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Tough Times
7:19 am
Fri May 27, 2011

Grays Harbor Paper closing Hoquiam mill

Hoquiam's skyline, in better days. Grays Harbor Paper is closing its mill there, eliminating 240 'green' jobs in a county with unemployment already at nearly 15%.
Photo by MïK Flickr

Grays Harbor Paper has shut down its mill in Hoquiam, putting a dour end to what had been a success story for 18 years. 

240 workers are losing their jobs. Many were shocked by the announcement, according to King-5 news.

“I thought this place was going to be in for the long haul,” said Tony Harris, who had worked for Grays Harbor Paper for two years.

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State Budget Crisis
2:53 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

Health care union files initiative to soften budget cuts

The Washington state budget plan released Tuesday will cut funding for in-home health care workers. In reaction, one health care workers' union has already filed an initiative aiming to mitigate the effects of some of those reductions.

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Senate Confirmation Hearing
11:48 am
Thu May 26, 2011

Ambassador nominee Gary Locke: China must lean on N. Korea

US Ambassador to China nominee and former Washington Governor Gary Locke arrives on Capitol Hill this (Thurs.) morning to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his nomination.
Evan Vucci AP

Commerce Secretary – and former Washington governor - Gary Locke is a step closer to becoming the next U.S. ambassador to China. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee completed his confirmation hearing in just
an hour and a half this morning. 

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GROOVENOTES
11:06 am
Thu May 26, 2011

Plenty of celebration on the 85th birthday of Miles Davis

Life Magazine

Miles Davis would have been 85 years old today, and the birth of the legendary trumpeter is being celebrated in several ways and places around the country today.

LIFE.com just posted never-before-seen photos of Miles from 1958.

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Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal
9:39 am
Thu May 26, 2011

Clergy abuse case becomes spiritual struggle for attorney

Leander James
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

One of the largest clergy sex abuse cases in the country has turned into the case of a lifetime for one Northwest attorney.

The settlement between the Northwest Jesuits and abuse victims will soon go before a federal judge in Portland for confirmation. The north Idaho attorney who helped negotiate this $166 million deal says he was a small town “nobody” before the case.

KPLU’s Jessica Robinson tells the story of how going up against the Catholic church shook up his own long-held beliefs.

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NEWS ROUNDUP
6:07 am
Thu May 26, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

It’s all over but the polishing – a worker rubs wood stain into desks on the House Chamber in this file photo. The Washington State Legislature has adjourned after completing a new state budget that fills a projected shortfall of $5 billion.
Ted S. Warren AP

Scattered showers today, partly sunny - high 58. Latest forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Seattle Police Dept. Told to Stop ID'ing Misbehaving Officers
  • Gregoire Says Session Was Most Difficult in Memory
  • Body Found in Snoqualmie River Near Where Man Vanished
  • Lake Washington High School Backs Off Prom Alcohol Tests

 

Arbitrator's Ruling Shields Disciplined Seattle Officers

A labor arbitrator has ordered the Seattle Police Department to stop releasing the names of officers found to have engaged in misconduct.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu May 26, 2011

Memorial Day

Steve took it Flickr

This week’s show takes us from Gomer Pyle to Puffed Wheat cereal in the space of 3 minutes, and it’s a twisted road between the two. In between we hear from The Andrews Sisters,  Enrico Caruso and General George Patton.
Here are some interesting tidbits we found: 

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Growing Jobs
6:35 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

Northwest consortium aiming to become hub for aviation biofuels

Camelina, a member of the mustard family, is a viable candidate for producing oil for biofuels, requiring minimal inputs of water and fertilizer compared to a number of other oilseed feedstocks.
Washington State University photo

A new industry is emerging in the Pacific Northwest – for development, production and distribution of aviation biofuels.

A consortium called Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest has just spent ten months producing an exhaustive study.  They've identified the four-state region of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana as a serious contender in the race to produce environmentally friendly jet fuels.

