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Construction to begin on Otto Brown Neighborhood Park in Heritage neighborhood - 01/17/18

Vancouver, Wash. - Work is scheduled to get underway later this month on Clark County's next park.

Otto Brown Neighborhood Park will be built on a 7.9-acre property along the south side of Northeast 96th Street west of Northeast 162nd Avenue, in the Heritage neighborhood. It will be the 31st park in the Greater Clark Parks District, which primarily covers the urban unincorporated area outside the city of Vancouver.

Last month, Clark County awarded a contract for building the park to Catworks Construction of Battle Ground. Catworks submitted the low bid, $922,100, of 10 received.

The park will include a perimeter asphalt path, sports court, nature play area, play equipment, wood chip loop paths, picnic tables and benches. The park was designed with a natural theme that preserves the area's vegetation and overall character.

The project will rebuild the southern half of Northeast 96th Street in front of the park with a sidewalk, curb and gutter and new asphalt. Following project completion, the existing barricade on Northeast 96th Street west of Northeast 160th Avenue will be removed.

Some preliminary utility work is underway at the site. Catworks expects to begin construction later this month. Construction should be complete and the park ready for public use in the fall.

The park is named after Otto Alexander Brown, who was born in the Hockinson area in 1878. Brown built a bicycle almost entirely of wood and rode it to Vancouver for the city's Fourth of July festivities. A Vancouver bicycle shop owner was so impressed that he gave Brown a new bicycle in exchange for the wood one, which he displayed in his store window for years.

In 2010, neighbors asked that the park be named for Brown in recognition of making his own bicycle. Play equipment at the new park will feature a bicycle theme.

More information about Otto Brown Neighborhood Park is available on the county's website, www.clark.wa.gov/public-works/otto-brown-neighborhood-park.
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County council seeks two representatives for Solid Waste Advisory Commission - 01/11/18

Vancouver, Wash. - The Clark County Council is seeking applicants to fill two volunteer positions on the Solid Waste Advisory Commission. One position will represent the local business community and the other will represent the solid waste management industry.

Commission members serve three-year terms. They provide recommendations to the county on issues such as recycling, garbage collection, landfills, transfer stations and waste reduction programs.

The commission meets at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of February, May, August and November. The next meeting, however, has been rescheduled for Feb. 8. Meetings are at the Center for Community Health, 1601 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.

Applicants for the positions should send a résumé and letter of interest to Tina Redline, County Manager's Office, P.O. Box 5000, Vancouver 98666-5000. Applications also can be sent by email to tina.redline@clark.wa.gov or faxed to 360.397.6058.

The letter of interest should address these points:

* How you represent the business community or solid waste management industry.
* Your personal or professional experience related to solid waste.
* Your vision for the future of solid waste management in Clark County.

The positions begin when they are filled.

Application deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, 2018.
For more information about the Solid Waste Advisory Commission, visit https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/solid-waste-advisory-commission or contact Kim Harless, Public Health, 360.397.2121 ext. 5957.
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Spike in flu cases creates overcrowding in emergency rooms, call your doctor first - 01/11/18

Vancouver, Wash. - As influenza spreads, residents with flu-like illness are asked to contact their health care provider before visiting a hospital emergency department. Contacting your health care provider first will reduce hospital overcrowding, help prevent the spread of flu to others, and ensure emergency departments are available to address other serious medical conditions.

"Most people who have the flu will be uncomfortable but do not need to go to an emergency department," said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Health Officer and Public Health director.

People should avoid going to emergency departments unless they experience the following conditions:

Adults and children:
* Confusion or can't be woken up
* Difficulty breathing
* Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen
* Blue lips or skin rash
* Unable to drink or keep liquids down

Children
* Fever in an infant younger than 3 months
* Excessive irritability

The best way to prevent flu is to get a flu shot. People who have not yet received a flu shot are encouraged to get one as soon as possible. The flu season can last several months, and the vaccine can take up to two weeks to be effective.

Other ways to avoid catching and spreading flu include frequent hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when sick.

Vaccine is widely available in Clark County. To get vaccinated, call your health care provider or pharmacy. If you don't have health insurance, call Sea Mar Community Health Centers at 360.852.9070 or the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington at 360.313.1390 to make an appointment for a low-cost flu shot.
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Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee offers opportunities to serve - 01/09/18

Vancouver, Wash. - Clark County is seeking applicants to fill five positions on the 13-member Clark Communities Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

Volunteer service will be a four-year commitment. Residents living anywhere in Clark County can apply. People with experience and expertise in advocating for biking, walking, transit, active transportation, mobility issues, public speaking or serving on boards and commissions are encouraged to apply.

Meetings typically are 6-8 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Center for Community Health, 1601 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. Committee meetings and other community-involved activities may require an additional four to six hours per month.

