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."

Washington View: Regulatory overreach becomes new normal

By Don Brunell October 15, 2013 6 a.m.

News stories about the government shutdown have shined a spotlight on the issue of government overreach.

Washington View: Ecology's maneuvers Kafkaesque

By Don Brunell October 8, 2013 6 a.m.

In 1915, Franz Kafka wrote a novel about a man who was arrested by two unidentified agents from an undetermined agency and put on trial before unseen judges for an unspecified crime. He was compelled to defend himself without knowing what crime he’d allegedly committed.

Washington View: Dangerous duels with us caught in middle

By Don Brunell October 1, 2013 6 a.m.

After spending a couple of days last week in Washington, D.C., I wonder how Congress and President Obama will settle their differences without hurting the taxpayers or crippling our struggling economy.

Washington View: ESA listing could undercut economy

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

A small critter is causing big problems in the South Puget Sound. It's called the Mazama pocket gopher.

Washington View: With ills untreated, national parks burn

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

Recent news is filled with images of the massive wildfire that has raged across more than 400 square miles near Yosemite National Park, threatening San Francisco’s water supply.

Washington View: Trains safe, efficient for moving U.S. energy

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

For activists intent on stopping all use of fossil fuel, train safety has become their cause du jour. After all, if you can block transport of fossil fuels, you can choke off their use.

Washington View: Proposal for minimum wage surge deeply flawed

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

The SeaTac minimum wage initiative is in limbo.

Washington View: Columbia system too important to change

By Don Brunell August 27, 2013 6 a.m.

The saying "there's more than one way to catch a cat" means that if you don't succeed one way, try again using a different strategy.

Washington View: Is carbon dioxide really the target?

By Don Brunell August 20, 2013 6 a.m.

Environmental activists claim they want to reduce production of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. If so, they're going about it in a very strange way.

Washington View: President's legacy of political courage

By Don Brunell August 13, 2013 6 a.m.

At a time when too many politicians are obsessed with their poll numbers and their legacy, Pew Research says Gerald Ford will go down in history as just an "average" president.

Washington View: Lawyers pile on BP — but who is next?

By Don Brunell August 6, 2013 6 a.m.

In football, players who jump on the ball carrier after he's been tackled get a 15-yard penalty for piling on. But in a courtroom, piling on can get you billions of dollars.

Washington View: State must focus on retaining businesses

By Don Brunell July 30, 2013 6 a.m.

Gov. Jay Inslee was in New York for the world rollout of BMW's new electric car, the BMW i3, which is partially built in Washington. We are all justifiably proud of our state's role and see the car as a harbinger of Washington's economic future.

Washington View: Business Week magic makes barriers vanish

By Don Brunell July 23, 2013 6 a.m.

Each summer for the past 38 years, students and adult leaders from across our state have gathered at university campuses for weeklong, free enterprise "boot camps" called Business Week.

Washington View: Affordable Care Act in need of a remake

By Don Brunell July 16, 2013 6 a.m.

Summer is blockbuster movie season, a time when Hollywood releases its biggest productions.

Washington View: News of military cutbacks a mixed bag for the state

By Don Brunell July 9, 2013 6 a.m.

Military installations and defense contractors are taking the brunt of the automatic budgets cuts mandated by sequestration. Why should we care?

Washington View: Science can help feed the starving

By Don Brunell July 2, 2013 6 a.m.

It's hard to believe there are starving people in the world when Americans shop in well-stocked supermarkets and dine out at any of our 618,000 restaurants.

Washington View: Congress protects its own on health care

By Don Brunell June 25, 2013 6 a.m.

The newspaper Politico reports that dozens of members of Congress and their staffers are so worried about rising premium costs under the Affordable Care Act that they may quit or retire before the law fully goes into effect Jan. 1.

Brunell: Portland ignores proven benefits of fluoridation

By Don Brunell June 18, 2013 6 a.m.

When it comes to drinking water, Portland is an odd duck. Since 1956, voters have consistently rejected adding minuscule amounts of fluoride to their water supply to prevent tooth decay. They again flocked to the polls in May to kill the latest ballot measure.

Washington View: Preserve, expand traditional Washington jobs

By Don Brunell June 11, 2013 6 a.m.

As the budget battles continue in Olympia, state lawmakers are rightly focusing on the need to retain and expand good-paying aerospace and high-tech manufacturing jobs.

Washington View: Higher taxes and costs will send jobs out of state

By Don Brunell June 4, 2013 6 a.m.

As lawmakers scramble to fund the state budget, some legislators and interest groups are targeting tax incentives designed to attract businesses and create jobs. Meanwhile, much-needed workers' compensation reforms languish in the Legislature.

Washington View: Oil and water can coexist, as Texas well fields show

By Don Brunell May 28, 2013 6 a.m.

There's an old saying that oil and water don't mix. That may be true, but apparently they coexist quite well.

Washington View: Strength of human spirit apparent after atrocities

By Don Brunell May 21, 2013 5:59 a.m.

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?

Washington View: Who says congress and the president can't move quickly?

By Don Brunell May 14, 2013 6 a.m.

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.

Washington View: How can the Obamacare train wreck be avoided?

By Don Brunell May 7, 2013 6 a.m.

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?

Washington View: Seattle sick leave policy knows no boundaries

By Don Brunell April 30, 2013 6 a.m.

There's an old saying, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Well, what happens in Seattle should stay in Seattle.