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Wash. Ethics Board Settles On 12 Lobbyist-Paid Meals Per Year Max

KPLU News - 3 hours 38 min ago

Washington lawmakers will be allowed to accept a dozen lobbyist-paid meals per year, but no more, according to a new vote by the state’s Legislative Ethics Board.

On the low side, one board member proposed a limit of three free meals a year. On the high side there was a proposal to allow two dozen a year. Even the compromise of 12 lobbyist-paid meals per year did not receive a unanimous vote. The vote is also not a final rule. That will come this October when the board meets again.

2 Recipes To Turn The Season's Cucumbers Into Crisp, Appetizing Pickles

KPLU News - 8 hours 24 min ago

It's my favorite time of year. The cukes are out at the Duris Cucumber Farm on River Road, just a little west of Puyallup. For years, I've been trying to convince my Food for Thought pard Nancy Leson to accompany me there. She finally did and boy, was she glad.

Wash. Attorney General: If You Like Legal Marijuana, Support Local Pot Bans

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 16:09

Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson has intervened in a lawsuit over whether local governments can keep marijuana businesses out. Ferguson says if you want pot to stay legal in Washington, you should want cities to be allowed to ban it.  

The city of Fife, like many others around Washington, has said it won’t allow pot businesses within city limits. A couple of would-be entrepreneurs sued the city to overturn the ban.

Steve Ballmer Resigns From Microsoft Board, Saying He'll Be Busy As New Clippers Owner

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 12:17

Former Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer is leaving the board of the software company he led for 14 years.

In a letter released on Microsoft's website, Ballmer said he has confidence in new CEO Satya Nadella, and he has no plans to sell his shares in the "foreseeable future." Ballmer said he holds more shares than anyone other than index funds. 

Win Tickets To The 5th Annual Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Fest

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 12:10

Des Moines Rotary Club invites you to attend the 5th Annual Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Fest, Saturday, August 23rd from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  A day filled with local blues and a variety of brews from local breweries.  Festival is located on the shores of Puget Sound at the Des Moines Beach Park.

Brita Recalls Kids' Water Bottles Over Risk Of Cutting

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 11:58
Some Brita water bottles made for children pose a possible danger due to their lids that can break apart into pieces with sharp edges, says Brita, which has announced a safety recall. The bottles have white lids with fold-up straws and filters that sit inside the bottle.

"Brita has received 35 reports of lids breaking or cracking," the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports.

Castro's Niece Casts Rare 'No' Vote In Parliament, Citing Gay Rights

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:39
Cuba's parliament isn't big on dissent. Most legislation that makes it to a vote is endorsed unanimously, as a matter of course. But Mariela Castro, the daughter of President Raul Castro — and the niece of Fidel Castro — is making waves by voting "no" on a workers' rights bill, saying it didn't protect people with unconventional gender identities.

It seems that before the December 2013 vote was publicized recently in a Cuban blog, no one could recall anyone voting against a measure in Cuba's legislature.

Lessons From The Last Time Civilization Collapsed

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:37
Consider this, if you would: a network of far-flung, powerful, high-tech civilizations closely tied by trade and diplomatic embassies; an accelerating threat of climate change and its pressure on food production; a rising wave of displaced populations ready to sweep across and overwhelm developed nations.

Sound familiar?

While that laundry list of impending doom could be aimed at our era, it's actually a description of the world 3,000 years ago.

Did You Hear The One About The Stand-Up Comedian And The Podcast?

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:37
Much has been written about the success of Marc Maron's WTF podcast. What you may not know is that his story isn't an aberration. In the past five years stand-up comedy has seen a global revival thanks to the Internet, and in particular, thanks to podcasts.

The comedians most of us know are the Cosbys, the Carlins and the CKs: guys who scored a sitcom or a late-night show.

To Fight Inflation, Forget The Barbecue And Just Go For A Drive

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:36
If you're on a tight budget, here's a plan for enjoying late summer:

1) Take the family for a sightseeing drive.

