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Port of Kennewick says bill for complaint could reach $450,000


By Wendy Culverwell




A specialty publication of the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business Page B1

Real Estate & Construction

Boutique expands into spot once home to Ariel Gourmet & Gifts Page A27

Business Profile

Pandemic doesn’t stunt Kennewick entrepreneur’s growth Page A39

NOTEWORTHY “I believe that we’ve seen the very best in people through acts of kindness, charity, courage and selflessness as we’ve worked together to overcome the challenges of the times.” - Brian Vance, U.S. Department of Energy

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The Port of Kennewick spent $400,000 to address an “anonymous” complaint against two commissioners over a land sale dispute. The cost will go higher if the port agrees to pay the legal fees incurred by Commission Chairman Don Barnes after he was exonerated of misconduct by an independent judge who reviewed the case. The cost is the latest in a series of conflicts between the port’s three commissioners, Barnes, Vice President Skip Novakovich and Secretary Tom Moak, stemming from the 2019 sale of a five-acre site near Vista Field. If there is one thing they all agree on, it is this: The cost to investigate and adjudicate a complaint that Barnes and Moak violated port policies during the dustup went too far. Moak called it terrible but said he does not think it will affect the port’s major undertakings, including turning the former Vista Field into a mixed-use development and creating visitor amenities along the downtown Kennewick waterfront. Barnes called it an “appalling amount of money” and said the complaint and resulting investigation and hearings should never have happened. Novakovich, who acknowledged he made the complaint after he believed heated discussions about the property sale crossed a line, said the outcome showed the process works. However, he said, efforts to reconcile sooner were rebuffed. The cost represents 16% of the port’s $2.6 million 2019 operating budget, according to a financial summary by its independent auditor submitted to the office of the state auditor in lieu of a state audit. That excludes capital and other expenditures. The total cost includes the initial investigation, the appeal and fees related to public records requests by Barnes, his attorneys and others, according to records released under Washington’s Public Records Act. The conflict that led to the complaint began in early 2019, when port staff asked the elected commissioners to release a buyback clause on land the port had sold more than a decade earlier to Jerry Ivy Jr. uPORT, Page A41



April 2021 Volume 20 | Issue 4




Courtesy JMS Development JMS Development will kick off work to develop a mini city at Pasco’s Osprey Pointe this year when it begins construction of a 76,000-square-foot marketplace to house 120 vendors. A hotel, 600 or more units of housing, entertainment venues and more will follow under a development agreement with the Port of Pasco.

It’s go time for Pasco’s Osprey Pointe market By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

James Sexton is starting with the marketplace and will add the other features in coming years. The marketplace is being built first for the simplest of reasons: Osprey Pointe already has the commercial zoning to accommodate it. It will take several more months for the city of Pasco and Franklin County to complete the zoning work that needs to happen for homebuilding. Sexton said he’s eager to start building houses and condos – the inventory of homes for sale in the Tri-Cities is far below the level needed to keep up with demand. Regardless, the port is thrilled to see it begin.

“It’s exciting to work with a local developer who shares our vision for this property and is willing to create something special at Osprey Pointe,” said Jim Klindworth, president of the port commission. Sexton said development will be privately funded with a combination of private investment and construction loans. He’s applied for grants and low-cost Covid-19 recovery loans as well. “This is not a taxpayer-funded project,” Sexton said. Broadmark Capital, a $1.5 billion Seattle-based real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on development loans, is expected to support the $100 million uOSPREY POINTE, Page A14

Airline veteran brings new carrier to Pasco, right on schedule By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

A Texas-based company led by the former head of Allegiant Air is launching a new carrier April 28 with a map that includes three weekly flights between the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco and Burbank, California. Houston Air Holdings Inc., formerly charter carrier Xtra Airways, announced the launch of Avelo Airlines to fly nonstop flights from its Los Angeles-area base to 11 West Coast vacation destinations, including Pasco, in early April. The move fulfills an aviation consultant’s 2020 prediction that Pasco could gain new routes as airlines dropped unprofitable runs

because of the Covid-19 pandemic. “We are thrilled to welcome Avelo Airlines to the Tri-Cities region,” said Buck Taft, director of airports for the Port of Pasco, which operates the local airport. He’s already bought a ticket to sit in the front row on the first flight. “It’s an honor to be one of the first destinations for the airline,” he said. Avelo’s arrival is right on schedule, coming less than a year after a Portland aviation consultant told Tri-City business leaders that the Covid-19 pandemic could lead to opportunities for airports such as Pasco that have strong business models. uAVELO, Page A4


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Easterday pleads guilty in $244M Police chief kicks off campaign season with run for port seat cattle fraud, faces 20 years By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

A Mesa man faces a lengthy prison sentence after pleading guilty to defrauding Tyson Foods Inc. and CME Group Inc. of more than $244 million through a stunning “ghost-cattle” scheme to cover his massive trading losses. Cody Easterday, 49, former president of Easterday Ranches in Franklin County, pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud and agreed to repay more than $244 million. He faces a sentence of up to 20 years when he is sentenced Aug. 4. The U.S. Department of Justice announced the guilty plea on March 31 following a series of revelations outlined in state and federal court documents and by federal investigators. The scheme was investigated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Inspection Services. It was prosecuted by the assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. According to court documents and the Department of Justice, Easterday Ranches entered an agreement with Tyson to purchase and feed livestock for eventual slaughter at its Wallula beef plant in Walla Walla County in early 2017. Under the deal, Tyson reimbursed Easterday for the costs related to purchasing and feeding the animals. Tyson (NYSE: TSN), one of the world’s largest food companies with more than $43 billion in annual sales, discovered errors in its inventory records in late 2020. Its investigation determined 200,000 cattle on the books did not exist. Easterday admitted the scheme to Tyson representatives and claimed it was to cover commodities trading losses, according

to the $225 million lawsuit Tyson filed in January in Franklin County Superior Court. According to the DOJ, Easterday used the proceeds for his own benefit, for the benefit of Easterday Ranches, and to cover $200 million in community futures contracts trading losses he had incurred. Tyson acknowledged the situation without mentioning Easterday by name in notes to its fourth quarter earnings report in January. It called the misappropriation of company funds an isolated incident and noted it had issued corrections to its prior statements. The second victim is CME Group Inc., which operates a financial derivatives exchange. According to the DOJ, Easterday submitted falsified paperwork on two occasions leading CME to exempt Easterday Ranches from certain restrictions on live cattle futures contracts. “For years, Cody Easterday perpetuated a fraud scheme on a massive scale, increasing the cost of producing food for American families,” said Nicholas McQuaid, acting assistant attorney general for the DOJ. Cody Easterday, together with Debby Easterday and Karen Easterday, resigned as officers of Easterday Ranches Inc., the company they owned, and placed it under the control of Paladin Management Group LLC, a Nevada restructuring firm. Paladin was tasked with restructuring the businesses. Easterday Ranches and a related company, Easterday Farms, filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code after Paladin took control. The bankruptcy cases are pending before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Whitman L. Holt of the Eastern District of Washington.

By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg helped kick off the 2021 campaign season by tossing his hat into the ring for the Port of Kennewick commission post currently held by Don Barnes. Filing week for 2021 is May 17-21. The alllocal election may lack the fireworks of 2020’s presidential slugfest but is more relevant Ken Hohenberg to daily life. Local elected officials govern the services that affect the daily lives of residents. They manage police and fire departments, schools and the economy-building activities of port districts. For a full list of seats up for election in the Tri-Cities, go to bit.ly/BentonCountySeats2021 and bit.ly/FranklinCountySeats2021. Hohenberg, who is also Kennewick’s deputy city manager, got an early start when he registered his campaign with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission on Feb. 27. He announced his retirement from the city, effective February 2022, at the March 2 city council meeting. Barnes, the current chairman, has not decided if he will seek reelection. The port’s three-person commission oversees a staff of 11 and an operating budget of about $2.6 million, excluding capital and other expenses. Its major undertakings include the redevelopment of Vista Field and the revival of the Co-

Offices open for election

Filing week for 2021 is May 17-21 for local elections. For a full list of seats up for election in the Tri-Cities, go to: • bit.ly/BentonCountySeats2021 • bit.ly/FranklinCountySeats2021 lumbia Drive and Clover Island neighborhoods. Despite its name, the Port of Kennewick also serves parts of West Richland and Benton City. Hohenberg had raised $20,700 as of April 9, according to his PDC filings. His campaign manager is Al Wehner, a retired Richland police captain, with Forrest Mueggler serving as treasurer. Hohenberg said running for office is a way to give back to the community he’s served since he signed on with the police department in 1978. As police chief, Hohenberg has a long history of working with the port. In 2020, his department was named one of Kennewick’s “Friends of the Port.” As a young officer, he spent eight years patrolling a beat that included Clover Island, downtown and east Kennewick in the heart of the port’s redevelopment territory. He watched Clover Island transform into a visitor destination under the port’s leadership and Spaulding Business Park take shape on Columbia Park Trail. His work as a rising police officer was not so different from the port’s economic development mission, he said. Both were trying to make the community a better, uHOHENBERG, Page A8



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/tcajob /tcajob /company/tcajob The Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business, a publication of TriComp Inc., is published monthly and delivered at no charge to identifiable businesses in Pasco, Richland, West Richland, Kennewick, Prosser and Benton City. Subscriptions are $27.10 per year, including tax, prepayment required, no refunds. Contents of this publication are the sole property of TriComp Inc. and can not be reproduced in any form without expressed written consent. Opinions expressed in guest columns and by advertisers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of staff, other columnists or other advertisers, nor do they imply endorsement by staff, columnists or advertisers. Every effort will be made to assure information published is correct; however, we are not liable for any errors or omissions made despite these efforts.

It was a bold prediction by Jack Penning of Volaire Aviation Consulting, Pasco’s aviation advisor. At the time, air travel was in a state of almost total collapse after shutdowns took hold in April 2020. Losing, not gaining, flights was the preoccupying thought of the day. But in a May 29, 2020, “Coffee with Karl” program hosted by the Tri-City Development Council, Penning said the local airport could gain new routes or even see airlines restore the lost connection to Portland as they dropped unprofitable routes for ones frequented by business and government officials. Avelo is not restoring the Pasco-to-Portland link, but its launch appears to affirm Penning’s belief that disruption could usher in opportunity. A year later, he cheered news that the new airline is starting and that Pasco is one of the airports it will serve. He even offered a new prediction: Avelo will succeed with its emphasis on low-cost, nonstop flights catering to leisure travelers. “I think Burbank is a terrific airport in the LA Basin,” he said. “The Tri-Cities has long been working to secure year-round service to LA, and this service should work well for many of the region’s travelers.” Andrew Levy, a former Allegiant Air and United Airlines executive, is the new CEO for Houston Air Holdings. “Avelo Airlines” is the marketing name for the former charter operator. Levy is an aviation industry veteran with a law degree from Emery University and a background in investments, according to a 2016 document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, when he was appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer of United Continental Holdings Inc. Two years earlier, he left Allegiant Travel Co. with a $650,000 lump sum payment and $8.5 million for his stock shares and options, according to a separate SEC document.

Courtesy Avelo Airlines Avelo Airlines, based in Burbank, California, launches April 28 with three flights daily to the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco. The move fulfills a 2020 prediction that Pasco stood to gain flights because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Levy and Houston Air Holdings raised $88 million of nearly $89 million sought to launch the airline, according to a Form D filed with the SEC in January 2020. The SEC tracks private investments as well as publicly traded companies. Levy’s Avelo team includes former executives from Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Northwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines. Its fleet consists of 159-seat Boeing 737800 aircraft, configured as a single class and decked out in purple, yellow, white and blue livery. Avelo casts the Burbank airport as a stress-free way to access Los Angeles and its theme parks, beaches and Hollywood hot spots. Introductory fares begin at $19, with add-on fees for both checked and carry-on bags, window and aisle seating, priority boarding, pets and other services. The new airline arrives as Pasco, like airports everywhere, struggles to regain its footing after air travel bottomed out in 2020. The Pasco airport recorded nearly

189,000 boardings in 2020, down 51% from the year prior. It had been on a growth tear prior to Covid-19, posting three years of consecutive record growth, topping out at 438,100 in 2019. Pasco boardings remain well below normal in the first two months of the year. The were down 43% and 34% in January and February, relative to a year earlier, according to the port’s monthly airline activity report. Penning, the consultant, believes the numbers will improve. Air travel is ticking up as more Americans are vaccinated and looking to reconnect with family and friends. “These travelers are looking for good fares and nonstop flights – to reduce touch points – so Avelo’s service is likely to meet with success,” he said. Burbank will serve as Avelo’s hub, with flights to Bend/Redmond, Oregon; Bozeman, Montana; Eugene, Oregon; Grand Junction, Colorado; Medford, Oregon; Phoenix/Mesa, Arizona; Ogden, Utah; and Arcata/Eureka, Redding and Santa Rosa, all in California.

uBUSINESS BRIEF Gesa makes $11M naming rights deal with WSU

The playing surface at Washington State University’s Martin Stadium is now called Gesa Field under a 10-year naming rights deal valued at $11 million. Richland-based Gesa Credit Union and WSU announced the deal in March. The value could go higher if consumer incentives are reached. Don Miller, president and chief executive officer of Gesa, cast the agreement as an extension of the credit union’s commitment to its communities and to supporting educational causes. “Partnering with WSU Athletics provides Gesa with elevated name recognition to expand our reach and strengthen membership,” he said in a statement. It is the first major sponsorship deal announced since Gesa merged with Inspirus Credit Union, forming Washington’s second-largest credit union with nearly 260,000 members and $4.4 billion in assets.

TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | APRIL 2021 uBUSINESS BRIEFS Applications being accepted for Leadership Tri-Cities

Applications for Class 26 of Leadership Tri-Cities will be accepted through May 15. The group is hosting an online information session at 7 p.m. April 28 with details about its program, how to apply and what to expect. The program’s primary goal is to educate current and future leaders about the community and themselves; foster development of connections between class members, alumni and community leaders; and improve leadership skills. Over the course of nearly year, class members attend several sessions led by community experts focusing on the various sectors and industries shaping the region. The program kicks off with a ropes course in Columbia Park and an overnight retreat in Wenatchee. Class members also must complete a class project that benefits a community organization. Tuition is $1,400 which covers fees, meals and session-related transportation. Tuition may be paid by the participant, employer, sponsor or from a combination. All participants are required to personally pay at least $140 of their tuition. A limited amount of financial aid is available. Participants must live or work in Benton and Franklin counties. Only one person is typically selected from any one company or public agency per class. Interviews are required. Selections will be made by May 31. Register for the April 28 information session on Leadership Tri-Cities’ Facebook page. For more information and to apply, go to leadershiptricities.com.

Tour the Tri-Cities from anywhere

Prospective tourists can now get a virtual reality view of the Tri-Cities courtesy Visit Tri-Cities and SkyNav. Thanks to a new platform, visitors can visit local sights with a combination of images, videos and information. Local businesses are included on the virtual tour in partnership with the region’s tourism agency. Go to VisitTri-Cities.com for details.

Lourdes Health has a new CEO

Joan White-Wagoner has been named chief executive officer of Pasco’s Lourdes health, part of the LifePoint Health system. She succeeds Chad Pew, who had served as interim CEO since September. White-Wagoner most recently served as senior managing director at MRN Healthcare Management in Washington, North Carolina. She previously held executive positions with health care organizations in Arkansas and Texas. White-Wagoner earned a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and master’s degrees in health and business administration from the University of Maryland. She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Area code dialing changes for all Washington calls

Callers within the Washington 509 area code may start including the area code when dialing later this month. Beginning April 24, telecommunications service providers will allow 10-digit dialing to help prepare 509 callers for mandatory dialing changes required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Currently, some callers can only use seven-digit dialing for calls within the 509 area code. Starting Oct. 24, calls made without adding the area code to the seven-digit phone number may not go through, and in July 2022 service providers will completely remove seven-digit dialing from their networks.

This change to 10-digit dialing in 509 is a first step toward ensuring that everyone in the country will be able to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline using a three-digit code of 988 that launches in 2022. Requiring the area code also will ensure that customers who already have 988 as the prefix in their phone number don’t have trouble making or receiving calls once the new three-digit dialing shortcut launches. No phone numbers will change because of this order. Any business with a 509 telephone number should check its advertising and other materials to make sure it includes the area code when listing its telephone numbers, officials said. In 2017, all western Washington area codes switched to 10-digit dialing, leaving


509 as the only area code in the state that hasn’t made the change from seven digit to 10-digit dialing.

