August 2020 Business Connection

Page 1

Business Connection Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

Last year's winners

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Bill Marcum CEO

k August 2020

Volume 12 • Issue 8 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

FORE! Safety protocols in place, golf tournament is a go


he Chamber Golf Classic is happening Aug. 17 at Three Rivers Golf Course. I know, right? Most of you are thinking “really”? Seems like every event the Chamber normally puts on has been postponed or cancelled and right now it seems most of those that have been moved into October and November will not happen since we are stuck in Phase 2. We moved the Chamber Classic from June 15 to Aug. 17 and not much has changed in the county as far as the safety protocols for outside events like golf tournaments. I played in the Vancouver Chamber Golf Tournament in June so I was able to see firsthand how and what those safety protocols need to be. The Chamber is working with the Elks Club, Three Rivers Golf Course and Shamrock Grill and Spirits to do everything to ensure a safe tournament.


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

I am amazed at the support we have received for what maybe our only event of the year. By July 23 we had all our sponsorships filled. Stirling Honda is once again our overall tournament sponsor. On the following page is a list of all the sponsors for this year’s tournament. Over 38 businesses stepped up to sponsor this event. We are so grateful for the great participation. On the players’ side, we decided to limit the tournament to 26 teams of four. Safety protocol for golf tournaments does not allow a shotgun start, so we will be teeing off on holes No. 1 and No. 10 between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. with eight-minute tee times. Teams are asked to show 30 minutes prior to their tee time, please no earlier than that. First priority will be to get teams to their golf carts, then to C’s Photography for a team photo. There can be no more than 10 at the driving range at any one time and no more than eight on the putting green for the Fibre Federal $5,000 Putting Contest, leaving only about 10 minutes to grab lunch from the Shamrock Grill and make tee time... ON For more Golf, see page 2

Golf from page 1



As of July 28, we had filled our field of 26 teams. Never, in my previous nine Chamber tournaments have we had every spot filled three weeks before the tournament. Normally, the day before we are signing teams up... not this year.

Title Sponsor

Thank you to everyone who sponsored and is playing in what could be one of only two Chamber events this year... the first was sQuatch Fest in January and now the Golf Classic in August. It has been a strange and challenging year for all of us... Let’s have some fun!

Par 3, Hole 3

Stirling Honda

Hole Sponsors Hole 1 Red Canoe Credit Union Hole 2 Stewart Title Pawn Shop and More

Hole 4 Riverwoods Chiropractic Hole 5 Sho Me Real Estate Hole 6 Three Rivers Eye Care Hole 7 Columbia Ford Par 3, Hole 8

Futcher Group

Hole 9 McDonald's of Longview Near Hole 11

PeaceHealth Foundation

Hole 10

Edward Jones

Hole 11 D&C Lemmons Hole 12

State Farm Scott Fischer

Hole 13

Heritage Bank

Hole 14


Par 3, Hole 15

Global Security

Hole 16

Les Schwab

Par 3, Hole 17


Hole 18


Score Card Sponsor

The Dailey News

Putting Contest

Fibre Federal Credit Union

Tee Prize Sponsor

Foster Farms

Lunch Sponsor

Elam's Furniture

Lunch Sponsor

Shamrock Grill

Driving Range Sponsor

Cascade Title

Photo Sponsor

Propel Insurance

Photo Sponsor

PNE Corp

Photo Sponsor

C's Photography

Reprographics 19th Hole Sponsor

Signature Transport

Cup Sponsor

Alpha Partners

Flag Sponsor

Alpha Partners

Cart Sponsor


Hole in One

Express Employment Pros

Dinner Sponsor

Twin City Bank

Dessert Sponsor

Coldwell Banker-Bain

Score Board Sponsor Lining up a beautiful tee shot down the fairway last year

2 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020

Registration Table

Cowlitz County Title

Door Prize Sponsor

The Gallery of Diamonds


Monday, August 17, 2020 Safety Protocol Changes • Tee Times front and back starting at 11am-1pm • No Awards Banquet - each player will receive a $20 Gift Card for dinner at the Elks. • No More than 10 at a time on the Driving Range • No More than 5 on the Putting Green at one time. Thank you John Paul for this great photo!

The Game is On! A fun day is scheduled! Make your Reservations Early!

Early Entry Fee: $500 per Team of 4 (Price goes to $600 on August 7) $125 per Individual ($150 after August 7) Includes: Lunch, driving range, $5,000 putting contest, $10,000 hole-in-one opportunity, a great tee prize and two carts per team.

26 Team Maximum - Don’t delay! Call today! Register at or call the Chamber at 360-423-8400


Buiness Toolbox Jerry D. Petrick Certified Business Adviser


Ideas for adapting your business in changed times

s summer transitions to autumn, I thought I would share some research and trends we have come across that might spark some new thinking for you. What follows is a collection of viewpoints and ideas for reimagining the retail landscape in our changed world. I hope one or more of these tidbits will prove helpful or at least inspire some new thinking for you and your business. “Retail Marketing Strategies to Prioritize During COVID-19” by SmarterHQ • Pivoting: current customer landscape (see article for details)

o Sensitivity is paramount

o Distraction is at an all-time high

o Treat these data different

o Stay flexible

• Campaigns and strategies to focus on now (see article for details)

o Leverage in-store data to move customers online

o Offer convenience with website personalization

o Launch product alerts to combat inventory issues

o Use product recommendations to your advantage

o Keep an eye on customer wish lists

“COVID-19 and the Transformation of Retail” by Nicole Srock.Stanley • In addition to this, we are experiencing a quantum leap in digitalization. • Another interesting example is live stream shopping. For example, has been running this service in order to create a bridge between closed shops and consumers at home. • In addition to this, Google local inventory ads can advertise nearby available products that can be delivered by bike courier. Retailers could also create their own shopping channel through Instagram. • In addition, a new way of thinking is likely because of the pandemic. People will begin to question whether they really need to consume, and what they actually need to buy. Conscious consumption will be an emerging trend. • The human factor will become essential, especially for small retailers and manufacturers. In this new hyperlocal environment, we will discover our favorite stores and come to love our local 4 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020

suppliers. Community is cool. • Therefore, my advice is: transform! Give space to disruptive ideas, try out new things and be a creative visionary. Creativity is the currency of the future and right now it counts more than ever. We can change the existing model of “profit, people, planet.” Instead, we can work toward “planet, people, profit” – in exactly that order. “Adapting to the next normal in retail: The customer experience imperative” by Holly Briedis, Anne Kronschnabl, Alex Rodriguez, and Kelly Ungerman (McKinsey and Company) • In the United States, e-commerce availability and hygiene considerations are increasing store switching behavior, with 17 percent of consumers shifting away from their primary store. Many customers have also tried new omnichannel models: buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) grew 28 percent year-over-year in February compared with 18 percent in January, and grocery delivery is up by 57 percent • Consumers report high intention to continue using models such as BOPIS (56 percent) and grocery delivery (45 percent) after the pandemic. • Looking forward, we believe retailers should focus on five actions to build more resilience in their customer experience and to emerge even stronger in the recovery: (see article for details)

o Double down on digital

o Inject innovation into omnichannel

o Transform store operations and win on ‘SafeX’ (safe experiences) “The Pandemic is Rewriting the Rules of Retail” by Denise Lee Yohn (Harvard Business Review) • To start, retailers must adapt their brick-and-mortar operations to comply with health-and-safety regulations and meet basic customer expectations. This includes mask wearing, ensuring physical distancing, and controlling the number of employees and customers in stores, instituting contactless transactions, improving speed of service, and introducing more self-service options. • Retailers also need to offer a simple and seamless e-commerce experience — from browsing to researching, selecting, purchasing, and returning/exchanging. Customers will no longer tolerate subpar digital shopping experiences like they may have before the crisis. Retailers must make sure their sites are mobile-responsive, For more Petrick, see page 5

