Wildlife
10:13 am
Tue April 12, 2011

Olympic National Park seeks marmot counters

Olympic National Park is seeking people to count marmots similar to these in the Rocky Mts. (Perhaps these two are more than just friends?)
Elaine Picasa

If you're game for an Olympic National Park hike of five to 20 miles and eager to go count housecat-sized rodents, the park wants you for its "citizen science" marmot monitoring program.

Read more
State Budget
9:03 am
Tue April 12, 2011

Dems seek higher transportation fees to help balance budget

thetruthaboutcars.com

An Olympia budget problem:

  • Washington's roads need repair and improvements.
  • Gas tax revenues are way down because people are driving less and driving more fuel-efficient cars.
  • State voters have made it clear they don't want higher taxes.

What's a lawmaker to do?

Democratic budget writers in the Legislature hoping to plug a $5 billion deficit are proposing to raise a slew of fees on everything from getting a drivers license to riding a ferry. 

They say they're just trying to bring fees -- many of which haven't been raised in years -- in line with current costs. But skeptical Republicans are cool to the proposal.

Read more
NEWS ROUNDUP
7:55 am
Tue April 12, 2011

Tuesday morning's headlines

Seattle Mariners' Luis Rodriguez, center, is mobbed by teammates after hitting the game-winning runs in against the Toronto Blue Jays in the ninth inning Monday night’s game at Safeco Field. Seattle. The Mariners won 8-7.
Elaine Thompson AP

Here's what's making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Will Seattle Get a Space Shuttle? Decision to be Announced This Morning
  • 520 Bridge Tolls Delayed Again
  • Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Advances
  • Mariners Erase 7-Run Deficit to Win Before Record-Low Crowd

 

[UPDATE: Seattle was not one of the cities chosen to land a space shuttle. Read the full story here.]

Space Shuttle's Last Stop: Seattle? Announcement Due This A.M.

Officials at Seattle's Museum of Flight have their fingers crossed, waiting for today's 10:00 a.m. announcement of where retiring space shuttles will be displayed. The museum near Boeing Field is one of 21 museum and science centers around the country hoping to land one of the spaceships. A new building called the Space Gallery is being prepared for the display.

Read more
Utility Rates
6:45 am
Tue April 12, 2011

Seattle's water and sewer rates are among the highest in the nation

blog.lib.umn.edu

If you live in Seattle, and you think your water and sewer charges are high, you’re right.

That’s according to a new city-government audit of Seattle Public Utilities. The Seattle Times reports the audit cites an industry analysis that found Seattle paying the highest rates among 50 U.S. cities. 

Read more
Whale Watching Rules
6:00 am
Tue April 12, 2011

Step away from the whale: Whale watch regulations get tougher

Under new federal rules, whale watcher such as these will have to stay further back from the killer whales
Soundwatch

Next time you go whale watching on Puget Sound, be sure to take your binoculars. Soon, you’ll have to stay twice as far from the endangered killer whales as before. 

Read more
Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue April 12, 2011

Alternatives to the GET program

Pacific Lutheran University's 2010 fall commencement
PLU

How to pay for your children’s college tuition can be complicated. Washington state's Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program has been very popular, with about 130,000 families taking advantage of it. But there have been concerns about the long term financial viability of the program, and the legislature is considering changes. For those not already in the program, what the state agrees to cover may be less than what it pays for current enrollees. In light of this uncertainty, financial commentator Greg Heberlein thinks it’s a good time to point out the alternatives.

Read more
Living in Gangland
4:00 am
Tue April 12, 2011

Activist in tiny Outlook, Washington wants a town where people aren't afraid

A sign promoting a community meeting in Outlook, Wash. a dairy town near Yakima.
Anna King Northwest News Network

This week we're taking a look at what police say is a resurgence of gang activity - especially in rural areas. In part two of "Living in Gangland," we bring you the story of the unincorporated town of Outlook, in Eastern Washington - and one woman who is fighting to get the town back.

When "Maria" gets off Interstate 82 and heads down the off ramp for Outlook – she starts praying -  that she’ll get home safe today.

