Articles by Guest Contributor

Windsong at Southridge, a 56-bed memory care facility near Quillan Place and 24th Street in Kennewick, is Vista Pointe Developers’ first Washington state property. The company sees growth potential in the Tri-Cities. (Photo by Andrew Kirk)

Tri-Cities’ hot market attracts outside buyers

By Andrew Kirk A woman from Hawaii recently bought a home in Tri-Cities with cash and outbid other buyers by $10,000. Real estate shoppers from Seattle, Portland, California and beyond are a growing trend in Tri-Cities, said Dave Shinabarger, president of the Tri-City Association of Realtors. Lance Kenmore of the Kenmore Team in Kennewick said…

Cara Coon of Greater Spokane Incorporated moderated the Developing Housing Options panel in the Land Use and Supply breakout session at the 2019 Housing Forum. From left: Todd McKellips, executive director of the Washington Tiny House Association; Courtney Williams of Homes First; and Mike Kingsella of Up for Growth Action. The forum was held at the Hilton Bellevue on July 8. (Photo: Brian Mittge/AWB)

Housing becoming an issue for state’s long-term economic health

By Kris Johnson We hear about skyrocketing home prices in places like Seattle, San Francisco and New York and shake our heads. Modest three-bedroom ramblers going for $1 million or more. Hopeful homebuyers engaging in bidding wars, sometimes buying houses sight-unseen, or skipping inspections to ensure someone else doesn’t close the deal first. But the…


State’s proposed overtime rule change goes too far, too fast

By Kris Johnson Thousands of professional salaried employees in Washington could be converted into hourly workers if a new proposal from the state Department of Labor and Industries goes into effect. For individual workers, the change may or may not result in a pay cut. In some cases, employees might end up making about the…

COL Brunell - College affordable

Restoring affordability for college education is vital

By Don C. Brunell When my parents graduated from high school in 1936, a college education was too expensive for the son of a copper miner and the daughter of a plumber. Eighty years ago, our country was in the middle of the Great Depression and teens took odd jobs to help put food on…

Numerica Credit Union’s cannabis banking team includes Kristen Willemsen, from left, David Wilson, David Bain, Jordyn Gese and Roger Fitzpatrick. (Photo by Virginia Thomas/Spokane Journal of Business)

Financial institutions watch cannabis proposal

By Virginia Thomas / Spokane Journal of Business Washington financial institutions and regulators say they’re closely watching several pieces of federal legislation regarding cannabis that could impact how banks and credit unions handle banking for the cannabis industry. Some, however, aren’t optimistic that such legislation will make it through the legislative process. Washington state legalized…

Jones Chart - Median Household Income

Tri-City finance sector rooted in supportive economy

By D. Patrick Jones Nearly every reader of this column has a relationship with a bank, credit union, mortgage lender or maybe a combination. The financial system of the U.S. is widely celebrated for contributing to our country’s economic success. What’s true nationally is true locally. According to data from Benton-Franklin Trends, the finance sector…

COL Ruff - Timeshare

Timeshares have hidden challenges after death

By Beau Ruff We have all been there. We take a vacation to Florida, Hawaii, Arizona or Mexico, and we are presented with the deal of a lifetime: a timeshare. Proponents of the timeshare declare it is an affordable way to own a slice of a dream property. Furthermore, the owners often can exchange their…

Pat Tucker and his daughter Jamie Ssenkubuge stand outside their Paterson tasting room for their nonprofit Water from Wine, which donates wine sale profits to organizations working to bring clean water to communities around the world. (Courtesy Jamie Ssenkubuge/Water from Wine)

Paterson farmer making water from wine

Sandpiper Farms creates Water from Wine nonprofit to fund clean water work By Arielle Dreher In a way, the family behind the local nonprofit Water from Wine is bringing the first miracle of Jesus turning water into a wine into a modern-day context, leveraging the rich wine-growing potential in the vineyard at Sandpiper Farms with…

Planning key to independence in retirement

By Eileen L. Griffin A recent Wall Street Journal column attempted to dispel the myth of an impending retirement crisis in the United States. It said most private sector employees are well prepared for retirement, having saved and invested for many years with both employer-sponsored plans and Individual Retirement Accounts. Recent data indicates 61 percent…

Attorney Beau Ruff works for Cornerstone Wealth Strategies in Kennewick.

Estate planning too important to ignore

By Beau Ruff Property owned by a spouse does not automatically transfer to the surviving spouse at death. Instead, something more is needed in the estate plan to accomplish this feat. In all the complexity of the estate plan, the community property agreement is one document in particular that offers simplicity, and yet still is…

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