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

Vancouver, WA  –The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) reports that the City of Vancouver is experiencing a boom in permit activity. In November, 41 Single Family Residence (SFR) permits were issued – compared to the 15 SFR permits issued in November 2019 – representing an increase of 173 percent in permits issued.

After examining the data, the BIA anticipates 2020’s permit activity in the City of Vancouver will surpass 2019’s by more than 50 percent. This is likely due to the pent-up demand for housing as a consequence of low inventory and lifestyle changes related to the pandemic, as well as historically low interest rates.

“Home is more important than ever,” said Andrea Smith, of the BIA of Clark County. ”It used to be that homes were a landing zone for family dinners, relaxation, and sleep. Now houses are doubling as offices and playgrounds. Due to housing’s essential nature, the BIA of Clark County and Building Industry Association of Washington fought to get the industry back to work from the statewide work stoppage in March, during the first round of government mandated COVID closures. Because of these advocacy efforts, the industry was able to get back to work five weeks earlier than other industries.“ 

“Contractors have proven that the industry can build and remodel safely and we will continue to do so effectively,” said Dave Myllymaki, the BIA’s President and Owner of ReNew Creations.

Permit
www.clarkcountyrelocations.com

Camas, WA — This is a question and answer session longtime educator, Jamie Holmes, owner of the new learning studio, A Creative Twist, which is located in downtown Camas.

What is A Creative Twist all about?

A Creative Twist is all about Common Sense in education.  It is a creative twist in today’s education style.  Students need hands-on experiences that focus on the building blocks of mathematics and BASIC FACTS so they can apply them in their lives and make meaning out of today’s jargon.  Common Core is full of analytical language that is hard for the common person to understand.  

At A Creative Twist we use many techniques, and we focus on basic foundational building blocks in mathematics, i.e., basic facts (add, subtract,multiply, divide)

What we do differently is:

  • We listen with our hearts to hear the struggles, we heal with caring opportunities.
  • We create success before going on.
  • We laugh, we enjoy, we relax into math and learn how to have fun with math. 
  • We look and listen for ideas that draw you in (perhaps MineCraft, rectangular arrays galore). 
  • We believe in you and create successful interactions.
  • We collaborate and create projects, games, and inquiry that engage BASIC FACTS.
  • We have similar style problems with a project or a set of manipulatives so the student can master BASIC FACTS. 
  • Interactive and engaging projects and games that build BASIC FACTS, so they can feel SUCCESS and apply it on a regular basis.
  • Explain with words and pictures, and manipulatives what the problem is asking.
  • How to decode the language to set up and understand the problem.
  • Draw conclusions, look for patterns, and convey knowledge in a safe collaborative environment.
  • We create, design, and have fun utilizing basic facts.
  • We use art, design, science, social studies, and writing — all that encompass BASIC FACTS.
  • We observe and listen and work with you to assess your learning style and your confidence (no fancy testing, no computerized results).

What age group is your primary focus?

Our target age range is 2nd through middle school.  The pandemic has set students up for teaching themselves through the virtual classroom. That is a tall order to ask anyone of any school age. They don’t know to teach themselves, they don’t understand how their brain accesses information with ease. Kids usually label themselves “dumb” when they don’t understand. Once a child has declared they are “dumb” or “can’t learn” because the system failed them, we all sufer and it takes YEARS to recover from that self doubting thought. Your brain starts to look for evidence to validate your self destructive belief. Self doubt is dangerous, especially at a young age.

What is your background as an educator?

I think out of the box, I understand the wounded math warrior, I have taught math for 30 years in Portland, I am “Highly Qualified in Math”, I have a sense of humor and laugh and have fun, I have high expectations that are attainable, I believe in the student’s ability to “Get it”, I get results, I have taught BRIDGES math curriculum and know what they are expecting of students and where the program is weak.  

I now work in downtown Camas, an I am open during COVID just like Kumon or Sylvan Learning Centers. Kids like me, but most of all I MAKE A DIFFERENCE in how your child will perceive themselves and learning.

To you, what is Common Core, and why do people react negatively when Common Core is mentioned?

Kids often don’t understand the language of the problem nor do they understand the format of math problems. It just dives deep and dives in too quickly, and continues whether the children understand the concept or not.  The kids who “don’t get it”  need someone (ME) or some place (HERE) to explain what the system is asking the student to do. 

