DELIVERING NEWS TO MID-COLUMBIA SENIORS SINCE 1982
Vol. 9 | Issue 12
Tri-City shopkeepers bring grit, good luck to holiday shopping season By Wendy Culverwell and Kristina Lord email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Cindy Mosley-Cleary took over a gift shop in downtown Kennewick about six years ago and made it her own, packing it with charming pickme-ups and home décor items. She may be relatively new at owning a retail business, but she had decades of retail sales experience before then. When supply chain issues started making headlines, MosleyCleary knew what to do: Order, order, order. She laid in a supply of bags, C.C. beanies, Pop Its, key chains, toys, home décor items and more for her store, The Lady Bug Shoppe, 304 W. Kennewick Ave. Heading into the holiday shopping season, she’s hopeful Tri-Citians will shop local for the holidays, a mood that’s reflected in choice of motif she
Photo by Kristina Lord Cindy Mosley-Cleary, owner of The Lady Bug Shoppe in downtown Kennewick, poses in front of her store at 304 W. Kennewick Ave., as Alicia Michaliszyn of Allusions Art & Design paints a winter scene.
chose for her windows this holiday season. Rather than paint a festive Christ-
mas scene on the glass, she chose white birch trees and red cardinals. “Hope. That’s what cardinals are,”
she said. The holiday season is in full swing and mom-and-pop shops are competing against big box retailers and the internet with a combination of charm and grit. The Senior Times hit the streets in early November to take the temperature of retailers in Kennewick, Pasco and Richland. In addition to the Lady Bug Shoppe, the Senior Times team dropped by a vintage store and a new gift shop at the Uptown Shopping Center in Richland, a furniture store and a formal dress boutique in downtown Pasco and a statuary business in downtown Kennewick. It found a mix of scrappy entrepreneurs and established businesses with a united message: Shop Local. Of course, shopping local doesn’t have to be a one-day affair. uSHOPKEEPERS, Page 6
New apartment project honors Bob Young, pioneering Tri-City builder By Wendy Culverwell email@example.com
The late developer Robert “Bob” Young liked to give his apartment complexes dignified names. The Villas. Washington Square. Broadmoor. Jadwin Stevens. Highlands. Young, who lived in San Francisco but left a mark on the Tri-City landscape, died in 2014 at age 82. The company he founded, once known as Robert Young and Associates, is now led by his son, Grant Young, and is still building. But it is taking a different view when it comes to naming its latest project. It plans to break ground in January on The Bob, a 192-unit apartment
project at 730 SE Columbia Park Trail, near the Steptoe Street roundabout. “That’s a good tribute to my dad. He always wanted to do things,” said Grant Young, who like his father is based in San Francisco. His business partner, Nick Wright, is based in Richland and is leading The Bob project. The company is partnering with SRM, a Spokane development firm, to build The Bob, which will cater to high-income renters. Young and Wright said the name is a fun way to honor Bob Young, a longtime developer behind several apartments and other properties in the Tri-Cities, many of them the first projects of their type in the community. The Young family bought the Co-
Courtesy Nick Wright The Bob will honor the late Robert “Bob” Young, a Tri-City apartment developer who died in 2014.
lumbia Park Trail property in 2005, intending to develop it. They removed a manufactured home park but plans never materialized. Today, the en-
trance is blocked by a pair of concrete jersey-style barriers. Weeds and trees are overtaking the uTHE BOB, Page 2
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Holiday Bazaar Listings
Brick-and-mortar shopping and a dash of snow made holidays memorable
Who chaired the Kennewick School Board when the Kennewick High School class of 1944 graduated? ANSWER, PAGE 11
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old roads, parking pads and other infrastructure. The Bob is the company’s first new project in recent years. Wright said it is the right time and apartments were the right fit. Covid-19 has been tough on apartment owners like the Young organization. More tenants are unable to pay rent, but overall, its portfolio is doing well. The company owns Washington Square One and Jadwin Stevens in north Richland and Pasco’s Broadmoor apartments, developed in 2004. Wright said SRM suggested “The Bob.” It is a longtime partner and built the Broadmoor, a 252-unit garden-style project at 10305 Chapel Hill Blvd., shortly before the elder Young’s death. “We were just tossing names around and said, ‘What about The Bob?’ It sounds unique and cool and will be a throwback to Bob Young,” he said. Grant Young is pleased to honor his father and wants to incorporate his memory into what he said will be an architecturally modern project with metal, wood and other industrial design touches. The developers say they were inspired by the success of Park Place, the “urban” apartment project that recently opened near the entrance to
Courtesy Nick Wright Construction on The Bob 192-unit Class A apartment project begins in early 2022 near the Steptoe Street roundabout in south Richland.
Howard Amon Park in Richland. Wright said Park Place gave the team confidence to proceed by proving there is a local appetite for top-tier rental units. Park Place was famously delayed for several years while the Crown Group, its city-selected developer, struggled to secure a loan to build it. Wright declined to disclose potential rents for The Bob but noted Park Place filled easily. It is advertised at $1,350 to $2,300 per month on apartments.com. “As soon as Park Place got occupancy, it filled pretty quickly at pretty high rents. Obviously with the Amazons and all the other big businesses coming to town and the housing shortage, we feel confident,” he said. The project was submitted for review under the state’s Environmental Protection Act, or SEPA, and is being finalized to submit to the city of Richland for building permits. It is being
uBRIEFS Seniors, it’s time to badger your kids about flu shots
Childhood flu vaccine rates are down 25% compared to the previous two flu seasons and the Washington State Department of health is encouraging families to get themselves and their children vaccinated as soon as possible. Everyone age 6 months and older should be vaccinated against the flu, which is highly contagious, potentially lethal and also unpredictable. Medical experts say people who have not had a flu vaccine may be unusually vulnerable this season because last year’s flu activity was low. The state health department says that means fewer people have natural immunity due to lack of exposure, particularly in younger age groups. “Flu can be serious for kids, and a flu vaccine is the best way to protect them. With the holidays quickly approaching, it is crucial parents take precautionary steps now to keep every-
designed in house, Wright said. Construction could begin as early as next spring and will take 18 to 20 months to complete. The Bob will be managed by Prodigy Property Management, which oversees other Young-owned properties in the TriCities. The five-building complex will include a mix of 18 studio units, 90 one-bedrooms and 84 two bedrooms. It will have covered parking, a pool and clubhouse. The top-floor units will offer views over the Port of Benton railroad spur to the Yakima River Delta area. The driveway will be on Columbia Park Trail, with a new left-turn lane planned to improve access. The local apartment vacancy rate stood at just 1%, according to a spring survey by the University of Washington’s Center for Real Estate Research. one in the family healthy and safe,” said Dr. Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, the state’s chief science officer. Flu season typically occurs between December and February, but can linger as late as May. Go to: KnockOutFlu.org.
