The Seattle Times is known for their constant hit peices of local and state businesses. In no way are they an unbiased news source.
I would be curious to know the author's personal thoughts on writing the article.
Mr. Gates is full-time aerospace reporter, and from what I have seen, is a fellow aviation fan. I doubt he personally wants to cast doubts on any manufacturer or airline, but his boss has some say in what he writes.
I'd hardly compare the tone of this article to any of the really controversial articles on Washington businesses.
Anyways, my takeaway was: Good. They watch for incidents internally, saw a spike in them, and were proactively in starting a discussion about it. Some pilots responded, but not simply with knee-jerk reactions. Instead they were valid points of discussion like noting that wind gusts can cause momentary overspeeds that are accounted for in the design speeds. That sort of discussion leads to clarifications about operating and reporting expectations. I hope this continues.
Both pilots on Colgan 3407 had more than 1500 hours. That fatal accident was due to fatigue resulting in a loss of situational awareness. Has the regional industry really changed that much in the past decade?
How much was there to compare between Horizon and Colgan in the first place? As I understand it, for a variety of reasons Horizon and Alaska have long had a different mainline/regional relationship than other arrangements like what Colgan and Continental had. A result of that was higher pilot pay, better retention (although I've also heard more difficulty moving to mainline), and I like to think also, a more intentionally airmanship oriented culture.