Humanosphere
9:54 am
Tue August 2, 2011

Foreign aid on chopping block

A refugee carries food aid on his back at a food distribution center run by the World Food Programme, in the town of Dadaab, Kenya, today.
Associated Press

Given the demand for cuts in government spending following the compromise deal Congress struck in order to raise the debt ceiling, many experts say foreign aid and development programs are on shaky ground.

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Street Cents
5:00 am
Tue August 2, 2011

Aurora motels entering time of change, the last for most

Seattle's "Bridge Motel" just north of the Aurora bridge is one of the 1960's motels slated for demolition.
Erin Hennessey

Back in the early 1960's, a string of motels along Seattle's Aurora Avenue North sprang up to accommodate tourists pouring into town to visit the Seattle World's Fair. Real Estate Appraiser Richard Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard that a lot of this property is being redeveloped.

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Global Warming
6:25 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Seattle spring was the coldest, one of the cloudiest on record

Scientists have confirmed what many suspected about this year’s weather. It was the coldest spring on record for Washington and one of the cloudiest. 

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
5:30 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Anti-tunnel rally in Seattle tries to build opposition to referendum

The protestors carried a 25-foot replica of what they said represented the “monster tunnel that eats money.”
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

At a rally in downtown Seattle late this afternoon roughly 60 protesters marched on city hall to show their opposition to the waterfront tunnel scheduled to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The protestors carried a 25-foot replica of what they said represented the “monster tunnel that eats money.”

A smaller group of tunnel supporters also showed up with props to argue that killing the tunnel would cause too much congestion.

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Law
5:07 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

3 Wash. initiatives qualify for fall ballot

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington voters will have three initiatives to decide this year.

The secretary of state's office said Monday that three proposals have qualified for the ballot. Officials completed certification Monday, finding that each had well more than the 241,000 valid signatures needed to qualify.

Environment
5:06 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Study: 'Intensive' thinning needed to best cut wildfire risk

In the last ten years, the federal government and rural landowners have spent increasing sums of money thinning spindly trees and removing underbrush. The aim is to reduce risk from wildfire.

A new study by the Forest Service finds that tree stands need to be "intensively" thinned for that strategy to be effective.

Study co-author David Peterson of the Pacific Northwest Research Station in Seattle says a dense tinderbox forest before thinning could have more than a 1,000 trees per acre.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
4:57 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Hanford layoffs not based just on seniority

RICHLAND, Wash. – Seniority won't be the only factor for determining layoffs at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington. Pink slips are expected in six weeks by several Hanford contractors because federal stimulus money is tapering off.

CH2MHill and Mission Support Alliance are the federal contractors planning on the 1,600 lay-offs. The companies say union employees will lose their jobs based on seniority: those with the least experience going first.

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Woodland Park Zoo
4:39 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Seattle zoo's grizzly bear brothers are back online

Woodland Park Zoo’s two grizzly bears are brothers named Keema and Denali and are 17 years old (2011).
Courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo’s 17-year-old grizzly bear brothers Keema and Denali can be watched live online 24/7 through the zoo’s partnership with Ustream, an internet live streaming service.

(You can also watch the video inside)

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Humanosphere
2:26 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Community, collaboration: The next phase for Seattle’s do-gooders

'In Seattle, we are already the Silicon Valley of sustainable, social and innovative development,' Hub Seattle's Brian Howe. 'But we are still very fragmented, many of us working inefficiently in isolation.'
Tom Paulson Humanosphere

Clearly, the explosion of do-gooders in Seattle represents a great opportunity – an opportunity to do more good, to maybe even “do well by doing good” or at least find a job.

But our region’s emerging humanitarian “sector” also poses some dangers: A plethora of good (and maybe not-so-good) causes competing for funding, of redundancy, lack of clarity, lack of criteria for measuring success (or failure) and, overall, of not making the most of this opportunity due to lack of collaboration, of community.

That’s where Hub Seattle hopes to play a role.

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Healthy living
11:17 am
Mon August 1, 2011

Follow-up: $800,000 ad campaign designed to help us choose healthy

Public health leaders have concluded that we struggle most when the healthier choices take more effort than the unhealthy ones.
Public Health Seattle & King County

Why spend $800,000 to advertise what seems like common knowledge?  That smoking is bad for you, that eating nutritious foods is better than a diet of fast-food and physical activity is a good idea?

Because too many of us have trouble following those golden rules.

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