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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
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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
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“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.

As I produced the 2019 Year in Review video, it caused me to think about the major events that defined us, made our eyes pop, or just simply made one grateful to live in this community. So, I compiled a list of Top 6 stories that stirred up those reactions in my heart.

Mayor’s Race + Prop 2

Without a doubt, the Fall election results were both stunning and eye opening. Never in all my years have I seen a proposition go down in such flames (90-10) or have a sitting mayor (Shannon Turk) get voted out by a write-in candidate (Barry McDonnell) with zero political or public service experience.

Proposition 2 was doomed to fail for several reasons, the first of which was the price tag, but it also didn’t go through the proper processes. Voters saw it as rushed and ill-conceived, and didn’t reflect the findings of a months-long pool committee. City workers did their best to come up with a plan under very rushed conditions, and ultimately a series of options were presented to council that allowed voters to make the ultimate decision.

The price tag ($78 million) presented by former City Administrator Pete Capell was something that City Councilor Ellen Burton warned “is all the voters will hear.“ Her words were prophetic.

It’s telling because it shows me that in a society riddled with partisanship we CAN agree on something 90-10. The anti-Prop 2 movement shows us that people of all political persuasions can rally and work together. The synergy created by that movement was enough to generate a wave that upended Camas leadership.

The Camas 2019 Fall election stories are akin to a 100-year storm. You probably won’t see this again in our lifetime.

Stories
Anastasia McDonnel, forefront, listens to her husband, Barry McDonnell, at the Camas Mayoral debate.

Small Business Revolution

When the Small Business Revolution (SBR) team visited Camas in January, Mill Town rolled out the red carpet. When we made Top 6, a town united. It was refreshing to see so many people work to get out the vote. Merchants, students, teachers, civic leaders and athletes all rallied to help Camas become the SBR focus of season 4 of their Hulu show, “Main Street.”

We fell short of the goal, but it was beautiful to see people working together for a common cause. It was fun to cover all the SBR stories.

Stories
Small Business Revolution — Main Street host, Amanda Brinkman, visits with the team at Lily Atelier in Downtown Camas.

Camas Produce Accident

I remember sitting in my office when I got the alert that a vehicle had plowed into Camas Produce. I remember thinking this is the kind of thing that happens in OTHER towns — certainly not here. Arriving at the scene I saw the significant damage done to the quaint and popular store.

The driver was cited with DUI and reckless endangerment, and it took the majority of the year to get the store back online. Each week for months, people inquired about when the store would open, and what they could do to help. We did our best to keep pushing out stories related to this accident, and it’s nice to have the store back.

Camas Producee
Damage at the front.

Love for the Lintons

When Camden Linton was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, the owners at Natalia’s Cafe were asked to help raise money for their family. Erica Slothower, owner of the cafe, along with Wendy Delbosque, worked with Kristen Gardiner, to organize a carnival and silent auction. In a single day, they raised tens of thousands of dollars!

Many hours were spent organizing the event, and it’s a tribute to Natalia’s Cafe and the entire town to see so much love pour into one family in need. I broke down in tears when I witnessed Erica present a can filled with cash. It was one of the stories that define a town.

Stories
Erica Slothower presents Kristen Gardiner with a can of cash.

Stuff The Bus

For the first time, I saw firsthand the behind-the-scenes work of the annual Stuff The Bus campaign. I met with organizers, traveled with students and volunteers to witness the donations be collected and ultimately delivered — and those were reflected in our stories. I also saw the promotions that went into it, and was moved by the video we produced featuring Washougal and Camas School District Superintendents Mary Templeton and Jeff Snell. Seeing two Ph.D’s running through Safeway with carts was both hilarious and priceless. The entire Stuff The Bus campaign shows the generosity of two towns dedicated to lifting up their neighbors.

Here is a Stuff The Bus video report: https://youtu.be/-_bFtCNJpXY and

Stories
www.MyHeavensBest.com

Camas High School Football Wins State Championship

It was a surreal and special moment when I stood next to the young Papermakers as they clinched the 2019 State Title! I’d watched for months (really years) as these boys dedicated themselves to winning — and representing a grateful town.

The boys aren’t perfect, but they’re also unlike any other football team I’ve ever covered. They have character and focus. They have love and respect. They have discipline and drive. They will go down in history as one of the greatest teams to ever represent Camas. The victory is forever theirs.

I can’t wait to release the Revenge Tour documentary later this month.

We look forward to covering the stories of 2020. Stay tuned.

Stories
Camas 2019 Football team at the State Championship.

Washougal, WA — ‘Tis the season for giving and this year that giving extended to two Washougal community partners.  The Camas-Washougal Historical Society recently bestowed a vintage sleigh to City of Washougal to add to its annual holiday celebration. 

“We were excited to accept the gift of this beautiful sleigh,” said Molly Coston, Washougal Mayor. “It makes the perfect ride for Santa and Mrs. Claus on their yearly appearance at our Lighted Christmas Parade!  It is so quaint and nostalgic and in great condition.”

