The Northwest's Late Spring
12:32 pm
Mon May 23, 2011

North Cascades Highway to reopen this week

Snowplows work to clear the debris from a controlled avalanche covering the North Cascades Highway on May 10.
Washington State Department of Transportation

For nearly six months, western Washingtonians who wanted to drive to Winthrop, Okanagan and other north central Washington locations have had to make an extra-long road trip, sometimes adding hundreds of miles to their journey. And vice-versa.

That will change very soon.

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Washington State Legislature
8:24 am
Mon May 23, 2011

Move to lease state liquor distribution alive again

Washington would have the option to privatize the state’s liquor distribution system under a measure that passed the state Senate Saturday. It’s the latest compromise in a long-running debate over the future of Washington’s liquor system.

It’s more “we’ll see if it’s a good deal” option than anything else. The state would solicit bids to see if it could earn money by leasing the state’s liquor distribution facilities. If none of the bids work to Washington’s favor, distribution would continue as a state-run system. Republican Senator Joe Zarelli helped broker the deal.

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Sound and urban environments
8:01 am
Mon May 23, 2011

Measuring noise with people in mind: Soundscapes

How peaceful is this scene? Acoustic engineer Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp finds Seattle's Westlake Park "too noisy" to enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee.
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

There are probably places near where you live or work where it’s pretty noisy. The definition of what’s too loud is highly technical. Now, acoustical engineers have developed a new way of measuring noise that includes how it feels.

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NEWS ROUNDUP
7:57 am
Mon May 23, 2011

Monday morning's headlines

Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki, right, celebrates with teammates after their 6-1 victory over the San Diego Padres in a baseball game on Sunday in San Diego. The Mariners swept the three-game series and won their fifth game in a row.
Lenny Ignelzi AP

Partly sunny Tuesday, slight chance of showers - high 59. Latest forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

 

  • State Leaders Reach Key Deal on Workers' Comp Changes
  • Teen Sought in Auburn Shooting That Killed Boy, 17
  • Gas Prices Down 5-Cents in a Week
  • Mariners Win 5th Straight

 

Legislature Reaches Deal on Workers' Compensation
 

Washington lawmakers say they have reached an agreement on how to overhaul the state's workers' compensation system.

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KPLU Listener trip
6:39 am
Mon May 23, 2011

Only a few spots left: Red, White & Blues Weekend in Portland!

KPLU listeners will join more than 100,000 blues fans from around the world who descend upon the Rose City's Waterfront Park!

There are only a few spots left to join All Blues host John Kessler for KPLU's "Red, White & Blues Weekend" 2011 at the 24th Annual Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland July 1-4, 2011.

If you have been waiting to book your spot, the time to act is now as we are almost at capacity!

KPLU has put together a specially-priced listener package which reflects a 25% discount compared to retail prices. 

A world-class blues lineup will perform against the backdrop of the Willamette River with a view of the glacial peaks of Mt. Hood, including: Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Maceo Parker, Lucinda Williams, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Chubby Carrier, Black Joe Louis and the Honeybears, and many, many more!

Book your reservation now!

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Health
6:37 am
Mon May 23, 2011

Seasonal West Nile Virus warnings

Culex mosquito laying eggs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

West Nile Virus may be returning to Washington State. The recent wet spring has created an attractive habitat for mosquitoes, some of which carry West Nile.

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Artscape
9:03 am
Sun May 22, 2011

It's movie festival time and these folks are film crazy

Mary Bond and her son Ira talk movies at their Seattle home. Bond has a Full Series Pass for this year's Seattle International Film Festival and she's become a movie resource for her son, who is also a film nut.
Florangela Davila

If you’re crazy about films, then this is the time of year when you’re over the moon. Over 25 days, the Seattle International Film Festival shows 450 movies at 20 venues in and around Seattle.
 
Among the ordinary festival-goer is a special type of film fan: those who don’t sleep, mow the lawn, or spend time with friends or family unless they’re with them at the movies.

These are the approximately 400 folks who have a full series pass, who may see around 100 films or so per festival.

