Editor Pick

Business and labor
7:18 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Northwest farmers, shop-keeps wait anxiously for cherry workers

The first cherries of the season are coming off the trees in Northwest orchard country, but will there be enough workers to pick them? Photo by Anna King

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 2:51 pm

PASCO, Wash. – With lingering high unemployment and the endless talk of the down economy -– it’s hard to believe that there are some industries putting help-wanted signs out by the dozens. But that’s the case in Northwest orchard country where there appears to be a dwindling supply of migrant workers for cherry picking. Cherry season started this past week, and farmers and shop-keeps alike are anxiously waiting for more workers to arrive.

If you want to talk to cherry workers before they disappear into the jungle-dense canopies of trees, then you have to get up early.

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Liquor News
10:39 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Bars warn: Your drink will cost more due to liquor privatization

Cyclops owners Gina Kaukola and John Hawkley brace themselves for high liquor prices this summer once they exhaust their surplus.
Evan Hoover KPLU

“Chaos is building in the transition.”

From state-run to the now-privatized sale of liquor, poor communication between local watering holes and their distributors is creating a headache for bar owners ... and soon, a jump in costs will likely have you paying more for a drink.

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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed June 13, 2012

For great hot weather eating use your (cold) noodle

From Margaret Gin's Regional Cooking of China.
Stein

If you've never had them the idea of cold noodles might not sound too appetizing.  But just take a look at that recipe up there. Why do you think it's so ragged and stained? From multiple uses, that's how. 

I've had it memorized for years but I thought it would be fun to break it out once more so you could see. Click through all the photos and then keep reading – because I've got some good tips for you on how to make it.

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Diversions
1:59 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

5 embarrassing videos involving Microsoft and dance

Screen grab from the "dancing Azure girls" video causing Microsoft plenty of headaches this week.

The latest video involving Microsoft and dancing is causing not only a lot of cringing but some apologizing as well. It’s also the latest video pitting Microsoft against good judgment when it comes to song and dance.

Below, starting with the latest, are five videos that should give any Microsoft employee (or leader) pause before busting out the moves in public:

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Environment
5:00 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Greenpeace vs. Shell: Duelling vessels head for Arctic from Seattle

Greenpeace scientists will deploy research submarines to explore two of Shell’s planned Arctic drilling sites, the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.
Lindsay Lowe KPLU

Seattle’s Elliott Bay is the epicenter of a global energy fight.

The Shell Oil Company has two rigs docked here, the Kulluk and the Noble Discoverer. Also in Elliott Bay is the Greenpeace vessel, Esperanza.

As soon as the ice clears, Shell’s rigs will head out for the Arctic. They’ll be the first to conduct exploratory drilling there in more than two decades. Greenpeace plans to shadow them, using submarines.

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Japanese Tsunami debris
1:49 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Is Japanese Dock A Noah's Ark Or A Trojan Horse?

Among the creatures that survived the trans-Pacific trek aboard the Japanese dock was this sea star, which was found inside the float.
Jessica Miller flickr

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 3:59 pm

A bizarre event has drawn scientists to a beach in Oregon — a floating concrete dock from Japan has washed ashore. It had been ripped from its moorings by last year's tsunami and floated across the Pacific.

The dock is encrusted with mussels, barnacles and other marine life from Asia. Scientists are amazed these organisms survived the 14-month voyage, but they're also worried some of these organisms could become pests in U.S. waters.

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Japanese Tsunami Debris
1:07 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Japanese dock suddenly makes tsunami debris threat real

In this photo provided by the Oregon Park and Recreations Department, an unidentified worker burns off debris from the Japanese dock float on Thursday.

When a massive concrete and metal dock – 66 feet long, seven feet tall, 19 feet wide and covered in alien species – hit an Oregon beach this week, the threat to the Northwest’s economy and environment from millions of tons of Japanese tsunami debris suddenly became more real.

Even with the haunting appearance of a Japanese ship floating off the coast of Alaska, reports of what we might expect to hit our coastlines centered mostly on plastics, soccer balls and even some human remains in running shoes – all of which carried more curiosity than alarm.

But then the dock just showed up on the beach one morning and now the threat of ships colliding with significant tsunami debris, and the invasive species that can hitch a ride from the coast of Japan on them, has officials significantly worried.

