Specials & Shorts

Bon Odori: Sights & sounds from one of Seattle’s oldest festivals
Bon Odori: Sights & sounds from one of Seattle’s oldest festivals
7/19/20231:50

Every summer, one Seattle neighborhood is transformed into a colorful dance and music festival that brings centuries-old Japanese traditions to life. The Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple has hosted and celebrated Bon Odori since 1932, with many festivalgoers attending to honor the spirits and memory of their ancestors. Producer David Albright brings you the sights and sounds from this year’s Obon!

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Seattle-area students take trip of a lifetime to Historic Black Colleges

A group of 31 high school students are embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime journey, visiting 21 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across nine states. These students hail from various regional high schools, from Everett to Federal Way to Renton to Seattle. The trip encompasses both college tours and visits to significant historical landmarks.

Organized by the Northwest Black Pioneers and The Breakfast Group, the two-week trip required students to write an essay and engage in fundraising efforts to participate. 

From streets to stanzas, Seattle's neighborhoods host poetry installations

For National Poetry Month, Seattle Civic Poet Shin Yu Pai and graphic designer Jayme Yen have installed a series of poetry installations reflecting the unique places and neighborhoods of Seattle. The featured poems, chosen for their themes of sustainability and place, will be displayed throughout the month. The poems are available for download as postcards and posters here.

Luck of Irish brings sun & cheer for annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

The luck of the Irish shone brightly over the weekend with blue skies and people dressed in green for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, including Saturday’s 53rd annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Seattle. More than 1,000 people participated in the parade, including Irish dancing groups, pipe bands, and even a few clowns and pirates. Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell was joined by Eddie Hoare, the Mayor of Galway, Seattle’s Sister City in Ireland.

Native plants on the Seattle waterfront

More than 150 years ago, when Seattle was known as Dzidzilalich by local tribes, the area boasted abundant native plants like ocean spray, shore pine, and salmonberry along its shoreline. Today, these plants are scarce in the city's urban core, but the waterfront transformation promises to change that. Pioneer Square streets linking to Elliott Bay will soon feature a "living memorial through the stories of plants," highlighting how local Salish people utilized these species.

From hammer to heel, the story behind Leolo's bespoke shoe craftsmanship

In the shadows of Pike Place Market, a steady drumbeat of hammering echoes from Leolo, a handmade shoe and leather goods store. Within the small, cozy space, the scent of leather greets visitors as three generations of the Corcoran family carefully craft bespoke shoes by hand. Founder and owner Leanne Corcoran, alongside her mother Maurine and daughter Ella, share the intricate 220-step process behind creating their one-of-a-kind shoes and discuss how the business evolved into a family affair.

 Lunar New Year

The traditional music of a booming drum, crashing cymbals, and a ringing gong filled the lobby of Seattle City Hall as two lions danced and interacted with the audience. The Mak Fai Kung Fu Dragon and Lion Dance Association performed to mark Seattle City Council’s recognition of the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, which starts Saturday, Feb. 10 and runs through Feb. 20. The proclamation, initiated by Linh Thai and read by Councilmember Tanya Woo, has been praised for its efforts to embrace and bolster cultural diversity and inclusivity in the city.

Over a 1,000 unite for annual MLK Jr. Day March

On Monday, over a thousand people came together to commemorate and pay tribute to the enduring legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the annual MLK Jr. Day march. Now in its 41st year, the event centered around the theme "Dream Unfinished," and shined a spotlight on crucial issues such as affordable housing, police violence, and the need for increased investment in Black neighborhoods.

Mayor recalls UW's underdog triumph in 1978 Rose Bowl

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell knows the pressure of a big game.  He was the starting right inside linebacker for the University of Washington football team.  They were playing against a bigger, more experienced University of Michigan team in the 1978 Rose Bowl.  Despite being double-digit underdogs, the Huskies emerged victorious with a 27-20 score.  Now, on the eve of Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship, where the underdog Huskies once again face the Wolverines, the mayor reflects on that legendary game and how this UW squad embodies the spirit of the city.

