September 25, 2022

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Business Roundup | Business World

Three Fingers’ transformation into Chelan Bay is underway

CHELAN — Three Fingers — manmade peninsulas jutting from the south shore of Lake Chelan — are being transformed into a dozen new waterfront single family lots (four on each finger) and one new commercial lot for a water-dependent venture.

Sitework on the infrastructure pieces required for the Chelan Bay development started in earnest in mid-March.

If all goes according to plan, the underground utilities, road construction and basic landscaping should wrap up by June, followed by the lots being put up for sale, said Chris Martin of Pacific Rim Land LLC, the land-use division of GBI Holdings and Goodfellow Bros.

Wenatchee-based Goodfellow Bros., a civil construction firm, created the fingers of land from construction fill in the early 1960s.

Plans to develop the 6-acre site, initially proposed in 2010, included 45 condominiums on the lakefront property and on the hillside across Highway 97A also owned by GBI Holdings. The proposal was withdrawn, but it led to the Chelan Basin Conservancy filing a lawsuit to get the “fingers” removed from the lake. Chelan County Superior Court initially agreed, but the state Supreme Court reversed the decision in March 2018.

“Once the main litigation was over and we were allowed to keep the fingers, we started working with the city to identify what worked,” Martin said.

Part of that permit requirement was to have a water-dependent commercial piece, with a commercial dock and parking.

“We would love to see a floating restaurant,” he said.

The commercial lot infrastructure will handle sewer, grease trap and power needed by a restaurant. But it depends on the right business owner coming along.

“There will be a nice commercial dock that will fit 20 boats for day use, with parking on half of the lot,” he said.

The development also includes a public easement for a walking path that will provide access to swimming, and some public parking.

On the residential side, the initial application to the city of Chelan proposed 25 residential lots, which was reduced to 12 lots after determining the single private road serving each finger could only serve four houses. The current configuration was introduced in spring 2021.

Chelan-Douglas Health District data breach exposed records of 108,906 people

WENATCHEE — A data breach at the Chelan-Douglas Health District last summer exposed the personal, financial and medical information of nearly 108,906 people, according to the state Attorney General’s office.

The information included full names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and death, financial account information and medical information — treatments, medical records, patient numbers and health insurance policy information.

Health District officials sent letters to people whose information was exposed notifying them of the breach and recommending steps they can take to protect their information and monitor their finances.

The breach occurred between July 2 and July 4.

The Attorney General categorized the breach as “malware” on its online dataset which can be found at wwrld.us/breachdata.

KPQ’s owner Cherry Creek Media selling to Townsquare Media

WENATCHEE — Cherry Creek Media, the parent company of KPQ-AM, its FM sister station The Quake and five other Wenatchee-area radio stations, is being purchased by New York-based Townsquare Media for $18.75 million.

The sale was announced March 24 in a news release from Townsquare. Subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission, it is expected to close in the fall and will be funded with cash on hand. If approved, it would add 35 Cherry Creek stations in nine markets to Townsquare’s holdings, bringing its total to 356 stations in 74 markets.

Wenatchee’s Cherry Creek stations employ 20 people, Laura Gooch, Cherry Creek’s vice president and market manager, said Friday. That is not expected to change.

FCC ownership rules mean Townsquare will prepare to sell two of its current radio stations in the Tri Cities. Another six radio stations in Missoula, Montana, also will be sold — to Anderson Broadcasting and two nonprofit organizations, Legacy Broadcasting and Missoula Community Radio.

In addition to the Wenatchee market, the deal will expand Townsquare to Sierra Vista, Arizona; Montrose, Colorado; Butte and Great Falls, Montana; Williston, North Dakota; and St. George/Cedar City, Utah.

Cherry Creek’s radio stations in Wenatchee include KW3 (96.7/103.9 FM); KYSN (97.7 FM); KQBG (99.5 FM); KPQ (The Quake 102.1 FM); KPQ (560 AM/101.7 FM); KYSP (1340 AM) and KKWN (1370 AM and 106.7 FM).

Townsquare describes itself as a community-focused digital media and digital marketing solutions company with market-leading local radio stations, principally focused outside the country’s top 50 markets.

