Tom Banse

Regional Correspondent

Tom Banse covers business, environment, public policy, human interest and national news across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be heard during "Morning Edition," "Weekday," and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Before taking his current beat, Tom covered state government and the Washington Legislature for 12 years. During the early 1990s, he worked in the Seattle bureau of United Press International. He got his start in radio at WCAL–FM, a public station in southern Minnesota. Reared in Seattle, Tom graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota with a degree in American Studies. In 1996, he spent two months reporting from Bonn and Berlin, Germany on an Arthur F. Burns Fellowship. In 1999, he traversed the globe to cover the Pacific Rim (Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan) on a Jefferson Fellowship.

When not sifting through press releases, listening to lobbyists, or driving lonely highways, Tom enjoys exploring the Olympic Peninsula backcountry and cooking dinner with his wife and friends. Tom's secret ambition is to take six months off work and travel to a faraway place where there are no radios.

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Northwest Timber
4:07 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Groups Aim To Boost Logging, Restoration In Olympic National Forest

File photo of Mount Townsend Trail in the Olympic National Forest
Miguel Vieira Flickr

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:04 pm

Timber industry and environmental groups will make a stab at collaboration to boost both logging and habitat restoration in the Olympic National Forest.

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Ferry Fuel
4:36 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Washington Ferry System Sets Course To Convert To Natural Gas

Schematic showing LNG fuel tank retrofit atop a Washington State ferry.
Washington State Ferries

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 8:24 am

The nation's biggest ferry system is aiming to convert some of its fleet from diesel to natural gas propulsion.

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Employment Growth
5:06 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Washington Sees 'Soft Patch' In Hiring, Slow Overall Growth

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 3:25 pm

Washington state hit a 'soft patch' in hiring and is looking at slow overall growth. That news comes from two new data points on the Washington economy out Wednesday.

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Astronomy
6:01 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Drama Builds For Comet Flyby

Comet ISON passed through Virgo earlier this month.
Credit NASA/Aaron Kingery

If you wake up early and the skies are clear, you could be in for a treat this week. A comet named ISON should be visible through binoculars over the southeastern horizon. Astronomy websites have hyped the passage of this comet as the best in more than a decade. But a lot depends on a close encounter with the sun next week.

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Tsunami Debris
5:48 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Tsunami Debris Sightings Way Down, But May Spike Again

An Oregon beach cleanup earlier this month collected this possible tsunami debris.
Oregon Chapter of Surfrider Foundation

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:43 pm

Hotline calls and emails to report suspected Japanese tsunami debris have gone way down this year. But West Coast states are still keeping their guard up in case another wave of flotsam from the 2011 disaster washes up on our shores.

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Washington State Time Capsule
4:04 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

'Keepers' Make Sure Time Capsule Doesn't Get Lost In Time

Capsule 'Keeper' Jen Estroff speaks beside the Centennial Time Capsule in the Washington State Capitol.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 2:47 pm

In 1989, the organizers of the Washington State Centennial Time Capsule took measures to guard against it being forgotten -- and lost.

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Boeing Incentives
5:13 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Washington Legislature Plows Ahead With Boeing 777X Tax Breaks

File photo of Boeing 777 assembly line as seen from tour observation deck/
Snohomish County Tourism Bureau

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 3:51 pm

The Washington Legislature is plowing ahead with a package of tax breaks and incentives to convince the Boeing Company to build its next big jet in Washington.

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Columbia River Treaty
4:21 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

U.S. Columbia River Users Seek 'Better Bargain' With Canada

File photo of Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.
US Army Corps of Engineers

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:47 pm

U.S. senators from the Northwest say it is time "to strike a better bargain" with Canada over hydropower generated along the shared Columbia River.

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Tentative Boeing Deal
5:54 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Deal In Place To Build Boeing 777X In Washington

The existing Boeing 777 in flight. The next generation variant would have a broader wingspan and could also feature a stretched fuselage.
Boeing

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 8:53 pm

 The Boeing Company and its Machinists union have reached a tentative deal that clears the way to build Boeing's next big jet in Washington state.

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Idaho Airport Tax
5:23 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Tax Votes Shine Spotlight On Challenges Facing Small Town Airports

File photo of planes waiting for a take off slot at Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, Idaho.
DieselDemon Flickr

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 4:22 pm

A ballot measure in the Sun Valley area is emblematic of the challenges facing small airports across the West. Residents of Hailey and Ketchum, Idaho decide Tuesday whether to raise city taxes to subsidize commercial airline service.

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