Thought for the Week

“The wind is tossing the lilacs,
The new leaves laugh in the sun,
And the petals fall on the orchard wall,
But for me the spring is done.

Beneath the apple blossoms
I go a wintry way,
For love that smiled in April
Is false to me in May.”
–  Sara Teasdale, May

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There was a backlog of information for the blog waiting for me when I got home from Mexico. I will add them this week, but you may miss some if you don’t look at the main blog. If you’re a subscriber you only get the last two posts. To see the main blog, click on – News and information for Ridgefield, WA at the top of the daily email you get.

Ridgefield Junction Auto License Grows

Junction Auto License 2016

Claudia Fuentes has been hired as a title clerk at Ridgefield Junction Auto License, located on the east side of the freeway near 10th Avenue, at 7509 South 5th Street, Suite 101A.

Ridgefield Junction Auto License processes title transfers, issues plates, and renews registration for cars, trucks, motorcycles, RV’s, motor homes and trailers. 2017 boat decals are in stock and available for registration renewal any time between now and their expiration June 30th. No notices are sent for renewal of vessels.

Claudia has more than 4 years experience and was a clerk at the Clark County Auditors Office before joining us in March of this year. Certified by the state and knowledgeable with experience, Claudia also speaks Spanish.

Ridgefield Junction Auto License can be reached at 360-887-2345 or online at WWW.RJAL.ORG

Mark Eaton, owner, was one of the first sponsors of, and has continued to advertise on the blog. Clicking on his ad at the right links to his website.

May in Mexico

I’m baaaaack! Did you miss me? I was with five women from Ridgefield visiting Guanajuato, Mexico for a week. We stayed at Florecer Casetas, a beautiful walled compound high above the city. Owner Liz Mapelli is an artist, formerly from Portland, and has decorated her home and the five casitas she rents with her own artwork as well as art from Mexico and around the world. Her compound has a 360 degree view of the city and the hills, and is full of greenery.


The Bougainvillea was in bloom in Liz’s garden. The windows on the left open to a small gift shop featuring hand crafted items.

Liz and Carol Pinnell, who many of you know, planned a full week for us, with tours to outlying areas, the gold and silver mines (which were the reason Guanajuato was built), churches, restaurants, shopping, and best of all, just relaxing. I did not bring a computer, and never turned on my phone.

Guanajuato is a hilly city at 6500 feet, with what I think of as typical Mexican homes: row after row of stone and brick buildings with flat roofs and colorful paint schemes. Very walkable streets – some so narrow it was a wonder our van was able to get through. Cars have to have good brakes to survive!

Mexican plaza

Liz is taking the summer off to create art, but will rent the casitas starting in September. If you are interested in a unique experience in a beautiful surrounding, you might consider Florecer Casetas. I can provide contact information if you’re interested.  It would help if you spoke Spanish, because it seems many of the natives do not speak English.

Guanajuato, Mexico - view from Florecer Caseta

Guanajuato, Mexico – view from Florecer Caseta



Ridgefield Schools Continue to Excel

For the second year in a row, South Ridge Elementary School earned an Overall Excellence award from the State Board of Education and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Overall Excellence honor is reserved for the top 5 percent of schools in the state.  The Ridgefield school is the only elementary school southwest Washington to earn the distinction for the past two years.

South Ridge teacher Nathan Ingroum works with a student.

South Ridge teacher Nathan Ingroum works with a student.

“South Ridge Elementary has a strong sense of family, a desire to collaborate, and a willingness to do whatever it takes for kids.  The South Ridge staff works extremely hard to monitor student progress along the way and fill any gaps they discover.  I believe South Ridge is the perfect example of the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’  The teachers at South Ridge embrace this idea as evidenced by everyone jumping in to help students succeed,” said Todd Graves, the school’s principal.

Todd Graves, South Ridge Principal

Todd Graves, South Ridge Principal

Janice Sauve, the school’s former principal and the district’s director of professional development, shared Graves’ enthusiasm.  “The South Ridge staff continues to learn and grow with their students.  Their excitement for the next challenge is an important element in creating the academic  atmosphere  for student success.”

