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County council appoints Bryan Halbert to the Planning Commission - 08/22/19

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Council today appointed Bryan Halbert to the Clark County Planning Commission for a term that begins immediately and ends Dec. 31, 2023.

Bryan has more than 40 years of experience in the construction business including owning Halbert Construction Services since 2011. Bryan is a member of the city of Vancouver Building and Fire Code Commission and previously served on the SW Washington Contractors Association and the Columbia River Economic Development Council. He attended the University of California, Irvine.

The Planning Commission consists of seven county residents who advise the county council on land-use issues.

The commission typically conducts a formal public hearing on the third Thursday of each month. Hearings and work sessions are held in the sixth-floor hearing room of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St. Archived videos of the hearings can be viewed on CVTV Channel 23.

Other Planning Commission members are Karl Johnson, Ronald H. Barca, Steve Morasch, Matt Swindell and Richard Torres.

Learn more about the Planning Commission on the county’s website at www.clark.wa.gov/community-planning/planning-commission.

Ready, set, count: Volunteers needed for annual trail counts next month - 08/21/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County, in partnership with the city of Vancouver, is seeking volunteers to help collect data that will be used to improve our regional park systems.

The trails, parks and natural areas that members of the public enjoy year-round are part of the Portland-Vancouver region’s trail system that is studied and monitored by an Oregon Metro initiative. Each year, regional municipalities seek volunteers to help count users of the systems including bicyclists and pedestrians. Those numbers are used to help direct funding towards high-use areas, and other areas that may need improvements in safety, inclusivity and more.

Volunteers are needed to help with weekday trail counts from 5 to 7 p.m., Sept. 10-12, and weekend counts from 9 to 11 a.m., Sept. 14-15. Volunteers will be trained.

Trail count locations in Clark County include:        

  • Chelatchie Prairie Road Trail at Northeast Palmer
  • 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
  • Whipple Creek Regional Park at NW 179th and NW 21st Ave
  • Burnt Bridge Creek Trail at the Northeast Devine Road trailhead and near Northwest 78th Street-Lakeshore Avenue
  • Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach
  • 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, including sites with the city of Vancouver. You can also sign up for one of two training sessions and register for your preferred training date and location.

The training sessions are:

  • 5 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27, at Vancouver City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St.
  • 6 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 29, at Clark County Public Works Operations Center, 4700 N.E. 78th St., Conference Room B-1.

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

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CORRECTED: Public Health downgrades advisory at Vancouver Lake - 08/21/19

Please note: the bullets in the release below have been updated. 

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has downgraded its 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.

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 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.

Public Health has been monitoring blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, at Vancouver Lake since June 12. Cyanotoxins can be harmful to people, especially young children, and deadly for small pets that drink the water.

Health officials recommend:

  • No swimming in areas of scum.
  • No drinking lake water.
  • No water contact for animals in areas of scum.
  • Cleaning fish well and discarding organs.
  • Avoiding areas of scum when boating.

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.

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE - 08/21/19

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: 08/20/2019

Location: Camas, WA.

 

Decedent Name: Huynh, Anthony T.     

Decedent Age:  14 Yrs               

Resident of:  Vancouver, WA

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

 

Cause of Death: Drowning

Manner of Death: Accident

How injury occurred: Decedent drown in lake

 

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 Camas Police Department.

 

Nikki J. Costa

Operations Manager

County extends application deadline for building, fire code boards - 08/19/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County is seeking volunteers for two boards: the Building, Residential and Plumbing Board of Appeals and the Fire Code Board of Appeals. The deadline for receiving applications from interested parties has been extended to Friday, Aug. 23. Applications postmarked by Aug. 23 also will be accepted for review.

The Building Code Board of Appeals will hear appeals relative to application and interpretation of the code. The Fire Code Board of Appeals will determine the suitability of alternate building materials, types of construction, and provide reasonable interpretations of the provisions of the Fire Code.

