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Camas, WA — Local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are inviting the public to attend a special Open House on Saturday, November 13 from 11 am-2 pm at their Prune Hill chapel.

The meetinghouse is located at 3017 NW 18th Street, Camas, WA 98607.

Guests are invited to learn about how the church operates, what each organization within the faith does, and may tour the building.

Church leaders, who are not paid for their service or time, will be present to answer questions.

“We invite all to come unto Christ,” says Bill Stephens, who recently received the Mill Town Pride Award for his volunteer work at Prune Hill Elementary School. “We look forward to meeting you.”

Camas, WA – The City of Camas is set to once again host Hometown Holidays. That means photos with Santa, crafts, the lovely lit holiday tree, entertainment, food and refreshments – it’s all back this year, albeit with some modifications, according to the City of Camas.

Hometown Holidays will be held Friday, Dec. 3, from 5- 8 pm, and Downtown Camas will be bustling once again with live and pre-recorded entertainment, modified photos with Santa (bring your camera), crafts activity bags for the kids, street food vendors, and downtown restaurants and shops open for business. The event begins at 5 pm, to coincide with Downtown Camas Association’s First Friday.

The event and all activities are free of charge thanks to the financial support of Columbia Credit Union, Windermere Real Estate, Downtown Camas Association, Equipment Rental Services, and in-kind donors and volunteers. However, attendees will have the opportunity to purchase food from Camas’ various downtown restaurants and food vendors, and to shop for holiday gifts in Camas’ picturesque historic downtown.

The Camas Library will hold its annual Hometown Holidays book sale Thursday, Dec. 2, to Sunday, Dec. 5, open until 8 pm, during Hometown Holidays. Thousands of donated items, from children’s picture books, to cookbooks, to juicy thrillers and romances will be featured. With something for everyone, it’s a fantastic opportunity to do some holiday shopping. All proceeds go to the Friends & Foundation of the Camas Library.

“We are so happy to be bringing back this favorite event after a year’s hiatus,” said Krista Bashaw, special events coordinator for the City of Camas.  “It gets us in the mood for the holidays and it brings our community together to share some of the joy of the season.”

Visit https://www.cityofcamas.us/hometown2021 for more information.

Please note, face coverings must be worn by all attendees at all times in accordance with the governor’s Proclamation and order of the Secretary of Health.  Additionally, city officials ask that you practice social distancing when possible.

The 2019 $78 million Camas pool bond continues to be a topic of widespread discussion in our local body politic, and became a central issue in this Fall’s elections. It’s been used as a political tool, a wedge issue, and an example of government out of touch.

While the ill-fated Shannon Turk administration came down because of that bond, let’s look at what the 2019 council vote — and subsequent public vote — was really about.

Former Mayor Turk wanted to replace the Crown Park pool that was taken down by a 2018 council vote, and she wanted to go big or go home. She ended up going home. Her desire was to have a community center and pool that would be the envy of the region. She ignored the advice of city staff, which based on surveys and polls, said Camas would support a pool with a price tag of up to $35 million.

The bond itself was part pool, part community center, part new street improvements, and part parks and recreation improvements. Turk wanted it to be all things to all people. She ignored the advice of those around her, which said “do these things over time, in phases and the public will go with that.”

Turk wanted the new community center to be her legacy. So, in July 2019, she asked Camas City Council to put it to a vote. While the city council had the legal authority to unilaterally vote to build the community center, they didn’t.  Their vote on that fateful day was to present the $78 million community center/pool bond, known as Prop 2, to the voters, and let them decide.

The narrative got out of control immediately, which was predicted by former Camas City council member Ellen Burton (now Interim Mayor) who said “all everyone is going to hear is $78 million.”

She was very right. All everyone heard was $78 million. Even some of the city’s biggest supporters of having a new pool were weary of the price tag.

