Monica Spain

AP Images

Several advocacy groups are warning city officials throughout Washington to review their treatment of homeless people. The groups say bans against sleeping outside are unconstitutional if a person has no place to call home. 

The warning went out to Washington city attorneys, prosecutors and police agencies. It asks them to take a closer look at local laws that make it a crime to sleep or camp in public places.

One third of homeless people in King County live out of their cars.  People with large vehicles like RVs and even buses tend to cluster in industrial areas -- until they’re asked to move on. 

Jennifer Smith lives in her RV with her 15-month-old daughter, Willow. “Its basically got a bus back end and a truck front end,” Smith said.

Her vehicle has been parked in this spot in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle for three weeks, but she’s lived in the area along North Northlake Way since April. She was ticketed once and received several warnings. Legally a car can’t be parked in the same spot for more than 72 hours in Seattle.

But neighbors say some 15 RV’s have been parked along this stretch of Lake Union and they don’t seem to budge. Until a recent notice.

AP Images

What does your ideal commute look like?  Sound Transit wants the public to weigh in on the next phase of planning for light rail expansion.   

But act fast; the comment period closes on Wednesday. You can access a link to the survey on our web site, kplu.org.

AP Images

The major water utilities in the Puget Sound area are telling customers the water supply is in good shape for the drought. But for thousands who depend on springs or shallow wells, the outlook is not as certain. 

More than two-thirds of the state’s population is served by big water systems. Take Seattle, Tacoma and Everett – their utilities have saved plenty of water in their extensive reservoir and storage systems. They’ve asked customers to conserve, but haven’t recommended any extreme measures. 

But according to Ginny Stern, a hydrogeologist with the State Department of Health, for nearly 27,000 people statewide, it’s a different story.

“There are a large number of very small systems that can’t connect to larger water supply, it wouldn’t be economically feasible. you can’t run the pipe run the pipe far enough," Stern said. 

University of Washington

For the third year in a row, the University of Washington Bothell is set to graduate the largest class ever. The 25-year-old branch struggled to take off in early days, but now is growing fast.

Eighteen hundred UW Bothell students will don cap and gown this weekend on the main campus in Seattle. For nearly a third of those graduates, it will be a moment of pride – they’ll be the first in their family to earn a four-year degree. UW Bothell Vice Chancellor Susan Jeffords says an emphasis on small class size is attracting first-generation college attendees.

Monica Spain

Ty Kocher walks me up the hilly backyard behind his home in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. The lush, sloping lot is the reason he bought the fixer-upper -–  it had a terrace for a vegetable garden and nooks and crannies for the kids to discover. But first he had to deal with decades of debris.

“Years ago, about six years ago, I was digging out a bunch of broken bottles and bricks and some old metal toys from the ‘50s and so we just planted into the hill and recently I put rain barrels in the spot, thinking I was doing all the right things.”

Fer Juaristi Photo

For supporters of same sex marriage, it’s been a long haul to get to this point.  And on the other hand, it’s been a whirlwind. It wasn’t many years ago, gay couples here weren’t able to visit a sick partner in the hospital. Advocates say incremental steps led to full marriage equality in 2012.  Shaun Knittel with Social Outreach Seattle says that moved the national conversation forward.

Pike Brewing Company

Television ads might have you believe the only women involved in the beer industry are bikini-clad servers juggling beer steins. This month, women from more than 100 breweries are collaborating to prove them wrong.  

Locally, women brewers worked together on a special batch of beer in Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Monica Spain

With homelessness on the rise, colleges now offer classes on the subject. At Seattle Pacific University, hosting a tent city easily integrates students with campers in the classroom. 

But students there have taken that relationship a step further. At a recent poetry slam, barriers between campers and college kids dissolved.

camknows / Flickr

Come March 1, King County Metro rates will increase by 25 cents — the fifth increase in seven years. Alongside that rate hike, the county is offering relief to low-income riders with a reduced fare. 

Monica Spain

In Washington, there are almost 9,000 children in foster care. About a quarter of them are eligible for adoption.

I visited the King County courthouse to meet a family as they welcomed their foster daughter into their home — permanently.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The 104th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution drew hundreds of protestors outside the Mexican consulate in Seattle.

The demonstration called for answers in the disappearance of 43 Mexican students in September. Protestors also want the release of a Renton woman who has ties to the students. 

The Eakin Family

The family of a woman killed by a drunk driver on State Route 509 last year also blames King County and the city of Burien. They filed a multimillion-dollar claim stating the accident could have been prevented if a guardrail had been replaced.