Petrick from page 4

offer integrated services such as “buy online pick up in store” (BOPIS), and deliver a consistent, reliable digital experience across devices and channels. “COVID-19 and the Impact of Retail: Part 2” by Matthew Wagner, Ph.D. (Main Street America) • Presents an agglomeration of many economic and societal trends resulting from COVID-19 and explores how those shifts may translate into new product/service opportunities. Here are 10 postCOVID-19 business opportunities broken down into four main sector categories for Main Streets to consider: • Health and fitness: bike and e-bike retail, fitness tech., nutritionbased products

hampered by the inability to support online orders, Curtin took to video to explain their “low-tech online store,” where customers could place orders by phone or email for virtually anything in the store or from a curated selection of personal items and gift ideas displayed online. • In particular, she found gift care packages in great demand, with preselected items or ones customized for the customer by phone or via Facetime so customers can see the item. • “On social, we’re trying to keep people laughing. It is about more laughing and fun, not much about selling,” Curtin says, as she points to a series of videos, she has posted to brighten her customers’ mood and remind them that she is still there.

• Products/services for the home: home office equipment and décor, kitchen and cooking, home gardening

“How to Pivot Quickly As A Brick And Mortar In The Wake Of COVID-19” by NJ Falk (Forbes)

“Main Spotlight: COVID-19 Trends and the Impact on Retail” by Matthew Wagner, Ph.D. (Main Street America)

• Josh Zad, CEO of Alfred, who opened his first location with its trademarked "But First, Coffee.” catchphrase on tree-lined Melrose Place in 2013, is facing what many retailers are around the country. How do you pivot as a brick and mortar during temporary COVID-19 closures?

• We can glimpse the importance of the third human craving— connection to product—in e-commerce sites like Etsy. By featuring the products of independent makers, artists, and artisans, Etsy may represent the best online example of experiential shopping from a product perspective. • Know the fundamentals (see article for details)

• To effectively pivot, Zad explained “that our current climate has made the importance of interpersonal connection and IRL (in real life) communication that much more apparent, and we have no doubt that once this is behind us, people will appreciate the cafe and dining experience more than ever.

• Incremental (not big fix) change

• Keep your community engaged and uplifted

• How they create community with their customers?

But wait…there’s more!

• What makes them unique and why will their customers return (value proposition)? • Focus on the consumer’s craving for experiential • This will need to be coupled with an authentic message around safe shopping practices, not simply a reopen proclamation. As we have seen over the last few weeks, reopening to be successful will require a societal contract between an individual consumer and their fellow shoppers, workers, and business owners. “How Main Street Retailers Can Survive Coronavirus And Get Ready for Reopening” by Pamela N. Danziger (Forbes) • It is you and your staff that give them what they really crave: a sense of community along with the products they may buy. • For Leon and Lulu, which previously was an 100 percent in-store business, being able to provide online ordering was an immediate need. The company’s internal point-of-sale and inventory-management system could not accommodate online orders. Rather than be

“Survey: US Consumer Sentiment During the Coronavirus Crisis” by McKinsey & Company “US Ecommerce 2020 Report: Coronavirus Boosts Ecommerce Forecast and Will Accelerate Channel-Shift” by Andrew Lipsman and Cindy Liu (eMarketer) “The Pandemic Will Change American Retail Forever” by Derek Thompson (The Atlantic) I hope this interrupted some of your usual thoughts about what is and is not going on in business today – feel free to reach out to the Small Business Development Center to kick your own ideas and strategies around. This article was researched and compiled by Jerry Petrick, MBA, and senior certified business adviser with Washington State University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC provides confidential advisory services at not cost to the client. For service contact the SBDC at Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020 | 5




Did you know something fishy happened here in Kalama? Something fishy happened where the Port of Kalama sits today. The Doty Fish Company was hatched in 1895. Built right on the Columbia River, fishermen could unload their catch directly to the processing plant taking advantage of the deep-water port—a feature the Port of Kalama capitalizes on to this day. Through the intersection of the river and rail, the world got a taste of Pacific salmon. Yum! We hope you’ll enjoy this entertaining video celebrating our 100th birthday! Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

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 Nick Lemiere, At Large Edward Jones Christine Schott City of Longview Councilmember John Paul KUKN-KLOG-101.5 The WAVE Rich Gushman Gibbs & Olson Marlene Johanson Heritage Bank Wendy Kosloski Teague's Interiors

Washington Hospitality Association Anthony Anton President and CEO

Never lose faith


e are not standing here today facing additional restrictions because of a lack of hard work.

We’ve got tremendous compliance from many hospitality businesses out there. We see you working hard to comply. Our team at the Washington Hospitality Association has worked around the clock on your behalf throughout the past weeks to ensure all indoor dining doesn’t get shut down completely as we watched coronavirus cases continue to increase. Today brings really hard news with the closing of entertainment centers until Phase 4 and the indoor dining closure of four license types: tavern, winery, distillery and brewery. It likely means the end of some of our favorite places in Washington. Rest assured, the association will do everything it can to help these members transition their licenses and/or explore solutions to stay open. Today’s additional restrictions will have long-lasting impacts for many of our members. We’re frustrated that so much of our economy is at risk and disappointed in the announcement. This is such a crazy time. A very small group of people decide the fate of our industry. If they don’t trust us – we won’t reopen. We will stay frozen in these phases. More restrictions will be handed down. We need compliance, mask wearing and for these cases to drop. Demonstrate strong compliance so we can be trusted to fully implement the new phases. We need the spike in cases to go down so solutions we have proposed for alternatives to six-foot distancing between tables and six guests per table will be considered. Be diligent about screening employees when they come in for work and managers must send ill workers home immediately. An employee who feels safe working in your restaurant leads to guests who feel safe in your restaurant. Don’t overlook the importance of employee compliance and their sense of security.

Nancy Malone Mayor of Kelso

Take compliance up a notch with your guests. Do not let guests mingle and walk around – they can infect many people. Ensure they are wearing a mask when walking to the restroom.

Cherelle Montanye St. John/PeaceHealth

If we follow the restrictions and are more adamant about enforcing them we could positively impact the case numbers.

