March is Youth Arts Month

March is Youth Arts Month

March is Youth Arts Month – look for art from our students all over town, plus performances, classes, and other special events.

Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation receives $15,000 in donations from local businesses

Representatives from WRK Engineers, LSW Architects, and the RPSF were on-hand for the donation ceremony

Representatives from WRK Engineers, LSW Architects, and the RPSF were on-hand for the donation ceremony

The Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation (RPSF) received a $10,000 donation from LSW Architects and a $5,000 donation from WRK Engineers, both Vancouver-based organizations, in a small ceremony at the district office on Tuesday morning. The donations will help the foundation continue its mission of providing support to teachers, students and classrooms throughout Ridgefield School District.

Both companies gave their donations in the district office with Superintendent Nathan McCann, Paul Lewis and Tim Shell, President and Secretary of the RPSF, respectively, in attendance. “These moments demonstrate the vibrancy and vitality of the Ridgefield community,” said Dr. McCann. “These two companies stand as examples of corporate models, giving back to public institutions to encourage good work and increase student learning.”

Ralph Willson (VP of LSW), Casey Wyckoff (Pres. of LSW) present LSW's $10,000 donation to the Foundation

Ralph Willson (VP of LSW), Casey Wyckoff (Pres. of LSW) present LSW’s $10,000 donation to the Foundation

Both companies worked with Ridgefield School District to help build the new capital facilities projects located at all three of the district’s campuses finished in late 2014. “By working with Ridgefield School District over these past years, we have really fallen in love with this community and its people,” said Casey Wyckoff, President of LSW Architects. “There are so many opportunities for Ridgefield to grow and serve its students that we feel fortunate to have this opportunity to help.”

Brian Knight (Pres. of WRK Engineers) presents a $5,000 donation to the Foundation

Brian Knight (Pres. of WRK Engineers) presents a $5,000 donation to the Foundation

Brian Knight, President of WRK Engineers, shared Wyckoff’s sentiments toward the district and the foundation. “As part of such a large construction project, we were motivated to also be a part of the future of the district in other ways,” said Knight. “The foundation funds great projects and we’re happy we can support them.”

In addition to offering an avenue for interested donors to provide funds to Ridgefield School District, the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation offers several programs to support students’ academic and social needs including Employee Appreciation Awards, Mini-Grants, the Principal’s Checkbook program and student scholarships awarded to graduating seniors.

“The Foundation is incredibly grateful for the generous donations of these two companies,” said Lewis. “These contributions will not only strengthen our current programs, but also provide us with opportunities to grow our offerings to help teachers, students and classrooms in a variety of ways.”

The RPSF was established in 2009 by a group of parents and volunteers looking to fund programs and services in Ridgefield schools. As an approved nonprofit organization, all individual donations are eligible for a Federal tax deduction. More information on how to participate in the mini-grants and other programs offered by the Foundation can be found on their website: www.ridgefieldpsf.org.

For more Ridgefield schools news, visit the district website. You can also get more district news from their Facebook page or on Twitter.

Update from Paul Snoey on the Salmon Incubator

Yesterday morning when I went to check the incubator one fish had hatched.  This morning perhaps 10-20% had hatched.  Things are going much better this year with none of the problems we had at the other site.

They will work their way down through the slotted basket they are on and then stay in the bottom compartment.  The will live and grow off of the large egg sac attached to their bellies.

In nature, they would hatch in a gravel bed and hunker down inside the gravel until they are ready to emerge and start feeding.  The gravel bed needs to be free of sediment and the water in the stream needs to be clean and cold.  That is a serious problem with Gee Creek that needs improving.

These little fish must make it to the Columbia River and then the Pacific Ocean.  And then, they have to come back.   Each adult female Coho produces about 6,000 eggs.  Having a lot of eggs increases the odds that some may survive to adult-hood.

Monday morning

Monday morning

 

 

 

Tuesday morning - how they've grown!

