Yakima

Walking Washington's History: Apples And Architecture In Yakima

Sep 12, 2016
Cat Gipe-Stewart

Editor's note: This story was written by a Northwest Public Radio listener as part of our "Walking Washington's History" series. We asked listeners to take one of ten historical walks in a book of the same name by Judy Bentley. Stories are have been edited minimally to preserve the writer's experiences, and all photos were provided by the participants.

Northwest Public Television

 

Francisco Mendoza is a seventh-grader with a sweet smile. Like many boys his age, he has yes and no answers to most questions. It wasn’t easy getting the details of his life - but maybe it’s because of the struggle and loss his family has endured. Francisco’s father died when he was three years old, and his mother works low-wage jobs to provide for her family.

But playing the cello relieves Francisco’s stress.

Local Rugby Player Heads To The Olympics

May 3, 2016
USA Rugby/Wikimedia Commons

For the first time in 90 years, rugby will be played in the Olympics this year in Rio.

 

Rugby has a rich history with both men’s and women’s teams in the United States. The men’s team are the reigning Olympic champions (they won against France in 1924) and the US women’s team were the first official world champions in 1991.

 

A southeast Washington city council member posted anti-Latino comments to his personal Facebook page last week. It followed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ visit to Yakima.

Joshua Myers, 29, has Down syndrome. These days, he considers it a gift — but he didn't always.

"At first," he says, "I thought it was a curse."

In fact, the condition proved so overwhelming for Myers that, once, he even walked out into the middle of a busy intersection, hoping that a car would hit him and end his life. But a stranger stopped for him. She brought him into her car to talk things through.

Myers hasn't seen her since.

Orin Blomberg / / FLICKR Creative Commons

A plan to ensure there’s plenty of water for the Yakima Valley is one step closer to moving forward. A bill that aims to bring drought relief to the agricultural area would provide federal funding for water projects. But not everyone is on board.

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest News Network

Yakima voters made history Monday by electing two Latino candidates to a city council that has long wrestled with the implications of the city’s rapidly growing Latino population.

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest News Network

Voters in Yakima will elect their first Latino city councilor today, after a lawsuit brought by the ACLU forced the city to create a new electoral map. Even before the results come in, some residents of the new majority-Latino districts feel that change is already underway.

Rich History And Rich Soil Makes For Rich Beer

Aug 10, 2015
Sparkfly / Fremont Brewing

You can’t talk about brewing in Washington State without mentioning Rainier and Olympia beer. According to its website, Rainier Beer traces its beginnings back to the mid-1800s, when Seattle was a pioneering city for lumberjacks and fishermen – after all, hard workers need refreshment. Rainier was officially launched in 1878 and quickly found popularity.  

Wikimedia Commons

When the New York Times published a Sunday spread on the author Raymond Carver in the spring of 1981, his stark stories about loneliness and bruised relationships had already earned him a Guggenheim fellowship and a nomination for a National Book Award. He’d won the most prestigious prize in short story writing three times. So a high school classmate of Carver’s brought the newspaper clipping to share with friends on a trip back home.

J Brew

    

A warming climate is making water more scarce in places that rely on runoff from mountain snowpack — places like the Yakima River basin in Central Washington. A Senate panel took up a plan today that would ensure plenty of water for decades to come in this agricultural hub.

Washington lawmakers today renewed a push to reform local elections and ensure minorities are represented.

The Washington Voting Rights Act is a state version of the federal law. It would allow minority groups to challenge their representation in city, country and school district elections.

The bill stalled in both the state House and Senate after opposition from lawmakers who worry the law would lead to expensive lawsuits.

Critics still say the bill would cost the state millions in legal fees.

liz west / Flickr

 

A federal judge ruled against the City of Yakima in a voting rights challenge Tuesday, setting the stage for a new era in Central Washington politics. The ruling calls for an overhaul of Yakima’s City Council elections to better represent the will of Latino voters.

Judge Thomas Rice’s order followed his ruling last August that Yakima’s at-large City Council races suffocated the Latino vote. The city’s Latino population is over 40 percent and growing, yet no Latino has ever been elected to City Council.

Flickr

A judge today ruled that dairies are contaminating drinking water in Washington’s Yakima Valley.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by two environmental groups after an EPA study linked the dairies to high nitrate levels in residential drinking wells.

For Catholics, One Church, Two Congregations

Jan 5, 2015
Northwest Public Radio
Rowan Moore Gerety

December 12 is the biggest day of the year for St. Joseph’s church in Yakima. It’s standing room only as more than 1000 people gather to celebrate Mexico’s Patron Saint, la Virgen de Guadalupe.

After the service, a mariachi band serenades the congregation. Volunteers serve up Menudo and Mexican hot chocolate. There’s only one thing missing: parishioners who attend the English mass.