Janice Sauve, RSD Director of Professional Development

Janice Sauve, RSD Director of Professional Development

The awards use the State Board of Education Revised Achievement Index and are based on statewide assessment data for the three previous years.  The Achievement Index measures school performance, emphasizing improvement and recognition.  Schools cannot be listed as Priority or Focus and must have at least 95 percent participation on state tests to qualify for recognition.

“The Achievement Awards recognize schools and educators making a difference in student outcomes. Award recipients are schools that have made measurable progress helping students prepare for college, career, and life,” said Isabel Muñoz-Colón, State Board of Education Chair.  “The Achievement Awards are one way we can learn more about the successful strategies Washington schools are using to help our kids.”

While South Ridge is carrying on a proud tradition of excellence, they also continue to show continuous improvement as well.  The school also earned an English Language Arts Growth award, based on their high three-year average Median Student Growth Percentiles.

Ridgefield High School, which received an Overall Excellence award last year, once again performed remarkably well.  With the transition to the Smarter Balanced Assessment, high school students last spring were not required to take the test for graduation purposes.  Therefore, only nine high schools in the state met the 95 percent participation rate required to be eligible for Washington Achievement Awards.

Nevertheless, Ridgefield High School’s Composite Index Rating of 8.48 was the fifth highest overall rating among the state’s high schools, and second highest for comprehensive high schools in the state.

“The staff at Ridgefield High School have created a strong culture of collaboration centered on student learning.  Our teaching teams have invested a tremendous amount of time in aligning their curriculum to standards and teaching to best practices,” said Tony VanderMaas, the school’s principal.

Tony VanderMaas, RHS Principal

Tony VanderMaas, RHS Principal

Additionally, Vandermaas identified the counseling department’s efforts as critical to the school’s success.  “The counseling team has been instrumental in building a system of support for our students, focusing on career and college readiness, and assuring an extremely high percentage of on-time graduates.”

RHS staff members

RHS staff members

The Achievement Index is the only statewide school accountability system recognized by both the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and State Board of Education. The Achievement Index measures student proficiency in math, English language arts, science, student growth, and college and career readiness. Educators, families and community members can use the Index to identify areas of strength and improvement in Washington’s schools.

Happy Mother’s Day!

My Mom

My Mom

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.”        – George   Washington

Make it a Million (Plus)

million with plus sign

Two Friends of the Library groups donated money towards our Ridgefield Library Building fund last week: Battle Ground and Three Creeks. It’s heartening to have other Friends groups backing our efforts, and with their donations and the major money from the Library Trustees, we have well over a million dollars in our kitty. If you know anyone from these Friends groups please give them our thanks!

Two new fund raisers benefiting the library building fund were announced this week: A Seafood and Spirits Night at 3Peaks Public House and Taproom with seafood provided by Pacific NW Best Fish. On Thursday, June 9, a percentage of all food and beverages purchased at 3Peaks will be donated to the library building fund. The Public House is at 24415 NE 10th Avenue. Time to be announced – watch this space!

And I will teach a watercolor class, “Paint with Kathy” on Saturday, June 18 from 1 to 3pm at the Community Center. You don’t need to have ever picked up a brush to enjoy this class, and you’ll come home with a small original watercolor paining, matted and ready to frame. The class size is limited to 12 participants, so reserve your space quickly. Cost is $45, and families are welcome.

And don’t forget the night at the Salmon Creek Burgerville: Thursday, May 12. Our Friends group will be there to welcome people and talk about the library building fund. Time to be announced.

Also this month is the GIANT Rummage Sale on Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14 from 9am to 4pm. I took some items out to the location this week, and was amazed at the amount of great stuff that’s been collected. There’s something for everyone! The sale is at 17714 NE 99th Avenue in Battle Ground.

The “Make it a Million project’ is Ridgefield’s chance to raise a million dollars to benefit the library building fund and other projects of the Friends of the Ridgefield 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.

Garden Club Sale this Saturday

garden sale 1

The ladies of the Ridgefield Garden Club work hard to present the very freshest, best looking plants, shrubs and vegetable starts at their annual sale. This year it’s one day only, Saturday, May 7 from 8:30 am until they sell out.