Tuesday morning – how they’ve grown!

Did You Know Ridgefield School District honored its Board of Directors during School Board Recognition Month?

The RSD Board of Directors received special vests to wear at school events

The RSD Board of Directors received special vests to wear at school events

During the month of January, Ridgefield School District participated in School Board Recognition Month by recognizing the dedication and accomplishments of the district’s board of directors. January is declared School Board Recognition Month by Governor Jay Inslee and designated as such by the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA).

The Ridgefield School District Board of Directors consists of five school board members, elected by ballot by the registered voters of the district. Each Director represents voters located in a different part of Ridgefield School District with the board acting as the policy-making body of the district responsible and accountable for planning, policy, advocacy, and evaluation of all aspects of the school district.

Guided by state and federal laws, the board provides direction for the district by approving policies, making financial decisions, determining building needs, and approving the budget. “The board sets the vision for the school district and serves in cooperation with the superintendent as chief advocates for the district,” said Superintendent Nathan McCann. “In Ridgefield, we are very fortunate to have a board that’s student-focused with the courage to put kids first; our board is made up of dedicated public servants.”

To honor Ridgefield School District’s Board of Directors, this week’s Did You Know is dedicated to the Board of Directors, investigating what makes drives them, and having them speak in their own words about why they decided to serve on the board.

 Jeff Vigue, District Director 1 and Vice President of the BoardJeff Vigue, District Director 1 and Vice President of the Board

I have five great loves in my life: my family, the City of Ridgefield, golf, music, and craft beer. I love spending time with my wife and adult children and am looking forward to having grandchildren one day. I love the community of Ridgefield and the people who live here. We are truly blessed to live in such a great community.

I chose to run for school board after the district failed to pass a few school bonds. I wanted to help ensure our students and staff members have the facilities they need to continue achieving excellent student learning. In addition, I wanted to serve my community.

My favorite part of serving on the board is working with our other board members. We each have such diverse backgrounds and interests, yet we seem to arrive at the same conclusions when it comes to what’s important for the district. Also, I’ve had the pleasure of handing my two children their high school diplomas during their commencement ceremonies, an experience very few people have the opportunity to do and one that is in the top five highlights of my entire life.

To me, the biggest challenge serving on the board is time management. If I had the time, I would work full-time on educational issues; there are so many exciting things happening right now in the district and more planned for the future.

To me, the role of the school board is simple: hire a competent leader and get out of their way; set goals and direction for the district; and adopt policies that help move the district closer to achieving our goals.

Joseph Vance, District Director 2Joseph Vance, District Director 2

My wife, Lori, and I moved to Ridgefield 16 years ago when we were looking for a place to settle down and raise our children. Ridgefield has been a great place to raise our seven kids. When not serving on the board, I am a partner with the law firm Miller, Nash, Graham & Dunn based in Vancouver, and I enjoy coaching my kids in youth sports. I also serve on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Washington as well as the Vancouver Rotary Foundation Board.

I decided to run for Ridgefield’s school board because I am so excited about Ridgefield’s schools and the potential for both the schools and the community. I want to help continue the tradition of the great schools we have in Ridgefield. My favorite part of serving on the board is handing out diplomas to graduating seniors during the commencement ceremonies.

Right now, the biggest challenge facing the board is ensuring Ridgefield School District will be prepared for the exciting growth that is coming to our area. To me, the most important roles of the school board are to hire and retain the best superintendent possible and set a vision with priorities for the district.

Steven Radosevich, District Director 3Steven Radosevich, District Director 3

My wife, Teresa, and I moved to Ridgefield in 2006. We have four boys who all attend Ridgefield schools. Professionally, I am the Director of the Supply Chain with Hewlett Packard’s printer division and have over 20 years of business experience in the high-tech sector. For a few years, I also taught Operations Management as an adjunct faculty member at Washington State University – Vancouver’s MBA program. In addition to serving on the school board, I also serve on the Ridgefield Little League board of directors and enjoy coaching youth teams.

