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Environment
12:07 am
Mon March 14, 2011

Snake, Columbia dams to open after long closure

The second leaf of the new The Dalles downstream navigation lock gate is lowered into position on March 5.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers will open for barge traffic soon. Locks were closed for several months during repairs.

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Air Pollution
4:11 pm
Fri March 11, 2011

Auto emission testing changes under consideration

Washington's auto emissions program is being changed to make it more cost effective

For most drivers in Washington’s most-populated areas, getting your car’s emissions system tested is an every-other-year ritual. Now, state environment officials are proposing to make changes they say will streamline the process without compromising the region’s air quality.

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Science
3:45 pm
Fri March 11, 2011

Japan tsunami illustrates risks facing Pacific Northwest coast

UW Brian Atwater (center) points out evidence of the 1700 Cascadia earthquake and tsunami to field-trip participants during a canoe trip along the Niawiakum River.
Brian Atwater University of Washington

The same type of tectonic earthquake that hit Japan - involving the collision of plates that make up the Earth's crust - could happen in the Northwest.  Similar faults lie in the Cascadia subduction zone. 

The head of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington, John Vidale, told The Seattle Times' Sandi Doughton the Cascadia fault last ruptured in 1700.  Scientists believe it generated at magnitude 9 earthquake and a tsunami that may have been bigger than the one that battered Japan. 

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Japan Quake
2:00 pm
Fri March 11, 2011

Tsunami waves not visible to the eye on coast

Tidal gauges detected a tsunami wave along the Washington and Oregon coasts Friday morning. But the swell, up to 1.5 feet, went unnoticed by coastal residents who chose not to evacuate.

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Japan Quake Aftermath
10:45 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Threat from tsunami waves lessens; people asked to stay off coast beaches

Waves common for a stormy springtime day crash into the beach Friday, March 11, 2011 in Moclips, Wash. A Tsunami caused by the Thursday earthquake in Japan reached the west coast of the United States early Friday, though its impact was minimal.
Ted S. Warren AP

Updated at 10:32 a.m.

The first wave of the tsunami to hit the Washington Coast measured 1.6 feet at La Push and about half a foot at Neah Bay and Port Angeles, according to the National Weather Service.

Tsunami Adisory Remains in Effect

Science and Operations officer Kirby Cook says the tsunami advisory is still in effect for the Washington Coast and more waves could be on the way. Cook says more waves are landing in California and that means Washington and Oregon can expect more as well.

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Medicine
10:21 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Health procedures scrutinized for costs, benefits

If you've had arthroscopic knee surgery for osteoarthritis, maybe you shouldn't have.  And if you've tried any of these treatments, there are questions, too, about whether it was worth it:

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Japan Quake
8:33 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Tsunami waves washing in along Northwest coast; limited evacuations in Grays Harbor, Pacific counties

A tsunami evacuation sign in Grays Harbor County, on Washington's coast. There have been limited evacuations, as a surge of 4 feet is expected this morning.
AP

The National Weather Service reports the tsunami generated by the 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan on Friday is now coming ashore on the Washington and Oregon coastline.

Meteorologist Johnny Berg says the tsunami advisory is still in effect and waves are coming in, but he says he doesn't have details to offer about how high those waves are.

An AP photographer reports vigorous wave activity on the coast near Moclips, on the central coast, similar to any stormy day on the ocean beaches.

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Spokane Backpack Bomb
8:11 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Suspect in bomb case expressed Neo-Nazi views as “Joe Snuffy”

This week Northeast Washington learned one of its residents is suspected of being a Neo-Nazi terrorist. The FBI arrested 36-year-old Kevin Harpham for allegedly planting a bomb in a backpack along the route of Spokane's Martin Luther King Day Parade. Harpham is now being held at the Spokane County Jail.

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Breaking News
7:08 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Major quake, tsunami hits Japan; limited evacuations on Washington coast due to wave threat

Cars and other Debris swept away by tsunami tidal waves are seen in Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, after strong earthquakes hit the area Friday, March 11, 2011.
Keichi Nakane Yomiuri Shimbun

Updated 7:08 a.m., PST.  

The National Weather Service (NOAA) has issued a tsunami advisory for the Washington Coast following the massive 8.9 quake in northeast Japan.

