Senior Times December 2015

Page 1

December 2015

Volume 3 • Issue 12

Toppenish Train Museum is a special holiday stop

Crosby performs Celtic Christmas

West Richland woman creates cross-stitch patterns

Don’t miss it Friday, Dec. 4 & Saturday, Dec. 5   7:30 p.m. Mid-Columbia Mastersingers Holiday Concert Central United Protestant Church, Richland

Commercial kitchen and café on the way for Meals on Wheels By Mary Coffman It was an exciting and long-awaited day when Senior Life Resources broke ground on a new 6,000-sq.-ft. commercial kitchen and café for Meals on Wheels. Senior Life Resources, which operates Meals on Wheels in the Mid-Columbia, bought the 2.2-acre site at 1824 Fowler St. in Richland in 2012. At some time in the future, the lot will have three 6,100-sq.-ft. buildings: the Meals on Wheels commercial kitchen and café, a Senior Life Resources administrative building, and an administrative office for SSR’s Home Care Services supervisors. Right now, SLR is starting construction on two of the buildings — the Meals on Wheels kitchen and café and the SLR administrative building. Marcee Woffinden, the Meals on Wheels director, is especially excited about the new kitchen and café. “We prepare about 160,000 meals each year and we have outgrown the kitchens that we have leased and borrowed for years,” Woffinden said. And with the Baby Boomer generation moving into their senior years, demand is expected to double over the next 20 years, she added. Initially, the plans were to build one large building on the site, but the costs were much higher than anticipated, so that idea was scrapped. Leaders began rethinking the project and decided to develop the property using a campus approach — building three small buildings, each with a specific purpose. Construction of the new kitchen and café will cost about $975,000, and through fundraising efforts, Meals on Wheels has that portion covered. uMEALS, Page 8

The Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet’s annual Nutcracker performance is comprised of more than 150 dancers. Pictured above is a scene from the 2014 Nutcracker production at the Richland High School Auditorium. Contributed photo.

Nutcracker dances its way into family holiday traditions By Jessica Hoefer for Senior Times The Nutcracker is as synonymous with the holidays as gingerbread cookies and pumpkin spice mochas. For many families, attending a holiday performance is as significant as putting up the Christmas tree. “The Nutcracker is unique unto itself because it doesn’t really attract a ballet audience,” said Joel Rogo, co-owner of the Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet. “It’s a holiday audience — and the Nutcracker has become part of the holiday season around the country.” The first national Nutcracker performance took place at the San Francisco Ballet in 1944, said Rogo. It quickly went nationwide, dancing its way into the Tri-Cities about forty years ago.

Rogo runs the Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet, while his wife, Debra, is the artistic director of the Mid-Columbia Ballet—the nonprofit arm that produces the Nutcracker each year. Both organizations operate out of the same building at 21 Aaron Drive in Richland. While the Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet offers private dance instruction, the Mid-Columbia Ballet is comprised of about 60 amateur ballet dancers, separated into senior, intermediate and junior companies. The annual Nutcracker production is the Mid-Columbia Ballet’s main fundraiser and is projected to bring in $118,000 this season. That money is used to pay for various dance activities and expenses. uNUTCRACKER, Page 14

Ben Franklin Transit offers many options for those who can’t drive By Loretto J. Hulse We all like our independence and freedom to come and go when and where we want. So when it comes time to hang up the car keys for good because of failing health or to save money, questions are going to race through your mind. How will I get to the grocery store, the dentist or get my dog to the vet? The answers are driving Tri-Cities’ streets right now — Ben Franklin Transit buses and vans. For anyone who’s never used mass transit, or if it’s been a few decades,

there’s also help for learning to navigate the system, “Travel Training,” courtesy of Ben Franklin Transit. “We have a fairly robust and free travel training system,” said Christy Watts of Ben Franklin Transit. The company has three trainers; two speak Spanish as well as English. They help transit customers map out routes to where they need to go, learn which buses to catch and how to read the schedules. Then they will even ride with you until you’re comfortable using the transit system, Watts said. uTRANSIT, Page 2

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Senior Times • December 2015

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Jessica Hoefer.................................. 1 Dori O’Neal........................... 6, 7, 15 Elsie Puig........................................ 3 Senior Times accepts original columns from local professionals, educators and business leaders. The goal of these pieces is to share useful tips and knowledge helpful to seniors. It is best to contact the Senior Times office for a copy of contributor guidelines before submitting anything. Although we cannot publish every submission we receive, we will keep columns that best fit the mission and focus of Senior Times for possible future use. Senior Times also accepts original letters to the editor and guest editorials. Submissions must include the writer’s full name and daytime contact information for verification. All submissions will be edited for spelling, grammar, punctuation and questions of good taste or libel. If there is news you’d like Senior Times staff to report on, or there are any topics you’d like to read about, please contact the news staff via email at editor@tricities or (509) 737-8778. Senior Times, a publication of TriComp Inc., is published monthly. Subscriptions are $20 per year, prepayment required, no refunds. Contents of this publication are the sole property of TriComp Inc. and December not be reproduced in any form without expressed written consent. Opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Senior Times staff, other contributors or other advertisers, nor do they imply endorsement by Senior Times staff, other contributors 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.