Bruce Pollock Bicoastal Media Tom Rozwod NORPAC Ted Sprague Cowlitz Economic Development Council

We need our government’s trust that we can get this right. We need to keep our guests and employees safe. Please mask up and comply so we can move forward. Today’s announcement is tough – there’s no way around it. But never lose faith that hospitality will prevail in the end. We must strive to have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of our reality and also fiercely believe that we’re going to make it. The association will remain by your side on this journey to help you do so. Reprinted with permission

Michael Vorse Minuteman Press Dennis Weber Cowlitz County Commissioner

Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020 | 7

■ UPDATED CHAMBER SCHEDULE August 11 – Business After Hours, Mint Valley Golf Course CANCELED August 21 – Chamber luncheon “Recovery Cowlitz County” speakers include school superintendents Dan Zorn, Longview, and Mary Beth Tack, Kelso, Kelso Elks Lodge, 11:45am-1:15pm September 15 – Business After Hours, American Workforce Group, 5:30-7:30pm September 18 – Chamber luncheon “Recovery Cowlitz County,” speakers TBD, Kelso Elks Lodge, 11:45am-1:15pm October 7 – Business and Tourism Expo, Cowlitz County Conference Center October 13 – Business After Hours, Farm Dog Bakery, 5:30-7:30pm October 16 – Chamber’s Island Bingo changed to Haunted Bingo November 10 – Business After Hours, Monticello Park Prestige, 5:30-7:30pm November 20 – Chamber luncheon “Recovery Cowlitz County” speakers TBD, Kelso Elks Lodge, 11:45am-1:15pm December 8 – Holiday Mixer December 11 – Jingle all the Way

8 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020

Cowlitz Economic Development Council Ted Sprague President


So tired of COVID

feel terrible for those suffering with this virus and those that have lost loved ones. Family members of mine who live in another state have had COVID and thankfully they have recovered, but as this is all so new, no one knows what effects the virus will have on them decades from now. I have heard from hundreds of businesses across Cowlitz County of the deleterious effects this virus has had on their business, their employees and their families. My heart goes out to all. At the Cowlitz Economic Development Council (CEDC), we are continuing to work on job creation and capital investment recruitment and expansion projects. This virus has not killed them, and they are progressing. At the same time, we have been a conduit to some amazing funding opportunities for business. Our own Lindsey Cope went out and pursued grant funding from our partners at Community Foundation for Southwest Washington for rent relief and support for women and minority owned business. We were asked by the governor’s office to administer the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program in which we allocated over $226,000 to Cowlitz County small business. As

Our focus is on your business. We’re committed to serving your banking needs, providing capital and guiding you in taking advantage of every tool we have at our disposal to help your business. Contact one of our business banking experts or visit to learn more.

I write this, it looks like more funding will be available soon to administer more money through this program. Kudos go out the Cowlitz County Commissioners who carved out $1 million of their CARES Act money to support small businesses in Cowlitz County. The CEDC is administering those funds with the help of an ad hoc committee made up of mayors to get money to 74 additional small businesses. These competitive grants have proven to be a lifeline to many businesses we frequent on a daily basis. I am optimistic that an additional $1 million will be made available soon. The commission could have kept the money for their own programs, but they felt strongly the money should go to support business and I applaud that decision! During these difficult times I am hopeful and optimistic that we can return to some form of normalcy. We all need to do our part to get back to where we were before. It seems to me the solution is not too difficult – wear a mask, wash your hands, social distance and most of all be respectful of each other. It is up to all of us to do our part. Be well.

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Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments Bill Fashing CEO

Economic vitality in uncertain times


he Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG) is conducting a Regional Economic Vitality Survey. The purpose of this survey is to provide

information to the CWCOG to assist in its efforts to serve its member agencies and improve economic vitality and quality of place throughout the region. This survey is a follow up to the 2019 Economic Vitality Survey, which was available July 2019 through August 2019. The CWCOG plans to continue this annual survey for the next several years in an effort to document the progress within the community. Thank you for your participation and feedback! Click here to access the survey. Please share this with your stakeholders, family and friends. As a regional planning agency, the CWCOG is continually looking forward and working to create change today to meet the needs of tomorrow. I recently found this editorial piece on LinkedIn that

in our workers is the single most important factor to transforming a community. I cannot say that enough. For much of rural America, this is all about relevancy and whether your community has much of a future.” Source: Dean Barber

I hope that each of you will play a role in assisting to rethink our economic, community and workforce development efforts as we move forward. As a region, we have faced numerous economic challenges over the last 50 years and have not fully recovered from most, if not all, of those. What is going to be different on our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic? In last month’s edition of this publication, I discussed the

was written by a well-known economic development consultant. It

start of efforts to update the regional Comprehensive Economic

seems appropriate to share.

Development Strategy (CEDS) for the region. The new CEDS

“All else pales. In all my speeches to economic development groups prior to the pandemic, I warned of a coming wave of automation and digital technology that would upend the work force, destroying some jobs while altering how and where work is done for nearly everyone. If we just look at past economic downturns as our guide, we see companies investing in more labor-saving automation to cut costs and increase efficiency. I’m absolutely convinced that COVID-19 will only accelerate that trend. By May, half of Americans were working from home, tethered to their employers via laptops and Wi-Fi, according to a recent study.

document will be built with input and guidance from the community and the CWCOG is seeking a variety of volunteers to assist in various elements of the effort. The CEDS is a five-year strategy document that will identify a work plan to assist local businesses and communities in their efforts to overcome our current challenges. It will put resilience planning processes into place to provide ongoing direction and focus to the recovery efforts. The plan will also assist in providing insights and guidance into preparing for and dealing with future events and crisis situations that may affect the region in the years to come. Watch for opportunities to engage in the CEDS planning process. If you are interested in playing a role in the effort or want additional information, please call me at 360-577-3041.

The rapid change reveals the need for retraining focused on digital skills, which pervades all industry groups. That was my message last week to an economic developer in Alabama. “This is the moment when we should make a significant public investment, when we should have a Marshall Plan for ourselves,” David Autor, a labor economist at M.I.T. told the NYT. The need for immediate and unprecedented investments 10 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020

The CWCOG is a governmental planning and services agency composed of local governments in southwest Washington state. The CWCOG Board of Directors consists of representatives from Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties but it serves throughout the southwest Washington region, including the City of Rainier, Ore. It provides a forum for members to work together on issues crossing jurisdictional lines and creating cooperative solutions.


