News

EarthFix Reports
5:30 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

What Does The Plymouth Explosion Mean For LNG Proposals?

Duane VanBeek tells Plymouth residents that the evacuation zone had been reduced to one mile. An explosion at an LNG storage tank forced them from their homes Monday morning. Many returned home after spending the day at the Umatilla County Fairgrounds.
Credit EarthFix Photo/Courtney Flatt

People opposed to exporting liquefied natural gas in Oregon say Monday’s explosion along the Columbia River points out safety problems at these types of facilities. But project supporters say the explosion should not affect decisions about their facilities.

Read more
EarthFix Reports
5:06 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Landslide Mapping An Unfinished Task For Geologists

A preliminary map of the landslide area in northwest Washington.
Credit U.S. Geological Survey

The last time the U.S. Geological Survey made a national map of landslide hazards, it did so on paper. It didn’t use laser imaging for landslide detection and it didn’t render the maps with high-powered geographic software near-universally used in today’s maps.

Read more
Coping With Tragedy
4:46 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Oso: A Tight-Knit Community Takes Care Of Its Own

Nichole Stinson's family has lived in the Oso area for generations.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

The catastrophic mudflow that destroyed lives and homes a week and a half ago has come to be known as the Oso Landslide. That's led many to think the town has been wiped away.

Read more
Author Interview
12:56 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Don’t Curb Your Creativity: Author Illuminates Limits Of The App Generation

Are we having fun yet?
Credit Flickr Photo/Beth Jusino (CC-BY-NC)

I begin and end my days with technology.

My iPhone alarm goes off, I check the news and email, I stream the radio, I surf the web by day, and I fall asleep to the sound of my white noise app.

Are people like me just modern, or are we app-dependent?

Read more
Land Use Issues
11:41 am
Tue April 1, 2014

DNR Investigates Out-Of-Bounds Clear-Cut, Other Possible Factors In Oso Landslide

Geomorphologist Paul Kennard at Discovery Park in Seattle.
Credit KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that land above the Oso landslide zone was logged in 2005. The site was logged in 2004 and replanted in 2005.

Seattle just wrapped up its wettest March on record, with 9.4 inches of rain reported at Sea-Tac International Airport. 

Geologists say near-record rain in the Cascade foothills was key in triggering the fatal landslide near the town of Oso, Wash., on March 22. But they say clear-cutting nearby could also have worsened the risk of the hillside collapsing.

Read more
Same-Sex Marriage
9:57 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Washington To Convert Domestic Partners To 'Married' In June

Credit Flickr Photo/John Heil (CC BY-NC-ND)

The wedding day for about 7,000 same-sex couples in Washington is just three months away. It’s not a date they chose, but one set by the state’s same-sex marriage law. Some couples are excited, but others never planned to marry at all.

Read more
Mudslide Relief
7:44 am
Tue April 1, 2014

'A Crazy Fun Day' With Seattle Seahawks, Sounders Lifts Mood In Darrington

Angela Botamanenko and her daughter Gaby after meeting players from the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC at the Darrington Community Center Monday.
Credit Courtesy of Rae Ellen Bichell

About a dozen Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC players visited the Darrington area Monday.

In a statement the Seahawks company said the teams wanted to offer a brief distraction for families devastated by the landslide near Oso, Wash.

Read more
Past Wars' Casualties
7:30 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Pentagon Reorganizing How It Brings Home America's War Dead

The Central Identification Laboratory of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Pentagon announced that it will overhaul how the organization finds, identifies and returns the remains of thousands of service members lost in past wars.
Elyse Butler for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:23 am

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced an overhaul Monday of the agencies responsible for finding, identifying, and returning the remains of servicemen lost in past wars.

The Pentagon spends more than $100 million a year on the effort, but last year only identified 60 of the more than 80,000 missing.

Read more
Radioactive Waste
7:14 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Washington State Tells Feds Hanford Cleanup Must Go Faster

File photo. Construction of Hanford's waste treatment plant is way behind schedule.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 5:52 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson complained Monday that the federal government will likely miss major deadlines for cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Read more
Natural Gas
7:13 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Washington State To Investigate Explosion At LNG Plant

Google Earth view of the liquefied natural gas storage facility in Plymouth, Wash.
Credit Google Earth

State and federal pipeline safety investigators have been dispatched to the site of an explosion and fire at the Williams Northwest Pipeline liquefied natural gas facility in Plymouth, Wash.

Read more
Open Enrollment Ending
7:10 am
Tue April 1, 2014

HealthCare.Gov Woes Frustrate Last-Minute Shoppers And Helpers

Loretha Cager talks with an applicant at MNSure's call center in St. Paul, Minn., Monday. Monday was the open enrollment deadline for signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Ann Heisenfelt AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:30 pm

Last-minute health insurance shoppers turned up in record numbers Monday, both online and in person at clinics, county health departments and libraries. They were there to sign up for Obamacare on the last official day of open enrollment.

Public radio reporters checked out the scene in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Houston — three of the 36 states that are using HealthCare.gov — as well as in Minnesota, which has one of the most troubled state-run marketplaces.

Congested In Cleveland

Read more
EarthFix Reports
7:01 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Court Orders Agencies To Consider Fewer Hatchery Fish For The Elwha

In this 2011 photo, Lower Elwha Hatchery Manager Larry Ward feeds the steelhead and coho that are being raised in a hatchery for introduction to the Elwha.
Katie Campbell

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 5:28 pm

A judge has ordered federal agencies to reconsider the number of planned hatchery fish releases into the Elwha River on Washington's Olympic Peninsula

As crews finish the largest dam removal in history on the Elwha, managers are working to restore fish runs above the dam sites. Their plan includes releasing more than 7 million hatchery salmon and steelhead into the river.

Read more
Costly Coverage
12:55 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Federal Disaster Declaration Could Bring Relief To Oso Homeowners Without Landslide Insurance

Governor Jay Inslee signs the request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the Oso mudslide.
Flickr Photo/GovInslee (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Monday filed a formal request for a federal disaster declaration. If this is granted, it means the survivors of the massive landslide near Oso, Washington, would be eligible for federal assistance. Many of them will be counting on that since they don’t have landslide insurance.

Read more
Healing Ritual
8:59 am
Mon March 31, 2014

The Last Curandera: A Generation Of Immigrants Says Goodbye To An Old Tradition

Esther Davilla's daughter, Maria Ortiz, receives a cleansing ritual from her mother where a collection of herbs and an uncooked egg are dipped in Orange Blossom fragrance and dragged across her forehead, arms and legs.
Credit KUOW Photo/Alisa Reznick

Skagit Valley is home to thousands of Mexican immigrants. Many make their livings working as farmhands. They've brought with them some of their traditions from their homeland. But as the years pass and younger generations move in, some of those traditions die off. One Mexican family in Burlington is trying to keep an old ritual alive.

Read more
Oso Mudslide
7:59 am
Mon March 31, 2014

One Week Later, Prayers For Landslide Victims And Stories Of Survival

Isaac Hall (center) was one of the first on the scene after the devastating March 22nd landslide near Oso, Wash.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

One week after a massive landslide wiped out the community of Oso, Wash., community members gathered at Darrington's First Baptist Church on Sunday to pray and tell stories of survival.

Read more

Pages