Economy
12:01 am
Fri February 25, 2011

Debate Heats Up Over Public And Private Pensions

The budget showdown in Wisconsin and other states has brought to light the differences between public and private retirement plans.

Olivia Mitchell, executive director of the Pension Research Council at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, tells NPR host Renee Montagne that people in the private sector have pension envy because it seems their public sector peers are getting a better deal in retirement.

But that envy may not last long as state and local governments struggle to pay for those benefits.

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Environment
4:36 pm
Thu February 24, 2011

Clean up continues after fuel tanker spill on Olympic Peninsula

This image was captured by a WSDOT worker at the site of a tanker fuel spill near the Olympic Peninsula town of Forks on Wednesday. Clean up continues there.
WSDOT Flickr

An estimated 4,300 gallons of fuel spilled Wednesday when a tanker truck overturned on U.S. Highway 101 about 25 miles south of Forks. Work continues at the site today to contain the spill as quickly as possible.

Kim Schmanke of the state's Department of Ecology says crews righted the damaged trailer late Wednesday afternoon. The State Patrol says the truck driver wasn't injured in crash yesterday morning. 

Schmanke says response agencies and cleanup contractors are working to recover the spilled fuel and assess environmental impacts.

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Defense
2:37 pm
Thu February 24, 2011

Boeing wins massive Air Force refueling tanker contract

The Pentagon wants Boeing to build the next generation of Air Force refueling tankers. The contract is worth $35 billion. Boeing's bid beat out rival EADS, parent of Airbus. 

The Air Force has tried for nearly a decade to replace its aging fleet of Eisenhower-era tankers, the equivalent of a flying gas station.

The planes will be based on Boeing's 767 jetliner.  The work is expected to impact 50,000 jobs, according to the Associated Press.

Washington's congressional leaders are celebrating the announcement. In a statement issued shortly after the Pentagon's choice was made public, Senator Patty Murray cheered the decision:

“This decision is a major victory for the American workers, the American aerospace industry and America’s military. And it is consistent with the President’s own call to ‘out-innovate’ and ‘out-build’ the rest of the world," Murray stated.

 

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Groove Notes Jazz Blog
12:40 pm
Thu February 24, 2011

The Jazz 100: Some final thoughts

I want to wrap up this little series on the Jazz 100 with my own personal thoughts on the list and some of the comments and questions left by listeners/readers.

There were some thoughts that kept popping up in readers posts. One was “Why didn’t (insert song here) show up on the list?”. Another is “My list would look completely different from this one.” A third was “There is no way that Take Five” should be number 1.”

Let me start by saying that my own personal list would also look a bit different from this one. I’ve seen emails and posts from casual listeners to the very jazz educated saying the exact same thing.

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Driver Survey
12:23 pm
Thu February 24, 2011

We're comfortable driving in the snow? Really, Pemco?

But is the driver comfortable navigating on our snowy, icy roads?
@Brycej Twitpic

This statement might surprise you. It sure surprised us. 

Pemco Insurance makes the claim, based on a survey it did of Washington drivers. Most polled (58%)  say they feel 'comfortable' behind the wheel when driving on snowy roads.

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Humanosphere
12:14 pm
Thu February 24, 2011

Gates Foundation spotlights Rotary Club's polio campaign

On a cold Wednesday night, Feb. 23rd, in Seattle, the Gates Foundation honored the polio eradication work of Rotary Club, and local champion Ezra Teshome.
Gates Foundation

For the record, Bill Gates couldn’t have become the world’s leading advocate for polio eradication if not for people like Ezra Teshome. People who wear sprockets on their heads.

Rotarians.

I hung out on Wednesday night with a small gang of Seattle Rotarians, including Ezra and Bill Gates Sr., who had braved the winter storm warning (of, yeah, that dusting of snow) to celebrate Rotary’s 106th anniversary and its decades of commitment to seeing polio wiped off the face of the planet. 

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News Roundup
8:58 am
Thu February 24, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

The backup at 9:20 a.m. today on I-5 in the Olympia area has worsened as snow and freezing fog plague drivers.
WSDOT

This morning's headlines are a roundup of the winter snowstorm and cold temperatures affecting Western Washington communities today:

Updated 8:58 a.m.

Driving Conditions Tough, Dangerous

Stay off the roads if at all possible. That advisory is from state transportation leaders, who are dealing with snow and ice clogged sections of freeways, overpasses, and ramps. While many main arterials are passable, the approaches are tough, especially in south King County, Snohomish, Skagit, Thurston and parts of Pierce County, according to KING-TV:

Drivers stuck on Sahalee Way in Redmond were abandoning their cars. Drivers on southbound Interstate 5 near Sea-Tac were crawling along.

As of 9 a.m., WSDOT cameras show that Thurston and Pierce county roads - including I-5 - are heavily impacted by heavy snow, freezing fog and ice. Accidents have caused backups.

The Olympian's Nate Hulings reports driving conditions are expected to worsen today, as National Weather Service forecasts for Thurston County show accumulations could be significant  through this morning:

Periods of heavy snowfall were expected to continue through this morning, with 2 to 6 inches of snow forecast, meteorologist Carl Cerniglia said.

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Robin's Jazz Videos
8:24 am
Thu February 24, 2011

Diva, in the best sense of the word

I'll be playing Nina Simone's "I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl" today at noon PT to start the Blue Plate Special.

Nina Simone's music inspired many, including a claymation artist.  This video comes from Aardman Animations, the folks who make Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep. 

Does anyone else think the bass player in this video looks like George Mraz?

State Growth
6:31 am
Thu February 24, 2011

Census: Washington’s Latino population jumps 71%

Washington population change by county. The two counties in yellow, Pacific and Garfleld, lost population.
U.S. Census Bureau

Washington's Latino population grew 71% in the last decade. That's according to newly released 2010 Census Data. The dramatic rise has implications for how Washington redraws its Congressional districts.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:15 am
Thu February 24, 2011

At the Oscars

Oscar, himself.
NMCIL ortiz domney Flickr

And the winner is…

Music and movies have pretty much always gone together. What would Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid be without “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”? Try to imagine The Wizard of Oz without “Over the Rainbow”. Or Blue Velvet without “Blue Moon”. Okay stop imagining now.

It doesn’t take a good movie to produce an Oscar winning song. For example, The Poseidon Adventure produced the Oscar winner “The Morning After”, and Towering Inferno gave us “We May Never Love Like This Again.”

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