Camas, WA — The City of Camas will host a virtual Town Hall, June 14, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting will take place via the Zoom platform, like the current City Council meeting setup.  Residents can log on using the following link  https://zoom.us/j/94538163839  and the following webinar ID: 945 3816 3839.

“I’m very excited to get together as a community again and to hear their questions,” said Camas Mayor, Barry McDonnell.

Camas Mayor Pro Tem, Ellen Burton, said this is a unique opportunity for residents. 

“We’re inviting our community to join us for this important conversation,” Burton said. “Unlike council meetings where we only listen to comments, this allows us to discuss your ideas, comments and concerns in the virtual town hall. We hope you participate,” she said.

Residents can ask questions live during the event or they can provide questions in advance.  For advance questions, residents can either send them to[email protected] or via Engage Camas, using the “Mayor Barry McDonnell’s Q&A” section. Please mention the Camas Town Hall in the subject.

Gresham, OR — Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall said today his city council selected Nina Vetter, a city administrator from Colorado to take over as city manager this June.

Vetter, who has worked in local and federal government for a dozen years, made the cut from a search that included 37 candidate applications. 

“After thoughtfully considering the priorities of our Council, the needs of our employees, and the input from the community, we believe that Ms. Vetter’s skills will be critical to moving us forward,” Stovall stated in today’s news release.

Camas City Administrator Jamal Fox, who’s been in this position since August 2020, was a top three finalist for the Gresham city manager position. Camas Communications Director Bryan Rachal said Fox has been pursued by multiple municipalities in recent months.

Fox, along with Vetter, and Patrick Quinton, a former director of Prosper Portland, made their case to Gresham City Council on April 21. Council made their deliberations and the decision was announced today.

Fox was hired by Camas Mayor Barry McDonnell after an 8-month search to succeed former city administrator, Pete Capell, who ran mill town 2013-2019.

“Knowing what type of leader Jamal is, we completely understand why. Jamal’s skills, talent and leadership have been much appreciated and they have been an important part of the success the City has experienced during the pandemic. While we are saddened to possibly lose Jamal to another city, we’re also excited for the opportunity for him and his family,” Rachal said. 

It’s unclear at this time what the status is regarding Fox’s other municipality candidate applications, or how long Fox intends to stay in his position. An email has been sent to then city of Camas asking for further clarification.

Camas, WA — Camas City Council member and Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Burton will not run for re-election this year. Burton announced her decision on Wednesday, April 28.

“It was a really tough decision,” said Burton.” It’s an honor to serve our Camas community as the council and administration worked together to strengthen our city operations and community. My intent throughout my term was and is to keep the communities’ best interest in the forefront and ask the questions citizens want to know about city plans and investments.”

Appointed to the city council in 2019, Burton was then elected in 2020. Her fellow council members selected her to serve as Mayor Pro Tem in January 2021. In total, she will serve three years.

“I want to thank Mayor McDonnell, City Administrator Fox and staff for their on-going commitment, especially during this difficult year so we emerge stronger on the other side.” Burton says she believes all of us need to work together to create the community where we live.

So, why is Burton leaving?

“Lifestage. I retired from my career in 2018 and started serving on the council in 2019,” she said. “Now, my youngest son is graduating from high school.”

Are there issues within the city that make you want to leave?

“There are no issues with/at the city causing me to leave. It’s a personal decision,” she said.

Burton
Council member/Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Burton.

What have you learned since being appointed in 2019 about the city and how it operates?

“I’ve learned so much about our community and our staff, and our fellow council members,” Burton said. “If you’re open to learning you can learn a ton. Running a city is highly complicated. There are many conflicting stake holders, and there are unfunded mandates which conflict with the desire of our community, for example the North Shore development. There are restrictions about funds, they can’t be crossed over, and the planning horizon is very long. For example, the Brady Road expansion was planned 10 years ago and it’s just a mile.”

She said drafting a plan is required to get grants and state funds, and low interest loans, which is why the city often hires consultants to help make effective plans. 

“There are so many nuances that are buried to the public,” Burton said. “You have caring, confident people that have navigate this huge system. You have to approach this as a system.”

What direction do you want Camas to take with how it operates?

“I think with city operations we need to make the investment in people and resources and systems to automate some aspects of city business,” she said. For example, we are using a Y2K accounting system. We need to increase efficiencies so we can better manage our assets. People are on top of it, but we have a very lean staff and we need the tools to do the job.”

Do you think Camas is heading in the right direction?

