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Kyle Stokes / KPLU

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled the state's voter-approved charter-school law unconstitutional.

In a 6-3 ruling issued late Friday afternoon, the high court said that charter schools do not qualify as common, public schools and cannot receive public funding.

Tim Durkan Photography

If your plans for the long Labor Day weekend include outdoor activities, be ready for a chance of rain on Sunday. Other than that, it will be mostly sunny and warm, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“There will be a lot of sun. But one day will be cloudy and maybe a little bit of rain and that’s Sunday,” Mass said.  

Keep That Raingear Handy Friday

Friday morning’s residual clouds were burning off by afternoon, leaving the lowlands basking in plenty of sun. Mass warned of fewer sun breaks in the mountains.  

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.  

Hayden Kajercline from Mt. Si High School is the Student DJ for the month of September.  Hayden's hour aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on September 3rd.

To get to know him better we asked Hayden to answer a few questions about jazz:

Which instrument do you play and why?

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

If you ever thought that Washington’s often cloudy skies stand in the way of solar power here, think again, says Jeremy Smithson.

The CEO of Puget Sound Solar stood in his warehouse on Rainier Ave. South, surrounded by stacks of solar panels.

“And these are not just inventory – these are all sold projects,” he said, gesturing toward the stacks.

Teachers in the tiny South Whidbey Island School District are now on strike.

The Washington Education Association says teachers in the four-school district walked out on Thursday. School is set to begin on Tuesday for the district's nearly 1,500 students. But teachers were supposed to be in school on Thursday preparing for the year.

Rachel La Corte / AP

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled a lawsuit against Backpage.com can move forward. The lawsuit alleges Backpage was complicit in the sex trafficking of minors.

Ted S. Warren / AP

The recent rain doesn't mean the wildfire danger is over. That's the message heading into Labor Day weekend from fire managers in the Northwest.

Christina Opalka

Group tours and all-inclusive resorts make getting away easy. But sometimes you want to plan your own trip and escape the usual tourist destinations. 

That's what Christina Opalka does. She and her family have had some spectacular trips. And she says if you're willing to research enough online, and "be a little bit fearless," you can, too. 

Pasayten Wilderness, Washington

TED S. WARREN / AP Photo

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making good on its promise to put forward a clean water rule for Washington, in case the state doesn’t come up with its own plan in time.

At issue is how much fish the government says is safe to eat, if it’s caught in polluted water. 

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a lawsuit Wednesday against the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractors over worker safety at Hanford. We bring you this Q&A from our Tri-Cities correspondent Anna King.

Ted S. Warren / AP

The Olympia police officer who shot two African-American brothers during a confrontation in May will not be criminally charged.

That was the announcement Wednesday afternoon from Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim. He is charging the two brothers with assault on the officer.

Firefighters hose the edge of a controlled fire.
Elaine Thompson / AP

Firefighters are starting to get a handle on two giant wildfires burning in northcentral Washington.

The largest wildfire in state history, the Okanogan Complex, has now grown to 231 square miles but as Wednesday morning it was 45 percent contained.

The Okanogan Complex is being managed as part of one big fire including the 146-square-mile Chelan Complex. The Chelan Complex was 55 percent contained as of Wednesday morning.

Creative Commons

Rent prices in Seattle are increasingly out of reach for many people.

As Seattle grows, the city council and the mayor want to require funding for affordable housing units with all new developments.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

More information has been made public about the mindset of the killer in the days leading up to last year’s deadly shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

Five people died, including the shooter, on October 24, 2014. One student was seriously wounded.  All were friends of the killer, Jaylen Fryberg.

In response to public records requests, investigators have released  1400 pages of the police investigation, conducted by the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team. The documents detail the chilling messages Jaylen Fryberg sent to his family and friends shortly before pulling out a gun in the school cafeteria.

Sound Transit Special Selection / Flickr

Tacoma’s municipal broadband service, Click Network, has long been a point of pride. But now city officials are wrestling with the future of Click because it’s losing cable TV customers and facing higher programming costs.

In the late 1990s, Tacoma invested heavily to create Click with the hope of spurring economic development, but it’s struggled in recent years.

photo courtesy of Nubia Guajardo

Labor groups are planning a protest on Wednesday outside the Seattle headquarters of Darigold. They say the milk-processing company's parent, the dairy farm cooperative known as the Northwest Dairy Association, needs to do more to improve employee safety after a young worker’s death earlier this year. 

Paula Wissel

Could Marysville-Pilchuck High School have done more to prevent the deadly shooting there last year? The attorney representing the victim's families says it's possible. 

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

Seattle teachers union leaders and school district officials did not meet for contract talks over the weekend, a union spokesman said, despite significant differences still dividing the two sides in negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The current deal expires late Monday night. Leaders of the Seattle Education Association have called for all 5,000 union members to meet on Thursday to vote on a tentative agreement, if there is one. If there isn't, the teachers could vote to go on strike.

Jason Brisch / Flickr

The city of Seattle will be back before a judge Tuesday over its minimum wage law, as the professional organization representing franchise businesses appeals an earlier court loss.

