The Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce is kicking off its first Chamber Eats event this Thursday, April 8 at 5 pm at Salud Wine Bar in downtown Camas.

The twice-monthly Chamber Eats series is an informal networking event for Chamber members and the general public encouraging people to support local restaurants and reignite business connections.

“This is a step toward normalcy to begin networking in person and to support local restaurants,” said Jennifer Senescu, Executive Director of the CW Chamber. “We also think the food at Salud is fantastic.”

The Chamber Eats networking series is held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. The second one will be held on Thursday, April 22 at A Beer At A Time in downtown Camas.

“We hope to see you at Salud on Thursday,” said Senescu. “The fun begins at 5 pm, but you’re welcome to attend at a time that’s convenient for you.”

Salud Wine Bar is located at 224 NE 3rd Ave, Camas, WA 98607.

Salud Wine Bar serves Italian cuisine and offers a deep selection of wines. Its members are able to store their favorite wines in climate-controlled lockers and can enjoy outdoor dining in their back patio. Prior to the pandemic they offered live entertainment. The restaurant follows all COVID-19 safety protocols and recently expanded their kitchen.

Washougal, WA — April is “Child Abuse Prevention Month” and General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Camas-Washougal (GFWC) has a list of events that they will be participating in. GFWC will be planting pinwheel gardens in Camas and Washougal. Both Cities of Camas and Washougal have signed proclamations to help raise awareness about child abuse prevention.

“This is such an important issue that I feel passionate about raising awareness and getting the word out to our communities.” said Susan Bennett, Vice President of the GFWC Camas-Washougal. “We want families to know that there are resources and places to find help. We want families to feel supported in the important work of raising their children,” added Christine Kamps, President of GFWC.

Bennett serves as the Pinwheel Projects Committee Chair. In an effort to increase the reach and impact of the project this year, she reached out to Unite! Washougal Community Coalition to partner on this project and invited Unite! to plant gardens with the GFWC. “I was so excited to partner with the GFWC on this project!” said Ann Stevens, Unite! Washougal 501c3 President. “GFWC is such a hardworking and dedicated organization that really contributes to the good of our communities! In addition, improving the health and wellness of our youth, families and community is the core mission of Unite!, so this is a perfect project to partner together.”

GFWC, a 501c3 organization, has been serving the cities of Camas and Washougal since 1947. The General Federation of Women’s Clubs is one of the world’s oldest and largest women’s volunteer service organizations. GFWC is a vibrant and connected sisterhood of women who are creating better communities, expanding their own possibilities, and extending friendship and support to women near and far.

Unite! Washougal Community Coalition is a substance misuse prevention coalition that works with all sectors of the community to increase community connections and promote health and wellness. “We are always looking for community partners that want to promote connection, health and wellness in our community, remarked Angela Hancock, Unite! Vice President. “We also have other resources for parents and our community including parenting classes such as Incredible Years, and our semi-annual Drug Take Back on April 24th from 10 am to 2 pm.”

Both organizations are seeking new members who want to volunteer, learn new skills and serve their communities. For more information and resources to help prevent child abuse visit: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/resources/resource-guide/  For more information about the General Federation of Women’s Clubs please email GFWC Camas-Washougal at [email protected], contact Susan Bennet at (916) 330-7932 or visit their Facebook page GFWC Camas-Washougal.  For more information about Unite! contact Margaret McCarthy at washougalunite.com or call (360) 954-3203. Unite! meets the 4th Thursday of every Month at 3 PM. Currently, meetings are by zoom. Check out our Facebook page or Website for more information. http://unitewashougal.org/

Washougal, WA – Volunteers at the Two Rivers Heritage Museum are excited to open their doors for visitors on Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting April 3 after their sudden shut down last March due to the pandemic.

“We can’t wait to welcome guests and our membership back to the museum,” said Jim Cobb, Camas Washougal Historical Society President.  “All volunteer docents will have full vaccine protection and we will of course be following all COVID 19 safety protocols including masks, social distancing and cleaning.”

