Sunday, March 31, 2013 â€˘ Tri-City Herald
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INSIDE Communities & Lifestyle Pasco School District ..........................6 Richland School District ......................7 Kennewick School District ..................8 Kennewick General Hospital................8 Kadlec Health System ........................9 Visitor & Convention Bureau ..............10 City of Richland..................................11 City of West Richland ........................13 Lourdes Health Network ....................13 City of Pasco ....................................14 City of Kennewick..............................14 Catholic Family & Child Service ..........17 WSU Tri-Cities ..................................19 Columbia Basin College ....................20 United Way ......................................22 Boys & Girls Clubs ............................22 Hanford Reach Interpretive Center ....24 Benton County Commission ..............25 Franklin County Commission ............26
Business & Economy Economic Forecast............................27 Tri-City Regional Chamber ................28 Pasco Chamber of Commerce ..........29 Home Builders Association................32 Tri-City Association of Realtors ........33 Department of Transportation ..........33 Tri-Cities Electric Utilities ..................37 Energy Northwest ............................40
TRIDEC ............................................42 Tri-Cities Research District ..............42 Tri-City Local Business Association ....44 Goodwill Industries ..........................44
Agriculture & Commerce Port of Benton ..................................46 Port of Kennewick ............................48 Port of Pasco ....................................51 State Department of Agriculture........52 Kennewick Irrigation District ............55 Washington Grain Commission ..........57 State Dairy Products Commission ....58
Science & Technology Department of Energy ......................59 Bechtel National ..............................60 DOE Office of River Protection ..........62 Environmental Protection Agency ....63 Mission Support Alliance ..................65 HAMMER ..........................................66 Dade Moeller ....................................66 CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation ......68 Washington Closure Hanford ............69 Washington River Protection ............70 Fluor Government Group ..................70 Department of Ecology......................72 PNNL ................................................73 Areva ................................................74 Pacific Northwest Site Office ............74
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Advertising index AgriNorthwest ....................................7 Bechtel National ................................41 Benton PUD ......................................46 Business card page............................53 Campbell and Company......................54 Carey Motors ....................................15 CH2M HILL........................................23 Church page ......................................43 City of Pasco ......................................21 Columbia Grain & Feed ......................36 Critical Nurse Staffing ........................67 Denchel Ford ....................................68 Distinctive Properties ........................56 Edward Jones ....................................17 Einanâ€™s Funeral Home ........................63 Energy Northwest................................2 Farmers National ................................71 Fluor....................................................4 GESA Credit Union ............................30 HAPO Community Credit Union ..........47 Kadlec Regional Medical Center........20 Kennewick General Hospital ..............75 Legacy Ford ......................................16 Lourdes Health Network ......................3
Lucius Pitkin ......................................64 McCurley Chevrolet......................38-39 Mission Support Alliance ....................76 Neil F. Lampson ..................................61 NW Construction Supply ....................72 Patio Covers Unlimited ......................28 Port of Benton ....................................12 ProBuild ............................................18 Salon Monroe ....................................25 Simon Property Group ......................50 Tri-City Cancer Center ......................57 Tri-City Chaplaincy............................27 Tri-City Visitor & Convention Bureau..59 Three Rivers Community ....................10 Toyota of Tri-Cities..............................5 Tri-Cities Business Connection ..........61 Tri-Cities Community Health..............45 TRIDEC..............................................51 Vista Engineering..............................65 Washington River Protection Solutions..34 Western States Insurance ................35 Windermere Group One ......................31 Windermere Tri-Cities........................49 Yakima Federal Savings & Loan ..........11
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
COMMUNITIES & LIFESTYLE
PASCO SCHOOL DISTRICT
Improving education for students’ futures As we look ahead, there is much to be thankful for and excited about in Pasco. On behalf of our students, I wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to Pasco voters for taking time to separate fact from fiction and make a choice that will have long-term benefits for our community. While we appreciate voter support, we are also grateful for community input throughout the process of developing this bond. The board heard clearly that Pasco families were not in favor of multitrack year-round or double shifting and defined an option to avoid those strategies. Pasco community members really stepped up to provide valuable information as the board determined how to best ease overcrowding and best serve students and families, while also minimizing the financial impact on Sherry the community. Lancon Cost-saving measures will be employed President at every step as we build the three elementary schools to address immediate overcrowding. Work has been under way for some time on Elementary No. 13. We will break ground and begin construction this summer at Road 52 and Powerline. The first new school opens in 2014, and schools No. 14 and No. 15 will open the following year. The large schools will be built using the Pasco design. Elementary No. 15 will share a playground with Whittier, and sixth graders will stay at elementary schools beginning in 2015-16. These strategies, among others, all resulted in reduced costs to taxpayers. Brick and mortar are just the beginning blocks of building schools. More important are the people and the programs in the buildings. The board has directed these be “Schools of Innovation,” incorporating STEM concepts, to provide additional student opportunities. We have learned many lessons developing Delta High School that will inform our work. The district will initiate a public process to guide development of and name the new schools. We also are pleased to move forward with a permanent home for Delta High School at Road 100 in Pasco. All three school boards — Kennewick, Pasco and Richland — have approved the location and continue to work in partnership
Courtesy Pasco School District
Above: Fifth-grade students at Longfellow Elementary School examine land snails for a hands-on science project. Below: Ochoa Middle School seventh graders inspect their creation Jan. 16 during the school’s first Future City competition.
with the STEM Education Foundation to secure funding to build the school, which will continue to serve students from all three districts. New schools and cutting-edge programs are not the only source of pride in Pasco. We are blessed with dedicated and focused professionals who have gained recognition for top-notch leadership. Executive Director of Student Achievement Liz Padilla Flynn was hon-
ored by Texas Woman’s University as National Literacy Advocate. Delta High School Principal Deidre Holmberg was awarded the Paul G. Allen Foundation Creative Leadership Award. Both Delta and New Horizons high schools were named Schools of Innovation. Livingston Principal Susan Sparks was named regional Principal of the Year, Superintendent Saundra Hill was selected as the 2013 Washington State Superintendent
of the Year, and both are in the running for the national title. These are only a sampling of the outstanding leaders, educators and visionaries who make the Pasco School District a remarkable place to learn and work. We have challenges, but our dynamic team is overcoming them, in spite of the unfunded state and federal mandates that seem designed not to aid and reward, but to constrain, stifle and punish at every turn. I visit our schools on a weekly, and sometimes daily, basis. I never cease to be amazed and uplifted. I would extend an invitation to you to learn the truth about our schools by becoming involved. Volunteer, attend some of the great events that happen daily, ride along on the next Superintendent’s Bus Tour or shadow a student on a VIP Day. I am certain that by spending time in our schools, you will also see the true value in our system and the hard-working team members of the district. This is an exciting time filled with possibilities and opportunities for our community to work together for the common good of our bright future: our children.
COMMUNITIES & LIFESTYLE
Tri-City Herald • Sunday, March 31, 2013
RICHLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT
Bond approval opening doors for improvement More than 66 percent of Richland School District residents said yes to a $98 million bond issue in February. We thank our community for this strong show of support. We are moving ahead now with our efforts to improve district facilities and provide 21st century schools for the children of Richland and West Richland. These improvements will benefit students and families for decades to come. Be assured that these improvements will positively impact student achievement. The bond issue addresses these specific projects: ◗ Lewis & Clark, Marcus Whitman and Sacajawea Elementary Schools will be replaced. The process will be similar to the Jason Lee project 10 years ago. New schools will be built on a different section of the respective campuses, and then the old structures will be
demolished. ◗ A new elementary school will be built in south Richland where continual Rich Puryear growth is taking place. ◗ A new midInterim superintendent dle school will be built in the south/west area where continual growth is taking place. ◗ Provide adequate space for HomeLink at a site to be determined. ◗ The 1953 wing of Jefferson Elementary will be removed and replaced with adequate space to serve the current K-5 enrollment. ◗ The Chief Joseph Middle School HVAC system will be replaced.
◗ Make safety improvements at Fran Rish Stadium. The Richland School Board and district administrative staff are determining timelines for each of the projects. Each project will begin with an educational specifications committee (or a combined committee for all the elementary schools) and a thorough design phase. We will use the same design plans for multiple schools whenever possible to save on architectural costs. The Richland School District was an excellent steward of the 2003 bond issue money, and we will be an excellent steward again this time around. We will maximize the use of state matching funds. We will use some of these state funds to help pay for the project/construction managers. These professionals will oversee the design and construction activi-
Kandace Sanford, 8, takes a test in the computer lab earlier this year at Badger Mountain Elementary School in Richland. The $98 million bond approved Feb. 12 by voters will allow the Richland School District to expand some schools. Tri-City Herald file
ties to make sure that all of these projects are finished on time and within budget. In addition, the school board and administrative staff will continuously perform oversight activities and monitor costs and schedules to ensure that we meet all educational specifica-
tions while being efficient with our taxpayers’ money. If you have ideas or questions regarding these bond issue projects, please contact me at 967-6001 or rich.puryear@ rsd.edu. You are also welcome to attend any meetings of the Richland School Board.
COMMUNITIES & LIFESTYLE
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
KENNEWICK SCHOOL DISTRICT
On the leading edge of public education Innovative is a word that describes the heart and soul of the Kennewick School District. Nationally recognized among our peers, we are known as a results-oriented district at the forefront of emerging trends in public education. We earned this reputation by being forerunners in the early childhood education and literacy movement, as developers of new school concepts that offer choices to students and families, as trailblazers in professional development, and as leaders in the use of data to drive instruction.
End of one-size-fits-all education Recently, Washington voters narrowly approved the introduction of charter schools. Much of the energy behind charter schools is about offering choices to students and families, a need the Kennewick School District identified years ago. Our recognition that not all students thrive in the same educational environment led to the 2006 opening of Phoenix High School, a small projectbased high school emphasizing rigorous, self-directed learning. The district is now renovating a facility on Fourth Avenue to be the new home for the school beginning in 2013. The facility
will also house our Legacy Online program, another choice we began offering in 2007 for students who want to take their classes online, but also have the value of an on-site tutor they can meet with Dave Bond regularly. Staunch supSuperintendent porters of the Delta High School partnership from its inception, we take pride in the success of this new STEM high school and look forward to a new facility being built in the near future to better serve its students. When parents asked us to support their home-based education, we responded, opening the Mid-Columbia Partnership (MCP) in 2004. The school supports the home-based education of K-12 students through enriching experiences in classes held at MCP as well as off-site field trips and online classes. These types of parent/ school collaborative programs are gaining in popularity and we are proud to have been at the forefront of making this option available to Kennewick families.
Pioneers in the early learning movement
born right here in Kennewick.
In 1996, the KSD took the bold step of implementing our Third Grade Reading Goal. The goal states that 90 percent of our third-grade students will demonstrate the ability to read at grade level. A massive undertaking, this required enormous effort on the part of our teachers and a paradigm shift in the kind of work performed by our para-educators. In 2006, we hit 90 percent and have been above 87 percent ever since. This continues to be the district’s fundamental learning goal as it sets the foundation for a student’s ability to be successful in school. In 2002, the Kennewick School District helped launch the Ready! for Kindergarten program. At the time, it was one of only a handful of programs that focused on teaching parents how to work with their children to prepare them for kindergarten. Now, through a decadelong effort, parents are internalizing the message that reading to their children for at least 20 minutes a day and preparing them for kindergarten is as much a parental responsibility as feeding and clothing their kids. The Ready! program has since gone national along with the National Reading Foundation, two ideas
Master teachers mentor new teachers KSD is unique in having one of the most robust mentoring programs for new teachers across the nation. Our Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) program, a collaborative effort with the Kennewick Education Association, took off in 2000. The program taps the expertise of two master teachers who serve four-year terms as mentors to up to 40 new teachers each school year. PAR has received numerous awards, including an invitation to present at the International Mentoring Association Conference in 2010. The program has succeeded in assisting hundreds of new teachers in furthering their knowledge of instructional strategies, classroom management and all other aspects of becoming a K-12 educator.
Using data to drive instruction and curriculum KSD was one of the earliest adopters of using data to guide instruction. When the district signed on to do Measures of Academic Performance (MAP) testing through the Northwest Evaluation Association in 1995, we began a journey toward individualized instruction for students. Beyond MAP, additional
regular assessments enable our teachers to address the skill level and needs of each student by adjusting the instruction they receive throughout the school year. We also look at grade-level data to inform our decisions on instruction and curriculum. Recently, we discovered a trend in our sixth-grade math scores on the MAP test that clearly identified that our sixth-grade students weren’t showing the growth that we wanted. We deduced that our sixth-grade math curriculum was too much of a repeat of what students were learning in fifth-grade and have since realigned our curriculum. This was a critical step as we move forward with our plans to make algebra the standard eighth-grade math course — another example of the Kennewick School District leading the way forward. Innovation is a word that describes what to expect from the Kennewick School District in the future. Finding new ways to continuously improve our practice as educators is ingrained in our culture. It’s who we are and will continue to be. We are honored to be entrusted with the education of our youth and will always strive to deliver the best possible experience for each and every one of our students.
KENNEWICK GENERAL HOSPITAL
Community hospital in the midst of landmark 3 years Glen Marshall CEO
Sixty years after this community worked tirelessly to make Kennewick General Hospital a reality, we find ourselves facing the dawn of a new and exciting yet critically important day. Last June, a 20-acre patch of sagebrush at Southridge began transforming into the first brand-new hospital the Tri-City area will have seen in several decades, or will see for many more to come. In December, the final
structural beam was placed and our landscape forever changed in more ways than one. The progress is significant. KGH is growing and evolving alongside the community we serve. The next major phase of construction at our new Southridge location will be enclosure of the hospital structure with external walls in March, one of many important milestones ahead for us in 2013. When
completed, it will comprise 170,000 square feet spread over three stories and a daylight basement, and 74 licensed beds in private rooms including a 14-room intensive care unit. In addition, a 27-bed emergency room will serve the community’s most urgent medical needs. The facility also will include a joint replacement and spine center, physical therapy practice, the latest diagnostic imaging technology, and
amenities including cafeteria, coffee shop, gift shop, multi-faith chapel and ample parking. In May 2014, the Southridge hospital will open its doors and warmly welcome its first patients, marking the end of its three-year journey to completion and the start of a new chapter for the entire KGH health network. In many ways, this new See LANDMARK | Page 9
COMMUNITIES & LIFESTYLE
Tri-City Herald • Sunday, March 31, 2013
KADLEC HEALTH SYSTEM
Committed to providing highest level of care What does a 21st century health care provider look and act like? You may not spend a lot of time pondering that question, but we certainly do. The 350,000 residents served by Kadlec should expect nothing less of us. Our board, leadership team, physicians, nurses and staff have a strong commitment to — and positive vision for — health care in the MidColumbia region. We are ahead of the curve in many ways and fully intend to keep moving Rand forward. Kadlec has assemWortman bled or is planning the precise set of services, President skilled people, advanced technology and modern facilities. We have a laserlike focus on improving patient safety and the quality of care, while lowering the cost of it. Federal health care reform, with accompanying decreases in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, will mean we must provide more and better services with less money. Fortunately, Kadlec is well positioned to do that. A good example is our new electronic health record. With Epic Systems’ software, we have built a seamless, integrated way to track each patient’s care. That greatly increases accurate information flow, speeds appropriate treatment, avoids costly duplication of effort and reduces the possibility of medical errors. Caring for this region is not only about
Bob Brawdy | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Kadlec Free Standing Emergency Department at West 19th Avenue and Highway 395 in Kennewick is nearing completion.
saving lives, but it also is about creating healthier communities. With ever-growing services and exciting new facilities, Kadlec is poised to provide the highest level of care to the patients we serve. That commitment is being noticed nationally. This past year, a highly respected consumer publication evaluated and ranked hospitals for quality and safety. Kadlec was ranked fifth in the nation and tops in Washington. We have also been singled out by the Leapfrog Group as an “A” rated hospital. The Leapfrog Group represents many of the nation’s largest corporations and public agencies that buy health benefits on behalf of their enrollees. Their survey assesses the
efforts of more than 1,300 hospitals to improve safety, quality and efficiency, and they provide hospitals a grade that reflects those survey results. Kadlec employs about 2,300 people and pays approximately $150 million in salaries and wages annually. That’s money that stays in our community. In 2012, about 60,000 people visited our emergency department, and more than 10,000 of those people were admitted to the hospital. 2012 saw almost 2,600 babies born at Kadlec; about 550 were admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a 50 percent increase in the number of babies needing extra care. The Kadlec NICU recently celebrated 30 years of providing exceptional care
for the most exceptional babies. Some of those exceptional babies now are raising their own families in the Tri-Cities. Kadlec admitted almost 15,000 patients during 2012, including almost 3,500 patients from outside Benton and Franklin Counties. We also provided more than $30 million in charity care last year. 2013 brings exciting new services and facilities to the Tri-Cities. In June, we will open the region’s first free-standing emergency department. It will be located at Highway 395 and 19th Avenue in Kennewick. This new service will be staffed 24/7 by board-certified emergency room physicians and nurses. It will emphasize getting patients seen quickly, and if necessary, seamlessly admitted into the hospital. This new service will provide relief to our current emergency department on the Richland campus, plus be more responsive to the hundreds of patients who wish to use Kadlec for their E.R. care in this part of the Tri-Cities. Later this fall, we look forward to opening a specialty physician medical office building on our main campus. This will house most Kadlec specialists in one location, providing convenient access to our patients. As the new health care reform law is poised to take significant effect during the next year, Kadlec is well-positioned to meet the needs of our community and region. We thank you for the trust you have placed in us and pledge to provide you and your family compassionate, patient-centered care.
