Stories by Scott
Desmond Tutu's daughter speaks at local YWCA luncheon
The daughter of the South African Nobel Prize winner, Naomi Tutu, talks about human rights and debunking stereotypes to a Vancouver audience.
The financially strapped Arc of Southwest Washington is making money, leasing out office space to sister nonprofits and retiring long-term debt, according to board president Justin Myers.
People can vote on favorite decorated mannequin leg
To get a leg up on all the need for social services, the nonprofit Children's Center has "legged" it all over Clark County.
Church members to walk together in prayer each day this week
Evangelical Clark County Christians will follow in the footsteps of Abraham -- in a sense -- as they walk in prayer this week.
Decades of gathering in church basements, private living rooms and rented Salmon Creek office space isn't exactly the same hardship as 40 years wandering in the ancient desert.
Social services prepare for influx from Iraq, Bhutan
When Salih Al Fahham says everything is different in the United States, he means everything.
UPDATE: Intruder identified as 42-year-old Missouri man
UPDATE: Intruder shot by homeowner in 2 a.m. incident has been identified as 42-year-old Missouri man.
The boy was swimming at the far end of the pond — near the I-5 freeway — when he went under, family members said.
StreetReach NW helps people in prison, homeless find services
WOODLAND -- Chris Becker has been in and out of jail. Not because of blatant criminality, but because Becker's bipolar disorder triggered behaviors that brought out police. One time, he called police himself because he was getting deeply paranoid; but when the "wrong" officers showed up, he said, he protested violently and got himself tossed in the clink.
Clark County’s First Citizen of 2009 wished she could give more
Florence Wager, a beloved booster of local causes from parks and recreation to community health and classical music, died at home on Wednesday morning. She was 84. The cause was colon cancer.
For nearly a year, crosstown cyclists were crushed. If you wanted to cruise between Oakbrook and Fruit Valley, you had to decode detour signs and wiggle through traffic. Not good.
I've been driving past Old City Cemetery, where my father is buried, and seeing dandelions and weeds up to your knees. I called the city and they said, because of reductions in force and so on, they don't have the personnel to take care of Old City Cemetery much. I can understand that, but the city's other cemetery, Park Hill Cemetery, looks beautiful. I told them don't be surprised if I mow the area myself out of respect for my father. Two days later, lo and behold, the cemetery was mowed -- but it still doesn't look good. If they're supposed to be taking care of two cemeteries, why is this one being forgotten?
It's hot, it's sweet, it's funny, it's fragrant, it's rowdy, it's real. And it wraps up today. It's the 144th annual Clark County Fair -- summer's best party, as they say.What Columbian photographer Zachary Kaufman said is, "Let me at it!" Zach logged more hours at the fair than your average alpaca, pointing his lens at main events and peeking behind the scenes too. Here's some of what he found.
Vigil draws hundreds from many faiths and across the region
Hospitality and openness are central to Sikhism. So what did Vancouver's Sikh congregation, the Guru Ramdass Gurdwara on "O" Street, do after a sister group in Wisconsin was victimized by senseless gunfire?
Largest such congregation in the region is welcoming but worried after Wisconsin shooting
Living in the Pacific Northwest has been little but a pleasure for local Sikhs like Pawneet Sethi. At least, that's how he spins it at first.
Vancouver congregation, concerned about security, still opens doors for public memorial
We had a raccoon convention recently at about 10:30 p.m. At least four mature raccoons were fighting, mating or something in my neighbor's backyard. We also had raccoon problems a couple of years ago -- they were using a large cedar tree as a sleeping place and unfortunately the ground underneath it (in my backyard) as a latrine. We ultimately removed that tree; it was half-dead and posing a hazard if it fell.
Struggling nonprofit receives $25K donation
Rock 'n' roll may have whipped up some support, but media coverage of the struggles of the Arc of Southwest Washington appear to have done even more for the nonprofit agency's bottom line.
