Obama greets Hawks
It's a White House ritual: The president honors the winners of major sports championships. And the Seahawks were at the House today for a visit.
Round after round applause greeted team members as they made their way to the rostrum. As the President Obama began to talk, he referred to the team as "quiet and reserved." Uh-huh.
Obama gave nice shoutouts to individual members of the team for overcoming adversities and contributing to the community, and he hailed the 12s' support for the team while joking about the engineering and design behind the noise at CenturyLink: "You all have that is kind of cheating because it is so loud."
Tolls going ... where else ... up?
The Washington State Department of Transportation said today that tolls will go up July 1 for both the Highway 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. WSDOT said the 520 tolls, which vary by time of day and whether motorists have automatically billed passes, will increase roughly 2.5 percent in each category. Tacoma Narrows tolls are going up by 25 cents for each billing category. Cash tolls are on the rise too, from $5.25 to $5.50 (tolls are only collected on eastbound trips). (This item has been updated since it first appeared to correct an error in the percentage of increase.)
Dan Lewis' final night as anchor
KOMO TV's Dan Lewis is anchoring the evening news tonight for the final time before stepping down after more than 25 years of outstanding work. When he was honored Saturday with the Western Washington Society of Professional Journalists lifetime achievement award, Lewis said he had never sought to be a TV star. His real goal, he said, was just to be a journalist — a star one at that. In his acceptance speech, he talked about having the feeling that he was walking arm in arm with the audience as he and viewers took in some of the more shocking news stories. Lewis acknowledged that it might sound odd; actually, it came off as utterly authentic and devoted to the people of the region.
Seattle transit plan: Not regional
3:02 p.m. Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond tells KIRO Radio that a proposal to fund extra bus service in Seattle is intriguing and could provide a short-term Band-Aid for some of the expected service cuts. But he said, "We need a regional solution." What would that be? There has been talk of other cities also picking up the type of revenue package that Mayor Ed Murray is proposing: a small sales tax hike and an increase in the cost of annual car tabs. But voters in almost every city except Seattle overwhelmingly rejected those funding sources when a countywide transit-and-roads package went down to defeat last months.
GMO bans voted in Oregon
2:45 p.m. Voters in two largely rural Oregon counties on Tuesday approved bans on growing genetically modified crops within their borders. The vote in Jackson County, which includes Medford and Ashland, ran nearly 66 percent in favor of the ban. Voters in neighboring Josephine County also voted in favor of a ban, but their measure is considered vulnerable to a legal challenge. Work on Josephine County's ban came after the state Legislature prohibited local governments from banning genetically engineered crops. The Jackson County ban was in the works early enough that it's not covered by the new state law.
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