Then the student needs to be exposed to that same style of experiences to grasp the concept so they can master it and apply in different situations.  The hardest part of the Common Core Problem Solving is it doesn’t focus on building a strong foundation of successful experiences before going further into the next set of ideas and concepts..  It skims the surface and then plunges deep, and continues whether the children understand the concept or not.   That said, students do not have the basic foundation to build their house of mathematics on, a strong foundation is a solid place to grow in any direction.

What is Project Based Learning?

Project Based Learning (PBL)uses a concept/idea that you can apply to a project.  This project can take various shapes and forms. Traditional school has replaced this style for standardized instruction.  

PBL is an inquiry lead approach wherein students ask questions about ideas or concepts and inquiry leads them to a project. At A Creative Twist we introduce the projects so that students can catch onto the idea of PBL. Sometimes the projects are 3D and sometimes they are field research. The projects that are done here are 3D.  

Students may create a replica of the subject they are studying, for instance, they are studying erosion. They can make miniature streams, deltas, rivers, gorges to demonstrate how the erosion takes place. They may make a salt dough map of Washington and have elevation of the Cascade range. This is where science comes alive and students are eager to read, write and learn.  The text leads them to their next creative thought and through collaboration ideas of projects are explored. This is the excitement that fuels education. 

For the reluctant reader, we read together for information, for the reluctant writer we write for an authentic reason or for a specific audience.  It is my dream to have this learning center as a showpiece for the downtown with demonstrations on First Friday or Parent night so the kids can present their ideas to a genuine audience that wants to see them excel in confidence, public speaking, and creativity.  We, as a society have to take education in a different direction and apply it in part of our social structure in order to give it contextual meaning.  It is up to the leaders, the adults of the communities to encourage these activities through social engagement. Often parents and the community are so busy they invest more face time in the screen of their phone rather than the faces of the children. We need to lead in a different way, they are following our examples.  So let the screen be a video of the children showcasing their work outside the traditional confluence of school.

Contact Information

Phone: 503.319.6498

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.acreativetwistcorp.com

Folk duo Fox and Bones offers custom songwriting services for the perfect contact-free gift

Camas, WA — With lockdowns and quarantines affecting many long-standing holiday traditions this year, local band Fox and Bones has come up with the perfect contact-less gift that allows people to express their love from a distance. The duo, who previously made their living touring internationally but moved home to Camas when the first wave of lockdowns hit, put their minds together to create “Our Custom Song”, a boutique personalized songwriting service where they are commissioned to write what they call “the ultimate expression of love” —  a highly personalized, radio quality song.

Though Fox and Bones, aka Sarah Vitort and Scott Gilmore, launched this new service in the wake of COVID-19 shutdowns, the idea for Our Custom Song initially came to the real life couple three Christmases ago, when Gilmore wrote Vitort a song and gave it to her as a Christmas present. 

“To this day it’s the best gift I’ve ever received, truly a gift that keeps on giving. There is nothing quite like the feeling of being someone’s muse,” said Vitort. 

Vitort realized that equipped with 20+ combined years of songwriting experience that feeling was one they could offer to others and became more valuable than ever when COVID changed everyone’s lives.

The custom songwriting process begins with an hour-long ZOOM consultation, where Vitort and Gilmore ask thought provoking questions in order to step into their customers’ shoes before writing the song. In addition to the initial consultation, customers get two rounds of edits between the first and final drafts to ensure the song is exactly what they want. Customers also get to choose the genre, feel and instrumentation of the song, and are offered add-ons like their own photo slideshow music video, an engraved lyric plaque, or a CD of the song.

“It didn’t feel somebody created this song just because it was purchased, it felt like you guys really could understand how we felt, and took all the stories and things that we talked about and made them come to life,” said Shelby Cinnamon, who, with her siblings, commissioned a song for her mom for Mother’s Day. 

Her sister Carley, a Camas resident, added, “I wish I had the words to convey to people how special and how meaningful the entire process was. It’s such a priceless song that we will treasure forever.”

In addition to custom songs, Our Custom Song also offers a more budget-friendly option in the form of “Song-Grams,” where clients can choose any song for the duo to cover with a special dedication to the recipient, a nostalgic cross between a singing telegram and a radio song dedication. 

