In Our View: Cheers & Jeers

Stories of generosity spread joy;measles case reported in county

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Cheers: Maybe there are more of these stories at this time of year — or maybe we just take more notice of them because it's the holidays. But two articles about kindness to strangers have appeared on the pages of The Columbian in recent days.

In one, Vancouver waitress Rosie Salice received a $700 tip from a customer, according to reporter Stevie Mathieu. The benevolent stranger had admired Salice's necklace, which the 22-year-old had made herself. When it came time to pay the bill, the customer offered the generous tip and told Salice she could use the money to start the jewelry-making business the waitress had mentioned. The customer also provided a note that read, "I believe in you."

In another story, reporter Paris Achen detailed how Vancouver attorney Evan Hull takes it upon himself to provide support for families in danger of losing their homes. After overhearing a local woman's fear of eviction recently while at the Clark County Courthouse, he approached her and offered to pay her back rent if she would perform community service. In the past, Hull has provided similar help. "If I'm sitting in court, and I hear someone say, 'I'm going to be homeless,' well, I can prevent that. I can help," Hull said. "I have the ability to do that."

Whether it's the holidays or any other time of year, stories about such generosity always make the day a little brighter.

Jeers: Health officials announced Thursday that a Clark County child has been diagnosed with measles, and local parents should keep their eyes open for symptoms in their children. Measles have an incubation period of 7 to 21 days, and children are contagious starting about four days prior to showing symptoms. Those most likely to have come into contact with the infected child have been notified, but the long incubation period means that some kids could be carrying the disease but not be aware of it. Parents should ensure that all immunizations are up to date and watch for symptoms.

Cheers: After rolling through its first 13 games of the season, the Camas High School football team plays for a state championship tonight. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Tacoma Dome against Chiawana of Pasco and will be broadcast on ROOT Sports (cable Ch. 34).

Simply reaching a state championship game is an impressive accomplishment built upon years of dedication and hard work by players, coaches and even parents. The difficulty of winning the title is demonstrated by the fact that only one Clark County team — Evergreen in 2004 — has captured a big-school championship. Best of luck to the Papermakers as they try to make it two.

Jeers: We aren't ready to actually do something about the weather, but we are prepared to complain about it. This weekend is expected to continue a record-setting cold streak, and high winds are likely to make it feel even colder if you step outside.

With overnight temperatures expected to drop into the teens, it's a good time to make sure your doors and windows are sealed tight, and it's a good time to check on neighbors or relatives who might need a little extra help to ensure that they are warm enough. If you go outside, proper clothing is a must; but we recommend simply staying inside drinking hot cocoa while complaining about the weather.

Cheers: Nan Henriksen is a thoughtful choice as chair of Clark County's freeholders, and she promises to take a thoughtful approach to the job. The former Camas mayor was selected to lead the group of 15 elected officials that will be considering changes to the county's form of government.

"I do not believe in structural changes to government when it's simply because people are unhappy with folks who are sitting in that structure currently," she said. Any changes, should they eventually be passed by voters, will outlast Clark County's current problems.