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Workforce Southwest Washington Sean Moore Senior Project Manager – Healthcare

Workforce system building talent pipeline for healthcare


ealthcare has long been considered a recession-proof industry, but no industry is COVID-19 proof. While the healthcare industry was impacted by unemployment due to the crisis, it continues to be a high-demand sector and is projected to regain full employment as we reopen. Not all industries will rebound as quickly. Businesses related to tourism, food service, hospitality, and retail may have a longer road back to full employment leaving many former employees searching for new careers. This is an opportunity for the workforce system to infuse new talent into the healthcare industry. By sharing information about healthcare opportunities and career pathways with workers laid off from jobs in other industries and youth who are new to the workforce, we can build a pool of talent for the region’s healthcare industry and ensure individuals have access to the sector’s myriad career options. Healthcare companies may be interested to know about the workforce system process to help individuals move from initial inquiry to job placement with local organizations. Pathway to healthcare: Many individuals picture healthcare careers as doctors and nurses and requiring years of school. While this is true for some healthcare professions, many opportunities exist in dental, behavioral, pet health and long-term care. Some positions are patient-facing while others focus on technology, customer service or administration. Our overall goal is raising awareness of these pathways and helping job seekers and youth see what is possible. Focus on skills: Based on their industry experience, many job seekers will have transferrable skills that align directly with positions in healthcare. These include, but are not limited to attention to detail, focus on the customer, team oriented, relationship builder, conflict resolver, communication skills, strong work ethic, patience, flexibility and time management. Assessment: To identify skills and interest levels, the local WorkSource centers typically use two common career assessments: Traitify, an image-based interest test and the Berke Assessment, which is used to gather objective data about job candidates and provide insights on transferrable skills and inherent interests. Education and experience development: As job seeker interests become more focused, opportunities exist to hone skills, which will help these job seekers stand out above their peers when being considered for positions and provide companies with skilled talent. They include: • CareerWorks Medical: an eight-week introductory course to medical office experience, geared toward individuals with little or no office or administrative experience 12 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020

• Online Medical Terminology: entry-level courses to develop a base knowledge • Microsoft Office Essentials: learn and use basic Microsoft tools and keyboarding to enhance skills and experience • SummerWorks Internships: helps businesses connect with youth during their summer break and provides youth with work experience Training and degree programs: Our area is fortunate to be home to outstanding educational and training institutions providing access to healthcare educational pathways requiring certification and/or licensing to those requiring a degree: • Short-term programs for certification or licensing: Dental Assisting, Nursing Assistant Certified, Patient Access Specialist, Community Health Worker programs will get graduates up and running, with actual job placement within a few months. • Healthcare apprenticeships: For job seekers who need a paycheck as they gain skills, there are two approved Healthcare Apprenticeship programs: Medical Assistant and Central Sterile Processing Technician. A third option, the Pharmacy Technician Apprenticeship, is up for final review in July. These apprenticeship programs will have cohorts starting in late September/early October. • Longer-term programs: For job seekers looking for associate degree or higher degreed programs, Lower Columbia College, Clark College and Washington State University Vancouver have robust healthcare educational pathways. Employment Readiness: When a job seeker is ready to begin their search, our community partners work with them on building a resume, developing interview skills related to their field of interest, assisting with job placement and networking to build their local connections to employers. Through this pathway, from initial inquiry through job placement, the workforce system keeps the pipeline full, so healthcare organizations have the workers they need to continue serving our community, even during this COVID-19 crisis. Job seekers interested in learning about healthcare opportunities should contact Karin LaValla at WorkSource, 360-735-4957, Healthcare companies wanting assistance with your healthcare workforce needs can contact me at Workforce Southwest Washington at or 360-762-8569. Sean Moore is the senior project manager for healthcare at Workforce Southwest Washington. Reach him at smoore@ or 360-762-8569.

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

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Cowlitz County Commissioners Arne Mortensen County Commissioner, District 1

Free money often has a high cost


t seems Soviet-like to destroy an economy and then try to fix it with “free” money, but that is where we are today in the country.

Government response to the COVID-19 situation is completely

unbalanced because it ignores one side of the ledger, the cost/ expense side. Do we really know what we are buying? And do we know what we are paying for it? Can we get a solution without public support? (Of course, the answer is no). The cure appears to be worse than the disease. The latest discussion is on how long antibodies stay in our

or capability of honoring stated requirements; and it is very risky to play the language game on government contracts. Let us look at some details: In the very first line of the overview, Commerce states that the purpose is “to use equitable and creative approaches to develop or expand shelter programs.” This shelter issue has been around for decades, worsening the more we try to fix it. We have no “creative” solutions. What we have tried has failed. And the constraints placed on this money by Commerce would force us into the already failed experiments, such as the Love Overwhelming issue in Kelso of more than three years ago.

system. The time appears to be short, which means that we can get

Additionally, the recently disbanded ad hoc committee and the

reinfected and reduces the value of a vaccine. Treatment seems like

Homeless Housing Task Force, despite significant effort, have not

the solution.

been able to produce a pursuable or creative result.

There is much more to be said but let me switch gears to tell you

Commerce lists eight requirements, and the first one deals with

about an issue that came up at the commissioners’ conference on

“ensuring” equitable outcomes based on race criteria. The third

July 22.

one deals with LGBTQ+ competency and racial equity. These

We received an announcement from the Department of

are divisive categorizations with no relevance to homelessness.

Commerce about a Shelter Program with grant money available

And they are nearly impossible to define or to measure, so we are

to execute a system for a duration of three years. The grant is

opening ourselves to legal challenges.

available for communities, which includes cities as well as counties.

As we move along, the requirements include NO screening for

The announcement came suddenly, and it was not uniformly

“Having involvement with criminal justice system,” and “Lacking

announced to the public, but those who follow these kinds of things

identification or proof of U.S. Residency Status.”

were quick to exhort the County to apply for the grant. The grant

“As a condition of receiving this funding, jurisdictions will be

was discussed during the meeting, ending with no decision to move

required to provide shelter options that do not require sobriety as

forward. Joe Gardner was absent, so the issue may be raised again,

a condition of program enrollment proportionate to the requests

but because the time to respond is by the end of this month, July

for such placements.” Combined with the no screening, this could

2020, it may be a moot point.

mean that the jurisdiction will fall prey to anybody who insists on

Proponents argued, just get the money. If we do not like it after we get it, we can return the money. They also argued that the conditions/requirements expressed by the Commerce provided

access to a low barrier shelter, and if we do not have one, we will have to build it. “Free” money exacts an extremely high price, and, in this case,

overview could be negotiated away. To this latter point, it is

it sacrifices the taxpayer for the benefit of a few. This is not good

disingenuous to apply for something when you have no intentions


14 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020


January 14: Specialty Rents February 11: Wheeler & Columbia Ford March 10: Kelso/LV Elks April 14: Canceled May 19: Canceled June 9: Canceled July 14: Postponed August 11: Canceled September 15: American Workforce Group October 13: Farm Dog Bakery @ Life Works November 10: Monticello Park Prestige December 8: Holiday Mixer

