Photographer to present ‘The National Park Service at 102: Views from the West’ at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

On Aug. 25, the Friends of Fort Vancouver and Fort Vancouver National Historic Site invite visitors to celebrate the 102nd birthday of the National Park Service with a special presentation given by nature photographer and former national park ranger Marv Binegar.

“Nature photography has been a passion and an avocation of mine for over forty years,” Binegar said.

He has photographed North America from the shores of the Arctic Ocean to the deserts of the Southwest, and from the Pacific Ocean to the Missouri River. His images appear in magazines, books and on the pages of calendars. This is an opportunity to meet the photographer and hear his stories about photographing bear cubs, bison on the run, and a moose staring down the camera lens.

Binegar began working for the National Park Service in the summer of 1966 just as the Park Service was celebrating 50 years.

His primary career was as a middle school teacher and, later, he was a middle school principal. But he worked as an National Park Service summer seasonal ranger several times during his teaching career. After he retired from education services, he became a full-time employee at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site from 2005 until 2012.

Between travels and photo shoots, Binegar lives in Oregon City, Ore., and serves as an active volunteer for Meals On Wheels. He is a frequent visitor to the McLoughlin House Unit of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, located in Oregon City.

What: “The National Park Service at 102: Views from the West,” presented by photographer Marv Binegar.

When: Saturday, Aug. 25, at 2 p.m.

Where: The Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, 1501 East Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver.

Cost: Free

La Bottega brings Italian deli-style vibe to Main Street

With nearly 30 years of restaurant expertise under their belts, Lisa and Peter Dougherty set out on a business adventure to own and operate their own restaurant.

The couple met while working at a restaurant, where Lisa was a server and Peter was a cook that had just finished culinary school. They moved to Vancouver about 20 years ago, where Peter worked as a chef at various places around Portland and beyond. However, his goal was always to own a restaurant and his career was always directed toward that purpose.

When the Doughertys opened La Bottega, which means “The Shop,” in 2006, their goals were twofold: to own a restaurant in the community where they lived in and to have their kids be a part of the business.

“Our vision was a restaurant and deli, styled after the great Italian delis of New York and San Francisco,” Peter said. “In addition, we love wine and wanted that to be a major focus of the restaurant and of the food. At the time we opened, there wasn’t all that much happening on Main Street after 5 p.m., so we wanted to offer as much diversity as we could to ensure customer traffic. Furthermore, we wanted a restaurant that would be approachable to the community, whether you are a foodie or just someone that is hungry. We wanted to offer the style of food, wine and service that we know and love, but with a very casual, inviting atmosphere.”

La Bottega is a culmination of those goals. The company is the perfect blend of a full-service restaurant, an upscale wine shop and a deli. Many of the soups, sauces, pastas and entrées are sold in the freezer case for walk-in customers. In addition, virtually everything is made from scratch, including the desserts, stocks, sauces, dressings, mayonnaise, pickles and more.

Today, the company has grown from eight staff members to 25 employees, with the Doughertys’ kids still an active part of the business. Peter explains that he and his wife live about a mile away from the restaurant, which allows them to immerse themselves in what the local community has to offer.

“We spent many years working across the bridge, and we enjoyed going into Portland to dine from time to time,” he said. ”But we did not like being held hostage by the bridge to find good food, and we believed that others must feel the same way as we did. So, we opened La Bottega with the same focus on quality and attention to detail as we would have in Portland.”

There are now plans for the restaurant to expand their existing location by building an additional 1,500 square feet behind the restaurant. They are working with contractors and have architectural plans in place, and are now working on the financial component. This expansion will allow for another 40 seats in the dining room, which will allow for shorter wait times at the door and the ability to host special events and large parties. The expansion will also create a bigger kitchen to increase their production and serving capacity.

“We have been blessed with a great opportunity and all of the tools necessary to achieve our purpose: to maintain a high standard of service and quality, to keep our pricing reasonable even as costs continue to climb, to be ever-changing while developing ourselves and our staff and to take care of our employees as well as we know how – they are our single greatest resource,” Peter said.

This article was written by Brooke Strickland and was first printed in the Vancouver Business Journal.


Columbia Gorge fires are sparking opportunities for progress on the North Bank.

