government | KUOW News and Information

government

Protesters dressed as construction workers and a mini-longhouse they erected to block Puget Sound Energy's doors
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Protesters erected a miniature longhouse — just five feet tall and 12 feet long — in front of Puget Sound Energy's front doors and blocked the entrance to the company's headquarters in Bellevue for about three hours Monday morning.

Washington is the top cherry producing state in the country.
Flickr Photo/beautifulcataya (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/6KiQQK

New tariffs on exports to China could have a big impact on Washington state. Tariffs went into effect Monday on 128 American products, including fruit, pork and metal pipes, in retaliation for proposed U.S. tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum.


A New Jersey Air National Guard member checks the blood pressure of a homeless veteran
Flickr Photo/New Jersey National Guard (CC-BY-ND-2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/TDycb7

Kim Malcolm talks with Marine Corps veteran Josh Penner and Navy veteran Rebecca Murch about the potential impact of privatizing healthcare services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Standard Oil depicted as an octopus, parodying its status as a monopoly.
Public Domain

In 1890, the Sherman Act was passed. Its purpose was to preserve a competitive marketplace against potential consumer abuses.

But the law isn't supposed to punish "innocent monopoly," or monopoly achieved by merit alone. So the question is: how innocent is Amazon’s monopoly? 

The announcement of the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census questionnaire has launched calls for lawsuits, legislation and now multiple congressional hearings. In a letter written to the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has oversight of the U.S.

Updated at 10:09 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he is not appointing — for now — a second special counsel to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by the FBI and Justice Department, telling Republican lawmakers that he has already asked a veteran prosecutor to look into the matter.

Republicans on Capitol Hill, including the chairmen of the Senate and House judiciary committees, have ramped up their push in recent weeks for a second special counsel to investigate what they say was misconduct by the FBI and Justice Department in 2016 and 2017.

Fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin tells NPR's Morning Edition that political forces in the Trump administration want to privatize the VA — and that he was standing in the way.

"There are many political appointees in the VA that believe that we are moving in the wrong direction or weren't moving fast enough toward privatizing the VA," he said. "I think that it's essential for national security and for the country that we honor our commitment by having a strong VA. I was not against reforming VA, but I was against privatization."

Tiny homes are shown on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at the Licton Springs Tiny House Village on Aurora Avenue North in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A homeless encampment sanctioned by the city of Seattle is hoping to have its permit extended for another year.

City officials say the tiny house village in the Licton Springs neighborhood is meeting its contractual goals.


Despite numerous requests for a veto, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday signed a controversial bill to privatize the state’s homecare provider system. The Democrat’s signing of the measure followed a contentious fight in the Legislature and accusations that it amounted to a power grab by the Service Employees International Union.

The federal courthouse in downtown Seattle.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

A Snohomish County man faces a federal charge alleging he sent nearly a dozen explosive packages to government agencies in the Washington, D.C. area.

FILE: Schools lunches at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia on Wednesday, October 19, 2011.
Flickr Photo/USDA (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ayDFwg

Last fall Giovanni Inton's second-grade son came home from school and told his dad he was hungry.

So Inton asked what all parents ask: “What did you guys have for lunch?”

A piece of bread and a carton of milk, his son answered. “They took my lunch away. I guess you guys didn’t pay.”

Courtesy of Jamie Rand Imaging/Jamie Colman

This past weekend, students in hundreds of cities and towns around the country joined in March For Our Lives  "sibling marches." Before the March For Our Lives Seattle event, students and supporters gathered to hear speeches.

University Prep students attend a walkout rally on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at Red Square on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Student organizers say Saturday’s March For Our Lives rally in Seattle will emphasize voter registration and concrete steps young people can take to advocate against gun violence.

The playground at Wellspring Family Services in Seattle looks like a pretty happy place, with two and three-year-olds climbing on a jungle gym and zooming around on scooters. But it’s not always so peaceful here.

Bevette Irvis, the director of the Early Learning Center, tells the story of a boy who came to school the day after he had watched his Dad hold a knife to his Mom’s throat.

