The Black & Red Rendezvous event, organized by the Camas Athletics Boosters Club, is coming on Saturday, March 9 at the Black Pearl on the Columbia in Washougal. Doors open at 5:30 pm with dinner and the live auction beginning at 7:30 pm.

Deb Perry, a Camas Athletics Boosters Club volunteer, answered several questions:

What is the Black & Red Rendezvous event all about?

The Rendezvous is all about the kids – the student-athletes. For many young people, being part of an athletics team really rounds out their high school experience. Athletics are part of the Camas culture and our community, and many kids are excited and motivated by sports. We want to foster and support those efforts. Lots of life lessons are learned on the field or court too.

How does the money help Camas athletes?

Each year, the Camas Athletics Boosters give back approximately $100,000 touching every sport. Last year, the Rendezvous raised $62,000 and it was almost immediately donated back to programs, equipment and scholarships. A 16-foot LED scorer’s table used for boys’ and girls’ basketball, wrestling, and girls’ volleyball is an excellent example of a recent purchase that affected numerous student-athletes across several sports. New dumbbells and benches in the weight room, team bags for girls bowling, and a sideline pop up tent for both boys and girls soccer are other examples. The list goes on and on.

The entire Camas community – parents, teams, coaches, school officials and administrators, businesses and business owners – have been super supportive of the Boosters and the Black & Red Rendezvous. We are very appreciative of their continued generosity in the time that they give us and donations they make.

What should guests expect at the event?

Guests will have a great time at the beautiful Black Pearl on the Columbia River! If you haven’t been there, you really should see it. It is a fabulous facility! In addition to dinner and drinks, there will be casino gambling – with play money, of course!  Booster Secretary and Board Member Amy Stoller has pulled together a top-notch silent and live auction. There are some smokin’ packages many will want to get their hands on.  We’ve got an expanded wine wall, 3D photo booth, and Elida Fields, a local camas artist and mom of several former Papermaker athletes, will be painting live for us that night. Her finished product will also be auctioned off. Runyan’s Jewelers has generously donated “Glitz in a Glass.” Owner Erin Moller has 99 cubic zirconia’s and one .57 carat round diamond. There’s definitely a little something for everyone!

To register and purchase tickets for this amazing event, click here: https://my.onecause.com/event/organizations/f90b942b-1ead-4ff7-aa49-e8d415f069b1/events/vevt:667cdba1-063e-4cd3-8398-2036de282b0d/home/story

Camas, WA — The March Downtown Camas First Friday — coming March 1 — features a chance to win an epic prize! Complete the Jurassic Camas Quest passport for your chance to win a 2 night stay at the Jurassic Retreat! You can step back in time at this vacation rental! It will take you on a captivating journey back 65 million years. Nestled near the Columbia River Gorge in Washougal, Washington, your every need will be met at this uniquely themed Jurassic Retreat home. 

The prehistoric adventure begins as you step inside, greeted by life-sized T-rex, velociraptor, and triceratops companions. Immerse yourself in the one-of-a-kind world of these ancient giants, where every moment becomes an exploration of history. Terms and restrictions apply.

If you’re interested in booking your own historic vacation, Click Here to see the listing on Air BnB. Host your next birthday party, family reunion, or special event with surprises for guests from young and old! Jurassic Retreat has it all! 

Camas, WA — Officials with the City of Camas announced that the City’s EMS Renewal Levy will be on the April 23, 2024, Special Election ballot. As such, the City is looking for interested individuals to serve on one of two committees, those in favor of the EMS Levy, and those who are against the EMS Levy.

Committee members will draft arguments both in favor of, and against, the levy for the online Voter’s Pamphlet.

Interested individuals can contact the City of Camas Finance Director, Cathy Huber Nickerson at 360-834-2462 or [email protected]

By law, Camas’ residents consider a renewal of the EMS levy every six years. In this ballot measure, the voters consider the renewal levy at the same $0.46 per thousand rate that currently exists, with the duration not to exceed six years. Since 2013, the levy remains limited to $0.46 per thousand assessed valuation of such property.

