WHS has inspired students to achieve This week we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Washougal High School. We have had many outstanding students who have graduated from Washougal and gone on to accomplish many great things in a wide variety of professions and have made their mark in their community, occupation and academia. Please let me share with you one story about an early WHS graduate by the name of Larry Rakestraw.
There certainly seems to be something special about growing up in and graduating from high school in a small town like Washougal. It’s a community with many familiar faces, as some would say “everybody knows everybody.” That includes students, teachers and administrators. And from the athletics boosters to the PTA, many parents are also actively engaged in school activities, in and out of the classroom.
A federal tax credits program has the potential to have a number of positive impacts on local economic development, by setting the stage for new private sector investment and the creation of new jobs to Camas and Washougal. Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association Executive Director Paul Dennis recently proposed to Camas and Washougal city councils and the Port of C-W Commission the idea of taking part in the U.S. Treasury’s New Markets Tax Credit Program.
For the past several months, Camas-Washougal Post-Record staff members have been working diligently behind-the-scenes to update and redesign the newspaper’s website. The results of those efforts were finally unveiled yesterday, and the new website launched to the public. The website has an updated look and feel, and there are a number of new features that will allow visitors to find the information they are looking for faster and easier than before.
While in some parts of Camas modern homes, industrial buildings, and newly built businesses are the norm, with a little imagination stepping into downtown Camas can be like taking a little step back in time. In the shadow of the Camas paper mill, tree lined, two-lane streets are home to small, quaint shops. It’s a cozy, comfortable place, where there’s an easy camaraderie among business owners, employees and visitors.
The Camas-Washougal Post-Record recently chronicled the story of Camas sisters Kimberly Abell and Jennifer Chilton, two incredible women who lived through brutal childhoods to become strong wives, mothers, individuals and citizens. After years of abuse at the hands of their father, they testified against him and he was put in prison. After being released early, he attempted to contact them. Disturbed that this was not against the law, Abell and Chilton worked to change the laws first in California and recently here in Washington.
There is no doubt that women have made some incredible strides during the past century. Once denied the right to vote, own property, attend school or hold jobs in certain professions, all of these opportunities are now open to both men and women without discrimination. And they now represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what women can and do achieve through hard work and determination.
The idea of an active and bustling waterfront in Washougal is an exciting concept to think about, and efforts to make this happen in the future continue to take small, but important steps forward.
Dianne and Darin Van Dyken are lucky to be alive. As profiled in an article in today’s Post-Record, before the two met in 2012, they had both had serious addictions to drugs and alcohol. The destructive paths they chose to take in their lives led to very dark places. Darin ended up in what he describes as “the ghetto,” essentially homeless and dealing drugs to survive, while Dianne had attempted suicide and was eventually arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants — her blood alcohol level pushed to a point that could have been deadly. Both had several unsuccessful attempts to get clean.
Knowledge, understanding and compassion are power. This concept can be applied to many facets of life, but particularly when it comes to those aspects that make us different from one another.