Tuesday 10 Mar, 2015 Chief O'Toole replacing SPD management team. Starbucks expands mobile ordering. Is nuclear an alternative energy source? at 9:21pm by John Stang The Washington Senate passed a bill Tuesday by Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, to add nuclear power to the list of alternative power sources that certain utilities can offer to customers as “green” energy sources. The current list of alternative sources includes wind, solar, geothermal and biomass energy. Twenty-three Senate majority coalition members and six minority Democrats voted for the bill. Three Republicans and 17 Democrats voted against it. The bill now goes to the House. “Nuclear energy is a carbon-free resource,” said Brown in the floor debate. Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, countered: “This is a bill that continues to unravel the renewable energy industry in our state.” Study: Skyrocketing traffic on Seattle's I-5 at 3:59pm by Amy Augustine A study by the Puget Sound Regional Council slated to be released on Thursday yields some news that’s not exactly surprising: Traffic on Interstate 5 in Seattle is terrible. The issue, according to Rick Olson, communications director for the organization, has to do with regional growth that has outpaced infrastructure, KING 5 first reported. The PSRC, made up of regional leaders and stakeholders, has looked at the traffic issues for months. About 144,000 people have moved to the region since 2010, a 3.9 percent increase. The study suggests delays on regional freeways have gone up more than 52 percent since 2010, with a 25 percent increase between 2013 and 2014 alone. The study suggests the worst pinch point is Interstate 5, between Fife and Everett, increasing 92 percent between 2010 and 2014. Olson told KING 5 the biggest change has been on I-5 from the University District to Downtown Seattle, where delays have increased by 290 percent since 2010. In related news, the PSRC released another study on Wednesday indicating that more people are using public transportation. Go figure. Oregon scientist finds opportunity for cleaner drinking water at 3:58pm by Cody Olsen A Scientist at the University of Oregon may have found an easy way to lower arsenic levels in groundwater, making it safe to drink, reports KUOW. Oregon geology professor Qusheng Jin has discovered microbes in underground water working to transform toxic water-born arsenic into a gas that rises into the soil where it’s less of a problem. The hope is to use ethanol to speed up this process and ensure lower levels of arsenic in drinking water. Dealing with arsenic in the water is a fairly common problem in the Northwest, especially for smaller water systems. Hacked by ISIS? at 3:55pm by Cody Olsen KUOW reports that over the weekend a group claiming to be the self-proclaimed Islamic State hacked a number of businesses, including Tacoma’s own South Sound Magazine. While a quaint magazine covering art, lifestyle and culture doesn’t exactly scream ‘ISIS target’ the magazine’s website read “Hacked by Islamic State” Saturday. With the message, “We are everywhere ;)” below. And yes, that is a winky-face at the end of the hackers’ message. South Sound Publisher Josh Dunn encouraged other business to examine their own security systems, while the FBI said it is investigating. Doctor shortage leaves mentally ill detainees without beds at 3:53pm by Amy Augustine A clinician shortage at Lakewood’s Western State Hospital has forced the institution to deny beds to mentally ill patients for weeks, the News Tribune reported on Tuesday. Since Feb. 19, the state psychiatric hospital has turned away 90-day involuntary commitments, one of its two main types of admissions, further stretching an already beleaguered mental health system. As of Friday, 41 people were waiting for beds, according to Victoria Roberts, deputy assistant secretary with the Department of Social and Health Services. Of the hospital’s 557 beds for involuntary commitment, 528 are full, she said. Hiring and doctor retention have been a challenge, Roberts told the Tribune. Nine of 45 psychiatrist positions are vacant or about to be vacant at the hospital. Roberts said that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has “been recruiting our doctors very, very hard” with salaries up to $250,000. The average salary for a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs physician is $204,000, about 20 percent over the national average, according to governmentsalarydata.com. State psychiatrists are paid up to $164,000, Roberts said, but the state last month approved a $459,000 measure to increase salaries for doctors at Western State and Eastern State hospitals by 15 percent. The state also won an agreement to hire contract doctors, while some staff doctors have agreed to work extra shifts. That should allow the hospital to again accept 90-day involuntary commitments, ideally this week. O'Toole to name new assistants on Wednesday at 3:30pm by Joe Copeland Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole and Mayor Ed Murray will name new assistant chiefs and a new chief information officer on Wednesday morning, according to a press release sent by the mayor’s office. The Seattle Times reports that all four of her current assistant chiefs were passed over. The appointment of a new information officer likely means that O’Toole sees a need to deepen and speed the changes she has been pursuing in how the community sees the police. Jake Locker retires from ... football at 3:20pm by Joe Copeland As Sportspress Northwest notes in calling the decision a stunner, the former Husky quarterback star is 26. He cites a loss of “burning desire” to play football. He does mention that he wants to pursue other interests. Baseball America points out that the Los Angeles Angels drafted him twice, in 2008 and 2009. And Baseball America’s writer parses Locker’s statement carefully, noting that he didn’t say he was retiring from sports, just pro football. Baseball