May 2020 Business Connection

Page 1

Business Connection Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Bill Marcum CEO


Chamber reaches out during COVID

May 2020

Volume 12 • Issue 5 Business Connection is published monthly by the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Road • Kelso, WA 98626


Bill Marcum, CEO Amy Hallock, Project Manager Pam Fierst, Office Manager Joelle Wilson, Social Media Service




t’s May 2020 and we are still trying to figure out how and when business can restart, not only in Cowlitz County but in the entire world.

I have talked to many business leaders and it sounds like those who were able to qualify and get government Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are holding their own right now. Those who are still trying to qualify and get their applications into the already bulging system are understandably struggling ■ AT YOUR FINGERTIPS mightily. Keeping You Informed During the past month, maybe longer, the Chamber has been We've posted the latest information as links and pdfs to trying to keep our business help you fight through the pandemic here. members informed about Or visit our website, funding through grants and and click on the COVID-19 Resources box. loans at the state, county and federal levels, as well as other areas like the U.S. Chamber. The options vary and change almost daily. Add to that the emails for employment and unemployment, how to file and how to file for stimulus funds and so much more and it’s overwhelming. All in all, I am getting more than 300 emails a day. About 10 emails per day are the same email sent to me by at least 20 different organizations, wanting to make sure the information gets passed on to our local businesses.

To advertise, call Bill Marcum 360-423-8400 or Ad Deadline 20th of Each Month

Before the pandemic, I did not know what Zoom was, crazy, huh? Now, I have a Zoom account for the Chamber and hosted the Chamber’s Executive Board and board meetings this past month via the app. I have a Zoom meeting nearly every day and several on Thursday and Friday. There are Zoom meetings for Council of Governments, Cowlitz County Commissioners, Washington Chambers of Commerce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Employment Securities, Association of Washington Business, Rotary and For more Virus, see page 3

Business Connection Advertising Rates Effective January 1, 2020 Kelso-Longview Business Connection monthly newsletter is published the first of each month, posted electronically on our website and over 7,000 emailed to local business professionals, city and county officials. To be included in this monthly email, simply call the Chamber office at 360-423-8400. Size

1/16 Page 1/8 Page 1/4 Page 1/2 Page Full Page

1 - 3 Issues $110 $175 $205 $325 $625

4-7 Issues $90 $140 $170 $290 $570

8-10 Issues $70* $105* $140* $245* $480*

12 Issues $50* $75* $100* $190* $400*


2"x2.5" (*Includes ad on website) 4"x2.5" (*Includes ad on website) 4"x5.25" (*Includes ad on website) 4"x10.5" (V) or 8" x 5.25" (H) 8"x10.5" (*Includes ad on website)

All ads include full color and any design work. Deadline is the 21st of the month prior to publication. Digital files: PDF, Tiff and JPEG. Non-Members of the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce please add 30% to above rates. See back for size examples. To advertise or request additional information please contact Amy Hallock at 360-423-8400 or or CEO Bill Marcum at 360-423-8400 or

Advertising Agreement

Date: _____________

Business Name: ____________________________________________ Phone: ____________________ Contact Name: ________________________________________ Cell: __________________________ Address: City: ___________________________________________________________Zip_________ Email: ____________________________________________ Fax: _____________________________ Number of Issues: 12 month agreement





Plus Web Ad: 300W X 100H. Ads can be changed monthly. Signature__________________________________

Ad Rep Signature___________________________

Virus from page 1

several more. I can tell you this...I would rather be at those meetings in-person. Sure miss “seeing” everyone in a non-virtual way. The greatest frustration for me at this time is there’s no aid for the Chamber. As you know the Chamber is a 501c6 business. Chambers across the state did not qualify for the PPP or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funding. Congress limited it to 501c3 and 501c11 organizations. The Chamber depends on its membership for 50 percent of its funding and the other 50 percent comes from events the Chamber hosts throughout the year. So far this has impacted the Chamber in both areas. Many of our members are hurting financially or closed due to the COVID-19 virus and the governor’s “stay home” order, which trickles down to membership dues. I offer a big thank you to those members who have been able to continue to pay their dues and for those who are struggling we understand and are trying to help. We are offering members who find it difficult to pay at this time two options to continue membership: 1) a monthly membership of $26 to lessen the upfront cost; or 2) a 90-day grace period for those businesses that just can’t make it happen right now. We will continue to assist all our members, and really all businesses in the Kelso and Longview area, to get through this ordeal. We continue to update our Facebook page daily; we are still sending our eblasts three times per week, updating members and their employees about which local businesses are open, what specials they are running, how to contact them and how our members can continue to support local businesses.

more than 13 guest columnists focusing on business, government, education and industry- or community-related news. The pricing includes your ad on the Chamber website at no additional charge. The Chamber website receives between 4,500 and 6,500 pageviews per month. What makes that 2,000 pageview difference? Events. Chamber events, events happening within our communities like the Go Fourth Festival, Squirrel Fest, and the largest contributor in any one month, sQuatch Fest, which jumps our pageviews in January to more than 8,000. Take a look, your ad could be a part of all the pages of the Chamber website. You will notice the ads rotate in the top right position and lower right position. For as little as $600 you can get a business card-sized ad in 12 editions of the newsletter and 12 months on the Chamber’s website. In the world of advertising, this is a steal... If you are interested in additional information about advertising in the Kelso Longview Chamber newsletter please contact me at 360-423-8400 or

One way the Chamber is able to bring in some income during this time is through this Business Connection newsletter. As you read through this month’s issue take a look at who is advertising their businesses to you the reader. We are offering a special until the end of the year to our member businesses who would like to run an ad letting members know you are open – providing services, deliveries, take out or shipping. We will provide you with a $100 dollar advertisement for $50 and it will also include an ad on our website that will link back to your web page. Basic information about this newsletter and how it can help you reach local businesspeople and their employees follows.

Consistent Courteous Complete Title and Escrow Services

Advertising Opportunity with the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce – Business Connection Chamber Newsletter The ads you see throughout this newsletter cost between $50 and $400 depending on size and frequency. The pricing is not designed around making money for the Chamber but giving Chamber members the opportunity to advertise business to business and promote your business to employees of those businesses efficiently, effectively and without breaking the bank. The Chamber newsletter is published around the first of each month and distributed electronically to members. Members of our larger businesses, the county, cities, both school districts and Lower Columbia College all forward the electronic version to their staff through email. The total distribution is estimated today at 6,200 copies. The newsletter typically runs between 30-38 pages with

1425 Maple Street • Longview, WA 98632

360.425.2950 Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020 | 3

Kelso Longview Chamber Members Availability Status as of April 29 Thank you for your continued support for local businesses during this crisis. Information changes daily. For a current status update please visit our website at or our Facebook page. Take-Out and/or Delivery/Curb-Side Pickup Open

Open by Appointment Only

Antidote Tap House

Behrends Body Shop

Broadway Gallery (browse online, curbside pickup)

Casey Eye Institute (urgent only)

Diamond Showcase

Century 21 Northstar

Explorer Brewing (Wednesday-Saturday for growler fills and bottles to go)

Country Financial (virtual and phone)

Darrel and Pam Whittle - Realty ONE Group Pacifica (working remotely)

Cowlitz County Public Works

Early Words Toastmasters (Zoom meetings)

