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Articles written by Don C. Brunell

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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...

 

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...

 

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