Report: Covid-19 rates dropping in nursing homes

New Covid-19 cases in nursing homes dropped 82% from their pandemic high, according to a report citing figures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Nursing homes saw a steep decline compared to the peak of 30,000 the week of Dec. 20, 2020, according to a report from the American Heath Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. The report cites the impact of Covid-19 vaccination efforts in facilities catering to seniors for helping lower infection rates.




• Senior Times Expo: 9 a.m.1 p.m. at Southridge Sports & Events Complex, 2901 Southridge Blvd., Kennewick. Free drive-thru event. Get goody bags filled with vendor products and information related to senior living and care. • Franklin County Commission: 9 a.m. Details at co.franklin.wa.us/ commissioners/meeting.php. • Benton County Commission: 9 a.m. Details at co.benton.wa.us/ agenda.aspx.


• Port of Pasco Commission: 10:30 a.m. Details at portofpasco. org/about-us/port-commission. • Washington PTAC, “Meet the Buyer: U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs”: 9-10:30 a.m. Details at washingtonptac.ecenterdirect.com/ events. • STCU workshop “Protect Your Credit Score:” 1-2 p.m. Free virtual workshop to learn why a good credit score is determined

and maintained and where to go for help. Register: stcu.org/learn/ workshops/protect-your-creditscore.

“Reading on the Run” poker run: 2-5 p.m. Details at read20minutes. com/events.


• Franklin County Commission: 9 a.m. Details at co.franklin.wa.us/ commissioners/meeting.php. • Benton County Commission: 9 a.m. Details at co.benton.wa.us/ agenda.aspx. • Port of Kennewick Commission: 2 p.m. Details at portofkennewick.org/commissionmeetings.

• Shred Day hosted by Community First Bank and HFG Trust: 9 a.m.-noon, 8131 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. Details at hfgtrust.com/event/shredday-2021. • Hispanic Academic Achievers Program (HAAP) 32nd annual scholarship awards: 6 p.m. virtual program, via Facebook and YouTube. Keynote speaker is Ernie G, an empowerment comedian, corporate speaker and mental health coach. Details at Haap.org. • Coffee with Karl: 9-10 a.m., webinar with president and CEO of TRIDEC Karl Dye and guest. Facebook.com/tcdevcouncil.


• The Children’s Reading Foundation of Mid-Columbia,



• Leadership Tri-Cities information session: 7-8 p.m. via zoom. Learn more about the program as the application deadline is May 31. Find registration information on the Leadership TriCities Facebook page. • Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, “State of the Counties”: Noon-1 p.m. virtual luncheon. Details at bit.ly/3g7VwG9


• Coffee with Karl: 9-10 a.m., webinar with president and CEO of TRIDEC Karl Dye and guest. Facebook.com/tcdevcouncil.


• Franklin County Commission: 9 a.m. Details at co.franklin.wa.us/ commissioners/meeting.php. • Benton County Commission: 9 a.m. Details at co.benton.wa.us/ agenda.aspx.


• Tri-Cities Cancer Center’s 21st annual Cancer Crushing Breakfast fundraiser: 7:30-8:30 a.m. at Fairchild Cinemas in Kennewick, Richland, Pasco and also via Zoom. Information: tccancer. org/foundation/breakfast. • Columbia Basin Badger Club, “Is the Tri-Cities Growing as if the Future Matters?”: Noon-1:15 p.m. via Zoom. Details at Details: cbbc. clubexpress.com.





Surging state revenue should quell talk OUR VIEW of raising taxes amid ongoing pandemic Hanford’s progress heartening As state lawmakers enter the final school districts weeks of the 2021 legislative session – – show new the start of the second year of the taxes just aren’t in era of Covid-19 challenges and pandemic – the condition of the state By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

The Hanford nuclear site cleanup work happening in our backyard costs billions of dollars and relies on a complicated network of companies, favorable-to-Hanford political winds and the talents and time of its many workers. This complex cleanup project has long been a driver of the Tri-City economy, involving many contracts, businesses, state and federal oversight and lots of taxpayer dollars. Once a year we like to provide the community with an important progress report about the project to date and a look at what’s coming next from the major players helping and supporting the cleanup work: the U.S. Department of Energy, Washington State Department of Ecology and the key contractors charged with overseeing the various aspects of the work. This year’s 20-page specialty publication can be found as a standalone section inside the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business’ April edition. It features columns by the regulators and contractors and special reports about how the site weathered the past year’s pandemic, the politics potentially affecting the Hanford cleanup purse strings, how recent contract changes

affect small businesses in our community, the latest on the massive Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, commonly called the vit plant, and a terrific feature about a retired Hanford chemist that highlights the diversity found at the site. We include it in our Hanford section instead of our monthly editorial Focus on diversity knowing the retired chemist’s story would shine anywhere. While reading through the section, be sure to take note about how the contractors have worked to underpin the Tri-City community by encouraging their employees to serve on boards, making donations to various community projects and nonprofits, and volunteering. We appreciate their commitment to get the Hanford site clean alongside their support of this place we call home. Despite all the challenges that came with the yearlong Covid-19 pandemic, Hanford workers completed the construction of the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste facility, a key step toward start treating tank waste. Hanford isn’t without its challenges, of course, but reading through our special section, it’s nice to be reminded that progress continues.

Crisis in the Suez Canal highlights global supply chain weakness The Ever Given’s six-day grounding in one of the narrowest parts of the Suez Canal underscores the vulnerability of the world’s supply chain and the choke points that can disrupt the global economy. The reverberations will be felt for months as consumer demand, suppressed by the Covid-19 pandemic, ramps up. The canal, which first opened in 1869, is the main shipping artery between Asian and European seaports through which 10% of the global shipping traverses. Much of the 120-mile waterway is extremely narrow, especially for ships as long as the Empire State building is tall – 1,300 feet. Nearly 19,000 ships navigated the canal in 2020. Without the Suez, ships would sail around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa’s southern tip, adding two weeks to the journey. Even before strong desert crosswinds jammed Ever Given and its 20,000 con-

tainers into the canal’s banks, nearly everyone was feeling supply shortages. The pressure was on suppliers to produce more components and Don C. Brunell accelerate shipBusiness analyst ping. The blockage GUEST COLUMN impacted those awaiting Ever Given’s containers and customers for the contents on board the 420 other ships stopped in Mediterranean and Red seas. Even though the vessel back log was finally cleared on Easter Sunday, maritime data company Lloyd’s List estimated the blockage had affected $9.6 billion worth of cargo each day between Asia uBRUNELL, Page A12

budget is nothing short of amazing. At this time last year, the economy was in lockdown and unemployment was surging. Almost overnight, thousands of businesses were forced to close their doors to slow the spread of the virus. More than 332,000 people lost their jobs – roughly one-tenth of Washington’s workforce. Unemployment skyrocketed to nearly 16%. By June 2020, the state’s chief economist was projecting a nearly $9 billion state budget shortfall. A year later, the unemployment rate has fallen dramatically, and Washington’s tax collections are surging. So much so that state tax collections are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels even though restaurants, travel and other parts of the economy continue to struggle, and the state remained down more than 200,000 jobs as of February. And yet, some lawmakers are still debating whether to raise taxes or introduce new taxes such as a tax on capital gains, a move that would put the state on a path toward an income tax. It’s time for the debate to end. If it wasn’t already clear, last month’s state revenue forecast – combined with passage of the American Rescue Plan that will send a firehose of federal relief funds to state and local governments and

necessary. At last month’s quarterly revenue forecast, the state’s chief economist Kris Johnson told lawmakers Association of Washington is Washington Business now expected to GUEST COLUMN collect an additional $5 billion over the next five years. As a result of all the extra money, Washington state is not facing a budget crisis. Lawmakers don’t need to raise existing taxes or create any new taxes to balance the budget. The state’s record of uninterrupted growth in tax revenue dating back to the end of the Great Recession remains uninterrupted, despite the worst pandemic in a century. That’s an incredible turnaround from last April and no doubt the result of many factors including unprecedented federal stimulus that injected trillions of dollars into the U.S. economy. It also shows that, while not perfect, Washington’s tax system is remarkably stable. The latest round of federal coronavirus relief, the $1.9 trillion American


Is the Tri-Cities growing as if the future matters? History tells us that what we call the Tri-Cities started out as one railroad town and a handful of tiny farm-tomarket burgs spread out along the Columbia River. Today, it is a proper metropolitan area with more than 300,000 people. On May 6, the Columbia Basin Badgers Club will tackle the thorny question of growth. Are we thinking about the future? Kennewick was growing but it was mostly a farm town in the early decades of the 20th century. The first highway bridge across the Columbia was not completed until 1923. Things changed in an unexpected direction in 1943 when Richland went from a few hundred folks to 55,000 in five months! Over the next couple of decades, Hanford continued its mission to produce plutonium for the nation’s

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defense. Meanwhile, Kennewick was growing to the east, toward Finley and the West Highlands were the home of orchards Kirk Williamson Columbia Basin and vineyards. Badger Club (Juice, not GUEST COLUMN wine.) Everything changed again in 1969 when Columbia Center opened on a windswept bluff halfway between Richland and Kennewick. It changed again in 1984 when the Interstate 182 bridges connected west Pasco with central Richland. uWILLIAMSON, Page A8



WILLIAMSON, From page A7 Pasco extended municipal services all the way to the Columbia River, touching off its spectacular westward development. For the most part, Richland (or the Corps of Engineers) planned Richland, Kennewick planned Kennewick, and Pasco planned Pasco. Who was planning the Tri-Cities? Was anyone? Look around and decide for yourself. At its May 6 forum, the Columbia Basin Badger Club will ask the question, “Is the Tri-Cities growing as if the future matters?” Jim Wise, president of Sustainable Tri-Cities and Jeff Losey, executive director of Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities, will help our audi-

ence understand the issues and the alternatives. Looking ahead, our May 20 forum will be “Lessons from the Pandemic.” We will hear from a Seattle-based vaccine researcher and people who found themselves on the front lines in our community. What did we get right? Where could we have done better? Are there lessons yet to be learned? For more information and to register for the forums, go to columbiabasinbadgers.com. Nonmembers pay $5 to attend. It is free for members. Kirk Williamson was a founding member of the Badger Club and currently serves as its president.

JOHNSON, From page A7 Rescue Plan, will send an additional $11 billion into Washington’s economy on top of previous federal relief efforts, including $4.25 billion for state government, $1.47 billion for counties, $1.18 billion for cities, and $1.9 billion for schools. Local governments and school districts are well taken care of too, with most every jurisdiction in line to receive anywhere from hundreds of thousands to hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s true these are one-time funds and elected officials will need to avoid using the money to start new programs with ongoing costs, but the fact remains: Money is pouring into Washington’s economy. Unfortunately, all this unexpected

good financial news does not mean that Washington’s economy has recovered from the pandemic. While some parts of the economy are doing well, other segments remain battered by the coronavirus and far too many people remain out of work. As of February, Washington was still down 232,000 jobs compared to the previous February. Rather than looking for ways to raise taxes on employers, they should be doing everything possible to help them recover. As lawmakers close out the remaining weeks of the legislative session and work toward adoption of a new two-year budget, they should be pleasantly surprised by the condition of the state’s finances. They have enough money to do what they need to do. Rather than searching for ways to pad an already flush budget, they should be focusing their efforts on economic recovery and job creation. Kris Johnson is president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s chamber of commerce and manufacturers association. HOHENBERG, From page A3 more viable place to live and work. As he contemplated retirement last year, he knew he did not want to go from “100 to zero” overnight. His daily run took him past the port’s Clover Island offices. He was struck by the idea that he could contribute. Hohenberg’s interest in the port comes at a contentious time for the commission and for Barnes. Barnes and a second commissioner were targets of a misconduct complaint over their handling of the private sale of land near Vista Field for a medical clinic in 2019. (See related story on page A1.) Barnes was exonerated, but the fallout has cost the port more than $400,000. Barnes is seeking reimbursement for his legal fees as well. Hohenberg said he has good relationships with all three commissioners and told Barnes of his plans to run. He said he has not read the complaint but pledged to use his skills at bringing people together to shift the port back to its business development mission. “I’ve worked with some pretty diverse groups,” he said. “As a port commissioner, I think I could bring some better stewardship to taxpayer dollars.” Hohenberg grew up in Richland and graduated from Richland, then Columbia, High School, in 1974. He started his career as a cadet and joined the Kennewick department because it “tested first.” He and his wife, Trish, have two adult daughters and celebrated their 40th anniversary in March. Hohenberg’s top supporters each contributed $2,000 to his campaign. They are Abraham Larios, PM2 West LP, Earth & Ocean Systems Inc., Lisa M. Fuse, Michelle M. Hohenberg, Bergevin Properties, Washington Securities & Investment Corp. (Greg Markel), PM2 West L.P., Craig Eerkes and William N. Lampson. Another notable supporter is auto dealer William McCurley, who contributed $500. Track campaign finances at pdc.wa.gov.






WSU Tri-Cities says gift will help support energy future By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

Bob Ferguson, a longtime Tri-Citian, energy executive and entrepreneur, contributed $500,000 to Washington State University Tri-Cities to endow a faculty, position and set the stage to turn the Richland campus into a center for clean energy development. Bob Ferguson’s career took him from reactor physicist at Hanford’s B Reactor to the U.S. Department of Energy to CEO of the Washington Public Power Supply System (now Energy Northwest). Ferguson said it’s a way to give back to a community that is supported him and his family, including the companies he started. “Now I’m old,” he joked. “I try to take care of my family first. But you can’t take it with you.” The gift continues Ferguson’s longstanding interest in WSU Tri-Cities. The campus began 70 years ago as the General Electric School of Nuclear Engineering. Ferguson, according to WSU, played a key role in expanding it into a fullfledged WSU branch campus. With the gift, he challenged the TriCities to fulfill its role as the center for carbon-free energy development in Washington and the Northwest. It is the key to a future that does not depend on spending on the Hanford site cleanup, he said.

“Energy is the source of all economic development,” he said in a prepared statement. “We need a curriculum. We need a workforce for the future. Bob Ferguson WSU Tri-Cities is uniquely positioned to integrate all these areas. WSU could lead this effort for the state and the nation.” In an interview with the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business, Ferguson said the Tri-Cities has always been a strong candidate to lead the energy industry. Its past, present and future focus on nuclear energy coupled with the abundant solar, wind and hydroelectricity make it an obvious choice. “This community has such potential,” he said. “Now with the movement to the need for a carbon-free economy, the notion of an energy park and WSU institute came up.” Ferguson encouraged others to make contributions to support the energy institute. WSU said it will focus on shaping the Northwest’s energy recourses and will build on WSU research strengths in water resources, the environment, agriculture, policy and economics. “We are incredibly grateful to Bob for his generous gift and its vast potential impacts for the Tri-Cities region and

Washington state as a whole,” said WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes. Haynes announced the gift locally March 24 during the monthly Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon, held via Zoom. The gift to WSU is the latest act of philanthropy from the Ferguson family. In 2020, Ferguson and his family supported construction of the Ferguson Education Montessori facility at Richland’s Christ the King Catholic School. The preschool education center honors his late wife, Katie, who died in 2018. She taught at Christ the King and was its first lay principal.


uBUSINESS BRIEF GoFundMe started for Rocco’s owner Rob Curet

Rob Curet, the owner of Rocco’s Pizza in Pasco and backer of the new edition in Kennewick, is being treated for cancer detected when he was treated for a ski injury. Curet was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer that had metastasized into his bones. He is pursuing specialized treatment that uses immunotherapy to target cancer. Supporters can bring donations to Rocco’s Pizza in Kennewick, 7911 W. Grandridge Blvd. To contribute to the GoFundME campaign, go to bit.ly/RobCuretGoFundMe.

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uDONATIONS • Baker Boyer bank donated $32,500 from its Legacy Giving Grant Program to be distributed to nonprofits and organizations in Walla Walla, Milton-Freewater, Tri-Cities and Yakima in response to the coronavirus pandemic and its continued impact on the most vulnerable people. These donations focus on food insecurity, providing support to low-income individuals facing challenges of homelessness, access to health care, and those seeking refuge from domestic violence. In the Tri-Cities, grant recipients were Second Harvest, $5,000 to support increased need for food assistance, including specific programs such as the Hanford Feeding Families Fundraiser and Red Nose Day (in addition to the $5,000 donated ear-

lier in the year) and Grace Clinic, $2,500 to support the volunteers and staff that provide medical, dental and mental health services to low-income uninsured residents of Benton and Franklin counties.

uACCREDITATION • The Central Washington University College of Business in Ellensburg has received continuing accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, joining about 5% of business schools globally that have earned the designation. CWU was among 73 business schools that received continuing accreditation this year by AACSB, a global nonprofit association that connects educational institutions and businesses in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide.

