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Zoos
2:11 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Snow leopard triplets at Woodland Park Zoo

One of the snow leopard triplets at Woodland Park
Woodland Park Zoo

Spring is in the air! First, it was a litter of endangered red wolf pups at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma. Now, Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo is announcing the arrival of three endangered, yet adorable, snow leopard cubs.

Zoo officials say the cubs were born May 2nd and are just now opening their eyes. This is the second litter for 7-year-old Helen and 6-year-old Tom. The cubs will stay secluded in their mother's den for now, but may go on public display in July.

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Environment
10:12 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Proposed dam puts Skykomish on list of ten most-endangered rivers

The proposed site for a new dam on the South Fork of the Skykomish River
Photo courtesy of Jeff Smith Save the Skykomish River

It’s designated as a State Scenic Waterway and recommended for federal protection. Yet the south fork of the Skykomish River has just been named one of the ten most endangered rivers in the country by the national environmental group, American Rivers.

It’s because of a controversial proposal to build a new dam.

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Food for Thought
4:15 am
Wed May 16, 2012

The hoagie that looked better than it was

The heartbreak of bad bread - Looked great, tasted terrible.
Nancy Leson

My Food for Thought co-conspirator Nancy Leson has been tormenting me with pics of all the great food she's been scarfing on the east coast.   What lovely schadenfreude I enjoyed upon  learning that the sandwich pictured above was awful.  The bummer was the bread.

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Politics
1:33 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Documents show agency insiders questioned Great Wolf Lodge tax exemption

"Great Wolf Lodge in southwest Washington draws families from across the region to its indoor water park."
Austin Jenkins KPLU

GRAND MOUND, Wash. - Great Wolf Resorts is a Wisconsin-based chain of indoor water parks and hotels. Four years ago, the company expanded what it calls its “paw print” to the Northwest.

It opened its first west coast property at Grand Mound, Washington south of Olympia. The state of Washington declared the resort tax exempt because Great Wolf partnered with the Chehalis Indian Tribe.

Now, Correspondent Austin Jenkins has obtained internal state documents that question that tax-free status – potentially worth tens of millions of dollars.

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Zoos
2:03 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Endangered red wolf pups born at Point Defiance Zoo

Millie's pups began arriving on Mother's Day
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

At least 6 red wolf pups have been born at Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA).

Millie, an 8-year-old, gave birth to the pups over a 30 hour period that began Sunday night. The father is 9-year-old Graham. The mother and pups are secluded in an out of view den area in the Red Wolf Woods exhibit.

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Tuition hikes
1:20 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Could rising costs put community college out of reach?

"A lot of students have to go one quarter, then stop and work to save up money to go another quarter." Daniel Jean Baptiste
Paula Wissel KPLU

 It used to be if you can't go to a four year school, go to community college.  Now, it's like what are you supposed to do if you can't go to community college?   

  Daniel Jean Baptiste, South Seattle Community College student 

Tuition will go up at the state's public two-year colleges by an average of 12 percent this fall.  For a full-time student, tuition will go from $3,542 to $4,000--a 13 percent increase.

The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges voted on the increase to help offset $110 million in state cuts to the community and technical colleges. 

Many students, already struggling to afford school, say it threatens to put higher education out of reach.

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Politics
8:51 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Great Wolf Lodge tax exemption stands despite internal doubts, court ruling

Families play in the wave pool at Great Wolf Lodge south Of Olympia.

Since the 1970s, U.S. policy toward American Indian tribes has been to encourage economic independence. Tribal casinos are probably the most visible symbol of that policy.

These days, tribes are diversifying into other businesses. In 2005, the Chehalis Indian tribe in southwest Washington partnered with a Wisconsin-based water park chain to build a destination resort. The state of Washington, in turn, granted the project tax exempt status. But now, internal state documents question whether Great Wolf Lodge really is a tribal entity and eligible for favorable tax treatment.

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Lessons learned from JPMorgan Chase's unexpected loss

The Chase Bank branch at New York City's Chrysler building
Michael Daddino flickr.com

JPMorgan Chase is the largest banking corporation in America. It stood out as a beacon of stability during the recent U.S. financial meltdown. But not anymore.

