News Briefs October 28

Feasibility study recommends federal courthouse in Vancouver
A congressional feasibility study recommends that planning begin for a federal courthouse in Vancouver that would serve Southwest Washington. The study calls for planning for an Article III District Court judge, a magistrate judge, a branch U.S. attorney’s office and a full spectrum of federal law enforcement agencies to be located in a federal courthouse. The Southwest Washington area would include Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania, Wahkiakum and Pacific Counties. It was noted in the report that Vancouver currently is the fourth largest city in the state and is expected to become the second largest city in Washington by 2010. No timetable was outlined.

United Harvest grain elevator resumes operations at Port of Vancouver
Operations resumed at the United Harvest grain elevator at the Port of Vancouver, loading nearly 70,000 metric tons of wheat for its first to carriers bound for Korea. The elevator, one of the largest on the West Coast, has been shut down for repairs since late May following explosions in two dust collector bins which caused an estimated $5 million damage. The disruption came during a traditional lull period in the grain distribution cycle, and terminals in Pacific Northwest were able to handle United Harvest’s diverted traffic over the summer. United Harvest’s operation accounts for about 70 percent of the 5 million metric tons of cargo that moves across the port’s docks each year. To date, 310 ships have called the Port for 2005, down slightly from 334 for the same period in 2004. The closure at the grain facility contributed to the decrease, however, a 9 percent increase in ship calls non-related to wheat exports has helped make up the difference.

The United Harvest grain elevator annually handles 16 percent of U.S. wheat exports which supply more than 40 countries on five continents. Almost 26,000 rail cars deliver wheat to the United Harvest annually.

Visitors Bureau wins international award for exceptional reporting practices
The Southwest Washington Convention & Visitors Bureau was distinguished as the best in budget category for exceptional reporting practices for the 2004-2005 year by the Destination Marketing Association International, the professional, educational and networking resource for convention and visitor bureaus and tourism boards worldwide.

New salon opens in Minnehaha area
Ambiance Salon & Wigs recently opened in Vancouver at 5909 St. John’s Road. Owner Loretta Brenton brings 25 years in the beauty community with her as well as five years at the CEO of the her local chamber of commerce in central California. In addition to hair and nail services and everyday wigs, the shop also carries theatrical and costume wigs and will help service cancer survivors who have lost their hair to chemotherapy treatments. The salon is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Special appointments are available in the evenings.

YWCA accepting Women of Achievement nominations
The YWCA of Clark County is accepting Women of Achievement Award nominations until Nov. 7. Selection criteria is based on outstanding inspirational achievement in volunteer and/or professional roles in Clark County; community involvement; and service as a role model. The 22nd annual Women of Achievement Award Celebration will be held at the Vancouver Hilton Hotel and Conference Center on March 8. Eight women will be selected for the award.

Nominations can be found at Forms are also available in the lobby of the YWCA at 3609 Main Street in Vancouver or by calling Annie Gannon at 360-906-9153.

I&T Briefs

New Edge Networks makes fastest growing companies lists
Deloitte & Touche USA LLP and Inc. magazine each named New Edge Networks on their respective list of the fastest growing 500 companies.
The Vancouver company made its debut at number 67 on the Deloitte Fast 500 list of fastest growing technology companies in North America. New Edge Networks’ revenue grew 3,654.2 percent from $3.1 million in 2000 to $115.1 million in 2004. Deloitte ranks both public and private technology companies in the U.S. and Canada.
Inc. magazine ranked New Edge Networks, a builder and manager of broadband networks for businesses and communications carriers nationwide, number 283 on its 24th annual ranking of the 500 fastest growing private companies in America. New Edge Networks posted a three-year average annual revenue growth rate of 442.2 percent.
New Edge Networks was the 11th fastest growing communications/networking company on the Deloitte list. It ranked number 18 among communications providers on the Inc. 500.
New Edge Networks was formed in June 1999. Its principal investors include Accel Partners, Crosspoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs & Co. and Greylock.

nLight earns Rising Star growth award
nLight has been named a Rising Star in the 2005 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 program. nLight was ranked the seventh fastest growing technology company in North America. The Rising Star is a special category recognizing North America’s 25 fastest growing young technology companies that have been in business three or four years based on percentage revenue growth between 2002 and 2004. nLight was also recognized as a Rising Star in the Washington State Fast 50 program, placing first in the category.

Vancouver-based nLight is a privately held company established in 2000 that manufacturers high-power semiconductor lasers for industrial, defense and medical applications.

B&F Briefs

The BIA announces site for 2006 Parade of Homes
The Building Industry Association of Clark County has once again chosen Washougal for the site of the 2006 Parade of Homes. It marks the fourth consecutive year for Washougal as home of the event. Allegro Ridge, south of Q Street and west of 39th Street in Washougal, will serve as the Parade site. Rick Grams of Harbour Bay Homes Real Estate Services is the developer of Allegro Ridge and will serve as the 2006 Parade committee chair. The event will focus on a family theme in 2006.

The 2006 Parade will take place July 14 through 30, and will feature 10 homes by area builders to be named later. Returning to this year’s Parade will be the Playhouse Parade, Senior Days and in response to consumer demand, an expanded Color & Design Tour. The 2005 Parade had a record attendance of 23,167 and raised $16,025 for local charity groups.

Int’l engineering firm invests in LDC Design
Vela VKE, an international multi-disciplined engineering firm, voted unanimously to invest in a 10 percent ownership position of the Parati Company, headquartered in Hillsboro, Ore. Parati is the parent company for LDC Design Group, with an office in a Vancouver, and CTS Engineers. Together, LDC Design Group and CTS Engineers provide planning, engineering, surveying, environmental, landscape architecture, and transportation services throughout the United States.

D&C Briefs

PSU signs co-admission agreement with Clark College
Portland State University and Clark College have signed a co-admission arrangement designed to improve student access to undergraduate education, increase the efficiency of joint efforts in support of students and improve the success of student transfer rates through the completion of associate degrees and baccalaureate degrees. Last year, more than 100 Clark College students transferred to Portland State University, making PSU the second-highest recipient of Clark College students behind Washington State University Vancouver. The partnership provides Clark College students coordinated federal financial aid disbursement, early on-site academic advising, special scholarship opportunities
for co-admitted students, coordinated student and academic services, credit for prior learning, a single application, joint library services, access to computer services and coordinated degree completion.