Brunell: Canada's ports eating our lunch, eyeing our dinner

By Don Brunell July 28, 2015 6 a.m.

U.S. Representative Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, was correct earlier this year when he said Canada's West Coast ports are "eating our lunch!"

Brunell: Chinese wine may appear on shelves

By Don Brunell July 21, 2015 6 a.m.

Wine connoisseurs looked with distain on wines produced in the United States. Then, when California wines gained popularity, those made in Washington were viewed with skepticism. Wines fermented in Chile, Argentina and Australia were dismissed for years before finally being stocked on store shelves.

Brunell: Letting nature take its course not always wise

By Don Brunell July 14, 2015 6 a.m.

We associate air pollution with big cities, but millions of people are feeling the impacts of pollution from wildfires burning from California to Alaska and as far east as Colorado.

Brunell: Dr. Elson Floyd is a hard act to follow

By Don Brunell July 7, 2015 6 a.m.

Dr. Elson Floyd leaves big shoes to fill at Washington State University.

Brunell: Time to revive the Black Rock project

By Don Brunell June 30, 2015 6 a.m.

Yakima Valley farmers have the same problem as their California counterparts: there just isn't enough water for crops, migrating fish and people.

Brunell: Lawmakers should fund life sciences discovery

By Don Brunell June 23, 2015 6 a.m.

Some may remember the infamous Seattle billboard: "Will the last person leaving Seattle turn out the lights?"

Brunell: Imposing income tax for state can lead to ruin

By Don Brunell June 16, 2015 6 a.m.

Connecticut is in a deep financial pickle and is in danger of seeing a mass exodus of businesses looking for states where taxes are lower and private sector employers are welcome.

Brunell: Imposing income tax for state can lead to ruin

By Don Brunell June 16, 2015 6 a.m.

Connecticut is in a deep financial pickle and is in danger of seeing a mass exodus of businesses looking for states where taxes are lower and private sector employers are welcome.

Brunell: States cut taxes to spur jobs, growth

By Don Brunell June 9, 2015 6 a.m.

In Olympia these days, lawmakers are high-centered in a second special session over the budget to operate the state for the next two years. The stalemate has come down to the choice of raising taxes or funding government within the current revenues.

Brunell: Reuse water and we can help fish and farmers

By Don Brunell June 2, 2015 6 a.m.

One of the remarkable successes of the last few years is the record salmon returns to the Columbia River and its tributaries. Conversely, one of the biggest disappointments is low recovery of delta smelt in San Francisco Bay.

Brunell: Looking at fossil fuels through different lens

By Don Brunell May 26, 2015 6 a.m.

While protesters were trying to block a Shell oil rig from docking in Elliott Bay, a team of surgeons and nurses at Vancouver's Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital was replacing my left hip.

Brunell: Greenhouse gases and people in glass houses

By Don Brunell May 19, 2015 6 a.m.

There's an old saying that people living in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks. The moral is that before criticizing others, you should make sure your own house is in order.

Brunell: Ex-Im Bank has impact on small businesses

By Don Brunell May 12, 2015 6 a.m.

How is Seattle's Lighthouse for the Blind connected to the Export-Import Bank? Very closely.

Brunell: Will ports be ready for big ships?

By Don Brunell May 5, 2015 6 a.m.

The Longshoremen's work slowdown that snarled West Coast ports for nine months is over, leaving behind bitter memories and billions in economic damages. But the global trends that foreshadowed that port disruption remain.

Brunell: Trade deals imperative for America

By Don Brunell April 28, 2015 6 a.m.

To many, giving President Obama more authority is a bad idea. However, regardless of how you feel about him, the President of the United States needs the power to negotiate trade agreements.

Brunell: State's Tax Freedom Day later than most

By Don Brunell April 21, 2015 6 a.m.

Will you celebrate Tax Freedom Day this year? Until Friday, every penny you've earned in 2015 goes to pay your taxes. While this year, national Tax Freedom Day is 114 days into the year, for us in Washington, it won't arrive until April 29.

Brunell: Association Health Plans are filling void

By Don Brunell April 14, 2015 6 a.m.

