December 2020 Business Connection

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Business Connection Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

The vendors, the speakers and Big Foot are planning to return to sQuatch Fest in 2021 – only in April, not January.

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Amy Hallock

Project Manager

k December 2020

Volume 12 • Issue 12 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

sQuatch Fest set to stomp past COVID with April date


e are so fortunate here at the Chamber. We were able to host the 2020 sQuatch Fest before everything came to a halt. We had hotels sell out of rooms, businesses make more money during the two-day event then they had the entire month of January, travelers visit from 17 different states and Canada and a reason for the community to get out and enjoy some fun during the winter months. In just four short years, sQuatch Fest has proven it benefits our local community and businesses. That’s why it will be back in 2021, but not in the last full weekend of January we have counted on in the past. Because we do not want to put attendance limitations, or any other kind of limitations on this event, for 2021, sQuatch Fest has been scheduled for April 2 and 3.


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

We started sQuatch Fest because we saw a gaping hole in this area that needed to be filled. We noticed there are a number of festivals that take place in the spring and summer but once we get through the holidays there isn’t anything to drive people out to Longview/Kelso. We also saw an opportunity for small, independent vendors to sell their products. We have been in contact with our sQuatch Fest speakers, vendors and cornhole teams and everyone is on board for the April dates. Once again, we look forward to bringing our community and businesses together with sQuatch traditions like Kids Cave, Bush Cabin story time, world renown speakers, food and craft vendors and the Brew and Mountain Beer Festival, as well as activities like axe throwing and the largest cornhole tournament in the Pacific Northwest. See you in April! If you are interested in more information please contact Amy Hallock at 360-423-8400 or go to


Fri., April 2, 4 pm - 9 pm and Sat., April 3, 10 am - 8 pm

Cowlitz County Convention Center


Mount St Helens Event Sponsor



Logo on all marketing material as sQuatch Fest Sponsored by “Your Business Name” Named on all radio, print and social media advertising 10' x 10' booth space at the event Logo on website, Facebook, newsletter and print advertising 100 collectible tickets to event with lanyards

Hoffstadt Bluff Sponsor $2,500

• Logo on marketing material & social media • 25 tickets to attend both days • Display banner and booth space at event Hoffstadt Bluff Sponsor Options • Cornhole Tournament - Battle of the Borders • Kids’ Cave - logo on Kids’ Cave • Tickets - logo on back of tickets • Brew Mtn Beer Fest - banner in beer fest • Mug Sponsor - logo on mug • Decorations - banner in MSH room • Speaker Sponsor - banner on stage

Ape Cave Sponsor $500 • Logo on print ads • Exposure on social media • 5 tickets to sQuatch Fest Ape Cave Sponsor Options • Drink token - logo on token • Wristband - logo on wristband • ICE Sponsor

Columbia River Sponsor $1,000

• • • •

Logo on print ads, mention on social media Banner displayed at event 10 tickets to sQuatch Fest Vendor table

Columbia River Sponsor Options • Volunteer T-shirts - logo on back • Wine Glasses - logo on glass • Stage - banner on stage • Friday Night Speaker Dinner

Elk Meadow Sponsor $250 • Supporter of sQuatch Fest • Logo on print ads • 2 tickets to sQuatch Fest

Don’t delay! Register now for these sponsor opportunities!

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Rd Kelso, WA 98626 (360) 423-8400

Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Bill Marcum CEO

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 Edward Jones Christine Schott City of Longview Councilmember John Paul KUKN-KLOG-101.5 The WAVE Rich Gushman Gibbs & Olson Andy Hamilton Cit Manager, Kelso Marlene Johanson, At Large Heritage Bank Wendy Kosloski Teague's Interiors Cherelle Montanye St. John/PeaceHealth Bruce Pollock Bicoastal Media Tom Rozwod NORPAC Ted Sprague Cowlitz Economic Development Council Michael Vorse Minuteman Press Dennis Weber Cowlitz County Commissioner

Let's put 2020 in the rearview mirror


hat a bizarre year 2020 has been. I know I don’t even need to say it, but it is hard not to look back in amazement at the difficulties our country, state and communities have had, and sadly it seems, will continue to have into the first quarter of 2021. As a Chamber we have tried to keep you, our members, and the business community in general up to speed on the latest information available about the COVID-19 virus and financial opportunities available like the Personal Protection Plan, Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) funding, state grants, state loans and Small Business Association (SBA) grants. Plus, all the safety issues and restrictions being handed down by the governor. We’ve been keeping in close contact with associations like the Washington Retail Association, Washington Hospitality Association, Association of Washington Business, just to name a few, who are working to help their members stay open. I get nearly 300 emails a day from state agencies and the above-mentioned associations all designed to help businesses meet, exceed and prosper during the restrictions placed on us. Joelle, has done a great job getting this information out to you, along with information you, our members have sent to us or posted on our Facebook page about your business. Amy and Pam have been in contact with many of you during the past 10 months asking how we can help your business, employees and customers. Helping you connect with other businesses that can help with printing, personal protection equipment, hand sanitizer, takeout products, tents and more to keep you moving forward. We offer a special thank you to the Cowlitz Economic Development Council, specifically Ted and Lindsey, for taking on the role of helping the county and the state get CARES Act funds to our local businesses. It’s a huge undertaking and still not complete as more funds are expected to be released. Again, what a year. But I also want to give a HUGE shout out to all of you... our local businesses who have been incredibly creative, determined and above all committed to making your business successful considering the circumstances you face. There are many forms of success and I’m not just speaking financial. Success includes keeping employees on the payroll, assisting them with unemployment if you could not keep them full time, helping other local businesses by supporting them while they in turn support you. You banded together and the community said, “We will not let you down. We will support you during this economic crisis.” And it has. Thank you for keeping your doors open and having faith we all would come through. It’s not over, there is still much to do and each and every business needs to help each other, and our community needs to continue to support our local businesses. It doesn’t matter what we might need, we need to find it locally; from printing to automobiles, buy local. I have said this before and I will keep saying buying local you keep businesses open, your neighbors and family members employed and our local nonprofits funded to continue to help those less fortunate. Good riddance to 2020. To 2021, here we come, ready to kick butt and take names. Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020 | 3

