Washougal, WA — The sound of a steady drum beat and the singing of a blessing in Chinookan language filled the afternoon air at the dedication of the Gathering Place at Washuxwal pavilion held at its site at the Two Rivers Heritage Museum on Saturday, September 18. 

A small group of supporters and honored guests gathered to celebrate the project’s completion.  Four years ago, the Camas Washougal Historical Society (CWHS) Board of Directors decided to start an effort to recognize the contributions and tell the stories of the Native Americans who lived in this area of rushing waters. The Gathering Place at Washuxwal project was born. True to its name and intent, the Gathering Place will play host to a variety of interesting educational programs, as well as CWHS meetings and events.

The open pavilion design is inspired by traditional cedar plank houses used by local tribes living along the shores of the Columbia River.  It features Native-inspired wood carvings created by Adam McIsaac, project lead carver and advisor for the pavilion artwork, a respected expert in Native American art.

CWHS president, Jim Cobb, thanked supporters of the project at the event calling out three individuals for their significant roles. Michael Lewallen and Jason Ferrier of Lewallen Architects in Camas and Mark Albin of Able Hands Construction. 

“Without Michael’s help we could not have finished the project, or even got it started,” said Cobb.  “And Jason was our designer and architect and so much more. Mark was the one who set all of this up.  He cut the inserts, put in the posts, put on the roof, he is the one who literally screwed the place together.  Mark worked hard and I can honestly say I don’t know of anyone else who could have done it.”

The dedication highlight was the two blessings performed by Sam and Mildred Robinson.  Robinson, vice chairman of the Chinook Nation, told the group that long houses provided a lot for the people of this land.  

“You look around and notice one entrance,” he pointed out. “The step in would drop as much as three feet. People would ask how the elders got inside. Well, we would pack them. Our elders were very important to us. They carried our knowledge; they were like our libraries, so we took care of them at all times.”

Robinson went on to say that he refers to Chinook longhouses as the first colleges in the Pacific Northwest.  

“In these buildings is where people would sit in the winter by the fire and learn from their grandparents, their aunts and uncles. They would learn what it was like to be Chinook and how it was to be Chinook for tens of thousands of years on this Columbia River.”

As is the Chinook custom to give a gift to visitors, Cobb presented the Robinsons with Pendleton blankets from the CWHS.  

“We hope our relationship with the tribe can get solid and we can work together with educational programs and use this place to help bring back the local history and stories of the past,” Cobb said. 

The Two Rivers Heritage Museum is located at 1 Durgan Street in Washougal and open March through end of October on Saturdays from 11 am to 3 pm.  Admission costs are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for students and free for children under 5 and all CWHS members.  Group tours are available any day of the week (by appointment only). Call Lois Cobb at 360-835-5449 for scheduling.

“We hope everyone will be interested in seeing this completed project and visit the museum before we are closed for winter maintenance starting in November,” said Cobb.  “Just because we have finished the plank house, doesn’t mean that we are done improving the Two Rivers Heritage Museum experience for the public and especially our local community.”

Rookie policewoman Valorie Dawes is smart, tough, and intuitive. But she’s learning on the job, and every mistake costs lives.

Camas, WA — Award-winning Camas author and playwright Gary Corbin has announced the release of his eighth novel, A Better Part of Valor, the third in his acclaimed Valerie Dawes Thrillers police procedurals series.

A Better Part of Valorwas released to all retailers, including local bookstores, and signed copies of the paperback are available to order on the author’s web page (www.garycorbinwriting.com).

About A Better Part of Valor

In this exciting, character-driven police procedural by acclaimed author Gary Corbin, rookie policewoman Valorie Dawes returns to hunt down a serial killer, who targets high school girls—and leaves them drowned, barefoot, and bearing the same strange, fresh “girl power” tattoo.

Val wrangles a coveted spot on a high-profile task force dedicated to finding the killer, nicknamed by a muckraking blogger as the “Shoeless Schoolgirl Slayer.”

