Camas Cellars is a brand-new boutique wine bar and bottle shop located in downtown Camas that focuses on bringing Pacific NW wines into one place for customers to enjoy and appreciate. 

Located at 602 NE 3rd Avenue, Unit C, in the recently renovated building that also houses Subway, Camas Cellars also showcases unique imports and will be hosting events with winemakers and winery owners. Additionally, they will be hosting frequent tastings and classes.

Debi Dabasinskas, the proprietor of Camas Cellars, announced, “Our inaugural tasting event is set for Friday, December 1st, in collaboration with Santa Margherita USA. We’ll begin by sampling an array of white wines from Alto Adige, then journey to Lombardia to savor Franciacorte, and conclude in the Tuscany Hills with Lamole di Lamole. My goal is to create an intimate and engaging experience. I’m excited to present opportunities for tasting novel wines and to offer new sensory adventures. In January, we will be launching a wine club with a couple of membership levels including a Founders Club, which will include exclusive tastings and events. Additionally, the club plans to feature wine tastings and possibly dinners that incorporate produce from local farms. It promises to be an exciting and enjoyable venture!”

Most customers are coming in to try a new wine, so Camas Cellars offers wine flights — a red flight and a white flight — where wine lovers may taste four different wines. Additional flights are coming in the next few weeks. 

“For example, we can do a Washington reds flight, Red Mountain, Walla Walla Valley, Horse Heaven Hills and describe the nuances between them,” said Dabasinskas. “We also offer cheese and charcuterie plates and have fresh flowers for sale from a local master gardener. We also feature art from local artists which are offered for sale and the artists will rotate based on a set calendar.” 

If you would like special orders for the holidays, or any time, Camas Cellars can help with this. 

“Let Camas Cellars be your local wine concierge!,” she said.

On Sunday, November 19th, Dabasinskas is hosting a Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Class. Stop by the shop this week to sign up!

“If you’re looking for a specific wine, I can find it for you,” said Dabasinskas. “For specials we will have 10 percent off bottles “to go” on First Friday. On Holiday Sip N Shop, Camas Cellars will offer 20 percent off wine flights and 10 percent off bottles for 21 and over.”

Dabasinskas worked as a District Manager for a very well known Napa Valley winery with properties in Washington, and has 30 years experience in the industry.  She has many certifications including WSET Level 2. 

For customers who want to try something other than wine, Camas Cellars carries Grains of Wrath in cans,” she said. “Camas Cellars is also available for private parties day and evening.”

Please join Camas Cellars this Wednesday, November 15th for the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting from 4-6pm! Camas Cellars is open Wednesday through Saturday from 3-9 pm, and will continue to expand its offerings and changes up the glass list frequently. So, if you’re looking for a quiet escape from the stress of daily life, pay them a visit. Visit (it’s under construction). Camas Cellars is a 21 and over establishment. 

Camas Cellars
Camas Cellars

If you’re working in the construction sector during the summer, especially if you’re handling large machinery, it is important that you know all the details of every piece of equipment and the construction safety tips. It’s also imperative that everyone on the construction site knows how to run large machinery and handle any issues that may arise. Staying safe during the hot summer months means understanding and controlling the risks of extreme heat and heat-related illnesses. Here are some tips to help you conduct your construction work without difficulties and keep your machinery functioning properly during the summer.

1. Inspect the Drain Filters of Your Excavators

If you do not regularly check the drain filter of your machinery, especially during the summer, you could endanger it. Over 90 percent of premature excavator failures are due to a clogged drain filter. If your machine’s final drive drain filter is clogged, fix the issue early. You can get experienced professionals to help you unclog your machine’s drain filters.

2. Stay Up-To-Date With Safety Precautions

Stay on top of safety measures in the construction industry to avoid serious problems. The construction industry usually develops measures that ensure the safety of workers during different seasons. For instance, when summer arrives, workers will be advised on what to wear, how to stay healthy, and how to avoid the heat.

3. Keep Water Everywhere

Plenty of water near you is an excellent way to protect yourself from heat illness during hot weather. Ensure you drink water frequently to avoid dehydration. This water will keep your body from dehydrating and overheating. The more you drink water, the healthier you are. Ensure you drink water instead of other drinks such as soda, energy drinks, or other beverages.

4. Eat Healthy Foods

Heavy and high-fat foods will leave you feeling potentially nauseous and bloated, which is not good with extreme temperatures. Opt for lighter meals that will keep you active during the hottest part of the day. Eat sandwiches and fruits instead of French fries and a greasy burger.

