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May 28  |  
Law & PorterWill work for Beer Nuts: Two lawyers have launched a legal trade group to assist the makers of craft beers and other alcoholic beverages negotiate the differing and complicated raft of state and federal laws that govern the growing industry (Page A11).Take your pick: Two lawyers walk into a bar, then walk out with a retainer. How many lawyers does it take to form a trade group? Two: One to file the briefs; the other to buy the pitcher.

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May 27  |  
Drawing a blank: The state Supreme Court unanimously upheld a lower court ruling that strikes down Tim Eyman's anti-tax Initiative 1366 because it violates a state constitutional requirement that limits initiatives to a single subject.

The court, which has struck down other Eyman ballot measures, has instituted a new practice to save itself time in cases involving Eyman. It uses a boilerplate ruling that leaves blanks where the initiative number can be...

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May 26  |  
Daddy's gotta buy a new pair of handmade alligator shoes: CEOs at America's biggest corporations snagged an average 4.5 percent raise in their base pay in 2015, about double the typical wage hike for everyday workers last year.

Alas, the CEOs are hurting just like the rest of us. While it's more than twice the rate of inflation, their pay raise did not keep pace with...

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May 25  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
They're no dummies: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its latest crash-test ratings for Detroit's muscle cars: the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. None did well, but the Challenger rated poorly in four of five tests.

All the same, the crash-test dummies said, the cars are great for picking up those shapely mannequins.

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May 24  |  
Hope he tipped 20 percent: Anthony Bourdain, host of the "Parts Unknown" food show on CNN, dined with President Barack Obama in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Monday — and then magnanimously picked up the $6 check.

Even one of the college kids who just sent Bernie Sanders their last 27 bucks probably could have covered that tab.


Channel-surfing the vast cultural wasteland: Winners will be named tonight on two of...

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May 23  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
And it's not a "Christmas tree" for funny cars: Our Street Smarts columnist unveils the answer as to why some traffic lights don't turn yellow when the crosswalk timer counts down to zero.

Turns out those timers are meant for pedestrians, not motorists, so you can stop pretending it's a countdown to blast off.



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May 21  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Set course to Seattle, Warp Factor 1: Seattle's EMP Museum's new exhibit, "Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds," celebrates 50 years of the TV series and movies and includes spaceship models, costumes and other memorabilia familiar to many fans, including a phaser from the original series.

Our reporter recommends you boldly go, but we advise away teams to...

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May 20  |  
Squeeze in

Cozy up to your neighbor: After a couple weeks of relief, the SnoCo Squeeze is expected to return this weekend as northbound I-5 is reduced to two narrow lanes near Marysville and the onramp from Highway 529 to I-5 is closed as expansion joint work continues.

With a little cooperation we can get through this: If the folks in the back will push, the rest of us in front can close our eyes and get a nap in.


The $1.50...

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May 17  |  
Take it outside to the convention, folks: Wendell Pierce, actor on "The Wire" and outspoken Hillary Clinton supporter, was arrested and charged with simple battery in Atlanta over the weekend after getting into a dust-up with some Bernie Sanders supporters in a hotel bar at 3:30 a.m..

As Detective William "Bunk" Moreland would surely remind us, absolutely nothing good can happen in a hotel bar at 3:30 in the morning.



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May 16  |  
But will he do his homework? Top Republicans have decided that presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump needs to go to school for a crash course in foreign policy.

They're confident that the Donald will learn a lot — unless, of course, he gets expelled for sticking a "kick me" sign on teacher Lindsay Graham's back.

What won't change: Once they become ubiquitous in a couple of decades, self-driving cars will be so popular that they will...

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May 14  |  
Now that's an early bird special: Artifacts found in a Florida sinkhole show people lived in the Sunshine State some 14,500 years ago, scientists say.

Antiquities recovered from the sinkhole included a stone knife, a bearskin rug, and a coupon good for two mastodon shanks for the price of one at Ugg's Family Restaurant.

That's the press, baby: Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump says Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner...

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May 13  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Coming to a theater near you: Google is asking the Unicode Consortium, which controls specifications for emojis, to approve a set of emojis that show the diversity of professional roles in which women serve.

Sure, but back that up a bit. The Unicode Consortium? Isn't that the name of the latest Dan Brown conspiracy novel to be turned into a Tom Hanks thriller.

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May 12  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
A series of tubes: Hyperloop One, which has proposed whisking people and cargo at high speeds through a tube, successfully demonstrated its propulsion system.

We're not sure where the proponents of Hyperloop One got their idea, but we're afraid to ask what they did as kids with their model rockets, Habitrails and hamsters.



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May 11  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Do you salute before or after you twist the cap off? Budweiser is renaming itself through the November elections. Its "America is in Your Hands" advertising campaign will replace the Budweiser name on cans and bottles with the word America. The labels also will have passages from the Pledge of Allegiance and patriotic hymns.

Which raises the question: How many cans of...

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May 10  |  
Tap here if you can't see the forest for the trees: Reading things on device screens, as opposed to a printout on paper, causes people to focus on details while broader ideas sail over their heads, research shows.

