Senior Times - September 2021

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DELIVERING NEWS TO MID-COLUMBIA SENIORS SINCE 1982

SEPTEMBER 2021

Wine festival organizers pull plug on annual event

Retired federal employees group celebrates 50 years of advocacy and fellowship

By Senior Times staff

The Tri-City chapter of the National Active & Retired Federal Employees Association launched its 50th year with a return to form and, barring a cancellation, its first in-person event in more than a year. The local chapter planned to gather Sept. 1 at the Red Lion Hotel Kennewick Columbia Center – its usual spot – in a return to business after holding its far-flung membership together in online gatherings. The meeting had not been canceled as of the deadline for this publication. But even if it was, organizers are eager for Chapter 1192 to advance on its twin missions to offer fellowship to current and retired federal employees and to advocate for their benefits and health care in Washington, D.C., said Mary Alice Binder, public relations chairwoman.

The Tri-Cities Wine Society has permanently discontinued the annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival after being forced to cancel the 2020 event because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The society hosted the event for more than 30 of its 40 years. It typically attracted more than 1,000 attendees, bringing together wineries from throughout the Northwest. The society announced its decision in August. “Closing this chapter of the wine society’s history was a difficult decision for its board of directors, but we do so with a sense of pride and feelings of accomplishment as we reflect on the growth of the Northwest wine industry over the past 40-plus years,” said Ted Davis, president. Early in the festival’s history, when fewer wineries had tasting rooms, the festival offered one of the few ways to sample multiple Northwest wines. The society will seek new ways to showcase the mature industry, including the resumption of wine events for members and their guests. Tri-City attorney Coke Roth and Maury Balcom organized the first festival in 1979 to raise money to buy a copier for the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau, now Visit Tri-Cities, which Roth led. The festival had the added benefit of promoting the Tri-Cities as a destination for wine tourism. Visit Tri-Cities turned the event uWINE FESTIVAL, Page 2

By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

Vol. 9 | Issue 9

“We’re not a union. We’re advocates for federal employees and retirees,” she explained. Binder, who retired in 2005 as a spokeswoman for the Umatilla Weapons Depot in Oregon, said the chapter is trying to regroup after a year of shutdowns. Pre-Covid, it met 10 times a year in Courtesy Mary Alice Binder Kennewick, taking a Layna Kinsman, left, and Ellen LeVee of the few months off in the Tri-City chapter of the National Active & Retired summer. Federal Employees Association prepare gift After, it met on- baskets to hand out during the first in-person line, with mixed re- meeting in more than a year. sults. Members who to in-person,” she said. couldn’t normally Typically, members gather for lunch make it to physical events logged in. But members who aren’t online were and a program, often updates on the lobbying efforts of the chapter’s parleft out. “We are very much looking forward uNARFE, Page 6

Massive warehouses to bring 1,200 jobs to east Pasco By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

Two industrial distribution centers, each more than 1 million square feet, are planned near Sacajawea State Park. The Ryan Companies of Bellevue is developing the two facilities under separate code names, “Project Oyster” and “Project Pearl,” on either side of South Road 40 East near Lakeview Trailer Court. The sites are north of the state park in east Pasco. The two warehouses will employ nearly 1,200, according to documents

filed under Washington’s State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) that describe both in technical detail without identifying the tenant. It is common for large projects to operate under code names until the businesses behind them are ready to make public disclosures. Ryan hasn’t identified its tenant, but three people with knowledge of the project referred to “Project Oyster” as a fulfillment center for Seattle-based Amazon Inc. Marc Gearhart, vice president for

real estate development for Ryan, said he could not comment by the deadline for this edition of Senior Times, a sister publication to the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business. The Journal first reported the news in August. The tenant did not respond to questions submitted through Gearhart’s office. The two projects will face one another across South Road 40 East and are similar in most respects. “Oyster” is on the east side of Road 40 and construction has started. uWAREHOUSES, Page 7

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

WA Cares aims to help meet future long-term care needs

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MONTHLY QUIZ

Vista Field had a starring role in WWII flight training

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What was the name of Columbia Drive in Kennewick before it was changed to that name? ANSWER, PAGE 9

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SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

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We were hoping to announce that our Senior Times Fall 2021 Expo would again be indoors, but with rising cases of the Delta variant sending people to area hospitals, we knew we couldn’t. Instead, we’ll hold a drive-thru expo from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19 at the Southridge Sports and Events Complex, 2901 Southridge Blvd., in Kennewick. The Benton-Franklin Health District on Aug. 20 recommended canceling large events where attendees can’t safely socially distance. We take their advice seriously. Our Senior Times team will be wearing gloves, masks and our bright yellow vests with your wellbeing in mind as we hand out goody bags. You won’t have to leave the safety and comfort of your car. We typically hold our expos

indoors at the Southridge complex in the spring and fall, but the state shutdowns at the beginning of the pandemKristina Lord ic forced us to Senior Times cancel our GUEST COLUMN spring 2020 event. We pivoted to a drive-thru model in fall 2020 and spring 2021, and it proved to be very popular with our senior community. Between the two events, we have distributed nearly 2,000 reusable bags filled with information about local senior-focused products and services, as well as lots of goodies. We’re proud to say we’ve got the best sponsors and business commu-

nity supporting our expos. The past two drive-thru expo bags have had some awesome goodies inside: seed packets, no-touch door openers, hand sanitizer, back scratchers, sunscreen, first aid kits, pill organizers, manicure kits, and, of course, lots of candy. Expo attendees also will find all kinds of brochures and information about the terrific senior-related services offered in our community. We are excited to see you there in October. We know it’s not the event we all were looking forward to having, but if we’ve learned anything in the past year, it’s that we know we can adapt to changing times. Until then, stay safe out there.

uBRIEFS

Incyte Diagnostics opens new patient collection lab

landscaping, lighting and a safer crossing at Railroad Avenue. The work was funded by the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board’s Complete Streets Program. Ray Poland & Sons was the contractor on the project, which began in April and will wrap up when it receives the parts needed to install the streetlights.

Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher recalled

Benton County voters recalled elected Sheriff Jerry Hatcher in the Aug. 3 primary election, with 74% of voters in favor of the recall and 26% opposed. Commander Jon Law has been appointed to lead the department until an interim is selected to serve out the remainder of Hatcher’s term, which expires in 2022. Turnout for the primary was just shy of 34% of the county’s 126,436 registered voters. The election was certified Aug. 17. The sheriff’s position is partisan. Because Hatcher ran as a Republican, the Benton County Commission will choose from a slate of candidates provided by the Benton County Republican Party.

