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Former Washington Governor
10:11 am
Wed March 9, 2011

Obama nominates Locke as ambassador to China

President Barack Obama, left, announces that Commerce Sec. Gary Locke, right, will be the next US ambassador to China, in the Diplomatic Room of the White House Wednesday, March, 9, 2011. Locke is replacing Jon Huntsman.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP Photo

 WASHINGTON (AP)     President Barack Obama has nominated Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to be the next U.S. ambassador to China. At a White House appearance Wednesday (Video), Obama credited Locke for expanding exports to China and said he has earned the trust of business leaders.

The post is one of the most important diplomatic jobs in government. If confirmed by the Senate, Locke would become the first Chinese-American to serve as the envoy to China.

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Vivian Schiller
9:58 am
Wed March 9, 2011

NPR chief resigns in wake of latest controversy

NPR CEO Vivian Schiller resigned Wednesday, a move accepted by the board of directors.
Steven Voss

NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller has resigned after NPR's board of directors decided that she could no longer effectively lead the organization.

This follows yesterday's news that then-NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller (no relation) was videotaped slamming conservatives and questioning whether NPR needs federal funding during a lunch with men posing as members of a Muslim organization (they were working with political activist James O'Keefe on a "sting.")

Vivian Schiller quickly condemned Ron Schiller's comments, and he moved up an already-announced decision to leave NPR and resigned effective immediately.

But Ron Schiller's gaffe followed last fall's dismissal of NPR political analyst Juan Williams, for which Vivian Schiller came under harsh criticism and NPR's top news executive, Ellen Weiss, resigned.

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Army Investigation
9:00 am
Wed March 9, 2011

Army probe finds no deliberate mistreatment of Oregon Guard troops

"Very disappointing." That's how Oregon Senator Ron Wyden describes a series of Army investigations into the treatment of injured Oregon National Guard soldiers last year. Those inquires conclude the Oregon troops were not treated as second class soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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K-12 Education
8:43 am
Wed March 9, 2011

Get to know interim Seattle schools superintendent Susan Enfield

Interim Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Susan Enfield on her 3rd day on the job, March 7, 2011.
Charla Bear KPLU

Most people know very little about the new head of Seattle Public Schools. After Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson was fired over financial irregularities last week, the school board named Susan Enfield interim superintendent. Enfield had only been with the district for a year and a half as Chief Academic Officer. KPLU education reporter Charla Bear sat down with her to find out what she brings to Seattle schools besides an impressive resume...and dozens of rubber duckies.

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Coffee
8:30 am
Wed March 9, 2011

Starbucks unveils logo, celebrates 40 years

Starbucks baristas and employees at corporate headquarters celebrate new logo with CEO Howard Schultz on March 8, 2011.
Starbucks

In 40 years it went from a tiny store near Pike Place Market to a global brand, recognized around the world.  Starbucks is celebrating its  anniversary with a new, simplified logo that doesn’t have the word "Starbucks" or "coffee" on it. 

On Tuesday, a band played and hundreds of employees gathered and cheered as the logo was unveiled at Starbucks headquarters in Seattle.  CEO Howard Schultz told the crowd there were many doubters in the beginning who didn’t think Starbucks could ever go beyond the West Coast. "But they were wrong," he said.

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Food for Thought
5:14 am
Wed March 9, 2011

John Pizzarelli's box lunch serenade

The man just can't stop entertaining
KPLU

The only difference between John Pizzarelli and a real ham is...

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Medical safety
7:04 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

Rating hospitals based on number of errors

Thousands of people are still dying unnecessarily in America's hospitals, according to a new set of quality ratings.  That’s despite a decade of attention to preventing errors. 

More than 20,000 hospital deaths should have been prevented, just among Medicare patients (people over the age of 65), according to a report from Health Grades Inc. of Denver.

Hospitals in Washington as a group are about average in terms of their error rates.