Terms for both boards will be three years.

The seven-member Building Code Board of Appeals will consist of one person from each of the following backgrounds: agriculture, architecture, engineering, general construction and residential construction. Two will be at large members.

The five-member Fire Code Board of Appeals will consist of one representative from each of these groups: Fire Service, insurance industry, Architects Association, Mechanical Engineers Association and Building Code Board of Appeals.

In addition to meeting as needed to decide on appeals, both boards must meet at least once per year. Each board will determine the dates and times of its meetings.

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

Prepare for delays on Highway 99 for pavement preservation project - 08/16/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Frequent travelers of Highway 99 should prepare for intermittent delays between Northeast 78th Street and Northeast 134th Street beginning Monday, Aug. 19.

Drivers can expect intermittent, single-lane closures throughout the project area while crews with Clark and Sons Excavating perform pavement repair and crack-sealing work throughout the corridor. Work will be done between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

This work is fast-paced and mobile, so travelers can expect the delays to occur briefly at many different locations within project limits. Crews expect to start at Northeast 78th Street and move northbound until work is complete later this fall.

These improvements are the first phase of a $4.3 million project aimed at improving accessibility and mobility along the heavily-traveled corridor. Later this year, contractor crews will complete ramp construction to bring sidewalk ramps up to current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. ADA compliance work will require some nighttime closures of intersections throughout the project area. Next spring, crews will come back to the same corridor to complete paving operations.

Stay up-to-date on this, and other projects in the county by visiting our website at www.clark.wa.gov/public-works. You can also find real-time information by following our social accounts @ClarkCoWa_PW on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Public Health releases report examining community health needs - 08/16/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health and its partners in the Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative recently released the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment. The assessment highlights community health needs across the Portland-metro area, including Clark County and Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties in Oregon.

Clark County Public Health will use findings from the assessment to demonstrate community need when applying for grants and identify areas of emphasis for prevention work. Collaborative members will work together to address the issues impacting all four counties. The full report is open to the public, and other organizations are invited to utilize it.

The report looks at factors contributing to the core issues and uses data to provide an overall picture of the metro area, as well as compare the four counties. Along with identifying the core issues, the report offers specific avenues of approach for addressing them.

With an emphasis on using community input, the collaborative identified discrimination, racism, and trauma as the overarching issues influencing health concerns of people living in the region. The assessment explores seven other core issues impacting the health of community members in the region:

  • chronic conditions
  • sexually transmitted infections
  • behavioral health
  • community representation
  • culturally responsive care
  • access to health care, transportation and resources
  • isolation

To identify these areas of focus for the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment, the collaborative and partners hosted four town halls and 18 community listening sessions across the region, with more than 200 participants.

In addition to the regional core issues, some statistics and data points are shared in the appendices for each county. Here are some of the Clark County highlights (as compared to the other three counties):

  • Lowest median income among Hispanics/Latinos ($15,171) and those reporting two or more races ($15,935)
  • Highest percent of residents commuting to work by driving alone (78.9%)
  • Lowest percent of residents commuting to work using public transportation (2.3%), carpooling (9.0%), or walking (1.9%)
  • Lowest percentage of 8th graders that were food insecure (8.6 percent)
  • Lowest rate of social associations, indicating isolation from the community
  • Highest percentage of population with a routine checkup in the previous year (68.6 percent)

The Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative includes four health departments, 15 hospitals and one coordinated care organization from the four-county metro area.

The full report is available to the public and can be found at https://comagine.org/program/hcwc/2019-community-health-needs-assessment-report .

Direct link to a PDF of the report: https://comagine.org/sites/default/files/resources/HCWC-Community-Health-Needs-Assessment-Report-July2019.pdf

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Public Health issues warning for Vancouver Lake due to elevated toxin levels - 08/15/19

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 seeks volunteer for audit oversight committee - 08/15/19

Vancouver, Wash. — The Clark County Auditor’s Office is accepting letters of interest from citizen volunteers who wish to serve on the county’s official Audit Oversight Committee. This three-member board also includes the county auditor and one county councilor.

