SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
OCTOBER 2020 Volume 8 • Issue 9
POPP buys building, aims to end pet overpopulation By Wendy Culverwell firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Times Vendor Showcase Page B1
Kadlec, Tri-Cities Cancer Center commit to ‘brand’ Page A2
Halloween shootout ends with deaths of lawmen, outlaw Page A8
MONTHLY QUIZ What was the name originally planned in 1905 for today’s prominent Benton County city of Richland? Answer, Page A8
A Tri-City nonprofit aims to turbocharge its efforts to end pet overpopulation after buying a former dental office in Pasco to serve as a spay and neuter clinic. Pet Overpopulation Prevention TriCities, or POPP, paid $325,000 for the medical building at 1502 N. Road 40 in a deal that closed Aug. 17. It is converting the space to a clinic focused on spaying and neutering cats and dogs. It recently completed a donation drive to pay for the cost of a chuteshaped surgical table. Supporters can help out by going online to sponsor specific items such as scissors, forceps, clamps, IV stands and other surgical items through a bridal registry-style link at popptricities.org. With the new clinic, POPP flips its old model of subsidizing the cost of spaying and neutering pets for those who couldn’t afford the $200 and more that local veterinarians charge. Instead of providing vouchers to pay for private services, POPP and its staff veterinarian will do the work themselves, said Christina Coughlin, office manager and veterinary assistant. Dr. Ashley Rice, who has a background in high volume spay and neuter programs, has joined POPP as its new veterinarian. With the new approach, POPP aims to beat the 700 spay and neuter procedures it underwrote last year, Coughlin said. “Our focus is always going to be uPOPP, Page A6
Photo by Wendy Culverwell Brian Kinner, food services manager at Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels, prepares volunteers on Sept. 23 to pass out hot and frozen meals in Richland for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic started.
Meals on Wheels returns to serving up curbside hot lunches By Wendy Culverwell email@example.com
Kristi Thien and the staff and volunteers at Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels paced nervously in the parking lot. Would anyone come for hot meals, the first since the pandemic began? Senior Life Resources Northwest, which runs Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels, was about to pass out hot meals to seniors in a drive-thru format. The nonprofit has delivered frozen meals but no fresh ones since Covid-19 forced it to alter how it provides meals to seniors 60 and over. “We’re getting hot meals out the door again,” said Brian Kinner, food services
manager, clearly pleased. Kinner walked staff and volunteers through the safety measures to keep them and guests safe from contagion. Masks for everyone, at all times. Gloves for volunteers, changed as need be. Sanitizing clipboards and pens between guests. An outbreak tied to Meals on Wheels would be a disaster. Thien and Kinner weren’t taking chances. “We want to be showing how good we are with PPE,” he said. The drive-thru hot meal event on Sept. 23 marked a return to providing ready-toeat meals to seniors at its Fowler Street uMEALS ON WHEELS, Page A4
Who is that Mask Man? Prosser winemaker pivots to PPE sales By Robin Wojtanik for Senior Times
From award-winning winemaker to N95 mask supplier, Ron Bunnell took a circuitous route to his new business venture, The Mask Man. Bunnell, co-owner of Prosser’s Wine O’Clock and The Bunnell Family Cellar, is using his contacts in China to meet the increasing demand for disposable masks, gloves, infrared thermometers and other personal protective equipment, or PPE. “I have learned a great deal about PPE technology and importation,” said Bunnell, who started the small business this spring, offering personal delivery of PPE to the Tri-Cities and the lower Yakima Valley. Bunnell’s link to China began back
in 2016 when he connected with a Portland-based exporter who was part of his wine club. On his first of three trips to China, Bunnell’s wine won the grand prize at a trade show and he was able to make a number of new contacts during the multiweek visit. “There seemed to be a lot of interest in getting different products to the U.S.,” Bunnell said. Fast forward to 2020, when the demand for PPE began to ramp up with the outbreak of coronavirus, which leads to the deadly Covid-19. Bunnell leaned on the contacts he’d made who knew how to get exports moving quickly. This included one entrepreneur he described as having “an amazing talent for uMASK MAN, Page A12
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SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
Kadlec, Tri-Cities Cancer Center commit to ‘brand’ By Senior Times staff
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Kadlec Regional Medical Center and the Tri-Cities Cancer Center have committed to maintaining the cancer center as a distinct entity following a tumultuous year that saw Lourdes and Trios withdraw as owner/partners after they were acquired by a for-profit medical company. Kadlec and the cancer center jointly announced a series of decisions to maintain the cancer center within Kadlec on Sept. 16. They also announced that Michele Caron has been named interim operational leader. She succeeds Chuck DeGooyer, who previously announced his intent to retire. DeGooyer is recuperating from surgery related to an accident several weeks ago and will be recovering at home for several months. No other details were provided. The cancer center board hired a third-party consultant to guide it as it went ahead with Kadlec as its sole member/owner.
uBRIEFS Free Covid-19 testing site opens in Pasco
A new clinic offering drive- and walk-thru Covid-19 testing has opened at 3110 W. Argent Road in Pasco. The site is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Monday and can test up to 500 people per day. Anyone who may have been exposed to coronavirus, who has symptoms or who would just like to check their status can get tested. Results are available within two to three days. The test site is staffed by the Pasco Fire Department and local health care and EMS workers from Columbia Safety. The staff is multilingual in Spanish, Somali and American Sign Language.
Created in 1994, the cancer center was established as a joint venture between Trios Health, which was Kennewick General Hospital at the time, Lourdes Health in Pasco and Kadlec in Richland. The nonprofit cancer center operated as a separate corporation with its own board, but its ownership resided with the three member hospitals. The cancer center board decided the Tri-Cities Cancer Center “brand” will remain intact under Kadlec ownership and may even be expanded to incorporate more cancer services. “The cancer center has built a strong reputation in the community, and we hope to build on this strength as we continue to improve cancer services for those we are privileged to serve,” they said. The cancer center’s radiation oncology service will be integrated with cancer services offered by Kadlec, including its hematology and oncology unit that is co-located at the cancer center’s Kennewick facility.
Many cancer patients receive chemotherapy on one end of the building and radiation treatment on the other. Details will be announced as they develop but integrating the two systems will lead to better coordination for patients. The Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation will continue to operate as it has in the past. It will work with Kadlec to boost patient support services, including screenings, classes, research and support groups. “The board wants to thank the cancer center staff for its professionalism and patience,” said Susan Kreid, a cancer center board member since 2005 as well as Kadlec board member. “We look forward to what the future holds for the cancer center,” said Dr. Sue Mandell, radiation oncologist and medical director for cancer center. “My colleagues and I are excited to join our partners at Kadlec and take cancer care in the Tri-Cities to an even higher level.”
Testing is free to participants and offered regardless of insurance or immigration status. Register for a spot at wacovid19.org/tricitiestesting. The service is offered by Greater Columbia Accountable Community of Health, Benton-Franklin Health District, Health Commons Project, Washington State Department of Health and the University of Washington.
made the decision that we will not open on Thanksgiving Day, instead allowing our associates to spend the holiday with their loved ones,” said David Simon, chairman, chief executive officer and president in a press release announcing the move. Simon properties will open on Black Friday, the traditional kickoff for the holiday shopping season. Columbia Center reopened July 7, 3 ½ months after it closed following Gov. Jay Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order to slow the spread of coronavirus. It is operating at limited capacity as Benton and Franklin counties remain in a modified version of Phase 1 of Washington’s Safe Start program because of continuing high infection rates in the Mid-Columbia.
