Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Rex Parker / Flickr

The U.S. Forest Service is developing a rule that would let it decide whether the media could film or take photos in wilderness areas.

The Forest Service would issue permits based on the potential impact to wilderness areas as well as the story topic. A fee of up to $1,500 could also be required to receive a permit.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

People of the Methow Valley and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation were hoping for more money to rebuild hundreds of lost homes and livelihoods.

But the federal government, for the second time, turned down the application by Washington state for more aid. This time, FEMA said the effects of the fire were not severe enough "to warrant the designation of Individual Assistance.”

Gabriel Spitzer

The Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah began Wednesday at sundown, and Jews around the world marked the Hebrew calendar’s new year with a clarion call from the shofar. The horn, usually made from the horn of a ram or antelope, is a tricky instrument to learn. 

Here's how it sounds when played in a two-million gallon cistern at Fort Worden State Park by Seattle's "master blaster" of shofar, Jon Lellelid.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

The Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah begins Wednesday at sundown, and Jews around the world mark the Hebrew calendar’s new year with a clarion call from the shofar. The horn, usually made from the horn of a ram or an antelope, is a tricky instrument to learn. But it’s become a passion for Jon Lellelid, known as Seattle’s “master blaster.”

Lellelid was at a temple function in 2002 when the cantor asked him to blow the shofar next Rosh Hashanah. Lellelid used to play trombone, so it seemed like a good fit. But there was a hitch.

“I think there's going to be a problem because I'm not Jewish,” he said.

AP Photo/Washington State Dept of Transportation

Six months ago Monday, forty-three people lost their lives in the Oso landslide. So far, nearly 60 legal claims have been filed against the state of Washington stemming from the slide.

Attorney Karen Willie says a half-year later a “deep wound” remains from Oso. I spoke with her at 10:37a.m., the exact-six month anniversary.

Eric Frommer / Flickr

You know him best as the host of the popular NPR news quiz "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!", but Peter Sagal is also an avid runner. 

And he says the difference between running in Seattle and running in Chicago comes down to one thing: smugness. Here's how he explains it: 

Washington state employees have not had a cost-of-living raise in six years. But that could change in the next budget cycle.

A tentative contract deal has been struck between the state and the union representing general government workers.

Providence Olympia Facebook page

The state’s largest nonprofit hospital chain is getting into a new line of business: venture capitalism.

Providence Health & Services, which runs 34 hospitals and hundreds of clinics, wants to be a player in the startup scene. The Catholic-affiliated chain has created a venture capital fund with about $150 million to invest in companies pioneering new health care models, especially ones focused on technology.

Seattle Children's Hospital

Health officials have confirmed that two patients treated at Seattle Children’s Hospital have tested positive for Enterovirus D68. That puts Washington in the company of 18 other states with confirmed cases of the virus, which mainly sickens children and is especially dangerous for kids with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

The two Children’s patients were stabilized and discharged, according to a statement by the hospital. One is from King County and the other from Snohomish.

Warning: Some of the language in this story may not be appropriate for young ears.

After 28 years of making people’s bawdy wishes come true with marzipan and cake, a Seattle institution is coming to an end. The Erotic Bakery in the city’s Wallingford neighborhood is taking down its sign and closing its doors at the end of this month.

Courtesy of Clayton Kauzlaric

If Seattle's streets could talk, they’re likely to tell you the stories depicted in Clayton Kauzlaric’s photos.

Kauzlaric uses Photoshop to juxtapose archival photos with modern-day images of the same location.

Take, for instance, the stretch of Alaskan Way that houses the ferry terminal on Seattle’s waterfront. These days, it’s an unremarkable place where a McDonald’s sign greets passersby. But it has quite a history — it’s also the same place Japanese residents were made to board trains headed to internment camps back in 1942.

Read the full story on our companion site, Quirksee.org >>>

University of Idaho Digital Initiatives

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, U.S. government officials rounded up Japanese Americans and sent them to harsh, ill-equipped camps. Now, the National Park Service has announced $3 million in new grants to help preserve that important history.

Stacey Camp, an associate professor at the University of Idaho, is leading an effort to survey the Kooskia Internment site with help from federal Park Service grants.

Alain McLaughlin for NPR

The popular NPR news quiz "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" is coming to Seattle's Paramount Theatre on Thursday. On the weekly game show, a panel of comedians and writers crack wise about the news. The show also features celebrity guests taking the  quiz — everyone from actors and comedians to Supreme Court justices. (This week, it's travel expert Rick Steves.) KPLU spoke with "Wait Wait..." host Peter Sagal about the news, comedy and even a famous incident involving that animated paperclip from Microsoft.

Jenny Ingram / Flickr

Public health authorities in Washington and Idaho are now investigating at least 79 cases of a serious respiratory illness that affects children.

