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Education
5:00 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Seattle finds "virtual" band-aid after axing summer school

As Seattle Public Schools begin their final week of classes, the district is turning to technology to rescue some summer school programs it cut last year. SPS will offer online courses at Franklin and possibly another high school, and three others plan to extend their school-year virtual learning into the summer. Cleveland and Rainier Beach high schools will have limited classroom programming.

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Artscape
4:44 am
Mon June 18, 2012

At ACT, an edgy and provocative production about inmates

Ray Tagavilla (l) as a prison guard and Dumi as Lucius Jenkins in Azeotrope's production of "Jesus Hopped the A Train" at Seattle's ACT Theatre.
Jessica Martin

On stage at ACT Theater is a play about two inmates and their different outlooks on life. One man is on Death Row and has found God. The other is facing attempted murder charges and has lost faith.

The play is called "Jesus Hopped the A Train." It was written by Stephen Adly Guirgis and world premiered in New York in 2000.

Now it's in Seattle, in a production by a Seattle company called Azeotrope that thrives on material that's edgy and provocative.

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Jazz Northwest
1:00 pm
Sun June 17, 2012

Human Spirit at the Ballard Jazz Walk

Human Spirit at Conor Byrne
Daniel Sheehan

Human Spirit with guest Orrin Evans, piano, Thomas Marriott, trumpet, Mark Taylor, alto sax, Phil Sparks, bass, and Matt Jorgensen, drums played the annual Ballard Jazz Walk in April and the performance was recorded for Jazz Northwest.  On this program, the group is heard in a complete set from Conor Byrne in Ballard playing selections from their new CD "Dialogue" recently issued by Origin Records.  The program airs Sunday June 17 at 1 PM PDT on 88.5 KPLU and is streamed at kplu.org

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seismic surveys
2:40 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Endangered orcas cause delays for major earthquake research

The R/V Langseth uses sonar to study earthquake faults
Columbia University/Earth Institute

Updated 6/18/12, with comments and links from whale advocates.

An expensive science mission off the Washington and Oregon coasts has been scaled back, at least for now, out of concern for orca whales. A research ship is using blasts of sound to create maps of a major earthquake fault, which is considered the greatest tsunami risk along the U.S. Pacific coast.

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Coast Guard
11:39 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Icebreaker Polar Sea to live on in Seattle, for now

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Sea coming into home port in Seattle in 2004.
The Associated Press

The Coast Guard has postponed plans to scrap the Seattle-based icebreaker Polar Sea this year.

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Environment
10:50 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Puget Sound Energy target of 'Beyond Coal' campaign

Eastern Montana's Colstrip Power Project is the single largest power-generating facility PSE owns. Coal comprises about 35% of PSE's energy portfolio.

The Pacific Northwest has made headlines for its efforts to become the first coal-free region in the United States. Washington’s last coal-fired power plant, in Centralia, is scheduled to be shut down by 2025.

Yet one of the region’s largest utilities still derives more than a third of its power from coal.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
8:57 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Sunshine! Then some rain, and then ... more changes

rishibando Flickr

Just one day of glory is all we get, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. The clouds roll in tonight, at least around most of western Washington, followed by periods of rain tomorrow.

The sun will still be shining over Portland on Saturday, and east of the Cascades, says Mass, a UW professor of Atmospheric Sciences.

The changes are all typical of June, he says, and by the middle of next week, we'll likely flip back to a few days of sunshine.

This week's interview also covers how to "read" the clouds and tell if rain is on the way.

 

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I Wonder Why ... ?
4:30 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Why are there so many serial killers in the Northwest?

Northwest serial killers (clockwise): Ted Bundy, Gary Ridgway, Robert Lee Yates, Westley Allan Dodd, Kenneth Bianchi, and Robert Pickton.

From Ted Bundy to Gary Ridgway, some of the most notorious murderers in our nation’s history committed their crimes in the Northwest.

