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Washington State Legislature
4:13 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Bills would increase Washington fines for prostitution

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a pair of bills that target Johns who solicit prostitutes. Proposals to increase state fines for prostitution and human trafficking had a hearing Tuesday in Olympia.

Supporters say some Washington speeding tickets cost more than the current fine for buying sex.

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Groove Notes
3:33 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Is the word 'jazz' racist? Nicholas Payton says it is

Nicholas Payton performing in 2008 in New York.
Associated Press

My best effort to summarize trumpeter Nicholas Payton’s post On Why Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore is that he is saying the word “jazz” is racist, that jazz died in 1959, and “Jazz is a marketing ploy that serves an elite few. The elite make all the money while they tell the true artists it’s cool to be broke.”

Read more on Groove Notes.

Child prostitution
1:39 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

'Hub' of underage sex ads targeted by Washington lawmakers

Washington state assistant attorney general Jonathan Mark walks past a display of a Backpage.com ad following a news conference about action being taken against the adult services site in August.
Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state lawmakers introduced legislation Monday that would require classified-advertising companies to attempt to verify the age of escorts listed in sex-related postings.

The bill was one of a dozen introduced by a bipartisan group of senators seeking to curb sex trafficking.

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520 tolling
12:59 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Update: 520 toll system fixed after electrical problem

An electrical glitch caused the new toll system on the Highway 520 bridge to malfunction Tuesday morning, meaning drivers crossed the span for hours without being charged.

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Job Creation
11:55 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Local aerospace still strong, but sector must not rest on its laurels

An employee works on the engine of a Boeing Co. 737 airplane last summer at the company's assembly facility in Renton, Wash.
Associated Press

Washington State inspires envy all over the globe for the large and growing number of high-wage jobs located in the Puget Sound region.

At the heart of our economy is Boeing and the aerospace sector that has grown up around it. Government leaders, unions and policy experts have been patting themselves on the back lately for keeping and growing these jobs.

They also know the competition never rests.

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Second-hand smoke
11:42 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Smoking in your apartment - not for long?

Smoking is banned at work. It’s banned in restaurants and bars. But most smokers can still head home and enjoy as many cigarettes as they’d like. That’s starting to change, when it comes to apartment buildings. 

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Washington State Legislature
8:55 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Olympia hearing Wednesday on medical marijuana

Some Washington lawmakers are trying to pass a new medical marijuana law that would legalize nonprofit dispensaries.

Supporters hope it will clear up the uncertainty that followed Gov. Chris Gregoire's partial veto last year of a medical marijuana law.

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Money Matters
4:00 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Will 2012 be a good year for the Puget Sound economy?

Consumers decide with their purchases how robust an economic expansion will be.
Evan Leeson Flickr

Local economist Dick Conway unveiled his economic forecast for the region recently, and he painted an optimistic picture, describing it as "a sunny day, with some clouds".

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that he thinks there's a good case for optimism this year.

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Automatic tickets
1:52 pm
Mon January 16, 2012

Retired judge fights Longview camera ticket

LONGVIEW, Wash. — Retired Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Jim Warme is fighting a speeding ticket issued automatically by a camera in a school zone.

In his appeal of a Longview Municipal Court decision, Warme acknowledges a car registered to him and his wife was photographed last May driving 31 mph in a 20 mph zone.

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Winter trouble
1:46 pm
Mon January 16, 2012

Hose laid for fuel transfer at iced-in Alaska town

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Crews have laid a hose along a half mile stretch of Bering Sea ice and hope to soon begin transferring 1.3 million gallons of fuel from a Russian fuel tanker to the iced-in western Alaska city of Nome.

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Weather
1:21 pm
Mon January 16, 2012

More snow forecast by Wednesday across Washington

More snow is forecast this week across Washington.

While Western Washington drivers cope with their first snow of the winter, the National Weather Service say another 1-to-3 inches are possible by Tuesday and another 4-to-8 inches by Wednesday before turning to rain.

Forecasters say 1-to-2 feet of new snow are possible by late Tuesday in the Cascades with more on Wednesday, which will make driving difficult in the passes.

Artscape
7:19 am
Sun January 15, 2012

At the Seattle Rep, a personal play by a priest about family

Tyler Pierce (as Bill Cain) and Linda Gehringer (as Mary Cain) star in the world premiere of Cain’s "How to Write a New Book for the Bible" at Seattle Repertory Theatre.
Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

The latest play at Seattle Repertory Theatre is called "How To Write A New Book For The Bible." It's about a priest who comes home to take care of his dying mother.

It’s a true story, written by Jesuit priest and playwright Bill Cain.

Which partly explains the play's title. Cain says the play "is about sifting through the presence of God in the reality of family."

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MLK Day
4:55 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

MLK events around the Puget Sound region

Martin Luther King Memorial, Washington D.C.
ehpien Flickr

On Monday, Martin Luther King Junior will be honored in a variety of ways around the region as we observe this federal holiday.

It’s a day of reflection and possibly a time to renew intentions that keep Dr. King’s dream alive.

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Animal fun
1:22 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

The cutest thing: Sea otter born at Seattle Aquarium

The young otter and its mother, Aniak.
Seattle Aquarium

Press release:

The Seattle Aquarium announced today the birth of a new sea otter pup at its facility on Pier 59 in Seattle. The young otter was born today just before 5:00 a.m. to the mother otter Aniak – who herself was born at Seattle Aquarium in 2002.

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Humanosphere
4:34 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Update: Seattle man accused of helping fund Sudan massacre calls it defense

Law and order in South Sudan
babasteve Flickr

The Seattle man who helped fund a massacre in South Sudan says the militia-style attack was a defensive action against a tribe that had attacked his tribe without warning.

Gai Bol Thong, a member of the Nuer tribe, recently gained international attention for raising funding to support local militia groups that have killed thousands of members of the Murle tribe. The attacks were in retaliation for the Murle attacks that have killed hundreds of Nuer, including women and children.

“The Murle made genocide on us. We do not kill old people, women and children,” he said.

But somebody did, according to the news reports.

(Listen to Tom's interview with Gai Bol Thong, click the audio link above.)

Read more on Humanosphere.

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