Electric bike sales, property use questions bring Anglican leader into conflict with city
They use no gasoline. They don't require insurance or a license. They're inexpensive to buy and maintain. And, in an interesting twist, they're helping to underwrite an unusual Anglican congregation in downtown Vancouver.
There was an article a while back about Wal-Mart putting in a grocery-only store in the old Fred Meyer building on Grand and Fourth Plain boulevards. We very badly need a grocery store in that area. What's up with that — and when?
North Clark County historian put to work family connections to buy, restore, expand the iconic structure and its property
RIDGEFIELD -- Margaret Colf Hepola grew up listening to rain patter on a doomed roof.
In the aftermath of the Independence Day fireworks, my street looks like a war zone. Who is required to pick up the toxic litter? Can code enforcement, or somebody, get involved?
Nothing gives Vicki Koffel a greater thrill than throwing open the door at 3 p.m. on Wednesday and beaming at all her queued-up friends. They tend to beam back, she said.
Music festival to benefit struggling nonprofit that advocates for disabled
They say rock 'n' roll can save your soul. Can it save the Arc of Southwest Washington?
What is going on with the old, boarded-up houses that were moved to land in the 3000 block of Northeast 172nd Avenue? There are multiple homes that were moved to this location and they are all sitting on blocks with boarded-up windows and doors. Has this property become an old home dumping ground?
Park Foundation awards nearly $80,000 to local jurisdictions at luncheon
Growing a greener future is a matter of making connections.
Seeds of Empathy program helps them get ready for kindergarten
Children who've known hunger, fled domestic violence, lived on the street and suffered other hard knocks often reflect those formative experiences. Poor impulse control, raging emotions, or lack of social skills or empathy for others are common, according to Leah Reitz, who directs the child care program at the YWCA Clark County.
Organization to award $74,000 in grants
Camas children will get a new playground. River rafters will get a new waterways trail map of the Lewis River and Vancouver Lake. And several local summer recreation programs will survive public budget reductions -- thanks to the Parks Foundation of Clark County and more than $74,000 in grants it will distribute this month.
It aims to expand services beyond holiday party to aid Heritage Farm, seniors
Children need holiday cheer. Senior citizens need medications. And Hazel Dell's agricultural past needs preservation.
Monique Colver loves to write. Her ex-husband, the late Stewart Young, did, too.
Improved services, continued cooperation aim of food bank, homeless council directors
Even if you've never experienced them, it's not hard to grasp something of the misery of hunger and homelessness.
There are "Crosswalk Closed" signs attached to saw horses on the east and west sidewalks of 29th Street as it crosses Main between Shumway and Carter Park. They have been there for a few months now. This crosswalk is used frequently by residents and students. Will it be opened soon? Any plans to upgrade that crossing to make it safer? Cars usually speed through it, ignoring the flashing lights in the street.
5K raises funds for program that caters to homeless women, helps get them fit
Homelessness and a drug habit made it easy -- too easy -- for Patti Faulkner to get skinny. When she got off drugs and found a home, the pounds piled back on.
A 52-year-old man who plays with Lego bricks? Sure. "I do it every day," said Bob Day.
The Community Foundation for Southwest Washington has received a $700,000, four-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to combat intergenerational poverty.
My dad is 86 years old, and he’s been feeding pet squirrels in his yard for years. Two of his little pets went missing. And then we discovered one of the poor things had been shot -- right in his yard, inside Vancouver city limits. We figure the other one has been shot, too. It’s really hard to see Dad lose his animals, and they’re not doing anybody any harm. I want to get the word out: Are you allowed to shoot animals inside the city of Vancouver?-- KarenGood question, Karen. The answer is, absolutely not.
Awards presented at annual luncheon
Some philanthropists are blessed with the means to give a lot, all at once. Others, with pockets not quite so deep, manage to give a lot, too — but in a steady stream, across a lifetime of measured generosity. Some have a wealth of knowledge about financial markets and community needs. Others are just getting started, and can use expert guidance.