CWU first achieved AASCB accreditation in 2010. After initial recognition, schools undergo comprehensive “continuous-improvement” peer reviews every five years to reaffirm accreditation.

uSCHOLARSHIPS • Peter Hale of Benton City, Aspen Peters of Prosser, Scott Barfuss of West Richland, Jazzell Tovar of Prosser and Brad Dowson of West Richland each received an $8,000 Benton REA academic scholarship to aid with college or university tuition. Thirty-eight students applied for the cooperative’s academic scholarships. No applications were received this year for Benton REA’s two $4,000 trade and technical scholarships.

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When unclaimed ownership credit checks are returned to Benton REA, the cooperative uses the money to fund member education programs, including scholarships for students whose parents or guardians are members of Benton REA. Ownership credits are Benton REA members’ equity share of the cooperative. Since forming in 1937, Benton REA has paid more than $15.5 million in ownership credits back to its member-owners. The academic scholarship committee determines recipients by reviewing applicants’ high school grade-point average and 500-word essay. The cooperative’s academic scholarships are distributed in increments of $2,000 per school year. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to maintain the scholarship. BRUNELL, From page A7 and Europe. A key underlying problem is the fastpaced, high-tech, global economy hinges on efficient, timely and quality components deliveries. Modern manufacturing is a wellchoreographed production as exacting as a fine-tuned symphonic orchestra. Before the Boeing 737 Max was grounded for safety issues, the company was pumping out 52,737 airplanes per month. Approximately, a quarter of the commercial airplanes flying today are 737s assembled at the Renton plant. Fuselages are fabricated in Kansas and shipped by rail across country to Renton. Their arrival is sequenced with containerized parts shipped by air, sea, rail and truck. Boeing employs 12,000 workers at its 737 assembly plant and supports thousands of jobs across a network of 600 major suppliers. Production delays ripple across the supplier chain. Subcontractors face the same problems as Boeing as they struggle to recover from the pandemic and the grounding. Spirit AeroSystems, Boeing’s largest supplier, dramatically cut its production levels during the Max grounding and pandemic. The downturn in demand resulted in Spirit AeroSystems cutting 8,000 employees from its commercial aviation programs – a 44% reduction – and the company closed one factory, SupplyChain.com reported. While Boeing is starting to recover with the return to service of the 737 Max and an uptick in airline bookings, the auto industry offers a better example of the vulnerabilities of supply chain choke points. The Ever Given carried containers of computer chips. Their delayed arrival stalled auto production worldwide. Even though semiconductor fabricators announced multibillion dollar plant expansions, those facilities take years to build. The shortages are today primarily because of an unexpected surge in demand for higher-end personal computers amid the pandemic. As the pandemic subsides, companies will have to modify their inventory strategies. While stockpiling key components and non-traditional shipping may be expensive, in the end they may turn out to be less costly than idling production and losing market share because choke points get choked. Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist.


• Amy Spurlock, formerly market success manager for Northwest Cancer Clinic with offices in Kennewick and Hermiston, has Amy Spurlock been promoted to regional compliance officer. She will assume her role with GenesisCare USA, covering the western division centers in Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. GenesisCare USA acquired Northwest Cancer Clinic in 2020.





• Framatome named Adam Kornbau as Engineer of the Year at the Fuel Business Unit in Richland. Candidates are nominated by their peers. They are evaluated based on their contributions to their business unit during the year and how well they exemplify operational excellence through their commitment to safety, quality, performance, delivery, innovation and community involvement. • Sonja Yearsley of Sonja Photography in Kennewick was named the 2021 Photographer of the Year during Professional Photographers of Washington’s Sonja Yearsley 2021 Photographic Competition in March. She also won several other awards including Washington State Photographer of the Year, Illustrative Photographer of the Year, Best Photojournalism for “Wagging Tails on Happy Trails,” Judge’s Choice


• Trios Health in Kennewick has appointed two chief residents for the hospital system’s family and internal medicine residency programs. Dr. Brandon Hanley has been selected as chief resident for the Family Medicine Residency program, and Dr.


for “I like long walks on the beach,” Honor Court for “I like long walks on the beach,” and the American Color Imaging Excellence Award. • Jason Hogue, an American Family Insurance agency owner in the Tri-Cities, has been recognized for providing an outstanding customer experience under the American Star Excellence in Customer Experience Certification Program. Hogue has been an agency owner for American Family since May 2011. His agency office is at 5109 N. Road 68, Suite D, Pasco. • Navigate Wireless, which has offices in Kennewick, Pasco and Richland, has been named a 2020 “Elite Performer” by UScellular for the sales and operational excellence their locations in Washington and Oregon displayed throughout the year. The recognition is awarded annually by UScellular to its best-performing exclusive retail agents that meet specific goals across a range of categories. Navigate Wireless is one of 17 independently-owned businesses across the country that received this honor for its 2020 performance.



Matthew Kheir has been chosen for the Internal Medicine Residency program. They will serve as chief residents for one year, starting July 1. Chief residents provide leadership within a medical residency program by teaching, facilitating conferences, supervising, scheduling, implementing policy, mediating and serving as role models for other residents.


• Ashley Amey, a certified physician assistant, has joined Miramar Health Center in Pasco. She earned her master of science in physician Ashley Amey assistant studies at Stony Brook University in New York. She’s particularly interested in helping women get the best health care they can and making sure transgender adolescents feel comfortable talking through all their health care needs. • Keri Lashbaugh has joined Edward Jones as a financial advisor in Kennewick. She began her career in finance in 2002 in the Walla Keri Lashbaugh Walla Valley and has worked as a financial advisor since 2007. She’s been proud to call the Tri Cities home for five years. She offers financial strategies to individuals, families and business owners. Her areas of focus include investment management, retirement planning, college savings, insurance planning and estate considerations. She is excited to learn about what motivates her clients,

understand what they’d like to accomplish and to help them to live life on their terms. She holds a master of science degree in personal financial planning from the College for Financial Planning. She serves as a committee member of Habitat for Humanity and board member of the Kennewick Kiwanis Young Professionals Club.




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How much risk should you take before retirement?


(509) 627-6537 If you’re planning to retire in just a few years, you may be getting excited about this next phase of your life. However, your ability to enjoy retirement fully will depend, at least partially, on the resources you can draw from your investment portfolio. So, while you still have time to act, ask yourself if you’re comfortable with your portfolio’s risk level. Your relationship with risk can change noticeably over time. When you started saving for retirement, you may have been willing to take on more investment risk, which translated into a relatively high percentage of stocks and stock-based mutual funds in your investment portfolio. As you know, stocks offer the potential for greater

returns than other assets – such as bonds and certificates of deposit (CDs) – but they are also typically more volatile and carry more risk. But when you were many decades away from retirement, you had sufficient time to recover from market fluctuations. (Of course, there are no guarantees – it’s possible that some stocks will lose value and never regain it.) Now, fast forward to where you are now – closing in on retirement. Even at this stage of your life – and, in fact, even during your retirement – you will need some growth-oriented investments to help stay ahead of inflation. Over time, even a low inflation rate, such as we’ve had the past several years, can erode your purchasing power. So, the issue isn’t this: “Should I get rid of all my risk?” You shouldn’t – and, in fact, you couldn’t, because all investments, even the ones considered most “conservative,” contain some type of risk, even if it isn’t the risk of loss of principal. For instance, some investments run the risk of not keeping up with inflation. Instead, ask yourself these questions: “How much risk should I take within my portfolio?” “How much risk do I actually need to achieve my goals in retirement?” Of course, there are no one-sizefits-all answers. You’ll need to look at your investment portfolio to see if it’s positioned to provide you with

the income you’ll require in your retirement years. You might have initially based your financial strategy on a specific type of retirement lifestyle, but now that you’re nearing retirement, perhaps you’ve changed your mind. Your anticipated new lifestyle might require either more or less income than you had originally projected – and if that’s the case, you may need to adjust the risk level in your portfolio or make other adjustments. For example, suppose you had initially envisioned a rather quiet retirement, sticking around your home, volunteering and spending time with your grandchildren. But in recent years – and especially since the confinement many of us have felt during the COVID-19 pandemic – you may have thought that you’d now like to travel extensively. To achieve this goal, which will likely cost more than your original one, you may have to work longer, or invest more each year until you retire, or seek a higher return on your investments – which means accepting more risk. As you can see, managing risk is a balancing act – and you may need to make some tough choices. But as long as you’re aware of how much risk you can take, and how much risk you may need to take to reach your goals, you can develop a strategy that aligns with your objectives.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.







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undertaking with a loan. Matt Bullis, Broadmark’s representative in Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana, is so bullish that he’s joining Sexton as an investor as well. The Tri-City native is thrilled that Sexton is bringing waterfront living to the region’s most important feature – the Columbia River. “I could ramble about it for 20 minutes I’m so excited about it,” he said. “(Sexton) is using the Tri-Cities riverfront the way it should have been used these past 20 years.” The 76,000-square-foot market will offer 120 booths of varying sizes. “There’s a huge need for a gathering place like this,” Sexton said. Sexton anticipates leasing booth space to local business owners who were wiped out by the Covid-19 pandemic and need a low-cost way to get back in business. “We’re talking about $1,200-$1,500 a month or less, depending on the size you need,” he said. The port and the Pasco Chamber of Commerce occupy an office building at the center. The existing entrance at East Ainsworth and South Oregon avenues will be the main access point. Osprey Pointe will have 600 dwellings, including a mix of condominiums and single-family homes that will cater to entry-level buyers. There is room for up to 200,000 square feet of commercial space, a hotel, a 55+ residential community and an indoor event space with room for 1,000. The indoor event venue is coupled with an outdoor stage and amphitheater formed from soil excavated for the complex’s underground parking. When it’s not booked, the outdoor theater will host movies. “We’re trying to give the Tri-Cities more culture,” Sexton said. Osprey Pointe is a major economic development initiative for Pasco. The marketplace alone will employ an estimated 450 people including vendors. Sexton expects to employ 300 at Osprey Pointe to maintain and manage the property, including its various amenities. He intends to self-manage the project, though he said he may enlist a professional property management firm during the development and startup phases. The hotel will operate under a national brand under a franchise deal. Sexton knows who he wants, but no deal has been made. Sexton is a lifelong Tri-Citian who has long wanted to create a community on the water at Osprey Pointe. “I’ve always through that was a good use of space and what better place to do that than on the water,” he said. Sextons’ vision is to create a selfcontained community in east Pasco, but he’s mindful of the close relationship to downtown, which will soon be closer when the city reroutes Lewis Street over the railroad yard. “We want to be with Pasco,” he said.

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TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | APRIL 2021 uBUSINESS BRIEFS BFT offers bus service to vaccination sites

Ben Franklin Transit has adjusted its services to help residents reach local Covid-19 vaccination sites. BFT expanded access to reserved rides for Dial-A-Ride services. Call 509-195-0160 to schedule trips to and from vaccine sites. Also, BFT Connect, the on-demand service, offers expanded destination options to local vaccination sites. Call 509-204-4189 to request a ride. Go to bft.org/vaccinetransportation for more information about using public transportation to get to vaccination clinics at local pharmacies and other locations.

Installed Building Products acquires local company

Installed Building Products Inc. (NYSE: IBP), an installer of insulation and complementary building products, recently announced the acquisition of I.W. International Insulation Inc., doing business as Intermountain West Insulation. Founded in 1981, Intermountain has six locations throughout Washington and is headquartered in Kennewick. The company primarily provides insulation installation services to residential customers throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho. “With approximately $34.4 million of annual revenue, Intermountain significantly expands our single-family residential insulation installation services in the Pacific

Northwest,” said Jeff Edwards, chairman and chief executive officer. “Acquisitions remain a key component of our growth strategy.”

Fire season is coming. Is your home ready?

A wet spring means conditions are ripe for wildfires in the Mid-Columbia. Now is the time for property owners to protect their homes and businesses from damage in the dry months ahead, according to Chief Paul Carlyle of Benton Fire District 4, based in West Richland, which responded to several vegetation fires through March. Carlyle advises property owners to remove flammable materials from their properties and take steps to aid firefighters, including maintaining a defensible space around structures, keeping lawns well watered and debris cleared.

IRS extends filing deadlines to May 17

The Internal Revenue Service has extended the deadline to file income tax returns, make payments and other deadlines to May 17. Under the new schedule, taxpayers can made 2020 contributions to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), health savings accounts and Coverdell education savings accounts. The deadline to claim a refund on 2017 returns is extended to May 17 as well. The April 15 deadline to make estimated tax payments was not changed.


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Tri-Cities’ diverse population continues to grow but not its income

Diversity growth Much of that growth has come courtesy of the greater Tri-Cities’ burgeoning count of people of color. We can make this out via Benton Franklin Trends data, as shown in graph. Looking at the decade of 2010-19, it is easy to notice the climb in overall bar height of the share of racial and ethnic populations here. Let’s look at the following shares of the total population in 2019: Hispanic/ Latinx residents, an estimated 32.4%; two or more races at 3.4%, and all other non-Caucasians at 4.2%. That’s a total of 40%, up from 35% in 2011. There is no other metro area in the state, outside of Yakima, with such a high percentage of people of color. This share is larger than that of Washington state, which registered an estimated total of nearly 32% in 2019. Note that the relative presence of minorities in the two counties now largely matches that of the U.S, in

Disparities remain Consider income, specifically, median household income (MHI). As Trend data shows, MHI has tracked upward over the dozen years. In nearly all years, its estimated levels have been greater than those of the U.S., although below those of Washington state. The most recent estimate put MHI in the two counties at nearly $68,300. This is far above any other Eastern Washington metro area. Yet, this middle value hides a huge range out estimates, at least as measured by race and ethnicity. Thanks to the American Community Survey (ACS), one can find values by race and ethnicity for several indicators with a bit of web research. Since the populations involved for the Tri-Cities are largely small, a rollup of five years is necessary to acquire enough statistical accuracy for the esti-



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total. To no one’s surprise, the nonwhite mix here is different than in Washington state and the U.S. Specifically, the Hispanic/Latinx D. Patrick Jones population makes Eastern up the lion’s Washington share. In 2019, it University registered nearly GUEST COLUMN one-third (estimated 32.4%) of the total. This particular composition carries consequences in several areas of life in the greater Tri-Cities.


March Madness brings out a latent desire to be No. 1. (Just missed that up here in Spokane.) While many teams have raised their hands with an index finger rising from a fist, not too many municipalities have. Maybe the Tri-Cities should, at least by one measure. It might not be a widely-followed contest, but over the past decade Benton and Franklin counties have increased their population faster than any other Washington state metro area. Over this period, population here increased a cumulative 17.1%, just nudging out Clark and King counties. With 20% cumulative growth, the population of Franklin County was clearly the single county winner.

