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healthcare controversy
12:18 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Survey: Will politics tip the scale in high court's healthcare ruling?

The U.S. Supreme Court
The Associated Press

As potentially millions of people collectively held their breath, again, Monday morning waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the fate of Obama’s health care reform, one of the many questions lingering in the air is will the justices keep their politics out of the decision? (Update: The court did not issue its ruling Monday and will likely do so on Thursday.)

And, we must also wonder: Will Americans keep their politics out of their assessments of whatever the court decides, when it does? (Warning, this is a “Take our survey” story … see below.)

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Sports
10:05 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Title Nine turns 40 tomorrow

The federal law that is famous for elevating women’s place in collegiate sports marks its 40th anniversary tomorrow. But Title Nine isn’t just about athletics. It was designed to focus on the overall success of girls and women in school.

For the story, please hit the listen button above.

Weather with Cliff Mass
9:17 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Rain for sure, says Cliff Mass, but summer rain is different

Ah, summer rain can be delightful ... but, like it or not, we're in for it.
Minnae Flickr

You can watch out not only for rain showers, but perhaps even some thunder showers on Friday, says Cliff Mass, the KPLU weather expert and professor of Atmospheric Sciences at UW.

If you're planning ahead, he says in this week's podcast, Friday afternoon will get the worst of it, with Saturday slightly less, and Sunday tapering off more and warming up a few degrees.

And, if you're wondering, When will the water at our beaches be warm enough to get in?... Mass has some bad news. The early part of summer is when winds conspire to create "upwelling" along much of the Pacific coast, and that makes the water get colder.

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I Wonder Why ... ?
4:30 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Why do so many park the wrong way in Seattle?

Mary Mitchell, a supervisor for Seattle parking enforcement, says it's illegal ... but they don't get too worked up about it.
Ashley Gross KPLU

I just moved here from Chicago, and there’s one thing that has been bugging me – the way people park.

In some ways, Seattleites seem to really follow the rules. People don’t jaywalk, for instance. So why do so many people park on the wrong side of the street?

In my neighborhood in West Seattle, near Alki Beach, cars are parked higgledy-piggledy. Nose to nose, tail to tail. The streets are really narrow, and traffic runs in both directions, so I can understand the temptation to just zip into an empty spot, no matter which side of the street it’s on.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Sounders hope to break winless streak in Portland rivalry match

Fightin' words: Sounders fans cheer during a match against the Portland Timbers May 14, 2011, in Seattle. The sign shown refers to an Oregon law that requires gas station attendants, rather than motorists, to pump gas.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders limp into Portland Sunday for a big rivalry match against the Timbers. They're experiencing their longest winless streak since their expansion year of 2009.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Sounders need an attitude adjustment if they hope to beat Portland and move one step closer to the coveted Cascadia Cup.

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Environment
4:33 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Water quality improving for Puget Sound shellfish

Recreational shellfish hunters are finding more areas open in Puget Sound.
zenobia_joy Photo Flickr

Good news for those who love local oysters and clams: the state Department of Health says there’s been a steady improvement in water quality for nearly a decade, leading to fewer closures of shellfish beds in Puget Sound.

The key measure is of fecal coliform bacteria, which lives in human and animal waste. Runoff from farms and leaky sewage systems carries the bacteria and contaminates shellfish beds. People who eat the polluted shellfish can get sick.

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health insurance
3:36 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Health insurers must give rebates to 5,000 Washington residents

Nearly 5,000 Washington residents are getting rebates on their health insurance, courtesy of the new federal health law.

If you bought an individual health plan from an out-of-state company called Time Insurance, then you should be getting money back. The plans are sold under the brand, Assurant Health. The company sells primarily high-deductible health coverage.

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Facebook and the markets
3:31 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

IPO life ... after Facebook's kerflop

Poster Boy Flickr

"It sucked the air out of the room."

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been a month since Facebook's IPO fell flat and in that time, the market for initial public offerings has collapsed.

No company has gone public since May 18, compared with 19 in the same period a year ago. Fourteen offerings have been withdrawn or delayed, according to Dealogic.

There are no public offerings scheduled this week. Of course, thanks to the European debt crisis, financial markets haven't been terribly conducive to IPOs. Still, venture capitalists say the fallout from Facebook's rocky IPO is making companies — especially those in the technology sector — cautious about going public.

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College education costs
1:31 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Student protesters run into police trouble on Capitol Hill

In this screen grab from the video shot by someone with the #MicCheckWallStreet protesters, Seattle police officers make an arrest.

An increase in the number of people protesting with the student group #MicCheckWallStreet last night on Capital Hill brought an increase in police presence with it.

And, not long after more than 80 people took to the streets to “peacefully” protest the rising costs of a college education, according to one organizer, the gathering turned hostile when a single arrest was made.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:00 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Preview: Sounders slump into Cascadia Cup rivalry with Timbers

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins leaps in the air at right after knocking away a shot by the Seattle Sounders in the second half of a match on May 14, 2011, in Seattle. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Ted S. Warren AP

The Seattle Sounders are winless in their last six Major League Soccer matches, playing to a 1-1 draw Wednesday night against Sporting Kansas City at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

That's not the best record to bring into a heated regional rivalry with the Portland Timbers on Sunday, as both team vie for the coveted Cascadia Cup.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel will have more on this tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

Public policy
11:30 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Seattle Parks allows breast-cancer survivor to swim without top

Jodi Jaecks is shown in this screen grab talking about the Seattle Parks and Recreation's decision with KOMO 4.

A breast-cancer survivor has won the right to swim without a top in Seattle’s public pools. 

Jodi Jaecks has been seeking permission to swim topless since February, saying swim tops irritated the scars from her double mastectomy.  The Seattle Times reports the city put off her request for months but made a decision yesterday after The Stranger reported her story

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Seattle schools
8:10 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Advertising will be allowed in Seattle schools

The Seattle School Board voted Wednesday night to allow some commercial advertising on school grounds.

The vote reverses a ban that was imposed in 2004.

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Politics
5:00 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Record turnout expected at Pride Parade; Gregoire is grand marshal

Elsie Esq. KPLU

Seattle's 38th annual Pride Parade is coming up this Sunday. The parade usually draws big crowds, but with a referendum on same-sex marriage on the November ballot, parade organizers are expecting a record turnout.

"I think we’re going to see an increase this year, especially with the marriage referendum out there," says Adam Rosencrantz, the board president of Seattle Out and Proud, the group hosting the parade. "People are going to come out and support us and show their excitement."

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu June 21, 2012

No more pencils, no more books

School's Out!
ChrisM70 Flickr

It all began in 1635 in Boston—the nation’s first public school, the Boston Latin School. There were only 9 students enrolled back then, but they had the distinction of enjoying the very first summer vacation. That got us thinking about school-day songs, and we found that there are more songs about the end of school than about school itself.

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Health insurance
2:18 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Regence BlueShield seeks insurance rate increase

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Just over a week after the state insurance commissioner said that Regence BlueShield was sitting on record surpluses, the insurance company is asking the state to approve rate increases on people who buy insurance for themselves.

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