Articles by Guest Contributor


Paycheck Protection Program still has $130B to support struggling businesses

During the past few weeks, I’ve been reading a lot about hope and its necessary role in healing, recovery and moving forward, not only as individuals, but as communities and a nation. I’ve been talking to our local team about the role the U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA, must have in providing hope to…

Gilles Nicault, the acclaimed French winemaker behind every bottle produced by famed Long Shadows Vintners in Walla Walla, holds a sample of grapes collected from Candy Mountain Vineyard near Richland. (Photo courtesy Richard Duval Images)

Global gut: Wine grape glut may cut into industry’s profits

While the quality of grapes and winemaking in Washington state remain world-class, the global glut of wine continues to cut into the industry’s bottom line. Consumers stand to benefit, whenever shelter-in-place restrictions and pandemic-affected spending allow. “The Washington grape market is suffering from a structural imbalance between supply and demand that will likely require substantial…

Dick Boushey, whose eponymous vineyard in the Yakima Valley is one of the most famous in the Washington wine industry, also is a leading grower of Concord and Niagara juice grapes. (Photo courtesy Richard Duval Images)

Concords rebound: Juice grape growers step up to meet demand

There is no glitz or glamour associated with Concord grape production in Washington state, but the industry is looking better now than in recent years. The reversal stems from growers removing vines, which means they are sending fewer grapes to processors for Concord juice and jelly. But that’s not the only reason for optimism in…


Together in harmony: Developing young voices

How do we, as a society, know that our next generation will be capable of solving the global problems left behind for them to handle? How do we ensure that our future leaders will be able to think independently and multidimensionally, with compassion and confidence? How can we prepare them to face obstacles with the…


A struggling economy is no time to raise taxes

Hundreds of our fellow citizens stepped up to run for elected office during the recent candidate filing week. From local to federal positions, this is an example of our representative democracy at its finest. It’s also a reminder that there are real problems facing us right now, and many of the people solving them will…


Tri-City manufacturing fares well in era of Covid-19

Manufacturing in the greater Tri-Cities certainly isn’t the largest sector. By recent (2018) average annual headcount, it ranks ninth, with about 8,200 workers. If you’re wondering, government – at all levels – is largest. Manufacturing also isn’t a greater provider of high wages in the local economy. In 2018, it paid an annual wage of…


Put it in writing: The insufficiency of the handshake deal

Have you ever yearned for the good old days where a handshake deal was all you needed? The days where, with that handshake, you could trust that the deal would get done and get done right? Those days of trust are not gone. People are still generally trustworthy. People want to fulfill their obligations. But,…


In wake of George Floyd death, the U.S. ‘must do better’

Editor’s note: U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, released on June 4 the following response to retired Gen. James Mattis’ condemnation of President Donald Trump for divisive policies and using active duty soldiers to disperse protestors motivated by the death of George Floyd during his arrest by police in Minneapolis. Newhouse refers to his recent column…


COVID-19 brings daunting challenge to Tri-City economy

An oft-used description of economics has been the “dismal science.” Most of us economists soundly dislike that nickname. After all, recent Nobel prize winners in economics have been rewarded for their insights into poverty alleviation (2019) and technological change (2018). But this month, I present some definitely dismal numbers. In a departure from prior columns,…


Oil and mineral rights difficult to profit from, complicate estate planning

Property rights are often considered a “bundle of sticks” where a person can own varying interests in land. The person can own the entire bundle—called “fee simple.” Or a person can own distinct and specific interests in a piece of property. One form of ownership is the ownership of only the oil and mineral rights…

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