teams looked at him as potential outfield standout, with both speed and power. Iditarod racers reduced to slush puppies with lack of snow at 3:06pm by Amy Augustine Washington skiers aren’t the only ones hurting from a lack of snowpack this year. In Alaska, high temperatures forced organizers of the famed Iditarod sled dog race to truck in snow to kick off the annual thousand-mile competition. The PBS NewsHour has some footage of the slushy start: Seahawks trade for Jimmy Graham ... Seriously. at 3:03pm by David Kroman ESPN reports that the Seahawks will deal center Max Unger and “multiple draft picks” to the Saints for superstar tight end, Jimmy Graham. It’s no surprise the Seahawks were in the market for a tight end: they released Zach Miller last week after he spent the majority of the season on injured reserve. Russell Wilson did not target a tight end once in the Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. Historically, Graham has been among the most effective tight ends in the NFL — except against the Seahawks. And there was no love lost between him and the Legion of Boom, or the rest of the Hawks’ D. He underperformed last year as he battled a shoulder injury all season. Unger only played six regular season games last year, dealing with recurring ankle and knee injuries. While the Hawks looked better with him in the lineup, they still managed a winning record in games he did not play. Doug Baldwin took to Twitter to salute Unger and welcome Graham. Richard Sherman, who once got into a pre-game shouting match with Graham, retweeted the welcome. This one is a hard pill to swallow. A great player, a great teammate and a great man. Thank you @MaxUnger60 for everything! — Doug Baldwin Jr (@DougBaldwinJr) March 10, 2015 With that being said. 12s welcome @TheJimmyGraham to the PNW! — Doug Baldwin Jr (@DougBaldwinJr) March 10, 2015 More to crow about at 2:03pm by Amy Augustine A crow quietly plots world domination in the moonlight. (Photo credit: Jyrki Salmi/Flickr) We recently ran an article about Gabi Mann, an 8-year-old Seattleite who’s become buddies with the crows that live around her house. The BBC, in response to the same article, heard from a number of readers about their special relationships with these highly intelligent creatures. University expels students over racist chants at 1:09pm by Amy Augustine Officials at the University of Oklahoma on Tuesday expelled two students believed to have led a racist chant on a bus over the weekend that sparked national outrage, the New York Times reported. Secret Service conducts clandestine drone testing over D.C. at 12:53pm by Amy Augustine Quoting an anonymous official, Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the Secret Service will practice secret drone-flying methods over the next several weeks to thwart potential civilian attacks on the White House. Missouri Supreme Court takes over Ferguson cases at 10:56am by Mary Bruno In the wake of controversy surrounding the shooting of black teen Michael Brown and last week’s damning report from the federal Justice Department, Missouri’s highest court took the “extraordinary action” of handing off every Ferguson municipal court case to the state’s circuit court. That’s according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Ferguson municipal Judge Ronald J. Brockmeyer has also resigned. UW med school ranked top in the nation for primary care at 10:49am by Amy Augustine The University of Washington has received top designations for its primary care and rural and family medicine specialities, besting other top graduate programs in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Graduate School Rankings released Tuesday. The school performed well in other disciplines, too: More than 50 of the UW’s graduate offerings ranked in the top 40 schools and specialty programs on the U.S. News lists. Hillary breaks silence on private email kerfuffle at 10:46am by Mary Bruno Hillary Clinton, presumed presidential candidate — and controversy magnet — will finally address concerns over her use of a private email account to conduct business while she was serving as Secretary of State. The Washington Post reports that Clinton will come clean in a news conference on Tuesday, her first presser since 2012. Hillary is expected to announce (yay or nay) on her presidential intentions next month. Big shakeup as SPD prepares to replace four assistant chiefs at 10:32am by Amy Augustine The Seattle Police Department is getting an anticipated facelift, according to The Seattle Times. SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole will replace assistant chiefs Robin Clark, of the detectives and investigations division; Paul McDonagh, who runs the Special Operations Bureau; Tag Gleason, who oversees federally mandated reforms; and the Field Support Bureau’s Mike Washburn, who handles the 911 call center and data-driven policing. All four were invited to apply for their current jobs, which they did, but O’Toole told each of them on Monday that they didn’t make the cut. According to The Times, two of the four new chiefs will come from outside the department, two from within. Wikimedia adds ammo to lawsuit targeting government surveillance at 10:28am by Amy Augustine Wikimedia,the non-profit that hosts Wikipedia, is joining a lawsuit brought against the National Security Agency and the Department of Justice for the agencies’ longstanding assault on privacy. (Think citizen surveillance programs and interception of communications). Slate reported the move on Tuesday. “Our aim in filing this suit,” said Wikimedia in a statement, “is to end this mass surveillance program in order to protect the rights of our users around the world.” More Starbucks will have mobile ordering at 10:22am by Mary Bruno When you really need a mochachino you don’t want to wait in line. And that’s why Starbucks plans to extend its new mobile ordering service to 650 cafes across the Pacific Northwest. By next week. So says Geekwire.