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Vol. 9 | Issue 2

Kennewick seniors celebrate Covid-19 vaccine’s arrival By Kristina Lord


Seniors at home on the day the vaccine arrived at Brookdale Canyon Lakes readily rolled up their sleeves to receive it. The Kennewick senior living community had 18 hours’ notice to line up residents and staff for 200 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in mid-January. They were ready – and happy to receive it two weeks earlier than planned. “I was elated, and I think we are so fortunate to be here and get the vaccine. It was all set up for us. … They had papers ready for us. We just had to sign our name,” said resident Joyce Green. More than 125 residents received a dose of the Pfizer vaccine from CVS staff and the rest went to staff, private caregivers and health home agencies. Brookdale has three other sister com-

munities in the Tri-Cities and their staff also received vaccines. “Our goal was to be ready two weeks ahead of time so we were almost completely ready. Luckily, we were organized to have everything in place,” said Joe Green, executive director of Brookdale Canyon Lakes. He is not related to Joyce Green. Ginger Vertrano, a retired nurse practitioner who lives there, said “It went so smoothly.”

Keeping residents safe

Brookdale, which operates more than 700 senior living communities in 43 states, has been at the leading edge in protecting seniors from Covid-19, and “our community in particular,” Joe Green said. “Over 7% of the U.S. population, at least, has had Covid-19, and we’ve not had one resident case in 11 months. Brookdale has just been fantastic. We’re so blessed to live and

Courtesy Joe Green Joyce Green, a resident at Brookdale Canyon Lakes senior living community in Kennewick, receives the Covid-19 vaccine on Jan. 14. “I was elated,” she said.

work here,” he said. Vertrano was quick to agree. Brookdale staff has been keeping residents informed – and safe.

“They’ve also kept us motivated to do the things we have to do to keep it from spreading. We’re adults and none uVACCINES, Page 8

Pandemic forces separation but couple’s love endures Friends of Badger By Kristina Lord


Kathie and Darell “Bud” Weathermon will celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary later this month but they won’t be able to hug, hold hands or share a kiss. Kathie, 75, plans to make the one hour and 15 minute drive from Walla Walla to Kennewick to visit her husband on their special day. It’s a trip she makes about twice a week. Bud lives at WindSong at Southridge in Kennewick, an assisted living senior community catering to residents who need care because of memory loss. Kathie and her two adult children decided to move Bud, 77, into WindSong in early July. They say it was the right move for their family.

And, most importantly, for Bud. “It was really the only decision we could make for Bud’s safety. But it still Bud Weathermon is hard,” Kathie said. She cared for him as long as she could, but his memory and personality began to change too much, and she could no Kathie Weathermon longer keep him safe in the Walla Walla home they shared for 18 years.

“You always question your decisions, but once Bud got to WindSong I haven’t questioned the care he’s gotten or where he’s been. It’s been a godsend,” she said. State-mandated pandemic restrictions mean a window separates the couple when they visit and they have to use an intercom to talk. The physical separation is tough. “They love each other so much. I just can’t wait until they can hug each other in real life again,” said Tiffinni Halka, life enrichment coordinator at WindSong at Southridge. “There’s lots of tears when they’re separated by a window. They need each other ... it’s hard on Bud and it’s hard on Kathie to not be able to hug

group is $600K away from key land deal By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

The all-volunteer group that developed the popular hiking trails on Badger and Candy mountains is $600,000 away from repeating its magic on Little Badger Mountain. Friends of Badger Mountain is turning to Tri-City businesses and other supporters to help it close a $1.5 million agreement to buy nearly 20 acres below the summit of Little Badger Mountain. It has raised about $900,000 to





Senior group plans Valentine gala

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Museum’s petrified wood floor entryway comes with unique story

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What 1999 movie about a small town basketball team starring Peter Coyote and Karen Allen was filmed in Franklin County using the historic Fishhook School? ANSWER, PAGE 9

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By Kristina Lord


As the pandemic marches on, a Richland-based group is trying different ways to keep seniors connected. “Isolation is deadly to seniors,” said David Everett, president of the Richland Seniors Association. The nonprofit, formed in 1995, wants to improve the quality of life for all Tri-City seniors – not only those living in Richland. Membership ($5 a year) is open to anyone of any age in the Tri-City area. On Jan. 1, it totaled 425. Social activities in the past year included virtual bingo, trivia and an ongoing neighborhood chat room via Zoom every other Wednesday morning. The group also offers educational and outreach programs. “We’re offering things to support seniors. They are a huge reservoir of experience and education and their life isn’t over,” said Everett of Kennewick, who has been president of the group since 2018.

Senior Valentine Gala

Members of the group been busy helping to plan a two-day Senior Valentine Gala that includes a free drivethru on Friday, Feb. 12 followed by an online virtual meetup on Sunday, Feb. 14. Seniors can hit the drive-thru between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 at the Columbia Point Marina Park parking lot. The first 200 will receive Valentine’s party bags containing items from local businesses, including TriComp, publisher of Senior Times. In addition to Valentine treats and gifts, the goodie bags will contain ma-

terials for participating in the online virtual event between 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14. The online event will include dance music and dancers, bingo games with prizes and other entertainment. Though both events are free, preregistration is required. Register online at http://bit.ly/SeniorValentineGala, by email at RichSrAssn@gmail.com, or call 509-627-2522.

Planning group partnership

The gala is being organized by the Intercommunity Planning Group. The RSA formed the group with Katie Haynes of the Royal Columbian Retirement Inn in Kennewick, Everett said. Everett said he reached out to TriCity retirement communities when he first got involved in RSA, knowing they provided activities to their residents and were a potential resource to the senior community at large. “We try to use RSA as a vehicle to find out where the resources are and bring them together and offer the senior community an opportunity to stimulate their brain because it releases chemicals good for your memory and forestalls the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s,” Everett said. The IPG grew to become an association of about 70 members from the RSA, Tri-City retirement communities, representatives from the cities of Richland, Pasco and Kennewick, and senior-focused supporters, such as Active4Life, Rock Steady Boxing TriCities and HAPO Community Credit Union. The group’s goal is to offer fun social events for Tri-City seniors by allowing the different organizations to pool resources.

Education and philanthropy

RSA also offers monthly educational events on a wide range of topics, such as: legal planning (estate planning, medical directives, guardianship, and powers of attorney); home health and home care; decluttering; medical issues (dental, skin cancer and psychological awareness); dementia and Alzheimer’s disease; and healthy cooking. Everett and the RSA board added three ongoing philanthropic initiatives to its mission: • Tri-Cities Scholarship for Geriatric Studies. The endowment through the Washington State Foundation has about $12,000 toward its $25,000 goal to underwrite scholarships for nursing students majoring in geriatrics. • Travel Scholarship Fund. The fund helps low-income seniors participate in RSA-sponsored trips. It received an initial contribution from JEA Corporation of $1,000 toward its $5,000 goal. • Sound Barrier Initiative. This fund helps seniors obtain quality hearing aids for $250 a pair through an international program sponsored by the nonprofit Starkey Hearing Foundation. The RSA committed an initial contribution of $1,000 toward a goal of $15,000. “There’s a purpose behind these projects to inform and raise the awareness of seniors. They’re a valuable reservoir for our community. It’s about community, ultimately. It’s about loving and caring for each other,” Everett said. For more information about the RSA, find them on Facebook or call 509-6272522. Information also is available online. RSA is transitioning to a new website so check them out at the old site, richlandseniors.com, and the new one, richlandseniorsassociation.com.

Longtime RSA volunteer dies at age 69 By Senior Times staff

A longtime Richland Senior Association board member has died. Guadalupe (Lupe) Kuhn of Kennewick died Jan. 11 from pancreatic cancer at Hospice House of Spokane. She was 69. She served the Tri-Cities senior community as an active volunteer director and secretary on RSA’s board. She devoted many hours to improving the organizational structure of the association while, simultaneously, giving unlimited time to implementing programs and projects for seniors, said RSA President David Everett. “Lupe’s substantial touch was present in monthly dances, potluck dinners, fundraising projects, cultural programs, a monthly educational series featuring

subject matter experts on a wide range of timely topics, developing fun activities, serving as a liaison within the retireLupe Kuhn ment communities, and, most recently, through serving as a leader in the RSA Helping Hands initiative to provide isolated seniors without a safety net with non-perishable food during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” Everett said in an email to the Senior Times. Lupe was a 30-year resident of the Tri-Cities. She worked for many years in the nuclear industry and, later, at Washington State University Tri-Cities for the science and engineering faculty.