But the killer is clever and elusive, and somehow has gained inside knowledge of the task force’s tactics and plans. Moreover, his targets, methods, and timing are shifting in unpredictable ways, putting those close to Val—and perhaps Val herself—in mortal danger.

How can Val stop the Shoeless Slayer before he strikes down another innocent victim?

“Because of the pandemic, I’ve decided not to hold a public event, like a book signing, for this release,” Corbin says. “But copies will be donated to the Camas library and will be available at local bookstores, as well as online.”

The book is available in paperback in both regular and large-print editions. “My own terrible eyesight prompted me to go with a large-print version,” he adds, laughing. “It started getting tough to read my own books!”

More information is available on the author’s website, garycorbinwriting.com. You may also purchase the paperback version here: https://www.amazon.com/Woman-Valor-Gary-Corbin/dp/0997496797/

What Early Reviewers are Saying about A Woman of Valor:

“A Better Part of Valor: another thrilling adventure. Gary Corbin’s witty and fast paced story is a must-read that will keep you hooked at every turn.”

Briar’s Reviews

“Exploring the gritty intersection between precinct politics and life on the streets, A Better Part of Valor is a powder keg of intrigue ready to explode. Valerie Dawes’ sharp mind and dogged persistence make her the ideal hero to root out the moral depravity at the city’s core. An exciting read that leaves me wondering what’s next.”

 Erick Mertz, author of The Strange Air series of paranormal mysteries

A Better Part of Valor’s intricate plot, likeable central character and sense of authenticity kept this reader turning the pages way past her bedtime.”

What Cathy Read Next

Other Books by Gary Corbin

Gary’s other published works include:

A Woman of Valor (2019): rookie policewoman Valorie Dawes has a mission: take serial child molesters like Richard Harkins off the streets of her small hometown of Clayton, CT–for good. But Valorie’s past includes childhood abuse trauma of her own, and her battle with this cunning, vicious criminal awakens memories and emotions she’d rather forget.

In Search of Valor (2020): In this prequel to A Woman of Valor, Valorie Dawes fights an international kidnapping syndicate on behalf of a new college friend–and harbors serious doubts about her future as a police officer.

Lying in Judgment (2016): A man serves on the jury of a murder trial – for the crime that he committed! Lying in Judgment was selected as “Book of the Week” on Bookworks.com July 11-17, 2016 and an “Indie Spotlight” featured novel on literarylightbox.com in Winter 2016-17.

Lying in Judgment (2016): A man serves on the jury of a murder trial – for the crime that he committed! Lying in Judgment was selected as “Book of the Week” on Bookworks.com July 11-17, 2016 and an “Indie Spotlight” featured novel on literarylightbox.com in Winter 2016-17.

Lying in Vengeance (2017): 33-year-old Portland man Peter Robertson must choose between two horrible options, as a former fellow juror blackmails him to kill her stalker ex-boyfriend – or have his violent past exposed.

The Mountain Man’s Dog (2016): Rustic forester Lehigh Carter never suspected that adopting an injured stray on the highway would entangle him in the complex world of crooked cops and power-hungry politicians—or force him to flee into the forest in fear for his life.

The Mountain Man’s Bride (2017): Lehigh must prove that his fiancée is innocent of murdering a popular Acting Sheriff — but evidence of a secret affair makes even Lehigh wonder if he should fight for her freedom against the corrupt local machine that accused her.

The Mountain Man’s Badge (2018): Lehigh Carter never asked to be sheriff. And he sure never wanted to arrest his new father-in-law for murder.  Can Lehigh uncover the truth behind Everett Downey’s murder without becoming the killer’s next victim?

Camas, WA — The Camas Boutique Hotel and Natalia’s Cafe, two iconic destinations in downtown Camas, have created a new partnership that blends the best of both enterprises, and provides customers a greater downtown Camas experience.

“We are now providing complimentary breakfast to Camas Boutique Hotel guests,” said Erica Slothower, owner of Natalia’s Cafe. “Hotel guests have several options marked ‘CBH’ on our menu. They just have to bring in their meal voucher, which is provided by the hotel, from 7-9 am daily and they’ll get a complimentary breakfast when they order anything from the menu marked ‘CBH’.”

