Volunteer to succeed longtime leader at St. Vincent de Paul

By Scott Hewitt December 25, 2013 2:56 p.m.

For Gary Wright, leading the Vancouver conference of St. Vincent de Paul is all about personal connections.

Salvation Army worker puts down bell, plays saxophone

By Scott Hewitt December 20, 2013 11:51 p.m.

Hate to say it, but some folks find the Salvation Army's signature sound — that endlessly tinkling bell, as rung by some hopeful kettle maven — about as endearing as the 473rd chorus of "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."

Christmas care for local seniors

By Scott Hewitt December 19, 2013 9:20 a.m.

Who's that? It's Jeff Guard, aka Santa, who was on hand at Prestige Care and Rehabilitation in Camas on Wednesday as donated presents were distributed to residents.

Santa's Posse keeps growing

By Scott Hewitt December 17, 2013 8:54 p.m.

Maggie Mayer found unpacking and sorting mass quantities of Christmas goodies in a Vancouver warehouse pretty fun on Tuesday morning.

Walk & Knock withstands cold

By Scott Hewitt December 16, 2013 6:44 p.m.

Despite freezing temperatures, more volunteers turned out for the annual Interservice Walk & Knock food drive on Dec. 7 than organizers expected. There were 4,500 people scooping up food donations from snowy streets and icy porches that Saturday morning, Walk & Knock President Roxie Olsen said.

What's up with that? Flag is nod to history, exemplar of free speech

By Scott Hewitt December 11, 2013 6 a.m.

I drive past "Jefferson Davis Park" every day on my way to work at Ridgefield High School, where I teach English. Each year, I teach the memoir "Warriors Don't Cry" by Melba Patillo Beals, one of the "Little Rock Nine" who were threatened by a lynch mob while trying to attend Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.; she was injured when acid was thrown in her face.

Figley's Blend: Santa percolates kindness, still

By Scott Hewitt December 9, 2013 6 a.m.

Rob Figley may be gone, but all the good things he brought to Clark County keep percolating. You can still enjoy that special Figley flavor via Compass Coffee, which launched a commemorative "Figley's Blend" for Christmas.

Living Hope Church opens doors for homeless spillover in freezing weather

By Scott Hewitt December 6, 2013 2:17 p.m.

Midtown Vancouver church ready for 25 additional homeless through Tuesday morning

Despite snow, Walk & Knock will walk forward; volunteers needed

By Scott Hewitt December 6, 2013 8:45 p.m.

Snow, ice won't slow down Clark County's biggest annual food drive

Bits 'n' Pieces: Nonprofit supports Native arts

By Scott Hewitt December 6, 2013 6 a.m.

T. Lulani Arquette believes that the original, nature-based values of Native American peoples still have a lot to teach a Western culture that she said is teetering on the edge of suicide.

Keeping spirits bright for local seniors

By Scott Hewitt December 5, 2013 10 a.m.

Want to play Santa Claus for a lonely senior citizen? Several grass-roots efforts are afoot in Clark County to make sure that senior citizens aren't forgotten this holiday season.

Food stamps cut hits families hard in Clark County

By Scott Hewitt December 2, 2013 10:50 p.m.

BATTLE GROUND — Nutrition and human development is what Stacy Pfeifer wants to study in school. But here's a more pressing task: the nutrition and development of her three young children, her husband and herself.

Hanukkah lights up Esther Short Park

By Scott Hewitt November 28, 2013 2:49 p.m.

The public menorah was lit Wednesday evening in downtown Vancouver.

Holiday overlap spurs 'Thanksgivukkah'

By Scott Hewitt November 27, 2013 2 p.m.

Light the candles and pass the white meat. Spin the dreidel and have at the cranberry sauce. Don your yarmulke, dip your crunchy latke in the creamy onion dip and catch some football.

Bean bag baseball a big hit with local seniors

By Scott Hewitt November 27, 2013 2 p.m.

Maybe the cheerleaders don't show quite as much leg as they used to, but they sure wave their pompoms and clack their blue clackers with spirit. Maybe the players are slower getting up to the pitcher's line, but Rick Owen is there to cheer them on and then challenge them with his cries of "Hey batter, hey batter."

Local eateries, churches offering free meals on Thanksgiving

By Scott Hewitt November 27, 2013 6 a.m.

Here's our update of free Thanksgiving meals for the needy — or anyone looking for a little warmth and society along with their turkey.

Camas couple overcome hurdles to adopt granddaughter

By Scott Hewitt November 26, 2013 6 a.m.

CAMAS — Todd Williams was at the podium, making a top-level pitch to a firm considering his help with a complicated telecommunications system, when he sniffed something stinky.

Free Thanksgiving meals offered to area's needy

By Scott Hewitt November 25, 2013 6 a.m.

