Jake Ellison

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Evan Hoover / KPLU

With dozens of big, expensive windows smashed in downtown Seattle, eight arrests and reports that rocks were thrown through windows at Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn's home last night, the fallout from yesterday's May Day rallies and protests is just beginning to take shape.

This morning the mayor announced that all emergency measures put in place to respond to the rolling violence and anti-capitalist protests that paralyzed downtown have been lifted.

Seattle May Day protest took a turn for the weird as self-described superheroes Phoenix Jones and his sidekicks confronted protesters at the federal courthouse in Seattle. Jones has been accused of pepper spraying protesters in his efforts to protect the building, but a video released by him shows he didn’t spray people.

However, the video does make it apparent that one of his sidekicks might have.

Erin Hennessey / KPLU

From Mayor Mike McGinn worrying about violence to a guy on the street wondering if the ferries will run, tensions in Seattle are mounting over May Day protests.

Groups are planning May Day marches in Seattle to protest capitalism, immigration laws and labor practices, but the most consistent rallying cry is for a “general strike.” How many people will go on “strike,” how many will show up to rally and whether there will be an outbreak of violence on the streets are unknowns.

And that uncertainty appears to be jangling some nerves in the city.

Anna Pietz

If you visit a Northwest ocean beach this summer, you’ll likely run across objects from last year’s Japanese tsunami.

The things you’ll likely see include milk jugs, detergent bottles, tooth brushes and bottles for water, pop or juices with Japanese stamps, marks and labels. Perhaps a soccer ball or a volleyball -- two that washed up on an Alaskan island have been claimed by their Japanese owners.

The things you are highly unlikely to see are human remains, refrigerators or anything else that would have to be sealed to float or can come apart, like bigger parts of houses. Months on the ocean will breakup anything with parts, experts say.

An all-white orca has been spotted by scientists during a research cruise off the eastern coast of Russia, near the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Commander Islands in the North Pacific, reports ABC news. The scientists have named the orca Iceberg.

“It is a breathtakingly beautiful animal,” Eric Hoyt, one of the scientists, told the AFP. “If we can get a full close-up of the eyes and they are pink, it would confirm Iceberg is an albino, but we don’t know much about albinism in orcas.”

But first - a video that is too cute to even stand:

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s 6-week-old clouded leopard cubs are noble and mischievous, according to the majority of people who responded to an online survey to name them, reports the zoo. Nearly 6,000 votes were cast by the Wednesday night deadline.

And the winners are: Chận sūng (pronounced Chan-Soon) for the male and Suksn (Sook-Son) for the female. His name translates to “Noble,” hers to “Mischievous.”

First, there was that flamboyant Wall Street resignation of Greg Smith from Goldman Sachs. Now, a Microsoft resignation video has gone viral, with more than 85,000 plays and counting. It's Karen Cheng’s Microsoft resignation song on YouTube (letters are so last decade).

That got us to thinking – How many different ways have people in the Northwest publicly resigned their jobs? We found many fit into these five categories:

Ben Adams / Flickr

In response to the hubbub started by Change.org, Starbucks has announced today that it will stop using the bug extract cochineal as a colorant in four food and two beverage offerings in the United States, according to its Website.

Chris Eaton / Greenpeace via Twitter

Calling attention to its recent study showing server farms, the basis for cloud computing, consume as much electricity as small cities, Greenpeace this morning put up a sign on Amazon's new building in Seattle:

"How green is your cloud?"

Debris from last year’s Japanese tsunami has in fact hit Northwest beaches, according to new modeling by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Washington state is putting up posters to help you decide what to do if you spot any.

The new model by NOAA shows where the debris is, not when the bulk of it will hit the shores. But, as has been reported, some debris has crossed the ocean. Last week, the Coast Guard sank a derelict Japanese fishing vessel off the coast of Southeast Alaska. Also, glass and plastic floats have turned up.

A diagram from 1991, published by Men’s Journal, shows what appears to be a sophisticated mockup of a smart phone, and it comes as no surprise that it was from the deep and mysterious vaults of Nathan Myhrvold, ex-Microsoft tech chief.

You may have seen the new ads on city buses (250 in all) warning against the dangers of owning a gun.

But will the ads make a difference to you?


A coalition of supporters for same-sex marriage delivered a giant “thank-you” card to Starbucks headquarters in Seattle yesterday with more than 650,000 signatures.

The group said dozens of supporters were on hand to deliver the card to representatives of Starbucks.

James Olson, Starbucks’ VP of Global Corporate Communications, greeted the group and received the card and said, as confirmed by Starbucks:

"We are long-standing supporters of a culture of diversity, and inclusion and equality for everybody, and I'll share this with our fellow leaders and partners (employees). Thank you very much."

The Associated Press

About a dozen women testified in favor yesterday of the Seattle City Council proposed rule to add protection for breastfeeding mothers.

A committee considering the new law voted 3-0 to pass it onto the full council, which will vote on the bill on Monday. The committee is expecting unanimous support of the bill.

The Associated Press

Sitting in a coffee shop with a friend 10 days ago, I got a call from an 800-number, I took it and it was a credit card fraud warning. I didn’t answer the questions and ended the call. You know, never give information to unsolicited caller.

Then it hit me that maybe my family debit card would be shut down, so my wife called our bank and suddenly Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and I had something in common financially! We’d both had our credit/debit cards hacked.

And apparently we're not an exclusive club.

Luke P. Woods / Flickr

Sure they are stressing out in Florida, what with all that sun, but Seattle?