LANDMARK | KGH home base to become specialty center for women and children FROM PAGE 8
state-of-the-art facility signifies a reaffirmation of our longstanding pledge to embody excellence in caring for the total health of our community. It’s been a long time coming, but the time has finally come. It’s time to grow and time to start fresh while further raising the bar on the breadth and depth of our services, as well as the high level of care and caring you’ve come to expect from us. You can continue to count on
the KGH family. Our extensive, dedicated network of physicians and providers — 250 strong with 90 directly employed— will continue delivering expert, individualized care across a variety of specialties including cardiology, endocrinology, family medicine, gastroenterology, general surgery, hematology and oncology, infectious disease, internal medicine, neurology, nephrology, pediatrics, psychiatry, senior health, sleep and pulmonary medicine, and women’s health.
Our five urgent and walk-in care facilities in the Tri-Cities, including the area’s only AfterHours Pediatrics Clinic, will continue standing ready to help in nonemergency situations that require same-day attention. And although many of our hospital staff and services will be relocating to Southridge next year, we have exciting plans for our existing hospital campus. In fact, the facility this community has come to know as the KGH home base will
become a full-service women’s and children’s specialty center, including women’s health services, pediatrics, a beautifully remodeled and nationally ranked family birthing center, and a special care nursery for babies born up to six weeks premature. This new and important identity for our Auburn Street hospital location is yet another purposeful step toward designing a health care network that is poised to meet the long-term needs and exceed the expecta-
tions of individuals and families in our fast-growing area. As a public hospital district, we never lose sight of why we exist: to expertly and compassionately care for the people of this community along their lifelong path to health and wellness. It is with pride and anticipation that we look ahead to the future of health care in the TriCities. A bright new day is on the horizon for the Kennewick Public Hospital District. We look forward to sharing it with you.
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
COMMUNITIES & LIFESTYLE
TRI-CITIES VISITOR AND CONVENTION BUREAU
Tourism will continue to strengthen economy Like many of the key industries that support the Tri-City economy, in 2012 the travel and tourism industry experienced what analysts would term a “market correction.” It’s not that the industry is performing poorly; in fact, it is keeping pace with other destinations throughout the Northwest. The challenge is that while other communities are making prior year comparisons to some of the worst years in recent history, Tri-City area tourismrelated businesses are trying to keep pace in comparison to years of record-breaking performance fueled by increased business travel as a result of $1.96 billion in stimulus spending. So while hotel revenues may be slightly down to the prior year, they are still outperforming the pre-stimulus years. Due to the positive performance that local hotels experienced in years past, there has
been a lot of interest from investors in building new hotels in the Tri-Cities. The problem has been securing Kris financing, as Watkins lending standards have President become increasingly more stringent. And while finding funding is still difficult, there has been some improvement. As a result, a new 90-room TownePlace Suites opened earlier this year at Columbia Point, and groundbreaking for a 112-room SpringHill Suites adjacent to the Three Rivers Convention Center will occur soon, with an opening expected in the summer 2014. In addition, Redstone properties recently announced plans to build a 164-room Embassy
Suites accompanied by a second, yet to be named, 120-room hotel at Horn Rapids. Adding more hotels will enhance the number of choices available to visitors, but it will also have an effect on hotel occupancies. Even as the number of visitors traveling to the region grows, there will be fierce competition among hotels to maintain current occupancies due to the increase in the number of guest rooms available. It will be more important than ever that the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau (TCVCB) develop innovative marketing programs to attract new visitors to the community as well as to encourage return visitors. The TCVCB will launch aggressive campaigns in media outreach, internet marketing and convention and sports recruitment. In addition the TCVCB, along with TRIDEC and the Tri-Cities Regional Chamber of Com-
merce, will go through a community-wide branding process in order to develop a more consistent and unified image for the Tri-Cities. The investment that our community has made in improving the infrastructure to support tourism, as well as plans for future investment, will translate into sustained economic prosperity. In 2011, visitors spent $392.6 million at local businesses. This figure will continue to grow, due in part to the capacity of our sports complexes, the addition of new direct flights into the Tri-Cities Airport, and the unique adventures visitors will find here. The WSU Wine Science Center, the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center and increased accessibility to B Reactor will appeal to broad audiences, creating visitor experiences found nowhere else. The TCVCB supports the
efforts to secure long-term opportunities that will positively impact tourism. Our congressional delegation has made great strides in getting Hanford and B Reactor included as part of the proposed Manhattan Project National Historical Park. And although it has yet to be approved by Congress, it is still a viable project. In addition, consistent with the Hanford Comprehensive Land Use Plan, as the footprint of cleanup at Hanford is reduced, lands may be made available for public access. Nature trails, boat launches and the historic landscape will all help increase visitor spending in our region. Although the short-term forecast may appear challenging, the previous investments put forth by our community will ensure that the tourism industry will remain strong and contribute to the overall stability of the Tri-City economy.
COMMUNITIES & LIFESTYLE
Tri-City Herald • Sunday, March 31, 2013
CITY OF RICHLAND
Staying focused on the city’s strategic plan The verb “focus” is defined by Wikipedia as the ability to “adapt to a prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly.” Focused is the best descriptive for the city of Richland, as we move through 2013 achieving our goals and setting new ones. The key to a clear outlook is Richland’s strategic plan, which is in the sixth year of the 20-year plan. Our strategic plan is a working document that identifies seven key focus areas. These focus areas are the foundation for decisions made for the betterment of our citizens and businesses, 2013 and beyond. The key focus areas are: financial stability and operational effectiveness; infrastructure and facilities; economic vitality; targeted investments; natural resource management; community amenities; and housing and neighborhoods. Although our community has fared well compared with the national statistics, we have our own financial issues that continuously challenge cities. The cost of doing business increases each
year, and resources at the state and federal level are scarce. Despite our sales tax revenue being down 9 percent and the unexpected cost of the December wind storm, Richland continues to be financially stable without raising property taxes in 2013. To continue our financial stability into the future, Richland is dedicated to using an aggressive approach Cindy toward cost-reduction Johnson strategies. Some of the city’s cost-efficient City manager strategies are not visible to the public, such as staff restructuring or contract negotiations. Other strategies are more visible, such as the city’s commitment to economic vitality and efforts to diversify our economy through partnerships, both private and public. The city has identified several targeted locations that will require partnerships for successful com-
pletion. These areas include the Central Business District, Swift Corridor, Island View, the Tri-Cities Research District and the Energy Park. Although each of these areas is located in a different region within the city and involve different stakeholders, they will all benefit the city as a whole. We remain focused on improving, enhancing and building infrastructure and other facilities throughout Richland. The year 2013 will include improvements to our stormwater system, landfill, waste water treatment facility, energy services improvements and citywide road improvements. Our parks will have updates to playground equipment and other safety improvements. The master plan of Claybell Park will become a reality in 2013 with the addition of new sports fields, tennis courts and reconfiguration to areas of the original park. The city was sensitive to the surrounding natural resources during the design, and steps have been taken to minimize the impact outside the improvement area. Through partnerships, there will be
upgrades to the parking lot at the Columbia Playfield softball complex and the BMX Park track and comfort station. Our focus also is dedicated to future planning and how we need to make preparations now to ensure Richland’s success in the future. The city has been carefully planning and has championed the Duportail Bridge project. We will continue our promotion of the Duportail Bridge while emphasizing the benefits to our community. The Strategic Leadership Plan provides the Richland City Council and staff the focus needed to clearly prepare, plan and execute all of the necessary components required to have a successful city now and for future years. I encourage you to visit our website at www.ci. richland.wa.us to find out more about the Strategic Leadership Plan.
COMMUNITIES & LIFESTYLE
Tri-City Herald • Sunday, March 31, 2013
CITY OF WEST RICHLAND
Red Mountain a powerful economic engine for state The quest for excellence in growing grapes and making wines has established the MidColumbia among the best locations in the world to enjoy the full wine country experience. Numerous regional agencies and reports support a growing momentum for the profound wine-tourism economic impact of Red Mountain.
I-82 interchange An economic impact study reports that a new Interstate 82 interchange at Red Mountain and improvements at Benton City will result in a dynamic new economic engine for our region. Results of the transportation improvements include new light industrial jobs, tourism jobs, commercial/private sector investments, tourism spending and increasing economic commerce for Washington. The location of Red Mountain makes it a nexus point for access to and from Seattle, Portland and Boise, with attraction from neighboring locales such as Oregon, Idaho and Canada. The study projected that the
20-year impact of I-82 improvements at Red Mountain would result in 4,300 construction and permanent jobs. It also estimated that payroll, worker and visitor spending would add: Construction phase ◗ $95.5 million cumulaRuth Swain tive construction payroll ◗ $228 million Economic development construction and worker director spending 20-year permanent ongoing impact ◗ $102.5 million annual permanent payroll ◗ $327.6 million annual business and worker spending
Focus on wine tourism The Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau has long touted the economic impacts and quality of life that result from wine-tourism. Our region
grow in spite of recent-year changes in consumer buying habits, issues with wine-grape crops and other factors that have had impacts on the wine industry. is reaping the benefits of the bureau’s marketing and support of this industry in our region. Wines Northwest reported that “in recent years, Washington’s wine industry has become the fastest-growing agricultural sector in the state. The number of Washington wineries has increased 400 percent in the last decade, attracting two million annual visitors to Washington wine country and creating a two million dollar wine-tourism industry.” A recent study reported that Washington wine industry contributes $8.6 billion to Washington’s economy. The number of wineries in the state has grown from 19 in 1981 to 739 in 2012, and the wine industry plays an important role in establishing Washington as the second largest producer in the United States. The industry continues to
Port of Kennewick The Port of Kennewick commissioners and the West Richland City Council established a joint economic development committee. The purpose of the committee is to focus on collaborative and innovative projects that will enrich and enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in West Richland. We continue to work with and support the Port of Kennewick’s vision as a key and strategic partner. The port recently released an analysis of its 92-acre property at the foot of Red Mountain. There remains strong evidence showing the potential for wine industry and other industrial jobs and development because of its ideal location. A recent statewide blue ribbon commission recommended 16 statewide transportation projects critical to the state’s
economic growth. The I-82 West Richland Red Mountain Interchange was the only project listed in Benton and Franklin counties. The Tri-Cities Legislative Council also named the Red Mountain Interchange one of its top transportation projects.
Business cluster analysis The West Richland City Council commissioned a business cluster analysis to focus the city’s economic development efforts in the most effective areas with opportunity for new investment and economic vitality. A key finding in the study: “A visionary and gamechanging opportunity for the City of West Richland is represented by the future I-82/ Red Mountain interchange. This interchange would most directly serve the West Richland community, improving access to existing business districts and for future related development of a business park and light manufacturing job base, as well major retail and wine-tourism development.”
LOURDES HEALTH NETWORK
Focused on the community’s ever-changing needs Health care reform is bringing uncertainty and unprecedented change to the health care delivery system across our nation. But one thing is certain — baby boomers will soon flood the health care system and demand more. Those services will be more than our nation has ever experienced. Our focus will continue to meet the needs of those we serve — especially as the demand increases. We are committed to providing that care while being nimble and flexible to adapt to the ever changing system. Being part of one of the nation’s fastestgrowing metropolitan areas coupled with the increasing demand for health care services, Lourdes is poised to expand and grow. Lourdes Joint and Spine Center is undergoing a remodel, creating a separate entrance for all of our orthopedic patients. Those patients will experience dedicated space, separate registration space, a classroom for our Joint Academy
Classes, and an office for our Medical Director, Owen Higgs, MD. This is an exciting venture, but one Lourdes has strategically designed to meet the needs of our current future orthopedic John Serle and patients. Last year, more orthopedic procePresident dures were performed at Lourdes by our 16 orthopedic surgeons than any other hospital in the Mid-Columbia. Lourdes Joint and Spine Center offers the most experienced surgeons, the most advanced and innovative technologies, and now a space dedicated to those patients. Physician recruitment will continue to be a focus for Lourdes as we bring needed providers to our area. During the past few years, Lourdes has added
dozens of primary care and specialist providers to our community, with several more planned to be added in the next few months. As our community grows, so does the demand for providers. Lourdes will continue with razor-sharp focus as we anticipate the needs of our community and strategically place providers in the community. Many of our providers will be moving into our existing Lourdes West Pasco space. It’s a beautiful building in one of the busiest neighborhoods in Pasco — just off Road 68. Lourdes is finishing an additional 7,000+ square feet in the upper floor of that building to accommodate surgeons, OB/GYNs and other specialists. As the region’s leader in mental health, we’ll continue to advocate for those who are most vulnerable. Lourdes Counseling Center is the home to more than 5,000 outpatient visits each and every month.
There is extremely high demand for mental health services, and we’re committed to meeting those needs. Engagement in our community allows dialogue and conversation as we anticipate our community’s needs. Facebook, Twitter and our new mobile app facilitate some of our conversations; however, direct communication with our patients while they are in our facilities is our preferred method. I personally visit new patients whenever possible and my senior leadership team visits them when I’m not available. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of my job, and I’m able to hear directly from our patients how they experience our compassionate, quality care and how our healing ministry is transferred from caregiver to patient. Those interactions keep us focused on our already high patient satisfaction and remind us what health care is all about: people.
COMMUNITIES & LIFESTYLE
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
CITY OF PASCO
Working toward growth, improvements The new year will witness some long-sought improvements aimed at stimulating private industrial development in Pasco — all intended to aid expansion of the tax base. The Heritage Industrial Center will finally realize the rail line sought for many years to make the 400-acre center “shovel ready” for rail-served industry, thanks in large part to a state grant for economic stimulus. Additional Gary acreage east Crutchfield of the Highway 12/KahloCity manager tus Road interchange will become viable for significant, nonrail industrial investment in 2013, as the city and affected property owners will finally install water and sewer services on the east side of the highway. With those improvements in place, coupled with a warming national economy and TRIDEC’s industrial marketing program, the potential for expansion of Pasco’s industrial tax base has not been stronger. A major transportation project the city has toiled on for almost a decade is the replacement of the Lewis Street under-
pass with a new overpass. The $30 million project is now “shovel ready;” unfortunately, transportation funds are not as plentiful now as they may have been a decade ago. The city plans to undertake demolition of the vacant buildings in the path of the new overpass later this year, so the project is that much more “ready” when state and federal construction funding may be available. Traffic in the Road 68 corridor should improve somewhat this year, as the city implements some of the changes recommended in the Road 68 corridor study completed last year. Channelization (curbing) improvements north of Burden Boulevard will improve safety as well as traffic flow in that vicinity. And construction of Powerline Road (between roads 68 and 100) in 2013 should diffuse some of the traffic on Road 68, making better use of the Road 100 interchange. The expansive area northwest of the Road 100 interchange will be a focus of intense planning activity in 2013, as the city will plan for major utility extensions to accommodate anticipated growth and development in that area. The commercial potential of the land west of Road 100 is ripening quickly, and the recent northerly extension of Road 100
Courtesy City of Pasco
The city of Pasco wants to replace the Lewis Street underpass with an overpass.
to connect to Fanning Road makes several hundred acres of farmland attractive for new housing development over the next decade or two. Another regional effort in which Pasco will participate in 2013 is the Regional Public Facilities District endeavor to present a ballot proposition to the voters of the three cities later this year to finance a regional, year-round aquatics
center near the Road 100 interchange on I-182. If approved by voters, the aquatics center will not only provide a major improvement in the quality of life in the Tri-Cities, but it also will offer a unique experience to visitors from throughout the northeast Oregon/southeast Washington region and users of the Three Rivers Convention Center as well as sporting tournaments throughout the Tri-
Cities, thus expanding the visitor impact — and financial contributions — to our regional economy. After years of urging, the city hopes to participate in a regional agreement between the three cities and two counties for a regional emergency communication/dispatch system. The VHF radio system used in Pasco is too unreliable and ineffective to ensure officer safety in the urban area. The “lost” cellphone calls reflect an unnecessary risk to citizens and a fragmented system that simply cannot take full advantage of current technology. A study done in 2011 concluded a regional system would: improve emergency response service to citizens; improve communication and safety for emergency responders; and would not cost the region more (probably less) than it currently spends for its fragmented system. This is a regional project — and opportunity for collaboration — that cannot happen too soon. Many other endeavors will be undertaken during the new year to continue to improve community life. Whether acting individually or in collaboration with each other, on small projects or large ones, the three cities pursue the goals of progress.
