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Ready, set, count: Volunteers needed for annual trail counts next month - 08/14/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Each September, volunteers compile trail data for planning future trail projects and supporting grant applications and other funding requests.

Clark County is working with other agencies to marshal volunteers who will count runners, walkers and cyclists on trails and pathways in the Portland-Vancouver area. This year a new mobile app for counting will be tested at select locations.

Volunteers are needed to help with weekday trail counts from 5-7 pm Sept. 11-13 and weekend counts from 9-11 am Sept. 15-16. Volunteers will be trained.

Trail count locations in Clark County include:

  • Frenchman’s Bar and Vancouver Lake Trail at the Blurock Landing trailhead
  • Salmon Creek Greenway Trail at the Vancouver Girls Softball Association trailhead
  • Columbia River Renaissance Trail
  • Burnt Bridge Creek Trail at the Northeast Devine Road trailhead and near Northwest 78th Street-Lakeshore Avenue
  • Padden Parkway Trail at Northeast 94th Avenue
  • Lacamas Trail at the Northeast Goodwin Road trailhead.

Interested in volunteering? Please RSVP to see the full list of counting locations, sign up for one of two training sessions and register when and where you will help. The training sessions are:

  • 5-6:30 pm Tuesday, Aug. 28, Clark County Public Works Operations Center, 4700 N.E. 78th St., Conference Room B-1.
  • 5-6:30 pm Thursday, Aug.30, Vancouver City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St.

More information on trail counts and other volunteer opportunities is available at www.clark.wa.gov/public-works/annual-trail-user-counts.

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office MEDIA RELEASE - 08/13/18

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

 

This individual died on 08/08/2018 in Ridgefield, WA.

 

The name of the decedent: Cutler-Ffitch, Stefany R.    Age: 23 Yrs           

The decedent was a resident of (city/state):  Ridgefield, WA

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

 

Cause of death: Accident

Manner of death: Smoke Inhalation

 

No additional information is available for release from the Medical Examiner’s Office.

 

Media release issue date: Prepared 08/13/2018

 

Nikki Costa

Operations Manager

Public Health lifts warning at Klineline Pond after water quality improves - 08/10/18

Vancouver, Wash. –  Clark County Public Health lifted the swim beach warning at Klineline Pond today, after the latest water samples did not show elevated levels of bacterial contamination.

Public Health closed Klineline Pond to swimming and wading on Tuesday, after routine testing revealed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. Test results from water samples taken on Wednesday showed improved water quality, prompting Public Health to lift the closure on Thursday.

Public Health posted warning signs at the swim beach, however, until a second round of samples could confirm improved water quality. Those results came back today and did not show elevated levels of bacterial contamination.

Park staff removed the warning signs this afternoon.

Public Health will continue to monitor the swim beach at Klineline Pond, as well as the swim beaches at Battle Ground Lake and Vancouver Lake, throughout the summer. Test results and information about current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beaches website.

Emily Zwetzig appointed Clark County budget director - 08/10/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Today, Clark County Manager Shawn Henessee named Emily Zwetzig to direct the county’s budget office. Zwetzig currently serves as the interim budget director.

Zwetzig joined the county in 2014 and has worked in the Budget Office as a senior budget, policy analyst since February 2017. Prior to that, she served as the department finance manager at District Court, Corrections and as a business manager at Clackamas County. She has worked in public service at the county level for more than 16 years.

Zwetzig has worked on many countywide initiatives including program budgeting and fund balance policy development. She, along with the rest of the budget office team, is working to implement new budget software and transition the county budget to an annual cycle.

“I’m confident that Emily’s comprehensive background and leadership skills will be instrumental in managing the county budget office and helping department directors and elected officials navigate the upcoming budget process,” said Henessee.

The budget office includes a team of analysts working with all county departments to develop budget policies and procedures, and to produce recommendations for executive staff and the county council, based on data, goals and legal requirements.