City of Kelso

City of Longview

David Futcher

MaryAlice Wallis



What's coming down the (water) pipe


he most visible progress a city can make is in its public works projects. Changing a roadway (always a popular option), building a bridge, and even updating a water system are projects that affect most people in the community and are highly visible. Okay, maybe the water system upgrades aren’t visible. But all of those projects are in the works in Kelso. Let’s start with the first one you’ve been seeing. The final phase of the West Main realignment project should finally be getting underway later this year. I say “finally” because this project predates me, and I’m in my sixteenth year on the council. After finalizing some negotiations with the investors owning the old OfficeMax building, the city has acquired all of the properties we need to expand what was (and is?) Catlin Street to five lanes. This project will mean Ocean Beach Highway will line up much better with Catlin, and there won’t be any more worries about squeezing from four lanes to two as you drive west. When the first phase was completed, a more temporary level of surfacing was used, and you’ve probably noticed the part behind the old OfficeMax building where a pothole likes to open up. So not only will we have a wider roadway, it will be a higher quality street. Next, we’ve been fighting the impact low water flows have on our water intake. Kelso still draws its water from the Cowlitz River riverbed, and when the river gets low, it’s hard to get enough volume in through our Ranney well. It’s clear to everyone that the preferred approach is to make the river source last as long as possible, so we’ll be getting the silt removed from those underground/underwater collectors to help improve the flow. That will extend the life of the system somewhat, but a new solution is going to be the responsibility of a not-too-distant future council. Finally, we want to build a bridge over the railroad tracks in south Kelso to open up the area along the river near Three Rivers Golf Course. You might have read an article about how the multijurisdictional nature of the project is hanging us up with the county. The project is fully funded by the state, but until the county agrees to help us acquire property that lies in their jurisdiction, we aren’t making much progress. The bridge will help provide safer access to the area and hopefully spur development along the riverside. But it may take either a change in attitude or personnel at the county to make that happen. 16 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020

Celebrating highlights and happenings


ince a 2020 reset is impossible, how about a recap to celebrate some of the highlights and happenings in Longview?

No. 1 – Shout out and happy 244th birthday America! Yes, the home of the brave. A place where we don’t run from hard choices, we embrace them. Where we work hard and persevere, through the good times and the bad, because of – not despite – the challenges we face. And lest we forget the freedoms we enjoy because of those who fought bravely for our country and our unique Constitution that helped form our union, we should always honor them and recall our privileges, during “sunny” days and “stormy” times alike. Our privileges, however, should never give us an excuse to behave badly. It should be our own responsibility to check ourselves against a broader scope of shared well-being when we choose to bravely assert our voices. As we forge forward in these extremely difficult times, let us all remember that we are in this together, and we face many challenges not as individuals but as a society. We are stronger when we work together. And in the face of it all, let’s strive for kindness towards each other despite any differences in thought or opinion. No. 2 – Shout out to our local Longview police! The core values of the Longview Police Department: “Integrity without compromise, courage in adversity, teamwork above self and service above all”, make that group a treasured resource in our community. Being a witness to the promotion of Sgt. Jeremy Johnson, where he pledged his allegiance to “commit to honorably perform his duties with respect for the dignity of all people, integrity to do right and fight wrongs, wisdom to apply sound judgment and fairness in all doings and courage to stand against all prejudice while working as a partner within the community”, was humbling for me and should give us all great comfort knowing we have men and women of honor protecting our city. No. 3 – Yay for summer indoor and outdoor play! While it has not been “business as usual” at all of our city facilities, in measured ways we can enjoy our parks and playgrounds, the dike road trail, Mint Valley Golf Course and racquet complex, pickleball and tennis courts and soon Harley's Hoops basketball court at Lake Sacajawea. Find silver linings during this time and create your own fun. Blow bubbles, skip rocks, play Frisbee, run through a sprinkler. And, doesn’t hopscotch on a sidewalk bring about a nostalgic smile? No. 4 – Summer construction has begun! Drive down Commerce Avenue and check out the new synced traffic signals that will also extend down Ocean Beach Highway to 32nd Avenue in the fall. Take caution on the 432/411 Interchange For more Longview, see page 17

Longview from page 16

(Tenant Way) on the eastbound on-ramp and the westbound off-ramp as the road widens and improves. Sidewalk and curb repair will continue throughout the city and improvements on West Main Street in Kelso will begin soon. Best of all, the Beech Street extension groundbreaking has begun and we look forward to new businesses popping up as soon as lots are available.

“Quality and Personalized Service”

No. 5 – Thanks to $1 million in CARES Act funding for Cowlitz County, 68 percent of monies allocated went to Longview business applicants. Another $1 million in CARES Act funding is underway to benefit even more businesses. A tremendous blessing folks! We have so much for which to be grateful. Find joy in each day and every moment and be blessed.

“When initially opening a business account, we looked for a financial institution with similar values of quality and personalized service. Fibre Federal Credit Union was a natural fit. They’re known to work really well with local business owners, so that’s where we started.” Lynne Hopkins, Weatherguard Office Manager

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Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020 | 17

Lower Columbia College Chris Bailey President

Recapping interesting 2019-20 academic year


hen I first sat down to reflect on the work at Lower Columbia College this 2019-20 academic year, I expected it to be a fairly negative read, with lots of emphasis on the external threats we encountered and with few successes to report. But once I began to review LCC’s accomplishments, this may be the year of which I am the most proud. We made significant progress on nearly every aspect of our institutional goals through winter quarter. Then, at the close of winter quarter, LCC had its faculty, staff and student resiliency and problem-solving skills tested, perhaps like never before, due to the pandemic, a corresponding drop in enrollments and a new computer enterprise system (ctcLink) implementation. Our collective response made me realize how good our employee hiring has been, and how well this team has gelled. It made me appreciate the climate we have developed and created over the past decade. LCC has some serious threats ahead of it, but I feel significantly better about our situation today than I did three months ago. We had some great outcomes and new initiatives despite the “interesting nature” of this academic year. Some of these successes included: • LCC’s renovated Main Building reopened for classes and testing services; • LCC went live with ctcLink on March 9; • LCC implemented EAB Navigate, a technology tool, to increase communication with and about students to enhance student success; • Twenty-two of 24 of last year’s inaugural Bachelor of Applied Science, Teacher Education (BAS-TE) students applied for year two of LCC’s first bachelor’s program and LCC had 31 first-year applicants for the part-time BAS-TE cohort for the upcoming year;

prospective students registered; • LCC’s College in the High School Program was commended by the CiHS Standards Report Review Committee for its solid overall program and LCC expanded its courses at Kalama, Woodland, and Cathlamet; • LCC worked with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to create agreements with Longview and Kelso school districts to create a new high school reengagement program called Open Doors with 54 students enrolled by end of winter quarter; • Professional Technical Advisory Committees were strengthened by combining with K-12 career technical education programs and increasing employer participation; • LCC purchased a CDL (truck driving certification) training simulator; • LCC’s relocated and remodeled Veterans Center served 1,548 students through April, over a 400 percent increase in service over the year before; • LCC’s Food For Thought food pantry doubled its usage this year with 279 new students signing up for the service; • Student Services staff created a One-Stop Center for students, and later created a Virtual One-Stop Center with “Zoom Rooms” to remotely serve students; • LCC’s speech and debate team was ranked No. 3 in the nation by the International Public Debate Association; • LCC’s athletic program continued to shine, being awarded the Northwest Athletic Conference Athletic Director’s Cup for on field excellence for the third consecutive year, and winning the President’s Cup for academic excellence;

• LCC is moving forward with a second proposed Bachelor of Applied Science (four-year) program in organizational leadership and technical management and expects to run the first cohort in the fall of 2021;

• LCC’s Math Department was awarded a $65,000 two-year grant from College Spark to make improvements to our precollege math sequence for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and business students;

• LCC developed new LCC Regional University Center partnerships with Grand Canyon University, Franklin University (Ohio) and Washington State University (WSU) Pullman and WSU Global;

