Free Thanksgiving meals offered in Vancouver

By Scott Hewitt November 25, 2014 6 a.m.

There's no shortage of generosity in Southwest Washington. That's good, because there's no shortage of hunger either. Here's our annual roundup of free Thanksgiving meals.

Santas for seniors goes electronic

By Scott Hewitt November 24, 2014 6 a.m.

Giving trees and collection barrels are so analog. The handiest way these days to ensure that needy local seniors enjoy some holiday cheer is digital.

For homeless, hungry, a focus on survival

By Scott Hewitt November 22, 2014 3:04 p.m.

Agency officials who work with homeless populations in Clark and Multnomah counties championed a no-barriers, "Housing First" approach to protecting the most vulnerable street people during a brown-bag lunchtime session Thursday at the Vancouver Community Library.

Salvation Army rings in the holidays

By Scott Hewitt November 20, 2014 7:36 p.m.

The Salvation Army got started in Vancouver just before Christmas, 1890. Go hunting around near the bottom of Main Street and you'll spot a plaque that marks the very spot.

Scientific survey: Friendliness key in Southwest Washington

By Scott Hewitt November 20, 2014 12:01 a.m.

Hello, friends. Nice to see ya. How's it going?

Tackling your bucket list doesn't require giant leaps  

By Scott Hewitt November 16, 2014 6 a.m.

Catch your breath and look around. The view is incredible.

'Mayor of Hazel Dell' dies at 84

By Scott Hewitt November 14, 2014 3:03 p.m.

Bud Van Cleve, an inexhaustible community activist whose efforts over the last couple of decades earned him the nickname "Mayor of Hazel Dell," died on Nov. 5 at age 84.

Bits 'n' Pieces: 'U.N. of Food' an inspiration to slow down

By Scott Hewitt November 14, 2014 6 a.m.

Vancouver foodies fighting the opening of a McDonald's fast-food restaurant on Main Street might not be aware that they're continuing a proud tradition that began in Rome.

Evergreen, Skyview theater productions tackle difficult material

By Scott Hewitt November 14, 2014 6 a.m.

Theater can be deeply serious business. That's why it's best left up to children. This weekend, a couple of high school performances will highlight just how dramatic young actors can get.

Veterans, teens come together to help feed the hungry at Clark County Food Bank

By Scott Hewitt November 11, 2014 4:54 p.m.

Mike Burton and Isabel Kalnin were delighted to discover on Tuesday, over a few bowls of rice, just how much they have in common.

Many on SNAP get a two-month delay in food benefits

By Scott Hewitt November 8, 2014 7:28 p.m.

Debra Robillard, a former broadcast journalist who worked in radio and television news for a decade, was homeless in Vancouver for about a year. She spent last winter sleeping on church floors thanks to the local Winter Hospitality Overflow shelter effort, and she's just managed to rent her own apartment. Meanwhile, Robillard has been feeding herself thanks partially to a state food benefit for low-income people — a program called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, generally known as food stamps.

Disabled assistance programs could merge

By Scott Hewitt November 8, 2014 6 a.m.

Breathing runs Calvin Biery about $50 a month. That's the power bill, which runs his CPAP machine, he said.

'Critical juncture' for children, marijuana

By Scott Hewitt November 7, 2014 6 a.m.

The effort to keep marijuana out of the hands of children — and to treat those who become addicted nonetheless — is at a "critical juncture" in Washington state. And given this week's votes to legalize recreational pot in Oregon and Alaska, Washington is leading the way for the whole nation.

Children's Center wins major grant

By Scott Hewitt November 6, 2014 10 a.m.

Uninsured Clark County children in need of mental health services have gotten support this month from sources as varied as foundation board rooms and local classrooms.

What's Up With That? State, federal rules govern roadside memorials

By Scott Hewitt November 5, 2014 10 a.m.

A couple months ago a huge cross built out of skateboards went up right next to Interstate 205 below Mill Plain. It's still there. In the beginning there were balloons and flowers attached. Now it's just an ugly relic of a tragic accident. Are there rules about roadside memorials?

Bits 'n' Pieces: Tiny bits yield big meaning

By Scott Hewitt November 1, 2014 6 a.m.

Reid Trevarthen has graduated from duct tape to National Geographic. There's no telling what he'll graduate to next.

Luncheon eyes help for more homeless

By Scott Hewitt October 30, 2014 7:25 p.m.

In a passionate talk before a crowd that cares about homelessness, Andy Silver considered three children he knows.

Prayer breakfast speech avoids controversy  

By Scott Hewitt October 17, 2014 11:53 a.m.

