Jeff Niten Resigns

Ridgefield Community Development Director Jeff Niten is resigning his position effective January 4, 2019. He has accepted a position as the City Manager in the City of Shelton. “I’ve really enjoyed working with the City staff and community over the last four years and helping to meet the challenges we’ve all faced in this unique and fast-growing community,” Jeff said. “The work is incredibly important to the people that call this place home and I’m very proud of what we have been able to accomplish to make Ridgefield the best it can be.” In his four years with the City, Jeff has helped to create and implement plans to shape development. With his leadership, the City has seen changes that meet local needs such as new quality neighborhoods with parks, open spaces, and heritage trees that preserve our environmental quality.

Jeff has helped support the historic downtown through his work with Ridgefield Main Street and helping create a designated Arts Quarter. Jeff also led planning processes including a new Comprehensive Growth Plan and subarea plans to assure Ridgefield grows in a thoughtful, high quality way that retains the City’s small town charm and connection to the natural environment. And, he leaves a fully staffed, professional Community Development Department that will make a transition successful.

City Manager Steve Stuart thanked Jeff for his work with the City. “On behalf of the City and the Ridgefield community, I want to express my appreciation to Jeff for his exceptional service. The results of his dedication to the City and the community will be seen and experienced now and in the future by people living, working, and playing in Ridgefield. We wish him luck in his professional career and his next adventure.”

The City will begin a recruitment process for a new Community Development Director in late December.

Give Blood Next Week

Every two seconds someone in the US needs blood.

The Red Cross is sponsoring a blood drive at the Community Center in Ridgefield on Monday, December 31, from 10 am to 3 pm.

Donors are always needed. Sign up at, (sponsor code: Ridgefield), or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Clark County Arts Commission

The current Ridgefield representative for Clark County Arts Commission is Barbara AW Wright, and her term ends December 31, 2018. Liz Kolling, the co-owner of Ridgefield Arts Space, will be Barbara’s replacement on the CCAC. The city will announce her appointment at the City Council meeting on December 20th. The meeting starts at 6:30 at the Ridgefield Community Center and everyone is invited to come and support Liz in her new role.

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.

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 If you would like to participate this year, contact Susan Setterberg at, 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.


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!

Watercolor Christmas Card Workshop

There are still a few spots left in my Christmas Card Workshop, Monday, December 3 from 9 to 11 am.

All levels are welcome – we’ll have ideas for everyone and all materials are provided. This is a benefit for the Ridgefield Library, and all money collected goes to the library. Cost is $45, or $40 for members of the Friends of the Ridgefield Library. Call to reserve a spot today! 360-887-2160 or

Class size is limited.

Hometown Celebration this Saturday

Plan to spend most of the day in downtown Ridgefield this Saturday, as festivities begin at 9 am with the Ugly Sweater 5 and 10k runs, and include activities throughout the day. Pick up a schedule at most downtown stores.

9 am  Walk n knock

9 am – 3 pm  Cider, cookies & crafts at the library

9 am – 4 pm  Arts & Craft Bazaar at the Community Center

10 am – 3 pm  Live music at Overlook Park

10:30 am – 11:30  Concert by Opus School of Music   (At the Methodist Church)

11 am – 3 pm  Ridgefield Children’s Holiday Bazaar (Union Ridge Gym B)

11 am – 3 pm – Kids’ Activity Center (Ridgefield Art Space)

noon – 3 pm Santa at Zebrun’s Starliner Cafe

noon – 3 pm  Holiday Trolley Rides

2 – 6 pm Wine Garden at Overlook Park

5 pm Tree Lighting Festival at Overlook Park

7:30 pm  Acoustic Guitar Summit Holiday Concert  (Old Liberty Theater)

Many of the stores in town will offer cookies and other surprises – check them out!

Walk ‘n Knock on Saturday

Walk & Knock, Clark County’s largest one-day food drive, is taking place in Ridgefield on December 1st (8:30-2:30). This is a fantastic opportunity to go out into our community, collecting food for our local food bank, and helping our neighbors. You may sign up to volunteer via: Or (under the “Volunteer Now” tab.

