Monica Spain

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Seattle landmark
11:39 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Seattle's Smith Tower sold for nearly $37 million

Petra Franklin, producer of Artists Toolbox in her apartment in the Smith Tower.
Monica Spain KPLU

Seattle's historic Smith Tower was sold Friday for nearly $37 million in a foreclosure auction on the steps of the King County Administration Building.

The buyer is CBRE Capital of New York, which acquired the delinquent mortgage last fall after Chicago-based Walton Street Capital defaulted on $43 million in loans. When it bought the building in 2006 it intended to convert the tower into condos, but the condo market collapsed in the recession.

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Transportation
8:52 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Hope, fear mix as construction of Capitol Hill streetcar nears

Ritu Shah-Burnham, the owner zpizza on Broadway on Capitol Hill, is concerned about the disruption to her business.
Monica Spain KPLU

“I know the parking is going to disappear. It terrifies me.”

Groundbreaking is just a few weeks away for a new streetcar line in Seattle. The line will connect the coffee shops and colleges of Capitol Hill with the hospitals of First Hill and the Chinatown International District. As some feared, there will be some disruptions in the neighborhoods.

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Privatizing liquor
2:08 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Wash. auctioning off liquor licenses from its soon-to-close stores

Pat McLaughlin, with the Washington State Liquor Control Board, said bids for the licenses start rolling in within hours of an auction’s start.
Monica Spain KPLU

You won’t hear the gavel sound at this auction. But you may want to pay attention anyway since the fate of your neighborhood liquor store may figure in. The Washington State Liquor Control Board has  opened an online auction as part of the next step toward liquor privatization.

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Immimmigrants
2:25 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Groundbreaking at Seattle's Casa Latina

Groundbreaking at Casa Latina with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.
Monica Spain KPLU

It’s common to see day laborers waiting for jobs outside the big home improvement store. But for many in Seattle, a new community gathering space will ensure a safe haven and access to education while

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn grabbed a shovel and dug in for Casa Latina’s groundbreaking event near the Central district. 

“Maybe in other places, they think immigrants aren’t a great idea. In Seattle, you make us stronger,” McGinn said.

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Farmland
4:22 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Housing bust has green lining: More farmland preserved

Lower real estate prices may have a silver lining for those trying to save disappearing farms. A new study on farmland protection shows between the lull in development and the high interest in “locavore” food, the time is ripe to keep Puget Sound farms from turning into urban sprawl.

Since 1950, the Puget Sound region has lost 60 percent of its farmland, mostly to development. 

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Facebook privacy
1:24 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Facebook wanted journalists to sign non-disclosures before news conference

What they DID want us to see: Facebook attorney Craig Clark, right, talks to reporters with Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, second from right, at the press conference in Seattle on Thursday.
The Associated Press

Facebook is apparently pretty concerned about privacy – especially its own.

After announcing that Facebook and the State Attorney General’s office would announce a “joint legal strategy" this morning, the AG’s office followed up with an email requiring journos sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The email was sent to all journalists invited to the press conference at Facebook's Seattle office involving company officials and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna.

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Business
1:20 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Facebook, Washington AG join in fight against 'clickjacking'

Facebook attorney Ted Ullyot talks to reporters in Seattle on Thursday, as Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna looks on at left, about a new legal strategy to combat a scam affecting Facebook users.
The Associated Press

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is joining with Facebook to launch a public attack on the internet scam known as “click jacking.” 

Adscend is the Delaware company behind the so-called click-jacking scam. “Clickjacking” involves computer codes embedded in links that you click on that triggers Facebook’s “Like” feature.

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MLK Day
4:55 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

MLK events around the Puget Sound region

Martin Luther King Memorial, Washington D.C.
ehpien Flickr

On Monday, Martin Luther King Junior will be honored in a variety of ways around the region as we observe this federal holiday.

It’s a day of reflection and possibly a time to renew intentions that keep Dr. King’s dream alive.

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Environment
4:30 am
Mon January 9, 2012

Getting rid of that old TV or computer requires due dilligence

Sure you can make art out of it, but the millions of tons of American electronic waste produced every year is an environmental and health hazard around the world.
Charlie Beldon Flickr

If you didn’t score that 40-inch LCD flat screen for Christmas this year, you might be scanning sales to get one in time for the Superbowl. Whether you’re upgrading or replacing TVs, getting rid of the old clunker can seem like a big project because you can’t just throw it out.

So how do you get rid of electronic waste?

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Science
5:22 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Ignorance has its place in democracy, researchers say

The least informed among us, tend to side with the quieter majority rather than follow the vocal minority. And in that sense, decisions are more democratic. Researchers at Princeton figured this out by studying schools of fish.
Olivier Roux Flickr

Some say ignorance is bliss.  Others say ignorance is a drain on society.  But as contrary as it might sound, researchers have found there may actually be a place for the uninformed in group decision-making.

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seattle arts
2:30 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Seattle seeking affordable space for artists

An art installation at INScape in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District.
Florangela Davila KPLU

It’s been a long running problem – how to keep and create affordable spaces for artists to live, work and perform in.

That’s the focus of Cultural Space Seattle, a two-day event beginning Tuesday at Town Hall. The City of Seattle is asking a wide range of people to roll up their sleeves to look for ways to preserve Seattle’s vibrant arts scene.

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Environment
4:30 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Salmon are returning and you can get a close-up at Piper's Creek

A raccoon takes advantage of the access to salmon at Piper's Creek in Seattle.
Catherine Anstett

Salmon spawning is at its peak this time of year and it’s possible to go to local creeks and culverts to watch the salmon, up close and personal. 

Now through early December is prime time to get a good look at chum salmon as they return for spawning around the Puget Sound. And, Piper’s Creek in Carkeek Park is one of the best places in town to see these big fish swimming in a natural environment. They can be so close you might catch a little splash. 

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Veterans Day
2:17 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Northwest veterans on the hunt for jobs

Owen McCurty.

In five years, more than a million members of the armed forces are expected to leave the military and return to civilian life.  Many will be looking for jobs in what’s likely to remain a difficult job market.

Owen McCurty knows firsthand what it’s like to look for a job after a military career.

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War in Afghanistan
4:50 pm
Thu October 6, 2011

More protesters heading to Westlake Park

Protesters associated with ANSWER Seattle plan to join Occupy Seattle protesters in Seattle's downtown Westlake Park.
ANSWER

Seattle’s Westlake Center continues to be a very busy place this week as the site of several protests scheduled for tomorrow.  Although the rallies are being held by separate groups, their messages are related. 

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Elections 2012
10:19 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Obama will be in Seattle … but don’t expect to see him

Unlike his previous visit to Seattle, President Obama will be here on Sunday stumping for his own reelection ... at $38,000 a plate.
Dennis Hamilton Flickr

President Barack Obama is coming to Seattle, but unless you’ve already forked over $38,000 or so, you’ll miss him.

However, you might be able to catch a free glimpse of Air Force One on Sunday morning as it makes its way to Boeing Field. Obama is expected to spend mere hours in and around Seattle, and while you may not see the President himself, you might feel the impact.  

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