Chief Wendi Steinbronn To Retire December 2024; Captain Zane Freschette Assumes Leadership Role in January 2025

After 31 years of dedicated service to the community as a law enforcement professional, including 5 years in Washougal, Chief Wendi Steinbronn has announced her retirement from the Washougal Police Department, effective December 31, 2024. Chief Steinbronn has been an integral part of the department’s growth and success, leaving a lasting legacy of commitment and professionalism.

“I have decided to retire after many fulfilling years in law enforcement. I have cherished my time here and will deeply miss our incredible team, and I am immensely proud of our achievements,” commented Chief Steinbronn.

In her tenure as chief, Steinbronn has overseen numerous initiatives aimed at enhancing public safety and community relations in Washougal. Specifically, these achievements include departmental accreditation, the successful implementation of body-worn camera and drone programs, establishing National Night Out as an annual event, and the recent strategic operational review that has charted the department’s path forward.

“We are grateful for Chief Steinbronn’s outstanding service and leadership throughout her tenure,” said City Manager David Scott. “Her contributions have made a significant impact on the safety and well-being of our community, and we wish her and her husband the best as they enter this new phase of life.”

Chief Steinbronn and her husband, a retired Portland Police officer, plan to embark on a new chapter as empty nesters. They are eagerly anticipating more time for travel, golf, and house projects.

Captain Zane Freschette to Take On Role of Chief

City Manager David Scott announced today that he is promoting Captain Zane Freschette to assume leadership upon Chief Steinbronn’s retirement.

“I am pleased to promote Captain Freschette. He is ready to assume the chief role, and I have every confidence that he will successfully lead the team at Washougal Police as they serve our community into the future,” said Scott. “He has strong support from City leadership and the entire police department.”

Captain Freschette brings nearly two decades of experience within the department, having excelled in roles such as detective, patrol sergeant, administrative sergeant and captain. His tenure has demonstrated exceptional leadership and a deep understanding of community policing. He also recently graduated as a member of the 289th session of the FBI National Academy. He is the first officer in department history to complete this prestigious program. Nationally, fewer than one percent of officers have the opportunity to attend the program.

In endorsing Captain Freschette to lead the department, Steinbronn emphasized, “Throughout my career, leadership development has been my passion, and I have prioritized succession planning from day one. I am delighted that Captain Freschette will be at the helm of the department. He is a remarkable leader with an unwavering commitment to our mission. I have learned as much from him as I hope he has learned from me, and I am forever grateful for the trust placed in me by the city and community to guide the Washougal Police Department toward a secure and vibrant future.”

Captain Freschette expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to lead the Washougal Police Department, saying “I am deeply honored to step into the role of Washougal’s next Chief of Police. I am eager to collaborate with Chief Steinbronn during our remaining time together and build upon her legacy as we move the department forward. Our team is exceptional, and it is a privilege to serve alongside them. I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to uphold safety and trust in Washougal, working closely with our community and the dedicated members of the Washougal Police Department.”

The transition from Chief Steinbronn to Chief Freschette will be smooth, ensuring consistent service and dedication to the people of Washougal. The department remains committed to public safety, community engagement, and maintaining professional excellence.

Washougal, WA — The City of Washougal has detected trace amounts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in its drinking water supply. PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals widely used in consumer products and industrial applications since the 1940s, known for their inability to breakdown easily in the environment. PFAS are often referred to as “forever chemicals.”

Between February and May 2024, routine testing conducted by the City identified PFAS levels slightly above the newly established Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines of 4 parts per trillion (ppt) at least one time, on at least one PFAS substance at each of the 6 city wellheads. Testing results can be found at https://cityofwashougal.us/PFAS. Despite being below the State Action Level (SAL) set by the Washington State Department of Health, these levels prompted public notification. 

On April 10, 2024, the EPA announced the final National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six PFAS. The new limit from the EPA for levels of PFAS in drinking water is set at 4 parts per trillion. For perspective, 1 part per trillion translates to 1 second in approximately 32,000 years or a single drop of water in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The recommended limits are based on long-term exposure to PFAS throughout a person’s life and represent a conservative level at which no adverse impacts are expected over a lifetime of drinking the water, even in health-sensitive populations.

“The health and safety of our residents are our top priorities,” commented Public Works Director Trevor Evers. “Upon detecting these low levels of PFAS, we have taken immediate steps to ensure our drinking water remains safe and compliant with regulatory standards.”

