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Outdoor Safety
3:26 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Air bag becoming standard equipment for skiers

Skier Elyse Saugstad credits the ABS air bag with saving her life in an avalanche at Stevens Pass in Washington
ABS-airbag.com

The air bag credited with saving a woman from an avalanche at Stevens Pass is starting to become standard equipment for back country skiers in the Northwest. The expert skiers who seek the thrill of more remote areas are no strangers to signs of avalanches.

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Business
1:11 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Redbox took out Blockbuster, will its $1 coffee take out Starbucks?

What the new coffee kiosk looks like.
tech-media-tainment blog

Perhaps Starbucks has gotten so good at making coffee without people that it sees brick-and-mortar coffee shops as a thing of the past - much how Redbox’s automated DVD dispensing helped usher in the demise of the video store.

Or, perhaps the deal it has struck with Bellevue-based Coinstar (which owns Redbox) to dispense Starbucks' Seattle’s Best brand coffee for a buck at every convenience store and street corner across the nation is just a way to make a … buck.

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Science
11:05 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Ocean's future: 'Goodbye big fish, hello small fish'

Screenshot of an ocean visualization put out by the Nereus Program
Nereus Program

In Greek mythology, the original god of the sea was named Nereus. Among other powers, he could prophesy the future. That’s why researchers at the University of British Columbia thought to name a project to predict future ocean conditions after Nereus. Now, the initial computer simulations are out.

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Olympic Trials
9:23 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Northwest boxer wins at Olympic trials

Queen Underwood, in red, fights Mikaela Mayer to win the lightweight championship at the Olympic team trials for boxing in Spokane
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

A 27-year-old pipe fitter from the Northwest has earned a spot on the USA's first-ever women's Olympic boxing team. Queen Underwood of Seattle is considered to be one of the top contenders for the gold in boxing – male or female – at the 2012 London Games.

Underwood emerged as the lightweight champion at the week-long Olympic trials for women's boxing. The contest was in Spokane – where the audience welcomed Underwood as a home-state favorite.

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Money Matters
4:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Should you use debit or credit?

Carl Glover flickr.com

When you're not paying with cash, do you prefer a credit card or a debit card?

Organizations such as the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports prefer the security of credit cards. 

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer agree that credit cards offer the most security and benefits, but find debit cards still have a useful role to play.

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Arts
9:01 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Hot, exciting and dangerous: Glassblowing with Hilltop Artists

Greg Pierce, Operations Manager at Hilltop Artists, with a student working on an African water jug.
Ambar Espinoza

In the mid-1990's, gang activity in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood was at an all time high. The area had become notorious for drug deals, assaults, and drive-by shootings. Gangs often recruited from schools - all the way down through the elementary grades.

It took a lot of effort by the police and community groups to turn the neighborhood around. One of the organizations that's made a difference is Hilltop Artists. It started out in those high-crime days by convincing kids who were attracted to "danger" to swap gang banging for another dangerous activity: glassblowing.

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Envisioning the Future
5:31 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Waterfront design workshops at Town Hall Seattle

A conceptual rendering of the view looking at Elliott Bay and Pier 62/63 from the proposed Overlook Fold, which would help reconnect the waterfront to downtown and the Pike Place Market.
Courtesy james corner field operations and City of Seattle

Should the Pike Place Market be connected to Elliot Bay with new walkways?

That’s one of many expensive questions on the minds of landscape designers in charge of rebuilding Seattle’s waterfront.

In less than a week, the city will once again convene stakeholders and the public for help shaping the future of the city’s  “front door” on Puget Sound.

The group Waterfront Seattle is calling on the public to join in discussions that will help determine what the new waterfront will look like, after the Alaskan Way Viaduct comes down.

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Business
10:05 am
Mon February 20, 2012

AAA: Average prices of gas in Washington $3.64

BELLEVUE, Wash. — The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Washington is $3.64.

That's up 11 cents in a week, 17 cents in a month and 29 cents in a year. It's 7 cents higher than the national average.

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Artscape
9:45 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Artscape: Revisiting the Oscars via the 20/20 awards

A scene from the Goodfellas, considered to be the second best Gangster movie ever made.

The Academy Awards are coming up this Sunday. There are many wonderful films that don’t get an Oscar. And there are lots of not-so-great movies that win the coveted award.  Seattle’s “20-20” awards look back at past Oscar winners and how they’ve stood the test of time.

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Boeing 787
6:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

President Obama takes Boeing tour in Everett

After touring the Boeing 787 plant in Everett, President Obama walked down the steps of a new plane to greet the crowd of workers, community members, and a sea of media.
Paula Wissel

Speaking in Everett in the massive building where Boeing 787's are assembled,  President Barack Obama praised the aerospace company for succeeding at keeping jobs in the United States.

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NW Craft Brews
3:11 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

The Friday Beer: 10 Barrel Brewing Company's ISA

10 Barrel Brewing Company's ISA.
Paul Gibson

Road trip! Nothing beats a road trip to get you out of a routine. Road trips present an opportunity to try new breweries, explore new pubs and meet new people. A recent trip to Bend, Ore provided just the change of scenery I needed. Out of lowland Seattle up into the high desert of Central Oregon. While in Bend I had the opportunity to visit Deschutes, Boneyard and 10 Barrel. Great beers and great people all around.

Pictured here is the 10 Barrel ISA. It's their India Session Ale. A bit lower on the alcohol and very drinkable with great citrusy aroma.

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Education
2:37 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

State superintendent gives his proposal for school funding

Stephanie McCleary stands in a multi-age classroom in Chimacum School District. She sued the state of Washington for not fully paying for the education of its public school students.
Donna Gordon Blankinship Associated Press

The good news in this week's new Washington state revenue forecast has drawn the attention of everyone who wants some money for their department or program.

But in a statement put out by Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, Dorn says the state Constitution and the Supreme Court give Washington only one choice: pay for education first.

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520 Bridge Tolling
11:01 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Traffic slowly returning to 520 toll bridge

The 520 floating bridge, including the western high rise, where the bridge passes near the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle as it heads over Lake Washington.
Associated Press

The Washington Transportation Department says drivers are gradually returning to the Highway 520 floating bridge since tolling was imposed in late December.

Tolling spokeswoman Patty Michaud said Friday the bridge that handled about 100,000 vehicles a day now typically handles 60,000 to 65,000. Traffic had dropped by nearly half when tolling went into effect.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:38 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Soggy start to weekend, but some nice skiing ahead

Not for wimps: Now, that's what a real storm front looks like ... on the plains of Nebraska.
Michael Cornelius flickr

It's too wimpy to call it a storm, but wind and rain will dominate through tonight and tomorrow, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

The winds will be hard to miss along the Washington coast, getting up to 60 mph. But, as Mass explains, the coastal mountains tend to cut down those winds by the time they reach Puget Sound, leaving us with merely blustery conditions.

By Sunday, it should dry out, and skiers will find a lot of fresh snow waiting for them in the mountains. Next week appears to offer more mild temperatures with occasional rain showers.

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Whale Hunting
9:37 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Judge allows 'Whale Wars' to continue

A Sea Shepherd crew tangles with a Japanese whaling ship in Antarctic waters in 2011
Sea Sheperd Conservation Society

A federal judge in Seattle Thursday refused a request for protection made by Japanese whalers. The whalers were hoping to put a stop to almost daily harassment by an aggressive anti-whaling group based in western Washington.

U.S. federal district court judge Richard Jones did not give a reason for denying the request for a preliminary injunction. It would have prevented the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society from interfering with the Japanese whaling fleet.

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