5. Dress to Beat the Heat

You work in a construction zone, so you should wear protective garments to protect you from the heat and potentially hazardous environment. It is best to choose lightweight safety clothing in the summer; it provides free air movement and prevents heat from being trapped in your garments. Also, ensure you have a sunscreen to protect your skin. You can use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with UVB and UVA protection and a significant sun protection factor (SPF).

6. Plan Your Job’s Timing

It is best to plan a job only when the heat isn’t as intense. Arrange your work for the morning and evening hours. If you have outdoor and indoor work, plan the outdoor jobs in the morning and the indoor work in the afternoon. You can easily tackle the tough tasks when you’re still fresh and the rest when the sun begins to set.

Final Word

Summer is the best season for construction work because the weather is mostly predictable and pleasant. Still, when working during the summer, it is important to be mindful of the heat. You should take plenty of fluids, eat healthy meals, wear protective gear, get a good night’s sleep, and work when the heat is not intense to protect yourself from heatstroke, exhaustion, and sunburns.

By: Katherine Robinson, a writer for MiniFinalDrives


Washougal, WA — The Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards banquet Tuesday honoring the Citizen, Business Persons, and Educators of the Years, as well as student scholarship recipients. Held at the Orchard Hills Golf Club, Executive Director Jennifer Senescu emceed the program. 

2023 Citizen of the Year: Pat Suggs

Contributions to the Community: Suggs has served the Camas-Washougal community for 47 years. During that time, she also raised six daughters. She was a volunteer teacher for the Camas Community Education Program, has been a Brownie and Girl Scout leader and although she doesn’t have boys, she was a Cub Scout leader, as well. 

Suggs has been the Young Women’s President at her church and is responsible for all of the 12-18 year olds. She runs a program to enhance the progressive growth of young girls. Suggs was also the Relief Society President at her church where she oversaw the activities of all Latter-Day-Saint (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) women ages 18 and over. It is the oldest women’s organization in the United States.

She works on food drives for the community. Including support for the Children’s Home Society of Washington. She also ran their backpack program for over 5 years. Suggs collects cups for Hathaway Elementary Schools Program of Affordable Gifts for Parents as well as clothing and shoes for the Family Resource Program for Washougal School District.  Suggs is a Book Fairy, which is a program that provides equitable opportunities for children to learn, grow and thrive. 

Today at 74 years old, Suggs is still involved in the community.  She serves on the Drug Take Back Program, the Unite Committee, Two Rivers Heritage Museum Committee and is Co-chair on the Washougal Safe Board. 

Pat also volunteers at Hathaway Elementary School each week where she helps teach reading and Spanish.  And, according to her husband, she does all of these things for one simple reason. Her love of this community. 

2023 Businessperson of the Year: Chris Dierickx, Straubs Funeral Home  

As the owner of Straubs Funeral home in Camas, Washington, Chris Dierickx has been a member of this community for over 26 years. Dierickx has helped thousands of families during what is one of the the hardest times in their lives. He makes himself available all hours of the day and night. He is genuinely caring and extremely compassionate. In his service, Dierickx wears many hats, including,  a shoulder to cry on, guide, rock and a friend to those in need. 

The C-W Chamber received a record number nominations for Chris to be named Businessperson of the Year for 2023. 

“It is a clear testament to his commitment and work in this community,” said Senescu. 

CW Businessperson of the Year Chris Dierickx (right) with CW Chamber Executive Director Jennifer Senescu and Washougal Mayor Dave Stuebe.

Educators of the Year: 

CCMS Science PLC Team at Washougal High School: Ryan Hooser and Patrick Rice

Ryan and Patrick, science teachers at Canyon Creek Middle School, are a high functioning team committed to their collaboration.  They use the instructional materials provided through the Amplify curriculum and supplement with hands-on experiments and activities for their students.  They spend time in each other’s classrooms learning and brainstorming new ideas on how to create engaging lessons for their classes. Their work, and focus on achievement, has resulted in state assessment scores far higher than the state average for science. 

Washougal Educators of the Year Ryan Hooser and Patrick Rice with WSD Superintendent Mary Templeton.

2023 Camas Educators of the Year: Stephanie Eakins and Whitney Patton

Stephanie Eakins and Whitney Patton came together in the Fall of 2021 to restructure and redesign the Adult Transition Program at Camas High School. They work with students aged 18-21 served by Individualized Educational Plans in the newly named Adult Transition Training Center (A.T.T.C.) housed at The Heights Learning Center. Although there may be teams that have worked together for a longer length of time, there is no team more committed to providing a positive and exceptional experience for their students. In the short time they have worked together, they have been able to impact a large number of students and are directly responsible for many of the successes that these young adults have achieved. 

