Thought for the Week

Today we honor our service men and women. Here is the history of the holiday, from Wikipedia.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which used to be observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from “Decoration Day” to “Memorial Day”, which was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971. After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all 50 states adopted Congress’ change of date within a few years.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

There will be two ceremonies in Ridgefield honoring Memorial Day: American Legion Post 44 will hold a ceremony at Ridgefield Cemetery at 9:30am and Northwood Park, 16407 NE 15th Avenue, will hold a ceremony at 11am.

Give your input on the future of CTE courses at Ridgefield High School!

The Ridgefield High School CTE advisory team invites all interested community members to attend the Spring CTE Advisory Meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, May 26 at 4:30 p.m. at Ridgefield High School Room 307. The meeting will last approximately one hour.

The RHS CTE team would like the community to join them to discuss and approve the CTE courses that will be offered in the 2015-16 school year.

We hope to see you there!

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

American Legion Memorial Day Service

Am Leg Mem

Steinbrenner Barn Honored

Joe and Sue Steinbrenner received the Heritage Barn Preservation Award from the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation recently for their preservation of the historic Hilltop Barn just outside Ridgefield. The Heritage Barn Preservation Category recognizes individuals and organizations having made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of Washington’s historic barns.

Named for its location with commanding views of the nearby Columbia River valley, the exceptionally large barn is believed to have been constructed around the turn of the 20th century. It is noteworthy as being a rare example of a Dutch Gable barn with full dormers on both sides of the structure. Built from old growth timber harvested on the farm property, the barn was used to store hay, horses, and equipment.

Barn before

The Burrow family was an early owner of the farm and lived there until 1932. Now 98, John Burrow recalls that the barn was used to store farm implements as well as a big tractor with metal wheels and a threshing machine. In addition to storing farm equipment, the barn was used for hay storage. According to John, hay was the primary crop on the hill since the lack of topsoil made growing other crops very difficult. As he put it: “The soil was so poor you couldn’t raise a disturbance with a jug of whiskey in each hand.”

After the Burrows sold it, the farm changed hands several times until 1972 when it was purchased by Don Sevier. In turn, he later divided the farm and sold much of the property as six acre residential lots.

In a humorous reference to the poor soil on the farm plus increased development pressures, John Burrow commented: “Turns out the best thing that property grew was houses.” By the time the Steinbrenner family bought Hilltop Farm in 1999, time and weather resulted in the deterioration of the barn’s roof and siding to the point of needing full replacement. But, instead of demolishing the barn or letting it collapse under the weight of time, the Steinbrenner’s chose preservation as the right course of action. Becoming aware of the State’s Heritage Barn Register, the family successfully nominated the Hilltop Barn for listing in the Register in 2011. They also decided to seek a Heritage Barn Rehabilitation Grant to remedy the beloved barn’s many structural and material problems.

Barn after


John Maul and his crew from Boulder Creek Landscape did the renovation.

The barn will be open to the public during Ridgefield’s Heritage Day celebration in September.


Check out our new mural!


The mural on the side of the Starliner Cafe was a project of the Ridgefield High School art club. They enhanced our downtown with their colorful work, incorporating existing cracks and decorations on the wall in their design.

Good work students! You have helped beautify our downtown.

Sportsman’s Open Monday for Breakfast

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The Sportsman’s Restaurant and Lounge is opening their doors at 9am on Monday, May 25th for your breakfast enjoyment.  The back deck will be open as well.  This might be the perfect morning for eggs Benedict, French toast, whatever you would like us to cook for you.  Coffee, tea, and adult beverages available too.

Call to Artists:

What: First Annual ‘Bruce Crockett Memorial Quick Draw Auction and Fundraiser’  This year’s event benefits the ‘Building the Library Fund’ in Ridgefield, WA.

Who: Visual artists and artisans, working in all media.

When: Friday, September 25th, 2015.

Some Details: Artists will have two hours to create an original piece of artwork, while patrons watch. Artist will agree to donate a minimum of 50% of the sale price of the artwork to the fundraiser; we hope artists will donate 100% of the sale price. 2-D artist’s would need to provide framing material for the finished artwork, mat and frame as necessary. Twelve Artists will be invited to participate. Please submit at least five photos of your work as soon as possible. July 15th is the deadline for your submission to participate.

For more information: Call Patricia Thompson 360-931-9573 or email:

Message from Clark County Public Utilities

Please be aware that our customers continue to report receiving scam calls related to electric bills.

