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Book author Pat Jollota is at it again, with her just-released, well-researched, and riveting historical account of a murder case that rocked Vancouver in the 1950s. “The Murder of Joann Dewey in Vancouver Washington,” published by The History Press, is a decade in the making by Jollota, 81, a retired Vancouver City Councilwoman, museum curator, and the author of seven books.

Always a character and full of life, Jollota, walked us through the nuances of the case of 18-year-old Joann Dewey, whose Vancouver kidnapping in 1950 was on full display by upstanding citizens who did nothing while the young woman, who was just 60 feet from her destination, fought for her freedom.

It’s the story of a life cut short, the craziness of a criminal investigation that included the arrest of the investigating sheriff, and the ultimate convictions of two brothers, Turman Wilson, 26, and his brother Utah, 18. They would eventually hang for their crimes.

“The crime happened at 13th and D Street in Vancouver,” said Jollota. “On April 22, 1950, the victim, 18-year-old Joann Dewey, was just 60 feet away from St. Joe’s Hospital when she was grabbed by these two guys — in front of two upstanding citizens. She was fighting and screaming and they told her she was Utah’s wife and that she had too much to drink. It’s tragic.”

It’s a complicated case, said Jollota. The Sheriff had no police experience, and was tried for public intoxication. He had been the director of Labor and Industries for Washington. The prosecution was praised for its work, and the case even brought in Earl Stanley Gardner, author of all the “Perry Mason” books. Gardner wrote a report about the investigation, and he had nothing but praise for the Vancouver Chief of Police and veteran prosecutor, RD Jones.

“This whole crime is fascinating, and I was riveted by it,” said Jollota, who spent many years researching to write this book. “We’ve had pretty strange crimes around here.”

And, it gets weirder.

“At one of my book signings, the Wilson family came, and they stood right behind me,” said Jollota. “They believe their family was framed. So what I did, I gave them a little time to present what they believed, and then they were content. They bought two of the books. This was Saturday at Vintage Books. This whole case is weird, the trial is weird, the investigation is weird.

Jollota

“The Murder of JoAnn Dewey” is available at Barnes and Noble.

“If I had found one shred that pointed to their innocence I would have written it that way, but all I found was pointed to them. They had incorrigible evidence — a beer bottle with big bubbles in it, with fingerprints on it.”

And, she said it fits a pattern of criminal behavior.

“Ten years before three of the brothers were in an almost an identical crime, and they were sentenced to an Oregon penitentiary,” said Jollota. “The oldest brother was killed in World War II. The family had a history of crimes, including a pardon by Oregon Governor McCall for Rassie.”

Jollota did extensive research for the book. She started day by day in her role as Clark County Historical Museum curator, and found the stories in The Columbian archives. The more she dug, more facts emerged. It took her about a decade to do the research.

In February 2018, she was approached to write the book, which took three months to complete.

“I just focused on writing every day,” she said. “My challenge was to take all of these stories, the trial, the crime, the investigation and weave those together in a way that made sense. The trial was five weeks long, and trying to make sense of that was a challenge. I asked Judge Suzanne Clark to read it, and she did. She just changed some of the phrases that a judge would use. She was kind enough to do it for me.”

Jollota also wants people to remember JoAnn.

“She never had a chance at love, at getting married, at raising a family, or starting a career,” said Jollota. “I want people to remember her.”

The book is available at Vintage Books, Barnes and Noble, Philbin’s Hardware, and, of course, www.Amazon.com

On November 24, Jollota is going back to Vintage Books for Small Business Night.

The book was released on October 29.

Portland, OR — At their annual Fall Luncheon at the Red Lion Jantzen Beach Hotel, the Humane Society for Southwest Washington (HSSW) heard from several key speakers and announced four major initiatives.

The event Emcee was HSSW Board Chair, Kim Capeloto, and the program featured Fritz Graham, of Senator Ron Wyden’s office; Jeff Brant, of Legacy Vet (and co-founder of Banfield Pet Hospital); HSSW President Stacey Graham; and Vancouver City Councilor, Alishia Topper. The fundraiser event featured an elegant lunch, a raffle, and a splendidly decorated theme  — A Walk in the Park.

