Humanosphere
5:14 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

Water advocate wonders at Gates Foundation’s focus on the toilet

Marla Smith-Nilson and friends.
Water 1st

Marla Smith-Nilson is director of Seattle-based Water 1st International and has worked for decades trying to improve access in the developing world to clean water and safe, healthy sanitation.

Smith-Nilson said she welcomes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation decision to get more involved in water and sanitation issues. But she is concerned that their primary interest in re-inventing the toilet is focused too much on the simple fix.

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Environment
3:20 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

Rising sea, stronger storms hammering West Coast shorelines

Where the shoreline might end up at Washaway Beach.
Washington Department of Ecology

With summer in full swing, area beaches see a lot of action. But the shores of the western coast of the United States may be hit with large-scale erosion in coming years, wiping out coastlines that provide protection from the surf, as well as pleasure.

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Business
2:27 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

Former Rick’s strip club going back to stripping?

KOMO-TV reports that the old Rick’s strip club on Lake City Way sold in June for $2.35 million has a new sign – “DreamGirls at Rick’s.”

DreamGirls is part of the Déjà Vu company and it appears that company will be running the property, which was seized last fall by investigators as part of a wide-ranging racketeering investigation of Frank Colacurcio, Seattle's most famous organized-crime figure.

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Money Matters
1:40 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

Zillow stock soars, then falls, on first day of trading

"Z" is for Zillow! Zillow executives and employees in Times Square celebrating the first day of trading on the NASDAQ.
Zillow, Inc.

What goes up often comes back down. Seattle-based real estate website Zillow, Inc. set its IPO price at $20 a share yesterday. It was offered for sale on the NASDAQ Stock Market at $60 a share this morning, but quickly fell into the $40 range.

It hit a low point at $32.50. By the close of trading, it was selling for $35.80...a 79% increase over the IPO price. 

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Education
1:32 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

Washington students will have to meet national core standards

State school officials hope the common core standards will benefit the states financially because they will be able to pool their resources for textbooks and assessments.
Shannan Muskopf Flickr

Washington today became the latest state to align its education standards with a national movement. Forty-four states have now committed to what are dubbed  “common core standards” for Language Arts and Math in public schools.

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Economy
10:41 am
Wed July 20, 2011

Washington jobs figures show mixed signals

Employment surveys were indicating positive numbers about the economy earlier this year, but those signals have grown less clear in the past couple months.
Associated Press

Washington's employment data is showing mixed signals about the direction of the state's economy.

New figures released Wednesday morning by the Employment Security Department show Washington's unemployment rate grew to 9.2 percent in June, even though a separate indicator showed that the state added 3,600 jobs.

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Highway projects
10:07 am
Wed July 20, 2011

Washington residents go for “Buy Washington” bonds in a big way

OLYMPIA, Wash. – It was a two-day buying frenzy. Retail investors snapped up nearly $90 million in Washington highway bonds Monday and Tuesday. It's the first time in more than 14 years that individual investors have had the chance to buy state bonds ahead of Wall Street.

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Traffic news
9:34 am
Wed July 20, 2011

13 vehicle crash on I-90 in Bellevue injures 7

A 13-vehicle crash on I-90 in Bellevue during the morning rush hour has injured seven people, including one child in critical condition at a local hospital.

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Obituary
9:25 am
Wed July 20, 2011

Seattle icon and creator of icons, Bagley Wright dies

As a real estate developer in the early '60s, Bagley Wright was one of the original investors in the Space Needle.
Flickr

One of Seattle’s most -influential arts patrons and real estate developers has passed away.  Bagley Wright died of a heart attack yesterday at the age of 87, according to Seattlepi.com.

His name is synonymous with much of what makes Seattle unique.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed July 20, 2011

A fancy restaurant is nothing without quality company

Nancy's dinner with Rudy on his 85th birthday.
Courtesy of Nancy Leson

It's not that I envy Nancy Leson for all the fancy restaurants she eats at on the Times' dime. What I really envy is her energy. 

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