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Dockless in Seattle

In summer 2017, thousands of brightly-hued bikes started covering Seattle streets. Unlike Seattle’s previous bikeshare program, Pronto, which required users to return the bike to a designated parking station, these don’t have a station. You unlock the bike with your smartphone, then leave it at your destination. It’s more convenient, so the program has been seeing a lot more use and overall enthusiasm than Pronto ever did. But all that freedom sometimes leads to… well, chaos. The bikes...


Without Shelter

King County has the third-largest homeless population in the country. And despite Seattle and King County’s concerted efforts over the last decade, more and more people are living outside. That means more and more people are dying outside. Anitra Freeman and Qween B King Rios are two members of Women in Black, a group of volunteers that aims to stand in silent vigil for every unsheltered person who dies outside or by violence in the region. Both women have experienced homelessness, and...


Faith, Doubt, and Pedro the Lion

When Seattle-based rock musician David Bazan began his career in the mid-1990s, he was Christian. In the beginning, he put his faith—and his doubt about his faith—into his music. But over time, he began to sing less and less about faith, and more and more about doubt. His band, Pedro the Lion, broke up in 2005, and he’s built a solo career since, releasing albums that explore his breakup with Christianity as well as his anger toward corporate power, politics, and patriarchy. In late 2017,...


Shifting SIFF

The Seattle International Film Festival kicks off on May 17 with over four hundred films from ninety different countries. It’s the largest film festival in the U.S.—and nearly half of the films featured this year were made by women. That would seem, well, obvious, until you look at most of the numbers out there, including in SIFF’s own lineup just a few years ago. Seattleland sits down this week with SIFF executive director Sarah Wilke and artistic director Beth Barrett (who is also one of...


Secret Agent Man

At the end of March, following the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in England, the Trump administration expelled 60 Russian diplomats from the U.S. and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle. White House officials said that these weren’t necessarily diplomats, though. More likely, they were spies. Seattle resident Naveed Jamali, whose experience working as a double agent for the FBI and Russian intelligence prompted his memoir, How to Catch a Russian Spy,...


The Backlog

The Seattle region is home to Amazon, Microsoft, and tons of other tech companies—many of which hire a percentage of their employees on H1B visas. These are temporary work permits designed for foreign workers with specific kinds of skills and expertise. In recent years, a vast majority of those workers have come from India. And when they and their employers apply for permanent residency—something that’s legally required after six years on an H1B—that’s when they run into problems. This...


Boarders vs. Bureaucracy

Skateboarding is popular, but tough in the Pacific Northwest. Rain is a big problem. Covered skate parks are few and far between. So when a group of skaters in Renton illegally built a DIY park under a freeway overpass, and the Washington Department of Transportation threatened to tear it down last fall, a crowd of skaters from across the region showed up to defend it. Renton Reporter staff writer Leah Abraham set off to figure out just why one park means so much to so many people—and...


Black Lives Matter Meets #MeToo

In December, a trio of activists formed Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County (BLMSKC), the first official BLM chapter in the region, despite the fact that the movement has been active here for four years. The reason, they said, had a lot to do with allegations of harassment against some male BLM leaders. In this week’s episode, South Seattle Emerald editor and Seattle Weekly columnist Marcus Harrison Green talks about Black Lives Matter’s #MeToo moment — and how the fight for one kind of...


The Matriarch of Marijuana

Everyone knows that Washington was one of the first states to legalize marijuana — medicinal in 1998 and recreational in 2012. But few know the story of the small, tight-knit community that fought the battles for patients’ rights that eventually opened the door to recreational cannabis. Those who did know will tell you that none of it would have happened without JoAnna McKee, who passed away in late 2017. In this episode, we meet some of the people who knew and loved JoAnna; hear about her...


What’s in a Game?

Seattle has a little-known claim to fame: It is one of the pinball capitals of the world. Competitive pinball tournaments are a nightly occurrence here—and a lot of the players are internationally ranked. But for a very long time, most of those players were men. Host Sara Bernard heads down to Add-A-Ball arcade in Fremont, lets the plunger fly, and introduces us to a growing cadre of badass women who are taking over a game that was, once upon a time, against the law. Featuring interviews...


The Other Robert E. Lee

After white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, protested the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in August 2017, some residents of Kent, Washington noticed that their police department was located inside the Robert E. Lee Memorial Building. Wait… what? In part two of our What’s in a Name series, we explore the origins of the building’s name and discover a man who, to the people of Kent anyway, managed to overshadow the legacy of his namesake. Featuring Vicki...