While there, she was involved in the university’s support of a U.S. Department of Energy program for university students in several summer work mentorship programs, including housing three students from Puerto Rico in her home. She and her husband, Ernie, also hosted foreign exchange high school students for the academic year. Due to Covid-19 limitations on gatherings, there will be no celebration of life service. Her ashes will be committed to the sea in accordance with her wishes. The family has requested that expressions of condolence be addressed to the Richland Seniors Association, Attn: Lupe Kuhn Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 1356, Richland, WA 99352.



Pandemic provides legislative road map for 2021 session Last year was a tumultuous one, with older adults caught in the crosshairs of a global pandemic that laid bare several issues that must be immediately addressed through state legislation. As you read this column, the 2021 90-day legislative session is off to a running start. On behalf of our more than 900,000 members across the state, AARP Washington is committed to improving outcomes in several issue areas important to Washington’s older adults and their families. • Nursing Homes. As of Jan. 4, a total of 13,870 Covid-19 cases (5% of total cases in the state), leading to 1,765 deaths (51% of total deaths in the state), have been associated with a long-term care facility. Covid-19 has revealed substantial issues within the long-term care system plagued by a lack of personal protective equipment, transparency, testing and inadequate staffing. AARP Washington will be working on two proposed bills from the Washington State Ombudsman Program and the

Department of State and Human Services, which plan to address the lessons learned from the pandemic Cathy MacCaul and put them AARP into law. Our GUEST COLUMN focus is to increase communication between family members and residents and improve care quality in all long-term care settings. • Housing. Covid-19 and the economic downturn have exacerbated our ongoing housing crisis. January 2021 estimates predicted between 190,000 and 300,000 households were unable to pay rent and were at risk of eviction. The projected amount of rent shortfall in the first month of the New Year is estimated between $600 and $858 million. Fifteen percent of renters say they are behind in rent, and adults aged 40-54 are the most affected. We are

LITTLE BADGER, From page 1

already owns on the west side, Spinner said. One stretch crosses a sensitive area and will require the expertise of a professional engineering firm. That should occur this summer, Spinner said. Construction of the eastern section, dubbed the Saddle Trail, begins this fall. Time is of the essence to raise money and secure the property. If the deal does not close, the site could be sold for private development. “The area is going to go through a lot of development. That’s why we’re jumping now,” Spinner said. Spinner praised Pahlisch Homes and the Bauder family, which are both involved with ridgetop development, for their support and continuing cooperation. The trail snakes across the site, which also will offer a public parking lot. Spinner said local developers wanted a parking lot to deter visitors from using neighboring streets. Friends of Badger Mountain has built an impressive record since it launched in 2005 with a mission to preserve open space and promote outdoor recreation and economic activity. With support from the community as well as lead donations from CH2M, Bechtel and Recreational Equipment Inc., it has procured 900 acres and developed 19 miles of trail. Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve debuted in 2008 and tallied 44,000 visitors in its first year. Candy Mountain Preserve opened in 2017. By 2019, an estimated 310,000 visi-

date to buy the property, which is the linchpin to completing the future Little Badger Mountain Preserve and Trail. The trail will rise from the future extension of Queensgate Drive toward a pair of water tanks at the top of Little Badger, where residential development is happening fast. In time, Little Badger will serve as a link in a series of ridgetop trails that will connect Amon Basin at the Richland-Kennewick border with the Yakima River near Benton City by way of Little Badger, Badger, Candy and Red mountains. Marc Spinner, president of Friends of Badger Mountain, predicts the newest link will be the most popular. It offers the shortest and easiest climb and the best views. “This is the highest point and the nicest view in all of the city of Richland,” he said. “I think you will see more use at this one than any of our others.” The site is owned by a Richland couple through a limited liability company who have agreed to sell the parcel to Friends of Badger Mountain. The nonprofit has until fall to close the deal. Friends of Badger Mountain has secured 70% of the land it needs for the Little Badger undertaking through a series of donations and outright purchases. It regularly turns the land over to the city of Richland, which oversees the parks. Volunteers have begun developing the newest trail on sections of land it

looking to legislators to find balanced solutions to address both short-term emergency housing needs and long-term increases in the housing supply. Among these solutions are easing restrictions so residents can build accessory dwelling units on their property to retire or generate additional income. We also will back legislation to create housing benefit districts to produce more affordable low-income and middle-income housing around newly built and future transit lines. • Broadband. The lack of consistent, affordable internet is becoming a paramount concern. Before the pandemic, a digital divide existed in many parts of Washington state, particularly for older adults with low incomes who were forced to use community locations such as libraries, senior centers, or their building’s community rooms to access the internet. Covid-19 exacerbated this technological disparity when these shared locations were closed due to the outbreak. Technology is a tool to

help address the adverse effects of social isolation, anxiety and depression caused by the pandemic. In a state that’s home to some of the world’s most successful technology companies, just over 735,000 Washingtonians have no internet service. AARP is backing several budget and policy proposals that lawmakers may consider as they return to Olympia. They include a call center with one-on-one tech support, hot spots set up at community centers and free or subsidized broadband plans for lower-income older adults. These are just a few of the many important issues under debate in Olympia. If you would like to be involved in our legislative efforts, sign up as an AARP advocate at aarp.org/getinvolved to receive email action alerts on the issues you care about. You also can stay up to date by visiting aarp.org/wa and following us on Facebook. Cathy MacCaul is the advocacy director for AARP Washington.

Courtesy Marc Spinner, Friends of Badger Mountain Friends of Badger Mountain is turning to Tri-City businesses to raise the $600,000 it still needs to buy a key piece of property for its latest project, Little Badger Preserve Park.

tors had trekked the two trails. Summitpost.org, a website devoted to climbing, reported that Badger Mountain records up to 2,500 people at its summit each week, making it one of the “most summitted peaks” in Washington state. Its main trail rises nearly 1,580 feet and is open year-round. Candy Mountain offers a gentler climb to the top and includes an even gentler, 1.2-mile interpretive loop on the lower, flatter section that features metal interpretative signs welded by Columbia Basin College students. The Little Badger Preserve will connect to the Badger Centennial Pre-

serve to the west, which in turn links to Candy Mountain via Dallas Road. Spinner said the Friends group is ready to complete the east or “back side” of Little Badger, which will descend to the Amon Creek Basin between Leslie and Steptoe. Go to friendsofbadger.org for more information about the trail system plans and to contribute to the Little Badger Mountain Preserve campaign. Donations can be made online or by sending checks to Friends of Badger Mountain, P.O. Box 24, Richland, WA 99352.



Palliative care is still available through Heartlinks By Senior Times staff

Richland-based Heartlinks Hospice & Palliative Care is expanding to take on new Tri-City patients after Chaplaincy Health discontinued palliative care at the end of 2020. It announced the addition of a new nurse practitioner, Christopher Monk, ARNP, to support the expansion. Heartlinks is a nonprofit that emphasizes serving clients for both its hospice and palliative services in their homes. Chaplaincy ended its palliative program in December, citing unreliable funding. Shelby Moore, executive director, said some patients feared the loss of services. Heartlinks serves between 50 and 75 patients, with capacity to accept more. It has increased its patient load by 35% since Chaplaincy discontinued its program. Palliative care is distinct from hospice. Palliative care serves people who are ill, often gravely so, while hospice

uBRIEFS Covid-19 vaccine data now online

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH), in partnership with Microsoft AI for Health, has added vaccine data to its Covid-19 dashboard, where pandemic related statistics are published online. The addition will help track progress in getting the Covid-19 vaccine to Washington residents. The dashboard provides county- and state-level views of infection rates, as well as the number of doses delivered to providers. As vaccines are given, it will show the percentage of the population vaccinated against the viruses that causes Covid-19. Go to doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/ COVID19/DataDashboard.

