Vancouver, WA — The law firm, McKeanSmith LLC, officially moved into their spacious new offices at the stunning Vancouver Waterfront on April 1, and they couldn’t be happier.

“I love the fact that Vancouver is reclaiming its waterfront,” said Collin McKean, the firm’s co-founder. “I find that being next to water is an inspiring place to be. I grew up living on a body of water and it’s a great way to give clients a calming location to do our work and help them through their life transitions.”

The firm, established in 2015, moved their nine employees from their downtown Vancouver office to the fifth floor of the Murdock Tower, which has commanding views of the Columbia River and the I-5 bridge. The nearly 3,800 square foot space gives McKeanSmith room to grow. Their Vancouver office provides legal services in the following areas: family law (including collaborative family law), employment law, business law, general litigation, and criminal law. They also have offices in Portland and Hillsboro.

“As lawyers, we work hard, sometimes long hours for our clients, and it’s important to be in a place you like to be in,” said McKean. “Given we have a front row seat to the waterfront, we’ve taken a unique approach to the gathering space. The location is also comforting to our clients, who are often going through major life changes.”

The move is also a reflection of the firm’s positive momentum.

“We have a good reputation so we continue to get referrals in from our clients for family law work, and our attorneys are very active in the community,” said McKean. “We value them, and invest in small businesses and support them. We’re looking to increase our employment law practice and support for small businesses. We’re handling typical small business issues with transactional litigation needs.”

And, their work isn’t going unnoticed by their peers.

“We’re proud our lawyers have been recognized in Vancouver for Best Lawyer designations. Annelisa Smith, Deanna Rusch, and I are Super Lawyer Rising Stars,” said McKean. “We’re also ranked top tier in the Portland/Vancouver metro area by US News and World Report, which ranks all firms.”

The office, with its modern touches, brings in a lot of natural light, and a nearly 180 degree view of the waterfront and downtown Vancouver.

McKeanSmith
From left: Allison Smith, Loa Ma’O, Kayla Warr, Collin McKean, Rick Francisco, Jeffrey D. Ott, Krystal Provencher.

“The office offers a calm and serene location and atmosphere because whether they’re new or existing they’re all in some form of turmoil, so you can’t underestimate the importance of that,” said Rusch. “I have a beautiful view of Mt. Hood, the river and the I-5 Bridge, and kind of just the whole eastern part of the waterfront development that is still under construction. I like watching the boats go by.”

“Family law was the cornerstone of the practice so that was really what they had been doing. Since then, Collin especially has grown into other practice areas. So, when I joined the firm in October 2017 it was to continue my family law practice, which is mostly in Clark County. I represent anyone, mostly in divorces, and my clients range from little to no assets to high assets.”

And, as part of their commitment to small business and things local, the firm invested heavily in local art to adorn their new office space.

Rusch put partners McKean and Smith in touch with Maria Gonser, owner of Attic Gallery in downtown Camas. Gonser works with local artists, and assisted them with the whole process, even taking a Sunday afternoon to hang the artwork in entrance, hallway, and conference room.

“The art on left-hand side in the conference room are from the Sandra Jones Campbell Pendleton series,” said Gonser. “She had 30 paintings in that series. The pieces on the other side are all from Pendleton. The ‘Broad Shoulders’ cowboy is her father. The ones on the right are inspired from old photographs. She’ll get a series of photographs from a particular era and she recreates those pictures in her paintings.”

McKeanSmith also bought an Earl Hamilton abstract, wood carvings by Monica Setziol-Phillips, and a massive piece by Cedar Lee.

“Collin and Annelisa went through this process with great detail,” said Rusch. “I’m very appreciative of their support and follow through.”

To learn more about their practice, please visit www.McKeanSmithLaw.com

McKeanSmith
McKeanSmith co-founder, Collin McKean sits by a window overlooking the Columbia River.
McKeanSmith
The interior is decorated with art mostly from Attic Gallery in Camas.

