City of Seattle | KNKX

City of Seattle

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

It’s early days yet, but the first draft of a new law to protect and increase Seattle’s tree canopy is out. The proposed ordinance extends safeguards to all trees that have a diameter at breast height of six inches or more.  

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

Seattle is working on changes to its tree protection ordinance. Trees provide shade and clean the air. They’re acknowledged by the City of Seattle for the ecosystem services they provide, which are increasingly called for as the climate warms. 

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

You may have noticed more food service providers changing the kinds of disposable utensils you get with takeout. In Seattle, a ban on plastic straws and cutlery officially kicks in this weekend. As of July 1, all eateries in city limits are required to provide straws and utensils that can be composted.

Flickr via Compfight

Trees provide lots of benefits that make cities more livable and ecosystems healthier. Smaller cities around the region, including Redmond and Lake Forest Park, have ordinances in place to protect larger trees from being cut down by developers or homeowners.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Seattle has more unsheltered people than New York, a city nearly 12 times its size, according to the most recent homelessness data from each city.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Monday in two lawsuits against Seattle's law allowing drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft to unionize.

The lawsuits were dismissed by a District Court judge in August. But both groups are appealing to let the lawsuits proceed. 

Paula Wissel / knkx

Memorial Stadium at the Seattle Center could be closer to getting a makeover. Seattle Public Schools, which owns the stadium, has signed an agreement with the city of Seattle to come up with a plan for the 70 year old high school sports facility.

Courtesy of Quinn Thomas

King County’s population is growing by about 100 people a day, and these new residents overwhelmingly come from out of state.

But despite Seattle region's tech-industry boom, many of them are coming for reasons other than work, according to a new survey aimed at painting a clearer picture of new Seattleites. 

Will James / KNKX

Seattle's former mayors have a lot to say about today's city politics -- and today's traffic. 

Four ex-mayors and a former deputy mayor sat down for a talk Thursday evening at the Folio library  in downtown Seattle.

Combined, they ran or helped run Seattle for four decades. Some of them ran against each other.

Nuclear Reactor Building
Flickr photo "UW Nuclear Reactor Building" by Max Morley is licensed under cc by 2.0 http://bit.ly/2uO7n5B

A legal fight between the City of Seattle and the University of Washington has ended in a victory for the city. The state Supreme Court said university buildings can be designated as city landmarks.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Despite a lot of pressure from activists, Seattle will not be divesting from fossil fuel investments in its $2.5 billion pension fund. 

The board that oversees the pension fund for city employees met Thursday morning and faced a room full of protestors holding signs urging the city to take its money out of energy investments that pollute the air.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

A small non-profit group is trying to preserve some of Belltown’s unique character. It has just closed comments on a community visioning project for the Seattle neighborhood. Members of the group hope to preserve historic sites and create economic vitality.  

Will James / KNKX

The city of Seattle is facing a lawsuit from a group of landlords challenging one of the city’s most recent protections for tenants. 

Leaders of the Rental Housing Association of Washington say the City Council violated the state constitution's ban on rent control when it capped the amount of money landlords can charge for a security deposit and other move-in fees.

Lawyers representing the association filed the lawsuit Tuesday in King County Superior Court. 

Paula Wissel / knkx

In many ways, the region’s homeless crisis is very visible, from tents on sidewalks to panhandlers in the street. But, artist Xavier Lopez remembers feeling invisible when, as a 10 year old,  his family was homeless. His exhibit, "Hope/Home" runs through June 16 in Seattle's Municipal Tower in downtown Seattle.

Paula Wissel / knkx

In this social media age, sharing your innermost feelings online is expected.  But, Seattle artist Xavier Lopez decided to encourage something different for his exhibit "Message in a Bottle." He asked people to write their thoughts down on paper and tuck them into a bottle.

KNKX, city of Seattle

The city of Seattle doesn’t track the number of big, white land use signs that are out there, but as anyone who lives here knows, there are an awful lot of them right now.

After 30 years, the ubiquitous public notices are getting a facelift. Yes, they’ll look nicer and they should be easier to decipher.

