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.

Diverse group of volunteers plant trees on MLK Day of Service

By Scott Hewitt January 19, 2015 5:25 p.m.

What's reputedly the most gang-affected area in Clark County became the most volunteer-improved area on Monday morning.

Gandhi's grandson urges change from within

By Scott Hewitt January 18, 2015 4:31 p.m.

Great people like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. weren't born great. "They were born regular, ordinary people like all of us," said Arun Gandhi.

Vancouver conference discusses fight against sale of humans

By Scott Hewitt January 17, 2015 7:08 p.m.

In November 2013, Clark County law enforcement officials, always busy working with victims and potential victims of sex trafficking, decided to gather some data about the demand side. They posted some Internet ads hawking sex for sale and borrowed a couple of motel rooms for a sting.

Vancouver police chief acknowledges frictions at MLK breakfast

By Scott Hewitt January 17, 2015 6:28 p.m.

In the tense and uncertain history of race relations in America, a recent string of high-visibility killings of unarmed blacks by police and others has made this a particularly tense and uncertain moment.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Hockinson trio boil up new story for Hansel, Gretel

By Scott Hewitt January 17, 2015 6 a.m.

They're not three witches. But they have stirred up something scarily fascinating in their literary cauldron. Take a look next weekend, if you dare.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Gandhi's grandson to laud King at local church

By Scott Hewitt January 16, 2015 6 a.m.

The little boy was playing soccer when he got knocked to the ground. He jumped up in anger, ready to hurl a rock at the miscreant who'd committed the crime.

Bis 'n' Pieces: Performance exposes Sikh genocide

By Scott Hewitt January 9, 2015 6 a.m.

Here's a quick, horrible history lesson that will be new news to some: In 1984, the Sikh bodyguards of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi assassinated her in retaliation for a military assault on their holiest site, the Golden Temple, which had become the base of operations where Sikh separatists stockpiled weapons.

Help needed for MLK Weekend of Service

By Scott Hewitt January 9, 2015 6 a.m.

You can build a trail, clean up a park or a yard, paint a house or shelter, or help sell used library books. You can cap it all off with a celebration of hard work and volunteerism that raised an affordable home for a family that needed one.

Local Muslims worry that violence overseas taints them

By Scott Hewitt January 7, 2015 9:39 p.m.

Local Muslims definitely feel more vulnerable to hatred — and misunderstanding — every time there's news of violence by Islamic terrorists or the Islamic group that is trying to create its own state in Syria and Iraq.

Anger rises as more Courtyard Village tenants ordered to vacate

By Scott Hewitt January 7, 2015 5:52 p.m.

New legal notices to vacate — or to evict, in cases where departing tenants have decided against paying any more rent — went out on Tuesday to more residents in more buildings at the Courtyard Village Apartments complex. The complex was purchased last year by Parc Central LLC, a subsidiary of Metropolitan Land Group of Beaverton, Ore., which wants to improve the dilapidated complex and raise the rents.

Boomerang sends money back to community

By Scott Hewitt January 5, 2015 10 a.m.

Not everyone has cash to donate to important local causes and charities. But nearly everyone has too much stuff. And our community has so many needs.

A safe place to sober up

By Scott Hewitt January 2, 2015 6:55 p.m.

A new "sobering center" in Clark County's Center for Community Health aims to be a place where people can spend up to 12 hours safely returning to their senses.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Concert a farewell to Washougal

By Scott Hewitt January 2, 2015 10 a.m.

They came. They played. They conquered. Now, hot local guitar duo Brooks and John are lapping up some serious acclaim while getting ready to say so long to a Washougal venue due to cost issues.

Some Courtyard Village residents face moving day

By Scott Hewitt December 31, 2014 7:13 p.m.

While many questions remained unanswered, there was one certainty for a handful of residents at Courtyard Village Apartments on New Year's Eve: It was time to leave.

Open House Ministries demolishes house to expand headquarters

By Scott Hewitt December 29, 2014 6:43 p.m.

Open House Ministries has cleared space for a new Family Resource Center that it wants to build just north of its family homeless shelter in downtown Vancouver.

Mom, daughter tell harsh truths about eating disorders

By Scott Hewitt December 29, 2014 6 a.m.

Alexis Colson hid in her mother's closet with a bowl of cereal in her lap and beautiful little dresses dangling all around her head.

Arboretum pathway will lead to gardens for local heroines

By Scott Hewitt December 26, 2014 5:16 p.m.

Kelly Punteney has spent the last few years slowly improving the Jane Weber Evergreen Arboretum, a historic property that rolls from Old Evergreen Highway down to the Columbia River. It's been an uphill battle, Punteney has said, toward his ultimate goal of getting the 7-acre oasis adopted by the city of Vancouver as a public park.

VHA's Skyline Crest neighborhood to be renovated

By Scott Hewitt December 26, 2014 4:48 p.m.

Roy Johnson figures that 3,000 people have lived at Skyline Crest, the Vancouver Housing Authority's public housing neighborhood in central Vancouver, since it opened in 1963.

Community Foundation cuts grant boundaries

By Scott Hewitt December 22, 2014 6 a.m.

The Community Foundation for Southwest Washington has changed the way it does business in order to get more money to more nonprofit agencies across Southwest Washington.

Share, Council for Homeless confront challenges in New Year

By Scott Hewitt December 19, 2014 8:14 p.m.

With fewer people coming to the Clark County Public Service Center to get property deeds and other legal documents recorded, fewer fees are landing in the bank account of Share Vancouver.

Courtyard Village's crisis and beyond

By Scott Hewitt December 19, 2014 7:50 p.m.

Andy Silver, the executive director of the Council for the Homeless, said Thursday that his agency will join forces with Clark County, the city of Vancouver, the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington and the Vancouver Housing Authority to "start a really broad community conversation about affordable housing" in the wake of the Courtyard Village Apartments crisis that erupted this month.

Bits 'n' Pieces: New Year's to be rockin' at Hilton in Vancouver

By Scott Hewitt December 19, 2014 6 a.m.

Blake Sakamoto doesn't live in Vancouver. But sometimes it seems like he does.