She loves dirt and hates sunlight. Seattle Magazine named her one of 2013’s most influential people, except she’s not really a person. She’s Bertha, the world’s biggest tunnel boring machine, charged with digging out the replacement path for the Alaskan Way Viaduct under Seattle.
Her profile on the Washington State Department of Transportation site lists her occupation as a tunneling specialist, but right now she’s stuck and has been since December 6. In light of her current predicament, the decision to name the machine, and thus humanize it, could be a shrewd move.
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.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee pushed for a higher minimum wage and increased education funding during his State of the State Address this week. The state legislature kicked off its 2014 session. Also, Boeing Machinists Union President Tom Wroblewski announced his retirement.
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.
Ross Reynolds talks with King County Executive Dow Constantine about his plan to fund King County Metro Transit, separate from the state legislature's transportation package — a package that has yet to get off the ground.
Washington state legislators have said for a couple of years now that passing a transportation package is among their top priorities. But Joni Balter, a longtime Seattle news analyst, told KUOW’s Bill Radke that won’t likely happen this year.
Jan Dappen rides along Wenatchee's Apple Capital Recreation Loop. The success of this loop encouraged cyclists to try to designate a more ambitious route from Wenatchee to Leavenworth. Local orchardists are fighting the designation.
A view from the route along North Road in Peshastin, Wash. The proposed route would take county roads all the way from Wenatchee to Leavenworth and back.
Credit Courtney Flatt
The Valley between Wenatchee and Leavenworth, Wash., is known for its fruit orchards. Orchardists worry a designated bikeway would bring lawsuits from cyclists and cause hassles with their workload. Cyclists want a safe route between the two cities.
Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 1:00 am
The valley between Wenatchee and Leavenworth, Wash., is known for its fruit orchards. Apple, pear, and cherry trees line the county roads. In the springtime, blossomed branches reach out from tidy orchard rows.
You can glimpse the orchards from U.S. Highway 2, the most direct route between the two cities. But the most scenic way winds along 48 miles of county roads, up and down hills and across the Wenatchee River.
A small percentage of trains carrying hazardous materials are inspected as they move through Oregon and Washington. Safety advocates and legislators are more concerned about what federal regulations allow than the fewer than 1 percent of cars found with safety violations.