Vancouver, WA — Class is in session at Firstenburg Community Center (700 N.E. 136th Ave.) thanks to a new program designed to serve families who homeschool their children.
Starting in September, Vancouver Parks and Recreation will host engaging, secular classes for homeschool students ages 6-18 during the school year. With over 30 subjects to choose from, classes are offered from 9 am to 3 pm on Mondays and Thursdays, in 6-week sessions.
“We are excited to serve families in this new way,” said Stacey Allington, recreation assistant with Vancouver Parks and Recreation. “Firstenburg Community Center is already a vital resource when it comes to community education and wellness. Providing high-quality homeschool courses is a continuation of our mission to serve the community.”
The elective-style classes are taught by educators, experts and qualified parents. They are designed to supplement home instruction in multiple content areas and provide multi-age peer interaction. Homeschool classes at Firstenburg Community Center will cover a diverse array of subjects including literature, writing, geography, theater, sign language, foreign language, music, design, financial literacy and science. There are also plenty of physical education opportunities like dance, yoga, rock climbing, swimming and team sports.
“The partnership in planning these classes with Vancouver Parks and Recreation has been phenomenal,” explains homeschool parent Erin Robertson, M.Ed. “In addition to the quality content in each class, students have the opportunity to meet new friends, learn from different teaching styles and experience truly unique course offerings.”
Homeschool classes are open to city residents and non-residents, as well as students using other non-traditional educational environments like online learning. Students enrolled in two or more classes per day will have access to a public swim at the Firstenburg Pool on Mondays from 1 to 3 p.m. or Thursdays from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. at no additional charge. Multi-child and multi-class discounts are also available.
Vancouver Parks and Recreation builds upon the City’s strong legacy of parks, natural areas and recreation dating back to the dedication of Esther Short Park in 1853. Each month, the Parks and Recreation Department provides hundreds of recreation opportunities for youth, adults, seniors and persons with disabilities at its two community centers. Parks and Recreation operates 1,600 acres of parkland at 113 sites, including 91 parks, 20 miles of trails and many natural areas for the City of Vancouver. The Parks and Recreation Department cultivates community in the City and beyond through on-going special events and volunteer programs that celebrate the City’s natural spaces.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/07075800/A930EC0C-7747-4089-909C-30C98F3B4FA5-e1567109772219.jpeg5461167Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2019-08-29 13:44:062019-08-29 13:44:58Homeschool Classes Begin at Firstenburg Community Center
Vancouver, Washington – The highly anticipated Columbia River water feature at Vancouver Waterfront Park (695 Waterfront Way) officially opened to the public today.
The interactive art installation was gifted to the City of Vancouver by City Council resolution on Monday, Aug. 5. The Vancouver Parks and Recreation Department will maintain the water feature as it draws locals and visitors to enjoy the city’s waterfront for years to come.
“I believe that carefully conceived environments can create places of meaning within communities,” said Larry Kirkland, the artist who designed the Columbia River water feature. “The best of public art can challenge, delight, educate and illuminate. But above all, it can celebrate the qualities that make each place unique and can create a sense of civic ownership. This pride of place is a building block for the future of these communities.”
Design and Details The Columbia River water feature journey begins with the monumental structure called Headwaters. This 12-foot tall and 16-foot wide stone and bronze monolith is oriented north and south to the adjacent Columbia River.
The east face is a cast bronze relief map of the Columbia Basin. The northern Rocky Mountains, Cascades and Coastal mountain ranges and river valleys are rendered in high relief to be touched and traced by human hands.
The west face is an engraved stone with a topographic map of the origins of the Columbia, the “Great River of the West.” Water cascades down it in a variable flow, reflecting seasonal changes in the flow of the river. The one-inch deep river flows for 150 feet along a molded riverbed past variable-height stacks of textured granite representing each of the Columbia River’s tributaries. More water flows from between these rocks into the original river. The water is chlorinated and can be waded through and played in by visitors.
Facts about each of the tributaries are engraved on the dry side of each granite grouping. Intermingled with the factual text are quotes from literature that reference water and the flow of rivers. Combined, the facts and writingsmerge into a poetic and contemplative experience.
Donors to the $3.5 million project are recognized on the side of the Headwaters structure.
Donors are Steve and Jan Oliva, who also played a major role in the development of the Vancouver Waterfront, as well as the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. Other key donors are Steve and Jo Hansen, Al and Sandee Kirkwood, Barry Cain, Alvin Charles Berg, Mary Jane Berg, Susan Lynn Berg, Jim and Shirley Johnson, The Columbian, Dean and Kristin Kirkland Family, Marilyn Denham, and Kenneth E. and Eunice M. Teter.
“We’re really happy to have this water feature built,” said Jan Oliva. “This entire Vancouver Waterfront project has been in the works for 12 years, and there are so many good, wonderful people here in Vancouver. Larry Kirkland is the artist and John Grant (John Grant Projects) is the one who built the fountain. It’s designed to show the inlets of the Columbia flowing into it, and the ocean is represented at the end.
