The Seattle Times
Today's news index
Thursday, December 18, 2014


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Local News

UPDATE - 11:47 AM
Inslee proposes capital-gains tax to help fund budget
Gov. Jay Inslee proposed a $39 billion, two-year budget Thursday that would raise taxes and other revenues by $1.5 billion, with more than half coming from a new capital-gains tax on the sale of stocks and bonds. Thu, 12/18
 
Seattle police officers getting a new look in the new year
Seattle police are ditching their two-tone blue uniforms and replacing them with solid navy-blue slacks and shirts. Thu, 12/18
 
NEW - 09:53 AM
WSU report says water plan overvalues fish recovery
A recently completed cost-benefit analysis for each aspect of the 30-year Yakima Basin Integrated Plan — new and improved reservoirs, fish ladders, water conservation and habitat restoration — found that benefits will fall far short of earlier estimates by the Bureau of Reclamation. Thu, 12/18
 
Boeing IMAX Theater due for an upgrade
One of two IMAX theaters at Pacific Science Center will close for renovations in early January 2015. Thu, 12/18
 
Inslee targets polluters with billion-dollar cap-and-trade plan
Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday laid out an ambitious plan for cutting Washington’s carbon emissions that would vault the state to the forefront of global efforts to combat climate change.  Wed, 12/17
 
Soccer-team owner accused of sexual assault, harassment
TIMES WATCHDOG: The continued presence of Dion Earl with the Kent-based Seattle Impact FC raises questions about whether the Major Arena Soccer League conducted proper background checks on prospective team owners. Wed, 12/17
 
Study: Very few use EpiPen, asthma inhalers correctly
EpiPens and inhalers can stop life-threatening allergic reactions or asthma attacks, but too few people use them correctly, a study finds. Seattle doctors and parents agree.  Wed, 12/17
 
Jerry Large
Social failures trickle down to our prisons
Prisons absorb the results of failures in other systems but still could offer a chance to get it right. Wed, 12/17
 
In Northwest, U.S.-Cuba thaw lauded as ‘amazing’
“All my life I have been hoping to hear a U.S. president say exactly what Obama said today,” said Fleites-Lear, a professor of foreign languages and literature who has many relatives in Cuba. “I almost can’t believe it.” Wed, 12/17
 
State health exchange withholds money to Deloitte over repeated problems
Problems with the performance of the Washington Healthplanfinder website have led to friction between the state’s health-insurance exchange and its primary contractor, Deloitte. Wed, 12/17
 
Times series wins major multimedia award
A Seattle Times multimedia project about acidification of the Pacific Ocean, has won a duPont award — an honor considered the equivalent to a Pulitzer Prize.  Wed, 12/17
 
Seattle Housing Authority retreats on rent-raising proposal
The Seattle Housing Authority won’t move ahead with a plan to set rents based on household size and length of stay rather than income. Wed, 12/17
 

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Nation & World

US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord
After a half-century of Cold War acrimony, the United States and Cuba moved on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations -- a historic shift that could revitalize the flow of money and people across the narrow waters that separate the two nations. Thu, 12/18
 
Australian leader: Siege may have been preventable
Australia's prime minister said Thursday that a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe may have been preventable, as the chorus of critics demanding to know why the gunman was out on bail despite facing a string of violent charges grew louder. Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 11:59 AM
Sony cyberattack may be costliest ever
The unprecedented hack of Sony Pictures which a U.S. official says is linked to North Korea may be the most damaging cyberattack ever inflicted on an American business. Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 11:58 AM
Not much chance of Congress stopping Cuba policy
A lack of unanimity in both political parties toward President Barack Obama's sudden move to re-establish ties with Cuba complicates any congressional effort to scuttle the most significant change in U.S. policy toward the communist island in 50-plus years. Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 11:59 AM
Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013
Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013, and he received a shout of encouragement from the mother-in-law of a man who was shot and killed while being questioned by law enforcement after the bombings. Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 11:06 AM
Botched cyberattack on Syria group blamed on IS
A botched cyberattack aimed at unmasking Syrian dissidents has experts worried that the Islamic State group is adding malicious software to its arsenal. Thu, 12/18
 
