Camas, WA — A little more than a month since taking ownership of the Camas Hotel, co-owners Prashant Gupta and Bobby Sachdeva continue to make improvements at the iconic property.

They’ve purchased new linens, replaced mattresses, painted, cleaned, pressure washed, polished windows and doors, upgraded lighting, and are replacing air conditioning units.

“Hospitality is the focus of what we do,” said Gupta. “We focus on the guest. People are giving us great reviews, and they like to see the owners involved. And, we’re very impressed by the welcome we received when we first arrived. Carrie at DCA has been very positive. It’s been a great experience. We enjoy our neighbors at Arktana and Juxtaposition. I see here the warmth is unparalleled. It makes things very, very good.” 

Gupta enjoys the commitment he sees from fellow merchants, the DCA and the Chamber of Commerce. Gupta and Sachdeva said their investments in the hotel are designed to take care of the customer, and continue to make improvement plans.

They will be making a fourth quarter investment in RFID technology which is a radio frequency card for each hotel room. This is part of an effort to make the hotel more secure, Sachdeva said.

Hotel linens have been upgraded throughout the hotel; all of which are high end. And, they are looking into a brand-new phone system for the hotel. And, they pay very close attention to cleanliness.

“The housekeeping manager Fatima Debrizuela does amazing work,” said Sachdeva. “She’s very thorough. She knows what’s happening in each room.” 

Background

Both owners have experience running businesses. Sachdeva’s father owned hotels and bars in India, so that was part of his upbringing. He then managed JCPenney stores for 20 years, and then got into the liquor store business with two locations in Oregon. Sachdeva saw the Camas Hotel opportunity, so he approached Gupta about purchasing it.

“If he had not approached me I wouldn’t have made this investment,” said Gupta. “I have never owned another hotel, but I have managed hotels for 20 years. Right now, I’m still with the Best Western brand, which is a very unique hotel chain. It’s the largest hotel chain in the world (4,500 locations) and they are all operator-owned.” 

They continue to work with local businesses. Learn more at www.camashotel.com

Camas
Many rooms have been upgraded with new mattresses.
Camas
Luxury linens have been added to the Camas Hotel.

Vancouver, Wash. — A 2018 Camas High School graduate and her team are taking an east Vancouver car wash to a whole new level of service, quality and performance.

Flash Wash, adjacent to Sinclair gas station at 164th and Cascade Park Drive in Vancouver, is nearly a year old now, and Alexa McCallum, a proud Papermaker alumnus, is pretty excited about the work they’re doing.

“We’re building out Flash Wash, will start building out in Washington and Oregon, then California, then all over the country,” said McCallum, who runs the car wash. “It’s fun, it can be stressful at times. It is a career, and most people don’t know that. The money is there. The car wash industry is booming. A lot of people are building car washes and we don’t see it a lot on the west coast side. On the east coast they are very professional, very customer service oriented, and memberships are a huge thing. We’re following the east coast model and our customers love it!”

Flash Wash offers three washes, which can be purchased as monthly memberships with unlimited visits:

  1. Flash Wash ($29.99/month) is a premium wash with ceramics that add an extra coating on your vehicle along with a longer lasting shine and protection. The ceramics help bead off the rain.
  2. Bolt Wash ($23.99/month) comes with wax and clear coat protectant, which adds an extra protectant on your vehicle.
  3. Spark Wash ($14.99/month) is a basic service that cleans your vehicle without wax and wheel cleaning.

Flash Wash offers a special $5 memberships for the first month, which then goes into a recurring charge. 

“It’s a really good deal,” said McCallum. “And we want the public to know that a part of our tunnel recycles some of our car wash water. Most of our tunnel runs off fresh water but some of it is recycled water. And we feel like we offer the best car wash in the area.”

McCallum also emphasizes the importance of the ceramics at Flash Wash. Citing concerns about chemical staining from naturally acidic contaminants in the environment, she said the ceramics help reduce those contaminants from bonding to a vehicle’s paint.

“Ceramics are more durable, and they will produce a deeper gloss and shine than traditional wax,” McCallum added. “I also want people to know that Flash Wash is a great place to work, that we have a great team, and that Flash Wash wants to give back to the community. You can contact us via our website: https://flashwashcarwash.com/contact-us/

After graduation from CHS, McCallum ventured off to Southern California, but soon realized her heart was in the Pacific Northwest, and chose to return and help expand her family’s business.

“We have plans to build more Flash Wash’s here in the Pacific Northwest, and we continue to grow our memberships every day,” McCallum said. “I just thrive off what we do. I love my team and staff. I love waking up every day and coming here. I’m around positive people who have an outlook on business, as well.”

Hours: 8 am – 8 pm seven days a week.

Closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day only.

If you wish to apply to work at Flash Wash, click here: https://flashwashcarwash.com/careers-2/

Camas, WA — Universal Martial Arts, with its focus on jiu jitsu self-defense training, is fully reopen now for business. 

