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.
Workers assess a tank at its pipe opening in the A Tank farm.
(Courtesy Washington River Protection Solutions)

Methods tested to speed waste withdrawal from tanks

Washington River Protection Solutions is considering cutting new holes in Hanford’s single-shell tanks — openings that could potentially reach up to six feet in diameter.   Currently, the holes in the tops of Hanford’s underground tanks are very narrow with extremely long pipes connecting the surface with the radioactive sludge and fluids in the tanks. Collapsible…


Washington state bill would give small wineries tax break

A proposed tax break for small wineries is working its way through the Washington Legislature.  The bill by Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, addresses wineries producing 50,000 gallons or less a year — exempting them from paying the state wine tax on their first 20,000 gallons.  “I’m for the little guy,” Warnick said. Owners of…

Olympia, WA

Tri-City business backers oppose governor’s tax, dam removal proposals

Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed capital gains tax has dominated the headlines. But his less-ballyhooed proposal to increase business-and-occupation taxes might have a bigger effect on the Tri-Cities, while having a greater impact on the state budget. These two tax proposals, plus a proposed study on removing the four lower Snake River dams, are the biggest items…

Richland bypassed for regional smart manufacturing center

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

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

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…

Federal workers furloughed due to the partial government shutdown in Washington state may apply for unemployment benefits to help them meet their financial obligations while they wait to return to their jobs.

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.…


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…

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