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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Columbia River Treaty
4:51 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Regional Players Divided On How To Renegotiate Columbia River Treaty

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 4:48 pm

Two federal agencies are recommending that a 50-year-old treaty between the U.S. and Canada be renegotiated to give Northwest electricity ratepayers and salmon a better deal.

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Lahars Warning
6:22 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Colombians Urge Pacific Northwesterners To Appreciate Lahar Danger

Armero, Colombia was destroyed by a lahar on November 13, 1985. More than 23,000 people were killed when lahars (volcanic debris flows) swept down from the erupting Nevado del Ruiz volcano.
Credit R.J. Janda

Visiting scientists from the country of Colombia have a warning for people living in the valleys below our Northwest volcanoes. Get educated about a rare but dangerous phenomenon called a "lahar."

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Washington Economic Recovery
4:51 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Wash. State Jobless Rate Hews Closest To National Trend During Recovery

Washington State Employment Security Dept.

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 4:38 pm

According to fresh numbers out Wednesday from the state employment department, the unemployment rate in Washington state edged up slightly in August to an even 7 percent as hiring slowed.

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Immigrant Investor Visa
6:39 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Immigrant Investor Visa Proves Popular With State Legislators, But Outside Their Control

American Life, Inc. President Greg Steinhauer testifies to the Washington State Legislative Committee on Economic Development & International Relations.
Credit Tom Banse

Legislators in Washington State are showing enthusiasm for a federal immigration program that gives green cards to wealthy foreign investors. But state officials discovered during a workshop on Friday that the options for expanding foreign investment in this way are largely outside their control.

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International Trade Goals
6:14 am
Mon September 16, 2013

"Inspected Once - Cleared Twice" Is Goal Of International Trade Experiment

A seaport in northern British Columbia is serving as the test site for a venture to make international cargo inspections more efficient. The Canadian consulate in Seattle briefed Washington state legislators Friday (9/13) about this and other initiatives to ease cross-border travel amidst tightened security. Consul Edith St-Hilaire distilled the concept behind the pilot project to this: "Inspected Once - Cleared Twice."

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Wildfires
5:54 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Wildfire Season Not Over Yet In Pacific Northwest

InciWeb

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:01 pm

Wildfire season is not over yet, despite the widespread rains of the last couple weeks.

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Yellow Jackets
4:21 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Ouch! Yellow Jackets Having A 'Banner Year' In Northwest

Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:28 pm

Still smarting from a wasp sting this summer? Well, you're not alone. It's been a "banner year" for yellow jackets in the Northwest by many accounts.

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Parking Websites
6:02 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Websites Help You Rent Out Your Driveway

Stephany says his company did not specifically target the Pacific Northwest for expansion. Enterprising homeowners around the region found his website or one of its competitors on their own.
Credit Holy Outlaw

First there was Craigslist. Then other more specialized websites arrived to make it easier to rent out your spare bedroom, vacation home, or even your car. A new category to catch on in the Northwest allows drivers to reserve a parking spot in someone else's driveway.

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Crude Oil Terminal
5:51 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Planned Crude-by-Rail Terminal In Tacoma Scrapped

Walter Siegmund Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 5:00 pm

A fuel terminal developer has unexpectedly scrapped a project at the Port of Tacoma that was intended to receive crude oil by rail.

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Wooden Kayak Perseverance
6:48 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Wooden Kayak Company Is A Profile of Perseverance

Pygmy Boats owner John Lockwood with his newest creation, a model named "The Freya" after his daughter.
Credit Tom Banse

One of the biggest festivals in the nation celebrating wooden boats is happening in Port Townsend, Washington September 6-8. Amidst the sea of gleaming decks and varnished wood you can find of flotilla of sprightly, wooden kayaks. The local business that produces the wooden boat kits is paddling against a tide of fiberglass and plastic.

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