The widening disease outbreak is suspected — but not confirmed — to be enterovirus D68, a rare strain of the virus.


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.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

A King County public health clinic slated for closure is getting a bailout, but three more clinics remain on the line as the health department confronts a big budget shortfall.

The public health clinic at White Center has been on borrowed time this year, along with clinics in Auburn, Bothell and Federal Way. Now the city of Seattle is proposing to kick in $400,000 to keep it open. Public Health Seattle & King County will continue providing WIC services and other support for new mothers, but will turn its family planning services there over to Planned Parenthood.

Jessica Robinson

The story most people learn about the Nez Perce Tribe and the capture of Chief Joseph doesn't tell the whole history. 

Now the federal government and Northwest tribes are trying to fix that with a new historic site.

Jenny Ingram / Flickr

A virus that has sickened children across the Midwest may have arrived in western Washington. Public health officials said 15 children have been hospitalized at Seattle Children’s Hospital, including five in intensive care, with symptoms that match infection from Enterovirus D-68.

That virus has sent at least 84 children to the hospital in states from Colorado to Kentucky, but this appears to be the first sign of it on the West Coast. The virus usually causes cold-like illness, but sometimes comes with severe respiratory symptoms like coughing and difficulty breathing.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Remotely-monitored video cameras are replacing some human fire lookouts on mountaintops around the Northwest.

A private nonprofit called the Douglas Forest Protective Association was the first in the region to switch to remote camera fire detection. The southwest Oregon-based association deployed its first system in 2007.

Anna King

As autumn’s golden light bathes the Northwest, wineries across the region are harvesting, crushing grapes and making wine full bore. This year’s fruit looks petite and powerful.

Jim Holmes, owner of the Ciel du Cheval Vineyard on Red Mountain in southeast Washington, is one of the godfathers of the state’s wine industry. He says this year's grapes don't show signs of disease, mold or bird damage. 

Washington regulators are continuing their crackdown on the party bus industry. The state’s Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) announced Wednesday it’s shutting down a company that stranded a group of prom-goers.

We first broke the story of the state’s get-tough approach to party buses back in April. The UTC says safety is its top concern.

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.

WCN 24/7

Residents of a rural Pennsylvania county who live near natural gas wells reported more health problems than their neighbors who live farther away. That and other findings by a University of Washington researcher raise questions about the health effects of the practice known as fracking.

Researchers went door to door in tiny Washington County, in southwestern Pennsylvania, where gas is extracted by underground hydraulic fracturing. They didn’t tell residents they were there investigating fracking, calling it simply a general environmental health survey. They asked randomly selected households representing almost 500 people about a number of different of symptoms.

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.  

AP Photo/Olympic National Park Service, File

A historic chalet has been moved 68 feet away from the eroding edge of a river in a remote wilderness area.

Officials with Olympic National Park said Tuesday that contractors are expected to complete the relocation of the Enchanted Valley chalet over the next few days.

(Dorothea Lange/Farm Security Administration)

As America struggled in the throes of the Great Depression, a team of photographers was dispatched across the country to capture moments of their lives.

The project was an attempt to win political favor for government programs, including Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Resettlement Administration in 1935. The initiative aimed to aid the poorest one-third of displaced farmers through resettlement and low-interest loans.

Anna King

Hunkered low on the front deck of a yurt are two twentysomethings. The hut is plopped in the middle of a winding mountain canyon in Washington’s Methow Valley near the town of Twisp.

Patty Cho and Sal Asaro are picking out a few tunes. They felt the urge to sing Creedence Clearwater’s “Bad Moon Rising.” Asaro tunes up his banjo, and Cho, cross-legged, starts singing softly in tune while picking her guitar.

“I see a bad moon a-risin’,” she sings. “I see trouble on the way, I see earthquakes and lightnin', I see bad times today.”

This is their new theme song.

Anna King

Kent Stokes can’t believe who survived the Carlton Complex wildfire. It was both his pet cat, and his arch nemesis: an early-morning chattering gray squirrel.

When 28-year-old Stokes returned to the ruins of his burnt-up shop and home, he was happy to find at least the cat.

“I heard him meowing through the brush or whatever was left,” Stokes said. “He came running out. He came through fine. Not a singe mark on him. The squirrel and the cat made it through all that fire.”

Katrina Spade / Urban Death Project

What if after you die, your remains were turned into compost?

That’s the idea behind the Urban Death Project, which aims to introduce a new burial option in urban areas.

John Leven

In a public ceremony Saturday in Port Townsend, a 101-year-old ship’s bell will finally come home. 

The story of the bell is worthy of the name given the wooden schooner it was made for in 1913. The sailing ship is called Adventuress.