Cowlitz Black Bears

Elam’s Home Furnishings (will deliver)

Cowlitz Chaplaincy

Express Employment

Cowlitz County Title

Foster Farms

Cowlitz Habitat for Humanity Office

Golden Ladder Interiors (online orders)

Crime Victim Advocacy and Hope Project (phone appointments)

Goodwill Vocational Training Center (working remotely)

Express Employment (lobby by appointment)

Guild Mortgage (working remotely)

Hopscotch Toys

Housing Opportunities of Southwest Washington (virtual services)


Huntington Learning Center (online tutoring)

Life Works essential staff

Jansen Floral Effects

Lower Columbia Longshoremen’s Federal Credit Union

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce (working remotely)

Noelle McLean PS (phone appointments only, working remotely)

Kelso Treatment Solutions

NW Muddy Puppy

LaPorte Insurance

SlapShot USA

LegalShield – Lisa Peters (working remotely/virtual services)

Specialty Rents and Events (deliveries and taking reservations)

Longview Orthopedic (extra precautions)

Summerland Catering

Mary Kay Cosmetics – Sondra Sampson (virtual beauty experience)

Three Rivers Law Firm

Minuteman Press (order online, curbside and delivery available)

Walstead-Mertsching, Attorneys at Law

Office Depot (temporary hours, order online available)

Fiesta Bonita Focused Nutrition Gallery of Diamonds (3-5:30 pm, M-F curbside pickup) Guse’s Gourmet Coffee Hart C’s J Squared Barrel House Kelso Theater Pub Longview Donuts, LLC Mary’s Bar & Grill Minuteman Press (curbside and delivery) McDonald’s Kelso (use app) McDonald’s Longview (use app) Paperbacks Galore Red Leaf Organic Coffee (will deliver) Roland Winery Sign Print 360 Storyboard Delights (online orders and curbside Saturdays) Teri’s Restaurant Thai in Town

Cowlitz PUD (mail in payments, pay at kiosk or call customer service, office closed) Cowlitz Tribe (medical clinic by phone, only seeing patients with an appointment)

People’s Injury Network Northwest Open – With Any Changes Noted

PNW Metal Recycling

Academy Mortgage (working remotely)

Real Living The Real Estate Group (working remotely)

American Workforce Group

Realty ONE Group Pacifica (working remotely)

All Out Sewer and Drain Service

Renaud Electric Heating and Cooling (open for emergency calls)

Bob’s Sporting Goods (temporary hours)

RiverCities Transit (some route changes)

Dutch Bros

Bob Beal Insurance State Farm (phone, email and online communication only)

Riverwoods Chiropractic and Massage

Fibre Federal Credit Union (lobbies closed, ATM available)

Cascade Title (in office, closed to public)

Heritage Bank (lobbies closed, ATM available)

Cole’s Appliance Repair

KeyBank (lobbies closed, ATM available)

Columbia Wellness

Mary’s Bar & Grill

Community Home Health and Hospice (extra precautions)

McDonald’s in Kelso

Compass Career Solutions (working remotely)

McDonald’s in Longview

CORE Health

Papa Pete’s Pizza

Country Financial (working remotely)

Red Canoe Credit Union (lobbies closed, ATM available)

Country Village Nutrition Shoppe (online ordering available)

Red Leaf Organic Coffee

Cowlitz County Master Gardeners (WSU Extension Office closed but still answering phone, email, messages, zoom classes)

The Sugar Pearl (pickup and delivery) Drive-Through Open Burgerville (10 am-9 pm) Copies Today

Taco Time

Cowlitz County Title (in office, closed to public)

4 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020

Roto Rooter Sewer & Drain SERVPRO of Longview/Kelso Sierra Pacific Mortgage (in office, closed to public) Silver Lake Resort Sign Print 360 (pickups, curbside, deliveries) Stewart Title (in office, by appointment only) The Dog Zone (no training classes) Twin City Laundry (no self-serve, drop off laundry open) Umpqua Bank Home Lending (working remotely) Up to Par Cleaning LLC Windermere Kelso/Longview (working remotely)

Open – With Any Changes Noted (continued)

Happy Kids Dentistry

Omelets and More

Workforce Southwest WA (virtual services)

Hop N Grape

WorkSource (virtual services)


Parks (play structures, restrooms, sport courts, dog park, skate park, community garden) Planet Fitness (will do Facebook Live classes)

Kelso City Offices

Port of Kalama (Interpretive Center, offices, play structures)


Kelso Eagles

Body & Spa Esthetics

Kelso Longview Chamber Visitor Center/Office

C’s Photography

Kelso Public Library

Children's Discovery Museum

Kelso-Longview Elks (kitchen and lounge)

Columbia Theatre

Life Works Community Service Center

Cowlitz Habitat for Humanity Store

Longview City Offices

Cowlitz County Historical Museum

Longview Parks, Rec classes and Office

Cowlitz PUD Lobby

Longview Public Library

Cowlitz Valley Moose

Longview Senior Center

Downtown Nails

Mill City Grill

Express Employment Woodland Office

Mint Valley Golf Course

Fire Mountain Grill

Mint Valley Racquet Complex

Ground for Opportunity

Mount St. Helens Creation Center

Posh on Commerce (will ship orders) Red Kitchen Silver Star Sports Bar & Grill Snap Fitness Stageworks Northwest Sweet Spot The Daily News Office (will still publish) The Office 842 The Red Hat Thrift Store Tibbetts Mercantile Triangle Bowl Triangle Tavern YMCA

Your Locally Owned and Operated Community Bank • Checking, Savings and CDs • Business Loans • Construction Loans • SBA Loans 729 Vandercook Way, Longview

(360) 414-4101

There’s a Difference. Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020 | 5

Workforce Southwest Washington Darcy Hoffman Director of Business Services

Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can take advantage of programs


ince the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have provided information and guidance directly to more than 60 local companies and indirectly to hundreds through town halls and virtual convenings. Many of the questions have involved unemployment insurance and other programs for both businesses and their employees. In Washington, the Employment Security Department (ESD) administers all unemployment insurance programs. They have gone from a record low unemployment rate to an all-time high. ESD is working as quickly as possible to onboard new claims agents and update their technology systems to accommodate the sudden spike in claims and new rules around who is eligible to receive unemployment. Washington is the first state in the nation to launch all three of the major unemployment benefits provisions of the CARES Act – expanding eligibility for unemployment benefits to those previously ineligible such as independent contractors, the self-employed, and those with fewer than 680 hours; increasing weekly unemployment benefits by $600; and extending benefits by 13 weeks. An update to partners earlier this week from ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine said that late on April 18 ESD completed an update to their unemployment system. Since the launch of those updates, almost $900 million has been sent to Washingtonians, bringing the total paid out since the crisis began to nearly $1.4 billion. In the first 36 hours after ESD’s system updates, the number of applications submitted exceeded the highest week on record – the week ending March 28, in which they had 182,000 new applications – which was seven times the peak week of the 2008-09 recession. The best source for the latest updates on unemployment insurance and the federal CARES act as it relates to unemployment insurance and expanding eligibility to those who may not otherwise be eligible is I encourage you to subscribe for updates there as well, as things are changing rapidly. In addition, you can follow ESD on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates. The most common questions we have received from companies over the last few weeks include: 1. How does the SharedWork program work? a. SharedWork allows employers to reduce the hours of permanent and hourly paid (full- and part-time) employees by as much as 50 percent, and the employees can collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages.

