John Ryan

How much is your vote worth? It depends where you live. 

In Washington’s 45th district east of Seattle, moneyed interests paid close to $180 for each vote in just one race this year. 

WASHINGTON DEPT. OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Officials with the company that spilled nearly 160,000 Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound in August say there has been no evidence the spill has done damage to the sound.

State officials agreed with that assessment at a legislative hearing in Olympia.

Jill Davenport

Nearly half the anchor lines on an Atlantic salmon farm snapped one evening in July, a month before an even worse accident caused the aging pens to collapse completely.

The damage in July was severe enough that the entire steel structure drifted "considerably" to the south, according to a detailed timeline of the two accidents released last week by the owners of the football-field-sized farm.

Neither Cooke Aquaculture nor Washington state officials conducted a formal investigation of the July accident.

Seth Wenig / Associated Press

Governor Jay Inslee held a town hall on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington Wednesday. 

It was the fourth in a series the governor has held on climate change. Protesters said the governor’s actions don’t live up to his words. 

The governor called climate change an “existential threat to civilization as we know it.” Despite the Trump administration’s moves to dismantle federal action on climate change, Inslee said he's optimistic. 

MUSTAFA LAZKANI / FEMA

Thousands of old, brick buildings in the Northwest are especially prone to collapsing in a big earthquake.

Now, researchers at the University of British Columbia say they’ve come up with a cheap way to reinforce such buildings.

John Ryan / KUOW Photos

Dozens of the worst hazardous-waste sites in the Northwest are not being cleaned up, for lack of personnel to do the job, according to a report from the inspector general of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The federal watchdog singles out Seattle's lower Duwamish River as a contaminated site where work has been delayed.

MEGAN FARMER / KUOW

 

Cooke Aquaculture and state officials knew at least six months ago that the floating salmon farm that collapsed in August was "nearing the end of serviceable life," with accelerating corrosion eating away at its hinges and steel structure.

 

Update 11 a.m., 8/16/2017: Two more CEOs — from 3M and Campbell's Soup — quit President Donald Trump's manufacturing council Wednesday. Trump then announced he was disbanding the council entirely.


John Ryan / KUOW

 

Eleven states including Washington have sued the Trump administration to improve safety at the nation’s refineries and chemical plants.

Associated Press / U.S. Department of Energy

 

Northwest Republicans joined Democrats in pushing back against cuts proposed for the U.S. Department of Energy Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

The Trump administration has given an initial thumbs-up to a plan to dig holes throughout a meadow of rare wildflowers inside the San Juan Islands National Monument.

It’s not part of any effort to eliminate the monument: It’s part of local tribes’ efforts to improve their diets and revive old traditions.


As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Seattle Wednesday, protesters rallied on the steps of the Canadian consulate downtown.

The Native and environmental activists were protesting pipelines Trudeau approved in November, including the Trans Mountain pipeline that would multiply oil tanker traffic through British Columbia and Washington waters up to sevenfold.


Georgia Tech

To the list of global problems the world’s oceans are facing, you can add another: They’re losing oxygen.

The Pacific Ocean off the U.S. West Coast, from central California to Alaska, is one of the hardest-hit areas.

John Ryan / KUOW

Have you ever left a job where you were tempted to tell off your boss on your way out? After working for a quarter century at the Environmental Protection Agency, Michael Cox didn’t hold his tongue.

Two Washington state Republicans have been chosen by President Donald Trump to help overhaul, if not gut, the Environmental Protection Agency.

Former state Sen. Don Benton of Vancouver and state Sen. Doug Ericksen of Ferndale have joined the EPA as part of a 10-person "beachhead" transition team.


C-SPAN / Northwest News Network

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name two people from eastern Washington to his cabinet. The two are odd ducks in the Trump leadership team — and not just because of where they're from.

PREIN ET AL. / NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE

Wintertime is often drizzle time in the Pacific Northwest. The region may need to get used to more intense rain as well.

Climate change will bring rain in more intense bursts across most of the country. That's according to a new study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

The extreme rainfall would come in the summer in much of the country. Here, we'd get it mostly in the winter.

With a warmer climate, the storms known as Pineapple Expresses would carry more moisture our way from the tropical Pacific.

Mer Change / FLICKR

The World Trade Organization says a corporate tax break that Governor Jay Inslee championed three years ago is illegal.

MORGAN MCCLOY / NPR

Washington state officials are calling it the largest campaign-finance penalty in U.S. history. A judge in Olympia has ordered the Grocery Manufacturers Association  to pay an $18 million fine for deliberately hiding its donors.

SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY / Northwest News Network

Climate change is a gradual process, driven by invisible pollution. It can be hard to wrap your brain around. Atmospheric scientists at the University of Washington have made it possible to listen to the planet changing.

Associated Press / AP Images

Wind and heavy rain could make this weekend tough for Northwest residents. The storm could be rough for the Puget Sound's underwater residents as well. Big storms mean big water pollution.

John Ryan

Democrat Adam Smith is running to keep his seat in Congress. He represents a district stretching from Redmond to Tacoma. But most of his campaign cash hasn't come from Washington state. It's come from the Washington, D.C., area.

How to solve traffic problems on I-5? What about banning humans from driving on it? And replacing them with robots?


Ann Norton / Wikimedia Commons

 Nearly a hundred million dollars has gone into this year's elections in Washington state so far.

The race for governor has been the most expensive. But big money is pouring into obscure races too.

A candidate for the post of Lieutenant Governor has raised a record sum for that position.

Nearly half his cash has come from outside Washington state.

The race for Lieutenant Governor is usually kind of a snooze. The incumbent, Brad Owen, has had a lock on the obscure job for the past 20 years.

But Owen announced his retirement this year.

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / FLICKR Creative Commons

If you look at your voters' pamphlet and see page after page of candidates trying to win your vote, you might think democracy is strong in Washington state. But look at the money behind the candidates, and you'll see there's much less competition than meets the eye. 

John Ryan / KUOW

Oil company Tesoro has agreed to spend about four-hundred-million dollars to reduce air pollution from its refineries in Anacortes and other locations around the western United States.
That's under an agreement the Justice Department announced on Monday.

COASST/Cliff Brown / KUOW

Seabirds have been washing up dead on beaches in Washington and British Columbia this summer. Something is taking a toll on a funny-sounding, peculiar-looking seabird.

D Coetzee / Flickr

Walls are going up around Puget Sound, and the sound is paying for it. In King County, property owners have walled off most of the shoreline with concrete bulkheads and other heavy infrastructure. A new study suggests the practice known as shoreline armoring is more harmful to Puget Sound than previously thought.

John Ryan / KUOW

A Skagit County oil refinery wants to ship a raw material for plastic overseas, and some environmental groups say that's a bad idea.

Philip Cohen / Flickr

The Washington Department of Corrections learned in 2012 that the software it was using to calculate prisoners' time off for good behavior was letting some prisoners out too soon. A possible fix to that computer error was delayed 16 separate times, Corrections Secretary Dan Pacholke said on Tuesday.

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