He responded in April to first structure fire since station opened in 2008
Pulling up to a blue, one-story residence in rural Bear Prairie, firefighter Frank Billington is met by a Little Tikes plastic car in the yard, a basketball hoop in the driveway and a burly golden Labrador-retriever mix wagging its tail as it approaches.
Fisher-Mill Plain -- Maybe Janna Nichols spends more time underwater than she does up here. According to the Dive News Network, Vancouver resident Nichols is a scuba instructor, Diving Safety Officer for Washington State University Vancouver and a scientific diver for the American Academy of Underwater Sciences. As a volunteer, she has conducted more than 700 marine life surveys for the Reef Environmental Education Foundation; she has taught fish-identification classes and webinars ("fishinars"); and her underwater photography has appeared guidebooks, newspapers and websites. Now, Nichols has been named Diver of the Year for 2013 by the Dive News Network. Dive into more about Nichols at http://www.pnwscuba.com.
Ridgefield — Josephine Finley, a staff member at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge who lives in Yacolt, is headed for the big island of Hawaii this summer. But it's not (all) a pleasure trip. Beginning in late July, Finley will study the extinction of species and what it takes to save them. It's part of a graduate course she's taking through Miami University of Oxford, Ohio, and its Project Dragonfly, which has joined with a nonprofit called Earth Expeditions. Earth Expeditions brings university students to global "hotspots" to study ecology and conservation in the field. Visit EarthExpeditions.org to learn more.
Camas — In December, fifth-graders in Michelle Houle's class at Helen Baller Elementary School jubilantly jumped up and down for photographer Diana Sterle after "Stuffing a Bus" full of food donations for the hungry. The photo was entered in Umpqua Bank's Show Us How You Give campaign, and it rose above the ranks of 900-plus submissions to become a finalist; in April it drew enough Facebook votes to come out one of 10 winners. The photo earned the school a $2,500 grant.
Battle Ground -- On May 20, the city council recognized 13 high school seniors who have committed to serving in the U.S. military. Councilmember and Army veteran Philip Johnson introduced the each recruit who paid tribute to his or her family. Headed for the U.S. Army are John Brooks, Christopher Ellis, Cory Faircloth, Forrest Johnson, Franklin Johnson, Justin Kerle, Lana Linge and Hailey Schutte; U.S. Navy, Porter Kuhn and Wyatt Royce; U.S. Air Force, Ryan Hanlon, Joshua Massimo and Chase River Nystrom. Johnson also remembered two Battle Ground soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan: Army Pvt. Andrew Shields, killed in 2008, and Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonah McClellan, killed in 2010.
Salmon Creek -- Heidi Stewart could have died Feb. 12 when she collapsed at school after her heart suddenly stopped. The 18-year-old Evergreen High School senior's survival from sudden cardiac arrest was celebrated as her "re-birthday" May 16 during a WomenHeart meeting. The support group for women living with, or at-risk of, heart disease meets monthly at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center. Stewart attended with her mom Anne this month and was given cake and party favors along with a heartfelt welcoming, said group coordinator Leslea Steffel-Dennis. "Each of the women attending recited the day of their heart surgery as their re-birthday. There was laughter. We are still here!" Steffel-Dennis wrote in an email.
Andresen/St. Johns -- The Nutrition Education Program at the Clark County Food Bank got a big boost from a beverage purveyor. Craig Stein Beverage, based on Northeast 88th Street, has pledged a five-year, $75,000 donation to the food bank's effort to provide needy people with cooking and nutrition skills, knowledge and confidence. Craig Stein Beverage also made a $75,000 pledge to the Idaho Food Bank in Boise, where the company also has a base of operations.
Andresen/St. Johns — Officers for the annual Interservice Walk and Knock food drive were elected May 13 at a meeting and mixer hosted at the Clark County Food Bank. Officers and board members for the coming year are: Roxie Olsen, president; Adam Hegewalt, vice president; Lisa Peterson, secretary; Justin Wood, treasurer; and Tom Carney, Denneva Coat, Jeff Fish, Stacy Walters and Joe Pauletto, board members. Walk and Knock also gifted the food bank with an additional $5,000, bringing up its total donations for service year 2012 to $27,000 and 152 tons of food. Walk and Knock is a countywide food drive held the first Saturday of every December.
Hazel Dell -- The Society of Washington Artists, based in Vancouver, held its 51st open-entry professionally judged spring art show at the Harley H. Hall building on Northeast Seventh Avenue. It was SWA's largest fundraiser to date, with 197 entries contributed by 85 artists. Julie Olson of Washougal won the People's Choice award with her "Ghost," which also won a first place award for pastels; Ramona Kmetz-Lauzon of Longview won the first place award in the oil and acrylics category for "Onions"; John Turley of Vancouver won first place for watercolors with "Focused." Visit societyofwashingtonartists.com to learn more.
Meadow Homes -- Seven local banks answered a challenge by Columbia Credit Union to help nonprofit agency Share Vancouver, which operates homeless shelters, food programs and more, retire debt on the remodeled bowling alley on Andresen Road that is now Share's headquarters. Riverview Community Bank, Columbia Bank, Umpqua Bank, Wells Fargo, Regents Bank, iQ Credit Union and Home Street Bank all bought decorative bricks that will be added to the building's entranceway, raising $8,000. There is less than $140,000 to go to retire all of Share's debt on the $5.5 million project. Bricks are still for sale, starting at $200; call 360-952-8223 or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marrion — Colin Mahoney, the general manager at Shorty's Garden and Home on Mill Plain Boulevard, reported May 21 to the Parks Foundation that Shorty's annual St. Paddy's For Parks events in March raised $15,051. That money goes to the nonprofit Parks Foundation (parksfoundation.us) which will redistribute it to local parks, trails and recreation projects. The St. Paddy's events drew 500 adults and 600 children.
Airport Green -- The neighborhood association's annual Neighborhood Cleanup was held May 4 and rounded up plenty of yard debris, trash and recycling. According to Airport Green Neighborhood Association president Ross Montgomery, the cleanup took in 3.32 tons of bulky items, 8.23 tons of yard debris and 1.8 tons of metal for redemption -- with $284 in proceeds going to the neighborhood association treasury.
A list of neighborhood association meetings and events
In 1932, when I was 3 years old, Mama's garden at our Nebraska farmhouse was important. Laid out in rows and plowed free of weeds and crabgrass, it was planted with a selection of vegetables. The yield meant my family rarely bought food. The bounty grew, poured into the kitchen and was canned, preserved and sometimes given away. Since my siblings, Hobart and Sara Ann, did lots of the work, they had an interest in the harvested crop. Hobart and Sara Ann kept a watchful eye, and anything amiss inside the garden's tight fence was attended to.
Clark County mothers prepare, trade meals to save money, cut time spent preparing food while ensuring participants enjoy healthful, homemade dinners
Planning and preparing a family dinner can be a challenge, especially in homes with a new baby or a mobile toddler.