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I Wonder Why ... ?
4:20 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Mysterious demise of Tacoma, Seattle streetcars solved

Seattle cable car at Third & Yesler in 1940.
Courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives

Today’s stylish way to get from your high-tech office to an urbane lunch date was once so old, rickety and decrepit that it was melted into scrap-metal.

The revival of streetcars in Tacoma and Seattle would be a surprise to our civic leaders from the 1930’s. But they used to be prolific throughout the Northwest. What happened? Was it a conspiracy, or just the changing tides of fashion?

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

NW Craft Brews
1:35 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

The Friday beer: Double Mountain’s India Red Ale

Double Mountain India Red Ale.
Paul Gibson

Winter has finally come down from the mountains here in the Pacific Northwest and has been pounding the lowlands with snow, freezing rain and wind. It's times like this when you ask yourself what type of beer goes with a power outage. The correct answer of course is any beer.

But really, in this part of the country we don't have to settle on just any beer. Hopefully you've stocked up on some good food and locally crafted beers to weather the storm.

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Winter Storm
1:01 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Seattle asks residents to clear storm drains

As snow and ice melt on Seattle streets, the city is asking residents to clear storm drains of slush and debris to help prevent urban flooding.

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Environment
12:57 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Environmentalists challenge logging plans over threatened murrelet

Three environmental groups intend to take Oregon's Department of Forestry to court over the effect logging has on a threatened seabird.

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Winter Storm
10:45 am
Fri January 20, 2012

250,000+ out of power; transportation disrupted; but storm is over ... for now

More than 250,000 people are without power and all modes of transportation are still a mess, but “this snow/sleet/freezing rain event is basically done,” reports KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

However, Mass said on his weather blog, “Now I hate to bring this up ... but the forecast models for the next week indicate some intense weather in store for us. Heavy rains, strong windstorms.”

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:30 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Rain, big winds in forecast; Cliff Mass: 'We messed up'

A truck drives around a downed tree in Tacoma, Wash., on Friday. Thick ice brought down trees and power lines in the region overnight, following two days of snow and ice storms.
The Associated Press

The big melt continues all day and through the evening, as temperatures settle into the 40's.

KPLU and UW weather expert Cliff Mass says "it should feel quite warm" and generally stay above freezing for the next few days.

Given what's already on the ground – and with heavy rains tonight – it's a recipe for a mess.

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Jazz & Blues
9:30 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Remembering Etta James: Songs on YouTube

Singer Etta James performs at the Vine St. Bar & Grill in Hollywood on April 6, 1987.
Alison Wise AP Photo

The "Matriarch of the Blues" has died. Music legend Etta James died at Riverside Community Hospital in California from complications of leukemia. She was 73. In tribute, here are five songs from James.

Winter Storm
8:33 am
Fri January 20, 2012

I-5 near Centralia reopened

CENTRALIA, Wash. — The Washington Department of Transportation had closed both directions of Interstate 5 for about 8 miles north of Centralia because of power lines on the roadway.

The roadway has been cleared.

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Winter Storm
5:45 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Utility crews struggling to keep up with ice storm

Upwards of 250,000 homes served by Puget Sound Energy are without power – and some of the outages are expected to last a long as 4 days. Two of the region's other utilities were also reporting outages, bringing the total to about 280,000.

The ice storm is causing road closures and power outages all over the region.

Pierce, Thurston and Northeast King County are hardest hit.

As wet snow melts and then re-freezes, its weight is breaking tree limbs near roads or pulling entire trees out of the ground.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Swing and a miss? Mariners don't get much in Pineda trade to Yankees

Now-former Mariner pitcher Michael Pineda throws against the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez (another former Mariner) in May of last year. Pineda will now pitch for the Yankees.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

We get a bat, but not much else. That's what KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel has to say about the Mariners trading starting pitcher Michael Pineda to the Yankees in exchange for hot young hitter Jesus Montero.

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Winter Storm
4:32 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Snowmageddon after all: Seattle says go home; state of emergency; 200,000+ without power

Associated Press

Gov. Chris Gregoire has declared a state of emergency for an ice storm that landed on top of heavy snow in western Washington, causing treacherous travel, power outages and threats that buildings could collapse. So far, the storm has left more than 200,000 people without power.

Seattle city officials are asking residents to get home before dark, if possible, because they fear even worse icing conditions by night fall.

Ice closed Sea-Tac Airport in the early morning before one runway was reopened. The State Patrol said it had responded to about 2,300 accidents in a 24-hour period ending at 9 a.m. Thursday, roughly quadruple the average number.

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Washington State Legislature
4:26 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Gay marriage one vote shy in Washington State Senate

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Supporters and opponents of gay marriage plan to descend on Washington’s capitol on Monday when House and Senate committees are scheduled to take public testimony on legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry.

It now appears sponsors in the state Senate are just one vote shy of passage.

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Winter Storm
4:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Ice and snow bring down trees, power lines in Olympia

Trees and part of trees, like this that fell in west Olympia, were down around the city of Olympia.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In Olympia, snow and ice-laden tree branches are down on the capitol campus. On the west side of town, downed power lines made several roads impassable.

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Humanosphere
3:19 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Land grabs in Africa adding to chaos and death

Displacement action enforced by soldiers.
IRIN Flickr

Aid organizations are trying to call attention to a little-noticed but massive plague spreading across Africa that is destroying communities, throwing many deeper into poverty and perhaps causing the deaths of many thousands.

Not AIDS or malaria.

It’s an outbreak of property seizures and community displacements known as the land grab.

Read more on Humanosphere.

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