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Religious Freedom
12:11 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Proposed Bill Would Enhance Religous Freedom Protections

State Senator Mike Padden.

Are Washingtonians forced by state government to act against their religious beliefs?

Last year, a Richland florist refused to provide flowers for a gay customer’s wedding. As a result, that florist is currently being sued by the state of Washington. When some Washington pharmacists felt they shouldn’t have to provide the morning-after pill to customers, the state pharmacy board jumped in. 

Now, Spokane Valley state Senator Mike Padden is drawing up a bill that would limit the state from compelling citizens to act against their religious beliefs. The senator talked with Ross Reynolds.

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Company Halts Efforts
9:44 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Plug Pulled On Plans For Controversial Anacortes Bottling Plant

Water resevoir that could have been used to supply water for bottling plant.
Sara Lerner KUOW

Plans to build an enormous beverage bottling plant in Skagit County, Wash., have been halted. The company behind a proposed facility has backed out of the project.

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Seattle Sex Store Anniversary
5:04 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Twenty Years Of Babeland

Babeland is known for creative store window displays.
Flickr Photo/joaquin uy

In 1993 Seattle was famous for Nirvana, the internet and Tom Hanks' insomnia. But two woman decided that the city was missing something, something they believed there was a need and market for — the city's first women-friendly sex shop. Co-owners Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning launched Babeland (originally Toys in Babeland) 20 years ago this month and Cavanah spoke with Ross Reynolds about the many ways the industry of selling 'sexcessories' has changed. 

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Philanthropy News
4:15 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Gates Foundation CEO Jeff Raikes Announces Retirement

Jeff Raikes administers polio drops to a child in the Fulani settlement, Mashakeri village, in Kebbi state on 27 September 2011.
Credit Flickr Photo/Gates Foundation

The head of the Seattle-based  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says he’s stepping down. Jeff Raikes made the announcement Tuesday morning.  He says he’ll stay on the job until a replacement is found.

Jeff Raikes talked to  KUOW’s Marcie Sillman about his top accomplishments over the past five years as the Foundation's chief.

Concrete Entrepreneurship
7:46 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Websites Help You Rent Out Your Driveway

parkatmyhouse.com

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 4:40 pm

First there was Craigslist. Then other more specialized websites arrived to make it easier to rent out your spare bedroom, vacation home, or even your car. A new category to catch on in the Northwest allows drivers to reserve a parking spot in someone else's driveway.

The concept is pretty simple says Alex Stephany, London-based CEO of the website parkatmyhouse.com.

"The idea is just if you have a parking space or driveway that is not being used some of the time, you can let someone else use it and you can make some money in the process."

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Banking
7:46 am
Tue September 10, 2013

U.S. Senate To Hold Hearing On State Pot Legalization

Architect of the Capitol

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 5:01 pm

The conflict between federal law and pot legalization in Washington and Colorado will be on the agenda in Congress this week.

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Local Economy
10:47 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Pioneer Square Gets Down To Business

Peeking in the window at Matthew Dillon's Bar Sajor in Pioneer Square.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

In 2009 people were asking, can Pioneer Square be saved? Businesses shut down and moved out of the neighborhood, the iconic Elliott Bay Book Company packed up and left for higher ground on Capitol Hill. But in the last few years the neighborhood has undergone a boom of sorts.

Restaurants Bar Sajor, Rain Shadow Meats, Gaba Sishi, Little Uncle and more have decided to make a home in Pioneer Square. The neighborhood has added to its bevy of galleries and retail shops. So what has changed? Ross Reynolds talks with Leslie Smith, executive director of the Alliance for Pioneer Square about the neighborhood business economy.

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Personal Data
9:35 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Reports: Spy Agencies Getting Past Tech Company Encryption

Flickr Photo/Chris Hardie

Reports from the New York Times, the Guardian and ProPublica cast light on how spy agencies are obtaining private data. The news organizations say the US National Security Agency is using covert partnerships with technology companies to weaken encryption software.