There are many organizations in the Columbia River Gorge looking out for the the health of its environment, the lives of its people and the prosperity of its businesses. After a monumental event like the recent Columbia Gorge fires that engulfed the Eagle Creek Wilderness area in Oregon and jumped the Columbia River to burns parts of Skamania County last fall, impacts will be felt far and wide for months and years to come. A silver lining is that some of those impacts may actually benefit Southwest Washington.

These fires are a pivotal moment for the Gorge, which tends to be overrun with day-use congestion on the Oregon side in the summer. But Gorge Towns to Trails, launched by Friends of the Columbia Gorge, is poised to move forward on a multi-year vision for trekking on the Washington side. Renee Tkach is the project manager for Gorge Towns to Trails, an effort to make 200 miles of connected trails in the Columbia River Gorge that bridge Gorge communities on both sides, which are between five and 15 miles apart. The project is nearly seven years in the making.

After the fire: Connecting towns with trails

Tkach describes Gorge Towns to Trails as a “European-style hiking system” connected by shuttles, and sprinkled with lodges and B&Bs. The vision is to transform the Columbia River Gorge from a congested day-use area into a destination for extended multi-day vacations that lead hikers into the communities of the Columbia River Gorge, where they can enjoy the many home grown products like fruit, wine, beer, textiles, fish and so forth, boosting local businesses.

Currently, Gorge Towns to Trails is primarily focused on the North Bank.

Tkach stressed the optimal position of Washougal as the gateway to the Gorge. There is an opportunity for a 34-mile trail connecting Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge, Cape Horn, Beacon Rock State Park and the Pacific Crest Trail as well as the communities of Washougal, North Bonneville, Stevenson and Cascade Locks. Right now the group is working to connect the remaining 2.5 miles of trail corridor needed for the Washougal to Stevenson trail section, and they have partnered with Port of Camas-Washougal to develop a new, one-mile trail that will serve as the west entrance for Gorge Towns to Trails. In addition, there is a planned expansion and restoration of Steigerwald Refuge, while connecting it to new trail moving east.

Further north, there are plans to connect the urban area of Lyle to the top of the 550-acre Lyle Cherry Orchard property owned by Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust.

“Vancouver and especially Camas and Washougal have really elevated their role in how they interact with this future trail vision. Now Washougal is funding the final connection, the Lewis and Clark Trail. It will be the gateway to Gorge Towns and Trails, setting the pace for the rest of the Gorge community,” Tkach said. “Camas and Washougal are incorporating it into their identity, and now Camas it calling itself a trailhead and developing signage.”

Friends of the Columbia Gorge launched Gorge Towns to Trails in 2011, in celebration of the National Scenic Area’s 30th anniversary and 40,000 acres of new public lands that came into place during that time. And much of the messaging was focused on clearing some of the congestion that had come into the Gorge. The group was exploring ways to disperse people’s usage. “How can we accommodate all these people coming for year round hiking, and the growth in population? The ‘walls and falls’ area had become so congested, it was Disneyland of the Gorge during the summer months,” said Tkach.

The group was already strategizing ways to motivate hikers and visitors to explore east Gorge gems like Stevenson, White Salmon and North Bonneville, when the fires began to rage through the Eagle Creek Wilderness.

Friends of the Columbia Gorge is in the middle of its Preserve the Wonder campaign, which aims to acquire and protect seven unique properties totaling more than 400 acres along the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. The centerpiece of that campaign is Steigerwald Shores, a 160-acre riverfront property adjacent to Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

“With the fire happening on the Oregon side, we have this prime moment in time,” said Tkach. “How do we hit the pause button in this area and develop these other trails as well as let this fire area recover naturally?” The US Forest Service, which is the Friends of the Columbia Gorge’s land manager, is not going to replant at this time, but rather let nature take its course according to Tkach. The famous Angel’s Rest was the hottest area, and the hardest hit, but many were relieved to see that the Gorge wasn’t a barren wasteland as the fires settled down. “It’s a mosaic burn,” said Tkach, “something ideal for the forest, actually.”

Rachel Pawlitz, a public affairs officer with the National Scenic Area, agreed with dispersing tourists and hikers throughout the Gorge, but cautioned that there is crowding on the Washington side as well, especially in places like the popular climb nine miles east of Carson, Dog Mountain. She said the Forest Service hasn’t “settled in our approach” to prevent crowding, environmental impact, parking and associated issues.

