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Public Health lifts swim beach closure at Vancouver Lake, downgrades algae advisory - 07/18/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has lifted the swim beach closure at Vancouver Lake after recent test results showed reduced E. coli bacteria levels. Public Health has also downgraded the algae advisory at the lake from warning to caution. Blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are still present at the lake, but results from recent water samples indicate low levels of toxins in the water.

Vancouver Lake is considered safe for swimmers; however, people and pets should avoid direct contact with lake water in areas of blue-green-colored floating scum.

Public Health closed Vancouver Lake to swimming and wading on Tuesday after routine testing revealed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria in the water. Results from water samples collected Tuesday afternoon showed bacteria levels had dropped below US Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, prompting Public Health to lift the closure.

However, an advisory remains in place at Vancouver Lake for blue-green algae. Public Health issued a warning for the lake on July 12, due to elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water. Results from water samples collected Monday indicated low levels of toxins in the water.

As long as algae are present, toxin levels could increase as conditions at the lake change. Public Health is advising people to avoid direct contact with water in areas with floating blue-green-colored scum. The toxins produced by blue-green algae can be harmful to people and deadly for small pets.

The warning signs at the lake will be replaced with caution signs, which will remain in place as long as the blue-green algae blooms are present. Public Health will continue to monitor the lake and take weekly water samples to test toxin levels.

Public Health will also continue routine monitoring at Vancouver Lake and the county’s other designated swim beaches – Klineline Pond and Battle Ground Lake – for E. coli bacteria.

Here are some steps swimmers can take to keep themselves and others healthy when enjoying local beaches:

  • Rinse off before and after swimming.
  • Don’t swim if you’ve had diarrhea or vomiting in the last two weeks.
  • Keep children who are not toilet trained and require swim diapers out of unchlorinated water.
  • Know where the bathrooms and changing stations are located.
  • Take frequent bathroom breaks. Young children should be taken to the bathroom every hour.

Information about current advisories is posted on the Public Health public beaches website.

Seven-day closure coming to Northeast 159th Street in Mount Vista - 07/18/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Drivers in the Mount Vista area should prepare for a full closure of Northeast 159th Street between Northeast 57th Avenue and Northeast 50th Avenue beginning Friday, July 19.

Contractor crews installing sanitary lines in the area noticed erosion and deterioration of the soil beneath the roadway. The closure will allow contractor Tapani Inc., of Battle Ground, to finish the installation of the sanitary lines, stabilize the ground beneath the roadway and repair those portions of the road.

During the closure, local access will be maintained for residents along Northeast 159th throughout the project area. A signed detour will be in place during the closure and will require drivers to use adjacent roads.

Drivers should expect delays in the project area until the closure is complete Friday, July 26.

###

County council seeks applicants for additional vacancy on volunteer Planning Commission - 07/17/19

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Council is accepting applications to fill a second vacancy on the volunteer Planning Commission.

The position is filling a current vacancy, and begins August 1 through December 31, 2019.

The Planning Commission is a seven-member group that makes recommendations to the council on land-use planning, zoning and development in areas outside cities and about issues such as growth management, roads, public facilities, development regulations and applicable county ordinances.

Current applications that have already been submitted for the first vacant position will also be considered for this opening. To apply, please submit a letter of interest and résumé to Alyssa Weyhrauch, Clark County Council, PO Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000. Applications also can be emailed to auch@clark.wa.gov">alyssa.weyhrauch@clark.wa.gov.

Application deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, August 9, 2019.

Public Health closes Vancouver Lake to swimmers due to E. coli bacteria - 07/16/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health is closing Vancouver Lake to swimmers due to elevated levels of E. coli bacteria detected during routine testing. Some E. coli bacteria can cause serious gastrointestinal illness if water is accidentally swallowed. 

Due to the elevated bacteria levels, Public Health is closing the lake to swimming and wading. People who fish at the lake should take precautions to avoid water contact.

“It’s especially important to keep children out of the lake because they are more likely than adults to swallow some of the water,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director.

Closure signs are being posted at Vancouver Lake today after water samples taken from the lake on Monday showed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. Public Health will continue to regularly monitor water quality at the Vancouver Lake.

The closure will remain in effect until tests show that E. coli bacteria levels do not exceed state and US Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. Public Health will advise the public when water contact is considered safe again. Test results and information about current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beaches website.

Public Health also has a blue-green algae warning in place for Vancouver Lake, due to elevated cyanotoxins in the water. Public Health is advising people to avoid direct contact with all lake water.

Vancouver Lake Regional Park remains open. Water in park restrooms and shelters is not affected by lake water and remains safe to drink.

Park visitors may continue to fish in the lake but should thoroughly clean all fish and equipment. Fish should be cooked before eaten. Anyone having contact with water in Vancouver Lake should wash hands with soap and water.

