In Our View: Cheers & Jeers

Volunteers really Make a Difference; glitch leaves beloved clock out of sync

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Cheers: More than 400 community members spent their Saturday making Clark County a little more livable last week. As part of Make a Difference Day, volunteers picked up litter, planted trees, cleaned up Main Street, or engaged in various other projects to make the area more palatable to the eyes.

Billed as the biggest annual day of community service, Make a Difference Day offers an opportunity for citizens to improve public spaces in their cities. Some local workers swept through parks to pick up cigarette butts and gather litter; others worked to make the lettering on gravestones at the Old City Cemetery more readable; and about 250 helped plant trees along Burnt Bridge Creek. Regardless of where or how they contributed, the volunteers embraced the ideals of community and neighborliness.

Jeers: The landmark clock tower in Esther Short Park’s Propstra Square is a little behind itself. The tower was installed in 2002, and in 2007 Congress altered the weekend on which the country switches from daylight saving time to standard. Because of its outdated computer software, the clock reverts to standard time before the rest of the country.

Fortunately, the clock tower will receive an upgrade next month, which should have it keeping perfect time for the next time we fall back. But, for now, we guess we’ll give jeers to Congress for altering the daylight saving calendar and throwing off Vancouver’s favorite timepiece.

Cheers: Literally, we say, “cheers!” to this item. Or maybe “prost!” Or, perhaps, it should be “skol!” We aren’t sure, but we certainly are happy that Clark County is home to a burgeoning beer, wine, and liquor industry. Since 2010, the Washington State Liquor Control Board has recorded applications in the region for nine new microbreweries, eight new wineries, and two new distilleries.

Considering that Travel & Leisure earlier this year ranked Portland as the best beer city in the U.S. — with Seattle coming in at No. 4 — Vancouver would seem to be perfectly situated for a spirited growth in alcohol manufacturers. But more important than the product is the fact that the growth is the result of entrepreneurs willing to gamble on the local economy. That’s good news. So, we might add, “To your health!”

Jeers: It’s certainly no secret that concussions and other head injuries are an area of concern for football players. But a new report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council emphasizes the importance of concussion awareness for athletes, parents, and coaches at the youth and high school levels.

Since Washington in 2009 became the first state to pass a law dealing with athletic concussions, every state but Mississippi has approved similar legislation. And earlier this year, the NFL announced a $765 million settlement with former players who had sued the league. Despite that, the new report found that young athletes still face a “culture of resistance” to reporting concussions or remaining sidelined for an appropriate amount of time. That’s not a condemnation of football, but a reminder to parents and coaches that they should be educated and aware.

Cheers: A sure sign that fall has arrived and winter is approaching in these parts — the Vancouver Farmers Market has closed for the season. During its 24 years in the heart of the city, the farmers market has become one of Vancouver’s signature events while delivering a variety of crafts, produce, and good eats. But wait, there’s more! The market also offers up the best that Clark County has to offer in the way of people-watching and dog-watching.

Drawing thousands of visitors each weekend throughout the summer, the farmers market offers up a heaping helping of the flavor that makes Vancouver what it is.