CITY OF KENNEWICK
Working together to improve, protect community “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” — Benjamin Franklin
Marie Mosley City manager
Growth and progress, fueled by strong community partnerships, were the cornerstones of our achievements in 2012 and carry us forward. The city of Kennewick continues to achieve goals in our strate-
gic priority areas of Community Safety, Economic Development, Infrastructure and Growth, Quality of Life and Responsible Government. Successes in 2012 include the opening of Hildebrand from Southridge Boulevard to Sherman Street; carousel ground-breaking at Southridge; announcement of a SpringHill Suites hotel connected to the convention center; approval of legislation that will allow the city to
apply for expansion of our Urban Growth Area south of Interstate 82 for industrial development; groundbreaking of the new hospital in Southridge; and numerous new businesses. Positive feedback from our citizens is that progress never has seemed to be happening as quickly as it is right now. ◗ Completion of Steptoe Street and Hildebrand Boulevard: This began as a partnership with the city of Rich-
land when Phase I of Steptoe, bordering our communities, was completed from Gage Boulevard to Center Parkway. Kennewick and Richland worked together to secure funding and construct the first phase of the roadway. Phase II will be completed this spring with the Railroad Bridge and connection to five corners. The final phase that is See COMMUNITY | Page 15
COMMUNITIES & LIFESTYLE
CATHOLIC FAMILY & CHILD SERVICE
Working to give others a sense of belonging At Catholic Family & Child Service (CFCS), we spend a lot of our time trying to redirect and help families avoid crises and get back on the road to success and self-sufficiency. Of our 19 different program offerings, about half target, prevent and redirect children and families living within these circumstances. But we also help the more than 13,000 parents, caregivers and children who find their way into a crisis. We are committed to Maureen helping them get back McGrath on a safe and productive road so they can Director thrive and claim the bright future that should have been theirs all along. In the quintessential words of Dorothy as she stands on that yellow brick road: “There is no place like home.” As an agency whose mission is serving those most in need, we often ask what is most important, and the resounding response is that “it’s family,” “it’s having a home,” whether that’s a physical space or a sense of belonging to someone. We find that staying in one’s own home is best, whether you are an elder whose memories are wrapped up in the trinkets on the shelf, or the family or veteran who is about to be evicted. Building wheelchair ramps for the disabled and the elderly with the help of volunteers and providing housing assistance and financial literacy are areas where we hope to expand in the coming year. For our teens with a crisis pregnancy who become heads of households, they come to us to for support and skills through our Hope Home services. To that end, we hope to increase the availability of those services through expanded funding and partnerships and a bigger vision and plan. But for so many kids, a safe haven means a foster home or alternative living arrangement. For many of those kids missing their families, they similarly chant that same mantra, longing for a connection to whom and what they know and yet living in a kind of limbo
where a permanent home seems elusive. For the past three years, we have been using a practice called Family Search and Engagement (FSE), which focuses on locating, engaging, connecting and supporting family members for children at risk of out-of-home placement or currently in state custody. In other words, the FSE program has been finding family connections for children in foster care who thought they had none. One of the clients served, an 18-yearold named Daniel, was in the foster care system since the age of 2, when he was removed from his mother’s custody due to neglect. After one meeting, our team was able to find his sister and great aunt, and he spent his first Christmas out of foster care with his family for the first time. Jacob, a 9-year-old, also was assisted by FSE. Upon searching for his paternal family, we found his grandfather, who was also able to introduce him to his African-American heritage. He visited his grandfather and family in Texas, and now, Jacob is awaiting a permanent placement with his father. CFCS has seen some amazing outcomes for children in our community as a result of this work. Of the 258 children assisted through FSE, 76.7 percent made a positive connection with a relative, kin or other supportive adult. Additionally, FSE had an 86 percent success rate in finding missing parents, most of which were fathers. Much of our work this year will focus on setting the stage to continue this progress because the grant runs out this year. Our greatest challenge remains having the financial resources needed to support the growing need in our community. CFCS is working to identify other grants, financial resources and stakeholders to sustain these efforts. We also plan to highlight this work at our 26th annual Gala Dinner & Auction, “Beyond the Emerald Gates,” which will be April 20 at the TRAC center in Pasco. In addition to supporting our 19 different service offerings at CFCS for babies, children, teens, adults and elders, the event will spotlight our newest initiative: “There is no place like home!”
Tri-City Herald • Sunday, March 31, 2013
COMMUNITIES & LIFESTYLE
Tri-City Herald • Sunday, March 31, 2013
Partnerships, collaborations vital to campus growth Collaboration. Cooperation. Alliance. Synergy. Teamwork. Unity. Partnership. Partnerships are key to Washington State University Tri-Cities and its development — from research collaborations with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, to the Bridges transfer students program with Columbia Basin College, and community partners who donate their time, energy and resources to improve the campus. Since becoming a four-year institution in 2007, the WSU Tri-Cities campus in Richland has grown in many ways. The fall 2012 headcount of 1,438 is only part of the story. Students of color make up 26.5 percent of enrollment, and veteran students are 8 percent. WSU Tri-Cities is proud to be the most culturally-diverse James campus within the R. Pratt WSU system and to be a state-designated Interim Veteran Supportive chancellor Campus. In addition to a Diversity Council that promotes the understanding and inclusion of different cultures, we celebrate education professor Eric Johnson receiving the WSU-wide 2013 Faculty Diversity Award and the Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award for his outreach efforts. WSU Tri-Cities also aspires to become a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). As the only public four-year HSI in the state, this will open doors that eventually will benefit all students on our campus. WSU Tri-Cities faculty and staff are serious about the promise to provide a world-class WSU education. Our small class sizes provide students with highly personalized education and high faculty/student interaction. With diverse programs in arts and sciences, business, education, engineering and nursing — plus the viticulture and enology program — we offer 18 bachelor’s, 10 master’s and six doctoral degree programs. We recently added a civil engineering program with support from partners at Washington River Protection Solutions and CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Co. We continue to collaborate with the WSU Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory and with WSU Prosser’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and
Courtesy WSU Tri-Cities
Washington State University, state of Washington, Richland, Port of Benton and wine and grape industry leaders gathered Oct. 19 to dedicate the future site of the Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities. The unique collaboration that makes up the Wine Science Center Development Authority expects to break ground in fall 2013 on the teaching and research facility.
Extension Center. Partnerships are changing the landscape at WSU Tri-Cities. We expect to break ground in late 2013 on the Wine Science Center. Through a development authority managed by Richland, wine producers, grape growers and the Port of Benton, this public/private effort will build a state-ofthe-art education and research center. We only are $4 million away from reaching the $23.5 million needed to build and equip this research facility, which will create opportunities for the Northwest wine industry. In August 2012, we opened the EnergySolutions Engineering Laboratory on WSU land adjacent to the Tri-Cities Research District. This $3 million engineering testing facility is being gifted to WSU Tri-Cities for future academic program expansion and continued research partnerships. Regional health care advocates have united to support our nursing program
and its move to central Richland. We look forward to unveiling the new space at the end of 2013 with support from Prosser Memorial Hospital Foundation, Kennewick General Hospital, Lourdes Health Network, Lampson International, Group Health Cooperative, Kadlec Regional Medical Center and other community donors. Since 2008, the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory — a partnership with PNNL — has grown to a team of 60, with 20 research projects and nearly $4 million in grant funding. The standout is the BioChemCat project, with $1.5 million from the Department of Energy and in partnership with the Port of Benton, PNNL and Clean Vantage. BioChemCat is exploring ways to make liquid fuel out of regionally available biomass like woody material, feedlot manure and agricultural residue. While capital investments like these are key to our campus growth, scholarships remain the easiest and the most
direct way to help our students. This academic year, donors provided 217 scholarships worth a total of $450,000. Scholarships of all sizes make a big difference to students, spurring them on to complete their studies and helping to pay tuition or buy textbooks. Simply put, the Tri-City community drives our success at Washington State University Tri-Cities. We continue to look forward to even more advances that benefit students and the region’s economy.
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
COMMUNITIES & LIFESTYLE
COLUMBIA BASIN COLLEGE
Higher education integral to national prosperity Our state faces two higher education problems. One, our attainment levels fall far below the 67 percent many studies have predicted we’ll need by 2018. Two, as taxpayer subsidies for post-secondary education decline every year and tuitions rise correspondingly, families and students need to be very careful to select the right institution and pathway for their individual needs. Since the 1980s, as the U.S. moved from a manufacturing economy to a services and information base, the wealth of nations has been increasingly correlated to the education levels of its citizens. The world’s wealthiest nations are the most educated. There’s a stark contrast in economic opportunity between people with and without college credentials. Jobs for individuals with a bachelor’s degree or more were actually added to the economy during the Great
Recession, and all jobs lost in the “middle skills” category — workers who had more than a Rich high school diploma but Cummins less than a four-year President degree — were recovered. For those with a high school diploma or less, though, we still are losing jobs. Overall, there was no recession for Americans with postsecondary education and no recovery for those with a high school diploma or less. I’m not arguing that everyone should go to college, but the data do strongly suggest that the big number odds are on people who do something educational after high school. This could be a oneyear certificate or a two-, or three- or four-year degree from
CBC, or a bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. from WSU Tri-Cities. Or it might be certificate or degree from our many competitors who offer quality programs in increasingly sophisticated e-learning environments by such pioneers as Western Governors University. This leads me to my second point about higher education’s business model. Many people think of higher education as the pursuit of 18- to 22-year-olds living on a residential campus, but actual data show that these students account for less than 20 percent of all post-secondary education in the U.S. There are more options for families to consider than ever before in the history of education. When researching post-secondary education and training, the famous advice that Harvard professor Theodore Levitt gave to his students is apt: “People don’t want to buy a quarterinch drill. They want a quarter-
inch hole.” Do some research to find out what different institutions offer, then hire the one that drills the hole you need. Some parents will want their child to have a traditional undergraduate experience that includes the kind of social development found on residential campuses, but there is no need to use that model to limit your thinking about what’s possible. Maybe two years of living at home, or as a Running Start student, followed by two years away is your ticket. Or maybe you are older with a family and just want professional or technical work skills in a shorter time frame. At CBC, for example, we train for many professions that pay excellent wages in many areas of trades and business. We work with apprenticeship programs. We are supported by local businesses who provide scholarship dollars and internships in many of our 34 career and technical programs.
Our partnership with Heritage allows us to offer several bachelor and master’s degree programs on our Pasco campus. I’m sometimes criticized for arguing for expanded STEM education or, by arguing that education should lead to a career, I’m concerned only with training workers for corporate America. These objections miss the mark because they are based on the strange notion that scientists don’t read or write or appreciate art and culture, that English majors aren’t interested in making a living, or that welders don’t use considerable critical thinking in their craft. The bottom line is that the modern world requires increasingly higher levels of education and a commitment to lifelong learning, and access to public higher education remains one of America’s key ways of creating social mobility and economic development that raises the quality of life for everyone.
COMMUNITIES & LIFESTYLE
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
UNITED WAY OF BENTON & FRANKLIN COUNTIES
Programs improving lives a step at a time Everyone remembers the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. The lesson from the story is that staying focused on a goal and not losing sight of your overall desire will, in time, allow you to succeed. From this fable we get the phrase, “slow and steady wins the race.” United Way has taken on this philosophy as a way of doing business. The goal of improving lives has never Beverly changed. It has been Weber our purpose since day one, more than 50 President years ago. While the strategies for reaching that goal have evolved, maybe so slowly that some may not have realized it was happening, the progress made is real and truly having an impact on local lives. Being cautious and making changes slowly has allowed for a much more deliberate and purposeful plan of action in developing solutions and strategies to our community’s health and human service issues. United Way has gathered community members and leaders together to take a hard look at our community and has listened closely to the biggest issues and concerns. As a result of this process, we developed Community Solutions, a plan for addressing our community’s greatest health and human service needs. The Community Solutions plan is built around four priority areas: education, health, safety and selfsufficiency. United Way still relies on local businesses and organizations to raise funds in order to improve lives. Not only have
Courtesy United Way
United Way board members for 2012 were, from left, Ruben Peralta with American Family Insurance, Marie Mosley with the city of Kennewick, Gayle Stack with EverStar Realty and Evan Bates with McCurley Integrity Dealerships.
we continued to engage local businesses and organizations in our work, but we also engage other organizations by demonstrating how we are solving community problems. We are proud to report that 5,061 people were served by United Way-supported services in the area of education last year. In the area of health, the number was 13,012; in safety, 14,811 people; and in self-sufficiency, 73,606 people. These are staggering numbers of our friends, family and neighbors whose lives have improved because of the generosity and volunteer support of our community. United Way’s Community Solutions
process also encompasses two initiatives aimed at helping our babies and youths become successful adults. Our Babies Can’t Wait is an initiative involving more than 70 medical clinics and 56 organizational partners, in which families are educated on ways to provide a caring, nurturing and enriching environment for their children. Our Babies Can’t Wait helps parents, caregivers and the community build a sound foundation for our children so they will be successful in school and life. This is vitally important to the approximately 3,900 babies that are born in Benton and Franklin counties every year.
There is an abundance of scientific evidence that shows children’s emotional, social and cognitive development begins the moment they enter the world. A child’s day-to-day experiences affect the development of his or her brain, including intelligence and personality. The Prepared by 20 initiative focuses on youths ages 10 to 20 and addresses the issue of youths being prepared for a successful future and the key factors that allow that to happen. This initiative is not a new program but an alliance among all sectors of the community (business, government, education, faith community, law and justice, community based organizations and, of course, families) making our community a place where young people develop positive attitudes and thrive. Now more than ever, a solid education is imperative. Recent studies from Georgetown University show there is nearly a $400,000 difference in lifetime earnings between a high-school graduate and a nongraduate. The same study shows that a college graduate earns nearly $1.3 million more in a lifetime than a non-high school graduate. Encouraging students to stay in school has many benefits beyond financial ones. Students who graduate and successfully enter the world of work are more likely to live in a safe environment, have access to healthcare and contribute to the wellbeing of our community United Way is winning the race within health and human services. Our steady approach is making real, lasting improvements in the lives of our residents, and these changes are critically important for our community. Check out the new United Way at unitedway-bfco.com.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF BENTON AND FRANKLIN COUNTIES
Starting great futures in our community
Brian Ace Executive director
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties is honored to be celebrating 17 years of service in our community. In that time, we have seen changes in locations and program focus, but our underlying commitment to the young people and families we serve has remained
constant. Our mission is unwavering, to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. This mission honors our past, informs our present and guides our future.
The Boys & Girls Club has 11 locations, serving youths ages 1 month to 19 years, stretching from Pasco to Prosser. More than 2,000 club members are served annually, with more than 500 young people walking through our doors each day. However, our focus is not on mem-
bers, attendance, programs or buildings, but rather on the impact we make in the lives of young people in the areas of academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. See FUTURES | Page 23
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
COMMUNITIES & LIFESTYLE
HANFORD REACH INTERPRETIVE CENTER
Community making project become a reality “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain
The Hanford Reach Interpretive Center project “sailed away from the safe harbor” in 2012 and a miracle occurred. There was no fanfare, it happened in a very ordinary way, witnessed by a few dozen people, but in that moment, everything changed. In one year, a dedicated, very driven group of local residents came together to do the impossible. They took a vision that was getting downright ragged around the edges and transformed it into possibility. Lisa Toomey On Jan. 14, I witnessed CEO that miracle at a special board meeting where the Richland PFD board (Fred Raab, Rick Jansons, Dan Boyd, Steve Simmons and Stan Jones) approved a new local team to design and build the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center. The decision to hire DGR Grant and Terence L. Thornhill Architects was a defining moment for the HRIC project. It was symbolic too, because Dick Richter and Tere Thornhill have deep roots in this community. They embodied the PFD board’s commitment over the past 15 months to move ahead on a path that embraces a community-based focus in everything we do. Our miracle is a simple one: With the commitment and support of hundreds of Tri-Citians who spent countless hours providing guidance, direction, advice, resources and reflecting a “can-do” attitude that is
uniquely our own, a plan was crafted. The plan was basic — get serious, get started and get sustainable. So how did that translate into a miracle Jan. 14? Together we: ◗ Developed a path forward that was realistic and affordable. ◗ Cut the operating budget by 40 percent in 2012 and another 30 percent in 2013. ◗ Reduced staffing to reflect a lean and highly functional organization. ◗ Moved to donated offices close to the building site. ◗ Created a new “campus” model starting with construction of the first building and using current funds. ◗ Approved an $11.7 million construction budget to enable a start date of March 2013, reduced from the original cost of more than $40 million. ◗ Developed and approved a new five-year operating pro forma that focuses on fiscal conservatism. ◗ Launched an education initiative that served more than 4,000 students throughout the Columbia Basin. ◗ Developed and began implementing an internship program, tour program, membership program, adult education program and teacher professional development program to be delivered throughout 2013. ◗ Created or expanded oversight committees for budget, facilities, exhibits, education, landscaping/outdoor interpretation and themed events to embrace community involvement and accountability. ◗ Funded, through a generous gift, a construction manager whose expertise is legendary in our building community. ◗ And we hired a local designbuild team to get the job done. Infrastructure work began at the end of February, and excavation for construction of the building will start in April. The HRIC will open in June 2014 and will tell our community’s stories “through the lens of the Columbia River.” The river is what binds us all
Above: A kayaking tour gets a view of the B Reactor. Left: The Hanford Reach Interpretive Center will open in June 2014. Courtesy Hanford Reach Interpretive Center
together. The river is what gave life after the Ice Age Floods to our first nation of residents, to our animals and plants that flourish on the Reach and later to homesteaders and farmers. The access to the river, the availability and isolation of thousands of acres of land, and the power of Grand Coulee Dam provided the perfect location for the highly secret Manhattan Project, which contributed significantly to the end of World War II and later the Cold War.
The river has provided us with a quality of life that is unmatched anywhere in the Northwest. In 2000, President Clinton named the Hanford Reach a National Monument and protected in perpetuity, the last free-flowing section of the Columbia. The Hanford Reach is 196,000 acres on both sides of the river. On one side are hightech irrigated farms that power the economy and foreign trade in Washington, and on the other
is the Department of Energy’s Hanford Site that has a cleanup mission that will utilize cuttingedge science and technology to restore the land and — after much hard work — enable public use of parts of the site in the 2015 timeframe. At the same time, DOE-RL is preserving key features of our nuclear history via the B Reactor National Historic Landmark and the iconic structures of the pre-Manhattan Project towns of Hanford and White Bluffs — Hanford High School, White Bluffs Bank, Bruggeman Warehouse and Allard Pump House. Their compelling and interconnected stories and more will be told at the HRIC, and I invite you to join us and be a part of the fulfillment of a promise made more than 10 years ago.
