Articles by John Stang

John Stang is a longtime Pacific Northwest reporter. He is a jack-of-all-trades freelancer with expertise in a variety of topics, including the Hanford nuclear reservation, state government, the environment, science and crime.

Richland bypassed for regional smart manufacturing center

A proposed facility to develop advanced manufacturing technologies is no longer in the cards for Richland. Richland was removed about six months ago as the site when the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, or CESMII, went through an internal reorganization, said Howard Goldberg, the institute’s vice president for business development. Right now, the institute’s…


Regional public utility districts ponder best ways to handle bitcoin growth

Mining in the Northwest was different in the 1890s. Back then, miners hunted for gold in the streams and mountains of Alaska and the Yukon with picks and shovels. Seattle was a jumping-off point and supply center for gold miners. Today, central Washington, upstream of the Tri-Cities, has become the focus of a new type…

Michael Johnson, NRC Deputy Executive Director for Operations (right), and Vonna Ordaz, Acting Director of the NRC Office of New Reactors (second from right) receive NuScale's application to certify the company's small modular reactor design from NuScale Chief Nuclear Officer Dale Atkinson (second from left) and NuScale Vice President for Regulatory Affairs Tom Bergman (left). (Courtesy Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

NuScale Power’s small reactor project gains traction

A first-of-its-kind reactor complex in Idaho Falls will be operated by Energy Northwest — probably in the middle of the next decade. In late spring, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission finished the initial phase of reviewing the first small modular reactor design to be submitted to the agency. This design application for a small modular…

Kennewick company fined $5,000 for housing discrimination against veteran

Celski & Associates said incident stems from misunderstanding of an acronym A Kennewick property management firm was one of eight state corporations recently hit with allegation of illegal housing discrimination against veterans by the Washington Attorney General’s Office. However, Jason Celski, owner of Celski & Associates, said the incident stems from an employee at an apartment complex not understanding an acronym when asked whether a prospective tenant could use Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, or VASH, vouchers. VASH is a…

B&O tax relief plan for manufacturers fails

Maybe the second time will be the charm. A bill that would have provided tax relief to Franklin County manufacturers died during the last week of the 2018 legislative session.  Now, Mid-Columbia legislators — all Republicans — will have a chance to persuade Democratic legislators have modify the bill next year to make sure the…

Washington State Capitol Building

Lawmakers tackle several women’s health issues related to insurance coverage

Bills would require employers to pay for abortions, contraceptives The debate took four years to hit the Washington Senate floor in early February. The topic was a bill by Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, to require an employer that provides health insurance to include contraceptive and abortion coverage at no extra cost to that employee.…

 Brylie Oxley, US-WA-Olympia-Capitol-StopCoalTrain-2013.01.14-002, CC BY-SA 3.0

Legislators reach compromise on controversial water rights bill

Hirst decision agreement gets several construction projects back on track A number of stalled Mid-Columbia construction projects are now shifting into gear since the Washington Legislature reached a compromise on a controversial water rights bill. The irony is despite the rural nature of the well-digging conflict, the compromise does not really affect Benton, Franklin and…

State of Washington flag map

Top issues to watch in Washington Legislature this session

Will several delayed Tri-City construction projects finally start up? Will the Washington Legislature reach a compromise on permits for digging wells in rural areas? The issues are among several of interest to Mid-Columbia residents. The 60-day state legislative session began Jan. 8. The ongoing impasse between Democrats and Republicans on the so-called Hirst ruling in 2016 blocks…

rural versus urban counties

New jobs report outlines differences between rural, urban counties

State’s rural jobless rates historically lag behind urban counties Washington’s unemployment is hitting a major low, but the state’s rural counties — including Benton and Franklin — are not doing as well as their urban counterparts. That’s because rural counties, which have huge agricultural presences, have less diversified industrial economies than cities, said Asja Suljic, regional…

Mid-Columbians in lower-paying jobs earn less than urban counterparts

Mid-Columbians in lower-paying jobs tend to earn less than their counterparts across Washington. That’s what a breakdown of figures show in a state Employment Security Department report on employment and wages released in September. The report’s statistics came from statewide surveys with a 66 percent return rate, said Asja Suljic, a Kennewick-based regional labor economist for…

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