Monica Spain

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Business
10:23 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Feds order T-Mobile to pay whistleblower $345,000

The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered cellphone company T-Mobile USA to pay a fired whistleblower more than $345,000.

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Privatizing liquor
2:14 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

The surprising places you might find liquor in Washington

A hardware store in Lake Forest Park has gotten into the liquor business. The proprietors noted that in addition to the booze you might expect, they carry boutique liquors from Washington distillers.
Hannah Jacobson For KPLU

Liquor in a hardware store? Mini’s at the checkout stand? Mega-stores around the corner?

Woman on the street: “My parents actually needed a gift for a friend of ours, and they were able to buy it at a convenience store – like a nice bottle of liquor. I think it’s convenient!”

Now that Washington State is out of the liquor sales business, bottles of booze are showing up in some unexpected places.

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Mental health
7:41 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Advocates: Veterans with PTSD should get purple hearts, benefits

“These wounds are as real as any wound that’s inflicted on a body part of any person, man or woman who is out there," Ron Morton, Vietnam veteran.
Monica Spain KPLU

Advocates for the mentally ill say the federal government isn’t going far enough to help veterans who return from war with psychological wounds. They’re in Seattle this week, demanding a change in military culture and better mental health care for veterans.

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Sports
10:05 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Title Nine turns 40 tomorrow

The federal law that is famous for elevating women’s place in collegiate sports marks its 40th anniversary tomorrow. But Title Nine isn’t just about athletics. It was designed to focus on the overall success of girls and women in school.

For the story, please hit the listen button above.

Puget Sound Environment
2:55 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Algae bloom on Puget Sound 'more intense' this year

This is probably the more intense Noctiluca bloom we’ve seen in central Puget Sound, according to the Department of Ecology.
Department of Ecology

If you’ve taken a ferry across Puget Sound recently, you may have wondered if someone dumped out cans of tomato soup in the water. Some have worried there's been an oil spill.

Large levels of algae called Noctiluca are visible in Puget Sound and people sailing on the water are noticing. The Washington State Department of Ecology says they are getting more worried calls this year.

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NBA arena
5:29 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

New arena backers will study traffic, have confidence it'll work

Chris Hansen: "I think you all should just know that when we undertook a site evaluation, traffic was one of the key benefits of this area. When we looked at a lot of the other potential sites, we thought this one was the best.”
Monica Spain KPLU

Seattle basketball and hockey fans are inching closer to having a new stadium. The mayor and hedge fund manager Chris Hansen announced plans to study transportation and parking impacts south of downtown.

Private investor Chris Hansen announced that he will pay for the fast-tracked study, due to be out in six to eight weeks. 

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Washington State Legislature
3:26 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Age verification for 'sex-ads' now the law in Washington; first in nation

New law is "the first time in the nation criminalizing those who advertize minors online if they have not done the verification of age,” said Rose Gundersen is co-founder and Executive Director at Washington Engage, a non-profit.
The Associated Press

Washington state has become the first in the nation to require verification of age for online ads that promote sex-related services, such as the escort ads that appear in backpage.com.

The bill, Senate Bill 6251, was among a dozen anti-trafficking bills signed into law by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire today.

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Seattle landmark
11:39 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Seattle's Smith Tower sold for nearly $37 million

Petra Franklin, producer of Artists Toolbox in her apartment in the Smith Tower.
Monica Spain KPLU

Seattle's historic Smith Tower was sold Friday for nearly $37 million in a foreclosure auction on the steps of the King County Administration Building.

The buyer is CBRE Capital of New York, which acquired the delinquent mortgage last fall after Chicago-based Walton Street Capital defaulted on $43 million in loans. When it bought the building in 2006 it intended to convert the tower into condos, but the condo market collapsed in the recession.

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Transportation
8:52 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Hope, fear mix as construction of Capitol Hill streetcar nears

Ritu Shah-Burnham, the owner zpizza on Broadway on Capitol Hill, is concerned about the disruption to her business.
Monica Spain KPLU

“I know the parking is going to disappear. It terrifies me.”

Groundbreaking is just a few weeks away for a new streetcar line in Seattle. The line will connect the coffee shops and colleges of Capitol Hill with the hospitals of First Hill and the Chinatown International District. As some feared, there will be some disruptions in the neighborhoods.

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Privatizing liquor
2:08 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Wash. auctioning off liquor licenses from its soon-to-close stores

Pat McLaughlin, with the Washington State Liquor Control Board, said bids for the licenses start rolling in within hours of an auction’s start.
Monica Spain KPLU

You won’t hear the gavel sound at this auction. But you may want to pay attention anyway since the fate of your neighborhood liquor store may figure in. The Washington State Liquor Control Board has  opened an online auction as part of the next step toward liquor privatization.

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Immimmigrants
2:25 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Groundbreaking at Seattle's Casa Latina

Groundbreaking at Casa Latina with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.
Monica Spain KPLU

It’s common to see day laborers waiting for jobs outside the big home improvement store. But for many in Seattle, a new community gathering space will ensure a safe haven and access to education while

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn grabbed a shovel and dug in for Casa Latina’s groundbreaking event near the Central district. 

“Maybe in other places, they think immigrants aren’t a great idea. In Seattle, you make us stronger,” McGinn said.

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Farmland
4:22 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Housing bust has green lining: More farmland preserved

Lower real estate prices may have a silver lining for those trying to save disappearing farms. A new study on farmland protection shows between the lull in development and the high interest in “locavore” food, the time is ripe to keep Puget Sound farms from turning into urban sprawl.

Since 1950, the Puget Sound region has lost 60 percent of its farmland, mostly to development. 

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Facebook privacy
1:24 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Facebook wanted journalists to sign non-disclosures before news conference

What they DID want us to see: Facebook attorney Craig Clark, right, talks to reporters with Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, second from right, at the press conference in Seattle on Thursday.
The Associated Press

Facebook is apparently pretty concerned about privacy – especially its own.

After announcing that Facebook and the State Attorney General’s office would announce a “joint legal strategy" this morning, the AG’s office followed up with an email requiring journos sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The email was sent to all journalists invited to the press conference at Facebook's Seattle office involving company officials and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna.

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Business
1:20 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Facebook, Washington AG join in fight against 'clickjacking'

Facebook attorney Ted Ullyot talks to reporters in Seattle on Thursday, as Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna looks on at left, about a new legal strategy to combat a scam affecting Facebook users.
The Associated Press

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is joining with Facebook to launch a public attack on the internet scam known as “click jacking.” 

Adscend is the Delaware company behind the so-called click-jacking scam. “Clickjacking” involves computer codes embedded in links that you click on that triggers Facebook’s “Like” feature.

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MLK Day
4:55 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

MLK events around the Puget Sound region

Martin Luther King Memorial, Washington D.C.
ehpien Flickr

On Monday, Martin Luther King Junior will be honored in a variety of ways around the region as we observe this federal holiday.

It’s a day of reflection and possibly a time to renew intentions that keep Dr. King’s dream alive.

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