GET INVOLVED IN THE HEALTH OF YOUR COMMUNITY IN APRIL Community Clean-up Day Saturday, April 21 Find an "eye sore" and work to clean, beautify and restore it Attend one of the many environmental activities occurring in April Register your Project or Volunteer for one! EARTH MONTH KICK-OFF Saturday, March 31 Noon to 4 Highlands Grange Park, 15th & Union St., Kennewick Mid-Columbia Library Kennewick Branch Exhibits, Entertainment & Presentations EARTH MONTH FINALE Alternative Energy Expo Friday April 27 9:30 to 4:00 Saturday, April 28 10:00 to 4:00 Columbia Basin College Campus, Pasco Electrathon Race & Awards – Saturday

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Bill Moffitt, the chair of the Kadlec Health System and Kadlec Medical Center Board of Directors, has earned a prestigious national award for hospital trustees. Modern Healthcare magazine has named Moffitt one of its 2007 Trustees of the Year. The magazine honors two hospital board members in categories for large and smaller hospitals. Moffitt earned runner-up recognition in the large hospital category.  Since 1999, he has served on the volunteer Kadlec Medical Center Board of Trustees, and has been board chair since 2002. Under his leadership, the medical center has: "¢ developed into a regional referral center. Kadlec has grown its monthly gross revenues from $8 million, to $30 million a month today. Kadlec's employee workforce has also doubled during…

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Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) and Senator Wayne Allard (CO) introduced "The Community Choice in Real Estate Act," S.413, which clarifies Congressional intent that real estate brokerage and management are not banking activities. Clinton and Allard explained that allowing banks into real estate would "upend one of our nation's most fundamental policies – the separation of banking and commerce- and put our economy at risk."

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As part of the City of Seattle and ULI speaker series "Housing Our Future," former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros recently addressed the growing disparity between workforce wages and housing costs. "As he described severity of Seattle's housing affordability gap, the imbalance of housing supply and demand and the resulting social and quality of life problems, Secretary Cisneros drew heavily from data supplied by Sam Pace, Washington REALTORS® Legislative Steering Committee Vice Chair," said Randy Banneker, of Banneker and Associates and Housing Specialist for Seattle-King County Association of REALTORS® (SKCAR). Cheri Brennan, SKCAR's PR Specialist observed, "Using the information we provided, he…

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At a panel discussion that included Kari Burrell from the Governor's office, Sen. Rodney Tom and Rep. Larry Springer during the Association of Washington Cities Hill Day, Washington REALTOR® past president Mike Flynn explained our legislative solutions to improve home choices for Washington families. The Q & A period went overtime with lines at both microphones. "One after another, local elected officials wanted to know how they could put our ideas to work in their communities, how they could "˜do something' to make homes more affordable," Flynn explained. "In three words, they want help."

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Consumer and Business Affairs REALTORS® are working with Sen. Karen Fraser to establish a vacant land disclosure statement in order to protect buyers and sellers of vacant land without changing the intent of the seller disclosure statement or making it more burdensome. REALTORS® are providing input to ensure legislation regarding new home warranties and condo conversions do not negatively impact real estate. And, we are providing support for affordable housing programs. Land Use REALTORS® are supporting legislation that addresses the protection of critical areas. We are also working to allow the concept of rural villages to promote economic development and housing opportunities and we are supporting legislation for a regional program of the transfer of…

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In response to the growing home affordability crisis, REALTORS® have introduced measures to improve housing opportunities in Washington so that we plan more effectively as more people move here to live and work, increase the number of homes to meet job growth, develop the tools to accurately plan for growth and measure how we're doing and fund the roads, water, sewers and parks needed for new homes in our communities.

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Measure allows chambers of commerce continued use of 'hotel-motel' tax. The House Community, Economic Development and Trade Committee has approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Barbara Bailey that would clarify that chambers of commerce may continue the practice of using "hotel-motel" taxes for tourism promotion. House Bill 1254 cleared the committee today on a vote of 8-1. "Various chambers of commerce in the 10th District have previously received monies to help finance their tourism enterprises. Those efforts included production and mailing of tourism brochures, phone inquiries and other expenses of running a tourist information center," said Bailey, R-Oak Harbor. "After the attorney general's opinion, some municipalities were unclear whether they…

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OLYMPIA...As a member of the Washington State Gambling Commission, Sen. Jerome Delvin today announced his disappointment at the commission's Friday vote in favor of the Spokane Indian Tribe compact, a gaming proposal that will vastly increase the tribe's gaming machines and expand gambling in Washington – in direct opposition to the will of the voters. "For months, the commission learned how this gaming compact would add thousands more machines, give the state no revenue at all, reward the Spokane Tribe's illegal operations, and pave the way for off-reservation gambling," said Delvin, R-Richland. "In 2004, Washington voters said "˜NO' to expanding gambling in Washington by rejecting I-892. I kept faith with those voters by personally voting "˜NO' to the…

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The cities of Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland have jointly embarked on a study to identify a process to determine the best locations for regional facilities in the Tri-Cities. The approval, planning or funding for any of these facilities have not yet been determined. This meeting is informational in nature with a request for public comment. The Tri-Cities Oversight Committee consists of City Managers and Council members representing Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland. A total of 18 potential regional centers project concepts have been identified through this study. This includes consideration for a Regional Aquatics Center and a Performing Arts Center.  The Aquatics Center is intended to augment existing pools, provide greatly expanded indoor and outdoor…

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