Tom Banse, NNN - Oregon

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A sign fro a high school with an indian mascot

Washington law bans Native-themed school mascots — unless nearby tribe approves

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Washington public schools with Native American-themed team names or mascots have until year's end to find a new mascot or try to win the blessing of a nearby tribe for continued use under an exception.
Passengers check in at one of about a half dozen kiosks next to blue Alaska Air banners

Layoffs and shop closures hit Seattle and Portland airports, terminal expansions continue

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The recovery in airline travel seems to have hit a plateau in recent weeks, according to Transportation Security Administration checkpoint screening numbers, spelling a warning for two of the largest layover hubs for traveling Alaskans
A barge filled with containers departs from the Alaska Marine Lines dock in downtown Juneau.

COVID-19 hasn’t interrupted Alaska’s resupply lifeline from Pacific NW, and woe if it does

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Alaskans depend on a marine cargo lifeline from the Pacific Northwest for the majority of their goods. What happens if that stops?
a sea plane landing

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

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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

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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

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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

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“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

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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
Four orcas breach

Endangered orcas are starving. Should we start feeding them?

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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

Talking Trash: Follow the garbage Southeast ships south

When you toss a candy wrapper in the trash in five Southeast Alaska communities, you’re sending it on a thousand-mile journey to a Lower 48 landfill. Listen now

Alaska Airlines to discontinue flights to Cuba

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Seattle-based Alaska Airlines on Tuesday announced it will discontinue flights to Havana after the holidays. Listen now
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Tsunami zone update gets pushback from Oregon Coast legislators

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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’

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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

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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

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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

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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