Tyler Pederson, head stillman at Westland Distillery, climbs onto the still to check to see if the spirits were condensing on the still's plates on Monday, March 19, 2018, at Westland Distillery in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

You may want to think twice before you start a business making whiskey in Washington state. That’s because Washington’s liquor taxes are the highest in the country, according to a new report out today by the nonprofit Tax Foundation.


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Flickr Photo/JD Lasica (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dp7WwB

KUOW's Kim Malcolm talks with The Stranger associate editor Eli Sanders about how micro-targeting of Facebook ads has been used in Seattle elections. 

Sanders has written about misleading Facebook advertisements put out by Scott Lindsay, a candidate for Seattle City Attorney last fall.

Nearly three-fourths of U.S. teachers do not want to carry guns in school, and they overwhelmingly favor gun control measures over security steps meant to "harden" schools, according to a new Gallup poll.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter came within 50 feet of colliding with a drone over Port Angeles, Washington, last weekend. The Coast Guard said an air crew was doing low altitude training exercises near Fairchild International Airport when it had to take evasive action.

Seattle's 2018-19 City Council includes two council members who represent the entire city, and seven who represent a specific district.
Seattle City Council

The Seattle City Council introduced a proposal Tuesday that would allow them to vote on issues in which they have a financial interest, as long as they publicly disclose their conflict.

Under current city rules, lawmakers are required to recuse themselves when they, a family member, or their past or future employer has a financial interest in the topic.


Mural artist Zoer paints a mural of a car crash on Friday, September 8, 2017, along the Sodo Track in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The King County Council has voted 6-3 to exert more over control over 4Culture, the public development authority that funds arts, culture and heritage organizations in the county. 

Council Chair Joe McDermott characterized the vote as a hostile takeover, but supporters believe it will lead to more equitable funding across the country.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law four bills aimed at expanding access to voting. They include a new state Voting Rights Act.

FLICKR PHOTO/Nathan Winder/https://flic.kr/p/bqTzXf

New protections may be on the way for Seattleites who can no longer afford rent.

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant says she'll introduce a bill in the next few months that would require landlords to pay for relocation expenses if rent goes up by more than 10 percent.


The province of British Columbia will support and has agreed to contribute money for further study of bullet train service from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver.

The U.S. Department of Energy is demanding thousands of pages of documentation from one of its top contractors at Hanford. They want to know exactly what grade of steel is being used in a massive radioactive waste treatment plant at the decommissioned nuclear site. 

Sixteen and 17-year-olds will soon be able to pre-register to vote in Washington. That’s just one of several voting-related bills the governor is scheduled to sign into law Monday.

In Rural Washington, Pediatricians A Scarce Commodity

Mar 16, 2018

For the past 16 years, Jill Hutton has been managing a pediatric clinic in Aberdeen that once treated 70 to 100 children a day. But now it’s empty. She’s working on shutting it down.

“Everyone asks me what I’m going to do and I don’t know,” she said. “I won’t know ‘til I turn out the lights and lock the doors. I guess this is the last episode of ‘Cheers’.”

Washington Employment Security Department Commissioner Dale ​Peinecke is resigning following a workplace investigation into allegations he behaved inappropriately toward women on his staff.

Scout Smissen, a 17-year-old junior at Roosevelt High School becomes emotional while speaking to a crowd of hundreds on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at Red Square on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

They wrote it in marker on poster boards; they turned it into a trending hashtag; they spelled it with their bodies across football fields: “Enough.”

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington addresses a gathering of park supporters and the news media at the South Interior Building in downtown Washington, D.C., on November 10, 2015.
Flickr Photo/National Park Service (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/AVXYRv

The Trump administration said Tuesday it would not push for oil and gas drilling off the Northwest coast.

Local protesters and politicians have been speaking out against the proposed drilling.

KUOW PHOTO / MEGAN FARMER

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said she plans to ask city departments to trim their budgets for next year. She told KUOW's The Record that she'll ask for cuts that could be as much as 5 percent.

Pages