News | KUOW News and Information


Ways to Connect

In a clash of protected species, Pacific Northwest members of Congress are coming down in favor of salmon. The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday morning to make it easier to kill sea lions who feast on Columbia and Willamette River salmon and steelhead.

The 3D-printed gun, the liberator
Flickr Photo/Mirko Tobias Schäfer (CC BY 2.0)/

Sorry, no 3D-printable gun for you, at least not yet.

A federal judge ruled Tuesday in Seattle that a Texas company can’t release blueprints for the plastic guns on the internet for now.

The National Guard is gearing up to help fight wildfire in eastern Washington, and Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state-wide emergency.

Fire conditions in southwest Oregon improved slightly over the past couple days, as stagnant smoke helped raise the humidity. Those conditions started to change Tuesday morning, which is expected to increase activity on multiple wildfires burning in the region.

West of Grants Pass, the boundaries of the Taylor Creek and Klondike fires had grown to within about seven miles of each other Tuesday. Fire information officer Bill Queen said crews will try to maintain the gap because of what lies in between.

Of the 57 overdoses reported during a single week in July, 40 lives were saved because Naloxone was given during the overdose
Flickr Photo/intropin (CC-BY-NC-2.0)/

Kim Malcolm talks with KUOW reporter Anna Boiko-Weyrauch about the opioid epidemic in Snohomish County. In July, county health officials reported 57 overdoses in a single week. Of those, 40 lives were saved because the overdose-reversal drug naloxone was given during the overdose. 

In 2017, officials counted 37 overdoses during a similar point-in-time survey.

Townhomes in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

Kim Malcolm talks with University of Washington sociology professor Kyle Crowder about a new study that looks at Seattle's rental housing market.

Over the past few years, the city has passed several laws meant to protect renters, such as limiting move-in fees. The study found that Seattle renters have virtually no awareness of the ordinances.

For the third year in a row, a military reconnaissance aircraft is joining the battle against Pacific Northwest wildfires. This specialized plane can locate new fires from many miles away.

Milee Ballweg, 20, sits on the steps of a University District church where she sleeps just after 5 a.m. on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Nostalgia thrives on the Ave.

That’s University Way Northeast to cartographers, a street that pounds with construction and smells of $6.99 Thai lunch specials and bus exhaust.

Axel Kuehn, 29, jumps off of a dock into Lake Washington near Madrona Park on Monday, July 30, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle reached its second hottest July on record by reaching 89 degrees Monday. 

Monday also ties the most consecutive days of at least 85 degrees. In 1977 and 1967 the city boasted streaks of nine days in a row of high temperatures, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Michalski. 

The West is in the midst of another intense fire season. Fires in California and Oregon have claimed lives and homes and burned up farmland.

As part of EarthFix's ongoing series on wildfire, reporter Tony Schick spoke with interim Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen about what her agency is doing to reform fire management and reverse the fire problem.

Christiansen discussed her agency’s approach to wildfire management and what she’s doing to reduce the damage from wildfires in the future. Below are some of her responses on these issues, edited for length and clarity. 

Activists brought their campaign against a Southern Oregon fossil fuel pipeline project to Portland Monday.

The protest was part of a national push by climate activists who worry that such projects will ensure the continued burning of fossil fuels, which contributes to global warming. The Portland event included a theatrical skit in a park and demonstrating in front of banks accused of financing pipelines and other fossil-fuel infrastructure.

The Portland demonstration focused on the proposed Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove projects in Southern Oregon.

A federal detention facility in Sheridan, Oregon, must continue to open its doors to attorneys representing dozens of immigrant detainees, a judge ruled today.

A naming rights agreement with Safeco Insurance and the Seattle Mariner's baseball field ends after the 2018 season.
Flickr Photo/Ashley Murphy (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

Housing advocates faced off against Seattle baseball fans at a King County Council public hearing on Monday.

At stake: hundreds of millions of dollars from the county’s hotel/motel tax.

