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KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that land above the Oso landslide zone was logged in 2005. The site was logged in 2004 and replanted in 2005.

Seattle just wrapped up its wettest March on record, with 9.4 inches of rain reported at Sea-Tac International Airport. 

Geologists say near-record rain in the Cascade foothills was key in triggering the fatal landslide near the town of Oso, Wash., on March 22. But they say clear-cutting nearby could also have worsened the risk of the hillside collapsing.

Washington Department of Natural Resources

State officials say they didn't approve clear-cutting inside a no-logging zone directly above Saturday's deadly landslide that struck the town of Oso. But aerial photos show a clear-cut extending into the zone where a loss of trees would heighten the risk of landslides.

Courtesy of WSDOT / Bill McMillan

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that land above the Oso landslide zone was logged in 2005. The site was logged in 2004 and replanted in 2005.

Saturday's deadly slide was the latest in a long string of landslides to hit the area known as the Hazel or Oso slide along the North Fork Stillaguamish River.

State and tribal officials have known about and tried to block landslides on that spot for half a century.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/David Patte

The Washington Board of Natural Resources voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the sale of 200 acres of the Olympic Peninsula. The money from the timber sale will go to the University of Washington.

The land is home to a rare seabird whose numbers have plummeted to the point that it’s listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Courtesy of Outdoor Research

Last Friday, mountaineer legend Chad Kellogg was killed climbing Mount Fitz Roy in Argentina.

His death has been a blow to the local climbing community.

Courtesy of Steven J Pickens

In 1948, at the height of discontent over a Puget Sound transportation controversy, a group of agitated locals, nicknamed the “Vashon vigilantes,” prevented the ferry Illahee from docking.

A local business man, two candidates for governor and a network of traversing boats came to a head over a seemingly simple issue: how much to charge to cross the waterways between cities and islands.

Flickr Photo/Seattle Municipal Archives

Customers of Seattle City Light are likely to see an increase in their bills later this year.

The utility is facing lower than expected revenues, and that could mean an automatic 3 percent surcharge for customers.

Seattle Catholic Students Form Underground Clubs For LGBTQ Youth

Feb 10, 2014
Holy Names students Audrey Long and Theresa Edwards at a December rally outside the Archdiocese of Seattle in support of former Eastside Catholic Vice Principal Mark Zmuda.
Courtesy of Audrey Long

Four years ago, as a freshman at Holy Names Academy, an all-girls Seattle Catholic school, Audrey Long came out to her family. It wasn’t a positive experience.

Flickr Photo/Tariq Abdel-Monem (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Correction 2/5/2014: The text of this story has been edited to reflect that the court action is a motion (not a lawsuit).

The Seattle newspaper The Stranger is seeking more openness in the case of two witnesses who were detained for refusing to testify before a grand jury by filing a motion to unseal federal court records.

The Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, one of Washington's top 10 sources of greenhouse gases.
Flickr Photo/Scott Butner (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/e4EJ5B

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included the Washington Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals’ mistaken assertion that Tesoro’s fines had been reduced to $858,500. The correct figure is $658,500.

Safer practices and better steel could have prevented a deadly explosion at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., in 2010, according to a new report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.  

The blast killed seven workers.

KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Correction 1/15/2013: This story has been changed to reflect that construction has  eliminated a center turn lane, not reduced the lanes from four to two as originally stated.

A previous version of this story also incorrectly said construction on all of the projects would take another three years. The current lane closures are scheduled to end in December, Sound Transit expects the Capitol Hill light rail station construction to be complete by spring 2015, and the First Hill streetcar is expected to be operating by the middle of 2014. Work on the First Hill streetcar started affecting Broadway in April of 2012. The story below has been corrected.

For many of us, years of light rail construction on Broadway has been a traffic headache. But some small business owners along Capitol Hill's main street worry that ongoing construction could force them to shut their doors.

Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant spearheaded rallies for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle.
KUOW File Photo/Deborah Wang

Newly-elected Councilmember Kshama Sawant is already working on her campaign promise to establish a $15 an hour minimum wage in Seattle.

