Journal of Business - January 2022

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January 2022 Volume 21 | Issue 1

Job growth continues to fuel housing demand By Wendy Culverwell

Architecture & Engineering

Architects put the spotlight on their best work Page A27

Business Profiles

Demand for pandemic pets feeds Richland pet shop’s success Page A43

New West Richland Police Station






Real Estate & Construction

Benton REA moving admin to West Richland Page B1

NOTEWORTHY “Interest in the Tri-Cities is at the highest level I have seen in my nearly 30 years of working in that market.”

- Tim Ufkes, apartment broker, Marcus & Millichap in Seattle.

Page B1


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business 8524 W. Gage Blvd., #A1-300 Kennewick, WA 99336


Future Benton REA administration center


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The upside-down economics of the pandemic are driving the Tri-Cities into something of a quandary. Record job development coupled with a severely constrained supply of homes for sale means it will continue to be difficult to buy a home. But it isn’t impossible, and the situation isn’t a crisis, according to industry leaders. "A crisis? No,” said Ron Almberg, managing broker for Keller Williams Realty of TriCities and the 2022 president of the Tri-City Association of Realtors. That does not mean everything is rosy, though. Rising prices will continue to dog first-time home buyers as fewer and fewer homes sell for $350,000 or less. Almberg said new development could ease the supply crunch. Rising wages will make it easier for buyers to meet new prices, which hit an average of $425,000 in November, the most recent available. “I really am optimistic” he said. “We have a really great homebuilders association here. There is a lot of work and effort to get homes on the market.” He’s looking to Olympia as well to boost development. Gov. Jay Inslee’s housing package includes efforts to loosen zoning laws to promote “middle housing” by allowing denser development, including auxiliary dwelling units. “I am optimistic,” he reiterated. “I don’t think the wheels are going to fall off the cart.” A crisis isn’t afoot, but the housing and job trends clearly add up to a strain on housing. Year-end housing starts weren’t available, but new home starts were running even with 2020 and 2019 in November, with a total of 1,526 homes authorized by local building agencies. Richland led with 387 permits, followed by Pasco with 346, West Richland with 232 and Kennewick with 200. (Kennewick permit data is lagging due to a conversion to a new com-

Photo by Robin Wojtanik Swimming lessons at CBRC Health & Wellness Clinic have ongoing demand but finding enough certified lifeguards and other staff has been a challenge.

Tri-Cities’ largest gyms see mixed demand in wake of pandemic By Robin Wojtanik

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

The largest fitness centers in the TriCities are seeing mixed results on membership numbers since getting the green light to reopen after initial Covid-related shutdowns. At a time of year when gyms tend to see a boom of interest from those with a “new year, new me” mentality, CBRC Health & Wellness Clinic in Richland is still trying to rebuild its membership,

while The Pacific Clinic in Kennewick said its membership has grown since reopening and rebranding. It’s unclear how the rapid spread of the omicron variant of Covid-19 will affect gyms in the coming weeks but improved safety measures remain a priority.

The Pacific Clinic Kennewick’s Tri-City Court Club reopened as The Pacific Clinic after a five-month shutdown beginning in midMarch 2020. uGYMS, Page A4

Defendants have a right to counsel, but Tri-Cities struggles to hire enough lawyers By Wendy Culverwell

Providing legal counsel to criminal defendants and other low-income people facing court proceedings has always been a challenge in the Tri-Cities. Heavy caseloads, low pay relative to private practice, the lack of a local law school and now Covid-19 has not made it easier. But with 2022 now in full swing, the Offices of Public Defense for both Benton and Franklin counties are celebrating new hires. Eric Hsu, manager of the Benton County OPD, welcomed a new intern in early January. Larry Zeigler, his Franklin County counterpart, brought a contract attorney onto staff at the same time – the first in what he hopes will be many new hires.

Recruiting takes luck Hsu and Zeigler both used the same

word to describe the circumstances that led attorneys to sign on to handle indigent defense and the various civil matters mandated by law: “Luck.” Hsu said he’s struggled to recruit public defenders for the entirety of his 16 years in the position. His office handles about 7,000 criminal cases as well as some civil ones each year and has a staff of five attorneys and about 40 attorneys working on contracts. “We’ve always struggled with recruiting people to come to the area,” he said. The Tri-Cities lacks the amenities and culture that woo the young idealists interested in representing the poor. The nearest law schools are in Seattle and Spokane – placing the community out of reach of internship programs. His new intern is a young lawyer who is uPUBLIC DEFENSE, Page A18





Port of Kennewick CEO claims retaliation for not stopping Latino medical clinic By Wendy Culverwell

Tim Arntzen, chief executive officer of the Port of Kennewick, is seeking $225,000 and to have performance reviews amended as a bitter dispute over a farmworkers clinic extends into its fourth year. Matthew Crotty, a Spokane attorney representing Arntzen, served the port with a notice of a tort claim on Jan. 4. In it, Arntzen alleges Port of Kennewick Commissioners Don Barnes and Tom Moak retaliated against him after he opposed their efforts to stop a development of a clinic dedicated to serving poor, Hispanic farmworkers. The claim was distributed to more than 15 people, including port staff, legal counsel, past and present commissioners and business associates. It was shared privately with the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business in advance of the port’s Jan. 11 executive session, held after the deadline for this edition of the paper. Lucinda Luke, the port’s contracted attorney, confirmed the port received the claim and is evaluating it. “However, even at this early stage, the

port is hopeful that an amicable resolution can be reached,” she said. The claim asserts two of the port’s three elected commissioners Tim Arntzen potentially violated federal antidiscrimination laws and the Washington Law Against Discrimination in pushing Arntzen to prevent the nonprofit Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic from buying five acres near the port’s prized Vista Field redevelopment site in central Kennewick. The port previously owned the five acres and held rights to buy it back when it sold it to Jerry Ivy in 2004. The buyback clause had to be released before Ivy could resell it to the clinic in 2019. The commission was asked to waive its rights in early 2019. According to the tort, Arntzen met with Barnes, who left the commission at the end of 2021, on Jan. 28, 2019. He informed him of the clinic’s plans to buy the property.

“Upon hearing that the (Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic) wanted to buy the Ivy Property Commissioner Barnes said words to the effect of ‘you’ve got to stop this,’ ” the tort said. Arntzen refused, telling Barnes it would be unethical and discriminatory. The tort says Barnes “erupted” at Arntzen when he described the practice as “redlining,” an illegal form of discrimination. The ongoing dispute led to a complaint, lodged anonymously by Commissioner Skip Novakovich, that accused Barnes and Moak of violating port policies in their treatment of Arntzen. The port spent more than $500,000 to investigate and settle the complaint. The investigation concluded both Moak and Barnes violated port policies. Barnes appealed and the results were overturned by Judge Paris K. Kallas, an independent judge who said the complaint was “unsubstantiated in its entirety.” Arntzen’s tort notes Kallas’ ruling concerned port policies, not if Barnes’ actions created a “legally defined retaliatory hostile work environment.” The complaint was just one aspect of the fallout from the farm workers clinic sale, which led to the opening of the $20

million Miramar Health Center in 2021. Arntzen said he received unwarranted performance reviews and was smeared with untrue statements to the executive director of the Washington Public Ports Association. False statements and conflicting instructions made it impossible to carry out his duties and set him up for the poor reviews, he said. Arntzen asserts the treatment was designed to compel him to resign. The port and Arntzen agreed in December to mediate his complaints about his performance reviews. Crotty, Arntzen’s lawyer, requested the port enter a tolling agreement that would let the two sides work on an out-of-court resolution. If approved, Arntzen will not sue the port before June 1. The tort seeks $225,000 in damages, reflecting Arntzen’s 2021 salary and benefits package, correction of his 2019 and 2021 performance reviews, expungement of retaliatory performance reviews, authority to provide paid time off to employees who endured the hostile work environment and attorney fees.

5 questions with Rep. Boehnke about legislative session By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

We asked state Rep. Matt Boehnke, R-Kennewick, about his priorities for the 2022 state legislative session, which kicked off Jan. 10, entering the third year of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Boehnke announced in December his plan to run for the state Senate after Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, said she would seek reelection. Boehnke is a three-term member of the House, former city council member and retired Army veteran of 21 years. He also owns a small business and teaches at Columbia Basin College.


What are your top three priorities for the coming session?


What part of Washington's Clean Energy goal (if any) is the most exciting to you? What role can the Tri-Cities play in meeting that goal?

Governor’s emergency powers, community safety, long-term care insurance.

I support most all of the Clean Energy goal. Our community has been and should continue to be the leader in clean and alternative energy. Our goal is to become and strive toward leading the state and the nation in clean energy of all types, including focusing on a resilient generation, transmission and storage capacity.


Are you in favor of repealing the state’s long-term care tax? Yes, I supported and helped

run several amendments in an attempt to “fix” this legislation, but the Democrats voted them down. Now we see the governor is taking Matt Boehnke the responsible action and listening to the people and asking for a delay. We want to come back into a special session to fix this, but it looks like we will have to wait until our regular session in January. I support everyone supporting I-1436, the initiative showcasing some of our recommendations to fix this policy.


How do we move our economy/health forward while respecting that so many in our district are reluctant to embrace masks or get vaccinated against Covid-19? Leadership is about integrity. When we say let’s meet a goal, we must stick by it and support it. We must start to showcase the effectiveness of our security measures. We must continue to build trust that if our numbers are going down, we must open up. We must continue to fight to respect an individual’s and or their family’s rights to make the best decision for themselves.


Will the Tri-Cities see any of the federal infrastructure dollars? What are you lobbying for?

We are currently working so that if there are opportunities for local and

regional projects to get assistance from the federal funding for infrastructure, then we can action those projects sooner than later. This funding will help a lot, especially in our multimodal transportation efforts I’m lobbying for broadening the Highway 240 corridor, supporting our collaboration with Darigold and Amazon, increasing our capacity for air travel of all types, as well as rural broadband,

water and waste water treatment. With these opportunities, we must remember to conduct a thorough review of everything to ensure that we understand the federal requirements and their impacts to and what those requirements mean for the near and long term. Search Go to to track bills, find agendas and contact your legislators.



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– CORRECTIONS – • J. Clay Sell’s name was misspelled in a story about X-energy’s plans to build an advanced reactor at Energy Northwest on page A17 in the December edition. • Richland Energy Services’ Trevor Wilkerson and Matt Suarez were misidentified in a caption on page A15 in the December edition because of incorrect information provided to the Journal. Suarez is pictured on left; Wilkerson on right. 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.

The fitness center on North Grant Street, near Edison Street and Canal Drive, bills itself as a functional health clinic, with an emphasis on health services, including regenerative treatment. “We focus on the entire process of someone’s health,” said Shaelah Harmon, general manager of The Pacific Clinic and president of its new ownership group, CareFromAnywhere. The clinic intends to offer pharmacy and primary care services in coming months. Initially seen as poor timing, The Pacific Clinic had opened its doors on March 1, 2020, on the same site as the court club, which was owned for decades by Carl and Lynda Cadwell. The two operated concurrently for a short while before The Pacific Clinic took over. Now, ownership is transitioning to a nonprofit, which will offer scholarships to cover care for those in need. CareFromAnywhere is the current managing entity of The Pacific Clinic, with a full switchover likely in the first quarter of this year. The nonprofit was founded by Stephen White, also a coach at the Kennewick fitness center. Since reopening, Harmon said the reboot has been effective. “We have done really well. Our membership has continued to increase, and we’ve continued to bring on new patients.” The Pacific Clinic offers many of the same services as the court club did, but with a different intention. “The focus has changed, not so much the services. People often use tennis for the social aspect, but we can also share the benefits of balance and working on awareness of the periphery while playing,” she said. The Pacific Clinic employs about 150 people at a minimum, with the payroll swelling to 200 during the summer season when there are more outdoor activities and youth programs. At the height of the initial shutdown in 2020, Harmon said no one was working for about two months. During the length of the closure, some employees had taken vacation time, while the Paycheck Protection Program also helped cover expenses. Shaving off a few hours from the operating schedule once offered by the court club, Pacific Clinic is open weekdays from 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. with group fitness classes, aquatics and racquet sports. It opens a little later on weekends and closes at 8 p.m. Harmon is proud of the sanitization routine to fight Covid-19 and other communicable illnesses, saying the center goes “above and beyond” what’s necessary to prevent the spread of illness. “Our employees have stepped up and really tried to follow the parameters laid out by the state, and our member support has been great,” she said.

CBRC CBRC’s general manager sums up its current status easily: “We need more help, that’s for sure.” Namely, with the aquatic staff, which includes certified lifeguards and swim instructors.

TCAJOB photo Fears about omicron didn’t keep gym goers home on a recent January day at The Pacific Clinic, 1350 N Grant St. in Kennewick. The parking lot appeared full with patrons filing in and out.

“With the restrictions as they were, we lost a lot of staff who couldn’t work and had to find something else. Then we couldn’t train anybody, and those who needed their certifications renewed, opted to go somewhere else,” said Willis, who started at CBRC as a lifeguard in 1994 and has been with the club ever since. Willis said it hasn’t been as simple as hiring someone off the street to fill the open roles. “In the same way a football team has a mix Cole Willis of ages and experience, we kind of play the same game. We have to fill in with freshmen as our seniors graduate, and we couldn’t train anybody as people left, so it’s a really big gap that we’re trying to overcome.” Usually, CBRC operates with 50 to 60 aquatic staff during the summer, and most recently ran its programs with 35 to 40 employees at its indoor and outdoor location on Terminal Drive in Richland, visible from the bypass highway. “We were really running on the ragged edge of not having enough people,” he said. Staffing is down and so is its membership base – off 30%, according to Willis. CBRC reduced its operating hours, only partially due to demand. “Based on the number of members we have now, we would have reduced the hours anyway,” he said. Open most weekdays from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m., and weekends 7 a.m. to 8. p.m., CBRC is down 10 operating hours from what it used to offer weekly. A big portion of the previous demand once came from Hanford workers who visited the gym on their way to or from work, who now may strictly telework. Willis also attributed the decrease to a mix of reasons, including those who no longer feel it’s safe to work out in-

doors, those who bought home fitness equipment, those who can no longer afford a gym contract, and those who just have a new routine that no longer includes CBRC. In his lengthy tenure at the club, Willis was used to employee totals as high as 225 in the summer, with 75 full-time employees. Those counts have fallen to 165 total, and 45 FTEs. At its lowest point during the 2020 closure, just four employees were on staff, including Willis, and three other managers covering maintenance, accounting and administration. Since reopening, a lack of demand has dropped the number of group fitness classes offered by about 40%. “The only thing really near the level that it once was is anything kid-related,” Willis said. “Swimming lessons have rebounded – but it’s a catch-22 because we need more staff, and we can’t meet the demand.” Bookings for birthday parties are also starting to come back, an option offered to both members and non-members. The club also offers tennis lessons, karate and personal training. CBRC also has stepped up efforts to thwart the spread of coronavirus, installing new HVAC units as a safety improvement. “They are actively killing the virus versus just filtering it out,” and said his staff take many precautions to keep members safe, including wearing masks and offering them at the entrance to encourage use. “At some point the conversation needs to shift from preventing Covid to reducing bad outcomes from any of these things,” Willis said. “Many are struggling with mental health or weight gain. People need to move, and we’ve got a place they can do it.” Both The Pacific Clinic and CBRC Health & Wellness Clinic are offering reduced rates in joining fees during January as a promotion for new members who sign a one-year contract.



Clover Island Inn buyer plans micro apartments By Wendy Culverwell

A developer wants to convert the Clover Island Inn to micro apartments, but it may face a significant roadblock. The 150-room inn, restaurant and conference center was built in 1977 on land leased from the Port of Kennewick. The port has ambitions for its prized island property that include transforming it into an upscale visitor destination. Portland-based Fortify Holdings is under contract to buy the inn, 435 N. Clover Island Drive, by March 31 and it is asking the port to consider selling the land. The current land lease has options through 2034. It presented its case to the port commission on Jan. 11. The port agreed to take a deeper look at the opportunity to update the aging hotel. In its presentation, Fortify said its vision for the Clover Island Inn is a match for the port’s plan and represents a thoughtful investment in bringing new residential, retail and dining opportunities to the waterfront. Fortify is led by Sean Keys, a real estate and development executive, and is based in Beaverton, a Portland suburb. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The inn last sold in 2001 when Clover Island Development Company paid $946,300 for the property. The Benton County Assessor values the building at $3.2 million for tax purposes, though sale amounts typically exceed tax valuations. The value of the land was not available. It is unclear how the Clover Island Inn has performed during the pandemic and how that might influence its future as a residential rather than hospitality property. The hospitality industry has suffered significant losses due to steep declines in travel and tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic. Visit Tri-Cities, the region’s tourism promotion agency, reported $344.7 million in visitor spending in 2020, down more than 35% from 2019. Figures for 2021 aren’t available yet. Port officials have been protective of Clover Island, where it has its own headquarters and has made significant investments in the iconic lighthouse, marina facilities, shoreline habitat improvement and more. The island is part of the larger waterfront district where the port is working to spark high-end redevelopment. In 2021, the port teamed with the Kennewick Housing Authority on a proposal to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, to develop low-income housing near Clover Island. The pitch led to widespread condemnation from neighbors. The proposal wasn’t on Murray’s final list of contenders for funding in the failed Build Back Better package and disappeared. See related story, on page B2. Fortify said it plans to spend up to $20 million on major renovations to the interior and exterior. The plan includes interior renovations, including a new restaurant and bar, new pool area, new landscaping, new exterior elements, parking lot upgrades and signs. Rooms will be refashioned with small kitchens, upgraded bathroom cabinetry, fixtures and tile and living areas.

The resulting project would have 180 to 200 permanent residents, an addition Fortify said reflects the port’s plans to increase commercial activity in the area. Permanent residents will boost demand for restaurants and other services in the neighborhood, it said. Fortify specializes in apartment housing with 65 properties and 6,500 units in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and California. It has already purchased several Tri-City lodging properties for conversion to micro apartments. It notes it is a long-term investor and has never sold a building.

Photo by Wendy Culverwell Fortify Holdings, a Portland apartment investor, has a deal to buy the Clover Island Inn in Kennewick. It wants to invest $20 million to turn it into micro apartments and is asking the Port of Kennewick to sell it the land the hotel was built on.




• 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Award Ceremony: Noon, Columbia Basin College, 2600 N. 20th Ave., T Building, Pasco. A community member will be honored who strongly believes in equality and social justice. Attendance is limited, and attendees must wear masks.

JAN. 18

• Washington Policy Center’s On The Go virtual lunchtime series: Noon-1 p.m. Details at • Franklin County Commission: 9 a.m. Details at commissioners/meeting.php. • Benton County Commission: 9 a.m. Details at agenda.aspx.

JAN. 19

• Ag Hall of Fame: 5 p.m., Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center, 2525 N. 20th, Pasco. RSVP at • Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities’ general membership meeting: 11:30 a.m., CG Public

House, 221 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite A, Kennewick. RSVP by calling 509-735-2745 or email sarah@hbatc. com.

JAN. 20

• Virtual PTAC Workshop, “PTAC/Small Business Development Center Business Roundtable”: 9-10 a.m. Register at events. Open forum discussion on government contracting and how to grow your business. Free. • Columbia Basin Badger Club annual membership meeting, headlined by travel guru Rick Steves: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Register at Cost is $5 for nonmembers.

JAN. 21

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

JAN. 25

• Community Open House, West Richland Police Department: 5-7:30 p.m., 7920 W.

Van Giesen St., West Richland. • Franklin County Commission: 9 a.m. Details at commissioners/meeting.php. • Benton County Commission: 9 a.m. Details at agenda.aspx. • Port of Kennewick Commission: 2 p.m. Details at

JAN. 26

• State of Education, “K-12 Update” at Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon: 11:30 a.m., Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center, 2525 N. 20th, Pasco. Register at In person and via zoom. Cost for nonmember in person, $40; for zoom, $10.

JAN. 27

• STCU virtual workshop, “Protect Your Credit Score”: 1-2 p.m. Register at Free. • Port of Pasco Commission: 10:30 a.m. Details at portofpasco. org/about-us/port-commission.

JAN. 28

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

FEB. 1

• STCU virtual workshop, “Prevent Fraud and Identity Theft”: 6-7 p.m. Register at stcu. org/learn. Free. • Franklin County Commission: 9 a.m. Details at commissioners/meeting.php. • Benton County Commission: 9 a.m. Details at agenda.aspx.

FEB. 4

• Historic Downtown Kennewick network zoom breakfast: 8-9 a.m. Details at networkbreakfasts. • Coffee with Karl: 9-10 a.m., webinar with president and CEO of TRIDEC Karl Dye and guest.





What will lawmakers do with $8.6 OUR VIEW Omicron cloud won’t dim our billion surplus? We’ll be watching After two years of Covid-19, many As of the Washington families and small businessmost recent outlook on 2022 development es could use a break. Fortunately, the revenue forecast By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

This new year begins under the maddening cloud of Covid-19, omicron edition, but color us optimistic at the TriCities Area Journal of Business. Several high-profile projects to boost community pride, property values and economic development are on the horizon. In Richland, the Washington Army National Guard building, a $15 million, 40,000-square-foot readiness center at Horn Rapids Industrial Park to serve a 150-member Stryker Infantry Unit, is expected to be ready this spring or summer, with classrooms and conference rooms available at 2655 First St. We can’t wait to visit LIGO Hanford. The new $7.7 million visitor center features interactive exhibits and a replica of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to the LIGO scientists who detected gravity waves through the network of observatories. Terence L. Thornhill Architect designed the center to echo the gravitational waves it celebrates. LIGO, for Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, is operated by Caltech and MIT. Columbia Basin College’s Student Recreation Center opens this year, four years after the student body agreed to underwrite the $30 million cost. The 80,000-square-foot rec center has three gymnasiums and other features. The Little Badger Mountain Preserve Trail, which extends Friends of Badger

Mountain’s network of hiking trails, is another cause for celebration. The nonprofit has raised most of the money it needs to secure land for the trail. We’re proponents of protecting this important Tri-City asset. In Pasco, development of the vast Broadmoor district commences with several residential projects on the west side. To the east, the Lewis Street Overpass is under construction, and the Port of Pasco’s Osprey Pointe property is being readied for a public market and future development. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of updates to Columbia Park Trail at the Richland Wye, where the road, as well as trails, sidewalks and visitor amenities, near Bateman Island have gotten a facelift. Hoof it up the hill outside the nearby Reach Museum and you’ll find a perfect midday walk with a lovely view. We look forward to seeing projects take shape throughout the community, from the Resort at Hansen Park in Kennewick to development at Kennewick’s Vista Field, a new facility for Tri-Cities Animal Control in Pasco and fresh momentum for a Pasco aquatics center. As we head into the third year of the pandemic, it does feel a little bit like Groundhog Day. But instead of focusing on the shadow, we’re seeing plenty of reasons for optimism.