Lourdes, Trios offer online appointments for urgent care

Lourdes Health and Trios Health have launched online scheduling for urgent care visits. Scheduling online allows patients to skip the line and waiting room. Walkin patients will continue to be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Lourdes patients can use YourLourdes.com/online-scheduling up to 24 hours in advance. The clinic is at 5304 N. Road 68 in Pasco and is open daily from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Trios patients can use TriosHealth. org/online-scheduling or call the Trios Urgent Care Center at 509-221-6900.

focuses exclusively on end-of-life services to patients with terminal prognoses. Moore said Heartlinks focuses on clients whose disease progression that makes it hard for them to get to medical appointments. It brings doctors to homes to manage care. Heartlinks advises patients who think palliative care would be helpful to discuss it with their primary care doctor. Patients remain under the care of their own physicians, while palliative care professionals can recommend ways to manage physical symptoms and address the “net steps” in disease progression. Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and veteran’s benefits reimburse some palliative care services and donations cover the balance. It has served Benton and Yakima counties for more than 40 years. It launched palliative care services about 14 years ago. Go to heartlinkshospice.org.

Trios Urgent Care Center is at 7201 W. Grandridge Blvd. in Kennewick and is open daily from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Retired Tri-City Herald publisher dies at age 64

The retired publisher of the Tri-City Herald died in Wellton, Arizona, on Jan. 12 following a recent cancer diagnosis. Gregg McConnell was 64. He was publisher of the Tri-City Herald between 2011-17. After he retired, he served the editor of Wine Press Northwest, a magazine published quarterly by the Herald. His career spanned nearly 40 years working at newspapers in Montana, California and Washington. McConnell served on several TriCity boards during his stint as publisher, including Tri-City Development Council, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visit Tri-Cities. He also ran an unsuccessful campaign as a Republican candidate for state Rep. Larry Haler’s legislative seat in 2018. McConnell was born in Ronan, Montana, on Christmas Day in 1956, the youngest of eight children, according to his obituary in The Missoulian. He is survived by his wife Diane of Kennewick and a son, Cory, and Cory’s wife, Tina, and grandchildren Jaida, Jailyn, Torean, Seren and Cerys, all of Hamilton, Montana. A memorial gathering will be scheduled later in the year.


and touch each other. I cannot wait to end all of this so they can be together again.” It’s clear their love for one another remains strong, Halka said. “He dotes on her. When we say, ‘Oh Bud, your beautiful bride is here,’ he starts walking to the window. He calls her name because he knows she’s coming. Whenever you say her name, there’s joy on his face,” she said.

A lifetime of love

Kathie met Bud 60 years ago, when she was 15 years old in Walla Walla. He was working on a family friend’s hay crew, and she wound up cooking dinner for them, though she admits not being much of a cook at the time. “We realized we went to the same high school, and when school started in the fall, he asked me out. It was my first date,” she said. They stayed together on and off through high school. He went into the service; she went to business school. They got engaged and were married in St. Patrick’s Parish on Feb. 27, 1965. After a honeymoon in Reno, they returned to their Walla Walla hometown and got back to work. Bud was a mechanic for a dealership; Kathie worked for a finance company. “We started with an apartment. We started saving money. It wasn’t long before we could buy our own refrigerator and eventually a down payment on a house,” she said. Their two kids came later, and so did a ranch. “We never owed so much money in our lives, but we did it,” Kathie laughed. “We were on the ranch for about 20 years.” Those were fun times, she recalled. “We had great neighbors, we were running cows and had a shop and we were busy, busy,” she said.

Secret to a happy marriage

Kathie said there’s no real secret to staying happily married, but she offered two pieces of advice: be happy with yourself first, as no one else can make you happy, and respect and manage expectations. “One of the things I love about Bud is he was able to accept me as I am. It wasn’t that long ago that I said something to him about how I looked and how he put up with me and the weight gain and all of that. He said to me, ‘That’s all part of you.’ That was so sweet,” she said. A marriage can be filled with stressors of all kinds – money, in-laws, kids – but working to find the common ground helps, Kathie said. “I think people who expect it all to be good are really setting themselves up for failure. It isn’t all easy. Anybody tells you they have been married for


55 years and every one of them was a blessing is probably really fortunate to have forgotten there were hard times,” she said. “Sometimes I feel sorry for people who expect all of it to be good because that’s not life. When you look at the whole picture, you have to really enjoy the good times.”

Bud’s new home

Kathie struggled with guilt about moving Bud into a memory care facility. She relayed a story about how she was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a bad motorcycle accident 17 years ago. “They wanted to send me to rehab but Bud said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘I’m taking care of her. We’ll get a hospital bed. I’m taking her home.’ ” And he did. She thought about this period a lot when she began to realize she could no longer care for Bud at home. But, she admits, it’s a different situation. “I was really fortunate the kids and I were all on the same page. Bud was our primary concern. The kids were concerned about me too. It’s harder on the kids. They had two old folks to worry about,” she said. WindSong fits Bud’s personality. It offers a Montessori-inspired program in which residents determine their own activities, with options focusing on the things they like and want to do. “Bud has worked hard all his life. He’s done a good job of taking care of his family. He has all these interests. He’s ridden motorcycles to Alaska two or three times. He has flown his own airplane. We ran an automobile and truck repair shop. We bought a little farm and raised Red Angus cattle. He’s had varied interests,” Kathie said. But sitting around the house wasn’t one of them. “Bud is somebody who has always been really, really busy. He doesn’t sit down for a football game or read for more than a half hour or go to the gym either. His work and his mind have to be productive. At WindSong, if Bud has a bad night, he’s not wandering around. He likes to clean. He has a room, and he cleans and washes tables,” she said. He also likes to use an orbital sander on furniture and to work on an alternator. He knows what to do too once those items are in his hands. He dons his safety goggles and gets to work, Halka said. “We let them continue being who they are. He wants to work on an engine part at 2 a.m. because that’s what he did his whole life, then that’s what we make happen for him,” Halka said. Kathie appreciates this approach. “They’re not trying to fit him into a round hole, they’re letting him be him. They don’t put him in his room and make him do puzzles. That’s not Bud – no matter what frame of mind he is in.

Courtesy WindSong at Southridge Kathie and Bud Weathermon share a laugh on a recent visit at WindSong at Southridge in Kennewick. Their wedding picture is in the foreground.

They are able to make the care he gets fit what he needs, instead of doing care and making him fit whatever project they’ve got going on,” she said.


The pandemic has affected Kathie’s ability to be with her husband, but she’s patiently waiting. Bud received his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Jan. 22. When she’s able to get hers, she said she will. Until then, Kathie’s schedule in-

cludes twice-a-week visits to see Bud in Kennewick. She lifts weights at the local YWCA and works out with a personal trainer. She spends time with friends and family. The couple have two teenage grandchildren. Though apart, she’s constantly thinking about Bud. When their wedding anniversary arrives at the end of February, she’ll be by her husband – just outside his Kennewick window.



GF Blends soars on demand for gluten-free mixes By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

A family-owned Richland company is expanding to a new building, thanks to rising demand for its gluten-free bread, cake and other mixes. GF Blends will occupy a 20,000-square-foot production facility on Battelle Boulevard when construction wraps in April, said owner Glen Call, who is also a contractor. Allpro Inc. is developing the property for GF Blends, with Call serving as both a minority partner in the development team and the tenant.

The new building will house offices and more production space for GF Blends to turn gluten-free ingredients such as corn, rice, potato, amaranth, quinoa, millet and other grains into mixes that form the basis for everything from crepes and fish batter to breads and cakes. The company formed 12 years ago in Utah and has marked steady growth, particularly in the 18 months since it launched an allergen line of gluten-free mixes that, unlike its core products, uses milk, eggs and nuts in its mixes. “We have had six big customers

