Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Jan. 20, 2021

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In our View: Cheers & Jeers: Activities good, ‘defiance’ isn’t

The Columbian

Cheers: To getting outdoors. Vancouver’s Parks and Recreation department has come up with a clever way to get residents outside and moving a little. The “Go Play, Vancouver!” initiative provides weekly activities to help cure the winter doldrums, such as a park-focused scavenger hunt.

“We know that regular physical activity is a key factor in mental and physical health, but that habit can be difficult to maintain in winter, especially this year when indoor options (like our community centers) are closed,” the department’s Melody Burton wrote in an email to The Columbian. The coronavirus pandemic has placed a strain on everybody’s health, and a gentle nudge to enjoy some of the city’s outdoor wonders each week can be beneficial. Details are available on the city’s website.

Jeers: To risky behavior. Most people in Clark County are doing their best to slow the spread of coronavirus, following recommendations to wear masks and avoid close contact with others. And still the disease is spreading at near-record levels. Then there are others who are dismissive of the recommendations, willfully promoting the spread of COVID-19. Those people have earned a big round of jeers.

As detailed in an article by The Seattle Times, some bars and restaurants throughout the Northwest — including in Southwest Washington — are welcoming customers for a “day of defiance” in which they open their doors and ignore closure mandates. While we can understand the frustration of business owners being economically hampered by shutdown orders, we must point out that promoting the spread of the virus only delays the reopening of the economy and puts the rest of us at risk.

Cheers: To Kenzie Lucas Yuan. Clark County’s first baby of 2021 was in a hurry, arriving at 4:32 a.m. on New Year’s Day, 10 days before his due date. The 6-pound, 8-ounce boy is the third child of Willie Yuan and Nicole Su, joining a brother and sister. “It’s the third. We’ve had some practice, right?,” dad Willie said.

The region’s first baby of a new year always is newsworthy, providing a symbol of hope for opportunities that lie ahead. But this year’s births are particularly notable, reminding that life goes on in the wake of a most dreadful 2020. Cheers and well wishes go to Kenzie and his family and all the babies destined to arrive in 2021.

Jeers: To suspects on the loose. A man facing a possible charge of attempted murder escaped from the Justice Center in Portland when a member of a cleaning crew left the door to his cell unlocked.

David Dahlen was being held and facing accusations of ramming a police officer while driving a stolen pickup truck. “It looks like the cleaning crew opened the holding cell, thinking nobody was in there, and then noticed, ‘Oh, there’s someone in there,’ and shuts the door. But the door may not have latched all the way,” a police spokesperson said. Dahlen, who was recaptured Friday, has seven prior convictions for unauthorized use of vehicles and three similar cases pending. He sounds like the kind of person police might want to keep locked up.

Cheers: To playoff football. The National Football League managed to get through the COVID season without canceling any regular season games. After 256 contests throughout the league, the Seattle Seahawks finished atop the NFC West Division with a 12-4 record.

The playoffs begin today, with the Seahawks meeting the Los Angeles Rams. Seattle needs three victories to reach the Super Bowl, but the mere fact that the league has reached this point is worthy of cheers.