The City of Washougal currently operates six wells across its service area and continues to thoroughly monitor water quality in accordance with federal and state requirements. The discovery of PFAS has prompted the City to act by investigating interim measures to safeguard the community’s water supply.

Work underway includes:

  • Testing the water supply: Operations staff continue to test and monitor water quality in compliance with state and federal requirements to ensure a safe water supply.
  • Evaluating treatment options: Water quality engineers are evaluating treatment technologies to remove PFAS from the water supply.
  • Finding long-term solutions: Expert scientists are investigating potential sources of PFAS and the extent of PFAS in the local groundwater supply.
  • Planning for the future: Future costs for PFAS treatment are included in the City’s long-range capital plans.

PFAS can accumulate in the environment and persist for extended periods. The new EPA regulations underscore the urgency of monitoring and managing these contaminants, with public water systems required to conduct initial monitoring by 2027 and implement corrective actions, if necessary, by 2029.

“We are committed to transparency and proactive communication with our residents,” said David Scott, City Manager. “Regular updates on PFAS testing results and our ongoing efforts to address this issue will be readily available to ensure our community remains informed.”

Residents are encouraged to visit the City’s website at cityofwashougal.us/PFAS for the latest information on PFAS testing, mitigation efforts, and educational material. Additionally, statewide PFAS testing results can be accessed through the Washington State Department of Health’s PFAS Dashboard at https://doh.wa.gov/data-and-statistical-reports/washington-tracking-network-wtn/pfas/dashboard

Ponderosa
Ponderosa Garage Doors Who said your garage door has to look boring😏😏 Contact Ponderosa Garage Doors today and see what they can do for you. They also give back to the community. Plus, their team has a special! Just mention “Camas Athletics” when you place your order and the team at Ponderosa will donate 5% of the order to Camas Athletics Boosters Club, and it’s a good idea to have your garage doors inspected. Call 360.684.1933. They have a $100 coupon, too. Learn all about it.

Camas, WA — Third Congressional District candidate and Camas City Council member, Leslie Lewallen, a Republican, today released her agenda on solving the region’s drug epidemic.

In her statement, she said “Fentanyl and dangerous drugs have invaded the Evergreen State and have created a dangerous epidemic that is destroying families and killing our kids. In 2023, the DEA removed 4.8 million lethal doses of fentanyl in Washington state and over 1,700 people lost their lives due to overdoses in Washington – a 37% increase. We have to acknowledge that our drug epidemic is a result of our wide-open southern border.”

Lewallen said that fentanyl and dangerous opioids come across the southern border, up the Interstate 5 corridor, and into our communities. 

“President Biden and his Democratic cronies like Marie Gluesenkamp Perez are responsible for our border crisis and under their rule, Washington is a border state. They have cut laws to secure our border and support our brave border patrol agents and are standing by as these poisons enter our communities.

“Last week, I met with these parents during a town hall in Camas. I heard the heartbreaking stories of the murders of their children and the devastating effects that fentanyl and other deadly drugs have wrought on their families. I discussed my agenda to close our southern border, give victims the resources they need, and take back Southwestern Washington from the drugs that have infiltrated us”.

Lewallen’s Agenda

  • Secure our southern border and implement President Trump’s policies including “Remain in Mexico” policy, support our border patrol agents, and build the wall. 
  • Implement a 30-day grace period where insurance companies have to provide care before they can deny it. 
  • Require healthcare centers to be proactive and reach out to those struggling with addiction with resources and ensure that a detox process is complete before being released. Private facilities will take “pro bono” cases to help people – not just the ones with money.
  • Hold drug dealers accountable with harsher sentencing and work with the District Attorney’s office to ensure prosecution. 

To learn more about Lewallen’s campaign, click here.

They source the grapes from eastern Washington, have their own grape vineyard in Brush Prairie, bottle their own wine, and now Lane Cellars has their own tasting room in downtown Camas, which opened in February.

“We make the wine, we are winemakers,” said Kimberly Lane, co-owner of Lane Cellars. “We have been wine enthusiasts for many years, then started volunteering in the local industry in 2012 with another winery helping out with harvest and crushing, and we just got into it.”  

Kimberly, and her husband, John, became home winemakers, went commercial in 2017, are part of the Southwest Washington Winery Association, and by 2019 they had enough production and became a part of the Camas Farmer’s Market. It was an exercise in patience when the COVID pandemic hit in 2020.

And, now with their tasting room in downtown Camas, at 340 E 4th Avenue, they have a venue to showcase their products, host live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and give their guests a place to relax. Guests may order wine by the glass, the bottle, or by the flight. They also have a limited light food menu, and serve local IPAs, Pilsner and lagers.