Mall owner Simon nixes Thanksgiving hours
Columbia Center won’t open on Thanksgiving. Simon Property Group, the Kennewick mall’s Indianapolisbased owner, announced in September that it won’t open properties for pre-Black Friday sales. “In these challenging times, we
SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
Popular eatery signs on to Park Place development By Wendy Culverwell firstname.lastname@example.org
Park Place, Richland’s prized gateway development, has landed its first tenant. Graze – A Place to Eat, a popular sandwich chain with locations in Kennewick, Richland and Walla Walla, will be the first retailer to move into the mixed-use complex under construction in the 600 block of George Washington Way, a spot long derided as the “pit.” Graze expects to move its Richland location to 1,800 square feet in the retail building at 610 George Washington Way by the end of 2020, said John Lastoskie, who owns Graze with his wife, Rebecca. It is a wonderful validation of the city of Richland’s long-held dream of using the site to anchor downtown redevelopment, said Mayor Ryan Lukson. “That’s exactly the sort of partnership we were looking for,” he said. “Hopefully we can do a socially distant, very small ribbon cutting for them.” The Lastoskies established Graze when they opened the original in Walla Walla in 2009. A second Walla Walla location followed in 2012. Kennewick opened in 2014 on Gage Boulevard and Richland in 2015 on The Parkway. Lastoskie said the high-profile Park Place offers a combination of visibility and parking it needs to woo the lunch crowd that represents 75% of its business. They loved the spot at 735 The Parkway but found being a block away from George Washington Way and cramped parking hampered business. With the lease ending, they looked for new options. Location and visibility were two reasons to move to the more expensive retail space. Park Place itself was the third. The mixed-use development is anchored by a 104-unit apartment building. Graze is eager to serve the residents. “This seems like a reasonable risk,” he said. With some irony, Lastoskie said the Covid-19 pandemic helped the current Richland location by thinning demand for parking at The Parkway. The restaurant closed for more than four weeks because of the pandemic in the spring. It reopened to strong demand for pickup orders as Richland customers realized it was easier to park at The Parkway in a pandemic. The couple signed the Park Place lease only 19 days before Gov. Jay Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy or-
Photo by Wendy Culverwell Graze – A Place to Eat will move its Richland location to Park Place, 610 George Washington Way, by the end of the year. It is the first tenant to lease retail space in the prominent mixed-use development at the city’s entrance.
der. All four locations endured long closures because of the pandemic. The main kitchen shut down for more than a month after a feared exposure. Since reopening, business has returned to 90% to 95% of normal. Lastoskie hasn’t estimated the pandemic’s impact on annual revenue, but he isn’t complaining. “We feel very lucky,” he said. The Park Place apartment and retail complex was originally set to open in July. But construction fell more than six weeks behind schedule when the stay-home shut down most private construction. Lastoskie expects it will take six to eight weeks of construction to complete the interior. The space includes an outdoor patio as well. He’s hesitant to pin down an exact opening date, citing the unexpected developments of 2020. Graze will occupy part of the more southern of the two retail pads at Park Place, said Mark Lambert, president of Crown Group, the Chicago developer that partnered with Richlandbased Boost Builds to develop Park Place at Richland’s entrance. It is one of the region’s most prominent construction projects and Richland is hanging its dreams of a vital central city core on its success. Both retail buildings have space for lease, not surprising as the pandemic slowed all leasing activity, Lambert said. He expects interest to pick up when the complex opens, and the parking lot is ready for guests. There is 1,560 square feet of space available next to Graze in the 610 building. Neighboring 620 George Washington Way has 3,360 square feet, which can be divided down to about 1,000 square feet. Details are posted at ParkPlaceRetail.com The team also is signing leases and taking deposits on rental units in the four-story elevator-served residence with underground parking and Class
A amenities. Rent starts at more than $1,000 a month for studio units. The high-profile Park Place property was a flashpoint in Richland politics for years after a failed development left the site partially excavated. The city, which owned the property, wanted a development befitting the city’s entrance. In 2016, it reaffirmed its commitment to Crown and a version of its mixed-use vision when it rejected a popular proposal to install a public market there. The Crown Group and Boost
Builds broke ground on the $20 million development in early 2019 after they closed the deal to buy the land from the city for $836,000. The project is financed by a private loan backed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development. Apartment rental information is posted at parkplacerichland.com. Fowler General Construction of Richland is the general contractor. TVA Architects of Portland is the designer.
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SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
MEALS ON WHEELS, From page A1 consider adding more home visits and expanded services. quarters in Richland. “We have a lot of people who are sick It was supposed to begin a week earlier but was called off because of haz- to death of frozen meals,” she said. But would they come to Fowler ardous smoke. Meals had been prepared Street, north of Columbia Center? and staff stood by in case anyone didn’t Yes. get the message about the cancelation, The team served 47 meals Sept. 23 but no one came. and 63 meals Sept. 30. Sept. 23 was different. At the advertised start time, Carol The sky was clear and the mood Charvet drove in, navigated her way happy. Hot boxes full of turkey dinners and past orange cones and greeted Meals on cold boxes full of fruit and milk and Wheels staffers by name. A Meals on bags of frozen meals were at the ready. Wheels volunteer herself, Charvet was Kinner and his team of blue-shirted vol- picking up a hot meal and pack of three unteers gathered nervously, waiting to frozen ones not for herself but for her see if anyone would come at the 11 a.m. husband. Charvet doesn’t eat meat, but he start time. does. The turkey dinner and three froThien was optimistic. Meals on Wheels resumed hot meal zen meals will spare her from prepardistributions in Walla Walla in late ing his, she said before driving off as summer. It got an earlier start than the another visitor pulled in. One after another, clients rolled into Tri-Cities since it has lower Covid-19 the parking lot. They checked in, exinfection rates. Demand was strong and vehicles lined up around the block in changed friendly messages and updates and were asked if they needed a week’s Walla Walla. “I would love to have that problem worth of frozen meals or just half. They then drove on to the next stahere,” said Thien, nutrition services dition, where Zulema Zavala and Patty rector. Thien said that after months of hun- Williams waited with bags ready. “It’s so satisfying to see people go kering down and distributing frozen meals by the week, Meals on Wheels with hot meals,” said Zavala, a site was ready to test the waters. By Sep- manager and cook who also distributes tember, Tri-Citians were out and about. in Pasco. Williams, assistant site manager for If the hot meal program succeeds, Senior Life Resources Northwest will Prosser, said she was happy to drive
into Richland, calling the drive-thru “really fun” and a chance to reconnect with those who rely on Meals on Wheels. Williams said she has a heart for seniors and has missed her people since sites closed. “I love old people. I’m one of them,” she said. In this pandemic year, Senior Life Resources is counting its blessings, Thien said. It canceled its most important fundraising breakfast last spring. Thien feared a devastating loss of revenue. But sponsors kept their commitment and donations came in from the public and through the federal coronavirus relief bill via the state. “This community is just incredible,” she said. “I think we earned as much as we would have with the breakfast.” Thanks to that generosity, Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels has no waiting list and no income requirements. Those who rely on it are welcome to make donations, but they are not required. Covid-19 brought new demand for its services from people fearing food shortages and grocery store visits Fear has abated and clients report their freezers are full. The hoarding slowed as people saw their fears of shortages didn’t come to pass, Thien said. Meals on Wheels dishes up about 20,000 meals a month and is prepar-
Hot meal pickup
Senior Life Resources Northwest, which runs MidColumbia Meals on Wheels, offers hot meals for pickup between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesdays at 1834 Fowler St., Richland. Participants must remain in their cars and wear masks. Newcomers will have to fill out a short questionnaire. Go to seniorliferesources. org/services/meals-onwheels for information, including upcoming menus. ing to add a new commercial freezer at its complex. It wants to store enough meals to supply demand for four to six weeks, breathing room if it is forced to shut down for any reason. If 2020 has been heartwarming, 2021 could pose a new financial challenge. Thine said Senior Life Resources will need to raise $600,000. It’s a heavy lift and she worries compassion fatigue and long-term unemployment will dampen support. Senior Life Resources Northwest received a 100 rating out of 100 from Charity Navigator, which monitors nonprofits. To donate, go to seniorliferesources.org/donate or mail checks to 1824 Fowler St., Richland, WA 99352.
SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
AARP calls on candidates to protect voters over 50 As voters prepare to cast their ballots in the Nov. 3 general election, AARP is committed to helping older Americans exercise their right to vote safely while holding candidates accountable on key issues. In August, AARP launched Protect Voters 50+, which demands action from politicians to ensure that Americans age 50 and older – from working parents to family caregivers to seniors in nursing homes – can vote safely. AARP is urging candidates to talk about the issues that matter to 50+ voters – like strengthening Social Security and Medicare and protecting the economic health of older adults.
Strengthen Social Security
Washington State is home to more than 1.3 million Social Security beneficiaries – 18% of whom rely on those funds for 90% or more of their income. As you consider a candidate, here are AARP’s priorities for the Social Security program: • Achieving long-term security and solvency. Social Security should be protected not only for current retirees but for future generations of Americans. • Ensuring protections for those most in need. Any reforms should
uBRIEFS Some funerals, weddings now allowed in phase 2, 3
Funeral and wedding receptions may resume in Washington under new rules issued Sept. 16 by Gov. Jay Inslee. The events may resume in phases 2 and 3 under the state’s Safe Start phased reopening plan with limits to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Attendance is limited to 30 people, or 25% of the venue’s capacity, whichever is less. Tables must be seated by household, with no more than five at a table. Facial coverings are required, and social distancing must be observed. Details are posted online at bit.ly/ WashingtonWeddingsFunerals. The current list of reopening procedures is posted at bit.ly/ SafeStartGuidance.
Chaplaincy starts Covid-19 support groups
Chaplaincy Grief Care in Richland has formed two new support groups for individuals affected and challenged by Covid-19. Covid Impacted Grief Support meets from 9-10:30 a.m. Saturdays and is open to individuals presently or previously positive for Covid-19 as well as family and/or friends.
guarantee adequate benefits for those most reliant on Social Security and those who would have trouble postponing retirement • Recognizing the value of Social Security’s core elements. Social Security provides benefits that Americans earn through their working lives, and the program should be financed to ensure long-term adequacy and solvency.
Protect, strengthen Medicare
Medicare provides affordable health care for 1.2 million Washingtonians. Hardworking Americans pay into the program their entire working lives and are guaranteed benefits that help make health care accessible and affordable. Lowering costs and improving the efficiency and value of health care spending is especially crucial for Medicare, as the number of nationwide enrollees is expected to grow to 80 million by 2030. As you consider a candidate, keep in mind some of AARP’s priorities for the Medicare program: • Maintain affordable benefits that meet the needs of Medicare enrollees. This includes allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs, ensuring affordable premiums First Responders Grief Support meets from 5-6 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of the month. The drop-in support group is open to firefighters, police, EMS and health care providers to provide connections with like-minded individuals called to serve. Call 509-783-7416 ext. 1035 or 509572-7460 for information. Go to chaplaincyhealthcare.org/grief-care for a full list of support groups and classes available through the nonprofit.
Benton Franklin Fair livestock sale raised $647,000
The annual Benton Franklin Fair Market Stock Sale raised $647,000 for 336 participants in the Aug. 28 event. The auction is part of the annual Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo, which was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Organizers raised an additional $52,000 to boost prices. There were 522 participants in 2019, when the sale total topped $1 million. Lori Lancaster, executive director, said 67% of the 2020 participants benefited from the boost and the program will probably continue in the future.
Benton gets $300K for salmon ‘rest stops’
The Benton Conservation District will design a pair of cold-water rest stops for migrating salmon near the
and cost-sharing, as well as exploring ways to expand coverage to important services like dental Cathy MacCaul care and hearAARP ing aids. Ensure all GUEST COLUMN people with Medicare have access to a choice of high-quality health care providers sufficient to meet their needs. • Sustain Medicare for the future by reducing waste, fraud and abuse and making sure that its resources are spent wisely. In 2019, workers over 50 made up nearly a third (31.7%) of Washington’s workforce. Sadly, the unemployment rate for older workers this year reached the highest on record since the federal government began tracking it in 1948. The Covid-19 pandemic is making it even more difficult for Americans 50-plus to keep and find jobs. That’s why AARP is demanding action from our elected officials to protect the health and financial security of voters
50-plus. AARP would like candidates to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Congress should extend emergency unemployment benefits, including additional categories of eligibility and additional benefit amounts, until the pandemic and its economic effects end. State and federal lawmakers should provide additional support, including tax credits, to caregivers – 828,000 here in Washington – many of whom are spending more time caring for family members because of the pandemic. Ensure that employers do not discriminate against older workers in hiring them back after the pandemic. For more than 60 years, AARP has been the champion of those who are 50+. Join us in calling on every candidate to Protect Voters 50+ – visit aarp. org/election2020 today. But don’t stop there; share the website with your friends and family to get them involved as well and help us spread the word even further. Together, we can make the voice of the 50+ voter heard. Cathy MacCaul is AARP Washington’s advocacy director.
mouth of the Yakima River, courtesy a $306,000 grant from the Washington State Salmon Recovery Board. Yakima River salmon travel thousands of miles to get home but encounter a roadblock in the warm water of the Yakima. As they wait in the Columbia River for temperatures to
drop, fish age rapidly and are vulnerable to sportfishing, according to the conservation district. The money will pay to enhance two pockets of cooler water upstream from the mouth of the Yakima to serve as “rest stops” for salmon migrating to spawning grounds.
Securing economic health
SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
POPP, From page A1
spay and neuter,” she said. Erin Vasquez, development and community outreach coordinator, said the clinic has been a dream since the nonprofit launched in 1995 to combat pet overpopulation. The former dental clinic must be refitted as a veterinary clinic before it can operate. Wave Design Group in Kennewick donated design services for the project, and POPP is looking for a contractor to put in walls and other upgrades. When it opens, the POPP clinic will serve local animal shelters and rescue operations. That’s partly because the Covid-19 pandemic restricts how many people can visit at a time. With rescues, a single person can bring in a group of animals at the same time. In time, it will be open to the public. POPP has not set prices, but they will be “reasonable,” it said. POPP runs on a modest budget. It raised $182,000 in 2017, about half from contributions and the balance from services and government grants, according to its most recent report to the IRS. Expenses totaled a little more than $200,000. It ended the year with a little more than $600,000 in assets. POPP spent two decades raising money to buy a building. A state
grant helped push it over the top. POPP also organizes yard sales, lemonade stands, a car raffle, its annual FurBall and Santa Paws and other events which, coupled with the grant, made its dream a reality. The 2020 FurBall has been scrapped because of the pandemic. Coutesy Pet Overpopulation Prevention Tri-Cities It is also a member of the Woof- Pet Overpopulation Prevention Tri-Cities bought a former dental clinic at 1502 N. Road 40 in Pasco Trax community, for a spay and neuter clinic. The nonprofit animal a charitable app welfare charity is seeking donations for surgical for dog-owners equipment and other supplies. and walkers that directs donations “There are only so many homes to animal-related causes when they for these pets,” Coughlin said. “Spay exercise. It is available on the Apple and neuter is an easy way to stop euand Android platforms. thanasia.” POPP was set up in the mid-1990s POPP is separate from the Trito tackle the growing problem of Cities Animal Shelter and Control cat and dog overpopulation by or- Services facility at 1312 S. 18th in ganizing affordable spay and neu- Pasco, which serves as the home for ter services to help pet owners who animal control services for Kennecouldn’t afford it otherwise. It also wick, Pasco and Richland, as well organizes adoption events and pro- as a nonprofit shelter. It is slated for motes pets available for adoption on replacement but has been delayed several times. its Facebook page.
uBRIEFS Richland appoints planning commissioner to council vacancy
Marianne Boring will fill the Richland City Council vacancy left by the resignation of Brad Anderson. The city council interviewed Boring, a longtime planning commissioner, as well as Theresa Richardson and Maria Gutierrez, in September. The vote was unanimous. Boring was expected to take her seat in early October. Anderson won reelection to the Position 2 seat in 2019, defeating challenger Shir Regev. The term expires in 2023.
