Community Culture
4:29 pm
Tue April 5, 2011

Kurt Cobain sculpture commemorates death of a native son in Aberdeen

Kurt Cobain fans explore the underside of the Young Street Bridge in Aberdeen Tuesday. The spot is one of the few places fans can go to pay their respects to the musician, who died 17 years ago Tuesday.
Photo by MACLEOD PAPPIDAS THE DAILY WORLD

Seventeen years after his death, legendary Pacific Northwest grunge guitarist Kurt Cobain is finally being fully embraced by his former home town. 

A concrete sculpture replicating one of his guitars is now installed in a city park in Aberdeen.  Steven Friederich, a news reporter with the Aberdeen Daily World, who has a story on the unveiling on the site today, says for years, Aberdeen rejected Cobain as a drug addict. 

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Science
4:08 pm
Tue April 5, 2011

Scientists propose earthquake warning system

Damage in Seattle from the Nisqually Quake, Feb. 28, 2001. Could earthquake early-warning systems become common place on the U.S. West Coast?
AP

Earthquake scientists are hoping to build an early-warning system for Washington, Oregon and California.  It would give typically about five to 30 seconds of notice that a big quake was starting. The scientists have been meeting this week to craft a proposal. 

There’s no way to predict earthquakes. But once a big one starts, it sends out different kinds of shock waves that move at different speeds. One type is fast-moving, but barely perceptible. These are called P-waves. They arrive before the slow traveling but damaging shock waves (called S-waves).  

So, if you have precise sensors, they can detect the fast-moving waves and send out alarms. 

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Law
3:23 pm
Tue April 5, 2011

Pierce County Prosecutor declares victory against Hilltop Crips

Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood at night. 1/11/2011
Flickr user Gexydaf flickr.com

A little more than a year after 36 members and associates of the Hilltop Crips were arrested and prosecuted, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist is declaring "a victory for the community". Lindquist says the sweep has dramatically reduced incidents of gang violence. 

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Northwest Economy
10:11 am
Tue April 5, 2011

Earthquake rebuilding likely to benefit existing timber exporters

It's likely the big timber exporters, rather than small family-owned forest product businesses like this one in Centralia, that may benefit the most from anticipated timber exports to Japan for rebuilding after the quake.
Ted S. Warren AP

When disaster response in Japan turns to rebuilding, Northwest timber companies and sawmills should see an increase in exports. But an industry consultant says the slow pace of disaster recovery means those new orders may not come for months. 

Stock prices for some North American timber companies spiked in the immediate aftermath of the Japan disaster. Wall Street anticipates a surge in Japanese demand for logs, lumber and plywood to rebuild homes.

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Airline Safety
8:01 am
Tue April 5, 2011

Boeing helps with Southwest Airlines investigation

A Southwest Airlines jet, a Boeing 737-300, takes off from the Tampa, Fla., airport in January. The plane is coming under scrutiny after a section of a Southwest Airlines jet ripped open during a flight in the skies of Arizona last week.
AP

Boeing says it’s providing technical assistance to federal aviation regulators and to Southwest Airlines in the wake of Friday’s mid-flight incident where a hole appeared in the skin of a 737 airliner at 34,000 feet.

The Seattle Times reports that the sudden rupture has experts concerned because the stress-related failure of the aircraft’s aluminum skin occurred mid-fuselage. That's a place that was not previously thought to be vulnerable to that kind of damage. 

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News Roundup
7:50 am
Tue April 5, 2011

Tuesday morning's headlines

Some of the top news stories around the Northwest this morning:

  • New Plan to Target Sea Lions
  • State House Lays Out a Budget Plan
  • Bellevue Tackles Steep Rise in Burglaries

 

Legislators Driving Toward Budget Showdown

Democrats in the state House of Representatives presented their budget plan for the next two years, slashing nearly $5 billion in spending. Cuts come from many areas, including K-4 education spending, and care for the developmentally disabled. Spared? Enrollment for 25,000 slots in children's health insurance program, Apple Health for Kids.

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Street Cents
1:23 am
Tue April 5, 2011

How high and low can you go?

