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Pride

of the Valley 2014

DAILY SUN

NEWS ‘TODAY’S LOCAL NEWS TODAY’

A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO THE DAILY SUN NEWS AND THE SUN NEWS SHOPPER ❚ September 16, 2014

2 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley september 16, 2014

Fire chief ’s focus…service to the community by Jennie McGhan

Serving the citizens of Sunnyside as fire chief is much more than a career choice for Aaron Markham. It is about providing Sunnyside residents with the best possible service, meeting the expectations of the community and doing what is right for everyone, he said. Markham began his career with the Sunnyside Fire Department nearly 24 years ago as a career firefighter. The fire chief at the time was Gary Cole. Since then there have been three other chiefs…Roger Schwab, Jim Stanton and now Markham. The department has also added paramedics to its staff since Markham was first hired. “Greg Hutchinson was the first paramedic hired in 1995,” said Markham. He said that change was important because it allowed the department’s ambulance service and its level of service to change. The service went from intermediate life support to staffed advanced life support, providing greater emergency care to patients. “That means paramedics can administer more advanced medications,” said Markham, stating advanced life saving procedures are important to ensure more severely injured patients arrive at the hospital safely. “To me, it means we are able to provide a greater level of service to the community,” said Markham. As Sunnyside’s population grows, so too does the level of expectations from the

Sunnyside Fire Chief Aaron Markham waited nearly 10 years to see his dream of a modernized fire station come true.

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

community. Markham was in 2001 promoted to battalion chief. That left the fire marshal’s post vacant. It was just three years later that he was promoted to interim fire chief by former City Manager Bob see "Fire Chief" next page

Proudly serving the citizens of Sunnyside for the past 24 years, Fire Chief Aaron Markham is thrilled with the changes that have taken place.

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Grandview woman believes in stepping out as a leader in the community by Jennie McGhan

GRANDVIEW – Being a leader in the community, according to Diana Jennings of Grandview, means taking risks. She says you can’t sit back and expect something to happen unless you are willing to do the work that is needed. She has worked at the Yakima Valley Community College Grandview campus for 22 years, but it was just more than six years ago that Jennings decided she needed to do more to ensure the quality of life for students and residents alike. Jennings said she attended a leadership workshop and the group was taken to task by Grandview Parks and

Recreation Director Mike Carpenter. “He challenged us, mincing no words, telling us we needed to get involved in the community,” said Jennings. She said there was a vacant Yakima Valley Fair & Rodeo board position she considered volunteering for. “We were learning about leadership, including city see "Leader" page 4

Serving as a Grandview City Council member has provided Diana Jennings (foreground) the opportunity to work on quality of life issues for residents in the community.

Daily Sun News file photo

Advertiser’s Index Ace Hardware - Sunnyside___________________35 American Rock Products_____________________38 Banlin Construction__________________________29 Benton REA__________________________________13 Bos Refrigeration____________________________30 City of Sunnyside_____________________________ 3 Complete Therapy___________________________11 Fashion Corner_______________________________24 Hall Financial_________________________________31 Kinter Electric________________________________20

Les Schwab Tire Centers_____________________23 Lower Valley Credut Union__________________25 Mid Valley Mall______________________________21 MJ Neal Associates_________________________ 15 Paleteria LaNorteña__________________________22 PMH Medical Center_________________________40 Port of Sunnyside____________________________19 RC’s Casino___________________________________ 5 Smith Funeral Home_________________________39 Sunnyside Community Hospital______________ 9

Sunnyside Physical & Sports Therapy_______32 Sunnyside School District____________________17 Valley Hills Funeral Home_____________________ 7 Valley Lanes___________________________________ 5 Valmont Northwest Inc.______________________37 Western Stockmen’s_________________________36 Wilbur Ellis___________________________________31 Yakima Federal Savings and Loan____________29 Yakima Neighborhood Health_______________27 Yakima Valley Community College___________18

september 16, 2014

pride of the valley

Daily Sun News - 3

Fire Chief continued from page 2

Stockwell. Markham returned from vacation to find out there were changes and he was given two weeks to decide whether or not he wanted to permanently serve as fire chief. He said that decision was difficult for him, but ultimately he chose to accept the promotion because he wanted to do what was best for the firefighters working at the department. “The promotion heightened some anxiety…I knew it was an at-will position and I would need to meet a certain level of expectations to retain it,” said Markham, stating the position is neither a union-protected post nor a civil service job. However, the other option was to allow the city manager to advertise for the fire chief’s job and allow someone from outside the department to take over. “I wanted to continue the growth of the fire department…it was important for employee morale,” said Markham. Admittedly, he had to make a few changes. Markham said the first two years were a learning experience because he had to adjust to new budget constraints while maintaining staffing levels at the Sunnyside Fire Department. There were also adjustments to working for a number of different city managers during the past 10 years. All the while, Markham knew the city of Sunnyside needed a bigger fire station with newer equipment. With each city manager he was able to make some headway, convincing them what the fire department needed. Markham worked on earning a Bachelor’s degree in fire service administration while researching funding opportunities for a fire station. He watched for land purchase opportunities and when the price of the property at the corner of South Eighth Street and East Franklin Avenue dropped, the city was able to move forward. It was in 2012 that the voters approved a $5.3 million bond, making Markham’s dream of providing better amenities for the firefighters and paramedics possible. That dream also included the ability to provide a higher level of service to Sunnyside. It was when construction of the fire station began to move forward that city hall once again was in transition. Interim City Manager Frank Sweet was dismissed and the city needed someone to step in until a solution could be found. “I was only supposed to fill in as interim city manager for two weeks, but it lasted five weeks,” Markham laughed. He said he was aware of some of the turmoil at city hall prior to his appointment, so he wasn’t taken by complete surprise. But, there were a few learning moments. Markham said he had to make some difficult decisions regarding contracts, including the city’s contract with its prosecutor. He said he also needed to make sure none of the decisions he made would get the city into financial trouble. “We were changing financial software during that time,” said Markham, stating there was plenty of room for error. “It wasn’t as simple as maintaining the status quo,” he noted.

Standing in front of the new apparatus bays at the Sunnyside Fire Station, Fire Chief Aaron Markham seemingly has the weight of the department on his shoulders.

Markham said all these experiences led to one thing, a desire to continue doing the most he can for the citizens he serves. He is currently furthering his education, working on earning his executive fire officer designation with the National Fire Academy. Markham said he also wants to be a good leader to those who serve under him. “It’s pretty intense,” he said. ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Our PRIDE is Showing!

E

xciting things are happening in Sunnyside. Besides the Downtown Revitalization Project, the New Fire Station and the reconstruction of Yakma Valley Highway you see many positive signs of growth. There’s the recent Sunnyside High School construction and the new corporate office for the Lower Valley Credit Union nearing completion. The Port of Sunnyside is in the midst of a multi-million dollar digester project, and you can’t forget the Seneca Building and the current construction project at Darigold just to name a few. We are looking forward to many more positive bright spots in the future of Sunnyside. Join us as we strive for a Brighter Future for our City, its Businesses and Residents.

818 E. Edison Ave., Sunnyside, WA 98944

Ph: (509) 837-3782

www.sunnyside-wa.gov

City of Sunnyside

4 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley september 16, 2014

A credit to the Lower Valley community by John Fannin

From humble beginnings in a church basement to a new million-dollar headquarters, Lower Valley Credit Union is on the grow. That growth has picked up considerably in recent years, with a new branch office in Grandview, and the new headquarters/ main branch under construction in Sunnyside. So what have been the keys to the Lower Valley Credit Union’s rise? “When we opened our Grandview branch in December 2010, we did so with the intention of providing convenience to 40 percent of our membership base that resides in Grandview and neighboring communities,” says Suzy Fonseca, president and CEO.

“We’ve coupled that with a focus on our outreach efforts, all of which have dramatically increased member awareness and have allotted us the opportunity to create new and exciting community partnerships.” As for the corporate office and main branch in progress on Yakima Valley Highway, Fonseca says it “…has been a strategic planning topic for a number of years now.” The reason for the new building – which is set to open in October – is predominantly needs driven, says Fonseca. “We purchased our existing building in 1988, and we’ve simply outgrown it. Over time, we have experienced remarkable growth and this expansion is the next phase of LVCU’s development plan,” she said. “We’ve owed it to our membership and the future of LVCU to relocate. Our new building will not only provide the prime visibility, but also provide adequate space to better serve our existing and growing membership.” Community commitment Fonseca says the new Sunnyside building is not just about meeting the credit unLower Valley Credit Union’s new headquarters/branch in Sunnyside will double its operating space. Currently, the credit union’s entire indirect lending department shares one table. Pictured from front to back are Dusty Berg, Estefania Olivera and Maribel Cantu.

John Fannin/Daily Sun News

Laura Gjovaag/Daily Sun News

Housing LVCU’s corporate offices on the top and the Sunnyside branch on the lower floor, the 10,000 square-foot building will also feature a community meeting room. ion’s needs, but also serving the public. The building will have a training/meeting room, as well as a large lobby with services such as a self-serve coin sorting machine, a computer area for financial transactions and a place to shred sensitive documents. The new building is just one example of LVCU’s commitment to the community. Fonseca says one recent outreach still in the works is a pilot project called OneAmerica. Partnering with La Casa Hogar, a Yakima-based non-profit serving the immigrant community, the credit union will help undocumented residents

in getting set up with their banking needs. La Casa Hogar, Fonseca explained, will provide legal expertise to aid the citizenship process. She says undocumented residents and workers are often preyed upon. Fonseca noted the example of a local middle-aged woman who made mortgage payments for 10 years on a verbal agreement with the owner. Fonseca said the woman sought a written contract, but when the owner noted her undocumented status see "Credit" next page

Leader continued from page 2

government and quality of life issues,” said Jennings. She inquired about the fair board position and soon learned there was also a vacancy on the Grandview City Council. Mayor Norm Childress asked her to apply for the position on the city council. “I decided to give it a try and was appointed,” said Jennings. She said it was a difficult time for the city. “The bottom fell out of the budget,” she said, noting it was the Great Recession. Jennings said the city council had to make some difficult decisions, but staff worked hard to make it easier to make those decisions. “We worked together to ensure community services were sustained and the citizens didn’t lose too much,” said Jennings. “There was a lot I didn’t understand.” Having been newly appointed to the city council, Jennings relied on the expertise and experience of others. She said City Administrator Cus Arteaga helped her understand the issues when she had questions. “I felt it was where I needed to be in order to contribute to the community,” said Jennings. Ensuring the quality of life for Grandview

citizens was an extension of serving the students at YVCC. Jennings said she works with the student council at the college to organize community events. Those community events benefit both the students and the residents of Grandview. She has helped attract entertainers like a nationally known comedian and a hypnotist. She has helped organize movie in the park events and fundraisers. Jennings said one of the most memorable fundraisers she helped organize was held this past year. It was a benefit for the Susan G. Komen organization, which provides support for people battling breast cancer. “There were a lot of people from the community who helped with pedicures and manicures, hair styling and make-overs,” said Jennings. She said it was the first time the YVCC Grandview campus student government had organized the event, which was small. “But, we had a lot of fun,” Jennings said. She said organizing events with the student council is much like working with city staff. “Everyone has to be willing to work together to accomplish the overall goal.” Jennings said community events are also

Daily Sun News file photo

Events like this past spring’s movie in the park are made possible via cooperation and teamwork between YVCC Grandview Campus Student Services Coordinator Diana Jennings and the student council. made possible with the support of local businesses. “We all want to provide students and community members with fun activities that make living here enjoyable,” she said. Jennings said, “Being involved in the cam-

pus community and the community at large is about providing others with opportunities, providing them with a better quality of life.” ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com

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Credit continued from page 4

she agreed to maintain the verbal lenders.” tributions include supporting youth contract. Community roots programs. Earlier this past summer, the Recently, the house was sold out from Interest in the community’s welfare credit union also earned donor of the year under the woman and she had no le- goes back to LVCU’s very roots more than honors from the Clore Center in Prosser gal recourse because nothing was in 60 years ago when it opened in the base- for a $10,000 donation to viticulture eduwriting. ment of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in cation programs. Through the OneAmerica program Sunnyside. “Education, that’s our buy-in,” says – a pilot project in Sunnyside that startBack then it was known as Catholic Fonseca. “Our vision is growing the ed this past summer – Fonseca notes Credit Union before taking on its current community…we’re eager to form partLVCU and La Casa Hogar will help the identity in 1956. The 10,000 square-foot nerships with and on behalf of our woman with both housing and her legal branch/corporate office now under con- youth.” status. struction is just the latest expansion that in Community growth Fonseca says OneAmerica will Growing the community as it grows be a win-win-win, as those who are its business continues to be LVCU’s served can be more secure in their fivision going forward, says Fonseca. nancial dealings and legal status, the With that in mind, the credit un“We are in tune with the needs of our local credit union gains loyal customers ion has begun implementing a new and Sunnyside benefits from resi- communities. People helping people, that is the paperless lending platform designed dents who are committed, who have credit union motto!” to streamline the internal processes, Suzy Fonseca thus significantly improving turnabought into the community. Another community outreach round speed back to the applicant. through LVCU is the Winter Loan Fonseca also says new product ofrecent years has seen LVCU open offices ferings requested by LVCU members are program. “We implemented a winter program in Grandview and Prosser. under consideration. They include credit Fonseca says the credit union’s staff cards, lines of credit and added business a few years back that incorporates the needs of our members during the diffi- of 31 employees plays a big role in that account features. cult months when harvest is at the mercy growth – both as a company and in making Earlier this year, the credof the freezing temperatures,” Fonseca a community impact. it union received certification as a explains. “Eligible applicants are able to “Our projects are led by staff,” she Community Development Financial Inobtain unsecured loans of up to $3,500; says of LVCU efforts ranging from Re- stitution. Fonseca says that allows LVCU which is often enough to get them lay for Life to assisting victims of this to help consumers with programs like through a tough winter. Interest rates on past spring’s Oso landslide. “We have an re-builder loans and first-time buyer these seasonal loans are low enough that outstanding team that has risen to the oc- programs. makes this option feasible considering casion more than once.” She says the community room in Other examples of LVCU’s local con- LVCU’s new headquarters building will the alternative; credit card debt or payday

Suzy Fonseca

later this year offer bilingual seminars on topics such as budgeting, understanding credit reports and deterring credit fraud. “We see growth as an opportunity to serve our communities further,” Fonseca says, encouraging local non-profits to keep the credit union in mind for project or program support. “We are in tune with the needs of our local communities. People helping people, that is the credit union motto!” - John Fannin can be reached at 837-4500 or at jfannin@dailysunnews.com.