Both residential and business customers have been targeted by calls claiming to be from Clark Public Utilities and demanding payment. The callers can be very convincing, threatening disconnection unless a payment is made immediately. This is a SCAM.

The scam is sophisticated and the call might even appear to be from our utility phone number on caller ID. Some scammers have created recorded messages that sound similar to the Clark Public Utilities welcome message. All of these fraudulent efforts on the part of the criminal callers can make these calls very deceptive – but they are fake.

Commonly, the scam callers will instruct you to purchase a prepaid gift card (sometimes specifically a “green dot” card) and ask you to call back to pay using that card. The utility will never ask customers to do this.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Clark Public Utilities and asking for a payment – HANG UP – then call us at 360-992-3000 to check the status of your account. We are available 24/7, every day of the year.

Please help spread the word to your friends, family and neighbors. If you own a small business, alert your night managers because scammers often call in the evening.

Do not make a payment if you receive this kind of call. Hang up and call Clark County Public Utilities at 360-992-3000.

Update on the 80 for 80 Campaign

Last week I spent Wednesday through Sunday at a Paint Out on Samish Island with 50 other watercolor painters. I talked about my 80 for 80 Campaign to raise $80,000 for the Ridgefield Library building fund. Many of the artists gave me money to donate to the fund, even though they’ll probably never come to Ridgefield, much less use the library facilities. I brought home money from people living as far away as Point Roberts, Anacortes, Federal Way, Seattle, Vancouver, etc. who have invested in our new library.

Isn’t it time YOU donate? The $80,000 I have committed to is a drop in the bucket when you realize the library will cost about $3.9 million.

We have a small list but growing list of Cornerstone Society members who have donated or pledged $1000. It can be as easy as promising to give $25 a month for 40 months. This is a relatively painless way to show your commitment to our very special community.

I’m very pleased to say donations to date are over $20,000, about 1/4 of the amount of money I have set as a goal to raise before my birthday.

Cornerstone Society

Thanks to the new Cornerstone Society donors this week: Jerry and Shirley Stallings and Mary Bodine.

It’s easy to donate to the 80 for 80 Campaign. 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 are tax deductible. The non-profit tax id number is 91-1456753

The Big Paddle

Setting Out 200 pixels

The Ridgefield Fourth Annual Big Paddle is coming – bigger and better than ever!!

Date:  Saturday, June 6

Time: Festivities begin at 9:00 AM

Location: Port of Ridgefield at the Public Boat Launch

You won’t be able to miss it because First Saturday will be happening in historic downtown Ridgefield – with a pancake breakfast available from 7 to 9am outdoors at the Sportsmans Restaurant and Lounge before the paddle begins.

The day begins in the Big Event Tent with a Chinook Drumming and Blessing ceremony. Activities for the whole family continue with a two hour canoe, kayak or paddleboard adventure on the Lake River; vendors and festivities at Paddler’s Village during and after the paddle; a Totally Awesome Scavenger Challenge around the Port and historic downtown Ridgefield; hot food choices; a Chicamarimba Band; a beer garden and an anniversary celebration

The Farmer’s Market will be at Overlook Park from 9-2, with cardboard boat races and live music. Downtown businesses will be open and members of the Ridgefield Arts Association will have a pop-up booth at the park.

Polyroux Music Festival by Opus will be on stage from 2-4pm, and 6-8pm at the Old Liberty Theater.

The anniversary celebration and toast is for multiple agencies that are active in supporting the Wildlife Refuge, the water trail and other outdoor activities and the Big Paddle including Ridgefield Kayak (10 years), Cathlapotle Plankhouse (10 years), Friends of the Refuge (15 years), Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership (20 years), the National Wildlife Refuge (50 years) and the Port of Ridgefield (75 years).

Advanced Recovery Systems

There have been a lot of questions about recent activity at the former assisted living facility on Hillhurst that has stood vacant for quite some time. Because I am still waiting for the info I requested from Advanced Recovery Systems, I am copying the information Lee Knottnerus posted on Nextdoor Downtown:

First, a property sale was finalized for the former assisted living facility on March 30. It was a private purchase of private property from a private seller. The purchaser was Advanced Recovery Systems (ARS), a company based in Florida that specializes in drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Here is a link to their company’s website ( If you go to their “Our Portfolio” page, it appears that most of their existing sites are also in Florida.

Second, our understanding is that ARS is planning renovations to the old Ridgefield Assisted Living facility to make it a first class facility that would serve private pay and commercially insured clients attending the facility on their own accord. Our understanding is that they have built in developed neighborhoods before, and that they work hard to assure there are no negative impacts to their neighbors.