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Crime
5:05 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

Murder, car thefts at historic lows in Seattle

Seattle Police Department Sgt. Sean Whitcomb holds a sign meant to be placed in cars to deter thieves.
Paula Wissel

The homicide rate in Seattle is at its lowest level since 1958.  Most other major crime is down as well.

Murder, rape, robbery and other violent crime was down 9 percent in 2010 compared to 2009. The 2010 crime statistics were released Tuesday by the Seattle Police Department. As KPLU reported, the  Seattle Police Department has also released a report showing that the use of force by officers is rare and below the national average.

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Arts & Culture
1:35 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

Interview with poet, author and playwright Dr. Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou receives the nation's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, from President Barack Obama, Feb. 15, 2011, in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo

One of America's most prominent living poets is coming to Seattle. Dr. Maya Angelou is the author of a groundbreaking memoire published in 1970, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. It describes how she overcame racism and trauma growing up in the South. 

Dr. Angelou is now 83, and recently received the highest civilian honor in the land, the Medal of Freedom, from President Barack Obama. 

KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp spoke with her and asked, first of all, how she came to write her first work of prose. (Click on the audio "play" arrow at the top of this post to hear KPLU's interview).

Dr. Angelou will speak at Seattle's Paramount Theatre on Monday, March 14th, in an appearance at 7:30 p.m.

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Shark Fin Soup
10:51 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Lawmakers want to take shark fin soup off menus

West Coast lawmakers want to take shark fin soup off restaurant menus. The Washington, Oregon and California Legislatures are all considering measures to criminalize the trade in shark fins.

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Washington State Legislature
8:24 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Immigration check for driver’s licenses appears unlikely

Washington could soon be the last state in the nation to issue driver’s licenses without an immigration check. A controversial proposal in Olympia to create a two-tier license system appears to have died. Senate Republicans failed to force a vote just before a key legislative cut-off.

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Street scene
7:47 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Street food: Coming soon to a Seattle neighborhood near you

Dozens of food carts set up along city streets in Portland help create a colorful cultural experience.
stu_spivack Flickr

Portland – among other cities – has a thriving street food scene, with dozens of food carts and trucks serving up a wide range of cuisines. Seattle? Not so much …

Now, the Seattle City Council is expected to consider changes to the city’s restrictive food vending laws that would open up the public streets to food-on-the-go. 

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News Roundup
6:52 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Tuesday morning's headlines

Seattle Deputy Police Chief Clark Kimerer on Feb. 16, announcing SPD findings that the fatal shooting of John T. Williams last summer was not justified. A new SPD report finds police use of force declined sharply between 2006 and 2009.
Liam Moriarty KPLU News

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Report: Seattle Police Don't Abuse Use of Force
  • Supreme Court Sides With Local Peace Activist
  • Gonzaga Makes NCAA Field

 

Seattle Police: Our Use of Force "Rare"

Seattle Police say the public's impression that officers are using more physical force is wrong.  In fact, a new department report makes the case that use of force is rare. The SeattlePI.com's Casey McNerthny details  a number of recent incidents where officers have been under scrutiny for charges of excessive force.  Still, the report:

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Former Washington Governor
4:58 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Gary Locke expected to be the next US ambassador to China

Gary Locke, the first Chinese-American governor (Washington) and US Commerce Secretary, is shown here in 1997 during a visit to his ancestral home in Jilong village, southeast China. Locke is expected to be nominated as the next US Ambassador to China.
AP Photo

President Barack Obama is expected to nominate US Commerce Secretary and former Washington Governor Gary Locke to be ambassador to China. Both as governor and Commerce Secretary, Locke has promoted close trade relations with the country from which his father and grandfather emigrated.

If Locke is confirmed as ambassador to China, he’ll become the first Chinese-American to hold the post. He was also the first Chinese American to become a governor and the first to be Secretary of Commerce.

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Money Matters
4:07 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Time for a correction?

wsilver flickr.com

The market has had a phenomenal run up in the past two years, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining nearly 6,000 points. Recent volatility indicates the market may be ready to fall.

But financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer there's no reason to panic. It's all part of the natural market cycle.

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