Welcome to our Shopper’s Guide! For the cover, we feature a Barrel-Art Bottle Holder from The Artful Attic.

Display your favorite bottle or the next one to open for your guest. Made from wine barrel hoops and reclaimed wood. Available in natural, dark walnut or red mahogany stain. Base Approx: L12″ x W 5″. $52.

The Artful Attic Boutique has an abundance of local artwork, home décor, custom laser engravings, candles, skincare, greeting cards and so much more to help you find the perfect gift.

Visit www.ArtfulAtticBoutique.com or stop at their showroom at:

217 NE 3rd Avenue, Camas, WA 98607

Phone: 360-210-4947.

ARKTANA SHOES — FACEBOOK LIVE STYLING EVENT!

Guide
Bueno Sandals!

Arktana is having a Facebook Live Styling Event on March 26, 2019 from 8 pm – 9:30 pm. The team at Arktana will be Introducing their new clothing line and want to show you all the ways you can mix and match each piece! They will be pairing each outfit with their fantastic shoes.

Visit www.Arktana.com or stop by at:

415 NE 4th Ave
Camas, WA 98607
info@arktana.com

(360) 210-4077

LILY ATELIER — SPRING ARRIVALS

Guide
Jacket by Anorak. $124.

Try on this fantastic jacket by Anorak, and see all of their new Spring arrivals! Lily has been serving customers in Downtown Camas for more than 15 years.

Visit today at 237 NE 4th Avenue, Camas, WA 98607. 360-834-9215,

ATTIC GALLERY

Guide
“Kitchen Thief”by Terri Axness.

Attic Gallery is having a 20% off sale during their remodel. Go see the beauty of “Kitchen Thief” by Terri Axness, and many other wonderful, original pieces of art.

Visit today at 421 NE Cedar Street, Camas, WA 98607. Phone: 360-833-9747, or visit online at www.atticgallery.com

CAMAS GALLERY

Guide
Camas artwork by Tim Johnson.

Marquita Call, of Camas Gallery, welcomes you to see the work by Tim Johnson, and so many local artists. Johnson specializes in artwork depicting local Camas scenes, and gives profits from his artwork to charity.

Located at 408 NW 4th Avenue, Camas, WA 98607.

Phone: 360-817-2415.

Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic, which is located in Downtown Camas, offers an abundance of services, one of which is Ultherapy.

We spent some time with Master Aesthetician, Lori Keller, who explains this part of her business.

What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy® is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that utilizes the power of focused ultrasound technology, and sound waves to simulate collagen to lift, tone and tighten the skin. The Ultherapy procedure can be performed on the eyes, brow, face, neck and under the chin and chest. This technology stimulates the production of collagen resulting in continuous improvement of the tone and tightness.

Does it hurt?

There may be a little tingle or pain during the treatment, but it quickly goes away.

How long does the treatment take?

An Ultherapy procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the area treated.

Is there any downtime?

Ultherapy delivers outstanding results without surgery or downtime.

Ultherapy
www.VancouverLaserSkinCareClinic.com

How quickly do you see results?

Our patients typically see results in three to six months.

About Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic

With more than 30 years of aesthetic laser experience and skin expertise, Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic knows that looking and feeling confident play a big part in our well being.

Keller is an active member of the local community, where she spends time assisting the YWCA Safe Choice Program, which helps abused mothers and their children, giving them hope and skills for a new future.

To schedule a complimentary consultation, please call their clinic at 360.823.0795, or visit www.VancouverLaserSkinCareClinic.com

They are located at 715 NE 5th Avenue in Downtown Camas.

Camas, WA — 100 Women Who Care Clark County is holding their organization’s first event of 2019 on Wednesday, February 6 at Grains of Wrath in Downtown Camas.

The social hour is from 5-6 pm, with the event officially beginning at 6 pm.

Grains of Wrath will be featuring a special cocktail just for the group’s members with $2 from each drink purchase going to their chosen non profit. How cool is that? 100 Women Who Care Clark County will have a table of hosted appetizers and GOW will be serving their full dinner menu for those who are interested.

