Articles by Wendy Culverwell

Construction is complete on all facilities at the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant needed to begin tank waste treatment via the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) program. (Courtesy Bechtel National Inc.)

You’ve heard about the vit plant, but do you know what it will do?

Every community has a local language, terms that are commonplace to locals but baffling to visitors. For the Tri-Cities, “vitrification” – the process of superheating nuclear waste with glass-forming materials for safe long-term storage – is one. It has been bandied about since the 1980s as plutonium production ceased at Hanford and later, in 1989,…

Ice Harbor Lock and Dam

Friend of Hanford’ at odds with community leaders on breaching dams

An Idaho congressman is a well- known supporter of Hanford funding, but his ambitious plan to rescue salmon by breaching the four Lower Snake River dams is creating an awkward moment for his friends in the Tri-Cities. In February, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, released a $33.5 billion plan to remove the four dams, calling…

Retired Hanford chemist John C. Abercrombie is enjoying a second career blogging and podcasting about Black history following his 1997 retirement from the Hanford site. Cold War Patriots, serving veterans of the nuclear industry, named. (Courtesy Cold War Patriots)

Retired Hanford chemist now tells overlooked stories of Black excellence

John Abercrombie had little use for history during the 28 years he worked as a chemist, analytical lab manager and employment officer at the Hanford site. History was a tangle of people he didn’t know, places he hadn’t been. He had a series of jobs to do, a family to raise. “I hated history, I…

The Port of Kennewick has spent nearly $450,000 to investigate and resolve a complaint against Commissioners Don Barnes and Tom Moak by Commissioner Skip Novakovich. The figure includes Barnes’ $49,000 legal bill after he was exonerated.

Port of Kennewick bill for complaint tops $450,000

The Port of Kennewick has spent nearly $450,000 to address an “anonymous” complaint against two commissioners over a land sale dispute. The costs include $400,000 to investigate and adjudicate the complaint that Commission Chairman Don Barnes and Commissioner Tom Moak violated port policies and $49,000 to reimburse Barnes’ related legal fees. An investigator concluded both…

Port of Kennewick, 350 Clover Island Drive, Kennewick. (Courtesy Port of Kennewick)

Police chief kicks off campaign season with run for port seat

Kennewick police Chief Ken Hohenberg is running for the Kennewick Port Commission seat held by Don Barnes in the 2021 election. Hohenberg registered his campaign with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission on Feb. 27. He announced his retirement from the city, effective February 2022, at the March 2 city council meeting.  Financial documents show Hohenberg had raised more than $18,600 as of…

JMS Development will kick off work to develop a mini city at Pasco’s Osprey Pointe this year when it begins construction of a 76,000-square-foot marketplace to house 120 vendors. A hotel, 600 or more units of housing, entertainment venues and more will follow under a development agree-ment with the Port of Pasco. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

It’s go time for Pasco’s Osprey Pointe market

James Sexton is taking meetings with prospective vendors and ordering a pole building that will form the heart of an ambitious marketplace at Pasco’s Osprey Pointe. Sexton, president of JMS Development, has a development agreement with the Port of Pasco to install the equivalent of a small city on the port-owned waterfront in east Pasco.…

Avelo Airlines, based in Burbank, California, launches April 28 with three flights daily to the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco. The move fulfills a 2020 prediction that Pasco stood to gain flights because of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Avelo Airlines)

Airline veteran brings new carrier to Pasco, right on schedule

A Texas-based company led by the former head of Allegiant Air is launching a new carrier April 28 with a map that includes three weekly flights between the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco and Burbank, California.  Houston Air Holdings Inc., formerly charter carrier Xtra Airways, announced the launch of Avelo Airlines to fly nonstop flights from…

Bob Ferguson, a longtime Tri-Citian and former Energy Northwest and Department of Energy executive, donated $500,000 to endow a chair in energy at Washington State University Tri-Cities. (Courtesy WSU)

WSU Tri-Cities says gift will help support energy future

Bob Ferguson, a longtime Tri-Citian, energy executive and entrepreneur, contributed $500,000 to Washington State University Tri-Cities to endow a faculty, position and set the stage to turn the Richland campus into a center for clean energy development. Bob Ferguson’s career took him from reactor physicist at Hanford’s B Reactor to the U.S. Department of Energy…

Kennewick-based Matson Development Co., with roots in the excavation industry, is developing a 642-unit self-storage facility at 9501 W. 10th Ave. It will open as Summit Storage in fall 2021. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Matson Development building 642-unit self-storage facility

  A Tri-City construction business with roots in excavation work is building a $5 million self-storage facility in western Kennewick. Kennewick-based Matson Developoment Co. is constructing its 80,000-square-foot project at 9501 W. 10th Ave. It will offer 642 storage units for rent. Construction should wrap by this fall. The storage facility is owned by Matson…

Ron Swanby, owner of Swampy’s BBQ Sauce and Eatery, wants to build a kitchen at Kennewick’s Columbia Gardens Urban Wine and Artisan Village. The food truck owner says he needs to turn Swampy’s into a proper business. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Swampy’s BBQ wants to put down roots at Columbia Gardens

It’s time to grow or die for Ron Swanby, who brought his barbecue truck and equipment to Kennewick’s Columbia Gardens Urban Wine and Artisan Village a little over a year ago. Swanby, owner of Swampy’s BBQ Sauce and Eatery, wants to buy a sliver of land at the Port of Kennewick-owned site to build the…

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