News Roundup
6:33 am
Fri December 10, 2010

Friday morning's headlines

An Amtrak Cascades train pulls into Seattle in this AP file photo. A federal diversion of transportation funds aimed at high-speed rail projects are giving a big boost to Washington State.
AP

Rains expected to cause flooding, high-speed rail in Washington gets a windfall, lawmakers convene for a day. 

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State Budget Crisis
5:17 am
Fri December 10, 2010

Special Session tomorrow to cut state budget

Washington's lawmakers will meet in special session on Saturday to start chopping away at a billion-dollar budget shortfall. The governor and legislative leaders emerged from a closed door meeting yesterday with a budget deal. 

The plan is for a one-day special session. Legislative leaders from both parties and Governor Chris Gregoire have agreed to an immediate round of fresh cuts. The goal is to reduce the current $1.1 billion budget shortfall by about half. 

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
4:15 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

Seattle Tunnel Partners promises a wider roadway, one year sooner

An early concept of the proposed SR 99 bored tunnel, to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
Courtesy WSDOT

State transportation officials have announced the likely winner in the competition to build a tunnel to replace Seattle's aging Alaskan Way Viaduct.  The proposal comes from a consortium known as Seattle Tunnel Partners.  It has a slightly higher price, but offers other benefits. 

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K-12 Education
2:28 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

Supreme Court says state not shortchanging special education

The Washington Supreme Court has dealt a blow to a dozen school districts across the state that sought more money for special education.  Today, the court said the districts did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the state underfunds the programs, a violation of its constitution

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King County Budget
12:52 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

Extra room in the jail: a surprise with costly implications

King County Jail in downtown Seattle.
Flickr?ManuelW

King County says it now has a glut of jail space and must consider cutting the rate it charges to cities to house offenders.  That comes after years of dire warnings about jail over-crowding.  Cities in south King County are building a new jail (which opens next year) for $56 million in Des Moines. 

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Military
12:42 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

The USS Nimitz is coming to Everett

USS Nimitz and embarked Carrier Air Wing 11
United States Navy

When the Everett-based aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln leaves the city in fiscal year 2012, it'll be replaced by another carrier, the USS Nimitz.  Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) has been urging the Navy to assign another carrier to Naval Station Everett and made the announcement today after receiving the news from Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

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Record Bin Roulette
10:33 am
Thu December 9, 2010

Stayin' alive: RBR is about LIFE

John Maynard and John Kessler bring you lost recordings, found recordings, and recordings you intentionally tried to lose, every week. This week's RBR dives into: life.
KPLU

The Record Bin Roulette wheel lands on the most mysterious of categories this week: life! John Maynard and John Kessler take you through life's deep questions related through popular (and unpopular) songs. On the way a trip down memory lane to some surprising lost vinyl.

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State Budget Crisis
9:49 am
Thu December 9, 2010

Governor orders cuts as preschool waitlist soars

The number of poor children on the waitlist for preschool in Washington has tripled over the past three years. And now the problem may get worse. Governor Chris Gregoire’s across-the-board budget reductions threaten to cut more than 100 kids who are already enrolled.

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Education
6:23 am
Thu December 9, 2010

Goodloe-Johnson apologizes for misrepresenting high school rates

Seattle Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson apologized for an oft-repeated bad statistic about high school college-readiness rates. Goodloe-Johnson is seen here in at a school board meeting earlier this year.
Gary Davis/KPLU

It was a mistake that led to misinforming the public, says Seattle schools chief Maria Goodloe-Johnson.  She apologized at last night’s Seattle School Board meeting.  Goodloe-Johnson says she wants to assure the public that changes have been made to ensure it doesn’t happen again. 

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News Roundup
6:17 am
Thu December 9, 2010

Thursday morning's headlines

Downtown Tacoma's historic Elks Lodge, seen here in its vintage fineness. Renovation plans for the building include retail shops, apartments and, perhaps, a park.
Courtest elksonbroadway.com

 Get ready for changes in health insurance for kids next week, a Tacoma historic preservation project takes shape, Bremerton welcomes the USS Nimitz, and a hospital lockdown in Mt. Vernon following a man's death.

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Cancun Climate Conference
5:19 am
Thu December 9, 2010

The kids are all right

Seattle students Ian Siadak and Lauren Ressler are among the more than 20 Sierra Club activists wearing national flags and hiding their heads in the sand near the U.N.climate summit in Cancun, Mexico.
AP

A pair of college students from Seattle are among the members of the American Youth Delegation at the U.N. climate summit in Cancun, Mexico. They’re allowed to attend some of the negotiations, but the young people say they have a moral right to have a greater say.

When I met with Ian Siadak and Lauren Ressler, they came across as smart, articulate and well-informed. They’re also a little ticked off.

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Education
5:10 am
Thu December 9, 2010

New push to help South King County students succeed

Renton High School students working on a recent edition of the student newspaper Arrow. South King County and south Seattle schools are being targeted for improvements to in student achievement.
Gary Davis/KPLU

A major effort launches today to help low-income students in South King County and South Seattle.  It’s a new approach to a decades-old problem – how to help disadvantaged kids succeed in school and beyond. 

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
12:44 am
Thu December 9, 2010

Big day ahead for Seattle tunnel

Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct, Plans for a replacement tunnel continue to draw concerns over potential cost-overruns.
AP

Thursday is a big day for the proposed deep-bore tunnel beneath downtown Seattle.  An underground highway is supposed to replace the elevated freeway along the waterfront. 

At 1 pm, Governor Chris Gregoire will unseal the dollar amounts attached to two bids submitted earlier this fall.  Then, Washington Department of Transportation staff will add up a total score, based on price and engineering details, and announce an apparent winner of the final construction contract. 

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Washington's Economy
6:11 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Unemployment Taxes Going Up Again

Washington's Employment Security Department is sending out 2011's tax-rate notices this week to more than 170,000 businesses.

The agency says next year's average rate will increase by nearly a full percentage point.  Most employers' rates are going up for the second year in a row.  It's the highest average rate in more than two decades. 

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Cancun Climate Conference
5:24 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Seattle students bring climate action to Cancun

Student activists in Cancun wear a t-shirt that speaks volumes
Liam Moriarty KPLU News

Nearly 200 countries are represented at the U.N. climate summit this week in Cancun, Mexico. There are also caucuses speaking up for the interests of women, indigenous people, and others whose voices often haven’t been heard. Today I spent some time today with another under-represented group; young people.

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