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Law
4:22 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

GAO Finds Bergdahl Prisoner Swap Broke Federal Law

File image
AP Photo

The Pentagon broke the law when it swapped five members of the Taliban for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Idaho, according to the findings of an independent government investigation released Thursday.

The Government Accountability Office says officials should have given Congress 30 days' notice.

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Coal Export Terminals
4:05 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Coal Opponents Point To Weak Finances Of Company Behind Proposed Terminals

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AP Photo

Oregon regulators’ rejection of a proposed coal export terminal on the Columbia River is just the latest hurdle for the energy company behind it, according to anti-coal activists.

The activists are asking Washington officials to consider Ambre Energy’s finances before allowing a terminal it’s involved in at Longview, Washington. 

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Climate Change
11:01 am
Thu August 21, 2014

UW Study: Despite 'Hiatus' In Rising Temps, Oceans Show Globe Still Warming

FILE - The sun shines on Point Barrow, Alaska, and the Arctic Ocean at the northern tip of the United States, July 16, 2002.
Laura Rauch AP Photo

Despite widespread concern about global warming, rising air temperatures have actually slowed down dramatically over the past 15 years. This so-called “hiatus” has posed a big puzzle for climate scientists.

Researchers at the University of Washington looked deep into the oceans for answers, and found that despite the surficial evidence, climate change has not stopped. 

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Environment
9:45 am
Thu August 21, 2014

EPA Says Idaho Must Clean Up The Air In The Silver Valley

The Environmental Protection Agency has given the state of Idaho notice that a corner of the Idaho panhandle isn't meeting stricter new air quality standards. The agency intends to change that by forcing the state to reduce what are called “fine particulates” in the air.

One likely target will be pollution from wood burning. Wood stoves and outdoor burning are major contributors to air pollution throughout the Northwest, including Idaho's Silver Valley.

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Farm Stays And Urban Adventures In New Zealand

A woman views the Mueller Glacier in New Zealand's Mount Cook National Park in this undated photo.
AP Photo/Tourism New Zealand

It could be argued that New Zealand bears at least a mild resemblance to the Pacific Northwest. It’s got rugged terrain, lush vegetation and, of course, plenty of water nearby. But that’s where the similarities end.

“When it’s dark and cold, and gray and depressing here, it’s absolutely stunning and sunny there,” said KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

Its placement in the southern hemisphere makes Seattle’s winter the perfect opportunity to enjoy a New Zealand summer.

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Seattle Public Schools
10:15 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Amid Public Outcry, Seattle Schools Changes Handling Of Sex Assault Allegations

At a Seattle School Board hearing on Aug. 20, 2014, a dozen protesters hold signs decrying Seattle Public Schools' response to 2012 allegations of sexual assault by a former Garfield High School student.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Amid a fresh wave of public frustration over Seattle Public Schools' response to a 2012 incident on a Garfield High School trip, district officials outlined a plan for addressing future allegations of sexual violence against students.

The parents of a former Garfield High School student say district administrators failed in their legal duty to investigate their daughter's allegations that a fellow student sexually assaulted her during the school trip two years ago.

But at Wednesday's school board meeting, as a dozen protesters decried the district's handling of the case, interim superintendent Larry Nyland pledged the district would do better. He said district officials have undergone new training and implemented new procedures for handling "critical incidents."

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Constitutional Rights
3:51 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Following Judge's Ruling, Changes On The Way For No-Fly List

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Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Changes are coming to the federal government's no-fly list, but it’s not yet clear what those changes will be.

It all stems from a ruling this summer by a federal judge in Portland. One of the plaintiffs was turned away from a flight after an airline agent said he was on the no-fly list. The man sued after he couldn't even get the government to confirm whether he was on the list, much less why.

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Women Entrepreneurs
3:23 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Cantwell Takes Aim At Gender Gap In Access To Business Loans

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Paul Morigi/Invision for JPMorgan Chase & Co./AP Images

Women entrepreneurs aren’t getting the same access to business loans as their male counterparts nationwide, and a new report shows the gender gap is even bigger in Washington.

Women own about 30 percent of American businesses, but get just 13 percent of the dollars lent by the federal Small Business Administration. In Washington, it’s just 11 percent, according to a new report commissioned by a U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, chaired by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. 

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City Parks
3:14 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Seattle Mayor Promises Better Facilities, More Accountability With New Park District

beataT1i Flickr

As the city of Seattle prepares to put in place its new voter-approved park district, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says citizens can expect both better facilities and more accountability. 

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Lobbyists & Legislators
9:46 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Wash. Ethics Board Settles On 12 Lobbyist-Paid Meals Per Year Max

mathteacherguy Flickr

Washington lawmakers will be allowed to accept a dozen lobbyist-paid meals per year, but no more, according to a new vote by the state’s Legislative Ethics Board.

On the low side, one board member proposed a limit of three free meals a year. On the high side there was a proposal to allow two dozen a year. Even the compromise of 12 lobbyist-paid meals per year did not receive a unanimous vote. The vote is also not a final rule. That will come this October when the board meets again.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed August 20, 2014

2 Recipes To Turn The Season's Cucumbers Into Crisp, Appetizing Pickles

When you see that "can't miss it" sign, you know you're there.
Nancy leson

It's my favorite time of year. The cukes are out at the Duris Cucumber Farm on River Road, just a little west of Puyallup. For years, I've been trying to convince my Food for Thought pard Nancy Leson to accompany me there. She finally did, and boy, was she glad.

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Legal Marijuana
4:09 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Wash. Attorney General: If You Like Legal Marijuana, Support Local Pot Bans

In this photo taken July 1, 2014, a one-gram packet of a variety of recreational marijuana named "Space Needle" is shown during packaging operations at Sea of Green Farms in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson has intervened in a lawsuit over whether local governments can keep marijuana businesses out. Ferguson says if you want pot to stay legal in Washington, you should want cities to be allowed to ban it.  

The city of Fife, like many others around Washington, has said it won’t allow pot businesses within city limits. A couple of would-be entrepreneurs sued the city to overturn the ban.

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Business
12:17 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Steve Ballmer Resigns From Microsoft Board, Saying He'll Be Busy As New Clippers Owner

FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2014 file photo, new Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer speaks during a news conference held after the Clippers Fan Festival in Los Angeles.
Jae C. Hong AP Photo

Former Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer is leaving the board of the software company he led for 14 years.

In a letter released on Microsoft's website, Ballmer said he has confidence in new CEO Satya Nadella, and he has no plans to sell his shares in the "foreseeable future." Ballmer said he holds more shares than anyone other than index funds. 

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In Case Of Emergency
9:30 am
Tue August 19, 2014

What Happens When 911 Callers Don't Speak English?

Dispatch supervisor Brenda Faxon and director Mark Buchholz in the Willamette Valley 911 Communications Center in Salem.
Tom Banse

In an emergency, the last thing you want to hear is, "I can't understand you." The reality is emergency dispatchers in the Northwest generally speak one language, English. But in our increasingly polyglot society, some people in distress inevitably can't communicate in English.

So what happens then?

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Homeless Youth
5:00 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Voices From The Street, Part 3

Florangela Davila

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of radio conversations between homeless youth. Voices will also be broadcast as part of the Kids@Risk coverage on Crosscut.com.

 

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