Known as Prop 2, the bond became a political weapon that ushered in political novice Barry McDonnell as Camas Mayor, who ran a 34-day write-in single issue campaign and defeated Turk. The bond was killed 89-11, with little more than 600 people voting for it. McDonnell lasted 18 months as Mayor. 

“The process worked,” said Burton, recently. “Council presented the bond to the people, and the people rejected it.”

Burton said it’s unfortunate that council’s vote to allow the people to decide has been politically weaponized.

Council member Steve Hogan, who is likely going to become the next Camas Mayor said this two years and repeats it today: “I was never in favor of spending public dollars to build a new pool. I voted to allow the people to decide.”

His pool bond vote was used against him in this Fall’s campaign.

Hogan agrees with Burton, and said the process did what it was supposed to do. 

“People rejected the bond, and I’m glad they did,” Hogan said. “I wasn’t in favor of spending that much money.”

As a literal observer of all these events, this journalist wrote all this down and reported the facts repeatedly.  

This is the record. This is what happened.

Camas, WA — Camas police are seeking charges against four people in connection with Sunday’s downtown Camas burglaries.

In the early morning hours of October 31 four Downtown Camas businesses (Birch Street Lounge, Caps n’ Taps, Camas Slices and Papermaker Pride) were burglarized.  The suspects used rocks to smash out the glass of the entry doors before they entered the businesses and stole items from inside.  Surveillance video showed the four individuals and the lifted Jeep Wrangler they arrived in.

A day later, on November 1, in Salem, Oregon, Marion County Sheriff Deputies attempted to stop the Jeep and it fled.  Spike strips were used and eventually the Jeep stopped.  There were six individuals inside the Jeep.  Five of them fled on foot and all six of them were apprehended and arrested by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.  

Deputies learned the Jeep was stolen from Tualatin and a subsequent search of the Jeep revealed items that were connected to the Camas burglaries.  The Marion County Sheriff’s Office then notified members of the Camas Police Department.

The subsequent investigation led Camas Police Detectives to identifying the four individuals responsible for the burglaries in Downtown Camas.  In addition, they were able to establish probable cause for a burglary at the Washougal Food Mart as well. 

Burglary and Theft charges for all five businesses will be forwarded to the Clark County Prosecutors Office on the following individuals:

  • Arnes, Johnmark, 23 year-old  Happy Valley, OR resident
  • Retonong, Zachary, 19 year-old Salem, OR resident
  • 14-year-old Juvenile Male, Portland, OR resident
  • 11 year-old Juvenile Male, Portland, OR resident

At the time of this writing all four individuals are still in custody in Oregon.

Camas
Birch Street Uptown Lounge.

Vancouver, WA — The Clark County Auditor’s Office has released the first results of the 2021 election. Daily updates will continue for several days, and the race will be certified on November 23. Clark County election observers in Camas said there was a massive surge of ballots being dropped off late Tuesday all day long though the 8 pm deadline.

Camas City Council member Steve Hogan is leading Camas Washougal Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Senescu by a wide margin.

CITY OF CAMAS RACES

In the Camas Mayoral race between Camas Washougal Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Senescu and City Council member Steve Hogan, here are the first results.