Public Health lifts closure at Klineline Pond, issues warning for swimming, wading - 08/09/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has lifted the closure at Klineline Pond but has issued a warning for the swim beach. Health officials advise against swimming or wading in the water at Klineline Pond.

Public Health closed Klineline Pond to swimming and wading on Tuesday, after routine testing revealed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. Public Health has continued to monitor the swim beach. Test results from water samples taken on Wednesday showed improved water quality.

Additional water samples were collected this afternoon. Public Health will lift the warning at the pond if results from those samples confirm the water quality has improved.

Test results and information about current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beaches website.

Salmon Creek Regional Park and the splash pad, which uses municipal water, were not affected by the closure and remain open to the public. Water within the restrooms and shelters is not affected by the pond water and is safe to drink.

While recreating at swim beaches and pools, consider these recommendations to help protect yourself and others from illness:

  • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
  • Stay out of the water if you have an open wound that is not covered by a waterproof bandage.
  • Do not swallow water.
  • Take children for bathroom breaks every hour.
  • Keep children who are not toilet trained out of the water.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after using the bathroom.

Klineline Pond closed to swimmers due to E. coli bacteria - 08/07/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health is closing Klineline Pond 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 pond to swimming and wading. People who fish at Klineline should take precautions to avoid water contact.

“It’s especially important to keep children out of the pond 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.

Public Health posted closure signs at the pond this afternoon after water samples taken from the pond on Monday showed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. Public Health will continue to regularly monitor water quality at the pond.

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.

Salmon Creek Regional Park and the splash pad, which uses municipal water, will remain open to the public. Water within the restrooms and shelters is not affected by the pond water and remains safe to drink.

Park visitors may continue to fish in the pond but should thoroughly clean all fish and equipment. Fish should be cooked before eaten. Anyone having contact with water in Klineline Pond 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 Klineline Pond 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.

Commission on Aging August speaker to focus on the benefits of walking and bicycling for seniors - 08/07/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Walking and biking can contribute to healthy aging by improving seniors’ mobility, access to services, and physical and mental health. Improving and developing well-connected, attractive bike and pedestrian routes that are safe, convenient and user-friendly can support aging-in-place. Learn more about active transportation at the next meeting of the Commission on Aging, 4:30 pm Tuesday, Aug. 21.

The meeting will be in the sixth-floor Hearing Room of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St. It is open to the public.

Dr. Jennifer Dill, a professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University, PSU, and director of PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Center, will discuss the benefits of active transportation and how the design of the built environment can impact an older person’s health and independence.

The Aug. 21 discussion is the fifth meeting this year focused on transportation, especially for people 60 and older. Transportation is the hallmark of a livable community, allowing residents of all ages and abilities to connect with others and maintain independence. For a schedule of topics, go to www.clark.wa.gov/community-planning/2018-transportation-speaker-series.

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, visit www.clark.wa.gov/community-planning/commission-aging.

Short section of Northeast 119th Street to close for work at railroad crossing - 08/06/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Starting Friday morning, a short section of Northeast 119th Street will close for construction at the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad crossing.

Northeast 119th Street, from east of Northeast 99th Avenue to west of Northeast 102nd Avenue, will be closed beginning at 7 am Friday, Aug. 10, and ending no later than 11 pm Sunday, Aug. 26.

Access will be maintained for residents in the immediate area on Northeast 119th Street. Drivers needing to reach Northeast 99th Avenue must approach from the west, and drivers needing to reach Northeast 102nd Avenue must approach from the east.

Through traffic will need to use an alternate route, such as Northeast Padden Parkway to the south.

The railroad work is one part of a two-year project to widen and improve Northeast 119th Street, from east of Northeast 87th Avenue to Northeast 112th Avenue.

Clark County’s general contractor, Rotschy Inc. of Vancouver, will upgrade the two-lane road to a four-lane minor arterial with two lanes in each direction, a center turn lane, bicycle lanes, sidewalks and facilities to collect and treat polluted storm runoff.