Cowlitz Economic Development Council Ted Sprague President

Helping businesses with uphill COVID battle


ust as the economy started moving again, COVID-19 hit us all hard and we are almost back to square one. I have never hiked to the top of Mount St. Helens, but I have been told the most difficult part is as you get toward the summit you lose a half step for every step you take because the footing is not solid. No thank you, too frustrating for me. Reminds me of what we are all going through with the pandemic. Businesses have done an amazing job to keep the doors open and keep people employed, but I cannot imagine how frustrated and nervous business owners must be. The unemployment rate is not a perfect statistic by any means, but it is a lagging indicator of how the economy is doing. In March we were at an historically low unemployment with a rate of 5.7 percent. What followed with the COVID-19 lockdown was significant and swift, our unemployment rate skyrocketed to 16.4 percent in April and held to 15.4 percent in May. We were seeing some light at the end of the tunnel when our October unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent. With the recent tightening of restrictions on restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, gyms and fitness centers etc., we must expect to see another spike in our unemployment rate. The Cowlitz Economic Development Council (CEDC) has done its

best to attempt to assist small businesses throughout Cowlitz County during this time. We have partnered with the state Department of Commerce and governor’s office administering over half a million dollars through the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant Program (WWSBEG). We ran a rental relief program funded by the Southwest Washington Community Foundation. Several cities called on us to administer their Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant funding programs. Finally, we are partnering with the Cowlitz County Commissioners in the administration of their CARES Act grant funding. All told, we have distributed grants to over 400 Cowlitz County businesses and delivered well over $4 million in grants. We were scheduled to meet with the Department of Commerce in late November to discuss the possibility of a third round of WWSBEG. For updates on this funding program and others please like us on Facebook – and/or check our website for updates and applications – Small business needs your support now more than ever, please do your part to support local companies during this most stressful time.


nn th A


Save the ! Date

D E N O P 5K RUN/WALK T S O December 12, 2020 PSaturday, Lake Sacajawea

4 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020

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

Business Toolbox Jerry D. Petrick

Certified Business Adviser

Ending the year with positive intentions


t is the first week of December. We are in the last month of the final quarter of a remarkable year. For some small business owners this time of year can be a crazy, shopping-filled, and deadline driven type of a month. Why you ask? Good question! Because... If sales and profits are up, like they have been for many this year (no kidding – many businesses/industries have exploded during this very unusual year), you may be sitting on a fair amount of cash that shows up as net income on your income statement. This poses both a challenge and an opportunity (I feel like I’m working on a business school SWOT or is it SCOT? analysis discussion every time I use those words in the same sentence). The challenge for some is figuring out how they can pay the least amount of tax to Uncle Sam. Fair enough, no judgment here. But let us be honest, at the end of your business life the measure of success is more about the wealth you have built not the amount of tax you’ve saved. Don’t you agree?! The opportunity is finding the Holy Grail. Deducting expenses, you incur in such a way that it is a legitimate small business tax deduction. During this time of year, timing can make all the difference. Your window of opportunity closes quickly in these final days and weeks of December. To use a basketball analogy, would you rather find yourself trying to pull off a buzzer-beating three-point shot with seconds left in the game or calmly and slowly bleeding the clock with a comfortable cushion? Now, if you're thinking about rushing out and buying a shiny new Tesla with Ludicrous Mode just to get a business tax deduction, and a Federal Tax Credit for buying an electric vehicle, be sure to invite your Small Business Development Center adviser along for the test drive J then talk to your CPA before signing the purchase and sale agreement. In all seriousness, if your business has generated significant net income and you’re looking at ways to both save taxes and invest for your business success next is the time to be talking to your CPA about what options you have. ESPECIALLY with the temporary COVID-19/pandemic related rule changes that might influence your decision making. For a quick primer: qualified-business-income-deduction/ with some CPA humor thrown in. 6 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020

HEADS UP: IF you received a PPP (Personal Protection Program) Loan AND you received/anticipate receiving forgiveness; any expenses paid with PPP dollars that were forgiven are NOT also tax deductible (can you say, “double dipping”: articles/2020/09/ppp-forgiveness-tax-planning-and-accounting My suggestion here is to take a timeout and be more mindful about closing out the year and getting ready for the coming year. What should this process look like? Here are some suggestions: Review Spend the first part of December reviewing your year-to-date income statement compared to the same time last year, noting your accomplishments, taking notes on what you’ve learned and what you’ve struggled with, seeing where you’ve dropped the ball and where you could have grown more as a leader. Let Go Reflect on what you would like to let go of moving forward, what you have been holding onto that’s not serving you. This is a releasing of baggage and struggles. Spend some time letting go, so that you can get clear for the new year. Set Intentional Goals for the Coming Year What purposeful intentions would you like to set in motion heading into the new year? What would you like to create? Who would you like to be? How do you want to perform your craft? This is taking a “Big Picture” look at the coming year and setting some general goals. Create a Plan Goals without a plan are just dreams. Depending on how you are wired, you may need to create a monthly, weekly, or daily plan. It does not have to be incredibly detailed — just create structure so that you can flexibly and nimbly move into your intentions, so that you can keep checking back in with them. So that you can bring focus, as if this might be the last year of your business life. Why This Is Important So many of us neglect the act of looking back, that we just continually get caught up in the details of our daily lives, in the busyness of projects and events, in the drama of unfolding business and family affairs. We do not take stock, think about where we have been, what we have accomplished and use that experience to continue to grow. This article was prepared by Jerry Petrick, MBA and certified business adviser with the Washington State University (WSU) Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Jerry provides no-cost, confidential business advisory services by appointment. He can be reached via email

