Open House and Farewell Party – You are Invited!

St. Helens, OR-  Zingti Massage is tucked up on the 2nd Floor of the Professional Building along with neighbor KOHI 1600 AM Radio at 36200 Pittsburg Road Suite F .  You may also recognize the name Zingti  because they support many local nonprofits specifically runs for American Cancer Society Relay for Life and Monster Dash for Rotary during Spirit of Halloweentown.    Zingti Massage owner Paul Estrella is turning over the reins to Lindsey King, new owner but not new to massage.

You may recognize her name.  Lindsey is known for her dedication to children here in Columbia County where she was the prior Executive Director for the  CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program. She has a passion for helping people.  She has worked as a massage therapist before 20  years ago in Colorado.  She missed being a massage therapist deciding to go back to her roots in massage as an entrepreneur.

Lindsey wanted to partner with Paul because, “Zingti had been in practice for almost ten years and had a great reputation for their treatment plans, when I became aware Paul Estrella the former owner was looking to move to the coastal region and open another practice there. During this time I spent the better part of a year under Paul’s direct supervision learning how he massaged and why.”

Zingti offers a variety of services such as Deep tissue, Event Sports Massage, Geriatrics, Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, Pregnancy Massage, Seated Chair Massage, Swedish/American. Reiki and Reflexology.  Lindsey can customize each treatment plan specifically for her clients.  They also offer an easy online schedule system www.zingtimassage.com and work with Insurance.

Zingti Massage is hosting an open house and farewell party for one of our communities’ favorite Massage therapist Paul Estrella on March 23rd from 4:30-7:00 PM.   Paul has helped many in our community for the last 10 years.  Please stop in and learn more about Paul’s new adventures in Ocean Park, WA and meet new owner, Lindsey King.  Best wishes to both as they continue on their next adventures! #smallbusiness #hereincc #keepitlocalcc #healthandwellness #massage #health


Business Bits: Hagz, Bagz & The Hutch

Meet Debbie Loomis & Geri Noble.

St. Helens, OR- If you’ve lived here for awhile, you might have been a customer of Geri Noble.  She ran a business called “The Hutch” for 15 years on Main Street St. Helens.  She’s back giving great customer service and sewing up a storm at a her old shop location but with a new partner, Debbie Loomis.  Debbie,  owner of  Hagz Bagz since 2006 joined forces with Geri and merged their businesses on Oct 1st, 2016, Hagz Bagz & The Hutch located  at 400 Columbia Blvd, St. Helens. You can also reach them at  503-397-1352.

Even with a name change, everything else has stayed the same except with added services. When asked how they decided to open their business Debbie replied, “I wanted to have a place to showcase what we love to do, create one of a kind gift items at reasonable prices.”

Geri is happy to be back on Main Street St. Helens and wants her customers to know she’s got a great new business partner.  She wanted to work with Debbie to help her develop her business and sewing skills and they both love what they do.  Debbie wanted to partner with Geri because “she has been in the sewing business a lot longer than me. Her wealth of knowledge was what I needed to go forward with my dream of having a storefront.”

Need a special gift, contact Hagz Bagz & The Hutch.  Follow their Facebook page for ideas to give a gift from Columbia County that is personalized and from the heart.  You can also shop online from their catalog.

 

#hagzbagzthehutch #shopsmall #personalizedgifts #handmadeincolumbiacounty

 


River City Singers Performing at Carnegie Hall Memorial Day Weekend

Columbia County, OR –   Columbia County has a strong, long-standing community choir called the River City Singers.  The River City Singers will soon represent Columbia County at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Memorial Day, May 29th.  If you are a local, you can enjoy listening to this group perform year round.

Director, Alice Boyer shared how the group was chosen for the opportunity.  Alice said,” We were very excited to be invited by Dr. William Skoog who is the Chair of the Department of Music, and Director of Choral Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, to come be a part of his mass choir performance of Ola Gjeilo’s “Sunrise Mass.”  This is a contemporary mass setting that will be performed with one of the New York Philharmonic Orchestras.  Dr. Skoog and I have a long history of musical collaboration. I participated in the Dvorak Festival in Prague, the Czech Republic in 2001 as part of his festival choir. When he heard that I was directing a choir here in Oregon, he was eager to have us come be a part of this endeavor at Carnegie Hall.”

