The Camas Police are in full force at Camas High School today and during their investigation have found no credible threats against the students, school, or staff, says Camas School District (CSD) Communications Director, Doreen McKercher.

“We continue to work with CPD,” said CSD Superintendent, Jeff Snell said in an email to parents. “They have increased the number of officers here.  We have also increased district office staff to help with phones and attendance.  Please help us during lunch of being out and about and supporting students – thank you!

“Based on the tension, we will not be supporting a student walkout today.  If you could share with students that we understand their frustration, but given the day I would appreciate them going to class at the end of the second lunch.”

Announcements from CHS Administration:

  • The College and Career Fair scheduled for this evening at Camas High School is canceled. We will work to identify a date and time in the future to support this event. 
  • Knowledge Bowl at Washougal HS is still set to occur.
  • A number of families have elected to excuse their student from school today. Because of the high volume of traffic, and to best facilitate these family requests, students are being permitted to sign themselves out of school today. These absences will only be excused retroactively if we receive a voicemail or email from a parent. Please connect with your students or check their attendance in Skyward if you are unsure whether or not they are here.
  • If students are absent today and have athletic events, they will still be allowed to participate. If the event is away, they will need to back at CHS in time to ride the bus. 

Just a couple days after screenshots of deleted controversial Facebook posts related to the death of basketball star Kobe Bryant, Camas High School principal Dr. Liza Sejkora was put on administrative leave by Camas School District Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Snell.

The announcement came via email from Snell, which reads as follows:

CHS Community,

I am following up with you regarding the situation at Camas High School. Our priority is always the safety of our students and staff. In light of threats to Dr. Sejkora and concern from our community, Dr. Sejkora has been placed on administrative leave today pending the outcome of our investigation. We will continue to have additional staff at Camas High School for support. I appreciate your patience during this process as it has been a very challenging time. I will update you with any changes in our status.  

Sincerely, 

Jeff Snell, Superintendent
Camas School District

Snell is meeting with Camas Police again on Wednesday morning and will provide another update to the community.

Threats against Sejkora continue to circulate on Twitter and other social media platforms after Facebook screenshots from Next Door application users went viral and local news media outlets, including Lacamas Magazine, picked it up.

Within an hour after the announcement of Bryant’s passing, on January 26, Sejkora wrote the following Facebook post on a private page: “Not gonna lie. Seems to me that karma caught up with a rapist today.”

Within two hours, she deleted the post, and then wrote another, which read: “I just deleted a post. It was deleted because the comments missed my Intent. You are free to judge me for the post just as I am free to judge the person the post was about. Also — if you are shocked I speak my mind on my page, I am honestly surprised.”

Both posts were deleted, but screenshots were taken and started circulating a week later.

The story has been picked up by local and national media, including the New York Times.

Sejkora gave Lacamas Magazine an in-depth interview about the posts, and the aftermath. She issued an apology.

YOUTUBE VIDEO INTERVIEW

Please watch the full interview on our YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/nI6Vq-70htk

We will update you as the story unfolds.

Camas High School will be honoring several Papermakers as they sign their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, February 5th, 2020 at Camas High School North Commons beginning at 9:00 a.m. You are welcome to attend the event. The following student-athletes will be signing:

SOPHIE FRANKLIN will be signing to play softball for the Wolves of Western Oregon in Monmouth Oregon. Sophie will finish her high school career earning a very impressive eightvarsity letters from Camas High School. Sophie lettered all four years in both slowpitch and fastpitch softball. She has been instrumental in leading the Papermaker slowpitch softball team to two league and two district titles, along with two trips to the state tournament. Sophie’s fastpitchteams have reached the state tournament during all three of her varsity seasons so far earning a 4th place finish in both her freshman and sophomore seasons, and a 7th place finish her junior season. Sophie has earned GSHL All-League 1st team honors all four years in slowpitch, capped with a Player of the Year honor her Junior season. In fastpitch Sophie was GSHL All-League 2ndteam her sophomore season and GSHL All-League 1st team her junior season, with her senior season still to come. While in Monmouth, Sophie will be studying social sciences and American Sign Language. 