Incyte Diagnostics has opened a new patient collection lab to handle blood draws, urine collection and Covid-19 testing at 221 Wellsian Way in Richland. Appointments are not needed but patients must have lab orders from their health care provider. Founded in 1957 by a group of pathologists, Incyte Diagnostics provides pathology services across the Northwest with labs in Richland, Bellevue and Spokane Valley. Go to incytediagnostics.com.

Kennewick makes downtown area friendlier

The city of Kennewick has nearly completed a project to make a section of downtown friendlier to pedestrians. The project narrowed a stretch of North Washington Street between West Kennewick Avenue and West Columbia Drive to make room for

Kristina Lord is the publisher of the Senior Times and Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

License plates in short supply

The Benton County Auditor will issue 60-day temporary paper plates to residents buying cars due to a shortage of aluminum license plates. The Department of Corrections slowed production in response to the Covid-19 pandemic but has outsourced production to catch up. Truck, trailer and motorcycles will not be affected. Transactions from dealerships get the highest priorities for existing supplies. WINE FESTIVAL, From page 1

over to the Tri-Cities Wine Society after 10 years. In recent years, it was held at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, with proceeds supporting scholarships to students studying viticulture and enology. Davis extended his thanks to the wineries and volunteers who participated in the industry. “As the wine industry grew, so did the festival. It became a year-round effort for a small corps of volunteers to ensure its success,” he said.


SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

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Golf simulator chain swings into Richland By Kristina Lord

publisher@tcjournal.biz

Triple-digit weather. Frigid temperatures. Notorious Tri-City winds. Smoke-filled summer skies. These will no longer be reasons to cancel tee time, thanks to the arrival of Divots Golf in Richland. The Walla Walla-based Divots Golf specializes in the growing sport of virtual golf, offering competitive virtual games to casual and experienced golfers alike. It uses simulator technology to capture the direction and speed of a golfer’s swing for a fully immersive experience. Golfers can even use their own clubs, though rentals are available. Players can “virtually” travel to 90 different courses from around the world without leaving the area. “The Tri-Cities has a strong golfing community, and there’s nothing like what we’re doing there, nor the technology to literally work on their golf swing. We’re going to give them a place to golf year-round,” said coowner Henderson Orchard. The 21-and-older venue at 2450 N. Columbia Center Blvd. also will offer a selection of beer, wine and coffee. “Everybody that golfs that isn’t playing for the PGA championship is going to enjoy beverages on the course with a snack cart and all that. We offer that and serve local wine and beer,” Orchard said. Businesses also can rent the space and use the big screen that’s usually tuned to a sports game for presentations for meetings, followed by teambuilding sessions at the golf simulators. Orchard has plans to buy the 5,800-square-foot Richland building across from Brutzman’s Office Solutions and next door to Zip’s Drive-In, but is currently leasing it. The strip mall once was home to the Tri-City Bible Bookstore, which

Courtesy Divots Golf Monty Buell, left, and Henderson Orchard will open Divots Golf at 2450 N. Columbia Center Blvd. in Richland. It will be their third location, with two more opening, in September – one in Lewiston, Idaho, and the other in Anchorage, Alaska.

closed in December 2020. The company expects to spend about $250,000 to renovate the space, Orchard said. Three to four people will be hired to work there. Each simulator room is about 20by-20 feet so people can feel comfortable in their own independent space, Orchard said. The cost to play for an hour is $40 for up to six people, which is cheaper than playing on a real course, especially if six people split the cost, he said. “It allows people of all different levels an opportunity to try golf,” Orchard said. “It’s a pretty affordable hour or two hours. “You can get through 18 holes pretty good in an hour to an hour and a half. Typically, to play 18 holes outdoors, it can take about three hours. Two people can get through 18 holes and move along in an hour. They can easily do nine holes in 35 to 40 minutes.” Orchard said experienced, serious golfers also will benefit from the

simulators. The owners received positive feedback from Walla Walla golfers who reportedly saw great improvement in their flexibility while using the simulators during the off season, Divots offers the opportunity for league play, with the added benefit of golfing when it’s convenient, instead

of at specific times. Orchard and co-owner Monty Buell opened the first Divots Golf in Walla Walla in October 2020, then one in Moses Lake in April 2021. “That one has since done tremendous. It gives these communities another option of entertainment,” Orchard said. A Lewiston, Idaho, location will open a few weeks after Richland’s swings into position. Another will open in Anchorage, Alaska, by the end of September. Buell’s daughter and father live in Alaska. Orchard is a serial entrepreneur and sports fan. He owns Hence Cellars in Walla Walla. His background includes real estate development and coaching fastpitch softball – both his daughters played at the collegiate level. Buell is a retired Walla Walla University history and philosophy professor and golf enthusiast. The partners also own and operate a 10,000-square-foot, fully-turfed indoor batting and practice facility, called Ai Sports, in Walla Walla, and manage the competitive Ai Bandits uDIVOTS, Page 12


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SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

CALENDAR OF EVENTS SEPTEMBER 2

• Historic Downtown Kennewick Farmers Market: 4-7 p.m., 204 W. Kennewick Ave., Kennewick. For more information, call 509-582-7221 or email market@historickennewick. org.

SEPTEMBER 3

• Richland Farmers Market: 9 a.m.-1 p.m., roundabout at Lee Boulevard and The Parkway in Richland. For more information, call 509-539-7229 or email herbsetal@ pocketinet.com.

SEPTEMBER 4

• Pasco Farmers Market: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., 101 S. Fourth Ave., Pasco. For more information, call 509-528-8131 or email omartinez@ downtownpasco.com.

SEPTEMBER 8

• “PNNL and National Security: 20 Years of Mission Impact”: 5-6 p.m. via Zoom Details at pnnl.gov/ events.

SEPTEMBER 9

• Historic Downtown Kennewick Farmers Market: 4-7 p.m., 204 W. Kennewick Ave., Kennewick. For

more information, call 509-582-7221 or email market@historickennewick. org.

SEPTEMBER 10

• Richland Farmers Market: 9 a.m.-1 p.m., roundabout at Lee Boulevard and The Parkway in Richland. For more information, call 509-539-7229 or email herbsetal@ pocketinet.com.

SEPTEMBER 11

• Corvettes on the Columbia: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Columbia Park. Details at 3riverscorvetteclub.net. • Pasco Farmers Market: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., 101 S. Fourth Ave., Pasco. For more information, call 509-528-8131 or email omartinez@ downtownpasco.com. • Yesterday: A Tribute to the Beatles: 5 p.m., Clover Island Inn, 435 N. Clover Island Drive, Kennewick. Details at cloverislandinn.com.

SEPTEMBER 15

• PNNL seminar, “Synthetic Biology: Engineering a Sustainable 21st Century”: 5-6 p.m. via Zoom. Details at pnnl.gov/events.

