Operation Secret Santa

Please join us again this year in helping the residents of the Ridgefield Living Center. We have a giving tree inside the Old Liberty Theater/Season’s Coffee. The residents have 3 wishes, mostly basic necessities, on each tag. We are a bit late in getting information out, so we ask to return the tags by December 17th. We also have some envelopes if a cash donation is easier for you, then we will do the shopping.

Thank you Ridgefield for your generosity.

Ridgefield School District Announces Winning Design in Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest

Lily Cox, a seventh grader from View Ridge Middle School, is the first-place winner in the Superintendent’s Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest for the Ridgefield School District.  Her artwork was selected by judges as the entry that best exemplifies “Holiday Magic,” this year’s contest theme.

Lily’s winning design will decorate the cover of the district’s holiday greeting card this year, which will be mailed out to school districts, public entities and private businesses on Ridgefield School District’s holiday mailing list.  As the first-place winner, Lily receives a $50 cash award.

Winning design by Lily Cox

Three artwork entries were also selected for Runners-Up honors.  These entries were submitted by Estelle Blystone, a junior from Ridgefield High School; Anna Chapin, a second grader from South Ridge Elementary School; and Liam McAllister, a senior from Ridgefield High School.  Each runner-up receives a $25 cash award for their winning design.

All four students will be recognized at the district’s regular school board meeting on Tuesday, December 11.

The Superintendent’s Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest, now in its fifth year, was first launched by the Ridgefield School District in 2014, in partnership with the Ridgefield Art Association to promote student creativity and encourage student appreciation of the arts.


First place winner, Lily Cox, Grade 7, View Ridge Middle School


Runner-up, Anna Chapin, Grade 2, South Ridge Elementary School


Runner-up, Estelle Blystone, junior at Ridgefield High School


Runner-up, Liam McAllister, senior at Ridgefield High School

Ridgefield Fifth Graders Shine at Elementary Science Olympiad Tournament

A team of 13 fifth graders from Sunset Ridge Intermediate School placed among the top five competing schools in every scheduled event at the Eleventh Annual Elementary Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament at Clark College on November 17, 2018.  The students competed against students from 15 other schools from throughout Clark County.

The event, sponsored by Clark College and Southwest Washington Regional Science Olympiad, encourages science exploration for elementary school students in Grades 3-5 via competition structured in a fun tournament framework.

Teams competed in three building challenges (Gummy Bear Long Jump, Hold the Cold, and Toppling Towers) and two knowledge challenges (Physiology Fun: Sense-ational Senses and Weather or Not).

The Sunset Ridge Team placed second in the Toppling Towers building challenge and captured sixth and eighth place in the other two building challenges.  In the knowledge challenges, the team placed second in Physiology Fun: Sense-ational Senses and fourth in Weather or Not.

Linda Wear, Sunset Ridge Intermediate School teacher, tells her students that science is collaborative, not competitive.  “Although you cannot “win” at the Science Olympiad, you can do well in the individual events,” she said.

Ribbons were awarded to the teams who placed among the top five schools in each event, and Sunset Ridge was recognized for having the second highest small team scores in three of the five events.

“Our students made a spectacular showing that day,” said Wear.  “They and their families, who spent the entire morning with us, were excellent ambassadors for our new school.  In case it doesn’t show, I was very proud of them!”

Ridgefield Gets Storm Water Grant

 Storm water discharge at the Heron Ridge Bridge  (Oct,  2013)

On Friday, the 7th of December, The Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board made it’s final listing of Projects for the Clark County Clean Water Fund.  The CCCWF  has $689,120 available for projects this year.  There were seven applications for projects and Ridgefield’s Heron Ridge Storm Water Pond project was ranked the highest of the seven project applications.   The money was able to fund six of the seven projects.

The city was given $150,000 in grant funding  and will match $125,000 in Real Estate Excise Tax.  The city is negotiating with the property owner where the facility will be located and the city has budgeted $60,000 for it’s purchase.  The old town storm water main passes through this property already.   The design of the facility is nearing completion and construction is expected to be finished by the end of October next year

Old Town Ridgefield has approximately 12 acres between Pioneer Street to Division Street and from North fifth Avenue to North Main Avenue.  These blocks drain into a storm water main that discharges into Gee Creek at the Heron Ridge Bridge. This  untreated storm water is the largest source of storm water pollution for the city.  Treating this storm water will improve water quality in Gee Creek, especially during low summer flows when the creek is less able to dilute a sudden discharge.

