Florangela Davila

Lead Artscape Reporter

Florangela Davila  has been a journalist since 1992. For 14 years she worked at The Seattle Times where she covered both news and features. She's been freelancing for KPLU since 2008, reporting and producing as well as helping coordinate the station's "Looking Back to Look Forward" documentary project. She's also a lecturer in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. Florangela received her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and her Master's in Journalism from Columbia University. She's been both an arts consumer and an arts practitioner for as long as she can remember.

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Law
4:49 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

After 10 Years in Jail On A Wrongful Conviction, Seattle Man Is Free

IPNW attorney Fernanda Torres with Brandon Olebar (center) and wife Mely (right)
IPNW

After spending more than 10 years in prison on a wrongful conviction, Brandon Olebar of Seattle is home in time for Christmas.

Olebar had been convicted of robbery and burglary in 2003. The conviction was based on an ID by the victim, his sister's boyfriend, two days after the crime. 

But that identification turned out to be a case of "memory transference."

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Development
5:00 am
Thu December 19, 2013

WSDOT Endorses Design Guide To Rethink Streets As More Than Just Roadways

National Association of Transportation Officials

It used to be that streets were about moving cars from point A to point B.

“Most of our design guidance historically has been focused on freeways and limited access highways,” said Nancy Boyd, an engineer with the Washington state Department of Transportation.

To help think of streets as more than just roadways for cars, WSDOT has become the first state agency in the nation to adopt a new set of urban design guidelines. 

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Education
4:43 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Wash. State Tops Nation In Number Of New National Board-Certified Teachers

File image
Denis Poroy Associated Press

Washington state has the largest number of new National Board-certified teachers in the country.

A total of 516 new board-certified teachers have joined the state’s ranks. Washington now has more than 7,000 certified teachers, which puts the state in fourth place nationwide.

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Arts
4:32 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Seattle to Convert Langston Hughes Institute Into Self-Sustaining Nonprofit

Joe Mabel Wikimedia Commons

The city-operated Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI) will soon be its own self-sustaining nonprofit organization.

Under a five-year plan, Seattle plans to hire a transition coordinator, help LHPAI secure nonprofit status and gradually decrease its financial investment in one of its oldest cultural institutions.

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Education
5:00 am
Mon December 16, 2013

The Life Of A First-Year Teacher, In Six Emotional Stages

New teacher Erika McKamey (left) seeks counsel and advice from her teacher mentor Lynn Lofstrom. At this time of year, McKamey is in the "disillusionment" stage and is especially stressed out. But she's not ready to quit the profession.
Florangela Davila

It isn't easy being a teacher, especially a new one.

"The reality of the complexity of the job comes flying at you on Day One, when everything you learned in school needs to be in acted in reality, and you realize this is a really complicated job," said Jeanne Harmon, who directs support programs for new teachers at the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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Eminent Domain
5:00 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Seattle Mulls Controversial Foreclosure Fix

Associated Press

The Seattle City Council could move one step closer to using its power of eminent domain as a way to curb foreclosures. 

The council is looking to create a committee to explore eminent domain and two other principal reduction programs, namely lease swapping and setting up a municipal land bank, as tools for struggling homeowners.

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Education
11:11 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Started, But Didn't Finish GED? Deadline Looms

Sally Raftery
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Thousands of Washington residents who started the GED high school equivalency test sometime this past decade but never finished now have just a few weeks to complete their exams or start over.

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Education
1:04 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Court Ruling Could Impact How Charter Schools Get Funded

cdsessums Flickr

A King County judge has ruled parts of the state’s charter school law are unconstitutional. But the nuances of the ruling have both supporters and opponents of charter schools declaring victory.  

If it’s confusing why both sides fighting something in court would be happy, it has to do with how you read what King County Superior Court Judge Jean Rietschel decided.

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Education
2:18 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Study: UW Program Curbs Teen Drinking, Smoking, Violence

File image
Dave Martin Associated Press

A free program developed by the University of Washington helps curb teen drinking and violence, according to new research.

The “Communities That Care” program takes a one-size-doesn’t-fit-all approach in tackling these problems.

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jazz
5:00 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Roosevelt High Senior Selected to Play in Grammy Band

Roosevelt High School senior John Otten discovered the trumpet as a fourth grader.

"I thought, 'It’s only three valves. It wouldn’t be that hard. I bet I could do it,”’ he said.

Turned out, it was hard; he couldn’t even get a sound out that first month.

Fast forward eight years, and Otten is headed to the Grammys as the only student from the Pacific Northwest selected for the Grammy Band Jazz Session program.

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transportation
5:57 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Feds to Fund 16 Local Projects to Benefit Bicyclists, Pedestrians

An artist rendering of the planned design for Tacoma's Prairie Line Trail.
City of Tacoma

It will soon be easier to walk or bike around the Puget Sound region, thanks to nearly $17 million in federal funding to build and expand foot bridges, trails and pathways.

The funding from the Federal Highway Administration will benefit 16 transportation projects in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties.

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transportation
5:03 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

SDOT Looking into De-Icer that Caused Crashes on Seattle Bridge

Seattle transportation officials are looking into what went wrong after cars started spinning out of control on a de-iced West Seattle Bridge on Monday.

Three minor car crashes in the eastbound lanes shut down the bridge for several hours. Police blamed the de-icer used on the bridge, but the formula, which the city has been using for three years now, didn’t seem to have caused any problems in the westbound lanes on the same bridge.

Still, the Seattle Department of Transportation is checking to make sure the de-icer had not been contaminated, said spokesman Rick Sheridan.

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vocational ed
5:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Once Guitar Maker to the Famous Now Teaching Kids in Tacoma

Guitar maker Roy McAlister embracing his second career as a shop teacher at Stadium High in Tacoma
Florangela Davila

Tacoma public schools brings in professionals to teach their career and technical education classes: a former judge’s advocate, a former photojournalist—you get the point.

But the man who’s just started teaching wood shop at Stadium High? Well, he’s Roy McAlister and he's got some impressive, rock star-sized credentials.

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books
5:00 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Sherman Alexie's Idea to Turn Authors into Booksellers for a Day

Sherman Alexie
American Booksellers Association

Head to an independent bookstore on Saturday, and you might find a local author working behind the counter.

One thousand authors at some 400 bookstores will be participating in a one-day national program called “Indies First”, which aims to draw shoppers to independent bookstores on Small Business Saturday.

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