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 6,400 emailed to local business professionals, city and county officials. To be included in this monthly email, call the Chamber office at 360-423-8400. Size 1/16 Page 1/8 Page 1/4 Page 1/2 Page Full Page

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All ads include full color and any design work. Deadline is the 21st of the month prior to publication. Digital files: PDF is preferred. JPEG accepted at high resolution(at least 300 dpi). Non-Members of the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce, please add 30% to above rates. To advertise or request additional information please contact: Amy Hallock at 360-423-8400 or or CEO Bill Marcum at 360-423-8400 or

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Cowlitz County Commissioners Joe Gardner

County Commissioner, District 3

From Riverside Park to the morgue improvements are moving forward


iverside Park

Riverside Park is set to get some much-needed improvements. Cowlitz County will receive a Recreation and Conservation Office grant to improve three soccer fields at Riverside Park and remodel two bathrooms to bring them up to current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. Improvements will include new goals, reseeding the grass, drainage and irrigation repair. The field improvements will allow for more tournaments as well as prolong the playable seasons. The soccer fields are heavily used by local youth soccer groups, adult soccer leagues, home school groups and families. The primary recreational opportunity provided by this grant funded project is youth soccer. The total cost of improvements is $174,000 with equal funding of

Service is the difference!


Most in-depth title plant in the county.

Pam McCormick Kristy Norman Bookkeeper Office Manager

Escrow Officer

Megan Wheatley

Steve Quaife

Marketing Director

Escrow Officer

$87,000 from the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board and the County. Improvements must be completed by Oct. 31, 2022. Mount St. Helens/Sediment Management In a 2019 assessment conducted by the William D. Ruckelshaus Center stemming from The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s 2018 report on Spirit Lake and the Toutle River a recommendation was brought forward to create a multiagency group in order to coordinate and communicate regarding long term management issues arising from the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. Acting on the recommendation and complementing the current flood partners meetings convened by Cowlitz County, the CowlitzWahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG) and U.S. Forest Service are looking to bring interested parties together to hold a series of virtual meetings over the course of 2021 with the Ruckelshaus Center’s facilitation. The first half-day meeting, likely in mid-February, would bring participants together to discuss what a convening group might look like and identify the group’s goals. Funding for this effort is through a Forest Service Cost Sharing Agreement with the William D. Ruckelshaus Center. The current draft work plan includes the creation of three workgroups to do work on topics such as the Spirit Lake outlet, economy and recreation as well as sediment management. In a related updated, with the use of “reprogrammed” funding the Army Corps of Engineers is currently concluding this year’s hydro-survey for the Cowlitz River. This new data from the survey combined with data from U.S. Geological Survey will provide a clearer picture as to the sedimentation in the Cowlitz River and corresponding flood risk for communities along the river. Results from the survey work are expected in February. New Morgue

Jason Hanson Title Officer

Darren Plank Title Officer

Dyann Crayne

Title Officer Title Plant Administrator

Leah Stanley Title Officer

Accurate Reliable Timely Locally Owned 1159 14th Avenue , Longview, WA 98632 360.423.5330 8 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020

If you’ve noticed activity at the corner of Washington Street and 3rd Avenue near the Hall of Justice you are witnessing some cleanup work in preparation for a long overdue county capital project. A call for bids went out in late October for the construction of a new morgue. The current morgue is a small (1,200 square feet) residential building constructed in 1968 located on the same block. Bids for the new 8,600-square-foot morgue will be opened on Dec. 8.




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!

Cowlitz-Wahkiakim Council of Governments Bill Fashing CEO

Homeowners significantly wealthier than renters


According to the U.S. Census wealth inequality between homeowners and renters continued to be remarkably pronounced in 2017: Homeowners’ median wealth was nearly 89 times larger than the median wealth of renters and not entirely because of home equity.

was $65,000.

The 2017 Survey of Income and Program Participation is the source of data for this article and shows significant disparities in wealth. The results are similar to the older report on household wealth in 2015. A few of the major findings are included as part of this article. The figures included in the article are at the national level unless specifically noted for Cowlitz County.

• Home Ownership. Home equity did not fully account for the difference in median wealth between homeowners and renters. Households that owned their home had a median wealth of $269,100, substantially more than that of those who rented their homes ($3,036). In Cowlitz County, approximately 66 percent of the population is in owner occupied housing while nationally 63.8 percent are in owner occupied housing.

• While many households owned these assets, others did not: 38.2 percent of households did not own a home and 42.7 percent of households did not have a retirement account. This gap of ownership in two key assets contributes to wealth inequality.

• Even when home equity was excluded from total wealth, the median wealth of homeowners was $109,000, a staggering 35.9 times more than the median wealth of renters. • Health insurance. Households with people who did not have health insurance all or part of the year had dramatically lower median wealth ($18,750) than households in which all members had coverage for the full year ($140,500). In Cowlitz County 90.3 percent of the population with income under the $25,000-level had insurance coverage while over 97 percent of the population that make more than $100,000 had insurance. • Those without insurance also had 50 percent less in their checking accounts and 74 percent less in their retirement accounts. • According to the Washington Office of Financial Management, 5.8 percent of the population in 2018 in Cowlitz County was without insurance. This is significantly lower than the 2012 rate of 14.5 percent.

