News

Michael Morrison

A winter morning in Oaxaca, Mexico - a great time to visit old friends who spent the summer in the United States.

Yellow-rumped Warblers and Western Tanagers - northern summer-nesters that winter in western Mexico - mingle with resident Berylline Hummingbirds, Gray Silky-Flycatchers, and this Crescent-chested Warbler.

Purchasing shade-grown coffee can help our neotropical migrants.

AP Photo

 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is due to be briefed on a report detailing the disappearance of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Alliance Defending Freedom

 

A closely-watched court case dealing with whether religious business-owners must provide services to gay couples is headed to oral arguments Friday in Kennewick, Washington.

Barronelle Stutzman said she was following her religious convictions in 2013 when she declined to do the flower arrangements for a gay couple’s wedding.

The state of Washington said she was violating state consumer protection laws.

Kurion

 

An environmental cleanup company with engineering headquarters in Richland, Washington has just flown its second water treatment system to Japan with a massive plane.

It’s intended to treat thousands of gallons of radioactive water leaking from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.

Joseph Kennedy

The shallow waters and wide mudflats of the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary are alive with thousands of gulls, terns, and shorebirds. American Avocets are often among the most abundant birds on the flats, with 5,000 or more here most winters.

The avocets have sensitive bills that curve upward. As they wade, they sweep their heads back and forth and snap up the tiny crustaceans that touch their bills. This tactile feeding method is unique among the birds here.

The Bolivar Peninsula is famous for its big flocks of water birds and for concentrations of migrating songbirds. Both National Audubon and American Bird Conservancy have designated it an Important Bird Area, or IBA. Why not plan a visit?

Creative Commons

The Northwest business that has investors buzzing right now is the Seattle biotech company Juno Therapeutics. It’s going public Friday morning and hopes the IPO will raise more than $200 million. It will trade on the Nasdaq under JUNO.

Juno Therapeutics specializes in immunotherapies to treat leukemia and lymphoma. This involves taking a person’s T-cells, the ones that fight infections in our bodies, and reengineering them to become stronger.

Seattle Police Department

Seattle police will soon have new uniforms and a pilot project on body cameras is about to begin.

The two-tone light and dark blue uniform will be replaced with a solid dark blue outfit, which will also bear an updated patch.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

Garfield High School's administration submitted a staffing plan to Seattle Public Schools Thursday that's strategically designed to prevent a teacher from moving out of the building for the second half of the school year, according to a leader of the school's PTSA.

District officials had asked the school's administrators to identify the equivalent of one full-time teacher who would move to another school at the end of the first semester. They said Garfield High School's final enrollment numbers came in well short of predicted levels and the teacher is needed elsewhere.

But instead of identifying one teacher, Garfield High School PTSA co-president Kirk Wohlers said the school named five teachers who could each leave the school for one class period each.

Nigel Pacquette / Wikimedia Commons

 

Northwest farmers and orchardists are among the potential beneficiaries if the U.S. and Cuba normalize their relationship and the trade embargo ends.

They're among many still trying to sort out what President Obama's announcement Wednesday of changes in Cuba policy could mean for them.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

"It is time to reinvest in Washington," Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday. 

Misa Shikuma / U.S. Women and Cuban Colaboration

Northwest organizations with ties to Cuba are thrilled the U.S. and the island nation are talking. However, these groups are still trying to figure out what this means for the work they do.

One example is the U.S. Women and Cuba Collaboration. Its co-founder is Cindy Domingo, a longtime Seattle activist. For the last 10 years, she has led groups of women from the U.S. to Cuba.

Photo courtesy of Ian Tuttle.

Photographer Ian Tuttle was driving when he saw three backpackers resting under a tree near the Pacific Crest Trail in California.

He pulled over. Did they need water or a ride somewhere? Maybe a beer? Just the beer, the hikers told him. And so Tuttle ended up spending the next hour with them, talking over beers and taking their photos.

BirdNote: Freeway Hawks

Dec 18, 2014
Mike Hamilton

Driving the freeway or a narrow country road, you may glance up at a light pole where a large hawk sits in plain view.

If it's brown and somewhat mottled, and its small head and short tail make it appear football-shaped, it's probably a Red-tailed Hawk.

During winter, many Red-tailed Hawks move south, joining year-round residents.  

Franklin Reyes / AP Photo

As U.S. moves to restore ties with Cuba, Americans will shed some of the travel restrictions that effectively put the country out of reach for 50 years, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Gov. Jay Inslee says it’s time to make polluters pay for carbon emissions. He’s proposed a cap-and-trade system that he says will raise a billion dollars a year while helping the state drastically reduce its contribution to global warming. 

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