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Labor Debate
7:57 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Seattle Residents Testify For, Against $15 Minimum Wage At Packed Hearing

Members of the group 15 Now greet people arriving to testify at the Seattle City Council public hearing on minimum wage on Wednesday, March 6.
Credit KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Hundreds of people descended on Seattle's Town Hall last night for the first in a series of public hearings on the minimum wage.

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Marijuana Legalization
7:45 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Celebratory Mood As Washington Issues First Pot License

Sean Green is the first business owner to receive a license to legally grow recreational pot.
Taylor Winkel Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 5:55 pm

Washington’s voter-approved effort to legalize recreational marijuana reached a major milestone.

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Economy
7:43 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Washington Recoups Great Recession Job Losses, With Caveat

Andreas Klinke Johannsen Flickr

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 2:52 pm

It took four years, but Washington has now recovered more jobs than it lost during the Great Recession.

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Affordable Care Act
7:42 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Feds Confirm Investigation Into Cover Oregon

Headquarters of the Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C.
Rob Ketcherside Flickr

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 5:19 pm

Federal officials confirmed Wednesday that they will investigate the troubled roll-out of Oregon's health insurance exchange website.

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EarthFix Reports
7:40 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Klamath Tribes And Ranchers Seek Water Solutions In New Agreement

The Klamath Basin spans northern California and southern Oregon and has seen frequent water crises between the farming, ranching, tribal and environmental communities.
Devan Schwartz

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 12:00 pm

An agreement announced Wednesday between ranchers and Native American tribes seeks to resolve contentious water rights issues in the Klamath Basin, a drought-ridden region spanning southern Oregon and northern California.

Amidst a deep drought last summer, the Klamath Tribes and the federal government called on their senior water rights –- meaning they received access to limited water supplies.

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Russian Military Presence
4:14 am
Thu March 6, 2014

'We Are Ready To Protect Our Country,' Ukrainian Leader Says

Demonstrators carried a Russian flag during a rally this week in the western Crimean city of Yevpatoria.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 10:25 am

We're updating this post as the day continues.

While conceding that his nation can't come close to the military power of Russia, the interim prime minister of Ukraine said Thursday that "we are ready to protect our country" if Russia does not stop its "military aggression" in Crimea.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk told reporters in Brussels, Belgium, that the presence of Russian forces in that autonomous region of his nation "is unacceptable in the 21st century."

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Cannabis
3:58 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Washington Issues Its First Recreational Marijuana License

Sean Green, seated right, is congratulated by Sean Fitzgerald, left, as Scott O'Neil looks on before Green is issued his new Washington state legal marijuana license Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Olympia, Wash.
Credit AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

David Hyde hears from Sean Green about being the first producer-processor to receive a recreational marijuana license in the Washington state.

Then KUOW's Amy Radil tells us what this means for the recreational pot industry moving forward. 

Early Childhood Education
3:58 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Universal Preschool In Seattle: Why Some Aren't On Board

Flickr Photo/Nick Amoscato (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with Liv Finne, director of Washington Policy Center's Center for Education, about her take on universal preschool and why she thinks Seattle should focus its priorities elsewhere.

Economy
3:56 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Macroeconomics: The Big Picture Of The Minimum Wage

Tim Harford's book "The Undercover Economist Strikes Back"

Ross Reynolds talks with Tim Harford, Financial Times columnist and author, about his new book "The Undercover Economist Strikes Back: How to Run – or Ruin – an Economy." 

The book focuses on the work of macroeconomists and how they believe that tweaking the right dials can steer our economy away from danger. Harford also offers a macroeconomic perspective for Seattle's on-going minimum wage debate.

Cracked Dam
8:57 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Outside Experts Weigh In On Columbia River's Damaged Wanapum Dam

File photo of Wanapum Dam
Grant County PUD

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 2:22 pm

In central Washington state, teams of engineers are scrambling to figure out what’s gone wrong with part of the Wanapum Dam’s spillway structure.

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Homeless Housing
8:48 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Quixote Village: More Than Just A Place To Sleep

Quixote Village is a located on the outskirts of downtown Olympia on 12.7 acres of land leased from Thurston County.
Credit KUOW Photo/Elizabeth Jenkins

This past Christmas Eve, 30 homeless adults found a permanent residence in Olympia, Wash.

Before the move, the group lived in tents, hosted by different churches in the area. Many of the people had been sleeping in the woods and just wanted a safe place to stay.

Now, Camp Quixote is known as Quixote Village and comprises tiny houses for homeless adults. At 144 square feet, the homes are about the size of a one-car garage.

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Threatened Species Habitat
8:46 am
Wed March 5, 2014

University Of Washington To Receive Money From Controversial Timber Sales

The marbeled murrelet nests in old-growth coastal forests of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and California.
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/David Patte

The Washington Board of Natural Resources voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the sale of 200 acres of the Olympic Peninsula. The money from the timber sale will go to the University of Washington.

The land is home to a rare seabird whose numbers have plummeted to the point that it’s listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

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Cracked Dam
8:42 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Bones Exposed By Wanapum Dam Drawdown On Columbia River

Newly exposed riverbank sprawls out upstream on the Columbia River from Wanapum Dam. Human bones have been found in an area called Crescent Bar.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 8:20 am

In Central Washington, human bones have been found along the newly exposed shore above Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River.

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EarthFix Reports
7:57 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Port Of Portland: We’ll Pass On Crude Oil By Rail—For Now

The Port of Portland says it might consider an oil train project one day – but not until safety concerns have been addressed.
Flickr Photo/Russ Allison Loar (CC BY-NC-ND)

Have you been wondering about the Port of Portland’s position on oil by rail? If so, you’re not alone.

As more and more oil by rail developments crop up around the Pacific Northwest, the port has received “numerous inquiries” about whether it, too, would be willing and able to receive shipments of crude from the Bakken oil fields.

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EarthFix Reports
7:45 am
Wed March 5, 2014

With Or Without Terminal, Oil Trains Through Vancouver On The Rise

An oil by rail terminal has been proposed at the Port of Vancouver USA, but regardless of its future the city will likely see significant increases of oil by rail traffic
Port of Vancouver USA

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 9:18 pm

Opponents of a planned oil-by-rail terminal urged Port of Vancouver USA commissioners at their meeting Tuesday to cancel its lease with terminal companies Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies, raising several arguments against what would be the largest oil-to-marine terminal in the Northwest. But that terminal might not be the biggest factor affecting oil train traffic through the city.

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