The museum’s reception area and is now home to the “Gorge” display, created in 2019 by Discovery High School students.  This 9×4 foot scale model presenting 90 miles of the Columbia River Gorge with landmarks that light up, is now more accessible with better viewing opportunities.  The room also received a new coat of paint and the museum gift store has been reorganized and has a fresh new look.

“Spring of 2020 we were all ready to open with fresh paint and new displays created during our regular winter closure,” said Karen Johnson, display committee member.  “We made significant changes in both the Museum main building and the Carriage House.”

Museum interior work was made possible by volunteer Walt Eby, who worked out a plan for rearranging the spaces and made sure all the pieces would come together in a cohesive design. “There was a lot of measuring, right down to tape strips on the floor where cabinets would be placed,” said Johnson. Big Al’s Movers was hired to help move the large display pieces into place.

The four-year-old “School Days” exhibit in the rotating display room was taken apart with some artifacts sent back to storage while others were moved to displays in other parts of the museum. 

“That room has now been turned into an impressive Native American exhibit with woven baskets and stone bowls and tools,” Johnson said.

The Carriage House, built in 2009, was also transformed with new displays to make the area more interesting for visitors.  A vintage buggy was moved from the floor to a high ledge which provides much better viewing and made room for more items.

A new display in the Carriage House, “All Boxed Up,” is located on the corner ledge over the doorway.  It features vintage folding wooden grocery boxes branded with names of local stores.  The addition of large banner pictures of local markets from the past adds a special touch and informative signage helps to tell the story.  

A collection of surveying and mineral artifacts can be found in another new Carriage House display, “From Here to There.”  

“It describes how the survey tools and the Donation Land Act of 1851 are related to the history of our community,” Johnson said.  

Another new display focuses on mining in the area and is called “Relics from the Last Chance Mine.”  

Display Committee volunteer members are Karen Johnson, Richard Johnson, Walt Eby, Gayle Godtlibsen, and Ivar Godtlibsen.

Visitors will also be impressed by the progress of the Native American-inspired Gathering Place at Washuxwal longhouse pavilion that sits on the museum’s southern side.  The four-year construction project is now in its final stages of completion.   

The pavilion’s design is based on the traditional cedar plank houses used by Native American tribes who lived in what is now East Clark County in the early 19th century.

“We are looking forward to telling stories of the area’s earliest inhabitants and to use the space for cultural and community events and field trips,” said Cobb.

The Two Rivers Heritage Museum is located at 1 Durgan Street in Washougal and is currently only open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  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 360-835-5449 for scheduling.

“Our community has so much to be proud of in this museum,” said Cobb.  “We hope local folks who have not had a chance to see the museum will stop in and look around at all we have to offer.”

CWHS is always looking for volunteers and new members to join and help support the preservation of local history. More information about the CWHS and the Two Rivers Heritage Museum can be found on their website at www.2rhm.com.

Museum
Getting a tour of Two Rivers Heritage Museum.

Seth Sjostrom’s Latest FBI Thriller Tackles the Horrors of Human Trafficking

Author Seth Sjostrom releases his latest FBI thriller this April, Penance: Unredeemable.

FBI Agent Alex Penance chases after a cartel’s human-trafficking ring, uncovering horrific scenes as the gang’s safe houses are found throughout abandoned farmhouses of rural Mississippi and swamps of Louisiana. Each location he uncovers reveals a more sinister treatment of a group of missing girls who find themselves in the middle of the cat-and-mouse chase. Working alongside Assistant District Attorney Annie Hunt, Penance zeroes in on the cartel’s headquarters outside of New Orleans.

Complicating Penance’s work on the case and his budding relationship with Annie, the agent is tasked with providing security for beautiful and flirtatious country music star Marla Hendricks. A promotional concert to benefit the beleaguered town of Sawyer, Mississippi, the star proves to be a distraction Penance doesn’t need as lives are on the line.

