Letter: Too much information without facts

By Mary Ann Albright October 31, 2011 6 a.m.

Does anyone have the real story on how Initiative 1183 would affect the number of retail outlets it would establish? I don’t think so from what I’ve heard.

Vancouver woman’s chicken recipe makes her contest finalist

By Mary Ann Albright September 13, 2011 6 a.m.

When Vancouver’s Becky Spence reflects on her cooking philosophy, three sources of inspiration stand out: her mother, Julia Child and a live cooking demonstration she witnessed three decades ago in Portland. That demonstration, by Simone Beck, Child’s coauthor on the seminal 1961 cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” was revelatory.

Anniversary likely to stir up emotions

By Mary Ann Albright September 11, 2011 6 a.m.

Even here in Clark County, 3,000 miles from Ground Zero, the attacks of 9/11 had a powerful impact. The constant media coverage and shocking images burned in people’s minds. “I think almost everyone of a certain age feels they experienced that event,” said Vancouver psychologist Kirk Johnson, owner of Vancouver Guidance Clinic. “You can certainly experience the trauma of an event without actually being there.”

Fall trends go retro

By Mary Ann Albright September 4, 2011 6 a.m.

Fashion is cyclical, and many of the hot trends for fall pay homage to looks from decades gone by.

The Kiggins Theatre event looks at city’s past, its future

By Mary Ann Albright September 2, 2011 6 a.m.

When downtown Vancouver’s Kiggins movie theater closed in May 2010, it marked the end of an era. It was the last of downtown and upper Main Street’s historic movie theaters. But Kiggins’ star had not faded for good. The building’s owner, commercial real estate developer Bill Leigh, poured about $200,000 and countless hours of work into renovations, and is about to reopen the venue.

Nonprofit helps clients dress for success

By Mary Ann Albright August 29, 2011 6 a.m.

For most of her adult life, Krystal Templeton struggled with drug addiction and found herself gravitating toward abusive relationships. Those issues, though, are in her past. Templeton now has a place to live through Second Step Housing, a Vancouver-based nonprofit that provides affordable housing, case management and life skills classes for women and families in Southwest Washington.

Clark County residents stop, shop, roll

By Mary Ann Albright August 19, 2011 6 a.m.

At 8:45 a.m. each day, Suzi Morse gets down to business in her Fisher’s Landing study. Poised in front of her computer, Morse looks through the collections that the online flash-sale site Gilt Groupe is offering that day.

Film incentives fade

By Mary Ann Albright August 21, 2011 6 a.m.

Washington lawmakers opted not to extend the state's film incentives program in the most recent legislative session.

Ye olde Shakespeare with new approach

By Mary Ann Albright August 19, 2011 6 a.m.

At the turn of the 17th century, when Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night” was first put on, actors’ craft was quite different than it is today. There weren’t really rehearsals or directors. Actors learned their parts on their own, then came together the morning of a show to run through songs, dances and fight scenes.

‘Heart Easy’ and palate pleasing

By Mary Ann Albright August 16, 2011 6 a.m.

When it came to her health, Kac Young thought she was doing everything right. She ate sensibly, worked out several times per week and maintained a healthy weight. So she was shocked when, in 2006, she suffered a heart attack and learned that one of her arteries was 99 percent clogged and required a double-stent procedure.

Soap operas’ bubble bursts

By Mary Ann Albright August 14, 2011 6 a.m.

Changes to how Americans watch television could have profound consequences for an actor, musician and writer from Battle Ground. Jonathan Jackson, who had a six-year run on “General Hospital” beginning when he was 11, returned to the show in 2009 to reprise the role of Lucky Spencer, a part he originated.

Dining Out: Creativity spices up Tommy O’s bistro menu

By Mary Ann Albright August 12, 2011 6 a.m.

