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Opinions

By Don C. 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. 

The state added an estimated 7,300 jobs in July, and June’s report of 9,100 new jobs was revised upward to 13,600 jobs. The Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area boasts our state’s lowest jobless rate at 4.7 percent. 

Even so, warning lights are flashing.   read more »

 

This past year marked a milestone in Kitsap’s efforts to participate in our region’s ever-expanding aerospace manufacturing sector, both commercial and military aircraft. read more »

 

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.

Today, all the headlines are about the negative impacts of fossil fuels. But when you dig deeper, as Paul Harvey did, you get the rest of the story.

For thousands of years, food, water, clothing and shelter were the basic necessities of life.  Today, we need to include electricity.   read more »

 

Today’s news is filled with images of the massive wildfires roaring through the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in central Washington.

The arid pine forests east of the Cascades are prone to wildfire, especially when they are attacked by bark beetles that bore into the trees and suffocate them.  Now those tiny insects are boring into healthy majestic trees in the pristine Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.    read more »

 

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.  

But as Kermit the Frog said, “It’s not easy being green.”  

It turns out that some good ideas don’t work well – or not at all.  Still, the government continues to mandate them. read more »

 

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.

While both states rely on agriculture, North Dakota’s Bakken oil field is driving that state’s economy, which boasts a 2.7 percent unemployment rate. It is the lowest among the 50 states – and there are thousands of jobs unfilled. read more »

 

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.

While goods were once proudly “Made in America,” many of our manufacturing plants are shuttered. When we go to stores, too often the labels say “Made in China.”

How do we turn this around? One company at a time. read more »

 

In early June I spoke at the Career Day that Mountain View Middle School in Bremerton holds each spring. Some of the other guests and I were, admittedly, a predictable lot — firefighters, accountants, a preacher, real estate agents, a newspaper editor. 

The students were engaged and respectful, but it occurred to me that every career isn’t a teenager’s dream. It takes a lot of unsexy roles to keep an economy humming, after all. That’s why they call it work.  read more »

 

All too often our network of highways, pipelines, railroads, barges, ship terminals and airports goes unnoticed unless there is an accident.

For example, we don’t notice the trains delivering the chlorine that purifies our drinking water. We pay little attention to the trucks transporting gasoline for our cars and propane tanks for backyard barbecues. The fact is without trucks, trains, pipelines, barges, ships and airplanes, we couldn’t survive.   read more »

 
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