Together they are able to motivate and encourage students who would otherwise feel lost within the constraints of the regular curriculum. They work hard at establishing a strong rapport with each individual and their families. Each can always be found going the extra mile that can make a difference for these students. Eakins and Patton both promote community access for their students and work hard to facilitate opportunities that allow them to learn real-world applicable skills that will support them as they move beyond a high school setting. 

Eakins and Patton truly believe in the concept of “firm goals, flexible means” as they continually improvise and modify for their students. They see and serve all students and families as they ready them for the transition into the world beyond the public school system. 

Camas Educators of the Year Stephanie Eakins and Whitney Patton.

2023 Camas High School Scholarship Recipient Olivia Brotherton  

Brotherton will be attending Oregon State University this fall where she plans on studying biology while she works toward becoming a veterinarian. At Camas High School, she is on The National Honor Society and is involved with the CHS Choir. Brotherton has volunteered with multiple local organizations including Buddy and Food Box Builder. She is involved with St. Joseph’s Church and has served as a Vacation Bible School Counselor. She has also served as an Equestrian Camp Counselor at Cantera Equestrian. Brotherton plans on doing an internship with Next-Vet this summer. 

2023 Washougal High School College Scholarship Recipient Carter Nichols

Nichols will be attending Eastern Washington University this Fall where he plans on studying nursing or pre-med. Three years ago, Nichols began as a volunteer at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital. He spent the summer of 2021 completing a volunteer internship program where he spent 72 hours assisting with discharges, delivering meals and checking in visitors. Since Nichols turned 16, he has been a caregiver in the memory care unit at Touchmark. 

Nichols began taking health classes at Cascadia Technical Academy his junior year. He says that is what truly sparked his interest in the medical field. It’s also where he learned that caregivers must be good listeners and empathetic conversationalists. 

Nichols is one of five siblings. His mother is a social worker and his father is a Firefighter/paramedic. 

CW Scholarship recipients Olivia Brotherton and Carter Nichols.

United Precision Corp (UPC) held its official Grand Opening Friday night at the Steigerwald Commerce Center in Washougal with dozens of elected officials, business leaders, educators and citizens in attendance.

General Manager Robert Hawrylo was one of several UPC leaders who greeted guests, providing them an overview of their work and the facility.

UPC manufactures high tech seals and vertical launching system components for defense clients, such as the Navy, and spacecraft products (parts, seals, bolts) for SpaceX, a company led by Elon Musk. Their clients include the following companies and government entities:

  • NASA
  • SpaceX
  • Boeing
  • Moog Aircraft Group
  • United Launch Alliance
  • United States Navy
  • United States Air Force
  • Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Teledyne Technologies

UPC manufactures specialized machine seals for the space industry, including port seals, omega seals, beam seals and pressure-assisted seals.

The construction of this site has been several years in the making. The site was chosen for its business friendly environment, its beauty and ability to expand. 

They will have 20 employees working onsite and plan to have 100 in about a year.

UPC seals on display.
Guests were provided tours of the facility.

Camas Grove Airport, WA —  FLYIT ACADEMY, a flight training school, proudly announces its commitment to going green with alternative fuel in the aviation community.  Under the leadership of owner Rick Andersen, FLYIT ACADEMY is spearheading a green revolution in the aviation industry, setting a precedent for others to follow.

Recognizing the pressing need to reduce carbon emissions and minimize the ecological impact of aviation, Rick Andersen has made it a top priority to pursue environmentally friendly solutions within his flight school. By introducing alternative fuel options at Camas Grove Airport (1W1), FLYIT ACADEMY aims to make significant contributions towards building a greener and more sustainable aviation community.

To celebrate this significant milestone, FLYIT ACADEMY will be hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand debut of the alternative fuel truck Thursday, June 1st, from 4-6 pm at Grove Field Airport. The entire FLYIT ACADEMY team and the Port of Camas Washougal are excited for this inspiring occasion, bringing together aviation enthusiasts, industry leaders, and environmental advocates to witness the positive impact that sustainable choices can make within the aviation sector.

“We are excited to help pioneer this crucial endeavor in the aviation industry,” said Rick Andersen, owner of the flight school. “As a responsible member of the general aviation industry, we believe it is our duty to take proactive steps towards minimizing our carbon footprint and fostering a cleaner future. We are proud to be the first airport in the state of Washington to offer alternative fuel, and we hope this initiative will inspire other aviation communities to join us in our commitment to sustainability. 