A look at 'Cuban 5' agents who were jailed in US
The "Cuban Five" refers to intelligence agents whose so-called "Wasp Network" operated in Florida in the 1990s. They were arrested in 1998 and later convicted on charges including conspiracy and failing to register as foreign agents. Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 11:35 AM
Ebola: 11th Sierra Leone doctor dies; fire destroys supplies
One of Sierra Leone's most senior physicians died Thursday from Ebola, the 11th doctor in the country to succumb to the disease, a health official said. Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 10:23 AM
For MLB, changes in Cuba will take time to sort out
Fred Claire can see the day when Major League Baseball teams open academies for prospects in Cuba. Thu, 12/18
 
How revived ties with Cuba came to be
Fresh off his 2012 re-election victory, President Barack Obama summoned senior advisers to a series of meetings, asking them to "think big" about a second-term agenda, including the possibilities of new starts with long-standing U.S. foes such as Iran and Cuba. Two years later, after painstaking secret diplomacy on separate but surprisingly similar tracks, efforts with Tehran and Havana are in full swing. Thu, 12/18
 
Freed American endured years of declining health
Alan Gross spent five years wasting away in a Cuban prison, losing hope that he would ever be free and at one point apparently contemplating suicide. He dropped more than 100 pounds, developed hip problems and lost most of the vision in one eye. Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 11:56 AM
Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear
Sternly warning the West it cannot defang the metaphorical Russian bear, a confident-looking President Vladimir Putin promised Thursday to shore up the plummeting ruble and revive the economy within two years. Thu, 12/18
 
$10 million in stolen Los Angeles art recovered
Authorities have recovered $10 million worth of art -- including paintings by Chagall and Diego Rivera -- that were stolen in one of Los Angeles' largest art heists. Thu, 12/18
 
'Stand your ground' defense fails in Montana murder trial
Just days before he shot to death a 17-year-old German exchange student, Markus Kaarma told hair stylists he had been waiting up to shoot some kids who were burglarizing homes. Thu, 12/18
 
AP Exclusive: Sydney hostage planned daring escape
The siege at the Sydney cafe had been going on for more than five hours and 82-year-old John O'Brien had become convinced the gunman was insane and they would likely all end up dead. Thu, 12/18
 
AP source: US probe links NKorea to Sony hacking
Federal investigators have now connected the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. to North Korea, a U.S. official said Wednesday, though it remained unclear how the federal government would respond to a break-in that exposed sensitive documents and ultimately led to terrorist threats against moviegoers. Thu, 12/18
 
Australian leader: Siege may have been preventable
Australia's prime minister said Thursday that a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe may have been preventable, as the chorus of critics demanding to know why the gunman was out on bail despite facing a string of violent charges grew louder. Thu, 12/18
 
Canada man finds woman for free trip around world
A Toronto man who made headlines last month by offering a free round-the-world air ticket to a woman with the same name as his ex-girlfriend has found Ms. Right. Thu, 12/18
 
How Kim Jong Un became the target of 'The Interview'
A few weeks ago, when a freshly stoned Seth Rogen sat down for a lunch interview about "The Interview," the likelihood of trouble seemed remote. Thu, 12/18
 
Napster co-founder to invest in allergy research
Napster co-founder Sean Parker missed most of his final year in high school and has ended up in the emergency room countless times because of his deadly allergy to nuts, shellfish and other foods. Thu, 12/18
 
Obama says people should 'go to the movies'
President Barack Obama says his administration is taking the cyberattack against Sony studios seriously. He says people should "go to the movies." Thu, 12/18
 
Pakistan buries victims of school massacre
As they buried their children Wednesday, the families spoke of their dreams. One boy had just gotten high marks on his midterm and hoped to become a pilot. A 13-year-old wanted to become a doctor. Another kid just loved playing video games with his cousins. Thu, 12/18
 
Police: 1 dead, several hurt in California crash
A female motorist hit a group of pedestrians outside a California church as a Christmas service ended, killing one person and leaving up to 11 others injured, police said. Thu, 12/18
 
Sony cancels 'The Interview' amid terror hack threats
Under the threat of terrorist attacks from hackers and with the nation's largest multiplex chains pulling the film from their screens, Sony Pictures Entertainment took the unprecedented step of canceling the Dec. 25 release of the Seth Rogen comedy "The Interview." Thu, 12/18
 
