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Proposed Emergency Legislation Aims To Address Starfish Wasting Syndrome

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 17:47

Most people who've grown up in the Northwest can remember walking on the beach as a kid, enjoying tide pools full of brightly-colored starfish. But beachcombing has become less joyful over the past year. An epidemic known as sea star wasting syndrome has devastated huge populations of starfish, especially on the West Coast.

Wash. Marijuana Tax Collections Starting To Roll In, Millions More Expected

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 17:39
In a manner of speaking, millions of dollars of "drug money" are starting to flow into Washington state coffers.

The state's chief economic forecaster updated budget writers Thursday on how much tax money they can expect from recreational marijuana now that the first state licensed stores have opened.

Look At This: Portrait Of A Homeless Veteran

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 17:31
A few weeks ago, photographer David Gilkey and I went to an event for homeless veterans called Stand Down. We wanted to see what homeless veterans look like, and we wanted to photograph them.

We also wondered: How do they see themselves? We asked about 20 of them — that's how many came by our pop-up portrait studio. You can hear from some of them in the audio above, or just look at this. Copyright 2014 NPR.

Chinook Salmon Head Up The Columbia In Big Numbers

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 17:11

Fisheries experts say the return of chinook salmon to the Columbia River may not quite break records this fall as expected.

Last year’s run of nearly 1.3 million salmon was a record, but future years may not bring those kinds of numbers.

Sweet: Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme Pump Up Pledge On Palm Oil

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 16:23
Environmentalists say two major doughnut chains got a little sweeter this week.

Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Brands have both made new commitments to source palm oil for frying their goodies from suppliers who are not clear-cutting forests.

As we reported back in June, leading doughnut retailers have been sourcing some of their palm oil from suppliers who have a history of clear-cutting rain forests and destroying wildlife habitat and carbon-rich peatlands.

The pr

UW Researchers Forecast More Crowded Planet, Warn Population Could Hit 11 Billion

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 14:49

The planet could be much more crowded by the end of the century than previously thought, according to a new report by University of Washington researchers.

That contradicts a general consensus that world population growth is likely to stabilize before long. The population has been expected to rise from the current seven billion or so to about nine billion, before leveling off and possibly declining.

But new projections, based on new statistical models, suggest the numbers will not tail off after all. Instead, statistician and sociologist Adrian Raftery said we could hit 11 billion and counting by century’s end.

A Unique Musical Blend: Pablo Menendez and Mezcla, Direct from Cuba

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 12:00

Guitarist Pablo Menéndez takes fusion to the next level.  His band Mezcla (meaning "mixture") blends jazz, blues, rock and several styles of Cuban and African music into one raucous, joyous expression of life.

Some Airports Have A New Security Routine: Taking Your Temperature

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:29
Airports in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are relying on a familiar tool to stop the spread of Ebola: the thermometer.

Airport staff are measuring the temperature of anyone trying to leave the country, looking for "unexplained febrile illness," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is advising these countries on their exit screening processes.

Other countries that are far from the infected region are screening passengers arriving from West Africa or who have a history of travel to the region.

Book News: Fiction Longlist Is Out For The National Book Awards

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:24
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • The fiction longlist for the National Book Awards was released Wednesday evening, and includes Richard Powers, who won the award in 2006; Mountain Goats vocalist John Darnielle; and Molly Antopol and Phil Klay, who were both nominated for their debut story collections.

Islamic State Seizes Villages; Australia Says It Foiled Beheading Plot

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:23
Islamic State fighters backed by tanks have seized 16 Kurdish villages in northern Syria over the past 24 hours in what is being described as a major advance for the extremist group, according to a human rights watchdog group.

The Associated Press quotes the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying there were casualties on both sides and that the takeover has pr

Apple: iOS 8 Prevents Cooperation With Police Unlocking Requests

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:23
Apple's latest mobile operating system — iOS 8 — is now available, and with it, a new technical hurdle for law enforcement. The company says it will be technologically impossible to access data on phones and iPads running iOS 8, because it won't allow user pass codes to be bypassed.

Our phones, of course, contain troves of information — contacts, messages, recordings — which can be helpful for investigative or prosecutorial purposes.

How To Make The Most Of Your 10 Minutes With Teacher

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:08
So you finally get the chance to meet one on one with your child's teacher — now what?

Like a good Boy Scout, be prepared: Educators agree that doing your homework before a parent-teacher conference can make a big difference.

The Harvard Family Research Project's Tip Sheet for Parents suggests reviewing your child's work, grades and past teacher feedback. Ask your child about his experience at school and make a list of questions ahead of time to ask during the conference.

San Francisco Politician Goes Public With His Choice To Take Anti-HIV Drug

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:08
In an effort to combat stigma that has arisen around a treatment that prevents HIV, a San Francisco elected official announced publicly Wednesday that he is taking the medicine.

City Supervisor Scott Wiener said he is taking Truvada, a drug that dramatically reduces the risk of HIV infection. He appears to be the first public official to make such an announcement.

Wiener wrote about his experience for The Huffington Post:

Each morning, I take a pill called Truvada to protect me from becoming infected with HIV.

Killing Comes Naturally To Chimps, Scientists Say

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:07
For years, there have been two main theories about why chimpanzees, our closest evolutionary cousins, sometimes kill each other. One theory blames human encroachment on the chimpanzees' native habit in Africa. Another says that (male) chimps kill in the normal course of competition with rival groups.

A new study published in Nature appears to support the second theory.

Looking Beyond Notions Of Erotica In Prehistoric Art

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:06
In the realm of prehistoric art, there's a type of small figurine made of stone, bone or ivory that is famous. It features exaggeratedly large breasts, hips and buttocks.

