News

Managers of Portland's largest commercial buildings will start tracking their energy use under a new city policy approved Wednesday.

Portland is joining 12 cities that already use the Energy Star reporting system, run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Participating buildings have cut energy use by an average of more than 2 percent, just by monitoring and reporting, according to Alisa Kane with Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

An initial legal analysis from Washington’s attorney general said that the state can withhold the pay of indicted State Auditor Troy Kelley.

A proposed natural gas facility near Troutdale poses big risks to airplanes landing at the nearby regional airport - according to new modeling.

The Oregon Pilots Association is contesting the Troutdale Energy Center proposed for industrial land owned by the Port of Portland.

The pilots say their modeling shows severe turbulence from emission plumes would threaten one in 100 flights.

The pilots' association president, Mary Rosenblum, said the emissions would hit planes at low altitudes.

KUOW / John Ryan photo

Hundreds of people crowded into Seattle City Hall Thursday night to air their concerns about the city's rising cost of housing.

A police van at Third Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

There’s an open air drug market between Westlake Center and the Pike Place Market. People who live and work downtown are getting tired of dealing with that. So are business owners.

"You’re facing shoplifting multiple times a day, you’re seeing people overdose in your bathroom, you’re cleaning up heroin needles," the Downtown Seattle Association’s Jon Scholes said.

Now the city of Seattle is trying to do something about it.

There have been 95 arrests over the last few days – without a single incident of use of force, Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole says.

Starting next month, Alaska Airlines will explore charging extra for main cabin seats with more legroom and creature comforts.

The doors to the cafeteria at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, where a freshman killed four of his friends and wounded a fifth. He then killed himself. The school has grappled with many questions since the shooting, including where to eat.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Few enter the cafeteria at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, where five freshmen were fatally shot six months ago, including the shooter, and one was wounded. The building stands off from the rest of campus, its gray doors locked.

Many have wondered what Kshama Sawant's next fight will be, now that Seattle has a $15 minimum wage (to be phased in over several years). At City Hall on Thursday night, she'll make the case for legalizing rent control.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle’s rents are rising fast – San Francisco, San Jose and Denver are the only cities outpacing us, according to real estate research firm Reis.

Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant says there's a way to stop that trend.

“Everywhere I go, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, I hear people talking about the skyrocketing rent," Sawant said. "And when I ask them, 'What do you think we should do about it,' invariably they tell me: ‘We need some sort of rent control.’” 

The Summit Inn on Seattle's Capitol Hill still hums with artists, even after losing many tenants in the wake of the building's sale last December. The remaining tenants expect to be kicked out this fall for renovations.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

On the top floor of the Summit Inn, a run-down building on Capitol Hill where artists live, Philomel Swango, 64, shows off bolts of colorful cloth and talks about the costumes she sews for a living.

"I just did a pirate wedding," she says. "I made the bride’s dress. I made it look like she mugged Marie Antoinette."

Styrofoam would leave many Oregon school cafeterias under a bill that passed the House of Representatives Wednesday. Lawmakers voted 47 to 10 to phase out plastic foam by 2021. School districts that aren't sure they can make that deadline can get state permission to take longer.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Rob Nosse, D-Portland, credits students at Sunnyside Environmental School who first advocated a ban on plastic foam in public schools.

A wide majority of the Washington Legislature voted to raise the maximum speed limit from 70 to 75 miles per hour.

Seattle Suspends $1 Fine For Failure To Compost

Apr 22, 2015
From left, Janet Gwilym, a resident of Beacon Hill, with her children, Morgan Gwilym-Tso, Alana Gwilym-Tso. Behind them, Mayor Ed Murray and Cortona Café co-owner Jason Davison.
KUOW Photo/Sara Bernard

Breathe easy, Seattle. The proposed fines for not following Seattle’s new food composting rule have been delayed.

The fines were originally scheduled to start July 1. But on Wednesday, Mayor Ed Murray said he would suspend those fines for the rest of the year. The earliest they could go into effect -- and that's a big if -- is January 2016.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said he doesn’t approve of one-day walkouts by teachers, but the Democrat also said he understands their frustration over pay raises and class size.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee used Earth Day to chastise state lawmakers for their environmental record.

A symbolic funeral for Earth Day.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The idea for Earth Day was first announced at a conference in Seattle 45 years ago.

It’s still going strong, with Earth Day events sometimes spanning all of April. KUOW Reporter Liz Jones stopped by two different events in Seattle on Tuesday and has this audio postcard. She started at a symbolic funeral downtown, then head over to a spiritual summit at Seattle University.

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