Wildhorse Resort debuts $85M expansion
Wildhorse Resort & Casino near Pendleton has opened its new bowling center, food court and arcade, capping an $85 million, yearlong expansion designed to provide more activities for families. There will be no grand opening ceremony because of pandemic restrictions. The expansion adds Quaking Aspen Lanes, a 24-lane bowling center and other amenities. “Quaking Aspen” is a nod to the history of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, which owns and operates Wildhorse. “Nixyaawii” is a Cayuse name for the area where the winter encampment was located and translates into groves of quaking aspens that grew around the springs. The bowling center has room for open and league play as well as eight boutique lanes that can be reserved for private parties and events. The is a full bar and several new dining options in addition to the main restaurant. Moe Pho and Brigham Fish ‘n Chips, both based in Pendleton and both owned by members of the tribe, are opening their second locations. Wildhorse offers a 24-hour casino, hotel, RV park, restaurants, five-screen Cineplex, 18-hole golf course, travel plaza, a family entertainment center and a tribal museum. It is off Interstate 84 at exit 216, four miles east of Pendleton.
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SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
Proof Gastropub serves enhanced pub fare at locations in Kennewick and now Pasco By Wendy Culverwell email@example.com
Serial restaurateur Michael Miller knows a good dining spot when he sees one. Miller, founder of Stick+Stone Wood-Fired Pizza in Richland and Proof Gastropub in Kennewick, spied restaurant seats for sale outside the short-lived Dickey’s Barbecue Pit on Burden Boulevard in Pasco. The 5,000-square-foot restaurant itself was idle. Dickey’s opened in 2018 and closed in 2019 with its two peers after franchisee Dan Pelfrey ran into financial difficulties. Miller bought some of the Dickey’s equipment and then, buoyed by the success of the original Proof Gastropub, signed a lease for the like-new space on March 1. The timing wasn’t great, he said. Gov. Jay Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order hit just a few weeks later. The stay-home order closed “nonessential” business, including restaurants, to curb the spread of the virus that causes Covid-19. In mid-September, Benton and Franklin counties remained in a modified version of Phase 1 of the recovery, the most restrictive, because of high local infection rates. As Miller’s team transformed Dickey’s into a pub with bar and night spot, the original Proof Gastropub, 924 N. Columbia Center Blvd., was in survival mode. Unable to host in-person dining at its third-story perch, Proof pivoted to pickup and delivery service. It’s not sustainable in the long term, but the trickle of business keeps the lights on and workers employed, Miller said. The business received a forgivable loan through the Paycheck Protection Program that helped preserve its 50 or so jobs.
The Pasco restaurant opened in August, working under the modified Phase 1 requirements in effect in Franklin County. It offers pickup service and outdoor seating on the sidewalk and a converted parking lot. Miller is negotiating for delivery service as well. When restrictions lift, it will shift to a more typical mode of operating, with indoor seating, bar and a 21-and-over late-night gatherings around a pair of karaoke rooms. Miller, who is partners with his parents in both Proof Gastropubs, said it cost about $200,000 to open the new Pasco location. He split his team and is actively looking to hire workers. Hiring in a pandemic has been tricky, he said. “It wasn’t as easy to find people this time. But we are still hiring here and there,” he said. The new Proof spot is the second time Miller and his team have taken over second-generation restaurant space, meaning it was built out before they moved in. The Proof Gastropub on Columbia Center Boulevard was partly built but never occupied. The plumbing, wiring and other costly gear were already in place though. After building Stick + Stone WoodFired Pizza from scratch, he was grateful to avoid the upfront cost. “You save a ton of money when you find a spot that’s more than a vanilla shell,” he said. Stick+Stone is now owned by an employee who helped Miller get it started. The Pasco edition of Proof Gastropub shares a menu with Kennewick, though the distinct restaurants will have their own weekly specials. Proof’s niche is serving pub fare – burgers, steaks, salads, fish and chips – made from high quality ingredients. The restaurant caters to young fami-
Courtesy Michael Miller, Proof Gastropub Proof Gastropub opened its second location in Pasco. The new restaurant is running under social-distancing requirements of the state’s Safe Start reopening plan at 6627 Burden Blvd., the former home of Dickey’s Barbecue Pit.
lies and couples on date nights in west Pasco, as well as visitors using the nearby sports complex and HAPO Center. “Pasco is booming. It’s got a ton of people and not a lot of Proof-type dining options. We saw it as a good op-
portunity,” Miller said. Miller also owns Power Up Arcade Bar next to the Kennewick Proof. It is closed because of the pandemic but will reopen when it is allowed under the state’s Safe Start program. Online: proofgastropub.com
SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
Kennewick’s ‘Great Halloween Massacre’ happened 114 years ago this month By East Benton County Historical Society
One of Kennewick’s most notorious shootouts happened on a Halloween 114 years ago. The gunfight took the lives of two Kennewick lawmen and a town posse member, wounded a third officer and led to the death of a suspected burglar who opened fire on the two officers. On Oct. 31, 1906, Kennewick Sheriff Mike Glover, his deputy, Joe Holzhey, and in suspect Jake Lake died in the shootout in a homeless camp known as the “hobo jungle” near the old train bridge linking Pasco and Kennewick. The bridge, built in 1888, was 18 years old at the time. It still stands, and today it is 132 years old. Benton County Sheriff Alex McNeill also was wounded and a member of a posse formed to pursue the men believed responsible for shooting the officers was killed. The gunfight became known as the “Shootout in Poplar Grove” or “Great Halloween Massacre.” Events leading to the shootout began earlier in the day. Holzhey and H.E. Roseman, owner of a Kennewick saloon, visited the so-called hobo camp near the railroad tracks and train bridge. It was occupied by Lake and a 16-year-old boy named George “Kid” Barker. They were questioned
Courtesy East Benton County Historical Society Main Street, Kennewick, 1905.
about the break-ins and burglaries at two Kennewick stores the night before. Lake, 44, angrily confronted the deputy and his unarmed companion, saying there would be “trouble” if they stayed around. The 16-year-old, it was later learned, hadn’t been there long, apparently arriving after riding a freight train from Spokane. Leaving, Holzhey and the saloon owner met Sheriff Glover and Sheriff McNeill before reaching town. They also were investigating the burglaries, and the four decided to return to the campsite. McNeill, who became Benton County’s first sheriff when the new county was formed, later wrote that he had come under fire before as sheriff and that he had a number of successes rounding up lawbreakers, even single-handed on occasion.