Brant said the region is doing well at placing pets in homes, and that HSSW is Top 20 in the nation with pet placement.

Graham said that HSSW is receiving 1,200 calls per month, of which 60 percent were focused on local residents inquiring on how to best keep their animals in their homes. Graham also made news by announcing four new HSSW initiatives.

Those initiatives are:

  • Partnering with neighboring humane societies for essential services
  • Creating a new Call Center
  • Creating a Behavior Resource Center
  • Opening a veterinary clinic for low-income seniors and families

Graham said working with neighboring humane societies will assist greatly with “veterinary care, community outreach, development, strategic planning, finance management, and volunteer training so that we all meet the same standard of care so that more animals in SW Washington will go home to families, and stay with families.”

The Call Center will help HSSW manage their high volume of calls more efficiently. The Behavior Resource Center will be a resource to help behaviorally challenged cats and dogs.

“The Behavior Resource Center for both dogs and cats will be for people who have behavioral problems with their dogs and cats,” said Graham. “They can come for training, they can come for coaching. We’ll have classes and have experts on staff that will work with shelter animals and with owned pets and animals.”

The veterinary clinic is to help pets that live with low-income seniors and families.

Topper shared a story about visiting a home of a senior whose cat had a major tumor. They found the resources to treat the cat and return her to her home. The new veterinary clinic will help those families.

The end of the program featured a fun raffle, and guests were encouraged to make donations to HSSW so the organization can focus on one goal: Keep people + dogs + cats together as families.

To learn more, visit www.southwesthumane.org

Event Photo Gallery

 

Question: Can an IUD help manage menopausal hot flashes and bleeding?

Menopause is a normal a part of a woman’s life cycle—just like puberty and pregnancy. Yet it is a dynamic change for the person experiencing it, and is different for every woman. Some women will have very few or relatively minor symptoms. Others will experience multiple symptoms, some of which may be disruptive enough to daily life to require treatment.

Decreases in the female hormone, estrogen, commonly cause:

  • Abnormal bleeding (irregular bleeding, long periods, and heavy bleeding)
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Mood changes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Sexual desire or enjoyment changes

A progesterone IUD can help with some, but not all, of these symptoms. Progesterone is “the other female hormone” and is important for regulating the endometrial lining of the uterus—the layer of cells inside the uterus that builds up each month and is then shed, causing a period. Supplementing progesterone with an IUD can help with irregular bleeding that often occurs during both perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause) and menopause itself. An IUD often decreases and may even stop menstrual bleeding.

Unfortunately, the progesterone IUD alone will not stop vulvar or vaginal changes or vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes or night sweats—these symptoms are typically treated with nutritional supplements or hormone replacement therapy. That said, the progesterone IUD can play an important role during hormone therapy.

If a woman has an intact uterus (she had not had a hysterectomy) and needs estrogen replacement therapy, she’ll also need a progesterone replacement to protect the lining of the uterus and prevent postmenopausal bleeding or endometrial hyperplasia (an overgrowth of uterine lining which can become cancerous over time). For women needing estrogen replacement, a progesterone IUD can protect the uterine lining during hormone therapy.

While an IUD doesn’t provide complete relief from perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms, women in these stages may still want to use one for pregnancy prevention. During a woman’s transition from her childbearing years to the time in her life when she is no longer at risk for pregnancy, periods may become irregular, lighter, heavier, and generally less predictable. While pregnancy is less likely during this time, a woman is still at risk for unplanned pregnancy until she has gone a full year without a period.

IUD

Experiencing hot flashes.

 

 

Everyone has heard a story about a woman who was surprised to find herself pregnant in her late 40s or even early 50s because she was sure she had been through “the change” and could not get pregnant anymore. While some women may choose to delay pregnancy until their 30s or even 40s, pregnancy after age 40 carries significant risks to the mother and baby. The risks are even higher for unintended pregnancy. Numerous women’s health care groups recommend women continue birth control until menopause is complete.

Certified nurse midwives care for women throughout the lifespan, including during menopause. If you have questions about perimenopausal changes, signs of menopause, or treatment of symptoms, or if you are considering a progesterone IUD for contraception or treatment of menstrual concerns, we’d be happy to talk with you.

