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.

Washington View: The rest of the story on need for electricity

By Don Brunell August 5, 2014 6 a.m.

For decades, radio newsman Paul Harvey gave us a side of the news that we either hadn't heard or hadn't considered. His "Rest of the Story" commentaries provided an in-depth look at the news behind the headlines.

Brunell: Hands-off attitude causes lots of damage

By Don Brunell July 29, 2014 6 a.m.

Today's news is filled with images of the massive wildfires roaring through the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in central Washington.

Washington View: Ensure new buildings are truly 'green'

By Don Brunell July 22, 2014 6 a.m.

Reducing mankind's carbon footprint has become the defining issue of our time — and rightly so. Virtually every level of government has policies to reduce greenhouse gases by regulating everything from industrial CO2 emissions to cow flatulence.

Washington View: Dakotas an example for other states

By Don Brunell July 15, 2014 6 a.m.

If you are looking for a family-wage job these days, there is no better place to look than the Dakotas . . . but for entirely different reasons.

Washington View: The U.S. should not be more like France

By Don Brunell July 8, 2014 6 a.m.

President Barack Obama thinks the United States should be more like France. He made the comment recently while pushing for mandatory paid family leave. "France has worked this out, why can't we?"

Washington View: Reducing dependence on others vital for U.S.

By Don Brunell July 1, 2014 6 a.m.

While much of the news deals with America's decline, there is hope we can stimulate our economy, create manufacturing jobs and pay down our national debt by increasing our manufacturing and energy production.

Brunell: Trucks, trains, ships and pipelines

By Don Brunell June 24, 2014 6 a.m.

All too often our network of highways, pipelines, railroads, barges, ship terminals and airports goes unnoticed unless there is an accident.

Washington View: U.S. needs a leader like Ford's Mulally

By Don Brunell June 17, 2014 6 a.m.

Later this year, Alan Mulally will leave Ford Motor Company. On July 1, he turns the reins over to 53-year old Mark Fields, closing a storied career at Ford and Boeing.

Brunell: Congress, reauthorize the Export-Import Bank

By Don Brunell June 10, 2014 6 a.m.

We're all familiar with car loans and home mortgages. They make it possible for consumers to make major purchases without paying cash upfront. Responsibly done, everyone benefits — the purchasers, car dealers, autoworkers, realtors, construction crews and suppliers.

Washington View: Private sector can offer power solutions

By Don Brunell June 3, 2014 6 a.m.

President Obama has announced a new set of regulations to limit carbon emissions from coal-powered power plants — the nation's single-largest source of affordable electricity. The impact won't hit just coal; these regulations will affect every energy user, including you.

Washington View: WGU offers affordable option for state's working students

By Don Brunell May 27, 2014 6 a.m.

Imagine 350 college grads walking across the stage to receive their degrees in a ceremony with no valedictorian and no student honors. That is exactly what the 2014 graduating class looked like when WGU Washington held its third graduation ceremony earlier this month.

Washington View: Leaders set aside their differences for forests

By Don Brunell May 20, 2014 6 a.m.

Billy Frank, Jr. and Stu Bledsoe came from very different backgrounds, yet their friendship and determination laid the groundwork for what today is known as Washington's historic Forests and Fish agreement. The accord paved the way to revitalized wild salmon habitats, cleaner water and better forest management.

Brunell: Fiscal cliff deal spurs big spike in tax bills

By Don Brunell May 13, 2014 6 a.m.

Last month, J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, revealed the Internal Revenue Service gave a total of $1 million in bonuses to 1,150 workers who owed back taxes between October 2010 and December 2012.

Washington View: Lowry still cares about people

By Don Brunell May 6, 2014 6 a.m.

These days, too much of our politics is agenda-driven, with little regard for the impact on "real people." Politicians proclaim their concern for the little guy, but they hang around with rich folks, celebrities and power brokers.

Washington View: Fossil fuels' benefits are taken for granted

By Don Brunell April 29, 2014 6 a.m.

Let's face it. We're spoiled.

Brunell: Tougher penalties for fraud are needed

By Don Brunell April 22, 2014 6 a.m.

Steal $200,000 from a bank and you’ll go to prison. Steal $200,000 from the taxpayers and you’ll probably get a slap on the wrist.

Washington View: Total pay crucial in minimum wage debate

By Don Brunell April 15, 2014 6 a.m.

One of the problems with the minimum wage debate is the name itself. If we want to ensure that we don’t hurt lower-income workers, we should consider total compensation, not just wages.

Washington View: Shuttle-less U.S. losing ground in space race

By Don Brunell April 8, 2014 6 a.m.

