The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

Articles written by Don C. Brunell

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 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    August 15, 2019 

Business Column: Locomotives operated by battery are coming

More battery operated cars and trucks are making their way on to streets and highways, so why not trains? That may not be too far off if BNSF tests are successful. BNSF and Wabtec (formerly GE Transportation) are developing a battery-electric high-ho...

 

Column: Washington must be careful not to follow Sweden's haste

Sweden and Washington State are very similar. Both have strong “green” movements and are quickly moving to eliminate all carbon-emitting fuels from cars and power plants. The caution for Washington elected officials is not to jam through hastily...

 

Column: Examining alternatives 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 that are usually aligned. Flaring happens primarily...

 

Column: America's renewed interest in the Moon

With all of the attention on the 50th anniversary of the Lunar landing, many are looking ahead to the next half-century of space exploration. Of particular interest is returning to the Moon, which may come as early as 2024. For example, Boeing is...

 

Business Column: Column: No green cheese, drill sargeant

Shortly, after Apollo 11 landed on the moon and astronaut Neil Armstrong took his famous first steps on the dusty lunar surface, some comedian in our army unit at Ft. Knox, KY, posted a sign in our barracks: “Sorry, Drill Sgt., No Green Cheese!...

 

Business Column: 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, Shanghai is one of the world’s largest cities with...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    July 4, 2019

Column: Restoring affordability to a college education is vital for America's future

When my parents graduated from high school in 1936, a college education was too expensive for the son of a copper miner and the daughter of a plumber. Eighty years ago, our country was in the middle of the Great Depression and teens took odd jobs to...

 

Column: Examining the rare earth metal dilemma

Hopefully, when American and Chinese leaders meet to resolve trade differences, talks won’t breakdown and result in a new round of tariffs or product restrictions. It is in both nations’ interests for presidents Trump and Xi Jinping to find...

 

Column: Family-owned businesses are America's backbone

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

 

Business Column: Normandy D-Day clicker innovation

During World War II, the American GI earned the reputation for being innovative, adaptable and resilient. Nowhere was that more evident than the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. For example, Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, commander of the 101st Airborne...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    June 6, 2019

Business Column: Fix to Boeing's Max 737 critical to Washington

Last January, Boeing was poised for another record year. The company’s order book burst at the seams. Things seem to be going Boeing’s way. In 2019, Boeing planned to step up deliveries of KC46 aerial refueling jets to the U.S. Air Force and the...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 30, 2019

Business Column: Could Seattle Put on a World's Fair Today?

On April 21, 1962, the Seattle World’s Fair opened. The “Century 21 Exhibition” ran for six months, drew 11 million visitors, turned a profit and left the Northwest with a wonderful Seattle Center. Well over a half century later, many of the...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 23, 2019

Business Column: 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. That review is expected...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 9, 2019

Business Column: Montana's new approach to homelessness could provide working blueprint

Montana’s legislature took the unusual step of exempting older, less-valued mobile homes from property tax as a way to stem homelessness. The bipartisan legislation, which Gov. Steve Bullock signed into law last week, aims to keep people in their...

 

Business Column: Montana woman recognized globally for efforts to save state's health insurance plan

Imagine sitting home and learning Fortune Magazine just listed you among the world’s greatest leaders? That’s exactly what happened to Marilyn Bartlett who led the effort to save Montana’s state employee health insurance plan from bankruptcy....

 

Business Column: State 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 legislators to return to the State Capitol to cut...

 

Business Column: Oil companies betting on electric technology

Across the pond, London-based BP and Netherlands-headquartered Shell are looking to invest in innovative electric technology which is very good news. The two international oil giants, both of which have oil refineries in northwest Washington,...

 

Business Column: Trade issues unite Washington's congressional delegation

Historically, international trade issues have galvanized our state’s congressional delegation. Many wondered if that would still be the case today. Fortunately, it seems to be. While Democrats and Republicans are at one another’s throats on most...

 

Business Column: California wildfires spark debate over underground power transmission lines

November’s Camp Wildfire was California’s deadliest killing 86 people and destroying 14,000 homes along with more than 500 businesses. The financial fallout is forcing PG&E, northern California’s electric utility, to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy...

 

Business Column: Those pesky tax incentives

Darned if you do, or darned if you don’t! That’s the dilemma elected officials face in determining whether to offer tax incentives for companies to locate in their city, county or state. That conflict played out recently with Amazon’s decision...

 

Business Column: Amazon an example of growing resistance to corporate incentives

The circumstances leading to Amazon’s decision to scrap its New York City project are trends corporate leaders need to examine closely. There are cultural and political shifts in America which are changing the way business is done. Amazon walked...

 

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 tariff went from 10 percent to 50 percent last...

 

The private sector is stepping up for tourism

Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. That’s particularly true in difficult times when “business as usual” no longer works. As our national deficit approaches $22 trillion ($180,000 per taxpayer) and state and local governments...

 

East Coast seaports ramping up capabilities

While many eyes are on trade talks between our country and China, America’s port leaders are positioning their seaports to compete for increasing volumes of container traffic. After container shipments surged in November---primarily from...

 

Boeing hopes to build upon record year

Last year, a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) global study of aerospace manufacturing attractiveness found the United States is top rated and within our country, Washington is the best. The study reaffirmed that “Washington’s economy and industry...

 

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