Consumer confidence, the stock market, world events, the housing market and local political events are the significant factors impacting the entrepreneurial spirit. As I look ahead, the future seems bright for small business and anything our policy makers can do to encourage this trend will be a key to job strength and stronger sales tax revenues moving forward. Small business owners do expect better sales in 2014 and overall have a strong degree of confidence in their sales and hiring plans for 2014. The Wall Street Journal and Vistage International just completed a survey showing an uptick in 2013 small business sales results with an expectation that 2014 will be even better.
Elementary schools are special places in the hearts and minds of youngsters who fill their classrooms. It’s often a child’s first experience with having teachers, classrooms, classmates and homework. They learn how to be good friends and responsible students, and they also receive that initial critical base education that serves as the foundation for a lifetime of learning.
Coal, oil train hazards are not worth the risk The explosion Dec. 30 in North Dakota of an oil train was the third major oil train accident in the last 6 months.
With this edition of the Camas-Washougal Post-Record being published on New Year’s Eve, it just seems natural to remember all of the events, people, decisions and other news that made the pages of this community newspaper during the past 52 weeks. For certain, there was no shortage of local news in 2013. Camas and Washougal city governments produced some of the most notable stories, ranging from the defeat of Proposition 1 in Washougal to the hiring of a new city administrator in Camas. In addition, Lacamas Lake Lodge and Conference Center construction began, Washougal City Council approved a utility rate reduction, Camas dealt with vandalism of its cemetery, and the consolidation of the Camas and Washougal fire departments finally became official.
During its heyday in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Far West Classic, which was held between Christmas and New Year’s Day, was considered the premier holiday college basketball tournament in the country. The FWC started in 1956 as a four-team event in Corvallis, expanded to eight teams in 1959, and moved to Portland’s Memorial Coliseum in 1960. Over the years the guest list included national powerhouses — North Carolina, Indiana, Michigan, Princeton — and more obscure programs, such as the Dartmouth Big Green and the Billikens of St. Louis.
“Failure is not an option.” This statement was made by Mayor Scott Higgins following the recent approval by the Camas City Council of the 10-year inter-local agreement that officially merges the Camas and Washougal fire departments to create one unified entity. The unanimous vote was the final step in a process that has spanned more than two years.
Quality public education benefits all The dust has settled since the November election and as we head into a new year, I am thankful to the citizens of Camas who voted for me. Although I didn’t win a director seat on the Camas School Board, I did appreciate the opportunity to seek the position representing the Camas community. My husband Ryan has been so supportive and patient and our three daughters have learned so much from my experience including the notion that in life we do the right thing, even if it is the hard thing.
In Camas, Washougal and Clark County overall, growth is happening. One need only drive down the west slope of Prune Hill and glance to the north at the number of bare hillside lots ready for construction, to see that many new homes will soon be built for new families moving in. But in case you haven’t witnessed that stark scene in west Camas or in other locations in the community, a story published in The Columbian last week provided some new details of local growth.
Last night, the Washougal City Council made the right decision to include funding for the East County Family Resource Center in its 2014 budget, as it has done for the past several years. For the second year, the issue of whether the city of Washougal should provide funding to this non-profit social services organization became a topic of discussion and debate during budget talks. This time around, the concern primarily focused on where young women who think they may be pregnant and need a pregnancy test are referred to for additional services. The answer is Sea Mar Community Health Centers, which gives pregnant women information that lays out all options. This could include abortion, in addition to adoption and becoming a parent. According to Sea Mar officials, women are not encouraged to make a particular choice.
Family Resource Center criticism is frustrating I am appalled to learn that Washougal City Councilors Dave Shoemaker and Connie Jo Freeman would want to remove $7,500 from the Washougal Family Resource Center based on the center not referring young pregnant women to the Pregnancy Clinic of Camas- Washougal (religious based clinic) but rather to Sea Mar Community Health Centers (comprehensive health center).