Washougal postpones vote on tax credit program

Varying opinions regarding a New Markets Tax Credit program have led the Washougal City Council to defer additional discussions and a possible vote by two weeks. Councilors voted unanimously last night to table a decision regarding a professional services agreement with the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association, the City of Camas and the Port of Camas-Washougal. It would include an expenditure of $21,875 from Washougal.

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Camas woman enjoys the creative process of photography

Marcie Dole shoots like a mom. She recently opened a photography studio in downtown Camas. Dole, a mother of three, takes portraits of high school seniors, bridal showers, golf tournaments, birthday and anniversary parties, as well as retirement and award ceremonies.

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Website promotes Washougal as a tourism destination

The owner and creative director of D. Studio 21, Inc., has created another website, intended to draw people to Washougal. Heather Jordan and her team collaborated with Lone Wolf Development in 2013, to promote the downtown area. The newest collaboration is a city of Washougal tourism website, that invites visitors to “Keep Discovering Washougal.” The site, www.visitwashougal.com, involved Jordan, her employees and marketing/communications consultant Rene Carroll.

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G-P mill navigates global, local issues

Global and domestic competition in the paper industry is among the changes and challenges faced by the Georgia-Pacific mill, in Camas. That is according to Joe Ertolacci, the vice president of manufacturing for the mill. There is increased global competition in the production of copy paper in China and South America and other communications papers and new domestic producers of tissues, paper towels and napkins in the commercial and consumer private label industry.

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Fun on Ice

A Washougal woman is among the participants in the fast-paced sport of hockey. Corinne Lorch, 26, plays for “Jabronis,” a co-ed team that includes her husband Neil. This is Corinne’s first season playing hockey. She and Neil started skating a few months ago, to get to the point that they could participate in a league at the beginners level, at Mountain View Ice Arena. Corinne enjoys that hockey is fast moving, competitive, physical and just “all around fun.”

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Vancouver Vision Clinic relocates within Camas

The staff of the Vancouver Vision Clinic in downtown Camas recently joked that they needed sunglasses when they moved from a basement level office to desks surrounded by windows. The ample amounts of natural light, on the street level, are at 329 N.E. Sixth Ave. The move from 405 N.E. Sixth Ave., occurred March 3. Dr. Raj Patel and Dr. Derek McTyier own the building and the practice. The new office has three exam rooms, compared to one at the former location. For more information about the Camas office, call 834-4802 or visit www.camas.vancouvervision.com.

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Miss Vancouver Rodeo Queen

A woman who grew up riding horses on her family’s five-acre property and swimming with friends in the Washougal River is representing the Vancouver Rodeo this year.Amanda Knapp, 20, is the Miss Vancouver Rodeo Queen for 2014. The rodeo will be held July 2-5, at the Clark County Saddle Club. The queen serves as a goodwill ambassador for the sport of professional rodeo, the Vancouver Rodeo and the Clark County Saddle Club. Knapp is the daughter of Brian and Janis. She has an older brother, William.

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Waterfront project aims to connect port with downtown Washougal

Six Portland State University graduate students are partnering with the city of Washougal and the Port of Camas-Washougal to create a plan for the waterfront. Project Manager Shannon Jamison and Engagement Coordinator Julia Metz spoke during the March 4 port commission meeting. The students, in the master of urban and regional planning program, are expected to have the waterfront vision plan completed by June 9. Tentatively, that will include an April 5 kickoff and a May 3 recognition event. “This is their thesis project for their graduate degree,” said Port Finance Director Kim Noah.

Washougal financial picture brightens

City of Washougal employees met this morning and received accolades for their involvement in positive financial news. During a 2013 fourth quarter and year-end update to City Council last night, Finance Director Jennifer Forsberg said the city had budgeted for an estimated $594,000 deficit in the general/street fund. The actual deficit was approximately $6,000. The difference was due to higher revenues and lower expenses, according to Forsberg.