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pride of the valley september 16, 2014

New memories of old Sunnyside

by John Fannin

What do barbed wire, ladies hats and pianos have in common? They’re among the featured items at the Sunnyside Museum, which this past summer marked its 43rd anniversary at Fourth and Grant in the former Ball funeral parlor. The Sunnyside Museum building and land are owned by the city of Sunnyside, which handles building maintenance and upgrades, such as a recent bathroom remodel. But it takes volunteers to keep the doors open. John Saras heads up the Sunnyside Museum Board and he says the museum relies on volunteers to keep it open to the public. The volunteers wear a bunch of hats, ranging from tour guide to janitor to host. It’s not an easy job. Sometimes it’s tiring and sometimes the turnout isn’t huge for events at the museum. But still, the volunteers press on to make

new memories of old Sunnyside. “People don’t realize what we have here,” says Saras, rifling through sheaths of documents recording the history of Sunnyside and its museum. To help the public realize just what treasures the museum holds, the board garnered a state grant last year to make digital records of some of its holdings. Working in partnership with the Yakima Regional Library system, the museum has been able to digitally catalog Sunnyside history, such as founding documents from the late 19th century. “We have lots of early Sunnyside history and there’s no way to display it all,” says Saras. Maybe it can’t all be displayed between four walls, but at least some of that history is available for viewing on-line through the regional library system. There’s also a social media presence to help folks learn more about the museum see "Memories" next page

John Fannin/Daily Sun News

There’s a surprise around every corner at the Sunnyside Museum, with regular rotating exhibits.

SHS grad runs both hot and cold by Julia Hart

Sunnyside’s Joe Tovar is the king of cool. The soft-spoken founder and owner of Sunnyside’s TJ’s Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning has been working to keep his customers cool in the summer and warm in the winter for more than 20 years. “Not bad for a local boy,” he grins. Before opening his own shop, Tovar, a JM Perry HVAC graduate, apprenticed with local refrigeration companies. It wasn’t long before he decided he wanted to be his own boss. “So in 1994, I got a truck and set out to build my company,” he said. Those first early years saw Tovar working many long hours and most holidays as he built his reputation for solid service and for honest dealing with his customers. While Tovar was building his business, the members of his extended family – cousins and in-laws – helped him with the heavy work until he was able to hire a staff. “It has always been a point of pride for me to treat my customers fairly,” he said. “My family understood that and I think that is why they are all still so supportive of my work,” he said. As a result of his dedication to customer service, many of Tovar’s first customers still call on him to service their heating and cooling equipment. “I have had the widows of some of my first customers call me because their husbands trusted me to do a good job,” he said. His steadily growing list of new customers are also coming to be rely on his brand of customer service. His company’s trustworthiness has earned him a spot on the popular Angie’s List for reliable handyman services. But Tovar is not just about fixing residen-

tial HVAC units. He is often seen on large construction sites such as motels, malls and other commercial businesses installing and servicing major heating and air conditioning units. For the past 15 years, his Sunnyside shop has been located at 329 South Sixth St. “It’s the right size for us, but I sometimes think we could use a little bigger shop,” he said. “Every now and then I think about expanding my shop and someday I will,” he added. He currently employs five certified HVAC technicians and maintains a three-truck fleet. “As busy as I have been, I’m thinking of getting a fourth truck,” he added As a businessman Tovar tends to be little conservative. “The amount of work my company does depends on the economy,” he noted. “When there is no new construction going on work can be a little tight. But on the flip side when the economy is tighter, I find myself doing a lot more repair work,” he said. “Right now the economy is picking up and I’m finding myself doing a lot more new installations,” he said. Currently, the Sunnyside High School graduate is being kept very busy servicing customers throughout Central Washington. His trucks can be found working on building sites from Spokane to Seattle. “We’ve handled installation of HVAC units at a lot of retail stores, including malls across the state,” he said. “It’s usually word of mouth that gets my name mentioned to a potential customer,” he explained. Like many business owners Tovar has found he has had to keep up with the times and now has a presence on the internet. “Much of our business today is done

Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

Sunnyside native Joe Tovar is marking his 20th year in business operating TJ’s Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning. He started the business with one truck doing small air conditioning jobs locally. Today, he provides HVAC services from Spokane to Seattle. through the internet and cell phones, which allows us to work faster and more efficiently. Plus, I get a lot of referrals that way,” he added. In order to keep on top of the latest in HVAC equipment, he regularly attends seminars and all of his staff are certified technicians. “We have to be,” he said. His customers’ heating and air conditioning needs can range from small heat pump repairs to installation of monster cooling units at area restaurants, dairies, wineries and warehouses. “If it has a cooling unit, I can work on it,” he said. Tovar, who named his company after his

sons, Timmy and Joseph, originally wanted to be a car mechanic. Coming from a large family, he figured he’d be kept busy repairing cars. “But I soon discovered the car engines were changing too fast,” he said. So he switched his career choice to refrigeration studies. Now, Tovar boasts that he can repair everything from an industrial boiler to a granite machine. “I’ve even worked on the cooling unit for a MRI machine,” he said. ‑ Julia Hart can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JHart@DailySunNews.com

september 16, 2014

Daily Sun News - 7

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John Fannin/Daily Sun News

Members of the Sunnyside Museum Board meet monthly. Pictured at one of the board’s meetings earlier this year are Charlene Arriaga (at right holding paper) and Liz Martinez.

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Memories continued from page 6

and its holdings. The Sunnyside Museum, with relics dating back to the 19th century, is sustaining and building those memories in the 21st century thanks to help from Facebook. On-line archives is a boon for the museum and its board because the building holds just a portion of the historical inventory. An attic and two storage units are stuffed with everything from farm equipment to a Tesla coil that have never seen the light of day for museum display. Speaking of displays, museum volunteers keep busy with updates. As Saras puts it, “No one will come back to visit a museum if they always have the same exhibits.” To that end, the museum this year has launched new exhibits that include women’s hats, historic military uniforms and medical equipment reflecting how doctors practiced generations ago. Saras says the medical equipment and uniform displays have proved so popular with visitors that there are hopes of expanding those exhibits. The idea, of course, is to attract the public. The museum board this year built on the success of its winter open house that this past spring it offered its first-ever spring open house. The spring event proved to be a hit, and Saras says the board is looking to have a

John Fannin/Daily Sun News

One exhibit launched this year at the Sunnyside Museum features women’s hats. second annual spring open house in 2015 with hopes of having an art exhibit. Because some exhibits sustain their popularity year-in and year-out, the board has some items on display year-round. They include an extensive display documenting the historical evolution of barbed wire, rare pianos played for open houses and an array of then-and-now photographs of Sunnyside. Saras says new volunteers and board members are always welcome to help the museum group continue making new memories of old Sunnyside. “A lot of the crew are retired people,” he says of the desire to have younger people come along and help. The board meets at 4 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month at the museum. - John Fannin can be reached at jfannin@dailysunnews.com or at 837-4500.

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8 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley september 16, 2014

Granger man the guy behind the curtain by Julia Hart

GRANGER – When you start talking with Carl Hurlburt about the various activities available to Granger residents, he is eager to offer the names of Granger residents involved with AAU leadership, the Granger Grid Kid Association and even the Granger Lions boxing club. He’ll also explain the projects the Granger Chamber of Commerce supports like the annual lighted houses tour held each December. Hurlburt stays busy passing along websites filled with interesting tidbits about Granger history and even coming events, like the annual Granger Menudo Festival, which is held during the Labor Day weekend each September. He’ll even invite you to take part in festival planning sessions. He is equally quick to admit he is “...only the guy in the background.” As a community cheerleader, Hurlburt gives encouragement to a long list of youth-

based organization volunteers, like Roy Cardenas. Hurlburt will tell you, for example, that for the past 18 years Cardenas has organized AAU events with the help of other volunteers offering athletic activities to more than 120 youngsters each year. Then he will follow that with information about Frank Moreno, who heads up the Granger Grid Kid program for another 60 or 70 Granger youngsters. Hurlburt is a staunch supporter of youth activities as he believes the early training the young athletes receive with the parent-coaches have helped the Granger High School teams be successful at both the local and statewide levels. He never fails to mention the Granger swimming pool committee, which has worked for years to get a new city pool in the town of 3,000 residents. Hurlburt has high praise for volunteers like Jo Klarich, who is the driving force behind that project. Even though there has been talk in the community of 3,000 residents about developing a splash

Newhouse seeks a higher House district and not to ignore Yakima County. It’s a real challenge.” After getting elected four times to serve The logistics may be a challenge, but in the Washington state House of Repre- Newhouse says some things won’t change. sentatives, Sunnyside’s Dan Newhouse He’s sticking with themes of trimming now has his sights set on a U.S. Congress- the nation’s deficit, addressing eastern man’s seat. Washington’s water needs and pushing Newhouse sailed through the Primary ahead with the clean-up at Hanford. Election in August, claiming the second Newhouse, who served four years most votes from a field of 12 candidates. as the state’s director of agriculHe finished only 6 percentage points be- ture, said the public is looking for hind frontrunner Clint Didier. lawmakers who can work together in “Now we’re on the homestretch,” New- Washington D.C. house says of gearing up for the General Though a conservative Republican, NewElection in November. “The vote totals house said he has a proven track record of being show me where I need to work harder.” able to find enough common ground across the Not surprisingly, Newhouse is doing aisle to get the people’s work done….whethwell in Yakima County – his home stomp- er it was in Olympia as a legislator or being ing grounds – but it’s other far-flung tapped by Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire reaches of the Fourth Congressional Dis- to head up the ag department. trict where he hopes to make up ground. Not an easy decision “In other counties I’m maybe not as well Newhouse had thought about getting known...it’s a big district with seven coun- back into public service over the past ties and part of another,” he said. “The key couple of years prior to his formal anis spending a lot of time working in the nouncement this past spring that he would seek the seat being vacated by Congressman Doc Hastings. “I think some of the opportunities and experiences I’ve had have given me some pretty good background and understanding the issues of Central Washington,” he said. “Being ag director, you learn a lot about the challenges.” But it was a weighty choice to get back into the race for elected office. Newhouse consulted with family and Daily Sun News file photo close friends to gain If elected this fall, Dan Newhouse will rely on his family and their perspective on staff to keep the 600-acre farm near Sunnyside humming. whether he should

park in one of the city parks, Klarich is holding out for a bona fide swimming pool, said Hurlburt. Klarich is firm in her belief that having the Granger youth learn to swim is not a luxury, but a necessity. “The first Granger pool was built in the late 1930s and it got a lot of use,” said Klarich. Since the pool was Carl Hurlburt would like to be known as the ‘guy behind the curtain’ in Granger, but all too often, he is the guy with the ideas. “I like putting people together who can make things happen,” the lifelong Granger resident said. removed several years ago, the swimming pool committee has worked to create a pool of matching money with the aim of rebuilding a community recreation center. We live too close to the river, and the canals are too tempting during the summer heat, Klarich said. see "Granger man" page 10

Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

by John Fannin

Daily Sun News file photo

One of Dan Newhouse’s stops in announcing his bid for Congress was visiting with the Sunnyside Republican Club earlier this spring. run. “They encouraged me to do this…I hope it wasn’t they just wanted me out of the house,” he laughed. Newhouse says the factor that drove him to run for the U.S. Congress is the fact he’d already represented a large portion of the district as a state legislator and – especially – the many challenges facing the region and country. “I felt I could contribute something positive because of that experience....we have so many critical issues facing us as a nation,” he says. “It wasn’t a decision that came easy, but I threw my hat in the ring.” Teamwork If Newhouse is successful in his bid for a higher House it’ll take teamwork…just as it did during the 12 years he served in Olympia. “It’s not just me that’s been involved in the legislature...it’s your family,” he says. “It’s a commitment by everyone close to you.” The commitment is a bit bigger for New-

house and wife Carol because they operate a 600-acre farm on South Emerald Road that produces everything from hops to grapes to apples and even cherries. “The farm is a demanding place...Mother Nature doesn’t wait,” Newhouse says. He credits the teamwork of family – son Devon helps run the farm – and staff to making it possible for him to hit the campaign trail. When Newhouse served in the state house, Sunnyside was a drive away. If he’s elected this November, home will be a continent away from D.C. But even if he is elected to a higher house, Newhouse says he’ll always call the family house near Sunnyside home. “If I’m elected I don’t intend to move to Washington D.C.,” he said. “I want to come back to the district as often as I can. My family and home are here.” - John Fannin can be reached at jfannin@dailysunnews.com or at 837-4500.

september 16, 2014

Daily Sun News - 9

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10 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley september 16, 2014

Sunnyside’s aerial history dates back to the early 1900s by Julia Hart

Once the Sunnyside landscape was dotted with small landing strips where pioneering aviators landed their bi-planes. Pilots really didn’t need anything fancy like today’s pilots expect when making their approach for landings. In the early 1900s, there were no windsocks to help gauge wind direction for Sunnyside pilots. There were no control towers to alert pilots that there was other air traffic in the area. Those early pilots would set their post-World War I bi-planes down in any old hayfield. Unfortunately, there were a few power lines lying in wait to snare the unsuspecting pilot into sometimes fatal crashes, according to various newspaper accounts recorded in the files of the old Sunnyside Sun. According to most old timers, Sunnyside’s first airfield truly was little more than a pasture located near Fourth Street, between what is now South Sixth Street and South First Street. It got a lot of use by local pilots and early airplane “barnstormers.” Barnstorming pilots performed aerial tricks for local crowds in the area, according to Sunnyside’s Dick Berk, himself a longtime certified pilot. He remembers “mooching $1 rides” from some of the aerial artists when he was a little kid. Those first rides led to his life-long love of flying, he admits. Berk didn’t begin flying solo until 1962. In 2013, he was awarded the Federal Aviation Administration’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, presented only to those pilots who maintain a perfect accident-free aviation record for 50 years. In fact, the 88-year-old Berk continues to fly and houses his plane at the Sunnyside Municipal Airport, east of Sunnyside on Edison Road. During the World War II era, the Sunnyside airfield was expanded after it was moved to its current location on East Edison Road in the mid-1930s. Pilots were still landing on dirt

into the late 1930s. There is often some confusion regarding the Sunnyside Municipal Airport and the Miller Ranch Airfield, said Ted Durfey, Sunnyside city airport advisory board member. But the two airfields were always separate, Durfey said. In the 1940s, the H. Lloyd Miller family built a private airfield on their property on Bethany Road, which was used to train military pilots during the war years. But the Sunnyside airfield was the city’s airport of record and continues to be used by area pilots, who have over the years maintained the airplane hangars and runways on the Federal Aviation Administration-approved field. Sunnysiders took to flying much as other adventurous souls did across the country. The Sunnyside museum has a collection of photographs of Sunnyside’s more famous citizens with their flying machines. One such character was well- known Sunnyside attorney and community activist Oscar Boose, who operated Sunnyside Flying Service in the 1920s. Special Sunnyside community events also attracted attention to the city’s airport. In the late 1960s, the Sunnyside Air Show was a popular city-wide event with activities, including free airplane rides and even sky diving demonstrations. Even today, area pilot associations offer flying trips to young people in order to encourage and promote flying among the community’s youth. Today, the Sunnyside Municipal Airport is owned and operated by the city of Sunnyside. It is located approximately two miles east of Sunnyside, immediately east of State Highway 241. The airport consists of approximately 80.9 acres and has one paved and lighted runway that is 3,422 feet by 60 feet and is oriented in an east-west direction. The Sunnyside Municipal Airport is now overseen by a city appointed advisory com-

photo courtesy of Sunnyside Museum

Sunnyside lawyer and community activist Oscar Boose for a time operated the Sunnyside Flying Service with this open cockpit plane. Boose’s business served as a type of air taxi service from the early Sunnyside airfield located near South Fourth Street. mittee on which Durfey is joined by Larry Dolan, the committee chair, Gary Pira and its newest member Scott Stiltner, a retired U.S. Air Force pilot. They receive support from Shane Fisher, Sunnyside city public works director, Don Day, city manager, Sunnyside Port Commissioner Jim Grubenhoff, Alan Van Beeks of Sunnyside Community Hospital and Sunnyside Mayor Jim Restucci. During the past six months, the group has put most of its see "Aerial history" next page

