Keith Seinfeld Subscribe to KPLU News for Seattle and the Northwest RSS

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Health & Science Reporter/Assistant News Director

Keith Seinfeld has been KPLU’s Health & Science Reporter since 2001, and prior to that covered the Environment beat. He’s been a staff reporter at The Seattle Times and The News Tribune in Tacoma and a freelance writer-producer. His work has been honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



Keith’s most memorable KPLU radio moment: “Watching brain surgery on a patient with Parkinson’s Disease. When the doctor pulled out a pretty hefty hand-held drill, I realized: It may be a hi-tech procedure, but you still have to put a hole in the skull, while the patient’s awake.”

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10:04am

Fri January 7, 2011
Disaster Preparedness

Earthquake or volcano -- worst case natural disaster?

AP

With massive flooding in Australia in the news, or earthquakes in South America, perhaps it’s no surprise that 2010 was the most deadly year in a generation for natural disasters around the globe.  What’s the worst we might face here in western Washington?

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8:00am

Thu January 6, 2011
520 Floating Bridge

Tolls coming to Lake Washington's SR-520, with unintended impacts

Flickr/Marc_Smith

Tolls costing $7 for a peak-period round-trip are coming to the highway-520 floating bridge across Lake Washington.  The tolls, approved Wednesday night, will pay for a new, wider bridge – although that bridge won’t open until 2014, at the earliest.   

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11:06am

Thu December 16, 2010
Smoking

Electronic cigarettes considered a new public health threat

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

Just when you thought cigarettes were headed for obscurity, along comes the electronic cigarette.  The King County Board of Health is restricting these "e-cigarettes" in the name of protecting youth -- and keeping a stigma against smoking. 

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4:39pm

Fri December 10, 2010
Weather

Pineapple Express brings flooding on Sunday

UW/Dpt. of Atmospheric Sciences / (http://www.atmos.washington.edu/mm5rt/)

A big rainstorm is headed to western Washington this weekend.  Forecasters say Saturday should start out pleasant, with the rainstorm hitting south Puget Sound in the late morning, and the Seattle area by around noon.

It’s not supposed to be as bad as devastating storms a few years ago, but flooding is likely on some rivers. 

There are a few rivers in western Washington that flood regularly – such as the Skokomish and the Tolt.  This year, you can add one more to that list, a section of the Puyallup River in eastern Pierce County.

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12:44am

Thu December 9, 2010
Alaskan Way Viaduct

Big day ahead for Seattle tunnel

AP

Thursday is a big day for the proposed deep-bore tunnel beneath downtown Seattle.  An underground highway is supposed to replace the elevated freeway along the waterfront. 


At 1 pm, Governor Chris Gregoire will unseal the dollar amounts attached to two bids submitted earlier this fall.  Then, Washington Department of Transportation staff will add up a total score, based on price and engineering details, and announce an apparent winner of the final construction contract. 

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3:33am

Wed December 8, 2010
Health Insurance

Kreidler rejects Regence rate hike

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has rejected a new rate increase requested by one of the state’s largest health insurers.  It’s the second time in recent months Kreidler has sparred with Regence BlueShield. 

Regence is seeking a 3.7% increase for its Washington customers, including the Asuris subsidiary, starting January first, to cover the cost of new benefits required by the federal health law.  This applies to its individual insurance plans, not to plans provided through employers.

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4:03pm

Fri December 3, 2010
Business

Nalley’s saying ‘Goodbye’ to Tacoma after 92 years

Richards Studio, Tacoma via Tacoma Public Library Archives

Tacoma is losing one of its landmark businesses.  Nalley Foods will close its local plant some time next year. 

Nalley’s has been well known for its brand of potato chips, pickles, and mayonnaise.  The chips were ubiquitous across the Northwest for decades, but that line was sold-off 15 years ago. 

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2:51pm

Thu December 2, 2010
Philanthropy

Paul Allen gives big donation to WSU for global health

AP (Elaine Thompson)

Washington State University is getting the biggest donation in its history – from its most famous drop-out.  Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, is giving $26 million, to support the new School for Global Animal Health.  Allen’s donation is just a little bigger than one given by his old Microsoft pal Bill Gates two years ago. 

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7:58am

Thu December 2, 2010
FIFA World Cup

No World Cup for Seattle and U.S. in 2022

AP

Seattle will not be hosting World Cup matches in 2022.  The United States was up against four other countries to host the World Cup. But the bid has gone to the Middle Eastern country Qatar.  

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11:43am

Wed December 1, 2010
AIDS

HIV cases stay steady, predominantly gay

The number of people getting newly infected with HIV has stayed steady in Washington since 2005.  There are about 570 new cases a year.  Most of those – 63% -- are gay and bisexual men.  The Washington Department of Health says those numbers justify changes in how it distributes funding, starting in January. 

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