heers: To downtown merchants and liquor wholesalers who have made a voluntary ban on sales of fortified beer and wine work. It wasn’t many years ago when downtown was an uncomfortable place, full of street alcoholics and the messes they left behind. In 2007, the city and businesses adopted a voluntary alcohol impact area and quit selling drinks whose main purpose is to make the user as intoxicated as possible for the money. It’s been two years now, and spot checks by police have turned up 100 percent compliance.
Apparently Vancouver is unique in having such success with a voluntary ban. Part of the credit goes to alcoholic beverage wholesaler C. Stein Distributing, which has worked to educate its customers about the need for compliance.
Jeers: To county Prosecutor Art Curtis and his deputies for pursuing more legal proceedings in the sad case of Clyde Ray Spencer. Ex-police officer Spencer spent more than 20 years in prison after being convicted of molesting his children. However, the case was riddled with holes and apparent improprieties throughout. Two of his three children say the abuse never happened, and that they were bullied by investigators. Eventually these irregularities came to the attention of Gov. Gary Locke, who commuted Spencer’s sentence in 2004.
After an appeals court ruled that Spencer’s criminal record should be expunged, Curtis and crew filed a motion for reconsideration. If justice is to be done, the case should be laid to rest, and Spencer should have a chance to reassemble the pieces of his life.
Cheers: To Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and students at Heritage High School for combating teen smoking. Most smokers acquire the habit in their teen years, while they are still in school. Almost half of the student smokers said they wanted to quit, but only 4 percent were successful. By taking a new approach to counseling, the Hutchinson study, which included Heritage students, found that about 22 percent of smokers had achieved continuous quitting for six months.