Washington’s long-term care law is flawed and needs to go The first order of business for the 2022 session of the Washington Legislature should be to replace the state’s new longterm care law. It is fatally flawed. Gov. Jay Inslee and Democrats who control the state Legislature wisely postponed implementing the sweeping “Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Program,” but it is beyond repair. It is time to find a better alternative. The new law, also known as the Washington Cares Act, is a mandatory, public, state-run long-term care insurance program. Beginning Jan. 1, Washington employers were supposed to withhold a new payroll tax ($58 per $10,000 of wages) to fund it. Even then, some paying the tax would not receive benefits. Employees had until Nov. 1, 2021, to find alternative insurance or they were automatically enrolled in the state

program with no future opportunity to opt out. Taxes were to be sent to the state’s Employment Security Department (ESD). The WA Cares Don C. Brunell Fund would Business analyst provide up to GUEST COLUMN $36,500, or $100 a day, for services and support to those who qualify for long-term care, including in-home care, assisted living facility stays, memory care, transportation, adaptive equipment and respite for family caregivers. Qualifying for benefits is complicated and some paying the tax won’t receive a

uBRUNELL, Page A10

Washington Legislature has the means to help. State lawmakers have more than $8.6 billion in unrestricted cash reserves. These funds – a historic surplus by any measure – can boost our economy and improve our quality of life if invested wisely. As legislators go into another legislative session amid an ongoing pandemic, we hope they will make smart choices with this surplus, bring an end to the years of tax increases and champion the economy, which is still approximately 110,000 jobs short of where it was before the pandemic. They have an opportunity to provide tax relief for employers that create jobs and invest in our communities. Even though state government and some parts of the economy are not facing a crisis, the good times are by no means universal. Some employers and families hardest hit by the pandemic downturn have yet to fully recover, and everyone is experiencing rising costs due to inflation and tax increases in recent years. Nearly two years into the worst global pandemic in a century, it’s amazing to think that one of the top challenges facing lawmakers in the 2022 legislative session is figuring out what to do with all the money flowing into the state treasury.

in November, lawmakers had more than $7.3 billion extra to work with through 2025 Kris Johnson than they were Association of expecting when Washington they adjourned Business the 2021 session GUEST COLUMN last spring. That revenue combined with a nearly $650 million drop in the caseload forecast equals $8.6 billion in unrestricted reserves. The temptation will be to spend it all on new programs. We’ve already heard lawmakers acknowledge that while the state has a lot of money, it also has a lot of need. That’s true, but it would be a mistake to spend all the surplus on new programs. New programs may sound great now, but they will present a problem during the next downturn when lawmakers will be forced to choose between cutting the programs or raising taxes to keep them going. Voters are paying attention. Since February, public sentiment regarding state taxes and spending has shifted dramatically, a recent poll from Opportunity Washington shows. Just a


How BFCOG impacts communities of Benton and Franklin counties I moved to Tri-Cities in February 2021 when I was hired as the new executive director for the Benton-Franklin Council of Governments (BFCOG). Everyone I have met is so welcoming. Their first question is always to ask where I work. When I tell them, their next statement is nearly always, “Oh, that sounds important. I’ve never heard of that. What do you do?” I wish it was an easier question to answer! I am going to give it a shot. Benton-Franklin Council of Governments convenes local governments to collaboratively plan, fund and administer solutions to shared community needs. BFCOG facilitates the flow of state and federal funds into the region for transportation and economic development through planning activities and administration of related programs.

SHARE-SQUARE Submit a letter to the editor at

BFCOG is made up of 18 member jurisdictions including Benton and Franklin counties, the metropolitan area cities of Michelle Holt Richland, West Benton-Franklin Richland, KenCouncil of newick and Governments Pasco, the rural GUEST COLUMN communities within the counties, including Benton City, Prosser and Connell, and special districts like Benton Franklin Transit and Benton PUD. Benton-Franklin Council of Governments was established in 1966 by voluHOLT, Page A12



uBUSINESS BRIEFS Lamb Weston increases quarterly dividend

The board of directors of Lamb Weston Holdings Inc. declared a quarterly dividend of 24.5 cents per share, a 4-cent increase, at its Dec. 17 meeting. The dividend is payable March 4, 2022, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 4. The board also committed an additional $250 million for the repurchase of its common shares. Lamb Weston, based in the Boise area, is a global french fry producer with substantial business, growing, production and development operations in the Mid-Columbia.

Credit union deposits soar in pandemic

Washington credit unions reported deposit growth of nearly 15% in the third quarter, according to statics released in December by the National Credit Union Association, which insures credit unions. Washington ranked ninth in the nation for deposit growth. Idaho led the nation with 20.2% growth, followed by Nevada at 17.7% and Oregon at 16.7% Median assets also were on the upswing. Washington assets were up 14% or ninth in the nation. Idaho was first, followed by Nevada and No. 3 South Dakota. Oregon was No. 4. Idaho led the nation in a third cat-

egory, membership growth. It saw a 4% increase in membership, the NCUA said. Nationally, median asset growth over the year ending in the third quarter of 2021 was 10.4%, down from 12.0% one year ago. NCUA reported that 84% of federally insured credit unions had positive net income in the first three quarters of 2021, compared with 82% in the first three quarters of 2020.

Kennewick Man & Woman of Year nominations due

An awards ceremony is planned to honor the accomplishments of this year’s Kennewick Man & Woman of Year after taking a hiatus in 2020 be-

cause of the pandemic. The program dates back to 1946, with Woman of the Year awards beginning in 1948. The program is presented by Soroptimist International of Pasco-Kennewick and the Kennewick Past Men of the Year Club. A panel of judges will consider nominees’ public service as its first priority, though professional merit and activities also are considered. Judges are not previous award recipients. Nominees must live or work in the city of Kennewick, but there’s no requirement that their public service takes place only in the city of Kennewick, just that the community service benefits the citizens of Kennewick. Nomination forms are due Jan. 20. Nominations must be limited to 1,000 words. Excessively long submissions may be returned for editing. Winners will be announced Feb. 28 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick. Go to for nomination forms and to reserve a spot at the awards banquet. JOHNSON, From page A7 third of voters said then that Washington should cut taxes and spending. That share increased to 51% in November. With pandemic economic uncertainty still strong, voters – including political independents and King County residents – are asking lawmakers to reduce taxes and spending, to let them keep more of their own money. So, rather than find new ways to spend all the state’s surplus, lawmakers would be wise to make one-time expenditures to boost the economy, rebuild reserves to ensure Washington is prepared for the next economic downturn and look for ways to help employers and families that are still struggling to recover from the pandemic downturn. It’s time to reduce the burden on employers and invest in job creation. In the last three legislative sessions, lawmakers raised 22 taxes that will generate $40 billion in revenue over 10 years, even though none of it was needed to balance the budget. If nothing else, the extraordinary revenue should bring an end to the Legislature’s three-year run of raising taxes. Last year, employers needed lawmakers to focus on economic recovery and – at the very least – do no harm. Instead, they adopted a capital gains tax, a carbon tax and new fuel standards that will make it more expensive to live and do business in Washington without doing much to help the environment. This year, they have another chance to become champions for the economy. Let’s hope they take it. Kris Johnson is president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s chamber of commerce and manufacturers association.





uBUSINESS BRIEFS WA Notify adding home Covid-19 test results WA Notify, the smartphone app that uses anonymous data to share Covid-19 exposure results, is expanding to include at-home test results. The new feature enables people who test positive using an at-home kit to anonymously notify people they’ve been near about the potential exposure. Previously, only those who received a positive result automatically received verification codes to post to WA Notify. The app now includes instructions to share Covid results. The app

uses anonymized location data to share results with other WA Notify users who were in close proximity within the past 14 days. Nearly half of smartphone users in Washington use WA Notify, which can be enabled in iPhone settings or downloaded from Google Play Store for Android phones. Go to COVID19/WANotify.

New law helps people with convictions get jobs

The Washington Department of Licensing is offering a prescreening service to help individuals with criminal convictions pursue professional

licenses. The preliminary application is free and will help determine if the conviction is related to the license. The service is optional and gives applicants information about the likelihood of success in applying for a license before they spend time, money or take classes or attempt to secure a license. The new service complies with House Bill 1399, legislation intended to remove barriers that stop people with prior criminal convictions from entering the workforce. It allows people to get licenses in professions, businesses and trades that aren’t related to their convictions. To submit a Criminal Prescreening request, go to

BRUNELL, From page A7 dime. For example, if they plan to retire in the next four years, they would be taxed, but wouldn’t qualify for benefit payments which start in 2025. Another problem is funding. “The State Actuary of Washington concluded that the program will not raise enough money to pay the promised benefit, making further tax increases and larger cuts into employee wages inevitable,” wrote Edmund Schweitzer, founder of SEL, Pullman. The program is underfunded by $15 billion. The need to address long-term care is growing. According to estimates, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) figures 69% of the U.S. population will require long- term care services for an average of three years. Washington Care covers one year. The U.S. long-term care market was roughly $430 billion in 2019 and is expected to increase by nearly 7% a year through 2027, Grand View Research determined. Demand for long-term care has increased with the growing recognition of unmet elderly needs which were fulfilled by hospitals. The American Association for LongTerm Care Insurance estimates about 7 million U.S. citizens have long-term care insurance; however, it is expensive. The average long-term care insurance policy costs $2,466 per year for a couple at age 55 although the association notes there is significant variability in pricing. If that same couple purchases a policy at age 60, their prices rise almost $1,000 to an annual average of $3,381. Long-term care needs to be portable. Most importantly, people paying the premiums need that money placed into an account which provides long-term care benefits regardless of the state or country of residency. Washington Cares requires Washington residency. “Many of our Washington-based employee-owners are Idaho residents. They would pay the tax, but not ever benefit from it. Unlike participants in a true, private insurance program, these employees will have their monthly premiums collected, then distributed by the state to others,” Schweitzer added. “This law has created a dynamic where people are buying insurance not for planning purposes, as they’re intended to be used, but for tax avoidance purposes,” Spokane-based insurer David Wolf told the Spokane’s Journal of Business. The replacement for the defective statute must have greater options which better fit people’s needs. That provision should take precedent. Lawmakers need to encourage private carriers to write long-term care coverage which is flexible and affordable. Our state elected officials must toss out the current state law and implement a workable replacement before adjourning. Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at



Meet the 2022 Mid-Columbia Ag Hall of Fame winners By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

This year’s inductees to the Mid-Columbia Agriculture Hall of Fame will be honored at a Jan. 19 dinner and ceremony at the Red Lion Hotel & Conference Center in Pasco. In its 22nd year, the Hall of Fame honors Mid-Columbia farmers, families and agribusiness leaders in Franklin County and its neighboring counties. The new inductees are recognized by their peers for not only their dedication, generosity and selflessness, but also their demonstrated achievements, noteworthy expertise and creative innovations that often provide a legacy of impactful results and lasting benefit to the local agricultural industry and community.

Visionary Award John Williams and Jim Holmes planted the vineyard on what would become the Red Mountain American Viticulture Area, or AVA, in 1975. Today, the 4,000-acre wine-growing region is championed as one of the best places in the world to grow red wine grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. They also were instrumental in the formation and early organization of the first AVA, Yakima Valley. One of the first wineries in Washington State, Kiona Vineyards and Winery

John Williams and Jim Holmes

is still in operation today. Holmes sold the Williams family his share in 1994. Williams and Holmes also were the second inaugural inductees into the Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame.

Ag Advisor Award Jean Smith served as the BentonFranklin Area Extension livestock educator from 1980 to 2009. She was active in the local, state and national organization, both as an extension educator and as a volunteer. After her retirement,

Jean Smith

she continued her volunteerism. Smith was recognized as a valuable resource and often was interviewed or asked for reference materials on livestock-related issues.

Pioneer Award When Zenaido “Sam” Martinez finished third grade, his family left their tiny family farm called “El Rancho La Buena Fe” in Los Angeles, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and began migrating throughout the United States working on farms. In 1959, he married Angélica and began a family. Sam found work with Ray and Lucile Bailey in Mesa, where the couple’s family grew rapidly. Ray would give Sam a 25-cent raise when each new child was born. By 1965, Sam and Angelica had saved enough money to buy his first potato truck, a gas powered 10-wheeler. He continued to work for the Baileys, driving a potato digger. His wife Angélica, drove their first potato truck, hauling potatoes to the sheds. Time progressed

1304 E. Hillsboro St., Pasco, WA (509) 545-8420 •

and little by little, they were able to eventually buy 12 trucks. Later, they bought 250 acres at Colonial and Sheffield roads near Basin City. The transition from laborer to landowner, business owner Sam and Angélica Martinez and a respected community member takes vision, determination and hard work and the Martinez family demonstrated all of these. They valued farm life, the ag community and taught their children to work hard, dream big Butch and Judy Wiswall and be a light in the comers/employees of agribusiness firms are munity. The Martinezes recognized the Co- all eligible for nomination as either inlumbia Basin farming community as the dividuals and/or families. To see past inductees, go to pascoland of opportunity. They worked tirelessly to make it a better place today and html. for all who those who follow them.

Stewardship Award Butch and Judy Wiswall’s passion for agriculture and the community is no secret to those in Franklin County. They possess a passion about giving the next generation an opportunity in agriculture. The Wiswalls have been active in many organizations, committing their time and effort to groups such as 4-H, Benton Franklin Fair Stock Market, Star School District, Cattleman’s Association and Wheat Growers Association, just to name a few. Farmers, growers, ranchers and own-

How to buy tickets The Ag Hall of Fame reception begins at 5 p.m. Jan. 19 with the dinner and program starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel & Conference Center, 2525 N. 20th Ave. in Pasco. Tickets cost $75 apiece, or $525 for a table for eight. Reservations must be made by 10 p.m. Jan. 16. The event is sponsored by the Pasco Chamber of Commerce and the Port of Pasco. Go to



HOLT, From page A7 untary association of local governments. Those governments had the vision to provide a forum for improved communication, multi-jurisdictional decision making, regional planning, and the ability to serve as a lead agency for programs that benefit multiple jurisdictions. The types of services provided to the member governments are outlined by Interlocal Agreement and can evolve as needs change. BFCOG currently fulfills the following roles and designations on behalf of the Benton-Franklin region that shape the services we provide: • Regional Planning Commission (RCW 36.70.60) • Conference of Governments (RCW 36.64.80) • Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RCW 47.80.20) (WSDOT) • Metropolitan Planning Organization/Transportation Management Area (Federal Highway-Administration, Federal Transit Administration) • Economic Development District (US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration) What does that really mean? BFCOG gathers data (like traffic counts and land uses), provides planning support (such as GIS mapping and traffic scenario modeling), develops transportation plans like the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), which is a 25-year forecast of regional transportation needs. BFCOG also administers the

Surface Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP) providing roughly $5 million in funding annually for local transportation projects in the region, a few of which being the Columbia Park Trail improvement project, Lewis Street overpass and the Duportail Bridge. These funds are distributed through a competitive process. As the Economic Development District, with funding provided by the EDA, BFCOG produces a five-year economic development plan called the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The CEDS is used by state and federal funding programs as justification for investment in economic development projects that provide necessary infrastructure for industry and job creation. We administer several revolving loan programs designed to provide funding for startup and expansion of small local businesses that are ineligible for funding from traditional lenders. This fund has helped to start such notable Tri-Cities businesses as Gordon Estate Winery, Fiesta Mexican Restaurant and Ice Harbor Brewery). Currently nearly $1 million is available for lending. BFCOG also provides education and connection to funding resources for local jurisdictions through activities like our Small Cities Program and coordinated quarterly meetings with Federal Delegation staffers and collaborate with jurisdictions on grant applications and program administration. Since 2017, federal and state Transportation (FHWA/FTA/WSDOT) and

Friday, February 18, 6 p.m. Saturday, February 19, 6 p.m. Sunday, February 20, 4 p.m. This year Heart for the Arts will be a three day event. Each date will have its own silent and live auction items, but each night promises to be full of fun, laughter and entertainment! All proceeds from Heart for the Arts will fund the mission of the Academy of Children’s Theatre which is to provide theatre arts education to students grades preschool through high school in the greater Mid-Columbia.

Purchase tickets online at 213 Wellsian Way, Richland | (509) 943-6027 |

Economic Development Administration (EDA) programs have provided direct project funding to local jurisdictions in the region of $42 million. 2021 brought many internal changes to BFCOG. In addition to a new executive director, multiple new and promoted staff members are bringing revitalization to this 55-year-old organization: Davin Diaz, community & economic development manager, and John Kennedy, economic resiliency coordinator, joined the team late in 2020. Erin Braich was promoted to transportation manager, and Magdelyn Monroy was promoted to office manager. Working with the rest of our team, we are all committed to providing accessibility and service to our member jurisdictions and regional partners.

2021 BFCOG Highlights

• Distribution of $5.4 million for local transportation projects. • Produced the 2022 Transportation Priorities for the region. • Regional Traffic Count Program, updated traffic data from other 600 locations across the region. • Updated the Regional Bicycle Map, printed in both English and Spanish, distributed over 1500 copies. • Received an additional $1.5 million in Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) funding for regional transportation projects. • Received a three-year, $600,000 EPA Brownfields Coalition Assess-

ment Grant, providing assessment and remediation planning for properties with potential environmental barriers to redevelopment. • Received $1.4 million in CARES Act funds for revolving loans and program administration. • Received a $400,000 EDA grant to provide Covid recovery and economic resiliency planning. • Produced and published the 202126 CEDS. Looking forward to 2022, BFCOG is watching closely the federal Build Back Better Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) which are filled with funding opportunities and program changes potentially benefitting important regional priorities. BFCOG will complete the next MTP – RegionalVision 2045, as well as an Economic Resiliency Plan for the region. Brownfield assessment and planning activities also will begin. Tackling a new job in a new community during a worldwide pandemic has been a challenge, but one I am truly enjoying. BFCOG will continue to refine who we are as an organization and how we work collaboratively with our jurisdictional members and our federal, state and regional partners. Here’s to a new year filled with resiliency, opportunity and economic vitality. Michelle Holt is executive director of the Benton-Franklin Council of Governments.



Longtime Kennewick lighting company sold but keeps its name By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Johnson Lighting Services, a commercial lighting maintenance company in Kennewick whose trucks have been a familiar sight around the Tri-Cities and Yakima region since 1972, has new owners. Preferred Industrial Electric LLC bought Johnson Lighting Services from longtime owner Bob Spaulding of Kennewick. The deal closed Nov. 21, 2021. Terms

uBUSINESS BRIEFS Kennewick Albertsons to become a Safeway

Planning is underway to turn the Albertsons store at 5204 Clearwater Ave. in Kennewick into a Safeway store. A commercial alteration permit recently filed with the city of Kennewick indicate the “banner flip” won’t add any square footage but about 184 linear feet of nonload bearing partitions. A new Starbucks coffee kiosk is planned. The existing pharmacy will be relocated and a new drive-thru window added. Restrooms will be refreshed and the parking lot restriped. Façade improvements include some structural modifications. All told, the work will total $1.25 million. The permit for the work has not yet been issued. Albertsons, parent of Safeway, could not be reached for comment.

were not disclosed. Johnson Lighting, established in 1972 by David Johnson of Pasco, will maintain its name and other details. Spaulding and his late wife, Judy, bought it as an adjunct to their Kennewick lighting business in 1994 and operated it until selling it in 2003. Spaulding re-acquired the business after her 2010 death. Preferred Industrial Electric is led by principals Raquel Lechuga and Ferman

Fernandez. The new owners are veterans of the electrical contracting industry. Fernandez graduated Perry Tech in 2009 and has been in the electrical business for 11 years. He has owned a full service electrical contracting business, Commercial Electric, and has been in business since 2012. Johnson Lighting Services is a commercial electrical contracting and service maintenance company specializing in maintain-

ing inside and outside lighting systems for retail, commercial and industrial, medical, professional office, and multifamily buildings including lighting controls and LED energy upgrades. The company has more than 200 active service accounts. The company’s phone number, 509-551 9898, and email address jlightingservices@ will remain the same.

State health exchange sees 7% signup increase

The VGo allows students to participate in classes without being physically present, and they can chat with the class, participate in lessons and visit with their classmates as they appear on screen controlling the

robot’s movements. Each robot costs about $5,000. Wishing Star currently has five and will continue to raise money to buy more. Go to:

Washington Health Benefit Exchange reported over 230,000 customers have signed up for health coverage for 2022 as of Dec. 24, an increase of 7% over the previous year. The total includes nearly 30,000 new customers. Washingtonians looking for 2022 coverage must sign up by Jan. 15. Go to, the online marketplace operated by the Exchange.


Wishing Star robots help keep kids connected

The Wishing Star Foundation, which grants wishes for children ages 3-21 who are terminal or battling a life-threatening illness, has launched a new program to provide homebound and hospital-bound children a chance at education. The Rolling Stars program features a remote-control robot called VGo that goes to school in real time with a webcam.

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HOUSING DEMAND, From page A1 puter system, so the year end tally could jump significantly.) Contrast that with a robust year for economic development. In 2021, new and existing employers announced plans to add thousands of new jobs at warehouses and food processing plants, chiefly in Pasco. Amazon Inc. intends to employ 1,500 at its two new warehouses, now under construction near Sacajawea State Park. Darigold Inc. is expected to induce an equal number of new jobs when it opens its state-of-the-art milk and butter plant north of Pasco. Reser’s Fine Foods is expected to add several hundred local employees when its new plant opens east of the Tri-Cities Airport.

The Tri-Cities already had a robust workforce before Amazon, Reser’s and the others selected it for new development. There were nearly 142,000 jobs in the market in October, according to the most recent employment figures from the Washington Employment Security Department. That’s about 500 more than October 2019, before pandemic-related layoffs upended the economy. The for-rent market, chiefly apartments, was operating with low vacancy rates, and the for-sale market was already operating on slim inventories, with about 400 homes for sale at any given point. That’s well below the optimal 1,200 to 1,500 a market of 300,000-plus people normally sees. Businesses are watching, said Karl

Dye, president of Tri-Cities Development Council, or TRIDEC. “The factor of attracting those people here or keeping people here, it all relates to, how much does it cost to live here? And housing is a huge part of that,” he said. Home prices rose about 30% between November 2019 and the same month in 2021, when the average home sold for $425,000, according to the Realtors association. Supply chain challenges are having an impact too. In early January, the National Association of Home Builders said a spike in lumber prices has added another $18,600 to the cost of a new home. As of Dec. 29, it said framing lumber was up 167% from August. To afford a $425,000 home, a buyer

would need $85,000, or 20% for the down payment and an annual income of about $63,000, to afford a standard mortgage covering the rest. The median household income in the Tri-Cities is about $71,000. For some new developments, $425,000 is not that much more than the starting price. A new three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with 1,550 square feet in The Heights at Red Mountain Ranch in West Richland had an asking price of more than $394,000 in early January. That speaks to a related symptom of a challenging market: For nearly two years, new homes have accounted for 60% of home sales, according to Almberg. That’s two to three times higher than normal, when resales dominated the market. Dye said the region’s vaunted affordability has long been a selling point. It is a growing topic of conversation and one of the top two issues for businesses looking to expand or locate in the Tri-Cities. “Affordability is really a challenge,” he said. It started discussing the subject last year and is eager to cast the issue in terms of workforce housing. The good news is the Tri-Cities isn’t alone. “This issue is one that other parts of our state have faced for a lot longer than we have,” he said. Dave Retter, president of Retter and Co. Sotheby’s International Realty, one of the region’s largest residential real estate firms, agrees with Almberg that the market isn’t in crisis. But it does need more affordable options for first-time buyers. In December 2020, 73 homes priced at $250,000 and below sold. In 2021, that was down to 39. In 2020, 16.5% of homes sold for $250,000 or lower. That dropped to 10.3% in 2021. “We’re seeing prices going up,” he said, noting that more upmarket homes – $750,000 and above – are closing. “What that tells me is our economy here is very, very strong with dual income families where they are able to afford the house that they want,” he said. “We have to figure out how to get entry-level homes going in the Tri-Cities.”

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State accelerator program opens exciting possibilities for economic future Washington state is dedicated to building an economic future that is as inclusive, diverse and resilient as the people who live here. We are looking beyond our borders for economic models that will strengthen our legacy industries, help communities create new sectors, fuel innovation and entrepreneurship, and ensure meaningful job opportunities for generations to come. One of the most promising models is the innovation cluster accelerator. This industry-led strategy has evolved over the last 20 years, spurring more than 7,000 innovation clusters in places such as Norway, Denmark, Costa Rica and Canada. This model is a shift from most traditional economic development efforts. It brings key players together – business, entrepreneurs, academia, investors and government – to solve industry challenges that may be limiting growth and innovation. Over time, these member-based organizations become self-sustaining, supported by a combination of public and private funding. They evolve into magnets that attract capital, talent, companies and market opportunities for the entire industry. They also help leaders align efforts in workforce development and STEM education. We piloted this approach in 2017 with an initiative called Washington Maritime Blue. In its first four years, Maritime Blue is already driving investments in de-carbonization and other maritime initiatives, jumpstarting new companies and develop-

ing a maritime workforce that is more diverse and inclusive. To date, 21 startups have participated in their accelerator, raising more than Lisa Brown $80 million in Washington state funding and creDepartment ating more than of Commerce 300 good paying GUEST COLUMN jobs. Their Youth Maritime Collaborative focuses on introducing youth from communities of color to maritime career paths. We’ve seen innovation clusters succeed abroad, and now we’re seeing them succeed here at home. We’re ready to embrace this strategy and ensure the benefits of our economic growth are experienced in all regions and by people who have historically been left out. Our newly-launched Innovation Cluster Accelerator is among the first in the nation. These clusters don’t just create new businesses, they can spur solutions to social problems and climate challenges. Our first accelerator cohort includes five innovation clusters around the state. We will add four more in 2022. • Port of Benton’s Washington VERTical Cluster – accelerating the transition to clean, renewable and non-emitting energy production sources by 2024 through advanced nuclear power technologies.

