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).
This time of year, I start getting media calls about the holiday sales that retailers offer. The holiday shopping season is one week shorter than normal, which matters when it comes to the pace of shopping and how much spare time people have to shop. Why do retailers open on Thanksgiving Day? There are many different types of shoppers and appealing to them all is the challenge. Not everyone has an all-day family event to attend on Thanksgiving, or wants to sit around the house all day talking to relatives. And, if a parent notices a special price on the perfect gift, making a quick stop at the store might save that family enough money to buy another gift. What about the workers who have to work that day? These folks are making a good wage at time-and-a-half or double time. That’s money they can use for their shopping later. It’s good for everyone — the store, the shopper, the employee.
As the Camas High School football team prepares for the Washington State Championship game on Saturday, football fever is alive and well in Camas. It’s an excitement that has slowly built up during what has turned out to be a dream season for the 2013 Papermakers. The past three months have produced convincing wins against all 13 opponents Camas has faced, beginning with a 47-14 win in September against Jesuit High School — a team that is now playing for the Oregon 6A state championship against Central Catholic.