In Our View: Cheers & Jeers

Northwest residents help hurricane victims; Idaho mourns former governor

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Cheers: To assistance for victims of Hurricane Harvey. The Northwest has joined with other areas of the country in providing humanitarian assistance for the people of Texas. In one example, Mark Widlund of the Camas-Washougal Fire Department has deployed to the area as part of the National Disaster Medical System. Meanwhile, many area residents have donated money and nonperishable items for victims of the hurricane and the flooding that followed.

Disasters bring out the best in the American people, calling forth our compassion for one another. They also often bring out the worst, providing opportunities for fraudulent charities to take advantage of others’ good will. For help in choosing how and where to donate, the Associated Press provides a helpful guide. Our best wishes go to victims of the hurricane and to all those who have offered assistance.

Jeers: To sexual harassment. The four highest-ranking employees at the Wells Hatchery near Pateros were fired this month after an investigation into sexual harassment claims found, as the Associated Press reported, “a workplace atmosphere riddled with sexual conversations and hazing.” The report said employees used demeaning names for female co-workers and often commented on the bodies of women who were visitors or state employees.

The revelations have resulted in the Douglas County Public Utility District canceling a multimillion-dollar contract for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to operate two hatcheries. But the monetary cost is secondary to behavior that is inappropriate in or out of the workplace.

Cheers: To the reopening of Marshall Pool. Following a $2.8 million renovation, the pool at the Marshall Center has opened for the first time since December. “For most users, they’re not going to see significant changes but they’ll see a much more modern pool,” Marshall Center director Andy Meade said.

Named for Gen. George C. Marshall, the Marshall Center, one block west of Hudson’s Bay High School, has served Vancouver residents since 1965. During a 50th anniversary celebration in 2015, Mayor Tim Leavitt said, “This is where I learned how to swim. This is where I learned to play pool. This is where I played a lot of basketball and volleyball.” Thousands of Vancouver residents over the years have been able to express similar sentiments.

Sad: The death of Cecil Andrus. During four terms as governor of Idaho — and as Secretary of the Interior during the Carter administration — the Democrat served as a symbol of an era when political divisions did not run as deep as they do today. The odds of a Democrat being elected governor of Idaho these days are about as long as a Republican winning in Washington or Oregon — highly unlikely.

Andrus, who died Aug. 24 at the age of 85, was remembered this week at the Idaho statehouse, with a former assistant saying, “We will never forget what he did. He was simply the best of us.” As interior secretary, Andrus took a preservationist stance and helped secure passage of the Redwood National Park Expansion Act and the Alaska Lands Act. He is remembered as a statesman of the highest order.

Cheers: To roses. Portland’s International Rose Test Garden, which long has helped the area live up to its nickname as “The Rose City,” is celebrating its centennial. While festivities in conjunction with the anniversary took place last weekend, the garden in Washington Park remains open for a pleasant Labor Day weekend excursion. The Rose Garden was created to preserve the flowers when World War I threatened their extinction throughout Europe. Ever since then, it has served as one of the area’s signature landmarks.