Here, a sky diver enjoys a cold drink of milk after safely landing on the ground, during a Sunnyside Aviation Association-sponsored air show held in June 1962.

photo courtesy of Sunnyside Museum

Granger man

continued from page 8

“Children and adults in our community need swimming education,” she said, a sentiment Hurlburt echoes. For the longtime Granger resident, all of these community projects are just a part of the bigger picture of what Granger represents. “Helping my community to prosper helps my business to prosper,” said Hurlburt, who operates a self-storage business in Granger. A retired farmer, Hurlburt comes from a family of community supporters. His father, a World War II veteran, was one of the first homesteaders to break open the Roza north of Granger in the late 1940s, when irrigation water hit the north side of the Yakima Valley. “My dad was always pretty involved in the community,” he said. The elder Hurlburt was involved in the schools, the Granger Lions Club and served several times on the regional fruit commis-

sion, Hurlburt noted. “Dad even went to school to learn how to work his homestead and learn how to irrigate the crops he raised there, which included row crops and later orchards.” Providing opportunities for the Granger youth in hopes of encouraging them to stick around following graduation has always been a major goal for Hurlburt. He gives a lot of credit to the community leaders for keeping programs going. “If I can help them I will, but they are the ones who are on the front lines developing leadership skills among the city’s children. “I just like keeping an eye on the big picture and those long range efforts helps my business and supports the health of the community,” he said. ‑ Julia Hart can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JHart@DailySunNews.com

Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

The Granger Menudo Festival Committee begins meeting in late April to make plans for the annual Labor Day weekend event. The one day cook-off is annually held at Hisey Park and attracts not only Granger cooks but cooks from around the valley to earn cash prizes, said Carl Hurlburt, a committee member. Among the event planners are (L-R) Lila Villarreal, Jo Klarich, Theresa Cardenas and Roy Cardenas.

september 16, 2014

pride of the valley Daily Sun News - 11

Grandview couple eager volunteers

“I’m trying to establish a fund for a new truck for the float,” said GRANDVIEW – For more than 10 Mr. Hendrickson, who said the years Lonnie and Andrea Hendrickson truck used for the float is getting have been involved as volunteers for just expensive to maintain. about anything that supported the commuThis past year, the Hendricknity of Grandview. sons started fundraising efforts for The couple began giving of their time a new float trailer, expecting the when their children were in school. effort to take a couple of years. “We wanted to support our own chilThe city of Grandview donated dren in whatever activity they chose to $5,000 to the cause and the redo,” said Mrs. Hendrickson. maining funds were raised within She said there have been a nummonths. ber of activities that needed someone The couple said they willing to volunteer. The children in are honored to serve the “We believe the children in the community community. They find the the community needed those activities, and the couple found themselves need to know someone cares about them.” biggest reward is knowing getting busier, taking on additional reLonnie Hendrickson Grandview’s youth and the sponsibilities. community has the opporThe Hendricksons believe in protunity to enjoy community viding youngsters with activities because cation to the projects they work on. events and is represented by the those activities enrich their lives. The Hendricksons aren’t shy about get- Miss Grandview court. The couple has taken on the respon- ting their two adult children, Michael and “It’s a lot of work, but someone sibility of organizing Grandview’s Teri, involved as well. has to do it,” said Mrs. Hendrickannual Halloween haunted house, chaperMrs. Hendrickson said she and her son, stating she believes all it oning the Miss Grandview court, helping husband are a good balance because they takes is the proper motivation. the Grandview Music Booster Club, or- support each other’s efforts. She orgaMr. Hendrickson said, “I’d like ganizing Cocoa & Carols during the nizes the Cocoa & Carols event held at to see more people take a little Christmas season and has volunteered for Grandview’s Stokely Square during the time to volunteer…there are many scouting organizations. Christmas season. He organizes the haunt- rewards and you don’t have to Mrs. Hendrickson is a paraprofessional ed house. take a lot of time.” at Grandview Middle School, and the couHowever, they admit they work together ple owns Ideal Graphics. Mr. Hendrickson on the two events in spite of the fact that ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at is the photographer for the home business, “…I’m a scrooge about Christmas,” ac- 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com which creates banners, t-shirts and signs. cording to Mr. Hendrickson. “We believe the children in the commuThe couple credits the community and nity need to know someone cares about local businesses for supporting their efthem,” Mr. Hendrickson said of the cou- forts. ple’s volunteer efforts. R.E. Powell, said Mr. Hendrickson, Mrs. Hendrickson agreed, stating she provides the Miss Grandview program and her husband first began their vol- with a discount on gas for the float, while unteer work for the Grandview Music Les Schwab Tires in Grandview helps Booster Club. with tires. He said Bleyhl Farm ServicMr. Hendrickson is the current Grand- es helps with supplies for the haunted view Chamber of Commerce president. house. by Jennie McGhan

“The chamber needed someone who was willing to serve as president,” he said. He said he was also the careers technology education advisory board president at Grandview High School. The duo fills their days immersed in community projects. “Part of the year our home is filled with stuff for the Miss Grandview float…when that is gone, it is filled with haunted house stuff,” said Mrs. Hendrickson, stating the couple’s home is a testament to their dedi-

Michael Hollenberg, M.S.P.T., Cert. MDT

Aerial history

Lonnie and Andrea Hendrickson

Victor Withers, O.T.R./L., Hand Therapist

continued from page 10

efforts into creating a city use code for the airport. While as tedious as that may sound, the city airport policies are designed to provide and enhance safety measures for both the city and those pilots making use of Sunnyside Municipal Airport. “Of course, we’d much rather be talking about lengthening the taxi strips and runway, or trying to figure out ways to get more traffic on our field, but we know this work is very important as well,” said Dolan. He said the airport advisory board is also responsible for leasing the airport facilities. “Right now we have space for one more airplane,” said Durfey, who noted the airport recently gained three new tenants in the airport’s hangar space. But leasing the hangar space and maintence on the airport lounge are just a small part of the committee’s work. “We’re always looking to make sure the airstrip tarmac is safe and up to FAA codes,” Durfey said. Currently, the airport advisory board and the city is working toward resurfacing the

airfield’s east ramp and sealing over cracks on the airport runway. Repainting the airstrip markings is also on the list of field upgrades. Both projects are expected to cost more than $175,000. Although the local airfield still doesn’t warrant a traffic control tower, every effort is made to ensure air safety, said Durfey. Every day, pilots are setting down on the East Sunnyside airstrip. Some of the pilots may be recreationists or arriving on business. Others are landing as air emergency assistance vehicles, and still others are using the airfield as a base for their agricultural businesses. The airport continues to be a vital part of the community and visionaries on the city’s advisory board hope that someday the Sunnyside Municipal Airport will be the landing spot for tourists traveling inland to the rich agritourism opportunities available in the Yakima Valley. ‑ Julia Hart can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JHart@DailySunNews.com

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12 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley september 16, 2014

Nouvella Club one of the few remaining women’s groups formed some 50 years ago by Julia Hart

In a time when entertainment is as accessible as the nearest Wi-Fi connection, it is hard to imagine a time when people actually created their own entertainment. Yet, it’s true. Social, civic, fraternal and church organizations were the source for most people’s entertainment. Sometimes the opportunity for social interaction only occurred on Sunday or market day. Then came along radio and television, and a new variety of social interaction emerged with a plethora of special interest groups. The groups, many of which were formed by women, allowed their members to network and share information face to face. The women’s groups often met in each other’s homes to visit and to ponder the events affecting their homes and families. Some were groups created purely to chat over a game of bridge or pinochle. Others brought women together to discuss such topics as child raising, educational issues, community reform and even literary pursuits. One of the few such groups in Sunnyside that still remains is the Nouvella Club. Formed 56 years ago by a band of women who had gotten too old for Sunnyside’s Junior Federation of Women’s Club, today’s Nouvella members continue to meet solely for its members’ enrichment and entertainment, according to current club president Karen Jaquish. She said these days, when most people do their socializing via Facebook, the Nouvella Club still remains relevant for its more than 100 members. “We are not about raising funds for projects, but sometimes the ladies do pull out their pocketbooks and offer a donation in support of a special need,” Jaquish said. “Our group is about enriching our lives via discussion of the day’s events, learning about services in our communities. “And, yes, many of our members still belong to bridge and pinochle groups within the club,” she explained. “That is not to say that the members don’t have a special interest in supporting those programs which enhance public safety, education and the welfare of the community,” she added. Supporting those programs has long been a part of the Nouvella Club’s history. The club draws its members from throughout the Lower Valley communities of Sunnyside, Grandview, Mabton, Prosser and even Yakima, Jaquish explained. The club, she said, operates on a modest budget, but does seek to present scholarships to area high school seniors seeking a college education. “Our scholarship committee, led by Chairwoman Peggy Romfo, is a very dedicated group and is very thorough when it comes to selecting our scholarship recipients,” she said. Jaquish said it’s not unheard of, however, for the Nouvella Club to take on a major project. Take for example, the work the club

Daily Sun News file photo

Each May the new slate of officers are introduced during installation ceremony held at Snipes Brewery and Restaurant in Sunnyside, where the club routinely meets. Serving with President Karen Jaquish (seated left) are first vice president LuAnn Roach and treasurer Nita Coleman. Also serving as officers for the coming year are (standing L-R) co-directors Luanne Stiltner, Betty Carlyle and Cathy Mears, corresponding secretary Pat Hull, recording secretary Pat Rounds, and co-vice presidents Eva Mitchell and Karen Long. Not pictured is co-vice president Nadine Lainhart. members did to promote, and create the now widely popular Yakima Valley Pathway, located between Sunnyside and Grandview. The 14-mile walk/bike way has since been expanded to connect Sunnyside to Prosser along Yakima Valley Highway. The pathway is now independent of the club, with its own foundation and board of directors, Jaquish said. “But it was the Nouvella Club members, like Rita Blunk and Maxine Van de Graaf, who had the vision for the pathway and worked to make it a reality,” Jaquish explained. She also points to the club’s past year’s schedule of programs which shows the varied interests of the group. Among the Nouvella programs were tours of the Cottage in the Meadow, a hospice respite care facility in Yakima, and the Yakima Valley Community College vintner technology program in Grandview. One of the local programs which is a favorite of the members is the club’s holiday support of the Lower Valley Crisis and Support Services’ Wiley House shelter for domestic violence survivors, according to Jaquish. “The members gather food, toys, books and personal grooming items for the families spending the holidays in the shelter,” she explained. Jaquish said sometimes a club president will pick special projects for the members

to support. For example, one president decided to ask club members to support a ‘coats for kids’ campaign resulting in several hundred coats being donated to Sunnyside School District counselors for distribution, she said. Nouvella also regularly recognizes women’s history month. This past year the club’s featured history month speaker was Sunnyside Municipal Court Administrator Debbie Mendoza. Mendoza works part time as the municipal court judge for the city of Zillah. Mendoza is one of the few judges in the state who doesn’t have a law degree, the club members learned during her presentation. Being a part of Nouvella is something Jaquish waited a long time to be able to do. There is no age requirement to belong to Nouvella, but Jaquish waited until she was retired from her teaching career before joining the group. She has now served on most of the club’s committees and as president for several terms. Jaquish gives a lot of credit to the club’s remaining charter members for helping to keep the club fun and engaging. The remaining charter members of the Nouvella Club still remember forming their fledging club because they had gotten too old for the Sunnyside Junior Women’s League. “I think the cut-off age to be a member of the junior women’s club was 35 or 37,” said

Daily Sun News file photo

The Nouvella Club has long been a leader in displaying what clothes will be trendy for the coming year, at the club’s annual September fashion show and membership luncheon. Members like Karen Logue often serve as the show’s models. Louanne Stiltner, whose mother Leta Syria was among the first club members. “A group of us were near that age, so we decided to get together and form our own group,” recalled Syria. The group chose the French word nouveau, meaning new, to create its name see "Nouvella" next page

september 16, 2014

pride of the valley

Each Christmas the Nouvella Club members host a holiday tea at which time members distribute gifts, food and financial support to local organizations. Last year, Pat Hull represented the club in making donations to the Sunnyside Fire Department, represented here by Mike Beckwith (L) and Bill Harris (R).

Daily Sun News file photo

Nouvella continued from page 12

“Nouvella”, to illustrate that “…our ideas would be fresh and new,” Syria explained. The club was founded in 1958 by the late Betty (Salvini) Storslee, who at that time was also a member of the Junior Federation of Women’s Clubs. Following its chartering, the Lower Valley Nouvella Club was opened to women from Sunnyside to Prosser, regardless of their age. Like many clubs at the time, the fledging Nouvella Club was a member of the General Federation of Women’s Club. The local membership drew their ideals and goals from the guidelines presented by the federation, ac-

cording to LuAnn Roach. To this day, the group still holds to a purpose devoted to the enrichment, common good and enlightenment of its members. A line from a poem printed in each member’s club book explains the Nouvella creed best “… teach us to put into action our better impulses, straightforward and unafraid.” That is what the club has done for the past 50 years, and there is little doubt that will be the club’s creed for another 50 years. ‑ Julia Hart can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JHart@DailySunNews.com

Daily Sun News - 13

~ A short history ~ of Sunnyside women’s clubs S

unnyside women’s groups once gave homemakers an opportunity to socialize outside of church and to share important information of the day. Over time the smaller groups consolidated their membership, until the number outgrew women’s living rooms. As membership grew, larger facilities were found in which to hold their weekly meetings. Weekly meetings switched to monthly meetings and women’s luncheon meetings became the norm. Reading old Sunnyside newspaper files, there were weekly mentions of such groups as the Orchard Ridge Club, the Outlook Club, the South-Hill Club, the Country Home Club and the Independence Road Club, frequently meeting to share ideas and for educational purposes. There were also garden clubs, such as the Roza Garden Club and the Sun Valley Garden Club, all of which have since faded into the annals of history. By the mid-60s, there were a lot of clubs that were also dedicated to community improvements by enhancing the lives of others through members’ volunteerism. Some were focused solely on women’s personal enrichments, while other clubs, like the original Lower Valley Nouvella Club, blended the two goals, embracing community service with the enrichment of its members. Of those clubs formed in the 1950s and 60s, only the Nouvella Club and the Indelook Club remain in the Sunnyside area. The Indelook members once all claimed to live in the general vicinity of Outlook and Independence roads.