come on board since we started doing allergens,” he said. Blends that contain allergens are prepared separately from nonallergen products. Call had planned to keep GF Blends in the 7,800 square feet it occupies at Richland’s Horn Rapids while using about half the new building for 2746 & 2770 Battelle Blvd., Richland. storage and some blending. But growing demand The requests for blends prompted a left it with no room to store the gluten- logistical challenge. They didn’t want free flours, oats and other ingredients to manage the 20 or so different ingrethat go into its products. dients it took just to blend flour. So, he took a leap of faith and deThey found a copacker in Utah who cided to take over the entire new build- was willing to produce small quantiing, which sits on a four-acre property ties of their recipe for gluten-free allon Battelle Boulevard. It is retaining its purpose flour, pancake mix, chocolate space at Horn Rapids. flour mix and bread. The manufacturThe new building will have about ing relationship never gelled. Call said 3,000 square feet of office space, the copacker would promise to deliver room for storage and production and a products in a few weeks, then go quiet bakery that will serve the public. The for months. property is near PCA and Framatome, “We said, ‘We think we can do a betgiving it a built-in customer base. ter job of this than they’re doing,’ ” he “I’m taking it all now,” he said. said, noting that his daughter’s family The city of Richland anticipates a grew and she had less time to manage similarly sized addition on the western the business. half of the property in a few years. So, they did, bringing GF Blends to The Call family first got involved Richland and its current quarters on with gluten-free meals 20 years ago Henderson Loop. when his wife, Julie, was diagnosed Call pruned the product line. He with celiac disease, a digestive disdropped the baking flours. Customers order triggered by gluten, the protein don’t expect to make bread, at least, found in grains such as wheat, barley not before the pandemic inspired home and rye. Three of their seven children and six baking. But other mixes were natural of their 18 grandchildren were subse- sellers. “Pancake mix, you expect to buy a quently diagnosed with the condition. Call said the family’s lightbulb mo- pancake mix,” he said. GF Blends introduced a cornbread ment came when Julie Call visited mix, brownie mix, carrot cake mix and their daughter, Betsy Thomas, in Utah as she prepared for the birth of Thom- oat flour. While his wife and family must avoid gluten, Call does not. But as’ second child. Julie Call, newly diagnosed with he enjoys the gluten-free products anyceliac disease, subsisted on Hershey’s way. “They’re the best you’ve ever had. Kisses and rice cakes. They’re just amazing,” he said. Call said his daughter decided to GF Blends sells under its own master gluten-free cooking, telling her mother, “If I don’t know how to cook brand, Eating Gluten Free, and provides blends to commercial customers. for you, you’ll never come back.” Thomas began experimenting with It makes muffin, pancake and waffle gluten-free cooking with a friend and mixes for a customer in Sisters, Orneighbor, Kristi Kirkland. In time, they egon, and the gluten-free batter blends began teaching cooking classes and used by some of the region’s bestthen fielding requests for mixes and a know seafood producers, like Pacific cookbook. Seafoods.

uBRIEF Cancer center offers Zoom cooking courses

The Tri-Cities Cancer Center is offering a series of cooking classes on Zoom led by Chef Kyle Thornhill of Tsunami Catering. The meal prep courses cover the cancer-fighting properties of ingredi-

ents. Each session focuses on a specific meal. Classes are held from 5:30-7 p.m., Wednesdays, Feb. 17 and March 3 and 17. The cost is $60 for individual sessions. Fees include the “One Bite at a Time” cookbook, an apron, insulated freezer bag and main ingredients. Go to tccancer.org/cuisine for program details.



Museum’s petrified wood floor entryway comes with unique story By East Benton County Historical Society

It once was called the “Mona Lisa in petrified wood.” It wasn’t equal in value or recognition to one of the world’s most famous paintings, but Gordon Maxey’s petrified wood floor in his Kennewick living room was definitely worthy of an artist’s appreciation. In 1964 it could have been sold for $1 million to a Reno casino, but Gordon’s widow had loftier dreams: letting the public enjoy its spectacular beauty. Today it can. The East Benton County Historical Museum in Kennewick welcomes visitors to view one of the most unique entrances to be found in a public building. The petrified wood floor was built by Kennewick trailer park owner Gordon Maxey in 1958. After 16 years of dreaming, planning, collecting, furbishing and placing, it is now one of the museum’s most eye-catching attractions. It greets visitors in its foyer and leads into the main showroom of the museum. Any visitor can see it – and walk on it – during museum hours. The museum is open but under limitations mandated by the state to halt the spread of the Covid-19 virus. To some the unique floor was simply known as “Maxey’s floor,” in tribute to its owner, who designed the 1,100-square-foot floor, a process that took 13 years from beginning to end. Petrified wood is wood that turns to stone through a mineralization process that can take millions of years. The flooring was completed in 1958 in his home at Maxey’s Trailer Court at 3708 W. Clearwater Ave. Gordon died in 1964 and his wife in 1974, but the Kennewick trailer park still operates today under the Maxey name. According to old news accounts, Gordon always wanted such a floor, and he got it through hard work and patience. It paid off with visitors to his home from as far away as Europe after the floor was featured in rock

collector magazines in the United States and Europe. His collection of petrified wood came from wherever he could find it, beginning in 1945 while working on the Parker Dam in Parker, Arizona. The Maxeys settled in Kennewick in 1950. A friend, Del Bateman, joined him on collection forays in Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. According to a longtime friend, speaking to a reporter years ago, Gordon “collected every rock, he never bought one” dating back to 1930. Maxey went through $5,000 worth of diamond-tipped saw blades. He cut 96 neatly patterned blocks of petrified wood, each 27-by-24 inches and weighing 45 pounds. The collection was ground, sanded and polished. Using marble dust as a base, it took eight months to set the floor. After Gordon’s death, consideration was given to selling the floor to create a financial nest egg for his widow. A close family friend, Mac McKeown, contacted Harold’s Club in Reno which reportedly offered $1 million in 1964 value, or more than $8 million today. She decided not to sell, hoping to preserve her husband’s one-of-a-kind creation so others could enjoy it here. McKeown felt the same way after inheriting the floor, following her death. In 1979 he gave the floor to the East Benton County Historical Society. “Why should any one individual have all this beauty,” he said at the time. Gordon “never sold it because he did it for the public.” “If he never sold it, why should anyone else,” McKeown added. “It was his efforts, not mine.” Three years after McKeown donated the floor to the historical society, the museum was dedicated on October 16, 1982. Great care was taken to maintain the integrity of Gordon Maxey’s design. A drawing was made indicating where each block went to re-create the original look in the

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museum. “It’s just a thrill to get it,” EBCHS President Blanche Pratt said upon receiving the gift. “People may have heard about the floor and not know about the museum and this will let them know about it.” The museum is at 205 Keewaydin Drive in Keewaydin Park in Kennewick. Hours are noon to 4 p.m.

Courtesy East Benton County Historical Society

Gordon Maxey, above, a Kennewick trailer park owner, spent a lifetime collecting petrified wood and then years building a floor out of it. It was later donated to the East Benton County Historical Museum in Kennewick.

Tuesday through Saturday. Under state restrictions, group size is limited to six people from the same household by appointment. Admission is $15 for a group, $5 for an individual, $4 for veterans and

seniors and $1 for students. Members of the East Benton County Historical Society are free. To make a reservation to visit the museum and see Maxey’s floor, call 509-582-7704.


REMEMBERING Celebrate your loved one in our cremation garden. Pre-construction discounts available, for more information call (509) 783-3181.




Washingtonians urged to register for Covid-19 vaccines By Senior Times staff

Tri-City health care providers are encouraging patients to register with the Washington Department of Health’s “Phase Finder” tool to be notified when they are eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. As of late January, only residents age 65 and over or those 50 and over and living in a multigenerational household were eligible, together with health care workers, first responders and residents of nursing homes. To sign up, go to CovidVaccineWa.org and click on the orange link for “Phase Finder.” The Phase Finder site asks visitors to enter their name and zip code and to answer a series of questions about their health, including risk factors for the disease, as well as questions about the nature of their employment and their ability to maintain a safe distance in their homes and workplaces. The tool lets users know if they are eligible under the current vaccine rules. Users can submit a text number or email to be notified when they become eligible to receive the vaccine. As of Jan. 25, 545,226 doses of the two-dose vaccine had been administered in Washington state, which has 7 million residents, according to the state health department. A drive-thru vaccine clinic at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Kennewick opened in late January but officials said visitors would have to pre-register. Registration information was not available at the time. Call the vaccine hotline at 800-525-0127 for information about vaccination phases.

VACCINES, From page 1

of us want it, so we’ve been paying attention,” she said. Brookdale staff wear medical face masks and face shields and maintain social distancing. They also add goggles and gloves when providing direct care. “We’re taking a lot of extra precautions as staff because if Covid comes into the community, typically it is because staff aren’t following proper protocols or not being screened in appropriately. We’ve consistently educated staff on the risks of Covid-19 and symptoms, and are not explaining it away. How they behave outside of the community as well is so important,” Joe Green said. Joyce Green said she appreciates the steps. “They come every day to test each resident. They come to the door and take our temperature and our oxygen level, which is very nice,” she said.

