In Our View: Cheers & Jeers

Park projects good news in more ways than one; hepatitis C alerts stir worries

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Cheers: Clark County officials have approved plans to kick-start their park-building program, which has been delayed since the onset of the Great Recession. Officials have awarded a $908,000 contract to Thompson Bros. Excavating Inc. to build Chinook Park (near Skyview High School) and Dogwood Park (in Brush Prairie) beginning this summer.

In 2005, county voters approved the Greater Clark Parks District by a scant 27 votes in exchange for a promise to build and maintain 35 new neighborhood and community parks. But, as with many things on both public and private wish lists, the plans were put on hold in the wake of an economic downturn. Now, the county is ready to move forward, working toward its stated goal of having a park within 3 miles of every residence. Parks, particularly for those of us in the outdoors-loving Northwest, are an important quality-of-life factor, and in this case the news also reflects the improving economy. It’s a win-win.

Jeers: Local health officials have seemingly dealt with the situation appropriately, but a hepatitis C scare at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center still is cause for concern. A total of 936 former patients have been advised to be tested for the contagious, blood-borne liver disease after it was discovered that a former employee may have been diverting patient medication for personal use and then treating patients.

Officials have no evidence as yet that the employee infected any patients, but they are erring on the side of caution — as they should. Meanwhile, the situation demonstrates the damage that one irresponsible person can do when placed in a position of responsibility.

Cheers: Many of us aren’t hip enough or savvy enough to know whether having a successful YouTube series is a big deal — but we can understand being signed to movie and book contracts. So, suffice it to say, the Vancouver-filmed series “The Haunting of Sunshine Girl” is a big deal.

The show, centered on a local teen who moves into a haunted house, has been picked up for a book and movie by The Weinstein Co. — a big player in Hollywood. The movie will feature Paige McKenzie, 20, who stars in the online series, and will include McKenzie’s mother, Mercedes Rose, and Vancouver director Nick Hagen as producers. No word yet on where the movie will be filmed, but if they hope to retain the eerie feel of the series, it should be in Vancouver. And that would be a big deal.

Jeers: The power of a tsunami — and the Northwest’s vulnerability to one — was in evidence again this week. A skiff that washed ashore in January at Twin Harbors State Park in Westport was confirmed to have been debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Covered in seaweed and barnacles, it took months to trace the origins of the small boat. “The former owner does not desire to have it returned,” state Ecology spokeswoman Linda Kent said.

As if the Japanese tsunami didn’t already hit close to home — even though it was thousands of miles away — two similar skiffs were discovered on Washington beaches in April.

Cheers: Technically, few counties in this part of the country have as much history as Clark County, so it is appropriate that we note the 50th birthday of the Clark County Historical Museum. The museum, at 1511 Main St. in Vancouver, is housed in a building built in 1909 as a Carnegie Library. But that’s not what makes Clark County’s history significant; no, the region’s standing as one of the first places on the West Coast to be inhabited by European settlers is what lends it some historical weight.

The museum, which was dedicated on May 24, 1964, will note its 50th birthday today by offering free admission and by cutting a cake at 1 p.m.