Information about E. coli

E. coli is a common kind of bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals and people. The presence of E. coli in Vancouver Lake water indicates that the water may contain bacteria found in animal or human feces. Some of these bacteria are capable of causing severe gastrointestinal illness.

Depending on the cause, people with gastrointestinal infections may experience fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea beginning several hours to several days or longer after exposure. Some infections may cause bloody diarrhea.

People who experience bloody diarrhea or persistent gastrointestinal symptoms should call their physician or other health care provider.

County seeks input on rural event venues at July 31 public forum - 07/15/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County has scheduled a public forum to hear residents’ comments regarding permitting private event venues in rural areas.

The forum will be 6-7:30 pm Wednesday, July 31, in the sixth-floor hearing room of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St. It is open to the public.

The proposed private event venues would typically be permitted independently of  those currently allowed as an accessory use to a winery, and would be available for weddings, celebrations and other private events.

The forum will be facilitated by Community Development Director Mitch Nickolds and staffed with employees from Building Safety, Fire Marshal and Land Use Review divisions in Community Development as well as Public Works Transportation staff.

County staff is looking for input from a wide variety of interested parties including residents, property owners, business operators and agency representatives.

Written comments can be sent to uralvenues@clark.wa.gov">ruralvenues@clark.wa.gov or mailed to Clark County Community Development Department, PO Box 9810, Vancouver, WA 98660-9810. Written comments also can be delivered to the Community Development Department on the third floor of the Public Service Center at 1300 Franklin St.

All written comments received will be shared at the forum and available to the public. Comments will be accepted through 5 pm Friday, Aug. 9.

To learn more about current requirements for event-related activity on private property in Clark County, go to www.clark.wa.gov/community-development/rural-event-venues-forum.

Public Health issues warning for Vancouver Lake due to elevated toxin levels - 07/12/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has upgraded its advisory at Vancouver Lake after test results revealed elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water. Public Health is advising people to avoid direct contact with all water in Vancouver Lake.

Public Health has been monitoring blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, at Vancouver Lake since June 12.

Results from water samples taken from Vancouver Lake on Monday revealed cyanotoxins above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health. The caution signs at the lake are being replaced with warning signs.

Cyanotoxins can be harmful to people, especially young children, and deadly for small pets that drink the water. Health officials recommend:

  • No swimming, water skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking or canoeing.
  • No drinking lake water.
  • No water contact for animals.
  • Cleaning fish well and discarding organs.
  • Avoiding areas of scum when using motorized boats.

Public Health will continue to monitor Vancouver Lake throughout the summer and, as long as blooms are present, take weekly water samples to test toxin levels. Signs will be updated as conditions change.

Vancouver Lake Regional Park remains open. Water in park restrooms and shelters is not affected by lake water and remains safe to drink.

Additional information about blue-green algae and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beach website. To report algae blooms in other bodies of water, visit the Public Health website.

County council appoints Robin Grimwade to Columbia River Gorge Commission - 07/11/19

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Council has appointed Robin Grimwade to fill a vacancy on the Columbia River Gorge Commission. The appointment is for a four-year term that begins immediately and continues through June 30, 2023.

Robin lives in Battle Ground and is vice president of corporate projects at Columbia Credit Union. He has advanced and associate diplomas in parks and horticultural management from the University of South Australia. Robin has served on the Clark County Planning Commission since 2017.

There are thirteen commissioners who serve on the Columbia River Gorge Commission. Washington and Oregon Governors appoint three commissioners each to represent their state, and each of the six counties in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area appoints one commissioner. The counties are Clark, Skamania and Klickitat in Washington and Wasco, Hood River and Multnomah in Oregon. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture appoints one non-voting member who must be from the U.S. Forest Service.

The commission’s mission is to establish, implement and enforce policies and programs that protect and enhance the scenic, natural, recreational and cultural resources of the Columbia River Gorge, as well as support economic development where it is compatible with resource protections. It also serves as a neutral appeals board for land use decisions in the National Scenic Area.

More information about the commission is available at www.gorgecommission.org.

County extends deadline for Animal Control Advisory Board applications - 07/10/19

Vancouver, Wash. ??' Clark County has extended the application deadline for an open position on the volunteer Animal Protection and Control Advisory Board. The deadline for applications is 5 pm Friday, July 26.

The position is for a dog owner who lives in Clark County. The term begins immediately and goes through Oct. 31, 2021.

Advisory board members meet quarterly at 6:30 pm on the fourth Thursday of the month at the Clark County Public Safety Complex, 505 NW 179th St., Ridgefield.

Functions of the 10-member board include:

    • Reporting to the Clark County and city of Vancouver councils at least once a year on general operations of the Animal Protection and Control Program
    • Recommending potential modifications to code
    • Acting as an appeals hearing board
    • Volunteering at outreach and fundraising events
    • Promoting the program and its licensing of all dogs and cats.

