Marissa Harshman (Columbian Staff)

Comment history

Value Motel owners ask for more time to clean up

@holson: In many, if not most, stories about the Value Motel we include the property owners' names (Milton O. Brown owns the property, Haresh Patel leases it), usually writing they didn't return reporters' phone calls for comment.

May 25, 2011 at 10:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Changes are coming to comments on

@Woosker: Absolutely not. I don't believe commenters should be held to the same standard as reporters. But the people we quote in our stories are held accountable for their comments. They're not reporters.

@alleycat: Why have a comments section? So readers can voice their opinions. It's still possible to voice opinions without personally attacking or ridiculing another person.

You said: "If an American is afraid to speak his mind because he is afraid to have a comment written on his story. What kind of American is that? " Couldn't the same be said for a person who is afraid to comment under their true name?

May 24, 2011 at 2:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Changes are coming to comments on

As a reporter who talks with the people who are subjects in Columbian stories, I think the change will alleviate the fears of some people.

I've had people hesitate to talk to me for a story because they fear the backlash they will face in the comments section of the website. And these are not elected officials -- who I believe are held to a higher standard of criticism -- these are everyday folks who are in many times talking about personal experiences.

I can't say I blame them -- Who would want to share their personal lives when they'll face judgment about their decisions, comments and looks by anonymous people on a website?

People in Columbian stories, as well as the reporters who write the stories, are held accountable because our names are there for all to read. Is it too much to ask for commenters are held to a similar standard?

May 24, 2011 at 2:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

5K to benefit former Columbian columnist

@vlherriott: Thanks for pointing out the link glitch. It should work now.

As for donations, an account has been established at iQ Credit Union. Donations may be made at any branch to the “DE Hovde Fund,” account number 194436. Or checks, payable to the “DE Hovde Fund,” may be mailed to iQ Credit Union, PO Box 1739, Vancouver, WA 98668.

May 19, 2011 at 10:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

With merger, religion regains prominent role at Southwest hospital

@mangoboy: PeaceHealth is a private nonprofit, not a public institution. Therefore, there is no violation of the separation of church and state.

@brumexile: Legacy Salmon Creek does not have any religious affiliation. Good Samaritan and Legacy Emanuel do have religious roots but are also not affiliated.

May 18, 2011 at 3:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Former Camas fire captain’s credentials suspended for stealing painkiller

@JDAWG: When Bradley Allen was sentenced to prison in January he was also ordered to pay about $8,000 in restitution for the cost of the drug.

@JohnCasey: The Columbian has printed several stories about Bradley Allen, from the time he was fired to, most recently, the results of his criminal trial.

The state's decision to suspend Allen's license was just announced today. The order outlining the suspension was signed last week by the state department of health's attorney.

May 16, 2011 at 4:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Former Camas fire captain’s credentials suspended for stealing painkiller

@mr_r: The state uses sanction schedules to determine the length and severity of any punishment. The state determined Allen's actions fell in "Tier B" (A being least severe; C most severe) under two different sanction schedules. Both schedules gives Tier B violations a suspension range of two to seven years. [Here][1] is one sanction schedule. [Here][2] is the other.


May 16, 2011 at 11:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Evergreen school employees receive non-renewal notices

@jdt9k: The county has eight school districts (10 if you count Woodland and Green Mountain, both of which are in Woodland).

Your question about savings by consolidation is a tricky one. I haven't seen any hard numbers on consolidation savings. State Rep. Sam Hunt of Olympia has proposed forced consolidation of school districts (from 295 to 150) each of the last two years. Neither bill got much traction.

The Washington State School Directors' Association argues the consolidations wouldn't save as much as one might think (claiming state dollars pay for 52 percent of admin costs in districts of less than 1,000 students). The association also argues assistant administrators would be needed in the new, larger districts due to the number of students. (Of course I recognize the WSSDA is not exactly an unbiased source of information).

The other side would likely argue consolidation would mean districts could reduce the number of people in administrative positions (human resources, finance, superintendents) to provide a more streamlined, cost-effective service.

In any case, I can't really answer your question about savings, but it is definitely an interesting issue and one I hope to look into for a future story.

May 11, 2011 at 2:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Evergreen school employees receive non-renewal notices

@willjb: My colleague Howard Buck is following up with other districts as we speak. We'll post an update once we know more. It's likely other districts are facing similar decisions as they all have the May 15 deadline.

May 11, 2011 at 11:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Timbers fall to Galaxy, 3-0

@oodathunked: I'm not in the sports department so I can't speak to how many Sounders stories appear in The Columbian, but I read a story in Saturday's paper about Steve Zakuani's injury. I believe it ran on page B2.

April 25, 2011 at 11:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal )