In Our View: Cheers & Jeers

Kumoricon brings quirky fun downtown; state auditor Kelley needs to resign post

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Cheers: The year’s most colorful, quirky, kaleidoscopic event has invaded downtown Vancouver once again this weekend, with Kumoricon 2015 taking place at the Hilton Vancouver Washington and the Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay. Some 7,000 visitors are expected to attend the weekend-long celebration of Japanese animation known as anime, and nearly all of them have spent weeks or months preparing costumes for the occasion.

“Coming together as a group in a way where we can be safe and be ourselves is very important,” event chairman Phillip Koop said. Did we mention quirky? One of the events on the gaming schedule is Rage of Jackson — the Samuel Chronicles: “Control good versions of Samuel L. Jackson characters while hunting down evil versions of Samuel L. Jackson and preventing them from taking over the world.” Through it all, participants provide an economic boost to downtown while lending vibrancy to the city.

Jeers: New charges against Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley bring about new calls for his resignation. Kelley has been on unpaid leave since being indicted in April for what federal officials say was a series of financial misdeeds related to a company he ran prior to being elected to statewide office in 2012. The new charges include money laundering and tax evasion accusations that include the time Kelley has served as auditor.

In the wake of what now stands at 17 felony charges, Kelley’s ability to effectively serve the state has been compromised. The auditor is tasked with rooting out waste and fraud in governmental operations, and Kelley has lost all credibility in this area. For the good of the state and in an effort to allow Washington to move forward from this scandal, he should relinquish his post.

Cheers: Congratulations to members of the Ridgefield High School Jazz Choir, which was selected to share the stage Friday at Amphitheater Northwest with world-famous rock band Foreigner. The band makes a habit of enlisting a local choir to help sing its signature ballad, “I Want to Know What Love Is,” during its concerts, and Ridgefield was tapped for this show.

Adding to the experience will be the presence of choir director Bob Meek, who underwent heart-transplant surgery in May and is on the road to recovery. The song has been one of rock’s most enduring anthems for three decades, and now it undoubtedly holds a special place for a group of Clark County students.

Jeers: The lesson should be obvious — don’t throw litter out of your car window. An article in The Columbian this week pointed out the hazards of roadside debris for cyclists, with local rider Shawn Pidcock saying, “That makes the bike lane not as wide as it should be, so you have to pay attention.”

Regardless of the danger to cyclists and the increased possibility of them swerving into traffic, leaving litter along the road is an act of selfishness. For those who tend to litter, here’s a small reminder: It’s not that hard to take your garbage home and dispose of it there.

Cheers: Washougal Mayor Sean Guard is going out of his way to make something positive out of a negative situation. After Ike, a K-9 with the Vancouver Police Department, was stabbed to death by a suspect, Guard spearheaded a fundraising effort to help the department purchase a new dog.

“Other than prayers, there is not much we can do in the case of an officer death, but in the case of Ike, we can at least help fund his replacement,” Guard wrote in an online post. Donations to the cause can be made to “Vancouver Police K-9 Unit” and mailed Guard’s business: Metropolitan Productions, 3644 S St., Washougal, WA 98671.