Christine Weinmeister is a certified nurse midwife at Vancouver Clinic. She strives to help all her patients feel informed and empowered in their health care decisions.

Meet Kathy Gillespie.

Her supporters say her education credentials are essential given the flaws in the new state education funding model. Her critics say she’s a hard-left politician masquerading as a moderate who will restrict Second Amendment rights, raise taxes, and hurt businesses.

Undaunted, Gillespie marches forward in her quest for the Washington State House (Legislative District 18, Position 2) seat, which is currently held by retiring Representative Liz Pike, a three-term Republican. Her campaign is determined to knock on 30,000 doors with volunteers working long days, seven days a week to get the word out. They’re determined to flip the LD 18, Position 2 seat from red to blue — from Republican to Democrat — in what Gillespie sees as a “blue wave” across the state.

With Pike’s retirement, LD 18 No. 2 is open seat, and Gillespie is running against long-term business leader, Larry Hoff, who is a newcomer to politics. It’s historically been a safe Republican district, but Gillespie sees an opening.

Community

www.McKeanSmithLaw.com

She’s been here before when she tried to unseat Pike two years ago. She lost that race, earning 43 percent of the vote.

“We did very well in 2016 against Liz Pike,” said Gillespie. “I didn’t really have a good campaign. Didn’t have a manager, didn’t have any money. We got 43 percent. Campaigns are complex organisms and candidates have to learn how to do it right. Sometimes the result is a reflection of a poorly run campaign. I think we’re seeing more sophistication from candidates about how they’re running.”

Gillespie has been actively campaigning against the McCleary legislation, claiming it creates chaos and fiscal deficits in school districts across the state. She’s been supportive of local teachers, attending strike rallies in August and September. And, she’s been critical of legislators who drafted the law.

“In the school reform bills passed were certain reforms with school funding going forward, and dealing with teacher compensation,” Gillespie said. “The school funding requests are addressed every year, and that will be like it’s always been. But there are concerns going forward, such as the fix, the levy limitations. There are concerns about inequities with the way the levy swap is affecting districts.”

She said, if elected, addressing concerns with the current funding legislation would be a high priority. She touts her eight years serving as Board Director of Vancouver Public Schools as a qualifier for the position she seeks. But, her critics say her lack of private sector experience is a real concern.

“If she’s never signed the front side of a paycheck, she does not know how tough it is to be a job creator in this state,” said Pike. “Her party has crushed business in Washington. In today’s over-regulated business environment, Bill Boeing could not launch his successful aerospace industry.”

So, why is she running? Here are her reasons:

  1. Educational Mandates. She claims many new educational mandates have funding gyrations that sometimes come with strings attached. She says her experience in public policy work can be applied to the legislature.
  2. Excellent Schools. Good schools are the foundation for a good future. Properly educated children become successful leaders of families, businesses and communities.
  3. Jobs. We need to have more jobs based in Clark County and SW Washington. Gillespie says the region needs 50,000 more living wage jobs. “We can do that,” she said. “We have cities with grand ambitions and are led by civic leaders with big plans. State government needs to be there to help them.”
  4. Infrastructure. “The I-5 corridor needs improvement. We need to build new roads, and new bridges, and that builds jobs. I’ve talked with Portland companies about making improvements here so our workers can live, work and play in those cities. New employers are telling us what their workers want. They want more high density near where they work. Washington already has a great economy. We have a great environment here already. The Vancouver waterfront is coming. We should be able to with state government’s attention to fund infrastructure projects. SW Washington doesn’t get its fair share out of Olympia. I think that we’re the southern gateway and we need our fair share of the budget. We need to counter Portland’s weight. This is what we bring to the table. We have awesome businesses over here.”
Gillespie

With campaign volunteers.

 

Is there a “Blue Wave” coming to Washington state?

Gillespie thinks so.

“There’s a great deal of dissatisfaction with the GOP with the major property tax increase,” said Gillespie. “It didn’t have to be in that amount, because it really punishes some areas of the state. It was done in the latter part of a long session. We’re working out some of the problems. The confusion today lies in the way the legislation was written, as it confuses how levies are going to work. At the 11th hour they created confusing legislation. We need to hear from districts about the trouble they’re running into. It will help us get through this easier.”