Sperling’s BestPlaces, a research firm specializing in livability rankings, has released its new study of major cities with the most stress. 

Seattle comes in 9th. Florida has five metro areas in the top 10.

Seattle’s greenest building – on paper, since it is still under construction – jumps back into the news with this headline from MSNBC:

Could this $30 million green tower be the future of world cities?

The Associated Press

The Hearst Corporation, owners of the Seattle Post-Intellingencer, announced today that it will give the iconic Seattle P-I globe to the Museum of History & Industry and the city of Seattle.

Seattle city councilmembers Sally J. Clark, Jean Godden and Tim Burgess said in a press release that MOHAI would take the globe down from its perch atop the old P-I building on Elliott Avenue West sometime this year, refurbish it and then put it up somewhere else.

The proposal will go before the city's Landmarks Preservation Board this afternoon.

The Associated Press

An agreement among Hearst Corp., the city of Seattle and the Museum of History and Industry is expected to preserve the Seattle P-I globe, an icon of the city for more than 60 years.

The fate of the 18-ton, neon-lit orb has been uncertain since the Hearst-owned Seattle Post-Intelligencer ceased printing and became seattlepi.com in 2009. The website reports that three city council members who are all former reporters — Jean Godden, Tim Burgess and Sally Clark — are expected to announce an agreement to preserve the globe on Wednesday.

Composite image by Jake Ellison

Battles over billboards and bus ads have gotten heated in many cities, most notably the battle between atheists and believers in New York City that's heating up again, but not many end up in court. One that did in Seattle last year, is back on the streets … on the sides of King County Metro buses.

“I’m Palestinian … Equal rights for all.”

The message, resonate of the pleasant smiling faces declaring they are Mormon on many Metro buses, seems innocuous enough. But the new ads come from the same group that took the county to court after officials felt the group’s original ad campaign could result in violence.

After writing about the latest developments in space travel yesterday, I wondered whose ship I would want to ride and automatically saw myself in Jeff Bezos' ship the New Sheppard. Upon reflection, I just liked the retro-scifi style of it. Although, blowing up did come to mind.

What ship would you take into space?

What is it about our super rich tech guys and local culture that makes them want to send people into outer space?

Yesterday, the space venture backed by Jeff Bezos (of Amazon fame) announced it was ready to conduct a “pad-abort test” in the summer of 2012, according to Flightglobal. The test is a crucial milestone in qualifying the company's New Shepard vehicle for human spaceflight.  

Igor Strupinskiy / PLU student

Students journalists covering "Our Thirsty Planet," a symposium about water put on by Pacific Lutheran University’s Wang Center for Global Education, have wrapped up their coverage on "Water For Thought," a Website created for KPLU's experiment in student-sourced journalism.

With videos and stories, the students review the impact of the symposium and new perspectives on water. Below are headlines and highlights:


With the quality of water worldwide declining and the increasing scarcity of it in many places becoming more prominent, student journalists at Pacific Lutheran University took up a challenge by KPLU to cover a local symposium on water.

"Our Thirsty Planet" centers on the exploitation and need for clean water around the world and is put on by Pacific Lutheran University’s Wang Center for Global Education. The symposium is under way and the students have begun publishing their efforts on "Water For Thought," a Website created for this experiment in student-sourced journalism.

You can check out their work on that site and follow them on Twitter at @waterforthought.

Like everyone else, we sometimes just sit back and cruise the internet. We got on the meme kick this time. Here's five we thought related to where we live ... what we do ... who we are ... who we think we are ...

City of Seattle

In his “State of the City” address, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn made an impassioned plea today for the legalization of marijuana saying in the illegal trade in drugs was fueling crime in the city.

“It is time we were honest about the problems we face with the drug trade. Drugs are a source of criminal profit, and that has led to shootings and even murders. Just like we learned in the 1920s with the prohibition of alcohol, prohibition of marijuana is fueling violent activity,” the mayor said in the written version of his speech.

tech-media-tainment blog

Perhaps Starbucks has gotten so good at making coffee without people that it sees brick-and-mortar coffee shops as a thing of the past - much how Redbox’s automated DVD dispensing helped usher in the demise of the video store.

Or, perhaps the deal it has struck with Bellevue-based Coinstar (which owns Redbox) to dispense Starbucks' Seattle’s Best brand coffee for a buck at every convenience store and street corner across the nation is just a way to make a … buck.

State public health authorities have confirmed that the norovirus – also known as the bug that causes wintertime vomiting disease – sickened more than 200 attendees of a cheerleading and dance event in Everett.

Attorneys who accuse Greg Mortenson of defrauding readers in his best-selling "Three Cups of Tea" say his case is no different from that of James Frey, who admitted on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" that he lied in his memoir "A Million Little Pieces."

That lawsuit ended in a settlement that offered refunds to buyers of the book.

The high profile fight over Mortenson’s book and questions about his work has aid agencies worried, said KPLU’s global health and development writer Tom Paulson.

In a story worthy of our “I Wonder Why … ?” series, a Seattle TV station has resurrected the mystery of Mel’s Hole located somewhere (but no one knows where) near Ellensburg.

KOMO wrote on Tuesday:

From Bigfoot to the disappearance of D.B. Cooper, the Pacific Northwest is full of mysteries. Another mystery burred deep in the hills of eastern Washington keeps resurfacing. Ellensburg and its surrounding valleys and Manastash Ridge are beautiful in any season. Some believe what lies beneath is a deep, dark hole with supernatural powers.