Pacific Northwest

Changes In Northwest Forests
5:36 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Changes In Forests Increase Fire Risks, Insect Outbreaks

The Pacific Northwest’s inland forests have dramatically changed over the past 100 years. That’s according to a new study by a conservation group. These changes can lead to larger fires and insect outbreaks.

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Northwest Water Quality
4:59 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Poll Finds Water Quality NW Residents Top Concern

60 percent of people in the Northwest say they worry about the quality of drinking water.
Benutzer:Alex Anlicker Wikimedia Commons

A new public opinion poll finds that water quality ranks as Northwesterners’ top environmental concern.

DHM Research asked 1,200 residents in Washington, Idaho and Oregon about their environmental concerns. 60 percent said they worried about drinking water, and 54 percent said they were concerned about local lakes, rivers and streams. That result tracks with previous polls.

People said they were happy, overall, with the water that comes out of their tap.

DHM Research’s John Horvick says most survey respondents thought that water quality has not improved since the implementation of the Clean Water Act 40 years ago. He says that finding surprised him.

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Northwest College Completion Rates
4:30 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Federal Report: Northwest College Completion Rates Stall

Young adults in the Pacific Northwest are becoming less likely to hold college degrees, according to a federal report released Thursday.

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education shows that across the country, the share of 25 to 34-year-olds with college degrees crept up from 2009 to 2010. But that’s not the story in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

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Wildfire Season
6:21 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Northwest Firefighters Play Waiting Game Amid Cooler Weather

A helitack crew employed by the state of Washington attended a training in Ellensberg last month.
Photo courtesy Washington Department of Natural Resources

Some firefighters from the Northwest have been sent to blazes across the West. But the firefighters still at home are playing the waiting game.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited Boise Tuesday. They toured the center that coordinates national wildfire response efforts.

Some firefighters from the Northwest have been sent to blazes across the West. But as Jessica Robinson reports, the firefighters still at home are playing the waiting game.

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Health Care Decision
7:27 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Northwest Lawmakers Debating How To React To Health Care Ruling

The Supreme Court’s decision on the health care law threw many members of Congress for a loop. Many northwest lawmakers were surprised that the Supreme Court upheld the law’s individual mandate and put limits on the government’s attempt to expand Medicaid. Matt Laslo reports from the nation’s capital.

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May Day Rallies
6:48 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Northwest Rallies On May Day

Demonstrators gathered and marched near the state capitol building in Salem.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber says he'll convene a workgroup to study possible changes to the state's driver's license laws for undocumented immigrants. That news prompted cheers at a May Day rally in front of the state capitol Tuesday evening. Thousands of people marked the day with demonstrations in Salem, along with other cities across the Northwest. Correspondent Chris Lehman has this report from the march in Salem.

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Hydropower Projects
5:59 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Energy Developers Eye New Grid-Stabilizing Hydro Projects

Artist's rendition of upper and lower reservoir of Swan Lake Pumped Storage Project northeast of Klamath Falls, Ore.
Courtesy of Riverbank Power

If you thought the great dam building era of the Northwest was long over, you might be mistaken. But we're not talking about damming rivers here. This is about building long earthen dams to make new off-stream hydropower reservoirs. They're being designed to act as giant batteries and shock absorbers for the electric grid. Correspondent Tom Banse explains.

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Northwest Olympic Hopefuls
5:57 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Olympic Hopefuls Get Creative To Finance Road To London Games

Olympian Nick Symmonds sports the results of an eBay auction on his left shoulder.
Photo courtesy Hanson Dodge Creative

Some Olympic hopefuls are lucky. They have six-figure endorsement contracts and can concentrate solely on training for peak performance. More commonly, dreams of Olympic glory mean scrounging for dollars. One runner from Eugene even auctioned his left shoulder on eBay recently. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on some creative personal fundraising by elite local athletes.

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Northwest Immigration
5:58 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Even In Down Economy, Northwest Draws New Residents

Forest Spiritdancer, Ted Layman and Marie Montalbano moved to Portland last year from the Midwest.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

PORTLAND - The Northwest has long been a draw for people moving here from other parts of the United States. That continues to be a key driver of the region’s economy. Despite high unemployment rates, Oregon and Washington still lure folks from the Midwest and elsewhere. And they bring in new money and job skills. In a collaboration with public radio's Changing Gears, Chris Lehman introduces us to some rust belt transplants to the Northwest.

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Northwest News
10:02 am
Mon April 2, 2012

On The Ground In Grays Harbor

Tom O'Connor, a member of the Longshoreman's Union in Grays Harbor, standing at the site of the proposed new terminal.
Ashley Ahearn N3

Six ports in the Northwest are now considering building export terminals to bring American coal to Asian markets. One of those ports is Grays Harbor – west of Olympia. 5 million tons of coal could move through that port each year. If that coal is burned in places like China that would be the same as putting about two and a half million new cars on the road. But the new terminal represents much-needed jobs in this county – and that has people talking.

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