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12:08 pm
Fri December 3, 2010

Give wisely this holiday season

A total of $1,432,453,344 in contributions was raised in Washington and elsewhere by the 107 paid fundraisers included in the report.
queen of subtle Flickr

It's that time of year when many of us give generously to charitable organizations.  But how do we know where the money is really going?  In some cases, more money goes into the pockets of professional fundraisers than to the charity itself.  

You can find out how your dollars are being spent at the Washington Secretary of State's office.  Just type in the organization's name, click the search button and you can see what percentage of dollars goes to charitable services...and how much goes to pay for fundraising.

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Public Health
10:28 am
Fri December 3, 2010

MRSA study of fire station shows the deadly bacteria is everywhere

Firefighters and medics may be at higher risk for carrying methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) than the average person, according to results from a UW study.
UW / Marc Beaudreau

The drug-resistant strain of staph infection MRSA is known to be a problem for many hospitals.  A pioneering study from the University of Washington shows that it's also resilient enough to spread from medic units all the way into the living quarters of firefighters. 

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Northwest Film Scene
9:02 am
Fri December 3, 2010

Seattle making a big showing at Sundance

Amy Seimetz as Francine in "The Off Hours" by Seattle writer/producer Megan Griffiths. The film is one of four shot in Seattle that will screen at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Jason Ganwich /

It's a strong year for independent films – and for indie movies from the Pacific Northwest.  Four feature films that were shot in the Seattle area have been selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival in January. 

"The Details" is a dark comedy  shot in Kirkland with a cast including star actors Laura Linney, Elizabeth Banks and Tobey McGuire.  It's in the line-up for the high-profile "Premieres" series. 

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Impact of War at Home
8:00 am
Fri December 3, 2010

Another tragic homecoming for a 5th Stryker Brigade soldier

Spc. Dustin Knapp returned from Afghanistan, but died on a Wisconsin road under mysterious circumstances. His is another tragic death of a 5th Stryker Brigade soldier following the return home.
Courtesy of Mary Jaskolski.

It was national news when a Washington-based soldier just back from Afghanistan died in a shootout with police in Salt Lake City. That was in August. Around the same time another soldier from the same brigade also died violently. But his death didn’t get much notice. It happened on a dark two-lane road in rural Wisconsin.  

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Disaster Preparedness
7:53 am
Fri December 3, 2010

It's landslide season

The Perkins Lane landslide on Seattle's Magnolia Bluff, 1996
Washington Department of Ecology

Forecasters have been warning of a wet and snowy La Niña winter in the Northwest.  More than five inches of precipitation fell at SeaTac airport last month.  Wet weather means an increased risk of landslides in the Puget Sound region.  Are you prepared?

The City of Seattle is holding a landslide awareness meeting.

When: Saturday, December 4, from 10 a.m. to noon.

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News Roundup
6:15 am
Fri December 3, 2010

Friday morning's headlines

Predicting the Apple Cup winner was easy for Chai the Elephant. The Woodland Park Zoo's lead sports authority enjoyed the apples in the UW box, rejecting WSU's. Coug fans take heart: Art Thiel predicts your on the eve of an upset.
Woodland Park Zoo via YouTube

Apple Cup weekend for football rivals, tough travel expected for game road-trippers,  and allegations of Army spying on an Olympia anti-war group lead today's news headlines.

 

Apple Cup in White

Snow covers the stands in Pullman today, but the field has been cleared in preparation for tomorrow's renewal of the rivalry between WSU and the UW. If the Huskies win, they'll finish the season at 6 and 6, and earn their first trip to a bowl game since 2002.  

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Sports with Art Thiel
11:23 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

One chapter closes, another opens

You’ve read his columns in the Seattle P-I for 30 years – first in print and more recently online.  Now, KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel has started a new Web site with friend and former P-I colleague Steve Rudman.  It’s called Sportspress Northwest.  Art talked with KPLU’s Kirsten Kendrick about his new venture, and about one of the big stories that will be featured on the site this weekend (the Apple Cup). 

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Labor Relations
3:23 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Grocery workers voting on contract offer, approval likely

Gary Davis KPLU

Unionized grocery store workers are voting this week on a tentative agreement with their employers at the region's four big chains.  Ratification of a new three-year contract looks likely.

About twenty five thousand grocery workers in King, Snohomish, Kitsap and North Mason counties are covered in the contract.  Most work for QFC, Fred Meyer, Albertsons and Safeway stores.

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Philanthropy
2:51 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Paul Allen gives big donation to WSU for global health

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, right, Scott Carson, center, and Washington State University president Elson Floyd applaud with the WSU mascot "Butch" in Seattle on Dec. 2, 2010.
AP (Elaine Thompson)

Washington State University is getting the biggest donation in its history – from its most famous drop-out.  Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, is giving $26 million, to support the new School for Global Animal Health.  Allen’s donation is just a little bigger than one given by his old Microsoft pal Bill Gates two years ago. 


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Winter Weather
2:48 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Skiers and snowboarders digging all the snow

The sunny slopes of Stevens Pass ski area on Wed. Dec. 1, 2010. The Herald of Everett spoke with happy snow lovers and brought along their HD video camera.
Herald of Everett via YouTube

Maybe you don't ski or snowboard, or even particularly like the snow. But there's so much enjoyment from watching the beautiful images captured by Herald of Everett reporters on Wednesday.  It was opening day at Stevens Pass.

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K-12 Education
2:41 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Seattle may close another school

Alternative School #1 is a K-8 Seattle Schools program located in the norheast part of the city.
Seattle Public Schools

Seattle is considering yet another school closure, along with re-assigning some students away from popular but overcrowded schools. Closures and assignment changes caused conflict within the city’s public schools over the past few years.  That was supposed to be finished last year. 


But the Seattle Times reports some schools are under-enrolled and some are over-enrolled.  Alternative School #1 is battling to stay open. 

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Groove Notes
12:10 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Grammy nominations announced

Wikimedia.org

Nominations for the Grammy Awards were announced last night. KPLU host, and jazz blogger Kevin Kniestedt has compiled a list of nominations in jazz categories, as well as some other categories in which jazz artists are included.

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FIFA World Cup
7:58 am
Thu December 2, 2010

No World Cup for Seattle and U.S. in 2022

A Qatari man displays the national flag and blows on a vuvuzelas, at Doha souk where people gathered to hear FIFA's selection on World Cup sites for 2018 and 2022, Dec. 2, 2010. Qatar won the 2022 bid.
AP

Seattle will not be hosting World Cup matches in 2022.  The United States was up against four other countries to host the World Cup. But the bid has gone to the Middle Eastern country Qatar.  

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Record Bin Roulette
7:34 am
Thu December 2, 2010

The Presidents' iPods

John and Jackie Kennedy, pictured here New Year's Day 1961. Did Kennedy have a 'tin ear'?
AP

The Record Bin Roulette wheel lands on: the Presidential iPod. Get ready to get your ears filled with the songs preferred in the Oval Office.

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State Budget Crisis
7:28 am
Thu December 2, 2010

Candy, soda and bottled water tax goes away today

Chris Shook, a driver with Harbor Pacific Bottling Inc., makes a delivery of soda and water in Elma, Wash.
Ted Warren AP Photo

Washington’s sales tax on candy, soda and bottled water goes away today. Some candy and chocolate stores are bracing for a surge in business from corporate gift purchases that have been delayed until now to avoid the tax.

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