Bring your grandchildren and families to events with a star. ✪ SEPTEMBER 16

• Historic Downtown Kennewick Farmers Market: 4-7 p.m., 204 W. Kennewick Ave., Kennewick. For more information, call 509-582-7221 or email market@ historickennewick.org.

SEPTEMBER 17-18

• Christ the King Sausage Fest: Friday, Sept. 17, 4-8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 18, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., 1111 Stevens Drive, Richland.

SEPTEMBER 17

• Richland Farmers Market: 9 a.m.-1 p.m., roundabout at Lee Boulevard and The Parkway in Richland. For more information, call 509-539-7229 or email herbsetal@ pocketinet.com.

SEPTEMBER 18

• Pasco Farmers Market: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., 101 S. Fourth Ave., Pasco. For more information, call 509-528-8131 or email omartinez@ downtownpasco.com.

SEPTEMBER 23

• Historic Downtown Kennewick Farmers Market: 4-7 p.m., 204 W. Kennewick Ave., Kennewick. For more information, call 509-582-7221

or email market@historickennewick. org.

SEPTEMBER 24

• Richland Farmers Market: 9 a.m.-1 p.m., roundabout at Lee Boulevard and The Parkway in Richland. For more information, call 509-539-7229 or email herbsetal@ pocketinet.com.

SEPTEMBER 26

• Pasco Farmers Market: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., 101 S. Fourth Ave., Pasco. For more information, call 509-528-8131 or email omartinez@ downtownpasco.com.

SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 3 • Cool Desert Nights: Uptown Shopping Center, 1300 George Washington Way. Car cruise, show ‘n’ shine, Kiwanis pancake breakfast, kids zone vendors, food trucks and more. Details at CoolDesertNightsTC.com.

SEPTEMBER 30

• Hogs & Dogs: 4-10 p.m. Bombing Range Sports Complex, West Richland. Motorcycle event featuring kids zone, food trucks, live music, and a variety of vendors. Details at HogsAndDogsTC.com.


SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

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WA Cares aims to help meet future long-term care needs

Many of us don’t think about or plan for long-term care until a crisis strikes or urgency forces our hand. Thankfully, a new benefit to help Washington families pay for care during a long-term illness, injury or disability is on the horizon. Seventy percent of Washingtonians 65 and older will require some assistance to live independently as they age. Yet, only 9% of people in Washington can afford private insurance, and that market has been shrinking even as the older adult population increases. Our long-term care system needs continual improvement, and affordability remains a significant issue. Underwriting requirements for private long-term care insurance often penalize people with pre-existing conditions or disabilities who may have to pay more or may not be able to get insurance at all. Some mistakenly believe that Medicare will help pay for costs. However, Medicare does not cover extended long-term care, which means most people must spend down their life savings. Once people are impoverished, Medicaid pays for long-term supports and services. To help tackle this problem, as well as the risk of overwhelming the state’s Medicaid program, Washington passed legislation to create a first-in-the-nation public program in 2019 called WA Cares. The new program provides flexible and meaningful benefits ensuring families can choose the care setting and services that best meet their needs. Beginning January 2022, Washington workers will contribute 58

cents per $100 of earnings from each paycheck, like contributions for Social Security. For a worker in Cathy MacCaul Washington AARP with a median GUEST COLUMN salary of $107,023, the annual premium is $620.73. Employees only pay into the fund during their working years and will not have to worry about losing coverage if they change employers, lose their job or retire. Beginning January 2025, each person eligible to receive the benefit can access services and supports costing up to $36,500, adjusted with inflation, to help live independently, including help with personal care, medical assistance, transportation, meals and more. More importantly, the benefit can be used to pay family caregivers. For some families, the WA Cares benefit may be all the help they need. The fund can offer them the time and resources to figure out a long-term plan for those who need extended care. It provides predictable coverage, regardless of pre-existing conditions, offering consumers a way to pay for long-term services while easing the anxiety families may face in providing or receiving ongoing care. Here’s what workers need to know about what comes next: • The new payroll deduction begins Jan. 1, 2022.

• No action is required for employees to be enrolled. • Self-employed people have until Jan. 1, 2025, to opt-in or within three years of becoming self-employed. The program does have an “opt-out” provision. If you own a qualifying private insurance policy before Nov. 1, you can inform your employer and provide evidence that you are eligible to opt-out of the new premium. However, if you opt out of the benefit, you cannot opt back in. Current retirees do not pay premiums into the fund and are not eligible to receive

benefits. The vast majority of older adults would like to live with independence in their homes and communities with the care they want and need for as long as possible. Crafting a viable and robust program like the WA Cares fund to help Washingtonians better prepare for their long-term care needs is critically important for our families and our state. Go to wacaresfund.wa.gov. Cathy MacCaul is the advocacy director for AARP Washington.


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SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

NARFE, From page 1

ent, which is based in Washington, D.C. The national association marks its centenary in 2021. Its agenda for the 117th Congress (2021-23) is sweeping. Key priorities include: • Opposing cuts to earned federal retirement and health benefits. NARFE will oppose proposals to reduce or eliminate cost-of-living adjustments and other measures it says breach the government’s commitment to its workers. • Supporting market rate increases for pay rates and opposition to compensation cuts • Supporting an average wage increase of at least 2.7% for the 2022 calendar, providing parity with the expected military pay rates and in line

uBRIEFS Hanford health report highlights exposure concerns

Nearly a third of more than 1,600 Hanford workers who responded to a survey reported long-term exposure to hazardous materials, according to a report that recommends strategies to address unmet health concerns of current and former workers. The Hanford Healthy Energy Workers Board released its final report this summer, noting that more than 57% of workers reported being in an

Parkview’s

with private sector wages. • Supporting reform – or repeal – of the Windfall Elimination Provision, which reduces some Social Security benefits. It also supports the Social Security Fairness Act, which would fully repeal the WEP and Government Pension Offset plans. Other initiatives include reforming federal hiring, more accurate cost-ofliving adjustments and protecting the health benefits earned by Postal Service retirees. As the Tri-City chapter looks beyond the pandemic – fingers crossed – it is sketching out an agenda for its 200-plus members representing a wide array of federal activities. The chapter meets at 11:30 a.m. the

first Wednesday of the month at the Red Lion, 1101 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Kennewick. Upcoming gatherings include a presentation from Active 4 Life in October, an update on Alzheimer’s research in November, a holiday program in December, a youth mentoring program in January and its annual legislative update from Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center in February. The Tri-City chapter first met on March 3, 1971, at Roy’s Chuck Wagon in Richland. Not surprising, its 34 original members were chiefly Hanford retirees from the U.S. Department of Energy. Also not surprising, the group is far more diverse now, according to Pat Turner, chapter president.

