The Morning Press: Record rain, Smokey's Pizza, roundabout, oil terminal, flu shots

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After last weekend's deluge, what will the weather look like this weekend? Check the forecast here.

This week's top stories and news you may have missed:

Monday rain adds to record-breaking September deluge

photoLimbs are down in Esther Short Park after a weekend storm came through Vancouver.

(/The Columbian)

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Continuing rainfall on Monday pushed Vancouver past 5 inches of precipitation in September — extending a record for the month, and more than tripling the normal amount.

Monday's rain wasn't as impressive as the super-soaker storm systems that rolled through the region over the weekend. In Vancouver, Pearson Field recorded 1.36 inches of rain on Saturday, then another 1.28 inches on Sunday. And high winds at times wreaked minor havoc across Clark County.

Clark Public Utilities counted 10,521 customers affected by weather-related outages at some point Saturday, said spokeswoman Erica Erland. On Sunday, the number was 12,543, she said.

Most of those outages didn't amount to much, Erland said.

Read the full story here.

Smokey's Pizza closes up shop after 48 years

photoAutumn Morgan, who has worked for Smokey's Pizza for six years, serves up another pizza order Monday September 30, 2013 in Vancouver, Washington. Smokey's Pizza, a long-time restaurant chain, will be closing their doors to its last remaining restaurant after 48 years doing business in Clark County.

(/The Columbian)

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Smokey's Pizza crews on Monday worked fast and furiously toward serving the company’s last slice at its Hazel Dell restaurant, the last remnant of what once was a chain of seven local restaurants.

Owner Dellan Redjou announced earlier in the day via Facebook that she would close the venue at 6920 N.E Highway 99 for good by the end of the day or when the supplies ran out. As word got out, loyal customers flocked to the tiny restaurant and by noon had formed a line that stretched from the front counter to the door. At one point, pizza lovers were waiting on their orders for two or more hours.

“We’ll probably be closed by 5 p.m.,” Redjou said at about 2:30 p.m. By then, the restaurant had run out of large “skins,” a term used to describe dough that has already been shaped and stretched or rolled out into a pizza round.

Read the full story here.

Port of Vancouver sued over oil lease discussions

photoTesoro Corp. and Savage Companies want to build an oil-handling operation involving Port of Vancouver sites.

(/The Columbian)

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Three environmental groups on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Port of Vancouver, alleging the port violated Washington state’s Open Public Meetings Act when it approved a lease agreement with two companies that want to build a controversial oil-by-rail operation.

In the lawsuit filed in Clark County Superior Court, Columbia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club and Northwest Environmental Defense Center allege the port broke state law by considering the lease with Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies in secret and by using an executive session for improper purposes.

Port officials, including elected commissioners, said Tuesday they hadn’t yet reviewed the lawsuit and were unable to comment on it at this time.

Read the full story here.

First Citizen of 2013 is man of can-do spirit

photoClark County's First Citizen for 2013, Robert Schaefer, and his wife, Sally Jo, who was First Citizen in 1984, are all smiles while accepting congratulations Tuesday at the Hilton Vancouver Washington.

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Chosen as Clark County's First Citizen because of his remarkable can-do spirit, Robert Schaefer offered a few gentle words of chastisement Tuesday for some can't-do leaders in a far-off city where decisions supposedly get made.

"We need to start working together," said Schaefer, a former Democratic state legislator and still-practicing lawyer at age 83, during a gathering in his honor at the Hilton Vancouver Washington. "We don't seem to have the personal relationships we had then. That's a sad commentary." He evoked the names of Pacific Northwest political giants that he used to work with -- people like Sens. Mark Hatfield, Henry "Scoop" Jackson and Warren Magnuson, and Rep. Julia Butler Hansen -- and recalled the times those folks used to socialize with their rivals over meals, and politics be damned.

Read the full story here.

Some residents upset about 3 new roundabouts on 137th, 138th

photoMotorists navigate their way around a new roundabout on Sept. 25 at Northeast 44th Street and 137th Avenue.

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If you bring up the topic of roundabouts, you'll likely find yourself circling around a continuing set of arguments over their ease of use and function.

In Vancouver, the newest round in the debate has found a home at Vancouver's $14.6 million Northeast 137th/138th Avenue Improvement Project in the Parkside neighborhood.

That project is adding traffic circles in three spots: a single-lane at Northeast 32nd Street, a double-lane at Northeast 39th Street, and a single-lane at Northeast 44th Street designed "to provide U-turn options, better connect the neighborhood and help manage traffic flow," according to the city's website.

Columbian readers and residents have been complaining that the project is too expensive and inefficient.

Read the full story here.

Hit flu with your best shot

photoLynnette Pickup, a nurse manager at Sea Mar Community Health Center, displays a new flu vaccine offered at the Vancouver clinic Friday. The quadrivalent vaccine protects against two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B. Traditional flu vaccines protect against three flu strains.

(/The Columbian)

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And every new flu season prompts the same old advice from health care providers: Get a flu shot.

Vaccines are now available at medical clinics and pharmacies across Clark County. And as doctors and nurses gear up for immunization clinics, health officials are encouraging people to get vaccinated now — not later.

"Some people delay getting a flu shot in the mistaken belief that vaccine effectiveness will wear off before winter, when flu season typically ramps up," said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer. "Actually, you are better off getting the vaccine as soon as it's available because flu season starts early some years."

Read the full story here.