News

Elections 2013
9:52 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Seattle School Board Candidates Clash On Testing, State Standards

Suzanne Dale Estey (left) and Sue Peters
Credit Candidate Websites

One of the hottest races on Seattle’s fall ballot isn't for mayor or city council, but a seat on the Seattle School Board.

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Food Fight
8:02 am
Thu October 17, 2013

State Sues Group Fighting GMO Labeling: 'You Must Disclose' Your Donors

As voters in Washington state prepare to vote on whether to require labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms, the state’s attorney general sued an industry group for violating campaign finance laws.

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Getting Back To Work
5:46 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Mountains Of Work Await Furloughed Workers

Federal employees in Washington state and across the US who have been furloughed since Oct. 1 would return to work soon if Congress signs off on a budget deal. The Washington Post reports that employees should return to work the day after the partial government shutdown ends.

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Labor Dispute
3:46 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Grocery Unions Prep For Strike As Talks Heat Up

A Safeway in Seattle's University District advertises checker positions ahead of a possible worker strike.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

As they debate their contracts, grocery workers insist they’re serious about striking: Picket captains have been tapped at hundreds of stores throughout the region, and strike headquarters have popped up in five counties.

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Shutdown
5:44 am
Wed October 16, 2013

When Will The Government Run Out Of Money?

Quoctrung Bui

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 9:19 am

In the course of any given month, the government collects billions of dollars in taxes, spends billions more, and borrows money to cover the difference between what it collects and what it spends.

If Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling soon, the government won't be able to borrow money to cover the difference anymore and won't be able to pay all of its bills.

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News
4:35 am
Wed October 16, 2013

As It Happened: The Fight Over The Debt Ceiling, Shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor after agreeing to the framework of a deal to avoid default and reopen the government, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 7:23 pm

Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:

The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.

Our Original Post Continues:

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Federal Shutdown
6:48 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Air Traffic Controllers Getting Reduced Pay Due To Shutdown

Air-traffic control tower at Sea-Tac airport.
Credit Flickr Photo/Tom Collines

For federal employees, Tuesday is payday. But because of the partial government shutdown thousands of federal employees are getting a reduced paycheck.

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Elections 2013
8:01 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Dueling Liberals: Bellevue Council Likely To Shift Left

Bellevue City Council candidates Vandana Slatter and Lynne Robinson.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil, Lynne Robinson's Facebook page.

During the fight over light rail, Bellevue was described as having a conservative majority on the city council. Those members challenged Sound Transit’s light rail route and Bellevue’s share of the cost.

But then long-time incumbent Don Davidson lost in the August primary, leaving two more liberal candidates in the runoff for his seat: Lynne Robinson and Vandana Slatter.

Although city council races are nonpartisan, both candidates sought the endorsement of the King County Democrats.

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News
7:52 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Murder Reveals 'Lord Of The Flies' Street Culture In Washington's Capital

22-year-old “James” from Tillamook, Oregon shows off his graffiti art in an Olympia alleyway.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 5:08 pm

Just a few blocks away from Washington’s Capitol campus in Olympia you can find a street culture where young adults and teenagers live by their own rules – sometimes with tragic consequences.

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Elections 2013
5:20 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Poll: Seattle Mayor McGinn Still Far Behind Challenger Murray

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and state Senator Ed Murray at a recent campaign forum.
Credit KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

A new poll is out in the Seattle mayor’s race, and it doesn’t bode well for the incumbent.

The SurveyUSA poll, commissioned by Seattle TV station King 5, was conducted just after the first televised debate between Mayor Mike McGinn and state Senator Ed Murray last week.

Of the 557 likely voters reached by phone, 52 percent said they would vote for Murray if the election were held today, 32 percent said they would vote for McGinn.

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Public Indecency Laws
11:29 am
Mon October 14, 2013

King County Bans Public Urination And Defecation (Yes, It Was Still Legal)

County Councilmember Lambert says if you have "to go" and there's no public restroom, find a tree.
Flickr Photo/Rick Webb

Updated at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

When you gotta go, you gotta go.

And until Monday night in unincorporated King County, going in public was allowed. That's when the council voted to ban public urination and defecation and to fine violators $125. The new rule doesn't apply to those younger than 12.  

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Elections 2013
7:34 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Ghost Of Light Rail Drama Haunts Bellevue Races

Bellevue City Council candidates Steve Kasner and Kevin Wallace.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Light rail has been a contentious issue for the Bellevue City Council in recent years, with members divided on the project. Now the Eastside’s light rail line is in final design and no longer in doubt. But those light rail disputes are still campaign fodder for incumbent Kevin Wallace and his challenger Steve Kasner, one of three races for the council that will be taking place in November.

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Mystery Marine Killer
7:30 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Mass Starfish Die-Off May Be Headed For Washington

Disembodied arms of a diseased sea star near Popham Island, 12 miles northwest of Vancouver, B.C.
Courtesy Vancouver Aquarium

Scientists in two nations are on the lookout for an underwater epidemic that is killing starfish. 

In September, divers in Vancouver Harbour and Howe Sound near Vancouver, British Columbia, noticed the pizza-sized starfish known as sunflower stars wasting away and dying in large numbers.

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Timber
5:43 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Shutdown Halts Logging On Northwest's National Forests

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:29 pm

  Loggers are packing up and leaving timber sales uncut across the Northwest. It's another effect of the partial government shutdown. Timber companies say even if a deal is reached soon at the nation's capitol, the effects from the logging hiatus could be felt all the way into next spring.

Timber companies received letters from the Forest Service telling them to cease operations. That's because the employees who oversee and inspect timber sales were furloughed.

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Northwest Arson Cases
1:36 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Eco-Saboteur Changes Plea To Guilty For Role In Firebombing Spree

Booking photo of Rebecca Rubin
Multnomah County Jail

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 3:11 pm

An eco-saboteur charged in a fire-bombing spree that spanned the American West changed her plea in federal court on Thursday.  Rebecca Rubin pled guilty to conspiracy and multiple counts of arson. 

Rubin is now 40 years old. When she was in her twenties, she joined a cell of radical environmentalists loosely affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front.

Federal investigators blame the shadowy cell for around 20 arsons spanning five Western states. The attacks happened between 1996 and 2001.

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