I ran for the Ridgefield School Board to make a difference in the quality of education and school experience for the youth in our community. My favorite part of serving on the board is seeing the progress the district makes in becoming the premier school district in the state across multiple areas.

To me, the role of the board is for the directors to work collaboratively with one another to establish the goals and objectives for the district. Personally, my role is to work with my colleagues to see the big picture; understand where we are with data and facts; and help define the priorities for where the district should be going. The school board needs to keep every decision in line with what is best for building a foundation and culture for student achievement and success.

Becky Greenwald, District Director 4Becky Greenwald, District Director 4

I enjoy spending time with my husband and four kids, and I love watching all of the activities they are involved in. Professionally, I work as the Chief Financial Officer of our mortgage company, Creekside Mortgage Inc. For fun, I love spending time with family and friends as well as boating, water skiing, playing all sorts of sports, and volunteering in my kids’ classrooms.

I ran for the school board because I wanted to be a part of the exciting growth and momentum of all four schools in the district. I want to help keep the district making positive changes, continuing the advancement and development of the district. I’m a huge supporter of the public school system, and I strongly believe in the importance of a great education for all children.

My favorite part of serving on the board has been working together with the other board members to create the conditions and structures necessary for success in our schools. As a board, we can help ensure the children in our community succeed in their classrooms and in their lives. In addition, each board member contributes unique talents and we all work well as a team.

Since I’m the newest member on the board, that has been my biggest challenge, and I have been learning a lot. However, when I have questions, the other board members are great at helping me find the answers.

Generally speaking, I believe that the role of school boards is to adopt and oversee the annual budget; hire and evaluate the superintendent; and set goals for the district as well as holding it accountable for results. I believe in keeping children our primary focus and working collaboratively with other board members to accomplish that. Personally, I feel that my role as a school board member is to stay informed and knowledgeable of things that are going on in and around the district.

I am committed to giving back to my community and ensuring that their tax dollars are being used efficiently.

Scott Gullickson, District Director 5, Board President Scott Gullickson, District Director 5, Board President

I grew up in Eugene, Oregon, and moved to the Portland area after college in 1987. In an effort to escape the neighborhood and have some extra elbow room, we moved to Ridgefield in 2001. In my spare time, I enjoy being outside, taking part in sports of all kinds, and watching my kids grow up.

I ran for the Ridgefield School Board after being asked to consider doing so by a community member when someone on the board was stepping down. I attended meetings, started asking a lot of questions, and felt I could add my energy to make positive changes where needed. Now that I’ve served on the board for several years, I particularly enjoy seeing that effort equals results, and that I can be both a voice and advocate for the educational needs of our community’s children.

The biggest challenge I see facing the district is keeping a pulse on the growth increasing in the Ridgefield community, and trying to forecast the needs of the district in the coming years as the community continues to grow. Growth appears inevitable however we don’t want to lose the benefits of the small community we live in. Another challenge is trying to provide all the resources possible in a setting where the state government is not funding public schools at the level they are constitutionally bound to support.

From my perspective, school boards have several responsibilities with two, in particular, standing out above the rest: the board needs to be an advocate for kids by making decisions based on what’s best for student education, and the second is to maintain fiscal responsibility in order to ensure we leverage the funds provided by taxpayers to the fullest extent possible.

School Board Recognition

Superintendent McCann and the community recognized the school board during their regular meeting on Tuesday, January 13. The Ridgefield High School Leadership Class presented each board member with chocolates and special thanks. The district presented each director with a special vest including the district’s logo for the board members to wear to school events.