Non-White Population - Share of Total Population


This graph was downloaded on 4/8/2021 from www.bentonfranklintrends.org

Benton & Franklin Counties - Hispanic (may be of any race) Benton & Franklin Counties - African-American, Asian-American and Native-American Benton & Franklin Counties - Two or More Races Washington State - Hispanic (may be of any race) Washington State - African-American, Asian-American and Native-American Washington State - Two or More Races United States - Hispanic (may be of any race) United States - African-American, Asian-American and Native-American United States - Two or More Races

Courtesy Benton-Franklin Trends

mates to be meaningful. Here are the estimates from the most recent five-year period from the ACS for Benton and Franklin counties: • Overall: $67,310 • Black: $23,815 • American Indian/Alaskan Native: $24,534 • Asian: $88,792 • Two or more races: $71,457 • Hispanic/Latinx: $48,110 Notice the huge variation. Households headed by Blacks and American Indians in the greater Tri-Cities reported incomes over this five-year period at a mere 34% or 36% of overall MHI. On the other hand, those households headed by someone claiming two or more races or an Asian-American reported incomes of 106% and 132%, respectively, of the two-

county median. Take most of these estimates with appropriate statistical caution, however. Outside of the Hispanic/Latinx populations, people of color in the two counties are relatively few. Still, even assuming large margins of error, large disparities will remain. Hispanic/Latinx population’s MHI is about 72% of the overall median. Given the size of that population here, that’s an estimate with only a small +/- around it. These stark income differences hold real effects. One is the varying ability of these different groups to participate as consumers in the local economy. Another is the differential claims that these groups pose to local governments and service providers. More critically, if the trends uJONES, Page A21

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State files against janitorial company for exploiting mostly immigrant workers By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a consumer protection lawsuit against janitorial services company National Maintenance Contractors, which has 17 affiliate franchisees in the Tri-Cities. National took advantage of immigrants with limited English proficiency and promised them the independence of business ownership, Ferguson said in a news release. But instead, National, a Delawarebased limited liability corporation, locked its franchisees into contracts that often left them earning less than minimum wage, paying exorbitant fees and with little abil-

ity to advocate for themselves. “These hardworking immigrants thought they were signing up for the American dream,” Ferguson said. “Instead, National Maintenance Contractors deceived them into signing contracts that prevented them from ever realizing that dream.” National provides cleaning services contracts. It then enters into franchise agreements with janitors – largely nonEnglish-speaking immigrants – to do the work. Many of these franchisees are native Spanish and Russian speakers. National tells these franchisees that they will be independent business owners and earn a certain amount each month de-


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pending on the amount of money they invest up front. For example, to earn $1,000 per month, franchisees would buy one $5,000 “business unit.” Court documents include a list of current affiliate franchisees and affiliate franchisees – including 17 from the TriCities – who have had a business terminated, cancelled, not renewed or otherwise voluntarily or involuntarily ceased to do business under a franchise agreement (including failures, sales, resales to unaffiliated predecessors and transfers) during its most recently completed fiscal year or who have not communicated with franchisor within 10 weeks of the application date. The Tri-City franchisees are: • From Kennewick: KPR Janitorial Service LLC, Vicky’s Cleaning Services LLC, Dependable Janitor LLC, Rocio Jurado, FLM Cleaning Service LLC, Mighty Broom LLC and Tri_R Services LLC. • From Pasco: AC&R Cleaning Company Limited, Daily Cleaning LLC, Angel Janitor Integrity Services LLC, C&C Cleaning Service LLC, Benjamin’s Cleaning LLC, Family Key Cleaning Services, Leave It To My Hands, Noemi Cleaning Services LLC, Renteria Clean Services LLC and Three Rivers Cleaning LLC. The lawsuit, filed April 6 in King County Superior Court, asserts National violated the law in multiple ways: • National deceived franchisees about the amount of income franchisees would earn, in violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. National promised

– and its franchisees paid for – a certain level of earnings. However, in reality, National often did not provide access to enough accounts to meet that level, or deceived franchisees as to the amount of work required to obtain that level of promised earnings. Nationals unrealistic work demands and gross underbidding of contracts compounded these issues. National’s conduct left many workers earning less than minimum wage. • National unlawfully withheld information from franchisees. For example, National did not disclose to franchisees the amount businesses were paying National for the services. Additionally, National did not disclose that the company kept as much as 30% of that amount. National’s failure to disclose information to franchisees violates the Franchise Investment Protection Act. • National charged unreasonably excessive fees, in violation of the Consumer Protection Act. For example, National charged a 14% monthly fee for basic billing services. It also claimed the fee would cover collections services, although it rarely, if ever, actually provided them. The lawsuit seeks restitution for National’s approximately 250 Washington franchisees and civil penalties against National. Many franchisees were unaware that the work required to earn their desired gross revenue would mean that, in many uLAWSUIT, Page A20





GUSTAVO GUTIERREZ-GOMEZ Executive Director Downtown Pasco Development Authority

Number of employees you oversee: 6 – four full and 2 part time.

The Pasco Specialty Kitchen is an asset to entrepreneurs. And the Pasco Farmers Market has been going on more than 30 years. It basically is a historic site. People should care about keeping it alive. The city supports us. Donations are always welcome. They keep downtown vibrant.

Please describe the Downtown Pasco Development Authority and the Main Street program: The Downtown Pasco Development Authority (DPDA) is a nonprofit that runs with Main Street tax credit money, which means someone buys the tax credit dollars up to $100,000. Main Street is a national program for economic development that cares about heritage and human assets. We have committees that focus on architectural, cultural and human aspects, among others. We’ve been doing this for about 10 years. We organize the Cinco de Mayo celebration and Fiery Foods Fest. With the pandemic, they’re both virtual. We align with Main Street as a nonprofit, but we also are an incubator and run the Pasco Specialty Kitchen, which helps entrepreneurs start businesses.

What is a characteristic leader should possess? Being an attentive listener is one of the best skills and trying to understand. Be a good listener to your community. Let them lead you to the direction you want to take. It is better to listen than to tell people what to do. Always delegate and make sure everyone has a chance to lead themselves from time to time. What strategies are you using to survive the pandemic? We did lose a lot of businesses in the kitchen. We are down to 17, from 39 or 40. I think they’re just waiting to come back. A lot got Covid-19 relief funding. DPDA secured and distributed $240,000 for small businesses and through the city we helped with technical assistance. The city allowed people to get up to $30,000. We have awarded almost $900,000 in funding. I believe the strategy we were using is more like an emergency funding. We are focused on helping by giving technical assistance in opening and developing businesses, graphic design, web pages, creating content for web pages and digital audio and video commercials. We’ve tried to help as much as possible.

How did you land this job? I was working for the city of Woodburn, Oregon, and met people from Pasco four or five years ago at a national Main Street conference. They talked about Pasco and the changes and its cultural roots. I saw them again at another conference. My contact with Woodburn was going to expire, and I was looking at switching jobs. I saw the opportunity in Pasco, and I applied for the job. I didn’t get it the first time around. I was offered a temporary housing job with state of Oregon. When that ended, I reapplied for the Pasco job, which was still open, in November 2019. Why should the Tri-Cities care about DPDA and how can they support it? I think people at the Tri-City and state level care about our location and our mission, which is to promote the economic vitality of downtown. Being such a culturally-specific downtown with 98.5% of businesses being immigrants, and Spanish being the dominant language spoken here, we work to keep the roots and culture alive.

The people with ideals will still be around. What advice would you give to someone going into a leadership position for the first time? The first thing I’m going to tell you, I will ask you to ask yourself if you are in a position of power. If so, are you being a leader or a boss? It’s a lot different. Are you going to use the power to help others, to incentivize people in their careers and professions? If you’re the boss, are you just interested in cutting costs and making money? If you’re the boss, be the humble leader who listens and who tries to understand where everybody is coming from and make them feel welcome and appreciated. Make them feel that they’re an important part of the team. Who are your role models and mentors? There are many, but first is my mother, Maria Carmen Gomez. She is resilient and hard-working. She always had faith that the future would be better. My uncle was chief of police in Mexico, and he let me

Gustavo Gutierrez-Gomez

have my own business, polishing the shoes of police officers, when I was 8. How do you keep your employees or team members motivated? We create spaces where everybody can be who they are. We have meetings every week. We huddle in the morning to discuss what we’re working on. We exchange ideas each day. We always have interchange of ideas, even if everyone is working on a different program. We’re always getting together and talking about different programming. That is how we all keep motivated, get together for breakfast or lunch. uQ&A, Page A20


If you had a magic wand, what would you change about your industry or field (besides ending the pandemic)? I would not change anything, even with the pandemic. People who work in nonprofits are the people who have ideals. I wouldn’t change anything. We have plenty of people with ideals. We will still be very strong. The pandemic will go away. Nonprofits will still be around.

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Q&A, From page A19 How do you measure success in your workplace? We ask what we have done, where are we going, how are we growing. We have these foundational guess processes. We created specific processes on how to handle paperwork. When everything is paid and we still have money to pay the salaries and a little extra to pay for professional development. What is your leadership style? I’m a humble leader. I’m a leader who listens and lets people participate and make choices. I empower then to take the lead. In the end I make the decisions on how money should be spent,

but I let them lead. Each one of them leads their own program. How do you balance work and family life? I do tai chi from time to time. I don’t work weekends except for farmers market season. We do not have many benefits, but we have family leave or sick time. Family comes first. Everyone has a schedule where they can spend time with their family. We always make sure that family comes first. We are working to get insurance for everyone, which they don’t have. I do spend time with my family. I have kids. I go hiking. Personally, I love reading books. I’m an introvert. I have a bunch of books.

DIVERSITY What is your best tip to relieve stress? I do meditate a lot. I do visualizations and yoga and tai chi. What is your favorite podcast? Pasconecta. (Pasconecta.com/wp/ podcast-pasconecta). They talk about sports, business, current events and more. Do you have a personal mantra, phrase or quote you like to use? Being aware of who I am and who other people are and allow them to show themselves in every time that we connect. Allow people to show their identities. Be grateful to everything that life offers me as a Mexican immigrant and as a Mexican American professional.

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LAWSUIT, From page A18 instances, they would be earning less than the hourly minimum wage. For example, National offered an account to franchisees to clean a 1,700-square-foot office space six times a week. After National took its fees, the franchisee earned about $6.59 per cleaning. At that time, Washington’s minimum wage was $9.32 per hour. National’s practice of underbidding for contracts created unrealistic demands on franchisees, court documents said. National’s agents persuaded prospective franchisees to invest thousands of dollars to enroll in its system. National knew these franchisees spoke little to no English, had limited formal education, and no prior franchise experience, according to court documents. National promised that they would be their own boss and could build their own profitable franchise business. The reality was very different, according to Ferguson’s office. Many National clients require that cleaning work be performed during specific hours, sometimes in a specific two- to four-hour window, and on call and available to National and its clients every day, including their days off and holidays. National also allegedly conceals from franchisees the amount of money it actually receives from clients. National essentially pays itself twice. It pockets as much as 30% of the amount it receives from a client for a contract. Then, it deducts fees and royalties from the portion of the contract that actually goes to franchisees. It does not disclose this practice to franchisees, violating the Franchise Investment Protection Act, said the AG.




Economically disadvantaged groups among hardest hit by Covid-19 job losses By Newswise

Nationwide unemployment fell to 6% in March, according to an April 2 U.S. Department of Labor report. The strongest gains were in leisure and hospitality, and construction. The news was better than expected, but aggregated data doesn’t always tell the full story, according to economists at Washington University in St. Louis. The nationwide unemployment rate in March for white Americans was 5.4% while it was 9.6% for Black Americans. Generally speaking, recessions disproportionately hurt economically disadvantaged groups. The current recession created by the Covid-19 pandemic is no exception. It has especially impacted women – particularly Black and Hispanic women – and less educated workers, magnifying existing U.S. employment inequality, according to new research conducted by Steven Fazzari, the Bert A. and Jeanette L. Lynch distinguished professor of economics in arts and sciences, and senior Ella Needler, an economics major and a student in the Olin Business School. JONES, From page A17 of those groups with such low incomes persist, the area is in danger of fostering a permanent underclass.

The graduation effect Education has long been seen, at least theoretically, as a means by which children can break away from trying circumstances of their parents. Are then local results any different for a key outcome, say, graduation from high school? Trends data shows gradual progress over the decade overall. For the class of 2020, the on-time (four-year) high school graduation rate was 79.5% for the Kennewick School District, 80.5% for the Pasco School District and 92.1% for the Richland School District. Thankfully, variation by race and ethnicity from these overall averages was not nearly as stark as it is for household income. In the Kennewick School District, the only outlier came from Blacks, who were considerably below the overall average. In the Pasco School District, the only real (upward) departure from the overall average was shown by Asian Americans. And in the Richland School District, there was nearly no significant variation by race and ethnicity. In contrast to income, these educational outcomes are heartening. Perhaps in a generation income gaps will close. Let’s hope it comes sooner. When the outcomes are bunched around the average, lots of people can rightfully claim to be No. 1. D. Patrick Jones is the executive director for Eastern Washington University’s Institute for Public Policy & Economic Analysis. Benton-Franklin Trends, the institute’s project, uses local, state and federal data to measure the local economic, educational and civic life of Benton and Franklin counties.

And the effects of this inequality likely will be felt long after the recession both in terms of employment and economic growth, they said. “Unemployment creates economic hardship and psychological stress for individuals and families,” said Fazzari, who also directs the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Public Policy at Washington University. “Of course, unemployment wastes valuable productive resources. But inequalities in the way recessions destroy jobs magnify the personal and social costs.” Fazzari and Needler developed a tool to measure inequality – what they label “job-months lost” – that captures both how

much employment declines during a recession and the persistence of those declines to compare the inequality in U.S. employment across social groups during the Great Recession and the Covid-19 pandemic. “There’s a tendency to consult aggregated data when interpreting the state of the economy,” Needler said. “But aggregated data can hide disproportionate effects that impact important groups.” Their research exposes the unequal ways in which the recession has impacted women and lower income and minority workers. It also makes the case that policies designed to stimulate the economy should provide disproportionate relief for those most hurt by the pandemic.

The research showed a significant shift of job losses from men in the Great Recession to women in the current economic crisis induced by the pandemic. The 2008-09 recession hit manufacturing and residential construction employment particularly hard, both sectors in which men constitute a much larger share of employment than women. In contrast, Covid-19 hit service jobs particularly hard in industries such as restaurants, travel and health care – all sectors in which women hold a larger share of the jobs. Women also have been disproportionately affected by additional child care duties as Covid-19 shut down schools and child care centers.






Newcomers Club isn’t just for newcomers By Kristina Lord


Is a pandemic a good time to join a new club? The women who make up the Tri-Cities Newcomers Club think so. Don’t let the club’s name throw you off. It isn’t strictly for newcomers. It’s a group designed to help women meet one another through social activities and special interest groups. And there are oodles of activities to choose from: coffee dates, wine and dine events, a monthly luncheon, bunko groups, needlework, pinochle, golf, cooking, gardening, book clubs and bridge. Of course the past year’s Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns meant many of the group’s activities moved online or were postponed, but the members hope this changes soon as more people are vaccinated and infection rates drop. The club’s six-page March newsletter announced that the Chick Flicks group wanted to plan an outing to Fairchild Cinemas. “I am ready to try a new movie release,” wrote Patty Kroy, chairwoman of the group, in the newsletter. Trudie Walsh of Kennewick, the group’s president, said the club will follow all the state’s phase guidelines. “No exception. We’ve asked each of the activity chairs to talk to their people and get back to us to let us know how they feel. So far, there’s almost a consensus about this. People are OK with meeting outside and staying apart and bringing your own food,” she said.

A diverse group Tri-Citians who have lived in the area for a long time also are welcome to join Newcomers. “There are people who are members who have lived here for years,” said Jane Rickel, publicity chairwoman. The club is a member of Visit Tri-Cities, which Rickel said has been great for attracting new members. Only women are allowed, although the club does organize mixers that include men. Walsh said it’s a diverse group with a lot of members who have lived all over the U.S. “That gives us a better mix of ideas,” she said. She also said the group’s political makeup doesn’t necessarily reflect the area’s, which she found refreshing when she first joined. Most members are seniors who are retired but that’s not a requirement to join. “I’m 60 and I’m one of the younger people,” Walsh laughed. “We welcome everybody and there’s so many different things to do, and we’re trying to get more things going like board game nights,” she said. Reader meetups Walsh said the group’s book clubs, held online via Zoom, have thrived in the past year. During a recent meeting, the nine in attendance talked about why they joined the 119-member club. Nancy Kaushal of Richland joined the group when she moved to the area in 1999. “I did not plan to look for a job, and since my children were grown and gone, I needed a way to meet people. I have made many

lifelong Newcomer friends here and have learned to play golf and pinochle in the process. As a former English teacher, books have always been a part of my life. The book club Zoom meetings were a godsend during the pandemic,” she said. Nancy Barnum of Richland, who joined the group in 1991, was used to military life providing a social lifeline as a Navy wife. “When I got here, I didn’t know where to turn. I went to the Atomic Bowl (now Fiesta) because I had been on bowling leagues before. The man at the desk gave me the name of the secretary of one of their daytime leagues. But, he said, they have some funny rule about joining them. I called the secretary and she laughed and said the fun-

ny rule was that I had to join Newcomers. That was my lifeline and I have made many friends over the years and held most of the offices at one time or another,” she said. When Carole Davis moved to the TriCities in 2019, the only person she knew was her daughter. “I knew from my move to California 50 years ago that Newcomers Club was a wonderful way to meet wonderful people. And I was not disappointed. I went to every event I heard of and met wonderful people,” she said. Keeping the club going during the lockdown of the 2020 pandemic was vital, she said. “I don’t know what I would have done

without Newcomers. I would have been totally isolated and completely dependent on my daughter. Thank goodness for Newcomers and Zoom,” she said. No one knows exactly when the group started but it goes back to at least in 1968 when there were separate newcomer clubs in Richland and Kennewick. The two groups merged in 2005. Annual membership has been reduced to $10 due to pandemic. It will return to $20 annually in 2022, Walsh said. To learn more about the club, find it on Facebook, email tricitiesnewcomersclub@ gmail.com or send a note to Tri-Cities Newcomers, PO Box 1001, Richland, WA 99352-1001.

