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Gay rights
1:37 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

National org. prepares for gay marriage repeal effort in Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gay marriage isn’t the law in Washington yet, but national opponents are already preparing for a repeal campaign.

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Law
1:01 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

$151,000 embezzled from Lakewood fallen officers fund

The Treasurer of the Lakewood Police Independent Guild has been arrested for embezzlement.

Skeeter Timothy Manos allegedly diverted $151,000 from a fund intended to benefit the families of four police officers who were killed by gunman Maurice Clemmons in 2009.

Skeeter was arrested this morning at Lakewood City Hall. He’ll appear in Federal Court in Tacoma this afternoon to face ten federal felony charges.

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Transportation
8:56 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Tolls on I-5 between Washington, Oregon looking more likely

Interstate 5 crosses the Columbia River from Vancouver, Wash., bottom, into Portland, Ore., in this 2005 photo.
The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are moving forward with plans to allow tolls on the proposed Columbia River Crossing between Portland and Vancouver. The project will cost as much as $3.5 billion and drivers will likely bear some of that cost.

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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Road rage in the frozen food aisle!

It happened to KPLU's Grooveyard and Weekend Edition host Kevin Kniestedt. Assaulted by a deranged woman in an electric shopping cart at a local supermarket.  Click "listen" to hear him describe his harrowing ordeal.

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Gardening
9:47 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Artistic passions on display at the NW Flower and Garden Show

It’s been sunny and fair lately…but what do you do when the dark and cloudy skies of late winter get you down?
 
For many people in the Pacific Northwest, the answer is gardening.
 
Their passion is on display this week at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.
 
KPLU environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp went to check it out. (Click on the "Listen" button up top to hear some highlights from the preview tour.)
 

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Seattle pro sports
4:56 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

It’s a dirty game, but NBA may make surprise return to Seattle

In this March 24, 2008 file photo, Seattle SuperSonics fans hold signs in favor of keeping the NBA basketball team in Seattle during the first period of a basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers at KeyArena in Seattle.
The Associated Press

Seattle may once again become a NBA city, but we’ll have to steal a team to do it.

“The diabolical nature of pro sports means that you have to do bad unto others as they have done bad unto you,” said KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. “And it puts the city of Seattle in the same business of ruthless poacher, pirate, stealer of another city.”

In other words, it’s déjà vu all over again for a city that had its team – the Sonics – ripped from its collection of pro sports.

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Gay rights
3:00 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Prop 8 ruling likely has no immediate effect on Northwest

Tuesday's ruling overturning California’s ban on same-sex marriage is not expected to affect similar laws in other states. Oregon and Idaho also have voter-approved amendments against gay marriage.

But Washington lawmakers are poised to send Governor Chris Gregoire a measure allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

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Humanosphere
2:37 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

5 reasons not to panic about the bird flu experiments

It’s relatively easy for government officials, politicians or the media to demand risk reduction at the sacrifice of a select few (medical researchers) or some abstract idea. It’s much more difficult to make the case for science.

The scientific community is in serious kerfuffle right now about whether or not to publish the details of certain bird flu virus experiments.

Angry words are flying back and forth between experts – much like the proverbial behavior of chickens with their heads cut off. One commentator for Scientific American has even suggested banning all such research.

It’s all a bit much, and probably not good for science or for our global health. I would like to offer five reasons not to panic.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Money Matters
12:42 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Puget Sound pay raises lag behind the rest of the nation

Raises may be lower here, but at least we have Mt. Rainier!
Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. Department of Labor

If you're disappointed with the pay raise (or lack of one) you received last year, you're not alone.

Total private sector compensation in the Puget Sound region rose just 1 percent in 2011, compared to 2.2 percent nationwide.

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KPLU Studio Sessions
12:00 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Kim Wilson delivers a blues smackdown in the KPLU studios

Blues singer and harmonica player, Kim Wilson, thinks it’s very healthy for people to drop their emotional guard every now and then and let themselves get smacked around by a great blues performance. 

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Native names
9:41 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Is it time to rename Mount Rainier to its former native name?

Mount Rainier would become Tahoma, Tacobeh, Pooskaus or Tacoma.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

ROY, Wash. – Mount Rainier was once known by its many native names. Now, an alliance of tribal members is moving forward with a proposal to restore an original name to this Northwest landmark. But a long bureaucratic process lies ahead.

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Investigation
9:33 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Army investigating Madigan memo on PTSD costs

The Army is investigating whether the cost of care and benefits is influencing the diagnosis of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder at Madigan Army Medical Center.

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Washington State Legislature
9:30 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Bill would require drug makers to take back drugs

Some Washington lawmakers are pushing a measure that would require drug makers to pay for a statewide program to collect unused prescription drugs and other medicine.

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Animal fun
9:24 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Name that baby sea otter at Seattle Aquarium

What should this little critter be called?
Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium has started its sea otter naming contest.

Jump over to the site linked above and vote on one of these names: Willapa, Shi Shi, Elwha, Sequim, Seiku.

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Street Cents
4:30 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Rough time refinancing? Try again.

Bank vault full of cold, hard cash.
Adolph B. Rice Studio Collection Library of Virginia

Is it true that there there's a bank vault out there full of cold, hard cash that's now available to people trying to refinance? That's what KPLU's John Maynard asked Seattle-area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar when he dropped by KPLU's studios recently. Without skipping a beat, Hagar responded:

"The good news is if you've missed some mortgage payments or you were in foreclosure, banks now have more cash available. And they've loosened up the purse strings a bit."

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