Popularly called "Venus figures," these tiny statues were crafted by human ancestors living in locations across Europe and Asia starting around 35,000 years ago.

Snail Kite - Bird Of The Everglades

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:00

  When Florida became a state in 1845, the legislature declared the Everglades, America's largest wetland, totally worthless. In 1905, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward was elected governor on a campaign to drain them. So over the years, the slowly flowing "River of Grass" has been replaced by a series of reservoirs with little water movement. The endangered Snail Kite feeds only on the Apple Snail. And neither kites nor snails flourish in places that are permanently under water. Learn more at StateOfTheBirds.org.

Cross-Time Photos Show Snapshots Of Seattle's Past And Present, Side By Side

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 08:01

If Seattle's streets could talk, they’re likely to tell you the stories depicted in Clayton Kauzlaric’s photos.

Kauzlaric uses Photoshop to juxtapose archival photos with modern-day images of the same location.

Take, for instance, the stretch of Alaskan Way that houses the ferry terminal on Seattle’s waterfront. These days, it’s an unremarkable place where a McDonald’s sign greets passersby. But it has quite a history — it’s also the same place Japanese residents were made to board trains headed to internment camps back in 1942.

Read the full story on our companion site, Quirksee.org >>>

Seattle Nonprofit Veteran Says Push To Cut 'Overhead' Starves Charities

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 05:01

If you’re a shareholder in a company, you probably want that business to run as efficiently as possible. Lately it’s gotten easier to apply that mentality to nonprofit charities, too, with online rating sites that score charities on how much of your gift goes directly to the mission, and, in some cases, call out organizations with high overhead.

It sounds like a smart way to give, but Eric Walker says it’s a troubling trend.

“Wouldn’t that be a good thing if 99 cents of my dollar went to the soup in the soup kitchen?” Walker asked. “The problem is there's a whole bunch of work to put that soup in the pot and get it to the soup kitchen that there’s nobody to pay for.”

Cross-time photos show snapshots of Seattle’s past and present, side by side

Quirksee - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 05:00

If Seattle’s streets could talk, they’re likely to tell you the stories depicted in Clayton Kauzlaric’s photos.

Kauzlaric uses Photoshop to juxtapose archival photos with modern-day images of the same location.

Take, for instance, the stretch of Alaskan Way that houses the ferry terminal on Seattle’s waterfront. These days, it’s an unremarkable place where a McDonald’s sign greets passersby. But it has quite a history — it’s also the same place Japanese residents were made to board trains headed to internment camps back in 1942.

To help transport contemporaries to that historic point in time, Kauzlaric aligned the current landscape with an archival image of the internees’ somber march.

“The image of the internees crossing Alaskan Way is hard to believe,” Kauzlaric said. “Can you imagine any of us leaving our homes with a day’s notice?”

“Japanese residents boarding a train during their forced relocation to internment camps in 1942. This was shot in front of the ferry terminal on Alaskan Way. It looks like the Marion Street pedestrian bridge is packed with spectators.” (Courtesy of Clayton Kauzlaric)

Since he began the “Then & Again” project a year ago, Kauzlaric has completed some 30 images so far. One depicts the city’s Depression-era Hooverville, which housed some 1,000 residents at its peak, on the Seattle waterfront, just across the Alaskan Way viaduct from CenturyLink.

“The fact it’s gigantic and that it lingered for a decade is hard to imagine today,” Kauzlaric said.

Another image shows the creation of the Denny Regrade, which involved flattening Denny Hill by sluicing it into the water in 1897. Others illustrate the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1889, which started with a cabinetmaker’s boiling pot of glue and destroyed 25 city blocks of what would later become Pioneer Square.

Then there are the snapshots of lighter moments. One captures Luna Park, the “Coney Island of the West” in West Seattle that closed in 1913 due to concerns over decency, leaving behind only pilings in Elliott Bay that surface at low tide. Others show the Golden Potlatch celebrations, which included parades, concerts and demonstrations by “automobilists.”

“Where we’re walking, these other things were happening,” Kauzlaric said. “There’s this whole other underlying story that’s really interesting.”

Retelling the city’s history through photos gives Kauzlaric a lot of enjoyment. But he’s quick to add that neither the technique nor the idea is wholly original. Many others already subscribe to the cross-time editing method, says Kauzlaric, and Seattle Times columnist Paul Dorpat spent decades highlighting the stark differences between the city’s past and present.

Still, each of Kauzlaric’s images offers a quick and relatable history lesson like few others.

“It just creates some immediate context. It’s some portable form of history, I think,” he said.

And he’s found the images prove especially of service to the city’s numerous transplants, some of whom are his co-workers.

“They say they really enjoy being able to learn more about this place they’ve moved to,” Kauzlaric said. “I was at least made to go through Washington state history class in junior high. This gives them a chance to understand the area better.”

Kauzlaric plans to continue creating cross-time photos of the Puget Sound area including Bremerton, his hometown. Among his ideas for future work: the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle. You can find all of his images on his website.

In Light Of Ferguson, Students Of Seattle's Least White High School Talk About Race

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 05:00

This summer's events in Ferguson, Missouri aren't the only things that make Jaedyn Colly, who is black, wonder what makes him different from the police. 

"I have family members — they've been arrested," said Colly, a sophomore at Rainier Beach High School. "You just question, 'What is the difference? What makes [a police officer] so better than me? What gives you the power to have control over me?'"

It's the kind of frustration Rainier Beach High teachers want to bring out into the open. Just ten days into their young school year, they've already carved out half-hour blocks over three days to discuss the police shooting of the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown and the racially-charged demonstrations that followed.