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Shop expands into spot once home to Ariel Gourmet & Gifts By Kristina Lord


The owner of an upscale clothing boutique can’t help but gush when she talks about her new storefront, a well-known corner spot in the Richland Parkway, once home to Ariel Gourmet & Gifts. “I cannot wait. I’m super excited to be down here. It’s charming. I love all the eateries and the bakeries. I just love everything about it. It feels alive down here,” said Deane Duncan, owner of Hotoveli Boutique. She opened her store in March 2020 at Queensgate Village at 1950 Keene Road, right at the beginning of the pandemic. The shop specializes in unique clothing, accessories and gifts that “can’t be found on Amazon,” she quipped. Duncan said she didn’t think she’d survive the year, let alone be expanding into a new, larger store. “I’m surprised I’m still here because of

Matson Development building 642-unit self-storage facility By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

A Tri-City construction business with roots in excavation work is building a $5 million self-storage facility in western Kennewick. Kennewick-based Matson Developoment Co. is constructing its 80,000-squarefoot project at 9501 W. 10th Ave. It will offer 642 storage units for rent. Construction should wrap by this fall. The storage facility is owned by Matson Storage LLC and will be run by the property management arm of West Coast Self-Storage, an Everett-based company that provides third-party management services. The uMATSON, Page A34

Photo by Kristina Lord Deane Duncan, owner of Hotoveli Boutique, takes a break from renovating her new store at 617 The Parkway in Richland. The store opened in early April.

Covid actually,” she said. She has spent more than a month renovating the space at 617 The Parkway and opened in early April.

One door opens, another closes The new location nearly doubles her space, from 2,300 square feet to almost 5,000 square feet. It occupies the area

once home to Ariel Gourmet & Gifts and Cheese Louise. The entryway separating the two former businesses has been removed. Cheese Louise closed in 2018 after the death of its owner. Ariel Gourmet & Gifts, founded in 1977, quietly closed in February. Joy Slone bought Ariel’s from Ellen Hunter in 2014, after working there for more than two decades – since her senior year of high school. Ariel Gourmet & Gifts specialized in selling kitchen ware and other gifts. The shop has moved its inventory online at ariel-gourmet.com, with offerings ranging from cookware and bakeware, to gadgets and tabletop items. Slone could not be reached for comment. Duncan said she had to leave Queensgate Village because the rent was too high. She said she applied for relief aid uHOTOVELI, Page A33

Swampy’s BBQ wants to put down roots at Columbia Gardens By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

It’s time to grow or die for Ron Swanby, who brought his barbecue truck and equipment to Kennewick’s Columbia Gardens Urban Wine and Artisan Village a little over a year ago. Swanby, owner of Swampy’s BBQ Sauce and Eatery, wants to buy a sliver of land at the Port of Kennewick-owned site to build the small kitchen he needs to take his business to the next level and begin earning a proper salary. He brought the food truck to Columbia Gardens, near the cable bridge, in early 2020. He started shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the economy and forced him to temporarily shut down. The truck later reopened. Revenue covered operating costs and employee paychecks, but Swanby himself took no

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salary in 2020. “The big picture is I’ve been given a timeline. If you’re not making it a business, why are you doing it,” he said. “If I’m going to meet my goals, then I need to grow.” Ideally, he will secure the land and develop the 600- to 700-square-foot kitchen by the end of the year. If he succeeds, he will move his truck and barbecue station across the parking lot. Swanby announced his plan to buy the land during the public comment portion of a port commission meeting in March. Normally, real estate deals are negotiated in private, as allowed under Washington’s Open Meetings Act. Swanby said took the unusual step to make his intentions clear. “My No. 1 choice is Columbia Gardens. But if it cannot happen in a timely fashion, I will look elsewhere. I will move

elsewhere,” he said. Port of Kennewick commissioners planned to discuss the request April 13, said Tim Arntzen, the port’s executive director. Results from this meeting weren’t available by the deadline for this publication. Arntzen said he appreciates what Swanby has accomplished at Columbia Gardens, but there are obstacles to selling property. The commission wants a fully developed master plan for the property before it sells land for private development. At the moment, staff is focused on other priorities, he said. Too, it needs to set a proper price for the site and others within the area. The challenges are surmountable, he noted. At least two other buyers have expressed interest in Columbia Gardens and uSWAMPY’S, Page A28



SWAMPY’S, From page A27 a local Kiwanis Club wants space to build a playground. “Ron raises some good issues not only for himself, but other folks who want to do business at the wine village,” Arntzen said. Swanby said he needs to adapt the business to reach his financial goals. As a food truck, Swampy’s has reached its operational limits. For one, Washington law requires food trucks to have a legal commissary kitchen or licensed home base. For Swanby, that’s Pasco Specialty Kitchen. He pays rent but seldom visits. The new kitchen will serve as his commissary and will be available to his fellow Columbia Gardens truck-based food businesses. Having an on-site commissary will let him switch up the menu more than he does now, he said. It also will let him serve food at Columbia Gardens when the truck is off-site for catering gigs, a common occurrence. For

uBUSINESS BRIEFS Gov. Inslee extends eviction moratorium

Gov. Jay Inslee extended the state’s moratorium prohibiting evictions through June 30 due to the continuing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The moratorium, which does not cover those who are not named on leases, protects approximately 76,000 Washington tenants who are unable to pay rent because

now, when the truck is gone, the business is closed. He publicizes hours on social media, but the irregular hours are an irritant to both Swanby and his fans. “Thank God for social media,” he said. The food truck’s small size and nonexistent storage space limits the amount of food he can prepare. The proposed kitchen would be six times bigger than the truck. He said he routinely runs out and closes early the four days a week he is open at Columbia Gardens. Without storage, he shops for groceries every day he is open, or as he put it, “I. Shop. Every. Single. Day.” He would like to open later and more days, but the current set up is too exhausting. “If I opened more, I would burn out,” he said. Catering is a growing part of the business that lets him take a salary. He is booked weekends through the summer season. If he’s allowed to proceed, Swanby said he will create a barbecue vibe but not an actual restaurant. After touring barbecue of financial challenges related to the pandemic. The declaration notes that in December, nearly 275,000 new and continuing claims for unemployment compensation were filed.

Chipotle leases space at Southridge

Chipotle Mexican Grill has leased a 2335-square-foot space at 3631 Plaza Way in Kennewick’s Southridge District in a de-


Photo by Wendy Culverwell Ron Swanby, owner of Swampy’s BBQ Sauce and Eatery, wants to build a kitchen at Kennewick’s Columbia Gardens Urban Wine and Artisan Village. The food truck owner says he needs to turn Swampy’s into a proper business.

businesses across Texas, he was struck by the culture around outdoor venues where guests dined under canopies. The Covid-19 pandemic only reinforced that he does not want to be in the brick-andmortar business. Instead, he will set up outdoor tables with some sort of canopy.

“I don’t want to be in a situation where I have space I can’t use,” he said. Swanby is targeting a port-owned site fronting Columbia Drive at the entrance to Columbia Gardens. Property records say the property has 4,356 square feet and a market value of $31,320.

velopment by Hogback Development Co. The location is west of the existing Taco Bell, near the newly opened Comfort Suites Kennewick at Southridge. Chad Carper of Kiemle Hagood represented the developer n the transaction. The opening date is to be determined.

Farmers Market renovation project. Some of the new features will be adding new hardscape amenities, landscaping, public art, permanent food truck connection points and a new canopy to the farmers market area. Partners on the project include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the 16th Washington State Legislative Delegation, as well as former state Sen. Maureen Walsh and state Rep. Bill Jenkin for their efforts in securing funding for this project.

Peanuts Park, Pasco Farmers Market kicks off renovations

The city of Pasco held a groundbreaking March 19 for the Peanuts Park and Pasco



Photo by Wendy Culverwell Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic will open its $20 million Miramar Health Center at 6351 W. Rio Grande Ave. in Kennewick on May 10. The project sparked conflict at the Port of Kennewick, but commissioners agree it is the perfect neighbor to their Vista Field redevelopment.

Yakima Valley Farm Workers opens Miramar Clinic May 10 in Kennewick By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

Kennewick’s newest medical and dental clinic opens May 10 near Vista Field. The nonprofit Yakima Valley Farm Workers plans to debut Miramar Health Center, its $20 million, state-of-the-art medical center at 6351 W. Rio Grande Ave. after more than a year of construction.

The center will employ 70, including 15 physicians, dentists and pharmacists. Miramar will serve low-income patients and those both with and without insurance. It is expected to offer 32,000 appointments annually. “It’s no secret there’s a shortage of primary care services nationwide,” said Carlos Olivares, chief executive officer uMIRAMAR, Page A30

U.S. Bank closes Kennewick branch


U.S. Bank permanently closed its downtown Kennewick branch in November following a temporary close earlier Zintel Creek Golf Club in Kennewick due to the Covid-19 pandemic. has remodeled 3,000 square feet of the The building at 303 First Ave. is club’s downstairs area as event space for available for lease although U.S. Bank meetings and banquets. continues to operate a drive-thru ATM in The newly remodeled 19th Hole Event Center has capacity for 130 people, as does the parking lot. The branch was scheduled for clothe dining room. Smaller rooms also are sure in early 2019. A spokeswoman said available for rent. customers were notified of the permanent The Zintel Golf Club Restaurant reclosure in October. opened March 26 and is open to the public The nearest branch is at Clearwater and along with the golf simulator. Edison in Kennewick. The restaurant is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday and the golf course Aplets & Cotlets maker is open at noon Mondays and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday-Sunday. closing after 101 years Zintel Creek Golf Club is at 314 N. Liberty Orchards Co., the CashmereUnderwood St. based maker of Aplets & Cotlets candies, announced it will close operations by June after 101 years of business. Shade Café opens by The Eastern Washington company said Richland clinic it would continue to seek a buyer for its Shade Café has opened next to Derassets, including its brands, production maCare TriCities at 1299 Fowler St. in equipment, factory and warehouses. The Richland. company did not cite a reason but noted it The café is owned and operated by Rosa continued to operate during the Covid-19 Smith and her son, Sidney Smith. pandemic under strict pandemic controls. The café serves up gourmet Caffe Two Armenian immigrants established D’Arte coffee, soups, sandwiches and fresh Liberty after they bought an apple orchard pastries as well as soda. and used surplus fruit to create Aplets Shade Café offers driveup as well as by mixing them with walnuts. Cotlets, walk-in service and has a seating area that made with apricots, arrived a few years will feature work by local artists. later. The company was operated by three Hours are 5:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. weekgenerations of the family, according to a days. company history. Follow on Instagram at tri.shadecafe. Go to libertyorchards.com/goodbye.



MIRAMAR, From page A29 of Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, in a news release announcing the opening date. “It always has been and always will be our mission to go where there is a need.” The 29,000-square-foot clinic occupies a five-acre site near Lawrence Scott Park, Chuck E. Cheese restaurant and, importantly, Vista Field. The project is not part of the Vista Field, the Port of Kennewick’s ambitious 103-acre redevelopment of a closed airfield into an urban village with walking trails, commercial and residential space. However, the clinic sits at an important gateway and the project set off a heated conflict between some of the port’s commissioners and staff. The

port, which sold the property more than a decade earlier, held a buyback clause and could have preempted the clinic from buying the site. In the end the port waived the buyback clause. And while the conflict continues (See related story on page A1), all three commissioners agree Miramar is exactly the neighbor they envisioned when they conceived of turning the field into an urban center. “It’s a tremendous asset and a tremendous addition to our community,” said Commissioner Don Barnes, the port’s chairman. Barnes was the target of complaints after he raised questions about the buyback clause, although an independent judge later ruled he acted within his role as an elected official.

REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION Commissioner Tom Moak, the board’s secretary, also drew complaints over the buyback clause fight. Miramar is exactly the type of project he wanted to see but, he said, he did not know what was envisioned when the property sale first surfaced on the commission’s agenda in 2019. “That’s what I was fighting for in this whole issue,” he said. Commissioner Skip Novakovich, the board’s vice president and author of the complaint against the other two, called it a “tremendous asset.” Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic closed the $1.7 million deal with seller Jerry Ivy Jr. Trustee on April 11, 2019. Denver-based Neenan Archiconstruction was the designer and builder. Neen-

an’s designs were guided by the port’s Vista Field design standards. The result is a building that respects the Vista Field look on the outside while offering state-of-the art touches on the inside. Designers said their biggest challenge was to “future-proof” the project against the changing standards of the health care industry. It is divided between medical practices, administrative, office, dental, pharmacy and laboratory spaces, with room to expand in the future. Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic said it brought its model to Kennewick to serve an estimated 39,000 low-income Tri-Citians not served by a community health center.

uBUSINESS BRIEF SBA increases Covid-19 lending limit

The U.S. Small Business Administration raised the maximum amount small businesses and nonprofit organizations can borrow through its Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The loan limit is raised to up to 24 months of injury with a maximum loan of $500,000. Businesses that receive a loan under the old limits do not need to request an increase. SBA will reach out directly to provide information about how they can request the higher amount. Call 800-659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov for information.




Did someone say cookies? Crumbl coming to Kennewick, too By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

Crumbl Cookies, the Utah-based dessert juggernaut, is continuing its expansion into the Tri-Cities with plans for a Kennewick location. Ranae and Matt Rusk of Pasco will open Crumbl Cookies at 1102 N. Columbia Center Blvd., a former GameStop location outside the Kennewick Target. The Kennewick shop is the second Tri-City outlet for Crumbl. The first opened in March at Richland’s Vintner Plaza under a different franchisee, Kevin Hatch, a Richland elementary school teacher, and his business partner Ian Taylor of Utah. The Rusks formed Cookies R Rusk to operate the Kennewick business. Ranae Rusk will run the shop, which is backed by a $300,000 startup loan from the Hanford Area Economic Investment Fund (HAEIF), a public entity that invests in job-creating initiatives. The Kennewick Crumbl will employ about 40 mostly part-time employees. Rusk, who has three school-aged children, said the Target-adjacent location is no accident. Crumbl caters to the same customers as Target – busy moms like her who buy cookies for their kids, for soccer games and other events. According to the company, 80% of customers are “women with iPhones.” “Moms love Target,” she said. Crumbl shops serve freshly baked cookies, with six on the menu at any given time. Chilled sugar cookies and chocolate chip are staples. Four new cookies are introduced every week, from the parent company’s menu of 40 recipes. Recent offerings included a lemon sugar cookie (with lemon icing and a lemon wedge), salted caramel cheesecake, chilled pina colada and maple cinnamon roll. Cookies sell for about $4, with bite-sized versions available and a line of cookie-oriented ice cream. Naturally, it sells milk to wash it all down. The Rusks, who are from St. Helens, Oregon, originally encountered Crumbl in the Portland area. They loved the family-friendly business and its emphasis on local ownership. Ranae, who took business courses at Brigham Young University Idaho and always dreamed of owning her own business, applied for and secured the Kennewick franchise. She called herself a hands-on learner who tested herself with an Etsy-based business she ran from her home. She and the Richland store owners apparently had the same idea at the same time: “We need to bring this to the TriCities.” She said she’s encouraged by the strong opening in Richland and said in March that she looks forward to meeting Hatch in person. Once she secured the franchise rights for Kennewick, she developed a business plan and shopped for startup funds

to pay the franchise fee and cover the cost to lease and equip space and train employees. She wasn’t able to secure a conventional bank loan in part because of the Covid-19 pandemic and in part because of her inexperience in running a business with employees other than herself. She heard about HAEIF from a friend and applied for assistance. HAEIF provides loans to government and private entities for activities that build the local economy. Loans are uCRUMBL, Page A32

Photo by Wendy Culverwell Ranae and Matt Rusk of Pasco will open Crumbl Cookies at 1102 N. Columbia Center Blvd., in a former GameStop location near the Kennewick Target. It will be the Tri-Cities’ second Crumbl location. The first opened in March in Richland.