This latest project is part of Clark County’s multiyear effort to upgrade Northeast 119th Street. Through a series of projects, more than $50 million will be invested to improve the east-west corridor, from a narrow two-lane road with no sidewalks or bicycle lanes to a modern arterial that meets the needs of a growing community.

More information on Northeast 119th Street improvements is available on the county’s website: www.clark.wa.gov/public-works/ne-119th-street.

Get children back-to-school ready by ensuring vaccines are up to date - 08/06/18

Vancouver, Wash. – The new school year is quickly approaching. Ensuring children are up to date on immunizations should be on every parent’s back-to-school checklist.

Immunizations not only protect children from many serious diseases, but they are required for school. Getting children needed immunizations during the summer ensures they won’t miss school days. Children who do not meet all school vaccination requirements can be excluded from school until they do.

Information about immunization requirements for children entering schools, preschools and licensed child care settings is available on the Washington State Department of Health website. Recommended immunization schedules for children birth to 6 years old and 7 to 18 years old also are available on the state website.

“Vaccinating children according to the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child’s health,” said Brianna Dannen, public health nurse. “Diseases can quickly spread among groups of children who aren’t vaccinated.”

Parents who need copies of their child’s immunization records, or who want to check their own immunization status, can sign up for MyIR to securely access immunization records online. Immunizations records also can be obtained from health care providers and the state Department of Health.

All vaccines required for school are free for students up to age 19. Some providers may charge an administration fee. Parents who can’t afford the fee may ask to have it waived.

Families without a regular health care provider can receive free or low-cost back-to-school immunizations at the clinics listed below. Please be sure to bring your child’s immunization records.

Patient Direct Care
Call in advance to ensure availability
8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday
209 E. Main St., Suite 121, Battle Ground
360.999.5138

Free Clinic of Southwest Washington
Walk-in, uninsured children only
5:30-7:30 pm, first and third Wednesdays of the month
4100 Plomondon St.
360.313.1390

Go Ready! Back-to-school Readiness Festival
10 am to 1:30 pm Wednesday, Aug. 22
Hudson’s Bay High School, 1601 E McLoughlin Blvd.
360.342.8060

Sea Mar Vancouver Salmon Creek Medical Clinic
Walk-in
8 am to 5 pm, Mondays in August and September
14508 NE 20th Ave., Suite 102
360.852.9070

Camas4Kids Fair
Adolescents only
10 am to 2 pm Saturday, Sept. 22
Doc Harris Stadium, 1125 NE 22nd Ave., Camas
360.838.2440

Most students in Washington get the vaccinations needed to attend school. However, 4.9 percent of K-12 students statewide received exemptions for medical, religious or personal reasons during the 2017-18 school year.

In Clark County, the exemption rate is higher. The county’s K-12 vaccine exemption rate during the 2017-18 school year was 7.5 percent, ranging from 0 percent to 32.7 percent in individual schools. Of those exemptions, 5.9 percent were for personal reasons.

“This is concerning because many diseases require high vaccination rates to ensure there’s enough widespread immunity in the population to protect those who are too young or are otherwise unable to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, health officer and Public Health director.

Section of Northeast Padden Parkway to close for weekend paving - 08/01/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Northeast Padden Parkway, from Northeast 94th Avenue to Northeast 117th Avenue/State Route 503, will close for paving this weekend.

The closure will begin no earlier than 7 pm Friday, Aug. 3, and end no later than 5 am Monday, Aug. 6. The county will open this section of Northeast Padden Parkway to traffic as soon as paving and striping have been completed.

During the closure, the right-turn lane from Northeast 117th Avenue/SR 503 southbound to Northeast Padden Parkway westbound will be closed.

The outside southbound through lane on Northeast 117th Avenue/SR 503, immediately before and at its intersection with Northeast Padden Parkway, also will be closed from 7 pm Friday, Aug. 3, to no later than 8 pm Saturday, Aug. 4.

Drivers will need to use alternate routes during the Padden closure, such as Northeast 76th Street to the south. Temporary signs and flaggers will help direct drivers to Northeast 76th Street.

