Response to Paul Snoey Article on Storm Water Run Off

I thought this comment was worth publishing because I know not every one reads the comments under posts, and it is worth reading.

Sadly, the silt is not surprising given the poor storm water runoff control by developers and lack of enforcement by our city. As an example, drive along Royle Rd. and look at all the dirt in the ferns along the drainage ditch on the outside of their storm water runoff fencing on the southeast side of road near the HS…this is right above Gee Creek, and just waiting for a rainfall event to wash all that dirt into the creek!!!  This is exactly why we need storm water runoff permits and regulations at construction sites! I hope these folks get fined for their disregard to our environment and storm water drainage systems. Their mitigation tactics are sub-par and they have the means to do better!

Make it 2 M

I went to the monthly Trustees Meeting of the Fort Vancouver Library on Monday, and the representative from Woodland reported that someone who is moving to Woodland in April donated $7000 to their library building fund. I was so jealous! These people are not even residents yet, and they’ve donated a HUGE amount of money to the library in their new town. That’s community spirit.

Did you know an anonymous donor has pledged to match every donation to our Ridgefield Library building fund over $10,000? So far only two people have taken advantage of this very generous offer. The offer is good up to a million dollars, but there’s a time factor involved, so it’s important to get these donations coming.

Where are you, people of Ridgefield? Your donation would be worth double what you give and would get us that much closer to having a new library.

It’s easy to donate to the library building fund. Make your check out to the Friends of the Ridgefield Library and mail it to PO Box 534, Ridgefield, WA 98642, or take it to the library. Contributions may be tax deductible. If you want to be a Cornerstone member by donating $1000, the money can be paid in regular increments, but you do need to sign a form in order for the Treasurer to track payments. You can designate your donation be used only for the building fund if you like.


Snoey Report on Fish

With the heavy rain this morning flows were restored on Allen Canyon Creek. The nice thing about it is how clean the stream is.  The stranded fish are now free but have chosen to stay in the area and when I dropped some food in the creek they eagerly ate it. If a way could be found to sustain some flow during the summer drought, this stream could maintain a population of salmon.
When I returned to town this afternoon I checked Gee Creek in Abrams Park and found a creek heavily laden with sediment.  This is not good.

Both photos were taken this afternoon on Allen Canyon Creek and Gee Creek.


Burger + Brew Pop-Up Saturday

The Bergin Hunt and Fish Club is planning a burger + brews pop-up at Zebrun’s Starliner in Ridgefield this Saturday from 5-9pm.  If you’re not familiar with the Starliner, it’s a quiet country store on Pioneer between 3rd and 4th, and in the back of the store there is a spot for chef Sebastian Carosi to take over for the evening and char up some killer burgers.

There are almost a dozen tap handles for your beer pleasure(s). The burgers will be grass-fed local beef and buffalo. For those not in the mood for a burger, there will be Kobe beef kimchi dogs. There will also do some made to order bar snacks like pan roasted chili-lime peanuts and wild nettle soup. Bring your girl, bring your man, but come on down to the Starliner Saturday night.

Contact Chef Sebastian here if you plan to come to make sure there’s enough food for everyone.

Last Day of Summer

Last day of summer. Tomorrow, autumn.

Super day. Don’t waste it. Last chance.

Take a walk. Go for a run. Hit the hammock.

Catch a fish. Watch a bird. Walk the dog.

Climb a mountain. Climb a tree.

Shoot the rapids. Shoot the breeze.

Sniff the flowers. Pick a a tomato. Plant some bulbs.

Ride a roller coaster. Scarf a scone. Cow a bunga.

Fun in the sun. Fade in the shade.

Chill out. Got down. Kick back. Go ballistic.



Take it. Make it. Shake it. Don’t fake it.

Laugh and cry. Shout and sign. Whatever.

It’s your day. This is it. Do it right.

Summer’s gone. Tomorrow’ fall. That’s all.

~ Author unknown

Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2012, the Clark County Arts Commission created the Lifetime Achievement Award to formally recognize an artist who lives or works in the county and has made a significant contribution to the field of Arts and Culture during his or her lifetime. If you would like to nominate someone for this award, the deadline date for nominations is October 15, 2017. All applicants will be contacted no later than November 20, 2017 as to the status of the application. Please email information to:

Eligibility Requirements:

Current residency in Clark County or previous longtime Clark County resident. Must be 60+ years of age, active or recently retired in one of these major areas of the arts:  visual artist,  dancer, actor, musician, filmmaker, architect, literary artist, graphic artist, art educator, art advocate.

Criteria and Call for Nominations

The nominee(s) is recognized for artistic contributions locally, nationally, and/or internationally. This nomination must include both quantity and quality of descriptions of artistic accomplishments. (Be specific and cogent.)

The individual/group demonstrates a personal commitment to the development of cultural life in Clark County. (Be specific and cogent.)

