Tag Archive for: Camas

As locally owned Champ Pizza continues to grow, its owner, Tyson Cook, has decided to donate pizza bites to local high school football game concessions stands at no cost to the schools. These local athletic boosters are able to sell the pizza bites at 100 percent profit. 

Champ Pizza also provides a team dinner to one team each season.

“Champ Pizza also provides one free team dinner to each high school sports team and clubs each season when they reach out to us,” Cook said.

The pizza bites program is brand new.

“As long as the money goes directly back to the athletic programs, we will keep doing this for the foreseeable future,” said Cook. “We are testing it out with football and currently it’s going very well.”

So far these schools: Prairie, Battle Ground, Camas, Rex Putnam, and Fort Vancouver, are participating in the program.  All receive pizza bites 100 percent free so that all proceeds go to their local athletic programs. 

“We provide the food and paper goods,” said Cook. “Camas made $700 during their first game selling those. Prairie made $500 the first game. Rex Putnam made $400.  Profit margins aren’t always great for concessions so this helps them out a lot. The pizza bites are made in our Camas store.”

Cook says he’d rather give money to support our kids to help them raise funds, “because if we take care of them it will take care of us in the long term. We live to serve the community. That’s where our funds are being shifted to support our high school kids.” 

The program requires very little manpower. It only takes one person to serve them out. The concessions teams train their kids, and they are able to instruct others. They did a good job of training the high school kids to work with them.

“They’re a great addition to the concession’s menu!,” said Lisa Schneider, who is part of the Camas Athletics Boosters Club.

Fern Prairie, WA — For more than a decade, Shangri-La Farm has hosted an end of summer celebration known as its famous annual Hootenanny. But this year, the event will transform into a fundraiser on Saturday, September 30th from 5-9pm to benefit the Maui Strong Fund. This fund provides financial resources to support the immediate and long-term recovery needs for the people and places affected by the Maui wildfires. 

As of September 14th, $120,730,844 has been donated to the Maui Strong Fund which is administrated through the Hawaii Community Foundation.

“The public is invited to attend this event at our Shangri-La Farm,” said organizer Liz Pike. “Attendees will be treated to a delicious western BBQ dinner and homemade pie. We encourage folks to wear their cowboy or Aloha attire for an evening of fun, music and dancing.” 

Tickets are $40 per person and advance registration is required by September 25th. A limit of 200 tickets will be sold. To RSVP, please text or call Pike at (360) 281-8720 or email: [email protected] . Pre-pay $40 per person with Venmo to Shangri-La Farm or pay $40 at the door. All net proceeds from the event will be sent to Maui Strong Fund.

The Hootenanny features live music by Kista Roberts and Whiskey Blue Band. Guests are also encouraged to bring $5 and $20 bills to play Chicken Poop Bingo.

“My ties to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands run deep,” said Pike. “I lived on the Island of Oahu for about ten years and my twin children were born in Honolulu in 1989. Like most Americans, my husband Neil and I have enjoved vacations in the Hawaiian Islands. When we heard about the horrific wildfires on Maui, we decided this year’s Hootenanny should be about helping those in need.”

Guests will park at Grove Field Airport, 632 NE 267th Avenue, Camas. The Port of Camas Washougal is contributing the use of the Grove Field airport parking lot for this fundraising event to partner with Shangri-La Farm to benefit Maui Strong Fund. From the airport, follow the meandering trail 1/4 mile through the woods to Shangri-La Farm or take a fun ride on the free Sunflower Mobile shuttle to the farm.

For more information, contact Liz Pike at Tel. (360) 281-8720 or email

[email protected]

Downtown Camas

Camas, WA — The community is invited to celebrate the bounty of the season at the Camas Farmer’s Market Harvest Festival on Wednesday, September 27th from 3 pm-7 pm. This event marks the end of the 2023 season for the market, hosted in historic Downtown Camas. The festival features fall themed games, décor and photo ops alongside local farmed produce and flowers, artisan foods, and diverse dinner options. The Harvest Festival is located at 625 NE 4th Avenue, in front of the Camas Library.

Shoppers have shown their affinity for shopping local and supporting local food systems throughout this year’s 18-week market season. The Camas Farmer’s Market saw record highs for attendance and many vendors enjoyed record sales, despite multiple days of high temperatures. The sustainably harvested farm-to-table produce, flowers, and honey, in addition to hand crafted artisan foods including pasta sauce, nut butters, kombucha, and wide variety of international cuisines, have been a winning combination for vendors and shoppers alike. 

