Cheers: It was, without a doubt, one of the most memorable days in state history. When the Seattle Seahawks laid a 43-8 pounding on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, capturing the franchise's first championship, the cheers could be heard from Vancouver to Colville. The day before the game, hundreds of local fans turned out at Esther Short Park for a rally demonstrating support for the team, representing how Seahawks fever has infected the entire region.
Still, even the most ardent 12th Man supporter could not have imagined such a lopsided Super Bowl. Denver came in with the highest-scoring offense in the history of the National Football League, led by record-setting quarterback Peyton Manning, but Seattle's defense made mincemeat of the Broncos. So, when an estimated 700,000 fans turned out Wednesday in Seattle for a championship parade, it wasn't just a celebration of this year's journey to football's mountaintop; it was an acknowledgment of the 38 hard years it took the franchise to get there.
Jeers: The planned closure of the Nordstrom store at Westfield Vancouver mall is understandable from a business standpoint, but still it is disappointing news for Clark County. The retailer, a Northwest icon that maintains its headquarters in Seattle, announced that it will close the outlet — along with a store at Portland's Lloyd Center — in about a year.
The Vancouver store, a mall anchor since 1977, is small by the megastandards of today's retail industry, and therefore didn't generate the necessary revenue. Its loss will be felt by consumers, who now find the nearest Nordstrom about 15 miles away at Clackamas Town Center; and by residents, who will see a loss of jobs and sales tax revenue. Here's hoping that mall officials can attract an equally popular retailer to that space.
Cheers: Athletes and athletic success get a large share of attention in American society (see the Seahawks cheer above), even at the high school level. But in the end, it's all just fun and games. A team from Mountain View High School, however, recently completed an accomplishment of real significance by advancing to the championship round of the BPA Regional Science Bowl in Portland.
Mountain View was one of 72 high schools that took part in the event, and was the only Clark County team to reach the finals. Westview High School of Beaverton, Ore., won the title and earned a spot in the Department of Energy National Science Bowl. Congratulations are in order for all the Mountain View students and teachers involved in the team's success.
Jeers: A group of residents near LeRoy Haagen Park in Vancouver's Fircrest area deserve kudos for working to reduce the amount of dog excrement left in the park. But jeers go out to anybody who thinks it's a good idea to leave their dog's waste behind.
A neighborhood group received a grant for $1,320 from the Vancouver Watershed Alliance for additional waste bins and bags at the park. Good for them. Yet the need for such bins reflects a disappointing level of callous selfishness on the part of some dog owners.
Cheers: The Vancouver City Council has indicated that it finally will begin moving forward on legalized marijuana and will adopt regulations for related businesses — as approved by voters some 15 months ago. Rules are expected to be in place by late March, when the state begins approving licenses for growers and processors, but licenses for retailers likely won't be ready until June. Regardless of how one feels about marijuana use, it was approved statewide by voters. It's high time for the city to make some progress on the issue.