Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

San Diego Shooter / Flickr

Have you ever seen an actual Seahawk? No, we're not talking about Matt Hasselbeck or Marshawn Lynch here, but the natural, feathered namesake of Seattle's NFL team.

The bird's proper name is the Steller's sea eagle and two of them now are now in residence at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo. The pair, which arrived last month from the Los Angeles Zoo, have just emerged from a standard 30-day quarantine and can be seen in the zoo's Northern Trail section.

Legislators on both sides of the aisle are rejecting Governor Gregoire's proposal to fix the state ferry system's chronic deficit by making it into an independent taxing district. 

At a House Transportation Committee hearing yesterday, lawmakers nixed the idea, saying they don't think it has the votes to pass.  And as John Stang of the Kitsap Sun reports, the Chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Committee says she won't even give the proposal a hearing

Lauren Padgett / Bonney Lake-Sumner Patch.com

Rain continues to fall Friday, and forecasters say over the next few days some areas may get 9 inches or more. Combined with past days' heavy rain and warmer temperatures melting mountain snow, some areas King, Pierce and Snohomish counties report minor flooding and road-blocking mudslides.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for most of western Washington. The statement lists areas of main flooding concern, including:

State lawmakers are considering tighter restrictions on political action committees, or PAC's. The proposal stems from the case of a Seattle-based Democratic political firm now being sued by the Attorney General for campaign finance violations. 

Photo courtesy / WA DOC

When the state of Washington gets sued, it’s the multi-million dollar payouts that make the headlines.

However, every year taxpayers are on the hook for thousands of dollars more in smaller property damage claims: Inmate TV sets, drowned cell phones, rock-chipped windows … even a cheesecake.

AP file photo

The US Coast Guard has released its 192-page report on the sinking of the fishing trawler Alaska Ranger in March of 2008. The 189-foot fish processing vessel took on water and sank about 130 miles west of Dutch Harbor, in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Forty seven people were on board: all but five were rescued.

Near as could be determined, the Alaska Ranger sank when a leak around the rudder flooded into the engine room and other compartments, causing the boat to sink in about two hours.

The report, by the Coast Guard's marine board of investigations, found fault all around.

Washington's major political parties are indicating they'll press on with their battle to overturn the state's top-two primary. This despite yet another court ruling Tuesday upholding the voter-approved primary system.

A federal district judge in Seattle ruled voters are not confused when they see the words "prefers Republican party" or "prefers Democratic party" next to a candidate’s name on the ballot. 

Gary Davis / KPLU

Predicted snow fell across western Washington on Tuesday evening, largely sparing the evening commute. This morning people are waking up to rain, thick slush and closed or delayed schools.

A driver in Tukwila slid down a hill and onto the tracks of Sound Transit's Central Link light rail. The car landed on its roof. The driver received minor injuries, according to KING-TV.  Those tracks were closed for a time, with service resuming before midnight.

State lawmakers must embrace change and "be bold." That was Governor Chris Gregoire's chief message Tuesday in her State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature. 

courtesy League of Education Voters

What would you do if you faced the tough choices state lawmakers are up against as they attempt to balance the budget?  You can give it a try yourself with a new online tool created by the League of Education Voters. 

The first day of the Washington Legislature included an intra-party drama on the floor of the state senate. It happened during opening ceremonies Monday when an incumbent Democratic Senator tried to block a new senator from being sworn in. 

Tuesday's headlines

Jan 11, 2011

Making headlines this morning:

  • Snow Threat Reduced
  • Protests Greet Lawmakers at Session Start
  • Eyman Files New Initiative

Gary Davis / KPLU

Updated 3:58 p.m., Mon., Jan. 10th

The latest weather foreceast shows much less snow may fall than had been predicted, and warmer temperatures will bring rain and wind on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service office in Seattle has eased off forecasts of larger amounts of snow for western Washington, as the latest models show warm air pushing in faster than expected. 