Staying connected

Though the virus has changed the way Brookdale residents go about their day, those who live there have plenty of options to be social, Vertrano said. Joe Green said there’s a stereotype about senior living during the pandemic that everyone is isolated. He said he was more isolated working from home than his residents were. “Residents are staying in their apartments or they’re going out and about, but practicing safety measures, just like all of us. They have a lot of engagement opportunities. They have food delivery, interaction with others,” he said. Joyce Green uses Brookdale Canyon Lake’s designated visiting room at least once a week, sometimes more. “The residents can go into this vacant apartment and sit by the door that leads to the patio, and then our visitor can sit out on the patio and talk through the glass door. It’s very nice. You get to see your family members and visit with them. And really it’s better than when you’re in a family

Courtesy Joe Green Barbara Anderson strikes a Rosie the Riveter pose after receiving her Covid-19 vaccine on Jan. 14 at Brookdale Canyon Lakes senior living community in Kennewick.

situation where you just can’t talk to somebody for a long time. I have their full attention when they’re here and it’s just great, and I love that room,” she said. “Now that the weather has turned colder, they put a heater out there so our visitors don’t freeze to death. It’s very thoughtful of them,” she said. She’s also a fan of Zoom for keeping in touch. “Since I learned how to use it, I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family in Southern California, and I had dinner with them right at their table. I was the elf on the shelf I guess,” she said with a laugh. Vertrano said the music program Brookdale offered weekly continued while the weather was warm. “They still held it but they held it in sections so people who were on one part of the manor could see it, then in another part could see it ... They tried to very hard to keep us entertained,” she said. But there’s no denying the past year has been difficult, said Eleanor Ferreira, a retired nurse who has lived at Brookdale for seven years. “When this hit, it’s been very, very hard for old people to not be able to have people around them. It’s very depressing and very isolating. … We’ve got a lot of people who have said: ‘I’m ready to go home,’ and it’s sad because they still have lots of life to live,” she said.

Get the vaccine facts

Ferreira encouraged people to learn the facts about the vaccine “When you listen to news, you get all kinds of ideas and some are right and some aren’t. … They have all these scare stories about people going into shock and everything else. Well, you know, when you scare people, it’s hard to get their trust. But when you know all the facts, and how small a percentage that is, you don’t have to

worry quite that bad. “And they had all of us sit for 15 minutes to see how it reacted. Of the 200 that got vaccines here, we didn’t have anybody (who had a reaction). So you know, that’s a pretty good percentage,” she said. Joyce Green shook her head when asked if the vaccine made her arm sore. “I watched on the news and people saying negative things about how you got headaches later. I’ve had absolutely none of that. The shot itself was very easy. No pain,” she said. The date for the second booster shot was set for Feb. 4 but it could be rescheduled within a certain window of time, said Joe Green. He said that’s the day Brookdale will hand out the “I got my Covid-19 vaccine” stickers, which arrived too late for the first round. The seniors didn’t mind; they were happy to show off their vaccination cards. “When we get the second one, that will be our passport into airlines, sporting events, theaters. We’ll have that card to show we had the vaccination,” Ferreira said. The group of seniors who spoke to the Senior Times via a Zoom call urged everyone to get vaccinated. “I just thought everybody should have it. It gives us so much protection that if everybody got it, we wouldn’t have it trailing down through the years,” Ferreira said. “Please get it,” Vertrano implored. “I don’t know how easy it is for everybody. It was easy for us. … We were very lucky to be here and get it. But please get it.” Vertrano said though she’s gotten her dose, she’ll continue to take the same precautions against the virus that causes Covid-19: “It’s still out there.”


Just for Fun


Across 1 Competitor of Bloomingdale’s 5 Annoy by persistent faultfinding 8 Bathroom 10 Conscious minds 12 Heart problem 13 “At what time?” 14 Communist leader after Mao 15 Revolve 17 Wind instrument 19 Rider Haggard classic 20 It is sold in bolts 23 Speak 25 Pastor, for short 26 Avoid 28 The most famous Waugh


Solutions on page 11

30 React to something hilarious 34 Region of the Moon 35 Three-legged support 37 Finishes 38 Airs again 39 Nipper 40 Plumps

Down 1 Agree formally 2 Dismount 3 Range of vision 4 Whitewater figure 5 Water-loving salamander 6 Horrified 7 German writer and dramatist 8 Tiny bit 9 Unity

11 Scoff 16 Disagreeable necessity 18 Expression of alarm 20 Cupcake filling 21 East Mediterranean region 22 Try too hard 24 Vacation souvenir, maybe 27 Short beginning 29 In case 31 Literary work 32 Succeeded 33 Denom. of many Utahans 36 Agent, commonly

Word search - Movie stars Bob Hope

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Liv Tyler

Ryan Gosling

Ice Cube

Lucy Liu

Tara Reid

James Franco

Mae West

Tim Allen

Jay Mohr

Nia Long

Jet Li

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© 2021 Syndicated Puzzles

© 2021 Syndicated Puzzles

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Sudoku - Tough



© 2021 Syndicated Puzzles

Str8ts - Easy


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.

To complete Sudoku, fill the board by entering To complete Sudoku, fill the board by entering numbers numbers 1 to 9 such that each row, column and 3x3 and 3x3 1 to 9asuch that each row, column Feb. 8: NASDAQ, new stock exchange, box contains every number uniquely. box contains every number uniquely.

5began operations in New York. strategies, hints and tips, many strategies, hints and tips, 3For2manyFor visit www.sudokuwiki.org Sudoku the first Feb. 9 visit : Satchel Paigeforbecame www.sudokuwiki.org for Sudoku 2and1www.str8ts.com for Str8ts. primarily League for player andNegro www.str8ts.com Str8ts.to voted into 1 5 Ifthe youBaseball like Str8ts and other puzzles, check out our ofand Fame Cooperstown, If you likeHall Str8ts otherinpuzzles, check out our 4books, iPhone/iPad Apps and much more on our store.

New York. books, iPhone/iPad Apps and much more on our store. Feb. 15: Presidents Day was celebrated as a legal holiday nationwide in the U.S. for the first time.

ANSWER Quiz answer from Page 1

“The Basket” — Source: Franklin County Museum



uBRIEFS Popular Hanford tours head online

The public can now take virtual tours of the 580-square-mile Hanford site. The U.S. Department of Energy previously offered limited in-person public tours in the spring and summer, which filled quickly. The virtual tours are offered to maintain public access to the site cleanup during Covid-19 shutdowns. The website launched in January and offers self-guided tours that allow participants to tour up to 29 locations on the nuclear reservation. The tour features 360-degree views and descriptions that explain what the viewer is looking at. Tour stops include the Hanford 324 Building, 200 West Groundwater Treatment Project and structures associated with the Direct Feed Low Activity Waste program, including the Waste Treatment Plant and tank farms. Go to hanford.gov.

Richland, Mid-Columbia Libraries closed again

The Richland Public Library and the Mid-Columbia Libraries closed in January under Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s new “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” phased Covid19 recovery plan. Benton and Franklin counties are part of the South Central region, which remained in Phase 1 in late January. The libraries are closed to the public but continue to offer curbside service. Go to myrichlandlibrary.org for information about the Richland Library.

Go to midcolumbialibraries.org/ coronavirus for information about the regional library system.

13 Bones brings its barbecue to Richland

13 Bones Urban BBQ Mobile Kitchen is open for limited hours at Richland’s Anthology Event Venue, 706 Williams Blvd. The walk-up barbecue truck is open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays. The truck is led by Chef Andy Craig and first launched at the 2012 BentonFranklin Fair and Rodeo. Follow 13 Bones on Facebook and Instagram or 13bonesurbanbbq.com for menu and other information.

Energy Northwest CEO to retire In June

Brad Sawatzke, chief executive officer of Energy Northwest, will retire at the end of June. Sawatzke joined Energy Northwest in December 2010 as vice president for nuclear generation and chief nuclear officer. He succeeded former CEO Mark Reddermann in 2018. Sawatzke spent 40 years in the nuclear energy. He arrived at Energy Northwest from Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant in Minnesota. The executive board is forming a committee to select a new CEO.

Karen Blasdel retires from PNNL

Karen Blasdel has retired from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory after more than 30 years with the lab. She served as community affairs and

protocol director, a high-profile position that involved working with community organizations and leaders. She is succeeded by Trish Herron, who joined PNNL in 2015 after previously working for the city of Richland.