• 5G Open Innovation Lab’s Enterprise Digital Growth Ecosystem (EDGE) – using edge computing and 5G to digitally transform and Christian Rangen modernize Norwegian industries such cluster expert as agriculture, GUEST COLUMN manufacturing, health care, energy and utilities, and transportation and logistics. • Consortium for Hydrogen and Renewable Generated E-Fuels, led by Washington State University’s JCDREAM – exploring the use of hydrogen to decarbonize heavy-duty transport, aviation and shipping and reduce reliance on non-renewable fuel sources. • Clean Tech Alliance’s Built Environment Cluster – advancing development and adoption of clean technologies in residential buildings, non-residential buildings and engineering construction. • Washington Technology Industry Association’s Advanced Technology Cluster - using quantum computing and blockchain to grow advanced technologies and maintain Washington’s technology leadership. Similar to Maritime Blue, the Department of Commerce is supporting the development and growth of these clusters through seed funding, strategic guidance,

leadership development, connections with state and global cluster leaders and partners, and international marketing support. The Innovation Cluster Accelerator leverages mutually beneficial partnerships with Finland and Norway, focusing on maritime, clean tech and 5G. It builds on our state’s history of partnerships with France, the United Kingdom, Asia, India, Japan and Spain on industries such as aerospace, information and communication technology, and clean tech. Innovation cluster accelerators have the potential to bring transformative economic opportunities to communities across Washington, and we’re committed to doing it in a way that promotes equity and inclusion. We want to help smaller businesses access capital, find new markets and customers, and develop a skilled workforce. Washington’s legendary businesses have redefined how we travel, dine, shop, relax and communicate. The Innovation Cluster Accelerator builds on this legacy. Our economic future is well-served by this long-term strategy to harness the power of collaboration and reinforce Washington’s leadership in the global economy. Lisa Brown is director of the Washington State Department of Commerce. Christian Rangen is a Norwegian expert on innovation clusters.






Benton Franklin Legal Aid pivots to prevent evictions By Wendy Culverwell

Benton Franklin Legal Aid Society, the nonprofit legal services agency that connects clients with volunteer attorneys, pivoted to helping area residents facing eviction in 2021. Barb OttePotter, executive director, said that prior to the pandemic, about 80% of its work centered on family issues. The pandemic, coupled Barb Otte-Potter with the end of a ban on evictions in October, prompted it to shift gears. Even so, she said she was shocked by the need as revealed by a modest social media campaign in August. A $3,200 grant paid for a four-week ad campaign on Facebook and Instagram. Whenever anyone in the Tri-Cities typed “eviction,” a Legal Aid ad with a link popped up. It got 30,000 impressions and 350 clicks. There were 700 visitors to the application site and 432 visitors interacted by posting a comment, sharing the or tagging someone. The visitors were men and women, English and Spanish speakers. Otte-Potter said she was in a state of near panic when she opened the web analytics report. “When I first saw it and saw the over

30,000 impressions, I was just, ‘What?’ ” Potter said. Evictions began in November. she recalled. “That’s how many people It is too early to have data about results, were talking about rents and evictions.” but she’s confident its efforts are paying Benton Franklin Legal Aid marshals off. local attorneys to provide pro bono – free “We have helped quite a few people – services to those who can’t otherwise stay in their homes.” afford them. It helps with everything from Legal Aid received a grant to support family law to bankruptcy, immigration, its new housing justice program, with collections, guardfunding continuing ianships, orders of in the first half of protection and more. 2022. “Anything I can Benton-Frankfind a volunteer for lin Superior Court that’s not criminal,” Judge Jacqueline she said. Shea-Brown is the Criminal defenlocal bench’s desigdants have a connated point person stitutional right to a working on addressdefender, but there –Barb Otte-Potter, ing the expected delis no provision to uge of eviction cases executive director, Benton supply attorneys to through a mediation Franklin Legal Aid low-income people process. with more ordinary Legal Aid is part legal matters. Legal of a broad coalition Aid hadn’t previously had the bandwidth of organizations working to mediate disto work on housing, she said. putes between renters and property ownBut Washington’s pandemic eviction ers, particularly over inability to pay rent. ban ended in October and was replaced Benton County Human Resources, with a new set of rules that allow property Goodwill, Dispute Resolution Center of owners to evict renters if certain condi- Tri-Cities, the Housing Resource Centions, such as pursuing rent assistance, are ter and the Northwest Justice Project are met. The new rules give renters the right playing a role helping renters access asto an attorney if they’re facing eviction. sistance. Property owners may apply for The state’s Office of Civil Legal Aid assistance on a tenant’s behalf, though asked the Benton Franklin Legal Aid to Otte-Potter said that is rare. expand to help. Once the moratorium lifted, Legal Aid “I’m glad we did because we’ve been sent representatives to attend court heardoing a lot of really great work,” Otte- ings to help tenants who didn’t have at-

“We have helped quite a few people stay in their homes.”

Facing eviction? Here’s how to get help Tenants facing eviction can call 855-657-8387 or go to for help. torneys. Tenants facing eviction can call 855657-8387 or go to for help. Otte-Potter said she’s bracing for whatever the coming year brings, whether it is an uptick in bankruptcy cases after long periods of unemployment or other matters. She is not making any plans, beyond organizing the annual May golf tournament. The 2021 event raised about $10,000. “I’m not planning for anything because I tried that for the last two years, and it’s done nothing but stress me out,” she said. “We just don’t know what’s coming down the road.” Otte-Potter said Legal Aid had to cancel some of its primary fundraising events, but she credits the 360-member local bar association with stepping up, both in financial support and donated time. “We have a really good bar. They really support our mission. They know we’re doing good,” she said Supporters can call Legal Aid at 509221-1824, or leave a check in the office drop box, 5219 W. Clearwater Ave., #5A.

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PUBLIC DEFENSE, From page A1 marrying into a Tri-City family. “This one was a little bit of luck,” Hsu said. Zeigler was even more prosaic. Since his office formed in 2016, it has relied on contract attorneys to carry out its work. It has about 20, some working for both Franklin and Benton counties. Franklin County created its own Office of Public defense after a split with Benton County. The formerly joint operation ended when Benton County concluded it needed to attend to its own rising caseloads. Zeigler, a retired felony defense lawyer, stepped in to create the office. Initially, attorneys told him they preferred contracts over staff jobs. That’s changed, he observed. Public defense attorneys now ask about paid staff positions with salaries and benefits. He credits the county commission for being sympathetic and providing what resources it could. His first hire is Sheri Oertel, one of the attorneys who worked under contract. “She does a super job. I can’t say enough about her. I’m very lucky,” he said. In Washington, counties provide public defenders to criminal defendants who can’t afford their own lawyers, as required by the Constitution. Defenders represent parents in custody cases and other civil matters. A new law assigns lawyers to juveniles who are arrested.

Threadbare legal deserts The Washington State Office of Public Defense got a new director in early 2021

when former Thurston County public defender W. Larry Jefferson Jr. was appointed to the post. See related story on this page. The American Bar Association in a 2020 report noted that unlike urban areas, rural ones are often “legal deserts,” with insufficient numbers of attorneys to represent people in all manner of cases, both civil and criminal.

Area’s challenges Hsu and Zeigler agree it is a challenge to secure people to serve as defenders, though they describe the underlying causes differently. For Hsu, the lack of a nearby law schools is the top challenge. Students seek out internships in the cities where they live and often choose to live there as well. Washington has three law schools – the University of Washington, Seattle University and Gonzaga University. “It’s so much harder for us. We don’t have the money to pay them. The best way is to be close to the law school. That’s one strike against us,” he said. Culture is another obstacle. "For those of us who aren’t in our 20s or 30s may not realize, there is absolutely nothing to do here in terms of night life and variety of restaurants and the things people who are younger or with young families,” he said. “We don’t have an aquatics center. We don’t have a children’s museum.” The government must compete with the private sector on salaries. Like Zeigler, he said his county commission is sympathetic and helped boost salaries. His defenders are paid on the same sched-

ule as attorneys in the prosecutor's office.

Pandemic frustrations The Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenge too. Court proceedings halted for a year, leading to frustrated defendants and depriving defenders of the courtroom experience they need to work in the profession. Hsu said defendants charged with serious crimes may have to wait in jail. The consequences of acting out against judges, corrections staff and prosecutors are steep. Some do anyway. More commonly, they vent on their advocates. “They take it out on their attorneys. They file complaints against them. They yell and scream at them,”” Hsu said. Burnout is real. Benton County lost two attorneys who were eligible to handle the most difficult cases – major felonies. That put the onus on the six who remained, he said. “It’s been this downward spiral,” he said. Zeigler said ever tightening rules designed to ensure defendants have capable attorneys is a deterrent to would-be public defenders. “The Supreme Court has loaded up the rules of criminal procedure and it’s much easier to make mistakes,” he said. “I have talked to Olympia until I’m blue in the face,” Zeigler said. “When I started in this business, if a defendant wanted to plead guilty, it was two pages. Now it’s 13-going-on 14 pages. Every one of those pages, there’s a landmine in it somewhere.”


Public defense in Washington has a new champion By Wendy Culverwell

W. Larry Jefferson Jr. will pay off his law school loans in about seven years. That would not be remarkable if JefW. Larry ferson were a Jefferson Jr. young attorney, just starting out. He’s not. He’s worked as a public defender in Seattle, and, more recently, Olympia, for more than 25 years since he graduated from the former University of Puget Sound School of Law. In 2021, the justices of the state Supreme Court selected Jefferson to lead the state Office of Public Defense, where he succeeded Joanne Moore, who retired after 23 years. The state office employs about 16 and has a $90 million biennial budget to contract with attorneys to represent indigent defendants who appeal trial court convictions, parents facing loss of custody of their children and more. The state’s 39 counties plus cities provide defenders in local district and superior courts. Low pay is a significant challenge for both local offices and the state. The state Office of Financial Management noted that low pay, even relative to what other government agencies pay attorneys, is “impeding” the state’s ability to recruit and retain qualified people. The public defender’s office experienced an 18% turnover among contract attorneys in 2018, the budget office noted. Jefferson, who was drawn to helping others, called low pay a challenge in his new job. But he’s committed to a straightforward philosophy that if someone has a legal problem, they need an attorney. Heavy caseloads, low pay and a patchwork of services across the state’s 39 counties add up to a shortage of qualified defenders that persists at the local and state level, including in Benton and Franklin counties. Jefferson was previously a public defender in Thurston County and prior to that, King County, and has a lengthy list of honors to attest to his record, including receiving a Local Hero award from the state bar association. Public defense is a calling, but low pay is a challenge, he said. “I know when I was a public defender in Seattle, we’d lose people because they couldn’t pay their loans,” uJEFFERSON, Page A23




Benton Franklin Legal Aid honors pro bono stars Atwood, Corbet By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

The Benton Franklin Legal Aid Society recognized two local attorneys with its highest awards for service to the community for 2021. The nonprofit matches Tri-City residents who can’t afford attorneys to represent them with volunteer lawyers to handle noncriminal cases, ranging from evictions to bankruptcy, family law, protection orders and more.

Al Yencopal Award Thomas J. Atwood, of Atwood Law Office in Kennewick, was honored with the 2021 Al Yencopal Award. The award is named for the late judge who was a key supporter of bringing low- or nocost legal services to the community, honors a local attorney for their longtime commitment to providing free services to clients who can’t afford them. Atwood has been a member of the Washington Bar Association since 1985 and focuses on bankruptcy, disability and family law as well as criminal matters. Gene Schuster Award Cortney Corbet, an associate attor-

ney in the Richland office of Gravis Law PLLC, received the Gene Schuster Award, named for the late Legal Aid founder and typically given to volunteers who are earlier in their careers. She was admitted to the Washington Bar Association in 2017 and focuses on family law and litigation.

Other awards The Legal Aid Society honored Atwood, Corbet and others who stepped up to represent clients in non-criminal matters at its Dec. 3 event. Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller spoke at the event. Barb Otte-Potter, executive director, said it also recognized individuals and firms for their work in the past year, marked by a surge in demand for renters facing eviction as a pandemic ban expired in October. They were: • Kari Hayles-Davenport, founding attorney, Tri-Cities Family Law, Kennewick. • Patrick D. McBurney Jr., Patrick D. McBurney Jr. Attorney at Law, Kennewick. McBurney provides bankruptcy, family law and criminal law services. He belongs to the state and federal bars.


Thomas J. Atwood

Cortney Corbet

• Jeremy Bishop, Roach & Bishop LLP in Pasco. He focuses on personal injury, family law, estate planning, probate, business law and real estate law. He belongs to the state and federal bars. • Brandon P. Holt, Purcell Law, Kennewick. He focuses on family law and is a member of the state bar as well as being an Army veteran and former violent crimes detective. • Chvatal King Law, Richland. The firm, led by Patricia Joan Chvatal and Allison Michelle King, focuses on fam-

ily law. • Austin M. Carmen, Clearwater Law Group, Kennewick. He focuses on criminal defense, personal injury, family law and general civil litigation and is licensed in Washington and Wyoming. • Gravis Law, a growing firm with headquarters in Richland, was honored for its new FAIR program, for Fairness, Accountability, Inclusion and Reform. It was created to bring equity to legal services and served 125 clients in 2021. Go to

One thing the coronavirus can’t do is take away our sense of community. Many of us are spending more time than usual at home and less time at work and public places, yet our desire to stay connected remains strong. Online access to Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business content is free –no paywall. Want print? Sign up online.







Noncompete agreements may not be binding, thanks to 2019 Legislature Several years ago, I wrote about noncompete agreements for the Tri-cities Area Journal of Business. Legislation passed in 2019 has changed the rules, and it is time for employers to reconsider agreements that include noncompete clauses because the enforceability has been significantly curtailed by the new Washington law. In the olden days (prior to 2019), the enforceability of a noncompete agreement rested on an analysis of whether its provisions were reasonable and whether the agreement otherwise complied with standard contractual enforcement provisions (the so-called offer, acceptance, and consideration). As a reminder, “consideration” usually is in the form of either money paid to the employee or the fact that the initial employment itself was contingent upon the employee accepting the terms of the employment agreement, which included the noncompete clause. In 2019, after finding that “workforce mobility is important to economic growth and development,” the state Legislature limited the scope of noncompete agreements. (See RCW 49.62.005 et seq.) A noncompetition covenant is broad and “includes every written or oral covenant, agreement, or contract by which an employee or independent contractor is prohibited or restrained from engag-

uBUSINESS BRIEFS Bill would create an alert system for missing Indigenous women

Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Rep. Debra Lekanoff, D-Anacortes, plan to propose a bill in the upcoming legislative session to create an alert in Washington state to help identify and locate missing Indigenous women and people. The alert, similar to “silver alerts” for missing vulnerable adults, will broadcast information about missing Indigenous people on message signs and in highway advisory radio messages when activated, as well as through local and regional media alerts. The bill is House Bill 1725. This would be the first alert system specifically for missing and murdered Indigenous women and people in the country, Ferguson’s office said. Indigenous women and people go missing and are murdered at rates higher than any other ethnic group in the United States, the attorney general’s office said. In Washington, more than four times as many Indigenous women go missing than white women, according to research conducted by the Urban Indian Health Institute in Seattle. “The rate of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Washington is a crisis,” Ferguson said in a release. “We must do everything we can to address this problem. This effective tool will help quickly and safely locate missing Indigenous women and people.” “The unheard screams of missing and murdered people will be heard across

ing in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind.” RCW 49.62.010. Today in Washington state, noncompete covenants are not Beau Ruff enforceable unCornerstone less: the employWealth Strategies ee makes over GUEST COLUMN $100,000 a year; and the terms of the noncompete are in writing and disclosed prior to employee’s acceptance of employment or the employer provided independent compensation if entered into during the term of employment. RCW 49.62.020. Additionally, the employer must agree to compensate the employee his or her base salary if the employee is laid off for the term of the noncompete (with adjustment based on employee’s subsequent employment compensation). The statute also applies to existing contracts. It specifically included retroactive application to “all proceeding commenced on or after Jan. 1, 2020, regardless of when (a breach of the noncompete covenant) occurred.” RCW 49.62.100. So, if an ex-employee is currently sitting out the competitive employment await-

ing expiration of a noncompete, it might be time to consult with an attorney about getting back to work. Importantly, most noncompete agreements are now limited to 18 months post-employment. Specifically, under the new law, a noncompetition covenant with a duration longer than 18 months is presumptively unreasonable and unenforceable, though the employer can rebut the presumption. Only one reported court case has evaluated the reasonableness of noncompete time limits after the passage of the 2019 law. In that case the noncompete agreement was for three years and the court found that the employer failed to show that the term was reasonable even though the employer asserted that the employee was a former shareholder of the employer, which granted him access to trade secrets and strategic plans. Prime Group Inc. v. Donald Dixon (W.D. Wash. 2021). To exceed 18 months, the law requires that the employer prove “by clear and convincing evidence that a duration longer than 18 months is necessary to protect the party’s business or goodwill.” RCW 49.62.020. That proof standard of “clear and convincing” evidence is an elevated burden of proof. This means both that the burden of proof is on the employer (and not the employee) and that the employer has a

heightened level of proof. As a final note, the new law has not entirely replaced the reasonable analysis that was the hallmark of pre-2019 noncompete enforcement analysis. Instead, it created another level of scrutiny. Therefore, the noncompete agreement need not only comply with the 2019 law, but also must still meet the reasonableness tests from Perry v. Moran, 748 P.2d 224 (Wash. 1987) that courts look to in order to determine enforceability: “(1) whether restraint is necessary for the protection of the business or goodwill of the employer, (2) whether it imposes upon the employee any greater restraint than is reasonably necessary to secure the employer's business or goodwill, and (3) whether the degree of injury to the public is such loss of the service and skill of the employee as to warrant nonenforcement of the covenant.” Taken together, the enforcement of a noncompete agreement looks to require an excellent set of facts and a skilled attorney to draft the agreement.

Washington state with the implementation of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) Alert System,” said Rep. Lekanoff in a release. “Too many Indigenous mothers, sisters, wives and daughters have been torn from their families and their children raised without mothers. This crisis impacts every one of our families and communities and it takes collaboration among all governing bodies, law enforcement and media to bring awareness and stop these horrific crimes.” The state Legislature created the Washington State Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People Task Force as part of the effort to coordinate a statewide response. The attorney general’s office is facilitating the task force, providing staffing

and support for its work. Lekanoff is a member of the task force’s executive committee.

Swanberg ended his marriage to the former Stephanie Barnard in early 2021 and dated Sila Salas, then 23 and a clerk in the Benton County Office of Public Defense. Salas complained Swanberg pursued her after they broke off the relationship in the fall. Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Swanberg to the Benton-Franklin bench in 2017. He won his current four-year term in 2020. He practiced law as a private attorney for 24 years in state and federal courts. He specialized in criminal defense, family law and domestic cases with experience in civil litigation. He obtained his law degree from Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School.

Superior Court judge placed on leave

Benton-Franklin Superior Court Judge Sam Swanberg was briefly placed on leave after a former girlfriend accused him of harassment when she filed for an order for protection in December. The case was filed in Benton County but is being heard by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Harold D. Clark III because Swanberg is a sitting judge on the local bench. The court issued a modified order that means he can keep working but have no contact with the former girlfriend.

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.



LEGAL uBUSINESS BRIEF Judge Cameron Mitchell resigns Benton-Franklin seat

BentonFranklin Superior Court Judge Cameron Mitchell is resigning from the bench, effective March 11 after 18 years in office. Cameron Mitchell Gov. Jay Inslee’s office announced the resignation on Jan. 3. Mitchell, the only Black member of the Benton-Franklin bench, was first appointed in 2004 and won his current term in 2020. A Richland High School graduate, Mitchell played varsity football at Washington State University and was a member of the 1981 Holiday Bowl team. After earning a bachelor’s in history, he pursued law at Willamette Law School in Oregon. He served as an associated attorney general until being appointed a hearings examiner for the state Department of Labor and Industries. He received the 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Award from Columbia Basin College in 2012. The governor will appoint a successor from the membership of the Washington State Bar Association. The application deadline is Jan. 18.






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LEGAL JEFFERSON, From page A18 he said. Jefferson said it is an honor and privilege to represent defendants and he works to humanize defendants and the system that represents them. “Everyone has had a very horrible day in their life. They are not the sum of just that one day. It’s our job to figure out, to love that individual, and for a defense attorney, how to present that to a prosecutor, a jury, or a judge, that this is a human being, and they should be treated equitably and fairly,” he said. Criminal defendants have a constitutional right to be represented by an attorney. Benton and Franklin counties operated a joint Office of Public Defense (OPD) until splitting in 2016 over rising caseloads. Both report it is a challenge to hire and retain qualified defenders. See related story page ????. Jefferson is fond of describing Washington’s system of public defense in quiltlike terms. Coverage is robust in some areas, threadbare in others. In addition to providing attorneys for appellate cases and family cases, it em-

uBUSINESS BRIEF Claims process open in $2.2M Greyhound settlement

The claims process is underway after a civil rights case against Greyhound Lines Inc. Greyhound passengers detained, arrested or deported after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents approached them, or boarded their Greyhound bus, at the Spokane Intermodal Center are eligible for a share of $2.2 million Greyhound paid to resolve Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s lawsuit. Claims are due by March 31. Since at least 2013, Greyhound allowed CBP agents to board its buses to conduct warrantless and suspicionless immigration sweeps. Greyhound failed to warn customers of the sweeps, misrepresented its role in allowing the sweeps to occur and subjected its passengers to discrimination based on race, skin color or national origin, Ferguson’s office said. Washington filed a civil rights lawsuit against the national bus line company in Spokane County Superior Court in 2020. As a result, Greyhound was required to change its policy and must deny CBP agents permission to board its buses without warrants or reasonable suspicion in the state of Washington, among other reforms. Greyhound also was required to pay $2.2 million, which Ferguson is using to provide restitution to those affected. The amount of restitution each person receives will depend on the number of claims and the severity of harms suffered due to Greyhound’s conduct. Online claim forms are available at in English and Spanish. Claim forms can be submitted online, by email, via WhatsApp or by mail. The attorney general’s office is not part of the federal government and submitting a claim does not require you to disclose your immigration status or pay a fee.

TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | JANUARY 2022 ploys social workers to work out the root causes that can lead to the termination of parental rights. It’s a cause Jefferson cares about deeply. Jefferson said he’s “hooked on social workers” who help parents navigate the system and address the issues that threaten their families before their cases get to the termination of rights stage and children face the “trauma” of going into foster care. He cited a model in Snohomish County developed after a local law firm realized that families that could afford to pay attorneys were avoiding the first “shelter care” hearing. Those who couldn’t afford them met their court-appointed attorneys at the hearing and were more likely to see their kids go into foster care. The Family Intervention Response to

Stop Trauma (FIRST) Clinic medicallegal approach halved the number of children going into foster care, Jefferson said. He wants that replicated everywhere. “We have to ask what doctors ask, ‘What is your family history?’” he said. “We can get to justice without even using the courtroom.” As a new director, Jefferson doesn’t have a big wish list for the 2022 Legislature, which convenes this month for a shortened session focused on the 2022 supplemental budget. He is seeking money to create a statelevel team to handle criminal convictions affected by the state Supreme Court’s Blake ruling in February 2021. The court ruled that Washington’s felony drug possession law was unconstitutional, setting the stage for people who were convicted


under it to request to have their convictions reversed. The Blake Team could be a model for future statewide efforts, he said. Training is another challenge. Each county approaches the job of providing public defenders in its own fashion. He’s interested in developing programs to raise the level of defense and is working with the state’s three law schools and the state bar. “All of the burden is on the county and city to provide services. This creates justice by geography,” he said. He believes Washington is at a decision point: Should public defense be the responsibility of local jurisdictions or the state? If it is the former, how does it ensure equitable representation? If it is the latter, how does it pay for it?









