Ridgefield School District Finalizes Sale of School Bonds

Ridgefield School District reached some significant milestones this month as it prepares to construct the first schools to be built in the district in over 40 years.

Following a groundbreaking ceremony in early May, the district successfully completed the financing for the projects on May 24 by selling bonds to fund the $77,965,000 local share of the $98.5 million in construction projects.

The bonds, which were overwhelmingly approved by district voters in February, were sold through a public offering led by the securities firm Piper Jaffray & Co.  The bonds were purchased by investors from around the country, consisting mostly of professional money managers, banks, and insurance companies.

Investors were attracted by the district’s strong Aa3 credit rating from Moody’s Investors Services.  In their recent report, Moody’s noted the district’s conservative budgetary management and the above average wealth levels of district residents as credit strengths.

The district also benefited from receiving the state’s rating of Aa1 on the bonds by its participation in the Washington School Bond Guarantee Program.

The overall cost of the 20-year financing was 3.32%.  “Interest rates on these types of bonds are near historic lows,” said Ridgefield School District Superintendent Nathan McCann.  “This is a good time to borrow at low rates to complete these important projects for the community.”

The stable bond market and strong investor demand on the day of the sale were factors in bringing interest rates down during the sale, saving approximately $180,000 in total debt service when compared to the initial interest rates.

“We are pleased to lock in these low rates and provide some meaningful savings to district taxpayers,” said Paula McCoy, the district’s Director of Business Services.  According to McCoy, the district officially received the bond proceeds on May 24.

Night Hike at Refuge

Join host, ethnobotonist and author Kat Anderson at the Cathlapotle Plankhouse for a special presentation, “Beauty, Bounty and Biodiversity,” and night hike on May 26 from 7-8:30 pm.

“Kat Anderson will share connections with California and Pacific Northwest tribes, by examining traditionally managed edible wildflower gardens of California. She will also explore the implications that these gardens have for fostering pollinator habitat, increasing biodiversity, and the ways in which these plants have evolved to meet the needs of people.”

Then at 8:30 pm explore the Oaks to Wetlands Trail on a naturalist guided hike, “The Refuge at Dusk”. RSVP required, email sarah_hill@fws.gov to save your spot today!


Polyroux Music Festival

Opus School of Music and The Old Liberty Theater present Polyroux Music Festival Saturday, June 3. There are two performances: 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm at the theater. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under the age of 12.

The festival showcases up-and-coming artists and bands of any age from Southwest Washington.  All ages are welcome.

Ladies Soccer Team Heads to State

The Lady Spuds Varsity Softball team is headed to the state tournament tomorrow morning (Thursday) around 10 am. We are working on having the vans take a loop through town past city hall. It would be SO GREAT if we could have a Ridgefield Spudder Send Off!!!

Let’s make sure our ladies know we’re behind them – wouldn’t it be wonderful if we lined the streets of Ridgefield and cheered them on.

This is an exciting time for the ladies as softball has not made it to state in several years




Memorial Day Service

American Legion Post 44 Ridgefield will have a Memorial Day Ceremony at 10 am Monday. We will recognize, remember and honor America’s war dead, in particular the five men from Ridgefield who died in WW1, 100 years ago.

Our 30 minute program will include a rifle salute and taps, after our flag is displayed at half staff. Please Join us at Ridgefield Cemetery. The weather looks very promising. There will also be a ceremony at LaCenter Cemetery at noon.

New Trees Thrive

Tevis Laspa provided 80 cedars and 50 Douglas firs for Gee Creek.  They have been planted in Abrams Park along the creek by the soccer field and below Division Street. Many are also planted in the field by the Heron Ridge Bridge.  The cages and rodent collars were provided by Paul Snoey, who also planted them using potting soil rather than the native compacted clay.  Without cages, most trees would be taken by beavers.

The trees are doing very well this spring.  Our cool wet weather has helped them get a good start.   It is important to keep them from being overwhelmed by brush and to water them the first year if necessary.

Trees benefit the creek by helping to stabilize the stream bank and help the stream stay cool by providing shade.  Shade also helps with controlling many nonnative plants such as reed canary grass and blackberries.

It is estimated that a one hundred year old Douglas fir will have removed 7 tons of carbon dioxide over its lifetime, so the new trees will help our city reduce its carbon footprint.  Part of the restoration of Gee Creek has been to remove plants such as blackberries and knotweed and replace them with native plants.


Thought for the Week


Take a passel of friends and family. Add a lot of love, laughter and caring. Mix well.

Stir in a few hard times to help you appreciate the good times.

Shake well to distribute all ingredients evenly.

Season with memories and traditional events. Expose to sun, wind, rain and snow by hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, singing, loving.

Add new memories as needed.

This recipe stretches to serve as many as needed. Keep it in a warm place in your heart and you will never go hungry.

Make it 2 m

Save the date – our second fund raiser at 3Peaks Public House and Taproom will be Thursday, June 22 from 5 to 9 pm. A percentage of food and drinks bought inside the building will qualify for a donation to the library building fund. Bring your appetites and have fun while raising money for the library.

3Peaks is at 24415 NE 10th in Ridgefield.

Ridgefield High School Students Honored for Achievements in STEM

Three Ridgefield High School students were presented with Certificates of Excellence on April 29th by the local branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for their achievements in the high school’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program.

The awards were presented by AAUW Washington State at a recognition ceremony at Washington State University-Vancouver.

