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

Articles written by Don C. Brunell

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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...

 

Ways to drain the swamp

Many pundits predict American political warfare will worsen in 2019 and grow more ruthless in 2020—our next presidential election year. The swamp that candidate Donald Trump promised to drain is expanding. James Astill, Washington bureau chief for...

 

Christmas wreaths help ease pain

Christmas is a difficult time for anyone grieving the death of a loved one. It is especially hard when they were slain in the line-of-duty while protecting our country. It hit home again last month when Army sergeants Eric Emond, 39, Brush Prairie, a...

 

Good economic news sprinkled with caution

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 Revenue Forecast...

 

Immunizations make a difference

One of the consequences of Venezuela’s economic ruin is infectious diseases are reaching epidemic proportions and spreading to neighboring Latin American countries. Venezuela, a country of 30 million people, sits on large oil reserves but when...

 

Costs matter in hiring equation

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 or retain workers, they must not only consider... Full story

 

Portland Shipyard Building is wave of the future

When our military is viewed as an employer, it has the same problem as the private sector; attracting qualified people to fill jobs. In today’s vibrant economy, there is an abundance of “Help Wanted” signs. Even though our armed forces have...

 

Portland Shipyard Building is wave of the future

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 million contract... Full story

 

Proposed carbon fee hurts families, businesses

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 laudable... Full story

 

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 a Soviet naval commander runs his sub aground off a Massachusetts coastal island and sends two English-speaking crewmen ashore to...

 

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, supersonic jets fly over the speed of sound (660 mph... Full story

 

Avoiding trouble tweeting

Since President Trump took office, the attention to social media has mushroomed. His pointed tweets are often the top news story each day. Twitter, Facebook and the other apps are pervasive and even though Google and some others have their share of...

 

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...

 

Much needed dose of Yogi Berra’s wit, 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 is happening now is very disconcerting. We need... Full story

 

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. Unfortunately, that did not happen and the costs are... Full story

 

Columbia River Treaty talks are 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...

 

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