In the News

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Country Meadow Village executive director Sandra Jensen and program director David Bricka presented the check to Veronica Lopez, Skagit Children's Advocacy Center director, and Mike Cook, Brigid Collins board member, on behalf of the residents and staff at a recent gathering at the retirement community. The funds were raised from the annual Mother's Day Brunch and proceeds from Kathy's Kloset, a consignment shop set up by Country Meadow Village staff member Kathy Richter for the residents and staff, according to the release. " ["post_title"]=> string(48) "Country Meadow Village donates to Brigid Collins" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(7) " " ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(48) "country-meadow-village-donates-to-brigid-collins" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2018-06-27 09:17:46" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-06-27 16:17:46" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(43) "https://villageconcept.wpengine.com/?p=9775" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#3136 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(9648) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-05-22 12:33:07" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-05-22 19:33:07" ["post_content"]=> string(6294) " UPDATED December 28, 2018 Alder Ridge is currently working on moving residents into units that are complete and ready on the second floor.  We anticipate the final elevator sign off in the next 10-14 days (estimate from The State of Washington). We are in the process of calling all of our residents to keep them informed.  If you are unable to reach us by phone at (253) 878-5665, please leave a message and we will call you back as soon as we can.   UPDATED December 10, 2018
  • Our laundry and common areas now have their counter tops installed
  • The ground floor activity room kitchen has been installed
  • Carpet will be installed in the ground floor activity area today
  • Stairwells are being carpeted
  • Final cleaning is continuing
  UPDATED December 3, 2018 We are continuing to push for completion. The third floor is complete and we are in the process of marking off our final checklist before move-ins can be arranged. Updates will be posted along with more photos at the end of the week.   UPDATED November 15, 2018
  • The second floor unit carpets will be completed this Friday 11/16 and the first floor units will be completed over the weekend
  • All cabinets and countertops will all be installed by 11/26
  • We have scheduled inspections for the last two weeks in November
  UPDATED October 18, 2018 The city of Milton has authorized occupancy for the Garden Terrace apartments starting November 1st. We will be contacting residents with move-in details for these units.   UPDATED October 17, 2018
  • Vinyl and carpet installation is continuing
  • Cabinet installation is continuing, counter tops should be completed in two weeks
  • Painting continues on the first floor
  • We are installing the balance of the door hardware and trim
  UPDATED September 13, 2018 We are excited to welcome everyone "Home" to Alder Ridge Senior Apartments! If you are a returning resident, please see info below:
  • Renters Insurance: As part of the move-in paperwork, we will be requiring all residents to have a current renters insurance policy. This will ensure everyone is protected and covered in the case of any type of accidental event. If you need further information on insurance types or coverage requirements, please contact us at (253) 838-5665
  • Move-in Paperwork: Alder Ridge residents returning to their original apartment will need to complete a certification upon move-in. This is the same certification process that was previously completed on an annual basis after your first year of residency. Alder Ridge residents returning to a different apartment will need to complete a full move-in application.
  • We will begin contacting our waitlist to start the application and certification process after October 1st, 2018.
  UPDATED August 30, 2018 The new elevator has arrived! We are making good progress on drywall all the way into the basement area. Looking forward to painting and flooring soon.   UPDATED August 15, 2018
  • Third floor painting is complete, second floor painting is scheduled for 8/23/2018
  • Flooring has arrived, we are scheduled for an install date of 9/3/2018
  UPDATED July 16, 2018

  • The insulation is now complete, the new doors, hardware and millwork have been ordered
  • The third floor drywall will be tapped and mudded this week
  UPDATED May 22, 2018