Sony emails show a studio ripe for hacking
In the weeks before hackers broke into Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio suffered significant technology outages it blamed on software flaws and incompetent technical staffers who weren't paying attention, even as hackers targeted executives to trick them into revealing their online credentials. Thu, 12/18
 
Stocks with exposure to Cuba rise sharply
A batch of stocks with exposure to Cuba rose sharply Wednesday after President Obama moved to restore diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Caribbean island after more than 50 years of hostility. Thu, 12/18
 
Study: Alcatraz inmates could have survived escape
The three prisoners who escaped from Alcatraz in one of the most famous and elaborate prison breaks in U.S. history could have survived and made it to land, scientists concluded in a recent study. Thu, 12/18
 
US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord
After a half-century of Cold War acrimony, the United States and Cuba moved on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations -- a historic shift that could revitalize the flow of money and people across the narrow waters that separate the two nations. Thu, 12/18
 
Cuba’s hopes for future fired up by historic pact
The changes in Cuba policy outlined by President Obama are expected to have a much more profound impact on Cuba than on the United States. Wed, 12/17
 
Promising stroke treatment pulls blood clots directly from brain
One reason the treatment worked, researchers suspect, is that doctors used a new type of snare to grab blood clots. Wed, 12/17
 
Swap of former Cuban intelligence agent at heart of U.S. deal
A former Defense Department official confirmed that the Cuban who worked as a spy for the CIA is Rolando Sarraf Trujillo, an expert on cryptography who worked at the Interior Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate.  Wed, 12/17
 
Canadian finds right woman to use free world-trip air ticket
Jordan Axani posted his offer last month on the popular Reddit social-media website and received thousands of emails, including 18 from actual Elizabeth Gallaghers with Canadian passports. Wed, 12/17
 
Charlie Brown tree teaches struggling city a beautiful lesson
It turns out Reading, Pa.’s much-ridiculed Christmas tree wasn’t bad at all. It just needed a little love. Wed, 12/17
 
14 charged in meningitis outbreak that killed 64
Federal prosecutors charged 14 people in a 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people nationwide in what authorities called the largest criminal case ever brought in the U.S. over contaminated medicine. Wed, 12/17
 
Afghanistan: Suicide bomber kills policeman
An Afghan police officer was killed and another three wounded on Thursday when a suspected suicide bomber they were following detonated the explosives in his vehicle, an official said. Wed, 12/17
 
American Kennel Club adds 4 new dog breeds
A Spanish farm and fishing dog, a Sicilian rabbit-hunting breed, an Italian sheepdog with a distinctive matted coat and a rugged South African watchdog are joining the American Kennel Club pack. Wed, 12/17
 
Dentist suspended; patient died after teeth pulled
A dentist whose patient died after developing complications while getting 20 teeth pulled and several implants installed will not be allowed to work until after a comprehensive review of his practice. Wed, 12/17
 
Expert: Killing shows strict police vetting needed
The discovery that a Cleveland officer who shot and killed a 12-year-old boy last month had washed out at another police force highlights what some experts call an unnerving truth about policing: Departments don't always dig deeply enough into recruits' pasts. Wed, 12/17
 
Immigrants closer to driver's licenses in Arizona
Thousands of young immigrants moved a step closer to getting driver's licenses in Arizona when the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday rebuffed the governor's latest attempt to deny them the privilege. Wed, 12/17
 
Judge: Boy, 14, shouldn't have been executed in SC
More than 70 years after South Carolina sent a 14-year-old black boy to the electric chair in the killings of two white girls in a segregated mill town, a judge threw out the conviction, saying the state committed a great injustice. Wed, 12/17
 
Missouri school takes cane from blind student, 8
A Missouri school district has apologized to the family of a blind student whose cane was replaced with a swimming pool noodle after he allegedly misbehaved on the bus. Wed, 12/17
 
NYC pushes for settlement in chokehold death
The city said Wednesday that it is trying to negotiate a settlement with Eric Garner's family as scores of defense attorneys protested the criminal justice system's handling of police killings of unarmed black men by participating in marches and die-ins. Wed, 12/17
 
Obama: As a black man he's been mistaken for valet
He may be president now, but Barack Obama says he's a black man who has been mistaken for the valet and worries his daughters could face stereotypes. Wed, 12/17
 
