K-12 Education
8:40 am
Fri April 8, 2011

Who belongs in AP classes? In Federal Way, anyone who "meets standards"

Roshni Changela chose to be in AP U.S. History this semester, but some of her classmates were automatically enrolled in the class under a new Federal Way Public Schools policy.
Charla Bear KPLU

Across the country, schools are trying to get more students to take classes that prepare them for college. Some offer special tutoring programs. Others just offer to pay students who do well. School officials in Federal Way say the trouble with those strategies is - it leaves is up to students or teachers to decide who’s sharp enough to take those classes.

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Law Enforcement
7:49 am
Fri April 8, 2011

Police target Seattle's empty "Citadel" warehouse, now notorious for raves

A still from a video shot March 4, 2011 at Citadel, in South Seattle. Seattle police are cracking down on scenes such as this one.
Still image courtesy of Anzamarch (Junko) YouTube

Clean it up or close it down – that's the choice for the new owner of a vacant property in South Seattle that's become notorious for noisy raves. 

Police have declared The Citadel a chronic nuisance. The boxy warehouse building was turned into a music venue by owner Steve Rauf, who says the dance parties have brought in much-needed revenue. 

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News Roundup
7:02 am
Fri April 8, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

Union protesters are confronted by state patrol officers at the State Capitol building in Olympia, Wash., Thursday, April 7, 2011.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

It's Friday, April 8th. Enjoy the sunshine today. We have a rainy weekend ahead of us, with continued cool overnight temperatures. 

In morning headlines:

  • Protests at State Capitol Bring Arrests, Lockdown
  • Big Service Cuts Ahead for Community Transit 
  • Mystery Oil Spill on Lake Union
  • Mariners Come Home

Rare Lockdown at State Capitol

The State Capitol went into lockdown for a couple of hours Thursday after protests erupted outside the governor's office. More than a dozen people were arrested. They were there to protest budget cuts that have, among others, hit union home care workers and services to the poor.

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Education Reform
6:12 am
Fri April 8, 2011

Despite data, state supe Dorn says new evaluation system needed for teachers and principals

State Superintendent Dorn and Principal Kelly Aramaki. Dorn says Washington's primary schools need new evaluation systems to improve teaching and leadership.
Courtesy Washington OSPI

If you listen to the numbers, there's no need for any change in the way teachers and principals are evaluated in public schools here in Washington State. 

Data is in from a first-ever statewide survey about their performance. It says very few teachers are a problem: not even 500 were rated unsatisfactory in all of Washington.

That's less than three quarters of one percent (.75%) of the state's public school teachers.  And even fewer principals – only 41 of nearly 3,000 – got a bad write up.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

UW's Thomas and Locker: path to pros risky for both

UW quarterback Jake Locker smiles during a pro day workout at UW on March 30, 2011. Locker is participating in this month's NFL draft, after finishing his senior year at UW. Art Thiel says he was a better prospect a year ago.
Elaine Thompson AP

Two of the University of Washington's most prominent athletes in recent years are planning to go pro. Point guard Isaiah Thomas recently announced he's leaving the UW a year early to enter the NBA draft. And quarterback Jake Locker is participating in the NFL draft this month.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says both athletes have taken risks in their paths to professional sports.

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Economic Indicators
4:37 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

March sales at Costco, Nordstrom bode well for large retail

A happy shopper at a pre-Opening event in March of a new Nordstrom's Rack, part of the upscale retailer's expansion strategy in the down economy.
Flickr, @photo

A surprisingly solid March – that's the consensus about last month's retail sales.  Despite cold weather and climbing gas prices, shoppers spent a lot more money last month than they did in March a year ago.

Costco and Nordstrom are among the local companies that are benefiting.

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Hydropower
1:20 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

More snowpack means more electricity this summer

Seattle City Light's Diablo Dam on the Skagit River. 7/22/2001
Flickr user Hunda flickr.com

The Pacific Northwest has emerged from winter with an above average snowpack, and that's good news for the region's hydroelectric dams. Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco says, “The snowfall we have received in the mountains this winter was fantastic.”

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Bank Failure Fallout
9:25 am
Thu April 7, 2011

WaMu shareholders may get settlement in class-action suit

Former Washington Mutual Bank officials, David Beck, left, and David Schneider, shown testifying before the Senate subcommittee on Investigations on April 13, 2010. Schneider is named in a lawsuit that could end if a settlement is approved.
Cliff Owen AP Photo

A tentative settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit against Washington Mutual Inc, the largest bank failure in the nation's history. If a U.S. district court judge approves it, shareholders would get some money for stocks that are basically worthless now.

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News Roundup
8:22 am
Thu April 7, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

Did you get snow? Some areas of western Washington did. Today's forecast calls for morning rain with some sun breaks today, highs near 50, and cool temperatures again tonight. 

In headlines this morning:

  • Avalanches Hit Snoqualmie Pass, I-90
  • Protesters Camp Out at State Capitol
  • House Rejects Republican Budget Plan

 

Avalanches Injure Skiers, Temporarily Close I-90

Nine people were rescued Wednesday after being caught in two separate avalanches near Snoqualmie Pass. In one incident, an avalanche hit a group of skiers who were in a backcountry area just below the summit of the pass.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:03 am
Thu April 7, 2011

Scouts, s'mores and Kumbaya

s'mores!
sanchom Flickr

Truth be told, we at Record Bin Roulette can barely tie our shoes, let alone a taut-line hitch, so we never became Webelos, although we have toasted a few marshmallows…

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