The group was founded last year by Christie Ribary, who has since moved to California — and its membership soared, raising more than $38,000 in its inaugural year. This makes it one of the fastest growing chapters in the organization’s history.

“We’re really grateful for the efforts by Christie for starting this amazing organization here in Clark County,” said Deanna Rusch, who now leads 100 Women Who Care Clark County.

During the event, each member writes the name of a charitable organization on a piece of paper, and places that information into a bucket. Three names are drawn, and each organization is discussed. By ballot, the members vote on which charitable group they would like to donate to,  and the votes are tallied. By the end of the hour, the goal is to raise $10,000 ($100 from each member).

The group welcomes all women in Clark County to come and see what they’re all about — you do not need to be a member to attend the event. Come and learn about what their special group of women is doing to make immediate and powerful change in the community!

Meeting Dates for 2019: Feb 6, May 8, Aug 7, Nov 6

To learn more, visit 100womenclarkcounty.com

Running a business is hard work, especially for a single mother. It requires discipline, strategy, planning, and perseverance, but Lisa Lê, owner of Lisa Lê Properties — A Boutique Experience, says it’s mostly about building relationships.

And that’s the way she structured her real estate boutique — on serving others.

“I am passionate about helping my clients find their forever home, or helping them get the most value from the home they want to sell, so they can get top dollar and get the right new owners in place so it feels like a perfect fit on both sides,” says Lê. “I like to create different marketing campaigns to help sell homes.”

The accomplished realtor, with four college degrees (criminal justice, political science, psychology and sociology) set up shop on 4th Avenue in Downtown Camas and immediately created a welcoming space for business and social functions. She’s also well-known for her 24/7 Window Vision Display, which is an interactive touchscreen system showcasing homes and local businesses.

“People love it,” said Lê. “They can come by anytime to see our 24/7 RMLS feed to see any listing in Clark County. “It’s a great conversation starter.”

Carrie Schulstad, Executive Director of the Downtown Camas Association (DCA), says the window display is a big draw in the downtown area. The window itself has achieved local accolades, and earned Lê a prestigious DCA award: 2018 Outstanding Window Display.

Lê works very hard to make sure people feel welcome in our community.

“I’m also a big believer in giving back,” she said.

Lisa Lê

Lisa Lê helps out with a back-to-school supplies project.

After becoming a single mom, Lê founded a Divorce Empowerment Alliance Advisory Group, with the mission to educate, support, and empower anyone navigating the uncharted waters of separation or divorce. The group is composed of experts who are available to assist those in need.

She also believes local businesses need to support one another, so she founded Collaborative Camas, a network of Camas businesses that meets regularly to discuss challenges, solutions, and to simply socialize.

Lisa Lê Properties — A Boutique Experience also works closely with the Camas Hotel, with whom she partnered to create the Keys To Camas program, which gives shoppers discounts and incentives to shop local. Lê’s work on this program is what earned her business the DCA’s 2018 Creative Local Marketing Award.

Lisa Lé

Lisa Lê won two prestigious DCA awards.

“We have a great history here in Camas, plus many great businesses that we want people to know about,” she said. “It’s a successful program.”

Part of that commitment is shown in her active involvement with the DCA.

“I’m also involved in all their First Friday’s and signature events, which showcase the best of Camas,” said Lê.

And, most recently she was a platinum sponsor of the Camas Wellness Festival, which is a local non-profit organization.

“This is a perfect fit for me and for Lisa Lê Properties; as a woman and mother, I believe strongly in promoting physical and mental health, especially in our children,” said Lê.

She is also a member of Soroptimists International, which is a global volunteer organization that economically empowers women and girls by providing access to education, the single most effective anti-poverty intervention.

If you’d like to visit her, and learn more about her services, please visit her office at 418 NE 4th Avenue in the heart of Downtown Camas.

“I’m just really happy to be part of the Camas community,” said Lê. “It’s a great place to raise a family, and simply enjoy life. Be my guest.”

