Numbers show where various types of offenses are concentrated
Do you feel safe on your home turf? The 2012 year-end crimes rates show where crime is concentrated in Clark County, and what kind of crimes these neighborhoods attract. But statistics and figures aren't always what they appear to be.
Ridgefield — Ten View Ridge Middle School students were chosen this month as semifinalists in the state's annual "Letters about Literature" competition. Essays by nine eighth-graders and one seventh-grader were picked by judges as some of the best of the 3,400-or-so they received. Including the View Ridge students, 325 young writers made it to the semifinals in the competition, which was sponsored locally by the Washington State Library and the Library of Congress. In Letters about Literature, which has competitions across the country, students write about the books that changed their perspectives on the world or their own lives. The letters are addressed to their favorite authors, whether living or dead. The state competition is part of the Washington Reads program.
Salmon Creek -- Students from four Washington high schools recently presented research they gathered during trips to Mount St. Helens last year. Students from Prairie High School, as well as Toutle, Castle Rock and Wahluke high schools, gathered April 17 at Washington State University Vancouver for the Mount St. Helens Eco-Research Conference to present final projects from their collaborations with the Mount St. Helens Institute. The young researchers spent a few days last fall at the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument to work with scientists and collect samples and data using a range of technologies.
Sifton -- Vancouver's Tate Schneider, 15, is among 15 girls from St. Mary's Academy in Portland who rocked Oregon's Science Olympiad on April 13 at Western Oregon University. The St. Mary's varsity team competed in 23 events against 16 teams and came in first in many of them. St. Mary's was the overall state winner for the seventh year in a row. Schneider will join a group of St. Mary's students who are headed to the national competitions in Ohio in May.
Hudsons Bay -- The first Aviation Resource Fair at Pearson Field was a big success, according to director Laureano Mier. More than 300 visitors of all ages turned out April 13 to learn about the history and science of flight and flying machines, careers in flight and air traffic control, airline transportation, search-and-rescue operations and summer camp opportunities. Visitor Carter Strader won an introductory flight lesson from Aero Maintenance Flight Center. The whole affair was sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Rose Village -- A mixed-media painting by Vancouver artist Jill Mayberg was picked to adorn the official poster for this year's popular Salem Art Fair and Festival. "Oregon Quilt" was made with layers of acrylic paint, paper cut-outs and oil pastels on canvas. In a press release, the full-time artist said her piece — organized like a quilt — was influenced by her love of folk art, quilting, whimsy and the Pacific Northwest. The Salem Art Fair is selling a limited number of posters featuring Mayberg's work. Nearly 50,000 visit the festival each year.
Central Park — Flat Stanley of St. Joseph, Mo., recently gave the Vancouver police some extra help. Stanley, a paper doll popular in children's books, was sent along by 10-year-old Wyatt, the great nephew of Carol Record, who volunteers for the Vancouver Police Department's grass-roots Neighbors On Watch program. Stanley hung out with Record and even went on a ride-along in the Automated License Plate Reader truck — looking for stolen, uninsured or speeding vehicles. Then he was off for more worldwide adventures.
Battle Ground -- Jackie McAtee, Meals on Wheels People manager in Battle Ground, was named Citizen of the Year by the local Elks Club in part for her efforts to help provide hot meals to seniors in North Clark County. McAtee was given the honor March 29 during a ceremony at the Battle Ground Elks Lodge. Citizen of the Year is given to someone who regularly contributes to the community. McAtee has worked with a number of local charities over the years, including the Senior Nutritional Assistance Program and Loaves and Fishes. At the March ceremony, new Elks officers were also inducted, Ruth Adler was named Elk of the Year and Kay Beasley was named Officer of the Year.
Orchards -- A bit of youthful energy was brought to Total Merchant Concepts on Take Your Child to Work Day on April 25. For six years, the Vancouver business has participated in the special annual event. This year a group of employees' children spent half the workday learning about the company's daily operations while also having some fun. The kids were allowed to play "terminal toss," where they safely destroyed broken equipment.
Vancouver Heights -- Nearly 50 cyclists, joined by Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, rode in a pack April 21 along MacArthur Boulevard to raise awareness of concerns that upcoming roadwork may make the thoroughfare more dangerous for bike traffic. The "Tour de Mac" was organized by Vancouver Bike Club member Jan Verrinder and local cycling advocate Madeleine von Laue. They and others are worried summer resurfacing and restriping work on MacArthur will remove dedicated bike lanes.
Central Park -- A significant helper of the Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington was given the highest recognition volunteers can receive from the organization: the "Thanks Badge."
Maplewood -- Neighbors lent a hand April 8 to plant an edible garden at MyPark. The Maplewood Neighborhood Association backed volunteer efforts to build a small garden in the city park, which is open to anyone who wants to nibble on the blueberries, strawberries and kiwis that will soon grow there. A $1,500 Vancouver Watershed Alliance grant received by the neighborhood association in November helped cover costs. "Freshly grown food is a great way to welcome people, a great way to be a community," wrote Maplewood Neighborhood Association Chair Cynthia Powers in an email.
Cascade Highlands -- Young Vancouver students gathered for Earth Day on April 22 at the Mill Plain Boulevard Whole Foods Market to learn about recycling and check out a new battery exchange kiosk. The Bettery Inc. "Swap Station," one of five recently unveiled at Whole Foods stores in Oregon and Washington, lets customers exchange spent reusable batteries for fully charged ones. The Portland startup's kiosks operate on a similar business model to Redbox, providing on-demand access to reusable batteries at a potentially lower cost than disposable batteries.
A weekly list of neighborhood meetings and events
In the summer of 1958, I was almost 7. I was invited to spend a weekend at the Luke family home on Simpson Avenue in Vancouver. My uncle and cousins, the Luke boys, were off somewhere else — fishing, I think. When Mom and Dad dropped me off, Auntie Helen was excited that I was just in time to help celebrate a birthday party for her friend's little girl. About eight boys and girls showed up with their parents, and Helen announced we were ready to start the birthday games.