More from KUOW

Science & Philosophy
9:00 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Howard Bloom On How A Godless Cosmos Creates

Author and scientific thinker Howard Bloom.
Credit Photo Courtesy/Wikipedia

How does the universe create itself out of nothing, then keep going for billions of remarkable, evolving millennia? Can you even have "nothing," or do you have to bring God into the equation? These are the kinds of questions that arise when you're trying to explain the origin of life in the universe. Questions that Howard Bloom — science prodigy, former PR man for Prince, friend of Buzz Aldrin — tackles in his new book, “The God Problem.”

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Marriage In History
1:52 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Federal Regulation Of Marriage Dates Back To Emancipation Of Slaves

This 1865 celebration of emancipation by artist Thomas Nast portrays an optimistic view of the future of blacks in the US. Strong families were considered important to reconstruction. But gathering around the hearth with family was in reality much more complicated. Slave holders had routinely broken up families, and the dislocated slaves often remarried. This legacy complicated family structure so much that the federal government had to step in to help sort out who was married to whom.
Credit Library of Congress / Thomas Nast

Before emancipation, slaves couldn’t legally marry other slaves. Of course, that didn’t stop them from getting married in their own way. But those informal marriages were seldom recognized by slave holders, who broke up families regularly as they bought and sold individuals. After being dislocated, many slaves settled down with new families, often getting married several times.

After the civil war, blacks gained the right to legally marry. But the patchwork of local and state laws regulating marriage made it nearly impossible to sort out the undocumented and often conflicting claims about which former slaves were married to whom. So on behalf of ex-slaves, the federal government stepped in, setting up bureaus to help sort out the mess.

After reconstruction, federal authorities handed control of marriage back to the states. But this episode from history helps frame the current debate on same-sex marriage. History’s lesson: Usually, the federal government will leave things to the states. But if the federal government decides things have become too messy or inequitable, it may step in.

Hear this story today, on KUOW Presents around 2:30, or at your leisure, online.

Other stories on KUOW Presents, Wednesday, March 27:

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School Safety
12:00 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Reading, Writing And An Armed Guard: Snohomish Sheriff Gets Deputies On Campus

Sheriff John Lovick in KUOW's breakroom.
KUOW Photo/Arwen Nicks

After the Sandy Hook school shooting when 20 children between the ages of 5 and 10 years old were killed in Newtown, Connecticut, some organizations, including the National Rifle Association, recommended armed guards. 

Snohomish County is putting armed police officers in county schools, but the Snohomish County Sheriff says this decision is not influenced by the NRA. Ross Reynolds and Sheriff John Lovick discuss how six armed officers rotating through more than 100 schools spread out over 2,000 square miles will potentially work.

News & Analysis
10:00 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Canada, Culture And Commerce

Canadian flag.
Credit Flickr Photo/Christopher Policarpio


Vancouver Sun political correspondent Vaughn Palmer brings us the latest news from Canada. Film critic Robert Horton reviews what's happening on the silver screen. Then, Michael Parks wraps up the region's recent economic news.

Defense Of Marriage Act
9:18 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Votes May Be There To Strike Down DOMA, But There's A Big 'If'

Demonstrators gathered again outside the Supreme Court Wednesday as the time approached for another case to be heard about issues related to same-sex marriage.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 11:52 am

  • NPR's Nina Totenberg: If the court strikes down DOMA, what would be the grounds?
  • NPR's Nina Totenberg: An interesting exchange about the 'power' of DOMA opponents.
  • NPR's Nina Totenberg: On what happens if the court declines to decide.

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 1:45 p.m. ET.)

There seem to be four solid votes on the Supreme Court — and possibly a fifth — to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages, NPR's Nina Totenberg told us after Wednesday's oral arguments before the nine justices.

But there's a big "if."

As in: There's possibly a 5-vote majority to strike down the law if the court first decides it should even issue an opinion.

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Development
9:00 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Should Developers Subsidize Housing In South Lake Union?

