Ridgefield Road Work this Week

The following projects are under construction and are expected to impact traffic during the weeks of May 10 – May 18, 2018.

South Hillhurst Road between So. Hawk Place and NW Carty Road – one lane closure and flagging. This work is to make improvements in front of the new schools and recreation complex including road widening, sidewalks, landscaping, and street lighting, and a stoplight at the intersection of Hillhurst & Royle.

Royle Road from the intersection with Hillhurst Road approximately 500 feet – one lane closure with flagging. This project is utility relocation in support of the Hillhurst frontage improvements and the Royle & Hillhurst intersection improvements.

So. Hillhurst Road, So. Sevier Road and So. Nighthawk Road – shoulder work only. This work is being completed in conjunction with the Taverner Ridge Phase 10 & 11 project, and will complete frontage improvements on both Hillhurst and Sevier. The existing narrow width of Sevier will make traffic conditions challenging, but after completion Sevier will be a full width road with sidewalks and planter strips on both sides.
NW 229th – Shoulder Work. Paving was completed as part of the future Kennedy Farms subdivision. This week work will be confined to the shoulders and no flagging is anticipated. When the work is complete the road will be newly paved, with sidewalks, street lights, and street trees.
Pioneer and 35th Avenue – one lane closure with traffic flagging May 11-12 for final paving; then sporadic and minimal traffic impacts as striping and final curbs are completed. When the work is complete, there will be a new roundabout.
North 32nd Avenue – intermittent lane closures with flagging. Utility work in conjunction with the Village of Canyon Ridge subdivision.
South 5th Street and So. 65th Avenue – shoulder work with intermittent lane closures and flagging. A contractor working for Comcast will be completing improvements to existing overhead utility lines.

One Plot Left at Community Garden

There’s still one plot left for rent at the Community Garden. Contact Lee Knottnerus at the City if you’re interested in renting it.

As you  can see, many people already have their plots planted, and things are growing well.

 

There are still a couple of beds that need to be cleaned out. The weeds have gone to seed and will soon be popping up throughout the entire garden.

If yours is one of those, please come by and at least pull your weeds and put them in the yard waste bin.

Be a good neighbor.

 

First Saturday

Don’t let the weather spoil your enthusiasm for First Saturday – come on downtown and revel in all the events going on – solve a mystery, buy something at the Farmers’ Market, peek in at the library. It’s small town living at its best!

Meet my new Advertiser!

I’m pleased to announce that Michelle and Joe Potter of Ridgefield Landscape Products are new advertisers on FYI98642.com. In talking to them, Michelle said Joe has always wanted to have a landscaping yard.

The business is now open at 30505 NW 31st Avenue. Hours are 8-4 Monday through Friday and 8-1 Saturday. They have 20 different landscape and gardening products: bark dust, chips, gravel, drain rock, river rock, sand, 3-way mix – if they don’t have it they can get it. They offer pick up or delivery. Buy ten yards of any material and get free delivery.

They also offer field mowing and large brush removal and they accept yard debris. Bulk quantities of products are available – buying 25-35 yards qualifies you for bulk pricing.

They plan to add planters, sheds and boxes.

Check out their Facebook page here, to see more information. Phone number is 360-887-8945.

 

Refuge Needs Volunteers

Calling all Volunteers! Types of Volunteer Opportunities:

Habitat Restoration

Volunteers get to see the most beautiful places on the refuge while helping to ensure that native wildlife have food and shelter. Summer work is focused on maintaining winter plantings and controlling invasive plants that threaten to take over habitat.  Crews meet on most Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

Contact Sean Davis at Sean_Davis@fws.gov or 360-887-3883 x 14

Refuge and Trail Greeters

Over 120,000 visitors flock to the refuge annually to enjoy nature through participation in wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, cultural interpretation, hunting, and fishing. Volunteers help to make their experiences meaningful. Share your enthusiasm for nature and make the Refuge a welcoming place for people walking our trails, stopping at the Visitor Contact Station and driving the AutoTour.

