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Vancouver, Wash – When Tony Marnella, Marnella Homes, was approached with the idea of building a St. Jude Dream Home Showplace house, he didn’t hesitate before saying “Yes!” As a cancer survivor himself, Tony is passionate about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital because it is one of the only institutions that offers care at no-cost to the family. At St. Jude, no family receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food, because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

As one of the first Showplace homes in the Pacific Northwest, the goal is to donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the home to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to support their mission: Finding Cures. Saving Children.

Macey is a local St. Jude patient. Diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, called a Craniopharyngioma, at just five years old, she underwent initial surgery at Doernbecher. But when the tumor returned just eighteen months later, her parents turned St. Jude, where doctors see her type of tumor on a regular basis – more cases than anywhere else in the world. Macey’s mom Courtney says that when she reached out, the oncologist called her back within minutes. They quickly made arrangements to get Macey and her mom to Memphis, where Macey was treated with Proton Beam Radiation. The hospital is home to the only Proton Beam Radiation machine calibrated especially for children. Macey is now a happy, healthy seventh grader here in Clark County. Her family is excited to see support for St. Jude in their home community through projects like the St. Jude Dream Home Showplace being built by Marnella Homes.

“The Sedona” is a Southwestern inspired, net-zero, 3-bedroom 2.5 bath, 2,827 square foot home. Individuals interested in purchasing this home and supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital should attend the NW Natural Parade of Homes (September 10-26; details at www.ClarkCountyParadeofHomes.com) and/or contact Marnella Homes at 503-654-6642.

Marnella Homes has spearheaded the appeals for donations of labor, materials, and/or services with the assistance of the Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA).

The BIA reports the following members are among some of the top donors to-date:

  • All County Plumbing – 100% donated plumbing installation 
  • Breaking Ground Excavation – 100% donated sitework
  • Gale Contractor Services – 100% donated insulation
  • James Hardie with assistance from FiberMount – 100% donated siding materials
  • NW Custom Electric – Donation of electric labor
  • Willamette Carpentry – 100% donated trim labor

Trade partners interested in assisting in the build of the home should visit https://www.marnellahomes.com/stjude to make a donation or contact Marnella Homes at 503-654-6642 to provide more assistance.


Vancouver, WA —  Clark County Public Health reports that the county’s activity rate is 105.4 cases per 100,000, which is down from 137 cases per 100,000 a week ago.

This list illustrates the steady decline since middle January. Recent COVID-19 activity levels (rate is calculated weekly):

  • Jan. 25: 401.2 cases per 100,000
  • Feb. 1: 310.5 cases per 100,000
  • Feb. 8: 262.2 cases per 100,000
  • Feb. 15: 209.8 cases per 100,000
  • Feb. 22: 137.0 cases per 100,000
  • March 1: 105.4 cases per 100,000

The latest daily COVID-19 data is as follows:

  • 31 new cases 
  • 18,408 cases to date
  • No new deaths
  • 223 total deaths to date (201 confirmed, 22 suspect)
  • 237 active cases (in isolation period)
  • 19 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 3 people hospitalized awaiting COVID-19 test results

In addition, the percent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive dropped below 5% during the most recent week for which we have data (Feb. 7-13), representing two weeks of decreasing positivity rates.

The number of tests administered has also slowly decreased, with about 5,300 tests being administered in the most recent week of data. However, test data is preliminary and may change as additional negative results are reported. 

Clark County Public Health updates this data weekly (on Tuesdays) on their COVID-19 data webpage to reflect the most recent numbers available: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data

Vancouver, WA – The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) estimates that 35,605 Clark County families will be priced-out of purchasing a home in 2021.

This estimate comes from the newest version of a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The study states that for each $1,000 increase in the cost of median-priced newly built homes in Clark County, 985 prospective buyers will be pushed out of the market, up from 781 prospective buyers in 2020.