Benton County honors Prosser centenarian
The Benton County Commission approved a proclamation honoring a Prosser businessman for his contributions to the community on his 100th birthday. Victor Murphey, who was born Nov. 24, 1921, to Stephen and Vera Vista Murphy in Culdesac, Idaho, served in World War II. He and his late wife, Ella, were married on Sept. 14, 1955, at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Prosser. The couple raised two daughters and have six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. They opened ACM Feed with his brothers Bill and Jim, their father and other local families, and operated it until 2011.
SENIOR TIMES • DECEMBER 2021
Warning: Winter road trips ahead. Here’s how to stay safe If we didn’t hit the highways this time of year, many would miss sharing the holidays with friends and family. So, do all the traveling you want, but stay alert to the risks inherent in winter travel. Be doubly aware of how those risks apply to seniors. As we age, we don’t respond as quickly as we once did to sudden changes in road conditions, whether it is a collision just ahead or a sudden patch of black ice. Older bodies are less able to tolerate the cold, which means you could get in trouble quickly if you had to dig your way out of a snow drift, or if you had to sit for hours in an icy car. The risk of being trapped in your car by weather or road conditions is real. The atmospheric river that soaked Washington in mid-November flooded roads and left motorists stranded for hours. Washington state’s Emergency Management Division (EMD) reported “seeing stories of folks stuck in traffic for 8-12 hours because of closures, flooding and landslides.” How would you fare if conditions stranded you for many hours? Do you have enough gas to keep the heater going until you reach safety? Could you phone for help or to let the family know you are OK? Are there medications you need to take but don’t have with you? There’s no need to curtail your holiday travel plans as long as you know and apply the rules of winter travel safety. There is plenty of safety advice
Gordon Williams American Red Cross
available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the American
Red Cross. The first step is to make sure your car is ready for the journey. “Driving safely begins before you even get on the road,” according to the NHTSA. “Regular tune-ups and maintenance are the starting point for safe driving year-round.” In winter, pay attention to your battery, wipers, coolant, tires and other systems that can take a beating when the temperature drops. Have snow tires installed before the snow begins to fall. Make sure your gas tank is full, even if you expect to travel only a few miles. Check tire pressure before you leave (including the spare) and make sure the window washer is filled with fluid that won’t freeze. Clear snow, ice and dirt from windows, head and taillights and back-up cameras. Equip your car with gear you might need on the road. Here’s WSDOT’s list: • Flashlight • Extra batteries • Blanket • Nonperishable food/snacks
• Water • Gloves • Boots • First aid kit • Cellphone charger/battery booster • Tire chains • Ice scraper/snow brush/small shovel • Jumper cables • Flares/warning triangle • Kitty litter or sand to help with traction • Whistle to signal for help Check weather conditions at your destination and along the route you will be traveling. Make use of what is available from the WSDOT, starting with the 511 service on your phone. Dialing 511 will bring you the latest on highway conditions on Washington roads and in the mountain passes. You’ll find comparable 511 service in Oregon, Idaho and Montana. If you can’t connect with Washington 511, dial 800-695-7623. Program your radio to WSDOT’s highway advisory radio at 530 AM and 1610 AM. WSDOT has a mobile app that delivers travel information to your Apple or Android phone or to your iPad. Type in WSDOT in the app
store or Google Play. DOT maintains 13 Twitter accounts for localized travel info, among them: • @wsdot for statewide travel info • @wsdot_passes for mountain pass conditions • @wsdot_east for conditions east of the Cascades Finally, WSDOT offers this advice on winter driving: • Focus on driving; don’t use cruise control. • Slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady spots. • Obey chain-up notices: violators face a $500 fine. The Red Cross offers its own list of winter travel tips. It suggests bringing along newspapers, which can be used for insulation in a pinch, and plastic bags if you are stranded in the car with no bathroom nearby. Another suggestion is to take hot broth in a thermos. The Red Cross advises you to do your winter driving during daylight. If possible, don’t travel alone. Make sure someone else knows your route and when you expect to arrive. If you don’t show up on time, searchers will know where to look. uWINTER DRIVING, Page 10
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS ✪ Bring your grandchildren and families to events with a star. DAILY IN DECEMBER
• Senske’s 18th annual Holiday Light Show: 5 p.m.-midnight runs nightly in December, 400 N. Quay St., Kennewick.
• Lighted Boat Parade: 6 p.m. Decorated boats begin parade under the cable bridge at Clover Island in Kennewick, traveling upriver along Columbia Park. Boats turn around about 7:30 p.m. at the far end of Howard Amon Park in Richland.
• Downtown Kennewick Hometown Holiday Parade: 10 a.m., downtown Kennewick. Oldfashioned parade welcoming Santa and featuring holiday-themed floats, police and fire vehicles and entertaining characters. After the parade, join Santa for activities and treats. • Heritage Tree Lighting: 4-6 p.m. Volunteer Park, 1125 N. Fourth Ave., Pasco. • WinterFest Cinema featuring “The Grinch”: 10 a.m., Pasco Sporting Complex north parking lot, 6160 Burden Blvd., Pasco. Free. Pre-registration is required at pascoparksandrec.com.
Best wishes during this season and throughout the New Year from all of us at Mueller’s Funeral Homes.
• WinterFest Cinema featuring “Elf”: 1:30 p.m., Pasco Sporting Complex north parking lot, 6160 Burden Blvd., Pasco. Free. Preregistration is required at pascoparksandrec.com. • WinterFest Cinema featuring “Arthur Christmas”: 5 p.m., Pasco Sporting Complex north parking lot, 6160 Burden Blvd., Pasco. Free. Pre-registration is required at pascoparksandrec.com.
• Healthy living for brain and body: 1-2 p.m., virtual event. Call 509-943-8455 or register online at kadlec.org/KNRC.
• WindSong at Southridge “Parade of Lights Drive-through”: 4:30-6:30 p.m., 4000 W. 24th Ave., Kennewick.
• Mid-Columbia Ballet, “The Nutcracker”: 7 p.m., Richland High School Auditorium, 930 Long Ave., Richland. Go to midcolumbiaballet. org for tickets.
• Mid-Columbia Ballet, “The Nutcracker”: 7 p.m. Richland High School Auditorium, 930 Long Ave., Richland. Go to midcolumbiaballet. org for tickets. • Benton City Winterfest: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., downtown Benton City, 510 Eighth St. Holiday bazaar and family festivities, followed by lighted parade 5 p.m.; tree lighting 6 p.m. Details at bentoncitychamber. org/winterfest.
• Mid-Columbia Ballet, “The Nutcracker”: 5 p.m. Richland High School Auditorium, 930 Long Ave., Richland. Go to midcolumbiaballet. org for tickets.
• Healthy living for brain and body: 1-2:30 p.m., virtual event. For more information call 509-943-8455 or register online at kadlec.org/ KNRC.
For holiday bazaar listings, see page 12.
