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.

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.