As land managers, it’s the Forest Service’s credo to help visitors “leave no trace” and to prevent people having to call search and rescue. Safety and environmental impact are paramount.

Showing the Gorge some love

In the meantime, the Columbia Gorge Tourism Alliance started a campaign called Show the Gorge Some Love, a month long push in October to bring visitors to the Gorge with special events, sales and targeting marketing of the 18 communities on both side of the river. Similarly, the “Kick Ash” Campaign was spearheaded by the Portland Business Alliance and encouraged Portlanders to head to the Gorge.

Even in Vancouver, unlikely alliances were being formed to support tree planting and the environment in the wake of the fires, including Sky Zone and Friends of Trees.

“In the wake of the Eagle Creek fire, Sky Zone Vancouver approached us with a dodgeball tournament fundraiser for Friends of Trees,” said Sam Erman, Friends of Trees Corporate and Business Relations Specialist. “They expressed their desire to volunteer with an organization in the Gorge once they had the opportunity but wanted to take immediate action for the environment. We partner with businesses in a lot of ways and are thrilled to be working with the business community in Southwest Washington.”

Jill Burnette helms the Columbia Gorge Community Foundation. They are not directly involved with relief or restoration efforts, but rather their role during the fire was to “help disseminate information,” to provide a clearinghouse of resources that were providing relief and services during the fires.

One of the unique things about the CGCF is that is serves both sides of the river, with board members representing every county in the Gorge, including Skamania and Klickitat County in Washington.

Burnette reflected that the fire and relief efforts were well under control, and she had heard a huge amount of gratitude from community members. “The workers were really efficient. They had never met each other and certainly had never worked together before. The entire effort was incredibly well managed.”

Because CGCF is a community foundation it simply manages permanent endowments. But they do an annual grant-making program, where area organizations apply for funding. “We may see fire and restoration in the next grant making cycle. And twice a year, our donor advised funds generally choose to make grants. Any of those fundholders may elect to support a group who is involved in fire support and restoration,” said Burnette.

The Archer Mountain Fire in Skamania County started on Sept. 5 from embers blowing over the river from the Eagle Creek Fire, which had ignited several days prior. A 15-year-old Vancouver boy has since been charged with reckless burning and other allegations. The Archer Mountain Fire burned 240 acres, and was contained by mid-September, while across the river, the Eagle Creek Fire is still considered active. It has burned nearly 50,000 acres and is considered 50 percent contained as of Nov. 9.

“The Gorge is a resilient place,” said Tkach, who lives in Skamania County just a mile from the north side fires. “It’s still there, it’s still beautiful.”

Story by Jessica Swanson
Photo by Mitch Hammontree

Deda’s Bakery goes mobile

 photos by mary preiser potts

It’s not everyday that someone swoops in to fund your dreams. Utilizing a Kickstarter campaign, a passion for sweets and their personal warmth, Chris and Catherine Misener of Deda’s Bakery sold their baked goods at community events all over Vancouver last summer. They bake out of a shared commercial kitchen with primarily wholesale and custom orders. But, their short-term goal is to buy a mobile bakery and go direct.

It was difficult to reach enough people making modest donations to make the mobile bakery a reality. The Miseners prepared to re-launch the campaign with new ideas when something completely unexpected happened. Someone – the Miseners are not saying who or how – came forward and offered to fund the food cart.

“Kickstarter is such a cool concept,” Catherine said. “It’s a fantastic way for people to see what’s going on – or what might go on – in their community. And when you back a project, you’re contributing to making someone’s dreams come true, and that also strengthens the community.”

My first taste of Deda’s baked goods was at a picnic table outside of Torque Coffee during a Drink This! event. I love baked goods, especially when they’re sweet without tasting sugary. In the case of the porter cupcake I tasted the rich flavors of the beer as well as the subtle spices in the cake, and the frosting was more cream than sugar, just how I like it. The other items I tried followed suit. The hand pie was apple first, then cinnamon-sweetness. The crust was light and textural. Even the whoopie pies exhibited an uncharacteristic complexity of flavors.

