Sunday, December 4, 2022
Dec. 4, 2022

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In Our View: Cheers to aiming high; Jeers to dog-tired excuse

The Columbian

Cheers: To shooting for the moon. NASA is heading back to the moon, but it couldn’t get there without a boost from Washington. According to the office of Sen. Maria Cantwell, more than 40 companies from this state contributed to the Artemis mission that launched an astronautless capsule toward the moon this week. The mission is designed to pave thei way for humans to tread upon the dusty orb in the future.

The Artemis program uses products from companies in 15 Washington cities across seven counties (but not Clark). Those include General Plastics Manufacturing of Tacoma and Aerojet Rocketdyne of Redmond. More than 50 years ago, landing humans on the moon and returning them safely was a point of American pride; the Artemis project reminds us that it is, indeed, an effort that involves the entire nation.

Jeers: To a slow-speed chase. A Vancouver man refused to pull over during a traffic stop, later telling officers he wanted to drop off his dog first because he didn’t know why he was being pulled over. The result: His car was immobilized with “tactical vehicle intervention” and he was arrested and booked on suspicion of failing to obey a police officer, resisting arrest and several outstanding traffic-related warrants.

After a Clark County sheriff’s sergeant attempted to stop the man for driving 24 mph over the posted speed limit, the driver continued for about 5 miles while driving the speed limit and obeying traffic laws before being stopped. There’s no word on whether the dog made it home.

Cheers: To clean water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reinstated federal water quality standards for Washington waterways. Reversing policies established by the Trump administration, officials limited the level of polychlorinated biphenyls allowed in industrial discharge.

Industries have often lobbied against strict guidelines for pollutants and, ideally, such standards would be established by Congress rather than regulatory oversight. But we are guessing that most Washington residents support strict limitations on PCBs, which accumulate in fish that are then eaten by people; PCBs are known to be carcinogens. When it comes to polychlorinated biphenyls in our water, we would rather err on the side of caution.

Jeers: To small tips. Washingtonians are generous people, but apparently not when it comes to tipping. A survey by Toast, a vendor for restaurants, found that the people of our state leave an average tip of 18.3 percent — the second-lowest rate in the country. Only the skinflints of California tipped less.

Of course, Washington has the highest minimum wage of any state, which impacts a lot of servers and bartenders and could influence the level of tips here. But we hope that diners in our state will remember that many restaurant workers rely on tips for the bulk of their income.

Cheers: To potential housing. Ron Fryer, founder of Vancouver-based America for Veterans Foundation, is moving forward on a project to provide housing for homeless female veterans. Plans for Veterans Village have been on hold for several years, in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Fryer is rekindling his efforts.

The city of Vancouver has made strides in efforts to provide housing for those in need, but private endeavors also can make a difference. Studies have shown that veterans have high rates of homelessness, and living in unsheltered situations can be particularly difficult for women. Cheers are warranted for all those working to improve the lives of their neighbors.