All vendors accept cash and credit cards at their booths, and participating farms also accept WIC/Senior benefits cards. SNAP beneficiaries can start their shopping trip at the Information Booth at the corner of 4th and Everett, to take advantage of the SNAP Market Match Program, where they can receive up to $25 additional match dollars for fresh market produce.

The festival will feature market favorite musician Terry Baber from 3 pm-7 pm. Terry has been playing steel pan drum for nearly 20 years. Listeners will enjoy his relaxed island-inspired steel drum classics. The market will feature a variety of delicious dinner options, including Greek options from Getta Gyro authentic Mexican inspired fare from Razo’s Tacos, empanadas from Melted Crumbs, and hot pretzels from XYZ Baked Goods. Festival Goers looking for a sweet treat will find no shortage of artisan baked goods, such as European baked goods from Camas Market and Bakery, finely decorated cookies from Blue Gem Bakery, and rice crispy treats and other goodies from truly scrumptious. Games and activities for all ages will be offered, including a raffle for a grand prize of a wagon full of local produce and treats, donated by Camas Farmer’s Market vendors. Kids can enjoy free face painting from Mandi Moon Artistry. Games include pumpkin bowling, corn hole, and a harvest spinning wheel.

Downtown Camas

At its core, the Harvest Festival is a celebration of local farmers. The market hosted over 20 unique farms in 2023. Some farmers, like Dan and Caroline Swansey from Yacolt Farm, have been in the market for over 10 seasons. This year also brought opportunities for vendors that are new to farming, including artisan mushroom grower Rod Seal from Shroom’n 2 U. Visitors are encouraged to shop, dine, and connect with their community at the final market of the season.

“We are so excited to celebrate the end of the Market and harvest season with the community!” says Shannon Van Horn, President of the Camas Farmer’s Market Board of Directors. “We are very grateful for all the support from our sponsors, the City of Camas, and our customers! It was wonderful to see how many people still braved all weather conditions to support all their local farmers and other vendors!  Please join us for a fun celebration to round out our 16th season, and we look forward to seeing you again in Spring 2024!”

The Camas Farmer’s Market is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides local and sustainable foods to the community of Camas and beyond. For more information, visit camasfarmersmarket.org. Follow the market on Facebook or Instagram. Get up to date information about events and vendors from the Camas Farmer’s Market newsletter, click here to sign up.

Written by Downtown Camas Association.

Camas, WA — The Downtown Camas Association has been designated as an Accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards. Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of Accredited programs to recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.

“We are very proud to acknowledge this year’s 862 Accredited Main Street America programs, and their steadfast dedication to nurture economically and culturally vibrant downtown districts,” said Hannah White, Interim President & CEO of Main Street America. “The increase in the size and impact of our network speaks volumes to the power of the Main Street movement to respond to the needs of local communities and drive innovative solutions.”

In 2022, Main Street America programs generated $6.2 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 7,657 net new businesses, facilitated the creation of 29,174 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 10,688 historic buildings, and leveraged 1,528,535 volunteer hours. On average, for every dollar that a Main Street program spent to support their operations, it generated $24.07 of new investment back into their downtown communities.

Collectively, 2 million people live or work within the boundaries of designated Main Street America districts. An estimated workforce of 1.1 million people contribute their skills and expertise to advancing the missions of these historic downtowns and commercial corridors.

Downtown Camas Association’s performance is annually evaluated by Washington Main Street, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet national performance standards. To qualify for Accreditation status, communities must meet a set of rigorous standards that include commitments to building grassroots revitalization programs, fostering strong public-private partnerships, nurturing economic opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs, and actively preserving historic places, spaces, and cultural assets.

