Washington

Pot Rules
5:15 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Seattle Ponders “Civil Seizures” Of Illegal Medical Marijuana

Credit Katheirne Hitt Flickr

The city of Seattle is developing new rules to license medical marijuana dispensaries and stem their growth.

The city also wants to crack down on illegal marijuana-delivery businesses.

David Mendoza is a policy advisor for Seattle. He’s developing the city’s new medical marijuana rules.
He told the city council today that the Seattle Police Department is looking at seizing marijuana from these businesses, without filing criminal charges.

Read more
Data Center Lease
5:17 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

As Data Center ‘Halls’ Sit Empty, Washington Casts Wider Net For Tenants

The search has widened for tenants to fill Washington’s overbuilt data center.
Credit Washington Consolidated Technology Services

Efforts to lease Washington’s overbuilt data center have so far been unsuccessful.

Picture an unfinished space about the size of an indoor soccer arena with 20 foot ceilings and a concrete floor. The state built four of these data center halls but now it only needs two of them. Servers are getting smaller and attempts to lease this surplus space to the private sector for data center use have been ineffective. Now the state is casting a wider net.

Rob St. John oversees the state data center.

“We’re open to almost any sort of alternate use,” St. John said. 

Read more
Child Welfare Lawsuits
7:32 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Lawsuit Payouts Top $150 Million As Washington CPS Requests More Workers

CPS investigator Xyzlora Brownell says one of the hardest parts of her job is deciding to remove children from their parents.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The agency that oversees child welfare in Washington wants to hire nearly 100 more child protection workers.

But the budget request comes after years of lawsuits that cost the state more than $150 million. Now the question is whether Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services has taken adequate steps to learn from child welfare cases that went awry.

Part of the problem is fresh reports of child abuse and neglect keep pouring in – up 10,000 over the last two years.

'It truly is a crisis'

Read more
Health and Wellness
6:11 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Overdose Deaths in Wash. Drop Slightly

227 people in the state overdosed and died from heroin last year -- 381 people overdosed and died from opiate-based prescription pain medications.
Credit AP Images

The number of people dying from opiate overdoses in Washington state stayed relatively the same from 2012 to last year. The Washington State Department of Health released overdose data this week. And the figures show 227 people in the state overdosed and died from heroin last year -- 381 people overdosed and died from opiate-based prescription pain medications. In both cases that’s a slight decrease from the year before.

The highest rate of total opiate related deaths was in Southwest Washington’s Cowlitz County.

Read more
Government and Politics
5:52 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

What Is Astroturfing And Who's Doing It

This PowerPoint slide shows the “campaigns and coalitions” that the Western States Petroleum Association has “activated” to combat what it calls “aggressive anti-oil initiatives in the West.”
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Astroturfing is when interest groups run a campaign that’s designed to look like it’s grassroots in nature. A document obtained by public radio shows the oil industry is at the center of more than a dozen Astroturf groups in Washington, Oregon, and California.

Read more
Washington State Birthday
7:26 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Washington Turns 125 But Doesn't Look A Day Over 30!

A new generation of capsule-keepers is sworn-in at the Washington Capitol. These mostly 10-year-olds will protect Washington’s time capsule for the next 25 years. This was part of a day-long celebration of Washington’s 125th birthday.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington state is 125 years old. There was a celebration Tuesday at the state capitol. It featured a historic reenactment, a time capsule ceremony and, of course, cake.

In the Capitol Rotunda, a member of the Squaxin Indian tribe sang a blessing song.

That was followed by “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Then a speech by the governor before the action moved to Washington’s time capsule. The locked vault was opened and a new generation of time capsule-keepers sworn in.

Read more
Washington Apples
8:05 am
Mon November 10, 2014

When It Comes To The Apple Club, Washington's A VIP

Sydney Kuhn owns Kuhn Orchards in Cashtown, Pa. "We've actually had customers at market ask us about SweeTango," she says. "And we explain that it's a club variety, and we are not part of the club, so we cannot grow that apple."
Credit Dan Charles / NPR

Monday morning, NPR ran a story about the changing apple market - specifically, about "club" apples, exclusively-branded apples that only some groups are allowed to grow. You probably know a few of these club apples already. The Honeycrisp is the best-known. And more and more club apples are showing up in stores across the country: the Jazz, the Envy, the Ambrosia. These new apples could even some day push out traditional varieties like the Red Delicious.

Read more
Election 2014
7:18 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Last Minute Tips For Voting In Election 2014

Credit Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr

It’s election week. Here in the Northwest, Washington and Oregon voters will cast their ballots by mail – or drop box. In Idaho, most voters still go to the polls.

Read more
Apples To China
6:26 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Washington Apples: Load Up, You’re On The Boat To China Again

Credit Washington Apple Commission / Northwest News Network

    

Washington apples will soon be packed aboard boats to China. That’s because the Chinese government approved market access to Northwest fruit today after a two-year market closure. 

Getting access to China is essentially a $50 million dollar deal per year for Washington apples farmers.

The Chinese government closed off markets in August of 2012. China said it was concerned about a recently discovered fungus.

Read more
Washington Gun Initiatives
8:26 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Faith Community Weighs In On Gun Initiatives

Washingtonians will vote on two opposing initiatives on background checks for firearms: 591 and 594. Religious organizations are some of the leading voices on the gun rights debate.
Credit M Glasgow / Flickr

This November, Washingtonians will vote on two opposing initiatives on background checks for firearms: 591 and 594. Some of the leading voices on the gun rights debate have come from religious organizations. Reporter Ryan Katz tells us how communities of faith have been viewing this issue.

On a Friday evening in late September, a couple hundred people arrive at the United Methodist Church in Queen Anne to listen to some classical music. But this particular event was not supposed to happen here, and not now. It was meant to happen at Seattle Pacific University, in June.

Read more

Pages