Stories by Heather
“Paying it forward.”
It's a term we've often heard used in the movies, but when one Washougal resident uses this term to describe some of her recent activities, she truly means it.
Mary LaFrance has overcome some serious medical issues in her life. Diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2005, she underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatments. And when doctors later discovered that some potentially cancerous cells were once again growing in her breast tissue, she made the incredibly brave decision to have a complete double mastectomy.
In Washougal, the Big Foot Inn is the place “where everybody knows your name.”
And that's just the way the tavern's longtime owners, Jerry and Berta Knott, like it.
The couple, who recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary, have owned the Big Foot Inn for 27 years. They attribute at least a portion of the restaurant's success to maintaining its "hometown hangout" qualities.
When Norm Paulson was a teenager growing up in Washougal, he remembers getting pulled over by a police officer who gave him two options: The officer could write him a ticket or Paulson could tell his father what had happened.
At the time, Washougal had a population of just a few thousand people. Everybody, literally, knew everybody.
"He knew telling my father would be the harder thing for me to do," Paulson said. "And he knew my dad, so he could check to make sure I had told."
Originally, Memorial Day was created to recognize the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the American Civil War. Today, however, it serves as a day to remember all Americans who have died while serving in the military, in past and present conflicts.
In Camas and Washougal, a number of services and ceremonies at local cemeteries are scheduled to commemorate Memorial Day. Those events are profiled in an article in today's Post-Record.
The conclusion of filing week revealed a few surprises, as citizens filed to be candidates for seats in local government.
In Washougal, Mayor Sean Guard will have an opponent in Earl Scott -- a longtime Washougal Fire Department captain.
Monday marked the opening of filing week, where citizens can submit the paperwork and pay the fees to run for public office.
The Camas-Washougal area is home to many fundraisers that aim to generate money and awareness for any number of worthy causes.
The Camas City Council has approved the second phase of a subdivision that will eventually be the site of more than 120 homes.
The green light was given to the final plat of Summit at Columbia Vista Phase 2, which is located north of Northwest 16th Avenue and Northwest Klickitat Street, on the western side of Prune Hill. The 9.94 acre plat will include 34 single-family lots.
The first of four phases of Summit at Columbia Vista, which included 50 lots, was approved by the City Council in 2007.
Children in Third-World countries often live lives that most of us couldn’t even imagine.
On the morning of April 23, emergency vehicles descended onto the scene at the Port of Camas-Washougal offices. “Smoke” drifted from inside the building as firefighters rescued “victims” who were screaming for help inside.
It was all part of a scheduled emergency drill, but there were many times throughout the event that it felt very real.
"When it feels real like that, it can be stressful," said Port Communications Manager Jack Hardy. "It was real enough that I got a call from a radio station in Portland asking about what happened with the explosion."
Following several recent reports of a small bear being spotted in the Camas area, the animal was finally captured by Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife officials on Friday afternoon.
According to WDFW Sgt. Jeff Wickersham, after the initial reports wildlife officers set up a trap on the south side of Lacamas Creek. But the bait kept being stolen by raccoons.
Camas-Washougal Fire Marshal Ron Schumacher said Monday that the cause of the blaze that destroyed the two-story home is still under investigation.
According to Fire Chief Nick Swinhart, emergency crews from the C-W Fire Department were called to 1524 S.E. Seventh Ave., near the Camas Community Center, at approximately 11:30 a.m., to a report of an “appliance fire.” On arrival, crews found a single family dwelling with fire showing from the entire first floor and spreading to the second floor.
Nearly one year ago, the mayors of Camas and Washougal, along with nearly 500 residents of the local communities, embarked on a weight loss challenge and friendly competition between the two cities.
"Camas and Washougal on a Diet" began with an event at Capt. William Clark Park. Mayors Scott Higgins and Sean Guard stepped up to do what most of us wouldn't dream of -- get weighed in public, and then have those numbers announced over a loud speaker for all to hear. For that alone, these two people deserve a round of applause.
Emergency crews from the Camas-Washougal Fire Department battled a house fire today at 1524 S.E. Seventh Ave., near the Camas Community Center.
Our nation’s senior citizens, or “older Americans” to use the more politically correct term, are changing the world — in small ways and big ways — every day.
These men and women are contributing in a variety of ways, from helping to raise their grandchildren and serving as elected leaders, to donating their time to local charities, and volunteering as emergency responders. The list of their efforts really is endless.
