Sunday, October 25, 2020
Oct. 25, 2020

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In Our View: Cheers & Jeers: Good eats news; getting soaked

The Columbian

Cheers: To a new restaurant. The former Tommy O’s location in downtown Vancouver will be home to The Sedgwick, described as an upscale restaurant at Eighth and Washington streets. Proprietors are hoping to open before the end of the year. “We wanted to bring something new to Vancouver,” one of the co-owners said. “A Portland, New York or Chicago atmosphere.”

Notably, the new owners say they worked out a revenue-sharing rent plan with the building’s owners; if revenue targets are not met, the restaurant does not have to pay as much rent. “If we’re not up to those sales, it makes us easy to survive and get to the next month,” co-owner Darren Nies said. The coronavirus pandemic already has wreaked havoc with the local restaurant industry. Innovative solutions will be required to help that industry thrive as the region recovers from the economic downturn.

Jeers: To too much water. The Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries Operations Center was flooded last week when contractors struck an 18-inch cast iron water main. About 1.4 million gallons of water was spilled, causing flooding several feet deep in the nearby library building. Officials estimate it will take several weeks to remove all the water from the building, and several months to repair the damage.

In addition, vehicles that transfer books between library locations were damaged in the parking lot. That could lead to delays in the delivery of requested materials. We just hope that no patrons are waiting for the arrival of “Water for Elephants” or “Watership Down.”

Cheers: To political engagement. One of the good things about modern politics is the ease with which voters can be engaged. Information about candidates and issues is easily accessible if citizens take time to cut through the cacophony of misinformation.

On Wednesday, gubernatorial candidates Jay Inslee and Loren Culp held their only debate of the campaign season. In case you missed it, the debate is available online to view at your leisure. On Friday, congressional candidates Jaime Herrera Beutler and Carolyn Long held a debate that can be seen at We urge all citizens to become informed and vote.

Jeers: To negligent kangaroo care. A baby red kangaroo that was reported missing on Tuesday in Monroe — northeast of Seattle — was found the next day. That is the good news. The troubling part of the story is that somebody had a baby kangaroo and allowed it to escape.

The animal was purchased as a pet from the Outback Kangaroo Farm in Arlington and had reportedly been sleeping in a van outside a residence. “The kangaroo woke up and started hopping around the van, and one of the guys at the house opened the van to let it out. It took off and they were unable to catch it,” a police spokeswoman said. She added that it is illegal to keep exotic animals in Monroe, and officials are not planning to return the kangaroo to the person who purchased it.

Cheers: To COVID testing. Legacy Health and local community organizations will offer free coronavirus testing today for low-income and marginalized communities. The event is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at City Church, 2315 E. 25th St. in Vancouver; call 360-947-7669 for information and visit to register.

Minority and low-income communities have experienced high rates of infections, in part because testing is less accessible for those without health insurance. Increased testing will help our community eventually get through the pandemic.