A prayer breakfast featuring a speaker known nationally for his remarks denouncing Islam took place in Vancouver this morning. But retired Army Lt. Gen. William "Jerry" Boykin kept his remarks focused on his faith and military experiences.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Here's the story on StoryCon

By Scott Hewitt October 17, 2014 6 a.m.

Seems like Eric Wecks and the Vancouver Community Library were made for each other.

Protest planned outside prayer breakfast

By Scott Hewitt October 16, 2014 7:27 p.m.

The battle over a planned speech by a controversial retired Army general at Friday’s civic leaders prayer breakfast intensified Thursday.

Domestic violence victims face many obstacles

By Scott Hewitt October 16, 2014 10 a.m.

Why doesn't she just leave? After all, what could be simpler? An avalanche of ugly revelations about domestic violence in the professional sports world has sharpened attention on a problem that is more complicated than it may seem. It's as complicated as cutting-edge social media and the very nature of masculinity, according to professionals who work on domestic violence issues for the YWCA Clark County.

Leavitt will boycott Friday's prayer breakfast

By Scott Hewitt and Stephanie Rice October 15, 2014 7:18 p.m.

Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt has reversed course and said he will boycott the 2014 Clark County Mayor and Civic Leaders Prayer Breakfast, where this year's keynote speaker is nationally known for denouncing Muslims and Jews.

What's Up with That? Bike lanes are not parking spaces

By Scott Hewitt October 15, 2014 5:59 a.m.

The Oct. 8 article about bicycle sharrows raises a question: Is it illegal for a car to park in a marked bicycle lane? There is a bike lane that runs down Franklin Street on the west side of the road from Franklin Elementary. On a daily basis, cars park in the marked bike lane. This is particularly notable at school release times. Was the lane put there to provide a safe corridor for students on bicycles? Anyone attempting to ride a bicycle in the bike lane must instead take to the road to navigate around parked cars.

Prayer breakfast planners to keep controversial speaker

By Scott Hewitt October 14, 2014 7:38 p.m.

One event sponsor, regional YMCA, voted against retaining retired Pentagon official as keynote

Prayer breakfast keynoter called 'anti-Muslim bigot'

By Scott Hewitt October 13, 2014 1:57 p.m.

Washington state Muslims are calling the retired Pentagon official who’s scheduled to keynote the 13th annual Mayors’ & Civic Leaders Prayer Breakfast later this week an “anti-Muslim bigot,” and urging organizers to drop him from the event.

Unlikely muralist creates works of art on fences

By Scott Hewitt October 12, 2014 6 a.m.

If someone showed these colorful, detailed exterior murals to Allen Russell and told him that the artist is a novice who never tried to do art before, "I'd think they were lying," he said.

What's Up With That? Answers to property-development questions

By Scott Hewitt October 8, 2014 6 a.m.

What's getting built in my neighborhood, where my favorite store, my favorite landmark, my favorite dog run used to be?

First Citizen Barnes lauded for work on behalf of students

By Scott Hewitt October 7, 2014 8:29 p.m.

The students in small school districts that most of us never hear of — far-flung districts off in the Columbia River Gorge, underfunded districts in need of teachers or technical expertise or even bus drivers — were the students Twyla Barnes always kept uppermost in her mind.

WSUV anthropologists: Human behaviors influence Ebola crisis

By Scott Hewitt October 7, 2014 5:19 p.m.

The virulence of the virus itself is just one reason why the ongoing rampage of Ebola across West Africa and beyond is now considered the worst outbreak ever of that deadly disease.

Mothers of special-needs kids find support

By Scott Hewitt October 7, 2014 6 a.m.

The Amazing Moms know how to spot 'em.

40 housing vouchers offered to veterans

By Scott Hewitt October 2, 2014 6 a.m.

Forty new housing vouchers will help qualifying homeless veterans get into a new apartment complex that's planned for the edge of the Veterans Administration campus on East Fourth Plain Boulevard. As part of the package, residents will also get easy access to nearby VA case management and services.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Giving the gift of hearing resoundingly rewarding experience

By Scott Hewitt September 26, 2014 10 a.m.

The Amazon rain forest is hot and humid and sticky and, frankly, overwhelming. And it was nothing to complain about, Katie Kelley found right away.

Local Jews prepare for Rosh Hashana

By Scott Hewitt September 24, 2014 6 a.m.

Let's hope for a sweet, healthy, prosperous year.

What's Up with That? State had purpose for curved overpass

By Eric Florip and Scott Hewitt September 24, 2014 6 a.m.