participation from the number of employees to the number of hours. 2. How does Standby work? a. In a temporary layoff when the employer plans to rehire a laid off employee (or group of employees), you may request to place the worker or group of workers on Standby. Standby waives the job search requirements while workers are collecting unemployment benefits during the approved Standby period. b. That said, the state of Washington Employment Security Department has temporarily made job search optional. We do not know how long this requirement will be waived. When the waiver is gone, employers can request to place employees on Standby for up to 12 weeks. c. Standby may be requested by the employee or the employer. 3. How can my employees estimate their weekly unemployment benefit amount? a. Employees can use this benefits calculator to estimate their weekly unemployment benefit amount: unemployment/calculate-your-benefit 4. Can those who are self-employed or work in the gig economy apply for unemployment insurance benefits? a. There are a few big changes under the federal CARES Act: i. Eligibility for unemployment benefits is expanded to include many Washingtonians currently not eligible, including many selfemployed people and those that do not have the typically required 680 hours. ii. An additional $600 per week will be available to nearly everyone on unemployment from March 29 through week ending July 25. iii. Benefits will be extended by 13 weeks, for a maximum of 39 (which is about nine months). This includes people who were already on unemployment as well as those who are newly eligible. 5. When can my employees expect to receive the additional $600 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)? a. Under the federal CARES Act, nearly everyone on unemployment will receive an additional $600 per week for up to four months. ESD updated its system to implement these changes and payments will start going out in mid-April. Payments will be retroactive from the time the legislation went into effect on March 29.

b. Save on payroll and retain your skilled workforce.

6. If I lay off workers now, will it affect my ability to qualify for loan forgiveness if I use the Paycheck Protection Program?

c. Flexible, from week to week you can change your level of

For more WSW, see page 7

6 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020

WSW from page 6

a. Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease. More information can be found at

If you have general questions about any of these programs, please contact our Senior Project Manager Alyssa Joyner at 503-410-0408 or and she can get you connected to the best resources.

If you or your employees have general questions about filing for unemployment insurance, register for one of ESD’s live webinars here:

Darcy Hoffman, director business services for Workforce Southwest Washington can be reached at, 360-6084949.

Question / Issue

Washington State Unemployment Insurance FAQ Answer / Response

I cannot get through on the phone lines and need help!

Many questions can be answered by reviewing information on the website This should be your first stop. If you have specific questions about your claim, contact customer service at 833-572-8400.

I can’t get through and am worried I will miss out on some of my benefits!

You will not lose any benefits. You will be paid retroactively to the date you became unemployed, not the date when you filed your initial claim. First, go to the website to see if your questions can be answered and review the checklist of how to apply. If you still have questions, call 833-572-8400 or use the virtual chat on

Do I need to do anything to get the additional $600 per week through the CARES Act?

No, continue to file your weekly claim. Most Washingtonians receiving unemployment insurance will receive the additional $600 per week automatically and it will be paid retroactive to March 29. This includes workers on Shared Work, Standby, and SEAP.

Yes, you are eligible. The Federal CARES Act includes an additional $600/week through the end of July I am already on UI – am I eligible for the and 13 additional weeks of benefits. Anyone on unemployment benefits is eligible. You do not need to new benefits? Do I need to do anything to do anything for the $600, but will need to add the 13 weeks to your existing benefits. Watch for an access them? email that will explain the action you need to take to access those 13 additional weeks. Please see the website for more information. I can’t sign-up for a SAW account

Please watch this video If you still have problems, call customer service at 833-572-8400.

I applied and have not heard back. What’s going on?

There is very high demand – with 1,000% increase in call volumes since the crisis began. ESD is working hard to meet the demand. Check the status on the website and, if you have not heard back in a couple of days, try calling 833-572-8400.

When I am approved, how long will it take to get my money? I was approved and got my first payment, but haven't had any since. What happened? I am self- employed, a sole proprietor, an independent contractor, freelancer or a gig worker. What do I need to do? What documentation will I need to submit?

Approximately 7-10 days. Once approved, you need to file a claim each week. The unemployment week runs from Sunday to Saturday so you need to file a claim each week during this time frame to be paid for the previous week. You can find information about necessary documentation and how to apply at

Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020 | 7

Lower Columbia College Chris Bailey President

LCC responds quickly to pandemic threat


ower Columbia College is still operating – we’re just doing things differently. In mid-March, simultaneously with the World Health

Organization’s pandemic declaration, LCC formed an Emergency Operation Center (EOC) to specifically deal with the crisis. Our EOC immediately agreed on its top priorities in its work: 1. Reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect our vulnerable populations; 2. Communicate effectively to employees, students and the community;

employees to work remotely. LCC also cancelled all events and activities on the campus from March 20-April 14. After some discussion, LCC moved its spring quarter start date two weeks to begin April 20 and end June 18 (rather than April 6-June 18). Moving the date allows faculty and staff to prepare for other changes in our operation as a result of the virus. Registration for spring quarter is now open. Please check our website at for extended dates and deadlines. LCC also created and implemented a virtual one-stop “welcome

3. Maintain academic and community services where possible; and,

center” for students at Spring Quarter classes will be delivered online (and/or remotely)

4. Maintain the economic viability of the institution.

as much as possible. Faculty will be providing more specific

The various departmental units and my entire executive

information to their students via email or Canvas (our online

management team have been working with the EOC to make

delivery platform) before the start of the quarter. Our LCC

significant changes to our operations to meet these objectives.

Board of Trustees approved additional funding, and our LCC

First, upon the recommendation of our EOC, we restricted access to LCC buildings to only faculty and staff (no students or visitors) from March 20-April 14. Subsequently, and consistent with Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, EOC and

Foundation has sought funding, to provide internet access “hot spots” and devices for students who will need them in this new environment. Our first priority is the health and safety of our community. We

my executive cabinet created a list of personnel that are permitted

will continue to provide regular updates as information becomes

to work on campus, and we made arrangements for all other


1157 3rd Avenue, Suite 218

1157 Longview, 3rd Avenue, WA Suite 98632 218 1157 3rd360.952.3100 Avenue, Suite 218 Longview, WA 98632 Longview, WA 98632 360.952.3100 360.952.3100 8 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020

Residential & Commercial




Did you know that Teddy Roosevelt visited Kalama? One auspicious visitor to arrive at the site of the Port of Kalama by train in 1903 immediately saw the potential of the vast region. Teddy Roosevelt himself foretold the success of the yet-to-be established Port of Kalama in a moving speech: “I realize as every thinking man must the wonderful future that lies before this state, for it is one in which in its future development is going to show as great and varied industrial growth as New York or Pennsylvania.� Today, Port of Kalama is one of the jewels of the Pacific Northwest, with prime industrial land, an exceptional Industrial Park and a new Business Park with coveted mixed-use commercial land. More than 30 companies, employing more than 1,200 people, now call the Port of Kalama home. Look at you now, Port of Kalama! Happy 100 years of progress!