TRANSIT, From page 1 all the taxis are equipped to handle “Riding the buses can be intimi- wheelchairs. dating for someone who’s never Watts said some of the larger elecdone it before,” she said. tric scooters pose problems for the Ben Franklin Transit offers sev- buses too. eral options for getting around town. “They’re simply too big and some There are the big buses that travel of the larger strollers don’t fit fixed-routes. Depending on where either,” Watts said, explaining that you live, you can ride one or more to for safety nothing can block the cenget to your destination. ter aisle. The buses run from 6 a.m. to 6 If that’s the case Dial-A-Ride p.m., Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 vans are the solution. p.m. on Saturday. “Dial-A-Ride is for everyone with No bus stop nearby? Opt for the a disability, there’s no age limit transit’s shuttle though people think service, called taxi they’re just for the feeder. Call 545elderly. With Dial“Riding the buses 0684 at least 30 can be intimidating for A-Ride, it’s all minutes before you about the disabilineed to arrive then someone who’s never ty,” she said. done it before.” walk to the pick up To use the serpoint. vice, you’ll need to - Christy Watts, “Unlike hiring a fill out an applicaBen Franklin Transit regular taxi this is tion and answer a not a curb-to-curb few medical quesservice. Instead we tions. The form is have pick up points available on the scattered around transit system’s the cities. The taxi will deliver you, website, You can also and perhaps several other transit find it and fill it out at the Three customers, to the nearest bus stop Rivers Transit Center, 7109 W. where you’ll continue your trip,” Okanogan Place, Kennewick, or call Watts said. 735-0160 and then 3, to request a You will pay the taxi driver a fare form be mailed to you. depending upon the distance of your “Some people use Dial-A-Ride all trip. Also you’ll need to pay the the time, others just occasionally regular bus fare when you board the like when it’s snowy or severely hot bus. or cold. For some, the fixed-route “The drawback to the fixed-route buses are more convenient because buses and the taxi feeder shuttles is you don’t need to make a reservathat people who use wheelchairs tion as you do with Dial-A-Ride,” may not be able to use them,” Watts Watts said. said. Ben Franklin Transit also offers a All the buses are American night service to use after the buses Disabilities Act compliant but not stop running for the day. It begins at

6:30 p.m. and goes until 1:30 a.m., Monday-Saturday. “It’s for people who have medical appointments at night, maybe for dialysis, who work nights or even just want to go out to the movies,” Watts said. “This would be a shared ride, the taxi would pick up several people and drop them off at different places.” To book a taxi, call Tri-City Taxi after 2 p.m. at 545-0684. “It’s best to call earlier, rather than later. That way you’re more likely to get a ride at the time you request,” she said. Tri-City Taxi/Ben Franklin Transit also offer this service on Sundays but only from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fares range from 75 cents to $3, depending on the service used. Seniors 65 years of age and older can ride free on any of the fixedroute buses. You’ll need to get a special ID card from the transit company at either the Three Rivers Transit Center or by calling Ben Franklin Transit’s customer service department, 735-5100. Full information on fares, routes and other information is on the transit company’s website, With the exception of the taxies space is limited. “Riders are welcome to carry on their groceries, but only what they can carry themselves. Our bus drivers don’t have time to get out and help with packages,” Watts said. Pets can ride the transit system but only if they’re in a carrier. Service dogs, of course, are always welcome.

Wishing all of our readers a very happy holidays! From all of us at

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Senior Times • December 2015


Take a trip to the North Pole on the Northwest Pacific Railway By Elsie Puig for Senior Times This holiday season rekindle the longstanding fascination of toy trains and locomotives at Christmas during the Northern Pacific Railway’s Toy Train Christmas event in Toppenish. The popular event is in its 12th year, and has been growing in popularity. Last year there were nearly 3,000 visitors. The museum is regularly opened from May through October. During the regular season, the museum features displays and exhibits on the history and culture of the Northern Pacific railroad. The museum takes visitors on a journey back to the days of steam-driven locomotives. It features displays on the construction, engineering, and culture behind passenger train cars, taking you on a timeless journey through the traveler’s life of yesteryear, as well as an exciting history of westward expansion. During the holiday season, museum staff transforms it into a winter wonderland decked in full Christmas cheer. It’s the perfect event for the young and the young at heart. “When we were kids, about 60 years ago, everybody had toy trains under their Christmas trees. Lionel toy trains were popular back then. We want today’s young kids to receive that experience,” said Judy Boekholder, one of the event organizers. “We had been to several places around the country where toys and trains and Santa come together and we decided we could that here.” The museum will exhibit 40 model trains with Christmas scenes and ornately decorated Christmas trees. The event is spread across several rooms in the museum and includes a full range of electric trains in operation from the smallest z-gauge to a large garden-scale layout. Trains range from very old to new models. The event includes a 34½-foot replica of the Northern Pacific North Coast Limited that traveled from Chicago to Seattle up until the ‘60s.

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Day Trips

Visitors take a caboose down to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus and Ms. Claus where they get a chance to give Santa their Christmas wish list and take a picture with him.

There will be many hands-on activities, including crafts projects and a caboose full of toy trains designed for younger children to play with. There will also be milk and cookies as a treat. The highlight of the event for visitors is riding the caboose down to the “North Pole” to visit with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. “We run a train with two cabooses. We take our cars to the far end part of the property where kids can go visit Santa Claus, tell him their wish list and get pictures taken,” said Boekholder. “The other train takes them back to the depot, the caboose to the North Pole makes a trip every 15 to 20 minutes.” The museum attracts people from all over the Pacific Northwest. “We found that a lot people come back to the Yakima Valley to visit family on Thanksgiving, so we decided to do it then, to give people something to do on the weekend after Thanksgiving, we’ve had people from California, Seattle, Wyoming, Montana, from all over,” said Boekholder. The event is the museum’s biggest fundraiser and helps keep the museum open throughout the year.

