Vancouver, WA — According to Clark County Public Health, COVID-19 activity rates plummeted from 209 cases per 100,000 to 137 cases per 100,000 this past week.

Here’s the latest COVID-19 update:

  • 24 new cases
  • 8,135 cases to date
  • No new deaths
  • 221 total deaths to date (199 confirmed, 22 suspect)
  • 245 active cases (in isolation period)
  • 34 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 1 person hospitalized awaiting COVID-19 test results

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

Vaccination Update

The Washington State Department of Health received its shipment of Pfizer vaccine for the Clark County Fairgrounds vaccination site. That means the fairgrounds will be open this week to fulfill its second-dose appointments.

Anyone who received their first dose at the fairgrounds site should have received an email from Safeway after receiving their first dose. That follow-up email contains a link to schedule an appointment for the second dose. 

Appointments are best. But anyone who was unable to get a second dose appointment scheduled or didn’t receive the confirmation email, can take their vaccination card and ID to the fairgrounds and receive their second dose without an appointment.

The fairgrounds site is open 9 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Friday and 9 am to 3 pm Saturday.

First-dose appointments are not available at the fairgrounds this week.

COVID-19
Vaccines.

Vancouver, WA – The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) estimates that 35,605 Clark County families will be priced-out of purchasing a home in 2021.

This estimate comes from the newest version of a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The study states that for each $1,000 increase in the cost of median-priced newly built homes in Clark County, 985 prospective buyers will be pushed out of the market, up from 781 prospective buyers in 2020.

“This study illustrates how even a relatively small increase in housing prices can dramatically impact housing affordability and accessibility for our neighbors,” said BIA’s Executive Director Avaly Scarpelli. “Unfortunately, with lumber prices on the rise again and the recent implementation of the Washington State Energy Code, housing affordability will continue to worsen in 2021.”

Between mid-April and mid-September 2020, the cost of framing lumber climbed more than 170%. According to NAHB analysis, this resulted in an increase of more than $16,148 in the price of a new single-family home. Lumber price increases will result in an additional 15,905 buyers being priced-out of homeownership, up from our estimate of 12,612 in 2020.

If the estimates provided by the Building Industry Association of Washington are correct, the price of a newly constructed home will rise as much as $20,000 due to the implementation of a stricter Energy Code, effectively pricing-out another 19,700 families.

When considering the increase in lumber prices and the cost of energy code compliance, a total of 35,605 buyers will be priced-out of purchasing a home in 2021.

This estimate does not take into consideration the other variables that can increase home prices: additional regulatory barriers, labor shortages, and the looming rise of interest rates as soon as 2022. All of these factors work together to prevent families from achieving their dreams of homeownership.

“Our elected leaders need to recognize and take accountability for the consequences of their policy decisions. We cannot complain about a housing affordability crisis and then pass policies negating any efforts made to make housing more attainable. The homebuilding industry agrees with the notion of increasing energy efficiency and working towards more sustainable structures. However, when the families in our county and state cannot afford to have a roof over their heads, it’s time for our elected officials to consider postponing expensive mandates,” added Scarpelli.

Camas, WA — Camas School District (CSD) Superintendent Dr. Jeff Snell said schools continue to open up to in-class learning as COVID-19 cases numbers continue to drop across Clark County. The public also learned CSD is facing a $3.5 million shortfall this fiscal year.

“Clark County Health Department will release the latest COVID-19 data for this week later today with rates expected to be below 150 new cases per 100,000 population,” he said today. “This number indicates that Clark County continues to be in the “moderate’ risk level for a fourth consecutive week. This is good news and reinforces the importance of our COVID countermeasures as across the region we’ve added in-person learning experiences for our students and county rates have continued to drop.”

The school board reviewed COVID-19 level data and the current Reopening Plan again on February 22 and made the following decisions around elementary and high school transition timing and programming.