Table is for the US population

Household wealth highlights in 2017 dollars with Cowlitz County numbers from various sources and years. • Biggest contributors. Just two assets — home equity and retirement accounts — accounted for 61.7 percent of households’ wealth in 2017. • The median value of home owners’ wealth in their homes was $118,000, and the median household retirement account balance 10 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020

For more Fashing, see page 11

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Fashing from page 10

• Marital status, age and gender. Unmarried female householders (those who own or rent the home) of any age had a median wealth of $28,290. That represented 75.9 percent of their unmarried male counterparts’ median wealth of $37,290 and only 12.1 percent of their married counterparts’ median wealth of $233,100. • Race and Hispanic origin. Relative to Black and Hispanic householders, non-Hispanic White and Asian householders had higher median household wealth. • Non-Hispanic White householders had a median household wealth of $171,700, compared with $9,567 for Black householders and $25,000 for Hispanic householders. • Asian householders had a median household wealth of $157,400, which was not statistically different from the estimate for non-Hispanic White householders. • General poverty numbers for Cowlitz County by race are: White, 15.7 percent; Black, 21.1 percent; and Asian, 4.9 percent. • Education. Higher education was linked to higher median household wealth. • Households in which the most educated member held a bachelor’s degree had a median wealth of $198,000, compared with $34,460 for households in which the most educated member only had a high school diploma. Cowlitz County is well below the national average in education level of the population. The County rate of a bachelor’s degree or higher is 16.6 percent while the nation average is 31.5 percent of person over the age of 25. • Those with graduate or professional degrees had just over twice the median wealth ($396,900) of bachelor degree holders. • The Census American Community Survey show an increase in 2018 in the number of residents in the county with a master’s degree. The number rose 31.4 percent to a total of 5 percent of the population. The foundation of this article is based on the work of Census workers, Briana Sullivan, Donald Hays.

About the CWCOG 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. In addition, the agency provides planning, technical assistance, and grant support in the areas of transportation and economic development, contracts to provide long-range community development planning, and coordinates insurance pooling to select members.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020 | 11

Workforce Southwest Washington Sean Moore

Senior Project Manager – Healthcare

Patient engagement improvements made, but health care workforce challenges remain


OVID-19 has disrupted the practice and delivery of health care prompting unprecedented improvements related to the health and safety of workers and patients. While these advances are worth celebrating, there are evolving workforce challenges and barriers to overcome in education, training, recruiting and retaining our health care workforce. In southwest Washington, advancements around patient engagement and long-term care have focused on technology platforms offering connectivity between caregivers and patients. Virtual care management, also known as telehealth, while once an anomaly is now mainstream due to COVID-19 and is here to stay, offering both a “bricks and mortar” location and a virtual relationship. Local health care technology business innovations include: • Conversa virtual healthcare and communications platform giving health care consumers a personalized and timely experience, while helping health organizations monitor, manage and engage with consumers. • Curago Health quickly pivoted its focus to help companies with contactless patient registration as well as developing a telehealth platform around practice workflows to enhance connectivity between providers and patients. This goes beyond urgent care issues into long-term care management opportunities. • Hippo Virtual Care platform integrates with a variety of health systems and devices, allowing clinicians to communicate in realtime with remote colleagues or for medical education. With the giant leap forward in healthcare technology and using these other engagement platforms, telehealth real-time virtual appointments are now widely accepted. Prior to COVID-19, telehealth appointments were rare. Trent Green, chief operating officer for Legacy Health Systems, stated in a Greater Portland, Inc. “Road to Recovery” webinar, that in December 2019, there were no primary care telehealth visits. Fast forward to June 2020 and more than 50 percent of appointments were conducted through virtual video/real-time and telephone visits. Cameron Carson, Columbia Wellness director of recruiting/ retention states, “The ability to provide telehealth services throughout this pandemic has been a tremendous benefit for our clients as it has removed many barriers to treatment that existed before COVID-19. Typically, our client engagement rate significantly decreases during the summer months, but we have seen a notable increase in client engagement over the past three months when compared to last year by offering telehealth services. Before the pandemic, the population we serve didn’t have the opportunity to receive services via telehealth due to various regulations, but by allowing telehealth services we have 12 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020

been able to safely stay more engaged with our clients throughout this difficult time.” Through these innovative processes and procedures, health care businesses are continuing to reopen and operate at or near full capacity. Significant challenges, however, remain to be addressed: • COVID-19 has disproportionately affected health care workers who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color as they tend to be front line workers, with lower wages and higher exposure. Mental and emotional support programs and workforce safety training around communicable diseases are limited. The fear and stress around COVID-19 in these types of positions leads to higher than normal turnover rates, increased unemployment, and a strain on healthcare businesses and other workers when positions become harder to fill as job seekers fear possible exposure to COVID-19. • Health care was once considered a safe and financially stable work environment. Now the fear of exposure to this virus is affecting clinical externships, recruitment and placement for health care students and other health care workers. Staff trainers and human resources teams are at capacity with limited time and resources to devote to new personnel, putting additional strain on internal processes and procedures. Further, there is an accelerated trend related to the shift of care out of hospitals to distributed sites of care due to digital/virtual options. Staffing adjustments, new training programs, processes and regulations will have to be quickly developed to meet this emerging trend. • Higher education has pivoted from hands-on clinical experiences to offering simulation learning. While state licensing boards have been involved with ensuring simulations meet requirements, there is still the issue of different requirements for each state. That is a challenge we face here in southwest Washington as our labor market is closely tied to northwest Oregon. As a workforce, a national requirement “norm” needs to be developed for these simulations to keep the education/talent pipeline open. These conversations and program development around simulation, licensing requirements and national programs are currently evolving. The University of Portland’s Simulated Health Center is developing additional programs to address the immediate need for students to meet the learning requirements and gain exposure to the continuum of care. Through collaboration and innovation, huge strides have been made to ensure health care professionals can connect directly to patients using advancements in technology platforms. As we move forward, the health care industry must address the challenges of recruiting, training and retaining staff while at the same time ensuring the health and safety of our health care workforce and community. For more Workforce, see page 13

Workforce from page 12

The workforce system has resources for both businesses and job seekers: • Health care companies wanting assistance with workforce needs can contact Sean Moore at Workforce Southwest Washington at or 360-762-8569. • Job seekers interested in learning about health care opportunities should contact Karin LaValla at WorkSource at or 360-735-4957. Sean Moore is the senior project manager for healthcare at

Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW). Reach him at smoore@ or 360-762-8569. Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) funds services that help individuals gain skills to find a good paying job or advance in their careers and help companies attract, train and retain workers. Our investments strengthen the region’s businesses and contribute to a strong economy. Since 2003, we’ve invested more than $100 million in Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Clark counties. Learn more at www.