Jennifer Senescu: 1,779 43.23%

Steve Hogan: 2,336 56.77%

COUNCIL – WARD 1, POSITION NO. 2 

Marilyn Boerke: 1,999 50.80%

Gary Perman: 1,936 49.20%

COUNCIL – WARD 2, POSITION NO. 2 

Tim Hein: 2,271 60.75%

Martin Elzingre: 1,467 39.25%

COUNCIL – WARD 3, POSITION NO. 2 

Leslie Lewallen: 2,075 52.76%

Jennifer McDaniel: 1,858 47.24%

CAMAS SCHOOL BOARD

DISTRICT 1

Ernie Geigenmiller: 1,967 40.76%

Corey McEnry: 2,859 59.24%

DISTRICT 2

Erika Cox: 2,993 62.07%

Jeremiah Stephen: 1,829 37.93%

WASHOUGAL CITY RACES

MAYOR

Rochelle Ramos: 1,736 86.63%

COUNCIL – POSITION NO. 3 

David Stuebe: 1,561 100.00%

COUNCIL – POSITION NO. 5 

Molly Coston: 1,238 58.92%

Chris de la Rocha: 863 41.08%

COUNCIL – POSITION NO. 6 

Julie Russell: 1,526 100.00%

WASHOUGAL SCHOOL BOARD

SCHOOL DIRECTOR, DISTRICT NO. 3 

Donna L. Sinclair: 1,317 50.13%

Sadie McKenzie: 1,310 49.87%

SCHOOL DIRECTOR, DISTRICT NO. 5 

Chuck Carpenter: 1,417 54.08%

Janice D’Aloia: 1,203 45.92%

Camas, WA — Continuing their 75 years of support to the community, the Camas-Washougal Community Chest is soliciting 2022 grant applications from non-profit 501 (c) (3) organizations serving the Camas and Washougal area. Grant applications must be received or postmarked no later than December 15, 2021. Grant awards will be announced in March 2022. Initial payments will be made at the time of the award. Larger grants will be funded in 2 to 4 installments, with payments made in November 2022. 

On October 1, 2021, the CWCC launched its 2021/2022 fundraising campaign and hopes to raise at least $125,000 to fund grants during 2022. The Camas Washougal Rotary Foundation, in partnership with CWCC, will fund an additional $12,000 in grants. The Camas-Washougal Community Chest has supported local non-profit organizations since 1946. The Community Chest relies on contributions from individuals and businesses and makes productive use of those funds by being a 100 percent volunteer organization. 

This means that more than 97 percent of the donated funds goes directly back to our community. CWCC urges Camas and Washougal residents and businesses to donate now to help fund 2022 grants. Donation information is available at: http://www.CamasWashougalCommunityChest.org 

In addition to being a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, grant applicants must demonstrate that their project or program benefits residents of Camas and Washougal and meets one or more of the following needs: 

  • Education
  • Youth activities
  • Aid to people with special needs
  • Natural resource conservation Health and welfare programs
  • Crisis and emergency services
  • Diversity, equity and inclusivity
  • Other similar charitable or civic objectives

Beginning with 2021 grants, CWCC has defined civic objectives to more specifically include 501 (c) (3) organizations that offer programs and services that address diversity, equity, and inclusivity issues in the local community.

Grant applications and detailed instructions for applying are available on-line at the website listed above. For further information please call Camas-Washougal Community Chest Board Past-President Joelle Scheldorf at 360-901-6607 or President-Elect Deanna Rusch at 360-980-1261 or send an email request to [email protected]

During 2021 CWCC and the Camas Washougal Rotary Foundation awarded 28 grants totaling $127,671 and delivering an estimated 19,500 individual services to local people. The 2021 grantees included such diverse non-profit organizations as the Inter-Faith Treasure House, Children’s Home Society (East County Family Resource Center in Washougal), Meals on Wheels People, Family Promise of Clark County, and Janus Youth Programs. Projects and programs included such diverse activities as emergency rent and utility assistance, purchase of food and service supplies for local emergency food programs, helping homeless families find permanent shelter and help to support at risk 9- to 17-year-old runaway children.


Vancouver, WA — Ballot returns countywide are at 16.74 percent, which is lower than expected at this stage in this off-off year election, says the Clark County Auditor’s Office. There are 324,401 eligible voters in Clark County.

Candidates countywide, which includes several mayoral and city council candidates, as well as school board, are urging voters to turn in ballots as soon as possible. The Clark County Auditor’s Office had planned for a 19 percent return nearly a week ago. The county has yet to hit that point.

By comparison, the 2019 election had a 36 percent voter turnout, with a massive surge coming in the day before, the day of the election, and the day after the November 5, 2019 election.

