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Tom Banse


  • caption: KUOW and Northwest News correspondent Tom Banse (right) interviews then Washington Governor Gary Locke in 1997.

    KUOW salutes reporter Tom Banse

    It's a bittersweet day for us here at KUOW as we say goodbye to a legend. For the last 37 years, one reporter has brought listeners to what’s felt like every corner of the state – as he’s broken news, covered politics, the environment, and told countless stories about the fascinating people around us. But after 37 years of diligent reporting, Tom is retiring.

  • caption: KinectAir CEO Jonathan Evans disembarks from a Pilatus PC-12 aircraft in Kalispell after joining a customer's flight from Vancouver, Washington.

    Private flying for regular people? A WA startup wants to widen the net

    For a few years now, aviation enthusiasts have teased the idea of a Jetsons-style future in which small electric aircraft whisk us to work or across the state and region. That future is not here yet, though a handful of companies, including one based in the Pacific Northwest, are trying to get a head start on the future of flying using conventional planes.

  • caption: Boeing continues to store large numbers of undelivered 737 MAX jets at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake.

    Stockpile of Boeing 737 MAX jets assures Moses Lake years of work

    When the MAX was grounded in 2019 after two deadly accidents, Boeing kept on manufacturing the airplane. Today, 100 or more undelivered MAX’s are still parked at an airfield in Moses Lake, Washington, awaiting modifications. The work is lasting so long that some technicians and machinists who were sent there from Boeing’s Puget Sound facilities are now buying homes and putting down roots.

  • caption: The Universal Hydrogen flight test crew posed for pictures after a successful first flight of the company's hydrogen-electric Dash 8 airliner on March 2, 2023.

    Hydrogen-powered airliner makes first flight at Moses Lake

    The largest aircraft yet to fly on hydrogen-electric power made a successful first flight Thursday at Moses Lake, Washington. The maiden flight of a converted turboprop airliner offered a preview of one possible pathway for how to make your future flights more eco-friendly. Hydrogen fuel is one of several options the aviation industry is testing to reduce its carbon footprint, but the technology still attracts notable skepticism.

  • caption: Bull kelp routinely washes up on West Coast beaches after storms, but there are more reasons to worry about the health of the kelp forests just offshore.

    Struggling Northwest kelp forests sending out an SOS. Help is coming

    There's a rallying cry at various bays and beaches up and down the West Coast; it's "Help the kelp!" The towering brown seaweed with the floating bulb on top is in steep decline. That's alarming because underwater kelp forests provide shelter and food for a wide variety of sea life. The crew answering the call runs the gamut from seaweed farmers to hammer-wielding scuba divers and might some day include sea otters and octopuses.

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    Democratic lawmakers steer pay-per-mile into slow lane to replace gas tax, eventually

    Would you prefer to pay a couple of cents for every mile you drive in exchange for not having to pay gas tax or those steep electric car registration fees? A mileage-based tax is the top choice of Pacific Northwest policymakers to make up for the long-term decline in gas tax revenue. But imposition of any new tax tends to be politically fraught, and this one is no exception.

  • caption: Portland Fire & Rescue would be the second department nationally to take delivery of an electric fire engine built by Pierce Manufacturing. This is the first one in service with the Madison Fire Department in Wisconsin.

    Fire trucks are going electric, too. Portland and Redmond, WA, getting there first

    You probably no longer blink an eye when an electric car passes by on the road. More novel battery-powered vehicles are soon joining the parade to help operators achieve their sustainability goals. Electric ferries are coming to Puget Sound and hybrid electric airplanes are being tested in Washington. Now, several Pacific Northwest fire departments have ordered their first electric fire trucks.