The bank shocked Wall Street last week with a $2 billion loss. More losses may be on the way.

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at some of the lessons to be learned from this surprising development.

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Humanosphere
1:30 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

How a passing comment on an old medical test won a $100K grant

Gates Grand Challenges award winner Kathleen Bongiovanni demonstrates how a simple idea may save the lives of millions of premature babies.
Tom Paulson KPLU

Earlier this week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the latest 100 winners of $100,000 grants from its Grand Challenges Exploration program aimed at supporting high-risk, creative approaches to improving health and fighting poverty in poor countries.

Celebrated for funding “wild” and “wacky” ideas, this year’s batch of Gates Grand Challenge winners included proposals to develop, as the AP reported, unmanned drones to deliver vaccines, tattoos for monitoring pregnancy and a “tuberculosis breathalyzer.”

Read more on Humanosphere.org

Gay Rights
9:38 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Governor Gregoire emerging as unlikely gay rights activist

Governor Christine Gregoire raises her arms as legislators and supporters cheer behind her after she signed into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage Feb. 13, 2012, in Olympia.
AP

OLYMPIA - Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is emerging as an unlikely gay rights activist - both at home and on the national stage. Her role in helping pass a same-sex marriage law this year has made Gregoire a sought-after spokesperson for the movement.

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Politics
6:00 am
Mon May 14, 2012

May Day vandalism: Whose anarchy is this?

May Day 2012 violence in Seattle
Erin Hennessey

Weeks have passed since the May Day protests, but Seattle police are still asking for help identifying the individuals who damaged property. The violence was largely attributed to people who've been called anarchists. So what is anarchy anyway?

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Artscape
4:58 am
Mon May 14, 2012

At Seattle Opera, "Madama Butterfly" features a 39-pound non-diva

Patricia Racette as Cio-Cio San and Gabriella Mercado as her son in Seattle Opera's "Madama Butterfly."
Elise Bakketun

"Madama Butterfly” is a story about love, heartbreak and sacrifice and it’s beloved by opera fans worldwide.

It’s the current production at Seattle Opera. The cast features superstar soprano Patricia Racette, who has played the role at least 100 times, including at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

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Color Run
4:07 pm
Sun May 13, 2012

Color Run: A colorful day in Seattle

Color cloud rises in front of the Space Needle.
Evan Hoover KPLU

"I was so distracted by all the happy people and color," says runner Sofia Jaramillo. "It didn't even feel like a run just an all around good time."

Thousands of excited runners and walkers gathered as a plain white canvas at the Seattle Center Sunday morning awaiting to enter a sea of color.

The first wave of 1,000 participants took off at approximately 8:30am followed by five more waves every five minutes for Seattle’s first Color Run.

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Jazz Northwest
1:00 pm
Sun May 13, 2012

New releases by Northwest jazz talents

Dee Daniels, who's singing at the Grand Opening of Bake's Place, Bellevue this weekend.

The Pacific Northwest is blessed with outstanding jazz talent from Portland to Vancouver, BC and this week on Jazz Northwest we'll feature some new releases by some of them.  Former Seattle resident Dee Daniels now divides her time between New York and Vancouver, BC.  This weekend she's featured at the Grand Opening of the new Bake's Place, Bellevue through Sunday.  Human Spirit, with Thomas Marriott, Mark Taylor, Matt Jorgensen and guests Orrin Evans and Essiet Essiet has a new CD recorded at Tula's during last Fall's Earshot Festival.  

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Job Market
6:13 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

High demand for women in trades

"They're actually paying you to come learn something," says Rayna Lorraine, an ironworker apprentice who earns $36/hour plus benefits after 3 years of training. A new apprentice can start at $25/ hour.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

If the skyrocketing cost of a college degree seems intimidating, you might want to consider the skilled trades as an alternative – especially if you’re female.

That was the message at the Washington Women in Trades annual career fair at Seattle Center, where dozens of employers aimed to recruit young women, enticing them with the chance to try their hand as a carpenter, painter or steelworker.

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