There's no stopping Chuck Chronis. The Vancouver restaurateur has had his share of health troubles — he said it's "tough to walk" and that he's facing yet another foot surgery after the first of the year — but that's not going to slow down his annual tradition of serving up a free Thanksgiving meal to everyone who walks in his downtown door, he vowed.

Same-sex Oregon couples flock to Clark County to wed

By Scott Hewitt November 24, 2013 6 a.m.

Portlanders Grant Edwards and Jim McPartland "waited and waited" to get married.

Bits 'n' Pieces: ACE artist finds inspiration by pouring heart on canvas

By Scott Hewitt November 23, 2013 6 a.m.

Viktoriya Camp was at a low point in life when she surprised herself by pouring out her heart in art.

Farmers market ends year strong

By Scott Hewitt November 22, 2013 4:54 p.m.

It had management troubles and nasty rumors, unexpected expenses and inevitable controversies, but the Vancouver Farmers Market looks on track to finish 2013 in excellent shape.

Vancouver Housing Authority votes to pursue housing for homeless

By Scott Hewitt November 21, 2013 6 a.m.

The Vancouver Housing Authority will pursue building a 30-unit apartment building for chronically homeless people. The building, to be called Lincoln Place, is proposed for property right across the street from Share House on West 13th Street, and the idea is that case-management staff at Share would be able to serve the building tenants conveniently.

Vancouver Food Co-op votes to continue operations

By Scott Hewitt November 20, 2013 4:30 p.m.

The membership of the Vancouver Food Cooperative, invigorated by a flood of new volunteers and sales at the nonprofit downtown grocery store, has voted to keep at it.

Charities work to address childhood hunger in Clark County

By Scott Hewitt November 20, 2013 6 a.m.

Think about the last time you skipped lunch. A long meeting, a pressing task, no offramp, whatever.

Housing project planned for Vancouver

By Scott Hewitt November 20, 2013 6 a.m.

The Vancouver Housing Authority wants to build a 30-unit studio apartment building for chronically homeless people who haven't cleaned up their acts, and maybe never will.

Walk & Knock faces new challenges

By Scott Hewitt November 18, 2013 6 a.m.

New federal trucking regulations have made it riskier this year for truckers and their employers to volunteer their services for Clark County's largest annual food drive.

Vancouver Food Co-op sees refreshed energy

By Scott Hewitt November 14, 2013 10 a.m.

The Vancouver Food Cooperative will hold a Nov. 19 follow-up meeting to conclude some critical housekeeping: does the nonprofit, member-driven corporation have a future?

What's Up with That? Clark County makes judgment call to add lighting on 10th Avenue

By Scott Hewitt November 13, 2013 6 a.m.

Now that the big street improvement project is winding down on Northeast 10th Avenue between 141st and 149th streets, it's looking increasingly clear that street lights are NOT going to be part of the equation. Driving that stretch of road at night has always been difficult as you go from a well-lit area near 139th Street to virtually no lights at all north of there. Oncoming headlights make it difficult to see, especially when you approach a sharp downhill at 148th and 149th streets. I'd hoped the project to raise 10th Avenue to urban standards would also include urban street lighting. Why hasn't it? Don't get me wrong, it's a great new street. But it'd sure be nice to be able to actually see it -- and see where I'm going.

Firstenburg grant saves Friday-night teen program

By Scott Hewitt November 8, 2013 8:05 p.m.

The good times will continue late into Friday nights at Vancouver's two community centers, thanks to a grant from the Firstenburg Foundation.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Pastors turn passion for social justice into guide book

By Scott Hewitt November 8, 2013 6 a.m.

The Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt wanted to light a fire under his Hazel Dell congregation. They're mostly comfortable, professional-class folks who "gravitate toward charity, service and education and not social action," he wrote.

Witherspoon's movie 'Wild' filming in Vancouver today

By Scott Hewitt November 7, 2013 11:27 a.m.

A film crew working on Reese Witherspoon’s latest, the Pacific Northwest hiking saga “Wild,” has reserved some downtown Vancouver streets for filming today and on Friday, Nov. 15.

Martha’s Pantry volunteers pitch in like their lives depend on it

By Scott Hewitt November 3, 2013 6 a.m.

Michele Kruchoski figured she was a goner. She’s been living with full-blown AIDS for more than a decade, and her compromised immune system waved the white flag years ago as a rare and usually fatal brain ailment, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, stepped in and took over.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Who will be the yoga champ?

By Scott Hewitt November 2, 2013 6 a.m.

Competitive yoga? Only in America, some critics might hold. Take a highly individual, deeply meditative health practice and shrink-wrap it inside the usual obsession about winning and losing. While you’re at it, you might as well vie to be the prayer champ.

Hot-lunch service to continue despite closing of Lord's Gym

By Scott Hewitt October 31, 2013 9:08 p.m.

Lord's Gym has closed its kitchen and its doors, but there won't be any interruption in weekday hot lunch service for needy people in Vancouver's Rose Village neighborhood.