Granite Construction will pave a portion of Padden Parkway immediately west of its intersection of Northeast 117th Avenue/SR 503. The work is part of the county’s annual hot mix overlay project to extend the life of county roadways.

Weather and other factors can delay paving. If there are delays, Clark County Public Works will post information on its website, www.clark.wa.gov/public-works.

Public Health lifts warning at Klineline Pond - 07/27/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health lifted the swim beach warning at Klineline Pond today, after the latest water samples did not show elevated levels of bacterial contamination.

Public Health posted warning signs at the swim beach on Tuesday. Routine testing at the pond showed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria, which can cause serious gastrointestinal illness when water is accidentally swallowed.

Additional water samples were taken Tuesday. Those results came back today and showed acceptable water quality, prompting Public Health to lift the warning.

Public Health will continue routine monitoring of the swim beach throughout the summer.

While recreating at swim beaches and pools, consider these recommendations to help protect yourself and others from illness:

  • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
  • Stay out of the water if you have an open wound that is not covered by a waterproof bandage.
  • Do not swallow water.
  • Take children for bathroom breaks every hour.
  • Keep children who are not toilet trained out of the water.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after using the bathroom.

Advisory remains at Vancouver Lake

Caution signs at Vancouver Lake also remain in place. Public health posted signs this week due to the possible bloom of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae.

Blue-green algae blooms were identified at the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet and the flushing channel near the swim beach. Test results from those two locations showed cyanotoxins were below threshold levels recommended by Washington Department of Health.

Additional water samples were taken Thursday to test for toxins since the blooms are still present. Those test results will be available next week. The caution signs will remain as long as the bloom is active and present. Signs may be updated as conditions change.

Additional information and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beach website.

Nominations wanted for businesses, citizens to be honored for commitment to those with intellectual, developmental disabilities - 07/27/18

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board and Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce are accepting nominations of businesses and individuals for the Disability Employment Awareness Community Awards.

The awards honor the role people with developmental disabilities have in a dynamic, productive workforce and recognize leadership in the business community.

Nominations are sought in the following categories:

  • Large employer (50 or more local employees) of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • Small employer (49 or fewer local employees) of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • Employee with an intellectual or developmental disability
  • Dennis Campbell Outstanding Service Award for extraordinary service to improve the lives of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • David Hanawalt Service Award for an employment specialist who demonstrates service to their clients above and beyond the client’s expectations, exceeds the contractual expectations, and promotes client success and growth

Nomination forms can be found on the county’s website at www.clark.wa.gov/community-services/developmental-disabilities

Forms must be mailed to Cheri Osterman, Clark County Developmental Disabilities, PO Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666. Forms also can be faxed to 360.397.8220 or emailed to i.Osterman@clark.wa.gov">Cheri.Osterman@clark.wa.gov.

Deadline for submitting nominations is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018.

The awards will be presented at the Disability Employment Awareness Event 4-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the Heathman Lodge, 7801 N.E. Greenwood Drive. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Public Health lifts warning at Battle Ground Lake - 07/26/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health lifted the swim beach warning at Battle Ground Lake this morning, after the latest water samples did not show elevated levels of bacterial contamination.

Public Health posted warning signs at the swim beach on Friday. An investigation into two shigellosis cases identified the lake as a possible source of infection. Shigellosis is an infection caused by several strains of shigella, a type of bacteria that can live in human intestines, and is spread through fecal-oral transmission.

Water samples taken Friday showed acceptable water quality. Results from a second set of samples that were taken on Monday came back today and also showed acceptable water quality, prompting Public Health to lift the warning.

Public Health will continue routine monitoring of the swim beach throughout the summer.

While recreating at swim beaches and pools, consider these recommendations to help protect yourself and others from illness:

  • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
  • Stay out of the water if you have an open wound that is not covered by a waterproof bandage.
  • Do not swallow water.
  • Take children for bathroom breaks every hour.
  • Keep children who are not toilet trained out of the water.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after using the bathroom.