Lane Cellars produces a variety of wines, including Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvigon, and a 50/50 blend that took Best in Class in the Red Bordeaux category.  The blend is 50% Cabernet Franc, 50% Petit Verdot and has become a guest favorite.

Guests love to spend time at Lane Cellars, which is quickly becoming a destination for wine lovers, and music fans. Make sure to visit on Friday’s and Saturday’s to enjoy live entertainment.

Tasting room hours

Wednesday-Thursday: 3-8 pm.

Friday: 3-9 pm.

Saturday: noon-9 pm.

Sunday: noon-5 pm.

Learn more at lane-cellars.com

Lane Cellars

Camas, WA — Camas Days, an annual event since 1974, is a two-day festival focusing on family fun, arts and crafts, as well as a wine and beer garden with live music by “The Caddies” and “The Beth Willis Band”. This event draws nearly 15,000 people and will take place on Friday, July 26th and Saturday, July 27th in downtown Camas. The festival starts with the opening of vendor booths, both days, from 10 am to 8 pm. The wine and beer garden will be open from 5 pm until 11 pm.

On Friday, the Kid’s Parade will march down 4th Avenue at 11:30 am and on Saturday, the Main Parade “America the Beautiful” will start at 11 am.  There will be bands, dignitaries, drill teams, floats, animals, toilet paper tossing hosted by Georgia Pacific, and more. The parade will kick off with our Grand Marshall, Brent Erickson, in honor of his 20 years of service in organizing Camas Days. Brent is a lifelong resident of Camas and has served his community in many ways.  He served on the Camas Parks Board for 24 years, was a volunteer firefighter for 14 years, and was the Executive Director of the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce for 20 years prior to his retirement in 2020. He also served on the Hotel Lodging Tax Committee, Shoreline Committee, and the Committee for a Community Center and Pool.  

Immediately following the grand parade is our iconic Bathtub Race located between the Camas Library and City Hall. Firefighters are on hand cooling the crowd down with water hoses!   

Kids and kids-at-heart will be entertained on our Kids Street. This area is equipped with a giant inflatable slide, inflatable obstacle course, games and other kid activities.  

The Camas Days Festival is a two-day block party of fun, craft vendors, informational vendors, food, drinks, and entertainment for everyone. There are have over 100 craft and commercial vendors, 16 food vendors, and a new section for young entrepreneurs.   

Parade applications and Bathtub Race applications are available at: www.cwchamber.com

The Columbian’s Best of Clark County rated Camas Days the 2nd best festival in Clark County, second only behind the Clark County Fair. 

Ponderosa
Ponderosa Garage Doors Who said your garage door has to look boring😏😏 Contact Ponderosa Garage Doors today and see what they can do for you. They also give back to the community. Plus, their team has a special! Just mention “Camas Athletics” when you place your order and the team at Ponderosa will donate 5% of the order to Camas Athletics Boosters Club, and it’s a good idea to have your garage doors inspected. Call 360.684.1933. They have a $100 coupon, too. Learn all about it.
Camas Days

Camas, WA — The Camas Washougal Fire Department (CWFD) is developing plans to replace the existing Fire Station 41 to ensure adequate fire and emergency medical services for the local community as population continues to grow.

A new station will serve as the headquarters for CWFD and will be located in downtown Camas, in the core of the department’s response area. Currently, the downtown Camas emergency response personnel, the Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO) and the administrative staff are decentralized; operating out of separate buildings and remote to each other. As the headquarters facility, a downtown Camas station will house response personnel, apparatuses, administrative staff and the FMO.

Why is CWFD Requesting a new Fire Station 41?

The current Fire Station 41 facility has outlived its useful life and cannot be increased in size to accommodate the needs required of a modern fire station, including:

  • Ability to withstand a significant earthquake
  • Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Space for additional firefighters/EMS personnel to meet growing demands
  • Crucial, up-to-date decontamination facilities and separation to limit firefighters’ carcinogen exposure
  • Elimination of apparatus exhaust from entering City Hall’s interior office spaces
  • Space for fire apparatus
  • Mandated safety clearances around equipment
  • Facilities for a diverse workforce (male/female changing rooms) to be consistent with diversity, equity and inclusion guidelines
  • Providing public access to emergency service crews
  • Providing parking for emergency medical drive-ins
  • Providing private medical screening and treatment area for walk-ins and drive-ins

Where will a new station be located?

