Low-cost loans help local residents fix homes

By Andrea Damewood March 21, 2012 6 a.m.

When Gina Brown and her husband bought their house -- their first -- on Ohio Drive in Vancouver Heights last fall, they knew it would be a fixer-upper.

Deal on gravel pit will allow company to complete work

By Andrea Damewood March 20, 2012 6 a.m.

The road to an agreement about how Tapani Underground will finish its work at its gravel mine off Northeast 18th Street was bumpy, but neighbors and the company seemed happy with the end point Monday night.

Vancouver, fire commanders OK contract

By Andrea Damewood March 20, 2012 6 a.m.

The city of Vancouver and its six-member fire command union settled a four-year contract Monday night.

Oregon lawmakers hear from CRC critics

By Andrea Damewood March 16, 2012 6:05 p.m.

PORTLAND -- Oregon legislators tasked with overseeing the Columbia River Crossing said Friday they have grave concerns about the project ­­-- especially its $3.5 billion price tag -- but also weren’t sold on the many alternatives opponents brought forward.

Neighbors have gripes about gravel

By Andrea Damewood March 16, 2012 6 a.m.

Renèe Anttila and her neighbors agree: The best kind of gravel quarry to live next to is one that isn’t being actively mined seven days a week.

LaHood: CRC height won’t derail plan

By Andrea Damewood March 16, 2012 6 a.m.

The issue over the Columbia River Crossing’s height hit Washington, D.C., on Thursday, with the U.S. transportation secretary suggesting that he might step in to mediate.

Audit: CRC payments ‘appropriate’

By Andrea Damewood March 14, 2012 6 a.m.

A Washington state internal audit of the Columbia River Crossing’s finances released to The Columbian on Tuesday found the $37.8 million in payments it made to David Evans and Associates over the last two years appear clean.

Herrera Beutler flier asks residents to weigh-in on light rail

By Andrea Damewood March 9, 2012 6 a.m.

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, who has frequently called for a local vote on light rail, has spent $31,500 of taxpayer money to ask Clark County taxpayers what they think about it.

Vancouver to study how it pays, classifies employees

By Andrea Damewood March 8, 2012 6 a.m.

With an eye on an overhaul of employee compensation, the city of Vancouver has hired a Minnesota company to examine the way it pays and classifies the jobs of workers.

CRC officials critical of Coast Guard

By Andrea Damewood March 6, 2012 7:59 p.m.

Columbia River Crossing officials fired back at the Coast Guard late Monday, saying the agency failed for five years to mention any concerns about the planned 95-foot clearance under the new Interstate 5 bridge being too low.

Vancouver mulls mellowing fireworks

By Andrea Damewood March 6, 2012 6 a.m.

It may be months away, but the forecast for the skies over Vancouver in early July is a 100 percent chance of raining fireworks.

Official: Planned I-5 bridge too low

By Andrea Damewood March 2, 2012 6 a.m.

Plans for the Columbia River Crossing do not include a bridge high enough to meet the “reasonable needs” of the myriad ships that ply the busy waterway, the U.S. Coast Guard has told project officials.

City weighs paper vs. iPad

By Andrea Damewood March 1, 2012 6 a.m.

The city of Vancouver has turned to Apple to save trees.

Leavitt not sold on light rail vote

By Andrea Damewood March 1, 2012 6 a.m.

Despite voting in favor of a resolution that promised a vote on light rail in 2012, Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt said Wednesday he’s not sold on holding a vote this year or perhaps ever.

Should drug paraphernalia be restricted?

By Andrea Damewood February 28, 2012 6 a.m.

Pipes, bongs, scales and other “tobacco use only” products in local convenience stores may soon be put out of children’s reach, and sight.

Vancouver’s most wanted: Qualified police recruits

By Andrea Damewood February 26, 2012 6 a.m.

As he stood in the Hudson’s Bay High gym, a spot that on a recent Sunday was acrid with sweat and full of more than 160 men and women hoping to qualify for public safety jobs, Shaun Brooks was the rare exception.

