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The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.

Cheers & Jeers: Carousel takes turn; no secrets

The Columbian
Published: February 15, 2020, 6:03am

Cheers: To the C.W. Parker Four-Row Park Carousel. The tale of the whirligig — better known as the Jantzen Beach carousel — has taken a turn (sorry). The roundabout, which attracted revelers at Jantzen Beach for more than 80 years, may have found a new home. Members of the Portland Diamond Project announced this week that the carousel might be added to the amenities surrounding a new baseball stadium near the Willamette River. Of course, there is no stadium yet, but officials hope to build one and attract a Major League Baseball team to the region.

The merry-go-round would be an enjoyable addition. It went missing in 2012 when the shopping center was renovated, and resurfaced a couple years ago thanks to preservation proponents Restore Oregon. The group has been looking for a home for the attraction since then. Placing the carousel in an accessible public locale would mean its saga has joyously come, er, full circle (sorry).

Jeers: To hiding public records. A House of Representatives committee has carved out an exemption for the media when it comes to public information. In October, the state Supreme Court ruled that birth dates of public employees are subject to disclosure. The issue stemmed from the Freedom Foundation seeking records of union-represented employees in order to pursue anti-union efforts.

A bill in the Legislature would keep birth dates under wraps but allow access for the media, which frequently uses public records to identify individuals and ensure that reports are accurate. While that can help the media hold government accountable, the records should be made available to all citizens. The Legislature must stop its ongoing efforts to prevent public information from being public.

Cheers: To a quick-thinking deputy. Gregory Agar of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office did what was necessary to stop a wrong-way driver on Interstate 5. At 2:43 a.m. Sunday, he spotted a driver traveling south in the northbound lanes near Ridgefield. Agar changed lanes to place his vehicle in the path of the car, and the resulting crash totaled both vehicles.

We don’t know if that follows department protocol, but Agar’s actions may have prevented a fatality down the road. The officer was treated at a hospital and released, and Miguel A. Jimenez — who was not injured — was booked into jail on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Jeers: To bridge closures. This is more of a public service announcement than a jeer: Plan now to take time off or work from home in September. As a Columbian article reminded us the other day, the northbound lanes of the Interstate 5 Bridge will be closed for nine days beginning Sept. 12.

That is so workers can replace cables and trunnions, the things that allow the drawbridge to move up and down. While the closure will create an inconvenience for motorists, officials say it needs to be done; a working bridge is better than the alternative. And it’s never too early to plan for ways to stay home during the closure.

Cheers: To the waterfront. The transformation of Vancouver along the Columbia River is not limited to a single project. Work at Terminal 1, a site just upstream from the The Waterfront Vancouver development, is underway.

In preparing the ground for a future AC Hotel by Marriott, crews were surprised to find 100-year-old pilings that needed to be dug out, remnants from an old shipyard. That has increased the price tag for the development, but has not limited the resolve of the Port of Vancouver, which owns the land. Terminal 1 will be an exciting addition to an evolving Vancouver.