By Scott Taylor, Church News 

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released the site for the new Vancouver Washington Temple, less than five months after the new house of the Lord was announced.

Projected as a multi-story temple of approximately 43,000 square feet, the Vancouver temple will sit on a 15.11-acre site located at the northwest corner of the intersection of SE 20th Street and SE Bybee Road in Camas, Washington, just east of Vancouver proper.

The new site location was first published Monday, Feb. 26, on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Church President Russell M. Nelson announced a house of the Lord for Vancouver in the October 2023 general conference, one of 20 temple locations identified on Oct. 1.

More information on the new temple — including an exterior rendering and a date for its groundbreaking — will be released on future dates.

Washington is home to more than 281,000 Latter-day Saints in nearly 490 congregations and four operating houses of the Lord — the Seattle Washington Temple (dedicated in 1980), the Spokane Washington Temple (1999), the Columbia River Washington Temple (2001) in Richland in the south-central Tri-Cities area, and the recently dedicated Moses Lake Washington Temple (2023). A temple for Tacoma was announced in October 2022 general conference.

The Church of Jesus Christ in Washington dates back to the mid-19th century, when four missionaries laboring in the area of California were sent into the Washington and Oregon territories. Enough converts joined to create a congregation just north of present-day Vancouver along the Lewis River, a tributary of the Columbia River.

Many Church members helped with the 1880s railroad construction of the Northern Pacific Oregon Short Line in Washington. In 1930, Church membership in the state totaled 1,900 in eight congregations, with chapels in Seattle, Spokane, Olympia and Everett.

Completed in the early 1940s, the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in central Washington produced hydroelectric power and increased irrigation water, resulting in many Latter-day Saints moving into the area and the state.

Washougal, WA — Elementary students at Washougal School District benefit from a flurry of early literacy programs this winter. Recent book donations and literacy grants at Washougal schools help to provide young learners with early reading materials. Early literacy lays the foundation for future learning by strengthening critical thinking skills, creativity, and comprehension. 

“I like to read because if I’m having a stressful day, it calms me down,” said Nora Persons, 5th grade student at Gause Elementary.

Literacy is also an early indicator of academic success. Washougal School District students outperformed the state overall in English Language Arts on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) standardized test last year. “When kids discover an early passion for reading, it immerses them in their areas of interest and introduces them to new avenues for discovery,” said Hillary Chapman, Librarian TOSA at Washougal School District.

Read Northwest Hosts Free Book Giveaways

Read Northwest hosted book giveaway events for first through third grade students at Hathaway Elementary, Columbia River Gorge Elementary, and Gause Elementary School this winter. This program is made possible thanks to donations of books from the Molina Foundation via the Children’s Literacy Project. Every student was able to choose one free book to take home from the hundreds of options set up in a book fair-style display at the event.

“Our goal is to not only foster a love for reading among children but also to ensure that every child has access to the resources they need to build their literacy skills. We want every student to have the chance to own a book they’re excited about,” said Anna Paul, Washougal Schools Volunteer Coordinator with Read Northwest.

Gause Booster Volunteers Fundraise to Replace Library Books

Volunteers with the Gause Boosters organized a fundraiser to replace lost, stolen or damaged books from the Gause Elementary library this year. The initiative reflects the community’s investment in childhood literacy and commitment to ensuring that students have access to a wide range of reading materials. 

“Reading is important because it makes you smarter,” said Avery Williams, kindergarten student at Gause Elementary.