“We have over a hundred volunteers to help make this happen, nobody gets paid, everybody is a volunteer,” said Boekholder. The event opened Thanksgiving

weekend and runs through the first three weekends in December from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. The museum is at 10 South Asotin Ave. in Toppenish. The museum is open from May to October. The regular hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. The museum also has a gift shop that sells books, local gifts and toy train cars. For more information visit

Senior Times • December 2015


Calendar of Events Friday, Dec. 4 6 – 9 p.m. Christmas Lighted Boat Parade Clover Island Yacht Club Columbia River

2 p.m. & 7 p.m. Forte! Christmas Variety Show Tri-City Youth Choir Kamiakin High School

7 p.m. Forte! Christmas Show Tri-City Youth Choir Kamiakin High School

3 & 7 p.m. A Christmas Carol Academy of Children’s Theatre 213 Wellsian Way, Richland 509-943-6027

7 p.m. A Christmas Carol Academy of Children’s Theatre 213 Wellsian Way, Richland 509-943-6027

6 – 9 p.m. Christmas Lighted Boat Parade Clover Island Yacht Club Columbia River 6:30 p.m. Lighted Farm Implement Parade City of Sunnyside East Edison to South First Street 509-837-5939

7:30 p.m. Holiday Concert Mid-Columbia Mastersingers Central United Protestant Church, Richland 509-460-1766

7:30 p.m. Holiday Concert Mid-Columbia Mastersingers Central United Protestant Church, Richland 509-460-1766

Saturday, Dec. 5 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. 34th Annual Holiday Bazaar Badger Mt. Elementary 509-396-9930

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Friday, Dec. 11 7 p.m. A Christmas Carol Academy of Children’s Theatre 213 Wellsian Way, Richland 509-943-6027

Sunday, Dec. 13 3 p.m. A Christmas Carol Academy of Children’s Theatre 213 Wellsian Way, Richland 509-943-6027

Saturday, Dec. 12 2 – 4 p.m. A Very A Cappella Christmas Featuring The Coats Kennewick High School 500 S. Dayton St.

Friday, Dec. 18 6:30 p.m. Winter Ice Magic: Frozen in Time Toyota Arena, Kennewick 509-737-3718

3 & 7 p.m. A Christmas Carol Academy of Children’s Theatre 213 Wellsian Way, Richland 509-943-6027 7 p.m. Annual Christmas Concert Bells of the Desert Handbell Ensemble Kennewick First Methodist 2 S. Dayton St., Kennewick

Saturday, Dec. 19 6 p.m. Desert Plateau Luminaria & Fill the Bus Desert Plateau, Pasco Thursday, Jan. 21 5:30 p.m. 2016 Mid-Columbia Ag Hall of Fame Pasco Chamber of Commerce Red Lion Hotel, Pasco 509-547-9755

TCYC has holiday concert The Tri-City Youth Choir will celebrate the holiday season with Forte!, a Christmas variety show that pays homage to classic television Christmas specials. Forte! Is a show choir of local teenagers from around the community that represents many high schools. They perform pop choral songs with choreography. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets are available online at or at the Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet and Music in Richland.

It’s a Wonderful Life

Chiawana High School Stage Company will be performing the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life at 7 p.m. Dec. 3,4,5,10,11 & 12 at the Black Box Theatre at Chiawana High School in Pasco. Tickets are $8 in advance at the Chiawana ASB office from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or $10 at the door. Gold cards are honored. For more information, call 543-6786 ext. 5605.

Celebrate with evening of a cappella music

Don’t miss A Very A Cappella Christmas featuring The Coats, a premier a cappella group from the Pacific Northwest. The Tri-Cities Cancer Center is sponsoring the

In Brief event, which will be 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 at the Kennewick High School Auditorium. The Coats have performed with Trisha Yearwood, Jewel and more. Money raised at the event will benefit the Tri-Cities Cancer Center Guild and Men’s Club. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students and seniors 55 and older. Group discounts are available for parties of five or more. Doors open at 1 p.m. for those who would like pictures with Santa. Tickets are available at the TriCities Cancer Center Foundation at 7350 W. Deschutes Ave. in Kennewick. For more information, call 509-737-3440.

Food for Fines Drive

The Mid-Columbia Library will have its annual Food for Fines Drive through Dec. 31. Library customers can pay their fines using non-perishable food items. Each food item counts as $1 toward overdue fines, up to $10 per account. All food will be donated to local food banks throughout the region. As part of the

Senior Times • December 2015

event, the Mid-Columbia Libraries is also holding a contest. For each additional food item donation that is not eligible toward fine reduction within a library account, customers receive a raffle ticket and a chance to win one of several gift cards from local restaurants, including a year of pizza from Papa John’s. Entries are not limited, but customers can only win one gift card. The drawing and notification of winners will be Jan. 8. Last year’s Food for Fine Drive bought in more than 7,900 pounds of food, which was donated to area food banks, including Second Harvest Tri-Cities, Basin City Help Services, Benton City Food Bank, Othello Food Bank, Connell Food Bank, Kahlotus Food Bank and Jubilee Ministries Prosser Food Bank.

A Christmas Carol

The Academy of Children’s Theatre is staging a holiday production of the Charles Dickens’ classic, ‘A Christmas Carol’ at 7 p.m. Dec. 4, 5, 12, & 13 and at 3 p.m. Dec. 5, 12


& 13 at the Academy of Children’s Theatre at 213 Wellsian Way in Richland. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $7 for children ages 12 and under. Tickets are available at www.acade or by calling 5099-943-6027. A special sign language interpreter will be featured at the Dec. 5 matinee performance at 3 p.m. for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Luminaria planned

Homeowners in the Desert Plateau area of Pasco are planning the 30th annual Luminaria. Thousands of homeowners will participant and more than 30,000 candlelit bags will line the streets in the Desert Plateau, River Heights and First Place developments in Pasco. The event will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 19. This year’s Luminaria will also feature a ‘Fill the Bus’ food drive hosted by the Pasco School District. A decorated school bus will be parked at the McGee Elementary School and the district is asking for donations of nonperishable goods, which will be donated to Second Harvest. Last year, more than 10,500 pounds of nonperishables were collected during the Luminaria. uBRIEFS, Page 9


Senior Times • December 2015

Urban Sketchers take to the streets instead of the studio

Richland artist Renee Martinez sketches a portrait of fellow Urban Sketcher Verna Pooler of Kennewick at a recent get-together at Sharehouse coffee house in Richland.

