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FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

Category: Reports
November 19, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Some local hospitals not quickly screening all newborns

Swedish/First Hill in Seattle (Photo: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons)

Swedish Medical Center on First Hill (Photo: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons)

 

Unless you’re a parent or medical professional, you may not know that all newborn babies in Washington and across the country have their blood screened to detect rare diseases.

The timing of blood screenings is critically important because newborns afflicted with certain rare disorders can fall sick within just a few days of leaving the hospital.  Early detection through these screenings saves 12,000 babies each year in the United States from death or irreversible harm.

Unfortunately, nine hospitals in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties did not screen all newborn babies for dangerous genetic disorders within an acceptable window of time, according to a new investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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Comments | More in Public Records, Reports | Topics: health care, hospitals

November 6, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Is Seattle getting less walkable?

 

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

For Seattle, just being a walkable city isn’t good enough.  We want to be No. 1, the most walkable city in the nation. At least that’s the goal plainly stated in the Seattle Pedestrian Master Plan.

But we may be falling farther behind on that lofty goal than we thought.

Seattle’s walkability score actually declined this past year, according to the 2014 rankings of America’s most walkable cities, released on Wednesday by Walk Score.

The Seattle-based company, which scores thousands of cities and neighborhoods based on how convenient they are for someone on foot, releases new scores each year and ranks America’s top cities for pedestrians.  Last year, Seattle placed sixth with a score of 73.7 out of a possible 100.   We’re still in the top 10 this year, but we dropped down to eighth with a score of just 70.8.  Miami and Washington, D.C., leapfrogged over Seattle in the rankings.

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Comments | More in Reports | Topics: pedestrians, transportation

October 24, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Study: Seattle is top Twitter trendsetter in the U.S.

FYI-trendsDoes it seem like Seattle hasn’t spawned any pop-culture trends since the grunge era?

A new study says otherwise–at least in the realm of social media.

According to researchers at Indiana University, Seattle is the source of more trending topics on Twitter than any other U.S. city.

Take, for example, #ICanAdmit. This “hashtag” is used when tweeting something confessional. First popularized in Seattle, it went on to trend globally.

Or how about #YouWillNotBeTakenSeriouslyIf? Used when calling out foolishness in others, it too is a Seattle gift to the Twittersphere.

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Comments | More in Reports | Topics: social media, twitter

October 16, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Bellevue named one of the best places to live in the U.S.

Bellevue placed twelfth on a list of the “Top 100 Best Places To Live,” a ranking of small to mid-sized U.S. cities compiled by the website Livability.com. The rankings, released on Wednesday, were developed for Livability.com by the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute. Researchers studied 1,200 U.S. cities with populations…

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Comments | More in Reports | Topics: Bellevue, rankings

October 14, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Amtrak ridership is down in the Northwest–is Bolt Bus to blame?

The newly restored King Street Station in Seattle (Photo: JOHN LOK/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

The recently restored King Street Station in Seattle (Photo: JOHN LOK/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Have you seen our beautifully restored King Street Station yet? With such a stunning gateway to our city, you might think folks are clamoring to take Amtrak more than ever.

You’d be wrong.

Ridership on Amtrak’s Cascade route dropped 4  percent in the 2013 fiscal year, according to numbers released Monday by the company.

In 2013, 811,692 passengers boarded a train along the Cascades route, which runs between Vancouver, B.C., and Eugene, Ore.  That’s a decline of more than 33,000 passengers from 2012.

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Comments | More in Reports | Topics: Amtrak, trains, transportation

October 11, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Can the middle class still afford to buy a home in Seattle?

fyi-guy-middleclass-c

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Multiple offers, bidding wars, waived inspections–this is the reality for many house hunters in Seattle’s hot real-estate market.

With the King County median home price now at $420,000–a 12 percent jump in the past year–the American dream of home ownership may seem increasingly out of reach for middle-class folks in the Seattle area.

But it could be worse.

A new study by real-estate information company Trulia reveals that, contrary to what you might think, Seattle falls outside the 20 most unaffordable markets for middle-class homebuyers.

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Comments | More in Reports | Topics: real estate

May 29, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Report: Gun deaths outpace motor vehicle deaths in Washington

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Click to enlarge (Source: Violence Policy Center)

Washington is among 12 states, along with the District of Columbia, where deaths from firearms outnumber deaths from motor vehicles, according to a report from the Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C.  In 2010, there were 609 gun deaths compared with 554 motor-vehicle deaths in the state.

The numbers for firearms deaths include accidents, suicides, and legal interventions in addition to homicides (according to CDC data, most of Washington’s gun deaths were suicides–464 of the 609 fatalities).

Nationally, motor-vehicle deaths still outpace gun deaths.  However, the gap between the two numbers has been narrowing; since 1999, motor-vehicle deaths have declined by 20 percent while firearm deaths have jumped by 10 percent.

The other states with more gun deaths than motor vehicle deaths are: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Virginia (see table below for data; columns are sortable by clicking on the heading).

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Comments | More in Reports | Topics: cars, firearms, guns

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