Ellensburg food bank gets $100,000 boost for building renovations

ELLENSBURG—The FISH Community Food Bank in Ellensburg will renovate a recently purchased building to provide space for a senior meal program, thanks to a $100,000 donation from Yakima Federal Savings and Loan.

The food bank will renovate the recently purchased Rodeo City Bar-B-Q building at 204 N. Main St. in Ellensburg into a kitchen and dining hall for meal preparations for its Open Table senior program, according to a news release.

The food bank also will use the facility to prepare meals for other programs such as a winter homeless shelter.

“Their goal for the new site is to become a hub of nutrition related services that will benefit many Kittitas County residents. We believe in the mission and vision of FISH and are excited to be their partner,” Yakima Federal President and CEO Leanne Antonio said in a news release.

The donation will be disbursed over five years, with the first $50,000 available immediately and $10,000 released each year until 2026, the release said.

Food bank director Peggy Morache said the funding will allow the organization to update the kitchen to increase efficiency. FISH also will be able to redecorate the dining area to be more accessible for patrons.

First of three ‘pineapple expresses’ heading toward Puget Sound region

SEATTLE — With a series of storms headed this way, the Thanksgiving weekend in Western Washington will be typical for this time of year: Wet, blustery and cool.

The first of three “pineapple expresses” was forecast to arrive late Thursday, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle. The rain will be heaviest Thursday night, with some flooding possible on the Nooksack River in Whatcom County, said NWS meteorologist Gary Schneider.

But don’t expect anything like the drenching rains and floods that hammered parts of northwestern Washington and British Columbia last week, Schneider said.

“That was obviously a pretty extreme event,” he said.

Cities across the Puget Sound region will get between a half-inch and inch of rain, while totals in the mountains will range between 2 and 4 inches. Snow levels will hover between 6,000 and 8,000 feet throughout the weekend, so the mountain passes should remain clear.

Gusty winds are likely, particularly along the coast and around the San Juan Islands. “No big wind storms, but if you’re in the right spot, it could be pretty windy,” Schneider said.

Rain should decrease today, then resume Saturday when a second system will bring widespread precipitation. The possibility of flooding will increase for rivers in the northern Puget Sound area.

“The next system over the weekend is going to be a little juicier, and the rivers are already going to be running high,” Schneider said.

After a relatively dry day Monday, a third system is likely on Tuesday.

Skagit Valley College students continue Thanksgiving tradition

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — Carrying on a 26-year tradition, Skagit Valley College culinary arts students prepped Thanksgiving meals from scratch this week for 38 Skagit County families.

The menu included roasted turkey, stuffing with homemade bratwurst, mashed potatoes, green bean salad, a vegetable platter, cranberry sauce, rolls, gravy and three kinds of pie — apple, pumpkin and pecan.

New to the menu this year was a grain salad and a “gourd mash,” a casserole made from several varieties of winter squash grown in the college’s culinary garden.

Though it takes about 20 hours to cook the meals, students begin prepping ingredients for the feast at the start of the quarter, said Lyn Highet, the culinary program’s food services manager.

Eighteen culinary arts students — nine each in the culinary and baking and pastry programs — were hard at work Wednesday morning preparing the holiday meals. Students sliced cucumbers, shaped rolls and cut up homemade bread for the stuffing.

As he peeled carrots Wednesday, student Johah Gae said the culinary kitchen has all the equipment needed to prepare the 38 Thanksgiving meals.

“I just like that I get to be part of something helpful,” he said.

Student Zormorio Atencio was part of second group of students packing homemade rolls and pies on Wednesday.

“It just feels good to give back, and this is the career we want to be doing,” he said.

Man found fatally shot in RV in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood

SEATTLE—Seattle police are investigating the homicide of a man found fatally shot inside a recreational vehicle in Sodo.

A person called 911 at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday to report finding a friend dead inside an RV parked near South Forest Street and Occidental Avenue South, Detective Valerie Carson wrote in an item posted on the department’s online blotter. Officers arrived and found the 51-year-old man with a fatal gunshot wound and medics declared him dead at the scene, the post says.

Homicide detectives and crime scene investigators responded to the scene.