Read more
Aerospace History
6:04 pm
Mon April 11, 2011

Museum of Flight a hopeful contender for Tuesday's space shuttle decision

An artist's rendering of the new gallery plan at Seattle's Museum of Flight, a gallery intended to permanently lure a NASA Space Shuttle. The agency will announce the winners of the competition to host the retiring spacecraft Tuesday at 10am PST.
Graphic courtesy of Museum of Flight.

The odds are about one in seven.  That's the skinny on Seattle's bid to become a host site for one of NASA's retiring space shuttles. 

Seattle Times writer Jack Broom sums up the situation nicely in that paper's latest story on the question. Broom notes the Museum of Flight's chances were diminished slightly last week:

Read more
Education
4:40 pm
Mon April 11, 2011

Drive to sign up low-income kids for College Bound Scholarship

Renton High School students working on a recent edition of the student newspaper Arrow. A push is underway to sign up students in Renton and other South King County districts for the College Bound Scholarship
Gary Davis KPLU

A lot of low-income kids are missing out on Washington's offer to pay their way through college. In South King County, a new campaign is underway to change that. 

Read more
Humanosphere
3:49 pm
Mon April 11, 2011

Why young people are flocking to global health and poverty – a series preview

Michael Thompson Flickr

For the past few weeks I’ve been talking to young people, mostly around Seattle, who are involved in global poverty issues. And I’m blown away by the number of initiatives being pursued by people in their 20′s and early 30's.

  • A fellow heading to Mongolia to work on microfinance
  • A young Bengali couple who have started an organization to fund smaller projects that often get ignored
  • A woman who plans to work at the International Criminal Court on women’s issues

Read more
State Budget
11:05 am
Mon April 11, 2011

Taking a broader look at the value of natural resources

Lime Kiln State Park on San Juan Island is a prime spot for watching killer whales from the shore
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

Lawmakers in Olympia are struggling to close a $5 billion budget gap, and, like many state programs, natural resource agencies are on the chopping block. A study by a Tacoma-based non-profit says cutting those services too deeply could cost a lot more money than it saves.

Read more
Living in Gangland
10:37 am
Mon April 11, 2011

Rural gangs claim public lands

Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife officer Chad McGary briefly detains a self-described gang member who was fishing with friends
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

This week we're taking a look at what police say is a resurgence of gang activity - especially in rural areas. In part one of our series “Living In Gangland," we go on patrol with a Washington Fish and Wildlife cop. 

Gang violence is mostly a big city problem. But in parts of the rural Northwest, police are grappling with gang rivalries, graffiti and even drive-by shootings.

Just ask Darin Smith, chief of police in Royal City, Washington, population 2,000.

Read more
Medical costs
9:03 am
Mon April 11, 2011

Learning why health insurance rates go up

Health insurance rates are going up and policies are changing for many people who have an individual plan or work at a small business. Those increases can be maddening and mystifying.

Read more
NEWS ROUNDUP
6:05 am
Mon April 11, 2011

Monday morning's headlines

The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Washington is $3.88.
AP

Some of the top news stories around the Northwest for April 11th:

  • How High Will Gas Prices Go?
  • Tacoma Police to Focus on Cold Cases
  • Hundreds of Washington Convictions in Doubt
  • Mariners in Free Fall

 

 AAA: Gas in Washington averages $3.88 gallon

If you're looking for cheap(er) gas in Washington state, you'll have to cross over the Cascades.

Read more
Artscape
6:03 am
Sun April 10, 2011

The Mighty Wurlitzer organ stars at Paramount Theatre's "Silent Movie Mondays"

Jim Riggs is the host and Mighty Wurlitzer organist for this month's "Silent Movie Mondays" series at Seattle's Paramount Theatre.
Photo by Bob Cerelli

Each winter and spring, the Paramount Theatre in Seattle hosts a silent movie series on Monday nights.
This month’s classic films showcase New York City and it also features one of Buster Keaton’s best works.

But the star attraction isn’t what’s on screen. It’s the instrument making the music.

Read more

Pages