COMMUNITY & LIFESTYLES
BENTON COUNTY COMMISSION
Finding progress through partnerships
Progress is often observed through visible actions and improvements, but most real progress begins with a solid foundation of preparation at its cornerstone. In Benton County, we continue to make investments in visioning and planning on the front end, so we can realize the benefits of a complete and disciplined process approach on the back end. A progress hallmark of 2012 was completion of the county’s first biennial budgeting period. After several years of evaluating the pros and cons, Benton County decided to proShon Small ceed with two-year budgeting beginning Chairman with the 2011-12 cycle in an effort to increase efficiencies and improve performance. While the transition was not without some expected hiccups, we found that adopting a biennial budget met with the desired outcomes. Planning for the 2013-14 budget went relatively smoothly, despite the continued challenges posed by the slow economy and record-low interest rates. Another signature project from 2012 was implementation of our new “NeoGov” application processing system. Benton County now handles all incoming applications for jobs, boards and commissions online using this system, which has drastically cut the needs for hands-on processing, paper usage and archival storage space. At the same time, we have noticed not only an overall increase in applications, but also a rise in the overall quality of the applicant pools. We like this new system, and the public seems to like it too. As one county employee put it, “it’s great that we are finally in the right century with this stuff!” For our relative size, the Tri-City area has an economic landscape that is as complex as its natural landscape. This affords the excitement and the challenges of navigating among the interplay of many variables. You need strong, dependable partners with which to do that, and in Benton County, we continue to emphasize these valuable community partnerships. One place where we are excited about
working with our partners is at the Benton County Fairgrounds. The fairgrounds is about much more than just the annual fair. We have many different events to support throughout the year and an equally diverse array of partners. Early in 2013, we created our new Fairgrounds Improvement Board as a central information clearinghouse and think-tank to assist the county with evaluating, prioritizing and developing improvements at the fairgrounds that will better support all of our events and users. Another area where forging new partnerships has paid dividends for the community is in animal control. While the county was, at times, maligned in the past for not operating an in-house animal control program, the Benton County Animal Control facility is now a shining example of how early planning and continual refinement can create a showcase for progress. Through the partnerships we have developed with local and regional rescue groups in particular, we have set new standards when it comes to efficiency and efficacy in adopting out abused and abandoned dogs. During the 2011-12 biennium, 304 dogs were adopted out, 120 dogs were transferred to other no-kill shelters, and 115 dogs were reunited with their owners. In addition to working closely with partners on projects and programs that are central to the county’s own operations, we join numerous coalitions to work on issues in the wider community. Three brief examples include: ◗ Working with our partners from Richland, the Port of Benton and TRIDEC on property transfers at the Hanford Site to support an energy research, development and production park that will further confirm the Tri-Cities as the energy capital of the Northwest. ◗ Advocating for the permanent preservation of the B Reactor and other significant Manhattan Project and Cold Warera historical properties through creation of a Manhattan Project National Historic Park. ◗ Understanding that water is the liquid gold of the West, working with our irrigation district, local government and state agency partners to continually improve and secure water access and delivery for agricultural, municipal and industrial uses in Benton County.
Tri-City Herald • Sunday, March 31, 2013
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
COMMUNITY & LIFESTYLES
Courtesy Franklin County Commission
A rendering of the future Franklin County Justice Center.
FRANKLIN COUNTY COMMISSION
Working toward better future for community Franklin County continues to positively face its future and deal proactively with improved services to its ever-growing population in the wake of last year’s discovery of an embezzlement scheme. The financial discovery was handled with full disclosure and accountability in a constructive manner by strengthening auditing and accounting procedures and updating accounting software, which will be fully operational in 2013. This will allow all county leaders to see an accurate financial picture at any time to assure the taxpayers’ dollars are secure, being properly disbursed and that all officials are held accountable. Looking toward a successful future, our Trade, Recreational and Agriculture Center (TRAC) hosted 239,063 attendees in 2012. TRAC continues to be an important part of our community’s portfolio as a regularlyused resource for our citizens offering events such as health
fairs, business, comedy, music, home, antique, agricultural, hunting, sporting, boat, RV and trade shows and more. Voted in by our community and Rick Miller opened in October 1995, Chairman TRAC is a vital part of our community that complements the Tri-Cities’ quality of life. Working toward a safer community, the voter-approved bond of a .03 percent sales tax for a new jail and renovation of the existing facility is being implemented with architectural design completed and the awarding of construction to Lydig Construction. In late winter or early spring, we will see building begin on a 20,000-
square-foot, two-story administration building. The new building will provide for Pasco’s municipal courtroom and administrative offices as well as county offices. The city of Pasco will be on the first floor and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department will be on the second floor. This year, in addition to the renovation of the existing facility, we will begin construction of a 55,000-square-foot jail addition, increasing inmate housing by 192 beds. Upon completion of the justice center, construction crews will be steered to renovation of the existing correction center. Existing cells will be brought to a standard for maximum security, intake and booking areas will be upgraded and inmate visiting areas will be improved. It is anticipated the entire facility will be complete and in service to the community by fall 2014. Other county projects include the Filbert Bridge
replacement, countywide safety improvements, grants and routes for public access to the Juniper Dunes Wilderness Access, Pasco-Kahlotus Road reconstruction and overlay and the R-170 bridge replacement. Safety improvements to Newport Road and 20 miles of chip sealing also are projected. A transition to Civil 3D software and updates to county standard drawings and specifications will assist in keeping our Public Works Department current and efficient in performing services for the county. Franklin County’s fiscal progress confirms we are on the right track. Elected officials and employees of Franklin County have proved they can rise to any challenge and are focused on and resolve to continue to work efficiently and effectively toward a better future for our community. We invite you to visit our website, www.co.
franklin.wa.us, and encourage you to contact us if you have questions or concerns through our website, email or by calling 545-3535. The agendas for our open public meetings are published on our website. Meetings are held weekly at 9 a.m. Wednesdays. The public is welcome to attend any weekly meeting of the commissioners. Those who serve Franklin County are honored to do so. We take seriously our responsibilities to ensure the safety of our citizens and uphold fiscal responsibility and will put forth our best efforts to professionally and reliably increase the value of all aspects of services we provide. As chairman of the board of Franklin County commissioners, I am extremely proud of our accomplishments and the effort and teamwork I have witnessed taking place to ensure goals are met to sustain a successful future for Franklin County.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
WASHINGTON STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Tri-City economy ready for stability in 2013 The Tri-Cities was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the nation from 2010-11, with a population of 258,400, or a 4.3 percent increase, as reported by U.S. Census Bureau. While at the same time, the Tri-City economy has gone from the fastest-growing economy in the state with employment growth averaging 3 percent growth a year from 2000-11, to the slowest-growing economy in the state with a decrease of 1.4 percent in 2012. The Tri-City ecoAjsa Suljic nomic growth slowed down in the first half Regional labor of the year, which economist translated into an over-the-year decrease in total employment of 1.4 percent, as stimulus-funded projects phased out at Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The downsizing has been felt throughout the region; however, its relative impacts have decreased over the years as the local community is diversifying and increasing its economic base in other industries. A combination of industries â€” agriculture and food processing, education and health care services, and retail trade and food services â€” have helped lessen the impact of 13.8 percent job loss in professional and business services. Agricultural employment growth has softened nonfarm employment losses. The strength of the agriculture industry has been so prominent in 2012 that it added more than 2,000 jobs when compared to a year before. This was one of the busiest years for the farmers in the area and around the state, with record yields of many farm crops, including those most dominate in the Tri-City area: apples, grapes and cherries. As 2012 was winding down, education and health care expansions persisted, but at a much slower pace than years before. The Tri-City population growth continues to drive demand for more educational services as well as health care, with just more than 0.5 percent growth over the year. This marks the slowest growth in these two industries since
2005, with a previous five-year average annual growth of 4.3 percent. The slowdown seen in education and health care industries can largely be attributed to the national, state and local budget cuts and re-allocations. The good news is that the housing market here is stable with growing housing inventories and affordable prices. The national and state housing sectors are expanding and growing, which is expected to drive economic growth even in the local area as consumer confidence in buying and selling homes increases. As the Tri-City economy shines on many economic fronts, many people miss seeing underlying trends of a growing unemployed labor force. In the most recent months, the unemployment rate has risen to a new high, and we see more and more people who lost their jobs exhausting their unemployment benefits and becoming discouraged in finding work. Population age structure is important as its change has an effect on employment, revenues, expenditures and local economic planning. An estimated 8,200 people in the Tri-Cities moved into retirement age (55 years and over) in the past 10 years, and more than 13,000 will be retiring in the next decade. There will only be an estimated 6,200 new workers moving into the early working years to replace the retiring population. The gap between baby boomers and the next generation is an estimated 7,100 by 2021. Consequently, demand for public services, educational opportunities, health care services and other community activities will likely increase in the area at a slower pace, while services and activities for aging population will be increasing at a more rapid pace. Many of the population changes will have to be accounted for when it comes to community planning. The Tri-Cities has good cooperation by many community agencies and organizations for diversification of the local economy and community setting. According to Washington nonfarm projections, the Tri-Cities is expected to be the fastest-growing area in the state through 2020, but it will be expected to be 1.2 percentage points below that of the 2000-10 period.
Tri-City Herald â€˘ Sunday, March 31, 2013
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Tri-City Herald • Sunday, March 31, 2013
PASCO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Continuing to work toward economic development In 2012, the Pasco Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 100th anniversary, and with the leadership of the board of directors and many volunteer hours, we highlighted the many years of success and accomplishments of the Greater Pasco Area Chamber of Commerce, climaxing with the Sunshine Ball in September, where we honored Pasco’s founding families and past chamber presidents. The inception of the Pasco chamber more than 100 years ago is credited to 50 small-business owners who assembled to promote Pasco economic development and advocate for infrastructure and trade for the region while Washington was still in its infancy. B.B. Horrigan was the chamber’s first board leader. An attorney, state representative and eventually the county’s first Superior Court judge, he promoted the need for the Columbia Basin Project for the beneficial effect it would have on our area. One hundred years later, Grand Coulee Dam and the Columbia Basin Project have been a major driver for transforming Eastern Washington to what it is today. Franklin County, Pasco and the
Tri-Cities for that matter, have capitalized on this opportunity. Now Pasco is known as a major agribusiness hub and manufacturing industry. The Pasco chamber promoted the area’s competitive benefits such as transportation infrastructure, water and affordable Colin and reliable Hastings clean energy. The founding Executive businesses’ director owners heralded “Keep Your Eye on Pasco where Railroads, Highways, Skyways, and Waterways Meet.” The saying holds true today, and the Pasco Chamber of Commerce continues to embrace the economic growth the founders had envisioned. The Pasco Chamber of Commerce is composed of local businesses, and we elect a board of directors to set policy for the chamber. This year, we are proud to have the leadership of
Rich Cummins, president of Columbia Basin College, as the 2012-13 board president. Our mission is to continue to promote trade and industry, provide jobs and to continue making Pasco a great community in which to live, work and play. Our concentration this year is to continue the longtime mission to encourage economic and business development. To that end, we’re stepping up our efforts by forming a new economic development committee to work closely with the city of Pasco, Franklin County, the Port of Pasco and the business community in this area. We are also focusing on expanding benefits to our members to help them succeed and grow. January jump-started 2013 with a successful and sold-out REAL Ag Show and Convention held at the TRAC center. Over 2,000 visitors and agriculture industry representatives were able to showcase new products and advancements in the agribusiness industry, and attendees took advantage of earning valuable credits for their pesticide applicator licenses. In addition, attendees had an opportunity to hear from Congressman Doc Hast-
ings about legislation that affects the agriculture industry and reported on the fiscal crisis the country faces days after the first fiscal cliff was adverted. Thank you to Les Schwab Tires for their continued support of the ag show. A couple of weeks later, the Agriculture Hall of Fame Banquet honored four deserving individuals crucial to the agricultural industry of Pasco: Don Cresswell, Pioneer Award; Ramona Rommereim, Advisor of the Year; Scott & Lori Hayles, Agribusiness Man and Woman of the Year; and Visionary Award recipient Alex McGregor, president of the McGregor Co., who also gave an inspiring speech about the importance and advancements of agriculture and the region’s significant role in the world’s agriculture production and exports. The Pasco chamber also recognized Gregg McConnell and the Tri-City Herald staff’s efforts on their exceptional daily September front page focus on the region’s agriculture industry. Congratulations to all the honorees and thank you Port of Pasco for your support of this event. The Pasco chamber board is
excited to keep 2012’s success rolling into 2013 and beyond. This year, we are preparing to offer Pasco chamber member businesses an opportunity to continue to provide affordable health care benefits to their employees by launching a new health care exchange. Through the exchange, members will have access to a unique defined contribution platform that enables employers to determine and make predictable contributions each month that employees can use to purchase coverage. Members and their employees will also have access to a wide array of other health care products and services. Also, at the annual Pasco Chamber Auction on April 12 at the Red Lion Pasco, the legacy committee will unveil the Centennial Celebration Legacy Project. And in June, we will roll out the Annual Sagebrush Scramble presented by Dura-Shine Clean at Sun Willows Golf Course. The Pasco chamber was created to promote and advocate for economic development, and we will continue to embrace free enterprise and businesses that are responsible for creating jobs to lead our economic recovery.
COMMERCE | Chamber partners with organizations to provide business builder portal FROM PAGE 28
Celebrating and promoting the diversity and uniqueness of their communities, chambers of commerce are a primary source of information for businesses and individuals alike. We represent business interests in the community and provide programs and services for businesses large and small. Bottom line: chambers of commerce exist to do together what one cannot do alone. With a large majority of small businesses in the Tri-Cities, the small business and entrepreneur programs offered by the regional chamber remain a priority of our operational strategic plan. The chamber offers unparalleled opportunities, programming and events that help to promote economic growth and prosperity across our region. During the past
three years, we have launched numerous new programs: Meet the Buyer, Women in Business Conference, Small Business Incentive Program, Good Health is Good Business, Business Development University, and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, all to serve the diverse needs of the business community. Additionally, we partner with numerous organizations to provide the TriCities Business Builder web portal. The network consists of nonprofit and government agencies that provide services to grow small businesses in the Tri-City region. These organizations include small business development groups, government entities, loan programs, chambers of commerce, community development organizations and technical assistance providers.
Advocacy remains a crucial area of focus for the regional chamber. Through advocacy, education and engagement, we are dedicated to making sure the voices of our businesses in the Tri-Cities are heard and accounted for. By doing so, we can work to ensure the growth and prosperity of our regional business community and members. A major emphasis for us during the 2013 legislative session will be our grassroots Citizens for P.O.W.E.R. (Protecting Our Washington Energy Rates) Coalition, which has proposed and is lobbying for common-sense changes to the Energy Independence Act (EIA). The EIA requires utilities to purchase Renewable Energy Credits, even if they are meeting their loads and don’t need it. The proposed legislation protects utilities from unnecessary costs that are, in turn, passed on to customers in the form
of rate increases, and eases the negative impacts higher energy costs pose on the economy. In addition to our programs and events geared toward growth and our advocacy efforts geared toward protecting business, we continue offer innovative marketing opportunities geared toward visibility. Visibility scores high on member surveys, corporate sponsorships are on the rise, and businesses are seeking strategic ways to market themselves to business leaders, decision makers and members who believe in supporting one another. Business is good! Our momentum is strong. Our mission is clear. Our opportunity is now — to grow the chamber’s membership and its influence, to amplify the voice of business, and channel its collective energy for the Tri-City region.
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF TRI-CITIES
Building homes builds the economy On most days, when you call the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities office, you’ll be greeted with “It’s a great day at the HBA.” And while this may seem like a kitschy customer service tactic, I’d venture to say it’s almost always the truth. We have a strong housing marJeff Losey ket that is built from a Executive strong econdirector omy, and as a result, a strong association. I always tell people that housing is a reactionary industry — our members don’t build homes hoping they will be bought. New home construction is spurred by economic development, something the Tri-Cities actively pursues through TRIDEC and two of our cities that have staff members dedicated to economic development. In turn, new home construction spurs economic development by creating family-wage jobs and generating new tax bases. In fact, if you looked at new home construction as a single employer in the Tri-Cities, we would actually be the sixthlargest employer. Homebuilding may be reactionary, but when we react, we are a formidable economic driver. This is why it’s so important to live in an area that supports and encourages growth and development, as the Tri-Cities has historically been. Our 2012 housing start statistics were not surprising, though they were somewhat disappointing. In total, the Tri-Cities region issued 1,144 single family home permits in 2012, down about 14 percent from 2011. While that isn’t a huge decrease, it’s definitely a trend we would like to see reversed.
Courtesy Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities
Volunteers work on the HBA Blitz Build house in May 2012. The HBA partners with Habitat for Humanity every other year to build a home for a local family in just five days.
Something you might find interesting about that decrease is that 90 percent of the decrease came from Pasco. What changed in Pasco in 2012? The implementation of a $4,700 school impact fee in April is what changed. I’m not saying the impact fee is the only reason Pasco saw a 35 percent drop in housing starts, but when no other local jurisdiction saw anywhere near that big of a decline, it would be hard to argue that impact fees didn’t have a huge effect. Housing starts are a measure of the success of the building
industry as a whole, but to measure the success of our association and to help plan for our future, we rely on feedback from our members and membership numbers. The HBA ended 2012 with 628 members, making us the fourth-largest building association in the state. In addition, we are proud to have a membership retention rate of 84.1 percent, which is the highest in the state. Even more astounding is our place on the list of the National Association of Home Builders Top 100 Associations. The HBA of Tri-Cities came in at No. 35 in the nation, mean-
ing we are the 35th-largest building association in the entire country. This speaks not only to the strength of our organization, but also to the strength of the local economy. Ideally, I would like to see a 7 percent to 10 percent increase in permits (to about 1,200 or more new homes) for 2013. Development in areas such as Southridge and Badger Mountain South will foster the growth of our community for years to come, and we should see an upswing in that activity in the near future. I also hope to continue to
expand the opportunities we offer to connect members and consumers, through events like the Regional Home & Garden Show in February, the Parade of Homes (Sept. 7-8, 11 and 14-15), Chefs on Parade (September 1213), and the Fall Home Show (Oct. 4-6). You can look for our new website in the next couple of months. And be sure to “like” us on Facebook — my staff enjoys doing giveaways and keeping our Facebook community informed about the latest in the building industry. I hope that 2013 is full of “great days” for everyone.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Tri-City Herald • Sunday, March 31, 2013
TRI-CITY ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
The future is bright for real estate in Tri-Cities
Money needed to maintain and improve our highways
As this year’s president of the TriCity Association of Realtors, it’s an honor for me to write to you today about the state of the Tri-Cities housing market. I’ll share with you some market statistics and facts I hope you’ll find interesting and useful. The real estate market in the TriCities is doing well, and 2012 saw another year of consistent sales, with growth in volume and average sale price. Realtors sold 2,802 homes in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland and West Richland last year. That’s up 2.5 percent from 2011. Our average sale price is up 1.6 percent to $205,900. These are indicators of healthy market conditions Wayne and sustainable Langford appreciation, and this has been consistent for the last President 1 2 ⁄2 years since the end of the federal stimulus tax credit. Another testament to the strength of our housing market and local economy is our long-term growth. Our average sale price is up 26 percent from 10 years ago, and from 2000, we’ve increased 58.6 percent. That number is even more significant when matched with an investment comparison report from MSNMoney.com, Case Shiller. It shows that even with the turmoil in the housing market, the national average home sale price from January 2000 to January 2013 is up 46.1 percent. Over the same period, the Dow is up only 18.3 percent, the S&P is flat and the NASDAQ lost one quarter of the investment. Real estate has out performed the best Wall Street has to offer, especially locally. Real estate remains among the best investment vehicles available while providing shelter, security and a place to raise a family. Interest rates remain at all-time
lows; although, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is expected to rise almost a full percentage point by year’s end. That translates to a $100 higher house payment for the same loan amount, just in interest cost. If you’re considering making a move, now is the time. Another important item to note is that while Congress wrestles with the fiscal cliff, it’s considering taking away your mortgage interest deduction from your income tax return. Your Realtor, in conjunction with the National Association of Realtors, will continue to fight to keep the mortgage interest tax deduction. Home ownership is a key ingredient to a healthy economy, and Realtors are defending your benefits. You can help by writing your representatives and making your voice heard. So what does the future for housing look like in the Tri-Cities? We believe our future is bright and growth will come from several areas. Ground is breaking all over for new housing. And we’re going to need it. According to the Metro Magnets Index, we’re expected to add 6,000 new households in the next five years. Being high on lists such as
Best Performing Cities, Best Places to Raise a Family and Safest Community certainly makes the TriCities attractive to newcomers. A study from Harvard University found 79 percent of young adults under 25, and 86 percent of those 25 to 34 believe owning a home is financially better than renting. They understand the value in homeownership and haven’t been soured by the downturn of the economy. They want a piece of the American Dream. The demand is there. There’s tremendous opportunity for growth in the Tri-Cities. There’s room for more than 400 homes right now in Kennewick’s Southridge district. The Steptoe-Hildebrand extension will help make that area a center of activity. And then there’s the upcoming Badger Mountain expansion in Richland, creating 20 years of growth. So yes, the future of real estate in Tri-Cities is very bright. We expect growth to continue at a sustainable pace and for prices to remain affordable. The community will benefit if housing remains a leading factor in our economy. If we can accomplish this, the TriCities will remain, as I always say, the greatest place in the world to live.
When you see orange signs and barrels on our highways, you know construction is under way, which means improvements are being made and new projects are being built. However, less green in our transportation budget means less orange on highways in the Tri-Cities and around the state. Funding for maintenance and preservation of bridges and highways is shrinking; so is funding for new construction. Maintaining and preserving our existing highways and bridges will be difficult if Don a new funding source isn’t Whitehouse identified in the near future. During the past 12 years, South central inflation reduced the purchasregion ing power of the gas tax by administrator 47 percent. The revenue forecast shows funds generated from current sources won’t be able to keep up with maintenance and preservation needs. As funding shrinks, drivers will see more worn-out pavement and stripes, faded signs, unrepaired guardrails, more weight-restricted bridges, more chip seal projects, slower response to incidents, and more litter on the roadsides. The last substantial funding packages approved by the Legislature in 2003 and 2005 provided major improvements for the Tri-Cities. Funds generated from the increased gas tax widened the Highway 240 causeway, widened portions of Highway 12 to a four-lane highway between Pasco to Walla Walla and eased congestion with new roundabouts south of the blue bridge. Most recently, gas tax funds improved traffic flow and safety with a new interchange at highways 12 and 124 in Burbank. The new ramps and bridges reduce the risk of collisions in an area with a long history of serious injuries and fatalities. In the past 12 years, 56 injury collisions and six fatalities occurred on this section of highway. The gas tax funds used to build these projects were borrowed on long-term loans. Until the bonds are repaid, the gas tax is not available See HIGHWAYS | Page 35
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Tri-City Herald • Sunday, March 31, 2013
TRI-CITIES ELECTRIC UTILITIES
A common-sense approach to Energy Independence Act All it takes is a short drive across the state to realize Washington has embraced renewable resources. Hydroelectric power is produced by the dams in the river, and wind turbines line the hillsides generating even more Chad power. We can be Bartram proud that the TriCities is the hub of Benton clean energy in Washgeneral ington. manager As utilities step up to meet the requirements of the Energy Independence Act (EIA), they have been confronted with many challenges. In 2006, voters approved Initiative 937 that requires utilities to increase the amount of new renewable Bob resources in their Hammond power supply and to acquire all achievable, Richland cost-effective conserEnergy vation. Electric utiliCourtesy Benton PUD services ties with 25,000 or Within a few miles of the Tri-Cities, hydroelectric power is produced by the dams in the river and wind turbines on the hillsides. Tri-Cities director more customers must is the hub of clean energy in Washington. use eligible renewable resources to meet a millions of dollars to meet the approach to protect consumers the original initiative and our tric power — the most portion of their load and businesses of all sizes from customers’ rates. mandates even if the power renewable, abundant starting with 3 percent The Tri-City Regional Cham- the impact of higher energy isn’t needed to serve cusand low-cost resource in 2012, increasing to costs due to the unintended ber of Commerce along with tomers. That expense is in the region. To meet 9 percent in 2016 and consequences of mandates that businesses and other organizapassed on to customers future goals, some utili15 percent in 2020. The don’t make sense. tions statewide have watched through rates. ties will have to purfirst conservation tarBenton PUD and Franklin the activity in the Legislature chase other “eligible” There also is a conservation get had to be met in PUD commissioners and the over the past few years and renewable resources or component to the EIA. Utilities 2010. have seen little progress toward Richland City Council passed renewable energy and their customers can beneUtilities across the resolutions endorsing the changes in the law that would credits — called RECs fit from investing in conservaEd Brost state were diligent chamber’s efforts. Changes to relieve consumers from need— even if they have tion, but under the EIA, as conabout meeting or surthe EIA are needed to protect less higher energy costs due to plenty of low-cost servation programs decrease Franklin passing the goals of our customers’ rates, encourthe mandates in the EIA. The hydroelectric or other the need for power, utilities still chamber created a coalition, general the EIA and avoided age conservation and allow power resources availhave to meet the eligible any penalties. Howmanager Citizens for P.O.W.E.R. (Protect- utilities the flexibility to purable. RECs simply are ever, the real challenge renewable mandates by purchase new renewables only ing Our Washington Energy pieces of paper that is meeting the renewchasing expensive renewable when needed to serve our cusRates), which includes organirepresent one megawatt of eliable energy and conservation resources to fill the gap. This tomers. These changes would zations, businesses and individgible renewable power but no targets in future years. One discourages energy efficiency better align the timing of uals concerned about rising renewable energy may have unintended consequence of the programs. energy rates in Washington due power purchases with the need actually been purchased — just EIA is that utilities are forced Attempts to change the EIA for power and at the same time to the EIA. to buy renewable energy they a piece of paper. While the purthrough legislation have not preserve the intent of the iniThe coalition’s focus is to don’t need to serve their cuschase of RECs avoids higher been successful. A variety of tiative. Utilities can then be amend the EIA to protect contomers, and thereby, disincencost penalties, those dollars bills have been introduced. but more strategic with their sumers from higher power tivizing energy conservation. would be better used to acquire compromises could not be power purchases and make costs by allowing utilities to The EIA narrowly defines an more conservation. reached. Our work in Olympia purchase renewable power only purchasing decisions that are “eligible” renewable resource Without a change in the EIA, continues to promote comproin the best interest of their when it is needed to serve cusand excludes most hydroelecmises that protect the intent of customers. tomers. It is a common-sense utilities will continue spending
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Powering a clean energy future Thank you, Tri-Cities, for your overwhelming support leading to Columbia Generating Station’s 20-year license renewal, which we received last May from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Because of your letters and attendance at local NRC meetings, along with the commitment of a very highlyMark skilled team here at Reddemann Energy Northwest, CEO we can continue providing the region with vast amounts of reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible energy through 2043. We then closed out 2012, pleased to announce hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for all of us, savings that significantly mitigated the Bonneville Power Administration’s upcoming regional rate increase. These savings include a nuclear fuel transaction in 2012 that will not only provide Columbia Generating Station’s fuel needs for the foreseeable future, but will also save regional ratepayers approximately $270 million through 2028. Additionally, the announcement of Columbia’s license renewal translated into an additional $190 million in cost reductions during BPA’s next rate period (2014-16). That was just the beginning. Improved equipment performance and increased operational efficiencies enabled Columbia to produce more than 20 additional megawatts. As a result, we set a plant record by pushing more than 9.3 million megawatt-hours of net generation to the regional electric grid during 2012.
Courtesy Energy Northwest
Fog engulfs the bases of some of the wind turbines at Energy Northwest’s Nine Canyon Wind Project located in southeast Kennewick. The 63turbine project, developed in 2002, recently surpassed 2 million megawatt-hours of lifetime generation.
However, our region needs to address the challenge of efficiently managing our generation resources in a changing energy landscape. Here in the Northwest, that landscape is getting to be energy-rich and capacitypoor, which means sometimes we have more electricity available when it’s not needed, or struggle to meet demand when renewables — such as wind and solar — are not generating electricity during peak demand. Sustaining a diverse mix of energy resources will require large-scale energy storage so that clean energy from intermittent sources, like our state’s vast wind resources, can be bet-
ter integrated into the regional power grid. To help develop this technology, Energy Northwest is current working with Powin Energy, a Portland-based energy company, as well as BPA, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Richland to test such a battery storage technology at our Nine Canyon Wind Project. Our initial six-month test is scheduled to begin in April, and will provide us with handson experience with energy storage, as well as data that will inform us on a number of levels — including costs and benefits of the system.
Energy Northwest is also in the process of “site banking,” where prospective sites for utility-scale electric generation resources such as wind and solar are selected, permitted and made ready for a generation project. This prepares us for building new resources when the need arises. The potential for future small modular nuclear technologies is also bright. Energy Northwest is part of the MidColumbia Energy Initiative and the Tri-City Development Council’s efforts to locate a small modular reactor adjacent to our Columbia nuclear energy facility.
In May, we will shut down Columbia for our biennial refueling outage. For our refueling outages, we typically bring in approximately 1,500 additional workers, which provides a boost to the Tri-City economy. Our top priority during the outage, as it is every day, is safety and quality in all our operations. During our outage, we will refuel and perform equipment maintenance so we can ensure the long-term reliability of Columbia and thus continue, along with our hydro, wind and solar projects, to power a clean energy future for Washington and the region.
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Serving the Tri-Cities for 5 decades This year the Tri-City Development Council (TRIDEC) is celebrating 50 years of service to the community. Since 1963, TRIDEC has been working to improve the economic health of the Tri-City area through economic diversification and creation and retention of private sector jobs. Founded by Glenn Lee and Bob Philip from the Tri-City Herald and community leaders Sam Volpentest and Ed Ray, the Tri-City Nuclear Industrial Council (TCNIC) worked to secure economic prosperity for the Tri-Cities as the community voice for business and the Hanford Site. The purpose of the organization remains consistent to this day. It was the entrepreneurial spirit of the founders of TCNIC, later named Tri-City Development Council, that forever changed the future of the Tri-Cities. Some of TCNIC’s first efforts, strongly supported by the Tri-City Herald, were to
form the Benton Franklin Counties Good Roads Association. There was recognition that with only two-lane roads into and out of our community, economic expansion was severely restricted. Carl TCNIC was also instruAdrian mental in President and supporting enhanceCEO ments to the Tri-Cities Airport and made the first financial contribution toward the formation of the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau. Over the past 50 years, TRIDEC has helped local business expand and led or assisted in bringing new business and
federal missions to the Tri-Cities. TRIDEC’s early successes include Battelle and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Iowa Beef (now Tyson Foods), Lamb Weston, Oremet (now ATI), and Reeser’s Foods. More recently, TRIDEC’s successes include Dakotah Direct, Ferguson Enterprises, Amazon.com, Cascade Natural Gas and JLieb Foods. TRIDEC’s business recruitment and retention programs have a proven track record of improving the Tri-Cities economy. During 2012, at the request of Congressman Doc Hastings, TRIDEC testified before Congress on bills in support of the Manhattan Project National Park and public access to Rattlesnake Mountain. It is TRIDEC’s hope that the Manhattan Project National Park will be established in the next year to commemorate the his-
torical significance of the B Reactor and the momentous role the Tri-Cities played in World War II. Throughout 2012, TRIDEC continued to work with the TriCities Airport in attracting new air service to the community; attended tradeshows focused on energy, data centers and food processing; and hosted events for corporate real estate executives at three different venues. Also in 2012, TRIDEC’s Mid-Columbia Energy Initiative (MCEI) presented a proposal to the Department of Energy’s Small Modular Reactor Secretary’s Advisory Committee, pointing out that the Hanford Site, and specifically the Energy Northwest WNP-1 site, is perfect for DOE to construct new Small Modular Reactors. It’s estimated that the use of the WNP-1 site could result in a savings of at least $50 million in construction costs for a new
nuclear reactor. TRIDEC’S Mid-Columbia Energy Initiative’s 2013 objectives include support for: Benton-Franklin Transit’s electric bus demonstration project; Cascade Natural Gas’s natural gas pipeline; Small Modular Reactors; PNNL and the Smart Grid, Materials Hub and Battery Hub projects; bioproducts efforts from BSEL and InnovaTek, and a Solar Brownfield Project for 300 area. Also in 2013, TRIDEC will be commissioning an analysis of business recruitment opportunities in target industry sectors for the Tri-Cities, continue to work with DOE regarding the transfer of Hanford lands for industrial development and will be joining with the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau and Tri-Cities Regional Chamber of Commerce in evaluating the establishment of a regional brand identity.
TRI-CITIES RESEARCH DISTRICT
Collaborating around the Tri-Cities The Tri-Cities Research District (TCRD) continues to make progress in many ways. The TriCities Investment District, led by Stew Stone, finally received its approval as an EB-5 regional center in January. This allows forDiahann eign investors to make $500,000 to $1 million Howard in investments located within the district. Executive After two years and director proof of the project’s completion, they become eligible to receive their green cards. The result will be $110 million in hotel, apartment and corporate housing projects in the Horn Rapids area in 2013. This investment is critical to support the
live, work, play and learn lifestyle that the TCRD envisions for itself and the companies we are trying to recruit. The Wine Science Center Development Authority is on schedule to deliver a signature facility at the entry of the TCRD on the WSU Tri-Cities campus. The Washington State Wine Commission pledged $7.4 million toward the facility in 2011. Another $5 million was provided by the state, and private contributions are completing this project, which is scheduled to break ground in the fall on property being provided by the Port of Benton. The Wine Science Center Development Authority is a unique partnership managed by the city of Richland, which is overseeing project management, design and construction of the facility. Innovation Center continues to invest in the TCRD with new apartments and commercial development along University Drive. The former Q Street has been
renamed Innovation Boulevard with its redesign now landscaped to resemble a DNA strand along the southern section. The street provides a north-south connection between University Drive and Horn Rapids Road. The Port of Benton, PNNL, Clean Vantage and WSU Tri-Cities, Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory are partnering on the BioChemCat project, which holds significant promise in creating biofuels and chemical precursors from agricultural and municipal waste. A small demonstration pilot plant is being operated within a port building in the district. The work with our partners on the Mid-Columbia Energy Initiative gives this project a fully scaled-up home for production in the future. This spring will be the start of the Port of Benton, Benton County and city of Richland partnership using Local Revitalization Financing to support the
expansion and development of broadband throughout the district. Surprisingly, access to high-speed broadband in the district is difficult for private firms that are not Hanford contractors. Recruiting technology companies requires access to reasonably-priced high-speed and high-capacity broadband, just like recruiting industrial companies requires access to transportation. Collaboration and coordination is the purpose of the TCRD, and its designation by the state as an Innovation Partnership Zone makes public-private partnerships critical to our success. The TCRD will continue to tell our story and market the TCRD as the place of choice for technology companies seeking a skilled work force in 2013. Our sights are now focused on new company recruitment and commercialization startup. This region is the energy capital of the Northwest. What’s next starts here!
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
TRI-CITY LOCAL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
Leveraging local assets to strengthen the economy Successful cleanup of the Hanford Site is about more than the removal of contaminants. It’s about the transition to a vital and sustainable TriCity economy. The transition involves the land and the people, and it requires the contributions of our local business community. The Tri-Cities Local Business Association (TCLBA) is a not-for-profit association serving local businesses and organized labor. We serve as an advocate in promoting business and contracting for our members, most of whom are subcontractors involved in environmental cleanup of the Hanford Site. We provide a forum for members to share information, form partnerships and grow networks. Our members are active participants and leaders in community-building efforts that improve education, create jobs and enhance the quality of life for Tri-Citians.
