PE Showcase 2018

Ever wonder what activities Ridgefield students participate in when they are in PE class?  Come to “PE Showcase 2018” on Tuesday afternoon, March 13th and get a preview of the district’s PE curriculum while getting a workout and participating in lots of fun games and a chance to win prizes.  This is a free event open to all ages.

The district’s Physical Education Department is hosting the event as part of the “Shape Up Across Washington” program, whose goal is to encourage daily physical activity and a healthy lifestyle for elementary and middle school students.

The event starts at 5:30 pm at View Ridge Middle School Gym with more activities at Union Ridge Elementary.  Athletic wear is highly recommended.

Participants can take fitness challenges that test endurance, strength and flexibility, learn yoga, play spikeball or speedball or take part in lots of other fun PE games and activities.

The showcase wraps up at 7:15 pm with a raffle drawing for prizes.  Enter to win Timbers tickets, a bluetooth speaker, gift cards and much more!

Grocery Store


The name of the grocery store that will anchor the commercial development at 45th will be announced tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Port Meeting – 3:00. The long-awaited day is here at last!

3 Grands to Perform in Ridgefield Sunday March 18

Get ready for a concert experience that is spontaneous, electric and truly unbelievable!

On Sunday, March 18th at 7:00 pm at the Ridgefield High School Performing Arts Center, 3 Grands Concert & Benefit will showcase the music of three award-winning blind pianists, Mac Potts, Nick Baker and Brent Gjerve (pronounced Jeffries) all performing simultaneously on stage.  Also featured will be performances by jazz vocalist Darcy Schmitt and the Ridgefield High School Jazz Choir.

Presented by Ridgefield School District and the Ridgefield Lions Club, the concert is one of many events organized in celebration of Ridgefield Youth Arts Month.  Proceeds will benefit Ridgefield High School’s scholarship program and Ridgefield School District’s music programs.  A sell-out would help achieve a $12,000 goal to fund these programs.

3 Grands first performed together as a group in 2011 at the 125th anniversary celebration of the Washington State School for the Blind.  Their performance, combined with vocals by Darcy Schmitt, was a tremendous hit, and the group has been performing concerts yearly ever since.

Watch the group perform during some of their onstage appearances — click HERE.

Mac Potts was born blind.  He is from the Portland area and has been playing piano since age two.  His parents found him a Suzuki teacher a few years later, and he took lessons using that method for 10 years with the help of two teachers.  Mac was coached in the art of jazz, blues and gospel by many people; however, his primary instructors were legendary blues pianist D.K Stewart and Janice Scroggins.  He learned to play the saxophone in the Kalama Middle School Band, and with the help of Reggie Houston, a New Orleans sax player, took his sax skills to New Orleans where he played with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.  He was also one of the featured artists at the Cincinnati Blues Festival.  He has also played annually at the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland and has performed as a guest artist at Michael Allen Harrison’s “Ten Grands” concerts in 2011 and 2012.  Mac has had the honor of playing with Henry Butler, Charmaine Neville, Marcia Ball, Dr. John, Mitch Woods, the Storyville Stompers, Tom Grant and Harry Connick, Jr.  In addition to keyboards and saxophone, Mac plays drums and harmonica.  To earn a living, he spends ten percent of his time tuning pianos, and the rest, teaching and entertaining.  Mac currently has a steady gig at Warehouse 23 in Vancouver, Washington (Tuesday through Saturday).

Mac Potts

Nick Baker was born totally blind and later diagnosed with Autism.  He has perfect pitch and almost instant recall, which means he can listen once to a new piece of music and play it perfectly.  He graduated with honors from Shoreline Community College in 2008 with an AA degree in Musical Performance and earned Outstanding Honors in both Classical Voice and Classic Piano Juries.  Nick uses technologies that allow him to work independently in his home studio to record, engineer and produce much of his music.  To date, he has released four CD’s.  His first, titled “Think Positive,” was released in June 2001.  His newest release in 2011, “This One’s For You,” features a collection of jazz standards.  Partnering with his mother, Nick has also written a children’s book entitled “Turtle,” in which he shares his experiences as a child with multiple disabilities, describing the challenges he faced in dealing with school-age peers.  He is currently working on his second book, “Bad Behavior Blues.”  Nick’s latest passion is creating jingles for radio and advertising.  He lives with his mom and stepdad, Kathy and Raymond Passage, in Edmonds, Washington.