• 43rd Lampson Cable Bridge Run: 9 a.m.-noon. 1 mile, 5K, or 10K race/walk. Register at pasco-wa. gov/845/Lampson-Cable-BridgeRun. • Tri-Cities Steel Band Association Christmas concert: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Bethel Church, 600 Shockley Rd., Richland. Cost $9. Purchase tickets at tcsba.org.
• Christmas with the Mastersingers: 4 p.m., The Reach Museum, 1943 Columbia Park Trail, Richland. Concert features traditional Christmas song favorites. General admission, $15; K-12 students, free. Go to mcmastersingers.org.
SENIOR TIMES • DECEMBER 2021
Are you a ripe target for fraudsters? AARP research says ‘yes’ Nine in 10 Americans, or 229 million people, encountered a fraud attempt in 2020. One in seven, or 33 million people, lost money to a scam in 2020, according to a new AARP study. The findings come as fraud reports have skyrocketed during the pandemic, and as technology and business sophistication has allowed scammers to cast even wider nets attempting to snare unsuspecting victims. But while consumer protection advocates and authorities struggle to keep up with a proliferation of new scams and schemes, AARP’s report, “A Moment’s Notice,” revealed the specific environmental and emotional factors that are present in most all successful attempts to defraud consumers. The findings from the July 2021 national study present a new opportunity to get a step ahead of the scammers, by helping consumers understand when and how any of us can lose money to fraud given the right scammer and the right moment in time. “Consumer advocates have long struggled to identify exactly who is most likely to become a fraud victim,” said Doug Shadel, AARP Washington state director. “Scam artists are master manipulators of emotion, and anyone can experience a scam, regardless of age, income or education. Our research has shown that it isn’t necessarily who you are that matters, but how you are when the pitch is made.”
AARP’s study identified three risk factors that can create vulnerable moments in which targets Jason Erskine of scammers AARP may be more GUEST COLUMN susceptible to criminal tactics – emotions, environment, and exposure. • Emotion: Victims of fraud reported significantly more and stronger emotions than non-victims at the time of fraud encounters. And more victims than non-victims reported feeling out of control during encounters with scams, which is precisely the goal of the criminal. • Environment: Coping with changes like loss of a job or death of a family member may impact a person’s response to fraud. Stressful life events can lower defenses, which may make it harder to spot a scam. • Exposure: Significantly more victims than non-victims experienced multiple exposures to fraud. Many victims also reported being more open to solicitations from strangers and making remote purchases at a pace that significantly exceeded that of non-victims, which may have caused additional fraud exposure. “The scammer’s goal is to target those vulnerable moments and to get their target into a heightened
emotional state so that they are easier to persuade and control,” said Shadel. “When our emotions take over, we become more susceptible to fraud – it’s not weakness, it’s human. But if we pay special attention and take extra precautions during those moments in our lives, we can gain the upper hand in recognizing and avoiding scammers’ attempts,” he said. According to AARP, the report findings support four key areas that may limit the likelihood of a scam’s success. • Fraud prevention education should include the role of emotion and stress: Bolster current fraud education efforts that focus on cognitive learnings, by including content that addresses how heightened emotions can weaken our defenses to scams. • Encourage the use of protective factors that can limit exposure to scams: Encourage the wider use of protective services like call blocking, credit freezes, protective software, online monitoring of accounts and password management. • Strengthen social support networks: One of the most important
findings of AARP’s study was the role that social isolation and a relative lack of social and family support may play in fraud victimization. The study found victims reported more experiences of loneliness and less social and family support than non-victims. • Underline the fact that “fraud can happen to anyone”: AARP’s research shows that no one demo graphic characteristic is the primary source of fraud susceptibility. “An individual can have a PhD in psychology, be a millionaire or a senior partner in a law firm and still lose money to scams,” Shadel said. “If consumers think that ‘older people, uneducated people, low-income people, or some select others’ are the only ones suscep tible to fraud, that may give them a false sense of security, which paradoxically can lead to greater susceptibility.” For more information on the latest scams targeting your community, go to aarp.org/tipoffs. Jason Erskine is communications director for the AARP Washington.
SENIOR TIMES • DECEMBER 2021 Fur Baby Love & Care | Saphira’s Treasures
Hunt and Gather Antiques and Vintage
Photo by Kristina Lord
Photo by Kristina Lord
Donna Gleason, left, holding Coco, and her daughter Sarah Bolles don festive holiday garland inside Saphira’s Treasures, a fantasy gift shop featuring crystals, incense and tarot cards in the Richland Uptown Shopping Center.
Paul Ziemer, co-owner of Hunt and Gather Antiques and Vintage in the Uptown Shopping Center in Richland, slipped off his mask for a photo with Eddie the Elk. Ziemer said business has been good, with many shoppers saying they appreciate being able to shop locally.
SHOPKEEPERS, From page 1
Walla store that sold crystals. She told her mom she wanted to do something similar in Richland. They renamed the store Saphira’s Treasures. “We ordered necklaces and bracelets, and people were really excited about them. Sarah was like, ‘These are awesome.’ We were basically like, ‘That’s cool. Let’s sell that,’ ” Gleason said. As people began traveling again, the pet sitting business also picked back up. Gleason has left the store management to her daughter, who has taken over picking out inventory, receiving, pricing and minding the store. She turned her attention back to Fur Baby Love & Care as demand grew when people started planning trips again, right around spring break. A large percentage of her clientele are those who work long days in the Hanford area, as well as nurses and doctors. “All of sudden everybody was ready,” she said. “Spring break was like, ‘Yikes!’ It’s mellowed out a little bit. Now we’re pretty steady.” In January, she bought Royalty Pet Care, which helped the business add new clients during the slow start to the year. She began 2021 with one employee and is now up to five. Prior to the pandemic she had four and had to drop down to one when business dried up. She said she’s almost completely booked for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. “Now I’m thinking about getting a sixth person,” she said. She said she’s been having a hard time finding quality employees. She used to post help wanted ads on Facebook and would see 50 applicants over the course of a few days.
Fur Baby Love & Care Saphira’s Treasures
s the pandemic ground Donna Gleason’s pet sitting business to a halt, she knew she needed to do something to keep busy. “I was losing my mind. I can’t stand sitting around. Nobody was going on vacation or going to work,” said the owner of Fur Baby Love & Care. She pivoted to mask making, using leftover fabric from a neglected Etsy shop to launch herself into the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) industry. She knew she needed to find a
place to work, as having two teenagers trapped in close quarters at home didn’t help matters, she said with a laugh. “I found a place at the Uptown. It was pretty cheap and I rented it, and it’s morphed into what it is,” she said, securing the lease in August 2020. Mask sales were brisk but eventually tapered off at the little Uptown shop, tucked into one of the shopping center’s alley ways. As sales waned, Gleason and her daughter Sarah Bolles debated their next steps. They toyed with the idea of sustainable products like paper straws and reusable bags (what she calls “crunchy stuff”). But the vision came into better focus after Sarah visited a Walla
search Furbabyloveandcare.com search 1367 George Washington Way, Suite C, Uptown Shopping Center, Richland; saphirastreasures.com.
