Articles by Guest Contributor

social media apps

Online comments can spread like wildfire, cause irrevocable damage

By Don C. Brunell Since President Trump took office, the attention to social media has mushroomed.  His pointed tweets are often the top news story each day. Twitter, Facebook and the other apps are pervasive and even though Google and some others have their share of problems preventing leaking of private information, they aren’t going…

Fields of peppers at Harris Produce in Pasco. (Courtesy Harris Produce)

Fresh flavors featuring bobcats, scorpions and goats? Oh my!

By Marilou Shea If you’re looking for flavors like bobcats, scorpions and goats, look no further than Harris Produce in Pasco. An institution of freshness, Harris’ all-natural produce has offered items like the bobcat varietal of tomatoes, scorpion varietal of super-hot peppers and goats, as in just goats, for the past 78 years. Lurene Fleshman,…

Pasco city leaders and engineers break ground on the Columbia East Pump Station, which will help divert industrial plant wastewater from several food processors from entering the city’s municipal wastewater treatment plant. The pump station is at the intersection of the Pasco-Kahlotus Highway and Commercial Avenue.

Pasco breaks ground on new multimillion dollar pump station

By Arielle Dreher Just outside the Pasco city limits, city leaders and engineers broke ground on a new pump station that will help divert wastewater from food processors into the Pasco Process Water Reuse Facility. The Sept. 26 groundbreaking marks the beginning of a project intended to keep more process wastewater out of the city’s…

Paulina Valdez has worked as the site coordinator for Communities in Schools at River’s Edge High School in Richland for almost four years. She said she believes the program has helped reduce dropouts at the school.

Dropout prevention program expands reach in Tri-City area schools

By Arielle Dreher What causes a kid or teen to drop out of school? The answer to that question can be vast — and attributed to myriad factors, from housing to economic status to food and transportation. Enter Paulina Valdez, who works for Communities in Schools, or CIS, and has a portable on the River’s…

Training props at HAMMER include several for firefighters, including the fuel truck burn prop. (Courtesy MSA)

Richland-based HAMMER facility provides training for thousands annually

By Lori Araujo The Department of Energy’s Volpentest HAMMER Federal Training Center is a critical resource for worker health and safety at the Hanford site. The facility north of Richland features an 88-acre campus comprised of numerous classrooms, specialty training areas and props that create a variety of hazardous material and emergency response scenarios. Annually,…

Taylor Brucher, left, and Gabriel Crowell are two of six interns joining the Four Feathers winemaking crew for 2018 harvest.

Washington wine education thrives alongside industry

By David Forsyth One sign that an industry is maturing and becoming an important part of the regional economy is the development of an educational infrastructure that trains its existing and future workers. Additional support comes in the form of research from some of these same facilities. Such is the case with the modern Washington…

Jim House, center, laughs during a ceremony honoring him for his efforts in helping replace the basketball courts at Columbia Playfield in Richland. The 1963 Richland High School graduate donated $50,000 toward the project. House is flanked by former Richland cheerleaders Kippy Brinkman, left, and Ellen Weihermiller.

Former Richland star player helps bring Columbia Playfield courts back to life

By Annie Fowler The uneven blacktop is gone. So are the weeds growing in the middle of the court, and the basketball hoops that had no nets. In their place is a quality playing surface, complete with green keys and gold free-throw lines. The baskets are reinforced to withstand even the mightiest of player. And,…

Jim Jewell, who owns two electric cars and an electric motorcycle, bought as many solar units as he could in the new Benton Rural Electric Association’s solar co-op program. (Courtesy Jim Jewell)

Benton REA’s new co-op solar program sells out in one week

By Arielle Dreher Members of the Benton Rural Electric Association bought out a new solar co-op program in just a week, despite declining incentives for the renewable energy source. Troy Berglund, community development and member relations manager at Benton REA, said he did not know how the program would be received. “I was uncertain of…

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

Higher education in Tri-Cities isn’t keeping pace with local market’s needs

By D. Patrick Jones The Tri-Cities sport an enviable concentration of talent in science and technology. In economic statistics, most of these professionals show up in the sector “Professional & Technical Services”. The other sectors that contain tech workers are Information and Manufacturing.  While firms of lawyers and accountants make up part of the first…

Lampson Transi-Lift LTL-1200 crane performing a gate replacement on a dam in Washington. (Courtesy Lampson International)

Lampson International beating odds for family-owned businesses

By Don C. Brunell It is impossible to ignore Lampson International’s monstrous cranes in its Pasco assembly yard. Those gantries stand out like the Space Needle in Seattle and reach over 560 feet into the sky. Like the Space Needle, Lampson is built on a solid footing. Last month, Construction Review Online, or CRO, ranked…

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