business

Poaching 100-Year-Old Geoducks For Big Money

May 26, 2015
Officer Natalie Vorous unpacks boxes of geoduck at Sea-Tac searching for evidence they were harvested legally. These were not. They were confiscated.
EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

Of all the shellfish that sell on the black market, one clam is above the rest -- the geoduck.

Pronounced gooey-duck, these hefty clams bury themselves in sand where they stay for 100 years, doing little more than stretching their meter-long, fleshy siphon up to feed on phytoplankton.

The Polar Pioneer at Seattle's Terminal 5, which was closed last year to cargo and needs at least $150 million in investments to ready it for mega-cargo ships - and to compete with Canadian ports.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The West Coast ports dispute is expected to end Friday.

Shipping companies have already accepted the new contract.

Port workers have also voted on the contract and are expected to release their results today.

According to numbers out Wednesday, the number of people out of work and looking for jobs is returning to pre-recession levels in the Northwest.

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Protesters of Arctic drilling have run afoul of the ocean environment in their own small way.

In addition to assembling a flotilla of kayaks on Seattle's Elliott Bay last weekend, the activists brought in a construction barge. It's a solar-powered platform for protests against Shell Oil's plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean. But the protesters anchored their solar barge over one of Seattle's most popular sites for scuba diving. 

Brigid Schulte discusses her book "Overwhelmed" at an event in 2014.
Flickr Photo/Howard County Library System (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Americans are famously industrious. The chart of our productivity growth per hour worked from 1948 to 2011 shows a rise of over 250 percent. It’s the classic ‘up and up and where it stops, nobody knows’ graph.

But the fact is, while Americans work longer hours than workers in most other countries, we’re actually less productive than you might think. According to a number of studies, working more than 40 hours a week just makes us less productive. So what would happen if we worked less?

Hundreds of Oregon industrial facilities are facing tough new restrictions on their stormwater pollution.

Robert Grott, executive director of the Northwest Environmental Business Council, says the restrictions are catching many businesses off-guard.

"Many of them are not in compliance with what they should be doing, so we're trying to bring people up to par," he said. "A lot of businesses aren't staffed to do this right. They might have just one person or a few people on a maintenance team that are supposed to comply with what can be a very complex, technical challenge."

Los Angeles
Flickr Photo/Ron Reiring (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with David Rolf of Service Employee's International Union 775 about Los Angeles' move to become the latest and largest American city to bump its minimum wage to $15 an hour.

An all-female United Airlines crew celebrates picking up a new Boeing 737-900.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

It’s a first for United Airlines.

On Wednesday morning, an all-woman crew and a plane full of female United employees took possession of a new airplane.

It happened at Boeing Field early this morning.

The Federal Aviation Administration has recently granted clearance for takeoff to big batches of commercial drone operators.

The iconic sculpture in McCaw Hall, home of the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Opera.
Flickr Photo/Frank Fujimoto (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A new national survey ranks Seattle fourth in the nation when it comes to the number of nonprofit arts and culture organizations. That's higher than San Francisco or Minneapolis.

Longtime arts administrator Sue Coliton isn't surprised by that news.

The Los Angeles City Council voted today to raise the hourly minimum wage in the second-largest U.S. city from $9 to $15 by 2020 — a move that would cover as many as 800,000 people.

The Los Angeles Times has more on the vote:

Arctic drilling protesters at the Port of Seattle.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Hundreds of protesters blocked entrance gates to Terminal 5 at the Port of Seattle for most of the day Monday.

The climate activists intended not just to gain publicity but to stop work on the Polar Pioneer, an Arctic drilling rig that arrived at Terminal 5 on Thursday.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is in the midst of his second tour in less than a year to drum up support to export coal through the Northwest.

You get a visit by someone you've never met before. You're invited on an all-expense paid trip to your country's biggest city for a two-day meeting on natural gas policy.

Oh, and if you show up you get a free cellphone!

It might sound sketchy. But it's actually an innovative strategy that is being tested by researchers at a Washington, D.C.-based think-tank, the Center for Global Development, or CGD, to help the African nation of Tanzania decide how to spend its expected windfall from new discoveries of natural gas.

As Northwest states debate whether to raise the minimum wage as high as $15 per hour, some adults with developmental disabilities continue to be paid as little as 25 cents per hour.

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