Track the 2021 Legislature online

The public can track the 2021 Legislature online as the annual gathering of lawmakers is conducted under limitations meant to reduce the spread of Covid-19. WashingtonVotes.org is a free public service of Washington Policy Center, a nonpartisan research and education center. It will cover bills, amendments and recorded votes for the session, which began Jan. 11. The site includes a searchable database of current legislation, updates, customizable email updates and the “Missed Votes Report” that tracks votes taken and missed by individual lawmakers. Users also can track how their legislators vote on key issues.

Franklin County assessor hands in his resignation

Franklin County’s elected assessor has resigned midway through his first term. Peter McEnderfer, who worked in the assessor’s office for nearly two decades before being elected to the top job in 2018, announced his resignation at the Jan. 5 county commission meeting, held by telephone. McEnderfer said he would wrap up work related to property tax collections in 2021 but would leave on Jan. 31 and would not be available after that date. McEnderfer previously worked under Steve Marks and ran unopposed after Marks retired. McEnderfer, a Republican, cited the excessive demands of the office, lack of resources and the “current political climate” in Franklin County for his decision. The announcement seemed to catch Commissioner Clint Didier, newly tapped to chair the board, by surprise but he wished McEnderfer well as he moves into private life. Keith Johnson, the county administrator, said McEnderfer was not asked or encouraged to resign. There are no complaints against him, and he has not leveled any complaints toward others, Johnson confirmed. Under state law, the county commission will appoint an assessor from a list of candidates developed by the Franklin County Republican Party. An interim assessor could be appointed to oversee the department after McEnderfer departs. No decision had been made as of the deadline for this publication. The assessor plays a key role in setting tax rates for the county’s 809,600

acres, or 1,242 square miles. The assessor is required by law to set the value at 100% of market value. The $91.6 million levied in 2020 was collected for various taxing entities, including state and county government, schools, fire districts, ports, cemetery districts and other public functions. McEnderfer said he would complete the levy calculation process before he departs. His term expires in 2022.

Longtime civic leader dies at age 73

Edward J. “Ed” Allen, a longtime Tri-City civic leader, died Dec. 30, 2020. He was 73. Named Kennewick Man of the Year in 2002, Allen also served as the 2008 chairman of the board of the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, the year it partnered with the Tri-City Development Council and Visit TriCities to build the Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center in Kennewick. The chamber noted it was a pivotal year in another way as well. The board led the transition to new leadership when it hired the current president, Lori Mattson. “Ed’s larger than life personality and business acumen made for an exceptional community leader – he will be greatly missed,” the chamber posted on Facebook. Allen was a founder of the Kennewick Public Facilities District and co-founder of the Columbia Center Rotary Mountaineers, which formed to inspire members to climb a nearby peak each year and raise money for charitable causes. It supported Grace Clinic in its first year. He also was an active supporter of Friends of Badger Mountain. He is survived by his wife, Celeste. Einan’s at Sunset is in charge of the arrangements.

Ecology reviews Goldendale energy storage project

The Washington Department of Ecology is taking comment on a proposed environmental impact statement for a new hydropower project along the Columbia River in Klickitat County. The proposed Free Flow Power Project 101, or FFP Project, would be a closed-loop water storage system that would release water from an upper reservoir to general power. Power would be fed to the transmission system at John Day Dam, which is nearby. The lower site would be a portion of the former Columbia Gorge Aluminum smelter site. Water would be drawn from the Columbia. Comments are due by Feb. 12. Go to: ecology.wa.gov/RegulationsPermits/Permits-certifications/ Industrial-facilities-permits/ Goldendale-Energy.



Work with an attorney to ensure will is done right Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. This is as true for sophisticated estate planning as it is for anything else. It’s worthwhile then to step back and consider not the sophisticated, but the mundane instead. Most Americans don’t have a basic will (or any will for that matter). What should the document that conveys all your most precious possessions look like and what should it say? Though a will can be as varied as imaginable (note: I had one particular client clearly remind me of this fact when he said that it was called his “will” because he can do whatever he wants). Still, most wills end up looking surprisingly similar. And though it can be complex, most people prefer simple wills. Let’s imagine you are married with kids. And, for the sake of convenience, let’s imagine that all the children are the natural or adopted children from this relationship or that husband and wife have decided to treat the stepchildren as if they were their own natural children. That gives us one spouse and the assumption that all children are treated as your natural (or adopted) children. Given these inputs, what does the will likely look like? Every person

typically has his or her own will. So, each husband and wife will have a will. The will can be very long or very Beau Ruff short. But, the Cornerstone prototypical Wealth Strategies will is probably GUEST COLUMN around four to six pages in length. It must be signed by the person making the will (i.e., the testator). Additionally, two adults who are inheriting nothing from the testator must sign as witnesses. Finally, it is common to have the witnesses’ signatures notarized as part of a “self-proving affidavit” which serves to prove the authenticity of the will. Who gets to inherit first? Usually, a married person will name his or her spouse to inherit the assets. This is important because, even though Washington is a community property state, it does not mean the surviving spouse automatically inherits everything. What if both parents die at the same time? In the event that both spouses perish at the same time, then the prototypical will provides that all the assets

are split equally among the children per stirpes. Those last two words are Latin and generally mean this: if a child dies with or before the parent, then that child’s share goes equally to the deceased child’s children. This is the most common distribution scheme in the United States and is the default distribution in many states. What about my child’s spouse? Usually, we don’t give any assets to our in-laws; we prefer to give it to our lineal descendants (grandkids) instead of the in-laws. In-laws can always remarry and give the assets to the new spouse. Trust for kids? If the kids are under the age of 18, a will typically includes a trust to hold the assets until the children reach a specified age (like 25 years old). Before that time, the children can still use the assets to pay for important and necessary items that the parents would typically approve (things like health insurance, college, basic living, etc.). After reaching the specified age, the child receives the inheritance free of trust and can use the money as he or she sees fit. What about the sentimental stuff? A typical will does not discuss specific assets. So, what about the family heirlooms and the jewelry and the guns

and the tools? A will typically incorporates the ability for the testator to assign personal property by a separate writing drawn up after the will is signed. The separate writing can be easily changed by the testator and needs only to be signed and dated (no witnesses or notaries required for this part). The separate writing is usually kept with the will but it is a separate document. This allows the testator to easily transfer items of personal property without the need to go back to the drafting attorney. Who is in charge? The final decision is to determine who is in charge: the executor. In a typical will, the surviving spouse is named as the executor. A contingent executor also is usually named, and that role is typically filled by a sibling or the testator’s children. There you have it: the prototypical recipe for a will. Though it need not be complex, you should definitely work with an attorney to ensure it’s done right. Beau Ruff, a licensed attorney, is the director of planning at Cornerstone Wealth Strategies, a full-service independent investment management and financial planning firm in Kennewick.

Puzzle answers from page 9

Crossword 1 8



































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Independent/Assisted Living and Respite Care









7820 W. 6th Avenue • Kennewick, WA






(509) 734-9773








Parkview wants to share the love. We are collecting valentines to be delivered to local hospitals and skilled nursing facilities on Valentine’s Day. Help us bring a smile to patients and essential workers. Please drop of valentines by February 11th to Parkview.








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Str8ts Solution U I F 8P W A 9 A U L 7L E R D 6U U D 5 J D T3 I T 4S

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For more strategies, hints and tips, visit www.sudokuwiki.org and www.str8ts.com.