As kidnappings devolve into murder scenes, the race is on to save the girls before it is too late.

A serial entrepreneur, adventurer and author, Penance: Unredeemable, is Sjostrom’s tenth published novel. The thrillers Blood in the SnowBlood in the Water, Blood in the Sand, Penance, and Dark Chase, as well as the romances, Finding Christmas, The Tree Farm, The Nativity and Back to Carolina were his first books published. All of Seth’s books are available through Ingram.

View the video trailer for Penance: Unredeemable https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1qxF90iOyg.

For more information or to order his books, visit www.sethsjostrom.com.  

Penance
Camas author Seth Sjostrom.

Camas, WA — Clover Podiatry, owned and operated by Dr. Tek Fish, a foot and ankle surgeon, recently opened it doors in downtown Camas. 

A foot and ankle surgeon, as well as a foot and general physician, Dr. Fish treats any issues and ailments from the knee down, which includes skin, muscles, bones, and tendons. 

“We’re happy to be here,” said Dr. Fish. “Clover Podiatry treats ingrown toenails, warts, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, and diabetic foot care.”

He said heel pain is the same as plantar fasciitis — it’s an overuse injury of the heel, usually from tight calf muscles. 

“It happens when you puts too much stress on the tissue on the bottom of your foot,” he said. “It comes from being on your feet too much and not having the right support. Orthotics and stretching are some of the best ways to prevent it. Shockwave therapy is one way to treat it.” 

His clinic also treat ailments that require surgery, such as ankle fractures, bunions, hammer toes, wound care, and trauma. Hammer toes is an imbalance in your foot muscles and results in your toes curling up. People with diabetes get it, too, and it’s corrected through surgery. 

“It’s a fairly simple surgery,” he said “Almost all surgeries I perform are at PeaceHealth.”

He also treats sports injuries like turf toe or ankle sprains, fractures, and shin splints, “which we try to manage with conservative care.”

Most of the time Clover Podiatry doesn’t require referrals. The clinic accepts most insurances: Medicare, Medicaid, Premera Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Regence, United Health Care, Lifewise, Molina Healthcare, etc.

Dr. Fish also encourages patients to wear medical grade orthotics, which are pre-fabricated and available at his practice for 1/3 of the price. 

The move back to the Pacific Northwest in July with is wife Kimberly Fish, a Physician’s Assistant, and his toddler daughter, Devri, was a homecoming for Fish, who grew up in Hockinson.

“We moved back to the Pacific Northwest in July, bought the building on September 1 and spent a couple months renovating it. I grew up in Hockinson, went to Heritage High School, attended BYU (competed on their track team and studied landscape management), then I went to podiatry school at Kent State U, College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated in 2017.”

Dr. Fish stayed in Cleveland for three years of surgical training, and then decided plant roots once again in the Pacific Northwest.

“We plan to be active in the community, and we’re just really happy to be here,” he said.

He also has his own blog, which you can read at his website: www.cloverpodiatry.com

Fish
Clover Podiatry offers high quality orthotics at 1/3 the price.

Camas, WA — April First Friday in Downtown Camas brings an appreciation for the strong history of Camas and a celebration of the coming of Spring, the Downtown Camas Association said in a statement today. The theme is “Spring into History!” and you can take part in a self-guided historic walking tour, art shows, history info, Easter activity bag giveaways, after-hours shopping and dining along with family friendly themed activities and prizes. Virtual activities for the week start on Monday, March 29th and in-person First Friday activities are on April 2nd, 5-8pm

First Friday Activities include:

