KPLU News for Seattle and the Northwest http://kplu.org en BNSF’s Proposal For One-Person Train Crews Concerns Rail Workers http://kplu.org/post/bnsf-s-proposal-one-person-train-crews-concerns-rail-workers <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160874589&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Railroad workers are speaking out against a proposal by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway to have single-employee freight train crews. They say the idea is unsafe, especially in light of the increasing transportation of crude oil by rail.</span></p><p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 23:44:53 +0000 Ashley Gross 17894 at http://kplu.org BNSF’s Proposal For One-Person Train Crews Concerns Rail Workers Patty Murray Praises VA Reforms But Warns Of More Troubling Revelations http://kplu.org/post/patty-murray-praises-va-reforms-warns-more-troubling-revelations <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160870111&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Washington’s senior U.S. Sen. Patty Murray says a new deal to spend billions on fixing the Department of Veterans Affairs is an essential step, but she warns the reform efforts are likely to unearth even more problems.</p><p>Bipartisan negotiators in Congress took a while to settle on a $17 billion package of reforms meant to address long waits for care at VA hospitals and clinics across the country.</p><p>As the Senate voted to confirm Robert McDonald as the new VA Secretary, Murray, the former chairwoman of the Senate veterans affairs committee, praised both the nominee and the reforms he’ll be overseeing. But she also warned there could be more troubling revelations to come.</p><p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 23:33:11 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 17893 at http://kplu.org Patty Murray Praises VA Reforms But Warns Of More Troubling Revelations How Blind Seattle-Area Climber Bruce Stobie Fared On North America's Tallest Peak http://kplu.org/post/how-blind-seattle-area-climber-bruce-stobie-fared-north-americas-tallest-peak <p><em>Editor’s note: This piece is an update to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.quirksee.org/2014/05/09/blind-seattle-marathoner-to-attempt-summiting-north-americas-tallest-peak/">our previous story on Bruce&nbsp;Stobie</a>, which ran in May.&nbsp;</em></p><p>When Bruce&nbsp;Stobie&nbsp;arrived at Denali last month, he could feel the presence of the mountain, even if he couldn’t see it.</p><p>“I felt like a guest — not a welcome guest,” said the blind climber from Des Moines, Washington. “All there was: rock, ice and snow. And cold and warm temperatures. And that’s it. There’s nothing else.”</p><p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:39:01 +0000 Martha Kang 17891 at http://kplu.org How Blind Seattle-Area Climber Bruce Stobie Fared On North America's Tallest Peak Fist Bumps Pass Along Fewer Germs Than Handshakes http://kplu.org/post/fist-bumps-pass-along-fewer-germs-handshakes A few weeks ago, we took a look at nonverbal greetings around the world. In Japan, they bow. Ethiopian men touch shoulders. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:20:09 +0000 17890 at http://kplu.org Fist Bumps Pass Along Fewer Germs Than Handshakes Chances Are Pretty Good That's A Bill Collector Calling http://kplu.org/post/chances-are-pretty-good-thats-bill-collector-calling In about one-third of U.S. households, the sound of a phone or doorbell ringing may trigger a desire to duck.<p>That's because roughly 77 million adults with a credit file have at least one debt in the collection process, according to <a href="http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/413191-Delinquent-Debt-in-America.pdf">a study</a> released by the Urban Institute, a research group. A credit file includes all of the raw data that a credit bureau can use to rank a borrower's creditworthiness.<p>Some of those debts can be quite small — perhaps just a $25 overdue water bill. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:18:05 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 17889 at http://kplu.org Chances Are Pretty Good That's A Bill Collector Calling Report Says Big Changes Are Needed In How Doctors Are Trained http://kplu.org/post/report-says-big-changes-are-needed-how-doctors-are-trained The way American doctors are trained needs to be overhauled, an expert panel recommended Tuesday, saying the current $15 billion system is failing to produce the medical workforce the nation needs.<p>"We recognize we are recommending substantial change," says health economist and former Medicare Administrator Gail Wilensky, co-chairwoman of the nonpartisan <a href="http://www.iom.edu/About-IOM.aspx">Institute of Medicine</a> panel that produced the <a href="http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18754">report</a>. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:15:03 +0000 Julie Rovner 17888 at http://kplu.org Report Says Big Changes Are Needed In How Doctors Are Trained This One Is Worth Watching: New Zealand Retirees Join 'Happy' Meme http://kplu.org/post/one-worth-watching-new-zealand-retirees-join-happy-meme <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebD_drWYVaI</p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:12:22 +0000 17887 at http://kplu.org This One Is Worth Watching: New Zealand Retirees Join 'Happy' Meme For Two Years, He Smuggled Photos Of Torture Victims Out Of Syria http://kplu.org/post/two-years-he-smuggled-photos-torture-victims-out-syria <em>Warning: This report contains descriptions and an image that could disturb some readers.