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“However, I was not so fortunate when the hardware store was robbed in Kennewick,” he said. As the four approached the suspects, Lake suddenly appeared from between two trees with a rifle in his hand. He said: “Evenin’ gents, I guess you’re Courtesy East Benton Historical Society looking for trouble — Kennewick Deputy Joe Holzhey died in a well, you’re goin’ to Halloween shootout in 1906 when investigators get it.” confronted what turned out to be the wrong As the officers went suspect. for their pistols, he County sheriff into Kennewick began firing. Glover where he received medical care and and Holzhey were hit. “Both marshals fell dead and I was survived his injuries. Word of the shooting spread and a badly wound,” McNeill was to posse quickly formed at a downtown recount later. Kennewick saloon at today’s Canal Unknown at the moment to Drive and Auburn Street, where an McNeill, Holzhey was not dead but art gallery now occupies the location. badly wounded. He lived until the They galloped out on horseback to next day when he died. the homeless camp. They found Lake Shot in the abdomen, the Benton dead and the dead and wounded offiCounty sheriff took cover behind a cers sprawled near each other. sapling and began firing, emptying During a frenzied search, a lone his six-shooter. posse member, Forrest Perry, found The firing stopped and Roseman, the teenage Barker hiding and shakwho also took cover, went to en in a nearby ditch. McNeill’s aid. Loading him into a He ordered Barker to get his hands nearby handcart on the railroad tracks, he was able to get the Benton up and come out. Tragically, the rest of the posse some distance away mistook Perry for the suspect and opened fire, killing him. Barker surrendered without inciQuiz answer from Page 1 dent. He was taken to the county seat After “Benton” was chosen winner in Prosser to stand trial for murder of the townsite’s new name, an but escaped while in custody and application was made for a new was never found. U.S. Post Office. Postal authorities Authorities later found that the worried a town named “Benton” original burglaries that set off the would be confused with one named gun battle, the pursuit, the deaths of “Bentson” in Pierce County. The four men, the wounding of another, name “Richland” was quickly were not committed by Lake or the substituted because someone had suggested it had “the most fertile soil boy. in the world.” The name “Richland” This essay made possible by the was promptly approved. Washington State Department of — Source: East Benton County Archaeology and Historic Historical Museum Preservation.
SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
Just for Fun Crossword
Solutions on page 11
25 Fifth Beatle?
6 Not many
7 Mexican Mrs.
5 Set one back
27 Slugger’s stat.
8 Wear for those who serve
32 Mattress feature
13 Barely cooked
12 Itty-bitty city
14 Westernmost Oregon cape
34 Balladeer --- Seeger
19 Took cover
36 Took advantage of
15 Alias 16 Speak
21 Sgt. Bilko
17 At the present time
23 Blue matter
1 Siren in “East of Eden”
18 Liberal magazine
2 Escaping fluid
28 Religious practice
21 Idle Monty Python comic 3 Jumpy guy? 22 Swift 4 Johnny Cash’s boy 23 They’ll make a play for you
29 Snow vehicle 31 Smartphone forerunner
5 Type of cigar or sandwich
Word search - Countries Gabon
3 5 5 5 9 9 7 7 8 8 7 7
61 51 5 9 2 42 14 1 8 8 9 29 2 8 86 6 2 25 5 7 7 3 32 2 4 48 8 6 86 8 5 5 3 638 6 8 4 4 2 2 8 78 7 5 5 6
© 2020 Syndicated Puzzles
7 5 5 9 3 13 1 5 5 7
Sudoku - Tough
6 4 4 3 5 6 6
© 2020 Syndicated Puzzles
© 2020 Syndicated Puzzles
© 2020 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.
How to How beat to Str8ts beat–Str8ts – To complete Sudoku, fill the board by entering To complete Sudoku, fill the board by entering Like Sudoku, no single 1 to 9 can repeat any row Like Sudoku, nonumber single number 1 to 9 caninrepeat in any row numbers 1 to 9 such that each row, column and 3x3 numbers 1 to 9 such that each row, column and 3x3 or column. But... rows and columns are Oct. 15: The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Cincinnati Reds, or column. But... rows and columns are box contains every number uniquely. box contains every number uniquely. divided by black squares into compartments. 2 1 4 5 divided by black squares into compartments. the 2 1World 4 Series 5 in Game 5. Each compartment must form a straight -9-3, to win For many strategies, hints and tips, Each compartment must form a straight - 6 4 5 6 3 4 2 5 3 For many strategies, hints and tips, 2 a set of numbers with no gaps but it can be visit www.sudokuwiki.org for Sudoku a set of numbers with no gaps butOct. it can26: be4 Nixon signed the Fair Credit Reporting Act,for the Bank 5 2 1 visit www.sudokuwiki.org Sudoku in any order, eg [7,6,9,8]. Clues in black cells 4 5 2and1www.str8ts.com for Str8ts. in any order, eg [7,6,9,8]. Clues inSecrecy black4cells andReorganization www.str8ts.com for ActStr8ts. of 1970 6 and 5 Legislative 3Act 2 1 the remove that number as an option in that row 4 3 6 2 1 5 remove that number as an option in that row and column, and are not part of any straight. If you like Str8ts and other puzzles, check out our 3 5 2 1 4 into law. and column, and are not part of any straight. If you like Str8ts and other puzzles, check out our 3 5 2 1 4books, iPhone/iPad Glance at the solution to see how ‘straights’ Apps and much more on our store. 2 1 3 Glance at the solution to see how ‘straights’ iPhone/iPad Apps and much more on our store. Oct. 30: Amtrak, Railroad Passenger are formed. 2 1the3 National books, are formed.
Turn Back the Clock...
Corporation, was created as an independent, governmentsubsidized corporation to revitalize public train travel.
SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
uBRIEFS Voting center now open near Columbia Center
Benton County’s temporary voting center has opened in a former Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant at 2610 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Richland. The county leased the space to provide more room to assist voters and to process ballots during the 2020 general election season. The new location replaces the Canal Drive Annex in Kennewick and is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Voters can get help registering and changing their address. After Oct. 14, they also can request replacement ballots, get voters’ pamphlets and use accessible units for voters who have disabilities. Washington voters also can use VoteWA.org. The deadline to register online to vote in the Nov. 3 general election is Oct. 26. The deadline to register in person is Nov. 3, Election Day.
Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day to count or can be dropped in special collection boxes throughout the county. The voter center in the Benton County Courthouse in Prosser is closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lourdes Health CEO steps down, interim named
Rob Monical, chief executive officer of Pasco’s Lourdes Health since early 2019, stepped down Sept. 22 to pursue another career opportunity. “I am honored to have been a part of Lourdes Health and the Tri-Cities area,” Monical said in a Sept. 11 statement announcing the move. “We have a wonderful team of dedicated employees, physicians and volunteers with a genuine commitment to advancing the health of their communities.” Chief Operating Officer Chad Pew will serve as interim CEO, Lourdes said. Pew joined Lourdes in March
Tuesday, October 20 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Southridge Sports & Events Complex 2901 Southridge Blvd., Kennewick The 2020 Senior Times Fall Expo is a drive-thru-only event this fall because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Get a goody bag filled with vendor products and information in our drive-thru loop. We’ll be masked and gloved up with your safety in mind.
Limited to first 1,000 people. For more information, call (509) 737-8778.
2019, coming from sister hospital, Trios Health in Kennewick, where he also served as COO. Monical was praised for his investment of time and energy at Lourdes. “During his tenure, Lourdes Health has continued to be recognized as a top orthopedics hospital in the state of Washington,” said Sandy Podley, western division president for LifePoint Health, which owns Lourdes and Trios. Podley called Monical’s departure “bittersweet.”
L&I advises getting three bids for post-disaster repairs
Homeowners should get at least three bids for any repairs following a wildfire or other disaster, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries is warning. L&I issued the reminder to work only with registered contractors following the recent wildfires that devastated parts of Oregon and choked Northwest skies with smoke.
Disasters usually bring out unregistered contractors and scam artists who may not deliver what is promised. Homeowners can avoid shoddy work and bad contractors by verifying a contractor is registered at protectmyhome.net. L&I urges homeowners to avoid contractors who ask to be paid in cash, or to have a check made out to a third party or who work only weekends or evenings. Those are common scam tactics and should be treated as red flags. Lastly, do not pay in full until a job is done.
WSU Tri-Cities offers free online community classes
Washington State University TriCities is hosting a series of virtual classes on race, equity and engaged citizenship. The classes are held on Zoom and are free to participants: • 4-5:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22: Digital Dissensus: Discovering Truth in an Era of Misinformation: Digital literacy expert Mike Caulfield, director of blended and networked learning at WSU Vancouver, will lead the session. •11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29: Dismantling Racism: The Game of Change. Thabiti Lewis, professor of English and a member of the WSU Vancouver leadership team, and Dr. Marie Theard, director of neuroanesthesia at Oregon Health and Science University, will lead the class. Got to tricities.wsu.edu/community-classroom for information.
