Category: City Council

Don’t turn ‘neighbors helping neighbors’ into community policing!

On Monday, March 30, Governor Inslee urged our community to begin reporting social distancing and essential workers to the local police department.

I want everyone to be safe and healthy by voluntarily complying with orders and abiding by social distancing and “essential workforce” orders. However, I do not agree with the Governors statement that neighbors should be reporting other neighbors to local law enforcement for social distancing violations.

The #StayHealthyStayHome order was and remains arbitrary and vague. The Governor has already had two press conferences trying to clarify and explain the vague orders. I oppose the Governor threatening our community and taking a business license away from a family or small business in financial desperation.

Peter Abbarno, Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.

The Governor outlined his plan:

  • Tier one: State or local authorities will issue a warning if they receive a complaint.
  • Tier two: Action will be taken if they don’t stop, starting with possible citations, suspension notices, or revoking a business license.
  • Tier three: If the violation continues, authorities will refer complaints to the attorney general or law enforcement.

If you see a violation of social distancing or a business open that is not essential, the Governor says to call your local police department on them and report the violation. The Governor even created a well planned and contemplated website to make it easy for neighbors to report their community members for a violation.

On March 26, only 5 days before this recent order, the Governor praised Washingtonians for helping flatten the curve and even released a graph. The Governor and Attorney General now want to turn ‘neighbors helping neighbors’ into ‘neighbors reporting neighbors’.

Practicing my social distancing with Lewis County Public Health Officer Dr. Rachel Wood on AM1470 KELA.

I urge the community to continue to follow social distancing recommendations and do your very best to comply with the order outlining ‘essential workers’ and ‘essential services.’

Continue supporting your neighbors and educating your neighbors and do not fall into the community policing that can quickly turn dangerous, and be an outlet for frustrations, personal vendettas, and revenge. That is not who we are or who we want to become.

Peter Abbarno, Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.
Learn more about the #ElectPeterAbbarno campaign at www.ElectPeterAbbarno.com

Promoting Small Businesses & Charitable Organizations on KELA AM1470 – Week 2

As host of the AM1470 KELA “Let’s Talk About It” radio, I am highlighting local businesses and organizations weekday mornings at 8:30am. This is the Week 2 list of highlighted charitable organizations and businesses. Week 1 is available Here.

Our community has an ‘all hands on deck’ mentality and supports each other through the good and bad. I think we do it because our community feels more like a family. I know we will get through the COVID-19 crisis stronger as individuals, families, businesses, and a community.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem, Candidate for State House in the 20th Legislative District, and Host of KELA AM1470’s Let’s Talk About It

Now more than ever, the #chooselocalfirst effort will have an direct impact on the survival of many small and family owned businesses. Be sure to #StayConnected and tune-in AM1470 or stream the show at www.KELAam.com weekdays at 8:30am for the latest news, commentary, and information about local businesses and charitable organizations.

Monday, March 23, 2020

SPARC (Specialized Activities and Recreation in the Community) is organized by Lewis County People First. They provide a variety of inclusive and social opportunities to people with developmental disabilities/special needs. To learn more visit SPARC or People First.

Sandstone Distillery is located in Tenino on Wright Road SE, they hand-craft spirits from Washington-grown grains, carefully fermented and artfully distilled to bring the finest of the spirit to your bottle…right here in our community. During the COVID-19 crisis, they pivoted and began making and freely distributing hand sanitizer to the public and our first responders. To learn more visit, sandstonedistillery.com

NW Sausage and Deli is located on Prather Road in Centralia and has new hours during the #StayHome order, from 11:00am to 6:00pm. Call ahead for food and beverage to-go orders. Lunch menu can found online @dicksbeer.com under the deli tab. The number to call and order your lunch or dinner is (360) 736-7760.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Human Response Network of Lewis County (nka Hope Alliance) advocates for and empowers survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Hope Alliance also seeks to effect social change by collaborating with community partners to inspire life without violence. Call any day, anytime (360) 748-6601 | (800) 244-7414 and learn more at Hope Alliance.

Black Dog Pottery was born of a desire to create a fun, creative space in Lewis County for friends and family to let their artistic energy flow.  Choose the potter, choose the colors, paint, and then pickup your newest creation. Located on Tower Avenue in Centralia, Black Dog Pottery is the perfect experience for the whole family. Learn more at www.blackdogpottery.net.

