Our Northwest

Aberdeen to observe Kurt Cobain Day

Friday, February 14, 2014by  Jon Osterberg

kurt cobain dayAberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson has proclaimed Feb. 20 to forever be Kurt Cobain Day in his city, beginning this year.

Cobain fronted the rock band Nirvana, slated to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10. Cobain was born in Aberdeen in 1967 and grew up there, forming Nirvana in 1985 with Krist Novoselic. Cobain died in April 1994 in Seattle of self-inflicted shotgun wounds.

Burgeoning breweries: Washington is now home to 251 breweries, second most in the U.S. behind California’s 508.

The Beer Institute says 948 new breweries sprang up across the country in 2013, and Washington accounted for 62 of those.

Oregon, with 208 breweries, is No. 4 nationally behind Colorado (217).

Coffee not so bad: New research from the University of Birmingham in England concludes that, contrary to popular belief, coffee hydrates the body as well as water.

pioneer coffee roasting company sign That’s welcome news for coffee guzzlers. (I start each day with 20 ounces of fresh-ground Pioneer, roasted in Cle Elum.)

For years doctors have warned that coffee dehydrates the body, making the heart work harder to pump blood through the vessels. But the British researchers say that notion comes from a 1928 study that’s no longer relevant.

Skeptics caution that people prone to dehydration still should be cautious with coffee.

Hey, did West Seattle get plowed? Portland’s Bureau of Transportation plowed 518 miles of city streets during last week’s snowstorm, according to The Oregonian.

portland snow ployDespite that, city officials heard complaints from residents wanting residential streets plowed, not just arterials.

Portland owns a fleet of 55 snowplows, which might seem like a lot to Seattle residents. KING-TV reported in 2012 that the Seattle Department of Transportation owns 30 plows.

However, Portland gets more annual snowfall than Seattle and sees lower temperatures in the winter. So the larger fleet seems warranted.

Spokane, which averages 49 inches of snow each winter, owns a fleet of 66 machines – snowplows, graders, and de-icers.

Alaska expands, United contracts: One longtime airline serving Sea-Tac International Airport is adding routes, while another has scaled back.

Alaska AirlinesAlaska Airlines announced Feb. 11 it will fly nonstop beginning in June to New Orleans and Tampa, and to Detroit in September.

Delta seems to be stepping up as an Alaska competitor by adding new destinations of its own, according to a Tacoma News Tribune article.

Meanwhile, United Airlines, once the dominant carrier flying out of Sea-Tac, has seen its share of Sea-Tac passengers drop to less than 6% of the market.

A friend who’s been a United flight attendant for decades told me wistfully that United dropped her Japan route last month. In fact, United no longer flies to any international destinations out of Sea-Tac or Portland.

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