The Miseners relocated to Vancouver from Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2009. They brought Deda’s Bakery with them, but they didn’t immediately open a storefront when they arrived. Instead they rented space in a commercial kitchen and rounded up as many wholesale accounts as they could manage, as well as taking custom orders.

In August they participated in the Vancouver Brewfest, where beer from Heathen Brewing and Mt. Tabor Brewing found its way into their baking in honor of the event. But the treats – brewballs and porter cupcakes among them – were such a hit that they may earn a permanent spot on Deda’s menu.

“I was surprised how much I enjoyed incorporating various microbrews into our treats. I didn’t expect the subtle flavors of malt, hops, coffee, caramel and such to come through so well,” Catherine said.

They both agree that one of the best things about having a bakery is getting to connect with people in their community. This is something they’ve missed about not having a storefront. But, the experience of serving people in many different locations instead of being rooted to one bakery in one neighborhood was appealing to them. There, the idea of the mobile bakery was born.

Soon, they’ll be cruising Vancouver with their bakery trailer, and adding a cafe menu to their sweet offerings. Twitter will guide customers to their current location. In five years? They hope to also open a storefront in downtown.


Deda’s Bakery

Chris & Catherine Misener



Little cups hold big dreams

Play cafe adds preschool and franchise opportunities

photos by jessica swanson

ust one year ago last October, Little Cups and Grownups opened on Main Street in Old Town Battle Ground. Matt Parker had left behind his job as a bodyshop manager and – a little blessing – his commute from Battle Ground to Beaverton. He and his wife Janelle decided to do something that held meaning for their family of six – open a “play cafe” in their hometown. At the same time, the popular Cafe Sip and Play in East Vancouver suddenly closed, and they were able to score some beloved toys and fixtures. Four months later, the Sip and Play space was still for rent, so they took it over and now run two shops most days of the week.

This fall, the Parkers started a preschool in the Battle Ground location. At press time, 12 kids were enrolled in two classes – a three- to five-year-old class and a “two and you” class for children and parents to attend together.

“We needed something to help supplement the cafe, and Battle Ground is a good place for another preschool because the other ones fill up really fast,” said Parker. The Parkers’ former onsite business office was converted to classroom space, where the preschoolers do arts and crafts and then have playtime in the main space. The school is starting small, but the eventual goal is to offer classes for three age groups: 2, 3 to 4 and 4 to 5, and double enrollment in the first year.

Play area 2

Despite – or maybe because of – all the excitement, I can almost hear the tired in Parker’s voice as he describes the family’s journey over the last year.

“It has been a lot of hard work – a lot harder than we anticipated,” he said. “This is the most challenging thing we have ever done.” The Parkers used their savings to launch their business. They have different business partners at each location, but those partners are not active in the stores.

The Parkers are now offering franchise opportunities with Little Cups. “The family opening a third location – it would be too much for us to do, but it could be great for somebody else,” said Matt. “They would get the benefits, name brand and all the experience that we’ve gleaned over the last year.”

Little Cups and Grownups

Battle Ground

614 E. Main St., 360-687-2045

East Vancouver

3000 S.E. 164th Ave., Suite 107, 360-254-2375

Try it our way

Drink handcrafted coffee in style at Torque

photo by annie becker

Inside Torque Coffee

In the newest chapter of downtown Vancouver’s continued revitalization, a local entrepreneur has turned a former tile factory at the city’s southern edge into a popular coffee house and gathering place. Torque Coffee Roasters embraces the rough, industrial quality of the space, which was an auto shop for years, and creates a welcoming, urban space unlike any other coffee shop in Vancouver.

Owner Ryan Palmer has a long history in the coffee business, with 14 years of experience with companies large and small, all over the country. Most recently, he owned and ran Meriwether’s Cafe, inside Vancouver’s Firstenburg Community Center. With Torque, he’s taken it another step. The lofty space is open and very hip, with plenty of reused tables and chairs or a coffee bar to sit at, and an urban patio decorated with one of the ubiquitous Vancouver murals. The coffee house, he emphasizes, is bike-friendly and dog-friendly – you can bring both inside.

