Tom Banse

Regional Correspondent

Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from 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 found online and heard on-air during "Morning Edition" 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.  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.

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 beyond the reach of email.

Ways to Connect

Tom Banse / NW News Network

Amazon customers and other mail-order patrons are turning small towns on the northern border into the P.O. box for Canada.

Blaine, Sumas and Oroville, Washington are home to a remarkable profusion of mailbox stores that mostly cater to online shoppers from British Columbia. 


Tom Banse / NW News Network

Wildlife biologists have relocated the first two dozen of hundreds of non-native mountain goats slated for removal from Olympic National Park. The logistically-challenging capture and transfer of the woolly wild animals to the northern Cascade Range has been periodically slowed by weather this week.

NPS

North Cascades National Park doesn't officially turn 50 years old until next month, but the Park Service and its friends are celebrating the big five-oh from August to October.

Robert Williams / WWU

One way to predict the risk of earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest is to look at how often they occurred in the past – and, for several groups of geologists, delving into the fault lines themselves.

WDFW

Washington state government marksmen now have clearance to go out this weekend to shoot a wolf from a pack that has been preying on cattle in the Colville National Forest. A judge on Friday declined to extend a temporary stay on the killing won by several environmental groups last week.

Ocean Exploration Trust

Ocean researchers have found nearly 1,000 methane seep sites along the continental shelf of the Pacific Northwest. The bubble streams could be a sign of offshore energy potential, represent a greenhouse gas threat — or be neither of those things at all.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

Horror tales from recent earthquakes overseas are moving people in Seattle, Portland and along the Pacific Northwest coast to give a crap about where to crap after a major earthquake.

It's not something we typically discuss in polite company, but disaster planners say that when water and sewage service fails, finding a place to poop is a big deal.

OSU

Construction is underway on the Oregon coast for a new earthquake-hardened marine science building. It will have Oregon's first tsunami vertical evacuation refuge on the roof.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

The cities of Portland and Salem made eyebrow-raising discoveries earlier this month when they compared the number of formally licensed short-term rentals with actual listings scraped off of the Airbnb platform. Around 80 percent of the listings appeared to be unregistered.

Now, cities are finding a new way to monitor unregistered listings: third-party vendors with names like Host Compliance and STR Helper.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

Hot housing markets in major cities like Seattle and Portland have pushed the cities to regulate short-term rentals like Airbnb. But small Pacific Northwest towns popular with visitors are also struggling to balance the growth of Airbnb-type rentals with a tight housing supply. 

Newport, Oregon, is the latest to put those types of rentals in the crosshairs.

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