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Swimming Upstream
5:00 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Part 1: Adult Chinook In The Pacific Ocean Prepare For Long Journey Home

A salmon jumps in the Pacific Ocean.
Justin Steyer KPLU

Editor's Note: Fifteen years ago, Puget Sound salmon were listed under the Endangered Species Act. Despite the billions of dollars spent on recovery since, the results remain mixed. Some runs are seeing record returns while others are facing one of their worst years ever.

To learn more about the challenges of salmon recovery, this series follows one Chinook run from the open ocean to Puget Sound, through the Ballard Locks, past Renton and finally home to native spawning grounds on the Cedar River.

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Public Health
5:55 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

King County Clinic Gets Reprieve, But Cloud Still Hangs Over Public Health Budget

The Greenbridge clinic in White Center will stay open, at least for the next couple of years, thanks to help from Seattle and Planned Parenthood.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

A King County public health clinic slated for closure is getting a bailout, but three more clinics remain on the line as the health department confronts a big budget shortfall.

The public health clinic at White Center has been on borrowed time this year, along with clinics in Auburn, Bothell and Federal Way. Now the city of Seattle is proposing to kick in $400,000 to keep it open. Public Health Seattle & King County will continue providing WIC services and other support for new mothers, but will turn its family planning services there over to Planned Parenthood.

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Business
4:59 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

How Seattle's Mayor Plans To Enforce The Minimum Wage

A supporter of Seattle's increased minimum wage carries a sign outside city hall.

With the passage of a complicated minimum wage law in Seattle, officials want to ensure the law is easily understood.  The mayor is proposing a new office called the Office of Labor Standards, that would serve as a clearinghouse for information and enforcement.

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Labor Law
12:13 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Hockey Inquiry Turns On Whether Players Are 'Student Athletes' Or Workers

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries says it can't disclose at this time whose complaint spurred it to open the hockey investigation. The affected teams are the Seattle Thunderbirds, Everett Silvertips, Tri-City Americans and Spokane Chiefs. Their players fall between 16 and 20 years old. Labor and Industries agency spokesman Matthew Erlich says 16 and 17 year olds are covered by child labor laws.

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BirdNote
9:00 am
Mon September 15, 2014

The Pungent Mudflat

Credit Tom Grey

  On the shore of a saltwater bay, the tide goes out, revealing a broad expanse of dark, glistening mudflat. Mudflats are rich in nutrients, such as decomposing organic matter and minerals. Far from wastelands, mudflats also support a bounty of life including vast quantities of tiny snails and clams, worms, crustaceans, larvae, and much more. Millions of shorebirds - including these Lesser (right) and Greater (left) Yellowlegs - follow shorelines and their mudflats each spring and fall, where they feast upon those tiny creatures hidden beneath the mud's surface, a banquet that powers the birds' continent-spanning migrations.

Artscape
5:00 am
Mon September 15, 2014

'Panama Hotel Jazz' Music Project Tells Story Of The Historic Seattle Landmark

This early picture of the hotel was photographed in 1929. The building still maintains much of the original sturcture.
Courtesy of Jan Johnson, the 3rd owner of the Panama Hotel

The muse behind Steve Grigg’s musical project is a brick, six-story, century-old building that stands in what used to be Seattle’s Japantown.

The Panama Hotel, on the corner of Sixth and Main, remains a working hotel. But the historic building is also a time capsule. It features belongings left behind by Japanese Americans who were forced into internment camps during World War II.

Griggs’ project, called “Panama Hotel Jazz,” weaves in music with narration to tell the story about the incarceration of Japanese and Japanese Americans in 1942.

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Subsidized Housing
5:00 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Seattle Public Housing Residents Face The Possibility Of Big Rent Hikes

Many residents of public housing in Seattle are facing the possibility of steep rent hikes. They’ll have a chance this week at two public hearings to voice their concerns about the Seattle Housing Authority’s plan.

Seattle Housing Authority provides subsidized housing for about 13,000 low-income households. The agency sets the rent at 30 percent of the tenant’s income. But now, SHA is proposing to raise rent every couple of years. By the sixth year, it would have jumped more than fivefold. People with disabilities, the elderly and people under the age of 24 would be exempt.

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Youth & Education
5:00 am
Mon September 15, 2014

How Seattle's Involvement In Education Is Unique Among Cities

Mayor Ed Murray pictured prior to his election in 2013.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Like in many cities around the country, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says he isn't interested in running the local public school district, but he is interested in how well the city's children do in school.