Hunt and Gather Antiques and Vintage
unt and Gather Antiques and Vintage has a loyal following, including frequent out-of-town visitors, said Cheryl Ziemer, who co-owns the vintage store in Richland’s Uptown Shopping Center with her husband, Paul. “It’s unreal. They’re here and they visit and they come in. We get great comments about our store,” she said. “People love to socialize with us. We have so many regular customers. They just like to gather and talk – and of course they love to shop.” Ziemer said she strives to make Hunt and Gather inviting. First impressions are everything, she said. “When they walk into your store, that’s what they see – the first impression. You want to make your customers happy so you want to have a happy place,” she said. Hunt and Gather offers space to about a dozen vendors who resell vintage products, including household and decorative items. It had to close briefly in the pandemic but reopened with no issues. Today, it has a waiting list of people who want to lease space there, said Paul, who was staffing the register during a recent visit. He is optimistic that the 2021 holiday season will be strong. “This year has been a really good year. We’re looking forward to Christmas. ‘Shop Local’ is going to be big uSHOPKEEPERS, Page 7
SENIOR TIMES • DECEMBER 2021 Inovaciones Faviola
Photo by Kristina Lord Mercedes Isidro adjusts the jacket on a mannequin at her new shop, Inovaciones Faviola, at 121 N. Fourth Ave. in downtown Pasco. Isidro opened the clothing store in early November after working for years doing alterations at nearby formal dress shops.
SHOPKEEPERS, From page 6
for us,” he said. Hunt and Gather isn’t affected by supply chain issues since it is a vintage business, but it has struggled with a reduction in the estate sales, yard sales and similar events that bring treasures to its doorstep. Paul said the hot items in vintage include midcentury items, including furniture, “crusty-rusty” furniture and nostalgia items, including music cassettes and vinyl. What doesn’t sell anymore? Grandma’s dinner china, glassware and silver, he said. “It’s a good time to get into glassware,” he joked. search 1350 Jadwin Ave., Richland, Uptown Shopping Center; facebook. com/HuntGatherAntiquesandVintage.
ercedes Isidro has been a seamstress for more than 25 years, including the past six providing alterations in
downtown Pasco’s fancy dress shops. In November, she took the leap and opened her own place. Inovaciones Faviola offers casual clothes, including dresses, jeans and jackets and some home goods such as blankets and comforters. She wants to provide an every-day apparel alternative to the formal wear shops that cater to special occasions – weddings, quinceanearas, proms, weddings, baptisms, First Communions and more that are common in the heart of downtown. She will offer alteration services as well in a sewing room at the back of the shop. She was still setting up the store in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Before she opened the doors, Isidro and an assistant traveled to Los Angeles to buy merchandise from wholesalers. Now that she’s established connections, she intends to order directly. After 25 years offering alteration services through other businesses, Isidro is pleased to be her own boss. “Es bien. It’s fine,” she said. search 121 N. Fourth Ave., Pasco.
Photo by Kristina Lord Store owners Ismael Llanes, left, and Jorge Lopez, far right, stand with store manager Ana Orozco, center, amid a sea of colorful quinceanera dresses at Llane’s Boutique in downtown Pasco.
his year’s hot colors for quinceanera dresses are lilac, light blue and red. The riot of color is on full display in the windows of Llane’s Boutique, a downtown Pasco store that caters to teens turning 15 years old who need formal wear for their traditional coming-of-age celebrations. Last year was rough on the special events industry thanks to shutdowns and cancellations. One reason Llane’s is so well stocked is that many of its 2020 orders were canceled. Store manager Ana Orozco, who has worked at the shop for the past six years, hopes sales will be better in the coming year. “We normally sell 300 dresses a year. With the pandemic, it’s been pretty much 200 dresses because they canceled,” she said. “We also have a big sales for communions and proms, and we don’t have that either.” Replenishing dress inventory has
been challenging as well, Orozco said, with supply chain issues affecting stores around the country and world. “It’s been so hard and prices are so high as well,” she said, adding that the boutique does offer a layaway payment plan. The store’s busiest season is the five-month span from spring into summer. In addition to outfitting young women for quinceaneras, it dresses customers for proms and weddings. Pointing to an embroidered horse stitched onto a striking black-andgold gown, Orozco said teens can swap out designs and colors on some dresses according to their likes and interests. Some dresses can take up to three months to arrive at the store. The large store offers a wide variety of dresses to choose from, making it easy to pivot when teen preferences change. Orozco said girls who attended fall homecoming dances wanted floorlength, sleek gowns instead of shorter lengths this year. They also passed
uSHOPKEEPERS, Page 9
SENIOR TIMES • DECEMBER 2021
SENIOR TIMES • DECEMBER 2021 Galerías La Estrella
Concrete Jungle Outdoor Decor
Photo by Kristina Lord
Photo by Kristina Lord
Saleswoman Fernanda Guzmán said one benefit of shopping at Galerías La Estrella, at 103 N. Fourth Ave. in downtown Pasco, is that most of what’s on display on the showroom floor is in stock at the business’ local warehouse.
Randy Blumer won’t sell the cracked Renaissance-style statue at his Concrete Jungle store at 102 W. Kennewick Ave. in downtown Kennewick because he likes how it looks in one of the display fountains, but he’ll happily sell a new one.
SHOPKEEPERS, From page 7
estate broker. He could retire, but when a tenant for a building he owns in downtown Kennewick disappeared one night, he decided to take over the space himself. The result was Concrete Jungle Outdoor Decor, which sells fountains, garden statues, figurines and more. That was seven years ago, and he’s still at it. If he wasn’t having fun, he said, he’d close and retire. Concrete Jungle isn’t a typical holiday business. It is seasonal, roughly mirroring irrigation season. It typically closes by Thanksgiving and reopens in late February or early March when Tri-Citians emerge and take stock of their yards but he’ll happily meet with customers during the winter months by appointment. His customers are homeowners and the occasional landscaper. The pandemic has brought its challenges, but Blumer said Concrete Jungle broke even in 2020 and was tracking to turn a profit in 2021. He expects a strong year in 2022 as well. For Blumer, switching from disin-
over last year’s colors of burgundy and rose gold, she said. The store opened in 2012 and has been in its current location for two years. It features two floors of sparkly, embroidered, poufy and ethereal dresses in a variety of styles and colors for a range of special occasions: baptisms, First Communion, quinceaneras, proms and weddings. Quinceanera packages featuring elaborate decorated dolls (to match the teen’s special dress) envelope boxes, Bibles, scrapbooks, bouquets and champagne flutes also are sold there. When needed, store owners Ismael Llanes and Jorge Lopez can be found in a back room designing and making them to make sure they’re ready for the special day. Llane’s also offers tuxedo rentals, shirts and accessories for boys and men, and dresses for mothers of the bride, as well as shoes. One of the joys of working at the shop is seeing happy customers, Orozco said. “Last Saturday I saw a dad crying as soon as he saw his daughter with the dress. All of those emotions. Oh my gosh,” she said. search Llane’s Boutique: 115 N. Fourth Ave., Pasco; 509-572-0692; Facebook @llaneslaboutiuquedemoda.
