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King County Clinic Gets Reprieve, But Cloud Still Hangs Over Public Health Budget

KPLU News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 17:55

A King County public health clinic slated for closure is getting a bailout, but three more clinics remain on the line as the health department confronts a big budget shortfall.

The public health clinic at White Center has been on borrowed time this year, along with clinics in Auburn, Bothell and Federal Way. Now the city of Seattle is proposing to kick in $400,000 to keep it open. Public Health Seattle & King County will continue providing WIC services and other support for new mothers, but will turn its family planning services there over to Planned Parenthood.

How Seattle's Mayor Plans To Enforce The Minimum Wage

KPLU News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 16:59

With the passage of a complicated minimum wage law in Seattle, officials want to ensure the law is easily understood.  The mayor is proposing a new office called the Office of Labor Standards, that would serve as a clearinghouse for information and enforcement.

With Minecraft, Microsoft Buys A Doorway To Millions Of Players

KPLU News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 15:11
The video game world saw a massive acquisition Monday when Microsoft confirmed it was buying Mojang, the company behind the immense world-building game Minecraft, for $2.5 billion.

Now let's be clear: While the ink on the deal might say Microsoft bought Mojang, they really just bought the game franchise Minecraft.

Hockey Inquiry Turns On Whether Players Are 'Student Athletes' Or Workers

KPLU News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:13

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries says it can't disclose at this time whose complaint spurred it to open the hockey investigation. The affected teams are the Seattle Thunderbirds, Everett Silvertips, Tri-City Americans and Spokane Chiefs. Their players fall between 16 and 20 years old. Labor and Industries agency spokesman Matthew Erlich says 16 and 17 year olds are covered by child labor laws.

The Pungent Mudflat

KPLU News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 09:00

  On the shore of a saltwater bay, the tide goes out, revealing a broad expanse of dark, glistening mudflat. Mudflats are rich in nutrients, such as decomposing organic matter and minerals. Far from wastelands, mudflats also support a bounty of life including vast quantities of tiny snails and clams, worms, crustaceans, larvae, and much more. Millions of shorebirds - including these Lesser (right) and Greater (left) Yellowlegs - follow shorelines and their mudflats each spring and fall, where they feast upon those tiny creatures hidden beneath the mud's surface, a banquet that powers the birds' continent-spanning migrations.

'Panama Hotel Jazz' Music Project Tells Story Of The Historic Seattle Landmark

KPLU News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 05:00

The muse behind Steve Grigg’s musical project is a brick, six-story, century-old building that stands in what used to be Seattle’s Japantown.

The Panama Hotel, on the corner of Sixth and Main, remains a working hotel. But the historic building is also a time capsule. It features belongings left behind by Japanese Americans who were forced into internment camps during World War II.

Griggs’ project, called “Panama Hotel Jazz,” weaves in music with narration to tell the story about the incarceration of Japanese and Japanese Americans in 1942.

Seattle Public Housing Residents Face The Possibility Of Big Rent Hikes

KPLU News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 05:00

Many residents of public housing in Seattle are facing the possibility of steep rent hikes. They’ll have a chance this week at two public hearings to voice their concerns about the Seattle Housing Authority’s plan.

Seattle Housing Authority provides subsidized housing for about 13,000 low-income households. The agency sets the rent at 30 percent of the tenant’s income. But now, SHA is proposing to raise rent every couple of years. By the sixth year, it would have jumped more than fivefold. People with disabilities, the elderly and people under the age of 24 would be exempt.

How Seattle's Involvement In Education Is Unique Among Cities

KPLU News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 05:00

Like in many cities around the country, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says he isn't interested in running the local public school district, but he is interested in how well the city's children do in school.

It's why Murray will propose to roll several youth-focused programs into one new city-level education department when he submits his budget proposal to the Seattle City Council next week.