Chosen from over 12,000 nominations nationwide, Camas was named a Top 10 town in the 2019 Small Business Revolution Main Street competition. The winning town receives a $500,000 investment, which includes assistance and transformation of six small businesses—all of which will be filmed on location as part of an 8-part original TV series on Hulu.

Previous season winners have described the experience and its ongoing results as lifechanging for their town’s business district and the entire community.

The next critical step is to be chosen by the show’s team to advance as a Top 5 finalist through a nail-biting online announcement on February 12th. Following that exciting news, a furious week of public voting will determine the winner. Voting will be done on the Small Business Revolution website and it’s one vote per device per email per day.

If included in the Top 5, Camas will ask the community, state, region and the nation for their votes and to spread the word through their own social connections. The Downtown Camas Association is encouraging people to mark their calendars now and ask all family, friends, co-workers, clients, etc. to be prepared to vote as well. Winning would create a positive focus on Camas, Clark County and the Pacific Northwest.

“We are over the moon excited about the chance to be a part of Small Business Revolution Main Street!” says Carrie Schulstad, Executive Director for the Downtown Camas Association. “The show is incredible and truly shines the light on the inspiring stories of small businesses. We have such amazing hard-working businesses and some serious mill town pride in Camas, and it would be an honor to have their expertise here to help build strength and sustainability in our small businesses and in our town. We have worked hard to bring our town back to life and to build community and we are so grateful for those that are supporting our downtown businesses. The authentic small town experience has true value! Because of that, we ask for your vote. But no matter what happens, this whole process has been such a genuine community “uniter” and we will use this momentum to continue to strengthen and preserve our town.”

The Small Business Revolution Main Street series showcases one small town and six of its small businesses each year. 2019 will be Season 4. The efforts are funded by Deluxe Corporation, a company that has been working with small businesses in marketing and finance for over a century. The goal of the show is to show the joys and challenges of owning a small business, why supporting small businesses is so important to communities everywhere, and the powerful changes that can happen when effective and creative marketing and business management techniques are employed. The overall efforts lead to community pride and investment on a grand scale. Prior series can be watched on Hulu, YouTube or on www.smallbusinessrevolution.org

Since finding out their Top 20 status in November, the Camas community has been engaged in using #mycamas on social media and sharing the unique qualities of the town and of the small businesses. A reception for the Small Business Revolution team was held on January 2nd at Grains of Wrath in Downtown Camas and attracted hundreds of people, many wearing #mycamas t-shirts, who were excited to meet the crew and show their community spirit.

For more information, visit www.smallbusinessrevolution.org or https://www.facebook.com/smallbizrev

Small Business

From January 2: Camas leaders met with the Small Business Revolution team at the paper mill.

Camas, WA — In their ongoing effort to support local artists, Tyson and Lori Morris, owners of Artful Attic in Downtown Camas, are sponsoring a fun youth art contest.

The art contest will run now until February 5 when all submissions need to be delivered to Artful Attic, which is located at 217 NE 3rd Avenue, Camas, WA 98607.

Rules:

  • The art contest is open to all Camas youth ages 11-18.
  • Artwork needs to fit on 10×10 wood canvases, which will be donated by Artful Attic.
  • Each canvas may be picked up at the shop.
  • Any medium is acceptable (wood burning, painting, metal, etc.) as long as it fits on the canvas.
  • Theme is “what Camas means to you.”
  • All works should include #MyCamas.
  • All submissions must be returned to Artful Attic by Feb 5th.
  • Each winner will receive a $25 gift card to Artful Attic.

There will be six winners in total, and their names will be announced during the Feb 7th reception at 6 pm, which will be held at the boutique. Winners will have their art featured in the Artful Attic gallery during the month of February.

Artists may choose to sell their piece at Artful Attic for 30 percent commission fee.

To learn more, call 360.210.4927 or email: info@artfulatticboutique.com

Shopper’s

Custom engravings are available at Artful Attic.