B. Braun training video on YouTube.com

Editor’s note 2/7/2014: This story has been edited to remove references to VA officials’ incorrect claim that a Seattle VA nurse saw the Infusomat recall at the FDA website in March 2012. While manufacturer B. Braun sent the VA and other customers its recall notice in March, FDA did not post information about the manufacturer’s March 23, 2012, recall letter until August 1. The story has also been edited to attribute to medical records the statement that, the night Eddie Creed died, a doctor asked his sister if she wanted an autopsy to be done. Creed's sister claims the VA never asked her about an autopsy. The content in the edited story differs from the audio in the original broadcast.

When Eddie Creed, a Seattle jazz musician, died at the Veterans Affairs hospital on Beacon Hill last year, his death certificate said throat cancer had killed him.

But a KUOW investigation reveals what his doctors knew: A medical device called an Infusomat, which had been recalled the month before, ended his life. Still, nobody knows why.

Flickr Photo/Rocky Lubbers

Correction 10/24/2013: This story has been changed to correct the number of schools that can be approved in the first round of applications.

More than two dozen organizations say they’ll apply to start the state’s first charter schools.

Included among them: A school for gifted early elementary students in Spokane Valley; a Tacoma branch of the national charter chain Green Dot; and a Seattle elementary for kids who have experienced extreme trauma.

Dave Beck On The Legacy Of Toby Saks

Oct 16, 2013
Flickr Photo/Martin A Lester

Last Monday, musicians from around the world gathered at Benaroya Hall to remember cellist, UW music professor and Seattle Chamber Music Society founder Toby Saks. She died from pancreatic cancer this summer. Classical KING FM host (and KUOW alum) Dave Beck attended the memorial. He talks with Marcie Sillman about the memorial and about Saks' legacy.

Courtesy of Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NY/Nick Brandt 2013

Correction 10/9/2013: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Lake Natron was 402 miles wide. The lake is 402 square miles.

A lake in Tanzania has come into the spotlight recently thanks to a series of eerie photographs released by photographer Nick Brandt. In his book, “Across the Ravaged Land,” Brandt shows the world what happens to some wildlife when it’s submerged Lake Natron, and it’s not pretty.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Correction 10/10/2013: This story has been changed to clarify candidate Vandana Slatter’s position on light rail and differs from the audio.

Bellevue has three City Council races on the ballot this fall. The candidates for those races say they have ideas to help Bellevue manage future growth and to make the downtown feel less like “an airport terminal.” They spoke at a candidate forum yesterday hosted by the Bellevue Downtown Association.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

A correction and  further information on the story 9/14/2013:

Correction 9/9/2013: A previous version of this story said this year would be the first time that the Federal Communications Commission would issue low-power licenses in urban areas. The FCC started issuing these licenses under a program that launched in 2000. Also, the original version of this story said the community meeting would be held on Friday, 9/6. That is also inaccurate, the meeting will be held Monday 9/9/13. We regret the errors. 

A group in Ballard is meeting Friday to discuss plans for a low-power FM radio station — a small-scale station that broadcasts in a radius of about three miles.

Seattle Education Association's Facebook page.

Correction 8/27/13: In a previous version, the length of the district's contract offer was stated as three years. The current offer is for a two-year contract. The length of the contract is negotiable.

Seattle's teachers' union voted down the school district's two-year contract offer Monday night at Seattle Education Association's general membership meeting at Benaroya Hall.

Reporters were not allowed inside the meeting, but teachers said that the voice vote was nearly unanimous, with only several teachers of the hundreds present supporting the contract offer.

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Correction 8/22/13: A previous version of this story contained errors. It overstated the contributions received by the Yes on 522 campaign and the share of donations received from Washington state. The Yes campaign has amassed $3.5 (not 3.9) million, with 79 (not 71) percent of the funds coming from out of state. The nonprofit MapLight, based in Berkeley, Calif., informed us on Aug. 21 that it had double-counted some contributions, which led to the errors.

Bryan Runbert
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The world’s largest tunneling machine started grinding into the soil beneath downtown Seattle Tuesday afternoon. The machine known as Bertha is digging a 58-foot-wide tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Getting Fresh With Ross And Sheryl: Converting Squash Skeptics

Jul 24, 2013
Sheryl Wiser

Correction 7/25/2013: Sheryl provided the following correction regarding her friend Zephyr Paquette's summer squash preparation: After grating the squash, add some herbs and salt, and let sit for 10 minutes, not seconds.

