The Morning Press: Benton threatens to sue Barnes; signing day; Dulins new home



Ed Barnes, left, and state Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver.

Vancouver police Cpl. Drue Russell, left, talks with code enforcement officer Randy Scrivner, right, after unsuccessfully trying to speak to residents at a nuisance home.

Lindsey and Jesse McChesney pet their dog, Dottie, inside their Vancouver home Friday. The McChesneys currently have an individual health insurance plan through Kaiser Permanente. Their costs will go up about $30 per month, after a federal subsidy, for a new health plan under the Affordable Care Act.

A 370-unit apartment and retail project at Orenco Station in Hillsboro, Ore., is under construction as the first of five housing projects being jointly developed by Vancouver-based Holland Partner Group and North America Sekisui House.

Skyview High School seniors Aubrey Ward-El, left, and Jocelyn Adams are planning to play college basketball next year. Ward-El will sign a letter of intent to play for University of San Diego and Adams will sign a letter of intent to play basketball for Weber State.

Jenny George pours coffee for Jim Massey, lower right, as he eats breakfast with Vic Townsend at Dulin's Village Cafe in downtown Vancouver on Tuesday.

This weekend’s top stories and news you may have missed:

Benton threatens lawsuit against outspoken critic

Ed Barnes has strongly voiced his opposition to hiring of senator by Clark County

At a time when Clark County commissioners are considering how to put limitations on public comment topics, Clark County Environmental Services Director Don Benton is considering legal action against a person who has been prolific in speaking out against the hiring of Benton to his county role.

Benton, also a Republican state senator, confirmed on Wednesday that he and an attorney had sent a letter to Ed Barnes asking him to cease making claims that Benton is not qualified for his job at the county.

“I gave him the courtesy of putting him on notice that if he continues, then I will move forward with corrective action,” Benton said. “I believe I would win (in court) hands down. I’ve spoken to four attorneys on this and they’ve all (agreed.)”

Barnes said he’s received the letter from Benton’s attorney and he isn’t concerned about it.

“I’m not going to answer the letter,” Barnes said Wednesday night. “Let him sue me.”

Vancouver police take action against nuisance home

Meth found, resident arrested at house in Hough neighborhood

For more than a year, neighbors have been complaining about suspected drug activity at 321 W. Fourth Plain Blvd. They’ve watched people come and go during all hours of the night and seen petty crimes, such as metal theft, increase in the area.

“This house has been pissing everybody off around there, and they think nothing is being done,” said Detective Adam Millard during a morning briefing at the Vancouver Police Department’s West Precinct. After piecing together enough evidence, he authored a search warrant of the residence in the Hough neighborhood.

The home is one of many in Vancouver considered a chronic problem house where neighbors constantly report suspicious activity. The problem first came to the attention of Cpl. Drue Russell, the neighborhood police officer assigned to that area. He approached the residents and the property owners about neighbors’ complaints, but nothing was fixed. His file of complaints and code violations helped build the case for the search warrant.

He said he gets 500 to 1,000 emails each day about problem properties in his district, which covers the far west end of the city.

Faces of the Affordable Care Act: With policy canceled, couple mulls options

They qualify for subsidy, but feel burden is on those already struggling

Up until August, Vancouver residents Lindsey and Jesse McChesney had insurance coverage through an employer.

But once Lindsey decided to leave her job as a pharmacy technician and enroll in pharmacy school, the couple joined the ranks of the uninsured. Jesse works for a small business that doesn’t offer medical insurance. But Lindsey’s school requires her to be insured, so the couple purchased an individual plan through Kaiser Permanente.

The plan has a $7,500 deductible and $35 co-pays. Lindsey, 27, said it works well for them because they’re young and healthy and rarely need to see a physician. Plus, it was what they could afford, Lindsey said.

They pay $230 per month for their current insurance plan.

Related story: Washington insurance commissioner won’t allow canceled health plans

Vancouver-based firm to develop 2,300 apartments

Projects in Seattle; Hillsboro, Ore.; L.A.; Denver worth $600 million

A Vancouver-based development company has teamed up with Japan’s largest homebuilder to develop $600 million worth of apartments in urban centers from Seattle to Los Angeles, all geared for the bike-riding, walking and public-transit-riding “Y” generation.

The developments would add a total of 2,330 apartments in Seattle; Hillsboro, Ore.; Denver; and Los Angeles, said Clyde Holland, chief executive officer and chairman of Vancouver-based Holland Partner Group. The five sites share common location attributes such as being within light-rail commute or walking distance of high-paying office, professional and tech-sector jobs, said Holland.

The developer joined up with investor North America Sekisui House LLC. The Arlington, Va.-based company is the U.S. arm of Osaka, Japan-based Sekisui House, which also operates in Australia and China.

Signing Day: Skyview duo among local athletes set to sign college letter of intent

Skyview duo among local athletes set to sign college letter of intent

The plan is for Jocelyn Adams and Aubrey Ward-El to be seated next to each other at the table, 7 a.m. sharp Wednesday at Skyview High School.

It might be real early in the day, but they just do not want to wait any longer.

After all, this plan started taking shape when they were in elementary school.

Now seniors in high school, Adams and Ward-El are a day away Signing Day.

The National Letter of Intent early signing period for basketball players, as well as many other sports, is Wednesday. Adams will be taking her tall frame to Weber State in Ogden, Utah. Ward-El, a guard, is heading to the sun at the University of San Diego.

That is after they play one more season together as teammates at Skyview.

Dulin’s reopens in new location

Downtown eatery remains on Main Street

Dulin’s Village Cafe is settling into its new home at 1929 Main St. in Uptown Village, about three blocks north of its former Main Street location.

The downtown eatery known for its breakfast and lunch offerings has added a light dinner menu and a full bar in its new, smaller venue.

The restaurant opened last week for breakfast and lunch. This week, it added the dinner menu, which is available until 8 p.m.