Nick Baker

Brent Gjerve (pronounced Jeffries) is a graduate of the Washington State School for the Blind.  Autistic and blind from birth, Brent has been described as a “piano genius.”  His dad played accordion and his mom played the piano, so since infancy, Brent was surrounded by music throughout the first years of his life.  Brent’s parents first discovered his musical talent when he was four after noticing that while sitting at a separate piano, Brent had the ability to play along with a pianist who was performing nearby.  They discovered that Brent not only had a gift for piano but also possessed perfect pitch, meaning that he could identify and produce any note simply by hearing it.

Brent Gjerve

Darcy Schmitt, well-known local jazz vocalist, founded and performed with the vocal quartet, Pure Imagination, which performed at the Mt. Hood Festival of Jazz, in night clubs, various Northwest festivals and commercials for ten years.  Ms. Schmitt continues to perform as a soloist, often with her pianist, Brent Gjerve, though sometimes working with various artists including Jim Fischer, Vancouver USA Singers, Diane Schuur, the Woody Hite Big Band, the Portland Symphonic Choir, the Art Abram’s Swing Machine, and currently as a member of 3 Grands.  Ms. Schmitt is the vocal music director and head of the Performing Arts Department at Battle Ground High School and is the vocal director for Prairie/Ground Musical Productions.  She is also a voice teacher and vocal coach at Opus School of Music and Dance Works and is a frequently-requested clinician and guest artist at many festivals and high schools.

Darcy Schmitt

Advance ticket sales for 3 Grands Concert & Benefit are available for purchase online at: :  $20 for adults, and $10 for students.  Tickets purchased at the door will be $25 for adults and $15 for students.   Children (ages 5 and under) attend free.

La Center School District Hosts Free Screening of Award-Winning Film

“Screenagers – Growing Up In the Digital Age” is a powerful documentary depicting the way millions of teens struggle with phones, games and technology in general.  The film offers solutions on how we can help kids navigate the digital world and provides practical tips for raising happy, healthy technologically empowered teens.

Sponsored by the La Center School District, the film will be shown on Wednesday, March 7th from 7:00-8:45 pm at the La Center High School Commons.  Admission is free.

Watch the official Screenagers 2017 trailer and a Google Talk interview with Dr. Delaney Ruston, Stanford-trained physician, who wrote and directed the film.


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.

Make it 2m

Amelia Shelley, Executive Director of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library, spoke to city council Thursday night and discussed a proposal to have the library expand into the Community Center Space. Council seems to support this idea.

The Ridgefield Community Center board is very excited that their long time partner (FVRL) is interested in considering an expansion of the library at this location. They want to donate the building to FVRL! The value of this donation would be based on the building’s assessed value, likely over $650,000. Amelia reported that it looks like the Southwest Washington Community Foundation may match this donation through a donor advised fund.

FVRL is still in the analysis and feasibility phase of considering this opportunity. They have contracted withBergerABAM for a survey of the property, a phase one environmental analysis, construction analysis of the deficiencies discovered in the first phase analysis as well as having an architectural analysis of the space for program needs and possible exterior facade changes. This work will cost FVRL just under $35,000.

FVRL will share the results of this study and seek feedback from the community to assist them in making this decision. They will be hosting a public meeting at the Ridgefield Community Center on Saturday April 14th at 11 am. Everyone is welcome to attend. FVRL will also take written comments through the Ridgefield Community Library prior to that time for those who can’t attend.

Misleading Articles

Both the Columbian and Reflector printed misleading articles about the owners of Teriyaki Thai restaurant that have hurt their business.

Seems the FORMER OWNER was charged and pled guilty to forced labor, visa fraud and tax evasion and both papers printed that he was “the owner of Teriyaki Thai restaurant in Ridgefield.”

But the current owners Sombat and Rujir Wongthawinkul bought it from this convicted owner two years ago!

Sombat reported their business has tanked in the last several days because local people think they are the guilty ones – instead of honest, hard working people who value and treat their employees very well.

First Saturday Events Kick Off Ridgefield Youth Arts Month

Ridgefield will be buzzing on First Saturday, March 3rd as performers and artists converge downtown to help kick off Ridgefield Youth Arts Month with two exciting events sure to entertain and engage.

At 10:00 am, the Ridgefield Community Center comes alive with creative art opportunities for kids of all ages (and adults too!).  “Express Yourself!” offers hands-on art activities featuring Ridgefield Art Association and Ridgefield School District artists and staffers.  Engage in even more activities at the Art Bar sponsored by the Ridgefield Library or grab a paintbrush and add some colorful inspiration to Ridgefield’s first-ever Community Mural.