• Significant improvements to LCC’s Finance Office were reflected in two finding-free audits by the State Auditor’s Office (LCC’s Financial Statement Audit and four-year Accountability Audit);

• LCC enrollments were up through winter quarter by about 2.5 percent, making us one of only about five community and technical colleges to have seen an increase prior to COVID-19 impacts;

• The LCC Foundation had a fantastic fundraising year, raising over $1.8 million in new gifts and pledges this year;

• LCC increased its nursing slots for next year by nine, added a clinical site, and increased enrollments in our Medical Assisting Program for next year; • LCC hired a Kelso High School Navigator, a pilot made possible by a grant from Community Foundation of Southwest Washington, to increase the college going rate of Kelso High graduates; • As part of the navigator’s work, LCC launched an Outreach and Recruitment Summer Bridge Program with approximately 60 18 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020

• Spring quarter was difficult due to COVID-19, however, LCC’s faculty and staff were able to offer professional technical programs with lab components including nursing, medical assisting, criminal justice, industrial trades and health courses with some face-to-face components; and, • LCC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was nothing short of amazing! All in all, not a bad year for the Red Devil Nation. Your local community college continues to shine, even during the toughest of times.

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elsolon www.k


2020 Kels

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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

Kelso Public Schools

Longview Public Schools

Mary Beth Tack

Dan Zorn



Drafting plans for the 2020-21 school year

Attending school may look different this fall

e’ve been hard at work planning for the 2020-21 school year. Our district Re-opening Task Force has put together a draft plan based on state guidance, the results of several meetings, and feedback from two surveys.

t has been a busy summer at Longview Public Schools. The district has been preparing to welcome our kids back to school. The rapidly changing health situation has made preparations challenging.

When we began this work, the preferred option for school this fall, as indicated by parents and staff members in recent surveys, was to return to school in person with the required safety precautions. Guidance from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) also set an expectation for schools to reopen for “traditional” in person learning, following physical distancing protocol as much as possible along with other health and safety practices, like wearing face coverings.

Our preparations are focusing on three different scenarios: 1) all kids coming back to school in person, 2) students returning to school in person part-time and learning remotely part-time and 3) 100 percent of student’s start the year learning remotely. We are also preparing for scenarios that might include aspects of each of the three listed above.


If a full return to in person school isn’t possible due to state and/or local conditions and restrictions, a hybrid model will be implemented. At the elementary K-5 level, due to the lower class size numbers, in general, and students in the same classroom for majority of the day, we are able to accommodate an everyday in person instructional model with some adjustments. Secondary students would attend school in an alternating A/B schedule of in person and remote instruction. The rotating schedule reduces the number of students in schools by half so physical distancing requirements can be met. Families who do not want their child to return to school in person can access online-only learning by enrolling in Kelso Virtual Academy (KVA). This program is for K-12 students and includes remote instruction with Kelso School District teachers. Students can enroll in KVA one trimester at a time. More information about this option is available at Plan details for the return to school will evolve as conditions change over the summer. With the past several press conferences from key state officials, full remote learning for all continues to be a strong possibility for Washington students for fall reopening. Our Kelso Re-opening Task Force meets on Aug. 6 to review current conditions and finalize the Kelso Roadmap to Re-opening. That plan will seek school board approval on Aug. 10 and finalized schedules and updated options will be shared in mid-August. Until then, we continue to monitor and adjust with the safety and well-being of our staff and students as our top priority. 20 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020


From a timing standpoint, we will announce our school reopening plans in early August. As of this writing, several school districts in Washington state have announced the intention to start the year in a remote learning mode – we have not yet made that determination. We will continue to monitor guidance from county health officials, the state of Washington, and the federal government to direct our decision-making. It is a rapidly changing environment and we are continuing to consider approaches that will get our kids back in school. However, may have to start the year in remote learning if the circumstances surrounding our health situation dictate that need. Last year school districts were forced to launch remote learning with no opportunity to plan or prepare. Schools closed in midMarch due to the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning started in April. We quickly put a plan into action to help our kids keep learning remotely. While many students kept learning it was tough on families and school employees to adapt to an entirely new way of conducting school in the middle of the year. It is hard to replace the benefits of being face-to-face with your teacher; being in class is the best way for kids to learn. When the school year ended, we set about learning how to make our remote learning systems better for students and families. We reached out to industry experts who specialize in remote learning and learned how to improve our systems and delivery. We spoke with parents and employees and conducted a survey of families to understand what went well and what went wrong with remote learning 1.0. The top three things parents and families recommend to improve remote learning are consistency, communication and content/instruction. To improve consistency, we standardized computer systems to simplify how teaching and learning will be For more Longview Schools, see page 21

Longview Schools from page 20

accomplished. This means students will work on one computer platform, instead of several, for all their assignments. To improve communication to families, we refined expectations to make sure parents get the information they need quickly and easily. For example, if we are in remote learning all students will get their assignments on a designated day each week. These assignments will be released to students in advance of the lessons teachers will teach. This will help families know when to expect the assignments so they can prepare for the virtual schooling that will follow. We took input from parents to improve homework assignments and online instruction techniques. We now have a better understanding of the amount and type of homework to give kids.

Teachers will be using both live and prerecorded videos to teach lessons, which means instruction will be more effective this year. We will also be returning to our regular grading practices regardless of the manner in which we open school. While we hope to get our kids back in class, if the year starts with remote learning 2.0, the educators at Longview Public Schools will be ready. Thank you for adhering to the state and local guidance regarding social distancing and the wearing of masks in public. These community efforts are of great help when considering our ability to return to in person learning. If you have questions about our schools please feel free to contact me.


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Mind Your Own Business (At The Library) Chris Skaugset Director – Longview Public Library

Best reads to find behind closed doors


thought this month I would tell you about some of the best books that have come out so far in 2020. Since we’ve been closed due to COVID-19, it’s impossible to come in and browse our collection. I know I search for books that way in bookstores as well as libraries, unless I know a specific title that I’m looking for. I’ve looked at several best lists from numerous reputable sites to come up with this list. My own personal favorite is the last one on the list. Most of these are available both in print and in digital versions. Go online to the Longview library’s digital branch at today and see what you can find, learn, and do. “A Children’s Bible” by Lydia Millet. Millet's follow-up to her award-winning “Sweet Lamb of Heaven” is a disturbing tale of a summer vacation gone wrong. Self-indulgent parents gather for a college reunion with their combined group of children at a sprawling lakeside mansion. The idyllic vision soon turns sour as the parents indulge themselves in almost everything including indifference to their children. Teenage narrator Evie leads the loosely organized group of teens and preteens, reveling in their new freedom, but excitement turns to panic after a cataclysmic thunderstorm causes severe flooding and a power outage. Millet delivers a tense, prophetic tale about inattention to warning signs with allusions to biblical tales and embedded themes of environmental and climactic disasters. A gripping page-turner with an end-times quality. “Had I Known: Collected Essays” by Barbara Ehrenreich. It’s fair to say there is hardly an aspect of life in the late 20th- to early-21st centuries that veteran journalist and author Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed) hasn’t examined. From the wage gap and exploitation of workers to gender inequality and second-wave feminism, Ehrenreich digs deep in her investigations into the topics that capture the collective fancy as well as those that rarely register in the social consciousness. It’s a one-stop shop for fans of Ehrenreich’s gimlet eye and informed outrage. Whether talking about welfare reform during the 2008 recession or the helplessness that threatens to burgeon into a mental health crisis, Ehrenreich brings a passion and practicality to her discourse. There is a sense that Ehrenreich is always in receptor mode, that cogent analysis is her default setting. This collection is a rewarding, illuminating tour de force. “The Night Watchman” by Louise Erdrich. Her native roots have always informed Erdrich’s fiction and this one is no exception. Drawing on her grandfather’s letters, written while he was tribal chairman, Erdrich recreates a shameful chapter in America’s history when Congress introduced a bill to terminate the treaty rights of Native tribes, which would force assimilation and pave the way for a land grab. Members of the Turtle Mountain band of Chippewa, led by the fictional Thomas Wazhushk, a night watchman at the local jewel-bearing plant, travel to Washington to protest. With him is his sharply observant 22 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020

