Unions
5:08 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

What The U.S. Supreme Court Ruling On Home Health Workers Means For Wash.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on home health care workers in Illinois in the case of Harris v. Quinn could have an effect on the people who work in home care here in Washington state.

The high court ruled that home health aides in Illinois, who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, cannot be required to pay union dues or fees, even though other public employees are.

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Education
5:01 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Deadline Looms For Voter Initiative To Make Wash. Class Sizes Smaller

File image
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Supporters of a statewide ballot initiative directing Washington lawmakers to provide enough funding to drastically decrease K-12 class sizes are confident they've gathered enough signatures to send their measure to voters in November.

More than 320,000 people have signed petitions to put Initiative 1351 on the ballot this fall, Class Size Counts campaign manager Mary Howes said Monday. The number is well over the required 246,000 valid signatures, which must be turned into the secretary of state's office by Thursday. 

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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
3:49 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Wash. State Task Force Starts Work On New Drone Regulations

In this undated photo provided by AeroVironment, a man hand-launches a Puma drone aricraft.
AeroVironment AP Photo

Imagine looking out your window to see a drone hovering outside. That happened earlier this month to a partially-dressed Seattle women who was startled and outraged.

That incident came up Monday as a Washington state task force convened for the first time to develop privacy rules for drones — something Oregon and Idaho have already done. The task force quickly narrowed its focus to use of drones by government agencies.

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Crime Rates
2:52 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Spokane, Seattle Among U.S. Auto Theft Hot Spots

Graphic based on ranking by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Kevin Mooney

In what Northwest city is your car most likely to be stolen? According to a new insurance industry report, the answer is Spokane, Washington.

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Shots - Health News
1:40 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby Ruling Cuts Into Contraceptive Mandate

Customers walk into a Hobby Lobby store in Oklahoma City on Monday.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 1:57 pm

In a 5-4 decision Monday, the Supreme Court allowed a key exemption to the health law's contraception coverage requirements when it ruled that closely held for-profit businesses could assert a religious objection to the Obama administration's regulations. What does it mean? Here are some questions and answers about the case.

What did the court's ruling do?

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Prisoner Of War
8:40 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Would-Be Day Of Celebration In Bergdahl’s Hometown Passes Quietly

This tree was one of four planted for an event last year in Bowe Bergdahl’s hometown. The trees marked his then four years in captivity.
Jessica Robinson

A day of planned celebration of Bowe Bergdahl in his Idaho hometown turned out to be a pretty uneventful one. Hailey, Idaho cancelled Saturday’s event after the city received threats.

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Disability Rights
5:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Deaf Student Claims Medical School In Yakima Denied Him Access

Zachary Featherstone poses with his wife and daughter.
Courtesy of Zachary Featherstone.

A man who was admitted to the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, only to be told it couldn't make special accommodations for his disability, is suing the school claiming discrimination. 

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Transportation
5:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Seattle Mulls Reviving Downtown Streetcar In Hopes Of Easing Gridlock

A Seattle cable car is seen at Third and Yesler in 1940.
Courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives

The Seattle City Council is scheduled to vote today on whether to bring back the downtown streetcar.  

The proposed line would traverse First Avenue and link to the existing South Lake Union line and the First Hill line, which is slated to open later this year. 

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Legal Pot
5:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Little-Known Medical Marijuana Loophole Allows Teens To Get Lots of Pot

Courtesy of George Wing.

When voters approved Initiative 502, one part of the law that appealed to parents was that recreational marijuana would only be available to people 21 and older.

What many parents don’t realize is that it’s possible for a healthy teenager, with the help of an unethical medical provider, to obtain authorization for medical marijuana, which then gives them access to hundreds of dispensaries in the Seattle area. 

Meanwhile, Seattle Public Schools officials say marijuana use by students is on the rise, and students say it is easier to get than alcohol. Where is the supply coming from? Parents and school officials suspect medical marijuana dispensaries. 

