In Our View: Cheers & Jeers

Vancouver proves attractive to corporate leaders; more bad news from Hanford



Cheers: There is an old axiom in the newspaper business that you can never publish too many photos of puppies. Puppies and children. Wait, puppies and children and Santa Claus. Readers just love to look at those things. So it is good news for The Columbian that Banfield Pet Hospital has decided to build new corporate offices in Vancouver — but it's even better news for the community. The company, which supports 850 pet hospitals across the United States and Puerto Rico, announced that it will build a 250,000-square-foot office complex in the Columbia Tech Center at Southeast Mill Plain Boulevard and 184th Avenue, moving its headquarters from Portland and employing about 600 people.

Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt said the announcement was "another feather in our cap and a reaffirmation of the trajectory we're on." Banfield will join hospital giant PeaceHealth, which moved from Bellevue in 2011, and telecommunications company Integra, which is in the process of moving from Portland, as recent transplants to Vancouver. All of those moves reflect well upon the business-friendly climate and the economic opportunity available here. But only one of them gives The Columbian an excuse to publish puppy photos.

Jeers: As if there weren't enough concerns about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a new report highlights newfound problems. Nearly 2,000 capsules containing radioactive waste at the site — which is about 250 miles up the Columbia River from Vancouver — should be moved, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General. The capsules contain radioactive cesium and strontium and are held in a giant pool of water at Hanford, the nation's most polluted nuclear weapons production site.

Ongoing cleanup efforts have been beset over the years by a series of delays and a culture of indifference from the federal government. Some large storage tanks are leaking, and many deadlines have been missed. The new report, frustratingly, comes as no surprise for Washington residents.

Cheers: The Civil War was fought far from the Northwest, yet the conflict's reach touched Clark County just as it did every other corner of the country. And now the Clark County Historical Museum (1511 Main St., Vancouver) is bringing part of that connection to life. A new exhibit focuses on three Union soldiers who moved to the county after the war, using some of their possessions and archival images to put a local face on The War Between the States. For more information, visit

Cheers: Relationships among members of the Vancouver City Council or the Board of Clark County Commissioners might appear a little testy at times, but maybe that's just politics. On the other hand, the mayor of Castle Rock, Paul Helenberg, has been ordered to take an anger-management class for violating the courtesy code at a city council meeting. According to The (Longview) Daily News, Helenberg raised his voice against the police chief when the chief requested more money for ammunition. The Association of Washington Cities investigated a complaint and recommended that the mayor take a pair of two-hour anger-management sessions.That must be one stringent courtesy code. We wonder if it's anything like an integrity resolution.

Cheers: April showers, they say, bring May flowers. But, according to Weather Eye writer Patrick Timm, we are in for some warm weather early next week. This follows a March that was so rainy it drenched long-held concerns about drought conditions throughout the state. After that waterlogged month, we are deserving of a little sunshine — so long as our flowers still bloom in May.