By Dori O’Neal for Senior Times Renee Martinez of Richland looks forward to Wednesdays. That’s the day she meets up with fellow artists at different locations each week to sketch whatever suits her fancy. Her subjects vary from week to week because the environment changes, which is what the Tri-City chapter of Urban Sketchers is all about. For Martinez, the ritual not only helps keep her artistic talents honed, it also provides some therapy for a traumatic brain injury she sustained a year ago. She took a fall in her front

yard and ended up with a slow bleed in her brain, she explained. “(Doing art) is good for people with brain injuries like mine,” Martinez said. Traumatic brain injuries can produce cognitive, physical, behavioral or emotional impairments, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site. By continuing her sketching, Martinez says her memory and attention span have improved. Martinez is one of dozens of likeminded Mid-Columbia artists who meet once a week for a sketching outing. The group is part of a global community of artists who practice drawing in various cities, towns and villages where they live or where they travel. The movement was started on Flickr in 2007 by journalist Gabriel Campanario. The local group was organized by Jim Bumgarner and Dave Pointer in 2011. “We have 56 local artists who are members of our Facebook group,” Bumgarner said. “Attendance at our weekly sketch sessions averages at about a dozen. We have had as few as one and as many as 20, so interest is growing.” And it doesn’t cost a dime to be a part of Urban Sketchers, he added. “There is no commitment or fees, and artists come and go all the time,” he said. All you need is a pen, a pencil, a brush and paper to sketch on. And there’s also a comaraderie among the artists that keeps Kathy Criddle of Richland involved with the group. “I have made some wonderful friends here,” she said. “They educate, give helpful hints, are encouraging and they don’t judge. They just inspire you to create.” Another member, Patti Kirch from Kennewick, finds that being involved with Urban Sketchers inspires her to be even more creative with her tapestry art. “We draw what we see and sometimes that gives me ideas for tapestry projects,” she said. As for Martinez, she believes everyone is an artist at heart and Urban Sketchers is a great place to see how far you can take it, whether a person has ever attempted the art form or not. “Just pick up a pen, pencil or brush and anything is possible,” she said. Bumgarner said the group has a simple purpose. “We draw the world, one sketch at a time.” More information about Urban Sketchers can be found online at

Senior Times • December 2015

Crosby and Affiniti offer up a Celtic Christmas at the Uptown Theater By Dori O’Neal for Senior Times Christmas, is the trio Affiniti from Howard Crosby, 63, spent a lot of Dublin, Ireland. time golfing with his famous uncle, Crosby will sing a few songs at the Bing Crosby, but he never even event but he says the audience will thought about singing with the not want to miss hearing the beautiful renowned crooner. music performed by Mary McCage “Unfortunately, we never sang on violin, Aisling Ennis on harp and together,” he said. “I discovered I had soprano Emer Barry. a natural ability to sing while in The trio has been performing college, but it was just for fun and that together for eight years, starting out was about as far as it went. I have performing for weddings around been told in the past that I sound a lot Ireland. They formed Affiniti four like my uncle when I sing and that years ago and have been touring the makes me happy.” world ever since. Instead of “We realized “I get emotional when I following in his very early on that think about what Bing uncle’s musical we have a real footsteps, Howard connection. We must have felt singing Crosby took off in inspire each other, that song in December a different 1944 in front of 100,000 I suppose,” Barry direction, said, via email. “It GIs in France, with most is this bond that excelling in a of them crying.” wide range of (inspired) the business ventures name, Affiniti.” - Howard Crosby including oil and The trio met gas mining, and Crosby in 2012 titanium mining when he in Chile. He has been a consultant on performed at the National Concert boards of numerous corporations Hall in Dublin, which was a worldwide and has consulting offices celebration of the bicentennial of the in New York and London. Irish-based charity St. Vincent de Crosby and his wife, Janice, have Paul. The musical association didn’t lived in Walla Walla since 1999. falter. “We’ve lived in a lot of places, but Crosby brought the women to I love living here,” he said. “The Walla Walla last year for a Christmas winters aren’t as harsh as Idaho, concert at the Power House Theatre, which is where we lived before which sold out, he said. The Richland moving here, and there’s not much concert will be their first visit to the snow.” Tri-Cities. Though consulting is his stock and “These young women have stage trade, singing is what he loves most. presence like you can’t believe,” He’ll perform in the Tri-Cities Dec. 9 Crosby said. “They will make the at the Uptown Theater in Richland. audience laugh as well as be moved Headlining the concert, titled Celtic by their music.”