Elementary: At our elementary schools, instruction will move away from a 2-day hybrid Cohort A/B model to 4-day, in-person instruction on March 22, which aligns closely with the end of the trimester. Schools will still be following the 6 foot istancing requirement, masking, and other countermeasure strategies. Staff will be looking at how to maximize classroom and school space. In certain cases, additional staff may need to be hired to support smaller groups of students. Families who indicate a desire for on-site learning will have students attending on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Wednesdays will continue to be remote learning days and also used by staff to support planning for both on-site and remote learners.

High School: With cases of COVID-19 in Clark County below 200 cases per 100,000 over 14 days, our high schools will have in-person orientation/small group activities during the week of March 1, and we will begin 2-day, hybrid instruction beginning March 8. Students will have a Cohort A/B model. Note: Hayes Freedom High School is already in a hybrid model.

Budget

Business Services Director Jasen McEathron gave a monthly budget status report indicating we are trending to end the fiscal year with a $3.5 million shortfall largely due to the pandemic. There are still many variables at play in the 2020-21 budget including Federal and State relief funding and how that might impact us in Camas. 

Social-Emotional Learning

Assistant Superintendent Lisa Greseth and Helen Baller Principal Melissa Hutton were on hand to share an update on the social-emotional wellbeing of our students. District-level data was shared from our second student survey. Highlights for our students were in the areas of supportive relationships with staff and at home, and opportunities for growth in the way we help support emotion regulation for our students. Principal Hutton gave specific examples of how a school uses the data as part of the overall school plan for social-emotional learning and support. 

Becky Stauffer

CSD digital automation specialist Becky Stauffer received the 2021 Laserfiche K-12 Education Impact Award at this year’s virtual Laserfiche Empower Conference.

This award recognizes influential industry leaders who exemplify leadership within the Laserfiche community and empower others to drive transformation within their organizations. Congratulations Becky!

Noah Christensen

CHS junior Noah Christensen was honored with an MTP award by Coach Jones. Noah has grown a lot over his years at Camas, in all facets. One of the biggest ways in which he’s grown is by not being too proud to ask for help when he feels himself getting out of sorts.

“Noah displays good leadership qualities on the football field and in the classroom and he’s just a really fun young man to get to work with and coach,” stated Coach Jones. Great work, Noah!

Camas, WA — Camas High School Athletic Director, Rory Oster, announced today that Papermaker sports events will resume Monday, February 22 after an 11-plus month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“With sporting events/games starting on Monday, please be aware of the spectator guidelines with regards to each sport,” Oster said.

GSHL Spectator Update by Sport

Spectators that attend any GSHL event must wear a mask for the duration of their time on school facilities, indoors and outdoors. Spectators must also social distance with a minimum of six feet between individuals outside of their family.

Volleyball – Each athlete, manager and coach will be allotted TWO entrance tickets to their specific contest only. Doors will open for entrance ten minutes before the contest scheduled start time at the North Commons/Gym entrance only, and gyms will be immediately cleared at the conclusion of the contest.

Varsity games will begin at 7:00 pm with a 6:50 pm entrance.

JV games will begin at 5:00 pm with a 4:50 pm entrance.

C games will begin at 7:00 pm with a 6:50 pm entrance.

4th team games will begin at 5:00 pm with a 4:50 pm entrance.

Girls Soccer – Each athlete, manager and coach will be allotted TWO entrance tickets to their specific contest only. Main gate will open for entrance ten minutes before the contest scheduled start time, we ask that spectators of the game that has finished, immediately leave the facility.

Varsity games will begin at 7:00 pm

JV games will begin at 5:00 pm with a 4:50 pm entrance.

C games will begin at 5:00 pm with a 4:50 pm entrance.

Cross Country – Spectators are allowed for contests please keep these to no more than two per contestant. Stay socially distanced along the course and wear a mask at all times.

