Gary Crawford

Weekend Edition Sunday Host

In the years before the Mariners, the Sonics, the Seahawks and the Sounders came to the Pacific Northwest, there was just one big time spectator sport in the region. And it came every summer to the shores of Lake Washington.

For generations of us Northwesterners who grew up in the 1950s, 60s or 70s, unlimited hydroplane racing was the sporting event of the year. The Seafair races were broadcast wall-to-wall on all three network TV affiliates and several radio stations.

westseattleblog.com

A high school football referee association is suing Washington state youth athletic governing bodies over the use of pink whistles for a cancer charity.

Washington State Department of Transportation

[UPDATE 2:25 p.m:from the WSDOT: No additional toll infractions to users of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge will be issued until glitches in the tolling system operated by a Texas-based company are resolved, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said today.
 
WSDOT Deputy Secretary David Dye said the department is implementing an internal financial audit of Electronic Transaction Consultants Corp. (ETCC) of Texas, the company that took over toll operations on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in February.
 
Also today, Gov. Chris Gregoire asked Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond to reconvene a Tolling Expert Review Panel to conduct a mid-course assessment of the performance of ETCC. The panel originally was convened in 2009 by the Joint Transportation Committee and made recommendations on customer service center operations and tolling-violation enforcement.]

[Oringinal story] Some 18,000 drivers have been sent notices that they failed to pay their toll on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the past few weeks. Now, a Gig Harbor legislator is asking for an emergency audit of the state Department of Transportation and its management of tolls on the span.

Elaine Thompson / AP

If you’re a fan of the movie “Avatar” you might really like the exhibition opening Saturday at Seattle’s Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.

“Avatar” director James Cameron – a pal of EMP/SFM co-founder Paul Allen – will be on hand for a Friday event which will feature some of the film’s actors and Richie Baneham, who won the Academy Award for best visual effects.

seattebeernews.com

At the beginning of the year Poulsbo had no breweries. Now it has four.

The breweries produce small batches in kegs. None are bottling yet, but they hope to grow.

Courtesy of Harvey Field

In the past decade the number of takeoffs and landings at Paine Field has dropped by nearly half.

The Snohomish County airport at Everett serves Boeing and aircraft maintenance businesses. But, most of the decline is among small private aircraft.

minkcy chiu / Picasa

A cool, wet spring has slowed strawberries and other crops in parts of Washington.

One berry farmer, Randy Kraught of Barbie's Berries in Ferndale, told The Bellingham Herald the area needs sun soon to ripen strawberries and following crops of raspberries and blueberries.

File photo / AP

More than 200,000 people are expected to visit the Seattle Center over the Memorial Day Weekend for the 40th annual Folklife Festival.

About 1,000 music, dance and other events are scheduled over four days, starting Friday, at indoor and outdoor sites. The festival also includes food and craft booths.

Washington State Department of Transportation

For nearly six months, western Washingtonians who wanted to drive to Winthrop, Okanagan and other north central Washington locations have had to make an extra-long road trip, sometimes adding hundreds of miles to their journey. And vice-versa.

That will change very soon.

1Yen / Flickr

Seattle and the Puget Sound area seem to be popping up on those "top ten" and "best places to..." lists with increasing regularity.

Asahel Curtis / U.W. Special Collections

With the start - or rather, resumption of tolling on the 520 bridge a few weeks away, history buffs are recalling the opening of the first Lake Washington Floating Bridge, 71 years ago.

Skeptics predicted it would sink, and that tolling would never pay for the cost of construction. Sound familiar?

A vote on whether to build a tunnel to replace the aging Alaskan Way viaduct can take place, a King County Judge ruled today (Friday).

King County Superior Court Judge Laura Middaugh said some parts of the agreements that cover utilities, insurance, right-of-way and other issues can be in the referendum but others can't. She'll hear arguments next Friday on which parts could be included in an August vote and whether she has the authority to partially rewrite language in the referendum.

David Guttenfelder / AP

The public is invited to a special memorial service for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of northeastern Japan in March.

The service is being held by the Northwest Zen Community at St. Ignatius Chapel on the Seattle University campus at 1:30 p.m. this Sunday (May 15).

Low Income Housing Institute / W.G. Clark Construction

When the Frye Hotel opened for business, President Roosevelt was a guest at the grand opening. That's Theodore Roosevelt. The new hotel was a hot spot for important gatherings and conventions. Like the National Association of Master Horseshoers and Blacksmiths.

The year was 1911. That's three years before the iconic Smith Tower - also pictured above - was constructed.