Must see Vancouver-Clark parks, trails and rec centers

By Andrea Damewood February 26, 2012 6 a.m.

Tennis anyone? Or how about hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, snowshoeing, dog walking, gardening or sightseeing?

Vibrant, vigorous Vancouver

By Andrea Damewood February 26, 2012 6 a.m.

The big city budgets of the financial boom may have gone bust, but the ’Couv is forging ahead with bold plans for the future.

Groups lose money as city covers Hilton debt

By Andrea Damewood February 17, 2012 8:32 p.m.

Lodging tax money that used to go toward community events now dedicated to Hilton

Official: 2013 CRC start date not likely

By Andrea Damewood February 16, 2012 6 a.m.

Stalled support for new state transportation money likely means construction on the Columbia River Crossing won’t start until 2014, the state’s top transportation official said Wednesday.

White House sets aside $39 million for CRC work

By Andrea Damewood February 15, 2012 6 a.m.

The White House says it has $39 million waiting for light rail on the Columbia River Crossing in next year’s budget, but only if plans stay on track.

Vancouver council will vote on increasing AMR response times

By Andrea Damewood February 14, 2012 6 a.m.

The Vancouver City Council on Monday agreed to put a contract amendment giving American Medical Response two extra minutes to reach emergency calls to a vote later this month.

Off Beat: Namesake city has no place for USS Vancouver

By Andrea Damewood and Tom Vogt February 13, 2012 6 a.m.

It’s a notion that gets floated from time to time, and now it has resurfaced.

Not the Final Bow for Slocum House Theatre Company

By Andrea Damewood February 12, 2012 6 a.m.

Despite the cheesecakes, bon bons and chocolate cake laid out for visitors, the mood at Saturday night’s final gala for the Slocum House Theatre Company at its home of 46 years was bittersweet.

Three arrested in Salmon Creek armed robbery

By Andrea Damewood February 11, 2012 1:15 p.m.

All three reside in Woodland

Vancouver Fire Department adds twin engines

By Andrea Damewood February 10, 2012 6 a.m.

If the sirens and cherry red paint job weren’t enough to catch your attention, the Vancouver Fire Department’s two newest engines have one more thing that might do the trick -- super bright LED lights.

Vancouver explores taxing district for parks

By Andrea Damewood February 9, 2012 6 a.m.

A new Metropolitan Parks District in the city of Vancouver could raise as much as $10 million a year to prop up city parks and recreation centers.

Firefighters union will give $30,000 to charities

By Andrea Damewood February 9, 2012 6 a.m.

The Vancouver Firefighters Union is donating $30,000 to the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington and to Loaves and Fishes, as a result of the changes it made to its health care provider last year.

Slocum House Theatre to close March 11

By Andrea Damewood February 7, 2012 7:44 p.m.

Struggling theater company says it hopes to reorganize and return in a different form

Who will vote on light rail? Find out in July

By Andrea Damewood February 7, 2012 6 a.m.

Debate over light rail rages on, but it may be July before Clark County residents know just who can vote on it.

Herrera Beutler may try to block CRC light rail

By Andrea Damewood February 4, 2012 6 a.m.

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler wants one thing to be clear: As goes the C-Tran vote on light rail, so goes she.

Herrera Beutler tries to force CRC vote

By Andrea Damewood February 2, 2012 8:26 p.m.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler adds language that would have required a local referendum on project.

Herrera Beutler, Leavitt meet face to face

By Andrea Damewood January 31, 2012 8:53 p.m.

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler and Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt met last week to bury the hatchet — but signs say there may still be some of the blade sticking up.

Vancouver residents scan airwaves for emergencies

By Andrea Damewood January 31, 2012 6 a.m.

When the call came in Wednesday about a motor vehicle accident at Fourth Plain Boulevard and Stapleton Road, Caran Johnson jumped to action. Likewise, when a high-rise fire broke out the same day, Jason Williard was on it -- in 140 characters or less.