For more information or to download an application, go to www.clark.wa.gov/community-development/animal-control-advisory-board.

Interested applicants should submit an application and a résumé to Animal Protection and Control, P.O. Box 9810, Vancouver, WA 98666-9810 or the department office on the third floor of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

Learn about backyard composting at the seventh annual Art in the Garden event - 07/09/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County’s Master Composter Recyclers will host an open house this weekend as part of the seventh annual Art in the Garden event.

The open house is 10 am to 4 pm Sunday, July 14 at the composting demonstration site at the Center for Agriculture Science and Environmental Education, CASEE, 11104 NE 149th St., Brush Prairie. The demonstration site is at the west end of the NatureScaping Wildlife Botanical Gardens.

The composting demonstration site lets visitors view different bins and compost systems, and see backyard compost being made. During the open house, composting experts will be on hand to share tricks of the trade and invite participants to help build compost piles. Visitors will also learn about zero-waste living.

Art in the Garden is a free, family-friendly event that combines 10 specialty gardens, art, crafts and composting education.

The Master Composter Recycler program educates the community about easy ways to reduce waste, increase recycling and rethink our impact on natural resources. Learn more about the program and upcoming free workshops on the Master Composter Recycler website.

Natural Garden Tour features 12 earth-friendly gardens to inspire local gardeners - 07/09/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County residents have the opportunity to explore 12 local gardens maintained using earth-friendly techniques during this weekend’s Natural Garden Tour. Visitors can meet host gardeners and find inspiration to make their own gardens beautiful and healthy.

The free, self-guided Natural Garden Tour is 10 am to 4 pm Sunday, July 14. The tour features gardens across the county, and participants can explore gardens at their own pace – visiting as many of the 12 gardens as they’d like. Booklets with tour map and details can be downloaded from the Clark County Green Neighbors website or found at:

  • Backyard Bird Shop, 8101 NE Parkway Drive
  • Cascade Greenhouse, 6005 NE 139th St.
  • Chapman’s Greenhouse and Nursery, 14002 NE 117th Ave.
  • Heritage Farm, 1919 NE 78th St. 8:30 am to 2 pm Tuesday and Wednesday; 11:30 am to 5 pm Thursday and Friday.
  • Hidden Gardens Nursery, 4345 NW 16th Ave., Camas
  • Shorty’s Garden & Home, 10006 SE Mill Plain Blvd. and 705 NE 199th St., Ridgefield
  • Vintage Books, 6613 E Mill Plain Blvd.
  • Yard N’ Garden Land, 1501 NE 102nd St.
  • Wildlife Botanical Gardens, 11000 NE 149th St., Brush Prairie

The annual tour is a great way for local gardeners to learn how to make their yard a healthy place for pets and children while protecting waterways and wildlife. Methods include:

  • Using native plants
  • Growing food
  • Water conservation techniques
  • Attracting pollinators and other beneficial insects
  • Designing alternatives to traditional lawns

The tour also offers an opportunity for participants to chat with local residents who have learned how to maintain gardens without relying on fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Last year, more than 750 people made 1,200 visits to the 12 household gardens in the tour.

For more information about the Natural Garden Tour and other environmentally conscious activities, visit the Clark County Green Neighbors website.  

Art exhibit, Arriving at the Water's Edge, on display at Anstine Sixth Floor Gallery - 07/09/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Arriving at the Water’s Edge an art exhibit featuring the work of Kathleen Cosgrove, Don Gray and Tom Relth, is on display at the Anstine Sixth Floor Gallery through Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.

The theme of the exhibit is rivers and water.

Learn more about the artists on their websites:

A reception honoring the artists is scheduled for 2:30-4:30 pm Friday, Aug. 2 on the sixth floor of Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

This event, sponsored by the Clark County Arts Commission, is free and open to the public.

The Anstine Sixth Floor Gallery was named in honor of Rebecca Anstine, a local artist and founding curator of the public exhibit space who served as a Clark County Arts Commission board member.

The gallery is open 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, except holidays.

Advisory Board needs commercial, industrial development expertise - 07/09/19

Vancouver, Wash. – The county manager is seeking an applicant to fill a vacancy on the Clark County Development and Engineering Advisory Board, DEAB. The position is open to a professional associated with commercial or industrial development.

The three-year term begins Sept. 1, 2019 and ends Aug. 31, 2022.

The advisory board reviews policy and county code changes and works on process improvements and fees with the county’s Community Development and Public Works departments.

DEAB consists of ten members: three private-sector planners or engineers; one construction contractor; one public-sector planner or engineer; one land developer; one Building Industry Association representative; one professional associated with commercial or industrial development; and two other professionals associated with development.

