Friday, May 20, 2022
May 20, 2022

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Cheers & Jeers: Timbers terrific, icy roads aren’t

The Columbian
Published:

Cheers: To the Portland Timbers. The outcome wasn’t what the home fans wanted, but the Timbers advanced to the championship match of Major League Soccer and surprisingly got to host the MLS Cup. That led to a frenzy, with tickets on the secondary market difficult to find for less than $400. A goal by Portland’s Felipe Mora in the last moment of regulation pushed the game into overtime and provided one of the seminal moments in the city’s sports history, but the Timbers eventually lost to New York City in penalty kicks.

The result was disappointing, yet the Timbers’ playoff run generated community pride for a city that desperately needed a boost. For the week leading up to the game, the region’s focus was on a successful soccer team rather than homelessness, gun violence or blight.

Jeers: To winter driving. Local officials are warning about winter conditions and reminding drivers to be cautious. Ryan Lopossa, transportation and streets manager for the city of Vancouver, said drivers should begin preparing emergency kits for their vehicles that include food, blankets and warm clothes.

As cold weather arrives, drivers should be aware of the potential for black ice, particularly in mornings, and should be careful traveling over bridges and shady spots. “If you don’t have to be on the road, stay home and stay warm,” Lopossa said.

Cheers: To fireworks sales. The Clark County Council is allowing fireworks sales from Dec. 27-31. Typically, sales in unincorporated areas are allowed only in the days leading up to July 4; this year, however, because of dry conditions and fire danger, county officials banned those sales. (Vancouver prohibits the sale and use of explosive fireworks year-round).

The discharge of fireworks in the county is allowed from 6 p.m. Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. Jan. 1, but customers were unable to build up their supplies this summer. The result was that vendors lost out on revenue opportunities for 2021. Opening up that opportunity for this year only would be an equitable workaround.

Jeers: To the spread of COVID-19. The omicron variant of the coronavirus virus is showing up in Washington, and several cases have been linked to high school wrestling tournaments. “This does not bode well to have an event so early in the appearance of omicron in Washington state that already has these kids involved with positive cases with this new variant,” state epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist said. “So, it doesn’t look good.”

It was inevitable the variant would land in our state, providing a reminder that common sense is required to prevent the spread of the disease. Of course, the best method is for every eligible person to receive vaccines and necessary booster shots.

Cheers: To reduced fares. The C-Tran Board of Directors has approved a fare reduction for 2022. Local bus fares and C-Van fares will drop from $1.80 to $1 throughout the year, and a release from the agency said: “The temporary fare reduction is primarily focused on easing the burden of transportation for those who continue to rely on C-Tran, and for those who may return to our system during the next year.”

Public transit is subsidized by taxpayers, not only in Clark County but in every metropolis in the country; fares do not fully cover operating costs. The price is worth it for a public amenity that helps create an inclusive community and helps provide services that are beneficial for all residents while helping to reduce carbon emissions.

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