“I think we need to improve our processes and have an equitable approach in funding parks across the city,” she said. “We need to make sure we continue to be welcoming to newcomers and long-term residents alike. We have many people over 65 so what does that mean? Do we need to accelerate the ADA corner replacements which cost $8,000 to $10,000 each? The city is well run, we are very financially conservative. We need to invest in our future. Where do we do that? For example, downtown infrastructure and the storm drains need to be fixed, but that will require tearing up the roads for several years, and people don’t want to see the streets torn up.” 

“We have to make the right decisions but we need to do that with great community input, such as what we did with the Lake/Everett Road roundabout. We need to co-create with our citizens, our business, non-profits and regional partners.” 

Burton is 64 and would be 68 when she’s done with a full term serving Ward 3 along with Greg Anderson.

“That was it, it was adding up the numbers,” she said. “One of my friends said ‘you’re done for now, but that doesn’t mean it’s forever.’”

What surprised her most about serving on council?

“I’m very team oriented and due to the open public meetings act you’re not able to pull together a team and solve a problem. Take a topic, such as the GP Mill, and I can only talk to two council members and we’re the only three that can talk about it privately. We do this because we follow the law, but the trade off is you can’t just pull the right people, good honest people in the room and solve a problem.’

Vancouver, WA — Clark County Public Health reported today that the COVID-19 activity rate, which had gone down to 90 cases per 100,000 has climbed steadily over the last few weeks and is now at 198 cases per 100,000.

The health department’s Tuesday COVID-19 update includes the following data:

  • 90 new confirmed cases (21,101 to date)
  • 9 new antigen probable cases (945 to date)
  • 1 new suspect death
  • 255 total deaths to date (226 confirmed, 29 suspect)
  • 646 active cases (in isolation period)
  • Clark County COVID-19 activity rate is 198.1 cases per 100,000 (up from 147.6 cases per 100,000 last week)
  • 31 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 4 people hospitalized awaiting COVID-19 test results

Additional information about the new suspect death: Man in his 50s, unknown whether underlying health conditions.

Reminder: Confirmed cases are people with a positive molecular (PCR) test for COVID-19. Antigen probable cases are people with a positive antigen test and no molecular test.

A confirmed death means COVID is listed as cause of death or contributing factor on the death certificate and the case has a positive COVID test. A suspect death means COVID is not listed as a contributing factor on the death certificate (but wasn’t ruled out as cause of death) and the person died after testing positive for COVID within 28 days.

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

Washington — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidelines on Tuesday showing which activities that COVID-19 vaccinated citizens may enjoy, including attending small outdoor gatherings without face coverings.

The new recommendations detail many situations in which fully vaccinated citizens may forgo wearing a face mask, but emphasized their continued use in most indoor settings and crowded outdoor areas.

“Today is another day we can take a step back to the normalcy of before,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said. “Over the past year, we have spent a lot of time telling Americans what they cannot do, what they should not do. Today, I’m going to tell you some of the things you can do if you are fully vaccinated.”

The new recommendations say fully vaccinated individuals can engage in the following activities without wearing face coverings:

  • Attending small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends.
  • Attending small outdoor gatherings with a mixture of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
  • Walking, running, hiking or biking outdoors alone or with members of their household.
  • Dining at outdoor restaurants with friends from multiple households.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said that “the risk of infection outside is really minimum. If you’re vaccinated, and you’re outside, it’s even less.”

Fully vaccinated people may also attend “a crowded, outdoor event, like a live performance, parade, or sports event,” as long as they remain masked.

Walensky urged fully vaccinated Americans to wear masks indoors, citing there are 50,000 new COVID-19 cases per day, but said it is “safe for those who are fully vaccinated to return to the activities they love doing inside while wearing a mask.”

The CDC website says “Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”

The new guidelines suggest that fully vaccinated individuals continue wearing masks when in public spaces, when gathering indoors with unvaccinated people from more than one household, when visiting unvaccinated high-risk individuals or in an outdoor setting or venue where masks are required. The updated CDC guidance recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to avoid medium or large-sized gatherings.

Camas, WA — The City of Camas confirmed today that City Administrator Jamal Fox has been pursued by multiple municipalities, and has been named as a finalist for Gresham City Manager.

“Knowing what type of leader Jamal is, we completely understand why,” said Bryan Rachal, City of Camas Communications Director. “Jamal’s skills, talent and leadership have been much appreciated and they have been an important part of the success the City has experienced during the pandemic. While we are saddened to possibly lose Jamal to another city, we’re also excited for the opportunity for him and his family.”

Gresham City Council has selected three finalists, which includes Fox, Patrick Quinton, and Nina Vetter for the position of city manager and is seeking community input and involvement in next steps.

