Labor Relations
5:28 pm
Thu December 16, 2010

Fight continues over King County cops' pay

The conflict continues over an upcoming pay raise for sheriff's deputies in King County.  Executive Dow Constantine has rejected a proposal from the Police Officers Guild to cut their pay temporarily.  He says their offer would have cost more than it saved. 

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Smoking
11:06 am
Thu December 16, 2010

Electronic cigarettes considered a new public health threat

Galen Kipe holds an electronic cigarette. For the 34-year-old who has tried quitting a number of times, Kipe has swapped real smokes for an electronic cigarette.
Gerry Broome AP Photo

Just when you thought cigarettes were headed for obscurity, along comes the electronic cigarette.  The King County Board of Health is restricting these "e-cigarettes" in the name of protecting youth -- and keeping a stigma against smoking. 

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State Budget Crisis
8:09 am
Thu December 16, 2010

Advocates rail against proposed budget cuts

A hue and cry has erupted in response to Washington Governor Chris Gregoire’s proposal to slash billions more in anticipated state spending. The Democrat Wednesday unveiled her plan to close a $4.6 billion budget shortfall.

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News Roundup
6:41 am
Thu December 16, 2010

Thursday morning's headlines

The governor "hates" her own budget plan, education leaders don't like it either, and Tacoma prepares for potential closure of landmark museum, and a  tree 'grows' in White Center.

Gregoire "Hates" Her Budget

The governor laid out her plans to cut $4 billion and balance the state budget, then told reporters she "hates" what she's had to do.

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State Budget Crisis
6:16 am
Thu December 16, 2010

Gregoire's budget cuts $4.6 billion, ends funding for state parks and Basic Health

Ten-dollar gate fees at state parks and 100,000 more Washingtonians without health insurance. Those are just two examples of how Governor Christine Gregoire proposes to close a $4.6 billion budget shortfall with her budget released Wednesday.

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Record Bin Roulette
1:04 am
Thu December 16, 2010

Cheez-its and other life necessiites

Cheez-its, out in the open, and on this week's Record Bin Roulette.
Junkfoodbetty.com

Who knew there was even a Cheez-it category, but that's where the Record Bin Roulette wheel landed this week. John Maynard and John Kessler explore the depths of obscure vinyl at their fingertips and dig up the songs that were popular when icons of modern life came to be. 

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Seattle Center
4:14 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

Mayor calls for Chihuly, KEXP, and a playground at Seattle Center

Rendering of the proposed KEXP building. The radio station would relocate to the Seattle Center under Mayor Mike McGinn's proposal.
Office of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has given his approval for a Dale Chihuly glass-art exhibit to replace the Fun Forest at the Seattle Center, plus a new home for radio station KEXP and a children’s playground.  

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Public Safety
2:19 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

Wire thieves damage Tacoma's Murray Morgan Bridge

Murray Morgan Bridge
Potjie at flickr.com

The Murray Morgan bridge spanning Tacoma's Thea Foss Waterway can no longer be raised to allow tall ships to pass beneath it.  City of Tacoma spokesman Rob McNair-Huff says copper wire thieves broke into the bridge's mechanical room and ripped out the wires from the power and control panel.  They also damaged the motors and controls.

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State Budget Crisis
1:46 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

Huge cuts in Gregoire's budget proposal

Gov. Chris Gregoire has unveiled a two-year budget plan that uses a mix of cuts to state programs, suspension of voter initiatives and use of the state's "rainy day" reserve to patch a projected $4.6 billion deficit.

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Public Safety
1:44 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

After dog electrocuted, Seattle finds three faulty streetlights

The base of a metal streetlight and City Light metal vault cover on 5th Avenue in Belltown. After a dog was electrocuted last month through a plate and light conveying voltage, the city is inspecting 20,000 lights and connections.
Gary Davis/KPLU

Seattle City Light inspectors have discovered potentially dangerous voltage present in three streetlights, a situation under scrutiny since a dog was electrocuted Thanksgiving Day on Queen Anne. "Sammy" was on a walk with his owner when he stepped on a metal plate cover at the base of a streetlight on Queen Anne Avenue. 

The lights have been shut off to the three lights until repairs can be made.

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Northwest Entrepreneurs
9:12 am
Wed December 15, 2010

Slow Money: Pairing investors with food businesses

Liquid investment dividends? Investors are making connections that benefit local farmers.
Tom Banse N3

Forget Wall Street. One way some well-off Northwesterners avoided steep losses in the stock market in recent years was by making unusual alternative investments: in small farms and food businesses. These “angel investors” are organizing loose networks to match their money with cash-hungry local producers. Think of it as slow-food meets slow money.

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Leavenworth Commerical
8:36 am
Wed December 15, 2010

Bavarian themed hip-hop video boosts Leavenworth tourism

"Woody Goomsba" kicks back in the sun in Leavenworth's latest tourism ad campaign.
Leavenworth Area Promotions

Tourism promoters in Leavenworth say they have a hit with a sexy YouTube video showing dancing girls, a Nutracker figure and scenes from the Bavarian-themed North Cascades town.

The Wenatchee World reports the hip-hop spoof cost the Leavenworth Area Promotions board $11,000, and it has already been viewed nearly 85,000 times as of Wednesday:

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News Roundup
8:29 am
Wed December 15, 2010

Wednesday morning's headlines

Governor to announce $5 billion budget cut plan, war claims a soldier from Yelm, and Seattle Center's big announcement today.

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K-12 Education
8:02 am
Wed December 15, 2010

State needs more than a century to close achievement gap

A student gets help with his schoolwork in a Seattle program for at-risk youth
Seattle Office for Education

Washington is finally making progress on closing the achievement gap between different groups of students, but researchers say it’s not all good news.  A new report found that the gains mean some students will still lag behind for more than a century. 

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Welfare Cards
7:56 am
Wed December 15, 2010

Welfare cards used at out-of-state liquor stores, strip clubs

Portland's Safari Club was one strip club where a welfare debit card was used to withdraw cash.
Chris Lehman N3

Some Washington welfare recipients are withdrawing cash at out-of-state liquor stores, smoke shops and even strip clubs. That’s the finding of a public radio investigation into welfare debit card use outside Washington’s borders. The finding comes at a time when the state’s welfare program is $82 million in the red.

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