Boys Tennis – Spectators are allowed for contests please keep these to no more than two per contestant. Stay socially distanced along and wear a mask at all times.

Boys Golf – Spectators are allowed for contests please keep these to no more than two per contestant. Stay socially distanced along the course and wear a mask at all times.

Slow-pitch Softball – Spectators are allowed for contests please keep these to no more than two per contestant. Stay socially distanced and wear a mask at all times. Spectators may need to bring chairs to set up along the outfield fence.

Football – No spectators are allowed at any football events at this time. This includes JV and C team games. We continue to advocate for changes to this rule with the Governor’s office and local department of health and we will immediately adjust if we are able to.

All contests held at Camas High School Gymnasium and Doc Harris Stadium will be live streamed athttps://www.nfhsnetwork.com/ subscriptions can be purchased which will give you access to all volleyball, girls soccer and football games played at Camas School District sites. Other GSHL schools will also be streaming their contests and we will update you with locations of those streams. If they use the NFHS network, your subscription will work for those games as well.

Link to Athletic Bulletin ~

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OyX5v4KhiJDlqVPXS4e468GnHl0gBpKc-IoVEUpRvyE/edit

Camas
Camas Running Back Jacques Badolato-Birdsell.

Vancouver, WA — Clark County’s COVID-19 activity rate declined again this week, down to 209.8 cases per 100,000, according to Clark County Public Health. Last week, the rate was 262.2 cases per 100,000.

“Keep up the good work, Clark County,” the health department said in a statement. “Let’s continue to wear face coverings, maintain physical distancing and avoid gatherings so we can keep bringing that rate down!”

Latest COVID-19 Update:

  • 32 new cases 
  • 17,909 cases to date
  • No new deaths
  • 213 total deaths to date (191 confirmed, 22 suspect)
  • 255 active cases (in isolation period)
  • 36 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 6 people hospitalized awaiting COVID-19 test results

You may learn more on the Clark County COVID-19 data webpage: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data

Fairgrounds Vaccination Update

If you were scheduled to get your first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the fairgrounds on Tuesday (including those rescheduled due to snow) but were unable to get vaccinated, you can go the site anytime during operating hours today (9 am to 5 pm) to get vaccinated. Your vaccine will be waiting for you.

If you received your first dose at the fairgrounds, you will get a second dose at the fairgrounds. The day after receiving your first dose, you should receive a follow-up message (email or text) with a link to schedule your second dose. 

If you experience difficulties with the scheduling system and are unable to schedule an appointment for a second dose, you will still get your second dose. Just bring your original confirmation email from Safeway/Albertsons or your vaccine record card and go to the fairgrounds on the date you are due for your second dose, and you will get vaccinated.

Olympia, WA — Clark County is moving to Phase 2 of Governor Jay Inslee’s statewide reopening plan, along with four other regions. 

“This will mean increased economic activity. We are very happy about it,” Inslee said. “Ninety-two percent of the state of Washington is now in Phase 2 or higher.”

Inslee said this will be effective starting Monday, but may open earlier for Valentine’s Day and current weather conditions. The only region in the state that isn’t in Phase 2 is the South Central region, including the Walla Walla, Tri-Cities and Yakima areas.

Inslee said he doesn’t have a date for when Phase 3 guidelines/restrictions will be released. He said the state has been focused on getting to Phase 2. 

He said “this is now both a time for celebration for the state, but also a time for increased diligence due to new variants of COVID-19.”

In Phase 2, restaurants may open indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Indoor gatherings are also allowed, with a maximum of five people from outside a household per gathering, but limited to no more than two households. Outdoor gatherings allow 15 people present from outside a single household.

Movie theaters, concert venues, and museums can now operate at 25 percent capacity, and are subject to eating and drinking requirements.

Zoos, rodeos and concert venues can now host groups of 15 and up to 200 people at a time.

Inslee
www.acreativetwistcorp.com

Indoor weddings and funerals are now allowed, and must follow gathering requirements. Dancing is still prohibited. 