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Therapeutic Associates adds Camas location

Camas is the newest location for a Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy practice. With more than 80 locations in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, Therapeutic Associates Inc., is a physical therapist-owned and operated partnership of clinics. Lindsy Palisca, director of the local clinic, specializes in running/footwear analysis, vestibular disorders, temporomandibular dysfunction and migraines. Other programs and services include ASTYM, athletic screens, injury prevention, orthopaedic and sports rehabilitation and performance training. Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy – Camas, 3180 N.E. Third Ave., is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 335-9033, email camaspt@taiweb.com or visit www.therapeuticassociates.com.

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Dream Team basketball camp to be held in Camas

A former college basketball player is coordinating a “Dream Team” camp for youth in Camas. Larry Jury, of Camas, played for George Fox University, in Newberg, Ore., and Big Bend Community College, in Moses Lake, Wash. He has also competed in the Cascade Pro-Am Summer Basketball League, in Portland, and he coached a boys basketball team in the Hillsboro, Ore., School District.

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Day of Efraimson

Camas High School junior Alexa Efraimson has been named the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. She received the news Thursday morning when Olympian Molly Huddle stopped by her advanced marketing class. Huddle, a nine time All-American, is the American record holder in the 5,000 meters. She placed 11th in the 5,000 final, at the 2012 Olympic Games, in London.

Company signs lease with Port

An engineering and manufacturing firm will move into the Port of Camas-Washougal industrial park, after Foods in Season relocates to the Steigerwald Commerce Center. Port commissioners have approved a five-year lease with DS Fabrication and Design, for the 13,620 square-foot Building 16, located at 3805 S. Truman St. Lease terms, starting May 1, include monthly payments of $5,525 for the first year, with a 12.84 percent increase the second year. During the third, fourth and fifth years, there will be a three percent increase.

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Consignment boutique has children’s clothes and supplies

A mother of two girls has created a company that sells an assortment of children’s outfits and other supplies useful to parents. Amy Jo Begley opened 4Ever Growing Kids, in downtown Camas, in November 2013. “I wanted a business that I could bring my children to work with me,” she said. Begley previously provided program sales and administrative/bookkeeping services for a traveling children’s entertainment company for more than 12 years. “I was just inspired to bring a great quality consignment shop with great customer service, and I enjoy what I do,” she said.

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Alexa Efraimson earns Gatorade National cross country award

Camas High School junior Alexa Efraimson was surprised by a former Olympian this morning during her advanced marketing class. Efraimson was planning to make a speech, when professional distance runner Molly Huddle entered the classroom and presented her with the 2013-14 Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year trophy.

Washougal mayor fights prostate cancer

Washougal Mayor Sean Guard has been holding some city staff meetings at his house since he underwent prostate cancer surgery. The operation, which took more than six hours, was conducted Feb. 17. Since then, Guard has gone to City Hall for short meetings and paperwork. “The timing of the surgery allowed for proper planning for it,” he said Monday. Guard, 51, was diagnosed in October. He said the cancer was not caught through simple digital exams as part of his annual physical.

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Coaster the cat makes his mark in downtown Camas

A former homeless kitten has grown up to become a beloved addition at Lutz Hardware. On a recent Saturday afternoon, Coaster took a cat nap among the din of the Drylok Masonry Waterproofer display. The promotion of the waterproofing paint included the soft sounds of a water feature. Jenny Berry and her husband Joe, of Vancouver, were shopping at Lutz for the first time that day. “Look at the kitty,” Jenny said, as she noticed Coaster relaxing on a stack of 60G garnet sandpaper and a soft cat toy, near a copy machine.

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Day spa provides hair, nail, skin services

An accomplished artist has opened a salon and day spa in downtown Camas. Rebecca Trimble, a medical aesthetician, provides skin treatments and painting classes, at Urban Style. The treatments include custom derma peels, facials, waxing services, spray tans and lash extensions. Urban Style Salon and Day Spa is located at 221 N.E. Fourth Ave. For more information, call 844-6061 or email Rebecca@urbanStyleSpa.com. Questions regarding the painting classes can be directed to Trimble at 852-4441 or rebecca@rebeccatrimble.com or visit www.RebeccaTrimble.com.

