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2014: The Year Of All Women

Dec 29, 2014
Katie Kuffel, right, debated whether to tell her story at a rally on Friday opposing violence against women. The rally stemmed from the May 23 shootings in Santa Barbara the week before. Kuffel's partner, Gerri DeSouza, joined her in a six-second scream.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Women didn’t plan for 2014 to be a year of activism. But a series of events sparked a discussion of sexual assault on campus, rape and incessant harassment of young women in public.

On social media, a movement materialized under the hashtags #yesallwomen and #carrythatweight.

"Carry that weight" referred Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia University student who carries a mattress around campus, demanding that her alleged rapist be kicked out of school. (The university has dismissed the case made by Sulkowicz and two other women.)

A Washington State ferry travels to Friday Harbor.
Flickr Photo/James N (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Travelers to the San Juan Islands have always had to cope with uncertainty. Up to now there’s been no way to guarantee a spot on a particular ferry.

But Washington ferries are now taking reservations for the San Juan Islands. The first ferries to fill up under the new system leave Monday morning.

marysville shooting
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

It’s been an incredible year for KUOW reporters.

Liz Jones traveled to India to report on the emerging tech world, John Ryan challenged politicians, Bill Radke discovered Seattle politeness is literally holding up traffic and Jeannie Yandel met a local surgeon who was the first to operate on a gorilla’s sinuses.

It was also a year of heartbreak: After a landslide thundered down on Oso, Washington, we set up a bureau in a nearby motel and returned six months later to see how survivors were coping in the aftermath. 

A bird rarely seen in North America has turned a small bay on the Oregon Coast into a major destination for bird watchers this winter.

The new year will mean higher pay for low-wage workers in Oregon and Washington. The minimum wage in both states is set for an increase.

Seven different subspecies of the Canada geese travel along a metaphorical superhighway, called the Pacific Flyway, from summer nesting grounds in Alaska down into Washington, Oregon and California.

About twenty years ago, the cackling geese stopped migrating to California and instead started stopping for the winter in Oregon. This greatly increased the pressure on agriculture in the Northwest. And there’s very little farmers can do about it.

Marie and Joe Gadotti are sick of the geese.

Oregon Expands Its Electronics Recycling Program

Dec 29, 2014

Oregon is expanding its electronic waste recycling program. Starting Jan 1, Oregon e-waste collection facilities will start accepting printers, computer keyboards and mice for recycling.

For the past six years, the Oregon E-Cycles program has collected computers, monitors and televisions for recycling at 270 drop-off sites across the state.

KUOW/John Ryan photo

Eddy Mahon says the Aloha Inn saved his life.

Each day, thousands of people speed by the run-down old motel on Highway 99 just south of Seattle's Aurora Bridge. It's no longer a motel. Now it's a place where homeless people can stay for up to two years and get help while they try to get back on their feet; there's a long waiting list to get in. Mahon manages the Aloha.

He told his story to KUOW's John Ryan.

2014 could be the warmest year on record for both Seattle and Portland.

According to researchers at Washington State University, shoppers may be more likely to accept bad customer service from a company if they know that company supports causes they agree with.

Wildlife biologists in Oregon could soon have a new tool to count hard-to-reach salmon and coastal birds after the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the purchase of two drones to conduct aerial surveys.

A trip across the border to Canada could have an added appeal right now with an exchange rate that has turned quite favorable for Americans. But this cuts two ways.

A dozen protesters block the entrance to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma in February 2014. Deportations from the Northwest have declined by nearly half, but now a larger proportion of deportees have a clean record.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

  Deportations of undocumented immigrants declined across the country this year. But in the Pacific Northwest, the numbers took a nosedive. New data show U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported only about half as many people as last year from Oregon, Washington and Alaska. 

In fiscal year 2014, ICE deported 2,341 people from the Northwest compared to 4,525 the year before. That's a drop of 48 percent.

The company building pontoons for the new Highway 520 Floating Bridge in Seattle has been slapped with a six-digit fine.

The Washington state Department of Labor and Industries says Kiewit General willfully disregarded safety concerns.

KUOW's Lisa Brooks reports, it's because of a crane failure at the company's Aberdeen construction site last June.

TRANSCRIPT

Video was rolling that day, when the lug for a concrete counterweight for a tower crane broke loose, causing the 13,000-pound weight to plunge to the ground.

Thornton Wilder, the novelist. Storyteller Gary Heyde wrote him letters before his death.
Wikimedia Commons

In 1975, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Someone handed me a copy of Thornton Wilder’s “The Eighth Day.” When I finished that novel, someone else handed me “Theopolis North.”

I decided I had to get in touch with Thornton Wilder. I remembered from the play “Our Town,” by Wilder, that little Rebecca tells the story of Jane Crofut getting the most amazing letter.

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