Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Gary Davis/KPLU

Here’s some holiday cheer: Consumer spending is up since last year. The increase is a small one, at about 2%. The National Retail Federation expects that number to rise to 3% by the end of the season. Why the increase?

King County Executive Dow Constantine says the escalation of global interest in a bus placard critical of Israel introduces significant security concerns and makes Metro buses vulnerable to disruption. 

Because of this, he’s approved an interim policy that calls for a halt to the acceptance of any new non-commercial advertising on King County buses.

Metro expects to complete work on a permanent transit ad policy by the end of January.

Remains found in an Auburn ravine earlier this week are those of a likely Green River serial killer victim.

The King County Sheriff's Office says dental records positively identified the victim as Rebecca "Becky" Marrero. The 20-year-old was last seen on Dec. 3, 1982, leaving a motel room on Pacific Highway South.

WSDOT

When you visit the Washington State Ferries website in 2011, you'll find something new:  banner advertising.   It's a one year pilot project.  The state is looking for new ways to increase revenue, and that could include advertising on its websites.

AP

The UW boosts its political voice in Olympia; ferry rate increases get the AG's go-ahead; and Thurston County puts the brakes on wood energy projects.

UW Seeks to Raise Political Voice Ahead of Session

The University of Washington is hoping to flex more political muscle with state lawmakers. The school's alumni group is hiring top lobbyists from both parties to advocate for higher education when the legislative session begins next month. 

AEHI

Rezone plans for a commercial nuclear plant near the Oregon-Idaho border are on hold. Payette County, Idaho Commissioners took the action after the plant’s developer was accused of running a stock scam.

Tom Banse / N3

Idaho’s Tamarack Resort is once again alive with skiers and snowboarders. But the happy scene didn’t come easy.

Tamarack is one of the most glaring casualties in the region from the bursting of the real estate bubble. Homeowners at the bankrupt resort are bootstrapping the once heralded ski area back into business.

Paula Wissel/KPLU

Local Air Force nurse attends signing of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal; a bus ad controversy heats up in Seattle;  speculation grows about who'll get the state's newest Congressional district; and the Pacific claims another Grayland home.

There for the Signing

She's been asking for her job back, and soon Maj. Margaret Witt will get her wish. The Air Force flight nurse, a  lesbian, is anxious to rejoin the Air Force Reserves soon, now that President Obama has signed the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. 

US Census

There were celebrations in Olympia when news broke Tuesday that Washington state will get an additional member of Congress as a result of the 2010 Census. 

http://www.619western.com

The deep bore tunnel that will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct along Seattle's waterfront could be bad news for the century-old Western Building in Pioneer Square.  

The six story building sits on top of fill dirt and rotted pilings, and the Washington Transportation Department says it could settle a few inches during construction.  

The new US Census data is out, and Washington is among eight states to add a seat in Congress. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the 2010 data this morning. 

Rachel Solomon

The Mercer Island High School marching band weaves and dances through the streets. They’ve been practicing since 7 a.m.,even though it’s winter break, and a lot of their friends are sleeping in.

Twitpic/Reporter_Photo

The state Attorney General weighs in on transportation fees, as some Puget Sound communities prepare to fight proposed ferry service cuts; and sky watchers get a view of last night's total lunar eclipse.

Northwest soldiers are expressing mixed opinions over the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The U-S Senate voted over the weekend to end the 17-year old policy that allows gays to serve, but not openly. The bill now goes to the President.

A sign scheduled to run on Metro buses next week has King County officials debating the limits of free speech in transit advertising.

The ad features the words, “Israeli war crimes your tax dollars at work” next to a group of kids staring at a demolished building.

King County Councilman Peter von Reichbauer called for a re-evaluation of the proposed ads, set to roll out Dec. 27.  The date coincides with the two-year anniversary of Israeli military action in Gaza.

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