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For the first time last year, the majority of new homes built in Seattle were built “green.” That’s according to the local homebuilders association. Portland home builders are also going for healthy, energy-efficient construction in a big way.

Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan takes the oath of office, administered by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones, right, on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at the Ethiopian Community Center in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Jenny Durkan was sworn in as Seattle's 56th mayor Tuesday in a ceremony at the Ethiopian Community Center, directing pointed remarks to President Trump in her opening remarks.

UPDATED (Wednesday, Nov. 29, 8:55 a.m.): Washington state’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council voted unanimously Tuesday to turn down a controversial oil terminal planned for Vancouver, Washington.

The council’s decision to not recommend the project is another major blow against the massive oil-by-rail facility proposed by Vancouver Energy.

It’s also one of the last steps in a years-long permitting process to develop the oil terminal. The ultimate decision on whether the project goes forward will be up to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

A team from the University of Washington has won a major award for artificial intelligence: the inaugural Alexa Prize from Amazon.

The $500,000 award was announced today at Amazon’s AWS re:Invent 2017 conference in Las Vegas.

File photo of homeless ecampment under bridge.
KUOW Photo

Gone are the days when Seattle’s homeless service providers simply had their funding renewed with the annual budget.

For the first time in over a decade, the city has competitively bid $34 million in homeless services contracts, cutting funding to some providers with long-standing ties to the city. 


WDFW

Call it Puget Sound piracy.

Thieves boarded a floating salmon farm a few saltwater miles from Anacortes on a Saturday night in September. In their wake, they left a trail of blood.


Gun rights advocates and legislative leaders are reacting to new rules on guns in the Washington state Senate. Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib announced a ban Monday on all firearms in the public viewing galleries.

Councilmember Tim Burgess speaks after accepting a nomination from council member Lorena Gonzalez to become the intern mayor of Seattle, during a city council meeting on Monday, September 18, 2017, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle will get a new mayor Tuesday — its fourth this year. Seattle mayor Tim Burgess will be handing over the office to Jenny Durkan, who was elected earlier this month. His farewell address, given in his final days in office, was as short as his tenure in the top job, which will clock in at just 71 days.


A major milestone is approaching at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state. After nearly two decades of work, contractors have just finished cleaning out the first group of 16 radioactive waste tanks.

After the tank farm is officially declared cleaned out by Washington’s Department of Ecology, the federal government has to decide what to do with the tanks themselves.

A picture of Rebecca and Bangally Fatty on their wedding day is shown in a photo album on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Updated 11/27/2017, 1:55 p.m.

Bangally Fatty, a University of Washington student who faces deportation, could be allowed to return to his Seattle home this week. A judge is set to decide on Wednesday, Nov. 29, if Fatty will remain in custody or be released on bond.

Original story, 11/16/2017

This story has been updated

All firearms will be banned from the Washington state Senate public viewing galleries when the 2018 legislative session begins on January 8.

Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, a Democrat who serves as the president of the Senate, issued that order Monday, extending a previous order banning openly-carried guns in the Senate galleries.

Flickr Photo/Andrew Malone (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/4unt5o

Every healthcare worker in Washington is required to undergo suicide prevention training. That includes nurses, dentists and even chiropractors. Now, University of Washington researchers have developed an interactive, online training program called All Patients Safe.

Autumn rains have washed away the smoke of the summer wildfires. But Congress remains embroiled in a high-stakes environmental debate over how to reduce the growing threat of catastrophic blazes in Western forests and rangelands.

Lawmakers are under more pressure to act after a wildfire season that was particularly harrowing. Nearly 9 million acres – an area about the size of New Jersey and Connecticut combined – burned. Intense smoke hit many of the West’s major cities, including Denver, the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland.

The long hunt finally paid off on the night of Aug. 6 for two employees of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. They’d spent a combined 85 hours and driven 752 miles in pursuit of the Harl Butte wolf pack in the northeast corner of the state.

They had already come close, spotting wolves twice but never firing a shot.