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Barry said the group likes to chat on stage and there’s always a bit of banter happening. “So it’s definitely not a stuffy atmosphere,” she said. “We do have one member that’s a bit of a comedian, but you’ll have to come along to the show to find out which one it is.” The audience will hear Crosby sing White Christmas with Affiniti at the event. Singing that particular song holds a memory of his uncle he holds dear. He asked his uncle once to describe the hardest thing he ever Howard Crosby performs a Christmas concert – accomplished in Celtic style—with a trio of Dublin performers on his career and was Dec. 9 at the Uptown Theater in Richland. surprised by his answer. in the Battle of the Bulge two weeks “He said it was keeping his later.” composure when he sang White The concert is at 7 p.m. Dec. 9. Christmas for American soldiers in Tickets are from $25 to $30 and only France during World War II,” Crosby a limited number of tickets are said. “I get emotional when I think available for the show, so early about what Bing must have felt purchase is encouraged. Purchase singing that song in December 1944 tickets at acelticchristmas. in front of 100,000 GIs in France, with most of them crying. Many of those boys in the crowd that day died


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Senior Times • December 2015

Meals on Wheels staff help break ground on the program’s new kitchen and café at 1824 Fowler St. in Richland. Senior Life Resources, which operates Meals on Wheels, is building the new 6,100-sq.-ft. commercial kitchen and café for the program and a second 6,100-sq.-ft. administrative building for Senior Life Resources. Contributed photo.




T.J. Willingham 1020 N. Center Parkway, Ste. D 509-735-1497

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Dustin Clontz 1060 Jadwin Ave., Ste. 325 509-943-1441

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Steve Ricketts, AAMS 303 Bradley Blvd., Ste. 106 509-946-3299

Jay Wildgen 6855 W. Clearwater Ave., Ste. C 509-783-2042 Karee Eliason 4303 W. 27th Ave., Ste. F 509-735-4169 Jay M. Freeman 16 W Kennewick Ave., Ste. 101 509-783-2041

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MEALS, From page 1 All the food for the Meals on “But we still have to come up with Wheels programs will be prepared at money for the equipment,” said the new kitchen, from packaged Woffinden. meals for the home-bound to the That’s expected to cost another food prepared to be served at area $350,000, she said. senior and community centers. The group has come up with an The new café will offer indoor adoption program to get the commu- and patio dining, giving local seniors nity involved to equip the kitchen. another option for enjoying the Already people and businesses are Meals on Wheels dining. Woffinden stepping up to help out. Kennewick expects the café to be more conveIndustrial & Electric has ‘adopted’ nient for many seniors who live in sinks, faucets the area to utilize and a garbage the new facility “We expect it to be disposal. Salon instead of travelKoru is providing to senior cena popular gathering ing a handplace where people will ters or community washing sink centers for lunch. socialize and enjoy and Nancy “We expect it to Aldrich is giv- healthy, nutritious meals be a popular gathin an inviting setting.” ing a faucet. ering place where S p o k a n e people will social- Marcee Woffinden, Restaurant ize and enjoy Meals on Wheels Supply is generhealthy, nutritious ously offering meals in an invitup a six-burner stove. ing setting,” she said. But there’s a long list of items still The new kitchen will also be used needed. for cooking classes and education, “Every little bit helps and the and give Meals on Wheels the opporcommunity has been very gener- tunity to accept donations from local ous,” she said. farmers of fresh, locally-grown proAnd the people who have been duce. most involved in the construction “Before, we didn’t have any storprocess, were already involved with age, so we couldn’t take it,” Meals on Wheels, said Grant Baynes, Woffinden said. “This will save us executive director of Senior Life money and add nutrition to the proResources. gram. And hopefully, we’ll be able Don Pratt, the project’s general to create some partnerships with contractor, is also a Meals on Wheels local growers,” she said. driver and so is the project manager, The new Meals on Wheels’ kitchNick Castorina. The building’s en & café and Senior Life Resources design was done by Devi Tate of administrative building are expected Tate Architecture in Pasco. Tate’s to be complete in summer 2016. husband and son are also volunteer To donate to the project or volundrivers, Baynes said. teer, call 509-735-1911. For more The new kitchen and café will be information about Meals on Wheels much more than a place where food or Senior Life Resources, go to for Meals on Wheels is prepared, Woffinden added.

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Senior Times • December 2015


Stay in shape throughout the winter at the Pasco Senior Center By Mary Coffman Keep moving and exercising through the winter months with the Pasco Senior Center’s Enhance Fitness program is designed specifically for those over the age of 40. It focuses on stretching, flexibility, balance, lowimpact aerobics and strength training. The program starts monthly and is from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The cost for December is $20 for Pasco residents and $25 for all others. If you are a water lover, try the Wavemakers Aqua Fit class, which is held in a warm water pool at Oasis Physical Therapy in Pasco. The classes are led by Oasis staff and are especially helpful for those BRIEFS, From page 5

Boy Scouts start annual popcorn fundraiser

The Blue Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts of America has launched its 2016 Trail’s End Gourmet Popcorn sale. More than 250 youth from 25 Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops will sell popcorn with more than 70 percent of the proceeds of the sales benefitting local scouts. Proceeds from the popcorn sales help scouts attend summer camp and obtain camping gear. The popcorn sales also help teach the scouts about salesmanship and economics. The proceeds also support the local Blue Mountain Boy Scout Council operation, which serves about 5,000 youth and 2,000 adult volunteers annually. Information on where to buy pop-

who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, lower back pain, muscle weakness and more. The class includes use of an underwater treadmill, upper body strengthening exercises, leg strengthening exercises and more. Classes take place from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and are available either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday. The cost for December is $100 for residents or $125 for nonresidents. The December AARP Smart Driver Course will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2 and Thursday, Dec. 3 at the Pasco Senior Center. The fee is $15 for AARP members and $20 for all others and those who complete the course may receive a discount on their auto

corn or how to support scouting can be found at or by calling 509-735-7306.