It's why Murray will propose to roll several youth-focused programs into one new city-level education department when he submits his budget proposal to the Seattle City Council next week.

But unlike other cities where the mayor's office doesn't control the local school district, Murray directs the spending of millions of city dollars on Seattle Public Schools. That's a unique niche for a mayor, policy experts say, and Murray's proposed Department of Education and Early Learning only deepens it.

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Jazz Northwest
3:00 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

All-Star Tribute To George Cables From Jazz Port Townsend

Benny Green, Dawn Clement, Geoffrey Keezer, George Cables, Anthony Wilson
Jim Levitt

Pianist and composer George Cables was celebrated in a special concert at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend last July, and the concert was recorded for broadcast. A perennial favorite at the festival and the Jazz Workshop each summer, George Cables teaches students, plays trio jazz in the clubs and often appears on the festival mainstage where this concert was recorded.  Three pianists, Geoffrey Keezer, Benny Green and Dawn Clement take solo turns playing compositions by George Cables, and guitarist Anthony Wilson also contributes a piece associated with George Cables.

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BirdNote
9:00 am
Sun September 14, 2014

The Golden Eagles Of Ireland

Credit H20 Alchemist - Flickr CC

  Golden Eagles were once revered as a symbol of wisdom and power by the ancient druids in Ireland. But the Golden Eagle’s voice was not heard in Ireland for most of the Twentieth Century. In the spring of 2007, a Golden Eagle pair hatched a chick for the first time since 1912, in Glenveagh National Park, in the far northwest of the Republic of Ireland. As of 2014, three pairs are nesting in the park. The partnership that brought these eagles to Glenveagh includes not only conservation groups but also local sheep farmers and surrounding communities, which hope to bring the tradition of the Golden Eagle back to Ireland.

BirdNote
9:00 am
Sat September 13, 2014

The Greatest Bird Rescue Ever

Credit Adrian Pingstone

  On June 23, 2000, the "MV Treasure" iron ore tanker sank off the coast of South Africa, covering 19,000 adult African Penguins in oil. Fortunately, thousands of volunteers arrived to help. The oily birds were moved to Cape Town to be cleaned. Another 19,500 penguins that escaped the oil were released at sea, 600 miles to the east. It took those birds nearly three weeks to swim back home, allowing workers time to clean up the oil-fouled waters and beaches.

Native History
4:36 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Missing Section Of Nez Perce Trail Holds Little-Known Part Of History

Ruth Wapato of Spokane is the granddaughter of one of the members of the Nez Perce Tribe who fought alongside Chief Joseph in 1877.
Jessica Robinson

The story most people learn about the Nez Perce Tribe and the capture of Chief Joseph doesn't tell the whole history. 

Now the federal government and Northwest tribes are trying to fix that with a new historic site.

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Higher Education
12:39 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

WSU Board Approves New Medical School In Spokane

An existing building on WSU’s Spokane campus would be used for the university’s proposed new medical school. WSU faculty already teach University of Washington students here through a collaborative agreement between the universities.

Washington State University's Board of Regents unanimously approved a plan Friday to establish a medical school in Spokane. It has the potential to generate 120 new doctors every year in the Northwest. But the move also tees up a fight between Washington's two largest public universities.

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Ethics Board Ruling
12:24 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Washington Lt. Governor Agrees To $15K Ethics Fine

FILE - Lt. Gov. Brad Owen bangs the gavel as he conducts business in the Senate chamber on the first day of the 2014 session of the Washington state Legislature, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at the Capitol in Olympia, Washington.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Washington Lt. Governor Brad Owen has agreed to a $15,000 ethics fine. The settlement announced Friday stems from the five-term Democrat’s use of state resources to operate a nonprofit with his wife.

The ethics investigation concluded that Owen used his office and staff to help run Strategies for Youth, a nonprofit that went around to schools, performing concerts with an anti-bullying message.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:56 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Mass: 'Perfect Viewing Conditions' For Northern Lights This Weekend

The Aurora Borealis is seen in Yellowknife, Canada in August 2012.
Doug Mahugh

We may get a rare treat this weekend. There’s a real chance we might catch the Northern Light in western Washington, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“Perfect viewing conditions,” Mass said. “The skies are not only clear but they’re dry. The viewing is good; the big question is whether we will actually see them.”

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