Cowlitz County Commissioners Arne Mortensen County Commissioner, District 1

Conversations center around ‘essential’


’m never quite sure what is of interest to the readers of this high quality monthly newsletter. Today I will try another, gasp, departure from the accepted, so I will not be telling how wonderful things are going or bore with the litany of how the BoCC is helping you. And I will not tell you what you can find out easily via documents on the County website. I will dwell on the high-level concepts surrounding our current lockdown that is killing business. The issues of lockdown and defining essential business are an active topic for the BoCC. Below are two parts of this continuing story: What is an “essential business?” Who decides? Who was made the master of “essential?” Until the citizens decided to abdicate their right and obligations to decide this for themselves, they and the free market decided.

❝ Aside from inconvenient constitutional issues, there are common sense issues. No one seems concerned about the costs and consequences. What does this lockdown cost Cowlitz County? …No answer.

Consider a time before the current COVID-19 edicts: A business lives or dies by satisfying a customer’s (essential) needs. No government entity decided whether the business is essential. At least that is the way it was in the U.S.… not so in the USSR, and we know what happened there. We explore this a little more. If a business has a foul smell or is dirty or hires surly staff, people do not shop there, and the business will die. Again, the government did not have to order the people not to shop there, they decided that for themselves. A competitor with better service would prosper while the weak company would die; that is how it worked in the U.S., but not in the USSR. Here the people decided; in the USSR, the government decided, and we know what happened there. The likelihood of being attacked is much greater in a bar in a tough part of town than say, in a lingerie shop in a posh area. Should government shutdown all bars? Really, are bars essential? Government might say no, based on whim and a sense of hubris that they know what is best for you. That is not how we operate(d) in the U.S.; that is how they operated in the USSR, and we know what happened there. Now we explore the current scene controlled by COVID-19 concerns. What has really changed? Why is the individual freedom of association abridged? Why is the Second Amendment suspended? Where in the Constitution is the phrase, “you have these rights unless the government declares an emergency?” We know about infectious diseases in general. And that has sufficed to keep people safe, for example, from pandemics, such as sexually transmitted diseases. Why is this pandemic any different? Granted, we do not know as much as we would like about COVID-19, but we can be cautious and follow the suggestions intended to mitigate contagion. The people do not need the government to shut down any business; the people will decide whether to patronize a business based on their own private 10 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020

assessment of what is essential and what their own personal risks are. Businesses that the public deems too risky will not be patronized; that is how “essential business” should be defined! It is sheer madness to abdicate your responsibility to your safety to the government. It is a road to destruction to yield your rights to the politics of the moment. That history lesson is written in blood and human misery. The Constitutions: The other key part of the story is the fundamental law of the land as expressed in both the state and federal constitutions. None of the governor’s orders are in compliance with either constitution. Our constitutions do not have modifiers that permit the subversion of rights for any cause; those rights are absolute. Marbury v. Madison was an early test of this concept. A more recent test is the Miranda Court that said, “There can be no rule making or legislation that would abrogate the Rights protected in the Constitution.” What many call law, is not law. Let’s consider Article 1 of the Washington State Constitution: • Section 1 is violated by the governor and the legislature frequently; it takes a key issue, though, to illustrate this point. People should not be forced to commit economic suicide, a consequence of the lockdown. I believe the various well attended protests and the many letters sent to the governor indicate that consent is not there. • Section 2 names the U.S. Constitution as the supreme law of the land. The proscriptions about assembly, churches, due process, etc. are violated by the governor’s orders. • Section 7 also is under assault. You can’t fix your plumbing unless we give you a permit, and we aren’t issuing a permit. For more Commissioners, see page 11

Commissioners from page 10

• Section 12 is interesting. Some businesses are “more equal” than others, in Orwellian parlance. So, some businesses can operate, and others cannot! In accordance with the Washington State Constitution, we, elected officials, swear an oath of fidelity to the U.S. and State Constitution. In small and large points, this oath of office is subordinated to expediencies of the moment. Maybe there are some exigencies that require that, but that road never fails to destroy the very essence of the Republic, so it is hard to argue that it should be taken. On April 21, in a 2 to 1 vote, the BoCC extended the declaration of emergency in Cowlitz County. The original vote may have been justified because, so little was known about COVID-19 and the risks were high. The real sway, though, I am afraid, was the concept that state and federal money would flow only if we declared an emergency. A lesser but notable sway was the concept of streamlining actions, such as purchasing. We all admit that streamlining is good; so why do we not do that normally? The

public should be very afraid every time an emergency declaration is made. Aside from inconvenient constitutional issues, there are common sense issues. No one seems concerned about the costs and consequences. What does this lockdown cost Cowlitz County? … No answer. Another issue is the quagmire of “information” that is released daily. Maybe you can sift through World Health Organization documents and learn the truth; I can’t. But what I can see is the destruction of lives as we take jobs away and tear down businesses. Does sheltering indoors help? I just saw an article that said it does not. There is plenty of fodder for discussion. But, shouldn’t the primary goal of any service be Hippocratic? Should not government live by the motto, first do no harm? I am certain that our COVID-19 response has long lasting negative consequences on the economy.

Longview is home to one of the safest hospitals in America.

PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center has earned an “A” from the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. Thanks to the caregivers and providers who made this possible through their meaningful contributions to the delivery of safe, compassionate care every day.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is an elite designation from The Leapfrog Group, a national, independent watchdog that sets the highest standards for patient safety in the United States.

Learn more about PeaceHealth’s commitment to safety at

Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020 | 11

Buiness Toolbox Jerry D. Petrick Certified Business Adviser

Reopening your business: Just because you can – should you?


eginning 3-5 weeks ago the conversations I had with business owners shifted away from “business as usual” to how do I deal with the business environment I am now facing with the COVID-19 virus. Some businesses were forced to close. Some were able to operate but in a different manner; and others saw their level of business explode with requirements to operate differently AND ramp up to levels of activity they had never seen. Owning a business is so great. Every business owner is: • an optimist • a people-person • a brave risk taker Every business wants to get their locations reopened and their employees back to work. There are many arguments, pro and con, about “reopening the economy, when and how.” And in several communities in the U.S. and elsewhere, some reopening of stores and restaurants is occurring. The focus on reopening has prompted me to anticipate questions from clients being posed to myself and my colleagues with the Small Business Development Centers. As a result, we have developed some suggestions and guidance with regard to approaching the whole question of restarting/reopening your business. As you go through the decision-making process outlined below keep in mind the basic premise… When/if you can reopen your business – SHOULD YOU?! Here are some fundamental questions to ask yourself about your business. The questions are always relevant, but NOW they are vital as you contemplate whether to “start” a business in a very different marketplace/economic landscape. Will you have Enough Demand? • Are you truly a destination business? Or do you rely on others to generate traffic? • How loyal is your customer base? How large is it?

Do you have Financial Capacity? • Can you personally fund the losses? How much and for how long? • Is credit available? If so, under what terms; how will you repay it? • Leases and other contractual obligations? • Have you thoroughly considered Chapter 7/13? Are you Operationally Capable? • Will your staff have confidence in the safeguards you are providing in your stores/offices/locations? • Do you have the appropriate technology to manage online sales, delivery, curbside/ in-store/virtual pickup, etc.? • What is the potential liability exposure, if any, if customers or staff become infected by the virus/other impacts? • Do your business locations project cleanliness and safety? Can you honestly say "Yes!" to all three of these questions about reopening? If you can REALLY answer yes to ALL three areas of consideration: 1. Enough Demand 2. Financial Capacity 3. Operational Capability I will ask you the MOST important question: Do you have the “stomach/temperament” to reopen in these times?! Let us work on this together to make the process as easy and effective as possible. The Washington Small Business Development Center is here to help. Be well…be healthy!

