Sunday, October 25, 2020
Oct. 25, 2020

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Cheers & Jeers: Pandemic has plenty of both

The Columbian

Cheers: To documenting a pandemic. Although like other civic institutions it is currently closed to the public, the Clark County Historical Museum is still on the job. Executive Director Brad Richardson and his small team are working on documenting the novel coronavirus pandemic’s effects on daily life in Clark County. The “Capture the moment” project is open to all local residents who want to upload digital documentation of this downright weird time in our lives, including photos, artwork, journal entries and recordings. More information about the project is at the museum’s website,, with a click on the “events” tab. Won’t it be nice to have this pandemic be history?

Jeers: To losing great places to eat and drink, and even so-so ones. The full list of casualties likely won’t be known for months, but so far here are some of the places that have announced they won’t be returning: Joe’s Crab Shack, Low Bar and Sweet Tomatoes in Vancouver and Hockinson Cafe and Mill Creek Pub in Battle Ground. Restaurants are a notoriously tough business even in the good times. New ventures like Luxe come and go relatively quickly, and established favorites like Tommy O’s downtown Vancouver location close after a lot of memorable meals. We’re sorry for the loss of these places, and unfortunately, likely many more to come. Meanwhile we are looking forward to the day we can return to fully supporting the survivors.

Cheers: To locally sourced food. The Vancouver Farmers Market has returned to its annual run on Saturdays and Sundays west of Esther Short Park. Although COVID-19 restrictions keep it from being the crowded street fair we have grown accustomed to knowing and loving, the market remains a good source of fresh local and regional produce. There’s even a new system where you can order produce in advance and pick it up on Sunday mornings, thus minimizing face-to-face contact. Find more about this service at And if you are looking for locally raised meats, you may be in luck. A number of local farms offer beef, pork, lambs, chicken and rabbits. The farms have been unusually busy as stories about COVID-19 outbreaks at meat processing factories have been in the news. Freelance writer Rachel Pinsky detailed the local options for Columbian readers on May 8; the article is available at (Columbian print subscribers have unlimited access to our website.)

Jeers: To an uptick in garage thefts. Maybe with stores closed, shoplifters are out of work, or with people staying home, there are fewer porch pirates. But Vancouver police say they are noticing an uptick in thefts from garages, including 22 just in April. The burglars steal bicycles, tools, lawn and garden equipment or even the car. The thefts are preventable – just close and lock your garage door. Most of the crooks gain access through an open door.

Cheers: To distributing the most food to hungry people while minimizing human contact. FISH Westside Food Pantry of Vancouver provided a drive-up service a week ago where recipients didn’t have to leave their vehicles. The Clark County Food Bank has held similar events.

Jeers: To having your college scholarship vanish. When Concordia University announced it was closing, high school seniors Brooke Weese and MacKenzie Sparks of Ridgefield, and Payton Lindell of Washougal, lost their athletic scholarships. Although alternatives were few on such late notice, the good news is that each has found an opportunity to play at the college level next year.