Holiday Concert

The Mid-Columbia Mastersingers will have its annual Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 & 5 at the Central United Protestant Church in Richland. The concert will feature the Mid-Columbia Women’s Choir and the Mid-Columbia Boys’ Choir, with a special appearance by the Bells of the Desert. Tickets are $22 at the door or $20 in advance. Kindergarten through 12th grade students receive free admission. For tickets are more information, call 509-460-1766 or go to www.midco uBRIEFS, Page 12

Pasco Senior Center (509) 545-3459 1315 N. Seventh Ave. • Pasco

insurance. Looking for some indoor activity to keep you busy through the winter? Try Folk Dance for adults at the Pasco Senior Center. Salsa, tango, belly dancing, flamenco, and ballroom are just a few of the dance styles you’ll be learning in this class. Folk dancing is a great way to get in shape, spend time with family and friends, and best of all, you’ll be having so much fun learning

the dances that you won’t know you’re exercising. The class is held at 7 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. The cost is $90 for Pasco residents. The Pasco Senior Center has plenty of great activities to help you meet new friends, learn new skills and stay active. For more information about activities at the Pasco Senior Center, call 509-545-3456.

Connect with seniors at home, on vacation or at work With an ad in the Senior Times, you can connect with the 55+ market around the Mid-Columbia. Senior Times is distributed throughout Benton and Franklin counties the first week of the month.

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Senior Times • December 2015

Richland Community Center (509) 942-7529 500 Amon Drive • Richland

Richland’s Winter Wonderland lights up Dec. 4-5 at Howard Amon

Ugly Holiday Sweater Party! Complimentary Buffet 12:00 - 2 p.m. Wednesday, December 16th Invite your friends and family! Contest winner announced at 1:30 p.m.

RSVP by calling 509-734-9773

By Mary Coffman The City of Richland’s Winter Wonderland will be Dec. 4-5 and will feature lots of family-friendly fun and activities. Due to construction of a community stage in John Dam Plaza, the 2015 Winter Wonderland tree lighting will be at Howard Amon Park this year. The weekend starts at 6 p.m. Friday night. Outside there will be a warming fire by the Lee Boulevard boat dock, where you can warm your toes and fingers while watching the Lighted Boat Parade. There will be a Santa House in Howard Amon Park and Santa, his elves, Olaf and the Grinch will make appearances. There will be food vendors in the park and a vendor will also offer horse-drawn carriage rides. When it gets too cold outside, venture into the Richland Community Center, where there will be a model railroad display, bingo with Santa’s elves, holiday movies and other entertainment, including an excerpt from The Nutcracker by the MidColumbia Ballet. The tree-lighting ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 and it will include a mini holiday parade. Again there will be a warming fire for those enjoying the Lighted Boat Parade, and a Santa House with Santa, his elves, Olaf and the Grinch.

Food vendors will be in the park and horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered again. Saturday evening activities in the Richland Community Center include a bouncy house, model railroad display, bingo with Santa’s elves and holiday crafts. The City of Richland is offering a holiday ornament workshop from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9. All ages are welcome and you’ll make simple ornaments that you can take home. The cost is $2 for Richland residents and $2.50 for all others. Lisa Hill, an Audubon Society member, will lead an early morning bird walk on Bateman Island from 8 to 10 a.m. Dec. 12. The hike will be about three miles long and you can expect to spot 30-40 different bird species as you walk through the island’s bird habitat. For more information about the free bird walk, call Hill at 509-9432244. Don’t forget, the Richland Community Center has plenty of daily activities and social opportunities. Play Mahjong, cribbage, pool, bridge, dominoes or pinochle. For a full list, view the Richland Parks and Recreation’s Fall Activity Guide at For more information about upcoming events or to register for any of these events, call 509-9427529 or go to richlandparksandrec. com.

Like what you read? Parkview Estates 7820 W. 6th Avenue Kennewick 509-734-9773

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Senior Times • December 2015


Talented West Richland woman designs in cross-stitch By Loretto J. Hulse Tracy Horner of West Richland creates artistic patterns by linking together tiny x-shaped stiches. Horner creates patterns for counted cross-stitch, a type of hand needlework that uses only small x-shaped stitches to create intricate designs. Counted cross-stitch is done on evenweave fabrics, which have the small number of horizontal and vertical threads in each inch. Eleven to 40 threads per inch is typical. Counted cross-stitch designs are printed on graph paper and the person doing the needlework must count the threads and stitch one x across every two threads in the fabric. “It’s just simple math,” said Horner. She’s been creating counted crossstitch designs for nearly a decade and selling them under her business name, Ink Circles. You can see Horner’s counted cross-stitch designs on her website, Horner didn’t set out to create counted cross-stitch designs as a business. She has a degree in electrical engineering and works for a Hanford contractor. “It began with me designing patterns for myself. Then some of my friends asked if they could make a project using my design. Soon I was marketing them on the internet and to needlework shops,” she said. Horner doesn’t expect her designs will make her rich. “Only a handful of designers in the U.S. can make a living at it. But I enjoy it. You have to do it for the love of the art,” she said. To create a design that she can sell takes several months, she said. First she draws the design out on a measured grid on her computer using an application called Pattern Maker. “Doing this on a computer makes it a lot easier than by hand on paper,” she said. “It’s easier to make changes with a mouse than it is with an eraser, and if I want to repeat a portion of the design I just cut and paste.” Once Horner’s satisfied with her design, she prints it out. That’s when the real test begins as she actually stitches her design onto fabric using colorful silk embroidery threads. Later she’ll photograph the completed project and have the photograph printed on card stock. That, and a printed copy of the chart showing the pattern becomes what she sells and markets to needlework shops across the nation, into Canada and around the world. So far, Horner estimates she’s created more than 150 counted crossstitch patterns. She makes 15 to 20

new patterns each year. For ideas, she just sits at her computer and begins doodling. “They just seem to grow under my fingers,” Horner said. Horner’s been doing needlecraft work since she was in grade school. Horner’s mother ran a needlework shop out of their home when she was growing up in Wyoming and Nevada. “In fact, both my parents enjoy embroidery. Dad specializes in a type of embroidery that looks almost like a painting when he’s done. Depending on the size they can take months to complete,” Horner said. Her father prefers to embroider wolves, she said. “Wolves running, wolves sleeping, wolves playing. If it’s wolves, he’s likely done it,” she said. Her mother’s tastes are more eclectic. “She doesn’t have any one style or theme,” Horner said. Horner’s tastes run to very symmetrical patterns, the type she designs. “I tend to use only a few colors in my counted cross-stitch designs. I save the rainbow for my mandala designs,” Horner said. Her mandalas — intricately drawn abstract designs — are created in pen and ink then colored in with felt tip markers, colored pencils or water col-