FLYIT ACADEMY’s goal is to teach the art of flying for everyday people with a healthy community and that includes a healthy environment. Lead is not healthy in our community. That’s why they’ve invested not only in the fuel truck but in a brand new state of the art certified light sport Vans RV12is for the future of our training direction. Its FADEC system averages 3.5 gal per hour which is 1/3 the fuel consumption of a comparable Cessna 172 and it is designed for unleaded fuel. We are committed to creating solutions for a greener future.”

FLYIT ACADEMY has experienced remarkable growth since its establishment four years ago, a testament to the high-quality training and dedication to safety exemplified by the flight school. The introduction of alternative fuel options further solidifies FLYIT ACADEMY’s position as a forerunner in the aviation community, demonstrating their commitment not only to producing skilled pilots but also to preserving the environment for future generations.

FLYIT ACADEMY extends its sincere gratitude to the Port of Camas-Washougal for playing a pivotal role in making the introduction of alternative fuel a reality. Their unwavering support and collaboration have been instrumental in this groundbreaking achievement.

FLYIT ACADEMY is a leading flight school committed to providing high-quality pilot training and aviation education. With a focus on safety, skill development, and community-building, FLYIT ACADEMY aims to produce exceptional pilots while championing environmental sustainability within the aviation industry.

For more information visit 

Camas, WA — The Readiness Group is officially opening its doors on Friday, February 17 with a major Grand Opening event and ribbon cutting from 5-9 pm.

The facility, which is located at 3316 NE 3rd Ave next door to Walgreens and Grocery Outlet, is a store that helps people prepare for emergency and disaster planning. 

The store offers the following services:

  • Emergency preparedness and disaster planning.
  • Smokeless range training
  • Classroom for firearms
  • Taser training
  • Self defense classes
  • Laser training
  • Community classes on first aid and fire safety, trauma, surviving a car accident, how to pack a go bag.
  • Foraging class

The veteran-owned and operated business offers a variety of products, as well: 

  • Ammunition
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Range supplies
  • Eye protection
  • Targets
  • Target stands

The Readiness Group also offers medical supplies, which include first aid, trauma kits, a la carte features with individual kits that are customized. 

They will also sell gun holsters and conceal devices like purses, as well as firearms parts, apparel, body armor, carriers, range bags, sunglasses, watches, belts, etc.

“We are getting in with a lot of phenomenal product,” said co-owner Daniel Stanton. “We have a couple distributors that are new to the Pacific Northwest. We’re not trying to be a run of the mill store. It’s a high quality store. We have a custom holster manufacturer that makes holsters for us. We put a lot of thought in the knives and equipment we sell.”

The company is a partnership with multiple entities, with a division that offers defensive construction, such as safe rooms, home security camera systems, bars on windows, and landscaping to deter criminal activity. 

“Criminals look for ease of access for the haul,” said Stanton. “Make your ease of access look difficult and ensure your appearance deters criminal activity. Keep an eye on your neighbors, which is part of security training.” 

Their Gun Fighting Systems division offers consulting. Their training classes run at night: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

And they plan to offer some self defense and weapons detection courses. It’s really the whole gambit of defense, preparedness and security. 


Find them on Facebook: The Readiness Group

Camas, WA — The Camas Washougal Businessperson and Citizen of the year applications for nomination are now available. Your participation in the nomination process is necessary in order to honor individuals who truly deserve this honor within our community, said Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce today.

Here are the specifics:

Who: Citizen of the Year must live in the 98607 or 98671 area codes and have performed volunteer services in the community, which have contributed to an overall positive impact on Camas and/or Washougal. Business Person of the year must work in the 98607 or 98671 area codes and have shown a positive business influence on the Camas-Washougal area. Also, the businessperson must promote the community through any combination of the following: length of service, image, reputation, activities, promotions, growth, or participation in the business organizations. 

When: Application deadline is May 1st at 5 pm in the CW Chamber office at 422 NE 4th Avenue. Email to [email protected]   A banquet to honor the recipients will be held the first week in June. Date and Location to be announced.

Where: You can pick up applications at either the Camas or Washougal Riverview Community Bank branches, or at the Chamber Office. They are also available for download at 

Maintaining the tracks on your construction equipment is essential for keeping the machine in working condition while reducing premature wear and tear that could cost your business time and money to repair or replace. To extend the lifespan of your equipment, you must take good care of the components that run it. To top it off, the machine may not perform to its full potential if you do not properly service the tracks—maintain the equipment correctly so that it can maneuver through the job site safely and efficiently.

Clear Away Dirt and Debris After Each Workday

At the end of each workday, you must take the time to wash away any dirt or debris that has accumulated on the machine’s tracks and undercarriage. A power washer is the best tool for this job because it can quickly flake and wash away dirt. Skipping this step and leaving the debris could cause premature wear on the tracks; plus, the extra weight will affect your gas mileage.