niece Patrice Paranteau, who supports her family on wages from the plant yet yearns for an education and a future unfettered by men and babies. In Erdrich’s hands, daily life on the reservation comes alive, the crushing poverty and lack of opportunity tempered by family cohesion and the wisdom of the elders. National Book Award winner, and one of my favorite novelists, Erdrich once again calls upon her considerable storytelling skills to elucidate the struggles of generations of Native people to retain their cultural identity and their connection to the land. “Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back” by Mark O’Connell. In his latest work, Irish writer O’Connell explores his obsessive fears about the future. Though overwhelmed by the many signs of looming catastrophe and collapse, O’Connell felt pressured, as a parent, to be less despairing about the future, and so undertook an investigation into what other doomsday believers were doing to prepare for impending disaster. His adventures took him deep into the guidebooks and videos of prepper, or survivalist, subculture; to the Black Hills of South Dakota to tour a massive underground bunker for the wealthy; to New Zealand, where tech billionaires were buying property to escape the anticipated collapse; and to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a post-apocalyptic wasteland. From his self-directed immersion in these doomsday scenarios, O’Connell emerged if not more optimistic about the future, at least able to live more easily in the present. It is apparent O’Connell is not only a sharp observer but also a master at parsing the various subtexts underneath the surface rhetoric of these apocalyptic movements. This witty, profound, and beautifully told story will appeal to doomsday worriers and non-worriers alike. “My Dark Vanessa” by Kate Elizabeth Russell. Russell offers readers an introspective narrative that captures the complexity and necessity of the #MeToo movement in her powerful debut. In the year 2000, Vanessa Wye is a lonely sophomore at Maine’s Browick boarding school. The academically gifted 15-year-old professes not to mind her solitude, especially when her 42-yearold English teacher begins to pay attention to her and lending her some of his favorite books–including Nabokov’s “Lolita”. Almost before Vanessa realizes what’s happening, the two have embarked on a sexual relationship, and Vanessa is convinced she’s been singled out as someone truly special. Seventeen years later, Vanessa is still occasionally in contact with Jacob, but their relationship has grown tense, as another former student has gone public about his inappropriate advances. Russell’s novel, alternating between past and present, presents a damning indictment of sexual predation, as she starkly elucidates the ways in which abuse robbed Vanessa not only of her childhood but also of her own once-promising future. It also prompts readers to interrogate their own assumptions about victimhood, consent, and agency. For more Library, see page 23

Library from page 22

“Wine Girl: The Obstacles, Humiliations, and Triumphs of America’s Youngest Sommelier” by Victoria James. I first learned of Victoria James in Bianca Bosker’s fantastic book “Cork Dork” as the female sommelier that Bianca attempted to shadow. James was just 21 when she became the youngest sommelier in the United States, and her journey to achieving the wine industry’s highest accolade was filled with trials and tribulations that ultimately influenced her to become the woman she is today. James’ memoir is a #MeToo story for the fine-dining industry, full of bosses who abused their roles and patrons with a clear lack of boundaries. She

describes taking her first diner job at 13 to escape her strict, and mentally ill, father and how this evolved into bartending positions and eventually work in the fine-dining scene. James also takes us through her abusive and traumatic childhood and reflects on how those experiences strengthened her resolve to share her love of wine and hospitality with people. Inspiring, and a true testament to the author's strength, this book is like a good meal paired with the finest wine: meant to be savored in all its many subtle layers. This is definitely my favorite read so far in 2020.

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There’s a Difference. Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020 | 23



Your Chamber Connection EVERY Wednesday on KEDO 1400AM

Join our hosts Carey Mackey, Red Canoe Credit Union; Karen Sisson, Stewart Title; Shawn Green, ServPro Longview/Kelso and Marc Silva, Columbia Bank for local guests and current events. Would you like an opportunity to be on Your Chamber Connection? Contact Bill or Amy at the Chamber 360-423-8400.

a Cowlitz Chaplain Paul Bricknell takes to the airwaves.

b Kristi Barber-Spears, Katie Dillinger and Kari-Ann Botero with Academy Mortgage joined us to talk about low rates this year for refinancing and new loans. c Jon Dunaway with Longview Fire Department shared tips for fireworks safety. d The Daily News General Manager Dave Cuddihy sat behind the microphone for a change. e Barbara Sudar of The Nest talked about her new business.

Stream Your Chamber Connection live at



24 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020


Tune in to…

Your Chamber Connection Recorded on Wednesdays 11:00 am to 12:00 noon Listen at 6:00 pm KEDO 1400 AM or 99.1 FM Featuring your hosts: Carey Mackey - Red Canoe Credit Union Karen Sisson - Stewart Title Shawn Green - Longview Kelso Servpro Marc Silva - Columbia Bank

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

Longview Downtowners & Kelso Downtown Revitalization Association Lindsey Cope President

Outside seating: An outside the box plan for restaurants during pandemic


ast week Gov. Jay Inslee issued updated guidelines specific to a variety of businesses including, but not limited to bars, restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, and indoor theatres to slow COVID-19 exposure. The governor’s office states: “We do not take these steps lightly. We know every prohibition is a challenge for individuals and business owners,” Inslee said during a recent press conference. “But we know that if we fail to act, we expose people and businesses to even greater risk down the line.” From day one our businesses, not only in our downtown areas, have faced challenge after challenge and this is another dip on the COVID-19 rollercoaster. Though there are many varying opinions on the matter, the fact is we, as community champions, businesses, community members, and government agencies need to work in concert more than ever to find creative, reasonable, temporary solutions. Sometimes these ideas are out of our partners’ or their customers’ comfort zones, but we are in uncomfortable times. Since the press conference on July 23, I have been on the phone with nearly every city manager, community development specialist, chamber, and a variety of businesses to find some ways to help. One of the most impactful ways to help is the availability of outdoor seating. Thankfully, we are in the height of summer, and we have an opportunity to capitalize on the gorgeous weather. Most cities do not regulate private parking lots, which creates a natural space for outdoor dining. Another opportunity will be to either open or extend outdoor seating availability into public spaces like sidewalks, public streets, or parking lots. The City of Woodland has been proactive on this front and already passed a resolution specific to outdoor seating in parking lots and sidewalks. The City of Longview offers sidewalk permits for FREE, which encompasses outdoor seating. If your business does not have a