Seattle’s law lets small businesses raise their minimum wage more slowly, but it treats most franchises like big businesses: A chain restaurant that is independently owned has to hike its wage just as fast as one owned by corporate.

Jim Levitt

Brazilian singer Maucha Adnet and a trio of countrymen charmed the audience in McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden during July's Jazz Port Townsend. The concert was recorded for radio and will air August 30 at 2 PM Pacific on Jazz Northwest on 88.5, KPLU and kplu.org.  With Jovino Santos Neto, piano, Nilson Matta, bass and Duduka Da Fonseca, drums, Maucha Adnet presented a program she titled "Bossa Always Nova" to illustrate the continuing appeal of the Brazilian music which gained world-wide popularity in the 60s.   Blending native Brazilian music with American cool jazz, Antonio Carlos Jobim and others became world-renown for their appealing, infectious music.  Maucha Adnet toured widely with Jobim from 1984-1994.  He said Maucha Adnet's rich, dark voice made him "long for the Brazilian forest." 

Maucha Adnet is accompanied by Brazilian-born Jovino Santos Neto who has resided in Seattle since 1992 and teaches at Cornish College,  Nilson Matta and Duduka Da Fonseca are two-thirds of the Brazilian Trio Da Paz which also played  at this year's Jazz Port Townsend.   Their concert will be heard on September 27 on Jazz Northwest.  Guests Romero Lubambo, guitar and Jay Ashby, trombone, make guest appearances with Maucha Adnet in her concert.

The 41st annual Jazz Port Townsend was presented by Centrum on the last weekend of July. Jazz Northwest is recorded and produced by Jim Wilke exclusively for 88.5 KPLU and kplu.org.  Programs are archived at jazznw.org.

AP Images

There's always interesting stuff in the news that gets overshadowed by the big stories. On Sound Effect we invite a panel a journalists to talk over their nominees for under-covered story of the week.   

Joining KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer at this week's roundtable are Hannah Brooks Olsen of Seattlish, Josh Feit news editor of Seattle Met magazine and Emily Parkhurst Digital Managing Editor of the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Theft: Sound Effect, Episode 34

Aug 29, 2015
NPR

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week we're delving into tales of thievery. 

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Generally, jazz musicians who devote themselves to avant-garde and free jazz begin by working in ‘straight-ahead’ groups and then begin experiment with music concepts that are more ‘outside’.  Not so with Seattle saxophonist, Jacob Zimmerman.  In this KPLU Studio Session, he tells host, Abe Beeson, that a teacher turned him on to avant garde musicians when Jacob was in 6th grade, so he cut his teeth on adventurous artists like Anthony Braxton. But is his new album ‘Record Ban’ avant-garde?  

AP Images

Joking that he was "out of practice" in forecasting rain for the Pacific Northwest, KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass said he'd do his best in predicting substantial amounts rain and wind for the weekend.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Guitarist Lee Ritenour has been playing with pianist Dave Grusin on and off since he was a teenager in the 70s, Dave plays on much of Lee’s new album A Twist Of Rit, but they haven’t played much in a duet setting.

Brieana Ripley, KPLU

Not so long ago, before there were self-driving cars, microprocessors or even abundant electricity, the state-of-the-art technology was clockwork. Through cams and springs and gears, craftspeople were able to create precise tools, rudimentary robots and exquisite pieces of art.

Brittany Nicole Cox is one of a handful of antiquarian horologists trained to preserve and restore those objects. She does that from her Seattle workshop where, in gloves and a white lab coat, Cox gingerly removes a box from one of her vintage hardwood cabinets. It’s her specialty-within-a-specialty: A Victorian-era automaton.

photo courtesy of Alyssa Menes

People who love games – everything from ones on the computer to board games – will dominate downtown Seattle this weekend attending the convention known as PAX Prime. People there can try out brand new games, learn how to make their own, or attend panels, including one about writing music for video games.

Alyssa Menes, a young woman composer from New Jersey, is one of the panelists.   

She grew up playing classic Nintendo games from the 1980s, games such as The Legend of Zelda, Mario, and Kid Icarus, and fell in love with those tunes.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

It's not the ideal circumstance for University of Washington football players or head coach Chris Petersen. They open the 2015 season next Friday night, Sept. 4, against Petersen's very successful old team, Boise State, in Boise, on national television (ESPN).

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel said it's a challenging start to a tough season.

AP Images

New tools and new strategies are needed to fight and prevent wildfires nationwide. That was the sentiment at a field hearing held in Seattle by the U.S. Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The hearing  was convened by U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell of Washington, a Democrat, and John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican. They are collecting testimony for the Wildland Fire Management Act of 2015.

Todd Petit / Flickr

Many of the communities affected by this year's wildfires in central and eastern Washington have economies that rely heavily on tourism.

KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says once the wildfire danger has passed, people should consider taking time to visit central and eastern Washington, to inject money back into the economy.

Some places have been evacuated and suffered damage from the wildfires. But others are just in a region people have chosen to avoid, to steer clear of wildfire danger this summer.

Here are some good places to look:

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