Jersey Mike’s confirms plans to open in both Kennewick, Richland By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Jersey Mike’s Subs is building not one but two restaurants in the Tri-Cities. The New Jersey-based company confirmed it has leased space in a new strip mall at 1659 N. Columbia Center Blvd., in the parking lot of JCPenney. It will be sandwiched between a Starbucks coffee shop that opened recently, as well as the future outpost for Kennewick’s first MOD Pizza. Jersey Mike’s leased a 1,200-squarefoot space in a development by Hogback Development Co., that was initially reserved for California-based Habit Burger Grill. Habit Burger’s plans changed when the pandemic struck and it later confirmed it would open near the Richland Walmart. The two Jersey Mike’s restaurants will open this fall, according to a spokesperson.

CRUMBL, From page A31 sometimes above market rates, reflecting the risk of some of its investments. It was created by the Washington Legislature and funded with fees levied on waste deposited at Hanford. Through March, it had placed $23 million in 46 loans. Of those, seven have defaulted on a loans totaling $2.9 million. Skip Novakovich, a member of the

Jersey Mike’s previously confirmed it would open its debut store in the Tri-Cities at 2729 Queensgate Drive, at Vintner Square in Richland’s Queensgate shopping district. Until they open, fans must travel to Spokane or to western Washington for its hot cheesesteaks, the Jersey Shore’s Favorite, which is a cold sandwich with provolone, ham and cappacuolo, and its cult favorite Tastykakes desserts. It recently added a grilled portabella mushroom and swiss to its lineup. The company began on the Point Pleasant, New Jersey, shoreline and is currently led by Peter Cancro, who took over the business at the age of 17 and began selling franchise rights in 1987. There are nearly 1,900 locations nationwide. Chad Carper of Kiemle Hagood represented Hogback Development in the lease transaction at Columbia Center.

Photo by Wendy Culverwell Jersey Mike’s Subs will open two locations in the Tri-Cities this fall. The New Jersey-based sandwich company confirmed it will open a shop between the new Starbucks and the future MOD Pizza outside JCPenney in the Columbia Center mall parking lot.

HAEIF board, said Crumbl was an attractive investment because of the number of jobs it creates and the strong customer demand. The Richland store had lines around the building, he noted. Rusk looked at several locations and settled on a Target-adjacent spot when GameStop moved out of a strip mall that includes Chipotle Mexican Grill. The area is a popular destination for

families, with an average household income of nearly $100,000 a year within a three-mile radius. Nearly 33,000 vehicles use Columbia Center Boulevard each day. She expected to sign the lease in early April and to hire a contractor to convert the former video game store into a cookie bakery. That includes installing Crumbl-

approved ovens, grease traps and other gear. The work should take about four months, she said. Crumbl Cookies was established n 2017 and has experienced strong growth through franchising. Franchise rights to most of the western U.S., including Washington state, are sold out. The company declined to comment on the TriCity expansion.


TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | APRIL 2021 HOTOVELI, From page A27 but wasn’t successful. “I had no walk-in traffic whatsoever, and, especially during Covid, it hurt me,” she said. “When you don’t have any new people coming by to come in, it’s hard to grow. “I did launch right in middle of Covid. I couldn’t be open for how many months, and people didn’t know about me at the time. If they did find me, they’d say, ‘That’s cute, but I have nowhere to wear it.’ ” she said. She’s excited about the extra room and all the natural light at The Parkway store. “I also do formal dresses and didn’t have any room there. It’s going to be amazing. I’m not going to lie,” she said. Duncan has been doing all the renovation work herself, with help from 24-year-old Blake Loera of Moses Lake, a former employee and longtime friend. She’s saved costs by stretching paint, creating her own décor and recycling wood and other items.

Courtesy Jerry Rhoads/KC Help David Condon, left, of Premera Blue Cross, presents a $5,000 donation to fund a small expansion at KC Help, a Pasco nonprofit that provides durable medical equipment to needy residents, to Jerry Rhoads, KC Help president. George Mackie, center, of the KC Help board, looks on.

Covid-19 cleanouts prompt expansion at KC Help By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

A Pasco nonprofit that provides home health equipment such as beds and wheelchairs added 400 square feet of storage space in part to keep up with donations as area residents clean out storage units during the Covid-19 pandemic. Premera Blue Cross donated $5,000 to the Knights Community Hospital Equipment Lend Program, or KC Help, for the project. KC Help has a warehouse and office at 324 W. Margaret St. near Pasco City Hall. “During this last year, the community has donated a significant amount of gently used medical equipment as people have emptied their storage lockers and garages,” said Jerry Rhoads, president of KC Help. Hank Ogryzek, vice president, led the

volunteers who completed most of the work. The second-floor addition includes a hoist to lift heavy equipment. West Richland-based Metalfab and Pacific Steel of Kennewick donated their services to complete the project, which included installing a trolley beam. KC Help loans medical equipment to people who cannot afford them or whose insurance or Medicare won’t cover doctor-prescribed equipment. KC Help spun out of the Tri-Cities Chaplaincy House in the mid-1990s after beginning as a group of volunteers who refitted homes to accommodate ill residents and their medical gear. It branched into providing durable medical equipment when leaders realized there were people who needed equipment they couldn’t get through insurance or Medicare.

Ready for Parkway Duncan felt rushed to open, as customers were calling and stopping in as


she worked on the shop. “That’s what sucks right now. People are starting to get out and wanting to shop,” she said. The long hours spent renovating and preparing the store will be worth it though, she said. She’s also excited about the opening of Park Place apartments off George Washington Way, across from Howard Amon Park. The complex includes space for retail shops. Duncan originally opened Hotoveli Boutique in her hometown of Moses Lake in 2013. She and her husband then moved to Lake Havasu, Arizona, and she moved the shop there. They spent about three years in the Southwest but missed family and returned to Eastern Washington in winter 2019. The Duncans have a son in the Tri-Cities and more family in Moses Lake. Hotoveli Boutique: 917 The Parkway, Richland; 509-770-7475. Follow Instagram, Facebook, hotovelirocks. com for opening date updates.



MATSON, From page A27 Kennewick property will operate under the name Summit Storage. Rental rates have not been determined. Self-storage has been a strong performer during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a 2020 report on the market, real estate firm Marcus & Millichap said rental rates rose in part because of household consolidation. Owners were reluctant to raise rent during the crisis, but the long-term outlook is strong. Self-storage expanded by more than 20% in Washington and Oregon between 2016-20, according to Marcus & Millichap. The Tri-Cities is no exception. Several new storage projects have come online in the past year. Last fall Broadmoor Storage Solutions Inc. added 149 units in a $3 million expansion of its Sandifur Parkway

property in Pasco. Matson’s property was slated for a storage project when Matson Development bought it. Teresa Matson, business manager, said the company decided to go with the plan after conducting a feasibility study. While there are many competitors, there is good demand, according to the study. “It’s a strong market in the Tri-Cities,” she said. It took the eye of an excavator to make the sloped property on 10th work, Matson said. Crews moved about 50,000 cubic yards material – 23,377 cubic yards of cut and 28,327 cubic yards of fill, she said. Matson Development branched into commercial development to create business for its excavation work. Prior commercial


Photo by Wendy Culverwell Kennewick-based Matson Development Co., with roots in the excavation industry, is developing a 642-unit self-storage facility at 9501 W. 10th Ave. It will open as Summit Storage in fall 2021.

projects include a pair of steel buildings offering warehouse and office space on Jackrabbit Lane. Matson is the developer for the ministorage project. Hummel Construction & Development is the contractor, as it was for the Jackrabbit Lane project.

Developing commercial projects is no mere sideline for the excavation business. It is a passion for co-owners Travis and Matt Matson. “We’re not slowing down,” Teresa Maton said. “We’re continuing on. This is what we love to do.”

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The Richland School District has completed the $20 million construction of Tapteal Elementary on the site of the old school that bore the same name in West Richland. Tapteal serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The 65,500-square-foot building offers 28 classrooms, three special-purpose classrooms, a library, multipurpose space, art and music areas and a playground. Construction wrapped up in late 2020. The district expected students and staff to return to the building in April as in-person learning resumes during the Covid-19 pandemic. Design West of Kennewick is the designer. Fowler General Construction of Richland was the general contractor. Richland School District voters approved a $99 million bond in February 2017 to replace Badger Mountain and Tapteal elementaries and to build new elementary schools in West Richland and in south Richland. The bond also funded work at the Richland High auditorium, Fran Rish Stadium, the Hanford High athletic fields, land purchases, the Jefferson Early

Learning Center and to construct the Richland School District Teaching, Learning & Administrative Center in West Richland. The 2021 property tax rate for bond debt in the Richland School District, which includes West Richland, is $2.41 per $1,000, or $723 for a home with a taxable value of $300,000.

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REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION uBUSINESS BRIEFS Heartlinks to open second thrift store in Zillah

Heartlinks Hospice & Palliative Care recently announced plans to open a second thrift store in Zillah for their charity thrift store, Hobs Hospice Benefit Shop, at the end of April. The second location will be at 907 Vintage Valley Parkway. Hobs Hospice Benefit Shop sells gently used items in support of hospice care in the community. Heartlinks has been eager about the possibility of opening another store for a long time, but credits its ability to open a second location to success in Prosser and the entire Prosser-location staff, predominantly volunteers. More than 45 volun-

teers help sort, clean, organize, stock and sell the store’s inventory. Hobs was founded in 1998 by Prosser resident, Jan Nilsson, in conjunction with 12 volunteers, in memory of her motherin-law, Anne O. Witcraft. Hobs in Zillah will open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Friday. To learn more, call 509-837-1676. Volunteers are needed for the Zillah store.

Lamb Weston releases earnings, sustainability commitment and plant news

Lamb Weston, the frozen french fry giant, reported net sales declined 4% in its third fiscal quarter earnings statement, released April 7. The company reported $66 million

in net income, down 41% as Covid-19 pandemic issues led to significant disruptions in manufacturing and distribution operations. “(W)e remain optimistic that overall demand in the U.S. will steadily return to pre-pandemic levels around the end of calendar 2021,” said Tom Werner, president and chief executive officer, in an earnings release. In other news, the company said it began using packaging based on corn and potato starch for two of its Alexia brand products in April – Alexia’s Organic Sweet Potato Fries and Alexia’s Organic Yukon Select Puffs. It also confirmed it will invest $250 million to build a new french fry processing facility in Inner Mongolia, China. The plant will produce 250 mil-


lion pounds of potato products per year and will employ 280. Lamb Weston, based in Eagle, Idaho, with major Tri-City operations, said its net sales for the fiscal year were down 10% compared to the prior year.

SBA offering grants to support closed venues

The U.S. Small Business Administration has opened a web portal where owners of venues that closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant was funded with $16 billion from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The program was conceived as a lifeline for live venues, museums, movie theaters and other venues. Go to svograntportal.sba.gov/s/. Paid Advertising

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The Crown Group of Chicago in partnership with Boost Builds of Richland has completed Park Place Apartments, a $22 million, 106-unit upscale residential and retail project at the entrance to Howard Amon Park. Crown Group worked for more than five years to bring the project to fruition after the city of Richland selected it to develop the high-profile site, long derided as “the pit” after a failed development left it partly excavated. Crown initially intended to build an office complex and later changed to apartments after a split Richland City Council signed off on the plan on a 3-2 vote. The resulting project includes underground parking, electric vehicle charging stations, elevators and separate retail buildings facing George Washington Way. TVA Architects of Portland designed the project. Fowler Construction of Richland built it and Prodigy Property Management will handle leasing and management of the residential side of the project. The Crown Group is led by Mark Lambert. Boost Builds is led by David Lippes, a Richland investor and founder of TiLite, and John Crook, founder of Paragon Corporate Housing, also in Richland. Rents begin at $1,200 for a studio apartment unit. The project offers one- and two-bedroom units as well. More information at ParkPlaceRichland.com.


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Consider three main parts of contract law before enforcement What are the components of an enforceable contract? In other words, if you or your business makes an agreement with another person or entity, what makes the agreement enforceable? Let’s review of some of the technical and practical considerations for contract enforcement.

Must it be in writing? The general rule is that a contract must be in writing, though there are technical exceptions to this rule. But, practically speaking, every contract should be in writing. Not only does it allow the parties to thoughtfully craft the terms of the agreement in a way less ambiguous than speech, but it provides important proof of the exact terms of the agreement. An oral agreement might be sufficient in certain limited circumstances, but the better practice is to put it in writing. What are the requirements? There are three basic parts to an enforceable contract. First, there needs to be an “offer” from one party. Second, there needs to be “acceptance” from the other party. Finally, there needs to be some kind of “consideration.” Consideration is the most difficult concept to grasp, but in basic terms it simply means that something of value must be exchanged between the parties as part of the transaction. Offer and acceptance The first two components, offer and acceptance, are relatively easy to grasp. If Bill offers to do something (and that something can be broad – provide goods or services or act a certain way or refrain from acting a certain way, etc.) and Betty agrees, then we have an offer followed by an acceptance – the first component of an enforceable contract. But, if Betty were to change any of the terms in response to Bill’s offer, even slightly, then Bill would need to accept the modified offer before the first component of an enforceable contract is met. Consideration Not only must Bill agree to do something, and Betty accept, but Betty must offer something back – consideration. So, if Bill offers to build a sidewalk for Betty and Betty accepts, there is no enforceable contract yet – even if it’s in writing. Betty needs to offer something back to Bill. Usually, one might think of money (Betty agrees to pay $1,500) as the normal consideration for a contract. And, maybe that’s true in most cases. But, consideration can be anything. For example, in exchange for building the sidewalk, Betty might promise to cook dinner for Bill the next seven nights. Or, Betty might promise to take down a yard sign that Bill finds offensive. Or, Betty might agree to compete in a marathon. Or, Betty might promise to allow Bill to participate in her pinochle tournament. As is evident, the concept of “consideration” is broad. Enforcement Once you have the offer, the acceptance, and the consideration (and preferably the agreement is in writing), you have an enforceable contract. Regrettably, not every validly enforce-

able contract is worth enforcing. Our legal system is set up in such a way that the costs of enforcement can be substantial. And, while Beau Ruff legal and court Cornerstone costs can vary Wealth Strategies wildly from case GUEST COLUMN to case, there are some minimum efforts and costs incurred in every case. For example, let’s look at two cases. In the first case, two parties enter into

a valid contract for Bill to provide Betty a new concrete sidewalk for $1,500. Betty pays Bill but Bill doesn’t do the job to the contract specifications. Contrast that with the second case where Bill is to provide concrete to all of Betty’s housing development for a cost of $150,000. Again, Bill either doesn’t do the job or doesn’t do the job to the contract specifications. The cost of enforcing either contract with an attorney would be substantial because attorneys charge hundreds of dollars an hour. In the first case, it is not practical for Betty to engage an attorney as the costs of

enforcement would likely be higher than the cost of the damages ($1,500). Conversely, in the second case, it would be economically feasible to have an attorney enforce the contract. This example is simplistic and ignores things like small claims court and contractor insurance. Nonetheless, the reality is enforcement costs money so the injured party should weigh that before attempting to enforce. Beau Ruff, a licensed attorney, is the director of planning at Cornerstone Wealth Strategies, a full-service independent investment management and financial planning firm in Kennewick.




Weightlifter-owned gym combines science, nutrition and just the right machine By Jeff Morrow

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Valentino Robles played basketball during his high school days in Pasco. Tino, as most people know him, never thought much back then about lifting weights. “I hated lifting weights back in high school,” he said. “I liked being skinny and agile.” But lifting weights – and helping others learn how to lift them – has become his life’s work. “This is my passion. I’ve been lifting weights now for 20 years,” he said. Tino, now 40, and his wife, Rubi, own Power Athletics Compound, with two locations in the Tri-Cities – at 1856 Terminal Drive in Richland, and the newest location, at 5102 W. Okanogan Place in Kennewick near Kamiakin High School. The Richland gym, which has 5,000 square feet, is in the middle of being remodeled, but will reopen soon. The new Kennewick gym is two stories tall, with more than 12,000 square feet filled with almost every piece of equipment an athlete or bodybuilder could want. Tino said the new building, which held a soft opening in November, cost $1.8 million to build, and the equipment is worth $4 million. Pacific Athletics Compound promotes itself as a gym where science meets strength and conditioning, offering specialized training equipment. Some of the machines can take some of

the pressure off athletes’ joints while still providing a solid workout. PAC offers one-on-one training, group training and nutrition guidance. For $55 a month, members have full access to the entire facility. For an added cost, Tino will develop a menu plan that focuses on nutrition for each athlete – something, he says, that’s incredibly important. “Nutrition is about 80% of the process,” he said. “If you eat correctly, it can take care of 99% of your problems. But a lot of people don’t think about it.” His mentor is bodybuilding legend Dave Palumbo, and Tino sells Palumbo’s supplements at his gym. Tino puts in long workdays, while his wife, Rubi, 39, works a full-time job and helps coach some of the athletes. Serena Sloot, a nurse practitioner, is the team’s medical director who offers both in-person and telemedicine consultation for health, wellness and hormonal optimization. She has her own office at the Kennewick gym. The gym also employs a few staffers who work the front desk.