Contact Josie Finley at josie_finley@fws.gov or 360-887-4106 x 130

Cathlapotle Plankhouse

The Cathlapotle Plankhouse draws thousands of visitors to the Refuge each year. Help share the legacy of the Indigenous people who have tended to this place since time immemorial as a Plankhouse Docent or Cultural Educator. Field trips take place during the weekdays. Docents staff the house on weekends from April – September.

Contact Juliet McGraw at juliet_mcgraw@fws.gov 360-887-4106 x 123

Education

Help us inspire the next generation. Kids of all ages need hands-on learning and inspiration in the great outdoors as part of a well-rounded education. We need your help to make their visit to the Refuge fun and memorable. Field trips take place during the weekdays starting in April.

Contact Josie Finley at josie_finley@fws.gov or 360-887-4106 x 130

Now you can sign up to volunteer easily on our website! Check it out by clicking here!

Don’t forget to glance at the Refuge calendar, your one-stop shop for fun activities and volunteer opportunities!

Students from Union Ridge Plant trees

Several classes of  sixth grade students  from Union Ridge Elementary School planted trees  and other plants along the new section of the Gee Creek trail today.  Along with the other volunteer session done two weeks ago, there should be almost 1,000 trees and other plants put in by the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership.  Part of the reason the Partnership is planting these trees is that Gee Creek is  too warm during the summer.  Trees that make  a shady canopy keep streams cooler.  With the other trees  planted along the creek and the flood plain this year, it  should bring the total to over 1,500 new trees and plants on Gee Creek.  To restore Gee Creek by removing weed species and planting native trees and other plants will require many more hours of brush removal and thousands of new trees.  This is a great start though.

Contributed by Paul Snoey

First Day of Spring

 

 

This  Anna’s hummingbird was photographed feeding on a red flowering current bush this morning.  Spring will arrive at 9:15 AM today. We know the earth is tilted 23.4 degrees and that is the cause of the seasons.  The change at our latitude, about half way between the equator and the north pole, is dramatic.  The grasses are turning green and growing.  Trees are blooming and beginning to turn green, and insects are beginning to appear.  Flowering plants are emerging,  people are mowing their lawns, and thinking about planting gardens.

So, what would our world be like if the earth was not tilted?  It would mean the sun would be over the equator, like today, everyday of the year. There would only be one season everywhere. The equatorial zone would be extremely hot  and stormy and only gradually cooling away from the equator. No seasons would mean no timing for plant growth or dormancy. It would be a world much different from this one.  It’s hard to imagine no seasons.

What if our world was tilted  90 degrees instead of just 23 degrees?  It would mean spring and fall would be much like ours, but it would mean that on the first day of summer the sun would be right over the north pole and would stay there for some time. No night or day just extreme sunshine. Six months later our North pole would be in a deep freeze. It would be a hellish planet switching with violent extremes of freezing to baking.  What kind of life would even exist on such a world?

But here we are with our spring and the earth’s gentle tilt and the transition from spring to summer will be just a little bit more  each day.  Although it can be a bit too cold in the winter and too hot at times in the summer, the changes in the seasons are better than the alternatives.

 

 

 

Coho Eggs Hatching

The Incubator on Riemann Road is in it’s third year. This year we were given 60,000 eggs, the most we’ve been given.  So the incubator is pretty crowded.  The photo was taken March 3rd and by today they were mostly hatched.  They will stay in the incubator for several weeks.  They look like little fish glued to orange jellybeans.  They won’t eat as they are sustained by the yolk sac.  They decide when to leave the incubator by swimming out the overflow.  Conditions on Gee Creek are very good right now and we are getting past the point of having big winter storms.  If things go well there should be thousands of fry distributed from Pioneer Street into the refuge.  There were some problems with erosion control failures on Gee Creek in October of 2016 and September of 2017 that had a bad impact on Gee Creek.  Part of the solution is making sure that going into the fall,  areas of disturbed ground  have good erosion control measures in place.

