Thursday, December 8, 2022
Dec. 8, 2022

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From the Newsroom: Our new feature is really old

By , Columbian Editor

What’s old is new at The Columbian. In other words, have you noticed our new “This Week in Clark County History” column?

It debuted two weeks ago on our Friday Life cover. It’s presented in partnership with the Clark County Historical Museum, and is written by Katie Bush of their staff, using our newly digitized, electronically searchable archives, which anyone can peruse at for a small fee. On our end, it’s overseen by Erin Middlewood, our features editor. The new feature complements our regular Sunday history feature, which is contributed by Erin’s father, Martin Middlewood, who is an editor at the Clark County Historical Society.

In this week’s installment, Bush notes that it was 100 years ago this week that a wooden bridge opened across the East Fork Lewis River, making it possible to drive from Chelatchie Prairie to Cougar, and, in the words of the newspaper, making Clarke (that’s how it was spelled then) County the “Gateway to the Mt. St. Helens Country.” Touted as a “work of art,” it only lasted for about a decade before being replaced with the one-lane steel bridge that is still in service today.

Bush also chronicles the controversial demolition of the former Vancouver High School, which began 50 years ago, and an unlikely local radio reunion in 1997. Be sure to check out this feature, which is also in the Life section of our website.

Election season

Last week, I shared with you about how The Columbian is covering the November general election, both on the news and opinion side. Now that most of our endorsement editorials have appeared, I thought I would see if we are endorsing more Democrats or more Republicans this year.

So far, we have endorsed four Republicans and two Democrats. We still have two more partisan races to endorse — U.S. Senate (Patty Murray vs. Tiffany Smiley) and 3rd Congressional District (Joe Kent vs. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez.) So it’s possible we may end up with a tie.

I’ll try to tell this to the next person who calls me — usually not a subscriber — and accuses us of only endorsing one party’s candidates, or reflecting only liberal or conservative views on our Opinion pages. But, I doubt they will listen.

I’ve been covering politics since the first Reagan administration, and I have to say I think that just in the last couple of years, I have seen the most extreme candidates and the worst partisanship.

This disturbs me, but probably that is because of my political views. Personally, I love a moderate candidate, the kind who listens and responds, who thinks independently yet can be convinced, and who is more concerned about good governance than “winning.” That’s why I’m happy we endorsed both Republicans and Democrats this year, and why I will gladly vote for some of each when I get my ballot in about a week.

On the flip side, I also see some races this year where both candidates seem exceptionally strong. For example, after interviewing both candidates for secretary of state, I am still undecided.

Some local races where I think voters can’t go wrong, no matter whom they support: 17th District House (both races); 18th District House (again, both races); Clark County Council, District 1 (Glen Yung vs. Hector Hinojosa) and Clark Public Utilities commissioner. In all those races, our editorial board, of which I am a member, interviewed both candidates and did other research. What I heard and discovered made me glad that such qualified people are willing to step up and run for public office at a time when politics have become so mean-spirited and personally nasty.

Finally, please vote this November. Democracy needs informed voters like you, especially this year.