Booster groups support Washougal schools to help meet a wide range of needs. Learn more about volunteering at Washougal School District: Volunteer – WSD (washougal.k12.wa.us)

Camas-Washougal Rotary Donates New Books to Third Grade Classrooms

In December, the Camas-Washougal Rotary donated books to third grade classrooms across Camas and Washougal elementary schools. Over 30 classrooms received a basket of 25 reading level books and a dictionary. This initiative, funded primarily through the annual Ducky Derby and supplemented by ongoing rotary donations, fosters a culture of reading among early learners. This donation helps to provide Washougal kids with a greater variety of reading materials, encouraging students to find new passions and interests through reading.

Washougal

If you look at this migration map, you’ll see the top states where people are moving to include states with warm weather, such as South Carolina, Arizona, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Florida. It appears we’re flocking to states with warm weather, but there is more to it than people getting tired of snow and ice. California had a serious exodus in 2023 despite the glorious weather. Let’s take a closer look at why people moved where they did in 2023.

Lower Cost of Living

Since COVID, there has been a surge of individuals who work from home. While many of the remote workers have gone back to their offices, a number of people started their own businesses where they work from home. Professionals, such as therapists, also learned they can work from home and have virtual appointments with clients.

When you work from home, it does not matter where you live as long as you have a high-speed internet connection. Housing costs are less, as are groceries, car insurance, and more. When you pay less to live, you can keep more of your profits for yourself.

Spacious Homes and Yards

Some of the top cities where people are moving from include Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago. There are pleasant cities, but homes are expensive. When moving to cities such as Tucson and Charleston, which are top inbound cities, families with kids crammed into small city apartments in places like NYC find spacious homes with large yards attractive. They can have gardens, livestock, treehouses, and other things people in tiny apartments and houses in some cities only dream about.

Lifestyle Benefits

States like New Jersey to Connecticut, are losing residents who are getting tired of the fast-paced lifestyle they lead. Most southern states have a noticeably slower atmosphere, with far fewer traffic jams and people greeting each other as they walk down the street instead of racing to their next destination. Stress may be okay for people in their 20s, but as we get older, we realize a life with less stress leads to longer and generally happier lives.

Better Employment Opportunities and No State Income Tax

California, with its famous tech industry rates, is losing residents rapidly. Individuals realize that other places, like Tucson, AZ, and Charleston, SC, have booming tech sectors without the very high cost of living. Salaries in Silicon Valley are high, but the housing costs eat the money up quickly. People are also moving to states, like Tennessee and Florida, with no state income tax, allowing residents to keep more of their money in their pockets.

Living Closer to Nature

States like Arizona, Florida, and South Carolina are seeing more people who choose to live there to be near nature. Beaches, state parks, and golfing are more enjoyable in places with sunny weather. Living near nature is also appealing to people who now work from home and want to get out and away from their computers.

People have different reasons for moving to another state, it’s clear some states are far more popular than others and other states are losing residents every year. Only time will tell to see if this trend continues in 2024.

By: Katherine Robinson, a writer for Allied Van Lines

When money is tight, every little bit you can save helps. Here are a few simple ways to adjust your existing budget to free up some funds.

1- Review Your Subscriptions

Many people have automatic payments set up for a host of subscription services. You’re likely paying for something you don’t need, or even use. Take a look at your bank statement to pinpoint those recurring charges. Entertainment streaming service platforms, music subscriptions, gym memberships, and online publications are common ones to watch out for.

You may have signed up for a free trial of a service and then forgotten to cancel and now get charged each month. Even if it’s a service you use, consider the value it provides for the money. Will you really miss it? Perhaps you could choose your favorite streaming service and cancel the others. Or, opt for the free version where possible. You may have to watch or listen to some ads in between your chosen content, but you’ll save some money.

2- Switch to a Prepaid Phone Plan

Save yourself some serious cash by choosing a prepaid phone plan. Prepaid plans have lower per-minute rates and no hidden fees. You only pay for what you use, so you don’t have to worry about sky-high overage fees. Plus, there’s no contract, which means no hefty cancellation fees.