Galerías La Estrella
ernanda Guzmán joined Galerías La Estrella, a furniture business with large showrooms in Pasco and Sunnyside and a warehouse at King City, about two years ago, just before the Covid-19 pandemic. She is undaunted by the contrast
between before and after and greets visitors in full sales mode at the wellstocked Pasco store. A full showroom wouldn’t be unusual in typical times, but the furniture industry is beset by reports about supply chain issues and that new sofas are hard to come by. Not so for Galerías, said Guzmán. The owners anticipated the problem and have $2 million in inventory stashed away. Everything available on the two sales floors in Pasco, where the large showroom is matched by an equally large basement, is available for immediate delivery. “No waiting for anything here,” she said. The main concession is that it’s difficult to custom order pieces because vendors are having labor and supply issues The stores closed during the pandemic shutdowns, but have thrived since they reopened. Guzmán was pleasantly surprised by the volume of customers who came in after the first economic stimulus checks were sent out in 2020, with many buying furniture for their children. Customers also have been eager to upgrade their furnishings after a yearplus of working from home. Sofas and mattresses are top sellers. “We have been doing really good,” she said. The furniture season typically slows down in December and January, but restarts with tax rebate season after New Year’s. search 103 N. Fourth Ave., Pasco; galeriaslaestrella.com.
Concrete Jungle Outdoor Decor
andy Blumer earned a degree in fine arts and made a living as a commercial real
terested landlord to downtown business owner opened his eyes to the thriving culture of Kennewick’s historic sector. He praised the many restaurants and the sense of camaraderie among shop owners, and the newcomers, such as Red Mountain Commercial Kitchen, who are bringing in new customers. “This will be open as long as I’m enjoying it,” he said. “I love it. People are great. I love to talk.” As he prepared to close for the season, one item in his inventory wasn’t for sale. A Renaissance-style statue of a woman lay artfully broken in half. There wasn’t anything artful about her though: The concrete statue broke when it fell from a delivery truck. Blumer loves her and so to do the customers who want to buy her for their own garden follies. “She’s mine to keep. I like her. They can buy a new one and take a sledgehammer to her,” he said. search 102 W. Kennewick Ave., Kennewick; JungleYardArt.com.
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SENIOR TIMES • DECEMBER 2021
WINTER DRIVING, From page 3
The Red Cross further advises: “Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers. If you are too tired to drive, stop and get some rest.” That advice would be applicable to anyone, but especially to seniors who may tire more quickly.
uBRIEFS Pasco Animal Shelter project unaffected by police raid
The city of Pasco says a raid at the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter in November won’t affect plans to build a new home beginning in spring 2022. The Benton-Franklin Humane Society is temporarily operating the Tri-City Animal Shelter after Pasco police executed a warrant on Nov. 11 that led to seizing sick animals, terminating the contract with the nonprofit operator and enlisting the humane society to operate the facility. The city said the search warrant was executed following an Oct. 26 unannounced inspection that included veterinary professionals and was based on information it received about conditions at the facility. Julie Chambers, chief financial officer, is accused of embezzling $300,000 from the shelter. The city
Finally, the Red Cross offers advice on frostbite and hypothermia, real dangers if you are trapped in a frozen vehicle or in the cold digging out from a snowdrift. Signs of frostbite are lack of feeling in the affected area and waxy skin that is cold to the touch. The first sign of hypothermia is shivering, which
can quickly lead to apathy and impaired judgment and eventually loss of consciousness. If you can, get out of the cold and try to slowly warm yourself. Get out of wet clothing and dry yourself. If you are with someone with signs of hypothermia, call 911. Monitor the person’s breathing and circulation.
Warm the person’s core first rather than trying to warm cold hands. Sudden warming of the extremities can lead to shock.
has also sued three shelter employees over bonuses they received. The Pasco animal facility at 1312 S. 18th Ave. is operated by Pasco but jointly owned with the cities of Kennewick and Richland. The humane society, which has a shelter in Kennewick, stepped in to oversee the shelter. Go to: bfhs.com.
gram, continuing a longstanding discussion about the lack of treatment for people with behavioral health issues. The new sales tax takes effect July 1, 2022.
covers Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam, shared several of its more notorious cases. One involves Dion L. Earl, a former Seattle college soccer star who’d already been convicted of several sex crimes and drew the IRS’s attention for filing fraudulent tax returns that netted hundreds of thousands of dollars in refunds, even after he was targeted for an audit. He was sentenced to a year in prison and to a pay more than $1 million in fines and restitution. Another case involved Eugene, Oregon resident Susan Tranberg, who engaged in standard corporate malfeasance. As a Weyerhaeuser executive, she created a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme by creating a fake timber contract and submitting phony invoices to her employer. She got a six-year prison sentence. Intrigued? Go to: bit.ly/ CSIInternalRevenueService.
Benton County supports behavioral health treatment
The Benton County Commission voted 2-1 to establish a new Behavioral Health Fund to support the treatment of chemical dependency and mental health services and to support the therapeutic court program that hears criminal cases related to behavioral health issues. The fund is supported by a new 0.1% sales and use tax. Commissioners Shon Small and Jerome Delvin supported the new pro-
IRS report is a must-read for true-crime fans
The Internal Revenue Service released its annual report on criminal investigations into tax crimes, and it is a genuine page-turner for those who love true-crime tales of wrongdoing. The 2021 report tallies the 2,500 investigations representing more than $10 billion in tax and financial crimes, noting its work resulted in a conviction rate of nearly 90%. Better than statistics, though, the 49-page report highlights intriguing cases from each IRS office, hundreds of glimpses at the crimes and misdeeds of the great and the not-sogreat. The Seattle Field Office, which
Gordon Williams is a volunteer with the American Red Cross’ Northwest Regional Communications Team.
SENIOR TIMES • DECEMBER 2021
Just for Fun
Across 1 Plea at sea 4 Acquire 7 Units of electromotive force 9 “A Little Bitty Tear” singer Burl -- 11 The ---, Dutch seat of government 12 Essayist --- Waldo Emerson 14 Infinitely repeated geometric pattern 16 Narrative song 17 Senior army rank 18 Eccentric 19 Morning must-have, for many 24 Your choice
Solutions on page 13
25 Belonging to us 26 Source of gas at the track 27 Meet expectations 31 --- Merman 33 Nimble 34 Up-and-down toy 35 Colossus 36 Beak 37 Society newcomer Down 1 Rise higher 2 Bond girl --- Kurylenko 3 House finish 4 Vermeer’s wore a pearl earring 5 “Desperate Housewives” actress --- Longoria
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Word search - Drinks Fix
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Turn Back the Clock...