Advisories remain at other swim beaches

Warning signs remain at Klineline Pond after routine testing performed Monday showed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. Public Health collected additional water samples on Tuesday. The results of those tests will determine the next steps, which could include lifting the warning or closing the beach to swimmers. Those results should be back later this week.

Caution signs at Vancouver Lake also remain in place. Public health posted signs this week due to the possible bloom of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae.

Blue-green algae blooms were identified at the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet and the flushing channel near the swim beach. Test results from those two locations showed cyanotoxins were below threshold levels recommended by Washington Department of Health.

Additional water samples were taken Thursday to test for toxins since the blooms are still present. Those test results will be available next week. The caution signs will remain as long as the bloom is active and present. Signs may be updated as conditions change.

Additional information and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beach website.

Historic Preservation Commission meeting rescheduled to Aug. 15 - 07/26/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County’s Historic Preservation Commission’s Aug. 1 meeting has been rescheduled to 6 pm Wednesday, Aug. 15. The meeting will be in the sixth-floor Hearing Room of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

The meeting is open to the public.

The Commission will consider and provide a recommendation to the city of Vancouver on a proposal for the Providence Academy to remove a restaurant building, renovate the Academy west porch, and consider a new mixed use development.

The Providence Academy is within the city of Vancouver’s Heritage Overlay District Number One. City of Vancouver municipal code requires city staff to consult with the Historic Preservation Commission prior to making decisions regarding new construction and exterior alterations within the heritage overlay.

The Providence Academy, located at 400 E. Evergreen Blvd., was built in 1873. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, but not on the Clark County Heritage Register.

The meeting agenda will be posted on the county’s website a week before the meeting at www.clark.wa.gov/community-planning/historic-preservation-commission.

There will be time for public comment after the presentation.

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office MEDIA RELEASE - 07/26/18

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

 

This individual died on 07/18/2018 in Camas, WA.

 

The name of the decedent: Holyk, Tara L.        Age: 37 Yrs           

The decedent was a resident of (city/state):  Vancouver, WA

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

 

Cause of death: Accident

Manner of death: Multiple Blunt Force Injuries

 

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

 

 

Media release issue date: Prepared 07/26/2018

 

Nikki Costa

Operations Manager

Clark, Skamania counties expand burn ban to include recreational fires - 07/25/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Due to the extreme fire danger, effective at 12:01 am Thursday, July 26, recreational fires will be prohibited throughout unincorporated Clark and Skamania counties.

This recreational fire restriction is in addition to the general outdoor burning prohibition that was implemented on July 1. According to Clark County Fire Marshal Jon Dunaway this is a preventive measure to reduce the risk of grass or brush fires as a result of escaped camp fires. 

The ban also includes lands protected by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

“The ongoing hot, dry weather has us concerned with how easy it is for a fire to be ignited by an escaped ember from a recreational fire. A small campfire can accidentally spread to adjacent properties very easily with our current dry conditions,” he said.

With no precipitation in the forecast and the expectation of temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s to continue, the ban will be in place until sufficient rainfall occurs to lower the risk. 

Creating a defensible space around a home helps prevent wildfires from spreading to a residence, or vice versa. Dunaway recommends the following measures in both rural and urban areas:

  • Remove fuel
    • Within 3-5 feet of foundations, outbuildings, garages and sheds
    • Within 10 feet of a house
    • Under decks and porches
    • From gutters, eaves, porches and decks
  • Cut the lawn if it is brown. Dispose of debris and cuttings.
  • Prune trees so lowest branches are 6-10 feet above the ground.
  • Landscape with native and flame-resistant plants.

Self-contained camp stoves, which are not banned, are a safe and easy alternative for outdoor cooking.

For more information, please contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 360.397.2186 or visit www.clark.wa.gov/community-development/fire-prevention.

Public Health posts warning signs at Klineline Pond due to E. coli bacteria - 07/24/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has posted warning signs at Klineline Pond after routine testing showed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria, which can cause serious gastrointestinal illness when water is accidentally swallowed.