Police: Officer kills soldier who shot girl, 12
Phoenix police say an officer fatally wounded an 18-year-old soldier clad in fatigues who shot a young girl as he tried to get into her home. Wed, 12/17
 
Republican wins Arizona House seat after recount
Republicans will have their largest U.S. House majority in 83 years when the new Congress convenes next month after a recount in Arizona gave the final unresolved midterm race to a Republican challenger. Wed, 12/17
 
Russians flock to stores to pre-empt price rises
Russian consumers flocked to the stores Wednesday, frantically buying a range of big-ticket items to pre-empt the price rises kicked off by the staggering fall in the value of the ruble in recent days. Wed, 12/17
 

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Business & Technology

Urban, Touchstone combine forces in real estate
Urban Renaissance Group, a leading real-estate investment manager, has acquired Touchstone, a commercial developer with projects in South Lake Union and other city hotspots.  Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 10:14 AM
Amazon launches 1-hour shipping in Manhattan
Amazon.com launched a service Thursday that promises one-hour delivery of household products to its Prime customers in Manhattan. Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 11:56 AM
US stocks rise; Oracle leads technology stocks higher
U.S. stocks rose sharply Thursday, led gains in by technology stocks as Oracle surged following a strong earnings report. Energy stocks lagged the market as the price of crude oil resumed its slide. Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 11:53 AM
SpaceX delays space station delivery until Jan.
The space station astronauts will have to wait until next month for their Christmas delivery. Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 10:25 AM
Average US 30-year loan rate falls to 3.80 percent
Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan rate reaching a new low for the year. Thu, 12/18
 
Why the Fed thinks US economy still needs its help
If you didn't know about the lingering damage from the Great Recession, the U.S. economy would appear remarkably strong. Thu, 12/18
 
Dish adds Netflix app to some of its set-top boxes
Dish is making it easier to watch video from an online rival, Netflix. Thu, 12/18
 
Fed rate wording boosts world stock markets
World stock markets powered higher Thursday, sweeping aside worries about a flagging global economy after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would remain "patient" in its approach to raising interest rates. Thu, 12/18
 
Sprint accused of billing for unwanted services
Federal regulators are accusing Sprint Corp. of illegally billing its wireless customers hundreds of millions of dollars in charges for text message alerts and other services that they didn't order. Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 11:56 AM
Gauge of US economy rises 0.6 percent in November
An index designed to predict the future health of the economy posted a third straight solid gain in November. Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 11:05 AM
US jobless aid applications decline to 289,000
Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a sign of solid job security and growing confidence among employers. Thu, 12/18
 
Tech investors plowing money into future farms
Silicon Valley is pushing its way into every stage of the food-growing process, from tech tycoons buying up farmland to startups selling robots that work the fields to hackathons dedicated to building the next farming app. Wed, 12/17
 
Why does state's jobless rate keep rising? Brighter prospects
The Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area saw a slight decrease in the unemployment rate, to 4.7 percent from 4.8 percent in October. Wed, 12/17
 
Obstacles remain for selling local spuds or jets to Cuba
Washington state is a long way from Cuba, but it could become a modest market for the state’s agricultural products and airplanes once trade policies and banking restrictions are normalized. Wed, 12/17
 
Island heritage: Open relations make sense for Cuba, U.S. and writer’s family
Commentary: The U.S. is a natural economic partner; American investment may be Cuba’s best hope as Russia and Venezuela lose power as oil prices decline. The thawing evokes the possibility of a Caribbean Vietnam — a free-market country with a single-party state. Wed, 12/17
 
More layoffs as slowdown at West Coast ports continues
Once the longshoreman and maritime association reach an agreement, it would take another four to six weeks of normal port productivity to work through the backlog.  Wed, 12/17
 

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Sports

Larry Stone
Seahawks adept at creating calm out of chaos
With NFC West title likely on line Sunday at Arizona, Seahawks turn down volume on big game Thu, 12/18
 
UPDATE - 11:24 AM
Ski report: Crystal Mountain, White Pass expected to join Mission Ridge in opening Saturday
Erratic weekend weather forecast worries skiers, but there should be holiday options for skiing and snowboarding.  Thu, 12/18
 
