replace a 0.1 percent sales tax and $60 car tab fee voters approved in 2014 that pays for bus services, free ORCA cards for high school students and low income seniors, and other programs. Proposition 1 only includes a sales tax and would not renew the car tab fee.

Photo courtesy of Michael Gill

Most music venues in Washington closed early on in the pandemic, and they'll be among the last to reopen under the state’s phased plan. A new fundraising effort called Keep Music Live aims to raise more than $10 million to provide relief for the state's small, independently owned venues.

The Seattle Storm celebrate after the team defeated the Minnesota Lynx during Game 3 of a WNBA basketball semifinal round playoff series Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. The Storm move onto the WNBA finals.
Chris O'Meara / The Associated Press

For the fourth time in franchise history, the Seattle Storm are in the WNBA Finals. For longtime fans, following the team has been different this season because of the pandemic.

Adrian Florez / KNKX

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and leaders from Native community health and wellness organizations came together this week to discuss strength, resilience and healing. 

Abigail Echo-Hawk is director of the Urban Indian Health Institute, a research division of the Seattle Indian Health Board. During the public panel Thursday, she said it’s important for Native communities to have access to resources for healing.

One of the courtrooms in the King County Children and Family Justice Center.
Paula Wissel / KNKX

Recent data shows about 8 in 10 children charged in King County are people of color. The King County Council and the Seattle City Council are trying to make the criminal justice system more equitable.

This photo shows a sign at the headquarters for Washington state's Employment Security Department Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

A federal benefit that added $600 to weekly unemployment payments is set to expire July 31. Last week was the final week for recipients to collect the extra funds. KNKX’s Rebekah Way spoke with residents who are receiving unemployment about what the change means for them.

A small homeless encampment sits under a bride in Seattle. Officials in the Puget Sound region are bracing for the novel coronavirus to hit homeless shelters and camps.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seattle officials continue to debate how to address homeless encampments during the pandemic. Seattle City Council members met Wednesday to consider legislation that would limit the city’s ability to remove encampments during COVID-19. 

Northwest Folklife Festival has shifted online and will take place May 23-25.
Photo courtesy of Christopher Nelson

Countless staple regional events that typically mark the start of summer have been canceled due to COVID-19. But the 49th annual Northwest Folklife Festival has made the shift to online. “From Home to Home: Northwest Folklife Festival” takes place this Memorial Day weekend. 

A directive from Public Health — Seattle & King County that requires people to wear face coverings in most public spaces,  including the bus , begins Monday.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX


Starting Monday, bus riders will be expected to wear face coverings in King County during their commute. That change comes from a directive announced by Public Health — Seattle & King County that requires people to wear masks in most indoor public spaces.

Photo courtesy of Amy Piñon

When schools closed as a result of the pandemic, the local art education organization Arts Corps quickly shifted online. But its teaching artists worried that students without access to internet or art supplies would have challenges continuing their learning online.

So, the organization has been assembling art kits full of various supplies. The kits are distributed at locations mostly in the areas Arts Corps serves, including some school meal pick-up locations.

Photo courtesy Joseph Lambert

Arts, cultural and scientific nonprofits in the central Puget Sound region could face up to $135 million in lost revenue by the end of September. That’s the latest projection from a survey by ArtsFund, a group that supports arts organizations through advocacy and grant-making.


Jim Levitt

Over the next few weeks, the King County Council will be considering a $57 million emergency supplemental budget from County Executive Dow Constantine. Within it is a new push to support arts and culture workers and organizations. 

If passed, the bulk of the spending package would send $33 million to continue funding facilities to isolate COVID-19 patients in treatment and recovery. An additional $16 million would be directed in support of small businesses, arts and culture groups, and programs for homeless youth. 

The West Seattle Bridge is seen looking east following an emergency closure several weeks earlier, Wednesday, April 15, 2020, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

The major point of connection for West Seattle’s residents and the rest of the city has been closed for five weeks. A lot remains unclear for the West Seattle Bridge’s future. 

An aerial view of several housing developments in Kent
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, tenants who are unable to pay rent will be able to remain in their homes for another month. Gov. Jay Inslee has extended the eviction moratorium enacted last month, adding more protections for renters. 

The streets of downtown Tacoma are empty amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Photo by Tom Collins

Tacoma City Council recently issued a statement condemning acts of discrimination, citing an increase in reports around the region and nation from Asian-American community members and other marginalized groups experiencing racism amid COVID-19.

Health care workers collect COVID-19 tests at a drive-through testing site at the University of Washington Medicine’s Northwest Outpatient Medical Center in Seattle’s Northgate neighborhood.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

A drive-through testing site for COVID-19 is now operating at the University of Washington Medicine’s Northwest Outpatient Medical Center in Seattle’s Northgate neighborhood. The site is appointment-only and is open to UW Medicine patients who are referred to testing by a healthcare provider.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. The Seattle Pro Musica choir is marking the centennial in an upcoming concert that features songs entirely by American women composers. The concert, "Shall Not Be Denied," takes place March 7-8, the weekend of International Women’s Day.

The Capitol dome is seen across Capitol Lake in Olympia. Lawmakers have passed a bill banning defenses based on a victim's gender identity or sexual orientation.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

More than 1 in 4 transgender people have experienced violence based on their identity in their lifetime, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Washington has joined a growing coalition of states that are banning what are known as "LGBTQ panic" criminal defenses. Advocates say these defenses have resulted in reduced or shortened sentences in cases of violence against LGBTQ people. Now, both houses of the state Legislature have passed a bill that prohibits the use of those defenses. 

From left to right: Jenny Jang, Helen Hauschka, Gwen Bayer and Camille McLean.
Courtesy of SOGO Coordinator Mary Jo Rydholm

A high school string quartet is getting ready for a show that pits the music of two rock icons against each other: The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. KNKX's Rebekah Way brings us to one of the quartet's rehearsals.

Dental chairs line the Exhibition Hall in Seattle Center  for the Seattle/King County Clinic. Dental care is one of the most demanded services at the clinic each year.
Rebekah Way / KNKX

An annual free health care clinic has returned to the region and is going on now through Sunday in Seattle Center. 

Seattle's KeyArena had historically been the clinic's home. But when the arena closed for its remodel, the Seattle/King County Clinic's (SKCC) future became unclear. 

President and CEO of the Downtown Seattle Association, Jon Scholes, encouraged the crowd gathered at Westlake Park last Friday to attend Tuesday's Public Safety and Human Services Committee meeting.
Rebekah Way / KNKX

Crime along the Pike and Pine corridor has been an ongoing issue that the City of Seattle has tried to address. Seattle City Council member Lisa Herbold chairs the Public Safety and Human Services Committee, and she says this subject remains a priority.

The concerns about public safety in downtown Seattle have escalated, following last week's fatal shooting on Third Avenue. 

Photo courtesy of Paul Lebens-Englund and the Washington State Historical Society


Olympia is much more than the center of state government. It also is a nexus of punk music. That started around the 1980s, and really hit its stride in the '90s — though punk is still an important part of the music scene in Olympia.


Health officials and lawmakers are hoping to see Subsitute House Bill 1551 make it through the next legislative session. It would update many of the state's laws relating to HIV and AIDS, which largely haven't been updated since they were adopted in 1988.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

State lawmakers responded to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s with new laws that defined how Washington would respond to and treat the disease. But many of these laws haven't been updated since they were passed. 

In the next legislative session, lawmakers are considering a bill that would reflect advancements made in the last 30 years to prevent and treat HIV.