Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Articles written by Don C. Brunell

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Work from home here to stay

With COVID-19 vaccines being widely dispensed, will an end to this pandemic halt “work from home?” Will workers return to downtown offices at pre-pandemic levels? However, it is not an either/or question, said Stanford Professor Nicholas Bloom,...

 

Bracing for bigger changes

Now that vaccines are available, we hope our lives will return to the way they were before the coronavirus pandemic blanketed the globe. That is not likely to occur. Last March our booming economy was clobbered by COVID-19. A worldwide pandemic...

 

Wildfires were "Big Polluters" in 2020

While the coronavirus and its devastating effects on people and economies worldwide were unfortunately the top 2020 stories, the massive impact of western wildfires can’t be ignored. It was catastrophic. The National Interagency Fire Center’s...

 

Despite COVID Wreaths Placed Across America

Christmas is an especially difficult time for anyone grieving for lost loved ones. Try adding a crippling killer virus into that mix. That is the tragic reality of 2020. Even though the traditional ceremonies attended by thousands went virtual this...

 

Big hurdles removed for wind energy

Would you believe in the future when a cement truck shows up to pour your foundation or patio, the mixture will likely contain ground-up wind turbine blades? As a part of new agreement between GE Renewable Energy and Veolia North America (VNA), old...

 

E-Waste Reduction Requires Innovative Approaches

One of the biggest challenges of the 21st Century is dealing with the progress of the 20th Century — especially old computers, monitors, cellular phones and televisions. These appliances depend on hazardous materials, such as mercury, to operate....

 

Military diversity something to be thankful for

Diversity in the ranks has been the lifeline of our military, but it wasn’t always that way. We ought to be thankful for all of the men and women from a variety of ethnic backgrounds who put their lives in harm’s way to protect our freedoms and...

 

Coronavirus spurring air cargo growth

It’s no secret that airlines and airplane manufacturers have been clobbered by the coronavirus pandemic. Particularly hard hit are international flights traditionally flown by jumbo jets. Borders are closed and people aren’t flying. There is a sm...

 

Military Diversity's Lifeline

Diversity in the ranks has been the lifeline of our all-volunteer military, but it wasn’t always that way. As we celebrate Veterans Day, we ought to be thankful for all of the men and women from a variety of ethnic backgrounds who put their lives i...

 

Defunding police departments is a bad idea

A couple of years ago, a major regional medical clinic leader announced his support for a local tax hike to beef up the city’s police force and provide cops with better training and capabilities. His rational was two-fold: the Clinic needed police...

 

RVs in the work-from-home economy

People have changed their travel preferences to minimize their COVID-19 exposure. Travel trailers and motorhomes are iconic symbols of campgrounds in our “great outdoors.” Meanwhile, outdoor recreation increased once the initial lockdowns were li...

 

President uses rare order to break China's hammerlock on critical metals

To the average American, China’s control of the world production, processing technology and stockpile of critical metals is not their concern. However, to our military and high-tech leaders, it is a very big deal. Our government has a list...

 

Coronavirus Compounds Recycling Calamity

Like other nations, China is struggling with the deadly Covid-19 virus and suffocating under mountains of trash its residents generate each day. Wuhan hospitals generated six times as much medical waste at the peak of the outbreak as they did before...

 

Time to Revisit Managing our Forests

Not only is the world in the grasp of the COVID-19 pandemic, but America’s western wildlands are burning up as well. Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters California has a dual crises: the massive wildfire complexes and the ongoing coronavirus...

 

Will fall further chill restaurant recovery?

Sunny summer weather helped restaurant owners and workers recover after they were broadsided by the coronavirus pandemic last March. However, as fall morphs into winter and diners are forced back inside, the big question will be: Are there enough...

 

New Nuclear Needs Solution Inclusion

If Americans are to receive all of their electricity without coal and natural gas by 2035, they will need nuclear power. Even if Washingtonians, who already procure over 70 percent of their electricity from the hydro, are to be completely devoid of...

 

Green New Deal Incomplete

Our environmental quality strategy must be encompassing and not just focus on climate change. Since Democrats announced their Green New Deal, the emphasis is reducing greenhouse gases, particularly CO2, which contribute to global warming. Their goal...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    July 2, 2020

Like Poland, America needs to change

On July 4, 1975, America proudly celebrated its Bicentennial as the world’s greatest nation while Poland was a suppressed Soviet satellite state. Poles had no right to free speech, were hungry and impoverished. If you wanted a job, you played ball...

 

Closed Landfills May House Solar Farms

Solar power is getting a lot of attention these days as our country strives to reduce greenhouse gases. Sunny cities like Honolulu, Los Angeles and San Antonio have ramped-up solar power production; however, in cloudy coastal municipalities such as...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    June 4, 2020

Closed Landfills May House Solar Farms

Solar power is getting a lot of attention these days as our country strives to reduce greenhouse gases. Sunny cities like Honolulu, Los Angeles and San Antonio have ramped-up solar power production; however, in cloudy coastal municipalities such as...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 21, 2020

Brighter Future for Papermakers

In recent years, papermakers in Pacific Northwest have been losing ground. However, today there is a ray of hope. Surprisingly, that optimism results from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first days of the pandemic, grocers couldn’t keep toilet paper...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 7, 2020

Unemployment Payments Provide Necessary Cushion for Jobless Americans

America’s unemployment rate is suddenly approaching historic levels. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began almost two months ago, roughly 30.3 million people have filed for jobless benefits. “That is more people than live in the New York and Chicago...

 

Thank The Truckers

As we get deeper into the COVID-19 pandemic, we are finding more Americans to thank. Until recently, truckers have been behind the scenes just doing their jobs, but as shoppers learn how groceries and necessities reappeared on shelves, they join the...

 

TP Shortage is Tip of Iceberg

If you think the run on toilet paper is just an American thing, think again. On March 10, Business Insider (BI) reported: “The spread of the coronavirus has brought with it panic-buying of food and household essentials, despite the attempts of...

 

Coronavirus Testing Telecommuting Effectiveness

Nobody knows how deep the impact of the coronavirus will be, but one thing that it is destined to test is how effectively people will work from home. Washington is at the point of the spear. Of the 22 U.S. deaths attributed to COVID-19, there are 19...

 

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