Low and moderate risk sports may resume indoors, and fitness centers may now operate at 25 percent capacity. Low, moderate and high-risk sports are all allowed outdoors with a 200-person limit, including spectators. The WIAA will provide specifics on this.

The decision to reopen most of the state despite risk of having to move back, Inslee said, was based on science and the fact that businesses have had to close for months. He added that if the numbers go back up, the state can go back in phases.

Regions could be moved back if metrics start going in the wrong direction. Under the state guidelines, in two week the regions must still meet three of four requirements. If the region meets two or fewer, they would return to Phase 1 the following Monday.

Washington is nearing 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, according to the Department of Health.

Inslee said getting close to 1 million doses is an achievement, but he also acknowledged that people are frustrated by the wait for their doses.

Inslee says they are making rapid progress in vaccination push and that “help is on the way” for those who haven’t had their shots yet. He emphasized there is equity in vaccine distribution among communities of color, and said that this helped determine where the mass vaccination sites were located. 

Inslee

Washougal, WA — What’s in a name?  That is food for thought for Washougal School District students who have been challenged to submit name ideas for the district’s new Career and Technical Education (CTE) food truck.

The food truck was purchased last spring by the WSD CTE Department with the goal to create project-based learning opportunities and eventually a student-led business. 

“This truck will literally be a vehicle for learning,” said Margaret Rice, WSD CTE Director.  “Literally!  It is also an extension of our professional kitchen facility in the Excelsior Building at WHS.”

The contest launched February 1 and will run until February 26, giving WSD students of all ages plenty of time to get their creative juices flowing. 

“We have had some really great entries so far,” said Rice. “Students are putting excellent thought around meaningful themes and describing how they came up with the name.  I am looking forward to seeing what else students have to contribute to this contest.”

Contest details are at http://www.washougal.k12.wa.us/cte/food-truck/.  Students must submit their idea using their school district email.

The learning around the food truck will reach beyond the development of the name, food plans and food service.  WHS students will participate in all aspects of the project development including business plans, learn about health department rules, navigate through local permitting and licensing, develop manuals for training and safety and even the creation of marketing and truck maintenance. 

Rice hopes students participating in the name contest feel like they are a part of history in the making and can help to drive the excitement for the truck and the learning opportunities it represents.  “We expect this truck and the program to be around for a long time,” she explained. “Young students will be able to remember their part in helping find a name when they get to the high school and can begin participating in its operation.”

Camas, WA — Voters in Camas passed two education replacement levies  — the Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) levy and the Technology capital levy — by healthy margins Tuesday, according to unofficial results from Clark County Elections.

Proposition 4 passed with 53 percent of the vote, and Proposition 5 passed with 55 percent. Both three-year levies were set to expire in 2021. Camas School District (CSD) asked voters to consider approval of two replacement levies that will allow CSD to continue the same level of service students, teachers and families have enjoyed for decades. 

“I’m feeling good,” said CSD Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Snell. “The results are good right now. We are cautiously optimistic and grateful to the community. It’s been a tough year, and we need to continue to serve our students and families. I know whether you vote yes or no you care about the kids and staff. I appreciate people that recognize that and we need to keep doing this as best we can. It’s nice to be on the plus side of 50 percent.” 

Snell also expressed sadness for Battle Ground School District, which also held a levy vote today.  Their levy failed 53-46 percent.

In a recent interview, Snell said the following:

“Camas community has supported schools through local levies for more than 40 years. Initially, levies provided money for things that cannot be funded by state, or basic education, dollars like extra-curricular activities. Over time, state funding did not keep pace with actual costs, and lawmakers pushed the burden on local communities to fill the gap with levy dollars. 

