Cheers: To being a squeaky wheel. Local leaders are sounding the alarm about the county’s lack of COVID-19 vaccine supply. In a comparison of 15 Washington counties — including large, medium and small counties — Clark ranks 14th in vaccines received per capita. Chelan County, for example, had received 285.8 doses for every 1,000 residents, the highest rate on the list; Clark County had received 94.1 per 1,000 residents — less than one-third Chelan’s rate.
Rather than simply throwing their hands up, officials are trying to do something about it by sending letters to the governor’s office and lawmakers. County Councilor Gary Medvigy said: “We need to get this message out. We always, as a county, wanted to be a model of distribution.” The disparity in vaccine availability won’t be corrected unless state officials are aware of the inequity.
Jeers: To Boeing. Troubles continue for Washington’s largest private employer. Last week, one engine on a Boeing 777 exploded, raining debris on Denver suburbs; nobody was injured and the plane landed safely. The same thing happened in the Netherlands, with the engine of a 747 cargo plane dropping debris that injured two people. Both engines were made by Pratt & Whitney.
It has been a difficult time for Boeing, starting with two crashes of its 737 Max jetliner two years ago. That was followed by a coronavirus-fueled downturn in the airline industry. Given Boeing’s importance to the state’s economy, we hope the company can regain its reputation for safety as a leader in the aerospace industry.
Cheers: To Liliya Zagariya. Vancouver-based PeaceHealth has established a scholarship in memory of Zagariya, an employee who was killed by a disgruntled patient Dec. 22 at a Vancouver medical office. The endowed scholarship, open to students from Clark or Cowlitz counties, will cover tuition and expenses for the Paramedic Training Program at Portland Community College.
Zagariya, 20, was pursuing a career as a paramedic and volunteering for Cowlitz County Fire District 2 when she was killed. Through the scholarship, students can receive training to serve others as Zagariya did. It is a meaningful and appropriate way to honor her memory.
Jeers: To house fires. Clark County has seen a rash of blazes in recent weeks. In one, two firefighters were injured while responding to a fire in which the ceiling collapsed. In another, 12 people living in transitional housing were displaced following a laundry room fire. A scroll through the Clark County section of Columbian.com quickly reveals several other fires this month.
While cheers are warranted to firefighters who protect the life and property of others, we will use the occasion to share a reminder of the need for fire safety. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, winter is the most common season for home fires, and heating equipment frequently is the cause. Make sure your heaters are in good condition and be particularly careful with space heaters.
Cheers: To Oaks Park Roller Rink. The 115-year-old rink in Southeast Portland opens Monday for the first time in nearly a year (save for a brief period in November). In addition to being symbolic of a slight reopening of the region’s economy, the move also provides an outlet for local roller-skating enthusiasts. Clark County, after all, no longer has a roller rink.
Tickets must be purchased online, and patrons are limited. But if you are eager to roll around to the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive,” now is your chance.