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Tech Jobs
9:28 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Google Breaks Ground On Kirkland Expansion

Google's current offices in Kirkland.
Credit Flickr Photo/Marcin Wichary

Google officially launched construction of a new building to double its campus in Kirkland.

The Seattle area is already home to the third-largest Google center in the US, behind New York City and Mountain View, California. Google says it’s expanding here because it likes the talent coming out of nearby universities. It is not saying how much it intends to grow its workforce in Kirkland.

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Seattle Beer Capital
3:49 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Ballard Brewery District Thrives By Balancing Cooperation And Competition

Maritime Pacific Brewing Company & Jolly Roger Taproom's founder George Hancock.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When you run a coffee shop, and someone else opens a coffee shop across the street, that’s usually a bad thing. But sometimes, when you get enough similar businesses in one location, that’s good. And the benefits of cooperation outweigh the cost of the extra competition.

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New CEO
11:52 am
Wed September 4, 2013

The Future Of Microsoft Without Steve Ballmer

Retiring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

There are many changes afoot at Microsoft these days. CEO Steve Ballmer announced his retirement last month, giving the company an opportunity to move in a new direction.

Just this week the company also announced it was acquiring Nokia's mobile phone business in a $7.2 billion  deal. So what does the new CEO need to do to keep the company relevant and innovative?

Sandeep Krishnamurthy is the dean of the business school at UW Bothell. He talked with us about the future of Microsoft after Ballmer’s exit.

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Fight For Smartphones
5:37 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Microsoft Buys Nokia Devices For A New Shot At The Smartphone Market

Flickr Photo/Vernon Chan

Microsoft’s $7 billion purchase of Nokia’s mobile device business is an important step toward gaining ground in the worldwide smartphone market, analysts say.

But bigger challenges await as the company works to get consumers to love the Windows Phone.

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Irate Joe
12:25 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Pirate Store Brings Trader Joe's To Canada

Michael Hallat

Unauthorized, unaffiliated and unafraid reads the sign outside of Michael Hallatt's store in Canada. He is the owner of Pirate Joe’s, a small reselling store in Vancouver, Canada, that sells, among other things, Trader Joe’s products. He began by buying items from a Trader Joe’s in Bellingham and trucking them across the border to stock his shelves.

When Trader Joe’s realized what Hallat was doing, they were not very pleased. Now Hallat is fighting a lawsuit filed by Trader Joe's while continuing to smuggle peanut butter-stuffed pretzels across the border. So how does a store like his operate? The pirate himself explains.

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Transportation
11:19 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Demand Rising For Car Sharing And Ridesharing

A Lyft car with the trademark moustache.
Flickr Photo/Spiros Vathis

For months now, tensions have been brewing between Seattle taxi drivers and ridesharing services like Uber-X, Sidecar and Lyft. Seattle cab drivers (who are heavily regulated by the city) claim ridesharing services have an advantage since they’re not subject to the same rules and regulations.

So this summer, the city commissioned a $100,000 study to determine the demand for taxis, rideshares, for-hires and limousines. What did the study find? And how will the results inform how the city proceeds? Seattle City Council President Sally Clark joins us with the results.

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Economic Recovery
12:32 am
Thu August 29, 2013

For Restaurant Workers, A Struggle To Put Food On The Table

Losia Nyankale helps daughter Jonessa and son Juliean learn the alphabet. Nyankale, who works in a restaurant in Washington, D.C., says she needs food stamps and child-care subsidies to make ends meet.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 8:27 am

Losia Nyankale, 29, didn't mean to make a career in the restaurant business. But after Nyankale was in college for two years, her mom lost her job as a schoolteacher and could no longer pay tuition. Then, Nyankale's temp jobs in bookkeeping dried up in the recession. So she went back to her standby — restaurant work.

"I did some kitchen work. The pantries or the salad station," she says. "I've also managed, supervised, wash[ed] dishes."

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