The RHS Leadership Class recognized the Board of Directors at a meeting on January 13

The RHS Leadership Class recognized the Board of Directors at a meeting on January 13

“Ridgefield School Board Directors serve as great role models of everything the Ridgefield schools and the Ridgefield community holds dear,” said McCann. “Each of our board members is extremely dedicated and willing to go above and beyond what is expected to them; in fact, I don’t believe the public knows how much we expect from the board and how they always rise to the occasion.”

Board meetings are open to any interested member of the community to attend, and are held the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5 p.m. in the Presentation Room (room 311) at Ridgefield High School. For more information, including board policies and procedures, visit the district’s website at www.ridge.k12.wa.us

Did you know you can submit story ideas for upcoming Did You Knows? Submit your story idea via the District’s online form here: http://bit.ly/DYK-Submit

For more Did You Knows, visit the district website. You can also get more district news from their Facebook page or on Twitter. You can also subscribe to receive the Did You Knows directly in your inbox by clicking here.

Federal funds to Improve Access to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

Up to $3 million in federal funds will be used to improve pedestrian and cyclist access to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

Last summer, Clark County and the city of Ridgefield jointly applied for funding to improve Northwest Main Avenue, from 300 feet inside the city limits north to the wildlife refuge headquarters at 28908 NW Main Avenue.

Western Federal Lands Highway Division, part of the U.S. Transportation Department, informed the county and city this month that funding has been approved for the project, which is expected to cost $3.7 million to design and build.

Specifically, the project will:

  • Build a 2,200-foot long paved path along or near Main Avenue.
  • Remove an undersized culvert for Gee Creek under Main Avenue and replace it with a 100-foot long bridge.
  • Reconstruct the existing roadway near the new bridge.

This section of Main Avenue is a rural road that lacks sidewalks, bicycle lanes or shoulders. The new path will be 6-10 feet wide to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists who currently share the narrow roadway with vehicles to reach the refuge.

The undersized culvert periodically backs up during winter rains, which causes water to flow onto Main Avenue. This overflow creates a hazard for drivers, threatens the road’s structural integrity, and causes flooding on adjacent private property. Replacing the existing culvert also will remove a partial barrier for fish runs and dovetails with the refuge’s plan to restore fish rearing habitat by reconnecting Gee Creek to Carty Lake.

The project will improve access to the refuge’s 710-acre Carty Unit, which includes the Cathlapotle Plankhouse and Oaks to Wetland Trail. A planned nature/visitor center would attract an additional 30-50 vehicles an hour to the Carty Unit during peak visitation.

Clark County and Ridgefield will share costs not covered by the federal award. Design and permitting work is planned for the next two years, with construction in 2017 and 2018.

Thought for the Week

Goerge Washington
‘Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.’         – George Washington

Free Cubicle Dividers

The Ridgefield Community Center has FREE cubicle wall dividers available for anyone who wants to pick them up. There are three that are 66″ x 24″, one 66″ x 36″, one 66″ x 60″, and one 66″ x 72″. Please contact the library at (360) 906-4770 if you would like these.

Notes from City Council Meeting 1-22-15

Motion

Marie Bouvier, Chairperson of the Parks Board, gave an overview of the 2015 Work Plan for the Parks Board. The Council gave their approval of the Plan.

Public Hearing - Hearing on Ridgefield Development Code Amendment

The proposed amendment covers a wide range of updates, with particular focus on open space requirements for new residential development, sign code revisions, and commercial design standards. The amendments include density transfer and multifamily development standards to clarify concerns that were the reason for the multifamily development moratorium.

Ordinance No. 1178 – Ridgefield Development Code Amendment

This is the first reading and no action is required from the Council.

Business

Resolution 477 – Update to Master Fee Schedule, Incorporate the Growth Management Related System Development

Charges and Impact Fees table, cap the Building Permit Fees at a maximum of $40.00, and reduce the non-residential Plan Review fee to 65% of the Building Permit Fee to be consistent with the residential Plan Review fee. Resolution passed, 7-0.

The Police are now able to issue concealed weapons permits.

