government

EarthFix Reports
9:32 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Wyden, Merkley Take Railroads To Task Over Oil Train Safety

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley discussed concerns about oil train safety with dozens of public officials and railroad executives Friday.
Tony Schick

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 4:32 pm

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley asked railroad company executives Friday to address mounting concerns about oil train safety in Oregon.

Following several oil train derailments and related emergencies in the past six months, the senators gathered in Portland with public officials officials and rail industry representatives.

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Radioactive Waste
9:18 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Washington State Slaps Fine For Mishandled Waste At Hanford

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 3:20 pm

Over the last several years, Hanford Nuclear Reservation managers have mishandled barrels and boxes of hazardous and radioactive waste in the central part of the site.

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
5:32 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Still No Answers For Stuck Bertha

Washington Department of Transportation's Matt Preedy points out the new roadway that will lead into the tunnel.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

So far, crews trying to determine what’s stalling the State Route 99 tunnel machine have found a hard object more than three feet wide lodged in it.

They’ve also found metal and plastic piping. But what exactly is causing the stoppage is still unknown.

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Week In Review
1:11 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Richard Sherman Post-NFC Interview, Bertha's Troubles, And Changes At Eastside Catholic School

In Seattle, the Seahawks and Richard Sherman have ruled the headlines in the last week.
Flickr Photo/Mark Samia

A post-NFC championship game interview with Richard Sherman causes controversy. Is Seattle the "bad guy" in the Super Bowl narrative? Plus, Bertha stays stuck, and the Eastside Catholic School president steps down.

We review these stories and more with news analyst Joni Balter, Crosscut's Knute Berger and The Stranger's Eli Sanders. Plus, we hear from Live Wire host Luke Burbank.

Hanford Nuclear Reservation
9:22 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Hundreds Of Expected Layoffs At Hanford Canceled

File photo of a crew working on a waste tank at Hanford in 2010.
U.S. Department of Energy

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:23 pm

About 300 people will keep their jobs at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.

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Politics
9:08 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Washington House Democrats Propose $12 Minimum Wage

File photo of the House Chamber at the Washington state Capitol in Olympia
Cacophony

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:33 pm

Washington’s minimum wage would rise to $12 per hour by 2017 under a proposal from Democrats in the state House.

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Economy
9:04 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Unemployment Rate In Washington Lowest In More Than 5 Years

The unemployment rate in Washington state has fallen to the lowest level in five years.

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:58 pm

New numbers for December from the Washington state employment department peg the current jobless rate at 6.6 percent. The last time it was lower was in November 2008.

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Marijuana Legalization
7:46 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Hempfest Backlash: Seattle Police Spokesman Subject Of Discrimination Complaint

The SPD Doritos giveaway at last year's Hempfest was a viral hit, but it is now the subject of a complaint.
NPR Photo/Martin Kaste

The Seattle Police Department made national headlines when officers gave away bags of Doritos at last year’s Hempfest. But some police officers were not supportive of the department’s lighthearted approach to marijuana users.

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Youth Issues
3:15 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Stability And Security: The Case For Extended Foster Care

Deontae Cruz and Mockingbird Society founder Jim Theofelis are advocating for a bill that would allow foster youth to remain in the system until age 21.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Ross Reynolds sits down with Jim Theofelis, founder and executive director of the Mockingbird Society, and 21-year-old Deontae Cruz who participated in the original extended foster care pilot program.

They spoke about the importance of allowing young adults in foster care to remain in the system until age 21 — an issue state legislators will address this session.

Economy
3:12 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

How Rising Taxes For Wealthy Americans Will Impact Economic Inequality

A household earning more than $1 million will see their taxes rates rise on average by $41,000.
Flickr/401 (K) 2012 (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with economist Dean Baker about why tax rates for wealthy Americans are going up and how that could impact economic disparity.

Cannabis
12:15 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Indoor Pot Farms Are Energy Guzzlers, Research Shows

Lights used in indoor pot farms can be as bright as those in operating rooms.
Flickr Photo/Fulvio Minichini

While the legalization of marijuana could be viewed as a liberal cause, the counterculture’s favorite herb isn’t exactly eco-friendly.

“Indoor pot farms are energy guzzlers,” said Seattle news analyst Joni Balter.

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Politics
10:03 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Washington Lawmakers Consider Ban On Gay Conversion Therapy

Washington lawmakers are considering a ban on gay conversion therapy.
Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC BY-NC-ND)

Mental health experts say it’s dangerous. Now, Washington lawmakers are taking up the controversy over gay conversion therapy.

That was the subject of a hearing Wednesday in Olympia. Psychologists and gay rights advocates testified in favor of a ban on therapies designed to convert patients younger than 18 away from being gay.

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Advocacy Groups
9:46 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Wealthy Donors Fund Never-Ending 'Progressive' Campaign In Washington State

Staff at Fuse Washington meet to update their communications and community organizing efforts.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 9:02 am

You’ve heard of Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and other issue advocacy groups that don’t have to disclose their donors. They are transforming American politics.

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EarthFix Reports
9:27 am
Thu January 23, 2014

New Legislation Calls For Transparency On Oil Moving Through Washington

With more oil moving through Washington by train and other transportation modes, state lawmakers want oil companies to keep environmental regulators better informed.
Katie Campbell

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:26 pm

SEATTLE -- Washington lawmakers took up a proposal Wednesday to require more transparency from companies that transport oil through the state.

The hearing on House Bill 2347 played out before a packed committee room in Olympia. The new bill would require oil companies to file weekly reports with the state Department of Ecology detailing how much oil is being transported, what kind of oil it is, how it’s being moved and what route it’s traveling through the state.

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News From Canada
4:09 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Harper Abroad, Dollar Woes, And Another Rob Ford Event

A controversial video with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford surfaces, yet again.
Flickr Photo/West Annex News

David Hyde talks with Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer about Prime Minister Stephen Harper's recent trip to Israel, troubles for the Canadian dollar and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's latest video.

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