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Oil Trains
8:46 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Concern About Oil Spills In Inland Northwest Rises With Rail Traffic

The coast has generally been considered the area of the Northwest most at risk for a catastrophic oil spill. But the rise in oil moving through the region by rail has raised the stakes for some inland areas. Three counties in the northern tip of Idaho are now creating their own strategy for containing an oil spill.

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Workplace discrimination
8:26 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Black Laborers On Sound Transit Project Allege Discrimination By Contractor

Reginald Wright, Rashad Pearson and attorney Stephen Teller at news conference in Seattle.
Paula Wissel

Charges of racial discrimination are being aimed at a Sound Transit contractor. 

A group of African American laborers who worked on the Sound Transit Link Light Rail project at Husky Stadium are suing, seeking class action status in federal court.

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Settlements
4:31 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Annual Report: Wash. Paid Out $48 Million In Liability Claims, A Six-Year Low

Washington State Department of Enterprise Services

The state of Washington paid out nearly $50 million last fiscal year to people who were somehow harmed by the state. The numbers were released Tuesday in an annual report on tort claim payouts.

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Political Contributions
10:51 am
Tue September 23, 2014

California Climate Activist Dumps $1 Million Into Washington State Politics

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2012 file photo, Tom Steyer waves as he walks to the podium to address the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
J. Scott Applewhite AP Photo

California billionaire and climate activist Tom Steyer has dumped $1 million into Washington state.

The seven-figure contribution was made last week and became public Monday.

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BirdNote
9:00 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Sandhill Cranes Wait Out The Storm

Credit Ron Schott

  At the fall equinox, gillnetter Misha Noonan would often get stuck at the far east end of the Copper River Delta, waiting out the storms. Once the storms were so unrelenting, that not only were fishermen unable to return to Cordova, but Sandhill Cranes were unable to proceed with their southeast migration. He writes: "Every morning, a test flight of scouts would lift off and attempt - unsuccessfully - to get around a nearby cape. The tenth morning broke calm and clear. The scouts lifted off at first light. They called loudly and excitedly to the flock on the ground. They seemed to say, '1,000 feet, clear and calm. 2,000 feet, visibility unlimited! 3,000 feet, we're outta here!'" Share your story below.

Swimming Upstream
5:00 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Part 2: Returning Chinook Exposed To Bathtub Of Contaminants In Puget Sound

The Olympic mountains and the Puget Sound are seen beyond downtown Seattle, with Lake Washington, the I-90 floating bridge and Mercer Island in the foreground.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Editor's Note: Fifteen years ago, Puget Sound salmon were listed under the Endangered Species Act. Despite the billions of dollars spent on recovery since, the results remain mixed. Some runs are seeing record returns while others are facing one of their worst years ever.

To learn more about the challenges of salmon recovery, this series follows one Chinook run from the open ocean to Puget Sound, through the Ballard Locks, past Renton and finally home to native spawning grounds on the Cedar River.

Puget Sound is one of the most enchanting bodies of water in the Pacific Northwest. Framed by mountains to the east and west, its physical beauty is part of what attracts new people to the region every year.

A total of 115 towns and cities surround this deep inland fjord. But the Sound’s geography is also part of what makes it toxic for fish that migrate through it.

Read and hear the full story on our companion site, northwestsalmon.org >>>

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Politics
8:44 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

King County Executive Proposes Budget That Would Cut More Than 500 Jobs

King County Executive Dow Constantine
King County WA Flickr

The economy in King County is booming, but county government is planning to cut more than 500 jobs to balance its budget. King County Executive Dow Constantine says the problem is that state laws restrict the ability of local government to raise taxes to keep up with growth. 

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Legal Marijuana
3:05 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Seattle City Attorney Seeks To Drop All Marijuana Tickets

File - This Dec. 6, 2013, file photo shows Toby Tackett lighting a marijuana joint at a pot party at the Seattle Center, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes says he isn’t promoting the use of marijuana in public, but he is calling for all the tickets issued for public pot smoking between Jan. 1 and July 31 to be thrown out.

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Oso Landslide
3:00 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Six Months After Oso Landslide, Lawsuit, Legal Claims Ongoing

File - This March 22, 2014 file photo, made available by the Washington State Dept. of Transportation, shows a view of the damage from the March 22, 2014 mudslide in Oso, Washington.
AP Photo/Washington State Dept of Transportation

Six months ago Monday, forty-three people lost their lives in the Oso landslide. So far, nearly 60 legal claims have been filed against the state of Washington stemming from the slide.

Attorney Karen Willie says a half-year later a “deep wound” remains from Oso. I spoke with her at 10:37a.m., the exact-six month anniversary.

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Political Contributions
9:34 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Wealthy Individuals Bankroll Washington Campaigns

In this Aug. 2, 2013 photo, Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer poses for a photo in his office in downtown Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

So far this year, business interests have contributed more than $16 million to political campaigns and committees in Washington.

But gifts from individual donors eclipse even that. That’s because a small group of wealthy people are writing large checks.

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BirdNote
9:00 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Autumnal Equinox

Credit Albert Valentino

  Today marks the mid-point between June's longest day and December's shortest day. We may hardly notice, but ancient cultures closely watched the changes in the sun's daily patterns. One legend from the Andes of South America held that only the giant Andean Condor (like the one pictured here), with its ten-foot wingspan, had the strength to lift the sun each morning and pull it back down each evening. You can learn more about this condor at The Peregrine Fund. Or visit your local Audubon chapter, and find your local birds.

Environment
5:00 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Researchers: Keep An Eye Out For Tagged Monarch Butterflies

This photo shows a tagged monarch butterfly.
Washington State University

If you’re lucky enough to spot a lacy monarch butterfly as it heads south for winter, look closely. You might see something unusual on its wing.

In a town in northern California, a young girl noticed a white sticker with an email address on a butterfly’s wing when it landed on her garage door.

“She took note and emailed me, so it proved the system worked,” said Dr. David James, an entomologist at Washington State University.

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Artscape
5:00 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Why These Seattle Artists Are Selling Cans Of Dirt From A Georgetown Brownfield

On sale now at the Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle: $25 cans of canned dirt, created by the artist trio SuttonBeresCuller
Courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery

A trio of Seattle artists has taken a unique approach in an attempt to “undo three-quarters of a century’s worth of polluting”: canning and selling dirt.

The “premium-quality hand-canned dirt,” which are available for $25 a can, are a commentary on how a community can share in the responsibility of cleaning up a contaminated urban site.

The artists’ work focuses on one specific site, a brownfield in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Once home to a gas station, it is now choked with blackberries, littered with drug baggies and covered in contaminated soil.

Read the full story on our companion site, Quirksee.org >>>

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Jazz Northwest
3:00 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Jazz Northwest For Sept. 21

It's the last weekend of Summer and we'll feature some songs for the end of Summer with Jessica Williams and Ralph Towner and Denney Goodhew on Jazz Northwest.  We'll also look ahead and sample some of the great live jazz coming up this Fall including the CD release party for Ann Reynolds' Clave Gringa on Monday night at Tula's.  Former Seattle pianist Larry Fuller has a new CD and he'll be back in Seattle next month for three performances.

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BirdNote
9:00 am
Sun September 21, 2014

The Heron And The Snake

Credit Rebecca Richardson

  It's a rough world for a young Great Blue Heron. A mere one egg in ten results in an adult heron. Only a little more than 25% of fledglings survive their first year. Michael Hobbs witnessed a battle between a young heron and a snake. Successful foraging takes practice. In a trial-and-error world, how often does an inexperienced bird get a second chance? Fortunately, nearly 75% of yearlings will survive to adulthood.

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