In the end, it's all about information. A legal settlement reached Monday by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, regarding pollutants that flow into the Columbia River from a series of Corps-operated dams, is all about gleaning information that can help protect the public and help protect the waterway that largely defines this region. Deemed by some as "groundbreaking," the agreement will require the Corps, for the first time, to disclose statistics about those pollutants and to apply for pollution permits from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The preliminaries are out of the way and the countdown clock stands at 89 days — marking a little less than 13 weeks until the general election of 2014. And while Tuesday's primary was relatively short on surprises, it could generate some intrigue heading into the next three months of campaigning.
Inactive lawmakers? A do-nothing Congress? Balderdash! Why, members of Congress demonstrated just last week that they are particularly adept at exercising their legs as they kick the can down the road.
Today is election day, which, in that grand American tradition, means different things to different people. For some, it is a sacred opportunity to express their opinions and philosophies about how our communities should be governed. For others, it simply is another Tuesday.
A search of the U.S. Census Bureau's website shows Clark County has 169,746 housing units — homes, apartments, condominiums and mobile homes. But finding a decent rental at an affordable price has become an increasing problem, two recent stories in The Columbian show.
In boxing, they call it the undercard. It is the series of bouts prior to the evening's main event, designed to build anticipation and to prime the audience for the big fight. In politics, they call it the primary.
Cheers: To a token effort by Clark County Fire District 6 firefighters. Actually, the gift of preprinted tokens redeemable for taxi rides gives a big lift to recipients. Here's how they work: Firefighters often go to emergency medical calls where a patient will be transported to a hospital by ambulance. Frequently, family members need to go to the hospital too, to handle paperwork and provide important medical information to doctors and nurses. But some folks don't have a car or can't drive themselves to the emergency room.
With a population of 442,800, fifth-largest in the state, Clark County today can best be described as largely suburban, with a smaller urban core. But the Clark County Fair continues to honor our rural heritage.
In the wake of dueling rulings this week from federal courts, only one thing appears reasonably certain about the Affordable Care Act —the signature health care law is heading back to the United States Supreme Court.
Cheers: Children's Center, a Vancouver nonprofit agency that provides mental-health care for uninsured and underinsured children, has broken ground on a new building in east Vancouver. Currently squeezed into downtown office space, the organization annually sees more than 1,600 children, and the need continues to grow. The new facility, which is expected to be completed in May 2015, will be more accessible for those requiring service.
While burning 400 square miles in north-central Washington and staking a place as the largest wildfire in state history, the Carlton Complex of fires also has reinforced the need for changes in how the federal government battles such blazes.