Articles by Guest Contributor

Contractors are facing labor shortages and increased material costs as they work to meet the demand for both residential and commercial construction in the Tri-Cities. (Courtesy Elite Construction and Development)

Contractors squeezed by higher costs while demand remains strong

By Jennifer L. Drey Increased costs for materials and labor, coupled with national tariffs and state regulations are presenting challenges and squeezing margins for general contractors in the Tri-Cities as demand for construction remains heavy, according to those in the industry. Nationally, the costs of all inputs to construction increased by 4.9 percent between November…


Farm Bill could clear way for state’s industrial hemp growers

By Michelle Dupler A federal Farm Bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in December opens the door for legal industrial hemp farming nationwide, but it remains to be seen exactly how the crop will be regulated as a legal commodity in Washington state. The Washington State Department of Agriculture has said it…

D. Patrick Jones is the executive director for Eastern Washington University’s Institute for Public Policy & Economic Analysis.

Tri-City health care sector ranks as region’s second largest work force

By D. Patrick Jones Despite recent challenges faced by local hospitals, health care here is acquiring all the features of a major medical center. Benton-Franklin Trends data makes this quite clear, tracking the share of the work force employed in the five highest-employing sectors. Health care is the second from the bottom in the graph.…


2019: The year of greens, grasshoppers and gut health

By Marilou Shea Unlike the Pantone color of the year that’s selected annually by a chosen few, the food trends I’m about to share — most falling into a “healthy” category — are ultimately based on the masses — yes, that’s you, me, us. As if you didn’t know, keto, kale and gluten-free diets were…


Kennewick attorney fields frequently asked questions about DUIs

By Alex Johnson As a DUI defense attorney here in the Tri-Cities, I often get questions about this area of law. Here are short answers to frequently asked questions about driving under the influence. What is the “legal limit” for a DUI? When I’m asked this question, it is usually pertaining to alcohol-based DUIs. The…

Attorney Beau Ruff works for Cornerstone Wealth Strategies in Kennewick.

Tax code provides gift that doesn’t receive the appreciation it’s due

By Beau Ruff At death, there is a little-known tax benefit that the federal government provides. It is an adjustment to tax basis and it can have a profound effect on the taxation of the assets owned at death. This column discusses two kinds of taxes that apply at death: the estate tax and the…

RX Pharmacy technician Justin Hunter shows how many prescriptions often go into a bubble pack, which serve as pre-made pill boxes for patients. The service, along with free delivery, has helped the independent Richland pharmacy grow since opening in 2014.

Independent pharmacy’s prescription for success? Delivering on customer service

By Kevin Anthony Randy Johnson is big on challenges. It’s why the owner of RX Pharmacy on the Kadlec campus in Richland jumped right in as a pharmacist and store manager straight out of college. It’s why he went from working behind the counter for one of the biggest chains in the nation to opening…

Bridging the divide between Washington state and D.C.

By Kris Johnson On a map, the distance from our Washington to the “other” Washington looks so far away. But, policies being made and debated there hit us here in Washington state. Take trade policies, for example. As one of the most trade-driven states in the nation, what happens with trade agreements has a direct…

Joel Watson spent a day at Tri-Tech Skills Center in Kennewick, teaching the culinary arts, pastry and baking class to make pie crust. (Courtesy Joel Watson)

He’s just living the dream at Just Joel’s in Kennewick

By Annie Fowler Tucked away in a small building at 1505 W. Kennewick Ave. is one man’s dream. Just Joel’s, a small diner that features homemade breakfast and lunch, had a banner first year, which nearly brings owner Joel Watson to tears when he talks about it. “When you come here, the food is made…

D. Patrick Jones is the executive director for Eastern Washington University’s Institute for Public Policy & Economic Analysis.

Tri-City entrepreneurship, labor market show mixed signals

By D. Patrick Jones It’s human nature to keep score. Look at all the stats in the sports pages. Or the various top 10 rankings of U.S. cities. So, too, with economic development. An overriding goal of nearly all communities is to create jobs. Chambers of commerce, local government and economic development organizations often keep score with jobs. At…

Latest News

New fashion retailer to open at Columbia Center

Shopko files for bankruptcy, announces 38 store closures

Tri-Cities Airport travel hits record number

1,000 federal workers in state apply for benefits amid shutdown 

Kennewick Sears store to close in March

IRS raises business mileage rates for 2019

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