Donna’s Place on Ramsey Way in Toledo, is a family restaurant ready to serve you for lunch or dinner. During the COVID-19 crisis, Donna’s Place has take our service from 11:00am to 7:00pm by calling (360) 864-2700. The menu is located at https://www.donnasplacetoledo.com/

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Centralia College Foundation was founded by community members in 1982, the Centralia College Foundation seeks and secures private funds to supplement Centralia College’s traditional revenue sources. The Foundation provides scholarship assistance, faculty and staff recognition, development, and enrichment programs, and recognition of distinguished alumni. Learn more about the Centralia College Foundation by visiting https://www.centralia.edu/foundation/

Sister’s Quilt Shop is located in Chehalis and offers a wide variety of about 11,000 bolts of high quality quilting cotton and flannel fabrics. If your are looking for a new hobby or materials for your current #StayHome order situation, Sister’s Quilt Show online at https://sistersquiltshop.com/ has a wide variety of online products and ships daily.

Mackinaws is located in historic downtown Chehalis and a dining gem. The front is Mackinaws and fine dining, the back is Curious the Bar, still fine dining in a more casual setting. Check out their online menu on Facebook or visit www.MackinawsRestaurant.com. If you are checking out Curious The Bar- my advice is don’t leave without the Buffalo Cauliflower.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Big T BBQ in Centralia is all about great food and great service. Slow Smoked BBQ Pulled Pork, Brisket, Meatloaf, Burgers, and more. Big T BBQ is a small family based business with take out service during the COVID-19 crisis. To see their menu, visit them on Facebook or bigtbbqcatering.net/ and call your order in at (360) 330-0830.

The Mission of the Boys and Girls Club of Chehalis is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. To learn more about the Boys and Girls Club, visit www.BGCChehalis.org.

Thorbeckes Athletic Club and Thorbeckes At-Home PE has the mission to offer our members an environment that supports continued health, emotional well-being, and improved quality of life. Although the gym is closed, their staff and trainers are posting home exercises on Facebook and social media.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Good Health Nutrition Center in Centralia has been supporting our community members since 1976. Take care of your body by taking quality supplements from a trusted health food and supplement store. Call Good Health Nutrition Center at (360) 736-3830 for the best vitamin, mineral, herb, and protein supplements! Learn more at https://www.goodhealthnutrition.net/

The Tin Snug in Pe Ell lives up to its reputation for great food and friendly service. Pe Ell sits right in the middle between Centralia/Chehalis and the Pacific Ocean, and the Tin Snug is the perfect place to stop. Visit them on Facebook or at TinSnug.com for their menu and hours.

Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce helps small business grow and succeed; attracts new business, conventions, and tourism by working with Lewis County Economic Development Council and local agencies, constantly seeking to broaden our tax base and strength our economy; creates and maintains a climate for business growth and strong quality of life – Protecting and Informing the Business Community and serves as a business advocate in city, state, local, and national government affairs. Provides credibility for your business through association. During the COVID-19 crisis they are the lead agency for the First Responders Fund. Donate by visiting www.Chamberway.com

Utility Bill Relief in Centralia

March 25- Last night, one day before Utility Bills were due, the City of Centralia adopted a motion to amend the Utility Billing and Collection policies in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Although more relief may come, the following amendments were approved (7-0):

  • Temporarily suspend late fees for residential and small commercial customers.
  • Small commercial customers that are mandated to close their business by the state will be offered the option to pay 50% of their utility bill balance due until July 1, 2020.  The account will need to be paid in full or have a payment set up by July 26, 2020 to avoid penalties and interest.  Other details to follow.
  • Small commercial customers will not be sent to collections during the declared COVID-19 emergency.

Individuals, families, and businesses in our community will need assistance recovering from this crisis. Considering the City does not know the full economic impact, the amended policies were a welcomed first step and gives Centralia utility customers and the City the opportunity to take a deep breath, assess the situation, and consider additional relief before our next meeting in three week.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem

Learn more at www.CityofCentralia.com

Support the Lewis County Seniors: Emergency Meals

Emergency meals will be available through the Lewis County Seniors for individuals age 60 and over. To order emergency meals, please contact your local senior center by phone Monday through Friday from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.

The designated contact information and pick-up days are as follows:

Twin Cities

  • Wednesdays 10-12
  • Phone: 360-748-0061
  • email: adria.murphy@lewiscountyseniors.org

Toledo

  • Thursdays 10-12
  • Phone: 360-864-2112
  • email: diana.haug@lewiscountyseniors.org

Winlock

  • Thursdays 10-12
  • Phone: 360-785-4325
  • Text Message: 360-262-4046
  • email: lindsay.giberson@lewiscountyseniors.org

Morton

  • Wednesdays 10-12
  • Phone: 360-496-3230
  • email: sally.allen@lewiscountyseniors.org

Packwood

  • Wednesdays 10-12
  • Phone: 360-494-6331
  • email: helen.sutterlict@lewiscountyseniors.org

PeEll

  • Thursdays 10-12
  • Phone: 360-880-6763
  • email: nora.davis@lewiscountyseniors.org

The Lewis County Seniors organization is important to our community by offering both nutritional and enrichment programs in Lewis County. After county funding cuts, the Lewis County Seniors formed a 501(c)(3) organization to continue serving the vital needs of our community; including nutritional and enrichment programs.