“This study illustrates how even a relatively small increase in housing prices can dramatically impact housing affordability and accessibility for our neighbors,” said BIA’s Executive Director Avaly Scarpelli. “Unfortunately, with lumber prices on the rise again and the recent implementation of the Washington State Energy Code, housing affordability will continue to worsen in 2021.”

Between mid-April and mid-September 2020, the cost of framing lumber climbed more than 170%. According to NAHB analysis, this resulted in an increase of more than $16,148 in the price of a new single-family home. Lumber price increases will result in an additional 15,905 buyers being priced-out of homeownership, up from our estimate of 12,612 in 2020.

If the estimates provided by the Building Industry Association of Washington are correct, the price of a newly constructed home will rise as much as $20,000 due to the implementation of a stricter Energy Code, effectively pricing-out another 19,700 families.

When considering the increase in lumber prices and the cost of energy code compliance, a total of 35,605 buyers will be priced-out of purchasing a home in 2021.

This estimate does not take into consideration the other variables that can increase home prices: additional regulatory barriers, labor shortages, and the looming rise of interest rates as soon as 2022. All of these factors work together to prevent families from achieving their dreams of homeownership.

“Our elected leaders need to recognize and take accountability for the consequences of their policy decisions. We cannot complain about a housing affordability crisis and then pass policies negating any efforts made to make housing more attainable. The homebuilding industry agrees with the notion of increasing energy efficiency and working towards more sustainable structures. However, when the families in our county and state cannot afford to have a roof over their heads, it’s time for our elected officials to consider postponing expensive mandates,” added Scarpelli.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vancouver, WA — Clark County Public Health announced a new community testing site, which is available at no cost to the public. The health department also provided an update today on COVID-19 cases as the state enters its first week of the governor’s new Healthy Washington re-opening plan. 

The Tower Mall COVID-19 Community Testing Site will open at 9 am Tuesday in the Tower Mall parking lot, 5403 E Mill Plain Blvd. The site offers free drive-thru and walk-up testing 9 am to 3:30 pm Tuesday – Saturday. The site will operate for several months.

Testing is available at no cost to everyone, regardless of income level, health insurance coverage or immigration status. 

Testing at the site is recommended for people ages 4 and older who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Visitors are encouraged to pre-register for testing and sign-up for an arrival time at www.ClarkCountyCOVIDTesting.org, but on-site registration will also be available.

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Monday COVID-19 update: 

  • 523 new cases over the weekend (avg 174 cases/day)
  • 14,876 cases to date
  • 4 new deaths (3 confirmed, 1 suspect)
  • 154 total deaths to date (141 confirmed, 13 suspect)
  • 1,076 active cases (in isolation period)
  • 78 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 5 people hospitalized awaiting COVID-19 test results

Here is additional information about the four new deaths:

  • Confirmed: Man in his 70s with underlying conditions
  • Confirmed: Man 80+ years old with underlying conditions 
  • Confirmed: Man 80+ years old with underlying conditions 
  • Suspect: Man 80+ years old with underlying conditions 

A confirmed death means COVID is listed as cause of death or contributing factor on the death certificate and the case has a positive COVID test. A suspect death means COVID is not listed as a contributing factor on the death certificate (but wasn’t ruled out as cause of death) and the person died after testing positive for COVID within 28 days.

You may learn more at the COVID-19 data webpage: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data

Hindu prayer will open meetings of both Washougal City Council and Clark County Council in Washington on January 11 and 19 respectively, containing verses from world’s oldest extant scripture. 

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the invocations from ancient Sanskrit scriptures remotely before both Clark County Council and Washougal City Council. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will read the English interpretation of the prayers. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages. 

Zed, who is the President of Universal Society of Hinduism, will recite from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use; besides lines fromUpanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures. He plans to start and end the prayer with “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.  

Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed plans to say “Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya”; which he will then interpret as “Lead us from the unreal to the real, Lead us from darkness to light, and Lead us from death to immortality.” Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge county councilors and city councilmembers and others present to keep the welfare of others always in mind. 

