10:56 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Power up: Boeing flips switch on solar array

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Boeing has flipped the switch on the solar power array on the roof of its new South Carolina assembly plant.

Officials of Boeing and South Carolina Electric & Gas on Friday dedicated the 10-acre project which officials say is the largest rooftop solar installation in the Southeast, ranked by production capacity.

The array on the roof of Boeing's 787 final assembly plant generates 2.6-megawatts of power.

Scana Chairman and CEO Kevin Marsh said the array generates enough power for 250 homes.

Seattle city workers
10:50 am
Fri December 2, 2011

3 Seattle utilities employees fired over $440

The Seattle Public Utilities agency fired three employees Friday and suspended a fourth for tampering with billing records.

The agency says an investigation found they waived late fees, readjusted payment periods or manipulated payment arrangements.

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Other News
10:05 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Will Washington’s privatized liquor sales impact Idaho?

BOISE – Washington State’s move to privatize liquor sales next year could have repercussions on Idaho’s revenues. That’s according to Idaho’s Office of Performance Evaluation.

Analyst Jared Tatro of Idaho’s Office of Performance Evaluation says high prices for liquor in Washington drive bargain seekers to Idaho.

But privatization may change that.

“If Washington prices are reduced to the point where residents stop coming over, what we’re going to see is, for example, if it’s a 10 percent drop in sales, that’s a reduction in $3.5 million in profit,” Tatro says.

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10:01 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Contractor's report finds no 'chilled' safety culture at Hanford

The Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant or vit plant, located on the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford site. Photo courtesy of Bechtel National, Inc.

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 3:47 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. – Critics of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's say its Waste Treatment Plant has a culture that lets safety concerns slide. Now a new government-funded report disputes that notion.

The in-depth report came after a federal watchdog agency and a high-level whistleblower called the treatment plant's safety culture flawed. But this new report says that there is no reluctance on the part of workers for the Department of Energy, or contractors Bechtel and URS, to raise safety and technical issues, except in isolated cases.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:01 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Record high pressure stalls our weather, causes high winds in Calif.

Pedestrians, left, view trees blown over during a wind storm Thursday in Pasadena, Calif. High winds caused by the high pressure over Seattle flipped over trees and trucks and knocked out power to more than 300,000 California.
Associated Press

The weather we are experiencing today will continue for the next week, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. And that means the high winds in California, parts of Utah and Nevada are likely to continue as well.

“We are going to see our weather dominated by high pressure right off shore in the Eastern Pacific – it’s going to prevent any weather system from getting in here,” Mass said. “So it should be dry for the next, at least, three to five days. No precipitation. No storms. No nothing.”

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:00 am
Fri December 2, 2011

If you are wondering about the weather ... ask Cliff Mass

KPLU hosts one of the northwest's leading weather experts, University of Washington professor Cliff Mass. Every Friday, Mass talks with KPLU's Keith Seinfeld about the weekend weather and the science behind it.

From time to time, they like to answer questions posed by listeners and readers. This page is your place to pose questions.

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I Wonder Why
4:30 am
Fri December 2, 2011

We don't have an accent in the Northwest ... or do we?

There's definitely an accent in the Pacific Northwest, according researchers at the University of Washington. But whether you can actually hear it depends on where you're from.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

Do I have an accent? You hear me on the radio. I hear myself on the radio, many times a week in western Washington, and I didn’t think so. But, a researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle tells me I do have an accent – it’s in the way I say that very word “accent.”

Apparently my pronunciation is a dead giveaway that I grew up here in the Northwest.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

New WSU coach Mike Leach brilliant but controversial

Mike Leach celebrates after Texas Tech beat Minnesota 44-41 in overtime in the Insight Bowl in 2006. Leach took the Red Raiders to a bowl game in each of his 10 years there. WSU officials hope he'll bring his winning ways to Pullman.
Ross D. Franklin AP Photo

He coached Texas Tech to 10 bowl games in 10 years. That's the winning record that Mike Leach brings to Washington State University as the new head football coach.

But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says he also comes with controversy.

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Gun laws
5:19 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Seattle wants gun ban reinstated by state high court

The city of Seattle is asking the Washington Supreme Court to determine whether municipalities can ban people from carrying guns in local parks and community centers where children gather.

Seattle instituted its ban in 2009. Several individuals with concealed weapons permits challenged the ban, and a King County Superior Court judge struck down the ban as preempted by state law governing firearms regulation.

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Budget crisis
3:47 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Olympia eyes new plan as Wenatchee agency defaults

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A Wenatchee-area agency is defaulting on its debt but still may get support from the state Legislature.

Democratic Rep. Ross Hunter said Thursday that his committee will consider a measure that would make a belated payment on the $42 million bond debt.

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