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Public affairs

Fall 2009

America’s Nuclear Wastelands: Politics, Accountability, and Cleanup

America's Nuclear Wastelands: Politics, Accountability, and Cleanup book cover

Max S. Power
WSU Press, 2008

When engineers, physicists, and other scientists began making materials for nuclear bombs, the Manhattan Project sites around the country including Hanford, Los Alamos, and Oak Ridge were wrapped in World War II and Cold War secrecy. The processes, products, and, most importantly, the waste they produced were hidden from the American public.

Even people who lived near the test facilities were unaware … » More …

Summer 2009

Ramping up in rural Washington

If you drive for 45 minutes up the back road from Goldendale toward Trout Lake in Klickitat County, you’ll pass through Glenwood, set in its scenic valley at the base of Mount Adams, where the pastures begin to give way to pine trees, some 35 miles north of the Columbia River.

If you pass through in June, you might catch the local rodeo, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year over Father’s Day. Maybe you’ll stop at The Shade Tree for gas, that being the name of the biggest business in town, a combination hotel/cafe/gas station/convenience store. There’s a post office and a small grocery, and … » More …

Spring 2009

A long-term biofuels strategy for Washington

In 2007, the Washington State Legislature passed legislation “relating to providing for the means to encourage the use of cleaner energy.” The final of four chapters of the renewable energy act directed Washington State University to explore the development of biofuels in Washington. The final result, Biofuel Economics and Policy for Washington State, released in late 2008, does not quite match what some state policy makers had expected, notes lead author Jon Yoder, a natural resource economist at WSU.

In short, the report recommends that Washington not try to force itself into the current biofuel market. With what are considered “first-generation” biofuels, such as ethanol, … » More …

Winter 2008

On the waterfront

Tacoma's past may be a key to its future :: Twenty years ago, the City Club of Tacoma approached the city with a plan to unify the waterfront and build a walking path from the Tacoma Dome to Point Defiance. The painstakingly researched report urged that the entire waterfront be redesigned as a people place. Lara Hermann '95 was thrilled when a city hall worker handed her the document. "It was like a present just lands in your lap," she says. » More ...
Fall 2003

Flames in Our Forest: Disaster or Renewal?

Forest fires have been much in the news. Beginning with the Yellowstone fires in 1988, the West has lived through a series of intense fire years. In 2000, the federal government spent nearly $1.6 billion fighting fires. But over the same period there has been a discordant message: fires, we are told, shaped the forests and the wildlife that inhabit them; fires are, in fact, necessary to the continued existence of many species of plants and animals. Smokey the Bear’s message of fire’s destructive nature, his plea on behalf of other woodland creatures that “fires destroy more than trees,” has lost its venerable certainty.

Are … » More …

Summer 2008

Just Don’t Get Sick: Access to Health Care in the Aftermath of Welfare

Karen Seccombe and Kim Hoffman
Rutgers University Press, 2007

Victor Sidel, the co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, observes, “statistics are people with the tears washed away.” Just Don’t Get Sick, a new book by Karen Seccombe (’85 Ph.D. Soc.) and Kim Hoffman, offers a litany of statistics about the plight of Oregon families who formerly received welfare benefits, but the tears glisten on these pages, thanks to skillful threading of the individual stories and … » More …