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14 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley september 16, 2014

Her passion for farming serves her well by Julia Hart

Jerri Honeyford is a Sunnyside native through and through. And make no mistake, she is dedicated to her family, church and her community. In recent years, in fact ever since her husband Jim began his state political career, Mrs. Honeyford has expanded her vision beyond the scope of Sunnyside, but never has her vision drifted far from her desire to promote agriculture in the Yakima Valley and Eastern Washington. As the wife of Republican State Senator Jim Honeyford, she has found herself involved in a number of state projects, most of which have had ties to farming. “My grandparents were farmers and so were my parents. Jim and I were farmers, as well,” she said, adding the couple operated a small peach orchard and grape farm for many years just outside of Sunnyside. Before Jerri and Jim Honeyford found themselves in politics, he was a teacher for the Sunnyside School District and she spent her time raising their four children and teaching at both Sunnyside High School and later at Sunnyside Christian School. “I taught French,” she said. The couple maintained a home in Sunnyside and a farm on Scoon Road for many years. In 1990, the couple sold their home in town and made the move to the farm. “I was active in 4-H club for nearly 15 years, was the church choir director for 15 years and was involved with Habitat for Humanity for a number of years as well,” she said.

But it was her personal experience with farming that led her to serve three years as the first woman president of the Yakima County Farm Bureau. She was first elected in 2005 and served

As a part of her mission to preserve barns around the state, Jerri Honeyford often travels to the area when a heritage barn is being saved. The red barn in the background was the centerpiece for an open house in Davenport that Honeyford attended several years ago. photo courtesy of Jerri Honeyford

three terms as the farm bureau’s president. “I had already served on the county farm bureau board for 10 years,” she added. While her husband served on the Sunnyside City Council from 1982 until 1990, she earned her Master’s degree in counseling and after “…Jim was elected to the state legislature, I taught for another six years, retiring in 2000. But Mrs. Honeyford is not one to sit still for long. Once her husband was elected state senator, she found herself even more involved in state farm-related projects. Among the state projects she has spent a great deal of time working on is the Heritage Barns Program.

Before Honeyford took up the banner for the barns, Washington state had nothing in place to mark the value of the barns to the state’s farming history. Honeyford describes the impetus for the barns preservation project as a dilapidated barn located near the outskirts of Bickleton. “We were traveling to Bickleton in December 2004 and we saw this barn near the entrance to Bickleton lying down on the ground,” she explained. “It was a very sad sight. “It got us to thinking that there are a lot of barns, many of which are still being used, in need of preservation,” she explained. Before too long Honeyford found herself

as the chair of the Barn Advisory Committee and spending a lot of time talking with experts in the state’s Department of Archaeology and Historical Preservation. By 2005, with the help of Sen. Honeyford and then Rep. Dan Newhouse of Sunnyside, a bill was passed to create the Heritage Barn Register and the Heritage Barn Preservation Initiative (SB 2115). As she was quoted in 2007 during the first round of funding for barn restoration projects, Honeyford still believes that “…barns are such an important building for farmers and ranchers that often they were built before the home. Ours was, and so was my see "Passion" next page

Sisters-in-law believe in community relationships by Julia Hart

They were friends in grade school and went to the same Mt. Vernon high school. They eventually married brothers and moved away and started their families. Today, more than 60 years later, sistersin-law Mary and Libby Werkhoven spend their spare time fiercely supporting their chosen hometown – Sunnyside. The pair can often be seen volunteering their time painting houses, cleaning yards, walking along the Lower Yakima Valley Pathway picking up litter and even measuring out garden plots in the brand new community garden located off North 16th Street. While the projects may be a part of Transformation Sunnyside Yakima Valley, the work in which these two are engaged speak more to their own sense of purpose. Doing something positive for the area where they live is a way of life for both. Mary Werkhoven and her husband, Ed, have lived in Sunnyside for the past 20 years. The couple operate Valley Truck Repair on State Route 241 with their son, Chad. Libby Werkhoven and her husband, Leroy, moved to the Sunnyside community 11 years ago, following his retirement from the education field. Before moving to Sunnyside Libby

and Leroy and their family were staunch supporters of the Habitat for Humanity movement, often spending vacations helping others build houses. It was a natural step for the women to find themselves getting involved with the Transformation Sunnyside Yakima Valley group. It was a place to serve their community and help to make it a nicer place to live. “Sunnyside is already a great place to live,” said Libby. “We love the small town feel, but we wanted to help build relationships where we could,” she explained. Mary said her first brush with community activism came when her family lived in Chino, Calif. “We became involved with a proposition to bring our country property into the city. But we wanted to remain in the county,” she explained. Her efforts and those of her neighbors worked because the neighborhood was annexed, but the homes in the area were allowed to keep their country living feeling, Mary explained. Since moving to Sunnyside, the women have continued to find ways to improve their new corner of the world. Their greater desire in all of their volunteer efforts has been to create lasting relationships among the people with whom they have come into contact through their special

Julia Hart/Daily Sun New

Western Washington transplants, sisters-in-law Mary and Libby Werkhoven (L-R) have come to love the Lower Yakima Valley, especially Sunnyside. Both women have a passion for serving others. Mary devotes the bulk of her volunteer time to the newly established community garden and Libby is active with the Loving Sunnyside projects such as painting houses and cleaning up yards. brand of activism. Both claim that keeping busy is just a way of life. “We’re used to hard work. It just comes natural to us,” said Mary. Our kids have

also learned to work hard and now even our grandchildren are learning the value of hard work,” Mary explained. That they are sisters-in-law is a plus as see "Community" page 16

september 16, 2014

pride of the valley

Daily Sun News - 15

Passion continued from page 14

parents.  “Designation as a Washington Heritage Barn is a positive step forward in recognizing the role agricultural buildings have played in our history and for acknowledging the stewardship barn owners have provided over several generations.” Honeyford is proud of the fact the Heritage Barn Register has been able to designate more than 500 heritage barns located throughout Washington’s 39 counties. The funding, which according to Honeyford comes from the state’s capital budget, is awarded to individuals wishing to preserve their barns, based on fairly strict criteria. Honeyford explained that the criteria for funding includes, but is not limited to, the historical significance of the barn, urgency of needed repairs and provision for longterm preservation. “But priority is given to barns that remain in agricultural use,” she said. Honeyford said the major repairs for barns across the state that are included in the preservation project vary. In eastern Washington the barns are nearly always in need of roof repairs, while in western Washington the major damage is to the foundations, she explained. “I’m still very active on that committee,” she said, though admitting she is also active on the Heritage Trust Fund. For a time she also served on the Maryhill Museum board of trustees. Her current project is working on the Cen-

tennial Farms project. When Washington celebrated its 100th year of statehood in 1989, the first roll call of family-owned farms was launched. “At that time, the state boasted 411 farms which had been operated by the same family for more than 100 years,” Honeyford said. But as Washington’s 125th anniversary of statehood approaches, the list hasn’t been updated and the state website is woefully out of date. Honeyford wants to know how many of those farms are still being operated by the same families. “Nothing has been done to keep that list up to date,” she said. “So here I am working with a new slate of volunteers trying to update that list,” she said. The number of family owned farms has changed greatly on the west side, Honeyford has discovered. However, many of the originally designated centennial farms in eastern Washington are still in family ownership. Since beginning her mission to update the Centennial Farms list this past March, she has already contacted more than half of the families. More than two-thirds of the original Centennial Farms are located in eastern Washington with Whitman County home to 78 of the designated farms. There are more than 16 in Klickitat County, but only six in Yakima County, she explained. She said that was because much of the land was not

When not busy researching historical farmsteads or following up on the preservation of heritage barns, Jerri Honeyford enjoys a few hours in her Sunnyside country garden, just enjoying the quiet. Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

owned by the farmers, but leased from the Yakama Nation. This past spring Honeyford took on yet another project, this time to save a piece of Sunnyside history in the form of a street. Rohman Street, which was once a link to the original nationwide highway known as Yellowstone Highway, was recently vacated by the city of Sunnyside. Honeyford, a Sunnyside High School graduate, wants to see it preserved in some fashion. “I just feel there is so much that will be lost if we don’t make an effort to save our history,” she said. For her spirit of community service, this past June Honeyford received special recognition from her alma mater by being named to the Sunnyside High School Wall of Fame.

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Even though the Honeyfords no longer live on their Sunnyside farm, she still enjoys getting outside to work in her garden. But, she rarely has enough time for that activity, as she is still busy making plans for more projects. “I have always believed I should help if I can,” she said. “I welcome new experiences and serving others is why we are here,” Honeyford said. “A lot has been given to me and I just feel I should give back if I can,” she said. So what is next for this vibrant and active woman? “Maybe I’ll write a book about the Heritage barns. I’ve always liked writing,” she said. ‑ Julia Hart can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JHart@DailySunNews.com

16 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley september 16, 2014

Prepping the way for growth Port’s digester will aid industrial development by John Fannin

Under discussion since 2007, this is finally the year the Port of Sunnyside realizes its vision for an anaerobic digester to dramatically expand its capacity to treat industrial wastewater. Bob Farrell is the port’s engineer, and he says the digester has been discussed on four different occasions the past seven years. With construction of the anaerobic digester well underway, Farrell says the port district is increasing the value of its industrial wastewater plant without having to construct a new sequencing batch reactor. The batch reactor’s capacity will double when the digester goes on-line later this year. However, the port’s initial talks on a digester came during a time of great recession in this country. In fact, port officials were looking to install a wetlands area to help with its treatment process. The wetlands began to carry too unwieldy of a price tag, leaving the port again mulling the digester option. “We started seriously discussing it in 2011,” he said, noting tighter government standards also served as a catalyst for moving the digester discussion forward. Digester 101 In brief, an anaerobic digester is essentially a covered lagoon that breaks down industrial wastewater the port receives from its customers. It does so by using bacteria in an oxygen-free environment. When the digester is up and running later this year, Farrell says it will take a bit more attention than before. “This is a biological

unit, you have to have the right conditions or you’ll get the wrong result.” One of the natural products of anaerobic digestion is biogas, which contains primarily methane. For example, dairyman Dan DeRuyter has for years operated an anaerobic digester on his Outlook farm, converting cow manure into a green energy alternative. Jay Hester is the port’s executive director and he says the next focus after the port’s digester is up and running is to recycle that gas. Paying the price Besides the logistics of building a covered lagoon 50 feet across with walls 20 feet high, there’s also putting together the cash to fund the $8.2 million digester. The Port of Sunnyside has pledged $3 million towards the project. In addition, Yakima County’s Supporting Investments in Economic Development, or SIED, has provided a total of $2 million in loan/grant packages. Another $1 million loan/grant package was awarded by the Department of Commerce’s Community Economic Revitalization Board. In addition, the port has been targeted to receive a USDA loan through Benton REA. That still leaves a funding gap to completely pay for the digester. To that end, the port is checking out the possibility of selling surplused property it owns, including land near the Sunnyside airport and the former wetlands site. There’s also the possibility of the port pursuing a short-term bond. Long-term dividends It’s all a steep price to pay, but it will be

John Fannin/Daily Sun News

The first step in treating industrial wastewater at the Port of Sunnyside’s anaerobic digester is an acidulation area that will essentially break down the wastewater. Pictured is Port Executive Director Jay Hester looking on during excavation for the acidulation tank. worth it, port officials feel. Without the digester, the port is limited in its ability to expand industrial wastewater operations. Without that expansion, industries already here would find it difficult to grow and bring on new help. Industries interested in locating here would likely look elsewhere. But thanks to the digester the reality is quite different. Darigold, the port’s largest customer, is investing millions to expand its Sunnyside operations and has pledged to add 25 new jobs – all due to the port’s expanded capacity to handle twice as much industrial wastewater when the digester is up and running. Other port wastewater customers, such as Seneca, Johnson Fruit and Valley Process-

ing, have not yet indicated they will ramp up operations due to the port’s expanded capacity. Yet, all three companies have seen plant expansion over the past year. “Even if the expansion is for cold storage, it will open up capacity elsewhere for them,” Hester said. He notes there is also interest both at the state level and nationwide by industries considering the Sunnyside area as a site for their operations. Hester says additional capacity is needed to meet that future demand. All of which means a vision seven years in the making is prepping Sunnyside for future growth.

something about it,” Mary explained. thor to Sunnyside to explain his concepts The result was the organization of for taking back communities needing emoTransformation Sunnyside Yakima Val- tional support. ley. From that beginning came the Loving “I remember something he said and it Sunnyside Initiative, in which both wom- motivated me to look at our community en became very actively involved. The differently,” she said. Loving Sunnyside project includes a comThe quote was a challenge to “…you munitywide effort to help homeowners have to see what you’ve never seen before, clear their yard of debris and to paint those and you have to do what you have never residences in need of sprucing up. done before.” “To date, the Those words Loving Sunnyled Mary to side project has work on a “…you have to see what you’ve never seen project which repainted 71 homes and all before, and you have to do what you have never would give low of the material income famidone before.” needed to perlies a way to Ed Silvoso form the work increase their is donated by food budget by the community,” Libby explained. simply planting a small garden. That is a real blessing, she noted, “... Toward that end, she and her felsince for some of our families it is very low band of gardeners created a difficult to come up with an extra $500 to community garden. Young people put in paint their homes.” community service hours at the garden. Mary credits part of her decision to be a This year, Mary and her fellow communipart of Transformation Sunnyside Yakima ty garden committee members created 45 Valley to hearing Ed Silvoso speak several garden plots, 15 of which they have rented years ago about transforming a communi- out. ty with prayer, hard work and love. The There are only a few conditions for usTransformation organizers brought the ing the garden spots, she said. Californian motivational speaker and au“Leave the area as you found it and the

food grown from your plot may not be resold. It is purely for family consumption,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of people step up and help us get the community garden plots going,” she added. She noted Jim Janshen was the lead on getting the ground prepared for the project and helped lay out the plots. “We’ve had people donate grape poles and hop poles to create the garden boundaries,” she said. But it is the stories of people who benefit from the two Werkhovens’ efforts that best illustrate Mary and Libby’s desire to be active in their community by building relationships. “This man approaches us wanting to rent a garden plot. He wanted to show his sons how to garden, so they would know where their food comes from,” said Mary. “He has been here (at the garden) every night working on his plot, with his sons alongside of him,” she said. “That is what helping others to learn how to become a part of the community is all about,” added Libby.

- John Fannin can be reached at jfannin@dailysunnews.com or at 837-4500.

