Articles by Robin Wojtanik

Robin Wojtanik spent most of her career in broadcast journalism, working at television stations around the country. She spent nearly a decade managing newsrooms in the Tri-Cities and Yakima. She enjoys volunteering for Junior Achievement and Christ the King School and serves on the board for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Northwest chapter. She lives in Richland with her husband and children.
Emerald Studios owner Faith Hovde is collecting donated clothes and accessories to donate to the Tri-Cities Dream Center’s Soul Sisters program to help women in crisis through the end of May. Emerald Studios is at 3311 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite B170, in Kennewick

Women in crisis to benefit from spring purge campaign

Your spring cleaning could result in more than just a pared down closet — it could benefit women in crisis. Emerald Studios owner Faith Hovde is holding a campaign called Purge For a Purpose to encourage women to donate clothes and accessories they no longer need, so that they can assist local women trying to…

A conceptual drawing shows what the core of Vista Field could look like with a public park, fountain and the future Vista Arts Center. The 103-acre site, behind the Three Rivers Convention Center and the Toyota Center, is tucked between North Young and North Kellogg streets in Kennewick. It has remained undeveloped since the airport at Vista Field closed nearly five years ago. (Courtesy Port of Kennewick)

Pedestrian-focused town center coming to Vista Field

“It’s about to get real.” That’s what Tim Arntzen, the Port of Kennewick’s chief executive officer, said while describing the next steps for the massive overhaul planned at the former site of Vista Field. Construction work on the expansive property nestled in the middle of Kennewick is set to kick-start the foundation for vibrant mixed-use…

Piton Wealth employees recently spent time learning the ropes at an indoor rock-climbing wall as a team-building exercise. Piton Wealth’s founder and CEO Michelle Clary was selected by Thrivent Financial to join the nationwide company’s new network of independent practices. (Courtesy Piton Wealth)

Kennewick financial planner ventures into independent practice

A tool designed to protect a climber from a fall or ascend a mountain faster is the inspiration behind the name of a new independent practice headed up by a Kennewick financial planner. Named Piton Wealth for the mountaineering tool known as a piton, founder and Chief Executive Officer Michelle Clary likes to compare people’s…

Richland’s 3 Eyed Fish Wine Bar at 1970 Keene Road is scheduled to reopen in mid-August “bigger and better” after completion of a $750,000 remodeling project. The restaurant’s owner scheduled the construction to coincide with the city’s plans to add two roundabouts to Queensgate Drive.

Richland wine bar remodel to coincide with roadwork project

A restaurant with a popular outdoor patio wouldn’t typically choose to schedule a temporary closure just as warm weather is setting in. But since there’s never an ideal time to shut down a business, the owner of 3 Eyed Fish Wine Bar determined she had the best chance for future success if she timed a…

Employees of Fiesta Mexican Restaurant in Kennewick surround owner Isidro Ortiz, center, who is preparing to open his first restaurant in Richland, in the Queensgate Drive shopping plaza, across from Target.

Fiesta Mexican Restaurant to open Richland location

The Tri-Cities soon will have a Fiesta Mexican Restaurant in each city, as the longtime owners prepare to open a third restaurant, this time in the Queensgate Drive shopping plaza. Isidro Ortiz owns the restaurants with his mother, Teresa Ortiz, having launched their first one in downtown Pasco in 2001. Since then, they have opened…

Milk is the second-highest agricultural commodity in Washington, with a total production value of $1.1 billion in 2016. Ed Zurcher, owner of Zurcher Dairy in Basin City, one of about 400 dairy farms across the state, said his cows are milked twice a day, with the process beginning at 4 a.m. and cycling through all the cows before starting again at 4 p.m., seven days a week. (Photo: Robin Wojtanik)

Leading producers: Agriculture adds billions to state’s economy

Washington state is an agricultural powerhouse, leading the nation in the production of apples, grapes, cherries, pears, hops and blueberries. Supplying the world with millions of tons of apples each year, Washington fills nearly two-thirds of the entire apple market in the United States. It’s expected the current planted acreage of wine grapes could swell…

Red Mountain, between Benton City and West Richland, was designated a sub-American Viticultural Area in 2001. It now boasts 54 vineyards covering more than 2,300 acres. (Photo: Washington State Wine Commission/Andrea Johnson Photography)

Vines reign supreme: State boasts viticulture advantage

Growing high-quality wine grapes that become award-winning wine and millions of tons of juice grapes that become America’s best-known grape juices make up the viticulture industry in Washington state. Washington’s massive grape crop is among the 10 highest-valued crops in the state, ranking ninth in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, after producing…

Kent Waliser, director of vineyard operations for Sagemoor Vineyards, just north of the Tri-Cities, grows 60 percent of its grapes for red wine and 40 percent for white wines. (Photo: Washington State Wine Commission/Andrea Johnson Photography)

Steady growth: Wine grape demand nearly outpaces supply

Washington has developed a reputation for over-delivering on the quality of wine as it relates to the price of the bottle, creating an increasing demand for the state’s wine grapes. “You can’t make good wine with bad grapes,” said Vicky Sharlau, executive director of the Washington Winegrowers Association. In the past five years, acres dedicated…

Concord grapes

Concord costs: The quest to keep juice grapes profitable

Washington produces more juice grapes than any other state in the nation, fueling the building blocks for not just juice, but also jelly, fruit leather and syrup. Despite sitting atop the U.S. supply, the state acreage of juice grapes has declined slightly in the past several years. People aren’t buying juice as often as they…

APRIL Boost Jadwin

Richland developers planning to add apartments to city’s core

A Richland company has an ambitious goal of bringing city-dwellers back to the central downtown area, to places either dominated by businesses or abandoned altogether. This includes high-profile locations in The Parkway and along Jadwin Avenue and George Washington Way, including the controversial pit at the gateway to the city. “The goal is to add…

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HBA Fall Home Show

October 1 @ 10:00 am - October 2 @ 10:00 am

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West Richland Area Chamber of Commerce in Person Luncheon Meeting

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