Articles by Guest Contributor


Strong, skilled workforce contributes to strong economy

By Kris Johnson If it seems like you’ve seen a lot “help wanted” signs lately, you’re not imagining things. Now more than a decade into the current economic expansion, the national unemployment rate is at a 50-year low, labor market participation is at the highest rate in nearly seven years and recent news reports said…


Leaving real estate to your kids could have unintended consequences

By Beau Ruff In most families, the parents dream of leaving a legacy to their children. Of course, the parents want to create a legacy in terms of intrinsic family values, ethics and professionalism. The parents also may often want to create a legacy in terms of material (real) property. Sometimes it takes the form…


Hospitality sector carving out bigger chunk of greater Tri-City economy

By D. Patrick Jones Ranking sixth doesn’t land an industry much coverage in Benton-Franklin Trends. For display purposes, only the top five sectors find their way into our graphs, such as the one covering the five largest sectors by employment. The hospitality industry of the greater Tri-Cities finds itself in this situation. Defined by headcount,…


COVID-19 will test limits of telecommuting

By Don C. Brunell Nobody knows how deep the impact of the coronavirus will be, but one thing it will test is how effectively people can work from home.  Washington is at the point of the spear. Of the U.S. deaths attributed to COVID-19, there are more than 20 in our state. To avoid further…


Key legal employment issues to consider amid coronavirus pandemic

By Christine Zinter The outbreak of the coronavirus and the attendant fear of contagion, particularly in Washington—seemingly the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak—is creating unique and challenging labor law issues for employers. What’s more, the situation is rapidly changing as the virus continues to spread. Public health agencies’ recommendations are being revised on a daily…


Senior Times cancels spring expo to reduce seniors’ risk

By Melanie Hair We have canceled our spring Senior Times Spring 2020 Expo. We are confident it’s the right decision. The outbreak of coronavirus in our state made our choice a simple one. We simply won’t put our community’s seniors at increased risk. Seniors are the most susceptible to severe illness, complications and possibly death…


Access to Tri-City health care could stand to improve

By Patrick Jones For several years, the greater Tri-City economy has been firing on most cylinders. Median household income has climbed 11 percent in the past five years. Local income is, and has been, higher than the U.S. median for several years, unique among Eastern Washington metros. Wages, as measured by the annual average, have…


Your financial planner and your attorney should be talking

By Beau Ruff Sometimes the concept of financial planning is considered distinct from the more laborious and esoteric task of estate planning. The financial plan is the “low hanging fruit” that is first to be addressed. However, in many important respects, the two should be considered contemporaneously to establish a more robust, holistic plan. A…


Retirement planning starts with honest assessment of your spending today

By Ben Messinger For many of us, retirement funding is a central fixture of our financial plan and one of the most important considerations is determining the income necessary to sustain a desired lifestyle. Knowing the true income need for your lifestyle is the foundation of determining what capital resources must be acquired, which is…


Be alert to significant changes in retirement plans

By Shelley Kennedy It might not have made the headlines but a recently passed piece of legislation could affect the individual retirement accounts and 401(k)s of millions of Americans beginning in 2020. So, if you have either of these accounts or if you run a business, you’ll want to learn more. The new laws, collectively…

Latest News

Governor halts construction during coronavirus stay-home order

Interactive map shows how well (or not) we’re social distancing

Grocery Outlet opens in Richland

Tri-Citians urged to donate N95 respirators, food, cash. Here’s how to help

Chamber, tourism bureau offer businesses way to tell public they’re open

UPDATE: Washington adding more than 2,000 hospital beds in coronavirus fight

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