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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Business
5:00 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Group Aiming to Turn Renton into Fashion Industry Hub

Indie fashion, like this, created by Jonnie Rettele, is at the heart of a proposed garment district for Renton. Rettele, a recent transplant from Chicago, operates Nonnie Threads and is on the board advising the Seattle Fashion Incubator group.
Photo courtesy of the designer.

A group of local businesspeople wants to turn Renton into a fashion manufacturing hub.

The Seattle area has the fourth highest concentration of fashion designers in the U.S. behind New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. It also has a long history in retail, what with Filson, Nordstrom, and Eddie Bauer based here, just to name a few. 

What's seriously missing, though, is a concentrated supply chain. 

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teachers negotiations
4:20 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Snoqualmie Valley Teachers Approve Contract; Strike Averted

Teachers in the Snoqualmie Valley School District averted a strike when they voted to approve a new three-year contract late Sunday. 

The news came shortly after 10 p.m.—several hours after the Snoqualmie Valley Education Association announced the two sides had reached a tentative agreement. 

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Early Education
4:21 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Seattle Considers Proposed Universal Preschool Program

File image
Cliff Owen Associated Press

Seattle schoolchildren returned to school Wednesday, but some of the city’s kindergarteners have already fallen behind.

At least that’s how Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess sees things, which is why he’s proposing a universal preschool program for the city's 3- and 4-year-olds.

"We know what works in helping kids to be prepared, to learn, and to thrive starting in kindergarten, and it means investing early," Burgess said.

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teachers negotiations
7:51 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

School to Start on Time in Seattle, Snoqualmie, South Kitsap

The school year will begin on Wednesday for students in Seattle, Snoqualmie, and south Kitsap County after their teachers reached last-minute agreements with their respective districts Tuesday.

Late Tuesday, the Seattle Education Association voted to approve a two-year agreement reached with the school district over the weekend. The contract includes a longer work day for some, as well as higher pay. 

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teachers negotiations
2:55 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Kitsap Teachers Reach Deal, Seattle Teachers Undecided

The school year will start on time for students in south Kitsap County after teachers overwhelmingly approved a new three-year contract on Tuesday.

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Tourist in Your Own Town
5:01 am
Thu August 29, 2013

At Bellingham's SPARK Museum, a 4 Million-Volt Jolt for Visitors

KPLU's Florangela Davila experiences The MegaZapper up close and personal.
John Jenkins

In a region that prides itself on being innovative, the SPARK Museum of Electric Invention in Bellingham is where to go when you want to marvel at the wonder and power of electricity.

There are 60,000 different items on display including a Blickensderfer manual typewriter from the 1930s, a telephone switchboard from that same era, and a theremin, which makes music just by waving your hands over it. 

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digital learning
3:42 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Microsoft Launches Ad-Free Bing Search Engine for Schools

FILE - Vendor Patrick Porter works on a laptop marked with the logo for Bing, Microsoft's recently upgraded search engine, in a cafeteria at Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., Wednesday, July 29, 2009.
Elaine Thompson Associated Press

Microsoft wants students to be able to search the Internet without getting bombarded by ads.

The software company has launched "Bing for Schools," a pilot program available to educational institutions who want ad-free searches and no adult content. School districts in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Fresno, California have already signed on.

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guns & businesses
8:55 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

New Program Helps Seattle Businesses Ban Guns in Stores

Dozens of businesses in Seattle are turning their backs on customers who carry guns. They’ve signed onto a new “gun-free zone” program launched by Washington Ceasefire with the support of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

Businesses can register for the program by signing up on Ceasefire website and posting a "no guns allowed inside" decal on their windows.

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public education
4:52 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Teachers Slam Seattle Schools' Proposal to Increase Class Size

Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Seattle public schools kicks off the new school year on Sept. 4 with a projected enrollment of 52,000 students—an increase of 4,600 students in the past five years.

But how best to accommodate all those students in the future has Seattle schools and the teacher’s union at odds.

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Arts
8:31 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

New Film Series Heads to Tacoma

This image grab shows a scene from the film "Chasing Ice."

It's not quite a film festival. But a new series of films will play for free in Tacoma next month as a way to spark cultural conversations.

The "Film Forum: Advancing Cultural Dialogue" is sponsored in part by The Sundance Institute.

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Rent-a-bike
5:12 am
Mon August 12, 2013

City Council to Discuss Proposed Puget Sound Bike Share Program

A total of 500 of these bikes with fenders, lights and puncture-proof tires would be stationed at 50 spots in Seattle under the proposed Bike Share program.
Puget Sound Bike Share

After years of planning, Seattle officials are likely to move one step closer to bringing a new form of public transportation to the city. The Seattle City Council's transportation committee will discuss the rent-a-bike program called “Bike Share" at its meeting Tuesday.

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gaming
4:54 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Gamers Storm Benaroya for Championship Tournament

A sold-out crowd of gamers watch an early round of The International Dota 2 Championship
Florangela Davila

How to describe your typical Benaroya Hall crowd? Folks attending the Seattle Symphony. Folks who sip white wine and wear pants—long ones. 

But this week, it's mostly guys—a lot of guys—downing energy drinks and walking around with felted toy collectibles that are packing Benaroya. through the weekend. These are serious gamers, and they're here through the weekend.

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Seattle Mayoral Race 2013
8:32 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Murray, McGinn Leading in Seattle Mayoral Primary

Florangela Davila

KPLU report from Mayor Mike McGinn's election night party.

KPLU report from state Senator Ed Murray's primary election celebration.

A state senator who drove efforts to make gay marriage legal in Washington state was leading in early returns in Seattle's mayoral primary.

Ed Murray had 30 percent of the vote released Tuesday night. Incumbent Mike McGinn, fighting to avoid becoming the second straight mayor ousted by city voters before the general election, had 27 percent.

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Business
5:02 am
Tue August 6, 2013

After More Than a Century, Sherman Clay Store Closing Doors

It’s been the go-to music store in Seattle since the 1870s. But Sherman Clay is packing up its grand pianos and shutting down its iconic downtown store on Fourth Avenue.

In the 1980s, anyone in search of a used or new Steinway grand piano could turn to the  Seattle store as well as some 60 other Sherman Clay stores around the country. 

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microparks
4:49 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Tiny Parks Called 'Parklets' Coming to 3 Seattle Neighborhoods

An artist's rendering of a proposed "parklet" at 421 Sixth Avenue South in Seattle's Chinatown/International District.
CIDBIA

Meet the "parklet," a little patch of public space about to take root in three Seattle neighborhoods.

"We want people to be out enjoying the sun and having lunch outside," said Don Blakeney, executive director of the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area, a group hoping to fund a parklet in the neighborhood.

The city is granting permits for the parklets, but private businesses are responsible for building and maintaining these micro public spaces. These would be temporary spaces, but they could last a few years. 

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