Each year in May, the contributions of these elder members of our society are highlighted and celebrated. Older Americans Month is "a month to appreciate and celebrate the vitality and aspirations of older adults and their contributions to local communities."
The 4-year-olds buzz around the brightly decorated preschool classroom, zooming from station to station.Two students paint pictures of the yellow and purple tulips that are displayed in a vase on a table. Another child sits in front of a tray of plastic toy dinosaurs and reptiles, examining them closely under a magnifying glass. Meanwhile, a few others work on alphabet recognition exercises with a parent volunteer.
The calm voice that resonates through it all is that of teacher Maria Lattanzi. One-by-one, she summons each child up to her station. She takes their hand, gently plops it down into a tray of bright yellow paint, then presses the tiny palm and fingers onto a piece of white construction paper.
The youngsters lift up their outstretched hand to peek at what they've created -- the petals of a sunflower. The children then dunk the tips of their fingers into brown paint, quickly creating the dots that form its seeds.
At the Camas-Washougal Parent Co-op Preschool, all of these activities are part of a curriculum that encourages little minds to experience, grow and change.
Camas continues to look at possible solutions to the question of how to fund the long-term maintenance of the city’s roadways. A recent report suggests that ideally the city should be investing upwards of $700,000 per year in its streets.
On April 15, the City Council was presented with the findings of a pavement management program report created by Capitol Asset & Pavement Services, Inc. An $18,500 professional services contract to hire the company was approved in December 2012.
Owner Joel Conder completed a survey of 112 miles of asphalt, taking note of every "crack, patch, pothole, depression and distortion." That information was transferred into a pavement management software program, which revealed that on a pavement condition index of zero to 100, with 100 being the best, Camas streets average a 78.
"Not too bad -- it really wasn't," he said, although Conder qualified his statement by adding that the newer streets on Prune Hill may skew the average a bit.
An emergency drill was conducted at the Port of Camas-Wasougal offices in Washougal this morning. Camas-Washougal Fire Department firefighters and paramedics participated in the exercise that involved a scenario where an explosion had occurred in the basement level maintenance shop area of the port offices.
On Wednesday, April 24, author Michael David Gholston will read from his book, “Any Road,” at the Camas Public Library. The event starts at 6:30 p.m., in the library’s upstairs meeting rooms.
Last night, the Camas City Council approved a professional service contract for a study of the municipality’s water, sewer, storm water and solid waste utility rates.
The $85,330 contract with Financial Consulting Solutions Group, Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., includes a scope of work that covers data collection, an analysis of revenue requirements and rate design for all four utilities, and a cost of service study for water and sewer utilities. The effort will also include an analysis of alternative options for the sanitation utility service.
According to the contract, the study will be completed by the end of the year.
Yesterday, an event that took place thousands of miles away, shook this country — deeply.
As of this morning, reports are that three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 175 people were injured when two bombs detonated near the finish line of the popular Boston Marathon.
Drivers on state Route 14 near Camas will encounter full closures of the West Camas Slough Bridge this weekend while crews complete a routine bridge inspection
A Camas man has taken two of his lifelong passions and fused them together to promote the beauty and background of the local area.
Ninety years ago, when the Washougal Women’s Club opened the first library in downtown Camas, they may not have known the impact they would be making on future generations of Camasonians.
That first library was housed in Arthur Thayer's drug store, located across the street from the paper mill's offices. The facility loaned out books donated by local residents, and the state's traveling library.
A tender moment between a man and a woman sitting in a coffee shop. A delicate family heirloom sugar bowl. Bold golden leaves dancing in shadow and sunlight.
These are just a few of the seemingly simple images that award-winning artist Marilyn Farrell Webberley has used as inspiration in creating some of her most stunning works of art.
The Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail, a true treasure in our community, re-opened to the public on Friday, nearly six months after a fire burned 148 acres of the 1,049-acre Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Washougal.
“There is no positive thing that could happen from taking a position [on the Columbia River Crossing].”
Camas Mayor Scott Higgins was joined by city, county and state elected officials, as well as local business representatives during a ground breaking ceremony for the Northwest 38th Avenue/Southeast 20th Street extension project.
"We believe this road will be very significant to the future economic development of the city," Higgins said to the crowd that attended the event on March 5.