Across the street at Sportsman’s Restaurant & Lounge, check out “Art Alive!” starting at 11:00 am – a showcase celebrating the performing arts.  Watch live theatrical, instrumental, vocal, dance and poetry performances by local and future stars and professional entertainers.  Mac Potts, blind pianist extraordinaire, will perform at 1:00 pm, providing a preview of the upcoming “3 Grands Concert” on March 18th at RHS Performing Arts Center, where he will perform with two other award-winning, blind pianists, Nick Baker and Brent Gjerve.  Be inspired and entertained!

Join us on First Saturday, March 3rd for a day of engaging fun, creativity and entertainment to celebrate and support local youth art programs in Ridgefield.

Spring Camps

Spring break is just around the corner, and Quick Start Sports has a few two day camps this year! They will offer basketball and baseball, and all camps will be run by Coach Jason who is a high school coach at multiple schools throughout the area. This is a fantastic opportunity to spend a couple of days having fun, being active and learn from one of the best! Register today, as space is limited. Register here:

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

Main Street Benefits from B & O Tax Program

Judy Hinz accepts a check from Sharif Burdzik (l) and Kim Capeloto of Riverview Bank

The Washington State Main Street Tax Incentive Program allows businesses to make a deduction to Ridgefield Main Street, and in return earn a 75% state B & O tax credit for that amount.

Scott and Cathy Hughes of Ridgefield Hardware were the first business to take advantage of this plan, and Riverview Bank presented a check for $1000 at the Main Street meeting on Thursday.

This program is open to all businesses that pay B & O tax, but the deadline to apply is March 15. The money may be paid all at once or in monthly payments until November 15, and our Ridgefield Main Street Program could benefit up to $95,000. With this amount of money the Ridgefield Main Street Program could continue its’ goal to make our downtown a more vibrant, active community.

Interested? Call MaryKay Lamoureaux, , 360-524-2754, for more information

R Biz

The Ridgefield Business Association will host its’ monthly R Biz networking meeting at Three Brothers Winery, 2411 NE 244th Street, tomorrow evening, Tuesday, February 20, from 5 to 7 pm. This is a chance for you to chat with other business owners in our community. Food, prizes, raffle and fun are all included. Come and nosh!

More on Hairy Bittercress

Those of you who have been reading the blog for awhile may remember that I warned you about hairy bittercress, the pretty little weed that tends to take over our gardens in the spring. Now I find out the leaves are edible and add a mild and peppery flavor to spring salads.

The plants have actually been lurking near the surface all winter, having germinated in the fall and waited out the cold temperatures before sending up flowers and seeds.

Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) leafs out in a basal rosette, and like other members of the mustard family (Brassicaceae), its tender greens are edible. Though the flowers can be tough to chew, the tender leaves are suitable for a chic microgreens salad and have tons of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, and antioxidants.

A warning – try to pull up all the plants before they flower and go to seed, or you’ll be sorry.

This information is from the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.(not the last paragraph – that’s original Kathy Winters!)

Thought for the Week

What if we were to treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion—a mandatory 48-hour waiting period, parental permission, a note from his doctor proving he understands what he’s about to do, a video he has to watch about the effects of gun violence.

Let’s close down all but one gun shop in every state and make him travel hundreds of miles, take time off work, and stay overnight in a strange town to get a gun. Make him walk through a gauntlet of people holding photos of loved ones shot to death, people who call him a murderer and beg him not to buy a gun.

It makes more sense to do this with young men and guns than women and health care, right?  I mean, no woman getting an abortion has killed a room full of people within seconds, right?

~ Author unknown

Library Programs February 20 -24

Tuesday Feb 20

6:00 p.m.-   READ TO THE DOG – Practice your reading skills and make a new, four-legged friend. Program is intended for ages 5-9. Space is limited. Call the library to sign-up at (360) 906-4770.

Wednesday Feb 21

10:00 a.m.-STITCHERY


4:00 p.m.-GAMING GROUP – Pen and paper RPG gaming for tweens and teen.

Thursday Feb 22

1:00 p.m..-MAHJONG


4:00 p.m..-TWEEN TECH MONTH-Tweens will do some experiments with sound followed by a build project. Registration required. Contact the Ridgefield Library at (360) 906-4770 or go to and look for this program on the Events Calendar for Ridgefield.

Friday Feb 23


Saturday Feb 24

2:00 p.m..-TWEEN/TEEN GAMING-Pen and paper RPG gaming for tweens and teens.