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Washougal, WA — The second annual Camas Washougal Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament, held at Orchard Hills in Washougal in early September was the first major event the organization has had this year — due to COVID-19 restrictions — and it was a social and commercial success.

“Sponsorship support was very generous as local businesses know that not having Camas Days, due to COVID-19 restrictions, was a major financial hit to the Chamber,” said Jennifer Senescu, the CW Chamber’s Executive Director. “We had 26 sponsorships in total to support the event, and it was such a gorgeous September day.”

Affordable Exterior Solutions was the title sponsor.

Eighty-four players comprising 21 teams participated were unable to have a shotgun start, but were able to have individual tee times.

The event netted $13,000, which is $3,000 less than last year, but given virus restrictions, Senescu feels this was a success.

“I was on the True Insurance team,” Hung Tran, a CW Chamber Board member, player and sponsor. “It was great that everyone got together to be able to help the chamber out in a pandemic.”

Senescu said there were games on the course at sponsored holes, putting contests, straight drives, and two KPs. Boxed lunches were served with tasty black and blue burgers.

“We know so many businesses have been hit hard this year,” said Senescu. “We continue to work with companies to network and find solutions as we navigate the pandemic. We do see many hopeful signs.”

To learn more about the Chamber, visit www.cwchamber.com

Chamber
www.lilyatelier.com
Chamber
Golf fun.

Washougal, WA — The Washougal School Board approved a new, two-year contract with the Washougal Association of Educators at its Tuesday, August 25 board meeting.

The contract puts equity, diversity, and inclusion front and center for the district, with a major investment in teacher training on equity this coming school year.  The district is excited to be partnering with the Washougal Association of Educators (WAE) as well as the statewide Washington Education Association to provide culturally responsive practices training for all teaching staff. The contract includes new language around inclusive practices, and language to remove barriers to student participation that are created through discipline processes.  This work will help both groups work to eliminate the achievement gaps for our diverse learners, as school leaders and teachers work together to authentically know all learners, nurture relationships that build common understanding, and challenge each of us to disrupt systemic racism in our society. 

The contract also features an investment in additional teacher training focused on technology to build skills and to ensure quality implementation of the new impactED remote learning model.  

“Our vision to know, nurture and challenge all students to rise remains in place,” said WSD Superintendent, Mary Templeton.  “This training will help our teachers deliver positive and engaging learning experiences for our students.”

The contract includes a state provided increase in compensation across two years, along with additional paid training time.

“This keeps the district’s overall compensation in alignment with our region, so that we can continue to attract and retain great teachers,” said Aaron Hansen, Assistant Superintendent of HR & Student Support. 

“WAE are happy to have the contract in place for the next two years,” said Eric Engebretson, WAE President.  “It is one less item on teachers’ plates.”

This agreement makes changes to Special Education language that provides more equity to Special Education teachers as compared to general education teachers.

Other contract features are additional non-discrimination language, changes in leave provisions, creation of a guest teacher (substitute) handbook, and more structure for teacher involvement in equity and school building leadership teams.  

“This was an unusual bargaining process for many reasons,” said Hansen. “We held about 18 bargaining sessions; all were done over Zoom.  Both sides worked extremely hard to listen, to seek common ground, and to collaborate as we solved issues in the contract. It is the first time in quite a while we’ve settled a contract without support from a mediator.”  Engebretson added “I think that this is one of the earliest contracts to be settled between WAE and WSD.  We appreciate the work the Union and District did together to come to an agreement.”

The tentative agreement was reached at the bargaining table July 29.   WAE membership ratified it in a general meeting on August 21, and the WSD Board approved it at the August 25 board meeting. 

Several miles into the scenic Washougal River Road drive you come to Hughes Road, make a left turn, and discover the stunning Jamie’s Dahlias gardens tucked away along rolling hills and rich evergreen trees. With its neatly planted rows, this nearly acre-sized flower farm provides a needed respite from a world beleaguered with a pandemic and the continued stress that ensues.

It’s the new, local destination to cut your favorite dahlia flowers and fill your home or office with brilliant colors.

Jamie Smith, the garden’s namesake, and Fort Vancouver High School health teacher, is there to greet you while her two young sons plow the earth with toy John Deere tractors and her husband, Kerry, tends to the grounds. 

This is the first year, even the first month of operation for this young farm, the successor to Bob and Linda’s dahlia farm that closed recently. 

“We officially opened August 1,” said Jamie. “It’s technically a U-cut business. People come and cut the flowers they want. We spend a lot of time in the seedling garden where we create new varieties. We have 220 named varieties to choose from here.”

