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May Day protests
5:20 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Mayor: Safety trumped vandalism in May Day response

All that remained of May Day protests around Westlake Center on Wednesday were a few boarded up windows and lingering questions around why the violence had to break out when the vast majority of demonstrators were peaceful.
Erin Hennessey KPLU

City leaders in Seattle are thankful there were no serious injuries yesterday – only property damage. Mayor Mike McGinn says he regrets the vandalism, but he says officer safety and the safety of bystanders were his highest priorities.

The mayor and his police chief held a show-and-tell news conference today to highlight the variety of weapons they confiscated during the May Day demonstrations.

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Right to die
4:45 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

70 people die in Washington through lethal prescriptions

OLYMPIA, Wash. — At least 70 people died in Washington last year after requesting and taking a lethal prescription through Washington's Death with Dignity law, the Department of Health reported Wednesday.

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May Day protests
1:40 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Mayor's home vandalized; emergency measures lifted; May Day fallout begins

A protester is struck druing May Day marches in Seattle.
Evan Hoover KPLU

With dozens of big, expensive windows smashed in downtown Seattle, eight arrests and reports that rocks were thrown through windows at Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn's home last night, the fallout from yesterday's May Day rallies and protests is just beginning to take shape.

This morning the mayor announced that all emergency measures put in place to respond to the rolling violence and anti-capitalist protests that paralyzed downtown have been lifted.

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Seattle superheroes
1:06 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

May Day in Seattle got weird as 'superheroes' confronted protesters

This image of Phoenix Jones and Midnight Jack confronting protesters at the federal building in Seattle was posted on Instagram by dominickharris.

Seattle May Day protest took a turn for the weird as self-described superheroes Phoenix Jones and his sidekicks confronted protesters at the federal courthouse in Seattle. Jones has been accused of pepper spraying protesters in his efforts to protect the building, but a video released by him shows he didn’t spray people.

However, the video does make it apparent that one of his sidekicks might have.

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health politics
10:27 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Even without health law, some reforms will stay, predicts former Obama official

A controversial former Obama health-care administrator was in Seattle this week, speaking to 1,000 people about what can be learned from medical mistakes--saying patient safety should be an ethical imperative .

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Budget woes
9:27 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Lawsuit likely over roll-your-own smokes tax in Washington

Screen grab from Tobacco Joe's Roll Your Own website.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The burgeoning roll-your-own cigarette industry in Washington is preparing to do legal battle against the state. Governor Chris Gregoire is expected to sign into law today a new tax on do-it-yourself smokes. That will likely trigger a lawsuit.

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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Fry your pizza like they do in Micronesia

Stein

Full disclosure: I don't know whether or not they fry their pizzas in Micronesia. I just wanted a rhyming headline and I liked "Micronesia" better than "Spinal Anesthesia."* Who wouldn't? 

Anyway, they have  been deep-frying pizzas in Europe.  Now the fad has moved stateside.

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May Day protests
5:29 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Violent May Day protests in Seattle; Mayor signs emergency order; Businesses board up windows

Seattle police officers face off with demonstrators at First Avenue and Pike Street after confiscating a pole and making arrests.
Evan Hoover KPLU

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn evoked his emergency powers – during a day of violent protests and six arrests – ordering police to confiscate items from May Day protesters and revelers alike that could be used to damage property.

Some protesters dressed all in black used 3-inch thick sticks, which were disguised as flag poles, and tire irons to break windows in Seattle during rolling protests and marches that paralyzed downtown.

"The police officers will be approaching individuals who’ll be carrying items known to be weapons, confront them and ask them to peacefully give them up.  And if not peacefully given up, they will be confiscated," McGinn said at an afternoon press conference.

Around 4:30 p.m. officers arrested a handful of protesters after one policeman took a pole from a protester at First Avenue and Pike Street. That protester attempted to take the pole back and several others came to his aid, but officers made the arrests and pushed the others back. Both sides then faced off again in the street at the Pike Place Market until the demonstrators migrated back to Westlake Center.

(Photo gallery and videos after jump.)

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farm workers
4:35 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Wash. farm fined $1 million for using illegal immigrants

A Washington state organic farm has been fined $1 million for firing, then rehiring illegal immigrants following a federal audit.

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Crime
9:03 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Shoplifter pulls sword at Longview store

LONGVIEW, Wash. — A suspected shoplifter pulled a small sword on a security officer who tried to stop him at the same Fred Meyer store in Longview where a guard's ear was cut with a hatchet in December in another shoplifting confrontation.

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Street Cents
4:30 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Bank loans tough to get for fire stations and churches

Fire Station #37 is a designated landmark.
Image courtesy Colliers International

Bored with regular, run of the mill houses? Looking for something unusual? How about buying a fire station or a church for a home? 

Seattle-area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar says although places like this could be fun to live in, banks are usually skittish about loaning money for anything out of the ordinary.

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Seattle schools
5:20 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Anaheim superintendent Banda picked for Seattle schools

Updated

The Seattle School Board is asking Anaheim School Superintendent Jose Banda to lead the Seattle school district.

The district says Board President Michael DeBell contacted Banda Sunday night, and he expressed his willingness to take the job.

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State liqour law
5:01 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Seattle still waiting for state's vote to extend bar hours

Following objections from other cities, Seattle will have to wait a month to know if its efforts to extend bar hours beyond 2 a.m. can go forward.

Seattle officials have wanted to make last call later, arguing that law enforcement is burdened by a mass of drunks tumbling out of night clubs and bars.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
3:01 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Report: Hanford vessels fail to meet requirements

YAKIMA, Wash. — A federal audit has concluded that the Energy Department and a contractor building a nuclear plant at the Hanford reservation installed tanks that did not always meet requirements of a quality assurance program or the contract.

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May Day protests
2:17 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Tensions mount in Seattle on brink of May Day protests

Posters like this one and other information has some in Seattle concerned that tomorrow's May Day protests could get out of hand.
Erin Hennessey KPLU

From Mayor Mike McGinn worrying about violence to a guy on the street wondering if the ferries will run, tensions in Seattle are mounting over May Day protests.

Groups are planning May Day marches in Seattle to protest capitalism, immigration laws and labor practices, but the most consistent rallying cry is for a “general strike.” How many people will go on “strike,” how many will show up to rally and whether there will be an outbreak of violence on the streets are unknowns.

And that uncertainty appears to be jangling some nerves in the city.

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