As Hanford cleanup progresses, the TCLBA is looking at the opportunities for supporting the transition process and facilitating a strong, diversified and sustainable future for the community. Thus, we are Keith Klein thinking bigger, beyond Executive the regional director economy. Our vision for TriCity businesses is to see them grow and expand their markets outside the area, contributing to the larger national economy. Hanford cleanup requires the contributions of the best possible resources, which unquestionably includes the Tri-Cities’ businesses. Local businesses are lean, innovative and imbued
with distinctive technical strengths. They offer focused solutions and efficiency for meeting the tough challenges of Hanford cleanup. Furthermore, being local, they have considerable incentive to succeed. Through their subcontract support to prime contractors and directly to the Department of Energy, local businesses are vital to the progress that is achieving the cleanup mission goals for Hanford. At the same time, Hanford work has helped local businesses expand their expertise and advance technologically. As they already have demonstrated, they can successfully parlay their Hanford experience and capabilities for opportunities in our region and beyond. Operating from the Tri-Cities with a greater external reach is a sensible strategy for building a business. To their credit, DOE and its prime contractors have been
good corporate citizens. Yet they are under considerable pressure to reduce or delay certain tasks and find more efficient and effective means of accomplishing the work. As a result, they are looking at changes to procurement strategies, policies and provisions as well as reprioritizing work. Typically, subcontracts, which sustain locally-committed businesses, are the first to be cut under these conditions. We also understand that the prime contractors are committed to their shareholders and their contracts. In that regard, it is important to recognize that those contracts contain varying incentives that extend beyond the physical cleanup to reflect other government goals and policies, such as development of small businesses and addressing local socioeconomic impacts. Thus, to achieve our vision in the near-term, local businesses need to, and can,
help meet the challenges of tight budgets and extremely difficult technological issues. Over the next year, the TCLBA will work to provide DOE and its prime contractors’ ideas for win-win contract provisions that consider the broader community benefits in meeting the cleanup mission. We will seek opportunities for close participation of locally committed businesses in shaping acquisition strategies. The timing is right as DOE considers modifications and extensions of current prime contracts and looks ahead to acquiring the next big round of services and products. As an advocate for our members, we encourage DOE and the prime contractors to leverage local assets for cleanup work, which can be technically advantageous and cost effective. We believe the result will be a new definition of success for Hanford and a robust and sustainable economy for the Tri-Cities.
Innovating to meet community needs Goodwill Industries of the Columbia just completed its most ambitious year in recent memory. During 2012, Goodwill moved our Kennewick store from Angus Village to Kennewick Plaza, opened additional donation centers in the Tri-Cities, expanded our online store presence, more than tripled our recycling Scott and post-retail proShinsato gram output, implemented donation partAssociate nerships with local executive schools to support director PTA organizations, completed a remodel of our store in Walla Walla in the historical downtown corridor, and completed the purchase of the former Kmart building on Court Street in Pasco.
Last year, we also began providing jobplacement services in Walla Walla, redesigned our service delivery model in the Tri-Cities to accommodate individuals in need of job-seeking assistance, and have plans for service expansion in Wenatchee later this year. We are proud that in 2012, we increased the number of individuals we served 9 percent over the previous year, and in doing so, increased the number of individuals who received job training by working at community businesses 32 percent. We also more than doubled the number of people we placed into community employment. In addition to the job-training and employment services we provide, the growth of the retail program has allowed Goodwill to create jobs in our community. The revenue we generate through the sale and recycling of donated clothing and household materials allows Goodwill to provide quality services to help individuals obtain the skills necessary to go to work in their community.
From positions such as donation attendants to material handlers, to processing and sales associates, we believe having a job is the first step toward achieving selfsufficiency and independence and contributing to our community. During the year, Goodwill added 26 new jobs to support our mission-based operations. We are proud to report 98 percent of Goodwill associates hold full-time positions and can benefit from affordable full-coverage health insurance benefits. Preparing for 2013, Goodwill’s executive team engaged members of our board of directors and staff in the development of a strategic plan that not only focuses on the future of our business and services, but also on opportunities for our organization to assist our own associates in obtaining education and training to strengthen their skills to be more self-sufficient. Our belief is that providing “family strengthening” services will increase employee satisfaction, decrease turnover and help increase opportuni-
ties for career growth within our organization or career growth with a different employer. Our most recent project for 2013 will be repurposing the former Kmart building. Staff and the design team from CKJT Architects is in the midst of creating a facility that will house a retail store, an e-commerce processing facility and a community employment center. The employment center will be designed to accommodate walk-in services for people seeking job-search assistance. Our plans also include turning the Pasco store on West Columbia Street into a sales outlet where customers will find even greater value being able to purchase items by the pound that didn’t sell in the store the first time around. We appreciate the support we have received from our community, especially our donors, our shoppers and the businesses that employ our graduates. We will continue to work hard to meet community needs today and in the future.
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
FARM & COMMERCE
PORT OF KENNEWICK
Facilitating growth, enhancements of region The Port of Kennewick is a municipal corporation covering a 485-square-mile area, which includes all of Kennewick, parts of Richland, all of West Richland, a portion of Benton City and the eastern third of Benton County, including Plymouth and Tim Arntzen Finley. The Port of KenDirector newick turned 98 this year. And while I am proud of the organization’s strong history of service to the community and taxpayers, I am even more optimistic about current efforts to diversify the economy and improve your quality of life. Citizens are actively engaging with the Port of Kennewick. Commissioners are taking a strategic and fiscally responsible approach to managing taxpayers’ assets. And staff is focused on growing jobs, revitalizing neighborhoods and enhancing the region for future generations. In Richland, the port has one remaining 1.29-acre parcel for
Courtesy Port of Kennewick
Spaulding Business Park revitalized a tired Richland neighborhood.
sale within its Spaulding Business Park. In creating Spaulding, the port paid $2.6 million for the land and improvements, then sold parcels to private developers — transforming previously vacant land into $30.6 million in assessed property values. So far, 156,000 square feet of buildings have been completed, and another 58,000 square feet are under construction — representing 655 jobs. For every dime of public money spent at Spaulding, the port leveraged significantly more than a dollar in private investment. That project revitalized a tired neighborhood,
and businesses brought new jobs to Richland — a win-win for the city and for Port of Kennewick taxpayers. At the Wine Development Park near the acclaimed Red Mountain AVA (American Viticultural Area), the port worked with West Richland to establish the business park and attract wineries and a distillery to the region. Now, with only a 1-acre parcel remaining for sale within the Wine Estates Business Park, the port is looking at opportunities to develop another 92-acre property into a wine village or wine-related research, warehouse and manu-
facturing cluster adjacent to Red Mountain. In east Kennewick, at the Oak Street Development Park, the port is renovating 33,000 square feet of buildings to provide updated, flexible space for future manufacturing and light industrial tenants. Those renovations will be completed during summer 2013. On Clover Island, parcels have been readied for privatesector, mixed-use development. Prime riverfront office space is now available for lease. On Columbia Drive, the port purchased waterfront property and began removing tired buildings, helping prepare that neighborhood for future development including a mix of bistros, brew pubs, coffee shops, markets, cafes, condos, urban wineries, trails and public spaces. For years, the port has been struggling to find a way to revitalize the Vista Field airport, a general aviation airfield in the heart of the Tri-City metropolitan area. The commissioners hired consultant DPZ to evaluate options, which include investing significantly more taxpayer money in expanded airport facilities and aviationrelated improvements at Vista Field or possibly closing and
redeveloping that property to allow for mixed-use investment. At the time of this writing, DPZ’s Draft EIS report indicated that an expansion alternative and a redevelopment alternative would bring positive impacts relative to simply continuing with the Vista Field Master Plan. However, in each case, the mix of costs, benefits and tradeoffs varies significantly. According to the study, turning Vista Field into an “aerotropolis” would cost taxpayers $42.6 million and nearly double the port’s annual operational loss during the next 20 years, while adding $17.2 million of property value to the tax rolls. Transforming the airport land into a “regional downtown” would generate a profit of $3.7 million for taxpayers and add $408.6 million to the tax rolls. Once commissioners receive the Vista Field FINAL EIS report, they must weigh the benefits, costs and impacts to the port and taxpayers before making any decision. A careful and studied approach to Vista Field’s future is crucial because it is a complex issue, and any decision will impact taxpayers and the community for years to come.
BENTON | Installed periscope in USS Triton Sail Park; Crow Butte Park to get new docks FROM PAGE 46
Pavilion, was completed last year. Ground was broken this year to construct the main facility. This building will house wine tasting, retail sales, culinary classrooms, displays and will be completed by the end of 2013. Funding for this project came from a combination of state and federal EDA grants along with private donations. Last year, the port purchased a building in north Richland for relocation of its administrative offices. Instead of constructing a new facility, we were able to get an extremely competitive price, which will save more than $2 million versus building new. We plan to modify the interior and be moving the first quarter
of 2014. This move will allow our existing tenants room to grow into our vacated space to further develop their private ventures. Across the street from our new administration building is the USS Triton Sail Park. We just installed a periscope in the conning tower. Crow Butte Park, downstream from Paterson on the Columbia River, will receive new docks this year and a restroom near the marina. The port leased the park from the Army Corps of Engineers more than 5 years ago and has transformed it into one of the nicest parks in Washington. Go see for yourself. The new WSU Tri-Cities Wine Science Center will be at the south end of our Technology & Business Campus.
The port provided a little over two acres of land to house this important facility, which will further the wine industry in Washington. Construction on this building is expected to start in late summer. The port is continuing to renovate and improve the Tri-Cities Enterprise Center at the Horn Rapids Business Center. Shrub Steppe Brewing just opened and is offering smoked meats and speciallycrafted microbrews. The Richland Airport continues to grow with the development of additional space for private hangars. This land is lease only and designed for T-hangar up to large multi-plane hangars. The Federal Aviation Administration paid 90 percent of the construction costs for this project.
The port purchased the old downtown Benton City firehouse and has renovated the building. A mercantile is scheduled to move into the facility this spring. A new Automated Weather Observing System is under construction at the Prosser Airport. This system enables pilots to access current weather conditions at the airport by tuning into the airport’s radio frequency or calling a phone number before departure. This project will be complete in April. Prosser Vintner’s Village Phase II has been developed on the south side of the existing wine park with 19 shovel-ready lots. Ideal tenants would complement the existing wineries at Vintner’s Village.
Tri-City Herald â€˘ Sunday, March 31, 2013
FARM & COMMERCE
Courtesy Port of Pasco
A larger concourse area is included in the proposed expansion of the Tri-Cities Airport.
PORT OF PASCO
Airport expansion plans are moving forward
The number of passengers boarding airplanes at the Tri-Cities Airport, which is owned and operated by the Port of Pasco, has increased by almost 100,000 in the past five years. This incredible growth has caused crowding in the airport terminal building. The necessity to expand the airport has become a high priority, not only for the Port of Pasco, but also for the region we serve. In the past year, the Port of Pasco board of commissioners has taken significant steps in moving forward with expanding the airport terminal. Last April, commissioners asked Mead & Hunt, our consultants on the Ron Foraker project, to provide Director three design alternaof Airports tives for a new terminal that would meet the needs of our airport customers for the next 15 to 20 years. In November, the commissioners selected a preferred alternative and directed Mead & Hunt to move forward with a conceptual design. This design almost doubles the size of the existing terminal and addresses the shortfalls of the current space. The screening checkpoint has been a consistent bottleneck for passengers
during the past several years. A reconfiguration of this area will allow room for four screening lanes and passenger queuing. The new design also calls for relocating the staircase and elevator to the entry way, constructing new restrooms at the front of the building and moving the car rental concession spaces to the north end of the building near baggage claim. The boarding area is often at capacity during peak travel times. The new design will provide travelers with a much larger concourse and a full-service restaurant and lounge on the boarding side of screening. Individuals waiting for their flight will be able to enjoy their time watching airfield activities through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The ticket counter will be moved to allow for more space for passengers conducting business with the airlines. In addition, the front of the terminal building will be realigned for better traffic flow in passenger drop-off and pick-up zones. TSA screening of outbound baggage will be conducted under a new building addition behind the airline operations area. With all of the related new construction, the port commission contracted with Leibowitz & Horton, Inc. to prepare See AIRPORT | Page 52
Tri-City Herald â€˘ Sunday, March 31, 2013
FARM & COMMERCE
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Agriculture an industry that touches everyone At the Washington State Department of Agriculture, one of our key missions is to support the farmers and ranchers of our state — and for good reason. Agriculture plays a tremendous role in our state’s culture and our economy. With more than 125 farmers markets throughout the state and a growing export market, Washington crops can be Dan purchased at a farm stand Newhouse in your community or a Director grocery store across the world. During the Great Recession, this industry remained one of the bright spots, employing more than 160,000 men and women in farming, ranching, food processing and other agrelated jobs. With more than 300 crops grown on close to 40,000 farms statewide, agriculture is responsible for about $46 billion in revenue annually for our state.
Thanks to the quality of our agriculture products, we’ve been able to build a robust export market to our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, as well as countries like Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines. China, another large market for Washington products, recently agreed to open its markets to U.S. pears. This is a boon for Washington, where more pears are grown than in any other state in the country. In 2011, the state’s pear crop was valued at $186 million, enough to rank it among our state’s top 10 most valuable commodities. Signs are promising that 2013, like 2012, will be a strong year for agriculture. But there will be challenges too. New food safety rules recently proposed by the Food and Drug Administration as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act have raised questions among consumers and growers. These draft rules will have a broad impact on how food is handled from farm to table, covering equipment and tools, worker training and hygiene, irrigation water, record keep-
ing, even how to manage domestic animals that come near growing crops. To give you some sense of the scope, these rules fill a draft document in excess of 500 pages. FDA will take comments through mid-May. WSDA is partnering with stakeholders to hold a series of public meetings to make sure farmers, ranchers and community members understand the proposal and know how to share their comments with the FDA. We will even make sure printed copies of the rules are available for review. I consider farmers the original conservationists and environmentalists, because our livelihood is tied so closely to the health of the land around us. As the understanding of farming’s impact on the land grew, so has this dedication to preserving it. Still, the impact of agricul-
AIRPORT | Expansion could start in 2014 FROM PAGE 51
a financial analysis of the project. This report will help the commissioners determine financial feasibility for the estimated $35 million project. The port intends to be under contract for the terminal expansion design for the remainder of 2013. Bidding and construction of the project could begin in early 2014. The airport will remain open during construction. Other projects associated with the growth of the Tri-Cities Airport include the relocation of the FAA’s VOR Navigational Aid and the acquisition of property for future runway capacity. The Tri-Cities Airport plays a critical
role in this region. It serves as one of the hubs of commerce and helps encourage economic development supporting business, general aviation and cargo. For many coming into our area, it is the community’s front door. A growing and vibrant region such as ours needs an airport that not only meets current needs, but also those needs well into the future. At the port, we are excited about the progress made toward expanding the Tri-Cities Airport. For more information about the expansion, and to follow the progress, we invite you to visit our website at www.portofpasco.org. Project information will also be displayed at the TriCities Airport.
ture on the environment is a continuing issue for the industry. Recently, some may have heard that legislation was being considered to address one important environmental issue, manure management. While it is true that WSDA, the Department of Ecology and the state Conservation Commission had conversations on the issue, no legislation was proposed. In fact, after much discussion, it is clear that one of our aims must be to do more to identify the scope of the problem, strengthen existing programs where needed and continue the communications among all those concerned so together we can develop effective solutions for manure management. For farmers and ranchers, it can often seem that important decisions affecting them are made by people who don’t really understand what farming is. To
help change that, one of my goals will be to broaden the public’s knowledge about farming and ranching taking place in their backyards, whether they live in Selah or Seattle. The commemoration of WSDA’s centennial year in 2013 will be the perfect opportunity to do this by not only acknowledging our milestone year, but more importantly celebrating Washington agriculture as well. Several activities will be held throughout the year, but we are already planning to hold a Centennial Day on April 11 at the state capitol and, later in the year, will ask everyone to join in the annual Taste Washington Day on Sept. 25 — a day when schools feature Washington-grown food in their meals. This year, we will work to encourage everyone to use Washington-grown products for their own meals that day so they gain some idea of the diverse agriculture industry we enjoy here. For WSDA, the goal hasn’t changed in 100 years — supporting the agriculture community while promoting consumer and environmental protection.
