KPLU News Staff

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Diversions
5:12 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

10 reasons you should NOT move to the Northwest in July (it's complicated)

No. 1: It's so deceptive - this iconic open market in Seattle looks like it's always bathed in sunshine ... but we all know better.
Mark Henckel Flickr

Mostly, we’re thinking of your mental health a couple months from now.

You come here in July and August and it’s glorious: There’s two snow-capped mountain ranges, a couple of towering volcanos, lively outdoor markets, flowers and greenery, an expanse of blue water every which way you turn ... miles of lake, Sound and ocean beaches ...

Then come the other 10 months.

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Pollution
9:09 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Asian fires clouding Seattle's sunny skies

A MODIS satellite image that shows the smoke yesterday very clearly.
Cliff Mass KPLU

The smoky skies over Seattle are likely from Asia and not Western fires, says Cliff Mass, KPLU weather forecaster and University of Washington professor.

In his blog post on the smoke, he said the air over us can be traced back to Asia at low levels.

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NBA arena
4:30 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Hundreds rally in support of NBA arena in Seattle; intensity building

Two University of Washington students came out to support Seattle's proposed NBA arena.
Lindsay Lowe KPLU

The level of intensity around the proposal to build a new NBA arena in Seattle is growing by the minute.

The group of investors – which we learned yesterday includes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and the Nordstrom family – drew hundreds to a "bring back our Sonics" rally in Pioneer Square today. It was a well-timed event to put pressure on the Seattle City Council and King County Council to back the deal.

“This is a very carefully orchestrated PR campaign," says KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. "At the same time, the old Sonics – the Thunder – are in the NBA Finals this week. The angst could not be more intense in Seattle among sports fans who care about this because their 41-year passion is being thrown back in their face, mocked by the Thunder’s presence in the league’s championship series.”

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Seattle shooting
9:42 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Shooting survivor's condition upgraded; most victims named; council seeking solutions

Seattle police officers walk outside a cafe just north of the University District where five people were shot on Wednesday.
The Associated Press

The only survivor of a shooting at a Seattle cafe where four other people were killed is expected to recover.

Harborview Medical Center reports Leonard Meuse has been upgraded from critical to serious condition. Spokeswoman Susan Gregg says he remains in the intensive care unit Thursday.

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Shooting
6:30 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Police: 2 shootings in Seattle connected; suspect killed himself; 5 dead, 1 wounded

Seattle police released this photo of the suspect in the Roosevelt Way shooting. He has been identified as Ian Lee Stawicki, 40, of Seattle.

The two morning shootings in Seattle – leaving four dead and one wounded from the Cafe Racer Espresso on Roosevelt Way near the U-District and one dead on First Hill during a carjacking – were apparently committed by the same suspect, said Seattle Police Department Assistant Chief James Pugel.

The suspect shot himself in West Seattle later in the afternoon as police approached him, Pugel said. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center. The hospital reported Wednesday night that he was dead. A fourth victim at the Cafe Racer shooting also died Wednesday night, according to Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Greg.

One man wounded in the cafe shooting remained at Harborview. He was in critical but stable condition following surgery earlier in the day

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May Day protests
5:29 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Violent May Day protests in Seattle; Mayor signs emergency order; Businesses board up windows

Seattle police officers face off with demonstrators at First Avenue and Pike Street after confiscating a pole and making arrests.
Evan Hoover KPLU

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn evoked his emergency powers – during a day of violent protests and six arrests – ordering police to confiscate items from May Day protesters and revelers alike that could be used to damage property.

Some protesters dressed all in black used 3-inch thick sticks, which were disguised as flag poles, and tire irons to break windows in Seattle during rolling protests and marches that paralyzed downtown.

"The police officers will be approaching individuals who’ll be carrying items known to be weapons, confront them and ask them to peacefully give them up.  And if not peacefully given up, they will be confiscated," McGinn said at an afternoon press conference.

Around 4:30 p.m. officers arrested a handful of protesters after one policeman took a pole from a protester at First Avenue and Pike Street. That protester attempted to take the pole back and several others came to his aid, but officers made the arrests and pushed the others back. Both sides then faced off again in the street at the Pike Place Market until the demonstrators migrated back to Westlake Center.

(Photo gallery and videos after jump.)

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Landscape art
9:44 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Seattle trees to be painted blue in enviro campaign

Image of a tree at an installation in Vancouver, B.C.
Konstantin Dimopoulos

A King County arts organization says 56 trees in Seattle and Kenmore will be painted blue starting April 2 in a temporary art project meant to make people aware of global deforestation.