8 2 6 3 1 5 4 7 9

4 9 5 7 2 6 1 3 8

7 3 1 4 8 9 6 5 2

9 7 8 6 3 4 5 2 1

6 4 2 1 5 7 9 8 3



LIGO gets visitor center worthy of its Nobel Prize-winning science By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

With nearly 27 years designing homes and other buildings in the TriCities under his belt, Pasco architect Terence “Tere” Thornhill is too diplomatic to call out a favorite. They’re all his babies, said Thornhill, who believes buildings should tell the story of what is happening inside. “I’m a believer in the evocative nature of architecture,” he said. His vision is written in hundreds of sometimes dazzling rooflines across the community. The REACH Museum in Richland notes the story of the prehistoric Missoula Floods and the Manhattan Project that led to creation of the B Reactor. Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan Village in Kennewick is topped by a clock tower and echoes the bucolic vineyards of its winery tenants. But his current baby tops them all for linking mission to bricks and mortar. Thornhill teamed with DGR Grant Construction to build the LIGO Hanford Exploration Center (LExC) in Richland on behalf of the scientific institutions behind the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. The team broke ground in October and is racing to complete the noisiest

elements of construction before March, when LIGO begins its next observation run and background noise must be silenced Terence Thornhill as much as possible. The center itself is set to open in January 2022. The $7.7 million visitor and education center will tell the story of how scientists first used twin laser observatories in Richland and in Livingston, Louisiana, to detect gravity waves that emanated from colliding black holes some 1.3 billion light years from earth. The discovery was reported in 2016 and confirmed Albert Einstein’s century-old prediction that gravitational waves exist. The three key principals received the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics. The work is central to educating the public and students about the importance of science. The Louisiana observatory has an education center. With LExC, Richland gets one as well. The two centers will share exhibits. But Richland’s edition will tell the story through its very foundations and walls and roofs. From above, LIGO LExC is a swirl

Courtesy Terence L. Thornhill Architect Architect Terence “Tere” Thornhill designed the LIGO Hanford Exploration Center, or LExC, to echo the colliding black holes detected in 2016, a scientific breakthrough that netted the team a Nobel Prize for Physics.

of waves spiraling away from a pair of merging circles representing the first of the black holes detected. Like the black holes themselves, one is about 20% larger than the other. Both exceed our own sun in mass. Pie-shaped wedges spiral out, a pattern that will be echoed on the carpet indoors. The colliding black holes form a lobby, housed inside a silo topped by a dome. A replica of the Nobel Prize medal will be displayed at the center, well secured in a case. Thornhill and DGR first pitched the black hole design in 2018 when LIGO, owned and operated by CalTech and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, asked architects with experience designing interpretive centers for ideas. Thornhill said telling the story of black holes and gravitational waves was the ultimate test of his belief that buildings should tell their own stories. “It’s an opportunity architecturally to spread your wings,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to be creative.” Thornhill is a confessed science “nerd,” but he is no physicist. He studied black holes and the methods scientists used to detect the gravitational waves emanating from them. “The learning curve was pretty dramatic,” he said. Thornhill sat down with sketch paper and a No. 2 pencil and asked himself, “How can I represent the collision of black holes frozen in time.” He laid out a footprint that captured the collision and waves. The clients liked what they saw. Thornhill and DGR first won the competition to develop preliminary drawings and later to build, once funding was included in Washington’s capital projects budget. The black hole concept was straightforward, but the science was not. For example, Thornhill reached for a Fibonacci spiral – like a spiral seashell with waves narrowing at the center – to convey movement. But his scientistclients corrected him: Waves travel in regularly spaced Archimedean spirals.

The black hole design brings the wow factor to LExC but the building is packed with other symbols. The central silo topped by a dome echoes telescope observatories and acknowledges that throughout history, humans studied space by looking at it, not listening to it. LIGO altered the rules. It listened for vibrations. “Up to this point, all the observatories were silent movies. You didn’t hear anything,” he said. “A lot of smart scientists told me about that.” So, while the design reaches the stars, the actual construction is straightforward, thanks to state-imposed rules on the projects it funds. LExC is designed to qualify for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver rating. That means it will be exceptionally efficient from an energy and water use point of view and in the materials used in construction. It also relies on pre-engineered structural elements. The distinctive LEED plaque will hang discretely in a gallery near the entrance. Most building owners proudly display their LEED plaques but LIGO does not want to draw attention away from the Nobel medal. The exterior materials echo the existing buildings at the LIGO campus, down to the blue stripes. Visitors will arrive at an existing auditorium and walk to the exploratory center along a path that passes through two lengths of the pipe that were not needed for construction of the laser tunnels that form the actual observatory. LExC is expected to host 10,000 school children annually, twice the number who were able to visit the campus and its auditorium. The center is designed to promote interest in science, technology, education and math and to answer the public’s growing interest in the work of LIGO, which stands for Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory.



Custom-made metal gallery find niche in Kennewick By Laura Kostad for Senior Times

Amid pandemic shutdowns and canceled art expos, Knights Welding retooled its business model and opened a Kennewick storefront. The custom-made metal art shop was grateful for a solid holiday shopping season. “Christmas was good for business,” said owner Pat Knight, adding that it’s the shop’s busiest time of the year, punctuated by an uptick in custom design requests. Sales this holiday season were especially critical considering the past year’s setbacks and challenges for the small, locally owned and operated business. The Kennewick gallery at 4432 W. Clearwater Ave. sells metal artwork ranging from night lights to table lamps, magnets, coasters, tissue box covers, shelf brackets, wall hooks, welcome signs, free-standing sculptures, various sized wall hangings and more. Many pieces feature these predominant themes: Western- and ranch-inspired pieces, landscapes and Northwest wildlife designs, garden motifs and military insignias. Knight said if customers can’t find what they’re looking for in the shop, “email me or come in with an idea or photograph of what you’re looking for. There’s not much we can’t do.” He added, “We have a lot of home décor stuff … we have a lot of useful art. People come in with ideas and it turns into something else cool.” Knight said holiday sales helped make up for the preceding months, during which he’d had to re-envision his business model. “Eighty percent of our business was going to shows,” he said. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Knight’s team of 15 sold the art pieces created by him, his father, Larry, and brother, Randy, at the various trade and

Photo by Laura Kostad Pat Knight stands flanked by a sampling of the metal art creations for sale at his 4432 W. Clearwater Ave. shop in Kennewick. All of the pieces are designed, fabricated and finished by Knight, his brother Randy, and their father, Larry.

art shows they regularly attended. Concerns about stopping the spread of the virus led to the cancellation of many of these expos in 2020 and this year. With a large inventory already on hand and ready for these events, Knight made the decision to open a brick-andmortar storefront in May 2020 with the hope of bolstering sales. He found a move-in-ready commercial space at 4432 W. Clearwater Ave. at the Union Street intersection and quickly set up shop. While many businesses have been putting off expansion plans and questioning the bottom-line value of maintaining physical storefronts or office space, Knight said it’s been a smart move for his operation. He runs the roughly 2,000-squarefoot store with the help of his wife and one other employee. When not tending the store, he and Randy can be found in their 1718 W. A St. workshop in Pasco – Knights Welding’s original location. These days, his father does more overseeing of his sons’ creative process than actual fabrication work. “There’s not a lot of secret to it,”

Knight said. “I do most of the design work all up on the computer and it gets cut out with the CNC (computer numerical control) plasma cutter, and then the guys grind them to make them look smooth and then heat the metal with a torch to bring the color out.” The latter process, called bluing, depends on how much the metal is heated to determine what natural blue and brown tones will emerge. Some pieces are simply painted black. All pieces are designed, fabricated, plasma cut and blued, or painted by hand. Knights Welding prides itself on using all-natural painting methods, in addition to devoting extra time to polishing and perfecting each piece. Knight said it all started in 2010 when he and his dad – both career welder-fabricators by trade for Lampson International of Kennewick – were building a 17-foot metal gate to span one of their driveways. As a finishing flourish, they decided to add metal art accents to the gate. “We thought it looked pretty cool,” Knight recalled. Inspired, the pair attended some art shows not long after. “And then we

bought a plasma cutter,” he said. He said Knights operated out of his dad’s garage for the first several years. After retiring from the Navy, Randy joined the team. Knight eventually left his job at Lampson to pursue the metal art business full time. “It took me a long time to call myself an artist,” he said. Their first workshop coalesced somewhat by accident. “We were actually getting ready to build another shop behind (Dad’s) shop, but the city wouldn’t let us, so we moved into the A Street location,” Knight said. “It actually was better. We didn’t want the extra overhead, but it worked out. We got more foot traffic than we’d ever had before.” Knights Welding also ships nationwide. “As far as people coming to see us, don’t forget about the small businesses,” Knight said. “We’re here, we’re open.” The store’s hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sundays. Knights Welding Fine Metal Art: 4432 W. Clearwater Ave., Kennewick; 509-412-1103, knightswelding.com, Facebook, Instagram.