Today the Frye Hotel has federal landmark status and is part of the Pioneer Square Historic District.

The Daily Beast

Happy Mother's Day, Seattle moms. You live in the fourth-best place in the U.S. to be a mother.

At least that's what The Daily Beast is saying after ranking the 100 largest cities and ranking them on criteria such as mothers-per-capita, quality of public schools, number of childcare workers and availability of maternity health specialists.

Publicola.com

Starting today (Thursday) a new online registry will allow Seattleites to choose whether or not they receive yellow pages phone books. But an industry group says it’s redundant, because there’s already such a website in place nationwide.

The City of Seattle site is www.seattle.gov/stopphonebooks.

Schack Art Center

A big chunk of downtown Everett has been transformed into a spanking new arts district that should bring new life to this former lumber mill town.

The Daily Herald reports the new Schack Art Center anchors a three block arts district in the city. It's a multipurpose facility with a sleek, urban feel that will have a kiln and flame working studio, professional and student exhibit spaces and multipurpose classroom.

re-ality / Flickr

Starbucks Corporation isn't required to disclose the names of potential plaintiffs in a lawsuit accusing it of illegally requiring job applicants to reveal past marijuana convictions.

That's what a California appeals court ruled this week. The Seattle-based coffee giant was accused in a 2005 lawsuit of violating a mid-1970s California law that bars employers from asking job seekers about minor marijuana convictions that are more than two years old.

Studio 216 / Owen Richards Architects

[UPDATE/CORRECTION: Bumbershoot's Visual Arts Exhibits will move from the Northwest Rooms to Seattle Center Pavilion and the adjacent courtyard.]

The Space Needle’s owners get a Chihuly museum, a community radio station gets a new home and Bumbershoot’s visual art space gets, well, nobody seems to be sure.

Bruce Smith / AP

Federal regulators have put the brakes on construction of a second Boeing 787 assembly line in South Carolina. 

The National Labor Relations Board today filed a complaint accusing the Boeing Company of putting one of its assembly lines for the new 787 in South Carolina to retaliate against union workers who went on strike in 2008.

As authorities investigate the arson at Tacoma's landmark pagoda building, police say another fire was set Monday night at a Point Defiance Park restroom.

A security guard locking up the restrooms found a trash can on fire about 9:35 p.m. Monday night. The guard pulled the can outside and called the Tacoma Fire Department, Fulghum said. Firefighters doused the blaze.

U.S. Embassy, Afghanistan

Former Seattle Police Chief and current White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske is reportedly in the running for Chicago’s police superintendent.

Photo courtest Holland America

The cruise season has begun in Seattle with Friday morning's arrival of the Crystal Symphony.

Liam Moriarty / KPLU

A steady drizzle has the infield covered in white plastic, but as the time ticks down, the place is in a high-level state of bustle.

Staffers scurry by carrying armloads of bright red T-shirts, burly young guys wheel stacks of cardboard boxes around. Crews are wiring up the TV and radio booths and the control room for the electronic scoreboard is filled with techies.

At 7:05 this evening, it's showtime for the newly redesigned, redveloped, revamped and renovated Cheney Stadium and the Tacoma Rainiers' home opener against the Sacramento River Cats.

NASA photo

NASA says Seattle's Museum of Flight won't get to display one of the retiring space shuttles.

Elaine / Picasa

If you're game for an Olympic National Park hike of five to 20 miles and eager to go count housecat-sized rodents, the park wants you for its "citizen science" marmot monitoring program.

Dan / gigharbor.patch.com

Updated 12:15 p.m. Sunday, February 27: Authorities report the leak has since been repaired, according to a statement from West Pierce Fire & Rescue Sunday as reported by Q13 FOX TV. Authorities confirmed that about 50 gallons of sodium hydroxide spilled. Amtrak passenger service between Seattle and Portland has been suspended because of the accident.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Nordstrom has jumped deeper into the luxury online retailing world by acquiring the "flash sale" website HauteLook for $270 million. The Seattle-based chain made the announcement on the heels of a report citing regular-price sales of "historically high levels."

Andrei Pungovschi / AP

You can't walk into a store and legally buy marijuana in Washington for medical or any other purposes. Yet. But some cities in the state - anticipating that you soon might be able to - have placed a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries and another is considering one. And the shops aren't even lawful. Yet.

HeatherL / Flickr

First the state Senate, now the House. Either way, it’ll cost you ten bucks to visit a Washington State Park for the day if the legislature passes measures now being considered in Olympia.

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