The committee serves as an advisory group to the councilors on matters relating to bicycle and pedestrian planning and funding as well as implementation of the county's bicycle and pedestrian master plan. The group reviews future road construction and private development projects to ensure safety for people who travel on foot or by bicycle.

Applicants should submit a letter of interest to Tina Redline, County Manager's Office, P.O. Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000. Applicants also may send information by fax to 360.397.6058 or email to tina.redline@clark.wa.gov.

Application deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, Jan, 26, 2018.
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Clark County Medical Examiner's Office MEDIA RELEASE - 01/05/18

The following information is in reference to a death investigated by the Clark County Medical Examiner's Office.

This individual died on 12/30/2017 in Vancouver, WA.

The name of the decedent: Trevino, Vincent R. Age: 23 Yrs

The decedent was a resident of (city/state): Unconfirmed

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

Cause of death: Homicide

Manner of death: Multiple Gunshot Wounds

No additional information is available for release from the Medical Examiner's Office. Refer all other inquiries to the Vancouver Police Department.


Media release issue date: Prepared 1/5/2018

Nikki Costa
Operations Manager

Commission on Aging reports to council on fifth year's accomplishments - 01/05/18

Vancouver, Wash. - The Commission on Aging will present a summary of its fifth year of work to the Board of County Councilors on Tuesday, Jan. 16. The 4:30 p.m. meeting will be in the sixth-floor hearing room of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St. It is open to the public.

Commission members will present a report on the 2017 supportive services series and discuss plans for a Supportive Services Summit scheduled for March 29. They will make recommendations to help strengthen supportive services for people who want to age in place and outline their 2018 work program, which will focus on transportation.

The Commission on Aging, supported by the Clark County Council, is a nine-member volunteer group that implements the Aging Readiness Plan and provides leadership addressing needs of aging community members. For more about the commission, please visit www.clark.wa.gov/community-planning/commission-aging.

Commission meetings are carried live on CVTV Channel 23 and online at www.cvtv.org. To see replay times, go to www.cvtv.org.
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Youth program, agency, county sponsor free parenting course for west side families - 01/02/18

Vancouver, Wash. - Beginning this month, West Van for Youth and Children's Home Society will offer a free, 18-week parenting course for up to 10 parents who live in the west-side 98660, 98661 and 98663 zip codes.

The evidence-based Incredible Years parenting classes are for parents and other caregivers of children ages 2-8.

Classes are held each Wednesday from Jan. 17, 2018 through May 23, 2018. Meals and child care will be provided. Each session runs 5:30-8 p.m. at Children's Home Society, 309 W. 12th St.

The course can help strengthen a parent's relationship with a child and improve a child's behavior. Parents will learn simple strategies through interactive education and hands-on coaching. Research shows that children whose parents complete Incredible Years are less likely to have behavioral or school problems or use drugs later in life.

To register, contact Children's Home Society at 360.695.1325 and mention West Van for Youth.

The West Van for Youth coalition, comprised of students, individuals and public and private agencies, works to promote healthy choices and reduce substance misuse among youth. It was established in 2011 as part of the Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative, which is funded and administered by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. Clark County is the fiscal agent for the coalition.
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Clark County seeks local home hosts for annual summer Natural Garden Tour - 01/02/18

Vancouver, Wash. - The Clark County Green Neighbors program is seeking hosts for its 2018 Natural Garden Tour on Sunday, July 15. To participate, residents should practice environmentally friendly gardening techniques and be willing to offer public tours of their yards and gardens.

The annual event is a fun way residents can show off their gardens and the Earth-conscious methods they use to make them blossom. The event gives people a chance to learn gardening techniques, get inspiration for home landscaping, and exchange ideas with others.

"I've learned that creativity and sustainability are not mutually exclusive when it comes to gardening," said Sally Fisher, sustainability program coordinator at Clark County Public Health. "Each year, I'm surprised by the variety and beauty of the Natural Garden Tour hosts' landscaping and the ways people help one another learn about sustainable gardening practices."

To register to be a Natural Garden Tour host, contact Jill Krumlauf at Public Health at 360.397.2121 ext. 7342 or jill.krumlauf@clark.wa.gov.

The Natural Garden Tour is sponsored by Clark County's Green Neighbors program.

To receive the latest Clark County eco-friendly information, sign up for the Green Neighbors newsletter at www.clarkgreenneighbors.org/happenings/newsletter.
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Clark County Parks will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with two service projects - 01/02/18

Vancouver, Wash. - Clark County Parks is seeking volunteers to assist with two service projects at Lacamas Lake Regional Park in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

On Saturday, Jan. 13, volunteers will team up with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance for trail maintenance. Please meet in the parking lot at Woodburn Elementary School, 2400 NE Woodburn Drive, Camas.

On Monday, Jan. 15, volunteers will partner with Clark County Parks to remove non-native Scotch broom and English ivy. Please meet in the Lacamas Lake Regional Park overflow parking lot at 406 NE 35th Ave., Camas.

