Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Sept. 23, 2020

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Cheers & Jeers: Thank you for wearing a mask

The Columbian

Cheers: To masks. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week reaffirmed findings that face coverings are among the best defenses against the spread of COVID-19. “All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” the institute’s director said. And Gov. Jay Inslee last month issued a statewide mask mandate for people in public.

Despite that, some people are refusing to wear masks, and the issue has become political. This not only endangers anti-maskers and others, but it puts retail operators in a difficult position of deciding how stringently to enforce the mandate. It also slows the reopening of the economy as Washington and most other states are seeing increases in the spread of the disease. Cheers go to those who are responsible citizens and demonstrate concern for their community by wearing masks.

Jeers: To thieves. A woman in Vancouver had her car and dog stolen as she was trying to help another lost dog. Gail Krueger stepped away from her vehicle to place a poster advertising a lost dog, leaving behind her keys, wallet and phone. A car pulled up and a man jumped into Krueger’s Subaru, driving off with her dog in a crate in the back.

“I just hope he’s OK,” Krueger said. “I don’t care (about the Subaru or belongings). I just want my dog back, no questions asked.” We hope the police find the perpetrators and that they have some questions — as well as some criminal charges.

Cheers: To the waterfront. Eventually, the economy will fully reopen and people will be more comfortable gathering in crowds. When we reach that point, the Columbia River waterfront will beckon to residents and tourists.

While The Waterfront Vancouver continues to expand, preparations are evolving for the nearby Terminal 1 site owned by the Port of Vancouver. Most recently, port officials unveiled designs for Rotary Way — a walkway between the Waterfront Renaissance Trail and Vancouver Landing. The Vancouver Rotary Foundation is donating $500,000 toward the project, the largest gift in the organization’s history. One building is under construction at Terminal 1, and several more are in the works, adding to what will become Vancouver’s signature amenity.

Jeers: To being second best. Portland International Airport fell from No. 1 to No. 2 in Travel + Leisure’s ranking of the best airports in the United States, part of the magazine’s World Best Awards. PDX had held the top spot for six years before slipping slightly behind Indianapolis International Airport in rankings based on access, check-in and security, restaurants and bars, shopping and design.

The article accompanying the rankings did not offer many details about why Portland slipped from first to second or how it can regain its previous status. Maybe it’s time to replace the carpet.

Cheers: To political candidates. Believe it or not, election season is here. Ballots for the Aug. 4 primary have been mailed to Clark County voters, and The Columbian’s Editorial Board has been interviewing candidates for local races that have more than two aspirants. We then offer recommendations to voters and post online videos of our virtual meetings.

We appreciate all candidates who have a desire to improve their community and put in the time and effort to run for public office. Providing citizens with a variety of choices strengthens our democracy, and now it is up to voters. Turnout in Clark County was 36 percent for the 2018 primary, and we hope to see an increase this year. Democracy works only if we participate.