“Jiu Jitsu is martial arts, and is based on leverage techniques versus strength. It’s technically a grappling martial art, but the sport side is very appealing to people,” said co-owner Mel Locke. “Jiu Jitsu means ‘gentle way’ in Japanese. You win by making the opponent surrender or by points. Our new theme is self-defense, competition, lifestyle. It becomes an exercise to stay fit.” 

The downtown Camas self-defense program lasts for eight weeks, and is contract free. They are located at 217 NE 4th Avenue in downtown Camas.

So how does it work?

Adults may take up to 15 classes a month, which are offered six days a week — Monday through Saturday.

Class times are as follows:

  • 6 am 
  • 11 am Monday, Wednesday, Friday
  • 6:30 pm Monday through Thursday
  • Saturdays 10 am

Classes last 1 or 1.5 hours apiece.

Beginner classes last an hour, and more advanced classes are 1.5 hours.

Adult single membership costs $119 per month.

Ages 7-12 $109

Ages 5-6 $99

The Family Plan costs $219 per month for two people, and each additional member costs $60 per person.

They do offer a women’s only program.

Universal Martial Arts has been operating since 1998, has full air conditioning, and is regularly sanitized for participant safety. 

To learn more, call 360.210.4588 or visit http://universaljj.com

Instagram: 

@universal_bjj

Facebook:

Universal Martial Arts

Universal
One of the kids classes at Universal Martial Arts.

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

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.

Vancouver, Wash – When Tony Marnella, Marnella Homes, was approached with the idea of building a St. Jude Dream Home Showplace house, he didn’t hesitate before saying “Yes!” As a cancer survivor himself, Tony is passionate about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital because it is one of the only institutions that offers care at no-cost to the family. At St. Jude, no family receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food, because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

As one of the first Showplace homes in the Pacific Northwest, the goal is to donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the home to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to support their mission: Finding Cures. Saving Children.

Macey is a local St. Jude patient. Diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, called a Craniopharyngioma, at just five years old, she underwent initial surgery at Doernbecher. But when the tumor returned just eighteen months later, her parents turned St. Jude, where doctors see her type of tumor on a regular basis – more cases than anywhere else in the world. Macey’s mom Courtney says that when she reached out, the oncologist called her back within minutes. They quickly made arrangements to get Macey and her mom to Memphis, where Macey was treated with Proton Beam Radiation. The hospital is home to the only Proton Beam Radiation machine calibrated especially for children. Macey is now a happy, healthy seventh grader here in Clark County. Her family is excited to see support for St. Jude in their home community through projects like the St. Jude Dream Home Showplace being built by Marnella Homes.

“The Sedona” is a Southwestern inspired, net-zero, 3-bedroom 2.5 bath, 2,827 square foot home. Individuals interested in purchasing this home and supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital should attend the NW Natural Parade of Homes (September 10-26; details at www.ClarkCountyParadeofHomes.com) and/or contact Marnella Homes at 503-654-6642.

Marnella Homes has spearheaded the appeals for donations of labor, materials, and/or services with the assistance of the Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA).

The BIA reports the following members are among some of the top donors to-date:

  • All County Plumbing – 100% donated plumbing installation 
  • Breaking Ground Excavation – 100% donated sitework
  • Gale Contractor Services – 100% donated insulation
  • James Hardie with assistance from FiberMount – 100% donated siding materials
  • NW Custom Electric – Donation of electric labor
  • Willamette Carpentry – 100% donated trim labor

Trade partners interested in assisting in the build of the home should visit https://www.marnellahomes.com/stjude to make a donation or contact Marnella Homes at 503-654-6642 to provide more assistance.

Seth Sjostrom’s Latest FBI Thriller Tackles the Horrors of Human Trafficking

Author Seth Sjostrom releases his latest FBI thriller this April, Penance: Unredeemable.

FBI Agent Alex Penance chases after a cartel’s human-trafficking ring, uncovering horrific scenes as the gang’s safe houses are found throughout abandoned farmhouses of rural Mississippi and swamps of Louisiana. Each location he uncovers reveals a more sinister treatment of a group of missing girls who find themselves in the middle of the cat-and-mouse chase. Working alongside Assistant District Attorney Annie Hunt, Penance zeroes in on the cartel’s headquarters outside of New Orleans.

Complicating Penance’s work on the case and his budding relationship with Annie, the agent is tasked with providing security for beautiful and flirtatious country music star Marla Hendricks. A promotional concert to benefit the beleaguered town of Sawyer, Mississippi, the star proves to be a distraction Penance doesn’t need as lives are on the line.

As kidnappings devolve into murder scenes, the race is on to save the girls before it is too late.

A serial entrepreneur, adventurer and author, Penance: Unredeemable, is Sjostrom’s tenth published novel. The thrillers Blood in the SnowBlood in the Water, Blood in the Sand, Penance, and Dark Chase, as well as the romances, Finding Christmas, The Tree Farm, The Nativity and Back to Carolina were his first books published. All of Seth’s books are available through Ingram.