© 2021 Syndicated Puzzles
© 2021 Syndicated Puzzles
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Str8ts - Easy
© 2021 Syndicated Puzzles
How to beat Str8ts: No single number, 1 to 9, can repeat in any row or column. But rows and columns are divided by black squares into compartments. Each compartment must form a straight, a set of numbers with no gaps but it can be in any order, eg: 7, 6, 8, 9. Clues in black cells remove that number as an option in that row and column, and are not part of any straight. Rules of Sudoku - To complete Sudoku, fill the board by entering numbers 1 to 9 such that each row, column and 3x3 box contains ever number uniquely. For more strategies, hints and tips, visit www.sudokuwiki.org and www.str8ts.com.
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books, iPhone/iPad andin much more on our store. Dec. 25: In the longestApps game NFL history, the Miami Dolphins beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 27-24, in double overtime after 82 minutes and 40 seconds of game time.
ANSWER Quiz answer from Page 1
It was Lottie Lampson. — Source: Franklin County Historical Society
SENIOR TIMES • DECEMBER 2021
~ Bazaar Listings ~
By Senior Times staff
Several area groups and churches are offering bazaars around the Tri-Cities:
• Pasco Eagles Fall Bazaar: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 2829 W. Sylvester St., Pasco. Details at pascoeagles. com.
• Holiday Bazaar: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Best Western Plus, Kennewick, 4001 W. 27th Ave., Kennewick. Vendors, bake sale, drawings, kids’ crafts, more. Hosted by Family Resource Center of the Tri-Cities. Masks required. • Jingle Bell Bash: 10 a.m.4 p.m., Roscoe’s Coffee, 2003 Logston Blvd., Richland. More than 30 local vendors, offering free coffee roasting tours, live music performed by Tupelo Joe, Ciao Wagon and Santa. • Grace Hollow Winter Market: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 3500 W. Deschutes Ave., Kennewick. • Rudolf’s Winter Bazaar: Noon4 p.m., The Space at Uptown Shopping Center, 1384 Jadwin Ave., Richland. Hosted by Nancy’s Crochet Obsession. • Hanford High Holiday Bazaar: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Hanford High School Commons (near the main office), 450 Hanford St., Richland. Free admission. Supporting HHS video production, broadcast and podcast club students.
• Benton City Winterfest Bazaar: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Community Center, 806 Dale Ave.; farmers market building, 511 Ninth St. and along Dale Avenue. • Richland Alliance Church Holiday Bazaar: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 1400 Sanford Ave., Richland. • It’s Almost Christmas Bazaar: Noon-6 p.m., Best Western Plus, 4001 W. 27th Ave., Kennewick.
• Holiday Bazaar: Noon-6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, Southridge Sports and Events Complex. $5 admission with kids under 12 free. Details: go2kennewick.com/1319/ Harvest-Bazaar. • Frosty’s Christmas Bazaar: 3-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18 at Holiday Inn Express, 4525 Convention Place, Pasco. About 50 vendors from direct sales consultants, homemade items from local vendors and food. Hosted by Nancy’s Crochet Obsession and D&D Southern Bling.
• Fifth annual Home for the Holidays: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19 at the HAPO Center, 6600 Burden Blvd., Pasco. Local and regional retail and handcrafted vendors, blood drive for American Red Cross.
• Holiday Bazaar: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Best Western Plus, Kennewick, 4001 W. 27th Ave., Kennewick. Vendors, bake sale, drawings, kids’ crafts, more. Hosted by Family Resource Center of the Tri-Cities. Masks required.
• Santa’s Bazaar: Noon-4 p.m., Gesa Carousel of Dreams, 2901 Southridge Blvd., Kennewick. Baked goodies, handcrafts. Hosted by Nancy’s Crochet Obsession.
Merry C hristmas
from the Senior Times team –
Melanie, Kristina, Wendy, Tiffany, Chad and Vanessa!
SENIOR TIMES • DECEMBER 2021
Brick-and-mortar shopping and a dash of snow made holidays memorable By East Benton County Historical Society
The yuletide season inside Columbia Center mall glitters with holiday decor as shoppers comfortably dressed for indoors stroll through. Once, downtown holiday shopping in Richland, Kennewick and Pasco was a winterfest celebration as small towns welcomed shoppers right into the heart of Main Street. Mufflers, scarves, knit caps and winter coats wrapped shoppers in cozy comfort beneath falling snowflakes dusting caps and coats. A gaiety sprung out under the winter canopy with friends meeting between shopping stops, arms laden with presents, wrapped and unwrapped, a dusting of snow beneath their feet. Saturday shopping, at Christmas or any season, often was catch-up time when a chance meeting, much more frequent then, brought families and friends together before cellphones existed, when the closest thing to instant communication was a party line telephone shared by two or more families. Often, as parents shopped, children were treated to a downtown movie matinee at the Village, the Richland or the Uptown theaters in Richland, the Roxy or Benton in Kennewick, or the Pasco and Liberty theaters in Pasco, catching bygone B-movie features like westerns “Red Sundown “or “Two Gun Lady,” war pictures like “Retreat Hell” or “The Tanks Are Coming,” bios like “The Benny Goodman Story,” or a good old monster show like “Revenge of the Creature,” from the “Creature From The Black
Lagoon” trilogy. “Revenge” featured the first film role by Clint Eastwood in a small part as a lab technician. Downtowns were a shopping mecca, and professionals plied their trades from downtown offices. A Saturday morning appointment during the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo in the office of optometrist Dr. Phil Berman on the northeast corner of Kennewick Avenue and Dayton Street might find him limping into his office in denims and cowboy boots beneath a white smock, fresh from a rough night at the rodeo on the backs of bucking stock. A rodeo enthusiast and later an in-demand rodeo announcer, the smile on his face showed he enjoyed every moment with the snorting tormentor he was trying to ride. Drug stores ran the gambit from the Uptown and Downtown Thrifty drugs in Richland, along with Pennywise and Denslow’s. Crown Drug and Hill Crest Drug dispensed in or near Angus Village, while prominent in Kennewick’s immediate downtown were Vibber’s and Visger’s. Economy Drug in downtown Pasco was a cornerstone. High-quality women’s fashions could be found at Lil-Dales and The Crest in Kennewick, Saylors or Young’s Department Store in Pasco, A & Z Specialty Shop and The Style Center, both in Richland. A full line of lingerie, millinery, shoes, foundation garments, dresses, shoes and coats, formals and sportswear were offered. Expectant mothers could find what they needed at Maxine’s Maternity Wear in Richland. Men and boys found apparel in
Courtesy East Benton County Historical Society Shop owners along Kennewick Avenue clear their sidewalks so shoppers can get their holiday shopping done.