Chelan PUD commissioners grant 5 crypto customers a two-month delay for higher rates

WENATCHEE — Five cryptocurrency customers got a bit of a break March 21 as Chelan County PUD commissioners delayed a power rate increase for two months to continue a conversation about the rate increase.

Commissioners changed the start of a 7.89-cent per kilowatt-hour charge from April 1 to June 1.

The five cryptocurrency miners face moving to more expensive open-market electricity instead of using cheaper PUD electricity.

Douglas County PUD OKs higher rates for EV stations

EAST WENATCHEE — Commercial electric vehicle charging stations in Douglas County will pay a higher rate than people who charge their vehicles at home.

Douglas County PUD commissioners decided to charge more because the PUD will buy energy on the open market for commercial charging stations to preserve the generation capacity of Wells Dam.

While no large electric vehicle charging stations are currently located in Douglas County, several businesses have inquired about adding them.

Regional port discusses options for six Wenatchee buildings along Columbia Street

WENATCHEE — The Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority is considering what to do with a section of the former Wells and Wade/Lineage Logistics buildings along Columbia Street, between Orondo Avenue and Yakima Street, and bordering the BNSF Railway.

Port commissioners late last month heard from Seattle-based Graham Baba Architects, which was hired to come up with conceptual designs and costs for remodeling six buildings. Those structures most recently housed a fruit company.

The six buildings, labeled A-F, have 62,334 square feet and will have cost at least $17.3 million to remodel.

The six structures were part of a $4.5 million purchase in 2019 of nine buildings totaling 100,000 square feet. The port leased the southern portion of that property and identified a developer for the northern portion, leaving six buildings under consideration for reuse.

The conceptual drawings include spaces for retailers and makers, as well as pedestrian areas, outdoor seating, sidewalks, build-outs in certain areas and upgraded interiors. An option the design firm didn’t explore in detail yet was to put residential areas on top of some of the businesses.

In the designs, buildings A, B and C were grouped together because of their common structural system and exterior. Limited improvements were suggested to building A to extend the life of the building and retention of its existing brewery. Buildings B and C are part of the Downtown Wenatchee Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and for which the port could receive grants to help fund renovations. Those two could be renovated to restore their historic character and for reuse. A combination of retail, food and beverage, and maker/light industrial uses were suggested, and a variety of tenant space sizes included in the design.

Those buildings, on the corner of Orondo Avenue and Columbia Street, were 43,553 square feet and could cost about $10 million to upgrade.

Buildings D and E were grouped together due to their common construction type. The base design included two larger maker spaces. A portion of building D adjacent to Building C may be removed to create new retail “mews” connecting Columbia Street to the interior of the site. This would expose the historic southern façade of building C.

D and E, which sit at the corner of Yakima and Columbia streets, would be 7,850 square feet and cost about $3.1 million to complete.

Building F’s design included four larger maker/light industrial spaces. The site interior included public parking and access and infrastructure to the buildings, such as truck loading areas, trash and utility access, fire lanes and pedestrian walkways. The 10,931-square-foot building could cost about $3.6 million to upgrade, according to Graham Baba Architects. The structure sits at the corner of Yakima Street and the BNSF Railway.

By breaking the project into parts, the port can choose what to do with which building as it goes and even possibly sell some.

“The regional port’s goal is to redevelop one phase at a time,” port CEO Jim Kuntz wrote in an email. “We are currently targeting building F as the first phase. This would convert an old CA warehouse into four bays, each containing 2,290 square feet. (We) will be seeking board approval to commence with phase one within the next few meetings. Hopefully, the remodel can begin later this year and/or early next year.”

Ziply Fiber adding high-speed fiber to existing copper network in Wenatchee

KIRKLAND — Ziply Fiber is gearing up to add ultra-high-speed fiber to its existing copper network in the Wenatchee area later this year.

The change will provide customers with access to Ziply Fiber’s “Gig-speed,” or Gigabit fiber connectivity including 5-gig and 2-gig residential services.

The Kirkland-based company purchased Frontier Communications’ phone, internet and television service in May 2020. The commitment made at the time was to invest $500 million over three years in projects to expand access and boost service across its 250,000-square-mile service area, which includes Chelan and Douglas counties and other areas of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The fiber upgrade is part of a $30 million investment in its intermarket fiber backbone. It currently has more than 60 fiber build projects completed or underway.

