Editor Pick

2012 Elections
1:17 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Same-sex marriage foes concede; marriage industry gearing up

The marriage industry in British Columbia is worried business will wan after Tuesday's elections.
Nimataradji photography Flickr

Foes of the same-sex marriage referendum in Washington have conceded the law will pass. The group that sponsored Referendum 74 declared victory yesterday.

Read more
Weather
3:20 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Northwest's long regional nightmare of sunshine is about over

Forecasters say some coastal mountain areas in the Northwest could see up to eight inches of rain this weekend. Satellite image via National Weather Service

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:45 pm

The streak of dry weather in much of the Northwest is about to come to a soggy end. A weather system fueled by subtropical moisture is bearing down on the region.

Forecasters say some coastal mountain areas could see up to eight inches of rain this weekend, with as much as two inches predicted for interior valleys. Many of those areas have had just a smattering of rain drops since the beginning of July.

Kathie Dello is deputy director of the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University. She says dry summers are common in the Northwest, but ...

Read more
Science
1:39 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Mystery solved: Who the 'Kennewick Man' really was

Final Kennewick Man facial reconstruction.
Brittney Tatchell

For one thing, Kennewick Man – the 9,500-year-old remains found in the shallows of the Columbia River more than 16 years ago – was buff. We’re talking beefcake.

So says Doug Owsley, head of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Owsley led the study of the ancient remains.

Read more
If it’s legal ...
11:45 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Marijuana Notes: Strange new state job … cannabis quality control

If the marijuana initiative passes, the state will be in the business of judging the quality of cannabis, much like the feds set guidelines for beef.

KPLU reporters are looking into Washington's marijuana legalization initiative (I-502) to produce a series of stories that will separate facts from rumors and to learn exactly what would change if it’s approved. And on this page, we’re sharing some of the interesting facts as we learn them along the way.

Oct. 3 – If it's legal, you'll need some standards for the "quality" of the cannabis sold in state-licensed stores. But how will that be determined? 

Read more
Earthquake science
1:38 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

The earth's shaking a record amount in the Northwest

The range and path of the current episodic tremor and slip event still going on. You can interact with this map at http://www.pnsn.org/tremor.
Pacific Northwest Seismic Network

The Puget Sound region is experiencing a record “episodic tremor and slip” event, according to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

Read more
Boeing Dreamliner
11:59 am
Mon October 1, 2012

First Boeing 787 on Seattle-Tokyo route lands at Sea-Tac

A Boeing 787 operated by All Nippon Airways taxis under a rainbow created by fire trucks at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Monday in Seattle.
The Associated Press

SEATAC, Wash. — Fire trucks spraying rainbows of water Monday morning greeted the first All Nippon Airways 787 to land in commercial service at Sea-Tac Airport.

Read more
maritime trouble
10:38 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Coast Guard investigating collision off Washington coast

The Coast Guard has declared the fatal collision of two fishing boats off the Washington coast a "serious marine incident" and an investigation is under way.

Read more
Wildfires
11:33 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

After NW fires: Bring on the bugs

Horntail or wood wasps are drawn to burned forests. They deposit their eggs in downed trees. Photo courtesy of USDA

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 4:40 pm

Wildfires have already scorched more than one million acres across the Northwest this year. It may take years before the signs of the burns are no longer visible. But charred Northwest forests are already a-buzz with new life.

Burned forests are not quiet places.

“It’s very lively in the forest immediately after a fire," says Connie Mehmel. "Very lively. And a lot of that liveliness is insects.”

Read more
Environment
6:18 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Scientist cleared in polar bear controversy popularizing global warming

Polar bears in the Beaufort Sea in northern Alaska. Scientist Charles Monnett caused a stir with a 2006 report on polar bears that were drowning, apparently owing to a lack of ice.
Steve Amstrup Fish and Wildlife Service

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 4:56 pm

A long, controversial investigation of a polar bear scientist has ended with his government employer saying it does not look like he engaged in any scientific misconduct.

Charles Monnett is a wildlife researcher with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, part of the Department of the Interior. He and a colleague, Jeffrey Gleason, wrote an influential 2006 report describing apparently drowned polar bears floating in the Arctic, which they saw during a routine aerial survey of whales.

Read more
Wolf reintroduction
1:37 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Final kill in wolf hunt; backlash expected to remain intense

Screen grab from a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife video of a wolf in the Wedge portion of the Colville National Forest, west of the Columbia River, a few miles from the Canadian border.

Washington wildlife managers say the hunt for a pack of grey wolves is over. A state marksman killed the alpha male of the pack Thursday in far northeast Washington. The department has killed a total of seven wolves from the Wedge Pack since August.

However, emotions have run strong over the decision, and debate over wolf management in the Northwest will likely remain intense.

“We know these issues spark strong feelings among Washington residents across the state, which is why we are committed to conducting our business openly and transparently,” Washington Fish and Wildlife Director Phil Anderson said in a press release.

Read more
Illusions
11:46 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Video update: The making of two giant arachnids at Seattle Center

One of two giant harvestmen painted on a roof at the Seattle Center, as seen from the Space Needle.
Jake Ellison KPLU

Earlier this month, we wrote about the creation of two huge “daddy longlegs” standing atop the roof of the Armory at the Seattle Center. The harvestmen, created by 3-D mural artist Marlin Peterson, cast long shadows and look pretty darn realistic (considering the widest span between leg tips is 100 feet).

Peterson has released a two-minute video showing the creation of the spiders from concept to paint:

Read more
Microsoft and immigration
2:13 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Microsoft proposes 'pay-to-play' immigration plan to grow workforce

The risk of waiting for the education of American workers to catch up and fill high-tech jobs, Microsoft said, is that unfilled high-tech jobs could migrate overseas.
Robert Scoble Flickr

With 6,000 high-tech jobs on the table, Microsoft said today it has a pay-to-play plan that would increase the number of H-1B visas to the U.S. by 20,000 and raise more than $500 million for education.

Read more
diversions
5:38 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Seattle's No.2! Bloomberg Businessweek ranks U.S. cities

They dinged us for rain, big surprise, but that wasn't enough to knock us out of the running.
Terence T.S. Tam Flickr

Seattle is the second-best city in the country, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The news org evaluated and ranked the largest 100 U.S. cities and published its results today.

San Francisco grabbed the gold ring at No. 1.

Read more
Animal cruelty
3:02 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

39 sick horses seized from Pierce County property

"Animal control and Vets work on a horse - From a flea bag hotel to the Hilton," said Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.
Ed Troyer Pierce Co. Sheriff's Department

GRAHAM, Wash. – Dozens of horses were seized Wednesday from a Pierce County property where authorities said they were living in squalid conditions.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department took 39 sick or starving horses from the property in Graham. Among the horses recovered were a dozen Arabians and some stallions.

Read more
Education and history
10:08 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Opium U? University of Idaho gets big collection of opium pipes

Donor Steven Martin and UI curator Priscilla Wegars hold antique opium pipes. Photo by Tom Banse

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 3:23 pm

MOSCOW, Idaho - The "world's most comprehensive collection" of opium smoking paraphernalia has a new home; it's at the University of Idaho. A writer and collector, originally from San Diego, donated the exquisite antiques.

It's taking weeks to carefully unpack and catalogue all the opium smoking implements and accessories. Collector Steven Martin estimates he donated at least 1,000 pieces... ceramic opium pipe bowls, ornamented heating lamps, traveling kits, scrapers, old photographs and mug shots.

Read more

Pages