News

Increased Penalties
10:23 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Victim, Prosecutor Say New DUI Law Is Progress, But Not Enough

Austin Jenkins/ Northwest News Network. Dan Schulte, with his sister at his side, speaks at the bill signing ceremony for Washington’s new DUI law.

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:22 pm

Second-time drunk drivers in Washington will go directly to jail. They’ll also be required to get an ignition interlock device within five days.

Those are just two of the provisions in a sweeping new DUI measure signed into law Thursday. But already there are calls for even tougher penalties in the future.

The bill signing ceremony took place at a State Patrol field office. Governor Jay Inslee was flanked by police, prosecutors, lawmakers and victims.

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News
10:18 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Green Space And Regional Trails Could Get Boost From King County Parks Levy

Bob Gerrish and his dog Lola at Big Finn Hill Park in Kirkland.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

King County wants to renew its parks levy on the August 6 primary ballot. The package would continue current maintenance, and include new money for open space and trail construction.

If it’s approved, the levy would generate $396 million dollars in property taxes over six years. It would cost property tax payers almost 19 cents per $1,000 of assessed value – for the owner of a $300,000 home that comes to $56 dollars per year.

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Mayor's Race 2013
1:58 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Seattle Mayor's Race Debate Features Eight Candidates Ahead Of Primary

Audience members voting during the lightening round at Tuesday night's CityClub debate.
Credit KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

The Downtown District Council of Seattle and KCTS 9 hosted the Seattle mayoral candidates for a live debate ahead of the August 6 primary last night. The first hour of the debate was televised and simulcast on KUOW.

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Baseball Accessibility
10:09 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Beeping Balls Allow Blind Players To Step Up To The Plate

Jessica Robinson/ Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:25 am

For most Northwest baseball fans, the Mariners games against the Astros are where the action is at this weekend. But there's another set of games on Saturday like none you’ve ever seen in America's pastime.

The athletes in this league are blind. That's right: baseball for the visually impaired.

It's a warm afternoon in Spokane. The smell of cut grass and barbecue is in the air. And Bee Yang is up to bat.

A teammate who has partial vision directs Yang to the plate: “Keep going, 20 feet forward, 10, 5, homeplate, tap.”

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Admission to Higher Ed
9:19 am
Thu July 18, 2013

University Of Washington Will Consider Criminal History In Application Process

UW Provost Ana Marie Cauce
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Correction 7/19/13: A previous online version of this story erroneously stated that the UW had been consulting Washington State University about this policy. In fact, it was Western Washington University that had been asking about criminal history on applications since 2007 and had been providing guidance to UW.

Prospective students will now be asked about their criminal past; specifically, if they’ve been convicted of sex crimes or violent felonies. UW Provost Ana Marie Cauce says it’s a safety issue. Cauce says protecting students and campus visitors is a priority.

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Trayvon Martin Shooting
5:48 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Seattle's Black Clergy Respond To Zimmerman Verdict

Rev. LaVerne Hall of Mount Zion Baptist Church speaks out during Trayvon Martin Vigil in Seattle.
Liz Jones KUOW

Correction 7/18/13: A previous version of this story stated that Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law was a key part of Zimmerman’s defense. The law was a factor in the case but not part of Zimmerman’s courtroom strategy.

A group of black pastors in the Seattle area say the Trayvon Martin case should be a “wake-up call.” The religious leaders are pushing for changes in gun laws that they say contribute to racial profiling, and they're also urging community members to join their fight.

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Publicly-Accessible Telescope
3:57 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Local Company Uses Crowd Funding To Launch Space Telescope

Local company Planetary Resources successfully completed a campaign to crowd fund a publicly accessible telescope.
Flickr Photo/NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Planetary Resources, a company based in Bellevue, decided to bridge the gap between the planet and the cosmos with the world’s first crowd-funded, publicly-accessible telescope. Their Kickstarter campaign recently raised over $1.5 million from 17,614 people in just 33 days.