Zed, a global Hindu and interfaith leader, has been bestowed with World Interfaith Leader Award. Zed is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, on the Advisory Board of The Interfaith Peace Project, etc. He has been panelist for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post; and produces a weekly multi-faith panel “Faith Forum” in a Gannett publication for over nine years. 

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.2 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA. 

Clark County, WA — As parents and students of the Class of 2021 in Clark County and throughout the region navigate a school year without in-class instruction and the normal activities that come with a senior year one Vancouver parent sprang into action and created a fun and innovative Facebook group called “Adopt a 2021 Senior Clark County, Wa”

“Essentially, this is a way to provide seniors with something special so they can have some positive memories,” said Dionna Hickox, of Vancouver. “It’s a way to make it special. It’s not an ideal year for them. It stinks they are missing out on their senior year, and a friend in the mid-West asked if our county has this adopt-a-senior program. They can be adopted and supported. My son (a senior at Skyview) just received two cards in the mail.” 

How does it work?

A parent, guardian, or even a senior will make a post on this Facebook group on what they’re like, what they want in the future. The original post will say “not adopted” and if a member of the group wants to adopt the child, and if you’re comfortable with the person you can give them your address to send cards or words of encouragement. Then once the senior is adopted, they will have a sponsor, and the post will change to “adopted.”

“I’m finding that people are getting adopted quickly, they’re finding a match to support,” said Hickox.

What are people doing?

“I just started it last week,” she said. “My son got a gas card, and a Subway gift card with words of encouragement. We’re in the infancy stage so it’s early to tell what will really happen.”

It’s a public group. The parent or student is the gatekeeper and they will be able to make decisions on who they communicate with. 

“I find a lot of Camas people enjoying the group, but there’s a lot of support at Skyview, as well,” she said. “We are encouraging the students to get the word out. I have another friend whose daughter attends Fort Vancouver, so we’re trying to expand.”

To participate, go to Facebook and search for ‘Adopt a Senior — Clark County, Wa’ to join. 

Senior
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Senior
Maddox Hickox, a Skyview senior.

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
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PORTLAND, OR — The bi-state Interstate Bridge Replacement Program is accepting applications from community members interested in serving on one of two new advisory groups: the Community Advisory Group and the Equity Advisory Group. Along with the Executive Steering Group, these advisory groups will play a critical role in helping the program define a replacement bridge solution.

Optional information sessions will be facilitated in English at the following times and dates, with interpretation provided on specific dates. All of the information sessions can be accessed at the following link: go.participate.online/CAGInfoSession

Online applications in English, Spanish, Somali, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese and Russian will be available at the following links from Dec. 1-18:

The Executive Steering Group encourages individuals with diverse backgrounds to apply to serve on either advisory group. Representation from those who experience transportation barriers firsthand, regularly use the Interstate Bridge, or will be potentially affected by the program is desired, as are community members who are passionate about social equity and transportation equity issues. 

Additional information about the advisory groups and application process can be found on the Interstate Bridge Replacement program page. For more information, or to request a printed application, please call 360-905-1560 or send an email to [email protected]

About the advisory groups

The advisory groups are part of a comprehensive effort to actively engage with the public, elected officials, stakeholders, and partnering agencies from both states to build consensus through an open and public process. The first meetings for both groups will occur in early 2021.

The Community Advisory Group will develop recommendations to shape program work that reflects the community’s needs, issues and priorities. The Equity Advisory Group will make recommendations regarding processes, policies, and decisions on program work that has the potential to affect historically underrepresented and/or underserved communities. 

Each group will consist of approximately 30 members, acting as individual community members or as representatives of organizations. Approximately eight at-large members for the Community Advisory Group and approximately 10 at-large members for the Equity Advisory Group will be selected through the application process. The remainder of the representatives in both groups will be appointed by a selection committee in coordination with agency partners.

Interstate
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