“When our museum Display Committee reviewed the Carriage House for winter maintenance and updates, it was decided that the sleigh took up a lot of space and there was no real local story attached to it,” said Karen Johnson, CWHS display committee volunteer “It really did not get much attention where it sat up in the rafters.”

The antique wooden sleigh is a beautiful forest green with silver decorations and plush red horsehair padded seats.  It was originally donated to the CWHS by the estate of Emory Donald Heberling in 2007.  The gift also included a black doctor’s buggy and a small covered wagon which remain on display at the museum’s Carriage House facility. 

“We are pleased that this beautiful piece is going to a home that can share it with the community during the holidays,” said Johnson.

Sleigh
www.MyHeavensBest.com

Washougal, WA — First grade students at Cape Horn-Skye Elementary learned the joy of giving by creating toys and blankets for dogs and cats residing at the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society (WCGHS).    

“This experience was about empathy, caring for those less fortunate, in this case, animals,” said CH-S first grade teacher Darcy Hickey.  “The students have been so excited for this project.  It has become a first-grade tradition at CH-S.”  

Students in Taryn Tedford’s and Nichol Yung’s first grade classes also participated. 

Cathi Parent, Community Engagement Manager with WCGHS, came to CH-S to collect the gifts and talk with students about the shelter and their animals.  She discussed ways that cats and dogs end up there, the foster program, success stories for animals, and volunteer activities.  She also brought Purrgie the cat, a three-year-old tabby, who was a big hit with students.  

“We love seeing children and youth of any age wanting to get involved in helping their local community and give back,” said Parent. “Their interest in helping animals is very heart warming.  Many of these pets may have come from unwanted homes or were strays and never knew real love before. Living in a shelter situation, even though they are being taken very good care of and loved on by volunteers, can still be stressful.  Having items like the blankets and toys that were made by the students, can help make their time at the shelter that much better.”

Students also learned about the importance of microchipping pets in case they get lost, spaying and neutering to control the pet population, and the process they go through to help pets get adopted. Parent made sure students were calm, quiet, and moved slowly as they approached Purrgie, who let anyone who wanted to meet her provide ear rubs, back scratches, and pets.  

Students

“The project also helps to meet a Washington State standard in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL),” Hickey explained. “This work provides an opportunity for students to consider others and show a desire to contribute to the well-being of our community”

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is broadly understood as a process through which individuals build awareness and skills in managing emotions, setting goals, establishing relationships, and making responsible decisions that support success in school and in life. 

First grader Jojo Stevenson thought it was fun to make blankets and toys for these animals.  “I hope these gifts make them happy,” she said.  “I want them to stay warm and stay alive.” 

The timing of this challenge was not a coincidence.  “We wanted to send kids off on their two-week break thinking about the joy of giving and that giving of yourself can bring as much joy and excitement as receiving,” Hickey explained.   “We are so proud of these students.”

To learn more, visit https://wcghs.org

Each year, many Washougal School District high school and middle school band students apply to be a part of regional and state honor bands. These bands select the top musicians from the region or state, and students spend several days together rehearsing and performing under the baton of conductors from major universities and professional ensembles. Congratulations to these Washougal schools students that have been selected to be a part of these ensembles. 

Washington Music Educators Association All-State Honor Groups:

 – Amara Farah, clarinet (Chamber Orchestra)

 – Barret Hemminger, trumpet (Wind Symphony)

Pacific Lutheran University Northwest High School Honor Band:

 – Amara Farah, clarinet

 – Thomas Hein, trumpet

 – Grace Jacobsen, trumpet

 – Matthew Condon, trombone

 – Lexi Kneipp, flute

 – William Weihl, percussion

Band

North County Honor Band:

 – Amara Farah, clarinet

 – Thomas Hein, trumpet

 – Grace Jacobsen, trumpet

 – Braxden Zumwalt, trumpet

 – Lexi Kneipp, flute

 – Mary Lendvoyi, flute

 – William Weihl, percussion

 – Spencer Perkins, percussion

 – Jace Poulsen, percussion

 – Hunter Thacker, baritone saxophone

 – Hayden Zumwalt, trombone

Canyon Creek Middle School – All 8th graders

LCRMEA Honor Band

Avery Berg – Alto Saxophone

Avri Kaufman – Oboe

PJ Hopmeier Mitchell – Euphonium

Lukas Sanders – Trumpet

Kyler Buck – Clarinet

Bentley Jarman Baritone Saxophone

North County Honor Band

Avery Berg – Alto Saxophone

Kyler Buck – Clarinet

Justin Bryden – Trombone

Lorelie Peck – Bass Clarinet

Jemtegaard Middle School – All 8th graders

LCRMEA Honor Band Students: 

Joseph Yantis – Bass clarinet

Claire Zakovics -Flute

Emily Wade – Clarinet

Kacee Kearney – Flute

Seth Dodenhoff – Bass clarinet

Tanner Lowe – Trumpet

North County Honor Band students: 

Danica Stinchfield – French Horn

Jacob Kettelson – Euphonium

Barrett Justis – Euphonium

To learn more, visit Washougal schools: http://www.washougal.k12.wa.us/blog/home/home-test/