Third, a residential treatment facility for non-using patients is permitted at the site under the same terms as the former assisted living facility. Therefore, there were no discussions or actions at a City Council meeting or a Planning Commission meeting. The only permit approvals that have been required of the City was for re-roofing the buildings.

Fourth, although there are no formal requirements for public meetings, ARS knows that because of the business they’re bringing there will be questions and concerns, and they’re committed to answering them. To begin that process, they conducted two public meetings during the week of May 11. They have also committed to meet separately with neighbors who are more directly impacted by development at the Hillhurst site.

Memoir Writing Class at the Library

Lorna Earl will teach two four week memoir writing classes at the library starting next week. You have a choice of an afternoon or evening session.

The afternoon session starts Wednesday, May 27 from 2:30 to 3:30, and the evening session starts Thursday, May 28 from 6:30 to 7:30.

Please call the library, 887-8281, to pre-register so Lorna will prepare enough materials. Cost of the class is $50 and all proceeds go to benefit the Ridgefield library building fund

Upgrades to Blog

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I’m happy to announce that my webmaster has solved the problems I’ve been having with adding articles to the blog, so it’s once again a pleasure to use. I am slowly updating the calendar, which I’ve neglected because of the difficulties I’ve been having.

News is coming in at a quicker pace than ever before as more people read the blog, so be sure to click through to the main blog if you are a subscriber who receives notice in the morning that something new has been added. I have the blog set up so only two posts appear, and some days I add four or five items. You might miss something.

You’ve probably noticed that I have added a new feature: ’80 for 80 Update,’ every Friday. This is where I mention the status of my campaign to raise $80,000 for the library building fund before my 80th birthday in January. We now have over $20,000 raised, so we’re at 1/4 of the goal. Thank you Ridgefield!

I welcome input, articles, ideas for Thought of the Week, and information about events going on in Ridgefield.

Thank you for reading my blog!

Report on Mosquito Control District

Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Hello, my name is Greg Walter and I am the representative for Ridgefield at the quarterly meetings of the Clark County Mosquito Control District (CCMCD).   We are heading into the mosquito season and I would like to update the community on the prognosis for the year and also make suggestions for what we can do to help eliminate breeding areas in our area.

For better or for worse, the seasonal climate changes affecting the West Coast are having some positive effects. The CCMCD anticipates a much more manageable mosquito population this season due to the very low snow pack and resulting low river levels.  This has significantly reduced the acreage of wetlands available to produce mosquitos.  Last year the CCMCD had to drop larvicide by helicopter twice in areas near Ridgefield, but they do not anticipate having to aerial larvicide at all this year.

With the reduction of flood water mosquito populations this year, the CCMCD has have been focusing more on retention ponds and other smaller bodies of water.  All of the retention ponds in the City have been checked and treated (ahead of schedule!).

The CCMCD has received a few service requests from Ridgefield and have generally found most sources of mosquitos to be small bodies of water.  Most of these have been boats (on trailers) holding water, wheel barrows, unmaintained swimming pools, and other small containers.  It is important to note that these sites are one of the breeding habitats for the Culex species, which is the species in our county capable of transmitting West Nile Virus.

Earlier this month, the CCMCD set 5 mosquito traps in Ridgefield.  None of them produced any significant numbers.  In fact most traps were nearly empty.  The CCMCD reports all trapping results to the Zoonotic Disease Program within the Office of Environmental Public Health Sciences at the Washington State Department of Health. They in turn send the CCMCD regular updates regarding West Nile activity around the state.  Here is a link to the West Nile activity website that the State maintains.

In the next week or two, the CCMCD will begin treating the road side catch basins in Ridgefield.  This is also ahead of schedule.   These catch basins are also a habitat for the Culex species (which can transmit West Nile).  Due to the warmer weather we’ve had this year we anticipate that those sites will begin producing mosquitos earlier but in smaller numbers than previous seasons. If you see a CCMCD employee, be sure to thank them for the valuable service they provide to the health of our community.

Citizens can help themselves and their neighbors greatly by dumping this standing water and/or removing the source. After spring rains be sure to turn the wheel barrow over, change bird bath water weekly, turn empty pots or other containers over, drain boats, clean clogged gutters and shake that tarp over the firewood stack. Every little bit helps.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need anything related to the CCMCD.

Thank You,

Greg Walter   360-887-8212

Mindcraft at Library


Got kids who like playing Minecraft? Like playing it yourself? Now you can do this for free at your local Ridgefield Library. It’s available on both Internet stations. If you have an account you can use that login to play on the library server also!