49ers release McDonald amid further legal trouble
Citing a pattern of behavior and off-field issues, San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke informed defensive lineman Ray McDonald that he was released Wednesday amid a sexual assault investigation by San Jose police. Thu, 12/18
 
Bud Withers
Chemistry and fresh talent again have Zags soaring
Gonzaga is eighth-ranked heading into Saturday night’s Battle in Seattle game against Cal Poly. Wed, 12/17
 
Mariners acquire Justin Ruggiano from Cubs
The Mariners announced they acquired Justin Ruggiano from the Cubs in exchange for minor league reliever Matt Brazis.  Wed, 12/17
 
Seahawks must shore up sacks against Cardinals
The Seahawks won 19-3 in the first meeting despite giving up a season-high seven sacks, so protecting quarterback Russell Wilson will be a high priority Sunday night when they play the rematch against Arizona.  Wed, 12/17
 
Seahawks’ Paul Richardson still working through kickoff returns
Paul Richardson looked like a promising kickoff returner at first, but it has been a slog for Richardson and the Seahawks’ kickoff return game, which ranks 30th in the NFL this week, averaging 20.6 yards per attempt. Wed, 12/17
 
UW football recruiting: Huskies reeling in in-state recruits
A rush of recruiting activity just before the start of a monthlong “dead period” this week has added optimism about the potential of the Washington Huskies’ Class of 2015. Wed, 12/17
 
Chattanooga knocks off No. 7 Stanford women
Chelsey Shumpert scored a career-high 18 points, including five three-pointers, as Chattanooga stunned No. 7 Stanford 54-46 Wednesday for its second home victory over a top-10 opponent this season. Wed, 12/17
 
Fishing report: Next stretch of razor clam digs come with high surf warning
A persistent strong west wind will develop a swell height of 20 to 25 feet that is expected to last through Sunday. Wed, 12/17
 
Grizzlies beat Spurs in 3 OTs
Marc Gasol scored 26 points, including a banked-in three-pointer as regulation expired, and the Memphis Grizzlies overcame blowing a 23-point lead for a 117-116 triple-overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. Wed, 12/17
 
Lakeside’s Abrahm Devine looks to repeat as state champion / Boys swimming preview
The Stanford-bound senior will focus on getting back to the state meet, where he won two titles last February. His technique has been a focal point since he has yet to begin weight training. Wed, 12/17
 
Niners release Ray McDonald
Citing a pattern of behavior and off-field issues, San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke informed defensive lineman Ray McDonald that he was released Wednesday amid a sexual-assault investigation by San Jose police. Wed, 12/17
 
Prep boys swimming: Five swimmers and five teams to watch
Newport returns state meet placers Andrew Pana, Dave Makharvoks, Will Dittig and Aaron Elhajj.  Wed, 12/17
 
Report: Michigan has offered Jim Harbaugh $48M deal
Michigan is apparently making a serious run at San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh to fill its open coaching position. Wed, 12/17
 
Seattle U women lose in overtime to Montana
After battling back from big deficit, Redhawks fail to get shot off at end of regulation then fall 70-64 in overtime. Wed, 12/17
 
UW football’s Hau’oli Kikaha named consensus All-American
Hau’oli Kikaha’s place among the Huskies’ all-time greats was etched in history on Wednesday when he became Washington’s sixth unanimous All-American. Offensive lineman Benji Olson, in 1996, was UW’s last unanimous All-American. Wed, 12/17
 
Washington State signs two JC players from California
Safety Shalom Luani and defensive end Jeremiah Mitchell will join the Cougars in time for the start of the spring semester. Wed, 12/17
 
Huskies demolish visiting Grambling State by 48 points, 86-38
The Huskies are 9-0 after one of the most lopsided wins in school history. Wed, 12/17
 
Kohl Bauml leads Everett past Victoria in shootout, 7-6
Bauml gets a hat trick in regulation then scores the deciding goal in a shootout.  Wed, 12/17
 
Live chat with UW guard Nigel Williams-Goss
 Wed, 12/17
 
Stars shut out Canucks
Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves for his second shutout this season and the 29th of his career as the Dallas Stars defeated host Vancouver 2-0 on Wednesday night to extend the Canucks’ losing streak to five games. Wed, 12/17
 
