The Benton County Board of Commissioners will be holding a town hall meeting on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 6:00 PM for residents to provide their comments on the proposed Horse Heaven Wind Farm.
Scout Clean Energy recently applied for Site Certification with the Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC, the Council) to construct a wind and solar generation facility with a generating capacity of 1,150 megawatts. The project will involve the placement of approximately 244 wind turbines and a solar component that will occupy up to approximately 6500 acres of agricultural land.
The project site is located approximately four (4) miles south of the Tri-Cities urban area and generally extends from the Columbia River to the south of Benton City along the Horse Heaven Hills. Rather than apply for a County permitting process for the project, Scout Clean Energy has the legal ability, in accordance with RCW 80.50, to apply for site certification with EFSEC and have the Council and the State of Washington be the decision-making authority. With this, Benton County and/or its representatives, do not decide if this project is approved or denied.
The Board of Commissioners have chosen to host a town hall meeting to gather public comments on the project prior to submitting an official statement on behalf of the County to EFSEC during their application review and hearing process. EFSEC will be hosting a virtual public hearing on this application in the upcoming weeks. Project information and hearing dates may be found on the EFSEC website at https://www.efsec.wa.gov/energy-facilities/horse-heaven-wind-project
How to Participate
The public is invited to view and/or participate in the town hall meeting in three (3) ways:
Information for how to view the meeting or participate is available online at www.co.benton.wa.us.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1263290074072862/
Soroptimist International of Pasco-Kennewick (SIPK) is proud to announce a Corporate Partnership with HAPO Community Credit Union (HAPO) to increase the reach of programs that provide women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. This is the inaugural partnership under SIPK’s new Official Partner program, a concept proposed by HAPO to strengthen our ongoing relationship.
“I am honored to broaden our relationship with Soroptimist, investing in the lives of the women and children in our community is part of HAPO’s core values. This partnership represents our commitment to helping our community and we are excited to collaborate in their mission to improve the lives of women,” said Dolores Broeske, President and CEO of HAPO Community Credit Union.
“HAPO has been a valued community partner providing generous support for SIPK signature programs for many years, so it is fitting that they become our first Corporate Partner,” said SIPK President Ruth Wolberg. “In addition to their strong support of our scholarships and awards, HAPO provides financial education training to our scholarship awardees along with a “nest-egg” in the form of a CD, for those who attend.”
Under this new partnership, HAPO and SIPK will leverage resources and skills to provide women and girls in the Tri-Cities access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment through programs including Live Your Dream Awards and Scholarships; Dream It, Be It: Career Support Conference for girls 14-18; and human trafficking awareness programs focused on sex trafficking of children in our area. The latter two programs are carried out jointly with Soroptimist International of Three Rivers.
In addition to becoming a Corporate Partner, HAPO is the Exclusive Dream Builder Sponsor of the Dream Builders Breakfast, SIPK’s annual fundraiser, to be held virtually at 7:30 am on April 15, 2021. All funds raised will directly support life-changing programs and scholarships for women and girls in the Tri-Cities area. To attend or become a sponsor visit www.dreambuildersbreakfast.com.
Our region’s leading analytical lab for the agriculture community is again sponsoring National Agriculture Month to highlight the partnerships between the people who produce food and Second Harvest food bank.
“It's the first harvest that makes the second harvest possible,” said Jason Clark, President & CEO of Second Harvest. “We’re proud to team with our friends at Northwest Agricultural Consultants to shine the spotlight of appreciation on the people who do the hard work of raising our food.”
Northwest Agricultural Consultants (NWAG) provides soil, plant and water testing services across the region, specializing in wheat, potatoes, corn, beans, peas, onions, hops, tree fruits and vineyards.
“We are fortunate to live in an area with both great soils and talented, hardworking growers, which combine to create one of the most important food-producing regions in the world."
said Wade Carter, NWAG’s President and Lab Director Wade Carter.
Clark noted Second Harvest is grateful for partnerships with regional farmers and ranchers who donate locally grown fresh produce, dairy and meat to help nourish families facing hunger throughout the Inland Northwest. Although the donated food supply chain has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during normal times, nearly half of the food Second Harvest provides is nutrient-rich fresh fruits and vegetables, not to mention locally produced meat and dairy products.
All month - and particularly on March 23, National Ag Day, Second Harvest is honoring the ag community, highlighting agriculture’s contributions on social media and at our Pasco Hunger Solution Center.
Members of the community are encouraged to help sort and pack food for distribution to people in need. Volunteers are needed at Second Harvest’s Pasco Hunger Solution Center and at Second Harvest’s mobile market distributions throughout the Mid-Columbia. For more information, go to www.2-harvest.org/tcvolunteer.
Residents should note that trespassing is forbidden on Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) property. The area located at the northeast end of Runway 12/30, more commonly known as “20 Dead Cows,” is closed to public access, and has been since 2017. Despite the closure, people continue to use this area for ORV use, firearms practice, and other recreational pursuits, in violation of the No Trespassing ordinance and the road closures.
