Stories by Dawn Feldhaus

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June 29, 2010
Dan Black teaches at A Driving School, in downtown Camas. The company recently relocated from the One Stop Shopping Center, in Camas. The business teaches teenagers and adults.

A Driving School relocates

Dan Black has been on the passenger side of a car while teenagers learn how to drive, and he has lived to tell about it. Actually being in a car with aspiring drivers is the favorite part of his job at A Driving School, which recently relocated from the One Stop Shopping Center, in Camas to downtown Camas. "People say I should wear a helmet and I'm crazy," Black said. "Both of those are probably true. I have a brake on my side, and I can grab the steering wheel. "The biggest thing you need is patience," he added. "Students a lot of times have not paid a whole lot of attention [to others' driving], because they have computer games and things that are different than when I grew up."

June 29, 2010

Democrats are inspired at state

A local woman who works while attending college was among the individuals who saw at least part of the Washington State Democratic Convention. The statewide gathering, which attracted more than 1,000 people including 740 delegates, was held Friday in the Vancouver Convention Center and Saturday in the Clark County Events Center, in Ridgefield. Jeanne Evans, of Washougal, volunteered on the hospitality committee. That meant she served as a hostess and part of the cleanup crew in a hospitality suite.

June 29, 2010

Washougal council approves farmers market resolution

The topic of whether a farmers market benefits a community was recently debated among Washougal City Council members. In the end, they approved a resolution created by councilman Paul Greenlee 6 to 1, stating there is substantial public benefit for the city, in having a private farmers market in downtown Washougal. Councilman Dave Shoemaker abstained from voting on the resolution during the June 21 meeting, after saying he did not think the local population is large enough to make a farmers market economically viable. "I applaud the nonprofit involvement," he said. "I don't think it's going to work. It could go in with a bang and go out with a whimper shortly thereafter."

June 22, 2010
Brent Boger, of Washougal, had an opportunity to visit with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, during a reception in Camas. The June 12 event was held at the home of David and Patricia Nierenberg. Boger, Clark County's Republican State committeeman, served on the host committee for the reception as well as the State Republican Convention, in Vancouver.

Conventional thoughts

The recent State Republican Convention attracted more than 2,125 people, which included several individuals from Camas, Washougal and a certain former governor of Massachusetts. The convention, held primarily at the Vancouver Convention Center, next to the Hilton, has been called "the largest state convention in a non-presidential election year for the Washington state Republican Party," according to Ryan Hart, chairman of the Clark County Republican Party. "It was an extremely successful convention," he added. "It's an opportunity to energize Republicans."

June 22, 2010
Eddie Esparza has been the director of the "One of a Kind Drumline" for seven years. The former Camas resident is also the site director of the Vancouver School District GEAR UP program, which helps juniors at Fort Vancouver, Columbia River and Skyview high schools to reach their post-secondary goals.

Leading by a different beat

Eddie Esparza remembers growing up in Camas in the early 1970s. He was 5 years old, and his brother was 7 when they and their mother moved from Los Angeles to the Camas Hotel. They eventually moved into a house near Lacamas Lake. Although that time in Esparza's life involved poverty, he still has fond memories of the Camas area.

June 16, 2010

Local film festival will change name and location

The founder and director of the Washougal International Film Festival has decided to make some changes to the event -- including its name and location. The third annual event, to be called the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival, will be held Aug. 18 through 22, in the Vancouver Convention Center, next to the Hilton in downtown Vancouver. The film festival had previously been held in the Washougal Town Square, in downtown Washougal, and in the Washburn Performing Arts Center at Washougal High School. Festival Organizer Breven Angaelica Warren expects there will be approximately 300 films available for audiences to view for free.

June 15, 2010

Harwoods will reopen as Oliver’s in downtown Camas

Two chefs who recently served gourmet meals at Shelby's in Washougal will soon be doing the same in downtown Camas. Morris Fenton and Gwyn Manney will provide an assortment of culinary selections at Oliver's -- former site of Harwoods. The restaurant, owned by Dan Harmic and Chuck Woods, opened Jan. 5 and closed on May 7. Harmic left the business for personal reasons, according to Karen Hall. She and her husband Tom Hall own the Camas Hotel, as well as the 1,200 square foot restaurant space at 401 N.E. Fourth Ave. "Tom and I were a little bit hesitant to step into the restaurant business at first," Karen Hall said. "However, when Morris came into the picture -- with his extraordinary talents and experience -- we all got very excited. We believe he will provide just what Camas needs in terms of an upscale restaurant with great food and drink and a warm atmosphere." Fenton and Manney have worked together for seven years, for the Hilton Restaurant Group, Vesta Restaurant, in Vancouver; and the View Point Inn, in Corbett, Ore. They have been written about in the New York Times and Sunset and Gourmet magazines, and they have appeared on CBS-TV.

June 15, 2010

Camas Bike and Sport to celebrate first anniversary

Several local merchants will participate in the first anniversary celebration of one of their own. The festivities, which are free and open to the public, are set for Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Camas Bike and Sport, 240 N.E. Third Ave. The business, owned by Ed Fischer, will have a raffle and prize giveaways. The grand prize will be a new hybrid bicycle valued at $440. There will be demonstration rides available on Felt road and mountain bikes, and Sram representatives will show the XX MTB component and Apex Road groups. In addition to rides on tandems (bicycles built for two) and a Surrey (a four-seat beach bike), vendors will include NW Mountain Bike Adventures.