Les Greear was a teacher at Ridgefield High several decades ago.  He said  that students took the netting from the baseball field and used it to catch Coho.   According to a state fisheries biologist, there are still a few spawning adults in Gee Creek.  It is unlikely the large runs of Coho, cutthroat trout, and steelhead will ever  be anything  like they were in the past.  However, if some improvements can be made,   we can increase the populations of Coho and cutthroat trout. Two improvements that need to be made by the city  are better erosion control measures and building treatment facilities for  untreated storm water.  Trout and salmon are fish that require cold clean streams.  As such, they are indicators of the condition of the water shed.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

If you are concerned about the bill exempting legislators from the state’s Public Records Act, here are the numbers to call to register a protest

Governor Jay Inslee  360-902-4111

Senator Ann Rivers: 360-786-7634

Representative: Brandon Vick: 360-786-7850

Representative Liz Pike: 360-786-7812

You might also want to give a ‘shout out’ of praise to Rep. Vicki Kraft, (360-786-7994) who was the only legislator to vote against the bill.

These people work for us  – let them know how you feel. For more information, read the editorial on the front page of yesterday’s Columbian. You can get it at the library if you don’t subscribe, or go on-line.

R-Biz Canceled

Tonight’s R-Biz Networking event at Three Brothers has been cancelled due to weather.  See you in March!

r-Biz canceled

stream bank erosion control project begun

 

 

 

The city has obtained an emergency hydraulic permit for the stream bank erosion problem on the new section of the Gee Creek Trail between Division Street and Heron Ridge Drive. Several large root wads have been placed beside the trail. Later, these root wads will be placed in the stream along the badly eroded sections. People in the area should be careful to stay behind the yellow caution tape and not go near the edge of the crumbling stream bank

Toastmasters

Ridgefield Toastmasters Meeting: 6:30-7:30PM each Tuesday in the Ridgefield Community United Methodist Church at 1410 South Hillhurst Road in Ridgefield. Have fun becoming the speaker and leader you want to be. We provide a safe, friendly and supportive environment. The first three weekly meetings are free, with a small membership fee if you wish to continue and become a member of Toastmasters International. You may call Gene McCann at 802 989-0624 for more information.

CHRISTMAS EVE SNOW

It is  rare to have a white Christmas in Ridgefield.  Even rarer, when it is not expected.  Early this morning, it was just above freezing and there was some light rain.  Then, a bit of freezing rain followed by sleet, then finally snow.  The temperature dropped  below freezing by several degrees at sunset with a little freezing rain.  The National Weather Service states it may be tomorrow before it gets above freezing.

The Ridgefield Curves on Pioneer Street  climbing up from Gee Creek are always problematic.  The police were warning vehicles of the hazards of driving east on Pioneer and trying to control the traffic  Some four wheel drive vehicles were good Samaritans, hooking up straps and cables, and pulling vehicles up the slope.  Some  drivers were trying to turn around.  Public Works crews were out plowing the streets and spreading rock.

Pioneer Street going west into town wasn’t much better with traffic crawling.  A few cars were stranded and at least one driver was chaining up.  Because snow and ice is rare here,  many drivers were  not prepared.  Some people standing outside their cars were clearly frustrated and not at all happy with the situation.

 

Taking another photo of the sculpture in Overlook Park with snow was irresistible.  Although the snow is beautiful it could not have come at a worst time for many people. It means a hazardous journey for many and others have decided to stay put.

Merry Christmas to One and All

Winter Solstice

The winter Solstice occurs today(Thursday) at 8:35 AM.   Sunrise will be at 7:49 AM and Sunset will be at 4:30 PM today making it the shortest day of the year.  For those of us who like days that are longer, brighter, and warmer, it means the worst is over and days will began to get longer.  Since the sun is low just after 4 PM these days, it lights up the new Wings sculpture in Overlook Park nicely.