Stories by Heather
Camas city officials are one step closer to getting what they have been hoping for — a face-to-face meeting with BPA decision makers.
Last night City Administrator Lloyd Halverson announced that a meeting had been scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 12 -- in Camas. BPA officials in attendance will be Bill Drummond, deputy director; Larry Bekkedahl, vice president of transmission, engineering and technical services; Liz Klumpp, government affairs representative; and Mark Korsness, project manager. City representatives on hand will include Halverson, Mayor Scott Higgins, Community Development Director Phil Bourquin and one member of the City Council.
Please, oh please, say it’s not so.
Just last week the weather seemed to indicate that summer was finally here. With temperatures reaching into the upper 90s, the Washougal River was packed with people looking to cool off. The Camas Municipal Pool hit capacity. Youngsters gathered at Hamllik Park to feel the refreshing spray of water sprayed from the local fire department’s fire hose.
Due to the heat wave forecast to hit Clark County, with temperatures expected to reach 100 degrees, the Camas-Washougal Fire Department will be opening a fire hose sprinkler for kids at Hamllik Park, 4285 Addy St., in Washougal, today and tomorrow, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Camas residents will be paying a higher levy rate starting in 2013 thanks to a levy rate increase approved by voters.
The six-year levy received over and above the required simple majority by earning 55.83 percent approval in the Aug. 7 Primary Election.
Police have identified the man killed Wednesday in a single vehicle accident north of Camas.
In the wake of its first Washington State Audit finding in 35 years, the city of Camas is now in the throes of working to strengthen its finance department.
During a recent Camas City Council workshop, Camas City Administrator Lloyd Halverson and Finance Director Joan Durgin presented a work plan that includes making changes to elements of its cash reconciliation process, improving internal control procedures and reducing the workload of several key finance department employees. The estimated cost in 2012 of accomplishing these goals is $26,000.
"This is our effort to address and improve things to be sure we don't have a subsequent finding to bring to you," Halverson said.
On July 30, the Washington State Auditor’s Office released to the public the results of its 2011 audit of city finances, which found that when costs are shared between one city department and another, those actions were not being adequately documented.
In recent months, a dedicated group of Washougal residents, primarily members of the Friends of the Washougal Community Library, have been working to drum up support for finding an existing space or constructing a new building that would be offer a bigger, better location for the Washougal Community Library.
The current facility, operated by the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, is housed in a 2,400 square foot space adjacent to the Washougal Community Center in the City Hall complex. Approximately 1,800 square feet is dedicated to public use, while the remainder is reserved for staff space and storage.
Local and state elections officials have released updated results for the Aug. 7 Primary Election.
The Clark County Elections Department will start releasing the results of the Primary Election at approximately 8:30 p.m. tonight.
Ballots can be hand-delivered up until 8 p.m. today to Camas sites at Dorothy Fox Elementary School, 2623 N.W. Sierra St., Grace Foursquare Church, 717 S.E. Everett Road, Helen Baller Elementary School, 1954 N.E. Garfield St., and Prune Hill Elementary School, 1601 N.W. Tidland St. and in Washougal at the community center, 1681 "C" St.
We often hear about the importance of taking care of our community and helping our neighbors, but we sometimes forget pets should be included in that concept as well.
There appears to be a cat population problem in Southwest Washington. And it’s a problem we should all be involved in solving.
Camas voters have until Tuesday, Aug. 7, to make a decision and get their ballots in the mail on a proposal to increase the city's current emergency medical services levy.
If approved, the six-year levy would raise the current rate from 35 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to 46 cents. Starting in 2013, the owner of a $300,000 home would pay $138 per year -- a $33 increase. The current levy expires at the end of the year.
The proposed increase is an effort to stabilize the emergency medical services funding stream. In recent years the EMS fund's revenues have dropped, primarily due to a decrease in assessed property values. At the end of 2011 the fund had a shortfall of $55,000, an amount that had to be covered by the city's general operations fund.
For the first time in more than 30 years, the Washington State Auditor has issued a finding following an audit of city of Camas financial records.
A report released to the public yesterday states that a recent accountability audit of records from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2011, found that the city "does not have adequate support for its allocation of shared costs, resulting in a shift of general government costs to restricted funds," and that the city "is unable to show documentation that it complied with state laws that prohibit shifting restricted resources to other funds."
It’s safe to say that at first glance nobody is ever happy to hear about a proposal to raise property taxes, no matter what the purpose. But sometimes, when those proposing the increase have done their homework and it becomes clear based on the facts that it is justified, it just makes sense.
At the administrative level, the Mount Pleasant School District is broken, and it’s going to take some dramatic efforts to fix it.
The small school district of 50 kindergarten through six-grade students and approximately three teachers has seen more than its share of challenging times in recent years, often involving conflicts between the district's superintendents and members of the School Board.