Last spring, the remote site incubator on Riemann Road put 60,000 Coho Salmon fry  into Gee Creek and there exists a native population of Coastal Cutthroat trout.  The fry of both species have been seen above and below the Heron Ridge area.   Treating storm water before it enters the creek protects these fish from being exposed to a variety of pollutants.

Contributed by Paul Snoey






Christmas Party

Stacy Robinson and Melanie Abrams of Berkshire Hathaway are sponsoring a “Friends & Family Christmas Party, December 15th from noon to 3 pom at 1900 South 2nd Place, and the public is invited.

There will be free crafts, cookies and cocoa, games and raffle prizes as well as free Santa photos. Questions? 360-953-1341 or 360-784-4550.

Thought for the Week

“To one who walks in darkness there is no black or white or red or yellow – he see nothing.

To one who walks in light there is no black or white or red or yellow – he sees everything.”

– Brian Ogawa

Bird Count

Every year between December 14th and January 5th, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas brave snow, wind, or rain to take part in the Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this long-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations, and to help guide conservation action. Ridgefield NWR has been a part of the “Sauvie Circle” since the 1960s. Our 15-mile diameter circle encompasses the Columbia River covering Sauvie Island and some of the Scappoose area on the Oregon side and west of I-5 from Vancouver Lake bottoms through the refuge and up to the Lewis River on the Washington side.

This year our count will be on December 23rd with a back up date on December 31st. Teams are assigned an area to survey, results are submitted to the compiler who puts it all together and submits the information to the National Audubon Society. Being part of the count can be as simple as counting at your own feeder if you are within the boundaries of the circle, surveying a park you like to visit for a couple of hours or spending all day in the field walking your territory. If you are new to the CBC, we can pair you with more experienced birders. There will be several teams on the refuge and adjacent areas who will be out that day. You will need binoculars, a good field guide or app, and likely good winter weather clothing and footwear. If being part of this big citizen science effort has appeal for you, check out the National Audubon website at https://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count. If you would like to participate this year, contact Susan Setterberg at smsetterberg@yahoo.com, preferable before December 7th, for more information.


There’s a new auction item at the library – a BASKET OF ITALIAN FOOD. It’s jammed full with the following items:

D’Napoli Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs,

Cora Bella Tortellini Tricolor Four Cheeses,

Demi Tasse – Espresso Cup – Medaglia D’Oro Espresso Instant Coffee,

Da Vinci – Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Palermol – Stuffed Olives – Jalapeno

Galufetti Grated Parmesan Style Cheese,

Da Vinci – Tortellini,

DeLallo Sundried Tomato Basil Cheese Pesto,

Matilde Vicenzi Millefoglie D’Italiano,

Bella Sun Luci Sundried Julienne Cut Loacke Tomatoes with Herbs,

Quadratini Dark Chocolate Wafer Cookies,

Pomi Finely Chopped Tomatoes,

Napa Valley Extra Virgin Olive Oil,

Casa Milo Fogille D’Autunno Pasta

Olive Tray

The Friends of the Ridgefield Library group is actively raising money to help fund a new library in Ridgefield by holding a silent auction of useful items.

Every month a new item is listed, and the sale ends on First Saturday of the next month. The winner will be notified by phone and the items can be picked up from the library immediately after the close of the auction.

If you are the highest bidder you can help fund the new library and host a special Italian dinner at the same time.


Ridgefield Community Education Offers December/January Activities

Ridgefield Community Education is currently offering the following winter activities for students (see flyers below):

  • Name the Mascot Contest for Ridgefield Raptors (Grades K-12) – Entry deadline December 14th
  • Basketball Cheer Camp (Grades K-5) – Register online by December 12th at https://ridge.revtrak.net
  • Cheer Bootcamp (Grades 6-8) – Register online by December 24th at https://ridge.revtrak.net



Special Guest Helps Ridgefield First Graders with Pottery Project

“I need help please!” One of the first graders in Sara Marshall’s class at South Ridge Elementary School looked up from the clay on his desk. A parent volunteer came to help him trace the outline of his hand in the clay for a holiday pottery project.

Richard Moody, an artist and retired teacher, taught the class how to make special, handcrafted ornaments out of clay. He took a moment to show the kids how to make the shape of Santa’s face with their hands. “Hold your hand like this,” he said, holding up his hand with fingers together. “If you do it like this,” he said, holding up his hand with fingers spread apart, “Santa is going to have a weird beard.”  The kids chuckled, imagining Santa with a wild, crazy beard.

Each student cut out the shapes for Santa, Cinnamon Bear, and snowman ornaments. On another day, they will paint the projects, then Moody will fire the pieces in the kiln at South Ridge Elementary. The students will be able to take the finished ornaments home in time for the holidays.

