Rate Hikes
2:40 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Seattle water rates could increase 25 percent by 2014

Fountain at Seattle's Volunteer Park. 7/16/2006
Justin Baeder flickr.com

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is proposing a 25 percent hike in drinking water rates spread over the next three years. SPU says the typical monthly household bill is currently $31.70. The proposal would increase that monthly bill by $2.41 in 2012, $2.68 in 2013 and $2.91 in 2014.

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Humanosphere
2:31 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Mayor McGinn jumps into Twitter fight over child prostitution

There’s a Twitter war going on right now that has prompted Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to write to Jim Larkin, the CEO of Village Voice which also owns the Seattle Weekly, regarding child sex trafficking. McGinn has also asked the Seattle Police Department to look into these allegations.

The Twitter battle is basically an assault on the Seattle Weekly based on claims that the periodical, as part of the Village Voice Media chain, publishes ads that put minors at risk of prostitution. Here’s the Weekly’s rebuttal to those claims.

The story now is that actor Ashton Kutcher has taken up the Twitter assault on the Weekly and other publications carrying these ads.

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Fourth of July
1:21 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

What fireworks can you use? In some cities: None

Time for fireworks, bans and warnings and fun!
Piero Sierra Flickr

Here comes that day that cats and dogs really hate, but most American humans love!

Yes, it’s time for burning, smoking and exploding devices used for celebrating the Fourth of July. It is also time for the many reminders and warnings about what fireworks you can use, how dangerous they are and where you can or can’t use them (should you really feel like you have to).

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Environment
8:40 am
Fri July 1, 2011

Update: Shooting spotted owl's rival won't work, expert laments

A new plan for saving the northern spotted owl was released this week.
Associated Press

A new plan released yesterday for saving the northern spotted owl is taking aim – maybe literally – at a rival bird.

Federal agency leaders said Thursday the spotted owl is losing out to a bigger, more aggressive invader from the eastern United States, the barred owl.

However, one biologist whose research led to the listing of the spotted owl believes shooting and other measures to control the barred owl are too little too late.  Because, he lamented, the spotted owl's population has shrunk over the last 15 years in spite of conservation efforts. (Interactive map inside)

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NEWS ROUNDUP
7:35 am
Fri July 1, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

The Olympia Brewery in Tumwater pictured in betters days. Plans for using the old brewery site are shaping up.
Minnaert Wikipedia
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SOLD OUT
12:00 am
Fri July 1, 2011

SOLD OUT: The 2011 KPLU Summer Jazz Brunch Cruise!

Entering their 17th year of performing, Pearl Django continues to be one of America’s most respected and busiest Hot Club style groups.
Courtesty of Pearl Django

UPDATE: Tickets are now sold out for this event

Join us Sunday, August 14 for our 19th Summer Jazz Brunch Cruise, a relaxing, two-and-a-half hour cruise on Elliott Bay aboard the Royal Argosy.  Enjoy a scrumptious all-you-can-eat brunch, spectacular views, and great music from "that mighty engine of rhythm," Gypsy jazz masters, Pearl Django

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu June 30, 2011

Seattle Storm star sidelined; chance for back-to-back titles slim

Storm star Lauren Jackson attempts to drive past a Minnesota Lynx player in a game last month. She's now out for up to three months to recover from hip surgery. Art Thiel says it's a real blow to the playoff chances for the 2010 WNBA champions.
Elaine Thompson AP

"Your star player will be out for the rest of the season, and maybe the playoffs. Now ... SMILE!"

That was pretty much the scenario for members of the Seattle Storm this week when the 2010 WNBA champions were honored by President Obama at the White House.

As they were taking photos in the White House Rose Garden, most of the team learned that three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson – "the heart and soul of the Storm," according to KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel – was to have hip surgery. She's expected to be out up to three months.

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Science
2:30 pm
Thu June 30, 2011

Point Defiance Zoo welcomes more red wolves

An endangered red wolf at Point Defiance Zoo.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

The population of the Red Wolf Woods exhibit at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium just tripled in size. A new pair of wolves has arrived from the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas.

The wolves, Wilson and Havana, are a non-breeding pair. They're on display in an area separate from the exhibit's other resident, Graham.

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Washington Tourism
1:40 pm
Thu June 30, 2011

Washington closes tourism office in face of budget cuts

Washington state will no longer be telling the world about the Fremont Troll or any other tourist attraction since it has gotten out of the tourism promotion business.
Flickr

Today Washington state closes its official tourism agency making it the only state in the nation to abandon all funding for self-promotion. The closure comes at a time when tourism is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world.

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Education
1:27 pm
Thu June 30, 2011

UW to pay Baby Einstein co-founder $175,000, plus data

Baby Einstein co-founder Julie Aigner-Clark, framed by a couple of puppets used in Baby Einstein in 2001, said she was stung by a controversy started by a University of Washington study over whether the videos help babies learn or get in the way.
Associated Press

Ever since a University of Washington study published in a major medical journal in 2007 showed baby videos don't make infants smarter, the creators of the Baby Einstein series have been battling the university in court and in the media.

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Sports with Art Thiel
11:53 am
Thu June 30, 2011

Preview: Jackson's surgery will be a blow to Seattle Storm

President Barack Obama holds up a Seattle Storm jersey as he welcomed the WNBA champions to White House Rose Garden Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

On the same day the members of the Seattle Storm were honored by President Obama at the White House, the ladies learned that teammate and three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson is having hip surgery today and will be out up to 12 weeks.

It's a blow to the team whose season has not gotten off to a great start. They were WNBA champions just a year ago. Can the Storm claim the title again this year – without a lot of help from Lauren Jackson?

Hear KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel's take on that tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on KPLU. And you'll find a blog of our conversation right here tomorrow morning as well. 

Law
11:45 am
Thu June 30, 2011

Cuts in juvenile parole left teen in 'Tuba Man' case unsupervised

Edward McMichael, pictured at a game in 2004, was a beloved Seattle street musician known as the "Tuba Man.” He was found dead Nov. 3, 2008 from beating injuries he received in a robbery.
Associated Press

One of the three teens convicted of killing a popular Seattle street musician in 2008 continues to make headlines for his tangles with the law. Billy Chambers – who's now an adult – was most recently locked up for hit-and-run. It turns out he did not qualify for supervision by a juvenile parole officer because of state budget cuts.

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Other News
8:57 am
Thu June 30, 2011

Man stung by scorpion on flight out of Seattle

Man stung by scorpion on flight from Seattle to Anchorage, Alaska.
Fabrice Kelmbacher Flickr

'Oh, my God. That's a scorpion.'

An Oregon man got a surprise — and some pain — when he was stung by a scorpion during a commercial flight from Seattle to Anchorage, Alaska.

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Environment
7:00 am
Thu June 30, 2011

Spotted owl recovery plan pits one species against another

Threatened northern spotted owl adult with young (Strix occidentalis caurina.)
Photo by Jim Thrailkill USFWS

It’s an icon of the northwest.

With its muted brown feathers and dark eyes, the northern spotted owl doesn’t look all that impressive. But scientists say its survival indicates the health of the entire forest ecosystem. That’s why conservationists want the government to protect more of the old-growth habitat spotted owls prefer.

But a recovery plan for the owl due for release this morning is ruffing feathers.

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NEWS ROUNDUP
6:52 am
Thu June 30, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

Finalist Vicci Martinez poses for photographers after the finale of "The Voice" in Burbank, Calif., on Wednesday. Javier Colon was named the winner.
Matt Sayles Associated Press
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