Law

Legalized marijuana
5:46 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Governor tells feds not to worry about Washington's legalization of marijuana

Washington's top officials met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington D.C. today and tried to reassure the Obama administration that Washington's new marijuana law won't result in distribution of pot outside the state.

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Marijuana Legalization
2:28 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

State and federal officials discussing Wash. marijuana law

medcannaman Flickr

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson are meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Tuesday in Washington, D.C., to talk about the state's legal marijuana law.

Inslee and Ferguson plan to tell reporters about the meeting in an afternoon conference call.

And on Tuesday night in Olympia, the Liquor Control Board is holding the first public hearing on rules that will govern legal marijuana sales.

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Gun Control
9:52 am
Thu January 17, 2013

CenturyLink Field disarms off-duty cops at games

AP

Century Link field is telling off-duty police officers attending Seahawks games and other events at the Seattle stadium to leave their guns at home.

The management says Century Link Field is safe because of an abundance of uniformed officers at events.

KOMO reports the new policy isn't sitting well with officers.

Disability rights
11:02 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Deaf student can sue medical school for discrimination

A Seattle man with profound hearing loss has won a key battle in his fight with Creighton University Medical School in Nebraska over accommodating his disability. The case could have ramifications for other institutions of higher education.

Michael Argenyi, who received his undergraduate degree from Seattle University, asked Creighton to pay for interpreters and a real time captioning service known as CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation). The medical school refused, offering other services instead. Argenyi sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Juvenile courts
2:25 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Did you know Washington sells juvenile records to background check companies?

Credit Thomas Hawk / Flickr

If you apply for a job, chances are good your potential employer will do a criminal background check on you. In Washington, that means even something you did as a juvenile could be held against you. Washington is one of a handful of states that sells juvenile court records to background check companies.

(Click Listen button to hear the story.)

Law
10:54 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Spokane sues Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 5:10 pm

SPOKANE, Wash. - The city of Spokane, Washington is suing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The class-action suit claims the two mortgage giants should have to pay a real estate excise tax to Spokane and dozens of other cities across Washington.

When a piece of property is sold in Washington, the seller usually pays a real estate transfer fee. Cities use the tax to fix things like potholes and sewer lines. But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say don’t have to pay the tax because they're government-sponsored enterprises.

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Law
4:38 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

StandUp Washington rally in Seattle calls for more gun control

Retired minister and gun owner Jack Severns participated in the rally to ban assault weapons.
Hattie Lewis

Downtown Seattle's Westlake Park filled up with hundreds of people Sunday who came out to show their support for gun-control legislation. One of those attending was Jack Severns from Kent who wants to see a ban on assault weapons.

"I've owned guns since I was 12 years old but I want to see them used correctly."

Many at the rally talked about revisiting the second amendment.

The rally, called StandUp Washington, included speakers, music and remembrances for those lost in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

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Transportation tax
11:22 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Washington, Oregon consider mileage-based road tax

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:06 pm

PORTLAND - Washington and Oregon are getting serious about finding a replacement for the gas tax. Steadily improving fuel efficiency in cars is eroding the primary source of road funding in the Northwest. A new report to the 2013 Washington Legislature finds it "feasible" to have drivers pay by the mile instead. In Oregon, lawmakers have actually drafted legislation to do just that.

Suburban Portland SUV owner Mary Olson has possibly glimpsed the future of how we'll pay for roads, although it's tricky to spot.

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Transportation tax
10:32 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Should Washington motorists pay by the miles to drive?

Traffic along I-5 in the area of Joint Base Lewis-McChord often looks like this, and is getting worse a the base's population booms.
Oran Viriyincy Flickr

Washington state transportation officials are exploring whether to charge drivers by the mile to use state highway and roads.

A steering committee of transportation experts recently concluded it's feasible to move the state away from gasoline taxes to a "pay as you go" road fee system.

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Gun Control
12:22 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

NRA Accepts Biden's Invitation To Meet

Vice President Biden.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:04 pm

"We are sending a rep to hear what they have to say," National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam says of the organization's decision to accept an invitation from the task force Vice President Biden is leading — the group that's studying gun laws and related issues in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Con

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Gun Control
11:31 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Seattle gun buyback plan: Turn in your gun, get a $100 giftcard

sadaton Flickr

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and County Executive Dow Constantine say there’s not much they can do about gun laws. Past efforts to ban firearms in parks have failed because they’re preempted by state laws. But they say they can revive an idea last tried in Seattle twenty years ago: a gun buyback program.

They hope to get hundreds of weapons off the streets with a privately-funded effort.

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Anti-war protests
6:04 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Do free speech rights include the right to carry a backpack?

A case involving protesters, U.S. Army Stryker vehicles and backpacks, that’s right backpacks, is being heard in a federal courtroom in Tacoma.  The civil rights trial comes nearly six years after the actual protests took place at the Port of Tacoma.

(Click on the listen button to hear the complete story.)

The "no backpack" directive can be heard on this video from the March 2007 protests at the Port of Tacoma.

Human rights
4:03 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

North Korean trip shines light on plight of Seattle area man

Controversy surrounding travel to North Korea by a private delegation, including Google executive Eric Schmidt and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, is bringing attention to the story of a Lynnwood man who's been detained in North Korea for more than two months.

(Click on the listen button for the complete story.)

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Law
5:00 am
Wed January 2, 2013

New marijuana law could cause backlogs at state crime labs

Credit Flickr

Washington State law enforcement officials are slowly becoming familiar with the details of the new marijuana law. It makes it legal for people 21 and older to possess small amounts of the drug.  However one aspect of the initiative could create huge backlogs at the state’s crime labs.

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Gun Control
10:28 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Seattle-area clergy demand action on guns

Rev. Leslie Braxton and other clergy call for action to prevent gun violence.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Seattle-area clergy from many faiths are presenting a united front against gun violence, demanding specific measures from elected leaders. Representing churches and synagogues, seminaries, mosques and Sikh temples, the religious leaders say it’s time to move beyond simply mourning the slaughter of 26 people in Newtown Connecticut. They say now it’s time for action.

Evoking a string of mass killings, including one in Seattle last spring, the clergy made the case for changing laws and changing attitudes. Imam Abdullah Polovina is with the Islamic Center of Shoreline.

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