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Swimming Upstream
5:00 am
Tue September 23, 2014

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

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

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Swimming Upstream
5:00 am
Tue September 23, 2014

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

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 >>>

Read more
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.

BirdNote
9:00 am
Sat September 20, 2014

Mono Lake - Seeking A Balance

Credit Tom Grey

  More than 1.5 million Eared Grebes, 30% of the North American population, gather at Mono Lake each fall. But as late as the 1990s, the lake was gravely threatened by the diversion of its water to Los Angeles. After years of court battles, Los Angeles, the lake's advocates, and concerned scientists came to a balanced solution. While the lake will take another twenty years to regain the water level now guaranteed by law, for legions of Eared Grebes and other birds, the story of Mono Lake looks like a conservation success. Learn more at MonoLake.org.

Labor Union
2:46 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Washington State Employees Negotiate First Pay Raises In 6 Years

Washington state employees have not had a cost-of-living raise in six years. But that could change in the next budget cycle.

A tentative contract deal has been struck between the state and the union representing general government workers.

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Hospital News
10:46 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Providence Hospital Chain: Catholic, Nonprofit...And Venture Capitalists?

Providence Olympia Facebook page

The state’s largest nonprofit hospital chain is getting into a new line of business: venture capitalism.

Providence Health & Services, which runs 34 hospitals and hundreds of clinics, wants to be a player in the startup scene. The Catholic-affiliated chain has created a venture capital fund with about $150 million to invest in companies pioneering new health care models, especially ones focused on technology.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:27 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Last Blast Of Summer Heat This Weekend Before Fall Returns Next Week

Tim Durkan

Don’t put away that sunscreen just yet.

Temperatures are expected to shoot back up into the upper 70s and even 80s for the last weekend of summer, topping off what will likely go down as the warmest summer in Seattle history.

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