Monica Spain

Seattle’s bike share program has been up and running for about a month, and membership is growing. But it’s rare to see a cyclist taking on one of the city’s steep hills. So I took a ride to see where the bikes turn up, and how they get there.

While mammograms are successful in detecting early breast cancer, they are sometimes associated with false positives. Researchers at the University of Washington say 3-D mammograms are more accurate and can help find hidden tumors. 

Monica Spain

Even with the Affordable Care Act, adults in Washington are not getting the medical care they need often because they cannot afford deductibles or get into a Medicaid provider. Others go without eyeglasses and live with toothache because they don’t have coverage at all. This week, Seattle has a temporary clinic in an unlikely place to help solve some of those problems.

Tetona Dunlap / AP Photo

Nervous air travelers might know Sea-Tac International Airport doesn’t have any flights to or from Africa. What it does have is a quarantine station that’s prepared to stop the spread of contagious diseases, such as Ebola.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has 20 quarantine stations around the U.S. In Seattle, the station is located at Sea-Tac, and it’s not new. 

Monica Spain

After years of planning, the wheels are rolling on Seattle’s bicycle sharing service. Fifty bike stations open around the city today.

Rows of identical lime-green bikes are lined up next to sky-blue containers holding sanitized helmets available on the honor system. Next to them is a kiosk, which resembles a vending machine.

Washington State University

If you’re lucky enough to spot a lacy monarch butterfly as it heads south for winter, look closely. You might see something unusual on its wing.

In a town in northern California, a young girl noticed a white sticker with an email address on a butterfly’s wing when it landed on her garage door.

“She took note and emailed me, so it proved the system worked,” said Dr. David James, an entomologist at Washington State University.

AP Photo/Blue Origin

The U.S. has been wanting to ferry astronauts from U.S. soil to the International Space Station, but for now, American astronauts rely on Russia to get to space. That’s about to change, now that Boeing and Blue Origin, another Northwest company, are on board to build the rocket.

AP Photo/NASA

NASA is a giant step closer to launching Americans again from U.S. soil.

On Tuesday, the space agency announced it has picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station in the next few years.

With the passage of a complicated minimum wage law in Seattle, officials want to ensure the law is easily understood.  The mayor is proposing a new office called the Office of Labor Standards, that would serve as a clearinghouse for information and enforcement.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

It’s a curious time for transit riders in King County. New services like streetcars and light rail are being built. But several waves of bus cuts are looming, and transportation officials are working to streamline transportation efforts in the region.

When you’re a homeless person, finding shelter isn’t easy. But when you’re a homeless family, especially a family with a dad, the options are even more limited.

For Seattle’s homeless families with a male head of household, there are few choices for temporary shelter. There are hotel vouchers and encampments, but otherwise families are split. Women and children go off to one shelter, men end up elsewhere.

This year the Seattle City Council helped fund a new type of homeless shelter, called a congregate model, where families can stay together. As the council prepares for the 2015 budget, council members are reviewing a handful of pilot programs to fight family homelessness.  

The Seattle School Board will hold a special meeting on Friday to select an interim superintendent, district officials said.

The 4:15 meeting, which will be streamed online, will be followed by a news conference around 5 p.m., officials said.

The superintendent position is being vacated by José Banda, who has accepted a superintendent position in Sacramento, California. His appointment was finalized Thursday.

Courtesy of Amber Marra/The Enterprise.

Buying legal pot is turning into a game of Where’s Waldo. Stores are open one day, but closed the next. A small handful of shops are still doing business, but that could change at any time. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A series of mistakes led a truck to strike an overhead girder of the Interstate 5 bridge, causing it to collapse into the Skagit River last year, the National Transportation Safety Board said in an exhaustive list of safety recommendations released Tuesday.

AP Photo

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft will no longer operate in a state of legal limbo in Seattle. The Seattle City Council on Monday passed a bill, allowing the app-based companies to operate without a driver cap.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray brought forth the controversial regulation plan last month after meeting with taxi, for-hire and rideshare companies. But some council members say the regulation overlooks an important insurance gap. And taxi companies says there’s not enough room in the market for all these players. 

Courtesy of Ross Rowsey, Washington State University

At least 15 to 20 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Biologists puzzling over what can go wrong when egg and sperm get together are now one step closer to solving the mystery.  

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed dramatically increasing the fish consumption rate that drives clean water standards in the state.

Inslee said Wednesday he plans to set the fish consumption rate at 175 grams a day, which would protect people who eat about a serving a day of fish. Current water quality standards assume only one serving of fish per month, or 6.5 grams a day.

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