Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Triââ
Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 4:00 pm
The Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington has inspired documentaries, museum exhibits, art shows and even a book of poetry. Now, a Northwest band call Tangerine is about to release a new song that tackles the leaking tanks of radioactive waste at the federal site.
“I guess it’s a slightly unusual topic for a pop song," admits Marika Justad. "Especially one that has a romantic angle. Justad sings and plays guitar and piano for Tangerine, an alternative pop band from Seattle.
Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:48 pm
Wine grapes throughout the Northwest are ripening faster this year because of the hot dry summer. Vineyard managers and winemakers are preparing for a breakneck harvest over the next few weeks -- if it stays warm.
This year Eastern Washington had record-setting heat in July, while Oregon had consistently warm weather. Growers throughout the Northwest are hoping for cooler temperatures so the grapes don’t race to ripeness.
The prediction is for more wine, deeper colors and higher alcohol levels.
Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 2:53 pm
The Northwest hydropower system is full of dams that were built over the strenuous objections of Native American tribes. Now, two of these old projects are changing ownership -- one in Western Montana and another in central Oregon.
And it’s the tribes that were once powerless to stop them that are becoming the new managers.
The Kerr Dam went up on the Flathead Indian Reservation in the 1930s. It’s north of Missoula. Homesteaders and farmers used it for irrigation and it still generates electricity to this day.
The blueberries on your morning cereal are less expensive this year. That's because farmers are harvesting a bumper crop this summer. It's good news for berry lovers, but the bounty might wreck some blueberry growers.
In Richland, Wash., Genoa Blankenship pops open the lid on a box of blueberries. Her three young children struggle to stop wiggling. Blankenship loves the idea of healthy snacks that are easy to take along to soccer practice.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 4:56 pm
Washington’s state Attorney General is praising an appeals court decision on a nuclear waste repository in Nevada. The ruling requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to get the licensing process back on track for Yucca Mountain.
The state of Washington wants Yucca Mountain to be the permanent waste repository for radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. But President Obama buried the project because of opposition from Nevada’s political leaders.
Federal officials are trying to figure out what to do about radioactive materials that remain at a place near the Columbia River known as the 300 Area. It’s the subject of a series of public meetings that kick off this week.
The 300 Area was where workers milled uranium rods and tested ways to process plutonium during WWII and the Cold War. They poured about 2 million gallons of radioactive liquid waste a day into sandy ponds and trenches right next to the Columbia River. Cleaning up buildings and material there has kept crews busy for 20 years.
A group of farmers in southeast Washington is trying to stop the federal government from giving endangered species protection to a rare plant. It’s called the White Bluffs bladderpod. And it grows on a narrow ribbon of federal land and farms.
A farmer group is using genetic tests to claim that the plant is not as rare as it seems.
Managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation say crews have cleaned up 15 million tons of radioactive soil and debris from near the Columbia River. It’s gone to a massive dump at the center of the site.
In central Hanford, a ceremonial load of soil marked 15 million tons of waste disposed of at the 52-football-field-sized dump called ERDF. Dozens of truck horns blared in response.
Northwest Montana’s Blackfeet Indian Reservation stretches across 1.5 million acres. But it turns out that isn’t enough room for the free-roaming bison herd that tribes are attempting to establish. Northwest Native Americans are hoping restored buffalo herds may reopen ancient trade and cultural traditions.