Of cart food, letters and a smoking gun

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor



I love the groovin’ ’Couv! But when I’m lookin’ for a great sandwich I sometimes hop in the car and make that horrendous, slow, dangerous drive over the Interstate 5 bridge (this will guarantee CRC comments) and look for a joint to eat.

No, not one of those ambience places that can break you before you get in the door. Rather, a wonder on wheels.

We’re talking food carts!

Last week I ended up at Southeast 42nd and Belmont at Lardo. It serves some phat as well as fat food. (Hey, lardo is Italian for fat!)

But I wasn’t the only one there. “Eat Street” — a Cooking Channel show — was filming.

The Cooking Channel was created after the Food Channel went all reality TV on us. No longer could you figure out how to make a meatball on the Food Channel. So they created the Cooking Channel.

Anyway, one thing lead to another and I — along with Columbian Publisher Scott Campbell — was interviewed. Odds are I’ll end up on the cutting room floor but keep your eye on the Cooking Channel for a feature on Lardo.

And I’m hoping some day they’ll end up in the ’Couv to do a story.

Letter editing

We published a letter to the editor from Mark Miskiewiez this week, questioning C-Tran and suggesting it tighten its belt like everyone else rather than asking for a tax increase.

The Columbian editorially supports the sales tax increase on the upcoming ballot.

Mark sent me an email questioning our taking out a line in his letter saying his neighbor used the C-Van service to take his mom to play bingo every day.

Truth is, we often take out information in letters that we can’t substantiate.

But I wanted to make note of it, because giving disabled people a ride to bingo is something C-Van would do. We often hear of the doctor’s office trips and the grocery store trips, but not so much the bingo trips.

Some will view this as a compassionate society at work. Others will be outraged.

A few of us remember when all of these rides were the responsibility of family, friends and churches. But the federal government stepped in long ago.

Agree or disagree, these are federal regulations, not a decision made by C-Tran.

Liberal or conservative?

What am I?

A few weeks ago, I raised this issue: Was it fair that private taxpayers contribute to government worker pensions even though most private workers have no pension of their own?

I never got a straight answer from anyone, but because I raised the question, I was given a label:

A conservative.

Then last week we began coverage of the Occupy Vancouver protest. One of my good conservative friends — Lew Waters — was outraged at how much coverage we gave it. He made note that six months ago, we failed to cover a Tea Party event here. And that was the smoking gun for Lew that proved I was one thing for certain:

A liberal.

Of course, making proclamations based on one event is a little silly, but we’ve got lots of silly stuff going on, especially in the blogosphere. I decided to check how many times we mentioned “Tea Party” in stories — local and national — and letters to the editor.

More than 800 times!

Looks like we have lots of Occupy stories to do before we catch up.

Still, Lew stuck to his smoking gun.

“Those that claim (you have a) conservative bias are either high on drugs or so far left, Joseph Stalin is conservative to them.”

And so it goes.

Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505 or lou.brancaccio@columbian.com.

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