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Camas, WA — Local firefighters packed Camas City Hall Monday night requesting city officials to provide greater funding for more personnel at three fire stations in Camas and Washougal.

Current and former Camas-Washougal firefighters, spouses, and concerned citizens used the City Council meeting’s public comments period to express concerns about inadequate staffing in the wake of a February 14 Camas residence fire that left one citizen dead.

That house fire off Northwest 27th Avenue was responded to by fire engine personnel — two firefighters — who went into the home to rescue an elderly man in an attached garage area. Technically, firefighters aren’t supposed to enter a burning home or building with less than three onsite. The first responders did so anyway, rescuing the man who died days later from smoke inhalation. Nobody is blaming his death on the first responders.

The firefighters and IAFF Local #2444 union president, Adam Brice, expressed the need to have, at minimum, three firefighters per engine, per shift.

For Camas fire chief, Larry Larimer, said “We want the city to find funds for three firefighters per engine.”

Tricia Proctor, whose husband fights fires, said she’s “worried about the rules of engagement for the safety and security of firefighters.”

”We’ve been vocal for over the years that having two on the scene isn’t enough,” said Kevin Bergstrom, of IAFF Local #2444. “Four are required on the scene to take out a fire. The industry standard is four people per engine. Three gets you by. We are currently stretched too thin.”

At present, three engines are staffed, but the two cities own five engines total. To adequately fund personnel to meet their requirements would require 12-15 new hires.

Brice filed a formal complaint with the Washington Department of Labor and Industries in late February, calling the current situation an “unsafe working environment” that has “substandard minimum apparatus staffing levels” at the Camas-Washougal Fire Department (CWFD).

“There is a daily threat to the working firefighters that they will be forced to face hazards and perform in hazardous environments,” Brice stated in the complaint.

Camas City Administrator Pete Capell responded publicly:

“First and foremost, we would like to express how very proud we are of the hard work performed by all our emergency responders every day. They are a tremendous part of our community,” he said. “It is important to emphasize that no laws have been broken and no disciplinary action was or is going to be taken against the responders … we continue to welcome a conversation with both the East Clark Professional Fire Fighters as well as our Camas community.”

To fully meet union demands would cost the city an additional $1.5 million per year.

“We will work for strategic solutions,” said Camas Mayor, Scott Higgins. “I am set to meet with Adam, and move forward.”

To learn more, visit www.cityofcamas.us

Firefighters

Addressing the Camas City Council.

 

Salt Lake City, Utah — Less than two weeks after launching, the Camas-Washougal-based #MarchKindness campaign, which was Lacamas Magazine’s response to the horrific Florida school shootings, was adopted by the State of Utah and became HCR 22 #MSDKindness Month. The bill unanimously passed the Utah Senate and House Thursday morning, and was signed by Governor Herbert.

HCR 22 was written by Dr. Mirella Petersen, a Florida-based advocate for mental health and autism issues, who was in Utah to finish legislative business. Petersen lives close to Ryan and Kelly Petty, whose daughter, Alaina, was murdered at Douglas High School, along with 16 other innocent people.

”I saw the #MarchKindness video that Lacamas Magazine produced, and I thought Utah can adopt this,” said Petersen. “So last Thursday, I wrote the bill in four hours and presented it to Attorney General, Sean Reyes, Representative Paul Ray, and Senator Dan Thatcher.”

Both Ray and Thatcher co-sponsored the bill and managed to get it through the legislative process at lightning speed. The Utah Legislative session ended on March 8, the same day HCR 22 was passed.

”The stars aligned very quickly,” said Petersen. “It’s really a miracle.”

Ray agreed.

”Bills usually take nine weeks to get through — sometimes up to a year,” said Ray. “We felt this continuing resolution was a good idea to help promote kindness in an official capacity and to tie it into our SafeUT app. You guys in Washington started a national movement.”

Ryan Petty was honored by HCR 22, and was in attendance with daughter, Meghan, son Ian, and daughter-in-law, Sophia. Petty had spent the previous few days working with the Florida Legislature to pass a school safety bill, which gives schools additional protections against shootings.

”I was honored to represent all 17 victim families as the Utah Legislature recognized our loved ones by declaring April a month of kindness,” said Petty. “We are all honored by what the Utah Legislature has done. We came together as families to make sure we are the last ones that ever lose a family member to senseless school violence.”

Petty said “what our friends in Washington did with #MarchKindness is the perfect response to what is happening in today’s society. The campaign personifies our daughter, and helps lift the dialogue. We have to do better. Fortifying our schools is the last line of defense, so we have to start earlier and help people by being kind to them, to fund our mental health programs, and respect each other. We will continue these efforts.”

