Seattle

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What was supposed to be the first day of school in Seattle has turned into the first day of a strike.

This is the first time in thirty years that Seattle public school employees have walked out.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is trying to close all the city's hookah lounges.

Hookahs are the Middle Eastern water pipes used for smoking flavored tobacco, and the lounges have caught on in some parts of the country. Health risks from smoking aside, the city believes the lounges are also magnets for violent crime.

The legal justification for this crackdown is the state's ban on indoor smoking in public places, but the reasons go beyond smoking.

DVIDSHUB / Flickr

The tsunami that struck Japan four years ago sent about five million tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean. On Friday, workers started unloading one million pounds of that debris that arrived by barge in south Seattle.

State workers at more than 80 workplaces around Washington walked off the job Wednesday. They want lawmakers to fund pay raises promised in contracts.

Budget negotiations have stalled in Olympia and there’s still no funding to increase pay for state workers.

The nearly five percent raise would be their first in more than seven years.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are poised to get a raise twice that size later this year.

Steve Hoffman, a shop steward at North Seattle Community College, says that’s not fair.

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 Hundreds of demonstrators are gathering near Terminal 5 along the Seattle waterfront.

They're protesting Shell Oil's decision to use the port to base an arctic drilling rig.

Edmonds Community College student, Kendra Potoshnik is among the demonstrators this morning.

She says protestors want to make sure that Shell's drilling rigs never make it to the arctic.

Jazz bassist and composer Christian McBride recently finished a week-long West Coast tour in Seattle. It reminded him of how great a town it was for jazz, both historically and presently.

Benjamin Morris / NPR

Seattle is known for its love of coffee but as Pacific Northwesterners know, it's a passion not unique to the West Side. So how did coffee become such a Northwest staple?

Starbucks may be the first entity people think of as an answer to this question. And although Starbucks did play a significant role in the eventual coffee craze, the Northwest’s history with the beverage goes deeper than that.

The Seattle Symphony / http://www.seattlesymphony.org/

The Seattle Symphony's recording of Become Ocean by John Luther Adams won "Best Contemporary Classical Composition" at the 2015 Grammy Awards on Sunday. This marks a historic moment in the Symphony’s 111-year history as their first recording to win a Grammy after a total of 18 nominations.

Seattle Seahawks / http://www.seahawks.com/

Seattle was home to what many are calling NFL history last Sunday when the Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 and secured their place in Super Bowl XLIX. Fans and news agencies alike bombarded social media with live updates, reactions, and the best of Photoshop. Even we got into the action:

John Ryan / KUOW

The demand for shelter in Seattle is outstripping the supply, especially for those who need it most. Mayor Ed Murray announced a plan on Wednesday to put up three new tent cities for Seattle's growing homeless population. His task force on homelessness had recommended adding seven new locations. Even as Murray made his announcement, homeless people were being evicted from their camps on public property in Seattle.

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