Apparently the ideal screen for the display of Big Ideas is 8 1/2 by 11, white and foldable.





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May 9  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
It ain't over ‘til the fat lady gets the axe: The Minnesota Opera premiered an operatic version of Stephen King's "The Shining" on Saturday. It's based on the horror novel rather than the Stanley Kubrick film that starred Jack Nicholson.

But one aria should be familiar if a little repetitive: It's just the crazed novelist sitting at his typewriter singing, "All...

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May 7  |  
Unworthy of the name: For the second year in a row, Emma and Noah are the top baby names in the United States, the Social Security Administration says. Absent from this year's list was a formerly popular girl's name, Isis.

The Buzz calls on the Obama administration to restore Isis to its rightful place as a lovely girl's name and Bob Dylan song title, and start calling those homicidal freaks "Bertha."



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May 6  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Head in the clouds: The federal Food and Drug Administration has announced new regulations for e-cigarettes, including banning their use by minors younger than 18.

Among the new rules, e-cigarettes and the vials of liquid used in vaping will have to carry a warning label: "The Surgeon General has determined that you don't look as cool as you think you do when vaping."

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May 5  |  
From 17 down to 1: Businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican Party nominee for president Wednesday, as Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Trump's final opponent, ended his low-key, long-shot campaign.

In a statement, Kasich said he could see no clear path to the nomination as the No. 8 candidate in a two-person race.





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May 4  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Blame it on Rio: Brazil's president, even as she faces an impeachment hearing, ignited the Olympic flame, beginning the torch relay that will tour 329 Brazilian cities before ending Aug. 5 at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Along with political turmoil, Brazil also is facing health concerns regarding the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

To address Zika, the Olympic cauldron built to...

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May 3  |  
Mystery of the money that is a mystery in itself: An Australian entrepreneur's claim that he is the founder of the digital currency Bitcoin was met by skepticism from some experts, but was believed by others.

The Buzz thinks that the ultimate test of whether this guy is for real would be to ask him if he can coherently explain what Bitcoin is, how it is supposed to work, and why anybody should care.



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May 2  |  
Last job they'll ever get: Three leading candidates, all Democrats, have begun trying to distinguish themselves in the race to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott and earn the coveted title of Congress-person for Life in the very liberal 7th Congressional District.

A close race could hinge on small things that are big deals in the 7th District, such as getting caught opting for plastic instead of paper at the supermarket checkout line.



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April 30  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Pop goes the weasel: The world's largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, was shut down after a weasel invaded a transformer that powers the apparatus and caused an electrical outage. The weasel did not survive, and little remains of the small mammal.

The monkey, which unlike the weasel, did not stop to scratch its nose, was not harmed as it was being...

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April 29  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
But how do you really feel, John? Former Speaker of the House John Boehner told a crowd at Stanford University that he'd vote for Donald Trump if he becomes the Republican presidential nominee but not for Sen. Ted Cruz, calling Cruz, "Lucifer in the flesh," and saying he had "never worked with a more miserable (S.O.B.) in my life."

Beelzebub, R-H.E.Double...

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April 28  |  
Fourth and long at their own 15 with 30 seconds to play: Looking to give his campaign a jolt as the Donald Trump Orange Express rolls to the Republican presidential nomination, Ted Cruz on Wednesday named former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his running mate.

If her tenure at HP is any guide, Fiorina should indeed give the Cruz campaign a jolt — straight into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, that is.

Better living through fewer...

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April 27  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Shine's off the Apple: For the first time in more than a decade, Apple reported a drop in quarterly revenue as sales of its iPhone tailed off. It sold 51.2 million iPhones in the first three months of the year, about 10 million fewer than a year earlier. The company is battling perceptions that its latest iPhones aren't much different from previous models.

Here, Apple, let us help...

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April 26  |  
HILL ‘N' DON SMASH: Presidential primaries in five East Coast states happen tonight, with front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton predicted to do well.

At this rate, the Ted Cruz-John Kasich alliance to stop Trump could get help from Captain America, the Fantastic Four and the Golden State Warriors ... and still fail.



2-4-6-8 who do we depreciate: Newspaper publisher Gannett wants to buy rival Tribune...

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April 25  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Bring a picnic: A pothole — 12 feet long, three feet wide and seven inches deep — in the northbound I-5 lanes near Marysville flattened tires and caused backups for hours on Sunday.

If we didn't need the lane on I-5, we would have suggested roping off the pothole and charging admission to the Grand Marysville Canyon.

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April 23  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Let's do this, a couple of times: Americans are expected to spend $310 billion on home repairs and renovations this year, upgrading kitchens, bathrooms and more.

Of course, only $100 billion of that will be by do-it-yourselfers, with the other $210 billion being spent to hire someone to fix what was messed up the first time.



It's the...

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April 22  |  By Jon Bauer, Herald staff
And I'll need your key to the executive washroom: U.S. banking regulators are looking to crack down on exorbitant executive pay. If an executive's riskier financial decisions don't pay off, the bank would have seven years to demand the return of the exec's bonus.

What a relief. For a while there we thought the banks might not get their money back to throw at some other overpaid...

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