Articles by Guest Contributor


Future Badger forums tackle free speech, polarization of America

Like many organizations that survived the coronavirus pandemic — at least we think we’re surviving —the Columbia Basin Badger Club is starting to wonder what the future will hold. Will we simply go back to the way things were? Probably not. A year ago, we had to postpone what promised to be a great Badger…


Coronavirus pandemic stimulates RV sales, rentals

Interestingly, while restaurants and airlines continue to be clobbered by coronavirus-related lockdowns, recreational vehicle sales and rentals took off. People have switched their travel preferences to minimize their Covid-19 exposure. Travel trailers and motorhomes are iconic symbols of campgrounds in our “Great Outdoors.” Meanwhile, outdoor recreation increased once the initial lockdowns to prevent the spread…


Let’s allow restaurants to become part of the solution

As we enter the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have an opportunity to look back at what the last year has meant for the hospitality industry — and look ahead at how we can recover. The hospitality industry has been hit the hardest of any industry in the state, by far. As the largest…


Hindsight is 2020: A look ahead for Washington’s wine industry

Washington wine has experienced unprecedented growth over the past 20 years, adding an average of one new winery every week, doubling the vineyard acreage, and steadily turning into an $8.4 billion industry. And then 2020 happened – a year of turmoil, change at every turn, new restrictions and much uncertainty. It forced the entire industry…


Tri-City retail sales grew last summer, fall – but not at restaurants

Of all the shocks that buffeted the Tri-Cities last year, here’s one that few people know about: the economy grew in late summer and early fall. In data just out from Washington State’s Department of Revenue, taxable retail sales went up by 4% from the third quarter of 2019. Even more surprising, the number of…


Counting cost of college loans should be as easy as counting hamburger calories

I vaguely remember the first time I saw 1,050 calories listed beside a quarter-pounder meal at McDonald’s. This was back in 2012, and my high school brain couldn’t comprehend how that many calories could be concentrated in such a tasty burger, fries and soda. Needless to say, I’m a fan of this type of easily…


Protecting your address is possible but complicated

In the world of property privacy planning, it would be nice if a single solution existed to protect a person and his or her assets from the prying eyes of the rest of the world. Some seek privacy to protect the nature and extent of their financial wealth. Others seek privacy for personal protection. Regrettably,…

The 1.3 million-square-foot Amazon fulfillment facility at 18007 E. Garland Ave. is set to open later this year in Spokane Valley.

Amazon’s $150M fulfillment center to add 1,000 jobs in Spokane Valley

By Amy EdelenSpokane Journal of Business Amazon, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant, is building a $150 million fulfillment center in Spokane Valley that will bring an additional 1,000 full-time jobs to Eastern Washington. The 1.3 million-square-foot facility, previously known by its code name, “Project Fireball,” will open later this year. It will fulfill orders for larger…


U-Haul’s yearly move-out report shows surge leaving Washington state

British historian Thomas Macaulay famously said, “The best government is one that desires to make the people happy and knows how to make them happy.” That standard is clearly not what people are experiencing in Washington state. For years, leaders in state government have been increasing the tax burden and imposing ever-tighter regulations that limit…


Badger Club debates merits of taxing carbon to spur economic recovery

Washington state is facing a precarious fiscal future. The Columbia Basin Badger Club will discuss a carbon tax plan that is working its way through the 2021 Legislature at its monthly gathering, which will be held Feb. 18 via Zoom. The challenge: Unemployment remains high and the latest revenue forecast projects a state budget shortfall…

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