John Ryan

Photo by John Ryan / Northwest News Network

Problems in Puget Sound have led Shell Oil to cancel its plans for drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean this year. KUOW's John Ryan reports from the Bellingham waterfront.

The Arctic Challenger is Shell's oil-spill containment barge. It's here behind me at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal. It's supposed to be in place in the Arctic to help mop up any oil spills. It's been under construction here at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal for months.

Photo Credit: John Ryan

One of Washington's largest environmental groups is shutting down. People for Puget Sound announced it will close its doors at the end of the month.

Photo by John Ryan / Northwest News Network

Western State Hospital, near Tacoma, is the largest psychiatric institution in the Pacific Northwest. Its mission statement says the hospital--

Actor: "provides a healing environment free from danger, fear, hurt, injury, coercion, or intimidation for people with psychiatric disabilities. … Through vigilant attention and effort, WSH ensures a safe haven."

One week in April, Western failed to live up to those words, and the consequences were dire. Attention was less than vigilant, and two patients wound up dead. In part one of our public radio investigation, KUOW's John Ryan reported on the case of one of those patients. She committed suicide. In part two of our investigation, John looks at the safety improvements Western has, and hasn't, made since April.

Photo by Suzanne Kuhns

In the past decade, a dozen Western State Hospital patients have killed themselves. More than a hundred others have tried. Megan Templeton was the most recent. In April, she hanged herself in her hospital room. She had turned 20 the day before. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for teenagers and young adults in Washington.

A second patient at Western State Hospital has died violently in less than a week.  Lakewood Police say 20-year-old Megan Templeton hanged herself with a bed sheet at the state's largest psychiatric hospital.

Fifty-three people died on the job in Washington state last year. It was the least deadly year in Washington workplaces in three decades.

Photo by John Ryan / KUOW

SEATTLE, Wash. -- A bill aimed at improving the safety of workers in mental hospitals passed the Washington state senate on Monday. KUOW's John Ryan reports from Seattle.

Photo Credit: John Ryan / Nothwest Public Radio

BOEING FIELD, Wash. -- Lead paint was banned in the United States in the 1970s. Leaded gasoline was slowly phased out over the next 20 years. Those efforts drove one of the great public-health improvements of the past century. The amount of lead found in human bloodstreams has dropped by more than 90 percent.

What do Nike, R-E-I, the Vancouver Olympics, and the Washington State government have in common? They've all promised to eliminate their impact on the climate by going 'carbon-neutral'. R-E-I aims to have zero output of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide by the year 2020. But since REI set the zero-impact goal, its emissions have been heading rapidly in the opposite direction.

What do Nike, R-E-I, the Vancouver Olympics, and the Washington State government have in common? They've all promised to eliminate their impact on the climate by going 'carbon-neutral'. R-E-I aims to have zero output of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide by the year 2020. But since REI set the zero-impact goal, its emissions have been heading rapidly in the opposite direction.

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