Today, it has more than 200 members who worked across the vast federal government – Department of Defense, Bonneville Power Administration, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers and more. “As the Tri-Cities has grown and become more diverse, so has our NARFE chapter,” Turner said. “We have members who are still working and others who have retired. Some are lifelong area residents and others have moved here for retirement.” The National Active & Retired Federal Employees Association is open to current and retired employees and their spouses. Go to narfe.org.

exposure event. The report recommends creating an independent Hanford Healthy Energy Workers Center to serve as a clearinghouse for peer-reviewed and accepted medical and scientific literature. It would evaluate and communicate studies about Hanford-specific hazards. For incurable diseases such as chronic beryllium disease, information sharing could help find cures. The center would promote research to increase the body of knowledge for the unique healthcare needs of the current and former Hanford work force. Read the full report at bit.ly/

HanfordHealthWorkersReport.

and overhead of opening a traditional salon. Go to: solasalonstudios.com.

Saddle up and put on your boots!

BOOT SCOOTIN’ SHINDIG Live music, food & raffle prizes September 22, 2021 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. (509) 734-9773

www.Parkviewslc.com 7820 W. 6th Avenue • Kennewick, WA

Independent/Assisted Living and Respite Care

Sola Salon Studios to open at Columbia Center this fall

Sola Salon Studios plans to open its first location in the Tri-Cities this fall at Columbia Center mall, 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite 205A, in Kennewick. The 6,200-square-foot salon includes space for 33 private studios in three sizes. It’ll be located inside the mall near JCPenney. The opening is set for November. The studios include private one-onone spaces with storage, oversized sliding/locking doors, floor-to-ceiling walls for privacy, all utilities, Wi-Fi and full-spectrum lighting. Sola has more than 545 locations in the U.S., Canada and Brazil, offering more than 16,000 independent beauty professionals the freedom and benefits of salon ownership without the risk

Costa Vida opens pandemicdelayed Pasco location

Costa Vida opened its latest Tri-City restaurant Aug. 16 in Pasco. The new fresh Mexican outlet is at 6627 Burden Blvd., Suite A. Russ Cazier is the franchisee for Costa Vida restaurants in the region, along with a string of Subway locations. He leased the Pasco spot, which is next to Proof Kitchen and The Sushi House, in early 2020 but wasn’t able to open it because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2,912-square-foot space includes a commercial kitchen and dining area as well as restrooms. Mike Corbin of Wave Design Group was the project architect and W McKay Construction LLC was the contractor.


SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

and A Street intersections, as E A ST. well as a deceleration lane on the southbound lane of Highway 12 at East A Street. Project Pasco City Pearl Manager Dave Zabell said the Project city is discussing Oyster wider area road improvements with Ryan, the developer. Project Oyster is expected ad Ro k to generate more r Pa ea than 1,700 weekaw j ca Sa day trips, with peak traffic volumes between Two warehouses, each more than 1 million square feet, will bring nearly 1,200 jobs to South Road 40 East, 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 north of Sacajawea State Park in east Pasco. p.m. in the eveutilities will be extended for construcning. Truck trips will account for 16% of total daily tion. When built, Project Pearl will occutrips. The environmental checklist indipy a single parcel owned by Columbia cates it will generate 726 vehicle trips East and assessed at about $1 million. each day and 864 daily truck trips. Both projects will include sound Project Pearl will have a similar impact and is expected to generate 719 walls to reduce the noise on neighbornon-truck vehicle trips per day and 354 ing properties. Both sites include active agriculture. truck trips. The sites will be served by Franklin Project Oyster will eliminate one and a County PUD, Cascade Natural Gas and half irrigated farm circles. Project Pearl Pasco city water and sewer. Temporary will eliminate one. S U

12

E

“Pearl” is on the west and construction has not started. SEPA approvals were issued in May and June, and the city of Pasco issued permits for excavation and foundation work for Project Oyster. Project Oyster will be a distribution warehouse with 1,080,500 square feet on 162 acres. It will have a 35,000-square-foot office, 1,020 vehicle parking spots and 390 semitruck parking spots. It will employ 683 people working in two shifts. Project Pearl will be slightly smaller, with 1,049,760 million square feet. A rail spur runs along the southern boundary of its 104-acre site but stops at Road 40 and doesn’t extend to the Oyster site. It will have 110 loading docks, 304 trailer parking stalls, 48 box truck parking stalls, 48 van parking stalls and 54 parking stalls. It will employ 500 people working in two shifts. While Amazon has not announced new fulfillment centers, it is the most active user of plus-sized industrial facilities, according to the editor of Site Selection magazine, a Peachtree Corners, Georgia-based publication that has tracked 10,000 warehouse and distribution center projects since January 2016. Nearly 40% of the projects in its database were 100,000 square feet or more. Of those, 300 were 1 million square feet or larger. Amazon was the name most commonly associated with those projects, “by a long shot,” the editor said. The Amazon investor relations office did not respond to a request for comment. Projects Oyster and Pearl are the latest in a string of major investments in Pasco in the past two months. Darigold Inc., Reser’s Fine Foods and Local Bounti all disclosed plans for major new operations, cementing Pasco’s status as a major center for food processing and warehousing. But with a combined footprint of about 700,000, they are dwarfed by Projects Oyster and Pearl.

Preferred Freezer Services on Poplar Way in north Richland has 470,000 square feet of floor space in its five freezers, though the facilities aren’t comparable since freezer space is measured in volume rather than area. Washington’s largest industrial building is the Boeing 747 plant in Everett, which has a reported 4.3 million square feet. Both Pasco projects are described in technical detail in documents submitted to the city and for review under SEPA. No documents identify the tenant and city officials were careful to refer to them by their code names and the developer’s name, “Ryan.” The Tri-City Development Council said it is not involved in the projects. A site plan for Project Oyster, created by Langan Engineering and Environmental Services in Seattle, indicates the building with a north-south alignment. The team includes the two longtime owners of the 10 parcels that comprise the site. Pasco-based Columbia East LLC, which is led by Robert Tippett, owns seven parcels and Spokane-based Wilson Sisters LLC owns the three. Franklin County values the 10 undeveloped parcels at $2.5 million for property tax purposes. Tippett said he could not comment because of a confidentiality agreement. Bioinfiltration ponds will flank the building to the east and west, guard houses to the north and south. The Snake River is close by, near its confluence with the Columbia River. Portland-based MacKenzie Architecture Engineering & Design is the architect and could not be reached for comment. Both warehouses will be constructed from precast concrete and will be 55 feet and 50 feet at their highest points, respectively. The developments sites are nearly a mile from the nearest Ben Franklin Transit stop, meaning workers likely will drive to work. Semitruck traffic will enter from Highway 12 via East A Street and South Road 40. The project anticipates a new traffic signal at the Road 40 East

S Road 40 E

WAREHOUSES, From page 1

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SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

Happy Preparedness Month. Are you ready for it?

