Washington

Puget Sound Agency
6:04 am
Fri July 20, 2012

New Director Aims to Shore Up Puget Sound Agency

Burien's Seahurst Park seawall, slated for demolition this fall.
Photo by John Ryan KUOW

Governor Chris Gregoire created the Puget Sound Partnership five years ago to revive the stalled cleanup of Puget Sound. Now, with six months left in her term as governor, she's replaced the agency head in hopes he can accelerate progress on the sound. He'll be the Partnership's third director in five years. KUOW's John Ryan has the story.

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Washington Supreme Court
6:00 am
Fri July 20, 2012

For Washington Supreme Court Justice, "Primary" Race Is Final

Washington Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez

Washington Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez was appointed to the state’s high court six months ago. Now he’s up for reelection.

His opponent is Bruce Danielson, a Kitsap county attorney who has declined to campaign. The race will be decided in the August 7th primary, and Gonzalez says he’s rushing to build name recognition. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

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Facebook Voter Registration
6:17 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Washingtonians Can Register to Vote on Facebook By Month's End

As early as next week, Washington residents will be able to register to vote on Facebook. Reporter Paige Browning explains.

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Tired Truck Drivers
6:38 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Oregon, Wash. Truck Inspections Turn Up Weary Drivers

An Oregon Department of Transportation motor carrier enforcement officer weighs a truck as a it passes through a weigh station.
ODOT Flickr

A joint effort in Oregon and Washington to make sure truckers are following safety rules turned up a higher than expected number of weary drivers. More than a quarter of drivers inspected in Oregon were found to be on the road when they shouldn't have been.

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Brando Beach
6:22 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Brando Beach: Washington’s Pension System Goes Tropical And Global

Marlon Brando’s private atoll Tetiaroa as seen from the air.
Photo courtesy Pacific Beachcomber

There’s a government office in Olympia where employees travel the globe and titans of Wall Street are regular visitors. The singer Bono even dropped in once, after a concert.

We’re talking about the Washington State Investment Board. Its job is to maximize returns on an $85 billion investment portfolio. To do that the Board invests in some very exotic places, as Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins found.

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Japanese Earthquakes
5:57 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Northwest States Mapping Liquefaction Susceptibility

Soil liquefaction and lateral spreading in Tumwater, WA after the 2001 Nisqually Quake.
Photo courtesy UW College of Engineering

Two major earthquakes last year raised red flags for the Northwest. Some of the damage from those quakes in Japan and New Zealand resulted from a phenomenon called liquefaction. This is when the ground turns to jello or quicksand. Transmission towers topple, buildings sink and utility pipes break. Now, geologists in the Northwest have mapped the spots most likely to liquefy here in an earthquake. Correspondent Tom Banse begins our story in Japan.

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Coal Terminal
6:04 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Coal Export Study Warns of Train Congestion

A new study has found that increased coal train traffic could adversely affect Pacific Northwest communities. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Heroin Abuse In Washington
4:58 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Heroin Abuse Is Rising, Even As Prescription Drug Abuse Declines

Heroin abuse in Washington is rising.
richiec Wikimedia Commons

Not as many people are dying from prescription drug overdoses in Washington, but heroin abuse appears to be spiking higher. Those figures come from an annual report on drug abuse in the state. Researchers studied death reports, police reports, help-line phone calls and treatment records. And the picture this year shows heroin is making a comeback. Use of the drug peaked in the 90s, but since then it's been mostly confined to aging drug-addicts.

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Coal Terminal
6:34 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Columbia River Towns May Team Up To Export Coal - Part 2

We brought you the story of the Northwest’s only coal export proposal that would rely on two different ports on the Columbia River, with a profile of the Eastern Oregon town of Boardman, where coal would be be delivered by train and loaded onto Columbia River barges. Now, EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita takes a look at a port near Clatskanie Oregon, where that coal would be transferred to ocean-going ships for delivery to Asia.

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Washington Charter Schools
6:08 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Wash. Charter School Backers Check In With Plenty Of Signatures

Supporters of creating charter schools in Washington say they have more than enough signatures to get their initiative on the ballot. They turned in their petitions Friday.

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