Downtown Camas

In 2022, The Downtown Camas Association (DCA) saw over $475,000 in private investment in downtown building upgrades, 4 new businesses and 6 business expansions, record attendance at First Friday events, and 3083 recorded volunteer hours. Ridgeline lighting upgrades and installations were organized and funded by the DCA on 26 downtown buildings enhancing the evening aesthetic that Downtown Camas is well known for, earning a State Excellence on Main Award. The Downtown Camas Bench Program was launched, 64 flower baskets provided vibrant color throughout downtown, and a stunning new student mural on the Camas Antiques building was completed thanks to mentorship by the DCA and local artist Anna Norris. For further information on DCA impacts, see downtowncamas.com/dca

“We are very proud and honored to be a part of the Main Street America Community,” says Carrie Schulstad, Executive Director of the Downtown Camas Association. “We consider the standards that are held by Main Street America to be the ones that help guide our organization to reach the heights that will truly help our community be healthy, strong and sustainable. Having methods that are proven and a network of people and resources to reach out to as needed are invaluable. The DCA has been accredited through Main Street America since 2017 and they consistently offer new, relevant learning opportunities and are conducting and reporting community research to help us all grow.”


The Downtown Camas Association (DCA) works year-round to strengthen and promote Downtown Camas through partnerships, events, beautification and historic preservation projects, economic development, advocacy, and tourism functions. The DCA is a 501c3 nonprofit Main Street program founded in 2009 and is proud of the economic, social and cultural strength in Downtown Camas that has developed due to downtown revitalization efforts. For more information on the DCA and its initiatives, visit www.downtowncamas.com.  

Written by Downtown Camas Association.

Camas, WA—  Members of Camas Education Association (CEA) voted Thursday to ratify a new two-year deal, ending a strike that lasted seven days that is causing a rippling effect in the school calendar.

Teachers went back to the classroom Friday.

Camas School District (CSD) negotiated with the CEA that class sizes will be reduced over the next two years to between 21-24 students for elementary students, and secondary school sizes are supposed to shift to having a baseline and maximum sizes for each class.

The new deal also sought equity in PE, music and arts funding across CSD schools, and the agreement “establishes a resource fund that is distributed on a per-student basis” that goes up to $140,000 during the 2025-26 school year.

A teacher raise was also agreed upon. In this school year, their pay will increase by 6.4 percent and another 6.6 percent in the 2024-25 school year. Union officials wanted 8.9 percent, and the District said publicly that 5.7 percent was their final and best offer. 

“Quick Summary: Two year contract with salary increase spread out over those two years,” said Shelley Lee, a Camas teacher, and former CEA President. “Phased in classroom reductions over next two years. Letter of agreement for three years for earmarked money for PE, health, library, and music. Lots more to the overall CBA but those were the three sticking points at the end. Overall I think CEA feels like this contract is fair and moves us forward. It’s time now to work together to pass the next levy which will continue to benefit our students.”

The debate ended, but lingering hurt feelings may there a while. 

“We’re tired,” said Mark Gardner, a Camas teacher. “This never should have happened, and we should have started negotiating with the District in March, not May.”

During the process, the school board voted to authorize legal action against the teachers if the strike lingered. And, it was the end of a very challenging first year for Camas Superintendent John Anzalone, who also oversaw budget cuts in the Spring.

“This contract reflects our shared dedication to providing the best possible educational experience for our students,” Anzalone said in a statement after the deal was ratified. “Our teachers are not just educators; they are mentors, role models, and often, beacons of stability for our students. Their love for teaching and their unwavering dedication to their students are the very qualities that excite me for our students’ futures and the future of our district.”

Camas, WA — The Camas School District and the Camas Education Association have come to a tentative agreement. Pending ratification of the agreement tomorrow, school is expected to resume on Friday, September 8.

Here’s the statement from Camas Superintendent John Anzalone:

Dear Camas Community,

We are happy to share that the Camas Education Association (CEA) and our district have tentatively agreed on a new, two-year collective bargaining contract. On behalf of our more than 1,000 staff members, we are excited to welcome back our students on Friday, September 8, 2023, subject to ratification of the contract tomorrow.

We want to express deep appreciation for our dedicated teachers and the negotiation teams who worked tirelessly to reach an agreement that reflects our shared commitment to our students’ well-being and educational experience.

The first day of school is always a special time, filled with anticipation and the promise of new opportunities. Thank you for your continued support, trust, and partnership. 

Together, we create an environment where our students can thrive and succeed.

We wish you and your family a fantastic start to the

school year.

John Anzalone

Camas Gallery together with Pike Art Gallery will be hosting the newly renamed “Marquita Call Memorial Plein-air Event of Camas” on Friday, September 1, 2023. Marquita Call, owner of Camas Gallery and founder of the annual Plein-air art event, passed away unexpectedly on August 29th. 

