The current fight over light rail isn't the first in Clark County. Rail transit came to a vote in 1995, when TriMet and regional forces on the Oregon side had greased the wheels for a new bridge and a bistate line that would, they said, extend as far north as the Clark County Fairgrounds.
We spend a lot of time thinking about — and disagreeing about — the economy. Our fundamental differences about how to energize Clark County's economy are profound. The multibillion-dollar Columbia River Crossing is either our salvation — creating jobs during construction and improving access when it's finished, or our demise — destroying downtown businesses during construction and sucking money out of the economy with tolls. And that's not even mentioning light rail.
The television documentary "Silicon Valley," broadcast Tuesday on PBS, opens against a backdrop of the Santa Clara Valley in the 1950s, when apricot orchards dominated and the technology industry had barely taken root.
Let's assume that Portland State University economist Tom Potiowsky was swinging for the fence when he took a swing at light-rail opponents at Thursday's Economic Forecast Breakfast, sponsored by The Columbian.
Don't count on new Portland Mayor Charlie Hales to invite out-of-town guests to Jantzen Beach, one of the most popular Portland destinations for Vancouver residents. Hales puts the island's "strip malls and lottery bars" on his list of embarrassments for a city that relishes its Portlandia vibe.
In 2008, the Port of Vancouver and BHP Billiton — the Australian mining giant — started talking about the possibility of the company's making the port's Terminal 5 into a home for its planned new potash export facility.
A temporary cyclone fence blocked my passage to the Columbia River waterfront west of the Interstate Bridge one rainy morning last week. But beyond the new passageway cut beneath Burlington Northern's main line a couple blocks south of Esther Short Park, I could see the wide Columbia River in the distance.
It's the time of year for giving, and every nonprofit knows it. If your mailbox is anything like mine, it's stuffed this month with requests for tax-deductible donations to countless worthy causes. Any donation I've made in response to remembrance requests at a funeral, any contribution I've made to a music or cultural nonprofit, any college my children have attended have placed me on their mailing lists for their year-end "asks."