Cheers: To fighting against tolls. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, continues to keep Oregon’s tolling plan in the spotlight. This week she publicized her efforts to ensure that Gov. Jay Inslee remains involved in the discussion. Oregon has proposed tolls along Interstate 5 and Interstate 205. That would inordinately impact Washington residents, who generate a majority of the traffic along the north ends of the freeways.
Herrera Beutler says the plan would use Southwest Washington residents “as a revenue source without providing them with any benefit.” That is an overstatement; Washington drivers would benefit if funds are used to mitigate congestion. Herrera Beutler says she has little ability to prevent approval of the tolls; Inslee also has limited power. But coordination between federal, state and local representatives can ensure that the concerns of Southwest Washington residents are heard.
Jeers: To cyberattacks. A 21-year-old Vancouver man has pleaded guilty in federal court to helping “hijack” hundreds of thousands of DVRs, internet routers and surveillance cameras. Kenneth Currin Schuchman faces up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for researching and identifying vulnerable devices, then working with co-conspirators to electronically invade homes and create networks used to overwhelm larger computer systems.
That sounds complicated, and it is reflective of the risks that come with our modern world of interconnected gadgetry. The question for Schuchman and other cyber criminals: Why don’t they use their technical knowledge for good instead of criminal activity?
Cheers: To, well, to us. Reporters from The Columbian won seven awards and shared an eighth, including three first-place honors in the annual Blethen Awards. The prestigious contest recognized outstanding work published between June 1, 2018, and May 31, 2019, in daily newspapers from Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Alberta and British Columbia.