View the video trailer for Penance: Unredeemable https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1qxF90iOyg.

For more information or to order his books, visit www.sethsjostrom.com.  

Penance
Camas author Seth Sjostrom.

Camas, WA — Go Green is the theme for Camas First Friday! Art shows, after-hours shopping, activities, prizes, and more will all be a part of the First Friday event in Downtown Camas tonight beginning at 5 pm. 

Virtual activities started on Monday, March 1st and in-person First Friday activities kick in this evening. Downtown businesses will be open and have special offerings, as well.

The “Find the Leprechaun” in-person passport has been happening all week and continues during First Friday. When you find the leprechaun in the shops, you get entered to win a great “green” prize from that location.

Plus, participants may post completed in-person passports by on the Downtown Camas First Friday page post by Saturday, March 6 at noon and be entered to win a fabulous “green” prize basket from downtown. The more locations you visit, the more chances you have to win.

Passport lists will be available here and in stores on First Friday. Go Green with us!

By Erica Aquadro

If we didn’t know it before, we know it now: kids are resilient. Since COVID-19 reared its ugly head about a year ago, most of us have been challenged in ways we never could have anticipated and that includes our children. As parents, we do our best to shield our kids from the fear and uncertainty that accompanies a global pandemic, but it’s not always possible to keep them in the dark. Our children have had to adapt to remote-learning models, degrees of isolation, and—in some cases—shifting family dynamics. If you have a shared custody arrangement, it’s also possible that your family has experienced some new form of parenting dispute in the past year. Parenting disputes can be especially trying during this time because we’re encountering situations that have never arisen before and our family’s health and wellness are at stake. 

While we can’t completely insulate our kids from the reality of the (sometimes dire) situation, we can do our best to stay positive and set a good example for them. So much of their ability to thrive in this ‘new normal’ depends on our ability to support them and give them grace. It’s their first pandemic, after all. We should go easy on them. 

As we navigate this ever-changing post-COVID world, here are some ways you can help your kids manage stress in the midst of changing family dynamics and novel parenting conflicts. 

Present a United Front:

Ideally both parents will be on the same page about any adjustments to the schedule or parenting plan before it reaches the children. Involving the children in discussions or planning before any changes are concrete or agreed puts them in a very difficult position.  It can be extremely confusing and stressful for children to hear one thing from one parent and something else entirely from the other. Unless and until a plan or change is final or agreed, it’s in your children’s best interests for them to be uninvolved and unaware.    

Consistency and Quality Time:

It may seem far-fetched to maintain a consistent schedule at a time like this, but even the little things can help reinforce their routine and give them some semblance of stability.  This goes hand in hand with spending quality time together. Something as simple as having breakfast together every day or reading a book to your kids before bed can give them a chance to regroup and relax. Even if you can’t do the same thing at the same time together every day, just spending five minutes doing something they want to do can have a huge impact. It can also be especially grounding for us as parents; it puts things into perspective. 

Don’t Burden Them with Adult Information:

In some ways, it can be healthy for kids to see that their parents are human and get sad sometimes because we can show them it’s normal to experience emotions. It also gives us the opportunity to demonstrate appropriate ways to express themselves and, most importantly, pick themselves up and move forward. That said, when you’re in the midst of a parenting dispute (especially during a pandemic), you’re going to be dealing with a lot of emotional and financial stresses. If you find yourself needing support, lean on your family and friends or mental health professionals to help you get through it – not your children. Chances are there will be times when you’re upset with your ex-spouse or co-parent and the last thing you want to do is burden your children with irritations about their other parent. That parent is always going to be your children’s mother or father and you want to support that relationship because that’s what’s best for your children and, by extension, your relationship with your children. 

Seek Extra Support for Your Children:

Even if your child is happy and healthy, parenting disputes (with or without a pandemic) can be very stressful and challenging. Enrolling your child with a child psychologist or counselor is a great way to allow your child to get the support he or she needs. Even if your child only meets with a professional once or twice, it’s important to give your child the opportunity to have a safe place to share his or her feelings. You may also learn some valuable tools and information from your child’s psychologist or counselor that will help you better support your child.  Keep in mind, however, you should involve your co-parent in the decision to seek support for your child and choose the right provider together.  

Take Care of Yourself

Remember to give yourself a break from time to time. We, as parents, are only human and sometimes the best thing we can do for our kids is to take care of ourselves. Our kids feed off our energy and, if we run ourselves ragged, we are not setting a good example for how to manage our needs and wellbeing. We have the awesome gift and responsibility of shaping our children’s lives. Let’s take the opportunity to give them the best of ourselves and forgive ourselves when we make a misstep. Tomorrow is a new day. 

Authored by Vancouver family law attorney, Erica Aquadro. Erica is a mom of three and member of both the Oregon & Washington State Bar(s). She focuses her practice exclusively on family law issues such as divorce, parenting and custody issues, child and spousal support.

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.