After conducting a process which involved considering multiple site options that could accommodate a downtown fire station, several options dropped off the list for a variety of reasons, such as traffic impacts, topography and size, environmental impacts, and cost. This left CWFD with one preferred site to consider as a potential location: a city-owned site adjacent to City Hall and currently occupied by the City as the City Hall Annex, located at 528 NE Fourth Avenue. To maximize the available space for the fire station, City Council is considering vacating (closing) the north half of Everett Street between Third and Fourth avenues to vehicle traffic. This would provide an opportunity to use current street space for the station and create a small plaza or “pocket park” along NE Fourth Avenue that can be used for community events.

Where will the funding come from for a new station?

Funding for a new fire station will come from the sale of voter-approved bonds. Bonds are a funding mechanism for replacing capital facilities and equipment like the fire station and fire engine.

During the August Primary Election, voters will have the opportunity to decide whether to fund the new fire station through a bond-approval. This approval would fund design and construction costs for the new facility. If the bond passes, construction could begin as soon as 2025.

How much will the new station cost Camas homeowners?

The bond amount is $26.3 million based upon preliminary design and cost estimation to cover the full station replacement costs as well as a new fire engine to replace the aging fire engine currently operating out of the existing station.

The monthly cost for most homeowners in Camas will be approximately $9.33 (based upon median assessed home value of $862,000).

Ponderosa
Ponderosa Garage Doors Who said your garage door has to look boring😏😏 Contact Ponderosa Garage Doors today and see what they can do for you. They also give back to the community. Plus, their team has a special! Just mention “Camas Athletics” when you place your order and the team at Ponderosa will donate 5% of the order to Camas Athletics Boosters Club, and it’s a good idea to have your garage doors inspected. Call 360.684.1933. They have a $100 coupon, too. Learn all about it.

Camas, WA — Officials with the City of Camas are encouraging residents to join their friends and neighbors for the Our Camas 2045 Community Summit #1.

The first Our Camas 2045 Community Summit will take place June 12, from 4:30-6:30 pm, at the Lacamas Lake Lodge (227 NE Lake Rd, Camas, WA 98607).

The Community Summit is part of the Our Camas 2045 and Our Downtown Camas 2045 project, which is a city-wide process to update the current Comprehensive Plan and create a Downtown Subarea Plan. Over the past four months, City leaders reached out to the community to help create a new Community Vision Statement that describes how Camas wants to grow over the next 20 years. The Visioning process provides a foundation for updating the City’s 2045 Comprehensive Plan and developing a new Downtown Subarea Plan.

At the first Community Summit, the City will report back on the outreach that took place this past spring, and they’ll unveil the draft Our Camas 2045 Vision Statement. Participants will have an opportunity to vet and refine the draft Vision Statement and identify priorities and opportunities for achieving the vision.

Please join City of Camas officials for a fun and informative evening to discuss the future of Camas! For more information, visit Engagecamas.com or contact Alan Peters, Community Development Director at 360-817-7254 or email [email protected]

Ponderosa
Ponderosa Garage Doors Who said your garage door has to look boring😏😏 Contact Ponderosa Garage Doors today and see what they can do for you. They also give back to the community. Plus, their team has a special! Just mention “Camas Athletics” when you place your order and the team at Ponderosa will donate 5% of the order to Camas Athletics Boosters Club, and it’s a good idea to have your garage doors inspected. Call 360.684.1933. They have a $100 coupon, too. Learn all about it.

Camas, WA – Camas business owners are excited to announce the launch of the Explore Camas Passport, a program designed to reward consumers for shopping and dining local. The official launch date for the Summer 2024 Explore Camas passport is June 1, 2024. This unincorporated group of business owners met in January 2024 to brainstorm ways to collaborate and promote the vast array of businesses and services throughout Downtown Camas. 

The Explore Camas Passport is a fun way to engage and reward the community for supporting local. Passport holders collect stamps from participating locations through making a purchase, taking a class, or joining in on an activity. After accumulating at least 20 stamps, the passport holder is then eligible for a special discount or offer from each of those locations. Completed passports are submitted to the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce by September 30th to be entered into the Grand Prize Drawing valued at over $1500.

The Launch Party for the Summer Passport is Saturday, June 1. Look for Red Balloons throughout Downtown Camas identifying participating locations.

“Our group of 29 businesses have worked hard to develop this robust campaign to show our appreciation for everyone who shops and supports local small businesses. Camas has a wide variety of boutiques, restaurants, and services set in a charming atmosphere. We are excited to introduce the Explore Camas Passport program and to give consumers another fun way to experience Camas,” said Suzanne Ferguson, owner of Juxtaposition.