downtown stores like Lantor’s Mens and Boys Wear, and Ken and Rita’s Apparel, both in Kennewick. Perennial support for youth baseball came from merchants like Dawson-
Richards clothing and BB&M sporting goods in Richland, and Al’s OK Rubber Welders in Kennewick. Downtown Kennewick’s Basin uSHOPPING, Page 15
Puzzle answers from page 9
Crossword 1 7
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8 5 9 7 4 7 8 9 7 5 3 6 6 5 3 4 2 4 1 3 2 1
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Str8ts Solution X 3Y K E 1 A K 2 H S L I U 8H A 9W A P 7 H B C 6T N E
3 9 1 2 8 2 3 1 4 5 8 4 9 8 7 6 6 5 7 7 6
Sudoku Solution R I 6 K 5 T E N1 R2 O S E8 N9
5 3 6 1 9 7 8 4 2
2 1 4 5 8 3 7 9 6
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6 2 9 8 7 4 3 5 1
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3 7 5 6 1 9 2 8 4
For more strategies, hints and tips, visit www.sudokuwiki.org and www.str8ts.com.
1 5 2 7 4 6 9 3 8
7 9 8 2 3 1 4 6 5
4 6 3 9 5 8 1 2 7
5 3 6 1 9 7 8 4 2
2 1 4 5 8 3 7 9 6
SENIOR TIMES • DECEMBER 2021
uBRIEFS How to vacation in your own backyard
Visit Tri-Cities relaunched its website to showcase opportunities for area residents to vacation in their own backyards. The newly launched site, VisitTriCities.com, offers information about local restaurants, wineries, attractions, events and more. “Our vision is to inspire wanderlust,” said Michael Novakovich, president and CEO., The site was developed by Tempest, a digital marketing agency focused on tourism.
Mid-Columbia Mastersingers has new director
Lori Fregin has joined MidColumbia Mastersingers as managing director. She brings 35 years of nonprofit management with a background in health care and world relief. In her most recent post, she was director of Residence XII, a rehabilitation center for women. Mid-Columbia Mastersingers is a nonprofit that offers a series of subscription concerts each year as well as special events and a youth
choir for singers age 9-18. It conducts a summer camp each August. She joins a leadership team that includes Justin Raffa, artistic director, and Reginald Unterseher, associate conductor. Upcoming performances include Chanukah performances Dec. 4-5 and a Christmas concert on Dec. 19. Go to: mcmastersingers.org for details.
Kids in foster care have Christmas lists, too
Dec. 10 is the deadline to drop off bags of Christmas gifts for local children living in foster care. The Heads UP Tri-Cities Foster Kids Committee is accepting donations of cash or gifts. Participants can sign up to shop for individual, unnamed children or to make a donation. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating how many children you’d like to shop for and if you have a preferred gender or age. Heads UP will send the child’s wish list. Unwrapped gifts should be dropped off at the United Way office in Kennewick by Dec. 10 to ensure they are distributed on schedule.
Learn to be a tasting room pro
Washington State University TriCities has launched a Wine Tasting Room Certificate, an online program to train tasting room employees about the wines and food they serve The certificate is offered through the WSU Tri-Cities Carson College of Business office of lifelong learning. The fee is $249 and covers the Washington wine industry, proper win service, wine tasting, evaluation and food preparing. Individual lessons cover how wine is made, styles of wine, types of grapes, the unique aspects of Washington wine, Washington’s many American Viticultural Areas and more. “We worked closely with winery owners and tasting room managers to determine their needs and develop content that is specifically geared toward what wineries require for customer service,” said Joan Giese, director of lifelong learning. Go to: tricities.wsu.edu/winetasting-room-training.
2 restaurants tie for best tacos in Pasco Taco Crawl
Trejo’s Mexican Restaurant and Super Quesadilla Gigante, both in Pasco, tied as winners in this year’s Taco Crawl, both receiving the “Best Taco in Pasco” award. More than 8,000 tacos were consumed during the fifth annual event, which ran from Oct. 1-16. The event was canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The tacos in Pasco are absolutely the best. Yes, the best, the best …. they are just awesome,” said Mike Gonzalez, Pasco’s economic development manager. Trejo’s at 1833 W. Court St. won the Best Taco title in 2019. Super Quesadilla Gigante at 220 N. 18th Ave., #102, was a newcomer to the Taco Crawl this year. Participants buy a booklet with coupons for tacos at 20 different taquerias and are encouraged to make tasting notes before casting a vote for their favorite. The event is a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties. To be notified about next year’s crawl, sign up for alerts at PascoTacoCrawl.com or follow @ PascoTacoCrawl on Facebook.
Christmas Lighted Boat Parade is Dec. 3-4
The Clover Island Yacht Club’s Christmas Lighted Boat parade takes place Dec. 3 and 4 on the Columbia River. The parade departs starts each night at 6 p.m. under the cable bridge at Clover Island. It travels up the Columbia River on the Kennewick side and turns at Richland’s Howard Amon Park at about 7:30 p.m. for the return trip. The parade can be viewed in Kennewick from Clover Island and Columbia Park and in Richland from Columbia Point and Howard Amon Park. Go to: lightedboatparade.com.
SENIOR TIMES • DECEMBER 2021 SHOPPING, From page 13
Surplus, now Basin Department Store, sponsored “Yankee” teams in Kennewick Pony League baseball, near perennial champions under the watchful eye of youth baseball icon Roy Johnson, whose name is honored on a youth baseball field near downtown Kennewick, and where the 1984 Pony League World Series drew teams from across the continental United States and Hawaii to Kennewick. Central Ford in downtown Pasco reached across the Columbia River to sponsor the “Highlanders” in Kennewick Pony League. BB&M was a sportsman’s paradise, offering sporting goods, golf and archery equipment, Schwinn bicycles, water sports equipment, snow skis, boats and Evinrude motors. Guns and gunsmithing were BB&M specialties. Radio repair shops still filled a need, like Hunt’s Radio and May’s Radio and TV Service with Kennewick sites, and Sam’s Radio in Pasco. Television was still a toddler but coming of age with new repair shops. A slew of clothes cleaning shops decorated the downtowns, like Chamberlain’s Careful Cleaners, Fashion Cleaners, Ideal Cleaners in downtown Kennewick, Deluxe at the Richland Y, the Lakeside, the Spic ‘N Span and the Star and the Village Cleaners & Custom Shirt Laundry. Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck & Co. were still commercial cornerstones here and JCPenney maintained a downtown presence in Pasco and Kennewick. What is a downtown without a fiveand-dime store? Kennewick’s “5-1015” cent store of Sprouse-Reitz
offered a diverse selection, including songbirds singing their medleys and goldfish darting around in a rear-ofthe-store aquarium, all to the awe of children. Candy by the piece and hot peanuts kept fresh in a glass showcase, were scooped, weighed on a scale, bagged in a paper sack and sold by the pound. For 15 cents you could buy a Halloween or Christmas window decoration. The shop was tucked among merchants on the south side of Kennewick Avenue between Washington and Auburn streets. Today, a single business building is on that stretch, bordered by parking lots. Then, merchants stretching the entire block were bordered by the Commercial Hotel on the east at Washington Street, and by the National Bank of Commerce on the west at Auburn Street. Most pet lovers beat a path to The Pet Haven on Avenue C, now Columbia Drive, in Kennewick, to add a loving presence to their home. Downtown eateries were family favorites. Frank’s Grille, the Cupboard Cafe, Eddie’s Cafe, Tillman’s Grill and Hager’s Drive-in in Pasco were mainstays, while the Wagon Wheel, the Pollyanna Cafe, the Koffee Kup cafe, Wall’s Cafe and Arrow Grille were among downtown Kennewick favorites. The Richland Mart, and C&L Tahitian in Richland pleased many pallets there. Downtown shopping: Memories without a cost. search East Benton County History Museum: 205 W. Keewaydin Drive in Kennewick; 509-582-7704; ebchs.org.