Voters have until 8 pm Tuesday to turn ballots in, and candidates highly recommend getting them in today. Camas and Washougal candidates can access ballots at two convenient locations:

  • Downtown Camas Post Office: 440 NE 5th Avenue, Camas (on street) 
  • Camas Washougal Municipal Courthouse: 89 C Street, Washougal 

Here are other locations countywide:

Vancouver Locations:

Other Locations: 

If you wish to return your voted ballot in person on or before Election Day take it to:

Clark County Elections Office (1408 Franklin Street, Vancouver), available from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and 7 am to 8 pm on Election Day.

Camas, WA — According to local merchants and Camas Police Officer McNall, four downtown Camas businesses were broken into between 4-4:50 am today.Papermaker Pride, Birch Street Uptown Lounge, Caps N Taps, and Camas Slices all had rocks thrown through their glass front doors, and most had their cash tills broken into and money stolen.

Crews cleaned up glass and debris most of the morning.

Business owners are reviewing surveillance video and sharing information with Camas police.A vintage cash till at Birch Street was taken and then left outside on the sidewalk.

“They stole about $100 from our till,” said Karen Gibson, co-owner of Papermaker Pride. “They broke the front door, as well.”

Officer McNall said the burglars were driving a gray or silver Jeep SUV. He also said a Washougal business was broken into.The police asks anyone who may be able to help in this investigation to contact 311 and ask for Officer McNall.

Business owners are seeking help boarding up front doors.

Perman
This is a paid political advertisement.
Camas
Kris Cavin helps clean up Birch Street Lounge after a rock was thrown into their front door.
Camas
Officer McNall investigates the damage done at Camas Slices.

Camas, WA — Officials with the City of Camas are looking for more input from residents regarding the Transportation System Plan (TSP).

Camasonians now have the opportunity to provide their input in the form of a survey ranking issues of importance they see when traveling around the City.

The Survey can be found at https://engagecamas.com/transportation-system-plan

The results of the survey, along with other information provided on Engage Camas, will help the City develop the TSP, which is an important part of the City’s long-term Comprehensive Planning framework.

The TSP provides the basis for prioritizing projects and calculating Traffic Impact Fees. Additionally, the TSP helps to secure State and Federal Funding for those projects.

Perman

Vancouver, WA — Clark County Elections Auditor Greg Kimsey admitted today that 2,120 Camas ballots were sent out over the weekend that had major errors. 

The issue was bought up by Camas voter Heather Deringer, who lives on Livingston Mountain. Others in that area also have noted erroneous ballots.

“When I went to open my ballot, I was surprised to see my Camas School Board candidates were not on the ballot, and instead I had Evergreen School candidates on the ballot,” said Deringer. “I emailed them last night about the issue and they called me back this morning.”

Upon hearing of this error, Lacamas Magazine contacted Kimsey who began an internal investigation. He confirmed that Deringer and several others are indeed Camas School District voters who received ballots with Evergreen School Board candidates on them.

After his initial probe, Kimsey reported today that 2,120 ballots were mailed in error, most of which were mailed to Camas School District voters.

“Correct ballots will be mailed out this week,” said Kimsey. “Two thousand new ballots have to be reprinted, inserted into envelopes, and mailed out. This will happen tomorrow morning, and these voters will also receive a letter explaining the situation.”

The incorrect ballots mostly affect Camas School Board candidate races.

So what happened?

Kimsey said it was human error. 

“Proofreading that should have happened didn’t happen,” Kimsey said. “We had to adjust precinct boundaries to align with the correct jurisdictions and portions. This allows us to get the correct ballot to the correct voter.”

Kimsey said 13 incorrect ballots have already been returned. He said those incorrect ballots will be held apart from the general ballots, so they won’t be recorded.

“Correct ballots are essential to our democracy,” said Kimsey. “We are fixing this error, and voters will have their new ballots by Thursday.”

Perman