Articles by Guest Contributor


What to expect – financially – when you’re expecting

When my wife, Leah, and I found out two years ago that we were expecting our first child, I was ecstatic. I could already imagine the joys ahead: holding my tiny newborn for the first time, pushing my laughing toddler in a swing and proudly letting go of the bike as my child wobbled forward…


Tri-City health care has grown fast. Can the workforce keep up?

If there’s an economic competition at play in Benton and Franklin counties, the winning sector for the century to-date is health care. At least, if we measure performance by the number of people employed. As Benton-Franklin Trend data illustrates, health care’s share of the two-county workforce clocked in at 13.8% in 2020. Compare that to…

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business freelancer Laura Kostad of Kennewick had her first child during a global pandemic, and contracted Covid-19 three times in the past two years. (Courtesy Laura Kostad)

I had a pandemic baby and Covid three times. Here’s what I learned

My 10-month-old daughter is a pandemic baby through and through. She was conceived during the pandemic, she encountered the virus in the womb, and she tested positive for omicron at the beginning of this year. I’ve also gone toe-to-toe with the virus three times. My Covid-19 story begins with a Hawaiian vacation. Mentions of a…

Naturopath Michael Whitney tests the arm strength of patient Susie Rathbone in his north Spokane office in this file photo. Rathbone was seeing Whitney for an allergy treatment. (Courtesy Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

What is naturopathy? Who is allowed to practice it in Washington state?

By Arielle DreherThe Spokesman-Review Washington was one of the first states to regulate naturopaths, and even today, the law requires providers to attend an accredited four-year graduate program before being eligible for a license. It is an unusually strict approach for a medical industry that is loosely regulated in many states. Naturopathic medicine is not…


5 ideas to improve schools battered by Covid-19

Like so many other states, the teacher shortage is hitting Washington hard. Staffing shortages in our schools have resulted in multiple cancellations of classes, leaving students and families to navigate shifting schedules and academic interruptions. The crisis has led the state to approve 10% more emergency substitute certificates, according to state schools Superintendent Chris Reykdal. …


What will lawmakers do with $8.6 billion surplus? We’ll be watching

After two years of Covid-19, many Washington families and small businesses could use a break. Fortunately, the Washington Legislature has the means to help. State lawmakers have more than $8.6 billion in unrestricted cash reserves. These funds – a historic surplus by any measure – can boost our economy and improve our quality of life…


Washington’s long-term care law is flawed and needs to go

The first order of business for the 2022 session of the Washington Legislature should be to replace the state’s new long-term care law. It is fatally flawed.  Gov. Jay Inslee and Democrats who control the state Legislature wisely postponed implementing the sweeping “Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Program,” but it is beyond repair. It is…


State accelerator program opens exciting possibilities for economic future

Washington state is dedicated to building an economic future that is as inclusive, diverse and resilient as the people who live here. We are looking beyond our borders for economic models that will strengthen our legacy industries, help communities create new sectors, fuel innovation and entrepreneurship, and ensure meaningful job opportunities for generations to come.…


Noncompete agreements may not be binding, thanks to 2019 Legislature

Several years ago, I wrote about noncompete agreements for the Tri-cities Area Journal of Business. Legislation passed in 2019 has changed the rules, and it is time for employers to reconsider agreements that include noncompete clauses because the enforceability has been significantly curtailed by the new Washington law. In the olden days (prior to 2019),…


Tri-Cities boasts more engineers than state average

It will come as no surprise to readers that Benton and Franklin counties boast a high number of engineers. According to data from the state Department of Employment Security (ESD), the area’s economy supported nearly 3,000 engineers in spring 2020. Those are numbers from the latest survey, published in July 2021. But it may come…

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