The committee is responsible for:

  • Recommending internal audit priorities.
  • Reviewing and analyzing audit reports.
  • Ensuring that management has initiated appropriate action in response to audit reports.
  • Apprising county councilors of audit activities and results.
  • Ensuring that no unreasonable restrictions are placed on auditors.
  • Reviewing effectiveness of county financial and accounting functions through discussions with auditors.
  • Coordinating internal audits with external audits to prevent duplication and maximize effectiveness.

The committee meets two to four times per year. In addition, committee members read draft audit reports and hold discussions with audit staff as needed.

Community members with backgrounds in auditing, accounting, finance, government, business operations or related experience are encouraged to apply.

Anyone interested in applying should send a letter summarizing their qualifications and reasons for serving to auditor@clark.wa.gov. They also may be mailed or delivered to Audit Services, 1300 Franklin St., Suite 575, P.O. Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000.

The deadline to submit a letter is 5 pm Monday, Sept. 30, 2019.

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey will review the applicants and provide a list of nominees to the Clark County Councilors, who will make the appointment.

Clark County Treasurer welcomes Washington State Treasurer for public event - 08/13/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Washington State Treasurer Duane Davidson is visiting Clark County to greet Clark County Treasurer Alishia Topper, who began her term in January 2019. The Treasurer’s Office is hosting a public reception to welcome Davidson to Clark County and highlight the work of the Public Service Center Joint Lobby.

Treasurer Topper invites the community to join both treasurers, along with Clark County Assessor Peter Van Nortwick and Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey to the reception.

The event will be 2-3 pm Wednesday, Aug. 21, in the second-floor Joint Lobby in the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St. The reception is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

The Joint Lobby provides services for the Assessor, Auditor and Treasurer’s Offices, serving nearly 36,000 in-person customers and another 38,000 telephone customers each year.

“It’s an honor that State Treasurer Davidson is making a stop at our Clark County offices,” said Treasurer Topper. “His office has provided valuable service to me as I settle into the Treasurer position over the past several months, so I want to ensure he receives a warm welcome.”

Open house for trail improvements at Lower Daybreak Park set for Aug. 20 - 08/13/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Members of the public can learn more about an upcoming project to improve trail access and amenities at Lower Daybreak Park during an open house next week.

Public Works will host the open house from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, in the commons area at Daybreak Schools, 1900 NW 20th Ave., Battle Ground. Those interested in attending can stop by anytime during the event to discuss the project, ask questions of county staff, and offer comments and suggestions.

The project, which is scheduled for construction in summer 2020, includes; installation of an accessible trailhead, multiuse paths, a new overlook to the East Fork Lewis River, informational signage and more. The project is scheduled to be complete in spring 2021.

More information can be found on the county’s website, https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-works/lower-daybreak-trail-improvement-project.

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Public Health downgrades advisory, reopens Vancouver Lake swim beach - 08/08/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has downgraded the advisory at Vancouver Lake and lifted the closure of the swim beach. Blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have dissipated at the swim beach and the flushing channel near the swim beach. The bloom at the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet is still present.

Public Health has had Vancouver Lake under advisory since June 12, when staff first detected blue-green algae blooms at the lake. The lake will be downgraded to a caution advisory and remain under advisory as long as blooms are present.

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.

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.

Blue-green algae can pose a significant health risk if the cyanobacteria or toxins are ingested, inhaled or come into contact with skin. Inhaled bacteria or toxins can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Skin contact can lead to rash, itching, blisters and eye irritation.

If water with cyanotoxins is accidentally swallowed, symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness. The toxins can be fatal to pets that drink the water.

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 beaches website. To report algae blooms in other bodies of water, visit the Public Health website.