The shop currently serves Coava Coffee at the bar, though he plans to begin roasting his own beans in the near future with the large roaster sitting in the corner. He also serves and will soon be certified to bottle cold-brew coffee. “We try to make our own syrups, chocolate, chai, all of it, in-house,” he says. “We also make our own tea and have a filtering system we developed ourselves. You get a fully-brewed cup of tea, not a little bag or some floaty stuff in your cup.”

Coffee is the focus at Torque – you won’t get a meal here. But incredible baked goods come from Portland’s Bake Shop, run by James Beard Award-winning cookbook author Kim Boyce. And he supports local food vendors by inviting them to set up outside, aiming “to have food carts or trucks here most days of the week.”

“We’re quality-focused above anything else,” says Palmer. Between himself and his six employees, “We’ve got about 45 years of experience behind our bar. A lot of us are former competitors in the U.S. Barista Competition – we have a different level of expertise than most people are used to.” That said, he also insists that you won’t get attitude from behind the bar. “We take the newer, fancier places that have popped up with a ‘No, we won’t DO that’ attitude, and we turn it around. Try it our way first. And if you don’t like it? We’ll do it your way.”

The Mighty Bowl

[imagebrowser id=21]

After nearly a year of planning, The Mighty Bowl food truck embarked on its maiden voyage through Downtown Vancouver in early June. Kevin DeGraw, Sherilee Valenta and Steve Valenta founded The Mighty Bowl with the goal to provide the quick, easy meal a food cart can offer, while still serving healthy food with quality ingredients. The lemon curry sauce on the eponymous signature dish, engineered by Sherilee Valenta, was the beginning of the first recipe and as such the resulting bowl was lovingly dubbed, The Mighty Bowl.

The food cart bowl concept is not new, however The Mighty Bowl’s blend of flavors is. The tangy lemon curry sauce sits in the brown rice and black bean base. On top, sour cream, shredded cheddar, olives and cilantro, blend with the zesty sauce and substantial base to create a well-balanced meal with a light, fresh taste. The sauce is free of gluten, egg, dairy, soy and nuts; combined with the other components, the dish leaves a pleasant and unique aftertaste.

The Mighty Bowl utilizes the power of social media to inform customers of their stops each week.

Find them at:



Doorway to delicious: Bleu Door Bakery offers pastries, breakfast and lunch fare

story by jessica swanson | photo by nicholas shannon kulmac

Bleu Door Bakery
2413 Main St., Vancouver

360-693-2538 | Facebook

Don’t tell me change is good. I have to taste it for myself.

When Main Street favorite, Je T’aime Bakery, owned by local restaurateur Claire Ghormley, made way for Bleu Door Bakery, my first response was “No! (Followed by dramatic gasp.) But it was time for Ghormley to move on and for Bonnie Gougér to expand her homegrown bakeshop, known for Brownies from Heaven.

On a trip to the bakery soon after it opened in October, I was delighted to see a packed case of French and American-inspired pastries, sandwiches, cookies and a rack full of classic rustic breads. The daily specials, including soup and quiche were listed on a lovely chalkboard.

The coffee selection – much expanded from its predecessor’s – now competes with (nay, trumps) the Starbucks located across the street. A full espresso menu at Bleu Door is available from Café Femenino, a fair trade line of coffees that help women worldwide. The attentive barista asked me if I wanted my cappuccino dry or wet. Dry, of course, but the attention to detail made me smile. In fact, the customer service was quite impeccable. (I can’t help but compare to a similar new business in the area, where I seem to have to repeat every aspect of my order at least once before it is made. “Did you say large? Did you say room for cream? Did you say you wanted that heated? Etc.)

I ordered a huge butter croissant (they only seemed to come in “huge”), a pear Danish (which is really more of a deep pastry dish holding a delectable stash of melty pear compote and light, sweet cheese), a blue cheese and mushroom frittata croissant sandwich, and a coffee chocolate chip scone. I topped it off with a rustic rosemary potato bread.

I brought all of these offerings back to the office to be photographed and to share with my coworkers. But by lunchtime I had eaten the scone and the frittata and had dug all of the pear and cheese out of the Danish in the name of “reviewing” the items.

Well, here’s the review: Yum! Thank you, Bleu Door! The photographer was pleased with his butter croissant, and the potato loaf is going home to family for further “review.”