DEAB typically meets 2:30-4:30 pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

Anyone interested should submit a letter of interest and résumé to Alyssa Weyhrauch, Councilors’ Office, P.O. Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000. Applications also can be emailed to auch@clark.wa.gov">alyssa.weyhrauch@clark.wa.gov.

Application deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019.

More information, including meeting agendas and minutes, is available at www.clark.wa.gov/community-development/development-and-engineering-advisory-board.

Public Health downgrades advisory at Vancouver Lake - 07/03/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has downgraded the advisory at Vancouver Lake from warning to caution. Blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are still present at the lake, but results from recent water samples indicate low levels of toxins in the water.

As long as algae are present, toxin levels could increase as conditions at the lake change. Public Health is advising people to avoid direct contact with water in areas with floating blue-green-colored scum. The toxins produced by blue-green algae can be harmful to people and deadly for small pets.

Health officials are recommending:

  • No swimming or water skiing in areas of scum.
  • No drinking lake water.
  • No water contact for animals in areas of scum.
  • Avoid areas of scum when boating.
  • Clean fish well and discard organs.

The warning signs at the lake will be replaced with caution signs, which will remain in place as long as the blooms are present. Public Health will continue to monitor the lake and take weekly water samples to test toxin levels. Water samples will be collected again next week.

Additional information about blue-green algae and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beach website.

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE UPDATE - 07/03/19

The following information is in response to a media request for information regarding a death investigated by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

 

Date of death: Found 07/01/2019

Location: Vancouver, WA.

Decedent Name: Vigeland, Leif E.         

Decedent Age: 36 Yrs                

Resident of:  Vancouver, WA

 

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

Cause of death: Pending

Manner of death: Pending

 

 

Reports and records of autopsies or postmortems shall be confidential as per RCW 68.50.105. No additional information is available for release from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Refer all other inquiries to the Vancouver Police Department.

 

Nikki J. Costa

Operations Manager

County lifts moratorium on marijuana businesses - 07/03/19

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Council last night voted to remove a ban on marijuana businesses in the unincorporated area. The ban had been in place in the county since May 2014.

Earlier this year, the county council initiated discussions of lifting the moratorium on marijuana, and last month the Clark County Planning Commission recommended to the county council that the moratorium on marijuana businesses be lifted. Under this update to Title 40 of the Clark County Code, marijuana producers, processors and retailers will be permitted in certain zones in the unincorporated county.

The code adopted by the council maintains the prohibition on marijuana establishments within 1,000 feet of an elementary or secondary school or public playground, as required by state law, but reduces the buffer to 500 feet for child care centers, libraries, churches, transit centers and recreational facilities. The council also added a 500 foot buffer for substance use disorder treatment facilities. Additionally, marijuana retail businesses will be allowed to be open until 11 pm, the same as the city of Vancouver.

The changes go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. More information is available on the county’s website at https://www.clark.wa.gov/community-planning/marijuana-regulations.

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE - 07/02/19

The following information is in response to a media request for information regarding a death investigated by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

 

Date of death: Found 07/01/2019

Location: Vancouver, WA.

Decedent Name: Vigeland, Leif E.         

Decedent Age: 36 Yrs                

Resident of:  Vancouver, WA

 

No additional information is available for release at this time.

 

Reports and records of autopsies or postmortems shall be confidential as per RCW 68.50.105.

 

Refer all other inquiries to the Vancouver Police Department.

 

Nikki J. Costa

Operations Manager

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE - 07/02/19

The following information is in response to a media request for information regarding a death investigated by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

 

Date of death: 06/24/2019

Location: Vancouver, WA.

 

Decedent Name: Gutierrez, Ramon A.    

Decedent Age:  37 Yrs               

Resident of:  Vancouver, WA

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

 

Cause of death: Blunt Head and Neck Injuries

Manner of death: Accident

How injury occurred: Pedestrian struck by vehicle

 

Reports and records of autopsies or postmortems shall be confidential as per RCW 68.50.105. No additional information is available for release from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Refer all other inquiries to the Vancouver Police Department.

 

 

 

Nikki J. Costa

Operations Manager

Public Health lifts advisories at Lacamas and Round lakes; warning remains for Vancouver Lake - 07/02/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has lifted the advisories at Lacamas and Round lakes in Camas. The blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, at the lakes dissipated over the weekend and are no longer present at either lake.

The caution and warning signs posted at the lakes are being removed. However, algae blooms may return as conditions change. Public Health encourages people swimming and recreating in the lakes to watch for floating blue-green-colored scum and avoid direct contact with water in those areas. The public can report algae blooms on the Public Health website.

While conditions improved in Camas, the warning remains in place at Vancouver Lake. Blue-green algae blooms are still present at the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet and the flushing channel near the swim beach. Last week, test results revealed elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water at Vancouver Lake. Cyanotoxins can be harmful to people, especially young children, and deadly for small pets that drink the water.