Jamie and Kerry have spent months, even years planning for this project, learning and experiencing everything the world of dahlias brings. Jamie explains the tuber is what gives you the same dahlia each year, but if you take the flower and mix tiny sprouts from the various seed heads of the dahlia flower, you can get some great varieties. 

She said a tuber looks like a potato and it will grow. 

“They will grow all these new plants below, and you sit there with a pair of scissors and then separate them, then store them over the winter,” Jamie said. “I store them in vermiculite, which is a thick powder, and keeps the moisture away from the dahlia.”

A lot of the dahlia tubers are from other dahlia farms in the area, which have been delicately maintained through the winter months. 

“The Portland Dahlia Society has given me a lot of tips when it comes to dahlia dividing and storage,” said Jamie. “Some people dip their dahlias in sulfur or cinnamon. Others store them in wood chips or Saran Wrap. This is my first year growing them, and we put them in the ground in the Spring. The original one that’s planted is thrown away, but the tuber below under ground can yield up to 10 plants. We sell individual tubers, as well.” 

Dahlias
www.artfuljuxtaposition.com

When do you start planting? 

“In March you wake them up and put them in a greenhouse,” Jamie said. “We got the back half planted in April. Maintenance includes lots and lots of weeding. If you use the regular garden hoe you can damage the roots and the plants. We have to weed daily.”

Why a dahlia farm?

“Six years ago I went on my first date with Kerry and we stopped at Linda’s dahlias and he gave me this huge massive bouquet,” she said. “That farm is three miles down the road. I didn’t know much about dahlias until then, but was impressed by the bouquet. It became our thing to walk the dahlia fields and explore. We have seven acres here, and we think we have about one acre of dahlias.” 

Jamie and Kerry planted 2,800 dahlias in the ground, and 2,600 plants came up. The planting lasted four straight days from sunrise to sunset because it’s best to plant them all at the same time.

Getting to the gardens is just a 16-minute drive from Camas, and it makes for a nice, local escape into another beautiful location.

Jamie’s Dahlias is open daily 9 am-6 pm at 704 Hughes Rd. Washougal, WA 98671. You can also find them on Facebook (Jamie’s Dahlias) and Instagram (@Jamiesdahlias)

Dahlias
A look at some of the gardens.
Dahlias
From the Tomo variety.

Washougal, WA — The Camas-Washougal Historical Society (CWHS) recently received a generous $2,500 grant from The Honorable Frank L. and Arlene J. Price Foundation.  The grant is the third given to CWHS from The Price Foundation and is earmarked for the Gathering Place at Washuxwal project, a Native American-inspired longhouse pavilion located on the south side of the museum.

“We are entering the final stages of the project,” said CWHS president, Jim Cobb.  “This includes Native American carvings and artwork to adorn the structure, educational signage and landscaping. We are excited to be nearing completion and are looking forward to using this area to tell important stories of the earliest inhabitants of our area.”   Cobb hopes to have the final pieces installed this fall.

Kay Dalke-Sheadel, Price Foundation Executive Director, was unable to present the check in person due to COVID concerns, but in a letter expressed her gratitude for CWHS’ service to the community, stating “The Prices would be happy to know their funds are being used for such a worthy cause.”

“We are honored that The Price Foundation accepted our grant proposal and is helping to make our vision a reality,” said Cobb  The Price Foundation was created to provide funding for education, health and historical preservation projects in Clark and Cowlitz Counties.

The Gathering Place which began a capital fundraising campaign in 2017.  It is expected to help attract tourists, educational field trips and history lovers to the Two Rivers Heritage Museum and the community. “We are so grateful to the Price Foundation, our historical society membership and the community for their continuing support to help this project come to life,” Cobb said.

Find more information on The Gathering Place at Washuxwal visit www.2rhm.com.   Donations can be made online.  CWHS mission is to research, collect, preserve, and make available the rich history of Camas and Washougal, WA for the public.  Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.  CWHS is a registered tax-exempt organization, Tax ID #91-1181503.

The Two Rivers Heritage Museum is located at 1 Durgan Street in Washougal and is currently closed until further notice due to COVID-19 concerns.

Gathering
Working on the project.

Effective today, Sandy Swimming Hole Park in Washougal is officially reopened. 

