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Articles written by Don C. Brunell

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Good economic news sprinkled with caution

The good news is Washington’s revenues continue to grow and projections for the next couple of years appear promising. That is welcome news, but it is sprinkled with caution about introducing new taxes. Our state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast...

 

Military also adjusting to nationwide worker shortages

When our military is viewed as an employer, it has the same problem as the private sector; attracting qualified people to fill jobs. In today’s vibrant economy, there is an abundance of “Help Wanted” signs. Even though our armed forces have...

 

Don't look now, but the Russians are indeed coming

In the 1960s, there was a popular movie called: “The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming.” The plot was a Soviet naval commander runs his sub aground off a Massachusetts coastal island and sends two English-speaking crewmen ashore to...

 

Boeing's hypersonic venture hopfully won't sink

Last spring, Boeing revealed its proposed hypersonic passenger airliner which would fly much higher and faster than the Concorde — the only previous supersonic commercial airplane. For reference, supersonic jets fly over the speed of sound (660...

 

Avoid trouble tweeting - especially when on the job

Editor’s note: Much of the content for this column came from the most recent edition of HR Magazine, which is the magazine for the Society of Human Resources Management. Since President Trump took office, the attention to social media has mushroome...

 

Lampson beating odds for family-owned businesses

When one approaches the Tri-Cities, it is impossible to ignore Lampson International’s monstrous cranes in its Pasco assembly yard. Those gantries stand out like the Space Needle in Seattle and reach over 560 feet into the sky. Like the Space...

 

Much needed dose of Yogi Berra's wit and wisdom

With today’s tension and rancor, we need a dose of Yogi Berra’s wit and wisdom to put things into perspective. Let’s start with “You can observe a lot by just watching” because seeing what is happening now is very disconcerting. We need...

 

Trade wars hit Washington's cherry growers hard

Last April, Washington wheat, apple and cherry growers hoped U.S. and China trade negotiators would resolve differences and prevent imposition of damaging tariffs on our state’s leading crops. Unfortunately, that did not happened and the costs are...

 

Columbia River Treaty talks are too vital to ignore

While most of our attention in the Pacific Northwest these days is on trade wars, tariffs and wildfires, there are critical talks underway between the U.S. and Canada over future allocations of the Columbia River system’s water. The two countries a...

 

Cementing radioactive waste could save U.S. billions

Since 2002, the U.S. Deptartment of Energy has funded construction of a $17 billion project to encase radioactive wastes in solid glass logs. It is scheduled to start operations in 2022 and treat more than 56 million gallons of hazardous liquids whic...

 
 By DON C. BRUNELL    Opinion    July 5, 2018

Jetsons cartoon robots now reality in fast-food business

By DON C. BRUNELL Contributor The Jetsons television series about a space-age family featuring “Rosey the Robot” gave us a preview of life with robots, kiosks and interactive television. In 1962, it was a fictitious cartoon; however, in 2018,...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    June 7, 2018

Straw pulp looks like a win-win proposition for everyone

Here’s a switch! Rather than closing another pulp and paper mill, a new one is under construction right here in Washington. Columbia Pulp’s plant on the Snake River will use a new technology that pulls cellulose out of the abundant straw left...

 
 By DON C. BRUNELL    Opinion    May 24, 2018

Lt. Dan could use more helping hands from other entertainers

On Sunday (May 27), actor/musician Gary Sinise will again co-host the National Memorial Day Concert from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. It will be the 29th annual concert on the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day. The format is much the same as...

 
 By DON C. BRUNELL    Opinion    May 3, 2018

Yogi's wisdom is something worth thinking about these days

The late great philosopher Yogi Berra once proclaimed: “The future ain’t what it used to be.” It sure ain’t! Lots has changed over the last 60 years since Yogi was the catcher for the legendary New York Yankees. Hopefully, in the years...

 

Water pressure mounting in West as population goes up

As we deal with our population growth, we must address sufficient supplies of drinkable fresh water for residential, commercial, agriculture, fisheries and industrial needs. Not only will our numbers continue to climb, but so will competing pressures...

 

A forgotten side of the Alamo can be seen in Washington State

Most of the 2.5 million annual Alamo visitors focus on the epic 1836 battle in which a small band of brave Texans was eventually overrun by the Mexican army. Folk heroes like Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and William Travis were among the Texans killed...

 

When America's leaders fly, America's leaders are flying Boeing

It now looks like Boeing will add at least two more aircraft to the U.S. Air Force fleet which flies our country’s leaders around the world. They are the most recognizable — the 747s traditionally called “Air Force One.” The recent news that...

 

Military leaders can help transform education in our country

Do good military commanders make good education leaders? That is a question which Montana’s Higher Education Commission will answer in the coming years. However, if the new University of Montana president follows the pattern set by former Seattle...

 

Our cities are balancing their budgets with fees to the citizens

Have you carefully checked your utility bills lately? Most people don’t unless they are monsters like the ones for garbage in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Los Angeles. In Vancouver, Washington our garbage and recycling bill now has an added 3.6...

 

Online sales are good for the Washington papermakers

By DON BRUNELL Contributor Curbside recycling bins are packed with cardboard shipping boxes from Christmas online shopping. The uptick in consumer shipments is not only good news for the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS, but our nation’s papermak...

 

Railroads are now attempting to implement a positive track

While the investigation continues into the deadly Amtrak derailment near DuPont, Wash., the clock continues to tick on the implementation of Positive Track Control (PTC). The deadline is Dec. 31, 2018. PTC integrates new satellite tracking (GPS) and...

 

Million Wreaths Across America honors our fallen veterans

Christmas is an especially difficult time for anyone grieving for lost loved ones. It is especially painful for America’s military families whose son, daughter, spouse or parent was killed while serving in uniform. Normally, the fallen are...

 

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...

 

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