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Specially trained rescuers have managed to free a whale that was tangled in fishing gear off the Washington coast. But they say the prognosis for the young gray whale is "guarded."

Two of Washington state’s top elected prosecutors say the state is failing to adequately address an epidemic of drug addiction. They say it’s a major contributor to crime, but also to homelessness.

If you somehow still need proof that a movement to outlaw military-style, semi-automatic weapons in Oregon is a big deal, look no further than Dennis Richardson’s inbox.

In what is likely a record, the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office in recent weeks fielded nearly 1,600 pages of comments criticizing a ballot title for Initiative Petition 43.

It’s a record year for flooding in northeastern Washington as spring runoff makes its way into the region’s rivers.

From left, peanuts, hog maw and chitterlings. These three dishes, as chef Edouardo Jordan explains, come from West Africa, and evolved during slavery in the Deep South.
JuneBaby Instagram/@junebabysea

Chef Edouardo Jordan brought major gold home to Seattle this week by winning two James Beard Awards. One for Best Northwest Chef, a recognition of his talent at his flagship restaurant Salare, and another for Best New Restaurant nationwide for the Ravenna eatery two blocks away, JuneBaby.

Sara Bates helps feed homeless people at Edible Hope Kitchen, a ministry of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Ballard.
KUOW Photos / David Hyde

Seattle residents are fighting over homelessness and what to do about it.

When we asked Ballard resident Sara Bates why she believes the issue has divided the community so much, she responded with this story and a question of her own for her neighbors.


Portland may become the first city in the Pacific Northwest to require all owners of old brick buildings to make earthquake safety upgrades. But being on the leading edge is not a comfortable place.

Left to right, Rachel Park, Sonali Coehlo, Brooke Lell and  Judith Prado are part of the school's Green Team. They sort and organize the collected food before storing them in the fridge.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

A Bellevue school has saved 4,000 pounds of food – enough that a nearby food bank no longer has to ration milk for its families.

The newly constructed Arbora Court Apartments, with 133 units, is shown on Monday, April 23, 2018, in Seattle. Forty of the apartments have been set aside for families transitioning out of homelessness.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Three years ago, the city told developers: You can either pay into a fund or build affordable housing units yourselves.

Listener Andrew Chinnici heard about that on KUOW and wanted to know: How is it working out?

Well, Andrew, so far there are permits for just 19 units through this fund.

The southwest side of Mount St. Helens as viewed from a USGS helicopter crew.
USGS Volcano Hazards Program

While Hawaii's Big Island braces for another potential volcano eruption in the coming weeks, volcanoes in the Cascades are rated "normal," meaning the likelihood of hazards is low. The most activity we see from those  mountains right now is small earthquakes, said Seth Moran at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory.

Washington House Democrats voted Wednesday to suspend state Rep. David Sawyer as chair of the Commerce and Gaming Committee, pending the outcome of an investigation into workplace conduct. House leaders said the rare disciplinary vote was prompted by preliminary results of that investigation into Sawyer’s behavior toward women that “confirmed evidence that supported some allegations” against the three-term Democrat.

Courtesy of Kellie Sevier

Last month, 27-year-old Sabrina Tate died in Seattle. She was living in an RV in a city-sanctioned safe lot in the SODO neighborhood.

For years, Sabrina had been homeless and addicted to heroin. The cause of her death isn't fully known yet, but she had developed an infection in her legs from years of drug use. 

Demonstrators took to land and sea in British Columbia Wednesday as energy giant Kinder Morgan hosted shareholders at an annual meeting in Texas. In Houston, tribal leaders voiced their opposition to the company’s proposed expansion of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline—a project that could increase the amount of crude oil shipped to Washington state.

At Penn Cove, on the north end of Whidbey Island, gulls and other birds fly overhead, and a muddy beach leads down to the water.

It’s quiet today, but, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, this was the place whale catchers came to capture orcas. They threw noisemakers into the water to drive pods of orcas into the narrow cove, then blocked the way out and pulled the baby whales out of the water.

Nearly 50 orcas from the Salish Sea's population were captured this way. Today, only one of those whales is still alive.

Lolita at the Miami Seaquarium orca show, 2006.
Wikipedia Photo/Marc Averette (CC BY 3.0)/https://bit.ly/2Iv7sS3

At Penn Cove, on the north end of Whidbey Island, gulls and other birds fly overhead, and a muddy beach leads down to the water.

It’s quiet today, but, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, this was the place whale catchers came to capture orcas.