Parents Joe and Anneli Franklin – Placing 4th in two state tournaments, and all the bus rides to state and bi-district tournaments. 

BRYCE LEIGHTON is the next Papermaker kicker from a long line of excellence to be moving on to play football in college. Bryce will be playing for the Bobcats of Montana State in Bozeman Montana. Bryce is a three year letterman in football. He is a two time GSHL All-League 1st team award winner, and during his senior campaign was also recognized as 1st team All-State and the very first Papermaker Under Armour All-American. Bryce was an important piece to the Papermaker undefeated state champion team his senior season. While in Bozeman, Bryce will be studying environmental engineering. 

Parents Ryan and Lori Leighton – Memorable moment was winning the 2019 Washington State Championship.

ELIZABETH PARKER is also headed across the river, and she will be playing soccer for the Western Oregon Wolves in Monmouth Oregon. Elizabeth lettered in soccer for the Papermakers three years. During those three years, her teams were GSHL league champions twice and finished with a 3rd place state finish her sophomore year and a 2nd place state finish her junior year. Elizabeth has been recognized as a GSHL All-League player during all of her three seasons with 2nd team honors her sophomore and junior seasons and 1st team honors her senior season. She is a two time GSHL academic All-League award winner, and will study elementary education while playing for the Wolves. 

Parents Scott and Tamar Parker – Memorable moment playing for the state championship in 2018, and Coach Minders stories and his attempt to teach me German. 

RUSH REIMER will be joining his teammate on the football team in Bozeman Montana to play for the Bobcats of Montana State University. Rush is a two year letterman in football and also received a letter for winter cheer. Rush has received GSHL All-League 1st team honors his junior and senior seasons, and was also recognized as 1st team All-State his senior season. His efforts on the offensive line helped the Papermakers to an undefeated season and the schools second state championship in 2019. While playing for the Bobcats, Rush will be studying engineering. 

Parents Eric and Jamie Reimer – Memorable moment winning the state championship in 2019.

Camas High School
www.VixonCabinets.com

ALEXZANDER SAMODUROV will be traveling further than any Papermaker has traveled as he will be playing soccer for Liverpool John Moores University in Brownlow Hill Liverpool United Kingdom. Alexzander will be a four season letterman for the Papermakers lettering in soccer for three seasons and lettered in cross country one season. He has been recognized as GHSL All-League 1st team his sophomore and junior seasons with still his senior season to play. Alexzander also received All-Region selection his junior season for leading the GSHL in assists on the season. In Liverpool Alexzander plans to study engineering. 

Parents Cliff and Jennifer Samodurov – Memorable moment goal against Issaquah in the 2019 season. 

RILEY SINCLAIR is our first Papermaker baseball player to sign in 2020. Riley will be playing for the Redhawks of Seattle University in Seattle next year. Riley will end up a three year letterman for the Papermakers, and led his team to a GSHL league championship, district championship and an appearance in the state tournament his junior season. He was selected as GSHL All-League 1st team and 1st team All-State his junior season with his senior season still yet to play. Riley will study sports science and physical therapy while attending school in Seattle. 

Parents Eric and Marin Sinclair – Memorable moment sweeping Skyview High School junior season. 

TRISTAN SOUZA will be headed east to play football for the Cougars of Washington State University. Tristan is also a three year letterman for the Papermakers and will leave Camas High School as a state champion winning a league and state championship during his senior season in 2019. Tristan has received high recognition playing on both offense and defense for the Papermakers. He is a GSHL All-League 1st team offensive and defensive lineman, along with an All-Region and 1st team All-State defensive lineman. Tristan is undecided on what he will study in Pullman

Parents Aaron MacDonald and Emily Tanner – Memorable moment winning a state championship in 2019.

CAADYN STEPHEN is the third Papermaker offensive lineman to be recognized today, as he will be playing football in Los Angeles California for the University of Southern California Trojans. Caadyn played his freshman and sophomore years in Anchorage Alaska before moving to Camas. He will earn two football letters, one basketball letter and one track and field letter as a Papermaker. Caadyn is also involved with the Camas High School unified basketball program. Although he was injured for most of his senior season, he played a large part in the Papermakers second state championship in 2019. While playing for USC, Caadyn will study business and entrepreneurship. 

