City of Seattle

A snapshot of everyday business practices displays a pattern of discrimination against black and disabled renters in Seattle. That’s the conclusion of an undercover investigation by the city’s Office for Civil Rights. 

The city contracted with the non-profit Fair Housing Center of Washington to test 48 properties that were randomly selected. It found more than half of all properties tested showed evidence of illegal housing discrimination.

Emiliano Pennisi /

If you live in Seattle and want to avoid receiving piles of phone books that you don't need, the deadline is September 23. The city has an opt-out website at

Seattle voters will face a proposed car tab fee on the November ballot. The city council has unanimously agreed to ask for an additional $60 annually for the next 10 years to help pay for road and transit projects. 

The news comes just a day after the King County Council added a temporary $20 car tab fee to maintain bus service.


University of Washington, the City of Seattle and King County all face possible credit rating downgrades because of the federal government stalemate over raising the national debt ceiling.


“We live in this amazing community where so many people are trying to make a difference …”

Seattle has become a hub, or more accurately a hodgepodge, of international do-gooders. And, well, nobody seems to really have a handle on everything going on.

That’s where another internationally oriented foundation in Seattle comes in. Appropriately enough, it’s called the Seattle International Foundation.

Read more.

Jen Nance / Office of Seattle Mayor

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has signed an ordinance that will regulate medical marijuana shops like any other business.

Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

Seattle residents and businesses have hit an all-time high for recycling rates. And from the front yard of a model recycling family in Seattle, Mayor Mike McGinn gave the city a pat on the back:

“53 percent – an all-time high– 53 percent of the waste produced in the city of Seattle is taken out of the waste-stream and recycled,” McGinn said.

"Good Lord, how did we get here ..."

Seattle has become the first city in Washington to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. A number of other cities have banned the businesses outright.  The Seattle City Council decided to take the opposite approach after efforts to regulate medical pot at the state level failed.

Mayor McGinn's photostream /

The city of Seattle is greening up its fleet of vehicles with the addition of five Nissan Leafs. The city plans to have a total of 35 Leafs by the end of 2012.

Seattle is one of 18 cities taking part in The EV Project, the nation's largest electric vehicle demonstration.


With roughly 25,000 Seattleites “legally” smoking marijuana for medical reasons, the city council has decided to step in where Gov. Chris Gregoire dared not tread. The city will begin holding hearings on an ordinance for regulating the growing and sale of medical marijuana.


You can expect region-wide congestion this weekend, the state Department of Transportation says, because State Route 520 will be closed between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and Interstate 405 in Bellevue.

And, the city of Seattle will close the Interstate 5 ramps to and from Mercer Street.

Justin Baeder /

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is proposing a 25 percent hike in drinking water rates spread over the next three years. SPU says the typical monthly household bill is currently $31.70. The proposal would increase that monthly bill by $2.41 in 2012, $2.68 in 2013 and $2.91 in 2014.

sea turtle / Flickr

The Seattle City Council has unanimously endorsed The Happiness Initiative, reports Sustainable Seattle, an organization that develops regional indicators of well-being and sustainability.

“Measuring the subjective happiness or well-being levels of Seattle residents is an important tool that can help our council make effective policy decisions and can engage our community in conversations about what we really want from life and from our economy,” City Council President Richard Conlin said in a press release.

Seattle Parks and Recreation

Some neighborhoods could lose their central gathering spots for kids and seniors. The city is considering closing several community centers or reducing hours to cut costs. 

The Seattle Department of Transportation writes in its blog that sure enough, a number of on-street parking pay stations “recently experienced some technical problems.”

SDOT says a cell tower lost signal strength intermittently and that caused all the trouble.

James Hall / Flicker

The city of Seattle's revamped Shoreline Master Plan would limit the number of people living on boats to 25 percent of slips in any marina. The boating website Three Sheets Northwest reports the proposed regulation would dramatically reduce the number of liveaboards and place new requirements on the marinas they call home.