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The Salt
11:44 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

'Artisanal' Ramen? Instant Noodles Get A Healthy Dose Of Hacking

(Top left, clockwise) Macmen N' Cheese; chocolate ramen; udon and egg. (Bottom row) Ramen fritatta; cannellini beans and spinach; and southwest taco from the book Rah! Rah! Ramen.
Sara Childs/ Courtesy of Interactive Direct

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 9:09 am

If there's one thing college students know well, it's a belly full of instant ramen.

"Ramen always has been and always will be a college staple," says Rick Brandt, a recent University of Iowa graduate.

And it's not just college students who turn to the noodles in lean moments: When your food budget is reduced to quarters dug out of the couch, or when hunger pangs strike at ungodly hours, ramen noodles may come to the rescue.

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Code Switch
5:42 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

'Everything I Never Told You' Exposed In Biracial Family's Loss

Everything I Never Told You is Celeste Ng's debut novel about a Chinese-American family living in 1970s Ohio. She is currently working on a second novel and a collection of short stories.
Kevin Day The Penguin Press

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 3:22 pm

It's May, 1977, in small-town Ohio, and the Lee family is sitting down at breakfast. James is Chinese-American and Marilyn is white, and they have three children — two girls and a boy. But on this day, their middle child Lydia, who is also their favorite, is nowhere to be found.

That's how Celeste Ng's new novel, Everything I Never Told You, begins.

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Technology
5:41 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

Harley Hopes An Electric Hog Will Appeal To Young, Urban Riders

Harley-Davidson riders reveal Project LiveWire, the first electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle, during a ride across New York City's Manhattan Bridge on June 23.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 3:22 pm

Many motorcycle riders covet the distinctive growl of a Harley-Davidson — and sometimes even add extra-loud exhaust pipes to amp up the sound.

But the motorcycle maker has now rolled out a prototype bike that makes more of a whisper than a rumble. It's a sporty-looking model called LiveWire, and it's powered by batteries.

Harley-Davidson plans to take its prototype electric motorcycle to more than 30 cities over the next few months. Sometime after that, the company will decide whether to put LiveWire on the market.

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Early Childhood Education
7:56 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

In Signing Pre-K Bill, Seattle Mayor Makes Early Ed Ballot Showdown Official

Mayor Ed Murray signed legislation sending a preschool pilot program to the November ballot. If voters approve a $58 million property tax hike, the city would cover preschool tuition for some low- and middle-income kids.
Photo courtesy of Mayor Ed Murray's Office

The idea of pitting two questions about early childhood education against each other on the November ballot doesn't appeal to Laura Chandler.

"I don't like it, I wish it wasn't like that," said Chandler, a teacher at Small Faces Child Development Center. She supports a union-backed initiative to create a broader training program and raise wages for childcare workers.

But Sattl1e Mayor Ed Murray officially sent a second question to the ballot Friday, signing off on the Seattle City Council's plan asking for voters' approval of a $58 million property tax hike to pay for low- and middle-income kids to attend preschool.

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World Cup Fever
12:32 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

USA Vs. Belgium: If The World Cup Were Played In Beer

Tuesday afternoon's match between the U.S. and Belgium will pit two countries with burgeoning beer scenes — and a shared love of fries.
photobuddah Flickr

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:59 am

The Americans have the spunk, the vigor and a willingness to try anything. The Belgians have the art, the creativity and the tradition of world-class success. We're not just talking about their looming World Cup matchup here. We're also talking about beer.

The topic of beer and the World Cup is now bubbling around in the highest offices of the two nations.

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Supreme Court
11:05 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Abortion Seekers Still Protected At NW Clinics After Supreme Court Ruling

Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho CEO Karl Eastlund stands in the parking lot of the Spokane clinic.
Jessica Robinson

Abortion services providers say the Supreme Court’s ruling on a 35-foot “buffer zones”around Massachusetts clinics won’t have much effect in the Northwest.

Neither Washington, Oregon nor Idaho has the kind of law that the high court deemed unconstitutional. Clinics in the region rely on other measures aimed at protesters.

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