FARM & COMMERCE
Tri-City Herald • Sunday, March 31, 2013
KENNEWICK IRRIGATION DISTRICT
Working to solve regional water issue These are exciting times at the Kennewick Irrigation District. The Red Mountain project is nearly under construction, and tremendous progress is being made in implementing the Yakima River Integrated Water Management Plan. The “Integrated Plan” will provide irrigation districts in the Yakima basin with at least a 70 percent water supply in back-toback drought years. As an irrigation district with a junior Scott Revell water right, KID received Planning 85 percent of manager its water supply in the 2001 drought and 75 percent in the 2005 drought, while upstream irrigation districts received as little at 37 percent water supply in those years. Without the plan, KID’s water supply will be constricted when droughts occur in the years and decades ahead as water conservation projects upstream in the basin reduce return flows and increase flows for protected fish. KID has been part of a work group that was formed in 2009 by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and State Department of Ecology to craft a plan because drought is a very serious problem that affects hundreds of thousands of people in the Yakima River basin, and it will get worse. The work group members agreed at the beginning that not addressing the problem was irresponsible and unacceptable. The plan includes a few features that KID is not thrilled with and could even harm our water users, but on balance, KID views the Integrated Plan as a sensible and reasonable longterm solution. When Gov. Inslee made the Integrated Plan authorization bill his first
Courtesy Dave Walsh
An aerial view of Bumping Dam and Reservoir.
piece of legislation in January, it highlighted just how crucial water supplies are to the economy and quality of life in our region. The Integrated Plan includes significant water conservation elements that provide for water conservation through canal lining and water efficiency measures such as re-regulation reservoirs. Key elements include expanded water markets; increased groundwater management measures and environmental improvements such as long-sought fish passages at the five Bureau of Reclamation dams; and the purchase of 77,000 acres of land in the
upper portion of the watershed. The Integrated Plan includes creating a five-mile-long, 10foot-diameter tunnel to move water in drought years from Keechelus Lake along Interstate 90 eastward to Kachess Lake and installing a pumping system in Kachess Lake to access a portion of the water that is already in the reservoir but is below the outlet to firm up water supplies. These projects can be under way soon. Raising the reservoir behind Bumping Dam by 50 feet will add 165,000 acre-feet of water storage. Building the new Wymer dam at Lmuma Creek along Interstate 82 near the
Yakima Firing Center will also improve water supplies. Half of the water in the expanded Bumping Reservoir and the new Wymer reservoir will be allocated to benefit steelhead and bull trout listed under the Endangered Species Act and re-establish sockeye and coho salmon. Raising Bumping Dam is a significant water storage increase, but it is far less than the much larger 458,000 acrefoot project that was studied years ago, which would have provided more than double the water storage. The Integrated Plan came about after the realization that the $8 billion Black Rock reser-
voir concept was unachievable because it would be too expensive to build and operate, and Columbia River water rights were not available to fill it. Some of the projects in the $3.8 billion Integrated Plan have serious impacts, though they also have serious environmental benefits that outweigh the overall impacts. The Integrated Plan has the support of a stunningly broad list of mainstream environmental groups: the Yakama Indian Nation, irrigators and state and federal fish regulators. It is a group with strongly competing interests working to solve a serious and complicated regional issue.
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
FARM & COMMERCE
WASHINGTON STATE DAIRY PRODUCTS COMMISSION
Dairy farming a technology-driven business “Running a dairy is my job; being a farmer is my life,” said Sunnyside dairyman Jason Sheehan. Sheehan, his wife, Karen, and her parents, Tony and Brenda Veiga, operate the 3,000-cow J & K Dairy. Sheehan also farms 900 acres, doublecropping triticale (a hybrid of wheat) and corn for silage to feed the dairy’s Mark cows. The farming operLeader ation proMedia vides approximately 25 relations percent of the manager herd’s feed. “We always try to make life better for our cows,” explained Sheehan. “When we make those improvements, there are usually a number of side benefits.” Operating a dairy and a farm requires Sheehan to wear a number of hats. He may have to fill in for the herdsman and conduct the weekly herd health checks with a local vet or work alongside his employees to get labor intensive projects completed. To have the time to make all that happen, there is a reliance on technology. Three years ago, Sheehan began utilizing zone mapping
Jason Sheehan and his son work together at J & K Dairy.
services and electrical conductivity technology to identify the natural soil variations. This led to the investment in GPS equipment for variable rate fertilizer application. The main benefit is a reduction of any potential for off-site movement. This is vital because the goal is to provide enough fertilizer to get highyield crops but not too much that it leaches into the ground. “We want to give our crops the water and fertilizer they need, when they need it,” Sheehan said. “That’s better for our crops, the land and the environment.” All dairies have to develop a
Courtesy Washington State Dairy Products Commission
nutrient management plan that is reviewed and approved by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Working in conjunction with the variable rate application is irrigation water management. That provides enough water for growing without pushing the nutrients below the root zone and possibly into groundwater. In recent years, concern about nitrate levels in the region’s groundwater from a variety of agricultural, public and private sources led to the creation of a Groundwater Management Area (GWMA). Shee-
han serves on the Groundwater Advisory Committee, which was created by the GWMA to work collaboratively with stakeholders toward a solution. “I’ve seen my fellow dairy farmers take the lead in this process by rethinking strategies to protect the environment,” said Sheehan, a fourth-generation dairy farmer, who has operated J & K Dairy for 11 years. While expensive, the soil mapping, application equipment and GPS system proved to be a solid investment. It has allowed Sheehan to go to no-till or reduced tillage, which helps
preserve the soil and maintain air quality (less dust in the air). Another step was implementing an auto-steer system for fertilizing and harvesting. The mechanical steering device takes commands from an electronic system to guide a tractor with maximum precision. If a tractor goes offline, the auto-steer system adjusts its position to follow the correct path, so field applications can be completed quickly and accurately. Not only does this reduce operator fatigue and increase safety, it also allows operation day or night or in low visibility conditions. “We use the GPS system and the auto-steer for planting, so we are able to have greater control of the starter fertilizer distribution and spraying,” Sheehan said. “When it comes to harvesting, we cover 30 percent to 40 percent more ground a day with auto-steer.” Sheehan hopes 2013 brings higher milk production and a good growing season — which would mean having to purchase less feed on the open market. The strategy is to keep the cow numbers the same but increase the land base. Nutrients are put on the land, which grows the crops that feed the cows. “It comes full circle,” Sheehan said. “Technology is moving so fast, it’s difficult to predict what the next innovation will be. We do know there will be new tools available that will allow us to further improve our operations.”
GRAIN | Venezuelan-based consultant to promote soft white to Latin American mills FROM PAGE 57
precise processes that occurs when soft white is added to “protein” wheats, we recently financed a study to clarify what is happening. Art Bettge, a retired cereal chemist formerly with the Agricultural Research Service of the Department of Agriculture based in Pullman, called his research “the sweet spot study.” The name refers to the spot on a bat, racket or club where a combination of factors
results in a maximum response for a given amount of effort. Bettge found there is also a sweet spot when it comes to the addition of soft white flour to protein wheat flour. The explanation for such a reaction is not the obvious one regarding the different protein levels of the two classes. Rather, Bettge had to dig much deeper, down to the very molecular level of soft white and its interaction with the protein wheat classes to understand what was happening.
To explain the process fully would require more space than is available here. A degree in cereal chemistry wouldn’t hurt either. Suffice to say, soft white acts as a buffer and an additional component in ensuring superior loaf volume as well as quality. Armed with Bettge’s research, the Washington Grain Commission, in cooperation with U.S. Wheat Associates and the Oregon and Idaho wheat commissions, have recently hired a Venezulan-
based consultant to promote soft white’s blending performance to Latin American mills. With all but one class of wheat exported from the Northwest, we are uniquely positioned to service markets on the west coast of Latin America. Proving the special relationship that occurs when soft white is blended with protein wheat classes is one more way for us to open and expand these markets to more exports from the Northwest.
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Vit Plant a long-term solution for long-term problem Bechtel National Inc. is proudly leading efforts to design, construct and commission the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant, also known as the Vit Plant, for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The monumental project provides a permanent solution for the 56 million gallons of highly radioactive waste stored in aging underground tanks on the Hanford Site, Frank Russo just miles from the Project Columbia director River. Our community, our state and its residents have a vested interest in the success of the Vit Plant and Hanford cleanup. Contamination of the river would pose a significant health threat and severely cripple our robust agricultural industry, the third largest in the nation, and our trade-supported economy. We understand the urgency, and we take our mission — building a plant that protects residents, their families and their homes — very seriously. When operational, the Vit Plant will use vitrification — a proven technology — to turn
the liquid radioactive waste into a solid glass form. Vitrification has been used successfully to stabilize radioactive waste at other sites around the world, including the Defense Waste Processing Facility at the Savannah River site in Georgia and the Sellafield site in the United Kingdom. Vitrification will provide our region with lasting environmental protection. While the technology is proven, the volume and complexity of Hanford’s waste presents some unique technical challenges. The challenges have been and continue to be addressed by experts from government, industry and academia. Last fall, the Vit Plant welcomed additional engagement from senior leadership within DOE and teams of industryleading scientists and engineers to tackle the remaining technical questions. The teams have been hard at work and will provide their insight and guidance in the near future. Bechtel is working closely with these teams and remains committed to working with DOE to resolve the challenges. We hold our employees, subcontractors and vendors to the highest nuclear safety and quality standards. Since project inception, more than 30,000 people have worked on the Vit
Vit Plant facilities have extensive safety systems including the contaminatedair-handling system installed in the Low-Activity Waste Vitrification Facility. Courtesy Bechtel National
Plant. Today 2,200 skilled craft, engineers and professionals, many whose families have lived here for generations, are working to ensure the Vit Plant is completed and will operate safely. Work is progressing steadily in areas that are unaffected by these technical challenges — on the Low-Activity Waste Facility, Analytical Laboratory and support infrastructure, as well as portions of the High-Level Waste Facility. Construction is advancing, and we are approaching construction milestones for the Analytical Laboratory and steam plant. The accomplishments are substan-
tial and demonstrate the Vit Plant is moving forward. Last year, we held our second public open house where anyone could ask questions, voice their concerns and talk to our experts. We are committed to continuing the dialogue and are planning a third open house. We encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about the Vit Plant to attend. Our community is important to us. We are working to protect it, and we actively support it. Since project inception, we have spent more than $1 billion using local vendors to perform essential work. Each year, our employees generously donate to
local programs and charities, such as United Way, Second Harvest and Toys for Tots. In 2012, employees, Bechtel and principal subcontractor URS donated more than $510,000. We are dedicated to safety and quality. Our employees live here. Their friends and families live here. Many will stay in the area long after construction is completed. The longer the waste remains in the tanks, the greater the risk. We are committed to designing, building and operating a plant that will safely and efficiently treat the waste. We are committed to that mission, and we will achieve it.
HANFORD | Well on the way to achieving 2013 goals for each of the main cleanup areas FROM PAGE 59
hazardous materials and put themselves in harm’s way to protect our environment. I am proud of what we have accomplished together so far. But there’s a tremendous amount of work left to do at Hanford. Our main priority, whether it’s routine or technically challenging work, is to make sure our workers are safe in all they do each day. In 2012, Hanford Site workers constructed a new system to treat extensive groundwater contamination, made sig-
nificant progress demolishing highly contaminated structures, and moved spent nuclear fuel and sludge away from the Columbia River. We’re not only seeing great progress exploring the extent of groundwater contamination on the site, but also taking active steps to contain contamination and clean it up. Workers also developed new methods for segregating and stabilizing dangerous liquid and solid wastes and took down numerous former nuclear fuel testing and processing facilities. Like most cleanup projects, we find
additional contamination with each and every cleanup activity. The workers adjust to take on these challenges safely and we balance our current work and these challenges within our limited budget. As cleanup progresses, workers find numerous additional waste sites during activities like excavation and building demolition. While these discoveries often showcase the capabilities of our highly skilled work force, they also confirm that cleaning up the Hanford Site is one of the most complex and challenging endeavors of its kind. In 2013, we’ve developed more than 50
Key Performance Goals for our employees to tackle. There are numerous goals for each of our main cleanup areas: the River Corridor, Central Plateau, Groundwater, Infrastructure and additional goals that cover larger issues, such as safety, footprint reduction, meeting milestones, achieving small business goals, and working on future uses of Hanford Site land. We’re already well on our way to achieving our 2013 goals. We look forward to continuing to communicate about the value and benefit of Hanford Site cleanup to our local area, the region and the nation as a whole.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
Continuing mission of training workers Committed This past year, Mission Support Alliance (MSA) celebrated 15 years of operation for the Volpentest HAMMER Training and Education Center. Managed by MSA for the Department of Energy (DOE), HAMMER serves a global mission of reducing health and safety risks to Hanford workers, emergency responders and the public. HAMMER has excelled in providing Karen safety McGinnis instruction and training Director over the years, and it is demonstrative in our achievements. HAMMER has provided critical hands-on safety training for the Hanford work force, while also forging many partnerships with non-Hanford customers. HAMMER has done well adapting to rapid change while strengthening its core competencies. When Sam Volpentest and DOE envisioned the HAMMER concept, the objective was to provide training that would save lives and reduce injuries for Hanford’s hazardous work,
while also making the facility’s unique capabilities available to customers outside of Hanford. I’m proud to say that we continue to excel in both areas. With strong support from DOE and MSA, we were able to accomplish a great deal in 2012 — despite funding challenges and fluctuating training demands. Our Hanford training programs still make up the majority of our customer base. This past year, we upgraded our processes and training. This led to improved training, saved money, allowed us flexibility and kept us ready for emergent training and special requests. HAMMER continues to meet customer needs and realizing cost savings through standardization efforts in construction safety training and general and sitewide employee training. MSA was instrumental in leading HAMMER’s sitewide efforts in beryllium protection, chronic beryllium disease prevention and in establishing and implementing the Hanford Respiratory Protection Program. Additional training courses and training props also supported the growth of the Hanford Sitewide Safety Standards.
These standards focus on hazards commonly encountered at Hanford, as well as those encountered across the DOE complex. Implementing these standardized processes and training is essential for a consistent approach for performing work safely. Aside from HAMMER’s Hanford training mission, we continued forging new relationships with federal customers resulting in new contracts and broadening our existing customer base. MSA provided key support to the DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability with HAMMER’s response coordination for Hurricane Sandy. HAMMER staff coordinated the deployment of DOE responders to several Federal Emergency Management Agency regions and provided staff for DOE’s Energy Response Center in Washington, D.C. These efforts gained national recognition across the DOE complex. HAMMER supports the DOE National Training Center, the primary training facility for the DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security, to develop safety culture training for the DOE complex and to establish a process for accrediting safety and health
training by other sites using HAMMER’s Radiation Worker Safety Training as the pilot for the program. In 2012, we constructed a new field exercise building funded by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) that supports the international border security and law enforcement training conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for DOS, the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Hanford Site training programs. Above all else, HAMMER prides itself on safety excellence, and this is reflected by DOE designating the HAMMER facility as a Voluntary Protection Program Superior Star Site in 2012. Finally, we’d be remiss if we did not note the retirement of Congressman Norm Dicks, who has been a long-time supporter of HAMMER. Recently, the HAMMER Steering Committee issued a resolution in support of his commitment to HAMMER and the Hanford Site. Even though he didn’t represent our congressional district, Dicks was a true friend and ardent supporter. His efforts over the past 15 years have helped us become the success we are today.
MSA | More than $370M in small business subcontracts to date FROM PAGE 65
Superstorm Sandy recovery, involving long hours away from home and ensuring an effective national response to that disaster. MSA is a major supporter of small business in the Tri-Cities, having entered into more than $370 million in small business subcontracts to date. Additionally through 2012, MSA parent companies have invested $7 million in community projects, charitable projects and employee recogni-
tion. MSA is known as a technical innovator and no project demonstrates that more clearly than Hanford’s Federal Cloud Computing Initiative. Launched with corporate funds and leveraging the ground-breaking technology base of MSA’ s corporate partner Lockheed Martin, this project alone will save the government more than $12 million and substantially improves reliability and protection of DOE assets. An additional $24 million was saved by powering down Hanford’s legacy telephone systems and replacing them with a state-of-the-art
voice over IP telephone system. We are grateful to DOE for their notice of our contract extension as a reaffirmation of MSA’ s good work. In the coming year, MSA will continue its strong partnerships with DOE and all the Hanford cleanup contractors to find more ways for positively impacting the mission, through innovation and integration, implementing new cost savings and safe solutions to the cleanup challenge, and working to preserve Hanford’s legacy by supporting DOE as they move the mission forward.
to achieving goals safely
Dade Moeller is pleased to be a partner for progress in the forward-looking Tri-Cities, our corporate “home” since our founding in 1994. We are proud of all that has been accomplished to date, and we are excited to continue our work and relationships here, as we advance together Dave toward our McCormack shared vision of sustainable President economic growth and community excellence. Dade Moeller is known for its commitment to occupational and environmental health and safety through education, and the application of good science. Our founder and namesake, Dr. Dade W. Moeller, exemplified the values of education, good science, integrity, hard work and dedication to client satisfaction during his career that spanned more than 60 years. Our company is also known for our ability to help clients complete their most difficult and hazardous work safely. Dade Moeller recently celebrated 1 million hours of work without an OSHA recordable injury. Our industrial hygienists and safety professionals provide hands-on expertise to regional businesses, in addition to supporting the complex and high-hazard projects at Hanford and across the country. Worker health and safety is not just a service that we provide to our customers, it is an integral part of our corporate culture that drives our decision-making See MOELLER | Page 67
COMMITTED | Work to protect river is continual FROM PAGE 68
to ensuring that we continue making the right call and do business with integrity that reflects our heritage and our reputation as one of the world’s most ethical companies. As CH2M HILL moves into its next five-year option period contract with DOE, our focus on efficiencies is anticipated to save millions of dollars that can be used to accomplish additional cleanup. We rolled out a subcontracting strategy focused on a competitive process that offers the overall best value for the government, while continuing to meet or exceed our subcontracting goals at Hanford — at least 17 percent of the total contract price will be performed by small businesses. This approach will save $7 million to $9 million per year. We continue Labor Agreement negotiations and will reach a final Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council. Our goal is to satisfy all parties while building efficiencies to execute more cleanup work per appropriated dollar, which also equals jobs. Looking forward, CH2M HILL has some major project milestones to support DOE in 2013. Our team is working with DOE to develop key decision documents that will impact cleanup in years to come. Our mission is to protect the Columbia River. We are building a system that will allow us to retrieve the last of the sludge from the K West Basin and move it away from the river as well as continue treating Hanford’s contaminated groundwater. We will continue decommissioning PFP to prepare for final demolition. Our team continues the surveillance and maintenance of site facilities in the central area of the site until they can be demolished as well. I’m proud to be a part of Hanford cleanup and the role it plays in the future of our community. I also recognize the important role the Hanford Site plays in the Tri-City economy. CH2M HILL shares in this commitment and we will continue to support the community in 2013 by devoting resources to improving the quality of life here.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Tri-City Herald • Sunday, March 31, 2013
WASHINGTON CLOSURE HANFORD
Closing in on end to cleanup project Washington Closure Hanford (WCH) is charging toward the finish line of the River Corridor Closure Project, the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) largest cleanup closure project — a 220-squaremile section of the Hanford Site located along the Columbia River that was home to nine plutonium production reactors, fuel development facilities and hundreds of support structures. We are in the eighth year of the 10year, $2.4 billion project, and I’m pleased to report that we are 87 percent complete with our work. Our success is simple: We rely on a highly skilled work force that puts safety above all else. In 2012 alone, we were recognized by DOE’s Office of Environmental Management as the fourthsafest cleanup Carol contractor in the Johnson entire DOE complex; we recertified our Star President Status in DOE’s Voluntary Protection Program; and we received DOE’s Star of Excellence for safety. Working safely means smart business — planning each job thoroughly, identifying and addressing hazards, ensuring availability of the right tools and expertise, and getting the job done efficiently. All of these considerations go into every one of the hundreds of tasks we do daily — whether decontaminating and demolishing buildings, digging up burial grounds and waste sites, packaging waste, transporting waste or disposing of waste in the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility. ERDF is the landfill we operate for all of Hanford’s contractors. This steadfast commitment to safely accomplishing work is how, for eight years of operation, we have saved taxpayers $324 million; completed field work in 136 square miles of the River Corridor; demolished 270 buildings; and cleaned up 335 waste sites. In 2012, almost half a century after President John F. Kennedy came to Hanford to dedicate N Reactor, we placed the historic facility in interim safe storage. Adding our own footnote to history, in 2012 we completed all cleanup of F Area, the first reactor area to be fully remediated. This year, we face many important challenges, including remediating
Courtesy Washington Closure Hanford
Washington Closure completed demolition of the 308 Building in 2012. The two-story, 71,000-square-foot structure was built in 1960 for the development of reactor fuel, including the testing of fuel irradiated to produce plutonium. The building, originally called the Plutonium Fabrication Pilot Plant and later the Fuels Development Laboratory, also was used to prepare and test fuel for Hanford’s Fast Flux Test Facility.
