environment

Finding beauty along Seattle's toxic scar

Aug 22, 2016
Courtesy of Tom Reese

Bill Radke speaks with photographer Tom Reese and journalist Eric Wagner about their book, "Once and Future River: Reclaiming the Duwamish." The three talk about the history of the Duwamish, how it became Seattle's forgotten river and the efforts to clean it up.

Spokane, Washington, the state’s second largest city, found itself surrounded by flames Monday after high winds and heat Sunday caused the rapid spread of three separate wildfires.

People walk along sun-baked University Way Northeast in Seattle on Friday.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

If you're dripping with sweat during this heat spell, you can blame Canada (kind of).

Washington state climatologist Nick Bond told KUOW's Kim Malcolm that warm air is flowing down from the northeast, contributing to this hot weather.

Cynthia Beal was looking for a new thing. It was 2004. She’d just sold her successful natural foods grocery store in Eugene and wondered what venture she should embark upon next.

“I thought to myself, what is gonna happen to our bodies when we die? What do we do? How to we dispose of ourselves? What do we do with us? That was just a fascinating question,” she says.

Construction of a controversial crude oil pipeline set to span at least 1,168 miles from North Dakota to Illinois has temporarily been halted in North Dakota amid protests by Native American tribes.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux fear the pipeline could potentially contaminate their local drinking water and lands sacred to the tribe.

Devastating floods in Louisiana have left an estimated 40,000 houses damaged; some 86,000 people have applied for federal disaster aid in the wake of the disaster.

It's a crisis some people are comparing to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The disaster area stretches over 20 parishes, Eileen Fleming of member station WWNO reports, and officials are working to determine how to provide temporary housing to meet the extreme need.

In southeast Washington, the Range 12 Fire is finally out. But now there’s 176,600 acres of black. And it’s roasted much of the valuable habitat on the Hanford Reach National Monument.

Washington wildlife officials have halted their efforts to kill wolves after shooting two members of a pack that had been preying on livestock in the state’s northeastern corner.

The state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife says it suspended the campaign to kill members of the Profanity Peak Pack Thursday. The decision comes after wildlife officials shot and killed two members of the wolf pack from a helicopter on Aug. 5.

Washington gubernatorial candidates touched on the topic of oil trains during their first debate of the season in Spokane Wednesday.

Standing before several dozen students in a college classroom, Travis Rieder tries to convince them not to have children. Or at least not too many.

He's at James Madison University in southwest Virginia to talk about a "small-family ethic" — to question the assumptions of a society that sees having children as good, throws parties for expecting parents, and in which parents then pressure their kids to "give them grandchildren."

Why question such assumptions? The prospect of climate catastrophe.

A central Oregon conservation group has filed a lawsuit against Portland General Electric over water quality on the lower Deschutes River.

The giant device, also called a “selective water withdrawal tower,” pulls warm water from the reservoir’s surface to blend with cold water from the bottom. The mix is intended to more closely resemble conditions were the dam not in place.

The discharge that ultimately emerges from the dam is a warmer blend from the three tributaries of the lower Deschutes — the Crooked, the Metolius and the Middle Deschutes rivers.

Courtesy of David Moskowitz

Bill Radke speaks with biologist and conservationist David Moskowitz about the dwindling herd of mountain caribou in Washington state and what that tells us about the state of conservation efforts today. 

Nestle is looking to build a commercial water bottling plant in the Northwest. Its most recent pitch is to the town of Waitsburg, 20 miles north of Walla Walla. The plan to bottle water from Coppei springs is tying the small community in knots.

Walk down Main Street in Waitsburg, and you’ll soon run into someone you know. A friendly wave from the pickup truck rolling by. A greeting from kids skipping out of the library, books in hand. Very Norman Rockwell.

A measure that was added to the November ballot less than a month ago would have imposed fines on rail cars transporting fossil fuels through the heart of Spokane. On Monday night, the city council opted to withdraw it.

Two weeks ago, the Spokane City Council approved a ballot measure that garnered national attention. It would impose a fine on every rail car that transports coal or oil through the heart of the city.  Monday the council could consider its withdrawal.

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