Our Custom Song was created by Vitort and Gilmore as a way for people to commission personalized songs for the people they love most. Vitort and Gilmore use their 20 years of combined songwriting and music industry experience and their deep ability to empathize to create heartfelt, radio quality songs for their customers. The pair has been lauded for their songwriting in outlets such as Parade Magazine, No Depression, and Pop Matters since they formed in 2016.

Interested parties are encouraged to learn more and book their song at www.ourcustomsong.com

 

Band
Sarah Vitort and Scott Gilmore of Fox and Bones.

Camas, WA — Join Downtown Camas merchants November 27th (the day after Thanksgiving) in Downtown Camas! In celebration of the joy of shopping locally (no “big boxes” here), participating downtown merchants will each have a “little box” of coupons, specials, gifts, and other surprises for you to draw from. A little something extra for supporting local!

Also receive a free Golden Ticket in each location with any purchase to be entered to win a gorgeous holiday merchant basket! The Golden Tickets also enter you to win merchant prizes and a shopping spree!

The Golden Ticket Event in Downtown Camas starts on November 27th (day after Thanksgiving–also Little Box Friday!) and runs through December 18th. With any purchase from a participating merchant during this time, receive a “Golden Ticket” that enters you to win a fabulous prize from that merchant! Shopping multiple times during this time period and receiving a ticket each time is encouraged! 🙂 Plus your tickets will be entered into the Grand “Golden Ticket” drawing for a $250 Downtown Camas Shopping Spree, compliments of Carla Edwards, local Real Estate Broker!!

Please, bring receipts to the Liberty Theatre from any local Downtown Camas businesses from this day totaling at least $100 and receive 2 free movie tickets! (Turn in the receipts to theater 11/27 from *12:00pm – 3:00pmYou can buy popcorn during this time as well! One set per person. Pass use subject to capacity.) *times changed due to theatre closure mandate.

More fun promotions to come! Fantastic kick off to holiday shopping!

Participating merchants include:

4Ever Growing Kids
Allure Boutique
Arktana
Caffe Piccolo
Cake Happy
Camas Antiques
Camas Bike & Sport
Juxtaposition
Natalia’s Cafe
Navidi’s Olive Oils & Vinegars
Papermaker Pride
Sass Beauty
The Soap Chest

Featured image by Megan Kingston, and provided by Juxtaposition.

Camas, WA — This is the first Christmas holiday season for Juxtaposition, a downtown Camas home furnishings and decor store, and they’re bringing it with style and days of fun.

Black Friday, or “Little Box Friday,” as they call it in downtown Camas, kicks off at 8 am on Friday, November 27 with some great deals, door busters, and door prizes.

“Everyone that comes into the door gets to draw from our prize box,” said Suzanne Ferguson, owner of Juxtaposition. “The box is filled with gift cards from downtown Camas businesses and restaurants, and some will draw cards that have discounts of up to 50 percent off on holiday and home decor at Juxtaposition.

Black Friday/Little Box Friday door busters include the following items at 50 percent off regular retail prices:

  • Cynthia Dunn snowman ornaments (boxed sets of 4)
  • Snowman dinner plates
  • 3×4” Metallic and gold pillar candles
  • Poinsettia flowers
  • Snowman hot chocolate mugs

There will be a free gift to the first 50 customers, plus door prizes will be announced every hour on Friday and Saturday. Customers simply need to fill out a ticket while they’re shopping.

Door prizes include gilded gold Frasier Fir candles, Beekman hand lotion caddies,hand-care trio and little gnomes. 

Juxtaposition will be open all weekend (8-8 on Friday10-8 on Saturday) with extended shopping hours on Sunday (10-5), which will continue through the holiday season.

Special deals include:

  • All Gnomes on sale at 10 percent off
  • All Ornaments on sale at 20 percent off
  • Let It Snow Collection on sale at 15 percent off
  • All gift sets are 15 percent off
Juxtaposition
Christmas ornaments are 20% off.

The gift cards will be distributed until they’re all gone. Camas Cash will be handed out Saturday by Downtown Camas Association elves on Small Business Saturday. Camas Cash can be used at participating downtown Camas businesses.

