In your neighborhood, March 17

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North Clark County & Woodland

Woodland: Green Mountain School was named one of 26 “Schools of Distinction” by Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The school has won the award for two consecutive years for improvements in student reading and mathematics over the past several years. There are more than 2,600 schools in Washington.

Ridgefield & Fairgrounds

Ridgefield: Ridgefield Community United Methodist Church has applied to host five raised-bed gardens for the Clark County Homegrown Gardens project. The congregation will start recruiting income-qualified households to use the beds. Each household will receive a 4-foot-by-8-foot raised bed filled with organic planting mix, seeds and plants, a few simple tools including gloves, a trowel, kneeling pad, and the “All New Square Foot Gardening” book. Education and support are provided by mentors on site. The service is free to participants through a grant from the Department of Ecology in cooperation with the Clark County Office of Sustainability. For more information on receiving a raised bed at Ridgefield Community United Methodist Church or at other sites throughout Clark County, please contact Kris Alexander at 360-695-5627 or familygardening@gmail.com.

Battle Ground, Meadow Glade & Hockinson

Battle Ground: Students from the Firm Foundation Christian School raised more than $1,000 during a spirit week coin drive. The funds will benefit Haitian relief efforts and help a family build a home. Students presented a check to Bob Craddock, program director of mission teams at Forward Edge International. Craddock recently returned from Haiti and shared a slide show with students on Feb. 26.

Hazel Dell, Felida &Salmon Creek

Skyview: The Reign Dancers “Nightmare” routine won the 4A District championship on Saturday March 6. The routine “Ghouls Night Out” earned second place. The dancers will head to Yakima on March 26 for the state championships.

Felida: Jan Taylor-Taskey’s artwork is on display at Art on the Boulevard, 210 W. Evergreen Blvd. Her show, “Wings of Whimsy” will be open to the public through March 27. Taylor-Taskey is an art teacher at Sacajawea Elementary School and Martin Luther King Elementary School.

Northeast Hazel Dell: Members of Coal Free Washington Vancouver, a Sierra Club project, participated in a rally in Olympia on Feb. 27. The group was joined by other members from across the state that are trying to get the TransAlta coal plant in Centralia shut down by 2015. Grant Sawyer of Vancouver made a replica TransAlta coal railcar to use at the rally. The Centralia plant supplies Washington with about 10 percent of its power and is the only commercial coal-burning plant in the state.

Skyview: The Skyview StormBots robotics team finished eighth out of 61 teams at the Oregon regional FIRST robotics competition at the Portland Memorial Coliseum. The team won the General Motors Best Industrial Design Award for its welded chassis design and efficient use of space. The team will tour elementary and middle schools with the robot to inspire students to get interested in science, math and engineering.

Orchards, Sifton & Brush Prairie

Heritage: Bonneville Power Administration employee Mike Hulse visited Linda Lebard’s chemistry and forensics classes at Heritage High School on Feb. 11. Hulse helped groups of three students construct simple motors with paper clips, batteries, copper wiring and magnets. Hulse also talked to students about engineering work happening around the Pacific Northwest.

Barberton: Manor Highway Auto Sales has won approval from the county to demolish a building and build a new sales office and parking lot at 11418 N.E. 72nd Ave. According to the county decision, unpermitted sales from the lot have already been the subject of a code enforcement action. The applicant also wants to build a small utility road on the parcel to the north, also the property of the applicant. County planning staff noted minor wetlands issues connected with an adjacent parcel.

Brush Prairie: Now that Prairie High School has opened a new northside entrance to its campus, on Northeast 119th Street, it’s closed the long-standing eastside entrance during regular school hours. A traffic signal and left-turn lanes at the new intersection — directly across the street is the new WinCo store — make coming and going there safer than it was at the old main entry around the corner. Since the week of March 8, the old east gates to the parking lot have been closed during school hours, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. A median is to be erected this month in 117th Avenue that will completely block northbound traffic from turning in to the school — at any time.

West Vancouver & downtown

Arnada: Even the most active neighborhood associations get pretty quiet sometimes. According to its most recent newsletter, the Arnada Neighborhood Association is without a chairperson and may scale down to “minimal service and activity.” That’s despite Arnada being in the cross-=hairs of controversy regarding light-rail alignments and the Columbia Crossing project. The search is on for a neighborhood association chairperson.

Central Vancouver, Minnehaha & The Heights

Central Park: Blind and visually impaired students from the Washington State School for the Blind learned the art of cross-country skiing at Teacup Lake Nordic Area in the Mount Hood National Forest on March 9 and 10. The middle-school and high-school students were taught by volunteers from two chapters of Oregon Nordic Club and employees of Mount Hood National Forest.

Ogden: School libraries and other educational programs such as GATE, Juvenile Justice and VECC received $246 worth of books from a combined donation by Vancouver Education Association and discount from Barnes and Noble. Kyle Brower, second-grader from Franklin Elementary, donated $100 from an inheritance he received from his great-grandmother to his school’s library. “Kyle presented a check to (the school) for $100 because his great-grandmother that passed loved books,” said library teacher Laurie McKinnley. “He thought that would be a good use for the money.”

Bagley Downs: Ann Smith, fifth-grade challenge teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School, received the Golden Apple Award from KCTS Seattle Public Television. A program featuring Smith aired Feb. 25 and can be viewed at http://kcts9.org/video/ann-smith.

East Vancouver, Cascade Park, Fisher’s Landing & Evergreen

Fircrest: The Northwest Association for Blind Athletes raised more than $5,000 at its benefit dinner and auction on March 5 at the Firstenburg Community Center. The money will be used to benefit sports programs for the visually impaired.

East Clark County: Camas & Washougal

Camas: Sherry Busby was named adviser of the year at the DECA State Career Development Conference in Bellevue. Busby is a marketing teacher at Camas High School.

Camas: Kevin Giel has done it again. After Valentine’s Day passed, Giel replaced the red C9 bulbs that were decorating his house with green bulbs for St. Patrick’s Day. His house also sports 10 lighted four-leaf clovers, two leprechauns, a projector and a green flag. On Thursday, Giel will start preparing his house, 2702 N.W. Leadbetter Parkway, for Easter, which he noted is coming earlier than usual this year.