Sunday, July 3, 2022
July 3, 2022

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In Our View: Cheers & Jeers: Boosting local news; ugly acts

The Columbian
Published:

Cheers: To supporters of local news. The Columbian has launched a Community Funded Journalism initiative, allowing the public to bolster our reporting in areas of particular importance to our community. More than $1 million has been pledged by local donors thus far; that money will fund three positions — two covering topics related to homelessness and affordable housing and one covering transportation, including the Interstate 5 Bridge replacement project.

Newspapers over the past two decades have struggled with an outdated economic model that has led to staffing cuts and closures throughout the nation. That presents a threat to democracy, with residents ill-equipped to make informed decisions. Unlike many papers, The Columbian remains locally owned and, therefore, invested in our community. The Community Funded Journalism initiative is just one innovative way to help us serve Clark County.

Jeers: To racist incidents. The details are not yet clear, but Skyview High School officials have alleged that one of the school’s junior varsity baseball players “was the target of racist comments, noises and names” during a game Wednesday at Camas. That led to the postponement of a varsity game between the schools the following day.

Reports of racial incidents during high school sporting events have seemingly increased in recent years. In December, the coach of a girls basketball team from Portland said his players were subjected to offensive taunts during a game at Camas; an investigation into that incident was inconclusive. Numerous other incidents have been reported throughout Washington, Oregon and other states. Having such hatred on display at high school events is deplorable; these are kids playing games. The incidents serve as a reminder of the need for all of us to decry racism wherever we see it.

Cheers: To a presidential visit. Having the leader of the free world visit our part of the country is always worthy of cheers, even if that visit is brief and fairly isolated. The most encouraging portion of President Joe Biden’s stop Thursday in Portland is his focus on infrastructure spending.

Touting the Infrastructure Improvement and Jobs Act, Biden stressed the need to shore up the nation’s roads, bridges, airports and ports. “It bothers the heck out of me that there’s this belief that we can’t do big things anymore,” he said, “but we can.”

Bummer: A downtown fire. Owners of Diosa, an upscale Mexican restaurant in Vancouver, have spent months turning Jorge’s Tequila Factory into a new eating destination. Now, a fire has delayed their venture.

Staff and management were in the restaurant Thursday, preparing for a soft launch the following day, when the blaze broke out. Two people were evaluated for minor injuries, and the building’s sprinkler system doused everything inside, but firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to other buildings. We hope damage can be repaired quickly so employees may return to work and locals may enjoy some Sea Scallop Hibiscus Ceviche.

Cheers: To finality. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear arguments in a dispute between Klickitat County and the Yakama Nation. The county had argued that 121,465 acres, including half of Mount Adams, were not included when the Yakama Indian Reservation was created by the tribe’s Treaty of 1855 with the federal government. By refusing to hear the case, the court lets stand a ruling ceding the land to the tribe.

Regardless of the decision, cheers are warranted for a final decision. It only took 167 years.

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Your tax-deductible donation to The Columbian’s Community Funded Journalism program will contribute to better local reporting on key issues, including homelessness, housing, transportation and the environment. Reporters will focus on narrative, investigative and data-driven storytelling.

Local journalism needs your help. It’s an essential part of a healthy community and a healthy democracy.

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