Feed aggregator

Farm Stays And Urban Adventures In New Zealand

KPLU News - 4 hours 31 sec ago

It could be argued that New Zealand bears at least a mild resemblance to the Pacific Northwest. It’s got rugged terrain, lush vegetation and, of course, plenty of water nearby. But that’s where the similarities end.

“When it’s dark and cold, and gray and depressing here, it’s absolutely stunning and sunny there,” said KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

Its placement in the southern hemisphere makes Seattle’s winter the perfect opportunity to enjoy a New Zealand summer.

Amid Public Outcry, Seattle Schools Announces Changes To Handling Of Sex Assault Allegations

KPLU News - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 22:15

Amid a fresh wave of public frustration over Seattle Public Schools' response to a 2012 incident on a Garfield High School trip, district officials outlined a plan for addressing future allegations of sexual violence against students.

The parents of a former Garfield High School student say district administrators failed in their legal duty to investigate their daughter's allegations that a fellow student sexually assaulted her during the school trip two years ago.

But at Wednesday's school board meeting, as a dozen protesters decried the district's handling of the case, interim superintendent Larry Nyland pledged the district would do better. He said district officials have undergone new training and implemented new procedures for handling "critical incidents."

Following Judge's Ruling, Changes On The Way For No-Fly List

KPLU News - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:51

Changes are coming to the federal government's no-fly list, but it’s not yet clear what those changes will be.

It all stems from a ruling this summer by a federal judge in Portland. One of the plaintiffs was turned away from a flight after an airline agent said he was on the no-fly list. The man sued after he couldn't even get the government to confirm whether he was on the list, much less why.

Cantwell Takes Aim At Gender Gap In Access To Business Loans

KPLU News - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:23

Women entrepreneurs aren’t getting the same access to business loans as their male counterparts nationwide, and a new report shows the gender gap is even bigger in Washington.

Women own about 30 percent of American businesses, but get just 13 percent of the dollars lent by the federal Small Business Administration. In Washington, it’s just 11 percent, according to a new report commissioned by a U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, chaired by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. 

Seattle Mayor Promises Better Facilities, More Accountability With New Park District

KPLU News - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:14

As the city of Seattle prepares to put in place its new voter-approved park district, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says citizens can expect both better facilities and more accountability. 

Parsing The Rulebook To A Police Officer's Use Of Force

KPLU News - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:12
More than a week now from the police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., it's worth asking: Ideally, what should happen with a police officer stops someone in the street? To find out about police best practices, Robert Siegel speaks with Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia's police commissioner. Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Beheading Video Sets Off Debate Over How — Or Whether — To Portray It

KPLU News - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:12
A video that shows an American journalist being beheaded by extremist militants has sparked outrage, along with arguments over whether the images should be restricted online.

On one side of the issue are those who believe the images give publicity to the Islamic State, the Sunni group that killed James Foley, an American who had been held captive since 2012.

Why Vegetables Get Freakish In The Land Of The Midnight Sun

KPLU News - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:10
Everything in Alaska is a little bit bigger — even the produce. A 138-pound cabbage, 65-pound cantaloupe and 35-pound broccoli are just a few of the monsters that have sprung forth from Alaska's soil in recent years.

At the annual Alaska State Fair, which opens Thursday in Palmer, the public will have the chance to gawk at giants like these as they're weighed for competition.

It's "definitely a freak show," the fair's crop superintendent Kathy Liska, tells The Salt.

From A Father And Son, What It Means To Be A Military Man

KPLU News - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:09
Military service once defined the lives of many men in the United States, particularly before the end of the draft in 1973.

Many Seek Justice In Ferguson, Mo., But Will Have To Wait Awhile

KPLU News - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:08
Both the county case and the federal investigation into the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown are expected to take time, as are basic answers about the circumstances that led to the black teenager's death Aug. 9.

About two dozen people showed up Wednesday in front of the St. Louis County Courthouse to demonstrate against County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, who is preparing to present evidence in the case to a grand jury.

"This means something to me, so I had to be here," says demonstrator Lamont Farr, a home health care worker.

