The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

Articles written by Don C. Brunell

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Good Economic News Sprinkled with Caution

By Don C. Brunell 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...

 

Reducing Wildfire Risk Imperative

By Don C. Brunell While massive wildfires are historic, they are more dangerous today. As our population grows, they are a greater threat to communities adjacent to wildlands. This year, with nearly 4.8 million acres already burned in the U.S. and...

 

Portland Shipyard Building Wave of the Future

By Don C. Brunell Shipyard workers in Portland are building the first commercial-scale wave energy buoy which, if it works, could be part of a system providing electricity to communities along our nation’s coastline. Vigor’s shipyard has a $6.5...

 

Carbon Fee Hurts Business and Families

Give Gov. Jay Inslee and backers of Initiative 1631 credit. They are persistent in their quest to invoke a fee on carbon emissions. Voters will decide its fate on Nov. 6. Since Inslee was first elected, he pushed to reduce CO2 discharges---a...

 

Boeing's Venture into Hypersonic Jetliners

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,...

 

Trade Wars Hit 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 happen, and the costs are...

 

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 Columbia River system’s water. The two countries...

 

Cementing Radioactive Wastes Could Save Billions

Since 2002, the U.S. Dept. 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 which are...

 

Trade War Could Hit Washington Hard

Any trade war between the United States and China is worrisome, but if it escalated and tariffs are imposed, it will hit Washington particularly hard. Avoiding that possibility should be our primary goal. Our state is our nation’s third largest...

 

Good Manners Still Count in Business

By Don C. Brunell Our parents drilled into our heads that saying “please” and “thank you” were not only part of everyday life, but were essential to operating a successful business. They are the basic ingredients of “Good Manners.” For mo...

 

Online Sales Good for Washington Papermakers

By Don C. Brunell 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 papermakers....

 

Million Wreaths Across America

by Don C. Brunell 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 f...

 

Keep the Holiday Spirit All Year Long

During the holidays, our thoughts naturally turn to giving — not just giving gifts, but donating our time and money to charities, disasters and community programs. We’re reminded that, with all our frailties, we, Americans, are a pretty generous...

 

Finding Balance in Occupational Licensing

Recently, the Institute for Justice (Institute) 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...

 

Camas Papermill May Be Harbinger

The announced shutdown of the communications paper arm of Georgia Pacific’s Camas pulp and paper mill maybe the harbinger of what’s to come. Consumers are buying less paper, production costs are increasing, and competition is fiercer. GP will...

 

Remember 1993

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...

 

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 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 Chicago Move

Last month, 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...

 

Impact of Hirst Decision Must Be Addressed

In Washington, the legislative stalemate over permitting new household wells and the state’s construction budget has not only delayed needed funding for public projects, but triggered yet another salvo in the wider conflict over future supplies of...

 

Mitigate Massive Wildfires Danger

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...

 

Searching for Words That Unite Us

Two days before last year’s presidential election, Frank Luntz walked away from a CBS 60 Minutes focus group leaving people uncontrollably screaming at one another. He couldn’t stop it. Nobody could. America’s political frustration has boiled f...

 

When You Dig Deeper, The President's "Tough Talk" on Trade Doesn't Sound as Good

When President Trump spoke to Boeing workers at its South Carolina production facility, he reiterated his campaign promise to bring jobs back to America. It is a goal we collectively desire, but it is much more complicated than his campaign slogan...

 

Washington Has Lots Riding on NAFTA

In 1993, President Bill Clinton was pictured holding a Washington State apple while promoting the virtues of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). That photo only underscored the importance of the agreement and our trade with Mexico and...

 

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 become abundantly clear. Here is the difference. De...

 

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