Open Studios Artists Reception this Friday

The Clark County Open Studios preview and artists reception is this coming Friday, Nov 3rd, 5-9, at the new CAVE gallery, 103 East Evergreen.  Along with the preview to this year’s tour we will be celebrating Clark County Open Studio 5th Anniversary! 

We are having Chris Bidleman’s 3 piece Upfront Band, literally upfront in the window playing music all night, while Trusty Brewery pours special brews in the back black gallery. Oh and we have wine and cheesecake too. A special slideshow, 5 years of CCOS will be playing in the gallery’s video cube

Over the past 5 years the tour has shown over 130 different artists across Clark County and shows just how prolific our art community is.

Ridgefield High School’s Steel Ridge Robotics Team Gears Up for New Season

Ridgefield High School’s Steel Ridge Robotics team is revving up for another busy and challenging year.  This will be the team’s second year of competition.

In its first year, Steel Ridge Robotics (Team #6343) scored well in numerous qualifying rounds in the Pacific Northwest District’s robotic events held last spring in Wilsonville and Lake Oswego.  The team also earned honors as “Highest Rookie Seed” and received the “Rookie Inspiration Award” during these events.

These wins advanced the team to the district championship in Cheney, Washington.  Had the team qualified in Cheney, it would have been among the 41 teams from the Pacific Northwest District to move on to compete in the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition in Houston, Texas.  An impressive first year in competition.

The robotics competitions are organized by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) a not-for-profit organization  based in Manchester, New Hampshire that designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in the STEM pathways (science, technology, engineering and math), while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.

The competitions challenge high school students and their adult mentors to work together on a common real-life engineering problem—to design and build a robot in six weeks using a standard “kit of parts” and following a set of common rules.  The project culminates in robotic competition where teams drive their robot in a sophisticated field game designed to bring out the best in every participant.

Steel Ridge Robotics is coached by Jeff Brink, RHS physics and chemistry teacher.  Assistant coaches are Steve Rinard, RHS teacher in math, engineering and computer science; Chris Shipp, RHS Woods/Metals teacher in the school’s Career & Technical Education program; and John Harvey, RHS English teacher who has previous FIRST Robotics competition experience.

Team members have been busy in the current preseason.  They recently attended FIRST Fair’s annual robotic workshop in Gladstone, participated in an off-season robotic event called Peak Performance in Seattle and supported their all-girls team at the Girls Generation Robotics Tournament in Portland.  In December, the team will visit the Boeing facility in Gresham.

Steel Ridge Robotics robot drivers, Jake McCarthy (left) and Eli Holter (right) and drive team coach, Phillip Stryker (behind) at Peak Performance robotic event in Seattle.

Girls drive team (from left) Shelby Bruhn, Stella Blystone, Caroline Ceravolo, Emily Davis, Olivia Waldron, Molly Holbrook and Ayla Davis participate in the Girls Generation Robotics Tournament in Portland.

In early January, team members head to Skyview High School to work with Skyview’s robotic team, the Stormbots, at an event to kick off the robotic build season.  There, they will learn to do some prototyping, hone their skills in game play and learn strategy development.  More importantly, they will learn the rules and requirements of “Power Up” the new field game selected for this year’s competitions.

Steel Ridge Robotics’ team robot for the 2016-17 competitive season.

Starting January 6, the official start of the build season, the team will have six weeks to build their robot for competition.

“After the build is done, we switch to the competition season,” said Brink.  “That’s when the Drive Team begins practices and starts preparing for the robotics events.”

Competitions for the Pacific Northwest District will take place in Lake Oswego and Wilsonville this spring.  Qualifying in these events will advance teams to the District Championship in Portland where they will compete to qualify for a spot in the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition in Houston in April.

Steel Ridge Robotics is grateful to the expertise of their mentors for support and guidance in the following areas.  Chad Stryker, electrical hardware engineer at Tektronix, Inc. and Rich Recker, project manager at Autodesk, Inc. mentor the Controls team.  Kris Holter, machinist/fabricator at Applied Motion Systems, Inc. mentors the Mechanical team.  Rob Costa, systems analyst at Fidelity National Financial mentors the Programming team.  Finally, Donald Nelson, fabricator at Boeing, mentors both the Drive and Mechanical teams.

Team sponsors include the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Boeing, Holbrook Concrete Construction, Inc., Elkhart Plastics, Inc., the Kirkelie Family, Applied Motion Systems, Inc., and Autodesk, Inc.

If you are interested in sponsoring or mentoring the Steel Ridge Robotic team, please contact Jeff Brink at 360-619-1320 or

Good Luck, Steel Ridge Robotics!  Go Spudders!