On the Air
 Wed, 12/17
 
Wednesday’s prep gymnastics results
Results for Wednesday, Dec. 17 Wed, 12/17
 
Tuesday’s prep wrestling results
Results for Tuesday, Dec. 16 Wed, 12/17
 
Wednesday’s prep wrestling results
Results for Wednesday, Dec. 18 Wed, 12/17
 
Statewide prep basketball scores
Basketball scores for the week of Dec. 15 Wed, 12/17
 

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Entertainment

Movie review
‘Annie’: Off-key but pretty much on target
A movie review of “Annie,” starring Quvenzhané Wallis as the irrepressible orphan. Rating: 2.5 stars out of 4. Thu, 12/18
 
Restaurant review
Quality Athletics is changing the sports-bar playbook
Review of sports bar Quality Athletics. Don’t worry, though, there’s a great burger. Thu, 12/18
 
NEW - 06:05 AM
Rising-star conductor Macelaru at helm of Seattle ‘Messiah’
An interview with Cristian Macelaru, who will lead Seattle Symphony, the Chorale and soloists in the orchestra’s 2014 performances of Handel’s “Messiah.” Thu, 12/18
 
Bellevue teen an evangelist for classical music
A talk with Bellevue teen David Zhao, who began playing piano at 5 and created a nonprofit organization called Instruments for Change to introduce more youth to the joys of classical music. Thu, 12/18
 
Movie review
Final ‘Night at the Museum’: a fitting Robin Williams farewell
A movie review of “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb”: The gang from the original “Night at the Museum” is back for one last hurrah. Playing Teddy Roosevelt, the late Robin Williams gives the picture unexpected poignancy. Rating: 3 stars out of 4. Thu, 12/18
 
Dec. 18 TV Picks: ‘The Colbert Report’s’ final show
TV picks for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, include “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central, “The Taste” on ABC and “Project Runway: All Stars” on Lifetime. Thu, 12/18
 
Hayrides, TV’s ‘Rudolph’ and bonsais | Weekend Preview
Activities for the weekend of Dec. 19-21, 2014, include Winter Wonderland Hayrides, “Rudolph’s” 50th Anniversary celebration and a Bonsai Solstice. Films opening include “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies” and “Annie.”  Thu, 12/18
 
Community calendar: festivals, fairs and more
A detailed, categorized calendar of events all over Seattle and Western Washington, Dec. 19-25, 2014. Wed, 12/17
 

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Living

Ciscoe Morris
Add cheery color to your winter garden; how to use biochar
Garden writer Ciscoe Morris on winter-blooming camellias and the pros and cons of using biochar, a charcoal-like substance left over from the process of making biofuel. Thu, 12/18
 
NEW - 06:15 AM
Dear Carolyn
For toddler’s issues, look to a trusted resource
Advice columnist Carolyn Hax: Parents need to take a deep breath and consider all possibilities. Thu, 12/18
 
How to enjoy holiday travel with your dog
Fifty-three percent of Americans surveyed would rather spend time with their dog than their family during the holidays.  Thu, 12/18
 

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Travel & Outdoors

You like a hotel, it likes you back (with perks)
Some travelers use social media to get hotel perks and airline lounge passes.  Thu, 12/18
 
US travel industry carefully eyeing Cuba tourism
Cuba was once a haven for sun-seeking American tourists. Beautiful beaches, lively casinos and late-night dancing made it the perfect getaway, only an hour's flight from Miami. Thu, 12/18
 
Walk in the park yields winning photo
Gloria Nagler’s keen eye spots striking image of a common bird. Wed, 12/17
 

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Opinion

Editorial: Legislature should give school districts back control of federal funds
The state Legislature should act to return control of $40 million worth of federal funds to Washington’s school districts.  Wed, 12/17
 
UPDATE - 10:47 AM
Guest: In a dangerous situation, the police and I made a critical decision to save a life
Here’s a case where the police did the right thing, writes guest columnist Stefan Ulstein.  Wed, 12/17
 
As relationships move online, a dark vision of ‘Pottersville’ becomes real
The relationships they had in Bedford Falls in “It’s a Wonderful Life” that are often missing today are those between the very intimate and the quite distant, writes syndicated columnist Froma Harrop. Wed, 12/17