Press Talk: Of cars and a Texas Cage Fight



In the 2006 animated comedy “Cars,” one of the characters caught my eye. It was a 1959 yellow Fiat named Luigi. Need I say more?

OK, for those of you who don’t read Press Talk regularly (what the … ?), last week I wrote about how it was time for my 1986 Honda Prelude to call it a day. It has been through the newspaper wars with me, but it was time.

Sure, it still was getting me to work, but its glory days were gone. So last Saturday — after quite a bit of research — I landed me a new newsmobile.

It was, indeed, a yellow Fiat. And I did, indeed, name it Luigi. Call it fate.

In this business, you never quite know what will interest readers, so I honestly wasn’t sure how well-read last week’s column on my car would be. So I was a bit surprised when it did very well on our website.

Thanks for reading!

Da Mayor

Speaking of things that interest readers, I suspect Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt and County Commissioner David Madore fall into that category.

And — hear me out now — these two characters are a lot alike.

If they were my paisans, I’d call them both parafulmine.

Lightning rods.

Truth is, both are in a pitched battle for the hearts and souls of our residents. Both are passionate about their beliefs. And both someday will end up in a no-holds-barred Texas Cage Fight to settle it all.

But for now, they often engage in a war of words.

Personally, I like and appreciate the jousting. They are main characters in our local drama play.

One reason why I like them is they don’t sit on the sidelines. Guys like Councilors Jack Burkman and Bart Hanson — good guys for sure — are white bread. They wouldn’t be raising their hands to pinch hit with the game on the line.

Madore and Leavitt — on the other hand — would fight for the chance to step to the plate. They very well could strike out, but these guys are willing to be the goat as long as they have a chance to be the hero.

Leavitt’s latest foray came this week, when he opened the door wider for Vancouver to play a larger role in getting the CRC up and running.

Yes, that CRC! The multibillion-dollar bridge project everybody called dead in the water. But in politics, nothing is ever dead. “Somebody locally needs to provide the leadership necessary to move the project forward,” Leavitt said.

Leavitt went on to say the public shouldn’t expect the C-Tran board to provide that leadership.

“Commissioner Madore and his minions — including Bill Turlay — have done a masterful job of manipulating some of the C-Tran board representatives into working to deny investments in more efficient and effective public transit.”

As many of you know, Councilor Turlay is running against Leavitt for mayor.

I suggested to the mayor that he must not feel like he’s in a Texas Cage Fight to get re-elected to bring this controversial CRC stuff up now.

“I’m happy to take on my detractors and those opposed to the CRC in a Texas cage fight. Interestingly, there would probably be a light rail line to that cage fight … as Texas (aren’t they considered a conservative state?) is investing heavily in mass transit.”

Let’s get ready to rumble!

Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505, or