For the record, the bill was passed with broad bipartisan support, and retiring Rep. Liz Pike voted against the property tax increase. Gillespie’s opponent, Larry Hoff, is against any type of tax increase.

Gillespie predicts a blue wave because she said: “It was a failure to solve our transportation issues, and a failure to put a partnership together with Oregon. I propose we focus on I-5 corridor and see what’s possible by getting back to the table with Oregon. People need to put their marriage back together and start building trust.”

“They are very upset about the tax burden,” said Gillespie. “They are strangled by their property taxes, so they don’t see the fruits of that investment. Public trust in money they send has been violated.”

Speaking Out

“Legislators don’t want to hear about McCleary, but we need to understand the impact of the McCleary reforms,” Gillespie said. “With the levy lid passed it has created inequities, and we need to look into the details of all this. 295 districts are implementing these reforms and aren’t getting good direction from OPSI, and they’re unpacking this individually as districts. Each school district has unique characteristics, and they were passed as one size fits all — and that’s already showing it doesn’t work.”

She wants to make sure the regionalization of pay is having the effect the legislature intended.

There are major concerns, and she breaks them down:

  1. The state needs to make sure they’re paying the full cost of special education, and that needs to be addressed immediately. Local levies cannot be used to backfill special education funding. The state knows it’s not spending enough money on special education. The state needs to step up and pay the full cost. Each Superintendent is dealing with this.
  2. There is also concern about spending on counseling and nursing, and they need to spend more directed resources to pay for those. If we can do those things, it will take pressure off the budget. That will give them some relief. There appears there is bipartisan interest in funding special education, as well as counselors and nurses.
  3. Each district can re-prioritize their expenditures to streamline the budget. The districts need to be challenged about how they’re spending their money. They will need to live within their means, and taxpayers will expect school districts to do that. Each district needs to closely examine the budget and re-prioritize dollars, and everybody has to do that.
  4. The early numbers about funding special ed, nursing, counselors, are about $300 million. “We are mandated by the federal government to do these things, but they haven’t funded that, either,”Gillespie said. It can’t be an unfunded mandate.”

Where do you get the extra money to do that?

“The state needs to take responsibility for their own expenditures,” Gillespie said. “So, we need to know what our revenue forecasts are, and then we need to figure out what the funding requests are. We will have a problem because we’re reducing levies and we’re not paying the full cost of special education, nurses, and counselors. Look at existing revenue and analyze that first.”

“I’m not talking about any new sources of revenues until we know our state budget. We will have to re-prioritize dollars. I challenge our priorities to make sure we’re funding the core services of government first. My experience on the school board taught me that we have to challenge the status quo, and to make sure the budgets perform better with existing revenue.”

Pike said “she will vote with her Democrat caucus to further restrict second amendment rights. Her first loyalty will be to the teachers’ union.”

 

Gillespie

Gillespie on the campaign trail.

Background

Gillespie has worked extensively in education and in the public sector:

  • Vancouver School District Board Director (2009 – Dec. 2017).
  • Candidate for State Representative, WA Legislature, 18th LD (2016 & 2018) Position 2
  • Led $80K renovation of school courtyard at Vancouver School of Arts and Academics (VSAA). Led $10K renovation of playgrounds at Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary.
  • Led development of Roosevelt arts space working with school, district staff, community artists and local businesses to complete $7K project.
  • PTA President, Eleanor Roosevelt and VSAA.
  • Member of school committees formed to address budget shortfall, Parent Advisory Council for superintendent and site-based at VSAA, Roosevelt.
  • Active school volunteer, Lunch Buddy, mentor and committee member at all levels – school site, district and regional (2000-2016).
    Participant in Design II: The Art of Imagination strategic-planning initiative study groups with a focus on family and community involvement (2007 – 2009).
  • Participant in three-year School Improvement Plan process at Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary.

“I’ve knocked 7,000 doors, and our campaign has knocked on 18,000,” said Gillespie. “Our goal is to knock on 30,000.”