Wash. Ethics Board Settles On 12 Lobbyist-Paid Meals Per Year Max

KPLU News - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 09:46

Washington lawmakers will be allowed to accept a dozen lobbyist-paid meals per year, but no more, according to a new vote by the state’s Legislative Ethics Board.

On the low side, one board member proposed a limit of three free meals a year. On the high side there was a proposal to allow two dozen a year. Even the compromise of 12 lobbyist-paid meals per year did not receive a unanimous vote. The vote is also not a final rule. That will come this October when the board meets again.

2 Recipes To Turn The Season's Cucumbers Into Crisp, Appetizing Pickles

KPLU News - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 05:00

It's my favorite time of year. The cukes are out at the Duris Cucumber Farm on River Road, just a little west of Puyallup. For years, I've been trying to convince my Food for Thought pard Nancy Leson to accompany me there. She finally did and boy, was she glad.

Wash. Attorney General: If You Like Legal Marijuana, Support Local Pot Bans

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 16:09

Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson has intervened in a lawsuit over whether local governments can keep marijuana businesses out. Ferguson says if you want pot to stay legal in Washington, you should want cities to be allowed to ban it.  

The city of Fife, like many others around Washington, has said it won’t allow pot businesses within city limits. A couple of would-be entrepreneurs sued the city to overturn the ban.

Steve Ballmer Resigns From Microsoft Board, Saying He'll Be Busy As New Clippers Owner

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 12:17

Former Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer is leaving the board of the software company he led for 14 years.

In a letter released on Microsoft's website, Ballmer said he has confidence in new CEO Satya Nadella, and he has no plans to sell his shares in the "foreseeable future." Ballmer said he holds more shares than anyone other than index funds. 

Win Tickets To The 5th Annual Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Fest

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 12:10

Des Moines Rotary Club invites you to attend the 5th Annual Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Fest, Saturday, August 23rd from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  A day filled with local blues and a variety of brews from local breweries.  Festival is located on the shores of Puget Sound at the Des Moines Beach Park.

Brita Recalls Kids' Water Bottles Over Risk Of Cutting

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 11:58
Some Brita water bottles made for children pose a possible danger due to their lids that can break apart into pieces with sharp edges, says Brita, which has announced a safety recall. The bottles have white lids with fold-up straws and filters that sit inside the bottle.

"Brita has received 35 reports of lids breaking or cracking," the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports.

Castro's Niece Casts Rare 'No' Vote In Parliament, Citing Gay Rights

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:39
Cuba's parliament isn't big on dissent. Most legislation that makes it to a vote is endorsed unanimously, as a matter of course. But Mariela Castro, the daughter of President Raul Castro — and the niece of Fidel Castro — is making waves by voting "no" on a workers' rights bill, saying it didn't protect people with unconventional gender identities.

It seems that before the December 2013 vote was publicized recently in a Cuban blog, no one could recall anyone voting against a measure in Cuba's legislature.

Lessons From The Last Time Civilization Collapsed

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:37
Consider this, if you would: a network of far-flung, powerful, high-tech civilizations closely tied by trade and diplomatic embassies; an accelerating threat of climate change and its pressure on food production; a rising wave of displaced populations ready to sweep across and overwhelm developed nations.

Sound familiar?

While that laundry list of impending doom could be aimed at our era, it's actually a description of the world 3,000 years ago.

Did You Hear The One About The Stand-Up Comedian And The Podcast?

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:37
Much has been written about the success of Marc Maron's WTF podcast. What you may not know is that his story isn't an aberration. In the past five years stand-up comedy has seen a global revival thanks to the Internet, and in particular, thanks to podcasts.

The comedians most of us know are the Cosbys, the Carlins and the CKs: guys who scored a sitcom or a late-night show.

To Fight Inflation, Forget The Barbecue And Just Go For A Drive

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:36
If you're on a tight budget, here's a plan for enjoying late summer:

1) Take the family for a sightseeing drive.

2) When you get home, have a beer.

Don't do this:

1) Invite neighbors over for grilled steaks.

2) Make milkshakes for the kids.

Such budget-savvy conclusions can be drawn from the inflation report released Tuesday by the Labor Department.

Its Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows that over the past 12 months, the prices you have been paying have risen 2 percent — a pace that Federa