Law

State Supreme Court
11:48 am
Tue October 22, 2013

State High Court Hears Airplane Meal Workers Case

Several prepared meals are displayed with wine inside the Delta Airlines Gate Gourmet facility at the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport, Tuesday, April 22, 2008 in Erlanger, Ky.
David Kohl AP Photo/File Image

Washington’s Supreme Court will decide whether employers must accommodate the religious practices of their employees.

Justices heard oral arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit that involves four men who makes meals for airline passengers. Because they are not allowed to bring their own food to work, their employer, Gate Gourmet, provides them lunch. The men allege the meal choices did not accommodate their religious dietary restrictions. 

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Washington Supreme Court
6:54 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

State High Court Points to Police Negligence in Woman's Murder

aidaneus Flickr

Advocates for victims of domestic violence are praising a Washington Supreme Court decision that they say could help save lives.

The case concerns the serving of an anti-harassment order by the Federal Way Police Department on a man who later killed his girlfriend.

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living wage initiative
5:02 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Why Sea-Tac Airport Workers Can't Join a Union for Better Pay

Baggage handler, Socrates Bravo, looks at a photo of his daughter in his SeaTac apartment.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Socrates Bravo often works 15-hour days, and he'd like a raise.

But as a baggage handler at Sea-Tac International Airport, he doesn’t have many options. Traditionally, when workers want better wages, they join a union. So why don’t airport workers like Bravo just do that?

The reason: They’re stuck in a legal limbo under federal labor law. And that’s why they’ve turned to the ballot box instead.

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adoption
5:01 am
Mon October 7, 2013

New State Law to Allow Easier Access to Adoptee's Birth Records

Dan McNuelty, right, and his birth mother, Annalyssa Crinklaw.

A new law makes it easier for older adoptees born in Washington state to track down their birth parents.

While the law won’t go into effect until July, the state is trying to get the word out now about the changes.

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regulating marijuana
6:01 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Labs Worry As Pot Testing Standards Lag

Caitlin Reece of Analytical 360 lab in Seattle prepares to test ground-up Cannabis-infused Purple Haze Goldfish crackers for potency.

Before legal marijuana in Washington hits store shelves, it will have to be tested. Special pot labs will check for potency, molds, foreign matter and bacteria like E. coli. It’s a key part of the recreational marijuana market approved by Washington voters last fall.

But setting the standards for how to lab-test pot turns out to be pretty complicated. And now some lab managers worry they won’t be ready in time.

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medical marijuana
11:40 am
Thu September 19, 2013

High Court Sides with Non-Card-Carrying Medical Pot Patient

File image
AP Photo

The Washington state Supreme Court has sided with a wheelchair-bound pot user who lacked an official medical marijuana card.

In a split ruling Thursday, the high court said even non-card-holding patients can mount a medical necessity defense at trial.

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Police Reform
6:53 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Survey Shows Racial Divide in Approval of Seattle Police

zeraien Flickr

A survey shows more than 60 percent of Seattle residents approve of the job the Seattle Police Department is doing. But it’s a far more problematic picture when you break down responses by race.

While the vast majority of whites and Asians give high marks to the Seattle Police Department, when you talk to African-Americans and Latinos, the approval rating drops dramatically.

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Downtown Safety
1:22 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Stabbing Death Prompts Call for Tax to Fund Mental Health

Paula Wissel

Last weekend’s random killing of Shoreline Community College English Professor Troy Wolff in Pioneer Square has prompted Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to call for more money to be spent on mental health resources, including a possible tax dedicated to mental health.

Donnell Jackson has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in the stabbing of Wolff and Kristin Ito, who survived the attack.

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Labor & Union
8:17 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Space Needle's Treatment of Workers on Trial

Union supporters rally on behalf of Space Needle workers outside federal building, where a hearing on unfair labor practices is being held.
Paula Wissel

The Space Needle’s labor practices are on trial in a federal hearing room in Seattle. All week, the National Labor Relations Board(NLRB) has been presenting its case against the privately-owned Seattle icon.

Acting on a complaint from Unite Here Local 8, which represents several hundred Space Needle food and banquet workers, the NLRB is making its case that the company engaged in unfair labor practices, including encouraging employees to resign from the union and stop paying union dues.

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regulating marijuana
2:43 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Proposed Pot Rules Revised; Buffer Zone to be Measured as Crow Flies

Associated Press

The Washington State Liquor Control Board is tightening up its proposed regulation on where marijuana businesses can be located. Stores, processors, and grow operations will have to be at least 1, 000 feet from schools, parks and daycares—not by common path of travel, but as the crow flies, the board said Friday. 

The board had considered using streets and sidewalks to measure the distance instead of a straight line on the map. But board director Rick Garza says it has become obvious that the federal government did not agree.

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Legal rights
4:16 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

New Legal Resource Guide to Help Military in Washington

Paula Wissel

The state attorney general has compiled a new Military and Veteran Legal Resource Guide aimed at helping active-duty soldiers and veterans learn about their legal rights.

Military personnel and veterans have a number of special legal rights when it comes to such things as interest rates on home loans or getting out of rental agreements. The problem, according to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, is too many people are unaware of these protections.

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regulating marijuana
2:01 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

On Marijuana, Feds Plan to Address Banking Issue

Associated Press

The Department of Justice has let it be known that it won’t interfere with Washington’s legal marijuana industry. But when pot stores do come to Washington, they won’t be able to deposit their money in a bank or accept credit cards. That’s because the pot business, still illegal under federal law, is off-limits to federally-regulated banks.

King County Sheriff John Urquhart testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington D.C. Tuesday. He says businesses that deal only in cash present problems for police.

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regulating marijuana
8:05 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Inslee to Meet with U.S. Attorneys about Legal Pot

File image
Associated Press

Gov. Jay Inslee is set to meet Tuesday with the two top federal prosecutors in Washington to discuss the Justice Department's concerns about the state's legal marijuana law.

U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Mike Ormsby of Spokane are traveling to Olympia to speak with Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson. 

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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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regulating marijuana
10:10 am
Wed September 4, 2013

State Liquor Board Announces Proposed Caps on Recreational Pot

AP Photos

The state of Washington can produce, at most 40 metric tons, or 2 million square feet, of marijuana per year, the state Liquor Control Board said in its revised proposed rules for recreational pot on Wednesday.  

A total of 334 pot stores will be allowed statewide, the board said, and each county will have its own cap.

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