These photos show some of the items that will be for sale.  garden sale 2

The sale is at the School Maintenance Shop, 3rd and Pioneer. It’s a good idea to get there right at 8:30 as the popular items sell quickly.

This year part of the money earned will go to provide hanging baskets in the downtown area.

Lucas to Become Interim Police Chief

Garry Lucas

The City of Ridgefield is pleased to announce that Garry Lucas, retired Clark County Sheriff, has been selected to serve as Interim Police Chief for its Police Department. Mr. Lucas will assume the position being vacated by Carrie Greene, who is retiring effective May 6, 2016. He will manage the administrative operations of the Ridgefield Police Department until the City makes a decision on a more permanent replacement.

Mr. Lucas retired from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) on December 31, 2014 after 47 years of service including 24 as Sheriff. At CCSO, Mr. Lucas worked his way up through the ranks from a graveyard deputy patrolling North County to Chief Criminal Deputy before becoming Sheriff. As Chief Criminal Deputy, Mr. Lucas helped CCSO become the 31st law enforcement agency in the country to become nationally accredited. Since his retirement, Mr. Lucas has remained an active member in the law enforcement community including an appointment to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, which sets national standards for police agencies.

Mr. Lucas “looks forward to working with members of the Ridgefield Police Department to continue providing excellent public safety services to the citizens and businesses of the City of Ridgefield.”

He hopes that his long experience in law enforcement will bring additional benefit to the growing and professional department. “Mr. Lucas has a wealth of management and police experience that will serve the department and the citizens of Ridgefield,” said City Manager Steve Stuart. “The City appreciates the community’s support in welcoming Mr. Lucas to the Ridgefield Police Department and looks forward to his leadership, knowledge and experience.

Cathlapotle Mother’s Day

Cathlapotle plankhouse

Sunday, May 8, 2016 – 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Cathlapotle Plankhouse
28908 NW Main Avenue, Ridgefield WA

1:00 – Presentation: Where the Women Are: Gender and Power in the Archaeological Record of the Pacific Northwest

2:00 – Ethnobotany Hike

Plankhouse tours and kids’ activities all day.

All events  are FREE with refuge admission

Seafood and Spirits at 3Peaks and PNWBF

Seafood and Spirits

Friends of the Ridgefield Library invite you to join us for an evening of great seafood and spirits at Ridgefield’s very own 3Peaks Public House and Taproom and Pacific NW Best Fish Company, Thursday, June 9, from 4 to 9pm.

Bring friends and family!   This is a fund raiser for the Ridgefield Library Building Fund – 3Peaks and Pacific NW Best Fish Co. will donate a percentage of sales to benefit Friends of the Library Building Project.

3Peaks is at 24415 NE 10th Avenue.

Garden Club Sales this Saturday

Garden Club logo

Imagine a room full of beautiful flowering hanging baskets, planters and window boxes along with hardy tomato, pepper plants, herbs, local shrubs and color spots ready to be planted… and you will have found the Ridgefield Garden Club Plant Sale.  There will also be “garden treasurers” and plant starts nurtured by club members especially for the sale. Located in Old Town Ridgefield at 304 Pioneer Street, School District Maintenance Building.

Sale date is Saturday, May 7, hours are 8:30 AM until 4:00 PM (or until we are sold out).

This year our fund raising is to continue to maintain the downtown planters and provide beautiful hanging baskets through the summer along Pioneer Street in coordination with the City of Ridgefield and the Main Street Program.  We take pride in our city and continue to implement community beautification as one of the club goals.  Please come and support the club in our 78th year of community service.

Basarab Sworn in as City Clerk

Julie B

Julie Basarab is sworn in as Ridgefield’s new Clerk.

Take Your Child to Work Day

take your child to work day

Mayor Ron hosting employees’ children during Take Your Child to Work Day.

They also toured the jail.

Touring the jail

Pioneer Street Slide

slide repair 1

Paul Snoey took these photos of the slide along Pioneer.

slide repair 2

When the slope failed it put several hundred yards of liquefied soil into the canyon blocking the creek.  It was good to see  that the creek has been  cleared, the slope stabilized, and erosion control efforts begun.