Monica Spain


5:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Seattle Mulls Reviving Downtown Streetcar In Hopes Of Easing Gridlock

A Seattle cable car is seen at Third and Yesler in 1940.
Courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives

The Seattle City Council is scheduled to vote today on whether to bring back the downtown streetcar.  

The proposed line would traverse First Avenue and link to the existing South Lake Union line and the First Hill line, which is slated to open later this year. 

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Suicide Prevention
5:00 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Grieving Widow Helps Spearhead First-Of-Its-Kind State Law On Suicide Prevention

Jennifer Stuber, 8-year-old Jake and 4-year-old Zoe take comfort in the rainbow reflections on the walls of their home because, Jennifer says, they show “Daddy’s spirit.”
University of Washington

Depression is one of the biggest risk factors for suicide, and people who seek help for it tend to go to their regular doctor. But, as one Seattle family discovered, doctors aren’t always prepared to deal with a patient who has thoughts of suicide. A new law in Washington state, the first of its kind nationwide, seeks to change that.  

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5:00 am
Tue December 17, 2013

New Products Complicate Enforcement Of State Smoking Ban

Gerry Broome AP Photo

Nearly a decade has passed since Washington state banned smoking in public areas and workplaces. 

But smoking has evolved since, and that leaves health officials with challenges as they try to enforce a law that didn’t foresee the rise of new products.

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planning a pot party
5:05 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Public Party Planned for One-Year Anniversary of Legal Pot

Ben Livingston looks over the venue for the public party at the Seattle Center.
Monica Spain

It happens. People smoke marijuana at the Seattle Center. You’ve seen it or smelled it, but it’s never been—and still isn’t—legal.  

This Friday, there will be an exception. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of pot legalization, the city is allowing a pot party on Seattle Center grounds

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nickelsville's new homes
5:01 am
Tue October 29, 2013

At Roughest of Nickelsville's New Sites, a Strong Sense of Community

Felicia Leathley stands outside her tent.
Monica Spain

What used to be Nickelsville is now three. The homeless encampment split up into three locations—two in the city’s Central District and the third in Skyway—after being evicted from city-owned property two months ago.

The campsite at Skyway appears to have it the worst in almost every way, but it’s also where campers have found unwavering camaraderie.

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aid transparency
5:01 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Gates Foundation Earns 'Very Poor' Scores on Transparency

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation should be more transparent about its aid spending in developing countries, according to an advocacy group that tracks international aid organizations.

The group Publish What You Fund ranked the Gates Foundation 43rd out of 67 humanitarian agencies in transparency. The agency earned scores noted as “very poor” in the aid transparency index report for failing to publish their spending in a useful and timely manner.

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Food waste
11:28 am
Fri September 13, 2013

King Co.: Waste Not, Want Not; Shop Smart and Eat What You Buy

File image
Dean Fosdick Associated Press

Imagine your weekly grocery trip. You come home with four bags, but instead of putting it all away, you throw out one full bag of food.

That’s effectively what the average American household disposes of each week.  And the habit is costing us money, and maybe even our sanity.

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State vs. Federal pot rules
5:01 am
Mon September 9, 2013

King County Sheriff to Testify at Pot Rules Hearing in D.C.

Associated Press

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on conflicts between state and federal marijuana laws in Washington D.C., and King County Sheriff John Urquhart will be there to testify.

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nickelsville's new homes
5:01 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Nickelsville Residents Move to Three New Locations

Truby McDowell is seen with one of her children.
Simone Alicea

Over the holiday weekend, Seattle’s homeless camp Nickelsville left West Seattle after more than two years. Moving is traumatic for anyone, but it’s particularly complicated when you don’t have a permanent place to live. 

Oh, the hassles of a move—the maze of boxes, packing up everything only to unpack it all later.

Imagine moving 16 times in two years. Instead of boxes, you have platforms and cinder blocks, and a couple of goats, too.

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homeless in Hawaii
4:54 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Hawaii Lawmakers Want to Fly Homeless Back to Mainland

FILE - In this Friday, May 13, 2011 file photo, a man sleeps on the ground near Waikiki Beach, in Honolulu.
Marco Garcia, File AP Photo

If lawmakers in Hawaii have their way, homeless people there will get a free ride back home to the mainland. The Hawaii state Legislature has set aside money for free flights.  

With Seattle’s close proximity to the state, the city could become a destination for homeless hoping to get back on their feet. But some say the plan won’t solve any problems.  

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Starbucks & guns
5:01 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Gun Rights Advocates to Rally at Starbucks Cafes

Whidbey Arms

A brewing controversy surrounding gun rights is headed to Starbucks locations today.

Gun rights advocates around the country are planning to rally at Starbucks cafes where they’re allowed to openly carry firearms. But a group of moms is trying to pressure Starbucks to stop allowing guns in its cafes.

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Seattle Mayoral Race 2013
5:01 am
Fri August 2, 2013

A Leading Question: Staadecker and Textbooks on Vashon

Editor's note: KPLU has asked all nine candidates in the Seattle mayoral race to tell us about a time when his or her leadership skills were put to the test. One candidate's answer follows.  

As a fourth generation Seattleite with careers in hotels and real estate, as well as his penchant for the arts, Charlie Staadecker has been dubbed “traditional.”  But that doesn’t mean the bow tie-wearing candidate doesn’t enjoy a little bit of campaign fun.

The candidate’s series of YouTube ads parody a Dos Equis commercial.

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Boring Bertha
5:01 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Bertha, World's Largest Boring Machine, Ready to Dig


The State Route 99 tunnel boring machine, better known by her nickname “Bertha,” is poised and ready to begin the dig under downtown.  

To get a bird’s eye view, we climb three stories on temporary metal staircases near Pioneer Square. At the top, we’re standing on what remains of the lower deck of the Alaskan Way viaduct. 

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gay rights & blood donations
7:01 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Activists Organize First-Ever Gay Blood Drive to Challenge FDA Ban

File image
Toby Talbot AP Photo

Activists across the nation are hosting the first-ever gay blood drive today in an effort to raise the ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men.

Intravenous drug users can donate blood after a one-year waiting period, so why can’t gay and bisexual men? That’s a question that baffles activists and scientists alike. Since 1977, the Food and Drug Administration has mandated that blood donation centers ask prospective male donors if they’ve had sex with a man. If the answer is yes, the man is deferred, meaning he’s not allowed to donate blood—ever. 

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contract negotiations
5:36 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Alaska Airlines, pilots reach 5-year deal without mediation

Elaine Thompson Associated Press

In an industry known for intense labor disputes and protracted negotiations, there seems to be a departure. Alaska Airlines and its pilots agreed on a new contract on their own—with no mediation, no arbitrators.  

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