• Do you have proprietary, exclusive merchandise or services? • Does your sales staff have a following? • Will your customers be confident enough to resume buying from you? • Is your website and social media effective now? • Will you have a competitive edge? If so, what specifically? 12 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020

This article was compiled using multiple sources including those from the Retail Owners Institute ( by Jerry Petrick, MBA, and certified business adviser with the Washington State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Jerry provides confidential business advisory services by appointment at no cost to the client. He can be reached at


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2020 Kels

o Longvie w Chamb

er Visitor

Guide &

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

announces publication of the 2020 Visitor Guide and Directory! The updated guide to Kelso, Longview and Cowlitz county will be available Tuesday, May 12. This publication will be delivered directly to hotels, motels, restaurants and chamber members during the remainder of the month of May. Inside is 48 pages of information for a fun-filled summer in Cowlitz county including the 40th anniversary of Mount St. Helens spectacular eruption. The 2020 Visitor Guide and Directory will also be available online - just look for a link on our website!

105 Minor Rd, Kelso WA 98626 | 360-423-8400 Fax: 360-423-0432


| Page 13

Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Frank Panarra, President Foster Farms Chris Roewe, President Elect Woodford Commercial Real Estate Lisa Straughan, Vice President Express Employment Professionals Neil Zick, Treasurer Twin City Bank Michael Claxton, Legal Counsel Walstead Mertsching

Cowlitz Economic Development Council Ted Sprague President

Charting long hours toward the winding road to recovery


he Cowlitz Economic Development Council (CEDC) is working overtime to attempt to keep our local economy moving in any way possible. The governor’s office recently announced they are doubling the $5 million for small businesses

(companies with 1-10 employees). To be clear, this does not mean they are reopening the application process. The Department of Commerce will double the amount of grants available for Cowlitz County and will simply take the applications they have received from the CEDC. The original amount was approximately $116,000 and we

Nick Lemiere, At Large Edward Jones

had requests of well over $2.5 million. I am told it will take another four weeks for

Christine Schott City of Longview Councilmember

companies that are awarded a grant must sign a contract with the CEDC in order to

John Paul KUKN-KLOG-101.5 The WAVE Rich Gushman Gibbs & Olson Marlene Johanson Heritage Bank Wendy Kosloski Teague's Interiors Nancy Malone Mayor of Kelso Cherelle Montanye St. John/PeaceHealth

Commerce and ultimately the governor’s office to award contracts for those grants. The obtain funding. We are working with Cowlitz County on the potential for Community Development Block Grants for micro-enterprises (companies with between 1-5 employees). I hope to have more clarity on how that might work the first week of May. Lindsey Cope of the CEDC worked with our partners at the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington to obtain $75,000 for rent relief for businesses in downtown Longview. This has already received an overwhelming response and we are attempting to take it county wide. We hear from many businesses who are looking for updates on the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loans, if you would like to check your status of those programs please go to this website – coronavirus/get-my-payment?et_cid=80982&et_rid=117059593 Our offices in the U.S. Bank building are closed to the public as the bank has closed the lobby to the public. We are following the governor’s directive and are working from

Bruce Pollock Bicoastal Media

home. Please know you can reach out to us by email – or

Tom Rozwod NORPAC

phones, for Ted – 360-430-0848 and for Lindsey – 360-560-3286. Due to the volume of

Lindsey Cope – In addition, we are available on our mobile calls, if your question is not urgent, please utilize our email. This entire situation is incredibly unfortunate and to add to our disappointment the

Ted Sprague Cowlitz Economic Development Council

CEDC is in the middle of an entire remodel of our website. Because of this we cannot

Michael Vorse Minuteman Press

post to our website, but we are posting all breaking news on our Facebook page –

Dennis Weber Cowlitz County Commissioner

Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020 | 15

City of Kelso

City of Longview

David Futcher

MaryAlice Wallis



The money-eating coronavirus

Holding on to hope during these times

ur world has changed a lot in the last six weeks. Few of us are operating in a “business as usual” manner. We’ve seen that spending money only on necessities, and not life’s luxuries, has an incredible impact on our local, national and world economies. While the impacts to business and individual budgets have been near instantaneous, the impacts to government will lag behind somewhat.

or a super social and engaged mayor, I have to say that my first 100 days have been a bit different than expected. Gone for now are daily office hours, in-person meetings with businesses, civic leaders and constituents, and board and commission meetings. No more hugs or handshakes – just gobs of hand sanitizer. I long for the days of face-to-face followthrough. But notwithstanding the current challenges, the council must continue to move forward on topics discussed at the Council Summit and Council Retreat. In coming months, council has a budget to review and adopt, a Beech Street Extension to celebrate with the hope of new businesses bursting into motion, and a homeless encampment in desperate need of attention.


In Kelso, your city is funded by several key sources. Largely, sales taxes, utility payments and property taxes drive the city’s available resources. All of these areas are likely to be impacted by the pandemic. Sales taxes are reported monthly or quarterly to the state, and the state returns the local portion of the tax back to the city. Because the pandemic affected Washington in March, and those sales taxes aren’t paid until late April, we won’t see much impact until early May, when we would normally get most of those sales taxes. However, those sales are likely gone forever, and won’t come back in later periods. Activities like construction and vehicle sales provide substantial portions of the sales tax, and those activities have been substantially limited in Washington. Property taxes are possibly going to be less impacted than sales tax. The property tax will still be in effect, though I expect some residents or businesses may be unable to pay it in a timely manner. A delay in some payments may occur, but with taxpayers knowing they eventually will have to make up the taxes, and with additional penalties, I suspect the bulk of property taxes will be received in a timely manner. Likewise, some residents are going to have trouble paying utility bills on time. The city has been trying to work with customers to avoid shutoffs except for in the most egregious cases. At this point, there’s no reason to expect a substantial permanent decrease in payments. My bigger concern is whether the pandemic causes a recession, which could bring about a longer-term reduction in sales tax receipts. Fortunately, the past several councils and administration in Kelso have worked to create a healthy fund balance. While we may still need to make service reductions both sooner and later in the event of a hit to sales tax receipts, the fund balance will give us a bit of a buffer and help smooth the process. 16 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020


While some of these activities are on a brief hold because they require interaction that is currently restricted, council members and staff have learned to conduct much city business via Zoom webinars and other technologies that can still virtually connect us. As a community, we are being educated by social media videos and websites on COVID-19 awareness. A village of leaders, including the Cowlitz County Incident Management Team led by Chief Dave LaFave, Capt. Robert Huhta, Longview City Manager Kurt Sacha and the City of Longview team, have all been outstanding examples throughout this pandemic. We have been hearing for weeks, “we are all in this together” and “stay the course”, but this COVID-19 response does have us in a bit of a frenzy. Yes, we’re becoming expert hand-washers, mask-wearers, and homeschoolers, and learning what is essential versus nonessential work; but we are all getting a little stir crazy. Will it ever end? On a recent walk in my neighborhood I spied a message in a picture window of a home with the life-size letters H-O-P-E surrounded in colored paper chains. The very sight of the word took my breath away. Shortly thereafter I heard birds calling out from the tall tree tops, and I wondered if they, too, were calling out “HOPE” to their bird friends. We are all in this together, as evidenced by the encouraging outreach efforts and responses of hope I see every day in our community. Seeing others in public spaces wearing their homemade masks to keep themselves and others safe, and hearing of creative ways to communicate while practicing social distancing with others is wonderful to witness. Reinventing ourselves into temporary, “not-so-social” beings can be exhausting and most of us by now simply need a gigantic hug. In times of worry or strife, HOPE is the one thing that we all should tenaciously cling to – hope for a brighter tomorrow, a better outlook, or an encouraging solution to the issues that currently beset us. We hang on – some literally for dear life – and For more Longview, see page 17

New Members Add your business to our growing membership. Call 360-423-8400 Today!

