Simone Alicea | KNKX

Simone Alicea

Business & Labor Reporter

A Seattle native and former knkx intern, Simone Alicea has returned to the Pacific Northwest from covering breaking news at the Chicago Sun-Times. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times. 

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Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The Seattle City Council is reconsidering a "head tax" on businesses to pay for housing and homeless services after council members failed to pass such a tax last year.

Elaine Thompson / AP

As the legislative session came to a close last week, state lawmakers passed a bill to make it easier to prosecute police officers who use deadly force and require more officer training.

The bill was an initiative to the legislature, Initiative 940. The last-minute compromise means voters won't see I-940 on the ballot in November.

"Amazon headquarters sphere domes" by Kiewic is licensed under CC by 2.0

Business leaders in King and Pierce counties took stock of the local economy at two separate summits Thursday, as they sought ways to harness the region's record job growth to solve pervasive problems.

Ed Ronco / KNKX

Postdoctoral researchers at the University of Washington are one step closer to forming a union after the university challenged their efforts last fall.

Simone Alicea / KNKX

Millions of people rode ferries last year in Washington state, but there are serious concerns about staffing ferries as the workforce ages and people retire. One way to attract younger workers is making sure training is up-to-date.


A Seattle organization known for conserving forest and farmland has achieved a milestone in its urban efforts.

Forterra has raised $10.25 million in investments into its "Strong Communities Fund." It's one avenue service providers and community groups can use to have more say in what gets developed in their neighborhoods.

Robb Car / Pool Photo via AP

Since the election of President Donald Trump, question after question has emerged about presidential power and the potential checks on those powers. There were so many questions that the University of Washington law school quickly put together a class on the subject last winter.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case later this month that could deal a blow to unions representing public sector employees.

It asks whether government workers should be required to pay union dues if they disagree with the union's politics. It builds on another case involving home health care workers paid through Medicaid.

These issues are also playing out in Washington state.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Monday in two lawsuits against Seattle's law allowing drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft to unionize.

The lawsuits were dismissed by a District Court judge in August. But both groups are appealing to let the lawsuits proceed. 

"edge of belltown" by Jeff Wilcox is licensed under CC by 2.0

King County residents may experience some sticker shock when they see their property tax bills this year because of the state's plan to fund education.

Washington state lawmakers are trying to figure out how to make benefits such as health insurance and retirement funds more accessible to people in the gig economy. 

There is a bill in the state House of Representatives that would introduce a system of "portable benefits" that follow workers from job to job.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The three large glass domes at the heart of Amazon's downtown Seattle headquarters officially opened Monday. The spheres function as both another workspace for Amazon employees and an indoor rainforest.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Amazon Go opened to the public Monday. The downtown Seattle convenience store uses cameras and sensors to track shoppers' purchases, eliminating the need for cashiers and check-out lines.

love by Johnny Lai is licensed under CC by 2.0

The #MeToo movement has sparked near-daily conversations about sexual harassment and assault. One of the central issues in those conversations is consent.

Will James / KNKX

With crowds of more than 100,000 people, last year's Womxn's March On Seattle was dubbed the largest protest march in city history. Organizers hope to do it again this weekend.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Seattle transportation planners have dubbed the next three years as the "period of maximum constraint." It's a time when several transportation and construction projects converge to make getting around an already congested city even harder.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The Trump administration's decision not to renew temporary protections for some immigrants from El Salvador has been reverberating across the country, including in Washington state.

Rob via Flickr / Creative Commons

The turkey sandwiches tasted like Thanksgiving leftovers - succulent meat, tangy cranberry sauce, and a heap of shredded lettuce. We say "tasted" because Bakeman's  last day is Friday, December 22. The owner, Jason Wang, is retiring after 47 years, and the place - iconic among those who frequent the King County Courthouse - is shutting down. KNKX stopped by this Seattle institution to talk to Wang and some of his loyal customers. Here's our  audio postcard of the place that has been loved by so many for so long. 

Kirsten Harris-Talley served on the Seattle City Council for just 51 days. She was appointed after Councilmember Tim Burgess became mayor following the resignation of Ed Murray earlier this fall.

Simone Alicea / KNKX

There aren't typically a lot of high school students in courtrooms. But a judge in Thurston County is bringing the court to them.

A few dozen juniors and seniors at Olympia High School recently gathered in a small theater to watch small claims court.

Simone Alicea / KNKX

A group of 26 neighborhood organizations wants Seattle to reevaluate a plan for upzones in many parts of the city.

Under the name Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability, and Equity, the group is appealing the final environmental impact statement for the city's Mandatory Housing Affordability plan released a few weeks ago.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

After Ed Murray's resignation as Mayor of Seattle, there was a series of transitions as council members took over the city's highest office, returned to the council, and an interim council member was appointed. In a couple weeks, Seattle City Hall is going to do it all over again.

Will James / KNKX

It's been seven years since Native American woodcarver John T. Williams was shot and killed by Seattle Police. His death sparked the city's 2012 agreement with the federal government over use of force and biased policing.

Whoever is elected mayor of Seattle will be responsible for continuing to oversee changes in the police department.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien is proposing a so-called head tax on large businesses to pay for homeless services.

O'Brien sat down with Seattle Times political reporters Jim Brunner and Dan Beekman to talk about the goals of the tax and why he thinks it's time to pass it. 

Seattle City Council

The City of Seattle is asking the public to weigh in on the potential environmental impacts of making it easier to build accessory dwelling units.

Overcast: What's Going On With Salmon In Washington?

Oct 13, 2017
Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

Washington's local ecosystems have been through a lot recently.

First, there was the release of more than 100,000 non-native Atlantic Salmon this summer into the Salish Sea. Now, scientists are also reporting alarmingly low numbers of young salmon from the Columbia River system out in the Pacific Ocean.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Political organizer Kirsten Harris-Talley is the newest member of the Seattle City Council.

Harris-Talley was appointed Friday to fill in while Tim Burgess is mayor through the end of November. She is currently the program director of Progress Alliance of Washington.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Last year's presidential election left many people wondering about the future of American politics. Former Washington state Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance is one of them.

Simone Alicea / KNKX

The high schoolers organizing some events for Seattle Startup Week want young people to know that starting a business isn't just for grownups.

Seattle Startup Week, now in its fourth year, has organized events for young people in the past, but they were planned by adults. This year is the first time the week's Youth Track is being organized by students.

Rachel La Corte / AP Photo

The story of how 5-year-old Gary Blanton came to be placed in his aunt's care near Spokane and his subsequent death have highlighted persistent problems in Washington's child-welfare system.