“The work we’ve done to add additional backbone routes and improve redundancy is especially important due to the high fire danger in this region,” Ziply Fiber CEO Harold Zeitz said in a press release. “With multiple routes in and out of these cities, we are better equipped to keep residents and businesses online.”

When the work in the Wenatchee area will begin depends on permitting and logistics, Ziply spokesperson Dan Miller said March 30. Ziply’s local engineers and inspectors, and Ziply partners who currently maintain service in the area and across Washington, will do the work, Miller said.

The current project will focus on the Wenatchee core. No firm plans have been made for the outlying areas of Chelan and Douglas counties, Miller said.

Leavenworth, Cashmere farmers markets become Cascade Community Markets

LEAVENWORTH — Neighboring farmers markets — one in Leavenworth and the other in Cashmere — have officially joined forces as Cascade Community Markets.

The two markets, which operate on different days and have a different mix of vendors, with some crossover, will continue to do so.

Last year, the Leavenworth Community Farmers Market provided organizational and management services for the newly reorganized Cashmere market. Cali Osborne, the executive director and manager of the Leavenworth market, helped manage the startup market. The result was a successful first season for Cashmere, which set up Sundays in Simpson Memorial Park on Pioneer Avenue, attracting local vendors and customers.

It made sense to continue working together, according to a press release from the newly named Cascade Community Markets.

Operating multiple markets under one umbrella allows for resource sharing and to serve a broader population. It also provides a consistent market experience for customers and vendors.

“The vendor rules and requirements for both markets are the same, and we expected to see a lot of overlap of vendors but it has been mostly new vendors at the Cashmere Market,” Osborne said.

Cascade Community Markets has a staff of two and a board of directors that includes residents from Leavenworth, Cashmere and Plain.

The Cashmere market, which opens on Mother’s Day, May 8, has a new home — at Cashmere Museum’s Chief Harmelt Park and Pavillion, 600 Cotlets Way. The Leavenworth Community Farmers Market opens the first Thursday of June at the Cascade School District Office playfield, 330 Evans St.

Applications are now being accepted from vendors interested in participating and one or both markets. Details and schedules for other special events, including Kids Makers Markets and live music and more, are listed at cascademarkets.org.

Former employees sue Confluence Health over COVID-19 vaccination mandate

WATERVILLE — Eighty-four former Confluence Health employees have filed a class-action lawsuit against Confluence Health after resigning or being fired due to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The lawsuit claims that Confluence Health did not allow employees to keep their jobs by proving they possessed natural immunity to COVID-19.

“All or nearly all of the dismissed employees had been working closely with COVID-19 patients … and had provable or presumed natural immunity due to their exposure to the virus,” according to the lawsuit filed in Douglas County Superior Court on April 8.

The plaintiffs want their jobs back and/or payment for the damage caused due to their termination, and other general damages.

Plaintiffs include Joy Dawe, a former Confluence Health nurse who resigned in late March from her position on the Eastmont School Board as she looks for a new job.

May Tussey, a former Confluence Health business analyst, and Michele Love-Wells, nurse, are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit. They were recently among 34 applicants for open seats on the Chelan-Douglas Board of Health but were not selected and were not among the 10 finalists.

The lawsuit also questions the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, stating that unvaccinated employees do not pose a “substantially greater health care threat” than vaccinated employees.

Dr. Peter McCullough, cardiologist and outspoken COVID-19 vaccine critic, submitted a In October, Confluence Health granted 229 religious and medical exemptions and received 23 resignations from staff. More than 100 exemption requests were not granted.

East Wenatchee attorney Steve Lacy represents the former Confluence employees.

New tasting room at Pybus Market slated for June opening

WENATCHEE — Those visiting Pybus Public Market in late spring or early summer will likely notice a new spot to taste local wines and ciders.

Off The Hill, a tasting room featuring products from Stemilt Creek Winery and Archibald James Wine and Cider, is currently projecting a June 1 opening at Pybus. The two companies have either closed their current tasting rooms, or will soon, to focus on the new location.

Andrea Brown, Pybus’ office manager, said Off The Hill will open in the space previously occupied by Alberg Sports’ Riverfront store. Alberg Sports moved nearby in Pybus and continues to operate.