“PeaceHealth saved my life.” Chris Wills, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivor PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center is recognized as a regional leader in heart care by the Foundation for Health Care Quality. Learn more:

Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020 | 13

City of Kelso

City of Longview

David Futcher

MaryAlice Wallis



Happy trails: Riding off, leaving an open chair

Getting to YES! daily and during a crisis

bout this time in 2004, I submitted an application for a Kelso City Council seat that was vacated when Kathleen Johnson was elected to the county commission. Sixteen years later, a similar process is in place to fill the seat again as I relocate outside the Kelso city limits. So, join me for a look back at some of what’s happened in Kelso the last 16 years.

few months back I heard the phrase, “How to get to YES”, and it has stuck in my mind since. In a world of NO now, how refreshing would it be to turn that NO into a YES? Yes can be like a large glass of water on a raging hot day. If yes can make a difference for just one person, is it worth it? Yes takes determination, patience, effort, and persistence, but even so, I would like to propose that YES is attainable – both for our city and our personal lives.


I’ve served with 23 other councilmembers, including stalwarts like Alan Slater and Don Gregory, who each had more than 20 years of service to Kelso citizens. The member with whom I served the longest was Todd McDaniel. We spent the first dozen years of my tenure together as councilmembers in a time where you could disagree and still go get nachos after the meeting. Kelso is on its fifth city manager in my time, and we’ve seen city processes progress from an old spiral notebook used to track permit applications to updated software packages for all areas of the city infrastructure. The council has also worked to keep government operating conservatively to build up a reserve that allows flexibility for downturns in our economy. The main reason I’ve served, though, is to be a part of making improvements to our community, especially when it comes to improving opportunities for our youth. I’m most proud of us getting park projects like the Kelso Rotary Skate Park in place and making huge improvements to Tam O’Shanter Park the last two years. Some of the other changes we’ve seen since 2005 may not have been as obvious, but it’s fun to look back on a few of them: • In 2005, you could count on SW 1st Avenue by the Hall of Justice and Catlin Street to kill your front-end alignment. Now those issues have been – or are being – addressed, along with the underlying utilities that caused the problems. • Two aged water storage facilities – one from the 1920s – have been replaced by huge new reservoirs. • Two weird traffic patterns – the jog from Ocean Beach to West Main and the quasi-traffic circle at 4th and Allen – have been replaced with systems that are more effective. Please don’t think I’m taking credit for these things. Nothing in government is done by one person. Another thing I definitely didn’t do on my own was win each election in which I was a candidate. That took the support of our community, and I thank you for it. I hope I’ve served in a manner that justified it. 14 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020


Steps to Yes: 1. Desire to change 2. Allow the desire to simmer and sprout 3. Map out a plan 4. Go for it Ten ways Longview has been able to get to YES despite COVID-19 struggles: 1. Yes! Longview downtown businesses were able to expand their businesses during summer and fall months through free outdoor seating permits. Thanks to Community Development Director John Brickey, Cowlitz Economic Development Council’s Lindsey Cope and City Manager Kurt Sacha for making this happen. 2. Yes! Longview’s Revolving Loan Fund expanded opportunities for entrepreneurs to attain small business loans with no fees, low interest, and up to $100,000 borrowing capacity. 3. Yes! Millions of dollars flowed into our community through Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to lift and benefit families and businesses in need. 4. Yes! Over $500,000 in Community Development Block Grants and HOME grants were distributed to social service agency applicants within the city and city utility rate reductions were granted for over 300 senior citizens. Thank you, Longview City Council, for approving these applications. 5. Yes! Ribbon cutting ceremonies celebrating the newly constructed and federally granted RiverCities Transit on 12th Avenue, including six new biodiesel buses that offered no-fee rides during the COVID-19 summer; and the longawaited Legends Firing Range on California Way, a 50-yard indoor full facility firing range offering firearms training for our police officers and a recreational facility for the public. Many thanks to our state and federal legislators, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Jim Walsh, Brian Blake and Dean Takko For more Longview, see page 15

Longview from page 14

for assistance with funding and helping our community get to Yes! 6. Yes! The 94-year-old original city master clock housed in the Country Folks Deli in downtown Longview has been restored and now hangs in its new home in the Longview Public Library. Special thanks to the amazing efforts of former Longview Mayor Mark McCrady, Brickey and retired downtown business owner John Chilson. 7. Yes! The recent grand re-opening of the Salvation ArmyLongview Temple Corps Hope House Motel, under the leadership of Major Kit Wetter, brings HOPE and another YES to citizens struggling with addiction recovery within our community. This clean and sober housing model will bless the lives of many individuals seeking wellness and recovery. 8. Yes! Whereas many of our traditional fun runs, golf

tournaments and recreational activities have been postponed or canceled due to consequences of COVID-19, Longview celebrates a brand-new playground structure at Victoria Freeman Park located at Douglas Street/9th Avenue and nearly completed Harlie’s Hoops Basketball Court at Lake Sacajawea Park at Kessler Boulevard/20th Avenue. 9. Yes! Santa Claus is coming to town! The Longview Christmas Parade under the leadership of Cowlitz PUD Public Relations and Communications Manager Alice Dietz, will be COVID-19 friendly, as parade floats will be stationary and spectators will be the parade! Parade route will begin at 14th Avenue near Bank of America. YES! is attainable during the COVID-19 pandemic. What are your YES successes? Whatever your Yes may be, be safe, stay healthy.

