Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 23, 2014: Where's the Green in the City's Residential Building Boom? (2 parts)

Part 1: Where's the Green in the City's Residential Building Boom?
In this first of a two part series on the area's residential building boom, we asked two simple questions. How much "green" is happening not only in market-rate construction but in the world of affordable, non-profit built housing? How deep is the green? Where do sustainability and social equity come into play?

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Part 2: Affordable Housing: Where Green Building Is Making Some Headway
In this second part of a two part series on "green" housing construction we zone in on the affordable housing market. Here "green" standards are mandatory for any non-profit developer. While the housing may not be as deep a green it includes a deeper understanding of the word "sustainability" and a strong dose of social equity.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

December 5, 2014: Warm the Heart and the Belly with Green Gifting & Culinary Expression

In this season special we offer gift and culinary ideas from farmers markets, those low-carbon bastions of holiday sharing. The range of foods and value-added products available is sure to warm the heart and the belly. Come along!

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 6, 2014: Oil on the Tracks & Coastal Waters: Pacific NW Rises for Rail Safety & Planet's Future

If there was any question about how the public feels about “moving time bombs" - oil trains carrying volatile crude through Washington's coastal estuaries, aquifers, population centers and tribal lands - the answers became clear at a packed hearing before the state Department of Ecology last month. Ecology will present final recommendations on marine and rail oil safety to the Governor on December 1st. Martha Baskin has our report.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 23, 2014: Nation's Fossil Fuel Expansion Puts Pacific Northwest Dead Center in a Rush to Move it to Market

Record volumes of fossil fuels extracted from the continent's interior – crude oil, tar sands oil and coal – are looking to the Pacific Northwest to bring the fuels to market. West coast refineries are doubling up on infrastructure to handle rail and pipeline shipments. A Shell proposal to build a new rail spur brought both workers and 'keep it in the ground' activists to a recent public hearing. Martha Baskin has our story.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 16, 2014: African Food Leaders Cry Foul on Gates Foundation's Green Revolution

The Gates Foundation's Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, or AGRA, has drawn support as well as criticism for its investment in agriculture to reduce hunger on the continent. At a recent Seattle summit, African food rights advocates joined US counterparts to challenge AGRA policies they say are about opening markets for multinational gene giants like Monsanto, Syngenta and other biotech giants.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October 8, 2014: In a Globalized Food System, Is Sustainable Seafood a Choice More Hospitals Should be Willing to Make?

Can hospitals, those bastions of healing, invest in foods that heal and get on board with the decades-old local food movement? In Seattle, several hospitals are trying to source seafood more sustainably. The mission isn't always easy, but it's a commitment that hopes to ensure that the world's oceans remain healthy and productive not just for this generation of patients but for all those yet to come. Martha Baskin has our story.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11, 2014: First Nations & Allies Launch Alliance to Protect Coastal Waters from Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline

Proposals to triple the volume of tar sands production in Canada have sparked a new alliance of First Nations and Northwest tribes to stop it. Led by the Coast Salish Tseil-Waututh nation of British Columbia, the alliance urges environmental and faith allies to take "unprecedented, unified action" to protect and restore coastal waters and lands from fossil fuel expansion. Martha Baskin attended the opening ceremony of the historic launch.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September 2, 2014: The Pollinator's Quest: The Search for Forage & Habitat

Bees, as most people know, are under threat, disappearing, or in decline. A group of beekeepers in Washington state are pointing to another factor that may be impacting their health – the lack of sufficient forage or food in sometimes barren urban landscapes, agricultural fields, and along highways and wetlands. Green Acre Radio's Martha Baskin has the story.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 31, 2014: Protestors Stall Oil Train for Hours in Anacortes, WA

A train attempting to leave a Tesoro oil train facility in Anacortes, Washington this week was stopped in its tracks when three residents of the coastal town and Seattle locked their bodies to barrels full of concrete, sat on the tracks and refused to move. Martha Baskin has the story.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 24, 2014: Who Feeds Us Matters: Fishers and Farmers Taking Back Control of the Food Supply

Fish and how they're caught aren't always included in the 'alternative food movement.' But in some communities, "community supported fisheries" or CSF's are catching on. Similar to "community supported agriculture," or CSA's, the goal is to reclaim local sovereignty and food justice. Martha Baskin, interviewing Niaz Dorry, has our story.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

July 18, 2014: Wild Caught Cod Sizzling on the (Hospital) Grill: Making a Dent in Healthcare and Healthy Oceans

You might think locally sourced, omega-rich seafood would be a no-brainer for hospitals concerned about the health of their patients. But wild caught fisheries and the local healthy food movement have been slow to catch on in healthcare. There are notable exceptions, like Seattle's Virginia Mason Hospital. In this story we visit the hospital's kitchen, where mouth-watering good and sustainable seafood is available every day of the week.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014: Cruising for Carbon's Impact on the High Seas: Critters who Supply Half the World's Oxygen at Risk

The US west coast is a living laboratory for studying the effects of chemical changes in the ocean brought on by increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. On a recent month-long 'ocean acidification cruise' supported by the National Science Foundation, scientists found impacts to organisms at the foundation of the food web, phytoplankton, who also supply half the world's oxygen. The findings have yet to be analyzed in the lab but were the first ever to be conducted in the high seas.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

May 30, 2014: A Little Wild Space for Community and Growing Food for the Record Numbers Going Without

The urban wave of growing food shows no signs of cresting. Seattle is no different. Community farms, p-patches, and guerrilla gardens are sprouting as fast as high rises to accommodate more and more people moving to the area. But with the growth comes increased inequality and a sharp rise in those relying on food banks. Can urban farms grow food for all? We explore the issue with a visit to Seattle Community Farm and a local food bank. Come along!