State Farm office relocates within downtown Camas

Friday was moving day for the employees of the downtown Camas State Farm Insurance office. Linda Huff and her staff have relocated from 605 N.E. Third Ave. to 350 N.E. Fourth Ave. The new location includes a larger main level office. Huff’s agency has been at the same site for 18 years. That office was previously occupied by Frances Strobeck and her State Farm staff for a decade. Meanwhile, the Focus Designs office has temporarily relocated from 350 N.E. Fourth Ave., to a vacant space next door at 340 N.E. Fourth Ave.

Port rezoning request causes concern for refuge

The secretary of the Columbia Gorge Refuge Stewards is hoping the Port of Camas-Washougal will modify its rezoning request regarding some of the land in the Steigerwald Commerce Center. In a letter to Port Executive Director David Ripp, Willemina Niosi said the 19.65 acres in the request currently serve as a buffer between the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge and the port’s heavy industrial zoned land located to the west. The port is requesting that Clark County rezone the southern parcel of the commerce center from parks/open space to heavy industrial.

Event to help the homeless will be held Thursday

Area homeless individuals will receive a variety of assistance on Thursday.

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Columbia River Realty opens office in Washougal Town Square

A new real estate company has located in downtown Washougal. Columbia River Realty opened an office this month, in Washougal Town Square. “We like the atmosphere and the location, primarily,” said Charline Wright, principal broker and owner of the realty company. “Washougal Town Square has been very welcoming to us.”

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Camas Sharp property remains on the market

An East Coast company is interested in locating in the former Sharp Laboratories of America building. The 55,000-square foot, two-story structure at 5750 N.W. Pacific Rim Blvd., is available to purchase or lease. Paul Dennis, president and chief executive officer of the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association, mentioned the interest during a CWEDA board meeting Thursday.

Marijuana hearing draws comments

The Washougal City Council plans to “wait and see” if state legislators approve bills related to the production, processing and sales of recreational marijuana. A public hearing was held last night, regarding the council’s Dec. 2, 2013, approval of a six-month moratorium prohibiting all uses allowed under state Initiative 502.

Two local credit unions will consolidate

Two credit unions with locations in the Camas-Washougal area plan to combine efforts this summer. Lacamas Community Credit Union and iQ Credit Union have announced their intentions to consolidate their individual financial institutions into a single, larger credit union. According to a press release, a team of employees from both credit unions will oversee the transition process, which will include the exploration of naming strategies for the institution.

Lacamas Community and iQ credit unions to consolidate this summer

Lacamas Community Credit Union and iQ Credit Union plan to combine operations in July.

List of marijuana license applicants grows

The Fern Prairie Market is among the newest applicants for a retail marijuana license. Overall, there are 18 retail applicants in the city limits of Camas and five in Washougal. For processors licenses, there are three applicants in the city limits of Camas and three in Washougal. Aspiring marijuana producers include three applicants in Camas and four in Washougal.

Washougal vehicle tab fee is discussed

Washougal residents could see a $20 increase in their vehicle tab renewal fees, to pay for road maintenance and repairs. The idea was discussed during the Washougal City Council’s annual planning session Saturday, at the Washougal Community Center. Current pavement management funding includes $150,000 in real estate excise taxes and one-time contributions of $62,000 in the 2014 budget.

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‘Check Mates’ glasses assist the visually impaired

A Camas man is hoping to make a difference in the lives of people who are visually impaired. Milan Slamka has developed Echo-Sense Network Glasses, also known as “Check Mates.” They can be worn by a sight-impaired person, and audio and video information is live streamed to a caregiver on a remote computer. “The caregiver can see what the blind person would see and can give instructions and guidance to the wearer,” Slamka said. For more information, call 713-6125 or visit www.facebook.com/EchoSenseInc?ref=hl.

