Monday, September 20, 2021
Sept. 20, 2021

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Cheers & Jeers: Local produce good, scams bad

The Columbian

Cheers: To local produce. Several recent articles remind us of our area’s wondrous bounty. While much of Joe’s Place Farms has closed in east Vancouver, family members are keeping parts of it running. Peach trees remain, and the U-pick strawberry fields opened for business this week. Meanwhile, the Salmon Creek Farmers’ Market, Camas Farmer’s Market and Ridgefield Farmers Market are kicking off their 2021 seasons, joining the Vancouver Farmers Market in offering locally sourced food.

In addition to offering fresh, delicious produce, farmers markets are environmentally friendly because the items require less packaging and less transportation. The markets also boost the local economy by keeping dollars in the area, and they provide a sense of community that cannot be replicated at large grocery stores.

Jeers: To scammers. Several recent reports serve as a reminder that there are criminals out there trying to steal your money and identity. One scam involves an official-looking email supposedly from the Washington State Department of Licensing asking for an update of personal information such as Social Security numbers. Another has callers contacting Clark Public Utilities customers asking for payment and threatening disconnection.

Some advice: Never provide your Social Security number online. And if you have concerns about possible fraud, contact the agency directly rather than responding to an unsolicited call or email.

Cheers: To renewable energy. Puget Sound Energy has reached an agreement to purchase power from a Montana wind farm that is scheduled to come online in 2022. Washington’s largest utility signed a 20-year agreement to purchase 350 megawatts of power from the Clearwater Wind Project as part of an effort to reduce its carbon footprint. The energy company owns a nearby coal plant in Montana.

About 70 percent of electricity used in Washington comes from renewable resources, mostly hydroelectricity, placing the state among the leaders in green energy. For Clark Public Utilities, 46 percent of its electricity is hydropower and 4 percent is wind power. Further moves toward renewable energy are crucial for reducing the impact of climate change.

Jeers: To playoff losses. The Portland Trail Blazers’ season has come to an end in the first round of the NBA playoffs — as often is the case. The Denver Nuggets eliminated the Blazers four games to two, marking the fourth time in the past five seasons Portland has lost in the first round. For trivia buffs: The Blazers have lost in the first round 24 times, by far the most of any NBA franchise.

Of course, losing in the first round is better than not making the playoffs or not having a team (right, Seattle?). And Blazers fans are blessed to be able to cheer for Damian Lillard, one of the best and most entertaining players in the league. But the end of the season is always disappointing for all but one team.

Cheers: To rescuers. Everything turned out just ducky for four ducklings that fell through a grate into a wastewater drain along a busy street in Seattle. Firefighters came to the rescue, retrieving the youngsters and reuniting them with their mother and five siblings — who kept a close watch on the proceedings.

The rescue is worthy of cheers. But from a newspaper perspective, the real triumph was that Seattle Times photographer Steve Ringman was on hand to capture some adorable photos.