Understanding the group’s history is important; it shows their strong foundation as a group.  The community choir group started in 2001 under the name Columbia Chorale of Oregon. The group has between 25-40 members depending on the season.   With no auditions and no fees, the Columbia River Singers are a diverse group of men and women of various ages who love to sing.  Performing in a variety of venues across Columbia County and Portland for the past 16 years, they typically perform 3-4 concerts a year with the first rehearsals starting in late August or Early September. Participating in a few community events such as Doughnut Day at St. Helens Police Department fundraiser for Columbia Pacific Food Bank allows them the opportunity to share their music with their community. They are a true community choir with a strong past and a bright future.

“We are always looking for singers and non-singers who love to support the growth of the arts in Columbia County to join us as members.  While the chance to sing in Carnegie Hall doesn’t come along every year, we believe the chance to sing and perform meets a valuable need in our community.  It’s been shown in recent studies that singing is a very health-promoting exercise,” Alice commented encouraging the community to get involved.

Want to show your support the local singers? If you like to sign, join them for practice on Thursdays at 7:00 PM at The First United Methodist Church, 560 Columbia Blvd, St. Helens.  They are a 501(c)3 non-profit so donations are tax deductible.   Alice mentioned the goal for the trip to New York is to raise $2000-3000 to offset the costs of this trip.  Some of the choir members are using personal funds to cover their expenses, however, the group is setting up an “Angel” fund to help offset the costs for members on fixed incomes. Alice hopes to have as many singers who want to go be able to make this trip.  For most, it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

I’d venture to say, our community is proud of the group to represent not only Columbia County but Oregon.   Go to their Facebook page to stay up to date.

 

River City Singers Photo Courtsey of Facebook

 

 

 

 


Local Business Soon Featured on Cooking Channel

St. Helens, OR –  In today’s world of too much TV not enough time, Carnival Eats might be a new show for you.  It’s a series on the Cooking Channel hosted by Noah Cappe who travels the US in search of the best carnival food from hot dogs to funnel cakes. The show can bring it’s fans back to their childhood memories like fairs have the tendency to do.

This past summer Carnival Eats stopped by the Columbia County Fair.  Host Noah interviewed local business owner Matt Freeman, St Helens Grill, which offers quality products to create the best hamburgers and eats.   You’ll see the St Helens Grill featured on the upcoming episode on 3/23/2017 – Dawn of the Bread.  Matt made Noah the Marionberry Volcano dessert pictured in this blog.  Catch the show to find out more about the food.

Marionberry Volcano Dessert to be featured on Cooking Channel Carnival Eats.

When asked about being featured on the cooking channel series, Matt mentioned he was equally nervous and excited when the producer called.  He said, “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to not only highlight St Helens Grill but to also showcase the Columbia County Fair.  Butch, the fair board, and the countless volunteers put so much time and effort to bring us a quality event each year they deserve the spotlight.”

Matt is no stranger to the food scene. In 2014, he opened his first company Batter Me Up operating out of a tent at 13 Nights on the River, St. Helens. At that time Batter Me Up was battered and deep fried foods; corn dogs, Oreos, Twinkies, and funnel cakes.  As the business grew, so did the business plan with a 16ft concession trailer.  St Helens Grill put their prior experience to use taking the menu up a notch by adding burgers and nacho/tater tots hybrid, Totchos.  They are different from fair food due to our focus on local, quality ingredients. They procure fresh, not frozen NW raised hamburger from a Portland butcher, buns from Portland French Bakery, and other local products such as Bob’s Red Mill.    They use quality ingredients, cooked to order resulting in a great end product for their customers.

