Friday, January 21, 2022
Jan. 21, 2022

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Morning Press: Cave explorers; Black Pearl; Battle Ground attorney mourned


Is more rain on the way? Find out with our local weather coverage.

Here are some of the stories that you may have missed from over the weekend.

Dark, dirty and deep underground adventures in Gifford Pinchot’s caves

Gifford Pinchot National Forest — At around 80 degrees, it’s fairly mild for a mid-August day, but I’m sweating as if it were 110, partially from the layers of winter clothes I’m wearing beneath my waterproof pants and jacket, but also from the panic I’m working hard to suppress.

Salvation and anxiety lie below the surface, down an 11 millimeter rope into the dank, muddy darkness of a cave system where the earth has blistered for hundreds of feet and the temperature hovers just above freezing.

Go under ground with Dameon Pesanti and the Oregon Grotto group.

Late businessman’s family aims to make Washougal site an events center

WASHOUGAL — Bill Sherertz had vision. Those who knew him say he often saw opportunities before others.

Vision led him to the top of Barrett Business Services, a billion-dollar company. It helped him buy and rebuild a restaurant in Washougal, seeing it as the centerpiece for the city’s future waterfront.

That building now rests in the hands of his widow and two youngest children. Almost exactly seven years after his death, they are today figuring out how to move forward.

Learn more about the plans for the building.

Inslee beats drum for Herrera Beutler bill

Gov. Jay Inslee is urging U.S. House representatives from Washington, Oregon and Idaho to support a bill penned by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, that seeks to reduce sea lion predation on at-risk fish populations, including salmon and steelhead.

Inslee sent a letter to the Northwest delegation asking for support Friday with the support of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.

“Although several hundred million dollars are invested annually to rebuild these native fish runs, their health and sustainability is threatened unless Congress acts to enhance protection from increasing sea lion predation,” the letter reads. “It’s hard to imagine successful recovery of threatened and endangered fish populations with these high levels of interception by sea lions.”

Read more about the bill to help at-risk fish.

Camas might demolish Crown Park pool

CAMAS — The city of Camas could demolish the Crown Park pool later this year.

There has been talk of renovating or replacing the aging pool for years. The latest evaluation in November estimated it would cost at least $300,000 to attain minimal code compliance. It would cost somewhere between $1.7 million and $2.2 million to bring the pool to full code compliance. The Crown Park pool is the only outdoor public swimming pool in Clark County.

Earlier this month, the city councilors voted to not open the dilapidated pool in 2018.

At the first day of the city council’s annual planning conference on Friday, Camas Parks & Recreation Department Director Jerry Acheson said the city has funds available this year to demolish it.

Learn more about ideas for the pool.

Battle Ground attorney who donated her time dies at 63

Jill Kurtz, an attorney known for being a sleeves-rolled-up leader in many community clubs in north Clark County, died of a pulmonary embolism Sunday at her home in Battle Ground. She was 63.

Kurtz is survived by her husband David, three children and two grandchildren.

A full-time probate attorney and serial volunteer, Kurtz is remembered by friends and family for mixing persistence with patience. She was a partner at her family’s law firm, an avid gardener, an equestrian and a member of numerous community organizations.

Yet she made time for both clients and coworkers — who were often her family, too.

Learn more about Jill Kurtz.