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Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Meet The Park Ranger Who's Right At Home In The Northwest's Wettest Landscape

Editor’s Note: This story originally ran as part of our new show, “Sound Effect,” which airs on Saturdays at 10 a.m. “Smell that, Gabriel.” Jon Preston waves a jumble of moss under my nose. It looks very much like a green wig. I oblige and breathe in a lungful of earthy air.
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The Final KPLU Rose Drive

Win A Weekend Package To The Portland Jazz Festival

Matthew Brown / AP Photo

An overflowing crowd turned out to testify in Skagit County Thursday on plans to add an oil-train facility to Shell’s refinery in Anacortes.

The company says it needs to be able to receive Bakken crude by rail to remain competitive. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Amazon shares jumped 13 percent in after-hours trading on news that the company returned to profitability in the fourth quarter. Strength in the cloud-computing business was an especially bright spot.

Cloud computing means hiring a company such as Amazon to run your computer system remotely instead of managing all those machines and software in-house.

Amazon and rivals such as Microsoft have been spending a lot to build big computer server farms. In spite of that expense, IDC analyst Al Hilwa says it’s an attractive business for Amazon.

Jessica Robinson

 

A committee in the Idaho House Thursday rejected a gay rights measure known as the “Add the Words bill” on a 13-4 party line vote.

Austin Jenkins

 

Public utility districts in Washington have the right to place power lines through state trust lands, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

This ends a years-long legal fight between Washington’s elected lands commissioner and the Okanogan PUD.

Courtesy of the University of Washington

Ancient gas bubbles preserved in ice are helping scientists figure out what the Earth’s atmosphere was like 40,000 years ago, and how it might change in the future.

The data is coming from a core of ice that resembles a PVC pipe. When the drilling is completed, almost a mile of ice will have been extracted from this inland site in western Antarctica.

Robert Pittman / Flickr

 

SeaWorld is famous for its choreographed dolphin and Orca whale performances. Now a Washington state lawmaker wants to make sure what happens at SeaWorld stays at SeaWorld.

Washington state Sen. Kevin Ranker introduced legislation to prohibit marine mammal shows in Washington.

Anna King

Government agriculture officials will kill 5,000 pheasants and turkeys due to a bird flu outbreak at a hunting operation Washington's Okanogan county.

About 40 birds at a game farm in Riverside, Wash. were ill over the weekend and tested positive for bird flu. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state of Washington will kill the entire flock and establish a quarantine around it.

Updated at 5:04 p.m. ET

The Senate in a bipartisan 62-to-36 vote approved Thursday the Keystone XL pipeline project, setting up a faceoff with the White House, which has threatened a presidential veto.

Nine Democrats joined 53 Republicans to pass the measure, which now must be reconciled with a version passed last month by the House. The Senate vote is also not enough to override a presidential veto.

BirdNote: Myth Of The Kiwi

22 hours ago
Wayne Brasch

"Why the Kiwi Lost its Wings" is a myth from the Maori people of New Zealand.

Kiwi loved the forest so much that he forsook his wings and beautiful feathers to dwell on the ground and devour the enemies of the forest.

The Kiwi is the national symbol of New Zealand, as depicted on a postage stamp. The New Zealand dollar is even nicknamed "the Kiwi."  

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

Environmentalists turned out in full force Wednesday to voice their opposition to a Port of Seattle agreement allowing Shell Oil to base its 26-ship Arctic drilling fleet in West Seattle.

A coalition of state and national groups is threatening to sue the Port over its agreement to lease the currently-vacant Terminal 5 to the oil company for up to four years.

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