Tsunami 'Advisory' Definition, from the National Weather Service:

  • Persons in a tsunami “Advisory” coastal area should move out of the water, off the beach and out of harbors and marinas.
  • Tsunami Advisories mean that a tsunami capable of producing strong currents or waves dangerous to people in or very near water is imminent or expected.
  • Significant widespread inundation is NOT expected for areas in an ‘advisory.'

 

Waves Expected Here After 7 a.m.; Some Evacuations on Coast

In Pacific and Grays Harbor counties, emergency management officials say "limited" evacuations are taking place. 

In Grays Harbor County, evacuations are taking place in the lowest-lying areas of Taholah, Pacific Beach, Moclips and Iron Springs (north of Copalis Beach), are people are being asked to move to higher ground.  A wave surge of up to 4 feet is projected for those areas shortly after 7 a.m. this morning, the highest level of wave expected to hit Washington state.

Pacific County has implemented its 'reverse 911' system, calling residents on the coast and in lowlying areas and asking them to evacuate calmly. He says an orderly evacuation is happening in Long Beach, Ilwaco and Ocean Park.

People are being asked to stay away from the beaches, harbors and coastal lowlands. Although the initial wave times are indicated, the highest wave may not impact the area for a few hours after that time.

In Oregon, tsunami sirens are blaring in coastal communities, the warning for residents to seek higher ground.  Traffic is heavy on the main transportation artery, Highway 101. In Seaside, at least one hotel has been evacuated. Waves in Oregon may be as high as 6 feet, and expected to arrive between 7 and 8 a.m.

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Sports with Art Thiel
12:46 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Art Thiel: Give Romar benefit of the doubt in Overton case

Too much, too little or just right? Depending on who you ask, you will get different answers to the question of whether University of Washington basketball coach Lorenzo Romar went far enough in his punishment of senior guard Venoy Overton.

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Business
6:06 pm
Thu March 10, 2011

Starbucks teams up with Green Mountain Coffee

Single-serve coffee is in vogue.  Seattle-based Starbucks says that's the motivation behind a long-awaited deal with Vermont's Green Mountain Coffee, which the companies signed today.  It's part of Starbuck's strategy for continued growth in the US and Canada. 

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Search Technology
5:56 pm
Thu March 10, 2011

Amazon.com & Google facing suits for alleged patent infringement

Technology that enables good results for searches on the Internet is at the heart of two patent lawsuits brought against online retailer Amazon.com and search-giant Google.

San Francisco-based MasterObjects has filed federal complaints against both companies, saying they're stealing its technology.

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Pierce County
1:29 pm
Thu March 10, 2011

Video of dog's CPR rescue could be used for teaching

A Pierce County dog trainer is fielding heaps of praise for saving the life of Sugar, a 4-year old boxer.  The animal collapsed during a training class Saturday.  Ron Pace said when he saw the animal fall, his instincts took over, according to the News Tribune's Sara Schilling:

Pace, 54, who owns Canyon Crest K9 Training Center in the Summit/Waller Road area, used a version of CPR to get Sugar breathing again...

It took about two minutes of steady massage to the dogs chest, and a couple of breaths into the animal's mouth, to help bring Sugar around, to the delight and relief of the dog's owner, Tiffany Kauth of Bremerton.

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Health
12:54 pm
Thu March 10, 2011

Norovirus outbreak at the Seattle Yacht Club

The Seattle Yacht Club mainstation clubhouse on Portage Bay
seattleyachtclub.org

A virus outbreak has closed the Seattle Yacht Club's mainstation clubhouse on Portage Bay. Dozens of people who attended the JO Ball and a private party at the end of February became ill with gastrointestinal symptoms. Yacht Club General Manager Steve Hall says the club contacted the King County Health Department, sanitized the kitchen area, and closed the facility until March 12.

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Jazz News
12:53 pm
Thu March 10, 2011

Billie Holiday Being Inducted into National Women's Hall of Fame

Billie Holiday
billieholiday.com

 Billie Holiday, considered one of the greatest jazz vocalists of all time, will be inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame later this year, on September 30-October 1, 2011 in Seneca Falls, NY, the birthplace of the American Women's Rights Movement.  Holiday, known for her deeply moving and personal vocals, remains a popular musical legend more than fifty years after her death.

The National Women's Hall of Fame, formed in 1969, has inducted 236 women including vocalists Ella Fitzgerald and Bessie Smith.

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