When the U.S. Supreme Court obliterated mandatory union dues in late June, the Freedom Foundation was ready.

For years, leaders of the conservative, Olympia-based nonprofit dreamed of a tool to kneecap the public-sector unions that champion Democratic candidates and liberal causes in Oregon. Suddenly it had arrived.

Most of the Albertan oil piped through British Columbia winds up at refineries in Washington state.
Kinder Morgan

In May, the Canadian government announced it would buy the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline from Texas-based Kinder Morgan in order to finish the pipeline's expansion project. 

Wildfires are pouring smoke into the valleys of southern Oregon, making hazardous air that’s nearly unbreathable.

Even healthy people may experience chest pain, burning eyes or a phlegmy cough if they spend too much time outdoors.

It’s even worse for people who already have breathing problems. Kimberlee Rupert-Coyotl lives in the Rogue Valley. She says the smoke is keeping her family inside.

“I have a 16-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son,” Rupert-Coyotl said. “And they both have asthma. They both have the bark going on.”

Ninety-four million extra miles of driving.

A new study says that’s the amount of traffic that ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft added to Seattle streets in 2017.

The federal courthouse in downtown Seattle.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

Across the country, 711 immigrant children separated from their parents at the border still remain disconnected from their families. Now, Washington state wants to know how many of those kids might be here.

The craft brewing industry in the Pacific Northwest is starting to feel pain from the Trump administration's steel and aluminum tariffs. Those metals are made into beer cans, kegs and fermentation tanks.

Seattle streetcar
Flickr Photo/Seattle Department of Transportation (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Mayor Jenny Durkan is reviewing the Seattle streetcar's Center City Connector line. That project has been on hold since March, and now the mayor has some questions about the entire streetcar system. This week the mayor's office updated the public on the progress of the review.

Here are three points that made us sit up straight:

Eva Stone leads a professional division class at Pacific Northwest Ballet School.
Courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet/Lindsay Thomas

Many ballet dancers are women, but far fewer women actually create the dances we see onstage.

Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet school wants to help change that paradigm.

Kristen Scott, partner at Weber Thompson, stands in front of the courtyard/thermal chimney that draws a breeze across her office in lieu of air conditioning
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

It’s hot outside. In most offices in Seattle, air conditioning keeps the employees cool. That’s not happening at the architecture firm Weber Thompson. 

The two biggest blood networks in the Pacific Northwest say the region's blood supply is suffering a critical shortage.

Oregon’s 2018 toxic algae troubles didn’t begin with the summer bloom tainting Salem’s water supply.

Jason Hutto, Founder and CEO of House of Cultivar, poses for a portrait on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at House of Cultivar in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Washington voters legalized recreational pot five years ago, they paved the way for a new industry that includes everything from retail shops to big grow operations.

Carmen Best smiles during a press conference on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

As Carmen Best enters the confirmation process to become Seattle’s next police chief, she told the City Council Wednesday how her profession has transformed since she entered the force 26 years ago.

Avoid heating food in plastic, especially those with recycling codes 3, 6 and 7.
Wikimedia Commons, User Z22

Pediatricians are urging Congress to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to collect more data  on chemicals in food.

A new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics says synthetic chemicals used as additives and in food packaging are harmful to kids.

The U.S. and Canadian governments have scheduled a second and third round of negotiations to modernize the Columbia River Treaty. The 54-year-old treaty provides flood protection to Portland and smoothes out Northwest hydropower production.

Northwesterners are hearing a lot about mountain lions lately. Since May, an extremely rare fatal attack in the Washington Cascades, a Willamette Valley pool party interrupted by a wandering cat and a viral Facebook video of a mountain lion lounging in a southern Oregon woman’s living room have made headlines across the region.

Are the Northwest’s mountain lions acting out of character this summer?

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Derek Broman says no. But they are adapting to a gradual shift in their range.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has finalized shorter hours for several border crossings in northeastern Washington state, effective this fall. The reduction in operating hours in one case was modified based on protests from the local community.