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BirdNote
9:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

The Amazing, Head-turning Owl

Credit Marlene Lagerquist

  An owl's seeming ability to rotate its head in a complete circle is downright eerie. An owl's apparent head rotation is part illusion, part structural design. Because its eyes are fixed in their sockets, it must rotate its neck to look around. It can actually rotate its head about 270 degrees – a marvelous anatomical feat. You can learn more about this Eastern Screech-Owl at Cornell's AllAboutBirds. 

School Shooting
5:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

At Makeshift Memorial, School Shooter Remembered Alongside Victims

Paula Wissel

In the wake of Friday’s deadly shooting, a makeshift memorial site is taking shape at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. A long chain-link fence is now covered with balloons, ribbons and flowers. But there’s something unusual about this memorial site.

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Family Planning
5:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Huge Costs, Hundreds Of Pregnancies Will Follow Cuts To Family Planning, Workers Say

Nurse practitioner Beth Kruse delivers family planning services to 800 women, but come next year she'll be out of a job.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Seattle may be booming, but a major King County agency is shrinking fast. Public Health - Seattle & King County is short $15 million a year, prompting the agency to close clinics and cut anti-tobacco efforts.

But few public health program are getting hit harder than family planning services, and experts say those cuts will cost far more than they save in the long run.

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Election 2014
5:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

With McCleary Mandate Looming, Will Wash. Class Size Initiative Help Or Hurt?

Kyle Stokes KPLU

If a recent poll is any indication, Washington voters appear poised to again pass a ballot initiative that calls for steeply reducing public school class sizes, this time by hiring more than 7,000 teachers over the next four years.

Voters passed a similar measure in 2000 that had little effect. Lawmakers repealed it two years ago and the state's student-to-teacher ratio remains one of the nation's largest.

But the group behind that 2000 class-size initiative has urged voters to reject this year's version, Initiative 1351. The group joins skeptical lawmakers and newspaper editorial boards who fear a class size-reduction measure would complicate their task of meeting a state Supreme Court order to pump another $2 billion into the state's K-12 budget. 

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Vienna: 'The Seattle Of The 19th Century'

St. Stephen's Cathedral sits in the middle of Vienna. Its bells can regularly be heard across the city.
Chris Yunker/Flickr

It’s known for its coffee culture. Many famous musicians got their start here. And you don’t have to travel too far out of town to get into the mountains.

We’re not talking about Seattle, but rather Vienna, the largest city in Austria.

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Business
4:17 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Microsoft Cuts 3,000 Jobs Worldwide, About 600 In The Puget Sound Region

Kārlis Dambrāns Flickr

Microsoft has given layoff notices to 3,000 more workers worldwide, with 638 of them in the Puget Sound region, according to a spokesman for the company.

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Politics
3:21 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Wash. State's Current And Former AGs Exposed In NYTimes Influence Investigation

FILE - Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at a news conference about charges against a food industry group accused of violating state campaign finance laws, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The current and former attorneys general of Washington state are among the subjects of a New York Times special report. The Times story details how companies under investigation by state AGs try to influence those cases. It also reveals how former AGs gain special access as industry representatives.

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School Shooting
3:10 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Tulalip Tribes Chairman: Native Kids Threatened In Wake Of School Shooting

A pair of angel wings hangs in memory of Zoe R. Galasso and Gia Soriano who were both killed in the shooting.
Paula Wissel

In the wake of Friday’s deadly shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, some Native children in the district have received threats, according to the Tulalip Tribes.

Tribal member Jaylen Fryberg killed himself after shooting five friends, killing two of them. In a statement, the tribes said some kids are fearful of returning to school, and some parents are reluctant to send them.

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Environment
12:00 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Big Crowds Commenting On Wash. State Marine And Rail Oil Transportation Study

File image
Matthew Brown AP Photo

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BirdNote
9:00 am
Wed October 29, 2014

When Starlings Cheat

Credit Keith Smith

  When Hank Williams wrote Your Cheatin' Heart, birds probably weren't on his mind. But researchers have found evidence of what we might call "infidelity" in birds. Scientists in east Africa learned that female Superb Starlings often seem to have "cheatin'" on their minds. Superb Starlings live in cooperative social groups, where subordinate, non-paired males help raise the chicks of established pairs. Females will "cheat" - or mate with subordinate males - when the females need help raising chicks, thus increasing the survival rates of those chicks. Learn more about this behavior in starlings.

Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Steamers, Keg-Sized And Small, And Other Kitchen Gears We Own But Don't Use

"That's too much steamer for me," says Nancy Leson.
Brenda Goldstein

I can't even remember exactly where or when I bought the monster steamer pictured above, but it's been at least 30 years. I've given it plenty of use over the decades but it's always been way more steamer than I needed. 

Finally, after a few not so gentle nudges from DeGroot (she should talk about clutter!), I figured I'd fob it off on Leson in exchange for her more practical-sized utensil. But nooooooo...

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School Shootings
5:00 am
Wed October 29, 2014

How School Security Has Changed Since Columbine, And How It's Stayed The Same

Students arriving at Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky embrace an unidentified adult on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 1997.
Mark Humphrey AP Photo

Seventeen years ago, Bill Bond was the principal at a small high school in western Kentucky that was rocked by a school shooting. It happened before the term "school shooting" had even entered the national conscience.

The Columbine massacre was still a year and a half away when a 14-year-old freshman at Heath High School entered the lobby in Dec. 1997 and opened fire, killing three fellow students and wounding five more. The shooter eventually surrendered to Bond, who says it all happened "right in front of him."

"People are going to want a solution" to prevent shootings like at Heath or Marysville-Pilchuck High School last week, Bond said. "But there's not a perfect, simple solution there. The solutions are hard."

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School Shooting
9:40 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Officials To Marysville-Pilchuck High Parents: In Time, We Will Get Through This Together

Ribbons with a Bible verse written on them are tied to a fence Monday, Oct. 27, 2014 at a growing memorial at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Parents and officials gathered Tuesday to discuss the aftermath of Friday’s shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School that left three students dead, including the gunman, and three others injured.

Parents listened as Tulalip tribal leaders, school district officials and law enforcement officials spoke. The main message: If we stay united, we’ll get through this together.

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Ebola
4:09 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Ebola Calls Northwest Volunteers To Action, Medical Centers To Prepare

Marc Bouma, an E.R. nurse at Seattle's Swedish Hospital, is taking a leave of absence to fight Ebola in Liberia.
Courtesy of Marc Bouma

Northwest medical professionals are getting ready for Ebola. Some are volunteering to fly out and help patients in west Africa. Others are practicing and equipping their hospitals to receive a case if needed.

Marc Bouma, an E.R. nurse at Seattle's Swedish Hospital, is taking a leave of absence for Ebola. This Sunday, he’s flying to a remote county in southeast Liberia.

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Election 2014
1:14 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Wash. State Republicans Allege Vote Suppression Campaign

FILE - In this photo taken Jan. 14, 2013, Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, sits at his desk on the Senate floor at the Capitol in Olympia, Washington.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Republicans say an out-of-state Democratic group is trying to suppress the GOP vote in a hotly-contested Washington state Senate race.

The state Republican Party filed a formal election complaint Tuesday against a group called American Values First. 

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