United States

Gun panel aims for ‘gun violence restraining order’

After mass shootings like those in Newtown, Connecticut; Virginia Tech; and Aurora, Colorado, the question emerges: Where are our failures? Is it in gun control, mental health…

Guest Opinion: Remember Oso by dealing with risks

Harry Truman died for his belief. Warnings that Mount St. Helens could erupt at any time did not faze the owner of a mountain lodge.…

Report finds unreported BNSF oil spills

The Washington state Utilities and Transportation Commision has released a report recommending penalties against BNSF Railway Company for delays in the reporting of 14 hazardous material…

Tiny particles delay study of coal port proposal

They are so small you can’t see them in the air — but you inhale them, and they can go to your lungs and even…

Did port slowdowns bust our hay export boom?

While Washington's farmers rejoiced at the recent resolution of the four-month-long work slowdown at West Coast ports, the ill effects of that protracted labor dispute…

Olympia this week: Zombies and other movie folks

Zombies will invade the Capitol campus in Olympia Tuesday. The question is, if they hunt for brains to eat, will they find any? The undead…

Washington fail: College-educated women earn less than men with just a high school diploma

Last week, Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Jean Godden announced a new paid parental leave benefit for City of Seattle employees. It was another way…

Field Notes from Olympia: What if lawmakers were more like the people they serve?

Observing the state legislature, I am struck by how different most lawmakers are from the constituents they represent. Washington’s senators and representatives are largely white,…

Orcas vegan-turned-butcher ‘blown on his ass’ by James Beard nomination

Chef Jay Blackinton, 26, of Orcas Island taught himself to cook by preparing large meals for his punk friends in Seattle. Now, he’s nominated for…

Wrecking balls gone wild: Biggest heritage losses of the year

Every year, I collect some of the worst failures in heritage and historic preservation on the Pacific Northwest. This edition focuses on some disturbing trends…

Pam Roach says she has highly placed enemies

Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, says that the Republican caucus leaders want to get her out of the Washington Senate. Talking to reporters Tuesday, she also…

In Pasco, shock and anger linger over the fatal shooting of an unarmed man

"They killed him like a dog," said Rosa Zambrano. Standing on the sidewalk in front of a makeshift memorial for her cousin, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, Rosa…

Olympia: Death penalty in the docket this week

The state's death penalty goes on trial again Wednesday. That's when the House Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on a bill by Rep.…

Field Notes from Olympia: The power of language and the “fear grimace”

One of anthropology’s traditional four subfields is linguistic anthropology. (The others are cultural anthropology, archaeology and biological anthropology.) Linguistic anthropology encompasses a broad range of…

Senator takes a new shot at Bertha tunnel work

Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, is taking a second swing at Bertha. And this time, he's got a lot more company. Baumgartner introduced a bill Wednesday…

Opinion: State neglects funding of long-term care

The focus of the 2015 legislative session is on funding K-12 education, to a level that will avert further Washington Supreme Court sanctions. The session’s…

In defense of expensive initiatives

The Legislature has taken a bipartisan dislike of initiatives, viewing them as troublesome, annoying and downright uppity. The initiatives either go too far, or not…

GOP senators offer options on energy and carbon reductions

Some state senators want to tweak Initiative 937 to encourage new efforts at reducing carbon emissions in Washington. The proposed change to the 2006 voter-approved…

Should oil trains’ schedules be public knowledge?

Should the public know when oil trains come through and what type of oil they are carrying? That question was debated Tuesday at a Washington…

Lawmakers eye tax break extension for state’s last 2 aluminum plants

In the 1980s, Washington had 10 aluminum smelting plants employing roughly 10,000 people. Today, the state has two Alcoa plants in Ferndale and Wenatchee that…

Splitting state in two? An invitation to talk

“The Western part of the Territory appears to the people of this valley like some foreign land, and it is about as little talked of…

Mixing and mashing to ease strain on pot issues

It's a Washington House bill that likely will be mangled, sliced, diced and Cuisinart-ed into one or more legislative smoothies. Eighteen House marijuana bills have…

Olympia: An extra long time for pot

Pot. Pot. And more pot. The Capitol Dome would be a pretty mellow place this week if all the expected speakers are allowed to smoke…

Teen wage bills to get new examination

The public will get to have its say Wednesday on two bills to allow teens to be paid slightly less than the minimum wage for…