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Articles written by Don Brunell

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 By Don Brunell    Opinion    February 12, 2020 

Worn out wind blades plugging up landfills

While wind farms generate “greenhouse gas free” electricity, there is increasing concern over the rapidly growing number of worn out blades ending up in landfills. Those blades, housed on giant...

 

Dams are the Northwest flood busters

A year ago, much of America’s heartland was inundated by Missouri River flood waters. At least 1 million acres of U.S. farmland in nine major grain-producing states were under water. More than 14...

 

Boeing needs strong tailwinds

As we launch into 2020 and the ensuing decade, Boeing faces very strong head winds which are major concerns for those of us living in the Pacific Northwest. Things are vastly different now. In my...

 

Caring local small businesses make ours 'A Wonderful Life'

At Christmas, millions watch the 1946 movie classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” While it is labeled “fantasy drama,” the show gives us a glimpse of reality and reminds us of the importance of...

 

Hydrogen fuel cells gaining momentum

In the coming decade, investors are betting that hydrogen will become a prominent fuel that can eliminate CO2 discharges from the vehicles it energizes. According to the U.S. Energy Information...

 

Boeing's resiliency tested

The grounding of the 737MAX is testing Boeing’s resiliency. It has turned the company upside down in just six months. Boeing executives and engineers have been under duress since the two fatal...

 

Greatest generation quickly slipping into history

Just before Veterans Day, the last known survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor died at age 98. With the passing of George Hursey of Massachusetts, it closed that chapter of World War II ...

 

The wildfire season that wasn't

The Oregonian characterized the 2019 wildfire season as the “season that wasn’t!” That’s good news for West Coast states; however, it doesn’t mean we are permanently “out of the woods!...

 
 By Don Brunell    Opinion    October 9, 2019

High costs drive people to move

Too often, elected officials overlook the cumulative costs of regulations, taxes and fees on taxpayers; however, it comes back to bite them hard when people move or take matters into their own hands...

 
 By Don Brunell    Opinion    August 21, 2019

Drones planting trees in burned wildlands

Drones planting trees in burned wildlands While drones are coming of age in firefighting, they are also establishing a foothold in restoring fire-scorched forests. Firefighting drones grabbed the spotlight last April 15 as viewers around the world wa...

 
 By Don Brunell    Opinion    July 31, 2019

Alternative to flaring natural gas

In oil rich West Texas, shale producers and pipeline owner Williams Co. are fighting over whether new “burning off of natural gas” permits should be approved. It is a battle between companies...

 
 By Don Brunell    Opinion    July 10, 2019

China's mighty migrating mandate

What happens in China, doesn’t always stay in China. In fact, when it comes to tough new garbage and recycling restrictions, they may migrate elsewhere sooner than you might think. For example,...

 
 By Don Brunell    Opinion    June 26, 2019

Rare Earth metal dilemma

Hopefully, when American and Chinese leaders meet to resolve trade differences, talks won’t break down and result in a new round of tariffs or product restrictions. It is in both nations...

 
 By Don Brunell    Opinion    May 22, 2019

Removing Snake River dams is unwise

There are dams that should come down and those that shouldn’t. Hopefully, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts its review of the 14 federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, that will...

 
 By Don Brunell    Opinion    April 10, 2019

Lawmakers need to re-examine budget before adjourning

Before lawmakers wrap up their work in Olympia, they should re-examine their hefty new state spending plan. The budget may not be sustainable, even with a substantial increase in taxes. It may force l...

 

Washington farmers need tariff relief

The good news is Washington’s cherry crop is projected to be as good as 2018; however, absent tariff relief from the ongoing U.S.-China trade tiff, a key market will remain limited. When China’s...

 

Health care is top of mind

When Congress convenes next year, lawmakers must focus on the cost and quality of health care. In November, voters made it clear health care was on top of their minds. According to the Kaiser Family...

 

Costs matter in hiring

While both sides argue over the merits of Seattle’s escalating minimum wage, there are other issues, such as the total cost per worker, which enter into hiring equations. When employers look to add...

 
 By Don Brunell    Opinion    October 3, 2018

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 that a Soviet naval commander runs his sub aground off a Massachusetts coastal...

 

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 Needl...

 

A 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...

 
 By Don Brunell    Opinion    August 29, 2018

Trade wars hit state'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....

 
 By Don Brunell    Opinion    August 22, 2018

Columbia River Treaty talks 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...

 
 By Don Brunell    Opinion    July 18, 2018

GE's tumble from grace

Last month, General Electric lost its place among our nation’s top 30 performing corporations. It was the last member of the original companies which composed the Dow Jones Industrial Average....

 
 By Don Brunell    Opinion    July 3, 2018

Jetsons cartoon robots now reality

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; h...

 

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