A few tips if you wish to be this die-hard:

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Law
4:11 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

Seattle can vote on viaduct tunnel, judge says

Seattle voters will have a chance to chime in again on the planned deep-bore tunnel that's supposed to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. 

That's the word from Judge Laura Middaugh who this afternoon sided with the supporters of a referendum, saying  her goal is to make sure that the voices of the people are heard when a policy decision is made.  She said she had not been able to find any precedents in case law to support her stance.

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NUCLEAR RISKS
3:06 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

Study: Earthquakes near Hanford not as unlikely as first thought

For years top scientists have said a big earthquake near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is highly unlikely in our lifetimes. Now, a new geological study is being published, and what it says is shaking up assumptions.

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Post-viaduct Seattle
1:31 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

New York architect presents design ideas for Seattle waterfront

Computer-generated image of the proposed redesign and redevelopment of the Seattle Waterfront after the demolition of the Alaskan Way viaduct. This the the proposed " Beach at Pioneer Square", looking north.
Image by James Corner Field Operations, courtesy of the City of Seattle, 2011

Hundreds of people packed into a waterfront auditorium last night (Thurs.) in Seattle. They came to see concepts of what the city might look like, once the Alaskan Way Viaduct comes down.

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"Livability"
11:39 am
Fri May 20, 2011

Seattle named one of "10 Great Cities for College Grads"

University of Washington commencement ceremonies at Husky Stadium, 2009
1Yen Flickr

Seattle and the Puget Sound area seem to be popping up on those "top ten" and "best places to..." lists with increasing regularity.

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NEWS ROUNDUP
6:05 am
Fri May 20, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

A Pierce County jury convicted Dorcus Allen, left, of four counts of first-degree murder in Tacoma in the deaths of four Lakewood police officers. [December 2009 file photo.]
Ted S. Warren AP

Mostly sunny and 66 today, clouds tonight, chance of showers over the weekend. Latest forecast here:

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Clemmons' Getaway Driver Guilty of Murder in Lakewood Police Killings
  • Stadium Tax Extension Falls Short in Washington Senate
  • Detectives Identify Man in 2 Snohomish County Cold Cases

 

Dorcus Allen Guilty of Murder in Lakewood Police Slayings

A jury in Tacoma has convicted the getaway driver in the Lakewood police killings with first-degree murder.

The News Tribune reports the Pierce County jury did not find Dorcus Allen guilty of aggravated circumstances.

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Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu May 19, 2011

NBA executive's revelation he's gay a 'positive step in a slow evolution'

Rick Welts is the current president of the Phoenix Suns, whose career as an NBA executive started in Seattle with the Sonics. He's revealed he is gay - the first person in men's team sports to do so.
David Wallace AP

He started his NBA career in Seattle as an assistant public relations director for the SuperSonics. Now, Rick Welts is the president of the Phoenix Suns. And he recently revealed he's gay. He's the first person in men's team sports - executive or active player - to make such an admission.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel has known Rick Welts for more than 30 years, from his time in Seattle. He shared some insight on Welts' struggle to reveal his sexual orientation in an industry that Art says has "a narrow definition of manliness that does not include being gay."

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Other News
2:11 pm
Thu May 19, 2011

They didn't name him Monty?

Kaa, the new python at Woodland Park Zoo.
Ryan Hawk Woodland Park Zoo

As reported earlier, Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo has been asking the public for help in naming its new reticulated python. The zoo conducted polling on its Facebook page and the top vote getter was Kaa, which was also the name of the snake in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. The 8-year-old, 100-pound male snake was introduced to the community last week and can be seen at the Day Exhibit during zoo hours.

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Natural Disasters
1:15 pm
Thu May 19, 2011

As Yakima River Flood Waters Recede, Residents Clean Up

Portions of Gomer Road near Richland, Wash. are closed due to water over the roadway.
Benton County Emergency Services Dept.

Some areas of the Northwest remain at risk of flooding. But residents along the Yakima River are cleaning up flood damage as the water recedes.

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