3:00 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Reports: Tully's Coffee files for bankruptcy

The company plans to close more stores, too.
Michael Pick Flickr

The Seattle coffee chain Tully's Coffee, sometimes lost in the shadow of the much more successful Starbucks, has filed for bankruptcy protection and hopes to renegotiate its real estate debt, report several news sources.

The Seattle Times says the company is no longer burdened by huge debt but it is cash poor and will likely close more stores.

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The Picture Show
11:52 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Photos: Time-traveling in the Pacific Northwest

The caption for this photo in Edward Curtis' book reads: " ... a masked [Kwakiutl] man personating the thunderbird, dances with characteristic gestures as the canoe approaches the bride's village."
Edward Curtis Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 10:38 am

There's nothing like visiting a new landscape to spark the imagination. I just got back from a two-week road trip around the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. and Canada. And though it was my own country (the non-Canadian part, at least), it felt completely foreign to my eyes, which are accustomed to the swampy, lush Southeast.

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Marijuana legalization
11:27 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Ex-DOJ officials pitch for marijuana initiative in new ad

"We know first hand that decades of marijuana arrests have failed to reduce use," Charlie Mandigo says in the ad.

The campaign to legalize and tax recreational marijuana sales for those over 21 in Washington is launching a new television ad campaign Thursday featuring former federal law enforcement officials.

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animal rescue
10:33 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Why is California sending homeless pets to the Northwest?

Quincey, a Boston terrier and Boxer mix at Must Love Dogs ready for adoption.
Alycia Hadfield

This past week alone 160 dogs and cats were transported from overcrowded, high-kill shelters in southern California to multiple non-kill shelters and rescue organization around the Northwest.

The non-profit, Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team (S.T.A.R.T.) organized the shipment of animals to Oregon and Washington. Four Washington based rescue groups partnered with S.T.A.R.T. — Must Love Dogs, Puget Sound Rescue, Collar of Hope and Smidget the Rescue.

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8:42 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Judge to consider cross-border Columbia River pollution case

A lead and zinc smelter in Trail, British Columbia dumped millions of tons of refining waste into the Columbia River between 1896 and 1995. Photo by kootenayvolcano via Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 11:49 pm

YAKIMA, Wash. - Wednesday, a federal judge in Yakima will consider a long-running case about cross border pollution in the Columbia River. The Colville Tribes and the state of Washington are trying to force cleanup of heavy metals dumped in the river for nearly a hundred years by a Canadian smelter.

Lawyers for Teck Metals, the Colville Tribes and state of Washington have agreed on some basic facts. Namely, that Teck's lead and zinc smelter in Trail, British Columbia dumped millions of tons of refining waste into the Columbia River between 1896 and 1995.

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7:52 am
Wed October 10, 2012

One month left for comments on spotted owl recovery plan

One of the northwest’s most controversial birds is still ruffling feathers. The elusive spotted owl was at the heart of the timber wars here in the 1990s. Some scientists are criticizing the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s plan to log some of the bird’s habitat.

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If it's legal ...
7:09 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Dueling messages call marijuana 'benign' and 'risky'

A glossy, full-page ad for marijuana products look like something you would see from a pharmaceutical company. Does it signal the future of advertising for marijuana ... if it's legal?
Justin Steyer KPLU

Even if you never smoke marijuana, Initiative-502 could make it much more a part of our society, like alcohol. In our series “If it’s legal: Five ways legal pot could affect your life,” we consider some ways things could change for all of us. Today, we look at what sort of advertising and public messages we might expect to see.

If you turn on the TV today, beer and wine are everywhere. A typical commercial for Corona Light, for example, features a guy whose life improves with girls, dancing, lively music, a great time – all thanks to a frosty beer.

This sort of commercial is what Denise Walker was imagining, when she started thinking about the possibility of marijuana advertising in the future.

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4:00 am
Wed October 10, 2012

The shocking truth about Granny Smith

The real Granny Smith (seated).

Yes, there actually was a Granny Smith.  That's her right above.  But she was not (gasp) an American.

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NPR science
12:37 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Fun With Physics: How To Make Tiny Medicine Nanoballs

Álvaro Marín

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:20 am

For the past decade, scientists have been toying with the notion of encapsulating medicine in microscopic balls.

These so-called nanospheres could travel inside the body to hard-to-reach places, like the brain or the inside of a tumor. One problem researchers face is how to build these nanospheres, because you'd have to make them out of even smaller nanoparticles.

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Privatizing liquor
12:21 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Reports of dramatic drop in sales at former Wash. state liquor stores

Business is down dramatically at some former state-owned liquor stores in Washington. Photo by Austin Jenkins

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 4:11 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Statewide liquor sales in Washington are up since privatization took effect in June. But business is down dramatically at some former state-owned liquor stores.

At Rainier Park Liquor, it used to take two clerks during the day. Three at peak times. Now manager Kevin Dziedzic says one person can mind the store most of the time. Business is so slow he even had to lay-off the owner’s brother.

“Definitely just have to be wiser with the money we spend,” Dziedzic says.

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2012 elections
5:23 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Romney shows his soft side; president tightens his pitch

Mitt Romney on a farm in Van Meter, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 4:56 pm

With 27 days until the general election, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was on an Iowa farm Tuesday where he did what he's done for months: criticized President Obama's economic policies, though his critique understandably had an agricultural slant.

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Liquor privatization
4:23 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Washington liquor sales show continued strength

With liquor privatization came higher prices, but much greater availability.
Jake Ellison KPLU

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington liquor sales are showing signs of continued strength after the state moved to a privatized system.

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Nuclear waste
4:13 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Report: Hanford unprepared for early start on cleanup

Hanford Waste Treatment Plan's Pretreatment Facility as seen from the center of the construction site. Photo by US Department of Energy

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 3:27 pm

A new report says plans to get an early start at cleaning up some radioactive waste at Hanford may not work the way managers envisioned. The document is the latest criticism of a project to treat waste at the southeast Washington nuclear site.

The Department of Energy is building a massive complex designed to turn 56 million gallons of radioactive waste into glass logs. Hanford managers had hoped to get a head start on one facility to treat lower level waste.

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NPR tech news
4:02 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

For Nobel winner's agency, precision is the only way to operate

NIST physicist and Nobel Prize-winner David Wineland adjusts an ultraviolet laser beam used to manipulate ions in a high-vacuum apparatus containing an "ion trap." These devices have been used to demonstrate the basic operations required for a quantum computer.
Copyright Geoffrey Wheeler National Institute of Standards and Technology

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 7:46 am

David Wineland is the American half of the scientific duo celebrating the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics today.

Wineland and French scientist Serge Haroche developed new ways for scientists to observe individual quantum particles without damaging them. This may not sound so impressive, but the work opens a world of possibilities— including the development of a quantum computer and super-precise clock.

But who needs a better clock? Don't we have pretty good ones already?

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3:36 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Seattle’s latest rising star? Colonel Meow

An image of the Colonel from his Facebook page.

Okay – it’s a cat post on the Internets … but, hey, he’s from Seattle and he’s a rising star! And, he’s funny (though he has a bit of a potty mouth).

Colonel Meow hit Facebook on Aug. 9 and has quickly risen to 60,000 … make that 60,055 …  60,219 ... you get the idea. (Just now at 67,686)

Update 10-10: Though he won't give us the time of day, the colonel was on Anderson Cooper Live today. He wasn't too talkative but his owner Anne Marie Avey said his hair/fur is natural and then she gave Cooper a pretty good lead into his fracas with Star Jones.

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