Public Health is advising people to avoid direct contact with all water in Vancouver Lake. Health officials recommend:

  • No swimming, water skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking or canoeing.
  • No drinking lake water.
  • No water contact for animals.
  • Cleaning fish well and discarding organs.
  • Avoiding areas of scum when using motorized boats.

Public Health staff collected water samples from Vancouver Lake on Monday to determine if toxins are still in the water. Results should be available Wednesday. Public Health may downgrade the advisory at the lake from warning to caution if toxins are no longer present. As long as algae are present, toxin levels could increase as conditions at the lake change.

Public Health has been monitoring cyanobacteria blooms at Vancouver Lake since June 12. Public Health will continue to monitor the lake and take weekly water samples to test toxin levels as long as the blooms are present.

Additional information about blue-green algae and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beach website.

County's Risk Management approach is well designed but its implementation limited its effectiveness - 06/28/19

Vancouver, Wash. -- The Clark County Audit Oversight Committee will meet at 2 pm Tuesday, July 2, to review a recent performance audit of the county’s Risk Management function. The meeting will be in conference room 698 on the sixth floor of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

Copies of the audit are available on the county website at https://www.clark.wa.gov/auditor/audit-reports.

The Risk Management function has undergone notable changes since the county’s 2014 departure from the Washington Counties Risk Pool. The purpose of this audit was to determine if the Risk Management function was effectively and efficiently reducing the risk of loss in the county.

The audit found that the County’s Risk Management approach is well designed but its implementation limited its effectiveness. Reporting elements need to be reestablished in keeping with Clark County Code and updates to the code are needed to reflect changes in operations. 

The audit also found that since leaving the risk pool, the Risk office’s data reliability has diminished and the application of the risk process varied between workers’ compensation and general liability claims. Analysis of the available claims data showed gains in efficiency and effectiveness within the Workers’ Compensation program. Analysis also showed fewer claims but an increase in litigated claims overall.

The Risk Management function has recently been assigned to the Human Resources department. Additionally the county expanded a contract with the third-party administrator currently managing workers’ compensation claims. These measures are designed to improve communications, create efficiencies, and address many of the data capture deficiencies listed in the report.

The report makes recommendations that include: retain and implement Clark County Code 2.95 elements aligned with best practices, design and implement controls activities to improve claim histories, review controls to expanded third-party administrator contract, and consistently applying the risk management process to the general liability program.

“In today’s challenging environment, a coordinated and continuously evolving risk management process is essential,” said Auditor Greg Kimsey. “An effective process will reduce risk to employees and the public as well as improve the county’s ability to manage costs.”

Public Health issues warnings for Vancouver, Round lakes due to elevated toxin levels - 06/27/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has upgraded its advisories at Vancouver Lake and Round Lake after test results revealed elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water. Cyanotoxins can be harmful to people, especially young children, and deadly for small pets that drink the water.

Public Health has been monitoring blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, at Vancouver Lake since June 12, and Round and Lacamas lakes in Camas since Monday.

Results from water samples taken from Vancouver and Round lakes on Monday revealed cyanotoxins above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health. The caution signs at those lakes are being replaced with warning signs.

Public Health is advising people to avoid direct contact with all water in Vancouver and Round lakes. Health officials recommend:

  • No swimming, water skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking or canoeing.
  • No drinking lake water.
  • No water contact for animals.
  • Cleaning fish well and discarding organs.
  • Avoiding areas of scum when using motorized boats.

Results from water samples taken from Lacamas Lake on Monday showed toxin levels below the threshold for additional action. However, as long as algae are present, toxin levels could increase as conditions at the lake change. As such, the caution signs remain in place at Lacamas Lake.

At Lacamas Lake, health officials are advising people and pets to avoid direct contact with water in areas of floating blue-green-colored scum.

Public Health will continue to monitor the lakes as long as blooms are present and take weekly water samples to test toxin levels. Signs will be updated as conditions change.

Additional information about blue-green algae and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beach website. To report algae blooms in other bodies of water, visit the Public Health website.

Proper fireworks disposal prevents fires, injury and waterway contamination - 06/27/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Fireworks remain potential sources of fire and injury long after they light up the night sky. Improper disposal of fireworks puts waste and recycling workers at increased risk of injury from fires in their trucks and at transfer stations.

Fireworks debris, if not properly cleaned up, can be washed into storm drains that lead to streams, rivers and other waterways. Fireworks contain a number of heavy metals and other chemicals that can build up in fish and wildlife. Residents can reduce this contamination by sweeping up and disposing of firework debris as soon as possible and not using fireworks near waterways.

Failing to clean up fireworks residue is littering, a violation of Washington law and Clark County ordinance. Clark County Public Works does not provide additional street sweeping after Independence Day.