But finally, on a Saturday evening, they killed a young male. Two days later, an Oregon Fish and Wildlife employee fired a kill shot from a helicopter while patrolling the rolling forests and pastures. This time it was a young female.

Protesters attempt to block the entrance of Westlake Center  on Friday, November 24, 2017, during a Black Lives Matter rally, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Black Lives Matter demonstrators took to the streets in downtown Seattle on Friday to protest. This is the fourth year in a row that such a rally has been held on Black Friday.

Protesters marched peacefully and then gathered at Westlake Center where they linked arms and formed a line in front of several stores.

Boxed items are shown on conveyer belts leading to docks where they will be loaded onto trucks at an Amazon fulfillment center on Friday, November 3, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

We're a conflicted bunch.

On one hand, we love to hate Amazon in Seattle because the city grew too fast and it's made problems for a lot of people. But a lot of us are also huge Amazon shoppers. 

Think about that: Amazon is so good at what it does that even people who say they shouldn't, use it.


People who catch fish for sport or for a living often eagerly await the day when fishing season opens. But a new study from the University of Washington argues the timing of fishing seasons needs to be reevaluated, especially in light of climate change.

Adhering to Seattle's climate action plan would require reducing tailpipe exhaust 15 times faster than the 0.5 percent a year Seattle has actually achieved.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Kim Malcolm talks with Lisa Van Cise about the heavy traffic that drivers can expect over Thanksgiving weekend. Van Cise is a spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Transportation.

People pack city hall for a hearing on a proposed income tax
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

A judge in King County has struck down Seattle's new income tax on higher earners.

It's the first ruling in a case that's expected to go all the way to the State Supreme Court.

Washington state Rep. Paul Graves is proposing to end the cloak of secrecy around legislative emails, calendars and other records. The move comes as media outlets, including public radio, have sued the Legislature over public records.

Seattle is at the top of the list of major U.S. cities that are seeing the highest increases in home prices. That’s according to the real estate firm Zillow, which released a new report Wednesday.

A Washington energy council has released a massive environmental report that could decide the fate of a controversial $210 million oil terminal in Vancouver.

The state’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, or EFSEC, discussed findings from the Final Environmental Impact Statement Tuesday afternoon at a special meeting in Olympia.

Satish and Arlene Palshikar live in a house in Southeast Portland that's coated with recycled bluish-white paint. Their boxy silver television is a 1990s vintage model they plucked from the curb.

"It said, 'Works fine,' so we said 'OK, we’ll take it,'" said Arlene Palshikar. "No packaging. Just load it in the car.”

They collect and reuse rainwater, compost their own food waste and avoid plastic whenever possible. It takes two months to fill their trash can enough to put it out on the curb for pickup.

Marijuana may be legal in Washington and Oregon, but police continue to bust illegal marijuana operations that are not licensed by the state.

The latest numbers from the Washington State Patrol show that 89 illegal marijuana growing operations were shut down in Washington over the past year. Some were indoor grows, most were outdoor.

Nearly 20,000 people have been removed from Washington’s Medicaid rolls for ineligibility. The purge happened after the state stepped up efforts to verify residency and income levels.

Washington and Oregon are making contingency plans in case Congress doesn’t reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program. CHIP is for low-income families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Allison Adams is shown through a foggy window as she works on her laptop at Storyville Coffee on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, on 1st Ave., in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A warm front has brought lots and lots of rain to Seattle and surrounding areas this week. The weather is expected to continue through the weekend. Photographer Megan Farmer captured these shots around the Rainy City. 

Washington state’s Department of Fish and Game is offering its own version of retail therapy this Black Friday: skip the mall and go fishing instead.

Tents are shown as people gathered to protest the sweeps of homeless camps in November, 2017, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle's City Council wants to bring back its "head tax" proposal — and soon. The idea is to tax the city's largest businesses based on their number of employees.

There’s a new plant species in Washington state, but it hasn’t been named yet. And the botanist who discovered it will auction off that opportunity this week.




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