Gil Aegerter | KUOW News and Information

Gil Aegerter

Editor

Year started with KUOW: 2015

Gil edits feature pieces and helps guide staff reporters through their stories.

He previously served as interim digital director and online managing editor at KUOW. Before that he spent seven years with NBCNews.com, where he was variously a senior editor, editor-producer and features editor. He also worked 25 years as a newspaper editor in Anchorage, Alaska, San Diego, Wilmington, N.C., and Seattle. He also was a freelance researcher for NBC Olympics for the Games in Atlanta; Sydney, Australia; Salt Lake City; Athens; and Torino, Italy.

He is a graduate of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, with a degree in photojournalism.

The Polar Pioneer oil rig in Terminal 5 at the Port of Seattle this summer.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

In the end one battle over Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling effort came down to the Websters New Collegiate Dictionary’s definition of “good.”

A Seattle hearing examiner gave the Port of Seattle, Foss Maritime and Shell a victory Wednesday by deciding that materials loaded onto Shell’s ships at Terminal 5 met that definition.

City of Seattle pothole rangers at work in 2011.
Seattle Department of Transportation

The cure for some of Seattle’s transportation pains may be tough to swallow: a nearly $800 increase in annual taxes, fees and user charges for the city’s typical household.

That number comes from former state transportation chief Doug MacDonald, who calculated the cost of changes in state tax structure, car-tab charges and proposed levies.

Shell's Polar Pioneer was greeted by dozens of protesting kayakers when it arrived in Seattle this spring.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Environmentalist are celebrating Shell’s decision to stop oil exploration off Alaska’s northern coast indefinitely, but the immediate future of the company’s base at the Port of Seattle is unclear.

A woman is taken to an ambulance on the Aurora Bridge after the crash Thursday.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

They came to Seattle from around the world: Austria, China, Indonesia and Japan. 

They died on the Aurora Bridge on Thursday.

They were mourned at North Seattle College on Friday, where some students said they were frightened by the collision between a large tourist vehicle known as “the Duck” and a bus.

Howard Lake, north of Stehekin in Washington's North Cascades.
Courtesy of Mike Annee

Fifty Washington lawmakers have made an impassioned plea to change the name of a North Cascades lake on federal maps to remove the possibility that it represents a racial slur.

An injured person is taken from the scene of the Aurora Bridge bus crash on Sept. 24, 2015
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

UPDATE, 3;10 p.m.: A duck amphibious tour vehicle swerved into a charter bus carrying international students on the Aurora Bridge Thursday. At least four people died and dozens were injured, emergency officials said.

At least 44 people were taken to hospitals.

Howard Lake, north of Stehekin in Washington's North Cascades.
Courtesy of Mike Annee

Several years ago a Seattle man hiked into a lake in the North Cascades that had an unusual name:  Coon Lake.

Jonathan Rosenblum thought that sounded racist. "This was a wrong that needed to be corrected," he told David Hyde on KUOW's The Record.

He convinced Washington state officials to change the name to Howard Lake after Wilson Howard, a miner who staked claims in the area and was one of only two black miners to stake claims in the North Cascades.

Mount Rainier, or Tahoma, Tacobet, Ti'Swaq or Pooskaus.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Mount McKinley is reverting to its native Alaskan name, Denali. So how about renaming Mount Rainier? Plus, Seattle teachers, who might strike next week, are in a union – should Uber drivers be, too? And which words are too offensive for the college classroom?

Bill Radke discusses the week’s news with Eli Sanders, Knute Berger and Erica C. Barnett.

The Washington drought report for Aug. 26, 2015.
U.S. Drought Monitor

Washington is seeing fire and rain this weekend, as huge wildfires burn in Chelan and Okanogan counties and a major storm bears down on the western part of the state.

“There is a potent, juicy system headed our way,” state climatologist Nick Bond told KUOW's Marcie Sillman.

Firefighters line up to get gear out of the back of a fire truck as they get ready to head for a fire Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Twisp, Wash.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The state of Washington is taking an extraordinary step to battle the wildfires ravaging the region: seeking volunteers to join the fight. And the response so far is overwhelming.

