Northwest communities are breathing easier than many places in the United States after federal regulators clamped down on ozone pollution, the main component of smog.

The Environmental Protection Area last week lowered the acceptable limit to 70 parts per billion. The new clean air standard is not as far-reaching as health and environmental advocates were calling for. But it’s more strict than many industry representatives wanted to see.

As of 2014, no region in Washington or Oregon were averaging greater than 65 parts per billion.

What is ozone?

Commercial imports of elephant ivory have been banned by federal and international law for decades. But now wildlife activists are pressing West Coast states to pass their own laws to deter the poaching of elephants and rhinos.

Don't Be Alarmed: We're Researching Crows

Oct 6, 2015
Heather Cornell and Kaeli Swift incognito to explore what crows know. This photo was taken in 2008 during the filming of the PBS documentary, A Murder of Crows.
Courtesy of David P. Craig

When professor John Marzluff of the University of Washington researched how crows remember faces, he donned a mask.

In one case, a Dick Cheney mask.

A barefoot boy stands on a cement wall after his family's arrival on a dinghy from the Turkish coasts to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos. About half a million refugees have crossed the Mediterranean this year, although few will end up in Seattle.
AP Photo/Santi Palacios

Here's the short answer to how many more Syrians are expected to resettle in Washington state: Not many. At least not in the next couple years.

“Definitely not 3,000 Syrians coming to Seattle," says Bob Johnson. Johnson heads the Seattle office of the International Rescue Committee. It's one of the largest resettlement agencies in the country. 

One of the original endangered species – the Columbian white-tailed deer – is slowly making its way toward recovery.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed downgrading its protected status from endangered to threatened.

The new status will mean these deer are no longer on the brink of extinction. But they're not fully recovered yet, either.

The Grief I Chose: Placing My Baby For Adoption

Oct 5, 2015
Baby Benjamin before he was placed in his adoptive mother's arms.
Courtesy of Beth Roberts

Ten years ago, Nathan and I placed our firstborn son for adoption. 

I was barely 23 when I got pregnant with Benjamin. I had just graduated from Northwest University, a Christian college on the Eastside, and was preparing to spend two years in Jakarta, Indonesia, as an associate missionary. I got my acceptance letter to the program the same week I took a pregnancy test. 

Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray is calling for disciplinary action after a Veterans Affairs investigation found that staffers in Seattle dumped mail about vets’ benefits in a yellow bucket and left it for months. 

Critics Say Whales Put At Risk By Navy Testing Plan

Oct 4, 2015

The Navy released the final environmental review Friday for its proposed sonar and explosives training practices in waters off the coast of the Northwest.

The Navy currently conducts training exercises in an area of the northeastern Pacific Ocean, roughly the size of Montana. It needs to renew its federal permit under the Marine Mammal Protection Act in order to continue and expand those exercises.

Children's book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, points to a 3-year-old fan Marcus Gabrielli as he signed autographs in New York.
AP Photo/Mike Appleton

Did Maurice Sendak, author of "Where The Wild Things Are," talk to kids about his work?

It was 1991, and Sendak had come into the KUOW studios for an interview with Ross Reynolds on “Saturday Afternoon.”  

Bertha K. Landes served as mayor of Seattle from 1926 to 1928. She was Seattle's first and only female mayor -- also Seattle's first female police chief, according to journalist Emmett Watson.
University of Washington Digital Archives

Before Bertha was a boring machine stuck under Seattle, she was Seattle’s first female mayor.

In 1926, her campaign motto was “municipal housekeeping.”

Bertha K. Landes was her full name and “she was wonderful,” according to columnist Emmett Watson.

Julia Child was tired of hearing people complain about salt, cholesterol and fat. Try moderation and exercise, she said. This photo was taken in 1992, two years after her interview with KUOW's Ross Reynolds.
AP Photo/Jon Chase

Julia Child was mad.

“I think the word ‘healthy’ and the word ‘light’ are really kind of meaningless,” the renowned cook told KUOW’s Ross Reynolds in a prescient 1990 interview. “There are no bad or good foods; they are just healthy and unhealthy ways of using them.”

Author Walter Mosley and his father in front of their home in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.

People usually remember as far back as the generation that raises them, says writer Walter Mosley.

Mosley had come into KUOW’s studios to speak with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds. It was 1992, and his third book, "White Butterfly," had just been published.

Easy Rawlins, Mosley’s main character, emerged from those memories. Easy was a fixer, a guy who does favors for people.

The writer Ursula K. Le Guin in 2012.
Photo © 2012 Laura Anglin

“If you have a person who is both male and female, what’s the pronoun you use?”

Ursula K. Le Guin posed that question in 1988 when she came in to the KUOW studios for an interview with Ross Reynolds.

If your company hasn't launched a wellness program, this might be the year.

As benefits enrollment for 2016 approaches, more employers than ever are expected to nudge workers toward plans that screen them for risks, monitor their activity and encourage them to take the right pills, food and exercise.

After Thursday's mass shooting at an Oregon community college, which left nine people dead and more injured, President Obama aired his frustration over gun laws in the U.S. At a news conference Friday, he called on voters to push their representatives to take action.

"You just have to, for a while, be a single-issue voter, because that's what is happening on the other side," Obama said. "And that's going to take some time. I mean, the NRA has had a good start."