Plans for prepaid phones offer plenty of flexibility. You can choose from a range of plans and providers to find one that fits your needs. You get all the benefits of post-paid plans but without the unpleasant surprises showing up on your bill each month.

Prepaid phone plans are also great if your credit is less than perfect due to past financial difficulties or having little credit history. Most post-paid phone plans check your credit before finalizing your plan, which leaves this option out for some people. With prepaid, there is never a credit check to worry about.

3- Cook Meals at Home

Eating out costs a lot of money. If you visit restaurants multiple times a week, you’re likely spending more money on meals than needed. Instead, start planning and cooking your meals at home.

Cooking dinner together can even be an opportunity to spend time with your partner, family, or roommates. Make it an event by assigning everyone a job and sitting down together to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

You can also start to meal prep your lunches to avoid spending your money on expensive, and often unhealthy, fast food options. Select some recipes you love, create a grocery list, and go shopping for ingredients and essentials. Planning ahead helps you to reduce food waste and find great coupons and deals. When possible, shop for in-season produce to further lower your bill.

4- Review Your Insurance

Letting your current auto insurance policy renew year after year without reviewing the terms could be costing you money. Get quotes from several other car insurance companies to compare rates and find the best deal. Always check into available discounts. Safe drivers with no recent accident history often qualify for lower premiums. Some carriers give you the chance to save some money by using an app to monitor your driving and reward you for good habits.

5- Shop Around for Major Purchases

Some costs you just can’t avoid. Maybe you need to replace your washing machine or your refrigerator is acting up and needs repairs. Unless it’s a huge time-sensitive issue, try to spend a little time doing your research. If you must purchase a new appliance, you can secure a better deal by shopping around to compare prices. When you need repair work on non-essential items, opt for weekday appointments instead of weekend or after-hours service, which can cost a lot more.

Whether you’re saving up for a big upcoming expense, or want to stash a little extra away for an emergency fund, these easy budget hacks will help you lower your monthly bills by shopping smarter and putting a stop to wasting money on services you don’t need. Even these small changes can lead to big savings, less stress, and improved finances.

By: Katherine Robinson, a writer for Prepaid Bill

Vancouver, WA — To celebrate the anniversary of Spencer Porche’s January 20, 2023 kidney transplant and 19th birthday, the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is holding a fundraiser for the SpencerStrong campaign on January 23 at the Old Spaghetti Factory on Mill Plain in Vancouver, and will be held for the open hours, from 11:30 am-2 pm and 4:30 pm-9 pm. 

Porche has faced a lifetime of health issues, beginning with a premature birth at 3 pounds, 6 ounces, having only one kidney, along with severe food allergies. As he worked through all that he would be diagnosed at 16 with Stage 4 kidney disease. 

COTA helps children and young adults who need a life-saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support. They stepped in and helped Spencer and his family, for which they are profoundly grateful. 

COTA invites you to be part of this January 23 fundraiser, and come enjoy a great meal at the Old Spaghetti Factory. If you would prefer to write a check, please add in the memo line “In honor of Spencer Porche.”

COTA is the nation’s only fundraising organization solely dedicated to raising life-saving dollars in honor of transplant-needy children and young adults. One hundred percent of each contribution made to COTA in honor of their patients helps meet transplant-related expenses. COTA’s services are free to their families, and gifts to COTA are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Learn more: www.cotaforspencerstrong.com

Meet Aleksandra Cherednichenko, a surgical Family Nurse Practitioner, who owns and operates Pins and Needles, a medical aesthetics clinic in Camas. Lacamas Magazine interviewed Cherednichenko, and asked her several questions about her background, her clinic and the services she provides.

1. What services does Pins and Needles provide? 

I provide wrinkle relaxers to treat natural aging lines in addition to treating excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) and migraines, dermal fillers to replace lost volume in the facial area, microneedling of the facial area to reduce the appearance of fine lines, acne scars and to boost collagen, and chemical peels.