Stemilt Creek Winery, owned by Kyle and Jan Mathison, have produced estate-grown wines from their vineyard on Stemilt Hill since 2003. Stemilt Creek Winery plans to close its tasting room at 110 N. Wenatchee Ave. before Off The Hill’s opening.

Archibald James Wine and Cider, owned by Seth Cohen and Bryan Noyd, began production in 2018. The company started selling its 2018 vintage wine in 2021. Cohen has worked in the wine industry for 20 years and leads production. Noyd operated restaurants in North Central Washington for 25 years before his retirement in 2016 and oversees the business and sales side.

With Off The Hill opening soon, Archibald James Wine and Cider recently closed its Leavenworth tasting room.

Beyond the new tasting room, Stemilt Creek Winery sells its products through a wine club and other direct-to-consumer methods and also self distributes to local retail outlets and restaurants. Archibald James Winery and Cider recently started a wine club and continues to operate a cider club. The company also sells wine through its website and has a west coast distribution agreement with Grape Expectations.

The two businesses grow their crops near each other on Stemilt Hill.

Pangborn could see only one flight to and from Seattle

EAST WENATCHEE — People trying to fly to and from Wenatchee may have only one time option starting in September.

That’s because Alaska Air Group’s Horizon Air could discontinue one of its two daily departures and arrivals at Pangborn.

The port, which owns Pangborn Memorial Airport, learned about the change April 6 when new draft schedules were downloaded into the airport’s computer system, Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority CEO Jim Kuntz said at the April 12 meeting.

Six other airports, including Walla Walla, Yakima, San Antonio, Great Falls, Montana, Edmonton (Canada) and Victoria (Canada, also could go to a single daily flight in September.

Altogether, Alaska might eliminate 58 daily departures from Seattle, or 18%, of its departures.

It’s not a done deal, according to Camille Koenig, Pangborn station manager for Horizon, who said she would know for sure in a couple of weeks.

Alaska’s new schedule starts Sept. 7, she said.

Tunnel Hill Winery to end operations, facilities leased to Woodinville’s Callan Cellars

CHELAN — While Chelan’s wine scene has seen considerable growth over nearly two decades, one of the first wineries in the area is closing up shop.

Tunnel Hill Winery, owned by Denny Evans and operating on the shores of Lake Chelan since 2003, closed its tasting room and ended production at the end of April. The winery produced around 1,100 cases of wine a year.

Tunnel Hill’s land and facilities will now be leased to Callan Cellars, which opened in Woodinville in 2017.

“We are currently leasing the buildings at the bottom of a 6-acre parcel that is planted with grapes,” Lisa Callan, Callan Cellars’ winemaker and owner, wrote in an email. “We do have a (right of first refusal) to purchase the 6-acre parcel and if that is the case, we have no current plans to further develop the parcel.”

Luke Evans, Guy’s son, said the winery began discussing the possibility of a transition with the winery’s five employees last year.

Guy Evans, Denny’s other son, said the move came after succession planning and a lack of calling to the wine industry from family members.

The plan is for the winery to reopen under Callan Cellars’ management starting Memorial Day weekend. Callan wrote she will “keep a second tasting room on the property for now,” and that wine production will continue at the Woodinville facility.

Tunnel Hill wine will still be available for several months as Tunnel Hill sells through the current stock. Tunnel Hill’s wine club will transition into a quarterly subscription box model.

KOHO 101.1 reaches deal with Northwest Public Broadcasting to broadcast jazz

WENATCHEE — The Sleeping Lady Foundation and Northwest Public Broadcasting have struck a deal to broadcast jazz programming on KOHO 101.1 FM, beginning on April 19.

Icicle Broadcasting, which owns KOHO, has five employees. Three sales and programming staff members “will leave concurrent with this agreement,” Deborah Hartl, senior vice president of Icicle Broadcasting, said in an email.

The two remaining staff members will stay on and assist in the transition, Hartl said.

Hartl said the station will not initially broadcast local news.

In December 2021, Harriet Bullitt’s Icicle Broadcasting Inc. announced plans to transfer control of its license for KOHO to the Sleeping Lady Foundation. Icicle Broadcasting also sold its other three stations, KOZI AM, KOZI FM and KZAL, to Chelan Valley Media Group last summer.