Kokanee spawning in Ebright Creek near Lake Sammamish
Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Roger Tabor

A little red fish that calls Lake Sammamish home is swimming desperately close to extinction. Officials are embarking on emergency measures to keep the fish known as kokanee from disappearing from the lake, and King County, forever.


The sun sets on downtown Seattle on Friday, October 27, 2017, shown from Harbor Ave. Southwest.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

More than a hundred heads of Seattle companies are saying no to Seattle’s head tax proposal. In an open letter to the Seattle City Council, they say it doesn’t make sense to punish businesses for creating jobs.

The letter’s signatories include the heads of Alaska Airlines, Tableau, and Expedia.

Henry lives in Belltown, where he likes to cuddle, go for walks, and poop.
KUOW Photo/Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Everybody poops, especially your pooch.

Seattle pets generate over 80,000 pounds of poop a day, according to Seattle Public Utilities. That’s 40 poop tons — the weight of a fire truck.





Tribal leaders from Canada are on their way to Texas to warn Kinder Morgan stockholders against expanding its controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline project. The pipeline brings Canadian oil to Washington state.




Edouardo Jordan, right, works in the kitchen at JuneBaby on Wednesday December 6, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle Chef Edouardo Jordan kept one item off his menu when he opened Salare in 2015.

“I didn’t want to put fried chicken on the menu,” Jordan said in the Netflix documentary series, “Ugly Delicious.”

Seattle Symphony musicians Eric Jacobs and Danielle Kuhlmann have some fun with Giovanny, the four-year-old son of Taylor Joffre, before a sharing session for the Lullaby Project at Mary’s Place in Seattle, Monday, May 7, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Dan DeLong

The Seattle Symphony will perform five original lullabies at a free Mother's Day concert this weekend. And each lullaby was composed with help from a parent staying at a local homeless shelter.

It's part of the symphony's effort to address homelessness in its own way. 

In July, seven Oregon craft breweries will start selling beer in reusable glass bottles in the country’s first statewide refillable beer bottle program.

Oregon's Widmer Brothers, Buoy Beer, Double Mountain, GoodLife, Gigantic, Wild Ride and Rock Bottom breweries will be pioneering the program with some of their beers. Other breweries may join the program later.

The reusable bottles will be on store shelves just like all the other beer, but they'll look a little different.

Deborah Alexander, one of the many people who were tribally disenrolled from the Nooksack tribe, looks out of the window of a safety boat during the first leg of a canoe journey on Thursday, July 27, 2017, in Point Roberts.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The Nooksack Tribe in northwestern Washington is on the path to having a legal government again after it held a council election over the weekend.

That election was supposed to happen two years ago, when half of its seats expired.


File photo: Calorie counts are now national law.
Flickr Photo/Wes Dickinson (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/TWcThi

A national law requiring calorie information on menus takes effect this week. Restaurants, supermarkets and convenience stores with 20 locations are now required to post calorie information on their menus. 

If you live in King County, you won’t see much difference because it was an early adopter and passed a menu labeling requirement in 2009.


Washington Supreme Court justices will be in northeastern Washington Tuesday to hear three cases in Nespelem, where the Confederated Tribes of the Colville are headquartered.

MV Puyallup is one of the biggest ferries in the fleet
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Ferries have been running a few minutes behind, and listener Nick Wilson wanted to know what was up.

Turns out ferries can reduce CO2 emissions significantly by laying off the throttle just a bit. Like, equivalent to taking more than 1,200 cars off the road.


It’s no secret that the aviation industry is facing a shortage of airline pilots. But that isn’t the only aviation career grappling with a labor shortage. Aircraft mechanics and flight simulator technicians are also in high demand.

How Do You Want Your Smoke?

May 7, 2018

There’s broad agreement that fire plays a vital role in forest ecology in the West. Many of our problems with severe wildfires can be traced, at least in part, to a century of putting fires out, rather than letting them clean up excess forest fuels.

Now, there’s a need to deliberately set controlled fires to help re-establish a more natural fire pattern. But after a summer in which residents and tourists alike choked on foul air and many events were canceled due to heavy smoke, are people ready to put up with more smoke from prescribed burns?

Participants at KUOW’s Ask A Muslim event at MAPS in Redmond, Washington.
KUOW photo/John O'Brien

KUOW’s Ask A series is three years old now. The conversations we host bridge cultural, political and philosophical divides. As you might imagine, people are often nervous before the discussions begin.


Hector Casador works at the South Transfer Station in South Park
KUOW photo/Kate Walters

When you throw away a piece of trash, do you ever wonder where it goes and who deals with it? If you live in the city of Seattle, there’s a good chance that your garbage ends up at the city’s dump in South Park, right off Highway 99.

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