As a result of this criminal activity, the airport property is being damaged daily, placing an undue financial and liability burden on the airport. PSC staff has erected gates and other barriers across all major access points, posted signage, and taken other steps to prevent trespass. Because of the continued illegal activity, police patrols will be increasing, and anyone found on airport property will be subject to arrest for trespass. Please help airport staff by respecting the signs and our property.
3 Rivers Community Foundation (3RCF) is very pleased to offer an additional round of grant funding to support nonprofits in our region and their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund, which opened in April 2020 has already distributed over $153,000. This is an opportunity to apply for an additional $53,000 in funding.
“The nonprofit community in Benton and Franklin counties has faced unforeseeable challenges and have had to pivot what they do and how they do it almost on a dime,” says 3RCF Executive Director Abbey Cameron. “Faced with increased demand for services, loss of volunteer hours, and critical safety restrictions they have adapted with ingenuity and care to continue to deliver services. Those changes have costs, and we are grateful to our donors who have made this funding possible.”
5013c nonprofits in Benton and Franklin counties who are responding to or have been impacted by COVID-19 may apply for a grant by March 31st, 2021. The maximum grant award is $10,000. Organizations that have applied previously are eligible to apply again if they have expended previous funds or have additional needs.
The application can be found at http://3rcf.org/non-profits/how-to-apply-for-a-grant/.
To make a donation to 3RCF visit https://threeriverscf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate.
Construction continues on the Columbia Park Trail Improvements Project. Beginning Wednesday, March 10, at 8:00 a.m. traffic on Columbia Park Trail, from Fowler Street to Columbia Center Boulevard, will shift to one-way traffic, eastbound only. This detour will be in place through April 2021.
Eastbound traffic will travel on Columbia Park Trail, and westbound traffic will be directed to Fowler Street.
To assist with directing business traffic, directional signage identifying the businesses east of Florida Avenue will be placed near the intersection of Fowler Street and Florida Avenue.
We thank the public and businesses for their continued patience during construction.
For project details, please see http://www.ci.richland.wa.us/CPTrailImprovements.
PNNL Announces Next Seminar as part of its Special Edition Community Science and Technology Seminar Series
The next seminar in Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Special Edition Community Science and Technology Seminar Series, “What Do Bats Have to Do with It?”, presented by Amy Sims, virologist at PNNL, will take place on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 5pm via Zoom.
The wild world of viral outbreaks often starts in the depth of our world’s actual wilderness. Over the last century, most pandemics have resulted from humans encountering host animal species carrying the virus. This talk will explore why viruses can cause little to no disease in certain species but result in serious contagious diseases that spread easily among human populations. What did we know about coronaviruses before the pandemic? How and why is the coronavirus genome mutating? What are the current treatment options, and when will more be available? How can we prepare ourselves more effectively in the future? Join us to learn to learn the answer to these questions and more.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Community Science and Technology Seminar Series was launched to help the general public better understand and explore how science transforms our world.
Those who are interested can register here.
Ben Franklin Transit to Resume Regular Service on Three Routes, Discontinue One Temporary Route in Pasco, Effective March 8
Beginning March 8, 2021, Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) will resume regular service on three bus routes and discontinue one temporary route in Pasco. This set of changes is the final step in restoring regular bus services after making adjustments last year in response to pandemic impacts.
Pasco Bus Route Changes Effective Monday, March 8
The following bus route will be DISCONTINUED:
BFT will notify customers via Facebook and Twitter, on its website at bft.org and by other means as appropriate of any further changes in service.
When using BFT services and at our facilities, we ask all riders to adhere to the following:
Trios Health is pleased to announce that Maria Vitug, MD, has joined Trios as an internal medicine provider.
Dr. Vitug will see patients at the Trios Care Center at Vista Field, located at 521 N. Young St. in Kennewick. She treats patients for a variety of conditions, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, chronic illness, stroke, preventive care, diabetes, and more.
“We are excited to have Dr. Vitug join Trios Medical Group,” said Lorie Orozco, Director of Trios Medical Group Operations. “She has extensive experience as a physician and will be a great asset and resource for our patients.”
Dr. Vitug attended medical school at the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery from 1986-90 and completed a postgraduate internship at Santo Tomas University Hospital and an internal medicine residency at Sinai Samaritan Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Most recently, Dr. Vitug was a physician at Madison Medical Clinic in Wisconsin. She has also been a physician at Fond du Lac Regional Clinic, St. Agnes Hospital, Milwaukee Health Services, and St. Martin de Porres Medical Clinic, all in Wisconsin.
“We have been eagerly anticipating Dr. Vitug’s arrival and are excited to help her grow her practice here as she serves our community,” said Tammy Bender, clinic manager. “She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge and will be vital in our mission of Making Communities Healthier.”
Patients can schedule an appointment with Dr. Vitug by calling 509.221.5222.
March marks the 26th anniversary of Wildhorse Resort & Casino. Each year, Wildhorse hosts an incredible fireworks display to celebrate the occasion and show appreciation to the community. The event kicks off at Wildhorse on March 6th at 8pm.
