Stories by Don
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 things?
Air travelers received a bit of good news recently: A bill to put air traffic controllers back to work whisked through the House and Senate and flew into the White House for President Obama's signature.
Even some of its strongest supporters now say that the federal Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is going to be a train wreck. The question is, what are we going to do about it?
There's an old saying, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Well, what happens in Seattle should stay in Seattle.
There's an ancient Chinese proverb that says, "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime."
Imagine that you see a swimmer floundering in the water. You call the rescue squad and then you toss the swimmer a concrete block. Does that make sense? Of course not, but that's what's happening in Washington, D.C.
When an errant SUV crashes through your picture window, you may not notice that your barbecue tipped over and caught your house on fire. So it is with the U.S. economy these days.
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 staple for politicians.
The tributes to former Gov. Booth Gardner, who died March 15 at the age of 76, remind us of a better time. Throughout his political career, Booth was known for his respectful demeanor, good humor and dedication to consensus.
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.
The powers in the other Washington appear to be aligning to reform our country's immigration laws. It has taken a while, but it is now time to make the necessary changes.
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 mess.
Sometimes Plan B turns out to be better than Plan A. Case in point: our state's association health plans.
When Grand Coulee Dam was completed in 1942, it was called the "Eighth Wonder of the Modern World." With its 151-mile-long reservoir and ability to produce 6,809 megawatts of electricity, no one could imagine a bigger or more powerful dam -- and no one realized the scope of economic development that low-cost, reliable hydropower would create.
When we moved from Montana to Olympia 35 years ago, we saw enticing television and magazine ads for our neighboring states, but none for Washington. Fast forward to 2013 and nothing has changed. It was puzzling then, but even more perplexing today, considering the money and jobs at stake.
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. Competing states are coming after Washington's economic powerhouse: aerospace.
California and Texas are like the two biggest kids on the block going toe-to-toe for bragging rights. Who’s the biggest? Who’s the best?
In the midst of seemingly endless partisan arguments in our nation's capital about how to reduce unemployment, Wal-Mart, America's largest retailer, announced its own plan to deal with the problem.
When I grew up, kids in neighborhoods gathered in a vacant lot or backyard to play "kick the can." It was a combination of hide-n-seek, tag and capture the flag -- and it was fun.
Traditionally, the new year is a time for resolutions and new beginnings. Unfortunately, it is also a time when new regulations kick in.
As we look ahead in 2013, the cost and availability of electricity will become more important to our families, farmers, merchants and factories.
Everyone is talking about the "fiscal cliff" deadline looming on Dec. 31, when automatic tax increases and spending cuts take effect unless Congress reaches a compromise. Both political camps are in full campaign mode, blaming the other for the lack of progress.
We're seeing a lot of news stories these days about the projected costs of the new federal health care law known as Obamacare. Employers of all sizes, from small companies to warehouse stores and restaurant chains, are warning that compliance costs will force layoffs and price hikes.
Every year about this time, we compare the commercial airplane sales of Boeing and its European arch rival, Airbus.
The end of Hostess Brands Inc. is a lesson for us all.
In "the good old days," schools emphasized "reading, writing and arithmetic" taught to the tune of the hickory stick.
Before the campaign promises of more jobs and renewed prosperity fade away, elected officials need to understand that those promises must be kept.
The National Association of Manufacturers recently reported that, if Congress fails to avert the "fiscal cliff" by the end of December, six million jobs will disappear over the next two years, sending the unemployment rate soaring to near 12 percent.
When you peel off the layers and get beyond the rhetoric, this year's presidential election is about government control. President Barack Obama wants government to have a greater say in our daily lives, while former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney advocates for greater personal responsibility and private-sector solutions.
A few years after Sid Snyder retired as Washington Senate majority leader in 2002, elected leaders from both parties voted to honor by him renaming the street leading to the state Capitol in Olympia "Sid Snyder Avenue."
In 1951, if farmer Henry Bakken had told you there was oil under his prairie land in Williston, N.D., you'd have thought he was a few bricks short of a load.
Elections are always important, but the stakes are particularly high this year with our economy stuck in neutral and threatening to slip into reverse.
When the so-called Affordable Care Act was signed into law, President Obama promised that health care would be affordable and repeatedly assured Americans that if they liked their health plan and their doctor, they could keep them.
Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell is proposing a new law that would prohibit employers from "discriminating" against convicted felons. The law would prevent any employer, whether they are a hospital, school or merchant, from looking at an applicant's criminal record until late in the hiring process and, with few exceptions, would not allow them to reject applicants solely on their criminal history.
Recently, Matthew Rose, CEO of BNSF Railway, visited editorial boards in Vancouver, Spokane, Seattle and Bellingham to talk about a variety of issues related to increased train traffic.
President Barack Obama and his GOP rival, Mitt Romney, tell voters they want manufacturers to stay in America and create new jobs. The president even promised an audience in August in New Hampshire that he had create 4.5 million new jobs, half of those in manufacturing.
President Barack Obama's national health care law was passed with lofty promises but no details. Few lawmakers read the 2,000-plus page bill before voting on it, but supporters promised it would expand access to health care, cut health care costs and — most importantly — allow people to keep their coverage and their doctors if they wish.
President Obama's national health care law, the Affordable Care Act, will extend health care coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans.
It's hard enough for employers to cope with hundreds of new regulations passed each year, added to the tens of thousands of regulations already on the books.
Some activists believe there is no such thing as a good dam, that we should destroy all dams to restore fish runs, no questions asked.
In 1975, Central Washington University President Jim Brooks approached the Association of Washington Business with a concept of linking business leaders, teachers and high school students together to learn first-hand about what makes our free enterprise system tick.
Apparently, the battle for clean energy can be a very dirty business.
The 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the federal health care law doesn't close the book on health reform. The court ruled that the individual mandate requiring everyone to purchase health insurance is constitutional because the fines for not purchasing insurance are taxes, not penalties.
Any Realtor will tell you people looking to buy a home want good schools and safe neighborhoods. They also look for decent roads for when they head to the mountains or the beach during holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day or July 4. They want to know that if they are in an accident, someone will respond quickly to help them.
We all know about the nation's weak economy and tough job market, but the prolonged recession is hitting high school and college students as well.
During his term as Washington's governor, Gary Locke's mantra was "education is the great equalizer." Locke, now the U.S. Ambassador to China, was correct, but in our country today, education is becoming the great separator.
The economic news is bad.
There comes a time when enough is enough. No more excuses, no more delays.
Activists waging a national war on coal have turned their sights on the Pacific Northwest, targeting proposed shipping terminals in Washington and Oregon that would export coal to China.
When the Environmental Protection Agency was formed in 1970, our environmental problems were easy to see: factories belched black smoke, leaded gasoline fouled our air, and water and rivers were so polluted that they actually caught fire.