2) When you get home, have a beer.

Don't do this:

1) Invite neighbors over for grilled steaks.

2) Make milkshakes for the kids.

Such budget-savvy conclusions can be drawn from the inflation report released Tuesday by the Labor Department.

Its Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows that over the past 12 months, the prices you have been paying have risen 2 percent — a pace that Federa

How To Make Sense Of Health Insurance Alphabet Soup

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:36
What's in a name?

What Happens When 911 Callers Don't Speak English?

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 09:30

In an emergency, the last thing you want to hear is, "I can't understand you." The reality is emergency dispatchers in the Northwest generally speak one language, English. But in our increasingly polyglot society, some people in distress inevitably can't communicate in English.

So what happens then?

Voices From The Street, Part 3

KPLU News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 05:00

Oregon Agency Rejects Coal Terminal On The Columbia River

KPLU News - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 16:24

Oregon state regulators have rejected a proposal for a coal terminal on the Columbia River that would be a conduit for exporting millions of tons of American coal a year to Asia.

The decision is a victory for tribal groups that said the terminal threatened their fishing. It's also a win for Washington state, said Kimberly Larsen with the group Climate Solutions.

"It’s significant for Washington not only because that would have impacted the Columbia Gorge, but also it’s the same company that also has a proposal in at Longview, on the Washington side," Larsen said.

Oregon's Pot Legalization Supporters Kick Off Ad Campaign

KPLU News - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 16:13

The campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon kicked off a multi-million dollar advertising effort Monday.

New Approach Oregon appears to be following the same tactic used by the successful legalization effort in Washington state. The strategy seems to be that if you want to legalize pot, find someone like Richard Harris to make your case. He's the former director of Addictions and Mental Health Services for the state of Oregon.

Unions Appeal Judge's Ruling, Seek Separate Votes On Seattle Pre-K, Childcare Plans

KPLU News - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 15:49

A union-backed advocacy group for Seattle childcare workers has appealed a lower court ruling that pits a voter initiative the group favors, Initiative 107, against a city-endorsed pre-kindergarten proposal on the November ballot.

The advocacy group, Yes for Early Success, asked the state Court of Appeals to review a King County judge's decision that states Seattle voters cannot cast votes in favor of both I-107 and the city's proposed preschool plan.

Washington Legislative Ethics Panel To Consider Free-Meals Rule

KPLU News - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 15:20

How many free meals is too many? That’s the question an ethics panel aims to answer at a public hearing Tuesday in Olympia. The Legislative Ethics Board will consider a draft proposal to limit how many free meals lawmakers can accept from lobbyists.

As Life Rebounds, Rangers Offer Tour Of Elwha's Once-Underwater Landscapes

KPLU News - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 14:42

With crews working to remove the last of the second dam on the Elwha River, Olympia National Park officials are inviting the public to take a guided tour of land that sat underwater just two years ago.

Lake Aldwell disappeared after the removal of the Elwha Dam, revealing “a fascinating, up-close look at shifting sediments, both old and new vegetation, giant stumps logged a century ago, and the river re-establishing itself,” according to the National Park Service.

New Orleans Piano Man Jon Cleary

KPLU News - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 14:11

Jon Cleary has the rare ability to transcend his geographical background. As you will learn in his interview with All Blues host, John Kessler, Cleary grew up in England and was exposed to the New Orleans sound by his uncle at a young age. 

Cleary saved up enough money to visit New Orleans, planning to stay a few weeks, but 33 years later he is still there and has become one of the city's best known musicians. 

Former SPD Interim Chief Pugel Named King County Sheriff's Chief Deputy

KPLU News - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 12:16

The Seattle Police Department’s former interim chief Jim Pugel will take over as second-in-command to King County Sheriff John Urquhart, the sheriff announced Monday.

Pugel was handpicked by Urquhart, who said he only spoke to Pugel about the job.