Business Association with opportunities to promote trade through Chamber socials, special events and committee participation. • Annual Meeting and Banquet • Networking Events • Committee Participation • Business Contacts • Quarterly Membership Meetings • Civic Representation • Monthly Business After Hours

Business Services include marketing for your business, referrals and access to Chamber publications and research data. • Mailing Labels • Membership Window Decals • Member Referrals • Ribbon Cutting • Website Links • Member to Member Discounts • Membership Directory • Tax Deduction • Newsletter • Business Card Display • Use of Chamber Logo

Representation through action committees, candidate forums and up-to-date action alerts. • Legislative Representation • Issues Tracking and Information • Task Forces • Candidate Forums • Legislative Update Breakfast

Longview from page 16

we anxiously wait it out, with hope in our hearts and minds that this too shall pass. Years ago, in the midst of an exhausting fight with Lyme disease, I remember a friend asking me, “What has this experience taught you?” Not quite healed, I grumbled something and silently scoffed at the question. I wasn’t ready. In the years that have followed, I’ve often pondered that question and now use it as a strategic tool when faced with hardship. What have I learned from this experience? So, what has this experience, this COVID-19, taught us so far as a community? Have we become more cognizant as a people how to safely intermingle? We are certainly learning how easily viruses are transmitted (6-feet distance, cover mouth, wash hands). Have we learned to get along with less and/or do without? Have we yearned and ached for loved ones, but cannot visit or embrace them? Have we rediscovered the value of simple (and precious) athome time with family, or catching up on projects long forgotten? Have we come up with plans A, B and C for our financial and economic futures? To all these, I would say a resounding, YES. Our experiences, both good and ill, through these singular times will be imprinted in our hearts and minds for years to come. We will learn from these experiences, and they will become the lessons from which we draw for strength and hope for another day. For many of us, these experiences will permanently change the trajectories of our lives. In the face of these hard times, we can benefit from remembering some simple truths: We can do hard things. We will bounce back. We do have grit. We are able to overcome. There will be changes. Even our smallest efforts are not lost. We have accomplished much good by voluntarily following state, county and city officials’ directions. Our efforts, our will, and our collective hope are stronger and more powerful than this virus that has invaded our lives. As with all hard things, there will be suffering and sacrifice – but we will prevail. While my first 100 days as mayor have proven to be challenging, my message today will be the same message I continue to give – HOPE! This setback is temporary, even if it seems to linger – and it may; but whatever hardships or struggles come our way, I know if we move forward with hope it will make us stronger as a people and a community. Courage and carry on friends.

• Demographics Publication

Membership Packages Basic • $275 or $26 per month Bronze • $500 or $46.66 per month Silver • $1,000 or $86.33 per month Gold • $2,500 or $211.33 per month Platinum • $5,000 or $416.66 per month Diamond Club • $10,000 or $834 per month Nonprofit • $180 or $18 per month

Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020 | 17


January 14: Specialty Rents February 11: Wheeler & Columbia Ford March 10: Kelso/LV Elks April 14: Teri’s May 19: Cowlitz Title CANCELED June 9: Port of Longview July 14: American Workforce Group August 11: Mint Valley Golf Course September 15: Rotary October 13: Farm Dog Bakery @ Life Works November 10: Monticello Park Prestige December 8: Holiday Mixer

Calendar May 2020 Sunday















POSTPONED Leadership Boot Camp 2.0























Education Committee Meeting

Business After Hours – Cowlitz Title

Pillars of Strength/ Golden Apple Awards

Ambassadors Meeting

LCP Meeting, 4pm

Leadership Boot Camp 2.0

Leadership Boot Camp 2.0

Leadership Boot Camp 2.0


June 2020 Sunday












POSTPONED Leadership Boot Camp 2.0




9 Business After

















26 Quarterly



29 Chamber


Golf Tournament – Three Rivers Golf Course

Hours – Port of Longview

Leadership Boot Camp 2.0

Luncheon – Kelso Elks Lodge

Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020 | 19

Tune in to…

Your Chamber Connection Wednesdays 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm KEDO 1400 AM or 99.1 FM Call in

360-423-6967 or

360-425-6508 Featuring your hosts: Carey Mackey - Red Canoe Credit Union Karen Sisson - Stewart Title Shawn Green - Longview Kelso Servpro Marc Silva - Columbia Bank

Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments Bill Fashing CEO

Counting on you to fill out the census


he U.S. Census Bureau has announced delays in the overall process but please continue to share the importance of completing the census with your employees, family and friends. During these trying times when most of us are following stayat-home orders to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, I wanted to draw your attention to the critical operation of the 2020 census. I hope that the month of May will bring about a stronger ability for all of us to interact and begin efforts to recharge the economy. Many homes received their invitation to answer the census in the mail or it may have been left at their homes if they have a Post Office box or rural route address. Unfortunately, many homes with PO boxes and rural route addresses did not receive their invitation because the Census Bureau had to suspend its field operations in the middle of March due of the virus. The remainder of this operation will begin June 13 and end July 9. If you have a PO box as the primary location to receive mail and did not receive an invitation you can still answer the census, but at this time you are recommended to wait until you receive your census ID prior to completing the census. If you chose to complete the census without your specific ID, a census worker may visit you later this year to verify your information. There are three easy ways to participate in the census: 1. Answer online at 2. Call toll-free to 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish). Call centers are open from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. 3. Return a paper form via the mail (this option is only available if you received a paper form in the mail or if one was left at your home) At this time, Cowlitz County has exceeded a 55 percent selfreporting level of all household, which is outstanding. Despite this, we all need to continue to push and support a complete count of all of our area households to ensure a full count of our population and secure state and federal funding in the coming decade.

