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Out With The Coach, In With A New Star Player For Sounders

The Seattle Sounders host the LA Galaxy Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains the nationally-televised match comes after a tumultuous week for the team. Why Now? "The short answer is they had a terrible game against Sporting Kansas City, his last game, in which they got no shots on goal and just one shot that was six yards wide," Thiel said. "The bigger picture was that a lot of the veterans are on the north side of 30 and a lot of the young players haven't developed yet. "And Schmid couldn't quite make something happen with this roster that was ill-designed — which is not his fault, really. That's the responsibility of General Manager Garth Lagerwey. "Lagerwey did say something in the press conference that was interesting. He said he's only been here 18 months and he deferred to Sigi Schmid during that time, meaning he didn't want to say something bad about the best coach and the only coach they've had. "But clearly he was unhappy. He said

How Northwest Mountains Make Their Own Summer Storms

Have you ever noticed that oftentimes on summer afternoons, big clouds seem to form right over the Cascades or the Olympics, almost like the mountains have their own weather systems? They do. "It's true," says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. "Many summer afternoons, we see puffy cumulous clouds starting to form over the upper slopes of the Cascades. And they increase in width and height during the afternoon and quite frequently you have a few showers there – even some lightning," he said. "And so that's real, we see it over the Cascades, we see it over the Olympics." Mass, who is a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, says the physical structure of mountains can create their own weather systems, caused by the way air flows around them. "What happens is during a normal summer day, the slopes of the mountains heat up," Mass says. This causes the air to flow up the slopes on both the eastern and western sides of the Cascades or Olympics. And then the upward

Delegate Nguyen Feeling Inspired Near The End Of DNC

On Wednesday night of the Democratic National Convention, some political heavyweights took the stage to pledge their support for the presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. There were speeches from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine and President Barack Obama. Each of them explained how they think Clinton is uniquely qualified to be the next commander in chief. Washington state delegate Trang Nguyen was in the audience again, listening. Nguyen says she thought Kaine's speech resonated well with Clinton supporters and delegates. "He had some great lines, like, if you're looking for the party of Lincoln, home is here," she said. "He mentioned Bernie a couple times and allowed us to cheer for him, which shows his respect for all of the Sanders delegates." During his speech Wednesday night, vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine told the crowd: "We all should feel the Bern. And we all should not want to get burned by the other guy." Nguyen says

Scientists Seek Answers As Dead Seabirds Wash Up On Local Beaches

Marine scientists are on alert as hundreds of seabirds have been washing up dead on local beaches. Since May, the bodies of more than 300 rhinoceros auklets have been collected around the eastern side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Washington's Protection Island Wildlife Refuge, near Port Townsend, is home to one of the world's largest known colonies of the puffin-like bird, which is named for its unique appearance. "Because it has a big horn right on the top of its bill, so it looks like a little rhinoceros," says University of Washington professor Julia Parrish. Parrish tracks the birds in her role as executive director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, COASST. Normally, she says as many as 15 or so might wash ashore each year on beaches around the Salish Sea. "But this year, we have a body count that's topped about 320 birds. So that's a huge, huge difference." She adds that about 72,000 rhinoceros auklets nest on Protection Island every summer, and with others in

Tipping On Vacation: Sometimes It's Obvious; Sometimes It's Rude

Travel involves tipping, from the airport shuttle to the hotel to the restaurants, and sometimes even the bathroom. KPLU travel expert talks about some of the places you might be expected to leave a gratuity. Restrooms In some places, you'll find a bathroom attendant to offer you soap or a towel. Other public restrooms require a fee for entry, or a small fee to get toilet paper on your way in (we're looking at you, Cuba). It's a mostly thankless job, and your tip is always appreciated. Chefs Had a good meal? "You can ask to meet the chef," Brumley says. He often tips when he does. "That really surprises them, and I think they find it touching that someone found the meal so good that they would personally seek them out." Hotel Housekeeping This one isn't a shocker. Between $3 and $5 a night is a good amount, Brumley says. Note that you might not get the same maid for the duration of your stay. It's good to tip every day if you can, so the tip goes to the person who actually cleans your

Following Clinton's Nomination, Delegate Nguyen Says 'I Felt Like I Didn't Belong'

Hillary Clinton made history Tuesday by officially being nominated as the first female Democratic presidential candidate at the party's national convention in Philadelphia. The delegates from each of the states took part in a roll call vote to make it official. After the vote was taken, many of the supporters for former candidate Bernie Sanders walked out of the convention hall. Washington state delegate Trang Nguyen was among them. Nguyen explains that she is still struggling with the idea of backing Clinton. "I find it very, very difficult to fall in line. There are certain things that are very, very important to me that she hasn't addressed, such as a carbon tax and banning fracking," she said. "To be honest, I felt like I didn't belong there at the DNC after she was nominated." Nguyen says she was elected to represent Bernie Sanders and the 73 percent of Washington voters who supported him during the state's Democratic caucuses in March. But while she is devoted to Sanders and his

Following Clinton's Nomination, Delegate Nguyen Says 'I Felt Like I Didn't Belong'

Seattle To Vote On Initiative To Build A Mile-Long Elevated Park On Viaduct Site

Once-in-a-generation opportunity or harebrained scheme? Both have been used to describe Initiative 123 on the city of Seattle primary ballot.

Seattle To Vote On Initiative To Build A Mile-Long Elevated Park On Viaduct Site

Food for Thought: Nancy's African Adventure

Africa was never on my bucket list, but after traveling with family and friends to Kenya and Tanzania this month, I hope it's on yours. There are a million reasons why, and I told Stein only a handful of them (food related, of course!) this week on Food for Thought. So, what was I doing there? For years, our friends Emily and Aaron, a young Seattle couple who've lived, worked and traveled extensively on the continent, have been carrying on about how they'd love to introduce us to their favorite place on earth — East Africa. The plan: We'd meet Emily's longtime pals in Nairobi, rent a bus and spend a day at Arusha National Park with children from the school where Aaron once worked, and hang with the lions, zebras and elephants on a dusty five-day safari with Em, Aaron and a trio of their Seattle pals ("You can help cook, Nancy!"). After that, we'd cross back into Kenya and fly from Nairobi to Mombassa, then take a rickety late-night ferry and drive to a quiet beach where we'd finally

Snohomish County Voters Mull Sales Tax Hike As Way To Decrease Crime

Voters in Snohomish County are deciding whether to increase the county sales tax to beef up law enforcement. While the measure would put more sheriff's deputies on the street, officials hope additional resources will help get at the root of the problems the county faces. Snohomish County officials say the twin epidemics of heroin and homelessness are ravaging the community. Proposition 1 would raise the sales tax to tackle these problems. The county wants to hire 35 sheriff's deputies and add social workers. Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Ternary says the combination is key to getting people help versus sending them to jail. "It hits at the type of policing people want to see, which is us working together with human services," said Ternary. "If you told me 20 years ago I was going to have a social worker as my partner in the car, I wouldn't have believed it, but clearly we are seeing great successes." 
 Trenary says the county's had a 23 percent increase in property crimes in the last two

Washington State Ferries Food Vendor Makes Last-Ditch Effort To Keep Concession

The Bremerton-based company that's been serving hot dogs, coffee and other refreshments on Washington State Ferries for more than a decade is fighting to keep its concession. Earlier this year, Olympic Cascade Services lost the ferry food contract to a multi-national corporation based in Connecticut.

Washington State Ferries Food Vendor Makes Last-Ditch Effort To Keep Concession

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