❝ The City of Longview offers sidewalk permits for FREE, which encompasses outdoor seating. Lindsey Cope

sidewalk permit you can apply here. Additionally, we are working with the leadership in Longview on how else to extend outdoor seating safely and reasonably. We are hopeful to have updated information quickly to assist with affected business’ needs. I have also been working with our partners in Kelso on ways to extend outdoor seating to those who do not have private parking lots. I am confident in having some updated information for Kelso businesses in the coming days as well. Just because a business has a private parking lot, however, does not mean that they are necessarily in the clear for outdoor alcohol sales. If your business has not already applied for the outdoor variance through the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, you can do so here. I have been so impressed with the level of cooperation and the rapid responses that I have received while attempting to navigate many jurisdictions from the local to state level. We have a resilient community that genuinely cares for our small businesses. I hope that by adapting temporary policies we can help keep our citizens safe while supporting local businesses. It may look a little different and feel a little uncomfortable at times, but it can work!

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Calendar August 2020 Sunday






Saturday 1





6 Ambassadors





11 Chamber Exec.






17 Chamber Golf




21 Recovery











Classic, Three Rivers Golf Course, 1pm

Board, Noon, Mill City BAH–Mint Valley LED Golf CANCE Course,

Board Meeting, Noon, Mill City Grill

Zoom Meeting, 7:30-8:30am

Cowlitz County, Kelso Elks, 11:45am

September 2020 Sunday













10 Ambassadors




7 Labor Day




15 Chamber Exec. 16


18 Recovery




22 Chamber









Chamber Offices Closed

Board, Noon, Mill City Grill/BAH, American Workforce, 5:30pm Board Meeting, Noon, Mill City Grill

28 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020

Meeting, Columbia Bank, 7:30-8:30am

Cowlitz County, Kelso Elks, 11:45am

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.

Look Who Joined in July PNW Meatheads BBQ LLC

Amber Beaton 3061 Ocean Beach Hwy Longview, WA 98632 360-269-2226

• 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 • 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 | August 2020 | 29

News & Events

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

Dine in with United Way virtual fundraiser set for Aug. 8

A Night in Italy is the theme for United Way’s virtual presentation and auction Aug. 8 at 6:30 p.m. A special meal will be crafted by our cuisine partner, Summerland Catering. Attendees can enjoy a savory meal at home while participating in live and silent auctions and a presentation online, while helping to raise money for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties is proud to champion Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program offering FREE age appropriate books to children 0-5 who reside in Cowlitz or Wahkiakum counties. Books are delivered monthly directly to children’s homes until they are 5. Data has shwon participating children achieve higher kindergarten assessment scores, and family engagement than nonparticipants. This program was able to take flight thanks to the amazing sponsors, the 4 Rotary Clubs of Cowlitz County, but now United Way needs the community to join

in to make this a sustainable program. Event tickets and more informtion is available at www. Deadline to register is Aug. 3.

Rotary Club of Longview cancels October craft beer and food festival Due to COVID-19, the Rotary Club of Longview recently decided to cancel the Crafted Beer and Food Festival set for Oct. 3, but plans to bring the event back in the summer of 2021. “We sincerely regret having to cancel this event. Our events are big fundraisers for our Rotary Club, and we use the profits to fund local nonprofits and projects. We hope to have Crafted return in 2021 with a new energy and passion,” said Keith Larson, president of the Rotary Club of Longview. The Crafted Beer and Food event had originally been scheduled for July 18 and then moved to October with an Octoberfest theme.

safe, open AND ready. Your health shouldn’t wait any longer. The care you need is safe with us. Make an appointment at

30 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020

The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce would like to THANK the following loyal members for renewing their partnership with us this August. B & R Mini Storage Best Western Aladdin Motor Inn Busack Electric CalPortland Columbia Security Copies Today Speedy Litho, Inc Cowlitz Container & Diecutting Edward Jones – Nick Lemiere Habitat For Humanity – Cowlitz County Hart Radiator JL Storedahl & Sons, Inc Kaiser Permanente Les Schwab Tire Center Pacific Office Automation Papa Pete's Pizza – Longview PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center Pets, Pawns & Imports SRD Enterprise LLC SW Washington Symphony Washington State University – Vancouver

News & Events

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

RiverCities transit bus fares reinstated

Beginning Aug. 3 fare collection on RiverCities Transit and RiverCities LIFT will resume, and regular Monday-Saturday service returns for the first time since March 30. Customers can purchase passes at the Transit Center and Kelso City Hall. Ridership has begun to increase since the initial government shutdown in late March. Reinstating regular service will allow passengers to spread out their essential trips during the less busy travel times between 6:30-9 a.m. and from 4-6:30 p.m. Front door boarding will also resume in August, and riders are encouraged to exit the rear door of the bus. Plexiglass doors were installed to protect operators and passengers at the front door where fares are collected. Additionally, vehicle loads have been reduced to allow no more than ten passengers on the bus to encourage social distancing while riding. Face coverings are required by state mandate with some exceptions. The Transit Center lobby reopened on July 27. Up to five customers will be allowed into the lobby to access the Customer Service counter at a time, but lobby seating, and the restrooms will not be available until further notice. RiverCities Transit remains committed to the health and safety of the community it serves while continuing to provide an essential service. Follow the RiverCities Transit Facebook page for the most recent updates and service alerts, or contact Customer Service at 360-442-5663 or customerservice@rctransit. org. Route schedules, maps, and fare information are available on the RiverCities website

Huhta named as Longview’s interim police chief

In anticipation of the transition of Chief Jim Duscha’s retirement, the City of Longview recently announce the appointment of Robert Huhta as its interim police chief effective Aug. 14. Huhta has been a captain for the police department since Oct. 1, 2010 and said, “I am honored to continue serving the citizens of Longview. It is a privilege to work with all of the police department employees who are dedicated to the mission of the department and I am committed to leading our department’s efforts going forward.” Huhta has worked in law enforcement for 24 years. He began his career with the Longview Police Department (LPD) in February, 1996 as a college cadet. He has served as a reserve police officer, community service officer, commissioned police officer, patrol sergeant, street crimes unit sergeant and captain. Huhta has also served in ancillary duties such as a certified bike officer, field training officer, Ffirearms instructor, and emergency vehicle operations course instructor and as a member of the Lower Columbia SWAT Team as an operator, assistant team leader and currently as the team commander. Additionally, Huhta currently serves as deputy incident commander of the Cowlitz County Incident Management Team responsible for coordinating the local response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Huhta has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. “I am very delighted to announce Robert Huhta as Longview’s interim police chief,” said City Manager Kurt Sacha. “Robert is a highly dedicated law enforcement professional, has shown himself to be a proven leader, possesses a strong work ethic and is well respected both from within and outside the department. The community will be well served by the Longview Police Department with Robert as their interim police chief.” Kelso Longview Business Connection | August 2020 | 31