Mayor Travis Stovall will host a virtual community forum on Wednesday, April 21, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to introduce the finalists.

In total, 37 candidates who applied by March 22 were considered for this phase of the process.

Fox has been employed by the City of Camas since late August, prior to which he worked as deputy Chief of Staff for Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.

Camas, WA — Nail Evolution Pro, a nail salon owned by Irina Anderson that frequently comes up with new designs, has recently moved the business to 417 NE 2nd Avenue in downtown Camas (in the blue house behind Riverview Bank).

An authentic Russian Manicurist with 13 years of experience, Anderson invites you to try the Original Russian Manicure and see all of her amazing designs.

“Nails are my passion,” says Anderson. “I have 13 years of experience as a nail technician and instructor. I’m always learning and experimenting with new nail designs, techniques, and processes, pushing the boundaries of my knowledge and skills. My top priority is to provide you the clean, beautiful, high-quality nails you deserve with the best nail training or service.”

Anderson is a certified instructor, nail technician, and Masura educator who is originally from Russia.

“I have worked in all types of salons from nail bar boutiques to exclusive VIP salons, and I’ve operated my own salon,” she says. “I’ve been an instructor for over 10 years and operated my own nail school for eight years.”

In 2016, she was chosen to work at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, in Moscow, Russia, where she personally did 21 manicures in less than five hours, and also helped do nail designs for many of the models.

To see a price list, visit the Nail Evolution Pro website: nailevolutionpro.com 

To set an appointment, it’s best to text Anderson at 360-833-3575, or you send an email: [email protected]

Social media sites:

insta: @nevo.pro

fb.com/nevo.pro

phone: 360-833-3575 (text)

Evolution

Olympia, WA — Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the rollback of three counties that are not meeting the Phase 3 Healthy Washington reopening metrics.

The three counties returning to Phase 2 are:

  • Cowlitz County
  • Pierce County
  • Whitman County

“These metric trends are driven by the virus and we must continue to do everything we can to sharpen our focus and keep COVID-19 activity down. We are so close to the end of the tunnel here — we have made tremendous progress and we must keep our focus,” Inslee said. “It’s like a football game; we have done 95 yards on a 99 yard-drive. We can’t let up now. These are not punitive actions; they are to save lives and protect public health.”

“Vaccine is a crucial tool that will help us end the pandemic, but it isn’t the only tool, and we don’t yet have enough Washingtonians fully vaccinated to rely on this alone to keep our communities safe from the virus,” said Lacy Fehrenbach, deputy secretary for COVID-19 response, Department of Health. “We need to focus on lowering disease transmission in the next several weeks ahead as we continue our vaccination efforts in order to avoid a fourth surge of cases. This means wearing masks, watching our distancing and keeping gatherings small and outdoors.”

Last Friday, the governor announced updates to the Healthy Washington criteria:

  • In order to move down one phase, a county must fail both metrics for case counts and hospitalizations. Under the previous plan, a county only needed to fail one metric to move back a phase.
  • The spectator events guidance is updated to make clear what is allowed for counties in Phase 2 and how these events are related to school graduation ceremonies. That guidance is available here.
  • The Open Air Seating guidance is updated to allow flexibility for eating and drinking establishments. That guidance is available here.
  • The next evaluation of counties will be in three weeks, on May 3.

This Thursday, April 15, all Washingtonians (16+) will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccines. 

Vancouver, WA — Beginning today, Clark County Public Health is reporting antigen probable cases in addition to the confirmed cases that have been included in their regular reporting. 

The health department says “confirmed cases are people with a positive molecular (PCR) test for COVID-19.”

Probable cases are people with a positive antigen test and no molecular test. 

“We’ve been tracking probable cases, and we treat them like confirmed cases, conducting interviews with those who test positive, and instructing them to isolate and their close contacts to quarantine,” said Marissa Armstrong, of Clark County Public Health. “We are adding probable cases to our daily reports to better align with Washington State Department of Health data, which includes probable cases. The active case count includes both confirmed and antigen probable cases.”

Because the state’s reporting system was down Sunday for maintenance, it’s expected that today’s number is an undercount. Any cases that were not imported in the state system yesterday, will be imported today and included in tomorrow’s total.

  • 156 new confirmed cases (avg. 52 per day Fri-Sun)  
  • 19,996 confirmed cases to date
  • 27 new antigen probable cases
  • 746 antigen probable cases to date
  • No new deaths
  • 245 total deaths to date (219 confirmed, 26 suspect)
  • 406 active cases (confirmed and probable cases in isolation period)
  • 21 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 4 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

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.