Remediation work is complete at Alder Ridge and we’ve gotten started with the construction phase. The new roof will hopefully be completed by the end of the week, allowing them to really get going on the inside work. There is a lot to do to get everything ready, that even includes installing a brand new elevator! We are hoping to have the building completed late fall of this year. Angie has moved to our newly renovated Assisted Living building in Enumclaw. Sylvia Rouse will be our Community Manager at Alder Ridge when we open in October. Sylvia has been a part of our development team for the last couple of years and is helping in the coordination of the construction. Sylvia has been making calls to residents regarding their desire to return to their apartment at Alder Ridge. If you’ve not heard from us lately feel free to call the main number at Alder Ridge and leave a message. We are returning calls daily. We’ll continue to keep our website updated with construction progress and update more often as we get closer to opening. " ["post_title"]=> string(31) "Alder Ridge Construction Update" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(7) " " ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(31) "alder-ridge-construction-update" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2018-05-22 12:33:07" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-05-22 19:33:07" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(43) "https://villageconcept.wpengine.com/?p=9648" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#3137 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(9639) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-05-22 11:15:04" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-05-22 18:15:04" ["post_content"]=> string(3937) "
Special hot air balloon helps wheelchair-bound people take flight.
Getting old is no fun. But if you make it to 104-years-old like Elgin Skewes, you learn a thing or two about it. Mainly this: "Oh you can't get everything in that you want to do, you've got to hurry,” explained Elgin, at her home in Park View, a retirement community in Port Angeles, sitting in a wheelchair that she says ‘ties her down’. Elgin has a plan to do something about being 'tied down' to that wheelchair: "Go up in a balloon,” she says. Why? Because it's about time. "I haven't done it before and I've got to do everything.” Elgin reiterated. “It's getting late you know." Flight day dawns clear and calm in Sequim's Dungeness Valley. Captain-Crystal Stout jokes with her team of volunteers about getting them out of bed early for this special flight. The team works together getting her Dream Catcher Balloon ready - a balloon designed to give people with limited mobility wings. "This is what I'm here for. I find that my soul says I'm here to serve. I'm here to give those people an opportunity to have an amazing adventure and it started with just wheelchairs and then it blossomed,” said Stout. As the balloon inflates, a busload of senior adventurers are on the way from Park View, including Elgin. There’s a murmur of excitement aboard the bus when the waiting balloon comes into view. They are all ready to soar. Captain Crystal has given more than 700 flights to people who are unable to climb into a regular hot air balloon basket. The specially designed aluminum double seat she uses is still designated as experimental, but it’s a steady platform, and the five-point harness holds riders securely. Plus there’s added excitement with this riding seat – feet dangle over the side, for a bit of extra freedom during flight. Flights like today's are urgent. "Because we have the two centenarians, you know a, especially a 104-year-old lady, we like to make ourselves available on the spot when we hear of somebody with a 'bucket list' request like this,” said Stout. "That's kind of my heads up, that tells me let's get them in the balloon as soon as possible so that they can have this chance to fly." One of those centenarians -- Doris Thompson will be 100 this July -- is the first to fly. She simply exclaims “Oh Wow!” as she floats free of earth as Stout blasts propane into the balloon. Then, it's Elgin's turn to trade her wheelchair for wings. She's been waiting one hundred and four years for this moment. And for a few minutes, Elgin is no longer tied down to that wheelchair. She floats above it all, taking in the Olympic Mountains, and her friends and caregivers, waving down below. And now that she's tasted freedom - she wants more. "Cut the ropes!" Elgin shouts. "You heard her, didn't you? She said cut those ropes. Don't anyone do what she's telling you to do. I'm the Captain okay?” declared Stout from her command center next to Elgin. It's a good day for flying -- maybe the best. Because this balloon ride might have been wasted on someone younger. Someone with more time. Elgin Skewes, Balloon Adventurer, doesn't have any tips on how to get to 104, because frankly, it's not for the faint of heart. She just knows one thing is certain for all of us: "Yeah. Time's a wastin’ “
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The Washington Health Care Association conference will honor three local healthcare professionals

On May 23 at the Washington Health Care Association conference in Spokane, awards for excellence will be given to three local professionals working in the healthcare field.The winners are:
  • Jennifer Reich, Mill Ridge Village (Milton) – Executive Director of the Year
  • Danniell Guffey, Mill Ridge Village – Nurse of the Year
  • Terri Wright of El Dorado (Burien) – Red Carpet Award for Outstanding Quality
Peers and managers nominate the candidates for these awards, and the WHCA award committee then decides the winners. “Jennifer and our Mill Ridge team have had deficiency-free state surveys for four years. She knows the business of assisted living and works hard to make sure all departments are in compliance,” Resident Care Director at Mill Ridge Village Danniell Guffey stated. Mill Ridge Village and El Dorado are both part of Village Concepts, which provides assisted living, memory care, and senior apartment facilities throughout Western Washington. Village Concepts has a large concentration of facilities in the South Sound, with locations in Covington, Auburn, Gig Harbor, Chehalis, and Enumclaw, in addition to the Burien and Milton locations.
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[caption id="attachment_9480" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Jerry Blanchard, 74, of Chehalis, rides his bike along the Willapa Trail Wednesday afternoon in Adna. Jared Wenzelburger.[/caption]

Some senior citizens like to play golf or take up water aerobics. Jerry Blanchard likes to pedal his bicycle 20 miles.