September is National Preparedness Month – so proclaimed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). And while preparing yourself for disasters makes sense for everyone, it’s obviously more critical for older folks. “We know that natural disasters can be especially stressful for seniors,” said Michele Roth, executive director of the Central and Southeastern Washington Red Cross chapter in Kennewick. “They tend to experience greater adverse outcomes during disasters.” Seniors are certain to have more gear to manage in a disaster – medications, hearing aids, walkers and wheelchairs, supplemental oxygen and more. Simply exiting a disaster scene is likely to pose special problems for someone with mobility issues. In case of fire, you need to vacate a burning building within two minutes. Given the state of your health and physical limitations, could you make it downstairs and out the door that fast? Fortunately, both FEMA and the Red Cross have lots of advice to help seniors prepare for disaster. “We can help seniors by providing resources and information to help

them prepare,” Roth said. The Red Cross lists three crucial must-dos in disaster preparedness: Gordon Williams • Get a kit: American Red Cross Collect ahead GUEST COLUMN of time everything you would need to get by if disaster struck, and you were forced to leave your home and seek shelter. That would include the essentials and anything special required because of health needs and physical limitations. • Make a plan: How would you escape your home in case of fire? Where would you go if a storm or wildfire or natural disaster forced you to leave home for days or weeks? • Be informed: Stay alert to all warnings of disasters in the making. Watch weather forecasts for storms heading your way. Pay attention to red flag days – when heat, drought and high winds set the stage for wildfires. Sign up to receive disaster warnings from police or fire or the local department of emergency management.

Those are the universal rules for preparedness and they apply to everyone. What are the special preparedness rules for seniors? How do you tailor your preparedness plans to what your health and physical abilities allow you to do? Look to the Red Cross for preparedness strategies appropriate to your age and physical condition. The Red Cross says a basic preparedness kit would include whatever you would need to survive at least 72 hours sheltering in place or being sheltered someplace safe. That would include non-perishable food, water (a gallon a day per person), flashlight, battery-powered radio, clothing and personal hygiene supplies, an all-purpose tool and a first aid kit. Seniors would want to add to that back-up supplies of any medications they must take as well as an extra pair of eyeglasses, and emergency stocks of anything else essential to their health. When planning for disaster, seniors must do an honest self-appraisal and acknowledge what they can’t manage on their own and if they need assistance from others. “Take into account your capabilities, any help you may need and who

can provide it, especially if you need to evacuate or if the power goes out for several days,” says the Red Cross Guide to Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults. “When it comes to disasters, I can’t stress enough the importance for anyone with limitations of creating a personal support network,” Roth said. Your network should consist of trusted individuals who will check in on you in case of an emergency. As to who to include in your support network, Roth said, “They may be family members, friends, co-workers or neighbors.” Your support group would have keys to your home and should know where you keep emergency supplies, your emergency contact list, lists of all your essential medications and your eyeglass prescription. “Decide on how you will contact each other if the phones are not working,” Roth said. “Make sure those you are counting on for support know you will be calling on them in an emergency. Always notify each other when you go out of town and when you expect to return.” Make sure you know what resources the community has available that

uPREPAREDNESS, Page 14


SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

Just for Fun

Crossword

Solutions on page 11

Across

31 Alters formally

1 For some time

36 Niagara has a Maid of this

7 Convert hide into leather

11 It has 88 keys when full-size 15 Old Dodge

37 Tempestuous

16 In favor of

11 Harbor

38 Big Apple aria spot

17 Lair

12 Quaint love letter opener

39 Pull into

18 Beyond all others

10 Stimulating drink

13 Creep

20 Railroad cross-member

Down 1 Rocket interceptor

21 Way over there, poetically

2 Sardonic

23 Representative

3 Suckered

26 Bellows

4 Apply a cake’s top layer

29 Now let me think ...

5 Tiniest amount

30 Chart variety

6 Mistake

32 Self-esteem

27 Hill VIP

7 Oft-removed throat tissues

33 Pinch

28 Same here!

8 Curve

34 Material studied by Watson and Crick

29 Well-informed about

9 Utmost

35 USMC noncom

14 Frothy concoctions 16 LA summer setting 19 Holy threesome 22 Get-well treatment 24 Salk’s conquest 25 Type of show, such as Anne Hathaway’s “Grounded”

9

Word search - Capitals Doha

Macau

Prague

Amman

Kabul

Male

Rome

Ankara

Kigali

Maputo

Roseau

Apia

La Paz

Monaco

Seoul

Bamako

Lagos

Muscat

Suva

Belgrade

Lima

Noumea

Taipei

Cairo

Luanda

Oslo

Yaren

Tough Tough

8

Sudoku - Tough

2 2

SUDOKU SUDOKU

Easy Easy

How to How beat to Str8ts beat–Str8ts – Like Sudoku, no single 1 to 9 can repeat any row Like Sudoku, nonumber single number 1 to 9 caninrepeat in any row or column. But... rows and columns are or column. But... rows and columns are divided by black squares into compartments. 2 1 divided by black squares into compartments. 2 4 1 5 4 Each compartment must form a straight Each compartment must form a straight - 6 4 5 6 3 4 2 5 a set of numbers with no gaps but it can be a set of numbers with no gaps but it can be4 5 2 1 in any order, eg [7,6,9,8]. Clues in black cells 4 5 in any order, eg [7,6,9,8]. Clues in black4cells 3 6 2 1 5 remove that number as an option in that row 4 3 6 2 remove that number as an option in that row and column, and are not part of any straight. 3 5 2 1 4 and column, and are not part of any straight. 3 5 2 1 Glance at the solution to see how ‘straights’ 2 1 3 Glance at the solution to see how ‘straights’ are formed. 2 1 3 are formed.

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Str8ts example

© 2021 Syndicated Puzzles

© 2021 Syndicated Puzzles

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© 2021 Syndicated Puzzles

Str8ts - Easy

STR8TS STR8TS

© 2021 Syndicated Puzzles

Accra

To complete Sudoku, fill the board by entering To In complete Sudoku, fill the board by entering Sept. 3: the United States, Northwest numbers numbers 1 to 9 such that each row, column and 3x3 and 3x3 1 was to 9 such that each row, column Orient Airlines acquired and merged into box contains every number uniquely. box contains every number uniquely.

5National Airlines. strategies, hints and tips, many strategies, hints and tips, 3For2manyFor visit www.sudokuwiki.org for Sudoku Sept. 15: U.S. Forest Service introduced visit The www.sudokuwiki.org for Sudoku 2and1www.str8ts.com for Str8ts. Woodsy Owl and the slogan “Give a hoot! and www.str8ts.com for Str8ts. 1 5 IfDon’t you likepollute” Str8ts andfor other puzzles, check out our its anti-pollution public If you like Str8ts and other puzzles, check out our 4books, iPhone/iPad Apps and much more on our store.