Community continued from page 14

they are still good friends. “We also enjoy doing a lot of the same things,” said Libby, even though while Mary loves gardening, Libby prefers hiking and quilting. Their lives have paralleled in a variety of ways before coming to Sunnyside. Mary is a retired teacher and Libby is a retired school secretary. “My husband is a former Wapato School District superintendent,” Libby added. Both women have always been active members of their church. A few years ago their church, Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church, began looking for ways to reach out into the community to build relationships in a servant leader manner. The Werkhoven couples took part in the study program called “40 days of purpose” followed by “40 days of community impact.” Libby said the study led a number of the church families to form committees to do things like clean the pathway. It wasn’t too long before other church members started looking for more things to do that would have an impact on the community. “I think we all got tired of people complaining about the bad things going on in our community, and we decided to do

‑ Julia Hart can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JHart@DailySunNews.com

september 16, 2014

pride of the valley

Daily Sun News - 17

At the Sunnyside School District, we take PRIDE in our Students, Staff, and Community!

SSD teachers provide individualized learning to support the success of each of our 6,400 students. The 2014 graduation rate was one of our highest ever!

Taking pride in what makes us great! The Sunnyside School District continues to grow with many students who are eager and ready to learn. We are ready for the challenge of assisting our students in gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful. The District has an excellent teaching staff, strong administrative leadership and dedicated support staff. We provide our students with updated curriculum and technology. All of this happens in current, well maintained and safe facilities. The City of Sunnyside is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. The Sunnyside School District is pleased to have such great support from our families and community.

Learning Today for a Brighter Tomorrow

1110 S. 6th St., Sunnyside, WA 98944 (509) 837-5851 www.sunnysideschools.org

Sunnyside High School STEM teacher Spencer Martin was recently named the ESD 105 Teacher of the Year!

Sunnyside School District

Sunnyside School District offers its students updated technology and curriculum to support their success.

18 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley september 16, 2014

Seniors enjoy their own home away from home by Julia Hart

It’s a building where seasoned people can mingle, share a meal and not worry about anything but having fun. “That is what we do the most around here,” said Gloria Alexander, president of the more than 50 members of the Sunnyside senior citizens group, who meet regularly at the Sunnyside Senior Citizen Center, 1400 Federal Way. The center, built in 1978, is used daily by the community’s older residents who range in ages from 50 to well past 80. During recent years there have been a few attempts to encourage the Sunnyside senior group to move its activities to the more modern Sunnyside Community Center in South Hill Park on South First Street. “We tried a few events, such as our annual casino night, over there. But it just doesn’t

Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

Charlotte Olson can often be seen volunteering her time to help with set-up for the next meal.

suit us,” Alexander said. “We are very comfortable at our current hang-out,” she added. “We like the accessibility of the center to the senior housing at Paradise Court, where many of our regular participants live,” she added. Since 1978, the senior citizen center has been home to a wide variety of activities that appeal to the community’s elders, whether it is an afternoon dance, a holiday potluck or attending one of the daily lunch programs. “It’s a place where we can gather to socialize and stay connected,” said Alexander. “We don’t have to worry about being in the way of basketball players or of children’s programming.” The center is handicap accessible, but one of the items the senior group hopes the city will be able to add to the facility is an automatic door opener. “That would be very nice as sometimes it is very difficult for our disabled seniors to operate their walker or wheelchair when they come into the center, especially when there is no one around to hold the door,” she explained. “I think we have a pretty good shot at getting that amenity this year,” Alexander added. Alexander added that those who live further away from the center can always call for the People for People bus to provide transportation for the meals, which are served four times a week. The Meals-on-Wheels lunches, which are prepared by the Yakima County People for People Meals-on-Wheels program, are offered every weekday except Wednesday. Alexander said the meals are served beginning at 11:30 a.m. and are usually completed

Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

Helping to make sure the senior meals paperwork gets done is Gloria Alexander (L), with the help of Winona Atkins and Cheryl Holmes (R).

Bingo caller Mike Sterbenz spends most Tuesday afternoons calling numbers for the weekly round of bingo held at the Sunnyside Senior Citizen Center. “It’s noisy in here right up until I start calling numbers,” he said. Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

see "Seniors" next page

Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

Most days after lunch, Daniel Alaniz and Jose Dias (L-R) gather in the center’s game room for a friendly game of pool.

Yakima Valley Community College

september 16, 2014

Daily Sun News - 19

pride of the valley

Seniors

continued from page 18

by 12:30 p.m. Alexander said there are usually 30 seniors on hand for the meals. “Individuals who aren’t able to come in person to the meal site can call ahead for frozen meals, which can be delivered to their homes,” Alexander explained. “Some diners only come on occasion, while others come every day,” she added. Those who don’t return home by bus usually stick around for afternoon activities offered at the center. “We try to offer a little something for everyone, but we are always interested in having more activities,” Alexander said. “We’ve even held slumber parties at the center,” she added. Currently, the group’s officers schedule monthly dances, twice monthly Saturday potlucks, sometimes with extra entertainment, weekly card games in addition to a regular bingo game each Tuesday. Once a year, the senior group teams with the Sunnyside Lions Club to host a senior casino night with games of chance and plenty of ‘fun money’ winnings. “The winners use their winnings to participate in an auction at the end of the night. We always have a big turnout for that event,” she added. For many of the activities, the group members host fundraisers like indoor rummage sales and recycling projects. The funds are used to finance such events as concerts or to generate extra money for small projects around the center. Some of this year’s funds have been set aside to finance the recovering of the center’s pool table. “We hope to have the table resurfaced in the near future,” she said. “It is used a lot and is in need of some repair.” Alexander, a former Yakima County Meals on Wheels site manager, said the group has received a number of grants from the Yakama Legends Casino Foundation, which has helped to update much of the center’s interior. “We use the grant dollars to help us keep the center as comfortable as possible,” she said. One of the items the casino money went toward is the replacement of the center’s old, heavy wooden banquet tables. “We now have lighter weight tables, which we can easily move around if we need to make room for special events,” Alexander said. She said the grant money over the course of time has been used to replace the center’s kitchen stove, refrigerator and window coverings. Alexander, who has served as president of the senior group for three years, shares the board duties with vice president Winona Atkins, secretary Cheryl Holmes, treasurer Yolle Hernandez and sergeant-at-arms Bob Van Horn, who also serves on the city’s parks and recreation board. Troy Guinn is the group’s chaplain. Alexander said the group seeks out ideas, “…so we can plan the type of activities that the majority of our members want to enjoy,” she added. “I think it would be great if we could get someone to volunteer to teach some of us

how to play cribbage or bridge,” said Alexander. ‑ Julia Hart can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JHart@DailySunNews.com

Bingo is a popular diversion at the Sunnyside Senior Citizen Center, attracting anywhere from 15 to 30 players each week. But games of canasta and pinochle are also popular afternoon social activities.

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Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

Building Infrastructure for the Future CELEBRATING

50 YEARS

T

The Port of Sunnyside’s $8.5 million Anaerobic Digester project is well underway.

he Port of Sunnyside works for the economic growth of our area by providing prime site-ready industrial property, with state-of-the-art infrastructure along our I-82 corridor for current and potential industries. The port has a successful 50 year history of business development and promotes a complementary mixture of industry, agriculture, commerce, manufacturing, food processing, warehousing and support services. The port also maintains a fully accredited state-of-the-art lab to monitor all waste water functions. That along with abundant and affordable energy, a capable work force, an excellent transportation network and favorable tax structure, the Port of Sunnyside is a positive force in the growth of the Lower Yakima Valley. Industries we support locally include: Centennial Tank, Curfman Steel, Darigold, DRR Fruit, Envirotech Services, Inc., Fastenal, Integrity Driving School, Johnson Cannery, Johnson Fruit, KIE Supply, LTI/Milky Way, JM Eagle, Inc., Seneca, Sunnyside Beauty Academy, Swofford-Halma Clinic, U.S. Grape, Valley Processing, Yakima Chief, Inc and YVTech.

1964-2014

Darigold is expanding to meet market needs.

Seneca’s 216,000 sq. ft. storage facility nears completion.

2640 E. Edison Ave., Suite 1 • P.O. Box 329, Sunnyside, WA 98944 • (509) 839-7678 Tours of the facility and sites may be arranged for interested parties.

YVTech will fill the technical skill needs of students at the new Golob Landing facility in Sunnyside.

20 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley september 16, 2014

Eleven players, two coaches, one champion

Sunnyside boys soccer shines under co-coaches by John Fannin

program just a few days before the 201213 season began. After a slow start, the You know the saying, “Two heads are squad finished with an overall record of better than one.” 8-10 and a Regional playoff berth. Well, the same goes for coaching the Fast forward to the 2013-14 season and Sunnyside High School boys soccer pro- the Grizzlies transformed from an also-ran gram. to a nearly undefeated regional champ, In just their second year at the helm, co- coming within a game of the State title coaches Sergio Licona and David Guevara match. led the Grizzlies to a Regional championSunnyside reeled off 13 consecutive ship and third-place finish at State – tops wins to start the campaign, ending up in program with a 20-3 history. record and For their the program’s “We believe as a program that we could first-ever State efforts the duo garnered have done better (last season) but it was a trophy. CBBN co- growing experience and the program knows we Guevara coaches of the belong at that high level of play. State was great says that sucyear honors. cess stems “It’s very but that is history and we must continue to write from taking humbling for our own chapters to stay successful.” things one us to receive match at a David Guevara this, but at the time, all the same time it’s while competdue to all the kids’ hard work,” Guevara ing together as family. said in June when he and Licona received “We believed in our motto 1-0 and the award. we write our destiny. We believed in it Licona and Guevara may deflect praise like a family and staying focused on our to the players, but there’s no doubting goals,” he said. “We were the only ones their arranged partnership has an impact to stop ourselves and we believe having on Sunnyside’s current and future trophy the community behind us was a big part runs. of our success because it was no longer They were hired to take over the SHS see "Champion" next page

Daily Sun News file photo

Co-Coach Sergio Licona provides instruction for the Grizzlies during a league match last season. Grizzly Lupe Granados (L) tries to maintain control of the ball against a Mercer Island defender during this past spring’s State 3A boys soccer semifinal. Granados was part of a youth movement that will see Sunnyside return all but four players from this year’s best-ever finish for the Grizzlies.

Daily Sun News file photo

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Daily Sun News file photo

The 2014 Regional soccer champion Sunnyside Grizzlies went on to claim thirdplace honors at State. Team members included (front L-R) Jose De La Cruz, Noe Meza, Jorge Villegas, Manuel Calvillo, Jose Marquez and Manager Madera; (middle L-R) Fransico Quiroz, Alejandro Medina, Cristian Chavez, Alexander Marin, Jose Granados, Luis Licona, Fernando Michel, Humberto Galvan, Misael Vasquez and Jacob Meza; (back L-R) Coach Sergio Licona, Coach David Guevara, Jesus Torres, Jose Marquez, Jose Madrigal, Joel Flores, Jose Ramirez, Enrique Arteaga, Erick Campuzano and Coach Daniel Licona.

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pride of the valley Daily Sun News - 21

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Daily Sun News file photo

Sunnyside keeper Jorge Villegas dives to the turf to block a Mercer Island shot attempt during the State semifinals. Villegas is bookended by teammates Luis Licona (8) and Humberto Galvan (3).

Champion

continued from page 20

about us, but about the community.”  Licona and Guevara also operate in such a way that there is no pecking order, from the C squad on up. “No head coach, but all head coaches,” is their mantra. It’s about respect and communication,” Guevara adds. “We (coaches) are all important to what we run because in the end we had players from all levels playing in the State game.”  Competing at the 4A level next year, Sunnyside won’t be able to rest on its laurels. Guevara and Licona say the best is yet to come for Sunnyside boys soccer. “We believe as a program that we could have done better (last season) but it was a growing experience and the program knows we belong at that high level of play. State was great but that is history and we must continue to write our own chapters to stay successful.” Guevara adds that Sunnyside’s league last season, the CBBN, was already a 4A classification with a tough league schedule that prepared the Grizz well when it came to postseason play against 3A counterparts. Next spring, of course, postseason and regular season opponents will all be at the 4A level. “Our keys to succeeding next year is not resting and being complacent with what we have accomplished,” says Guevara. The two aren’t just looking ahead to the 2015 campaign, but years down the road. This summer they coached a middle school soccer team at Sierra Vista Middle School. “It’s a feeder system,” Guevara explains. “When we have players knowing about socManuel Calvillo of Sunnyside (27) goes for a header against a Mercer Island opponent during the State 3A tourney this past spring. Calvillo also played keeper this season for the Grizzlies.

cer they can understand our style and adapt to it. We plan on including all coaches in Sunnyside to support the high school.” Success on the pitch at all levels is great, but the two coaches are well aware their players will need more than soccer skills to survive the world beyond high school. “In order to be successful in life and as student-athletes they have to work hard to accomplish their goals,” said Guevara. “One of the life lessons they learn is the importance of teamwork, and how it makes your goals so much easier to accomplish.” And that makes Sunnyside’s soccer players winners, no matter their win-loss record. “It’s not about soccer, it’s about being a good citizen,” says Guevara. - John Fannin can be reached at jfannin@dailysunnews.com or at 837-4500.

Daily Sun News file photo

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22 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley

september 16, 2014

Technical advances Skills center a boon for youth, employers

Dan Newhouse were key to putting YVTech Sunnyside on the map. Former First Lady Hillary Clinton once In addition, Dwight lauded the Port of wrote, “It takes a village” to raise a child. Sunnyside’s cooperation for leasing the Here in the Lower Valley, it’s multiple nearly four-acre site for YV-Tech at a cost villages, school districts and the state of of $2 per year for 80 years. Washington working together to provide Honeyford said getting the state to fitraining for local youth in the form of the nally release $6.2 million in funding for YV-Tech Skills Center, Sunnyside cam- the Sunnyside center came down to a pus. matter of education. The center started its first full school “What turned the money loose was year last month with more than 70 stu- finding out that the Superintendent of dents. Public Instruction was using outdated It is the product of a joint effort by information that said Sunnyside wasn’t school disready for the tricts in project,” said Yakima and “What turned the money loose was H o n e y f o r d Sunnyside, (R-Sunnyas well as finding out that the Superintendent of Public side). n e i g h b o r i n g Instruction was using outdated information He said districts such that said Sunnyside wasn’t ready for the project.” S u n n y s i d e as Mabton, Schools SuSen. Jim Honeyford G r a n d v i e w, perintendent Granger and Dr. Rick Cole Prosser, which can all send their high was able to get the legislature’s Ways and school students to the skills center. Means Committee correct information. ‘An asset for the valley’ “We got information that Sunnyside had Craig Dwight with the Yakima School been ready to go for a year or two,” said District is principal for YV-Tech centers Honeyford. in Yakima and now Sunnyside. He says Seeing the dream become reality is a the center here has been a dream in the boon for the Lower Valley and its future. works since 2005. “I’ve always been a supporter of techHe said pressure in Olympia by lo- nical education and I’m really glad to cal lawmakers Sen. Jim Honeyford, Rep. see that opportunity here in Sunnyside Bruce Chandler and former representative so they (the students) can get marketable by John Fannin

photo courtesy Tom Dolan

A new school year is here and at the YV-Tech Skills Center in Sunnyside, students (L-R) Brendon Wood, Kalie Bestebreur, Meagan Rickert and Mauricio Palominos learn the basics of welding. skills or prepare for college,” Honeyford said. “It’s an asset for the valley.” ‘They’re hired’ Speaking of marketable skills, Dwight says one of the new programs featured at Sunnyside this fall is a Microsoft academy, offering certification in maintaining software programs. Opportunities are wide open for YV-Tech students here who complete certification at Sunnyside in welding, nursing and now the Microsoft Academy. “If they finish their certification, they’re hired,” Dwight says of the demand. Besides gaining a career, YV-Tech students can gain credits that transfer to community college. YV-Tech Sunnyside is free for high school juniors and seniors, but that’s not to say there isn’t room for others to pursue career training. Dwight notes that college students can

take classes at YV-Tech, though preference is given for high school students. He noted the example of one college graduate with an art degree who went back to school and is supplementing some of his course work at YV-Tech in Yakima. Likely the most popular program at YV-Tech Sunnyside is welding. Tom Dolan, who taught welding at Sunnyside High School, is now offering a welding program at YV-Tech. “I’m in heaven,” Dolan smiled of the new training and classroom area he has at YV-Tech. “It’s about the kids and having a facility that makes it easier for them to go out into the workforce.” Canam and Genie are among the companies that have hired his certificated welding students. He offers two classes at YV-Tech with a maximum of 24 students per class. It’s so popular that a summer school see "Technical" next page

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John Fannin/Daily Sun News

YV-Tech welding instructor Tom Dolan points out one of the benefits of the new skills center, a classroom with a window that allows him to keep track of students at work on the welding floor.