Vancouver mayor pushes parks levy

By Andrea Damewood January 28, 2012 6 a.m.

Mayor Tim Leavitt on Friday urged his fellow council members to put a parks levy before voters this year -- a move that could free the struggling department from further cuts.

Economic groups urge lawmakers to find dollars for CRC

By Andrea Damewood January 25, 2012 6 a.m.

Three Southwest Washington business and economic organizations sent a letter to the chairwomen of the state legislative transportation committees urging them to commit funds to the Columbia River Crossing project during this year’s session.

Parks staff, programs will be cut

By Andrea Damewood January 24, 2012 6 a.m.

Faced with an ongoing budget crisis, Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation will lay off 17 employees in the next two months, or about 30 percent of its remaining staff, officials announced Monday.

Vancouver-Clark Parks and Rec to cut nearly 30 percent of staff

By Andrea Damewood January 23, 2012 2:59 p.m.

$1.2 million shortfall will mean cuts to recreation, planning

Oregon may scale back CRC spending

By Andrea Damewood January 20, 2012 4:33 p.m.

Project staff gave information to Oregon legislators on slimmed-down construction phasing

Citizen panel sets hearing on salaries for Leavitt, council

By Andrea Damewood January 19, 2012 6 a.m.

Will the start of 2013 mean a raise for the Vancouver City Council?

Talking to Vancouver Town hall returns to City

By Andrea Damewood January 18, 2012 6 a.m.

The turnout was small, but the discussion was lively as the Vancouver City Council debuted a new town hall format Tuesday night.

City Council town halls return tonight in East Vancouver

By Andrea Damewood January 17, 2012 10:52 a.m.

Vancouver City Council members will be available for a town hall meeting, under a new format, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. tonight at Clark College at Columbia Tech Center, 18700 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd.

Herrera Beutler still has CRC concerns

By Andrea Damewood January 17, 2012 6 a.m.

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler said Monday she expects a new House transportation bill in the next two months, but also said she remains unsold on the Columbia River Crossing.

CRC bridge plan exceeds budget, schedule

By Andrea Damewood January 15, 2012 6 a.m.

After David Evans and Associates took on its role as the Columbia River Crossing’s largest private contractor, it said it would have the final environmental planning for the $3.5 billion project wrapped up for construction by the end of 2009, for about $21.6 million. Instead, the job has dragged on more than two extra years, and the estimated cost has grown to $58.8 million, documents show. And time and again, the Portland firm has been granted time extensions and more money to finish the work.

CRC foes of all stripes share concerns

By Andrea Damewood January 12, 2012 8:02 p.m.

Liberals and conservatives from both sides of the Columbia River call project's financial viability into question

Councilors curious about new ambulance pact

By Andrea Damewood January 12, 2012 6 a.m.

Two Vancouver city councilors said Wednesday that they’d like to hear more about leaving Emergency Medical District 2, which encapsulates most of Clark County.

Gregoire: Columbia Crossing state's top transportation priority

By Andrea Damewood January 11, 2012 6 a.m.

During her final State of the State address, Gov. Chris Gregoire, a staunch Columbia River Crossing supporter, put the controversial project at the top of her list of transportation work the state needs to do.

Ambulance firm asks for more time to respond

By Andrea Damewood January 10, 2012 6 a.m.

Faced with declining Medicare payments and a bad economy, American Medical Response, the private company that provides ambulance service to much of Clark County, is asking for more time to arrive at medical emergencies.

Vancouver strikes a deal over contamination

By Andrea Damewood January 10, 2012 6 a.m.

The federal government and Kaiser have agreed to pay Vancouver $383,000 to reimburse the city for costs related to contaminated World War II debris buried near the Marine Park boat landing.

Vancouver councilor seeking to reclaim C-Tran seat

By Andrea Damewood January 8, 2012 8:38 p.m.

One year after being pulled off the C-Tran Board of Directors, Vancouver City Councilor Jeanne Stewart is making it clear she wants her seat back.