ARCHITECTURE &ENGINEERING Architects put the spotlight on their best work By Wendy Culverwell

Sharp-eyed travelers with time to kill at the Tri-Cities Airport have always been bombarded with information about local sites. For 2021 and now early 2022, they’ve had a chance to review something a bit more substantial – the best examples of local architecture from Walla Walla to the Columbia River Gorge, as curated by members of AIA Central Washington. “The variety of projects showcased really speak to the impact of the work the architectural community provides,” said Brandon Wilm, of Design West Architects and president of the chapter. “We help envision, conceptualize and construct the communities that we all live in. Architecture seems to have been trivialized with the advent of many 3D software and visualization tools. However, as you can see from the exhibit, these buildings elicit emotions, memories and help create a sense of community when done right.” Jim Dillman, a retired Richland architect emeritus, led the project. It was a welcome opportunity to highlight great architecture and architects, who often go unnoticed in the lengthy construction process. The display wraps its yearlong run in January, but Dillman plans to take it on the road. The display has a compelling story to tell and once it escapes the secured confines of the airport terminal, he wants to exhibit it at regional libraries. During a visit to the airport to take photos, he took measurements, and, ever the architect, sketched out drawings for the frames in a notepad and worried about finding hinges that would support the weight. Dillman, who grew up in Whitstran near Prosser, and the jury that selected which buildings to feature, included a mix of familiar landmarks and less-known buildings. The familiar includes Franklin County’s striking courthouse and its classic dome, Richland Lutheran Church, known fondly

as the “cupcake” building for its unique conical roof (designed by Funk, Murray and Johnson of Spokane) and the Reach Museum near the Richland Wye (designed by Kennewick architect Terence L. Thornhill). There are less well-known buildings too, many selected because they echo Dillman’s belief that building design should serve the desert landscape – his own projects have spare lines and gleaming surfaces. “My attitude about where we are in the community, this is the northern end of the Great American Desert. If you didn’t have all these houses built by Midwesterners, you’d have Albuquerque or LA,” he said.

“... As you can see from the exhibit, these buildings elicit emotions, memories and help create a sense of community when done right.”

– Brandon Wilm, of Design West Architects and president of AIA Central Washington.

“That was what I wanted the community to be. To me, it’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet.” There’s the modern home he built in 1980 on the slopes of Badger Mountain. The gleaming building is visible from great distances, but it has one secret – a Chinese inscription of a horse carved into a column in honor the Horse Heaven Hills. Kennewick’s Eastgate Elementary by

Photo by Wendy Culverwell Jim Dillman, Richland architect emeritus, wants to take AIA Central Washington’s exhibit of the best of the region’s architecture to area libraries once it wraps up a yearlong exhibition at the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco.

MMEC Architecture made the list too, celebrated for its playful exterior and the way the designers balanced the sheer volume of a school that serves hundreds of people. Educational Service District 123’s Pasco building, by Design West Architects, is another educational facility that won a callout. Greate desert architecture isn’t limited to the Tri-Cities. The Maryhill Overlook near the Maryhill Museum of Art along Highway 14, designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture, uses minimal structure, spare lines and angled cutouts to draw attention to the sweeping desert view. There is a nod to celebrity architect Maya Lin, who gained national prominence for designing the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. Her handiwork is on display at Sacajawea State Park in Pasco, where her Confluence Project invites visitors to contemplate the rich cultural history

in a series of rings at the spot where the Snake River joins the Columbia. The tour is geographically bookended by two academic projects, one in Ellensburg and the other in Walla Walla. In Ellensburg, Central Washington University’s psychology building is an exemplar of its time. Built in 1972, the midcentury modern design is by Grant, Copeland & Chervenas. In Walla Walla, Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College campus is the main auditorium and used for ceremonies and similar events. It was designed by Naramore, Bain, Brady and Johnson and built in 1967, thanks to a $500,000 gift from General Electric. The mix of locations and styles is deliberate, said Dillman, who retired eight years ago at age 75. “I was trying to tie things from the past. I didn’t limit it to architects from our chapter. I just focused on good architecture.”





Q&A Number of employees you oversee: We have seven partners and a total staff size of 19. Brief background of your business: I along with three others formed MMEC in 1999 in Spokane. We opened our Kennewick office in 2012. We do a lot of public projects – many educational projects here in the Tri-Cities, as well as several other projects such as office and retail. More recently our projects include some multifamily housing to keep up with the demand. Most all our work has been in Eastern Washington. How did you land your current role? How long have you been in it? I graduated from WSU in 1984 and have been doing this ever since. Except for a couple years in Seattle, it’s all been in Eastern Washington. Why should the Tri-Cities care about architecture and design industry? I think everyone cares about the spaces that they live, work, recreate and learn in. It costs about the same to build a poorly designed structure as a well-designed facility. Often more. Good design is good business. MMEC designed several key projects in the Tri-Cities in the past year, including Kennewick High School and the Benton County Administration Building. How did you approach these important public buildings? Budget aside, what were the most important things to consider? Public projects often involve a lot of different perspectives from users, administration, taxpayers and other stakehold-




Principal MMEC Architecture and Interiors

ers. The best trait we can have is to be a good listener and bring options to the table for the owner to consider. The life-cycle cost of the facility should be the driver, not necessarily just the first cost. What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess? Humility. What is the biggest challenge facing business owners/managers today? The design industry benefits from healthy collaboration to help deliver the best design solutions. Navigating the pandemic has not helped with this collaboration. Zoom is OK, and actually has some advantages, but on balance is not as beneficial as face-to-face interaction for most situations. If you had a magic wand, what would you change about your industry/field? There is too much emphasis on getting work, and not enough on doing quality work. We earned degrees in architecture, not marketing. You’d think with a magic wand I’d have the perfect solution for how to select architects and contractors, but I don’t. Rock, paper, scissors probably isn’t the answer. Who are your role models or mentors? I had several mentors I learned from as a younger professional, architects like John Leigh, Ron Sims, Steve Hindley. My role models are my parents. They rarely explicitly told me what to do, but have set a great example of how to do things.

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time? Be yourself and listen to others. How did you decide to pursue the career that you are working in today? Around early high school (Kamiakin Class of ’79), I liked drawing building plans. It’s still very gratifying seeing things get built that were previously just drawings we were working on, though 95% of our work is now in the computer rather than traditional drawings.

Doug Mitchell

How do you keep your employees (or team members) motivated? Having a collaborative working environment where ideas are valued. What do you consider your leadership style to be? Thankfully, I’ve got six partners, so any leadership responsibilities are pretty

well distributed. I would like to say we lead by example. But we have an experienced staff who also mentor our less experienced designers. How do you balance work and family life? I like both. It’s pretty easy. Most days. Some days I want a divorce from work.


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Tri-Cities boasts more engineers than state average

Engineer workforce As of 2020, engineers made up 2.8% of the local workforce. That slice is much higher than the state average of 1.6%. The share of the local workforce taken up by ancillary engineering occupations, such as technicians, is much smaller, at 0.6%, but still higher than the share these occupations make up at the state level. The range of engineering specialties runs the gamut here. Well, almost. Notably missing in the comparison to the state’s engineering fields are the fields of aerospace, computer hardware and biomedical. The five largest engineering specialties in the greater Tri-Cities are, in order: civil, environmental, mechanical, electrical and chemical. On the other hand, the legal field adds up to a fraction of the engineers, at slightly less than 400. Lawyers number 175, paralegals 197 and judges 25. Together, that’s 0.4% of the local workforce. Statewide, the same three occupations make up 0.7% of the workforce. Architects make up the smallest slice of the three knowledge worker occupa-

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tions taken up in this column, numbering 65 in the two counties, or less than 0.1% of the workforce. The state concentration ratio for D. Patrick Jones this profession Eastern is about twice as Washington high. University Why should GUEST COLUMN we care? At a fundamental level, because occupations making up this sector garner high salaries. Take engineers. The same survey revealed a range of average annual salary of approximately $95,000 for civil engineers to $124,000 for materials engineers in the greater Tri-Cities. The average annual salary of lawyers in 2020 was estimated to be $105,000. Similarly, the average annual salary for architects here came in at $96,000. These are far higher levels than the average annual wage for 2020. As Benton-Franklin Trends data shows, the two-county average was slightly greater than $57,000 annually. While this is the top result of all of the metro areas of Eastern Washington, it is still far below the Washington average for the same year, at $73,500 a year. Without the presence of these three wellpaying professional groups, the overall Tri-City average would be much lower. Since wages and salaries compose the largest component of income, and since incomes drive our ability to consume and save, and since these activities help fund the public goods of governments and school districts, it’s obviously welcome to have higher wages. From a perspective that is harder to quantify but still important, knowledge workers bring talent outside of their jobs to the community. Their presence shows up in nonprofit organizations, school districts, service clubs and even local government. Architects, engineers and lawyers aren’t the only knowledge workers, of course. Think of the growing health

Average Annual Wage

It will come as no surprise to readers that Benton and Franklin counties boast a high number of engineers. According to data from the state Department of Employment Security (ESD), the area’s economy supported nearly 3,000 engineers in spring 2020. Those are numbers from the latest survey, published in July 2021. But it may come as a surprise that the number in the legal profession here is relatively low. The same applies to architects and total head counts in their firms. These three occupations make a significant portion of the sector categorized as “Professional, Scientific & Technical Services.” Other firms in the sector include public accounting, advertising, computer facilities management, general consulting, interior design, market research, photography, veterinary medicine, and, significantly for the Tri-Cities, scientific research. All together, these companies employ a large portion of the knowledge workers in a regional economy.

Benton & Franklin Counties - Nominal Average Wage Benton & Franklin Counties - Constant 2020 Dollars Washington State - Nominal Average Wage Washington State - Constant 2020 Dollars

Courtesy Benton-Franklin Trends

care sector. But given the outsized presence of especially engineers here, their influence is felt in many corners of the community.

Workforce forecast Where might the future of these occupations be in the greater Tri-Cities? Barring a collapse of the Hanford project and a move of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to another location, it looks bright. Expected population growth will push up the need for architectural and the legal professions. Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) currently is predicting a gain of 48,000 between now and 2030. More engineers? The labor economists at ESD annually create forecasts for the upcoming decade. What does their model hold for engineers? The latest release for Benton and Franklin counties calls for

an annual growth rate in the first half of this decade of slightly less than 1% per year, and for the second half of the decade at slightly more than 1%. Those projections are considerably higher than the rate for the overall local economy. Most regions in Washington state, and especially those in Eastern Washington, would do handstands to celebrate this occupational future. While I haven’t heard of too many local leaders celebrating this way, my hunch is that figuratively they are. 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.


TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | JANUARY 2022 The aquatics and fitness center was the joint venture between the city and the YMCA. The building welcomes visitors with a sweeping glass wall. Inside, users can access a lap pool, heated therapy pool, lazy river, water slides, beach entry play area, wellness center, indoor running track, gymnasium, yoga deck and child care. Graham Baba Architects of Seattle received the Craftsmanship Award for its Orchard Canyon project. The 6,000-square-foot, orchard-set residence sits on a 20-acre site at the edge of a canyon. The long, glass-andstone building is designed to accommodate public and private events hosted by its owners. The side entry features a cascading water feature. The master suite is cantilevered away from the main structure and is anchored by a stone fireplace.

uBUSINESS BRIEFS AIA Central Washington honors best of 2021

AIA Central Washington, representing the region’s architects, honored three projects with its 2021 Design Awards in November. EB Architecture + Design of Portland received the Honor Award for its High Prairie Residence. The residential project in Lyle, north of the Columbia Gorge, is described as a “modest getaway” offering simple comfort in a dramatic setting overlooking volcanic peaks. The project was completed in late 2019. The 1,600-square-foot house and 864-square foot garage were built by Paul Carloss Construction, with structural work designed by Grummel Engineering. KDA Architecture of Yakima won the Citation Award for its YMCA & Yakima Rotary Aquatic Center project. It partnered with ALSC Architects on the 66,000-square-foot facility.

Demand for design services continues to grow

Architecture firms reported increasing demand for design services for the tenth

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consecutive month in November, according to a recent report from The American Institute of Architects. The Architecture Billings Index, or ABI, score for November was 51, down from 54.3 the previous month. While this score is down slightly from October’s score, it still indicates positive business conditions overall (any score above 50 indicates billings growth). During November, scoring for both the new project inquiries and design contracts moderated slightly, but remained in positive territory, posting scores of 59.4 and 55.8 respectively. “The period of elevated billing scores nationally, and across the major regions and construction sectors seems to be winding down for this cycle,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker. “Ongoing external challenges like labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, spiking inflation, and prospects for rising interest rates will likely continue to slow the growth in firm billings in the coming months.” Key ABI highlights for November include: • Regional averages: Midwest (57.6); South (53.7); West (50.9); Northeast (45.5) • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (56.9); multi-family residential (51.4); commercial/industrial (50.5); institutional (50.1) The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

MITCHELL, From page A29 What do you like to do when you are not at work? Hike. Bicycle. Listen to music. Travel. What’s your best time management strategy? I keep a running list of all the tasks and items that I need to help address or resolve. For me, it helps minimize the feeling that I’m forgetting about something. And it’s satisfying to cross stuff off a list. Best tip to relieve stress? Take the dog for a walk. There must have been a lot of stress during the worst months of the pandemic – our dog was extra fit. What’s your most-used app? My wife would tell you, probably correctly, that my most-used phone app is the one from ESPN. I also get into map apps like AllTrails or Google Maps, it can be like a little virtual mini-vacation whether it’s visiting Machu Picchu or the Magic Roundabout (Google it!). Do you have a personal mantra, phrase or quote you like to use? If I have a favorite quote or phrase, it’s probably something historic and inspirational, like from “Seinfeld” or “Caddyshack.”




Valley school’s design wins national accolades By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

A new high school in the Lower Yakima Valley has earned national recognition for its innovative design. Architects West, which has offices in Coeur d’Alene and Spokane, designed Grandview High School, which was recognized for its incorporation of next-generation learning space design and planning. The school’s design received the Outstanding Project Award in Learning By Design Magazine’s Fall 2021 Architectural and Interior Design Awards of Excellence. Kennewick’s Amistad Elementary School, designed by ALSC Architects, based in Spokane, earned an honorable mention in the contest for its well-lit, vibrant design that provides a variety of spaces for learning styles and gatherings to occur. The $60 million Grandview High School construction project replaced the existing circa 1970s building on the existing high school site at 1601 W. Fifth St. It opened in August 2021. The 197,515-square-foot, two-story building was designed to accommodate 1,200 students. It also was designed with durability, life cycle cost, maintenance considerations and sustainability being of utmost importance and consistent with the district’s commitments. The 38-acre campus features ballfields and track facilities. A 447-seat auditorium serves the community. Outdoor gathering space and daylighting were strong considerations for a central courtyard area. Interior elements include extensive daylighting in community spaces, as well as in the gymnasiums. Learning environments are equipped with current technol-

Courtesy Architects West Grandview High School received the Outstanding Project Award in Learning By Design Magazine’s Fall 2021 Architectural and Interior Design Awards of Excellence. Designed by Architects West, the 197,515-square-foot school replaced a 1970s-era building with a modern facility filled with light and innovative designs.

ogy and furnished with ample storage and finishes in the school’s color palette. The Commons area features a resilient sheet flooring installation honoring “The Red Line of Equity” that recently won

the People’s Choice Award in the Starnet Commercial Floor Design Awards 2021. The design team was Kent Chadwell, project architect; Molly Teal, landscape architect; Jess Stauffenberg, MSI Engi-

neers; and Jess Gray, Conley Engineering. Winning projects were featured in the fall 2021 edition of Learning by Design and online at learningbydesignmagazine. com.

Architects West’s recent projects in the Tri-Cities and surrounding area: Recently completed: • Richland City Hall • Richland Fire Stations #73 & #75 • Northwest Farm Credit Services Pasco office • Prosser School District: New Prosser High School • Grandview School District: New Grandview High School • Grant County Fire District 8 new fire station, Mattawa • Hermiston Library remodel phase 1 On-Going and/or Upcoming: • City of Richland Wastewater Treatment Plant facilities • City of Pasco Wastewater Treatment Plant facilities • Port of Benton White Bluffs archive and storage facility • Sigma Management Guest House building conversion, Richland • Walla Walla County old jail building conversion • Walla Walla First Presbyterian Church lobby remodel

• Boardman City Hall expansion • Hermiston City Hall • Hermiston Library Remodel Phase 2 Prosser School District: • Whitstran Elementary School additions & modernizations • Keene-Riverview Elementary School additions & modernizations • Prosser Heights Elementary School additions & modernizations Walla Walla Public Schools: • Walla Walla High School campus additions & modernizations • Lincoln High School additions & modernizations • Pioneer Middle School additions & modernizations Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation: • Business incubator conceptual design • Food distribution tenant improvement • Nixyaawii Park



uBUSINESS BRIEFS PNNL engineers 3 devices that win national awards

Three innovations developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been named winners in the 2022 Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer Awards. A PNNL-developed airport security device that scans passengers’ shoes earned the Interagency Partnership Award; an injector that delivers nutrients to trees received the Excellence in Technology Transfer Award; and a home energy efficiency assessment tool received the Impact Award. The awards are among the most reputed honors in the technology transfer

field, recognizing federal laboratories and their industry partners for technology transfer achievements. PNNL has received 98 FLC awards since the program’s inception in 1984. • Shoe scanner: The MillimeterWave Shoe Scanner uses imaging to detect concealed objects in footwear. It could potentially be integrated into the floor of a body-scanning portal, which PNNL also developed. Anyone who travels can recognize the potential benefit: Passengers would not need to remove their shoes to pass through airport security, reducing a bottleneck in screenings. PNNL partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate to build the shoe scanner. The scanner builds on PNNL’s pioneering research


in optical and acoustic holography dating back to the 1960s. Scientists and engineers determined how to use millimeter waves to penetrate clothing and scan for concealed objects, resulting in commercial body scanner systems. • The Tree Micro-Injector: The device delivers nutrition, pesticides and fungicides faster and easier than similar commercially available injectors. It resembles a laboratory syringe, with an exterior housing holding a uniquely designed compressible pod. The single-use disposable pod can be prefilled with a variety of specialty formulations, such as nutrition fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or plant growth regulators. PNNL partnered with two companies to develop the Tree MicroInjector.

• Home Energy Score, or HEScore: It is a free, web-based tool for homeowners who want to monitor the energy efficiency of their homes. HEScore generates a customized rating for a home’s energy use. The scoring tool translates home facts–square footage, number of rooms and heating/cooling systems – into a numerical rating of its energy performance compared to other homes. The website, the first tool of its kind, has been under development since 2012. Starting in 2015, PNNL, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory collaborated through 2021 to improve the design. HEScore users include homeowners, buyers, renters, energy auditors and software developers. PNNL partnered with researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the entry.

Reach thousands of businesses across the Mid-Columbia Compelling businessfocused content provides the perfect avenue for marketing messages. Contact: Tiffany Lundstrom cell: 509-947-1712 Chad Utecht cell: 509-440-3929



Meals on Wheels dedicates new building, seeks help to restart deliveries By Wendy Culverwell

The new year brought good and bad for Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels and its parent, Senior Life Resources Northwest It has a new office to handle growth at its Richland campus, but a lack of volunteers forced it to delay plans to resume daily meal deliveries to its homebound clients. Kristi Thien, nutrition services director, had hoped to resume delivering hot meals four days a week to its elderly and homebound clients on Jan. 10. Daily deliveries were a casualty of the pandemic. Instead of a hot meal each weekday, clients received a week’s worth of frozen meals delivered in a single visit. She was forced to delay daily service because there aren’t enough volunteers. Those interested in driving shifts between 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on delivery days can call 509-735-1911.

New $1.6M building On a more positive note, the agency, staff and volunteers celebrated the completion of its 6,100-square-foot building with a low-key ribbon-cutting in December. The $1.6 million project provides much-needed space for Senior Life Resources, Meals on Wheels and Home Care Services. The Home Care business recorded more than 1 million service hours in 2021, a record. The new building was constructed by

uBUSINESS BRIEF IRS tax season starts Jan. 24

The Jan. 24 start date for individual tax return filers allows the IRS time to perform programming and testing that is critical to ensuring IRS systems run smoothly, officials said. Updated programming helps ensure that eligible people can claim the proper amount of the Child Tax Credit after comparing their 2021 advance credits and claim any remaining stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2021 tax return. The filing deadline to submit 2021 tax returns or an extension to file and pay tax owed is Monday, April 18, for most taxpayers. Taxpayers requesting an extension have until Oct. 17 to file. The IRS encourages people to use online resources before calling. Last filing season, as a result of Covid-era tax changes and broader pandemic challenges, the IRS phone systems received more than 145 million calls from Jan. 1 to May 17, more than four times more calls than in an average year. In addition to, the IRS has a variety of other free options available to help taxpayers, ranging from free assistance at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly locations across the country to the availability of the IRS Free File program. Last year's average tax refund was more than $2,800. More than 160 million individual tax returns for the 2021 tax year are expected to be filed, with the vast majority of those coming before the traditional April tax deadline.

Photo by Wendy Culverwell Kristi Thien, right, nutrition services director for Senior Life Resources Northwest, which operates Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels, speaks during the dedication of a new building at its Richland campus while Nancy Aldrich, left, former board member, and David Sanford, center, current board president, look on.

Pratt & Co., the company founded by the late Don Pratt. The one-time Tri-Citian of the Year was a devoted to Meals on Wheels volunteer who served as a regular volunteer driver. When it dedicated its new building, Senior Life Resources dedicated a monument to Pratt near the Meals on Wheels drive-thru.

Restoring home delivery

Meals on Wheels offers hot meals at its daily drive-thru, which restarted in 2021. It is a good start, but Thien is eager to restore home delivery. Some patrons aren’t able to travel to the Richland Wye area to collect meals in person, she said. Senior Life Resources is one of the few Meals on Wheels program to deliver hot meals, a costly logistical challenge

that involves heating packs and strict compliance with food safety regulations. Meals on Wheels provides human contact as well as food, Thien said. Its volunteers monitor the welfare of seniors who might be overlooked. In one recent instance, a longtime volunteer who was forced to stop for safety reasons recently reported rescuing a woman who had been on the ground for 30 hours, a moving experience that reminded her of the value of in-person contact. “Those home visits were important to (volunteers) and seniors,” she said. During the pandemic, it stayed connected with clients through a phone buddy program. Talking on the phone is not the same as in-person visits, but it has been valuable. A client told her phone buddy she was about to have her power cut off. Senior Life Resources connected her with help and prevented the utility from shutting off service. “If that phone buddy hadn’t intervened, it might have happened. A vulnerable senior would have been without power,” she said. In another instance, a client contacted her phone buddy instead of police when her home was broken into. In addition to donations, the biggest need is volunteers. Go to





Start year on right financial foot by considering these 5 strategies What a spectacular end to 2021 – the parties, the fireworks, Covid-19 omicron surges. Perhaps as an alternative to New Year’s Eve festivities, you were scurrying away in your home office, creating spreadsheets and gathering documents for the upcoming tax season. Or not. If you did, hopefully, you had a glass of celebratory champagne in your hand! Let me guess. You finished everything on your 2021 financial and tax “to-dos” and on time, right? So much emphasis is put on year-end planning, especially for taxes, which is a good thing since we have a clearer idea of our income and expenses. But December is busy, and sometimes things just don’t get done. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to worry about these things when I could be spending time with family and friends, especially if there is champagne involved. That’s why I suggest starting the year on the right foot and beginning your tax and financial planning in the early part of the year. Where to start? I’ve got some suggestions.

Paycheck withholding Google the phrase “1040 Income Tax Calculators” and you’ll find lots of free options to quickly help you estimate your 2021 tax liability. Then pull out your year-end paystub. Did you withhold way too much or too little? Evaluate what this year’s income will look

like and then make adjustments to your W-4 at work. There are also many “Tax Withholding Estimators,” just not the IRS one, as it is offline until late January 2022. Tip your server, not the IRS!