“CBH” options include the following menu items:

  • CBH Morning Breakfast: Two eggs any style, served with hash browns and toast. $9 value.
  • CBH Mini Breakfast: One egg any style, alongside two strips of bacon or one sausage link, served with hash browns and one slice of toast. $9 value.
  • CBH Four Plain Crepes. $8 value. Add strawberries or blueberries, or raspberries and chocolate, or bananas and Nutella (add $4).
  • CBH Cinnamon Roll French Toast: 1 slice. $7 value

“We’re happy to partner with Natalia’s Cafe,” said Prashant Gupta, co-owner of the Camas Boutique Hotel. “They make excellent food and provide quality customer service, and Erica is the most hospitable and passionate partner.”

Gupta says this new partnership is part of ensuring each Camas Boutique Hotel guest has an optimum experience. He and business partner, Bobby Sachdeva, purchased the hotel a few months ago and continue to make improvements to the historic venue. 

“We want our guests to absolutely enjoy their time with us,” said Gupta. “We know they’ll love the food at Natalia’s Cafe.”

To learn more about the hotel, visit www.camasboutiquehotel.com

Vancouver, WA — Clark County Public Health just released their latest COVID-19 update. The last update was issued Thursday, Aug. 26. Clark County has hit its highest COVID-19 activity rate (523 cases per 100,000) since the pandemic broke out in March 2020.

Cases

• 1,602 additional cases (confirmed and probable) since last update

• 29,725 confirmed cases to date (+1,243 since last update)

• 2,730 antigen probable cases to date (+359 since last update) 

• 1,561 active cases (in isolation period)

• 23.3% of hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 cases and persons under investigation for COVID-19 (awaiting test results)

• 134 COVID-19 cases and 1 person under investigation for COVID-19 hospitalized

Deaths

• 306 total deaths to date (274 confirmed, 32 suspect)

• 1 new confirmed death since last update: Man in his 50s with underlying conditions

Rates

• COVID-19 activity rate is 523.0 cases per 100,000 over 14 days (up from 397.4 cases per 100,000 last week). 

• COVID-19 new hospital admission rate is 13.6 per 100,000 people over 7 days (up from 9.4 per 100,000 last week)

Learn more on the COVID-19 data webpage: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data 

You can find more frequent case updates on the state Department of Health data dashboard: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/DataDashboard.

Camas, WA — Twelve-year-old Camas resident Stephanie Gonzales loves to bake so much she’s turned baking into a business. It’s called Tifi’s Sweet Treats.

The middle schooler has been baking for several years, and focuses on cupcakes, scones, cheesecake cupcakes, pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread), muffins, banana bread, and corn bread. 

“I’ve loved baking for the past few years,” she said. “People just tell me what they want and I make it. My mom taught me, and I’ve learned a lot on YouTube with shows like Natasha’s Kitchen, Domestic Geek, and Stay at Home Chef.”

For now, Stephanie’s sweet treat baking business can be reached at @tifissweetreats on Instagram.

“My aunt calls Tifi so that’s why we named the site Tifi’s Sweet Treats,” she said. 

She wants to start a website.

Her favorites are scones: strawberry and carrot. Her cheesecake cupcakes come in vanilla and chocolate, and she also loves making Funfetti cupcake. Her muffins are available in blueberry, banana, and chocolate chip.

To place your order just send her a DM via Instagram.

Sweet Treats
Pan dulce conchas.
Sweet Treats
Cupcakes by Tifi’s Sweet Treats.

Vancouver, WA — The owners of The Hammond Kitchen and Craft Bar have done it again! This time, it’s called The Cove and the restaurant specializes in seafood. They’ve really done a remarkable job!

At Thursday’s sneak preview, we got to visit this exciting new venue, located at Vancouver’s Tidewater Cove (5731 SE Columbia Way) along the Columbia River, sampling their delicious cuisine while receiving impeccable service.

The modern style restaurant sits right at the Tidewater Cove marina and has stellar views.