While we may not have the most serial killers, we’ve certainly got that reputation. And that got us to wondering: Why are there so many serial killers in the Northwest?

Read the story on "I Wonder Why ...?"

Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Seattle arena PR campaign, opposition intensifying

Supporters of the proposed NBA arena sign up at Thursday's rally in downtown Seattle.
Lindsay Lowe KPLU

The revelation of big local backers. A huge fan rally. A high-profile meeting with the commissioner of the NBA. It all happened this week as supporters of the Seattle arena proposal get ready for key city and county committee hearings next week.

The opposition is heating up as well.

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youth and tobacco
5:55 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

The kids are still smoking, and we're not doing much about it

“It’s worth recognizing that just about nobody takes up smoking after age 25. And something like 9 of 10 adults who smoke say they started before 18."
Anthony Posey Flickr

Youth smoking is re-emerging as a concern in Washington. The US Surgeon General came to Seattle this week to give a pep talk to anti-smoking campaigners, who are coping with three years of drastic budget cuts.

If it seems like smoking is already on a perpetual decline, that's a mis-perception, said assistant Surgeon General Patrick O’Carroll, in an interview:

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NBA arena
4:30 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Hundreds rally in support of NBA arena in Seattle; intensity building

Two University of Washington students came out to support Seattle's proposed NBA arena.
Lindsay Lowe KPLU

The level of intensity around the proposal to build a new NBA arena in Seattle is growing by the minute.

The group of investors – which we learned yesterday includes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and the Nordstrom family – drew hundreds to a "bring back our Sonics" rally in Pioneer Square today. It was a well-timed event to put pressure on the Seattle City Council and King County Council to back the deal.

“This is a very carefully orchestrated PR campaign," says KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. "At the same time, the old Sonics – the Thunder – are in the NBA Finals this week. The angst could not be more intense in Seattle among sports fans who care about this because their 41-year passion is being thrown back in their face, mocked by the Thunder’s presence in the league’s championship series.”

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Puget Sound Environment
2:55 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Algae bloom on Puget Sound 'more intense' this year

This is probably the more intense Noctiluca bloom we’ve seen in central Puget Sound, according to the Department of Ecology.
Department of Ecology

If you’ve taken a ferry across Puget Sound recently, you may have wondered if someone dumped out cans of tomato soup in the water. Some have worried there's been an oil spill.

Large levels of algae called Noctiluca are visible in Puget Sound and people sailing on the water are noticing. The Washington State Department of Ecology says they are getting more worried calls this year.

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Drug bust - sort of
12:00 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Update: 7 arrested in DEA raids in Grays Harbor; wrong home hit

The U.S. attorney's office in Seattle says seven people were arrested Wednesday in six raids led by a Drug Enforcement Administration task force on suspected methamphetamine smugglers on the Quinault Indian Reservation and other rural parts of Grays Harbor County.

During the raids, agents and officers broke down the door on the wrong home. The resident told KBKW she was taking a shower when armed agents broke in and forced her outside in a bath robe.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:00 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Preview: A hit with fans, Seattle arena deal goes under council scrutiny next week

Investor Chris Hansen, right, shakes hands with Seattle SuperSonics supporters Kris "Sonics Guy" Brannon, center, and David Brown after a memorandum of understanding was signed in an effort to bring the NBA back to Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

A planned rally for Sonics fans at 4 p.m. today in Occidental Park is perhaps taking on even more significance, with word this week that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and two members of the Nordstrom family are among the investors behind the plan to bring the Sonics back to Seattle with a proposed new arena.

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emergency response
9:42 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Emergency crews pushing for more heart-shockers in office buildings

A public AED in a King County office building. Health officials want more of these in office buildings all over. Photo by Keith Seinfeld

How many ways do you know to save someone who's dying?

A good first step is to call 911. If the person's heart has stopped, then it's time for CPR. And, third on your list might be the AED, or automatic external defibrillator.

Emergency responders are hoping this electronic heart-shocking device will become a standard part of the workplace.

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