With the closing of the Senior Centers due to COVID-19, the Lewis County Seniors and United Way of Lewis County are continuing the nutrition program at the Centers and through deliveries.

Continue reading…

COVID-19: IRS Taxpayer Help!

Tax Help

  • Free File – prepare and file your federal income tax return for free using tax preparation and filing software.
  • Where’s My Refund? – is an online tool that will track your tax refund. You will need your Social security number or ITIN, your filing status and your exact refund amount to use the tool.
  • Online Payment Agreements – you can apply for a payment plan online to pay off your balance over time.
  • IRS2Go mobile app – Check your refund status, make a payment, find free tax preparation assistance, sign up for helpful tax tips, and more!
  • Online Account – use this tool to view: Your payoff amount, updated for the current calendar day, the balance for each tax year for which you owe, up to 24 months of your payment history and key information from your current tax year return as originally filed.

It is often said that there are few things in life more frustrating and stressful than taxes; then the COVID-19 pandemic came. Hopefully, there will be more individual and business relief at the state and federal level for losses and expenses as a result of this crises. In the meantime, it is important for taxpayers to prepare for the inevitable tax season. There is information from the IRS about filing extensions, late payments, and e-filing taxes.

Peter Abbarno, is an attorney with a Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Washington, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem, and Candidate for the State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.

E-file Your Extension

Individual tax filers, regardless of income, can use Free File  to electronically request an automatic tax-filing extension.

  • Filing this form gives you until Oct. 15 to file a return.
  • To get the extension, you must estimate your tax liability on this form and should also pay any amount due.

Extension for Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments

You can also get an extension by paying all or part of your estimated income tax due and indicate that the payment is for an extension using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or a credit or debit card. This way you won’t have to file a separate extension form and you will receive a confirmation number for your records.

File an Extension

Individuals

Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return 

Business and Corporations

  • Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns
  • Form 1138, Extension of Time for Payment of Taxes by a Corporation Expecting a Net Operating Loss Carryback  

Other Forms

  • Form 2350, Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return (For U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad Who Expect To Qualify for Special Tax Treatment)
  • Form 4768, Application for Extension of Time to File a Return and/or Pay U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Taxes  
  • Form 5558, Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns  
  • Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns
  • Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time To File an Exempt Organization Return.  
  • Form 8892, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Form 709 and/or Payment of Gift/Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

Trades Education Gets Boost from Centralia College Foundation!

Today, the Centralia College Foundation broke ground on the Southwest Washington Flexible Training (SWFT) Center, a 12,000 square foot building that will be operational by the end of 2020.

The SWFT Center features two large classrooms, a large “open space” to allow specialized machinery and equipment to be brought in for training on Centralia College campus, and a mobile training classroom.

A cornerstone to any successful community is a quality education. Whether college bound or career ready, the College Foundation wants to prepare our students and adults seeking a second careers to be successful in the workforce and in the changing global economy. The SWFT Center will help make sure students interested in trade careers will have every opportunity to train, be successful, and follow their passion right here in our community.

Peter Abbarno is President of the Centralia College Foundation and candidate for the State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.

The Centralia College Foundation received a $1.3 million TransAlta Coal Transitions Grant to help the Foundation construct the SWFT Center. The facility will be available for training programs for local industry, trade associations, community groups, K-12 education, and Centralia College programs.

Continue reading…

Sign The Petition: Local Parental Control of Sexual Education!

The Mandatory Sexual Education bill does nothing to strengthen families. It only makes government stronger. If we are truly to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and destructive behaviors, then Olympia must empower local families and communities.

Please consider signing the petition to learn more about how parents like us can empower families and local communities. And, please consider supporting my campaign at ElectPeterAbbarno.com

Peter Abbarno, Candidate for the State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District.

Sign the PETITION!

This issue is more complex than merely ‘are you for or against the teaching of sexual and health education.’ This is an issue of ‘who should teach it,’ ‘where should it be taught,’ and ‘when should it be introduced.’ I am choose our families and our communities first.

Peter Abbarno, candidate for State House or Representation in the 20th Legislative District.
Donate and Support the #ElectPeterAbbarno Campaign at www.ElectPeterAbbarno.com
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Centralia Hosts Homeless Workshop

The City of Centralia hosted the first of several homelessness workshop at city hall this week, featuring a a presentation from Director of Lewis County Public Health and Social Services (LCPHSS) J.P. Anderson and County Manager Erik Martin.

Under the requirements of the Homelessness Housing and Assistance Act (Ch. 43.185C RCW) and in order to qualify for funding sources, jurisdictions must complete a plan to address homelessness in their communities. Specifically, plans are required at the county level, which takes the lead on the programs and involves a cooperative plan between city and county governments together with local nonprofits, businesses and faith communities.

