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Birth defects a mystery in Eastern Washington

This story was originally produced for EarthFix. Two toddlers run around Sally Garcia Acosta’s house. They squeal as they take their toy cars for a…

Hanford tunnel breaches, workers take cover

This story was originally published by Oregon Public Broadcasting.    The U.S. Department of Energy issued an emergency alert Tuesday morning at the Hanford Site…

If you give a crap about the environment, pick it up

This story originally appeared in High Country News. When I’m 90, I’ll probably still be haunted by memories of bins overflowing with the remnants of…

Hunters and anglers find common ground: fighting for public land

This story originally appeared in EarthFix/OPB. Hunters, fishermen and environmental activists: it’s not often these groups are mentioned in the same breath. But recently they’re…

How resistance overcame hate in Hood River

This story was originally published on The Last Word on Nothing. On the evening of November 29, 1944, in the small town of Hood River,…

Tribal nations can’t afford to pick parties

A version of this column originally appeared at TrahantReports.com.    In my writing about Indian Country, it would be easy to shape every column as doom and…

Disorder in the Court: GOP wants to break up the 9th Circuit

This story originally appeared in High Country News What could have been a bland hearing by the House Judiciary Committee last Thursday was cast in…

Republicans play their first card in budget game

State Senate Republicans staked out their first budget bargaining position Tuesday — a $43 billion proposal that does not stand a chance of surviving intact…

Seattleites go to Trump Country

Last Saturday, March 4, pro-Trump rallies — and counter- demonstrations — occurred around the country, including in Olympia, Washington, and Lake Oswego, Oregon. But at the same…

Brady Walkinshaw leaves politics for … journalism?

Brady Piñero Walkinshaw, who lost to Pramila Jayapal in last year's race to represent Washington’s 7th Congressional District, says he’s done with politics and is tackling a…

Trump is the new hero in Timber Country

This story originally appeared on OPB/EarthFix. In Riddle, a town of 1,200 people in the southwest corner of Oregon, neighborhoods end where stacks of sprinkler-soaked…

Portland has what Seattle lost

For a Seattleite, entering Oregon is like visiting a foreign country. It’s familiar, but an alternate reality. Here we pump our own gas, in Oregon…

Can ghosts save Colfax?

Editor's note: Crosscut columnist Knute Berger has been examining the challenges facing Washington's rural communities, even in the middle of a boom for urban areas.…

Orchards, wilderness, a mountain town: Who gets the water?

Beyond the water, green in the sunlight, Dragontail Peak rises from the shore of Colchuk Lake, its peak hidden in cloud, dark conifers on its…

At Hanford, a chance for a fuller telling of atomic history

In a Hiroshima restaurant one evening last fall, a Japanese peace movement leader and former mayor leaned toward me with a frown and asked, “Do…

Judge: Failed salmon restoration has cost billions

It's Groundhog Day. Again. Or maybe not. On May 3, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon trashed the federal government’s plan for managing dams on the…

Coal exports stopped by Lummi Nation fishing rights?

Environmental reviews of a coal-export terminal that would be the largest in the nation were summarily suspended on April 1 — but it was no…

How wildfires pump millions into Washington’s rural economy

On a sunny March day just south of Yakima, Greg Bailey is standing next to his firetruck. For now the truck looks like any other…

Bitcoin miners have discovered Washington

Most of the Pacific Northwest’s power comes from hydroelectricity. Central Washington counties like Chelan –well-positioned to tap the powerful Columbia River cutting through it – enjoy some of…

Oregon standoff: White and exempt in the wide open West

A splinter group of anti-government militants has occupied a building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Oregon. They include the sons of Cliven…

“Environmental company” racks up biggest pollution fines of the year

The first image on the website for Emerald Services is a stream fringed by grass and trees. The Tacoma-based recycler of used oils, solvents, and other toxic…

Cantwell measure allows more irrigation in return for fish, land protections

Getting U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell's bill through committee was definitely a milestone — but whether it marked progress forward toward a more rational and cooperative…

Portland throws a mayoral election. One candidate applies.

Watching the constant political clashes of recent years, Seattle voters could be forgiven for yearning for a simpler time in urban democracy. A time of…

Battered rent control resolution crawls its way to the full council

Although a resolution in support of lifting the statewide ban on rent control is not dead, its future isn't bright, either. The Seattle City Council’s…

Racism and the public lands: the case of Coon Lake

President Barack Obama’s recent announcement of the official name change of Mount McKinley to Denali has reawakened interest in the longtime dispute over whether we…