Salmon Incubator Set Up

Contributed by Paul Snoey

The Remote Site Incubator was set up on Riemann Road early last week and on Jan 3rd, 10,000 Coho eggs were placed in a basket on top of the incubator.  As can be seen in the photo below,  the embryos have developed eyes.  They will need a few more weeks before hatching.  After hatching,  they will stay in the incubator for a month or so and when ready, will swim out of the overflow.  They will disperse downstream and spread themselves out along the creek as far as the refuge.  They will stay in Gee Creek for about one year and then head down the Columbia River and into the Pacific Ocean.  Of course, the odds of coming back are very small.






City Says Goodbye to Jeff Niten

Jeff Niten

Jeff Niten was feted at the Sportsman’s last night. He is leaving Ridgefield for a job as City Manager in Shelton. Several people talked about how Jeff had helped them, or mentored them.

We will miss you Jeff.


A little More on Shiny Geranium

The photos  below were  taken in early June of 2017 at the  South bound Gee Creek Rest Stop on I-5.  It is of an area taken over by shiny geranium.  The plants are about 18″ high and  loaded with flowers and seed pods.  It’s incredible ability to produce seeds sets it apart from other geraniums and  other weed species.   Each flower can produce a seed pod containing five spring loaded seeds that can be thrown several yards.  This ability is why it can be such  a problem.  It is on Pioneer street now and North Main Avenue and a few other places around town.  There were six acres on a property north of town that were taken over and I have  worked with the property owner for two years now to eliminate it.  I visited that property today as well as Pioneer Street and a couple of other places and can see that trying to eliminate it has not worked.



Save the date! February 9 from 10 am to 2 pm Friends of the Ridgefield Library will hold a fabric sale at the Community Center. There will be lots of upholstery fabric, some in small pieces that could be used for pillows, purses, tote bags, – you name it.

Come and see what your imagination can come up with!

 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. There are other levels of giving also. Each major donor will received recognition on a display at the new library. You can designate your donation be used only for the building fund if you like.

Fifth Graders Make Gifts for Ridgefield Living Center

The classroom had stacks of brightly wrapped gifts—but none of them were for the students.  The gifts were for the residents of the Ridgefield Living Center.  Each package contained a pair of gloves and a scarf handmade by a Sunset Ridge Intermediate School student.

As part of a project on community service, the students in Jericho Kaylor, Erik Mendenhall, and Amanda Burgess’ classes researched how community service can benefit others.  Ridgefield Mayor Don Stose came to speak to the classes about the importance of community service.

The students decided to make scarves for members of the community in need.  Teacher Jericho Kaylor called the Ridgefield Living Center, an organization that provides assisted living services with a focus on mental health.  “It was awesome because the scarves we planned on making were exactly what the residents asked for!” Kaylor said.

The students measured and cut each of the scarves by hand, then added a pair of gloves and gift-wrapped the packages.  In a real community partnership, the materials were generously donated by EKM Property Management.

Now each resident at the Ridgefield Living Center has a cozy scarf and a warm pair of gloves for the winter, thanks to fifth grade students at Sunset Ridge.

Mayor Don Stose speaks to fifth graders about the benefits of community service.


Students work together to measure and cut scarves.


Wrapped gifts and big smiles!


Three classes of fifth graders display a handmade sign and gifts for the Ridgefield Living Center.

Citizens for Ridgefield Schools to Hold Bond Rally

Calling all Bond supporters! Bring your friends, bring your neighbors down to the Sportsman’s to launch our Bond campaign. We need your enthusiasm and “Go Ridgefield” spirit. Food will be provided by the Citizens for Ridgefield Schools. This group of dedicated volunteers holds fund-raising events throughout the year to raise money to support school programs.

Ridgefield School District Schedules January Patron Tour

Ridgefield School District is scheduling a Patron Tour on Tuesday, January 15 from 8:30 am to 11:30 am.  Bus transportation to the schools will be provided.

District and school administrators will lead participants on a tour of Ridgefield High School, View Ridge Middle School and South Ridge Elementary School.

“This tour will give citizens an opportunity to get an inside look at the many wonderful things going on in our schools,” said Superintendent Nathan McCann.


Patron Tour participants will meet at the newly-renovated Ridgefield Administrative and Civic Center (RACC) at 510 Pioneer Street in downtown Ridgefield.  Check-in starts at 8:15 am, and a continental breakfast will be provided before the tour.

To register, please send an email to and provide the name and email address of each attendee.

A New Year’s Surprise

This morning was freezing and foggy.  Frost can make for interesting photographs so I took some photos around town then headed for the refuge.  Frost on leaves and stems makes for interesting highlights in photographs. Getting some fresh air and exercise felt good too.  I took several photos making for the north end of the Oaks to Wetlands Trail.  In looking off the trail, I saw a large patch of green to the side and recognized it as a patch of shiny geraniums.   Then, I found several other patches in the area.  This is not a good thing.  I’ve worked very hard the past two years trying to eliminate it and to keep it out of the watershed.  I’ve found it at the post office and a few other places in town and thought it was under control.   If there is this much in this area, then it must certainly be in other areas of the refuge.

This little geranium can completely cover the ground.  It can smother all the other native plants.  It’s just getting started along this section of the Carty unit but will spread very quickly and will likely take over the entire area.  To eliminate  it will take an extraordinary effort.  The photo below is of an area of small carrot like plants being invaded by a few shiny geraniums.  In a year or two, this area will likely be a dense carpet of geraniums and many of the small native plants will be gone

Contributed by Paul Snoey


Ridgefield Chemistry, Art and Shop Classes Partner to Build Kiln

There is a new kiln at Ridgefield High School—but it’s very different from the high-tech electric kilns already in the schools.  This one is outdoors, built of brick, and wood fired, recreating the type of kilns used for 9th to 11th century pottery.  And a remarkable partnership brought several classes together to build and use it.