“We feel pretty confident the system will stay on the warmer side, and we will not see large amounts of snowfall” in the lowlands of western Washington, says Dennis D'Amico of the NWS Seattle office.

Making headlines today:

  • Legislature convenes today
  • State worker job losses add up
  • Seahawks get Chicago next

An informant's tip has led authorities to find four homemade explosive devices and other weapons buried at a Puyallup site.

Traffic was diverted Friday afternoon from the site on Shaw Road East and several homes were briefly evacuated. Puyallup police, federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents and members of the Pierce County sheriff's bomb squad responded.

ATF spokeswoman Cheryl Bishop says the cache may be tied to a fugitive killed in a confrontation with bail bond agents in Lakewood more than two years ago.

Eastern Washington's Eagles staged a thrilling comeback against the University of Delaware to win the NCAA Division 1 football title, the first for the school. 

After trailing much of the game, Eastern rallied for a 20-19 victory in Frisco, Texas, before a crowd that included enthusiastic Delaware alum Joe Biden. The Vice President and Mrs. Biden. 

WSDOT

The deal is official, but the political fight simmers. The state has put its signature on the contract to build the world's largest deep-bore tunnel, under Seattle's waterfront. It would replace the elevated Alaskan Way Viaduct, SR 99. 

Josh Oliver, WDFW and Cascadia Research

Making headlines today:

  • Gov's ferry proposal draws fire
  • Red light cameras in the hot seat
  • A bottlenose dolphin spotted in south Sound

It’s sink or swim time for Washington state ferries. That’s the message from Governor Chris Gregoire. The nation’s largest ferry system is under water financially. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

When the Seahawks take on the Saints in Saturday's NFL playoff game, more than pride is at stake:  Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn stands to gain some gumbo...or lose some salmon! McGinn and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu have a friendly wager on the outcome.

Flickr/Marc_Smith

Tolls costing $7 for a peak-period round-trip are coming to the highway-520 floating bridge across Lake Washington.  The tolls, approved Wednesday night, will pay for a new, wider bridge – although that bridge won’t open until 2014, at the earliest.   

John Froschauer / AP Photo

Making headlines this morning:

  • Flap Over Govenor's Education Proposal Intensifies
  • Domestic violence victims face system "failures"
  • Governors meet to discuss Columbia River coal-shipping terminal

Johanna Ofner, Climate Policy Group

The Washington Department of Ecology is asking for your photos of high tides through the month of February. Extreme high tides, known as king tides, occur once or twice a year when the gravitational pull of the sun and moon reinforce each other. 

KPLU

Reporter Ruth Teichroeb has been keeping tabs on her former Seattle PI co-workers since she and 140 colleagues lost their jobs after the Hearst Corporation shuttered print operations.  Did they find new work? If so, were those journalism jobs?

AP

Making headlines today:

  • Republicans give powerful post to Congressman Hastings
  • Former Sen. Gorton to help redraw political boundaries
  • Tacoma group wants to buy Rainiers
  • One state Mega Millions Winner

Washington lawmakers are singing the blues over the state’s budget woes. The legislature convenes Monday for a 105-day session. Once again, majority Democrats are confronted with a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall.

Burn bans are ending in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.  

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says air quality is improving, due to a new weather system moving into the region today.  

Seafair

People in Seattle will hear a familiar noise from the sky tomorrow. The Navy's Blue Angel #7 is making a one-day visit, part of the preparation for Seafair's annual summer event. 

Beware of ATM scammers

Jan 4, 2011
ATM
Nenyedi at wikimedia.org

Just how safe is that ATM?  The Better Business Bureau says identity thieves are getting better at stealing your debit card info. They're using hidden cameras and fake keypads and card scanners to capture your account numbers and PINs. 

Pacific Northwest Inlander.com

Washington banks among most stressed in US, push to reform higher education funding, and a recall on sprouts after a salmonella outbreak.

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