Effort to collect nutritious items for needy took in 1.4 million pounds regionally in 2011
If you set some nonperishable food donations out by your mailbox on Saturday, you won’t just be helping to stamp out hunger in Clark County -- you’ll also be taking part in what’s billed as the largest one-day food drive on the planet.
Effort provides financial support, resources to local agencies
Open the door to room No. 4, and you’re met with fresh paint and colorful curtains, a comfy shag area rug, quilted bedspreads, new lamps, dressers and end tables, and some cheerful hand-drawn artwork on the walls.
Author to visit as part of historical society event
Not long after he drove east through Clark County and out into the Columbia River Gorge, author William Least Heat-Moon had an epiphany. His eye was caught by a curious assemblage of tall stones that “looked like Stonehenge,” so he went for a closer look.
I want to know what the March of Dimes is thinking when they send dimes to people. How many people do they mail dimes to, and how much does that cost? How much money could they put to work on their real mission versus this cheap (expensive?) stunt. I might consider giving to March of Dimes, but this gimmick seems to say March of Dimes is just playing games with funds, not helping kids.-- Annoyed ParentThis reporter must be on that same March of Dimes mailing list, A.P. And when that coin arrived in the mail a few weeks ago, the same thought occurred: Can March of Dimes, with its track record of effectively eliminating polio and its ongoing crusade to support healthy babies, figure out no better use for 10 cents than mailing it back and forth with me?
Nonprofit sees needs in unincorporated urban areas of county
Children, senior citizens and the 78th Street Heritage Farm are important elements of urban, unincorporated Clark County that aren’t getting their due.
Carol Springer has been a foster parent to hundreds of children, many wounded or fragile
Carol Springer occasionally runs into a child of hers on the street, all grown up and glad to reconnect. They tend to recognize her more than she recognizes them, she said, because they’ve changed so much since the childhood years when Springer was their mom.
Children's Center helps mentally ill, low-income young people
When Brian Baird was 12 years old and attending summer camp, he watched his older, fully clothed brother swim across a lake and start to tread water for five minutes -- as per the camp’s swim challenge.
Group always looking for volunteers to help prepare canines for work with blind owners
Angelina is one cool pup.
Local philanthropists will be saluted at luncheon
The return of Catholic high school to Vancouver and an unwavering commitment to such charities as Share, Boys & Girls Clubs, the Clark County Food Bank and the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington are among the reasons Steve and Jo Marie Hansen will receive the Philanthropists of the Year Award.
I’m very concerned about the empty former Red Lion Hotel on Jantzen Beach in Portland. It’s a huge building and it’s empty. This is one of the biggest fire hazards in the metro area. I’d like to know the status of this huge vacant hotel. Who’s securing it? Are there squatters? It just sits there. You don’t hear anything about it. I see a potential here for a massive fire. I’d just like to know that this place is safe and secure.For one thing, Paul, you alerted us to our own confusion about riverside hotels -- which is which? which is closed? -- so we’re glad to get this straight.
City prepares small, very visible skate spot for tweens and younger teens
LA CENTER -- When the city of La Center announced plans to include a miniature stake park -- a “skate spot” -- in its upgrade of Holley Park, nobody much objected.
With sight gone and sound fading, a local actor-director finds live religious theater stimulates his sense of spirit
So these 13 guys show up at an artist’s studio to model for a big painting. The painter, a dude named Leo, has the requisite looping mustache and a slightly impatient manner. Maybe his models find him a little bit intimidating. Most of them aren’t so happy with their parts to begin with.
I am wondering whether the long awaited and delayed reconstruction of Northeast 88th Street from St. Johns Road to Northeast Highway 99 is planned for this upcoming construction season. When the segment of 88th from St. Johns to Northeast Andresen was completed, now three years ago, an article in The Columbian stated that both segments were already funded. But, the remaining segment has been postponed for the last two seasons. Any information will be appreciated.