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Gender Equity
10:58 am
Wed July 17, 2013

City Task Force On Pay Equity To Address Seattle’s Gender Wage Gap

A new report shows there is a 9.5 percent gap between the salaries earned by men who work for the city of Seattle, compared with the salaries of women. The mayor has asked a task force to look into the situation and make recommendations on how to close the gap.

Julie Nelson is the director of Seattle’s Office of Civil Rights. She’s on the task force. She says she hopes it will have an influence on private-sector gender pay gaps as well as the disparity within the city. 

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Mayor's Race 2013
10:13 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Tempers Flare In Seattle Mayor's Race

Mayoral candidate Ed Murray in a skit featuring cross-dressing "campaign consultants" during Candidate Survivor Night
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

As the August 6 primary draws near, the Seattle mayor’s race is heating up.

Candidates are now engaged in almost daily debates and forums, and some are getting testy.

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No More Secret Ops
9:13 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Port Angeles Won't Be Buzzed By Special Forces Again, Says Mayor

Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd
City of Port Angeles

The mayor of Port Angeles says she got more than an apology when she went to Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Monday. Mayor Cherie Kidd says she also received a promise that the military will not buzz her city with training helicopters again.

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Invasive Species
11:20 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Crayfish Turf Wars Of The Northwest

Red swamp crayfish aren't native to the Northwest but where they've been introduced, they're taking over.
Earthfix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Gumbo and jambalaya may not be at the top of Northwest menus. But if the invasive red swamp crayfish has its way, that could change.

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Unused Vaults
10:21 am
Tue July 16, 2013

State Acknowledges Washington Data Center Was Overbuilt

Consolidated Technology Services. This image shows one of the “built out” data halls in Washington’s new data center.

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 3:58 pm

Critics of Washington’s new $300 million data center complex have been saying for years that it was overbuilt. Now, the state acknowledges as much. In a new report, Washington’s Chief Information Officer concludes two of the four data halls will not be needed.

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Seattle City Council Position 2
8:58 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Amazon Manager Brian Carver Aims To Unseat Seattle City Council Veteran

Seattle City Council candidate Brian Carver
KUOW Photo

Brian Carver is one of two candidates challenging 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin in the August 6 primary. The other is Socialist Alternative Party candidate Kshama Sawant.

Carver holds the title principle product manager at Amazon's Kindle direct publishing division. He has an MBA and an engineering master's degree from the University of Washington.

Carver ran unsuccessfully for an open City Council seat in 2009. He's been a local Democratic Party activist in the 43rd Legislative District. He says improving the city's schools is his top priority.

On the web:

Brian Carver's campaign website

Seattle City Council Position 2
8:57 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Richard Conlin Seeks Fifth Term On Seattle City Council

Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Richard Conlin is the incumbent in Position 2 of the Seattle City Council. He's being challenged in the primary by Socialist Alternative candidate Kshama Sawant and Amazon manager Brian Carver.

Conlin was first elected to the council in 1997. He served as council president in 2008-2009 and had a public dust-up with Mayor Mike McGinn over the building of the downtown tunnel.

Recently, Conlin presided over a massive re-zoning of the city's South Lake Union neighborhood, he led the effort to pass a $123 million library levy, and he spearheaded the city's "Happiness Initiative." Conlin cast  the sole vote against an ordinance requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to their workers. He was one of two members who voted against using city funds to build a basketball and hockey arena in SODO.

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Seattle City Council Position 2
8:56 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Tax The Rich, Says Seattle City Council Candidate Kshama Sawant

Seattle City Council Candidate Kshama Sawant
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Kshama Sawant is a Socialist Alternative Party candidate who is challenging incumbent Richard Conlin for Seattle City Council Position 2. The other candidate in the race is Amazon employee Brian Carver.

Sawant teaches economics at Seattle Central Community College. She has been active in the Occupy Seattle Movement. Last year, she ran for state House of Representatives against Democrat and long-time House Majority Leader Frank Chopp. She received 29 percent of the vote, which her campaign touted as the highest vote for a socialist candidate in decades.

Sawant is calling for a $15 minimum wage (it's currently $9.19 in Washington state) and a "millionaires' tax" to raise money for transit, education and social services.

On the web:

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