Esther Short — Graffiti was scrubbed, weeds were pulled, cigarette butts were plucked, other garbage was corralled, moss was washed away, and downtown Vancouver was adorned with 115 beautiful hanging flower baskets. More than 100 volunteers joined a Vancouver’s Downtown Association work party on May 14 to beautify the central business district. Parents with kids, the Hispanic Knights of Columbus, Clark College environmental biology students, the faith community’s Second Saturday community volunteer program, businesspeople and others took part. Committee leaders Lee Coulthard and Stephanie Diaz linked the volunteers to the area’s cleanup needs. Within four hours, a difference could be seen. Learn more about VDA at http://www.vdausa.org or by contacting Lee Rafferty at firstname.lastname@example.org.