Imagine you have a product that customers love. It's top quality, affordable and meets or exceeds all state and federal benefit standards. Better yet, your product fills a void in the marketplace that left people vulnerable and unprotected.

Brunell: New rail safety regulations welcome

By Don Brunell April 7, 2015 6 a.m.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has announced new rules that reduce the vapor pressure in oil tanker cars leaving his state's booming oil patch. The goal is to reduce the risk of fiery explosions like the one that killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec in July 2013.

Brunell: Franchises are treated unfairly by wage law

By Don Brunell March 31, 2015 6 a.m.

Ever since the $15 wage proposal was narrowly approved by City of SeaTac voters, municipal leaders in neighboring Seattle have pushed to impose the same edict.

Brunell: Fossil fuel use isn't ending any time soon

By Don Brunell March 24, 2015 6 a.m.

Folks in the Pacific Northwest may not like what Matt Ridley has to say, but we should consider his points about energy.

Don Brunell: Higher minimum wage not the answer

By Don Brunell March 17, 2015 6 a.m.

Washington has the nation's highest minimum wage at $9.47 an hour, and now the state Legislature wants to hike it to $12. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a Democrat, wants to boost it to $15 to go in step with the SeaTac initiative, which voters barely approved last year.

Don Brunell: Our state must avert California's water wars

By Don Brunell March 10, 2015 6 a.m.

California is in the midst of a fierce water war, a conflict that holds lessons for residents of Washington.

Brunell: Sea-Tac decision could affect N.W. fliers

By Don Brunell March 3, 2015 6 a.m.

The fierce competition between Seattle's Alaska Airlines and Atlanta's Delta Airlines is spilling over to the Port of Seattle, and it may reach your wallet in the form of higher airfares.

Brunell: Congress must stop abusive IRS tactics

By Don Brunell February 24, 2015 6 a.m.

The IRS scandals just keep on coming.

Brunell: Obama on wrong track regarding Alaska energy

By Don Brunell February 17, 2015 6 a.m.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted plunging gas prices. Ironic, since Obama has done everything in his power to curtail domestic oil production and drive up gas prices.

Brunell: Regulations, taxes hurting businesses

By Don Brunell February 10, 2015 6 a.m.

For the first time in American history, entrepreneurship is in decline.

Brunell: A leftist leader with the right approach

By Don Brunell February 3, 2015 6 a.m.

Can you imagine a nation's president, a former guerilla fighter with socialist leanings, enacting policies that favor business and encourage foreign investment? How about a leader who prefers living in a farmhouse rather than the presidential mansion?

Brunell: It's time to move beyond the gasoline tax

By Don Brunell January 27, 2015 6 a.m.

With gas prices plummeting to less than $2 a gallon, some politicians think this is the ideal time to increase state and federal gas taxes. The theory is when gasoline is expensive, voters vehemently oppose higher gas taxes; but when the price drops, motorists don't pay as much attention. They just fill up and drive off, thankful for the savings.

Brunell: N.W. innovators work to save Earth

By Don Brunell January 20, 2015 6 a.m.

Designers of the International Space Station had to make it self-sustaining because, once aboard, astronauts had no way to get water or discharge sewage and no connection to Earth's power grids.

Brunell: Detroit's bankruptcy a lesson in bad business

By Don Brunell January 13, 2015 6 a.m.

Last month, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit approved $178 million in legal and consulting fees as the city exited bankruptcy protection.

Brunell: Affordable college is vital to America

By Don Brunell January 6, 2015 6 a.m.

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.

Brunell: Is Boeing having 2nd thoughts?

By Don Brunell December 30, 2014 6 a.m.

In 2001, Boeing announced it would move its corporate headquarters from Seattle to Chicago. Today, you wonder if Boeing is having buyer's remorse.

Brunell: Counting our many blessings at year's end

By Don Brunell December 23, 2014 6 a.m.

It's that time of year when we count our blessings. In America, they are abundant, especially this year.

Brunell: Wreaths help honor our fallen veterans

By Don Brunell December 16, 2014 6 a.m.

Christmas is a difficult time for anyone grieving for a lost loved one. It is especially painful for America's military families whose son, daughter, spouse or parent was killed in action this year.