Farewell to Miss Gwen

I’m sorry to announce that Gwen Laspa lost her battle with cancer this week.

When I think of Gwen I remember her wry sense of humor, her strong sense of right and wrong, her zest for living. She was ‘Miss Gwen’ to her friends’ kids. She was a truly fine person.

In lieu of flowers or cards the family would ask you to give a donation in Gwen’s name to the Ridgefield High School Band Program or the Ridgefield Library.

Ridgefield Library Programs January 27 to January 31

Tuesday January 27

6:00 p.m.-Adult Book Discussion-We are discussing The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Wednesday January 28

10:00 a.m.-Stitchery Group
10:30 a.m.-Preschool Story Time
4:00 p.m.-Ridgefield Gaming group

Thursday January 29

1:00 p.m.-Mahjong
3:30 p.m.-Spanish Conversation Circle

Friday January 30

10:30 a.m.-Toddler Story Time
4:00 p. m.-Teen Game Night

Saturday January 31

12:00 p.m. DRUMMING UP A STORY-Enjoy stories (and tell them yourself!) all to the rhythm of the drum. Guest storyteller Nancy McQuillan leads this program. Rhythm instruments provided.

2:00 p.m. SHERLOCK HOLMES SATURDAY-Solve mysteries just like Sherlock Holmes. Use clues to find hidden items (Thanks Meredith!), play games, and make crafts to take home. It’s all elementary.

5:00 p.m.-Teen Video Gaming

Donations for Grad Night Party

RHS 2015 Senior Class is holding ‘Clothes for the Cause’ to support the grad night party.

It will be this Monday, January 26th at RHS from 11-1pm also again Friday, February 20th starting at 11am.

They need clothes in any condition, shoes (pairs only), belts, purses, blankets, towels, curtains, fabric, cloth, rags. No household goods please. Donations will be taken in a drive thru drop off at the high school. Please put items in plastic bags. They will take anything because they get paid by the pound.

This is a good chance to get rid of clothing that you’re no longer using and help the kids in their party at the end of the year.

Clean up after your dog!

LucyHere’s a request from one of our readers:

Can you please put an article in your blog pleading with dog owners to a) Keep their dogs on a leash, and 2) Clean up after them? Ridgefield doesn’t have a leash law per se, but Clark County does:  http://www.clark.wa.gov/development/animals/leash_scoop.html. It states that dogs aren’t to be off leash on any public trails unless they’re in one of the 5 approved dog parks.

I am a dog owner as well as a dog lover, but I’ve noticed every time I’m out walking my dog that we have a lot of folks that do not pick up after their dogs.  I’m not sure if they’re letting them run loose, or if they just think that along our city streets, and in our green areas in our Ridgefield housing developments they don’t have to, because these areas are public areas and thus like dog parks. They are NOT! The Clark County Community Development page further states that people who do not honor the leash and scoop laws may be fined up to $250. As that page states, pet waste left on the ground ultimately gets washed into streams, creeks, rivers and wetlands. This waste is raw sewage, and carries harmful bacteria that can affect the health of not only aquatic wildlife, but humans as well. Thanks!    A concerned citizen.

Fog!

Fog 1

I anyone else tired of seeing fog every morning?

Fog 2The Portland radio this morning said the sky was blue with a hint of pink – and we were still under this layer of fog. Oh me!

How YOU Can Protect Gee Creek

I’ve enjoyed reading about the salmon being nurtured by Paul Snoey and his group, so I asked Paul to write up some of the things people should be aware of as far as protecting Gee Creek and Lake River so salmon can complete their life cycle and a salmon run can be created. Here’s what he said:

How Citizens Can Protect Gee Creek

Prepared by Paul Snoey

Gee Creek flows through town and provides most of the water for the pond wetland complex in the Carty Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Our city has an impact on water quality because it discharges much of its stormwater into Gee Creek. “Old town” Ridgefield does not treat its stormwater. The stormwater mains go directly to the creek or to Lake River.   Since streets, sidewalks, yards, driveways, and roofs drain into the street, they can have an impact on water quality. So what can a concerned citizen do to help protect our creek and the wildlife refuge it flows into? Here are a few suggestions that can help:

  1. Most people are pretty good about cleaning up after their dogs. Having their dog on a leash and using a plastic bag to remove their animal’s droppings is a common practice. Yet some people don’t and many dogs roam freely. Dog droppings can then be washed into the storm drains and right into Gee Creek. Being aware of that and being better at cleaning up and not allowing dogs to run at large helps.
  2. Use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides on lawns can put these chemicals into the storm water system through yard run off with irrigation or rain fall. It is recommended to use time release fertilizer. Timing helps too. Choose a time to apply lawn chemicals when it’s not going to rain or else not over watering so much as to cause the excess water to go into the street.
  3. If motor oil, brake fluid, antifreeze or other chemicals are spilled on a driveway then it should be removed. Putting some kitty litter on the spill and then sweeping it up is recommended. Taking a hose and washing it into the street puts it into the storm drain and then into Gee Creek, so that’s not good. Before washing down a driveway or side walk have it as clean as possible.
  4. On the first rain after a dry spell suds can be seen at the discharge of storm water pipes going into Gee Creek. Suds are likely from detergents and soaps used to wash vehicles in driveways. Washing a vehicle on a lawn during summer months instead of the driveway prevents runoff from going to the street. Some car washes are not that expensive and some recycle their wash water. If you do wash a vehicle in a driveway, use cleansers that contain no phosphates and are biodegradable.
  5. In some cases materials are intentionally dumped. On North 4th Ave one year motor oil was poured into a small area drain behind a curb and it showed up in Gee Creek as a thick slick by the outfall. In other cases wash water and liquids such as dairy products from local businesses has been poured over the curb or into the storm water sump. Usually it’s a lack of understanding about where storm water goes and its impact on the environment. Some chemicals such as antifreeze are toxic enough to kill fish so flushing a radiator in the driveway is not a good idea. Waste Connections of Clark County provides curbside recycling of motor oil and antifreeze to subscribers of recycling service if they are placed in appropriate containers and put out on the curb. Other programs in Clark County and the City of Ridgefield’s annual clean-up day take hazardous materials. Toxic materials should not be put in either the sanitary sewer system or the storm water system.
  6. Large spills can have a serious impact on the creek. A container in a truck bed can turnover or there can be an accident. If you see a spill and think it can go into a storm drain then call the city or ecology. Getting the appropriate spill response quickly before it gets into a waterway can make all the difference. Even a small spill can be serious if it gets into a sensitive area. For spill: National Response Center: 1-800-424-8802 and/or 1-800-OILS-911.

Much that people do is commonsense. An understanding that chemicals and materials that go to a storm drain don’t just disappear nor are they treated should direct people to make decisions that prevent harmful materials from going to the storm water system and into Gee Creek or Lake River.

Gouger Winery Wins Prestigious Award

Gouger Winery

I have a wonderful announcement to make. Gouger Cellars in wonderful Ridgefield, Washington has just been awarded a Platinum Medal for the 2010 Petite Sirah at the San Diego International Wine Competition.
This is a very prestigious award which is above a gold medal and it is the second such award received by Gouger Cellars. This award also puts Gouger Cellars into the running for best of show in the competition.
In addition, Gouger Cellars was awarded an international Silver for the 2011 Zinfandel. With these two awards, all the red wines presently available at Gouger Cellars now have International Awards. My thanks go out to all the people that have made my dream come true and to the City of Ridgefield for providing me with a wonderful place to grow and thrive. Ridgefield is well on the way to becoming the wine destination of Clark County! For more information: http://www.sdiwc.com/results_sd.html
Gary R. Gouger, R.Ph.,O.D.,Enologist