Moody watched the students working on their ornaments, carefully tracing and cutting the shapes.  He smiled. “We’ll let them use the scraps when they’re done. We’ll see what they come up with.”  With so many creative second graders, the possibilities were endless—maybe even Santa with a weird beard.


Artist and retired teacher, Richard Moody, helps students make handcrafted ornaments from clay.


Ornaments are cut out and marked with student initials.


Finished ornaments ready to take home and display.

Ridgefield High School Students Named to 2019 All-Northwest Treble Choir

Two Ridgefield High School students have been named to participate in the 2019 All-Northwest Treble Choir.  RHS juniors, Cecelia Lerner and Bridget Donaldson, will join over 1,000 outstanding high school student musicians when they perform in a high school musical gala at the 2019 National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) Northwest Division Conference, February 14-17, 2019 in Portland.

The event, managed by the Washington Music Educators Association, will feature performances by outstanding band, orchestra and choir students from schools in NAfME’s Northwest Division comprised of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.  Students selected for All-Northwest performing groups auditioned along with 4,600 other students for the opportunity to perform at NAfME’s 2019 Conference.

Cecelia Lerner


Bridget Donaldson

This will be Cecelia Lerner’s first performance in an All-Northwest Choir and the third for Bridget Donaldson.  Both students will rehearse and perform in concert under the direction of world-renowned conductors.

Many professional musicians credit their All-Northwest experience as crucial in their decision to choose music as a career.  Well-known northwesterners who have participated in past years’ All-Northwest performing groups include trumpeters Doc Severinsen and Allen Vizzutti, The Seattle Post-Intelligence’s Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist, David Horsey, 2007 National Teacher of the Year, Andrea Peterson, and jazz saxophonist, Kenny G.

Union Ridge Elementary’s Book Fair Largest in Pacific Northwest

The Scholastic Book Fair at Union Ridge Elementary School might look a lot like other book fairs. But thanks to parent involvement, it has been the top-selling book fair in the Pacific Northwest for the last few years. This year, sales reached $13,000 in just one week.

Scholastic Book Fairs get books in the hands of children, with parents buying books for kids. But the Scholastic Dollars program also gives schools credits based on how much the school sells. Those credits can be used to purchase books for libraries, classrooms, and other school use. For Union Ridge, that translates into thousands of dollars in books at no cost to the school.

PTO volunteer Amber Hughes takes a week off from work each year to plan and manage the book fair. She handles the ordering, the setup, the parent volunteer list, and more. Her experience gets amazing results.

“It helps that we are centrally located to the warehouse so we can restock easily,” she said. “And we make sure to stage the book fair the week of Thanksgiving Feast, so parents can come buy books with their kids.”

In addition, each student has multiple opportunities to attend the fair. “Every kid gets to walk through the Book Fair once with their class. And we make the book fair available during recess, lunch, and before and after school as well.”

This year, the school earned $6,000 in Scholastic Dollars. The dollars have already purchased $3,000 in classroom books, $2,000 in library books, and another $500 in books for underprivileged students. By donating their time, PTO volunteers are helping hundreds of kids learn the joy of reading.

The entrance to Union Ridge Elementary’s Book Fair is enchanting.


The Book Fair offers a wide range of books for each age range as well as posters and other fun items.


Ridgefield School District to Form Equity & Engagement Committee

In its commitment toward continuous improvement in meeting the needs of every student, the Ridgefield School District is in the process of forming an Equity & Engagement Committee whose goal will be to ensure a school environment that is welcoming and inclusive for all students.

The committee will be composed of volunteer members equitably represented from among the following stakeholder groups:  parents/guardians, staff members, students, community members, administrators and law enforcement.  The committee will meet at least three times during the 2018-19 school year.

As part of the process to form the committee, the district has developed a survey to seek public input from its stakeholders regarding equity and engagement in the district.  Feedback gathered from the following survey will provide valuable information that will help guide the Equity & Engagement Committee in its work.  We invite you to participate.

To access the survey, please click on the following link:  https://goo.gl/forms/TEkjyLhla4YytLLM2

If you are interested in serving as a member of the Equity & Engagement Committee, application information is available upon completion of the district survey.

Please submit district surveys and committee applications by 4:00 pm on Friday, December 14th.

Thank you for your participation.


Thought for the week

This speech from Paul Harvey was written in 1965. It’s prophetic and very scary.

What Makes Ridgefield So Special? #9

We’re all in the holiday spirit!