Why: Tommy O’s Pacific Rim Bistro in downtown Vancouver offers traditional island breakfast fare seven days a week. It also turns out cultural hybrid dishes such as Huevos Rancheros with Kalua Pork. It’s owned by Tommy Owens, who also owns Tommy O’s Pacific Rim Grill in east Vancouver. Unlike the grill, the bistro serves breakfast. It’s been at 801 Washington St. for 10 years. Before that, Owens operated Tommy O’s Aloha Café in the Vancouver Marketplace for seven years.

Film fest spreads its reach

By Mary Ann Albright August 8, 2011 11:55 a.m.

This year’s Columbia Gorge International Film Festival will feature more than 300 films spanning several genres and ranging in run time from 21 seconds to more than two hours. Film submissions came in from across the globe: France, Japan, Australia, Spain and Mexico. A handful of participating filmmakers are from Clark County.

La Bottega offers delightful taste of Italy

By Mary Ann Albright August 5, 2011 6 a.m.

Why: Chef Peter Dougherty, who owns La Bottega and the downtown Vancouver restaurant Charlies Bistro with his wife, Lisa, serves up flavorful, fresh Italian dishes in Vancouver’s quaint Uptown Village area. Portion options for many menu items allow people to make choices based on their appetite. Desserts, pickles, chips and spreads are all homemade. Atmosphere: La Bottega is part Italian market, part casual fine-dining establishment. No paper napkins here. It’s cloth all the way.

Christian Youth Theater program open to kids and adults

By Mary Ann Albright August 5, 2011 6 a.m.

Turning 19 can be tough on Christian Youth Theater participants. The nonprofit theater program is specifically for those 8 to 18 years old, and once people age out, they have to leave behind an activity that many have been part of for years. The new all-ages Christian Community Theater program launched this summer by CYT Vancouver/Portland is helping to change that. Christian Community Theater gives CYT alumni, as well as CYT instructors, parents of CYT kids and the public at large, the opportunity to appear on stage with the organization.

Art in the Heart still a draw

By Mary Ann Albright August 1, 2011 9:28 a.m.

Though this year’s Art in the Heart will feature fewer galleries than last summer’s event, patrons can expect strong artist participation and increased opportunities to get involved with the creative process and even to make their own masterpieces at downtown Vancouver’s annual outdoor summer art festival and sale. In the past year or so, a number of new downtown Vancouver galleries shuttered, including Rainy Day Gallery, Lincoln’s Gallery, Guerrilla Gallery and Tryckpress Galleri. Hidden Gallery recently announced that it will be closing at the end of August, and that July’s First Friday Art Walk was its last event. Sixth Street Gallery closed in September, relocated, and reopened as Gallery 360 in February.

Headwear popularized by royal wedding finds fans in county

By Mary Ann Albright July 29, 2011 6 a.m.

Starting with Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement announcement in November and ratcheting up with the royal wedding and tour to North America, photos of Brits and other Europeans in elaborate head adornments have captivated audiences worldwide, including here in Clark County. On this side of the pond, people are fascinated by fascinators, those close cousins of cocktail hats that range from the relatively subdued Lock & Co. red maple-leaf topper Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wore on Canada Day to the outlandish Philip Treacy creation Princess Beatrice wore to the wedding of Prince William and his new bride (formerly Kate Middleton).

Vancouver baker earns blue ribbon for Irresistible Mud Bars

By Mary Ann Albright July 26, 2011 6 a.m.

People who bite into Freda Gable’s Irresistible Mud Bars are in for a surprise. Nestled between the frosting and the cakelike portion of the bar is a layer of partially melted marshmallows. “It makes it ooey-gooey,” said Gable, a 64-year-old Vancouver resident who has been baking and cooking since she was a child.

Something’s funny at Slocum House

By Mary Ann Albright July 15, 2011 6 a.m.

The stage at Slocum House typically goes dark in the summer, but not this July and August. The theater is hosting its first comedy festival, featuring improvisation acts drawing inspiration from sources ranging from Shakespeare to documentarian Ken Burns to B-movies, as well as stand-up comedians, musicians and magicians.

Library is open invitation to discovery

By Mary Ann Albright July 15, 2011 6 a.m.