Thought for the Week

Christmas is just plain weird. What other time of year do you sit in front of a dead tree in the living room and eat candy out of your socks?                ~ Author unknown

“Promised Land” – November’s Meaningful Movie

Meaningful Movies this month is “Promised Land,” an award-winning social justice documentary that follows two tribes in the Pacific Northwest: the Duwamish and the Chinook, as they fight for the restoration of treaty rights they’ve long been denied. In following their story, the film examines a larger problem in the way that the government and society still looks at tribal sovereignty.”

The film will be shown at the Old Liberty Theater, 113 N. Main Avenue on Wednesday, November 28. The film starts at 7 pm, previews at 6:45pm, with a discussion to follow the film featuring Sam Robinson, Vice Chairman of the Chinook Tribe and Sarah and Vasant Salcedo, filmmakers. There is not cost to attend, but donations are gladly accepted.

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Here is a wonderful collection of Native films and music that are free to stream through the library of congress.

PBS is streaming several documentaries this month featuring Native topics and tribes from across the country.

A few film recommendations:

This May Be the Last Time (viewable through Amazon, YouTube, Itunes, Google Play): Tracing a heartfelt journey, award-winning filmmaker Sterlin Harjo interweaves the tale of a mysterious death in 1962 with the rich history of the powerful hymns that have united Native American communities in times of worship, joy, tragedy, and hope.

Reel Injun (Netflix DVD, YouTube, Kanopy): Since the dawn of cinema, Hollywood has made over 4,000 films about Native people — over 100 years of movies that shape the way we see Indians … and the way Indians see themselves. Romanticized and demonized, what does it mean to have your identity defined by the movies. Cree Indian filmmaker, Neil Diamond, sets off on a cross-country journey to explore his Hollywood roots.

Medicine Woman (streamable for free in the link): What does it take to heal a people? That’s the question at the heart of Medicine Woman, a new one-hour PBS documentary interweaving the lives of Native healers of today with that of the first Native American doctor. Born on the Nebraska frontier in 1865, Susan La Flesche Picotte studied medicine at a time when few women dared.

Ishi’s Return (Kanopy): A half-hour film about Ishi, billed in 1911 as the “last wild Indian,” when he wandered out of the woods in Oroville, California, and became a national sensation. When Ishi died, his brain was removed and sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Eighty years later, his descendants in California fought to have his remains repatriated to his ancestral home.

Red Power Energy (Amazon): Tribal lands are the microcosm of today’s controversial energy debate. Between the fears that fossil fuels cause climate change and the hope that renewable energy can save the planet, lies the complex reality of American Indian reservations grappling with the balance of culture verse progress, poverty verse new-found wealth, and the fate of the environment.

LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 (Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, Itunes): A documentary film about Comanche activist LaDonna Harris, who led an extensive life of Native political and social activism, and is now passing on her traditional cultural and leadership values to a new generation of emerging Indigenous leaders.

The Mayors of Shiprock (streaming for free in the link): Meet THE MAYORS OF SHIPROCK – that’s what some people call The Northern Diné Youth Committee. These young Navajo leaders meet every week to learn about their Native culture, discuss community improvements, and work to bridge divides within their community. Some on the reservation say they don’t have the traditional knowledge and language needed to be real leaders…but the Mayors are not stopping.

Vision Maker Media is a great resource for more information about Native films.

In this Thanksgiving week, many of us grapple with how to talk to kids about Thanksgiving and the complexity of our country’s history. Teaching Tolerance offers some great resources. I especially like American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving which states “American Indians are still here, living modern lives. Even as contemporary people, many American Indians still retain strong connections to their specific traditions.” This idea was sorely lacking from my educational experience as a kid in Michigan where learning about the local tribes felt like an archaeology project rather than learning about the people who were around us in the community.

I’ll leave you with this short from the Kiowa-Choctaw artist Steven Paul Judd:

~ contributed by Megan Dudley

See you on the 28th