Business banning together to influence elections in Washington is nothing new, but this group may not be the usual suspects with the usual politics.

The newly formed group, the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE), announced in a press release today that it is poised to take action in the upcoming Seattle elections with more than 40 companies already supporting it. The PAC members, it said, represent sectors that include restaurants, retail, manufacturing, construction, tourism and recreation, real estate, finance, professional services, transportation and life sciences.

Shawn McClung / Flickr

New air services connecting Seattle to Iceland and Asia have helped Washington state lead the nation in attracting visitors from overseas, according to the U.S. Commerce Department and Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau. Tying with Nevada for the highest percentage growth in foreign visitors from 2009 to 2010, Washington state visits increased by 32 percent compared with an 11-percent growth nationally.

Among top U.S. cities, Seattle and Los Angeles led with a 33-percent increase in attracting foreign visitors. Other cities with double-digit increases were Las Vegas with 31 percent; Atlanta, 25 percent, and San Diego, 24 percent.

Charla Bear / KPLU

A new effort could make internet speeds 100 times faster for some small businesses and residential customers in Seattle. Mayor Mike McGinn announced a plan to bring fiber optic broadband to Pioneer Square as part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the neighborhood.

A vote on whether to build a tunnel to replace the aging Alaskan Way viaduct can take place, a King County Judge ruled today (Friday).

King County Superior Court Judge Laura Middaugh said some parts of the agreements that cover utilities, insurance, right-of-way and other issues can be in the referendum but others can't. She'll hear arguments next Friday on which parts could be included in an August vote and whether she has the authority to partially rewrite language in the referendum.

A federal judge has ruled the city of Seattle can go ahead with its effort to limit free phone books on doorsteps. Yellow pages companies were trying to block the city’s anti-phone book plan.

Starting today (Thursday) a new online registry will allow Seattleites to choose whether or not they receive yellow pages phone books. But an industry group says it’s redundant, because there’s already such a website in place nationwide.

The City of Seattle site is

Police, fire and all other departments in Seattle have been asked to find budget cuts for next year. Mayor Mike McGinn has instructed every office to look for trims because of lagging city revenues.

Seattle wants to know what teenagers have to say about city government. It’s looking for thirteen to nineteen-year-olds for the Seattle Youth Commission.

AP photo

Insiders from many of Seattle's most recognizable big businesses are gathering today at the Washington State Convention Center downtown.

Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, REI, and The Mariners have all been invited to give interactive presentations meant to inspire others in the region to follow in their footsteps. The topic? Going Green.

Still image courtesy of Anzamarch (Junko) / YouTube

Clean it up or close it down – that's the choice for the new owner of a vacant property in South Seattle that's become notorious for noisy raves. 

Police have declared The Citadel a chronic nuisance. The boxy warehouse building was turned into a music venue by owner Steve Rauf, who says the dance parties have brought in much-needed revenue. 

Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU News

Seattle's downtown restaurant owners are still grumbling about rate hikes for metered street parking.

The city's new scheme has been in place for a little over a month. But the controversy hasn't gone away. One of the city's most famous restaurant owners is going public with his concerns.

Bellamy Pailthorp photo / KPLU

One of Seattle's most famous employers is moving. City leaders are celebrating…because online-retailing giant is only moving a few miles across town. 

The new headquarters complex is large enough to house several thousand employees.

Paula Wissel / KPLU

With 82-percent of Seattle's officers living outside the city limits, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn says it's hard to have a good local police force. It's also difficult to do anything about it because state law prevents cities from requiring officers to live where they work. McGinn says there could be an opportunity, though, when 300 officers who are eligible for retirement leave the force.

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Business Unemployment Tax Breaks on Horizon
  • Seattle Considers Garbage Collection Reductions
  • UW Accused in Animal Welfare Complaint



State House OK's Business Tax Cuts, Benefit Boost for Unemployed

Washington businesses will get a break on unemployment taxes in a deal unanimously approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.