Celebrate at the Sportsman’s

Wings of the World Dedication

Our new ‘Wings of the World” sculpture will be dedicated Saturday, November 18, 4:00 at Overlook Park.

This beautiful sculpture of a soaring eagle was created by Sharon Agnor and commemorates the lives and efforts of five significant people who had the vision for and helped create Overlook Park: Allene Wodaege, Jim Maul, Sydney Reisbick, Amy Montoya, and David Dines.

This community gathering will include a history of Overlook Park, music and refreshments. Please come.


Recap of Meaningful Movies

What a week! I think this was our most powerful showing yet. It was amazing to have Holly Yasui, the filmmaker, there to answer questions and inspire us. I may be biased as this story is important in my own family history (see my grandma’s picture below from the concentration camp in Jerome, AK) but we had the largest turnout yet and great participation from Mrs. Uhacz’s high school students. Several times the students asked in various ways “what can we do to fight back when we see an injustice?” Answers from the audience ranged from getting involved in direct action to stopping and considering what your gift is to contribute. Rheta Rubenstein talked about using the arts to get your message heard, our moderator Chris Dudley suggested stopping and having a “good think” before deciding how to get involved which per Kathy Winters of FYI98642 involves first putting away your iPhone!

Meaningful Movies at Cascade Park is showing Shadows of Liberty on 11/9 at 5:30 pm. It presents the true story of today’s disintegrating freedoms within the U.S. media and government that they don’t want you to see.
Up next for us here in Ridgefield on Thanksgiving Eve (11/22) is “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”. This is Al Gore’s follow-up to “An Inconvenient Truth”. To learn more check out this New York Times review.
The big news is that we will have Ridgefield’s own Marc Rappaport who has is an innovator in renewable energies and has designed geothermal-solar systems and biomass power projects. I am excited to learn more about his work after the film.
The film will start at 7 pm, doors at 6:15 pm. Please consider taking a break from Thanksgiving prep and bringing your relatives down to the Old Liberty! Stay up late with us and talk about our changing climate and what we can do about it.
   Contributed by Megan Dudley

Thought for the Week

A Glimpse into the Future (continued)

Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You won’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car.

It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 6 million miles (10 million km). That will save a million lives each year.

Most car companies will probably become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; are completely terrified of Tesla.

Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.

Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.

Electric cars will become main stream about 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact.

Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can’t last. Technology will take care of that strategy.

With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents). We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.

Board and Commission Volunteers Needed

The City is Accepting Applications for Its Boards and Commissions

The City of Ridgefield is seeking applicants to fill vacant positions on its volunteer Planning Commission, Salary Commission, Parks Board and Civil Service Commission. All positions will be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council. Completed applications must be received by the end of business on October 31, 2017.

Each Commission and Board serves as a citizen advisory body, and makes recommendations to the City Council. The time commitment includes regular attendance at meetings and preparation for meetings by reviewing written materials. Attendance at other sub-committee or City Council meetings or research may be required.

For an application or additional information about the qualification requirements, see the Job Opportunities page or contact Julie Ferriss, City Clerk at (360) 887-3557, at City Hall, 230 Pioneer Street in Ridgefield, or by email at

For more information about a particular Commission or Board, including links to meeting agendas and minutes, please visit Boards and Commission page.

Halloween Events

Don’t worry if you missed Halloween Hall last week (thank you Ridgefield Art Association) – there are still more activities to help create a fun and safe Halloween.

10/27 -Tony Starlight Show and 10/28 Comedy Show @ The Old Liberty Theater.
10/28 – Used Book Sale and The Tell Tale Heart storytelling @ Community Center.
10/28 – Dressed in Pink Halloween Party @ Sportsman’s to benefit the Pink Lemonade Project.
10/31 – Afternoon trick-or-treating @ downtown businesses followed by the Harvest Festival @ Church of the Nazarene.

Ridgefield Sixth Graders Shine in Certified Kind Classroom Challenge

Sixth graders at South Ridge Elementary School are excited.  Not only did they attend an advanced movie screening of the film “Wonder” this week at a local theater, but they also got a chance to interact afterwards with the cast and film crew via live streaming video.  The official release of the movie is scheduled for November 17.

The film is based on R.J. Palacio’s book, “Wonder,” a novel that tells a story of Auggie Pullman, a tough, sweet 10-year old boy born with distorted facial features and his struggle to be treated normally.  Told from Auggie’s point of view and from the perspective of others, the story describes how one community struggles with empathy, compassion and acceptance, teaching the reader these qualities as well.