Centralia City Council Workshop: Homelessness

Judging by the number of people that are here then they probably agree with us that this is a top issue not only in our community but throughout Lewis County and really throughout the state of Washington. This workshop was an opportunity to hear the County’s plan- the next workshops will drill down into the details and include more community participation.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem and Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District
Continue reading…

Bipartisan Bill Supports Historic Downtowns in Lewis and Cowlitz Counties

House Bill 2868 recently passed the State House with unanimous Bipartisan support. The legislation, Sponsored by 19th Legislative District Representatives Walsh and Blake, is very important to small and rural communities because it encourages investment and reinvestment into historic downtown properties.

Centralia Downtown Historic District

Historic downtowns are a vital part of the local economy and way of life in many parts of rural Washington. I work in historic downtown Centralia in the historic Masonic Building. I live in a historic neighborhood in Centralia. Preserving, enhancing, and encouraging investment in historic downtown communities is important to any diverse economic development plan.

Peter Abbarno, Business Owner, Attorney, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem, Candidate for State House in the 20th Legislative District
Peter Abbarno in front of his law office, Althasuer Rayan Abbarno, in historic downtown Centralia.

According to House Bill 2868, Rehabilitated historic properties receiving Rehabilitated historic properties receiving special valuation for purposes of property taxation are eligible for two seven-year extensions of the special valuation if the property is located in a city that is listed as a distressed area by the Employment Security Department (ESD) and has a population of less than 20,000. This would include many cities in the 20th Legislative District, including Centralia and Chehalis in Lewis County.

Some properties that are currently receiving this tax preference are nearing the expiration of the exemption. I know there are many historic property owners haven’t recouped their investment and this would help them, and organizations like the Centralia Downtown Association and Chehalis Renaissance, continue revitalizing their building and revitalizing our historic commercial and residential buildings. I am very glad to see the bipartisan leadership on this issue to support our historic communities.

Peter Abbarno, Business Owner, Attorney, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem, Candidate for State House in the 20th Legislative District
Historic Downtown Centralia with the Lewis and Clark Hotel on the Left and the Masonic Building with law office of Althauser Rayan Abbarno on the Right

Taxes going UP again for many Washington businesses

February 9- Last year, the majority in Olympia raised the Business and Occupation Tax (B&O) on businesses like mine and more than 85,000 others. I was a very vocal opponent of the tax increase- testifying before the State Senate with the Association of Washington Businesses and being interviewed by King5 News.

Centralia attorney Peter Abbarno joins AWB Government Affairs Director Clay Hill to testify in opposition to Senate Bill 5129, which would increase taxes on employers.(2019) (Photo: Brian Mittge/AWB)

This past week, the majority party passed a tax increase to 4,400 more businesses; with an estimated impact on over 450,000 Washington employees. And, once again, Abbarno is in opposition of this regressive funding mechanism that disproportionately impacts small and family-owned businesses in our communities.

Investments in Workforce Development and creating more opportunities for higher education is a very important goal; however, it is fiscally irresponsible to impose tax increases through a regressive funding mechanism at a time when the State is experiencing revenue growth from existing sources.

Peter Abbarno, business owner, attorney, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem, and Candidate for State House in the 20th Legislative District

The legislation, ESSB 6492, passed both chambers along party lines (with a number of Democrats joining Republicans) in opposition of the tax increase and expansion. The tax increase and expansion comes in response to higher-than-expected costs for the Washington College Grant, which lawmakers created through last year’s Workforce Education Investment Act. The program was created to offer free college by paying full tuition and fees.

Peter Abbarno speaking at the 2017 Centralia – Chehalis Chamber of Commerce Rob Fuller Scholarship Luncheon about educational opportunities. Peter is also President of the Centralia College Foundation.

Effective and sustainable investments should be the hallmark of legislation coming from Olympia. There are few better investments than education and workforce development, but there are ways to improve education and expand workforce development without punishing local businesses. It is about solutions and doing the hard work to find them. That is what I will bring to Olympia.

The Business and Occupation Tax being increased and expanded is a tax on the gross revenue of a business- meaning government has their hand in the pocket of small and family owned businesses before they even see a dollar. The State should be prioritizing and using the ample existing sources.

The voters of Washington, and most certainly the 20th Legislative District, overwhelmingly voiced their ‘tax fatigue’ and rejected virtually every tax advisory vote on the 2019 ballot and passed limitation on car tab fees. When elected to the State House in the 20th Legislative District, I will carry that message to Olympia- Loud and Clear- our families and businesses have had enough of irresponsible taxing and spending.

Peter Abbarno, business owner, attorney, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem, and Candidate for State House in the 20th Legislative District
Donate and Join the Elect Peter Abbarno Victory Team at www.ElectPeterAbbarno