Parents Jeremiah and Camie Stephen – Memorable moment winning state championship in 2019. 

LAURISSA TSUKIMURA is signing to play soccer for Pacific University in Forest Grove Oregon. Laurissa has been a part of the girls’ soccer program as well as the Camas High School unified soccer for two years. She is an honors scholarship winner, and has been recognized for several academic awards at Camas High School. While playing soccer for the Boxers, Laurissawill be studying education. 

Parents Lance and Tish Tsukimura –

KENNETH WRIGHT is our fourth Papermaker state champion football player that is moving on to play football at the college level next year. Kenny will be playing for the Orediggers of Colorado School of Mines in Boulder Colorado. He is a three year letterman in football and a one year letterman in basketball. Kenny served as captain of the state championship team and is a four time GSHL scholar athlete award winner, along with a National Football Foundation scholar athlete award winner and to take it a step further he is also a National Merit semifinalist. While in Boulder and wearing Blaster the Burro mascot, Kenny will be studying Civil Engineering. 

Parents Nick and Kristen Wright – Memorable moment winning the 4A team state championship.

For the first time in its 16+ year history, Lily Atelier, the iconic Downtown Camas women’s clothing boutique, now has a website — www.lilyatelier.com — which is now open for business.

When Marilyn Reed, Lily Atelier’s new owner, purchased the store in November 2019 she came with a plan to build on the brand’s success, which included a new website, store renovations, technological additions, and many other projects.

“We’re so pleased that Lily now has a website,” said Reed. “This helps us provide an ever better level of customer service, and it allows us to reach so many more people.”

The site encapsulates the Lily Atelier brand with vendor images and descriptions, sale items, product for purchase, a look at the store’s history and where it’s headed, as well a new blog to keep customers updated on Lily news.

“Our blog will build on our fantastic social media sites to include news about product, staff, store updates, and fashion tips. It’s so exciting,” said Reed.

Local Camas merchants have been very supportive of the expansion, and consider Lily Atelier a destination boutique.

“People come from all over to visit Lily Atelier,” said Carrie Schulstad, Executive Director of the Downtown Camas Association. “Having a website will help them reach even greater heights! This store is a great contributor to the success of downtown Camas. We couldn’t be happier for them. We are very grateful and thank them for their added enthusiasm and investment in downtown Camas, and for the increased engagement that they’re planning for.”

The iconic women’s boutique has become a destination venue for many of their customers, and many call in orders from all over the country as they are able to procure hard-to-find products. Lily Atelier is also credited with being a major contributor to the continued Downtown Camas renaissance.

Lily Atelier
Visit www.LilyAtelier.com

Many of you love the game CLUE and now is your chance to play the First Friday version! Join in the “Case of the Missing Snickerdoodles”, Friday, January 3rd from 5-8 pm. Dress in CLUE inspired game suspects attire and get extra tickets to win!

First Friday Activities:

  • Find fun clues in participating merchants to solve the “Case of the Missing Snickerdoodles” and earn tickets to win prizes!
  • Get a FREE snickerdoodle from Cake Happy when you solve the mystery!
  • Art Receptions & Shows
  • Fun Kid’s winter crafts and Lego table
  • Get 5 free tickets to win if you dress like one of the characters in the Parker Brothers “CLUE” game!
  • Take a selfie with CLUE characters throughout town and enter to win for each that you find
  • “CLUE” will be showing at the Liberty Theatre at 8 pm
  • Earn extra tickets to win with every $10 spent in downtown!

Start your night at the DCA tables at Journey at 4th and Birch.

**Are you ready to create? We will have the last Little Art Camas 2020 panel pick up at Journey Church that night from 5-8pm.  It will be so much fun and a great way to show your creativity!

Come put your sleuth hat on and see if you can figure it out! Start your night at the DCA tables at Journey at 4th and Birch.

