Since 1970, people from all walks of life have gathered to do their part in making the Earth a better place. Last week, Camas and Washougal students continued that tradition with a variety of Earth Day projects. At Grass Valley Elementary, students participated in a nature walk to a local park, where they studied different plants, animals and insects, recording their observations on a checklist.
What started out as a trip to build a house for three orphans has changed the direction of one man’s life. Paul Heberling, 24, of Camas, traveled to Baja, Mexico, during spring break with a group from Central Washington University. They rebuilt a home for three children after it was destroyed in a fire, which also killed their father. Adding to that suffering, their mother lost her battle with cancer last year. “It was my first time in Mexico and it was a very humbling experience,” Paul said. “Traveling from San Diego to Tijuana, you saw the world change. It filled my heart with compassion.”
If not for an army of volunteers, Krista Bashaw estimates it would take her two weeks to stuff the 10,000 eggs for the Camas Parks and Recreation annual Easter egg hunt. “That’s a lot of work time,” Bashaw, recreation coordinator, said. “The volunteers are instrumental in the success of the egg hunt.”
“You use the trail, right? Come here, I have something for you.” It’s 9 a.m. on a Thursday at Heritage Trail. Spring is in the air, along with the usual crowd of runners, walkers and nature lovers. Don Larson, 85, is passing out handmade bowls and plates in the parking lot, which are carved from wood he’s found walking, “here and there.” Nearly every trail user is invited to pick one out, free of charge.
Camas has a history mystery on its hands. In 2013, a Georgia-Pacific paper mill engineer was cleaning out his desk in preparation to move to a new office, when he reached his hand deep into a drawer and accidently discovered what appeared to be a small black book. Printed on its spine in gold colored lettering was “Kodak negative album,” and inside were approximately 100, 3 by 4 inch negatives along with a log detailing the month and day the photos were taken.
Looking at photographer Cindy Kassab’s work is similar to gazing into a kaleidoscope of color, light and breathtaking natural beauty. Kassab, 61, is the featured artist at the Camas Public Library’s Second Story Gallery in April. She first caught the photography bug in her teens, when she moved from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles to the clear mountain air of Switzerland.
When one hears the phrase, “Japanese Festival,” places like Portland, Tacoma or Seattle typically come to mind. However, Washougal High School has its own festival, the only one of its kind in the Clark County area. For the past eight years Japanese teacher Shoko Parker and her students have spent several months preparing for the March 29 event, which includes entertainment by Japanese performers, swordsmanship lessons via Skype, food and activities.
Every 68 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in three senior citizens dies from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. With statistics such as these, it is likely that most people will deal with this deadly disease at some point. Jeri Warner of Camas experienced the devastating impacts of Alzheimer’s after her mother, Laurie Snoey, was diagnosed in 2005.
“I think about the years I spent just passing through I’d like to have the time I lost and give it back to you But you just smile and take my hand You’ve been there you understand It’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true. Every long lost dream led me to where you are Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars Pointing me on my way into your loving arms This much I know is true That God blessed the broken road That led me straight to you.”
Shirley Bishop walked into the office at her Portland interior design job last September and received the shock of her life.“After 30 years in the industry, I was laid off. Never thought it would happen to me. It was a total shock.” Reeling, she began packing up her work area. “Thankfully, they let me come back in to finish taking my files off the computer,” she said. Sometimes, it takes a life-altering event to make you realize what you really want. Bishop used her free time to focus on her fledging business, Studio 13 GlassArt. She now hosts regular classes in her Washougal studio and experiments with all types of fused glass projects. Bishop also joined Made in Vancouver, a group of 200 artisans.