“Our levies make up to about 20 percent of our budget.  If we were to align our budget to State and Federal funding, we would not be able to continue extra-curricular activities. Classroom sizes, breakfast and lunch prices, and the length of time students spend on the bus would all increase. Additionally, many employees would lose their jobs. The amount of money we would have to maintain or replace computers, roofs, and HVAC systems would be almost non-existent. 

“Most of our parents cite Camas Schools as the reason they moved to Camas. It is our community support that makes our schools strong and vibrant.

Extracurricular activities are: all sports programs, all club activities, academic teams, to pay for coaching assignments, and pay for the costs of running the activities, which includes concerts and activities outside the school day. These activities have really become a part of  our culture, it’s who we are.”

Camas, WA — The politics of this week’s two Camas School District (CSD) levy votes are heating up as “No to Levy” campaign signs have been reported as stolen or defaced, said campaign organizers and the Camas Police.

Forty-six signs have been stolen, said Heather Wynn, a member of the nearly 1,000 member Open Camas Schools group, which is behind the campaign against the two replacement levies. 

Wynn and several members of the Open Camas Schools group have distributed 100 signs throughout district boundaries, and have continued to monitor locations since the end of January.

One “No to Levy” organizer caught one woman stealing the signs last week and reported the incident to police. She was charged with a misdemeanor (case #21-0109) by Camas Police Officer Braunstein.

Local residents have received special February election ballots for two levies as the current Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) levy and the Technology capital levy will both expire in 2021. CSD is asking voters to consider approval of two replacement levies (an EP&O and Technology, Health, and Safety capital levy) that will allow CSD to continue the same level of service students, teachers and families have enjoyed for decades.  

“I feel it’s a very misunderstood side that we’re on,” said Wynn. “The personal reason I am against the levies — and until now I’ve always been supportive of — is because I feel the district and school board are not moving fast enough to reopen schools. It is one of the only leverage points we have. People get upset about us saying that. They feel it’s negative and unfair to use that word ‘leverage’ because it they don’t want us to use that word for something they see as beneficial to the kids.”

Wynn said their side is trying to use it as leverage to benefit kids in the following ways:

“One, we need to be heard, and it will speak volumes; 2) We know they can ask again. Our sign literally says ‘ask again’; 3) The kids’ voices need to be heard; and 4) The known fears, the real fears that are seen by us as parents are depression, anxiety, lack of education, lack of social growth, so many things are being suppressed for a ‘what if’ fear, which is COVID in the schools. They are catering to the ‘what if?’”

They are also contesting “guidelines” vs. “requirements.” Wynn said there isn’t universal guidance from state to state. 

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Vote No Levy sign at the Camas School District administration building.

“It doesn’t make any sense. They’re choosing the what if’s over the knowns,” said Wynn.

Last Thursday parents Andrea Seeley, Wynn, Ela Wunderli, Dan Wunderli, and Mike Hubbell met with Camas Schools Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Snell.

In the meeting, Snell said the barriers to getting more kids in class sooner are the very Department of Health guidelines, which include the six-feet physical distancing, and a slow rollout of the vaccines. The group isn’t fighting face mask wearing.

He encouraged the group to lobby to get vaccines faster to the teachers. 

“I want Snell to admit that we’re following guidance, but they’re making people think we don’t have a choice,” said Wynn. We do have a choice. We have a choice to NOT follow the guidelines.”

So, these are the reasons why the Open Camas Schools group is campaigning against the levies, and it’s also why they’re frustrated there are ongoing efforts to remove their signs.

“It’s not OK to be silenced because we have a different view,” said Wynn.

And, another Open Schools advocate, Bill Criddle, said this:

“To me, schools and government should run like real life and business. If there is an acceptable return then people are willing to put out the investment. When there is not a satisfactory return then the investment is diminished. School districts and government feel that they should get the money no matter if they are providing the adequate service. I’m not okay with that. Why should we be forced to pay additional taxes with no guarantee that the expected services will be provided? They need to prove that they will provide these service and then I and most of the people I know would be happy to support the school district financially. That’s why the signs say ‘ask again’! We want to support the schools but we need them to support our kids first!”

