business

Citing concerns over pricing and pollution, the Obama administration on Friday unveiled a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The change won't affect existing leases, which generated nearly $1.3 billion for the government last year.

The Department of the Interior says it wants to make sure the money it's charging for coal leases takes into account both market prices and what's often called the "social costs" of coal — its impact on climate change and public health.

The agency says federal lands account for roughly 40 percent of all U.S. coal production.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced her support for a major hike in the state's minimum wage. Brown said she hopes her new proposal will encourage the backers of two initiative campaigns to lay down their signature-gathering pens.

Brown's proposal would raise the hourly minimum wage to $15.52 in the Portland metro area and $13.50 in the rest of the state. The increase would be phased in over the next six years.

A view from inside a Boeing factory.
Courtesy of Boeing

Bill Radke talks with Wall Street Journal aerospace reporter Jon Ostrower about surprising news this week from Boeing and its engineering union: They agree. They've announced a deal on a new contract that would give 20,000 engineers and technical workers a six-year contract extension. 

No More Tipping At Tom Douglas Restaurants

Jan 14, 2016
Chef Tom Douglas
Flickr Photo/Ronald Woan (CC BY NC 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1USBvzb

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle restaurateur Tom Douglas about his plan to replace tipping with a wage raise and 20 percent service charge. The change will take place at Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen and The Carlile Room on Feb. 1.

Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter.
Wikimedia Commons

In 2012, Anne-Marie Slaughter worked long hours for the U.S. Department of State. After leaving Washington, she wrote an essay for The Atlantic titled, "Why Women Still Can’t Have It All."

The Dick's Drive-In in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood.
Flickr Photo/Matthew Rutledge (CC BY 2.0)

The man behind Seattle's beloved Dick's Drive-In has died.

Dick Spady passed away Sunday morning in Seattle at age 92, the family said.

Washington voters could decide in November on a combined minimum wage and sick leave measure . A union-backed campaign calling itself “Raise Up Washington” filed an initiative Monday to raise the state’s base wage to $13.50 an hour by 2020.

Todd Bishop and KUOW's Bill Radke geek out over nausea-free virtual reality in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Bill Radke speaks with Todd Bishop about how a virtual reality cottage industry has grown up in Seattle.  

The North American International Auto Show is a place where car industry gathers to celebrate — and in recent years to apologize. At this year's show in Detroit, it was Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller's turn to face the media.

seattle ambulance emergency
Flickr Photo/Can Pac Swire (CC BY NC 2.0)/http://bit.ly/22W76WF

Washington state regulators will decide Tuesday whether a $2.9 million fine is enough to punish CenturyLink for a statewide 911 outage.

Alicia Cappola of Everett thinks the fine should be much higher. More than 5,000 emergency calls failed during the six-hour outage in April 2014 -- including 37 that Cappola tried to make after an intruder broke in while her 5-year-old twins were asleep in another room.

The obvious candidates for word of the year are the labels of the year's big stories — new words like "microaggression" or resurgent ones like "refugees." But sometimes a big theme is captured in more subtle ways. So for my word of the year, I offer you the revival of "gig" as the name for a new economic order. It's the last chapter in the life of a little word that has tracked the rise and fall of the great American job.

Activist Michael Lapointe at the BNSF Railway blockade in September 2014.
Rising Tide Seattle

Five environmental activists who chained themselves to train tracks in Everett to protest oil and coal trains begin trial in Snohomish County District Court on Monday.

The activists face criminal charges alleging they trespassed on BNSF Railway property and blocked an oil train for eight hours on Sept. 2, 2014.

It's the showdown at the Supreme Court Corral on Monday for public employee unions and their opponents.

Union opponents are seeking to reverse a 1977 Supreme Court decision that allows public employee unions to collect so-called "fair share fees."

Twenty-three states authorize collecting these fees from those who don't join the union but benefit from a contract that covers them.

What if your friend bragged that she'd just bought a brand of jeans because she'd checked out the company's practices and made sure they were ethical — no child labor, no polluting the environment by the manufacturer.

Maybe you'd thank her for the info, even be inspired to change your own buying habits.

But a study suggests a lot more of us would have an opposite reaction: "Boy," we'd think, "that friend is 'preachy' and 'less fashionable.' "

When I was a child growing up in India, once every year my father took my two siblings, my mother and me to the village where he grew up. He thought it was important for us kids to see rural living and to learn how basic life could be. He often said, "City folks are lucky to have cooking gas cylinders. You'll see how food is cooked in the village."

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