In Our View: Cheers & Jeers

Vick bill logical aid for local businesses; lax meat inspections reverberate here

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Cheers: On a small scale, the role that government can play in developing businesses is on display with a bill making its way through the Legislature. Camas companies Inventist Inc. and Focus Designs Inc. are makers of self-balancing unicycles — one-wheel mobility devices — and a bill was passed by the House this week to clarify that it is legal to use such devices anywhere pedestrians have access.The companies deserve cheers for their innovative entrepreneurship. In the great American tradition, they developed a product they think people will want, and they set about making and marketing it. But Rep. Brandon Vick, R-Vancouver, also deserves cheers. His bill, which passed the House 96-0 and then moved on to the Senate, won't present a drastic change to state law or be the determining factor in the success of the companies. But it represents a logical move that could boost local business. "This bill gets them covered by the law, to make sure that people riding their products don't get tickets," Vick said.

Jeers: Through no fault of their own, three Clark County businesses have been ensnared in a meat recall because of lax inspections at Rancho Feeding Corp. of Petaluma, Calif. Rancho Feeding, which has since closed, is under investigation by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, and 8.7 million pounds of meat have been recalled.

The three Clark County outlets report that the products they received from Rancho Feeding have long since been sold, and nobody has reported getting sick. Still, as one manager of a local store said, "We get a little bit of (the meat) and all of a sudden we are thrown into the loop. Where was the inspector? Why weren't they doing their job?"

Cheers: Matt Doran of Hazel Dell is 92 years old and has been composing music for decades. So it only seems appropriate that he would receive a concert in his honor. At 7:30 p.m. Friday, the Northside Baptist Church at 5201 N.E. Minnehaha St. will hold a lifetime recognition concert in honor of Doran, who acknowledges that, "Most composers know they're never going to be paid."

No, Doran does it for the love of music. He taught music for years at Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles, then settled in the Vancouver area in the 1990s. Since then he has dabbled in writing compositions, including operas and symphonies, that have been performed all over the world. Our daily lives are filled with music, yet most of it is composed by people who will forever remain anonymous to us. In Doran's case, music lovers now have an opportunity to say, "Thanks."

Jeers:A proposed road project in Battle Ground deserves a good, hard look and perhaps some rethinking. The proposal would cut a new street to the north of Battle Ground High School, connecting N.E. Fifth Street with N.W. 10th Avenue. More problematic is the fact that the road would be through a residential area that has several nearby schools and youth athletic fields. We're all in favor of road projects that are logical and provide necessary and demonstrable traffic improvements, but state officials should make sure this project meets that criteria before moving forward.

Cheers:There's no telling how the final product will come out, but kudos are in order for the 15-member group that makes up the Clark County freeholders. Since being elected in November, the freeholders have been diligently considering alterations to the county's system of government. The hope is to have a new county charter before voters in November, but there is plenty of work left to do before that. In the meantime, the freeholders are undertaking a mostly thankless job in the hopes of improving Clark County.