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 | December 2020 | 15

Lower Columbia College Chris Bailey President


Lower Columbia College International Program sustains despite pandemic

ower Columbia College’s (LCC) International Program staff knew that the COVID-19 pandemic would have a dramatic affect on its operations. Last winter, LCC had

29 international students, and it had a significant number of

the LCC Office of Instruction and the LCC Foundation, the program has remained strong. As of the writing of this article, about 27 international students

individuals ready to enroll as new international students. Then

are anticipated to enroll for winter quarter. This is up from 22 in

COVID-19 hit hard in late winter quarter (March 2020) resulting

the fall. They represent 13 different countries. The anticipated

in the campus moving to a fully remote format. Some students

new arrivals are from Japan (3), South Korea, and Nepal.

returned to their home countries. Others who intended to come

The current environment continues to be challenging. One

had to delay their plans as travel restrictions emerged, and people

student from Germany and two students from Russia who were

decided it wasn’t a good time to come to the United States for

scheduled to attend LCC via exchange programs through the

study. However, through collaboration and support from across

Department of State have had to cancel their plans due to the

the LCC community to support international students, including

pandemic. Many U.S. Embassies are still closed or have very long wait times for students hoping to apply for student visas. LCC’s International Program has grown through word of mouth, established relationships and the increased use of foreign agents. Five years ago, Lower Columbia College entered into

Consistent Courteous Complete Title and Escrow Services

an agreement with Atomi University (Niiza and Tokyo, Japan) whereby LCC offers short-term “English and American Culture” programs for its students. While this twice-per-year program is currently on hiatus due to the pandemic, it has yielded results in that two former students from that program are coming to LCC this winter as long-term enrollees. About three years ago, LCC entered into an agreement with Three Rivers Christian School to offer dual credit classes for its students that are college ready. And one year ago, LCC entered into an agreement with Wako International High School to help its graduates obtain a college degree in the United States. Our first Wako international student from this agreement will be joining us this winter quarter.

1425 Maple Street • Longview, WA 98632

360.425.2950 16 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020

Lower Columbia College is proud of its International Program. It brings diversity to our campus and community. It brings world view to our local students. The future looks bright for LCC and for our students.


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Kelso Public Schools Mary Beth Tack Superintendent

Welcome to the new Wallace Elementary


hen students come back from the winter break, they’ll be coming back to a brand-new school, thanks to YOU. This building wouldn᾿t be possible without the support of our community. By voting YES for Kelso schools, you have given south Kelso students an opportunity to learn in a modern, state-ofthe-art facility that will serve our community for generations. Here is some interesting information about the new building, and some historical facts about Wallace Elementary over the years. Size •

58,000-square-foot building

4,000 square feet of covered play

which minimizes glare and optimizes the quality of daylight •

The building shape creates a number of courtyards, providing views and semi-sheltered outdoor spaces

Thousands of bricks from the 1940 school building will become the benches and pavers of the new building’s entry plaza

The original WALLACE sign from above the entry will be saved and incorporated

The exterior of the building uses colors from the old school and homes in the area, creating a civic expression of the neighborhood

Community: Inside and Out •

Each grade level of classrooms is grouped around a shared learning area, creating small communities within the school

Library, gym, commons, and stage can be opened to the public for community uses after hours, while the rest of the school is secure

Large garden and outdoor classroom with benches and raised planters


Wallace History Wallace Elementary has been a part of Kelso schools for over 100 years. The school is named after 1800s pioneer Victor Wallace, a machinist, cabinetmaker, gunsmith, and millwright who traveled west from Missouri on the Oregon Trail in 1847. It is on the land he settled in 1850 where the school has been built and rebuilt. 1912: The first Wallace Elementary School, a four-room structure made of wood, was built. It housed 60 students in grades one through four with two teachers and was heated by 30 tons of coal.

Secure vestibule design ensures all visitors go through the office before entering school

Part of a central, district-wide security monitoring system with remote lockdown capabilities

Secure entries with card reader access and camera systems

1942: The old building was demolished and a new brick building, costing $102,000, took its place. Wallace’s student count jumped to 530.

Rooms designed to allow for occupants to be out of the line of site during a lockdown

1955: A four-room primary addition, costing $62,404, was added to the south end of the first floor.

Sustainability •

Meets Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol (the green building guide)

Made with Low Volatile Organic Compound materials

At least 20 percent of materials are from within 500 miles

On-site water filtration through rain gardens and bio-swales removes contaminants before water enters rivers and lakes

Drought-tolerant, native plants like Bowhall maples, sour gum trees, red alders, and Kelseyi dogwoods

Fun Facts •

The spaces in the building were laid out in a series of work sessions with teachers and staff from Wallace

All general classrooms have direct north or south daylight,

18 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020

1923 and 1926: Four classrooms were added in 1923, another four in 1926 for a total of 12 classrooms.

1980: Wallace was remodeled. Improvements, costing $944,710, included strengthening the walls and roof. 2018: Voters passed a $98.6 million bond, which included $28.5 million to replace the unreinforced and seismically unsound brick Wallace building. 2019: Construction of the third Wallace Elementary School on the same parcel of Victor Wallace’s land began in June. 2020-21: The new Wallace is completed. The new Wallace truly is a beautiful place. Although we won’t be able to have in-person tours, we’ll be hosting a virtual ribbon cutting in December. Watch the district and Wallace websites for details. Wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday season, in good health and happiness.

Longview Public Schools Dan Zorn


Why move back to remote learning?


he question the district is getting more than any other right now is, “Why move back to remote learning?” We announced in mid-November that the district would

take a “pause” from hybrid in-person learning starting Nov. 30 and go fully remote until Christmas break. We had been serving prekindergarten through fifth grade with hybrid in-person learning and secondary students remotely.