Fuel Medical purchases building from Westlie Ford

The Westlie Ford service and parts departments will relocate from downtown Camas to the dealership’s sales location in Washougal in April, following the purchase of its landmark building by Fuel Medical. The moves will involve remodeling projects and expansions by both companies. Fuel Medical has purchased the building at 314 N.E. Birch St., for $825,000. The purchase includes a parking lot for employees, across the street from the Westlie building. The founders of Fuel Medical, Shawn Parker and Brendan Ford, live in Camas.

Community leaders express hopes for 2014

Prosperity and tolerance are among the responses local leaders gave when they were asked about their hopes and wishes for 2014.

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The Cats Meow provides boarding, adoption opportunities

Two volunteers with the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society, in Washougal, have opened a cat boarding business that also provides feline adoption opportunities. At The Cats Meow Luxury Boarding, Jo Schmidt and Amber Groff offer 19 suites with names such as “Catnip Alley,” “Tabby Tavern” and “Pouncing Paradise.” Individual studios have sky boxes and climbing structures. The sky boxes provide viewing areas for cats to climb into. The luxury suites include the options of bird viewing areas or flat screen TVs, and the penthouse has a full wall of windows with natural light as well as additional views into the reception area. The Cats Meow Luxury Boarding, 330 N.E. Chkalov Drive, Ste. “B,” Vancouver, is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 260-2287, email catsmeowboarding@gmail.com or visit www.thecatsmeowboarding.com.

Washougal earns a clean audit

City of Washougal officials are excited about another clean audit. The newest independent accountability report, from the Washington State Auditor’s Office, pertains to Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2012. It examined the areas of the Open Public Meetings Act, cash receipting, building and planning, safeguarding of assets (fuel) and the use of restricted funds. The audit also examined third party cash receipting, key software applications, payroll and benefits and financial condition.

Seizing opportunities with legalized marijuana

A variety of local residents are hoping to grow, process or sell marijuana in a retail setting. Christopher Lauer, 21, of Camas, is among the individuals who have applied for a retail marijuana sales license through the Washington State Liquor Control Board. “I’d like to open a shop, support myself and get through college,” he said.

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Classic Comfort

The owners of a new business were inspired by a trip they took three years ago to Melbourne, Australia. At that time, champagne was already the drink of choice for Krystal Curtis and Scott McElhaney. In downtown Melbourne, they visited The Champagne Lounge and enjoyed its seating areas and art. After that, the married couple sought out additional ideas in Greece, Costa Rica, England, France, Belgium, Canada and Mexico. For more information, call 954-5981, email krystalschampagnelounge@yahoo.com or visit www.krystalschampagnelounge.com.

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Vegetation removal at dike angers some

Several local residents are concerned about the recent loss of trees and vegetation near the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Gary Simmons, a Washougal boater, said he was horrified to see trees thinned out. “They wiped out everything by the river,” he said during the Dec. 17 Port of Camas-Washougal Commission meeting.

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Carrie Schulstad hired as DCA executive director

A familiar face will soon return to downtown Camas. Carrie Schulstad, a former vice president and event liaison for the Downtown Camas Association, has been hired as the organization’s executive director.

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Abby Mihaiuc is leading by example

The daughter of Romanian immigrants is demonstrating her talent as a violinist with the Junior Symphony of Vancouver. Abby Mihaiuc, 15, of Washougal, is in her third year with the JSV. She enjoys the variety of music that can be played on a violin.

Design process begins for Jemtegaard pedestrian trail

A path designed primarily for children to get to and from Jemtegaard Middle School safely is a step closer to reality. The Washougal City Council has approved a local agency agreement with the Washington State Department of Transportation, to proceed with the design process beyond its current conceptual phase.

Partners extend CWEDA agreement

The Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association is receiving differing levels of support from three local entities. The Camas City Council voted 7-0 last night, to approve the renewing of an interlocal agreement with Washougal and the Port of Camas-Washougal to continue the association. The Camas 2014 budget includes $50,000 for CWEDA.

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‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’

A family musical about life, faith and hope will be presented in Camas.“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” revolves around the announcement of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. Mark Maguire, pastor of First Christian Church of Camas, said that time involved anxiety and fear associated with the unknown. “It is poignant for today,” he said. “People are anxious about the unknown. The economy, is it going to crash? What’s going to happen in the world? “Things are in flux,” Maguire added. “ Society is changing rapidly.”

