Editor Pick

Police in Schools
4:19 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Cops in schools can’t search without warrants, Wash. high court rules

The Washington Supreme Court ruled that police officers based at schools are still police officers.
Arkdog Flickr

Police officers working in schools can’t necessarily search a student without a warrant, even though a teacher usually can. That’s the upshot of a ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court out Thursday, in a case involving a student at Robinswood High in Bellevue and the murky legal realm of cops in schools.

The Bellevue Police Department has five officers working exclusively in the schools. In this case, one of them caught the student with a bag of marijuana, arrested him, and then searched his locked bag without permission.

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Jazz Caliente
12:01 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

What Mambo is – improvisational near-riots and 'forbidden fruit'

Mambo Madness movie poster, 1955
Sonny Watson's Streetswing.com

According to Rebeca Mauleon's indispensable "Salsa Guidebook for Piano and Ensemble,"  the Mambo is:

An up-tempo dance style, developed through the 1940s and 1950s, which blended several elements of North American instrumentation and harmony with the Cuban son (a style of popular dance music that combined Spanish and African elements).

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Highway spill
4:56 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Seattle toxic spill temporarily shuts NB I-5

A toxic spill from a tanker truck closed the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 through Seattle for more than an hour Wednesday afternoon, backing up traffic.

The Seattle Fire Department says the spill, originally estimated at 50 gallons, is about two gallons of a sodium borohydride and sodium hydroxide solution. The chemicals are used for bleaching pulp and wood products.

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Budget woes
11:35 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Seattle $1.1 billion short of funding pensions

The Seattle City Council is facing a $1.1 billion shortfall in its pension fund, according to a report to the Government Performance and Finance Committee (first noted by the politics and government blog Publicola).

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NBA Arena
5:35 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

King County approves arena deal; Seattle council expresses doubts

Supporters of the new NBA arena proposal at the King County Council meeting in which the council is scheduled to vote on the proposal.
Ashley Gross KPLU

The King County Council approved an agreement with the investors who want to build an NBA arena in the SoDo district of Seattle. The council voted 6-3 to ratify the "memorandum of understanding" and "interlocal agreement," documents which define the terms of the arena deal.

"There is intrinsic value in this arena," said county councilmember Julia Patterson. She added that she had voted against Seattle's other sports arenas in the past, when she was in the Washington State Legislature, but voted yes on this deal.

In opposition, councilman Pete von Reichbauer said transportation issues had not been resolved. 

"If you build it, they will come – they can't come if they're stuck in traffic," he said.

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NW farming
3:10 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Widespread drought means NW farmers cash in on strong grain prices

Wheat pours out of a treating machine that applies chemicals and red dye to protect it from pests. Photo by Anna King

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 7:25 am

CONNELL, Wash. – Drought that’s sizzling the rest of the nation has largely left the Northwest states alone. Furthermore, the Midwest’s farmers’ misfortune is actually benefiting farmers here. That’s because grain prices are raising because of the Heartland’s decimated yields.

Wheat stubble, grain elevators and whole lot of wide open -– that’s Connell, Washington.

There, I caught up with Dana Herron and his partner Craig Teel. The men run a grain seed operation. They sort, clean, treat and store pure grain for farmers’ future plantings.

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Brain Science
10:30 am
Mon July 30, 2012

How an experiment on blind mice could help blind humans see

The chemical compound - AAQ - that researchers say causes blind mice to behave as if they can see.

A potential new cure for blindness is showing promise in an experiment at the University of Washington and University of California. The study shows that losing your eyesight as you grow older may someday be reversible. 

The experiment used mice – blind mice.

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Jazz & Blues
11:36 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Hearing, more than smell, brings (my) memories to life

I know. I know. It is widely assumed and believed that smell is the strongest sense tied to memory. But for me (and a handful of musicians that I spoke to), music – in some cases even just a few bars of a song -  can draw upon some of the most powerful memories in a persons life.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Business
5:00 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Why Amazon might make a smartphone

Neerav Bhatt

There’s been growing speculation lately that Amazon has a smartphone in the works. But why?

It’s a crowded market out there in smartphone land. There’s a whole bunch of phones based on Google’s Android software, there’s the Microsoft Windows phone, and of course, Apple’s iPhone.

Also, a small sampling of people on a downtown Seattle street didn't show a whole lot of interest in an Amazon phone.

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Japanese Tsunami
10:29 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Schoolchildren from Japan's tsunami zone get respite in Northwest

Rebuilding has gone slowly in tsunami-ravaged Minamisanriku, Japan. Photo by Tom Banse

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 4:02 pm

Eight junior high students and their teachers from the Japanese tsunami zone arrive in Seattle Thursday. It's an unusual disaster relief effort. The schoolchildren are being treated to a free trip to escape the still difficult conditions at home, at least temporarily.

Bellevue, Washington-based web and email hosting firm PSP, Inc. donated to Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief last year, like other Pacific Northwest companies did.

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Environment
9:18 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Northwest coastal waters slightly caffeinated, study finds

The Northwest's love of coffee is leading to caffeine spilling into coastal waters.
Diane Gilleland Flickr

The Northwest is known for its love of coffee. Now evidence of that is showing up in the Pacific Ocean. Researchers have found low levels of caffeine at half a dozen locations on the Oregon Coast.

Caffeine has previously been found to be pervasive in Puget Sound and has even turned up in relatively pristine Barkley Sound on the outer coast of Vancouver Island.

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Environment
5:48 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Study: Coastal Oregon waters slightly caffeinated

Is Portland's love of coffee leading to the caffeination of Oregon coastal waters? Photo by Diane Gilleland via Flickr

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 4:19 pm

The Northwest is known for its love of coffee. Now evidence of that is showing up in the Pacific Ocean. Researchers have found low levels of caffeine at half a dozen locations on the Oregon Coast.

Caffeine does not occur naturally in the environment in the Pacific Northwest. Marine scientists believe the java jolt gets into seawater through treated sewage and septic runoff.

A Portland State University graduate student collected water samples at 14 coastal beaches and seven nearby river mouths. Samples taken after heavy stormwater runoff contained traces of caffeine.

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Police misconduct
4:29 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Audit says oversight of King County sheriff's deputies is lax

King County council members expressed frustration at the lack of progress in making the Sheriff’s office more accountable.
Kyle Fox KPLU

The King County Sheriff’s Department does a poor job of investigating police misconduct complaints. That’s the conclusion of an outside audit of the department. This comes five years after the county pledged to implement improvements in the troubled law enforcement agency.

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transportation woes
1:29 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Smashed windshield a sign of Washington's troubled roadways

The piece of roadway that smashed through this windshield - shown in a screen grab from a video - is bringing to light many of the state's infrastructure woes.

When a chunk of I-5 flew up and smashed through the windshield of a car carrying a family of four, the dangers of Washington's crumbling roadways became all too real.

"The rock hit me so hard in the chest, it literally took my breath away," Henry Jessop, who was in the passenger seat, told KOMO. His son Ian and his daughter were in the back seat, and his wife was behind the wheel.

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data mining
11:05 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Seattle region's economy ranks over many countries

The metro area of Seattle, Bellevue and Tacoma has many iconic attributes, and the size of our economy is one of them.
Sergio Bonachela Flickr

You know you’re in a first-world economy when … many of your metro areas have larger economies than whole countries.

The Wall Street Journal wanted to put into perspective just how big the gap is between the U.S. economy and much of the rest of the world and so created a ranked list.

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