News

EarthFix Reports
9:22 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Spill Plan For Columbia River Oil Terminal Lays Out Worst-Case Scenarios

An oil terminal at the Port Westward Industrial Park near Clatskanie, Ore., submitted its spill contingency plans to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality this month.
Flickr Photo/Sam Beebe

The worst-case environmental scenario at an oil terminal on the lower Columbia River means 3.8 million gallons of crude spilling into sensitive wildlife habitat and shutting down a public drinking water intake, according to a draft response plan facility managers filed with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

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Politics
9:09 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Washington Lawmakers Move To Ban Pit Bull Bans

Zak Thatcher and her bull terrier Ozzy drove four hours to show their support for breed-neutral legislation.
Taylor Winkel Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 9:36 am

Payette County, Idaho bans pit bulls. Medford, Oregon is considering a ban of its own. But some Washington state representatives want to ban the bans.

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Education
4:52 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

New Bill Would Examine Student Privacy In Washington State

A bill introduced in the state Legislature this week calls for a study into how much student data is being released without families’ knowledge or consent.

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EarthFix Reports
12:36 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Scientists: Stop Worrying About Fukushima Radioactivity In Fish

Pete Knutson and his son Dylan sell wild salmon at farmers markets around Seattle. "We had people passing on our fish this year. It was directly because they were worried about Fukushima," Pete Knutson said.
Credit EarthFix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Following the 2011 tsunami in Japan, a nuclear reactor released hundreds of millions of gallons of radioactive water into the ocean. That sparked fear that contaminated water would reach the West Coast, but three years later, scientists say that radiation in our waters isn’t necessarily linked to the nuclear reactor. 

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Transportation
11:38 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Workers To Descend Into Blocked Bertha In A Pressurized Bubble

A Seattle Tunnel Partners crew works on one of the tanks holding soil conditioner being used to seal an underground air bubble.
Credit KUOW Photo/John Ryan

To get Bertha moving again, state officials announced Wednesday that they are sending in human reinforcements – in a giant, pressurized bubble.

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Transportation
10:25 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Balter: Transportation Package Not Likely This Year

Washington state legislators have said for a couple of years now that passing a transportation package is among their top priorities. But Joni Balter, a longtime Seattle news analyst, told KUOW’s Bill Radke that won’t likely happen this year.

Medical Cannabis
9:11 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Medical Marijuana Patients Denounce Proposed Plant Limits, Patient Registry

File photo of a of a cannabis plant.
Cannabis Training University Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:54 pm

One of the hottest topics before the Washington legislature this year is how to regulate the medical marijuana marketplace.

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Environment
9:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Researchers Detect and 'Count' Fish From Just A Glass Of Water

Study co-author Kevan Yamahara collects a water sample at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Jesse Port Center for Ocean Solutions

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 4:55 pm

It's not something we often think about, but as we go about daily life, we're constantly shedding little flakes of skin. So are animals and fish.

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Health Exchange
4:22 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

State Health Exchange Amps Up Marketing To Reach Young Invincibles

Chris Walla, of the band Death Cab for Cutie, and his wife pose in one of Wahealthplanfinder's photo booths used for marketing to young people.
Courtesy of Washington Healthplanfinder

You don’t often hear Justin Timberlake and health insurance in the same sentence. But this Friday, fans going to Key Arena to get their dose of Justin Timberlake will also get a chance to learn about health plans.

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Fish Wars
11:48 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Clean Slate For Tribal Fishing Rights Protesters?

(Left to right) Billy Frank, a veteran of the fish wars, Hank Adams, a tribal advocate, and Shawn Yanity, chairman of the Stillaguamish Tribe confer in Olympia.
Taylor Winkel Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 7:45 am

Around 40 to 50 years ago, American Indians in Western Washington were repeatedly arrested during protests over treaty fishing rights.

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Labor
10:37 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Machinists Head Steps Down: 'Your Job Should Not Destroy Your Health'

Tom Wroblewski, pictured in 2012, has stepped down as president of the local Machinists union. The Machinists narrowly approved a Boeing contract on Jan. 3.
Credit Photo IAM District 751

The drama over the Boeing 777X jet has claimed its first casualty.

Tom Wroblewski, president of the Machinists Union District Lodge 751, announced on Tuesday night that he is retiring to a small group of elected representatives from local lodges. His last day is Jan. 31.

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Transportation
9:39 am
Wed January 15, 2014

King County Leaders: Raise Taxes To Pay For Buses, Roads

From left, King County Councilmembers Rod Dembowski, Larry Phillips, Jane Hague and Joe McDermott prepare for a press conference. The poster behind them lists targeted bus routes.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Political leaders in King County want voters to help stave off drastic cuts to Metro bus service.

On Tuesday, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed raising car tab fees, sales taxes and bus fares. The money would pay for transit service and road maintenance.

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EarthFix Reports
9:16 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Can Bikes And Orchards Coexist?

Jan Dappen rides along Wenatchee's Apple Capital Recreation Loop. The success of this loop encouraged cyclists to try to designate a more ambitious route from Wenatchee to Leavenworth. Local orchardists are fighting the designation.
WenatcheeOutdoors.org http://www.WenatcheeOutdoors.org/

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 1:00 am

The valley between Wenatchee and Leavenworth, Wash., is known for its fruit orchards. Apple, pear, and cherry trees line the county roads. In the springtime, blossomed branches reach out from tidy orchard rows.

You can glimpse the orchards from U.S. Highway 2, the most direct route between the two cities. But the most scenic way winds along 48 miles of county roads, up and down hills and across the Wenatchee River.

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Radioactive Waste
9:05 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Hanford Contractor Fails To Check Radioactive Tanks For Months

Tobin Fricke Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:09 pm

For eight months, a federal contractor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation failed to check some single-shell radioactive waste tanks for the buildup of hydrogen gas.

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Politics
9:01 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Washington Governor Calls For Higher Minimum Wage, Teacher COLAs

Members of the Washington legislature and guests in the gallery stand for the Washington State Patrol Honor Guard prior to Governor Jay Inslee’s State of the State address.
Taylor Winkel Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:30 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee introduced key policy proposals in his State of the State speech Tuesday. 

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