7 Ways to Invest 1.3 Billion Dollars into Yakima
Now that the powerball is at a record 1.3 billion dollars, it got me thinking of ways to put that money back into the city I was born and raised in. Several years ago, when computer generated graphics started becoming life-like, the Washington state lottery had a series of commercials where someone won and decided to move the Space Needle. The commercial looked like news camera footage with the Space Needle on trucks driving down the road. One featured the Space Needle in "Steve's" new backyard in Moses Lake. Thinking along those lines, here's a few changes I would make.
Think of the most boring thing you've ever done and I can almost guarantee the drive on I-82 between Yakima and Ellensburg is more boring than that. Whenever I can, I take the Canyon Road, but that takes a few extra minutes, especially when you're traveling behind a pack of bicyclers which seems to happen to me more often than not. If there was a way we could build a super highway between Selah and Ellensburg that cuts through the boring, rolling desert that surrounds us, let's make that happen!
Why should Tri-Cities have all the fun? I used to live in Tri-Cities for about 2 years and I loved the Columbia river. Nice and peaceful, great scenery, great landscape. The Mid-Columbia boat races come through every year bringing a TON of tourism dollars to that area. If I could dig a man-made river from around Biggs junction up through Goldendale, Toppenish, Wapato and through Yakima that would be awesome. Maybe make it a little wider past Terrace Heights where there's nothing but hills for a nice relaxation spot, I'd be okay with that.
We've all been in that situation. You get that phone call that a loved one is at the hospital and you want to go there immediately. The problem is there's never enough parking. Even the ER parking is extremely limited. Since our hospital hasn't adopted a valet parking system yet (yes, this does exist in other cities) it's time they pick up and relocate the entire hospital back one block. There are a few houses back there and would feel bad that they'd have to move, but, again, if I had the money, relocate them anywhere else and use the area where the hospital is now to give plenty of parking for trips to the emergency room, visitors and more. Once it took me a solid 15 minutes to find parking when I needed to get my 3 year old to the ER. Fortunately, it wasn't a life or death situation. The hospital, itself, is one of the biggest employers of Yakima and they keep building new sections to the hospital, but not enough parking for everyone.
I'm sure, when Yakima was being established, they had the highway dump you off on 40th as that was considered the west side of Yakima. Now that Yakima extends far beyond that, there's no convenient way to get there. It's high time we have a 72nd exit as well. Business and residents seem to keep heading west towards West Valley so it'd be nice if it was a little more convenient to go straight to that side of town without having to take 40th and then drive through town the rest of the way. You will definitely have to pave this way by removing trees, roads and even houses, but that money can help relocate those people as well.
I love Albertsons, I'm there almost every day for something or another. The only thing that bugs me about it is when you're trying to enter on 40th, but that have that pedestrian crossing right near the entrance so you risk either hitting a shopper or stopping in the middle of traffic and have a chance of getting hit yourself. They could avoid this by repositioning the store in the back corner of the lot.
I'm attached to Children's Village. I have kids that receive services there and think it's about the best place on the planet - I'd be lost without them. I don't know how or in what way or capacity but I would love to expand this place with more services, more specialists; basically, more of everything. I'd also give everyone raises.
We have a lot of places that we may take for granted. Even though more and more businesses are coming to Yakima, I would bring even more. We've been asking for a Trader Joes, a Whole Foods, a Chili's and more. With 1.3 billion dollars, I could be the one investing on them coming to Yakima.