Correction Facility Advisory Commission approves final report with amendments - 08/07/19

Vancouver, Wash. – In its last meeting today, the Clark County Correction Facility Advisory Commission, CFAC, approved a final report that will be presented to the Clark County Council at a work session in September. The commission approved the report after making some amendments during the meeting.

CFAC is the volunteer advisory commission tasked with evaluating options to replace the county jail. The commission is a diverse group of representatives from law and justice, community services, social services, neighborhoods, cities, business and labor. The commission has been working on the topic of the jail for almost 18 months.

“The outcome CFAC arrived at sets the county council up to lead our community in a constructive direction,” said commission chair Craig Pridemore. “We have engaged in this process in a spirit of cooperation, and I think we are well-positioned to continue taking positive steps to address our community’s vital public safety facility needs.”

As stated in the draft report, CFAC members concluded that “an improved jail solution for Clark County is plainly necessary.”

In the report, the group acknowledges that the preferred jail improvement approach may be cost prohibitive. The report says that “CFAC’s preferred approach should serve as a best practice model with the understanding that the county council will consider options and develop a strategy to implement the approach in a financially feasible manner, retaining as much of CFAC’s original intent as possible.”

At the September work session, councilors and county staff will discuss the next steps of the jail evaluation process.

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

Commission to hear about advance care planning/healthcare directives - 08/06/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Advance care planning is not just about getting older. At any age, a medical crisis could leave you too ill to make your own healthcare decisions. Even if you are not sick now, planning for health care in the future is an important step to insure you receive the medical care you would want, if you are unable to speak for yourself and others are making the decisions for you.

Learn how to navigate the process of completing your Healthcare Directive and Durable Power of Attorney at the next meeting of the Commission on Aging, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21.

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

Members of PeaceHealth’s Palliative Care program, Daleasha Hall, Melissa Ensey and April Duff will discuss the importance of advocating for yourself and the resources available to assist you in making a plan for your future healthcare needs.

The Aug. 21 discussion is the fifth meeting this year focused on healthy communities, especially for people 65 and older. Healthy communities can contribute to one’s ability to live independently, safely and comfortably.

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/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.

Changes coming to Property Tax Exemption Program - 08/02/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Beginning in January 2020, Clark County residents will see major changes to the Property Tax Exemption Program for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities. The Clark County Assessor’s Office administers the program which is designed to provide tax relief to qualifying homeowners. It is estimated an additional 16,000 people may qualify based on data received by the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau-American Community Survey.

The Washington State Legislature approved these changes when it passed Senate Bill 5160 during the last session.

Starting with 2020 taxes, the core qualifying program requirements are:

  • Be at least 61 years old or deemed permanently disabled by the Social Security Administration or have an 80 percent service-connected rating by the Veteran’s Administration.
  • Have an annual household income (taxable and non-taxable) of $50,348 or less for the exemption and $58,094 for the deferral.
  • Own the home as a primary residence.

“I am so pleased to now get to deliver relief to our most vulnerable tax payers through the increase in income requirements,” said Assessor Peter Van Nortwick. “We have fought for years to align income levels to the median incomes of our counties to better reflect our local economic environment.”

To ensure the changes reach as many qualifying people as possible, Clark County Treasurer Alishia Topper is partnering with the Assessor’s Office to get the word out. “Collaboration and partnership between elected offices is the best way to have a positive impact on the people we serve. I’m committed to speak to as many seniors and disabled Vets as possible to ensure they have an opportunity to apply,” said Treasurer Topper.

The Assessor encourages anyone interested in learning more about the exemption program or the changes that go into effect January 2020 to contact his office by:

“Our offices are committed to ensuring every qualified senior has an opportunity to learn about  and apply for the program,” said Assessor Van Nortwick.

To learn more about Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5160 as passed by the legislature visit:  http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Passed%20Legislature/5160-S.PL.pdf

County seeks nominations of businesses, citizens for commitment to those with intellectual, developmental disabilities - 08/02/19

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board is 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 noon Friday, Aug. 23, 2019.

