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Kickstand Tours wants to put wineries in reach of ordinary cyclists

Andy Zissermann worked in western Washington as a mechanical engineer for more than 20 years before his career ran its course. In 2019, he had fun—spending much of the growing season riding an electric bike among the wineries of Walla Walla and the Yakima Valley. The Edmonds resident wasn’t merely enjoying Washington’s wine country. The…


Port of Kennewick renews railcar company’s Finley lease without rent increase

A Portland railcar company will continue operating another five years at the Port of Kennewick’s Twin Tracks Industrial Park in Finley. Greenbrier Rail Services, a tenant since the park opened in the 1990s, exercised the second of its six original options to renew the lease for its 40-acre railcar maintenance center. The move preserves 32…


Growing ag demand for propane prompts Christensen to invest in Pasco terminal

Christensen Inc. is installing a modern propane terminal at the Port of Pasco to support growing demand for fuel to agricultural drying operations. Propane fuels dryers for onions, hops, mint, corn and even hemp grown in the Mid-Columbia, said Marci Ballard, general manager for Christensen’s Eastern Washington operations. The company, formerly Powell Christensen, will add…

A-Plus Transportation provides long-distance medical transport in the Tri-Cities region. Business is down but owner Tom Ammeman anticipates strong demand when people are able to visit their doctors. (Courtesy A-Plus Transportation)

Three businesses, one pandemic add up to juggling act for Tri-City entrepreneurs

When Rachel and Tom Ammerman took over A-Plus Transportation, a Yakima medical transporter, they had big plans to expand to a new line of business. A-Plus focuses on long-distance transport for Medicaid patients. It is a low margin business, so the Tri-City couple added a small-group charter business to fill what they saw as a…

Scout Clean Energy will apply for a permit to develop a 600-megawatt wind farm on 60,000 acres in the Jump Off Joe area south of the Tri-Cities this year. Construction will employ up to 300 people. (Courtesy Scout Clean Energy)

Colorado firm plans 600-megawatt Horse Heaven Wind Farm

A 600-megawatt wind farm south of Kennewick will employ 300 during construction and help cement the region’s status as Washington’s center for wind energy. Scout Clean Energy of Boulder, Colorado, will apply for a conditional use permit from Benton County for its Horse Heaven Wind Farm project later this year. Pat Landess, spokesman for Scout,…

(Courtesy Bechtel National Inc.)

New nonprofit wants to speed up Hanford cleanup, shift mission to energy

A new Tri-City nonprofit has formed to push for a faster cleanup at Hanford and transition to energy research and development. Bob Ferguson, Bill Lampson and Gary Petersen established Northwest Energy Associates with the twin missions of advocating for a faster cleanup and for a long-term focus on energy research. Ferguson, former U.S. Department of…


Q & A with Adam J. Fyall

Benton County Sustainable Development Manager Number of employees you oversee: 3 You have a unique role in Benton County government. What do you oversee and how did your job come to cover such diverse areas?I primarily manage our economic development, natural resources, intergovernmental affairs, Hanford-related and parks functions. While the county as a whole has…

(Courtesy American Lung Association)

American Lung Association: Washington air quality is worsening

Wildfires and wintertime wood fires helped drive Yakima, Spokane and the Seattle area to the top of the nation’s worst cities for air pollution, according to the American Lung Association’s 2020 State of Air report. The Tri-Cities was not on the list, but Benton County received a failing grade for air quality in the report.…


Oil and mineral rights difficult to profit from, complicate estate planning

Property rights are often considered a “bundle of sticks” where a person can own varying interests in land. The person can own the entire bundle—called “fee simple.” Or a person can own distinct and specific interests in a piece of property. One form of ownership is the ownership of only the oil and mineral rights…


Economic crash makes dams more critical

We are learning many painful lessons during the coronavirus shutdown. A key lesson that if a policy isn’t economically sustainable, it isn’t environmentally sustainable. This is a particularly important lesson to remember when considering how to promote recovery of salmon and steelhead populations on the Snake River. Earlier this year, the federal agencies finished the…

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Upscale living for renters taking shape on Pasco waterfront

New 94-room hotel to open June 1 in Kennewick 

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