Other News

Humanosphere
4:16 pm
Thu March 3, 2011

Gates Foundation has given BBC $20 million to “shape” stories on maternal, child health

zawtowers Flickr

The Puget Sound Business Journal’s Clay Holtzman reports that the Gates Foundation made its largest ever donation to a media organization, the BBC, in December but didn’t publicize the $19.9 million grant.

As Clay reports, there has been a lot of media attention given lately to the Seattle philanthropy’s funding of media — most recently a comprehensive review of the potential conflicts-of-interest inherent in this practice by the Seattle Times. Clay notes:

When the Seattle Times published a lengthy profile of the Gates Foundation’s grants to professional journalists on Feb. 19, the foundation apparently never disclosed that it had already approved its largest award ever to a media organization.

I’ve written plenty about the Gates Foundation’s support for media, about the potential for good as well as the potential problems given that the philanthropy often IS the story when it comes to global health and development.

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Religion
10:39 am
Thu March 3, 2011

Porn...at Eastlake Church?

Anti-porn pastor Craig Gross and porn star Ron Jeremy
xxxdebate.com

Eastlake Community Church in Bothell is tackling the spiritual implications of pornography this weekend, starting with Porn and Pastries Friday night, Porn in the Morn Saturday morning, and the big event, the XXX Debate between pastor Craig Gross and porn star Ron Jeremy Saturday night. Gross and Jeremy will also be attending the regular Sunday services.

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News Roundup
7:59 am
Thu March 3, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

Sometimes hard to see, wood smoke is found to be more dominant pollutant in Tacoma than anyone had realized, according to a new study. The levels exceed federal standards.
Jon Froschauer AP

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Tacoma's Wood Smoke Problem
  • New Superintendent for Seattle
  • More Lye Leaks From Wrecked Railcar
  •  

Unusual Readings of Tacoma Pollutants

Wood smoke is a presenting a bigger pollution problem in Tacoma than experts have thought, according to a newly released study by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. The News Tribune's Rob Carson writes diesel and gas emissions remain the  dominant pollutants:

But in Tacoma, the risks from wood smoke were as much as seven times higher than is typical in other urban areas. Potential health effects include cancer, lung damage, heart disease and nerve damage.

The agency's Ryan Dicks tells the Trib more people may be heating with wood stoves because it's cheaper. The high wood smoke readings pushed Tacoma past federal clean air standards, the only area in the state to get such a mark. 

 

Seattle Wonders "Who is Susan Enfield?"

Seattle headlines are dominated this morning by the school board firing of Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson and her top finance and operations manager, Don Kennedy, in the wake of a financial scandal. KPLU's Jennifer Wing was at last night's meeting, packed with angry parents and teachers who cheered the results.

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Army Suicides
9:23 am
Wed March 2, 2011

50 Joint Base Lewis-McChord suicides since 2002

This is an image from an Army video that's intended to talk directly with soldiers about the topic of suicide and suicide prevention.
U.S. Army

Fifty soldiers from Joint Base Lewis McChord have killed themselves since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some committed suicide on-base, others off and still others while deployed overseas.  Leaders at JBLM say they’ve dramatically stepped up efforts to combat suicide. But they admit it’s not easy to change Army culture.

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News Roundup
8:04 am
Wed March 2, 2011

Wednesday morning's headlines

School Board President Steve Sundquist speaks about the board's plans to vote Wednesday on a motion to fire Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson. Next to him are board members Kay Smith-Blum and Peter Maier.
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Seattle Schools Scandal: Contractor Defends Pay
  • Amber Alert Ends Safely in Bonney Lake
  • JBLM Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
  • NASCAR for Puget Sound?

 

Seattle School Contractors Ready to Speak Out

As the Seattle School Board prepares to vote on a motion to fire Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson this evening, one of the contractors under scrutiny in the alleged contracting fraud is speaking out. Seattle's Urban League and other small business contractors are expected to tell reporters, including KPLU's Paula Wissel, they earned their pay.

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Army Suicide
8:56 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Family faults Army in case of AWOL soldier killed by police

U.S. Army

It was a surreal scene last August 27th in downtown Salt Lake City. A soldier - AWOL from his base in Western Washington - emerged from an underground parking lot. He was dressed head-to-toe in combat gear and carrying a rifle.

Seconds later the soldier was dead. Now, an internal Army investigation has found shortcomings in how the case was handled. The family of Specialist Brandon Barrett blames the Army for not intervening sooner.

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Weather
6:48 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Batten down the hatches! High winds coming

Storm waves at Ocean Shores 1/8/06
MïK Watson (MïK) flickr.com

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for the north and central Washington coast through Wednesday night. Be prepared for sustained winds of 25 to 40 mph with gusts of up to 60 mph. High winds can knock down trees and power lines.

