Most commented stories on last week

By Matt Wastradowski, Columbian staff writer



From the comments

Lou Brancaccio asked readers to predict the winner of the Presidential election. A few responses:

Bob Shuell:

"It seems to me at this point in the history of the US, presidential candidates might want to focus on a collaborative solution to our national debt instead of the blame game. This strategy really should have ended in middle school (sorry kids). If there is going to be any viable presidential candidate please come forth state what your going do to bring forth a solution! Honestly grow up!"

Alex Reinhold:

"I think the bigger problem is the GOP "front runners" are just more the same. There is not a dynamic leader in that grouping. There isn't the person who will step forward and bring the country together. There's not a GOP candidate that is someone you want to vote for because they are better, they are the folks you vote for because you feel they will do the least damage."

Note to readers: Columbian staff have been posting the most read stories on each week since July. We've noticed, however, that the stories that received the most traffic don't necessarily reflect the most important issues to our community of readers.

So we're trying something a little different, posting the stories that received the most comments. These stories got readers fired up for one reason or another and provide a better glimpse of the issues the community is most passionate about and interested in discussing.

What do you think about this new approach? What comments and discussions would you like to see highlighted? Tell us in the comments! We'd love to hear from you.

1) Several arrested at local protest of state home-care service cuts

A dozen protesters affiliated with the Service Employees International Union occupied the state Office of Administrative Hearings in Vancouver and staged a sit-down strike at closing time Tuesday to protest recent state cuts to in-home care.

2) Laird: Remember, Mr. Paul, electors (not voters) matter most

Ron Paul found another wrong tree to bark up Thursday afternoon in downtown Vancouver, and his idolators turned out in full force. Hundreds were turned away from a capacity crowd at the Hilton Vancouver Washington.

Sadly for the presidential hopeful and his frenzied fans, there’s little hope he’ll become president. And that faint national chance is gaining even less traction in our state, hence the wrong-tree reference

3) Press Talk: How would you write day after election story lead? And why?

Editor Lou Brancaccio looks into his crystal ball and makes a prediction about who will win the next Presidential election -- and why.

4) Former church leader sentenced for molesting boys

A former volunteer church leader who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two teenage boys during private devotions has avoided a lengthy prison sentence.

Judge Dan Stahnke on Friday gave Jason L. Wolk, 26, of Vancouver the Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative, which allows offenders to undergo therapy at their own expense.

5) Builders’ forum decries government regulations

Thursday's Responsible Growth Forum decried government regulations with regards to building and construction. A state Department of Ecology requirement that newly developed sites drain as slowly as they did prior to Euro-American settlement was used as an example of a job-killing regulation.

Our readers weighed in on the issue:

Jeffrey Gibbons:

"I believe we need some regulations in place to protect the environment and the community in which we live but a lot of these regulations and inefficiencies are way out of line.

Conversely, I would like to see reasonable impact fees applied to new growth that will actually pay for a new project or developments true cost to the area. It gets tiring to be continually asked to vote for bond issues in order to build or expand new schools, fire stations, police stations and roads that would not have been necessary without the new growth associated with these projects."

Mike George:

"My experience dealing with the state has been very good. Having said that, this all pretty much all started with the growth management plan and over time became more complex and costly as a result. And there are no shortage of ways that any large organization, public or private, can be streamlined, made more efficient, and to operate more effectively so as to better serve both the needs of their customers. But the EPA is not the end all bogeyman as some would have us all believe, far from it."

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