RICHLAND, Wash. – President Obama’s nominee for the next federal Energy Secretary is no stranger to the cleanup work at the Northwest’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Ernest Moniz was Energy undersecretary during the Clinton Administration and back in the late '90s he faced scrutiny about tank leaks at Hanford.
The problem -- and question then -- was whether about a million gallons of leaked radioactive tank waste had reached the groundwater and was headed toward the Columbia River. Or if it was staying put in a dry layer of soil, above the groundwater.
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Efforts to get gun rights leaders in Washington to support -- or at least not oppose -- universal background checks appear to have hit a stumbling block. At issue is a state database that tracks pistol sales. Second Amendment advocates want it shut down, but the state’s sheriffs and police chiefs say it’s a vital law enforcement tool.
The first members of Washington state’s new Charter School Commission are due to be appointed Wednesday. The commission will be able to approve some of the 40 charter schools allowed under the law voters passed last fall.
Both of King County’s death penalty cases are on hold pending appeal to the Washington Supreme Court. A key issue in both cases is whether the defendants have experienced any hardships that should have required prosecutors to be more lenient.
Eyvind Kang is a violist, composer and improviser who lives in Seattle. You might not have heard of him before, but he’s played with the pop stars Beck and Laurie Anderson and with big names in jazz and new music like Bill Frisell and John Zorn. All these artists are drawn to Eyvind because of his playing, his musical imagination and his unpredictability.
The King County Housing Authority has stopped issuing new Section 8 vouchers. The program is federally subsidized through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The move is a result of the impending reduction in those funds due to sequestration.
On a recent night at El Centro de la Raza, in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, undocumented workers show up with folders of paperwork. They’ve come to this Latino-focused non-profit to get help with their tax returns.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson still says his city is keeping their NBA basketball team, the Kings. That's despite a deal already in the works to sell the team to a Seattle group.
Johnson announced that new investors are stepping in with a last-ditch effort to keep the team on Thursday night.
Mark Mastrov is a Sacramento local and the founder of 24 Hour Fitness, and will make a bid for the team. Pittsburg Penguins owner Ron Burkle will solve the city's other problem and lead a group to build a new downtown arena.
Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:45 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Raising taxes in Washington just got a whole lot easier. The state Supreme Court Thursday threw out the requirement that tax increases muster a two-thirds vote of the legislature. Democrats say the ruling will allow more options as lawmakers grapple with ongoing budget woes. But Republicans vow to uphold the will of voters who have repeatedly supported a high bar for tax hikes.
Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:00 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the two-thirds requirement for tax hikes is a personal defeat for initiative activist Tim Eyman. Over the years, he sponsored three of the five ballot measures that enacted the supermajority rule.
Outside the Capitol after the ruling, reporters noted that Eyman seemed more subdued than defiant.
Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 11:23 am
"Washington sure isn't making it easy" for the American people and the American economy, President Obama told reporters late Friday morning as he and other lawmakers failed to reach a deal to avert $85 billion worth of automatic "sequester" spending cuts due to start at the end of the day.
Friday, March 1, is opening day at the Green Lake Pitch ‘n Putt Golf Course. The course has nine holes. The clubhouse isn’t much bigger than a roadside fruit stand. Admission is less than $10. For the thirtieth year in a row, the Taitch family will be running the place. But last year, the family almost called it quits.
Halfway through the enrollment season for Washington's Guaranteed Tuition Savings program, the number of new enrollments is lagging compared to the last two years. Consumer confidence in the program is slipping, at least for now, even as state lawmakers express their concerns about the $600 million shortfall in the program.