Thursday, August 13, 2020
Aug. 13, 2020

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In Our View: Cheers & Jeers: Rally for officers commendable

The Columbian

Cheers: To support for law enforcement. About 200 people gathered last week at Esther Short Park to demonstrate support for police officers. “It’s just simply saying our people, Americans overwhelmingly support our police,” an organizer said. The rally comes as protests against police brutality throughout the country are accompanied by calls to “defund the police.”

It is possible — indeed, necessary — to support law enforcement and still demand accountability. It also is possible to believe that a responsive police force is needed but still urge a rethinking of resources and training for officers. The two positions are not mutually exclusive. The vast majority of police officers are dedicated and responsible public servants who warrant support. But when an officer violates the law or abuses their power, he or she must be held accountable. While demanding better from officers, we also echo support for those who protect our community.

Jeers: To coronavirus. The difficulty of stemming the pandemic can be seen locally. The number of new cases in Clark County has averaged more than 30 a day through July, significantly more than officials’ target rate of nine or fewer per day.

This week, county Public Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick detailed how that surge is hampering contact notifications and straining capacity for testing. “We’re seeing more cases because there are more cases, not because we are doing more testing,” he said. “There is more disease activity in the community.” The surge of positive cases is a reminder of the need to follow safety precautions.

Cheers: To a moratorium on fossil fuel infrastructure. The Vancouver City Council has confirmed a six-month ban on the development or expansion of large-scale fossil fuel facilities, extending it through the end of the year. The council passed a ban in June, an action that required a public forum before being sustained. As the temporary ban expires, the council may consider making it permanent.

With the moratorium, the council is playing a small but necessary role in nudging the nation away from fossil fuels and signaling that our region is ready to be a leader in the development of green energy. Vancouver is wise to embrace the economic and environmental potential of renewable energy.

Jeers: To secessionists. In a move that is foolishly conceived and poorly executed, a handful of activists in Oregon are trying to have part of their state join Idaho. The group, Move Oregon’s Border, wants the issue to be placed on the ballot of 17 counties in the eastern and southern parts of the state. A federal judge denied a request to bypass requirements for signature gathering, after the group argued that the coronavirus pandemic makes the requirement unattainable. One rally was held in which the organization obtained 389 signatures.

The effort has echoes in Washington, where activists continue to promote making Eastern Washington the 51st state. In truth, such efforts are a waste of time for all involved.

Cheers: To Drew’s big adventure. The Australian shepherd has returned home after being dog-napped, apparently inadvertently. Owner Gail Krueger had her car stolen with Drew in the back seat when she stepped out to post a flyer about another lost dog. The car was found two days later at a local business, with Drew still in his crate.

Initially, Krueger reported the car had driven more than 1,200 miles in two days. It turned out to be more like 200 miles, but it still was quite an adventure for Drew.