News

Sexual Harassment
11:14 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Wash. Harassment Lawsuit Gets Congress Members' Attention

A sexual harassment lawsuit against an Eastern Washington farm came under scrutiny this week during a congressional hearing. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently lost this expensive, high-profile case and some Congress members are now asking, “Was it worth it?” 

Read more
Unregulated Transportation Services
10:58 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Professional Drivers Speak Out Against App-Based Car Services

Cabs lined up in Queen Anne.
Flickr Photo/Tim Dorr

Cab drivers spoke out against new app-based car services during a Seattle City Council meeting Thursday. Companies such as Uber, SideCar and Lyft offer smartphone apps that allow users to book a ride by the touch of a button. Those business operations are mostly unregulated, and their presence in Seattle has led to questions about whether the companies are legal.

Read more
News
10:41 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Wash. Supreme Court Rejects Legal Fees, Hurdles For Poor

Abeda Jafar speaking at a fundraising event for Legal Voices, March 21, 2013.
Legal Voices Photo/Matt Hubbard

Washington’s judicial system abolished court fees for poor people in 2010, but county courts sought ways around the rule. Now in a unanimous decision, the Washington State Supreme Court has reaffirmed that if someone qualifies as indigent, courts need to give them access for free.

Read more
Education Funding
10:23 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Highline District Offers Free Full-Day Kindergarten To All Students

A local kindergartener hard at work.
Ann Dornfeld KUOW

Highline School District plans to offer free, full-day kindergarten to all students next school year.

Currently, half-day kindergarten is the norm: two and a half hours a day. Most Washington parents have to pay tuition if they want their kids in full-day kindergarten.

Read more
Breaking
8:55 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Portion Of Interstate 5 Bridge Collapses Over Skagit River

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) -- An Interstate 5 bridge over a river north of Seattle collapsed Thursday evening, dumping vehicles and people into the water, the Washington State Patrol said.  

The four-lane bridge over the Skagit River collapsed about 7 p.m., Trooper Mark Francis said. There was no immediate estimate of how many people were in the water or whether there were any injuries or deaths, he said.

Read more
Gay Ban Lifted
5:05 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Washington Delegation Supports Vote To Allow Gay Members Into Scouts

Bronze statue in Hudson Wisconsin commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.
MNKiteman Flickr

For the first time in 22 years, openly gay members will be allowed to join the Boy Scouts. Leaders of the Boy Scouts of America voted 61 percent in favor of eliminating sexual orientation as criteria for youth membership.

Read more
Fairchild Air Base
10:31 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Fairchild Loses First Round In Competition For Tankers

Boeing

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:55 pm

People living near Fairchild Air Force Base say they’re not worried by news they won’t get a brand new fleet of Boeing-built Air Force refueling tankers. The Air Force made the announcement Wednesday following a process that pitted Spokane against other other communities around the country.

McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas got the nod to be the first to house the new KC-46A refueling tankers. That dismayed Washington Sen. Patty Murray, who said she would press top Pentagon officials for an explanation.

Read more
Habitat Protection
10:26 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Federal Protection For Bladderpod Plant Pushed Back

Carrie Cordova US Fish and Wildlife Service

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 4:34 pm

The federal government has pushed back the possible threatened listing of two rare plants that could affect farmers in southeast Washington. Umtanum desert buckwheat and the White Bluffs bladderpod have become very controversial, because part of the plants’ habitat spans valuable crop ground.

It’s a big topic of conversation at the Country Mercantile restaurant where many Franklin County farmers lunch. Ami MacHugh is an area cherry and horse farmer whose land could be affected by the possible federal protections.

Read more
Turning To Public For Help
7:22 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Crowdfunding Coal Science In Pacific Northwest

Dan Jaffe, UW-Bothell professor, is using crowdfunding to raise money to study how passing coal trains impact air quality.
Katie Campbell Earthfix

Crowdfunding campaigns are popular ways to raise money for fledgling businesses and independent projects — and now scientific research. As state and federal agencies begin the environmental review process for the largest coal export terminals on the West Coast, some scientists are turning to the public for help with research of their own.

Read more
Financial Oversight
6:20 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

State Auditors Find Seattle Schools Still Needs Tighter Internal Controls

After years of sloppy bookkeeping and at times lax financial oversight, Seattle Public Schools has improved its internal financial controls, but needs to strengthen them further, auditors from the Washington State Auditor's Office told the school board in a special meeting Wednesday.

Read more
Tribe Challenges Ancestries
5:28 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Nooksack Tribe Seeks To Cut 15 Percent Of Members

What’s considered the largest proposed disenrollment of tribal members in Washington state is still moving forward, following a tribal court’s ruling this week.  Leaders of the Nooksack Tribe near Bellingham aim to cut ties with 306 of its 2,000 members – that’s 15 percent of the tribe.

Read more
Medical Mistakes
10:40 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Little Sign Of Washington Hospitals Becoming Less Error-Prone

Swedish Medical Center trumpets its safety record. Swedish's First Hill and Ballard locations received safety scores of "A" from the nonprofit Leapfrog Group in May. Swedish's Cherry Hill and Edmonds locations received "C" scores. The Leapfrog Group says hospitals pay it up to $12,500 for the right to advertise their safety designations.
Credit John Ryan / KUOW

US hospitals harm one out of every seven patients they aim to help. So-called “adverse events” inside hospitals are one of the leading causes of death in America.

Read more
Rejecting The Mainstream
10:28 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Portland Voters Keep Fluoride Out Of Drinking Water

Dentist Jay Levy, organizer Kim Kaminski, and volunteers with Clean Water Portland, which opposed adding fluoride to Portland water.
Oregon Public Broadcasting Photo/April Baer

Voters in Portland, Oregon have decide not to add fluoride to their municipal drinking water. Seattle and most other large cities in the US added the chemical decades ago to prevent cavities in children.

Read more
Undercover Law Enforcement
10:22 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Inslee Signs Law Allowing Fictitious Driver License Program To Continue

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 5:41 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed a law that will allow the state’s fictitious driver license program to continue – but only for undercover law enforcement activities. At the bill signing Inslee backed away from a previous statement that he would apply a broad definition of the term “law enforcement.”

Read more
Mental Health Crisis
10:02 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Pierce County Judge Says Boarding The Mentally Ill In ERs Violates State And Federal Law

A Pierce County Superior Court judge said Monday that temporarily boarding the mentally ill in hospital emergency rooms without treatment violates state and federal law. County and state attorneys have asked for the ruling to be put on hold while they appeal.

Read more

Pages