  • Play the “Guess About Camas” history passport game in participating businesses and be entered to win a Camas themed prize package.
  • Easter activity bags for kids compliments of Camas Parks & Rec will be given out in these participating merchant locations starting at 5pm on First Friday4Ever Growing Kids (440 NE 4th), A Creative Twist (223 NE 4th), Cake Happy (340 NE 4th), Juxtaposition (425 NE 4th) and Papermaker Pride (339 NE 4th).
  • Each merchant will also have a basket of eggs filled with discounts or goodies and somewhere in the basket will be an egg with an extra special prize.
  • The Easter Bunny and his sidekick “Carrot” will be giving out spring goodies throughout town from 6-7pm.
  • As an additional nod to Camas’ paper history, local artists are creating beautiful Paper Dresses that will be on display throughout downtown.
  • Learn all about Camas mill town history starting at the Historic Mill Photo Collage at 4th and Adams (across from the mill in the US Bank parking lot). Scan the QR code on the legend and go on a self-guided Historic Walking Tour of downtown. Learn about the notable people, buildings and events that have made Camas what it is today. This can be done at any time.

The in-person Guess About Camas passport activity will be on Friday ALL day and into the evening 5-8pm. Passports will be available on the First Friday event webpageFacebook page and in the shops.  

Post your completed in-person passport on the First Friday FB page post by Saturday the 3rd at noon and be entered to win a Camas prize package–the more locations you go, the more chances you have to win.

Virtual activities on the First Friday Facebook page for the week starting on March 29:

Monday: Spring into History Word Matching Game
Tuesday: Show us Signs of Spring!
Wednesday: Seek & Find in Downtown Camas
Thursday: Pick & Pic!
Friday: History Trivia Fun

Watch LIVE at 5pm Friday as the winners from the week are announced and you can win for watching and participating.

“We truly love our town’s history as it shows why our town is the incredible one it is today,” says Carrie Schulstad, Executive Director for the Downtown Camas Association (DCA). “You can do the history trivia game and learn a lot and also go on the historic walking tour and learn even more. This year we have added Easter activity bag giveaways compliments of Camas Parks & Rec and you might even see your friends Bunny & Carrot handing out goodies. We also have local artists creating paper dresses that models will be wearing in select locations. There will be a lot going on so come celebrate our amazing Camas history and spring in Downtown Camas!”

First Fridays are Art, Activities, Dining, and After Hours Shopping themed family friendly events coordinated by the DCA each month of the year to support downtown and develop community and are being held both virtually and in-person until fully in-person First Friday events are again possible.

For more information, visit https://downtowncamas.com/event/april-first-friday-spring-history or the Downtown Camas First Friday Facebook page.

Washougal WA — Books inspire young readers and lay an important foundation for their success in education. Getting books into the hands of Washougal preschool children has been the work of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Camas-Washougal (GFWC C-W) since 2017.   Now, thanks to a very generous $6,000 grant from the Camas-Washougal Community Chest (CWCC) in early March, GFWC C-W will be able to purchase books for all children enrolled in both Washougal and Camas School District Pre-K programs.  Extended Learning Coordinators from both districts will be ordering and distributing the books throughout the year. 

GFCW C-W’s original program was to reward students for attending a weekly 1-2-3 Grow & Learn session at Hathaway Elementary School.  An additional program was created in 2020 to place books into the hands of all children enrolled in Pre-K programs in the Washougal School District. Books are distributed several times each year to preschool programs through WSD Community Education and Developmental preschools, EOCF (HeadStart), ECEAP, and 1,2,3 Learn and Grow.  

“We are thrilled and grateful for the generous support that the GFCW CW provides to our early learners in Washougal” said Lisa Young, WSD Extended Learning Manager. “We feel very fortunate that the GFCW CW understands the value that these books provide to our community. We are so fortunate to benefit from their continued commitment to our youngest students and their families.”

“We believe by making books available to young children we are helping to enhance their love of reading and their school readiness skills,” said GFCW C-W Vice President, Susan Bennett. 

In 2020 GFCW received a CWCC grant to expand the program to include all children enrolled in Pre-K programs in the Washougal School District. “But due to greater community needs brought on by the pandemic, we, like many local organizations, were asked to return any unspent funds to CWCC for redistribution,” Bennett explained. 

