Friends of the Carpenter tool, product sale underway

By Scott Hewitt May 1, 2015 5:41 p.m.

What Friends of the Carpenter has to offer — conversation, connection, compassion — isn't for sale. It's always free.

Mettle to the pedal with annual Ride Around Clark County

By Scott Hewitt May 1, 2015 6 a.m.

You've probably covered big swaths of Clark County at 35 or 40 or 60 miles per hour. (Or much faster than that, but we won't go there.) You might occasionally remember to notice some scenery as it flashes by. But when you're inside that four-wheeled, climate-controlled, sound-surrounded capsule, it's easy — too easy — to feel about as connected to the world beyond your windshield as to a screen shot of a tree.

Bits 'n' Pieces: 'Noises Off' unites La Center seniors, parents, Home Depot

By Scott Hewitt May 1, 2015 6 a.m.

The real Kurt Wohlers, who is precise and confident enough to get himself elected senior class president at La Center High School this year, found himself hemming and hawing and dithering and "well-um"ing a lot this spring.

Norris Road tenants evicted

By Scott Hewitt April 30, 2015 6:56 p.m.

Evictions were underway Thursday at the rental properties at 2009 and 2015 Norris Road that were declared dangerous and uninhabitable by the city of Vancouver last month. Several tenants told The Columbian they didn't know what their next move would be.

VHA hones vision for Arnada

By Scott Hewitt April 30, 2015 6 a.m.

A few years ago, the Vancouver Housing Authority used a loan from the state of Washington to amass all the properties on a block on the eastern edge of downtown.

Norris Road renters have just days to leave

By Scott Hewitt April 28, 2015 6:33 p.m.

Tenants at the Norris Road apartment complex that was recently declared unsafe by the city of Vancouver have been given until the end of this month to get out, according to a city building official. Eviction notices were served by the landlord that fix April 30 as the final date to vacate.

VHA, tenants move toward $500,000 settlement

By Scott Hewitt April 28, 2015 5:12 p.m.

The Vancouver Housing Authority will set aside nearly $500,000 in a settlement fund that may be used to compensate as many as 900 tenants who paid too much in rent between April 2004 and April 2011.

Courtyard Village Apartments displacement speeds up

By Scott Hewitt April 27, 2015 6 a.m.

The Courtyard Village Apartments are now Parc Central. Teachers at Washington Elementary School dislike the new name — partially because it's teaching children to misspell, according to Carla Feltz, the school's Family-Community Resource Center coordinator. (The Columbian checked several dictionaries; there is no English-language word spelled "parc.")

Newcomers give stand-up paddleboarding a try

By Scott Hewitt April 25, 2015 6:19 p.m.

It was almost standing room only on the water at Vancouver Lake on Saturday.

Madore says he'll seek council chairmanship

By Scott Hewitt April 25, 2015 2:52 p.m.

David Madore made it official early Saturday morning: He is running for the position of Clark County Council chairman.

Storm Large helps out the little ones

By Scott Hewitt April 23, 2015 9:45 p.m.

The worst thing about growing up with severe mental illness in the family wasn't the suicide attempts or ambulances or blood or other insanity, rock singer Storm Large told an audience at the Hilton Vancouver Washington on Thursday night.

Residents still living in unsafe apartments

By Scott Hewitt April 20, 2015 6 a.m.

People are still living in the Norris Road apartment complex that Vancouver city officials declared unsafe and uninhabitable more than a week ago.

Changing keys at the Piano Hospital

By Scott Hewitt April 14, 2015 6 a.m.

Don Mitchell keeps pinballing around, student to student, project to project, with a near-permanent grin on his face and only the occasional, gentle collision with an equipment cabinet or piano bench.

Arc to float latest plans at Kiggins

By Scott Hewitt April 12, 2015 6 a.m.

After a long stretch taking on water and bailing as fast as possible, the Arc of Southwest Washington appears to be genuinely afloat again.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Classic Gospel Sons prepare for a song-filled farewell

By Scott Hewitt April 11, 2015 6 a.m.

Life happens. Things change. Just because you're rewarded far beyond your expectations doesn't mean time stops passing.

City of Vancouver declares apartments unsafe

By Scott Hewitt April 10, 2015 7:49 p.m.

In late March, Vancouver police swept through an eight-unit apartment complex and separate manager's residence alongside Warrior Field in the Maplewood neighborhood. Nearly 20 arrests were made at 2009 and 2015 Norris Road for drug and property crimes. A statement from the city said the place had been the source of more than 150 police calls from residents and neighbors in a single year.

Projects move forward as VHA faces steep costs

By Scott Hewitt April 6, 2015 6 a.m.

