Washington

Age Discrimination Lawsuit
6:09 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Age Discrimination Lawsuit Leaves Wounds In Seniors-Only Retirement Haven

Ryderwood's place in history is noted as you enter the town, pop. 400.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

When you approach your golden years, who doesn't look forward to peace and quiet surrounded by a supportive community? That desire led some retirees to relocate to a tiny town deep in the woods of southwest Washington. Ryderwood bills itself as the nation's first seniors-only retirement village. But the tranquility that lured people there went missing during a long and divisive lawsuit. The case questioned whether this 400 or so strong community could be so exclusive. It came replete with allegations of shunning, death threats, uncollected garbage and the tossing of a headless rabbit. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on the relief that has followed a settlement.

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Landslide Prevention
7:30 am
Wed May 28, 2014

One County’s Controversial Move To Protect Homeowners From Landslide Risk

John Thompson, a geologist and senior planner with Whatcom County, surveys the Jim Creek and Bald Mountain landslides along Canyon Creek. The slides have blocked the creek repeatedly, causing flooding that has destroyed homes downstream.
Credit Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

There are landslide-prone areas across the mountainous Northwest. And many people choose to live in these risky, beautiful places. The question is: How can government strike a balance between people’s property rights, and safety?

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New Fertilizer
7:40 am
Mon May 19, 2014

A Better Stink: Why New Fertilizer Uses Food Scraps Instead Of Fish Goo

Eric Peterson is a produce clerk at the Redmond, Wash. PCC, he loads some leafy greens into the Harvester.
Credit Rae Ellen Bichell / KPLU

When you think organic you probably visualize crisp, sweet-smelling veggies and fruit. But it turns out that fresh food is often grown in some pretty foul fertilizer. In fact it’s so bad it’s been known to make farmworkers gag. Now, as correspondent Anna King found out, there’s one new sweeter-smelling organic option developed right here in the Northwest.

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Birth Defects
7:42 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Washington Needs Your Help In Birth Defect Mystery

At a meeting in Kennewick, the health department asked people to raise concerns about a rare birth defect that officials may not have considered yet. Twenty-three babies were born with anencephaly in Central Washington from 2010-2013.
Credit Courtney Flatt / Earth Fix

Over the past three years, a rare birth defect has shown up Central Washington at about four times the national average. Now, the state health department is turning to the public for clues about what’s causing the fatal defect. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Wanapum Dam
7:40 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Gov. Inslee: Cracked Wanapum Dam A Unique Problem, Not Systemic In River System

Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee toured the cracked Wanapum Dam on Wednesday.
Credit Photo courtesy Jay Inslee

Wednesday Governor Jay Inslee was able to get up close to drilling machines on the damaged Wanapum Dam in central Washington. It came out this week that the dam’s massive crack was caused by fundamental design errors and bad concrete pours in 1960. Correspondent Anna King has our story.

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Native American History
7:31 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Gathering The Stories Of Northwest People "Left Out" Of History

Author LLyn De Danaan at home in Mason County, Washington.
Credit Mary Randlett

It started with the discovery of long-forgotten gravestones in a thicket of bramble and alder. That set one author on the faint trail of a feisty Native American woman and oyster farmer who lived in 19th century western Washington. The biographer is using the resulting book to inspire other Northwesterners - particularly tribal members. She wants to bring out the stories of people who, in her words, have been "left out of our histories." Correspondent Tom Banse reports from Oyster Bay in Mason County, Washington.

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Kickstarter Lawsuit
7:24 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Victim Happy That Washington Filed Crowdfunding Lawsuit

One of the victims of an alleged crowdfunding scam says he’s not counting on getting his money back. But he’s glad Washington’s attorney general has filed a consumer protection lawsuit. It’s believed to be the first state action against a crowdfunding project sponsor. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has details.

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Portable Classrooms
8:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Inside The Box: School Districts Explore Solutions For Excessive Portable Classroom Use

Workers at Blazer Industries push a half-built portable classroom out the door of the modular building manufacturing plant in Aumsville, Oregon.
Credit Cassandra Profita / EarthFix

Students around the Northwest go to school every day in portable classrooms. These classrooms are an affordable solution to budget-strapped districts that need more space. But they can be bad for student health and performance. That’s why some districts are moving away from portable classrooms.

One district in Spokane has found a solution.

Courtney Flatt brings us part 2 of our special series "Inside the Box."

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Inslee's Billionaire Partner
8:33 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Washington Governor Finds Wealthy Partner In Fight Against Climate Change

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he and Steyer spoke about a special state Senate election in 2013.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

There’s a lot of debate these days about unlimited money in politics - and whether it corrupts the process. But does it matter who’s giving the money? And what their motivation is? In Washington state, Governor Jay Inslee has found a wealthy partner in his fight to combat global climate change. He’s California hedge fund founder Tom Steyer – a man the L.A. Times says may be the “liberals’ answer” to the conservative billionaire Koch brothers. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports on Inslee’s connection to this out-of-state billionaire.

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Millennial Politicians
11:04 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Despite Party Differences, Millennial State Lawmakers Find Common Ground

The four youngest members of the Washington legislature are two Democrats and two Republicans who find generational common ground in spite of their political differences.
Credit Austin Jenkins

The Washington legislature is trending a bit younger these day.  Nine of the 147 members are under-34 year olds. 

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