Camas, WA — For a 24-hour period (Wednesday-Thursday) nine members of Small Business Revolution’s “Main Street” web TV series team quickly became acquainted with Camas leaders, business owners, and residents in their first of ten small town stops across the country.

The objective of their visit was to learn about Mill Town’s history, its accomplishments, and struggles with the purpose of choosing a town to be featured in season four of their hit web TV show. Camas was nominated by Attic Gallery owner, Maria Gonser, who thought Camas would be a good fit.

Mill Town was ultimately chosen as a Top 20 city out of 12,000 nominations, and on December 11, show co-host, Amanda Brinkman, announced that Camas was a Top 10 pick.

Brinkman and fellow team members, who work for Deluxe, which is based in Minnesota, arrived in Camas Wednesday just before noon, and at 12:30 they gathered at the Georgia-Pacific Mill Interpretive Center to learn about local history, and discuss local successes, as well as current struggles.

The team included Brinkman; Cameron Potts, VP of Public Relations; Julie Gordon, Director of Marketing Partnerships; Katie Cerney, Director of Social Media Strategy — Small Business Division; Jessica Jones, Social Media Manager; cameramen Mike Thompson, and Dan; Jenna Paulus, Public Relations Manager; and Jake Anderson, who works for Fast Horse Public Relations firm.

Following their initial meeting, the “Main Street” team executed a strategy and schedule that was designed to maximize their time, which comprised previously scheduled long video interviews, spontaneous short video interviews, and free form visits to local businesses.

Camas

Dawn Stanchfield, owner of Lily Atelier, shows her store to Julie Gordon, who is the Director of Marketing Partnerships at Deluxe.

Early stops included visits to Urban Style, Lily Atelier, Camas Antiques, Caps ‘N Taps, Flow Hot Yoga, Arktana, The Wild Hair, Mill City Brew Werks, Nest and Love Photography, Natalia’s Cafe, Nuestra Mesa, and several others. They greeted people on the street, spent time getting to understand businesses, and filmed a large portion of their efforts. They made a point to visit as many shops, restaurants, and boutiques as time allowed, and were greeted warmly by a large crowd at Grains of Wrath at 6 pm.

During that visit, Brinkman explained the purpose of their visit, which is to explore each Top 10 town, with the goal of announcing Top 5 contenders in mid-February.

“She’s a marketing expert that helps you think out of the box,” said Carrie Schulstad, Executive Director of the Downtown Camas Association (DCA) as she introduced Brinkman. “She’s inclusive, she’s creative, she gets it. She cares about your success, and we feel so honored that you’re here in our town.”

The excited crowd listened to a brief message from Brinkman, and then spent the next two hours greeting the team members and getting to know how they work.

”First of all, we thank you so much for this reception,” said Brinkman. “This is incredible! We also want to thank you guys for going first … I like to think of it that you are already raising the bar!”

She recognized her “Main Street” team members and then explained how the process works.

”I am just one part of this incredible team from Deluxe who runs Small Business Revolution,” said Brinkman. “I’m only one part of the decision-making process so you have to woo and impress these guys just as much.”

During the reception at Grains, Gordon spent nearly 30 minutes with the Camas High School DECA team listening to their ideas and answering marketing questions. Brinkman also pulled them aside to discuss business.

”They’re such a talented group of kids,” said Gordon. “They had some great ideas.”

The “Main Street” team was back at it Thursday morning meeting with DCA and Camas city leaders, and then spent their remaining two hours conducting final interviews, and visiting as many shops as they could. Gordon spent time on 3rd Avenue with Salud Wine Co, A Beer at a Time, Artful Attic, Los Jalepenos, and Camas Gallery. Potts visited Elida Art Studio. Jones interviewed The Wild Hair, and Brinkman interviewed Natalia’s Cafe, and paid a visit to Camas Gallery. Many other visits surely happened.

”We make a point to visit as many businesses as we can,” said Brinkman. “We want to learn as much as possible, to hear about their struggles and see where they need help.”

