Tom Banse, NNN - Oregon


It flew! All-electric seaplane completes milestone first flight near Vancouver.

The maiden flight represents a milestone in the long process of reducing the aviation industry’s emissions, noise and costs by electrifying short-to-medium distance commercial flying.

Alaska or bust! Racers set out on paddleboards, outrigger canoe, sailboats and skiffs

The 750-mile Race to Alaska starts in Port Townsend, WA, and has been compared to the Iditarod -- but with a chance of drowning or getting eaten by a bear.

Hackers are selling Alaska Air, other airline miles for cheap on the dark web

A tech writer’s leading theory is that hackers are stealing the miles through phishing emails or through wholesale data breaches. Listen now

Meet the companies testing self-driving vehicles in the Pacific Northwest

“The industry, the private sector is pulling government along, whether we’re ready or not,” a said Washington transportation official said. “We’re trying to play catch up, but we do need a public policy framework.” Listen now

Virgin America merger with Alaska Air reaches logistical crescendo this week

Virgin’s ticket counters, kiosks and signage will disappear begin to disappear. Travelers will deal with one reservation system, one call center, one website and one smartphone app. Listen now

Endangered orcas are starving. Should we start feeding them?

Washington state officials have proposed a new tack to save the Pacific Northwest's critically endangered orca population. Their idea is to boost salmon hatchery production by 10 million to 20 million more fish per year to provide more food for the iconic killer whales. Listen now

Alaska Airlines to discontinue flights to Cuba

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines on Tuesday announced it will discontinue flights to Havana after the holidays. Listen now

Tsunami zone update gets pushback from Oregon Coast legislators

Sooner or later, the Cascadia fault zone is going to unleash a monster earthquake and tsunami hitting the Pacific Northwest and impacting parts of Alaska. When that day comes, you hope that coastal schools, fire and police stations and hospitals are located high enough so that they don't get washed away when you most need them to be there. Listen now

Big ships asked to slow down to reduce noise for iconic whales

Whale scientists think rising levels of underwater noise are having a harmful effect on the Northwest's iconic killer whales. Now the Port of Vancouver, in British Columbia, is spearheading an experiment to temporarily slow down big ships to reduce noise. Listen now

Audacious, adventurous or just nutty? Racing to Alaska on stand-up paddleboards

The starting gun for the third edition of the zany adventure race fires at dawn's early light on June 8. Sailors, rowers and paddlers will cast off from Port Townsend, Washington on a maritime marathon along the historic gold rush route to Ketchikan, Alaska.

Quake prone cities on West Coast aim to improve countermeasures

Vulnerability assessments by utilities and emergency planners along the U.S. West Coast suggest it could be weeks or a month or more before water service gets restored after a major earthquake -- not to mention electricity, sewage treatment and fuel supply too. Listen now

Labor issues loom for Alaska Airlines-Virgin America merger

Unionized pilots at Alaska Airlines and recently acquired Virgin America pulled off a virtual barrel roll Wednesday to get management’s attention. Listen now

Formerly all-Boeing Alaska Air to keep Airbus jets for ‘foreseeable future’

Alaska Airlines executives say the integration of former rival Virgin America is proceeding on track. Parent company Alaska Air Group updated Wall Street analysts on the merger at an “Investor Day” briefing in New York City on Wednesday. Listen now

First tsunami survival capsule deployed on Pacific Northwest coast

A new tsunami survival option has come to the Pacific Northwest coast. It involves climbing into a spherical aluminum pod for what is sure to be the ride of your life. Listen now

Alaska Airlines launches service to Havana amid uncertainty about Cuba policy

Alaska Airlines launched a daily flight Thursday morning from the West Coast to Havana. The new service comes as the Obama administration’s opening to Cuba gives way to an uncertain future. Listen now

Legal haze clouds cannabis for pets

After the results of the November election, more than half of U.S. states have now authorized medical marijuana. And eight of those states also allow recreational marijuana. So if pot helps some humans feel better, then how about people’s best friends? Listen now

All manner of waterborne entries on starting line of race to Alaska

It was so memorable they had to do it again. The 750-mile Race to Alaska is back for a second year as 43 teams of sailors, rowers and paddlers prepare to set off from Port Townsend, Washington at 6 a.m. on Thursday. Download Audio

Tsunami castaways go on display at Oregon coast aquarium

Fishing buoys, fuel drums and even a derelict squid boat were among the tons of debris that floated into Alaska waters after Japan’s 2011 devastating earthquake and tsunami. An Oregon aquarium is about to open a display of the disaster’s living legacy on March 11.

Despite Stiff Competition, Alaska Airlines Logs Record Profits

Delta Air Lines continues to expand on Alaska's home turf. Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden told Wall Street analysts his carrier is "doubling down" on service to hold its rival at bay. Download Audio

A Pilgrimage To Minidoka: ‘We Can See The Memories Slipping Away’

Living witnesses to the forced relocation of West Coast Japanese-Americans during World War II are growing fewer every year. Many who were incarcerated are in their 80s and 90s now. Download Audio: