I am looking forward to our annual community-wide cleanup in Centralia and beyond. For many years, the Abbarno family has participated in Earth Day cleanups and Community-Wide cleanups to better our neighborhood and City.
It is important to encourage participation, but even more so, it is important to be an example through participation. Our community gets better, gets cleaner, and gets closer by joining the cleanup! Here are some local events:
Seminary Hill Spring Cleanup on May 4th at 10am at Seminary Hill;
Centralia Cleanup is every Saturday at 9am at the Exit 81 Park-n-Ride;
Centralia Downtown Association Spring Cleanup on April 28, May 4, and May 5 at Noon at the CDA office on North Tower;
City of Centralia Cleanup and FREE Bags and Disposal on May 4th from Noon – 3:00pm at Centralia City Hall!
Organized cleanup events are fun! I encourage individuals, families, and businesses to work on keeping their neighborhood and community clean all year long!
In 2015, the residents passed a ballot measure creating the Transportation Benefit District. This 2/10 of a cent tax on sales in the City generates over $650,00 per year dedicated solely to our streets. Although I was not on the City Council at the time the measure passed, I advocated and supported funding more projected through the Transportation Benefit District and our Streets budget. Street Repair is about safety, economic development, and quality of life.
I am proud to say that in 2019, the City’s Street Department budget is $1.3 million with more than $900,000 dedicated to street repair, including the long awaited Borst Avenue Project. If re-elected, I will continue to advocate larger arterial projects, as well as smaller street, alley, and sidewalk projects.
I am a leading advocate in the repair of Borst Avenue between the Centralia Middle School and Centralia High School. As a father of two young children, I could not ask other parents to send their students walking down that street if I were not willing to send mine. The road, like many in our community, is a danger to our students and residents. Lewis County joined the City of Centralia to present many options to the community and in 2019, work on Borst Avenue improvement will begin.
How are roads in Centralia “rated”?
The Pavement Condition Index (PCI) is a numerical index between 0 and 100 which is used to indicate the general condition of a pavement. It is widely used in transportationcivil engineering. It is a statistical measure and requires manual survey of the pavement. PCI surveying processes and calculation methods have been standardized by ASTM.
PCI was developed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The method is based on a visual survey of the number and types of distresses in a pavement. The result of the analysis is a numerical value between 0 and 100, with 100 representing the best possible condition and 0 representing the worst possible condition.
Pavement distress types for asphalt pavements include:
Low ride quality; Alligator cracking; Bleeding; Block cracking; Bumps and sags; Corrugations; Lane/shoulder drop-off; Patching and utility cut patching; etc.
The City and Street Department evaluate a number of factors when considering the street repair and rebuild, including traffic on the street, cost, emergency, and other municipal projects in and around the region of the street.
The City of Centralia has a PCI for streets and alleys that was conducted around 2012.
The PCI for the City is located here. I encourage residents to contact the public works department directly if there is an issue or question about street repair.
This week, Centralia City Councilmember Peter Abbarno joined the SW Washington Fair commission and supporters of the Fair and Fairgrounds at a Fair Season Kickoff event.
The Southwest Washington Fair was founded in 1909 and attracts over 70,000 people annually. The Fair provides an annual financial transfusion for the local economy and highlights the history, culture, and traditions that make Lewis County and SW Washington a special place to live and work.
According to the Chronicle and SW Washington Fair, today’s Fair had its formative start in 1877, when an association was formed in Lewis County for the purpose of promoting “the advancement of agriculture” and needing the stimulus of friendly competition to advance them beyond the first rudiments of agriculture which are generally found in a new country.
The organization was incorporated as The Lewis County Agricultural Association in November 1882, and its first Fair was held Oct. 6 – 9, 1891, at what is the site of today’s Fair. (Note: the Fair held in 1877 was located at a site near where the Fuller’s Market Basket is now located in Chehalis,
The Southwest Washington Fairgrounds is the largest indoor/outdoor event facility in the area. The fairgrounds offers over 100,000 square feet of multi-use buildings for every type of public and private event. Major amenities include historic grandstands, 2 outdoor stages, large parking and camping areas. Plus barns and buildings suitable for all types of animal events.
The Fair Theme this year is “Happy as a Hen, come celebrate 110!” to commemorate the 110th year for the Southwest Washington Fair. The Fair run August 13-18, 2019. Learn more about the Fair at https://southwestwashingtonfair.net/
Deb Collinsworth joined me on AM1470 KELA Radio to discuss the Target Zero Program and this weekend’s patrol on April 20th, in honor of her daughter Cheyllyn, who tragically lost her life due to a driver under the influence of marijuana. April 20th also happens to be Deb’s Birthday!
“Thank you Peter for having me as your guest on your radio show,” said Deb Collinsworth. “It was an honor to speak about my daughter and the importance of the Target Zero program which this weekends emphasis will be dedicated to Cheyllyn. It is important to me to keep advocating the effects of consuming marijuana is the same as alcohol. If you consume, don’t drive.”
Last year, my law firm Althauser Rayan Abbarno created a scholarship through the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce for a Centralia or Chehalis Senior interested in a career in teaching. The event is on May 16th and interested students can apply on or before May 3rd at Chamberway.com
For the first three months of 2019, WSDOT reported 123 vehicles involved in alcohol or drug related collisions in the State of Washington with 85 involving fatalities or serious injuries. Alcohol and Drug related collisions are preventable. We must continue to educated the public and share Deb’s message.
Thank you to all the organizers and volunteers with the Lewis County Autism Coalition for a successful Inclusion Luncheon. It was an honor to speak with so many community advocates about Cultivating Inclusion.
I appreciated the panel of speakers, including my friend and Police Chief Carl Nielsen with the Centralia, WA Police Department; Michael Morgan with Grocery Outlet (Chehalis, WA); Kathryn Rotter with Chehalis School District, and many others.
The mission of the Lewis County Autism Coalition is to be a catalyst for community action and partnerships that support families and advance success in school, work and life for people on the autism spectrum.
“Inclusion is the cure for so many ills in our community,” said Peter Abbarno. “Whether we speak of poverty and the marginalized. Education and the deprived. Or maybe physical and developmental disabilities and the forgotten. Inclusion – The Idea of Inclusion – The right to inclusion – is a solution.”
I am committed to inclusion in our community. Personally I Ran 20 miles with a torch in my hand and jumped into 28 degree water to raise money and awareness to the Lewis County Special Olympics. Professionally, I have volunteered and delivered free legal service to those in need. As a public servant, I advocate for ADA sidewalks and truly inclusive handicap accessible playgrounds.
“At this first annual Inclusion Luncheon, we have the monumental opportunity to give real meaning to inclusion by cultivating it in our organization, workplace, neighborhood, and home. And this movement begins today and begins right now. There is no better time than right here and right now to give meaning to inclusion.”
There are many organizations working with the Lewis County Autism Coalition on inclusion initiatives, including the United Way of Lewis County,People First, Love INC, SPARC, Reliable Enterprises, Special Olympics of Lewis County as well as City and County agencies. It is never too late to join, donate, and become an Ambassador for Inclusion at work, school, or in your home!
To learn more about the Lewis County Autism Coalition, visit LCAutism.org.
Rob Fuller Scholarship Luncheon, 11:30 am-1:00 pm May 16th, 2019 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, WA!
The 2019 Rob Fuller Scholarship Luncheon honors the Top 25 students from Centralia and WF West High School. Selected students from Centralia, WF West, and Adna High School will be awarded scholarships for their hard work and interest in continuing their education.
If you would like to sponsor a student or administrator for this year’s scholarship luncheon cost is $30 per person! Contact the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce at 360-748-8885 to reserve your seat or sponsor a student or administrator. Pre-register by May 10th. We WILL NOT accept payment at the door. *The event will take place at Great Wolf Lodge – 20500 Old Hwy 99 SW, Grand Mound, WA 98531*
“I was honored to be the keynote speaker two years ago,” said Peter Abbarno. “Whether you graduate a Bearcat or Tiger, when students graduate in Lewis County they become alumni of a greater county-wide community and support system. Each year, this event highlights some of the best and brightest in our community. I, and my law firm Althauser Rayan Abbarno, are always glad to be a part of the celebration.”