Brunell: Missouri cake baker one of the lucky ones

By Don Brunell December 9, 2014 6 a.m.

Rioters in Ferguson, Mo., shattered the windows of Natalie's Cakes and More and vandalized the baking equipment. However, when owner Natalie Dubose put her story on the Internet, Americans immediately responded, donating more than $260,000 to help her rebuild her business.

Brunell: A tax on business is really a tax on you

By Don Brunell December 2, 2014 6 a.m.

Jonathon Gruber recently created a stir with his comments about Obamacare and "the stupidity of the American voter."

Brunell: Freedom is a fragile thing

By Don Brunell November 25, 2014 6 a.m.

For some, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends and give thanks for the blessings we enjoy. For others, it's a time to volunteer at soup kitchens to help the less fortunate. For still others, it's simply a chance to eat a huge meal and watch football.

Brunell: Give charter schools a chance

By Don Brunell November 18, 2014 6 a.m.

Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, flooding cities and towns in four states and killing more than 1,800 people. The government response to Katrina, especially by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, became the poster child for an inept and incompetent bureaucracy.

Brunell: Washington's low-cost electricity appeals to BMW

By Don Brunell November 11, 2014 6 a.m.

There isI a new look to Bavarian tourism these days. In the past, tourists flocked to Munich's city square like Seattle's New Year's Eve revelers to the Space Needle. They came to see the ancient glockenspiel and a giant cuckoo clock on the city hall tower before dashing to the nearby famed Hofbrauhaus for beer, brats and Bavarian music.

Brunell: Connecting the dots on lower gas prices

By Don Brunell November 4, 2014 6 a.m.

It's often difficult to "connect the dots," to show people how the global marketplace affects their daily lives. But plunging gasoline prices are giving Americans a firsthand lesson in the law of supply and demand.

Brunell: Delta, Alaska rivalry could mean boost for Boeing

By Don Brunell October 28, 2014 6 a.m.

While the merger of United Airlines and Continental left a gaping hole at the ticket counter at SeaTac International Airport, frequent fliers are noticing an expansion of Delta and Alaska check-in stations these days.

Brunell: November election is about jobs and wages

By Don Brunell October 21, 2014 6 a.m.

November's election needs to be about the people who are unemployed or underemployed and how best to increase wages.

Brunell: We could have had an early Thanksgiving this year

By Don Brunell October 14, 2014 6 a.m.

Since 1957, our Canadian friends and neighbors have celebrated Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. Perhaps, this year we ought to have joined them.

Brunell: M&Ms and the American Dream

By Don Brunell October 7, 2014 6 a.m.

Entrepreneurs helped make America great. Many of the "big businesses" we know today started in the imaginations of immigrants who came to America, the land of opportunity — a place of boundless possibilities where your station in life didn't matter. It was a land where hard work, innovation and perseverance held the key to the American dream.

Brunell: New drugs' cost has big impact on health care

By Don Brunell September 30, 2014 6 a.m.

The good news is we are developing new lifesaving medications every day. The bad news is they are very expensive and paying for them could bankrupt our health care system.

Brunell: Freshwater shortage looms as a major crisis

By Don Brunell September 23, 2014 6 a.m.

Remember the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner": "Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink?"

Brunell: Employers, workers must be partners

By Don Brunell September 9, 2014 6 a.m.

Over the Labor Day weekend, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee gave a compelling commentary on the need for employers and employees to set aside their differences and partner.

Brunell: 777 may replace Air Force One

By Don Brunell September 2, 2014 6 a.m.

It's about time to replace Air Force One, the president's plane; however, the new version may not be a Boeing 747. It may be a 777.

Washington View: Too many of state's youths still seek jobs

By Don Brunell August 19, 2014 6 a.m.

The good news is Washington is separating itself from the national jobless rate. In July, an average of 6.2 percent of Americans were looking for work, while Washington's unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent.

Washington View: Harmony is possible on the waterfront

By Don Brunell August 12, 2014 6 a.m.

Today, there is a tendency to look with disdain at manufacturing facilities, especially those located on working waterfronts. Historically, those factories were sited there because the raw materials and finished products could be transported only by water.