“Our community is still reeling from the news of Marquita’s death,” said Liz Pike, local artist and longtime friend of Marquita. “Marquita was loved by all who knew her. Since opening her Camas Gallery in 2010, she quickly became the unofficial Mayor of Camas because of her passion for the city and its residents. Having grown up in Camas, she was a living history book for the town. Her quick wit, million dollar smile and can-do attitude touched the lives of so many. Camas residents and visitors alike were welcomed as family, once inside Marquita’s Camas Gallery.” 

Pike noted it is both fitting and necessary to rename the event to honor Call. According to Pike, Call was a driving force to reignite fine art in downtown Camas. Undaunted by the Great Recession, Call marched ahead to open what would become the most popular art gallery in town. 

“Through her work at the gallery, Marquita helped launch the successful art careers of many local artists,” said Pike. “With grit and grace, she was a one-woman, non-stop promoter of local artists and the arts in our community.” 

Marquita founded the Plein-air art event several years ago to help connect the Camas community to local art. Since its humble beginnings, more and more artists participate each year on the first Friday of September. Marquita believed such an event would attract people to downtown Camas and help struggling merchants during those lean times of the economic downturn.

Participating local artists will take to the streets beginning at 9 am to paint the town this Friday, September 1st. Artists must start and finish their respective plein-air art between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm on September 1. Beginning at 4 pm, artists will move their easels and finished art to the sidewalk area in front of Camas Gallery, 408 NE Fourth Avenue, where the public may view all of the finished art in one location. As in past years, the community will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite finished work of plein-air art and also purchase any of the pieces for a flat rate of $200 each from 5 pm to 7:30 pm on Friday, September 1st. 

Proceeds from the sale of all plein-air pieces will be split between the selling artist and Camas Gallery. 

Artists may pick up an application form to participate in the newly named “Marquita Call Memorial Plein-air Event of Camas” at Camas Gallery, 408 NE Fourth Avenue or at the Pike Art Gallery at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Birch Street in #UptownCamas, 302 NE Sixth Avenue. All artist applications must be returned with a $10 entree fee to Camas Gallery no later than 9 am on September 1st. 

For more information or questions about the plein-air event, contact Liz Pike at 360.281.8720. 

Camas School District Superintendent John Anzalone announced Sunday evening that Camas schools will be closed Monday.

This is his letter:

Dear Camas Community,

Camas Education Association (CEA) has informed our district that there will be no school tomorrow. They are striking.

Today, CEA presented a comprehensive proposal with higher than previously requested salary increases as well as lower than previously requested class sizes. Our district’s bargaining team is disappointed that CA is regressing.

Our district has presented its last, best, and final offer. In it, we offered to raise salaries in 2023 by 5.7% and in 2024 by 5.9%. Our district’s proposal would make CEA teachers among the highest-paid educators in the region. Our highest-paid teachers would earn over $118.363 in 2023-24 and $124,991 in 2024-25.

Conversely, CEA’s request puts the highest-paid salaries from $121,653 for 2023-24 up to $129,746 for 2024-25.

CEA’s request in its third year of the contract would put the highest-paid teachers at $135,886.

The latest information is available on our Labor Relations website.

We are incredibly disappointed in the outcome of these negotiations.


John Anzalone

Statement from CEA: “Because Camas School District was unwilling to invest in students, CEA members will strike beginning Monday, Aug. 28, the first day of student instruction. Bargaining broke off for the day today (Sunday, Aug. 27) after the district refused to make commitments to reasonable class sizes or equitable funding for music, PE, and libraries. The district is instead stockpiling nearly 1 out of every 5 student dollars, amassing $15 million in the bank while student needs are unmet. Educators are meeting tonight (Sunday, Aug. 27) to make final preparations for picketing in the morning.”

More to come.

While late negotiations between the Camas Education Association (CEA) and Camas School District (CSD) bargaining teams continue, educators and community members rallied Friday at 11:30 am for about 45 minutes to have their voices heard. Both sides are working today to iron out a tentative agreement that would avoid a teacher’s strike on Monday, August 28, the first day of the new school year.

Rally supporters heard from CEA President Marci Zabel, the union’s Vice President, Michael Sanchez, as well as among others. Lacamas Magazine also spoke to former CEA President Shelly Lee.

The CEA voted this week to authorize a strike if a tentative agreement isn’t reached by August 28, which is the first day of school. 

