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Tech Policy Lab, University of Washington

Artificial intelligence has come a long way since the term was coined in the 1950s, but computers still don’t think and feel in quite the same way humans do. Yet rapid progress has the federal government, and others, thinking about new legal and policy issues.

Jim Wilke

The Michael Brockman Quartet played the May concert in the Art of Jazz series at The Seattle Art Museum. With Michael on tenor sax, Randy Halberstadt at the piano, Phil Sparks, bass and D'vonne Lewis at the drums, the quartet played two sets featuring music by Billy Strayhorn and others with originals by Michael Brockman.  

The concert was recorded for broadcast and will air on Jazz Northwest on Sunday, May 22 at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and streaming at KPLU.  

Lindley Ashline / Flickr via Compfight

If you were tired of all the unseasonably warm and sunny weather Washingtonians saw up till last week, it looks like your prayers have been answered, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“For those people who were complaining about the heat and the warmth and the sun and the dryness, well, your prayers have been met,” Mass joked.  He says we are now in a relatively wet, cool pattern that he expects to stick around well into next week.

A Major Trough

David J. Phillip / AP Photo

Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett endeared himself to fans by commandeering a police bicycle and riding it around CenturyLink Field after the team’s dramatic win in the NFC championship game last year. He made headlines again this week, saying he’s not happy with his contract.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel agrees Bennett is not getting paid what he’s worth. But he says that’s not going to change.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien is proposing code changes to encourage more homeowners in Seattle to build backyard cottages, saying he'd like to see as many as 10,000 mother-in-law units and cottages get built over the next decade.

Anita Hofschneider / AP

Here’s something you might not know: President Barack Obama’s mother graduated from Mercer Island High School. Obama’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, is in town this weekend to present a scholarship established in their mother’s memory. 

Soetoro-Ng told KPLU that she's not apolitical, necessarily, but she says when it comes to her relationship with her brother, President Obama, she prefers to focus on the family side of the equation.

Surprises, Music, Lots Of Food In Italy's Bologna

May 19, 2016
Roberto Taddeo / Flickr

Bologna, Italy, was an early home to higher education and music in Europe -- and it remains an epicenter of both. That's where we find KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley for this week's edition of Going Places.

We reach him sitting in the Piazza Maggiore, which looks at the Basilica di San Petronio and the Palazzo d'Accursio. It's in the palazzo that you'll find one of Bologna's great surprises.

Common Threads Farm; Bellingham, WA

Candy bars and cookie dough are some of the traditional fundraising offerings for school kids. But with concerns about childhood obesity, selling sweet stuff sends a mixed message. Now, some schools are taking a healthier tack.

By this time of year, lots of families with school-age children are experiencing fundraising fatigue.

When this Central Washington University combo made the trip from Ellensburg to the 88.5 F-M performance studio, it was a first.  For us, anyway.  The group is the first Eastern Washington jazz band we’ve hosted, and we hope it’s the first of many to come. 

Of course, it didn’t hurt their cause when they enlisted their mentor, trumpeter Thomas Marriott, to join the festivities.  Check it out—three delightful arrangements from a group of young musicians on their way up.

Nancy Leson

It's kind of a grab bag on this week's Food for Thought. 

Among other things, Nancy Leson and I chat about leek scapes.  She loved the store-bought ones she grilled the other day.  I (cough, cough) grow my own, but intend to follow her example very soon.  We also discuss a time-saving tweak to that homemade pastrami recipe seen here a while back. 

And we do some general grousing about how all the used-to-be cheap cuts of meat are now pricier than a slushy in hell. 

Courtesy City of Seattle

Seattle and state officials have announced plans to move people out of the notorious homeless encampment along Interstate 5 known as “the Jungle.” The area is beneath I-5, roughly between Dearborn and Spokane Streets, as well as in the Duwamish Greenbelt east of the freeway. The plan comes several months after a shooting at the camp left two people dead and three wounded.

Ross D. Franklin / AP Photo

Every year, Amazon’s shareholders meeting offers activists a chance to get the ear of one of the world’s richest, most powerful executives, Jeff Bezos.

KPLU's Community advisory council will hold their quarterly meeting on Monday, May 23 @ 2 - 3:30pm at the Seattle office. If you are interested in attending as a member of the listening community, please contact the general manager's office @ (253) 535-8732 for more information.

Presensa420/Flckr

When Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, the hope was that it would do away with illegal sales and bring in new tax revenue. But, an article in the May 9 edition of The Atlantic, tilted “The Failed Promise of Legal Pot” makes the case that a black market continues to thrive in the state, in part because taxes have inflated the price of legal pot.

Ben Brooks / Flickr

 

Forest fires have been popping up around Washington state since April. The most recent, near Gold Bar and Oso, both west of the Cascades.

