government

News
8:16 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Washington Legislature Adjourns With No Action On Medical Marijuana, Gas Tax

The floor of the Washington Senate on the last night of the 60-day session
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:17 pm

The Washington legislature adjourned its 60-day session just before midnight Thursday night.

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Government
8:10 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Some States Working To Negate Federal Food Stamp Cutbacks

File photo of a woman using her EBT card in Portland, Ore., to purchase food.
Brian Duss Bread for the World

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:47 pm

In Olympia, Washington policymakers are pondering whether to make an end run around looming cutbacks in the federally-funded food stamp program.

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Agriculture
8:09 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Worried Washington Farmers Plead For Help To Water Fruit Trees

Becuase of the drawdown. this irrigation pipe for cherry orchards that lies four miles downstream from Rock Island Dam cannot reach water in the Wanapum pool.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:20 pm

In central Washington, state officials and farmers are scrambling to save orchards at risk of drying up because of a drawdown of the Columbia River.

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Cracked Dam
8:01 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Wanapum Dam River Drawdown Churns Up More Old Bones

Washington State officials are worried over the safety of newly-found human remains and artifacts on miles of newly-exposed Columbia River shoreline.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 2:04 pm

State officials are reporting the discovery of a second set of human remains near the cracked Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River in Eastern Washington state.

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Crimea Referendum Vote
5:35 am
Fri March 14, 2014

No Breakthrough In Talks About Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry before their talks Friday in London. Afterward, they reported no breakthroughs on finding a solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
Brendan Smialowski AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 1:11 pm

This post has been updated.

Update at 12:45 ET: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry came away from talks Friday in London saying they had not come any closer to an agreement about how to end the crisis in Ukraine.

Lavrov told reporters after the two men met that Russia intends to "respect the choice of the Crimean people" — who will vote Sunday on whether to join the Russian Federation. That was a sign that Russia may indeed move to annex the region if Crimeans indicate that's their wish.

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EarthFix Reports
5:34 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Talks Set In Beijing On West Coast Shellfish Ban

Geoduck clams harvested from Puget Sound, along with most shellfish from the West Coast of the U.S., have not been allowed into China. But an upcoming meeting in Beijing between U.S. and Chinese officials could ease that ban.
Katie Campbell

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 1:36 pm

SEATTLE -- There are signs of a thaw in the icy trade relations between the United States and China over a Chinese ban on imported shellfish from the West Coast of the U.S.

Chinese officials have agreed to meet next week with U.S. counterparts to discuss China’s import ban on shellfish harvested from Alaska, Washington, Oregon and part of California.

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Education Funding
5:01 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Washington Legislature Strikes Budget Deal

Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 2:38 pm

In a new budget deal, Washington public schools will get nearly an additional $60 million, but teachers will not get a cost of living raise this year.

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Malaysia Mystery
4:21 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Missing Jet Reportedly Kept Sending Signals For 5 1/2 Hours

At Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Friday, a woman writes on a banner full of messages about the 239 missing passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Edgar Su Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 9:14 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Frank Langfitt reports

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET: After Flight MH370 Disappeared, It Kept Telling Satellites 'I'm Awake':

Communications satellites continued to receive signals from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane for at least 5 1/2 hours after it disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand, a source familiar with the investigation tells NPR's Frank Langfitt.

Frank, reporting from Shanghai, writes that:

"Flight MH370's last known communication came after 1 o'clock last Saturday morning, local time, according to Malaysian officials.

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Transportation
4:23 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

As A First State To Regulate Ridesharing, California Offers Its Progress

Cars for the ridesharing company, Lyft, can be identified by the pink mustaches placed on the front bumper.
Flickr Photo/Bill Rosenfeld (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with San Francisco Chronicle reporter Carolyn Said about California's state-wide rideshare regulations. Said talks about how they are playing out in San Francisco and what Seattle's proposed driver caps could mean for rideshare companies all over.

'Heat And Eat'
4:10 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows

States are taking an out provided by Congress to avoid cutting food stamp benefits to families, many of whom already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif.
Antonio Mena Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 10:41 am

When Congress passed a farm bill earlier this year, it expected to save $8.6 billion over 10 years by tightening what many say is a loophole in the food stamp, or SNAP, program. But it's not going to happen.

You see, Congress left states an opening to avoid the cuts. And so far, nearly half of the states participating have decided to take that option — a move that could erase the promised savings.

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Minimum Wage
3:46 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

David Neumark: Low-Income Family And Low-Wage Worker Are Related 'Very Loosely'

Flickr Photo/401(K) 2012 (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with economist David Neumark at the University of California, Irvine, about what key issues Seattle needs to address before raising its minimum wage.

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Urban Planning
3:34 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Designing The Happy City

Charles Montgomery's book, "Happy City."

Steve Scher talks with author Charles Montgomery about his book, "Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design."

UNICEF
3:24 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

More Than 5 Million Children Affected By Syrian War

Syrian children who fled with their families from the violence in their village, sit on the ground at a displaced camp in the Syrian village of Atmeh, near the Turkish border with Syria, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012.
AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Steve Scher talks with Edward Chaiban, UNICEF's director of Emergency Programmes, about how the conflict in Syria has affected the local children.

UNICEF recently released a report that stated at least 10,000 children were killed in the violence, and almost 3 million children in Syria and in neighboring countries are unable to go to school on a regular basis.

Neighborhood Change
3:22 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

The Wah Mee Club Building: More Than The Tragedy

The historic building, which once housed the Wah Mee Club, will be destroyed after the December fire.
Google Maps

Steve Scher meets up with community activist Ron Chew in the Chinatown-International District to talk about the impending demolition of the building that housed the Wah Mee Club and what it means for the community as a whole.

Labor Expenses
11:39 am
Thu March 13, 2014

'It's Complicated:' A Small Business And Its Employees Struggle With Minimum Wage Debate

Destiny Sund, co-owner of The Confectional, steps in to help with mixing a crust with baker Heather Hodge.
Credit KUOW Photo/Deb Wang

The push to raise the minimum wage in Seattle was just a campaign slogan last fall. But now it's on a fast track. Mayor Ed Murray has said that he will propose a minimum wage increase this spring.

But many of the people who would be affected are just starting to assess the costs and benefits.

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