Diners may select dishes from the raw bar, which features sushi, crab and shrimp towers, poki, fresh oysters and jumbo peel and eat shrimp.

I started off with their heirloom tomato Ceasar salad (arugula, fresh mozzarella, ceaser dressing, herb pesto, and grated reggiano parmesan). I really enjoyed it. The shrimp tower is exquisite (chopped poached shrimp, seasoned rice, avocado, mango, pickled ginger and aioli).

My entree the wood grilled ora king salmon (charred corn, spinach, asparagus pesto, chimichurri, and warm tomato salad). It’s excellent! 

There’s also a sophisticated wine list, delightful cocktails and beer on draft, along with soft drinks.

The Hammond’s Executive Chef is taking their reins at The Cove, and you will see some familiar faces there, as well. The food is excellent, and the location is a nice escape!

The Cove is open 3-9 Tuesday-Sunday.

Lunch isn’t offered at this time. Stay tuned for changes to the hours.

The Cove
King Orca Salmon.
The Cove
Heirloom Tomato Caesar salad.

CAMAS, WA — Due to extreme heat conditions forecasted for later this week, Thursday’s concert featuring Dancehall Days has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 17.  

Summer Concerts in the Park wraps it up with your favorite ‘70s/‘80s Classic Rock hits performed by Dancehall Days!  The concert will be held Tuesday, Aug. 17, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, at Crown Park (122 NE 17thAve.).  Registration is not required for this event.

Dancehall Days will end this year’s shortened concert series with a blast of upbeat, fun and danceable classic tunes from the ‘70s and ‘80s.   You won’t want to miss this powerhouse band of vocal talent and musical skill!  Check out their music here:  https://www.dhdband.com/music  

No food vendors will be on site, but picnic dinners are welcome.   A few small picnic tables are available upon a first-come, first-served basis.  Chairs and blankets are encouraged.  Alcohol and dogs/pets are not allowed in the park. 

Washington State COVID guidelines are in effect.  Masks must be worn by unvaccinated individuals; social distancing is not required. 

Fern Prairie, WA — The second annual Fern Prairie ART FEST is a two-day event connecting local artists and the community on Saturday and Sunday, July 31 and August 1 from 10am to 4pm. The ART FEST is staged in the peaceful and tranquil setting of Shangri-La Farm, located 1.5 miles north of Lacamas Lake just outside the city limits of Camas, Washington. A total of 15 artists will participate in the juried show.

“These fine artists are excited to show and sell their work at ART FEST,” said organizer and local artist Liz Pike. Liz will be joined by artists Sarah Bang, Bev Birdwell, Tom Daniels, Derek Danielson, Cheryl Folkers, Dave Garbot, David Gerton, Suzanne Grover, Charlene Hale, Gail Haskett, Amy Jan Ernst, Cheryl Mathieson, Keith Russell and Diane Springer. Original work includes paintings in oils, acrylics and watercolor, pastels, mixed media, pottery, ceramics, fused and enamel glass, jewelry, pen and ink, wood, cast metal and copper mixed media.

The public is invited to take in original works of art surrounded by the beautiful gardens at Shangri-La Farm. Attendees will park at rented Grove Field Airport parking lot, 632 NE 267th Avenue, Camas, WA. Guests may either walk the 1/4 mile trail through the woods to Shangri-La Farm or take the free “Sunflower Mobile” shuttle service. The Sunflower Mobile is an art piece all on its own, hand painted by Liz Pike in oils on fiberglass in her signature sunflower motif. The free shuttle will be available to transport attendees from the airport parking lot to Shangri-La Farm on both days, Saturday and Sunday, July 31 and August 1 between 10am and 4pm.

For more information, contact Liz Pike at 360-281-8720 or email [email protected]

Art Fest
By Sara Bang.
Art Fest
By Amy Jan Ernst

Camas, WA — The Camas School District’s BookMoBus program is a weekly summer event that happens every Wednesday through August 11 at these alternating locations: Helen Baller, Woodburn and Dorothy Fox Elementary schools.