The $4.8 million project will extend Northwest 38th Avenue approximately two-thirds of a mile west to the rapidly developing 192nd Avenue corridor. The completed project includes purchase of right-of-way, street construction, storm water drainage system, street lights and installation of water main, and a center left turn lane with curbs and sidewalks on both sides.
Before going to bed Saturday night, remember to set clocks forward one hour in preparation for the beginning of daylight saving time. The time change officially begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday.
Camas Mayor Scott Higgins was joined by city, county and state officals, as well as local business representatives during the ground breaking ceremony for the 38th Avenue extension project.
The City of Camas has engaged the legal firm of Foster Pepper PLLC to represent its interests regarding the proposed Bonneville Power Administration I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project.
The city announced the move this morning in a media release. City leaders have publicly voiced strong opposition to the project, and hinted in the past that legal action could be a possibility.
Camas and Washougal should pursue expanding their current fire department consolidation efforts, instead of the formation of a regional fire authority, a committee made up of elected city leaders recently recommended.
During the Tuesday, Feb. 26 Regional Fire Authority Committee meeting, members voted to support a recommendation to cease pursuit of forming a regional fire authority, and proceed with the current interlocal agreement and explore further integration of the two departments.
The current Camas-Washougal trial merger agreement expires at the end of this year.
During a joint meeting in April, the Camas and Washougal city councils are expected to discuss the particulars, including looking at policy and governance issues, and how a full integration could be structured. Tackling all of those issues, said Camas City Administrator Nina Regor, is likely to take some time.
The joint meeting between the Camas and Washougal city councils is tentatively scheduled for Monday, April 8, at 4:30 p.m., at Washougal City Hall, 1701 "C" St. In addition to issues surrounding the fire department consolidation, other topics will include an update on the C-W Municipal Court and an animal control inter-local agreement.
The first signs foreshadowing the future construction of a new recreation facility in Camas were visible Friday.
That day, crews from the City of Camas and Ballard Diving and Salvage worked to remove the rickety, decades-old wooden dock that sat on Lacamas Lake in front of the city owned building formerly occupied by the Camas Moose. It was a step forward in a project that will ultimately result in construction of Lacamas Lake Lodge and Conference Center at 227 N.E. Lake Road.
"It makes you realize something is happening when you see logs being dragged through the parking lot," commented Camas Mayor Scott Higgins during last night's City Council workshop. "It's going to be a fun project."
Included in the $1.9 million price tag is an $842,000, 5,000 square foot building that will consist of a large event space, two smaller meeting rooms, office space, kitchen, restrooms, storage, large covered patio and a 60-foot long dock. The facility, which will be located adjacent to Heritage Park, will also feature a fireplace and vaulted ceilings, with large windows to take advantage of the lake views.
During Women’s History Month in March, we’re often encouraged to remember the people who have left their imprints on the world on a national scale. The names that often come to mind are that of Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Eleanor Roosevelt, Geraldine Ferraro, Gloria Steinem, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou, Amelia Earhart, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. And the list goes on and on.
There is no greater resource and asset in our community than our children.
As parents, they are our everything. They add a new sense of purpose and meaning to our lives. And as a community, children are the future. The quality of their lives today have a very good chance of impacting how Camas and Washougal will look into the future and beyond.
The Washougal City Council voted 5-1 on Feb. 19 to change the schedule of its meetings.
Starting in March, the Washougal City Council will hold its regular meetings and workshops on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. The workshops will run from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by the regular meetings at 7 p.m.
During the months of November and December, meetings will be held on the first, second and third Mondays of each month, with the same time schedule in place. City Administrator David Scott said the increase in the number of meetings during this time of year is primarily due to budget discussions. A meeting, he explained, could be cancelled if deemed unnecessary.
Those who support and those who oppose the Bonneville Power Administration’s I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project have a little longer than expected to submit their comments.
In consideration of requests from the public, the Bonneville Power Administration extended the comment deadline from March 1 to noon Monday, March 25.
BPA released the draft environmental impact statement and preferred route alternative for the 500 kilovolt lattice steel tower transmission line for public review and comment on Nov. 13.
According to the hard-working volunteers at the Two Rivers Heritage Museum, this facility that holds the historical treasures of Camas and Washougal’s past is one of the area’s best kept secrets.
Several new faces have recently joined the leadership at the Two Rivers Heritage Museum, giving the site an infusion of renewed enthusiasm and fresh ideas.
Erin Leverman, a Vancouver resident and student at Washington State University, was recently appointed by the Camas-Washougal Historical Society Board of Directors to the museum's executive director position.