Tips for proper disposal of used fireworks:

  • Do not place any fireworks or any part of fireworks in your recycling cart. All used fireworks should be treated as garbage and disposed of as follows:
    • Put used fireworks in a bucket of water overnight. Remove them from the water and put them in a garbage bag and into your garbage can.
    • Dump the water onto grass, dirt or other landscape where it won’t flow into a storm drain and into the river. Do not pour onto pavement, into the street or down a drain.

Tips for proper disposal of unused fireworks:

  • Do not put in your garbage or recycling; they are explosives and can cause serious harm to workers and the environment.
  • Do not take them to the transfer stations; workers cannot accept explosives.
  • Do take them to the following locations between 8 am and 5 pm Monday-Friday, except holidays. Fireworks must be given directly to personnel, not left in lobby or outside unattended. Check in with office staff prior to bringing fireworks into the building.
    • Clark County Public Safety Complex, 505 NW 179th St., Ridgefield. 360.397.2186.  
    • Vancouver Police Department, 360.487.7500.
      • East Precinct – 520 SE 155th Ave.
      • West Precinct – 2800 NE Stapleton Rd.
    • Camas-Washougal Fire Department, 360.834.2262.
      • Station 43 – 1400 A St., Washougal.
      • Station 42 – 4321 NW Parker St., Camas.
      • Station 41 – 616 NE Fourth Ave., Camas.

Do not attempt to move or transport homemade explosive devices or altered fireworks for disposal. They will not be accepted at the above locations. Call 911 and report them for removal.

If a firework fails to ignite, an adult should approach it carefully after at least 15 minutes, and place it in a bucket of water. After soaking overnight, remove it from the water and treat it as an unused firework.

Residents should use fireworks only during legal discharge times, which vary across the county. It is illegal to discharge any fireworks in the city of Vancouver.

Washington Secretary of State recognizes Janielle Tomlin as County Elections Employee of the Year - 06/26/19

Vancouver, Wash. – The Election Offices in each of Washington State’s 39 counties have been working with the Office of the Secretary of State to develop and implement VoteWA – a new election management and voter registration system. An extraordinary effort has been made by the VoteWA implementation team to ensure that VoteWA will be implemented well in advance of the 2020 Presidential election.

For her contributions to the VoteWA effort, Secretary of State Kim Wyman recently recognized Clark County Elections’ employee Janielle Tomlin as Washington State’s County Elections Employee of the Year for 2019.

When announcing the award, Secretary Wyman said, “Janielle has been a Same Day Voter Registration planner, VoteWA Super User, VoteWA regional trainer and all around rock star! A consummate elections professional, her knowledge of Washington election law makes our office look forward to working with her.”

Greg Kimsey, Clark County Auditor, said “Janielle’s supervisor, Elections Manager Cathie Garber, and I are so appreciative of the quality and quantity of work that Janielle has given to developing and implementing VoteWA. Her contributions are a big part of why VoteWa is going to be successful!”

When completed, VoteWA will be a fully-integrated, centralized voter registration and election management solution that processes candidate filing and petition management. Its public portal will feature an online voters’ guide and a results reporting application.

VoteWA will provide improved security for Washington elections, increased consistency of election procedures across the state and better service for voters. VoteWa will be the most advanced statewide election management and voter registration system in the country.

Correction Facility Advisory Commission concludes study of future jail options - 06/26/19

Commission members to provide a report to the county council this fall

Vancouver, Wash. – The Correction Facility Advisory Commission, CFAC, a volunteer advisory commission tasked with evaluating options to replace the county jail, decided this week to provide a report detailing possibilities for a future jail to the Clark County Council this fall.

CFAC members, a diverse group of individuals representing law and justice, community services, social services, neighborhoods, cities, business and labor, will hold their last meetings in July and August to discuss and finalize the report.

The commission decided the report will detail the results of its 18 months of research and consensus on the need, size, and characteristics for the corrections facility. Members agreed on what many components of the future jail should look like for the community. CFAC’s report also will highlight the potential costs and financial components of the project for the county council to consider.

Members noted this is Phase 1 of what will be a continuing community conversation about jail needs and costs. Commission members agreed that more research is needed on this issue and encouraged the county to continue its engagement with stakeholders. Several CFAC members indicated they would like to be a part of that process.

A work session before the county council will be scheduled for September. At the work session, CFAC will present its report to the council, and councilors and staff will discuss the next steps of the jail replacement process.

For more information, go to www.clark.wa.gov/councilors/correction-facility-advisory-commission.

Public Health offers option for dog-friendly patios at food establishments - 06/26/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has created an option for food establishments interested in creating dog-friendly outdoor patios.

Since 2005, Washington state food code has prohibited all animals, except service animals, on the premises of food establishments, which include outdoor dining areas. In recent years, local business owners and the public have shown growing interest in more pet-friendly dining establishments. In response, Clark County Public Health has developed a variance to the state code that will allow dogs on outdoor patios while still maintaining food safety.