Test results for one of five water samples collected at Klineline Pond on Monday showed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. The other samples had bacteria levels within acceptable water quality standards.

Public Health collected additional samples this afternoon. The results of those tests will determine the next steps, which could include lifting the warning or closing the beach to swimmers.

“One of the best ways to reduce the spread of E.coli in swimming areas is to ensure that children who are not potty trained stay out of the water,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer. “Swim diapers are not reliable, and we discourage their use.”

Salmon Creek Regional Park and the splash pad, which uses municipal water, will remain open to the public. Water within the restrooms and shelters is not affected by the pond water and remains safe to drink.

Park visitors may continue to catch and consume fish caught in the pond but should thoroughly clean all fish and equipment. Fish should be cooked and not eaten raw.

Public Health routinely monitors water quality at three designated swim beaches throughout the summer: Klineline Pond, Vancouver Lake and Battle Ground Lake. Test results and information about current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beaches website.

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 Klineline Pond 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.

Public Health issues algae advisory at Vancouver Lake - 07/23/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has posted caution signs at Vancouver Lake due to the possible bloom of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae.

A blue-green algae bloom has not been detected at the Vancouver Lake swim beach area but suspected blooms were identified at the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet and the flushing channel near the swim beach. Public Health is currently awaiting sample results from these two locations to determine if toxins are in the water.

Public Health is advising people to watch for other blooms when recreating in the lake and 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 were posted at the lake this afternoon and will remain at the lake as long as the bloom is active and present. Public Health will continue to monitor the lake throughout the summer, and signs will be updated as conditions change. Additional information and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beach website.

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

Battle Ground Lake update

The beach warning at Battle Ground Lake remains in place as Public Health continues its investigation into two cases of shigellosis, a bacterial infection spread through fecal-oral transmission.

Water samples taken from the lake on Friday did not show elevated levels of bacterial contamination. Additional samples were taken from the lake today, and results should be back later this week. If the results from the second round of tests show acceptable water quality, and no additional cases of illness are reported, the warning will be lifted.

The two shigellosis cases were reported to Public Health on Friday. Public Health posted warning signs at the swim beach on Friday afternoon, after identifying Battle Ground Lake as a possible source of the infection.

Protect yourself, others from heat-related illness during stretch of hot weather - 07/23/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Public Health officials are urging residents to take precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses during the stretch of hot weather this week.

The length of the hot spell, coupled with warm overnight temperatures that provide little relief from the heat, can create a risk to health and safety.

“Elderly people and young children are especially vulnerable during periods of intense or prolonged heat,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer. “We encourage everyone to avoid or limit physical activity outdoors, take shelter in air-conditioned buildings and drink plenty of fluids.”

Here are some additional steps to take to prevent heat-related illness:

  • Drink more water and other nonalcoholic fluids, regardless of your activity level.
  • Limit intake of drinks with caffeine, alcohol or lots of sugar.
  • Stay indoors, in an air-conditioned location, as much as possible.
  • Never leave a person, especially a young child, or a pet in a parked vehicle. Temperatures can rise rapidly in parked vehicles, even with the windows rolled down.
  • Fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Cool off in the shower or bath or go to an air-conditioned place.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.

If you need to be outside, take these precautions:

  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours when temperatures are cooler and drink two to four glasses of nonalcoholic fluids each hour.
  • Check on co-workers while working outdoors.
  • Rest often in shady areas.
  • Wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses; apply sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.

People can escape the heat by heading to public libraries, shopping malls and movie theaters. Additionally, the following cooling centers will be open this week:

Battle Ground:

Battle Ground Community Center, 912 E. Main St., 8 am to 3 pm daily.