STCU buying four rural Umpqua Bank branches
Spokane-based STCU and Portland-based Umpqua Bank are seeking regulatory approval to convert four rural Umpqua Bank branches to STCU. The branches are in Medical Lake, Ritzville, Coulee City and Othello. They operated as Sterling Bank branches prior to Umpqua’s acquisition of the Spokane-based bank in 2014. If approved, the deal will give the Spokane credit union its first locations in Adams and Grant counties. An estimated 5,000 Umpqua bank customers would be converted to the credit union. Umpqua employees will be offered jobs with the credit union. The acquisition must be approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, the National Credit Union Administration and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions. It is expected to close by late 2020 or early 2021. Umpqua was founded in 1953 to serve timber workers in Canyonville, Oregon.
SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
Forest fires aren’t pausing just because there’s a pandemic Not only is the world in the grasp of the Covid-19 pandemic, but America’s western wildlands are burning up as well. California Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters his state has dual crises: the massive wildfire complexes and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “At this time last year, California had seen 4,292 fires that burned 56,000 acres. So far this year, we’ve had 7,002 fires that have burned a whopping 1.4 million acres,” he said in August. California reports more than 810,000 coronavirus cases. In Washington, the gigantic Evans Canyon Fire burned more than 110 square miles between Naches and Ellensburg spewing thick smoke and ash northeastward. Wildfires threaten lives. Last year, an inferno swiftly swept through Paradise, California, killing 95 people. This September, National Guard helicopters swooped into the Mammoth Reservoir campgrounds east of Fresno just in time to rescue over 200 trapped campers. In 2017, the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge closed Interstate 84, delayed truck, rail and barge shipments, and added a thick layer of greenhouse gases, choking
uBRIEF Washington health plan rates are going down
The 13 health insurers who sell plans on Washington’s Healthplanfinder Exhange will cut rates by an average of 3.2% in 2021. Mike Kreidler, Washington’s elected insurance commissioner, approved the new rates in September. Plans are certified by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board. Not all 13 offer plans in the Mid-
smoke and soot blanketing our region. Southwestern Washington’s air quality reached its highest hazard level in history prompting school closures. Mammoth forest fires have been around for centuries. In a single week in September 1902, the Yacolt Burn engulfed more than a half-million acres and killed 56 people in the Columbia River Gorge and around Mount St. Helens. The smoke was so thick that ships on the Columbia River were forced to navigate by compass and the streetlights in Seattle, 160 miles to the north, glowed at noon. Forest fires are part of nature, but they are getting more dangerous and expensive to fight. As fires increase in size and intensity, suppression, environmental restoration and mitigation costs soar. U.S. News reports the Department of Interior, most notably the U.S. Forest Service, spent an all-time high last year of more than $2.9 billion combating fires. That’s more than 12 times what was spent on suppression efforts in 1985. Insurance claims have topped $12 billion for the November 2019 wildfires in California, making them the most expensive in state history. Columbia. Insurers approved to operate in Benton and Franklin counties in 2021 are: BridgeSpan Health Co., Coordinated Care Corp., Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, LifeWise Health Plan of Washington, Premera Blue Cross (Franklin only), Providence Health Plan, Coordinated Care Corp. In addition, Asuris Northwest Health intends to sell plans off the exchange in the Mid-Columbia and elsewhere in eastern Washington. Its plan and ad rates are under review. Go to wahealthplanfinder.org.
That is a growing problem as our nation is being swallowed up by a skyrocketing national debt. Don C. Brunell It will soon Business analyst will top $27 trillion thanks GUEST COLUMN largely to the Covid-19 response meaning each American taxpayer would have to pony up $215,000 if our creditors called for immediate repayment. John Bailey, a professor of forest management at Oregon State University, told the Associated Press that megafires, those consuming 156 square miles, are increasing. He believes “part of the solution is thinning forests through logging, prescribed burns and allowing naturally occurring fires to be managed instead of extinguished.” Cutting diseased, dead and fire damaged trees is not new. In intermountain forests (eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia), loggers once salvaged beetle-killed trees and sent them to rural sawmills to be cut into two-by-fours.
That practice was severely curtailed 30 years ago, Knowing that mature trees are most susceptible to insects and disease, public forest managers once designed timber sales on small tracts as fire breaks. The logging and subsequent cleanup removed forest fuels which, in recent years, have been allowed to accumulate. Harvesting helped fund replanting and fire access road construction. Environmental mitigation techniques have dramatically improved resulting in clean water and unencumbered access for fish returning to natural spawning grounds. Megafires are polluting our air, endangering our health and safety, and burning a bigger hole in our pocketbooks. By thinning, salvaging and logging, we could not only save expenses, but create jobs and bring in needed revenue to government. It really is time to revisit the way we are managing our forests. 8Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at theBrunells@msn.com.
Puzzle answers from page 9
Crossword 1 9
R O D
O N O
N O W
R O W E
3 1 4 5 6 4 2 3 7 5 6 7 8 9 9 8
2 1 3 2 3 1 4 6 9 5 8 7 6 7
4 7 6 5 5 8 2 3 1 9 7 5 7 6 7 6 8 9 8 4 2 9 3 2 1 5 3 4 6 4 3
9 8 5 3 4 2
US 11x11 Wordsearch No.312 Sudoku - Countries Word search Sudoku Solution
Str8ts Solution G 3A Q A N E 5 R L C 4E A K N 7N A S 6 D N A 8N E 9Z
1B 4T M 6P 2E 3G 5P F 7 A 9I 8I
O 2 A 1 E N 3 O A 4 6I U 5 L 7 H L
N U4X 7M R3 A 2T O Y A I U 2 3 1 L N E S I1 I S 5I J U7T 6E R9 I 8O 4A N S N I 8 9 3 E C I D C6 H5A D E7 B 6Z G
H 6 G 5 S 9 R 7 S M 8 L L 2 L 3I 4 U
S5 A O8 Q9 A T 7 8 L A O6 B U9 U5 H2 R3 A A 1 4 Y W A4 E A3 M2
9 7 5 8 4 3 2 1 6
3 2 6 1 5 7 9 4 8
8 4 1 6 9 2 3 5 7
7 1 8 3 2 5 6 9 4
6 3 9 4 7 1 8 2 5
4 5 2 9 8 6 7 3 1
For more strategies, hints and tips, visit www.sudokuwiki.org and www.str8ts.com.
1 8 7 2 3 4 5 6 9
5 6 3 7 1 9 4 8 2
2 9 4 5 6 8 1 7 3
9 7 5 8 4 3 2 1 6
3 2 6 1 5 7 9 4 8
SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
MASK MAN, From page A1
sourcing almost anything and seems to know a lot of people in the south of China in all areas of manufacturing.” The Mask Man had its early ups and downs almost immediately. Through a personal contact, Bunnell quickly received a large order valued at more than $20,000 for masks to supply employees at a mining company on the East Coast. Initially the masks were snarled up in customs. “What originally was a pretty simple transaction turned into a real mess because the Chinese government started to pull back on their exports and the customs aspect of the transaction became very difficult,” Bunnell said. “We had some shipments tied up for days and weeks. The Chinese were circumspect about releasing too much of their goods, and the Chinese wanted to start preserving all of their medical grade supplies for themselves.” Once Bunnell sorted out the customs challenge, there was a shipping bottleneck because fewer cargo planes were flying. Then, the national credit card processing company Bunnell had signed up with became suspicious of a new company registering large transactions and closed his account without explanation.
e l i m s r u o Y s s e c c u s r is o u
We’ve now gone digital! Columbia Basin Denture Care
After finding another way to process payments and racking up sales to personal contacts on the West Coast, Bunnell found he still was striking out in breaking into PPE sales to the health care industry “Because I’m not an existing supplier, they won’t return my calls. I may talk to a physician or even the head of surgery in a hospital, and they send me to the purchaser, and it’s a dead end,” he said. Bunnell went back to focusing on the local market, especially through fellow members of the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce. “I decided to ... create a more personal service, which is why I do deliveries, to make it convenient,” he said. He promoted his new business in a weekly email distributed to chamber members. “I saw the email and called immediately,” said Vivian Terrell, owner of The Honey Baked Ham Company in Kennewick. “I was so excited to help another small business because we all know what it’s like to help each other stay above water.” Terrell ordered multiple packs of N95 masks. “They had become very difficult to find and those allow you to use the mask consistently while you continue to work, talk and breathe,” Terrell said. She also knew her niece was in dire need of PPE at her work in the health care industry in another state, so she ordered protective gear from The Mask Man to send to her niece and her coworkers. “Here in the Tri-Cities, we’re helping people in Memphis, Tennessee,” she said.