The novel has inspired a “Choose Kind” movement across the country, spreading kindness in classrooms and communities nationwide.  Earlier this year, the entire sixth grade class at South Ridge Elementary registered to participate in the Certified Kind Classroom Challenge, which uses the novel to encourage students to learn about kindness and to “Choose Kind.”

The challenge, now in its third year, is sponsored by LionsGate Films, Gap Kids, Walden Media, Participant Media, and Random House Children’s Books.

“Students and staff have embraced Palacio’s feelings about the power of words,” said Cheryl Shaw, South Ridge Elementary School sixth grade teacher.  “So this year, we challenged all South Ridge sixth graders to make a difference and pledge to Choose Kind.”

To qualify for the certification, classrooms participate in any of three different activities that help students explore kindness in daily life.  Special prizes are awarded as incentives for the students.  South Ridge’s sixth grade classes chose to participate in all three activities.

What captured the attention of the campaign sponsors were the sixth graders’ entries for Activity #2, called “Precepts to Live By.”

This activity was inspired by a character in the novel, Auggie’s English teacher, Mr. Browne, who introduces his students to his personal precepts–kindness, hopefulness, the goodness of human beings, the strength of people’s hearts and the power of people’s wills.  This activity asked students to identify their own original principles to live by and the ways they “Choose Kind” on a daily basis.

The posters that the students created made quite an impression.  Examples of their work follows:

In early October, South Ridge Elementary School sixth grade teachers Cheryl Shaw and Linda Wear received the news that their classrooms were chosen as Activity #2 winners.  Their classrooms won 50 tickets to the advanced movie screening along with an option to purchase additional tickets, making it possible for all of South Ridge Elementary’s sixth graders to attend as well.

The classroom challenge continues.  The sixth graders are currently working on Activity #3 to “Fill a Jar with Kindness,” which asks students to fill a jar with a small object (like marbles) each time an Act of Kindness occurs in the classroom.

Submitting a photo of the filled jar qualify them for prizes as well.  Winners of this challenge will be announced in April 2018.

Make it 2 M

Every month the Friends of the Ridgefield Library auction off an item to raise money for the many programs they sponsor and the building fund.

This month’s auction is this spinet piano, and it could be yours. Bidding runs through the end of the month, and you could have it for a very reasonable price. Make an offer at the library, where you’ll find a bid sheet.

 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.

An anonymous donor has pledged to match donations to the Ridgefield Library over $10,000, up to a million dollars. Please consider this option. There is a time factor to this offer, so act now. Donations don’t have to be in money – all sorts of other options are available – land, cars, jewelry, etc. Think outside the box…

Friend’s Book Sale

Get an early start on the Used Book Sale sponsored by the Friends of the Ridgefield Library in the large room of the Community Center tonight from 6 to 8pm. You have to be a Friends member, but you can join at the door, and you’ll have first pick of the thousands of books on sale. All sales benefit the library,

How to Bury a Walnut

Find a good place

Dig a hole

Put in the walnut

Backfill the hole

Carefully arrange the sod to hide the nut.

Last:  Remember where it is buried



Dressed in Pink Halloween Party

Celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness, a “DRESSED IN PINK” HALLOWEEN PARTY is being held at the Sportman’s Steakhouse & Saloon this Saturday, October 28th from 5 to 8 pm.

BEST COSTUME CONTEST – Come in a PINK costume. 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes.

Tickets $15 each – includes appetizers. A portion of proceeds goes to The Pink Lemonade Project.

Register Today for 2017 Annual Turkey Trot

The Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation is hosting its annual Turkey Trot 5K/10K Walk/Run on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23, 2017.  Proceeds will benefit the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation and the Ridgefield Family Resource Center.

The race begins at 9:00 am and includes a 5K Family-Friendly Walk/Run and a 10K Run, both of which start and end at View Ridge Middle School in downtown Ridgefield.  Registration is $25 for adults, $20 for school district staff, and $15 for students.

Go to to register online.  To download a registration form containing event details, click here.  Registrations received by November 15th will include a T-shirt.

Non-perishable food items will be accepted during race packet pickup on Wednesday, November 22 and at registration prior to the race to benefit the Ridgefield Family Resource Center.  Each food item donated will generate a raffle ticket entry for a drawing to win $100 worth of gift cards at local Ridgefield restaurants.

The Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation is grateful for the support of the following organizations:  Northwest Funding Group, Inc. and Krippner (presenting sponsors); Opsahl Dawson, Certified Public Accountants and Ridgefield School District (supporting sponsors); and Jones Landscaping, Inc. (race sponsor).

Thought for the Week

A Glimpse into the Future?

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.

Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world

Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world,   10 years earlier than expected.

In the US, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.

Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, four times more accurate than human nurses. Facebook now has pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

More next week.   Author unknown