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 15, 2014: On the Whale Trail with the Orca

Those fortunate enough to have seen a pod of killer whales or orcas will likely never forget it. Their sleekness, their powerful tails, their curiosity and boundless energy, make them irresistible. In this week's feature we catch up with someone who has worked to protect them in Salish Sea waters and all over the world. It's a conversation with Erich Hoyt, on tour with "The Whale Trail."

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Friday, May 2, 2014

May 2, 2014: They Can Fly a Thousand Miles Without Food Or Rest, Remember Every Single Flower They Visit, But Can They Survive Looming and Present Risks?

If you stop to think about it, birds are our most direct connection to nature. Their songs delight us, their journeys capture our imagination. Birds are the wildlife we interact with the most. But that bond is breaking. Each year more and more of them succumb to a host of threats: pesticides, the loss of habitat, climate change, and the biggest urban threat of all, cats. In this bittersweet tale Martha Baskin brings us their sounds and their plight.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17, 2014: First Hill on Edge as Residents and Workers Worry About Proposed Cuts to Bus Service

Proposed cuts to Metro are raising concerns for people across the socioeconomic spectrum. Voters across King County will decide April 22nd on Prop 1, a county wide measure that would add a tenth of a cent to the sales tax and set an annual car-tab fee of $60, to maintain service at current levels and help fund road and bridge projects. The car-tab fee will be $20 for those earning $31,000 or less. Martha Baskin caught up with riders and workers on First Hill who unanimously oppose the cuts.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

March 28, 2014: Salish Sea Map Comes Online Ahead of Anticipated Jump in Tanker Traffic

The rapid rise of tar sands oil shipments from Canada to the Northwest coast is leading to increased worries about oil spills on coastal waters. Tanker traffic is expected to increase 600% from 60 tar sands oil tankers a year to over 400. With memories of Exxon Valdez, the Deepwater Horizon, and more recently Galveston, residents of the San Juan Islands northwest of Seattle launched a drift card study to simulate the route of a potential oil spill in the Salish Sea. Martha Baskin reports from the San Juan Islands.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Leave Your Old Flame Behind: Wood Smoke Runs Afoul of Clean Air Act Raises Alarm for Clean Air Agency

It's the region's dirty little secret and it doesn't come from coal or crude oil but from tiny particulates released when wood is burned in old stoves. The particulates are pushing the region to run afoul of the Clean Air Act. Hot spots are Tacoma and parts of urbanized Pierce County. Solutions are underway from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. But time is running out for customers to follow the agency's advice and "leave your old flame behind."

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

March 6, 2014: In an Age of Climate Crisis, It Takes an (Eco)village

In a world of dwindling natural resources and mounting environmental crisis, who is devising ways of living that will work for the long haul? And how can we, as individuals, make a difference? To answer these burning questions, Professor Karen Litfin embarked upon a journey to many of the world’s ecovillages – intentional communities at the cutting-edge of sustainable living from LA to South India and Denmark to Senegal. Rural and urban, high tech and low tech, she discovered an under-the-radar global movement making positive and radical changes from the ground up.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February 19, 2014: Oil on the Tracks

The rapid rise in oil terminals in Washington State coupled with mounting oil train explosions in the US and Canada is prompting a slate of proposals on how to address the issue. In this news feature Martha Baskin catches up with a city council president, legislator, policy analyst and activist in a raging debate which shows no sign of ending soon.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

February 7, 2014: Re-Defining Environmental Equity in the Duwamish Valley with Lessons from the South Bronx

Talk to community organizers from the South Bronx and Seattle’s Duwamish River Valley and you’ll learn environmental justice isn’t just about public health impacts and toxic exposure, but about equity – quality of life, feeling good about where you live, good jobs and affordable housing. In this feature set in the Duwamish Valley, where cleanup and revitalization are underway, we talk with local organizers and Majora Carter, a nationally recognized urban revitalization expert, who became known for her work in the South Bronx.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

January 25, 2014: Trading Away Mother Earth: Greens & Fair Trade Advocates Slam Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement

When WikiLeaks recently exposed the "Environmental Chapter" of the little known trade agreement, Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, opponents' worst fears were confirmed. Like trade agreements before it, corporate interests trump enforceable consumer, environmental and labor standards. The agreement is fueling another debate over "fair trade" versus the "free trade" model long favored by the US. Martha Baskin has our report.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January 15, 2014: Guess What’s Going into a New Holding Tank on Lake Washington?

Cities with beautiful reputations to maintain like Seattle, the "evergreen" city, don’t often talk publicly about problems like raw sewage overflowing into local water ways after heavy storms. But when solutions are underway such as a new "holding tank" on Lake Washington with real time controls and this and that, pride goes out the window. Two million of Seattle’s 154 million gallons of combined sewage and storm water overflow will now have a temporary home, one storm at a time.

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