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Metro Funding
11:50 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Metro Transit Asking Voters To Pass Prop. 1, Prevent Bus Service Cuts

King County Metro Transit's Facebook Page

King County voters have less than two weeks to decide whether they want to pay a higher sales tax and car tab fee to prevent major cuts to King County Metro Transit bus service.

Proposition 1 would raise the sales tax by .1 percent and boost car tabs by $60. These increases would stay in place for the next 10 years.

If the measure fails, Metro says it will have to get rid of 16 percent of its bus routes and cut thousands of hours of service. 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:23 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Weekend Curse Broken: Saturday The Start Of 'Extraordinarily Nice Period,' Says Mass

Tim Durkan

Get out your shades and sunscreen: this weekend promises to be mild and very sunny, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“It’s gonna be quite good,” said Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

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Endangered Fish
5:01 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Scientists Monitoring Oso Slide’s Effects On Stillaguamish Fish Runs

Turbid waters at the confluence of the Stillaguamish River after the mudslide present challenging circumstances for endangered fish.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

As the search for victims of the Oso mudslide continues, scientists are monitoring its effects on endangered fish runs.

The cloudiness of the Stillaguamish River due to sediment washing down after the slide is a big concern. But it looks like initial fears of devastation are giving way to optimism. 

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Sports with Art Thiel
5:00 am
Fri April 11, 2014

‘Superstar’ Cano Shows Leadership In Mariners' Strong Start

Seattle Mariners' Robinson Cano looks up as he prepares to run onto the field for player introductions before the Mariners' baseball home-opener against the Los Angeles Angels, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel called the Mariners' $240 million, 10-year contract with Robinson Cano is "stupid, but necessary." He also said the Mariners were "not ready" for the regular season, plagued by injury and subpar performances in spring training.

But the Mariners have started the season with a bang, and that has Art — and many jaded fans — "letting a little hope in."

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Labor Practices
4:24 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Hearing Set For T-Mobile Workers' Unfair Labor Practice Claims

Mark Lennihan AP Photo

The union that has been trying to organize T-Mobile workers says a recent action by the federal government will boost its efforts.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ordered the various labor complaints against the telecom giant to be consolidated into one case.

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Water Forecast
2:22 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Water Supply Rebounds Across Most Of Northwest After March Storms

On this map of current snow conditions, blues and greens are good. Red, orange and yellow represent below-average snowpack.
NWRFC

Irrigators, hydropower dam operators and tugboat captains are sitting pretty across most of the Northwest, according to the latest regional water supply forecast presented Thursday.

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Data Security
2:11 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Audit: State Gave Away, Sold Computers Containing Sensitive Personal Data

Mikkel Ronne Flickr

State agencies have likely given away or sold hundreds of surplus computers without removing confidential data from their hard drives, according to the state auditor.

A performance audit released Thursday says a spot check of more than a thousand remaindered machines found about 9 percent of them still contained sensitive data, such as social security numbers and medical information.

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911 Outage
1:06 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

911 Outage In Washington, Oregon Due To 2 Separate Problems, Says CenturyLink

The 911 service outage that affected most of the Pacific Northwest this morning was the result of two separate, unrelated problems, according to CenturyLink, which provides the infrastructure for 911 in the region.

What started as a 911 outage in Oregon around 1:30 a.m. Thursday was quickly felt in Washington state, too. But CenturyLink spokeswoman Jan Kampbell says the two outages are unrelated.

“One had nothing to do with the other. The timing was just crazy,” she said.

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Jazz Appreciation Month
11:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Song Of The Day: Darcy James Argue's Secret Society 'Transit'

smithsonianjazz.org

“Jazz isn’t dead, it just smells funny” – Frank Zappa

Since the 1980s, there has been much talk about the “death” of jazz. Some people claim that since that time jazz music has become a kind of museum piece, with current musicians just trying to recreate what has happened in the past.

This view came about because in the early '80s there was a big crop of young musicians who were reacting to the fusion and electrified jazz of the' 70s, and in so doing they were trying to bring jazz back to where it was in the '60s before fusion hit. For better or for worse, these musicians got a lot of press and attention and their brand of retro-jazz became the predominant model. While all this is undisputed, those who say jazz is dead just aren’t paying attention!

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Boeing Jobs
10:45 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Boeing Moves 1,000 Customer Support Jobs Out Of Wash. State To SoCal

AP Photo

Boeing is moving about 1,000 of its customer support jobs out of Washington and into Southern California.

The company said Thursday that it is centralizing its customer support to its engineering design center in Southern California. It already employs 1,800 people at its Long Beach and Seal Beach sites there.

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911 Outage
5:02 am
Thu April 10, 2014

CenturyLink, Agencies Say 911 Service Restored After Overnight Outage

Emergency 911 phone service has been restored in Washington after a 6-hour-long statewide overnight outage.

CenturyLink spokeswoman Kerry Zimmer in Spokane says service was restored about 8 a.m. Thursday in Washington. Service was restored about 6:30 a.m. in parts of Oregon that also were affected.

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Oil Trains
5:01 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Sen. Murray Calls Federal Hearing On Risks, Procedures For Rail Shipment Of Crude Oil

AP Photo

Less than four years ago, there were virtually no shipments of crude oil by rail car through Washington state. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see the dark-gray tanks at crossings all over the state.  

U.S.  Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., held a hearing with top transportation and safety officials to discuss potential safety measures to protect communities in the face of more growth.  

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

No Limes, And A Sense Of Perspective In The Air

Don't be this guy. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says a sense of perspective is important when flying.
Ed Ronco KPLU

A shortage of limes is causing trouble for some airlines, according to a report by the Associated Press. Many carriers announced they would temporarily stop using limes during drink service aboard their aircraft. That includes Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, which estimates it goes through 900 limes a day. 

Some bloggers reacted to the news as though they'd just eaten a lemon instead.

"Diet Coke without lime is like Bert without Ernie," wrote Ben Schlappig, on the BoardingArea blog.

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Northwest Salmon
8:40 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

New Quotas Clear Way For Banner Summer Salmon Fishing In Pacific Ocean

Andrew Russell Flickr

A federal fisheries management panel approved what some charter captains are calling the best ocean fishing season in 20 years.

Meeting at a hotel in Vancouver, Washington, the Pacific Fishery Management Council on Wednesday adopted the 2014 season quotas unanimously after days of lengthy negotiations between commercial troll and recreational fishing representatives, treaty tribes and government regulators.

The quotas are a big turnaround from the recent past when ocean salmon fishing was sharply curtailed or not allowed at all.

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Wanapum Dam
5:58 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Keeping Bones, Cultural Artifacts Safe In Central Washington Proving Costly

The drawdown of water behind the cracked Wanapum Dam in central Washington is exposing dozens of human gravesites and hundreds of Native American cultural artifacts. Grant County officials are working overtime to protect these sensitive sites, but that work isn’t cheap.

Grant County utility district says it’s spending about $600,000 per month protecting 80 miles of Columbia River shore.

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