News

EarthFix Reports
8:44 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Columbia Sportswear Fined For Failing To Label Clothes Treated With Pesticide

The downtown Portland Columbia Sportswear store. The Oregon-headquartered company was fined for not labeling clothes that have been treated with pesticides, as required by federal law.
Scott Beale / Laughing Squid http://laughingsquid.com/

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:37 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency has fined Portland-based Columbia Sportswear $100,800 for failing to label clothes treated with pesticides.

Between 2010 and 2013, the company sold socks and hats that were treated with a product called Insect Blocker but didn't have the label notifying consumers as required by federal pesticide labeling laws.

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EarthFix Reports
8:44 am
Wed July 23, 2014

New Report: Oso Landslide Rooted In Long History Of Slides

Lidar imagery from a new report shows a history of landslide activity, as well as the contributions of groundwater from nearby basins, such as Headache Creek, which may have weakened slope stability..
GEER Report http://www.geerassociation.org/GEER_Post%20EQ%20Reports/Oso_WA_2014/GEER_Oso_Landslide_Report.pdf

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 2:40 pm

SEATTLE -- Scientists have concluded that rain, groundwater seepage and a long history of big landslides likely contributed to the massive landslide of March 22 that killed 43 people and destroyed dozens of homes near Oso, Washington.

Those findings came out Tuesday, the result of a scientific team's rapid-fire assessment of geology and localized factors.

Joe Wartman, a University of Washington associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and a co-lead author of the study, said rainfall very likely played a key role in the slide.

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Wildfires
8:44 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Inslee Says Feds Will Help Restore Power In Fire Zone

Map of current large fire locations in the Northwest

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 5:42 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said Tuesday President Obama has pledged immediate federal aid to help fire-swept areas of north central Washington.

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Pot
8:44 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Oregonians Will Vote On Marijuana Legalization In November

File photo of chief petitioner Anthony Johnson preparing to turn in signatures for verification in Salem last month.

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:59 pm

An initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon qualified for the November ballot Tuesday.

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Wildfires
8:43 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Fire Evacuees Find Help With Donation Centers, Shelters

Volunteers hang cardboard signs to point people in the direction of donation centers and shelters.

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 9:02 am

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department ordered more homeowners to evacuate Monday afternoon. These newest evacuations came after firefighters saw a brief relief from high winds and hot weather Sunday.

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Immigration
9:20 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Goodbye, America: Frustrated, A Young Immigrant Returns To Mexico

Jorge Lerma prepares to return to Mexico, where he is from, after having spent half his life as an undocumented immigrant in the U.S.
Credit KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Jorge Lerma sorts through his neckties. Dozens are draped across the couch; others get tossed into the give-away pile. 

Jorge rents a tiny room at this house in Bellevue, Washington. The landlord pops in to check out possible bargains and buys a flat-screen TV and a light-weight tripod. The discard pile shrinks, but on top remains a crisp American flag that Jorge used to hang in his room.

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Wildfires
8:25 am
Tue July 22, 2014

I Watched My Church Burn: Washington Man Faces Down Wildfires

According to one resident, the Pateros fire burned up everything that could be burned in the Eastern Washington town.
Courtesy of Terry Craven

UPDATE 7/22/2014, 9:44 a.m.

KUOW's Lisa Brooks checked back in with Bruce Craven Tuesday morning to get an update on how his town was faring after the Carlton Complex fire ripped through Thursday evening.

He said the fire he witnessed in Pateros burned up the vegetation all around his church, but the structure itself is intact, albeit with char marks on the outside and broken windows.

Residents including Craven were able to attend services there on Sunday. Craven said many congregants had lost everything in the fire.

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Carlton Complex Fire
7:45 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Wildfire Town Meeting Grows Tense Over Missed Evacuation Notices

Community members file in Sunday night to a town meeting in Brewster, Washington.

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:28 am

In north-central Washington, fire crews aided by cooler temperatures and calmer winds are going on the offensive against several sprawling wildfires. Incident commanders of the region’s biggest and most destructive wildfire briefed residents in Omak and Brewster Sunday night.

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Megaprojects
9:58 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Seattle Tunnel Partner Wins $80 Million Dispute Over Boston’s Big Dig

Road signs from Boston's Big Dig.
Flickr Photo/Nantaskart!

One of the two companies attempting to dig a highway tunnel beneath the Seattle waterfront has won an $80 million dispute with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

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Pot Regulations
9:21 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Gourmet Marijuana Goodies Just Out Of Reach In Washington

What kids like.
Credit Amy Radil

State-licensed marijuana retail stores are just opening their doors in Washington and state regulators are still deciding what customers will find inside. Last month the Washington State Liquor Control Board told processors they will allow sweets, but not if they’re presented in a way that’s deemed "especially appealing to children."

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EarthFix Reports
6:51 am
Mon July 21, 2014

How To Listen For A Spotted Bat

People can hear the spotted bat's echolocation. One group of nature lovers recently spent a night out tracking the bats in central Washington to check-in on how bat populations are doing in the state.
Paul Cryan

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:00 pm

Moses Coulee is a bat-lovers paradise. Washington is home to 15 species of these flying mammals and you can find 14 of them in this deep ravine about 45 minutes north of Ephrata.

And one of those species is the most rare type of bat in the state: the spotted bat.

There’s one thing especially cool about this bat: people can hear its echolocation. (Audio courtesy of Neal Hedges.)

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Wildfires
6:50 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Washington Evacuees Have Dealt With Fires Before, But 'Not Like This'

File photo of a portion of the Mills Canyon Complex fire in Central Washington

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 2:56 pm

A blaze in Okanogan County, Washington, that Governor Jay Inslee called a “firestorm” has destroyed around 100 homes. Now, Inslee says 1,000 National Guard troops will take a crash-course in wildfire fighting so they can be deployed to central Washington fires.

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Wildfires
6:50 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Washington Governor Asks For Cooperation With Fire Evacuation Requests

Smoke billows over US Highway 97 near Pateros, Washington, on Friday.

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 5:53 pm

More than a dozen wildfires in eastern Washington and eastern Oregon continue to threaten homes and cause numerous road closures. Washington Governor Jay Inslee Friday asked residents near those fires to heed evacuation notices when issued.

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Wildfires
6:50 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Wildfires Force Northwest Fruit Pickers Out Of Camps

File photo of the Carlton Complex Fire in central Washington.

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 8:55 pm

Fire officials estimate wildfires have burned more than 1,200 square miles in Washington and Oregon. Crews are working fast to build fire lines between the rapidly moving flames and rural communities. But hundreds of people remain on evacuation alert.

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State Of Shock
6:50 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Okanogan County Residents Look For Remnants Of Lives In Burned Homes

The Carlton Complex's 'dangerous nature' has made it the No. 1 fire in the country according to the Washington DNR.

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 9:08 pm

Residents of fire-ravaged central Washington say they're in a “state of shock.” Fires destroyed more houses over the weekend and prompted additional evacuation notices.

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