Don Brunell

Can Washington avert California’s water wars? | Don Brunell

California is in the midst of a fierce water war, a conflict that holds lessons for us in Washington State. In many ways, we are alike. Both of our states’ populations are growing and we have some of the world’s most prolific agriculture regions which require lots of water. Washington is served by a vast network of storage reservoirs that make up the Columbia River drainage. It stretches from the northern Canadian Rockies to as far south as Wyoming.

North-South battle for Seattle fliers | Don Brunell

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. The Port commission, which manages Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, must decide whether to build a new international arrivals terminal at the south end of the airport or expand the north satellite to accommodate additional domestic flights.

Obama on wrong track with Alaska energy | Don C. Brunell

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.

A leftist leader with the right idea | Don Brunell

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 leaderwho prefers living in a farmhouse rather than the presidential mansion? That person is José Mujica, the 79-year old president of Uruguay who finishes his five-year term in March. Uruguay, a small South American country sandwiched between Argentina and Brazil, does not allow a president to stand for reelection, so later this spring, Mujica will take a seat in the senate.

Sedro Woolley company bringing space age technology down to Earth | Don Brunell

Designers of the International Space Station (ISS) 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.

Making college affordable is vital to America | Don Brunell

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 help put food on the table and pay the family bills. In those days, no bank would lend money to college students.

Is Boeing having second thoughts about moving to Illinois? | Don Brunell

In 2001, Boeing announced it would move its corporate headquarters from Seattle to Chicago. Today, you wonder if Boeing is having buyer’s remorse.

Counting our blessings | Don Brunell

It’s that time of year when we count our blessings. In America, they are abundant, especially this year. For starters, the unemployment rate is down from 7 percent last December to 5.8 percent. Washington State mirrors the national average.

Remembering our fallen with Christmas wreaths | Don Brunell

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.

Give charter schools a chance in Washington | Don Brunell

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 FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), became the poster child for an inept and incompetent bureaucracy. But out of this disaster has come a story of success. The hurricane gave New Orleans educators the opportunity to reinvent the city’s failing public schools.

Connecting the dots to lower gas prices | Don Brunell

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 first-hand lesson in the law of supply and demand.

How about an early Thanksgiving this year? | Don Brunell

Since 1957, our Canadian friends and neighbors have celebrated Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. Perhaps, this year we ought to join them.

M&Ms and the American Dream | Don Brunell

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, a land where hard work, innovation and perseverance held the key to the American dream.

Cost of new medications could bankrupt health care | Don Brunell

The good news is we are developing new life-saving medications every day. The bad news is they are very expensive and paying for them could bankrupt our health care system.

Freshwater shortage looming as next world crisis | Don Brunell

Even though water covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, less than two percent is freshwater. Therein lies the problem. As the world’s population grows, demand for water is increasing; in periods of drought it becomes a crisis.

Is an all-green energy strategy worth the cost? | Don Brunell

What if we could peer into the future and see the consequences of the decisions we make today? In a way, we can.

Labor Day epilogue: Partnering for success | Don C. Brunell

Over the Labor Day weekend, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee gave a compelling commentary on the need for employers and employees to set aside their differences and partner.

Strong state employment but warning lights are flashing | Don Brunell

The good news is Washington is separating itself from the national jobless rate. In July, an average 6.2 percent of Americans were looking for work, while Washington State’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent.

Bathtubs, smokestacks and a five-star resort: lessons from Kohler, Wisconsin | Don Brunell

Today, there is a tendency to look with distain 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.

The rest of the story: Demand for electricity is growing | Don Brunell

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.