Food establishments applying for a variance must demonstrate they have implemented practices outlined by Public Health that maintain safe food-handling standards and reduce the risks associated with having dogs in dining areas. Those practices include:

  • only allowing dogs to enter the patio area from an outside entrance
  • posting signs prohibiting dogs from sitting on chairs, tables, countertops and patrons’ laps
  • not allowing dogs to have any contact with reusable dishes or utensils used for food service
  • keeping the outdoor patio free of visible dog hair, dog dander and other dog-related waste
  • not allowing employees to touch, pet or otherwise handle any dog while serving food or beverages or handling tableware
  • requiring dogs to be kept on a short leash in the control of the owner and have a current pet license

These practices are necessary to reduce the risk of food workers coming into contact with potential sources of disease and passing those germs onto patrons. Dog feces can contain a variety of worms, bacteria and parasites, including salmonella, giardia, cryptosporidiosis and campylobacter. People who come into contact with those germs – whether directly or indirectly, on other surfaces or food – can become ill.

The local variance only applies to dogs; other pets remain prohibited on outdoor patios and inside food establishments. An approved variance only allows dogs in an outdoor seating area, not inside the restaurant. Only service animals are allowed inside food establishments.

The variance review process requires a one-time fee of $300. Food establishment permit and fee amounts are set based on the cost of providing the service, in accordance with policy direction set by the Clark County Board of Health in 2018.

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE - 06/25/19

The following information is in response to a media request for information regarding recent death investigations by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

 

Date of death: 06/22/2019

Location: Amboy, WA.

 

Decedent Name: Snider, Vernon W.      

Decedent Age:  84 Yrs               

Resident of:  Amboy, WA

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

Cause of death: Multiple Gunshot Wounds of the Head

Manner of death: Homicide

How injury occurred: Shot by other person(s)

 

 

Decedent Name: Rowland, Robert E.     

Decedent Age:  56 Yrs               

Resident of:  Amboy, WA

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

Cause of death: Gunshot Wound of the Head

Manner of death: Suicide

How injury occurred: Decedent shot self with handgun

 

 

Reports and records of autopsies or postmortems shall be confidential as per RCW 68.50.105. No additional information is available for release from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Refer all other inquiries to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

 

 

 

 

 

Nikki J. Costa

Operations Manager

 

Sale of fireworks begins June 28, use in unincorporated area allowed July 4 - 06/25/19

Vancouver, Wash. – New rules for fireworks go into effect this year for the unincorporated areas of Clark County. For the Independence Day holiday, fireworks can be used only from 9 am to midnight Thursday, July 4.

This is a change from last year when discharge of fireworks was permitted as early as June 28 in areas north of Northeast/Northwest 219th Street.

“This update makes the allowable time for fireworks discharge consistent for all county residents in the unincorporated area,” said Fire Marshal Jon Dunaway. “Even though fireworks are offered for sale starting on June 28, remember that they are not allowed to be used until July 4.”  The county will have patrols out enforcing the fireworks laws. Illegal use of fireworks such as curfew or device type violation is subject to a $500 civil fine for first time offenders. 

Fireworks also can be used from 6 pm Dec. 31 to 1 am Jan. 1 in unincorporated areas.

Vancouver has banned fireworks within its city limits. Clark County provides a handy online chart, indicating when fireworks can be used in different areas of the county. There is also an interactive map that allows anyone with an on-line device to quickly determine the rules for fireworks use based on an address anywhere in the county. Additionally, each sales location in the county is required to post signage outlining when fireworks can be used legally.

Safety first
Residents and visitors are urged to celebrate the Fourth of July with extra caution because of the dry conditions throughout Clark County.

If you plan to buy fireworks, the best option is to purchase them locally from a stand inspected by the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office. Fireworks purchased outside the county may not be legal locally.

A few important safety reminders:

  • Always have a bucket of water and water hose ready to douse any fire.
  • Assign a responsible adult to supervise fireworks use.
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings, vehicles and dry vegetation.
  • Never aim fireworks at people or structures.
  • Never attempt to alter fireworks or relight “duds” that fail to ignite.
  • Place used fireworks in a bucket of water to soak overnight before disposing of them. These devices can still be smoldering and could start a fire if placed in a trash receptacle.

Public Health issues blue-green algae advisories for Lacamas and Round lakes - 06/24/19

Clark County Public Health has issued advisories for Lacamas Lake and Round Lake in Camas due to blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae.

A blue-green algae bloom in Lacamas Lake was reported to Public Health on Friday afternoon. Public Health staff visited Lacamas Lake, Round Lake and Fallen Leaf Lake this morning and identified blue-green algae blooms in Lacamas Lake and Round Lake. Staff did not see a bloom at Fallen Leaf Lake. 

