Sunday, December 5, 2021
Dec. 5, 2021

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Cheers & Jeers: Family fun; last of pawnshops

The Columbian
Published:

Cheers: To family fun. A Family Fun Series will fill some of the gaps created by the loss of the Clark County Fair this summer. While the fair has been canceled for the second straight year because of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers have put together events designed to draw people to the Clark County Fairgrounds. “We’re taking the biggest, most popular parts of the fair, like the carnival and the motorsports, and doing them as stand-alone events. That’s more manageable in terms of sheer numbers of people,” fair Manager John Morrison said.

Events will be held — and ticketed — separately and will include a 10-day carnival beginning Aug. 6. A handful of other events have been announced, and more are being planned. It won’t quite be the Clark County Fair, but it is a nice alternative that will provide thousands of local residents with some summer entertainment.

Jeers … and Cheers: To the end of an era. The last full-service pawn shop in downtown Vancouver is closing. The Lucky Loan Pawn Shop will close at the end of August, and operators already have stopped making loans. Now, they are just trying to sell inventory, ending a run that began in 1954.

Jeers go to the end of a local institution, with the owners ready to retire and unable to find a buyer for the business. But cheers are warranted for the continued reinvention of Vancouver’s downtown. Lucky Loan once was part of a thriving pawnshop industry in the city. But the internet has created competition and the city’s core has been transformed, leaving pawnshops as a relic of the past.

Cheers: To a Portland ferry. Organizers of a ferry along the Willamette River say they hope to begin operations in the summer or fall of 2022. A two-year pilot program would begin with a single ferry that can carry 70 passengers between Cathedral Park in North Portland and the southern end of the city’s downtown. The plan is for additional vessels and stops — including Vancouver — in the future.

Frog Ferry would not have a large impact on Portland’s freeway congestion, but it would provide an attractive alternative for transportation into the city. It also would be affordable, with standard tickets costing $3. Cheers go to an innovative and ambitious idea that would enhance the region.

Jeers: To being unprepared. A lottery offering the chance at cash and prizes for people who have received COVID vaccines is a good idea, but state officials were unprepared. Many residents have reported being unable to confirm that their name is entered in the lottery; state officials assure that they have vaccine records on file and people are automatically entered.

That, however, does not include residents vaccinated through the U.S. Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affairs. Officials are working to ensure those people are entered, but it seems they should have figured that out before launching the lottery.

Cheers: To Jon Eagle. The longtime Camas High School football coach is moving on to Portland State University, where he will be an assistant coach. In 17 seasons at Camas, Eagle compiled a win-loss record of 127-22, and he guided the Papermakers to state championships in 2016 and 2019. From 1988 to 2000, he had a successful run as the coach at Evergreen High School.

Along the way, Eagle was a positive influence on hundreds of Clark County teenagers. High school coaches play an outsized role in the development of young people, and Eagle’s contributions will be missed.

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