Nearly two years after construction began on the new Vancouver Community Library, the 83,000-square-foot, $38 million facility will open its doors to the public on July 17. Following an outdoor opening ceremony featuring library leadership, as well as local and state elected officials and other guests, the public will be invited to explore the five-story glass, concrete, steel, terra-cotta and wood structure, which was designed by Vancouver native Adin Dunning of the Seattle architecture firm Miller Hull Partnership.

Curtain to rise on revived Kiggins

By Mary Ann Albright July 10, 2011 6 a.m.

When the curtains closed on Vancouver’s historic Kiggins Theatre more than a year ago, community members mourned the loss of a Main Street icon. Now, after countless hours of sweat equity by owner Bill Leigh and a group of passionate volunteers and about $200,000 worth of facility improvements, the newly renovated Kiggins is about to reopen.

Sexual minorities celebrate successes at annual music-filled Saturday in the Park

By Mary Ann Albright July 8, 2011 6 a.m.

There’s much to fete at this year’s Saturday in the Park, the 17th annual community event celebrating sexual minorities. For starters, New York just became the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage. “We’re always celebrating any success we have in the equal-rights movement,” said Camas resident Vicki Smith, a member of the Saturday in the Park event planning committee.

Cartoonist drawn to sharp views

By Mary Ann Albright July 3, 2011 6 a.m.

When it comes to political cartoons, there’s a fine line between pushing the envelope enough to interest people and being so edgy that newspapers won’t run your work. It’s a line Battle Ground cartoonist and artist Monte Wolverton has walked for the past 15 years. His left-leaning cartoons are syndicated to more than 850 newspapers worldwide, including The Columbian. They appear in the Daily News Los Angeles and in 100-200 other papers each week, and have run in the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

Hidden Gallery to close

By Mary Ann Albright July 2, 2011 6 a.m.

Vancouver's Hidden Gallery will close at the end of August. Tonight will be its last First Friday.

Growing pains and gains for local preteens

By Mary Ann Albright June 26, 2011 6 a.m.

AmberLeigh Packard eyed the competition as she made her way around the track at Alki Middle School. She had heeded her coach’s advice and paced herself, so she finished the 200-meter event strong. For 9-year-old AmberLeigh, it was just another race. But to her grandmother’s generation, AmberLeigh’s dash toward the finish line was a victory in and of itself.

Symphony surpasses emergency fundraising goal

By Mary Ann Albright June 24, 2011 4:02 p.m.

The Vancouver Symphony has exceeded its ambitious goal of raising $100,000 in less than a month. As of Friday, the nonprofit professional orchestra had brought in about $135,000 and was moving forward with plans for a 33rd season.

Clark College Mature Learning program’s creative writing class publishes book

By Mary Ann Albright June 13, 2011 6 a.m.

Connie Icenogle was so pleased to be making her debut as a published author that she couldn’t wait to pick up the phone and call her mom. “She was so excited,” Icenogle said.

Vancouver Symphony’s future in doubt

By Mary Ann Albright June 8, 2011 6 a.m.

Several years of declining revenues have caught up with the Vancouver Symphony. Now the nonprofit performing arts group is launching an aggressive fundraising campaign to remain in operation through the summer and launch what would be its 33rd season. The symphony is making tough cuts in response to dwindling corporate sponsorships and private donations, including eliminating its executive director and marketing director positions.

Virtual Haunting: WSUV research takes video gaming to next level

By Mary Ann Albright June 6, 2011 6 a.m.

Imagine playing a video game where you’re the character and the virtual environment being explored is an actual room, not an animated world confined by a television or computer screen. Washington State University Vancouver faculty member Dene Grigar and her students are making this scenario a reality.

Running shoeless

By Mary Ann Albright June 5, 2011 6 a.m.

Ryan D. Whitaker carries two sets of business cards. One has contact information for his downtown Vancouver law office. The other introduces him not as an attorney but as a proud barefoot runner. Whitaker had the second batch of cards made because so many people stop him on runs and ask where his shoes are. Rather than keep having the same conversation over and over, Whitaker, 57, made cards to hand out to those interested in learning more about the growing trend.