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pride of the valley Daily Sun News - 23

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continued from page 22

program this past summer middle GREATfor BUY! school students filled up. The youngsters STARTING AT worked on projects ranging from pencil holders to maintenance on the large red wagon formerly operated by Sunnyside’s 185/65HR-14 Promise. LOW COST RADIALS Dolan added that middle schoolers and their parents have even asked about These are great buys preon 65/60/55/50/45/40/35 high school students plugging into the series radials. YV-Tech welding program during the Your size in stock, call for size & price Ry school year. They’re tooTRyoung, he said, but he appreciates the focus of local families already thinking about their children’s future. Built for growth Speaking of the future, both Dwight and Dolan say things are only just getting started in Sunnyside. Dwight sees a time in the next six years when the skills center here will expand, doubling from its current footprint of 12,000 square feet. He says there is already demand for adding a diesel mechanic program at the Sunnyside center. In addition, the YVTech building here is built with expansion in mind. “This was built for change. There are no load-bearing exterior walls,” Dwight says. “If we need to add a classroom we can take out a wall.” Dolan says he’s been repeatedly asked about developing a YV-Tech welding program in Sunnyside for adults. To do that, it would require expanding operations here to include night classes. That’s a possibility, though it would require Dolan to teach both day and night to high schoolers and adults, respectively. Dolan smiles and says he might be up for that challenge. “Why not? I enjoy what I do,” he said, tidying up the welding classroom and pulling up a few pesky weeds on the school grounds during a warm July morning. “I can’t wait for school to start!” A can-do, positive approach to a chalBlack 15x7 lenge is nothing new for Dolan or Starting at YV-Tech Sunnyside. After all, it was community-wide tenacity that raised the skills center to begin with.

RACELINE 126

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- John Fannin can be reached at jfannin@dailysunnews.com or at 837-4500.

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24 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley

september 16, 2014

Devoted Warriors’ hard work has made them top Relay for Life fundraising team by the team members, most of whom are related. The Devoted Warriors first formed a Re“Everyone on the team made different lay for Life team in 2013 to honor a brother things,” said Myers. “One sister sold rublost to cancer. The experience of fund- ber band bracelets, we raffled off a baby raising to fight cancer has now become a blanket and a Seahawks dress.” year-long effort for the Sunnyside-based The family has been hit hard by cancer. crew. In addition to Melendrez, a sister, Aurora Team captain Santa Myers explained Escobar, passed away from colon cancer that the squad begins its fundraising ef- in July 2013. Another sister, Charra Garforts in November. That work continues za, survived breast cancer in 1997; sister right up until Pee Wee Corthe American tez survived Cancer Socikidney cancer “A lot of people don’t want to just donate,” the same year; ety Relay for she said. “But if we make something they like, sister Abelia Life fundraiser is held in Ramirez surthey’ll buy it.” Santa Myers vived May. bone “We are cancer that making stuff was discovto sell all year round,” said Myers. ered after a breast cancer diagnosis in The team, formerly called Team 2005; and sister Angela Melendrez surNico in honor of Nicolas Melen- vived bone cancer diagnosed in 2012. drez who passed away from lung They also have a cousin, Yolanda Flores, cancer in November 2012, was the top who lost her battle with stomach cancer in fundraising team in the 2014 Lower Val- February of 2013. ley Relay for Life, bringing in more than “Relay for Life is a way for us to raise $8,000. awareness and support other individuals That honor came from a lot of hard work see "Warriors" next page by Laura Gjovaag

Daily Sun News file photo

The Devoted Warriors, which first participated in Relay for Life as Team Nico, are prepping now for their third Relay for Life event. In 2014 the team raised more than $8,000 for the event and was the top fundraising team in the Lower Valley. Team members include (front L-R) Cruz Amaro, Santa Myers and Angela Melendrez; (back L-R) Pee Wee Cortez and Angela Flores.

We are proud to be the Northwest destination for Bridal Gowns Bridesmaid Dresses Pageant Dresses Prom Gowns Little Girls Formals Tuxedo Rentals Accessories & Shoes Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Grandview City Administrator Cus Arteaga stands at the corner of Division and Third streets, an integral part of a thriving downtown.

‘Downtown Alive’ in Grandview by Jennie McGhan

GRANDVIEW – Five years ago Grandview held a dual celebration. The community experienced a great number of changes as the downtown corridor was renovated and the city itself celebrated its centennial.

City leaders had a vision for the downtown area that has made a difference for the community, its business owners and patrons of those businesses. The Downtown Alive project was made possible via partnerships developed between the city and business owners, see "Downtown" page 26

Servin Sunn g yside for 3 0 years ! Fashion Corner

837-7345 8 401 S. 6th Street • Sunnyside Open Monday - Saturday 10-7 • Closed Sunday

september 16, 2014

pride of the valley Daily Sun News - 25

Warriors

Each team member contributes to the effort by making items, including baked goods from a sister in Spokane. Other items that are sold as part of the fundraising effort include crocheted headbands, baby blankets, a Seahawks baby dress, rolling pins, tamales, salsa and concessions at a food stand during the event in May.

continued from page 24

and their families who are fighting cancer,” said Myers. The 14-member team included eight sisters last year, but because of the size of the family, the effort was multiplied several times over in 2014. “There’s about 250 of us now,” said Myers. “Everyone helps a little by spreading the news that we are selling stuff, or by buying things.” At the Relay itself, the team runs a popular food stand, selling tacos and other items for the tired walkers. Myers admits getting everything ready that’s needed for the concession stand can be tiresome work, but the team does well with sales during the event. Myers said asking for donations from the community was never comfortable for the team members, which is why they make items to sell. “A lot of people don’t want to just donate,” she said. “But if we make something they like, they’ll buy it.” Myers said she learned how to crochet items from YouTube, and those have become big sellers for the team. She makes infinity scarves and headbands and has a number of other projects she’s working on. In addition to homemade projects, the team designed a t-shirt on booster. com and have bracelets for sale at bravelets.com/bravepage/devoted-warriors. They also purchased cookies at Taste of Heaven Bakery in Prosser last year and sold them. “We hustle, hustle,” said Myers. The desire to help eradicate cancer is never far from the minds of the family and team members, whose year-round work will pay off in the spring at the next Relay for Life event.

Laura Gjovaag/Daily Sun News

The Devoted Warriors team created tshirts at booster.com and earned money by selling them. In addition, the team has a page at bravelets.com to raise money.

photo courtesy Santa Myers

www.lvcu.org

Construction is almost complete!

‑ Laura Gjovaag can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email LGjovaag@DailySunNews.com

Lower Valley Credit Union

Coming Soon! Drive by our new location and see the progress! Located in Sunnyside at 900 E Yakima Valley Highway. Laura Gjovaag/Daily Sun News

Angela Melendrez holds a teddy bear wearing an outfit she made. Melendrez works throughout the year to create goods that she sells during the Relay for Life each May.

Hours: Mon-Thur: 9 am - 5 pm | Fri: 9 am - 6 pm Sunnyside - 509-837-5295 | 301 S. 7th Street

Prosser - 509-786-2711 | 580 Wine Country Rd

Grandview - 509-882-9916 | 1019 W. Wine Country Rd

Check out LVCU’s Facebook page! Search ‘Lower Valley Credit Union’ page and ‘like’ us! Tell us what you think. We want to hear your feedback.

26 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley

september 16, 2014

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Downtown Grandview is thriving five years after the city completed its Downtown Alive project. There are fewer empty storefronts as a result of the effort to make the corridor attractive.

Downtown

continued from page 24

according to City Administrator Cus Arteaga. He said the spirit of cooperation within the community was the direct result of people being willing to listen to one another. “That was the key,” said Arteaga, stating property owners and citizens needed to know they could express their concerns and voice their opinions. Everyoneneededtoknowtheysharedacommon vision. “There’s never a problem that can’t be overcome with the right amount of determination and consideration,” said Arteaga. The Downtown Alive project has inspired downtown property owners, and has set a standard that has been lauded at both the state and federal levels. Arteaga noted the project garnered the city several awards, including the People’s Choice Award from the Infrastructure Assistance Coordination Council and the Director’s Award from the Washington State Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration. The project has also been featured in two publications, including Transportation Management and Engineering, a federal trade magazine. “For the community, the downtown has reinstated community pride,” said Arteaga.

He said he is often stopped by citizens who tell him recent visitors “…are in awe.” Arteaga said he is also proud of how Grandview appears to local citizens, as well as those visiting the community. Business owners, he said, have been cooperative, keeping to the design standards adopted by the Grandview City Council. “They have been gracious,” said Arteaga, noting a local market rebuilt its

“Our parking is full on weekends and evenings.” He said the additional parking lots for those visiting the downtown area are often filled now. People are attracted to the businesses, particularly the local restaurants because of the curb appeal, according to Arteaga. “It’s nice to have a parking problem,” said Arteaga. Before the Downtown Alive proj-

“There’s never a problem that can’t be overcome with the right amount of determination and consideration.” Cus Arteaga

structure to meet the standards after the building was razed by fire. Another property owner chose a neutral color of paint instead of a fluorescent green color that was planned. Arteaga also noted that hiring Mary Barrett on a seasonal basis to maintain the downtown vegetation and plants has also had a positive impact. He said Barrett has a desire to help the community and she is “…dedicated to maintaining the beauty of downtown.” Arteaga said the changes have impacted the businesses in a positive manner.

ect there were more than 20 empty storefronts. Now, there are fewer than 10. “It used to be a ghost town,” Arteaga said. Momentum from the Downtown Alive project picked up as early as 2010. Arteaga said business owners began to spruce up their properties, repainting storefronts and making the buildings more attractive. “Downtown began to take on new life,” he said. Arteaga said the citizens, business owners and city officials all had a common goal. They wanted what was in the best

interest of the community of Grandview. Because of the momentum, Arteaga said the city gained credibility at many levels. “The city has been able to complete additional projects because of its credibility,” he said. That is important for a community seeking to improve its infrastructure. Arteaga said the entities that provide funding for the city’s improvement projects look at Grandview as an example of progress. Officials in Olympia, he said, have had negative experiences with other communities. He cited more than one instance where funding was awarded to a city but the money had to be returned because the project never moved forward. With Grandview, state officials are confident a project will move forward once funding is awarded, said Arteaga. He said that bodes well for the city’s reputation, allowing further progress that makes the citizens proud to live in Grandview. “I am truly proud of all we have accomplished and the progress we are making as a result of the Downtown Alive project.” ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com

GROWI NG NE I GHBORHOOD HE ALTH OVE R FI VE DE C ADE S.

september 16, 2014

1980s

pride of the valley Daily Sun News - 27

Your Home for “One-Stop” Health Care in Sunnyside

1980. Maternal Child Health (MCH) and Women Infant Child Nutrition (WIC) programs are established in Sunnyside. 1981. Neighborhood’s Maternal Child Health and WIC Programs get their first permanent home with the opening of a downtown Sunnyside office.

1990s 1992. YNHS secures Yakima County’s designation as a Medically Underserved Area, bringing needed primary care services and professionals to the Yakima Valley. 1992. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, YNHS is able to recruit health care providers serving in the National Health Service Corps The YNHS public health team expands to serve the Yakima Valley’s growing number of pregnant women, babies and young children.

2000s 2001. YNHS is nationally recognized as a Community Health Center “Models that Work” nominee. Neighborhood receives an “Extreme Score” of 99 and full Joint Commission Accreditation. This reflects the organization’s commitment to safe, effective care of highest quality and value across the Yakima Valley. 2006. YNHS moves to a new Sunnyside location on Scoon Road. 2006. Sunnyside Maternity Support and WIC services expand.

Open Soon… Our New Vision Care Center “We’re excited that our expanded clinic in Sunnyside has been so well received by the community. And we look forward to offering quality, affordable vision care – a vital part of your family’s good health!” -- Neighborhood Health Services CEO Anita Monoian.

2010s

• On-site Pharmacy

Brett Miller, DDS Dentist/Chief Dental Officer

Alanna Braun, MD Pediatrician

Sue Dennis, CNM, ARNP Certified Nurse Midwife/Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

• Vision Care

David Moore, DDS Dentist

We’ve expanded current services.

• Primary Medical Care

Neighborhood providers in Sunnyside and across YNHS are able to review all aspects of the patient’s medical and dental health history, medications, allergies and other notes in a single, integrated Electronic Health Record.

• Adult and Children’s Dental

Brady Moss, ARNP Family Nurse Practitioner

Laurel Duchsherer, DDS Dentist

Raymond Rust, DMD Dentist Caitlin Kauffman, DMD Dentist

Nuestros doctors/proveedores hablan español!

• Prenatal Care and Obstetrics (OB)

617 Scoon Road, Sunnyside Just minutes off I-82!

• We also provide maternity support services and WIC nutrition program.

Scoon Rd.

• United Way of Central Washington has

Yakima Valley HWY

Yakima Valley HWY

helped establish a Homeless Resource Center at the Sunnyside office. Yakima

Are you with Community Health Plan of Washington? We’re here to serve you!

S 1st Street

2013. YNHS is selected as the lead “In Person Assister” organization helping Yakima and Kittitas county residents find health insurance. Neighborhood partners in outreach with Sunnyside Community Hospital / Rural Health Clinics.

Sean Brady, DO Pediatrician

• Behavioral Health

Services grow again with expansion of Sunnyside Primary Care Medical services and Homeless Outreach.

