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.

Camas, WA — After six weeks of successful testing, the brand-new Camas App is now available to the public.

What started as a local business directory and news aggregator, evolved to focus on connecting residents and visitors with local businesses and events. Its designers call it “collaborative commerce.”

“The Camas App was built for, in, and by community members – designed to help regenerate our economy and make it more resilient. We want to make it easy for residents and visitors to learn about local businesses and discover new ones they may not be aware of,” said Joseph Graves, Co-creator of the Camas App.

The app was created locally and operated with a focus on supporting the Camas community without global tech companies filtering results or optimizing for their own financial interests.

To get the app, go to camas.info from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Background — How did this come about?

Graves and Lacamas Magazine shared several clients and were discussing ways to help more businesses when the idea for a Camas App came up in conversation.

“I had an idea for a cool local business directory app, and Joe said he was already working on it with Tyler Kaye,” said Ernie Geigenmiller, Editor & Publisher of Lacamas Magazine. “So, the three of us have been working like crazy to get it launched.”

“It’s a perfect fit for the Lacamas Magazine audience and a great way to strengthen our local economy” said Graves. “Buying from local businesses is the most powerful method I can think of to protect our community.”

Camas App
www.lilyatelier.com
Camas App
The Daily Deal in the Camas App.

“I have always wanted to find a way to connect a community to local businesses. In the ever-connected world of high speed connections, local businesses can still thrive with the right tools,” said Kaye. “The Camas App is a tool for the community as much as it is for the businesses in Camas.”

To make the app sustainable over the long term, there are several in app marketing opportunities including Premium listings, Daily Deals, Special Offers, Real Estate Listing, with more planned for the future. 

A portion of the revenue generated will be shared with three local nonprofits — The Camas-Washougal Community Chest, Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Camas Association.

Camas App
The Camas App has many categories.

Vancouver, WA – The Building Futures Foundation (the 501c3 charitable arm of the Building Industry Association of Clark County) is seeking applicants for scholarships and tool grants. The deadline to apply is July 1.

Scholarship applicants should be Clark County residents pursuing education for a career within or directly related to the building industry. Scholarships are awarded to support those attending a college, university, and/or a trade/technical school. Tool grants are awarded to first-year and second-year electrical apprentices.

Both applications should include two letters of recommendation and information regarding career pathway, financial need, academic performance, and extracurricular activities. Full details on how to apply for the scholarship and tool grant can be found online at http://biaofclarkcounty.org/get-involved/building-futures-foundation/.

Additionally, the Building Industry Association of Washington is offering scholarships and grants. The deadline to apply is May 14. For complete information, visit https://www.biaw.com/program/education/.

 The Building Futures Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational foundation, which raises money via donations and event contributions, to award scholarships and tool grants to local students pursuing a career in the building industry.

The Building Industry Association (BIA) of Clark County is a nonprofit trade association representing the interests of all businesses involved with real estate, land development, homebuilding, and construction.

Vancouver, WA – The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) is excited to announce member Chuck Neibert of Affinity Homes LLC has won national recognition from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as a top recruiter for the home building industry.

As part of a NAHB’s national membership recruitment effort, builders compete against other builders from associations across the country for an experience of a lifetime. Because the BIA has more than 500 members, we are recognized as a large association. As such, Chuck has won the grand prize in the large association category for recruiting the most members in the country.

As a thank you for Chuck’s hard work in building the power of the association through member recruitment, he will receive an all-inclusive trip to the Signature Kitchen Suite Experience and Design Center (an exclusive, 23,000-square-foot facility showcasing the intersection between technology and culinary passion) in Napa Valley, California, courtesy of the official NAHB membership sponsor, Signature Kitchen Suite.

2021 BIA Board President, Dave Myllymaki said, “Chuck has been instrumental in assisting our Membership Director in growing the membership of the BIA by attracting new members from Clark, Skamania, and Wahkiakum counties. We cannot thank him enough for the dozens of members he’s recruited to ensure that the construction community is aware of the many benefits offered by the BIA: cost-saving programs, business development tools, and advocacy at the local, state, and national levels of government.”

Vancouver, WA — The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) reports an increase of 66 percent in townhome permit issuance from 2019 to 2020 in Clark County. In 2019, the total number of permits issued was 62 whereas in 2020 the number of townhome permits was 103. While townhome permits rose, single-family home permit activity saw a slight dip of about 12.8 percent between 2019 and 2020.

This could signal an emphasis on building to meet the “missing middle” (a range of multi-unit or clustered housing types, compatible in scale with detached single-family homes) and tackle the crisis of housing affordability. According to the National Association of Home Builders, it is called the “missing middle” for two reasons: 1) due to its scalability; and 2) its ability to deliver affordable housing options to middle-income households.

While an increase in rents charged remain unchanged for a majority of 2020 due to the COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium, no protections are offered for those moving into the area or switching housing options. Though landlords cannot raise rents on existing tenants, they can raise the price per unit when advertising a vacancy. With the current state of interest rates, mortgages are often in-line with, or less than the cost of renting. The BIA commends the builders building to meet the “missing middle” so that homeownership can become a reality for more Clark County residents.

While the BIA is ecstatic to report the great news on the housing affordability front, seeing a slight decline in the number of permits issued in the single-family segment of the home building market is disappointing considering the demand for such dwellings. Clark County is experiencing a housing inventory shortage across price-points, with less than a one month supply available. It is not surprising that home prices increase with a historically low supply and high demand. Therefore, the BIA recommends an emphasis on building homes at all price-points in 2021 so as not to contradict the efforts made on the housing affordability front.

Clark County
www.clarkcountyrelocations.com