Some Mercer Island properties are among the highest valued on the current market.
Bing.com

It's that time of year again when KPLU's John Maynard and real estate appraiser Richard Hagar look at the least expensive and the most expensive homes on the market. This time around, they're zeroing in on King County.

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Artscape
4:38 pm
Mon April 4, 2011

Humor in jazz: puttin' on the wits

Jazz great Mose Allison, one of the artists in this survey of humorous jazz songs.
AP

April is National Humor Month. So, Nick and I thought we'd explore the funny side of jazz.Here are  five jazz artists known for their wit as well as their jazz chops. 

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Washington State Legislature
3:15 pm
Mon April 4, 2011

State House Democrats roll out their budget

Washington House Democrats have unveiled a plan to close a $5 billion shortfall over the next two years. The plan released Monday would close a $5 billion shortfall and yet still manage to save several programs the governor proposed to eliminate.

It would privatize the state’s liquor distribution center and impose a $10 state park fee. It would also allow for the early release of some prison inmates. House Budget Chair Ross Hunter (D-Medina) calls it a responsible and sustainable budget.

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Afghan Civilian Killings
1:28 pm
Mon April 4, 2011

German news agency obtains secret 5th Stryker Brigade report

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, right, exits a Stryker combat vehicle, in 2008, during a visit to Fort Lewis, Wash. Col. Harry Tunnell, left, commander of the Army's 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Div., showed Gates various Styrker vehicles.
Ted S. Warren AP

A German news publication says it’s obtained a copy of a secret Army investigation into leadership problems within the 5th Stryker Brigade. One soldier from this Joint Base Lewis-McChord based unit has pleaded guilty. Four others are charged with war crimes including the murder of innocent Afghan civilians. 

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Spring Fund Drive: Thanks for your support!
12:15 pm
Mon April 4, 2011

Thank you for your supporting KPLU during our Shortest Spring Fund Drive ever!

Listeners have been exceptionally generous to KPLU over the years during our fund drives and this year has been no exception!

Thank you to everyone who supported us and if you missed your chance, click here (until April 8) to be counted!

Click here to make your gift until April 8!

We’d also like to extend a special thank you to the following businesses who supported our volunteers and staff with donations of food and beverage.

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Passenger Rail
4:56 am
Mon April 4, 2011

Washington hopes to benefit from rejected Florida rail funds

The Amtrak Cascades passenger train running along the bottom of a steep bluff near Steilacoom
WSDOT

Today is the deadline for Washington and other states to apply for a share of more than $2 billion in federal high-speed rail money that Florida rejected. State officials hope to use some of that money to tackle landslides that have made rail travel this winter unreliable.

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Public Health
2:40 am
Mon April 4, 2011

Northwest very familiar with Iodine-131

An alfalfa field near Richland, Wash., Mar. 30, 2011.
Anna King Northwest News Network

The small amounts of radioactive Iodine-131 found in milk in Spokane has been causing ripples of concern throughout the Northwest. Officials say the tiny amounts of radiation found in the milk were probably blown over from Japan’s stricken nuclear plants.

Just outside the Tri-Cities, Drex Gauntt’s alfalfa fields roll out like a plush emerald shag carpet. One of the ways that cows can pass Iodine-131 into their milk is by eating grass or hay that’s been contaminated with the radioactive isotope. Gauntt says he’s not too concerned.

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Spring Fund Drive: March 30 - April 4
1:28 am
Sat April 2, 2011

VIDEO: Good Radiation (Public Radio Rap)

Here's a little something from a couple of talented young Public Radio fanatics to lift you spirits during the final few days of our Spring Fund Drive!

Sports with Art Thiel
4:01 pm
Fri April 1, 2011

Mariners start 2011 season with a major shuffle

Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki stretches before a spring training game in Arizona last month. Art Thiel says Ichiro is the only player to be starting in the same position he played last year, as the Mariners shuffle things around.
Lenny Ignelzi AP

The Mariners are making some changes to their starting lineup as the 2011 season gets underway. Will it bring them better luck than last year's losing season?

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is skeptical, but he says there are some bright spots coming out of spring training.

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