New warehouse will salvage & distribute building materials

In Seattle, nearly 20% of construction waste comes from home demolitions, resulting in tens of thousands of tons of waste annually. Choosing deconstruction over demolition to salvage wood extends the lifespan of these valuable materials and reduces emissions typically produced when harvesting and processing new wood. Local businesses received a $4-million federal grant to build a warehouse to process, store, organize, and distribute salvaged wood, and recover wood from deconstruction of residential structures.

Five fresh faces take oath of office for Seattle City Council

Five fresh faces took the oath of office to serve on the Seattle City Council on Tuesday. Hear from newcomers Rob Saka (District 1), Joy Hollingsworth  (District 3), Maritza Rivera  (District 4), Cathy Moore (District 5) and Robert Kettle  (District 7). Additionally, hear from new Council President Sara Nelson and re-elected Councilmembers Tammy Morales  (District 2) and Dan Strauss (District 6).

mam's books opens a new chapter for Chinatown-International District

Seattle's Chinatown-International District ushered in a new chapter in its business community with the debut of a new independent bookstore this September. mam's books owner Sokha Danh said he has the whole community to thank for pitching in to make this dream a reality, but in particular his parents. They fostered his early love for books, a passion evident in the store's design featuring his family prominently in photo and video displays, which aim to illustrate the Cambodian-American experience. mam's carries books from all over the country, but focuses on local Asian American authors and topics.

The Fight Against Fentanyl

Seattle Channel presents “The Fight Against Fentanyl,” a documentary about the deadly synthetic opioid responsible for claiming the lives of 150 Americans daily, including at least two people a day in King County. Available for about $1 a pill, fentanyl is often added to other street drugs to make them 50 times more potent than heroin, with deadly consequences. Through conversations with affected families, community leaders, and law enforcement, the film showcases the collaborative, multi-pronged efforts aimed at stopping the growing crisis.

Georgetown Morgue, giving more than thrills & chills since 2009

Georgetown Morgue's haunted house goes all out with live actors wearing detailed costumes, complete with prosthetics, makeup, and props to up the fright and fun factor. Alongside the terror, the organizers are supporting Food Lifeline by collecting food donations. By bringing four cans of food, thrill-seeking visitors can get a discounted ticket and help give back to the community.

The Morgue was built in 1928 and was a funeral home, mortuary, and crematory for decades. Thousands of funerals and cremations took place there; at one point, the facility cremated 100 bodies per day. Even that backstory is enough to create a hair-raising experience, but according to their website, the Georgetown Morgue alleges an even more spine-chilling history. Creepy claims include mysterious deaths, stolen corpses, and a horrifying massacre. Whether this is true or not, this backdrop definitely ups the fear factor!

Local businesses get boost from Seattle's Downtown Activation Plan

The Downtown Activation Plan (DAP) is the city's mission to help workers, visitors, and residents feel welcome in downtown Seattle. Part of that multifaceted mission is the Seattle Restored program, which supports local businesses while filling vacant storefronts. 

Pink salmon spawning

Salmon anglers came out in droves near the mouth of the Duwamish Waterway where it was easy fishing. Of the five species of Pacific salmon, the pinks (also known as “humpies” after the hump that forms on their backs) are the smallest and have the shortest life span. They spend just two years in the ocean before returning to their home rivers. Most pinks return from the Pacific Ocean to spawn in odd-numbered years, and this year brought an estimated 3.9 million back to Puget Sound waters. The pinks usually start showing up in Seattle area waters toward the end of August. Since the pink salmon swim in groups and close to shore as they get closer to their home rivers, they’re relatively easy to see and catch from the shoreline. This location off of the SW Spokane St. Bridge is a popular place to cast a line, but sites like Coleman Point in Lincoln Park, Carkeek Park, Golden Gardens, and Alki Beach are also a lure.

If you decide to try your hand at shoreline salmon fishing, make sure to check in with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to learn about licenses and regulations.


 

Move & groove into the night at Dancing til Dusk

Whether you're a seasoned dancer or new to the groove, Dancing til Dusk invites anyone and everyone to join in a free community music and dance night. Company Dance for Joy! and Seattle Parks and Recreation host more than a dozen events in public parks around the city, with four more to go before the summer's out. Neighbors are welcome to join for a beginner-friendly lesson during the first hour, no partner required. Visit here for more information.

