Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

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. 

John Brooks / U.S. Army

The Army Surgeon General Thursday suspended the commander in charge of Army hospitals in 20 western states. 

Brigadier General John Cho led the U.S. Army's Western Regional Medical Command headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma. A brief Army statement said Cho was indefinitely suspended due to an issue with the "command climate" in his organization.

Brian Glanz / Flickr

Members of Seattle’s City Council and Mayor Ed Murray say they’re in favor of a resolution to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. But the council postponed a vote on the measure. 

Members of several Native American tribes and their supporters rallied outside City Hall, then filled  council chambers to testify. They said Columbus brought genocide and slavery to the Americas and celebrations of him as a discoverer need to stop.

Spokane Indians Baseball Club

Football season has kicked off another round of scrutiny over how professional sports teams use Native-American mascots. But in eastern Washington, a minor league baseball team has earned the approval of its native namesake.

AP Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a state of emergency proclamation for Okanogan County Thursday after severe rainstorms pounded the area earlier this month.

The rains last week ended in flash floods, mudslides and debris flows that blocked two state highways.

Martha Kang / KPLU

It’s the rare person who sees a hole in the ground and feels compelled to stick his head in it.

But cavers are “innately curious,” says veteran caver Tom Evans, who himself will not only peer in, but try to squeeze his whole body through a just-big-enough opening into Earth's damp, dark underbelly.

Anna King

Residents near the town of Twisp, Washington are digging out from mud that ripped through Finley Canyon last week. Because the record-breaking Carlton Complex wildfires have left soil and rock primed to run downhill, more damage could be on the way.

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

At 7 a.m. on a recent morning, biker after biker whizzed by on Dexter Avenue heading into downtown Seattle. Some wore fancy gear. Others rode in summer shorts and sandals. Most carried backpacks.

This is one of the most popular roads for the city’s bike commuters. Still, if you want to get around Seattle safely on two wheels, you have to always be aware of cars. According to the most recent available data, there were 406 car-bike accidents in 2012.

Taber Andrew Bain / Flickr

The Washington Supreme Court recently ruled it is illegal for the state to “board” mental health patients in emergency rooms and regular hospital beds.

The state of Washington said late Friday it can open 145 new psychiatric beds, but it needs some additional time. The attorney general has now asked the Supreme Court to “stay” its ruling for 120 days.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

State transportation officials are warning Seattle drivers to brace themselves for long commutes with a busy stretch of State Route 99 scheduled for closure through the weekend and into early next week.

WSDOT

Heavy rains near Twisp, Washington have triggered flash floods and landslides on hills and ranches left charred by the Carlton Complex wildfire. Highways have been closed in Okanogan County and traffic has been rerouted.

Tom Banse

In an emergency, the last thing you want to hear is, "I can't understand you." The reality is emergency dispatchers in the Northwest generally speak one language, English. But in our increasingly polyglot society, some people in distress inevitably can't communicate in English.

So what happens then?

Courtesy of MOHAI, Timothy Eagan Collection

On August 21, 1964, four young musicians from Liverpool performed to an eager crowd of 14,300 at Seattle Center Coliseum, now known as KeyArena. Seattle was the third stop on The Beatles’ first U.S. tour. The concert was also the first one ever held at the coliseum.

“The event was a phenomenon,” said Seattle radio personality Pat O’Day, who introduced the Beatles to the sold-out auditorium 50 years ago. “It opened the door and our eyes to what the concert business could be.”

David Junius

For more than 40 years, a radio station called the Evergreen Radio Reading Service has been broadcasting all day, every day across Washington state for the print-disabled — people who are visually-impaired or unable to hold or turn a page.

But the station is fading to quiet today.

KPLU’s Community Advisory Council will be meeting Tuesday, August 26, 2014 in our Seattle offices from 2pm – 3:30pm Pacific Daylight Savings Time. As a member of the listening community, if you are interested in attending, please contact the GM’s office at 253-535-8732 or email sdye@kplu.org for more information.

Alison Marcotte / / KPLU

On an eight-acre farm in the middle of Seattle, farmers shovel a mountain of compost as sounds of Somali, Amharic, Oromo and English sail over rakes and wheelbarrows.

About a dozen East-African seniors work alongside at-risk youth at the city’s largest urban farm in Rainier Beach. Seattle Tilth, an environmental nonprofit group, runs the program that pairs up the immigrant elders of the East African Senior Farming Project with the homeless and underserved participants of the Youth GardenWorks program. The two groups began working together on a weekly basis earlier this summer.

Washington Interagency Incident Management Team #4

Due to the extreme fire danger across nearly all of Washington from hot, dry weather, the state has expanded its ban on outdoor fires.

Courtesy of Yoshiko Matsushima / The North American Post

Fumiko Uyeda Groves was 11 years old when the atomic bomb “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. She was living in Seattle at the time, having returned four months earlier after being incarcerated at Idaho’s Minidoka Relocation Center for three years.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

It's August, which means state fair season is underway in the Northwest. From new names to lower ticket prices, fair organizers are trying hard to get people through the gates.

AP Photo/American Cancer Society

Seattle researchers have found a troubling link between certain kinds of birth control pills and a risk of breast cancer. But the lead scientist says women should not panic.

AP Photo

There are big delays on Washington State Ferries just about anywhere you go this week. The fleet has been redistributed to make up for some out-of-service vessels, which is having ripple effects that are nearly system-wide.

Some examples:

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Washington’s senior U.S. Sen. Patty Murray says a new deal to spend billions on fixing the Department of Veterans Affairs is an essential step, but she warns the reform efforts are likely to unearth even more problems.

Bipartisan negotiators in Congress took a while to settle on a $17 billion package of reforms meant to address long waits for care at VA hospitals and clinics across the country.

As the Senate voted to confirm Robert McDonald as the new VA Secretary, Murray, the former chairwoman of the Senate veterans affairs committee, praised both the nominee and the reforms he’ll be overseeing. But she also warned there could be more troubling revelations to come.

anaxila / Flickr

People can expect to hear the roar of the Blue Angels zooming above Lake Washington this weekend. After missing last year’s Boeing Seafair Air Show due to sequestration cuts, the Blue Angels have returned to Seattle.

The noise of the planes may be bothersome to neighbors, but audiologist Susan Anderson says it doesn’t pose a health risk.

Seattle Tunnel Partners

Just six weeks after the contractor managing the State Route 99 tunnel project laid out its timeline for getting back to digging, the company said it’s about a month behind on repairs to its tunneling machine.

Crews are working to burrow down from the surface to where the machine known as Bertha is sitting idle. An early step is to sink a circle of interlocking concrete pillars that will line the access shaft and protect surrounding structures, but that’s proving harder than what the company was planning for in mid-June.

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