To learn more, visit www.kathygillespieforhouse.org

Vancouver, WA — More than 1,400 Evergreen Public Schools (EPS) teachers met Sunday afternoon at Evergreen High School to ratify their new collective bargaining agreement — by a vote of 1,455 to 4, or 99.5 percent approval.  The new two-year union deal gives teachers, on average, a raise of 11.5 percent, and gives starting teachers salaries $51,619 and veteran teachers topping out at $98,279 in year one. The year two salary range will be $53,474 to $100,618.

The new deal opens schools back up on Monday for Evergreen’s 26,000 students. It’s the largest school district in Clark County, and the second to last district to end a two-week long strike. Battle Ground still hasn’t settled.

“We are excited to be welcoming our students and staff back to school and appreciate the hard work both bargaining teams did in reaching a mutually beneficial agreement,” Superintendent John Steach said.

The Evergreen Education Association (EEA) struck a deal with administration leaders just before 3 am today.

Teachers have been picketing in front of their various schools for two weeks, causing major scheduling issues for parents.

EPS teacher, Hillary Axford, said the teachers were frustrated that a deal took so long. It’s been a very contentious few weeks.

“I don’t feel the district has been honest in these negotiations,” she said on Thursday.  “I think we’ll be one of the last districts to settle.”

All high school students who attend the Cascadia Technical Academy, which is run by EPS, need to report to classes as scheduled.

 

 

Vancouver, WA — The McKean Smith Law Firm, which was founded in 2015 by Collin McKean, a native Washingtonian, and Annelisa Smith, a native Oregonian, is preparing to occupy brand-new office space on the fifth floor of the Vancouver Waterfront Building.

The plan is to occupy the fantastic 3,610 square foot space, which overlooks the Columbia River, in January 2019. The office has spectacular views of Mt. Hood and will provide a great working environment for this growing firm. The new Vancouver Waterfront space will accommodate their current successful Vancouver team and give that office the ability to expand over the next several years. McKean Smith knows that Clark County and the Vancouver community requires a committed office with attorneys and staff committed to supporting the SW Washington practice from a centralized and distinctive location at the Vancouver waterfront.

The firm has been working with Ankrom Moisan Architects to help apportion, design and build out the space. Ankrom Moisan has been a part of the Vancouver Waterfront project for several years and McKean Smith looks forward to leveraging their deep knowledge of the space and its surroundings.

McKean

Outside the Clark County Courthouse. From left: James Wriston, Gabe Foster, Deanna Rusch, Collin McKean.

“We understand that when clients first walk through our doors there is often a feeling of uncertainty of what their futures have in store,” said McKean. “But while this uncertainty may seem daunting at first, we want our clients to find solace in the fact that our offices will always provide a safe, warm, and welcoming environment where we work together making solutions for a brighter future. We care about our Clark County clients and we want to show them that by providing them a beautiful office with truly serene views.”

The firm has ten attorneys, nine of which are licensed to practice in Washington. The firm is committed to supporting SW Washington communities and represents clients in domestic relations matters, business transactions, trusts and estates, real estate, criminal justice, personal injury, and civil litigation matters. Clients working with McKean Smith understand that a broad level of knowledge and experience can make all the difference. McKean Smith attorneys work to achieve complete solutions to complex legal matters.

McKean Smith provides substantive one hour consultations to help you understand your legal rights and the procedures you must follow to make sure you get to exercise those rights. They will help you figure out the right way to get the legal advice and support you need. They support you at each stage of your case and encourage mediation and settlement whenever possible. However, family law sometimes requires using the tools available through the litigation process.They want to help each client achieve their goals.

To learn more, visit www.McKeanSmithLaw.com

Dear Friends, Our MarchKindness Day 2 feature was a video about Dawn Stanchfield, owner of Lily Atelier, who does a lot for Camas Lacrosse teams.

Vancouver, WA — Cherish DesRochers-Vafeados and Jamie Spinelli work on a shoestring budget each week to help dozens of homeless people get the nutrition they need and get access to a warm shower.

Cherish is the president of the non-profit, Food With Friends, and its off-shoot organization, Shower Outreach Project, and works very closely with Jamie to find the funds and provide help to people in transition with their lives.

