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Articles written by Don C. Brunell

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 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    March 12, 2014

Putting risk in perspective

Where there is life, there is risk. That’s not some insightful quotation, it’s just a fact. We’re exposed to risk from the moment we get up in the morning – slip and fall, dog bite, traffic accident, lightning strike. We can manage risk, we…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    February 12, 2014

Eliminate our transportation bottlenecks before the new Panama Canal opens

Improving Highway 167 could help change the face of global commerce and the future of Washington state. Really. Traffic congestion is causing bottlenecks at our ports, creating costly delays for the shippers that use Puget Sound ports. Failing to…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    January 15, 2014

We all need a fresh start in 2014

The New Year is traditionally a time for reflection and renewal. A shiny new year lies ahead, full of promise. The New Year is a time when people pledge to change their lives: lose weight, stop smoking, be a better parent, work harder, work less….

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    December 25, 2013

What’s the plan?

This summer, the nation sweltered in a deadly heat wave.  High temperatures hovered near 100 degrees, the heat buckled highways in several states, and firefighters in Indianapolis evacuated 300 people from a senior living community when the air…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    December 18, 2013

Preserve affordable health insurance

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler made national news when he quickly rejected President Obama’s call for insurers to extend individual health insurance policies cancelled because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred…

 By Don C. Brunell    Granite Falls    December 4, 2013

Hire our vets

The good news is, America is bringing its troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. However, that presents a challenge because a large number of those troops will leave the military upon their return. That shift, along with significant cuts in military…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    November 27, 2013

Americans need to be thankful for what we have

It is human nature to take things for granted. When you’ve always had something, when it’s been around your entire life, it’s only natural to overlook it, to think it will always be here. But that’s not the case, and this time of year reminds…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    November 13, 2013

Will Washington be big in 
Boeing’s jumbo jet future?

When the first passengers took off in Boeing’s 747 in 1970, the aircraft was dubbed the “Queen of the Skies.”  Since then, the company’s mammoth plant just south of Everett has been the kingpin of the world’s jumbo jet production.


 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    October 8, 2013

Dangerous duels with Americans caught in the middle

After spending a couple of days last week in Washington, D.C., I wonder how Congress and President Obama will settle their differences without hurting the taxpayers or crippling our struggling economy. There is a high-stakes duel going on inside the…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    September 17, 2013

The minimum wage debate

The SeaTac minimum wage initiative is in limbo. The central element of Proposition 1 is a $15 per hour minimum wage for workers at SeaTac Airport and area hotels, restaurants and car rental agencies. But, it also includes a complex web of employee…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    September 10, 2013

Different strategy, same results

There’s an old saying, “There’s more than one way to catch a cat.” It means, if you don’t succeed one way, try again using a different strategy. In this case, the “cat” is the Columbia River — or more…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    September 3, 2013

Is CO2 really the target?

Environmental activists claim they want to reduce production of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. If so, they’re going about it in a very strange way. Take forest management, for example. Anti-forestry activists oppose salvaging dead…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    August 20, 2013

Political courage and a President’s legacy

At a time when too many politicians are obsessed with their poll numbers and their legacy, Pew Research says Gerald Ford will go down in history as just an “average” president. An “average” rating would devastate most elected…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    August 13, 2013

Weighing Washington’s high cost of doing business

Gov. Jay Inslee was in New York for the world rollout of BMW’s new electric car, the BMW i3, which is partially built in Washington. We are all justifiably proud of our state’s role and see the car as a harbinger of Washington’s…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    July 16, 2013

Military news a mixed bag for Washington’s economy

Military installations and defense contractors are taking the brunt of the automatic budgets cuts mandated by sequestration. Why should we care? Washington has major bases and military suppliers such as Boeing. They contribute more than $13 billion t…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    July 9, 2013

Science can help feed starving people

It’s hard to believe there are starving people in the world when Americans shop in well-stocked supermarkets and dine out at any of our 618,000 restaurants. But the U.N. estimates that nearly 870 million poor people in developing nations suffer…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    July 2, 2013

What about the rest of us?

The newspaper Politico reports that dozens of members of Congress and their staffers are so worried about rising premium costs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that they may quit or retire before the law fully goes into effect Jan. 1. Currently,…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    June 18, 2013

The Human Spirit is our greatest asset

With a steady stream of bad news stories about maimed soldiers, the Boston Marathon bombing and the house of horrors in Cleveland, it would be natural to despair for the human condition. What defect in the human character allows us to do such…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    April 9, 2013

The forgotten constituency

During the 1992 presidential campaign, then-candidate Bill Clinton famously intoned, “I feel your pain,” an attempt to reassure voters he understood what they were going through. Since then, similar statements of empathy have become a sta…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    March 26, 2013

One-stop tax collection makes sense

Regulations are like bricks. One brick doesn’t weigh that much, but as you add more bricks, the load gets heavier and heavier until eventually it becomes a crushing burden that slows progress to a crawl. Complying with one regulation…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    March 12, 2013

People helping people

In November 1982, our state’s unemployment rate peaked at 12.2 percent, the highest since the Great Depression. Interest on a fixed rate home loan was 13.4 percent, and an 11.5 inflation rate burned through our checkbooks. The economy was a…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    February 26, 2013

Washington state slips in best states ranking

The famous baseball pitcher Satchel Paige used to say, “Don’t look back — something might be gaining on you.” With all due respect to Satchel, Washington should glance over its shoulder because something is gaining on us….

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    December 11, 2012

All students need solid grounding in math, science

In “the good old days,” schools emphasized “reading, writing and arithmetic” taught to the tune of the hickory stick. But today, we seem to have created a two-tiered education philosophy. College-bound students are encouraged…

 By Don C. Brunell    Opinions    December 3, 2012

Twinkies and the New Reality

Hostess, maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, was trying to emerge from its second bankruptcy in three years, when a bakery workers’ strike effectively signed the company’s death warrant. When the strikers refused to return to…

 By Don C. Brunell    Granite Falls    December 3, 2012

American ingenuity will create jobs and economic growth

Before the campaign promises of more jobs and renewed prosperity fade away, elected officials need to understand that those promises must be kept. Our nation needs jobs and new revenue, but the critical question is, “How?” Make no…


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