Though the Catholic Church has long been known as a haven for immigrants, many parishes remain divided along ethnic lines even after decades of demographic change.

Mel Green / Flickr

Last month, a federal judge ruled that Yakima’s City Council elections stifle the voice of Latino voters in the city. But that verdict doesn’t apply to dozens of other places in Eastern Washington where Latinos are just as underrepresented in elected office.

In communities like Othello, leaders are grappling with broader problems of civic education and participation in local government.

In Central Washington, two public radio stations, Northwest Public Radio (NWPR) and KDNA, have started a new initiative to bridge the cultural and linguistic gaps between communities. The motivation is straightforward: public radio station NWPR has partnered with Spanish-language radio station KDNA to create and share content for broadcast. Combining reporting and digital services teams between stations, this partnership is tackling the issues of their respective communities, bilingually.

Yakima Election Change May Effect Entire Northwest

Aug 25, 2014
Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr

A recent federal court ruling that orders the city of Yakima to change the way it elects its city council could have wide reaching effects in the Northwest.

A federal judge has ruled that the way city council members are elected in Yakima disenfranchises Latino voters. That surprise ruling Friday comes exactly two years after the ACLU filed a federal Voting Rights Act lawsuit against the city. Correspondent Austin Jenkins has this update.

Matt Martin

Immigration activists in the Northwest are pushing for Congress to get beyond the government shutdown fight and return to the issue of undocumented workers. Immigrant rights groups rallied in Yakima, Washington Saturday as part of a national protest.

Vaughn Bullfinch

For decades, rural parts of the Northwest have found it difficult to lure doctors to small towns. Community leaders in Yakima, WA went so far as to found a small medical school to train doctors to practice in these underserved areas. The Pacific Northwest University opened in 2006. But there is a problem. Small towns throughout the region just don’t have enough residency programs. And that means many of these doctors-in-training may move away. 

Supporters of the immigration overhaul that passed the U.S. Senate are drumming up support for the legislation in the Northwest. On Saturday, one of the Democrats taking the lead on the issue in Congress spoke to a crowded church in Yakima, Washington.

Yakima Dairies Agree to Reduce Nitrate Contamination

Mar 7, 2013

Four Eastern Washington dairies have agreed to reduce pollution that’s been contaminating drinking water. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Nearly nine out of 10 city councils across the Northwest have no Latino members. That estimate comes from a database we assembled of Hispanic officeholders in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. One of the cities with no Latino representations is located in one of the most heavily Hispanic parts of our region. We’re talking about the city of Yakima. The ACLU is suing over the issue. Correspondent Austin Jenkins has our latest story on why the region's largest minority group has so little clout in the political arena.

For the first time, the NPR News service of Northwest Public Radio—and its standout broadcasts like NPR’s Fresh Air, the Diane Rehm Show and Talk of the Nation—are on the airwaves of KYVT 88.5 FM in Yakima.

Through a partnership with Yakima School District and  YV-Tech,   Northwest Public Radio and  NPR’s award-winning news programming is now available on the school district's radio station KYVT 88.5 FM.   Listeners can tune in to KYVT’s 3,000-watt transmitter in Yakima as well as West Valley, Union Gap and Selah to hear more public radio programs.

Hispanics Are America’s Fastest Growing Aging Population

May 17, 2012

BY ANDREA CASTILLO AND JOSH PFLUG

In 1972, Raul Soto immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, expecting to work for only a few years before returning to his home country. Forty years later, the 69-year-old former fruit picker – like millions of other migrant workers – is growing old in America.

Audiences warmly received the Yakima Symphony Orchestra's first fully-staged opera production, The Marriage of Figaro. Directed by Kenneth Cox, undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music gave a dynamic performance of Mozart's comic opera to many rounds of applause and standing ovations.

The Classics Rock with the Bottom Line Duo

Apr 4, 2012
Photo by GH KIM Photography

From “Walk like an Egyptian” to “Flight of the Bumblebee” the Bottom Line Duo break down musical stereotypes with humor and artistry,  and they do it on recycled instruments!  Okay, the instruments are just plain old, but you get the idea.  You can catch this husband and wife, bass and cello duo at Englewood Christian Church in Yakima this Thursday afternoon, April 4th, at 1:30.  

Check out their cool rendition of "Walk Like an Egyptian."  The bass makes for a cool a percussive instrument!

Photo by Brian Robert Marshall / Northwest News Network

OUTLOOK, Wash. – A recent study is raising questions about the air quality in the Yakima Valley. The area has a high concentration of large-scale dairies. As Courtney Flatt reports, residents living near the dairies have noticed respiratory problems as more dairies moved in.