Cheers: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night could stay the Walk & Knock couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. Well, they didn't actually face snow or rain or heat or gloom of night, but a slew of volunteers throughout Vancouver did face bitter cold and icy porches as they made their appointed rounds Dec. 7. The results were revealed this week: 128 tons of food collected to help the needy.That works out to 256,000 pounds, collected and sorted one grocery bag at a time by about 4,500 volunteers. Walk & Knock is a proud and important tradition in the community, highlighting the generosity of residents throughout Clark County.
Jeers: Tension between Boeing and its birthplace is starting to have an impact, and it will reverberate throughout the state. This week, the company announced that it is shifting hundreds of jobs to Alabama, Missouri and South Carolina over the next two years as part of a restructuring program for its U.S. research operations.
For generations, Boeing largely defined the economy in Washington; it was crucial in Seattle's development into a world-class city. That impact has diminished in recent years, as exemplified when Boeing moved its headquarters to Chicago in 2001. Since then, the aerospace giant has increasingly sited operations in other states, and this year has seen strife between management and a machinists union that could result in construction of the 777X being moved from the Puget Sound area. But while Boeing flirts with other states, Washington isn't sitting at home like a put-upon spouse — officials have started negotiations to lure Airbus to the state, because sometimes you just need to move on.
Cheers: We are suckers for the feel-good stories that abound at this time of year, and this week's entry comes from a generous 6-year-old. Cole Merle of Brush Prairie, who has stayed at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland at various times while undergoing treatment for cancer, is working to help other young patients at the hospital.
Cole's Christmas Furry Friends Fund is collecting money to purchase stuffed animals for patients at the hospital. After quickly surpassing his initial goal and raising donations of $600, Cole expanded his project to include toys in addition to stuffed animals for bed-ridden children (visit http://youcaring.com/colesfurryfrienddrive). "When you get toys, you feel better," Cole said. "Sometimes maybe they'll feel like they're at home for a little while."
Jeers: And then there are the stories about people who clearly are lacking in Christmas spirit. For example, somebody or somebodies thought it would be a good idea to steal a 6-foot-tall nutcracker off the porch of a home in Vancouver's Northwest neighborhood. The nutcracker is described as being, well, 6 feet tall and looking like a toy wooden soldier. Media reports also said he weighs about 75 pounds, meaning that he wasn't easy to move off his porchly perch. Somebody must have had an awfully big space in their living room that was screaming out for some decoration. To them we say, "Bah, humbug!"
Cheers: There's more good news, however slight, about the local economy. Home sales in Clark County rose again in November when compared with the previous year, going from 428 sales in November 2012 to 439 this year. In addition, the median price rose 10.6 percent from the previous November to $225,000. Home sales and home prices are one of the best indicators of the strength of the economy, and a steady upward trend in this regard can be seen as a harbinger of continued growth.