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.

ANSWER Quiz answer from Page 1

Avenue C

servicebooks, announcement advertisements. iPhone/iPad Apps and much more on our store. — Source: East Benton County Historic Society and Museum Sept. 17: NBC aired the first episode of “McMillan & Wife,” starring Rock Hudson.


10

SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

TOGETHER, WE CAN END ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Join the Tri-Cities and Prosser Edward Jones team as they walk to end Alzheimer’s!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2021 Registration: 12:00 p.m. Ceremony: 1:00 p.m. Walk: 1:30 p.m. Join a Tri-Cities or Prosser Edward Jones team as they Walk to End Alzheimer’s! To join by walking and/or contributing visit, www.alz.org/edwardjones Alzheimer’s impacts us all. At Edward Jones, our purpose is to partner for positive impact – to improve the lives of our clients and colleagues, and together, better our communities and society. Alzheimer’s impacts all groups, including the estimated 300,000 Edward Jones clients living with the disease. In 2020, Edward Jones renewed our strategic alliance with the Alzheimer’s Association with a five-year, $25 million commitment. This matches the $25 million we’ve raised since signing on as the first-ever Walk to End Alzheimer’s® National Presenting Sponsor in 2016, and makes our total 10-year investment the largest ever pledged by a corporate partner to the Alzheimer’s Association.

MORE THAN

6

MILLION

Travis Clifton Erica Clontz Dustin Clontz Susan Dunn Trevor Fehrenbacher Jay Freeman Robin Haller Arianna Harold April Hulse

Susan Janney Harper Jones Ill Kriss Kennedy Shelley Kennedy, CFP® Wendy King-Hastings Jeff LaBeff Keri Lashbaugh Mandie Leslie Nicole McCalmant

Laurie McDonald Chad McDonald Shasta Meyers Ian Napier Bobbie Prescott Steve Ricketts Aaron Russell Jonathan Salmon Terry Sliger

16% during the COVID-19 pandemic

Americans are living with Alzheimer’s

Between 2000 and 2019, deaths from heart disease have

DECREASED

7.3%

while deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have

INCREASED

145 %

Local Edward Jones Financial Advisors and Branch Office Administrators participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Monica Allred Gracie Bartoldus Lori Baxter Joy Behen Chrystie Billow Ryan Brault, CFP® Merri Buck Melody Burchfield Melinda Burchfield

Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths have increased

Tom Steinert Ardette Sykes McKenzie Thompson Evan Tidball Jan Ulmen Harry Van Dyken T.J. Willingham Carson Willingham Tara Wiswall

In 2021, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation

$355 BILLION

By 2050, these costs could rise to more than

1.1

$

TRILLION


SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

11

Vista Field had a starring role in WWII flight training By East Benton County Historical Society

For more than 70 years, runways at Vista Field in Kennewick took aircraft under their wing. Pilots flew in and out, student trainees learned to fly, and experienced pilots added hours to their flight time. But Vista Field, now closed, didn’t begin as a general aviation airport. It began as a complement to Naval Air Station Pasco, helping Navy pilots practice landings and takeoffs on a simulated aircraft carrier deck. The Kennewick airfield had a crucial role to play in helping the allied forces win World War II in the Pacific. Here, on this desert-surrounded air strip without a hint of ocean blue, Navy pilots trained in landings and takeoffs for bombing runs they would one day do for real in combat over the Pacific. Vista Field was a training site for Navy aircraft carrier fighter pilots. The faint outlines of a deck were once visible on a now-demolished runway. Navy pilots applied the skills they learned in simulated carrier takeoffs and landings from the runways at Vista Field and the Pasco Naval Air Station to the combat missions they flew from real carriers in the Pacific. Early in World War II, carriers like the Lexington, Saratoga, Yorktown, Essex, Wasp, Hornet and others became legend for taking the battle to the Japanese as America’s Pacific fleet sought to recover and rebuild from the attack on Pearl Harbor. Though Vista Field is no longer operational as an airport, its history is

Courtesy East Benton County Historical Society Vista Field, at top center of photo, debuted in 1942 in what was then an undeveloped section of west Kennewick. It complemented Naval Air Station Pasco, supporting pilot training during World War II, then converted into a municipal airport before being decommissioned in 2013.

rich in the archives of aviation in the Tri-Cities. Vista Field’s aviation role ended at 5 p.m. Dec. 31, 2013, when its current owner, the Port of Kennewick, painted white X’s across the runway. Its economic viability had been in question for years. That was the end. The beginning was 71 years earlier, in 1942. The Kennewick Irrigation District owned the land. The irrigation district transferred it to the city of Kennewick for a municipal airport. The timing was perfect. The Pasco Naval Air Station had been built and activated for the specific purpose of training pilots to operate from aircraft carriers.

Kennewick leased it to the U.S. government and Vista Field became an auxiliary field for landings and takeoffs to complement the Pasco Naval Air Station. In their heydays, the airfields in Pasco and Kennewick were busy places. During training flights from the Pasco Naval Air Station and Vista

Field, farmers, ranchers and orchardists in the surrounding Tri-City area became accustomed to seeing training runs and simulated bombings over their lands. Flour-filled fake bombs detonated across the region. West Richland’s Bombing Range Road is said to have been named for such activities. Thousands of bombing runs were made, and up to 1,800 pilots trained here. As many as 300 aircraft could be seen at the base at any single time. The control tower of the Pasco base was preserved by a solid effort of citizens who refused to allow its destruction. It was reinvented as the Pasco Aviation Museum to showcase aviation history, including the role of Washington state. After the Pasco Naval Air Station closed in 1946, the Navy sold the site to the city of Pasco, and it evolved into the Tri-Cities Airport, the region’s commercial air hub. The old Naval Air Station tower on the airport’s east side is now the Pasco Aviation Museum. Visitors also can see what World War II aircraft looked like. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 for uVISTA FIELD, Page 12

Puzzle answers from page 9

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US 11x11 Wordsearch No.315Sudoku - Capitals Word search Sudoku Solution

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

7 4 1 9 3 2 6 8 5

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12

SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021 DIVOTS, From page 3

snacks to nibble. Players also may order food from outside vendors to eat there. Divots plans to launch an app in September to make it easier to reserve its simulators. A phone call and trip to its website also accomplishes the same task. Hours are expected to be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends. Divots Golf: 2450 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Richland; 509-5785749; divotsindoorgolf.com.