“It is critical to continue to comply with physical distancing protocols during the upcoming warm weather forecast and to be respectful of our neighbors,” said the city of Washougal in a statement. ”Please do not park vehicles in the surrounding neighborhoods to access this park. Parking is prohibited on Shephard Road and citations will be issued for noncompliance. Parking is available in the off-street parking lot.“

Park users are expected to follow physical-distancing and safety protocols including:

  • Do not use parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to visiting parks or trails.
  • Share the trail and warn other trail users of your presence and as you pass.
  • Observe CDC’s minimum recommended physical distancing of six-feet from other persons not from your household at all times.
  • If you are not able to maintain physical-distancing guidelines while visiting a park, please go home and try to come again at another time.

As a reminder:

  • All City of Washougal parks, trails and open areas remain open.
  • All City of Washougal park restrooms will remain closed until further notice. We are working on enhanced sanitation protocols to allow us to re-open the restrooms.
  • All play structures remain closed until further notice.
  • Steamboat Landing Dock remains closed until further notice.

For the latest updates on the City of Washougal’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit cityofwashougal.us/COVID19.

Washougal
https://www.lesschwab.com/store/?storeId=714

The Camas Washougal Business Alliance has altered their 12th Annual Stuff the Scholarship event, which is now all online. The event, originally scheduled for mid-March, will be held on Saturday May 23, from 6-8 pm. Register now for detailed instructions. 

This year, the Stuff the Scholarship team had planned to host the event at Lacamas Lake Lodge surrounded by friends and community. But, they can still make these scholarships happen for the very deserving senior class of 2020 (at Camas and Washougal High Schools) with your help. The event raises money to provide ample scholarships for several deserving local seniors.

The two-part event will include a Facebook Live presentation, hosted by Lacamas Magazine, Tabitha Shaffer, Angie Cherry, Linda Holmes and special guest, Tony O’Berio. While you listen to or watch us on your phone, you can have your computer open and ready to bid on your favorite silent auction items. The silent auction will be open from 6-7:30 pm and the Live Auction and farewell will run from 7:30 to 8:00 pm

REGISTER NOW – THEN CLICK “START BIDDING” ON OUR WEBSITE.


Schedule of Events:

  • Facebook LIVE presentation hosted by Lacamas Magazine
  • Online bidding platform through Greater Giving
    Facebook Live 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm with Angie, Tabitha and Linda
  • The “why” behind Stuff the Scholarship
  • About the CWBA and our Mission
  • “Paddle Raise” for donations to the scholarship
  • “Fund a Need” for local food bank
  • Dedications to our sponsors
  • Package descriptions and thanks to local business
    Facebook Live 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm: Auction hosted by Tony Oberio
  • Closing with Angie and Tabitha

Bidding Platform:

  • Register at https://sts2020.ggo.bid
  • Sent detailed instructions for the evening
  • Silent bidding open from 6-7:30
  • Live Auction with a new item every 1-3 (probably 1 minute or less) minutes starting at 7:30 pm

To learn more, visit the CW Business Alliance website: http://www.cwbusinessalliance.com

Washougal, WA – The IMPACT CW (Camas-Washougal) food drive, organized by St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Washougal, which helps hundreds of Camas and Washougal families with summer food boxes, is going digital this year.

“With the current COVID-19 environment, we know that now more than ever, our local communities have families in need of food,” said Susan Klemetsrud, IMPACT CW Volunteer. “Also, to support our donor’s safety and the safety of our community, the food drive will be held online this year and is limited to monetary donations. Those funds will be used to purchase gift cards from local grocery stores to be distributed to families in need.”

This annual community food drive for Camas and Washougal school district families has been growing for the past five years, distributing hundreds of food boxes to those in need.

“In the past, we have collected monetary and food donations during the month of May,” said Beth Raetz, St. Matthew Lutheran Church Office Secretary. “We then held a community event on the second Sunday of June where community volunteers helped us sort food, assemble food boxes, and load the food boxes for delivery to the schools. We even hosted a free community BBQ and entertainment from the Camas-Washougal Orchestra. With current Stay at Home orders in place, we just won’t be able to do that this year even though the need is great.”

This is a time for us to come together as a community. If you would like to help meet this need, IMPACT CW is asking donors to consider giving in two ways: either online through a Go Fund Me page https://www.gofundme.com/f/impact-camaswashougal-2020 or by sending a check payable to St. Matthew Lutheran Church at 716 Washougal River Road, Washougal, WA 98671, and include in the memo line Impact CW.

Food
https://www.lesschwab.com/store/?storeId=714

“We are truly grateful for any donation size; however, this year we will create an insert to be given out with each gift card highlighting our wonderful local businesses that have contributed at specific levels,” Klemetsrud said.

