Strange orb reported over Vancouver Lake

Carey Hicks was standing in his driveway in Fruit Valley last night when he saw something odd and scary streak through the sky. It was a helicopter chasing a small craft, possibly an orb, that was highly maneuverable, he said. “It was a smaller craft with a large military helicopter following it,” Hicks said. “It […]

Basecamp anyone?

Basecamp is one of those tools that you’ve probably heard of, but have no clue what it is for.  The question you need to ask yourself (if you are a small business), is – why are you not on basecamp yet? Click here to read more about Basecamp, straight from the company. Making projects so […]

Grammar hard-liners

On slow mail days, journalists can often depend on grammar hard-liners to contribute a lecture or two to the newsroom inbox. Grammar isn’t always black and white, but some readers have strong opinions, or pet peeves, about how grammar should be handled. Many of the letters come from English teachers who are on a mission […]

Some readers impart wisdom

For sure, most journalists in the newspaper business get, ah, love notes. They usually fall into two categories: Bad and really bad. Such is life. Nowadays, they come by email, although on occasion they will come from the post office. Then there’s the phone message. Hey, here’s an example. Just another fan. Lou BrancaccioEditor of […]

We’ve got mail

Lots of mail. Yes, as a media organization we receive mountains of mail, or at least you could envision mountains if we hit the Print button every time something popped into our email inboxes or our phone voicemail boxes. Thankfully, we do not do this. We simply hit Reply or possibly, yes, Delete. Some of […]

Ideal length for everything online

I’ve seen some great recommendations, but this list is a great combination of suggested lengths of anything you either submit online, or compose for eventual use online!  Finally, there are lines drawn in the sand.  : )  if you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of setting standards on the Web – not to deny […]

Been another busy week…

For those of you who don’t know it – we’re doing some great things in our ‘digital services’ group at The Columbian, where we are making a serious push to get clients signed for websites, mobile websites, SEO and video production. We had a consultant come in and aid/assist us in selling a package of […]

A little beer science

Looks like beer marinade doesn’t just make meat tastier, it’s also good for you! Here’s a recent press release from the American Chemical Society: Beer marinade could reduce levels of potentially harmful substances in grilled meats Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry The smells of summer — the sweet fragrance of newly opened flowers, the […]

Back up your “stuff” via cloud-based apps

There have been some concerns about cloud-based app usage over the last couple years – in regards to security and availability of your documents.  I’m writing to say that the winds of change have been moving quite steadily towards “the cloud” (I can’t honestly stand this term, ‘cloud’ – but it’s what everyone uses so […]

UFO sighting?

A Clark County resident named Diana had this story to tell about a possible UFO sighting on March 14, 2014: “I was really surprised late Friday night while walking my dog and I spotted what I can only describe as a small fleet of UFOs! I’ve never seen anything like this and it was hard […]

FTP… What is it?

This post isn’t for advanced users, but to be a basic overview for people not “in-the-know”. FTP, or file transfer protocol, was originally created in 1971 – before the birth of the World Wide Web, as a command-line interface (text-based, relying on specific commands).  From inception, it was built to transfer files from one host […]

Link-building: A Quick Lesson for SEO

Any SEO campaign that is gaining traction hits a point where you may not need to change a lot of information on your site (unless you plan on adding lots more content regularly, but that’ll be a different post). At that point, a great thing to check out, is how many websites are linking to […]

Time to Unlock Knowledge?

As long as I’ve been creating fun stuff on the Web, there have been people locking down the knowledge for their personal use only.  I’m not sure if this has been expounded by the economy, by the overwhelming growth and popularity of the Web, or if it is being condensed by developers who are afraid […]

Happy 25th Birthday to the World Wide Web

Twenty-five years ago today – Tim Berners-Lee submitted a paper to his employer (CERN), which described a network (web) of computers that each had access to files – shared among each other.  Little did he know that his idea would birth some of the greatest achievements (and bank accounts) the world had ever seen. Although […]

The World’s Worst Website Ever

I stumbled across this site a while ago – and had fun pulling it apart trying to find out everything ‘wrong’ with it.  Although a lot of it is personal opinion – and you can have your site however you want, there are so many things on this site that would need to be ‘fixed’ […]

Ghost debunking in 1876

From the Vancouver Independant, January 22, 1876 (a predecessor to The Columbian) comes this ghost tale: A Haunted House How Dr. Todd exorcised the spirits. The following incident is from the autobiography of Dr. John Todd, recently published. Hardly were they settled in their new home when there began to be rumors that the house […]

Ghosts at the 1866 Charles Brown House?

Rumor has it cabinets sometimes open on their own at Vancouver’s Charles Brown House, built in 1866. Tom Vogt, The Columbian’s science, military and history reporter, had an interesting story in today’s paper about the building’s grim history. Here’s a little extra from Tom about possible ghosts at the site: “People who work in the […]

Brickhouse to host Brew Fest for MS in February

The second annual Brew Fest for MS is coming to the Brickhouse Bar & Grill in downtown Vancouver at 6 p.m. on Feb. 12. The craft brew fundraiser, organized by the volunteer athletic group Team Road Kill, benefits the Oregon/Southwest Washington chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. It will feature six Clark County brewers: […]

Smelt season to be proposed

Washington and Oregon officials are expected to proposed limited sport and commercial fishing for smelt when the Columbia River Compact meets Wednesday. The session begins at 10 a.m. at the Clark Regional Wastewater District, 8000 N.E. 52nd Court. Ron Roler, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said on Friday […]

Outdoor events calendar

Feb. 5 — Vancouver Wildlife League, 7 p.m., Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2108 Grand Blvd., Ron Roler, Columbia River policy coordinator, discuss spring chinook fishing seasons. Feb. 5-9 — Annual Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show, Portland Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland, $12 for adults, $5 for youth, $2 discount coupons at, […]

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