Simone Alicea | KNKX

Simone Alicea

Business & Labor Reporter

A Seattle native and former knkx intern, Simone Alicea has returned to the Pacific Northwest from covering breaking news at the Chicago Sun-Times. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times. 

Ways to Connect

Tents under an overpass in Seattle
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Communities across the state will fan out this week to count people experiencing homelessness. The yearly point-in-time count is one tool local leaders use to measure the scope of the homelessness crisis.

Crews continue to dig underneath the roof of KeyArena during the day while trucking out the dirt at night.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX Public Radio

Progress continues on the redevelopment of Seattle's KeyArena. Officials say they're on track to finish the project by summer 2021. 

Tacoma light rail
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

A state senator from Pierce County has introduced a bill that would remove the county from the regional public transportation plan known as Sound Transit 3. But at least one leader there is speaking up against the idea.

Cory Walster, Lewis Conway Jr. and Tarra Simmons
Courtesy of Cory Walster, Lewis Conway Jr., and Tarra Simmons

We all fall somewhere on a spectrum when it comes to political participation. Maybe we just skim the news or vote in big races, but sometimes we're pushed to do more: join a march, testify in Olympia, or even run for office.

Getting involved can be risky, because it's public and there's no guarantee your voice will be heard. Those risks are amplified when you have a criminal record.

Hundreds of Amazon and other tech workers in Seattle marched from the company's headquarters to City Hall on Sept. 20, 2019, to call for action on climate change.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

A group of Amazon employees who organized a walkout in September to call for action on climate change says the Seattle-based company has threatened to fire some of them if they continue to speak publicly about Amazon's business.

Light rail pulling in to Westlake Station
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Light rail through downtown Seattle will be closed this weekend. The closure preempts a longer disruption that will affect everyone traveling through the city for the next few months.

"Light Side Dark Side," by artist Shaunte Gates depicts the legacy of comedian and activist Dick Gregory, one of the men featured in the exhibit "Men of Change."
Courtesy of the artist via the Smithsonian

The Washington State History Museum in Tacoma is one of only two museums on the West Coast hosting a new traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian. "Men of Change" highlights the stories of iconic African American men.

There are 125 unnamed headstones at the old prison cemetery on McNeil Island.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

Author’s note: This story followed up on one we told in Episode 4 of Forgotten Prison, KNKX's podcast about the history of McNeil Island. It really bothers people that there are no names on these graves. Maybe it seems like a little thing, but it just reinforces ideas about what prison is and who ends up there. It's difficult to overstate how special a place McNeil Island is. Taking listeners there through these stories was a big highlight of my year. I highly recommend the rest of the series. (This story originally aired Oct. 10.)  

Model trains at the state history museum in Tacoma
Simone Alicea / KNKX

School was still in session for many kids Friday, the opening day of the Model Train Festival. But there were still a handful of children and adults spread across multiple floors of the state history museum in Tacoma to watch miniature locomotives chug.

Tents under an overpass in Seattle
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

A plan to create a new homelessness authority serving Seattle and King County cleared a key vote Thursday. But tensions over how the new authority will be governed could delay the creation of the agency into the new year.

A sign directing people to vehicle licensing and registration in Bellevue
Simone Alicea / KNKX

UPDATE, Nov. 27: A King County Superior Court judge granted a temporary injunction blocking implementation of Initiative 976, which was scheduled to go into effect next week.  

Tuesday marked the end for many campaigns across Washington state, as counties certify their election results. But there are several contests around the Puget Sound region that face recounts.

Snoqualmie Tribal Chair Robert de los Angeles speaks outside the Eighth Generation store in Seattle's Pike Place Market.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

The Snoqualmie Tribe has purchased Eighth Generation, a well-known native arts retailer with a flagship store in Seattle's Pike Place Market.

This deal comes on the heels of another major acquisition for the Snoqualmie. Earlier this month, the tribe purchased the Salish Lodge and Spa along with land surrounding Snoqualmie Falls.