The Petty family, with their guests, the Jenkins family, and a Washington delegation, which was represented by Ernie Geigenmiller and Jordan Geigenmiller, and their guests Tracie Goettig, Charles Hall, and Blaine Cutler, received a warm reception by Utah State Attorney General, Sean Reyes.

”We thank all of you for coming here today,” said AG Reyes. “To the Petty family, we express our love to you today, and as you now, you have many here who are your family — and here on the Hill, too, we are your family, whether you wanted us or not, you’re stuck with us.”

During the meeting, Thatcher said “The Legislature has suspended some of the rules to make this vote happen today. It’s that important we do this.”

Following the private reception, AG Reyes escorted the parties to witness HCR 22’s vote in the House, which was introduced by Representative Ray.

Kindness

From left: Dr. Mirella Parker; Utah Attorney General, Sean Reyes; Ryan Petty; and Meghan Petty. They were presented a cherished painting.

“The Petty’s are with us because their daughter, Alaina, was one of the victims in the Parkland, Florida shooting, and so they’ve been very involved across the nation getting the word out. And, the two things they are doing is trying to honor the memory of their daughter and the service she gave, and also to help stop these senseless acts of violence … The state of Washington, which is where they lived prior, made March a month of kindness in their honor … to spread the message of kindness and working together … what we’re doing here in Utah is we’re adopting April as our month of kindness, and we’re putting together a website that people can go to and report acts of service they are doing. We’re also challenging other states to adopt a month throughout the rest of the year …”

Highlighted provisions are:

  • Honors the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School tragedy for the exemplary lives and acts of service by designating the month of April 2018 as #MSDKindness month.
  • Encourages the citizens of Utah to participate in random acts of kindness during the month of April 2018 and report their acts on the SafeUT mobile application. The app promotes school safety and access to critical services for school-aged children in the state of Utah. The app itself has thwarted 86 attacks, according the Utah AG’s office. We will provide a detailed article on how the SafeUT app works.
  • Challenges other states to claim a remaining month of 2018 as their state’s month of kindness.
  • The resolution will be sent to State Legislatures of the other 49 states and each member of Utah’s Congressional delegation.
Kindness

The Utah House Floor.

The names of all the victims were then read:

  • Alaina Petty, 14;
  • Alex Schaffer, 14;
  • Alyssa Alhadeff, 14;
  • Cara Loughran, 14;
  • Gina Montalto, 14;
  • Jaime Gutenberg, 14;
  • Martin Duque Anguiano, 14;
  • Luke Hoyer, 15;
  • Peter Wang, 15;
  • Carmen Schentrup, 16;
  • Helena Ramsay, 17;
  • Joaquin Oliver, 17;
  • Nicholas Dworet, 17;
  • Meadow Pollack, 18;
  • Scott Beigel, 35;
  • Aaron Feis, 37;
  • Chris Hixon, 49
Kindness

Utah Senator Daniel Thatcher introduces HCR 22 to the Senate Floor.

Once the House passed HCR 22, it moved onto the Senate, and we had the opportunity to witness the event on the Senate Floor.

Thatcher introduced the bill and said, speaking of Alaina, “Above all, her dad wanted you to know of her incredible kindness, and her desire to be friends with everyone.”

Thatcher then showed his fellow senators the 60-second #MarchKindness video.

“So, when Representative Ray and I first learned about #MarchKindness, our first thought was CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, “said Thatcher. “What better place to take an idea like this and carry it forward than Utah.”

HCR 22 unanimously passed the Senate.

A national website was created to honor the victims and report acts of kindness. The website is www.msdkindnessmonth.com

Representative Ray is working with Indiana to see if they accept the challenge.

#MSDKindness

Kindness Gallery

Camas, WA — The highly anticipated opening of Grains of Wrath Brewing in downtown Camas happens this weekend, and beer drinkers, foodies, and people who-love-anything-Camas are pretty excited about it.

Operators Mike Hunsaker, an accomplished brewer who loves his craft, and Brendan Greenen, gave us a tour of the well-adorned and functional brewery, which seats more than 100. Sitting in the old Lemon-Aid Automotive location, Grains is a total remodel, and a major site improvement in the beloved downtown Camas area.

Hunasker launched Grains, with partners Greenen, Brendan Ford, and Shawn Parker, to bring a new dimension to the growing Camas area.  Hunsaker was the Head Brewer at Fat Head’s Portland, where he established himself with original IPA recipes, including the GABF Gold Medal winning Blitzkrieg Bock. His team has been working round the clock for 14 months to bring Grains online.