Matt said he opened a food truck because, “My dream is to have a local burger joint serving burgers, fries, dogs, and shakes. The food cart allows me to practice for when that dream becomes a reality.”You can get some good food from St Helens Grill this summer at 13 Nights on the River events, Columbia County Fair and Rodeo and home games for St Helens Youth Football.  You can also keep up with new events they add on their Facebook page or Twitter.

#dinelocalcc #columbiacountyfairrodeo #sthelensgrill #qualityeats #carnivaleats #footnetwork

Thumbs up by Noah Cappe, Host, Carnival Eats and Matt Freeman, St Helens Grill

 


New Name & Location but Same Mission

St. Helens, OR-    The mission has been the same even with the new name change to Accumulations a local nonprofit that assists adults in Columbia County to help get them back to work.  The organization has changed names and locations in the past few years but it is always true to their mission of helping individuals receive on the job training working within a retail establishment.

My Next Step has changed their name to “Accumulations” and relocated to 1271 Columbia River Hwy, St Helens, OR. Accumulations is a 501c(3) nonprofit that offers a Job Readiness Training Center set in a resale & consignment store. The store raises money by reselling items and re-purposing items into something different for sale.  This win/win mix helps the adults by providing in-class education and on-site job skills for participants of the Job Readiness program.

Shopping at the location helps the organization.  Donating new to gently used items also helps the nonprofit.  100% of all cash and noncash donations are deductible and stay in this County.

#shopsmall #keepitlocalcc #shopforcharity #donatelocal

 


Are you attending “Valentines for Vets?”

St. Helens, OR – Columbia County is home to the new Elks Veterans Bunker located at 125 18th Street in St Helens, OR.  The Bunker opened last summer and is the first of its kind not only in Oregon but also in the United States.  One of their largest fundraisers is the Annual Gala and Auction called  Valentines For Vets Dinner on February 4th this year.

Why support The Elks Veterans Bunker?  The Bunker is located in a comfortable residential setting complete with a fireplace and a dining room table.  Alta Lynch, Elks BPOE #1999 Veterans Chair  & Bunker Founder,  had a dream for Columbia County.  She wanted Veterans to have a place to gather with others for coffee, maybe a game of cards or to tell stories.  A social spot.  A place to get resources.   A comfortable place to receive counseling.  A home to honor our Veterans who have served our country.  All it took was one women’s dream and a driven spirit.  She created a team rallying volunteers to create a safe and welcoming space for our Veterans.  According to local Community Action Team (CAT) Veteran’s officer, Russ Clark; the 2010 census recorded 6,000 veterans that live in Columbia County.

The event will be held in St Helens at St Frederic Church, Buccini Hall at 165 S. 14th Street.  Tickets for the Gala on Feb 4th are $20.00 per person with limited tickets at the door.  Valentines for Vets starts at  5:00 PM with a No Host Bar, A Flag Rising Ceremony by the Young Marines at 6:00 PM with dinner to follow along with a Silent and Live Auction.   To get your advanced tickets and for questions, please call 503-410-5225.  To follow their activities, go to and “Like” their Facebook page Elks Veteran Bunker.  Click here for  Elks BPOE #1999 information.  Your support and attendance is greatly appreciated.

 

Elk Veterans Bunker

“Just a Few Useful Resources”

St Helens, OR-  New to Columbia County or just recently retired?  Are you looking for specific resources, business services or things to do? Want to volunteer but not sure where you should?  Looking to get involved with a local service club?  Or are you curious what is going on in your community and want to get involved?   A one-stop shop, a countywide business directory called Keep it Local Columbia County can help you discover what is available countywide.  Keep It Local Columbia County is an on-line new resource to connect Columbia County.  Other resources for nonprofits and social media groups are helpful to discover all the great things we have going on here in Columbia County.