Because of the connections that have been established within the school district, books were able to be delivered during the 2019-2020 school year, even though students were engaged in distance learning.  Young learners were able to stay engaged by attending online classes. More than 140 children attended virtual classes daily via Zoom that are presented by four Early Care and Education Specialists from ESD 112 who are part of the 1-2-3 Grow & Learn Program.  Children throughout Clark County and Washington State attend these daily sessions.  Washougal attendees are receiving backpacks full of books through this program. Mid-year books were delivered by school bus to students who attended a specific number of classes.  

“We have been reading books to our four-year-old son Luca every day since he was born,” said preschool parent, Willa Bateman, of Camas.  “He loves reading books, and he can’t go to bed without a story or two! We are so thankful for the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Camas-Washougal and their Reach for the Stars through Books program. By attending preschool children learn valuable lessons and skills as well as have lots of fun with teachers and classmates. This is a great program to build a strong foundation for young learners!”

Children enrolled in Washougal School District Pre-K programs were awarded books numerous times throughout the year. And at the end of the year, more books were handed out as a reward at the drive through Washougal preschool graduation.  Another set of books were given out this fall to students attending the preschool programs. 

“CWCC as our main benefactor of the Reach for the Stars Through Books,” said Susan Bennett. “Without the CWCC funding we would not be able to offer this amazing program.”

Chest

Camas, WA — Go Green is the theme for Camas First Friday! Art shows, after-hours shopping, activities, prizes, and more will all be a part of the First Friday event in Downtown Camas tonight beginning at 5 pm. 

Virtual activities started on Monday, March 1st and in-person First Friday activities kick in this evening. Downtown businesses will be open and have special offerings, as well.

The “Find the Leprechaun” in-person passport has been happening all week and continues during First Friday. When you find the leprechaun in the shops, you get entered to win a great “green” prize from that location.

Plus, participants may post completed in-person passports by on the Downtown Camas First Friday page post by Saturday, March 6 at noon and be entered to win a fabulous “green” prize basket from downtown. The more locations you visit, the more chances you have to win.

Passport lists will be available here and in stores on First Friday. Go Green with us!

Washougal, WA – Putting books into the hands of young children to enhance their school readiness skills is a focus of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Camas-Washougal.  Since 2017, their Reach for the Stars through Books program has provided backpacks filled with books and learning materials as an incentive to children and families to attend the ESD 112 1,2,3 Grow & Learn pre-kindy program at Hathaway Elementary in Washougal.

GFWC Camas-Washougal Club leaders and Washougal volunteers Susan Bennett and Pat Suggs were honored in late 2020 for their work to spearhead this impactful project. They received recognition and an award from the Learn Here Program which showcases remarkable educational leaders and volunteers in SW Washington.

“We were humbled by this recognition,” said Bennett. “We are proud of our work through the Reaching for The Stars through Books program.  It has truly sparked the imagination of children and has started their journey of loving books that we hope will last a lifetime.”

Thanks to increased funding through area grants, their free book distribution has grown to all pre-schoolers in Washougal and will be growing to include all Camas pre-schoolers in 2021.  

“We know books and reading help build a strong foundation in the early learning process,” said Suggs. “We are excited to see the work of the GFWC to support childhood literacy growing.”  

“We applaud Susan, Pat and the GFCW Camas-Washougal for their important work to challenge our youngest learners to rise,” said Mary Templeton, WSD Superintendent.

Bennett and Suggs were celebrated in December 2020 at a 20-minute virtual presentation celebrating 31 staff and volunteers.  

“We are so appreciative by those who work so diligently in preparing our students,” said Chad Sessions of Real Living, The Real Estate Group. “Through their hard work and creativity, they are helping prepare our next generation of citizens, workers and leaders, which in turn, helps us grow our economy and community.”