Smoke fills the horizon over Seattle, contributing to a hazy sunset on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Smoke from wildfires raging in eastern Washington prompted an air quality warning for the Seattle area.

The National Weather Service said Saturday afternoon that air quality in parts of the Puget Sound region was unhealthy for sensitive groups.

A wildfire burns behind a home on Twisp River Road early Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015 in Twisp, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Three Forest Service firefighters killed in a wildfire threatening Twisp were in a vehicle accident before flames overran them, state and federal officials said.

The fire in the Methow Valley is one of many burning across Washington, "an unprecedented cataclysm in our state,” Gov. Jay Inslee told news media Thursday in Chelan after being briefed by fire officials.

inciweb.nwcg.gov

Hundreds of people fled wildfires that surrounded the city of Chelan after multiple lightning strikes on Friday, emergency officials said.

Residents and visitors watched dramatic scenes during the day as aerial tankers and helicopters dropped fire retardant and water in attempts to stop lines of fire advancing from the south and northeast.

Former President Jimmy Carter in the KUOW studios in Seattle with producer Amina Al-Sadi on March 31, 2014.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday that recent liver surgery revealed that cancer has spread to other parts of his body.

City Councilmember Jean Godden at Bulldog News in the University District.
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

After 12 years on the Seattle City Council, Jean Godden conceded defeat Thursday in her race for a fourth term.

Rob Johnson (center in light shirt and tie) and campaign supporters watch election results Tuesday night at The Pub at Third Place. Johnson was leading in District 4, ahead of Michael Maddux and incumbent Jean Godden.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Your votes are in and here's what we know about the primary election for Seattle's new City Council districts: It was pretty good for incumbents.

Except one. 

We're not that emerald of a city anymore with the recent drought conditions.
Flickr Photo/Jeff Youngstrom (CC BY NC 2.0)

Extremely dry weather and rising use have got the Puget Sound region’s cities thinking seriously about a water shortage later this year.

Seattle, Tacoma and Everett said Monday that they're activating the first stage of water shortage response plans.

Warren Aakervik, owner of Ballard Oil, worries that development is putting pressure on Ballard's working waterfront.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

From unvaccinated kids and sleepless teens to political shenanigans and floundering fish, here are some of the top stories that KUOW readers were clicking on this week.

This is a mix of health, education, politics and environment – all areas that KUOW’s reporters and producers focus on.

Seattle Kids Have Lower Polio Vaccination Rate Than Rwanda
Doctors hoped the recent measles outbreak would make more parents get their children vaccinated. Nope.

A moose browses along a bicycle path in the Anchorage, Alaska, area this week.
Seattle Globalist Photo/Alex Stonehill

Reporting in Alaska comes with special challenges: There are the vast distances, the fickle weather, the moose on the bicycle path …

A display of wedding cake figurines featuring same sex couples.
Archie McPhee Seattle

Facebook posts, tweets and Instagram photos poured out after the Supreme Court ruled that marriage is right for all Americans, including the nation's lesbian and gay citizens. Washington state has had same-sex marriage since 2012, but there was robust debate on social media around the state about the court's ruling.

Humpback whales feed in Southeast Alaska.
Flickr photo / jerseygal2009 (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Humpback whales have rebounded so successfully that federal wildlife managers say most should be removed from endangered species protection – with a caveat for whales off Washington state.

That's a bit of good news for this Earth Day. Below we've  summarized the debate over the status of a few other threatened or endangered species in Washington state.

A large highway sign lies across the median on state Route 520 after a construction crane knocked it down. The sign struck a bus, injuring several people.
Sonny Behrends

Eight people were injured late Tuesday night when a construction crane knocked down a large highway sign on state Route 520, sending it crashing onto a bus, authorities said.

The injuries were minor but all eight people were taken to hospitals, the Seattle Fire Department said on Twitter.

The Washington State Patrol said the crane dropped a large steel pipe that bounced off the bus and hit the overhead traffic sign, causing it to fall onto the bus too. The incident occurred about 10:20 p.m. just east of Lake Washington Boulevard and blocked all lanes.

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