Courtesy Ron Bunnell Winemaker Ron Bunnell started The Mask Man, a small business offering doorstop deliveries of personal protective equipment to Tri-City and lower Yakima Valley customers. The business provides disposable masks and other PPE to commercial and residential customers through contactless delivery, typically within 24 hours
On Bunnell’s website, themaskman.net, Bunnell offers civil-grade N95 disposable masks, disposable masks in pink or blue for children, mask filters, plastic face shields, notouch infrared thermometers and nitrile gloves. Delivery to a Tri-City or lower Yakima Valley doorstep is free with a $50 purchase. Bunnell said that because China makes 60% of the world’s PPE, it can control the market. This allowed the country to put limits on exports of medical-grade equipment, includ-
ing N95s. Prior to restrictions, The Mask Man had imported a number of disposable N95 masks intended for the health care industry which are now a top seller to local customers, like Terrell. “I went from trying to sell to complicated, larger organizations to trying to supply PPE to smaller companies,” he said. Bunnell also teamed up with a U.S. citizen who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is selling her handmade cloth fashion masks to benefit people in Africa on his website. Bunnell still sells other consumer goods from Asia and Africa through his other company, Serendipity Imports LLC. This includes wine tools and winemaking equipment, consumer electronics and handmade jewelry. Previously the winemaker for Chateau Ste. Michelle and Col Solare, Bunnell and his wife continue to operate The Bunnell Family Cellar and the Wine O’Clock brand through the Prosser wine bar and bistro. Orders for PPE and other supplies can be placed at themaskman.net or by calling Bunnell at 509-948-2610.
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SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
Former Tri-Citians return to sell their popular cookies By Jeff Morrow for Senior Times
Ashley Meehan is a cookie connoisseur. She has special recipes for at least 12 types of cookies, all of them large and tasty. And for more than two years, she has been selling them to a famished public – from her car, her house, at pop-up stands. “Just to see the joy it brings people, it’s fun,” she said. “People love something I created.” Ashley will see her dream come true when she opens a brick and mortar Our Cookie House this month at 8530 W. Gage Blvd, Unit D, in Kennewick. The shop is in a strip mall next to The Local and Graze, and across the street from Costco. Not bad for someone who lives in Maple Valley on the West Side of the state. Huh? We’ll get to that. Ashley’s story is about someone doing what they love and building a business from word of mouth and the ground up. “When I was in high school, we had a neighbor who would come by and bring us chocolate chip cookies,” she said. “I loved them. He sent me into an obsession with these cookies.” At age 16, she spent hours in her family’s kitchen, trying to replicate those cookies. She eventually got the recipe down. “I was the oldest of four kids,” she said. “We lived on a trail around a lake, and we’d hand them out to people on the trail.” After she and her husband, Corey, married, they became apartment managers. Tenants would continuously come by their apartment for free cookies. Ashley became known as The Cookie Lady, always giving them away for free. Fast forward to 2018. The Meehans and their four children lived in Kennewick. Brooklyn, their oldest daughter, now 17, was a member of the Kamiakin High School girls cross country team. Brooklyn wanted to go to the summer cross country camp in Montana, but it was a bit expensive. “We always made our kids pay for their camps. Teach them a work ethic,” Ashley said. “She was struggling to make the money for the camp. She babysat. She dog-sat. She finally came to me and said ‘Mom, please make your cookies, and I can sell them.’”
Mom said absolutely not. “I didn’t want this to be on me,” Ashley said. So Brooklyn got into cake making and tried to sell those. Still, it wasn’t enough, and Ashley finally relented. As it turns out, Brooklyn can be quite the salesperson. “Brooklyn would sell them between classes,” Ashley said. “I thought maybe she’d get 60 cookies. But she was just determined, and she sold 160 cookies that first week.” Brooklyn took orders for the first few days of the week, and then Thursday would be the baking night in the family kitchen. Sometimes it would go on deep into the night. Friday would be pickup day. “We just did it on Friday, across the street and not on school property,” Ashley said. “The school was supportive. Kids would be running out of school after the bell to pick up their cookies.” As school let out for the summer, Ashley began posting about her cookies on Instagram. “Four weeks later, we’re being completely bombarded for graduation parties and family reunions,” she said. “People would come to my doorstep to pick up their cookies. I was starting to think this could be a thing.” So Meehan got a cottage industry license, a business license, and she incorporated. “A cottage industry license allows you up to $22,000 of revenue a year,” she said. “After that, you can’t be working it out of your home.” As school started again in fall 2018, the Meehans had their order forms and Ashley kept using her Instagram posts. “People would come to our car or our home,” she said. “Every Friday it would be it would be the high school kids, their teachers and other people.”
Photo by Jeff Morrow Our Cookie House owner Ashley Meehan, center, poses with daughters Brooklyn, left, and Haven in early September as they prepared to open up a storefront at 8530 W. Gage Blvd, Unit D, in Kennewick.
Even administrators placed orders. “Brooklyn was really the hustle and heart of our team,” Ashley said. “She’s a cookie hustler.” But Ashley started realizing they might be on to something big when she started noticing people she didn’t know were placing orders with her. “It was a social media-driven business. That’s the way times are,” Ashley said. The family was getting ready for another cookie Friday when Corey suddenly lost his job. “We knew we were going to be fine, but in May of 2019 he got a job in the Seattle area, and we moved there,” Ashley said. They found a home in Maple Valley, where they still live. And they’ve got a small following over there. But nothing like the Tri-Cities. So they would periodically do a pop-up event in Kennewick, making the cookies Thursday nights, and then driving over on Friday to say, El Fat Cat near Kamiakin High School and set up shop there. “We’d keep doing pop-ups in Kennewick, while planning to open a building in Maple Valley,” said Ashley, who says it took five months of paperwork to get ready to open a building
there by March 1 of this year. “Then the pandemic hit. My husband said, ‘You can do it,’” she said. There was trepidation. Ashley had almost died 5 ½ years ago when a virus attacked her heart. She had sudden acute congestive heart failure, but recovered. But the family knew they had to take Covid-19 seriously because of her condition. The day the Realtor said the paperwork was ready to be signed, Meehan decided to walk away from the Maple Valley building. “I remember I was jumping for joy and crying at the same time. This was my dream,” she said. The Meehans continued the pop-ups in Kennewick in June – at one point with up to 3,500 cookies. “I had so many calls for graduation parties,” Ashley said. “I didn’t think the economy there was bad. Kennewick really is in a bubble compared to other places. There seems to be steady jobs there.” That’s when the Meehans realized their business was in the Tri-Cities. “We’ve grown the business there. Just week after week. We realized we needed to be there,” Ashley said. And because sales were exceeding uCOOKIE HOUSE, Page A16
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SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
Columbia Center owner buying J.C. Penney out of bankruptcy By Senior Times staff
Simon Property Group, parent of Kennewick’s Columbia Center mall, is partnering with a real estate firm that specializes in redeveloping tired shopping centers to buy the retail and other assets of J.C. Penney Co. out of bankruptcy. Simon and Brookfield Property Partners announced their intent to purchase the retailer’s assets in a $1.75 billion cash-and-debt deal, CNN reported Sept. 9. Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney filed for protection under Chapter 11 on May 15. The company said it would close 137 stores, though the Kennewick location wasn’t on the list. The Simon deal will give Columbia Center and its parent ownership of a greater share of its property because J.C. Penney owns its building and much of the parking lot around it. In 2019 the retailer sold a pad fronting Columbia Center Boulevard, which is being developed as
a strip mall with Starbucks, MOD Pizza and a burger chain as tenants. Analysts hailed the deal as a way for Simon to keep a major anchor store open in its malls. But the involvement of Brookfield Property Partners, among the largest owners of real estate properties in the nation, could signal redevelopment of the massive property in the future. In 2018, Brian Kingston, Brookfield’s senior managing partner and chief executive officer, outlined the steps the company has taken to revive flagging malls by adding multifamily development in a presentation to investors. At the time, Brookfield had just closed a deal to buy GGP Inc., a Chicago-based mall operator, for $15 billion. The deal, the company noted in its investor presentation, gave it 125 “development sites” across the country. A transcript of the presentation is posted at bit.ly/BrookfieldMallPresentation.