(Update: Potato loaf was well-received! However, I went back a couple of days later to try a different version of the pear Danish. As I was purchasing it, I was told it was “the biggest pear Danish in the world” and they would be smaller in the future. Also, the traditional French pastry crust was dark and dense/chewy, rather than light and fluffy. So…maybe the kinks are still being worked out. Still, this won’t stop me from going back for the lunchtime Hungarian mushroom soup….)




Urban entrepreneurship

New market creates connections between backyard growers and buyers

story + photos by mary preiser potts

Urban Growers Market
Second Fridays (next one Friday June 10!
2315 Main St., Vancouver
(One World Merchants parking lot)

Embarking on its first year, the Urban Growers Market is an evolution of Craft in the Village, started in 2009 by Chris Stevens of NW Shirts and Liz Halili of One World Merchants. The new market brings together a mix of backyard growers, small farmers and food artisans, as well as artists and crafters. It features a co-op table run by Urban Abundance, a barter table where backyard farmers can swap produce, and a table where fresh eggs and plant starts are offered by Posey Patch.

You may even see a table of budding child gardeners trade and sell their own fresh produce.

A swift outpouring of support got the market off the ground. In just a few days, a Kickstarter campaign raised money for permits and fees. Sponsorships from local businesses followed. Other fundraisers included the Vancouver Vixen (skateboard) Benefit Race sponsored by NW Shirts, as well as a silent auction and concert at the Brickhouse organized by Anni Becker.

“The Urban Growers Market has been fully funded by the community, 100 percent,” Halili said.

The local food movement in Vancouver is already strong. As the UGM founders see it, the more options there are for buying local, the better, especially as people become increasingly concerned about their food sources. This is evidenced by the proliferation of community-supported agriculture farms and farmers markets in recent years.

“All of the neighborhoods around here are very interested in buying local. It’s just giving them another option for a local, community, family event,” said Sunrise O’Mahoney, a co-founder of the Urban Growers Market, alongside Halili and Stevens.

Bigger than the sum of its parts, the market aims to serve as a community gathering place. In a city with low walkability in many areas, the founders hope to provide people with a reason to get outside, walk around and get to know their neighbors.

“This is just something that oil has done away with. People don’t know their neighbors…. I would just like for people to see how closely tied we are,” Stevens said.

A backyard grower and mother of three, Erica Barnes-Davis sells produce via the Urban Abundance co-op table. She thought participating in the market would be a good way to educate her children about where their food comes from.

“It’s so hard for kids to know about seasons for foods,” she said, “since we can get anything anytime from some part of the world.”

Plant flowers at Propstra Square

The Parks Foundation is recruiting volunteers to help plant the large planters and flowerbeds in and around Propstra Square, at Esther Short Park on Saturday, May 14. The planting will begin at 9 a.m. and is expected to be completed by 11 a.m. Event sponsor Hilton Vancouver Washington will provide refreshments for volunteers both before and after the planting.  

Volunteers must preregister through the Parks Foundation office by Thursday, May 12, arrive at Propstra Square no later than 8:45 the morning of May 14 to sign volunteer forms, and should bring their own small gardening trowel. Please contact the Parks Foundation office at 360-487-8370 or email Cheri Martin to preregister. For more information, please see event flyer.

Flowers and plants for the 2011 planting were funded through Parks Foundation Propstra Square Memorial Brick sales. To help support future plantings, please consider purchasing a Memorial Brick.  

Friday Fiver: Applewood!

Erika Albright won $5 to spend at Applewood Restaurant and Bar in last week's Friday Fiver giveaway!

Applewood is located at 2005 S.E 192nd Avenue in between Vancouver and Camas. The amazing "Chef Peter" and the story of his globetrotting inspiration will be featured in the next North Bank Magazine coming out in May! Applewood is a full restaurant, bar and well-loved catering service focused on Northwest flavors. Find Applewood on Facebook.