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fitness and nutrition
5:45 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Weight loss for a big prize - is it a gimmick?

Overall, so far in this weight-loss contest, 1,400 contestants in Pierce County lost more than 15,000 pounds.
Allan Foster Flickr

If you’ve ever thought about losing weight, it helps to have a prize, as 1,400 people in Pierce County can tell you. They’re in a contest that ends this week – similar to TV’s Biggest Loser reality show – with winners getting a $10,000 prize.

It may seem like a gimmick. But scientists say it has a solid foundation.

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Japanese Tsunami
10:14 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Japanese dock unmoored by tsunami washes ashore in Newport

The dock, which is debris from the Japanese tsunami, is seven feet tall, 19 feet wide and 66 feet long. A plaque attached to the top has Japanese writing on it.
Courtesy of Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation

The Japanese consulate has confirmed that the dock that washed ashore Tuesday at Agate Beach near Newport is debris from the March 2011 Tsunami in Japan. it was checked for radiation and results came back negative.

Now, Oregon officials have organized a group of volunteers to scrape off, bag up and dispose of the hundreds of millions of marine organisms that hitchhiked aboard a boxcar-sized dock that floated across the Pacific during last year's tsunami.

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Seattle shooting
6:24 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Seattle: Make gun offenders register like sex offenders?

Just like a sex offender, once you are released from prison on a gun violation, you would be classified as either a Level I, Level I or Level III offender.
Zoren Deneu Flickr

Sex offenders have to register when they get out of prison in Washington. So why shouldn’t people who commit a violent crime with a gun have to do the same?

It’s an idea being floated by the Seattle Police Department.

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Washington volcanoes
3:23 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

When Rainier blows, volcanic mudflow could cost us $6 billion

Section of the map produced by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources showing lahar flows.

“It’s not a question of if, but when, the next volcanic event will occur”

When it blows, Mount Rainier might produce “Lahar,” or volcanic mudflow, that could cause property losses of up to $6 billion in the Puyallup Valley, a new study by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources shows.

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Seattle shooting
12:15 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Survivor of Seattle shooting out of intensive care

A message is written on paper covering the window at the front of a cafe where a gunman killed four people and severely wounded another last week.
The Associated Press

The only survivor of last week's Seattle cafe shooting that left four people dead has been moved out of intensive care at Harborview Medical Center.

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Emergency Preparedness
5:12 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Less than half in the NW, at best, prepared for earthquake

Ninth-grade students take part in a statewide earthquake drill in 2007 in Shoreline. Are you prepared?
The Associated Press

If you live in the Northwest, it's hard to escape the knowledge that the possibility of a major earthquake is real. 

Yet, far more than half of residents here are not prepared for such a disaster. Despite frequent campaigns encouraging homeowners to have at least a 3-day supply of emergency water, food and first aid on hand, authorities assume only 30-40 percent of us actually do.

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Seattle shooting
1:35 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Westboro Baptist Church to picket Seattle shooting victim’s funeral

A Seattle police officer investigates the scene where Gloria Koch Leonidas was shot in the head and killed in a carjacking near Town Hall last week.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

The St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Seattle has been told that members of the anti-gay church known for its belligerent protest tactics plans to be present at the funeral of Gloria Koch Leonidas on Thursday. Leonidas was one of the shooting victims in last Wednesday's massacre in Seattle.

A St. Demetrios administrator confirmed that a Seattle police officer and another church pastor told them the protest has been scheduled by the Westboro Baptist Church. And a Facebook page dedicated to shielding the funeral from the protesters, known for signs saying “God Hates Fags” and blaming crimes on passages of gay rights laws, is up and running.

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Seattle shootings
4:00 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Seattle looking into surveillance tech. to tamp down gun violence

This is a diagram of the ShotSpotter system in action provided by the company.

(Updated with audio story, attached.)

Seattle has had it with the flare of gunfire lighting up its streets – and that’s driving city leaders to pull out the stops to find solutions.

More aggressive search and seizures, stiffer local gun laws, increased police patrols, video cameras and now a technology that registers where a gun is fired in the city and notifies police seconds after the shooting – these are some of the tools Seattle officials are looking at to tamp down the violence.

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