The awards will be presented at the Disability Employment Awareness Event 4-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, at the Heathman Lodge, 7801 N.E. Greenwood Drive. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Vancouver Lake swim beach to remain closed due to elevated toxin levels - 07/31/19

Vancouver, Wash. – The swim beach at Vancouver Lake will remain closed at least through the weekend after new test results revealed elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water.

Clark County Public Health has been monitoring cyanobacteria blooms, also known as blue-green algae, at Vancouver Lake since June 12. Public Health closed the swim beach on July 24 after test results revealed cyanotoxins above recommended threshold levels.

Results from water samples collected Monday show that cyanotoxins remain above threshold levels. As a result, the swim beach closure will remain in place. Public Health will continue to collect weekly water samples to test for toxins and update advisories as conditions change. Water samples will be collected again next week.

Public Health is advising against all recreating in the lake, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and water skiing.

Blue-green algae can pose a significant health risk if the cyanobacteria or toxins are ingested, inhaled or come into contact with skin. Inhaled bacteria or toxins can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Skin contact can lead to rash, itching, blisters and eye irritation.

If water with cyanotoxins is accidentally swallowed, symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness. The toxins can be fatal to pets that drink the water.

E. coli test results

On Monday, Public Health also collected water samples from Vancouver Lake to test for bacteria. One of five samples came back with elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. Results from follow-up samples collected on Tuesday show that E. coli levels have dropped below threshold levels.

Public Health will continue routine monitoring of bacteria levels at Vancouver Lake and the county’s two other designated swim beaches – Klineline Pond and Battle Ground Lake – through Labor Day.

Current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beaches webpage.

County Elections to perform manual election ballot count comparison on Aug. 7 - 07/31/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Beginning at 8:30 am Wednesday, Aug. 7, elections officials will perform a hand count of approximately 600 ballots randomly selected as part of a manual comparison against machine results.

The selected ballots will be counted in the total returns on Election Day. But for this comparison, ballots with the city of Vancouver, Council Position 2 race also will be counted by hand, to check the accuracy of the ballot tabulation equipment.

If a voter has not received their ballot, they should contact the Elections Office at (564) 397-2345 or elections@clark.wa.gov.

A voter may download a replacement ballot at clarkvotes.org. The voter must print the ballot and return it following instructions included in the download. Click on “Need a Replacement Ballot?” to get started.

County seeks volunteers to establish boards of appeals for building, fire codes - 07/31/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County is seeking volunteers for two boards: the Building, Residential and Plumbing Board of Appeals and the Fire Code Board of Appeals.

The Building Code Board of Appeals will hear appeals relative to application and interpretation of the code. The Fire Code Board of Appeals will determine the suitability of alternate building materials, types of construction, and provide reasonable interpretations of the provisions of the Fire Code.

Terms for both boards will be three years.

The seven-member Building Code Board of Appeals will consist of one person from each of the following backgrounds: agriculture, architecture, engineering, general construction and residential construction. Two will be at large members.

The five-member Fire Code Board of Appeals will consist of one representative from each of these groups: Fire Service, insurance industry, Architects Association, Mechanical Engineers Association and Building Code Board of Appeals.

In addition to meeting as needed to decide on appeals, both boards must meet at least once per year. Each board will determine the dates and times of its meetings.

Applicants should submit a letter of interest and a résumé to Alyssa Weyhrauch, Clark County Council 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 pm Friday, Aug. 16, 2019.

Additional election logic and accuracy test scheduled for Aug. 2, 2019 - 07/31/19

Vancouver, Wash. ??' To ensure its ability to report preliminary election results on a timely basis, an update will be made this Friday, Aug. 2 to Clark County’s Hart InterCivic ballot tabulation system. Following implementation of the update, a logic and accuracy test of the 2019 August primary and special election will be conducted.

A logic and accuracy test is required before every election to make sure ballots are programmed properly and results are reporting properly.