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King County Government
7:41 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Constantine touts progress on budget, reform

Seattle's South Park Bridge was declared unsafe and was closed last summer. Now, a combination of federal and local money is slated to build a new $131 million replacement.
AP

King County is in good shape and getting better.

That’s the message from County Executive Dow Constantine during his “State of the County” speech Monday. Speaking from the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, Constantine touted progress in taming the county’s budget problems and making county government more efficient. 

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News Roundup
6:59 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Tuesday morning's headlines

Cell phone video of the explosion and fire at a Pierce Transit center in Lakewood Monday afternoon, provided to KING-TV. The blast was loud and fire was hot, but no one was injured.
KING-TV

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Lakewood Explosion Investigated
  • Seattle Superintendent's Future on the Line
  • Will EADS Challenge Boeing's Tanker Win?
     

What Caused Lakewood Blast?

A series of explosions at a Pierce Transit center on South Tacoma Way yesterday afternoon is being investigated this morning. Compressed natural gas at fueling pumps ignited somehow, and it spread to storage units on site.  No one was injured.

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10 Year Anniversary
3:21 pm
Mon February 28, 2011

Where were you? Remembering the Nisqually Quake

The Nisqually Quake sent many ducking for cover, as in this school drill. But drills aren't the same as the real thing, according to responses to our question, "Where were you ten years ago?"
AP Photo

We've been asking you today, "Where were you ten years ago when the Nisqually Quake hit the Puget Sound region?" 

The 6.8 shake damaged thousands of structures, notably the unreinforced masonry buildings in the historic downtown areas of Olympia and Seattle. 

Clearly the memories of jangled nerves and scary moments remain strong.

On KPLU's Facebook page, we've had good response to our question:

Many are sharing vivid recollections, like Coleen:

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Humanosphere
12:28 pm
Mon February 28, 2011

Five reasons why microfinance is in crisis – and why it matters

TW Collins Flickr

The popular anti-poverty scheme of providing small loans and other financial services to poor people, generally known as microfinance, is in crisis.

“In one sense, you could say it’s a coming of age,” says Alex Counts, CEO at the Grameen Foundation, a leading non-profit microfinance organization with offices in Seattle and Washington D.C.. “Controversy often comes along with growing in size and impact.”

You could also say microfinance is actually suffering from several different crises: An external appearance of a crisis based on a damaged public image; a related, but slightly different, internal “identity crisis” and, at least according to one leading observer, a cash crisis in reverse — too much money.

Here are five reasons for the crisis:

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News Roundup
6:26 am
Mon February 28, 2011

Monday morning's headlines

In this 2001 photo, Paul Riek checks to see if his car starts after parts of the top half of a nearby building fell on it, during the Nisqually earthquake.
Stevan Morgain AP Photo

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Tenth Anniversary of Nisqually Quake
  • Viaduct Issue Before Seattle City Council Today
  • Weekend Tacoma Train Derailment Cleared

 

Nisqually Quake Memories Still Fresh

But what lessons did we learn from the Feb. 28, 2001 quake that jangled our collective nerves? KPLU's Liam Moriarty gives an overview, including the breadth of upgrades to emergency systems, bridges and buildings. 

Following the quake, the number of seismic monitoring sites have tripled around the Sound, according to John Dodge of The Olympian, meant to help us prepare for the type of quakes that could cause devastation:

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Vandalism
6:22 pm
Fri February 25, 2011

Joy riders damage Tacoma parks

Deep ruts likely caused by a 4x4 in the sports field at Jane Clark Park
Metro Parks Tacoma

Vandals have damaged the Jane Clark Park sports field in Tacoma. Officials won't know exactly how bad the damage is until they can test the irrigation and drainage systems in the spring. It appears a 4x4 vehicle left deep ruts running from one end of the field to the other.

The park had recently been upgraded as part of the 2005 Park Improvement bond measure. Joy riders also ripped up half a dozen other Tacoma parks this week.

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News Roundup
7:48 am
Fri February 25, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Boeing and Region Cheer Contract Win
  • Seattle Schools "Rogue" Manager
  • Cold Weekend Ahead

 

Upset Victory Spawns Local Celebrations

Boeing was the "underdog" and came out fighting to win, according to U.S. Senator Patty Murray. At a celebratory Seattle news conference with Senator Maria Cantwell and other state congressional leaders, they praised the Pentagon's decision on the $35 billion Air Force tanker contract, as KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp reported.

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Driver Survey
12:23 pm
Thu February 24, 2011

We're comfortable driving in the snow? Really, Pemco?

But is the driver comfortable navigating on our snowy, icy roads?
@Brycej Twitpic

This statement might surprise you. It sure surprised us. 

Pemco Insurance makes the claim, based on a survey it did of Washington drivers. Most polled (58%)  say they feel 'comfortable' behind the wheel when driving on snowy roads.

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