VISTA FIELD, From page 11

for business, retail, entertainment and homes. The airport infrastructure – runways, fuel stations, hangars and other buildings – was replaced with roads and utilities for its new mission. Federal Aviation Administration requirements were implemented soon after closure when five large X’s were painted on Vista Field’s remaining runway, notifying pilots that the field was closed and that landings were forbidden. Burt Goranson, a 64-year-old aviator from Pasco who kept his plane at the field, was the last pilot to use Vista Field. He took off for a short flight to Prosser just before the airfield shut down at 5 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2013. After that final flight, Vista Field’s role in aviation became history.

Fastpitch organization. The owners planned a soft opening in Richland at the end of August. Typically, they invite first responders in to try the simulators as an opportunity to thank them for their service. “It also gives the staff an opportunity to figure out how it works,” Orchard said. Divots doesn’t serve food, but it might in the future. Each Divots building includes a kitchen. Until then, there’s some packaged

adults, $5 for students and seniors. Veterans are admitted free. After the war, Vista Field became a municipal airport. Originally, three runways comprised the Vista airfield and were offered in a T shape. The longest runway was 4,000 feet, and the T was created with a 3,500-foot strip across the top of the longer runway. A researcher identified markings and the outline of an aircraft carrier on the pavement, leading to the conclusion that it was laid out to simulate the 800-foot-long runway available on carrier decks. With closure of the Vista Field air facility, the Port of Kennewick made plans to reinvent it as a civic center


SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

13

Costco-anchored Broadmoor helps Pasco boom By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

Word that Costco likely will anchor new development at Pasco’s Broadmoor Boulevard would normally be one of the year’s top business stories. But 2021 is shaping up as one for the records as one eyepopping development deal after another breaks in Pasco. Collectively, new development at Broadmoor coupled with at least three new food processors and a pair of distribution warehouses each more than 1 million square feet promise to transform Pasco, a city that has long braced for at least 50,000 newcomers by 2038. The latest round of new development will easily top $1 billion and bring thousands of jobs to the community. Pasco, the city boasted in a recent press release, is the envy of economic developers across the region. At Broadmoor, the area along Road 100, the city acknowledges Costco is expected to occupy the northwest corner of Broadmoor Boulevard and the future extension of Sandifur Parkway. The company itself has not yet confirmed its plans for a second Tri-Cities location and did not respond to a request for comment. The other top deals include a new Darigold Inc. plant, a new Reser’s Fine Foods plant, a new Local Bounti greenhouse complex, the Port of Pasco’s Osprey Point mixed-use development agreement and even the city’s own Lewis Street Overpass project.

Photo by Wendy Culverwell A residential development takes shape in the Broadmoor area of western Pasco. In a normal year, word that Costco would build its second Tri-City store nearby would be the biggest business story of the year. But in 2021, it is one of many important developments.

On top of that, Ryan Companies, a Bellevue developer, has begun construction on one of two distribution warehouses near Sacajawea State Park that will rank among the largest buildings in the state. The Association of Washington Business said it will highlight Pasco’s successes during its annual Manufacturing Week tour of the state in October. Dave Zabell, Pasco city manager, asked if the city is having a “pig in a python” moment, replied that it’s more like a “rhino in a python.” The news only seems like it’s coming fast and furious, he said. Pasco, population 79,580 as of 2021, has been planning for it for years. A new land use plan that ties

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with its utility plan means it can be precise about adapting to the needs of the newcomers. “Accommodating growth is not new for Pasco,” Zabell said. “Obviously, it’s more than what we’ve seen in the past. For shoppers and homebuyers, Broadmoor is the spot to watch. The sandy stretch of Road 100 is an obvious outlet for growth, previously

limited by lack of access to the city sewer system. With a site plan and sewer system extension now in place, what and where the growth will happen is starting to take shape. Tim Ufkes, a broker with the Bellevue office of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Inc., represents a major Broadmoor area property owner. He said that after years of planning and utility work, development agreements are being signed. Ufkes’ confirmed retail developer is expected to build a new shopping center across Sandifur from the site that has been linked to Costco. A residential developer is planning a project with affordable, senior and other types of housing to the west. Karl Dye, president and chief executive officer of the Tri-City Development Council, or TRIDEC, credits a strong group of partners for creating the conditions to attract retailers, residential developers and industrial employers. “What we’re seeing now is a lot of hard work paying off,” he said. Finding workers could be the next big challenge. The Tri-Cities has more jobs now than prior to the uBROADMOOR, Page 14

It has been our experience that planning ahead is more stress-free and people have the time and information they need to make carefully considered, pressure-free decisions that are the best choices for themselves and their families. Let us guide you through the process by helping make arrangements easier at the time of loss. Call us for a free pre-planning guide.

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14

SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

PREPAREDNESS, From page 8

you could turn to when preparing for, and making it through a disaster. Let your fire department know ahead of time what to expect when responding to an emergency at your home. When calling 911 to report an emergency, make sure you tell the dispatcher what special conditions responders can expect to encounter If you are evacuated to a shelter, tell the shelter staff about all personal health needs. If you had to escape a disaster, know ahead of time where you might go to stay safe. It might be a Red BROADMOOR, From page 13

Covid-19 pandemic. Typically, that attracts newcomers to the community. But a sharp increase in housing prices could be a challenge for planners to address. To keep up with the land use planning and permitting work, the city is adding planning positions. So far, Zabell said, the planning department hasn’t fallen behind. Zabell anticipates more projects too. He notes Pasco has long participated in the annual International Council of Shopping Centers, or ICSC, conference in Las Vegas, a

Cross shelter but if you are the only one affected you might just go to a hotel for a few nights. If you have pets, ask ahead of time about the hotel’s policy about taking animals. If the emergency is a blackout or winter storm, it might be over in a few days. However, the aftermath of a flood or mudslide or wildfire could linger on for weeks, so take the long view when you plan. “Consider needs you may have if power went out, you had to stay home for two weeks or more, or if you had to evacuate your home or community,” the Red Cross advises. must-attend event for real estate professionals. Zabell said that in years past, Pasco representatives would discuss its planning and utility work to drum up interest from developers and retailers. The response would be polite and noncommittal: Let us know when you have something to sell. The ICSC show was canceled last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the 2021 event will be held in early December. Wouldbe builders and tenants have started calling in advance. “There’s a lot more interest now,” Zabell said. “We’ll be there in December.”