Angie FurubottenLaRosee Avea Financial Planning LLC

GUEST COLUMN Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Just finished your new benefits election? A hidden gem offered to many is the Employee Assistance Program. This obscure benefit flies under the radar but deserves a deeper look. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) EAP, for example, offers free and discounted legal and financial assistance to the tune of two free 60-minute financial consultations, a 25% discount if they do your tax return, and a free 30-minute legal consultation with a 25% discount on additional legal services. Who knew? Consider a Roth conversion If you think tax rates will go up over your lifetime and you’d rather pay taxes at today’s known rates, especially if you expect 2022 to be a lower-income year, a Roth conversion should be something to consider. But don’t wait until Decem-

ber to do so. Financial institutions get very busy at year-end, and it seems that paperwork is now being processed at (I’ll coin a phrase here) a poky pandemic pace, so make a point to take care of that earlier in the year. It’s especially beneficial if you can do it when there’s a “dip” in the market. Roth conversions can be done even if your income is too high to normally contribute to a Roth. Want more bang for your buck? Try a Mega Backdoor Roth. Most employer retirement plans do not make this easy but there still may be a way. It all depends on your company’s plan rules, but it generally goes like this. Let’s use the PNNL plan as an example. Employees can make a maximum salary deferral of $20,500 ($27,000 if over 50 in 2022) into their pre-tax 401(k) account. Then because the PNNL retirement plan allows non-Roth, after-tax contributions (and assuming there is room under the ACP test – talk to your plan sponsor), one can make additional contributions up to the maximum allowed, $61,000 (this number is for employee and employer contributions, excluding any catch-up contributions). So that’s $61,000 - $20,500 = $40,500 additional after-tax contribution. The second part is many plans, like PNNL’s, allow for in-service distributions after age 59 ½, so at that point, you can roll over only your after-tax subaccount to an outside IRA (without

having to separate service, aka quit). You’ll want to act quickly to minimize the earnings that accrue in the after-tax subaccount (which will have pre-tax character) and move the funds into your Roth IRA for tax-free growth and distributions. Who doesn't want that! The upside? This is a great strategy to implement starting around age 59 ½ until you retire to build up your retirement superpower: your Roth. The downside? This might be on the chopping block with the recently proposed tax law changes.

RMDs Why wait until December to make any required minimum distributions (for inherited IRAs or traditional IRAs if you are 72). There are some good reasons to wait like delaying the tax due, maximizing the return while still inside the pre-tax retirement wrapper, and, like we discovered during Covid, there can be unexpected new rules that pop up in the year. So sure, wait until fall, but not all the way to December, and, like Roth conversions, distribute during a market dip. Goals Need I say more? Goals, goals, goals. The beginning of the year is a great time to take stock of your goals. Where are you today? Where do you want to be? How much is required to reach them? When is the goal due? What’s holding




McCurley buys Yakima Subaru dealership By Michael Samson Yakima Valley Business Times

McCurley Integrity Dealerships of the Tri-Cities recently bought the Stewart Subaru dealership in Yakima. Now known as McCurley Subaru of Yakima, the business at 506 Fruitvale Blvd. is the company’s sixth dealership in the state. “One of the reasons why we wanted to come over here is our ties with the area,” said John Kristmann, the business’ sales manager. “We have such strong ties with the local charities and the community here and really want to get more involved.” McCurley Integrity Dealerships was founded in the Tri-Cities in 1981. In addition to its new Yakima Subaru dealership, the company operates a Honda dealership in Richland and Chevrolet, Mazda, Isuzu and Subaru dealerships in Pasco. The Yakima lot offers a selection of both new and used Subarus, as well as dozens of used vehicles of various makes and models. The business employs around 50 people. “The previous owners were a wonderful couple in their 70s, and, like them, McCurley’s is a family,” Kristmann said.

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“It sure helped a lot of the employees that it was another family who came in and not a big corporation who does things their way or the highway. We’re a family-run business and very proactive in the community.” The company also offers a complete service and detailing department. “Since we opened, we’ve had a lot of customers coming in for both service and sales,” Kristmann said. “Both departments are just really excelling. “In around two years, we’re going to have a brand new dealership, probably at a different location. If you think about it, a new dealership’s going to mean bigger spaces, more cars, both new and used, and it’s going to keep growing and be wonderful for the Yakima Valley.” The first Subaru dealership in Yakima was opened at the current location in the mid-1970s by Les Morin and was operated by the Morin family for many years. As an early publicity stunt, Morin had his daughter live on the lot for a period of time in a small camper that was mounted on a pole, dozens of feet above the ground. During the promotion, she was known as “Suzy Subaru.”





State schools superintendent gives state of K-12 education By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

State schools Superintendent Chris Reykdal recently provided an update on Washington’s K-12 public education system, as well as his vision for transforming the last two years of high school. The Jan. 7 address was the first of what will be an annual update on Washington’s K-12 schools from the superintendent. In his address, Chris Reykdal Reykdal provided updates on graduation data for the Class of 2021, data from the fall 2021 state assessments, information about rising Covid-19 cases and the impact on schools, as well as his vision for changes to high school, supports for educators and how new investments can be leveraged to support students. “Over the past two years, our students, educators, and schools have had to be very flexible,” Reykdal said. “We have learned so much throughout the pandemic and we need to seize this opportunity to make the change needed to support the success of each and every one of our students.” Here’s a roundup of the topics he covered:

Covid-19 Covid-19 cases statewide and nationally are continuing to increase, and public health experts expect a peak in late January before case counts decline. As cases increase, some school districts may need to temporarily switch to remote learning due to quarantine and illness, he said. Given widespread vaccinations and the effectiveness of health and safety measures in schools, OSPI does not expect we will experience statewide school building closures like those in 2020. Mental health The pandemic has had an impact on our students’ mental health and well-being, as they have experienced isolation, loss of loved ones and adjusting to new ways of learning, he said. OSPI is asking the state Legislature for additional investments for staff in schools dedicated to supporting students’ physical and mental health, as well as their learning recovery and acceleration. 2021 graduation data The graduation rate for the Class of 2021 remained steady at 82.5%, a 0.4% decline from the Class of 2020. Data show that some opportunity gaps are closing, as the graduation rate increased for Black/African American students (+1.4%), Asian students (+1.1%), and students who are multilingual/English learners (+0.5%). However, some opportunity gaps

persist, as the graduation rate decreased for students from low-income homes (-1.1%), Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander (-2%), Two or More Races (-2.1%), in Foster Care (-2.1%), and American Indian/Alaska Native (-2.7%). In addition, data show an increasing number of American Indian/Alaska Native students and students who are migratory who didn’t graduate with their 4-year cohort are staying enrolled to complete their studies and earn their diploma.

Fall 2021 assessment data To make the most of limited inperson learning time for students last spring, OSPI moved spring 2021 assessments to the fall. Because students were assessed at a different time of year and in a different school year than when they learned the content, caution should be used when comparing results from this fall to previous or future years. Data from this fall show slight decreases in English language arts scores from 2019, with larger score decreases in math. In addition, data indicate the pandemic aggravated opportunity gaps for some students, including students in families with lower incomes and students who are multilingual. Given the fact that students are learning in-person, as well as the emphasis schools are placing on social-emotional well-being and learning recovery and acceleration, OSPI expects scores from

this spring to show progress.

School funding Over the past few years, legislators have made great progress in funding our K-12 schools, he said. According to an annual national analysis, Washington is rapidly approaching the national average in funding effort for schools (measured by the percentage of Gross State Product (GSP) invested in public K–12 schools) – the state is now at 3.23% of GSP spent on public education; the national average of 3.45%. Flexibility in grades 11-12 The pandemic called upon us to provide our students with more autonomy over their learning. Students should be able to leverage their last two years of high school to prepare them for their next steps after graduation. Over the last decade, high school students have reported in greater numbers feeling a disconnect between what they are learning in school and what they will need to know throughout their lives. OSPI is requesting a bill this legislative session to provide flexibility over credit requirements to students in grades 11 and 12. Additional transformation As our students become more diverse, our educators must mirror that – and the racial diversity of our educators has increased steadily over the last five years. OSPI is continuing to advocate for evidence-based strategies to recruit and retain educators of color, he said. In addition, Washington is making progress in other key areas, including expanding dual language programs, rethinking school calendars to better meet student needs, and more. K-12 system governance Currently, several different boards and commissions govern Washington’s K–12 school system, which is often confusing and duplicative for school districts. It also hinders our ability to set and make progress on a statewide vision for our students. A bill is expected to be introduced this legislative session that would turn the state superintendent into a governor-appointed position, which Reykdal said he supports. FIVE STRATEGIES, From page A39 you back? Who is going to help you get there? Are there any new goals for 2022 and any that should drop off (like getting that “2022 Rocks” tattoo)? Having a conversation with yourself or an advisor now can set you up for success without the last-minute rush. Cheers to a fiscally fantastic 2022! Angie Furubotten-LaRosee is a certified financial planner, speaker, podcaster and founder of Avea Financial Planning LLC, a Richlandbased fee-only, fiduciary financial advice and investment management firm specializing in retiring PNNL employees.

TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | JANUARY 2022 uRETIREMENT • Beverly Abersfeller, who has served on the board of directors for Pasco-based Educational Service District 123 for 23 years, has retired. She served Beverly Abersfeller District 7, which includes KionaBenton City, Paterson and Finley School Districts, as well as portions of Kennewick and Pasco districts. As a well-respected volunteer and business owner in the Tri-Cities, Abersfeller has played an instrumental role in the ESD’s involvement and connection to numerous endeavors over her tenure, especially in the area of early learning. She began serving on the ESD board in 1998 and, although she is retiring from the ESD board, Abersfeller will continue to serve as an executive board member of the Dream Builder’s Educational Foundation.

uDONATIONS • The Arts Center Task Force raised $53,000 at its Mid-Columbia Performing Arts Center Update and Fundraising Breakfast event on Dec. 1. This funding will be used to support the operations of the organization as it works toward its goal of building the Mid-Columbia Performing Arts Center. The event was sponsored by Bechtel and held at CG Public House in Kennewick. • At least 20 individuals and families facing homelessness will soon be transitioning out of shelters and into a permanent, stable home this season thanks to a $125,000 investment from Numerica Credit Union, in partnership with eight regional nonprofits through Numerica’s Home for the Holidays campaign. The year-end gift is allocated to homeless services organizations in Numerica’s four markets. In the Tri-Cities, the donation went to Benton-Franklin Community Action Committee and Domestic Violence Services in Tri-Cities. • Hanford Mission Integration Solutions (HMIS) donated more than $25,000 of goods and cash donations to nonprofit organizations. HMIS made donations to Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin Counties and Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels, including donating boxes of winter clothing, personal care items and household goods. Each organization also received a $2,500 donation. Unhoused teens at My Friend’s Place shelter each received movie tickets and concession vouchers and hundreds of students at Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties received movie tickets. Additional year-end donations were made to Second Harvest, Columbia Basin Veterans Center, United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties and Habitat for Humanity. • Maverick Cares supplied 4,000 families with holiday meal packages, with each care package feeding a family of four. The packages were distributed via a voucher system conducted with the support of Maverick Cares partners. Participating Maverick Gaming locations included Crazy Moose Casino in Pasco and Coyote Bob’s Casino in Kennewick. uDONATIONS, Page A47

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Tri-Cities’ own pawn stars find niche in musical equipment By Laura Kostad

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

In the market for music equipment? Ed and Moe’s Pawn Shop & Guitar Bar is a store you’ll want to put on your list. It has typical pawn shop items – electronics, power tools, jewelry, collectibles – but Ed and Moe’s puts special focus on providing a replete inventory of secondhand musical instruments, audio equipment and a line of new accessories, including in-house made guitar effects pedals. “Think of it like a salad bar,” said owner Russel Del Gesso. “We sell guitars, amps, strings, cables, chords, repairs, setups, a quiet room to test it out, an open floor where you can pick it up and play it. It’s more than just guitars, just music in general.” Though it’s not unusual for pawn shops to sell music equipment, specializing in their sale is unique. “Tri-Cities is definitely a hotbed for music, live music performance, karaoke and more. It has the foundation here, it is alive and well here,” Del Gesso said. “Live music and entertainment are something I’ve always really appreciated … we want to offer another avenue of keeping that going. Ed and Moe’s is one more avenue for musicians, artists and beginners wanting to pick out an instrument and get going – an affordable spot to be able to offer that to anybody and everybody.”

How it works Due to their secondhand nature, shops

Photo by Laura Kostad Ed and Moe’s Pawn Shop & Guitar Bar owner Russel Del Gesso, center, and employees Jay Valdez, left, and Lalo Ruiz, right, don’t run your average pawn shop. Their passion is for musical equipment. The shop is at 419 W. Entiat Ave., Suite C, in Kennewick.

like Ed and Moe’s sell at a discount and even consider offers. Though the concept of pawning dates back thousands of years, pawn shops’ popularity has waned with the proliferation of payday loan stores. Pawn shops acquire their inventory from those seeking to sell items outright, trades and surrendered pawn loans. A pawn loan

is secured using an item as collateral. For example, a person short $100 might go to a pawn shop with an item and ask if it will loan them money in exchange. Assuming it will, the person hands over the item as a security pledge. In Washington, the item can be held for up to 90 days, during which time the person who pledged it can return and pay back the

$100, plus 4% fixed APR, to receive their item back. If 90 days pass and the person doesn’t have enough money to pay back the loan, but they still want their item, they can pay the interest and rewrite the loan, starting a new 90-day cycle on the original amount. A person can rewrite their pawn as many times as they want. If, however, they choose to give up the item or simply never return, by law the item is sacrificed as security for the loan and the pawn shop can then sell it. “We take that risk that we’ll make that money back; we’re out as long as it takes to recover the money,” Del Gesso said. The crucial difference between pawn loans and those offered by payday loan institutions and banks is, with pawns, there’s no credit reporting if one defaults. There also isn’t a credit score-anchored loan application. “That’s been our primary mission,” Del Gesso said. “To provide a service for the people who don’t have the mortgage or the car with real value to it; people who go through divorce or bankruptcy (for example), we provide them a financial solution that maybe they don’t have from a bank.” He said customers have been resourceful in their use of pawns to secure funding for business startups, home renovations and other big expenses. “People don’t think about the value in everyday items,” he said. uED AND MOE’S, Page A45




Demand for pandemic pets feeds Richland shop’s success By Jeff Morrow

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Matt Ulrich owns a dog, two turtles, two tortoises and a couple of fish tanks at home. “I have fewer tanks at home than I used to,” he said. “I’ve got 300 tanks to take care of at Finatics.” That’s why people call Ulrich the Fish Guy. He owns Finatics Tropical Fish, a pet store specializing in fish that’s home to 1,200 different species at any given time. It’s at 1374 Jadwin Ave. in the Uptown Shopping Center in Richland. Ulrich is expanding the business to make room for more pets and plans to change its name so it’s more inclusive. “I’ve always been that guy who has a passion for the natural world. But I didn’t want to be a marine biologist or a veterinarian,” he said. Ulrich bought Finatics from the previous owner about four years ago, when the business was located around the corner on the south side of the shopping center. It was the realization of a lifelong dream for Ulrich. “This has been a lifelong passion. I got my first tank when I was 7 years old for Christmas, and I was hooked,” he said. Ulrich toted a book along when visiting pet stores. He’d find a fish in a tank, then find the fish in his book. Finatics is not his first foray into the pet world. “We owned the Barking Lot (dog grooming business on Thayer Drive in

Richland) for 22 years,” Ulrich said. “My first wife Audrey and I owned it, but she passed away 12 years ago. My dream since boyhood was wanting to add a pet shop.” The Paws-abilities Place dog park in Richland is dedicated to his late wife who died in a car crash. A fellow pet lover, she was the first president of the Tri-City Dog Park Society and worked tirelessly for a permanent dog park at Badger Mountain Park. Ulrich remarried, and he and his wife, Spring, have a young family. She is a stayat-home mother who takes care of the kids. “(Spring) really has made it possible for me to chase this dream,” Ulrich said. The old Finatics shop had at most 1,000 square feet of space. “The first thing we did was double the amount of tanks,” he said. But when the pandemic hit in 2020, that 1,000 square feet became a problem. “Customers could come in by appointment. We couldn’t have everyone in there in such tight spaces,” he said.

Pandemic pets Ulrich said there has been an “unprecedented demand in our industry.” He’s right. According to the American Pet Product Association, in the past year U.S. pet owners have spent $103.6 billion on pets – pets themselves, food and treats, supplies, veterinarian care and other services. In a 2021 survey, there is at least one dog in 69 million homes in this country; 45.3 million homes have at least one cat, 11.8

Photo by Jeff Morrow Owner Matt Ulrich stands in front of the 300 tanks at Finatics Tropical Fish, 1374 Jadwin Ave. in the Uptown Shopping Center in Richland. Plans are underway to expand the store to welcome more pets.

million homes have freshwater fish. This country loves its pets. IBISWorld, in an Oct. 28 report, reported that the U.S. has 13,215 pet stores in 2022. That amounts to a small growth of 0.6%, on average, for the years 2017-22. But here’s the thing: the majority of those pet stores are big box stores, such as PetSmart and PetCo. The mom-and-pop industry really isn’t

growing. In Ulrich’s case, there aren’t many mom-and-pop pet stores left in the region. “When I moved here 23 years ago, there were maybe four or five specialty pet stores here,” he said. “Now, they’re all gone. There’s a guy in Walla Walla who has a place, and another in Yakima. Those are my colleagues, rather than competitors.” Still, Ulrich realized he had to get bigger



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FINATICS, From page A43 if he was to survive. “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing,” he said. “About 95 of every 100 mom-and-pop pet stores have gone away. Places that were 1,500 to 2,500 square feet – that’s just not enough square feet to make a profit.” But finding a new place for Finatics was hard. “I just couldn’t find the right real estate,” said Ulrich, who worked with a Realtor for three years. And then the store’s current space finally came open on the west side of the Uptown, facing Jadwin Avenue. That was in March 2021, when he signed a five-year lease for the 8,000-square-foot store. The growth since has been exponential.

“From March to November, we went from $10,000 to $200,000 in product,” Ulrich said. Employee numbers went from three in the previous shop to 10, “and I could use a couple more.” The hard numbers for November and December have tripled over last year, he said.

More pets, new name Ulrich’s business name soon will change from being Finatics Tropical Fish to Big River Pets. “We don’t want to be hemmed in by just being a tropical fish store,” he said. A new reptile room is being carved out, using 600 square feet of space. And inside that space will be a smaller, climate-controlled room for frogs. Around the corner is The Barking Lot,

which also sells dog treats and toys and cat treats. Employees, using a series of hallways, can get from one to the other without having to go outside. “We’re making up a big sign that will say ‘The Barking Lot, part of the Big River Pet family’ or some such,” Ulrich said. “I’m operating one company but they will have separate entrances.” Ulrich was a dog groomer for 22 years and was in semi-retirement. The Barking Lot closed for five months during the pandemic, and he lost half of his staff. But his general manager is back and will take care of that side of the business. But when it’s all said and done, fish and tanks, which are a popular item for sale in his store, will still be the main focus. “Demand has been great. People still call to see if we’re open for shopping in

person,” Ulrich said. “We’re a regional draw.” Ulrich estimates customers come from a 2.5-hour radius. And he’s got a distribution system. “I’m all about developing 18 distributors. I get fish from all over the world,” he said. “I get orders from Portland, Seattle, the Bay Area, Los Angeles. Most shipping takes a day, or I’ll make a run to the airport.” Finding the right pet for a customer is what brings Ulrich joy. “I’m an entrepreneur by heart. Challenges are what gets me up for the day,” he said. “My belief is that if I do what I love, I don’t work a day in my life.” Search Finatics Tropical Fish: 1374 Jadwin Ave., Uptown Shopping Center, Richland; 509-943-9777; YouTube; Facebook.

TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | JANUARY 2022 ED AND MOE’S, From page A44 Despite the unique service, pawn shops have long been stigmatized as dens of criminal activity where stolen goods are unloaded. Tighter regulation of pawn shops, including daily reporting of inventory acquired to a national database accessible by law enforcement, has cut down on the peddling of stolen goods. Del Gesso said though Ed and Moe’s works closely with the Kennewick Police Department to thwart thieves and reunite stolen items with rightful owners, there are numerous peer-to-peer resale platforms (like Facebook Marketplace and Offerup), which can make tracking down lost items more difficult, if not impossible. He said both he and Tony Sanders, owner of Ace Jewelry and Loan, do what they can to “help create an extra layer of security for our community.”

Growth potential Store legend has it that Ed & Moe’s was started in Seattle in the 1920s by two guys named Ed and Moe who opened a bath house and laundry on the waterfront and later expanded into providing pawn loans on clothing. Family friend Paul Plugoff, who owns Ed & Moe’s Pawn Shop in Yakima, reportedly bought the business from Ed and Moe’s descendants. Del Gesso, a Central Washington University graduate in business management and organization, saw growth potential in Ed & Moe’s and decided to buy in in 2007. In 2008, he branched out independently in the 600-square-foot building now occupied by Just Joel’s in Kennewick. A decade later, Ed and Moe’s made the move to its current 3,300-square-foot location at 419 W. Entiat Ave., Suite C, in Kennewick, next door to Ace Jewelry and Loan, the only other pawn shop left in TriCities. “It’s not an uncommon thing for like businesses to cohabitate … think about when you go to buy a car … centralizing business is actually beneficial to the consumer base,” Del Gesso said. The owners of two former local pawn shops, Blue Bridge Pawn of Kennewick and Trading Post of Pasco, both cashed out in recent years, he said. Del Gesso said he barely manages Ed & Moe’s, employing a crew of four.

uBUSINESS BRIEF Global hop supplier launches podcast highlighting women

Yakima Chief Hops, the largest American hop supplier for the global brewing community, has launched a new podcast titled “Bigger than Beer.” In its first season, it is featuring women from across the industry, from the hop farms to the taprooms, to tell their stories. Operating for more than 30 years as a grower-owned organization, Yakima Chief Hops is based in Yakima. The podcast is available on Spotify and Apple podcasts. There are currently 12 episodes in the series, with guests ranging from the operations and processing manager at Sodbuster Farms, Alexa Weathers, to the R&D brewer at Breakside Brewery, Natalie Baldwin.

“I’m very fortunate to have very good employees … (we) always look at it as a building block; how can I help them get to the next level? How can I help foster them to build a business of their own?” Jay Valdez, who’s worked at Ed and Moe’s for the past eight years, said the best part of working there is “getting to work with so many different items – you can’t just like one thing – you have to know a little bit about a lot.” Lalo Ruiz, who has worked in the shop for about two months, said “it’s cool seeing the regular customers that come in … you’re encouraged to talk to everyone and learn about people.” He added the best part of the job is “making an impression and making someone’s day.” Quoting the popular History Channel series, “Pawn Stars,” Del Gesso said, “You

never know what is going to come through that door.” Valdez said one of the weirdest was a laundry basket full of crosses, at the bottom of which was a mysterious bathroom tin. It ended up being full of used cotton swabs. “That was awkward,” he said. “The fun stuff is to always see repeat customers and we try to convert everyone to buyers at some point and time – converting people in need to people who are no longer in need but come back of their own free will to be a continued customer,” Del Gesso said. Search Ed and Moe’s Pawn Shop & Guitar Bar: 419 W. Entiat Ave., Suite C, Kennewick; 509-586-7560, Facebook, Instagram. Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.


Courtesy Ed and Moe’s Pawn & Guitar Bar Guitars on display at Ed and Moe’s Pawn & Guitar in Kennewick.




• Tony Howard, assistant superintendent for human resources at the Richland School District, has accepted a position as senior associate vice president of Washington State University’s Human Resources Department and will leave the district at the end of April. He worked for the district for 15 years. District leaders have begun the process of filling his position and are working closely with him to implement a transition plan for the remainder of the school year. • Dr. Kyle Duncan has joined Good Shepherd Advanced Orthopedics in Hermiston, Oregon, as a board-certified podiatrist. He specializes in minimally invasive foot and ankle surgeries. He grew up in the Tri-Cities. • Miramar Health Center in Kennewick has hired Brenda Ortiz as a community dietitian. She helps patients focus on preventative care through Brenda Ortiz early nutrition intervention. She is particularly interested in helping diabetic patients, new or expecting mothers, children and infants. Ortiz earned a bachelor of science in food and science nutrition from Central Washington University in Ellensburg. • The Wishing Star Foundation has hired Hugh Severs as the new executive director. He has had a diverse career in the military and corporate Hugh Severs and nonprofit sectors. He completed a 21-year Air Force career serving as an engineer, pilot and logistician. After his military service, Severs and his family stayed in Spokane, and he joined SprayCool Inc. as human resources director. After three years, he joined the American Cancer Society, where he spent 12 years in multiple roles supporting fundraising, community and donor engagement and patient support capacities in the western U.S. • Nicki Blake, Richland School District’s executive director of teaching,

learning & curriculum, will be the first principal for Elementary #11. Blake has been with the district since the 2000-01 school year. She taught at Tapteal and White Bluffs elementary schools, has a background in early education and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She moved to the district’s Teaching, Learning & Curriculum department in the 2012-13 school year and began leading the department two years later. She will continue in her current role through the remainder of the 2021-22 school year while beginning planning for Elementary #11 to become its own school community in the fall. • The Washington State STEM Education Foundation has recently added two new team members to expand initiatives to develop Heather Tibbett the region’s workforce of the future. Heather Tibbett brings extensive experience leading school business partnership programs to the expansion and continued development of the STEM Like ME! series of programs. She will lead both local and statewide workgroups to inspire young people to prepare for high-demand, high-wage STEM careers. Laurel Palmblad will employ her experience as a strategic planning consultant to lead strategic Laurel Palmblad partnerships and community engagement initiatives. She also will be working to expand careerconnecting learning opportunities and build pathways to renewable energy and environmental restoration careers. • Prosser Memorial Health has opened its new Prosser Digestive Health Center and hired Dr. Mitchell L. Cohen to lead it. Cohen has over 30 years’ experience in providing gastroenterology care. He received his MD degree at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles and completed his residency in internal medicine at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (Stanford University-

Affiliated County Hospital), in San Jose, California. He then completed gastroenterology fellowships at both the University of New Mexico in Dr. Mitchell L. Albuquerque, Cohen New Mexico, and at Stanford University in Stanford, California. He is board-certified in gastroenterology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association and the American College of Gastroenterology. He also serves as a clinical instructor for the University of Washington School of Medicine. • State Farm has hired agent Tyler Swarner. The Swarner State Farm Agency, 8656 W. Gage Blvd., Suite A104, in Kennewick, Tyler Swarner is staffed by Tammy Barnett and Isaiah Arechiga, in addition to Swarner. Swarner is an Army veteran and served one combat tour in Iraq and with the 173rd Airborne Brigade out of Italy. He studied elementary education and middle school math. He also has more than 15 years of combined experience in the restaurant industry and chemical industry.