“My body feels good now that I’ve gotten out and gotten a ride in,” Blanchard said as we approached the end of our ride Wednesday on the Willapa Hills Trail. “I feel real bad when I’m not out there doing something. … A day like today, it just feels good to get out and get some exercise and see what’s happening on the trail.”

The 74-year-old makes his circuits around Chehalis these days, but he’s got a long life list of adventures that he casually catalogs the way some people recite their grocery lists. Blanchard biked from coast to coast in 1976, then followed that nearly three decades later by cycling the mountains of the Great Divide. He’s seen more of the United States on two wheels than most people have on four.

But you won’t find Blanchard sitting around his Woodland Village retirement community in Chehalis telling tales of the good old days. You’ll find him on his bike, every day the weather cooperates, putting in more miles. 

Blanchard took me on an abbreviated version of one of his favorite rides, an 11-mile round-trip from the Willapa Hills Trail starting point in Chehalis to a trestle over the Chehalis River near Adna. He usually bikes to the trailhead from his home to make it an even 20 miles. Along the way, he pointed out where a bald eagle often likes to perch, where wildflowers and songbirds will soon be making their springtime arrivals. 

This ride is one Blanchard does at least once a week, along with routes near the airport and Stan Hedwall Park. He likes to mix it up so he doesn’t get tired of any one circuit. 

“If it’s nice, I’m out every day,” he said. 

Born and raised near Spokane, 

Blanchard joined the Navy after high school and served for four years. After moving to Seattle in the late 1960s, he joined The Mountaineers outdoor club as a way to meet people. He enjoyed the hikes, but really got hooked when he started going on bike rides with other members. 

Blanchard hadn’t been much of an athlete when he was in school, but now he found himself coming into his element, mastering physical, logistical and technical challenges.

“When I got into biking, it was just me,” he said. “Being able to lead rides and help people out. I was able to learn how to fix my own bike, take it apart and put it back together. It felt good doing that.”

Soon he was taking trips with his new friends, like a 300-mile trip around the Olympic Peninsula and another 300-miler to the Spokane Expo. In 1976, he saw an ad for a bicycle trip across the country. 

“I said, ‘Well, I’m gonna do that,’” he said.

He talked to his friends in The Mountaineers, and they decided to put together their own trip instead of paying to join another group’s itinerary. Blanchard and 12 others started planning, with each taking a state to route — his was South Dakota.

When the time came, Blanchard asked his employer for a leave of absence. He was denied.

“So I quit my job,” he said. “I don’t think I even gave it a thought. If I feel I’m going to do something, I do it, and I don’t think about anything else until I’m done. … The people I bicycled with thought it was a good idea. Some people said I was crazy, because not many people were doing it at that time.”

Before the group even started, Blanchard set off on a trip of his own, biking from Seattle down through Oregon and California, then exploring the natural wonders of Arizona and Utah.

When he returned, his band of 13 set out from the coast in Gearhart, Oregon. They made their way through Idaho, Wyoming and South Dakota, stopping to see the Tetons, Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. Blanchard recalled the ease of settling into the day-to-day patterns of the months-long trek.

“You get in a routine and that’s what you do,” he said. “You don’t have to think about anything else.”

They continued through the fields of Iowa and Illinois, then the countrysides of Kentucky and West Virginia. Finally, 4,500 miles from where they started, they reached the Atlantic Ocean at Yorktown, Virginia. The group made its way back to Washington, D.C., where they did some sightseeing and the others headed home. 

Blanchard wasn’t done. He turned south and pedaled for Florida. By the time he reached the Sunshine State, he’d been on his bike for four and a half months and covered 9,000 miles. Finally, he caught a flight home.

Back in Seattle, he met Beverly, a fellow Mountaineer. She liked hiking as much as he liked biking, and they each shared the other’s activity enough to make the romance work. They were married and moved to Chehalis to work at the Thousand Trails campground. After 10 years at the campground, Blanchard went to work as a custodian at the Chehalis School District, where he retired after 20 years of service. 

For a while, Blanchard put his bike away. He was busy with work and living in a small trailer. Eventually, though, he bought some property and discovered trails nearby. He was back in the saddle.

In 2001, he set out on a new quest: biking the Great Divide, the spine of the Rockies. Over the next six years, he’d take on a new section whenever he had the time, sometimes accompanied by Beverly. By 2006, he’d pieced together a route from Banff, Canada to southern Colorado. He’s characteristically nonchalant about the accomplishment.

“I’ve always wanted to travel, and I figured that was the best way to see the U.S. and meet people along the way,” Blanchard said.