Ridgefield High School teachers, Kara Breuer, who teaches chemistry, and Tamara Hoodenpyl, who teaches art, spent five weeks in Mallorca, Spain last summer on an archeological dig.  In the layers of excavation at the site were pottery chips ranging from 1000 B.C. to modern day.  The teachers were specifically interested in learning more about 9th to 11th century lusterware, with its shiny glazes.

“The glaze was toxic,” Breuer explained, “so people don’t make it anymore.  We wanted to find ways to recreate that metallic luster through chemical composition.”  Breuer and Hoodenpyl won a grant to build the kiln, create a similar style of pottery, then lead spectroscopic analysis to determine the chemical composition of the fired glazes.  Through experimentation, they hoped to recreate a glaze similar to the lusterware.

Chris Shipp’s shop class helped build the kiln, brick by brick.  Hoodenpyl’s art classes created and glazed the tiles.  And Breuer’s class led the chemical analysis after the tiles were fired.  The classes partnered together to learn the elements of chemistry behind traditional and contemporary methods of glazing and firing pottery, as well as art history and building techniques.

It was a learning process for all the classes.  The first kiln firing ran into some issues, so they did some troubleshooting and came back for a successful second try.  While the composition of the clay was very similar to the original tiles, they had mixed success with the glazes.

“We got close with the copper,” Breuer said.  “So, we’ll change the recipes and do it again with another group of students.”  It will be an active kiln for some time to come as the classes continue to collaborate, working together to unlock the secrets of ancient lusterware glazes.

Kiln being fired for the first time.

Tiles placed in kiln for firing.

Shop students, Hunter Workman (left) and Michael Burtis helped the art classes build the kiln.

A New Little Library

The little library on 4th

There’s another little library in town – this one in the 300 block of 4th Avenue North. That makes seven or eight scattered around town.

The books are free, and the hope is that you’ll take one and leave one. The Friends of the Library sponsor this program, and they help with providing books, but it’s been shown that once people start using the libraries there’s very often no need to re-stock as people bring books to share.

If you’d like to provide space in your yard for a little library, contact the Friends at


Have you checked out the thermostat posted outside the library? You’ll note there are now three different bands of color. The bottom red one shows the money raised by the Friends of the Library, donations by members of the community and the Vancouver Regional Library – all the money collected through December.

The black and white checkered band shows the value of the Community Center Building, donated by the Community Center Board of Trustees.

The top red bank is the matching money that was pledged by an anonymous donor for any donation over $10,000.

With this much money pledged, and the title to the former Community Center building and land, the next step is to pick an architectural firm to work on conceptual drawings. After that contract is awarded, there will be community meetings to get input on what our citizens would like to see included in the library building.

Stay turned for the time and location of these meetings – and in the mean time I suggest you start writing down your ideas of what the library should include. Think big – then it will be a matter of choosing the best ideas. and what we can afford.

There’s still lots of money to be raised – we will have a better idea of costs after the conceptual drawings are complete.

 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’re over 70 1/2, ask your CPA about how to save paying tax on IRA money that’s donated directly to the Friends of the Ridgefield Library. It’s a way to help you and your community at the same time.

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. There are other levels of giving also. Each major donor will received recognition on a display at the new library. You can designate your donation be used only for the building fund if you like.


If you put up Christmas decorations outside your home or business, it would be nice if you monitored them frequently. Having candy canes that are in all angles of disarray and blow-up figures that are collapsed is not a good look, and certainly not the way we want Ridgefield to look.

I didn’t take any pictures, but there are a couple of very tacky looking decorations that need to be re-done.

Thought for the Week

News from Rick Browne

I wanted to share some great news with the residents of Ridgefield.

Ridgefield Living magazine is returning to your mailboxes beginning in February. We have been on forced hiatus since June due to some problems the State of Washington had when we announced we were expanding our free circulation from 1,50 homes to 4,300 homes.

There were legal problems, all of which I am not privy to, that were settled by our corporate headquarters in N. Carolina and now we can bring Ridgefield’s favorite magazine back to you all.

Several changes: First I will no longer be the Editor, that role will be aptly fulfilled by Cindy Lebeau, with whom I will be working as Content Editor. Since I’ve lived here for a dozen years we want to keep my knowledge of the community front and center to better serve our readers. Cindy will be handling the administrative details, advertising, as well as contributing to the editorial content decisions.

The second change: The magazine will now be called RIDGEFIELD LIFE. But will have the same type of stories about residents, their children, businesses, pets, gardens, hobbies, and leisure and community support activities. And, as before, we will continue to seek suggestions as to stories our readers are looking for.

You can send ideas and suggestions to me at or to Cindy at

We’re delighted to bring your magazine back and hope that not only enjoy what we produce but want to take an active hand in contributing ideas, family photos, and your enthusiasm.

Merry Christmas and see you in the New Year

Rick Browne

Ridgefield Life

Content Editor

Winter Solstice Today


Winter begins this afternoon at 2;23 PM. It is the shortest daylight day of the year.  Sunrise today was at 7:48 AM and Sunset will be at 4:28PM. For those of us that don’t like the cold, dark, and wet so much, it is good news.  It means that the days will begin to be longer each day.  By the end of January, sunset will be noticeably later; Almost 50 minutes later than now and we should see the first hints that spring is coming.

Contributed by Paul Snoey