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

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 or visit

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.

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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 or visit

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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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

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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 or visit

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

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

Area residents can contribute to meals for senior citizens.

Holiday Craft Winefest of Vancouver is set for Saturday

Beverages from the Camas-Washougal area will be included in a festival.

Holiday Gift Fair will include pet adoptions Friday through Sunday

A three-day event will include participation by local vendors.

Survivor story: Camas author pens third book

Underneath the shoulder length, wavy, gray hair and glasses, lies the strength of a woman who survived an abusive marriage and found love the second time around. Della Howe, 85, of Camas, has written her third book, “Al’s Twisted Mind,” about her ex-husband. In the book, Howe, who uses the pen name Marie Jensun, has changed her former husband’s name. She married “Al” when she was 18, and he was 21.

Washougal Community Center improvements are part of 2014 budget

Improvements are needed in the Washougal Community Center kitchen, in order for that facility to continue preparing food for the Meals on Wheels program. The 2014 preliminary city budget includes $50,000 for kitchen upgrades. “The entire kitchen, except the commercial dishwasher, is out of compliance with health department codes,” said Washougal Parks, Cemetery and Facilities Manager Suzanne Grover.

Proposition 1 defeated in Washougal

The form of government in Washougal will remain the same, after the defeat of Proposition 1. The measure would have changed the form from mayor-council with a city administrator to council-manager. Proposition 1 received 996 votes for it (34.38 percent) and 1,901 votes against it (65.62 percent). City Councilman Brent Boger said he was disappointed with the results.

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Transport Holding Co., Inc. relocates

A corporation that handles the shipping of more than 50,000 cars, trucks, SUVs and vans a year has moved from downtown Camas to downtown Washougal. Transport Holding Co., Inc., has leased the 3,080-square-foot Suite 230, in Washougal Town Square. It operates six auto shipping brokerages. Three are based out of the Washougal office, and the other three are in Phoenix, Ariz. Terry Williams, president and chief executive officer, splits his time between the two cities. For more information, call 834-2900, email or visit

Political action committee to host post-election recap

Results from the Nov. 5 General Election will be discussed by a political science professor.

Concert to benefit homeless shelter Friday

Singers from around the area will entertain, to help an emergency shelter.

Proposition 1 is defeated in Washougal

Washougal voters decide to not change the form of government.

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Elida Field to host open house at new studio on Friday

A local artist will soon open a studio and art gallery in downtown Camas. The space has been renovated for Elida Field, a professional artist, art instructor and consultant. She will host an open house Friday, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., at 735 N.E. Sixth Ave. On Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Field will be among the participants in the Clark County Open Studios Tour. For more information about the open house, call 901-0031, or visit

Liberty Theatre to serve beer and wine, starting Nov. 15

People who want to drink beer or wine while watching a movie in downtown Camas will soon get their wish. The Liberty Theatre has received a beer and wine license from the Washington Liquor Control Board. Starting Friday, Nov. 15, beer and wine will be available to purchase at the Liberty refreshment area. “We are re-working the concession area so that there will be a beer and wine station on the west end of the counter,” said Rand Thornsley, managing director of The Rootstock Capital Management LLC.

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In honor of our veterans

A variety of events are planned in the Camas, Washougal and Vancouver areas and beyond, to honor the country’s military veterans on Veterans Day.

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Lil’ Dudes and Divas moves to Camas

The owner of a boutique and consignment shop, previously located in the Uptown Village area of Vancouver, has moved her business to downtown Camas. Erika Petersen has opened Lil’ Dudes and Divas. The business sells new and gently used children’s clothing and accessories. That includes toys, games, puzzles, shoes, hats, coats and socks. The new items are displayed along the walls, while the consigned goods can be seen on racks. There are also umbrellas, greeting cards, bookmarks and photo albums.

Fairgate Inn to transition to assisted living facility in 2014

The site of many overnight stays, weddings, teas, banquets and Camas-Washougal Rotary Club meetings will soon become an assisted living facility. Jack and Chris Foyt, owners of The Fairgate Inn, plan to begin accepting residents in January 2014, after all of the licensing is completed. They will be board members of Fairgate Estate, while their daughter Jennifer Coriell will serve as the administrator.

DCA to host business awards ceremony Nov. 11

The third annual Downtown Camas Association meeting and awards celebration will provide an opportunity for local business owners to gather and commemorate a year of accomplishments. It will be held Monday, Nov. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Journey Community Church, 304 N.E. Fourth Ave. The cost to attend, $15 per person, includes appetizers, wine and dessert.

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Homemade with love and laughter

A youngster with culinary ambitions has grown up and is making her dreams come true. Bethani Higdon won a Camas-Washougal Girl Scout baking competition at the age of 8, when she made mocha chocolate brownies. Her mother, Connie, recalls Bethani, now 21, saying that when she grew up, she was going to open a restaurant. The mother and daughter plan to open WildFlour Cafe & Cupcakes, in downtown Washougal, this Friday.

Washougal could use utility rate phase-in strategy

Some Washougal residents who live in single-family homes could see water rate decreases in 2014. According to the final results of a rate study conducted by the FCS Group, 61 percent of the water bills for single family residences with three-quarter inch meters would be lower than current rates. The current average bi-monthly bill for customers who use 10 ccf of water is $60.38. That could decrease to $58.21 next year. A proposed rate for 2015 would be $58.83. One ccf equals 748 gallons.

City council hears potential impacts of Prop. 1

Washougal City Administrator David Scott presented a transition plan during last night’s City Council meeting, in the event that Proposition 1 is approved. The measure would change the form of government, from mayor-council with a city administrator to council-manager.

Camas woman to vie for Miss Washington title

A former Camas High School cheerleading captain is preparing for the Miss Washington USA pageant this week. Shelby Meader, Miss Greater Clark County USA, will be among the 75 participants in the pageant Friday and Saturday, at the Highline Performing Arts Center, in Burien. She spent this past Saturday in Seattle with other contestants, practicing wearing high heels from noon to 6 p.m., and enunciating their names and titles in front of a microphone. In case of a technical issue, they have to be prepared to speak “super loud,” according to Meader. It was the last in a series of four workshops held during the past month and a half.

Retirement party for Washougal drug dog is set for Saturday

As Washougal Police K-9 Officer Dingo prepares for retired life, his successor is already in training. “Ranger,” a 2-year-old male Dutch shepherd, and his handler Officer Kyle Day are in a 10-week class, provided by the Vancouver Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

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Treasure House deals with food bank shortages

There are some empty shelves at the Inter-Faith Treasure House, of Camas/Washougal, and Executive Director Nancy Wilson is hoping area residents will help fill them. “We’re really short on food,” she said. “If people would just buy one or two extra cans, it would make a lot of difference here in our little town. “We appreciate one can, two cans, a sackful,” Wilson added.

“Blessing of the Animals” to be held Sunday

Cats, dogs and other pets are welcome at the annual blessing ceremony Sunday.

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Amnesia will move headquarters to Washougal

Amnesia Brewing has announced it is moving all of its operations to downtown Washougal. The company, owned by Kevin King and his wife, Kristina, has sold its Portland location to StormBreaker Brewing. The site, at 832 N. Beech St., will remain open through December. A new 15-barrel brewing system began production in March, at 1834 Main St., in Washougal. It was a month after a tasting room opened at the 5,500-square-foot site. The brewery is expected to produce up to 6,000 barrels of beer a year. For more information, call 335-1008 or visit