Here is the latest schedule of activity from the Census Bureau. Operations Update (as of April 13)

Operation Self-Response Period Group Quarters (paper and e-Response) Field Operations Begin Update Leave Group Quarters (in-person enumeration) Non-Response Follow-Up Transitory Locations Counting the Homeless Mobile Questionnaire Assistance

NEW SCHEDULE March 12 – Oct. 31

Previous Schedule March 12 – Aug. 14

April 2 – Sept. 3

April 16 – June 19

June 1 June 13 – July 9

April 15 March 15 – April 17

July 1 – Sept. 3

April 16 – June 19

Aug. 11 - Oct. 31 Sept. 3-28 TBC

May 28 – Aug. 14 April 23 – May 18 April 29 – May 1


April 13 – Aug. 14

Adjusted Mailing Schedule (as of April 17)

Operation Fourth Mailing (paper questionnaire) Fifth Mailing (final reminder)


Previous Date

April 8-30

April 8-16

April 27 – May 9

April 20-27

Other Census Matters Call to Action on the Census – Do you have a visible location that you can hang a Census banner? Support the census and put a banner up for all to see. If you have interest let me know I we will try to provide the banner for use at your site. The Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG), through the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Complete Count Committee, has materials available for distribution to encourage community wide participation in the census process. You can make requests for postcards or fliers to Watch for other census materials possibly heading our way. According to NPR, the Census Bureau has received emergency approval from the Office of Management and Budget to solicit input through an online survey link to 13.8 million homes over 12 weeks beginning in late April or early May. The work is intended to measure employment, spending, food/housing security, education disruptions, physical/mental wellbeing during COVID-19 pandemic. Watch for an official Census Bureau email or text about the new “Household Pulse Survey” that might be coming to you. Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020 | 21

Mind Your Own Business (At The Library) Elizabeth Partridge Adult Services Librarian – Longview Public Library

Digital resources for business and you through the Longview library


n these times of uncertainty and daily change, the Longview Public Library is putting all your information needs together in one place for business, online learning resources, and health and wellness. On our Small Business Recovery information page, you will find links to our local partners the Small Business Development Center, Cowlitz Economic Development Council, the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce, City of Longview, Cowlitz County, state and federal resources and more. We update it with new information and add important links as they come in, http://www. You will also find links for employees who need to file for unemployment or look for a new job. We are partnering with Cowlitz Wahkiakum WorkSource, Lower Columbia College and Goodwill to provide virtual hiring events and resume writing and review help. If you have questions about how to file for benefits, where to apply for work, or how your resume looks you can contact us through the Ask

Service is the difference!


Deanna Cornelison

Kristy Norman

Jason Hanson

Darren Plank

Dyann Crayne

Leah Stanley

Escrow Officer

Title Officer

Escrow Officer/LPO

Title Officer

Title Officer Title Plant Administrator

Title Officer

Accurate Reliable Timely Locally Owned 1159 14th Avenue , Longview, WA 98632 360.423.5330 22 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020

a Librarian form on our web page or by emailing me at elizabethp@ If we can’t help you directly, we will refer you to the organization that can. If you are looking at ways to improve your knowledge around employment, small business, or business development, is a great place to start, php. On, you can search for free classes on topics like project management, accounting, learning Excel, writing a business plan, learning computer programming, or even writing a resume and cover letter. To use on our web page you will need a Longview library card, but if you have a Longview address, you can apply for a digital access card on our library catalog page at https:// Simply click on log in and follow the prompts. You will receive email confirmation of your card and barcode and can start searching for classes you want to take. If you don’t live in Longview or the mini-district, you can check your home library for the same or similar resources. If the local library does not have what you are looking for, there are still options out there. SCORE maintains a library of information that is available for free to anyone. SCORE volunteers also teach a monthly small business seminar at the Longview Public Library. These seminars have moved to a virtual platform, but are still very well done and informative. Keep an eye out for the May seminar on the Library’s web and Facebook pages, information is coming soon. In the meantime, they have more than 240 recorded webinars. https:// In addition to resources for businesses and entrepreneurs, there are links to distance learning help for kids and families, links to health information, and of course, links to books. Since we are all living in a very stressful time and experiencing extreme uncertainty, you can take advantage of the library’s resources to help you navigate change and stay healthy. You can access periodicals and world news through our online databases. You can check out books on relaxation, cooking, crafts, or humor to help get you through the tough times. You can also use hoopla to check out comic books, movies, or music to give your brain a break. You can even learn how to paint by watching Paint with Daniel on our YouTube page. Remember, we are all trying our best with what we have – and through the library, you have a lot to choose from. Check for access to all these resources. If you have any questions or need access to library resources, please contact me at the email address provided earlier or use the Ask a Librarian form on our webpage. We are here to help and look forward to seeing you back at the library.

It takes a community to raise a curtain. Your $38 will make a difference. STRANGELY QUIET.

Imagine for a moment sitting quietly in an empty Columbia Theatre. Sit there long enough and you can feel the history of past performances echoing off the walls—a renowned musical group, a stand-up comic, a Broadway touring show, dance, classic film—or as important, the memory of watching someone very close to you spread their joyful, youthful wings. At the Columbia Theatre it is quiet these days. Strangely quiet for an organization used to lighting up the night some 80 times a year. Our world has changed. But, pausing to think about what kind of future we want is not a bad thing. And I hope you believe the Columbia Theatre should be a part of that future. SATURDAY APRIL 18, 2020


This fall marks our Columbia Theatre Association’s 38th year and we are going to need your generosity now more than ever to get through. If you have already made a gift to the Columbia Theatre this year, thank you!!! If you have not gotten around to it yet, won’t you consider renewing that gift and kicking in an additional $38—that’s $1 for every one of the 37 years the association has been a part of this community, and then one more dollar just to bet on our future! If you have never given at all—your gift of $38 can make all of the difference in the world especially as we move beyond these times into a new and bright chapter.


A lifetime of memories—that is what the Columbia Theatre and the Columbia Theatre Association is all about. You see, the building is just bricks and sticks and plaster and paint without the performances made possible by more than 150 volunteers, sponsors, a dedicated, professional staff, and 400 generous Friends. We’re still here and we will be back with a terrific 38th season this fall. Please help to make that possible. Thank you. Gian Paul Morelli, Executive Director


The Federal CARES Act includes a $300 “above the line deduction” for all taxpayers. That means if you pay taxes, you can deduct a $300 donation to a nonprofit, no matter what you earn! This deduction applies to individuals, and households (but not Donor Advised Funds). All gifts made in 2020 are eligible. • 360.575.8499

Kelso Public Schools

Longview Public Schools

Mary Beth Tack

Dan Zorn



Our very own hidden, frontline heroes

Keeping kids engaged in learning

n March 12 the world, and work, of education changed drastically, although we didn’t know it then. That was the last day our students roamed the halls of Kelso schools. What began as a temporary closure, became extended through the end of the school year; and with it a whole host of changes for students, parents, teachers, and staff.

ince my last Chamber column, the school closure went from being temporary to extending through June 19. With the school closure extension, the outstanding employees at Longview Schools have been working hard to engage parents and students in remote learning.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, even with the school closures, districts are playing vital roles in the community. We continue to provide meals and learning opportunities for students, albeit in different ways. Some of these things require staff to work in ways that may put them at a higher risk of exposure, making them our very own frontline heroes. Kelso School District also has many hidden heroes: people behind the scenes, with tasks and jobs just as vital. Each week we’ve been highlighting and celebrating our heroic people and teams who are working to keep things going during the extended COVID-19 closure. We’ll continue spotlighting them through the end of this school year, which is now June 19. So far, our featured heroes have been custodial staff, instructional coaches and learning packet assembly team, technology team, Chromebook distribution team, special education team, and our nutritional services team. You can read about them at In addition to showing our gratitude for our staff heroes, we’d like to extend our sincerest thanks for all the work done by frontline and hidden heroes in our community. We appreciate everything you do.