Wildhorse encourages everyone to enjoy the fireworks from the comfort of their vehicles or to stay in close proximity to their vehicles. Wildhorse Priority One health and safety protocols are to be observed – wear your mask and maintain safe distances from those not living with you in your household.
If you like watching the fireworks through the collectible Wildhorse prism viewers, go to Mission Market or Arrowhead Travel Plaza and, with a minimum $10 purchase, get a free 4-pack of viewers! One pack per customer while supplies last.
Musical accompaniment to the fireworks is provided by KCUW radio. Tune your radio to 104.3 FM to enhance your experience.
Arrive early for best viewing. Watch for signs and traffic officers who will help direct you. The show is free and open to the public. Go to wildhorseresort.com for more information.
Wildhorse Family FunPlex/Quaking Aspens Lanes
Get excited! The Wildhorse Family FunPlex is open! Bring the family out for a round of bowling, arcade games and prizes, then top the day off with dinner and sweet treats at the food court. Priority One health and safety protocols continue to be diligently adhered to for the safety of customers and staff. Capacity limits are observed and lane reservations are required for bowling Friday through Sunday. Reservations are recommended Monday through Thursday. To reserve your spot or for more information, go to https://www.wildhorseresort.com/resort/bowling or call Quaking Aspens Lanes at 541-966-1690.
Traditions at Wildhorse Resort & Casino is open for indoor dining and if you haven’t tried the Chef Experience Theme Nights, you’re missing out on a fantastic family meal! And we’re excited to announce that in March, Chef Jeff Sommers is adding his Down Home BBQ dinner on Sundays.
Theme nights also feature a seafood boil on Thursday, a Friday fish fry, and delicious prime rib on Saturday, prepared fresh for dining in or packaged to go, with sides and dessert. Theme nights are Thursday through Sunday, 4pm to 10pm. Go to https://www.wildhorseresort.com/dining/traditions/ for menu details and pricing.
Under Priority One health and safety protocols, seating capacity is limited. Open daily for breakfast, 7am-10:30am; dinner is Wednesday through Sunday, 4pm-9pm.
Plateau, a fine dining restaurant at Wildhorse Resort & Casino, has announced they will open for indoor dining and take-out on Wednesday, March 3, at 4pm. All the customer favorites from the menu will again be available and prepared to perfection. Enjoy your meal in a clean, elegant atmosphere with a breathtaking view of the Blue Mountains.
Plateau’s new schedule of a 4pm opening will provide diners with a broader choice of arrival times. Reservations are required for dine-in seating as capacity is limited under Wildhorse’s Priority One sanitation and safety protocols. To make your reservation, call 541-966-1610. Go to wildhorseresort.com to view or download Plateau’s menu. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 4pm to close.
Hamley Steakhouse and Saloon –
Hamley Steakhouse and Saloon in downtown Pendleton is open for dining in and take-out! We know you’ve been missing your favorite meals and appetizers from Hamley Steakhouse, especially the tender USDA Prime beef served just how you like it. Call 541-278-1100 to make reservations to dine in or order online and have your food delivered curbside. Go to Hamley.com and choose the Steak2house option to order or view the menu. Dining hours are 5pm to 8pm, Tuesday through Saturday, and seating is limited.
Hamley Café –
Hamley Café is open for indoor dining and take-out. Pick up your favorite breakfast burrito or pastry, then come back for a satisfying lunch. And remember to get a comforting coffee beverage to keep you going throughout the day. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 8am to 4pm. View the menu at hamley.com.
Wildhorse Sports Bar –
In celebration of anniversary month, Wildhorse Sports Bar will be offering drink specials served in commemorative stainless steel cups, mini bottles, and anniversary glasses that you get to keep! Ask your favorite bartender or beverage server for details - but hurry! These offers are only good while supplies last and a limited amount of silver anniversary glasses are still available! Must be 21 and over.
Hamley Western Store –
In March, Hamley Western Store will receive new seasonal merchandise from the clothing and houseware vendors you love. Look for popular Cinch jeans for men and women, new spring women’s fashion from Crazy Train, as well as updated frames for your favorite rodeo photos and more. You’ll also want to take advantage of discounts on felt hats and outerwear throughout the month. Hamley Western Store is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm.
Wildhorse Gift Shop –
The Wildhorse Gift Shop will honor anniversary month with a sale all month long! Shoppers will save 30% off all Wildhorse logo clothing when they make a purchase in March. You can find the gift shop at the hotel lobby. Open daily.
Wildhorse Golf Course –
Improve your golf game with lessons from a PGA golf professional. Wildhorse Golf Course is now booking couples for private lessons. Get instruction on how to better your game, improve your technique and perfect your swing. Individual attention allows for tailored guidance whether you’re beginners or scratch golfers. Call the golf course at 541-276-5588 or go to wildhorseresort.com for more information or to reserve a lesson.
Email your press release and a photo to Austin Regimbal, Marketing & Communications Director. Press releases are posted in their entirety. This is a free benefit for members of the Tri-City Regional Chamber.