Prisoner Of War
8:40 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Would-Be Day Of Celebration In Bergdahl’s Hometown Passes Quietly

This tree was one of four planted for an event last year in Bowe Bergdahl’s hometown. The trees marked his then four years in captivity.
Jessica Robinson

A day of planned celebration of Bowe Bergdahl in his Idaho hometown turned out to be a pretty uneventful one. Hailey, Idaho cancelled Saturday’s event after the city received threats.

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Disability Rights
5:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Deaf Student Claims Medical School In Yakima Denied Him Access

Zachary Featherstone poses with his wife and daughter.
Courtesy of Zachary Featherstone.

A man who was admitted to the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, only to be told it couldn't make special accommodations for his disability, is suing the school claiming discrimination. 

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Transportation
5:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Seattle Mulls Reviving Downtown Streetcar In Hopes Of Easing Gridlock

A Seattle cable car is seen at Third and Yesler in 1940.
Courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives

The Seattle City Council is scheduled to vote today on whether to bring back the downtown streetcar.  

The proposed line would traverse First Avenue and link to the existing South Lake Union line and the First Hill line, which is slated to open later this year. 

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Legal Pot
5:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Little-Known Medical Marijuana Loophole Allows Teens To Get Lots of Pot

Courtesy of George Wing.

When voters approved Initiative 502, one part of the law that appealed to parents was that recreational marijuana would only be available to people 21 and older.

What many parents don’t realize is that it’s possible for a healthy teenager, with the help of an unethical medical provider, to obtain authorization for medical marijuana, which then gives them access to hundreds of dispensaries in the Seattle area. 

Meanwhile, Seattle Public Schools officials say marijuana use by students is on the rise, and students say it is easier to get than alcohol. Where is the supply coming from? Parents and school officials suspect medical marijuana dispensaries. 

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Jazz Northwest
2:05 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

Jazz Northwest: June 29, 2014

Sumi Tonooka

  There are jazz festivals at each end of the Salish Sea this week, from The American Classic Jazz Festival in Lacey to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. 

There's also jazz in the Seattle area ranging from the ambitious Alchemy Project premiering original music by Sumi Tonooka, Erica Lindsay, Salim Washington, David Arend and Samantha Boshnack with Max Wood and Willem De Koch, playing at The Royal Room Sunday. 

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Chuck Quirmbach is a Milwaukee-based reporter who covers developments and issues in Southeastern Wisconsin that are of statewide interest. He has numerous years of experience covering state government, elections, the environment, energy, racial diversity issues, clergy abuse claims and major baseball stadium doings. He enjoys covering all topics.

Chuck is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio and several other regional or national radio outlets. He has won several individual awards, and several as part of a collaboration with other reporters.

(414) 227-2040 

 

 

Early Childhood Education
7:56 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

In Signing Pre-K Bill, Seattle Mayor Makes Early Ed Ballot Showdown Official

Mayor Ed Murray signed legislation sending a preschool pilot program to the November ballot. If voters approve a $58 million property tax hike, the city would cover preschool tuition for some low- and middle-income kids.
Photo courtesy of Mayor Ed Murray's Office

The idea of pitting two questions about early childhood education against each other on the November ballot doesn't appeal to Laura Chandler.

"I don't like it, I wish it wasn't like that," said Chandler, a teacher at Small Faces Child Development Center. She supports a union-backed initiative to create a broader training program and raise wages for childcare workers.

But Sattl1e Mayor Ed Murray officially sent a second question to the ballot Friday, signing off on the Seattle City Council's plan asking for voters' approval of a $58 million property tax hike to pay for low- and middle-income kids to attend preschool.

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Youth & Education
12:01 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Gates Ed. Official: Protesters Raise 'Legitimate Concerns,' But OK To Disagree

Vicki Phillips, who heads education programming for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, testifying before Congress in 2009.
Flickr Education, Labor & Workforce Committee Democrats

More than 150 skeptics of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation protested in front of the philanthropy's Seattle headquarters on Thursday, objecting to the foundation's support of, among other things, the Common Core academic standards.

On the afternoon before that protest, a top Gates official told KPLU that the foundation has been open to teachers' concerns about the new standards.

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Supreme Court
11:05 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Abortion Seekers Still Protected At NW Clinics After Supreme Court Ruling

Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho CEO Karl Eastlund stands in the parking lot of the Spokane clinic.
Jessica Robinson

Abortion services providers say the Supreme Court’s ruling on a 35-foot “buffer zones”around Massachusetts clinics won’t have much effect in the Northwest.

Neither Washington, Oregon nor Idaho has the kind of law that the high court deemed unconstitutional. Clinics in the region rely on other measures aimed at protesters.

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Workplace Tragedy
10:56 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Shows Go On For Northwest Fireworks Company Shaken By Workplace Death

Ken Julian of Entertainment Fireworks stands near where a memorial will go for his friend and employee Bill Hill.
Austin Jenkins

People in the fireworks business say their job is to make people happy. But as the Fourth of July approaches, Entertainment Fireworks in Tenino, Washington, one of the largest fireworks companies in the Northwest, is reeling.

On June 18, a longtime seasonal employee was killed in an on-the-job explosion and fire.

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