chromium contamination near the C, D and DR reactors. Preventing contamination from entering the groundwater can require excavating all the way down to groundwater levels — at some sites that means digging down 85 feet across areas the size of several football fields. At the same time, we will be engaged in remediating the 618-10 Burial Ground and continue to plan for future remediation of the 618-11 Burial Ground. Both sites were used for many years to dispose of highly radioactive waste generated from laboratories and reactor fuel development facilities in the 300 Area (the southernmost portion of the site just north of Richland). Speaking of the 300 Area, there have been some big changes during the past 12 months. Last spring, we demolished the 308 Building — a 71,000-foot structure and one of the largest facilities near the Columbia River. Most challenging in this job was removal and disposal of a large test reactor that had operated in the 1970s as part of the fuels and materials research program for Hanford’s Fast Flux Test Facility. In 2013, we are scheduled to complete the remaining building demolition in the 300 Area, a challenge highlighted by the need to remove two enormous items — the 340 Vault, which contained two highlevel waste tanks, and the Plutonium
Recycle Test Reactor. As it has been since we began this contract in 2005, ERDF represents the hub of all Hanford remediation. The landfill is located at the center of the site and is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. In 2012, our project alone involved the transporting and disposal of 1.7 million tons of contaminated material. Moving this much waste involves having as many as 850 truckloads of waste hauled to ERDF in a single day. Yet, we recognize that we are also only successful because of the support from the community and the hundreds of businesses and subcontracts we depend on. Since beginning our contract, we have awarded more than $950 million in subcontracts to small businesses. In fiscal year 2012 (Oct. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2012), we awarded 93 percent of our subcontract dollars to small business. Nearly two-thirds of the money was awarded to businesses in Benton and Franklin counties. Washington Closure Hanford has had many successes this past year. I am proud, as are we all on this project, to be playing a vital role in protecting the Columbia River, the environment and the public. We look forward to the upcoming challenges and to completing the cleanup of all 220 square miles of the River Corridor.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
WASHINGTON RIVER PROTECTION SOLUTIONS
2012 was year of safety, waste retrieval milestones 2012 was a record-setting year for Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS). As the Hanford tank operations contractor, we manage one of the most challenging environmental cleanup projects in the nation. We’re focused on safely managing the 56 million gallons of high-level radioactive and chemical waste stored in 177 underground tanks until the waste can be processed and immobilized in the Waste Treatment Plant Mike under conJohnson struction at Hanford. President, The tank project waste is a manager complex mixture of liquid, sludge and solids, and its radioactivity and chemical composition present ongoing operational challenges. But WRPS’ 1,500 employees have proved once again that they are committed to our mission of protecting our region from the risks posed by the tank wastes. WRPS reached new milestones in safety and waste retrieval operations. Here are some highlights from 2012: ◗ WRPS employees surpassed 6 million hours (more than a year) of work without a lost-
workday injury, a record unprecedented in the history of Hanford’s tank farms. The company’s Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate is among the best in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Environmental Management (EM) complex. ◗ WRPS completed 100 percent of its performance-based incentive milestones on schedule and under budget. ◗ The company made significant progress toward DOE’s commitment to remove waste from 16 underground singleshell storage tanks by the end of FY-14. Crews removed waste from six different underground tanks in 2012, completing retrieval activities in three tanks, removing the bulk of the material from another two and starting retrieval in the sixth. For the first time in Hanford history, workers began removing waste solids from three different tanks simultaneously. The waste has been transferred into double-shell tanks. ◗ WRPS is supporting the energy secretary’s Waste Treatment Plant mission and technical issues resolution teams. Among other tasks, the expert teams are exploring options for feeding high-level radioactive waste from the tank farms to the vitrification plant. WRPS is conducting a waste-mixing and sampling demonstration and supports the teams’ studies through its One System organization.
◗ WRPS earned a national award from DOE for the company’s leadership in mentoring local small businesses. WRPS also led a DOE-EM complexwide effort to consolidate and streamline purchasing and procurement, helping DOE exceed its strategic savings target by $700,000. By itself, WRPS saved an estimated $1.8 million. ◗ WRPS spent more than $67 million last year with local small businesses and almost $417 million since it took over the Tank Operations Contract four years ago. ◗ The company’s investment in local business goes beyond standard procurement opportunities. Each of the past two years, WRPS has partnered with the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce to offer $30,000 in grants to more than 40 local small businesses. These grants provide companies with up to $1,000 each to help them upgrade software and equipment, train workers or build a website. ◗ WRPS was named one of two 2012 Community Partners of the Year by trustees of the 30 two-year college districts in Washington. The honor recognized the company’s ongoing support of Columbia Basin College, including scholarships and support for a worker retraining program and the revitalization of a nuclear Courtesy Washington River Protection Solutions waste technology degree proA planner reviews a safety checklist before beginning work in Hanford’s tank farms. gram.
FLUOR GOVERNMENT GROUP
Continuing support as a DOE contractor
Tony Umek Executive director
While each year at Hanford brings new technical challenges, the guiding principle for DOE’s contractors remains constant: do more for less and do it safely. It’s an indisputable goal and one that requires detailed planning and meticulous implementation, especially with
already tight budgets that are facing even further reductions. Now more than ever, we must heed Benjamin Franklin’ admonition, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” As a teaming subcontractor to the CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC), Fluor has
helped process transuranic waste, decontaminate and demolish facilities, and remediate groundwater. In partnership with the Building Trades’ craft, we have also provided craft personnel for CHPRC projects, as well as those for other Hanford contractors, including the
Tank Farms project managed by Washington River Protection Solutions. Our five-year strategic plan calls for continuing that support. Currently, 125 Fluor employees are See CONTRACTOR | Page 71
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Tri-City Herald • Sunday, March 31, 2013
PACIFIC NORTHWEST NATIONAL LABORATORY
Long-term strategies geared toward prosperity Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is at the forefront of national priorities. President Obama said at his inauguration, “We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries.” Indeed, the science and technology generated at PNNL — our region’s largest employer — is not only contributing to our economy, it is helping solve national challenges in energy, the environment, national security and scientific discovery. We take our stewardship of public investment seriously. Three years ago, it became evident that budget contractions would lie ahead. We began planning, and when programmatic reductions occurred, we were able to take several timely actions. For example, we vacated leased facilities and worked closely with DOE and others to decrease operating costs, such as electricity. We also made tough decisions that included pension changes and work force restructuring. The past year has been challenging and also filled with great accomplishments. We completed negotiations with DOE for Battelle’s continued management of PNNL for the next five years. We kept our staff safe. And we earned among the highest marks in the national laboratory system for our accomplishments and management of PNNL. Along the way, we made significant progress in solving national challenges. For example, PNNL staff members are working around the world to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation. In 2012, we collaborated with partners worldwide to secure 1,051 commercial facilities that house nuclear and radiological materials and installed border monitoring systems
to better detect illicit trafficking of these kinds of materials. And a recent breakthrough may improve the storage of electrical energy from renewable energy sources. Our scientists designed catalysts from common, inexpensive nickel and iron to store energy between hydrogen atoms at speeds never before recorded — 100,000 hydrogen atoms per second. For the public, this can Michael contribute to a larger role for renewable Kluse energy sources in our power grid. Director Our laboratory strategy will evolve as we seek to deliver impact, distinguish PNNL within the scientific community and transform the world. We have a solid understanding of national priorities that guide our investments. For the next three to five years, we will focus on expanding our scientific leadership in molecular-scale imaging and dynamics to better understand energy conversion and storage. We will advance fundamental and applied catalysis research to develop a sustainable energy supply for the nation, and transform America’s electrical infrastructure to be more efficient and resilient. We also will disrupt the trafficking of illicit nuclear materials to keep the nation safe from the risk of nuclear or radiological attack. We will attract, develop and retain the most talented staff to accomplish these objectives. Our strategy for our region focuses on investments to build a sustainable econ-
Courtesy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Olympus, the new theoretical 162-teraflop peak supercomputer, is helping scientists do more complex, advanced research in areas such as climate science and smart grid development.
omy based upon innovation. We believe the best way we can realize this vision is through our investment in education — the formation of the Tri-Cities’ STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-focused Delta High School and our partnership with Washington State Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER), which supports the development of science education at hundreds of schools across Washington state. The results: innovative instruction and improved student achievement. Science and technology will be key drivers of long-term regional economic growth. The Tri-Cities Research District, for example, is structured to build new collaborations and public-private
business development. We are also partnering with academic leaders like Washington State University and the University of Washington. In fact, we recently formed the Northwest Institute for Advanced Computing at UW. This partnership will help ensure that the next generation of computers and the methods used to run them can address key national challenges. For almost five decades, PNNL has played a central role in the Tri-Cities community and our economy. We are facing funding constraints, but there is certainty in our purpose. Battelle, PNNL and PNSO, our managing partner, are strategically preparing for a future full of promise for our laboratory, our community and the nation.
ECOLOGY | Stakeholders offer fresh ideas, keep federal government focused on cleanup FROM PAGE 72
New stakeholders represent various communities’ values, offer fresh ideas, and keep us accountable. They also help us keep the federal government and Congress focused on the importance of cleanup even during difficult budget times. During the past year, we have worked hard to increase our outreach efforts to enlist more people in our decision-making. We have increased the Hanford-Info email list from 800 to more than 1,100
subscribers, and brought our much newer Hanford Outreach & Education email list to almost 200. Our educational outreach efforts grew in both number and geographical areas of focus. By coordinating or participating in 67 total events in 22 cities in 2012, we shared Hanford cleanup information with 16 schools and 26 civic and professional groups. The Hanford Dangerous Waste Permit is the state’s tool to ensure Hanford cleanup follows state laws to protect our air, land and water. We held a comment
period on the permit last year and held seven public hearings. During the comment period, we received thousands of comments that provided significant information and raised issues the state felt needed to be included in the permit. We are revising the draft permit to address those significant comments and issues and will reissue the permit for public comment. This illustrates the point that public participation really matters. The public comments we received will make the
permit stronger and more effective at protecting the state’s resources. We don’t have a firm schedule yet for the second round of public comments on the changes that will be made to the draft permit, but we will share more information as the process progresses. During the revision process, the previous version of the permit will remain in effect. Ecology hopes you will work with us to continue to make the next version as protective of Washington’s environment and citizens as possible.
Sunday, March 31, 2013 • Tri-City Herald
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Clients covered at all stages of fuel cycle Ranked first in the global nuclear power industry, AREVA’s unique integrated offerings to clients cover every stage of the fuel cycle — from mining to used fuel Dominique recycling; nuclear reactor design and Grandemange construction; and related services. The Richland site group is also expandmanager ing into renewable energies — wind, solar, bioenergies, hydrogen and storage. Our expertise and unwavering insistence on safety, security, transparency and ethics are setting the standard in the industries we serve, and our responsible development is anchored in a process of continuous improvement. Additionally, we support the communities we live and work in by investing time and financial resources to local organizations involved in education, bettering lives and medical research. Now let’s introduce AREVA in the TriCities. We’re located in a facility on Horn Rapids Road. The site is divided into two
functions — the commercial nuclear fuel facility, which is the center of excellence for fuel manufacturing in AREVA North America, and AREVA Federal SerDave vices, which supports Foucault various government contracts at the HanSenior vice ford Site. president of NW The fuel manufacoperations turing facility has been producing fuel for more than 40 years, and the current site manager is Dominique Grandemange. In 2009, the Richland site received the industry’s first 40-year Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) site license renewal. The facility has produced a wider variety of commercial nuclear fuel assemblies than any plant in the world. The more than 600 employees are focused on safely supplying the world’s preferred nuclear fuel. The site has supplied more than 50,000 fuel assemblies to 19 utility customers and 34 reactors in the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America. The fuel produced
accounts for 5 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. and 12 percent in Taiwan. The facility is fully licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The facility also operates a unique scrap-processing facility, which recovers uranium from powder, pellets and other residues even when contaminated with gadolinium, boron and other impurities. Uranium has been recovered for the Asian, European and U.S. fuel fabrication markets. AREVA has a licensed incinerator to burn combustible materials and a patented, one-of-a-kind Supercritical CO2 extraction process that recovers uranium from incinerator ash in an environmentally responsible manner. The fuels engineering team can provide a full scope of engineering design, licensing and operational support for reload cores. We maintain and develop codes and methods for the design and analysis of pressurized water reactor and boiling water reactor fuel. We also use NRC-approved codes to develop innovative incore fuel management plans and perform fuel cycle licensing analyses. Also housed in the facility is AREVA Federal Services, a nuclear engineering
services and operations contractor established to provide services to the Department of Energy weapons complex sites. Led by Dave Foucault and staffed by 100 employees in Richland, AFS has the unique ability to offer the proven capabilities, technologies and resources from the global AREVA company of 47,000 employees to our client projects. We are providing engineering and construction management for Hanford’s Sludge Treatment Project, including construction of a new sludge transfer annex for the K Reactor fuel storage basin. AFS is engineering and designing the facility; developing engineering, design and construction schedules; and managing field execution. AFS is focused on management and operations; engineering, procurement and construction; cleanup and closure; packaging and transportation; high-level waste and used nuclear fuel; advanced reactor designs; and renewables. Each of these strategic areas is important to our government clients. AREVA is a proud member of the TriCity community, and we are committed to continuing to grow our businesses.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST SITE OFFICE
Nurturing national scientific investments In President Obama’s State of the Union address, he cited the need to recommit to investment in science, even in the shadow of looming federal budget crises. “Now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation,” the president said. “Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race.” As much as the Department of Energy (DOE) is focused on addressing our nation’s energy, environmental and national security challenges, we have to do so in a way that’s smart, efficient and reflective of our role as stewards of PNNL as a national asset. We have to remain aware of not only current scientific needs, but also the needs of staff, clients, the nation and especially the community that means so much to us. It’s for this reason that we’ve been able to adapt so well to the many trials that so many institutions have faced
throughout this crisis. In the past year, our nation has witnessed the reasons for our continued investment in PNNL. Superstorm Sandy demonstrated the fragile nature of our aging electrical Roger grid and affirmed our Snyder work at PNNL in building a smarter, Manager more secure electrical infrastructure. Fluctuating gas prices validated our work in biofuels and research into smaller, longer-lasting batteries. The threat of terrorism around the world confirmed that we must continue to remain ahead of those who would do us harm and press on with our research in national security. And while some interpret DOE’s mission in addressing energy, environment
and national security as separate issues, they are inexorably linked. Our pursuit of energy independence and a cleaner, more secure future brings with it the promise of economic opportunity. We are an integral part of the innovation economy. As our nation moves forward, it becomes clearer that the answers to our scientific problems and issues of economic prosperity are not in the past but in the future. Innovation is the key to creating jobs and strengthening industry. Our staff at DOE is engaged with our counterparts at PNNL every day in positioning our institution to continue the science that moves our nation forward. In addition to signing a five-year extension to the contract with Battelle, we’re currently engaged in long-term planning to develop a Laboratory Strategy, with the aim of ensuring our facilities meet the needs of the decades ahead. This means that while we con-
tinue to seek out new ways to consolidate our facilities and streamline our operations, we have to make smart investments that help us make the most out of the capabilities we have. We need to maintain “quiet space” to ensure our highly sensitive instrumentation remains a viable scientific resource at our Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, which draws researchers from all over the United States and around the world. We have to make plans for aging facilities that are reaching the end of their useful life. At the Pacific Northwest Site Office, we are committed to nurturing PNNL’s core capabilities and developing new capabilities that best serve our national priorities. We are committed to supporting the laboratory staff as they produce world-class science with real-world impact. It’s our goal to ensure that PNNL remains a mission-critical asset to the nation — and the Tri-Cities.