Water samples were collected from Lacamas and Round lakes. Results from those samples should be available later this week and will determine if toxins are in the water.

Public Health staff spotted blooms in Lacamas Lake near the Lacamas Lake Lodge and along the Heritage Trail shoreline. At Round Lake, staff saw blooms near the dam and in the slough adjacent to the lake. 

Public Health is advising people to avoid direct contact with lake water in areas of floating blue-green-colored scum. Blue-green algae produce toxins that can be harmful to people and deadly for small pets that drink the water.

Health officials are recommending:

• No swimming or water skiing in areas of scum.

• No drinking lake water.

• No water contact for animals in areas of scum.

• Avoid areas of scum when boating.

• Clean fish well and discard organs.

Caution signs have been posted at Lacamas Lake and Round Lake. Public Health will continue to monitor the lakes as long as blooms are present, and signs will be updated as conditions change. 

Advisory remains at Vancouver Lake

Caution signs remain posted at Vancouver Lake due to blue-green algae blooms. 

Caution signs were posted at Vancouver Lake on June 12, after Public Health staff identified blooms at the Vancouver Lake swim beach, the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet and the flushing channel near the swim beach. Test results from water samples taken from the lake showed low levels of toxins in the water. The levels were below thresholds for taking additional action.

Currently, the only visible bloom is at the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet. However, the entire lake remains under advisory, as blue-green algae blooms can dissipate and grow as conditions change.

Public Health will continue to monitor the bloom and collect weekly water samples to test toxin levels at Vancouver Lake. Signs will remain in place until the blooms are no longer present.

Additional information about blue-green algae and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beach website.

Public Health issues blue-green algae advisories for Lacamas and Round lakes - 06/24/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has issued advisories for Lacamas Lake and Round Lake in Camas due to blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae.

A blue-green algae bloom in Lacamas Lake was reported to Public Health on Friday afternoon. Public Health staff visited Lacamas Lake, Round Lake and Fallen Leaf Lake this morning and identified blue-green algae blooms in Lacamas Lake and Round Lake. Staff did not see a bloom at Fallen Leaf Lake.

Water samples were collected from Lacamas and Round lakes. Results from those samples should be available later this week and will determine if toxins are in the water.

Public Health staff spotted blooms in Lacamas Lake near the Lacamas Lake Lodge and along the Heritage Trail shoreline. At Round Lake, staff saw blooms near the dam and in the slough adjacent to the lake.

Public Health is advising people to avoid direct contact with lake water in areas of floating blue-green-colored scum. Blue-green algae produce toxins that can be harmful to people and deadly for small pets that drink the water.

Health officials are recommending:

  • No swimming or water skiing in areas of scum.
  • No drinking lake water.
  • No water contact for animals in areas of scum.
  • Avoid areas of scum when boating.
  • Clean fish well and discard organs.

Caution signs have been posted at Lacamas Lake and Round Lake. Public Health will continue to monitor the lakes as long as blooms are present, and signs will be updated as conditions change.

Advisory remains at Vancouver Lake

Caution signs remain posted at Vancouver Lake due to blue-green algae blooms.

Caution signs were posted at Vancouver Lake on June 12, after Public Health staff identified blooms at the Vancouver Lake swim beach, the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet and the flushing channel near the swim beach. Test results from water samples taken from the lake showed low levels of toxins in the water. The levels were below thresholds for taking additional action.

Currently, the only visible bloom is at the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet. However, the entire lake remains under advisory, as blue-green algae blooms can dissipate and grow as conditions change.

Public Health will continue to monitor the bloom and collect weekly water samples to test toxin levels at Vancouver Lake. Signs will remain in place until the blooms are no longer present.

Additional information about blue-green algae and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beach website.

County seeks applicants for Animal Control Advisory Board position - 06/21/19

Vancouver, Wash. ??' Clark County is seeking applicants for an open position on the volunteer Animal Protection and Control Advisory Board.

The position is for a dog owner who lives in Clark County.

The term begins immediately and terminates Oct. 31, 2021.

Advisory board members meet quarterly at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month at the Clark County Public Safety Complex, 505 NW 179th Street.

Functions of the 10-member board include:

  • Reporting to the Board of County Councilors and Vancouver City Council at least once a year on general operations of the Animal Protection and Control Program
  • Recommending potential modifications to code
  • Acting as an appeals hearing board
  • Volunteering at outreach and fundraising events
  • Promoting the program and its licensing of all dogs and cats.

For more about the board or to download an application, please go to www.clark.wa.gov/community-development/animal-control-advisory-board.

Application deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, July 5, 2019.

Applications and a resume can be mailed to Animal Protection and Control, P.O. Box 9810, Vancouver, WA 98666-9810 or dropped off at the department office on the third floor of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.