July 20, 2010
Local artist Elida Field helps third-grader Tony Kajino put the finishing touches on his painting.  She recently moved her business from her home studio in Washougal, to Northeast Cedar Street  in Camas, where Workshed Interactive was located. That business has moved into a smaller space. Field plans on using the space for a "working gallery," where the community will be able to take classes and have parties.

Making art accessible

Elida Field is definitely not what you'd call an uptight artist. "I have three kids," she said. "I'm used to seeing the spaghetti fly through the air and hit a painting. If you can't just wipe it off, then it's not something I'm likely to have in my home." Field, who lives in Washougal, is taking that free-spirited concept into her latest venture, opening a downtown Camas art gallery. "I don't really have a name for it yet," she said. "I'm usually good at coming up with catchy little titles, but this has been difficult."

July 13, 2010
This artwork is among several pieces displayed in the Second Story Gallery this month. It includes Barbara Queen's "Red Rhodies Crying in the Rain #1 and #2," Nathaniel Maszak's "View From Livingston Mountain," and Anamaria Campbell's "Bicyle By Fence," (shown above) which was also a contest winner.  Other photos at the show are "Ice Cream Outing at Top Burger," where Susan Maszak took three pictures of one of her sons, Alex, holding his 2-year-old brother Benjamin and helping him select a flavor. Later, they ate it outside during rare sunshine on Memorial Day, 15-year-old Kierney Fogg's "Fern Prairie Pioneers," a winning entry, Kathleen Doyle's "Daisy" and Campbell's "Iris."

What they love about Camas

From an ice cream outing at Top Burger to Lacamas Lake at dusk, local photographers captured what they love most about Camas, in a contest sponsored by the local library. "It's an idea we've been kicking around for a number of years," Library Director David Zavortink said. "It really fits in with our mission of enriching lives and enhancing people's creativity." Several local residents submitted photographs, which are being displayed in the Second Story Gallery in the library. "The goal of the Second Story Gallery is really to promote the arts, which they are doing through this contest," Zavortink said. "They manage everything for us. "We've had a lot of people come in to look at the pictures and ask if we are doing it again next year, so there is a lot of interest."

July 6, 2010
Molly Adamson holds a little girl at a small village called Rakai, where she and other volunteers built a two-room house for an widow who had previously been living in a thatched roof hut. For more information about the organization, visit

Empowering children

A film seen her freshman year of college prompted Molly Adamson to travel a road that eventually led her to live in Uganda for six weeks. Molly, 21, of Camas, wanted to volunteer in Africa for some time, but wasn't sure about the direction she should go. "I'd been praying about it for awhile, and then I saw the movie, 'Invisible Children,' about child soldiers in Northern Uganda. It was then that I knew where I wanted to travel." Molly saved her money for the next few years, and began researching different options. In the fall of 2009, during her junior year at Gonzaga University, she found an outreach program called Empower A Child. The goal of this non-profit Christian organization is to bring confidence and self-sustainability to orphaned and vulnerable children in east Africa by teaching them skills, giving them an opportunity for education and teaching them about God. "I really liked what I saw there," Molly said. "It seemed to fit with what I wanted to do."

June 29, 2010
Anthony Overacker and Kendra Upjohn decorate birdhouses during a recent craft day on the patio at Columbia Ridge assisted living. The facility sponsors these types of gatherings every month so residents and community members have a chance to mingle. Below, at left, Heidi Alandt, activities director, gets to work and at right, Ashima Ram, community outreach coordinator, puts a splash of color on her creation.

Building community

When most people think of assisted living, they probably flash to images of dark hallways and hospital type food served in a bland atmosphere. But that all has changed in the past several years. Nowadays, many assisted living centers resemble 5-star hotels in the quality of rooms and service. To emphasize that point, Columbia Ridge Senior Living in Washougal offers several opportunities for residents and local community members to interact with other through events such as ice cream socials, happy hours, spaghetti feeds and craft projects. Last week, residents, volunteers and community members decorated birdhouses on the patio outside, enjoying some much-needed sunshine.

June 22, 2010
Keith Stansbury, head of the Clark College CAD/Engineering Applications department, helps students launch rockets during SEMI High Tech U last week. The program targets 14- to 17-year-old students who have an interest in high-tech fields.

Launching high-tech careers

When Camas High School student Garrett Wilgus heard about a three-day opportunity to explore science and math careers, he was eager to learn. "I thought this would be a great opportunity to find out whether I'm really interested in the industry and see if it would be the right opportunity for me," he said. So, Wilgus, who will be a senior this fall, decided to apply for the SEMI High Tech U program, which is an industry-driven math and science-based career exploration event presented by the non-profit SEMI Foundation and local partners. These include the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council, Clark College, Hewlett-Packard, WaferTech, Clark County High Tech Community Council, Columbia Machine, Employers Overload and Underwriters Laboratories. The program provides incoming sophomores, juniors and seniors with an opportunity to learn how math and science are used in the high-tech world by sending them to work with experts in the field at various businesses.

June 15, 2010
Washougal High School Panther grads enjoy their time in the sun at Fishback Stadium on June 12, 2010. Despite weeks of worry over potential thunderstorms soaking the grads, WHS ceremonies were dry events, minus the tears shed.

Congrats, class of 2010

The sun broke from the clouds Friday and Saturday, as the 2010 graduates of Camas and Washougal high schools celebrated the culmination and accomplishments of the past four years.

June 12, 2010
Camas High School drunk driving impacts demo, Friday, June 4, 2010

A sobering reminder

On a rainy day, 400 Camas High School seniors witnessed a powerful reenacment about the effects of drunk driving. The elaborate drunk driving car crash demonstration, called Stop Kids Intoxicated Driving, or S.K.I.D, has been presented to all Camas High School seniors for the past six years. The demonstration, organized by Kelly Kealoha, involved the Camas fire and police departments, emergency medical services services and Washington State Patrol, along with the student and parent actors. The participation from these volunteers gave the audience a chance to witness the real potential effects of drunk driving. Tim Moore, a retired deputy out of Hillsboro, Ore., assisted Kealoha in the re-enactment, and has been presenting S.K.I.D. to various high schools around the area since 1998. The performance started with an officer saying, "Good morning everyone and welcome to something both unusual and interesting," a well chosen introduction for those about to see the demonstration.