The name of the project is innocuous enough: Vancouver's Westside Mobility Strategy, representing the kind of undertaking in which governments and citizens try to condense 10 pounds worth of problems into a five-pound bag. But as city officials ponder the balance of commerce and residential concerns when planning for the future of transportation in the city, the simplicity of the moniker belies the difficulty of the task.
There are many, many items related to government and governing that lend themselves to wishful thinking. To seeing flaws in the system but recognizing that we have gone so far down the rabbit hole that it might be too late to turn around.
Cheers: For five decades now, it has lived up to its name — Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. The word "refuge," after all, means "shelter or protection from danger or distress," according to Webster's. That sounds appropriate, as few places in Clark County offer greater shelter from distress than the landscape which stands along the Columbia River at the western-most edge of Clark County.
It is an annual rite of election season for the media to report and analyze and pontificate upon that nebulous creature that is "voter turnout." You know, the statistics that demonstrate decreasing interest in the electoral process and a shrinking belief that our vote matters.
Using a well-documented culture of secrecy, the Port of Vancouver commissioners and CEO Todd Coleman repeatedly have failed to live up to the standards expected by the voters and taxpayers who serve as their bosses. Through the frequent flouting of state open-meeting laws and a general disregard for the public, the actions demonstrated by the port's leadership have amounted to nothing less than an abuse of power.
Although it ultimately amounted to little more than political posturing, last week's congressional wrangling over Trade Promotion Authority for President Barack Obama provided an interesting lesson in the ways of politics.
At some point, ideally sooner rather than later, it will be time to move forward. Time to address the Interstate 5 Bridge. Time to find a solution rather than allow old grievances to further stall the process.
Cheers: To a large extent, economic statistics are unimportant. Workers, consumers, and business owners typically don't need number-crunchers to tell them how the economy is doing; they can feel it in their paychecks and in the stores. Despite that caveat, we welcome the latest news about the local economy. According to the state Department of Revenue, Clark County and Vancouver both saw a robust 7.4 percent increase in taxable retail sales in the final quarter of 2014 when compared to the same period the previous year — exceeding the statewide growth of 7.1 percent.