In Our View: Cheers & Jeers

Murals enliven downtown Vancouver; union vote could hurt state's economy

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Cheers: Downtown Vancouver is shining a little more brightly these days, thanks to the Clark County Mural Society. The core of the city now features 16 walls that have been spruced up with some manner of art, including five added in the summer. "It's a fun way to clean up our city and bring vibrancy and color," Nikki White, a board member for the mural society, told Columbian reporter Emily Gillespie.The mural society chooses a theme for selected walls in the downtown area, then solicits design proposals from artists. Among the projects: A smiling cloud riding a bicycle trailed by a rainbow ribbon, and a wall at Briz Loan & Guitar celebrating wine and jazz festivals. "We have this big blank wall out there staring at me every day," Briz owner Matt Brislawn said. "I've always admired the murals that have been around for years. It added character to our downtown."

Jeers: While we respect the right of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to vote in what they think is their best interest and to reject a contract offer from Boeing, it will be disappointing if this week's ballot results in the 777X jetliner moving out of the state.

Gov. Jay Inslee recently convened the state Legislature for a special session, and lawmakers came up with a package of tax incentives for Boeing, contingent upon the assembly of the plane being in Washington. But union members' rejection of the contract, by a 2-to-1 margin, leaves doubt as to where construction will wind up. Boeing now is expected to open up bidding among states in order to find the best deal, and that could mean the loss of thousands of jobs in Washington. For the sake of the union and the rest of the state, we hope their rejection of Boeing's offer works out in the long run.

Cheers: Many kudos are in order for local ceremonies that honored current and former military personnel Monday on Veterans Day. Thanks go out to the volunteers who organized events, to attendees who took part, and to families of those who have served. But most of all, thanks go out to the military members themselves, the people who have defended our nation.

As Mark Snyder, retired U.S. Army colonel and the keynote speaker at Clark County's annual Veterans Day observance said, "Peace and prosperity across much of the globe was only possible through the collective service of each individual veteran."

Jeers: Clark County Commissioners David Madore and Steve Stuart spent much of this week's public meeting sniping at each other regarding Madore's proposed "integrity resolution." We won't get too deep into the weeds here regarding the resolution, but we will again urge our elected officials to focus on doing their jobs and acting in a civil manner.

Madore's resolution would seem to be beyond the purview of the county commission, making it a waste of time for commissioners, their staff, and the public. Stuart's line-by-line repudiation of Madore's resolution also would seem to be time poorly spent. Focus, gentlemen, focus.

Cheers: State officials have extended the period for public input regarding a proposed oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver. The scoping period, originally scheduled to wrap up Nov. 18, has been extended to at least Dec. 18.

Regardless of how one feels about the terminal proposed by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies, public input is a good thing. The terminal would be expected to bring in as much as 380,000 barrels of crude per day by railcar, and that would have a profound impact on the community both environmentally and economically. Written comments may be submitted by email to efsec@utc.wa.gov.