What's Up With That? Flat sewer rate reflects cost of service

By Scott Hewitt October 30, 2013 6 a.m.

It has puzzled me that a household with one person pays the same amount for wastewater (just went up to $70 a month) as a family of four or more. I was told that the wastewater department doesn't have a way to monitor the amount of sewage each household generates. Do you know if charging a flat rate is a common practice for other city/county entities?

Mental health program launched

By Scott Hewitt October 24, 2013 6 a.m.

Lutheran Community Services Northwest has been a "community secret" for too long, according to former official and continuing booster Ed Cote. That's changing now, if the crowd that turned out Wednesday to celebrate LCS's latest venture is any indication.

Winter shelter program offers day service

By Scott Hewitt October 21, 2013 7:39 p.m.

Vancouver's homegrown response to overnight winter-weather homelessness will try warming up some daytimes, too.

Make a big difference in just one day

By Scott Hewitt October 21, 2013 6 a.m.

We enjoy pointing out that Make a Difference Day, the largest annual community service day in the nation, was started by the print media.

Food co-op tables question of its own shutdown

By Scott Hewitt October 17, 2013 9:31 p.m.

A Thursday membership meeting of the faltering Vancouver Food Cooperative was called to consider whether to close the store's doors and perhaps dissolve the organization permanently.

What's Up With That? PeaceHealth paid to have houses removed

By Scott Hewitt October 16, 2013 6 a.m.

My question, with the news of major layoffs at PeaceHealth Southwest, concerns the recent removal of a number of vacated houses behind the hospital, in the vicinity of HeLa High School.

Some local Sikhs open new site

By Scott Hewitt October 15, 2013 6 a.m.

Cramped worship and parking space, and little progress toward a long-planned temple, have prompted some members of Vancouver's Sikh community to pool their funds and open a facility of their own.

Nordberg first to challenge Arp in Hockinson race

By Scott Hewitt October 13, 2013 6 a.m.

Ron Arp, a member of the Hockinson School Board since 2008 and its chairman since 2009, has drawn a challenger for the first time -- inadvertently, you might say. Kathy Nordberg, a retired Hockinson classroom teacher with 30 years experience, is running for Arp's four-year post -- but, she confessed, she had hoped to run for a different, vacant seat. It wasn't until she was busy filing to run that election workers got out a magnifying glass and determined that Nordberg' house is just inside in Arp's district.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Reporter's gift keeps on giving to Gorge

By Scott Hewitt October 12, 2013 6 a.m.

Journalists deal with deadlines every day. But the late Kathie Durbin, who worked at this newspaper from July 1999 until December 2011, beat the deadliest deadline of all.

Vancouver Food Cooperative starved for support

By Scott Hewitt October 11, 2013 11:42 p.m.

The Vancouver Food Cooperative at 1002 Main St. is owed $9,000 in unpaid dues by members who presumably signed up because they were inspired by the nonprofit grocery store's healthy, community-focused mission.

Families, food banks fear food stamp cuts

By Scott Hewitt October 9, 2013 6:09 p.m.

Food pantries in Clark County and across the nation are bracing for a huge uptick in hunger, as a scheduled reduction of food stamps benefits is set to take effect on Nov. 1.

What's Up With That? Car dealer's super-slow street is private

By Scott Hewitt October 9, 2013 6 a.m.

Northeast 66th Avenue, south of 40th Street, is a very short street between the Ford and Alan Webb car dealers. Yesterday I discovered the road has a 10 mph speed limit — I noticed because there has been a city cop at the end with his radar gun. Come on, is this not a blatant speed trap? Even school zones with children present are 20 mph. There are no houses, just businesses. A 10 mph zone seems crazy.

Old Apple Tree Festival proceeds despite shutdown

By Scott Hewitt October 5, 2013 5:07 p.m.

Fantastic weather made for a fantastic Old Apple Tree Festival on Saturday, with hundreds of people turning out to absorb history and fresh-pressed cider in the sunshine.

Body recovered from North Fork of the Lewis River

By Scott Hewitt October 5, 2013 1:18 p.m.

A guide boat fisherman found a body in the North Fork of the Lewis River on Saturday morning. The body is presumed to be that of Thadius M. Roberts, a kayak fisherman from Kelso who went missing on the river one week earlier, according to a statement from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Guitarists Brooks and John split licks

By Scott Hewitt October 4, 2013 6 a.m.

Some guitarists play to impress other guitarists. Not Brooks and John -- although they're capable of being mighty impressive.

Lord's Gym plans to stop all programs except for church

By Scott Hewitt October 3, 2013 7:55 p.m.

The Lord's Gym just isn't working out. The homegrown, multifaceted community center and human service site — church, food pantry, hot meal site and public gymnasium — is losing money in a big way, according to new director Jamie Kingsbury. All functions except the church itself are due to stop as of Oct. 31, he said. That's despite the donation of a spiffy new commercial kitchen, about two years ago, for the Lord's Gym's busy hot meal service.