Crime, carnivals and tomatoes at Salmon Creek neighbors meeting

By Edward Stratton, Columbian staff writer

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— The main room at Riverview Community Bank exploded with laughter Tuesday evening when Deputy Bob Carder of the Clark County Sheriff's Office offered a free demonstration of his stun gun. Such was the lighthearted nature of the North Salmon Creek Neighborhood Association's bi-monthly meeting.

Association officers focused mostly on the relatively low neighborhood crime rate, their upcoming carnival fundraiser for Chinook Neighborhood Park and how to grow healthy gardens.

Panhandlers and Teenage Miscreants

"Carder's here to teach us how to not give money to a bum on the interchange," said association president Paul Scarpelli about panhandlers lining off-ramps for Interstates 5 and 205.

People giving money is what keeps them coming back, Carder said. Panhandling isn't currently illegal in Clark County, he said, and it would take community pressure on county commissioners to change that.

According to statistics from the Clark County Sheriff's Office crime analysis unit, car break-ins and home burglaries are the most common crimes in Salmon Creek. Carder said that while there are some older, sometimes drug-addicted adults committing crimes, bored, "latchkey" teenagers on brief crime sprees commit most of the offenses.

"They'll have their fun and they're done, or we catch them," he added.

The Sheriff's Office advises people not to leave valuables in their car or in plain sight. Good lighting and upkeep around houses also deters would-be criminals. Carder also reminded attendees to call the police if they see any suspicious behavior.

"99 percent of what we do is based on 9-1-1 calls," he said.

Community Carnival and Farmer's Market

Current NSCNA Officers:

Paul Scarpelli, President

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Stephen Smith, Vice President

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Barbara Anderson, Secretary

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Samantha Guse, Treasurer

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Chinook Park Fund-Raising

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Community Calendar

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New Salmon Creek Farmer's Market Location

Steve Smith, the association's vice president, said the group is still pinning down a location and the proper permits for a summer carnival to raise funds for the area's first neighborhood park. It needs help finding a name for the festival and wants community members to send their suggestions to nscnafestival@gmail.com.

Smith also implored attendees to purchase $10 local business coupon cards and $75 commemorative bricks for the park by contacting any officer or going to the association's website. Barbara Anderson, the association's secretary, said the group needs to raise at least $70,000 for a gazebo and three park benches.

Organizer Ann Foster announced the farmer's market will open June 16 at its new location - 1309 N.E. 134th St. - by the Wayside Market and Shell gas station. Organizers will hold a meeting on how to volunteer at 5 p.m. on June 9 at Real Life Christian Center's Salmon Creek Foursquare.

For the first year, vendors will accept food stamps and checks from the Social Security Administration. Foster said the market will include at least 35 vendors, cooking demonstrations by Highgate Senior Living and master gardeners to answer questions.

Tomatoes

Discussion on tomatoes took up a surprisingly long portion of the meeting. Master gardener Karen Palmer explained how to grow tomatoes and other vegetables most efficiently.

Her two most important points: crop rotation and soil amendments. Plant plants from similar species close to each other to best protect against ailments targeting those groups, she said. And spread a thin layer of lime over your gardening area every year - as early as fall - to keep the pH balance in the soil up, which also helps prevent diseases.

The meeting ended with a tomato raffle. Scarpelli also asked people to sign up for his summer highway clean-up crew. The association wants people to sign up for emergency alerts and e-newsletters by emailing nscna@salmoncreeklive.com. It will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. on July 26 at Riverview Community Bank.