Blanchard’s adventures aren’t limited to biking. He and Beverly hiked the 93-mile Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier, and he’s traveled to Antarctica and the Amazon and Africa. In fact, I got so carried away listening to his stories that I forgot to ask him about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, which he did in 1970. He graciously described the trip on a follow-up phone call, explaining that he heard about it on a radio promotion and decided to join, simple as that. 

“I got on the list and went,” he said. “It was great.” 

Though Kilimanjaro is not a technically demanding climb, it was Blanchard’s first summit, and he had to push himself to climb in the thin air above 19,000 feet. 

Blanchard’s trips have taken him everywhere from the Galapagos Islands to Vietnam. When we met up, he’d just gotten back from Australia and New Zealand and was leaving soon for Iceland. Alaska, South Africa and Europe are next in the queue. In recent years, he’s added photography to his hobbies to better document his travels. Whether he’s experiencing the world as a tourist or a cyclist, he enjoys meeting new people and seeing new places. 

After Beverly died several years ago, he sold his property and moved to Woodland Village in Chehalis. Living in the retirement community has allowed him to keep up with his travel ambitions.

“I don’t have to worry about mowing grass or someone taking care of my place,” he said. “I can just pick up and take off.”

After every trip, though, he’ll always come back to his bike. 

“Just get out in the fresh air and make my body do something, to move and get the wind blowing in my face,” he said. “It makes your body feel better. … It’s something I can do. It doesn’t take much planning to do. Just jump on a bike and go.”

