Noemie Maxwell

The deed that landed Paul Rivers in jail for the rest of his life wasn’t a murder, it was stealing $330 from an espresso stand in Seattle’s University District. It was his third felony under Washington’s three strikes law.

That was back in 1993. He was 21 years old. After more than two decades in prison Rivers said, "I am no longer a threat to society.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

Seattle Public Schools negotiators offered to attach a pay increase onto a plan to lengthen the school day for students during talks with the district's striking school employees this weekend, bending to a union demand that has been a stumbling block in talks on a new teacher contract.

Jim Levitt

Violinist Regina Carter demonstrated her varied training and experience during her concert at this Summer's Jazz Port Townsend, presented by Centrum.  The concert ,which will air exclusively on 88.5 KPLU and on Sunday September 13 at 2 PM Pacific, includes standards and blues, African music and an original by her drummer Alvester Garnett.  Also joining Regina Carter in this concert are pianist Benny Green and bassist John Clayton.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

The full negotiating teams for Seattle Public Schools and the district's striking teachers union will resume talks on a new contract this weekend, bringing the two sides back to the bargaining table for the first time in more than three days.

The announcement Friday afternoon comes after the third full day of a strike that's kept more than 53,000 students out of school since Wednesday and ends a stalemate in the negotiations.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle teachers strike is now in its third day, and it’s stirring up memories for people who lived through past strikes, especially 35 miles north of Seattle in Marysville, which set a state record for the longest teacher walkout.

Tim Durkan Photography

You may have heard that predicting the weather in the Pacific Northwest is especially difficult. 

KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says that may have been the case in past decades. But the truth now is, it’s not.

"In fact, that’s one of the great fantasies of the weather world: that somehow it’s really hard to predict here, the skill is much less than other places, because of the big Pacific," Mass said. "That’s, in fact, not true."

An Ocean's Influence

Stephen Brashear / AP Photo

The Seahawks begin their regular season Sunday against the Rams in St. Louis. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel expects great things from the team this season, just not right away.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

Negotiators for both the Seattle teachers union and the school district dug in their heels on Thursday as each side painted the other as unwilling to return to the bargaining table to negotiate a new teacher contract.

The stalemate will once again close Seattle Public Schools on Friday, extending into a third day a teachers strike that's keeping 53,000 students out of classes.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

There’s a new twist in the legal battle over the city of SeaTac’s $15 minimum wage ordinance. Alaska Airlines and other businesses are now asking the Washington Supreme Court to reverse its recent opinion, in which five of nine justices ruled that SeaTac’s minimum wage applies to workers at Sea-Tac International Airport.

The plaintiffs list a number of reasons why the court should reconsider, including their argument that SeaTac's minimum wage ordinance conflicts with federal labor law because the city law tries to do too much.

Courtesy Beth Whitman


In the middle of a 7,000-mile motorcycle trip from Seattle to Panama, Beth Whitman found herself stuck along the Guatemalan border. 

Other pople flowed freely in both directions across the line between the two countries. But not for Whitman. For some reason, the guards were not letting her into Guatemala.

And she was by herself.

"I sat for an hour, angry that they weren't letting me through with just a signature," she said. 

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

  Seattle's teachers strike will cancel classes for a second day on Thursday, and it remains unclear when union and district teams will return to negotiations on a new teacher contract.

Both sides expressed a desire to resume talks as teachers walked picket lines in front of school buildings across Seattle, which were closed to the district's 53,000 students on what was supposed to be the first regular day of classes Wednesday.

But union officials disputed Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman Stacy Howard's characterization that "all indicators show negotiations will resume" on Thursday.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Trumpeter, composer and multiple Grammy-winner, Terence Blanchard, has got a brand new bag—and a brand new album.

AP Images

Aficionados of beer have known for some time the unique styles and flavors of Northwest craft brews.  It’s no longer a local secret. This week, an international beer conference is coming to Seattle.  It’s the first time the meeting has been held outside Europe. 

Same Day Pickles!

Sep 9, 2015
Nancy Leson

Not all pickles take weeks of slow fermentation in a dark, cool cellar.  Lots can be made and enjoyed within hours.  In this week's Food for Thought Nancy Leson tells of two she recently put up and enjoyed that evening. 

One's from right around here in Renee Erickson's A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus, the other from Japan in Preserving the Japanese Way by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

I'm definitely making both.  And now, so can you.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

Seattle teachers union members will go on strike for the first time since 1985 on Wednesday, a move that cancels what was supposed to be the first regular day of classes for the roughly 53,000 students in Washington's largest school district.

Unable to resolve their differences over how much to pay educators, district proposals to lengthen the school day and a union push to limit standardized testing, union leaders ended negotiations on a new teacher contract without an agreement around 6 p.m. Tuesday night.

Paula Wissel

Replacing aging bridges and re-paving major arterials are two things a Seattle levy on this year’s ballot promises to do.  Seattle Proposition 1 would put $930 million into transportation projects over the next 9 years.  It's a replacement, of sorts, for Seattle's Bridging the Gap levy, which is expiring. However, the new property tax measure will cost homeowners more than the old one did.

Vance for Senate Campaign

Longtime Washington U.S. Senator Patty Murray has drawn a Republican challenger. Former GOP Chair Chris Vance says he plans to focus on issues like the national debt. Vance formally announced his 2016 run Tuesday.

Vance launched his campaign with a video announcement and a promise to be a different kind of candidate.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

A network of donors will step up if necessary to keep Washington state's nine charter schools open through the school year, a leading charter advocate said Tuesday, even if public dollars stop flowing in the wake of a state Supreme Court decision voiding Washington's charter school law.

Tom Franta, who heads the Washington State Charter Schools Association, said his organization has reached out to a network of something like 50 donors — whom Franta declined to identify — that can help cover the estimated $14 million necessary to cover all nine schools' operating costs through the end of the year.

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Chethan Shankar

Tourists visiting the Space Needle on Labor Day will see workers out picketing, as the unionized workforce at the Space Needle continues to put pressure on the private owners of Seattle’s iconic landmark. 

The labor dispute has been going on for years. The workers are represented by Unite Here Local 8, and their union has been pushing for a contract with protections against outsourcing of jobs.

Jim Wilke / KPLU

One of the main features of Jazz Northwest is regular location recordings wherever jazz is performed around the region, whether jazz clubs, concerts, festivals, museums or living rooms.  On September 6, JNW visits several locations with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra at Kirkland Performance Center, Mel Brown's Organ Quartet at the Britt Festival in Oregon, Jay Thomas and the Cantaloupes at Seattle Art Museum, and Ralph Towner and Denney Goodhew playing at Cornish College in 1991. 

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.  

Ashley Gross / KPLU

The death of a dairy farm worker in February is prompting a push for tougher safety laws and labor groups are asking the milk cooperative, Darigold, to meet to talk about improvements that can be made to protect workers. 

Winslow Townson / AP Photo

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is calling for the ouster of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, after a federal judge ruled he mishandled the Deflategate controversy.

The judge Thursday overturned Goodell’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over deflated balls in the AFC championship game last season.

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 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.