News

Election 2012
9:15 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Republicans Chase Ballots With Minivans, Smart Phones

King County Republican Party Executive Director Lisa Shin shows off a Victory Van.
Credit Amy Radil

This year campaigns are able to make faster and more nimble use of ballot returns than ever before and target those voters who have yet to cast their ballots.

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Election 2012
8:08 am
Mon November 5, 2012

WA Democrats Make Final Push to Get Out The Vote

Sen. Maria Cantwell, gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee,US Rep. Jim McDermott, and Sen. Patty Murray at the Democratic Party's get-out- the-vote rally in South Seattle.
Credit KUOW/Deborah Wang

Democratic Party activists in the state of Washington were in high gear this weekend conducting a massive get-out-the-vote campaign. Hundreds of volunteers manned phone banks and fanned out across neighborhoods to encourage people who hadn’t voted to turn in their ballots.

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Elections 2012
11:14 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Charter Schools' Fiscal Impact Unknown

If Initiative 1240 passes, public school funding would finance each charter school created under the law.

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Election 2012
9:32 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Northwest Money Helps Pay For Swing State Ads

Many in the Northwest have contributed to Super PACS like Karl Rive's American Crossroads. Photo by Kevin Mooney

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 8:16 am

Northwest voters are spared most presidential campaign ads. But Northwest money still plays a part in them. A handful of big spenders from the region are bolstering major super PACs behind a barage of ads now hitting swing states.

Florida voters might thank some wealthy Washington residents for a recent ad blitz targeting President Obama. People working in the financial services sector around Seattle have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Karl Rove's American Crossroads. It's a super PAC that supports Republican candidates.

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Election 2012
9:30 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Wash. Ballots With Late Postmarks Won't Be Counted

Washington voters can return their ballots via an official drop box by 8pm on election day. Photo by eagle.dawg via Flickr

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:13 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – New polls show Washington’s open race for governor remains close. Already hundreds of thousands of Washington voters have returned their ballots. Many more will do so in the coming days. But county auditors have a warning to voters who wait until the last minute.

In Oregon you have to have your ballot in by 8pm on Election night. But in Washington you just have to have your ballot postmarked. That means for days after the election ballots keep on rolling in and they get counted -– unless the postmark is past the due date.

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Education
8:51 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Seattle Schools Not Meeting Five-Year Academic Goals

Four years into Seattle Schools' five-year strategic plan, all of the goals have yet to be met.
Credit Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools has not met any of the 23 student performance goals the district set for itself four years ago in its five-year plan called "Excellence for All."

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Government
6:52 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Latest Washington Poll Bodes Well For Ballot Measures

UW Professor Matt Barreto unveils the latest Washington Poll results.
Credit Photo / Amy Radil

A newly released poll of likely Washington voters indicates that the race for governor is virtually tied with Democrat Jay Inslee slightly ahead.

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Health
6:15 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Tacoma Public Housing To Become Smoke-Free

Beginning March 1, 2013, Tacoma public housing will be smoke-free.
Credit Mikl Roventine / Flickr

Tacoma’s public housing is becoming completely smoke-free.  Right now residents can’t smoke in common areas.  But beginning March 1, 2013 residents won’t be allowed to smoke in their apartments.  The ban also includes outdoor areas like patios and balconies. 

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Referendum 74
12:54 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Ad Against Gay Marriage Only Tells Part Of The Story

Credit Darcyandkat / Flickr

The latest TV ad from same-sex marriage opponents in Washington focuses on school children, warning “schools could teach that boys could marry boys.”

The ad mirrors those that ran in other states when gay marriage came up for a vote, notably when Prop 8 was on California’s 2008 ballot. Campaign strategists on both sides agree the “schools ad" has been a game changer.

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Law
8:56 am
Thu November 1, 2012

O'Dea HS Principal Resigns Amid Sex Abuse Claims

A member of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests outside Seattle’s O’Dea High School.
Credit Christine Beaderstadt

This story has been updated since it was first published.

A member of the Christian Brothers religious order who served as principal at Seattle’s O'Dea High School has resigned. Brother Karl Walczak is being accused of sexually abusing a minor in Chicago about 40 years ago.

The school is operated by the Christian Brothers but owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle.

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Culture
8:19 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Some Northwest Latinos Blend Halloween, Day Of The Dead

Day of the dead bread, called pan muerto, has the shapes of bones and skulls baked right in at Viera’s Bakery in Pasco. Photo by Anna King

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:15 pm

PASCO, Wash. – Just as this year’s Halloween fades into memory, many Northwest Latino families are getting ready for the Day of the Dead. The traditional Mexican holiday is on Friday. Some families blend the two holidays.

In Pasco, Washington, bakeries can hardly churn out enough seasonal pan muerto . It’s a type of semi-sweet bread that has the shapes of bones and skulls baked right in.

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News
8:01 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Statistical Models Help Modern Day Campaigns Project Outcomes

In vote-by-mail states, campaigns can find out on a daily basis whether or not you’ve returned your ballot. Photo by Kevin Mooney

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:01 pm

What if there was a crystal ball that could reveal the outcome of an election? Turns out modern day campaigns use forecast models to project the winner of a race long before a single vote is counted.

In vote-by-mail states like Washington or Oregon, political parties and campaigns have an advantage. They can find out on a daily basis if you’ve returned your ballot.

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History
6:08 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Oregon Panel Considers Proposals For Renaming 'Squaw Creeks'

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:53 pm

Two relatively obscure waterways in rural southeast Oregon are generating a heated dispute over geographic names. The small streams are both named "Squaw Creek," which is considered offensive to Native Americans. But the landowners in each case object to the proposed new names.

A 25-member volunteer panel called the Oregon Geographic Names Board is methodically working to erase the term "squaw" from the state map. Often, the new names are suggested by Native Americans.

Board president Sharon Nesbit says that's the case for two remote creeks in rural Harney County.

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Elections 2012
7:09 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

MAP: Washington's Biggest Spenders Trying To Influence 2012 Elections

Private docks line the shore of Cozy Cove in Hunts Point, Wash., home to some of the state's priciest real estate -- and biggest political donors.
Credit John Ryan

Each election season, little-known political action committees -- and the campaign ads they fund -- assume a central role in American politics. This year, the ostensibly independent committees known as super PACs have raised more money than ever before. Their vaguely patriotic names often disguise their true purpose: spending lots of cash to get certain candidates into power.

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Health
6:34 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Washington State To Cover Autism Therapy For Medicaid Kids

Low-income parents will soon have a way to get treatment for their children with autism. Starting in January, Washington state will cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for kids with Medicaid coverage. The new benefit is part of a legal settlement between the state and a local advocacy group for children with autism. 

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