Seattle

courtesy of Puget Sound Bike Share

It’s official: Seattle’s much-anticipated bike share program will launch with 500 bikes in September, thanks to a $2.5 million grant from Alaska Airlines.

City officials unveiled the plan for the program, called "Pronto! Emerald City Cycle Share," on Monday.

Tim Durkan

It appears love is in the air in Washington state. 

The state is home to four of the 20 most romantic cities in the U.S. as ranked by Amazon.com. Leading Washington's pack is Seattle, which came in second place after San Antonio.

The online marketplace ranked cities using the number of romance-related purchases made by consumers in each city. Considered purchases include romance novels, books about relationships, Barry White CDs and romantic comedy movies.

Tim Durkan

Cities don’t get much smarter than Seattle, according to Fast Company magazine.

Seattle topped the magazine’s list of smartest cities in North America. The ranking is based on a number of categories, including government, lifestyle, environment, and economy.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Following the lead of Olympia, Portland, and Tacoma, the city of Seattle is considering less frequent garbage pickup. But not everyone who took part in a pilot program last year loves the idea.

In four neighborhoods, Seattle Public Utilities experimented with picking up garbage every other week instead of every week. The city did not change its pickup schedule for recycling or yard and food waste. The aim of switching is to reduce the number of garbage trucks on the road, save the city some money and encourage recycling.

JoeInSouthernCA / Flickr

Editor's note: The poll on which this story is based was taken in 2012. No such poll has been taken in 2013. 

Maybe it's the natural beauty that surrounds the city. Or the cultural diversity that enriches it. Or maybe it's those Seattle summer days that resemble perfection, or the winter weekends that ski bums look forward to all year long.

Perhaps for all these reasons, Seattle has topped the list of most-liked U.S. cities, according to a nationwide Public Policy Polling survey.

The poll found 57 percent of those polled see Seattle favorably, and 14 percent unfavorably. Portland, which ranked second, earned 52 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU News

It’s giving season, so there are loads of parties going on this time of year.

But a recent holiday bazaar in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood is the work of a unique entrepreneur, with a special spin on networking.

He has helped thousands of small companies to survive and even grow during the Great Recession.

Cris Pierry / flickr.com

Fast Company has released its list of the top ten smartest cities in North America.  Seattle is third from the top. Vancouver, BC comes in at fourth place. Boston is number one.

All of the cities on the list "are pushing the envelope of technology, sustainability and better living conditions".

Grrrl Army / Tumblr

What appears to have started as a battle over wall space for posters on Seattle’s Capitol Hill has morphed into an increasingly high-profile call to action against patriarchy, “rape culture,” sexism and, well, “inequality and oppression.”

A call to action that the group Seattle Grrrl Army announces in bright bold pink.

UPDATE: Members of the Grrrl Army explain their tactics

Aimée Wheaton/Mazer Design / flickr.com

According to real estate website zillow.com, Seattle is one the best cities in the nation for trick-or-treating. Seattle is number 4 on the site’s top 20 list for Halloween, behind San Francisco, Boston and Honolulu.

Recent violence against tourists and residents in downtown Seattle is putting pressure on the city council to put more cops on the street.

The council received a letter from a large coalition of businesses and organizations concerned about public safety downtown.

The letter is signed by nearly 160 organizations and entities in Seattle, including several hotels, restaurants and the downtown Seattle Association. Its president, Kate Joncas, says they kept hearing from people about aggressive panhandling and open air drug dealing.

Terence T.S. Tam / Flickr

Seattle is the second-best city in the country, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The news org evaluated and ranked the largest 100 U.S. cities and published its results today.

San Francisco grabbed the gold ring at No. 1.

Jake Ellison / KPLU

A cultural shift is taking place in Seattle. It’s the elimination of a free-ride zone downtown, for bus riders.

It’s been in place for four decades. And on Friday (Sept. 28) it will go away. 

A major environmental group, People for Puget Sound, has been shut down by its board because of finances. The organization is being absorbed by two other environmental groups.

People for Puget Sound was founded in 1991 by a charismatic woman named Kathy Fletcher.

Lindsay Lowe / KPLU

The level of intensity around the proposal to build a new NBA arena in Seattle is growing by the minute.

The group of investors – which we learned yesterday includes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and the Nordstrom family – drew hundreds to a "bring back our Sonics" rally in Pioneer Square today. It was a well-timed event to put pressure on the Seattle City Council and King County Council to back the deal.

“This is a very carefully orchestrated PR campaign," says KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. "At the same time, the old Sonics – the Thunder – are in the NBA Finals this week. The angst could not be more intense in Seattle among sports fans who care about this because their 41-year passion is being thrown back in their face, mocked by the Thunder’s presence in the league’s championship series.”

toddraden Photo / Flickr

It was standing room only at the federal building in Seattle, where the Environmental Protection Agency held its first hearing Thursday on Alaska’s Bristol Bay fishery.

At issue is the potential effects of a proposed gold and copper mine there. The assessment looks at mining in general, though concern has arisen over a huge project known as the Pebble Mine.

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