Tracy Horner of West Richland carefully counts the threads making up the piece of linen cloth she holds in one hand, while the other wields needle and thread making the crosses of her design.

ors. “I have a treasure trove of drawing instruments and supplies,” she said, pulling open a drawer crammed with colored pencils and pens. Horner draws the mandalas freehand. “I like the look of them rather than those produced on a computer. They have a more organic feel,” she said. Recently coloring books for adults have appeared on the market. Instead of cartoon figures as children’s color-

ing books do, they have designs very similar to Horner’s mandalas. “That’s where I got the idea to create my own adult coloring book and try marketing it. Amazon is interested in carrying it. I hope to have it ready in early November, in time for Christmas,” she said. She calls it Peace of Art because she finds coloring her mandalas calming and soothing. “You can’t be stressed out when you’re creating art,” Horner said.


Senior Times • December 2015

Kennewick Senior Center offers Christmas lights tours By Mary Coffman Plan now to participate in one of two Community Christmas Lights Tours being offered in December by the Kennewick Senior Center. The tours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9 and Wednesday, Dec. 16. The cost is $64 and the fee includes transportation. The bus will stop first at the new Country Mercantile store in Richland for dinner and shopping. Dinner is not included in the cost of the trip. The Annual Holiday Luncheon will be at noon Dec. 10 at the Kennewick Senior Center. The luncheon, which is sponsored by Yoke’s Fresh Market in Kennewick and the Kennewick Senior Center, will include hot roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranber-

BRIEFS, From page 9

Nominations sought

Northwest Farm Credit Services is seeking to honor Northwest agriculture leaders who impact their industries and rural communities. As part of the Farm Credit System’s

ries, green beans, bread and dessert. No reservations are taken for the meal and admission is two or more non-perishable food items per person. The items will be donated to Second Harvest. If you would like to learn to crochet, knit or tat, there is an ongoing class from 1 to 3 p.m. every Thursday. Newbies receive instruction by volunteer teacher Donna Gier. The cost is $2 per day. Work on your winter craft projects at the Kennewick Senior Center. There’s lots of space and all crafters and ages are welcome. Bring your supplies and work on your projects in the company of other crafters. Drop-in Winter Crafters Create takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Tuesday at the Kennewick Senior. The cost is $1 for Kennewick residents and $2 for all others.

centennial celebration, Northwest FCS is participating in the national Farm Credit fresh Perspectives campaign. Leaders can come from a variety of backgrounds: farmers and ranchers, individuals who represent other agribusinesses, cooperatives, academic institutions, government

Kennewick Senior Center (509) 585-4303 500 S. Auburn St. • Kennewick

If you don’t have a hobby, winter is the perfect time to take up woodcarving and the Kennewick Senior Center is the perfect place. There in Drop-in Woodcarving sessions from 1 p.m. 3 p.m. each Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to noon each Friday. The cost is 75 cents on Wednesdays and $1 on Fridays. Students provide their own wood, tools and supplies, but if you don’t have any, there are some to borrow. Other woodcarvers will help you get started and get you in the groove. Don’t let the nip in the air dissuade

agencies and community organizations. Award categories include: leadership (over 21); youth leadership (21 and younger); rural policy influence; beginning farmer or rancher achievement; entrepreneurship and innovation; sustainability and natural resource conservation; financial stewardship; mentoring and volunteerism; agriculture education and community impact; rural and urban connection. Deadline for contest entries is Dec. 18. Nominations can be submitted online at fresh.

you from your daily walk. You can always get your exercise in at the new Southridge Sports Complex, which is heated and available to walkers and runners from 9 a.m. to noon on weekdays. The fee is $1 per day. The Kennewick Senior Center will be closed Thursday, Dec. 24; Friday, Dec. 25, and Friday, Jan. 1. For more information about activities at the Senior Center or for questions, call 509-585-4303 or go to

State launches privacy website and guide

The state has launched a new website and privacy guide with educational tools to help residents be better informed about cyber privacy, protecting personal information in the digital landscape and state government policies and practices related to data collection. The guide also provides details about personal information state agencies collect and retail and information about public disclosure laws. For more information, go to

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Senior Times • December 2015


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Senior Times • December 2015

NUTCRACKER, From page 1 “The Nutcracker makes money — and generally art costs money,” said Debra Rogo. “So generally everything else the Mid-Columbia Ballet does through the year, we do with the money we make from the Nutcracker.” While the Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet is a separate, for-profit organization, many of its dancers also auditioned to be part of the holiday performances. There are 167 people in this year’s cast, including two guest stars. Vanessa Zahorian, of the San Francisco Ballet, will play the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The grand finale of the show is the dance between the Sugar Plum

Fairy and her cavalier, played by Gonzalo Garcia, a principal dancer for the New York City Ballet. Garcia’s performance with Zahorian this December will not be the couple’s first time on stage together. “They both used to dance together in the San Francisco Ballet, then he moved, so they’re very excited to be dancing together again,” said Debra Rogo. “This is the first time we’ve had dancers from both of those companies — so we’ve very excited to have them.” Zahorian and Garcia are the only paid performers in the show, but Debra Rogo said it’s important to bring in high caliber dancers, not only for the

audience, but also for the other performers. “It’s important for the education of the dancers we train to be able to see the professional standard and be inspired,” she said. “It’s hard to be inspired to be something when you’ve never see that something in person. Exposing our dancers to a professional caliber is very valuable to them.” Although none of the other dancers are paid to perform in the Nutcracker, they do not have to pay a fee to participate in the production. Rogo explained that many amateur companies like the Mid-Columbia Ballet, have parents pay for their child to perform in shows like the Nutcracker.

