Vanessa Romo

Business & Labor Reporter

Vanessa is KPLU’s newest staff reporter. She joined the team in June 2011 taking on the business and labor beat. Before that she was a freelance reporter for NPR, Marketplace and World Radio Switzerland. She’s originally from Los Angeles but has lived in and reported from New York City and Washington, D.C. She has a master of journalism from New York University.

Vanessa’s most memorable public radio moment: “Bidding on discounted dental work then willingly going under the high-pitched whine of a dental drill. All to illustrate the lengths the uninsured – me, at the time - will go to for emergency healthcare.”

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Graffiti removal
8:05 am
Tue July 12, 2011

Seattle to hand out supplies in its new anti-graffiti campaign

The city of Seattle wants you to help fight graffiti.
Jake Ellison KPLU

The debate over whether graffiti is art or just plain old vandalism has been raging for decades. But if you fall in the camp that thinks it’s a blight on society, or just your property, Seattle Public Utilities wants you to participate in its Summer Paint Out program.

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Washington Tourism
1:40 pm
Thu June 30, 2011

Washington closes tourism office in face of budget cuts

Washington state will no longer be telling the world about the Fremont Troll or any other tourist attraction since it has gotten out of the tourism promotion business.
Flickr

Today Washington state closes its official tourism agency making it the only state in the nation to abandon all funding for self-promotion. The closure comes at a time when tourism is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world.

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Rick's on auction block
8:05 am
Tue June 28, 2011

Seattle crime family strip club up for auction

It took police and federal agents five years to bust the notorious Frank Colacurcio Sr., pictured walking through downtown Seattle with attorney Bill Helsell in 1980, and gain possession of his criminal empire. Now, Rick's Nightclub is up for sale.
Associated Press

One of Seattle’s seediest buildings is going up for auction on Wednesday. Rick’s Nightclub on Lake City Way was seized by federal agents more than a year ago.

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Economy
2:18 pm
Fri June 24, 2011

City looking for ways to help Seattle's economically distressed

Nearly 30% of Seattle residents – and a quarter of King County residents – live on the verge of falling off a financial cliff, according to a recent study.
Flickr

If you’re unemployed or have a job but are living pay check to pay check, Seattle’s City Council wants you to think of them the next time you’re in a financial jam. 

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Charity Fundraisinig
12:43 pm
Fri June 24, 2011

Giving really, really big at Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG Challenge

Two fundraising volunteers collecting money for the GiveBIG Challenge at a Seattle Sounder's game at Qwest Field.
Courtesy of The Seattle Foundation

How long would you guess it takes to raise more than $4 million dollars for charity? In King County, give it 17 hours. That’s how long it took The Seattle Foundation to raise more than 18,000 donations in its one-day GiveBIG Challenge.

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Business
6:35 pm
Tue June 21, 2011

Seattle to battle over sick leave

If a proposal is accepted by the Seattle City Council, the city will become only the fourth in the country to require employers provide paid sick leave.
Allan Foster Flickr

In what is likely to be a contentious summer debate, the Seattle City Council will receive a proposal this week to mandate all Seattle workers be allowed between five and nine paid sick days a year.

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Protest
2:28 pm
Mon June 20, 2011

Hundreds march in Seattle 'Slutwalk'

Marchers in Seattle participated on Sunday in 'Slutwalk,' part of a series of protests taking place around the world this spring and summer in which scantily-clad women, and some men, take to the streets.
Vanessa Romo KPLU

Hundreds of women in skimpy outfits – plunging necklines and the shortest of shorts – disregarded the overcast 60 degree weather on Sunday and marched down the streets of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.

The march was part of a series of "SlutWalks" taking place this spring and summer in which scantily-clad women, and some men, take to the streets. They say they're protesting a culture in which the victim of a sexual assault is blamed, rather than the perpetrator.

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Protest
2:40 pm
Fri June 17, 2011

Protesting sexual assault: Seattle SlutWalk rally on Sunday

Two SlutWalk protesters carry their homemade signs in a march in Riverside, California.
SlutWalk.com

Earlier this year, a Toronto police officer suggested women could avoid sexual assault by "not dressing like sluts." That comment incited an international movement called SlutWalk, where activists dress in skimpy outfits to protest the treatment of sexual assault victims. This Sunday, June 19, Seattle will hold its own SlutWalk.

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Business
10:44 am
Wed June 15, 2011

Business travel on the rise

Seattle hotels welcome boost in business travelers.
tsparks Flickr

The travel industry usually experiences a bump in leisure travel from June through August. What better time to see the world – or grandma – than when little Susy is out of school? But this year the domino effect of rising fuel prices leading to rising airline ticket prices means families are staying put. Luckily for Seattle’s hotel industry, summer business travelers are taking their place.

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Wedding insurance
10:51 am
Fri June 10, 2011

More buying wedding insurance ('cold feet' not covered)

A newly wed couple.
epSos.de Flickr

June is one of the most popular months of the year to get married. That means brides-to-be are preparing for their long-awaited - and probably highly expensive - wedding day. While there are no guarantees for a successful marriage, a new type of business can guarantee the special day goes as planned.

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