As the community infection rate quickly surged, we started seeing the negative effects in our schools almost immediately. Absenteeism in both students and staff members increased significantly as more and more people in the community contracted COVID-19. At one of our elementary schools, an individual contracted COVID-19 outside of school then came into close contact with numerous students and teachers at school, causing many of them

The reason for the pause in hybrid learning is since Sept. 1 the

to be quarantined for the required 14 days. Recently, the county

rate of Cowlitz County COVID-19 infections has increased tenfold,

health department notified families and the school district that 29

quadrupling over a three-week period in November. With the holiday

of our students were exposed to someone with COVID-19 while at

season approaching, it appears that this upward trend will likely

a local daycare center. The health department ordered the students

continue. The data being used by the district in our analysis of the

to quarantine as a health precaution. These are just a few of several

rising infection rates can be found at: https://www.longviewschools. com/covid-19-activity

examples of the virus being brought into our schools, potentially exposing our students and staff. With the spread of the disease negatively impacting both students

eBill Sign up TODAY





and staff members, our hope is pausing hybrid in-person learning for the three weeks of instruction before Christmas break will serve as a “reset”, so the district can resume serving kids in person in January. Our teachers will continue to provide quality instruction in our remote learning model, preparing our students for when they return to inperson instruction. While in remote learning we will continue to serve identified at-risk students in person, in groups of five or less, to help assure their success. As in the past, our district’s return to hybrid inperson learning will depend on the community’s health status. One thing we learned in serving our pre-kindergarten through fifth grade kids during hybrid in-person learning is that students adapt very well to safety protocols. We appreciate the support and help of our parents in teaching their children school safety expectations. We are thankful for your support of our schools. The last nine months has been an experience we will never forget, but together we will

computer. tablet. phone. sign up today at 360.423.2210 or

overcome the challenges. If you have questions about anything school related please do not hesitate to call or email me. I wish you and your families a healthy and happy Christmas and New Year. Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020 | 19

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

Eat, drink, be merry with these selections


t’s the holiday season! However, I have to admit, I’m not exactly certain what that means in 2020. It is a time where we cook, bake (and let’s be honest), and drink more. I thought this would be a great time to share with you some of our more recently added titles, discussing food, cooking, and wine. I have also included some titles about some of the people who have risen to a certain level of prominence in the professions surrounding those topics. You can find all of these titles at your Longview Public Library. Please be safe and have a happy holiday season, however you wish to celebrate it. “Jacques Pepin Quick and Simple: Simply Wonderful Meals with Surprisingly Little Effort” by Jacques Pepin. Legendary chef Pepin shares with readers a comprehensive collection of recipes, with a helping of advice and wisdom as well, that will encourage anyone who is short on time, but still interested in cooking fabulous food at home. “Pie Academy: Master the Perfect Crust and 255 Amazing Fillings, with Fruits, Nuts, Creams, Custards, Ice Cream, and More: Expert Techniques for Making Fabulous Pies from Scratch”

“Buck Naked Kitchen: Radiant and Nourishing Recipes to Fuel your Healthy Journey” by Kirsten Buck. In this very accessible debut, Buck, creator of the Buck Naked Kitchen blog, shares healthy, tasty meals based on the Whole30 lifestyle. Readers, whether Whole30 adherents or not, will find plenty of healthful recipes in this fun and encouraging volume. “Cooking for 2” by Taste of Home Books. With how things are working this year in 2020, maybe you’re only cooking for two this season. You will find 167 sensational dishes ideal for small households. From hearty casseroles and homemade soups to biscuits and chocolate cakes, your favorite foods are here, scaled down for two. “Wine for Normal People: A Guide for Real People Who like Wine, but not the Snobbery that Goes with It” by Elizabeth Schneider. Schneider, a certified sommelier and certified specialist of wine, writes an intelligent, fun, amazingly deep, and unpretentious guide to wine for anyone and everyone who wants to learn more about wine, no matter how much you already know or don᾿t know.

Our focus is on your business.

“Wine Folly: Magnum Edition, the Master Guide” by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack. The creators of Wine Folly, in all its forms, have taken all of the information about wine and put it together in revolutionary new way. Using visual aids, such as color coding and easy to understand graphics, they make it easy for wine lovers to learn about wine in a practical and fun way.

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. Kelso | 1000 South 13th Ave. 360.423.7800 Longview | 927 Commerce Ave. 360.423.9800 Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC

by Ken Haedrich. Award-winning cookbook author Haedrich, creator of the popular online resource and baking community Pie Academy, here presents much of the extensive content from that site in cookbook form. The wide-ranging, well-curated mix of classic and contemporary recipes and expert advice make this an essential primer for avid home bakers. |

20 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020

“Wine Girl: The Obstacles, Humiliations, and Triumphs of America᾿s Youngest Sommelier” by Victoria James. Part survivor memoir part personal journey and part behind the scenes look at the hospitality industry, James has written a gritty, eloquent and fascinating memoir. In the end, she has written an inspiring, captivating story of resilience that will be of interest to anyone whether interested in wine or not. “Dirt: Adventures in Lyon, as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking” by Bill Buford. New Yorker writer Buford recounts his time working for Mario Batali and deciding to move–along with his wife and twin toddler sons–to Lyon, France. An often funny and eye-opening behind-the-scenes look at haute cuisine, as well as life as an expat in France. Readers will be engrossed not only by Buford’s story, but by that of his family as well.

