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

In this 2015 file photo, Marina Albero performs in KNKX's Seattle studio. Albero is one of the artists featured in a virtual concert series put on by Town Hall Seattle and Earshot Jazz.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Venues may be closed due to the coronavirus, but there is still a lot happening virtually in the music scene.

Locally, Town Hall Seattle and Earshot Jazz are livestreaming a weekly series on Saturdays featuring local artists. Cafe Racer also has taken its more avant garde improvisational sessions onto the Zoom videoconferencing platform.  Jazz fans can even watch a virtual festival through April 7 that benefits New York musicians.

Caution tape closes off swings and other playground equipment in Seattle.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

For weeks, Gov. Jay Inslee has pleaded with Washingtonians to stay home. Now, he's warning that officials will crack down on people defying his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

With rent due for many people this week, worries are increasing for both tenants and landlords as more people find themselves out of work due to the coronavirus. Those worries remain despite a statewide moratorium on evictions and a pause in non-emergency court proceedings.

There were no passengers on this King County Metro bus Wednesday morning, March 11, 2020.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Reduced service on King County Metro Transit begins Monday as the agency responds to the effects of the coronavirus. Some routes have been suspended entirely while others are operating less frequently or during more limited hours.

The temple of justice in Olympia
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

In response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, courts across Washington state will limit in-person proceedings and try to keep jails less crowded, per an order this week from the state Supreme Court.

Lucy Pemoni / The Associated Press (file)

Virtual medicine is becoming more common as the state responds to the new coronavirus. It can help limit exposure for both patients and providers and ease some strain on hospitals and clinics.

A voter drops a ballot into a ballot drop box Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

UPDATE 11 p.m., Tuesday: Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden were virtually tied Tuesday night in Washington's Democratic presidential primary, separated by less than one percentage point.

Sanders barely led Biden, 32.7 percent to 32.5 percent, in early returns. More than 1.5 million votes have been counted so far. 

Prisoners and outside guests at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen open a Black History Month event with a prayer.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

Prisons aren't known for being friendly places. But the Black History Month event at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen is a joyful occasion.

About 240 incarcerated men and outside guests crowded into the prison's visiting center Wednesday for a daylong program of speeches, performances and music. The program was organized by prisoners.

Taiko drummers open an event remembering Japanese incarceration in front of the immigrant detention center on Tacoma's tideflats.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday outside the Northwest ICE Processing Center in Tacoma. The crowd was filled with signs bearing slogans that have become typical during anti-detention protests.

"Libertad, no murallas," read one. "Freedom, not fences."

Other sights spoke to the particular moment of this wet and windy February day. Strings of paper cranes covered in plastic lined the chainlink fence surrounding the immigrant detention center, along signs that read, "Never again is now."

King County elections officials demonstrate one of the machines that helps sort ballots in advance of the March 10 presidential primary.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

Ballots will begin arriving in mailboxes this week for Washington's presidential primary.  They're due by March 10.

The process will look a little different compared to other primary elections here. Here are five things you need to know.

KNKX photo

A new report released Tuesday is raising questions about the way the King County Sheriff's Office investigates shootings by deputies.

U.S. Department of Justice seal
Simone Alicea / KNKX

The Trump administration is suing King County after a 2019 directive that resulted in the stoppage of flights at Boeing Field chartered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Students study notes during a class at El Centro de la Raza's new Federal Way location.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Responding to shifts in the region's demographics, El Centro de la Raza has opened a new space in Federal Way. It's a significant expansion for the iconic Seattle organization.

The Evictions Study

Interactive maps from an ongoing study of evictions in Washington state illustrate striking patterns in the Puget Sound region, including the way evictions continue to disproportionately impact people of color.

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.