The search for a new Camas city administrator came up empty as none of the five finalists were selected to fill the position.
Camas officials are looking to serve up their opposition to the Bonneville Power Administration I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project directly to the decision maker at the top: BPA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Stephen J. Wright.
Unless it directly impacts a person’s life, organ donation isn’t something most people think about on a daily basis.
The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of two people who drowned Monday afternoon at the main falls of White River Falls Day Use area east of Tygh Valley.
A health advisory warning against contact with Lacamas Lake and Round Lake has been lifted following a series of clean test results, according to Clark County Public Health.
On Friday, it was announced that Lacamas Lake is no longer a threat to the health of people and pets. Officials had first warned against human and animal contact with the water on June 29, after routine test results confirmed the presence of the blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria, in Lacamas Lake.
With a recent infusion of excitement and purpose, the downtown Camas area is entering a new phase in its journey from a sleepy downtown without a whole lot to offer into what many hope will eventually be a thriving downtown that is bustling on a daily basis.
Emergency crews responded to a two-alarm fire early Monday morning at Stauffer’s Dairy Farm in Washougal.
East County Fire and Rescue was dispatched to 541 S.E. Blair Road at approximately 12:30 a.m., and arrived to find a loafing shed and milking shed fully involved with fire, said ECFR Public Information Officer Rick Knapp Monday morning. The approximately 60 by 80 foot loafing shed, where cows are collected prior to milking, was the largest of the two structures destroyed.
Fire crews from ECFR, Camas, Washougal and Vancouver battled the fire, which also threatened other structures on the property.
The public is being advised to avoid contact with Lacamas Lake and Round Lake in Camas, including swimming, wading and jet skiing or water skiing, due to high levels of blue-green algae.
On Friday Clark County Public Health announced that routine test results confirmed the presence of the algae, also called cyanobacteria, in Lacamas Lake. It can be dangerous to human health, and pose a significant hazard to pets and livestock.
“It is especially important to keep children out of the lake because they are more likely than adults to swallow some water,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer, adding that pets are also at high risk. “We want to minimize the chances of illness from water contact so people can have a safe, enjoyable July 4 holiday.”
Last night, the Washougal City Council voted to have Brent Boger join the group as its newest member.
Boger, the Vancouver senior assistant city attorney for the past 13 years and a Washougal resident since 2003, has the skills and background to be a high quality councilman. Maybe most telling in this selection process, when it comes to predicting how Boger might fit in with the new group dynamic, is the fact that the vote was unanimous. He clearly gained the confidence of each member of the Washougal City Council -- a government body that has so often been divided on a variety of issues.
Emergency crews responded to a two-alarm fire early this morning at Stauffer Dairy Farm in Washougal.
The Camas Municipal Pool closed down on Thursday due to vandalism, and isn’t expected to open until Monday.
The public is being advised to avoid contact with Lacamas Lake and Round Lake in Camas, including swimming, wading and jet skiing or water skiing, due to high levels of blue-green algae in its waters.
This morning the City of Camas released the names of the top five applicants in its search for a new city administrator.
In the wake of concerns about fireworks misuse and noise, in May 2011 the Camas City Council approved an ordinance with a more restrictive discharge and sale policy.
Because the law didn't take effect until one year from the day it was approved, the upcoming Fourth of July holiday will be the first under the new rules. Deputy Fire Marshal Randy Miller said he has been working to get the word out.
Some people love them, others absolutely hate them. It’s a touchy subject for many. The issue typically comes to a head right around this time of year as fireworks sales begin in preparation for the Independence Day holiday, and the community is forced to deal with those who use the explosives both wisely, and not-so-wisely.
Placement of bridge girders will cause the nighttime closure of Union Street in Camas this week.
According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, full nighttime closures of Union Street at state Route 14 will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Second and Sixth streets will remain open.
How about those roundabouts?
Since the four roundabouts were completed in Camas and Washougal, two at Union Street and two at Second Avenue, drivers have been adjusting to navigating the area in a whole new way. And the transition hasn't always been easy.
It’s a word describing a disease that has unfortunately crept its way into nearly every person’s life in one way or another. Some have battled the disease themselves, others have supported a family member or friend going through treatment, and others have tragically lost a person close to them to one of the hundreds of forms this disease takes.
After concerns communicated by Camas officials to the Bonneville Power Administration regarding the proposed I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project have not gotten the desired response, the city is hoping to pinpoint its next step in efforts to keep the project from negatively impacting Camas.
In the search for a new Camas City Administrator, an initial pool of 54 applicants has been narrowed to 16 people.
Those 16 have submitted a set of supplemental questionnaires, which are now being reviewed by city officials.
A body found in the Columbia River on June 3 has been positively identified as that of a missing Camas man.