Summer squash doesn't necessarily incite delight at first glance but Sheryl Wiser of the Cascade Harvest Coalition joins Ross Reynolds to destroy the myth that squash is merely a vessel for other flavors. We hear squash recipes and find out how to pick the sweetest squash at the farmers markets. Plus! Did you know it is actually a fruit? 

Is The Minimum Wage Too Low?

Jul 18, 2013

Correction 7/24/13:  In the original broadcast of this interview we misstated that Seattle City Council candidate Kshama Sawant advocates a minimum wage of $21.72 an hour. According to her campaign representative Devin Matthews, Sawant is calling for a $15.00 dollar minimum wage. 

A recent economic survey showed it costs over $52,000  for a one parent and one child family to live a modest lifestyle in Seattle. Would raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour bring more people closer to earning a living wage? Or would a $15.00 minimum wage just discourage employers from hiring? Ross Reynolds talks to Felix Salmon, financial reporter for Reuters, about the case for each side, and callers share their opinions on if we should raise the minimum wage.

Flickr Photo/A. Davey

Correction 7/9/13: A previous version of this story erroneously stated that on the Seattle-Bainbridge ferry, the peak season, round-trip fare for a car and driver would go up $0.90 to $17.30. That total was a one-way fare. In fact, the round-trip fare would increase $1.80, to $34.60.

If you ride the Washington State Ferries, prepare to pay a bit more. The Washington State Transportation Commission wants to increase fares by about six percent within the next year. The commission says the rate hike is needed to meet revenue targets set by the legislature in the 2013-2015 transportation budget.

Flickr Photo/Army Medicine

Correction 7/8/2013: A previous version of this story contained an error. Furloughs begin Monday, July 8, not Friday, July 12.

Beginning Monday, more than 2,600 civilian employees at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma will begin mandatory one-day-a-week furloughs.

The furloughs are a result of the federal spending cuts known as sequestration.

King County

Correction 6/4/2013: A previous version of this story had a typographical error. The bridge is scheduled to be closed June 5, not June 6.

King County plans to close an old bridge near Kent earlier than originally scheduled, officials said Monday.

The Alvord T. Bridge is both structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. It’s the first such closure since last month’s I-5 bridge collapse in Skagit County.

Who Should Get A Genetic Test For Breast Cancer?

May 15, 2013

Correction 5/15/2013: A previous version on this story stated that Jolie had a one in 87 chance of getting breast cancer when in fact she had an 87 percent chance.

Now, the public knows about Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy. She wrote in the New York Times that, thanks to genetic testing, she believed there was an 87 percent chance she’d get breast cancer, so she went for it.

Tuesday, Dr. Julie Gralow, director of breast medical oncology at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance spoke with KUOW's Sara Lerner.  Dr. Gralow says, “The majority of breast cancer in the United States is not gene-mutation cancer.”

Tom Reese Photography

Correction: The original broadcast of this story dated Knute Berger’s year in residence at the Space Needle as 2012. In fact, it was most of 2011.

Seattle's Space Needle turned 50 years old last year. It was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. The public loved it immediately. But the architectural critics of the time were much less enthusiastic. They called it a monstrosity. They called it pretentious. They called it vulgar.
 

Knute Berger spent much of 2011 sitting at a table in the Space Needle where he worked as its writer in residence. His private area was roped off by those dividers they use to line people up at the movie theater. Sometimes tourists would stop and ogle him, as if he were an exhibit.

Knute sympathizes with those tourists. He’s loved the Space Needle since he first saw it under construction in 1961. He tells us why the critics hated it so much, and how they gradually came to accept it for what it was: an experiment with new materials and an unlikely symbol of optimism from an age when people were building bomb shelters in fear of a Soviet nuclear attack.

Knute Berger is the author of "Space Needle: The Spirit Of Seattle." He and other journalists gather to review the news of the week every Friday at 10:00 a.m. on KUOW.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, May 14:

Flickr Photo/Greg Matthews

Correction: The broadcast version of this story states that the Fourth Amendment protects against illegal search and seizure, when in fact it protects against unreasonable search and seizure. 

Washington’s lawmakers are debating new penalties for driving under the influence during a special legislative session beginning Monday.

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