“It’s going to be great for little kids. Since we’re involved in the whole waterfront development this is a key piece that is going to the city from the waterfront development group. We love what’s happening here because we feel it’s helping the whole area. There’s a great walking loop that connects us to the land bridge and the Fort Vancouver Historic Site. It’s a good thing, I’m just happy and pleased with it.”
Design and Details About the Columbia River Water Feature
$3.5 million gift to the City of Vancouver, accepted by City Council resolution on August 5, 2019, from Columbia Waterfront, LLC.
The water is chlorinated and can be waded through and played in by visitors.
The Columbia River water feature journey begins with the monumental structure called Headwaters.
This 12-foot tall and 16-foot wide stone and bronze monolith is oriented north and south to the adjacent Columbia River.
The east face is a cast bronze bas relief map of the Columbia Basin. The northern Rocky Mountains, Cascades and Coastal mountain ranges and river valleys are rendered in high relief.
The west face is an engraved stone with a topographic map of the origins of the Columbia River.
Water cascades down it in a variable flow, reflecting seasonal changes in the flow of the river.
The one-inch deep river flows for 150 feet along a molded riverbed past variable-height stacks of textured granite representing each of the Columbia River’s tributaries.
Facts about each of the tributaries are engraved on the dry side of each granite grouping. Intermingled with the factual text are quotes from literature that reference water and the flow of rivers.
Donors to the $3.5 million project are recognized on the side of the Headwaters structure.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/07080033/2C02E001-7142-46D1-B440-6319ED1A8348-scaled.jpeg9822560Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2019-08-09 16:10:092019-08-09 16:10:20Columbia River Water Feature at Vancouver Waterfront Park Opens
Vancouver, WA — The law firm, McKeanSmith LLC, officially moved into their spacious new offices at the stunning Vancouver Waterfront on April 1, and they couldn’t be happier.
“I love the fact that Vancouver is reclaiming its waterfront,” said Collin McKean, the firm’s co-founder. “I find that being next to water is an inspiring place to be. I grew up living on a body of water and it’s a great way to give clients a calming location to do our work and help them through their life transitions.”
The firm, established in 2015, moved their nine employees from their downtown Vancouver office to the fifth floor of the Murdock Tower, which has commanding views of the Columbia River and the I-5 bridge. The nearly 3,800 square foot space gives McKeanSmith room to grow. Their Vancouver office provides legal services in the following areas: family law (including collaborative family law), employment law, business law, general litigation, and criminal law. They also have offices in Portland and Hillsboro.
“As lawyers, we work hard, sometimes long hours for our clients, and it’s important to be in a place you like to be in,” said McKean. “Given we have a front row seat to the waterfront, we’ve taken a unique approach to the gathering space. The location is also comforting to our clients, who are often going through major life changes.”
The move is also a reflection of the firm’s positive momentum.
“We have a good reputation so we continue to get referrals in from our clients for family law work, and our attorneys are very active in the community,” said McKean. “We value them, and invest in small businesses and support them. We’re looking to increase our employment law practice and support for small businesses. We’re handling typical small business issues with transactional litigation needs.”
And, their work isn’t going unnoticed by their peers.
“We’re proud our lawyers have been recognized in Vancouver for Best Lawyer designations. Annelisa Smith, Deanna Rusch, and I are Super Lawyer Rising Stars,” said McKean. “We’re also ranked top tier in the Portland/Vancouver metro area by US News and World Report, which ranks all firms.”
The office, with its modern touches, brings in a lot of natural light, and a nearly 180 degree view of the waterfront and downtown Vancouver.
“The office offers a calm and serene location and atmosphere because whether they’re new or existing they’re all in some form of turmoil, so you can’t underestimate the importance of that,” said Rusch.
“I have a beautiful view of Mt. Hood, the river and the I-5 Bridge, and kind of just the whole eastern part of the waterfront development that is still under construction. I like watching the boats go by.”
“Family law was the cornerstone of the practice so that was really what they had been doing. Since then, Collin especially has grown into other practice areas. So, when I joined the firm in October 2017 it was to continue my family law practice, which is mostly in Clark County. I represent anyone, mostly in divorces, and my clients range from little to no assets to high assets.”
And, as part of their commitment to small business and things local, the firm invested heavily in local art to adorn their new office space.
Rusch put partners McKean and Smith in touch with Maria Gonser, owner of Attic Gallery in downtown Camas. Gonser works with local artists, and assisted them with the whole process, even taking a Sunday afternoon to hang the artwork in entrance, hallway, and conference room.
“The art on left-hand side in the conference room are from the Sandra Jones Campbell Pendleton series,” said Gonser. “She had 30 paintings in that series. The pieces on the other side are all from Pendleton. The ‘Broad Shoulders’ cowboy is her father. The ones on the right are inspired from old photographs. She’ll get a series of photographs from a particular era and she recreates those pictures in her paintings.”
McKeanSmith also bought an Earl Hamilton abstract, wood carvings by Monica Setziol-Phillips, and a massive piece by Cedar Lee.
“Collin and Annelisa went through this process with great detail,” said Rusch. “I’m very appreciative of their support and follow through.”