A look at a Camas First Friday from 2018: https://lacamasmagazine.com/2018/11/events-camas-first-friday-features-gratitude-for-delicious-pie.html

Clue

As I produced the 2019 Year in Review video, it caused me to think about the major events that defined us, made our eyes pop, or just simply made one grateful to live in this community. So, I compiled a list of Top 6 stories that stirred up those reactions in my heart.

Mayor’s Race + Prop 2

Without a doubt, the Fall election results were both stunning and eye opening. Never in all my years have I seen a proposition go down in such flames (90-10) or have a sitting mayor (Shannon Turk) get voted out by a write-in candidate (Barry McDonnell) with zero political or public service experience.

Proposition 2 was doomed to fail for several reasons, the first of which was the price tag, but it also didn’t go through the proper processes. Voters saw it as rushed and ill-conceived, and didn’t reflect the findings of a months-long pool committee. City workers did their best to come up with a plan under very rushed conditions, and ultimately a series of options were presented to council that allowed voters to make the ultimate decision.

The price tag ($78 million) presented by former City Administrator Pete Capell was something that City Councilor Ellen Burton warned “is all the voters will hear.“ Her words were prophetic.

It’s telling because it shows me that in a society riddled with partisanship we CAN agree on something 90-10. The anti-Prop 2 movement shows us that people of all political persuasions can rally and work together. The synergy created by that movement was enough to generate a wave that upended Camas leadership.

The Camas 2019 Fall election stories are akin to a 100-year storm. You probably won’t see this again in our lifetime.

Stories
Anastasia McDonnel, forefront, listens to her husband, Barry McDonnell, at the Camas Mayoral debate.

Small Business Revolution

When the Small Business Revolution (SBR) team visited Camas in January, Mill Town rolled out the red carpet. When we made Top 6, a town united. It was refreshing to see so many people work to get out the vote. Merchants, students, teachers, civic leaders and athletes all rallied to help Camas become the SBR focus of season 4 of their Hulu show, “Main Street.”

We fell short of the goal, but it was beautiful to see people working together for a common cause. It was fun to cover all the SBR stories.

Stories
Small Business Revolution — Main Street host, Amanda Brinkman, visits with the team at Lily Atelier in Downtown Camas.

Camas Produce Accident

I remember sitting in my office when I got the alert that a vehicle had plowed into Camas Produce. I remember thinking this is the kind of thing that happens in OTHER towns — certainly not here. Arriving at the scene I saw the significant damage done to the quaint and popular store.

The driver was cited with DUI and reckless endangerment, and it took the majority of the year to get the store back online. Each week for months, people inquired about when the store would open, and what they could do to help. We did our best to keep pushing out stories related to this accident, and it’s nice to have the store back.

Camas Producee
Damage at the front.

Love for the Lintons

When Camden Linton was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, the owners at Natalia’s Cafe were asked to help raise money for their family. Erica Slothower, owner of the cafe, along with Wendy Delbosque, worked with Kristen Gardiner, to organize a carnival and silent auction. In a single day, they raised tens of thousands of dollars!

Many hours were spent organizing the event, and it’s a tribute to Natalia’s Cafe and the entire town to see so much love pour into one family in need. I broke down in tears when I witnessed Erica present a can filled with cash. It was one of the stories that define a town.

Stories
Erica Slothower presents Kristen Gardiner with a can of cash.

Stuff The Bus

For the first time, I saw firsthand the behind-the-scenes work of the annual Stuff The Bus campaign. I met with organizers, traveled with students and volunteers to witness the donations be collected and ultimately delivered — and those were reflected in our stories. I also saw the promotions that went into it, and was moved by the video we produced featuring Washougal and Camas School District Superintendents Mary Templeton and Jeff Snell. Seeing two Ph.D’s running through Safeway with carts was both hilarious and priceless. The entire Stuff The Bus campaign shows the generosity of two towns dedicated to lifting up their neighbors.

Here is a Stuff The Bus video report: https://youtu.be/-_bFtCNJpXY and

Stories
www.MyHeavensBest.com

Camas High School Football Wins State Championship

It was a surreal and special moment when I stood next to the young Papermakers as they clinched the 2019 State Title! I’d watched for months (really years) as these boys dedicated themselves to winning — and representing a grateful town.