Bounced from ‘Bachelorette’

By Mary Ann Albright May 30, 2011 6 a.m.

If viewers of the ABC reality television show “The Bachelorette” were surprised by Jon Ellsworth’s decision to greet Ashley Hebert by throwing her over his shoulder, they’d have been shocked by his initial plan. Ellsworth originally planned to introduce himself to Hebert in a tear-away suit. He’d rip it off and be wearing nothing but a Speedo.

Miss Washington USA prepared to compete for national title in Las Vegas

By Mary Ann Albright May 27, 2011 6 a.m.

When TV audiences around the country tune in for the Miss USA Pageant on June 19, Washington’s representative will be ready. Since she was crowned Miss Washington USA last fall, Angelina Kayyalaynen has been preparing to compete for the national title in Las Vegas next month.

Vancouver contestant ousted on "The Bachelorette"

By Mary Ann Albright May 26, 2011 6 a.m.

The Vancouver contestant was eliminated on the season premiere of "The Bachelorette."

Adopting a new life together

By Mary Ann Albright May 22, 2011 6 a.m.

Some say opposites attract, but as Vancouver couple Chris Heath and Kalin Storm prepare for their upcoming nuptials, they reflect on how the reverse also holds true. Both were adopted as babies from the same orphanage in Kolkata, India, and were raised in Clark County by single mothers. Both know what it’s like to be asked whether they plan to search for their birth parents (they don’t) or whether they want to meet their “real moms” (they say they already have — the women who raised them).

Artists learn skills they can model

By Mary Ann Albright May 20, 2011 6 a.m.

Camas artist Maurice Arthurs has drawn and painted more than 1,300 portraits since joining the NW Freemodel Guild about six years ago. When he compares his earliest efforts to more recent work, Arthurs sees a marked improvement.

Vancouver man to look for love on "The Bachelorette"

By Mary Ann Albright May 13, 2011 3:20 p.m.

Some Clark County viewers might recognize one of the 25 men vying for Ashley Hebert's heart on the new season of "The Bachelorette." Vancouver resident Jon Ellsworth, 26, is a contestant on the seventh season of the ABC reality dating TV show, which premiers at 9 p.m. May 23 on ABC.

Urban farmers plan a market uptown

By Mary Ann Albright May 13, 2011 6 a.m.

Paul Dinberg is relatively new to farming as a small business. Dinberg, owner of Little Gnome Farm in Ridgefield, is in his second year of operation. He does not have any employees or a ride-on tractor. He participated in farmers markets last year and found it difficult to compete with bigger farms. So, Dinberg was excited to learn about the new Urban Growers Market launching May 13 in Uptown Village. The market is specifically geared toward backyard growers and small-scale farmers.

Making music especially for Mom

By Mary Ann Albright May 8, 2011 6 a.m.

If you’re scrambling for last-minute ideas on ways to make today special for your mother, consider music. A mom-themed playlist can help set the tone for Mother’s Day, and local musicians who are also mothers have suggested songs to include. They span a range of genres, so hopefully there’s something to suit most moms’ tastes.

Ridgefield art makes growing splash

By Mary Ann Albright May 6, 2011 6 a.m.

As she gears up for the Ridgefield Art Association’s annual show and sale, founding member Elizabeth Madrigal reflects on how the event has grown and evolved over the past nearly two decades. Only three artists participated in the first show, but over time that number has increased to up to 45 artists. Many of them are professionals for whom art is both passion and livelihood.

A feathery phenomenon

By Mary Ann Albright May 1, 2011 6 a.m.

Never have rooster saddle hackles been as in-demand at The Greased Line Fly Shoppe as in the past two months. That’s because the feathers, which are typically used in fly-fishing to tie flies, now are being snapped up by women to use as hair extensions. “It’s a phenomenon,” said Mark R. Noble, owner of the Vancouver fly-fishing and adventure travel shop. “After 36 years of business, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Teacher sings praises of writing

By Mary Ann Albright April 29, 2011 6 a.m.