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/07080249/F13CB18F-344D-4F17-BE95-391B0D4CB94C-scaled.jpeg8812560Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2019-07-31 11:47:122019-07-31 11:48:00McKeanSmith Law Firm Expands Into Murdock Vancouver Waterfront Tower
Vancouver, WA — As part of their group meeting at Green Meadows Thursday evening, the Clark County Republican Women (CCRW) presented a check to Pathways Pregnancy Center of Camas and Washougal.
The check, which was presented by CCRW president, Brook Pell, is part of the group’s annual “Impact Award,” which raises funds for local charitable organizations that support women throughout the county. Funds come from group members, with a matching donation from CCRW.
“CCRW membership is honored to present this monetary contribution to Pathways,” said Pell. “We could not have selected a more deserving organization as the first recipient of our annual CCRW Impact Award. Each year, volunteers and staff at Pathways are saving lives and helping women in need.”
Pathways Pregnancy Clinic provides services to young women who are coping with the fears and anxieties of an unplanned pregnancy. The faith-based organization provides counseling, ultrasounds, and free pregnancy tests.
Pathways is open during regular business hours, and is located at 2926 E Street in Washougal. For more information, call Pathways at 360.834.2829.
The presentation was part of a larger meeting that included a silent auction, dinner, group updates, and a keynote address by expert forensics accountant, Tiffany Couch, who addressed myths about public school funding. She provided information about confusion that surrounds the current McCleary school funding legislation, and its impact on local school districts.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/07083322/CED398DE-1267-4B71-A71F-A147F57DC4A6-scaled.jpeg18693529Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2019-01-25 17:40:592019-01-25 17:40:59Clark County Republican Women Present Monetary Award to Pregnancy Clinic
Clark County, WA — This notice is to solicit nominations for individuals who wish to appear before Clark County Republican PCOs to present themselves as candidates for the position of Clark County Council for District 4. Nominees must reside in County Council District 4 and be of the Republican Party.
Self-nominations should include full contact information and a statement that they are of the Republican Party and live within District 4. Nominations that are not self-nominations should include full contact information of the nominee with the attachment of a signed statement from the nominee that he or she agrees to serve if nominated.
The Clark County Auditor has certified the 2018 elections results and Eileen Quiring has been elected to the position of Clark County Council Chair. Ms. Quiring will take office as Clark County Council Chair on January 1, 2019, and at that time, she will vacate her seat as County Councilor for District 4.
Pursuant to Article II, Section 15 of the Washington State Constitution, the Clark County Republican Central Committee is required to nominate three (3) individuals as candidates. Pursuant to the state constitution, all nominees must: 1) reside in County Council District 4; and (2) be of the same political party as Ms. Quiring, namely the Republican Party. Nominations will be voted upon by Clark County Precinct Committee Officers on January 15. The names of the three individuals nominated will then be forwarded to the Clark County Council. Upon receipt of the names of the three nominees, the Clark County Council will review the nominees, conduct interviews in an open public session, and appoint one of the individuals to the office of Clark County Council District 4.
Any person interested in being considered for nomination by the Clark County Republican Party Central Committee must notify Clark County Republican Party Chairman Earl Bowerman in writing, and must be received no later than January 10, 2019 . Email notifications to [email protected] will be accepted and must be received no later than January 10, 2019. All nominations will be acknowledged within 12 hours with further information on the ensuing process; if acknowledgement is not received, notify Chair Bowerman by email. The mailing address of the Clark County Republican Party is P. O. Box 205, Vancouver, WA 98666.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/07084859/3A859D97-630E-4F77-BDE9-5D43DCD3829B.jpeg14142120Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2019-01-03 08:58:202019-01-03 08:58:20Local GOP Seeks Nominations For Clark County Council District 4 Seat
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.
“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.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/07090628/625A7742-88E2-4E8C-9B5A-9F0E4346EF35-scaled.jpeg19723792Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2018-11-20 09:32:552018-11-20 09:42:01Jollota Writes Riveting History Book on 1950s Vancouver Murder Case
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.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/07092426/4C735F72-0A69-482E-B6AF-37D4B7705D5E-e1539968725448-scaled.jpeg16863961Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2018-10-19 10:13:332018-10-19 10:16:20Humane Society for SW Washington Announces 4 Major Initiatives
Question: Can an IUD help manage menopausal hot flashes and bleeding?
Menopauseis 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)
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.
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.
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/07093150/1EF73109-9536-4516-8E51-3CD73B93B9D5.jpeg7951565Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2018-10-01 12:06:182018-10-01 12:06:18Ask An Expert: Can An IUD Help Manage Menopausal Hot Flashes?
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.
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:
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.
Excellent Schools. Good schools are the foundation for a good future. Properly educated children become successful leaders of families, businesses and communities.
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.”
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.”
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.”
“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:
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.
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.
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.
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 on the campaign trail.
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.”
https://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/07093523/B1B5A64C-279A-4912-9F20-C33BAB02498F.jpeg5941109Ernest Geigenmillerhttps://cdn.lacamasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/07074147/lacamas_white_2-300x300.pngErnest Geigenmiller2018-09-24 16:23:112018-09-24 16:23:11Meet the Candidate: Kathy Gillespie, Running for State House (LD 18, No. 2)
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.