The boys aren’t perfect, but they’re also unlike any other football team I’ve ever covered. They have character and focus. They have love and respect. They have discipline and drive. They will go down in history as one of the greatest teams to ever represent Camas. The victory is forever theirs.

I can’t wait to release the Revenge Tour documentary later this month.

We look forward to covering the stories of 2020. Stay tuned.

Stories
Camas 2019 Football team at the State Championship.

In 2019, Lacamas Magazine published more than 1,000 stories, videos, and social media posts, so we put together a Year in Review video report that spotlights about half of them in 1 second images.

YOUTUBE VIDEO

Here’s the video link: https://youtu.be/dft0G35QeEg

From sports to politics, dining and news, our company has worked hard to bring current stories in a timely manner.

2019 (January 2, to be specific) started off with the Small Business Revolution (SBR) tour of Camas for two days. Several members of the SBR team, including the show’s star, Amanda Brinkman, started their 10-city tour in Mill Town getting to know merchants and held a town celebration at Grains of Wrath. They filmed several segments at local stores and restaurants, and brought the attention of local news stations.

In December, the Camas High School football team won the 4A State Championship defeating Bothell 35-14 at Mt. Tacoma Stadium. The boys named the season “Revenge Tour” and finished with a perfect 14-0 record.

In between, there were major accidents, a contentious Fall election, sports championships, along with tragedies and triumphs.

Review
www.MyHeavensBest.com

Meet 14 year-old Ben Schluter, a Camas High School freshman and two-time Oregon State Champion boxer with an eye on a National title.

Ben won his second consecutive State title on November 30, and even though he lives in Camas, his gym is in Portland, so he fights out of Oregon. 

“I won the State title in Medford, then I go to Regionals in Boise, Idaho on January 6,” Ben said. “If I win that I go to Nationals to compete with kids in the 114-pound division — up to 16 years old. You have to meet certain weight classes and they fight each other, and depending on age it’s 1 minute, 1-minute-30, 2 minutes and 3-minute rounds.” 

Ben competes in 1:30 and 2:00 minute rounds. Has never been knocked out, but has been knocked down. 

“It’s a win by decision at this age group,” said Tim Schluter, Ben’s father. “They place a great deal of emphasis on safety. If they notice a kid getting overwhelmed, they’ll end it. All these bouts are pretty competitive. A vast majority by decisions. It’s not cumulative scoring, it’s round by round. If he wins more rounds than his opponent, then they award him the decision. You don’t know results until they announce it.” 

Everyone has three rounds in amateur boxing, and a win is defined by one of these areas:

  • Knockout
  • Judge stops the fight
  • By decision (if it goes all the way to the very end)

A boxer for seven years, Ben trains at West Portland Boxing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“It’s a little drive but it helps me a lot,” said Ben, the second of four brothers (he’s the only boxer; his brother Cole wrestles for Camas). “My workouts last two hours, but I usually get there early and go run on a treadmill. On my off days I work out at home. I usually run 3-4 miles and work out inside my garage. I do this year round. It helps me with self-discipline. I like getting belts, trophies and lots of wins. And I like hitting people.”

Boxer
Ben loves being a boxer. With his father, Tim Schluter. Photos by Nest and Love Photography. www.NestandLove.com

And, what does mom say?

“My husband goes to the majority of the matches, so he actually travels with Ben often,” said Kim Schluter, Ben’s mother. “Sports like boxing and wrestling are so different, and it’s very one-on-one and individual and it’s given him so much determination, drive and character. It helps in maturity because it’s very individual. He has some great coaches and mentors. I hesitated when he started.” 

Although Ben has boxed since second grade, Tim said it’s only been the last three years where it’s been his singular focus.

Boxing
www.MyHeavensBest.com

“I’ve always been a fan on the sport and we watched it together and he pursued it,” said Tim. “When he was young, it was more casual. The last three years he was single-minded to this sport. There are so many misconceptions about boxing — it’s far more of a mental sport. There are so many kids that are bigger, stronger and faster, but they don’t make it because there’s no drive, persistence or grit. It’s like all sports — it’s an allegory of life. You’re just competing against yourself.”