Union High School freshmen get glimpses into teacher Randy Cate’s other career when they show up for English class. Vinyl records decorate his classroom, and he shows students Ted Nugent’s “Tied Up In Love” music video on YouTube. Cate, 62, collaborated with Nugent on the song. High schoolers today might not fill their iPod playlists with Nugent hits, but they’re likely familiar with some of the recent television shows on which Cate’s work can be heard, including “True Blood,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “The Young and the Restless.”

Getting the written word out

By Mary Ann Albright April 22, 2011 6 a.m.

Tired of submitting her young-adult fiction to literary agents only to be rejected, Battle Ground’s Ginille Forest decided to take matters into her own hands. The Clark College student and her brother, Vancouver systems administrator Justin Hayden, collaborated on Read the Shorts, a website that aims to connect aspiring authors with an audience (http://www.readtheshorts.com).

Pole-dancing classes proving popular in downtown Vancouver

By Mary Ann Albright April 18, 2011 6 a.m.

Miniskirts and thigh-high platform boots aren’t standard gym gear, but they’re perfectly acceptable — even preferable — workout attire at Linda Lee’s Lingerie Boutique. The new downtown Vancouver shop sells intimate apparel and saucy costumes, shoes and accessories during the day, but at 6 p.m., the drapes close, the disco light comes on, and songs such as Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” pump through the speakers.

Legging out an outfit

By Mary Ann Albright April 17, 2011 6 a.m.

A public service announcement: Tights and leggings are not one and the same. “Tights are meant to be worn under a garment. Tights are not meant to be worn as an exterior piece,” said Vancouver designer and “Project Runway” winner SethAaron Henderson.

Herding skills unleashed

By Mary Ann Albright April 11, 2011 6 a.m.

There’s a fine line between chasing and herding, one of the first lessons dogs learn at Brigand’s HideOut. The Battle Ground sheepherding facility offers breeds that have traditionally worked with livestock the chance to tap into their natural instincts. At first, dogs may be tempted to make a beeline for the flock, but with practice and instruction, they learn to move the sheep in a controlled fashion as directed by their handler.

Friendly, fleecy, fun, it’s alpacas

By Mary Ann Albright April 1, 2011 6 a.m.

Dreadlocks will descend upon Clark County this weekend, but it will be alpacas, not people, sporting the look. If you go

Author’s daughter inspired character; now she chats with fans in that role

By Mary Ann Albright March 28, 2011 6 a.m.

On Facebook, more than 10,200 people “Like” Bailey Flanigan, the central character in a new series by best-selling Vancouver Christian-fiction author Karen Kingsbury. Readers turn to the site to weigh in on Bailey’s adventures and seek advice about everything from dating to faith to friends and family.

Vancouver film company finishes shooting first movie

By Mary Ann Albright March 25, 2011 6 a.m.

It’s a wrap on “Dancing on the Edge,” a feature-length film shot in Clark County, by local filmmakers and starring local talent. The film, about a teenage ballerina’s struggles with substance abuse, is the maiden effort by Highland Light Productions, a new Vancouver-based independent film company that aims to create family-friendly entertainment while generating jobs and enriching the local economy. “It’s a hometown project with hometown people all shot in The Couv,” said Alexander “Sandy” MacKenzie, the film’s writer, director and producer and Highland Light’s president and chief executive officer.

Camas refines its canvas

By Mary Ann Albright March 20, 2011 6 a.m.

Downtown Camas’ visual arts scene has undergone myriad changes since the recession hit, with the number of galleries dropping from three to one. Recently, however, there’s been an infusion of new life.

Vancouver woman keeps St. Paddy’s alive

By Mary Ann Albright March 14, 2011 6 a.m.

People throughout the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but for those with Irish heritage, this Thursday’s holiday has special meaning. “People are very proud to be Irish, especially on St. Patrick’s Day,” said Dublin native Breda Yeates, who has lived in Vancouver since 1977. “They like to hear Irish music. They like to get together with friends and have corned beef and cabbage.”