By Erica Aquadro

If we didn’t know it before, we know it now: kids are resilient. Since COVID-19 reared its ugly head about a year ago, most of us have been challenged in ways we never could have anticipated and that includes our children. As parents, we do our best to shield our kids from the fear and uncertainty that accompanies a global pandemic, but it’s not always possible to keep them in the dark. Our children have had to adapt to remote-learning models, degrees of isolation, and—in some cases—shifting family dynamics. If you have a shared custody arrangement, it’s also possible that your family has experienced some new form of parenting dispute in the past year. Parenting disputes can be especially trying during this time because we’re encountering situations that have never arisen before and our family’s health and wellness are at stake. 

While we can’t completely insulate our kids from the reality of the (sometimes dire) situation, we can do our best to stay positive and set a good example for them. So much of their ability to thrive in this ‘new normal’ depends on our ability to support them and give them grace. It’s their first pandemic, after all. We should go easy on them. 

As we navigate this ever-changing post-COVID world, here are some ways you can help your kids manage stress in the midst of changing family dynamics and novel parenting conflicts. 

Present a United Front:

Ideally both parents will be on the same page about any adjustments to the schedule or parenting plan before it reaches the children. Involving the children in discussions or planning before any changes are concrete or agreed puts them in a very difficult position.  It can be extremely confusing and stressful for children to hear one thing from one parent and something else entirely from the other. Unless and until a plan or change is final or agreed, it’s in your children’s best interests for them to be uninvolved and unaware.    

Consistency and Quality Time:

It may seem far-fetched to maintain a consistent schedule at a time like this, but even the little things can help reinforce their routine and give them some semblance of stability.  This goes hand in hand with spending quality time together. Something as simple as having breakfast together every day or reading a book to your kids before bed can give them a chance to regroup and relax. Even if you can’t do the same thing at the same time together every day, just spending five minutes doing something they want to do can have a huge impact. It can also be especially grounding for us as parents; it puts things into perspective. 

Don’t Burden Them with Adult Information:

In some ways, it can be healthy for kids to see that their parents are human and get sad sometimes because we can show them it’s normal to experience emotions. It also gives us the opportunity to demonstrate appropriate ways to express themselves and, most importantly, pick themselves up and move forward. That said, when you’re in the midst of a parenting dispute (especially during a pandemic), you’re going to be dealing with a lot of emotional and financial stresses. If you find yourself needing support, lean on your family and friends or mental health professionals to help you get through it – not your children. Chances are there will be times when you’re upset with your ex-spouse or co-parent and the last thing you want to do is burden your children with irritations about their other parent. That parent is always going to be your children’s mother or father and you want to support that relationship because that’s what’s best for your children and, by extension, your relationship with your children. 

Seek Extra Support for Your Children:

Even if your child is happy and healthy, parenting disputes (with or without a pandemic) can be very stressful and challenging. Enrolling your child with a child psychologist or counselor is a great way to allow your child to get the support he or she needs. Even if your child only meets with a professional once or twice, it’s important to give your child the opportunity to have a safe place to share his or her feelings. You may also learn some valuable tools and information from your child’s psychologist or counselor that will help you better support your child.  Keep in mind, however, you should involve your co-parent in the decision to seek support for your child and choose the right provider together.  

Take Care of Yourself

Remember to give yourself a break from time to time. We, as parents, are only human and sometimes the best thing we can do for our kids is to take care of ourselves. Our kids feed off our energy and, if we run ourselves ragged, we are not setting a good example for how to manage our needs and wellbeing. We have the awesome gift and responsibility of shaping our children’s lives. Let’s take the opportunity to give them the best of ourselves and forgive ourselves when we make a misstep. Tomorrow is a new day. 

Authored by Vancouver family law attorney, Erica Aquadro. Erica is a mom of three and member of both the Oregon & Washington State Bar(s). She focuses her practice exclusively on family law issues such as divorce, parenting and custody issues, child and spousal support.