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Environment
5:12 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

WSU scientists save bald eagle

SPOKANE, Wash. — Scientists at Washington State University were able to save a bald eagle that was found in Idaho suffering from lead poisoning, and this week they released the majestic predator back into the wild.

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Election 2012
4:29 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

Rep. Inslee to resign from Congress for Wash. governor's race

Inslee is running against Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna to replace current Governor Chris Gregoire, who is retiring.
The Associated Press

Rep. Jay Inslee is resigning from Congress to focus full time on running for governor of Washington state this fall.

The Democrat announced his decision Saturday at a news conference in Seattle. Inslee is in his eighth term representing a Seattle-area district in the House.

Less than two weeks ago, Inslee told KPLU that he would remain in Congress while running for the governor's seat.

Inslee said then: “Listen, that did not stop me from putting out my job creation agenda. … Yes, I've got some responsibilities in Washington D.C., but we are pursuing a very vigorous effort to [get] people back to work.”

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winter Weather
9:09 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Snow forecast for parts of Washington

Here is the 24 h snow totals ending 4 pm today and 4 pm Wednesday from the UW high-res model. LOTS of snow over the Olympics and its SE side, particularly the second day. Big snow dumps over the Cascades. Even the lowlands could see some.
Cliff Mass UW

A winter storm is bringing another shot of snow to parts of Washington.

The National Weather Service says a Pacific frontal system will hit the coast and northwest interior Tuesday with gusty winds and rain in most of Western Washington.

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Education
2:37 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

State superintendent gives his proposal for school funding

Stephanie McCleary stands in a multi-age classroom in Chimacum School District. She sued the state of Washington for not fully paying for the education of its public school students.
Donna Gordon Blankinship Associated Press

The good news in this week's new Washington state revenue forecast has drawn the attention of everyone who wants some money for their department or program.

But in a statement put out by Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, Dorn says the state Constitution and the Supreme Court give Washington only one choice: pay for education first.

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Kids Versus Global Warming
9:04 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Kids go to court to protest state’s inaction on climate change

A King County Superior Court judge is set to hear arguments this afternoon, in a case brought by kids about climate change.  The young plaintiffs, who filed complaints against the Governor and several state agencies last May, are seeking an effective climate recovery plan from government.  The State has filed a motion to dismiss the case. 

Today’s hearing is part of an international youth campaign launched by the iMatter Trust.  Young people have filed legal actions across the nation as well as a federal lawsuit to compel governments to protect and restore the atmosphere.  According to the organization’s website, a federal hearing has not been set.

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Seattle pro sports
11:34 am
Thu February 16, 2012

NBA deal: City, county would put up $200 million (to be paid back); $290 million from private group

King County Executive Dow Constantine said he jumped at the chance to "do something special" by bringing back the NBA. He said the proposed agreement would put Seattle's facility in the top three in the NBA nationally for private investment.
Monica Spain KPLU

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced at a press conference this afternoon that the city has received a proposal to bring NBA and NHL back to Seattle. He said the new facility would be 'self-funded' but would include public money upfront.

McGinn said $200 million from city and county would be invested, but the funds would be paid back through rent and tax revenue generated at the new facility. He said guarantees for paying back the money would be in the agreement.

"The $200 million investment from the county and city would be repaid (from) revenue that would not otherwise exist," McGinn said.

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Valentine's Day
9:42 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Tacoma zoo's tiger looking for a little love; Seattle octopuses find it

Ready for Valentine's Day during today's Octopus Blind Date at the Seattle Aquarium.
Seattle Aquarium

The Point Defiance Zoo is welcoming a visitor tomorrow for a special post-Valentine's Day tryst with Jaya – a Sumatran tiger named Malosi.

“We’re very excited about Malosi’s arrival and the pair’s potential to produce cubs,” said general curator Karen Goodrowe Beck. “The Sumatran tiger is critically endangered and we are working hard to protect and boost the population of this extraordinary species.”

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Animal fun
12:33 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Names for Seattle's baby sea otter will be up for voting next week

With an overabundance of cute and a giant fan club already, the baby female sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium will be named possibly on Feb. 27, said Tim Kuniholm, a spokesman for the Seattle Aquarium.

The aquarium will post a range of names on its Website either next Monday or Tuesday and throw open the voting. The baby’s potential names will be a Native Alaskan place name or name from an Alaskan indigenous language, Kuniholm said.

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