There are audition fees, participation fees, costume rentals and more that can make it expensive for dancers. “We are unique in that we charge no fee for your child to participate,” said Joel Rogo, who helps out as the Nutcracker’s production manager and serves on the Mid-Columbia Ballet’s board of directors. “All we ask is that you donate your time.” It takes roughly 100 volunteers to put on a show each night, said Debra Rogo. Backstage, there’s wardrobe, makeup and stage crews, as well as people looking after younger performers. In the front of the auditorium, volunteers sell nutcrackers, mementos and refreshments. “It takes a lot of people,” said Debra Rogo. “We even have six or seven people whose entire job is to just iron clothes.” The Nutcracker will be at the Richland High School auditorium, which can seat an audience of up to 1,500, said Joel Rogo. The MidColumbia Ballet even had a set specifically designed for the space in 1997. Joel Rogo said the set, which cost the company more than $70,000, was professionally designed in Seattle. “I figured it’d take years to raise the money for the set,” he said. “But I took the renderings out to the community and showed it around, and we raised the money in one year. It was a joy when I got to call the designer and say, ‘Go!’” The community outpouring for the arts has also spurred fundraising efforts for a new performing arts center at Vista Field. However, the new location would only be able to seat about half the number of people. That information, coupled with the fact that the MidColumbia Ballet has a set designed for use at Richland High School, leads the Rogos to believe they’ll keep the holiday performance at the same location. The high school auditorium also allows the nonprofit group to seat more elementary school children that they bus in annually from area schools. “We do two performances that are not open to the general public,” said Joel Rogo. “We bus them in from all over and perform for about 3,000 fifth graders. Since 1991, 67,000 kids have seen the Nutcracker. For many, it will be the only ballet they ever see.” The Nutcracker will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 and Dec. 12. Matinee performances will be at 2 p.m. Dec. 12 and Dec. 13. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at midcolumbiaballet. org. Sunday shows typically sell out first, said Debra Rogo. “The earlier you get in,” she said, “the better chance you have at getting your seats.”

Senior Times • December 2015


Allied Arts still bringing culture to the Mid-Columbia after 72 years By Dori O’Neal for Senior Times The Richland Advocate, the city of The Allied Arts Association in Richland’s first newspaper, Allen Richland was started by a group of said. women whose husbands worked for Later it was used as an office for the Manhattan Project at Hanford in the Richland Irrigation District, was 1943. home to The Villager newspaper, Most women didn’t work back and also served as the Richland then, so to keep busy they decided to Library for a time. bring some culture to the isolated Allied Arts took up residence in Tri-Cities’ area by organizing the 1965 and has made many changes. first Allied Arts group, said Bob “The gallery has featured many Allen, Allied Arts’ president. artists over the years, both locally The association is perhaps best and nationally known artists,” Allen known for its annual Sidewalk said. That includes world-renowned Show, which takes place each glass artist Dale Chihuly. summer during Water Follies. “But we do much more than offer The first sidewalk show featured the Tri-Cities a wide range of the work of just eight artists and was (eclectic) art exhibitions,” Allen called a ‘Clothesline Show’ because said. “We hold art classes, workshops paintings and outdoor were strung sketching o n events. We clotheslines also offer along the human figure Parkway, d r a w i n g Allen said. As sessions the the show s e c o n d g a i n e d Saturday of popularity each month at and grew, a cost of $10.” d r a w i n g The gallery l a r g e r also offers audiences and summer art more artists, it classes for m o v e d kids. locations In 1975, several times, Allied Arts f i n a l l y Association Two silk mosaic creations, by Las landing at received the Vegas artist Prince Duncan-Williams, H o w a r d Wa shington hang in the Allied Arts Gallery. Amon Park S t a t e where it G o v e r n o r ’s continues A w a r d , today. recognizing the organization for its The Allied Arts building at 89 Lee vibrant volunteerism for promoting Blvd. in Richland also has a community visual arts. distinctive history and undergone all Allen said the recognition was sorts of changes since being significant because no grant money constructed in 1909 as a boarding had been used for association’s house. programs or remodeling projects, It was a hotel and then became the which were solely funded through private residence for an editor with proceeds from the gallery’s gift shop

The Allied Arts Gallery, at the entrance to Howard Amon Park in Richland, took up residence in the 1909 historic building in 1965. The building was originally built as a boarding house. During the years that followed it had various tenants, including the Riverside Hotel, the Richland Advocate newspaper and the Richland Irrigation District.

and Sidewalk Show sales. The gallery underwent a $100,000 remodel earlier this year, which included a new state-of-the-art lighting system for the gallery and a revamping of the gift shop area, as well as other renovations, Allen said. “Our Christmas Market is coming up Dec. 4-5 and that has become a

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very popular event for us that we’re looking forward to,” he said. More information about the gallery can be found at www. or call 9439815. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free.

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Senior Times • December 2015

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