Tom Banse, KUOW

Tom Banse

KUOW

Olympia, WA, United States

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Recent:
  • Unknown
Past:
  • KUOW
  • OPB
  • knkx public radio
  • NorthwestPublicBroadcasting

Past articles by Tom:

NW has dodged wildfire smoke this summer (so far), but fires still being fought across Washington

Wildfire smoke around the Seattle area hasn't caused too many problems this year, compared to years past. Except in Southern Oregon, it's been a quiet summer for smoke monitors, with about a month left in the regular fire season. The Pacific Northwest is still reaping the benefits of the cooler-than-normal spring and delayed mountain snowmelt. Wildfire smoke drifting north from California only… → Read More

OPB

Coastal Washington tribe creates higher ground by building tsunami tower, first of its type here

There is a new option to escape a tsunami if you’re on the southwest coast of Washington when the Big One strikes. The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe on Friday dedicated a 50-foot tall evacuation tower in Tokeland, Washington. Tribal leaders and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the new tsunami refuge platform should be an example and inspiration for other vulnerable coastal communities. → Read More

OPB

The ‘best worst idea’: Race from Washington to Alaska for engineless boats returns

A Northwest adventure race that some call "the best worst idea" has returned after a long, pandemic hiatus. The 2022 running of the Race to Alaska for engineless boats cast off at the first light of dawn Monday amid high winds in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, conditions the organizers characterized as "between seasick and dangerous." → Read More

Big factory for electric car battery materials coming to Moses Lake, Washington

San Francisco Bay area company Sila Nanotechnologies purchased a vacant factory in Moses Lake, Washington, and announced plans Tuesday to open a big operation there to produce advanced battery materials to power electric cars. → Read More

OPB

‘Green’ aluminum inches closer in Pacific Northwest, if only they can power the last remaining smelter

The push to restart the last remaining aluminum smelter in the Pacific Northwest got a boost this week as well as absorbed a setback. The prospective new owners of the idled Alcoa Intalco Works smelter near Ferndale, Washington, secured $10 million in taxpayer support to upgrade the decades-old factory. But separately, the Bonneville Power Administration said it turned down a request for a large… → Read More

'Green’ aluminum inches closer in Northwest, if only they can power the last remaining smelter

The push to restart the last remaining aluminum smelter in the Pacific Northwest got a boost this week as well as absorbed a setback. The prospective new owners of the idled Alcoa Intalco Works smelter near Ferndale, Washington, secured $10 million in taxpayer support to upgrade the decades-old factory. But separately, the Bonneville Power Administration said it turned down a request for a large… → Read More

Pickleball develops pros, prize money, biz ecosystem as it's designated Washington's state sport

Next week, Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign a law designating pickleball as the official state sport of Washington. The mash-up of badminton, tennis and pingpong has come a long way since its invention on Bainbridge Island, Washington, in 1965. Skilled local pickleball players have turned pro and brand new businesses are opening to cater to the pandemic boom in recreational play. → Read More

Washington House jettisons exported fuel tax proposal that angered neighboring states

A proposed tax on gasoline and diesel delivered to out-of-state customers from Washington refineries has gone by the wayside. The Washington House of Representatives voted Tuesday night to jettison and replace the "exported fuel tax" after strong blowback from neighboring states. → Read More

These athletes from the Northwest are going to the 2022 Winter Olympics

The presence of eleven skiers, skaters and sliders with ties to the Northwest should add intrigue to the 2022 Beijing Olympics, although the upcoming sports spectacle beset with extreme COVID precautions, a diplomatic boycott and scarce snowfall hardly needs more drama. Several late additions to the Team USA Olympic roster upped the regional representation at next month’s Winter Games to similar… → Read More

OPB

Staffing shortages contribute to concerns about a critical medical supply: Blood

The American Red Cross says blood supplies going into the holidays are «dangerously low.» One reason for this is that fewer donors are coming forward during the pandemic. Another is short staffing among the blood collectors, also known as phlebotomists. → Read More

Scarcity of blood collectors contributing to 'critical' shortages in blood supply

The American Red Cross says blood supplies going into the holidays are "dangerously low." One reason for this is that fewer donors are coming forward during the pandemic. Another is short staffing among the blood collectors, also known as phlebotomists. → Read More

When will drone delivery be a thing? Slow to take off, but now building in Bend

Holiday shopping season is just around the corner. With all the news about supply chain problems, you might be wondering how to get your online purchases on time. A startup company has opened a factory in Bend, Oregon, to manufacture delivery drones. But those zippy aircraft won’t be flying packages to your house. → Read More

SuperSonics star places first legal sports bet in Washington state

Just in time for the kickoff of the NFL regular season, the first legal sports betting operation in Washington state has opened for business. On Thursday, a line of bettors queued behind a sports celebrity to place their first bets at a tribal casino in the eastern suburbs of Seattle. → Read More

In a hot NW housing market, even isolated Point Roberts is seeing prices sizzle

How hot is the Pacific Northwest real estate market? So hot that even in an isolated exclave such as Point Roberts, Washington, home prices are sizzling and some properties are changing hands sight unseen. → Read More

OPB

Tokyo Olympics were a medal bonanza for athletes with Pacific Northwest ties

Athletes from the Pacific Northwest will practically need an ore cart to push their haul of precious metal to the airport after the final weekend of action at the Tokyo Olympics. Professional basketball and baseball players from Portland, Tacoma and Seattle accounted for most of the gold and silver medals as the delayed 2020 Summer Games came to a close. → Read More

Tokyo Olympics were a gold, silver and bronze bonanza for athletes with Pacific NW ties

Athletes from the Pacific Northwest will practically need an ore cart to push their haul of precious metal to the airport after the final weekend of action at the Tokyo Olympics. Professional basketball and baseball players from Portland, Tacoma and Seattle accounted for most of the gold and silver medals as the delayed 2020 Summer Games came to a close.Olympians with strong connections to… → Read More

Seattle's Nevin Harrison wins first Olympic women's canoe 200

Nevin Harrison saved her tears for the finish line, where they came pouring out over a golden smile. The American teenager made women's Olympic history on → Read More

'Dangerously hot' temps force schedule changes at Olympic trials in Eugene

The broiling heat in the weekend forecast is forcing changes at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials underway in Eugene. Distance races are being shifted earlier in the day, but shorter events are staying put on the schedule in the peak afternoon heat. → Read More

Community immunity in reach for Northwest vaccination overachievers

Hesitancy to get vaccinated against the coronavirus has justifiably drawn considerable attention because some counties and neighborhoods are lagging far... → Read More

Ongoing closure of Canadian border to nonessential crossings makes Washington enclave 'stir crazy'

The United States and Canadian governments confirmed Thursday that pandemic border crossing restrictions will continue for at least another month to June 21. This is the fourteenth month-by-month extension of the closure of the northern border to nonessential crossings. The lengthy closure has been especially wearing on Point Roberts, a community in northwestern Washington state that is cut off… → Read More