Pinnacles Prep, Convention Center renovations among approved city projects

WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee City Council approved a host of construction funding projects at its April 14 meeting.

Pinnacles Prep renovations: The city accepted a $2.5 million grant from the state Department of Commerce for the renovation of the Community Center at 504 S. Chelan Ave. The building is being used by Pinnacles Prep. The renovation will include new instructional spaces, a new campus entrance, a commercial kitchen and cafeteria. Renovation is scheduled to begin at the end of April 2022 and wrap up by spring 2023.

Wenatchee Convention Center: The council awarded a $160,700 contract to Signature Roofing Service to replace about 20,000 square feet of the Wenatchee Convention Center’s roof. The project is expected to start in May and end in June.

Emergency stormwater repairs: Staff submitted a report on a $304,600 contract with Pipkin Construction for emergency repairs of a sinkhole on South Wenatchee Avenue that took place between March 21 and April 7. 

Police recruiting: The city will spend no more than $28,000 with North 40 Productions to produce five police recruitment videos. The police department plans to distribute the videos on social media and other media outlets.

Drinking water improvements: The council approved two loans from the state Department of Health. One is for $1 million, to be used to replace asbestos cement water mains and service lines on First, Seventh and Eighth streets and Chelan Avenue. The second loan is $241,700 to design the replacement of nearly 3,000 feet of water main piping between Miller Street and Okanagan Avenue.

Micro grant program designed to boost downtown activity this summer

WENATCHEE — Musical performances, art installations, classes and other creative events and activities are being encouraged to pop up in downtown Wenatchee this summer funded through micro grants offered by the Wenatchee Downtown Association.

Five $1,000 grants will be awarded in each of three rounds for events in June, July and August. The grants are open to eligible businesses and organizations, which includes those operating a street-level business in the downtown core or a nonprofit within the city limits. The goal is to provide engaging community activities and experiences for residents, visitors and businesses, which will, in turn, increase activity on downtown sidewalks, plazas and parks.

The grants are funded through the Main Street Tax Credit Incentive Program and will be awarded based on:

  • Cultural community support
  • Impact on the site location
  • Diversity
  • Compliance to current COVID requirements
  • Community connection

Applications for the June events opened April 15 and closed May 1. The June recipients will be announced May 5. July event applications open May 15 and close June 1, and August event applications open June 15 and close July 1. For details and the application form for the Summer Activation Grant Program, go to wendowntown.org.

Wenatchee signs agreement for low-barrier homeless shelter location

WENATCHEE — The cities of Wenatchee and East Wenatchee had a big win April 14 in their push to build a low-barrier shelter.

The Wenatchee City Council unanimously approved a lease agreement for a property at 1202 S. Columbia St. in Wenatchee. The city was acting in its role as the lead entity for the Columbia River Homeless Task Force, which will fund the shelter using revenue from one-tenth of 1% sales taxes in each city. The property — which is owned by former Wenatchee Mayor Dennis Johnson and his wife Sharron Johnson — is across the street from the Salvation Army Social Service Office and a state Department of Transportation lot that was formerly the site of a homeless camp.

Whether a shelter will actually be built on South Columbia Street still depends on negotiations with the Salvation Army, which owns a few vacant lots next to the Johnsons’ lot. The city has been in discussions with the Salvation Army since at least last summer after the organization expressed interest in partnering on the shelter.

The Johnsons are not requiring the cities to pay rent as part of the 15-year lease. Dennis Johnson said that after reading about the cities’ search for a location for a shelter, he approached them about the property.

The property is one he and his wife have owned for a long time and that, except for a billboard, it’s been vacant.

The proposed shelter would be made up of 35-46 individual shed-size shelters that can each house up to two people. The site needs some improvements, such as bringing power out, “but not having to pay for a lease for the land is significant,” Wenatchee Community Development Director Glen DeVries said.

Apple Blossom Festival carnival moving to Wenatchee Valley Mall

EAST WENATCHEE — The Washington State Apple Blossom Festival’s Funtastic Shows Carnival will be at the Wenatchee Valley Mall this year — in the Sportsman’s Warehouse parking lot.

The carnival runs from April 29 to May 8.

The carnival was originally supposed to be located on the old state Department of Transportation property off Wenatchee Avenue, but Festival Administrator Darci Christoferson said planning for the location became a lot more in-depth than expected.