 

Courtesy Howard Behar

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Office of Financial Management estimates Washington Initiative 732 will cost as much as $900 million per year. OFM’s analysis concluded the bill would cost as much as $900 million over four years.

Former Starbucks International President Howard Behar is one of three executives responsible for taking the coffee giant from a small regional chain to an international powerhouse. He’s also the author of popular business books that argue a big part of the company’s success has been its focus on putting people ahead of profits.

AnnabelB / flickr

Hundreds of low-cost housing units and small businesses are threatened if proposed changes to zoning go through in Seattle’s University District. That’s according to neighborhood groups who are hosting a community forum with city officials Monday evening to voice their concerns.

Seattle’s University District is one of the city’s six main urban centers zoned for high density. It’s already growing rapidly, with change propelled by a new light rail station at the heart of the neighborhood.

Illustration by Olson Kundig Architects/Stephanie Bower Architectural Illustration

From mastodon bones to special baskets used just for clamming, the Burke Museum houses vast numbers of objects from the natural and cultural world. There are so many pieces, in fact, that unless you’re with a curator, there are many items you might never have the opportunity to see. But that’s going to be changing when the Burke moves to a new building in 2019.

Lauritz Kittelsen

For 127 years, the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard has hosted a parade on May 17 celebrating Norwegian Constitution Day. That's longer than Norway has been an independent country. It's a testament to the deep Scandinavian roots in the Pacific Northwest.

(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

This week Sound Effect takes a look at some interesting people and "that other thing they do."

Paul Allen Band

We begin by talking to KPLU All Blues host John Kessler about covering the release of Paul Allen's blues/rock album. Yes, Microsoft co-founder and Seahawks owner also plays the guitar, and we hear how he lined up some musical all-stars for his recording project.

Cemetery Tree-nabber

Everett Public Library / Flickr

If you mention anarchists, people these days probably think of May Day protests, but anarchism has deep roots here. On Saturday, folk singer John O’Connor will tell the story of the anarchist labor union Industrial Workers of the World, also known as the Wobblies, and perform songs from that time. 

seanomatopoeia / Flickr via Compfight

Enjoy Friday’s summer-like weather while you can. With a predicted high of 80 degrees or more, it will be the last day of unseasonably warm weather for at least a week and likely much longer, says KPLU meteorologist Cliff Mass.

He says the recent string of high temps is ending with a bang.

“It’s amazing; The temperatures will get up to 80, maybe even lower 80s in a few locations, and completely dry,” said Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The Mariners remain in first place in the American League West as they host the Angels this weekend at Safeco Field.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says a lot of factors have come together this season to give even the most skeptical fans some hope.

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Injured veterans who struggle to conceive children may get some help from the federal government. Washington Sen. Patty Murray says the Senate may vote next week on an appropriations bill that includes an amendment to cover their fertility treatments

AP Images

Hundreds of activists are gathering in Anacortes this weekend for protests aimed at keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

The Pacific Northwest “Break Free from Fossil Fuels” event is part of two weeks of actions that have been taking place in dozens of cities all over the globe. Other U.S. cities on the list include Denver, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. 

Local authorities are warning residents to prepare for congestion.

neiljs / Flickr

KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley is working in Europe this month. He’s been with groups in Budapest, Hungary, and was just recently in Berlin.

“I was in a 1910 ballroom, hanging out with some cabaret singers,” he said.

He’s not kidding.

But now he’s changed his pace a little. After a 90-minute flight to Florence, Brumley finds himself in Tuscany. The places he’s visiting are outside the city, and smaller than usual tourist destinations. But he says they’re very much worth the detour.

Cities To Explore

For the past few years, labor activists have staged protests at Alaska Air Group’s annual shareholders meeting, but this year, the company will conduct the meeting online instead of in person. 

Nancy Leson

There's nothing I like better than spending a whole day or two working a complicated recipe.  I'm a little nuts that way.  But just as games with the simplest rules often have the most depth, sometimes the simplest recipes yield the the most flavor.

Nancy Leson's candidate comes from cookbook author Marcella Hazan.  Nance says it's "reputedly the world's simplest, most delicious sauce.  I really could not get over the complexity of flavor out of just three ingredients."

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

In Washington state, fatal crashes involving drivers who’ve used marijuana have doubled since recreational pot was legalized in 2012. That’s according to a report from AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. But, the study also indicates it’s difficult to measure how much marijuana makes a driver impaired.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

About 400 union machinists at Triumph Composite Systems, an aerospace supplier in Spokane, are preparing to go on strike tonight after their contract expires.

Lynne Warne, a spokeswoman for Triumph, said the facility will keep operating by using a combination of salaried employees and contractors. 

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