News Briefs


Integra Telecom buys Electric Lightwave
Integra Telecom Inc. signed an agreement to purchase Vancouver-based Electric Lightwave Inc. for $243 million in cash plus the assumption of approximately $4 million in capital lease obligations.

Under the terms of the agreement, Integra will purchase Electric Lightwave, including its assets and customers, from Citizens Communications. The parties expect to complete the transaction in the third quarter of 2006 upon obtaining necessary governmental and other approvals.
Combined, the companies will have more than $300 million in annual revenue. The acquisition will increase the number of Integra’s metropolitan service areas from 18 to 23 and expand the number of states in which it serves from five to eight.
In addition to the metropolitan area networks, Integra will also own and operate Electric Lightwave’s unique 4,700-mile, long haul network. Electric Lightwave’s headquarters building will not be included in the sale.
CRMHS to manage integrated health services program
Columbia River Mental Health Services will manage a two year, nearly $600,000 Innovative Services Grant from Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services, Health Recovery Services Administration/Mental Health Division.
This program, called Integrated Services, will fund a partnership integrating comprehensive physical and mental health services in Clark and Cowlitz Counties. The partnership intends to reach a total of 260 individuals among the estimated 600 people in the combined area now receiving general assistance who need mental health, physical health assessment and treatment, substance abuse treatment and employment support.
The project is focused on recovery and individual responsibility.

MacKay & Sposito lead WSU engineering day
On Feb. 21, Washington State University Vancouver will co-sponsor “DO THE MATH 2006: Explore Careers in Engineering,” an experience to allow local high school students to learn more about career opportunities in engineering by attending sessions led by WSU Vancouver engineering faculty and engineers from Vancouver-based MacKay & Sposito Inc.
Sessions will be held on topics such as construction management, water quality assurance, automated robotic systems, semiconductors and computer chip engineering.

$15M proposed for channel deepening
President Bush included $15 million for the Columbia River Channel Improvement project in his federal budget proposal for fiscal year 2007. The Columbia River Channel Coalition is requesting a final FY2007 appropriation of $40 million for the channel project.

Fine art gallery to open
Art on the Boulevard, a fine art gallery at the Vancouver Marketplace on the corner of Columbia and Evergreen Boulevard will open on March 1. The gallery is a project of Friends of the Arts.
The gallery will include more than 10,000 square feet of display area and will represent the original art of 40 or more local, regional and national artists. Subject matter and medium will cover a wide spectrum including painting, sculpture, ceramics, wood, textural art, jewelry and glass.
Art on the Boulevard will participate monthly in First Friday Art Openings, Vancouver Downtown Association’s Saturday Art Walk and will cooperate with other local galleries to promote the arts to local residents and visitors. Featured in the gallery’s opening show is La Center sculptor Rex Silvernail.
The gallery director, Gene Wigglesworth, will be assisted by his wife, Grace Teigen, in addition to an office manager and volunteer staff. The gallery will be open to the public daily Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and open 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for First Friday Art Openings.

Nautilus reports fourth quarter
Nautilus reported net sales for the fourth quarter in 2005 were $181.3 million compared to $169.6 million for the corresponding period last year, up 6.9 percent. Net income for the quarter was $2.8 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, down from $14.2 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2004. For the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2005, the company generated $630.6 million in net sales and diluted earnings of $0.70 per share.
Gregg Hammann, chairman and chief executive officer, expressed disappointment in the fourth quarter, citing operations mismanagement during the holiday season.

North County Chamber under new name
The North County Chamber of Commerce has changed its name to the La Center North County Chamber of Commerce. Board members include Murray Falk, president, Bob Vore, first vice president, Gene O’Shea, second vice president, Linda Tracey, treasurer, and Marilyn Ray, secretary.

BG banquet honors J.S. Collard Design, others
The Battle Ground Chamber of Commerce Recognition Banquet held at The Cedars on Feb. 4 honored the 2005 Citizen and Business Person of the Year.
Beverly Brissler received a Special Recognition Award for her Outstanding Citizenship and Excellent Business Practices. Battle Ground mayor John Idsinga was awarded the Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Business Person of the Year went to Scott Collard of J.S. Collard Design and Citizens of the Year went to Rich & Trish Rubin.

SWMC raises $36K for hospital workers
Southwest Washington Medical Center, in cooperation with SWMC’s Healthier Communities fund, have raised more than $36,000 to help hospital workers affected by Hurricane Katrina.
SWMC employees raised a total of $18,346.72 which was in turn matched by the hospital’s Healthier Communities fund for a total contribution of $36,693.44. The donation is being sent to The Care Fund, a collaboration of state hospital associations from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The Funds will be used to help hospital workers in the affected states rebuild their lives after significant property loss and the loss of loved ones.

Driving 101 opens
Driving 101, a driving school, will have a grand opening Sat., Feb. 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 11701 N.E. 95th St., Ste. D in Vancouver. The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce will be cutting the ribbon at noon. Driving 101’s staff has 17 years of driving training experience, and Patricia Nefediew, classroom instructor, is certified with both the State of Washington and Educational Support District 112. Driving 101’s owner is Nicole Fox Bisconer.

HP offering tech community grant
HP announced its 2006 HP Technology for Community Grant Initiative, which will award up to 100 nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico with a $17,000 HP wireless technology package.
This grant initiative is designed to provide technology tools to nonprofit organizations to enhance their effectiveness and to support the innovative use of mobile technology.
Applicants must be qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and operate programs in one or more of the following areas: health and human services, workforce development, environment, arts and technology or community/economic development.
An information guide for the initiative and application submission deadlines can be found at

B&F Briefs

Jeff Leveen opens Padgett Business Services Office
Jeff Leveen has opened a new Padgett Business Services office, serving Camas, Washougal, Orchards, Battleground, Salmon Creek and Vancouver. Padgett specializes in providing financial reporting, payroll and tax consulting services to businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
Since 1966, Padgett has provided financial reporting and tax consulting services to independent business owners throughout North America. For more information, contact Leveen at 360-833-1258.

Bank of Clark County COO recognized nationally
Kim Capeloto, chief operating officer of Bank of Clark County, has been selected as a “rising star” by Independent Banker, Independent Community Bankers of America’s national trade magazine. Capeloto’s selection in the category of Chief Operating Officer is in recognition of his efforts at the bank and in the community.
Prior to joining Bank of Clark County, he served as regional manager of a national bank in Seattle. Capeloto attended Seattle University and Liceo Scientifico in Novara, Italy. He has traveled abroad extensively and is multilingual. Bank of Clark County also celebrates seven years this month.

OCC gives Wells Fargo “outstanding” rating
Wells Fargo has received an “Outstanding” rating – the highest regulatory rating possible – in its most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examination by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Wells Fargo met and exceeded community needs in areas such as affordable housing, financial education and small business lending.
Wells Fargo received an overall “Outstanding” rating, and also was rated “Outstanding” in each of the exam’s three categories: Lending, Services and Investments. The examination period included CRA performance from Oct. 1, 2001 through Sept. 30, 2004.