“We invite you to be part of our giving tree,” said Ferguson. “It helps out local families during the holiday season.”

The giving tree program is organized by Camas School District.

To learn more, visit www.artfuljuxtaposition.com or visit the store at 425 NE 4th Avenue in historic downtown Camas. Per COVID-19 guidelines, Juxtaposition asks that all customers wear face coverings while shopping.

Juxtaposition
Christmas gnomes.

OLYMPIA, WA — The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) honored its Builder, Associate and Remodeler of the Year members at its Fall Board of Directors meeting on November 12. Fellow BIAW members selected the award recipients based on their significant contributions to BIAW and the home building industry as a whole. The following two Clark County companies were chosen for Builder of the Year and Remodeler of the Year out of almost 8,200 BIAW members all over the state of Washington. 

Tracy Doriot | Builder of the Year

Tracy Doriot of Doriot Construction is an award-winning custom home builder with 43 years in the construction business. ACertified Builder, Doriot has served on the Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIACC)’s board of directors since 2007, holding multiple committee chair positions and serving as president the second half of 2009, 2010 and 2016.  He’s an active recruiter of new members with 521 Spike credits to date. 

Doriot has served on the Cascadia Technical Academy (formerly known as Clark County Skills Center) Construction Technology Advisory Committee since 1996 and has been chair of the board since 2019. He also serves on the board of directors for the Clark County Parks Foundation.

A state leader in the BIAW active in government affairs, Tracy participates in BIAW’s Washington Affordable Housing Council and has served as a senior officer on its Executive Committee since 2019. He was installed as BIAW’s 2021 President at the Fall Board meeting and will lead the organization starting in January.

Dave Myllymaki | Remodeler of the Year

Dave Myllymaki of ReNew Creations, LLC, has served as a BIACC director for five years and is currently BIACC president for 2020 and 2021.

Along with serving as local association president, Myllymaki served as the chair to the BIACC remodeling council for two years. His involvement goes beyond his local association, resulting in Myllymaki receiving National Remodeler of the Month honors from the National Association of Home Builders in 2018.

Myllymaki is also active in his church and works on a variety of community outreach projects. He has also been involved in projects for Camp HopeEvergreen Habitat for Humanity and the Clark County Fair’s Junior Livestock Auction

Builder
www.clarkcountyrelocations.com


WASHOUGAL, WA — Software startup Mathaesthetics LLC has released MathPaint, its flagship software application, enabling anyone with a Mac to create amazing art generated by the power and beauty of mathematics.

MathPaint is built for graphic designers who have a need to create abstract, geometric, or fractal illustrations and visual textures. The new software title is also expected to appeal to experimental visual artists, hobbyists, and students.

MathPaint 1.0 is offered through Apple’s Mac App Store. The software’s sale price is $29.99. The App Store entry includes more information about the software, screenshots, and video previews: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/mathpaint/id1476765339

The MathPaint home page on the Mathaesthetics website also features more information, screenshots, and a free 10-day demo version of the software:https://mathaesthetics.com/wp/mathpaint/

Connecting With a Virtual Art Community
Although MathPaint was only just released the app has already gained a following online on social media. MathPaint creator Christopher Corbell regularly posts images created with the program on Instagram and other channels. Digital art made with MathPaint has earned follows and “likes” from around the world.

“The images made with MathPaint have gained follows and likes from France, Brazil, Japan, Iran and other places around the world,” said Corbell. “At this time when we’re all isolated by the pandemic it’s really meaningful to see how art can connect us worldwide. There’s a virtual community around hashtags like #generative and #creativecode. Mathematical art has a kind of beauty, like music, which transcends cultures. Its visual forms reflect something in that’s in all of us, in our sense of harmony and our wonder at complexity. Anyone can appreciate these designs even if they don’t regularly do mathematics. That’s really what made me want to create MathPaint – it’s a program powered by math but it isn’t for doing math; it’s for making art. I think this kind of program might be really useful in education as well. It can give students a way to explore mathematics as a creative activity, motivated by wonder or playfulness.” 