Cerney said she’s looking forward to returning in April for a guaranteed marketing seminar for local businesses.

”I love this town,” she said. “It’s like being in a Hallmark Channel movie. I can’t wait to come back.”

To learn more, visit www.smallbusinessrevolution.org

Camas, WA — The two-time, back-to-back State Champion Camas High School (CHS) Boys Swim team lost their home pool several weeks ago as negotiations between Lacamas Athletic Club and the CHS Athletics Department failed to reach an agreement.

Fortunately, Cascade Athletic Club stepped up and took in the displaced team, but it hasn’t been without challenges. The venue change has forced the Varsity swimmers to begin practices at 5:30 am, which gives the boys ample lane space to maximize workouts. Junior Varsity practices in the evenings, beginning at 7:15, which alleviates lane congestion.

It also forces the champion athletes to get up before 5 am, travel to Vancouver, practice, then rush to shower, change, and drive or bus to CHS. It’s not ideal, but the team is adjusting.

“It takes an extra 10 minutes to get here,” said CHS sophomore, Jack Harris. “We have to get here pretty early. It’s not too bad, at least we have afternoons to get homework done, but it’s still a big change from last year. We’ll do our best given the situation.”

On day one, Head Coach Mike Bemis gave the entire team a tour of the facility, and thanked Cascade for their generosity. The team practices alongside competitors at Union, Mountain View, Evergreen, and Heritage.

“We’re treating this season like a new season,” said co-captain, Chris Xia. “We’re not really gonna focus on our past titles, we’re just going into this year trying our best and yeah we have some swimmers who have left, but we’re just gonna try to make up for them, and do the best we can.”

Swim

Camas Swim team captains, from left: Chris Xia and Austin Fogel.

The team won State titles in 2017 and 2018, thanks to amazing talent, and coaching strategies. But, they also lost three star athletes — Finn McClone and Mark Kim — to graduation, as well as Eric Wu, who dropped the team this year because of losing Lacamas Athletic Club as their home pool.

“The Camas High School Boys swim team is about to start training for our third state title,” said Wu. “I find it near impossible if we can’t do that without our pool. The past few seasons we were able to train in the afternoon at Lacamas. Not only does swimming in the morning affect our training, but it affects our whole day during school. Without proper sleep and a home pool, how will we put together another strong state team?”

Losing Wu was a blow, but the team is soul-searching, and working hard to fill in the gaps.

”We’re still gonna try hard to defend our State title,” said co-captain, Austin Fogel. “Hopefully some of the underclass men will step up and fill those shoes. We have some really fast swimmers.”

Their first meet of the season is today at Curtis High School.

Jewelry

www.michaelnutterjewelry.com

Background

So, how did a two-time State Championship team lose their home pool?

Several months ago, Denise Croucher, owner and operator of Lacamas Athletic Club, expressed her desire to have a member of her club staff serve as assistant coach to both the boys and girls Camas High School (CHS) swim teams. Athletes from several private clubs swim for CHS, including Lacamas Headhunters, Columbia River Swim Team (CRST), Portland Athletic Club, and Mt. Hood.

CHS and Bemis say Croucher wanted to be head coach, which Croucher denies.

Croucher’s demand to coach was met with resistance from CHS, whose loyalty remains to Bemis, who has brought home two back-to-back state champions. Negotiations between the two entities ended with the girl’s team being forced out and finding a new, temporary home at Cascade Athletic Club.

“Yes, we will continue to swim at Cascade Athletic Club for the boys season,” said Rory Oster, CHS Athletic Director. “We are grateful for the great management and leadership at Cascade who is willing to do whatever they can to help our program, and we will make it work. Again, our preference would be to swim at the local Lacamas Athletic Club and are disappointed an agreement could not be made.”

Swim

Front, left to right: Jack Duerfeldt and Luke Bales. Back, left to right: Zach Macia and Ben Taylor.