Early Intervention Resources

Contact Information for Birth-to-Three Early Childhood Intervention Programs in Southwest Washington

Educational Opportunities for & Family
Vancouver, WA

Cowlitz & Wahkiakum                                                          
Progress Center Inc.   
Longview, WA

Lori Carpenter
Longview School District

ESD 112                                             
Vancouver, WA                                              

Rosanne McPhail
ESD 112

ESD 112                                             
Vancouver, WA                                              

Hillary Brunton
White Salmon, WA

Or check out this page of the Washington State Early Support for Infants & Toddlers Contact Directory:

Helpful Websites

The Progress Center in Longview, Washington—serves Cowlitz & Wahkiakum counties

Educational Opportunities for Children & Families (EOCF)—serves Clark County

Educational Service District #112—serves Clark, Pacific, Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, Skamania and Klickitat counties

National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center—has lots of helpful links and information

SELF—a network of resources to serve the needs of children aged birth to 5, families, providers, and the community at large

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)—a federal program for low-income women, and children up to age five who are at nutritional risk

Friday Fiver winner heads to DuckTales Kitchen

Amy Carpenter won a whopping $20 to spend at DuckTales Kitchen in Vancouver during last week’s Friday Fiver!

This Friday Fiver was sponsored by the Vancouver Business Journal’s Business Growth Awards, the annual recognition ceremony for innovative and fast growing businesses in Southwest Washington. This year, the awards presentation and finalist showcase will be held at the Heathman Lodge on April 21. Enter your business now!

VBJ gives winner $5 to spend at Savona

Michelle Cross Kropf was the winner of a $5 gift card to Savona Coffee House in last week’s Friday Fiver, sponsored by the Vancouver Business Journal. Michelle was chosen at random in a very high-tech process that involved actual crumpled pieces of paper.

The Vancouver Business Journal is a weekly business Journal serving Clark County and Southwest Washington. The company also publishes your very own North Bank Magazine, Women in Business, Top Projects, Health Resouce Guide and Book of Lists. The VBJ can be reached at 360-695-2442 or at 1251 Officers Row in Vancouver.

Know of a business that would like to bring in new customers by offering a $5 in our Friday Fiver? Write on our wall….


Arts Education on Fort Vancouver?

[From the Fort Vancouver National Trust]

The Fort Vancouver National Trust is seeking input from arts organizations, educators and artists regarding the proposed adaptive reuse of the Post Hospital as an arts education center. 

The Post Hospital opened in 1905 and in 1918 aided in the recovery of more than 20,500 patients who fell ill to the Spanish Influenza that year. The building has most recently served as offices for the Army, but has been vacant since the mid-nineties. The Post Hospital is owned by the city of Vancouver, but the Fort Vancouver National Trust holds the lease for the building and is considering it as a venue for the arts and arts education.

Artists of all disciplines and interested members of the public are invited to participate in a Community Conversation about the potential use of the Post Hospital as an arts education center. Participants will take a tour of the building (scheduled in advance by appointment) on Thursday, February 10. The Community Conversation will then follow on Tuesday, February 15 from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

During the conversation, participants will be asked to provide input on the potential uses of the space based on insights gleaned during the tour and to brainstorm with peers in a short breakout session divided into four discipline categories: Visual Arts, Performing Arts – Dance & Music, Performing Arts – Theater and Literary Arts.

Those interested in participating in this Community Conversation should schedule your tour of the Post Hospital by contacting the Fort Vancouver National Trust, 360-992-1800.

Facebook Friday Fiver winner!

Glenn Grossman of Vancouver won a free family pass worth $10 to the  Clark County Historical Museum during our last Facebook Friday Fiver (Tenner? Tenor?) Thanks Susan Tissot and CCHM for such a generous gift to one of our readers!

The Clark County Historical Museum is located at 1511 Main Street in Vancouver and can be reached at 360-993-5679. Currently featured at the museum is Autumn Trout Gathering, a Celebration of Richard Brautigan, running through Jan. 30. Ongoing is Road to Equality: The struggle for women’s rights in the Northwest.

Do you know other businesses that would like to draw in customers by giving away $5 during our Facebook Friday Fiver promotion? Write on our wall.


Another Friday Fiver Winner!

Warren Neth of Vancouver won $5 to spend at The Enchanted Gift Shop and Tea Room at 502 Washington Street in Downtown Vancouver in last week’s Facebook Friday Fiver giveaway.

The Enchanted Gift Shop is an enormously charming store and tea house with a wonderful selection of teas from all over the world as well as regular special events, including High Tea on Sunday Afternoons. How delightful!

Would your business like to get new customers in the door by giving away $5 to spend on North Bank Now? Write on our wall today…