" ["post_title"]=> string(67) "Decades After Biking Across U.S., Chehalis Senior Still on the Move" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(7) " " ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(65) "decades-after-biking-across-u-s-chehalis-senior-still-on-the-move" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2018-04-26 11:27:25" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-04-26 18:27:25" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(43) "https://villageconcept.wpengine.com/?p=9479" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [5]=> object(WP_Post)#3120 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(9448) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-03-26 10:45:53" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-03-26 17:45:53" ["post_content"]=> string(8242) " The grand opening of The Adriana Senior Apartments, an affordable senior apartment building in Des Moines, was held on Wednesday, March 21, 2018.
Village Concepts, a third generation family-owned business helping seniors thrive in retirement and assisted living communities throughout Washington state, is excited to announce the grand opening of The Adriana its newest senior housing community.
The Adriana apartments are co-owned by a partnership of Village Concepts and Brian Scalabrine, a former NBA Boston Celtics player, Highline College alumnus and elder care advocate, as well as Andrew Langsford of the Bellevue-based Venture Real Estate Group. For Scalabrine, the desire to support senior housing efforts stems from childhood, when he watched his grandparent’s struggle to afford senior housing. Baffled by the inexcusable treatment of the elderly, Scalabrine has been searching for a better solution for senior housing ever since. This $23 million project is named after Scalabrine’s two daughters, Eliana and Adria. The Adriana is his way of giving back and honoring the countless contributions wiser generations have made. The opening of The Adriana will help fulfill the need for affordable housing for seniors and like other Village Concepts developments, will be community-focused. New residents will be able to stroll through the nearby Des Moines Marina, visit the public library or take classes at Highline Community College. Amenities include a social room, underground parking and a rooftop deck with stunning views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. The Adriana will feature 119 units spanning six stories.
  • The Adriana will feature 119 units spanning six stories, with 72 one-bedrooms from 550-600 square feet, and 47 two-bedrooms
  • Amenities include a social room, underground parking and a rooftop deck with stunning views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.
  • New residents will be able to stroll through the nearby Des Moines Marina, visit the public library or take classes at Highline Community College.
  • Village Concepts managed the development process from the financing to the construction.
  • The total project cost of The Adriana was $23 million. The Adriana apartments are 50 percent co-owned by both Village Concepts and Brian Scalabrine. The other 50 percent is owned by Andrew Langsford of the Bellevue-based Venture Real Estate Group.
  • Brian Scalabrine’s concerns about the availability of affordable housing for seniors was a motivating factor in his involvement in this project. Scalabrine is a former NBA Boston Celtics player and Highline College alumnus. The Adriana is named after Scalabrine’s two daughters, Eliana and Adria.
  • The opening of The Adriana will help fulfill the need for affordable housing for seniors and will be community-focused, like other Village Concepts developments.
  • The Adriana is an income qualified apartment building for seniors. Apartments rents are below market based on HUD rent structure for 60 percent AMI. The apartments are for seniors making about $40,000 annually or below.
Recent projects that Village Concepts (a senior housing developer and manager based in Auburn) has done include:
  • Completing El Dorado West remodel in Burien
  • Nearing completion on its new assisted living and memory care wing at the Enumclaw property
  • Recently broke ground for a remodel on its Chehalis property which will add new assisted living and memory care rooms
The Adriana Senior Apartments is located at 22525 7th Ave S. " ["post_title"]=> string(56) "Ribbon cut at Grand Opening of Adriana Senior Apartments" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(7) " " ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(56) "ribbon-cut-at-grand-opening-of-adriana-senior-apartments" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2018-03-26 10:45:53" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-03-26 17:45:53" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(43) "https://villageconcept.wpengine.com/?p=9448" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [6]=> object(WP_Post)#3356 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(9233) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-01-23 15:00:16" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-01-23 23:00:16" ["post_content"]=> string(23920) " 
If you are a resident's insurance adjuster, please contact Jeffrey Jones, York Risk Services Group, Inc. at jeffrey.jones@yorkrsg.com NW Furniture Bank will furnish an apartment for $75 (resident pick up) and $125 with delivery.  Call 253-302-3868 for more info. Contact Safety Officer Dave Masters to arrange apartment access on the west side of the building, dmasters@rmc.com or 858-790-4565. Please allow 24 hours for him to respond to your message. Mail is being held at the Milton Post Office for pickup at 2825 Milton Way Our contact number (253) 878-5665 is staffed Monday-Friday, 9 am.-5 p.m. Please leave a detailed voicemail after hours and we will return your call.
  UPDATED Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we navigate the aftermath of the Alder Ridge Senior Apartments fire. We continue to work diligently with the authorities, remediation and construction professionals in order to clean and repair the facility for future occupancy as expediently as reasonable possible. We regret to inform you that we now believe the facility will remain uninhabitable for the indefinite future. At this time, they have told us we could expect the entire process to take up to nine to twelve months. We understand that you will need to make alternative living arrangements. Accordingly, we are releasing all residents from their lease agreements. We have processed all security deposits to be returned. If you have supplied an address we will mail it there otherwise it will be onsite with Scott for pickup. Many have asked about getting their apartment back when Alder opens again. We will attempt to get everyone back to their original apartment if they can return in a reasonable amount of time once Alder Ridge is open. We will be signing new leases and residents will have to requalify for occupancy. As you are aware, the vast majority of the apartments on the west side of the facility were damaged. If you resided in one of these