News

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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Pot Borders
7:49 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Seed-To-Sale Tracking Alone Won't Stop Marijuana 'Leakage'

Katheirne Hitt Flickr

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 3:02 am

As Washington moves to legalize recreational pot, preventing “leakage” to other states like Oregon and Idaho is a top priority of the U.S. Justice Department

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Credit Fraud
7:48 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Holiday Shoppers May Hit Snags As Banks Try To Curb Fraud

File photo.
Michael Kappel Flickr

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 4:58 pm

An unprecedented rash of credit card fraud in one corner of the Northwest is forcing banks to put limits on card purchases – just in time for the busiest shopping season of the year.

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Philanthropy
7:41 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Names New CEO

Susan Desmond-Hellmann, the chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco, will be next chief executive officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world with a $40 billion endowment.

The AP reports that the foundation has been looking for a CEO since Jeff Raikes announced his retirement in September.

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Tribal Disenrollment
6:00 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Nooksack Tribe Cites ‘Missing Ancestor’ As Reason To Disenroll 306 Members

Nooksack tribal police stand outside the courthouse during a disenrollment hearing.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

It's a frosty morning at the Nooksack tribal courthouse in Deming, Wash., and caution tape and tribal police block the entrance.

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Young Farmers
12:15 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Forget Golf Courses: Subdivisions Draw Residents With Farms

The Bucking Horse subdivision in Fort Collins, Colo., will include a working CSA farm, complete with historic barn, farm house and chicken coop.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 7:00 am

When you picture a housing development in the suburbs, you might imagine golf courses, swimming pools, rows of identical houses.

But now, there's a new model springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement: Farms — complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees — are serving as the latest suburban amenity.

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Labor
5:05 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

German Employees Rally Outside Amazon Headquarters: 'We're People, Not Robots'

Nancy Becker, an Amazon employee from Germany, speaks at a rally at Amazon's corporate headquarters in South Lake Union.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Outside Amazon’s headquarters in South Lake Union on Monday, activists chanted in German, “Wir sind Menchen; nicht Roboter.”

Translation: “We are people, not robots.”  

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Risks Vs Benefits
2:42 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

FDA Asks For Proof That Antibacterial Soaps Protect Health

There's no evidence that triclosan and other chemicals in antibacterial soaps do a better job than plain soap and water, the FDA says.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 2:32 pm

In hospitals, people are bathed with soaps containing the antibacterial triclosan to reduce the risk of serious infections in surgery. But that doesn't necessarily mean we should be using triclosan soap in the kitchen and the bathroom, the Food and Drug Administration says.

The agency on Monday took a step toward restricting the use of triclosan and other antibacterial chemicals widely used in soap, deodorant, cosmetics and hundreds of other consumer products.

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Waste Management
10:57 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Seattle Keeps Door Open To Biweekly Garbage Pickups

Tacoma, Olympia and Portland, Ore., have all moved to garbage collection every other week.
KUOW Photo/Derek Wang

Seattle trash pickup could be reduced to every other week by 2015 if the Seattle City Council votes on Monday to keep that option on the table for the next year.

If the action passes as expected, biweekly service won’t be definite, however: Mayor-elect Ed Murray and  council members will still need to pass the legislation early next year.

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Tribal Disenrollment
7:47 am
Mon December 16, 2013

'We’ll Always Be Nooksack': Tribe Questions Ancestry Of Part-Filipino Members

Adelina Narte Gladstone Parker faces disenrollment from the Nooksack Tribe, near Bellingham, as do 305 others.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Adelina Parker lets up on the gas as she drives through her childhood stomping grounds.

“Up there, that was all Filipino farmers and strawberry fields,” Parker says, motioning toward a school and apartments that occupy this land.

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What Stopped Bertha?
4:55 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Boring Bertha Digs Through Layers Of Seattle History

An inside view of Bertha, the multi-million dollar tunneling machine.
Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation

The most plausible theory about what stopped Bertha, the tunneling machine digging its way through downtown until last Saturday, is also the most boring.

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EarthFix Reports
9:11 am
Fri December 13, 2013

China Imposes First-Ever West Coast Shellfish Ban

Blake Severns inspects a wild geoduck just plucked from the bottom of Puget Sound. Severn is a diver with the the Washington Department of Natural Resources Aquatics Resource Division.

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 5:58 pm

China has suspended imports of shellfish from the west coast of the United States -- an unprecedented move that cuts off a $270 million Northwest industry from its biggest export market.

China said it decided to impose the ban after recent shipments of geoduck clams from Northwest waters were found by its own government inspectors to have high levels of arsenic and a toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning.

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