“We would have had to bring in a lot of dirt to fill holes and do a lot of fencing,” she said. “It just became very stressful. That’s when we felt it was time to find a different location.”

This will be the carnival’s second location move since 2016 when it moved from its Riverfront Park location at the foot of Fifth Street. It was in Lincoln Park last year.

East Wenatchee Mayor Jerrilea Crawford said the city is proud to have one of Apple Blossom’s biggest events in East Wenatchee.

“We get to celebrate Apple Blossom with the Classy Chassis Parade on May 6, and now we are extra excited to add the Carnival,” Crawford said in a press release. “We love this family tradition and the joy it brings.”

For information about the Carnival and all Festival Events go to appleblossom.org.

Chelan County appoints Walter as interim planning director

WENATCHEE — Chelan County commissioners appointed Deanna Walter interim community development director on March 21, as the search for a permanent director takes longer than expected.

Walter is also the county’s assessor, an elected post that she will continue to hold.

This is not Walter’s first time serving in this interim position. She was appointed to the position from 2002 to 2005 and again in March 2020 until former director, Jim Brown, was hired in April 2020.

Commissioners originally hoped the process of replacing Brown would have concluded before this summer, but competition within the state is fierce. Douglas and Kittitas counties and several cities around the state are all looking for community development directors. Finding candidates likely will require a nationwide search.

Wenatchee superintendent Paul Gordon announces plans to resign

WENATCHEE — Wenatchee School District Superintendent Paul Gordon will resign from his position effective June 30. The announcement came during a special board meeting April 14.

Gordon cited “family circumstances” for the decision. The school board unanimously agreed to amend Gordon’s contract with the district.

The board agreed to create an “executive committee,” to figure out next steps. Board President Martin Barron selected himself and member Laura Jaecks to serve on the committee, which also will consult with Michelle Price, superintendent of the North Central Educational Service District, to determine how to move forward.

Barron stated he does not expect the committee to produce recommendations but rather “an array of options and ways we can go.”

Wenatchee Rotary Club donates $128,000 to local nonprofits

WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee Rotary Club presented $128,000 to five local organizations in April from funds raised during January’s auction.

  • Chelan Douglas Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
  • Wenatchee Valley YMCA
  • Camp Fire of NCW/ Camp Zanika
  • Wenatchee Rotary Foundation/ Wenatchee High School Interact

Our Valley, Our Future lays roadmap of goals for the next five years

WENATCHEE — Nine major initiatives and more than 40 new projects are included in Our Valley, Our Future’s new five-year plan, released March 23.

Our Valley, Our Future — the nonprofit aiming to unify the Wenatchee Valley’s resources and organizations to plan for a better future — kicked off work on its next five-year plan in April 2021, looking to help the valley recover from the pandemic.

The goals, which include things like developing new land for business and studying the feasibility of a third bridge over the Columbia River, are designed to address community concerns about the region’s future revealed during community surveys completed during the past 15 months. The nonprofit, which aims to unify the Wenatchee Valley’s resources and organizations to plan for a better future, has been asking residents what they see as the biggest challenges to the community, along with possible solutions.

The new five-year plan outlines actionable programs and projects the group wants to tackle through 2026 with help from project partners. The partners, which are identified in the plan and linked to specific projects, include the region’s cities and counties, economic development organizations, nonprofits and some private businesses.

Hospitality industry, Goodfellow Bros., TOGETHER For Youth! among chamber honorees

WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee area’s hospitality industry as a whole earned a nod of recognition March 30 as the first-ever recipient of an industry-wide Cornerstone Award at the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet.

The industry was one of those hit hardest by the pandemic closures in terms of job losses and the need to pivot to keep the doors open.

The other award winners also reflected the “Rise Up” theme of the banquet, all companies “intentionally channeling their passions to help build a better community,” according to a chamber statement.

2021 Business of the Year: The Wenatchee-based Goodfellow Bros., a civil construction company, which has continued to invest in the downtown, with its headquarters, participation and charitable contributions. The company was founded in 1921 and is now in its fourth-generation of operation, with offices in Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington.

Nonprofit of the Year: TOGETHER! For Youth, which partners with schools and other community organizations to provide prevention services to youth in Chelan and Douglas counties, including substance use, bullying, violence, crime and suicide. 