Ben’s goal is to win every belt.

VIDEO INTERVIEW

Here’s a link to our YouTube video interview with Ben: https://youtu.be/YFyRCDgpOak

What else drives him?

“It’s just seeing the satisfaction of winning, I have a really great coaches: Jason Marquiot and Victor Morales, Sr., and a great mentor with professional boxer Victor Morales, Jr. who attended Union High School,” said Ben. “He has 13 wins, 7 knockouts, and he’s shown me how to keep pressing forward.”

Ben is satisfied with the personal development, which Tim said is hard to see day to day, but comparing past videos makes it more clear. 

Coaching is about learning the basics: straight punches, feet work, how to move, your reaction time, learning learn how to counter. There are lots of workouts, hitting the bag, shadow boxing.

“There’s a group that trains together,” said Ben. “There’s a big group. We have 25 people there, and five or six of them are competing, while others are there to just work out. I really saw that when I first started, then I saw others getting trophies, and belts and wins. There’s a lot of self-motivation. At home workouts, I shadow box at the gym, so here I do jump ropes and running, push ups, sit ups.”

“When I’m done with a tough opponent, a lot of times I feel like I’m gonna throw up. A lot of time I’m really gassed which is why we don’t have two fights in one day.” 

Last year, Ben competed in the 13-14 year bracket at Nationals in Kansas City, Missouri. There are eight regions that meet at Nationals. USABoxing.org is the governing body for all the amateur tournaments.

“I want to win Nationals, just one step at a time,” he said. “It’s a very mental sport, and you try to figure out how to punch and control your anger.” 

Washougal, WA — ‘Tis the season for giving and this year that giving extended to two Washougal community partners.  The Camas-Washougal Historical Society recently bestowed a vintage sleigh to City of Washougal to add to its annual holiday celebration. 

“We were excited to accept the gift of this beautiful sleigh,” said Molly Coston, Washougal Mayor. “It makes the perfect ride for Santa and Mrs. Claus on their yearly appearance at our Lighted Christmas Parade!  It is so quaint and nostalgic and in great condition.”

“When our museum Display Committee reviewed the Carriage House for winter maintenance and updates, it was decided that the sleigh took up a lot of space and there was no real local story attached to it,” said Karen Johnson, CWHS display committee volunteer “It really did not get much attention where it sat up in the rafters.”

The antique wooden sleigh is a beautiful forest green with silver decorations and plush red horsehair padded seats.  It was originally donated to the CWHS by the estate of Emory Donald Heberling in 2007.  The gift also included a black doctor’s buggy and a small covered wagon which remain on display at the museum’s Carriage House facility. 

“We are pleased that this beautiful piece is going to a home that can share it with the community during the holidays,” said Johnson.

Sleigh
www.MyHeavensBest.com

by Rick Francisco

Parenting during the holidays can be tough no matter the situation. From planning dinner to arranging the perfect family picture, meeting your obligations may require a little help. The holidays are also uniquely difficult for families going through divorce, undertaking new child custody matters, and those struggling with past or ongoing domestic violence.

The first step in providing a healthy home for your child is to relieve your own stress. If you are going through a divorce or simply unhappy with your current shared parenting time, speaking with an attorney experienced in managing these types of issues will provide a calm to the holidays when you need it most.

Second, planning ahead will reduce issues that can arise this year and the next. What happens if your tradition is to celebrate the holidays in Miami, but the child’s other parent wants to travel to Boston for New Years? We have helped countless clients determine the solution best suited to meet their family’s needs and the children’s school schedules.

Parenting
Attorney Rick Francisco

Finally, holiday events can bring people together for better and for worse. If you believe an individual intends to harm you or your child, there are steps we can take to help you avoid situations which may be dangerous. When you feel secure in your home, you can truly enjoy the company of your loved ones.

Instead of worrying about meeting deadlines and filing paperwork, we want to get you back to the best parts of the holidays. Minus the fruitcake.

Contact the law firm of McKean Smith today for a consultation. Visit www.McKeanSmithLaw.com