On April 15, teacher driven remote learning started using a blend of online instructional delivery and printed materials. I am pleased to tell you the engagement levels have been fantastic. Students at all grade levels are logging into digital lessons and teachers are working with families to support their learning needs. Changing from a traditional school model to remote learning in a few short weeks has been a huge challenge, but our dedicated educators are doing all they can to create a valuable learning experience for our students. To support remote learning Chromebooks are essential. Our high school students checked out approximately 2,000 Chromebooks at the beginning of the year as a part of our initiative to have laptop computers in their possession throughout the school year. Since the closure was announced, we have checked out more than 1,000 additional Chromebooks to students in elementary and middle school to support their remote learning needs. In total, about 3,000 Chromebooks are being used by students to learn during the COVID-19 crisis. These resources were supplied through our technology levy voters approved three years ago – and we are deeply grateful for them. Celebrating our graduating seniors this year is very important. We kicked off celebrating our graduates with a Facebook Live broadcast from Memorial Stadium on April 17, called Friday Night Lights. Every Friday, from now through June 5, the lights at Memorial Stadium will be turned on at 8:20 p.m., which is 2020 in military time. The scoreboard is set to a score of 20 to 20 and the lights will remain on for 20 minutes. These symbols are meant to bring attention to, and applaud, the hard work and achievement of this year’s graduating class. You will also see us highlighting seniors on the district website and through social media. The meal distribution program that started immediately after the initial school closure announcement, has served thousands of meals. We’ve seen the demand for meals grow over the last several weeks and we’re now serving more than 500 kids a day both breakfast and lunch. We are now in the process of For more Longview Schools, see page 25

24 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020

Longview Schools from page 24

expanding our meal distribution program so that even more students can be served. The need in our community is great and we are thankful we can provide. Our Family Resource Center is also distributing weekend food packages to families with the greatest needs. During tough times people and organizations often rise to the challenge. The team at Longview Schools is rising to the challenge, but it wouldn’t be possible without support from our families and the community and its businesses. Please know we are very grateful and appreciative of your support, not just now, but all through the year. If you have any questions about our schools please reach out to me. Stay safe and healthy.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020 | 25

News & Events

News and events come from our website and press releases To see more visit

The City of Longview to reopen some outdoor recreation activities

In conjunction with Gov. Jay Inslee’s April 27 press release, the City of Longview will open specific outdoor recreation opportunities with appropriate safety precautions in place. On May 5, the city will open Community Gardens, Gerhardt Garden Dog Park, Mint Valley Golf Course and allow for fishing at all city areas. The City of Longview will follow the COVID-19 restart requirements and recommendations to keep a safe and healthy facility in accordance with state and federal law. The activities being reopened are viable and relatively low risk, however there will be additional precautions in place to ensure the safety of the park users, staff, and officials. For full regulations and restrictions, information can be found at,, and Playgrounds, public restrooms, sports fields and courts are closed. These amenities promote gathering and offer multiple touch points that cannot be disinfected between uses. These amenities will remain closed until further notice. “Outdoor recreation is one of the best things we can do to promote physical, mental and emotional well-being for

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Washingtonians during a time of great stress and isolation, and springtime in our state is Washington at its best and people want to be out enjoying outdoor activities in a safe and responsible way. This is not a return to normal. This is only a beginning phase of relaxing outdoor recreation restrictions.” Inslee stated. All outdoor activities include guidelines and restrictions such as: 1) anyone exhibiting any cold or flu-like symptoms shall not participate in outdoor recreation activities; 2) any park facilities may be closed at any time if there is reason to believe unsafe conditions exist or social distancing practices are not being adhered to; 3) people should recreate locally and not travel further than necessary to do so; 4) limit your recreation partners to only those who live within your household; 5) practice social distancing in all areas when you encounter others; and 6) bring your own personal protective equipment and supplies to help protect yourself and others in the community. Public gatherings, events, team sports, and other organized activities are still prohibited during this time and are not resuming until further notice.

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26 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020

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The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce would like to THANK the following loyal members for renewing their partnership with us this May. Heritage Bank - Longview Biggs Insurance Services Clay Bartness Comcast Dick Hannah Toyota McCord Bros. Nissan Dodge Millennium Bulk Terminals Minuteman Press Servpro of Longview/Kelso Sierra Pacific Mortgage Twin City Bank Waste Control Recycling, Inc. Woodford Commercial Real Estate

News & Events

News and events come from our website and press releases. To see more visit

Secondary students invited to participate in virtual panel from industry experts Educational Service District 112 invites the public to join in a series of virtual panels where industry experts answer presubmitted questions. This event is open to all middle and high school students. For information email Scott.Culbertson@ Topics are: May 5 - Women in STEM May 12 - Business and Finance May 19 - Animal Health May 26 - Natural Resources June 2 - Construction and Engineering June 9 - Human Health June 16 - High Tech Manufacturing and Technology Submit a question: ot_31DWYyJkVjg5eqD View videos: mU7WudFXnhJ6EVEnqXjMkmA2

Longview Police Department closes Highlands Satellite Office Longview Police Department has permanently closed its Highlands Satellite Office. The office was located at 216 30th Ave. behind the St. Helens grocery store. Through the generosity and public interest of Cathryn Lenertz, the City of Longview maintained a satellite office in the Highlands Neighborhood from September 27, 1996 until August 31, 2016. The satellite office was purchased and the new owners allowed the police department to occupy that space until the end of April 2020. The Longview Police have moved back to the main station located at 1351 Hudson St. Although the public will not have access to a police satellite office, the police department continues to provide services as usual out of the main station. People may call the nonemergency dispatch number to report crime. The number, which operates 24/7, is 360-577-3098. The Cop Logic online police reporting tool is available 24/7 from the comfort of your home and can be accessed at www. This tool is available for reporting crimes where a suspect is not known and can involve hit and runs with no injuries, identity theft, lost property, theft, theft from a vehicle, vandalism and vandalism of a vehicle. Eventually, once the main office is reopened, other services previously provided at the satellite office will be continued through the main office. These services include landlord tenant letters, bicycle registration, crime prevention outreach, community outreach and alarm letter notices. Kelso Longview Business Connection | May 2020 | 27

News & Events

News and events come from our website and press releases. To see more visit

Safe Kids offers child passenger safety certification technician training

Safe Kids Lower Columbia is bringing a Child Passenger Safety Technician Course to our local area thanks to a grant through the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Attendees will learn about child safety seats and vehicle safety along with other information that will keep children safe while riding in vehicles and become a certified car seat technician. Lunch, snacks, beverages and all course materials are provided for every participant and is included in the cost of class. The class is scheduled for Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue Station 25, 1796 Westside Hwy., Kelso, May 13-16. Participants must attend every day. Classroom and testing is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 13-15; car seat clinic 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 16. The class is limited to 10 students. Registration is on a firstcome, first-served basis. Go to to register. Registration fee is $140 ($95 due online at time of registration; $45 by mail (701 Vine St., Kelso, WA 98626) within two weeks of course. Registration includes two-year certification. For information contact Brandi Ballinger at 360-575-6280 or

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