Keep it Local Columbia County launched a free online business directory for Columbia County that features both businesses and events.  The goal of the website is to help customers find local businesses and events.  The website helps shoppers find out what products and services businesses offer,  hours of operation along with days open and contact information to help increase dollars spent locally in Columbia County.  Keep it Local Columbia County is putting Columbia County businesses on one page.  Go to KeepitLocalCC.com

Columbia County has over 100 nonprofits to serve the citizens of Columbia County. You can find an updated list from Community Action Team (CAT). Go to  Columbia County Resources.  This is a great tool whether you are new or a long-term resident.  You can also find places to volunteer by researching this information.

You can contact the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Center at 503-397-0685 should you have questions about local businesses, travel questions or things to do in St. Helens and Scappoose.  You can also find a list of both business and community events on their website.

Other Facebook Groups that can be handy to follow if you live in Columbia County:

Columbia County Children and Families

City of St Helens

City of Scappoose

Enjoy living Beyond the Burbs, Right here in Columbia County. #hereincc #welovewherewelive #plugintoyourcommunity #smalltowns

 

 


“In the Middle” – Thriving Art Community

Columbia County, OR – Columbia County art scene has grown stronger over the past few years.  One could say, we are in the middle of a thriving art community here in Columbia County. Currently, Columbia County has several groups that are working to put local artists in front of new customers, expose families to community art projects and create a sense of community pride for our local artists and projects.

Local art club, Columbia Arts Guild (CAG) looks forward to a great upcoming new year.  In 2016, CAG created August Art Fair in conjunction with the Scappoose Farmers Market conducting local art demos, author readings and presenting their art.   CAG will hold the 2nd Annual August Art Fair on August 5th, 2017 from 9:00 am – 2 pm.  CAG hosts quarterly show at local businesses or community organizations.  The Columbia County Courthouse in St Helens and Brown Butter Bakery in Scappoose are proudly displaying local groups’ art.  For $15.00 a year, you can join CAG.  Joining is a great way to support the artists.  It’s easy to become a member just fill out the CAG Application online.  They are an active group of Artists that meet on Thursdays at 10:00 AM  for Plein Air Art at the Columbia Learning Center, St Helens.  Bring your own art (BYOA) meet in the hallway, work on your project, get advice, share information, listen or join the Urban Sketchers and go out to Paint the Town!  Check out, the CAG Facebook Page for more information.

Photo Courtsey of CAG
GAC members with their work at Brown Butter Bakery, Scappoose.

In Summer 2016, another group the St Helens Arts and Cultural Coalition finished their first round of funding for its second Gateway Structure called the Salmon Tree Cycle.  This group of volunteers raised over $16,000 for public art with a Kickstarter campaign called the Salmon Tree Cycle Project for more information on the committee visit the City of St Helens Arts and Cultural Coalition website. The St Helens Library also has a variety of art classes such as Collage and Paints for Adults on Jan 31st, 2017 as well as a Writers Guild.

New to Columbia County is the first Art Hive Network at Deer Island Manor, Deer Island, OR.  An Art Hive Network is a community art studio that welcomes everyone. The workshops for Art Hive Network will start on Feb 4th, 2017 from 12-4:00 PM.  Workshops will continue the first Saturday of the month go to  The Art Hive at Deer Island Manor for more information.

Something new in Clatskanie, Clatskanie Farmers Market is hosting it’s first Clatskanie in Bloom Art Show March 17th- March 31st, 2017 at Hazen Building Registration is now open for artists.

It’s a great time to create. It’s a great time to admire our talented local artists.  It’s the right time to be in the middle of a thriving art scene with the upcoming economic development in Columbia County.   #SupportALocalArtist #shopsmall

 

 

 


2016 Business Bits Overview

Columbia County, OR – The economic atmosphere in  2016 could be termed “Transformational” as far as future economic development in Columbia County.  Many new small businesses opened across varied industries in St. Helens, Scappoose & surrounding areas which welcomed new restaurants, art galleries, franchise businesses and mom and pop shops.