Hunsaker showed off his shiny new 10bbl JVNW brewhouse that was built to his own specifications.

“Before we do anything, we test the water, and balance the chemistry to get everything just right,” said Hunsaker.

Hunsaker said they have nine beers on tap, and will offer these staple beers year-round:

  • Lulu: A tart peach golden ale
  • Lugar: German style Pilsner, floral black tea, crackery malt, hay, crisp finish
  • Papermaker Pale: Light, biscuit malt, grapefruit, pineapple, balanced bitterness
  • EGA IPD: Melon, pine, soft tropical fruit, papaya
  • Overkill PA: Stonefruit, diesel, passion fruit, citrus, piney, dank

The team has created a fun punk pub with fun options for everyone. The new pub also has a large patio seating area that will be a great place to relax during the warm, summer months.

Greenen comes from Caps N’ Taps, also in downtown Camas, and he works the back-end of the business.

He said the beer-making process takes two to six weeks, depending on the style. The whole process begins and ends at Grains. Everything in the brewery is state-of-the-art.

Grains

Mike Hunsaker gives a tour.

Grains Food

Grains of Wrath Executive Chef, Fabiola Ponce-Wyatt brings 14 years of Pacific Northwest cooking experience, being a veteran of Roman Candle Baking and Southpark Seafood. A graduate of Western Culinary, Fabby, as she likes to be called, is excited about the elevated pub food that Grains is serving.

They make everything onsite, except for the bread, and serve lunch and dinner daily. They even have an assortment of pickles made in their kitchen, which has two cooking lines.

We sampled the Fried Chicken Sandro, which is on a potato bun, with ranch dressing, iceberg lettuce, zucchini pickles, and cheddar cheese. It’s delicious!

 Grains

Fried Chicken Sando.

They also offer a great brisket and chuck patty burger with cheddar, iceberg lettuce, aioi and zucchini pickles on a sesame brioche bun. Fabby recommends the Carnitas Torta with black bean puree, cotija cheese, cascabel chile aioli, and pickled carrots. The roasted bone marrow with onion jam served on grilled flatbread is also on the top of the list.

Vegetarians will have options, as well: Try the Veggie Burger, which is made with beet, carrot, white bean and a quinoa patty with a pumpkin seed spread. It’s good stuff.

Happy hour is 3-6, and 9-close on weekdays.

They are located at 230 NE 5th Ave. Camas, WA 98607

www.gowbeer.com

Grains

Casey Taylor

Camas, WA — The Downtown Camas March First Friday begins March 2 at 5 pm and it’s recommended you pick up a “green” passport and activity list at Journey Church, which is located 304 NE 4th Avenue.

First Friday’s “Go Green!” theme includes Lucky leprechauns, Eartha the Clown, a “Green Zone” featuring local green schools, green businesses and non-profits that care for the environment, and the wearing of the green will all be a part of this fun event. The event runs from 5-8 pm.

Camas Gallery will feature local artists Heidi Curley and Tom Relth, who will perform a Collaborative Duo.

The two artists will stand face-to-face with easels between, working on to two large canvas/panels.

”I’m excited to see what the final product will be,” said Curley. “Every 15 minutes we will switch back and forth and will do that throughout the whole evening. We want people to come and talk to us.”

Camas Gallery spokesperson said, “We are excited to watch as the artists’ works unfold. It will be a very fun and engaging evening.”

The works will be for sale and will hang in the gallery for the month of March.

Here is a list of all the events happening downtown for First Friday:

  • Eartha the Clown and her cockatoo “Major” will be here to meet families, take pictures, and do education about the environment. 5:30-7:30 pm, walking around town if the weather is nice or near the DCA table at Journey Church, 304 NE 4th.
  • “Find the Lucky Leprechaun”: Each participating merchant will have a “lucky leprechaun” in their business, and for every leprechaun you find, you receive a prize ticket to be entered to win “green” prizes and more from the merchants. Lucky leprechaun “passports” can be found in participating stores and at the DCA table in Journey.
  • Wander through the “Green Zone” at Journey Church and learn how easy it is to make this world a greener place with fun educational kid-friendly activities and giveaways provided by local nonprofits. The nonprofits include Master Gardeners, Waste Connections, Camas Farmer’s Market, World Vision, WRAP (Wrap Recycling Action Program), EOCF (Educational Opportunities for Children & Families), and Clark County Public Health including Master Composters. Camas High School “Green Team” will be there doing fun recycled art activities with the kids. The Green Team advisor is Ali Coker who has been named a 2018 Green Award Winner by Clark County for excellence in “green” education. Miranda and Ian from Mandi MOON Artistry will there to do leprechaun and shamrock airbrush tattoos!
  • Second Story Gallery – “Chasing Iceland” is the name photographer Daniel Ionashku gives his new show at Second Story Gallery. Join them for a photography unveiling from 5-8 pm, see Iceland through the eyes of Ionashku.
    Attic Gallery – Will feature an art show “All About Horses” with new pastel paintings by Janey Belozer (who will be attending the Opening Reception), Mike Smith, Anna Wiancko-Chasman and Carol Grigg.
  • Elida Art Studio & Gallery will feature Katelyn Rediske, a Senior at Camas High School, who has explored some pretty intense themes and topics that teenagers struggle with in a creative way by using her “pop art” style of painting. This is a solo show and is part of her Senior Class Project. Make time to visit the studio.
  • “Ribbon Cutting Party” at 5 pm for Vancouver Laser Skin Care Clinic, including refreshments, giveaways and prizes. 715 NE 5th Ave. Come see all that they do here!
  • Merchants will have “green lists” in their windows showing all the ways our downtown businesses care for the environment.
  • “Green” Kids’ crafts at the DCA tables!
  • Customers wearing green get an extra prize ticket—if they wear a green hat, they get three!
    For every $10 spent in downtown you get a ticket to enter to win.

To learn more, visit www.downtowncamas.com

Friday

Heidi Curley artwork

Camas, WA — Awarding-winning downtown Camas footwear retailer, Arktana Shoes, known for selling high-quality women’s shoes is getting ready to launch a new advertising and marketing campaign to spotlight their men’s footwear offerings.

“The styles we select for our men’s category are intended for all day wear, lots of walking and even trade shows,” said Ann Matthews, owner and operator of Arktana. “For the guys we have everything from everyday casual to dressy styles for suits.”

Men’s footwear offerings include high-quality brands, such as Rockport, NAOT, Pikolinos, and Toms.

“We have some talented young men who have completed our first round of product photo and video shoots,” said Matthews. “We look forward to this campaign so come on down and see what we have to offer.”

Going into its fourth year, the store has received many accolades for their service and community spirit.

The store received the Entrepreneur of the Year award at Washington Main Street’s Excellence on Main Awards Ceremony on April 25, 2016 in Ellensburg, Washington. The ceremony was held in conjunction with RevitalizeWA, Washington State’s Preservation and Main Street Conference.

About Arktana

Ann Matthews opened the store, which is affectionately named after her family’s two states of origin – Arkansas and Montana, at 415 NE 4th Avenue, Camas’s main street, in 2014. With an entrepreneurial background and a robust business plan in place, Ann was able to hit the ground running to quickly develop her business into a shopping staple in the region.

Ann’s passion for her business benefits customers, employees, and the community at large. By working closely with vendors to ensure only the highest quality products and by providing creative opportunities for customers to engage with the shop through private parties, appreciation nights, and extended business hours, Arktana emphasizes customer care.

To learn more, visit www.arktana.com

Arktana

Arktana recruited two talented young men to help promote men’s shoes.

 

Everyone loves a wedding so we are especially excited to announce that for the First Friday in February, 2018, we will be hosting a wedding in Downtown Camas where everyone gets to be a part!!

It will be a “Wedding Affair to Remember”! Nick Calais and Tami Weidert—who are big First Friday attenders and ambassadors—will say “I do” in front of friends and family and the community is invited as well! Nick and Tami have been to each First Friday since April 2015 and have made so many friends and connections over the years. They have a true heart for our community and what First Fridays bring and they want to share the First Friday experience with all their friends and family—and want you to come, too!

The theme each February traditionally has been “A Chocolate Affair to Remember” so for Feb 2018 it will be “A Wedding Affair to Remember!”

It will be a giant downtown wide wedding celebration! The ceremony will be held at the Liberty Theatre at 2pm (community is invited!). Our Camas Mayor Scott Higgins will marry them. Tami will carry a paper bouquet (including toilet paper of course!) in honor of our town’s heritage. Cake Happy will provide the wedding cake and food from all the downtown restaurants will be served at an outside celebration with lighted tents, music, dancing, games and more! Your Party & Event Center is generously sponsoring the event. There will be wedding themed specials and activities all through town.

Wedding

Photo courtesy of Downtown Camas Association.