”We started doing street outreach,” said Cherish. “We knew where people needed help so we went straight to them. This was a few years ago. Now every weekend we hand out food to people who desperately need it.”

She said they work closely with Living Hope Church, Friends of the Carpenter and the Shared Day Center to meet people and provide food bags to the downtrodden. Donations come from various businesses, such as Little Ceasar’s Pizza, who provide pizzas, and individuals who want to help out.

They also drive a shower trailer Friday through Sunday.  Each Friday, they stop the shower trailer at the Friends of the Carpenter non-profit. On Saturdays, from noon to 3 pm, they stop at the Shared Day Center, and on Sunday they stop at the Living Hope Church, from noon to 4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has also helped out.

”We provide the shower trailer, the propane to heat the water, and the organizations provide the water,” said Cherish. “We serve about 75 people each week, and it’s great to help people. One man hadn’t showered in 35 days, now he gets to shower at least once a week. It makes people feel better.”

Cherish said a local organization once provided free shower wasn’t able to continue, so they decided to fill the gap.

Friends With Food purchased the trailer last year for $15,000 (at cost) from a man in Portland.

”We held a fundraiser and overnight we received $18,000 in donations,” said Cherish. “It was enough to pay for the shower trailer, so we were thrilled.”

Friends With Food/Shower Outreach Project is still working on logistics and seek help with a hauling vehicle for the shower trailer.

”We’re still figuring out the process,” said Cherish. “Thomas Eaton hauls the trailer for us. We’re grateful for his help.”

Friends served about 20 people per day with food and other counseling services, and recently received an inquiry from the Vancouver School District about reaching out to students who don’t have running water or electricity. They are also trying to get socks and underwear donated. Recently, a donor provided 1,200 pairs of socks.

“A lot of these people are waiting for housing to become available,” said Cherish. “They’re in transition, and we’re trying to help out.”

To contact Friends With Food, email: info@foodwithfriends.net or call them at 360.723.5791. You can also find them on Facebook @FoodWithFriendsWA

Friends Photos

 

VANCOUVER — Camas resident Derek Vanderwood was sworn in as Clark County’s newest Superior Court judge Friday at an investiture ceremony that was attended by approximately 130 people.

Vanderwood, who has practiced law in Vancouver since 1996, was sworn in by Judge Barbara D. Johnson, as family, friends and peers looked on during the sunny afternoon on the sixth floor of the Clark County Public Service Center.

Derek Vanderwood is sworn in as Superior Court judge by
Judge Barbara D. Johnson

The simple, yet elegant ceremony included remarks by Johnson, Casey Marshall (Vanderwood’s former law practice partner), and Judge Daniel L. Stahnke, who all spoke highly of Clark County’s newest judge.

Marshall introduced Vanderwood and spoke highly of their professional relationship while sharing some lighthearted moments. He said he at first doubted that Vanderwood would be appointed to the bench, but never doubted he’d make a good judge.

“And here we are now, ” Marshall said. “Derek will do an excellent job. He’s very meticulous and has a great love of community.”

Vanderwood was appointed to the bench by Governor Jay Inslee after a vacancy become available through the retirement of Judge Nichols. Vanderwood will have to run for election in November to complete the remaining two years of this judicial term.

“We welcome Derek into his new role,” said Judge Stahnke. “He’s been doing orientation for the past week … and know this can be overwhelming.”

After taking the oath of office from Judge Johnson, Vanderwood received his robe, which was placed by his wife, Allison, a longtime Clark County resident.

“It’s been a great opportunity to serve so many clients over these many years,” said Vanderwood. “And my partners have been a great help. I’m looking to create new relationships and this is an opportunity to help others … and I want you to know that I’m committed to respecting all those who enter the courtroom.

“This has given me a chance to reflect on accomplishments, and it’s a wonderful chance to serve,” he added. “And I ask you all to look how you can serve our community.”

In her closing remarks, Judge Johnson said: “Judge Vanderwood fits in and truly seems to have a calling to be a judge. It’s very meaningful to have him here.”

In attendance was Vanderwood’s immediate family, including his wife, Allison, and three of his four children: Alina, Andrew and Tyler. His oldest two sons, Devin and Grant, are currently serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Peru and Dallas, Texas, respectively. The new judge also serves as a local LDS Bishop in Camas.