Croucher said she thought they were still in negotations, and was shocked when the girl’s team switched over to Cascade. At the time, CHS had hoped they could salvage the relationship and keep the Lacamas pool for the boy’s season.

There’s been bad blood between Croucher and CRST for more than 15 years, but Darlene Hill, owner and operator of CRST, says “There’s nothing there that can’t be fixed — the focus should be on the kids who all get along very well. The swimming community generally gets along well. This is very obtuse.”

Bemis said over the years Lacamas Athletic Club has manufactured tensions, but “we always found a way to work it out.”

Parents have complained that Lacamas Athetic Club management was seldom prepared for home meets, and that facilities haven’t been properly maintained. Croucher said their facilities were vandalized during home meets, and that the costs of opening the pool for the CHS team were too high. CHS pays $20,000 each season to Lacamas Athletic Club to lease lanes at their facility, said Croucher.

“They pulled all shower plumbing off the locker rooms, they played with heaters and they ruined a locker room heater,” said Croucher. “Other teams would leave a mess in the locker room after each swim meet. We had a huge mess every single day after practice. Garbage strewed across the locker room. The attitude was very negative from outside swimmers. They don’t respect it like its theirs.  Honestly, sometimes I don’t think we want them back here. It has been so nice to have our team, staff and employees without the high school teams.”

But, she also feels bad a deal couldn’t be worked out.

“It’s not something we really want,” said Croucher. “We want the kids to be able to swim, so I’m a supporter of that. But, we have to find a way that it doesn’t impact the business so much. I also want a member of my staff coaching the team, that way our interests are represented at every practice, and at every meet. I’m open to suggestions.”

Swim

From left: Chris Xia, Dave Peddie, and Austin Fogel.

Bemis said the politics of the situation have been a challenge for more than a decade, and that they’ve always found a way to work it out. But, not this year.

“Leslie (the assistant coach) and I aren’t even allowed on the Lacamas Athletic Club premises anymore,” said Bemis. “It’s gotten that bad. Denise wants to coach both Camas High School teams, and if she doesn’t get that, then the Camas teams aren’t allowed to practice or compete there. It’s not a good decision.”

Bailey Segall, of the CHS Girls swim team, said that Lacamas Headhunter swimmers even petitioned Croucher to change their minds.

”They went in there and begged Denise to change her mind, but she wouldn’t listen,” said Segall. “Nobody is really happy about this.”

Last Christmas season, in an effort to support locally owned and operated businesses, I made a point to shop FIRST in downtown Camas, Washougal, and other small companies in Vancouver. My goal was to buy as much as I could without going to the mall, or into the traffic congested streets of Portland — or even going online.

The results amazed me! I was able to make 80 percent of my purchases before going anywhere else. I found some really cool treasures, some really fun gifts that my sons continue to enjoy. Once I did all I could at these sweet little shops, I ventured to the malls, struggled to find a parking space, listened to the madness, and made other purchases.

Yes, the mall has some great things, too, and I was happy to support the local business there, as well. But, I was all too pleased to leave and return to the peace of Downtown Camas to sip a hot chocolate at Caffe Piccolo, or enjoy a burger at Feast.

Small

Inside Lily Atelier, in Downtown Camas.

I see daily the up’s and down’s that local small businesses contend with, and I appreciate their steadfastness and continued hard work to serve us. So, I went to several local shops, and asked them what we can do to support them.

Here’s the list:

  1. When you visit the store, check-in on social media.
  2. Snap a photo of a product you like.
  3. Post the photo and tag the store on social media.
  4. Share your favorite store’s social media posts. Like, follow, share, share, share.
  5. Bring in your out-of-town guests.
  6. Follow the store on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
  7. Word of mouth. Simply tell your friends to shop there for Christmas purchases.
  8. Get to know the retailers and how they support other businesses, including local artists, jewelers, card designers.
  9. Choose in-store products that give back to charitable foundations.
  10. Boost a store’s Yelp presence by giving them a positive review.

And, of course, buy, buy, buy!