Donations starting at $250 will include the business name/logo on the inserted card. For a donation of $1,000 or greater, there will be a larger version of the business name/logo at the top of the card. The names of these donors will be placed on the church Facebook page, pamphlets, and advertisement of the event for next year.

“We would like to receive donations by Monday, June 1 to be included on the insert,” she said.

Schools will again partner with IMPACT CW to identify those families who could use some help. “Last year we made more than 140 boxes,” said Raetz. “This year, with so much increased need in our communities, we anticipate the need may be in excess of 200 families. If your family could benefit from a local grocery gift card, please contact your school counselor or principal.”
For more information, contact Raetz at the church office at 360-835-5533.

Washougal, WA — Hillary Marshall, Library Media Specialist at Washougal High School, is one of six teachers from throughout Washington and Oregon who were recently named OnPoint Community Credit Union Circle of Excellence winners.  Each winner will receive a $1,500 cash prize and $1,000 donation to their school.

“Hillary is an exceptional educator and this recognition from OnPoint Credit Union is very well deserved,” said Mary Templeton, WSD Superintendent, who nominated Marshall.  “This award highlights what we in Washougal already know, that she is an incredible teacher, librarian, and technology enthusiast, helping the entire field of education better understand the role of information literacy and critical thinking skills in the 21st century classroom.” 

Marshall has been at Washougal High School for seven years.  In addition to her work as the WHS Library Media Specialist, she is the Washington Library Association School Library Division (ScLD) Chair, WHS Advanced Placement Coordinator, and Microsoft TEALS Partnership Coordinator.

“I am so honored that I’ve been selected for the OnPoint Circle of Excellence,” said Marshall. “Librarians are lifelong teachers!”

 “Hillary brings passion for literacy, love of technology, an ability to quickly establish rapport with students, value for student voice in planning activities, and a positive, friendly demeanor to her work.  It makes her library a place that students want to be,” said Les Brown, WSD Director of Communication and Technology.   “Hillary continually searches for a fresh set of ideas and activities to enhance our library system, and created initiatives to modernize the facility, the collection, the technology tools, and the day-to-day business processes in the library.” 

Marshall’s inclusion of students in creating and refining programs has resulted in a great makerspace at Washougal High that is utilized by students and teachers in cross-curricular lessons.  She has been a guest presenter and regional and statewide professional development opportunities for librarians and teachers, championing new ways to engage students in authentic lessons that involve developing an engineering mindset that help students solve real-world problems with hands-on activities.

“Hillary’s passion for education and her love of teaching is evident every single day,” said WSD Assistant Superintendent Aaron Hansen, who supervised Marshall in his former role as WHS Principal. “Every time I worked with her or saw her in action, it is her passion, energy, and enthusiasm that stands out. She shares her appreciation for learning with her students and colleagues. She has a positive attitude and because of that, she has had a positive impact on our students and staff.”

Hansen added that the moment a person walks into the library, they get an immediate sense for her energy and her priorities. “Hillary has made an enormous difference not only within the library, but the entire school,” he said.

ABOUT OnPoint Awards

In a May 12 2020 press release, OnPoint also announced the four finalists for the 2020 Prize for Excellence in Education Educator of the Year. The contest, which runs from February 18 to May 27, awards two remarkable teachers by paying their mortgages for one year and donating $2,500 to each of their schools.  In addition to the Educators of the Year and Circle of Excellence awards, four schools were also honored with the Community Builder award and will receive $2,000 for a special project of their choice.

“The COVID-19 crisis has underscored the vital role teachers play in the daily lives of children,” said Rob Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer, OnPoint Community Credit Union. “The nomination process inspires OnPoint every year, but this year was particularly moving as we heard stories of teachers distributing meal boxes to students, offering regular remote story time, and simply being a support system for families as they navigate COVID-19.”

Inslee
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The City of Washougal Parks Department is responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency and related federal, state and city directives in order to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the community and our staff. To ensure the safety of its citizens, the City of Washougal has closed playgrounds, restrooms, docks, sports courts/fields, and picnic shelters until at least May 4th. The City will continue to work with Clark County Public Health to evaluate our options beyond this timeline. The closure coincides with the extension of Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy,” order.

”During this time please continue to exercise and spend time outdoors,” said Michelle Wright
Interim Deputy Director of Public Works for Washougal. “Please note parks and trails should always be limited to current social distancing of six feet or more between people from different households.”

