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Global Warming
12:23 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Study: 17,500 NW homes may sink under rising seas

Hey, where'd the beach go? "King tide" in Victoria, BC dramatizes a possible future.

Thousands of homes in Washington and Oregon could be inundated by rising seas caused by global warming over the next century, according to research by the non-profit Climate Central and the University of Arizona.

By calculating how many Americans live less than 1 meter above the high tide line, the researchers found 10,500 homes in Washington and 7000 in Oregon that would be flooded by rising seas.

The biggest concentrations of vulnerable homes are in Seattle, and Warrenton and Seaside, Ore.

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health insurance
10:33 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Centerpiece of health care reform launches in Washington

Consultant David Smith of GMMB recommended this name and logo for the new entity currently called the Health Benefits Exchange - but it made some board members nervous.

Washington is one of the first states to begin tackling the requirements of President Obama's health care reform, even though the U.S. Supreme Court will approve or kill the controversial national system this summer.

The fist step in the reform is to create a Health Benefits Exchange. Each state is supposed to create its own insurance exchange as a new way for individuals and small businesses to purchase insurance.

Washington's board set up to create this exchange had its first meeting on Thursday.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:02 am
Fri March 16, 2012

We're stuck! Expect 10 days of off-and-on rain, even some snow

Spring is in the future, but so is the rain.
Steve Wall Flickr

Sure spring is coming next week, but KPLU's weather expert Cliff Mass says we'll be seeing plenty of rain and even some snow this weekend and it doesn't get any better for days to come.

Mass explains on his blog: "Last winter we were securely in La Nina conditions and the region experienced a miserable, cold, wet spring that lasted into mid summer.   Horror to all soccer and Little League parents.

"This winter we have also been in a La Nina and since early February we have been colder and wetter than normal, with snowpack surging in our mountains. Yes, it appears we are dealing with  the revenge of La Nina."

I Wonder Why ... ?
4:30 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Why don't people in the NW go to church?

For years, the Northwest has had the dubious distinction of being one of the most non-religious regions in the land. In fact, it's often referred to as the "unchurched belt" in contrast to the "bible belt" in the South.

On a recent visit to a North Seattle church, there was only a small group of worshipers, filling about a third of the pews. That's not unusual in Seattle or the Pacific Northwest.

So why, we wondered, don’t people in this neck of the woods go to church?

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Seahawks still quarterback shopping as free agency heats up

Green Bay Packers backup quarterback-turned free agent Matt Flynn in action on Jan. 1, 2012. Art Thiel says he may be the next Dave Krieg for the Seahawks.
Matt Ludtke AP Photo

It's up in the air who will be the starting quarterback for the Seahawks next season. The Hawks are said to still be searching for their next star. Will they find him in the free agent pool?

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel breaks down the moves the Seahawks have made so far, and what might be in their future.

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Environment
5:12 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

WSU scientists save bald eagle

SPOKANE, Wash. — Scientists at Washington State University were able to save a bald eagle that was found in Idaho suffering from lead poisoning, and this week they released the majestic predator back into the wild.

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Groove Notes
4:18 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

'Saxophonic, punk jazz iconoclast' Skerik releses new project

“I very much believe in a collaborative environment, and trying to get a real band where everyone has an equal say in writing the music, arranging the music and shaping the music. That’s always been a real priority for me.” – Skerik

Skerik’s most recent project released this week – Skerik’s Bandalabra: Live at the Royal Room – includes working with Seattle musicians Andy Coe (electric guitar), Evan Flory-Barnes (upright bass), and Donne Lewis (drums).

Skerik explains that it is a change of pace from the rock bands since a lot of the music is created in the moment.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Election 2012
1:08 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Inslee's House seat may go to voters to finish term

OLYMPIA, Wash. — U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee's decision to resign from Congress to focus full time on his gubernatorial race has triggered questions that have state elections officials scrambling to determine if they need to hold a special election on the same day as the regular November election to fill the final month of his term.

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Humanosphere
12:46 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Clooney campaigns against other war crimes in Africa

Actor George Clooney spies a missile flying overhead in Sudan in this screen grab from a video he made while in the embattled territory.

George Clooney, who has praised the Stop Kony campaign aimed at ridding east-central Africa of warlord Joseph Kony, is trying to make sure our focus on such efforts isn’t too singular.

The actor and human rights advocate has long been focused on the ongoing atrocities in Sudan and recently testified in Congress to draw attention to the killings, conflict and suffering. He recently snuck into a dangerous part of the country and produced this powerful, disturbing video.

Read more and watch the video on Humanosphere.

Sports with Art Thiel
12:00 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Preview: With key players signed to new deals, what's next for the Seahawks?

Seattle defensive end Red Bryant tries to block a field goal during a game against the Cardinals on Jan. 1, 2012. He signed a new contract with the Hawks this week, making him the team's highest-paid defender.
Matt York AP Photo

With the signing of defensive end Red Bryant to a new, five-year contract this week, the Seahawks now have their two best free agent players locked up. Bryant's deal comes on the heels of star running back Marshawn Lynch signing a new contract with the team. 

So, what's next for the Seahawks in the offseason, now that it appears they're out of the running for quarterback Peyton Manning?

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job safety
10:08 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Workplace deaths fall to record low in Washington

The number of people killed on the job in Washington fell last year to the lowest number on record. Just 51 people died at work in 2011 – a big drop compared to 89 in 2010.

The Department of Labor and Industries is at a loss to explain why the number has fallen. They point to several areas where deaths declined. The biggest drop came among farm and forestry workers.

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Law
8:55 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Washington Blue alert an Amber alert for cop killers 

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington is adopting a Blue alert system to enlist the public in looking for cop killers. KIRO-FM reports Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected to sign the Blue alert bill Thursday.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Our favorite solar-powered pop music

Painful Solar Flares
thebadastronomer Flickr

At this time of year, most of us in the northern hemisphere are pretty darn glad to be seeing more sunshine. But our old Sun has been having some flare-ups lately, sending massive bursts of energy towards Earth, threatening communications and electrical grids. So before the power goes out, here are some of our favorite solar songs.

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Charity
2:02 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Seattle men wear kilts to benefit the Ronald McDonald House

Snowboarding pioneer and former Seattle Ronald McDonald House resident Carter Turk
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska

In light of our recent I Wonder Why feature on utilikilts, we couldn't resist telling you about this new sartorial-themed fundraiser for the Seattle Ronald McDonald House.

Eighteen local men are vying for the title of King of the Kilt 2012 and have posed for pictures in their kilts.

Contestants include a police officer, a principal dancer with the Pacific NW Ballet, a member of the  Seattle Sounders FC and a Seahawk. Members of the public are invited to donate $25 in order to vote for their favorites at the Men in Kilts website. 

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quality medical care
11:40 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Medical ratings: Western Washington good, but not the best

Where you live definitely affects the quality of your health care. That’s clear in a new report comparing communities across the country. Western Washington is divided into three zones and they all score above average – but not in the top 10 percent.

The best score goes to the Everett/Snohomish/Skagit area.

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