Cheers: To savoring the Couve. Over the past four months, the Savor the Couve program provided 3,728 dinners and raised $182,672 for local restaurants and nonprofits. The program, launched in December, partnered with five local restaurants each Thursday to offer five-course takeout meals for two. Diners would place an order and pick up their meals in a drive-thru operation.
The coronavirus pandemic has required creativity on the part of businesses and customers. Sponsored by the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Visit Vancouver USA and ilani, Savor the Couve provided a unique outlet for local restaurants and gave diners a chance to try restaurants that were new to them. Cheers go to all participants, especially patrons who helped out the restaurants during a trying time; The Columbian has published numerous letters to the editor from local residents praising the program. We hope it won’t take another pandemic for restaurants to revive Savor the Couve in the future.
Jeers: To vaccine breakthroughs. COVID-19 vaccines have been life-changing for many in our community, but they are imperfect. State health officials are investigating reports of a handful of “vaccine breakthrough” cases in which people contract the disease more than two weeks after being fully vaccinated.
Such cases are inevitable with any vaccine, and they appear to be rare with coronavirus. More than 1 million people in Washington have been fully vaccinated, and epidemiologists report evidence of 102 breakthrough cases – about 1 for every 10,000 vaccinated people. Most important, those who contract the disease despite being vaccinated typically experience mild symptoms, and officials reiterate the importance of all eligible people receiving the vaccine.
Cheers: To quick thinking. Truman O’Brien and a friend survived a harrowing ending to a flight in a small plane near Yacolt. When the plane started to lose power about 8,000 feet up, O’Brien kept a clear head. “I looked for a space that was heavily forested to put it into the tops of smaller trees. … It slows the plane down, and you don’t get that sudden de-acceleration,” he told The Columbian. “I picked a spot near a clearing so if we came out OK, rescue could get to us.”
Both men did come out OK, with O’Brien suffering only a bump to the head and a scrape. “When you have 19,000 hours of flight time, you don’t get too excited,” he said. “There was not a lot running through my head, other than running procedures. When the engine goes rough, you got to put it somewhere.”
Jeers: To distracted driving. According to the state Traffic Safety Commission, statewide distracted driving increased from 6.8 percent of motorists in 2019 to 9.4 percent last year. Distracted driving often means looking at a handheld device such as a cellphone while behind the wheel.
The practice is a leading cause of accidents and can result in a “dangerously distracted” citation being added to other traffic violations. Local law enforcement agencies are increasing enforcement patrols over the next several weeks in an effort to keep all motorists safe.
Cheers: To Earl Bolton. At 106 years old, Bolton is believed to be the oldest man in Clark County. Therefore, the retired doctor is the oldest local resident to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Among his secrets to a long life: Eating slowly and chewing thoroughly. “The food digests better if you do that,” Bolton told The Columbian. Here’s hoping he enjoys many more COVID-free years.