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Derek Vanderwood, his wife Allison, and three of their five children.

Much of his extended family, including his mother, Joan, and siblings, were in attendance, as well.

Following the investiture ceremony, the guests attended an elegant reception at Vancouver Hilton.

“It’s a great experience for our family,” said Andrew. “It’s a good change. I thought he would get it. He’s a great public speaker and it was just right.”

His mother, Joan Vanderwood, referred to the ceremony as a parent pay day.

“Of course, I’m impressed with Derek and his abilities,” said Joan. “He’s very fair and has many good qualities. I’ve always felt he had the potential to be amazing and live up to his potential.”

Judge Vanderwood has served actively in the community for years in his ecclesiastical capacity, as well as serving Little League and the Boy Scouts of America, among other organizations.

10926214_804772396245086_786417362632228661_n
Judge Vanderwood takes his seat among other judges.

“It’s been a fantastic day,” said Allison. “It’s really an honor to be part of this event, and I’m just so  proud of him. This entire experience teaches our kids the importance of community. When he was appointed by Governor Inslee, were were shocked, but very happy with the announcement. It was a surprise and surely a great honor. Derek will serve people well.”

Judge Vanderwood will continue his orientation these coming weeks, and will then be given a load of cases to oversee.

 

VANCOUVER – Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s office announced Friday the appointment of civil lawyer Derek Vanderwood, a long-time Camas resident, to be Clark County’s newest Superior Court judge.
Vanderwood, a partner at the firm English, Lane, Marshall & Vanderwood, succeeds Judge John Nichols, who retired this month after serving 18 years on the bench.
“Derek has a long-standing reputation in Clark County for being a smart and committed lawyer,” Inslee said in a prepared statement. “I know he’s ready to take on this role and serve the people in a new capacity.”
Derek Vanderwood, of Camas.
Friday’s announcement was the culmination of a months-long process, which began last summer when Judge Nichols announced his retirement. At that time, Gov. Inslee posted a notification for application with a mid-September deadline.
Vanderwood was one of three applicants, which included Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Fairgrieve and criminal defense attorney Christopher Ramsay. Each applicant had the opportunity to present their case to the Clark County Bar Association, as well as conduct interviews with Gov. Inslee and the General Counsel.
“I look forward to this wonderful opportunity to serve,” said Vanderwood. “I’ll be wrapping up matters at my practice, which will take some time. I’ll likely start serving in this new position in late February.”
Vanderwood has been practicing law in Washington state since 1994, and has lived in Clark County since 1996. At his Vancouver firm, he focuses on injury claims, civil litigation, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and consumer safety cases.
One of his highest profile cases involved a suit against Hyundai for defective seats in which the jury awarded the plaintiff, Jesse Magna, $8 million. Vanderwood and firm partner, Dennis Lane, represented Magna, who was ejected from the vehicle during a late 90s automobile accident. The award was appealed to the state’s highest court, and was ultimately upheld.
Vanderwood, who is originally from Grand Junction, Colo., is married to Allison Teuscher Vanderwood, who grew up in Clark County. They have five children – four sons and one daughter – who have all attended Camas public schools.
Service to community is part of Vanderwood’s life, as he has been serving as a Bishop (an ecclesiastical leader) for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Camas since 2012. The voluntary, non-paid position requires many hours each week dedicated to serving church members and local residents. He also volunteers his time serving the community at large in other capacities, such as being a parent volunteer at Camas Little League, among other organizations.
Vanderwood’s supporters say, “He follows the letter of the law, and is very much into respecting individual privacy rights.”
“In the Washington judicial system there are two trial courts: District and Superior,” said Vanderwood. “Superior is the higher court and the distinction is in size and ramification. The Superior Court works with more serious criminal cases, as well as large financial claims. Over time I will be working on a mix of family, criminal, civil, and juvenile cases, and that can change with rotations.”
While Vanderwood has primarily focused on his law practice, he said he’s been drawn to serving on the bench in recent years, and looks forward to the opportunity.
He will need to run for election in November 2015. Each Superior Court judicial term is four years.