Larry McWilliams protests I-90 tolls outside of the Mercer Island meeting
Credit KUOW/Derek Wang
WSDOT Toll Division boss Craig Stone takes audience questions
Credit KUOW/Derek Wang
Different tolling scenarios are being studied. One calls for tolls only between Mercer Island and Seattle. Another would only toll the segment between Mercer Island and Bellevue. And a third scenario would toll drivers based on how far across they go.
Operating personnel of the I-90 Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge and SR 16 Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940.
Imagine having to pay a toll every time you left your city. People on Mercer Island have to face that possibility, because state officials are considering putting tolls on the Interstate 90 floating bridges. I-90 is the only roadway that connects the island to the mainland. A series of public meetings about the idea is being held this week. The first was held Tuesday on Mercer Island.
Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 4:38 pm
WALLA WALLA, Wash. - Northwest winemakers are trying to wet-the-whistle of China's emerging middle class. Demand for wine is growing significantly there. And that’s drawn Chinese business delegations, restaurateurs and tourists to our region. There even may be a reality TV show that would feature Northwest wineries.
Back when the economy was rolling in mid-2000s, Long Shadows Wineries was jumping.
In the old days, when Microsoft Corp. unveiled new software you might have gone to the store, paid for it once, and brought it home in a box.
But with Microsoft’s new service unveiled Tuesday, Office 365, the box is gone. It’s been replaced by a digital subscription that allows you to get almost everything you need from the web. In a promotional video, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the service offers a “complete office in the cloud,” which he touted as a major leap forward.
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:45 pm
Researchers say the economic benefits of prisons often don't materialize for rural communities. That's according to a new paper by Northwest sociologists. In fact, they found communities with private prisons fare worse than they did before.
Washington State University sociologist Gregory Hook says rural areas that opt to build prisons, even courting them with tax breaks, have one main goal in mind: jobs.
“You know, you look across the way and you say 'Oh there's a prison. Fifty people have a job there. So that's 50 new jobs in my community.' … Only it's not.”
Snohomish County Public Utility District wants to put two turbines 150 feet below the waves near Whidbey Island. The pilot project would generate enough power for about 20 homes annually. The new report from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that the project will not harm the environment.
Correction: An earlier version of the story stated that the Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers to continue paying a portion of workers' wages. The story has been corrected to say that the intent of the state law was to provide compensation for workers, however, there has not been a set plan created to pay for it.
A state Senate committee is looking to pull the plug on a state law that passed in 2007 but never took effect. Lawmakers have delayed implementing the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act because the state hasn’t found a way to pay for it. At a recent public hearing people urged lawmakers to keep the law on the books.
A local organization is trying to address the growing need for homeless facilities in Ballard. The Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI) wants to build a hygiene facility, known as an Urban Rest Stop, on the ground floor of a senior housing facility that’s being built. The development is in the middle of a residential neighborhood next to the Ballard Library and this has some residents concerned.
Hundreds of people came out on a chilly Saturday morning to exchange their guns for $100 and $200 Amazon.com gift cards in the first guy buyback event held in Seattle in 20 years. People stood in line holding rifles in camouflage cases and shot guns wrapped in blankets among other things. Traffic clogged up city streets near the parking lot where the event took place.
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 12:32 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – One of the key battles shaping up in Olympia this year is over education reform. The Senate’s new majority coalition is proposing a series of measures aimed at getting better results in the classroom. Among the ideas: a state takeover of failing schools. Meanwhile, a key Senate Democrat says the focus should be on school funding – and proposes a new capital gains tax.
Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 9:47 am
The high price of silver is bringing one of the Northwest's oldest silver mines back online. The Sunshine Mine in north Idaho is known for one of the worst mining disasters in the nation’s history. It will resume production in late 2014.
The new owner, Sunshine Silver Mines Corp., bought the mine after the previous owner went bankrupt. It happened just in time for silver prices to hit $30 an ounce, and mostly stayed there. The company expects to hire 250 miners once production begins.
Saying their proposal would "secure the border, modernize and streamline our current legal immigration system" and create "a tough but fair legalization program for individuals who are currently here," eight senators unveiled a "bipartisan framework for comprehensive immigration reform."
KUOW recently began its seventh decade on the air in Seattle. All this week we’ve been looking back at the history of radio in the Puget Sound Region. Today, Feliks Banel explores how local public radio has evolved over that last 30 years as a result of changes in commercial radio and the rise of national programming.
Runners in a 5K race will wind through the grounds of the Monroe Correctional Complex on Sunday to remember Corrections Officer Jayme Biendl. Tuesday will mark the two years since Biendl was found strangled in the chapel at the prison.
Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 4:42 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the eyes of the nation will be on the state as it creates a legal marijuana market over the next year. The new governor said Thursday that along with legalization comes the expectation that illegal pot production and sales will mostly end.
Inslee doesn’t expect a clear answer from the Obama administration anytime soon on how the federal government will respond to Washington’s new marijuana law. He met earlier this week with US Attorney General Eric Holder.