The Vancouver Housing Authority is preparing to open its new First Street Apartments, 152 units of largely "workforce" rentals on the east side of town, later this spring. The agency is also buying a parcel on the west side, near downtown, and will soon break ground on Lincoln Place Apartments, a 30-unit dormitory for the worst-off chronically homeless.

Battle Ground food bank struggling

By Scott Hewitt April 4, 2015 5:02 p.m.

The North County Community Food Bank has rarely faced such desperate straits before, according to executive director Elizabeth Cerveny.

Korean man facing possible deportation appears in court

By Scott Hewitt April 2, 2015 4:31 p.m.

PORTLAND — It was a halfway happy birthday for Adam Crapser of Vancouver, who turned 40 years old on the same morning he entered a federal immigration court for potential removal from the country.

What's Up With That? Kane's memorial needs public help to reach public view

By Scott Hewitt April 1, 2015 6 a.m.

I'm the mother of sculptor Mark McLean. He put all that work into the black basalt statue of Kane the police dog and donated it to the Sheriff's Office about two years ago. We're both curious to know what happened to the statue. It's not on display anywhere, is it?

Free food for homeless spurs worries

By Scott Hewitt March 31, 2015 7:49 p.m.

Volunteers regularly feeding homeless people in Esther Short Park over the winter have run into questions about food handling and safety from Clark County Public Health since their story hit this newspaper and other media a few weeks ago. But because the group is informal and essentially leaderless, those questions still haven't been answered satisfactorily, according to a health department official.

International adoptee faces deportation

By Scott Hewitt March 29, 2015 6 a.m.

Adopted from South Korea into the United States at age 3, Adam Crapser of Vancouver is now facing possible deportation to a country he can't remember.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Kids to get undersea cheer via mural

By Scott Hewitt March 27, 2015 6 a.m.

When you're nervously headed for the doctor's office, isn't it nice to feel as calm and mellow and maybe even as playful as some warm, undulating undersea creature?

Series of forums on affordable housing begins this week

By Scott Hewitt March 22, 2015 4:21 p.m.

Rents are rising. Wages are not. Construction costs are rising. Public assistance is not. Desperation is spreading. Vacancies are not.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Scrabble tourney to raise funds

By Scott Hewitt March 13, 2015 6 a.m.

If you love words and winning — and helping children learn to love words and winning — the Columbia Crest Lions Club has the fundraiser for you: Scrabble With a Cause.

Volunteers feeding homeless in park run into opposition

By Scott Hewitt March 11, 2015 6 a.m.

If you feed them, they will come. And stay. And get wasted, urinate, litter, fight, vandalize the place and intimidate people going to the farmers market, or a concert, or the kid-friendly fountain for some good clean fun.

Homeless people fight for their property

By Scott Hewitt March 10, 2015 7:45 p.m.

Vancouver attorney Peter Fels filed nine tort claims in late February against Clark County, claiming illegal theft and destruction of homeless people's personal property. Fels plans to sue on April 21 unless the county responds with a change in policy and more than compensates his clients for their lost property, he said.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Film probes human costs of the Great Recession

By Scott Hewitt March 6, 2015 6 a.m.

When you think about the Great Depression, classic photographs probably come to mind: bowler-hatted men selling pencils on the street or lining up for soup; a grim-faced mother surrounded by barefooted children, contemplating the future.

What's Up with That? Masons' farmers market won't return to Hazel Dell

By Scott Hewitt March 4, 2015 6 a.m.

It broke my heart to hear that the Masons in Hazel Dell lost so much money because of embezzlement. But I was glad to see they started a farmers market last year to help pay the bills on their property. Will the market have another season this year?

Salvation Army thrift store has new home

By Scott Hewitt March 3, 2015 5:18 p.m.

When it comes to thrift stores, the days of cold and dark and dank are over. "We're changing from those old hole-in-the-wall thrifts," said Salvation Army Capt. Dennis Earnhart as he surveyed the new Orchards store that will open on Thursday. "We call them 'family stores' now and we want them to be clean and bright and safe."

Gorge's hidden gem: Maryhill Museum

By Scott Hewitt March 1, 2015 6 a.m.

There's never been a better time to finally satisfy your curiosity about the oddity that everybody seems to know about but few bother to visit - the Maryhill Museum in the Columbia River Gorge.

Stations of the Cross with bilingual approach

By Scott Hewitt February 28, 2015 6 a.m.

Seventh-graders at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Vancouver performed the ritual walking of the Stations of the Cross on Friday with a bilingual twist, reciting and singing in both English and Spanish.

WSUV students to facilitate listening tour on housing

By Scott Hewitt February 26, 2015 7:49 p.m.