• Lourdes Health’s Shalane Rhorig, a registered nurse in the Lourdes Health Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, has received The DAISY Award Shalane Rhorig for Extraordinary Nurses at Lourdes. She was nominated by a patient who noted how caring she was in their care. The award is an international program started in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, whose family experienced firsthand the difference his nurses made in

his care through clinical excellence and compassionate care. • Roger S. McDowell from the Eastern Washington general office of New York Life Insurance Company has been included on the 2021 Forbes Top Financial Security Professionals list. He is one of the 250 individuals named to this inaugural group of distinguished professionals based on several criteria considered by an independent research firm. He’s been a New York life agent for 26 years. He holds the following designations from the American College: ChFC, chartered financial consultant; CLU, chartered life underwriter; and RICP, retirement income certified professional. McDowell has been a longtime board member and two-time past president from 2001-02 and 201011, of the Tri-Cities NAIFA group. He also is a past president 2017-18, and a member of Columbia Center Rotary Club in Kennewick. He and his family live in Kennewick. • Astria Sunnyside Hospital was recently recognized by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 “Best Hospitals” issue for its commitment to hospital care for heart patients.

uRESIGNATION • Richland’s Jefferson Elementary School Principal Derek O’Konek resigned in December to pursue an opportunity outside of education. The Richland School District hired Amy Salinas to succeed him. She recently served as assistant principal at Carmichael Middle School in Richland. She started her teaching career in elementary schools in the West Valley and East Valley school districts in Yakima County before joining Sacajawea Elementary in the 2016-17 school year. She started there as a classroom teacher before becoming an instructional specialist. She earned her administrative credential and joined Carmichael as an assistant principal in the 2019-20 school year. She holds a bachelor’s in elementary education from Central Washington University, a master’s of education in elementary reading and early literacy from Walden University and a master’s of science in educational leadership from Western Governors University.

TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | JANUARY 2022 uPROMOTIONS • Baker Boyer Bank, headquartered in Walla Walla and with office in the TriCities, promoted Brian Bruggeman to the new role of chief Brian Bruggeman innovation office. He joined Baker Boyer in 2009 and has held many positions with increasing levels of responsibility, including roles as investment advisor and director of financial planning. He will become a member of the bank’s executive committee. The bank also promoted Jessie Ilaoa and Rosendo Guizar to senior vice president. Both have been with Baker Boyer Jessie Ilaoa for over 20 years and have worked in multiple roles within the company. Ilaoa began in 2001 as a teller. She moved up to vault teller before transitioning into her role as lead operations assistant, then lead operations officer. In 2004, she was selected to be the bank’s first compliance risk manager. She was further promoted in 2016 to vice president, regulatory risk manager and has been in her current role Rosendo Guizar as director of audit and risk since 2020. Guizar began his career with Baker Boyer in 1996. During his 26 years, he has worked in all facets of lending ranging from operational to direct lending responsibilities in both the consumer and commercial areas. He has held positions such as a commercial loan assistant, consumer loan officer, business advisor, credit administrator, and culminating in his most recent role as senior vice president chief credit officer. Guizar is responsible for the bank’s entire commercial and consumer lending portfolio. • Petersen Hastings promoted Brandan Eckhardt to marketing manager. He will

oversee and lead the firm’s marketing and branding strategy, including oversight and planning of advertising, events, marketing communications, design, insights, web development and social media. He will continue to work closely with the CEO Scott Sarber and Director of Advisor Services Matthew Neff. Eckhardt joined Petersen Hastings in 2018 as marketing coordinator, where he was responsible for implementing the firm’s marketing strategy to achieve top-of-mind brand awareness and client acquisition goals. He was also a key player in the recent brand development of GrowWealth Digital Strategies, a new digital investing service line offered by the firm. Eckhardt’s early career began at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and Gesa Credit Union, holding a marketing role at both organizations. He graduated in 2014 from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, with a bachelor’s in strategic communication. • Stevie Pina has been promoted to branch manager for Numerica Credit Union’s Southridge location in Kennewick. Before taking on Stevie Pina his current role, he was assistant branch manager at Numerica’s Richland location. • Elite Construction + Development has promoted Grace Lieberman to director of business development. She joined Elite Grace Lieberman in 2020 as director of marketing and client experience and has led Elite’s efforts in marketing, client experience and community outreach. Previously, she spent more than 17 years as a sales and marketing executive with organizations like Discovery Networks, Viacom and NBCUniversal. The Grandview native is a graduate of Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 2022, she will split her time between the corporate office in Tri-Cities and her new home in Southern California.

uDONATIONS • Rebuilding Mid-Columbia and Campbell and Co. teamed up to ensure Charlie McCarry, a disabled Kennewick woman, had electricity in her home over the holidays after about a quarter of her lights and outlets suddenly stopped working. Campbell and Co. donated materials and the cost of labor to address the electrical issues affecting the home. • STCU surprised more than 30 organizations with financial gifts totaling more than $300,000, with a particular emphasis on education, workforce development and homelessness. In TriCities, the organizations receiving grants ranging from $1,000 to $30,000 included Arc of Tri-Cities; United Way of BentonFranklin Counties; Kennewick School District students; Columbia Industries; American Red Cross of Central and Southeastern Washington; West Richland Community Care Foundation; MidColumbia Libraries; and Richland Public Library. In addition, STCU employees who served at least 12 volunteer hours at any single organization this year were invited to apply for a Volunteers Count grant on behalf of that organization. As a result, STCU delivered 16 $1,000 grants, along with checks of $25, $50 and $100 to an additional 76 organizations where employees volunteered. • Hanford Mission Integration Solutions (HMIS) committed more than $96,000 to support student scholarships and educational programs in 2021. Through the HMIS scholarship program, $29,000 was awarded to dependents of HMIS employees and co-op interns. A partnership with Washington State University Tri-Cities resulted in $2,500 scholarships for 10 WSU Tri-Cities students pursuing degrees in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines for the 2022-23 academic year. HMIS also partnered with Columbia Basin College to support its Pathways to Hanford (P2H) program, which assists students exploring career choices at Hanford, while also gaining insights into company values, internship programs, and desired skills. HMIS donated more than $22,000 to help CBC provide critical assistance to students in the P2H program to keep them on the path to educational success. HMIS also supported The STEM Foundation through a $20,000 donation to bolster expansion of its STEM Like ME! educa-


tional programs in Tri-City area middle schools and high schools. • The Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia (CRFMC) through sponsorship from Hanford Mission Integration Solutions, will distribute thousands of books to the community in January. On Dec. 31, the foundation challenged the community to make a 2022 resolution to read 20 minutes every day with a child through the social media campaign, Resolution Read. To support the community in meeting this resolution, CRFMC will donate 12 books to the first 200 local families who registered. More than 300 families registered, and 300 book bags will be donated to local community groups to distribute to the low-income families they serve including families in North Franklin and Paterson, with 6,000 books donated to local families via Resolution Read. HMIS employees will help deliver the books. • Numerica Credit Union is donating $40,000 between four regional nonprofits, as chosen by the community. Numerica invited community members to nominate their favorite local nonprofit to receive a $10,000 grant through the Gift Where You Live holiday giving campaign. In a surprise twist, Numerica also gave $5,000 grants to the second-place winner in each region, increasing the credit union’s donation total to $60,000. With more than 5,000 total nominations, the two most-nominated nonprofits in the Tri-Cities, North Idaho, Spokane, and Wenatchee Valley received votes in a social media poll to choose a winner. The Pit Bull Pen was named the winner in the Tri-Cities, followed by Grace Kitchen. • The Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation hosted a day of giving on Dec. 23 for patients and caregivers. The foundation gave items sourced from locally-owned businesses. The gifts ranged from fun items, comfort items, gift cards and some of the foundation’s favorite holiday snacks. This day highlighted local businesses and brought cheer to patients going through a tough time. Some of the local businesses’ donating gifts include: 3d Fitness, Adventure’s Underground, Chukar Cherries, Country Mercantile, Graze, Haven Flower Farm, Sheffield Cider, Snarky Cancer, Templeman’s, Tumbleweeds and WSU Tri-Cities.



REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION Hansen Park builder closes deal on more land for next project phases

Page B2

Richland secures Kennewick properties for Center Parkway extension

Page B3

January 2022 Volume 21 | Issue 1 | B1

Investors pay top dollar to snap up Tri-City apartments By Wendy Culverwell

A buying frenzy hit the Tri-City apartment market in the waning weeks of 2021. Driven by tax considerations and attracted by the strong economic recovery and low rental vacancy rates, investors closed deals for complexes large and small, new and old. Investors paid big prices and signaled their confidence that future rent increases will justify their bets on the Mid-Columbia rental market. Mason Fiascone, an apartment broker with Paragon Group, tracked eight deals representing 608 units and $100 million in December alone. Public and private records confirm that buyers paid premium prices, either to buy new properties or because they see opportunities to renovate older ones and raise rents. Two seemingly unrelated sales offer a glimpse at the value buyers see in the Tri-Cities. Badger Mountain Ranch in south Richland and Irving Place Apartments in Kennewick commanded prices that will yield similar returns to their respective

Photo by Wendy Culverwell Irving Place Apartments, 100 N. Irving Place, Kennewick, is a 1979-built complex in central Kennewick that sold on Dec. 11 for $19.4 million, or $143,000 per unit. The deal was part of a flurry of transactions as investors flocked to buy apartment properties in the Tri-Cities at the end of 2021.

buyers. Fiascone represented Irving Place’s longtime owner, a Bend, Oregon, investment group looking to step away from both Washington and apartments. The 136-unit property, 100 N. Irving

Place, was built in 1979 and sold for $19.4 million on Dec. 11, or $143,000 per unit. The buyer was Irving Place 136 LLC, which is associated with a Bellevue development firm. Badger Mountain Ranch, 451 West-

cliffe Blvd., is a 176-unit complex built in 2013. It sold Dec. 14 for $50.3 million, or $286,000 per unit. The buyer was Badger Mountain ICG LLC, a Seattlebased fund that invests in apartments The per-unit prices reflect the different ages and the different amenities offered by the two properties. By one key metric, the sales were nearly identical: Cap rates. A cap, or capitalization, rate reflects the return on the investment, based on existing rents, and is akin to the interest paid on a savings account. The lower the cap rate, the higher the price and the lower the return on the investment. Irving Place and Badger Mountain Ranch both sold for cap rates of about 3.9%, well below the 5% to 6% level that indicates balance in the transaction. “Wow is right,” Fiascone said of his deal.

High interest in Tri-Cities December typically brings a flurry of year-end deals as buyers and sellers close deals before a new tax year starts. Even by that measure, 2021 was startling. “Interest in the Tri-Cities is at the uAPARTMENTS, Page B4

Benton REA moving admin to West Richland By Wendy Culverwell

Benton Rural Electric Association will move its administration offices to West Richland from Prosser after closing a deal for nearly 18 acres near the former Tri-City Raceway on Dec. 20, 2021. The electric co-op is the latest entity to embrace the raceway site, which was dormant before the Port of Kennewick sold it to West Richland in late 2020. The city carved out space for its nowbuilt police station, leased the raceway to the Red Mountain Events Center and

launched a series of land swaps with neighbors to make better use of the parcel. That left it with the spot behind the raceway and an eager buyer in the REA, which needs added space for its growing team and wanted to be in its fastestgrowing community, West Richland. The city will invest about $1 million to build a road – Cooperative Way – and water infrastructure to the site. The state Community Economic Revitalization Board is supporting the development with a $600,000 low-interest loan and a $200,000 grant.

The Benton County Rural County Capital Fund, funded by sales taxes, supplied an additional $200,000. Benton REA will reimburse the city for the balance. Troy Berglund, community relations and members services manager for Benton REA, said it hasn’t engaged a designer, so it’s too early to describe what the building will look like. It will develop the site in phases to minimize the cost to ratepayers who foot the bill for the administrative costs. It is a badly needed move, he said. It had 30 employees and 3,961 cus-

tomer-members when it built the Prosser quarters in 1962. It grew to 55 employees and 7,856 members in 1997, when it built a satellite office in West Richland on West Van Giesen Street. Today, it has 73 employees and 11,498 members. “We have been evaluating what to do for four years. It is a lengthy process,” Berglund said. Benton REA serves a territory that extends from West Richland in Benton County, west through Yakima and uBENTON REA, Page B4




Hansen Park builder closes deal on more land for next project phases By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

The couple behind the $50 million Resort at Hansen Park project have closed a deal for a 9.2-acre site that will host a future phase. Hansen Park Development Phase 2 LLC, helmed by Vancouver developers Carmen Villarma and Dennis Pavlina, paid $2.2 million for the property at 814 S. Columbia Center Blvd., near 10th Street. VHP Kennewick Investments LLC, led by Richard Vandervert of Spokane, was the seller. The husband-and-wife couple have built several projects in the Tri-Cities, but are raising their profile with the ambitious Resort at Hansen Park. The initial phase is under construction and will have a new office center and 225 units of rental housing in three


Affinity plans two complexes totaling 426 units in Pasco

Affinity at Broadmoor LLC intends to build 426 apartments on a 20-acre site at Pasco’s Broadmoor area, according to documents filed under Washington’s Environmental Protection Act, or SEPA. The site is on the south side of Burns Road, west of the intersection with Broadmoor Boulevard, aka Road 100. It is owned by Broadmoor Properties LLC, helmed by Dale Adams of Reno, Nevada. Broadmoor Properties intends to build two apartment communities, one for seniors and one for the general public, Affinity at Broadmoor and Hydro at Broadmoor. The Affinity complex will consist of a single, 180,000-square foot building with 170 units and a 5,320-square-foot clubhouse. The Hydro complex will have eight 30,000-square-foot buildings with a combined 256 units and a 4,800-square foot clubhouse. The Affinity will be age restricted with interior hallways. Both will have Class A amenities, according to the filing. The project is part of the Broadmoor area, home to a future Costco store. The Spokane-based developer intends to secure building permits in March and to complete construction by Nov. 1, 2024.

Columbia Shores plans 500 homes in west Pasco

RP Development of Pasco is preparing to develop Columbia Shores with 498 single-family townhomes and three single-family residences on a 39-acre site at 11530 W. Court St. in Pasco’s Broadmoor area. SG Land Management LLC, also of Pasco, is the proponent for the project, according to documents filed under Washington’s Environmental Protection Act, or SEPA. It will be served by a mix of public and private roads and feature recreational amenities. The site is between West Court Street

distinct sections – a series of triplexes, a traditional garden-style complex and an urban-style midrise building. Trilogy, the triplex project, is being built now along the western edge of the property and will have nine three-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom ones leasing for $1,725 to $2,100 per month in early 2022. Hansen Park applied for permits for the $12.8 million Park Avenue work in December. The 100,000-square-foot building will have apartments on three floors with rentable commercial space and parking at ground level. The second phase will add Club 10, a three-story clubhouse and additional apartment developments, as well as commercial buildings. Go to

and Harris Road and will be developed in four phases. The first will focus on the sloping southern side that faces the Columbia River.

$42 million subdivision planned in Prosser

A Pasco developer plans to build Arabella West, a residential subdivision on Prosser’s Hoisington Road, according to documents filed in December under Washington’s Environmental Protection Act, or SEPA. Anthony Potts of AAA Renovation & Construction is subdividing the 18-acre property into 154 lots for a project with an estimated value of $43.2 million. The site is west of Albro Road and south of Hoisington. Wine Country Road nips the intersection to the northeast. Development is expected to start in March and to take one year. The site plan includes a 5.5-acre park with dog park, walking path and community garden. Knutzen Engineering of Kennewick designed the project.

Port, Housing Authority not included on Build Back Better list

A joint venture between the Port of Kennewick and the Kennewick Housing Authority to develop low-income housing near the entrance to Clover Island appears to be dead. The two agencies teamed up in the hope of being included on a list of development projects Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, intended to create for the Build Back Better program. It didn’t make the list. “We are zeroed out,” reported Tim Arntzen, the port’s executive director. The plan caught port-watchers by surprise and triggered a fierce debate between advocates for low-income housing and area businesses that felt the Willows, a former mobile home park site now serving as a trailhead, was the wrong spot. Port officials said Murray’s office

Photo by Wendy Culverwell The developers behind the $50 million Resort at Hansen Park have applied for building permits and closed on a land deal to begin the next phases of the $50 million project at 814 S. Columbia Center Blvd. in Kennewick.

encouraged the two agencies to team up and that they were disappointed to be left off after diverting time and energy away from other priorities. Under the proposal, Build Back Better money would have supported infrastructure work in service of housing for lowincome residents and those transitioning out of homelessness.

Kennewick Bed Bath & Beyond not included on closure list

Bed Bath & Beyond will close nearly 40 stores by the end of February, including four in Washington state. The closures are part of a longer-term strategy to close 200 stores announced more than a year ago The Kennewick store, 1220 N. Columbia Center Blvd., is not among the 37 to be closed in the coming weeks. The list includes East Wenatchee, Longview, Seattle and Union Gap. The closures are part of a multiyear transformation and focus on e-commerce. In a Jan. 6 earnings report, the company reported a net loss of $276.4 million in the quarter that ended Nov. 27. Supply chain issues hindered its performance, it said.

Benton County rural capital program has millions to spend

The Benton County Rural County Capital Fund had more than $21.9 million available, with nearly $15.7 million uncommitted, according to a Dec. 31, 2021, update. The fund, known by the initials RCCF, is funded by the Legislature from a tax rebate of 0.09% and supports economic development initiatives, including infrastructure and construction, in Benton County and its cities. The fund accumulates about $300,000 per month, according to the county. The county commission appropriates money as requested by its partners. To date, the county has appropriated $1.2 million to itself, $550,000 to the

Port of Kennewick, $2.3 million to the Port of Benton, $1.6 million to the city of Kennewick, $4 million to the city of Richland, $2.3 million to the city of Prosser, $3 million to the city of West Richland and $830,500 to the city of Benton City. In all, it has accumulated $31.7 million, appropriated $15.8 million and has $15.9 million in unappropriated funds. The available balance is $21.9 million. Go to:

Labor, materials for homes up 23%

The cost of goods and services to build new homes was 23% higher in November than prior to the pandemic, according to the National Association of Homebuilders. The Producer Price Index, compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said the price of goods used in residential construction – excluding energy – rose 1.8% in November compared to the prior month. It was up 17.3% compared to November 2020 and nearly 23% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Softwood lumber, steel mill products, ready-mix concrete, gypsum and paint were all more costly compared to a year ago. Legal, architectural and engineering prices also rose though not as much as materials.

Friends of Badger needs last $23,000 for hilltop trail

Friends of Badger Mountain has raised all but $23,000 of the $1.5 million the nonprofit needs to buy the final 21 acres it needs to create a new hilltop trail on Little Badger Mountain. Friends is an outdoors-oriented organization dedicated to creating public trails on local hilltops, including Badger Mountain, Candy Mountain and the Red Mountain area. The Little Badger Preserve Trail will be a 2.2-mile stretch, with the first section set to open in the spring. Go to




Richland secures Kennewick properties for Center Parkway extension

Photo by Wendy Culverwell Ulta Beauty plans a grand opening at its newly remodeled store at 1232 N. Columbia Center Blvd. on Feb. 18. Ulta invested more than $1 million in renovations at the former Pier 1 Imports store. It will close its store across the street.

Ulta plans February opening in newly remodeled building By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Renovations are nearly complete on a $1 million makeover of the former Pier 1 Imports store across from Columbia Center mall to make way for an Ulta Beauty store. A soft opening of the new Kennewick store at the Columbia Square Shopping Center, 1232 N. Columbia Center Blvd., is set for Feb. 8, with the official grand opening set for Feb. 18, according to Ulta officials.

The Ulta store across the street, next door to DSW, Designer Shoe Warehouse and HomeGoods at 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., will close and move into the remodeled building. Ulta officials declined to comment on the reason for the move, though a lease filed with Benton County shows its 10year lease with Columbia Center Partnership expired in September 2021. Argo Kennewick LLC, under the umbrella of Argonaut Investments in CaliuULTA, Page B5

A new stretch of road with potential to open a new retail district in Richland is taking form after years of litigation. The city of Richland expects to secure the four remaining sites it needs to extend Center Parkway from Gage Boulevard south to Tapteal Drive, across a set of railroad tracks, by the end of January. Construction could begin as early as this year. Richland, with support from the city of Kennewick, wants to extend the road to improve traffic around the Columbia Center mall area and promote retail development on Tapteal, which extends from Steptoe Street to Columbia Center Boulevard. Tapteal is already developed with hotels, furniture stores and other businesses, but the lack of easy access to Gage is a barrier. In December, the Richland City Council agreed to pay $101,000 for a portion of a recreational vehicle storage lot it needs for the road and to use another area of the property during construction. Columbia Center Estates Homeowners is the seller. The council also agreed to pay $745,000 for the Mail by the Mall site, 8220 W. Gage Blvd., which stands directly in the path of the future road. The seller is McCoy Family Investments LLC, which was able to negotiate a higher price than the city’s $350,000 appraisal by employing alternative appraisers. Mail by the Mall will relocate but hasn’t

Center Parkway

By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business


Tap te

al D


Holiday Inn Express



Proposed road extension

Mail by the Mall

Gage Boulevard

settled on a new spot. The city previously closed a deal for property next to Mail by the Mall and is finalizing a deal with Benton Public Utility District for a sliver of its substation, said Pete Rogalsky, public works director for Richland. The properties are south of the railroad tracks, inside the city of Kennewick. The city reached an agreement to cross the railroad tracks several years ago. The Center Parkway extension will cross the Tri-City Railroad tracks at grade, with crossing arms, flashing lights and other safety equipment in place.



BENTON REA, From page B1 to White Pass, in Lewis County. It was established in the 1930s as part of the cooperative movement to electrify rural America and had no urban areas. Today, West Richland is the only city entirely within its borders. Prosser, Benton City and Sunnyside, to name a few, expanded into its edges but are not primarily served by it. In Prosser, it serves the commercial district at the Wine Country Road interchange, including area hotels and the Love’s Truck Stop. The REA will remain an important part of the Prosser economy and isn’t leaving, Berglund said. “There are people who will report to West Richland, but a lot of trucks and lineman and operations will remain in Prosser. We operate (PowerNET Internet, Computer Repair and IT) that has a lot of business in Prosser and the lower valley,” he said. “That’s the message to Prosser. We’re not leaving. We’ll still be a part of this APARTMENTS, From page B1 highest level I have seen in my nearly 30 years of working in that market,” said Tim Ufkes, an apartment broker with Marcus & Millichap in Seattle. Ufkes focuses on the Tri-City market, with a current emphasis on the Broadmoor area of west Pasco. Several apartment sites at Broadmoor are either under contract or have closed deals with developers. The projects will add 3,500 units to the area. The market will absorb 1,000 units per year as the Tri-Cities gains big new employers. Jobs were the big news of 2021, with employers such as Darigold Inc., Amazon, Reser’s Fine Foods, Local Bounti and others confirming plans to open new plants here. Costco is expected to add a second store too, at Broadmoor.

community.” It will not sell its offices or property in Prosser, he added. Port of Kennewick officials said they were thrilled to see West Richland develop the raceway property. Despite its name, the port serves areas of West Richland. The port held it for more than 11 years but did little with it as it focused on its Vista Field redevelopment and Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan Village, among others. West Richland asked to buy it in 2019, after its voters approved the new police station project, prompting a search for a suitable site to put it. The sale closed in 2020. Port commissioners said they’re pleased the city has done so much to bring life back to the formerly dormant property. Don Barnes, now a former commissioner, said it was great to see the raceway developed. Commissioner Skip Novakovich toured the area with the city’s new planning director. The vacancy rate for Tri-City apartments was 1.3% in a fall survey covering more than 11,000 local units by the University of Washington’s Center for Real Estate Research. The average rent for both one- and two-bedroom units was $1,275 per month. Fiascone tracked 63 apartment sales in Eastern Washington in the second half of 2021, totaling nearly $333 million. Tri-City deals represented $185 million of the total, more than half. His Irving Place deal is a strong example of what investors see in the TriCities. Fiascone credits the growing economy and the fact that the population is now over 300,000 with putting it on the radar. “There’s more capital that wants to find a home,” he said. Irving Place’s former owner was an


New West Richland Police Station


Va W.





