For months now, we’ve known that six underground storage tanks at the Hanford nuclear reservation have been leaking radioactive waste. Now, the worst of these tanks may be leaking contaminated waste into the soil. Yesterday, radioactive material was detected outside the tank. Jeannie Yandel talks with King 5 investigate reporter Susannah Frame, who has been following this story closely.
Gun rights proponents are promoting a new gun rights initiative, I-591. This initiative would prevent Washington state from adopting background check laws that are more restrictive than the federal standards and would also prohibit any confiscation of firearms without due process. David Hyde talks about the proposal with Allan Gottlieb, chairman of the committee, Protect our Guns, the group behind Initiative 591.
If the government wants to look at your mail, it needs a warrant. But there are no similar protections for your email. US representative Suzan Delbene from Washington state wants to change that. Support for stricter electronic privacy has been growing since the recent controversies over widespread government surveillance. Representative Delbene talks to David Hyde about her bill to reform the Electronic Privacy Act (PDF).
There have been two major cases of metal theft this week. Yesterday federal prosecutors charged two men with allegedly stealing more than seven thousand feet of copper wire at SeaTac Airport. That followed an earlier case where thieves made off with more than four miles of copper wire from Sound Transit.
The federal government says in a new report that it may take six years to start emptying a leaking double-hulled tank of waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Washington state law says any leaks must be dealt with as soon as possible – but the federal government’s soon as possible is maybe years away. That’s because it could take 18 months just to get and set up equipment to pump sludge from the leaking double-hulled tank called AY-102. In addition it will take about six years to secure appropriate tank space to put all that sludge.
Protracted budget talks in Olympia could see a breakthrough after Tuesday’s release of an updated revenue forecast. That’s the quarterly report that projects how much money will flow into state tax coffers in the coming months.
Lawmakers are expecting some positive news. A couple of hundred of million dollars to the positive could prove a game-changer in the weeks long budget stalemate.
Mayor Mike McGinn is in Washington, D.C., today to testify against the construction of three coal terminals in Washington state. He voiced his environmental concerns earlier today in front of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. Even more concerns have arisen now that the Army Corp of Engineers, which is in charge of reviewing the environmental impact of the terminals, has decided not to investigate green house gas emissions.
EarthFix reporters Ashley Ahearn and Katie Campbell discuss the latest coal news with David Hyde. Plus, they preview the upcoming EarthFix documentary, "COAL."
Washington state voters legalized marijuana last fall, but the drug still remains illegal under federal law. Most of Washington’s congressional members, including Rep. Dave Reichert and Sen. Patty Murry, have not been supportive of I-502. On the other hand, Rep. Denny Heck of Olympia is co-sponsoring a bill that would allow banks to handle transactions for marijuana businesses without being subject to federal charges. Rep. Heck discusses the proposal with The Conversation’s David Hyde.
Governor Jay Inslee has called for a second special session of the state legislature in the hopes that they will reach a budget agreement before July 1st. KUOW’s Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins talks about the budget and recent legislative compromises with David Hyde.
Seattle's homeless tent city, Nickelsville, has been moved from place to place over the years, including across from the University of Washington (as pictured) and most recently in West Seattle. But Seattle City Council wants it to close.
It’s Friday—time to talk over the week’s news. Without a budget deal Governor Inslee says the government will shut down. The Seattle City Council is calling to close Nickelsville, the tent city for some of the homeless in Seattle. Will shutting things down fix the problems? Joni Balter of the Seattle Times, Knute Berger of Crosscut and Eli Sandersof the Stranger discuss the week's news.
There were dramatic developments in Olympia overnight. Governor Jay Inslee held a midnight bill signing to amend Washington’s estate tax. The move means the Department of Revenue will not begin to issue refund checks Friday morning to the heirs of some multi-million dollar estates.
The state of Washington was about to embark on a months-long process of refunding an estimated $140 million to more than 100 estates. This was the result of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year. The money would have come out of a fund dedicated to public schools.
As Washington state moves toward licensing marijuana retail stores, a major concern for public health experts is preventing kids from eating marijuana. They are asking the state to ban marijuana-infused candy and other sweets, and require packaging and flavors that are less appealing to kids.
In the wake of revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance program, a coalition of nearly 90 organizations from Greenpeace USA to the Electronic Frontier Foundation have come together to protest the NSA and FBI’s surveillance program. The coalition formed the website Stop Watching Us, which calls for the immediate end to internet and phone record surveillance without probable cause and a full public account of the data collection program.
In January 2012, many of these same internet groups showed their power by successfully stopping the anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA that would have expanded law enforcement’s ability to combat online crime such as copyright infringement and counterfeit goods trafficking. David Hyde talks to Rainey Reitman, Activism Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and listeners voice their concerns (or lack thereof) about government surveillance.