</em><p>The savage and protracted conflict in Syria has left more than 170,000 dead. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:16:55 +0000 Tom Bowman 17885 at http://kplu.org For Two Years, He Smuggled Photos Of Torture Victims Out Of Syria Could Specialty Cocoa Be Haiti's Golden Ticket To Prosperity? http://kplu.org/post/could-specialty-cocoa-be-haitis-golden-ticket-prosperity In Robillard, a tiny hamlet deep in the Haitian hinterland, Valmir Mamonvil is standing next to a would-be national hero: Maman Pye cacao, which in Haitian Creole means "mother cacao tree." His father planted it 30 years ago, but for Mamonvil, the tree is more than a family heirloom. It could be his kids' ticket to prosperity — and his country's chance to cash in on surging chocolate demand around the world.<p>Maman Pye is one of about 600 "supertrees" scattered throughout northern Haiti. Supertrees are not unique to Haiti. They don't even seem remarkable, until you look closer. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:38:54 +0000 17884 at http://kplu.org Could Specialty Cocoa Be Haiti's Golden Ticket To Prosperity? Medicare's Costs Stabilize, But Its Problems Are Far From Fixed http://kplu.org/post/medicares-costs-stabilize-its-problems-are-far-fixed Medicare's Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which finances about half of the health program for seniors and the disabled, won't run out of money until 2030, the program's trustees said Monday. That's four years later than projected last year, and 13 years later than projected the year before the passage of the Affordable Care Act.<p>But that's not the case for the part of Social Security that pays for people getting disability benefits. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:35:29 +0000 Julie Rovner 17883 at http://kplu.org Blue Angels' Flights Won't Damage Hearing, But Will Affect Traffic http://kplu.org/post/blue-angels-flights-wont-damage-hearing-will-affect-traffic <p>People can expect to hear the roar of the Blue Angels zooming above Lake Washington this weekend. After missing last year’s Boeing Seafair Air Show due to sequestration cuts, the Blue Angels have returned to Seattle.</p><p>The noise of the planes may be bothersome to neighbors, but audiologist Susan Anderson says it doesn’t pose a health risk.</p><p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:30:46 +0000 Alison Marcotte 17875 at http://kplu.org Blue Angels' Flights Won't Damage Hearing, But Will Affect Traffic NCAA Reaches $75 Million Settlement In Head-Injury Lawsuit http://kplu.org/post/ncaa-reaches-75-million-settlement-head-injury-lawsuit The NCAA has reached a settlement with former athletes that provides $75 million for medical monitoring and research into head injuries. The settlement also calls for a change in the way schools handle head trauma.<p><a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/2014/07/29/ncaa-concussion-lawsuit-settlement-75-million/13309191/">As USA Today explains</a>, the NCAA currently requires that member schools only have a concussion management plan. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:27:50 +0000 Eyder Peralta 17882 at http://kplu.org NCAA Reaches $75 Million Settlement In Head-Injury Lawsuit Seattle-Based Redfin May Get A Higher IPO Price After Zillow-Trulia Deal, Banker Says http://kplu.org/post/seattle-based-redfin-may-get-higher-ipo-price-after-zillow-trulia-deal-banker-says <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160820281&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:26:52 +0000 Ashley Gross 17879 at http://kplu.org Seattle-Based Redfin May Get A Higher IPO Price After Zillow-Trulia Deal, Banker Says Getting Hospice Care Shouldn't Have To Mean Giving Up http://kplu.org/post/getting-hospice-care-shouldnt-have-mean-giving It's a painful dilemma for seriously ill Medicare patients: To receive the extra support, counseling and care provided by the program's hospice benefit, they have to agree to<strong> </strong>stop receiving curative treatment for their disease.<p>Faced with that stark either-or choice, many forgo hospice care until the last days of their lives. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:24:13 +0000 17881 at http://kplu.org Getting Hospice Care Shouldn't Have To Mean Giving Up Penalties On Idaho Mine Still Unpaid Three Years After Miner's Death http://kplu.org/post/penalties-idaho-mine-still-unpaid-three-years-after-miners-death <iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160820003&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false"></iframe><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">It's been more than three years since a tunnel collapse at a north Idaho silver mine killed miner Larry Marek. Yet federal records show a series of federal penalties issued to the mine's owners still have not been paid.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;"><span style="font-size: 15.199999809265137px;">In 2011, federal inspectors determined the </span>Hecla<span style="font-size: 15.199999809265137px;"> Mining Company violated rules meant to prevent collapse at the Lucky Friday Mine. The inspectors issued four citations directly related to Larry </span>Marek’s<span style="font-size: 15.199999809265137px;"> death with federal fines that totaled almost $360,000.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">To this day, those fines remain unpaid.</p><p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:22:00 +0000 Jessica Robinson 17880 at http://kplu.org Penalties On Idaho Mine Still Unpaid Three Years After Miner's Death