Mathaesthetics
www.acreativetwistcorp.com

Introduction to MathPaint Video Tutorial
Mathaesthetics will be delivering MathPaint tutorials on its YouTube channel, accessible from within the application or in any web browser. The initial video tutorial is an introduction to the features of MathPaint, showing its variety of capabilities in action:
https://youtu.be/al-OtRTYxmI

About Mathaesthetics LLC

Founded in the summer of 2020, Mathaesthetics is a Washington limited-liability company based in Washougal. The company’s mission is to explore the intersection of technology and creativity with imaginative software products. Founder Christopher Corbell moved to Washougal in 2019 from nearby Portland. Corbell has worked as a software engineer since 2000 and has also participated in the Portland arts scene as a music composer, producer, and performer.

Mathaesthetics
An example of digital art.

Camas, WA — Several local businesses attended the annual Downtown Camas Association (DCA) awards event Monday night at the Liberty Theatre. Under the theme “mask-querade” event attendees enjoyed popcorn and drinks while DCA leaders Caroline Mercury, Carrie Schulstad and Shannon Van Horn addressed the experiences of 2020 through a video slideshow, commentary, and awards presentations.

Given the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, some of the award designations were altered for 2020, such as “Help Your Neighbor” and “Phenomenal Pivot.”

The annual events ceremony is an opportunity for local merchants and community supporters to review the successes and challenges of the year, and 2020 was filled with unique hurdles. Businesses endured state mandates that closed some of their operations altogether, altered how they serve customers, and required new rules such as physical distancing and face masks.

”It really does make a difference when we’re all together,” said Schulstad, DCA Executive Director. “Tonight is about you. Yes, we will cover the things the DCA has been doing this year, but the main focus will be celebrating the resiliency and the innovation that our small businesses have shown time and time again in downtown. This has been a very hard year. Having to change a lot and having to change often, having to feel the sting of laying off employees. Having to change the entire way you operate. Trying new things without knowing they will work. Not knowing when all this will end. These are monumental times. Yet somehow our downtown businesses have found the fortitude and the strength to rise up, and find a way.”

Mercury emphasized that Juxtaposition, a high end furniture and home decor store, opened on the eve of state mandated coronavirus business closures.

“Suzanne and her team have been so tenacious and so gracious in continuing to do what needs to be done to operate a business effectively under any circumstances, and who could have imagined these circumstances.”

Mercury mentioned the opening of the Clara Flats apartments on 6th Avenue, and that The Wild Hair, a destination salon, celebrates 30 years in business.

Award Winners

  • Juxtaposition: Best Downtown Space Improvement
  • Lara Blair: Something New in Camas Award.
  • Papermaker Pride: Help Your Neighbor Award
  • Camas Library: Phenomenal Pivot Award
  • Ann Matthews: Downtown Spirit Award
  • Gary Carter: Volunteer Award
  • Salud Wine Bar: Great Growth Award
  • Liberty Theatre: Incredible Innovation Award 
  • Camas Antiques: Creative Marketing Award

The Caffe Piccolo team was recognized for their spirit and support of all downtown Camas events.

DCA
www.acreativetwistcorp.com
DCA
Juxtaposition team.
DCA
DCA Awards

$3 million EDA grant comes to Opportunity Zone in Washougal created by Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; estimated to bring 130 new jobs

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) today applauded the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant award of $3 million to the Port of Camas-Washougal to help establish an industrial workspace for use by local manufacturing employers.

The EDA grant, targeted to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $2.5 million in local funds and $1.4 million in state funds, and is expected to create 130 jobs and spur $10.6 million in private investment.

In addition to helping establish the Opportunity Zone in Washougal, Herrera Beutler also partnered with the Port of Camas-Washougal to successfully earn this grant. Her advocacy included this 2019 letter to EDA.

“Yet another reason I supported the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was because it established Opportunity Zones like the one that’s bringing 130 new jobs and $10 million in private investment to Washougal,” Congresswoman Herrera Beutler said. “Job creation has always been my top priority, so I’m grateful to the Department of Commerce for targeting the tools Congress provided through the 2017 tax cuts bill in support of the Port of Camas-Washougal’s effort to bring more manufacturing jobs here.”

“EDA is proud to support local efforts to improve infrastructure to spur new business growth,” Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development said. “EDA investments in Opportunity Zones enhance the return on investment for business interests and encourage the public/private partnerships critical to driving private investment and new jobs to cities like Washougal.”

Washougal
www.electlarryhoff.com