2. Can you explain your focus on the medical portion of aesthetics? 

As medical practitioners, I believe that it’s our duty to offer patients only evidence-based and FDA approved products. It is also up to us to educate patients on the risks of each procedure and say no to patients when something is not medically indicated. For example, when the “Barbie” movie came out, aesthetic providers started marketing Barbie tox to patients to reduce the size of their trapezius muscles. This is not medically indicated unless a patient is suffering from chronic pain or migraines, yet people were requesting this service and you saw this trend pop up all over social media. Aesthetic procedures are medical procedures that carry risks, they are not just beauty treatments.

3. What are some common misconceptions about aesthetics medicine? 

I think a common misconception about aesthetic medicine is that only wealthy people get treatments, when in fact people from all walks of life seek out these services. Aesthetic medicine is also a partnership between the provider and the patient, where goals are set and different treatment modalities are used to achieve desired results.

4. What does it mean to be a surgical NP? 

My full-time job is being a liver transplant nurse practitioner and I get to practice as part of a multidisciplinary abdominal surgery team, with an emphasis on liver and kidney transplantation. This means that I am intricately aware of how our bodies work and can foresee complications from invasive procedures, like the kind that we perform in aesthetic medicine. 

5. What is your background as an FNP? 

I was an RN for almost a decade prior to obtaining my FNP from Maryville University, and spent my time at bedside in acute and critical care. After completing my clinical rotations for graduate school I knew that I wanted to specialize and found that my critical care background matched well with my current surgical specialty.

Pins and Needles is located inside Whole Glow Health and Beauty:

5420 NW 38th Ave

Suite #33

Camas, WA 98607

503.214.2431 and texts are welcome

Her Instagram handle is @pins_needles_aesthetics

Learn more at www.pinsneedlesaesthetics.com where you can book an appointment. 

Pins
Aleksandra Cherednichenko is a surgical Family Nurse Practitioner, who owns and operates Pins and Needles, a medical aesthetics clinic in Camas.

Washington, DC — On Friday,  it was announced that the Interstate Bridge Replacement program has been awarded $600 million in U.S. Department of Transportation Mega Program funding. Funds from this federal grant will help construct the multimodal program to replace the Interstate Bridge and associated corridor improvements. The Interstate Bridge over the Columbia River connects Oregon and Washington on Interstate 5, which is a critical connection that supports local jobs and families, and a vital trade route for regional, national and international economies. 

The Washington State Department of Transportation and Oregon Department of Transportation submitted a joint application Mega grant request in August 2023, with WSDOT leading the process. The Mega Program (known statutorily as the National Infrastructure Project Assistance program), was created through the national Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to support large, complex projects that are likely to generate national or regional economic, mobility or safety benefits.

Congresswoman Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03), along with Senators Maria Cantwell (WA) and Patty Murray (WA) have also been working to make this grant happen.

Gluesenkamp Perez has spoken directly with Transportation Secretary Buttigieg and hosted White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu in September to underscore the need for this funding to help replace the I-5 Bridge. Additionally, Gluesenkamp Perez, Cantwell, and Murray co-led a bipartisan Washington delegation letter in August in support of the states’ Mega grant application.

The I-5 Bridge project received the highest amount of funding out of 11 awards nationwide. This year, the DOT sought applications for $1.8 billion in Mega program funding from Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024 advance appropriations. This grant marks the second federal grant awarded to the current bridge replacement project; the first, a $1 million seismic study grant, was awarded in October 2022.

Today’s award will fund 8-12 percent of the estimated $5-7.5 billion total bridge replacement project cost. The bridge replacement project remains eligible for other sources of federal funding, including the DOT Bridge Investment Program and the Federal Transit Administration Capital Investment Grant Program.