uBRIEFS Monitor state’s economic ‘recovery’ at a glance
The Washington state Department of Commerce has launched an Economic Recovery Dashboard to share details key measures of the economy. The dashboard draws data from public and private organizations to examine the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the state’s economy. It covers topics such as employment levels, taxable retail sales, consumer behavior and more. Go to commerce.wa.gov/datadashboard.
ACT presents virtual Shakespeare stories
The Academy of Children’s Theatre and The Rude Mechanicals will offer a series of virtual performances of “Shakespeare Stories” throughout October. The series draws on the classic drama, tragedy and comedy of the works of William Shakespeare. The script is by local thespians Corey Jenkins, Cleo Howell, Emily Richman and Ellicia Elliott. The cast of 20 includes a seasoned Tri-Cities crew. The performance can be watched at the viewers’ convenience.
Tickets to buy a link are $10 for an individual ticket and available at academyofchildrenstheatre.org. A twodevice link is $15 and a family link is $20. The 90-minute performance is recommended for those age 9 and above.
Virtual classes help seniors stay connected
TheSeniorList.com has launched a series of virtual classes to help adults learn new skills, stay active and even meditate as the Covid-19 crisis curtails daily living. The classes are held via Zoom and are hosted by experts. They are free to participants. Upcoming classes: • 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14: Amplitude, Mental Agility and Power. The class covers how to use your body and mind to battle the effects of Parkinson’s disease. It is suited to anyone looking to improve strength, endurance, flexibility, balance and cognition. • 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21: The Easiest Apple Crisp. Learn to bake an easy, crowd-pleasing dessert that is vegan and gluten-free. Participants will receive a list of ingredients to have on hand so they can follow along with the instructor. Learn more and register at theseniorlist.com/online-web-classes.
HONORING For nearly 30 years, the Army tank at Desert Lawn Memorial Park has stood guard over our veterans section. Soon veterans and their spouses can have their urn placed in a special niche surrounding the tank. Call for more information or for your pre-construction discount.
(509) 783-3181 MuellersFuneralHomes.com
SENIOR TIMES • OCTOBER 2020
COOKIE HOUSE, From page A15
the cottage industry limits, Meehan needed to get a different business license. “All we know is we’re opening a business there and we’ll figure the rest out,” Ashley said. “We have no debt, no investors. But I’ve got enough grit, and we just decided to do it.” Ashley has a sister who lives in the area, so she has a place to stay. But there is plenty to figure out. Like how many employees she’ll need. “I’ve already got two ladies helping with the dough,” she said. And the family will still help. “Brooklyn is the assistant to the regional manager, she likes to say,” Ash-
ley said. “Haven is 14, and she is the only person on Earth who can duplicate my recipes.” Son Sawyer is 11, and is the box builder, while 6-year-old Penny just roller skates. “She can’t be working in the kitchen,” Ashley said. Our Cookie House continues to grow. It has already been featured in two wedding magazines this year. When the family first started in Kennewick, they used one conventional oven. In Maple Valley, they have two ovens with multiple racks. “We all take turns baking, she said. “I like to figure out oven hours. It’s about 22 hours a week.”
At the new store, they already have four ovens. “We’ve been buying equipment and storing it,” Ashley said. It will not be a sit-down place. “Customers can order online, or we can help them when they come in,” she said. Cookies are about $4 each because they make them big. Of the 12 different varieties, she’s asked if chocolate chip are still her favorite. “I’ve eaten that same cookie for over 20 years. I’ve moved on — although my husband loves them,” she says with a laugh. “I love, love, love the cookie butter and the cinnamon roll cookies.
uBRIEFS Precious metals scam cost Washington seniors $3M
The state Department of Financial Institutions Division of Securities and the Washington Attorney General are part of a state and federal action to halt a precious metals scam that solicited $185 million from 1,600 seniors and other investors, including more than $3 million from Washington residents. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Texas, accuses Metals.com and Barrick Capital of touting precious metals at grossly inflated prices through phone calls, television, radio and social media ads. The ads encouraged elderly and retirement-aged investors to transfer money from registered investments into previous metals. According to the complaint, the campaign was designed to instill fear in victims by building on political and religious affiliations. The defendants reportedly charged victims 100% to 300% more than the melt value or spot price of gold or silver bullion. The suit was filed by the Commodity Futures Tradition Commission and 30 states, including Washington. Virtually every investor lost a majority of their investments, according to Bill Beatty, securities administrator for DFI. DFI reminds investors that if an investment is too good to be true, it probably is. Washington residents who suspect they have been targeted by investment schemes should report them by phone, 360-902-8760 or 877-746-4334, or by email: email@example.com.
Whitman Mission open Saturdays, Sundays
The Whitman Mission National Historic Site near Walla Walla is reopening to the public Saturdays
But our No. 1-selling cookie has been the s’mores.” And she’ll keep making them all as long as people keep buying them. “I think it’s just doing something I’ve always loved doing. I’m in my happy place doing something I love,” Ashley said. “After my heart problems, I’m living on borrowed time to be able to do this with my family and girls. That’s something a lot of people don’t get to do.” Our Cookie House: 8530 W. Gage Blvd, Unit D, Kennewick; OurCookieHouse.com; 509-222-4399; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. and Sundays. The National Park Service is working with local, state and federal authorities to monitor the Covid-19 pandemic and is using a phased approach to restore access to parks. The visitor center at the Whitman Mission is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The picnic area, trails and groups are open daily from sunrise to sunset. The Whitman Mission, 328 Whitman Mission Road, commemorates the 1847 attack on the Whitmans and explores modern issues of cultural interaction and differing perspectives. Visitors are encouraged to watch a film about the mission at go.nps.gov/ whmi/film before they visit.
Spectrum launches Black news channel in Tri-Cities
Tri-Cities cable provider Spectrum is making the new Black News Channel available to its Tri-City subscribers. BNC is available on channel 708 at no added charge to customers who have Silver, Digi Tier 1 or Spectrum Lifestyle TV. BNC launched Feb. 10 to provide national cable news programming that covers the perspective of African American communities.
Gesa matching donations to Red Cross wildfire fund
Gesa Credit Union in Richland will match up to $10,000 in donations to the American Red Cross Washington Wildfire fund. The fund will aid people affected by wildfires. Gesa members who are affected by the fires are encouraged to contact their local branch or to call 888-946-4372 to learn more about specific programs available to help. Supporters can make donations at Gesa branches or go to redcross.org/ donate/donation.html to support disaster relief efforts.