Problem of the root: City seeks solutions to tree grate pains

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Downtown Walla Walla patrons may have noticed something missing around some of the shade trees: tree grates.

Roots on the trees have been causing the grates to rise, creating tripping hazards through downtown, according to an update from the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation.

Consequently, the city has removed some of them on the south side of Main Street between Second Avenue and Colville Street. They're asking for feedback on the change or suggestions for fixing the problem.

Those with thoughts can email comments to info@downtownwallawalla.com.

A new Mexican eatery has opened south of the border. The Washington/Oregon border, that is.

Alberto's Taco Shop has opened in Milton-Freewater at 105 N. Columbia St., next to Supermex Market, according to an announcement from the Milton-Freewater Area Chamber of Commerce.

Owner Juan Carlos Gutierrez recently spent 22 years in the restaurant business in San Diego before moving recently to Milton-Freewater to realize his dream of owning his own restaurant, the Chamber said in its July newsletter.

The business operates daily and includes a drive-through. Phone orders are also welcome at 541-938-6837.

Changes have been afoot at Heritage Park, located in the heart of downtown's retail corridor.

Frequent users and passersby at the Main Street park may have noticed the removal of large bushes at the front of the park, increased lighting at night and, more recently, the removal of a handicap ramp.

According to information from the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, many of the changes are part of an effort from the city and adjoining property owners to create a "safer, more welcoming environment" at the Park."

The park still has handicap access from the parking lot behind the covered area.

Calhoon's Martial Arts & Fitness is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its gym facility with an offer sure to get hearts pounding.

For a limited time, the fitness facility, 1711 Isaacs Ave., is offering personal training sessions at half-price. The regular $30 cost of a session will be $15 for those who sign up, according to a post on the business's Facebook page.

Calhoon's is a mixed-martial arts and 24-hour fitness training center owned by Ryan Calhoon. For more details, call 525-4444.

Total Office Concepts, Walla Walla's provider of commercial office furniture and document imaging devices, has been appointed as an authorized dealer for Kyocera's document imaging solutions.

"While we remain proud to represent the Konica Minolta line of document imaging devices for certain applications, we could not ignore the fact that Kyocera's award-winning printer and MFP product line has been recognized, industrywide, for providing ultra-reliability at the lowest (total cost of operation) of any copier and/or printer line available today," said Mark Carlile, Total Office Concepts' president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement.

"Our customers will benefit from this strong partnership, and I'm extremely pleased that we are now officially a part of this dynamic and innovative company."

Fairfield, N.J.,-based Kyocera provides digital MFPs/printers, laser printers, color MFPs/printers, digital laser facscimiles and wide-format imaging solutions.

The Marc Restaurant and The Vineyard Lounge are debuting new summer menus.

Lighter summer fare, including fresh produce grown in partnership with Three Rivers Winery, is the focus, officials say.

Through a partnership between Executive Chef Antonio Campolio and Andy Slusarenko of Three Rivers, the new garden allows fresh sustainable produce to be picked just hours before it's served.

"My crew and I work diligently to offer our guests a true farm-to-fork experience," Campolio said in a prepared statement.

The goal with the new menus was to feature something for everyone, from traditional classics to culinary adventures," he said.

From a Rea Farms sweet pea tortellini to Columbia River king salmon to an Upper Dry Creek Ranch lamb rack, the menu is packed with fresh, local dishes. The Marc opens nightly for dinner at 5:30 p.m. The Vineyard Lounge serves at 4 p.m.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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