But unlike other cities where the mayor's office doesn't control the local school district, Murray directs the spending of millions of city dollars on Seattle Public Schools. That's a unique niche for a mayor, policy experts say, and Murray's proposed Department of Education and Early Learning only deepens it.

The Golden Eagles Of Ireland

KPLU News - Sun, 09/14/2014 - 09:00

  Golden Eagles were once revered as a symbol of wisdom and power by the ancient druids in Ireland. But the Golden Eagle’s voice was not heard in Ireland for most of the Twentieth Century. In the spring of 2007, a Golden Eagle pair hatched a chick for the first time since 1912, in Glenveagh National Park, in the far northwest of the Republic of Ireland. As of 2014, three pairs are nesting in the park. The partnership that brought these eagles to Glenveagh includes not only conservation groups but also local sheep farmers and surrounding communities, which hope to bring the tradition of the Golden Eagle back to Ireland.

The Greatest Bird Rescue Ever

KPLU News - Sat, 09/13/2014 - 09:00

  On June 23, 2000, the "MV Treasure" iron ore tanker sank off the coast of South Africa, covering 19,000 adult African Penguins in oil. Fortunately, thousands of volunteers arrived to help. The oily birds were moved to Cape Town to be cleaned. Another 19,500 penguins that escaped the oil were released at sea, 600 miles to the east. It took those birds nearly three weeks to swim back home, allowing workers time to clean up the oil-fouled waters and beaches.

Atlanta Hawks GM Takes Indefinite Leave Of Absence After Race Remarks

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 19:38
Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has taken an indefinite leave of absence following revelations that he made racially charged comments about forward Luon Deng.

Team CEO Steve Koonin, in a statement Friday, said he hoped Ferry's "time away from the Hawks organization allows him the privacy he needs to listen to the community, to learn about his mistakes, and to begin the long process of personal healing."

ESPN noted that Koonin has resisted calls to fire Ferry following his comments about Deng.

Retired Gen. Hayden Compares U.S. ISIS Strategy To 'Casual Sex'

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 19:36
Who says articles about foreign policy have to be boring? In a piece weighing the new, broadened U.S. strategy against the Islamic State, US News & World Report used this this quote from retired Airforce Gen. Michael Hayden:

"The reliance on air power has all of the attraction of casual sex: It seems to offer gratification but with very little commitment.

As Independence Vote Approaches, A Spirited Novel About The Scottish Experience

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 19:36
In my 20s I was living in London, and dating a Scotsman. A friend pulled me aside. "Read The Crow Road by Iain Banks," he told me. "It's the story of our childhood. Read this and you'll understand us."

The Crow Road is a darkly witty coming-of-age novel. It's set in the early '90s in a mostly realistic Scotland.

The novel opens in the voice of the hero, Prentice McHoan: "It was the day my grandmother exploded.

Win Tickets To Jewels By The Pacific Northwest Ballet

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:00

The trio of gems in George Balanchine’s Jewels honors golden ages of music and dance. Emeralds’ graceful clouds of tulle whisper French courtesy, fashion, and fragrance; Rubies mirrors the carefree spontaneity o America, Balanchine’s beloved adopted country; and the splendor of Diamonds recalls the great choreographer’s Imperial Russian heritage.

Missing Section Of Nez Perce Trail Holds Little-Known Part Of History

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 16:36

The story most people learn about the Nez Perce Tribe and the capture of Chief Joseph doesn't tell the whole history. 

Now the federal government and Northwest tribes are trying to fix that with a new historic site.

In Ferguson, Mo., Before Michael Brown There Was Henry Davis

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 16:23
There's another symbol of why black residents of Ferguson, Mo., distrust the majority-white police department: the 2009 case of Henry Davis, who was charged with destruction of property for bleeding on the uniforms of police officers.

The Department of Justice last week announced that it has opened an investigation of Ferguson police and the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Officials say they will look at the Davis case, too.

And Davis says that's appropriate. He thought it was "crazy" when police told him they were charging him with property damage.