government

Flooded with requests for public records, local officials want to put limits on how much information public servants have to make available to the public.  

The concepts have long been enshrined in Washington state law:

  • Information held by the government belongs to the people.
  • Public access to that information is essential to a functioning democracy.

President Obama plans to ask Congress for $755 million in cancer-research funding as part of his 2017 budget, according to the White House.

That would bring the funding total to nearly $1 billion over the next two years to accelerate what the president called a "moonshot" to try to eliminate cancer. Congress has already approved $195 million in research funding in 2016.

One month down, two to go.

For unemployed adults in 22 states, that's how long they can count on help with the grocery bills: Starting this January, they have three months to find a job or lose their food assistance.

SNAP benefits — formerly known as food stamps — have been tied to employment for two decades. Unless they are caring for children or unable to work, adults need to have a job to receive more than three months of benefits.

One of the Northwest’s selling points is its cheap hydropower. That’s why in recent years data centers have sprouted along the Columbia River in both Washington and Oregon.

But in north central Washington, an emerging power-hungry industry is meeting with some resistance. It involves the making and managing of the virtual currency called bitcoin.

The Jungle: a green beltway east of Interstate 5 where dozens of homeless people live.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Advocates for the homeless have welcomed Seattle’s new tent cities and RV parking for homeless people. But they condemn the ongoing sweeps of illegal campsites. Mayor Ed Murray said Tuesday's shootings in a homeless encampment only reinforced the need to move people out of them.

People from three Pacific island nations have the right to live and work in the United States, thanks to a unique 1986 treaty. But a separate Congressional action 20 years ago means that they are not eligible for Medicaid -- even those who become taxpayers.

Many have settled in Oregon, where lawmakers will consider a bill in February that would require the state to subsidize medical care for people from these nations.

The Marshall Islands are an independent nation made up of more than 1,000 small islands near the equator, about 2,000 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Oregon lawmakers return to the state Capitol Monday for a whirlwind legislative session. Legislators are expected to debate topics such as the minimum wage, corporate taxes, and gun control.

A federal judge ordered the organizer of the Oregon wildlife refuge occupation, Ammon Bundy, and his brother, Ryan, held without bail.

'Week in Review' panel Mike McGinn, Joni Balter, Bill Radke and Paul Guppy.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

What's the way to help homeless citizens and protect the rights of neighborhood residents? Also, Seattleites hiring private security guards – necessary protection or needless fear? And is it time to extend marijuana rights further?

Bill Radke looks for answers with former Mayor Mike McGinn, Washington Policy Center’s Paul Guppy and Seattle Channel’s Joni Balter.

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

The biggest climate polluters in Washington have been identified, according to numbers out this week: the TransAlta coal-burning power plant in Centralia, the BP oil refinery at Cherry Point and the Shell Oil refinery in Anacortes.

As the state gears up to regulate climate-harming pollution, the Washington Department of Ecology has been tracking emissions from the state's biggest sources.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said he’s “undaunted” after a partisan dust up over school funding. The Democrat Thursday sounded a hopeful note that lawmakers will find common ground.

Are these animals spies? This one was behind bars.

Jan 28, 2016
7
State media

A strange bit of news made its way out of the Middle East this week. Lebanon had detained a griffon vulture on suspicion of espionage. The bird was tagged for tracking by Tel Aviv University, but the GPS transmitter apparently raised suspicion this Mossad agent bird was up to no good. 

Strange as it might seem, this is hardly the first time an animal has been accused of spying, let alone an Israeli animal. 

Washington prison officials have said a computer programming error led to the accidental early release of more than 3,000 inmates over 13 years. Documents obtained by public radio reveal that a decade ago sentencing calculation errors plagued a major IT upgrade.

Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife officials are debating whether to close the only Columbia River sturgeon fishery below Bonneville Dam to protect the fish until the population rebounds.

Once again this week, an investigation into Planned Parenthood's alleged sale of fetal tissue came up empty.

Pages