Leverman, who holds an associate of arts degree from Clark College, is currently a senior with plans to graduate in December 2013 or May 2014 with a bachelor of arts degree in history.
When she saw the announcement about the local museum’s open position, she thought it would offer an opportunity that combines her interests and her education.
"I've loved history for years," she said. "This is something I've explored before as an avenue for my degree. I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn what goes on in a museum, help out, use my degree and get the learning experience."
Camas industrialist Bob Tidland might be as well known for being the co-founder of Tidland Corp., as he is for his love of simply riding his tractor and tending to his farmland.
"He was a giant of a community leader and a business leader," said recently retired Camas City Administrator Lloyd Halverson. "I think he was a patron of the whole community."
Charles Robert “Bob” Tidland, a third generation Camas resident, died peacefully at home Feb. 5, 2013. He was 89.
A public memorial service will be held Saturday, at 11 a.m., at Grace Foursquare Church, 717 S.E. Everett Road, Camas.
Since July 2011, the Camas and Washougal fire departments have been taking part in a functional consolidation as a way to pinpoint financial and process efficiencies and improve service levels.
That effort's long-term future will likely be decided soon, as elected officials consider information provided in a recently released consultant's report.
"I was impressed with the report in the way it pointed toward the fact that the work we've done together has yielded some substantial positive results that were surprising to [consultant Paul Lewis] and frankly surprising to me," said Camas City Councilman Steve Hogan. "There are some interesting options, but I think it really stated or proved that the cooperation between all parties was impressive."
For many of us, our health is something we tend to take for granted, until some kind of catastrophic event throws our mortality directly into our faces.
It is in these situations, when life, God, the universe, the powers that be, or whatever higher power we believe in, gives us the wake-up call we may need to make important life changes.
Unfortunately, however, not everyone survives a major health crisis long enough to take the message to heart.
As early as this summer, the city of Camas could be embarking on its first of many forest harvesting efforts. It is one element of a management plan that has been developed for the city’s expansive watershed.
Located 10 miles northeast of Camas, near the southwest corner of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, the Jones Creek and Boulder Creek watershed consists of nearly 1,700 acres of mature forest land, of which approximately 1,300 acres has been identified as suitable for harvesting,
The property, originally purchased by the city between 1923 and 1950, is currently used to collect water for municipal purposes via intake facilities on Boulder Creek and Jones Creek.
The week of Jan. 21, 150,798 registered voters in Clark County began receiving their Feb. 12 special election ballots in the mail. As of today, nearly 35,000 have been returned.
School districts around the area, including Camas, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Battle Ground and La Center have submitted levy propositions primarily to fund schools' maintenance and operations and technology programs. Of course, in our community, it's the two levies for the Camas School District that are catching the most attention.
A Washougal man who said he initially joined the Air Force to simply “have something to do right out of high school,” 10 years later is being honored for his acts of heroism during combat.
Ask local residents why they moved to Camas or have continued to live in this area for years, and it’s likely that the city’s high quality public school system would be on the list. And, it’s not difficult to see why.
Ask local residents why they moved to Camas or have continued to live in this area for years, and it’s likely that the city’s high quality public school system would be on the list. And, it’s not difficult to see why.
A report on the Camas Community Development Department's annual work plan, an update on fire department and emergency medical service issues, and discussion about keeping the general fund balance sustainable will be among the topics on the agenda during the city's planning conference Friday, Jan. 25.
The annual event, which will be facilitated by Camas School District Superintendent Mike Nerland, will be held from 1 to 6 p.m., at City Hall, 616 N.E. Fourth Ave. Mayor Scott Higgins, members of the City Council and city department heads will be attendance. It is open to the public.
Cats and criminals.
It's not the most likely successful combination, but a local program that will soon include participation by a Washougal animal shelter has turned this pairing into a positive experience for both humans and felines.
The Bonneville Power Administration has scheduled a public meeting Thursday at Liberty Middle School in Camas.
An open house focusing on the draft environmental impact statement will run from 5 to 9 p.m., with verbal comments accepted from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
During the open house, attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the project and ask questions of BPA staff. Oral testimony will be transcribed and included as formal comments within the draft EIS. According to a press release, BPA will respond to the comments in the final EIS, not during the public meetings.
In November 2012, the Bonneville Power Administration announced that it identified the "Central Alternative" using Central Option 1 as its preferred alternative for the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project.