Vancouver:

  • Marshall Community Center, 1009 McLoughlin Blvd., 5:30 am to 9 pm Monday to Thursday; 5:30 am to 8  pm Friday; 7 am to 7 pm Saturday; closed Sunday. More information: 360.487.7100
  • Firstenburg Community Center, 700 N.E. 136th Ave.; 5:30 am to 9 pm Monday to Thursday; 5:30 am to 8 pm Friday; 8 am to 7 pm Saturday; noon to 6 pm Sunday. More information: 360.487.7001.
  • Lobby of Firstenburg Tower at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, 400 N.E. Mother Joseph Place, 7 am to 7 pm daily.
  • Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday; noon to 5 pm Saturday; closed Sunday. More information: 360.487.7111

Washougal:

  • City of Washougal Municipal Complex, 1701 C St.
    • City Hall, 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.
    • Washougal Library, 10 am to 6 pm Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
    • Washougal Community Center, 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Thursday; 4-6 pm Friday. 

Additional information on cooling centers is available at http://cresa911.org/2018/07/23/updated-hot-weather-information-and-cooling-centers.

Know the signs

Knowing the signs of heat illness is important. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

Warning signs of heat stroke include body temperature above 103 degrees; red, hot and dry skin (no sweating); rapid pulse; throbbing headache; nausea; dizziness; and confusion.

If you see any of these signs, call 911. Place the victim in a bath or cool shower or spray the person with cool water from a garden hose. Do not give the person fluids to drink.

Less severe heat-related illnesses include heat exhaustion and muscle cramps. Signs are heavy sweating, paleness, weakness, headache and vomiting. Drink nonalcoholic, cool beverages. Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last more than an hour.

Construction begins on latest project to upgrade Northeast 119th Street corridor - 07/23/18

Vancouver, Wash. – As one contractor finishes improving one section of Northeast 119th Street, a different contractor is starting to upgrade another section.

McDonald Excavating Inc., a Washougal-based contractor, is completing a two-year project to improve Northeast 119th Street, from Northeast 50th Avenue to Northeast 72nd Avenue.

Rotschy Inc., a Vancouver-based contractor, is in the early stages of a two-year project to improve Northeast 119th Street, from east of Northeast 87th Avenue to Northeast 112th Avenue.

Both projects are part of Clark County’s multiyear effort to upgrade Northeast 119th Street. Through a series of projects, more than $50 million will be invested to improve the east-west corridor, from a narrow two-lane road with no sidewalks or bicycle lanes to a modern arterial that meets the needs of a growing community.

Upcoming construction on Northeast 119th Street, from Northeast 87th Avenue to Northeast 112th Avenue, will widen and improve the current road to a four-lane minor arterial with two lanes in each direction, a center turn lane, bicycle lanes, sidewalks and facilities to collect and treat polluted storm runoff.

Construction also will include upgrades to Clark Public Utilities’ water lines and Clark Regional Wastewater District’s sewer lines, as well as improvements to the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad crossing west of Northeast 102nd Avenue.

For the safety of construction workers and drivers, the speed limit in the construction zone will be reduced to 25 mph. Fines are doubled for speeding and other infractions in the construction zone.

Rotschy will be permitted to close a short section of Northeast 119th Street, from east of Northeast 99th Avenue to west of Northeast 102nd Avenue, for up to 14 days. Access will be maintained for residents in the immediate area during the closure, but through traffic will need to use an alternate route. Drivers needing to reach Northeast 99th Avenue will need to approach from the west, and drivers needing to reach Northeast 102nd Avenue will need to approach from the east.

Clark County awarded an $11.18 million contract to Rotschy for this project. The county has been awarded two grants to help pay for construction: a $4 million state Urban Arterial Program grant through the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board; and $3.1 million federal Surface Transportation Program grant through the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council.

More information on Northeast 119th Street improvements is available on the county’s website: www.clark.wa.gov/public-works/ne-119th-street.

Clark County Finance Committee meeting scheduled for August 7 - 07/23/18

Vancouver, Wash. ??' The Clark County Finance Committee is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. The meeting is open to the public.

The meeting will be held in Conference Room 223, second floor of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

The agenda includes discussion of the Second-Quarter 2018 County Finance Report.