Friday, August 12, 2022
Aug. 12, 2022

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In Our View: Cheers & Jeers: Solemn return; court backlog

The Columbian
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Cheers: To a solemn homecoming. The remains of U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Eugene P. Shauvin, who was a Camas mill worker, will be returned to his hometown of Spokane this summer — 78 years after he was killed during World War II. He will be interred and honored with taps and a 21-gun salute in the culmination of a touching story.

Shauvin’s plane was shot down over Belgium. His remains were identified recently after 20 years of work by his daughter — with assistance from researchers, historians, the U.S. Army Central Identification Lab in Hawaii and a survivor of the crash. “I think so many children who didn’t have a father always wondered about that person,” said Linda Chauvin, who has adopted the original spelling of the family name. “I was always asking questions about my father and trying to meet people who knew him or grew up with him.”

Jeers: To justice delayed. A recent Columbian article detailed that the Clark County Courthouse is facing a severe backlog of cases after two years of pandemic slowdowns. The issue, obviously, is most difficult for those who are facing criminal proceedings and are constitutionally guaranteed a speedy and public trial.

“We went from a court criminal justice system that had operated the same way forever, with very small, incremental changes here and there, to all of the sudden … those basic concepts of the American justice system were just literally turned upside down,” Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik said. We can add this to the long list of jeers for COVID-19, which has upended lives in ways big and small.

Cheers: To declining COVID rates. Clark County’s rate of coronavirus-related deaths is at its lowest point since September. Infection rates and hospitalizations also have declined in recent weeks.

According to the state Department of Health, 64.9 percent of Clark County residents age 5 or older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assesses the county to be at low risk for the virus — along with every county in Washington. Common sense is still required to keep the disease at bay, but the numbers are moving in an encouraging direction.

Bummer: Gonzaga loses. The Bulldogs have become a perennial challenger for the national championship in men’s college basketball, but they still haven’t managed to finish the season with a victory. Gonzaga lost 74-68 to Arkansas on Thursday in the third round of the tournament, failing to advance beyond the Sweet 16.

Gonzaga entered the tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, but finished the season with a 28-4 record. The Bulldogs reached the championship game in 2017 and 2021 before losing, but fell far short of their goal this season. Several top players are expected to be in the NBA next season, but Gonzaga is certain to have a wealth of talent as it renews its quest for the top prize.

Cheers: To innovative students. A robotics team of students from the Camas, Washougal and Hockinson districts has won a $50,000 prize package in Samsung’s 2022 Solve for Tomorrow Challenge. Students from across the country compete to design a piece of original technology, and Team Mean Machine created a device to help people who have mobility limitations or hip injuries get in and out of wheelchairs.

As one of 10 national finalists, the team is in the running for additional prizes. To learn more about the challenge or vote for Team Mean Machine, visit www.samsung.com/us/solvefortomorrow/.

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