October 1, 2008

Around the Area

Salmon Creek

Boldt, Stuart apologize for renaming bridge

Commissioners Marc Boldt and Steve Stuart say they are "very sorry" that they secretly decided to rename a Salmon Creek bridge after their colleague Betty Sue Morris and her mother.

In a letter to the Klineline family, released Tuesday, they promised to rescind the action and pledged a public debate over the bridge's name, to begin after Morris retires in December.

The bridge that carried Highway 99 over Salmon Creek has been known both as the Klineline Bridge and Salmon Creek Bridge.

Boldt and Stuart had intended the name change as a surprise for Morris. But they also surprised the Klinelines, who had been invited to the bridge dedication last Friday.

"All of us do or say things occasionally that we wish we could take back or rethink," Boldt and Stuart wrote. "In our enthusiasm to honor and thank Commissioner Morris for her many years of public service, we didn't anticipate that we would at the same time offend you and your family."

"Again," they added, "we're very sorry."

Clark County

Office open Saturday for voter registration

The Clark County Auditor's office will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday for last-minute voter registration.

Saturday, Oct. 4, is the last day to register in Clark County if you're registered elsewhere in Washington.

Registering can be done, by mail or online, by midnight Saturday. Mail-in registration forms are available during business hours at public libraries, public schools, city and town halls, auto license agencies, and the elections office, 1408 Franklin St., Vancouver. They must be postmarked by Oct. 4.

Address or name changes also must be submitted by Oct. 4 to ensure that voters receive the right ballot.

Registration in person at the elections office will be available until Oct. 20, but if you're registered elsewhere in Washington after Oct. 4, you'll have to cast a ballot from your old home, not your new one.

For information on accessible voting options, visit www.clarkvotes.org or call the elections office at 360-397-2345.


Historian to trace current woes to 1970s

A Vancouver historian will look back three decades to explore the roots of the nation's current crisis in a Thursday lecture at the Clark County Historical Museum.

The free lecture will be at 7 p.m. at 1511 Main St.

Laurie Mercier, professor of history at Washington State University Vancouver, will discuss "The Forgotten Decade: A Social History of the 1970s."

She will look at several current issues - economic problems, questions of presidential power, oil prices, a plummeting dollar, an expensive war, and warnings of a global ecological crisis - that echo headlines of the 1970s.

The presentation is part of the First Thursday Museum After Hours series, with normal hours extended from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Exhibit galleries are open for public viewing before and after each program.

Salmon Creek

Greenway trail to close four days this month

Clark County Public Works will close the Salmon Creek Greenway Trail for four days, starting today.

The trail will be closed between Northwest 36th Avenue in Felida and the pond just west of the Vancouver Girls Softball Association fields.

The closures are needed for park maintenance crews to repair sections of the asphalt trail damaged by tree roots.

The trail will be closed from approximately 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, Thursday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Oct. 8.

The trail will be open to the public outside those dates and times. However, the pavement will be in various stages of removal and resurfacing, and walkers and riders should use caution.

Weather or other factors may lead the work to be rescheduled.

For more information, call Clark County Public Works Maintenance and Operations at 360-397-2446.

Hazel Dell

Highway redevelopment subject of workshop

Clark County is trying to engineer east Hazel Dell's biggest face- lift in decades and wants local input on its ideas.

The county wants to turn Highway 99 into a denser, more urban corridor with features such as multistory buildings that combine homes and businesses on the same property.

Large, new commercial developments would include four different levels of what the county is calling "activity centers." The biggest, called a "town center" and placed perhaps at 78th Street, would have room for a theater and many commercial and office tenants, county planner Mike Mabrey said Tuesday.

Zoning rules and design standards would change, including more traffic restrictions and beautification projects.

The county will host a public design workshop about Highway 99 at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, in the Gaiser Middle School cafeteria, 3000 N.E. 99th St.

The county's draft plan is almost ready for public hearings before the county's planning commission and county commissioners. A planning commission hearing is scheduled Nov. 20.

The planning area is bordered roughly by Northeast 63rd Street, Interstate 5, Northeast 134th Street and the Bonneville Power Administration power lines.

For more information, visit www.clark.wa.gov/hwy99 .


Agency receives reading grant

The state Employment Security Department has awarded $91,000 to Educational Service District 112 in Vancouver to administer the Washington Reading Corps program at Clark, Cowlitz and Klickitat county schools.

The money will help pay for 30 Washington Service Corps members, who will spend 10 months to a year tutoring struggling readers. The Service Corps members also will recruit and train Reading Corps volunteers to improve students' reading skills.

Funding for the grant comes from the federal AmeriCorps and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) programs. Employment Security distributes the money to local communities throughout Washington to cover operating costs and provide stipends to Washington Service Corps members to work on a wide range of public service projects.

Nearly $2 million is being distributed to school districts, counties, learning centers, housing authorities and nonprofit groups to support 24 projects over the coming year. The projects will occur in 23 of Washington's 39 counties through August 2009.

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