Future Benton REA administration center Ke





Graphic by Vanessa Guzmán Benton Rural Electric Association closed a deal for nearly 18 acres to build a new administration building next door to the newly-built West Richland Police Station and Tri-City Raceway.

“What they’ve done with this property to develop it is just amazing,” he said. The future REA administration build-

ing will be accessed at the Cooperative Way and Keene Road intersection, south of West Van Giesen Street.

Oregon investment group looking to leave the Washington market and focus on less challenging investments, such as light industrial real estate. Once the group decided to sell, it wanted the deal wrapped by the end of the year. Fiascone marketed it to four would-be buyers. All visited. All submitted bids. He called it a property with plenty of upside – meaning it can be upgraded to command higher rents. A $1.5 million investment in new paint, cabinets, counters, appliances and putting washers and dryers in individual units could raise the cap rate to a healthier level of 6.5%. The complex commands rents averaging about $900 a month. The current market rate for higher end units could push that to more than $1,300. “There’s a lot of opportunity for the buying group to make improvements, bring it up to market,” Fiascone said. Badger Mountain Ranch is one of several newer complexes that traded hands. Regency Park, 3003 Queensgate Drive in Richland, is a 228-unit complex built in 2012. It sold for $44.5 million in July, or $195,000 a unit. The cap rate was not available, but another newer complex, The Tides at Willow Pointe, commanded

a 5.64% cap rate from its recent sale. The Tides at Willow Pointe, a new 30-unit project at 230 Battelle Blvd. in north Richland, sold for $7.5 million, or $250,000 unit, one of the biggest perunit deals in the region. Herron Lake was another example of older properties commanding big prices, although it has an intriguing back story. The 70-unit complex, 51 N. Edison St., was built in 1977. It sold for $10.5 million, or $150,000 a unit, in December. That buyer, an affiliate of DJS Investments of Newport Beach, California, already owns the neighboring complex, Clearwater Bay Apartments. The deal reunites two complexes that were originally built as one and later separated. The 3.5% cap rate on the Herron Lake sale indicates it made sense to put them back together. Fiascone said the unusual number of older properties changing hands is evidence of another aspect of the evolving apartment market: Soaring rents and the challenges of managing modern tenant protection laws, including eviction bans during the pandemic. “It’s harder to manage (smaller complexes) as a mom and pop without professional management,” he said.


Gov. Jay Islee budget includes ‘Middle Housing’

Gov. Jay Inslee is proposing to change to state policy to allow duplexes and townhomes in all areas within a half mile of major transit stops in larger cities. The move is part of a larger strategy to address homelessness and a housing crisis that has left the state 225,000 homes short of what’s needed to keep pace with growth. The proposal, if adopted, will include a model ordinance to help cities implement new measures. The governor’s 2022 budget and policy package, released Dec. 15, includes $800 million to address housing and homelessness. The proposal includes a variety of strategies, including more supported housing and programs to help people avoid losing their homes over issues such as being unable to pay power and water bills. The “Middle Housing” proposal increases density and is expected to encourage affordable homeownership by relaxing the conditions that have forced home prices to rise faster than wages. The move would allow lot-


splitting and duplexes on all lots in large and midsized cities, effectively ending single-family zoning. Washington Realtors supports the proposal.

Nordstrom mulls breakup with Rack, its discount arm

Nordstrom Inc., one of the brands Tri-Citians most want to see open a local store, is considering spinning off its discount division, Rack. While Nordstrom is unlikely to ever open a mainline store in the The-Cities, officials for the Seattle-based retailer have said that a local Rack outlet could be a possibility. But the subsidiary isn’t meeting its parents’ expectations for a recovery to pre-pandemic sales levels. It has hired AlixPartners to advise it on a possible spinoff, according to Chain Store Age, citing reports by Bloomberg. What that means for a potential TriCity location remains unclear. In the interim, Nordstrom fans can travel to Spokane to visit both a mainline Nordstrom and a Rack, or to the greater Seattle and Portland areas, which both have multiple locations for both.

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ULTA, From page B3 fornia, bought the 8,960-square-foot former Pier 1 building, built in 1995 on half an acre for $1.9 million in March 2021. It inked a 10-year lease with Ulta, with an option to extend for three renewal periods of up to five years each, according to documents filed with the county. Argonaut Investments’ Tri-City portfolio includes neighboring Columbia Square, home to anchor tenants Bed Bath & Beyond and T.J. Maxx; The Colonnade shopping center at 6705 W. Canal Drive in Kennewick, home to Best Buy, PetSmart, Michaels, Ross Dress for Less and Office Depot; and the Court Street Plaza at 1308 N. 20th Ave., home to anchor tenants Rite Aid and Albertsons. Ulta opened its second Tri-City store


at 2911 Queensgate Drive, Richland in 2017. Nationwide, the company operates 1,302 retail stores across 50 states and also sells products through its website, which includes a collection of tips, tutorials and social content. Go to Ulta’s net sales increased 28.6% to $2 billion in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021, compared to $1.6 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2020 due to the favorable impact from stronger consumer confidence and fewer Covid-19 restrictions, according to the company. Gross profit increased to $789.5 million compared to $545.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. Pier 1 closed in 2020 after the company filed for bankruptcy.



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10 Eagle Crest Drive, Connell

I&J Investments will soon be opening its newest Metro Mart Convenience Store/76 Gas Station in Connell. The 5,750 square foot building has 3,860 square feet of store space and a 1,750 square foot future tenant space, with accommodations for a drive-thru window. The station includes six fuel pumps for gasoline and diesel plus a dedicated Diesel Island for Over the Road 18 wheelers. The building is finished with a modern mix of stucco, glass, lap and metal siding. The convenience store/76 gas station is located at the Connell/ Kahlotus exit off Interstate 395. The street address is 10 Eagle Crest Drive, Connell, WA. The project was built for I&J Investments, which operates Metro Mart Convenience Stores in Northeastern Oregon and Southeastern Washington. Cliff Thorn Construction LLC of Richland was the general contractor.

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Community First Bank 1007 Jadwin Ave., Richland

Community First Bank has completed renovations to its new Richland home at the corner of Jadwin Avenue and Swift Boulevard, across the street from the new Richland City Hall. The bank paid $1.1 million for the 1967-built office building and invested $1.4 million in renovations to the 7,571-squarefoot building and drive-thru. The Richland branch offers banking and business lending services and has office space for general operations. Powell & Gunter Attorneys at Law continues to lease space in the building. Craig A. Scott, information technology and facilities director and vice president for Community First Bank, served as the owner’s representative. MH Construction was the general contractor, with Rob Wimble serving as job superintendent and Adam Smith as project manager. Archibald & Company Architects of Richland designed the project.

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Dutch Bros Coffee 4305 W. 27th Place, Kennewick

Bush Developments has completed construction of a new Kennewick location for Dutch Bros Coffee, the Grants Pass, Oregon-based chain of drive-thru coffee shops. The 950-square-foot building occupies a 1-acre site at 4305 W. 17th Place. The $2 million project opened to customers Nov. 26, 2021. Bush Developments is led by TJ, Blake and Tim Bush. TEAM Construction of Vancouver was the general contractor, with Doug Pilcher serving as project manager. GNICH Architecture Studio of Portland was the architect. Paul Knutzen of Knutzen Engineering in Kennewick was the engineer. “This project was super fun for us,” the Bush Developments team said in a statement. “Dutch Bros corporate is just like you would expect Dutch Bros would be. Super laid back, fun to deal with. This is the first Dutch Bros in Tri-Cities that matches Dutch Bros new corporate image.”

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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 Israel Rios Cruces, 1703 N. 18th Ave., Pasco. Frank Baxter Jr. & Ronnette Darlene Sanderfer-Baxter, 1628 W. Irving St., Pasco. Maria Mendoza, 2100 Bellerive Drive, #158, Richland. Dawn Roberta Gamboa, 5426 N. Road 68, Suite D, #124, Pasco. Jose C. Acosta, PO Box 1182, Prosser. Carl Eugene Kellberg & Karrie Ila Kellberg, 3410 Murphy Road, Pasco. Michael E. Morrissey & Cheryl L. Morrissey, 4711 N. Dallas Road,

#D-103, West Richland. Nestor Jesus Torres Morales, 67604 N. Gust Road, Benton City. Maria Elva Mendoza, 721 E. 15th Ave., Pasco. Randall Aamot, 2555 Duportail St., #E-140, Richland. Alice Margaret Harder, 5020 Robert Wayne Drive, Pasco. CHAPTER 13 Elizabeth Mujica, 2021 Mahan Avenue, #E-10, Richland. Mark Alan Dunham, 21404 S. 2154 PR SE, Kennewick. Roberto Joe Hernandez Jr. & Caylee Shae Hernandez, 1119 N. Road 46, Pasco. Christopher Ryan Flanagan, 2640 Kingsgate Way, #187, Richland.

uTOP PROPERTIES BENTON COUNTY 11056 S. Steeplechase Drive, Kennewick, 1-acre home site. Price: $902,000. Buyer: Jerrold E. & Christine G. Hammer. Seller: Prodigy Homes Inc. Property between Keene Road and Lincoln Landing, Richland, 5 acres

of primary commercial/industrial land. Price: $2.4 million. Buyer: Lincoln Investments LLC. Seller: Amara Development Co. 953 S. Keller St., Kennewick, 6,690-square-foot apartment complex. Price: $850,000. Buyer: Preferred Rentals LLC. Seller: GR8 House LLC. 6500 Collins Road West, Richland, 2,441-square-foot home. Price: $1.2 million. Buyer: Jennifer & Christopher S. Ortolani. Seller: Elizabeth & John Elder. 493 Riverwood St., Richland, 3,164-square-foot home. Price: $900,000. Buyer: Drew J. & Victoria M. Sullivan. Seller: Castlerock Custom Homes LLC. 2929 S. Kellogg St., Richland, 2,193-square-foot home. Price: $750,000. Buyer: James R. & Lynnsey Campbell. Seller: Marcus & Lana Aho. 4047 W. 47th Court, Kennewick, 2,494-square-foot home. Price: $780,000. Buyer: Anastasiya Munro. Seller: Signature Homes LLC. 5121 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, 3 acres of primary commercial/industrial land. Price: $1.2 million. Buyer: Hungry Generation. Seller: Nikom & Josefina Wannarachue Trustees. 88642 E. Calico Road, Kennewick, 1-acre home site. Price: $709,000. Buyer: Jeff A. & Donetta M. Bacon. Seller: New Tradition Homes Inc. 3038 Bluffs Drive, Richland, 3,015-square-foot home. Price: $730,000. Buyer: Grant Goolsby & Krista Corbin. Seller: Martin & Katherine Klotz. 4150 Highview St., Richland, 0.58acre home site. Price: $736,000. Buyer: Patrick & Rebecca Maag. Seller: Landmark Homes of Washington Inc. 2496 Tiger Lane, Richland, 2,490-square-foot home. Price: $761,000. Buyer: Randy T. & McKenzie E. Koon. Seller: Oleksandr & Galyna Polinko. 1667 Jericho Road, Richland, 2,526-square-foot home. Price:

$800,000. Buyer: Roy F. Dobson III & Ivan L. White Trustee. Seller: Randy & Abbey Aust. 13507 S. Grandview Lane, Kennewick, 2,966-square-foot home. Price: $795,000. Buyer: Don C. & Vicki J. Atwood. Seller: Andrey A. & Irina Belza. 87321 Calico Road, Kennewick, 1-acre home site. Price: $870,000. Buyer: Zachary & Shawna Byrnes. Seller: JK Monarch LLC. 2378 Eagle Ridge Court, Richland, 2,857-square-foot home. Price: $725,000. Buyer: Jason M. & Melissa D. Capron. Seller: William Bingham & Cassandra Smith. 5704 S. Ryanick Road, Kennewick, 3,430-square-foot home. Price: $795,000. Buyer: James I. & Debra E. Belford. Seller: Moana England. 2342 Eagle Ridge Court, Richland, 2,906-square-foot home. Price: $780,000. Buyer: Desmond Arthur & Neira M. Ritari. Seller: Tom & Brenda Reardon. 2607 Falcon Lane, Richland, 2,427-square-foot home. Price: $915,000. Buyer: Cody & Laura Powell. Seller: Dan Adrian Bacia. 72717 S. Meals Road, Kennewick, 158 acres of irrigated ag land, 222 acres of range land, pole building. Price: $2.6 million. Buyer: Baker Produce Inc. Seller: Rainier Heights Holdings Inc. 3751 W. 49th Ave., Kennewick, 0.35-acre home site. Price: $804,000. Buyer: Andrew J. & Catlana L. Brayton. Seller: Signature Homes LLC. 1923 S. Vancouver St., Kennewick, 18,945-square-foot apartment complex. Price: $2.6 million. Buyer: Pine Tree Park Kennewick 32 LLC. Seller: Pine Wood Enterprises LLC. 1923 S. Vancouver St., Kennewick, 18,742-square-foot apartment complex. Price: $3.2 million. Buyer: Pine Tree Park Kennewick 32 LLC. Seller: Pine Wood Enterprises LLC. 100 N. Irving Place, Kennewick,


TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | JANUARY 2022 apartment complex on 7 acres. Price: $19.4 million. Buyer: Irving Place 136 LLC. Seller: Robert H. & Jennifer Rose Bennett Trustees. 1440 Short Ave., Richland, 620-square-foot home, 874-squarefoot home, 380-square-foot home on 2 acres. Price: $1 million. Buyer: Familia Smith LLC. Seller: Duane M. Shepard Trustee. 201 N. Fruitland, Kennewick, multiple commercial buildings totaling 8,233 square feet on 1.5 acres. Price: $700,000. Buyer: Legacy Pool LLC. Seller: Pallis Inc. 2377 Eagle Ridge Court, Richland, 2,648-square-foot home. Price: $765,000. Buyer: Michael & Emily Biddle. Seller: John & Victoria I. Moon. 1846 Somers Lane, Richland, 2,913-square-foot home. Price: $775,000. Buyer: John & Victoria I. Moon. Seller: Elegant Custom Homes LLC. 5749 W. 28th Ave., Kennewick, 0.34-acre home site. Price: $932,000. Buyer: Michael & Xiomara Rainey. Seller: Prodigy Homes Inc. 222608 E. Game Farm Road, Kennewick, 5,000-square-foot commercial building, 2400-square-foot commercial building on 2 acres. Price: $800,000. Buyer: Virk Group 2 Inc. Seller: Robin Lee & Kathy D. Richards. 1345 Medley Drive, Richland, 0.48acre home site. Price: $744,000. Buyer: Richard & Elisabeth Findley. Seller: Alderbrook Investments Inc. Property off North Whan Road, 6 acres of irrigated ag land. Price: $765,000. Buyer: Theran & Laura Hodges. Seller: Olsen Family LLC. 1180 Pinto Loop, Richland, 3,467-square-foot home. Price: $925,000. Buyer: Albert Kennon Barton II & Nichole Mary Tomblin Barton. Seller: Dale & Patricia Bayley. 14751 S. Furlong Lane, Kennewick, 1-acre home site. Price: $970,000. Buyer: Matthew & Jennifer McDaniel. Seller: Hammerstrom Construction Inc. 8500 W. Gage Blvd., Kennewick, 3,017-square-foot commercial building. Price: $700,000. Buyer: Tarta Twin Properties Inc. Seller: Presby Monasmith LLC. 4001 W. 27th Ave., Kennewick, 52,786-square-foot hotel on 3 acres. Price: $12 million. Buyer: BWP LLC. Seller: Kennewick Propco LLC. 162 Bradley Blvd., Richland, 2,332-square-foot home. Price: $985,000. Buyer: Mark & Alana A. Amer. Seller: Jerry & Marcia Stangeland Trustees. 8200 Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick, 5,380-square-foot commercial building. Price: $1.5 million. Buyer: 8200 Gage LLC. Seller: First Federal Savings & Loan Association. 12611 S. Furlong Lane, Kennewick, 1.25-acre home site. Price: $800,000. Buyer: Jason S. Redding. Seller: Jackson Ventures LLP. 814 S. Columbia Center Blvd., Kennewick, 9.2 acres of primary commercial/industrial land. Price: $2.2 million. Buyer: Hansen Park Development Phase 2 LLC. Seller: VHP

Kennewick Investments LLC. 51 N. Edison St., Kennewick, apartment complex with seven buildings more than 11,300 square feet apiece, plus 1,664-square-foot club house on 5 acres. Price: $10.5 million. Buyer: DJS Heerron Lake LLC. Seller: Games Garden Park II LLC. 96801 E. Brandon Drive, Kennewick, 2,063-square-foot home. Price: $725,000. Buyer: Adnan & Adela Jusic. Seller: Tracy J. & Megan L. Vance. 933 S. Highland Drive, Kennewick, 2,014-square-foot home on 2.7 acres. Price: $717,000. Buyer: Derek N. Crawford & Sarah B. Hillis. Seller: Anthony J. & Terry Edwards. 2138 Legacy Lane, Richland, 2,901-square-foot home. Price: $950,000. Buyer: Thomas C. & Salina B. Savage Trustees. Seller: Christopher Joseph O’Neill. 5859 W. 28th Place, Kennewick, 0.61-acre home site. Price: $867,000. Buyer: David Glenn Kostorowski & Tonia Lynn Nybo Kostorowski. Seller: Prodigy Homes. 27404 S. PR SE, 2,620-squarefoot home on 1.24 acres. Price: $875,000. Buyer: Paul C. Herr. Seller: Joel & Jennifer Mitchell. 1450, 1403 & 1409 Jones Road, Richland, 44 acres of irrigated pasture land. Price: $740,000. Buyer: Cleve & Hollie Mooers. Seller: Mark A. & Carlyn S. Kraft. 125 N. Wamba Road, Prosser, assisted living center totaling 28,540 square feet on 4 acres. Price: $3.5 million. Buyer: Greenlake Prosser

LLC. Seller: Wamba Road Properties LLC. 530 N. Edison, Kennewick, 12-building apartment complex including clubhouse, discount store and residential garage on 4.5 acres. Price: $18 million. Buyer: Wildflower Kennewick LLC. Seller: First Edison LLC. 324 Soaring Hawk St., Richland, 2,244-square-foot home. Price: $725,000. Buyer: Jeff & Deborah L. Dihel. Seller: TRC Gobal Mobility Inc. 1206 S. Canter Court, Kennewick, 1-acre home site. Price: $850,000. Buyer: Jeffrey K. & Andy S. Blank. Seller: Riverwood Homes Washington LLC. 4095 Corvina St., Richland, 3,033-square-foot home. Price: $740,000. Buyer: Wade M. & Colleen N. Warren. Seller: Riverwood Homes Washington LLC. 5990 Willowbend St., West Richland, 2,292-square-foot home. Price: $790,000. Buyer: Lora & Tyler Bird. Seller: National Residential Nominee Services LLC. 16215 S. Ridge View Lane, Kennewick, 1-acre home site. Price: $800,000. Buyer: Richard J. & Carol L. Brooks. Seller: JK Monarch East LLC. 2280 Skyview Loop, Richland, 3,347-square-foot home. Price: $954,000. Buyer: Joshua J. & Abby K. Anderson. Seller: Pahlisch Homes at Westcliffe Heights LLC. 2612 Falcon Lane, Richland, 2,915-square-foot home. Price: $1 million. Buyer: Dan Adrian Baciu.


Seller: John Robert Sallese & Richard Jan Meyers. 4233, 4259, 4311, 4337 & 4369 Potlach St. & 4358 Lolo Way, Richland, 6 home sites totaling 1.74 acres. Price: $740,000. Buyer: New Tradition Homes Inc. Seller: South Richland Communities LLC. 4275 Corvina St., Richland, 0.3acre home site. Price: $740,000. Buyer: Brian Van Wynen & Scott Brererton. Seller: Riverwood Homes Washington LLC. 99 Lee Blvd., Richland, 16,363-square-foot restaurant and office building, 1,064-square-foot office building. Price: $1.9 million. Buyer: HF Pasco LLC. 1322 Jolianna Drive, Richland, 0.4-acre home site. Price: $722,000. Buyer: Stephen Philip & Debra Sue Cannon. Seller: Alderbrook Investments Inc. FRANKLIN COUNTY 1663 Page Road, Pasco, manufactured home, shops, pole buildings on 171 acres. Price: $980,000. Buyer: Ice Harbor Orchards LLC. Seller: Larkspur SR LLC. 2671 Murphy Road, Pasco, 1665 Page Road, 1741 McLenny Road, 1,049-square-foot home, shop buildings. Price: $26.3 million. Buyer: Ice Harbor Orchards LLC. Seller: Larkspur SR LLC. Property off Sandifur Parkway and Road 92, 1.8 acres of undeveloped land. Price: $801,000. Buyer: Elite


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Investment Group LLC. Seller: Gary D. & Nancy K. Wiley. 7505 Sandifur Parkway, Pasco, 8.476-square-foot shopping center on 1 acre. Price: $3.9 million. Buyer: Cho’s Family Investment Property LLC. Seller: Hogback Sandifur LLC. 1409 E. Lewis St., Pasco, 1.5 acres of undeveloped land. Price: $2.9 million. Buyer: Joyce Binn (TR). Seller: Simoncre SD III LLC. 241 Sunset Loop, Pasco, 2,321-square-foot home on 5 acres. Price: $885,000. Buyer: Emily Jean & Fred Gomez. Seller: Tobin Neil & Amanda Renee Neyens. 12114 Blackfoot Drive, Pasco, 2,740-square-foot home. Price: $815,000. Buyer: Nathan W. & Amanda Wilson. Seller: Erika Jordan (etvir). 7524 Kohler Road, Pasco, 3,123-square-foot home on 1.9 acres. Price: $1.5 million. Buyer: Joel & Melissa Martinez. Seller: Janet R. & George C. Jansson. 2811 N. 20th Ave., hotel with 80,604 square feet on 4.3 acres. Price: $13 million. Buyer: Richland Investment Group LLC. Seller: Pasco Propco LLC. 4261 W. Fir Road, Pasco, 1,856-square-foot home on 153 acres. Price: $8.1 million. Buyer: White Pasco III LLC. Seller: Dean & Pamela Gilmore. 1512 59th Court, Pasco, 2,368-square-foot home. Price: $718,000. Buyer: Eric Gerald & Heather Ashley Tolon. Seller: Viking Builders LLC. 7016 Sandy Ridge Road, Pasco, 2,360-square-foot home. Price: $800,000. Buyer: Kevin L. & Cara R. McMillin. Seller: Michael J. & Julia A. Jennings (TR). 4612 Shoreline Court, 4,947-squarefoot home, 1,082-square-foot home; 12010 Harris Road, Pasco, 0.36 acres of undeveloped land; 12014

Harris Road, 0.37 acres of undeveloped land. Price: $3.9 million. Buyer: Robert & Renae Bobbett (Earthly Enterprises LLC). Seller: Timothy T. & Kathryn L. Bush (TR).