Both events start at 9 a.m. and end at noon. Having two work parties for this national day of service will offer greater opportunity for volunteers to give back to their community and honor the legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The events will take place rain or shine. Volunteers should wear long pants, closed-toe shoes and weather-appropriate clothing. Tools, gloves and light refreshments will be provided.

To register for either event, go to www.clark.wa.gov/public-works/volunteer or call 360.397.6118 ext. 1627. Children younger than 18 must provide a signed minor consent form, which is available at www.clark.wa.gov/public-works/volunteer-forms.

This and other events improve communities and honor Dr. King, the revered civil rights leader assassinated in 1968. Congress designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national day of service in 1994.
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Newest Animal Control officer now trained for equine cruelty investigations - 12/28/17

Vancouver, Wash. - Clark County's newest Animal Protection and Control officer became qualified to investigate cases of equine neglect and cruelty by attending an investigative training in Colorado, thanks in part to a grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Her completion of Code 3 Associates training in Durango, Colo. means all five Animal Control officers are able to investigate reports of the abuse of horses in Clark County. Code 3 provided a scholarship for half the cost of the course, and a $2,300 donation from the ASPCA covered the officer's remaining costs.

"We are thankful we have the support of the national animal community to bring the latest techniques and legal aspects of horse care to Clark County," said Paul Scarpelli, Animal Protection and Control manager. "With tens of thousands of horse in our jurisdiction, having all our officers trained to the highest standard is a tremendous benefit."

The officer, who was hired in April, attended the five-day training in late August and early September.

Code 3 Associates is a nonprofit dedicated to providing professional animal disaster response and resources to community and professional training to people and agencies involved in animal-related law enforcement and emergency response.
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Prepayment of property taxes not allowed under Washington law - 12/27/17

Vancouver, Wash. - Under Washington law, the Clark County Treasurer's Office cannot accept prepayment of 2018 property taxes before the end of 2017, Treasurer Doug Lasher said Wednesday.

Some tax experts and others are urging people to pay at least some of their 2018 property taxes before the end of the year, when new tax laws passed by Congress earlier this month go into effect. Lasher said his office has received a number of calls about paying 2018 property taxes early, but that the Treasurer's Office is unable to accept early payments.

"Per Washington statute, we are unable to accept prepayment of taxes for future dates," he said.

Annual budgets are established by the taxing districts and are due to the county Treasurer in early December each year, he explained. The tax roll is created each January, and tax statements are printed and mailed in February and September. Only after a property owner receives their property tax bill can it be paid in half-yearly installments or in full in April.

Other states may allow prepayments, but the state of Washington does not, Lasher said.
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Workforce/Artforce -- A Clark County employee exhibit at the Rebecca Anstine Gallery - 12/26/17

Vancouver, Wash. -- Workforce/Artforce, a Clark County employees art exhibit, will be on display in the Rebecca Anstine Sixth Floor Gallery through Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.

A reception honoring the artists is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, at the gallery on the sixth floor of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St. Pete DuBois Song Circle will provide entertainment. The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Clark County Arts Commission.

Workforce/Artforce features artwork by Clark County employees in several departments. The pieces are varied and shed light on a deep well of creativity and skill. The exhibit includes photography, mixed media, painting, drawing and fiber art.

The Rebecca 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 Anstine Gallery is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays.
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Tips about reducing, reusing and recycling for a greener holiday season - 12/22/17

Vancouver, Wash. - During the holidays, Americans generate about 1 million extra tons of garbage each week. The waste is often gift packaging, wrapping paper and leftover food.

Fortunately, you can reduce, reuse and recycle during the holiday season without cutting back on holiday cheer, according to Sally Fisher, Outreach Program coordinator.

Follow these tips if you dream of a green Christmas:

* Take inventory of things you no longer use and donate old toys and clothing to a thrift store before you buy more. Even if the clothes can no longer be worn, thrift stores will generally sell them to textile recyclers.
* Remember to take reusable bags on your shopping trips.
* Consider gift bags or baskets or a reusable bag, all of which can be used again, instead of wrapping paper.
* Rechargeable batteries are a gift that keeps those holiday toys and gadgets running. They greatly reduce the number of batteries thrown into the landfill.
* If Santa deemed you nice and left you a new flat-screen TV, tablet, smart phone or other electronic gadget, be sure to responsibly e-cycle your old technology. Many nonprofits will accept working cell phones and computers. Visit www.recyclingA-Z.com for more details.
* Rather than mailing paper holiday cards, consider sending e-cards or an e-newsletter. Recycle paper cards you receive.

Food for thought: about half of all produce in the United States is thrown away annually, according to a 2016 Guardian report. Discarded food is the biggest single component of U.S. landfill and incinerators, the Environmental Protection Agency says. This holiday season, buy only what you need, share extra food and plan to use leftovers.

"Make your New Year's resolution to practice the three Rs every day: reduce, reuse and recycle," said Fisher.
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