At a time when decision-making in Clark County and Southwest Washington seems increasingly fractious and angry, the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington and Washington State University Vancouver are making a display of problem solving through respectful civil discourse and listening to people.

Vancouver steps in direction of tenant protections

By Scott Hewitt February 23, 2015 7:24 p.m.

Twenty days' notice to vacate a rental for no reason in particular — except that the landlord wants you to leave — seems like "cruel and unusual punishment," Vancouver City Councilman Larry Smith said Monday afternoon. "It's very harsh. It bugs the daylight out of me."

Vancouver eyes affordable housing remedies

By Scott Hewitt February 22, 2015 6:29 p.m.

The Vancouver City Council will hold a one-hour workshop to start exploring affordable housing issues and remedies — what can be done to build more and to protect vulnerable tenants from displacement — beginning at 4 p.m. Monday in the council chambers at Vancouver City Hall, 415 W. 6th Street.

On front lines of mental health crisis

By Scott Hewitt February 22, 2015 6 a.m.

Peggy McCarthy believes in healing of all sorts — from highly scientific Western medicine to the ancient Asian body — and spirit-stretching of yoga and meditation.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Washougal singer takes prize, heads for New York

By Scott Hewitt February 21, 2015 6 a.m.

Singing came as naturally to Anne Maguire as life on the Skamania farm where she grew up.

Church offers 'Ashes to Go' on Ash Wednesday

By Scott Hewitt February 18, 2015 5:37 p.m.

The Rev. Tom Warne isn't too surprised that people are so surprised by "Ashes to Go."

Charity struggles to meet east county's hidden need

By Scott Hewitt February 15, 2015 6 a.m.

WASHOUGAL — There must be more to life than designing printers, Dave Pinkernell decided. He took an early retirement buyout from Hewlett-Packard after 32 years and started considering what’s truly most important to him: the well-being of local children and the whole east county community.

Subsidized housing wait lists to open

By Scott Hewitt February 9, 2015 6:23 p.m.

It's a sign of the times that the Vancouver Housing Authority is hoping that people looking for subsidized housing will hurry up and wait.

Meyer Memorial Trust makes final gift in Clark County

By Scott Hewitt February 9, 2015 4:53 p.m.

As part of a strategic refocusing effort, the Oregon-based Meyer Memorial Trust announced Monday that it will stop donating money to charities and causes in Clark County.

Norwood, friend of Vancouver trees, dies

By Scott Hewitt February 5, 2015 8:51 p.m.

One of the very last things Jean Norwood ever did was help keep Vancouver beautiful. In December, she saw to it that the Vancouver Women's Club, of which she was a longtime member, donated $5,000 to an arboretum on Old Evergreen Highway that's always in need of help.

Solutions to county's affordable housing crisis sought at meeting

By Scott Hewitt February 4, 2015 10:04 p.m.

Wanted: tolerant landlords and eager advocates who recognize that there really is an affordable housing crisis underway in Clark County.

Affordable housing increasingly elusive in Vancouver

By Scott Hewitt February 3, 2015 7:39 p.m.

The Courtyard Village Apartments complex is far from the only one in Vancouver where rents are rising and current residents are getting left behind.

Symphony competition has high standards

By Scott Hewitt February 3, 2015 6 a.m.

Nine of the finest young musicians in the Pacific Northwest will rumble — in the most mellifluous sort of way — as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra hosts its 21st annual Young Artists Competition next weekend.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Ridgefield teacher heart of fundraiser

By Scott Hewitt January 31, 2015 6 a.m.

Hey, Meek! Have a heart, will ya?

Event helps Homeless make Connections

By Scott Hewitt January 29, 2015 6:28 p.m.

Attendance was visibly down from previous years at Thursday's Project Homeless Connect, the annual roundup of services, benefits and hands-on care hosted by the Council for the Homeless and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Vancouver.

Vancouver teen featured Thursday on 'American Idol'

By Scott Hewitt January 28, 2015 8:34 p.m.

Daniel Seavey loves making people happy. To help him do that, he's got a sweet, clear, startlingly strong vibrato and a familiar way around the piano keys and guitar strings.

Grants focus on support, services for chronically homeless

By Scott Hewitt January 28, 2015 6 a.m.

Federal funding of $1.25 million means that nonprofit agencies in Clark County will be able to continue housing and helping chronically homeless people here.

FISH pantry buys downtown building

By Scott Hewitt January 23, 2015 6:29 p.m.

Miles of roadway and three annoying stair steps have long separated FISH of Vancouver, downtown's major weekday food pantry, from the efficient and people-friendly fulfillment of its mission. New real estate is about to change that.