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Cashmere Cares: Backpacks a big help
It might make for a funny Snickers commercial, but for some children in our school district it makes for a painful reality. Hunger affects them and keeps them achieving their potential.

A growing number of Vale Elementary students live in poverty. Handfuls of students across the district are considered homeless. A considerable group of children have begun receiving breakfast at the middle school.

"We have kids that are in poverty that if they are not in the school system, they don't know where their meals are coming from," said Glenn Johnson, superintendent of Cashmere schools.

Cashmere Cares, the community campaign to provide all children with nourishment, shelter, mentorship and literacy, has started working with a Monitor-based campaign that provides backpacks full of food to students in need every Friday.

Thursday, January 22, 2015 More...

Community forum scheduled for next week
Repeating a recipe from a couple of years ago, Cashmere's City Council has organized a community forum to foster a dialogue about the future of the city.

The forum, scheduled for next Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Riverside Center first occurred about three years ago to help identify community-wide goals for Cashmere.

"We pretty much accomplished what was identified then that the city could do," Mayor Jeff Gomes said. "That was when we kind of took ownership of the downtown canopies and had them re-roofed and painted. One of the things that came from that was those entry signs [on Aplets Way and on Cotlets Way that say] welcome to Cashmere on both ends of the city. We made some changes to the sign code, making it a little bit more business-friendly."

Thursday, January 22, 2015 More...
The Pipeline: Varsity players remember their C squad days
It's not true that the playbook only had one page, but at times it just seemed that way.

Varsity basketball players at Cashmere High School remembered their time on the C squad as one long season of running. Running during games, running during practice, sometimes, even running out the door to make it for 6 a.m. practice. And of course, running out of energy after practice.

"It was great," said Jake Monroe, now a varsity player for the Bulldogs. "It really helped you get in shape and get you ready and disciplined for the higher-up teams."

Thursday, January 22, 2015 More...
The (mostly) invisible anti-snow brigade
It takes only two inches and a cloud of (white) dust for the trucks to start running through the streets of Cashmere, at a top speed of 25 mph.

If there are two inches of snow on the ground and it's snowing hard at 3 a.m., Cashmere Public Works Foreman John Bayne makes his phone calls at 4 a.m. and gathers his men at 5 a.m. to start scooping, brushing or blowing the flakes away.

And if it's not snowing but there are four inches of snow on the ground or more, Bayne picks up his phone.

Thursday, January 22, 2015 More...
Cashmere Cares: Community-wide effort kicks year into gear with fundraiser

Every kid means every kid.

That's just one of the mantras of Cashmere Cares, the community-wide effort seeking to feed and clothe every child in the Valley, ensuring every child can read and every child has a mentor.

Cashmere schools chief Glenn Johnson said the challenges facing the students in the district make a broad effort like Cashmere Cares necessary.

Fifty-five percent of students at Vale qualified for free or reduced lunches. Twenty-three students in the district are considered homeless. More than 40 children are eating breakfast at the middle school.

"We are seeing some of these issues and challenges grow," Johnson said. And it's not just about food and clothing.

The district has extended its interventions, added all-day kindergarten and expanded its preschool. It has started an academy program, after school programs, summer school programs, and an AVID program for study habits. The problems aren't insurmountable, Johnson said, "but we can't do it alone."

What's needed, Johnson said, is a collective commitment to children. And in a place like Cashmere, that's not far-fetched.

Thursday, January 15, 2015 More...
Marijuana store opens west of Cashmere
Lisa Wendt says she knows the score.

She's in the Wenatchee Valley, and she sells a product in East Wenatchee and right outside Cashmere on Vale Road, that is still illegal in 48 out of the 50 states.

So she's not expecting any welcoming parades. On the other hand, she bets those numbers will change as more people change their views on marijuana.

Like herself, for instance.

An accountant who said she voted against the legalization of pot in 2012, she says that when she and three families of acquaintances decided to open a marijuana shop in East Wenatchee last July, she looked at it from a business perspective.

It wasn't easy.

Thursday, January 15, 2015 More...
Cougar had killed at least one other Cashmere dog, DFW expert says
The cougar that was killed after it killed a dog outside of Cashmere had killed at least one other dog this winter, Fish and Wildlife Sergeant Dan Klump said.

At least three dogs died in late 2014 from what experts thought were cougar attacks. During one of those attacks, Jorge Cervantes, the owner of the dog shot the cougar with birdshot.

The cougar that was killed the next-to-last day of December had scars from birdshot wounds on his legs, a necropsy showed.

Thursday, January 15, 2015 More...
The pipeline: Where it all begins
Young and sweaty, the hoops-mad boys of Cashmere's sixth-grade AAU team don't think of themselves as boys playing a game.

They think of themselves as state-champions-in-waiting.

To a boy, six members of the team declared that fun as basketball is, the goal is not to stick the ball through the hoop a lot and go home.

The goal is to someday get their hands on that trophy at the Yakima SunDome and then go home.

And as transient as life can be, these children have declared Cashmere their home. It's special to wear that orange jersey, with CASHMERE on the front.

"We are all a team, and we are all probably going to stick together, this group," said sixth-grader Duke Odenrider. "So hopefully we will win a state championship."

Thursday, January 15, 2015 More...
2014 a year in Review: P2
Thursday, January 8, 2015 More...
Downtown commerce in good shape, Chamber manager says
From one to 10, an eight.

That's the rating Cashmere Chamber of Commerce manager Wendy LeSesne gives when asked to grade the state of merchants on Cottage Avenue.

"We are excited about the new businesses that are coming in," she said, adding that people have shown interest in renting some of the newer retail spaces.

"We are continuing to be in an upswing, even though we are losing one of our favorite businesses downtown, the Secondhand Memories," she said.

What downtown commerce needs to get to 10, LeSesne said, is the chamber and the shops getting people to shop locally.

Thursday, January 8, 2015 More...
The commerce conundrum: How to awaken downtown
With one more store offering a going-out-of-business sale, the question of how to keep commerce afloat on Cottage Avenue arises once again.

This time, it's Secondhand Memories turning out the lights. Before then, it was a thrift store at Cashmere Center, before them Lucinda's, before them the Senior Center. For varied reasons, the list goes on.

New businesses have arrived. The Hurricane Cantina, a marketing and human resources center for Cashmere Valley Bank, and a nail salon. The north side of Cottage Avenue looks quite busy, with new apartment buildings opening soon. Still, a handful of storefronts remain empty on the south side.

Now there's about to be one more. And a successful one, at that, said Darlene Adams, co-owner of Secondhand Memories.

Thursday, January 8, 2015 More...

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