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First person
3:05 pm
Fri July 29, 2011

Say it ain’t so – Rob Perry retires as Jazz Alley manager

Justin Steyer KPLU

I’ve known Jazz Alley manager, Rob Perry, for almost 30 years.  At the end of July, Rob will retire from that job and I will join the many, many Jazz Alley habitués who will miss him.  In fact, though I sort of envy Rob for getting to retire while he’s still good-lookin’, we’re all gonna miss his presence at the club a lot.

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Breaking
12:02 pm
Fri July 29, 2011

Wash. files suit on Yucca Mountain consideration

YAKIMA, Wash. — Washington state has filed another lawsuit to compel the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to resume consideration of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

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Environment
10:04 am
Fri July 29, 2011

Western pond turtle population grows in Washington

The Western pond turtle's presence is growing in Washington.
Yathin Flickr

A program to save the western pond turtle in Washington has helped the wild population in the state grow from about 150 20 years ago to about 1,500 today.

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Housing issues
6:30 am
Fri July 29, 2011

Vancouver, B.C., wants to end homelessness, expects a battle

Vancouver, British Columbia, is debating a move to end homelessness. Pictured are many people sleeping in the First United Sanctuary. The Canadian city's plan is similar to one under way in Seattle.
Courtesy of First United Church

City Council in Vancouver, British Columbia, is debating a strategy to end homelessness within ten years, and the always contentious issue has comparisons to efforts already under way in King County.

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Jobless benefits
6:00 am
Fri July 29, 2011

State nabbing innocent job seekers in unempoyment crackdown?

Creating and maintaining the proper paperwork while collecting unemployment can sometimes be harder than it seems. Nevertheless, some innocent job seekers say they've been caught up in the state's unemployment crackdown.
Solo Flickr

Recently, Washington's Employment Security Department sent out a news release announcing it had identified 9,000 people in 2010 who were not actively seeking work. The state said the individuals would have to pay back $23 million in benefits.

But those claims of jobless benefit fraud may be overstated.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu July 28, 2011

Hasselbeck joins Locker; Seahawks QB job now up in the air

Matt Hasselbeck hoists the Seahawks' NFC championship trophy after a 34-14 defeat of the Carolina Panthers on Jan. 22, 2006. The Hawks didn't resign Hasselbeck, who instead agreed to a three-year deal with the Tennessee Titans.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The football news came fast and furious this week. The NFL lockout ended. Training camp started. Players were released or signed by teams in a mad rush to prepare for a season that starts in just two weeks.

It was an intense period of personnel shuffling unprecedented in the NFL, and the Seahawks were right in the middle of it.

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Environment
5:00 pm
Thu July 28, 2011

Campaign to protect precious lands in San Juan Islands

A grassroots campaign of local conservation groups is hoping to get federally owned land in the San Juans declared a National Conservation Area.
Courtesy of San Juan Islands National Conservation Area

The San Juan Islands are known for pristine natural beauty that includes a national wildlife refuge and several remote state parks.  

But they also contain about 1,000 acres of federally owned land that has been largely forgotten by authorities. Some islanders fear it might be sold off to developers.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
2:19 pm
Thu July 28, 2011

Hanford contractors work to reassure workers about safety

RICHLAND, Wash. – The heads of two Hanford Nuclear Reservation contractors tried to reassure workers with a memo this week. It says there is a strong safety culture on the massive waste treatment plant now under construction. The memo comes after several workers have come forward with concerns about the plant.

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Battle in D.C.
2:02 pm
Thu July 28, 2011

Impact of debt ceiling debate? UW, cities could be downgraded

The battle in D.C. over the debt ceiling could have real lasting impact on the credit ratings for UW and cities in Washington.
Flickr

University of Washington, the City of Seattle and King County all face possible credit rating downgrades because of the federal government stalemate over raising the national debt ceiling.

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Public health
1:09 pm
Thu July 28, 2011

Help track the West Nile virus

You can help King County health officials track potential cases of the West Nile virus by reporting dead birds. Crows in particular die quickly from the disease.
Leveretdreaming flickr.com

If you see dead birds, especially clusters of dead crows, King County health officials want to hear from you.

The dead birds could indicate the presence of West Nile virus, which can be deadly to humans. Over the next three months, dead birds reported to Public Health will be collected for laboratory testing for the virus if they are deemed suitable candidates for testing.

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employment
11:19 am
Thu July 28, 2011

Washington jobless who exhausted benefits still lack work

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Thousands of Washington workers who have exhausted their unemployment benefits still do not have jobs.

An Employment Security Department report released Thursday shows that 75 percent of people who have run out of benefits since November 2009 are still out of work.

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Sports with Art Thiel
11:10 am
Thu July 28, 2011

Preview: Hasselbeck moves to Tennessee, will mentor Locker

Former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is the new starting QB for the Tennessee Titans. Vince Young is being released by the team today. Here are the two in happier times – after a preseason game in Seattle in 2010.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

It's official today: Vince Young is out at quarterback for the Tennessee Titans and former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is in. Several media outlets are now reporting that Hasselbeck has agreed to a multi-year deal with the team.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:17 am
Thu July 28, 2011

Hanford workers raise safety concerns, test DOE commitment

As more Hanford workers come forward with safety concerns, the Department of Energy's commitment to listen and protect them will be tested.
Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – More Hanford workers are starting to raise safety concerns about a massive nuclear waste treatment plant under construction in southeast Washington.

A federal nuclear watchdog agency has called the safety culture at the Hanford facility “flawed.” That finding is bolstered by a string of new letters from workers who say they have firsthand knowledge of problems at the plant.

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Elections 2011
10:00 am
Thu July 28, 2011

Levy would continue funding programs for veterans

King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson and others made a pitch for the Veterans and Human Services Levy on Wednesday.
Monica Spain KPLU

Ballots go out in the mail this week for the King County Primary Election. Among the measures is Proposition One which asks voters to renew the Veterans and Human Services Levy. 

Sheila Sebron is an U.S. Air Force veteran who does peer-to-peer outreach, helping others cope with life after military service.  She joined King county council members and other veterans who want to get the word out about saving programs they say are critical as more soldiers return home.

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Charity Fundraiser
9:50 am
Thu July 28, 2011

Update: More than $550,000 raised in honor of girl who died

Rachel Beckwith hoped to raise money to help bring clean water to poor people.
Courtesy of charity : water

In honor of her 9th birthday, Rachel Beckwith asked friends and family to donate money to bring clean water to an African village. She was close to her goal when she died over the weekend.

Nearly 16,000 people have made donations to a clean water project in honor of a nine-year-old Washington state girl. By Wednesday afternoon, there were donations totaling more than $550,000 to "charity: water" in Rachel's honor.

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