Participating Businesses

  • 4Ever Growing Kids 
  • Allure Boutique 
  • Arktana
  • Autumn Leaf Books 
  • Caffe Piccolo 
  • Camas Antiques
  • Camas Boutique Hotel 
  • Camas Cellars 
  • Camas Plant & Gift
  • Feast 316 
  • Grains of Wrath 
  • Hidden River Roasters
  • Its Bookish 
  • Jazzercise Camas 
  • Juxtaposition
  • Keller Med Spa 
  • Lane Cellars 
  • Lily Boutique
  • Livewell Camas 
  • Natalia’s Café 
  • Nuestra Mesa
  • Papermaker Pride 
  • Periwinkles Toy Shop 
  • Poppy & Hawk
  • Red Door Gallery 
  • Runyan’s Jewelers 
  • Salud/Giatti’s
  • Sweet Intention Gift 
  • Tommy O’s

Sponsors: Edward Jones and Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce

The businesses are also planning to release a Holiday version of the Explore Camas Passport, November 1, 2024. The passport development, design, printing, distribution, and marketing funded and developed solely by this unincorporated group of business owners, working together to promote Downtown Camas and increase community engagement.

More information will be available on the merchant Facebook page Explore Camas Passport beginning May 28, 2024. This page will feature the VIP discounts available to participants once they have achieved 20 stamps and will announce the Grand Prize Winner.

The team at Daily Paper Coffee Roasters answered several Lacamas Magazine questions about their new business.

When is Daily Paper Coffee Roasters opening?

The opening date is yet to be announced, we ask that the community follow us on our social media platforms for when we announce our official grand opening date. We hope to launch July/August. 

https://www.instagram.com/dailypapercoffee?igsh=ZDZ3YWNlYzE2ZW53

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61556164376313&mibextid=LQQJ4d

What is your business all about?

Daily Paper is all about catering to the community and being a hub for good coffee that’s local. Roasting on site and offering a unique selection of pastries that are baked not even 200 feet from the shop at Camas Market. 

Why did you decide to open at this location? 

Address: 3016 NE Everett St Camas WA 98607

This is something that the community has been eagerly anticipating, especially so near to the lake. We have so many hikers, teachers, daily commuters and students on their way through the area that we know this will be a great place for them to stop by. 

Who is running the new shop?

The owner of the shop is Ben Mikhalets, son to the owners of Camas Market & Bakery. He’s been in the coffee industry for 9 years and a roaster for the last 5 years. He graduated from Camas High School and currently lives in Camas. 

What do you want Daily Paper Coffee to be known for? 

Our goal for this shop is to be that place where people can stop by for a quality cup of coffee. We see it as someone’s mid day pick me up or the stop you make while walking the dog through the park. The people of Camas know what local is and they are an incredibly supportive bunch. We know because we’ve felt their support in the Camas Farmers market for the last decade and their support of the opening of Camas Market & Bakery.

Washougal, WA — Washougal Mayor David Stuebe recently declared his candidacy for State Representative (LD-17) to succeed Paul Harris. With a distinguished career in public service and a commitment to community, Stuebe is bringing a wealth of public service experience and a local perspective to the race.

A retired Marine Colonel, Stuebe pledges to champion critical issues such as public safety, affordable housing, and the development of stronger communities in Southwest Washington.

“Having served our nation in the Marine Corps for decades, I understand the importance of safety, security, and unity,” Stuebe said. “As Washougal’s Mayor, I’ve witnessed firsthand the challenges facing our community. Now, I’m ready to take that experience to Olympia and work tirelessly to address these issues at the state level. I have always finished what I started and intend to remain Mayor of Washougal.”

Throughout his tenure as Mayor, Stuebe has demonstrated a commitment to an environment where families can thrive, businesses can prosper, and everyone can feel safe. His platform prioritizes public safety initiatives that aim to bolster law enforcement resources, promote community policing efforts, and enhance emergency response capabilities.

Stuebe said he is dedicated to tackling the pressing issue of affordable housing and recognizes the strain it places on families across the state. He plans to advocate for policies that promote access to affordable options, address the homelessness crisis, and alleviate the burden of skyrocketing housing costs.

Stuebe emphasizes the importance of building stronger communities through investment in infrastructure, education, and healthcare. With a vision of collaboration, he seeks to bridge divides and promote unity among Washingtonians from all walks of life.

For more information about David Stuebe’s campaign call 503-504-3099.