News

Nuclear Waste Program
7:00 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Bipartisan Group Plans Overhaul For Radioactive Waste Disposal

Department of Energy

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 5:07 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. - A bipartisan group of senior senators is drafting a bill to overhaul the U.S. nuclear-waste program. The group, which includes Oregon’s Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, is aiming to find a permanent home for the nation’s radioactive waste.

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How We Get Around
6:53 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Sound Transit: Ridership Has Reached Record Levels

Sounder Commuter Train at Everett Station
Flickr/Sillygwailo

Sound Transit announced last Friday that its latest ridership numbers for 2012 shows an all-time high. The numbers surpass the agency’s goal for 2012.

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Unmanned Aircraft Cancelled
1:25 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Seattle Grounds Police Drones Program

Seattle Police Officer James with a drone.
Credit KUOW photo/Amy Radil

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn put an end to a controversial  program where unmanned miniature helicopters equipped with cameras would be used to fight crime. Critics had privacy concerns about police surveillance. The timing of Mayor McGinn's decision could become an issue in his re-election bid.

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Seattle On Foot
1:04 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

The Hidden Legacy Of Seattle Stairways

Cathy and Jake Jaramillo at the Blaine Street stairs.
KUOW photo/Jeannie Yandel

When I meet Jake and Cathy Jaramillo, they tell me they consider Seattle a world-class city when it comes to public stairways. According to Jake, Seattle’s 650 stairways put the city in the top three for US cities with stairways, with Pittsburgh in first place and San Francisco in second. And since they moved here in 2001, they've been climbing Seattle’s stairs to meet people and uncover some of the city’s hidden nooks and crannies.

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The Way Home
8:20 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Study: Salmon Could Use Earth’s Magnetic Field To Go Home

According to new research, sockeye salmon from the Fraser River take different routes home, depending on shifts in the earth's magnetic field.
Tom Quinn, University of Washington

Salmon travel thousands of miles out to the open ocean to feed and mature. Then after a few years they head home, back to the exact river where they hatched to spawn the next generation.

Scientists don’t fully understand how the fish find their way back, but a new study found that salmon could be determining their routes home by shifts in the earth's magnetic field.

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Pot Tax Proposal
7:11 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Medical Marijuana Tax Proposed To Address Black Market Concerns

Brianna Butterfield Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:07 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Three powerful Democrats in the Washington state House are proposing a new 25 percent tax on medical marijuana. The measure introduced Thursday is designed to avoid an underground market for medicinal pot once recreational marijuana is legally sold in stores.

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Resort Foreclosure
7:08 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Western Idaho Resort Muddles Through Extended Limbo

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 3:41 pm

DONNELLY, Idaho - The real estate crash triggered some big bankruptcies in the Northwest, but few are as spectacular and convoluted as the foreclosure of the unfinished Tamarack Resort in western Idaho. What was supposed to be the Northwest's newest destination resort remains in extended legal limbo, but plucky homeowners are keeping it alive until a new buyer arrives.

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Obituary
11:22 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Northwest Artist Alden Mason Dies

Alden Mason's 'Bird'
Credit Courtesy University of Washington

Alden Mason was a Pacific Northwest native and a lifelong resident, but his artistic influence reaches far beyond this corner of the country. Mason was born in Everett, Wash., in 1919, and he grew up enamored with the outdoor world around him. 

He planned to study entomology when he enrolled in the University of Washington.  By chance, he told an interviewer, he wandered over to the art building, where a nude model was posing for painting students.  Mason was only half-joking when he says that encounter changed his career path.

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Education Reform
8:55 am
Thu February 7, 2013

District Grants Policy Waivers To Allow Seattle Schools More Flexibility

The Seattle School Board has approved "Creative Approach" policy waivers at six schools. The new system lets a school apply for waivers to district policies and the union contract so the school can be more flexible in how it operates.

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Big Law, Tiny Font
7:16 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Lesser-Known Washington Law Doubles Maternity Leave To 24 Weeks

Washington law says your employer must inform you of your labor rights with this poster. The tiny text in the red box (added) tells workers of their right to additional parental leave.
Phyllis Fletcher

A long-standing state law in Washington gives working mothers up to 24 weeks off when they have babies. If you didn’t know, you must not have read the poster in your break room at work. You know, the one everyone is always leaning over and squinting at to find out what their rights are.

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REI's Emissions Increasing
7:56 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Obama Picks ‘Climate Expert’ CEO Of REI To Head Interior Department

President Barack Obama announcing Sally Jewell as his nominee for Secretary of Interior, with current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar looking on.
Whitehouse.gov

President Barack Obama has nominated Sally Jewell, the head of Kent, Wash.-based retail chain Recreational Equipment Inc., to lead the Interior Department. 

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Section 8 Lottery
7:44 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Scam Websites Target Applicants To Seattle’s Low-Income Housing

Credit Seattle Housing Authority

Watch out for scammers. That’s Seattle Housing Authority’s warning to people who are going online this week to apply for the city’s Section 8 housing lottery.  Agency officials caution that some misleading sites have been set up to  trick people into submitting their personal information to the wrong place.

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Presidential Politics In The Northwest
9:07 am
Wed February 6, 2013

REI Executive Tapped For Interior; Geithner Joins Council On Foreign Relations

Sally Jewell, president and CEO of REI, who is in line to be the next secretary of interior.
Ron Sachs EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 11:29 am

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET. It's Official:

Praising Sally Jewell as an executive who turned outdoors equipment retailer REI into one of the nation's most successful and environmentally conscious companies, President Obama just said he is nominating her to be his next interior secretary.

Noting that Jewell, who in a previous job worked as an engineer for Mobil, has also climbed mountains in Antarctica, the president joked about that being "just not something I think of doing."

Our original post:

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Farming Labor Shortage
9:03 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Northwest Farmers Plan To Bring More Mexican Guest Workers North

Washington Apple Commission

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:29 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. – A group of Northwest farmers plans to bring in thousands of legal Mexican guest workers to their fields and orchards this year. Last season many farmers were scrambling to pick their crops because of a worker shortage.

The federal H-2A guest worker program is so cumbersome and expensive, that most farmers haven’t wanted to use it. Employers have to pay for transportation, approved housing and usually more money than the going wage for workers already in the U.S.

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Standardized Test Boycott
7:32 am
Wed February 6, 2013

MAP Test Finally Given At Garfield High, But Few Students Show Up

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda directed administrators at Garfield High School to give the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test Tuesday despite a mass boycott by the school’s teachers.

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