Environment
10:07 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

EPA Orders Navy To Fix Gorst Creek Landfill

The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered the U.S. Navy to reroute a creek and clean up a decades-old dump in Kitsap County.

The EPA says contamination from the Gorst Creek Landfill is posing risks to public health and salmon habitat.

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Ebola
4:09 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Ebola Makes West Africa A No-Go Zone For Washington Investment Officers

FILE - This undated photo made available by the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, shows the Ebola virus viewed through an electron microscope.
AP Photo/Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa means Washington state investment officers won’t be traveling to that region anytime soon.

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Environment
3:48 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Methow Valley Irrigation Gets Overhaul For Salmon, Steelhead, Bull Trout

Methow River
myriverguide.com Flickr

Construction begins this week on a state project in the Methow Valley to give fish a boost of cold, clean water in rivers near Twisp, Washington. The state and a trout conservation group are pouring about $10 million into a whole new irrigation system there.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
2:35 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Got A Question About The Weather? Ask Cliff Mass

"Old Seattle proverb: If you don't like the weather, just wait 30 minutes."
Tim Durkan

Find yourself wondering about a certain weather pattern or phenomenon? Ask KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. 

Every Friday, Mass chats with KPLU's environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp about the weekend weather and the science behind it.

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The Salt
1:09 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Do We Need A New 'Environmental Impact' Label For Beef?

Researchers say there's plenty the beef industry can do to use less land and water and emit fewer greenhouse gas emissions. But producers may need to charge a premium to make those changes.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 1:49 pm

If you've got decisions to make at the meat counter (or at a burger joint) and want to do right by the environment, you have a couple of options.

You could skip the beef entirely, which is what some environmental groups say you should do. Or you could go for meat with a "grass-fed" or "organic" label.

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Gun Initiative
10:25 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Rural Farmers On I-594: Make Your Gun Laws, But We Won’t Abide

From left to right, Ben and Frank Wolf are brothers who farm together in the Palouse in southeast Washington.
Anna King

In rural parts of the Northwest, many believe owning a gun is sort of like owning a garden trowel. You just have one or two around.

In November, Washington voters will decide on two gun-related initiatives. Initiative 594 aims to close loopholes on gun sales without background checks. The initiative is likely to pass, according to a recent poll. But in rural Washington, some people are skeptical the initiative will hit its intended target.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
9:51 am
Thu October 16, 2014

EPA Fines Hanford For Stagnating Radioactive Waste Near Columbia River

The K-East and K-West reactors were shut down in 1970 and 1971.
U.S. Department of Energy

The Environmental Protection Agency intends to fine the U.S. Department of Energy up to $10,000 per week if radioactive waste just a stone's throw from the Columbia River isn’t cleaned up.

Behind the old called the K-West reactor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is a huge concrete swimming pool-like basin. It was built in the 1950s and meant to last for 20 years. That’s where workers dumped hot irradiated rods until they cooled. Later, they were shuttled off to be further refined into plutonium for bombs.

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Business
9:41 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Amazon To Hire 80,000 Holiday Workers

Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 4:44 am

An increase in customer demand is spurring Amazon.com to create 80,000 seasonal positions at its network of distribution centers across the U.S.

That's a 14 percent increase over the number of temporary workers it hired last year at this time.

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BirdNote
9:00 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Waterfowl And Lead

Credit Durrell Dew

  Waterfowl must swallow hard particles so their gizzards can grind up hard foods, like grains. Unfortunately, they can't tell a lead pellet from a small pebble. Beginning in 1991, waterfowl hunters were required to switch from lead shotgun pellets to pellets made of non-toxic metals. The switch to non-toxic shot has made a positive difference for waterfowl, like this Trumpeter Swan. Where does your state stand? Check Related Resources to find out!

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Tips On Staying Healthy While You Travel

File image
Teresa Crawford AP Photo

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the cases that have popped up elsewhere on the planet have put new scrutiny on travel. Health officials have been quick to assure the public that catching the disease on a plane or at an airport is unlikely. But staying healthy while traveling is a major concern for many people, even before the outbreak.

An important note before we keep going: We are not medical experts. And we’re not going to address Ebola specifically. For information on that, look to the resources linked at the end of this article.

What we can tell you is what KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley does to stay healthy while he travels.

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GMO
9:46 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

New GMOs Get A Regulatory Green Light, With A Hint Of Yellow

Corn farmer Jerry McCulley sprays the weedkiller glyphosate across his cornfield in Auburn, Ill., in 2010. An increasing number of weeds have now evolved resistance to the chemical.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 4:01 pm

Government regulators have approved a new generation of genetically engineered corn and soybeans. They're the latest weapon in an arms race between farmers and weeds, and the government's green light is provoking angry opposition from environmentalists.

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Same-Sex Marriage
3:49 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Idaho Gay Rights Supporters Hope Gay Marriage Marks New Direction

Shelia Robertson, center, and her son Bridger, bottom center, react at as the county recorder opens at 10 a.m. to issue same-sex marriage licenses at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014.
Otto Kitsinger AP Photo

Same-sex couples across Idaho headed to county courthouses Wednesday, the first official day of legal gay marriage in the state since a court overturned Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage.

In Boise, there was a long line of couples at the Ada County courthouse. Among them were some of the plaintiffs who took the state to court for refusing to marry them.

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Prostitution
3:40 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

King County Flips The Script On Prostitution, Targeting Buyers Instead Of Sex Workers

File image
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Law enforcement authorities in King County have announced a major change in how they go after prostitution. They said they plan to stop targeting prostituted women, and train their sites instead on the men paying for sex.

Police and advocates say prostituted women have long been targeted for arrest – 10 times more often than the buyers, according to the Washington State Patrol.

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Business
3:20 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Former Boeing Executive Alan Mulally’s Advice On Labor: 'Working Together Works’

Alan Mulally
Thomas Hawk Flickr

Against a backdrop of Boeing labor relations that one analyst described as the worst he’s ever seen, former Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Executive Alan Mulally delivered some advice on how to boost morale: work together and include everyone.

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Standardized Testing
3:10 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Four Red Flags Found In One Seattle School's Now-Invalidated Test Results

File image
Wes Chapman Flickr

Someone altered test responses at Seattle's Beacon Hill International School in a way that significantly increased the elementary school's test scores. State education officials have now thrown out the entire school's results after noting "heavy erasure" marks on the test forms.

Whatever the reason for the alterations — both Seattle Public Schools and the state aren't using the word "cheating" — the changes produced some pretty startling test results, as a state analysis shows:

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