Charla Bear

Education Reporter

Charla joined us in January, 2010 and is excited to be back in Seattle after several years in Washington, DC, where she was a director and producer for NPR. Charla has reported from three continents and several outlets including Marketplace, San Francisco Chronicle and NPR. She has a master of journalism from University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor's degree in architecture from University of Washington.

Charla's most memorable public radio moment: “Sitting alone in a room with a convicted murderer who had just been paroled. The only thing between us was a microphone, as he told me how he had transformed his life and become a priest.”

Pages

Higher Education
9:08 am
Mon November 28, 2011

College students to rally against budget cuts in Olympia

Members of Seattle Central Community College's associated student council prepare to take at least two busloads of students to Olympia to protest budget cuts.
Richard Wohl-Corbin

"...There are ideas out there other than cutting.”

College students will descend on Olympia today as the legislature kicks off a special session to tackle the state’s budget shortfall. Nearly a dozen schools have banded together to send busloads of students to the capitol. 

Read more
Higher Education
3:21 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Should colleges ban smoking on campus? Many in NW think so

Soon, you might not see college students smoking on campus. Schools are increasingly giving cigarettes the boot.
montchr Flickr photo

The ability to smoke a cigarette on college campuses is becoming a subject for the history books.

Several colleges in the Pacific Northwest have banned smoking – not only in and around buildings as required by law – but everywhere on school grounds.

Read more
Protesting Wall Street
9:53 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Occupy Seattle rally ends peacefully, gathers back at college

A march by Occupy Seattle protestors traveled through Seattle streets, stopping briefly at the University Bridge near the University of Washington in Seattle on Thursday.
Kevin P. Casey Associated Press

Occupy Seattle demonstrators are back at Seattle Central Community College this morning after a largely peaceful protest in the University District last night.

About 600 people, including labor union members and students, came out in support of the “National Day of Action.”

Read more
Law
8:46 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Follow @SeattlePD around during Twitter "ride-along"

Seattle police posted this photo on Twitter to show "what a stripped car looks like" during a virtual ride-along in the South precinct.
Seattle Police Department

Have you ever wondered what a Seattle police officer does all day? You’re not alone.

The department says it typically has long waiting lists of people who want to ride along on patrols. Now it’s offering a way to virtually give everyone a chance to see the action.   

Read more
K-12 Education
11:35 am
Fri November 11, 2011

State's students will need more English and social studies, less electives, to graduate

It’s been more than a quarter century since high school graduation requirements changed in our state. Now, the board of education has voted to increase credits in certain subjects. 

Some school administrators say the move is a step backward for other learning opportunities.  

Read more
Election 2011
6:45 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Despite vote, not everyone happy with shuttering state liquor stores

People shopping for alcohol will no longer see this sign on liquor stores. A lot of people have mixed feelings about that.
Charla Bear KPLU

Now that voters have kicked the state out of the liquor store business, some people are looking forward to changes in how they buy booze. Others, though, say the decision is not cause for celebration. 

Read more
K-12 Education
4:33 am
Fri November 4, 2011

How much do students benefit from free practice SATs? Some say a lot

Highline Public Schools encourages sophomores, such as Cordae McAfee (right), to take the PSAT by paying the testing fee. McAfee says he didn't know enough about the test to care about his results but took it anyway.
Charla Bear KPLU

Thousands of students across the state are taking the SAT this weekend.

The college entrance exam plays a big role in admissions, but a lot of students are poorly prepared for it. Some educators say an easy way to change that – and get students to gear up for college earlier – is to pay for sophomores or juniors to take a preliminary version of the test. 

Read more
Transportation
5:39 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Public asked to weigh in on proposed Metro bus changes

Metro bus lines, including route #14 (shown), would be revised under a plan from transit officials, who are also seeking public input.
King County Metro

If you rely on the bus to get around Seattle, Shoreline or South King County, changes could be coming to your route. Metro is proposing reducing or redirecting more than 60 bus lines. 

The shifts are part of a plan to use revenue from King County’s car tab fee to preserve bus service.

Read more
Winter Weather
3:30 pm
Thu October 27, 2011

Second La Nina in a row brings rain but does that mean floods?

City of Seattle workers clear debris from a mudslide in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood March 2011, in Seattle. Will La Nina lead to an encore of flooding and slides this year?
Associated Press

Climate experts have predicted a colder and wetter than normal winter on the way for Washington, thanks to a second year in a row of La Nina’s effects. 

While some people in the area will be happy about a surge in showers, a lot more are probably disappointed or worried.

Read more
Transportation
5:40 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

Local manufacturer will help build Seattle's second streetcar line

New streetcars for a line through Seattle's First Hill neighborhood will be built by the same company that manufactured cars for the South Lake Union line (shown), with help from a Seattle-based partner.
Charla Bear KPLU

Seattle has selected a contractor to build its new fleet of streetcars. The city is gearing up to start construction of a route through First Hill. 

Officials say it could be the beginning of many more streetcar possibilities.

Read more
Election 2011
1:20 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Voters asked to renew Seattle's Families & Ed Levy

As people across Washington face the deadline to pay their property taxes – Seattle is asking homeowners to consider shelling out even more next year.

The Families and Education levy is up for renewal on the November ballot … at double the cost to taxpayers. 

Read more
K-12 Education
11:27 am
Mon October 24, 2011

State launches 'jobs for graduates' effort to help dropouts

The unemployment rate for teens and young adults in Washington is one of the highest in the nation – and it’s especially tough on high school dropouts. That’s why state education leaders are trying to ramp up an effort to help students get diplomas and jobs or college placements at the same time.

Read more
Alaskan Way Viaduct
10:50 am
Thu October 20, 2011

Get ready for 'Viadoom' when Alaskan Way Viaduct closes

Once the viaduct reopens, the speed limit on the majority of the viaduct will be reduced to 40 mph. The construction bypass will carry an advisory speed limit of 25 mph.

The so-called "Carmageddon" in Los Angeles this summer was a bust — but its Seattle-based sequel "Viadoom" is being billed as the real deal.

When the Alaskan Way Viaduct shuts down at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, nearly 90,000 drivers will face detours and delays. Transportation officials have been encouraging commuters to ditch their cars during the nine day closure. Otherwise, they say roads through the city will be total gridlock.

Read more
Occupy Seattle
5:00 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

Labor rally joins Occupy Seattle, splits to protest Mitt Romney

Labor union members moved their jobs rally to Seattle's Westlake Park to be in the center of momentum created by Occupy Seattle protests.
Charla Bear KPLU

Members of King County’s labor council rallied today to call for job growth in the Seattle park that’s been home to Occupy Seattle protests. Labor leaders say they did not want to co-opt the grassroots movement but saw a rally in Westlake Park as an opportunity for both groups. 

The labor council was originally planning to hold its rally in a park near Pike Place Market. Apparently, that spot was so three weeks ago. With all the recent attention on Westlake, they quickly switched gears.

Read more
Education
11:27 am
Thu October 13, 2011

Danny Glover visits high tech school in Federal Way

The Hollywood actor Danny Glover visited with students at a Federal Way Public School that practices STEM education.
Charla Bear KPLU

Students in a Federal Way Public School taught a Hollywood actor a little about STEM education. Danny Glover visited a science, technology, engineering and math school to learn about innovations in public education. 

Read more

Pages