Submission requirements

Nominee’s relevant biography, as well as addressing each of these four areas:

Distinguishing service impacting local culture, quality and quantity of personal achievements

Arts advocacy work indicating leadership, inspiration, and innovation

Personal qualities of vision

Initiative, implementation in his or her field

Name and contact information of nominating person

One personal reference with contact information

Any relevant supplemental materials such as:  website, brochures, galleries, studios, published books, videos, films

You may include representative photographs only if the artist does not have a website.

Include the nominee’s name, address, phone number and email or web URL.

The selection committee will be comprised of current board members of the Clark County Arts Commission.

Ridgefield Main Street Program this Thursday

Come join us for another Roundtable Discussion at this month’s Ridgefield Main Street Community Meeting this Thursday, September 21. You will have a chance to meet our new Executive Director, Marykay Lamoureaux, and share ideas and concerns for our downtown area. As usual, it is at 8:30 am at the Sportsman’s Steakhouse & Saloon, 121 N Main Ave. Complimentary coffee. Breakfast service available.

Fish in Allen Canyon Creek

Paul Snoey took this picture yesterday morning at Allen Canyon Creek.  The remaining pools are lowering quickly but if it rains later this week they will be saved.  These fish are about 3 to 4 inches now and are much too crowded in the shrinking pools.  In an upper pool, which has an unknown fish, he noticed a lot of splashing at the surface and then a head popped up and then disappeared again and then more splashing.

The head popped up again and he saw that it was a garter snake.  It was trying to catch fish.  Fish trapped in pools are vulnerable because they have little room to escape.  In addition to snakes, kingfishers, herons, and even raccoons would make a meal of these fish.

South Ridge Elementary School Selected for National Title I Distinguished School Award

South Ridge Elementary School has been selected for the 2017-18 National Title I, Part A Distinguished School Award.  The school district learned of the news last week from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

South Ridge earned the national designation for placing high on the list of U.S. schools for demonstrating a wide array of strengths, including team approaches to teaching and learning, focused professional development opportunities for staff, individualized and multi-tiered systems of approach for student success, and strong partnerships between the school, parents, and the community.

In addition, it earned recognition in the state of Washington as a Distinguished School for its Title I, Part A program for its exceptional student performance in English Language Arts in Smarter Balanced Assessments based on student growth percentiles (SGP) and state average scores for two or more years.

According to OSPI’s Washington State Report Card, the percentage of third-grade students at South Ridge meeting standard in Smarter Balanced testing in English Language Arts exceeded the state average in 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 by 22 percentage points or more.

“The award reflects South Ridge’s unwavering commitment to do whatever it takes to help its students excel,” said Tiffany Gould, Ridgefield School District’s Federal Programs Director.  “South Ridge maintained exceptional student performance even through the recent rapid enrollment growth it has experienced.”

Gould also attributed the school’s success to the strong partnerships that teachers and staff have with parents and the community.

Tiffany Gould

Since 1996, The National Title I, Part A Association has been selecting examples of superior Title I, Part A schools from each state for recognition through the National Title I, Part A Distinguished School Program.  In addition, each state recognizes individual Title I, Part A programs based on a combination of student academic success and creative and innovative programs that contribute to their success.

Superintendent Nathan McCann

Said Superintendent Nathan McCann, “I am proud of the hard work and dedication demonstrated by the South Ridge staff and students and am pleased that they are being recognized for their efforts in earning this exceptional national designation for their school.”

The school will receive a $10,000 award for the national recognition and $5,000 for its statewide recognition.  A team representing the school and school district will be recognized at the 2018 National Title I Conference in Philadelphia  in February.

Thought for the Week

No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years will this matter?

Always choose life. Forgive everyone every thing.

What other people think of you is none of your business.

Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.

However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

Believe in miracles.

Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it  now.

Growing old beats the alternative: dying young.

News from Paul Snoey on the Eagle Creek Fire

The fire that started Saturday September 2nd  on Eagle Creek spread west with the east winds on Monday.  On Tuesday afternoon in the Gorge, the air was so full of ash and smoke that cars were driving with their headlights on.  The only view of the sun was on the crest of Cape Horn where the above photo was taken.

This is a photo of Eagle Creek before the fire.

(The photos below were taken Sunday, September 10th.)

Angels Rest is one of the first trails in the Gorge and the trailhead is near the Bridal Veil exit.  The fire spread along the south face of the gorge and burned the summit of Angels Rest.  Devils Rest is the peak in the background and there were many plumes of smoke coming from there as well.   But it is also apparent that there are many areas that did not burn. (Photos taken from Cape Horn trail)

A telephoto view just below the summit of Angel’s Rest shows switchbacks through an area that is burned.  Many trails have sections that are damaged.

Nesmith Point at almost 4,000 feet is part of a boxed canyon that contains several basalt domes. They are named Katanai Rock, Saint Peter’s Dome, Yeon Mountain, and Rock of Ages. All these peaks are burned. (Photos taken from Beacon Rock.)

A telephoto view of St Peter’s Dome shows a burned top.