What support will your electric utility offer if you use powered medical devices, such as supplemental oxygen, and the electricity goes out? At the least, you want to be on the list of customers whose power will be restored first. Even when you have built your support network, prepare to manage as much on your own as you can. Identify two ways out of every room to help you escape from a home fire. Practice escape drills so you know how to make the most of escape routes from your home. Set a central meeting place for everyone to regroup after they have made it to safety.

uBRIEFS Kids entering foster care need caring helpers

Office Moms & Dads (OMD), a new local nonprofit serving children entering foster care, is now open in the Tri-Cities and looking for caring adults interested in volunteering during normal business hours to sit with and care for children who have just been removed from their homes and are sitting in child welfare offices waiting for foster care placement. OMD aims to provide nurturing care to children, relieve an overburdened social welfare system and provide volunteers a chance to make a difference for kids. OMD now is present in nearly 30 agencies across Washington and Idaho. Volunteers must have some availability on weekdays during normal business hours and pass a background check. OMD strives to serve and repre-

Once you do escape, don’t return to the building to rescue a person or pet still inside. Make sure the first responders know someone may be trapped inside and leave the rescuing to those trained to do it. Preparedness planning won’t guarantee you a disaster-free life. But planning ahead can improve your chances of coming through a disaster in good shape. Gordon Williams is a volunteer with the American Red Cross’ Northwest Region Communications Team. sent the diverse population of children that enter foster care, including children who speak other languages. Materials in Spanish can be made available to volunteers upon request. To get involved with OMD, email Tai Donor, Tri-Cities volunteer coordinator, at Tri-Cities@ OfficeMomsAndDads.com. Go to officemomsanddads.com.

Benton REA customers get $1.75 million rebate

The Benton Rural Electric Association will pay $1.75 million in ownership credits to its 17,400 active and inactive members. People and businesses that receive electricity from the REA are members and owners of the cooperatives. Many members receive their payment as a credit against their power bills. Most members who receive a payment this year will receive a check in late August.


SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

15

United Way lets go of some senior services to focus on families, kids By Wendy Culverwell editor@tcjournal.biz

Programs that help families and kids thrive will be the sole focus of the 2022 round of grants awarded by the United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties. The nonprofit that raises money and vets nonprofits is sharpening its focus as it addresses “gaps” that opened in the local social safety net during the Covid-19 pandemic. The move comes with the realization that no nonprofit can do everything, said LoAnn Ayers, chief executive officer. In 2021, United Way funded 33 programs at 20 organizations, arranged around four areas of need – basic needs, childhood success, financial stability, health care and youth success. It will solicit applications for 2022 this fall, with the understanding that supporting families and kids is its main goal in the coming year. Applications routinely outpace the available resources. It typically has $5 of requests for every $1 available, so it wants to get the biggest bang for its very limited bucks. And that means tackling the issues that existed before the Covid-19 pandemic and grew worse once it took hold. A series of listening sessions showed that hunger, housing, juvenile crime, teen pregnancy, school attendance and related issues worsened. Ayers together with Charles Simpson, a board member who chairs United Way’s Community Impact Committee, said the new focus draws on years of reviewing key statistics it compiles into its annual Stoplight report, which acknowledges progress and the lack thereof on multiple fronts. Statistics typically lag one to two years and only go so far, Simpson said. Hence the listening sessions. “We get data. We get good data. But it’s older,” he said. “It shows some vulnerability where we historically focus, but it hasn’t caught up with the medium and long range.” The results of the listening exercise aren’t shocking. The pandemic exacerbated existing issues and opened gaps. But they are driving United Way to focus its resources on boosting efforts to help children and families who have lost access to traditional safety nets. Simpson likens the local support network to a screen. The Tri-Cities has a decent screen via its many systems and nonprofits that help the vulnerable. But the pandemic shook the screen. “Individuals become more vulnerable and as the screen shakes, they fall through,” he said. Listening sessions highlighted a myriad of challenges, some short term and others more intractable. When schools closed children

stopped getting school breakfasts and lunches. The teachers and staff who might have spotted – and reported – abuse LoAnn Ayers were not seeing students in person. Juvenile crime, homelessness, teen pregnancy, school attendance and mental health challenges came into sharp relief. “They’re often the most vulnerable and dependent on the school systems that have been challenged. We heard that from the data and from our partners,” Simpson said. A successful executive at Central Plateau Cleanup Co., a Hanford contractor, Simpson was particularly moved by the growing challenge of housing the most vulnerable residents. Families that might have bought big houses bought medium sized ones instead, a squeeze that pushed out those least able to afford a home in a market with tight rentals. As a child, Simpson grew up relying on the support networks that the pandemic stressed and broke. He recalled a teacher lending him her son’s jacket to wear to high school graduation. Friends would casually treat him to meals at Dairy Queen, meals he might have otherwise missed. “As a 130-pound, 6-foot high school senior, it was a big deal,” he said. “Kids aren’t getting that now. There’s more isolation.” The community has rallied to fill the gaps, Ayers is fast to note. Schools delivered free meals to families, sometimes in packages, to last the week. Still, continuing isolation is only exacerbating mental health issues. But the big picture is one of need. “For me, it was the depth of the challenges. They’re affecting all socioeconomic levels,” she said. “The stress of the last 18 months has magnified everything.”

With the board’s backing, United Way will limit its 2022 grants to organizations that tackle those issues. That means letCharles Simpson ting go of some of its traditional supports, such as those helping seniors. “We recognize that one entity can’t solve all the challenges. We have to choose our swim lane,” she said. One initiative will pair middle schoolers at risk of dropping out with volunteer mentors to meet weekly on campus. The program, which will operate under United Way’s 10-year Attendance Matters effort to reduce truancy and absenteeism, is aimed at boosting graduation rates. The pilot is supported by Community Impact Grants and a grant from the

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We target middle school because that’s the age when kids start owning their own behaviors,” Ayers said. Ayers said United Way is communicating its priorities to the nonprofits it funds so there won’t be any surprises when grants are awarded. It will send out requests for proposals to 501(c)(3) s in Benton and Franklin counties in September. Funds will be awarded for 2022. The process coincides with the start of the annual United Way fundraising campaign. United Way reported $2.76 million in contributions and grants in 2019, according to the most recent report to the Internal Revenue Service. Total expenses were $3.1 million and included funding 38 programs at 23 local non-profits. To support United Way, go to uwbfco.org and click on the “Donate” tab at the top.

Trying to reach seniors?

Get the response you’re looking for with an ad in the Senior Times. The Senior Times is delivered to thousands of seniors all across the Mid-Columbia. Call 509-737-8778. Tiffany ext. 2 or Chad ext. 1.


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SENIOR TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2021

2021 SAVE THE DATE!

FREE Drive-thru

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Southridge Sports & Events Complex 2901 Southridge Blvd., Kennewick

The 2021 Senior Times Fall Expo is a drive-thru-only event because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Get a goody bag filled with vendor products and information in our drive-thru lane. We’ll be masked and glove up with your safety in mind. Brought to you by:

Limited to first 800 people. For more information, call (509) 737-8778.


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