Cheney Free Press -

Articles written by Don C. Brunell

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Finding balance in the strange world of occupational licensing

Recently, the Institute for Justice determined state licensing barriers for lower-income workers and aspiring entrepreneurs not only hurts people trying to establish themselves in a profession, but annually drives consumer prices up by $203 billion....

 

Residents asked to 'Remember 1993' when looking at election results

Twenty-five years ago, business took a beating in Olympia. The swing to the left in the 1992 general election was swift and potent. It drove higher costs to employers and more government regulations. Warning: Today’s political winds are blowing in...

 

On Veteran's Day I'm remembering Ed Carlson, Vietnam POW

Since last Veteran’s Day, Ken Burns’ in-depth documentary on the Vietnam War has aired. It is a powerful reminder of an unpopular war in which many “baby boomers” fought and died. It also prompts memories of the brutal treatment of American...

 

Rural prosperity is essential to Washington

While Seattle is growing rapidly, our rural areas continue to struggle. They don’t have the corporate giants such as Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing creating jobs and economic opportunities. Farms are predominantly family-owned. Today, there is a...

 

Amazon's plan reminiscent of Boeing's

Last year, Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates wrote about the similarities and differences between Boeing’s corporate office move to Chicago and Amazon’s plan for a second headquarters. Boeing wanted to leave Seattle in an effort to...

 

Expanded Panama Canal among challenges for Washington ports

The $5.4 billion spent to expand the Panama Canal is paying off for East Coast and Gulf of Mexico seaports; however, it is putting more pressure on the Northwest to remain competitive. The enlarged waterway opened in June 2016 allowing much larger co...

 

New metal collecting machine may clean up contaminated mine waters

There is a new machine being tested in Montana which could decontaminate toxic mine tailings while recovering valuable precious minerals for everyday use. Gold, silver and other metals are essential for our cellphones, computers and electronic...

 

Tax policy changes must be carefully crafted and coordinated

Key tax policies emanating from the east and west coasts are like passenger trains passing one another heading in opposite directions. One train is loaded with elected officials proposing changes to reduce taxes while the other is packed with those...

 

It's imperative we learn to mitigate massive wildfire dangers

At last count firefighters were battling 82 major wildfires in 10 western states. The fires have already scorched 2,300 square miles of forests and range lands, dislocated thousands of people, and burned hundreds of homes and buildings. This has...

 

People coming together is silver lining to Hurricane Harvey

All of the things that went wrong in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, appear to have been corrected with Houston’s recent Hurricane Harvey. Chalk it up to a series of important lessons learned. By now everyone knows that Harvey came...

 

Taxing robots to slow down worker displacement

By DON C. BRUNELL Contributor Last February, the European Parliament rejected a tax on robots, but took the first steps to regulate their development and deployment. The legislation also aims to establish liability for the actions of robots, includin...

 

Sudden deaths took a trio of state's business, ag leaders

So far this year, a trio of unexpected deaths has shocked Washington business and agriculture. Melanie Dressel, Ron Reimann and Jeff Brotman leave behind large shoes to fill. They came from vastly different backgrounds and political perspectives,...

 

Race to toll likely to clip Washington drivers

In 2014, President Barrack Obama opened the door for states to collect tolls on interstate highways. This year Oregon lawmakers, much to the chagrin of Washington drivers and truckers, unilaterally took advantage of the new funding opportunity....

 

Liquefied natural gas better for maritime, and people

There is an old saying: Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good. That is important to remember when it comes to improving our air quality. While some activists want to eliminate all fossil fuels used on the waterfront, it is not possible...

 

There's good news from Washington's boatyards

We can all use a dose of good news these days and there is some flowing from our state’s boatyards. When we think of maritime industries, we often focus on the mammoth ocean-going ships loaded with containers docking in Seattle, Tacoma and...

 
 By DON C. BRUNELL    Opinion    June 1, 2017

Texas is flush with tons of transportation cash

In the last decade, there has been a highway construction boom in Texas. On the other hand, lawmakers in Olympia still scramble to fund road maintenance. Texas, a state with a population of 27 million, is flush with cash thanks partly to a 10-year...

 
 By DON C. BRUNELL    Opinion    May 11, 2017

Remembering Eastern Washington's farm-kid governor

There was nothing pretentious about Mike Lowry. What you saw is what you got! Lowry was one of Washington’s most colorful governors. He served one term from 1993 to 1997. He died on May 1 at age 78. There was nothing subtle about Lowry. He was not...

 
 By DON C. BRUNELL    Opinion    May 4, 2017

It's time to ax Amtrak passenger service to Chicago

Last month, a Wall Street Journal editorial hit the nail on the head recommending Amtrak focus its limited funds on shorter more heavily traveled routes between Washington, D.C., and Boston. The money is needed to prevent more derailments. The...

 

Entrepreneurs remain the key to America's success

American entrepreneurs’ ability to invent, create and bring products and services to market makes our nation great. Their success generates the tax revenue which fund our schools and puts people to work. Many “big businesses” started in the...

 

Lessons learned from demise of Northwest aluminum industry

Driving east along State Route 14 these days, you see water pouring out of Columbia River dams. It is already a high water year with much of the runoff from our heavy mountain snowpack yet to come. It is part of our “feast or famine” weather...

 

Priorities, and price, of government is worth another look

In 2003, Gov. Gary Locke (D) faced a 10 percent revenue hole in the state’s budget. He also stared at a sluggish economy still reeling from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. People were reluctant to fly and airlines stopped buying Boeing jets....

 

Washington lawmakers must consider costs of all taxes

As lawmakers in Olympia inch toward adjournment, they must keep in mind the total added costs of new taxes on our state’s economy. It is not just about the taxes and fees they impose. They are working against an April 23 deadline to enact a...

 

Rosellini's '60s toll idea deserves another look

Remember the old saying: Hindsight is 20-20? If only Washington voters had followed Gov. Albert Rosellini’s tolling plan to build, maintain and replace our state’s major bridges, we would have replacement funds today. Now, lawmakers in Olympia...

 

Climate Leadership Council's carbon dividend is worth exploration

Recently, some of America’s most respected statesmen announced a different strategy to reducing carbon pollution — one which is based on incentives as opposed to penalties. Believing that carrots work better than sticks, the Climate Leadership...

 

Cop shootings statistics and job stress on the rise

The number of police officers shot and killed last year rose dramatically. So did the number of assaults on cops and the stress under which they work. That trend ought to concern every American because violence impacts our neighborhoods, schools and...

 

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