Morning Press: Madore’s records; Oil terminal; Port; Cantwell; hospitals; growth; slayings

In Case You Missed Them: The weekend's biggest stories

By Susan Abe, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

What’s on tap for this week’s weather? Check our local weather coverage.

In case you missed them, here are some of the top stories of the weekend:

Madore’s handling of public records under question

David Madore’s wide smile briefly faltered on his way to the Clark County council meeting on Tuesday.

A man, inconspicuous but for the small photograph of Madore he carried, approached him outside the council chambers and handed him a stack of papers.

Madore had been served.

It’s the latest action in Community Planning Director Oliver Orjiako’s lawsuit against Clark County, which accuses the county of failing to provide records in connection to whistleblower and harassment complaints he filed against Councilor Madore. But it also represents ongoing questions about Madore’s handling of public records. A second county employee has accused Madore of destroying records. A receptionist in the councilors’ office accused him of dumping two recycling bins full of documents from his county office following the departure of his private assistant.

Oil terminal hearings finish fourth week

Another week of hearings, another week of reasons to approve or deny the nation’s largest oil terminal.

Adjudication continued into its fourth week as opponents of the proposed Vancouver Energy rail-to-marine terminal at the Port of Vancouver ramped up their case in front of the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council.

“This project is a bad idea on so many levels that that’s why it’s taking so long for this adjudication to occur,” said Kristen Boyles, an attorney with Earthjustice representing several of the terminal opponents.”What the council is hearing is all the many ways this project is a bad idea.”

Last week saw a wide range of topics covered, from the Mosier, Ore., oil train derailment and fire to seismic risks, the logistics of emergency response, air quality, landslide hazards and tribal issues.

For the fifth and final week of adjudication, the hearings return to Vancouver. The hearings are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Friday at the Clark College conference center at 18700 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd. Public testimony will be taken Friday starting at 1 p.m.

Port makes CEO wish list

Two months after Todd Coleman’s resignation as Port of Vancouver CEO, commissioners are starting to get the first draft of their help wanted ad together.

“Collaboration.”

“Team building.”

“Partnerships.”

Each of the three commissioners used these words in separate interviews about what they’re looking for in the next port executive. While their visions differ from there, each recognizes the port has some bridges to rebuild in light of the fight over the proposed oil-by-rail terminal.

“The community is divided, mostly along those that support the port’s continued successes in growing the regional economy versus those that believe the decision and decision-making process around the energy project has been flawed and reflects a lack of connection to broader community sentiment,” reads a report by Jones Strategic Consulting based on interviews with 25 influential community members, top port staff and commissioners.

So the next administrative head of the state’s third-largest public port will need a strong handshake and an honest smile, commissioners and the report say. Because the public, now more than ever, is watching.

Senator visits affordable apartments

WOODLAND — U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell said Friday the lack of affordable housing is a nationwide crisis that could be alleviated by increasing a federal tax credit.

“If we don’t increase the tax credit, we’re not going to solve this problem,” Cantwell said, adding that 90 percent of the current affordable housing on the market has been built using this incentive structure.

In Woodland on Friday, the Democrat met with affordable housing advocates at the Lilac Place complex. The complex opened in 2014 and houses 38 families, 28 of whom had been homeless. It has a wait list of more than 200 people, many of whom will likely be on the list for a long time.

Melody Ray, one of the residents who feels “blessed,” in her words, to be living at Lilac Place, invited the senator to view her apartment.

PeaceHealth Southwest opens two new healing centers

The best year of fundraising since 2009 by the PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center Foundation is paying off in several areas, including new centers for specialized care.

The Thomas and Sandra Young Neurosciences Center focuses on people being treated for neurological problems such as strokes, traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors or spinal tumors. It opened in November.

The Ron and Terry Prill Cardiac Care Center is described as a state-of-the-art unit for patients with serious heart disease. It played a couple of different roles before opening about a year ago.

Environmentalists challenge county growth plan

Two environmental groups filed an appeal on Friday to Clark County’s 2016 growth plan update with the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board.

The challenge, filed by Friends of Clark County and Seattle group Futurewise, alleges that the 2016 Comprehensive Growth Management Plan Update contains 12 growth management act violations. Clark County adopted its growth plan update last month after about three years of work on the plan that was marred by controversy.

Murder suspect’s girlfriend accused of assisting him

The girlfriend of Brent Ward Luyster, the man suspected in a triple homicide in Woodland, was present at the time of the fatal shooting and drove Luyster away from the scene, according to court records.

Andrea Sibley, 27, of Woodland appeared Friday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree rendering criminal assistance stemming from the July 15 shooting and subsequent daylong manhunt for Luyster.

The former Vancouver man is accused of fatally shooting three people and wounding another at a rural home southeast of Woodland. He was apprehended Saturday afternoon on Ocean Beach Highway, west of Longview.