Orion Fencing in Orchards
The desire to whack sticks together seems so ingrained, it’s a wonder that fencing — a combat sport where players in protective gear engage in formalized swordplay — isn’t as common as football or basketball. That’s just what Justin Meehan, 53, founder of Orion Fencing in Orchards, would like to see. He and the other coaches at Orion are working to change the perception of fencing as a niche sport played by only a few. In practice, they say the sport is inclusive and adaptable, welcoming a broad spectrum of ages, body sizes and abilities. You don’t have to be a muscle-bound super-athlete to enjoy fencing. You just have to use your noggin and poke the other person before they poke you. “Everybody has these misconceptions about fencing, which tends to get lumped in with rowing and equestrian sports. Everybody thinks that it’s dangerous, expensive and hard.” Meehan said. “Even if you’re not the most athletic person, you can be sword fighting really quickly. You get the joy of the game at a very low ability level.” Video by Tommy Rhodes for The Columbian. Read more at Columbian.com
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Beacock Music Jazz Band brings the swing to Clark CountyAt a pre-lunch concert one Friday last month, the Beacock Music Jazz Band, an authentic 18-piece big band, was mostly gray and its audience even grayer. But the moment music began, years seemed to melt away and smiles erupted all over the dining hall at Clearwater Springs Assisted Living in West Hazel Dell. The Beacock Music Jazz Band rehearses on Friday mornings. After about eight weeks, the band is usually ready to take what it’s been developing out on that friendly, easygoing retirement circuit, Burton said. The band plays a handful of free one-hour concerts at places like Clearwater Springs before getting back to the Beacock rehearsal room to start all over again. Read more at columbian.com. Story by Scott Hewitt | Photos and video by Taylor Balkom
November 30, 2023
Vancouver police dog Hota sniffs out electronic storage devices to catch criminalsThe Vancouver Police Department recently got a new Electronic Storage Device detection K-9 named Sahota, Hota for short, in honor of fallen VPD Officer Donald Sahota. Hota and his handler, Detective Jake Carlow, work in the department's Digital Evidence Cybercrime Unit, which handles cases involving online sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Here, Hota sniffs out an electronic devices hidden around a room while receiving commands from Det. Jake Carlow during a demonstration at the Vancouver Police Department west precinct in November 2023.
November 28, 2023
Drones are cool but do you know the laws in Washington state?About 860,000 drones are registered in the United States, more than three times the number of crewed aircraft, according to the FAA. Judging from the fact that the FAA didn’t respond to The Columbian’s inquiry, the average consumer isn’t likely to get any personalized help either. But the rules still apply. Read more from The Columbian on how to stay on the right side of the law — and not piss off your neighbors — at https://bit.ly/3FUG8sE. (Video courtesy of John Veneruso)
November 10, 2023
A moment of zen at Panther Creek FallsMultnomah Fall may be the most famous in the Northwest but on the Washington side of the river there are plenty of scenic stops where you can feed your should — or your instagram. Visit columbian.com for list of stunningly scenic cataracts outside of Clark County, but still in Southwest Washington. Some require driving on winding highways or unpaved roads in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, but none require traversing an interstate bridge or (now that summer’s over) competing for parking.
October 9, 2023
CEO of Vancouver-based RealWear talks hands-free computing on the job siteDr. Chris Parkinson is CEO and co-founder of Vancouver-based RealWear Inc. This week he demonstrated the RealWear Navigator 520 headset for The Columbian and talked about the benefits of hands-free computing everywhere from car repair to preventative maintenance at Amazon.
September 19, 2023
Forestry experts outline recovery efforts for hundreds of acres burned in Nakia Creek FireColumbian environment reporter Lauren Ellenbecker and photographer Taylor Balkom visited a logging site in the Nakia Creek Fire burn zone in June 2023. Logging the burned trees is the first step in recovering the land, according to forestry experts. No one has ever been charged in association with the fire, though law enforcement released a video showing persons of interest in the case in 2022. Read more about the recovery efforts and the next steps for the land at columbian.com.
June 28, 2023
Xavier Foley performs for Vancouver Public Schools studentsThe Oregon Symphony's Artist-in Reisdent Program Director brought Xavier Foley, a world class soloist to Jason Lee Middle School and Gaiser Middle School on Tuesday to perform for students. Both facilities in Vancouver Public Schools have seen their music programs grow in recent years.
May 30, 2023
Drone video of May 2023 landslide on Mount St. HelensPierce County photographer Tim Uhler shot this drone video of a May 14 debris slide that swept away a bridge on the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway east of Coldwater Lake. The slide has blocked access to the popular Johnson Ridge Visitor Center. (Video courtesy of Tim Uhler)
May 24, 2023
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