C-W Chamber hires new administrative assistant

The executive director of the Downtown Camas Association has been hired as the new administrative assistant at the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce. Brenda Schallberger assisted with the chamber’s holiday lunch Thursday, and she started training at the chamber office Friday. “In taking this role with the C-W Chamber of Commerce, I can continue to provide support for businesses in an even broader scope — encompassing the communities of both Camas and Washougal,” she said. “I will enjoy a role in the future prosperity of both.”

Washougal approves marijuana moratorium

It will be at least six months before retail businesses in Washougal can consider selling marijuana, if they are approved by the Washington State Department of Revenue. The Washougal City Council approved an emergency ordinance on Dec. 2, regarding the establishment of retail businesses that sell marijuana. It establishes a six-month moratorium prohibiting all uses allowed under state Initiative 502.

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Clark County Plumbing expands operations

A hometown business has experienced growth over nine years, in terms of employment numbers and square footage. Clark County Plumbing & Drain LLC relocated its office in August, from the Camas home of Mike and Erin Jones to the former Abacast office, at 1902 S.E. Sixth Ave., also in Camas. The company, which has six employees, provides residential and commercial plumbing services. For more information, call 210-7933 or visit www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com.

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Echo Resale offers consignment opportunities

A new shop features a wide variety of items — new and used — in downtown Washougal. During business hours, visitors at Echo Resale can peruse racks of clothing in front of waterskis, a wakeboard and a children’s-sized kayak on display outside. Inside, there is more clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children, as well as games, toys, books, dishes, fashion jewelry, baby blankets and cat carriers. In the arts and crafts section, there are fabrics, yarn, paints, art sets and stamps to use on cards. Echo Resale, 2103 Main St., is open Wednesday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 553-8861, email contact@shopechoresale.com or visit www.shopechoresale.com.

Shoemaker, Freeman voice concerns about social services funding

Comments made by two Washougal City Council members two weeks ago have generated a lot of attention regarding their views on abortion. Dave Shoemaker said during the Nov. 18 council meeting he wanted to delete the $7,500 in the 2014 proposed city budget, earmarked for the East County Family Resource Center, and Connie Jo Freeman echoed that thought. Shoemaker mentioned that providing social services is a county mission, and the city already provides the building at 1702 “C” St. rent-free, with maintenance, utilities and janitorial services. “I discovered this year that East County social services refers people to health care providers who provide abortions,” he said. “I’m definitely not in favor of that on the basis that some of the people that are paying the taxes that would support this effort have a conscience issue with that sort of thing.”

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Guided by faith

Mark Lockwood braved temperatures in the high 40s Thursday, while sorting donations of assorted goods that will soon be on their way to the Philippines.Lockwood, a volunteer, was dressed in several layers of clothing in the River Rock Church warehouse, as he separated contributions of clothing, shoes, bedding, toys, medical and school supplies, pots, pans and tarps. According to the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, more than 3.3 million people were displaced by Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8. More than 5,200 people are reported dead, 25,615 were injured and 1,613 are missing.

Library assistant promoted to district position

A former senior assistant at the Washougal Community Library has been promoted. Janet Alder, of Washougal, is the new marketing and outreach coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. She was selected by an interview panel comprised of employees from throughout the district.

Washougal Sport & Spine will expand to new location

The owners and patients of Washougal Sport & Spine Physical Therapy will soon have some new views of downtown Washougal. The five-year old practice, owned by Steve McCarthy and Kimberly Williams, both of Camas, will relocate from 1700 Main St., Ste. 222 to Suite 136, within Washougal Town Square, in February 2014. McCarthy, a 1996 Camas High School graduate, said the new location will provide approximately 20 percent more space than the current suite — around 2,750 square feet, compared to 2,200. For more information, call 835-5349 or visit www.washougalsportandspine.com.

Meals on Wheels donations to be accepted Nov. 23-27

Area residents can contribute to meals for senior citizens.