Routinely Inspect the Undercarriage

The undercarriage on your construction equipment also correlates with maintaining the tracks on the machine. Over time, oil could leak, sprockets and rollers wear out, and small or large tears can appear. If you’re not routinely inspecting the undercarriage, you could leave these issues to fester and cause bigger problems with the equipment. Cuts in the tracks could damage the cords in the undercarriage, which could become a costly problem if you do not take the precaution of checking for damages.


Adjust Track Tension as Needed

The soil you’re driving over could determine the tension on your tracks. Loose tracks can damage the undercarriage, but muddy conditions or softer dirt might call for looser tracks to ensure the effectiveness of the machine. Be aware of how tight the tracks are on the rollers because it will affect the performance of the equipment. You never want this component to accidentally slip off the machine because the tension wasn’t high enough.

Prevent Repairs by Adhering to Simple Driving Instructions

Not following the directions on how to drive the machine properly could lead to premature wear and tear, costing you extra money down the road. Take care of your equipment by avoiding steep inclines and declines, not driving over chemicals or salt, and not taking sharp turns. Do not drive over sharp objects, curbs, or abrasive materials like asphalt. Train your staff to not only maintain the tracks on the construction equipment but also to operate the machines in a safe way that could prevent maintenance issues.

Follow the steps given by the manufacturer to care for the equipment properly. Do not avoid regular maintenance, or you could damage the tracks and cause the company to spend additional money on replacements or repairs. Maintain the machines to keep them working efficiently and safely throughout the job site.

Purpose and Functionality

One of the first things you should consider before choosing a belt grinder is which kind of projects you’ll need it for. For example, some belt grinders can be used with attachments and accessories that give them a wider range of functions. Occasionally, manufacturers will even include bonus attachments with certain models.

Belt Size and Length

While more compact belt grinders are typically less expensive than other models, you may end up paying more for replacement belts. Longer belts are better able to handle the heat from grinding since the wear is dispersed over more material. 

You may also be tempted to get a belt grinder with a wide belt, but these are not ideal for all kinds of projects. Knife making, for example, requires a two-inch belt. Anything thinner or wider will make it harder to perform the right functions.

Speed Settings

Not every belt grinder comes with a variable speed belt, but getting one that does can be a huge help. Some projects require very high speeds, while others don’t. Having the ability to choose the speed you’re using increases the number of materials you can work with.


Motor Size

Another important thing to look for in a quality belt grinder is a reliable and high-power motor, especially if you’re looking at a model without variable speed. A grinder with a weak motor just won’t perform as well, even if the price is more affordable.

The Right Belt Grinder

Follow these tips to make sure you choose the belt grinder that’s right for your projects. Once you have the machine you want, you’ll need to properly maintain your belt grinder to ensure it lasts as long as possible. With the right care, a quality belt grinder should last you quite a while.

When you think about construction equipment, the sizeable yellow machinery associated with Caterpillar is probably the first to come to mind. There are many advantages of Caterpillar engines when it comes to quality; however, if you’re wondering which are the best types of Caterpillar engines, consider the following.

Cat C7

The C7 was in production throughout the 2000s and was a memorable piece of equipment for being one of the earlier engines to adapt to new regulations imposed by the EPA. Trucking companies favored the C7 during that time for its reliability. However, Cat decided to take things in another direction and stopped production of the C7 in 2010.

Cat 3306

The 3306 is one of Cat’s older and more reliable engines, having made its debut in the 1970s. The main draw of the 3306 is that this engine ran efficiently but had a simple design that was easy to maintain and repair. Cat ceased production on the 3306 in the early 2000s when emission regulations led to the C7 and C9 models, which adhere to government regulations.


Cat 3116

While we often associate Caterpillar engines with construction equipment or heavy trucks, the 3116 made a big splash thanks to its frequent use in marine equipment. At 2400 rpm, the 3116 had around 205 horsepower, though the engine had some issues with a weaker top end compared to other models.

Cat C15

The C15 remains one of the best Caterpillar engines for industrial usage. The engine boasts a single turbocharger and parts that can be easily swapped out with the similar 3406E engine. Relief slots in the C15 are beneficial in protecting the gaskets from heavy weight.

Cat 3408

Cat’s 3408 engine remains one of their most popular engines on the market. The 3408 contains a lot of power and is stable, reliable, and easy to modify. The eight-cylinder engine produces around 500 horsepower and remains a popular model for construction, mining, and other heavy equipment uses.