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Articles written by Don C Brunell

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 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    January 1, 2014

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 and community programs.

 This time of year, we’re reminded that, with all our frailties, we human beings are a...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    July 12, 2011

In 1975, as America was preparing to celebrate its bicentennial, Poland was a suppressed Soviet satellite state.

In 1975, as America was preparing to celebrate its bicentennial, Poland was a suppressed Soviet satellite state. The Polish people were impoverished, had no right to free speech and if you wanted a job, you had to play ball with Communist Party...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    July 6, 2011

A July 4th lesson: Poland’s rise as bastion of free enterprise

In 1975, as America was preparing to celebrate its bicentennial, Poland was a suppressed Soviet satellite state. The Polish people were impoverished, had no right to free speech and if you wanted a job, you had to play ball with Communist Party...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Granite Falls    May 31, 2011

It’s good to have neighbors with gas

By 2025, the TransAlta energy facility in Centralia must replace coal with natural gas to generate electricity, but Washington has no gas to offer. Fortunately, we have neighbors with an abundance of gas — natural gas, that is — to ship...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    March 8, 2011

It’s time to quit kicking the can down the road

Two years ago in a speech to U.S. House Democrats, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer predicted that America was headed for “a fundamental economic reset.” According to Ballmer, for 25 years our economy grew on unrealistically cheap debt. That...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Granite Falls    January 10, 2011

A new way of looking at things

It’s been said that during the worst of times, things get fixed. That adage is certainly ringing true in 2011. Our crushing financial crisis at all levels of government is sending shock waves through the halls of government these days bringing...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    December 20, 2010

It’s time to act

Both Washingtons are in a financial bind. In our nation’s capital, President Obama and Congress are running trillion-dollar budget deficits, and our national debt will soon exceed $14 trillion. How much is that? To pay back $14 trillion,...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    November 8, 2010

Lame Duck could cripple economy

If you thought the election year rancor and political mudslinging was over, think again. Late last month, Congress slipped out of DC without passing a budget, guaranteeing the House and Senate will be back in session after Nov. 2. The problem is,...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    September 20, 2010

Washington students would benefit from charter schools

In the competition for $3.4 billion in education grants under President Obama’s Race to the Top, Washington is near the bottom. We ranked 32nd out of the 36 states that applied. While the Race to the Top program stresses innovative reform and s...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    August 30, 2010

Jobless benefits a vicious cycle for employers

Finding a job is the best substitute for an unemployment check, but as more and more Americans exhaust their jobless benefits, employment opportunities remain sparse. In July, the state unemployment rate was 8.6 percent, down from 9.5 percent a year...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    July 30, 2010

Never forget that free enterprise makes america tick

Just before my father died, I asked him why he kept repeating stories about his childhood and his life. He said, “So you will remember them when I am gone.” Suddenly, it sank in that there really is meaning to the phrase, “out of sight, out of...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    July 20, 2010

Pulaski’s gift

Ask any wildland firefighter and they’ll swear by their “pulaski,” a tool that combines an axe and a mattock (similar to a pickaxe). It was invented by U.S. Forest Service Ranger Ed Pulaski in 1911, one year after the nation’s largest...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    July 13, 2010

Voters Can Reset Government This Fall

The lame argument of this election year is if private stores like Costco are allowed to sell liquor, underage drinking will explode. According to opponents of privatizing liquor sales in Washington, only state-owned and run liquor stores can keep boo...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    June 14, 2010

Public employee pensions: a ticking time bomb

Most people know that our $13 trillion national debt is endangering America’s credit rating and pushing the United States closer to bankruptcy. But hidden beneath the surface is another ticking time bomb that threatens economic collapse in cities...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    June 1, 2010

Mistake to bypass the moon

Cancelling the Constellation program - the successor to America’s historic space shuttle program—is a huge mistake, but that is exactly what President Obama plans to do. He told folks at the Kennedy Space Center that he is also abandoning...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    May 17, 2010

Economic landmines buried in federal legislation  

As legislators and others comb through the massive health-care reform law, they are finding little-known provisions that will have a big impact on the American people and our economy. For example, tucked into the health-care law is a provision that...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    May 11, 2010

Too much wind power in the northwest?

Could Washington and Oregon’s growing fleet of wind turbines become too much of a good thing? Perhaps. At present, there are more than 2,200 megawatts of wind energy flowing through the Pacific Northwest at any given time. That is enough...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    April 19, 2010

Our state has a lot riding on the 787

Boeing now has six new 787s in various stages of flight tests, and the good news is the test results are positive. The company aims to certify the new aircraft and deliver the first of its new composite passenger liners to Japan’s All Nippon...

 
 By Don C Brunell    Opinions    March 2, 2010

Robbing Peter to pay Paul is bad money management

My dad lived by the axiom, “You don’t rob Peter to pay Paul!” For our family, that meant mom couldn’t raid our piggy banks to buy something the family budget didn’t cover. It was hard for my mom, who was very creative when it came to...