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Sunday, October 1, 2023
Oct. 1, 2023

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In Our View: Cheers & Jeers: Port possibilities; rotten rumors

The Columbian

Cheers: To Vancouver Landing. The Port of Vancouver has unveiled the initial piece of its Terminal 1 makeover — a green space with a boardwalk, interpretive signs and seating areas. It’s part of an ambitious plan to reinvent the former site of the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay, between the Interstate 5 Bridge and The Waterfront Vancouver. “All we have to do is look around to see benefits of this effort: families enjoying time together, children playing, people recreating and enjoying the outdoors,” state Sen. Annette Cleveland said. “This is what makes a community.”

Much of the Columbia River waterfront near downtown has been renovated in recent years; the Terminal 1 project will further improve public access to that waterfront and further transform the city for the better. Mixed-use buildings, office space, apartments, stores, restaurants and a public market are envisioned for the site, adding to the commerce and vibrancy of Vancouver.

Jeers: To misinformation. The Vancouver Police Department this week responded to social media rumors that four teenage girls were killed last weekend in the area. “Social media can be a great way to connect with friends; however, for topics such as crime information, we encourage people to follow credible sources, such as law enforcement, government agencies or legitimate media, who confirm facts before posting,” a department spokeswoman said.

Of course, rumors of teenage deaths are far from the only example of untruths being spread online. But they are a reminder of the need to verify something before pressing the “share” button.

Cheers: To declining COVID-19 infections. Clark County’s coronavirus activity rate has seen its largest decrease since March. That is good news, but with many people using at-home tests or simply waiting out an infection, it probably reveals only part of the reality; hospitalizations and reported deaths increased over the previous seven-day period. Notably, officials say, 98 percent of local ICU beds are occupied, with 9 percent of them used by suspected COVID patients.

Still, any move in the preferred direction is worthy of cheers, and the overall decline in the virus is welcome some 27 months into the pandemic.

Jeers: To shaky ground. An earthquake rattled part of Clark County this week, with the temblor being centered west of Lacamas Lake. The 2.65-magnitude quake was about 4 miles beneath the surface, and the epicenter was directly below Skyridge Middle School.

No damage or injuries were reported, but plenty of people felt the rumbling. The Columbian reported: “The quake prompted a flurry of calls to emergency dispatchers, with callers believing they’d felt an explosion, but fire crews were unable to find anything and cleared the call.” As earthquakes go, this was a mild one. But it serves as a reminder that our region rests on shaky ground.

Cheers: To Ron and Terry Prill. The Camas couple have been honored as Philanthropists of the Year by the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, an umbrella organization that facilitates hundreds of charities in our community. Clark County is blessed to have many dedicated philanthropists who enrich our region through their tireless work and generous donations.

As Ron Prill said: “We have really just been amazed at the real generosity that so many people in this town and this community show and have shown. It really is an inspiration.” Cheers go to all who donate their time and treasure to benefit the people of Southwest Washington.