apartments, we ask that you remove your personal property as soon as is reasonably possible. We are working with Dave Masters to set appointments to remove your items. You will have opportunities to enter to pack and enter on moving day. Please schedule with Dave at dmasters@rmc.com or 858-790-4565. Please be advised that the elevator remains inoperable. Apartments on the east side will also remain closed during the course of the fire remediation. Consequently, residents of apartments on the east side of the building are encouraged to remove their personal property as soon as is reasonably possible. However, because most such apartments are undamaged, Alder Ridge will entertain requests to store personal property on terms agreeable to the resident and Alder Ridge. However, once general construction in the building starts in the next few months it will be locked down and you will not be able to get to those items. All residents will be permitted to abandon unwanted personal property, which will subsequently be disposed of at no cost to the resident. Residents electing to abandon property will be required to sign our Disposal Authorization and Abandoned Property Release forms. We will continue to provide relevant information as it becomes available. In the interim, you may contact us at alderinfo@villageconcepts.com or 253-878-5665 with questions or concerns.   UPDATED Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 8:45 a.m. Alder Ridge has been a busy place with construction crews and people moving their belongings. Safety Officer Dave Masters has been doing a great job scheduling and coordinating move outs. Please allow him 24 hours to respond to your emails and calls for an appointment. His contact information is dmasters@rmc.com or 858-790-4565. You can arrange with Dave a time to pack and another time to move. They just want to reduce the amount of movement in the hallways to consolidated times for safety reasons. There is now a more permanent wall in the hallway at a slightly different location. The below units need to make appointments with Dave to schedule their moves.
  • G1 thru G7 and G10 thru G13
  • 101-116 and 131,132,133
  • 201-213 and 215, 216, 231, 232, 233
  • 301-317 and 331, 332, 333
If your apartment is on the East side of the building (less affected), it is not required to make an appointment for a move out. You will still need to check in with security to gain access to your apartment. At this point the stairs are still the only means for removing your belongings. The Restoration Management company is asking residents to not park or drive into the front entrance. This is a high traffic area for construction crews. If you have further questions regarding move outs or if you need additional assistance with finding a new apartment, please continue to call the Alder Ridge number at 253-878-5665 between 9:00 and 5:00 Monday through Friday.   UPDATED Monday, January 8, 2018 at 11:45 a.m.
We can now schedule residents to move their things out from the WEST side of the building. It does need to be scheduled in advance so the crews can schedule a safety person to monitor the movers and remediation crews. To schedule your move out please call Dave Masters 858-790-4565 or email him at dmasters@rmc.com. The remediation firm doesn’t have the capacity for residents to come and get only a few items, so you need to be ready to move ALL ITEMS from the apartment. If you still need an essential item please call our main number 253-878-5665 or email at alderinfo@villageconcepts.com and Scott will attempt to retrieve your item for pick up. We are processing all Security Deposits to be returned. If we have supplied a new current address we will mail them to you, otherwise they will be on site with Scott. A local mover company, The Wright Move (www.pickupandmove.com), has offered a 30% discount for Alder Ridge residents and individual case by case assistance with those in greater financial necessity. If you’d like to call The Wright Move at 253-212-5250 you can get further details. If you have renters’ insurance Servpro has been offering to assist residents with a move. If your items are damaged or smell they can take them to their cleaning facility and then deliver them to your place of choosing. Their number is 253-896-3000.  
UPDATED Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. Our remediation/construction company has been doing more evaluations and having conversations with building officials regarding the restoration of Alder. We were hopeful that we might be able to get the East end of the building reestablished soon but it is looking less and less likely. Due to the location of the fire the main power access was damaged and significant electrical repair must be completed. Additionally, items such as the elevator are inoperable due to the fire damage. We are sad to say that our latest estimate is 6 to 12 months for anyone being able to move back to Alder Ridge. Due to the length of time that Alder Ridge will be out of service, all residents must remove all personal items from their apartments. If your apartment was damaged in the fire, we will of course waive any abandon property fees but do require that you remove any items you want and sign a form allowing the remediation company to dispose of all remaining personal items. Due to remediation company work as well as limited stairwell capacity for movers, family, and friends, please note that we will continue to schedule each apartment for move out of furniture or larger items by contacting us at alderinfo@villageconcepts.com or 253-878-5665. The following apartments remain accessible as per our update on Tuesday, January 2nd. You may personally move small items Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. You may also schedule access to move larger items including furniture, including weekends.
  • All garden level apartments
  • First floor apartments from 116 to 132
  • Second floor apartments from 216 to 232
  • Third floor apartments from 317 to 330
All remaining units are in a work area for the remediation company and as such will only be available via a scheduled complete move out of the apartment. We expect to have access sometime next week and will begin scheduling appointments at that time. Appointments will be available 7 days per week but will be limited in quantity to ensure safety due to limited stairwell capacity. The remediation company is also working to provide access via the lobby to reduce the number of steps required for access. However, note that only the stairwells on the west and east end of the building will be available due to remediation company equipment in the central staircase. We know that this is not ideal and that it has been stressful. We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused everyone. We really appreciate all of those who have helped and those that have been so supportive during this difficult time.   UPDATED Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at  9:20 p.m. We were able to tour the building today with the remediation company and get some updates. It will be some time before the building can be occupied. Due to the fire being in the center of the building many items need to be repaired/rebuilt to make the building functional again, including for the east and garden units. We should have better timelines in the next week or so. We are able to get access to the east side of the building starting Wednesday but unfortunately it is through the unaffected stairwell on the far east side that opens to the Garden Level on the back of the building. There is NO elevator access at this time. Residents must be able to climb up to four floors to access their apartment and any items moved out must come down this stairwell. [caption id="attachment_8890" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Second Floor Hallway[/caption] [caption id="attachment_8892" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Third floor library[/caption] Only the following rooms are available to access to move items:
  • All garden level apartments
  • First floor units from 116 to 132
  • Second Floor Apartments from 216 to 232
  • Third Level apartments from 317 to 330
If your apartment is not listed above you will be turned away tomorrow by security. [caption id="attachment_8891" align="alignleft" width="300"] Example of door missing deadbolt and locked.[/caption] To access the building you must have a valid picture ID and be present at the property. Please do not send only a friend or family, as we want to ensure it is you getting your items. You must be let into your apartment as all deadbolts were smashed by the fire department during evacuation. Scott will be on site to assist with gaining access. The building will only be available 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Please try to limit your visit to smaller personal items, as there will be many people using the stairwell to move their items. If you wish to move furniture or larger items, please contact us as the email or phone number provided below to schedule a move time. If your apartment is not listed as accessible, you will be turned away from the property. If you need essentials items from your apartment, please email us at alderinfo@villageconcepts.com or leave a message at 253-878-5665 and we will call you when staff has accessed the apartment to retrieve the items.  We will continue to provide updates for access as information becomes available. Those on Section 8 must contact Lyudmila Shornal at King County Housing Authority to meet on a one on one basis. Lyudmila can be reached at 206-214-1335. All Section 8 residents must be reassigned to a new property as Alder Ridge is expected to be impacted for more than 30 days.   UPDATED Monday, January 1, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. We’ve had the restoration crews working all weekend and they continue today.  They’ve made good progress extracting water, picking up the debris, removing carpeting and ceiling tiles and constructing a temporary roof. We continue to work with the restoration company on a timeline for you to access your apartments. At this time, the Ground Floor units (G1-G17) will be authorized to remove personal belongings on Tuesday January 2nd from 9am to 4pm. Please bring your photo ID to the security guard at the lower entrance to gain access. If you are utilizing movers or friends and family to assist you in this process, please note that you will be required to be present with your photo ID to authorize their access to your apartment. As we shared in our update yesterday, not everyone will be required to move items out but I know everyone is very anxious to get to their belongings. We are working to make the building safe for your access and will continue to update this website as the timeline for access becomes known. Thanks again to all the organizations helping out during this time. Especially the City of Milton and the Red Cross. The Milton Activity Center still has items that have been donated and will be open Tuesday from 9:00 to 4:00.  The Red Cross also has a support number for those who need it at 253-474-0300 Ext 2. Thank you again for your patience. The best ways to contact us is through the building number (253) 878-5665 and our contact form CLICK HERE and email alderinfo@villageconcepts.com. We will be providing updates daily, please refer back to this website for the latest information.   UPDATED Saturday, December 30, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.
The restoration company continues to work to restore service to Alder Ridge. The building will continue to be on lockdown through the weekend as they work. We expect to provide an update on Tuesday as to when the building will be accessible for you to pick up additional items. Apartments in the building fall into three broad categories:
  • Unaffected: the apartments may remain as is, with existing furniture and personal items, during restoration.
  • Some damage: these apartments will require removal of items to complete restoration of the building.
  • Loss to fire: these apartments will first be cleared of debris by the restoration company. Once this work is complete, you will be able to retrieve anything of value before the apartment is cleared.
This is an apartment by apartment situation that is currently being evaluated by the restoration company. We will be reaching out to everyone individually when we have more information to discuss next steps. We have reached out to everyone from the building to discuss housing. In some cases, local agencies, including the King County House Authority, and local companies are reaching out directly to individuals. At this stage, it is important that each of you moves forward either with the options provided or seek out alternatives to fulfill your needs. While we will continue to monitor messages and clean-up efforts through the weekend, we do not anticipate additional information on housing options until Tuesday due to the holiday weekend.   UPDATED Thursday, December 28, 2017 at 10:15 p.m. Thursday was a very busy day around Alder Ridge as we delivered essentials from the apartments, continued to clean up and evaluate damage, and worked towards finding more permanent placement. In order to make the building safe and accessible, the remediation company will take over the building on Friday and through the weekend to remove debris and water. During this time, there will be no additional access to the building. Additionally, we know many of you are eager to move out furniture and other personal belongings and we are committed to providing an update on that timeline as soon as we have it available. Please check back on Tuesday for our latest information on building access timelines. We have received questions about rents and leases. Alder Ridge will not be collecting any rents for the month of January via check or direct debits. If we have helped place you in permanent housing, your rent obligation and any follow up questions should be explained to you there. If you’ve decided to move to another location permanently there is no issue with breaking leases. For those of you still needing permanent housing, we will continue that work and encourage you to seek out options as well. As we continue to locate housing, we will be in contact directly with each individual. If you have already located housing please leave a message CLICK HERE or email alderinfo@villageconcepts.com. Thank you again for your patience. Our thoughts are with you during this time and we genuinely appreciate your support. The best ways to contact us is through the building number (253) 878-5665 and our contact form CLICK HERE. We will be providing updates as new information is available on this website.   