Food for Thought
4:16 am
Wed February 23, 2011

The power of sour

Nancy Leson's vinegar habit exposed!
Nancy Leson

I like it straight out of the bottle, no ice, no glass.  And with apologies to Fast Eddie Felson, I don't mean JTS Brown bourbon.

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Science
5:14 pm
Tue February 22, 2011

Shallow New Zealand quake a warning to Pacific Northwest

Brick facades collapsed in Seattle's Pioneer Square during the 2001 Nisqually earthquake.
FEMA

Experts in the northwest warn the deadly earthquake in New Zealand was similar to what might happen here. 

The quake hit Christchurch, New Zealand, a city comparable in size to Spokane, along a fault-line that was unknown until last September. That's when an even larger quake hit New Zealand -- but with limited damage, since it was centered farther from any city. Authorities in Christchurch were predicting the death-toll would rise to 300.

In recent years, scientists have found evidence of shallow faults across the northwest, such as the Seattle fault that runs beneath Qwest Field and roughly follows Interstate-90.

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State of the City
5:12 pm
Tue February 22, 2011

Seattle Mayor says more police should live in city

In his annual State of the CIty address, Mayor Mike McGinn said Seattle needs to think differently about police recruitment to improve the department.
Paula Wissel KPLU

With 82-percent of Seattle's officers living outside the city limits, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn says it's hard to have a good local police force. It's also difficult to do anything about it because state law prevents cities from requiring officers to live where they work. McGinn says there could be an opportunity, though, when 300 officers who are eligible for retirement leave the force.

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Hostages on Yacht
4:54 pm
Tue February 22, 2011

Remembering Seattle sailors, killed by Somali pirates

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle with their friend Walter Friesen, before a race/rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas (Mexico), an event affectionately known as the Baja Haha.
Courtesy of Walter Friesen

Family and friends are grieving the loss of a Seattle couple who were killed as they sailed around the world.  They were captured by Somali pirates, along with another couple from California. 

Walter Friesen  knew them.  He's a member of the Seattle Singles Yacht Club, where the deceased couple met. 

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Winter Weather
3:13 pm
Tue February 22, 2011

Various forecasts predict several inches of snowfall for region

Snow fell this morning in Snohomish County, delaying some school districts. This view is outside Glendale Elementary in Lake Stevens, where school started on time. Scattered snow showers fell around the region today, and more is on the way.
KOMOcommunities video

Several inches of snow are on the way to Puget Sound's lowlands. Exactly which areas will get the greatest accumulation is something forecasters say is tough to predict, but a number of sources say their models show anywhere from two to six inches in the Seattle area, and up to eight inches or more in Snohomish County and northward.

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Hostages on Yacht
11:22 am
Tue February 22, 2011

U.S. military: Seattle couple among four killed by Somali pirates

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle are pictured here in 2005 in California. Macay and Riggle, both of Seattle, were reported killed by Somali pirates today, as were Scott and Jean Adam, aboard the yacht Quest, according to the U.S. military.
Courtesy Joe Grande

Updated at 11:22 a.m.

The U.S. military reports pirates have killed four American hostages they were holding on a yacht off Somalia's coast. The U.S. Central Command says negotiations had been under way to try to win release of the two couples on the pirated vessel Quest.

Gunshots were heard; and when U.S. forces reached the yacht, they found four all four hostages had been shot.

Two of the hostages. Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, are from the Seattle area. Quest was owned by Jean and Scott Adam, a couple from California who had been sailing around the world since December 2004.  The Associated Press reports U.S. Navy personnel administered to the four as soon as they could board the boat, but all had died from their wounds.

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Law and Justice
8:54 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Supreme Court won't hear appeal on state's campaign disclosure laws

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal challenging campaign disclosure laws in Washington state.

The court on Tuesday let stand without comment a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the state's disclosure requirements. Human Life of Washington challenged the requirements as a violation of the First Amendment. The group didn't want to reveal its donors in a 2008 campaign opposing an assisted suicide ballot measure.

Shoreline impacts
8:25 am
Tue February 22, 2011

King tides: a "teachable moment?"

A king tide in Budd Bay in Olympia in 2005.
Kay Schultz DOE Flickr feed

Shorelines around Washington are experiencing extreme high tides through the end of the month. Known as “king tides,” they’re a natural wintertime phenomenon in the Northwest. But they may also provide a glimpse into our future.

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Immigrant Licenses
8:17 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Legislature considers two-tier driver's license system

A two-tier driver's license system is getting traction in the legislature. This is how it would work: applicants who provide a valid social security number would get a regular license. Drivers who can't prove they are in this country legally would get an alternative version.

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Bank Failure Fallout
8:08 am
Tue February 22, 2011

WaMu execs face federal lawsuit

Kerry Killinger, former Washington Mutual Bank president, chief executive office and chairman of the board, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Cliff Owen AP Photo

Several former Washington Mutual executives have been notified by the federal government that they'll be sued over their role in the collapse of the Seattle-based bank.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that sources familiar with the suit say the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation intends to seek more than a billion dollars in damages.

To be named in the suit are:

  • Kerry Killinger, former WaMu CEO 
  • Steve Rotella, former president and chief operating officer 
  • David Schneider, former head of the bank’s home load division

All three executives have denied wrongdoing.

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Environment
7:27 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Study: more arid future for Northwest?

Map of Castor Lake.
Google Maps

A remarkable piece of scientific detective work has constructed a 6,000 year climate history of the Pacific Northwest. The record reveals a pattern of drought cycles and wet cycles.

Researchers drilled into the sediments at the bottom of Castor Lake near Omak, Washington. It's a telltale lake because with no river running out of it rainfall and evaporation rule there.

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News Roundup
6:42 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Tuesday morning's headlines

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Seattle Hostages, Two Others Killed by Somali Pirates
  • Snow in the Forecast
  • Higher Logging Fees Needed: Lands Commissioner

 

Two From Seattle Killed by Pirates

A Seattle couple sailing around the world were among four Americans killed by their Somali captors aboard their yacht today, according to a U.S. military statement. The four were captured last Friday.

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Mark Anderson on Technology
4:15 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Microsoft and Nokia: will this marriage work?

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in London 2/11/2011
Nokia

When Nokia decided its Symbian operating system wasn't the path to success in the smartphone market and started looking for outside options, it found two major suitors: Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 and Google's Android.

The Friday before Valentine's Day, Nokia announced it was hooking up with Microsoft. Will this marriage work? Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson says this deal may not be the best thing that ever happened to Nokia, but it won't be the worst.

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Reflections on the water
2:29 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Returning the bones: Darren Blaney, keeping faith with tradition

Darren Blaney is a former chief of the Homalco First Nation, the northern-most of the Salish Sea tribes, near Campbell River, B.C.
Liam Moriarty KPLU News

The northern tip of the Salish Sea is the place where the Campbell River on Vancouver Island empties into Georgia Strait. 

In the final segment in our series “Reflections on the Water,” KPLU environment reporter Liam Moriarty talks with Darren Blaney, a wood carver and former chief of the Homalco First Nation, which is based in Campbell River.

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K-12 Education
9:50 am
Mon February 21, 2011

Families urge support for schools at PTA Focus Day rally in Olympia

Nearly 1,000 supporters will gather in Olympia to press lawmakers on school issues. Last year's rally (above) drew more than 1,000 people.
Washington State PTA (WSPTA)

Hundreds of families will rally in Olympia today to send a message to the legislature. Despite budget challenges facing the state – they say lawmakers need to keep their hands off school funding. 

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