government

Jeannie Yandel talks with Mary Ellen Stone about a new Seattle Police Department policy to conduct DNA testing on all sexual assault evidence kits. Stone is executive director of the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center. Yandel also talks with KUOW reporter Amy Radil about SPD's new policy.

Sens. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, left, and Kevin Ranker. On Christmas Day, Ashley Ahearn asked them to join her at the Spar Cafe, a bar in Olympia.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Earlier this winter, Ashley Ahearn was growing tired of polarized political debate.

She wondered: Did politicians actually believe what came out of their mouths? So she invited Sens. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, and Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, leaders, to drinks at Spar Cafe in Olympia.  

USS Michigan moored at Fleet Activities Yokosuka for a scheduled port visit during a deployment to the western Pacific Ocean in September 2010.
Flickr Photo/US Pacific Command (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The USS Michigan, stationed at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, will be the first submarine to allow enlisted women to serve onboard. 

It’s part of the Navy's plan to have women perform 20 percent of the jobs on mixed gender subs by 2020. The Navy began allowing female officers on subs three years ago. 

The Washington and Oregon employment departments have closed the book on 2014 with the release of their December jobs numbers.

Washington State Legislature in Olympia.
Flickr Photo/amishrobot (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with University of Washington political science professor Mark Smith about "dark money" and how that fits into campaign financing. 

In the post-WWII period, 40 percent of Americans were private sector union members. That number is now below 7 percent.

The reasons behind this drastic decline are hotly disputed. Union supporters say greedy corporations, helped by politicians, have worked systematically to bust the movement. Detractors say leadership corruption, improved labor laws and global competition served to make unions less relevant over time.  

File photo of Joint Base Lewis-McChord headquarters.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

It was standing room only at times as around 500 people turned out to voice their concerns to Army leaders about possible cuts at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Wednesday night. 

The base has more than 27,000 active duty soldiers and 13,000 civilians. The cuts as proposed would eliminate up to 90,000 positions worldwide. For JBLM, that could mean up to 11,000 soldiers and civilians out of work.

Officials at JBLM say the cuts will likely happen this fall after a decision by the Army in late summer.

As the Washington debate on how to reduce income inequality continues, President Obama laid out his plan in the State of the Union address. He called for universal, free community college, guaranteed paid sick leave and higher tax hikes on the wealthy.

The proposal is unlikely to pass in the new Republican-controlled House and Senate, but the speech set an agenda that both parties must now address.

Thursday is Medical Cannabis Lobby Day at the Washington Capitol. State lawmakers say this is the year they will rein in the state’s “Wild West” medical pot industry.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will ask the legislature to amend a new voter-approved class size measure. That was the word this week from the governor’s budget director.

Sales of small, camera-equipped drones are soaring. Aside from air safety issues, these remotely-piloted aircraft can raise privacy concerns if they fly uninvited over your backyard or past your bedroom windows.

Three new hot spots of bird flu have been found in wild ducks and domestic birds in Idaho.

Cigarette tobacco smoke
Flickr photo/Ta Duc (Cc-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with anti-smoking advocate Vince Willmore about the public health benefits of raising the tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21. Willmore is vice president of communications for the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids

A line of Car2Gos in the South Lake Union district of Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, about the expansion of car sharing services like Car2Go in Seattle. The City Council has voted to bump the number of permits for short term rental cars from 500 to 3,000. 

KUOW photo/John Ryan

Seattle City Council has put new restrictions on who gets to work on the city’s construction projects. Under legislation passed Tuesday, 20 percent of workers on public works projects will need to live in disadvantaged ZIP codes in King County. That percentage has to double over the next decade. KUOW’s John Ryan reports.

Pages