RHS junior, Sally Bishop-Smith, won the award for Mathematics.  Natalie Dean, also a junior, received the award for Science, and Kaitlan Miller, a sophomore, was recognized for her achievement in Technology.

Ridgefield High School students and AAUW honorees (from left): Sally Bishop-Smith, Natalie Dean, and Kaitlan Miller

The young women were nominated by the Ridgefield High School faculty for their outstanding accomplishments in STEM.

The American Association of University Women is a nationwide organization committed to encouraging women and girls to pursue success in the STEM fields.

Ridgefield School District Hosts PE Showcase

Ever wonder what activities Ridgefield students participate in when they are in PE class?  Come to the “PE Showcase – Shape Up!” event on Tuesday afternoon, May 23rd and find out.

The district’s Physical Education Department is hosting the event as part of the “Shape Up Across Washington” program, whose goal is to encourage daily physical activity and a healthy lifestyle for elementary and middle school students.  There will be health/fitness activities for all age groups.  Everyone is encouraged to attend.

The event starts at View Ridge Middle School Gym at 5:30 pm, and a variety of activities are scheduled there and at Union Ridge Commons starting at 5:45 pm.  See the detailed schedule below.

Participate in a Challenge Run and Energy Pin Knockdown, play spikeball, play speedball, or experience fitness challenges that test your endurance, strength and flexibility.  Join a yoga class, participate in a circuit training workout or challenge your student to a contest doing push-ups.  Find out how heart rate monitors work or learn how pedometers are used — while taking part in games and activities.

Snacks will be provided throughout the event.  Athletic wear is recommended.  The showcase wraps up with a raffle drawing for prizes at View Ridge Middle School Gym.

Alex Ashley at Old Liberty

The 71-years-young Old Liberty Theater will serve as the backdrop for an evening of powerful songwriting, impactful storytelling and scorching performances by Bellingham, WA-based roots artist Alex Ashley, along with his full band, on May 20. Opening the night will be special guest, Seattle soul singer, Kara Hesse.

Alex Ashley: “Masterfully weaving the old with the new, Alex Ashley brings fresh eyes and an old soul to the gritty realities of life and love lost,” says Dillon Honcoop, with the Cascade Radio Group. “With an unorthodox approach [speaking of his method of playing upside down and backwards], Ashley delivers heartfelt vocals and wields his well-worn six-string to stir fresh reflection on the human condition in a way only honest American music can. And that’s what he makes: real music of the tortured and fiercely independent West, rooted firmly in the musical traditions of country and rock & roll.”

Kara Hesse: Native to the Wichita plains and raised in Boulder, CO, Kara’s midwestern roots seep through her sultry voice and songwriting with an eclectic blend of soul and rock ‘n roll. In 2010, she opened for the late B.B. King at Red Rocks, alongside Al Green and Buddy Guy, with Denver-based classic rock band, the Groovehawgs. “It’s as if Bonnie Raitt, Sia, & Janis Joplin had a baby.” – Pulse Music TV, San Francisco. | karahesse.com

Councilors File for Re-Election

Don Stose, John Main, and Ron Onslow all filed this morning for reelection to Ridgefield City Council seats, and Emily Enquist filed for a position on the Ridgefield School Board.

Main Street Program

Join the Main Street Program Thursday, May 18th for their monthly Community Meeting at the Sportsman’s, 121 N. Main – 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Mayor Ron Onslow will present on “Alleys – The Possibilities”. Learn about what can be done to transform and beautify these forgotten roadways.
Ron attended a Statewide Convention of the Main Street  program and his speech will highlight what he learned.
Complimentary coffee will be served, and breakfast is available.

Ridgefield High School’s Physical Education Program Motivates Students for Fitness

Did you know that only 27% of U.S. students in Grades 7-12 actually get 60 minutes of physical activity per day as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)?

At Ridgefield High School, 41% of RHS students either engage in physical activity in the Physical Education Department or are enrolled in the high schools’ health/wellness classes.  RHS offers 12 Physical Education and Health classes daily.  Its program includes classes in core, toning, and strength and conditioning.

RHS junior, Chris Lund (on the left)  is shown spotting for sophomore Nathan Sinks, who is executing a front squat exercise.

The goals of the RHS Physical Education/Health Education Department are to gain understanding in fitness and strength concepts; to engage students in a variety of fitness, strength, conditioning and game activities; to improve a student’s fitness, strength and motor skills; and to encourage activity for a lifetime. According to the CDC, physical activity helps to improve cognitive performance and reduces depression and anxiety.

RHS freshman, Annika Farley performs a timed battle rope training while freshman Emma Haynie checks her time.


RHS junior, Trent Meisner, completes a clean and jerk Olympic lift of 285 pounds — a personal best.

Ted Beyer, Jason Buffum and Tom Zimmer comprise the very capable teaching staff in Physical Education/Health Education at RHS.  Their combined teaching experience spans a remarkable 59 years.

Buffum sees to it that students enjoy the classes.  He encourages them to “dress down, participate and have fun while doing it.”

“PE is like a trick, said RHS senior, Michaela Cloyd, “because it makes working out fun.”

Thought for the Week

The most important 6 words: “I admit I made a mistake.”

The most important 5 words: “I am proud of you.”

The most important 4 words: “What is your opinion?”

The most important 3 words: “If you please.”

The most important 2 words: “Thank you.”

The most important word: “We.”

The least important word: “I.”