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Ex-Tri-Cities Fever duo heating up stretch of Richland waterfront By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

Lionell Singleton and Houston Lillard were fierce competitors when they played for the Tri-Cities Fever, an indoor football league. They clashed on the field – Singleton as a defensive back and Houston as quarterback. Off the field, they were the best of friends and roommates who leveraged their good fortune to help students succeed. The Fever went dormant in 2016 but the two men remained committed to helping others and to pursuing business ventures as co-founders of World Builder Inc. Now, they’re launching one of the most intriguing apartment projects yet in the Tri-Cities. Vertisee is a 24-unit loft-style complex in the 1100 block of Columbia Park Trail, aka the Island View area. The project will sit in a neglected stretch nestled behind the levee at the Yakima River Delta at the Richland Wye. World Builder Inc. pulled permits to develop the $4 million project in December. The project’s first phase includes two three-story buildings. Vertisee, a play on vertical, will offer one-bedroom, one-bathroom

units on the ground floor. The second story will offer two-bedroom, two-bath units with lofts. The added height Lionell Singleton will allow views toward the confluence of the Columbia and Yakima rivers. Portlandbased Ankrom Moisan ArchiHouston Lillard tecture, known for its gleaming towers in some of the West Coast’s most urban settings, designed the Richland project as a clean complement to a neighborhood in transition. Future phases will add more residential units and commercial space, Singleton and Lillard said. The duo began acquiring lots in the 1100 block of Columbia Park Trail about three years ago and began making plans to develop. They control about three acres across several parcels. Vertisee will offer an outdoor bar-

Photo by Wendy Culverwell

becue area in the space between the two buildings. But its primary amenity is its location. The project comes at a pivotal time for the area Richland refers to as “Columbia Park Trail East.” Ben Franklin Transit’s headquarters are to the east and the neighborhood is marked by Courtesy Elite Construction & Development modest homes and Ex-Tri-City Fever players Lionell Singleton and aging industrial Houston Lillard are developing Vertisee, a 24buildings. unit apartment building as Richland’s ColumBut Richland has bia Park Trail East stretch gets a facelift from big dreams for the the city. area and its proximplementary. ity to the rivers. “There are lots of active things you It is working with the Port of Kennewick and other regional partners to can do there,” he said, saying it will rebuild the stretch of Columbia Park cater to young professionals, famiTrail between Ben Franklin Transit lies, senior and anyone interested in and Columbia Center Boulevard to the outdoor lifestyle. “Who wants to come out here?” he city standards. That includes curbs, said. gutters, sidewalks, bike lanes and Vertisee is the apartment devellandscaping. Overhead utilities will opment planned along the Tri-City be buried, and the Wye Park parking waterfront. Columbia River Walk in lot and street frontage are being imPasco recently welcomed tenants to proved. Apollo Inc. of Kennewick is the the north side of the Columbia. And contractor for the $5 million project, upscale apartments are under conwhich is funded with grants from the struction at Willow Pointe, north of Benton-Franklin Council of Govern- the WSU Tri-Cities campus in Richments, Washington state Department land. Elite Construction and Developof Ecology and city real estate excise ment is the general contractor. Harms tax funds. Engineering is the civil engineer. It is a worthy candidate for upBoth are based in Pasco. grades. Max Jones of Elite said the team The Sacagawea Heritage Trail runs has begun preliminary site work as it nearby and there are offices, medical prepares to lay foundations. The site clinics and other employment centers is mostly ready for construction. The in the neighborhood. Columbia Cenproject required upgrades to utilities ter is only a mile or so away. and removal of old buildings. There Singleton, Lillard and their conis “overburden” or dumped dirt on tractor say they’re working with the uVERTISEE, Page 15 city to ensure the projects are com-



Judge clears port commissioner of misconduct in Vista Field land sale By Senior Times staff

An independent judge cleared Kennewick Port Commissioner Don Barnes of misconduct in a case that roiled the port for more than two years. Judge Paris K. Kallas overturned the findings of an earlier investigation by an outside attorney. Barnes, the board’s current chair, appealed the results of the investigation into his conduct concerning the private sale of land near the port’s 103-acre Vista Field redevelopment project in 2019. Kallas heard arguments in a public forum Dec. 4. She issued her 15-page decision on Dec. 31. “(T)he Complaint against Commis-

sioner Barnes is unsubstantiated in its entirety and no sanctions shall be applied,” Kallas concluded. Barnes said it Don Barnes is time to move forward from a case that had been a “major distraction.” Fees cost the port more than $100,000. The case arose from a dispute that arose in early 2019 when port staff asked the commission to waive the port’s right to buy back land it had sold to Jerry Ivy in 2004. The port held the right to repurchase the Ivy property if he did not develop it with-

in 18 months, which he did not. Barnes wanted more information about a site, noting it borders the ambitious Vista Field redevelopment site. He eventually backed down and agreed to waive the buyback clause. Ivy sold the five-acre site at North Kellogg Street and West Rio Grande Street to Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic for $1.8 million. Construction is proceeding on Yakima Valley’s $20 million Miramar Clinic. The ill will sparked by the debate prompted an anonymous complaint, which Commissioner Skip Novakovich later admitted he wrote. The port hired Tara Parker, an outside attorney, to investigate Novakovich’s allegations.

Parker concluded that Barnes and fellow Commissioner Tom Moak both violated port rules. Barnes was faulted for contacting a consultant and the State Auditor’s Office about the land sale and that he exhibited “hostility” to the port’s CEO, Tim Arntzen. The port’s attorney recommended formal public censure and completion of training for Barnes. Moak accepted his separate punishment and was subsequently re-elected to office. Barnes appealed. During the Dec. 4 hearing, his attorney said the commissioner acted in his role as an elected leader. “These are elected officials. They get to get information,” attorney Joel Comfort told the judge.

Animal control has new management, renewed hopes for new building By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

The Tri-Cities Animal Shelter and Control Services in Pasco has a new operator and a renewed interest in breaking ground on a long-anticipated new building. Rebecca Howard and Dr. Julie Chambers formed the nonprofit Neo’s Nation Foundation to submit the winning bid for the contract to operate the animal shelter and control facility, 1312 S. 18th Ave., Pasco. The city of Pasco, which operates the shelter on behalf of the four cities, awarded the bid on Dec. 7. The VERTISEE, From page 14

site, which will be removed or shoved aside for the initial construction Singleton and Lillard bring a splash of fame to the project, their first new construction apartment project. Lillard lives in Portland and Singleton splits his time between the Tri-Cities and the Rose City. Singleton, originally from Tallahassee, Florida, was an All-Conference selection at Florida International University. Despite his success, he said he’d been essentially homeless and living in his car when he was tapped by the Fever. That opportunity allowed him to move into an apartment and to build a life not only on the field but in business. “I never looked back,” he said. “As soon as I got that opportunity, I had a roof over my head.” He’s retained his commitment to opening doors to others. He worked with Wellspring Church to establish the Afterschool Matters Program,

contract is worth $875,000 per year for 2021-22, with the costs split between Pasco, Kennewick and Richland. Tri-Cities Animal Shelter serves as the animal control arm of the cities of Richland, Kennewick and Pasco and operates a shelter for homeless pets from its quarters near the Columbia River. Howard is a 14-year veteran of Tri-Cities Animal Shelter and serves as director. Chambers, a retired chiropractor, brings the business management expertise as chief financial officer. Chambers is new to shelter work

but said she is a lifelong softy when it comes to strays. “I’ve tried adopting every stray animal I could find since I was a kid (much to my mother’s chagrin),” she said. The partners share a granddaughter in common and agreed to work together when the animal control contract opened in 2019. Howard and Chambers are the second team to take over the animal control facility since longtime director Angela Zilar retired in 2018. The duo succeeds Debbie Sporcich. She led Tri-Cities Animal Shelter in 2019 and 2020 and did not re-

new the contract when it expired on Dec. 31. Chambers said she is eager to proceed with long-standing plans to construct a new building to house the shelter and animal control services. All three cities have approved funding for the new building, which will be built next to the aging existing building. Pasco reports it is coordinating with its partners on a new concept plan, as well as an assessment to determine if the current property is suited to construction, said Zach Ratkai, the city’s administrative and community services director.

which serves students at Eastgate Elementary and Park Middle School in Kennewick and Jefferson Elementary in Richland. Singleton was named to three All Indoor Football League teams in his five-year career and was inducted into the Indoor Football Hall of Fame

in 2016. Lillard hails from Oakland, California. He earned a sports management degree from Southeast Missouri State University and spent five years with the Tri-Cities Fever. He founded Team Lillard Football to mentor kids and help them go to college.

The men said they envisioned Vertisee as a long-term investment but could consider selling or bringing on investors to retire the construction debt. The project is financed with a construction loan issued by Broadmark Realty Capital.



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