The test will be held at 2:30 pm, Friday, Aug. 2 at the Elections Office, 1408 Franklin St. Members of the news media, jurisdictions with measures on the ballot and the public are invited to attend this test, which is required under Washington law.

For this election, only voters registered in the cities of Battle Ground and Vancouver, the Town of Yacolt, County Councilor District No. 4, Green Mountain School District, Vancouver Public Schools, Clark County Emergency Medical Service District and East County Fire and Rescue will receive ballots.

The process of entering the scanned ballot information into the ballot tabulation system will begin at 6 pm election day, Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Election results will be available at or before 8:30 pm on the Auditor’s website at clarkvotes.org.

A sample ballot for this election is currently available at clarkvotes.org.

Elevated E. coli bacteria detected in Vancouver Lake; swim beach currently closed due to cyanotoxins - 07/30/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Routine water quality testing at Vancouver Lake this week revealed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. The swim beach at the lake is currently closed due to elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water.

The Vancouver Lake swim beach will remain closed until tests show cyanotoxins and E. coli bacteria levels do not exceed thresholds. Closure signs are currently posted at the swim beach and other public access points to the lake.

Clark County Public Health continues to advise against all recreating in the lake, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and water skiing.

Public Health has been monitoring cyanobacteria blooms at Vancouver Lake since June 12 and closed the swim beach on Wednesday after results revealed cyanotoxins above recommended threshold levels.

On Monday, Public Health staff collected two sets of water samples from Vancouver Lake to test for bacteria and cyanotoxins. Results from water samples testing for bacteria came back today and showed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. Results are pending for water samples collected to test for cyanotoxins. Those results are expected later this week.

Public Health will continue to monitor the water at Vancouver Lake and update advisories as conditions change. Current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beaches website.

Potential health risks

Blue-green algae can pose a significant health risk if the cyanobacteria or toxins are ingested, inhaled or come into contact with skin. Inhaled bacteria or toxins can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Skin contact can lead to rash, itching, blisters and eye irritation.

If water with cyanotoxins is accidentally swallowed, symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness. The toxins can be fatal to pets that drink the water.

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.

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE - 07/29/19

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

 

Date of death: 07/26/2019

Location: Vancouver, WA

 

Decedent Name: Unell, Renee L.           

Decedent Age:  50 Yrs               

Resident of:  Camas, WA

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

Cause of death: Multiple Blunt Force Injuries

Manner of death: Accident

How injury occurred: Driver of vehicle struck by motorcycle

 

Decedent Name: Stevens, Matthew L.   

Decedent Age:  23 Yrs               

Resident of:  Vancouver, WA

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

Cause of death: Multiple Blunt Force Injuries

Manner of death: Accident

How injury occurred: Driver of motorcycle that crashed into 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

CORRECTION: Auditor schedules special three-day filing period for two elected offices with no candidates - 07/29/19

Please note: the Washougal School District director position is for district 1. The original news release listed the district incorrectly.

Vancouver, Wash. – At the close of the regular candidate filing period on Friday, May 17, 2019, Clark County election officials had not received candidate filings for two elected offices: Town of Yacolt, council position number 2 and Washougal School District director, district 1.

Pursuant to Washington state law, an additional special three-day filing period must be held for these offices.

The Auditor’s Office has scheduled the special filing period to begin 8 am Wednesday, Aug. 7, and end 5 pm Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. Anyone meeting the qualifications of the office and wishing to file can do so at the Clark County Elections Office, 1408 Franklin St.

Candidates also may file online at clarkvotes.org. Online filing hours are 9 am Wednesday, Aug. 7, to 4 pm Friday, Aug. 9, 2019.

For more information, contact the Elections Office at (564) 397-2345.

Prepare now for wildfire smoke, unhealthy air quality - 07/29/19

Vancouver, Wash. – With the warming weather and dry conditions, wildfire season is likely on its way and has already begun elsewhere in the state. Clark County Public Health is urging residents to take steps now to prepare for smoky days with unhealthy air quality.

