Bill Virgin

Eighteen years isn’t much of a business lifespan, especially in a region that has companies from the Klondike gold rush still operating. But the dot-com boom and bust might as well date from the Paleozoic Era for all the notice and influence those events command today.

A new toxic material is threatening the Northwest. It’s safe enough for human, animal and fish consumption in its natural state, but it can be seriously hazardous to economic development projects and political careers.

For decades, elements of Washington’s political class have longed for — nay, lusted after — an income tax, this state being among the seven currently without one.

Let’s do a quick review of the list of service businesses that have been disrupted by the internet.Retailing? Thoroughly. Communications? No doubt. Media? We could tell you stories. Travel and tourism? They could tell you stories as well about how customers get information and book their own travel arrangements these days. Banking? Hmm, there’s an interesting one.

Go ahead and laugh, but companies that don’t try out all those crazy ideas are, well, crazy.