A Wedding Show with local vendors will be set up in Journey Church, 304 NE 4th, from 5-8pm as part of the theme including Your Big Day (wedding dresses, tuxedos, honeymoon travel planning), truly scrumptious (wedding cakes and treats), blu box art (photography), Whispering Waters Farm (wedding event venue), Chickabloom Floral Studio (wedding bouquets and flowers), Whimsy Chocolates, Mandi MOON artistry (certified makeup artist), Your Party & Event Center (wedding rentals), Formal Flush (luxury portable restrooms) and more.

Even more amazing fun in the works for the Nick & Tami – The Wedding Affair to Remember!! Not only will there be the wedding, there will be treats too! truly scrumptious will provide an array of deliciousness throughout town. There will be four locations to choose from, the tent(which will be located on Cedar Street), Attic Gallery, Arktana and Journey Community Church – Brownies, cookies, rainbow krispy treats, marshmallow pops, Mini pies, Sea salt caramel apple pie, mini cupcakes and snack station and more! We can’t wait! #downtowncamaslove #hiphipcalais

For the passport activity in the evening from 5-8pm, merchants will have their wedding pictures in their shops and you get to guess the date of the wedding! There will be chocolates throughout town at merchants as well. The Liberty Theatre will show the classic film An Affair to Remember that weekend as part of the theme.

It is because of their heart and downtown engagement that we decided to do this for a First Friday event. An amazing way to celebrate two of our favorite downtown visitors and include the community in a big way! It’s going to be a First Friday to top all First Fridays and all are invited.

Information provided by Downtown Camas Association. Visit www.downtowncamas.com

 

Downtown Camas brings in the Christmas season with their annual “Hometown Holidays” event Friday night from 5-9 pm, and features the tree lighting, photos with Santa, crafts, hay rides, entertainment, and hot cocoa provided by Journey Church.

The tree lighting happens at 6:30 pm, and will be accompanied by fireworks.

The city has already gotten festive as the city streets are lined with bows and Christmas bells to ring in the fun season.

First Friday’s entertainment will be provided by each school in the Camas School District.

This year’s tree is provided by Majestyk Mountain Tree Farms of Bear Prairie.

Come with empty stomach as the downtown restaurants will be open, along with vendors such as Getta Gyro, Papa Murphy’s, and the Tequila Mexican Grill.

There will also be many crafts and activities for children at the Journey Church, which is located on 4th Avenue directly across from Liberty Theatre.

You may also enjoy a special showing of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” at the historic Liberty Theatre. The show begins at 8 pm, and admission is $6.

To learn more, visit www.downtowncamas.com

Join the fun this Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) in downtown Thanksgiving. In celebration of shopping locally, many downtown Camas  merchants will each have a little box of coupons, special gifts, and other surprises for you to draw from.

The event goes from 10 am to 6 pm on November 24.

It’s their way of giving you a little something extra for supporting local businesses.

You will also receive a free raffle ticket in each location and an extra ticket with any purchase to be entered to win a gorgeous holiday merchant basket.

If you spent $100 in downtown on Little Box Friday, you will receive two free regular movie tickets from the Liberty Theatre. You will need to turn in receipts to the theatre on November 24 by 8 pm. The free tickets are good for any regular show through December 31 — one set per person.

It’s a great way to kick off your Christmas shopping.

Participating merchants:

  • 4Ever Growing Kids
  • Allure Boutique
  • Arktana Shoes
  • Attic Gallery
  • Caffe Piccolo
  • Cake Happy
  • Camas Antiques
  • Camas Beauty Bar & Boutique
  • Caps N’ Taps
  • Lizzabeth A
  • Navidi’s Olive Oils and Vinegars
  • Salon Magnolia
  • Salud Wine Bar – Event Center – Wine Storage
  • The Soap Chest
  • The Wild Hair Camas

To learn more, visit www.downtowncamas.com

Residents, businesses, churches and students had trowels in hand this Sunday scurrying around the streets of downtown Camas. Pushing wheelbarrows, installing hoses, planting flowers and pulling weeds never looked so fun and community oriented. Hosted by the Downtown Camas Association (DCA), Journey Church and the members of the National Honor Society at Liberty Middle School, families and business leaders took over the streets and sidewalks early Sunday afternoon.

Downtown Camas
Several volunteers gathered at Downtown Camas to beautify the area.
Camas Improvements
Children receive instruction on how to set plants into the flower beds.
Bead Paradise, Focus Designs, A.L. Insurance, Navidi’s and Journey Church were among the local shops in on the action. Lacamas Magazine and Kids Ink NW dropped their cameras and tablets to get in on the dirty fun too. Tony Dangerfield led a contingent of Liberty Middle School National Honor Society Members on the beautification day.
The end result…lovely and quaint downtown Camas is even lovelier today.
Landscaping Downtown
Hard at work.

Plants