News

Environment
7:36 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Darigold, EPA Reach Settlement In Chlorine Gas Leak

Darigold has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, after the milk-producing company failed to report a chlorine gas release last year. Darigold will pay $42,000 in the settlement.
Flickr Creative Commons: www.bluewaikiki.com

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 3:54 pm

One of the Northwest’s biggest dairy producers has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That’s after the milk co-op failed to report a chlorine gas release that required medical treatment for a dozen people.

Chlorine gas is highly toxic. It can make your eyes, nose and mouth burn. If you breathe the gas, it can cause respiratory problems or death.

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Green Machines
7:33 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Northwest Teams Lead A Growing 'Green Sports' Movement

The Portland Trail Blazers' arena has a green building certification of LEED gold. The team has reduced its carbon footprint by 50 percent since 2008.
Cory Grove/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/thelastfewdays/3218399244/sizes/l/in/photolist-5Up8Y9-ay32Ch-axZkkp-ay33bd-ay32RL-ay33ij-dxh1XD-7vN6Dk-7hdp4Q-axZmdv-ay33pu-ay33KQ-axZm6H-ecWmtu-ecWmnA-arNGDT-61FwV1-5s579

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 1:00 am

Northwest sports teams are leading an effort to use the widespread appeal of basketball, football, baseball and hockey to spread an environmental message.

A group formed by six teams in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., called the Green Sports Alliance set out three years ago to improve the environmental performance of professional sports. The alliance has grown to hundreds of teams across the country that are now competing to see who can be the greenest.

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Unemployment
7:31 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Long-Term Unemployed Scramble As Loss Of Benefits Looms

Job seekers look for work at the Worksource Oregon office in Salem.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 4:58 pm

About 45,000 people in the Northwest will face the new year without the unemployment benefits they've come to rely on.

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Economy
7:30 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Washington Unemployment Drops, But Economic Weaknesses Remain

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 3:45 pm

The unemployment rate in Washington dropped a notch in November.

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Co-Living
12:04 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Bay Area's Steep Housing Costs Spark Return To Communal Living

Residents of the Embassy House, a communal home near San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, eat dinner together every Sunday.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 9:08 am

This week, we're exploring the San Francisco Bay Area and the way income inequality is affecting the region. Check out the other pieces of the week, aggregated on this page.

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Affordable Care Act
4:29 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Washington Small Businesses Can Tap Into Tax Credits For Health Plans

Plum Bistro chef and owner Makini Howell said that new tax breaks introduced on Tuesday will allow her to enroll more employees in health care plans.
From Plum Bistro's Facebook page.

Washington small businesses got some good news Tuesday.

Senator Patty Murray and the Treasury Department announced they found a solution that will let small businesses get tax credits when buying health plans for their employees. Washington was one of few states that was going to miss out on the federal subsidies until now.

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Shellfish Ban
9:25 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Chinese Documents: Tainted Geoduck Shipments Came From SeaTac And Ketchikan

About 5 million pounds of wild geoduck are harvested from Washington waters every year. Nearly 90 percent of U.S. geoduck exports go to China.

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 5:45 pm

SEATTLE -- New details have been released about geoduck shipments that Chinese officials say contained high levels of inorganic arsenic and the toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP.

In response to their testing, the Chinese government instituted Dec. 3 a ban all U.S. harvested geoduck clams and other bivalve shellfish from Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Northern California.

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Labor
7:42 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Will 2014 Be The Year Of The $15 Minimum Wage In Seattle?

Newly-elected Socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant speaks at a city hall press conference on the $15 an hour minimum wage.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Newly-elected Councilmember Kshama Sawant is already working on her campaign promise to establish a $15 an hour minimum wage in Seattle.

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Legislature
7:17 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Inslee Proposes More Prison Beds, No Teacher COLAs In Budget Update

Members of the Washington Education Association wore these buttons to Governor Jay Inslee’s supplemental budget rollout to signify five years without voter-approved cost-of-living increases.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 9:01 am

More prison beds, but no cost of living raises for school teachers are two takeaways after Washington Governor Jay Inslee proposed a modest update to the state’s two-year budget.

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Marijuana
7:16 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Study: Pot Use In Washington Double Original Projections

presensa420 Flickr

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 10:56 am

If there is such a thing, the typical pot smoker in Washington is a white male, 35 or younger with some college education. And he smokes a lot more weed than anyone thought.

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Police
6:20 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Judge Approves New Use-Of-Force Policy For Seattle Police

Police officers in downtown Seattle.
Credit Wikimedia Commons/Joe Mabel

Beginning next year Seattle police officers will be required to carry at least one weapon such as pepper spray in addition to their service revolvers.

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Legalization
2:28 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

A Majority In U.S. Favor Legal Pot, But Will That Stick?

Partiers celebrate marijuana legalization in Washington state at a pot party in Seattle earlier this month.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:49 pm

As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year. They're numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we live in.

This year, for the first time, national polls show a majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. Gallup has been asking the question for four decades, and now it says 58 percent favor legalization.

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Marijuana
10:21 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Fine For Smoking Pot Outside Cheaper Than A Parking Ticket

Flickr Photo/Dann Cove

If you’re caught smoking marijuana in public in Seattle, you could be fined $27.

That’s the fine for drinking in public, but still less than a parking ticket.

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Transportation
7:53 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Government Fleets Soon To Include More Fully-Electric Cars

Commuter Steve Marsh (left) of Kent, Wash. was honored Monday as the first in the nation to log 100,000 miles on an all-electric Nissan Leaf.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 5:57 pm

Just like consumers who postponed buying new cars during the recent recession, government agencies also put off vehicle replacements. But now procurement officers are getting busy again.

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Booze
7:52 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Liquor Privatization Battle Could Be Headed For Oregon

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 5:52 pm

Oregon voters could have the chance to follow Washington's lead next year when it comes to liquor sales.

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