This fire has been very destructive and disruptive, is not out yet, people are living in shelters, and a major freeway in the area is closed.   The best news is that in a few days we may be having the first significant rainfall in several months.

Ridgefield School District Assures Valuable First Day Experience for New Students

In the Ridgefield School District, August 29 at first glance would have seemed like a typical first day of school at View Ridge Middle School and Ridgefield High School.

However, the only students making their way to class that day were seventh graders at the middle school and ninth graders at the high school.  The students knew that the day would be focused entirely on them, and they had the school and the staff all to themselves.

Each year, the first day of school at the district’s only middle school and high school is devoted to welcoming new students transitioning from elementary to middle school and from middle school to high school.  Students brand new to the district are also included in the first-day experience at both schools.

Known as “Assurance Day” at View Ridge and “Spudder Frosh Camp” at Ridgefield High School, the day is designed to provide an opportunity for incoming students to get familiar with their new school, cycle through their classes, meet their peers and get to know their teachers and the school staff.  It provides fun, interactive activities throughout the day, and also gives students a chance to hook up with their future mentors–leadership students at both schools who help ease them into the middle school and high school experience.

Seventh graders at View Ridge on Assurance Day

The following day, the students join the rest of the student body at their respective schools when fellow classmates in the upper grades return for their first day of classes.

At Ridgefield High School, National Honor Society students were on hand ready to help the incoming freshmen navigate their way through their first day of high school.  Ninth-grader Ethan McQuivey commented on his experience.  “It feels like a new adventure that has already been guided in the right way.”

Freshmen (from left) Ethan McQuivey, Ari McCants and Clexious Mendoza during Spudder Frosh Camp.

“The enthusiasm and increased confidence we saw from our new students at the end of the day was a stark contrast from the nervousness they exhibited in the morning,” said Tony Smith, Principal at View Ridge Middle School.

For seventh graders, it was clear that Assurance Day was both valuable and meaningful.  Max Daniels said, “It helped because I knew where all my classes were.”  Wyatt Bartroff commented, “Having eighth graders help us out was great because they could tell us important things we needed to know.”

Said Madison Wilkins, “I was nervous about not being able to find things, but Assurance Day made it really easy,” and according to Jack Brown, “It was less crowded, so you could get around more easily.”

“I was really impressed with both our new students and especially our eighth grade Leadership students, who worked hard all day long helping our seventh graders learn the routines and expectations of our school,” said Principal Smith.  “I think every one of our new students already has a fellow student to go to if they need anything.”

Thought for the Week

Let your boat of lift be light, packed only with what you need – a homely home and simple pleassures, one or two friends worth the name, someone to love and to love you…

~  Jerome K. Jerome, (1859-1927)

Jerome Klapka Jerome (May 2, 1859 – June 14, 1927) was an English writer and humorist, best known for the comic travelogue Three Men in a Boat (1889). Other works include the essay collections Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow (1886) and Second Thoughts of an Idle Fellow; Three Men on the Bummel, a sequel to Three Men in a Boat, and several other novels.

Make it 2m

Every month the Friends of the Ridgefield Library auction off an item as a fund raiser for the library.

This month’s offering is a set of doll furniture made for an 18″ doll. It includes a fireplace, chairs, table, rug, clothes hanger and food items. There’s a bid sheet inside the library, and at the end of the month the highest bidder will win.

Do you have a child, grandchild, niece or friend with imagination who could make use of this set?  Sign  up today!

Ridgefield School District Notified of Student Testing Invalidations

The Ridgefield School District was recently notified by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) that Smarter Balanced tests administered in Spring 2017 to certain fourth grade students for English Language Arts were invalidated.  The action was taken by OSPI after it determined that the test proctors who administered the tests did not follow required testing protocols.

When staff members at Union Ridge Elementary first learned of the potential violation, they alerted building administrators, who worked quickly with district staff to limit further incidents.  The district followed state guidelines by notifying OSPI of the incident, conducting an investigation, and submitting its findings to them.

Based on its review of the district’s investigation, OSPI made the decision to invalidate the affected students’ English Language Arts test scores.  As a result, the Ridgefield School District’s state report card shows that only 39% of its fourth grade students met ELA standards.

“The district is working with building administrators to ensure that test proctors follow all state guidelines to ensure that future incidents with regard to test administration does not recur,” said Chris Griffith, Assistant Superintendent.  “The district sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience that this situation has caused to the affected students and their families.”

Chris Griffith

The state invalidates student test scores when it determines that the test score cannot be relied upon to provide accurate information about a student’s performance.  In this case, there was compelling evidence that showed that required testing protocol was not followed.

Further examination of the student test score results shows that 64% of Ridgefield students with valid tests received a passing score.  In comparison, the state average is 56%.

“The invalidation of tests was a result of proctors’ misunderstanding of allowable test support materials provided to the students,” said Griffith.  “This is an unfortunate event, because we believe the affected students would have performed similarly to their district peers who scored 8% higher than the state average.”