Train blasts too loud? Pasco fields complaints about noise By Wendy Culverwell email@example.com
Prompted by complaints about the blasts from trains rumbling through Pasco, the city is looking at what it would take to create a “railroad quiet zone.” The city council reviewed the state and federal requirements for quiet zones during a July workshop but has taken no further steps since then. Steve Worley, public works director, acknowledged it would be a tall and costly order for the city to install the crossing arms and other equipment needed to justify a quiet zone. A 2005 federal rule requires train operators to blast their horns in urban areas and at spots where streets cross tracks. The horn blasts can be reduced if certain safety measures are in place, including crossing arms, signals and other mechanisms to keep people and vehicles out of the path of oncoming trains. “There are quite a bit of requirements related to eliminating train horns,” Worley said. The city hasn’t evaluated how many crossings it has or if there is enough distance between them to meet the le-
gal requirements for a quiet zone. The July session offered an overview of what is required but no estimate of the cost. According to a recent presentation by a safety specialist from Federal Railroad Commission, costs can vary from $30,000 per crossing to more than $1 million, depending on the number of crossings and the improvements required. Trains are an everyday fact of life in Pasco. Major rail lines traverse the community, ferrying people (Amtrak) and freight (BNSF and UP). The BNSF Rail Yard in Pasco is another complication. Trains must blow their horns as the enter and leave. To pursue a quiet zone, the city would have to identify all railroad crossings and identify what steps are needed. For instance, all public crossings must have lights, gates and indicators when power goes out. Private crossings must be well signed. Railroad quiet zones are discussed frequently. The most recent federal inventory, from 2019, indicates there are a handful of quiet zones in Washington state: Connell, Mukilteo, Seattle, Spokane Valley, Stevenson, Washougal, Wenatchee and White Salmon.
SENIOR TIMES • DECEMBER 2021
uBRIEFS Richland plans 30-acre park at Badger Mountain South Park
The city of Richland will hold the second of two public meetings from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 14 to discuss future plans for its West Village Community Park in the Badger Mountain South area. The first was held Nov. 20. The proposed 30-acre park will include a covered and lighted basketball court, multi-sport fields, pickleball courts, a splash pad, zip line, open space and more. The public is encouraged to learn more and to comment on the project. The meeting will be held at the Richland Community Center. Go to: ci.richland.wa.us/ ParkplansBMS. The survey ends Dec. 15.
Benton County awards $55K for historic preservation
Benton County is supporting museum upgrades, restoration of an antique fire engine and more through its 2022 historic preservation grants. The county’s historic preservation grant program is funded through recording fees. Organizations apply for grants, which are vetted by a committee and finalized by the county’s elected board of commissioners. Grants totaling $55,500 were
approved Nov. 16. The recipients are: The Benton County Museum ($4,700, display room), Benton City Revitalization Organization ($7,834 for history kiosks), East Benton County Historical Society ($10,250 for remote museum access), Evergreen Cemetery ($1,500 for Benton City Cemetery preservation), Kennewick Historic Preservation Commission ($12,900 for a survey of east Kennewick homes), Kennewick Professional Firefighters Local 1296 ($6,500 to restore antique fire engine), Kiona-Benton Historical Society ($8,000 for film history of Ki-Be area), Reach Museum ($2,500 for outdoor exhibit and learning area) and White Bluffs Quilt Museum ($1,721 for shelving).
Become a certified Mount St. Helens volcano expert
The deadline is coming up to register for a popular Volcano Naturalist Program, now in its 10th year. The mostly online training is offered by the Mount St. Helens Institute and the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Courses are held online from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday evenings, Feb. 1-May 3, and offer an in-depth look at the mountain’s eruptive history, the ecology of the blast zone, the cultural history of Mount St. Helens and more. In all, the course includes 36 hours
of instruction and three optional field trips to sites around the mountain. The in-person visits will follow Covid-19 safety precautions. Registration is $436 and closes on Jan. 10, 2022, or when the program is full. Go to: mshinstitute.org/learn/volcano-naturalist-program.html.
Realtors: Moving closer to family drives home sales
A desire to live closer to family and friends is a key factor for moving, according to the National Association of Realtors’ annual profile of U.S. home buyers and sellers, released in November. Among repeat homebuyers, being closer to family and friends as well as a need for a larger home, were the biggest factors. Sellers are reaping the benefits of a tight market, typically earning their full asking price and selling in one week. Moving to be closer to family has been on the upswing for several years, but is accelerated by the Covid-19, pandemic, said Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights for the Realtors group. It’s a dramatic change from past years, when convenience to work and affordability were the top reasons people moved. The median home price was 100%
of asking, the highest recorded since 2002. More than a third of homes sold for more than the asking prices, with a median of $85,000 more than asking. That was up from $66,000 over asking last year. “Buyers moving quickly during the pandemic, coupled with all-time-low inventory, led to a decline in time on market to the shortest ever recorded, which was just one week,” Lautz said. The average buyer took eight weeks to find a home to purchase. Agents or brokers represented 87% of buyers and 90% of sellers. Go to: bit.ly/NARReport2021.
IRS helps taxpayers avoid tax help scams
The Internal Revenue Service has published how-to video series to help taxpayers settle past due bills and avoid paying excessive fees to companies that say they can help solve tax issues. “We encourage eligible taxpayers in real financial distress to consider looking into an Offer in Compromise to resolve their tax issues,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “People also need to use caution with the program. Some companies routinely overstate how they can help with this program and clear up people’s back taxes for pennies on the dollar.” Go to: irsvideos.gov/OIC.