A view of Mount Rainier from West Seattle, Seattle's new District 1.
Flickr Photo/Chas Redmond (CC by 2.0)

West Seattle, District 1: Pride, Parking And Some Insecurity

People in West Seattle often complain that no one comes to visit. They say this with some disbelief, because as far as they’re concerned, they live in the best part of the city – and possibly Earth.
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Seattle atheists march in a parade. Ten percent of the city identifies as atheist, actively not believing in God. That's the highest percentage among large cities in the U.S.
Flickr Photo 2008/Evil Angela (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Don't Believe In God? Move To Seattle

Obama Administration Finalizes Clean Water Rule

2 hours ago

The Obama Administration Wednesday announced a new clean water rule. The Environmental Protection Agency says it will help limit pollution in streams and wetlands.

The rule is meant to clarify uncertainty about who can regulate these smaller waterways and water bodies.

Environmentalists say the new rule will keep drinking water clean. Lauren Goldberg is the staff attorney with Columbia Riverkeeper. She says this new rule will provide critical protection for clean drinking water and fish habitat.

Federal prosecutors allege indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley paid his defense attorney out of a pot of money that’s central to his tax evasion case.

Washington lawmakers will have to return for a second 30-day special session. The first overtime session ends Thursday and the House and Senate still don’t have a budget deal.

Seattle's proposed ban would apply to people lighting up tobacco products. Washington state law prohibits marijuana smoking in public places.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle officials want to ban smoking in all public parks, but some opponents say the crackdown would unfairly target homeless people.

A park advisory board will take up the issue for a possible vote Thursday night.

As KUOW's Liz Jones reports, public opinion is mixed.

Nebraska's Legislature voted Wednesday to abolish the death penalty, overturning Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto. The state's unicameral legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure in a series of three previous votes.

The repeal comes as other states have experienced complications with new lethal-injection cocktails. But Americans overall still support the practice.

Support for the death penalty has slowly fallen over the past couple of decades, from a high of 80 percent in favor in the mid-1990s to just over 60 percent currently, according to Gallup.

A panhandler in Auburn, Washington.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Many cities around Washington state make it a crime to do things that everyone does but that homeless people have to do in public – like sitting down, sleeping, going to the bathroom or asking for help.

No city has more laws against these activities than Auburn, a southern suburb of Seattle.

Lee Townsend with the Metroplitan Improvement District checks his "hotspots" in Belltown for litter...and worse.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Over the past year, street sweepers in downtown Seattle saw a dramatic increase in the number of syringes on the ground. But those numbers have declined since March. They’re a data point in the larger debate over policing and drug use downtown.

Takeoff at Sea-Tac airport
Flickr Photo/Alan Turkus (CC BY 2.0)

International travel from Sea-Tac Airport is expected to grow by a quarter over the next five years. So the Port of Seattle is getting serious about expanding facilities for international passengers.

You’d think airlines would be happy about that, but many of them went to the Port Commission meeting Tuesday to protest. 

Db3's Chemist Eric Winterstein measures THC content in recreational marijuana. He has two dreams: bringing science to medical marijuana, and someday enjoying a legal drink made from this mixture of alcohol and THC, a byproduct of his lab.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says all medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle are illegal. So he wants to shut half of them down, starting with those that opened recently and haven’t been paying taxes. Those left standing, he plans to offer legitimacy through a city license. 

KUOW’s Joshua McNichols was at the announcement and filed this report.

Two branches of the federal government struck a deal Tuesday on when to clean up radioactive sludge near the Columbia River.

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