Centralia High School Top 25 Nicole E. Allen Chance Donavan Bingley William Jenkins Brown Jane Rose Casey Tawnee Kendall Craig Nathan Bradley Crews Alexis Victoria Deyoung Kayla Nancy Dupont Makayla Marie Erickson Jaelyn Alexis Friberg Laura Beth Geringer Fatima Hernandez Ruth Jeriah Frances Hopkins Danika Leigh Jensen Charles Richard Leon Athena Marie Mano Colby Mccann Hannah Mae Porter Alexa Suzanne Raish Hannah Diane Roberts William Rose Tessa Dianne Smith Garrett Christian Strophy Kendra Elizabeth Sutton Ashley Lynn Taylor Anastasia Marie Ulrigg
WF West High School Top 25 Lauren Balmelli Walker Becker Sydney Cameron Joelle Chung Chase Conaway Alida Ellingson Liliana Ericson Megan Flexhaug Madeline Haakenson Sarah Haakenson Lexis Haller Autumn Hurt Dylan Jensen Jolynn Karnas-west Gabriela Martinez Gomez Ali Mcmahan Makenzie Moore Andrew Pak Christopher Powe Alexus Sanchez Haley Senderak Madison Simper Jessica Street Colby White Troy Yarter
Abbarno said he is not afraid to reach across the political aisle or city border to work on solutions to our community issues. “I think we need to take a regional approach to how we solve problems,” Abbarno said. “I don’t just want our city to get better. I want our whole region to get better.”
When Peter Abbarno was a new college graduate, his father asked him to move home to Buffalo, New York, to begin his career.
He recalls he said no because he didn’t feel there were any opportunities for him there.
It’s not a conversation Abbarno wants repeated by the next generation of his family. “I don’t want my daughter or son to look me in the eye and say ‘there’s nothing here for me,’” Abbarno said. “That’s what drives me every day. You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem, and I choose to be part of the solution.”
Attorney, Centralia city councilor, current radio host and community activist, Abbarno’s path to where he is today started in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. His sister and parents still live in Buffalo, where Abbarno recalls a youth filled with blue collar jobs, such as delivering newspapers and working for the local butcher shop. . .
He said he is not afraid to reach across the city border to Chehalis and feels more could be accomplished if rivalries were dropped. For instance, he suggested Centralia and Chehalis could purchase a road paver together and share the piece of equipment, as well as the expense of buying it.
“I think we need to take a regional approach to how we solve problems,” Abbarno said. “I don’t just want our city to get better. I want our whole region to get better.”
Among the issues that interest Abbarno most are homelessness (and the greater issues surrounding that such as addiction and mental health), education and flooding. These and many other issues all fit together into the larger subject of creating a community that is able to attract and keep businesses, Abbarno noted.
“I believe government does not create jobs. Government creates an environment where jobs can grow and flourish,” Abbarno said. “If we start looking at budgets as investments, what are we investing in and what do we expect as a return?”
The Abbarno family was proud to join teams from around our community for the annual Centralia College scavenger hunt to benefit the President’s Scholarship Fund through the Centralia College Foundation. Team PHAST (Peter, Holly, Antonio, and Sophia Theodora) finished right in the middle of the pack!
The Event took participants throughout the College and downtown community offering clues and hints to approximately 20 riddles. “It was a great chance for our community to visit downtown merchants and see what Centralia has to offer,” said Abbarno. “From Mediterranean food and laminate flooring on one side of town to a clothing boutique and dance studio on the other side of town. There is something for everyone.”
Centralia attorney Peter Abbarno has a degree in tax law and is prepared to argue taxes with state lawmakers over proposed new taxes and increased rates in existing revenue sources. “It’s going to siphon any money that we traditionally would reinvest in our workforce and our local communities,” said Abbarno.
The Governor and House Majority’s proposed budget irresponsibly increases taxes $1.4 billion dollars despite unanticipated revenue from existing sources of over $860 million.
An increased Business and Occupation Tax on gross income negatively impacts small and family owned businesses today. That is a tax that takes away from a businesses ability to invest in their employees and local community.
Governor Jay Inslee recently proposed a $54.4 billion 2019-2020 budget that increases spending by 20 percent and increases taxes $3.7 billion. I am a small business owner, and like many small business owners, I am opposed to the governor’s massive “tax and spend” proposal and the tax increases being proposed by the Democrats in the State House and State Senate. The state of Washington is experiencing historic levels of unanticipated revenue from existing sources. There is no need to create new taxes like the capital gains/income tax and increase the real estate excise tax and business and occupation tax.
The tax increases proposed by the governor will have a chilling effect on economic development and growth for many small and family owned businesses throughout Washington; most notably the capital gains/income tax and the B&O tax increase. As taxes increase, small businesses are stretched even thinner to make capital investments, grow and develop their workforce, and invest in their local communities.
The governor’s proposal would create a 9 percent capital gains tax on earnings over $25,000 for individuals and $50,000 for households. The proceeds from retirement savings accounts would be exempt from the new tax. The sale of a business would not be exempt under the current proposal. As many small business owners would agree, they created, built, and grew their business as an essential part of their retirement. And, extra 9 percent tax (on top of the federal tax) could be devastating.