When President Obama permanently grounded America's space shuttles a couple of years ago, he made a huge mistake. He gave Russia carte blanche over the International Space Station, and we now pay $70 million each for our astronauts to hitch a ride.

Washington View: As grads seek work, trade jobs go unfilled

By Don Brunell April 1, 2014 6 a.m.

Millions of unemployed college graduates are back where they started, living with their parents. Upon receiving their diploma, they find themselves saddled with crushing student loan debt and unable to find a job. More than 36 percent of those who have found jobs aren't working in their chosen profession and many are working for minimum wage.

Washington View: What we didn't see at Sochi: dirtiest city

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

During the Winter Olympics, viewers around the world marveled at the pristine snow-capped mountains surrounding Sochi, Russia's Black Sea resort city.

Washington View: Hawaii and high cost of electricity, a cautionary reminder

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

Normally, you wouldn't think the cost of electricity would clobber ranchers, but in Hawaii, high power rates are the central competitiveness issue. In fact, the owners of the mammoth Parker Ranch on Hawaii's big island have calculated their "per cow" electricity costs.

Washington View: Dear leaves behind a lot of friends in Washington

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

It is rare that someone with deep roots in Washington state has his obituary published in the New York Times, but when Joe Dear died, the newspaper ran an extensive story.

Washington View: California may give glimpse of our future

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

It's not often we get a chance to peer into the future to see the consequences of our actions. California has given us that opportunity.

Washington View: A bridge project we can learn a lot from

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

The news these days is filled with stories about Big Bertha, the stalled Seattle waterfront drilling machine, and the cracks in the pontoons of the new SR 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington.

Washington View: Ecology must use more accurate measure of risk

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

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 can minimize risk, but we cannot eliminate it.

Washington View: OK the Keystone Pipeline

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

The Seattle Times headline said it all: "Obama running out of reasons to reject Keystone XL."

Washington View: Ordering champagne on Titanic

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

An enterprising Associated Press reporter put the cost of the recent $1.1 trillion federal spending bill in perspective.

Washington View: U.S. lags behind in creating businesses

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

With the ongoing debate about income inequality and increasing the minimum wage, it's important to revisit the basics. In order to demand a wage increase, you must first have a job. In order to have a job, someone must create that job. In order to create that job, someone must start a business.

Washington View: Fix bottlenecks before Panama Canal work is done

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

Improving Highway 167 in Pierce County could help change the face of global commerce and the future of Washington state. Really.

Washington View: Nobody starts at the top

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

Our country is awash in the politics of envy these days.

Washington View: It's time for president to rethink Obamacare

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

Amid all the confusion, broken promises, false starts, delays, changes and mounting costs, 2014 is the year the president and Congress must rethink the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

Washington View: Keep the holiday spirit all year long

By Don Brunell December 24, 2013 6 a.m.

During the holidays, our thoughts naturally turn to giving — not just giving gifts but donating our time and money to charities and community programs.

Washington View: What's the plan if we eliminate fossil fuels?

By Don Brunell December 17, 2013 6 a.m.

This summer, the nation sweltered in a deadly heat wave. This fall, the nation froze in near-record cold.

Washington View: Washington must avoid the 'Ethanol Shuffle'

By Don Brunell December 10, 2013 6 a.m.

Have you heard of the Ethanol Shuffle? One step forward, two steps back. Actually, it's not a dance; it's part of California's clean energy policy -- a program our governor wants to emulate.

Washington View: Preserve affordable health insurance

By Don Brunell December 3, 2013 6 a.m.

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, also referred to as Obamacare.

Washington View: Americans need to be thankful for all we have

By Don Brunell November 26, 2013 6 a.m.

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.

Washington View: When Boeing speaks, we must listen

By Don Brunell November 19, 2013 6 a.m.

Our state's largest manufacturer Boeing, with more than a century of history in Washington, employs about 86,500 people and spends more than $4.6 billion a year with vendors and suppliers throughout the state.

Washington View: Hiring our veterans is the right thing to do

By Don Brunell November 12, 2013 6 a.m.

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 spending, means tens of thousands of veterans will be looking for work.

Washington View: Bipartisan effort the way to fix Obamacare

By Don Brunell November 5, 2013 6 a.m.

In the midst of all the turmoil, confusion and partisan infighting over the Affordable Care Act, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s words have come back to haunt us: “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.”

Washington View: Will state be big in Boeing's jet future?

By Don Brunell October 29, 2013 6 a.m.

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.

Washington View: Lonesome Larry the salmon not lonely now

By Don Brunell October 22, 2013 6 a.m.

In 1992, a single male sockeye salmon managed to swim 900 miles from the mouth of the Columbia River to Redfish Lake in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains, the end of his migratory journey. Biologists dubbed the sole survivor, "Lonesome Larry."