Seattle Youth Employment Program capstone

The Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP), marking its 50th anniversary, is a comprehensive initiative that places interns aged 16 to 24 in various departments within the city. Last Friday, youth and mentors celebrated the program's milestone and this summer's intern class. Program leaders and participants say SYEP helps young people from minority and low-income households and communities open doors into the workplace and take control of their futures.

More information and application instructions: https://www.seattle.gov/human-services/services-and-programs/youth-and-young-adults/seattle-youth-employment-program

Courtney Marie Andrews serenades during Downtown Summer Sounds

Singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews performed "It Must Be Someone Else's Fault" from 2021 Grammy-nominated album "Old Flowers" at City Hall Plaza as part of the Downtown Summer Sounds program. Andrews grew up playing in punk bands, toured with band Jimmy Eat World at age 18, and released her eighth album, "Loose Future" in October 2022. For more 2023 Downtown Summer Sounds events, visit here.

Vanishing Seattle celebrates city's past through captivating collection of salvaged signs

A new collection of reclaimed local signs transports Seattle's history into the present. Vanishing Seattle's Cynthia Brothers has brought together a diverse collection of salvaged signs – from hand-painted to wood-carved – to this weekend's Seattle Art Fair. The exhibit is an ode to the artisans and spaces that brought soul to the city, and a celebration of old Seattle businesses, venues, and gathering places. 

The multimedia “Vanishing Seattle Opening Exhibit” debuts tonight, Friday, from 5-8p.m. in the historic RailSpur building in Pioneer Square. The exhibit runs this weekend July 28-30 and one more day, Aug. 3rd.

Bon Odori: Sights & sounds from one of Seattle’s oldest festivals

Every summer, one Seattle neighborhood is transformed into a colorful dance and music festival that brings centuries-old Japanese traditions to life. The Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple has hosted and celebrated Bon Odori since 1932, with many festivalgoers attending to honor the spirits and memory of their ancestors. Producer David Albright brings you the sights and sounds from this year’s Obon!

Massy Ferguson performs "Fire of Life" during Downtown Summer Sounds

Four-man band Massy Ferguson performed their twangy feet-stomping country-rock tune "Fire of Life" during a recent set at City Hall Plaza. Members of the band include Ethan Anderson, Adam Monde, Fred Slater, and Dave Goedde. For more 2023 Downtown Summer Sounds events, visit here.

MudHoney breaks through

"The machine looks like it's been through a lot. It has." MudHoney began work 22 months ago in Ballard and broke through two weeks ago in Wallingford. It dug 2.7 miles of tunnel, broke through a 12-foot boulder, and came out the other end (mostly) unscathed–all while we went about our lives on the streets above. Watch this short video by producer Randy Eng to learn more about MudHoney's mission to build a massive stormwater and sewage tunnel, and what happens now that it's complete.

Greenwood Car Show

Classic, modern, vintage, and just plain incredible, the Greenwood Car Show brings together the coolest cars, tricked-out trucks, hottest hot rods, and everything in between. It started 31 years ago as a way to create a showcase for car enthusiasts and bring a bit more foot traffic to the Greenwood neighborhood, but these days it's so much more. The Greenwood Knights, which puts on the event, is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving back to the community through scholarships for local youth and donations to benefit local organizations. Producer Chris Barnes takes us along to kick the tires.

 

"It tastes like home." Popular Filipino diner returns to Downtown Seattle

Ludi's Restaurant is back! The Filipino diner originally opened in 1930s Downtown Seattle and served up beloved dishes like longganisa and their famous ube pancakes until a fire and lease increase forced them to shut their doors in 2019, and the pandemic kept them closed. Now they're open again just a short walk from their original location. For long-time patrons and the owners themselves, Ludi's was worth the wait. "It tastes like home."

Video by Randy Eng. Produced in partnership with Cynthia Brothers of Vanishing Seattle.

Sharon Nyree Williams recites poem “Juneteenth: Freedom is...”

"Freedom is what Seattle could be, but isn’t yet.” Seattle poet, artist, and storyteller Sharon Nyree Williams recites poem “Juneteenth: Freedom is...”