Competitor’s edge Tino got into lifting weights at the age of 20. He admitted the bulky guys with the big – sometimes oversized – muscles made him chuckle. One day, he happened to go up to one of them, with a genuine curiosity. He asked the man how he went about getting the physique he had.

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Photo by Jeff Morrow Rubi and Tino Robles own Power Athletics Compound, which runs two Tri-City gyms. PAC recently signed a deal with the Tri-City Rush of the American West Football Conference to help the football players stay in shape.

The guy didn’t like the question, he said. “He gave me the middle finger and told me to get the hell out of the gym,” Tino said. “I took it as a challenge.” Ever the competitor, Tino developed a chip on his shoulder from the lifter’s reaction to his question. It took him some time, but Tino started eating better and lifting weights. “I grew from 140 pounds to 270

pounds,” he said. “I then went back to that gym, and that same guy asked me, ‘How did you do it?’” He has since become hooked on lifting weights and bodybuilding – and helping others learn.

Starting the business Tino admits he has a weakness – and a passion – for weightlifting equipment.

uPAC, Page A40




Pandemic doesn’t stunt Kennewick entrepreneur’s growth would go through the Tri-Cities carrying a shipment bound for Canada. This allowed Andersen to order his first couple pallets to sell locally just before Christmas.

By Robin Wojtanik

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

“We do weddings. We do bonsai trees.” Not the typical services you might see offered together, but Brandon Andersen, owner of Bonsai Audio, has found a way to marry the two successfully. “Bonsai stands for an aesthetic. It’s a small work of art that’s also alive,” he said. The Kennewick man’s lucrative business providing DJ and other audio and video services to events came to a screeching halt in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in an eventual pivot to sales of bonsai trees. “I realized I can’t trust DJing, I can’t trust in events,” said Andersen, after he found his usual bookings of 50 summer weddings were no longer possible due to state-mandated shutdowns. He also frequently worked the nonprofit circuit. Andersen had already named his business after bonsai trees, holding an affinity for the art since he was a teen. “I wanted people to feel assured that each individual event was deliberate, had an aesthetic and an attention to every detail,” he said.

Bonsai imports By the end of 2020, Andersen wanted to have something to focus on to not only keep his business afloat, but also to provide some self-care when dealing with

Courtesy Brandon Andersen Brandon Andersen, owner of Bonsai Audio, perhaps had the most unique business pivot in 2020, from DJ and audiovisual services to bonsai tree sales.

the burdens and isolation of the pandemic. After failing to find a large supply available locally, he began looking into what it would take to become a bonsai importer. “Most people find there’s not a large return on investment in bonsai since they often have to grow for at least six years before they’re sold,” Andersen said. He started working the phones in

hopes of turning into a direct bonsai supplier and managed to line up a shipment in Florida. Yet Andersen ran into a snag when he discovered juniper bonsai trees require a refrigerated truck to ship in the winter, and this shipment needed to cover thousands of miles at a likely hefty expense. Call it chance or good fortune, the company called back to tell Andersen they had a truck driver whose route

‘Cobra Kai’ boost Interest in bonsai sprouted quickly as people found the plants a unique gift option and also due to popularity of the campy Netflix series, “Cobra Kai,” based on the 1980s classic, “The Karate Kid.” In the TV reboot, the main character offers a bonsai tree with the sale of every vehicle from his car dealership. Andersen’s trees are about 6 to 8 years old and range from $40 to $60 for local purchases. He sells mainly through his personal Facebook account, his Bonsai Audio business page or at some of the drive-thru markets frequently hosted by CG Public House in Kennewick. Caring for bonsai Andersen includes a pamphlet with directions for bonsai care, finding that most people accidentally kill the plant by providing it too much attention. “The best solution is to have a bunch of them so you can do a little to just one of them every day,” he laughed. Bonsais must live outside, and contrary to popular belief, do not need regular trimmings. Andersen suggests just once a year the bonsai owner either trim, train the growth or manage the roots – but not all three.

uBONSAI, Page A41



PAC, From page A38 Over the years, he collected enough that in 2015 he decided to start a gym. That was when PAC in Richland, located by the airport, began. “I’ve collected a lot of pieces of equipment,” he said. Whether he finds something sitting in someone’s garage or storage unit, gathering dust, or the latest line equipment in Europe, Tino wants it. “I had tried to get a loan from the bank after I started the first gym in Richland,” he said. “Five months after I opened in Richland, the bank gave me a loan.” He started the plan for the Kennewick gym in 2018, when he had enough equipment to fill another gym. “The income was good to start that

gym, but the pandemic slowed things down, put us almost eight months behind schedule,” he said. Now that the Kennewick gym is open, Tino is considering opening more gyms. He said he has another 40 to 50 pieces of equipment stored in a warehouse. “It’s my weakness, but it’s also my passion,” he said. “The plan is to expand to another gym in Boise, Idaho. We were shut down here for eight months (with the pandemic), but they never shut down in Boise.” Equipment is one of the things that gets Tino excited. “I’m willing to spend any dollar amount to get a piece of equipment I want,” he said. The other thing he loves?


Coach Tino On a recent Thursday night at 9:30 p.m., Tino is out in the middle of his gym, surrounded by 23 women – all prepping for upcoming bodybuilding or fitness competitions. This isn’t their first time here. They know what to do. Tino counts to five slowly, as the women are at different stations, carefully lifting weights, and holding the weights at certain points while Tino yells out the count. Tino watches their form, making sure everything is done correctly. At a certain point, everyone switches to a different station, and the exPhoto by Jeff Morrow ercise gets repeated. Tino Robles coaches a couple of dozen women This goes on for an for upcoming bodybuilding or fitness competitions hour, it’s done four nights on April 1 at Power Athletics Compound, 5102 W. a week, and Tino says as Okanogan Place in Kennewick. The gym opened in many as 34 women will November 2020. show up any night. – both in-person and online. “I love coaching,” Tino said. “Anyone can read a 38-page manu“I get a lot of clients from out of state al, take an online test, and if they pass it who I help train,” Tino said. they get certified to be a fitness trainer. And recently, PAC signed a deal with My background is different.” the Tri-City Rush of the American West Tino studied human physiology, anatomy and hospital pharmacy at Washing- Football Conference to help the football players stay in shape. ton State University in Pullman. It’s all part of Tino’ plan to help peoHe has a bachelor’s with a minor in human physiology/anatomy. ple live a better life. “I love what I do,” he said. “It’s all “If you go through our social media, about how you feel about yourself. My you’ll see some of our clients. “Power passion for the human body is strong, Athletics Compound: 509-987-7811; and how the body functions.” To this point, he says, PAC has 700 1856 Terminal Drive, Richland; 5102 W. memberships, and Tino has another 300 Okanogan Place, Kennewick; www.pac. clients that he coaches for competitions fit; Facebook.

TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | APRIL 2021 PORT, From page A1 Ivy had a deal to sell the five acres to the nonprofit Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, which planned to build a $20 million medical and dental clinic for low-income patients there. Barnes and Moak initially objected. Later, they said didn’t know what was going onto the site and feared it would be an industrial laydown yard that could mar the entrance to Vista Field, their prized redevelopment project. The two say they signed off once they knew about the clinic’s plan. Novakovich disputes their version, saying all three commissioners were given the same information about Miramar at the same time. Barnes continues to be rankled by the transaction. The port sold the land to Ivy more than a decade earlier, with a standard buyback clause allowing the port to repurchase it if it was not developed. “The port doesn’t always extract the highest possible price in a land sale,” he said. “We’re trying to encourage economic development.” Buyback clauses are supposed to discourage people from holding land and selling it at a higher price years later. Ivy sold the property for Miramar for $1.7 million, nearly $1.2 million more than he paid for it in 2004, according to Benton County property records. Still, all three commissioners agree the Miramar Clinic project and its staff of medical professionals is exactly what they wantBONSAI, From page A39 The constrictive pot is what makes bonsai an art form, stunting the plant’s growth to prevent it from growing to full size. Andersen said if left to their own devices and out of a pot, his juniper bonsai would grow in the same way juniper is most often found in landscaping.

Future plans While the plant sales don’t come close to replacing the 100 bookings Andersen and his Bonsai Audio team used

ed for a neighbor in the heart of Kennewick. The clinic opens on May 10. (See related story on page A29.) While the land sale went through, the complaint roiled the port for more than a year. In December, Paris Kallas, the independent judge who heard the Barnes appeal, overturned the investigator’s conclusion that he was in the wrong. “(T)he Complaint against Commissioner Barnes is unsubstantiated in its entirety and no sanctions hall be applied,” Kallas wrote in the December 2020 decision. After being exonerated, Barnes said he is entitled reimbursement for his legal fees – $51,000, which would bring the total amount spent on the complaint to more than $450,000. Barnes told his fellow commissioners he would not seek reimbursement if he had been found at fault during a March 23 meeting. “I’m respectfully requesting reimbursement of my legal expenses to take me back,” he said. Barnes submitted 37 pages of heavily redacted invoices from two Kennewick legal firms. The port is waiting for an unredacted version of the invoices before acting on the request. Novakovich said he will vote to pay the bill if the charges are reasonable. The $400,000-plus bill promises to be a hot topic in the 2021 campaign season. Barnes’ position is up for election this year. to work annually, it’s given him a sense of purpose while he looks for his next big thing. Andersen also is considering a run for Kennewick City Council. He’s the director of communications for Leadership Tri-Cities and is helping the nonprofit solicit applicants for its next class. To buy a bonsai tree or book Andersen’s DJ services, contact him through bonsaiaudio.com; 509-221-0075; info@ bonsaiaudio.com.

While he has not decided if he will seek a new term, a prominent Kennewick resident is in the race: Ken Hohenberg, Kennewick’s retiring police chief and deputy city manager, announced his candidacy in March. The complaint-related costs through March came to $399,280.61, excluding the legal fees Barnes paid from his own pocket, according to documents released under Washington’s Public Records Act. That includes $60,000 to investigate the complaint, $180,000 to process Barnes’ appeal and $159,000 to comply with public records requests, many from Barnes’ attorney, Joel Comfort of the Kennewick law firm Miller Mertens & Comfort PLLC. Seattle law firm Ogden Murphy Wallace billed $38,296 for the investigative services of Tara Parker through five separate invoices. Parker’s review concluded both Barnes


and Moak violated port rules. Only Barnes appealed. Judicial Dispute Resolution LLC, a Seattle arbitration firm, submitted three invoices totaling $14,000 for the services of Paris K. Kallas, who held a hearing in December and concluded Barnes was not at fault. Law firm Foster Garvey submitted 40 invoices totaling $141,000 for costs related to the complaint process. Carney Bradley Spellman submitted 128 invoices totaling $187,000 related to processing the complaint. Barnes is chiefly represented by Comfort. There were also invoices for services by Francois “Fran” Forgette of Rettig Forgette Iller and Bowers LLP, a Kennewick law firm. The commission discussed the request April 13 after deadline for this issue.




PUBLIC RECORD uBANKRUPTCIES Bankruptcies are filed under the following chapter headings: Chapter 7 – Straight Bankruptcy: debtor gives up non-exempt property and debt is discharged. Chapter 11 – Allows companies and individuals to restructure debts to repay them. Chapter 12 – Allows family farmers or fishermen to restructure finances to avoid liquidation for foreclosure. Chapter 13 – Plan is devised by the individual to pay a percentage of debt based on ability to pay. All disposable income must be used to pay debts. Information provided by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Spokane.

CHAPTER 7 Eulogio & Letrcia Figueroa, 1416 N. First Ave., #16, Pasco. Dacia Alyce Thompson, 1825 Highland Drive, Prosser. Luis Sanchez, 1905 S. Oak St., Kennewick. Esteban Daniel Brito Jr., 8307 Langara Drive, Pasco. Monica Yurema Chavez Cardenas, 5807 Larrabee Lane, Pasco. Dao A. Dang, 5 S. Yost St., Kennewick. Adelle Mary Mains, 421 N. Georgia St., Kennewick. Beatriz Orozco Cardenas, 67805 N. Hysler Road, Benton City. Shelly Inez Garcia, 406 Fortaleza Lane, Pasco. Miles Logan Goodrich & Shanlyn LaVon Jaeger, 8204 Langara Drive, Pasco. Joaquin Alaniz & Deana Susan LopezAlaniz, 1330 Semillon Place, Prosser. Melissa Ann Lowe, 2100 Dallas St., Richland. Elvis Eraldo Ruiz Hernandez, 600 Warehouse Lane, #600, Connell. Gabriel Whittam, 9315 Mustang Drive, Pasco. Nathan Tyler Long, 531 S. 38th Ave., F116, West Richland. Paul Bruce & Opal Beatrice Heath, 3710 B W. Metaline Ave., Kennewick.

James Steven Thomas, 69203 Ridge Road, West Richland. Jennifer Marie Keplinger, 5504 Remington Drive, Pasco. Tyson Allen Crane, 407 W. 49th Ave., Kennewick. Leroy A. Tonn, 306 S. Williams St., Kennewick. Marcel F. Barajas, 200802 E. Game Farm Road, #101, Kennewick. Amy Scott, 327 Greentree Court, #2, Richland. Michelle Lea Thomas, 4101 Coulee Vista Drive, Kennewick. Quintin Gene Sessions, 4711 Dallas Road, West Richland. Justin C. & Deborah A. Tilley, 50 Timmerman Drive, Richland. Desa Lynn Dickenson, 250 Gage Blvd., #2084, Richland. Samuel Warren Hooper & Heidi Louise Erickson Hooper, 332 S. Union St., Apt. B, Kennewick. Tana Tanel Torres, 4407 Goldstream Lane, Pasco. Sonja Marie Mata, 1923 S. Vancouver St., Apt. A210, Kennewick. Edgar Saldana, 3313 W. Opal St., Pasco. Lissette Acevedo Arteaga, 4314 S. Vancouver St., Kennewick. Miguel Rubio, 1724 W. 45th Ave., #D10, Kennewick. Steven Madden, 1609 W. Clearwater Ave., Kennewick. Jesus J. Aguirre & Lorena Del Carmen Aguirre, 216 Pennie Ave., Pasco. Almadelia Echeberria, 3523 W. Hood Ave., Apt. A204, Kennewick. Carmen Balderrama, 1876 Fowler St., Apt. 202, Richland. Maria Alexis Rivera, 504 W. 28th Ave., Kennewick. Kasey Ray & Amber Dawn Langfield, 42408 E. Hacienda St. NE, Benton City. Bonnie McCoy, 623A Berkshire Place, Richland.

CHAPTER 13 Edna Louise Jenkins, 505 N. Fisher St., Kennewick. Robert Lee Bailey-Whitten, 7819 Deschutes Drive, Pasco. Holly Harris, 2165 Crestview Ave., Richland. Valerie Miller, 1212 Broadview Drive, West Richland.

uTOP PROPERTIES BENTON COUNTY 53416 E. Kennedy Road, West Richland, $6.8 million for 180 acres and 936-square-foot home. Buyer: Pro Made Construction LLC. Seller: Kinsel Family Farm LLC. 16206 S. Gertrude St., Kennewick, $775,000 for 3,436-square-foot home on 2 acres. Buyer: Eric & Emily Choi. Seller: Randolph & Teri J. Peterson. 4311 W. Clearwater Ave., #110, Kennewick, $1.2 million for 5,360-squarefoot commercial building. Buyer: Viviana Sanchez. Seller: Blue Pearl Coffee LLC. 590 Merlot Drive, Prosser, $800,000 for 6,132-square-foot commercial building on 1.4 acres. Buyer: Blue Flame Real Estate LLC. Seller: Joanzbarn LLC. 10201 W. Clearwater Ave., Kennewick, $950,000 for 4,723-square-foot dental clinic. Buyer: Three Rivers Mobile Dentistry LLC. Seller: Badger Mountain Professional LLC.