2012. YNHS announces plans to expand Sunnyside primary care medical, dental, and behavioral health, grow outreach services, and add pharmacy services and a vision center.

Milda Bandza, O.D. Optometrist

Jocelyn Pedrosa, MD Pediatrician/Chief Medical Officer

Nancy Schwarzkopf, ARNP Family Nurse Practitioner/Deputy Medical Director

Full primary medical care, pediatrics, pre-natal care/ob, dental, pharmacy and vision. We’ve doubled our size to serve you better. New services in Sunnyside!

Neighborhood receives its fifth near-perfect score and full Joint Commission Accreditation.

MEET YOUR PROVIDERS

Your one-stop health care home in Sunnyside.

2007. Dental Clinic opens at the new Sunnyside site.

YNHS becomes the first Community Health Center in Washington to achieve highest national recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home.

Open to the public! Affordable, skilled vision care with state-of-the-art equipment.

• Also serving Coordinated Care, Molina,

82

United & AmeriGroup

October 2013. Expanded Sunnyside clinic opens.

Tri-Cities

CALL TODAY TO MAKE NEIGHBORHOOD YOUR ONE-STOP HEALTH CARE HOME!

September 2014. Vision care center opens at Sunnyside clinic.

509.837.8200 | Sunnyside | www.ynhs.org

Yakima Neighborhood Health

28 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley

september 16, 2014

Karen Erickson and Lori Gardner (L-R) have invested their time and talents to create a destination shopping experience for visitors to Sunnyside’s Melange, a shop with an eclectic sense of style.

Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

Even the street-side business side encourages passersby to take a second look at Melange.

Unique shopping experience is Melange owners’ goal ages, and Erickson and Gardner make no bones about catering to a female audiFor 15 years, a Sunnyside shop dedicat- ence. “But there are many items which ed to giving its customers a comfortable also appeal to our masculine customers,” shopping experience in a charming envi- noted Gardner. ronment has attracted shoppers from far The shop, which six years ago reloand near. cated from the Mini Mall in downtown Melange, owned and operat- Sunnyside to its current location on East ed by Karen Erickson and Lori Lincoln Avenue, can also claim a place Gardner, is clearly a mixture of styles re- in Sunnyside history as a part of its flecting the passions of the two Sunnyside appeal. businesswomen. The building the two owners renovated Both women love the casualness of was originally built as the headquarters vintage style, as well as Americana and for the Sunnyside U&I plant in 1919. Beclassic French type items. fore Erickson and Gardner began working “We always on remodeling say...buy what the building, you love,” it has been “Sunnyside is a great place to live and we used as a ressaid Gardner. “That is just want more people to know that we are doing idence for how we ap- our part to attract out-of-towners.” many years. proach market “We didn’t Lori Gardner when we sereally want lect items for to change the our customers. And, it is what we tell our rooms in the building. clientele when they can’t choose between “And, we didn’t have to do too much to several items,” she explained. retain the original bones of the building,” In designing their shop, the partners she explained. have worked to create a setting which The building’s most unique feature is allows customers to envision the items the old U&I Sugar Company vault. It feaoffered at Melange in their own homes. tures two-foot thick cement walls, which In addition, the shop owners strive to once held the company’s ledgers and othmeet the needs of its clientele, said er important papers, said Gardner. Gardner. The vault’s original shelves are now Throughout Melange’s six showrooms, used to display the shop’s cards, books thoughtful and engaging displays illus- and children’s gift items. trate the women’s attention to detail and One of the changes the partners did their creative blend of decor and gift make to the historic building in order to items. create their spacious showrooms was to The shop features something for all widen the doorways to make each room

by Julia Hart

Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

Like many shoppers who frequent Sunnyside’s Melange, Clara Hamil with daughter Andi, and Colleen Coleman always expect and do find the perfect gift for birthdays and other celebrations at the gift store. more accessable. “When we were widening the doorways we uncovered an original archway in the design and we decided to keep that as a pass-through,” Gardner said. The exterior of the building underwent its own transformation with the addition of a tiled courtyard featuring wrought iron fencing, benches and a sidewalk café style seating area.

Each detail invites customers to drop in and browse through the shop which has an almost European look. The courtyard, which extends around the east side of the building, is often used for outdoor shopping events. Three years ago, Erickson and Gardner launched a new destination shopping aspect to their business. They organized a see "Shopping" next page

september 16, 2014

pride of the valley Daily Sun News - 29

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Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

With easy access from Yakima Valley Highway and nearby I-82, Sunnyside’s Melange has become a shopping destination for many visitors from Yakima and the Tri-Cities, seeking unique gifts.

Shopping

continued from page 28

vintage market which they call “Bloomerang Vintage Market.” They had originally chosen the second weekend of September for their market to coincide with Sunshine Days. When Sunshine Days moved to early October, Erickson and Gardner decided to keep the second Saturday as their event date. The Bloomerang Vintage Market allows the partners to indulge their love of vintage and “junk” by inviting local craftsmen to sell their wares in an open air market. “We offer food for sale at the market and even host a wine and beer garden on site,” she added. Gardner said the 2014 event also fea-

tured a car show, hosted by the Sunnyside Noon Rotary Club. Last year the market, which is held next door to Melange on the lawn, hosted 30 vendors. “It just keeps growing,” she added. Gardner said the vintage market is just one more way to get people to shop local and to attract shoppers from other communities. “Sunnyside is a great place to live and we just want more people to know that we are doing our part to attract out-oftowners,” she added.

...for home purchase, new construction, refinance, fixed rate home equity loans and variable rate Preferred Line of Credit. ... para compra de casa, construcción nueva, préstamos hipotecarios con tasa fija y Línea de Crédito Preferencial con tasa variable.

‑ Julia Hart can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JHart@DailySunNews.com

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september 16, 2014

Bronze Society continues its quest to immortalize Sunnyside pioneers by Julia Hart

It may take some time to immortalize in bronze the many Sunnyside pioneers who deserve to have a statue erected in their honor. But, that is the long term goal of one local group. If it were up to Bill Flower, one of the founding members of the Sunnyside Bronze Society, the next individual to be bronzed would be Sunnyside’s William Bridgman, known as a pioneer of the wine industry in the Lower Yakima Valley. Flower would also like to see Ollie Washington, a former slave who settled in Sunnyside’s Waneta area, immortalized in bronze. “Washington built the first schoolhouse in the Waneta area in the early 1900s,” Flower explained. According to Flower, Bridgman planted the first viniferous grapes in the Yakima Valley in the early 1920s, which today has grown into a multi-million dollar business in the valley. Washington, an African- American farmer, settled in the Waneta area to raise hops. He also purchased land for the first schoolhouse in the Waneta section, which still stands today. He also built one of the first Sears kit homes to be constructed in the area, which is also still standing today. In recent years it served as a bed and breakfast. Flower believes both men are worthy of consideration. “I’d like to see their likenesses added to see "Bronze" next page

Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

The Ren Ferrell bronze statue sets next to the log cabin where the real Ferrell spent many winters caring for cattle. Both historical pieces are located adjacent to the Sunnyside Museum on South Fourth Street.

Sunnyside native and sculptor Desiree Dawn has been responsible for all but one of the Sunnyside Bronze Society’s four statues. Dawn has taken them from drawings to overseeing the bronze castings which are completed in Joseph. Ore. Daily Sun News photo file

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Gracing Sunnyside’s Centennial Square is the bigger than life statue of H. Lloyd Miller, known as the father of the Roza Canal. Also pictured is Don and Karen Vlieger, who donated the land at the corner of East Edison Avenue and South Sixth Street for the downtown park.

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Bronze

continued from page 30

the bronze pathway,” Flower said. “All it takes is money to get either statue off the drawing board,” he added. He said creating and casting the bronzes is a pricy endeavor, costing anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 each. The money for the current bronze statues located along the pathway came primarily from the families of the chosen individuals, and via private donations. Since its founding in 2002, the Sunnyside Bronze Society has worked to find funding to create and erect four statues. Flower said the Foundation for the Community of Sunnyside also helps raise funding for the statues. Flower said the sale of bronze miniatures of each of the sculptures add greatly to fund the projects. The most recent statue to be completed and installed is a bronze dedicated to Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, a Sunnyside High School graduate, who left her hometown of Outlook to pursue a career with the NASA astronaut program. She recently retired as director of the Seattle Museum of Flight. The Dunbar statue is located at the entrance to the Sunnyside Municipal Pool. The larger than life bronze statue depicts Dunbar both as an NASA astronaut and as a little girl from Outlook. “We worked hard to get the Dunbar statue completed,” said Barbara Merz, who worked with the society to bring the Dunbar project to completion. “It took a long time to raise the necessary funds to complete Bonnie’s likeness,” she said. Sunnyside sculptor Desiree Dawn was selected to create the Dunbar statue. She has been the artist for all but one of the bronzes commissioned by the society, explained Flower. He said all of the foundry work on the statues have been at the hands of bronze craftsmen in Joseph, Ore., including Tim Norman, who is an artist in his own right. The first statue to be create for the pathway was dedicated to the memory of Ren Ferrell, a pioneer Sunnyside rancher. Ferrell was also a foreman for the famous northwest cattleman, Ben Snipes. Snipes ran cattle from the Columbia River to Canada in the mid-1880s. His cattle often traveled through the Yakima Valley to

A tribute to just one of the many daily duties pioneer children were required to do is the “Morning Chores” bronze, located on South Fifth Street and East Edison Avenue.

Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

allow the herds to graze before the long journey to the north. Snipes’ herds passed through the Yakima Valley near what is now known as the Emerald Road area, where Ferrell established a winter cabin to oversee the herds. Ferrell’s statue is located in Snipes Park, at the corner of Grant Avenue and Fourth Street. It is next to Ferrell’s original cabin, which was moved from its Emerald Road location to downtown Sunnyside in the early 1960s, by his daughter, the late Ruth Mottley of Sunnyside. Ferrell’s bronze installation was followed by a bronze statue at Sunnyside’s Centennial Square honoring longtime Sunnyside real estate mogul and visionary H. Lloyd Miller. Miller is considered by many to be the driving force in bringing irrigation water to the Roza area of the Lower Valley following World War II. The society’s third life-sized bronze statue, entitled “Morning Chores,” was unveiled near Fifth Street and Edison Avenue in 2007. It commemorates the contributions made by pioneer children. The third statue is unique in that it is the first to employ permanent coloring in the bronze.

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In addition to the Bridgman and Washington statues, Flower said he would also like to see a statue honoring the area’s families who wintered sheep in the Sunnyside area between 1890 and 1950. Flower would also like to see a large bronze plaque created that would feature the likenesses of the original Sunnyside Christian Colony’s founders. He’d like to

see it attached to the existing monument already located in Sunnyside’s Central Park. “We continue to hope we’ll get the necessary funding to create more such bronzes,” Flower added. ‑ Julia Hart can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JHart@DailySunNews.com

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pride of the valley

september 16, 2014

Sunnyside schools aim to educate at every grade level by Laura Gjovaag

some trial and error, but a tougher job will be sustaining the high levels of success the district has achieved. “We haven’t had the money for two years,” Campbell said of a high school improvement grant that kicked off the changes in the district. “There’s a belief in ourselves and in our students. The whole culture of the district has changed. It wasn’t a top-down change, it was a bottom-up and left-to-right, side-to-side change. Everybody had to buy into it, and everyone did.” One way the district adapted was by aligning to the Common Core standards. “We’ve done a lot of professional development based on the new standards over the last few years,” said Brian Hart, executive director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. The district has been concentrating on English, language arts and mathematics, with a new math curriculum being fully implemented this year. “We’re adapting at every grade, K through 12,” said Hart. “Common Core is about college and career readiness. The reading, writing, speaking and listening pieces require a lot of materials and strate-

Sunnyside schools are preparing to graduate 6,400 students... not all at once, mind you. The Sunnyside School District doesn’t wait until students get into high school to start thinking about graduation. From the first day of kindergarten students are being evaluated and teachers are working to help them bring out their strengths and overcome weaknesses. Over the last few years the district has adapted its approach to students, embracing the positives of the Common Core philosophy to help children build on previous knowledge. The district has also embraced the testing requirement, using assessments to guide future lessons instead of simply “teaching to the test.” As a result, Sunnyside schools are a good place to be right now, with clear goals for students and confident teachers leading classrooms. The turnaround has been astonishing. The district had a graduation rate of less than 50 percent in 2009, but is now one of the strongest school districts in the state with a graduation rate of more than 80 percent. see "Schools" next page And while the changes started with the high school, it’s now filtered down to every level in the district. “We now have a junior high grant,” said Executive Services Director Curtis Campbell. “We’re developing programs like we did at the high school. We’re also focusing on applying skills to the real world, a component of Common Core.” Campbell said the district has been going where the data takes it, trying new Laura Gjovaag/Daily Sun News systems and keeping what The graduation rate has been steadily increasing at works. Raising grades and Sunnyside High School. The entire district is now fothe graduation rate have not cused on getting students ready to graduate into the been easy and has involved workforce or higher education.

photo courtesy Curtis Campbell/Sunnyside School District

The increased graduation rate has brought the Sunnyside School District a lot of attention, but more importantly, it has given confidence to students in younger grade levels. Students in the Sunnyside School District now expect to graduate.

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Students in the Sunnyside School District are engaged in learning. “A lot of people talk about the obstacles,” said Executive Services Director Curtis Campbell. “They say, ‘how can they succeed with these demographics?’ We changed that fundamentally. We started with the kids.”

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Schools continued from page 32

gies to hit every piece. We’ve worked on instructional practice, involved the teachers in every aspect and decision.” Hart noted that one of the misunderstood requirements of Common Core is non-literary reading. In addition to fiction, people need to be able to read and understand technical manuals and other texts. “The big thing is being able to cite textual evidence,” he said. “Students need to learn how to back up an argument with facts from a text. Students will be tested on informational text and science reading, not just narratives. They need to be able to understand those in the real world.” The district is also taking the professional development of its teachers seriously. The district has a number of National Board Certified teachers, including Maria Brambila, Laurel Carpino, Paula Greene, Russell Eric Lindstrand, Darren Mezger, Corey Murphy, Tyler Rice, Sandra Schilperoort, Judith Simerl, James Wise, Maria M. Garcia, Maria E. Garcia, Doris Matson, Billie Parke and Pamela Stephens. Executive Director of Human Resources Debbie Holwegner said having board certification helps the students. “Those teachers have extended their certification,” she said. “They’ve gone through rigorous portfolio assessment and had their practices evaluated. It allows teachers to take a hard look at their own teaching practices and find ways to improve.” According to the National Research Council, “National Board certification distinguishes more effective teachers from less effective teachers with respect to student achievement.” The district has also embraced technology, teaching students how to use new devices like iPads. “Students are exposed earlier to mobile and emerging technology,” said Campbell. “We want to teach children how to use those devices as tools and not just toys.” The district also aims to give students a look outside of Sunnyside so they can see all the possibilities life has to offer. “We have Gear-Up in middle school,” said Campbell. “We want to help students visualize their future. We want to expose them to everything that’s possible. They should be able to get out of the valley and see the opportunities of the world.” Despite Sunnyside’s poverty level, the district is succeeding in graduating students who have real-world skills and are ready for either college or a career. “A lot of people talk about the obstacles,” said Campbell. “They say, ‘how can they succeed with these demographics?’ We changed that fundamentally. We started with the kids. “We know our kids as people. We know their strengths and weaknesses. We play to their strength and support them to overcome weaknesses. We start the process in kindergarten. We have a sense of who

photo courtesy Curtis Campbell/Sunnyside School District

Technology is a huge part of the school program of the Sunnyside district. From cutting edge tech like the 3-D printer these students are using to laptops and iPads, the district aims to get students ready to face the real world and all the technology it has to offer. needs the most help and where each student needs help, right from their first year.” And, judging from the increased graduation rate, that goal of graduating 6,400 students may be possible. ‑ Laura Gjovaag can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email LGjovaag@DailySunNews.com photo courtesy Curtis Campbell/Sunnyside School District

Hands-on learning is important in Sunnyside. With a better understanding of the tools provided by science, mathematics and language, students are better prepared to tackle real problems when they graduate.