South Lake Union area.
Credit Image Courtesy/Vulcan

Seattle is nearing the end of a years-long process to rezone its South Lake Union neighborhood. One of the final points of discussion is whether to increase a fee paid by developers in order to build taller than the city’s height limits. The money pays for affordable housing in the city. Some Seattle City Council members support a fee increase, but opponents say it’s too late in the game to make changes and risk cooling off growth in one of Seattle’s fastest growing neighborhoods. We talk it over with Councilmember Nick Licata and developer A-P Hurd.

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Poetry
2:54 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Poet Colleen McElroy On Choosing "What Stays Here"

Author Colleen McElroy.
Credit Photo Credit/Ingrid Papp-Sheldon

In her poem "What Stays Here," Colleen McElroy imagines life as a female soldier who must choose between loyalty to herself, and loyalty to a military code that says "keep quiet" and "get along." Like many of the poems in McElroy's ninth collection, "Here I Throw Down My Heart," (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012) the poem awakens us to voices and stories we might otherwise never hear with such intimacy and power.

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Perugia Murder Retrial
1:52 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Knox Or Not: Plenty Of Cases Are Tried Without A Defendant

Amanda Knox is led away from an appeals court in Perugia, Italy, in November 2010. Her murder conviction in the death of a flatmate was ultimately overturned, but now, Italy's highest court has ruled she must be retried.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 2:04 pm

Amanda Knox may never again set foot in Italy. But that doesn't mean she won't face another trial there.

Courts around the world — particularly in Italy — have shown themselves willing to try people in absentia.

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Filing Your Taxes
12:48 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

How To Avoid An Audit And Other Tax Advice From The IRS

Flickr Photo/Paul Stumpr

Next month taxes are due and many Americans find themselves waiting until the last minute to file. Two IRS agents discuss tax dos and don'ts with Ross Reynolds. 

Food Regulations
12:43 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Do You Want The Government All Up In Your Junk Food?

Over 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. Most of us can agree that’s high. But we don’t agree how to fix it, nor can we agree on who is responsible for the problem. Is it time for the government to step in and step up food regulation in the United States? Ross Reynolds and Dr. William Hallman discuss the challenges facing out food system when it comes to advertising, warning labels and regulation.

Homelessness
12:36 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

The Public Property Security Problem In Nickelsville

Nickelsville as photographed on October 20, 2008.
Flickr Photo/Beyond Neon

For almost 2 years the homeless camp known as Nickelsville has been located in West Seattle. Mayor Mike McGinn has not approved the camp but has said that he has no plan to evict the camp either. Well, the unsanctioned camp that is normally relatively quiet is causing a bit of a stir this last week.

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Air Traffic Control
12:24 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Sequester Strikes Again! Control Tower At Tacoma Narrows Airport To Go Dark In April

For weeks you couldn’t seem to escape the word sequester and day by day the across-the-board spending cuts that went into effect are being felt. Most recently here in Washington state the closure of five airport control towers were announced, including the Tacoma Narrows Airport control tower. Ross Reynolds discussed the potential impacts of the closing of the Tacoma Narrows Airport tower with Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy.

Forgiveness
10:15 am
Tue March 26, 2013

The Rabbi And The Klansman

The olive branch, an ancient symbol of reconciliation.
Credit Flickr Photo/horrigans

Loving your enemies doesn’t always work. But when a Rabbi moved from New York City to Lincoln, Nebraska, and was targeted by the Grand Dragon with the local KKK, he was determined to try.

Other stories on KUOW Presents, Tuesday, March 26:

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Gardening Tips
10:00 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Greendays Gardening: Open Phones

Cherry trees blossoming in UW's quad means spring is upon us!
Credit Flickr Photo/Camknows

With temperatures near 60 in the forecast, gardening season is in full swing. Did your plants survive last week's cold snap and snow? How do you keep your garden alive in the ever-changing weather? Our experts are here to answer your questions. Call us at 206.543.5869 or send an email to weekday@kuow.org.

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Garbage In Seattle
9:00 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Food Fight Breaks Out Over Seattle Compost

The Seattle City Council has delayed a vote on a contract to send the city's food and yard waste to Kittitas County after residents in Cle Elum made it known they were less than thrilled about the plan. With the pushback against taking in Seattle’s compostable waste, what's a garbage planner to do? Seattle Public Utilities Solid Waste Director Tim Croll joins us.

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