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Animal Rights
2:09 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

Northwest lawmakers crack open egg controversy

Greg Satrum stands outside of one of the chicken houses at Willamette Egg Farms near Canby, Oregon.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

The Northwest egg industry is changing the way it houses chickens. But animal rights activists in Oregon and Washington say the change isn't going far enough.

Lawmakers in both Olympia and Salem debated the welfare of egg-laying hens this year. Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has already signed one bill. A similar measure has been approved by the Oregon Senate and is awaiting action in the House.

Regardless, opponents in both states are launching ballot initiatives aimed at giving hens even more space.

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Seattle hostage killings
1:39 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

Ninth Somali pleads guilty in fatal yacht hijacking

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle are pictured here in 2005 in California. Both were reported killed by Somali pirates. Nine Somalis have now pleaded guilty to the piracy of their yacht in February.
Courtest of Joe Grande

A ninth Somali man has pleaded guilty to piracy for his role in the hijacking of a yacht that left four Americans - including two from Seattle - dead.

Ahmed Sala Ali Burale pleaded guilty in federal court in Norfolk on Wednesday. Muhidin Salad Omar also pleaded guilty earlier in the day.

They are among 14 people from Somalia and one from Yemen charged in connection with the February hijacking of the yacht Quest.

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The Northwest's Late Spring
12:58 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

Wine makers fret over cool spring, still hope for good vintage

Carlos Valencia harvests riesling grapes on the farm of Mike Miller, near Prosser, Wash. File photo.
Elaine Thompson AP

Northwest winemakers are holding out hope for a good 2011 vintage despite this being the coldest spring they can remember in decades. Growers say they’re plants are about three weeks behind their usual growth for this time of year.

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EVERGREEN POINT BRIDGE REPLACEMENT
8:46 am
Wed May 25, 2011

How to mitigate the impact of a new 520 bridge on the Arboretum?

A kayaker paddles through the waters of Union Bay near the west end of the 520 bridge in the Washington Park Arboretum.
urbanvillages.com

Unless a lawsuit derails the process, a new 520 bridge will soon be built across Lake Washington. 

A company in Aberdeen is already constructing the huge pontoons that will keep the new, 6-lane structure afloat.

And the state is widening the highway on the east side of the lake. 

But exactly what the project will look like on the Seattle side is still being worked out.

Seattle's Board of Park Commissioners will get a briefing on impacts to the Washington Park Arboretum tomorrow night (Thursday).

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NEWS ROUNDUP
7:58 am
Wed May 25, 2011

Wednesday morning's headlines

From left, Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, Sen. Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, Sen. Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, and Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, take their seats to talk about a tentative budget agreement, Tuesday in Olympia.
Ted S. Warren AP

Rain this afternoon, high 59. Latest forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

  • $32 Billion Dollar Deal Closes State Budget Gap
  • Auburn Shooting Suspect Arrested Dressed as Woman
  • 3 Seattle Officers Suspended for Foul Language
  • Seattle 4th of July Fireworks a Go

 

House Passes Budget Deal, Hours After Unveiling

House lawmakers have given tentative approval to a state spending plan that cuts teacher pay and makes other massive reductions in education spending.

The measure passed Tuesday evening by a 54-42 margin, just hours after budget writers from both parties unveiled the plan.

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Food for Thought
4:01 am
Wed May 25, 2011

Choose your poisson

Alaska King Salmon
Nancy Leson

Hope I'm not getting all touchy-eely and making a bass of myself but before I clam up and call for kelp I should point out that if you tuna in to this Food for Thought you'll be herring all about...

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Special Session Deadline
1:16 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

State budget deal includes cuts for teacher salaries

A tentative agreement to fill Washington state's $5 billion budget shortfall includes cuts to teacher salaries.

Details of the $32 billion spending plan released Tuesday include a 1.9 percent cut for teacher pay and a 3 percent cut for other K-12 employees. Those changes will save the state $179 million over the next two years. Lawmakers are also moving to suspend voter-approved cost-of-living adjustments for education employees, saving another $300 million.

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