In order to meet public health recommendations for protecting citizens and employees, parks maintenance crews have been split and are working every-other-week shifts. During this time, the City’s park will be mowed less frequently and other routine tasks will be deferred.

Please continue to practice physical distancing:

  • Follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to parks and trails. Wash your hand, carry hand sanitizer, do not visit public space if you have symptoms, and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Observe at all times CDC’s minimum recommended physical distancing of six feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk, bike or hike.
  • Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect city works.

For information on the status Clark County parks within Washougal, please visit https://www.clark.wa.gov/covid19.

For information about the City of Washougal’s response to COVID-19, please visit http://cityofwashougal.us/COVID19.

The City will continue to monitor newly released information to determine additional modifications as needed and would like to thank the public for its patience and understanding.

Washougal, WA — In times of great need, we often find ways to help in unexpected places.  Margaret Rice, Washougal School District (WSD) Career and Technical Director, heard about the critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for local hospitals, and she knew just where to look.

“I know I have boxes of gloves, masks and eye protection sitting in my classrooms not being used that could be of assistance to them,” said Rice.  “Our medical professionals are on the front lines working hard to help the sick, while trying to stay well themselves with supplies of PPE dwindling.”  

These items are used when instructing students in Health Sciences and other Career and Technical Education classes. Some of these classes include: Medical Detectives, Medical Careers & Terminology, BioMedical Anatomy & Physiology, and even Woods Technology and Visual Arts. 

After receiving the approval from WSD Superintendent Mary Templeton and Business Manager Kris Grindy, both stating that “it seems like the right thing to do during this crisis,” Rice reached out to Rene Del Donno, Legacy Health Logistics and Materials Manager at Salmon Creek Medical Center who has been working with the Emergency Operations Center to address this challenge.  He confirmed that the situation is dire.  

A list of needed items and donation delivery was coordinated with Rice by Tamara Uppendahl, Legacy Health VP of Philanthropy Services.  According to Uppendahl, needed items included Nitrile gloves, isolation gowns, isolation masks, N95 masks, P95 masks and dust masks.

The next step for Rice was contacting her regional CTE peers to see if they were willing and able to donate their programs’ PPE to these medical centers. 

“It was just a ‘Hey, this is what I am going to do, would you like to be a part of it,’” Rice said.  “I received an almost immediate positive response.” 

A shareable spreadsheet was created to log the inventory each district was willing to donate.  CTE Directors Mark Wreath, Vancouver Public School and Tiffany Gould, Ridgefield School District have been the first to step up to help.  

Dr. Nathan McCann, Ridgefield School District Superintendent, immediately reached out to Rice to extend his appreciation for making this donation possible.   

McCann said, “I’m very proud to see our school districts coming together to support the amazing health care professionals in Clark County.  Together, we will get through this and come out stronger.”  

The first wave of supplies was delivered on Friday, March 20 by Rice, Wreath and Gould. 

“Between our three districts alone, we were able to contribute 166 pairs of protective eyewear, 141 boxes of Nitrile gloves, 1,930 masks of various types, 13 bottles of hand sanitizer, and 2 boxes of tech wipes,” said Rice.

“The response from our teachers was amazing,” said Gould. “Every teacher that was contacted had supplies ready within hours.  Additional teachers have since offered to donate materials and we are now working on another donation.”  

Liam Contino, Development Coordinator for Legacy Health Office of Philanthropy and Community Engagement, was at the receiving center and shared that his job has changed through all of this.

“Usually we are planning fundraising events and direct mail appeals, but with the need of supplies and increase in donations coming in, they needed people to be here to accept them,” he said.  “We are so grateful that these supplies arrived.” 

To expand the reach of this idea, Wreath, who is also the Southwest lead for WACTA (Washington Association for Career & Technical Administrators) the state CTE administrators’ organization, encouraged that this message be sent out statewide suggesting other school districts consider making similar donations locally.

“I am grateful for the strong partnerships that we have built in our community,” said Templeton. “During these times of great need, these partnerships are critical for as we work together to make sure our community is healthy and safe.  Although there are significant challenges as we face this virus, there are also significant opportunities for us to shine together and ‘lean in’ to the service of others.”

“Our businesses and communities are so supportive of the Career and Technical Education programs in our respective districts,” said Wreath.  “So it is a privilege to be able to give back in a small way during this time of tremendous need.”   

If you have PPE supplies that could help our local medical professionals, contact the Legacy Health Office of Philanthropy and Community Engagement at [email protected]or call 503-415-4700 for more information.