Clark Talks: Podcast looks at state politics, 2017 grads

This week's episode wraps up with a look at the coming weekend's events

By Dameon Pesanti, Columbian staff writer

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This week, Clark Talks, The Columbian’s podcast, covers education from the state Capitol to the Class of 2017.

The podcast begins with the Olympia update, during which state political reporter Lauren Dake talks to Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, about the ongoing education funding negotiations in the statehouse. Lawmakers are currently in a second special legislative session with the goal of ending the state’s chronic underfunding of public schools.

Next, host Dameon Pesanti and small cities reporter Adam Littman introduce a compilation of interviews with five graduating high school seniors. Littman and reporter Katie Gillespie met the students while creating The Columbian’s annual graduation issue. The students chosen this year all displayed some form of activism or advocacy outside the classroom on issues relating to immigration, bullying, student resources and more.

The story will run in Sunday’s paper, with a follow-up in Monday’s paper listing all the upcoming graduation ceremonies, organized by Kay Richardson.

The episode wraps up with a discussion with Ashley Swanson, who gives a taste of what’s in store for the upcoming weekend.

Some of the events are:

• Big Paddle Festival, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Registration is required for the interpretive paddles. Port of Ridgefield, 5 West Mill St., Ridgefield; free, $5 to $25 for interpretive paddle. http://ridgefieldwa.us/event/big-paddle

• Hockinson Fun Days, 6 to 9 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, parade at noon Saturday. Hockinson High School, 16819 N.E. 159th St., Brush Prairie; free, pancake breakfast: $5 per person, $15 per family. 360-448-6450 or www.hockinsonboosters.com/fun-days.html

• Camtown Youth Festival, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Crown Park, N.E. 17th Ave. and Everett St., Camas; free. www.cityofcamas.us/parks

• Starlight Parade, 8:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Downtown Portland, Fourth Avenue and Burnside Street, Portland; free for spectators. www.rosefestival.org/event/starlight-parade

• Outlaw Fest, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday. 54?40 Brewing Company, 3801 S. Truman Road, Washougal; $5 suggested donation. http://54-40brewing.com/events

• “The Hobbit,” presented by Metropolitan Performing Arts Academy. 7 p.m. Friday and June 9; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday and June 10 at the Brunish Theatre, 1111 S.W. Broadway, Portland; $12. 360-975-1585 or www.metropaa.org