“From day one, it’s been my mission to bring our federal tax dollars back to Southwest Washington to replace the deteriorating, functionally obsolete I-5 Bridge. It’s the only way we get this huge project done. I pushed for critical Mega program funding every time I spoke with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, and I brought White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu to tour the bridge and understand the project,”said Gluesenkamp Perez.“I’m excited these efforts have paid off. This Mega program award will be a major step forward toward strengthening the safety and efficiency of this vital interstate artery. I’ll continue working to bring every possible federal dollar home for this project so our local drivers, especially our commuters, and economy can feel the benefits.”

And, the Oregon side is also pleased. 

“This is a big moment for the Pacific Northwest and demonstrates the national significance of this effort,” said Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek. “Replacing the Interstate Bridge is a critical infrastructure investment for our local communities, two states, and the entire West Coast. This project will help advance our goal of reducing emissions through a modern, multimodal bridge and will provide an infusion of federal funds to our region that will support local jobs and broader workforce opportunities.”  

This year, the Oregon State Legislature committed $1 billion to complete the program, matching Washington’s $1 billion commitment made during the 2022 legislative session. This year, Washington also authorized tolling on the Interstate Bridge, matching the existing tolling authorization in Oregon. When combined, the Mega grant award, other federal grant applications, the $1 billion commitment each from Oregon and Washington, and toll funding will help cover the likely $6 billion in estimated funding needed to construct the program investments.  

“I am thrilled to see the strong federal support that this grant funding demonstrates,” said ODOT Director Kris Strickler. “It speaks to the ongoing partnership and collaborative nature throughout the region and builds upon the momentum of the Oregon and Washington legislatures’ $1 billion commitments. This would not have been possible without the support from both our federal delegation and our local partners, which will ensure we have a safe, earthquake-resilient, and multimodal corridor that will benefit our region for decades into the future.” 

“The transportation options provided by the IBR program investments will improve access, connectivity, and reliability across the Columbia River and throughout the nearly 5-mile program area,” said WSDOT Secretary Roger Millar. “This is an exciting day that clearly demonstrates that investing in multimodal infrastructure that can provide safe, efficient and accessible transportation options is a national priority and a commitment shared by both states. An effort of this magnitude is a collective effort and would not have been possible without the steadfast collaboration and collective effort of regional partners and our state and federal elected leaders.”

“The importance of this federal investment cannot be overstated,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. “We appreciate the support of our congressional delegations to convey the critical need for strong support from the federal level, and to Sen. Cantwell for creating the Mega Grant program in support of projects like ours. Replacing this aging bridge with a crossing that can meet the needs of all travelers for generations to come is of the highest priority. We have been working tirelessly with our Oregon partners to make clear the importance of this project for the people of both states. This grant is a significant step forward.” 

The IBR program is actively seeking approximately $2.5 billion from federal grant sources. In addition to the Mega Grant program, IBR applied in November to the Federal Highway Administration Bridge Investment Program. IBR is also pursuing funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant program, which accepted the IBR program into the project development stage in September.

“This grant award marks an important milestone that shows replacing this bridge is a high priority at the regional, state and national levels,” said IBR program Administrator Greg Johnson. “This significant federal investment is critical to provide flexible multimodal funding and continues the strong momentum to get this work done. This infusion of federal dollars into the regional economy will help support tens of thousands of jobs through construction and provides a key piece of funding to successfully deliver a safe and modern multimodal corridor.”

About the bi-state Interstate Bridge Replacement program

Replacing the aging Interstate Bridge across the Columbia River with a modern, seismically resilient, multimodal structure that provides improved mobility for people, goods and services is a high priority for Oregon and Washington. Governors and legislative leadership in both states directed the Oregon Department of Transportation and Washington State Department of Transportation to launch the bi-state Interstate Bridge Replacement program to lead this work, recognizing that needed safety and transportation improvements to the existing Interstate Bridge remain unaddressed. Program development centers equity and follows a transparent, data-driven process that includes collaboration with local, state, federal and tribal partners. Visit the program website at www.interstatebridge.org