In March of 2016, Senator Betsy Johnson used the term “Transformational” to describe the announcement of the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center  (OMIC) in an article written by The Spotlight.  Chuck Daughtery, Executive Director, Columbia County Economic Team, (CCET) provided a brief synopsis in response to a question, “What are the Goals of OMIC”  on Facebook December 19th.  Daughtery’s response: Create state of the art metals research and development center in collaboration with the Oregon Institute of Technology, Portland State University, Oregon State University and industry partners including Boeing. R&D projects will be funded by industry partners and executed by the research universities. Industry will get access to intellectual property for use in prospective manufacturing processes.  Current updates are available OMIC project updates The Spotlight December 2016.

OMIC project leaders and partners met November 2nd at the newly purchased building in Scappoose adjacent to Scappoose Sand and Gravel.  Senator Betsy Johnson welcomed not only Governor Kate Brown but a”Who’s Who” of both Oregon Education & Business Community with local leaders and dignitaries for the explanation of the OMIC project and the what it means not only to Columbia County but to Oregon.  OMIC is currently the only Boeing partnered Research & Development Center in North America.  It’s right here in Scappoose, OR.  It’s transformational all right, in more ways than one.   This center will attract additional businesses with similar interests and train for employment after college.  For more information on the project, go to Oregon Business article on Filling the Gaps with Apprenticeships.

The Scappoose Industrial Air Park gained an additional expanding business in Columbia County. One might say, It was a big deal.  In June 2016, Cascades Tissues, a Canadian Based Company, operating in St Helens announced an expansion of a new paper converting company at the Scappoose Industrial Airpark creating jobs.  This expansion is a $63 million dollar project.  The project is currently underway.

South Columbia County not only saw an uptick in large business but also in the variety of new small businesses.  Some examples include two new artists with art galleries in Old Towne St Helens.  Captain Studley offers art classes at his studio and Johnny Grinder & partner, Orange brought Steam 33 to our community.  Big River Bistro opened its doors for great coffee, lunch or breakfast with a beautiful view of the Columbia River.  New neighbor to Big River Bistro,  North Lake Physical Therapy joined the Old Town merchants in the old Muckle building.  Let’s not forget about the re-opening of the Warren Country Inn after years of being closed.  These examples are certainly not all that opened in 2016 but a good sampling of the variety of new businesses.

New small businesses continue to open in Scappoose such as Brown Butter Bakery, Rosebud Cafe and even business services such as a local recruiting company, Normine, Lombard & Associates. Large franchises like Bi-Mart have also joined the mom and pop shops in Scappoose over the past last six months.

Columbia County will enter 2017 with a strong business foundation with many good things ahead for our local economy!  #hereincc #keepitlocalcc #welovewherewelive

Senator Betsy Johnson explaining OMIC (Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center). Photo Courtsey: Keep It Local Columbia County

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Columbia County Holiday Fun!

St. Helens, OR –  As the holiday season approaches, many of you may have children on school break or are anticipating company visiting.  It’s always a good idea to be proactive with a few ideas in your back pocket should the question come up “What is there to do around here?”

Just a few ideas to help jog your memory keeping everyone full of holiday cheer.

Both St. Helens and Scappoose have great libraries.  They offer programs for adults and kids such as the Dash & Dot Team Challenge on Dec 29th from 1:00 PM -2:00 PM.  Find more information at Scappoose Public Library Events and Details.    Go to St. Helens Library Calander to find interesting classes such as Beginning Ukulele maybe for the teenage kids or just quality time with your mom or dad.

Scappoose Public Library Dec 29th Event

Eisenschmidt Pool offers a variety of options for kids of all ages or exercise if you need some me time!  St Helens Pool Schedule

Photo Courtesy: SHEDCO

Around sunset is the perfect time to check out all the beautiful lights at the Courthouse Plaza Square in St. Helens. Thanks to local nonprofit SHEDCO (St Helens Economic Development Corporation), you should leave feeling that Holiday Spirit.  Plus, it’s a great spot to take family photos.   Open Anytime & FREE.

It’s not always the specific activity with family that we remember.  It is how we felt when we spend time with our family.  How hard we laughed and the memories we shared.  It’s the moments we spend together that matter.  Keep it simple and wonderful all rolled into one.  Happy Holidays Columbia County!