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Articles written by Don Brunell

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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... Full story


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...

 By Don Brunell    Opinion    June 6, 2018

Straw pulp looks like win-win

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...

 By Don Brunell    Opinion    July 20, 2016

Bumper car therapy

Over the last 35 years our family has vacationed at the same place on the beach. While the buildings have been refurbished, the complex remains largely unchanged. However, our entertainment has changed a lot. We still swim, jump the waves and build... Full story

 By Don Brunell    Opinion    July 6, 2016

Made in America

In the presidential campaign leading up to the November elections, hopefully we will hear about ways to “Make America Great Again!” One of the most effective strategies is to entice U.S. companies with foreign factories to relocate back home.... Full story

 By Don Brunell    Opinion    June 1, 2016

Stay-at-home millennials

Today, more millennials are moving back home, even though the economy is improving and wages are inching upward. Recently, Pew Research Center revealed that a third of young adults today are more likely to live with their parents than they were... Full story

 By Don Brunell    Opinion    May 25, 2016

Tips for safe Memorial Day trip

The good news this Memorial Day weekend is more than 38 million Americans are expected to travel, making the unofficial kickoff to summer this year the second busiest on record. AAA reports nearly 34 million people across the nation will be driving,... Full story

 By Don Brunell    Opinion    April 27, 2016

Kirk Adams taking his skills to the Big Apple

Kirk Adams has earned the reputation as a visionary leader who gets things done for people with disabilities. Those qualities, coupled with hard work and determination, rewarded him with the... Full story

 By Don Brunell    Opinion    April 20, 2016

President Obama's proliferation of new regulations

Even though President Barack Obama has less than a year remaining in office, his administration is cranking out new government regulations at a record pace. The rush reflects the President’s plan to use his final months to cement his... Full story

 By Don Brunell    Opinion    April 6, 2016

Cost of Boeing airplanes at heart of job cuts

Boeing’s new cost-reduction plan has deep ramifications for Washington because the bulk of the 4,500 job cuts are likely to land here. CEO Dennis Muilenburg asked investors to view the savings... Full story


Boeing has quite a lot riding on 737 MAX

When Boeing rolled out its first 737 MAX last month, there was little fanfare. Nevertheless, its importance to the company’s future and our state can’t be overstated. The good news is Boeing delivered more airplanes last year than Airbus, and it... Full story


Wreaths for every American in uniform

On Dec. 12, Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke patiently waited two hours in line with 70,000 volunteers at Arlington National Cemetery to collect wreaths and secure them to headstones. Thousands of others across our nation joined those at Arlington... Full story


Apply Navy's nuclear technology to civilian use

Today, many elected officials are fixated on tearing down coal-fired power plants and replacing them with solar and wind farms. But that isn’t practical, because when there is no wind or sunlight, those plants produce no electricity. There is an... Full story


Changes to Obamacare are coming

Maybe there is finally something Democrats and Republicans can agree on — fixing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare. From the day it was signed into law in 2010, Republicans have tried unsuccessfully to repeal Obamacare,... Full story


Tesla and the mining business

Tesla is the premium entry in the electric car market, with a starting price of $75,000. According to the Wall Street Journal, the high-end “Signature” model costs $132,000, slightly more than the base price for Porsche’s AG’s 911 GT3. Even... Full story


Promoting spud popularity in China

In China, the government has launched an “eat more potatoes” campaign – and Washington state could benefit as a result. China’s potato push is, in part, an environmental effort to provide more clean drinking water for its exploding urban... Full story

 By Don Brunell    Opinion    August 19, 2015

Bob Morton represented his people unconditionally

Imagine rolling into Olympia in your travel trailer each year for the start of the legislative session knowing your district has the highest unemployment in the state and the lowest average annual wage. Folks in your sprawling rural 7th District... Full story

 By Don Brunell    Opinion    July 1, 2015

Time to revive the Black Rock Reservoir plan

Yakima Valley farmers have the same problem as their California counterparts: there just isn’t enough water for crops, migrating fish and people. In California this year, an estimated 564,000 acres of prime cropland will be left unplanted because o... Full story


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