“Both CEA and our district negotiation teams are hard at work finding solutions that provide needed supports for students and staff, as well as competitive, sustainable compensation. It is our fervent hope that we can solidify an agreement as soon as possible,” said Dr. John Anzalone, Camas Superintendent.

The CEA claims the District is holding $16 million in reserves that aren’t being used to help students.  Earlier this year, the Camas School Board voted to use $8.5 million in reserve funding, which helped offset Spring layoffs. 

So, how much reserves does CSD have?

The $8.5 million spend down of reserves started this year:

  • 2022-23: $3.0M 
  • 2023-24: $2.7M
  • 2024-25: $2.8M, with an anticipated 8% minimum fund balance.  

CSD will end the current fiscal year on August 31, 2023, with a fund balance of 10.3 percent ($12.8M). And, many teachers who were laid off were able to be hired back.

“Most of the teachers who received reduction in force notices (RIF) in the spring shifted to other positions in the district based on seniority and teaching endorsements,” said Doreen McKercher, CSD Communications Director. “We then hired a few positions back after the legislative session was completed, and we were allocated additional funding.”

FRIDAY’S VIDEO REPORT: https://youtu.be/SYCSgkfeeUw?si=mN8k9LiWLF0gJnxe

CEA seeks the following:

Lower Class Sizes: Proposing lower class sizes in key areas, such as Kindergarten. The CEA says Camas School District (CSD) returned their proposal by suggesting schools raise class numbers for grades 4 and 5. CEA is proposing teachers get compensated for exceptionally large classes at all secondary levels in order to discourage creating huge classes.

Camas High School teacher, Tom Sawyer, says his classes are typically 38-40 students, which he says is “hard to manage.”

Cost of Living Allowance, or COLA: CEA wants CSD to honor the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which has been in their contract for three years, and was bargained for in 2020. CEA says “… the District wants to switch to the Implicit Price Deflator (IPD). Last year, CPI (5%) was lower than IPD (5.5%) and CEA didn’t push back.” 

CSD is offering a 4.7% COLA at this time. CEA is asking for more (an exact amount has not been given).

McKercher confirmed: “It is 4.7% on salary, increased Professional Development, and an extra ½ day for training on Qmlative. (Qmlativ is the student information system that is replacing Skyward next summer.)”

Consistent Language around Work Hours: CEA wants their contract  to include clarity around fundamental information such as work day start and end times. CEA says “This would also help to ensure equitable experiences across all of our buildings. Having reasonable and realistic start and ending times supports effective collaboration and preparation for our students.”

Manageable Student Caseloads: CEA proposes caseloads that allow Special Education teams to effectively provide student support and additional inclusive opportunities.

Protect Curriculum Planning Time: CEA says CSD wants to take away several additional Wednesday planning periods. 

“No, our District has proposed giving teachers more prep and collaboration time, and the parties have reached a tentative agreement on this issue,” said McKercher.

CEA says: “While this impacts all members, it comes at the highest cost to our elementary members. Our highly educated and experienced educators need time to plan, create essential lessons, and collaborate with peers to best serve all students they serve.”

Equitable Funds for Student Resources: CEA says CSD has an obligation to invest in student programs, but they’re leaving distribution of funds for music, library, and PE at principals’ discretion. That means students have wildly different experiences in these classes. CEA wants these funds to be distributed equitably among buildings and programs.

The general fund budget for the District  is $119.9 million for the 2023-24 school year.

Lacamas Magazine will provide updates as these negotations continue.


Bridge Beyond, a new band featuring Jason Ingram and Steve Dole, is performing live in front of Nuestra Mesa this Friday, August 4 from 5- 8 pm.

Ingram, a local firefighter and longtime Camas resident, set aside his music career for 20 years to raise his sons, teamed up with Dole to collaborate. Dole plays guitar, while Ingram does vocals, piano, and guitar.

“I was working as a musician in the 90s, put out an album and even had air time on the radio,” said Ingram. “As a two piece, we are doing a lot of harmonies, and we are doing an acoustic set. This is a unique sound for what we’re playing. Music is what I’ve been my whole life, and I need to get back into it.”

The name, Bridge Beyond, has a lot of connotations. It’s a bridging of two people from different ages, and also relating to people and connecting with others through music. Bridge Beyond, Ingram says, is symbolic is that there is no end to what their music together can do to connect people.