UPDATED Thursday, December 28, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. We appreciate everyone's patience as we negotiate this challenging situation. On Wednesday afternoon the Fire Department released the building back to us and we began the remediation and evaluation process. The main fire damage is in the lobby, attic and third floor to the west. Most of the rooms on the east side of the building (closest to Enchanted Parkway) from the lobby are unaffected except for the first couple. The Garden apartments also appear to be unaffected at this time. The second and first floor rooms on the west side do have some water damage from water dripping down through the floors. Remediation work to begin removing the building fire debris and removing the water will begin immediately. There is a lot of work to be done to return this building to a serviceable state and we will work diligently to complete this process in a safe and timely manner. Although some apartments are almost entirely unaffected they cannot be occupied until we ensure that the entire building is safe to live in, which could take 3 weeks or more. The apartments on the east side of the building will take significantly longer to make safe and repair. We will know more as we progress through the necessary steps. Please rest assured that we are working to find more permanent housing for you at this time and will be reaching out to you Friday with options. We hope to have things safe by next week so that we can be ready for movers to move items to your more permanent housing. We hope to have more information in the next several days about potential timelines for picking up your belongings and when we might be able to move back to parts of the building. Please contact your renters insurance carrier to find out the benefits and options available Vehicles may be collected at the site. Security is on the premises 24/7 to keep the building and items secure. We believe most all the pets have been accounted for. If you need to collect a pet or have a concern please call our building number. Thank you again for your patience. Our thoughts are with you during this time and we genuinely appreciate your support. The best ways to contact us is through the building number (253) 878-5665 and our contact form CLICK HERE. We will be providing updates daily, please refer back to this website for the latest information. We want to send out a tremendous thanks to the following extraordinary organizations, staff, and volunteers:
  • The following partners:
    • Brannan Park Retirement in Auburn
    • El Dorado West in Burien
    • Mill Ridge Village in Milton
  • All first responders, including the Milton Police Department, East Pierce County and the Pierce County Fire and Police Departments
  • The Tacoma Girls 253 Organization, which donated and dropped off comfort/hygiene kits
  • The Red Cross
  • The City of Milton for their leadership efforts
  • The Milton Activity Center which has collected a large amount of essential items for residents
  • Mattress Firm in Federal Way for delivering 30 beds
  • Alder Ridge staff and their families who have been working tirelessly to ensure that the tenants stay comfortable and have access to their personal items
Donations can be made at any Columbia Bank branch. The account is called “Alder Ridge Donations” and will go toward helping our seniors affected. Thank you for the continued support.
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[caption id="attachment_9248" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Sedro-Woolley City Councilwoman Germaine Kornegay speaks Monday to residents and guests at Country Meadow Village about how Martin Luther King Jur.'s legacy affects her. Scott Terrell/Skagit Valley Herald[/caption] SEDRO-WOOLLEY — When she first campaigned for a seat on the Sedro-Woolley City Council in 2013, Germaine Kornegay and a voter had an interaction that she hasn’t forgotten.
She remembers knocking on the door of a house and the man who answered telling her he would never vote for her.
“The first thing he said to me was, ‘I’ll never vote for you because you’re black,’” Kornegay recalled. “I was thinking, ‘I have to win this election now. I have to show him that I can do it, and that black people can do good things.’ I used it for motivation.” In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Kornegay recounted her story Monday to residents of Country Meadow Village in Sedro-Woolley to reflect on the impact of the Civil Rights leader.
“She’s got a really great story that not a lot of us have,” Country Meadow Village Program Director David Bricka said. “If she were around 50 years ago, she would have been marching side-by-side with Dr. King.”
In November 2013, Kornegay became the first African American elected to the Sedro-Woolley City Council.
Now in her second term, Kornegay last week was appointed by her fellow council members to be the city’s mayor pro-tem.
Some of the residents of Country Meadow Village shared their own stories about King and the impact he had on their lives.
In the 1950s, David Bricka’s mother Joan Bricka and about 20 other women withdrew as pledges from a Cortland State University sorority because the sorority would not allow a black woman to pledge.
“We moved out of that house,” Joan Bricka told Kornegay. “I’ve always felt strong about it.”
Growing up in the south, Beverly Lade, 79, said she couldn’t believe some of the stories of violence against African Americans during that era.
Lade could sum up what King meant to her in one word: Freedom.
“You can’t imagine people having to go through that,” she said. “I wasn’t raised to be prejudiced.”
Kornegay was young when King was killed, she said, but his death inspired her mother to be an advocate, which is where Kornegay picked up her own desire to stand up for causes in which she believes.
“I learned a lot from his actions,” Kornegay said. “Nonviolence is the way to go. Without him demanding nonviolence, we wouldn’t be where we are.”
Kornegay has spoken at Country Meadow Village on Martin Luther King Jr. Day every year since she was elected, David Bricka said.
“We learn and grow by listening to each other’s story,” he said.
Kornegay’s story, he said, is important.
“No one really understands what it’s like to be a person of color unless you’re a person of color,” she said.
Until recently, Kornegay said she felt that society had become more tolerant since King’s assassination.
But there is still work to be done.
“Unfortunately, I think we’re taking some steps back,” she said. “We have to make that up and go forward.”
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