Breathing smoke from wildfires isn’t healthy for anyone, but some people are more likely to have health problems when the air quality isn’t good. Those at risk for problems include children, adults older than 65, people with heart and lung diseases, people with respiratory infections and colds, anyone who has had a stroke, pregnant women and individuals who smoke.

The best way to protect your health when the air is smoky is to limit time outdoors and reduce physical activity. This is especially important for people at risk for health problems when air quality isn’t good.

Here are some steps to take now, before air quality worsens from wildfire smoke:

  • Know where to find information about local air quality. The Washington State Department of Ecology’s Air Quality Monitoring website has a map of air quality statewide. The map uses color-coded categories to report when air quality is good, moderate or unhealthy. The Southwest Clean Air Agency has current air quality information for Clark, Cowlitz and Lewis counties and may issue advisories when poor air quality is forecast.
  • If you or a family member has heart or lung disease, talk to your doctor about precautions to take when air quality is unhealthy. Make sure you have the necessary medications, and ask your doctor how to manage symptoms and when to seek medical care.
  • Develop a relocation plan in case you need to leave the area when air quality is hazardous.
  • Consider purchasing a portable air cleaner with a HEPA filter. Make sure your vehicle has a HEPA-equivalent air filter.
  • Know how to turn the air conditioner in your home and vehicle to recirculate to avoid bringing smoky outdoor air inside.
  • Create a plan for alternatives to outdoor family activities. If the air quality is unhealthy, you may need to exercise indoors, find alternatives to outdoor summer camps or change vacation arrangements.
  • Consider purchasing a respirator mask labeled N95 or N100 and learn how to properly wear it. People who must be outside for extended periods of time in smoky air may benefit from wearing one of these masks, if worn correctly. If the mask does not fit properly, it will provide little or no protection and may offer a false sense of security. These masks are not recommended for children or people with beards. People with lung disease, heart disease or who are chronically ill should consult a health care provider before using a mask.

When air is smoky, here are some additional steps to take to protect yourself and your family:

  • Limit time outdoors and avoid vigorous physical activity.
  • Keep windows and doors closed.
  • Turn the air conditioner in your home and vehicle to recirculate to avoid bringing smoky outdoor air inside.
  • Don’t pollute your indoor air. Avoid burning candles, using aerosol products, frying food and smoking.
  • Do not vacuum unless using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Vacuuming stirs up dust and smoke particles.
  • Use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter.

Additional information:

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE - 07/26/19

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 07/22/2019

Location: Washougal, WA.

 

Decedent Name: Barnaby, Stephen J.    

Decedent Age:  31 Yrs               

Resident of:  Portland, OR

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

Cause of Death: Drowning

Manner of Death: Accident

How injury occurred: Decedent drown in river

 

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 Department.

 

Nikki J. Costa

Operations Manager

Public Health closes Vancouver Lake swim beach due to elevated toxin levels - 07/24/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health has closed the swim beach at Vancouver Lake after test results revealed elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water.

Results from water samples taken from Vancouver Lake on Monday revealed cyanotoxins above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health. Closure signs are being posted at the swim beach and other public access points to the lake. Public Health is advising against all recreating in the lake, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and water skiing.

Blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are currently present at the Vancouver Lake swim beach, Burnt Bridge Creek inlet and flushing channel near the swim beach.

Blue-green algae can pose a significant health risk if the cyanobacteria or toxins are ingested, inhaled or come into contact with skin. Inhaled bacteria or toxins can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Skin contact can lead to rash, itching, blisters and eye irritation.

If water with cyanotoxins is accidentally swallowed, symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness. The toxins can be fatal to pets that drink the water.

Public Health has been monitoring cyanobacteria blooms at Vancouver Lake since June 12 and will continue to monitor the lake throughout the summer. As long as blooms are present, Public Health will 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.