As part of the summer recovery program (which supports more than 300 students), it’s helping Camas students that need extra work on literacy. 

“For elementary school students, the summer recovery program helps students that need extra work on literacy, at the middle school level it helps them with math and literacy, and for high school it’s about credit recovery,” said Diane Loghry, CSD Director of Early Learning. “We work to provide something that’s consistent for all.”

You don’t need to be part of the recovery program to participate.

BookMoBus is made possible by generous grants came from Camas-Washougal Community Chest and General Federation of Women’s Club, and The Standard.

Run by Jen Scott, a teacher on special assignment, and high school volunteers, such as Abigail Malone and Madison Scott, the events alternate each week between the three aforementioned schools: Helen Baller, Dorothy Fox and Woodburn.

The next event is today at Helen Baller from 9 am-12:30 pm. Next Wednesday it will be at Woodburn from 9-11 am, and then at Dorothy Fox from noon-2 pm.

Students are able to check out books (on the honor system), participate in readings, and pre-K students are encouraged to pick up summer learning packets to help them prepare for Kindergarten. Parents can check out books, too.

Guest readers include school board members Corey McEnry and Erika Cox, as well as Julie Mueller, Bryan Graham, and CSD’s Interim Superintendent, Doug Hood.

BookMoBus

The librarian counted 250 people at the last BookMoBus event at Dorothy Fox and Woodburn.

“The BookMoBus program started in summer of 2019,” said Scott. “Last summer we weren’t able to do it, and so we came back bigger this year with a bus. The real goal is to encourage reading and so we provide an opportunity to keep them reading over summer. 

“Recently in the last two weeks we rolled out 200 new books. It’s coming from requests from families about which types of books interest them. I get the requests and that’s what’s getting them back into reading more. Popular requests are graphic novels, Dragon Masters, and Dog Man, which is like the Diary of a Wimpy kid series.”

Loghry said early learning classes were among the first to open last Fall, and said she’s proud of the efforts coming from teachers.

“Teachers worked really hard and they continue to work hard,” said Loghry. “They advocate to bring kids into the building. I think students learned a lot of thing this year: patience, grit, flexibility, resilience.” 

BookMoBus
Inside the converted BookMoBus.

Camas, WA  –  The City of Camas Parks & Recreation’s free Movies in the Park series returns to Crown Park!  Two movies will be shown this year with the voted top-pick movie “Onward” kicking off this year’s short series and the live version of the Lion King ending the season.  

On Friday, July 30, “Onward,” a Disney/Pixar collaboration, tells the story of two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley, who get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day with their late dad and embark on an extraordinary quest aboard Barley’s epic van Guinevere.  The movie will begin at 9 pm at the Crown Park shelter (NE Everett & NE 17th Ave.).

On Friday, August 20, the 2019 Disney live re-make of the movie favorite the “Lion King” will show at 8:30 pm, and will include pre-movie activities starting at 7:30 pm.  This 2019 live-action remake of the original animated version tells the same story of the young lion prince who, after the murder of his father, flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.  The well-known original songs are featured in the movie, making this new version a new favorite! 

Movies in the Park is in its 14th year (after a hiatus in 2020) and shows movies that are rated G or PG, to adhere to our family-friendly events criteria.  At the beginning of 2019, selected K-8 classrooms in the Camas School District were able to cast their votes for their favorite movies.  The top two winning movies from that vote are the ones we are sharing with our community this year. 

The Movies in the Park series is sponsored by Camas United Methodist Church.  At this time, movies will not feature a food vendor, so plan to bring your favorite dinner, movie snacks and drinks to the park.  Food can also be purchased at Top Burger, located across the street from the park, or from a variety of restaurants in downtown Camas, four blocks away.   Bring chairs or blankets for seating and note that, to allow fair viewing, chairs are placed in one-half of the park viewing area and blankets in the other half.  This is a free event.  No registration is required.  And, please note that alcohol and animals are not allowed in Crown Park. 

Movies in the Park is coordinated by Camas Parks and Recreation.