Sierra Vista Middle School Principal Doug Rogers assists a student. Everyone in the district is now geared toward helping students succeed on every level. photo courtesy Curtis Campbell/Sunnyside School District

34 - Daily Sun News

pride of the valley

september 16, 2014

Access to world class entertainment one of the perks of living in Sunnyside ilies to attend the concerts and offers discounts to make the experience affordFor more than 65 years, staunch sup- able for parents wanting to expose their porters of the arts have brought world children to the unique musical learning class entertainment to Sunnyside in the experience. form of community concerts. “We offer an arts exposure, especially Performers, many of whom have re- as the arts continue to disappear from our ceived worldwide acclaim, have found schools,” said Barbara Skinner, memberthemselves entertaining Lower Valley ship director. audiences since the Lower Valley Com“We know there are many families who munity Concert Association’s first concert desire to have their children exposed to performance was presented on the Lincoln something other than the mainstream muElementary School stage in 1948. sic they are used to,” added Donaldson. Thanks to the efforts of the Lower ValIn fact, according to Skinner – a comley Community Concert Association, munity concert devotee for nearly 50 years Lower Valley – the cost of audiences have attending a continued to concert probe charmed “Nothing replaces the energy one feels gram is quite by the perforreasonable. mances of the when the artists begin to interact with the “For $55, an Vienna Boys audiences in the intimate setting of a darkened adult can atChoir, for ex- auditorium.” tend all five of ample, and the programs Virginia Norton thrilled by the (each year), Chinese Acroa cost of just batic Circus, not to mention hearing and $11 each. You can’t pay that any place seeing world famous classic musical acts, else and still expect to enjoy top rated prosuch as the Von Trapp Family Singers, who gramming,” she explained. graced the local stage in the late 1950s. For families, the season concert cost is The tradition of bringing top acts to the just $125, which includes two adult tickets Lower Valley stage is the passion and mis- and two children’s tickets. sion of the members of the Lower Valley “Then we offer a per child ticket priced Community Concert Association board at $5 for each additional child in the famof directors. Led by association president ily,” she added. Daniel Donaldson, it’s a mission which Students who want to purchase their carries an almost sacred sense of duty with own tickets pay just $15 for the season, it. Skinner added. “There is nothing finer than being a part “There is no reason at all why more of a live performance,” said Elizabeth people can’t take advantage of these wonDonaldson, a longtime concert association derful programs,” Skinner said. member and currently the board’s vice After all, she president. noted there are 750 Attending a community concert is not seats in the Sunnythe same as attending an open air concert side High School at the Gorge or at the Central Washington auditorium, each State Fair. Whereas the open air concerts one waiting to do have a crowd energy, there is something be filled with a little more personal about attending one community conof the community concert’s live perfor- cert-goers, Skinner mances. noted. “Nothing replaces the energy one feels She admits, when the artists begin to interact with however, the lothe audiences in the intimate setting of a cal association’s darkened auditorium,” explained Virginia membership has Norton, the association’s recording secre- dwindled in recent tary. years with only In years past, attending any of the five 360 members atscheduled community concert programs tending concerts in any given year meant dressing up. The last season. evening might include going out to dinner “We know there first before gathering with friends at the are a lot of disauditorium to enjoy an evening of music tractions out there not normally found on popular radio sta- which demand our tions. attention, but one These days, the style of dress to attend must make time a concert is more relaxed, but the ambi- for the arts,” she ance is still the same. Each program is added. designed to offer entertainment, a little This year the 2014-15 community conmusical history and often laughter. Plus, cert season will begin with a Latin flair. parents are given an opportunity to teach The season’s opening concert on Saturday, their children how to appreciate the con- Sept. 13, will be the “Habaneros,” a fivecert environment and the arts in general. man group of musicians from Havana’s The association board encourages fam- National Symphony of Cuba. by Julia Hart

photos courtesy of Live on Stage

Among the famous performers to have graced the Sunnyside stage during Lower Valley Community Concert programs have been (at left) the Von Trapp Family Singers during the 1950s and more recently the Chinese Acrobatic Circus (above) during the 2006-07 season.

“We are very excited about this group and are looking forward to their program of Cuban music,” Donaldson said A second Latin-flavored concert is scheduled for April 19, 2015. Alex DePue and Miguel De Hoyos will be the featured

performers. Donaldson said the association is hoping the Hispanic-style music, as well as the three other programs being offered, will continue to attract new audiences. Also scheduled for the coming season is a comedian, Al Simmons; saxophone player and instrument collector Rob Verdi of the Side Street Strutters; and a program of music from the 1960s as performed by songwriter and performer William Florian. “We always try to appeal to a wide audience base. Our programs are as much about education as they are about music,” Donaldson said. “We think this year’s programs are among the best we have scheduled for the Lower see "Perks" next page

september 16, 2014

pride of the valley Daily Sun News - 35

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Lower Valley Community Concert Association board members regularly meet to discuss ideas to spread the word about the concert schedule. “We have a website, a PayPal account and are creating a Facebook presence,” said the board’s publicity chairperson, Larry Wright (standing right). Looking over past community concert programs are (L-R) Virginia Norton, Barbara Skinner and Elizabeth Donaldson.

Perks

continued from page 34

Valley in recent years,” Donaldson added. But she and the rest of the association board are already beginning to think past the coming season to 2015-16. The search for new groups and solo acts to invite to Sunnyside begins a full year before the current season gets underway. The Lower Valley Community Concert board’s determination to bring a variety of arts to the community has a rich his-

tory, one the current board is eager to keep alive. As with previous concert boards, the desire to bring international entertainers to the Sunnyside stage is a sacred obligation music lovers like the Donaldsons and Skinners all take very seriously. ‑ Julia Hart can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JHart@DailySunNews.com

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september 16, 2014

Sunnyside couple works to preserve city’s past and to ensure community’s success in the future by Jennie McGhan

Whether they are volunteering their time on a special committee or restoring a piece of history, Ron and DeAnn Hochhalter believe it is important to use their talents to show pride in the community of Sunnyside. “It’s always nice to take something old and make it part of the community again,” DeAnn said of the couple’s efforts to restore items, such as the town’s old fire siren they refurbished recently and helped to prominently display outside of the Sunnyside Fire Station.

That fire siren is not just a part of Sunnyside’s past, but it is a part of the family’s history, as well. Ron said he remembers what it was like to hear the old fire siren, responding to a call and using his training as a volunteer firefighter to help members of the community. He was a volunteer firefighter for the Sunnyside Fire Department and Yakima County Fire District #5 for more than 30 years. Now, he helps the community in other ways. “Restoring the siren is a way to preserve history and to educate younger generations,” see"Couple" next page

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Couple continued from page 36

he said. DeAnn said looking at the restored, almost new looking siren reminds her of the Fourth of July. The family would stay in town during the holiday, knowing there was a possibility that her husband would be needed for a fire. The family’s interest in the history of Sunnyside runs deeper than the memories of the fire station. The Hochhalters’ business, said Ron, is also a part of Sunnyside’s history. The Hochhalters own Advanced Collision Repair, located on South First Street. The area, said the Hochhalters, was swampy when DeAnn’s father opened a shop there back in 1962. Volunteering their time to preserve Sunnyside and its heritage is important to the couple because future generations won’t have those memories from Sunnyside’s early formative years. “It’s who we are, who we have become,” Ron said of preserving history for future generations. That is the motivation for the couple’s volunteer work, which includes everything from historical preservation to civil service. “You should be involved,” DeAnn said of the couple’s long-standing philosophy. By getting involved, she said, an individual can help improve the community. A person can make a difference. Volunteers step up and lend unique skills and expertise to making a community a great place to live,

said the Hochhalters. The couple has lived in a variety of places because Ron was in the U.S. Air Force, but they chose to return to Sunnyside because of the relationships and bonds they’d developed here. Ron said, “Sunnyside is a really close-knit town.” He said the couple recognizes Sunnyside’s unique make-up and the many people who care about its history, as well as its future. “We don’t like to sit back and assume someone else is going to do something…we know we can help and we do,” DeAnn said, stating she and her husband choose to recognize both the past and future of Sunnyside. Their daughter, DeLeesa Restucci, said, “They believe in being a part of the solution.” It is about recognizing the changes in a community, understanding the impact of those changes and working together with others to ensure a positive outcome for the future, Ron explained. The couple’s volunteer efforts extend beyond preserving historic artifacts and using their business for that purpose. They have been involved as community volunteers in other capacities, as well. “Being involved sometimes means a commitment to serving others, seeing something through and doing what is best for everyone. It isn’t about serving one’s own interests, but the interests of the entire community,” said DeAnn, who is a member of the Sunnyside Planning Commission.

Daily Sun News file photo

DeAnn Hochhalter serves on the Sunnyside Planning Commission. She has volunteered for the commission for more than 10 years. Ron is currently a member of the city’s civil service commission, responsible for approving qualifications of police and firefighters. He said, “I believe I can make a difference in the lives of others…that is why I do what I can to help people and the town.” He recently worked on a flag drop-off box for the American Legion Post as a way to help the community. “I am a veteran and I believe it is important to show respect for the flag and the veterans who fight for this country,” Ron said. DeAnn’s involvement on the planning

commission and the Sunnyside DIG (Downtown Improvement Group) gives her the knowledge and background to help oversee progress in the community. “Everything we do for the community is about showing respect and appreciation for those who live here,” she said. The couple said respecting history, respecting people and respecting the community as a whole is what drives them to serve.

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pride of the valley

september 16, 2014

Mabton native keeps Nuestra Casa’s Lower Valley mission going strong

by Laura Gjovaag

Nuestra Casa, “Our House,” is always open to help people to navigate what can be a difficult world. For more than a decade, the organization has served Lower Valley women, helping them learn English while teaching advocacy skills. Since July of 2013, the organization that primarily was set up to help immigrants successfully make a smooth transition to living in this county, has been run by Dr. Esperanza Lemos. She was hired to take over the executive director position from founder Sister Mary Rita Rohde. Lemos was born and raised in Mabton. She attended the University of Washington and went on to teach in Granger. She worked in migrant education in Sunnyside during that time. After working in education for nearly 30 years, including time in Yakima as the assistant superintendent in West Valley and in Seattle schools, she retired and started to work for the College Success Foundation. “I worked with the same districts and schools I worked with before,” she said. “I knew the people I was working with and they knew me, and knew I could be trusted. That made it easier.” She helped middle school students look forward to college, helping them sign up for College Bound scholarships. During that time she worked with many schools in ESD 105, the South Central Washington Educational Service District. In October of 2012 she ran into Rohde at a meeting. Rohde asked if she was interested in applying for the position of executive director. Lemos was intrigued, and decided to apply.

“It was a smooth transition,” she said. “I worked as the associate director from January 2013 until I took over in July (2013).” Lemos credits having employees who worked for Rohde for a long time with helping make her transition into the position easy. The continuity was a bonus that helped her to ease into her new work. Her job at Nuestra Casa requires a bit of everything, from payroll to public relations. “It’s a lot like managing a school,” she said. “There’s personnel, and now I’m a webmaster.” The organization’s new website (nuestracasasunnysidewa.com) went live in late May, and Lemos is able to quickly edit it from her office. The organization has continued to flourish under Lemos’ leadership. Nuestra Casa has served more than 500 people since January 2014, not counting return visits. The organization has held more than 40 events, including ESL classes, presentations, tax preparation help, food handler classes and information booths at other events. In 2014 Nuestra Casa set a goal of helping 50 women learn self-advocacy. By the beginning of June, 61 women had participated in the classes and workshops. While some of the people they help are well-educated and just need advice or direction, most of the people who come to Nuestra Casa are living in poverty and have only a third-grade education. Some of them are barely literate, even in Spanish. “We get a lot of walk-in visitors who just need help handling services or need information,” said Program Coordinator Luz Rodriguez. “The summer tends to be slightly less see "Mission" next page

Daily Sun News file photo

Dr. Esperanza Lemos (L) poses with Sister Mary Rita Rohde. Lemos took over as executive director of Nuestra Casa in 2013 after six months of training with Rohde, the founder of the non-profit agency.

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Nuestra Casa offers English as a second language classes to adults living in the Sunnyside area. Many of those who take the classes were raised in Spanish-speaking households, some have moved from Mexico or other Latin American countries to find a better life in the United States.

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Mission

Our Family, Serving Your Family

continued from page 38

busy because many people are working out in the fields or staying with children. They don’t have much time.” Rodriguez said more women will seek help in September when the women generally stop working in the fields. The office becomes much more active starting in the autumn. While most people are familiar with Nuestra Casa’s work in teaching English using regular classes and Rosetta Stone, the organization also offers preschool, math classes, citizenship classes, college visits, health information seminars and workshops on how to use banks. Nuestra Casa also is working with Sunnyside schools on engaging parents with their children’s education. It’s a role Lemos is qualified to take on, due to her previous experiences. “My background is in education,” she said. ‑ Laura Gjovaag can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email LGjovaag@DailySunNews.com

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S YEAR Families

Serving The alley of the Yakima V

Smith Funeral Home Daily Sun News file photo

Nuestra Casa Executive Director Dr. Esperanza Lemos speaks at a Rotary club meeting about her work. Lemos has tirelessly promoted the organization since becoming the executive director last year.

T

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photo courtesy of Nuestra Casa

Nuestra Casa Program Coordinator Luz Rodriguez (L) teaches Spanish literacy to a local resident. Many of the adults served by Nuestra Casa have less than a thirdgrade education. Literacy in Spanish can help with literacy in English.

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photo courtesy of Nuestra Casa

Very young children find help at Nuestra Casa, as well. These children are in preschool, learning how to act in classrooms.

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40 - Daily Sun News

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pride of the valley

september 16, 2014


Pride of the Valley