The Morning Press: A review of the week’s news


Photo Gallery

Susan Midland's "Bonnie & Clyde" tattoo takes shape on Sunday.

Kiggins Theatre owner Dan Wyatt gives his best James Bond look as he poses with Miss Greater Clark County Shelby Meader at a "Vancouver Goes Hollywood" event on Feb. 24. Wyatt said he's very excited by the progress of a bill that would expand alcohol sales at the theater.

Photo Gallery

A look back at some of this week’s top stories:

Two explosions at Boston marathon finish line

BOSTON — Two bombs exploded in the crowded streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing at least three people and injuring more than 140 in a bloody scene of shattered glass and severed limbs that raised alarms that terrorists might have struck again in the U.S.

A White House official speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still unfolding said the attack was being treated as an act of terrorism.

President Barack Obama vowed that those responsible will “feel the full weight of justice.”

As many as two unexploded bombs were also found near the end of the 26.2-mile course as part of what appeared to be a well-coordinated attack, but they were safely disarmed, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.

The fiery twin blasts took place about 10 seconds and about 100 yards apart, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending dense plumes of smoke rising over the street and through the fluttering national flags lining the route. Blood stained the pavement, and huge shards were missing from window panes as high as three stories.

Read the report from right after the attack here.

Related coverage:

Vancouver USA Marathon to review security

Obama: Boston culprits to feel ‘weight of justice’

Local training run dedicated to Boston

Boston official says video footage shows bomb suspect

Boston native: ‘This week has ripped my guts out’

Boston police say suspect in custody

Judge’s decision puts light-rail vote back in play

Striking at the heart of a city of Vancouver argument against a citywide vote on light rail, a Cowlitz County Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that when people sign their names to a petition, the original signature should be counted, no matter how many times they sign it again.

Judge Stephen M. Warning ruled in favor of a group of 75 light-rail opponents from Vancouver who challenged a law stating that, on municipal petitions, “signatures, including the original, of any person who has signed a petition two or more times shall be stricken.”

The light-rail opponents have long tried to force city government to sponsor a public vote of residents asking if city resources should be used to extend TriMet’s MAX line from Portland to Vancouver as part of the Columbia River Crossing project. The vote would be largely symbolic, as the city is not one of the official project sponsors.

Read the full story here.

The Big Divide: Competing political wills block the way

Clark County’s political and business leaders who’ve steered the county’s growth strategy for decades are under fire by critics girding to capsize their priorities. Most business and civic groups, as well as local governments, see a new Interstate 5 bridge as a main ingredient of Clark County’s future prosperity. But their critics aim to sink the proposed CRC, in part because the $3.4 billion Interstate 5 Bridge replacement project will bring light rail into Clark County. If they’re successful, CRC opponents will tear into the very fabric of the leadership elite’s sense of what the county needs to thrive.

The impasse over the Columbia River Crossing spills into other areas of civic life — most notably, in discussions of how Clark County should grow as it recovers from the bruising economic crash. The dustup churns with everything from the clash of urban and rural interests to rival beliefs about what role government should play in the economy. The political power of CRC critics was amplified in last year’s election of businessman David Madore, a staunch light-rail critic, to the Clark County Board of Commissioners. Madore associates Portland with high-density development, noise, gobs of traffic, skyscrapers. “We respect their freedom to be who they are,” Madore said of Portland. “Let Portland be weird, Madore said. ” That’s OK. I’m OK with that. Just not over here.”

Read a synopsis of the series here. The full versions will be available Sunday through Tuesday here.

Rock star praises Drug Court’s work

The kids in Clark County Juvenile Recovery Court don’t have the fame of rock stars. But on Wednesday, they found out they have something in common with rock star Trey Anastasio.

The 48-year-old vocalist and guitarist in the rock band Phish stopped by the Juvenile Drug Court in downtown Vancouver and spoke to a group of about 75 people, many of them juvenile drug offenders. Then, he headed to Portland to perform with Natalie Cressman Wednesday at a sold-out show at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom.

“On your worst day, try to remember this is a gift,” Anastasio said of Drug Court. “Drug Court is the single best thing that ever happened to me, to my wife, to my kids, to my mom.”

An opiate addiction nearly destroyed Anastasio’s life. His band had broken up. His family was estranged from him.

“I had sores all over my body,” he said.

He was arrested in 2006 while driving in upstate New York and charged with multiple felonies related to his drug use. He was given a choice: spend a year in jail or go through Drug Court.

Read the full story here.

Some things you may have missed:

Tattooists in sync with ink at Body Art Expo

The ink flowed Sunday at the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds, with hundreds looking at tattoos or getting new art on their bodies.

And in one of the dozens of booths at the Body Art Expo, Amanda Midland, 29, worked on the right thigh of her mother, Susan Midland, 46.

“I trust her,” Susan said of her daughter. “She’s not going to mess up the art I’m going to have for the rest of my life. And I’m proud to show it.”

Amanda has been a tattoo artist at Five Star Tattoo Company in Battle Ground for two years and has been tattooing people for four years. She was working on a “Bonnie & Clyde” tattoo for her mom.

It’s a tribute to Susan’s parents. The tattoo shows a game board, a logging truck (her dad was a logger), the front of the getaway car used by the bank-robbing duo and more. Susan’s parents’ names are Bonnie and Clyde, although her father has died.

Read the full story here.

Local theater owners cheer bill’s victory

OLYMPIA — The Kiggins theater in downtown Vancouver will likely be able to sell alcohol due to the success of House Bill 1001.

Proposed by House Speaker Pro Tempore Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, HB 1001 allows theaters to sell alcohol without a restaurant license or a cordoned-off area. The bill passed Friday in the Senate, with 27 in favor, 21 against and one absent.

For small theaters such as the Kiggins, or the Liberty theater in Camas, the extra profit from alcohol sales can be the difference between success and failure.

Dan Wyatt, the owner and operator of the Kiggins theater, said he was very excited by the bill’s passage.

“Once we get started serving (beer and wine), it will have a big impact on business,” he said.

Wyatt said he hadn’t had any direct conversations with the liquor control board, which issues the permits for sales of beer and wine under the bill, but he hopes for implementation to happen as soon as possible.

Read the full story here.

Roller derby gets real

Carlee Wolcott slowly approaches the starting line. The purple wheels of her roller skates come to a stop when she reaches her place on the powder blue floor. Her short purple hair is tucked beneath the black helmet featuring her team logo. Her nickname, Scylla Devourer, is printed across the back of her fitted purple jersey. The sleeve of tattoos on her arms is partially obscured by the armbands bearing her number, 1719.

Three other women line up closely on either side of Wolcott. Together, they form a black and purple wall, reinforced with mouth guards, elbow pads and knee pads.

The teammates squat down in unison, heads turned over one shoulder. Behind them, four opponents mimic their stances. All eyes are focused on the two skaters lining up behind the pack, stars emblazoned on their helmets.

Then, everyone is still.

Then, the blast of a whistle.

The starred skaters burst to life, working to maneuver their bodies around and through the human walls. Wolcott uses her hips to knock an opposing skater off balance. Another member of the wall delivers a blow using her shoulder.

Read the full story here.