Cornerstone Awards: Donny Guerrero of Molina Healthcare and the chamber’s legislative lobbyist Bruce Beckett of Beckett Group.

WDA recognizes commitment of downtown businesses with annual awards

WENATCHEE — Nine Wenatchee businesses earned accolades from the Wenatchee Downtown Association earlier this year at the organization’s annual appreciation dinner.

The theme of the event was “An Attitude of Gratitude,” which was reflected in the five awards distributed.

Resiliency Award: Atlas Fare, Rhubarb Market, Stones Gastro Pub and Owl Soda Fountain & GiftsUnstoppable Award: Inner Grove Tea Co. and Henry Harrow & Co.Historic Preservation and Renovation Award: Watermill Winery on The AveThe Heart of Downtown: Goodfellow Bros Inc.The Spirit of Downtown: Josh Tarr, owner of American Shoe Shop Inc.

The sold-out event was held Feb. 23 at the Wenatchee Convention Center. Acknowledgement for service to the WDA also went to outgoing board member Mike Poirier and past president Kelsey Dew.

77 applications narrowed to 31 competitors for Flywheel investment competition

WENATCHEE — Thirty-one semi-finalists from across the state have been selected to compete in Wenatchee’s 2022 Flywheel Investment Conference next month.

The list of contenders, narrowed from 77 applications submitted by March 16, was announced April 6 by conference organizers NCW Tech Alliance. The Flywheel Angel Network, the group of investors funding more than $325,000 in awards this year, will narrow the field again in the coming weeks. The finalists will be invited to compete live at the event set for May 18 and 19.

  • Aichieve
  • Aivot
  • Allay Health
  • Aquagga
  • BodiGuide
  • BrainSpace
  • Brite
  • Clew
  • Community Gearbox
  • Drip7 Inc.
  • Edizeven
  • Emerald Technology Group
  • FlexCharging
  • GemaTEG
  • Give InKind
  • Huney Jun LLC
  • iGuard Home Solutions
  • innov8.agLeasera
  • Nanu Water Technology
  • Phenomena
  • PropEle Electric Boat Motors
  • Pure Blue Tech
  • ReCapturit
  • Stack Moxie
  • TruMedicines
  • Violett
  • Votegrity
  • VR Ulysses
  • WHYGRENEZILA Works

Wenatchee homeless camp removed near George Sellar Bridge

WENATCHEE — City crews removed a homeless camp April 12 in South Wenatchee where about a half-dozen people lived.

The encampment was near the George Sellar Bridge next to South Columbia Street from a state Department of Transportation lot previously occupied by a homeless camp of 40 or more people.

Removal was prompted April 1 by a nearby business owner who complained that he couldn’t access his business because it was blocked by debris associated with the camp, said Wenatchee Police Cpl. Mark Ward.

About six tents sat in a row along a strip of dirt between South Columbia Street and a fence line. That area is in city right-of-way where camping is not permitted, Ward said.

Ward estimated about six to eight people lived at the encampment, though its population likely fluctuated. He said the residents were notified of the pending cleanup during the last week.

Most residents took some personal belongings with them, but the majority of items were left behind, Ward said. City crews removed roughly 50 yards of debris and towed a vehicle from the area.

He said there were no conflicts at the site Tuesday and that all but two residents of the camp area were previously informed of the cleanup.

Two file for Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority commission seat

WENATCHEE — Allen R. Steele of Manson and Richard DeRock of Wenatchee have applied for the vacant seat on the Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority Board.

The seat is held by board member Rory Turner, who announced March 17 he will resign April 30.

Steele is the father of 12th District Rep. Mike Steele, R-Chelan. His grandfather homesteaded on Howard Flat in 1894. Steele grew his own apples and cherries for more than 60 years as a small business while working for the state Department of Transportation, and retired from WSDOT after 32 years.

DeRock is Link Transit’s general manager.

The commission is scheduled to interview the finalists during a public meeting on April 26, but that could change if the timeline for applications is extended.

Commissioners have until July 29 to fill the spot.

Candidates must live in Port of Chelan County District 3, which includes Chelan, Manson, Entiat and the north portion of the city of Wenatchee.

The appointed person will serve until the November 2023 election, when he or she may decide to run for the office.