Now that the Northeast 139th Street overpass is completed and open, you can really notice how curved it is rather than straight. On Google Maps, the road on both sides of the interstates (I-5 and I-205) seems to be in perfect alignment. Why did the designers curve the overpass slightly to the south rather than just build it directly with no curve?

Vancouver POW/MIA monument dedicated

By Scott Hewitt September 20, 2014 9:30 p.m.

Each stone is unique and storied, and each was shown meticulous care and dedication. Just like each member of the military who was honored and remembered on Saturday.

Sturgeon Festival a celebration of fish, ecosystems

By Scott Hewitt September 20, 2014 8:12 p.m.

The sturgeon is simply the most amazingly incredible fish there ever was. Just ask Sylvia Kern.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Symphony seeks out young musicians

By Scott Hewitt September 20, 2014 6 a.m.

What's the key to a superb performance audition? Maybe it's meditation. Maybe it's hard work and deep familiarity with every micron of your material. Or maybe it's eating lots of bananas.

Charitable clicks generate over $431K in one day

By Scott Hewitt September 19, 2014 6:45 p.m.

Grassroots generosity in Southwest Washington went digital in a big way this week, with individual donors at every level clicking their way to a grand total of $421,994.69 in gifts to local nonprofit and charitable agencies.

24-hour charity drive puts fun in 'crowdfunding'

By Scott Hewitt September 18, 2014 9:19 p.m.

A 24-hour window, “Give More 24,” began at 7 a.m. today in Clark County. By the time the day is over, there will be serenades, celebrity hopscotch, outdoor bowling and dunk tanks, and, organizers hope, a influx of donations to local charitable groups and causes.

Author slams stigma surrounding addiction

By Scott Hewitt September 17, 2014 10:01 p.m.

After journalist David Sheff's heartbreaking memoir about his son's struggles with addiction — and with the American health care system — came out in 2008, the author started getting letters.

What's Up With That? Watch for stopping school buses, then check the type of road

By Scott Hewitt September 17, 2014 6 a.m.

What's Up With That? Stopping for school buses

Food pantry aids hungry WSUV students

By Scott Hewitt September 13, 2014 6 a.m.

A 2012 financial aid system glitch at Washington State University that delayed the disbursement of millions of dollars in grants and loans also revealed just how needy some students really are. Many of the same students who relied on that money to pay for tuition and other expenses told school officials about being forced to make some very hard choices.

'Sesame Street' actor, writer discusses complexity of parenting in fundraising talk for YWCA

By Scott Hewitt September 10, 2014 9:31 p.m.

Sonia Manzano grew up loving television. "But I never saw anyone who looked like me" on the small screen, said the native of New York's South Bronx, whose family hailed from Puerto Rico. For that matter, she said, she didn't see blacks or any other minority groups — and certainly no women in leadership roles — on the TV of her childhood.

All are invited to suicide awareness event

By Scott Hewitt September 10, 2014 6 a.m.

The death of one of the happiest-seeming clowns the world ever knew has focused attention on suicide in recent weeks.

Habitat for Humanity looks to get word out to public

By Scott Hewitt September 9, 2014 7:40 p.m.

Most people know that Habitat for Humanity is that charitable homebuilder that President Jimmy Carter made famous — and that puts residents to work building their own homes.

'Give More 24!' a full, fun day for giving

By Scott Hewitt September 7, 2014 6 a.m.

Every day can be a day to give to charity. But if you want to maximize your effectiveness as a donor, make an online gift sometime during the 24-hour window that begins at 7 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Battle Ground dahlia grower is a blooming success

By Scott Hewitt September 6, 2014 6 a.m.

Even for a repeat winner like Max Ollieu, facing thousands — literally thousands — of beautiful dahlia blooms is seriously daunting.

Abuse survivor thanks all who help

By Scott Hewitt September 5, 2014 7:15 p.m.

There were no laws, no precedents, nothing to protect Dave Pelzer from abuse when he was a child. There was only a culture of privacy and silence, of everyone knowing their place.

Tiny houses small solution to big problem?

By Scott Hewitt September 3, 2014 6:26 p.m.

Dee Williams was living for her property. Maintenance and the mortgage were the engines of each day.

What's Up With That? Citizens made park irrigation a low priority

By Scott Hewitt September 3, 2014 5:59 a.m.

The deteriorating state of Franklin Park in Northwest Vancouver is an embarrassment. There is an irrigation system, but the city hasn't turned it on for a couple of years, I think. They mow the weeds occasionally, but that only leaves little spiky weed stems that are dangerous for anyone barefooted. This no longer is a pleasant place to spend time. It's become a wasteland. I've noticed that other neighborhood parks also are dry and brown and uncared-for. No money for maintenance?