uBUILDING PERMITS BENTON COUNTY PocketiNet Communications, 23401 S. Lincoln Road, $5,600 for new commercial. Contractor: PocketiNet Communications. KENNEWICK Editor’s note: The city of Kennewick recently installed new permit reporting software so no information is available at this time. PASCO Reser’s Fine Foods, 5526 N. Capitol Ave., $3.9 million, new commercial. Contractor: to be determined. Stephen Knutzen, 6404 W. Court St., $20,000, commercial addition. Contractor: Hummel Construction & Development. Edmund Harrington, 2407 N. Commercial Ave., $25,000 antenna/tower. Contractor: to be determined. Columbia Basin College, 2600 N. 20th Ave., $12,000 for commercial addition. Contractor: Absco Solutions. Justin R. Henning, 3203 W. Marie St., $22,000 for sign. Contractor: Inland Sign & Lighting. Sohal Truck Wash LLC, 3802 N. Commercial Ave., $14,000 for sign. Contractor: Yesco LLC. Nick Bauer, 5710 Bedford St., $150,000 for tenant improvements. Contractor: MH Construction Inc. Jay Clark, 602 N. California Ave., $812,000 for new commercial. Contractor: Clearspan Steel LLC. City of Pasco, 11315 W. Court St.,

$8 million for commercial addition. Contractor: to be determined. Professional Development Group LLC, 9720 Sandifur Parkway, $5,200 for sign. Contractor: Mustang Sign Group. ST Properties LLC, 1865 N. Commercial Ave., $6,000 for sign. Contractor: Mustang Sign Group. Luciano Hernandez, 1315 E. Lewis St., $76,000 for tenant improvements. Contractor: owner. Housing Authority of City of Pasco, parcel 112 025 013, $40,000 for antenna/tower. Contractor: to be determined. Professional Development Group LLC, 9720 Sandifur Parkway, $60,000 for sign. Contractor: Mustang Sign Group. Zepgon Investment, 2120 W. A St., $80,000 for new commercial. Contractor: Columbia Walk Development. PROSSER Jeffrey Alan Cook, 1215 Bennett Ave., $215,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: Belfor USA Group Inc. RICHLAND Grant Land Co., 506 Wellsian Way, Unit A., $25,000 for antenna/tower. Contractor: Strata Inc. Extended Legacy LLC, 2435 Stevens Center Place, $1.3 million for tenant improvements. Contractor: Stevens Center Management. Illahee Holdings LLC, 69 Jadwin Ave., Suite 55, $24,000 for commercial reroof. Contractor: Silver Bow Roofing. Illahee Holdings LLC, 69 Jadwin Ave., Suite 49, $24,000 for commercial reroof. Contractor: Silver Bow Roofing. Tagaris Winery, 844 Tulip Lane, $150,000 for tenant improvements. Contractor: SE Mechanical Inc.

uBUSINESS LICENSES RICHLAND The Rootvik Agency, 1704 Del Cambre Loop. Asset Insure LLC, 9212 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh, North Carolina. DJ’s Electrical Inc., 2321 SE Grace Ave., Battle Ground. Rehab Hair by Jenn, 404 Bradley Blvd. Poseidon Painting Co. LLC, 2016 Davison Ave. Cannon Construction Inc., 406 Porter Way, Milton. PHF Inc., 7562 Bertram Way NE Moses Lake. Wildland Labs Inc., 723 The Parkway. Sparky’s Quality Construction LLC, 5404 Coolidge Court, Pasco. Utility Trailer & Equipment Sales Northwest LLC, 2811 Polar Way. Prologue Ventures LLC, 1695 Malibu PR. Bailey Brake, 1311 Mansfield St. Kozy Kup, 2250 Keene Road. Diamond Trim and Finish LLC,

4956 Spirea Drive, West Richland. Apples Cuts, 1009 Wright Ave. Karen Davidson, 2983 Sedona Circle. Marine Cleaning, 9 608 Hunter St. Sage’s Sugar Shack LLC, 205 Davenport St. Pina, Amanda, 249 Ashwood St. Pumptech LLC, 12020 SE 32nd St., Bellevue. Flight Tap & Table, 502 Swift Blvd. Ketra Thompson Hypnosis LLC, 660 George Washington Way. JP Auto Body, 95 Goethals Drive. Aimed For Health LLC, 472 Keene Road. Analizh Cleaning Services Inc., 806 W. Entiat Ave., Kennewick. A Legal Technician Office, 1202 Sanford Ave. Richland Inn and Suites, 1201 George Washington Way. McDonald Services, 214 Wright Ave. Kaloi Filmmaking Studio, 1543 Ridgeview Court. Northwest Consulting & Development LLC, 2325 Copperhill St. Audrey Pack, 1207 Aaron Drive. Siever-Re LLC, 2606 Horseshoe Court. Tom Yes LLC, 8806 218th St. SW, Edmonds. Grace Kitchen, 950 George Washington Way. Pure Teeth Whitening, 263 Brookwood Loop. Hugs & Love Dog Training, 2416 Pullen St. Allegiant Therapy PLLC, 3555 Regent St. Bel Property Holdings LLC, 1215 Mahan Ave. Annearchy Digital LLC, 723 The Parkway. Greentex General Contracting LLC, 66802 N. 82 PR NE, Benton City. Tri-City Spartans, 407 Rowland Road, Sedro Woolley. BRT Enterprises LLC, 609 Lynnwood Court. Image Collection, 1356 Jadwin Ave. Smart Appliance Repair, 1407 Judson Ave. Quality Driving School, 7 S. Dayton St. Kennewick. Era Skyview, 1766 Fowler St. Willis Paint & Construction LLC, 1009 S. Newport St., Kennewick. Autobahn Auto Care Center, 1225 Guyer Ave. Tommy’s Garage LLC, 2579 Stevens Drive. Platinum Electric Services LLC, 3104 S. Rainier St., Kennewick. Polinko Construction, 2449 Tiger Lane. Navi Visuals, 1615 McPherson Ave. Cleanfreak, 1324 Mahan Ave. Manning Clean, 1880 Birch Ave. Hayley Purvis Illustration and Production, 1022 Willard Ave. Fast Sheetrock Installation, 1428 S. Elm St., Kennewick. Erz Digital Media, 250 Gage Blvd. Savvy Suarez LLC, 123 Gage Blvd. One Choice Junk Removal LLC, 6401 W. Arrowhead Ave., Kennewick. Ultronics Instrument Company, 2533 Albemarle Court.


TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | JANUARY 2022 Nisan Paint & Carpentry LLC, 6718 W. Ninth Ave., Kennewick. Deep Blue Mobile Notary, 1419 Haupt Ave. Sherry Sandilands Realtor LLC, 1130 Pinto Loop. Garcia’s Granite LLC, 521 S. Sycamore Ave., Pasco. Maggie S. Haircuts, 480 Keene Road. Clean Serenity, 101 Davenport St. KENNEWICK Startek Workforce Solutions LLC, 7913 Foxcatcher Court, Odessa, Florida. Alliance Imaging Inc., 18201 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, California. Deduction Productions Co., 409 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, California. Waitress Touring LLC, 7135 Minstrel Way, Columbia, Maryland. Information First Inc., 8605 Lenfant Place, Manassas, Virginia. Western Construction of Lewiston Inc., 3900 Industrial Way, Lewiston, Idaho. Damar Towing Corp., 3022 N. Capitol Ave., Pasco. Performance Heating and Air Conditioning Inc., 1012 Central Ave. S., Kent. Combined Construction Inc., 3701 South Road, Mukilteo. Skaug Brothers Inc., 560 W. Sixth Ave. Chavez Trux LLC, 2015 S. Palouse St. Kirsten Rose Vineyard, 7 W. 27th

Ave. McCallum Rock Drilling Inc., 115 Sturdevant Road, Chehalis. Columbia Surgical Specialists, P.S., 217 W. Cataldo Ave., Spokane. The Sign Post Inc., 2019 E. Bakerview Road, Bellingham. R. Peterman Construction Inc., 4321 Mount Everest Court, West Richland. Tina’s Tasty Treats, 212 W. Kennewick Ave. Norwest Shop Equipment, 9507 E. Fourth Ave., Spokane Valley. NXT Telcom Services, 704 228th Ave. NE, Sammamish. Kohne Construction, 101 S. Washington St. Underground Net LLC, 1223 Sunnyside Blvd. SE, Lake Stevens. Ruth Elizabeth Wood, 3916 W. Third Ave. The Corndog Company Eastern Washington, 215 N. 14th Ave., Othello. DLC Excavating Corp., 1111 N. Viall Road, Grandview. Haily Ann Sechser, 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd. Metalman Inc., 22620 85th Place S, Kent. Extended Family Homes LLC, 1155 N. Oklahoma St. SGC Construction LLC, 390 Third St., Ronald. New Generation LLC, 628 N. Waldemar Ave., Pasco. A Peaceful Living AFH LLC, 807 W. 43rd Ave. Drywall Contracting LLC, 1014 S. Olympia Place.

Garcia-Bueno Andres Ario, 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Studio 31. GCD Construction LLC, 6205 Turf Paradise Drive, Pasco. The Brothers Roofing & Construction, 301 N. 22nd Ave., Pasco. Custom Design Homes Construction LLC, 4917 Athens Drive, Pasco. K2 Vision, 8011 W. Quinault Ave. Aimed For Health LLC, 472 Keene Road, Richland. Lion Landscaping & Maintenance LLC, 449 S. Dawes St. Desert Rain Counseling, 401 N. Morain St. Willis Paint & Construction LLC, 1009 S. Newport St. SK Quality Construction LLC, 1405 W. Fourth Ave. Platinum Electric Services LLC, 3104 S. Rainier St. Fast Sheetrock Installation, 1428 S. Elm St. Columbia River Counseling LLC, 1030 N. Center Pkwy. Dandelion Picnics and Events LLC, 603 W. Trinity PR NW, Benton City. Romeros Moving Services LLC, 425 S. Olympia St. Bright Side Studio, 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd. Upper Deck Holdings LLC, 2717 W. Canal Drive. Gastro Health, 7114 W. Hood Place. Veronica Campos Homes LLC, 7601 W. Clearwater Ave. The Hair Lab Salon, 7320 W. Hood Place. CNC Masonry LLC, 1501 W. Fifth Ave.


Heart Centered Healing, 3311 W. Clearwater Ave. Jordan General Renovation LLC, 214002 E. 22nd Ave. Quality1stcourier LLC, 4000 S. Reed Court. Abbie’s Daycare, 612 E. Ninth Place. Precision Taxidermy LLC, 516 E. First Ave. Doa Kustom Autoworks LLC, 214 E. Albany Ave. TG Masonry LLC, 1114 W. 10th Ave. Toscano Beauty, 312 N. Neel St. Rayne Anderson, 4619 S. Quincy Place. Little Hearts Learning Center LLC, 1416 S. Olympia Place. Art’s Lawn Care, 1911 W. Hopkins St., Pasco. Mid-Columbia Ultrasound LLC, 5703 W. Eighth Ave. J & J Portable Toilets LLC, 1206 E. Sixth Ave. Saint Tropel, 1030 N. Center Parkway. T2 Contracting, 1009 W. 14th Place. TDKJ Commercial Property LLC, 532 S. Steptoe St. Purple Warrior Junk Removal, 224 S. Edison St. Desert Design Studio, 1025 W. 16th Place. Amber Ann McGuin, 1008 S. Belfair St. Cachanillas Painting and Drywall LLC, 331 S. Owen Ave., Pasco. CRVM Transport LLC, 3610 W. 16th Place.




Dutch Bros Coffee, 4305 W. 27th Place. ACTT Med, 5882 W. 38th Court. A+ Massage, 321 N. Columbia Center Blvd. Chipotle Mexican Grill #3988, 3631 Plaza Way. Banana Face Party, 216405 E. Bryson Brown Road. Quality Wrench, 1425 Jadwin Ave., Richland. Tri-Cities Doula Services, 619 N. Tweedt St. Superior Concrete, 5620 W. Wernett Road, Pasco. Susana Zamora, 1205 W. First Ave. Steward Express, 1026 W. 10th Ave. Igor’s Stash, 4711 W. Metaline Ave. Apta-Mana Services, 1010 W. 15th Place. Clarity Life Coaching LLC, 3414 S. Volland St. 2 Generations Construction LLC, 1505 S. Road 40 East, Pasco. Foster Thrift, 810 S. Dayton St. Dcrosbyluxlashes, 3180 W. Clearwater Ave. Take A Break LLC, 309 W. Kennewick Ave. Blue Bridge Mortgage, 1030 N. Center Parkway. Integrity Mining LLC, 3906 S. Anderson St. Dye Pretty, 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite 26 Hl Flooring LLP, 2019 Road 33 Pasco. Jazmin Torres Melani, 3902 W. Clearwater Ave. Modern Lash LLC, 10121 W. Clearwater Ave. Bonny Reyes, 7320 W. Hood Place, Suite 202. Third Axiom Solutions LLC, 4800 S. Morain St. Trityca Anderson, 9202 W. Gage Blvd. Jorge Luis Mendez Gonzalez, 418 N. Fruitland St. Crooked Branch Creations, 3402 W. 34th Ave. Love Club Studio, 8121 W. Grandridge Blvd. Willow Communications, 5017 W. 28th Ave. Lendmark Financial Services LLC, 513 1/2 Meridian Ave., Puyallup. 40yr50 Consulting, 1602 W. 51st Ave.

PASCO Milky Way, 2920 Travel Plaza Way. Rezmor, 627 S. Sycamore Ave. The Barberlife Studio, 4845 Broadmoor Blvd., #102. Out With The New LLC, 4802 Sierra Drive. Accounting & Management Solutions Inc., 1500 W. Court St. Dollar General Store #22672, 1409 E. Lewis St. Noble HVAC Services, 920 Road 44. Gale Superior Services LLC, 9814 Coho Court. The Zen Den Massage and Body Sculpt, 2420 W. Court St. Columbia Basin Automotive, 901 W. Lewis St. Martinez Brothers Delivery LLC, 1935 W. Yakima St. M & C Transportation LLC, 1408 Road 56. Paint The Town Events, 10013 W. Argent Road. Pristine Carpet Cleaning, 10611 Oak Lane. Cai Construction LLC, 920 Empire Drive. Carpe-diem Trucking LLC, 1603 Road 32, #1607. K S Mechanical LLC, 4304 Segovia Drive. Stirling Innovations, 8509 W. Clara St. SR Nena’s Salon, 4845 Broadmoor Blvd., #102. JTR Contracting LLC, 10116 W. Argent Road. Dash Communications LLC, 1296 W. Poplar Ave., Hermiston, Oregon. AO Data Solutions LLC, 4111 Messara Lane. Apex Auto Detailing, 1828 W. Lewis St. At B and B Enterprises LLC, 1003 Pattyton Lane, Richland. Amber Pro Electric, 3715 Whimbrel Lane. OT Pro Painting LLC, 3115 W. Agate St., Suite C. Alpha Construction and Design LLC, 6917 W. Arrowhead Ave. Deniz General Construction, 913 E. 15th Ave., Kennewick. Diamond Construction Solutions LLC, 2107 Tripple St., Richland. Hair By Charity, 6916 W. Argent Road, Suite A. Marvin Roofing LLC, 32300 E.

Country Vista Drive, Liberty Lake. P&H Concrete, 501 S. Larch St., Kennewick. House Cleaning Mary Chuy, 619 N. Sycamore Ave. Sophia Artesania, 518 W. Lewis St., Suite 522. La Bella Glo Beauty Salon, 6403 Burden Blvd., Suite A. Shambaugh & Son LP, 7614 Opportunity Drive, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Engage PR + Social Media LLC, 8709 W. Imnaha Ave., Kennewick. Gale Electric LLC, 2641 Torrey Pines Way, Richland. Ascent Mechanical and Plumbing Inc., 764 S. Clearwater Loop, Post Falls, Idaho. SSP Construction LLC, 1504 W. 47th Ave., Kennewick. A&A House Cleaning Services LLLP, 3425 E. A St., #F202. Greentex General Contracting LLC, 66802 N. 82 PR NE, Benton City. Rick James Coronado, 1615 McPherson Ave., Richland. Karen Whooley Designs, 6109 Rockrose Lane. Erz Digital Media, 250 Gage Blvd. Apt E1034, Richland. Diamond Trim and Finish, 4956 Spirea Drive, West Richland. Fast Sheetrock Installation, 1428 S. Elm St., Kennewick. One Choice Junk Removal LLC, 6401 W. Arrowhead Ave., Kennewick. American Tax Consultants LLC, 3835 W. Court St. Nisan Paint & Carpentry LLC, 6718 W. Ninth Ave., Kennewick. Capstone Solutions Inc., 8195 166th Ave. NE, Suite 100, Redmond. 3MX Contractors, 82504 Summit View Drive, Kennewick. Engage Perfect Cleaning, 1900 S. Clodfelter Road, Kennewick. Salud & Nutricion, 1999 W. Lewis St., Suite A. Sue Ann Berry, 1310 S. Date Place, Kennewick. Amber McGuin, 1008 S. Belfair St., Kennewick. Dandelion Picnics and Events LLC, 603 W. Trinity PR NW, Benton City. Platinum Electric Services LLC, 3104 S. Rainier St., Kennewick. Garcia’s Granite LLC, 521 S. Sycamore Ave. Alpha Roofing, 3 W. A St.

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We roll.

2501 N. Columbia Center Blvd. Richland, Washington


Jennifer Berry-Burkhart, 1302 S. Sate St., #3, Kennewick. Linden Steel LP, 12418 FM 1641, Forney, Texas. Quality1stCourier LLC, 4000 S. Reed Court, Kennewick. Tri-Cities Home Services LLC, 241 James St., West Richland. Michael Ramirez, 6008 Dodge Drive. Towers Tax Pro, 8415 Kingsbury Drive. Buena Sanadora LLC, 510 Orchard Road. Nations Roof Mountain LLC, 10621 W. Executive Drive, Boise, Idaho. J & J Portable Toilets LLC, 1206 E. Sixth Ave., Kennewick. Bayou PNW Holdings LLC, 3835 W. Court St. Purple Warrior Junk Removal, 224 S. Edison St., Kennewick. Willis Paint & Construction LLC, 1009 S. Newport St., Suite A, Kennewick. Christina Williams-via, 10305 Chapel Hill Blvd. Alvarez Quality Construction LLC, 213 S. Owen Ave., #213 Linda De Lorme/Via, 10406 S. 952 PR SE, Kennewick. WEST RICHLAND Standard Paint and Flooring LLC, 409 W. Yakima Ave., Yakima. America Residential Construction LLC, 179 Bitterroot Drive, Richland. Keith D. Pattison, 1202 N. Cleveland St., Kennewick. Art’s Lawn Care, 1911 W. Hopkins St., Pasco. Rudy’s Tree Service, 4411 Laredo Drive, Pasco. Noble HVAC Services, 920 N. Road 44 Pasco. Columbia River Walk Development, 2326 W. A St., Pasco. Quality1stCourier LLC, 4000 S. Reed Court, Kennewick. Candy Mountain Electric LLC, 66302 E. Ranch Road. Capshaw LLC, 2616 Road 68 Pasco. Marske Flooring, 10251 Ridgeline Drive, Kennewick. JMT Driving LLC, 4400 S. 47th Ave. Skinzi Aesthetics, 4033 W. Van Giesen St. Indian Eyes LLC, 5826 W. Van Giesen St. Benton County Process Server LLC, 4135 Laurel Drive. Frasier Homes, 2819 Copperbutte St., Richland. Basalt Pacific Holdings LLC, 202132 E. 25th Ave., Kennewick. MH General Construction LLC, 203106 E. Bowles Road, Kennewick. Lafferty Excavating, 225616 E. Cochran Road, Kennewick. Royal Shine Cleaning LLC, 2906 W. Seventh Ave., Kennewick. United Natural Foods West, 7909 S. Union Ridge Parkway, Ridgefield. NXT Telcom Services, 704 228th Ave. NE, Sammamish 2 Generations Construction LLC, 1505 S. Road 40 East, Pasco. HL Flooring LLP, 1817 W. Cartmell St., Pasco.


TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | JANUARY 2022 Caicedos Trucking LLC, 1107 W. Fifth Ave., Kennewick. Saunders Line Construction Inc., 7109 W. Melville Road, Cheney. Turn2Learn, 7316 W. Argent Road, Pasco. Gabriela Gomez, 806 W. Entiat Ave., Kennewick. Greenscape Lawn Solutions, 703 E. Woodin Road, Sunnyside. Lion Landscaping & Maintenance LLC, 449 S. Dawes St., Kennewick. TG Masonry LLC, 1114 W. 10th Ave., Kennewick. Hansen20, 2736 Madrona Loop. A Number One Cleaning LLC, 411 Robert Ave., Richland. Martinez Mobile Truck Service LLC, 5012 Antigua Drive, Pasco.

uLIQUOR LICENSES BENTON COUNTY NEW Wautoma Springs Winery, 3100 Lee Road, Prosser. License type: domestic winery, <250,000 liters. Application type: Change of location. Best Western Plus Kennewick Inn, 4001 W. 27th Ave., Kennewick. License type: grocery store – beer/ wine. Application type: assumption. El Molcajete, 321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite A, Kennewick. License type: beer/wine restaurant – beer. Application type: new. Eastside Market, 335 Wine Country Road, Suite 1, Prosser. License type: direct shipment receiver-in WA only;

grocery store – beer/wine. Application type: assumption. Endo, 34809 N. Schumacher PR, Suite A, Benton City. License type: domestic winery <250,000 liters. Application type: new. APPROVED Finley Shopper, 222608 E. Game Farm Road, Kennewick. License type: grocery store – beer/wine. Application type: assumption. Pho Lao Laan Xang, 5610 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite B, Kennewick. License type: beer/wine restaurant – beer/wine. Application type: new. Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar, 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite 901A, Kennewick. License type: curbside/delivery endorsement. Application type: added/change of class/in lieu. Seoul Fusion, 5011 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite A, Kennewick. License type: curbside/delivery endorsement. Application type: added/change of class/in lieu. The Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, 1420 N. Louisiana Ave., Kennewick. License type: curbside/delivery endorsement. Application type: added/change of class/in lieu. Col Solare Winery, 50207 Antinori Road, Benton City. License type: domestic winery >249,999 liters. Application type: change of corporate officer. Gunpowder Creek, 894 Tulip Lane, Richland. License type: domestic winery <250,000 liters. Application

Winter Wine Tour You are invited to Parkview’s Winter Wine Tour

Please come in and take a tour of the Community, enjoy delicious hors d'oeuvres and a glass of wine! Thursday, January 27th 2022

From 4pm-5:30pm

RSVP: 509-734-9773 Located at:

7820 W 6th Ave Kennewick

type: change of corporate officer. DISCONTINUED Pho Lao Laan Xang, 5610 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite B, Kennewick. License type: beer/wine restaurant – beer/wine. Application type: discontinued. Indian Cuisine Express, 8524 W. Gage Blvd., Suite A4, Kennewick. License type: beer/wine restaurant – beer/wine. Application type: discontinued. FRANKLIN COUNTY NEW Uncle Jay’s Grocery and Deli, 305 N. Spokane Ave., Kahlotus. License type: direct shipment receiver-in WA only; grocery store – beer/wine. Application type: new. The Underground Taphouse, 4525 Road 68, Pasco. License type: growlers curbside/delivery; tavern – beer/ wine. Application type: new. Best Western Premier Pasco Inn & Suites, 2811 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. License type: direct shipment receiver-in WA only; hotel. Application type: assumption. APPROVED Best Western Premier Pasco Inn & Suites, 2811 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. License type: direct shipment receiver-in WA only; hotel. Application type: assumption. Metro Mart 5, 1 Eagle Crest Drive, Connell. License type: grocery store


– beer/wine. Application type: new. A Street Station, 2805 E. A St., Pasco. License type: grocery store – beer/wine. Application type: new. Brews Taphouse and Growler Fills, 5426 N. Road 68, Suite 101, Pasco. License type: direct shipment receiver-in/out WA. Application type: assumption. Andy’s North, 3321 W. Court St., Pasco. License type: spirits/beer/ wine restaurant lounge +. Application type: change of corporate officer. DISCONTINUED Celulares El Rey, 1608 W. Sylvester St., Suite E, Pasco. License type: grocery store – beer/wine. Application type: discontinued.

uMARIJUANA LICENSES BENTON COUNTY NEW Chief’n Cannabis, 102003 E. Badger Road, Suite A, Kennewick. License type: marijuana producer tier 2; marijuana processor. Application type: change of location. Akule Street LLC, 234805 E. Straightbank Road, Suite C, Kennewick. License type: marijuana producer tier 2; marijuana processor. Application type: change of location.