Articles by Guest Contributor


Charitable lead trusts do good while reducing estate taxes

What is a charitable giving technique that doubles as a wealth transfer technique to avoid estate taxes and at the same time works especially well in a low-interest rate environment (as we find ourselves in now)? The charitable lead trust. First, let’s set the stage. This type of trust is usually implemented after other basics…


Tri-City population continues to outpace the state

In pandemic year 2020, the population in the greater Tri-Cities grew among the fastest of all metro areas in Washington state. For Benton County, state Office of Financial Management (OFM) pegged the count at 209,300 residents; for Franklin County, at 99,500. That’s a gain of over 6,300 in 12 months. These estimates imply year-over-year population…


Labor shortage emerges as major issue for employers

What a difference a year makes. As Washington emerges from the pandemic, one of the biggest challenges facing many employers is finding enough qualified workers. It’s a dramatic shift from a year ago, when businesses were forced to close their doors to slow the spread of the virus, leading to an unprecedented surge in unemployment.…


Tree farms may be key to cutting greenhouse gases

As climate change concerns grow, researchers are turning to small tree farmers for help. Actually, tree farms have been helping for nearly a century, but their efforts have largely gone unrecognized. For decades, the American Tree Farm program has emphasized sustainability and managing lands for water quality, wildlife, wood and recreation. Now, it is adding…


Here’s a halftime report on investing in 2021

“Exciting” isn’t the word most people use when describing market and investment conditions, but it fits the description for the first half of 2021. GameStop dominated the news cycle for weeks, and its controversy culminated in congressional hearings. Distant relatives morphed into CNBC commentators as they waited for the price of Dogecoin to skyrocket after…


Buying stocks or bonds to earn income? Here’s how that works

One common concern for investors is seeking a reliable source of passive income. Sometimes it is not immediately evident to those investors that an investment account can easily produce passive income. Many investors who are new to investing in the broader stock market like to evaluate the investment alongside other investments for which they have…

Kirk Williamson of Kennewick is a tour bus guide that shows off Tri-City highlights to American Empress paddleboat passengers who stop over in Richland. (Courtesy American Queen Steamboat Company)

Smiles everyone! The American Empress paddleboat is back on the river

Imagine yourself facing a busload of people all wearing masks. You’re wearing one, too, of course. You were tested for Covid-19 on arrival. You’ve been introduced to the bus driver, and you’ve helped the first 45 guests from the American Empress cruise boat board the bus. You take a deep breath. First bus out at…

Ellis “Jerry” Majetich, a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient who graduated from Kennewick High School, received a mortgage-free home from PulteGroup’s Built to Honor program. It’s being built in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Majetich suffered multiple injuries after an IED exploded his Humvee in Iraq in 2005. (Courtesy Built to Honor)

Mortgage-free home under construction for wounded vet with Tri-City ties

By Annie Charnley EvelandWalla Walla Union-Bulletin A wounded Army staff sergeant with Tri-City ties soon will move into a new mortgage-free home. Ellis “Jerry” Majetich and his family have officially broken ground on their future home in Ponte Vedra, Florida. This is the first PulteGroup’s Built to Honor home donated in a Del Webb 55-and-older…

Courtesy Scott Butner Photography

WSDA fills food pantries with farmer-grown products

By Derek SandisonDirector, Washington State Department of Agriculture As we reach the midway mark of 2021, many of the adjustments made in response to the coronavirus pandemic appear likely to remain with us for some time, from ongoing public health measures, teleworking for many workers who used to report to offices and efforts to recover…

Courtesy Scott Butner Photography

Washington wine industry cheers as shipping revives in early 2021

There’s been a retrenching of the Washington wine industry in recent vintages as a result of overproduction, a slippage in sales and the pandemic. However, reasons for optimism continue to grow even though the state crushed only 175,000 tons in 2020 – its lightest harvest since 2011. For analysts craving statistics, there is economist Chris…

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