The Washougal School District will be hiring additional staff, including a new kindergarten teacher, due to higher-than-expected enrollment numbers in the primary grades. After the first week of school, full-time (FTE) enrollment in the district was 2,975, which is 57 more students than projected. Most of the growth was at the kindergarten through second-grade level at Cape Horn-Skye Elementary School. There will be a half-time kindergarten teacher added, and a full-time teacher for a first- and second-grade combination classroom. “It’s an exciting time,” said Mary Lou Woody, principal. Enrollment numbers at the high school were also slightly higher than last year. “There weren’t any big surprises,” said Brian Wallace, district business manager. “We expect enrollment to increase slowly over the next few years. This has been the trend in Washougal the past three years.” Enrollment last September was 2,887 FTE.
Citizens invited to attend ‘State of the Community’ on Sept. 24 The City of Camas, Camas School District and Port of Camas-Washougal will host a joint ‘State of the Community’ event Tuesday, Sept. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Camas High School Theatre, 26900 S.E. 15th St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the event, which will include presentations from representatives of the three entities, followed by an open house where the public will have the opportunity to mingle with and ask questions of elected officials and staff.
Jimmie Rodgers, recording artist, author, actor and television personality of the 1950s and 1960s, grew up in Camas. On Friday, the street where he grew up was ceremonially renamed in his honor.
The city of Camas was recently issued a finding by the Washington State Auditor’s Office for failing to effectively manage its equipment rental and replacement fund. This, the auditor’s report states, could result in inappropriate use of restricted funds. Through the equipment rental and replacement fund, equipment owned by the city is pooled together into one fund, then “rented” out to different departments depending on need. In 2012, the city’s total revenue from user chargers was approximately $1.03 million.
Students in Camas and Washougal have posted gains on several state tests recently released as part of an overall Washington State Report Card. The 2012-13 results include the Measurements of Student Progress, the state’s exam for third- through eighth-graders. Students are tested in reading and math, with fourth- and seventh-graders also taking tests in writing, and fifth- and eight-graders taking tests in science. Tenth-graders take a proficiency exam to assess overall knowledge in reading and writing, as well as end-of-course exams in biology, algebra and geometry. The end-of-course exams are also offered to students in lower grades who are taking those classes. Washougal posted impressive gains in math, with 78 percent of students passing the algebra exam, and 92 percent passing the geometry exam, compared with 64 and 66 percent the year before. The biology exam increased from 72 to 80 percent of students passing.
Washougal voters will have an opportunity during the Nov. 5 General Election to decide whether they want the city to continue its current mayor-council with a city administrator form of government or change to a council-manager form. Committees were recently appointed by the City Council, to write statements for and against Proposition 1. The proposition would change the form of government. With a council-manager plan, council members appoint a city manager, and that person appoints and directs the department heads. A city manager can be removed by a majority vote of the council.
The Camas City Council has unanimously approved an agreement that will guide development of 460 acres north of Lacamas Lake in the years to come. That development could include a variety of uses, from commercial and industrial to residential. According to the comprehensive plan amendments, which were also approved on Sept. 3, the new zoning designations would include 314 acres for industrial business park development, 62.4 acres of multifamily high density and 38.1 acres of multifamily low density, 40 acres of single family medium density, and 5.62 acres of community commercial. Approximately 4 acres is set aside for open space that fronts Lacamas Lake. During the public hearing on the development agreement, there were comments against and in favor of the proposal for the Lacamas Northshore properties, which are owned by approximately 11 different individuals and entities.
A retired Camas paper mill employee recently had an opportunity to visit several sites in Washington, D.C., as part of the Honor Flight program. Wilbert Kalmbach, a World War II veteran, and his daughter Maria Dunn saw The Lincoln Memorial, Air Force and Marine Corps memorials and a Vietnam memorial that honors the nurses who served. They also witnessed the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. Kalmbach, 86, remembered an especially emotional moment at the WWII memorial. He encountered a 2-year old girl with her parents. She held a small American flag and had a red ribbon in her hair. “Samantha said, ‘Thank you for serving,’ Kalmbach recalled. “Her daddy said, ‘These are the veterans I told you about, remember?’”
A mixed-use development, along with trails, public access to the Columbia River and possibly housing, are expected to be among the components of the former Hambleton Lumber Sales LLC site. The Port of Camas-Washougal and Parker’s Landing LLC are requesting the Washougal City Council consider a development agreement for the land located at 335 S. “A” St. The LLC is represented by Lance Killian, of Killian Pacific, a commercial real-estate development and investment company. Killian Pacific has created The Crossing and Evergreen Marketplace, in Washougal, as well as the Grand Central and Riverstone Marketplace developments, in Vancouver.
Two Camas residents were among three people injured in a head-on traffic crash in Oregon on Friday. According to a press release from the Oregon State Police, at approximately 8:30 p.m. police responded to a report of a wrong-way vehicle heading eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 near milepost 64 in Hood River. A short time later, a head on crash was reported involving that same vehicle at milepost 67.