586 S. 38th Ave. W., Richland, $807,000 for 1,600-square-foot commercial building on 1.2 acres. Buyer: Liberty Mobile Homes LLC. Seller: Jerry E. & Gayle M. Fairchild Trustees. 58515 E. Christy Road, Plymouth, $770,000 for 4,824-square-foot home on 5.6 acres. Buyer: Robert G. Haerling. Seller: Joan Vogt. 14239, 14443, 14547, 14751, 14855, 14959, 15475, 15579, 15683 Furlong Lane, Kennewick, $1.7 million for nine parcels of about 1 acre apiece. Buyer: Hammerstrom Construction Inc. Seller: Tri-City Development Corporation. 2544 Queensgate Drive, Richland, $2.5 million for 4,240-square-foot commercial building on 1.3 acres. Buyer: Sevigny Investments LLC. Seller: C & S Diversified Services LLC. 1401 W. 52nd Ave., Kennewick, $775,000 for 4,500-square-foot home. Buyer: Tiffany Elizabeth Bishop. Seller: Valeriy A. Gis. 226206 E. Donelson Road, Kennewick, $1.2 million for 4,709-square-foot home. Buyer: Jerome Kenney Trustee. Seller: Ronald L. & Doreen M. Williams. 3631 Plaza Way, Kennewick, $744,000 for 0.96 acres of commercial/industrial land. Buyer: Hogback Southridge LLC. Seller: Craig D. & Marilee N. Eerkes. 334 Columbia Point Drive, Unit 104, Richland, $1 million for 3,349-square-




foot home. Buyer: Ronald O. & Karen S. Maxfield. Seller: Henry Oord. 32203 S. Clodfelter Road, Kennewick, $760,000 for 3,398-square-foot home on 15 acres. Buyer: Nathan Phillip & Dana Jodene Madder. Seller: Robert Perry & Amber Lynette Rampton. 903, 907, 911, 917 Sheridan Ave., Prosser, $8.3 million for 283,996 square feet of commercial building space and 31,570-square-foot warehouse on 7.6 acres. Buyer: Fruitsmart Inc. Seller: REJE LLC. 3830, 3835, 4037 Orchard St. W.; 4019 Queen St. W.; 3822, 3829, 3931, 3952 King Drive W.; 1301 S. 38th Ave. W., Richland, $1.1 million for nine parcels of 0.46-acre home sites. Buyer: Hayden Homes LLC. Seller: SSR Investments Inc.

FRANKLIN COUNTY 12512 Ricky Road, Pasco, $980,000 for 3,880-square-foot home. Buyer: Justin O. & Jessica P. Christensen. Seller: Shawn R. & Christine Jones. 8890 Sagehill Road, Othello, $3.3 million for 220 acres of ag land. Buyer: Farmtogether 202 LLC. Seller: TKM Radar Hill Orchard LLC. 5934, 5935, 6001, 6002, 6005, 6006 Curlew Lane, 5926, 5934, 6002 Rockrose Lane, 5404, 5408, 5412, , 5416, 5502 Three Rivers Place, Pasco, $1 million for 14 parcels of undeveloped land approximately 0.21 acres apiece. Buyer: Hayden Homes LLC. Seller: Sunbelt Homes LLC (et al). 290 Larkspur Road, Pasco, $825,000 for 2,800-square-foot home on five acres. Buyer: Brittany A. & Robert T. Clyde. Seller: Kevin E. & Cassandra J.

Lehman. 8200 W. Argent Road, Pasco, $1.1 million for 2,700-square-foot home on 4.8 acres. Buyer: Shawn R. & Christine C. Jones. Seller: Justin Lee & Nanci A. Kohler. Ag land near Frontier and Crestloch roads, Franklin County, $2.7 million for 160 acres of ag land. Buyer: Henry Field. Seller: Rottinghaus Marital Trust. Ag land off Ringold Road in Franklin County, $1.8 million for two parcels totaling 119 acres of ag land. Buyer: B16FU30 LLC. Seller: Bardella Robison. 150 McDonald Drive, Pasco, $877,000 for 2,068-square-foot home on 1.3 acres. Buyer: Philip Dennis & Laurette Trudi France. Seller: Kenneth B. & Jean H. Campbell (trustees). Ag land near Taylor Flat and Eltopia West roads, $744,000 for 47 acres of

ag land. Buyer: Katonnie Leasing LLC. Seller: RC Farms LLC.

uBUILDING PERMITS BENTON CITY Kiona-Benton City School, 1205 Horne Drive, $13,000 for commercial reroof. Contractor: Summit Roofing LLC. Benton Franklin Head Start, 313 Third St., $7,400 for commercial addition. Contractor: MP Construction.

BENTON COUNTY AgriNorthwest, 135827 N. Plymouth Road, $298,000 for commercial addition. Contractor: LCR Construction LLC. American Tower, no address listed,


TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | APRIL 2021 $20,000 for antenna/tower. Contractor: Legacy Telecommunications.

FRANKLIN COUNTY Benjamin Casper, 6471 R-170, Mesa, $22,300 for sign. Contractor: Yesco LLC. Oakdell Egg Farms, 1831 E. Sagemoor Road, Pasco, $37,000 for commercial addition. Contractor: Circle K Enterprises.

KENNEWICK Carmen Villarma, 30 S. Louisiana St., $435,000 for tenant improvements, $105,000 for heat pump/HVAC, $255,000 for plumbing. Contractors: DWP General Contracting, Silverline Electric/Plumbing. Wyo-Wash Corporation, 404 N. Columbia Center Blvd., $6,900 for sign. Contractor: Mustang Sign Group. McDonald’s Corp., 2721 W. Kennewick Ave., $25,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: Broken Arrow Communications. Eric Moore, 8301 W. Clearwater Ave., $500,000 for new commercial, $23,000 for heat pump/HVAC, $25,000 for plumbing. Contractors: ROMM Construction, M Campbell & Co., BKB Enterprises LLC. Marvin G. & Margaret Palmer Trustees, 2427 W. Falls Ave., $15,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: owner. The Gerald & Spring Covington Liv Trust, 7911 W. Grandridge Blvd., $6,000 For Sign. Contractor: Quality Signs. Microtrade LLC, 7903 W. Grandridge Blvd., $15,000 For Tenant Improvements. Contractor: Columbia Construction Servicing LLC. Total Care Dental, 2431 S. Quillan Place, $1.9 million for new commercial. Contractor: W McKay Construction LLC. Kennewick Assoc. Ltd. Partnership, 7411 W. Canal Drive, $35,000 for sign. Contractor: Mustang Sign Group. MS Properties LLC, 460 N. Roosevelt St., $2.4 million for new construction, $40,000 for plumbing. Contractors: Conner Construction Co., Mechanix Inc. Kennewick Housing Authority, 128 E. 13th Ave., $138,000 for new commercial, $6,000 for heat pump/HVAC, $35,400 for solar miscellaneous. Contractors: Total Site Services, A & R Solar. Niki Properties II LP, 1901 N. Steptoe St., $20,000 for sign. Contractor: Mustang Sign Group. DWP General Contracting, 7960 W. 10th Ave., $50,000 for new commercial, $5,000 for plumbing. Contractors: DWP General Contracting, Silverline Electric/ Plumbing. Richard D. Williams, 1108 W. Cleveland St., $200,000 for commercial remodel.

Contractor: Kustom US Inc. Kennewick Properties, 3030 W. Fourth Ave., $157,000 for commercial miscellaneous. Contractor: Roberts Constructions. MGSC LLC, 2615 W. Kennewick Ave., $50,000 for demolition. MH Construction Inc.

PASCO City of Pasco, 2200 E. A St., $550,000 for new commercial. Contractor: To be determined. Jubilee Foundation, 3525 E. A St., $5,000 for demolition. Contractor: Clean Image LLC. John F. Liniger, 1600 E. Salt Lake St., $603,000 for new commercial. Contractor: CRF Metal Works LLC. City of Pasco, Parcel 112 041 095, $5.2 million for commercial remodel. Contractor: to be determined. Enriquez Pinedo Alvaro (etux), 218 W. Lewis St., $7,500 for demolition. Contractor: Clean Image LLC. Self-Storage at Chapel Hill, 6615 Chapel Hill Blvd., $49,000 for tenant improvements. CLC Properties LLC, 4845 Broadmoor Blvd., $16,000 for sign. Contractor: Yesco LLC. City of Pasco, 1018 S. Gray Ave., $22.4 million for commercial remodel. Contractor: to be determined. Iris Landholdings, 2735 W. Court St., $5,800 for sign. Contractor: Cascade Sign & Fabrication. McCurley Subaru-Mazda, 1230 Autoplex Way, $20,000 for antenna/tower. Contractor: to be determined.

Jackrabbit Lane, $675,000 for new commercial. Contractor: TTAP Construction Services. State of Washington Military Department, 2655 First Ave., $12 million for new commercial. Contractor: Fowler General Construction. Meadow Springs Country Club, 700 Country Club Road E, $17,400 for antenna/tower. Contractor: Mastec Network Solutions. Bauder Land & Development, 410 Rachel Road, $20,000 for demolition. Contractor: Mahaffey Enterprises. MK Northwest Properties, 2811 Polar Way, $15,000 for sign. Contractor: Yesco LLC. Port of Benton, 2705 Fermi Drive, $13,226 for grading. Contractor: Consolidated Construction Co. Inc. Verna Hughes, 1300 Columbia Park

RICHLAND TTAP Construction Services, 241

Shop online at brutzmans.com We have over 30,000 items to choose from. 2501 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Richland (509) 735-0300


Trail, $24,000 for grading. Contractor: Apollo Inc. Life Church 7, 1110 Stevens Drive, $8,000 for demolition. Contractor: Owner. Hiline Leasing, 2045 Hagen Road, $50,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: Booth & Sons Construction. Suess Holdings LLC, 1325 Aaron Drive, Ste. 102, $18,000 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Air-Tight Remodeling. Kadlec Regional Medical Center, 888 Swift Blvd., $268,000 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Bouten Construction Co. Bauder Homes LLC, 2466 Falconcrest Loop, $55,100 for grading. Contractor: Mahaffey Enterprises.




Borrell singles out Townsquare as a top digital performer. “Townsquare’s digital ventures are fast-growing and impressive.” - Gordon Borrell CEO, Borrell Associates

Notable facts •

Townsquare’s overall share of addressable digital ad dollars is 2.6 the average for radio stations.

Across 67 markets, Townsquare holds a phenomenal share of addressable digital advertising.

Read entire article at bit.ly/townsquare-borrell

2621 West A Street, Pasco | (509) 547-9791

Hiline Leasing, 2410 Hagen Road, $1.9 million for new commercial. Contractor: Hiline Leasing. City of Richland, 460 Tanglewood Drive, $23,419 for new commercial. Contractor: city of Richland. Ilene G. Hogaboam, 1223 Montana Ave., $5,000 for demolition. Contractor: Peake Contractors LLC.

uJUDGMENTS The state can file lawsuits against people or businesses that do not pay taxes and then get a judgment against property that person or business owns. Judgments are filed in Benton-Franklin Superior Court. The following is from the Franklin County Superior Court Clerk’s Office.

Andy’s Coffee Break, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 2. Ulysses Alejandro Contrera, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 2. Royalty Pet Sitters LLC, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 2. P J R Construction Inc., unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 2. Affordable Custom Concrete, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 10. 7 Stars Roofing LLC, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 10. L & J Soto Express LLC, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 12. Luis Soto, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 12. Heather Pelfrey, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 16.

Daniel Pelfrey, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed March 16. Castilleja Bakery, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 17. AM Cleaning, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 17. A&M Carpet & More LLC, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 22. Soltero Framing, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 23. Boiada Brazilian Grill LLC, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 23. Royalty Pet Sitters LLC, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 23. Upper Limits Vape Lounge, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 23. 7 Stars Roofing LLC, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 25. Cordoba Express Courier Services, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 25. Norma’s Cleaning, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 25. Upper Limits Vape Lounge LLC, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 25. Arnott Enterprises LLC, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 25. Tucco & Stone Contractors, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 25. LAC Auto Detailing, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed


TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | APRIL 2021 March 29. Kindra Bistro & Cafe LLC, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 29. Norma’s Cleaning, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 29. R&M General Repair, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 29. Spurs Coffee LLC, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed March 29.

uLIQUOR LICENSES BENTON COUNTY NEW Dollar General Store #21945, 210 S. Second St., Benton City. License type: beer/wine. Application type: new. Sun Market #2, 1025 E. Jacobs Road NE, Benton City. License type: grocery store – beer/wine. Application type: new. Amarilis Meat Market II, 1088 George Washington Way, Richland. License type: grocery store – beer/wine. Application type: new. Desert Wind Winery, 2258 Wine Country Road, Prosser. License type: domestic winery <250,000 liters; direct shipment receiver-in WA only; beer/wine restaurant – beer wine. Application type: new. Kitchen and Spice Market, 1440 Jadwin Ave., Richland. License type: direct shipment receiver in/out – WA; grocery store – beer/wine; wine retailer reseller. License type: added/change of class/ in lieu. The Draw at Coyote Canyon, 1121 Meade Ave., Prosser. License type: direct shipment receiver in – WA only; beer/wine restaurant – beer/wine; off premises. License type: added/change of class/in lieu.

APPROVED MOD Pizza, 1659 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Kennewick. License type: direct shipment receiver-in WA only. License type: new. Norsk Strykr, 174306 W. Byron Road, Prosser. License type: domestic winery <250,000 liters. Application type: new. Safeway #252, 690 W. Gage Blvd., Richland. License type: direct shipment receiver – in/out WA. Application type: added/change of trade name. NV-Wines, 1325 Aaron Drive, Ste. 102, Richland. License type: direct shipment receiver – in/out WA. Application type: new. Terra Vinum, 56204 NE Roza Road, Benton City. License type: domestic winery <250,000 liters. Application type: added/change of class/in lieu. Carniceria Mirandas, 804 Sixth St., Prosser. License type: grocery store – beer/wine. Application type: assumption. The Chicken Shack, 3320 W. Kennewick Ave., Kennewick. License type: direct shipment receiver-in WA only. License type: new.

DISCONTINUED Cavallo Di Ferro, 42702 E. Bismark Court, West Richland. License type: domestic winery <250,000 liters. Application type: discontinued. 2Dor Wines, 500 Merlot Drive, Prosser. License type: domestic winery <250,000 liters additional location. Application type: discontinued. The Chicken Shack, 3320 W. Kennewick Ave., Kennewick. License type: direct shipment receiver-in WA only. License type: discontinued.

FRANKLIN COUNTY NEW Courtyard Marriott Pasco, 2101 W. Argent Road, Pasco. License type: direct shipment receiver-in WA only; hotel. Application type: assumption. Connell Gas & Food Mart, 457 S. Columbia Ave., Connell. License type: direct shipment receiver-in WA only; grocery store – beer/wine. Application type: assumption.

APPROVED Tipsy’s Tavern, 414 W. Lewis St., Bldg. 1, Pasco. License type: direct shipment receiver-in/out WA only. Application type: added/change of class/in lieu.

uMARIJUANA LICENSES BENTON COUNTY NEW Highland Nursery Inc., 15505 N. Webber Canyon Road, Ste. A, Benton City. License type: marijuana producer tier 3. Application type: change of location. Purely Green LLC, 15505 N. Webber Canyon Road, Ste. H, Benton City. License type: marijuana producer tier 3; marijuana processor. Application type: change of location. The Washington Outfit LLC, 214311 E. Highway 397, Kennewick. License type: marijuana transportation. License type: new.


APPROVED Gravity Transport, 43001 N. Griffin Road, Unit E, Grandview. License type: marijuana transportation. License type: new. Rusty Nail Growers, 63910 E. Sunset View PR SE, #A, Bldg. A, Benton City. License type: marijuana producer tier 2. Application type: added fees.

uBUSINESS UPDATES NAME CHANGE Albertsons, at 690 Gage Blvd. in Richland, is now a Safeway.

CLOSED Shari’s Restaurant, at 1745 George Washington Way in Richland, has closed.



Profile for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business/Senior Times

Journal of Business - April 2021  

Journal of Business - April 2021  

Profile for tricomp

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