City officials say the updated signs will be easier to understand and they’ll feature color images of what the buildings will look like.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Local officials are praising a federal judge’s decision to temporarily block President Donald Trump’s order to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities.” The temporary restraining order was issued in San Francisco, but applies nationwide.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Next November’s race for mayor of Seattle could end up being a rematch. Former Mayor Mike McGinn, who was defeated in 2013 by current Mayor Ed Murray, is running to get his old job back. 

Paula Wissel / knkx

For the past five years, Seattle police have operated under a federal consent decree that requires steps to be taken to reduce biased policing.  United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to review Obama-era consent decrees to see if they should remain in place. But the review is unlikely to change the one in Seattle.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seattle says it has a plan to reduce pedestrian traffic fatalities by half. It involves a minor tweak to the traffic lights

When you’re on foot in Seattle, it can be a little nerve wracking crossing the street at a traffic signal. Just as the walk sign comes on, the green light for cars goes on as well. If a car is turning, you just hope it sees you.

But Scott Kubly, Seattle Department of Transportation director, says, as part of the city’s pedestrian master plan, those walk lights are going to be reprogrammed so that the walk sign comes on first.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The city of Seattle severed ties with Wells Fargo bank earlier this month and other cities, including Davis, California are following suit. The money from those cities may be a drop in the bucket to the giant financial institution, but the divestment highlights a growing trend in the finance industry.

Paula Wissel / knkx

Seattle’s mayor has released new rules on how to clear encampments of homeless people. This comes as the city faces a class action claiming the current procedures are unconstitutional.

ELAINE THOMPSON / AP

A class-action lawsuit claims city and state procedures for clearing away Seattle's homeless encampments are unconstitutional. 

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Seattle by two homeless women and two organizations that aid the homeless: the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia and the Real Change newspaper.

Christine Armario / AP Photo

How does a city make sure all performance spaces for musicians and artists are safe without quashing creativity? That's something Seattle is grappling with in light of the deadly fire in a warehouse in Oakland, California last month. The space was being used by a group of artists.

ELAINE THOMPSON / AP

King County's annual One Night Count of the Homeless is a massive undertaking that can send more than a thousand volunteers fanning out through Seattle and its suburbs.

For the first time in 37 years, the task of organizing it falls on a new group, and leaders say they plan to try new strategies aimed at reaching more people.

All Home, which oversees federal housing funds in King County, is taking over management of the census, scheduled for January 27.

courtesy Mark Durall

There’s just one week left for the public to comment on preferred alternatives for completion of the missing link in Seattle’s Burke Gilman Trail. The nearly 20-mile trail extends from Ballard to Bothell and is one of the region’s most popular bike routes.

Walt Jabsco/Flckr

Why the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies have placed hidden cameras on utility poles in Seattle, or even where they are, remains a mystery. A federal judge has ruled that the city of Seattle is not allowed to release information about six surveillance cameras the city allowed the agencies to put up.

Courtesy City of Seattle

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says the plan to clear out the crime-ridden homeless encampment known as The Jungle is not an inhumane “sweep.” But he says it still needs to happen as quickly as possible.

“For folks who are in particularly dangerous situations, we should move them. When people are being raped, when people are setting themselves on fire, we’ve got to go in and do something,” Murray said, “and unless someone is engaged in breaking the law, such as a sexual assault, we’re not going to criminalize homelessness.”

Courtesy City of Seattle

Seattle and state officials have announced plans to move people out of the notorious homeless encampment along Interstate 5 known as “the Jungle.” The area is beneath I-5, roughly between Dearborn and Spokane Streets, as well as in the Duwamish Greenbelt east of the freeway. The plan comes several months after a shooting at the camp left two people dead and three wounded.

AnnabelB / flickr

Hundreds of low-cost housing units and small businesses are threatened if proposed changes to zoning go through in Seattle’s University District. That’s according to neighborhood groups who are hosting a community forum with city officials Monday evening to voice their concerns.

Seattle’s University District is one of the city’s six main urban centers zoned for high density. It’s already growing rapidly, with change propelled by a new light rail station at the heart of the neighborhood.

Pages