One issue in the system of services for those near or experiencing homelessness is inefficiency. A Denver-based developer is hoping his app can help solve that problem, and some service providers in Seattle are starting to experiment with it.

This April 22, 2017 file photo shows For Rent signs in front of a house in Salem, Oregon.
Andrew Selsky / AP Photo

A Federal Way initiative to protect more renters from eviction is passing 55-45 percent. That victory, along with growing momentum elsewhere, could pave the way for just-cause eviction protections statewide.

The Salish Lodge and Spa overlooks the Snoqualmie falls. The Snoqualmie Tribe announced its purchase of the lodge and surrounding land Friday.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The Snoqualmie Tribe has purchased the Salish Lodge and Spa along with the land surrounding Snoqualmie Falls from the Muckleshoot for $125 million.

A sign directing people to vehicle licensing and registration in Bellevue
Simone Alicea / KNKX

Washington voters are once again seeing an initiative on their ballot that aims to lower the cost of car tabs. Initiative 976 seeks to repeal state and local car-tab fees to bring them to a flat $30. The initiative also directly targets Sound Transit.

A voter drops a ballot into a ballot drop box Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

A bill up for consideration in the upcoming legislative session could make voting easier in Washington state for thousands of people convicted of felonies. If passed, it would expand voting rights to those in community custody.

news that informs graphic
Adrian Florez / KNKX

The King County Charter Review Commission is nearing the end of its process for recommending changes to the county's main governing document. The commission is seeking public comment and will hold a town hall-style event in Seattle next week.

Light rail pulling in to Westlake Station
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Light rail stations will be closed in both directions starting 11 p.m. Friday between the SODO and Capitol Hill stations in Seattle. They open again at 1 a.m. Monday.

Grace Stroklund / Courtesy of The Center for One Health Research

In a pop-up gallery traveling around Seattle this week, a series of four photographs by Grace Stroklund looks like it came from an Instagram vacation. The photos feature a pointy-eared black dog on a trail, posing for the camera in a hammock with a lakeside backdrop, and snuggling with the photographer in that same hammock.

Stroklund is housed now. But she used to use the hammock featured in her photos on nights she had to sleep outside.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Tula's Restaurant and Jazz Club in Seattle has seen a full house nearly every night this month. Its last show Sunday evening was no different.

news that informs graphic
Adrian Florez / KNKX

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has released her spending priorities for 2020, focusing on new investments to address the city's most pressing problems.

Reporter Simone Alicea was following a march of Amazon workers today, which eventually converged with the youth climate strike that started at Cal Anderson Park. She talked live about it with All Things Considered host Ed Ronco.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

UPDATE, Sept. 20, 6 p.m.: Adds details from strikes in Seattle and Tacoma, as well as audio of a live Q&A with reporter Simone Alicea, who followed a march by Amazon workers, and audio of a live Q&A with environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp. 

uber car
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is releasing more details about proposals that would set a minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers and tax the companies to pay for transit, housing and driver protections.

A detainee walks in a hallway during a media tour at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility Tuesday in Tacoma.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

One of Nathalie Asher's first goals in returning to the Northwest from three years in D.C. is to combat what she says are myths and misinformation about immigration enforcement and detention.

"We've never done this kind of an extensive tour like this," the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement Seattle field office director told media outside the Northwest ICE Processing Center in Tacoma.

news that informs graphic
Adrian Florez / KNKX

The City of Seattle is considering a ban on natural gas in new buildings. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging builders to go electric for cooking and heating.

Tents under an overpass in Seattle
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seattle and King County leaders are taking a big step toward combining their response to homelessness. The mayor and county executive on Wednesday put forward legislation to create a new regional homelessness authority.

WSDOT's Patty Rubstello explains the tolls coming Nov. 9 to the State Route 99 tunnel in Seattle.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

Starting at 5 a.m. Nov. 9, drivers on the state Route 99 tunnel in Seattle will have to pay tolls after nine months of riding free. This latest step in the nearly decade-long effort to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct also will have consequences for downtown traffic.

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