What is the short and long-term fallout if the levy fails?

“Well 20% of a budget is the equivalent of one out of every five days being cut,” Snell said. “Obviously, we just can’t cut one day per week, so it would result in loss of extracurricular activities, programming, and additional staff support. It would make Camas look dramatically different as these activities outside the school day would no longer have a funding source. It could be up to a 10-15 percent staff reduction.” 

Wynn also kept a record of signs that were stolen or defaced.

Stolen Sign List

January 28-29

2 — on 242nd Avenue

1 — Dorothy Fox

1 — Fern Prairie Market

1 — Crown Road near Camas High School

1 — 6th Street at Roundabout

February 1-2

2 — bottom of Sierra and Lake Road

1 — Pacific Rim Blvd.

February 2-3

1 — back entrance to Camas Meadows Golf Course

1 — Woodburn Elementary

3 — bottom of Lakeridge and Lake Road

1 — Dorothy Fox

1 — 38th by Cube Storage

1 — Entrance to PBL

1 — attempt at 18th & Klickitat

February 4-5

1 — Brady and McIntosh and replaced

1 — Park & 38th

1 — 242nd & 44th

1 — 28th & 232nd 

1 — NW Astor & 41st

2 — Deer Creek subdivision

1 — 38th by Cube Storage

2 — 23rd by Lacamas Elementary

1 — 232nd and Weakly

1 — 283rd end of WBE property

1 — Everett & 23rd at Camas School District Administration building

1 — Sierra & Lake

1 — Dahlia & 38th

1 — 44th & Astor

1 — entrance to Grass Valley Park

1 — Fremont & McIntosh

1 — Ogden & 16th

February 6-8

1 — Fremont & McIntosh

1 — Dahlia and 38th

1 — 41st and Astor

1 — 242nd 39th 

1 — Dahlia & 38th

1 — 41st & Astor

1 — 242nd & 39th 

1 — Dallas & 15th

1 — Dallas & 7th 

Camas, WA — After six weeks of successful testing, the brand-new Camas App is now available to the public.

What started as a local business directory and news aggregator, evolved to focus on connecting residents and visitors with local businesses and events. Its designers call it “collaborative commerce.”

“The Camas App was built for, in, and by community members – designed to help regenerate our economy and make it more resilient. We want to make it easy for residents and visitors to learn about local businesses and discover new ones they may not be aware of,” said Joseph Graves, Co-creator of the Camas App.

The app was created locally and operated with a focus on supporting the Camas community without global tech companies filtering results or optimizing for their own financial interests.

To get the app, go to camas.info from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Background — How did this come about?

Graves and Lacamas Magazine shared several clients and were discussing ways to help more businesses when the idea for a Camas App came up in conversation.

“I had an idea for a cool local business directory app, and Joe said he was already working on it with Tyler Kaye,” said Ernie Geigenmiller, Editor & Publisher of Lacamas Magazine. “So, the three of us have been working like crazy to get it launched.”

“It’s a perfect fit for the Lacamas Magazine audience and a great way to strengthen our local economy” said Graves. “Buying from local businesses is the most powerful method I can think of to protect our community.”

Camas App
www.lilyatelier.com
Camas App
The Daily Deal in the Camas App.

“I have always wanted to find a way to connect a community to local businesses. In the ever-connected world of high speed connections, local businesses can still thrive with the right tools,” said Kaye. “The Camas App is a tool for the community as much as it is for the businesses in Camas.”

To make the app sustainable over the long term, there are several in app marketing opportunities including Premium listings, Daily Deals, Special Offers, Real Estate Listing, with more planned for the future. 

A portion of the revenue generated will be shared with three local nonprofits — The Camas-Washougal Community Chest, Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Camas Association.

Camas App
The Camas App has many categories.