Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Articles written by Don C. Brunell

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Greatest Generation Slipping into History

Just before Veterans Day, the last known survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor died at age 98. With the passing of George Hursey of Massachusetts, it closed that chapter of World War II---the world’s most deadly conflict in which over 60...

 

Impeachment Aside: There's Work to be Done

Now that President Trump’s impeachment process is formally underway, Democrats and Republicans need to avoid becoming completely absorbed by it. They must work together on other important issues such as immigration, health care, education, infrastr...

 

Power of Reliable Power

Our state’s economy and way of life hinges on low cost and reliable electricity. Since Grand Coulee and Bonneville dams were completed in the early 1940s, Washington has enjoyed both. We are accustomed to flipping a switch and our lights...

 

Cosmic Crisp is Needed Lift for Washington

Imagine tuning into the Sunday morning talk shows and wondering if the politicians and commentators could possibly find something positive to say about one another or the state of affairs in America. Unfortunately, there is a better chance of...

 

Wildfire Season That Wasn't

The Oregonian characterized the 2019 wildfire season as the “season that wasn’t!” That’s good news for west coast states; however, it doesn’t mean we are permanently “out of the woods!” Worldwide wildfires are down as well. According...

 

High Costs Drive People to Move

Too often, elected officials overlook the cumulative costs of regulations, taxes and fees on taxpayers; however, it comes back to bite them hard when people move, or take matters into their own hands by initiative. Consider what is happening in...

 

Business Needs to Tell Its Story

Many years ago, a reporter asked George Weyerhaeuser, then CEO of Weyerhaeuser Co., why his company spent so much time and money informing its workers, public officials and people about its business of growing trees and converting those trees into lu...

 

Mitsubishi Launching Into Regional Jet Space

Traditionally, media coverage of the Paris Air Show focuses on the battle between Boeing and Airbus over market share for newer large commercial jets. However, this year Mitsubishi shared the spotlight with its state-of-the-art “SpaceJet....

 

It is Time to Talk About Our National Debt

Our nation is on an unsustainable borrowing trajectory and it could get much worse unless voters start asking politicians: “How are taxpayers going to pay for what they promise!” We now owe over $22.5 trillion to lenders of which nearly half are...

 

Tacoma LNG Project Needs to Happen

Hopefully, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) will receive final permit approval so it can complete its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant currently under construction on the Tacoma’s Tide Flats. For background, LNG is natural gas chilled to a liquid state,...

 

Labor Day Epilogue: Partnering for Success

A few years ago on Labor Day, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee presented a compelling commentary on the need for employers and employees to set aside their differences and partner. That very same message should be heeded by our elected official...

 

Drones Planting Trees In Burned Wildlands

While drones are coming of age in firefighting, they are also establishing a foothold in restoring fire-scorched forests. Firefighting drones grabbed the spotlight last April 15 as viewers around the world watched Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris go up...

 

Battery Operated Locomotives Coming

More battery operated cars and trucks are making their way on to streets and highways, so why not trains? That may not be too far off if BNSF tests are successful. BNSF and Wabtec (formerly GE Transportation) are developing a battery-electric...

 

Careful Not to Follow Sweden's Haste

Sweden and Washington State are very similar. Both have strong “green” movements and are quickly moving to eliminate all carbon-emitting fuels from cars and power plants. The caution for Washington elected officials is not to jam through hastily...

 

Alternative to Flaring Natural Gas

In oil rich West Texas, shale producers and pipeline owner Williams Co. are fighting over whether new “burning off of natural gas” permits should be approved. It is a battle between companies which are usually aligned. Flaring happens primarily...

 

America's Renewed Interest in Moon

With all of the attention on the 50th anniversary of the Lunar landing, many are looking ahead to the next half century of space exploration. Of particular interest is returning to the Moon which may come as early as 2024. For example, Boeing is...

 

Worth of the Moon Mission

Shortly, after Apollo 11 landed on the moon and astronaut Neil Armstrong took his famous first steps on the dusty lunar surface, some comedian in our army unit at Ft. Knox, KY, posted a sign in our barracks: “Sorry, Drill Sgt., No Green Cheese!...

 

China's Mighty Migrating Mandate

What happens in China, doesn’t always stay in China. In fact, when it comes to tough new garbage and recycling restrictions, they may migrate elsewhere sooner than you might think. For example, Shanghai is one of the world’s largest cities with...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    July 4, 2019

Restoring Affordability to a College Education is Vital to America

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. Eighty years ago, our country was in the middle of the Great Depression and teens took odd jobs to...

 

Normandy Clicker D-Day Innovation

During World War II, the American GI earned the reputation for being innovative, adaptable and resilient. Nowhere was that more evident than the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. For example, Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, commander of the 101st Airborne...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    June 6, 2019

Max Fix Critical to Washington

Last January, Boeing was poised for another record year. The company’s order book burst at the seams. Things seem to be going Boeing’s way. In 2019, Boeing planned to step up deliveries of KC46 aerial refueling jets to the U.S. Air Force and the...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 30, 2019

Could Seattle Put on a World's Fair Today?

On April 21, 1962, the Seattle World’s Fair opened. The “Century 21 Exhibition” ran for six months, drew 11 million visitors, turned a profit and left the Northwest with a wonderful Seattle Center. Well over a half century later, many of the...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 23, 2019

Removing Snake River dams is unwise

There are dams that should come down and those that shouldn’t. Hopefully, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts its review of the 14 federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, that will become abundantly clear. That review is expected...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 16, 2019

Washington's Big Tax Bump

With the dust settling from the 2019 legislative session, the focus is assessing the impacts on taxpayers and our economy. Our state’s budget grew by a whopping 17.5 percent, which is one of the largest increases ever. Gov. Jay Inslee and his...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 9, 2019

New Montana Law Aims to Keep People In Their Homes

Montana’s legislature took the unusual step of exempting older, less-valued mobile homes from property tax as a way to stem homelessness. The bipartisan legislation, which Gov. Steve Bullock signed into law last week, aims to keep people in their...

 

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