2021 January 12: OPEN February 9: JoJo CoCo & Wander March 9: OPEN April 13: Teri’s May 11: Cowlitz Title June 8: Port of Longview July 13: American Workforce August 10: Rotary Clubs September 14: ServPro 10 year Anniversary October 12: Farm Dog Bakery Life Works November 9: Capital National Title December 14: (Holiday Mixer)

Interested in hosting a Business After Hours in 2021? Contact the Chamber at 360-423-8400 or email

Calendar December 2020 Sunday


Tuesday 1






3 Ambassadors



Meeting, 7:30LED CANCE 8:30am Columbia Bank



8 Holiday Mixer D



11 Jingle all the




15 Chamber







22 Chamber


24 Christmas

25 Christmas









Executive Board, Noon, ZOOM Budget Approval Board Meeting, Noon, ZOOM Budget Approval

Chamber Offices Closed


Chamber Offices Closed

January 2021 Sunday







1 New Years Day


Chamber Offices Closed










12 BAH,





















22 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020

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

Look Who Joined in November Washington Social Consulting Andrew Huffman 142 Prairie Lane Kelso, WA 98626 360-232-3816

Cavalry Home Inspection

John Newport 230 St. James Place Longview, WA 98632 360-644-7614

• 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

Peterson Brothers Automation LLC David Peterson 155 Rayburn Rd Winlock, WA 98596 360-304-9660

Bubble Boutique Soapery Shannon Wallace 100 Church Street Kelso, WA 98626 360-353-3319

• 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 | December 2020 | 23

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 Shawn Green - Longview Kelso Servpro Marc Silva - Columbia Bank

The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce would like to THANK the following loyal members for renewing their partnership with us this December. Canterbury Inn


Columbia Ford Hyundai Nissan Ecological Land Services, Inc

Your Chamber Connection

Fibre Federal Credit Union –

EVERY Wednesday on KEDO 1400AM

Main Branch KLOG/KUKN/The WAVE Radio Stations Longview Radiologists, PS, Inc Office Depot Max Omelettes & More

Join our hosts Carey Mackey, Red Canoe Credit Union; Karen Sisson; 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 Mike and Payton from Red Kitchen Cocktails and Taps

brought holiday cheer b Bicoastal Media's Bruce Pollack and new PUD commissioner c Jacob Dunn with Dunn Maintenance

Stream Your Chamber Connection live at

PeaceHealth St. John Foundation Suburban Propane Teri's Restaurant


c Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020 | 25

Thank You so much to all our Bingo Hunt sponsors! Special shout out to our VIP sponsor Explorer Brewing for hosting us and helping us stay dry!




Chamber Bingo Hunt Participants find great prizes! This year's Chamber bingo event looked a little different as we invited participants to find treasure hidden around the city Nov. 14. Thank you to our many sponsors. For a complete list see page 26.


a Christine and Chris Schott, Walstead Mertsching b Denny and Kim Lafontaine, Twin City Laundry c Maryann Steward, SlapShot d Rachel and Matt Gray, Huntington Learning e Karianne Botero, The Nest

d Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020 | 27

News & Events

News and events come from our website, press releases, and public information shared with us. To see more visit

Drive through and visit Santa in the Cowlitz PUD parking lot Due to new mandates, Cowlitz PUD is unable to host the annual Christmas parade. But thanks to Hopscotch Toys, Foster Farms, The Daily News, Weather Guard and the City of Longview, we are able to host a Drive-Thru Santa Visit from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 5. Drive through the Cowlitz PUD parking lot, 961 12th Ave., in Longview, where Mr. and Mrs. Claus and their elves will be waiting to collect your letters and Christmas lists. You can create your own or use these Santa letter and Santa list templates: https://www. The route will begin with entrance into the PUD parking lot from 12th Avenue and exiting onto Commerce Avenue. If you are a business and interested in donating to the gift bags, email

Coalition reaching out to help families and working on community survey During this holiday season, the Empowering People and Impacting Community (EPIC) Coalition would like to support families and children directly affected by drug and alcohol addiction. The coalition is in search of local families to sponsor this holiday season, in hopes that families who have experienced the depths and struggles that come with addiction, can also experience the light that comes on the other side of recovery, healthy lifestyles and stability. It is through lifting one another that true change is created. The holidays is a time to spread cheer and joy. Now, more than ever, our community deserves to know the power of human kindness. If you know of a deserving family who could use the gift of light and sponsorship this holiday season, please email info@ or call 360-355-3142.

Substance abuse erodes the health and safety of our community. Child abuse and neglect, unemployment, poverty, crime, violence, homelessness, avoidable medical care, and overdoses are some of the devastating effects we have seen in our area. This is why the EPIC)Coalition was established in Longview. Volunteer members of EPIC work to provide effective communitywide prevention services to improve public health and safety. EPIC is asking for your feedback by completing the community survey about youth substance abuse. Your input will help improve prevention strategies for the youth and families in our community. Online Survey (English): Online Survey (Spanish): To learn more about the EPIC Coalition, visit

Send season's greetings to seniors at Monticello Park

Prestige Care invites Longview community members to send positive notes, warm wishes and fun artwork to its residents to spread cheer and lift spirits. With the holidays around the corner, Prestige Care is placing an emphasis on bringing extra joy to its residents during times of social distancing and other safety measures due to COVID-19. Monticello Park are welcoming cards, letters and other paper gifts such as drawings and homemade artwork and asks that community members keep the following recommendations in mind: • Messages should be handwritten and in large, easy-to-read print. • Keep the messages positive. Prestige encourages writers to make their letters kind and heartfelt. • If including a drawing or painting by a child, please consider having them sign with their name and age at the bottom. • Please don’t date your letters, as items can take up to three days to disinfect. Prestige is taking extra precautions and will sort and disinfect all items prior to them being delivered to residents. All items will be opened and screened unless it is a private message sent from a family or friend of the resident.

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 28 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020

Community members can mail their season’s greetings to the Prestige Senior Living Monticello Park, 605 Broadway St., Longview, Wash., 98632 Those who wish to drop off items in person may call Prestige and meet a staff member at the entrance.


Ribbon Cutting Welcome Additions

Our Ambassadors are back, out and about serving the community and greeting new Chamber members.

a The Salvation Army opens Hope House for those in recovery b Kayla Jacobson, Hope House social services director

c Bubble Boutique Soapery and More in Kelso joined us just in time for Small Business Saturday


c Kelso Longview Business Connection | December 2020 | 29

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