Business
5:00 am
Fri March 22, 2013

How can T-Mobile compete against the big guys? Merge, merge, merge

Thomas Hawk

The merger of Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA and its smaller rival, MetroPCS, has won regulatory approval and will likely move forward. But one analyst says even the combined company may not be large enough to compete with the biggest wireless carriers.

For a mobile phone company, having the biggest, fastest network is what counts, especially as more and more people use smartphones to stream video or listen to Pandora.

Morningstar analyst Allan Nichols says MetroPCS will give T-Mobile a much-needed boost of wireless spectrum as well as faster technology.

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Sky
10:38 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Watch: Mesmerizing time-lapse video of northern lights

The skies over Alaska lit up with “one of the best displays (of the northern lights) seen in recent memory” last Saturday, according to the photographer who captured it.

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Politics
8:10 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Inslee: Transportation package a must for 2013

Gov. Jay Inslee says that passing a transportation funding package this year must be a priority for the Legislature.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, Inslee said he is concerned that momentum for passing such a plan has been dissipating.

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Health
5:51 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

How healthy is your county? Best and worst of Wash. state

This map outlines the health-outcome rankings of counties in Washington state.
University of Wisconsin Population Heath Institute

Kittitas County is the healthiest county in Washington state, according to an annual report by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute released this week.

The report is based on a variety of health-related measures of life quality, including the rate of death before age 75, income, high school graduation rate, air and water quality, smoking rate, and obesity.

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binge drinking
4:44 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Will alcohol policies help WSU finally shed its image?

Kenny Hummel died of alcohol poisoning while attending Washington State University.

Last October, a freshman at Washington State University passed out after consuming hard liquor and an energy drink. The student later died in the hospital. His blood alcohol level was about five times the legal limit.

That led to some soul-searching on the campus in Pullman, Wash.

It turns out an average of 200 students each year end up in the ER at Pullman Regional Hospital for alcohol poisoning and alcohol-related injuries.

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The Salt
4:21 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Did Congress Just Give GMOs A Free Pass In The Courts?

Farmers harvest a sugar beet crop in Gilcrest, Colo.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 11:58 am

Tucked inside a short-term funding measure that Congress approved Thursday is a provision that critics are denouncing as a "Monsanto Protection Act."

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Conservation
3:26 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

King County reaches deal to preserve 43,000 acres of forestland

King County has reached a preliminary agreement to permanently protect a big chunk of forestland in the Cascade foothills.

The stretch of White River Forest spans 42,962 acres — about the size of Bainbridge Island and “the largest swath of unprotected forestland remaining in King County,” according to King County Executive Dow Constantine.

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Weather
1:03 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

NOAA: Northwest spring will be cooler than usual

A map showing above-normal temperatures in an orange hue. Below-normal temperatures are shown in blue.
NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a cooler-than-usual spring for the Pacific Northwest while predicting just the opposite for most of the U.S.

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Science
1:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Ancient afterglow of Big Bang shows older universe

This map shows the oldest light in our universe, as detected with the greatest precision yet by the Planck mission.
ESA and the Planck Collaboration

New results from looking at the split-second after the Big Bang indicate the universe is 80 million years older than previously thought and provide ancient evidence supporting core concepts about the cosmos — how it began, what it's made of and where it's going.

The findings released Thursday bolster a key theory called inflation, which says the universe burst from subatomic size to its now-observable expanse in a fraction of a second. The new observations from the European Space Agency's $900 million Planck space probe appear to reinforce some predictions made decades ago solely on the basis of mathematical concepts.

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Interior Secretary
12:48 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Senate panel endorses ex-REI CEO Jewell for Interior chief

The Senate Energy Committee on Thursday endorsed President Barack Obama's nomination of Sally Jewell to be Interior secretary, moving her nomination to the Senate floor for an expected vote next month.

The committee's 19-3 vote in favor of Jewell came after current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar agreed to review a decision blocking construction of a gravel road through a wildlife refuge to provide access to an all-weather airport in rural Alaska.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Award-winning trumpeter Arturo Sandoval returns to Seattle

Arturo Sandoval
kuumbwajazz.org

A protégé of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, a founding member of the innovative Cuban group Irakere, a renowned classical musician who performs regularly with symphony orchestras around the world:  trumpeter, pianist and composer Arturo Sandoval returns to Seattle's Jazz Alley this week.

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Health
10:32 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Wash. state has highest Alzheimer's death rate in U.S.

National Vital Statistics System

Washington state has the highest mortality rate for Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S., according to data released this week by the National Vital Statistics System. 

At 46.3 deaths per 100,000 people, the state’s death rate for the year 2010 far exceeded the national rate of 25.1 deaths per 100,000.

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Barefoot bandit
8:04 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Boeing worker mentors 'Barefoot Bandit' in prison

Jonathan Standridge and Colton Harris-Moore made an odd couple as they sat together in the visiting room of a Washington state prison one day last spring.

Standridge, 57, is a project manager at Boeing, one of the world's most important aviation companies. Harris-Moore, 21, is the "Barefoot Bandit," a world-famous airplane thief who is serving a seven-year sentence after a sensational run from the law in stolen boats, cars and planes.

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Local Arts
6:00 am
Thu March 21, 2013

A final gift for Seattle from philanthropist Bagley Wright

This artist's rendering shows the installation “MIRROR” by artist Doug Aitken.
Seattle Art Museum

If you’re a Seattle arts and culture lover, you owe a lot to a man named Bagley Wright.

The Space Needle, Benaroya Hall, Seattle Repertory Theater — Wright helped build or create all of them.

Then there’s the art he’s given to the city.

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Economy
10:04 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

State's tax revenue back to pre-recession levels

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 4:44 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – If you’re marking milestones in the slow climb out of the Great Recession, here’s a new one: Washington state tax collections have now recovered to pre-recession levels. That was one key takeaway from Wednesday’s quarterly revenue forecast.

In late 2007, the economy went into free fall. For two years, Washington tax revenues plunged. Since 2010 it’s been a slow, steady climb back up. Now tax collections are back to where they were before the economy tanked. Bright spots include an uptick in auto sales and signs of an improving housing market.

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