According to a press release from the Camas Police Department, the body discovered by a boater near Woodland was confirmed Thursday to be Christopher M. Kane.
Each year, as high school graduation time rolls around, we are all reminded that kids in the Camas and Washougal communities are accomplishing amazing things.
“What a journey high school has been.”These words spoken during a speech by Washougal High School Class of 2012 co-valedictorian Katherine Ludwig were likely also on the minds of most of the 169 graduates who sat before her on Saturday night during commencement ceremonies.
A body found in the Columbia River on June 3 has been identified as that of a missing Camas man.
The torrential downpour of rain the area received yesterday doesn’t indicate it, but summer is (hopefully) right around the corner. And in small communities like Camas and Washougal, the summer months bring many opportunities for local residents to get out and about, interact, and enjoy all that the area has to offer. Upcoming community events include:
Camtown: Saturday’s Camtown Youth Festival is a free, youth-focused event and includes a variety of games and interactive amusements, arts and crafts activities, entertainment, food, dunk tank, youth art show, a petting zoo, a kids’ flea and craft market, and kid-related information booths. This year’s event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Crown Park.
Camas Fire Chief Nick Swinhart announced yesterday that the fire department has earned a nearly $491,000 grant that will pay the salaries and benefits of three new firefighter/IV technicians for two years.
The $490,818 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant, administered through the Department of Homeland Security, is aimed at providing funding directly to fire departments to help increase the number of trained, front line firefighters.
"These [SAFER Grants] are very difficult to get and we are proud of the team for getting us to this point," said Swinhart, crediting Capt. Kevin Bergstrom, Firefighter/Paramedic Darren Deibler and Administrative Assistant Alicia Ramsey for crafting the successful grant application.
When Lloyd Halverson was a boy, his parents once told him he was “born under a lucky star.”
Now, reflecting back decades later, he believes they may have been right. The Camas city administrator counts himself very lucky to have had a long career in public service that has offered both interesting challenges and great rewards. He will retire from his full-time duties in September after spending more than 23 years in Camas as its only city administrator.
Law enforcement released the names today of those involved in a capsized boat accident Monday morning that resulted in the apparent drowning death of a 13-year-old near the east end of lady Island in Camas.
After years of investigation aimed at determining what happened to more than $100,000 in revenue from two City of Washougal-sponsored festivals in 2008 and 2009, the official answer was recently delivered by the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office: They really don’t know if public money was misused, lost or misappropriated.
The man who has been the 18th District’s state senator for 17 years has decided not to run for another term.
Just minutes after the deadline had passed to mark the end of filing week, Sen. Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, ranking Republican on the Senate Ways & Means Committee, officially announced that he would not seek re-election.
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- by By Heather Acheson Post-Record Staff
- May 22, 2012
An agreement unanimously approved by the Camas City Council last night is the first step toward developing property that could eventually become the site of up to 57 single family residences.
“A city government that is connected to all facets of its community.”
This description is a major characteristic of any highly successful municipality. A meeting last week in Washougal has the potential to be a step in the right direction toward making this concept a reality.
Once again, the growing Camas School District is going through the boundary review process as it prepares to open its sixth elementary school. And perhaps predictably it has stirred up some powerful opinions and emotions from those who will be impacted by the final results.
It’s been a difficult road for businesses in the immediate area surrounding the state Route 14 safety improvement project construction work. Traffic delays, rocky gravel-filled streets, road closures, the constant flow and noise of construction vehicles, and a giant dirt berm blocking visibility between the highway and commerce are just some of the issues merchants say have led to a reduction in customers and profits.
As a Camas Police Department detective specializing in sex crimes, Carol Buck came face-to-face with some of society’s most despicable human beings who committed unspeakable acts.
Child abuse and neglect. Incest. Rape. Domestic violence. Often, the crimes Buck investigated during her 22-year career with the CPD were committed against the vulnerable and innocent. She sifted through and analyzed the details of hundreds crimes that would make the average person want to cringe.
A dream to see the Big Island of Hawaii, and its majestic volcanoes overflowing with bright red lava, will come true for a little boy from Washougal.
Five-year-old Coleman Merle was granted his dream-come-true trip through Make-A-Wish Oregon. Coleman suffers from a Wilms tumor, which is a type of cancer that starts in the kidneys, and is the most common type of kidney cancer in children, according to the American Cancer Society.
On Friday, Coleman received a fun-filled send-off after arriving at Beaches Restaurant in Vancouver in a shiny black limousine. He was greeted at the event by friends, family members and Make-A-Wish Foundation volunteers and then whisked into the party inside where he received an itinerary detailing the upcoming trip he will take with his family, beach-themed gifts for the trip, and a custom-made volcano cake.
"Coleman loves volcanoes and lava, and looks forward to seeing both on his trip to Hawaii," said Carynne Drake of Make-A-Wish Oregon.